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Trump survives

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, February 7th, 2020 - 35 comments
Categories: crime, Donald Trump, politicans, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uncategorized, us politics - Tags:

It was utterly predictable that the US Senate would vote to acquit Donald Trump after the House of Representative’s impeachment motion.  But I still held out hope that he would not be exonerated.

Unfortunately the Republican Party had to trash the US constitution and the English Language to do so.

Article II, Section 4 of the US constitution says:

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Whether or not Trump’s behaviour was a high crime, and I would classify it as one, it must have been a misdemeanour.

Before the trial started each of the Senators had to take an oath in these terms:

I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of (Donald John Trump), President of the United States, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.

That so many Republican Senators, who had before the hearing even started pledged unwavering support for the President, could take such an oath shows what hypocrites they are.

That they then blocked the hearing of new evidence, including that of John Bolton, life long Republican and Defence Hawk.  Bolton was apparently ready to testify that Trump told him  in August 2019 to keep withholding nearly $400m of security aid to Ukraine until its officials helped investigate Trump’s political rivals.

The vote was predictable, apart from Mitt Romney breaking ranks and voting in opposition to his fellow Republican senators on one of the impeachment counts. His brave action meant that Trump was robbed of the ability to claim that his impeachment was a purely partisan exercise.

Romney said this to the Senate:

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Yes, he did.

The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so.

The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders.

The President’s purpose was personal and political.Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.

What he did was not “perfect”— No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

Romney expected payback.  He did not have to wait long.

Trump Junior thought Romney should be expelled from the Republican Party.

In anticipation of his vindication Trump trashed a number of conventions by delivering a State of the Union speech which was more of a Trump Rally than a sombre assessment of United State’s situation.

Nancy Pelosi chose to respond at the end of the speech by tearing up her copy, live on National TV.

Matt Gaetz showed what an idiot he is by filing a complaint against her.

It is incomprehensible that Republicans can be so indifferent to the withholding of aid for political purposes and the subsequent refusal to cooperate with the investigation but be so upset by the tearing up of a copy of a speech.

35 comments on “Trump survives”

  1. Andre 1

    What are "high crimes and misdemeanours"?

    Alexander Hamilton, one of the authors of the Constitution, wrote in Federalist 65 * that they are:

    … those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.

    This piece goes into more depth on what people understood to be the meaning of "high crimes and misdemeanours" at the time of writing the Constitution.

    https://time.com/5745616/high-crimes-and-misdemeanors/

    Withholding aid specifically allocated by congress and funded by the taxpayer to try to extort of foreign country into smearing a political rival for pure petty personal political benefit clearly falls under "high crimes and misdemeanours". All the more so since the Constitution very clearly gives "the power of the purse" to Congress and not the president.

    *The Federalist Papers are a series of essays written by the Constitution's authors explaining the hows and whys and arguments behind various clauses in the Constitution.

  2. xanthe 2

    That was utterly predictable and pointless (unless the intent was to have trump re-elected)

    On the other hand holding back the results of the Iowa election so that an early leader can claim victory over Sanders will surely work to undermine Sanders just like in 2016. what could possibly go wrong?

     

    • McFlock 2.1

      I reckon that after all that process, the odds have increased that dolt45 will see the inside of a jail cell. Eventually. Not certain, but there's a batter chance now than before Mueller.

      • xanthe 2.1.1

        was that a "quote" from mueller?   or your own opinion

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          "I reckon". Sort of gives the answer, no?

          I base it on all the additional stuff that came out, all the convictions of his henchmen from that stuff, and the likelihood that state prosecutors will be just as interested in his goings-on as the repugs aren't.

          • xanthe 2.1.1.1.1

            oh yes it does. I was confused by mueller being on newline.

            there must be quite a few senators and congresspersons who might feel jailing Trump for his illegal predatory behavior could set an uneasy precedent. not to mention the bankers and "investment" wallahs who so far have had a free ride .  I really dont think holding trump accountable is any part of why all this is happening. Its just an attempt to overturn the 2016 vote.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Replacing an orange demagogue with the american taliban would be a pyrrhic victory.

              I think any elected official who genuinely believes in democracy and the US ideals (Constitution, etc) would be genuinely aghast at his behaviour, this case in particular.

              A bit like the response to Nixon's behaviour.

              US politics has always been dirty to greater or lesser degrees, and politics relating to geostrategy is dirty as hell, but this is outright abuse of national power for personal gain. There is no "greater good" rationalisation, there is no way it can be interpreted of furthering the nation's international position. It's a two-bit Brando impersonator squeezing the job for all it's worth in his personal gain.

              Sure, there's a revolving door of representatives and lobbyists/corporate directors, but this is daylight extortion.

               

              • xanthe

                perhaps you could read this for some perspective on Ukraine and then we discuss further?

                https://off-guardian.org/2017/03/24/what-americas-coup-in-ukraine-did/

                • McFlock

                  Perhaps you could consider the idea that the geopolitics relating to the Ukraine, regardless of who did what or the ethics thereof, involved US national interest, whereas dolt45's intervention involved his personal interest?

                  The ethics of any US intervention in the Ukraine is a different issue to whether dolt45 compromised his public office for private gain.

                  Render unto US Federal and State judiciaries what belongs to their jurisdiction, render unto the Hague what belongs to the Hague.

                  • xanthe

                    Perhaps the US intervention in Ukraine was not in the national interest at all but rather to enable a corrupt personal grab for control of resources by Hunter Biden among others

                    https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived 

                    ……"In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin."

                    • McFlock

                      There were national interest justifications presented for it: stabilise the Ukraine against Russia but reducing corruption, and the prosecutor was not doing that to US satisfaction.

                      Whether or not that holds water, or there was some personal benefit in it for Biden (and I'm not saying there was), there was a plausible national interest in that action.

                      Where is that plausible national interest justification for the dolt45 quid pro quo?

                      You’ve presented an argument for a personal interest by Biden. But there was also a national interest. There is an obvious personal interest for dolt45, but where is the national interest?

                    • Andre

                      The writer of your link, was it this John Solomon? Discredited notorious liar that's been spreading smears on Drumpf's behalf for at least the last four years?

                      https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/11/19/20971075/rudy-giuliani-john-solomon-ukraine-impeachment-trump

                      I’ve lost count of how many times it's been said and linked to here, but Biden's work to get Shokin fired was the result of public bipartisan and international agreement to do so because Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases.

                      Whereas the Combover Con tried to keep his extortion of Ukraine secret. Because there was zero national interest justification for his actions, and bipartisan agreement that there were no legitimate grounds to withhold the aid. Which is why the aid was released as soon as the hold on it became public information.

                    • North

                      What a silly one you are with words Xanthe.  About seventy of them when all you wanted to do was repeat the Trump talking point:  "subverting freedom,  right,  justice,  democracy,  2016,  and (poor little) me".   

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Interpretation of the law is inherently subjective.  Opinions differ.  So in a political process that presumes ethical decision-making we will always get a mix of motivations coming into play to produce decisions.  Principled conservatives sometimes see their common interests prevailing over their principles!  Trump survives because impeachment was initiated on a flawed basis.

    Doesn't matter that there was a moral basis for it.  The flaw was in assuming senators would do the right thing.  To err is human.  The saying is traditional.  We've always known that.  When people profit by erring, the error becomes likely.  When ethical errors produce sensible politics, guess what a politician will do…

  4. SPC 4

    This was never about Trump, it was about taking back control of the Senate. The targets are the GOP Senators up for re-election later this year. 

    • xanthe 4.1

      "The targets are the GOP Senators up for re-election later this year."

      thats quite possibly true

  5. Peter 5

    Matt Gaetz took part in the charade and is concerned about the 'dignity' of the House?

    That's all so crapping all over the floor and complaining about the smell and look of the place. His blindness prevents him not just from seeing how blind he is but even sensing the possibility that he might have a problem.

    People like Gaetz being there instantly ensures dignity an impossibility.

  6. Anne 6

    At least some of those Republican senators were too frightened to vote against Trump for fear of reprisals against them. That is how Hitler and other deranged bully-boy leaders maintained loyalty to them and their repulsive causes.

    • Andre 6.1

      Some of them? Almost all of them. They've seen the examples made of Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, Mark Sanford etc and really don't want to be next. What Romney’s getting right now shows it to be a completely reasonable fear.

      • Phil 6.1.1

        What Romney’s getting right now shows it to be a completely reasonable fear.

        Romney is a Senator for overwhelmingly-Mormon Utah. Trumps approval ratings among Mormon's is very poor and Romney is (a) their poster boy, and (b) not up for re-election until 2024. He's on solid ground to vote against Trump, but I can see why Collins/Murkowski etal couldn't this time. 

    • SPC 6.2

      They might well remain the GOP candidate, and get promises of Trump support, but the Democrats are counting on that delivering them the Senate. 

  7. Ad 7

    Survives?

    Thrives more like it.

    The Democrats are 5 months from Conference and look less coherent every month. Both in process and in result the Iowa caucus was a mess.

    Trump is doing victory speeches to his base.

    It got much harder for Trump to be unseated this week.

    • SPC 7.1

      The bond tying Trump to GOP Senators is tighter. They are less likely to survive if he loses. Which is good news for any Democrat defeating Trump. Any incoming POTUS wants to have the votes on Capitol Hill. 

      • joe90 7.1.1

        Jim Wright on why the GOP backs tRump.

        What do Republicans lose if they own impeachment and remove Trump from office?

        They lose Trump.

        Trump. They lose Trump. They lose an amoral bombastic fool, a patsy, that can be easily manipulated into implementing the very worst of their agenda without getting their own hands dirty.

        They know this guy is a fool.

        Those with their hands on the real levers of power? In this country and beyond? You know they look down on Trump with nothing but utter contempt, you can see it in every sneer, every smirk, every roll of the eyes.

        But that’s the key to it.

        Because Trump is so desperate to prove himself their equal, so desperate for their attention and acceptance, that he’ll do anything to get it. Trump is so pitiful, so utterly in need of praise, that he can be openly manipulated by news broadcasters and baited by a tweet.

        Hillary Clinton, love her or hate her, had that part right: A man you can bait with a tweet isn’t someone we can trust with nuclear weapons.

        And that’s the thing, right there.

        That’s what Republican have to lose.

        Trump is the guy who makes it okay to say those things out loud. They remember when they could call a black man a nigger to his face. They remember when they could tell a gay joke and laugh at the fags in the middle of a board meeting without worrying about a visit from Human Resources. They remember when, as a teacher, hating some towelheads in front of their sixth grade classroom was considered “patriotic.” That’s what they love about Trump, he says the words out loud. They remember. And they miss those days. And when Trump says “Make America Great Again,” well, that’s what they’re expecting. Those days, when they didn’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of their hate – not that many of them were, mind you, but now with Trump, they don’t have to hide it any more.

        Trump is the guy who told them they don’t have to be ashamed of being a horrible person. If they lose Trump, then they lose an excuse for their hate, their selfishness, their racism, their misogyny, their homophobia, their horrible religion, their wars, their greed, their fear, all of it. Trump is the guy who makes it okay to stand shoulder to shoulder with Nazis, with Confederates, with the Klan, with the Proud Boys, and still pretend that you’re standing up for “The American Way of Life.”

        If they lose Trump, they lose a chump to blame for it all when the bill comes due.

         

        That’s what they lose.

        https://www.stonekettle.com/2020/01/stalking-horse.html

        • SPC 7.1.1.2

          In that sense Trump is a lot like Roger Douglas – he ended up little more than a right wing applause junky, and pretending like them that market centred policy was good for the people. 

          The parallels with the 1930’s are also close, when the German establishment threatened by the rise of the political left in the Weimar Republic resorted to the National Socialist Party as a means to an end (corporatist control of the economy and return to junker land in Poland).

    • happynz 7.2

      …erm, in the US political parties hold a  convention to nominate a candidate for president, not a conference.

      What's the jab about "less coherent" supposed to be about anyway? Examples please of this incoherence.

  8. Macro 8

    An excellent Op Ed here byAndy Gawthorpe an historian of the United States at Leiden University:

    This piece I quote for truth:

    A theory of executive supremacy, a supine legislature and a credulous, adoring segment of the population – which does not need to be a majority – are the ingredients that authoritarianism is made of. Because he certainly isn’t restrained by principle, the fate of American democracy now rests on the question of whether Trump knows the right way to mix the ingredients together.

    By far the greatest risk will come in November. We know by now that the standard rightwing playbook calls for painting the Democratic nominee as a dangerous radical hellbent on destroying America, and claiming that millions of “illegals” voted for them, rendering the election result void. Imagine this rhetoric unfolding as Trump endures a narrow electoral loss and refuses to concede. Can we have any faith that a Senate and a US supreme court in the hands of his servants will show him the door?

    None of this means that impeachment was a mistake. Like acquittal, a failure to impeach at all would have sent the same signal: that there are no limits on Trump’s actions. Impeachment at least kept the torch of the truth and the law alive. But now we must be very careful. They are about to – they must – come to try to extinguish that torch. Only an electoral repudiation so vast that it cannot be questioned can prevent them, and it must be won at a time when their power has never been less restrained by law or principle. The fate of democracy in America depends on it.

  9. Macro 9

    Meanwhile:

    Attorney General William Barr issued new restrictions on investigations into politically sensitive individuals or entities, including a requirement that he approve any inquiry into a presidential candidate or campaign. The memo said the Justice Department had a duty to ensure that elections are “free from improper activity or influences” and that investigations, including preliminary ones, into a presidential or vice presidential candidate, their campaigns or staff cannot be opened without the written approval of the attorney general. The new rules were issued on the same day that Trump was acquitted on charges that he had abused his office to push a foreign power to publicly announce investigations into his political rivals

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/us/politics/barr-2020-investigations.html

     

    • Wensleydale 9.1

      You could drop Barr in a vat of hospital-grade disinfectant and he'd still come out stinking of faeces.

  10. Sabine 10

    Oh well, no one could have foreseen this. No one. Not ever. Goodwin. Bullshit. yada yada. 

    Honestly, did anyone who knew D. Trump, who knows the Republican Party and its sitting senators and congress critters expect anything else? 

    As for November, the republican Party will simply posit that it is in the interest of the Nation that they hold Congress, Senate and Presidency and your vote is well not important, dear Voter. 

    But yeah, her emails. 

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