Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Case for Impeaching Now

Storm clouds
The storm over America

New White House stonewalling intensifies impeachment push reports Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog). Former White House Counsel Don McGahn, under orders from President Trump, did not honor the subpoena from congress yesterday. As it stands now, important information is being denied to congress by a president whose sole interest is in self protection. Trump is ruling by decree.

… as the special counsel’s findings made clear, the former White House counsel very nearly resigned because the president directed him to “do crazy s**t,” including an incident in which, according to McGahn, Trump pressed the lawyer to push the Justice Department to derail the investigation by getting rid of Mueller and creating a false document to cover that up.

And that’s just one of several instances of obstruction committed by Trump.

McGahn is not, however, expected to did not show up on Capitol Hill [yesterday].

President Donald Trump has directed former White House counsel Don McGahn to defy a congressional subpoena and not testify Tuesday, current White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Monday.

In a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Cipollone wrote that the Justice Department “has advised me that Mr. McGahn is absolutely immune from compelled congressional testimony with respect to matters occurring during his service as a senior adviser to the President.”

The next question, of course, is what’s likely to happen next.

We can expect a few fairly obvious developments. McGahn, for example, is likely to be held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena. It’s also a safe bet that the dispute will soon move to the courts.

And while it may take a while for the matter to be adjudicated – the delay is almost certainly a key part of the White House’s strategy – Team Trump’s stonewalling will probably fall short eventually.

But there’s another angle to this that’s worth watching: as NBC News reported, the president’s latest efforts have pushed some congressional Democrats to the breaking point on impeachment.

Several Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee pressed Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Monday evening to move forward with an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump as one of his former White House aides planned to defy a congressional subpoena Tuesday.

During a weekly Democratic leadership meeting in Pelosi’s office on Capitol Hill, Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Joe Neguse, D-Colo., all argued for launching an impeachment inquiry if former White House counsel Don McGahn failed to testify. […]

It’s worth emphasizing that for some House Democrats, the point of initiating impeachment proceeding is not necessarily to impeach the president, but rather, to use an official inquiry to gain access to information that’s currently being withheld.

Or put another way, an impeachment inquiry, some proponents argue, could effectively be used as a key to unlock a closed box. Congress needs access to the box’s contents, and if official impeachment proceedings are the only way to get the information, so be it.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), at least for now, continues to oppose the idea, and last night, she and some of her top allies pushed back against the Dems leading the impeachment charge.

Impeachment was also raised at a separate weekly meeting Monday evening among Democratic leaders and committee chairs, including by Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., another member of the Judiciary Committee.

Will a Michigan Republican be the 2020 Ralph Nader?

The push for impeachment got a boost from Michigan Republican Representative Justin Amash. The LA Times reported in How Justin Amash could become Trump’s Michigan nemesis.

Who is this guy, Democrats want to know this week. Are there more like him in the Republican Party? Could he help us win back Michigan?

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) threw a turd in the punchbowl of predictable two-party politics Saturday when he became the first of the GOP’s 197-member caucus to declare that “President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct.” Now the Grand Rapids libertarian is getting the “strange new respect” treatment from the likes of Mark Hamill, while journalists puzzle over how an alleged former “gadfly” could suddenly seem so resistance-y and the Libertarian Party damn near begs for him to switch teams.

… the first thing to know about Amash is that, whether you agree with his conclusions on impeachment or authorizations of military force, he takes his job with a seriousness that has almost vanished from the legislative branch. He holds the modern day congressional record for most consecutive votes not missed, 4,289 over six-plus years, and reportedly wept when he accidentally missed one.

“Few members of Congress even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation — and it showed,” Amash tweeted during his Saturday thread, and even fewer serious people in Washington would disagree. (Note: Donald Trump is not a serious person.)

… this latest impeachment jag is hardly the first time Amash has gone out on a limb to oppose the president. He condemned Trump’s initial travel ban of residents from predominantly Muslim countries, helped scotch Republican efforts to repeal/replace Obamacare (drawing a call from Trump’s social media director to “defeat” Amash in a primary).

He also opposed the president’s emergency declaration along the southern border, called Trump’s comments about murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi “repugnant,” and was one of the only Republicans on Capitol Hill to support setting up a special counsel investigation after the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey.

… He’s anti-abortion, more anti-interventionist than the average Democrat, and when bills add to the federal government’s vast ocean of red ink, he votes no.

In other words, Amash sounds a lot like… a Libertarian (abortion stance notwithstanding). He has been publicly mulling a third-party run at the White House all year; the Libertarian presidential field thus far has failed to impress, and even two years ago Amash was saying things like, “Hopefully, over time, these two parties start to fall apart.”

If Amash were to seek and win the Libertarian nomination — which isn’t decided until May 2020 — he almost certainly wouldn’t become president, but it’s possible he’d affect the outcome by throwing up a Michigan-sized roadblock to the president’s reelection. In a state Trump won by just 10,704 votes, Amash in 2016 received 203,545, or more in just one district than Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson won statewide.

Unlike Johnson, Amash is all too familiar with the pronunciation of the word “Aleppo,” what with his father being a Syrian immigrant and his mother a Palestinian refugee. And unlike Trump, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, Amash is not a septuagenarian shaking his fist at clouds, but a 39-year-old fitness enthusiast who actually grasps basic technology and market economics.

There are rumors that there are more Republicans in the House who agree with Amash, They need to join him, support the rule of law, and publicly denounce Trump and Trumpism.

Blue Meanie: Impeach the Senate Republicans

We shouldn’t stop with impeaching Trump, argues the AZ Blue Meanie, but explaining that [The problem is we cannot impeach the Republican Party along with their ‘Dear Leader’]. Here is just a little part of his case.

As I have argued, “What we have right now is the entire Republican Party in lock-step with the Trump crime family. It is acting as a criminal enterprise, using the control of government to undermine the Department of Justice, the Congress and the rule of law to prevent the fair administration of justice and to prevent holding anyone accountable.”

Republicans in Congress are co-conspirators and accessories aiding and abetting the Trump crime family in the obstruction of justice. They are equally culpable at law for their own misconduct.

Trump’s extended “crime family,” Republicans in Congress, sit on congressional committees where they can engage in obstruction of Congress on his behalf, and they would sit on the “jury” in the Senate in any impeachment trial.

What Trump’s extended “crime family” in the Senate would do is engage in Jury Nullification, the jury’s knowing and deliberate rejection of the evidence or refusal to apply the law.

Unlike in court proceedings, there is no jury selection process or voire dire of potential jury members in the Senate. These co-conspirators and accessories who are aiding and abetting the Trump crime family, sitting on the jury, would acquit the president in any impeachment trial because they would also be acquitting their own equally culpable criminal misconduct. “We’re all good.”

The Blue Meanie concludes:

The problem is we cannot impeach the Republican Party along with their “Dear Leader.” They must suffer an overwhelming electoral defeat, a complete rejection by the American people.

Yes, but: Scriber has become persuaded that we (Dems) cannot afford to wait for the 2020 election. If you want to consider political consequences, imagine that Trump wins reelection in 2020 with the congressional Democrats still stymied by his stone-walling. That would paint the Democrats as gutless and of weak moral character. The evidence for obstruction of justice is is out there. The House must impeach now.

No comments:

Post a Comment