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Thread: "To Impeach or Not to Impeach"

  1. #1

    "To Impeach or Not to Impeach"

    To Impeach or Not to Impeach.

    By Andrew P. Napolitano

    May 23, 2019




    “If the president does it,
    that means it is not illegal.”
    –Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)

    The revelation last weekend by Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash that he believes the Mueller Report accuses President Donald Trump of impeachable offenses has ignited firestorms in both major political parties on Capitol Hill. Amash’s argument is simple and essentially unassailable, though his fellow congressional Republicans don’t want to hear it and Democrats don’t know what to do with it.

    Here is the backstory.

    When special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr, it was a 448-page tome that effectively summarized nearly two years of work and nearly two million pages of documents in an effort to establish whether elements of the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election, and, if so, whether the Russians had any American collaborators in the Trump campaign.

    The investigation of Russians and potential American collaborators expanded because of personal behavior of President Trump, which was aimed at delaying or derailing Mueller’s investigation. Thus, when the Mueller Report reached Barr’s desk, it was in two volumes — the first was about the Russians and the second was about the president.

    Mueller found 127 communications between Trump campaign officials and Russian agents between June 2015 and November 2016 — Trump publicly said there were none — and as a result of those communications, the campaign came to expect to receive “dirt” on Trump’s principal opponent, Hillary Clinton, from the Russians. The dirt arrived in the form of hacked emails, but Mueller and his team were unable to “establish” the existence of a criminal conspiracy between the Russians and the Trump campaign.

    Mueller indicted Russians for interference, and he found evidence of a criminal conspiracy, but not enough evidence to prove the conspiracy case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

    The second volume of the report addressed 10 instances in which the president himself attempted to interfere with Mueller’s work. Such attempted interference, when done for a corrupt purpose — such as protecting himself or his friends from the reach of the FBI — constitutes obstruction of justice. Here is where the Mueller Report and Barr’s response to it get a bit dicey.

    The more serious and clearly criminal of these obstruction events consists in Trump instructing those who worked for him in the White House to put documents containing material falsehoods into government files that were about to be subpoenaed, and instructing the same folks to lie to FBI agents. Mueller did not seek an indictment of the president on these crimes because he knew that Barr, his boss, would not permit one. The reasons Barr has given for not permitting the indictment are legally troublesome; they constitute a very narrow reading of the obstruction of justice statute and a misapplication of Department of Justice policy.

    Barr has not permitted Mueller to seek an indictment of Trump because Barr reads the obstruction statute as letting Trump off the hook because he was not charged with conspiracy to collaborate with the Russians — the original crime Mueller was investigating. That view of obstruction — an innocent person cannot legally obstruct an FBI investigation of himself — has been rejected by nearly all law enforcement, including by Barr’s own DOJ prosecutors.

    Barr also would not permit an indictment of Trump because of what he says is the general DOJ policy against indicting an incumbent president. But the DOJ policy barring the prosecution of a president allows a sealed and secret indictment of the president and post-presidential prosecution because, contrary to what President Richard Nixon believed, the president is not above the law.

    We know that Mueller’s obstruction allegations — which have not been effectively contradicted by the White House — constitute not only crimes but also impeachable offenses. We know that because when Nixon asked John Ehrlichman and H.R. Haldeman, his principal aides, to lie to a grand jury, and when President Bill Clinton asked Betty Currie, his White House personal secretary, to lie to FBI agents, the House of Representatives — either through the House Judiciary Committee by direct vote — approved articles of impeachment against both of them for obstruction of justice.

    This is Amash’s argument: The special counsel found evidence of obstruction of justice by the president, and historically presidential obstruction of justice is an impeachable offense. This is a legal narrative, not a political one. But it has heretofore not been articulated publically by any Republican officeholder, until Amash courageously did so last weekend.

    The Nixonian argument that the president can do no wrong was soundly rejected by the lessons of Watergate and Nixon’s reluctant resignation, but it has reared its head again. No serious legal thinker — not even an attorney general bent on protecting the president — can make it with intellectual honesty or a straight face.

    On the other side of the congressional aisle are bitterly divided House Democrats. Some of them see Trump’s obstruction of justice as criminal and impeachable, and they add to that his refusal to abide lawful congressional subpoenas. Presidential rejection of congressional subpoenas was also an article of impeachment voted against Nixon.

    Most Democratic congressional leadership thinks impeaching a popular president would be fruitless, and might even help Trump solidify his base. These folks have argued that impeachment should not be undertaken, no matter how criminal or impeachable his documented behavior, without a broad bipartisan consensus in support of it.

    Has Donald Trump committed impeachable offenses? Even if he has, should the House move toward impeachment? Is the failure to consider impeachment a tacit ratification of Trump’s criminal behavior? Is there a duty to impeach? Is temporary presidential popularity a free pass to avoid the legal consequences of presidential criminal behavior?

    Who beside Justin Amash will effectively address these questions?


    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/05/...ot-to-impeach/
    “The right to life is the source of all rights—and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.”



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  3. #2
    Judge Swamp.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  4. #3
    Pretty sure there's not going to be an impeachment. No political points can be squeezed from this charade if it ends in conclusion. Of course, that would not stop them from moving on to something else to play over the airwaves from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM, every day of the week, every week of your life. Next investigation will be if Trump flushed the toilet after he took a piss, or worse, did he fail to put the seat back down when he finished?

    We should be prepared to fully support such further investigations, on principle of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    This is getting silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    It started silly.
    T.S. Elliot's The Hollow Men

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nobody's_hero View Post
    Pretty sure there's not going to be an impeachment. No political points can be squeezed from this charade if it ends in conclusion. Of course, that would not stop them from moving on to something else to play over the airwaves from 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM, every day of the week, every week of your life. Next investigation will be if Trump flushed the toilet after he took a piss, or worse, did he fail to put the seat back down when he finished?

    We should be prepared to fully support such further investigations, on principle of course.
    Or worse, did he wash his hands after using the bathroom?
    "Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration is minding my own business."

    Calvin Coolidge

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Globalist View Post
    Or worse, did he wash his hands after using the bathroom?
    I thought about that, but for maximum impact, they should save that charge in case they wear out the first two. Remember, the idea is to stretch the non-issues out as long as possible for political gain.
    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    This is getting silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    It started silly.
    T.S. Elliot's The Hollow Men

  7. #6

    Arrow No worries, Trump protected by the Deep State

    The Deep State D&R party protects their own. Trump is safe in the arms of the DS.



    Bill & Hill still free as birds
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    You only show up to attack Trump when he is wrong
    DACA S**thole Dreamers - Make America Great Again?

  8. #7
    More lies, nap is clearly compromised.
    I just want objectivity on this forum and will point out flawed sources or points of view at my leisure.

    Quote Originally Posted by spudea on 04/20/16
    There won't be a contested convention
    Quote Originally Posted by spudea on 05/30/17
    The shooting of Gabrielle Gifford was blamed on putting a crosshair on a political map. I wonder what event we'll see justified with pictures like this.

  9. #8
    Tired of the blab...Pelosi cannot control her mob of Bolsheviks...go for it I say.

    Maybe that's the spark that's needed.

    But for $#@!'s sake, impeach or shut the $#@! up about it.



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  11. #9
    Moving forward on impeachment isn't a good strategy for Democrats. There are lots of people who don't like Trump, but I don't think there's all that many who want him impeached. Clinton's impeachment probably helped him in the long run, really.
    NeoReactionary. American High Tory.

    The counter-revolution will not be televised.

  12. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Tired of the blab...Pelosi cannot control her mob of Bolsheviks...go for it I say.

    Maybe that's the spark that's needed.

    But for $#@!'s sake, impeach or shut the $#@! up about it.
    Yup. It's gonna have to go into the election year so we can hear Biden or Buttplug screech "Impeach!"

  13. #11
    I remember when real Nap said Five eyes helped the coup along.

    Then he disappeared.

    Then he came back as clone Nap.

  14. #12
    Must be coincidence that the week polls started showing MAGA losing to 3 Dems so early in the game, talks of impeachment and 2020 GOP challenges is everywhere suddenly.
    Some people just don't seem to like a small government, cut spending , self-funded , swamp draining, America-Firster former reality TV star. Watch their surprise once they find out that Pence is way too Biblical and Christian values minded to be running today's modern, diverse, liberal socialist values America.

    Latest TDS Republican:

    Ex-GOP lawmaker pens op-ed calling for Trump to be impeached

  15. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by phill4paul View Post
    Yup. It's gonna have to go into the election year so we can hear Biden or Buttplug screech "Impeach!"
    Yeah, the Dems will run on this... & free stuff.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows

  16. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey1 View Post
    Yeah, the Dems will run on this... & free stuff.
    I doubt that they'll run on impeachment. Not unless something else happens between now and the election that makes that popular enough among voters for it to be a winning issue. But if that happens, then they'd just beat him outright anyway.

    The whole point of impeachment is to oust the President without an election.

  17. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by enhanced_deficit View Post
    Some people just don't seem to like a small government, cut spending , self-funded , swamp draining, America-Firster former reality TV star. Watch their surprise once they find out that Pence is way too Biblical and Christian values minded to be running today's modern, diverse, liberal socialist values America.
    Lol. Still waiting for any of that to take place. You can't be serious.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect - Mark Twain

  18. #16
    Think like a democrat

    Have Trump say he'll build the wall under oath
    defund the wall with congress
    impeach him for lying!
    A savage barbaric tribal society where thugs parade the streets and illegally assault and murder innocent civilians, yeah that is the alternative to having police. Oh wait, that is the police

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
    - Edward R. Murrow

    ...I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much as a moral obligation as cooperation with good. - MLK Jr.

    How to trigger a liberal: "I didn't get vaccinated."



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  20. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    Judge Swamp.
    The non-stop ad hominem attacks, lacking even any basic pretense of succinct, well thought out rebuttals should be a big clue to anybody on the fence here.

    The Trumpers lost any right to claim their ground loftily lies above the swamp with the appointment of Abraham and Bolton.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.

  21. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by ThePaleoLibertarian View Post
    Moving forward on impeachment isn't a good strategy for Democrats. There are lots of people who don't like Trump, but I don't think there's all that many who want him impeached. Clinton's impeachment probably helped him in the long run, really.
    The whole notion that the political effects of holding hearings is a consideration perfectly exemplifies what's wrong with both sides of the aisle.

    '' We should move forward with impeachment if it means we will win some elections.''
    '' We should not move forward with impeachment if it means we will lose elections.''

    If we want leaders to rise above politics, this isn't it. But politics are what they are.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.

  22. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post

    The whole point of impeachment is to oust the President without an election.
    Not how it works. Clinton was impeached.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.

  23. #20
    Mueller indicted Russians for interference, and he found evidence of a criminal conspiracy, but not enough evidence to prove the conspiracy case to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
    IIRC, weren’t those charges completely bogus?
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  24. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    The non-stop ad hominem attacks, lacking even any basic pretense of succinct, well thought out rebuttals should be a big clue to anybody on the fence here.

    The Trumpers lost any right to claim their ground loftily lies above the swamp with the appointment of Abraham and Bolton.
    How about the part where Nap said that GCHQ was helping the leftist coup, and then was thrown off the air, and then came back months later parroting the leftist coup narrative?

    Is that ad-hominem as well?

  25. #22
    The investigation of Russians and potential American collaborators expanded because of personal behavior of President Trump, which was aimed at delaying or derailing Mueller’s investigation.
    Is that how it works? Investigation into A expands into an obstruction of the investigation when the target complains?
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  26. #23
    The more serious and clearly criminal of these obstruction events consists in Trump instructing those who worked for him in the White House to put documents containing material falsehoods into government files that were about to be subpoenaed, and instructing the same folks to lie to FBI agents. Mueller did not seek an indictment of the president on these crimes because he knew that Barr, his boss, would not permit one. The reasons Barr has given for not permitting the indictment are legally troublesome; they constitute a very narrow reading of the obstruction of justice statute and a misapplication of Department of Justice policy.

    Barr has not permitted Mueller to seek an indictment of Trump because Barr reads the obstruction statute as letting Trump off the hook because he was not charged with conspiracy to collaborate with the Russians — the original crime Mueller was investigating. That view of obstruction — an innocent person cannot legally obstruct an FBI investigation of himself — has been rejected by nearly all law enforcement, including by Barr’s own DOJ prosecutors.
    So finally we have what is the worst of the “obstruction” accusations. Documents put into files and people instructed to lie. Might be good to see the details of that. So many stories are leaving out specifics.

    As far as “narrow” readings of statutes, the opposite of that would be broad and loose. Prosecutors often do go broad and loose on interpreting laws and prosecuting them, but that precedent does not mean it’s good, fair or even legal (i.e. would stand up to appeal in an honest judicial system).
    Twitter: B4Liberty@USAB4L
    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L


    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  27. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Is that how it works? Investigation into A expands into an obstruction of the investigation when the target complains?
    If you read the original authorization, it specifically anthorizes Mueller to prosecute other crimes

    (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:

    (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and

    (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and

    (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    So finally we have what is the worst of the “obstruction” accusations. Documents put into files and people instructed to lie. Might be good to see the details of that. So many stories are leaving out specifics.
    Maybe we should read the report instead of relying on other people to tell us what it does and does not say.
    Last edited by angelatc; 05-24-2019 at 10:52 AM.
    *******

    I didn't start out thinking that anti-vax people were fools or impervious to reason, it's from my experience here that I now think that.
    - AmyPi 2014 (RIP)

    Anti-vaxxers, responsible for a 30 percent uptick in totally preventable diseases in the world, have blood on their hands. They shouldn't be considered civilized members of society. If they refuse to listen to a century of scientific studies confirming time and time again that vaccination is an unquestionable good for humanity, then it's time for us to start treating anti-vaxxers as what they are: dangerous and worthy of shame and condemnation. If we can't convince anti-vaxxers to change their minds, we must attach enough social stigma to the delusion that agnostics cease to join them.



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  29. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Not how it works. Clinton was impeached.
    And then found not guilty by the Senate. But impeachment was part of a process that, if he were found guilty, would have resulted in his removal from office without losing an election. That's the point of it. It is how it works.

  30. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    Is that how it works? Investigation into A expands into an obstruction of the investigation when the target complains?
    Is that all that Amash is accusing Trump of doing? Just complaining?

  31. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    Is that all that Amash is accusing Trump of doing? Just complaining?
    why is Amash targetting the victim of the coup, yet saying nothing of the coup plotters?

    "principled"

  32. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    The non-stop ad hominem attacks, lacking even any basic pretense of succinct, well thought out rebuttals should be a big clue to anybody on the fence here.

    The Trumpers lost any right to claim their ground loftily lies above the swamp with the appointment of Abraham and Bolton.
    I've refuted this garbage in detail many times and proven that Judge Swamp has sold out many times.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  33. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    IIRC, weren’t those charges completely bogus?
    Yes but don't bother telling the TDS crowd, anything said against Trump is 100% according to them.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

  34. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    So finally we have what is the worst of the “obstruction” accusations. Documents put into files and people instructed to lie. Might be good to see the details of that. So many stories are leaving out specifics.

    As far as “narrow” readings of statutes, the opposite of that would be broad and loose. Prosecutors often do go broad and loose on interpreting laws and prosecuting them, but that precedent does not mean it’s good, fair or even legal (i.e. would stand up to appeal in an honest judicial system).
    And don't forget that the entire investigation was illegal to the core and you can't obstruct an illegal investigation.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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