While we may personally like nice people in our lives, Trump understands Sinatra’s advice: You’ve got to have a little push and style to get ahead.
In this Bookworm Podcast, I examine LTC Vindman and his uniform signaling a military coup; Trump’s laudable war against foreign corruption; and much more.
1. Why Leftism and Islam silence opposing ideas.
2. The Left’s memory-holding of Eric Ciaramella’s name.
3. Jeffrey Epstein and John Galt.
4. Senators who ought to recuse themselves from impeachment.
5. The military coup coming from the Pentagon Obama created.
6. Trump’s efforts to stop funding foreign kleptocrats.
Here are links to books and articles I cite: [Read more…]
The House is considering three articles of Impeachment. The Constitution is at issue in questions of Obstruction of Justice, Contempt of Congress and the form of the Senate Trial. Comity and Corruption are at issue as to the Bidens and Abuse of Power. And is this is an unlawful attempted coup?
The House is considering three Articles of Impeachment, one of which is expected to be for contempt of Congress. The House claims that Donald Trump refused to honor lawful subpoenas for testimony and documents as pertains to the Ukraine. Was Trump within his rights to do so? That is wholly a Constitutional question. It is also closely related in at least one relevant part to a likely Second Article of Impeachment, namely Obstruction of Justice as to the Russian Hoax inquiry.
The only vote the House of Representatives has held to authorize an impeachment inquiry of Donald Trump was defeated overwhelmingly in January, 2017. In response to the Ukraine IC IG matter, Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker, unilaterally declared an “impeachment inquiry” on September 24, 2019, and the House immediately began issuing subpoenas for witnesses and documents. As to the latest vote held a week ago to formalize the procedures being used in the ongoing Star Chamber, Speaker Nancy Pelosi was adamant that the Resolution was not an authorization of an “impeachment inquiry.”
Can anything less than a vote by the entire House of Representatives to authorize an “impeachment inquiry” be considered Constitutionally valid? As I’ve discussed before, this is far from mere form. If the House of Representatives approves a resolution for an impeachment inquiry, the House gains a power that it, by the explicit terms of the Constitution, does not otherwise possess — the judicial power to enforce subpoenas and requests for documents on matters outside its Art. I, Sec. 8 enumerated powers. Without that power, the White House was acting lawfully when it refused to cooperate. Tellingly, the House, rather than take those subpoenas to a Court to enforce them — and risk having a Court declare their proceeding unconstitutional — appears to be simply rolling all but one of their refused “subpoenas” into an contempt of Congress charge.
The AC/DC soundtrack only makes more powerful this great video contrasting the media’s blind Trump-hatred versus Trump’s virtues and pro-Americanism.
(Hat tip: Ace of Spades — and you should go to this Ace of Spades link because today’s content is that good, including creative solutions for overhauling a broken legal system.)
When it comes to Trump and Impeachment, with apologies to Mary McCarthy, every word the Washington Post writes is a lie, including “and” and “the.”
As a lawyer, when I receive a brief that argues to the judge that my client is lying about facts central to the matter at issue, I expect the brief to contain quotations from my client’s alleged lies, along with hard evidence proving that my client’s statements were, in fact, lies. It’s obvious that the so-called journalists at the Washington Post never attended law school – or at least, that’s the only conclusion one can draw judging by the “opinion masquerading as fact” article that it took two WaPo employees (Toluse Olorunnipa and Philip Rucker) to assemble on November 6: “Trump makes falsehoods central to impeachment defense as incriminating evidence mounts.”
What makes this overtly and covertly dishonest article less funny than it ought to be is that people who vote take it seriously. I know that such is the case because my usual cadre of Leftists on Facebook was very excited about the article, with three people sharing it to the enthusiastic applause of their friends in the comments section. I therefore thought that a good fisking was in order should you come across this piece of entirely fake news.
Before I start, it’s worth noting that the WaPo brought some big guns to this faux report. Here are their bios, which the WaPo included at the bottom of the article:
A Senate impeachment trial must account for the core problems with the House’s Star Chamber impeachment inquiry, the common law of impeachment, and the Founder’s intent. If the Senate is passive, it will be complicit in an injustice to our nation.
The following is cross-posted (and slightly edited) from the American Thinker
The House is running a Star Chamber proceeding that is not a constitutionally adequate “impeachment inquiry.” Instead, it is the culmination of a three-year long bad faith effort to overturn the 2016 election without regard to the will of the people, precedent, and due process. If the Senate is not careful and does not adjust its current procedures accordingly, then the House will use the Senate trial to make a mockery of our Constitution.
Ironically, though, simply dismissing Articles of Impeachment outright may deprive President Donald Trump of the opportunity to defend himself in the court of public opinion. He needs an opportunity to rebut, in public, the way in which Rep. Adam Schiff has conducted an impeachment using daily leaks to the media.
House Democrats, many of whom were at least complicit in pushing the Russian hoax (the single greatest political scandal in America’s history), appear to be misusing impeachment to launch a collateral attack on the Barr / Durham investigation into the Russian Hoax and to overturn the 2016 election or, failing that, to achieve an unearned electoral victory in the 2020 election. If a passive Senate allows the impeachment trial to go forward under current rules, it will do a grave injustice to this country.
It seems likely that the House will vote out one or more articles of impeachment that simply charge “orange man bad” and that deserve to be summarily dismissed as not meeting the legal standard of a “high crime and misdemeanor.” If, as seems likely, the House also votes to approve an Article of Impeachment for abuse of power regarding the President requesting that Ukraine look into the situation regarding the corruption of Joe and Hunter Biden, then the President may want to prove as an affirmative defense that: 1) the President acted within the legitimate powers of his office just as other Presidents have as regards negotiating with foreign aid; and 2) that Trump had a reasonable basis to suspect that Joe Biden acted corruptly and unlawfully when VP Biden unilaterally threatened to withhold aid from the Ukraine if the government did not fire a particular prosecutor. Proving such an affirmative defense would likely require extensive testimony from both of the Bidens before a Senate vote on the issue. There is no reason the House should be allowed to force a trial on any of their articles of impeachment before the President has proven his affirmative defenses or had the opportunity to dismiss those claims that do not rise to the level of “high crime and misdemeanor.”
Accordingly, the Senate should adjust its Rules for a Trial of Impeachment to as suggested below in the Section entitled “Proposed Changes to the Senate Rules To Provide For Clarity, Fairness, and Due Process.” This would bring such a trial much closer in form to a true criminal trial. Those changes:
- Provide the President with a fair trial and due process rights, including the right to raise pretrial motions to dismiss, either for failure to state a claim or because the President has an affirmative defense to one or more articles of impeachment.
- Provide that the Senate will first consider the arguments of law and hear witnesses to resolve any disputed issues of fact as to any affirmative defenses before voting on a motion. Only if the motions are defeated by a two-thirds majority would the House be allowed to put on evidence relevant to that Article of Impeachment.
- Provide that the trial will be conducted in accordance with the Federal Rules of Evidence.
- Provide that questions of relevancy will be resolved by referring to the original intent of the Drafters of the Constitution and the common law of impeachment. Impeachment was never meant by our Founders to be simply an arbitrary political tool.
The House decision to refuse to provide material to the Trump administration that would tend to show his innocent, so-called Brady material, is stunning.
The Star Chamber House impeachment inquiry is anything but a fair investigation with justice as its goal. It is the antithesis of due process of law. It is a grossly unfair process designed to produce a desired result, not a just and fair result. House Democrats claim that, because the Constitution does not itself define “impeachment” or dictate a process, that they are free to adopt a process free of any semblance of due process for President Trump. Our history holds otherwise.
The House Resolution that passed today to “formalize” the House procedures for the impeachment inquiry — a resolution carefully worded so that it could not be mistaken for an “impeachment resolution” that would trigger rights for Republicans in the House — was meaningless. It did nothing more than restate the rules of the faux impeachment inquiry applied by the House Democrats since Sept. 24, when Pelosi announced an “impeachment inquiry.” I covered that here, and nothing has changed with but one exception. As I pointed out yesterday,
I am in the Rules Committee room where Democrats are marking up their impeachment resolution.@RepDLesko offered an amendment requiring any evidence which is exculpatory regarding the President to be given to the Judiciary Committee.
Democrats rejected it.
— Morgan Griffith (@RepMGriffith) October 30, 2019
This video of President Trump and a severely wounded Army captain is one of the things the media doesn’t want you to see. Please help make it viral.
Army Capt. Luis Avila was severely wounded by an IED in Afghanistan in 2011, but even the loss of much of his voice doesn’t stop him from singing “God Bless America,” or prevent President Donald Trump from joining in.
Before we get to the scene, a few words about Capt. Avila. His is one of those amazing stories our military seems to produce with shocking regularity. Avila served four years in the enlisted ranks, before attending OCS and his swearing-in as a 2nd Lt. in 2004. In all, he served five combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Read the rest here. Really. You’re cheating yourself if you don’t read it.
Then watch the video: [Read more…]
Democrats are denying Trump due process to poison the well with their Star Chamber Proceeding. The testimony of Vindman yesterday is but one example of it.
Left-wing zealots have often been prepared to ride roughshod over due process and basic considerations of fairness when they think they can get away with it. For them the ends always seems to justify the means. That is precisely how their predecessors came to create the gulag.
The most fundamental right of any citizen under a prosecution by the state is to be able to cross-examine a witness, to explore their testimony for accuracy, to explore a witnesses biases, motivations and character, all so that jurors can best discern the truth. Moreover, an equally important right of the defendant is to object to testimony against him being heard by the jury on grounds that it is irrelevant or insufficiently trustworthy to be admissible. These all a part of due process of law, a practice so ancient in our Anglo legal system that it predates the Magna Carta of 1215. And it is, to quote Justice Story, a “birthright” of ever American, even for non-progressives.
Due process of law also includes other processes and protections. For instance, the federal government has a grand jury system, whereby the government, before indicting and bringing charges against a defendant, first presents its side of the case to a Grand Jury in a secret proceeding. If the Grand Jury agrees that the government has made what appears to be a sufficient claim, they will vote to approve the filing of charges. Importantly, testimony given before a Grand Jury is secret so as not to prejudice the Defendant. It is a significant violation of the law to leak Grand Jury testimony. A trial is then held in public, but the Grand Jury testimony is not admissible at the actual trial, absent some exception to the hearsay rule. Fed. R. Evid. 803.
Lastly, it is fundamental to the due process of law in our modern era that the State, whenever it becomes aware of information that would tend to prove a defendant’s innocence or that would tend to show that a witness for the prosecution’s honesty or accuracy may be put at issue, it must provide that information to the defense as a “Brady Disclosure.”
So, let’s match that up with the Star Chamber process being conducted today by Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff.
Nancy Pelosi crafts a joke resolution to “formalize” the Star Chamber impeachment inquiry. Unfortunately, the joke is on America.
Nancy Pelosi announced yesterday that she intended to bring a Resolution to the floor on Thursday. As she described it:
“This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel,” Pelosi wrote in her letter. “We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.”
Wonderful. So an end to the Star Chamber proceedings then. Except . . . when you read what she has released today, it is a whole lot of nothing (copy here):
The Dem’s have no statutory basis to demand Trump’s impeachment — and Trump has valid defenses to charges that his Ukraine dealings were an abuse of power.
This will be a two part post. Part I deals with the law relating to impeachment. Part II will deal with how the Senate should handle the trial of any Articles of Impeachment that come out of the House’s Star Chamber impeachment inquiry.
Let’s assume for argument’s sake that the Democrats running the House’s Star Chamber impeachment inquiry do in fact come up with Articles of Impeachment. What will they be? And will the President have any affirmative defenses?
No less a legal and historical scholar than Maxine Waters claimed in 2017:
Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment. What the Constitution says is ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ and we define that.
If true, that would leave the President with no defense other than that the Democrats are wrong on the facts. Thankfully, Waters is wrong. To the contrary, the parameters for impeachment are defined at law and, because of that, the Democrats face insurmountable obstacles in impeaching Donald Trump for any and all acts related to his July 25 phone call with President Zelenksyy of Ukraine.
First, the House cannot validly impeach Trump for using the same powers other presidents traditionally wielded. Thus, if it has been custom and practice for presidents to negotiate using foreign aid as a tool, then Trump’s doing so is similarly beyond a valid impeachment charge.
Second, the House cannot validly impeach Trump for asking a foreign power to aid him in the legitimate exercise of his constitutional authority. Leaving aside whether Trump might personally benefit from the investigation, no American citizen (even, theoretically, Hillary Clinton) is above the law. The fact that an election looms does not change that fact. In other words, Democrats cannot avoid criminal culpability by insisting that investigations are illegal as an election draws near.
The Law of Impeachment
Nancy Pelosi’s “Impeachment Fact Sheet” asserts that investigating the Russia hoax constitutes an impeachable attempt to interfere in the 2020 election.
In his July 25 phone call, President Trump asked the President of the Ukraine to assist in an ongoing investigation into Ukrainian assistance to the Democrats in the 2016 election, to locate the DNC server supposedly now being held in the Ukraine and, later in the conversation, “to look into” the situation surrounding Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Pelosi now collectively labels all of those investigations a “sham.”
Nancy Pelosi just turned the corner on the Democrats’ already very dangerous game. If the law is such that progressives can operate above it in this country — including attempting coups to overturn elections — while holding the rest of the nation below its protections, then however this ends, it will include the end of our near 250 year experiment in republican government based on our Constitution. This all started with whitewashing Hillary Clinton serial crimes: first, recklessly mishandling our nation’s secrets; second, trying to destroy the Trump campaign and install her in the Presidency. The only way this ends with this nation intact is for justice and the law to be applied equally across party lines, and for those who violated the law to be held accountable.
The propaganda Pelosi released Tuesday is many things, the most important of which is a preemptive strike to undermine what many expect Horowitz, Barr, and Dunham will find through their ongoing investigations; namely, that the Russia hoax was an attempted coup (it most certainly was) executed by unlawful means (and I will be amazed if it wasn’t). Those investigations are tied in part to the Ukraine. We know that, at the Democrats’ request, Ukraine did in fact play a role in the 2016 election hoax. As Politico reported in January, 2017:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
Here is the “Fact Sheet” Pelosi released today, which I have reformatted for this blog, including removing the graphics. In it, in speaking of the investigations as to which which Trump asked for Ukrainian assistance, Pelosi refers to all collectively as “sham investigations” (red-text emphasis mine):
New evidence reveals that Adam Schiff’s impeachment Star Chamber continues to abuse due process and fairness to find a crime to justify hanging Trump.
The Star Chamber proceeding Pelosi calls an “impeachment inquiry” continues as she again refuses to hold a House vote. Meanwhile, the quid pro quo case falls apart despite Adam Schiff’s unfair pressure on Kurt Volker.
Nancy Pelosi stated again yesterday, after meeting with House Democrats, that she does not intend to hold a vote of the House of Representatives to open a formal impeachment proceeding. This from Hot Air:
So why hold the press conference at all? Talk about a letdown. Pelosi kept reporters tied up for hours past their deadline only to deliver a self-serving speech and tell them all that there was no news to report after all. According to some reports, Pelosi had thought that her caucus would authorize a vote and so she set up the presser, only to come up empty.
It’s true that there’s no requirement for a vote, but every precedent in House impeachments had an authorizing vote before opening an inquiry. The federal judges on whom Pelosi & Co rely to enforce subpoenas are openly questioning whether the House can claim to be pursuing an impeachment without an authorizing vote. Even the Los Angeles Times, which is busy cheerleading the impeachment, responded this morning by telling Pelosi to do it right . . .
Also, it’s worth pointing out that the House isn’t a prosecutorial organization, but a political representative body acting in place of the people. Their processes should be open, transparent, and with full access to all of the elected officials of that body, not just the majority party. Secret meetings and ex parte processes are anathema to representative democracy.
As the Pelosi-Schiff progressive impeachment push falls apart, it seems ever more likely that the “whistle blower complaint” and the IC IG’s handling of it was a deep state hit — a seditious act of unlawful manipulation of the law.
The Left’s impeachment narrative is falling apart. This was supposed to be about a “quid pro quo” that saw Trump telling the Ukrainians that any future aid would be conditioned on providing “dirt” on Joe Biden. How do we know today that even this one-sided Star Chamber proceeding, being conducted in secret, is not producing the narrative Schiff and Pelosi want? Just watch Adam Schiff on Face the Nation Sunday, moving the goal posts on what constitutes an impeachable offense, saying now that proof of a quid pro quo of military aid for dirt on Biden is no longer needed to impeach the President:
Schiff, a deeply unethical man who claimed to have proof of Trump’s conspiracy with Russia for years, is not a man given to cautious understatement. If he had any information that he could possibly dress up as evidence of a quid pro quo, he would be screaming about it. So to see Schiff now preparing the ground for a push to impeachment on something far less and different, then that means that his case has fallen apart. The only thing keeping his case afloat at the moment is that it is being run in secret, and thus his failures aren’t being pointed out in public daily. [Read more…]
Democrats who gave Obama a pass are shocked by Trump’s vulgarity — but Trump, vulgar or not, will go down as one of America’s greatest presidents.
(This is a companion post to the No. 23 Bookworm Podcast which I uploaded yesterday. The content is mostly the same, although not identical. It won’t matter much whether you prefer to read or listen.)
As you all know by now, Trump had a rip-roaring rally in Minneapolis. The attendees adored it, despite Mayor Jacob Frey’s efforts to block it by charging grossly inflated security fees and then by removing Porta-Potties and messing with temperature controls. Apropos that inflated security fee, and given the ugly mob scene the Left presented outside the venue, I’m reminded of this wonderful Iowahawk tweet:
One other thought that just occurred to me about the unpleasant and unseemly riots outside the venue: In 1968, when Democrats rioted outside the Chicago convention center, the mainstream media — indeed, back in the day, the only media — fully covered Democrat behavior. Fast-forward to 2019 and the mainstream media — i.e., the Democrat Party’s official media outlet — has ignored, downplayed, or lied about the riots. But back to my main point. [Read more…]