The impeachment vote is an open declaration of war. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The Democrats declared war yesterday. Not on Donald Trump but on the United States and the Constitution.
What started as a coup to overturn the 2016 election has now morphed into a Civil War as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Fran-feces) presided over the passage of a bill which creates a clear Constitutional Crisis.
And that means we have multiple factions vying for control of our government, the definition of a Civil War.
In passing these articles of impeachment against President Trump Congress has arrogated to itself powers it does not have.
The first article asserts a motive to Trump’s actions to invalidate his role as chief law enforcement officer for the country. It doesn’t matter if you like him or any President having this power, he does have it.
Read that first article and then apply it to a country other than Ukraine where Trump didn’t have ‘probable cause’ for investigation into corruption and malfeasance there.
That could be Abuse of Power.
But this happened in Ukraine where Trump clearly has probable cause.
The following is the scenario the first impeachment article is asserting as the basis for abuse of power, through ascribing political motives to the President:
One day President Trump wakes up and says, “Shit! Joe Biden’s leading me in the polls. I need to do something about this.”
So, Trump twirls his orange comb-over and calls up the Prime Minister of Armenia, a Russian ally, to whom we’ve pledged aid. Since it’s a Russian ally and Trump may have colluded with the Russians, they would be a good candidate to help him.
But Joe Biden has no history of diplomacy or oversight in Armenia as Vice-President. There’s no record of any contact of any kind with Biden in Armenia, for argument’s sake.
Trump then, during the phone call, shakes down the Armenian PM for that aid, explicitly saying he must create dirt on Joe Biden or he would withhold appropriated aid funds to the country.
Then, after getting caught, Trump tries to hide the record of the phone call by hiding behind Executive Privilege.
That would be Abuse of Power and an impeachable offense. It would be regrettable but indefensible that the odious jackals in Congress were right to impeach him. They would, actually, be defending the Constitution and fully within their rights.
But, that’s not what happened.
Biden was put in charge of Ukraine by President Obama. He had full discretion on policy towards Ukraine and was caught on tape bragging about doing exactly what the impeachment article is accusing Trump of doing. Shaking Ukraine down for favors in order to get $1 billion in aid.
Since the prosecutor who Biden had fired was investigating corruption into his son Hunter’s involvement with Ukrainian gas company Burisma, this admission is pretty damning, showing clear personal motive to use his office to stop investigation into his family.
This is Abuse of Power. This is subjecting U.S. foreign policy to the whims of an elected official, squelching an investigation into his personal family, using the office for personal gain.
So, when viewed through this lens the first impeachment article is a complete lie. Trump didn’t do the things asserted. The transcript of the phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky proves that.
Trump made the phone call public immediately.
The phone call and Trump’s order to review the foreign aid were contemporaneous but not conditional. If you have a non-charitable view of the President it may raise some questions, but there was probable cause here.
Your opinions on Trump do not add up to High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
The implications of this impeachment article are, however, staggering.
It says explicitly that the U.S. president cannot discharge his duties as a law enforcement official if the person of interest is someone of the opposite party or a potential electoral opponent.
It says that probable cause is not a standard for investigation only political considerations.
That’s a clear violation of Congress’ role. Congress writes laws. The President executes them. If the Congress wants to assume law enforcement powers it should work to amend the Constitution.
This is a clear example of why impeachment is a political process not a legal one. But, if they are going to act this politically, at least they should put the veneer of legality on it. Even the equally odious Republicans who impeached Bill Clinton did that.
But in asserting this as an offence Congress seeks to place the Legislative Branch as superior to the Executive in matters of law enforcement and implementation.
That’s a clear violation of the separation of powers. It may suck that the guy holding the Office of the Presidency is someone you don’t like or not willing to turn a blind eye to corruption, but doing his job is not a ‘high crime or misdemeanor.’
The second article is even worse. Because asserts the power to subpoena members of the Executive branch under the impeachment inquiry into the first article. And since Congress has sole authority over impeachment, no judicial review of its subpoena power can be made.
This is fully unconstitutional since it subverts the power of the Judicial branch to settle disputes between the Executive and Legislative branches as established by the Constitution.
Pelosi and company are broadening the definition of ‘the sole power of impeachment’ to say that whatever Congress deems as worthy of an impeachment inquiry is therefore law and the other branches have no say in the matter.
This is patent nonsense and wholly tyrannical.
Rod Rosenstein and Andrew Weismann tried to use an equally broad interpretation of ‘obstruction of justice’ to include future harm to continue the special council’s investigation into Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.
Moreover it renders the concept of judicial review as laid down in Marbury vs. Madison null and void. Congress cannot just make up laws and crimes out of whole cloth and then unilaterally declare them constitutional under the rubric of impeachment.
The Supreme Court has the right to strike down bills Congress passes as unconstitutional.
This drives a massive wedge through the separation of powers in a blatant power grab by Pelosi and the Democratic House majority to protect themselves from Trump’s investigations into their crimes surrounding events in Ukraine.
When viewed dispassionately, Obstruction of Congress is not a crime but rather a function of each of the other two branches of government. It’s no better when the President hides behind Executive Orders to legislate unconstitutionally.
And it’s even worse when the Supreme Court makes up laws from the bench rather than kick the ball back to Congress and start the process all over again.
That’s what the whole three co-equal branches of government is supposed to mean.
Now, in practice I don’t believe the three branches are equal, as the Judicial branch routinely oversteps its authority. But in this case if it does not step in immediately and defend itself from this Congress then the basic fabric of our government unravels overnight.
That the second impeachment article is directly dependent on the flawed (or non-existent) logic of the first impeachment article renders the whole thing simply laughable on the face of it.
I’m no legal scholar so when I can see how ridiculous these articles are then you know this has nothing to do with the law but everything to do with power.
And the reality is, as I discussed in my latest podcast, what this impeachment is really about is distracting and covering up the multiple layers of corruption in U.S. foreign and domestic policy stretching back decades. Many of the tendrils emanating from the events surrounding the FISA warrants improperly granted connect directly to the Clintons, Jeffrey Epstein, William Browder and the rape of Russia in the post-Soviet 90’s.
We’re talking an entire generation or more of U.S. officials and politicians implicated in some of the worst crimes of the past thirty years.
The stakes for these people are existential. This is why they are willing to risk a full-blown constitutional crisis and civil war to remove Trump from office.
They know he’s angry at them now. This is personal as well as philosophical. Trump is a patriot, a narcissist and a gangster. That’s a powerful combination of traits.
The polls are shifting his way on this as the average person knows this impeachment is pathetic. They are tired of the Democrats’ games the same way British voters are over the arguments against Brexit.
So the old adage about killing the king come to mind. If Pelosi et.al. miss here, the retribution from Trump will be biblical.
The damage to the society is too great to argue irrelevancies. No one outside of the Beltway Bubble and the Crazies of the Resistance cares about what Trump did here. It’s too arcane and most people are against giving a shithole like Ukraine taxpayer money in the first place.
The whole thing is a giant pile of loser turds steaming up the room and impeding getting any work done.
In the end We’ll know if Trump has his ducks in a row in how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plays his cards versus Pelosi. If McConnell pussy-foots around and gives Pelosi anything on how the trial in the Senate is conducted then the fix is in and Trump is done.
But, if McConnell shuts this down then what comes next will be a righteous smackdown of Trump’s political opponents that will make the phone call with Zelensky look like a routine call to Dominos’ for a double pepperoni.
Either way, this coup attempt by Pelosi is now open warfare. There will be casualties.