Impeachment Hearing for December 4, 2019

As you may have heard there is an impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary today. Consider this your all purpose thread for comments and discussion on that. It is set up as a teaching class on “what impeachment is”. There are four witnesses, all Constitutional law professors. Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley. The first three are excellent voices, especially Pam Karlan. Pam is brilliant, and if I had my way, she would have been on the Supreme Court instead of Elena Kagan. She is really special. Feldman and Gerhardt are very good too. Turley is the annoying turd in the fishbowl, and that is exactly why the Republican minority is putting him up.

Frankly not sure anything worthwhile will be accomplished today. Doug Collins, Jim Jordan and Louis Gohmert are going to scream and shout. Nadler has never been good at controlling his huge and races committee. It will not be as lame as the Lewandowski hearing, but will likely be as bad or worse than the Mueller session. I’ll also add that the decision to pout up some professors instead of fact witnesses strikes me as silly. Today is also likely to show exactly why Pelosi is still derelict in how she has commanded the process. There should have been a select special impeachment committee in order to avoid this kind of nonsense.

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Links for streaming:

HJC’s site:


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Additional documents:

House Intelligence Committee’s report based on their investigation and collected testimony

Just Security has testimony from today’s witnesses:

Noah Feldman — American author and Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.
Michael Gerhardt — Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.
Pamela Karlan — professor of law at Stanford Law School; former U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Division from 2014 to 2015.
Jonathan Turley — professor at the George Washington University Law School; legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism.

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Twitter feeds to follow:

Marcy’s Twitter threads:



Brandi Buchman, Courthouse News:

Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News:

Aaron Rupar, Vox:

If you come across other journalists live tweeting this hearing, please share in comments.

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Characters to watch:

GOP committee members Doug Collins, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, and Louis Gohmert are expected to engage in the worst sorts of performance art to frustrate the hearing process. (<- my $.02 /~Rayne)

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Updates to this post will appear here at the bottom.

183 replies
  1. Willis Warren says:

    Don’t you think this is some sort of stall until the Mazars and Deutsche bank stuff is settled? I’m kind of wondering if they haven’t already seen the tax returns.

        • BobCon says:

          I don’t think there has ever been a serious analysis on impeachment by the Democratic leadership.

          I think Pelosi can be formidable when backed into a corner, but grappling with fluid situations is a very weak point. She is responding to the inevitably large number of decisions big and small spawned by impeachment by trying to shrink the playing field. I don’t think she’ll find Trump and the GOP will play along, though.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Inexplicable stance. Trump’s conduct ensures that impeachment proceedings are both politically helpful, and disclose political threats to the Constitution and abundant high crimes and misdemeanors.

            Only its mishandling could harm Democrats or the Constitution. She is dancing close to the edge of that cliff in her reluctance to hold abusive power to account.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            My concern is that the Ms. Pelosi has not drawn her lesson from the Nixon or Clinton impeachment contexts. She has drawn it from the post-Watergate fear by the powers that be of an “excess of democracy.”

            The phrase was authoritarian Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington’s, from his 1975 work The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies. His emphasis was not on self-governance, but governance of a putative democracy by its wealth elite. The work was funded by the poster child for the deep state, the Trilateral Commission.

            Huntington’s phrase echos the generic Vietnam era excuse for widespread collateral damage: the US army had to destroy the village in order to save it from the enemy.

      • P J Evans says:

        There are a lot of people, including most of the Rs (and some Ds), who need a course in What Impeachment Is. They seem to think it’s unconstitutional and illegal.

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          That’s the false narrative being promoted 24/7 across the lamestream media by and for the MAGAts and the Trump cult worshippers.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        Turley is a vendettist–just like FUBarr and Trump and Giuliani et al. Everything that Trump does is the fault of Obama and Clinton and suchlike usual suspects.
        Likewise, the supposed Age of Rage in which we’re supposedly living is the fault of just about anyone else besides The Demagogue, Trump.

        And so Turley wrings his hands in despair at the prospect for Trump supporters raising armed rebellion against The United States even whilst laying the blame for that spectre upon The Impeachment of Trump rather than the rabble rousing Demagogue, himself.

  2. Ollie says:

    Well here we go! So @bmaz? I (at the risk of your wrath) would like to make a request? First, before the request, I follow you here and Twitter. I highly value your knowledge, wisdom and yes, actually, your smack downs when appropriate. I’m 70 and never in my life have I been more emotional (I know, so what) regarding the health of our democracy and the endurance of our Republic. I loved my Civics class and right now Karlan is speaking and I’m crying.

    So here’s my request: Could you possibly, if appropriate, say positive and hopeful things too? “Nadler already cannot control his classroom…” or “House Dems idiotic desire to move at light speed” I KNOW you’re a scholar and again you are one of my fav persons here (and will remain so) but please, look and state some hope too.

    Thank you for letting me make this request. Ollie

      • Ollie says:

        I did not mention anything that would justify using the word ‘cheerleader’. How about mentioning, occasionally, the asinine behavior of the GOP? I think we all know you are never a cheerleader Bmaz…….

        Okay. I wasn’t asking for you to change your principals, personality or anyting else. I was asking for something I need and perhaps others? that you take it easy on the Dems…’s just getting started, we all are very tense and fighting the hopelessness that those fucking traitors are behaving to destroy and make us a laughing stock.

        So. I’ve expressed a hope. Disclosure? My son is 45 and very heavy in Q and deep state shit and so I’m pretty tense. I’ll take off and come back when I’m more settled. I apologize for asking something from you (NOT a compromise) to enable me to come to EW to process. Thanks! Ollie

          • Ollie says:

            Oh thanks Bmaz! Oh yeah my boy’s misguided support for several youtube channels that just spews garbage. He says that w/in 2 weeks, many of the Dem’s are going to get arrested and the deep state is doomed by none other than his man: Trump. It’s been a gut wrenching experience I tell you.

            Say bamz? Did you hear the speech Barr gave that was a threat to the country if we didn’t start treating POlice better then Barr might make it that there would be NO POlice. I mean it was threatening. So it’s late and I’m tired but I think, you know? What if King Trump is directing Barr to win over the military and POlice so when after the election and he loses (Unless Ivanka’s voting machines are able to corrupt votes) he’ll call his new buds “Arms to Action” and everyone then brings out their guns and oh fuck. hahaha

            I’m going to throw myself to bed…goodnight and God willing I’m here again tomorrow. Peace brothers and sisters.

    • Valley girl says:

      For Ollie: I’ve taken to watching some bit of fictional film (fictional characters) to zone out at the end of the day. Helps me relax. All of the classic Sherlock Holmes / Basil Rathbone movies are available (&free) on the internet, as well as the episodes of the Holmes TV series 1954-1955 (Ronald Howard. Howard Marion-Crawford). Latter are on youtube. I can’t remember about the Rathbone movies.

      Right now I’m watching episodes of Robin Hood, with Richard Greene. One per evening. Four seasons of 39 TV episodes each, 1955-1959. I confess I enjoy the sword fight scenes! I found the first two seasons to be wonderfully entertaining. But, in my opinion things go steeply down hill after that. I’m not going to make it to the end of season 3. Here’s the best site to watch them in order- which I found after much trial and error. Youtube is horrible for these in every which way.

      Also interesting to me is that many episodes were written pseudonymously by writers blacklisted by Hollywood.

      from above link ~~After the blacklist collapsed, Lardner said that the series’ format allowed him “plenty of opportunities to comment on issues and institutions in Eisenhower-era America”; presumably “A Tuck in Time” was such an episode, in which a twin of Friar Tuck arrives boasting of his willingness to sell a weapon that could destroy the world. In addition to the redistributive themes of a hero who robs from the rich and gives to the poor, many episodes in the programme’s first two seasons included the threat that Robin and his band would be betrayed to the authorities by friends or loved ones, much as the blacklisted writers had been.[9] ~~

      • P J Evans says:

        Ah, that Robin Hood!
        I was at a picnic one time – Mythopoeic Society, I think – and we started singing the theme song from it. (And laughing.) That we nearly all were familiar with it says something about late-50s TV, I think.

      • Ollie says:

        Oh Valley Girl, thank you! Wow! I’m off to bed now. Yeah it was a full day of worry and intense battles for our democracy. Gosh thank you for the 411 I definitely am interested! You’re so kind!

        confession? I did go play BINGO for a couple of hours to relax: won a can of soup, mini moonpies and a roll of toilet paper! I was hOt! HAHAHAHA

        See you on the pages my friend…

  3. OldTulsaDude says:

    Listening to opening remarks about impeaching a president makes me think that even impeachment is not enough, that it is no longer simply the president who needs removed but the entire corrupt culture in which he is protected. Without legal consequences, what is the check on criminality?

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Gerhardt’s spending too much time in the weeds, but it matches his voice and delivery. The first two law professors were more effective.

    I’m in no hurry to hear Showboat Turley argue that the president’s obstruction – not producing documents and keeping witnesses from testifying – prevents Congress from seeing evidence essential to its delibertations, and, therefore, permits the president legitimately to prevent his own impeachment.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Turley actually argued before Congress that a Supreme Court decision (in the McDonell case) actually limited the sole power of impeachment that the Constitution grants to Congress. How so? By limiting the scope of the federal bribery statute that was enacted 173 years after The Constitution was ratified.

      I swear. Turley can and will argue absolutely anything at all. And especially so if Turley had argued the contrary on a previous occasion. How do you spell jiggery peggery?

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Turley does not disappoint. He compares this impeachment context comparable to Clinton’s. Hard to see how, starting with a preposterous impeachment over private sex acts at work (sadly common inside the Beltway) vs. demonstrably abusing the powers of office to obtain personal electoral advantage.

    When Turely complains about “a paucity of evidence…an abundance of anger,” he ignores the evidence as much as he ignores the theatrical anger of Republicans on this committee. He reduces the problem to, “we’re mad,” and emotions make for bad decisions.

  6. Cathy says:

    Surprisingly Prof. Turley’s opening statement doesn’t bother me – in my head I apply it to the Clinton impeachment. In light of 1998, it just doesn’t seem as relevant to the current situation.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Turley: “We’ve forgotten a common article of faith….” If you impeach Trump on this paltry record, what will you do when a Democratic president is in office?

    An obvious problem, but a predictable one, given the behavior of the modern Republican Party. It’s a risk regardless of whether or not the Democratic House defends the Constitution through the impeachment of Donald Trump.

    • P J Evans says:

      Has Turley forgotten about what the Rs did with Clinton? What they tried with Obama? What they were threatening to do if Hillary had won, in spite of their cheating?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Exactly. They’ve already done. Horse, barn, already left.

      Turley himself is engaging in a political, not a legal act. He put his Brooksian blinders on and is protecting Trump and the GOP. Like Trump, but with more sophistication, he’s just making shit up.

  8. PeeJ says:

    Appears that we’re going to have these interruptions, motions, parliamentary procedure questions and roll call votes all day. Yep, the GOP goal is to make this hearing so sickening, no one will watch. I have to admit… It’s working on me…

    • Cathy says:

      lol. Think of them like commercial breaks – opportunities to get more popcorn in between Prof. Karlan’s moments on the record. :-)

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The HJC counsel is effective, but irritating in manner. He’s making his case by ignoring Turley and by having the other three law professors spell out “high crimes and misdemeanors” and “impeachable offenses.” His lone question to Turley is to pull out a quote, but to ignore the exculpatory context Turley tried to add. Turley knows the drill, does not attempt Lewandoski-like theatrics to object to it.

    “It’s a yes or no answer,” the prosecutor’s version of the common witness statement, “I have no recollection of that, Senator.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thankfully, he allows his chosen witnesses to speak fully (Turley excepted). But he has no obligation to allow Turley to disrupt his presentation; the Republicans will give him plenty of time.

      If Eisen were at the witness table, I would not call him often, unless my staff had made the mistake of selecting no one else who could speak to the same issues.

    • Jenny says:

      Turley in 1998.
      Keigh Boykin on Twitter: 9:21 AM – 4 Dec 2019 with video.

      Today’s Republican witness Jonathan Turley opposes impeaching Trump, yet he supported impeaching Bill Clinton in 1998.

      Here’s what he told Congress back then: “If you decide that certain acts do not rise to impeachable offenses, you will expand the space for executive conduct.”

      • harpie says:

        Susan Hennessey linked to that doc. here:
        8:16 AM – 4 Dec 2019

        As Turley suggests the threshold isn’t met for Trump, here is what he said in the Clinton proceedings about the problem with a “threshold test” for impeachment. [link] [screenshot]

        From the link:

        2. Impeachment as a Check on Presidential Power.
        Summary: The accusatory function of the House is essential to maintain a certain deterrence on presidential misconduct. Assuming the impeachment process is a check and balance, any limiting threshold test must not be endorsed without considerable care and caution. Narrowing the scope of impeachable offenses can correspondingly expand the scope of permissible presidential conduct Page 40]

      • timbo says:

        Yeah, it’s shocking that the DP didn’t have this stuff sitting there for them to pull up and just shoot him down. Bad theater.

  10. Vern says:

    For FSM’s sake, someone needs to bonk Nadler and get him off the dais. I’m so sick of Ds bringing wet noodles to a gun fight.

    • Jenny says:

      Turley may be auditioning for a seat on the Supreme Court. Here are few of his quotes:

      “People don’t seem to understand that the separation of powers is not about the power of these branches; it’s there to protect individual liberty – it’s there to protect us from the concentration of power.”

      “Frankly, most governments are used to lying to each other – to a degree that most people would find shocking. Part of diplomacy is the art of strategic lying.”

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Turley fully justifies Eisen’s refusal to call on him. He echos the GOP’s refusal to see a there there. He and it illustrate Acton’s phrase, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

  12. jaango says:

    Since Trump has instructed his allies in the federal government that each of these persons are not to testify. Thus, a subpoena is not necessary and carefully, the HJC has refused to issue such subpoenas, and good for them.

    Consequently, from my perspective, is my somewhat simple-mindedness and based on Common Sense, Nadler has done an excellent job, and what is occurring today, is not damaging, in the sense of today’s context and content.

    And Turley, defending Trump and his allies, is not unexpected.

  13. Jenny says:

    I would have like to have seen Professor Laurence Tribe on the panel. However, here is his answer on twitter: 7:15 AM – 4 Dec 2019

    I’ve been advising senior members of the Judiciary Committee, so it wouldn’t have made sense for me to testify. @NoahRFeldman, #PamKarlan, & @MichaelGerhard8 will do a fine job. @JonathanTurley seems to be occupying the role @AlanDersh might’ve occupied. Now let’s listen.

  14. dude says:

    IANAL. I am not watching in real time so I will watch highlights tonight–but I did skim the statements of the constitutional experts. Regarding Turley, maybe you can help me out: he dives into the historical comparisons of British precedent, the evolution of the meaning “impeach” and “high crime”, their application to judges and less-than-Presidential elected officials, etc. In other words, he seems to lay-on an historical context for the Founder’s to re-create their thinking at the beginning, and then relate how things have evolved through all the previous impeachments.

    After all that, he seems to arrive at one essential notion: if you do not use statute-defined criminal acts as the measure of a high crime, and if you don’t try to use the process & rules of evidence as applied in a ‘real’ court of law, then all impeachments can become uncontrollable political acts of vengeance on the party in power. Then he basically says Pres Johnson fell into a process-trap; Nixon and Clinton had statutory crimes ‘proven’ embedded within their articles of impeachment.

    So, please tell me 1) if I read this right and 2) what to look for when the counter-arguments are made.

    • P J Evans says:

      It sounds like Turley thinks, or is trying to convince the rest of us, that impeachment is a criminal trial – which it ain’t.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Word salad. Impeachment does not require a crime. It requires overwhelming political agreement that a president’s conduct was wrongful to good government. The consequence is not a fine, imprisonment or death – the consequences for criminal acts – it is the civil consequence of removal from office.

      Turley’s conclusion says it all: he finds no crimes in Trump’s well-documented conduct, even when he and his direct reports admit to them. His opposition is to impeachment itself; he attacks its predicates to get there. He argues for delay, which is similar to saying, let the voters decide, to hell with the Constitution, its standards, and its separation of powers.

      • dude says:

        “It requires overwhelming political agreement that a president’s conduct was wrongful to good government.”—I like the way you put that.

        Thanks all.

  15. harpie says:
    9:58 AM – 4 Dec 2019

    Turley talking about people trying to kill each other. Ilhan Omar’s opponent has called for her to be lynched.

    Thank you, Marcy. I wrote a very uncivil comment about this on another thread this morning…and was able to take advantage of the edit button in order to delete that…doesn’t mean I’m not still furious about it.

    • harpie says:
      9:08 AM – 4 Dec 2019

      SCOOP: RUDY GIULIANI met Tuesday in Budapest with the fired Ukrainian prosecutor YURIY LUTSENKO, who pushed claims about the BIDENS, & Ukrainian involvement in ’16. Giuliani is in Kyiv right now trying to meet with other fired prosecutors, SHOKIN & KULYK. [NYT]

      GIULIANI was joined in Budapest by @OANN. They’re working together on a series to counter impeachment, & taped an interview with LUTSENKO. Also on the trip: @AndriyUkraineTe, the ex-Ukrainian diplomat who says he was asked to help Dems undermine MANAFORT

  16. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Collins is “just not right” in his statements about the entire proceeding.

    Turley’s smarmy intellectual arrogance wears away patience like a diamond drill on butter. His command of the facts and sense of history seem as accurate as David Brooks’s. For example, he insists on discussing federal criminal statutes – lower in priority than the Constitution as a source of US law – as if they were binding on interpreting a Constitution written decades or more before they came into effect.

  17. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Per harpie, above, and @JuliaDavisNews, Rudy Giuliani was in Budapest and is now in Kyiv.

    Interesting, because I’m not seeing an extradition treaty in effect between the US and Ukraine – or with Russia for that matter.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Further to an earlier comment on Lawrence Tribe. “The Republicans grossly misstated my impeachment book: “To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.” He quotes from it, in partial correction of the GOP’s error:

    “[B]locking an otherwise-justified impeachment can pose extraordinary risks to the nation. That makes the president’s political party particularly responsible for proper use of this power. Even if voting for removal harms their policy goals or their standing in the next election, constitutional good faith may require the president’s comrades to take that step. Refusing to impeach a known tyrant out of partisan self-interest would constitute a failure of governance…as profound as urging impeachment for partisan reasons.”

    Prof. Tribe errors, I think, in basing an argument “constitutional good faith,” which seems to have disappeared from the lexicon of the president’s comrades.

  19. Cathy says:

    Short Chabot (R – OH): Please don’t make us go on the record with a vote on articles of impeachment.

      • Cathy says:

        Lol. Too late. I think every GOP Rep there has taken notice of a red state governor’s preference not to elevate a Trump attack dog to higher office. Is this breed of Congressional canine becoming disposable?

  20. Vince says:

    Turley is such a blatant hypocrite. Everything he is saying today is the opposite of what he said in ’98 in regards to the bogus Clinton impeachment. Just another case of IOKIYAR.

  21. NorskieFlamethrower says:

    Hey Bmaz, did you see Professor Karlan’s statement that the Founders defined treason as: “…putting a foreign adversary’s interests above the United states”? And is treason defined in the Constitution explicitly or is it only explicitly defined in the federal criminal code?

    • Rugger9 says:

      It is the one crime specifically described in the US Constitution, and one needs to consider while tossing the word about that we are not at war with anyone properly declared by Congress.

      Article 3 Section 3:
      1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

      2: The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

      • Rugger9 says:

        The reason treason is so specifically defined is due to the evolution in English common law to where treason was prosecuted for merely criticizing the king by the 17th century at the latest.

        The “corruption of blood” part is due to the use of treason elsewhere to ruin whole families for generations.

        • P J Evans says:

          That’s also the reason for the prohibition on bills of attainder – that was how they ruined families financially.

      • P J Evans says:

        It feels like the Rs have been pushing the limits on “adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort”.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Show the record of the Congressional declaration of war, and we can talk treason. Until then, call it to be the conspiracy that it more clearly is appearing to be.

          And fergawdsakes don’t use the R-word that rhymes with “Nico” or risk the wrath of bmaz!

    • Vince says:

      “…(which Individual-1 is leaving early because Justin was meeeeaaannnn to him)…

      And looking FABULOUS while doing so…

  22. Cathy says:

    Appreciate Prof. Karlan’s choice of key piece of evidence: the deliverable President Trump was asking of Zelinsky was specifically the announcement of the investigations.

    It seems one of the Republicans’ strongest public defenses is that Trump’s reference to Biden and Crowdstrike on the Jul 25 call was a sort of fumbling reference to a well-established U.S. policy pushing anti-corruption in Ukraine. Given his many public performances in which he babbles and otherwise makes us wonder about the onset of dementia, that defense may not be such a reach for a general population of voters.

    Zeroing in the announcement as the deliverable, instead of serious investigations, makes a stronger link to the personal political nature of it: a re-election campaign talking point.

    • MB says:

      “Given his many public performances in which he babbles and otherwise makes us wonder about the onset of dementia”

      I’ve seen so many claims/arguments about how he may be/is in the “early” stages of dementia. I’ve never quite bought that – I think the real explanation is that he’s intellectually stunted and stuck at an early stage of “normal” human development and people mistake those mental deficiencies as “early dementia”. His aggression, strategic abilities and ability to stumble ever-forward (even without adults-in-the-room handlers) are an indication of something else. Where some people might attribute “memory lapses” as a sign of dementia, it’s more a sign of “short attention span” IMO…

      • Cathy says:

        That’s fair – “…makes us wonder about [his stunted intellectual development / ever decreasing attention span]…”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The analysis seems incomplete. I agree about Trump’s intellectual stuntedness and his being stuck at an early stage of emotional development. I would add the almost certain emotional dysfunction at home. Witness the fate of Trump’s older brother, and Trump’s morbid fear of criticism and failure. Fred does not remind anyone Father Knows Best.

        Trump has “fallen upward” his whole life thanks to his daddy’s $400 million, his viewing everything through the lens of personal marketing, and his willingness to do anything with anybody to make a buck. I would call those personality traits, not tactics or strategy.

        Trump has little ability to think strategically. He is uniformly opportunistic and present-minded – giving rise to his famous “short attention span.” It severely limits his tactical ability and precludes strategic thinking. Both are made worse by his inability to see through the eyes of either ally or opponent. Wherever he looks, he sees himself.

        The dementia concern is legitimate, given Trump’s age, his father’s history of the disease, and the plethora of symptoms that suggest it in Trump. His memory lapses are hard to explain simply through a morbidly short attention span.

      • Mary M McCurnin says:

        Trump is a sociopath with ADHD and probably massive dyslexia. He has adapted to use these problems to his advantage with the help of having been handed a large inheritance.

        • Hatmama says:

          Probably both in-process dementia, AND major personality disorder. Through in some neuropsych touches. He no doubt went to Walter Reed because of recurrent and worsening TIAs (vascular dementia.) That can clear pretty quickly without seeming to be permanent, but in the meantime, it is slurring speech, lunacy, and word salad. When the dam finally breaks, and it will, it will be a doozy. I’d personally like to be there to see it.

          • P J Evans says:

            The other possibility is microstrokes – which could be from clots or from hemorrhages. They register as TIAs, if you don’t do something like an MRI.

            • Areader2019 says:


              We can only speculate, but I thought it must be something that would require going to Walter Reed for some equipment they don’t have in the White House.

              They have pretty well equipped clinic in the White House, but I don’t think they have an MRI. So, TIA would fit that.

              • P J Evans says:

                With a TIA, they usually do an angiogram – they might have that equipment – it’s dye and an X-ray machine, if I understand it correctly. (The dye I’m sure of.)

              • bmaz says:

                The two devices I can think of are MRI machine, or a CT Scan machine that would be needed for a calcification test. They don’t have those at the White House I presume.

                • P J Evans says:

                  I think they’re a little on the large size – I know a CT machine requires a small room, with the operator in another one, and so does a PET machine. (Been there, done those. They’re not as noisy as I understand MRI machines to be.)

                  • Hatmama says:

                    I’m sure no one in the WH is capable of dealing with someone in the middle of a TIA. One minute, the person is fine, the next, slumped over, falling off a toilet, momentarily unable to focus, talk, maybe talking word salad, mostly slurring. Then, they “snap out of it.” I’m fine. I am also pretty sure no one in the WH would be happy to do an endartectomy (roto-rooter) in his carotid arteries as Outpatient Therapy. I see Ronny Jackson has quit the WH and retired from the Navy. Get out while you can!

                    • P J Evans says:

                      My father had what at the time was believed to be a TIA – he was dizzy, had to sit down, and my sis, who was with him (visiting a hardware store), drove him home. He got an angiogram, which showed nothing. (It was found, much later, to be an actual stroke.)

                    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

                      An interesting perspective
                      Nov 23
                      11 One common method of coping w/ mid-stage dementia is to write down simple tasks or things to say. Trump has great difficulty communicating his alternate reality defense. Save the Date- 11/20 as the day he needed notes to talk to reporters. Add it to the dementia symptom list

                      Nov 23
                      12 Dementia like Trump’s is a 12-15 year illness. The shorter times frames you may read about are due to delayed diagnosis. I’ve said a # of times here that Trump’s arc is approx 2012-2024. The early years are barely noticeable, the later years bedridden.T

                      Trump’s Dementia prognosis is grim.
                      SEVERE NOW
                      Word Choice
                      Fragmented Expression
                      Emotional Response
                      Lack of Filter
                      Change in Gait
                      Involuntary Arm Jerking
                      FUTURE ISSUES
                      Choking / Aspiration
                      Walker / Wheelchair
                      Loss of Speech

                      Nov 23
                      13 The prognosis is awful. So is talking a/b it on twitter at this stage when he’s so symptomatic. It gets really bad. I expected his removal after the Jan 18 Dr Ronny physical. The coverup was unexpected. A very foolish betrayal of America by his enablers.

                      Trump jokes about a 3rd term. Dementia will end this term. His issues are snowballing
                      Year / Est
                      <19 Behavior, concentration, speech, memory…

                      14 Dementia dominates Trump. It doesn't matter if he sucks up to Senators & gives them Camp David passes. His travel schedule is for show. His destiny is set & nothing can change what’s happening to him. He’s badly deteriorating & he won't be the GOP candidate a year from now
                      9:27 AM – 23 Nov 2019

                      Nov 23
                      Replying to @TomJChicago
                      How likely is it the GOP knows what’s going to happen/is happening and that’s causing al of this grab for power all at once? They know the ship is sinking and time is short, so it seems like they’re keeping him there to try to get what they can while they can…

                      Nov 23
                      Nancy knows. (Her earlier “pray for him”) So McConnell etc who see him more have to know also.

                      Nov 23
                      EVERYONE knows. It's so flagrantly obvious. Seriously–who calls in to Fox and goes on an hr long tangent like that? Who DOES that? We've never had a situation this bad–no one knows how to deal with it.

                      Nov 23
                      No, they know how to deal with it. The 25th Amendment spells it out. However the people tasked with that are putting partisan politics before duty & country.

      • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

        Seems to me you are most deserving . . . and I concur. I do so love reading the comments here. I am comforted by your collective caring and smarts.

        • Cathy says:

          Crowdsourcing: it may not get us a nod from the American Medical Assoc. but it keeps us out of the cold and off the streets ;-)

  23. P J Evans says:

    Some of these congresscritters make me wonder if they’re even aware of the date. They seem to have missed the last 6 months of Trmp and Ukraine (and all of the HPSCI hearings and testimony), along with US government and civics in school.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Gaetz is always playing to a one-person peanut gallery. Misogyny and abuse always sell well with that audience.

      When Trump passes from the scene, Matt, Lindsey, and the gang will have to find a new diva. (Assuming any of them are still on the public payroll.)

  24. Jenny says:

    Gaetz another screamer. Angry man. Collins a screamer as is Jordan. Perhaps they practice screaming together. Ugh.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      My guess is that the Goopers compiled their screams from the sources used for Johnny Weismuller’s yell as Tarzan:

      1. An opera singer,
      2. Blended into which were the growl of a dog, a trill sung by a soprano, a note played on a violin’s G string, and the howl of a hyena played backwards.
      3. The voice of an Austrian yodeler, played backwards at high speed.
      4. Johnny Weismuller’s own voice.

      I’m hoping for video of the auditions, to see which GOP’ers wanted to be cast as the hyena and the growling dog. I’ll take a pass when it comes to who wanted to play the G string.

    • Mooser says:

      And all that Repub screaming and ranting will play like the climax of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” on Fox tonite.

      • P J Evans says:

        I wish whoever runs the House sound systems would turn the volume down on anyone yelling into it. Make them learn that yelling will get them turned down to something like a normal volume, every time.

        • Valley girl says:

          But… but.. it would be misleading for people to get the impression that they speak normally instead of YELLING!!!!

  25. Rugger9 says:

    Ken Buck was playing the both sides card with some really wild claims (JFK deported a mistress as an East German spy)? Apparently he’s trying to pin down what “abuse of power” is.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Apparently Turley’s comment about how mad his Labradoodle is has spawned another parody account on Twitter:

      As @JonathanTurley’s Labradoodle, I categorically deny any allegations that I am mad. I am in fact a good dog. Many times, Turley has asked me, “Who is a good dog?” and then affirmed that in fact I am. I assert that if I am the good dog, Jonathan Turley must be the mad dog.

      12:54 PM – Dec 4, 2019

      • Mitch Neher says:

        Yes, of course, Professor Turley is the only one of the two of them who actually bays at the moon. Nevertheless, her name is Luna; her title, Visiting Professor.

  26. Jenny says:

    Rep Val Demings is solid.

    From Emptywheel on Twitter – 2:16 PM – 4 Dec 2019
    Demings: AFTER HE WAS CAUGHT (and I do know something about that), he tried to cover it up. No one, no one, is above the law, including and especially, POTUS.

  27. Jenny says:

    I am not a lawyer and I don’t play one on TV; however Turley seems to be all over the map.

    Also most important would be obtaining the transcript Eisenberg, WH lawyer moved to classified server. That is the evidence needed. Is it not?

  28. P J Evans says:

    following ew’s tweets – does John Solomon really not understand that phone calls have two ends, and that if you call (ore get a call from) someone whose phone is tapped for legal reasons, you’ll show up in their call records?

    • Frank Probst says:

      Solomon shows up in their call LOGS. A Title III Wiretap (and EW and bmaz will be able to correct me here if I’m wrong) that lets you record someone’s conversations is extraordinarily difficult to get, and even when you get one, there are still pretty hard limits about what can be recorded. I don’t think that there’s any evidence that that happened here. What they basically got is the phone numbers of incoming and outgoing calls for the phones that they had permission to get the logs from. It’s basically what you get when you look at your phone bill, but with some extra research thrown in to see who each phone number belongs to. So they only got Solomon’s info if he called or placed a call to a number that corresponded to one of the phones that they got the logs for. They almost certainly didn’t even get the logs from Solomon’s phone, because there would be serious First Amendment issues there.

  29. harpie says:

    During the Afternoon recess, Marcy tweeted:
    4:19 PM · Dec 4, 2019

    Jordan looks really worried abt something.

    At about 6:25 Laura Rozen wonders if this is why:

    Barr’s handpicked prosecutor tells inspector general he can’t back right-wing theory that Russia case was U.S. intelligence setup
    Dec. 4, 2019 at 6:16 p.m. EST

    • harpie says:

      The prosecutor handpicked by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize how U.S. agencies investigated President Trump’s 2016 campaign said he could not offer evidence to the Justice Department’s inspector general to support the suspicions of some conservatives that the case was a setup by American intelligence, people familiar with the matter said.
      Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office contacted U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor Barr personally tapped to lead a separate review of the 2016 probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, the people said. The inspector general also contacted several U.S. intelligence agencies. […]

      • harpie says:

        […] The previously unreported interaction is noted in a draft of Horowitz’s forthcoming report on the Russia investigation, which concludes that the FBI had adequate cause to launch its Russia investigation, people familiar with the matter said. Its public release is set for Monday. […]

        • Cathy says:

          “Barr also could decline to formally weigh in [on the Inspector General’s conclusions] but publicly air his skepticism later, perhaps in a media interview. (ibid. @harpie)”

          WaPo’s wise to you, AG Barr. Might want to check the listings for the next Gaslighters Anonymous meeting.

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Turley’s performance was intellectually dishonest and legally unprofessional. I see why he is such good friends with Bill Barr.

  31. joel fisher says:

    The thing that needs explaining, and which the Democrats seem to have ignored, is the process by which requests for foreign assistance with legitimate investigations are requested. Presumably, some office in the Justice Department contacts a similar office in the foreign country and asks for help. Heads of state are not involved. The Con Law experts seem to be hired guns talking about “high crimes and misdemeanors” and not how strange Trump’s request was. Nobody in the–for lack of a better term–persuadable public gives a shit about James Madison, has heard of the Federalist Papers, or cares about the Constitutional Convention of 1787. They need to hear how amazingly out of bounds Trump has gotten and how–for the good of the country–he must be stopped.

    • Eureka says:

      IIRC, someone did cover that in the earlier hearings. They are probably moving on to other — foundational, constitutional — issues and not belaboring that point because it seems to dovetail with one of Trump’s “excuses.”

      If Trump’s behavior is effectively likened to cutting corners on some regular procedure, it would fill the hearts of many with joy — both the many who seek this track to normalize, and, worse, altruize, his behavior (cf. harpie’s comment ), and those who hate dealing with the abundance of “policy and procedure” in their own lives. That’s part of Trump’s “charm”, I’d think even to some of the “persuadable” sector.

      I’m pretty sure the next move, if it hasn’t happened already, is to _emphasize_, ~ See, I told Zelensky to talk to Bill Barr! Too legit to quit! ~

    • Rayne says:

      The point that Trump has asked a nation-state to investigate an American citizen for his personal gain has been made both during the House Intelligence Committee hearings and by the House Judiciary including by the chair and three of four witnesses.

      If you’re arguing that House Dems haven’t pointed out legitimate investigations into corruption should proceed through the DOJ, that point’s also been made but by the House Intelligence Committee and now by DOJ. Further, the DOJ indicated no link between Ukraine and the 2016 hacking (see with regard to findings by both the Inspector General and Barr’s appointee U.S. Attorney John Durham). Why would there have been a legitimate investigation into Ukraine-based corruption by the DOJ if evidence already indicated Russia, not Ukraine, hacked the DNC? Why the conflation of issues especially since the Obama administration evaluated Hunter Biden’s role at Burisma in 2014 and found no legal impediment?

      The crimes before us — and they are crimes, not just abuses of office or offenses undermining the presidency and Constitution — aren’t that the DOJ did/didn’t pursue any legitimate investigation overseas. The crimes are those the president committed directly or with co-conspirators: bribing or extorting a head of state (18 USC 201), soliciting something of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes (52 USC 30121), obstructing Congressional investigation into bribery and solicitation (18 USC 1505), tampering with witnesses by intimidation (18 USC 1512), and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. (18 USC 371), compromising national security in the process (an abuse of power which falls under ‘high crimes and misdemeanor’).

      For starters.

      Evidence presented during the Intelligence Committee hearings and in its subsequent report should shock the conscience of the public as Trump poses a clear and immediate threat to democracy. What was presented today wasn’t solely for the benefit of the persuadable public though some citizens may have been moved; the hearing was the explanation to future Americans why this impeachment is being pursued, just as the constitution experts today looked to the past for explanations and comparisons against which to frame this impeachment.

      • joel fisher says:

        As I expected, I found that you are right; discussion of how legitimate investigations are started is found at pages 122 and 123 of the Intelligence Committee’s Report. Still, it doesn’t seem to be a point of emphasis. But then,
        how the Committee conducts its business is its own affair; they don’t need my advice. Your last point–about the future–rankled at first (I don’t care about the future, I care about now), but then I reminded myself of the makeup of the Senate and what the best possible outcome there can realistically be and it made a lot more sense.

  32. JD12 says:

    It was nice to see members of the Judiciary Committee drawing attention to Donald’s obstruction and how it relates to the Constitution. I thought the Intelligence Committee should’ve emphasized it more, though I get that it’s more in Judiciary’s domain. Republicans keep saying the inquiry is all because of a phone call, but isn’t it Donald’s stonewalling that really caused it? Didn’t the White House release the call memorandum only after hearing that Pelosi scheduled the announcement for the inquiry?

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pithy comment: “Nixon resigned as president for breaking into a filing cabinet,” but Trump remains in office, despite a laundry list of impeachable offenses. It captures the absurdity of Trump’s position, that of today’s GOP, and the power of a rightwing media Nixon never dreamt of.

    But the comment understates the dynamic Nixon and the GOP wrestled with. Nixon’s Watergate crimes were the tip of the iceberg. Neither he nor the GOP wanted what they knew or feared to come out in a more thorough and complete investigation. He resigned, in part, to prevent that. Ford put a lid on further risk and disclosure with his preemptive pardon.

    A similar dynamic probably exists today. Trump is fighting disclosure of his tax returns and financial statements, for example, as if their disclosure could end his existence. They probably could, if they reveal a history of fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. GOPers, too, are behaving as if, like son and daughter vampires, they would have no life without their prince.

    Perhaps that’s because Trump, unlike Nixon, is incapable of rational judgment. He is incapable of admitting error or making a retreat. He will stick to the Roy Cohn approach – and the GOP will stick with him – but implement it with half the brains or juice Cohn had on his worst day. The known unknown is the power of rightwing media to extend their unnaturally long lives.

    • Eureka says:

      I only recently (re-)registered that Roy Cohn gets a mention in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.”

      Perhaps that tune requires a Dumpster Fire sequel (or, worse, the Weird Al treatment).

  34. harpie says:

    An observation: at about 4:30pm Andy Biggs was talking.
    Marcy paraphrases:
    4:35 PM · Dec 4, 2019

    Andy Biggs up, trying to pretend that the witnesses had decided ahead of time. Claiming that when Trump said “do us” a favor it was for benefit of country.

    At about 10:50pm Trump tweets:
    10:50 PM · Dec 4, 2019

    When I said, in my phone call to the President of Ukraine, “I would like you to do US a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.” With the word “us” I am referring to the United States, our Country. I then went on to say that…… […]

    • Cathy says:

      Yep. Thus the utility of Prof. Karlan’s choice for Key Piece of Evidence: the deliverable President Trump was asking of Zelinsky was specifically the announcement of the investigations (not actual investigations).

  35. harpie says:

    Adam Klasfeld has a two tweet thread this morning I’d like to share here:
    2:44 AM – 5 Dec 2019

    INBOX: Speaker Pelosi making a “Status of Impeachment Inquiry” statement at 9 AM.

    In related news, I needed to bump up my morning run to a time when Lincoln was still illuminated and the sun just began to peek over the Capitol and the Washington Monument. Scene from the midway point, some time ago.
    Good morning from Washington. [!!! Photos]

    • Cathy says:

      v nice – almost enough to get me to take up morning runs (but not quite) – I’m down with the morning cup of coffee, though…[peels other eye open]

  36. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Pam Karlan explained yesterday that the Constitution forbids Donald Trump from making his son, Barron, a real baron. Memorable word play every good scholar aspires to. It has nothing to do with the real Barron Trump, apart from his being Donald’s son. She could have used Trump’s frequent alias, John Baron, but either choice would have made her point in a way that a low-information voter would understand: There are limits to the president’s authority, which Donald Trump frequently ignores.

    The frothy right and then Melania began to wail and rend their garments at the purported abuse of poor Barron. Bmaz rightly called it a fake controversy, ginned up to distract from how badly the hearing was going for Trump.

    In an article that gives more context than usual, the Guardian’s David Smith commits the obligatory bothsiderism. Its headline (two, really): “Impeachment hearing joke draws angry response from Melania Trump – and lays bare America’s divide.” Mamma bear protecting her cub.

    Delighted at having found a “smoking pun,” Smith then asks of Karlan’s “simple word play,” using the royal we, “But could we forgive” it?” After all, in a divided Congress, Washington, and nation, “Facts matter less than being on the winning team.”

    What do you mean by “we,” Mr. Smith? The faux controversy is ginned up on the right by an industrial noise machine to distract from Donald Trump’s latest outrage. This time, the awkward conclusion reached by three legal experts: Trump has committed the most obvious of impeachable offenses.

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