Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

Mr Brolin
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#201

Post by Mr Brolin » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:36 am

Plainly the babbling micro-dactyl idiot has never grasped that "High Crimes and Misdemeanours" means whatever Congress wants it to mean.

After all, Rethuglicans took it to mean "Horrid Democratic President indulged in (adulterous) consensual, heterosexual shenanigans with an individual of legal age" .

Based on that high bar, "Serial adulterer, sexual predator violating all decent norms of behaviour, running a mafia like pay to play shakedown RICO enterprise with extra threats of violence to all" plainly doesn't fall into the same high minded definition...... :sick:

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#202

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:57 pm

WaPo - Michael Gerson (Remember this guy?)
House leaders should lay the groundwork for impeachment ...

So how have the institutions of our public life responded to this attack on the integrity of the electoral process? They have engaged in a great chain of punting. The Mueller report places primary responsibility on Congress to deal with issues such as this. And the leadership of the House has put primary emphasis on the role of voters in the 2020 election to deliver a public repudiation to the president. Everyone in government conveniently escapes direct duties. ...

The failure of the House of Representatives to play its proper role would effectively be an invitation to foreign governments to interfere in future U.S. elections. If these outside forces succeed — getting the outcome they desire — there are not likely to be any consequences from the government they helped install.

The failure of U.S. institutions to prevent electoral subversion sends a dramatically destructive moral message. Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani has claimed that “there’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.” When challenged about the unethical nature of getting help from nations that wish our country harm, he answered, “We’re going to get into morality?” So far, Trump and his team have successfully avoided a moral reckoning.

But the main reason this surrender is so damaging relates to our form of constitutional government. America’s founders feared outside influence in U.S. elections for the most practical of reasons: because open, democratic electoral systems are particularly vulnerable to the manipulation of outside forces. And failure to punish such intrusion undermines democratic legitimacy.

It is indeed likely that elected Republicans would fail to defend constitutional values if tested by an impeachment vote. But they should be tested nonetheless. The honor of the presidency now depends on the actions of Congress. Beginning with a thorough series of coordinated hearings, House leaders should lay the groundwork for impeachment — and at least delay the surrender of our institutions to cynicism.
Adding:
Salon - Amanda Marcotte: Trump's shameless obstruction of justice shows no signs of stopping

With the president thumbing his nose at the law, the only reasonable response is to start impeachment hearings

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#203

Post by Addie » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:24 pm

WaPo
Hillary Clinton: Mueller documented a serious crime against all Americans. Here’s how to respond.

Our election was corrupted, our democracy assaulted, our sovereignty and security violated. This is the definitive conclusion of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. It documents a serious crime against the American people.

The debate about how to respond to Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” attack — and how to hold President Trump accountable for obstructing the investigation and possibly breaking the law — has been reduced to a false choice: immediate impeachment or nothing. History suggests there’s a better way to think about the choices ahead. ...

First, like in any time our nation is threatened, we have to remember that this is bigger than politics. What our country needs now is clear-eyed patriotism, not reflexive partisanship. Whether they like it or not, Republicans in Congress share the constitutional responsibility to protect the country. Mueller’s report leaves many unanswered questions — in part because of Attorney General William P. Barr’s redactions and obfuscations. But it is a road map. It’s up to members of both parties to see where that road map leads — to the eventual filing of articles of impeachment, or not. Either way, the nation’s interests will be best served by putting party and political considerations aside and being deliberate, fair and fearless.

Second, Congress should hold substantive hearings that build on the Mueller report and fill in its gaps, not jump straight to an up-or-down vote on impeachment. In 1998, the Republican-led House rushed to judgment. That was a mistake then and would be a mistake now.

Watergate offers a better precedent. Then, as now, there was an investigation that found evidence of corruption and a coverup. It was complemented by public hearings conducted by a Senate select committee, which insisted that executive privilege could not be used to shield criminal conduct and compelled White House aides to testify. The televised hearings added to the factual record and, crucially, helped the public understand the facts in a way that no dense legal report could. Similar hearings with Mueller, former White House counsel Donald McGahn and other key witnesses could do the same today.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#204

Post by Dolly » Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:14 pm

So I am done being wishy-washy. Impeach him. Now | Opinion
BY LEONARD PITTS JR.
UPDATED APRIL 24, 2019 10:21 AM
................
But I am here to change my mind yet again. Blame the Mueller report. It has given me clarity, helped me appreciate something I didn’t appreciate fully enough before. Namely that, in allowing all of this to be framed solely around questions of what is politic and pragmatic, we miss something.

There is a moral imperative here, a stark question of right and wrong. These people keep doing things government officials are simply not supposed to do.
.....................
But we have a judgment to make, too, and it misreads the moment to base it solely on issues of politics or pragmatism. House Democrats seem more worried about what is strategic than what is right, about the feelings of Trump voters than of the voters who elected them. But this moment is bigger than that. It is about who we are as Americans, and the fact that someday, we will be required to stand before the bar of history and account for what we did — and failed to do — with our country on the line.

It is better to lose an election — to lose the country itself — than to win the one or save the other on terms that render the “victory” meaningless. This presidency is anathema to everything America is supposed to be. It is a matter of moral necessity — and country love — to say that as forcefully as possible.

So I am done being wishy washy. I had it right the first time.

Impeach him. Now.
https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn ... 14904.html


Leonard Garvey Pitts Jr. is an American commentator, journalist, and novelist. He is a nationally syndicated columnist and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. <Wikipedia>


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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#205

Post by Addie » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:13 pm

The Nation - John Nichols
Here’s a Handy Impeachment Refresher for Donald Trump

The president's latest “idiocy” reveals his staggering ignorance of the Constitution he swore an oath to defend. ...


The most constitutionally ill-informed president in history tweeted on Wednesday that: “The Mueller Report, despite being written by Angry Democrats and Trump Haters, and with unlimited money behind it ($35,000,000), didn’t lay a glove on me. I DID NOTHING WRONG. If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Good luck with that.

The U.S. House of Representatives, not the Supreme Court, impeaches presidents. If a majority of House members endorses an article of impeachment against a sitting president, the case proceeds to the Senate for a trial. Senators consider the evidence, debate and then vote on whether the president will be removed.

This is all spelled out in very plain English by the U.S. Constitution, which announces in Article I, Section 2, that: “The House of Representatives shall (choose) their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”

Trump may want to read that line differently from how it was intended by the founders of the American experiment. But if precedent still stands for anything, he is unlikely to get any help from the Supreme Court. The court took this issue up in the 1993 case of Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224. Walter Louis Nixon Jr., a former United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, had been impeached by the House and removed by the Senate in 1989. Judge Nixon raised objections to how his Senate trail had been handled.

The Supreme Court determined, unanimously, that the Constitution was clear and that the power to organize and carry out the impeachment process is situated in the Congress and “nowhere else.”

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#206

Post by Addie » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:26 pm

New York Times - Elizabeth Drew
The Danger in Not Impeaching Trump

It may be risky politically, but Congress has a responsibility to act.


The decision facing the House Democrats over whether to proceed with an impeachment of President Trump is both more difficult and more consequential than the discussion of it suggests. The arguments offered by House leaders, in particular Speaker Nancy Pelosi, against it are understandable, including that impeachment could invite a wrenching partisan fight; render the party vulnerable to the charge that it’s obsessed with scoring points against Mr. Trump; and distract Democrats from focusing on legislation of more interest to voters.

But the Democrats would also run enormous risks if they didn’t hold to account a president who has clearly abused power and the Constitution, who has not honored the oath of office and who has had a wave of campaign and White House aides plead guilty to or be convicted of crimes.

The argument that the Democratic House wouldn’t be able to focus on substantive legislation is the flimsiest rationale. It did so in 1974 while the House Judiciary Committee was considering the impeachment of Richard Nixon. It seems clear that what the Democratic leaders are actually worried about is public relations. The press no doubt would focus on that sexier subject.

Several Democrats are trying to have it both ways. They want to avoid giving the impression that they’re chasing impeachment — heaven forfend! — while at the same time various committees are attempting to expose Mr. Trump’s tax returns, his business dealings and whether his financial interests guided some of his foreign policies — any of which could make impeachment more likely, perhaps inevitable.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#207

Post by RoadScholar » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:00 pm

“Sleepy Joe” is the best the Racist Rapist can do?

Heh.
The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#208

Post by Slim Cognito » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm

RoadScholar wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:00 pm
“Sleepy Joe” is the best the Racist Rapist can do?

Heh.
Smoochy Joe, Grabby Joe, Huggie Joe? Hey, don't @ me. This is just off the top of my head and I like the guy, but, yeah, Sleepy Joe is pretty lame.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#209

Post by Addie » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:19 pm

Yahoo News - Michael Isikoff
Starr Report Veteran Says Trump’s Crimes Are ‘Thousandfold’ Worse

“My view is that there’s ample reason right now for the House Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry.”


A member of the independent counsel team that recommended the impeachment of President Bill Clinton says that President Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice are “blunter by a thousandfold” than anything Clinton did and more than justifies the House Judiciary Committee opening impeachment proceedings.

In an interview with the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” Paul Rosenzweig, who served as a senior counsel to Ken Starr, said that a “significant number” of his former colleagues from the independent counsel office share his views — although notably not Starr himself.

“My view is that there’s ample reason right now for the House Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment inquiry … and if it were up to me, I would recommend them to impeach,” said Rosenzweig. “I mean, if I were called to testify today at the first of those hearings, I would say that Trump’s obstruction of justice and frankly, more importantly, Trump’s dereliction of duty in failing to address the issue of Russian interference in our electoral processes, are by themselves grounds for his impeachment.

“Add to that, his recalcitrance in responding to [special counsel Robert] Mueller and his stonewalling of congressional investigations and the case becomes … much more compelling than that which attended the [impeachment] recommendation with respect to Clinton,” Rosenzweig added.

The views of Rosenzweig and others on Starr’s team could be a factor in the debate as House Democrats weigh whether to formally initiate an impeachment inquiry into the president. The Starr report’s referral to Congress in September 1998 outlined 11 possible grounds for impeachment of Clinton growing out of his attempts to conceal his sexual affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Five of the recommended articles accused Clinton of attempting to obstruct justice; a sixth asserted that he failed to fulfill his constitutional duty “to faithfully execute the laws” by, among other actions, invoking “groundless” executive privilege claims to try and prevent some of his aides from testifying.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#210

Post by Addie » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:47 am

Daily Beast
Trump’s Stonewalling Pushes House Democrats Towards Impeachment

“Trump’s opacity is moving some members into the impeachment camp,” one Democratic lawmaker tells The Daily Beast. “Translation: it’s always the cover-up that gets ‘em.”


Donald Trump’s declaration this week that his administration will stonewall “all the subpoenas” from Congress has pushed House Democrats to rethink their impeachment calculus.

Top Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have said the party will consider impeachment only after doing due diligence—like hearing from key figures like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, obtaining the documents he used in his investigation, and more.

But the White House’s plans to indefinitely stiff-arm their requests for documents and testimony, combined with the instances of alleged obstruction already laid out in Mueller’s report, is complicating that plan— and may drag House Democrats toward impeachment as an appropriately forceful way to respond to the administration’s conduct. ...

And a senior Democratic aide told The Daily Beast that the temperature within the conference has gone up since Trump said point-blank that the White House fights all congressional subpoenas.

Contempt of Congress was the third article of impeachment against Nixon— a piece of history that has been front-of-mind for congressional Democrats over the last few days. And Democrats say they are prepared to hold members of the Trump administration in contempt if the stonewalling continues.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#211

Post by Addie » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:44 pm

Slate
Trump Just Gave Democrats Another Reason to Launch an Impeachment Inquiry ...

The latest came on Monday when Trump and some members of his family filed a lawsuit to quash subpoenas asking Deutsche Bank and Capitol One to turn over financial records concerning the Trumps and their business. The president argues that House Democrats issued the subpoenas for illegitimate reasons unconnected to any formal business of Congress. This argument is quite weak under Supreme Court precedent, since Congress has broad constitutional authority to conduct investigations. But if Democrats are worried about making the case in court that their subpoenas are tethered to a legitimate congressional function, they have a simple solution at hand: Admit that these subpoenas may serve as a prelude to impeachment.

No one seriously questions Congress’ power to issue subpoenas as part of its oversight duties. But Trump’s lawyers insist that these subpoenas, which have not yet been released to the public, go too far. They were, Monday’s lawsuit alleges, “issued to harass” the president, “to rummage through every aspect of his personal finances” to locate “material that might be used to cause him political damage.” Because “no grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one,” the suit claims, the federal courts must prohibit the banks from complying with the subpoenas.

This analysis might be compelling from a partisan perspective. But from a legal standpoint, it is highly dubious. In 1975’s Eastland v. United States Servicemen’s Fund, the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause generally bars courts from interfering with congressional subpoenas. The court explained that as long as Congress is operating within the “sphere of legitimate legislative activity” or “with respect to other matters which the Constitution places within the jurisdiction of either House,” the judiciary is flatly forbidden from impeding its subpoena power.

Trump’s lawyers insist that Democrats’ subpoenas breach this sphere, writing that “investigations are legitimate only insofar as they promote some legitimate legislative purpose.” And because “there is no possible legislation at the end of this tunnel,” the subpoenas fall outside the House’s constitutional authority and must be quashed. This reading of Eastland is, at best, creative: The Supreme Court did not limit the “legitimate legislative sphere” to the deliberation of legislation alone. Instead, citing an earlier case, it asked whether the subpoenas were part of the “deliberative and communicative processes … with respect to the consideration and passage or rejection of proposed legislation or with respect to other matters which the Constitution places within the jurisdiction of either House.”

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#212

Post by Addie » Mon May 06, 2019 1:30 pm

New York Times - James Reston Jr.
Trump’s Other Impeachable Offense

As Nixon learned, Congress will not abide a president who defies its subpoenas.


On July 30, 1974, nine days before President Richard Nixon resigned, the House Judiciary Committee added a third article to its impeachment charges against the president. The first two had dealt with obstruction of justice and abuse of power; Article III charged that Nixon had failed to comply with eight congressional subpoenas related to the Watergate investigation.

Now, with President Trump and William Barr, his attorney general, refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations, the Democrats in the House should take yet another lesson from Watergate. They are reportedly already preparing impeachment articles on obstruction of justice; they should add failure to comply with Congress to the list.

The subpoenas against Nixon demanded 147 unedited tape recordings of presidential conversations; a list of meetings and telephone conversations for five specific, suspicious periods between 1971 and 1973; and copies of any handwritten presidential notes pertaining to the Watergate charges.

In response, Nixon asserted that the Judiciary Committee already had the “full story of Watergate,” and did not need to have further materials. He produced none of the 147 unedited transcripts that had been requested. (That bundle of withheld tapes included the critical June 23 tape that, when it was finally released, ultimately drove the president from office, and that Nixon had listened to many weeks earlier.)

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#213

Post by Addie » Tue May 07, 2019 1:40 pm

WaPo
Pelosi Issues Impeachment Warning as White House Escalates Fight

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned that the Trump administration’s defiance of subpoenas could be an impeachable offense, even as the top White House lawyer instructed his predecessor not to comply with a subpoena from House Democrats.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter Tuesday to the House Judiciary Committee that President Donald Trump may want to assert executive privilege over the documents the panel is seeking from former counsel Don McGahn.

At the same time, Trump’s Justice Department is pushing back against a separate subpoena from the House Judiciary Committee for the full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Trump and his Republican allies are trying to move past the Mueller probe, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling it “case closed” in a floor speech Tuesday.

But Pelosi made clear that Democrats plan to press their multiple investigations of the president, accusing Trump of “goading" House Democrats into trying to remove him from office.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#214

Post by Addie » Tue May 07, 2019 2:01 pm

Mother Jones
McConnell Tried to Shut the Door on the Mueller Report. Warren Called to Impeach Trump Instead.

She spent nearly an hour reading from the report to make the case.


In a blistering speech that included direct readings from the Mueller report, Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday called to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, arguing that the events described in the special counsel’s findings amounted to a crime.

“There is no political inconvenience exception to the United States Constitution,” Warren said from the Senate floor. “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they’d be arrested and put in jail.”

“We took an oath not to try and protect Donald Trump, we took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution of the United States of America, and the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president,” she continued.

The remarks came in response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt earlier on Tuesday to firmly shut the door on the ongoing controversies surrounding the report, while Democrats continue to demand congressional testimony from Mueller and former White House counsel Don McGahn.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGYoRqBU02w

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#215

Post by Slim Cognito » Tue May 07, 2019 3:05 pm

...The remarks came in response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt earlier on Tuesday to firmly shut the door on the ongoing controversies surrounding the report, ...
Nevertheless, she persisted.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#216

Post by Sunrise » Tue May 07, 2019 4:14 pm

Slim Cognito wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 3:05 pm
...The remarks came in response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt earlier on Tuesday to firmly shut the door on the ongoing controversies surrounding the report, ...
Nevertheless, she persisted.
And yet another reason I believe she’ll be more effective remaining a Senator.
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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#217

Post by Addie » Thu May 09, 2019 12:48 pm

WaPo
Nancy Pelosi sounds like she’s more open to impeachment than ever before

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sounds like she’s more open than ever to impeaching President Trump. At the very least, she’s laying the groundwork to consider impeaching Trump if it comes to that.

By her own telling this week, President Trump is doing more and more to deserve it.

He's “becoming self-impeachable,” Pelosi said at a Washington Post Live event on Wednesday, referencing how Trump is blocking every single House Democratic congressional investigation into him and his administration.

“Every single day, whether it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction — obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas, every single day, the president is making a case — he’s becoming self-impeachable, in terms of some of the things that he is doing,” she said.

At a news conference Thursday, Pelosi agreed with House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nalder (D-N.Y.) that the country is in a “constitutional crisis.” Then she spent a significant chunk of time saying that if Democrats did consider impeachment proceedings against Trump, it would be based on facts.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#218

Post by Addie » Thu May 09, 2019 2:33 pm

The Atlantic - Jed Shugerman
New York Just Gave Congress a New Reason for Impeachment

A bill passed by the state Senate offers House Democrats the chance to request Trump’s tax returns—but only if they can give a specific reason.


On Wednesday, the New York State Senate approved two important bills that could shape the legal fight over Trump’s tax returns and his pardon power, if they become law. But one of those bills—the one allowing New York state to give tax returns upon a request from Congress—also includes a word that could undermine the U.S. House of Representatives’ efforts to get Trump’s state taxes. That specific word is “specific.” And that word gives the House a new reason—in addition to all the ones it already possesses—to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry.

That step is already warranted by the Mueller Report’s evidence the president may have committed obstruction of justice (and by at least a preponderance of evidence, coordinated with Russia illegally). But when a court, interpreting the text of this potential new law, asks the House to identify its “specific and legitimate legislative purpose” for seeking Trump’s tax returns, it’s also the more specific and honest statement of the House’s purpose, and thus, more likely to prevail. In fact, a formal impeachment inquiry could be the honest legal move that saves all of the House subpoenas from new conservative legal interpretations.

Section 6103(f) of the Internal Revenue Code states that “upon written request” from the chair of the House’s Ways and Means Committee, the treasury secretary “shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request.” Many observers have assumed the word “shall” does all the work to compel Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to turn over the returns, but that bit of text must be understood in the larger context of constitutional law and precedent. Such a request, like a subpoena, must have a “legitimate” purpose. ...

But meanwhile, the New York legislature is considering a second track. The bill passed by the Senate (which would still require the approval of the Assembly and the signature of the governor to become law) would authorize the Department of Taxation and Finance to share state tax return information with the relevant congressional committees as long as there is a “specific and legitimate legislative purpose.” Note that extra word, beyond what Mnuchin himself cited: “specific.” Perhaps New York legislators added this word as a compromise to allay the valid concerns of those worried about overbroad fishing expeditions and vague requests that might be pretexts for a partisan purpose.

That’s exactly the point. Americans should be wary of changing our laws too abruptly just to investigate Trump. When the last law is down, as Robert Bolt wrote, the Devil may turn round on you, and where would you hide? Some curbs seem necessary, to guard against future abuses. The word “specific” can have several meanings, but some definitions of “specify” suggest a connection to the word “clarify.” A plausible reading is that the New York legislature added the word “specific” to eliminate pretextual or misleading explanations.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#219

Post by Addie » Thu May 09, 2019 4:56 pm

Reuters
Americans' support for impeaching Trump rises: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of Americans who said President Donald Trump should be impeached rose 5 percentage points to 45 percent since mid-April, while more than half said multiple congressional probes of Trump interfered with important government business, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday.

The opinion poll, conducted on Monday, did not make clear whether investigation-fatigued Americans wanted House of Representatives Democrats to pull back on their probes or press forward aggressively and just get impeachment over with.

The question is an urgent one for senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, who are wrestling with whether to launch impeachment proceedings, despite likely insurmountable opposition to it in the Republican-controlled Senate. ...

“This is very methodical, it’s very Constitution-based,” Pelosi said. “We won’t go any faster than the facts take us, or any slower than the facts take us.”

In addition to the 45 percent pro-impeachment figure, the Monday poll found that 42 percent of Americans said Trump should not be impeached. The rest said they had no opinion.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#220

Post by Addie » Sun May 12, 2019 2:46 pm

New York Mag - Ed Kilgore
Does Congress Need Impeachment Hearings to Investigate Trump?

Until recently, the debate among Democrats over impeachment was mostly a straightforward argument about the 2020 fallout over taking this drastic step to deal with a drastically dangerous president. Few impeachment supporters were under the illusion that the process would actually lead to the removal of Trump from office by the requisite two-thirds vote in a Republican-controlled Senate. But some thought impeachment might dramatize Trump’s misconduct and energize Democratic voters. Others, notably Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler, disagreed, fearing that a doomed impeachment effort would take Democrats far off message in 2020 while psyching Trump supporters out of their skulls.

The release of the redacted Mueller report, with its abundant evidence of presidential obstruction of justice, didn’t change many minds among Democratic impeachment opponents, who may have concluded (as presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg put it) that Trump deserved impeachment, but still deemed it a politically dubious course of action this close to an election year.

But Mueller’s clear indication that impeachment would be the only way to hold Trump accountable for his conduct provided another strong talking point for moving in that direction: that politics be damned, it was House Democrats’ constitutional responsibility to rein in this lawless president. This was the position, for example, of another 2020 presidential candidate, Elizabeth Warren. ...

Indeed, impeachment might not only “trump” executive privilege in a court review of congressional subpoenas, but could also gives courts a solid reason to speed up hearings and appeals on the subject, much as the U.S. Supreme Court did in United States v. Nixon, the unanimous decision forcing that president to release tapes which included the famous “smoking gun” evidence of obstruction of justice. In that case, SCOTUS ruled just three weeks after oral argument subsequent to an expedited appeal from a district court.

The question of timing is becoming central to Democrats’ dilemma. If their efforts to investigate Trump get perpetually snarled in the courts, the whole conflict could drag beyond the 2020 elections. And the political risks of impeachment may grow higher by the day as well. Many Democrats think Hillary Clinton erred grievously in 2016 by campaigning against Trump’s character and ethics rather than promoting her own agenda for addressing the concerns the GOP demagogue was exploiting. Nothing would quite keep campaign 2020 more focused on Trump’s character and ethics than ongoing impeachment proceedings.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#221

Post by Addie » Sun May 12, 2019 4:32 pm

New York Times - Carl Hulse
When It Comes to Republican Defectors, Current Crisis Is No Watergate ...

As he watches events unfold today in Washington, Mr. Cohen believes congressional Republicans are wrongly putting party first by steadfastly backing President Trump’s refusal to cooperate with Congress and trying to shut down further investigation into whether the president obstructed justice.

“He is basically thumbing his nose at the Congress itself, saying I don’t recognize you,” Mr. Cohen, who heads an international consulting and lobbying firm, said in an interview. “I am surprised there aren’t more defenders of the Constitution. They are there to be a check on abuse of power. If they are willing to submit that to the executive, then they have no business being in office.”

Republican opposition in both the House and the Senate to pushing ahead with such inquiries is crucial because, as history has shown with the Watergate and Iran-contra scandals, such investigations can gain legitimacy only when members of the president’s own party support them. Intense partisanship surrounded those investigations as well, but with Republican lawmakers like Mr. Cohen and a handful of others showing some willingness to aggressively question the administration, the White House was forced to be more accountable and cooperative.

One important question today is whether there are any William Cohens or Larry Hogans, a Maryland Republican who was a surprising early backer of Nixon’s impeachment, willing to support more investigation or if Republicans will remain essentially united behind the president.

That’s a question that Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and a long-serving Judiciary Committee member who was on the panel’s staff in the 1970s, has been asking.

“At this point, where is our Caldwell Butler? Where’s our Bill Cohen? Where’s our Hamilton Fish? Where’s our Tom Railsback?” Ms. Lofgren said in a recent interview as she listed Republican members of the Judiciary Committee who voted in 1974 to impeach Nixon. “I don’t see that on the Judiciary Committee or in the House. And because I want to believe that every member of Congress who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution meant it, having further oversight of these matters is worth doing.”

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#222

Post by Dan1100 » Sun May 12, 2019 4:47 pm

Addie wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:32 pm
New York Times - Carl Hulse
When It Comes to Republican Defectors, Current Crisis Is No Watergate ...

:snippity:

“At this point, where is our Caldwell Butler? Where’s our Bill Cohen? Where’s our Hamilton Fish? Where’s our Tom Railsback?” Ms. Lofgren said in a recent interview as she listed Republican members of the Judiciary Committee who voted in 1974 to impeach Nixon. “I don’t see that on the Judiciary Committee or in the House. And because I want to believe that every member of Congress who took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution meant it, having further oversight of these matters is worth doing.”
Didn't the Republicans start to come around after the televised hearings started?
"Devin Nunes is having a cow over this."

-George Takei

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#223

Post by Addie » Tue May 14, 2019 9:25 am

Cross-posting

The American Prospect
The Emoluments Clause Could Be a Tipping Point in Trump’s Downfall

The obstruction of justice documented in Mueller’s report has gotten more attention, but Trump’s profiting from his office is an open-and-shut impeachment count.


On April 30, a federal district judge rejected Trump’s motion to throw out the lawsuit filed by approximately 201 members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives alleging that Trump has flagrantly violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause. The case was largely overlooked as national attention has focused on Trump’s obstruction of justice and his efforts to block further congressional scrutiny of his abuses of power.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, in a comprehensive 48-page opinion, ruled that the narrow definition of “emoluments” advanced by Trump’s lawyers “disregards the ordinary meaning of the term as set forth in the vast majority of Founding-era dictionaries; is inconsistent with the text, structure, historical interpretation, adoption, and purpose of the Clause; and is contrary to Executive Branch practice over the course of many years.”

This was not the first time a federal judge has allowed such a case to go forward against Trump. Last July, in an equally comprehensive 52-page decision, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte denied Trump’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland. Both these lawsuits in essence challenge Trump’s outrageous declaration that “I have a no-conflict situation because I’m president,” a haunting echo of Richard Nixon’s infamous and doomed claim that “when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”

In gratitude to Benjamin Franklin for his service as American minister to France from 1776 to 1785, King Louis XVI gave him a snuffbox festooned with 408 diamonds. Two years later when the Founders wrote the new Constitution, they rejected absolute monarchy but feared that public officials could be corrupted by foreign gifts. They adopted the Foreign Emoluments Clause, which provides that “no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatsoever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State,” (U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 8). The Domestic Emoluments Clause further provides that the president shall receive compensation for his services but prohibits the president from receiving “any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.” (U.S. Const. art. II, § 1, cl. 7).

For the first time since the Constitution was ratified, both federal courts agreed with the plaintiffs that “emoluments” means “any profit, gain, or advantage” and rejected the president’s more narrow definition of “emoluments” to mean only a payment made as compensation for official services. Judge Messitte found Trump’s arguments “unpersuasive,” and “misplaced,” reflecting a “cramped interpretation” of the Constitution, which ignored the “large accumulation of historical evidence” and would lead to an “essentially absurd result.”

The lawsuit filed by the members of Congress asserts that Trump “has a financial interest in vast business holdings around the world that engage in dealings with foreign governments and receive benefits from those governments.” In particular, they allege he owns “more than 500 separate entities—hotels, golf courses, media properties, books, management companies, residential and commercial buildings set up to capitalize on licensing deals,” from which the president himself has acknowledged “his businesses receive funds and make a profit from payments by foreign governments, and that they will continue to do so while he is President.” Trump is the only president for at least 40 years who has not liquidated his business assets or put them in a blind trust.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#224

Post by Addie » Wed May 15, 2019 8:16 am

San Francisco Chronicle
Robert Reich: The House now has a constitutional duty to impeach ...

Every child in America is supposed to learn about the Constitution’s basic principles of separation of powers, and checks and balances.

But these days, every child and every adult in America is learning from Donald Trump that these principles are bunk.

By issuing a blanket refusal to respond to any congressional subpoena, Trump is saying Congress has no constitutional authority to oversee the executive branch. He’s telling America that Congress is a subordinate branch of government rather than a co-equal branch. Forget separation of powers.

By spending money on his “wall” that Congress explicitly refused to authorize, Trump is saying that Congress no longer has any constitutional authority over spending. Goodbye, checks and balances.

By unilaterally shuttering the government in order to get his way, Trump is saying he has the constitutional right not to execute the laws whenever it suits him. Farewell, Congress.

By directing the attorney general, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Secretary of the Treasury to act in his own personal interest rather than in the interests of the American people, Trump is saying that a president can run the government on his own. Adios, Constitution.

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Re: Resolution of Inquiry Re Impeachment; Commission to Declare President Incapacitated Re 25th Amendment

#225

Post by Addie » Wed May 15, 2019 3:25 pm

WaPo
Nadler says House Democrats are probably not headed toward impeaching Trump

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in an interview that President Trump is making it “increasingly difficult” to avoid impeachment but that his chamber is probably not headed in that direction.

Nadler, who would preside over impeachment proceedings in the House, also expressed frustration with Attorney General William P. Barr during the interview with CNBC, at one point calling him “just a liar” and alleging that Barr mischaracterized the special counsel’s findings on coordination between Russia and Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.

Nadler, whose committee is planning hearings with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and key witnesses in his investigation, was asked by CNBC’s John Harwood about the timing of any potential impeachment proceedings that might follow. Some Democrats have argued that Trump obstructed Mueller’s probe and should be held accountable.

“It depends on what comes out,” Nadler said. “It depends where the American people are, whether they want to go that way or not. I don’t want to make it sound as if we’re heading for impeachment. Probably we’re not.”

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