Speaker Pelosi Goes from Slow-Walking to Sprinting

This morning, Nancy Pelosi announced she’s asking Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff to draw up articles of impeachment against Donald Trump.

Both reports on scheduling from members of HJC and Congress generally as well as reporting from CNN suggest Pelosi intends a very quick schedule for this process: articles drawn up this weekend, a vote in HJC next week, then a full vote before Christmas.

This is a mistake, in my opinion. I think Pelosi should bump this schedule out to early February. I say this not out of any fondness for delay, but because several things will or are likely to happen in the interim that would make impeachment more thorough.

The first is a ruling on Don McGahn’s testimony. I think the case on impeaching Trump for obstructing the Mueller investigation should most importantly focus on his abuse of the pardon power, not least because preventing a Trump pardon may give Paul Manafort and Roger Stone reason to grow more chatty. But McGahn’s testimony, describing how Trump asked him to falsify a record to cover up the fact that the President asked him to get Mueller fired in summer 2017, would be important for other reasons. Jonathan Turley cited McGahn’s testimony, for example, as the clearest case in the Mueller Report supporting impeachment (though of course he claims it doesn’t reach the level of abuse that Turley claimed lying about a consensual blowjob did back when Clinton did it). It would also be powerful to have a key player in Republican politics — they guy helped Trump stack the courts — play a key role in his impeachment.

While there’s little hope the Democrats could force the testimony of the key witnesses in the Ukraine investigation (including McGahn’s one-time deputy, John Eisenberg) without long delay, they’re more likely to get a ruling requiring McGahn’s testimony.

Then there’s the high likelihood of a superseding indictment in the Lev Parnas case. At a hearing Monday, prosecutors made it clear they’re very likely to supersede the current indictment against Rudy Giuliani’s grifters, possibly including other targets of the probe.

Prosecutor Zolkind signaled that a grand jury would probably level more charges.

“We think a superseding indictment is likely, but no decision has been made, certainly,” Zolkind said.

Repeatedly emphasizing that the government’s investigation is ongoing, the prosecutor referred obliquely to possible other targets by explaining that redactions on search warrants do not relate to the charged case. Zolkind also explained that disclosing witness statements prematurely could risk compromising the probe.

While the judge in the case, Paul Oetken, signaled his willingness to share information from this probe with impeachment investigators, and Parnas and his lawyers indicated that they’d like to comply with HPSCI’s subpoena (probably in an attempt to leverage immunity), that may take some time, perhaps two months. But I think any evidence from this case will be stronger if it comes with a grand jury indictment alleging that more of the underlying activities in this grift were probably a crime.

The next hearing in this case is February 3. That’s why I think Pelosi should hold off on until February.

Those are just two of the reasons I think Pelosi should slow things down a bit — at least on the vote in the entire House — to allow other pieces to fall into place.

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350 replies
  1. Geoff says:

    She appears to have been determined from day 1 to do this wrong so that she could put it behind her and get on with passing more legislation that Mitch can promptly ignore. There are a ton of important things coming up, especially the rulings on Trump’s tax documents that would be great info for an emoluments article of impeachment. Yet, she is going with this absurd impeachment lite that lets all the obstruction stand.

    And as someone here said earlier, during this warp speed impeachment inquiry, no one is bothering to mount a strong defense against all the Republican generatd propaganda, which just weakens the case for letting voters decide, since by doing this wrong, you don’t provide a good case for voters. This should go on and on, all through the election cycle. There should be no end to the investigations. I will never grow tire of holding these criminals accountable, yet, it’s apparently so boring and so tedious to the Democrats that they will essentially get to the election with this so far in the past that many voters will forget it even happened, let alone that it matters. It’s so depressing I can hardly stand it.

    • Steve Wise says:

      The talking heads on tv always claim Pelosi has impeccable political instincts and nothing could be further from the truth. She let Bush off the hook with the Iraq war (because I was told by one her aids in 2003, “because he’s so popular.” Now, rather than doing this the right way and waiting for everyone within that White House to testify, she’s rushing the process. Wait for his taxes. Add obstruction, the emoluments clause, and the rest to impeachment documents. The man is a criminal and if the Senate won’t impeach, reflect such overwhelming evidence of high crimes McConnell and the rest will become clearly defined accomplices. So no, Pelosi doesn’t have great political instincts. This was the time to go for the jugular.

      • bmaz says:

        Steve, this is exactly right. And, as the last time, whether you agree or disagree, you have a good voice; bring it more often.

        • Willis Warren says:

          She doesn’t want to risk “the republic” or whatever. A certain amount of faith in the system is necessary to maintain gov’t.

          Trump is gonna destroy that to win. If she knows what’s in the tax returns, this could be a stall. But it could just as likely be that she’s a doofus

      • ejf says:

        you’re exactly right. my wife mentioned the same thing: let it drag out til June of 2020 and later. the only ones that are going to squirm are the die hard repubs. let ’em squirm, let ’em scream. Impeachment is political. Let the die-hards show us how political. And expose the crimes slowly and articulately.

        • RWood says:

          I havent had time to go through all the comments so forgive me if this has been mentioned already.

          Whats to stop Pelosi from using the Moscow Mitch playbook and putting the impeachment in a drawer until after the next election? Is there any rule that says she has to send it to the senate within a prescribed number of days?

          • bmaz says:

            No, there is no such rule. And the House, which Pelosi, for good or bad, depending on the issue, leads, has sole discretion.

            • RWood says:

              Thanks, Bmaz.

              I know it’ll never happen but I like to look at it from every direction I can think of, even if they are a bit out there.

              I wouldn’t mind seeing the look on Mitch’s face if Pelosi were to label the current senate “compromised” before telling us they’ll wait for the voters to “clear away the corruption” before moving on with impeachment.

              I’m also wondering why MM has committed to holding a trial. As I understand it there’s nothing stopping him from doing nothing?

                • RWood says:

                  The downside of a trial for the GOP is that it puts the members on record supporting trump, which becomes a weapon against them.

                  If I were in fear of being primaried I’d lean toward the option of not voting at all. Just have MM declare the whole thing a “hoax” and dismiss it altogether. Can a senate member abstain? I would think that would that bring trouble from both directions.

                  Playing out each scenario brings on a headache after awhile. I’m amazed that anyone would want to be a politician these days.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Well-argued. Ms. Pelosi has, however, shown little interest in holding Trump, or power, generally, to account. She prefers to tut-tut and let him embarrass himself. In reality, he’s embarrassing the country and trashing the Constitution (including her branch’s powers) like a berserk child in a garage full of sharp tools, fuel for the barbie, and matches.

    In Obama fashion, she seems to want this to be over, because it distracts from her agenda. Perhaps she is worried that an excess of democracy – meaning, working government – might be seen as supporting the left and be embarrassing to her most generous patrons – in her view, not a good move with an election coming.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes. But, then, I have been saying this since the last of ever. The House Dems, clearly under the iron hand of Pelosi, have dragged out the necessary and buggered their oath of office, from the get go. And they still are. I have no huzzahs for Speaker Pelosi.

      • Raven Eye says:

        When I read your “last of ever” my mind immediately jumped to “first of never”. Then came the sinking feeling.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      We agree. I think she wants the status quo and will wait her turn, careful to hold her own but not to upset the apple cart, a juggling act Trump is making impossible.

      Ms. Pelosi may see that course as essential to keeping her caucus together, but it looks to me like rationalization. The reality I see is that the status quo left before the quid pro quo. It’s not coming back, and the apples are in the street, bruised and moldering.

    • pjb says:

      i will be interested to see what Pelosi says this afternoon at her regular presser when she takes questions. I did note that she did not make any comment about the timing of the House vote nor when a hand-off to the Senate will take place. She could have done that, she didn’t.

      Further to Marcy’s point about delay, there is also the possibility of obtaining Trump/org/family financial records in the Mazars and Deutsche Bank cases. SCOTUS expedited the deadline for writ of cert. Another good reason to slow the roll.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        Today (Friday Dec6) everyone in the media and most liberal blogs are praising Pelosi and the best, smartest, most brilliant, fightingest democrat politician ever. Because she pushed back at a RW reporter. I feel so bummed.

    • @pwrchip says:

      I also would like to see this slowed down a bit to make sure we include the full measure of all those involved in this conspiracy to bribe Ukraine. But maybe Pelosi speed is her concern for Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health which could very easily go south & she’s concern of another conservative SCOTUS. That will tilt the court even further toward Trump’s criminality. Just a thought…

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        The longevity of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been of supreme concern for me. I agree that RBG’s health could be a factor in Pelosi’s calculations, but I cannot understand the accelerated pace in any other way.

    • John Forde says:

      Josh Marshall has a piece up 3 hours ago about pace and the importance of seizing the initiative. Don’t slow down. Keep the pace but lengthen the timeframe. Bolton could speak. Giuliani could be indicted. The deets of Barr’s conspiratorial meeting with Rupert might be revealed.

      • bmaz says:

        That is NOT what Pelosi has in mind though. She and McConnell both want this done with and that is what it is headed for. The House Dems have already backed away from, if not outright dismissed, some of the already established avenues for further discovery.

        • Matt says:

          what about the mentions of people saying we could draw up *more* articles of impeachment? Is this a one time only or can people submit some articles now and some in February?

        • timbo says:

          Yes, she’s expediting haphazard oversight forma rather than trying to actually right our floundering ship in any coherent fashion.

          • Katherine M Williams says:

            The republicans in the Senate won’t impeach, and Trump will trumpet “Total Vindication!” “No Quid pro Oranges!” “Hillary’s Server!” and so on, and maybe even win in 2020.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Absolutely until all of the current court hearings are done. Also, when listening to the GOP whining about the rapid rush to judgment, pushing it out to February would undercut the claim as well as give Individual-1 more time to hang himself. It is in the GOP interest to have this in the rear-view mirror at election time so they can say it’s old news.

    • Hatmama says:

      Hold back, build resources and case, and be RELENTLESS in the Impeachment process. I sure wish the billionaires running for the Democratic Ticket would be providing all their $$ and personal resources to this, and anti idiot-in-chief ads, rather than wanting to become President. They won’t ever get my vote. It tells me they aren’t interested in being Pres. They are just interested in THROWING THE ELECTION to the current occupant of the WH, Individual-1. Seriously.

  3. P J Evans says:

    I’d like to know why she apparently changed her mind on how fast this should go – though she was always determined to get it done this year (which is not an election year, no matter what the Rs claim).

  4. Patient Observer says:

    I agree with Marcy and Geoff.

    So does Charlie Sykes (among many others, surely):

    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2019/12/05/democrats-trump-impeachment-politics-analysis-075656

    Perhaps someone can prevail upon Madam Speaker to turn this around, perhaps by citing the GOP witness Jonathan Turley.

    ***”Fast and narrow is not a good recipe for impeachment,” he said. “They tend not to survive. They tend to collapse in front of the Senate. Impeachments are like buildings. There’s a ratio between your foundation and your height. And this is the highest structure you can build.”***

    “Upon further consideration, I am persuaded by one of the lines of testimony from Jonathan Turley. We in this House of Representatives, and the American people as a whole, would do well to take an even more deliberative and a less speedy approach in this momentous proceeding.”

    Something like that.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Quick clarification — I meant that invoking Turley would be a means of applying some jiu jitsu on the GOP.

      I am not a lawyer, but I understand from reliable commentary that Turley’s testimony was rubbish.

      • timbo says:

        His testimony was contradictory and heavily contradicted his testimony back in during the Clinton impeachment hearings in the House two decades earlier. I’m surprised that no DP member asked him explicitly what had made him change so many of his positions…

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Yours would be a strategic move against an ever more wildly out-of-control president and Republican Party. It would more fully document crimes and abuse, and create a foundation for reform and better governance. It is explicitly what was NOT done in the case of Richard Nixon.

    Ms. Pelosi appears adamant, however, that she will not acknowledge the elephant in the living room. She will, instead, pick up the china thrown at her feet and put it back on the shelf, ensuring that she will have to do it over and over, until it breaks.

    • Geoff says:

      I’ve found with most ceramics, after the first time they are broken, you can usually glue them together once and maybe get away with it for presentation purposes, tucked remotely away from too near prying eyes. After that, the next time it hits the floor it’s kaput. I think Nancy has already attempted to glue things together twice, not realizing that the US democracy china set is now a mangled collection of shards lumped together and unusable, and most certainly no longer presentable in any cabinet.

    • timbo says:

      I still maintain that it’s because Pelosi is afraid of the GOP lead Senate beginning it’s own partisan investigations into various DP vulnerable areas.

  6. Willis Warren says:

    Reminder, Pelosi sucks

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/03/why-pelosi-killed-the-public-option/37469/

    The public option would have prevented the back door “discounts” and “price increases” that we got from the ACA. Hospitals and insurance companies wouldn’t have been able to collude on inflation of prices (sometimes 250% beyond the medicare rates) to accomodate the ACA’s 80% of premiums on actual medical bills.

    The message would have been “murky” because no one understands how the actual system (doesn’t) work(s).

  7. JamesJoyce says:

    Me thinks sadly due process and equal protection concerning “Vote” now requires actual protection? Der…

    If shady oil contracts with oil companies to develop Oil reserves from public lands provided grounds for pertinent and relevant Senate inquiry how can house impeachment and charges called articles not be relevant to election fraud and manipulation via propaganda for personal gain, just like Benito?

    He was good at dividing people…

    Sinclair v USA
    1929

    6. There is no merit in appellant’s contention that he is entitled to a new trial because the court excluded evidence
    that in refusing to answer he acted in good faith on the advice of competent counsel.

    The gist of the offense is refusal to answer pertinent questions.

    No moral turpitude is involved.

    Intentional violation is sufficient to constitute guilt.

    There was no misapprehension as to what was called for. The refusal to answer was deliber- ate. The facts sought were pertinent as a matter of law, and § 102 made it appellant’s duty to answer.

    He was bound rightly to construe the statute.

    His mistaken view of the law is no defense.”

    Armour Packing Co. v. United States, 209 U. S. 56, 85. StandardSanitary Mfg. Co. v. United States, 226 U. S. 20, 49.

    Inherited Money is no guarantee of literacy, comprehension, compassion or bone spurs…

    Truth can hurt….

    No moderation required…

  8. Terrapin says:

    Hi all. I must respectfully disagree with Marcy here. Yes, waiting for the case to improve might make for a stronger case for impeachment that might even convince some GOP senators to jump ship and vote to convict. But there is no guarantee that time will make the case better and that will sway any GOP senators who long ago drank the Koolaid. And there is plenty of evidence already as the thickness of Schiff’s report makes abundantly clear. Next year too, unfortunately, is a presidential election year. While the GOP is going to attack the process in any case, the further the case goes into that election year, the more credibility the GOP has to claim the Democrats are smearing Trump to prevent his reelection. Better to have the GOP vote to acquit POTUS in the Senate in January and then have the drip, drip, drip show what fools and toadies they all are. In any case, if you remove Trump you get Pence, which really isn’t an improvement. Pelosi changed her mind on impeachment because Trump was repeating his crimes of 2016 and doing it rather blatantly. Once shame on Trump, twice shame on Pelosi. So she has girded herself for a nasty, but necessary chore, and wants to get it over with ASAP. Trump in all likelihood will be acquitted but in the quest for swing voters, he will be exposed for the utterly corrupt and incompetent fool that he so clear is.

    • Geoff says:

      And I, good sir/madam, must respectfully disagree with you on your main point, although agree with some of your subpoints. Part of the case that needs to be made is how the Republicans are obstructing and not simply pushing conspiracy theories, but pushing outright fabrications. They need to be shown for exactly who they are. In essence, although not directly, they must be theoretically impeached as well through this process. Remember that it is not just an election for President in November, but also to try to recapture the Senate. And the Senate is this country’s 2nd biggest problem, tied with the Federalist society perhaps. We all know who enemy no 1 is.

      Basically, there are no guarantees in life, and actually, because of that, your best bet is to simply do the RIGHT thing not the politically expedient thing. Yes there is a lot of evidence, but we need all of it. The really good dirt is the stuff they are hiding, the stuff you can’t spin away. For now, they can spin this stuff just enough to keep people wondering, and the pathetic media is helping them along. We need to make the full case and part of the full case is the case against the aides and abettors or this presidential catastrophe.

    • bmaz says:

      Dear Terrapin, this is laughable. If not forced into it, Pelosi still, to this day, abhors impeachment. It is simply something she could no longer slough off.

      Also, paragraph breaks are your friend, and the friend of readers here. Please consider using them.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      There is every likelihood that further investigation will expand the range of and evidence for probable abuses and crimes by this president. It is as likely as turning over a wet log and finding a beetle or a mushroom.

      Coincidentally, that 2020 is an election year works in the Dems favor, but not if they are inept, which they often are. The GOPers will accuse them of acting illegitimately and for partisan gain, regardless of how much they might imitate Mother Theresa, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison rolled into one. Is not that behavior obvious by now?

      Trump will be acquitted in the Senate because Moscow Mitch and his party would never vote to convict, regardless of the facts and circumstance. Is not that behavior obvious by now, too? It would be an admission that they backed the wrong horse and were complicit in his crimes. They are also rightly concerned that, as an increasingly minority party, any loss is an existential threat to them. Given their conduct, it should be.

      • Terrapin says:

        Hi all. Jumped into a buzzsaw didn’t I? :-)

        The bottom line is Trump will not be removed by the Senate, no matter what evidence appears. I’d love to be proved wrong here. Maybe the financial information will get him in the end, especially if Lawrence O’Donnell is correct and Russian oligarchs have been co-signing his Deutsche Bank loans.

        That being said, the 2020 Presidential Election will be, as usual, a battle for the independents and independently-minded voters with party affiliations. In 2016, they swung to Trump sufficiently to win him the Electoral College thanks to the Russians and James Comey telling Congress on the eve of the election that he was reopening the Hillary email probe (thanks a lot Anthony Weiner).

        Pelosi’s calculation has always been about that independent middle. That is why she hung back on impeachment. These people don’t like nasty impeachment fights even if their object is guilty as sin. They swung Democratic in 2018, but they could just as easily swing back to the GOP in 2020.

        Trump’s Ukraine outrage forced Pelosi to take a stand she would have liked to avoid given the murky middle. So she’s getting impeachment over with ASAP to minimize the impact with the independents, especially since there is plenty of impeachment evidence already.

        The media will publicize any new significant revelations and the impeachment option is still open if things get bad enough. Hopefully, it will be like Chinese water torture for POTUS and throw the election (presidency, Congress, state and local government) to the Democrats. But to achieve that Pelosi must tread carefully with the swing voters.

        Are my paragraphs short enough for you bmaz? :-)

        • bmaz says:

          Much better, and thank you! Now, about that subservience to political expediency over defense of the Constitution….

        • pjb says:

          Respectfully (and at risk of having my head chopped off!) I have to dissent from the nearly overwhelming sentiment that the Senate will acquit no matter what is placed before it. I know full well how idiotic and unpatriotic they sound. But, things are impossible until they aren’t. No good news is coming for Trump from these Court cases. The WH arguments are too stupid and extreme even for favorably disposed High Court to wrestle to the ground. Then, lets see what criminality comes out that can be laid out before the Senators.

          I also dissent from the view (expressed by someone else), that Pence is as bad as Trump so why impeach? Pence may be loathsome to many of us on policy grounds, but I think really we’d all be hard pressed to argue that he is such a fundamental menace to our entire system of governance and standing in the world. Trump is an existential threat to the US, Pence would be just another shitty President who has the personality of a sanctimonious mannequin and is eminently beatable in Nov. should he decide to run in his own right.

          I say you do your best, amass the strongest most complete possible case, and you don’t give up just because you seem a couple of TDs down at the half.

          • Rayne says:

            Pence may be loathsome to many of us on policy grounds, but I think really we’d all be hard pressed to argue that he is such a fundamental menace to our entire system of governance and standing in the world.

            You’re a cis-het white man, aren’t you. Ask gay men in Indiana about Pence and HIV. He’s a fucking menace to human life, as bad as Trump but toxic with closeted racism and overt Christianist fundamentalist ideology, prepared to undermine the Constitution for the purposes of installing a white Christian theocracy.

            He’s also deeply complicit in whatever has gone on in the Trump White House from day one and just as compromised by whatever forces have subsumed the GOP. He may be harder to beat because the average American hasn’t paid attention much attention to him thanks to Trump’s sick grip on the media cycle.

            • pjb says:

              Come on now. I am hardly expressing support for Mike Pence, a failed governor who was plucked out of political obscurity to a position where he tries to blend in with the furniture and not get the orange idiot mad at him. I take your point about Pence’s toxicity with respect to homophobia and HIV, and perhaps haven’t been sufficiently attentive to his malign actions in that regard. It maybe because I am white (according to some, not according to many others to whom Pence may be a hero) and cis/hetero, but I take a back seat to no one in my worry and revulsion about his brand of political christian fundamentalism.

              Of course, I was speaking in terms of the breakdown of the guardrails of our system of governance and the essentialness of US’s world leadership to which I think Trump is uniquely catastrophic. For instance, I do not think Pence has the force of personality (or even interest) to tear down the post-war architecture that has kept the world safe from world war these past 80 years. I don’t think he views NATO as a protection racket, I don’t think he views Putin, MBS and Erogan as good guys. He’s garden-variety shitty.

              All I am saying is: if your argument is, leave Trump alone, at least he’s not Pence, I disagree strongly.

              • Molly Pitcher says:

                In many ways, Pence is worse than Trump, because he actually BELIEVES the garbage he spews. He believes it deeply in his religious soul, that the rapture is going to come and he and his ilk are the only ones who will be saved.

                There is nothing as dangerous as a religious zealot.

                • Pjb says:

                  You are the moderator so you will have the last word as is your right. But cherry-picking a sentence of mine to make it seem like I’m stanning for Pence and then claim I don’t read you is rich. Whatever. Im a white cis Hetero boomer, so an occasional cheap shot is my price of admission to your great board. And while I am not ascribing this to you, there seem to be a bunch of credulous people on this board who may think Pence is more dangerous to the country than Trump and that is just not a serious position and certainly not what my reading of your posts these many months would lead me to think you share. Take care

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    Pence is more dangerous because he mirrors the extreme right electorate who want nothing more than to have a truly religious leader in the White House to bring about Armageddon.

                    He would gladly unleash a nuclear war to ‘save Jerusalem’ and to allow the Second Coming to occur.

                    There is a reason that all of these extreme ‘Christians’ are willing to pillage the Earth and scoff at the Climate Crisis and the extinction of animals and plants. They don’t think they, the true believers, will be around when the Earth is ruined, because Jesus is going to come and save them.

                    The underpinnings of the GOP is a Doomsday Cult. Think about it. Some of them are referring to Trump as “The Chosen One”. Look at the Messianic fervor of his ‘campaign rallies’. His followers are unhinged, and he is the vessel they have poured their beliefs into.

                    If Trump is taken out, Pence brings them that much closer to their true goal.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      The funny-not-funny part is that what they’re wishing for isn’t even in the bible they claim to read and know. They’re wishing for something that was put together out of Daniel and revelation, both talking about what was going on in the times and places they were written, not written to the US in the 20th century or later. Their much-called-for Rapture is just a fanciful way of getting to their heaven without having to die – I suspect they’re deeply, thoroughly frightened by something that everyone must do – and they’re glorying in the thought of being able to sit on clouds and watch everyone else suffering for not being *just like them*.

                  • Rayne says:

                    I cherrypicked a sentence? This entire graf which includes that sentence is problematic:

                    I also dissent from the view (expressed by someone else), that Pence is as bad as Trump so why impeach? Pence may be loathsome to many of us on policy grounds, but I think really we’d all be hard pressed to argue that he is such a fundamental menace to our entire system of governance and standing in the world. Trump is an existential threat to the US, Pence would be just another shitty President who has the personality of a sanctimonious mannequin and is eminently beatable in Nov. should he decide to run in his own right.

                    We need to impeach Trump. But in no fucking way should we think Pence is not as big a problem as Trump; there’s a reason Manafort picked him to run with Trump after all.

                    Or did you forget that detail?

                    • Cathy says:

                      lol. I pity anyone attempting to find a Rayne sentence that can be taken out of context & used to support a claim that this head is anywhere different than squarely on its shoulders, facing forward, with steely eyes quelling the oncoming barbarian horde.

              • c180tom says:

                I think it’s been pure fortune, notsomuch MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), that has saved us from WWIII for the past 80 years. Please read Ellsberg’s “The Doomsday Machine” and learn the difference between “First Strike” and “First Use.”

                I’m particularly terrified about Obama’s (now Trump’s) “nuclear modernization, which will put variable yield nukes in the hands of battlefield commanders. And the Pentagon wants nukes back on their Tomahawks; https://www.thenation.com/article/inf-treaty-pentagon-nuclear-weapons-russia-china.

                I wonder if Brian Williams would have thought Trump’s Syrian missile strike would have been so “beautiful” if those had been tactical nukes?

                Apologizes if this seems off-topic. I really agree with Marcy’s view on bumping the schedule.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Yep. Pence was too fundie and far right even for conservative Indiana. He would not be better. But the transition would require a lot of effort that’s otherwise going into attacking the Dems, more FedSoc judges, and the dismantling of government.

              • Rayne says:

                Everything a rational president would do as executive is now being done on autopilot with a skeleton crew. The dismantling of government and destruction of a reasonable judiciary would continue apace, only requiring a swap of bodies in the White House — and Pence would be on board with it because that’s what the Trump-Pence ticket promised.

          • taluslope says:

            I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding Pence less harmful than Trump. Yes Pence is awful from our standpoint; he would run a predictably far-right government with a White House that we would all hate.

            However, he is not an existential threat to our democracy. Never in my 60+ years did I ever imagine that the American experiment could end. Now like Greece and Rome before us, perhaps we too fall into the abyss.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          What “independent middle” is that? Ms. Pelosi seems to be holding back, but I question whether going after those mythic undecided voters is why.

        • timbo says:

          So, Terrapin, are you advocating for a longer process like that under Nixon or…? Because Nixon was waaaay more popular than Trump has ever been when the House and Senate began looking into the Watergate burglery… bu then slowly, the drip of revelations eroded support for Nixon until finally Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment in the US Senate following the votes in the House for his impeachment on several different charges. Look it up—you’ll be glad you did.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        “that 2020 is an election year works in the Dems favor, but not if they are inept, which they often are”

        I’m not sure they’re inept, they just aren’t as democratic and liberal as they try to appear. They’re struggling to hold on to the reputation of the party of the people, legislating liberal causes, while trying to also please their .01% donors. So democrats give the impression of meaning well but somehow often shooting themselves in the foot, dang it! when they’re really doing what the wealthy elite want, just less greedily, with bigger crumbs thrown to the peasants.
        It may not be accidental that the dems win the presidency for 8 years only to seemingly “lose” it (have it stolen) over and over. Odd coincidence. Now they have a crazy, treasonous idiot in office and they are “flubbing” the slam-dunk impeachment.

            • RHall says:

              The term “treason” justly makes bmaz furious. I’ve asked about a better term before, and agree that words like “traitorous” or “treacherous” would work better.

              • Rayne says:

                As long as we’re clear that “traitorous” or “treacherous” have no specific legal meaning, just as “collusion” doesn’t.

                • Sonso says:

                  Agreed on its not being legal terminology. There has been much written about how to dumb down the President’s malfeasance so that we can escape the vortex of whatabout-ism. This is why I believe the impeachment inquiries must continue; a narrow impeachment will succumb to the whatabout propaganda, and then we will lose the thread of the ongoing criminality of The Trump-family syndicate.

          • Katherine M Williams says:

            Trump’s refusing aid to an ally of the USA, a serious security risk to us, and probably at the urging of Putin, our country’s enemy: that is treason.

            • Rayne says:

              No, it’s not treason, which has a very specific definition. See 18 USC 2381.

              Trump’s refusal of aid is several different possible criminal violations but it’s not treason if we are not in a formally declared state of war with a clearly identified enemy.

            • bmaz says:

              Katherine, no, it is not. We try to be a bit more accurate and honest than that here. Treason requires an active war, not just a geopolitical adversary.

  9. Angela says:

    In fairness, I recollect that the dems will continue to investigate & draft articles from other committees, whilst the trial for the obstruction + bribery etc for this one play out in the senate.
    So if they let that slide, another will follow.
    Could be wrong but my money is on Pelosi & team.

    • bmaz says:

      No, that is not correct at all. The pertinent committees are, as we speak, formulating their input for HJC’s “articles”. And there is no evidence whatsoever that any more Investigation is being initiated, nor that it would “play out” during any Senate trial. That is the rankest of speculation by talking heads, and has no firm basis whatsoever as to how the iron fist of Pelosi will allow things to occur.

    • OmAli says:

      I am wondering why we should assume (considering what McConnell did about Garland) that we will see anything that even vaguely resembles a trial in the Senate.

  10. Vern says:

    “…they must be theoretically impeached as well through this process…”

    Make them vote, again and again and again. Let’s get everyone, especially the Senate Rs, on the record.

    It’s clear from the recent censure talk that the last thing the Senate Rs want is to be is on the record.

    IMO, June would be good time to hand the impeachment articles and a comprehensively developed record to the Senate. Make them vote or refuse to vote, then hammer them mercilessly in the election. No quarter.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      I love it especially later in the summer.

      Feels like Pelosi is playing not to lose rather than playing to win.

  11. Willis Warren says:

    Without an “active” impeachment inquiry, what happens to Mazars and DB? SCOTUS could easily rule that because there’s no longer an active investigation, the financial records arne’t necessary.

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST

    • Rayne says:

      Ease up, Willis. The argument made by the committee chasing these records is that they have a legitimate legislative need for documentation which will allow them to write legislation to limit conflicts of interests on the part of the executive branch. The documents were NOT requested for the impeachment inquiry.

      The bigger problem is and remains the composition of the existing SCOTUS and whether bought-off jurist(s) will ignore United States v. Nixon and claim the executive has absolute, unqualified immunity from requests for these documents because [insert some bullshit reason only a drunk like Kavanaugh could try to pull off]. Once U.S. v. Nixon is undermined, it doesn’t matter whether the requests+subpoenas are for an impeachment or legislative purposes.

      • bmaz says:

        Bullshit. Legislative purpose doctrine has not succeeded for jack shit. Success finally started coming when it was wrapped into a formal impeachment inquiry. You know, like someone here has been saying for eight months or so.

        And, frankly, being worried about a future SCOTUS is chickenshit. Go with what you have. If you are worried about losing RBG, failing to do everything you can right this second is insane.

        • Rayne says:

          Slow down, dude. I was responding to WW’s argument that the SCOTUS will claim the documents aren’t needed for an impeachment but they weren’t requested for an impeachment. In this case Willis is saying just the opposite of what you’ve been saying, that the impeachment won’t provide adequate reason for the documents.

          If *this* SCOTUS denies the House their request — even though 5 USC 101(a) says “individual shall file a report”, a report which Office of Government Ethics found erroneous, a report which Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen testified before Congress may be fraudulent — they’ll have to come up with a doozy of a rationale for denying Congress its Article I powers to review the effectiveness of its legislation by supporting Trump’s withholding financial documents.

          EDIT: Do you ever recall me saying anything about easing up on winning the 20 GOP senate seats up for re-election? I don’t, and they are key to both preserving RBG’s seat under a Democratic president and reformulating a new SCOTUS including the possible impeachment of Kavanaugh.

  12. jonf says:

    I know this is not the accepted view here but I respectfully disagree. They appear to have a solid case right now and I am afraid that delay is not our friend. I am also conscious that it is not likely to get twenty republican votes no matter what u do. In fact I like it where it is as it says here it is, vote for it or allow history instruct your grandchildren. A delay to early January seems ok to clear up near term possibilities but even that I have fears it gets us nowhere.

    • timbo says:

      Believe it or not, Trump might be forced to resign, much as Nixon had, before it gets down to an actual vote in the Senate. The GOP keeps talking about how invulnerable their majority in the Senate is but that’s just talk. They’re similarly trying to deny the obvious facts of abuse of power as well. Some/many GOP Senators may not want to go on the record to acquit Trump here if the facts become overwhelming.For instance, is there any contention that the President has obstructed a lawful investigation of Congress by his recent acts? Haven’t seen any Senator claiming that that is not an obstruction of Congress— have you?

      • timbo says:

        (Damnit! Why can I sometimes edit something when I post and other times I cannot? In any case, the above post (like several others of recent) are not fully edited prior to being posted.)

        • Cathy says:

          Fear not: *Its* the little humiliations common to all that bring us together as a community. The capricious edit button is our version of the great leveler.

  13. Rayne says:

    Minority report here. I suspect Pelosi has also been worrying about Trump’s health, both physical and mental. His cognitive skills are degrading in front of us and that unscheduled early partial physical (or whatever bullshit his minions want to call it) suggests there is something else going on physically.

    At some point in the recent past Pelosi made some public remark — can’t remember any keywords or I’d try to hunt it down — to the effect that his family needs to step up and do something about him. They clearly haven’t, either too worried if he’s removed they will be vulnerable to prosecution, or exposed to the forces extorting performance from Trump, or they’re just too stupid/too selfishly preoccupied to see Trump is on the verge of catastrophe. Or they are terrified of him and unwilling to risk a blowout caught by media.

    Or family and minions alike believe a publicly-visible implosion will buy them public sympathy and breathing room, salvaging the GOP at the same time while mooting all the effort of an impeachment and subsequent trial.

    If he is degrading quickly and Pelosi knows more than the average Joe Sixpack sees in mainstream media about Trump’s condition, she may feel urgency to complete the impeachment before the implosion. If she doesn’t complete the impeachment before Trump melts down mentally or breaks down physically, the GOP will claim the House Dems have caused his deterioration with a “witch hunt” and any further pursuit of accountability will only torment their poor, old, sick tangerine hellbeast. They would continue to use this going into the 2020 general election to retain their 20 GOP senate seats and Pence as the new upper half of the POTUS slate.

    I would love to know what was said in the closed door Dem caucus meeting yesterday morning before the hearing. The decision may have come then. I’d also love to know what polling looks like in individual House and Senate races.

    • ducktree says:

      Found it for you: https : //www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/nancy-pelosi-trump-intervention-1342283

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for that, exactly what I meant. She was talking about his massive temper tantrum this May, almost 2 months to the day before the quid pro quo phone call with Zelensky.

        Former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch had been recalled from Ukraine 3-4 days before the article you shared. Thanks again.

    • Stephen says:

      You may well be right there. But if his condition is so fragile (and one suspects it is), then nothing would be more likely to precipitate the final crisis (most likely a cerebrovascular accident, I’d guess) than an impeachment trial. Which would, alas, allow the crypto-fascist pseudo-Christian “right” to set him up as a martyr – the Chosen One (subtext: somehow “done in by the Jews”). Still, I don’t see any choice but to proceed. Personally, despite my doubts regarding Speaker Pelosi, I’ll take either the slower steamroller approach or the swift slingstone to the head (with more stones to follow as other evidence adds to the arsenal).

    • 200Toros says:

      ” Trump is on the verge of catastrophe”

      I think there’s real meat here. Tom Joseph on twitter has shown many video clips that are pretty compelling, with slurring, balance problems, and zone-outs. Horrible thing for anyone to go through, but hey, if is has to happen to someone, I can’t think of anyone more deserving.

      Also agree with Stephen below, that if he has been this unhinged during the Investigation, the actual formal Impeachment phase will be likely to send him way, way over the edge. I just can’t imagine that his galaxy-sized ego will be able to take it when it finally sinks in that he is going down in history as one of the select group of presidents to be impeached.

      Lastly, what I am seeing in my workplace is that during these hearings, people are tuning in to whichever media platform will tell them exactly what they want to hear. Which was not so much possible in previous impeachments. Doesn’t seem to be changing anyone’s minds, and I work with ostensibly intelligent people!

      • 200Toros says:

        And I also want to say that I think it is right and proper to carry on with Impeachment even if it doesn’t change a single person’s mind.

        I do wish the Dems had a more effective plan though.

    • bmaz says:

      They will not be completely abandoned, but will still putatively be there in vague and amorphous language. But none of that has really been put out in fact hearings like HPSCI ran. Neither has the emoluments and a host of other things. So, by design, they really do not count at this point, it all centers on the stupid phone call.

      • timbo says:

        Indeed. The whole arc of Trump using the power of the Presidency to avoid any legal consequences for past and current actions hasn’t been fully explored at all here. But we have heard his lawyers attempt to argue them in court now at least a half dozen times. We’ve seen it in the obstruction of the current Congress proceedings. But it would be good to see some more beefs before they finish wrapping the indictment cheeseburgers up.

  14. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Unlike Trump, the Republicans are not a one-trick pony. Witness their collateral attacks on all things Democratic. Food Stamps, for example, designed to reduce hunger among the poor. (In the way of bureaucracies, hunger is now “food insecurity” and food stamps are part of a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is a snap to remember.)

    Following the lead of cruelty mongers like Stephen Miller, Trump plans to cut three million people from access to food stamps. He’s also still arguing to end ACA completely. Merry Christmas.

    Who benefits? The wealthy, who don’t want to pay taxes. Corporations, who want their workers compliant and too exhausted to organize for their betterment. Politicians, who want to send a message, that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and that ignorance and deprivation are strengths. The cruel, who know that the strongest loudest message comes from abusing the weak and most vulnerable.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/12/5/1903481/-Team-Trump-finalizing-new-rule-ending-food-assistance-for-3-million-Americans

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      “Who benefits? The wealthy-”

      It is one more step down the road to a new Feudalism, one all the Oligarchs of the world are aiming for. Aristocrats moving from castle to castle, and peasants chained to one spot forever, with a tiny merchant class; engineers, some scientists, and medical people who actually keep the society functioning, in-between, perhaps.

      • P J Evans says:

        No TV, radios, computers, cars, or airplanes in that world: there won’t be people to build and maintain all that tech. We’d be back to the age of oxcarts and handlooms.

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          The thing is, the wealthy .001% are “not all that smart” (Michelle Obama). Of course they are convinced they are smarter and better than the rest of the people. To them wealth & power = stable genius! They share Trump’s delusion of their innate superiority derived from lots of money. They can’t see the system they are working to create will end in massive world wide disaster for everyone, including themselves. They believe they will end up even richer and more powerful than ever, forever.

  15. Molly Pitcher says:

    The problem I see is not speed but complication. The Mueller investigation and report were not simple enough for the electorate to understand and Mueller spoke in convoluted sentences that allowed the R’s and their media friends to obfuscate.

    As shocking as it is for the people who comment here, the majority of the country have only the vaguest interest or understanding of what Trump has done wrong and what all the fuss is about. Living in the Bay Area, I constantly have to remind myself of this.

    The only hope of winning the electorate’s attention was the Ukrainian issue. It was somewhat easier for the disinterested to grasp that story line, but the swirl of unfamiliar names in a foreign country that most Americans cannot find on a map, nor care about, makes this far less compelling than the plumbers break in.

    And the R’s are masters at confusing the narrative.

    Having spent last week in Nashville, I can attest to the fact that there is a whole lot of ‘what about-ism’ comparing what Biden said to get the corrupt Ukrainian fired by threatening the US aid and what Trump did. For the VAST majority the finer points are completely lost. Unfortunately they all have a vote.

    • bmaz says:

      “People are too stupid, therefore we should not fully protect and defend the Constitution, separation of powers and the power of the Article I purse. People just can’t figure it out, so we have to write off giant chunks of the Constitution and rule of law”. All the while being more concerned about protecting a few “at risk moderate Dems” out of gross, and sheer, political expediency. What complete shit, and abdication of the oath of office.

      That is so beyond pathetic I want to puke on the spot.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        I am not saying I like it, I am saying it is a reality. Of course impeachment must happen. I had hoped it would have happened two years ago. But I do not think that it is going to produce a satisfactory result.

        The Constitution will be defended but the Republicans will not allow Trump to be thrown out of office and they will crow about that all through the election.

        I think there will be only minor gains of D seats in the Senate and I greatly fear that we will be stuck with a Trump presidency that does not have to face re-election. He will be completely unchecked.

        I do not see a single Democratic candidate that can inspire a wide enough variety of voters to defeat the Electoral College.

        • bmaz says:

          No. If the main, if not sole, focus is on this one call and “Ukraine”, that is most certainly NOT “defending the Constitution”. In fact it is burning it for sheer and gross expediency. And it is a dereliction of duty.

          • Troutwaxer says:

            I think you’re right in terms of both morality and strategy. There should be a number of “themes” to impeachment, each one dealing with a real issue, (that’s the moral side of things) and each one also intended to involve a constituency. For example, the people concerned with military credibility are naturals to be concerned with abandoning the Kurds. People interested in intelligence are naturals for the Mueller report. Etc. So take it slow, find 4-6 themes upon which to impeach, and keep the stuff on TV for the rest of the year.

            The only argument I can see for a quick impeachment is the idea that it might inspire someone important to run against Trump in the Republican primaries.

            • bmaz says:

              Even into the spring and summer. There does not ever have to be Senate trial. Just use the impeachment power to keep digging and exposing. The House Dems are on a collision course to waive and abandon it.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                In effect, they could frame the hearings as if they were holding a trial in the House. That would allow them to present witnesses and facts McConnell would try to avoid. The fact picture would be fuller, the conclusions harder. It would take more effort for the GOP to counter or avoid them.

              • Justlp says:

                An approach I hadn’t considered before, but what a great idea! Especially as I’m watching Lawrence O’Donnell & Robert Reich discuss how Moscow Mitch could make the rules for the Senate trial to his own liking without any Dems input. That’s a frightening thought.

                It would also let the Senators running for President keep their ground game going without having to take time off for a pointless trial.

              • Troutwaxer says:

                Agreed, and don’t worry if Trump is “hounded out of office” and resigns or has medical issues, and make it a point to put the trial in front of the Senate about two minutes after the end of the Republican National Convention. I’m really tired of Democrats who want to be seen as “playing nice.”

                Don’t fucking play nice. Play as rough as you possibly can!

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          The mainstream media could have reported on and easily explained the main points of the Mueller Report. It was detailed, but wasn’t all that complicated.

          The sum up: Tho there was plenty of evidence of collusion, Mueller could not *prove* Trump colluded with Russia because Trump obstructed the investigation on at least 10 separate occasions.

          In no way are these facts “too complicated” for the average American to grasp.

    • BobCon says:

      There are two problems I have with impeachment-lite. One is that the general objections to a lengthy effort are true for a short one. Democratic leadership is mistaken if they think the GOP will act any less persecuted with a narrow list of offenses — in fact, their game plan would be the same if the House had done nothing at all.

      The other is the assumption that Trump does no new offenses and no past offenses emerge. I think that is a bad bet, and it leaves the Democrats open to nagging questions why they didn’t try harder, and throws a wrench in any future efforts to rein him in.

    • Desider says:

      Good points both you and Rayne. The calculus on timing seems quite complicated, esp. with a GOP that’s talented at delay and moving the Overton Window. Even something as simple as Xmas plays a role – push timing so the public will discuss at home, or risk the post-New Year’s doldrums? Is Pelosi serious about the timing or is it a head fake? I’m still giving her the benefit of the doubt – she’s proven more steadfast and on message than most – persuade the public, that’s the only way. Mitch controls the Senate, but the public (short of Russia) controls the Senate’s future. And yes, impeach Trump twice, thrice… When taxes get revealed, when Y happens… Didn’t take that long this time once there was a clear rallying point for promo purposes (not just a legal game).

  16. BobCon says:

    The one factor that I am a little sympathetic to is wanting to time the Senate trial so that it doesn’t tie up Senate Democrats running for president at key moments in the primary season.

    However, that is not sufficient reason, in my opinion, for jumping the gun or dropping productive lines of investigation. Better to let this run out until well into the spring and do it right, then to hand Trump and the GOP unearned opportunities to claim they beat the rap due to fake deadlines.

    • pjb says:

      I thought about that but don’t you think that taking account of the Senators running for President actually argues for not holding a Senate trial (if at all, frankly) until after there is a presumptive nominee (or at least the Senators are out of it?) That would be late Spring or Summer. SCOTUS term ends in June so that might dovetail nicely.

  17. David B Morris says:

    Josh Marshall is correct. Strike while the iron is burning hot RIGHT NOW!
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-right-decision-is-to-move-ahead-now

    “The first and most important reason is that the evidence is already overwhelming. Even with minor discrepancies between the testimonies and some witnesses soft-pedaling or cushioning their answers, we know that the President repeatedly demanded that a foreign government intervene in a US election on his behalf. The verbiage about investigations and dirt just confuses the issue since the goal and the ask was not to find real information, let along conduct a credible probe. It was to inflict damage a political rival. Even if Trump had never withheld a meeting or military aide this would be open and shut an impeachable offense. The fact that he straightforwardly used extortion or bribery (depending on how you want to look at it) to do so only compounds the offense.

    We have numerous witnesses explaining the demands. We have timelines of when the key events occurred. We have the President’s own words – literally – making the demands directly the foreign leader. It is impossible to look at the available evidence and not conclude that the President decided to use his presidential powers to coerce a vulnerable foreign head of state into intervening in the election on his personal behalf. There is not the remotest chance the effort was the work of rogue officials. Again, we have the President’s own words! Nor is there any question that the President knew it was wrong. Doing it covertly at the time and stonewalling investigations after the fact makes that crystal clear.
    […]
    Here’s why it doesn’t make sense to wait. Going back for yet more evidence grants the specious premise that the case hasn’t already been made. Indeed, it concedes the bogus premise that there is anything the President’s supporters would accept as proof.”

    • bmaz says:

      What “case” is that David and Josh? The one little pissant phone call that the entire Ukraine case is centered on? While there is tons of evidence “not” locked down on even that, you and Josh think it is so overwhelming that the House ought to cut bait and run for the hills with their maybe proved “case” on one of the instances of malfeasance that is arguably not even in the top five for Trump?

      That’s swell. And, also, glad to hear how willing to shine on and ratify every other instance and category of criminality, malfeasance and burning of the Constitution because you have happy leg over this one.

      • BobCon says:

        I think the huge risk of a narrow focus is that multiple lines of attack a Democratic candidate can make next year will be made moot. Trump can respond to claims of abuse of power, tax fraud, emoluments, everything else by asking — why didn’t the Democrats charge it? Why didn’t they get any evidence?

        Offering as an excuse fear of the Supreme Court doesn’t help their political case. Offering narrow legal or political reasons for avoiding the fight doesn’t either.

        What they will be doing is giving Trump the gift of almost ten months to crow about taking the best the Democrats could throw at him and shrugging it off like it was nothing.

        Unfortunately, the box Pelosi has constructed makes it much harder for any Democrat to run on much of Trump’s record. She really owes it to the candidates to let the nominee have more input.

    • TBurgler says:

      >”Going back for yet more evidence grants the specious premise that the case hasn’t already been made. Indeed, it concedes the bogus premise that there is anything the President’s supporters would accept as proof.”

      Odd that Josh didn’t make that argument after the Mueller report came out. I suspect that’s because a good deal of his analyses are poll-driven. He didn’t see numbers he liked then and he’s afraid of losing the numbers he likes now.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The specious case is that the Dems need only present hard evidence to an anonymous jury before a qualified disinterested judge, and bob’s your uncle.

        This case needs to be made before both the Gohmerts and Gaetzes and the Grahams and McConnells. They won’t be persuaded – they’ve made their bed – but a few citizens might be. More importantly, those willing to be persuaded can feel confidence and then outrage. It might get them to organize, vote, and help others to do the same and vote the bastards out of office.

        You can be damn sure the Republicans are thinking about those and many other collateral issues. And that’s before you get to the outrageous shit Trump and Faux Noise have in mind.

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          The dems need to accept that the republican senate won’t convict Trump, and therefore make the most of the impeachment investigation process, as the republicans themselves have done with so many situations (Benghazi, emails, Whitewater etc.).

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The evidence of a single impeachable offense is persuasive. Will there be others, obstruction, for example?

      In context, it’s like stepping over bodies and mountains of illegal booze to get Capone on a simple assault charge. It is too easily dismissed by those who refuse to see, especially if the GOP has a year to run its noise machine.

  18. Yogarhythms says:

    Ew,
    Warp speed compulsive rage tweets syncopation of Ms P’s rhythmic timeline. The evidence “abuse of office”. a high crime is clear. “Obstruction of justice”; executive branch stonewall of legislative subpoena, is clear.
    WH spox tweet not in person reply is clear. Impeachment is coming. judicial branch stay’s are both delaying and unknowable. Downbeat rhythmic timeline is now.

  19. drouse says:

    Then again, right now the news cycle is working in our favor for once. None of the major news(outside of the Fox bubble)has been kind to Trump. Take Rudy for example. It’s not entirely sane for him for him to be doing what he’s doing, but there he is. Reporters have to smell the blood in the water. I think a journalist’s most cherished wish is to have the fame/infamy to have broken the story that brought down a President. It’s what they were hoping for with Hillary.

    • BobCon says:

      I can guarantee that without the House feeding the cycle, it will fade. Trump will be selling the story all through the election how he won, and horse race journalists will run with it.

      The House Ways and Means Committee appears to be sitting on the IRS whistleblower’s complaint. Whistleblowers and potential sources for new stories are going to ask themselves why step forward?

      • drouse says:

        Maybe from the access journalists. The perils of Rudy isn’t being driven by the hearings. It’s because he’s connected at the hip with a couple indicted fraudsters and his own bizarre behavior.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I can guarantee that without the House feeding the [news] cycle, it will fade. Trump will be selling the story all through the election how he won, and horse race journalists will run with it.

        Yep, pretty much.

        In a propaganda war, the odds are on the GOPers. It’s a collateral reason why the Dems should do more now, instead of declaring a moral victory and (apparently) quitting the field. It’s not as if Moscow Mitch will let any Democratic-sponsored bills through the Senate, or that the Don would sign them.

        • BobCon says:

          It’s also possible McConnell will sense the House’s apparant desperation to make deals and wins ugly concessions. That’s what happened wih the debt ceiling extension, and may well happen with the USMCA trade package.

    • Jplm says:

      I concur that Rudy is a real fly in the ointment. In what capacity he has been acting as is now being examined but all that evidence he keeps waving in front of the camera must be making a few of those fried chicken addled arteries choke. Whatever capacity Rudy was acting in there’s evidence there aka his ‘insurance’. Unlike Michael Cohen, who had no reason to fear that Trump would not rescue him, Rudy has probably covered himself. After all he doesn’t want to spend any time in the slammer.
      The arrest of Rudy and what comes the the fore may be a tipping point as its likely to tie in Trump and Pompeo and potentially a number of the extras. It seems to me that they will try to paint Rudy as the fall guy but fingers crossed he’s been smarter than Michael Cohen in ensuring he has a ‘get out of jail’ card.
      Not sure what I make of Pelosi, but most of the politicians I work for are outcome driven and not process orientated and that must be a source of frustration for the legal minds. It took a long time to pin Nixon down and with the teenage pop fan lovesick partisanship being shown by many Republicans it’s unlikely they will be swayed by what’s currently on offer. Trump has certainly put the rope around his neck but there are not enough people ready to kick the chair away yet. Given the public awareness the more that can be piled on over the next few months will ensure the independent/undecided voters will be very unlikely to support Trump.

        • P J Evans says:

          I have trouble even imagining that kind of income. (My base pay was about 55K, 35K after taxes and deductions. And it was usually more than enough to live on.)

        • pjb says:

          He could switch to Dominican cigars. They’re nearly as good as Cubans. Then maybe he wouldn’t be forced to crime so much.

  20. Mister Sterling says:

    The investigation can continue. But the articles are in the oven. Let’s get the vote done by December 23. Listen, there are going to be new developments in this investigation for years. It all started in late 2016 with Mike Flynn. This is all the same story. We’re going to be leaving of new Trump crimes after Trump is dead. Fucking impeach right fucking now. Fire up the coffee maker and get this done we can all let it sink in that our man from Queens shares the mantle with Nixon and Bush 43 as the worst presidents ever.

    • bmaz says:

      How benevolent of you to sanction. Yes yes, let’s just wrap this shit up with a tidy little craven bow for Christmas on one of the weakest counts possible and pretend like nothing else matters.

      That will sure show Trump! Well done!

      Hell, they do not even have all the facts on that one pathetic count, but WEEEEEEEEE! let’s get er done by Christmas! What a joke.

      • Mister Sterling says:

        You (and I) forget. if Pelosi doesn’t put her foot on the gas, she risks losing some Democrats from pink and red districts. She needs her flock to be all-in, right now. If this drags, some Democrats will get cold feet. And I think the argument that Trump actively committed the same crime Mueller tried but failed to prove, makes a compelling case for the history books. The reason this is moving quickly is because of how shocking it is. Several people heard that July 25 phone call and thought they heard a crime being committed. The Senate won’t convict him. We know this. Waiting to build a stronger case won’t matter. But the phone records, SMS messages, and the words directly from Mulvaney and Trump make the case already. The first article is done. And in fact, the Democrats should copy precisely what is here:

        https://newrepublic.com/article/155643/trump-articles-of-impeachment-high-crimes

        • P J Evans says:

          Those are the Ds who aren’t interested now. They’re the ones who say things like “we should investigate interference by Ukraine” when there is ZERO evidence that they interfered. They’re Cuellar and Lipinski and Van Drew and Gabbard.

        • Katherine M Williams says:

          Pelosi&Co. should stop worrying about people who probably won’t vote democratic anyway. Concentrate on the American people who support liberal democratic policies, hate republican criminality and treason, and stop kowtowing to the D party’s wealthy donors who are only interested in getting richer.

      • Hatmama says:

        Like I said, be slow and meticulous, build the case, be relentless. Who cares if the GOP is nervous. Keep going.

  21. Molly Pitcher says:

    Today on “Fresh Air”, Terry Gross interviews Simon Shuster (not a joke, real name) who is a reporter for Time. Her interview covers all of what is going on in Ukraine and all of the shady individuals the Trumpers have been dealing with and background on Burisma and the oligarchs . He absolutely flames Guiliani, Toensing, et al.

    I am sure that it will be available on her website, or NPR’s website today or tomorrow. Well worth the listen.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Shoot, meant to say that the interview takes place with him in Ukraine, doing his own investigations.

      I really miss the edit button.

      • David B Pittard says:

        I listened to it and at 24 minutes in, focusing on Firtash, it begin to curdle my blood – the indications are that we have been exposing the tip of the iceburg. If the Barr controlled DOJ refuses to make a deal with Parnash, I don’t see him testifying to a committee.

        Regarding whether there will be any further investigations, Schiff has specifically said that the intel committee is continuing with investigations.

        Not that this makes me an advocate for early narrow or later more comprehensive – I very much appreciate the arguments (not including overly admiring and trusting her skills or ad hominem attacks on her) for contrary positions and perhaps there are reasons that might make a difference that are not public . . . I’m sure most of those who appreciate this site, as I do, are more up on the intricacies as am I. The complicated circumstances are evident in the differences of opinion in this blog.

        Perhaps there is no certainly correct thing to do. I don’t have to think Pelosi is making the best moves to believe she is aware of the complications that make her decisions and the timing difficult.

        Re Pence and his fatal flaws, they certainly make him unacceptable, but they don’t include the sudden and irrational actions Trump exhibits routinely such as jacking up the charges to Japan and South Korea for our troops stationed there, cancelling joint military exercises on the fly, jerking troops in Syria out of the way of the Turks who can then attack the Kurds, and many others. And he lacks the skills that Trump has to command the loyalty of the mass of dimwits.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          So glad that someone else listened to this. I think that the reporter has done considerable legwork to come to the conclusions he has.

          I agree with you, we are only seeing a small part of what is going on.

        • jplm says:

          Finally got around to listening to this. Firtash must be sitting pretty, Those who he had engaged to fight his extradition and associated charges now find themselves being investigated. Firstash now has bargaining chips with his would be prosecutors.

  22. Bri2k says:

    I’m somewhat relieved I’m not the only thinking this ‘fast track’ process is screwing the pooch. I wish it were happening differently. It’s not the House causing all the delaying actions so they can rightfully sit back and let a few things play out in the meantime without it costing them anything politically.

    I can’t help but think how different this ‘narrow focus’ impeachment is to how the law just loves to pile charges on top of charges for the average (or less than average) person.

    This culture of kicking down has to end. It’s easy to hit low, very difficult indeed to hit the heights.

  23. OldTulsaDude says:

    Vincent Bugliosi wrote in one of his books (Outrage, I think) that a prosecutor should present all his evidence. I fear a quick and overly-narrow impeachment process will be a similar mistake and a similar outrage.

  24. MattyG says:

    The unredacted Mueller Report, the Grand Jury records, Helsinki, the cases of conspiracy not completed because Barr absurdly insists in his executive summary with no historic citation or analysis that a sitting president can’t be indicted so these cases essentially can’t be charged. The tonic note in the articles of impeachment must be clearly founded on DTs most heinous crime – making common cause with a foreign power actively working to alter the outcome of a US election.

  25. BobPDX says:

    I’ve read the words “undecided voters” a few times in this thread (great comments btw)
    but have to wonder if there really are any people out there that can’t form an opinion based on what they’ve seen so far?

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      I’m thinking of a couple of my friends who say “Oh it’s only politics! So boring!” or “There’s noting anyone can do! I don’t vote because it’s all Rigged!” and “They’re all the same!”

      They won’t listen, they don’t care, because it doesn’t affect them directly (or so they think). As well as mostly indifferent, they feel powerless, apathetic. And politicians like Pelosi give them reason to feel they don’t matter. She’ll do whatever SHE thinks is best; she’s Speaker s because, mostly: she raises lots of money for the D party.

  26. vertalio says:

    Doesn’t the whole thing need to be timed in order to best feed social media with a narrative that can counter the massive misinformation headed our way as November approaches? The shit tsunami? That too argues for patience.

    I doubt Pelosi or the House Dem leadership is holding that in mind; but it seems to me it’s at least as important to capture the Senate as to deny Trump a second term. Along with, oh, upholding the tenets of the Constitution.

  27. Savage Librarian says:

    In the Dec. 4 Judiciary hearing, Prof. Feldman calmly called out the Republicans for trying to bury another fact. They keep the focus on Ukraine for their own advantage. Thus, it is widely accepted that Ukraine is the sole victim. But Prof. Feldman astutely and accurately redirected the conversation back to the Constitution where it belongs.

    He intently and urgently reminded everyone that the forgotten victims are the American people. This has been so under emphasized. This POTUS and his enablers have victimized the American people in a kind of mind genocide, while ravaging the Constitution.

    In the absence of knowing any compelling reason not to, I am fine with accumulating articles of impeachment and then keeping them in the House while investigations continue. No doubt there will be plenty to add and a more fortuitous time to send them along to the Senate, when or if necessary. The House needs to use the tools the founders provided us in the wisest way possible, so the tyranny of the wise-guys can be halted.

    • Cathy says:

      “The House needs to use the tools the founders provided us in the wisest way possible, so the tyranny of the wise-guys can be halted. (@SL)”

      Aye. May we know the consequences of our actions and the fortitude to act accordingly.

  28. harpie says:

    THIS is happening to PAM KARLAN and colleagues right now: [via southpaw]

    https://twitter.com/sivavaid/status/1202616077064097792
    7:49 AM – 5 Dec 2019

    Stanford Law professors are being barraged by messages demanding that Professor Karlan be fired or the school be shut down because she did something horrible to a child.
    Seriously. That’s where we are in this country right now.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Donald Trump’s DHS does it as a matter of policy. A sixteen-year old child died in ICE custody. He was seriously ill with the flu. He was seen by a nurse practitioner, who issued instructions for prompt follow-up care. Never happened.

      He was confined to a cell, wasn’t treated, wasn’t released, and wasn’t found until his cellmate complained to the guards. At best, DHS operates with reckless disregard for those for whom it is legally responsible.

      https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-the-cell-where-a-sick-16-year-old-boy-died-in-border-patrol-care

      The fake controversy about Baron Barron Trump has nothing to do with Ms. Karlan and everything to do with Donald Trump.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        His name was Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez. He came from Guatemala. He died May 20, 2019, in Texas.

      • P J Evans says:

        Trmp has referred to Barron as Melania’s son. To me, that’s far worse than anything Prof. Karlan said.

        • elk_l says:

          Trump did say “She’s got a son………together.” Are you implying he may not have covered all the necessary tracks and potholes with his almost quick and almost clever repair?

  29. CD54 says:

    @bmaz at 2:07 pm

    . . . “Success finally started coming when it was wrapped into a formal impeachment inquiry. You know, like someone here has been saying for eight months or so.”

    I agree, however, you have also been declaring that impeachment = the “golden key” in Willy Wonka terms for all of those eight months. That hasn’t happened, has it?

    I concede that it just reinforces your position re: starting earlier and going heavier, but I think you need to acknowledge that your “golden key” was kneecapped by politics and GOP cretinous bad faith — including the DOJ in which you have expressed repeated admiration.

    I would like to see your first dated comment which reflects your recognition of this GOP bad faith and whether it was at the beginning, all those eight months ago.

    • bmaz says:

      Um, yes it actually has. There has been a formal impeachment inquiry open for only about sixty days, and what do you know, the court victories have started piling up. So, yeah, I would say that part holds up pretty well too.

  30. earlofhuntingdon says:

    [B]y rushing impeachment, and focusing it so narrowly on only one of the president’s innumerable misdeeds, Pelosi may be making a grave political miscalculation.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Pelosi’s motivations appear to be political: fearful of losing her majority and fiercely protective of the more conservative members of her caucus, she has directed the impeachment proceeding to be as small, focused and palatable as possible, so as to placate moderate suburban voters and not to force her conservative members to take many difficult votes.

    I think this assessment of her motivations is correct, if incomplete. It does not address, for example, the apparent conservatism of her largest donors, or why she should so “fiercely” protect conservative Democrats at the expense of her important and dynamic progressive wing.

    In the admittedly warped logic of American political messaging, to impeach Trump for only one of his myriad violations of ethics and law is to imply that all the rest of his behavior is acceptable.

    Trump will undoubtedly tweet up a storm over this for months, while denying that he has ever done anything wrong. The endless repetition will make its mark.

    The narrow impeachment inquiry, then, risks dangerously lowering the standards for future presidential conduct, and setting a precedent that Trump-style criminality and self-dealing are privileges of the office. The prospect of impeaching Trump for all of his impeachable misdeeds is daunting, simply because there are so many of them. But his misconduct cannot be ignored simply for the sake of political convenience.

    The Dems might think they are above such things or that they will never come to pass. That does not jive with history. Presidents do not give up power acquired by their predecessors. They keep it and, if necessary, build a better foundation to house it.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/06/nancy-pelosi-impeachment-inquiry-trump

    • orionATL says:

      earl of h writes:

      “I think this assessment of her motivations is correct, if incomplete. It does not address, for example, the apparent conservatism of her largest donors, or why she should so “fiercely” protect conservative Democrats at the expense of her important and dynamic progressive wing…”

      good grief. how hard is this to understand?

      there were knuckleheads, prominent ones here at ew, who could not understand why speaker pelosi would not undertake votes on impeachment, when her “caucus”, her group of democrats taken altogether, were split with only a minority supporting impeachment and a strong majority refusing to support at the time. it’s the numbers … politicians are supposed to be able to count votes.

      over time, and especially as the ukraine affair arose, dem congresscritters began to look more accepting at an impeachment inquiry and pelosi, good political leader that she is, moved with her group and eventually supported impeachment. she then took the critical step of leaving the initial house inquiry up to the very competent schiff rather than to the bumbling judiciary chair, nadler.

      as for this:

      “…The Dems might think they are above such things or that they will never come to pass. That does not jive with history. Presidents do not give up power acquired by their predecessors. They keep it and, if necessary, build a better foundation to house it…”

      you may have read that pelosi is credited with this bit of realpolitik wisdom which could have come from the pen of niccolo machiavelli, “power is never given; it is only taken”.

      • bmaz says:

        This is complete and total garbage. The “knuckleheads” here said it was a violation of her oath of office not to protect and defend the Constitution, and that opening an impeachment inquiry was necessary even for simply litigating Congressional oversight matters in the face of complete obstruction that violated the Constitution and Separation of Powers.

        And that position was completely correct. As even Pelosi’s own words now demonstrate. That she had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, to do her duty, against (still) her will, does not make Pelosi some fucking genius or saint. And her “wisdom” was to shit on and abandon the Constitution and her oath out of sheer political fear and expediency.

        “Democratic Congresscritters” could have been brought to the vote at any second Pelosi so ordered. She controls the caucus and their ability to get re-elected.

        To quote you: “How hard is this to understand”.

        PS: Despite her soaring rhetoric, Pelosi is still procedurally screwing this pooch. So, please, spare me.

        • orionATL says:

          some many for impeachment, so many against impeachment.

          neither position could muster enough votes to carry a motion to impeach or not.

          how come you keep denying this simple reality, bmaz.

          once the ukraine affair broke, the pro impeachment group grew large enough to support an impeachment effort.

          at that point pelosi shifted to support for an impeachment inquiry.

          what is so hard to understand (or, really, at this point to admit) about this 😉.

  31. ernesto1581 says:

    I’m thinking about this clause in Art II, Sec 2:

    “…and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

    I would assume this refers to a House vote to impeach having taken place, and not a trial in the Senate having found against the President, yes?

    Which would seem to preclude whoever follows this creep from issuing Trump a pardon of any kind as he leaves the building. Or would it apply only to a pardon of actions specifically related to impeachment articles…?

    If Nixon had not been convinced by Wm Cohen and others to resign before the House vote wouldn’t Ford’s hands have been tied in regard to a pardon?

    Perhaps another aspect of Pelosi’s sudden headlong rush to a vote might include a concern on her part that Trump might bail before he would become pardon-proof.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The pardon power and the impeachment process – House impeachment and Senate trial – run along parallel tracks.

      A presidential pardon reaches only federal crimes. The impeachment process is civil – its consequence is removal from federal office. And as you point out, the impeachment process is explicitly outside the scope of the pardon power.

      As president, Ford had the power to pardon Nixon at any time, regardless of the timing of his resignation. Ford issued his pardon almost immediately, which foreclosed further investigation. That suggests it was part of a deal for Nixon’s resignation, but the connection is officially denied.

      • bmaz says:

        And that is part and parcel of the issues raised in the NYT piece. It starts to get into very hazy gray areas that I don’t know if anybody really knows. What I do know is that no SCOTUS, even this one, wants to ever address this.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Ernesto said, “. . . a concern on [Pelosi’s] part that Trump might bail before he would become pardon-proof.”

      If Trump were concerned that he might become ineligible for receiving a pardon once he had been impeached, then Trump would not have hesitated but to grant himself a pardon before he had been rendered ineligible to receive a pardon from his successor.

      The question, then, would become how, and for how long, could Trump keep his self-pardon a secret–assuming that a presidential self-pardon would be yet another impeachable offense?

      • Mitch Neher says:

        On second thought, would a presidential self-pardon be an indictable offense?

        If so, then Trump would not do it. Or would he?

  32. Vicks says:

    If you don’t mind taking it back to basics?
    Many of the things that people are giving examples of would require slowing things down, seem to be criminal acts.
    Congress has Trump right here, right now, with a smoking gun that shows political crimes against our country and a president that is clearly a menace to our national security.
    Won’t the wheels of justice continue to turn on items like tax fraud, campaign fraud, money laundering, and god knows what other examples of corruption during the impeachment process and most likely for a long time afterwards?
    Trump continues to build his power at the expense of the country, almost by the minute.
    Why are we arguing about who does the investigating (and who gets the credit) for these other issues at the expense of immediately dealing with the urgent issue that Trump is in the process of cheating his way into 4 more years?

  33. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Wags used to say that no one in Hong Kong traded stock unless they had [normally illegal] insider information.

    By analogy, this White House is uninterested in governing unless it has a conflict of interest. Trump can’t be bothered if he or his family can’t make money out of it. To wit, Trump makes the unqualified Jared chief negotiator for the stalled US-China trade talks. Ivanka’s Chinese trademarks just went up in value.

    https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/jared-kushner-trumps-son-in-law-takes-bigger-role-in-china-trade-talks

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Now we have to do the head-scratching on Jared, Ivanka and Trump’s financial prospects vis-à-vis the great border wall.

      It could become a tourist attraction. But I’m not sure that there’s quite enough water there for golf courses.

  34. BobCon says:

    One good counterexample is the whistleblower who went to the House Ways and Means Committee with evidence of political interference in a Trump tax audit.

    Regular investigations are being smothered and the proper remedy is agressive investigation with the full force of the impeachment process.

    Except the House leadership is far too risk averse to use that power As a result it is enabling GOP efforts to break institutions that would normally be carrying out investigations.

    Government institutions will bow to the power of the authoritarians if Congress does not use its power to defend the rule of law. We would know almost nothing of Ukraine without Schiff forcing the issue, and there is a ton more that is being buried because the House leadership is far too reluctant to dig.

  35. orionATL says:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/12/06/dontmesswithnancy-nancy-pelosi-james-rosen-sinclair-broadcasting-hashtag-stephen-colbert/

    one of the most serious problems the democrats have faced in the trump era and, alas, will continue to face this coming year, is the lack of notable nationally recognized spokespersons. the only nationally recognized such figure at the moment is nancy pelosi, though adam schiff is becoming more widely recognized. speaker pelosi is also an appealing figure of leadership to many women whose willingness to vote in large number for democrats will be critical to democratic party success in nov, 2020 as it was in 2018.

    given pelosi’s importance as the party’s lone nationally-known spokesperson and as an appealing leadership figure to some women, one might expect Pelosi to be treated with a bit more respect, but that is not the case at emptywheel.

    the most able speaker of the house the democrats and the house of representatives as an institution has had in decades is treated at emptywheel as a bumbling incompetent of questionable good faith by the majority of commenters. and so we are back to 2016 where the truly, truly knowledgeable, the cognoscenti, understand that the (as it happens) woman in the major democratic leadership position is unfit for the job.

    • bmaz says:

      I admire and respect Nancy Pelosi immensely, and have for a very long time. She still deserves that. But that does not make her immune from criticism where it is warranted.

      Pelosi has screwed the pooch, been tentative and, frankly, derelict, in dealing with Trump head on as he has deserved since long before she retook the gavel. That is squarely on her, and I will not cheerlead that most recent part of her record.

      Take a look at her words and phrasing now. It is exactly the urgency and basis I, and many others here, have urged for 6-8 months. She suddenly has discovered the “oath of office” and “duty to Constitution” and “Rule of Law”. You know, the things that have been said here since 6-8 months ago, as you duly note.

      No, she does not get a pass on her lack of action until recently, and she does not get a pass for trying to choke off the scope of inquiry and rushing it through prematurely. Nope.

      Pelosi is tough and can stand on her own, as she ably showed yesterday. But our Constitution deserves more than slavish cultism to a leader. I would have thought the acts of the GOP as to Trump would have demonstrated that.

      • orionATL says:

        i have to say, bmaz, this is a very articulate, forceful comment and rebuttal. it contains specifics to support your general claims about pelosi.

        you are wrong in your central conceit however, just as some nytime’s reporters and their editors are wrong in their efforts to write HISTORY rather than merely report current and past events, at each change in events at a given time – think calculus and the infinite moments of change in a curve.

        with this insight in mind, the way your sentences would be written were they to accurately reflect your actual knowledge would be:

        “… Pelosi [may have] screwed the pooch, been tentative and, frankly, [may have been] derelict, in dealing with Trump head on as he has deserved since long before she retook the gavel. That [may be] squarely on her, and I will not cheerlead that most recent part of her record…”

        you will know the answer when the next year of history has occurred and is then behind us,

        • Cathy says:

          Interesting to critique someone else’s writing style as too assertive when scant two hours earlier you chose to paint the site participants with a spray can:

          “…one might expect Pelosi to be treated with a bit more respect, but that is not the case at emptywheel (@orionATL).”

          Apologies, that may not reflect your intended effect. It is just what I grasped from this statement as written.

          • orionATL says:

            cathy –

            your writing is overwrought 🤣🤣.

            it would take a sloppy thinker or a propagandist to characterize a sentence using tentative words like “might” and “a bit more” as “spray painting”.

            [“…one might expect Pelosi to be treated with a bit more respect, but that is not the case at emptywheel (@orionATL).”]

            is english your native language?

            further, my comment to bmaz had nothing to do with his being too assertive. the issue was not knowing the future but writing as if he did.

            • bmaz says:

              Maybe, but I know the past, was correct to start with about the derelict dithering, and the past is prologue. So we shall see.

              • orionATL says:

                cathy –

                “Ahh. Then not your intent at all. My commiseration for your word choice.”

                “commiseration” is not the proper word here either unless used sarcastically.

                and if your speaking to me rather than bmaz, don’t bother.

                at least until you can think clearer.

        • timbo says:

          Pelosi has let our Republic slide further than it should have. In fact, the DP is more of a money making machine for electioneers, more dependent on big donors than ever before. Part of the problem is the Citizens United ruling… but we haven’t heard much support for overturning that from the DP over the past decade, frankly.l

          Let’s look at some of the pressure that Pelosi has not put on the GOP. Pelosi is not able to hit the GOP with the truth very hard. She has shied away from conflict with the GOP—why? Has this given her much political payoffs over the past two decades that we, the people, actually substantially benefit from? It has not. The rot in the Republic has grown during her tenure. Democracy has dimmed, not grown more robust during that time.

          And this current impeachment process is part of that. Pelosi made no moves to begin impeachment proceedings until her own party’s candidate(s) were threatened (again) by Trump. To her, it was apparently too hard to go after Trump for lying to Federal investigators, too hard to hold Trump’s feet to the fire to, frankly, lying constantly to the American public. Obstruction of justice was too hard to explain, even though the President’s 2016 campaign and subsequent criminal convictions by significant numbers of his supporters occurred, despite the President’s attempts to thwart the law and support his cronyist regime.

          The President and his co-conspirators have been not honoring House subpeonas for a long time now. And, as bmaz points out, her attempt her is not well considered. In fact, Pelosi seems more reactive than prescient with what is politically best for cleaning up our political system. She seems to work tactically all the time while assuming the conservative mantle of this being somehow strategically wise. In this, she is much better than Trump but that’s not hard to seem given how poor the two party leadership in this country already is.

          • orionATL says:

            timbo –

            “… Pelosi has let our Republic slide further than it should have.”

            this is a truly foolish – inane seems more appropriate – statement in the face of a trump presidency and the depredations trump is throttling the nation with. and it is yet another example of idiot democrats holding a democrat they don’t like (clinton was treated this way) responsible for corporate and Republican selfishness and disinterest in the concept of the public good.

            “the rot has grown during her [pelosi’s] tenure”.

            really? exactly what is meant by pelosi’s “tenure”? and just why would she alone be responsible for this circumstance. you do know that there have bern Republican speakers of the house, right?

            “And this current impeachment process is part of that. Pelosi made no moves to begin impeachment proceedings until her own party’s candidate(s) were threatened (again) by Trump…”

            this is flagrantly inaccurate. pelosi agreed to an impeachment investigation only after sufficient numbers of democratic reps agreed that proceeding with an impeachment effort was justified.

            • orionATL says:

              if you start using dumbassed political pejoratives to label folks who look at things analytically rather than hewing to the current mass hysteria at, say, emptywheel, you’ve moved into the column of the dumbassed true believers – and you’re lost.

              my personal observation is that folks who actually work for the benefit of the political system from a democratic leaning rarely bother with identifying themselves or others by political labels.

              the folks most active at political labeling but least successful in the current political climate happen to throw around the worn pejoratives like “centrist”, and”neoliberal”, among others.

              i cannot emphasize just how impressed i am that the dem workers in the field are focused on matters like voter registration and vote suppression and almost never bother to engage in labeling of any kind. they happen also to be focused on the behavior of the republican party, not that of their fellow dems.

                  • Molly Pitcher says:

                    orionATL-

                    I would suggest you try a dictionary.

                    If I knew if you were a man I would have accused you of ‘mansplaining’.

                    Since I don’t, I chose to use the word ‘pedantic’ to cover that fact that you are tediously and self-importantly lecturing from an unwarranted position of superiority.

                • orionATL says:

                  i apologize, pj.

                  this did not sound like you at all and I should have trusted my instincts on that. you are too level-headed to get into name calling.

                  i got turned around by the spacing and my temper. damn i hate to make a clumsy mistake like this.

                  • Mitch Neher says:

                    It took me more than five minutes to figure out that P J Evans was replying to timbo.

                    Okay. Fine. It took me almost twenty minutes to figure it out.

                    It was the use of the term “centrist” that kept tripping me up.

                  • Cathy says:

                    “Fear not: *Its* the little humiliations common to all that bring us together as a community.(@Cathy)” The capricious edit button may not be the culprit here, but I hear it’s been having a bad influence on the Reply buttons.

                    Keep on keeping us honest. :-)

              • Cathy says:

                Gagh – it was right in front of me: I’ve been looking for this:

                “i cannot emphasize just how impressed i am that the dem workers in the field are focused on matters like voter registration and vote suppression and almost never bother to engage in labeling of any kind. (@orion)”

                My nomination for this comment section’s deepest note of wisdom.

                As someone in a deep-scarlet district who is not happy with our current trajectory, may I say these folks are worth their weight in gold and that value is *not* dependent on the outcome of impeachment.

  36. The Hang Nail says:

    If the House votes on articles of impeachment there is no rule saying they cannot draft more articles and pass them again in February? I think we are being too narrow-minded about all this. They can draft articles of impeachment regarding the Ukraine affair this week and then Mueller obstruction next week and then throw some more down after new information comes to light in January. The only thing stopping them are political optics. But this is all new. The Dems just need to start drafting articles and passing them and then tell the Senate to “get over it”. They need to control the narrative and stop getting caught up in this too fast-too slow debate that can’t be won.

    • timbo says:

      That’s true but it’s a huge waste of time and resources to have to reconstitute impeachment hearings over and over again. Further, I and many others do not want to live in a society that is constantly investigating each other. That situation would not be stable politically and so that road should be avoided. That having been said, I do not oppose pushing out the current hearings and adding more investigations to them.

      Also, continuing the forwarding of impeachment articles to the Senate gives the GOP Senate cover for the fact that they’ve been preventing hundreds of bills from the House from receiving up or down votes. (I’m also not sure why Pelosi has not been pounding the pavement to make sure that the country is very aware that the GOP is not actually voting on a lot of bills that would be helpful to the country (or not so why not vote them down then)?)

      • Rayne says:

        I and many others do not want to live in a society that is constantly investigating each other.

        It’s called oversight and it’s key to ensuring a little d democratic government is accountable to and not separate from the people from whom government’s authority arises.

        You don’t want “constant investigation”? Do more to ensure candidates are transparent and not criminals before they elected to office.

  37. bmaz says:

    Just keep randomly issuing articles of impeachment to the Senate for ever more trials? So, you think crippling the Senate in this relentless fashion, not to mention the Supreme Court, because it will occupy the Chief Justice, is a brilliant idea? Really????

    • BobCon says:

      I think there may have been a case for a two step option on impeachment if the Democratic leadership had made that argument all along.

      They might have said back in the summer that Ukraine was so ugly and so clear cut they were putting it on a fast track, with more to come if Trump stonewalled or the Senate dropped the ball.

      They threw away that leverage for nothing, though, and coming back later next year without building the case months ago would probably look unnecessarily sketchy, and worsens the logistical issues you refer to.

      There has been essentially no strategic planning by the Democratic leadership. Everything is incremental and reactive, proceding from self imposed constraints and narrow assumptions about Trump and the GOP

      • bmaz says:

        Precisely. But this goes much further back to obstruction and emoluments. Frankly if there was to be a multi-part effort, it should have started in the spring, even before the summer.

        • BobCon says:

          The House needed to start interviewing a boatload of candidates in November 2018 in order to staff up for a fight.

          Instead, they left committee authorized staff levels unchanged, so that when it became clear Mueller was filing in March, they had no bandwidth to anticipate a response. Barr jumped into the void.

          House leadership has been stuck in reactive mode, and completely unwilling to act on partial information, as if they were ever going to have 100% certainty of every fact.

          • Rayne says:

            The entire Democratic Congressional caucus reflects the public. The public has still not wrapped its head around the truth that the GOP has devolved into an arm of a transnational crime syndicate built on white supremacy controlling a large portion of the world’s fossil fuel market, nor has the public grasped that hostile foreign powers have been engaged in asymmetric warfare to take possession of the Trump administration. You’re looking at cognitive dissonance at society-wide scale.

            There’s no well-trod path for dealing with an enemy sitting next to a House committee chair undermining everything the majority is trying to do with the aid of hostile foreign powers.

            Our challenge is trying to halt the internecine attacks while snapping the public and its elected officials out of their cognitive dissonance. It’s going to take a little more effort than bitching about the cognitive dissonance.

            • Sonso says:

              100% correct. The stumbling block for Pelosi (regardless of one’s opinion of her) is the “centrist” cohort of the caucus. Mealy-mouthed capitulation to what the GOP has fiercely dedicated itself to for 40 years won’t cut it. This is the struggle; we may disagree on tactics but, as The Odds would say, “the truth untold…will always lie between us”.

      • P J Evans says:

        Some of the D leadership seems to be stuck in the 80s and early 90s.
        (I do expect better from Pelosi. She knows damned well that the Rs will lie-cheat, and steal to keep the power they’ve already stolen. And so will the 0.1% that runs for office as Ds.)

        • timbo says:

          Unfortunately, it appears that much of the DP leadership is afraid of having an Independent Counsel law again. We would have been much better served by having an Independent Counsel rather than a Special Counsel(s) in this era. The fact that there is not one has been taken advantage of by both Bush, Obama, and now Trump. This goes hand-in-hand with the the idea that the President is somehow above the law. An Independent Counsel is not what the folks, the one’s who believe that power should shift to the President in our Republic, want. Certainly one can argue that an Independent Counsel is subject to the winds of politics as much as any other part of the judicial systems, but it does provide another leg of the federal justice system that can work against corruption as well, particularly in a DoJ culture that maintains that the President is somehow above the law.

          • Rayne says:

            Cite sources if you’re going to paint a group as large and diverse as the DP with that brush. Who exactly in the Democratic Party is leary of an independent counsel?

            And offer reasoning why creation of a government entity which does not fully answer to the three branches of government should be created to address specific short-term corruption?

            Explain also why you are laying the responsibility for not having an independent counsel on the Democratic Party rather than the Republicans? Or on Congress as a whole who are supposed to represent the will of the people?

  38. Dave Karson says:

    Michelle Goldberg has an Online Op-Ed in the New York Times today, ( https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/opinion/trump-impeachment.html ) where she writes that she wishes that the Democrats would have waited and “excavated” the full record of Trump’s wrongdoings because Democrats owe the country “not just why Trump betrayed America when he sought to extort election help from Ukraine” and doing that requires a putting Trump’s Ukraine corruption in context of “how the Russia scandal and the Ukraine scandal intersect.”

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Thanks for the link to that thread. Yep, Pam Karlan rocks.

      Trump’s ugly misogyny allows others to express theirs. Normal presidents and authority figures cause it to be repressed. It’s another reason to remove Trump. Putting him in a position of public authority is like making Nathan Bedford Forrest Civil Rights Commissioner.

    • Cathy says:

      Richard Primus is a good model for denying the twitter intimidation tactic its power. When such a tsunami is directed at a supporter of the target, the tactic seeks to suppress supportive statements by making their cost seem too high. Thanks to Primus for calling BS.

  39. IValueMyPrivacy says:

    Some may scoff, but there is nothing stopping them from having a second go at it anyway. While Senate is having it’s trial, start new impeachment proceedings. There is certainly no lack of predicate.

    • bmaz says:

      Hi there. I can tell from your chickenshit and duplicitous new phoney email registration that your comment is aimed at me. At least have the intellectual integrity, and minimal balls, to address me straight up. #IDoNotValueCowardice

      • Rayne says:

        Let me add the information attached to IValueMyPrivacy’s userid constitutes a new account. Comments submitted could end up stuck backend because they may look like sockpuppeting or hijacked userid attempts.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      What is this predicate of which you speak? Do you mean precedent, of which there are few. Or, do you mean no lack of evidence to investigate other crimes?

      If you mean the latter, that’s true. But your process would make the Dems look like circus clowns putting out a fire with a bucket brigade, while a perfectly good fire engine sits nearby.

    • pjb says:

      There is no lack of predicate, agreed, But, how could such a strategy fail to dilute the seriousness of the Senate trial and submarine the whole exercise? If an object of impeachment (beyond Constitutional duty and the non-zero chance of removal) is to get the electorate’s clear attention on the uniquely corrosive nature to the country of the Trump Presidency and there is some obligation (that I do not see) to hand this over to the Senate where the Republicans can declare Calvinball trial rules, then the charges should be laid out all in one charging document and the evidence should be laid out on the Senate floor for every Senator to have to grapple with and vote on before November. That counsels patience.

      I do not think every Trumpian offense should be part of the articles, only those which bear upon the most serious abuses of office should be the basis for impeachment. Ukraine, because it goes directly to the rigging of the 2020 election should be front and center, but there are clearly others (emoluments, security clearance abuse, declassification abuse, even incitement to violence are fair game).

      • Jonf says:

        No one mentions Russia. Ukraine, like Georgia and Syria and individuals before then, is under attack from Russia. And people are dying. That aid Trump withheld was critical, unless Putin is your buddy and those sort of things don’t count.That makes this somewhat more serious than an election violation, or at least I think so.

        • pjb says:

          “No one mentions Russia.”?

          I don’t get what you mean. I seriously doubt anyone on this board isn’t hyper-aware of the malign actions of Putin’s Russia.

          As it relates to impeachment, the illegal withholding of Congressionally-approved aid to Ukraine to defend against Russian aggression is what is the abuse of office (as well as likely a violation of the federal criminal code). Without presenting evidence of Trump’s laundering money for Russia or otherwise being bribed or extorted by Russia, his fecklessly permitting Russian aggression is a failure of policy remedied at the ballot box.

          • Jonf says:

            We can remedy all of it at the ballot box. But holding approved security funds for a friend that is under attack strikes me as rather egregious abuse of power.

            • pjb says:

              You miss the point I am making. We cannot “remedy all of at the ballot box.” Holding a President accountable for rigging the 2020 election by merely holding a 2020 election is not a remedy. That’s why we need to impeach.

              To the extent Trump fails to faithfully take care to execute the laws of the land (like the withholding of aid), that is core impeachable conduct. To the extent Trump is a very very very shitty president with very very stupid policy ideas that get soldiers in allied nations killed, that’s for the ballot box.

                • Pjb says:

                  Yes, for two reasons. Congress authorized the aid and it could not by law be withheld without sufficient reason (and none has been given) and because it was withheld as an extortion plot. It’s not merely because he favors one country over another, as dumb and contrary to US national interests as that is in this case. It’s the difference between that for which we impeach a President and that for which we vote his ass out of office.

                  • P J Evans says:

                    They’re also withholding aid from Puerto Rico, actual US citizens, with the excuse that the government there is corrupt – said government being GOP and fairly friendly to the current maladministration. (Actually, it’s Trmp getting back at the mayor of San Juan, and all the brown people there.)

            • P J Evans says:

              We can’t use the ballot boxes to fire the judges they’ve appointed. That requires either legal action (good luck with that) or them deciding that they’d rather be lawyers than judges (and good luck with *that*).

              • pjb says:

                Damn right. Which is why elections matter greatly, not just for President but for the Senate which has to approve.

                • P J Evans says:

                  I’m one of those who has been voting ever since I first registered. I think I’ve missed maybe three elections in that time, back to 1971.

                    • P J Evans says:

                      I was amused that one place I lived, the school election precincts had us voting in the basement of a church. Regular elections were at the local fire station. (They moved the trucks out for the day.)

  40. Vince says:

    Two addendums in reference to the Turley testimony I didn’t have time to get to:

    First, after Pam Karlan went into much detail as to why the “bribery” in regards to constitutional high crimes has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with current federal bribery statutes, Turley then went on and on about how recent SCOTUS rulings in regards to the federal bribery statutes meant Racist Donnie could not be charged with bribery.

    WHAT A JACKASS.

    Second, Turley was interviewed the next morning on NPR, where he stated that he sided with Pooh Bar that the dozen or so instances of ‘obstruction of justice’ that Mueller laid out that Racist Donnie could be prosecuted for, if not for the DOJ ‘rule’ that a sitting POTUS cannot be indicted, did not rise to the level of prosecution.

    Of course, this overlooks the letter that more than a thousand Republican and Democratic former and existing federal prosecutors signed affirming they were run-of-the-mill, slam-dunk very prosecutable obstruction of justice cases.

    Again, WHAT A JACKASS.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        Turley will be Trump’s lead defense counsel at the impeachment trial. Turley has been auditioning for that job since . . . well, since Trump first said out loud in public that he had the power to pardon himself–sometime in June of 2017 or thereabouts.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          Oops. Trump tweeted that he had the “absolute right to pardon himself” on June 4th, 2018.

          On July 20th, 2017, WaPo reported that Trump had asked his legal advisers if he could pardon himself or a family member. On July 21st, 2017, Trump’s lawyer at the time, Ty Cobb, denied the WaPo story in a NYT article.

  41. foggycoast says:

    pelosi is smart, a survivor and know more about this political game than anyone here. doesn’t mean she’s always right, no one is. but i think it’s fair to say that she is an expert.

    if there is one guarantee i took from the intel and judiciary hearings it is that there is no level of trump’s abuse of power or violations of the law that will get the senate republicans to convict him. through that lens, new investigations and discoveries are only relevant to removing trump if they can sway public opinion to the point where the republicans feel their or trump’s re-election is jeopardized. and swaying public opinion is as much theater as anything.

    there must be an arc to the story and to be compelling and it must maintain interest. if the end goal is getting trump out then this should play out and not slow-roll for more facts. this is not a rush to judgement. the evidence is overwhelming. impeach now to keep the issue front and center. none of us know how this is still to play out. there could be unwritten chapters to come.

    the only thing that will get trump out before the election is if his empire is threatened. my hope is that his taxes are released. trump could feel pressure not just of criminal charges once he’s out of office, he could very well feel the pressure and fear from powerful people who will be exposed. a backroom deal for resignation in exchange for some form of clemency or pardon is a believable scenario.

    otherwise, fingers crossed for the election because he’s batshit crazy enough to try an october surprise.

    • Cathy says:

      “the only thing that will get trump out before the election is if his empire is threatened. (@foggycoast)”

      Interesting if what we’ve allowed to see so far is part of mounting such a threat, maybe as a sort of bargaining position, designed to funnel him toward an off-ramp. A discussion upthread about impeachment and pardons might go a step further to wonder about the Big Guy’s perception of how different stages of the impeachment process affect potential pardons.

  42. orionATL says:

    i think emptywheel is exactly right in suggesting the impeachment issue should not be foreclosed on too rapidly.

    for myself i am interested in seeing the guiliani angle thoroughly investigated with the hope and expectation that any such investigation will inevitably lead back to the first giuliani-trump collaboration (yes. the giulian-trump collusionb of 2016, just like the putin-trump collusion) in which the nycity based fbi pals of giuliani’s manufactured the late october bleat from fbi director comey about Clinton emails that seriously damaged the dem candidate at the voting booth.

    i am also interested in seeing a concerted effort to collected in one place the severe damage to american national security with regard to nato, the european union, the middle east, due to trump’s obligations to putin and the current Russian government.

    there are other serious issues such as trump refusal to accede to constitutional limits on the executive power and his violation of seperation of powers by ignoring congressional prerogatives.

    trump’s personal enrichment (i’ll bet trump and putin have a post trump presidency deal for a trump moscow high rise), and trump tax cheating.

    pelosi is right it cannot go on but so long but December is too short.

    it is important to remember too that this particular impeachment effort is cursed with ghosts, those of joe and beau. whenever this short-form impeachment will be brought up, the biden isdsue will be there as a “you’re one too” issue to haunt democrats among low-knowledge voters.

    • Cathy says:

      Agreed!

      “it is important to remember too that this particular impeachment effort is cursed with ghosts, those of joe and beau. whenever this short-form impeachment will be brought up, the biden isdsue will be there as a ‘you’re one too’ issue to haunt democrats among low-knowledge voters. (@orionATL)”

      “You’re one too” has summarized Trump’s approach during his campaign, his presidency, and his impeachment. He’s yet to come across anything that would suggest it would be anything but successful.

  43. Vince says:

    Hours ago, in a letter to Judiciary Chairman Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote:

    “House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade. You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings”.

    They’re all a bunch of five-year-olds.

  44. elk_l says:

    I read through this full and very long discussion expecting something I was interested in to appear. It didn’t and I now I feel I need to bring it up because I know that many here can say much more than I can about the many possible tactics, strategies, manipulations, manifestations, etc. that may be developing and be at work around this issue (assuming I am not, myself, now totally bonkers).

    Nancy Pelosi has here alternatively been greatly praised and ferociously criticized for her handling of the impeachment process. Many alleged well handled concerns and issues have been cited along with many alleged failures off similar kinds.

    We currently have a group of elderly candidates at the top of the lists for getting the nominations to run for President and their ages and cognitive abilities and physical statuses are constantly under question. None of the extensive criticism of Pelosi has mentioned that she is 79. No one who thinks she has made serious mistakes on decisions about the impeachment process seems to think it is due to age related cognitive problems. I agree with that judgment. But I do think it is of high interest that her age (and cognitive and physical status) has no impact (excepting some kind of severe event) on the possibility of her becoming in the next election an incumbent President running for re-election.

    She does seem sharp as hell and I do have to think she is very aware of the above possibility and that it may be playing a role to some extent in calculations of hers about how to proceed with the impeachment process. For this to be true we would have to also credit her with tremendous ambition. This is not a difficult one. Everybody in Congress is immensely ambitious and someone who became the first woman Speaker of the House and recently became the Speaker for a second time has to rate at the peak of ambition. My God, we could make a great argument that she is almost as ambitious as Nikki Haley.

    I think we need to speculate on how personal ambition may be playing a role in Pelosi’s initial stance against impeachment and, as things developed, her current sense of needing to move ahead and needing to do so quickly. I think we also need to keep in mind that for everyone, including her, many possible developments can alter or overturn the Tim Apple cart.

    First recall that after the Hollywood Access tapes came out and led to several hours of very intense arguments with almost all of Trump’s staff saying he had to step aside for a new ticket of Pence and Condeleeza Rice (to placate the women) Trump finally won the day (the late night in this case) by saying if they took him out he would take all of them down with him. “They” gave in even though most of them were convinced he had no chance at all of winning the election at that point. Trump could only have won that particular argument because he already had most of his team involved in fairly serious scandal that he, one way or another, could expose.

    He went on to very surprisingly win the election and, now, after being President for almost 3 years, it is easy to assume that he has greatly increased the number of those under him (many his own appointees) that he has forced to play a role in one or another of his ongoing scandals. Many are saying, many of them very good journalists, I can guarantee you this, have been saying (David Frum, for one) that Trump has been determined to implicate as many members of his administration as possible in his various scandals, and that VP Pence heads the list. We can add a very compromised AG Barr (a very low Barr at that), a compromised Secretary of State Pompeo (now trying to bail out), a compromised CofS Mulvaney (“Get over it!”), a personal lawyer, Rudy, who after hearing some say he was going under the bus managed to refer to his insurance policy, and even an EU Ambassador (indicating that Trump has also compromised many second- and third-level appointees).

    This leaves an incredible guessing game for us and also for Pelosi. Is her ambition playing a role in her calculations on the impeachment process? By the way, I am not opposing her if this is the case. I do think she would have very good reason to think that she would be a much better leader for our country and for the ultimately important impacts that our country would have on the rest of the world.

    But let me now coin a phrase from Fionna Hill and move on to my own possible “fictional narrative” of current developments.
    Does Pelosi know some things we don’t? If she knows Trump’s recent trip to the hospital reflects serious physical problems which might lead even very important Republicans to consider going relatively soon with the 25th Amendment, would she push for quick impeachment to get Trump to start spilling dirt on Pence and others around him? If he has no serious physical problem, would she push quick impeachment with a sense that he would cave to that pressure by responding in a similar way which would help undermine Pence? Or if enough important members of the Trump Administration, GOP members of Congress, high positioned officers in government institutions feel endangered by Trump’s secret stash of incriminating information, would they be ready to look askance at some kind of (I would prefer not a McDonald’s but a more karmic and ironic Wendy’s Triple Bacon Jalapeño Cheeseburger) induced very, very, very serious heart attack with a bit of help, perhaps, from a Siberian supplied very tiny dose of some kind of Novichok compound? (assuming he doesn’t bring about his own natural diet caused demise) …with hopes that Trump’s very incriminating information would be buried or comatized within him. But if the timing is right, perhaps Pelosi (even at age 79) and her partisans could still unearth the crucial details at least on President Pence in time to depose him before the election.

    In any case, I am now quite sure I am over the cliff (the opposite one from our friendly RWNJs) and there are many here who can provide better speculation or, indeed, actual knowledge and facts on some of these various concerns, so I appeal to you to please educate me on these possible additional Pelosi motivations and potential maneuvers.

    • P J Evans says:

      I think this has come up in an earlier post – the consensus is that Pelosi doesn’t want to be Madame President. She knows very well what the job involves, and what the Rs would do.

    • AndTheSlithyToves says:

      To whip her caucus–many of whom she had helped get elected–into line after the 2018 elections and to get herself voted back into the Speakership, Pelosi said that this would be the last time. As everyone has noted, she’s 79, and my guess is that she wants to go out on top. Getting rid of Trump would make that possible for her IMHO.

      • elk_l says:

        Thanks for the above comments which seem eminently reasonable and may well be totally accurate. I will, however, point out that if Pelosi does have ambitions here her best bet would be to handle it in the same way she has been doing, i.e. opposing the impeachment option until virtually being forced to accept it.

        Personally, I would be very happy to see both Trump and Pence taken out in a way that would result in Pelosi becoming President. In that event I think she would handle the very difficult transition better than anyone else around at this point. If that happens I would like to see her then run in 2020. One very interesting thing in that case would be who would she choose as her VP candidate: Hillary, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Mike Bloomberg, Mayor Pete….?

  45. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Glad to know that, with everything going on, President Trump has his priorities straight: light bulbs and toilet flushes. The bulbs are dim and going out, and his presidency and empire are going down the drain.

  46. harpie says:

    A Saudi “student” kills and injures American service members ON an American military base ON America soil and THIS is what Trump, the President of the United States, says:

    https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1203421411227979776
    1:09 PM – 7 Dec 2019

    Trump on Pensacola shooting:
    “I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are devastated, Saudi Arabia. We’re finding out what took place, whether it’s 1 person or a number of people. The King will be involved in taking care of families & loved ones … they’re going to help out”

    More of his words:

    I spoke with the King of Saudi Arabia. They are devastated, Saudi Arabia. We’re finding out what took place, whether it’s 1 person or a number of people. The King will be involved in taking care of families & loved ones …
    He feels very strongly. He’s very, very devastated by what happened, by what took place. Likewise, the crown Prince. They are devastated by what took place in Pensacola. And I think they’re going to help out the families very greatly. […]”

  47. harpie says:

    SIRENS
    An alarm in three tweets, by Stanley R. Sloan

    1] https://twitter.com/srs2_/status/1203326093740138497
    6:51 AM – 7 Dec 2019

    Leaving for #Copenhagen tomorrow to give a keynote talk Tuesday at the Danish Atlantic Council’s celebration of #NATO’s 70th anniversary. Topic of my presentation: “Crisis in transatlantic relations: what future will we choose?” @AtlanticCouncil @AtlantDK @ducoexperts @jteurope

    2] [threaded with above]
    10:19 AM – 7 Dec 2019

    Cancel that! I’ve just received word from the Danish Atlantic Council that the US Embassy in Copenhagen, a cosponsor of the meeting, has vetoed my participation due to my critical evaluation of Trump’s impact on transatlantic relations.
    Stunned and concerned about our country.

    3] https://twitter.com/srs2_/status/1203421746667380738
    1:11 PM – 7 Dec 2019

    Yes. I now am told it is a new policy:

    no speakers to be sponsored by the State Department if they have been critical of the President

    I plead guilty to that, but think the guilt should be on the other side.

    • P J Evans says:

      The president SHOULD be criticized, when he does things that are stupid, wrong, or ILLEGAL.
      The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech for the people – and it’s the government that’s harming the country now.

      • harpie says:

        Can’t help but remark that this was the GOP attack against three of those who testified to House Judiciary this past week…they had criticized/donated against/voted against the president.

      • P J Evans says:

        He’s supposed to be running the State Dept, not kissing the preznit’s @ss.
        Dammit, we shouldn’t have to impeach every one of Trmp’s appointees.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      As bmaz says, “This is seriously fucked up.”

      If other countries applied a similar policy to USG employees – from the president on down – no one around the world would hear a peep from the Americans.

    • harpie says:

      David Frum did a little digging into the Ambassador’s private twitter account:

      https://twitter.com/davidfrum/status/1203653672422531072 4:32 AM – 8 Dec 2019
      […] I posted yesterday about how unusual such behavior used to be And how such partisanship at US embassies defies even the Trump administration’s stated foreign-policy values … [link] […]

      Then it occurred to me: I bet the ambassador who cancelled the talk – @USAmbDenmark – is very worried about “cancel culture” on campus. She maintains a personal account @CarlaHSands So I went and took a look yesterday

      The account is amazing. A serving US ambassador retweeting partisan attacks and conspiratorial fantasies from sites like Breitbart and Project Veritas. And yes, the ambassador who cancelled is indeed appalled by cancel culture. [thread]

  48. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Don seems to think that his personal attorney has a governmental role. He wants him to give a book report. Rudy, “came back from some place [!?] and he’s going to make a report to the Attorney General and to Congress. He said he has a lot of god information.”

    https://twitter.com/DafnaLinzer/status/1203417084958523394

    A report or private meetings with the AG or members of Congress sounds like straightforward lobbying. Has Rudy registered as a lobbyist? If it’s to the Senate, it’s an ex parte hearing before judges who are about to try the president on several charges being prepared by the House.

    This is such a bullshit process. The information would be worthless without being vetted through government channels. It is a defense attorney giving a prosecutor purported evidence. To call it self-serving and unreliable – fake news – barely begins to describe what’s wrong with this. The AG and Congress should tell Rudy and the Don to save it for the trial.

  49. Arlin Stoltzfus says:

    Why aren’t the proponents of impeachment in congress following through on this issue with subpoenas? I just don’t get it. They can’t make a clear case of obstruction unless they force Trump to exhaust all legal remedies. Why aren’t they waiting for the McGahn decision? Why haven’t they used the contempt of congress power? All they had to do win a floor vote on contempt, and this immediately triggers contempt of congress which is a federal crime by virtue of a specific statute. The Speaker could then ask the DA in DC to arrest them for contempt of congress. If Trump took the outrageous step of ordering the DA not to arrest someone who is undeniably guilty of a federal crime, this would be a clear violation of his oath of office, obstruction of justice, and probably the fastest ever way to get a case before SCOTUS. There is clear law around this issue of contempt.

    • P J Evans says:

      They have Mueller’s report, which lays out 10 incidences of obstruction. With clear evidence. What makes you think they’re ignoring obstruction as a charge?

      • Arlin Stoltzfus says:

        I did not say they are ignoring obstruction as a charge. What the democrats are doing is invoking obstruction in regard to the impeachment inquiry rather than the Mueller probe. The problem with this strategy is that Trump’s legal position is “because of [insert bogus reason] we do not have to testify.” It does not matter that the reasons are bogus and did not work for Clinton or Nixon. What matters is that the requirement to testify on the Ukraine matter remains a pending legal issue until the courts (rather than me) resolve it.

        • timbo says:

          The House needs to expedite all this stuff to the Supreme Court ASAP. It’s a shame they have not done so. Frankly, Trump and his supporters are waiting for another “liberal” on the SC to pass away/retire so they can put another hack there, thus unbalancing our Republic even further.

    • Vince says:

      “Why aren’t the proponents of impeachment in congress following through on this issue with subpoenas? I just don’t get it. They can’t make a clear case of obstruction unless they force Trump to exhaust all legal remedies. Why aren’t they waiting for the McGahn decision? Why haven’t they used the contempt of congress power? All they had to do win a floor vote on contempt, and this immediately triggers contempt of congress which is a federal crime by virtue of a specific statute. The Speaker could then ask the DA in DC to arrest them for contempt of congress.”

      Because as much as I would LOVE to see these bastards testifying before congress, where they’ll have to either tell the truth or go to prison for perjury, after all the appeals, it will be JUNE before the SCOTUS rules on all this stuff, and assuming they comply, into July before they would even begin to appear, which bumps right into the Democratic National Convention, starting July 13th. Not to mention, as much as we would be enthusiastic, the gen pop would have been turned-off loooong before that.

      It’s commonly called Rope-A-Dope.

      As to ‘obstruction of justice’, as PJ pointed out there already exists at least 10 well-documented, slam-dunk obstruction of justice cases laid out by Mueller, that over a thousand former and existing federal prosecutors say are easily prosecutable.

      • Arlin Stoltzfus says:

        If you are faced with the choice of (1) waiting to 2021 to build a political case strong enough to impeach Trump and remove him from office, risking another 18 months of self-dealing and 3rd-world shenanigans, or (2) impeaching him now in a way that is ineffective and fails to change the political course of America, which one would you choose?

        • Vince says:

          First, that’s a Straw-man Argument.

          Second, I prefer (3) passing the Articles but not sending them over to the Senate and instead referring at least a dozen slam-dunk federal felonies, which would be far, FAR more damaging to Racist Donnie and advantageous to the Democratic Presidential Candidate.

          • mass interest says:

            How, and to what entity/entities, would these felonies be referred? And could that happen while Trump is POTUS?

              • bmaz says:

                A thought laid out here, and I would argue much more soundly and cogently, nearly five months before that Kos piece.

                And, frankly, Kaytyal is full of it if he said that statutes of limitation are necessarily tolled while a President is in office (I have no recollection of Neal saying that), there is no authority or precedent whatsoever for that. It is an argument that “might” could be made, but it is unlikely to work. Criminal statutes of limitation are almost impossible to extend in actual practice. There would have to be an indictment pending, and there is, and will be, none. So that argument at Kos is pure garbage.

                • Vince says:

                  “A thought laid out here, and I would argue much more soundly and cogently, nearly five months before that Kos piece.”

                  Didn’t see anything about impeaching but not sending the articles over to the Senate.

                  “And, frankly, Kaytyal is full of it if he said that statutes of limitation are necessarily tolled while a President is in office”

                  You must have read the DK piece too quickly, as it was mentioned that he WROTE the underlying applicable law.

                  • bmaz says:

                    I read it just fine, thanks. That statement is full of shit.

                    And what part of this did you not understand:

                    “We did what we had to do to defend the Constitution and protect the Article I power in the face of a full on assault by the Trump Administration. We protected the Constitution and informed the public. But we believe in democracy and will now let the better informed public exercise their will in an election”.

                    That contemplates leaving it ultimately to voters, NOT a Senate trial. Spare me, that Kos piece is crap. Provide me the cite for the law that Katyal wrote that guarantees this. I affirmatively assert you cannot, because it does not exist. If it did, maybe that shit ass piece at DKos would hav e cited and linked it, but, nope.

                    I’ll be waiting for your cite to that “law”.

                    • Vince says:

                      “That contemplates leaving it ultimately to voters, NOT a Senate trial.”

                      Which has nothing to do with what I proposed.

                      “Provide me the cite for the law that Katyal wrote that guarantees this.”

                      Barking up the wrong tree buddy. Katyal sez all statute of limitations are tolled while a POTUS is in office (and they do not have to have been previously filed), and that he wrote the underlying applicable law.

                      You disagree? Be my guest, have at ’em.

                    • bmaz says:

                      So, nice of you to admit you do not have jack shit to back up your bull. Thanks for that. Put up or shut up, and I know for a fact you and Kos have nothing of the sort, because there is nothing of the sort. YOU brought this bunk here, it is NOT my duty to disprove it when you can point to absolutely nothing to support it. You are peddling pure bullshit to our readers, with no factual or legal basis, and that needs to stop. Consider it a warning.

                    • bmaz says:

                      And, by the way Vince, Katyal has never written any law, as he has never been a staffer to Congress, much less in Congress. The only thing close that he “wrote” were the special counsel regulations (note, Vince, that is NOT a law either) for DOJ when President Clinton tasked him with the same while Neal was serving as an Assistant to the DAG in 1999.

                    • bmaz says:

                      And lastly Vince, since you have no receipts for your, and whatever “community” cluck at Kos wrote that crappy piece’s statement, I’ll give you something to chew on. Here is a piece written by Chuck Rosenberg at Lawfare. You know, a real lawyer unlike the Kos clucks, and former DOJ official and US Attorney for the EDVA. He and his co-author, Amanda Lineberry, makes clear that there is NO current equitable tolling provision as you have insisted (falsely) Katyal “wrote”. I think it speaks for itself.

                      But Vince, I am going to further help you out, lest you stupidly latch onto Chuck and Amanda’s discussion that maybe Congress should write a law. That would NEVER apply to Trump, because it would be ex post facto as to Trump. I know this, Vince, because I have personally actually argued Stogner v. California, the case that clearly makes it so, before. We try to get things right here Vince, don’t bring Kos commenter bullshit and think it will fly. It will not.

                • Vince says:

                  Actually, on MTP this morning, NBC correspondent Kristen Welker reported that Congressional Dems are urging Speaker Pelosi to impeach, but not send the articles over to the Senate, possibly holding them.

                  • bmaz says:

                    There are a few arguing that, it is NOT the prevailing position at this point, and the entire caucus is certainly NOT arguing that. They may later, we shall see, but that is not the larger perspective now.

                  • timbo says:

                    Whether that’s going to happen or not, that might be an interesting strategy… i.e. to vote the articles but not send them to the Senate. And then hold on to them while more articles pile up… maybe vote a resolution to move the articles to 2021 even. Interesting thought exercise really. But the problem remains that the longer the DP vacillates on moving stuff to the Senate, the Federal court system is being taken over further and further by the Trump regime… so lots of moving parts in such a scenario. For example, imagine the issue if Roberts was to be hit by a Twinkie truck? So, maybe better to get onto the trial in the Senate sooner rather than later?

              • P J Evans says:

                Someone who’s barely there (two diaries and 24 comments, in a little over a year)? I’d be much more interested if it was one of the people with lots of experience.

        • P J Evans says:

          Hooboy.
          They’ve been issuing subpoenas, and the people who received them have been IGNORING them, on direction of Trmp. The issue is IN THE COURTS.
          from https://www.justsecurity.org/67076/public-document-clearinghouse-ukraine-impeachment-inquiry/

          C. Witnesses Who Failed to Comply with Congressional Subpoena for Testimony

          Charles Kupperman – Kupperman Deposition (scheduled for October 28, 2019)
          Robert Blair – Blair Deposition (scheduled for November 4, 2019)
          John Eisenberg – Eisenberg Deposition (scheduled for November 4, 2019)
          Michael Ellis – Ellis Deposition (scheduled for November 4, 2019)
          Brian McCormack – McCormack Deposition (scheduled for November 4, 2019)
          Michael Duffey – Duffey Deposition (scheduled for November 5, 2019)
          Preston Wells Griffith – Wells Griffith Deposition (scheduled for November 5, 2019)
          Ulrich Brechbuhl and Russell Vought – Brechbuhl and Vought Deposition (scheduled for November 6, 2019)
          John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney – Mulvaney Deposition (scheduled for November 8, 2019)

          [#UkraineTimeline – thanks, PJ! /~Rayne]

          • bmaz says:

            Note that the House Democrats, in all of their litigation brilliance, withdrew the Kupperman subpoena, and have not, to my knowledge, moved to enforce on any of the others.

            • P J Evans says:

              yes, and I have no idea why they did that. Unless they believe they don’t need those depositions now?
              (My point was more that they *did* issue them, which Arlin somehow never noticed.)

            • Vicks says:

              Withdrawing the subpoenas is a head scratcher for sure.
              Is there any way that not having these particular subpoenas being tangled up in the courts would make it easier to compel testimony at a later stage?
              For example, would John Roberts have to defer to any ongoing court battle rather than just say “get your ass on the stand?”

  50. Vince says:

    bmaz,

    Since you’ve disabled the ‘reply’ to your comment:

    Actually, Kaytal wrote the RULES for the special counsel. I did write “underlying”, which I guess you missed. Of course he wasn’t a legislator. Geez. Anyway, he would obviously know the rules. So much for Katyal being “full of it”, in your words.

    And I never wrote that I read or knew of any specific law, or I certainly would have linked it. I merely reiterated what Kaytal stated, so I didn’t change my position.

    Gotta go pump-out a load of racing fuel.

    • bmaz says:

      Hey jackass, I did NOT “disable” anything, the comment thread got so narrowed that reply buttons no longer are possible, because of your asinine statements and posture. Why the fuck do you think I have been working, myself, off of the last reply button that the thread would support? Maybe you ought to go pump your own disingenuous load.

      You keep saying I “missed” things. I did not “miss” squat. You are straight up lying at this point about Katyal’s posture and your flogging of it.

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