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Tags Congressional hearings , donald trump , impeachment , Trump administration , Trump controversies

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Old 27th July 2019, 02:44 AM   #1
Squeegee Beckenheim
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House Impeachment Inquiry

https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1154820023631962113

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Here’s the petition formally announcing in DC federal court the impeachment inquiry in which the House is now engaged. No ifs ands or buts. No ambiguity. The eagle has taken flight.

https://judiciary.house.gov/sites/de...20PETITION.pdf
I thought it was probably worth this having its own thread for related news, updates, discussion, etc. as it's not wholly related to any other thread and will likely be ongoing for quite a while.
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Old 27th July 2019, 02:54 AM   #2
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Incidentally, there is some debate about whether this is an impeachment inquiry or whether it's an inquiry to determine whether impeachment proceedings should begin. I'm no constitutional lawyer, so I can't make that determination myself, but either way this thread seems worthwhile as there will no doubt be ongoing news and debate on this subject.

FWIW, here is the opinion of one lawyer: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.f89e6d02400d

Quote:
Has the House of Representatives opened an impeachment inquiry? That question is starkly presented by a petition that the House Judiciary Committee filed in federal court on Friday. It is also answered by that petition. No matter what certain House Democratic leaders might say about the politics of the matter, there can now be no doubt that the committee is engaged in an investigation of whether to impeach President Trump.

Through its petition, the committee seeks access to portions of the report by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that were redacted to protect grand jury secrecy. The panel also seeks grand jury testimony bearing on Trump’s knowledge of criminal acts, Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Russian connections to his campaign. Finally, the committee seeks grand jury testimony about actions taken by former White House counsel Donald McGahn; this last request probably anticipates the committee’s rumored plans to seek an order compelling McGahn to testify.

It is settled law that House committees can obtain grand jury materials as part of impeachment investigations. So the legal dispute will probably center on whether such an inquiry is underway.

The Constitution itself does not use phrases like “impeachment investigation” or “impeachment proceedings.” This has led some to mistakenly assume that the House is disregarding its impeachment power because it has not yet held a floor vote approving articles of impeachment (or expressly instructing the Judiciary Committee to deliberate on such articles).

But to those who specialize in these matters, that all-or-nothing vision of the impeachment power is mistaken. The Constitution’s text and structure — supported by judicial precedent and prior practice — show that impeachment is a process, not a single vote. And that process virtually always begins with an impeachment investigation in the judiciary committee, which is already occurring.
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Old 27th July 2019, 03:59 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Incidentally, there is some debate about whether this is an impeachment inquiry or whether it's an inquiry to determine whether impeachment proceedings should begin.
Heh, only lawyers would spend so much energy on such a technicality. Ultimately, no matter what it is called, the house will either vote to impeach or not impeach or it may drop the matter entirely.
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Old 27th July 2019, 04:08 AM   #4
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IMO, the main point is to make it harder for the Courts to shut House requests for subpoenas etc. down.
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Old 27th July 2019, 05:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Heh, only lawyers would spend so much energy on such a technicality.
Well, the Democratic politicians themselves seem to be going out of their way to say that they're not impeachment proceedings - presumably because they want to avoid the backlash - and I'd imagine that partisan Republicans would be keen to paint this as not an impeachment inquiry.
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Old 27th July 2019, 05:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
IMO, the main point is to make it harder for the Courts to shut House requests for subpoenas etc. down.
I think this will certainly be a driving factor.
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Old 27th July 2019, 04:14 PM   #7
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Article in which 4 members of the House Judiciary Committee lay out why they're moving forwards with impeachment
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Old 27th July 2019, 05:26 PM   #8
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I think it's imperative that the House Judiciary Committee know what is in the Grand Jury testimony.
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Old 27th July 2019, 06:38 PM   #9
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I think it's imperative that the Dems either take the White House or make major gains in the Senate in 2020 or they are gonna impeach Trump all the way into a Dictatorship gift wrapped for him.

Impeachment is nothing (worse then nothing since there will be a backlash) without conviction and a conviction would require getting 2/3s of a 53-45 Republican majority Senate to vote against the President. Not going to happen and it will hand jump a major victory narrative to role into 2020 with.

I get that I'm like the lone voice in this but an impeachment that goes nowhere is more dangerous then no impeachment at all.
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Old 27th July 2019, 06:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
...

I get that I'm like the lone voice in this but an impeachment that goes nowhere is more dangerous then no impeachment at all.
That's a premature assumption.
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Old 27th July 2019, 07:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
That's a premature assumption.
Well as I have said many times this is one thing I hope I'm wrong all. I'll eat all the crow anyone seems fit to put on a plate in front of me if it means a viable path to no more Trump.

I really, really, really no snark, full sincerity want to be wrong. I just don't think I am.
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Old 28th July 2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I think it's imperative that the Dems either take the White House or make major gains in the Senate in 2020 or they are gonna impeach Trump all the way into a Dictatorship gift wrapped for him.

Impeachment is nothing (worse then nothing since there will be a backlash) without conviction and a conviction would require getting 2/3s of a 53-45 Republican majority Senate to vote against the President. Not going to happen and it will hand jump a major victory narrative to role into 2020 with.

I get that I'm like the lone voice in this but an impeachment that goes nowhere is more dangerous then no impeachment at all.
The thing is, there's no clear good (or probably even best) option for the Dems to take now. If they try to impeach and it doesn't work, it might be a bad look, but not impeaching would also give Trump and the GOP full license to claim that the legal investigations into Trump really are witch hunts (and with it that the Dems have gone insane, are trying to destroy the country, etc.). As far as I'm concerned, that easily could have a much worse result. With choosing to go forward with impeachment, Dems can at least roll the dice on having a more positive outcome than inaction.
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I think it's imperative that the Dems either take the White House or make major gains in the Senate in 2020 or they are gonna impeach Trump all the way into a Dictatorship gift wrapped for him.

Impeachment is nothing (worse then nothing since there will be a backlash) without conviction and a conviction would require getting 2/3s of a 53-45 Republican majority Senate to vote against the President. Not going to happen and it will hand jump a major victory narrative to role into 2020 with.

I get that I'm like the lone voice in this but an impeachment that goes nowhere is more dangerous then no impeachment at all.
The thing is that the Republicans only support Trump because they think it's advantageous to do so. Nixon didn't start losing popularity until impeachment proceedings began.

The question is what will come out during impeachment hearings. Would his tax returns show money laundering for the Russians, for example? Would that negatively impact his popularity? What would potential counterintelligence information reveal?

If his popularity were negatively impacted to the point that he could be seen as a liability rather than a benefit to the Republican party, then they'd turn on him in an instant with a flurry of "who could possibly have known he was a criminal?" statements.

I agree that this is not certain - especially as the ground has been so well-prepared with talk of the "Deep State", etc, but it is one way that impeachment could pass the Senate.
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:10 AM   #14
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Impeaching and losing cannot be worse than not impeaching at all.

If the country is so ********d that a backlash against impeachment against so demonstrably a criminal as Trump should result in calamity, then the Dems would just as well fold up their tent now, bow out, and give over the whole shebang to the fascists.

In any event, principle must win out over political considerations. The Constitution *demands* impeachment. Come what may. Yes, even if it's a losing proposition. To not proceed as honor and right dictates, history will rightfully decry. Especially if Trump wins a second term.
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:11 AM   #15
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Impeachment equals Trump re-election
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:17 AM   #16
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Br'er Democrat, please don't throw me in the impeachment patch!
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:44 AM   #17
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I cannot for the life of me see any downside of having an Impeachment Inquiry.

It's not like the Senate is going to agree to anything the House passes, so holding hearings into possible violations by the White House is the only thing Dems can do that is part of their constitutional duty.
You thing voters prefer their representatives to do nothing until 2021?
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Old 28th July 2019, 09:59 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I cannot for the life of me see any downside of having an Impeachment Inquiry.

It's not like the Senate is going to agree to anything the House passes, so holding hearings into possible violations by the White House is the only thing Dems can do that is part of their constitutional duty.
You thing voters prefer their representatives to do nothing until 2021?
I'm saying the potential is there that an Impeachment that doesn't lead to a conviction (which seems to me we're all on-board with happen, nobody seems to be seriously advancing Trump being removed from office as a possibility to even be worth considering) is going to give Trump/the GOP a much stronger "We're clean" narrative then going into 2020 then not.

If we impeach Trump now the narrative he will sell to his followers and a lot of the margin sitters is "Well that proves I didn't do anything wrong; even after a full on Impeachment they couldn't make anything stick to me."

We leave Trump alone (in a legal sense) for now, our odds of beating him in 2020 are about 50/50 if things stay on the path they are now. We impeach him, those odds drop to 1 in 10, tops and we'll have a solid year of Trump and GOP in a "We have to get back at the Dems" mood.

Again I hope I'm wrong about this. I really do. I just don't think I am.

And just so this doesn't come across as paranoia I'm pulling out of my ass, public support for impeachment is not high and isn't getting any higher. Even after the most recent Mueller hearings only 48 percent of self identified Dems and 3 percent of self identified Republicans support impeaching Trump. And both Republicans and Dems are united in that the Mueller hearings didn't change their mind in any real numbers.

That's not exactly overwhelming support for the idea.

You wouldn't even being going into the impeachment with the Democrats all on aboard. Only about half the Dems in Congress support impeachment. I can't imagine I have to explain in too much detail how shaky that make impeachment.

Sure the possibility that the impeachment is what is finally going to get the ball rolling is... very possible. I just think it's naive to pretend it's not risky and idealistic to adopt a "Well we have to do it even if it's self destructive" mentality.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:17 AM   #19
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No one, not even Republicans, think that Trump is "clean".
And the Senate refusing to convict won't change that either way.

But more importantly, the Impeachment Inquiry is a Backstop should Trump win in 2020: Dems (assuming the hold the House, which I consider very likely), can slow him down with the inquiries, subpoenas, court battles and hearings, so that he won't be able to do as much damage in his second term.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Impeachment equals Trump re-election
Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Br'er Democrat, please don't throw me in the impeachment patch!
If the only reason not to impeach is this imaginary backlash, then hell yeah, let's go all in.

Clinton was a popular president who was impeached for lying about sex after what really was a multi-year, open-ended witch hunt. Trump is an unpopular president who not only broke the law on several matters concerning his election but is a continuing national security threat. I don't know why people think impeachment would play out the same.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
If the only reason not to impeach is this imaginary backlash, then hell yeah, let's go all in.

Clinton was a popular president who was impeached for lying about sex after what really was a multi-year, open-ended witch hunt. Trump is an unpopular president who not only broke the law on several matters concerning his election but is a continuing national security threat. I don't know why people think impeachment would play out the same.
Furthermore (and in addition to the ethical argument that it is the duty to impeach because the crimes are obvious), Trump is not Clinton (queue Trumpist taunting). Trump is a brittle, weak minded, petty narcissist criminal.

His reaction to impeachment hearings are likely to be criminal in and of themselves, and they will certainly be morally abhorrent.

Make all the Trumpist Senators own him and their depraved indifference to their civic duty.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
His reaction to impeachment hearings are likely to be criminal in and of themselves, and they will certainly be morally abhorrent.

Make all the Trumpist Senators own him and their depraved indifference to their civic duty.
Great. And then what?
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:28 AM   #23
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The more Democrats force Republicans to defend Trump, the longer the GOP will be tainted by the Trump legacy.
Going after Trump with all the force of the House and the Courts is a solid long-term political strategy.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:33 AM   #24
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The 'impeachment is bad' memes are saturating the airwaves.

I don't believe them anymore than I believe Trump when he repeats over and over, Mueller exonerated him.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:43 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I'm saying the potential is there that an Impeachment that doesn't lead to a conviction (which seems to me we're all on-board with happen, nobody seems to be seriously advancing Trump being removed from office as a possibility to even be worth considering) is going to give Trump/the GOP a much stronger "We're clean" narrative then going into 2020 then not.

If we impeach Trump now the narrative he will sell to his followers and a lot of the margin sitters is "Well that proves I didn't do anything wrong; even after a full on Impeachment they couldn't make anything stick to me."

We leave Trump alone (in a legal sense) for now, our odds of beating him in 2020 are about 50/50 if things stay on the path they are now. We impeach him, those odds drop to 1 in 10, tops and we'll have a solid year of Trump and GOP in a "We have to get back at the Dems" mood.

Again I hope I'm wrong about this. I really do. I just don't think I am.

And just so this doesn't come across as paranoia I'm pulling out of my ass, public support for impeachment is not high and isn't getting any higher. Even after the most recent Mueller hearings only 48 percent of self identified Dems and 3 percent of self identified Republicans support impeaching Trump. And both Republicans and Dems are united in that the Mueller hearings didn't change their mind in any real numbers.

That's not exactly overwhelming support for the idea.

You wouldn't even being going into the impeachment with the Democrats all on aboard. Only about half the Dems in Congress support impeachment. I can't imagine I have to explain in too much detail how shaky that make impeachment.

Sure the possibility that the impeachment is what is finally going to get the ball rolling is... very possible. I just think it's naive to pretend it's not risky and idealistic to adopt a "Well we have to do it even if it's self destructive" mentality.
The thing is, in order to convict Trump, there will need to be more evidence. To get that evidence, it seems that the requests for that evidence need to be part of an impeachment inquiry. Without one, the Republicans are just going to keep successfully suppressing the evidence.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Furthermore (and in addition to the ethical argument that it is the duty to impeach because the crimes are obvious), Trump is not Clinton (queue Trumpist taunting). Trump is a brittle, weak minded, petty narcissist criminal.
...whose lawyers successfully argued that he should not be compelled to testify because he would be unable to refrain from perjuring himself.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:48 AM   #27
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If Dems have an entire 2nd term of Trump, there is plenty of time to run up all the way to the Supreme Court to force Trump to testify under oath.
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Old 28th July 2019, 10:51 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Great. And then what?
Well, then, we burn the Party of Trump to the ground. Or just outnumber them at the polls, but you know Trump only plays Winner Take All games. Whatever is left of the Republican Party will have little taste for trumpism, I suspect -- they'll probably try to revive that "conservative movement" thing, like nothing happened.
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Old 28th July 2019, 04:06 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Heh, only lawyers would spend so much energy on such a technicality. Ultimately, no matter what it is called, the house will either vote to impeach or not impeach or it may drop the matter entirely.
It's gonna be a very important technicality, though. "Do we have enough to impeach?" is a very different question from "shall we now impeach?"
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Old 28th July 2019, 04:40 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The more Democrats force Republicans to defend Trump, the longer the GOP will be tainted by the Trump legacy.
Going after Trump with all the force of the House and the Courts is a solid long-term political strategy.
There is however a question of timing. If the House took the fast track and impeached Trump in the next few weeks the Senate would exonerate Trump of all charges even faster. The entire mess would be old news next year when the voters go to the polls.

The slow path may work a lot better. Air most of the dirty laundry next year when it will be fresh in the voters minds as they go to the polls.
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Old 28th July 2019, 05:22 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
The slow path may work a lot better. Air most of the dirty laundry next year when it will be fresh in the voters minds as they go to the polls.
I go back and forth on the timing, and I can easily agree with you here.

Still, the thing I keep coming back to – perhaps idealistically – is this: if there are grounds for impeachment, i.e., there is legitimate reason to believe that the Executive Branch is in any way compromised, then it is the Constitutional duty of Congress to impeach. Regardless of timing, polling, etc., the Constitution says that if x happens, y needs to follow.

This should be the narrative for House Democrats.

We are in the midst of an extraordinary series of events suggesting that the Executive Branch is compromised by outside influences and that the President has on ___ counts acted in violation of his inaugural oath. . .

We know that impeachment is not popular among the American people, currently polling at ___% for Democrats and ___% overall. We know that even in the face of overwhelming evidence, the Republican-controlled Senate will clear the President of wrongdoing. We know that there is significant risk in pushing for something unpopular that ultimately goes nowhere, and that this will like end many of our political careers, etc. However, we have no choice.

We would love the chance to be debating legislative policy in Congress and fighting for our constituents in our home districts. We would love to be in a situation in which, though we might disagree with the President on specific policy issues we would have no question but that he was acting in good faith on behalf of the American people and in accordance with the Constitution. But 33 indictments and potentially 10 counts of obstruction of justice from the Special Counsel's investigation demand emergency action, and the Constitution is quite clear where our primary focus must be, etc.


If Democrats could for once grow a spine and dictate the narrative, they might be okay regardless of the outcome. Lord only knows what kind of damning information could materialize during impeachment hearings. Remember, it was Bill's lying about his affair that did way more damage than the affair itself.
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Old 28th July 2019, 05:56 PM   #32
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The Bill Clinton impeachment stuck to Hillary years later. It has implications. And the best plan is to impeach right through Nov election. Nixon did not have that burden, he was in his 2nd term. There they waited so long and had so much dirt, mere Watergate hearings was enough.

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Old 28th July 2019, 06:17 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by WilliamSeger View Post
If the only reason not to impeach is this imaginary backlash, then hell yeah, let's go all in.

Clinton was a popular president who was impeached for lying about sex after what really was a multi-year, open-ended witch hunt. Trump is an unpopular president who not only broke the law on several matters concerning his election but is a continuing national security threat. I don't know why people think impeachment would play out the same.
Count me in amongst those who don't see any sort of master plan from the guy whose casino business, among many others, went bankrupt, and whose negative attributes are all perfectly obvious to anyone who is honest with themselves.
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Old 28th July 2019, 07:14 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
The thing is, in order to convict Trump, there will need to be more evidence. To get that evidence, it seems that the requests for that evidence need to be part of an impeachment inquiry. Without one, the Republicans are just going to keep successfully suppressing the evidence.
And not just suppressing the evidence, CONTROLLING THE NARRATIVE.
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Old 28th July 2019, 07:15 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's gonna be a very important technicality, though. "Do we have enough to impeach?" is a very different question from "shall we now impeach?"
I dunno, you tell us, is perjury enough to impeach?
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Old 28th July 2019, 07:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I dunno, you tell us, is perjury enough to impeach?
A Dem? Sure is, yessiree!
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Old 28th July 2019, 07:53 PM   #37
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I found a couple jewels, I'm sure there are more. It might need a new thread but really it is less cumbersome to just put it here. How did you feel about Clinton's impeachment and is it hypocritical now? Most of these are current, BTW.

Fast Eddie G
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumn1971
Clinton quibbling his way out of an irrelevant question...
Fascinating how a violation of Federal Law can be downplayed.

It showed one thing: that President Clinton's testimony under oath going forward would forever have to be viewed with the knowledge that he might choose to perjure himself whenever he found it suited his needs.

That was an important thing to know about his character.
That irony is friggin' hilarious.

I'm going to do these one at a time lest I lose the post to the post goblins.

Fast Eddie clearly denies supporting Trump, not sure if he's supported Trump's impeachment.

There are a couple more of his posts addressing impeachment for perjury. I'd say he's been consistent. But I'd like to know how FE views impeaching Trump because he might lie under oath in the future to suit his needs.
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Old 28th July 2019, 08:03 PM   #38
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theprestige
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Originally Posted by autumn1971
Yup. Clinton, in an investigation of 20 year- old real estate deals may have lied about a consensual affair that occurred 20 years after the purported subject of the investigation. Much different than several of trump's closest associates lying under oath about illegal dealings with an adversarial foreign power that has been shown to have at lest attempted to subvert national sovereignty.
The biggest difference is that it's not the president doing it. Because Clinton was impeached for something he actually did, you want Trump to be impeached for things other people did. How is that rational?
So, is that conclusion different now?

theprestige
Quote:
"directly or indirectly suspected"

A year in, folks. A year in, and this is the best they have.

Indirectly suspected. Might as well just admit to being addicted to truthiness.
theprestige
Quote:
Not really. Clinton committed perjury under oath, while serving as president. That was certainly a fit subject for impeachment proceedings. The House of Representatives actually presented a case for impeachment on those grounds to the Senate, and the Senate actually voted on the matter. It was an actual impeachment, attended by no small amount of partisan glee, naturally.

But very different from the current situation, where no clear cause for impeachment has yet been produced. Instead, partisans on the left each week return to their exciting fantasies of The One Thing That Will Disqualify Trump For Sure This Time.

It's been going on for almost two years now--since before the election. Progressive "impeachment porn" is really just a sub-genre of progressive "disqualification porn".
Perhaps you might update us as to your current view?

I have two of my own posts next.
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Old 28th July 2019, 08:14 PM   #39
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So here is my past POV, like I already said, the circumstances around Clinton's perjury and Trump's are simply not analogous.

SG
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B
What is the purpose of the quote marks?

He did quite clearly lie under oath, no quote marks necessary.
I don't give a rip what you right-wingers think, they entrapped him into lying about cheating on his wife. Give me a *********** break.

Yes, you can fault Clinton for either being a womanizer or being a womanizer that also did some groping and maybe worse. But this perjury thing, what a joke.

Bet you you could find perjury in just about every GOP legislator's divorce hearings. OMG! Perjury!

Tell me, can we find any posts of you being equally adamant that half of Trump's inner circle also lied under oath either on security forms or in their confirmation hearings?

I'll wait.
SG

Says about the same thing, Fast Eddie and I debating the issue of levels of perjury.

Several other right leaners or wingers argued the same point, perjury was serious, but they didn't think in Clinton's case it should have been grounds for impeachment.
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Old 28th July 2019, 08:35 PM   #40
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Honestly, I see no need to bring Clinton into this.

Dolt 45 has shown deference to at least one adversarial country (I'd argue multiple ones), who he is entangled with financially. He refuses to relinquish these financial ties, and has advised his staff to lie to law enforcement to aid him in hiding these ties.

That's quite enough, on it's own, for removal from office - along with his staff, and anyone providing "too much" cover, such as one Mitch McConnell (who most recently disgraced himself by stating that he would block any aid to miners suffering with black lung disease in his own state - but that's another matter)

Nothing any democratic president has done in my lifetime comes close. For that matter, GWB did nothing close, either (this covers my memories since the age of ...8?)
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