“I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,'” Tuberville (R-Ala.) told POLITICO on Capitol Hill on Wednesday...
Unfit To Lead
Week 1 of the Impeachment hearings was a doozy. Democrats presented a mountain of evidence from career professionals of the highest caliber, while Republicans did...
The pundits who have said that Donald Trump is scared spitless of impeachment proceedings are undoubtedly right, because the White House is going to every length possible to stall, deflect, obfuscate, and yes, obstruct. The latest salvo from the administration is a scorching letter to Congress, saying the White House refuses to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry, calling it a “constitutionally invalid” investigation of a duly elected president. The Hill: “Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the executive branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the three House committee chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry. “President Trump cannot permit his administration to participate in this partisan inquiry under these circumstances.” […] Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, also said Tuesday that he would not testify before the House Intelligence Committee in defiance of a subpoena, echoing the administration’s argument that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate. The battleground now is the floor of the House of Representatives. The GOP is arguing that the inquiry is invalid, minus a House floor vote, and the Democrats are arguing that the committees bringing the inquiry already have the full authority that they need to conduct an impeachment inquiry. This is the next move on the chess board. Trump and his GOP allies argue the inquiry is invalid unless the House takes a floor vote to authorize it, as was done with the inquiries into former Presidents Nixon and Clinton. Republicans also want a vote because it would put vulnerable Democrats on the record supporting an impeachment inquiry, and because they want equal subpoena power as had been granted in the past. “In the history of our nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the president without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step,” Cipollone wrote in the letter to Pelosi and key committee chairmen. Pelosi has said such a vote is unnecessary, and the Speaker almost certainly wants to avoid forcing her members to take that politically risky vote. Democrats say that they don’t need to take a vote because the committees already have subpoena power thanks to rules changes made when Republicans controlled the House. Pelosi, in a letter last week to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), said that existing House rules provide committees “with full authority to conduct investigations for all matters under their jurisdiction, including impeachment investigations.” All of these procedural and tactical considerations to the side, bear in mind that Trump has put out the call to his allies to get him out of this. He is terrified. He regards impeachment as a “mortal threat.” The impeachment inquiry is "a mortal threat to [Trump's] presidency," according to @ChrisRuddyNMX, who's a close friend of President Trump. "He certainly should treat it that way." pic.twitter.com/8QEtZnLGjn — Christiane Amanpour (@camanpour) October 8, 2019 Interesting that an innocent man, who got “FULL EXONERATION!” and upon whom it was pronounced “NO COLLUSION!” should be so worried, wouldn’t you think? And none other than Kellyanne’s husband, George Conway, has chimed in on what he thinks the merits of the White House […]
Lindsey Graham Floats Ludicrous Defense of Trump, Legal Experts Demolish Him — Including Kellyanne’s Husband
Lindsey Graham hit the links Saturday morning with his BFF Donald Trump and pro golfers Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam, in South Carolina. But first Graham discharged his duty as Chief Sycophant to Donald Trump and tweeted, “In America you can’t even get a parking ticket based on hearsay testimony. But you can impeach a president? I certainly hope not.” The legal definition of hearsay is “an out of court statement, made in court, to prove the truth of the matter asserted.” More simply, it’s a report of another person’s words, by a witness, which usually is not allowed in evidence in court. Lindsey Graham was alleging that the whistle blower complaint was merely heresay, and aghast legal experts lost no time in setting him straight. Did Graham forget, incredibly, that facts in the whistle blower complaint have been confirmed so there’s zero issue of hearsay? Or what was he doing? Some desperate ploy to mollify and placate Trump momentarily? Maybe it worked with Trump, but it certainly backfired within the legal community. In fact, right after Lindsey Graham made the statement, just like Jericho, the walls of jurisprudence came a tumblin’ down — right on his head. Law and Crime: Joyce White Vance, a former federal prosecutor responded to Graham by highlighting the fact that most investigations into wrongdoing begin with hearsay evidence. “Lindsey was a prosecutor, so he knows how investigation’s work,” she wrote. “Often you start with hearsay, which helps you identify witnesses, just like what’s in the whistleblower complaint. This is where public corruption investigations often start.” Georgetown University Law Center professor Marty Lederman also wrote directly to Senator Graham, informing him that his hearsay defense is too late to still be relevant. “Dear Senator Graham: Perhaps you missed the memos. That was last week’s defense,” he tweeted. “No one now is denying any of the facts in the Complaint.” Is the phone call between Trump and Zelensky hearsay? (Hint: NO). Your desperation is showing @LindseyGrahamSC. — Elie Honig (@eliehonig) September 28, 2019 The transcript of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian President was non-hearsay and would be admissible against him. Any lawyer, like yourself, should know that. https://t.co/0IX0TBsYzR — Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 28, 2019 Dear Senator Graham:Senate rules call for the use of hearsay in impeachment, in that committees hear the testimony and report back to the full Senate. It even went to the Supreme Court!https://t.co/fr65EJ3i9d — SavageHat (@Popehat) September 28, 2019 Personally, I like George Conway’s analysis, so I share that thread here. Open and shut, cut and dried, bang bang, Conway hammers the nails in Graham’s unforgivably stupid argument. … under Rule 804(b)(3)‘ s exception to the hearsay rule for statements against penal or other interest; * To the extent Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy with… @RudyGiuliani, Giuliani’s statements are also admissible against Trump and … — George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 28, 2019 … regularly conducted activity), and 803(8) (record of a public office). * In any event, you can be indicted in this country on the basis of hearsay. It happens all the time. And an impeachment is the consitutional equivalent of an indictment. So it follows that the … — George Conway (@gtconway3d) September 28, 2019 So your argument, Senator, is pure garbage, even assuming that the rules of evidence apply in the […]
If you didn’t catch Rudy Giuliani’s Info Wars-level attack on Joe Biden and Hunter Biden on Fox News, you missed seeing a real phenomenon take place. Giuliani has gone from being Trump court jester to being the loose cannon of the administration, a rogue operative who has gone a little too rogue for everybody’s tastes — and in the Trump mal-adminstration, that is saying something. The State Department has attempted to disavow knowledge, let alone consent, to Giuliani’s actions, just like a Mission Impossible script. But Giuliani isn’t going along with that. Evidently, the voices in his head are telling him he’s a hero, the Don Quixote of Trumpworld, and he’s going to continue to sally forth with his quest, regardless of detractors and derision. The Atlantic: Even among the president’s closest allies, Giuliani is now the subject of scorn. When I reached him by phone this morning, following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s release of the full whistle-blower complaint at the center of the Ukraine scandal, he was, put simply, very angry. “It is impossible that the whistle-blower is a hero and I’m not. And I will be the hero! These morons—when this is over, I will be the hero,” Giuliani told me. “I’m not acting as a lawyer. I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government,” he continued, sounding out of breath. “Anything I did should be praised.” […] This morning, a former senior White House official told me this “entire thing,” referring to the Ukraine scandal, was “Rudy putting shit in Trump’s head.” A senior House Republican aide bashed Giuliani, telling me he was a “moron.” Both individuals spoke on condition of anonymity in order to be candid. “They’re a bunch of cowards,” Giuliani told me in response. “I didn’t do anything wrong. The president knows they’re a bunch of cowards.” Now this next one is really good: Rudy can’t wait for the State Department to hit an iceberg, in a nutshell. Giuliani said he’s looking forward to watching the State Department “sink themselves” as officials try to create distance from him. In the complaint, the whistle-blower wrote that officials, including Ambassadors Kurt Volker and Gordon Sondland, “had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to ‘contain the damage’ to U.S. national security,” and that the ambassadors had tried to help the Ukrainian administration “understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.” When I asked him about this specifically, Giuliani nearly began shouting into the telephone. “The State Department is concerned about my activities? I gotta believe [the whistle-blower] is totally out of the loop, or just a liar,” he said. Giuliani went on to say that State Department officials had asked for his assistance. “If they were so concerned about my activities, why did they ask for my help? Why did they send me a bunch of friendly text messages reaching out for my help, thanking me for my help?” Giuliani said he planned to make sure these “friendly text messages” came out “in a longer story.” Well, isn’t this delightful? We’ve got “friendly text messages” and “perfect” telephone calls. The documentation that we’ve seen so far has been nothing but damning, […]
While Joseph McGuire was assuring the House Intelligence Committee that the Ukraine whistle blower “did the right thing” and followed the law “every step of the way” the Thug in Chief was speaking at a private breakfast event in New York Thursday morning, and he suggested rather overtly that the whistle blower was a traitor and should be executed. Los Angeles Times: “I want to know who’s the person, who’s the person who gave the whistleblower the information? Because that’s close to a spy,” he continued. “You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now.” Trump spoke at a private event at the Intercontinental Hotel in New York, where the president thanked the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, and her staff as he wound up four days of meetings around the U.N. General Assembly. A person attending the event provided the Los Angeles Times with a recording of the president’s remarks. And of course, no remarks to a convocation of Trumpites would be complete without Trump implicating his favorite stalking horse, the media, they who have it in for him, for no reason a tall a tall. “They said, ‘Was he pressuring you?’” Trump said, describing the question to Zalensky, who responded that he hadn’t felt any “push” but also said he didn’t want to get involved in a U.S. political squabble. “You know, these animals in the press,” Trump went on. “They’re animals, some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.” Someone in the room shouted out “Fake news!” egging the president on. “They’re scum,” Trump continued. “Many of them are scum, and then you have some good reporters, but not many of them, I’ll be honest with you.” If anybody should know from scum, it should be Donald Trump, since that is the substance from which he was forged. Just as God took a ball of clay and made Adam, Satan took a pile of horseshit and made Trump. As you might guess, these remarks swiftly hit the Los Angeles Times digital edition and the internet erupted. Trump trying to scare future whistleblowers by hinting they should be murdered. Cool, cool. Totally rational and not at all bonkers or mob-wannabe. — LtotheEtotheD (@DLtothe) September 26, 2019 The stochastic terrorism has escalated to its natural endgame, with Trump publicly putting out a hit on the whistleblower, plainly inciting his death cult of followers to go after them. https://t.co/efh3FhK42W — Anil Dash ???? (@anildash) September 26, 2019 He's already sided with a dictator who murdered a journalist so how is this surprising…. — David Graves (@_s4njuro) September 26, 2019 And these remarks from yesterday. The transcript of the call reads like a classic mob shakedown: – We do a lot for Ukraine– There’s not much reciprocity– I have a favor to ask– Investigate my opponent– My people will be in touch Nice country you got there. It would be a shame if something happened to her. — Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 25, 2019 At least President Nixon tried to be discreet… — Dan Rather (@DanRather) September 25, 2019 If this is how President Trump acts with the president of the Ukraine when many […]
So the winner of the Kentucky Derby is a “junky” now, according to our clammy, languorous yam-in-exile. (I won’t...