Author Topic: The Shampeachement Follies  (Read 34993 times)

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #450 on: January 31, 2020, 11:43:40 PM »
The House knew there were more witnesses they could call, and that an already existing mechanism existed to gain access to said witnesses. They declined to use it, under the guise "it's urgent, urgent, emergency" and ignoring that for the Senate to "investigate properly"(again, not their role) they'd likely end up with comparable legal roadblocks to address.

To be fair, I think in order to evaluate how much of a screw up hurrying the process is, we need to think about what the process is supposed to prevent, which is a sitting President doing bad things. Imagining that the impeachable offenses may have included really bad things (vaguely pressuring the Ukraine not being such a thing, even if it is vaguely bad) it might very well be urgent to remove the President. People could be dying, the nation in danger, and with that looming the notion that the Congress has to wait 6-12 months to get some slow process in order reminds me of the Old Republic in the SW prequels. If a President is committing crimes it needs to be possible to get him out of there right quick, in theory. In practice this particular case seems by some to be an 'emergency' and to others a sham, so we have a weird case. If the Democrats truly believe this to be urgent - a point of view they will regret in future if some other President really does do terrible things after crying wolf this time - then I suppose I don't blame them for wanting it to be speedy. That in itself is not necessarily a fault, unless takes the view that they don't *really* see it as urgent but are trying to time the political optics game properly.

If only there was a constitutional provision for the Congress to designate which courts had responsibility for what.
If only there was a legislative means to setup a framework for expediting judicial processes in certain narrowly constrained circumstances.

Obviously too late for what just happened, but not so for future events.

Crunch

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #451 on: February 01, 2020, 08:26:58 AM »
Let's say that everything you assert is true. Schiff was in on it from the start, wrote the script himself, gave him $50k and a foot massage.

Would that then mean Trump should be acquitted, even if he had committed an impeachable offense?

In this case, truth is very much in the eye of the beholder regarding Trump. As to Schiff, it introduces a poisoned well into the mix, and the potential need for criminal charges against the whistleblower, and either the impeachment or resignation of Schiff.

If Schiff did do the above hypothetical, it doesn't matter if he was proven right in the end or not. He should be removed from office, two wrongs don't make a right.

You are correct. If he did all that, I would expect him to be expelled from Congress - although I assume he would resign first. Unclear if this would be a criminal case, maybe bribery in my hypothetical.

I don't think you leave someone in power to abuse it more just because the guy who undercovered the malfeasance was dirty. What if "deep throat" Mark Felt had been hyperpartisan? And would Republicans have insisted that he be identified and subpoenaed, and would that have vindicated Nixon as a victim of his enemies?

To help crunch out, these are hypothetical statements, so your assertion that Trump didn't commit an impeachable offense is less than useless. You can recognize hypothetical arguments by phrases like "consider for the sake of argument", "what if", "even if". Dershowitz used these over and over.

But that’s precisely what Schiff tried to do, argue hypotheticals as though they were fact. If you’re granted the hypothetical, you’ll move to the fear mongering and threat to democracy with them just as Schiff did. It’s kind of a standard tactic in this sham.

DonaldD

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #452 on: February 01, 2020, 08:37:24 AM »
It's important not to confuse one's misplaced triumphalism with reality.

Was Trump ever likely to be removed from office by a Republican-controlled senate?  No, and I doubt anybody in the Democratic party leadership had that expectation.  The impeachment process is as much a method of investigating and publicizing administration wrong-doing - and how that eventually plays out is still very much a question.Will the Democrats be seen to have overplayed the process for trivial reasons? Will the Republican's be seen to have impeded investigations into a serious dereliction of a president's duties?  Only time will tell.

wmLambert

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #453 on: February 01, 2020, 12:00:51 PM »
The whole Shampeachment is being viewed wrong. There is no crime even from Schiff's parody. There is a requirement for Trump to see corruption is investigated when our money is involved. Biden as well as his son have been reported as corrupt ln the Ukraine for years. Biden entering the Presidential race is even more reason to investigate. No one wants a crook to get elected. That is in our extreme national interest.

DonaldD

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #454 on: February 01, 2020, 12:05:39 PM »
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There is a requirement for Trump to see corruption is investigated when our money is involved
As Master Yoda would say: "the unintentional irony is strong in this one..."

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #455 on: February 01, 2020, 03:12:00 PM »
Trumps main problem is that he's too stupid to operate through proxies and maintain plausible deniability. Reagan should have been impeached for Iran-Contra but nobody could pin that on him. A far more serious violation than Clinton or Nixon, let alone trump.

ScottF

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #456 on: February 01, 2020, 04:37:29 PM »
Working theory: dems could have made more political hay from Trump's “perfect” call if they would have simply embedded/leveraged it into the upcoming primaries and general election instead of formal impeachment.

ScottF

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #457 on: February 01, 2020, 05:04:45 PM »
I do have a procedural/strategy question that I genuinely can’t figure out. Admittedly it could be my own bias, but I’m too ignorant of impeachment rules to know:

Why didn’t the Democrats subpoena witnesses when things were in the house? I *think it’s because there was no guarantee they would be able to actually get the witnesses thru subpoena? Or it would take too long?

If there weren't any procedural reasons, it seems like a huge blunder. Anyone know exactly why they didn’t make a stand on witnesses in the house but then decided to in the senate?

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #458 on: February 01, 2020, 05:23:53 PM »
Why didn’t the Democrats subpoena witnesses when things were in the house? I *think it’s because there was no guarantee they would be able to actually get the witnesses thru subpoena? Or it would take too long?

As the Trump defense team stated, most of the subpoena requests were rejected on the grounds that the committee making the request did not have the authority to make the request as it exceeded the authority granted to them by the House. They could have fought that out in the courts, but because they dropped it, although they used the excuse of "we don't have time to fight this in court" at the time, I suspect they realized they probably did over-step the authority they actually had. So rather than take it to court and be embarrassed when the courts sided with Trump, they dropped the subpoena and cried to the sympathetic media about Trump "playing politics" with it and trying to cover up his misdeeds.

Likewise, because that's the track they took, they couldn't go back through "proper channels" and have a properly authorized congressional body re-submit the same request because that would validate the initial rejection, and make them seem incompetent. So to make lemons out of lemonade, they kicked the problem down the line so the Senate would have to address it, and they could then blame the Republicans for not wanting to properly investigate the situation.

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If there weren't any procedural reasons, it seems like a huge blunder. Anyone know exactly why they didn’t make a stand on witnesses in the house but then decided to in the senate?

Simple, they were playing politics. To fix their mistake, they'd have to admit making a mistake, which both wouldn't play well to their own base and give the Republicans a significant amount of political hay to play with. So they instead brazened their way through the process so they could give the Republicans a steaming turd, and leave them with the choice of either doing the Democrats dirty work for them, or getting smeared for trying to cover for the President.

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #459 on: February 01, 2020, 08:32:04 PM »
At least one of the factors had to be Sanders and Warren. If they pushed through a couple of more months, they'd be in the heart of primaries during the trial.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #460 on: February 02, 2020, 05:20:03 AM »
At least one of the factors had to be Sanders and Warren. If they pushed through a couple of more months, they'd be in the heart of primaries during the trial.

I don't think the DNC was going to be particularly upset if Bernie was stuck sitting through a trial in the Senate.

Warren also isn't likely to be favored by the power brokers in the DNC so a possible Senate trial would have been a bonus from that point of view.

Crunch

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #461 on: February 02, 2020, 09:07:43 AM »
  The impeachment process is as much a method of investigating and publicizing administration wrong-doing ...
Right, just as spelled out in the constitution. Remind me, which article covered impeachment as a means of publicity? Can’t seem to find it ...

DonaldD

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #462 on: February 02, 2020, 09:44:45 AM »
Crunch, the impeachment articles were a result of Congressional investigations that might have led to nothing, votes of censure, more investigations or, in this case, impeachment. It's called Congressional oversight - and oversight is meaningless without a means of making its findings public.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #463 on: February 02, 2020, 02:36:30 PM »
Crunch, the impeachment articles were a result of Congressional investigations that might have led to nothing, votes of censure, more investigations or, in this case, impeachment. It's called Congressional oversight - and oversight is meaningless without a means of making its findings public.

And exactly what investigations happened in advance of the impeachment proceedings with respect to Trump?

Clinton and Nixon spent months/years dealing with an Independent Counsel (or Special Counsel) and Congressional Hearings before things moved to impeachment. Trump's impeachment on the other hand? The thing they tried to impeach him for had exactly 0 investigatory work done at the behest of Congress prior to when Impeachment proceedings began.

And the Congressional hearings conducted as part of the Trump impeachment were run as a Kangaroo court, where they failed to assert their legal rights through the legal system because it was so critical to raise public awareness, get Trump, make findings public, pander to left-wing voters, prevent foreign interference in our election process, have the serious matter of impeachment "settled" in time to make it a major campaign issue.

Congressional oversight is proper, it should happen. It also should be done properly. Something which did not happen with respect to how the House handled its investigation. Good news for them is because the charges were exceedingly vague, double jeopardy is obviously N/A if they were to file more specific charges on the same matter in the future. Assuming double-jeopardy provisions even apply to the political process of impeachment. So now that the Democrats are done playing politics on the matter, some proper hearings on the matter could be possible, without needing to convene the entire Senate to sort through the mess the Democrats in the House made.

Crunch

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #464 on: February 02, 2020, 02:43:13 PM »
Crunch, the impeachment articles were a result of Congressional investigations that might have led to nothing, votes of censure, more investigations or, in this case, impeachment. It's called Congressional oversight - and oversight is meaningless without a means of making its findings public.

You and Mazie:
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“I don't care what kind of nice, little, legal, Constitutional defenses that they came up with.” – Dem Sen. Mazie Hirono

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #465 on: February 03, 2020, 06:16:55 AM »
I'm getting annoyed on Facebook right now with many of the people on my feed being left-wits and complaining about "Checks and Balances" not working because the Senate didn't impeach Trump for refusing to honor the Subpoena requests, among other things.

It's like they've completely forgotten about the Judicial Branch and what its role is supposed to be when the Executive Branch is in conflict with the Legislative Branch.

It is equally impressive to see them declaring Trump to be acting like a Monarch because he blew off the House's requests by telling them to take it to court. Uh what? Since when is telling Congress they don't have unlimited (oversight) power over the Executive, and they need to run their requests through the courts first, the act of a Despot?  It actually is the embodiment of checks and balances, unlike what the Democrats did, where they decided to add that on as an additional impeachable offense(Obstruction of Congress).

Crunch

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #466 on: February 03, 2020, 07:45:01 AM »
TDS is a terrible thing.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #467 on: February 03, 2020, 08:48:17 AM »
I'm getting annoyed on Facebook right now with many of the people on my feed being left-wits and complaining about "Checks and Balances" not working because the Senate didn't impeach Trump for refusing to honor the Subpoena requests, among other things.

It's like they've completely forgotten about the Judicial Branch and what its role is supposed to be when the Executive Branch is in conflict with the Legislative Branch.

It is equally impressive to see them declaring Trump to be acting like a Monarch because he blew off the House's requests by telling them to take it to court. Uh what? Since when is telling Congress they don't have unlimited (oversight) power over the Executive, and they need to run their requests through the courts first, the act of a Despot?  It actually is the embodiment of checks and balances, unlike what the Democrats did, where they decided to add that on as an additional impeachable offense(Obstruction of Congress).

Withdrawing the subpoenas is weird. Moving forward without waiting is another matter. They are still waiting on rulings about Don McGahn testifying that were issued close to a year ago.

So while I also argued that their case would be stronger waiting for a ruling I do understand going forward without one. That being said, getting at least 1 federal judge to rule in their favor but maybe not waiting out the 1+ year trek through the appeals process would have made their case a ton stronger. Or after passing the impeachment resolution and having subpoenas being rejected submit an appeal directly to the SC - because that is where it was ending up anyway. Not sure if the SC would have agreed to hear the case that way but I think it would have been a superior strategy.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #468 on: February 03, 2020, 08:52:52 AM »
So while I also argued that their case would be stronger waiting for a ruling I do understand going forward without one. That being said, getting at least 1 federal judge to rule in their favor but maybe not waiting out the 1+ year trek through the appeals process would have made their case a ton stronger. Or after passing the impeachment resolution and having subpoenas being rejected submit an appeal directly to the SC - because that is where it was ending up anyway. Not sure if the SC would have agreed to hear the case that way but I think it would have been a superior strategy.

And made no real difference to the outcome.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #469 on: February 03, 2020, 09:02:22 AM »
So while I also argued that their case would be stronger waiting for a ruling I do understand going forward without one. That being said, getting at least 1 federal judge to rule in their favor but maybe not waiting out the 1+ year trek through the appeals process would have made their case a ton stronger. Or after passing the impeachment resolution and having subpoenas being rejected submit an appeal directly to the SC - because that is where it was ending up anyway. Not sure if the SC would have agreed to hear the case that way but I think it would have been a superior strategy.

And made no real difference to the outcome.

In terms of convection probably not. But more Republicans would have to publicly defend the Lamar Alexander standard "The question then is not whether the president did it" - admitting it all happened but that they don't view what happened as impeachable.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #470 on: February 03, 2020, 11:35:47 AM »
DonaldD, I'm curious, did you actually listen to Dershowitz or only to the press accounts about what he said, because you've really really misstated his position.

Dershowitz's position is basically:
a) Doing something in the public interest is a sufficient defense to excuse an otherwise criminal or impeachable act

Never said that, never implied that.  A criminal act is a criminal act regardless of whether its in the public interest, and can be impeachable.

What he said is that the House's case is based on the premise that a legal act can be impeachable if it's for a bad motive.  There's absolutely no question that a President can investigate a potential crime or can condition aid on any number of things.  Every President has done both.  The House's case is that performing these legal actions is impeachable because they assert the President's motive is bad.

Dersh's actual point was that a mixed motive can not be impeachable, because ALL President's have mixed motives.  All President's (and all politicians) believe that implementing their policies will help them get reelected.  If mixed motives are "enough" then every act is impeachable. 

The Dem's entire case was motive speculation, which is why their process violations were so egregious.  They asserted there were no motives but the one they preferred, and refused to investigate other motives, even those that were expressly in the record in favor of that preferred narrative (which is not in the record).

Dersh correctly pointed out that an opposition party will always believe the other side's politicians have bad motives.  Ergo, all conduct is inherently impeachable, if the "mixed" motive standard is enough.

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b) If an elected official believes their own election is in the public interest, then

I think he spent too much time explaining his thinking on this, which led to more confusion that was needed.  The point was just that politicians are entitled to think their own re-election is in the public interest (rather than somehow against it), and therefore an action taken in the public interest that also benefits their re-election does not somehow become for a bad reason.

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c) Anything done in support of their own re-election cannot be used as a reason to remove that person from their elected position.

Again, never said that or even implied that.  He said that having a re-election motivation as one of your motivations is entirely appropriate.  Which should be obvious given that every politician you've ever supported has touted their own achievements in their re-election campaigns.

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One can quibble with a word or two, but that is essentially it.  One can also describe this argument in many ways, but 'scholarly' is one of the least accurate.

Or one could actually understand what was said, in which case it's not about a "quibble" with a word or two, but understanding that you fundamentally misstated the position.  And it was a very scholarly position he took.

I disagree with him on his conclusion that there must be a crime, but I also disagree with the position that because it doesn't have to be a crime it can be anything.  The standard for a "not crime" is one that should be a crime - which fails here because the conduct is acceptable if done in the public interest and the House failed to investigate the President's rationale and thereby can not eliminate it.

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By this reasoning, campaign financing laws, laws concerning foreign interference... none of these laws, at least partly written to curb the activities of corrupt elected officials, could be enforceable against elected officials using the power of their elected office to improve their electoral chances or even to ensure their own re-election... except maybe in the case of very special politicians who make clear that their own election is NOT in the public interest.

Well except that when you strawman an argument your conclusions rarely lead from what the actual argument was.

Dersh would have no problem with an impeachment based on a violation of law under this argumen.  He may not think they warrant the label "high crimes and misdemeanors" which is effectively where it came out on Clinton.  But nothing about what he said on motivation for re-election being permissable would in any way make a violation of law "not applicable" for an impeachment.

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Maybe Dershowitz's argument was completely extemporaneous and without any analysis... (one can hope) Unfortunately, it sounds like a lot of people have turned their brains off and don't realize what is being argued... it also seems that there are many people who do know better but are depending on the lack of critical thinking on the part of their supporters in order to use this as a defense of their own team...

And I find it particularly absurd to claim others have "turned their brains off" after demonstrating that you didn't even understand the argument.

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #471 on: February 03, 2020, 12:01:30 PM »
Lot of good points, Seriati, but reading his language I parsed it as "A president can take any legal action solely in support of his re-election, and it would be in the public interest and not impeachable.

I don't see any explicit "partly" or "also" in his language.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #472 on: February 03, 2020, 12:25:12 PM »
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If the House wants to hear from Bolton they should subpeona him.

Oh, yeah, that worked so well for the House for their other subpoenas.  ;D  What makes you think it would be any different with Bolton, who already said he wouldn't testify to the House until a court ordered him to, because Trump ordered him not to?  Do we have to go over the Obstruction of Justice charge? ;)

I hadn't heard the House lost their case in court.  How well did it go for them again?

Last I checked one could still challenge any subpeona in court and that's not evidence of a separate crime of obstruction.

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The House then declined to pursue the matter further, even when Bolton subsequently announced he was willing to testify.

Except that he specifically said he would testify to the Senate, not the House.  And the impeachment was already headed to the Senate by then.  Day late and wrong house.

Again, the Senate should reject the House's defective record.  If this was a real court the case would be dismissed with leave to refile or remanded to the lower court to fix the problem.

In fact this is not a real case, it's a government funded campaign ad to interfere in the 2020 election.  Every single step of this has been managed by the left on a political basis.

Abuse of power by Trump?  My ass, clear abuse of power by the Dems.

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And in any case, we now have more information than the House did at the time.

If the House needed that information they should have obtained it.  You can't impeach someone for claims they didn't develop without uncostitutionally taking the sole power to impeach from the House. 

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The only question is whether they want to know the whole truth or cover the truth up. ;)

The only question is whether they will realize that this is nothing but politics and shut it down or let the Dems get away with the biggest political crime in our history.

I remember when Republicans used to brag about being the Moral Party.  The party that believed in the Justice and Facts.  You guys always made fun of us Democrats for not knowing what was true and what wasn't, not thinking logically, being driven by partisanship and emotions.

I hate having to quote that much, sorry all, but context on that is important.  You're defending the first banana court in modern American history by accusing me of not believing in Justice?

You have some nerve.

There is no motive in the DNC for the way they handled this other than 2020 election interference.  Can you even make a case otherwise?

There is no grounds for denying due process if you're trying to make a legitimate case.  If the DNC proved their case, then it would be Trump that was clamoring for more witnesses to undermine it.  If the DNC had a case they would have allowed cross examination and due process in the House to undermine the President's claims.  They didn't, because their case is 100% politics.

So, in my view, the Facts are that the DNC didn't conduct an investigation in good faith, deliberately biased the record, lied at every stage about what happened, and then played more politics at the trial.  What would be just is if the Senate dismissed the impeachment and sanctioned the House (we can wish) for it's repulsively unjust and unAmerican process.

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Now look at you.   With possible new information coming out (we didn't know before that Bolton had actually heard Trump say to stop the funds to Ukraine until they investigated Biden), why do you object?

Because there is no case.  If the House thinks there's information out there on which they could make a case - THE HOUSE - should go get it.  Again though, the Senate should dismiss their current record to make it clear that it will not accept a record that the House develops without cross examination.  Any such record is about politics not justice.

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Because he has the right to appeal revealing those facts (even though that would delay the process until after the election Trump wanted to influence).  Because in a "real court case" it would have been dismissed.  Because the claims weren't previously sufficiently developed before they were brought to the Senate (in spite of the fact that they couldn't get the evidence in a timely manner).

They couldn't have President's counsel there to cross examine witnesses in a timely manner?  That's total nonsense.

They couldn't have reissued subpeonas to executive staff that were not entitled to immunity and allowed them to have agency counsel present?  Agency counsel is absolutely necessary and appropriate to allow executive privilege claims to be narrowed down to only those questions where they apply.  Effectively, your noble managers declined to follow all precedent, which would have allowed them to have most of the witnesses they were interested in appear and answer most (if not all) of the questions they had.  Again, total nonsense to claim otherwise.

Heck, if they had been conducting a fair investigation, I'd bet they would have even gotten senior people to appear. 

But they didn't, and there's a reason for that.  They deliberately set the process to make the White House not participate.  They didn't want the defense to be heard.  Because this was never about guilt, it was about 2020 election interference by the Dems.

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Tell me, do you give a flying f**k whether Trump actually tried to use his position as President to extort another nation, one that was fighting an invasion, in order to get dirt on a political opponent?

I might, if I believe something like that really happened.  But an investigation of Joe Biden is not political dirt.  Joe Biden's conduct should be investigated.

You guys seem to operate under the delusion that revealing actual crimes by a Democrat is somehow illegal if it's done by a Republican.

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Or do you just want to make sure all the i's are dotted and all the t's crossed before the Senate gets to judge?

I do want that, but the number one thing an abusive process does is hide the truth.  That's exactly what the House process did - and was designed to do.

Let's be honest.  You've had four months with just the prosecution's case and at the point you wrote that less than 24 hours hearing from the defense.  That's gross even in a third world country.  Yet you seem totally okay with it, even in 24 hours the defense totally destroyed the basis of the prosecution.

We all know that if the Dems had conducted a fair process this impeachment never happens, and not because of delays, but just because it was weak sauce and they'd never have gotten the swing state votes.

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I ask because the Trump defense team and the vast majority of Republican Senators don't care.  They are quite willing to give the President kingly powers to do whatever he likes (if its for the good of the country, like having Trump as President, he's justified in just about anything he does) as long as it is a Republican President.  Watch how fast they spin around when a Democrat is elected to our highest office.

What "kingly" powers?  Seriously, this is a great meme based argument, certainly running the rounds on the talking heads, but it's a total fiction.  By any objective measure, Obama asserted far more kingly powers than Trump.  Trump's abided by court decisions even where the court's were far outside the bounds of Article 3 Jurisdiction. 

It's a great form of projection though, from the person who was on here defending Obama's authority to rewrite our laws unilatterly because "Congress won't act."

So be specific.  List out the "kingly" powers of Trump.

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We need to hear from Bolton to establish what the facts are.  Whether those are established in the House or the Senate does not change the facts.

Then call him in the House.  If he's heard in the House, maybe there never is an impeachment.  Given Pelosi's statement that impeachment is forever vetting the facts in the House before impeachment seems like the minimum standard that should apply.  Or do you believe that once the Senate chooses not to remove that Trump is exonerated?

Can't have it both ways, if Impeachment means something it's the Houses job to make sure they have it correct.

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And if Trump tried to use his office to extort another nation into helping with his election, he should be removed from office.

Then prove extortion.  The House didn't bother to charge extortion.  Do you know why?  Cause they couldn't prove it, couldn't demonstrate, and don't even have facts that indicate it.

What should be the penalty for bearing false witness?  For asserting the commissions of crimes that a prosecution can't prove?  For bad faith?

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Anyone who believes in justice and facts would agree with that.

Anyone who believes in justice believes in innocence until proven guilty, believes in a right to confront your accusers, to have counsel present and to be represented in depositions, in a right to have prosecutors seek out exculpatory as well as incriminating evidence and ultimately in receiving a fair hearing of your defense. 

Since you believe in none of that, what does that mean?

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But those don't matter much to Republicans anymore, do they?

Lol.  Yes they do.  What doesn't matter to Republicans anymore is when Democrats cloak themselves in fancy language while abusing the very processes they claim to support.

Again, there is NO JUSTIFICATION for how this process was managed by the Democrats.  You haven't even tried to establish one, other than maybe you believe it had to be rushed to stop the 2020 election - which in and of itself is an attempt to undermine the Constitution.  If the case is solid, Trump could have been impeached and removed after the election.  But the case isn't solid, it's barely a case, and it relies 100% on believing that Schiff can read Trump's mind.

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It's not mind reading.  It's logical inference.  (You've heard of that, haven't you?)

This was in reference to ScottF's refutation of the fake claims on Dersh's argument.  It's mind reading, well actually I agree it's not, it's projection.  Schiff needs a bad motive to make his case, ergo the bad motive must be true without proof.  That's what we saw.  Every House Manager, in every response to just about every question, went with the Big Lie tactic and just repeatedly asserted that they had proved the motive.  There's no proof in the record.  It's just a projection.

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What is or is not in the "public interest" is a political question.  One can argue that making the Democratic Party illegal would be in the "public interest."  Ask any partisan Republican.  Just because you might disagree doesn't make it not so.  So the range of justification of something being in the "public interest" covers just about any action, including deciding that being President is ultimately in the public interest, especially if you are a very stable genius, so much smarter than everyone else! :)

The test is whether a politician acted in what they believe to be the public interest, not whether their opponents disagree.  Obama believed he acted in the public interest when he passed Obamacare, his Republican opponents believed they acted in the public interest in opposing it.

Investigation of criminal and corrupt activity in foreign countries by politicians and their families is in the public interest.  Investigating Ukranian interference in the 2016 election is as much in the public interest as investigating Russian interference was.

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Besides, the whole point of this impeachment is the firm belief that investigating debunked theories, those only held by the rightwing fringe, is in no way "in the public interest."  The only interests it would help is Trump's and the Republican Party's.

You can't "debunk" a theory by engaging in wilful blindness.  That's literally a nonsensical position. 

It's also a Big Lie to claim they have been debunked, particularly they are just facts.  Ukraine interfered in 2016  fact.  Hunter Biden took a position on a corrupt company board - fact.  Joe Biden was responsible for Ukraine, including fighting corruption, at that time, got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired by engaging in a quid pro quo for $1 billion in US aid.  If, as it appears, he was made aware of Hunter's position and the appearance prior to that decision the case against him is stonger (by far) than the case against Trump.

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So, yes, the vagueness of the term "public interest" gives the President carte blanche to do just about anything he wants.  And if practically nothing is impeachable, and he cannot be charged with a crime while he is office, what the difference between a President and a king/dictator?

The public interest does not justify any criminal act.  This impeachment was devoid of a criminal act.

A legal action taken in the public interest is game over.  That was Dersh's point.   Legal Action, public interest motivation, inquiry over.  Elections are the mechanism to determine if the President was correct about the public interest not impeachments.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 12:31:38 PM by Seriati »

Fenring

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #473 on: February 03, 2020, 12:27:19 PM »
I don't see any explicit "partly" or "also" in his language.

I expect the "partly" comes implicitly based on common sense: a President is going to consider his own re-election as for the public good, but also wants to be re-elected for purely personal selfish reasons (i.e. he likes the job, the fame, etc). So any desire to be re-elected will practically by definition have a mixed motive, part of which is for America and part of which is self-centered. The argument, such as it is, seems to be that to whatever extent the motive includes being for the good of America then it is not impeachable on those grounds, although it can be impeachable on other grounds. The reason this distinction is pertinent is because the case against Trump for impeachment seems to rest not only on what he did, but on asserting positively that he did it for purely selfish reasons and was not aiming his policy at helping America.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #474 on: February 03, 2020, 12:47:13 PM »
The idea that an official's re-election is a sufficient justification for an act being in the public interest is so corrosive to the idea of good government that I'm not surprised the GOP is buying into it whole-heartedly.

ETA: Of course re-election is an omnipresent motive but the idea that a politician could say "I only did it to be re-elected" and we should just accept that it is terrible.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 12:49:28 PM by NobleHunter »

Fenring

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #475 on: February 03, 2020, 12:52:10 PM »
The idea that an official's re-election is a sufficient justification for an act being in the public interest is so corrosive to the idea of good government that I'm not surprised the GOP is buying into it whole-heartedly.

ETA: Of course re-election is an omnipresent motive but the idea that a politician could say "I only did it to be re-elected" and we should just accept that it is terrible.

Are you saying that Seriati's take on this is wrong? Because otherwise you're responding to the wrong point. The argument that's been put forward is not that "for re-election" automatically makes any action ok, but the converse: that "for re-election" cannot automatically make an action not ok since it must automatically be assumed to be at least part of the motive of any President. In other words, accusing a President of doing something to help his own election chances cannot, in absence of any other objection, be sufficient grounds for impeachment because then all actions would be impeachable. But that does not mean that it's not acceptable grounds; just not sufficient.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 12:54:58 PM by Fenring »

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #476 on: February 03, 2020, 01:39:21 PM »
I think there is something more unseemly about damaging a political rival than other actions. If Trump started a trade war with China, and got caught on tape talking about how great it would be for his re-election, I don't think there's going to be much concern about it. I'm not reopening a debate about impeachment, merely making a statement about optics.

So if Biden only in part wanted to help his son, but also had lots of other reasons in the public interest to get this prosecutor fired, isn't that in some way a similar argument? I don't call it equivalent.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #477 on: February 03, 2020, 02:15:29 PM »
Let me ask a question Betty Warren asked yesterday to the wrong people (the House Impeach Committee, rather than Trump's Lawyers):

If Ukraine had offered to Trump to investigate Biden (which would possibly help his campaign) for weapons to defend themselves, that would be illegal, right?  Offering assistance to a campaign in exchange for badly-needed assistance.

If that is illegal, why is the opposite--offering to release badly-needed weapons for an investigation into Biden--not illegal?

It was established as fact that the provision of Javellins was not at anytime delayed.  Ergo, your entire supposition about delaying release of weapons is counterfactual.

And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming' election assistance without showing it.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #478 on: February 03, 2020, 02:38:58 PM »
The idea that an official's re-election is a sufficient justification for an act being in the public interest is so corrosive to the idea of good government that I'm not surprised the GOP is buying into it whole-heartedly.

ETA: Of course re-election is an omnipresent motive but the idea that a politician could say "I only did it to be re-elected" and we should just accept that it is terrible.

Pot, meet kettle. Why do you think the Dems moved on impeachment before the 2020 election? Maybe because so many of them ran on impeaching Trump in 2018? Their political base wanted him impeached, mission accomplished. The rush to impeachment was just as much about the Democrats trying to protect themselves in the primary process as it was to try to influence the 2020 election outcome by smearing the Republicans.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #479 on: February 03, 2020, 02:47:11 PM »
Pot, meet kettle. Why do you think the Dems moved on impeachment before the 2020 election? Maybe because so many of them ran on impeaching Trump in 2018? Their political base wanted him impeached, mission accomplished. The rush to impeachment was just as much about the Democrats trying to protect themselves in the primary process as it was to try to influence the 2020 election outcome by smearing the Republicans.

So did any Democrats advance the argument that what they were doing was okay because their re-election would be in the public interest?

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #480 on: February 03, 2020, 02:55:03 PM »
The idea that an official's re-election is a sufficient justification for an act being in the public interest is so corrosive to the idea of good government that I'm not surprised the GOP is buying into it whole-heartedly.

ETA: Of course re-election is an omnipresent motive but the idea that a politician could say "I only did it to be re-elected" and we should just accept that it is terrible.

Are you saying that Seriati's take on this is wrong? Because otherwise you're responding to the wrong point. The argument that's been put forward is not that "for re-election" automatically makes any action ok, but the converse: that "for re-election" cannot automatically make an action not ok since it must automatically be assumed to be at least part of the motive of any President. In other words, accusing a President of doing something to help his own election chances cannot, in absence of any other objection, be sufficient grounds for impeachment because then all actions would be impeachable. But that does not mean that it's not acceptable grounds; just not sufficient.

I think Dershowitz should have worked on the phrasing a bit more.

Practically every politician in the history of history felt that their remaining in power was "in the public interest" so that sets a very low bar at the onset.

Although politicians have been caught out doing things that obviously were not "in the public interest."

His explicit caveat for other illegal activity is obviously valid, as witnessed with Nixon and the Watergate break-in as that involved an actual crime.

"Motive crimes" however, which is basically what the Democrats were accusing Trump of, are an entirely different ball game. You either have to be able to mind read, or generate a mind-numbingly large pile of evidence to rule out any option which qualifies as a "public interest" even absent re-election intentions.

Which has been my refrain from the onset. If the Trump Administration could provide any reason that creates a "mixed motive" outcome, where the reason for the funds being held back wasn't exclusively about re-election for Trump, and their case for a "motive crime" falls apart.

Evidence of Ukranian interference(not to be confused with the Russian interference, both were interfering in 2016, Russia was simply much more active), Biden Family connections to Burisma and Joe Biden getting involved with the prosecutor investigating that company, as well as other ongoing corruption issues in Ukraine while a new Ukranian Administration is taking shape, all serve to establish a "mixed motive" defense for Trump and nulls the case the Democrats presented.

They simply could not, and can not, prove that Trump's only motive for doing what he did revolved around sabotaging Joe Biden in 2020. Even if they get Trump to flat out say Joe Biden was "the major reason" for doing what he did, because once again, the motive is mixed.

And we still also get back to the other problem with their claim that this was a "serious offense" on Trump's part. They have no evidence to suggest there was implication that the Ukranian's "create evidence" to sabotage Biden's campaign. They also failed to demonstrate how such an investigation would do "irreparable harm" to the Biden Presidential campaign absent actual, genuine, evidence of wrong-doing being found.

Hillary's mis-handling of classified emails is more damning in my book than what has been brought forward with regards to Trump and Ukraine.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #481 on: February 03, 2020, 02:56:17 PM »
Pot, meet kettle. Why do you think the Dems moved on impeachment before the 2020 election? Maybe because so many of them ran on impeaching Trump in 2018? Their political base wanted him impeached, mission accomplished. The rush to impeachment was just as much about the Democrats trying to protect themselves in the primary process as it was to try to influence the 2020 election outcome by smearing the Republicans.

So did any Democrats advance the argument that what they were doing was okay because their re-election would be in the public interest?

It's implicit in the fact they did it, and they're running for re-election.

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #482 on: February 03, 2020, 03:08:56 PM »
It's implicit in the fact they did it, and they're running for re-election.

So now you're the mind reader?

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #483 on: February 03, 2020, 03:15:19 PM »
It's implicit in the fact they did it, and they're running for re-election.

So now you're the mind reader?

Everything a politician does revolves around "will I get re-elected if I do this?"

If the answer they arrive at is "yes" then they do it, and it meets a definition of "public interest" because (enough) voters will support it at the ballot box, willingly or not.

So yes, everything they do as a politician is subject to mixed motive. There were likely a few "true believers" in the mix, but I think you'd find most Democrats were simply voting to appease their respective bases, or to secure "important support" for their re-election bid. I wouldn't be surprised if a few Dems(and Republicans on the flip side) weren't threatened with having funding support in their re-election cut if they wavered from their respective part line.

A previous example on other issues would be AOC threatening to help primary other Democrats if they didn't vote certain ways on other previous legislation. It would not be surprising to learn some of that happened behind closed doors with respect to the impeachment.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #484 on: February 03, 2020, 03:18:35 PM »
Let me ask a question Betty Warren asked yesterday to the wrong people (the House Impeach Committee, rather than Trump's Lawyers):

If Ukraine had offered to Trump to investigate Biden (which would possibly help his campaign) for weapons to defend themselves, that would be illegal, right?  Offering assistance to a campaign in exchange for badly-needed assistance.

If that is illegal, why is the opposite--offering to release badly-needed weapons for an investigation into Biden--not illegal?

It was established as fact that the provision of Javellins was not at anytime delayed.  Ergo, your entire supposition about delaying release of weapons is counterfactual.

No, his Administration merely promised, i.e, threatened, not to release the military funds until Ukraine announced the investigation into his political rival and son.  The fact that he didn't follow through with that threat is entirely beside the point.  The threat itself, if made for political gain, would be a high crime.

Reminds me of a calendar I have on the stupidest things people have said.  Reportedly during a cross-examination, the following occurred:

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Lawyer: What happened then?
Witness: He told me, he says, "I have to kill you because you can identify me!"
Lawyer: Did he kill you?

Somehow, this sounds similar, if the defendant was being charged with assault. :)

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And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #485 on: February 03, 2020, 03:21:24 PM »
Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

Did it hurt Biden's campaign? The funny thing about this particular hypothetical at this point is much of it actually isn't hypothetical at this point. And even more ironically, it didn't need to be announced by Ukraine after all.

Fenring

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #486 on: February 03, 2020, 03:25:30 PM »
And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

This is irrelevant to the point. You asserted an equivalence between bribery and extortion, which (a) are not equivalent, and (b) not applicable to Trump unless you can show one of them is. I have alternatively heard the accusation flip-flopping between bribery and extortion, but actually these are contradictory claims and cannot both be true. The fact that I've heard both suggests strongly that people are misinformed about what certain foreign interactions actually mean. Hence my question to you about campaign finance law. You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Biden would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery or extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances? It *might* explain them but it does not follow from them as a direct consequence. The only argument from your post I could see making sense would be a campaign finance violation, i.e. that Ukraine doing something beneficial to Trump's re-election is in and of itself against the law. Whether you realize it or not, this was the point you were (intentionally or not) actually making.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2020, 03:32:32 PM by Fenring »

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #487 on: February 03, 2020, 03:46:45 PM »
Hence my question to you about campaign finance law. You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Biden would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery or extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances? It *might* explain them but it does not follow from them as a direct consequence. The only argument from your post I could see making sense would be a campaign finance violation, i.e. that Ukraine doing something beneficial to Trump's re-election is in and of itself against the law. Whether you realize it or not, this was the point you were (intentionally or not) actually making.

That was one of the Democrat's openers and seems to be one most Liberals are sticking to. Evidently Trump's impeachment, which spelled out no actual violation of law, is actually about him violating campaign finance law (no foreign money--or equivalent, it seems)with respect to Ukraine and Joe Biden.

Which makes him being impeached even more laughable IMO.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #488 on: February 03, 2020, 03:50:16 PM »
I do have a procedural/strategy question that I genuinely can’t figure out. Admittedly it could be my own bias, but I’m too ignorant of impeachment rules to know:

Why didn’t the Democrats subpoena witnesses when things were in the house? I *think it’s because there was no guarantee they would be able to actually get the witnesses thru subpoena? Or it would take too long?

They made a legal claim.  Essentially, they say that because the "sole power" of impeachment is in the House, they are above judicial process and are the final arbiters of their own subpoena power.  Therefore they will not submit to the courts and any refusal to comply with the bounds they set is de facto unConstitutional and impeachable.

It's a funny little argument, and it's literally equivalent to saying that so long as the House uses the word "impeachment" all other branch perrogatives, rights and checks and balances fall away.  They said Executive Privilege doesn't apply - because the House said it doesn't apply.  They said, no due process - because they House says it doesn't apply.  They said no agency counsel, because the House is the final arbiter on whether a question must be answered by any witness and no court can interfere.

I suspect that much like the courts did in the Nixon case where they reigned in Executive Privilege, litigating this out would establish what I suspect most of us ALREADY BELIEVE IS THE CASE, that the court's can set legitimate constraint's on the House's exercise of subpoena's even in the Impeachment process.

We already have a good idea a about how the Supreme Court might view this, given that it directly plays into the Nixon precedent by concerning matters of foreign policy, which the Nixon court said may be entitled to absolute executive privilege.  Very likely to get a 5-4 decision that says while there may be a case where Executive Privilege can be overcome in this area this isn't it, or a very limited case where they authorize a court master to review the materials and only turn over evidence of crimes to the House.  So no fishing expedition, and very likely nothing revealed to the House.

Why push for a result where the most likely result is a smack in the face curtailing your power, when you can go the other way, assert it's a crime, prevent any judicial review and most importantly make political hay by smearing the President about it for months before he even gets to respond and then make more hay out of it by claiming it was a cover up or a sham trial?

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If there weren't any procedural reasons, it seems like a huge blunder. Anyone know exactly why they didn’t make a stand on witnesses in the house but then decided to in the senate?

Again, politics.  By making the issue in the Senate they get to smear the Republican senators.  It's now the "Noble House Managers" seeking to find the truth and the dastardly Republican Senators who kept it from coming out.  This political strategy wasn't just about Trump, it's about campaign adds they can run in Senate campaigns.  That's why Schumer ran through all those votes individually.

This is one of those strategies that relies on the media being in the tank for the Democrats.  Any real journalists who acted fairly would have never have let them get away it.  Can you even imagine how this impeachment would have been characterized if it was a Republican House and a Democrat President?

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #489 on: February 03, 2020, 04:55:17 PM »
Lot of good points, Seriati, but reading his language I parsed it as "A president can take any legal action solely in support of his re-election, and it would be in the public interest and not impeachable.

I don't see any explicit "partly" or "also" in his language.

Dersh walked through two situations, an illegal act (which can be impeachable) and a legal act.

For the legal act, he walked through 3 states of mind, purely in the public good, purely in the self interest and mixed.  He flat out said, for purely in the self interest (e.g. pecuniary benefit, "I won't release this aid unless you put money in my bank account, or build a Trump branded hotel in Ukranian") it would be appropriate to impeach.

He spent the majority of his argument on the "mixed" case, or rather the case where there is a clear public interest (which there was in this case).  In that case, he said arguing that you can attribute a legal act that has a public benefit to a nefarious motive shouldn't be done.  First of all the proof required is near insurmountable when you can't read minds (which is in large part, why virtually no Republicans are convinced by the House's "argument" based on mind reading or "logical inference").

Unlike many, I suspect, I watched most of the arguments and a bunch of the Q&A.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #490 on: February 03, 2020, 05:18:29 PM »
I think there is something more unseemly about damaging a political rival than other actions.

Yes there is, yet that's exactly what was done TO TRUMP.

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So if Biden only in part wanted to help his son, but also had lots of other reasons in the public interest to get this prosecutor fired, isn't that in some way a similar argument? I don't call it equivalent.

It is, if Biden was up for impeachment.  Of course, the difference may in fact be that Biden's conduct was illegal - which it would take an investigation to determine.  The other half about why criminal acts are themselves conduct that can justify an impeachment is that a President or Vice President has notice of what is criminal.  An investigation of Biden is an investigation of a crime.  There may not be evidence of a crime, in which case it shouldn't be charged.  But if there is, that's way stronger than impeachment for non-crimes and motive inference.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #491 on: February 03, 2020, 05:45:33 PM »
Let me ask a question Betty Warren asked yesterday to the wrong people (the House Impeach Committee, rather than Trump's Lawyers):

If Ukraine had offered to Trump to investigate Biden (which would possibly help his campaign) for weapons to defend themselves, that would be illegal, right?  Offering assistance to a campaign in exchange for badly-needed assistance.

If that is illegal, why is the opposite--offering to release badly-needed weapons for an investigation into Biden--not illegal?

It was established as fact that the provision of Javellins was not at anytime delayed.  Ergo, your entire supposition about delaying release of weapons is counterfactual.

No, his Administration merely promised, i.e, threatened, not to release the military funds until Ukraine announced the investigation into his political rival and son.  The fact that he didn't follow through with that threat is entirely beside the point.  The threat itself, if made for political gain, would be a high crime.

Actually no.  You're just wrong on this.  It directly came out in trial that the Javelin's WERE NEVER PART OF THE DELAY.

It was repeated several times.  The delayed aid was not for lethal hardware.

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And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

See how you shifted the goal posts.  I have no idea if the mere announcement of an investigation would hurt Biden's campaign, but that's not what you claimed before.  You jumped to that was the purpose, without any explanation of how. 

What if a fair investigation announced there was no crime?  Still hurt?

What if the media refused to cover it?  Still hurt?

We already do know that the Ukrainian courts have established that people in their country interfered in our 2016 election, yet not only has that not hurt anyone, you've pretended the idea has been debunked.

And what if Biden is guilty, and the evidence comes out.  Is that purely to help Trump?  Is not suppressing that investigation solely to help Biden's campaign?  What other cause is there to suppress evidence of guilt in this circumstance?

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It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

Like I said, you skipped some steps because you believe it to be true.

If Biden is guilty, investigating him is not wrong even if it helps Trump.  But proof of guilt isn't the actual standard to investigate, there is more than enough evidence of an illegal or corrupt act in connection with Hunter.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #492 on: February 03, 2020, 06:01:49 PM »
This by the way was my favorite question and answer, directed to the House Managers:

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired a retired foreign spy to work with Russian contacts to build a dossier of opposition research against her political opponent, Donald Trump. Under the House managers’ standard would the dossier be considered as foreign interference in a U.S. election, a violation of the law, and/or an impeachable offense?

House Manager Hakeem Jefferies, opened his response like this and my jaw dropped:

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The analogy is not applicable to the present situation because first, to the extent that opposition research was obtained, it was opposition research that was purchased.

I can't find the rest of his answer, but it was an attack on Republicans and I believe conspiracy theories, even though nothing about the Steele dossier being produced by a British spy and including Russian propaganda is a conspiracy theory.

But just the fabulousness of the argument that "purchasing" foreign campaign interference, and thereafter spreading "paid for" Russian propaganda, and using it to trigger an FBI investigation that ties up an administration for 2 years, is totally cool, but if it were handed to someone for free it's an obvious crime and impeachable offense (well obvious if they are a Republican).

TheDeamon

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #493 on: February 03, 2020, 06:06:23 PM »
So if Biden only in part wanted to help his son, but also had lots of other reasons in the public interest to get this prosecutor fired, isn't that in some way a similar argument? I don't call it equivalent.

It is, if Biden was up for impeachment.  Of course, the difference may in fact be that Biden's conduct was illegal - which it would take an investigation to determine.  The other half about why criminal acts are themselves conduct that can justify an impeachment is that a President or Vice President has notice of what is criminal.  An investigation of Biden is an investigation of a crime.  There may not be evidence of a crime, in which case it shouldn't be charged.  But if there is, that's way stronger than impeachment for non-crimes and motive inference.

The other elephant in the room on this whole affair: Biden threatened to pull nearly $1 Billion in aid to Ukraine if they didn't fire that prosecutor.

He may have had Obama's authorization to do so, but where was the Congressional approval for that?

One of other nebulous charges against Trump, as they couldn't be bothered to enumerate them, was the withholding of Congressionally authorized funds "for reasons not approved by Congress," and of course the mind-reading allegation of it being for his own political benefit. Yes, in both cases, Ukraine received the money, in Biden's case a clear threat was made, while in Trump's case the threat was far more ambiguous from what they discovered.

Yet Biden is evidently A-OK and good to go despite using Congressional monies to threaten an ally without Congressional approval, but Trump needed to be removed from office for simply delaying it with no reason given to Ukraine?

Wayward Son

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #494 on: February 03, 2020, 06:40:06 PM »
And you've still failed to address Fenring's point that you haven't actually connected the motive to the act - in other words, you keep "jumping to" or "assuming" election assistance without showing it.

Are you actually arguing that, if Ukraine announced it was investigating Joe Biden and his son for corruption, it would not hurt his campaign in any way?  And if Biden was the best Democratic nominee, or even the nominee, that this would not benefit Trump's campaign?

It's not so much an "assumption" that such an investigation would assist Trump's election effort as "painfully obvious." :)

This is irrelevant to the point. You asserted an equivalence between bribery and extortion, which (a) are not equivalent, and (b) not applicable to Trump unless you can show one of them is. I have alternatively heard the accusation flip-flopping between bribery and extortion, but actually these are contradictory claims and cannot both be true. The fact that I've heard both suggests strongly that people are misinformed about what certain foreign interactions actually mean. Hence my question to you about campaign finance law. You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Trump would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances? It *might* explain them but it does not follow from them as a direct consequence. The only argument I could see making sense here would be a campaign finance violation, i.e. that Ukraine doing something beneficial to Trump's re-election is in an of itself against the law. Whether you realize it or not, this was the point you were (intentionally or not) actually making.

First off, I did not assert anything.  I was paraphrasing Elizabeth Warren.

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You seem to be connecting investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Trump would help him - duh! - and concluding from this that bribery extortion must have been what's happening. Do you not see how this conclusion does not follow from the circumstances?

I assume you mean "investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Biden would help him..."

No, I did not "conclude" that this is what's happening.  However, if we do conclude that he was extorting Ukraine (and I believe the evidence overwhelming shows that his representatives did just that), and if this extortion was mostly, if not exclusively, for the purpose of helping his campaign (which, I admit, may still be in question, although the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that), then the question becomes relevant, for the reason you said--it would be an illegal campaign contribution.  It would be made much worse because he used his position as President to do this extortion; using the power of the Presidency to withhold the funds.

The question, as I understood it, was based on the assumption that Trump did use his position to extort Ukraine.  But the question itself was not meant to prove that he had done so, AFAIK.  It was meant to point out that if it was proven, then it would be illegal just as the opposite would have been.

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #495 on: February 03, 2020, 06:57:31 PM »
Lot of good points, Seriati, but reading his language I parsed it as "A president can take any legal action solely in support of his re-election, and it would be in the public interest and not impeachable.

I don't see any explicit "partly" or "also" in his language.

Dersh walked through two situations, an illegal act (which can be impeachable) and a legal act.

For the legal act, he walked through 3 states of mind, purely in the public good, purely in the self interest and mixed.  He flat out said, for purely in the self interest (e.g. pecuniary benefit, "I won't release this aid unless you put money in my bank account, or build a Trump branded hotel in Ukranian") it would be appropriate to impeach.

He spent the majority of his argument on the "mixed" case, or rather the case where there is a clear public interest (which there was in this case).  In that case, he said arguing that you can attribute a legal act that has a public benefit to a nefarious motive shouldn't be done.  First of all the proof required is near insurmountable when you can't read minds (which is in large part, why virtually no Republicans are convinced by the House's "argument" based on mind reading or "logical inference").

Unlike many, I suspect, I watched most of the arguments and a bunch of the Q&A.

Well the structure of the speech starts very broadly and progressively pares away bits and pieces and he does in fact make a "mixed motives" argument with overlaps.

I can't find the original question that prompted the key response though (here in its entirety):

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Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest and mostly you’re right, your election is in the public interest. And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment. I quoted President Lincoln. When President Lincoln told general Sherman to let the troops go to Indiana so that they can vote for the Republican party, let’s assume the president was running at that point and it was in his electoral interest to have these soldiers, put at risk the lives of many, many other soldiers who would be left without their company. Would that be an unlawful quid pro quo? No, because the president, A, believed it was in the national interest, but B, he believed that his own election was essential to victory in the Civil War. Every president believes that. That’s why it’s so dangerous to try to psychoanalyze a president, to try to get into the intricacies of the human mind. Everybody has mixed motives, and for there to be a constitutional impeachment based on mixed motives, would permit almost any president to be impeached.

It's unclear in the Lincoln example what other reason than a re-election interest could prompt releasing Troops to vote. Especially ones stationed outside Atlanta. This seems to support the idea that taking an action solely to boost your re-election chances should never be considered impeachable. I get that this wasn't the main part of his many arguments, but this response seems highly unclear. I'm willing to believe it is just a poorly constructed response.

Seriati

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #496 on: February 03, 2020, 09:25:15 PM »
Well you left out part of the Lincoln example.  Dersh posited that the election in Indiana was close between a group that wanted to pull Indiana out of the Civil War and his party that wanted them to stay the course.  The soldiers, presumably were more likely to support Lincoln and thus vote to keep Indiana in the war.  So Dersh's point, was it benefiting Lincoln to release soldiers to support the Civil War, or in the public interest not to lose the Civil War?  Yes.  And that was Dersh's Lincoln point.

I actually found it to be a stupid argument that was too esoteric to have an impact, and, as you can see, it was easily capable of being misconstrued.

I assume you mean "investigating Burisma to Trump via the logic that hurting Biden would help him..."

No, I did not "conclude" that this is what's happening.  However, if we do conclude that he was extorting Ukraine (and I believe the evidence overwhelming shows that his representatives did just that), and if this extortion was mostly, if not exclusively, for the purpose of helping his campaign (which, I admit, may still be in question, although the preponderance of evidence seems to indicate that), then the question becomes relevant, for the reason you said--it would be an illegal campaign contribution.

Both your suppositions fail as unproven, but even if they were true it wouldn't be a campaign contribution illegal or otherwise.

First, for "Trump" to be extorting Ukraine, he'd have to have ordered it.  There's no evidence that he did so in the record.  There's barely any evidence that anyone  even did it in the record.

Second, there is ZERO evidence that this was for helping his campaign. The only evidence on the record says it was for fighting corruption.  The prosecutor does not get to assume his case.

And if it were true he'd be impeached for extortion, not for campaign finance violations.  Despite the novel DNC theory there is no legal support for the proposition that true information about a crime is a thing of value at law that is provided to a campaign.  There's never been any court that established that proposition, and it's very unlikely that any ever would.  Even Mueller flat out said he couldn't bring that case (or did you think Don Jr. had presidential immunity that stopped hi from being prosecuted, lol).

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It would be made much worse because he used his position as President to do this extortion; using the power of the Presidency to withhold the funds.

It's actually only barely plausible because it played into a well known pattern.  Trump held aid to Ukraine 3 years in a row, notwithstanding he didn't ask for anything before and released it on the same timeline.  Trump's admin routinely held aid for multiple countries.  So like wow, the entire country knew he'd hold the aid, and that's the primary proof of guilt. 

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The question, as I understood it, was based on the assumption that Trump did use his position to extort Ukraine.  But the question itself was not meant to prove that he had done so, AFAIK.  It was meant to point out that if it was proven, then it would be illegal just as the opposite would have been.

But the point of the question is to mislead people.  Whether forwards or backwards the conduct didn't occur.

Crunch

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #497 on: February 04, 2020, 07:47:48 AM »
Let's say that everything you assert is true. Schiff was in on it from the start, wrote the script himself, gave him $50k and a foot massage.

Would that then mean Trump should be acquitted, even if he had committed an impeachable offense?

In this case, truth is very much in the eye of the beholder regarding Trump. As to Schiff, it introduces a poisoned well into the mix, and the potential need for criminal charges against the whistleblower, and either the impeachment or resignation of Schiff.

If Schiff did do the above hypothetical, it doesn't matter if he was proven right in the end or not. He should be removed from office, two wrongs don't make a right.

You are correct. If he did all that, I would expect him to be expelled from Congress - although I assume he would resign first. Unclear if this would be a criminal case, maybe bribery in my hypothetical.

I don't think you leave someone in power to abuse it more just because the guy who undercovered the malfeasance was dirty. What if "deep throat" Mark Felt had been hyperpartisan? And would Republicans have insisted that he be identified and subpoenaed, and would that have vindicated Nixon as a victim of his enemies?

To help crunch out, these are hypothetical statements, so your assertion that Trump didn't commit an impeachable offense is less than useless. You can recognize hypothetical arguments by phrases like "consider for the sake of argument", "what if", "even if". Dershowitz used these over and over.

But that’s precisely what Schiff tried to do, argue hypotheticals as though they were fact. If you’re granted the hypothetical, you’ll move to the fear mongering and threat to democracy with them just as Schiff did. It’s kind of a standard tactic in this sham.

And here we go:, via ABC News:

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Adam Schiff argues that under claim a non-criminal action is not impeachable, Pres. Trump could "offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election, or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and let Jared Kushner run the country."

This is exactly what I’m saying, it’s all about bull*censored* hypotheticals presented to create a “favt”. Also known as lying.

ScottF

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #498 on: February 04, 2020, 11:20:52 AM »
I'll give Schiff points for consistency, that's for sure. He hasn't met a hypothetical he didn't like. Except for the one where his whole case is nonsense. Maybe he'll recite another "parody" call transcript between Trump and Putin negotiating terms for Alaska.

TheDrake

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Re: The Shampeachement Follies
« Reply #499 on: February 04, 2020, 01:04:59 PM »
Well you left out part of the Lincoln example.  Dersh posited that the election in Indiana was close between a group that wanted to pull Indiana out of the Civil War and his party that wanted them to stay the course.  The soldiers, presumably were more likely to support Lincoln and thus vote to keep Indiana in the war.  So Dersh's point, was it benefiting Lincoln to release soldiers to support the Civil War, or in the public interest not to lose the Civil War?  Yes.  And that was Dersh's Lincoln point.

I don't think I left out anything, I thought I had found the full transcript. If you have a more complete version, I'd enjoy reading it.

But isn't this is the whole crux: "I believe my policies will benefit the nation, therefore anything legal that I do to help my re-election is acceptable"?

It might be winning the civil war, building a border wall with Mexico, or fighting the communists. So under this, if Obama withheld funds from a nation to dig up dirt on Mitt Romney, it would be okay because he was really doing it in part to combat climate change?