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1 hour ago, The Commish said:

It's your conspiracy theory...just trying to understand it a bit more completely :shrug:

Sounds like you're still working out some details...good luck :thumbup: 

To be fair to @Stealthycat I think its a fair read of the situation. 

 

I have noticed Schiff has even started talking about crimes other than Collusion/Conspiracy when talking about Trump - leads me to believe there is no smoking gun - and while you could connect the dots - its not cut and dried.

 

It also makes sense with the "sudden" ramp up if financial crime investigations - which is where I have said since the beginning is Trump's biggest worry.

 

I think the Mueller Report will be this generation's version of the Warren Commission Report - people will still be looking for Russian connections 50 years from now

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Mister Blutarsky: zero-point-zero.

Yeah, she sure zinged Trump.  That was a doozy. In the meantime, we get to keep a dangerously incompetent and historically corrupt president in office for two more years.  But wow what a burn.

If only there were some remedy available in situations where a President commits crimes... Mitch McConnell has destroyed a number of procedural norms for partisan gain, but he has not destroyed a

https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1105555873169051649

 

This tweet has a clip of Tom Steyer on msnbc talking about impeachment - I thought he made some good points - that congress is effectively shirking its responsibilities if it decides to put the onus on the DOJ to deal with Trump - rather than hold impeachment hearings in the house.

 

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6 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

https://twitter.com/olgaNYC1211/status/1105555873169051649

 

This tweet has a clip of Tom Steyer on msnbc talking about impeachment - I thought he made some good points - that congress is effectively shirking its responsibilities if it decides to put the onus on the DOJ to deal with Trump - rather than hold impeachment hearings in the house.

 

Impeachment is a political process. Congress has no responsibility to pursue impeachment. 

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Impeachment is a political process. Congress has no responsibility to pursue impeachment. 

I think they have a duty to conduct oversight and investigate.

You can't say the President has broken the law and is unfit for office - and then turn around and say we don't want to do anything about that.

 

Impeachment is a process - not a result.  If we are not going to go through the process - then its time to take it off the books.

 

I think it has been a mistake to punt responsibility here to Mueller - he has his task, but that is different than the task of Congress.  Congress should hold the hearings - and if the hearings do not rise to the level of impeachment, then that is a fair result.  But, to do nothing - because it is politically inconvenient - is as much a part of the problem that led to Trump in the first place.

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1 minute ago, Da Guru said:

Om another note did you see when Pelosi was answering questions yesterday?  Does not seem like she is in good health..her head was shaking like she has Parkinson's.

She’s talked that way for years now- a little like Susan Collins. 

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Just now, Sinn Fein said:

I think they have a duty to conduct oversight and investigate.

You can't say the President has broken the law and is unfit for office - and then turn around and say we don't want to do anything about that.

 

Impeachment is a process - not a result.  If we are not going to go through the process - then its time to take it off the books.

 

I think it has been a mistake to punt responsibility here to Mueller - he has his task, but that is different than the task of Congress.  Congress should hold the hearings - and if the hearings do not rise to the level of impeachment, then that is a fair result.  But, to do nothing - because it is politically inconvenient - is as much a part of the problem that led to Trump in the first place.

I agree they have a duty to conduct oversight and have hearings- and they are doing that now. Finally. 

But they have no responsibility to pursue impeachment IMO. Especially if the public doesn’t want it. 

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39 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Impeachment is a political process. Congress has no responsibility to pursue impeachment. 

Especially when it's a 100% guarantee to fail once it hits the senate. It would be political suicide for the Democrats.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

To be fair to @Stealthycat I think its a fair read of the situation. 

 

I have noticed Schiff has even started talking about crimes other than Collusion/Conspiracy when talking about Trump - leads me to believe there is no smoking gun - and while you could connect the dots - its not cut and dried.

 

It also makes sense with the "sudden" ramp up if financial crime investigations - which is where I have said since the beginning is Trump's biggest worry.

 

I think the Mueller Report will be this generation's version of the Warren Commission Report - people will still be looking for Russian connections 50 years from now

It doesn't fit the narrative :shrug:

It was pretty clear from the very beginning that "Direct connection between Trump and Russia" was never a standard anyone expected to be able to meet.  There are a multitude of reasons for this, the primary one being Russia is too smart to let that happen.  They had their useful idiot marked and executed accordingly.  This is exactly why the Trump supporters have always tried to narrow the success of this investigation to that standard.  The evolution of the discussions among the committees can be tied directly to the switch in committee leadership.  And it's no real surprise to me that these politicians are just having this revelation.  I'm not sure what you mean in terms of "sudden ramp up" either.  If you mean that the committees are now doing their jobs where the last two years they weren't, you can thank the change in leadership for that.  That doesn't seem to be evidence of leaks rather them finally doing their jobs IMO.

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32 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

I think they have a duty to conduct oversight and investigate.

You can't say the President has broken the law and is unfit for office - and then turn around and say we don't want to do anything about that.

 

Impeachment is a process - not a result.  If we are not going to go through the process - then its time to take it off the books.

 

I think it has been a mistake to punt responsibility here to Mueller - he has his task, but that is different than the task of Congress.  Congress should hold the hearings - and if the hearings do not rise to the level of impeachment, then that is a fair result.  But, to do nothing - because it is politically inconvenient - is as much a part of the problem that led to Trump in the first place.

:goodposting:

This notion that it costs too much politically to do the right thing pretty much disgusts me.

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Just now, The Commish said:

It was pretty clear from the very beginning that "Direct connection between Trump and Russia" was never a standard anyone expected to be able to meet. 

I would clarify that to "never a standard that any rational person expected to meet."

And, I would add that most people are not rational...

 

I think that the prevailing wisdom among the masses was an expectation that there is a signed contract, or audio tape of Trump agreeing to conspire with Putin - or there is nothing.  There has never been a middle ground for the masses.

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5 minutes ago, The Commish said:

I'm not sure what you mean in terms of "sudden ramp up" either.

I am more talking about the investigations by the NYAG, and the various subpoenas that have gone out to banks doing business with Trump - that had been a taboo subject for 2 years now, but suddenly everyone is getting into the game.

 

I think it is almost certain that Trump has committed some kind of fraud - relative to banks and/or insurance - using different valuations of the same assets to fit his particular need.  I think it is also very likely that Trump has filed false tax returns - while he was president.  (It seems likely that he treated payments to Cohen as ordinary business expenses that would have been deducted from his income - given that the payments were recorded as legal fees - and I don't think he can put that down to a simple "error").

 

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12 minutes ago, The Commish said:

:goodposting:

This notion that it costs too much politically to do the right thing pretty much disgusts me.

Why would they want to begin the impeachment process while everyone is still gathering facts? Every week or so more news comes out that shows Trump and his staff have broken laws.  In Pelosi's mind, there's still more to come, so why present half of the facts when moving forward with impeachment?   And since when isn't the Speaker of the House supposed to consider what's best for her/his party? That's her job. Doing some dog and pony show impeachment charade that has zero chance of removing him from office at this point would be a dereliction of duty on her part.

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3 minutes ago, JuniorNB said:

Why would they want to begin the impeachment process while everyone is still gathering facts?

That is the impeachment process.

Hold hearings specifically on impeachment - particularly on known issues - such as the campaign finance stuff.

Hold hearings on the obstruction of justice claims.

 

You hold impeachment hearings to issue subpoenas, gather facts, and determine if the facts warrant articles of impeachment.

 

You don't start with articles of impeachment - you end with articles of impeachment.  Even if Mueller comes out with a report that says "Trump absolutely conspired with Russia to affect the 2016 election", congress must still conduct its own hearings to develop the facts for the articles of impeachment.  It would be a dereliction of duty to simply point to the mueller report, and declare: "We're done here, lets hold an impeachment trial!"

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10 minutes ago, JuniorNB said:

Why would they want to begin the impeachment process while everyone is still gathering facts? Every week or so more news comes out that shows Trump and his staff have broken laws.  In Pelosi's mind, there's still more to come, so why present half of the facts when moving forward with impeachment?   And since when isn't the Speaker of the House supposed to consider what's best for her/his party? That's her job. Doing some dog and pony show impeachment charade that has zero chance of removing him from office at this point would be a dereliction of duty on her part.

Who said this?  Though I'd argue "impeachment process" and "gathering facts" are the exact same thing, I think I understand what you're saying.  I am not suggesting they move on to articles of impeachment without finding the facts first.  I stated up thread the only thing that should be said right now is along the lines of "we will wait to see what the Mueller investigation and committee investigations turn up and go from there".  There is absolutely no need to say "as of right now we are/aren't proceeding".  It's a muddled mixed message that serves no purpose other than pissing off the side that wants the opposite of what they are stating as their current position.  This isn't complicated.  It should have nothing to do with "political cost" and calculus around "winning or losing" something.  That's how we end up with guys like Trump in office...or bars need to be set way higher than that.

And it's the speaker's job to decide what's best for the country and our democracy, not her party.

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13 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Who said this?  Though I'd argue "impeachment process" and "gathering facts" are the exact same thing, I think I understand what you're saying.  I am not suggesting they move on to articles of impeachment without finding the facts first.  I stated up thread the only thing that should be said right now is along the lines of "we will wait to see what the Mueller investigation and committee investigations turn up and go from there".  There is absolutely no need to say "as of right now we are/aren't proceeding".  It's a muddled mixed message that serves no purpose other than pissing off the side that wants the opposite of what they are stating as their current position.  This isn't complicated.  It should have nothing to do with "political cost" and calculus around "winning or losing" something.  That's how we end up with guys like Trump in office...or bars need to be set way higher than that.

And it's the speaker's job to decide what's best for the country and our democracy, not her party.

Disagree 100%

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Commish, like the characters in the Spike Lee movie we just have a fundamental difference in opinion about what “doing the right thing” entails. 

Impeachment is not a legal matter, it’s a political matter. There is no “right thing” as regards impeachment. 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

There is no “right thing” as regards impeachment. 

This is how you end up with Trump as president.

 

Political calculus instead of doing the right thing.

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6 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Commish, like the characters in the Spike Lee movie we just have a fundamental difference in opinion about what “doing the right thing” entails. 

Impeachment is not a legal matter, it’s a political matter. There is no “right thing” as regards impeachment. 

Garbage.  Right thing here is to stand up for the tenants this country was built on as a reminder of what our republic and democracy in general stands for.  We are way beyond "policy differences" here.  We are at the foundation on which all that stuff is built on.  This is beyond the politics of it.  That's an excuse.  There are significant cracks in it and an unwillingness to address those cracks is unacceptable to me.  I am not particularly interested in understanding how that's acceptable to you guys.

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5 minutes ago, Sinn Fein said:

This is how you end up with Trump as president.

 

Political calculus instead of doing the right thing.

And impeaching him with zero chance of the senate removing him from office is how you end up with him for four more years.

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I didn't have a huge problem with what Pelosi said, with the exception of one word: "bipartisan". If she had just said, "Impeachment is something we take very seriously, and we're only going to move forward if we see solid evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors," that would have been totally unobjectionable. But she shouldn't be giving a GOP caucus that is totally in the tank for Trump a veto over the process.

I get that impeachment is ultimately a political decision, but there is a principle at stake as well. If a president is blatantly violating the law and Congress refuses to do anything about it, that has a corrosive effect on our democracy. Considering that it is inconceivable that any party will ever get 67 seats in the Senate, it basically gives presidents impunity while they're in office.

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1 minute ago, JuniorNB said:

And impeaching him with zero chance of the senate removing him from office is how you end up with him for four more years.

I disagree.

 

Doing the right thing is hard.  But, if we think that impeachment hearings are off the table where we have the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony while running for office, and continuing while in office, then we need to eliminate impeachments as an option in the future.

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

I disagree.

 

Doing the right thing is hard.  But, if we think that impeachment hearings are off the table where we have the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in a felony while running for office, and continuing while in office, then we need to eliminate impeachments as an option in the future.

Well surely you agree that there are different levels of infractions. If more info comes out that makes it obvious our president is a felon, then Pelosi will proceed. The conspiracy to pay of a porn star definitely warrants impeachment in my mind, but to a lot of people, it was just the run of the mill rich guy getting caught banging someone and trying to keep the secret from his wife.  She never said it was 'off the table'. It would be premature at this point.

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16 minutes ago, zftcg said:

I didn't have a huge problem with what Pelosi said, with the exception of one word: "bipartisan". If she had just said, "Impeachment is something we take very seriously, and we're only going to move forward if we see solid evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors," that would have been totally unobjectionable. But she shouldn't be giving a GOP caucus that is totally in the tank for Trump a veto over the process.

I get that impeachment is ultimately a political decision, but there is a principle at stake as well. If a president is blatantly violating the law and Congress refuses to do anything about it, that has a corrosive effect on our democracy. Considering that it is inconceivable that any party will ever get 67 seats in the Senate, it basically gives presidents impunity while they're in office.

Bingo

:goodposting:

 

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38 minutes ago, The Commish said:

  I am not particularly interested in understanding how that's acceptable to you guys.

That’s your prerogative of course, but it doesn’t make for especially good discussion. 

However too bad; I’m going to explain why it’s acceptable to me anyhow. It’s acceptable to me because, at least at this point, while I am convinced that President Trump has committed several crimes, I am not convinced that any of them, or all of them combined, warrant his removal from office. A few months ago I was convinced that the firing of James Comey, and the warning to James Comey to “let the Flynn matter drop”, were acts of obstruction of justice, but I’m less sure of that now. If I was sure that Trump had committed crimes warranting his removal my thoughts on this would be quite different, and I believe the same is true of Pelosi. 

That being said, I’m really not a fan of meaningless gestures, which is what an impeachment would be. You and others seem to believe that an impeachment of Trump by the House on a partisan line vote, with no chance of removal from the Senate, would be an act of restoring legitimacy to our political system. I say it would weaken our system even further.  

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To impeach now would be like hiring the guy from Cheaters and catching him shopping with the other woman, and stealing a kiss in the parking lot of his workplace, and finding out they made plans at a hotel and then bursting the door open on him before the woman-in-question shows up. It's premature.

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55 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Impeachment is not a legal matter, it’s a political matter.

I think you've said this 50 times, and it's oft stated. I dunno, maybe it's true. However keep in mind in Watergate it was specifically a legal mater. The grand jury referred findings of criminal conduct by the President to Congress and asked them to impeachment so Nixon could be charged. Andrew Johnson was a similar discussion because it was a legal question of who could appoint the Secretary of War (Defense), or did the President have the power to defy Congress on an even ultimately illegal request without hearing from the courts? 

These are very much legal things.

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45 minutes ago, zftcg said:

I didn't have a huge problem with what Pelosi said, with the exception of one word: "bipartisan". If she had just said, "Impeachment is something we take very seriously, and we're only going to move forward if we see solid evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors," that would have been totally unobjectionable. But she shouldn't be giving a GOP caucus that is totally in the tank for Trump a veto over the process.

I get that impeachment is ultimately a political decision, but there is a principle at stake as well. If a president is blatantly violating the law and Congress refuses to do anything about it, that has a corrosive effect on our democracy. Considering that it is inconceivable that any party will ever get 67 seats in the Senate, it basically gives presidents impunity while they're in office.

That is not the correct message. The message is, if Congress is going to impeach and remove the President, they’d better have the majority of the public with them. Right now they do not. 

But to your last point: I’m not sure that the impeachment clauses were written with a two party political system firmly in mind. But many scholars are convinced that it was written mostly as a deterrent. Even if impeachment never takes place, the President cannot act with impunity; he is still hampered by law and limited powers. And ultimately the public has the right to remove the President from office every 4 years. In fact it could be argued that impeachment is anti-democratic because it takes away the public’s right to choose a leader. 

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7 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

I think you've said this 50 times, and it's oft stated. I dunno, maybe it's true. However keep in mind in Watergate it was specifically a legal mater. The grand jury referred findings of criminal conduct by the President to Congress and asked them to impeachment so Nixon could be charged. Andrew Johnson was a similar discussion because it was a legal question of who could appoint the Secretary of War (Defense), or did the President have the power to defy Congress on an even ultimately illegal request without hearing from the courts? 

These are very much legal things.

Nixon was not impeached. If he had been it would have been political. 

Johnson was impeached on several counts including firing the Secretary of War, but also for drunkenness, public lewdness and other “high crimes.” But basically he was impeached for trying to protect the status of white southerners during Reconstruction. It was 100% political. 

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Just now, timschochet said:

Nixon was not impeached. If he had been it would have been political. 

Johnson was impeached on several counts including firing the Secretary of War, but also for drunkenness, public lewdness and other “high crimes.” But basically he was impeached for trying to protect the status of white southerners during Reconstruction. It was 100% political. 

On Nixon. Back up. The grand jury sent a criminal referral to Congress, he was very much going to be impeached.

The Secretary of War was the one who was supposed to do the protecting. Whether AJ had the purview to do or not do that was 100% a legal question.

And Trump would not be impeached on being a lousy president or being a total jerk. He won't even be impeached for violating the constitution with his national emergency. If he is impeached it will be because criminal charges are referred to Congress by the DOJ or a state AG.

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And that's really Pelosi's point, not that she won't impeach Trump because it's bad politics, no, she specifically pointed to Watergate. Congress received a criminal referral from a grand jury - not Jaworski. And it was up to the Republicans to tell him they would not support him violating the law and due process itself. Now this krewe in 2019-20? Who knows.

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22 minutes ago, timschochet said:

That’s your prerogative of course, but it doesn’t make for especially good discussion. 

However too bad; I’m going to explain why it’s acceptable to me anyhow. It’s acceptable to me because, at least at this point, while I am convinced that President Trump has committed several crimes, I am not convinced that any of them, or all of them combined, warrant his removal from office. A few months ago I was convinced that the firing of James Comey, and the warning to James Comey to “let the Flynn matter drop”, were acts of obstruction of justice, but I’m less sure of that now. If I was sure that Trump had committed crimes warranting his removal my thoughts on this would be quite different, and I believe the same is true of Pelosi. 

That being said, I’m really not a fan of meaningless gestures, which is what an impeachment would be. You and others seem to believe that an impeachment of Trump by the House on a partisan line vote, with no chance of removal from the Senate, would be an act of restoring legitimacy to our political system. I say it would weaken our system even further.  

The system is what it is.  It's not hurt/damaged by this.  The core beliefs and tenants on which this country are built are in the way the system is used for/against them.  And to be clear, since you guys are either not hearing what Sinn and I are saying or you're trying to put words in our mouths, the process should move forward.  If the result is a big nothingburger, then that's what the result is.  We are NOT saying that articles should be drawn immediately and we are NOT saying a vote should be held today.  We are saying that the process should be worked and let the results fall where they may.  That "I'm afraid we won't turn up anything and it's going to cost me politically so I am not going to do it unless everyone else does it" is an acceptable excuse for them taking no action is absurd to me.  That's not an argument I will acknowledge as legit in any form.  The approach/message here has been a muddled mess full of qualifications and other nonsense.  The average American isn't going to care and plenty of opportunity is left in all that qualification and other nonsense for the GOP to make whatever narrative they want out of it.

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Nixon was not impeached. If he had been it would have been political. 

And yet, there were congressional impeachment hearings leading up to the House Judiciary committee ultimately voting on three articles of impeachment, including obstruction of justice, and failure to comply with a congressional subpoena.

 

According to you - that was a mistake...

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

And that's really Pelosi's point, not that she won't impeach Trump because it's bad politics, no, she specifically pointed to Watergate. Congress received a criminal referral from a grand jury - not Jawaorski. And it was up to the Republicans to tell him they would not support him violating the law and due process itself. Now this krewe in 2019-20? Who knows.

This is my point, right here in words.  The average American isn't going to care to understand the above.  What will they understand?  They will understand "we are waiting for our committee investigations and the Mueller investigation to collect all their information and present their finding.  Once we have those findings we will be better equipped to gauge our next steps."

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12 minutes ago, timschochet said:

That is not the correct message. The message is, if Congress is going to impeach and remove the President, they’d better have the majority of the public with them. Right now they do not. 

But to your last point: I’m not sure that the impeachment clauses were written with a two party political system firmly in mind. But many scholars are convinced that it was written mostly as a deterrent. Even if impeachment never takes place, the President cannot act with impunity; he is still hampered by law and limited powers. And ultimately the public has the right to remove the President from office every 4 years. In fact it could be argued that impeachment is anti-democratic because it takes away the public’s right to choose a leader. 

Considering that the Founders did not envision political parties, I'm absolutely sure they weren't written with that in mind.

For the record,  I agree that a failed impeachment is a bad thing (though it's also worth pointing out that the last time the GOP tried it, they won the White House two years later, so if we're only viewing it through political terms, it's hardly a suicidal move). But I also think that in the scenarios we're discussing, there are no good options. And I honestly don't know which is the least bad. Which is why I think it's wrong to commit to either course of action based on hypothetical facts. Once we have a better idea -- through Mueller, through the SDNY, through Congressional investigations -- exactly what Trump did, the decision may not be any easier, but it certainly won't be harder than it is right now.

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It's about accountability.  If Trump has committed FELONIES, such as Obstruction of Justice and Campaign Finance violations, which appears more likely as each of his cronies and fall by the wayside, he needs to be held accountable.  Politically, that means impeachment.  I cannot understand how the Democrats, in trying to hold him politically accountable for his misdeeds, will be weakened by a Republican led effort in the Senate to shamefully protect this President from being held accountable.  I believe it strengthens the Democrats position heading into the 2020 elections.

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Question for Tim: As long as we're dealing in hypotheticals, let's say that Trump did shoot the proverbial person on 5th Avenue. And that it was all caught on tape. Yet in spite of incontrovertible evidence that he is a cold-blooded murderer, the Senate GOP announces he has done nothing wrong and under no circumstances will they vote to remove him from office.

In that scenario, would it still be wrong for the House to impeach him?

(And please don't bother picking apart the details of my hypothetical. What the question ultimately boils down to is this: Is there any level of criminality that should compel the House to impeach a president on principal, regardless of the eventual outcome?)

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

A few months ago I was convinced that the firing of James Comey, and the warning to James Comey to “let the Flynn matter drop”, were acts of obstruction of justice, but I’m less sure of that now.

What's your theory regarding why Trump fired Comey? Because Comey had been unfair to Hillary?

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21 minutes ago, zftcg said:

Question for Tim: As long as we're dealing in hypotheticals, let's say that Trump did shoot the proverbial person on 5th Avenue. And that it was all caught on tape. Yet in spite of incontrovertible evidence that he is a cold-blooded murderer, the Senate GOP announces he has done nothing wrong and under no circumstances will they vote to remove him from office.

In that scenario, would it still be wrong for the House to impeach him?

(And please don't bother picking apart the details of my hypothetical. What the question ultimately boils down to is this: Is there any level of criminality that should compel the House to impeach a president on principal, regardless of the eventual outcome?)

My answer is no it would not. 

But I find your scenario absurd. If one political party (Republicans in your scenario) were that openly corrupt, we would be facing revolution in this country. 

In real life, while Republicans have behaved somewhat shameless in their protection of Trump, they would not ignore a serious, obvious crime. 

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

My answer is no it would not. 

OK, glad you agree to that. So now, to quote the old joke, we're just haggling over the price.

Where do you draw the line between "serious, obvious crime" and "murky, debatable crime"? What if Mueller produces a fairly solid case that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election? What if the SDNY produces evidence that Trump committed massive fraud during his business career? What if Trump "only" committed obstruction of justice? And what criteria are you using to draw that line?

 

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13 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

What's your theory regarding why Trump fired Comey? Because Comey had been unfair to Hillary?

I believe Comey was fired because Trump was irritated by the continued investigation into Russian collusion. Trump admitted as much, after the White House tried to lie about it. It was an act of corruption, perhaps obstruction of justice (here I’m not sure because the President does have the right to fire him for ANY reason). It remains, IMO, the worst act of a corrupt nature that I am SURE that Trump committed, and that includes paying off Stormy Daniels. 

But- does it warrant his removal from office? I’m not convinced that it does. I’m not convinced that it doesn't either. I’m unsure that it rises to the level of impeachment as I understand the term to be, and that’s why I can’t get anywhere close to the moral “right vs wrong” outrage that The Commish and others are at. Not yet anyhow. 

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1 minute ago, zftcg said:

OK, glad you agree to that. So now, to quote the old joke, we're just haggling over the price.

Where do you draw the line between "serious, obvious crime" and "murky, debatable crime"? What if Mueller produces a fairly solid case that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election? What if the SDNY produces evidence that Trump committed massive fraud during his business career? What if Trump "only" committed obstruction of justice? And what criteria are you using to draw that line?

 

It’s not necessary, for my argument, for me to answer what is an obvious crime that warrants removal. To paraphrase Potter Stewart about porn: I’ll know it when I see it. 

But more importantly: if Trump commits an obvious crime that warrants his removal, the Republicans will be along for the ride. Which will make the question of an impeachment process without hope of removal a moot point. And that’s why it was fine and correct  for Pelosi to include the word “bipartisan.” 

If the crime is obvious, Republicans will agree to throw him out. If you and others doubt this, then it seems to be that YOU are the ones who are being cynical about our political system, not me. 

 

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

 

If the crime is obvious, Republicans will agree to throw him out.

 

Can you show me an example of anything a republican has done in the past two years that would lead you to believe this?

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1 minute ago, timschochet said:

If the crime is obvious, Republicans will agree to throw him out. If you and others doubt this, then it seems to be that YOU are the ones who are being cynical about our political system, not me. 

Have you seen who's president? I question anyone who's experienced the past few years and is NOT cynical about our system.

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5 minutes ago, timschochet said:

It’s not necessary, for my argument, for me to answer what is an obvious crime that warrants removal. To paraphrase Potter Stewart about porn: I’ll know it when I see it. 

But more importantly: if Trump commits an obvious crime that warrants his removal, the Republicans will be along for the ride. Which will make the question of an impeachment process without hope of removal a moot point. And that’s why it was fine and correct  for Pelosi to include the word “bipartisan.” 

If the crime is obvious, Republicans will agree to throw him out. If you and others doubt this, then it seems to be that YOU are the ones who are being cynical about our political system, not me. 

This actually goes to an important philosophical point. Republicans have been trashing norms for the better part of two decades. I'm someone who recognizes the value of norms, but I also think Democrats have to recognize the new reality that's been created and can't just pretend nothing has changed.

Based on the past two years, Republicans being unwilling to turn on an obviously criminal president is a very legitimate worry, and we need to think about how we should react to that new reality. Simply closing our eyes and assuming they'll do the right thing is not much of a plan.

So let's extend the hypothetical. Say that prosecutors produce evidence that, in your view, satisfies the Potter Stewart test, but Republicans still refuse to act. What should Democrats do in that scenario?

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