funny thing happened in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Thanks to revelations regarding Trump and Ukraine from former National Security Adviser John Bolton, the trial went from being a speedy, all-but-certain path to acquittal to a potentially lengthy quagmire. But the timing of the Bolton bombshell might actually benefit Trump and Senate Republicans by preventing another round of impeachment, and allowing the GOP to dispose of this issue for good.
Trump’s legal team had just taken over the dais in the Senate impeachment trial, speaking to a Republican caucus ready for a quick acquittal. Democrats demanded testimony from Bolton, a move that Republicans had largely united to oppose. It appeared that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s argument that the Senate should not have to reopen the House investigation for impeachment would carry the day.
And then, Bolton testified anyway — albeit indirectly.
The New York Times published leaks from “multiple people” who had read the final draft of Bolton’s memoir, which is still under review by the National Security Council to protect any classified information that might have been included. Those sources told the Times and later The Washington Post that Bolton declared that Trump had demanded Ukraine conduct an investigation of the Bidens in exchange for congressionally appropriated military aid. The account appeared to rebut Trump’s oft-repeated denial of demanding a quid pro quo for aid Congress had already approved and Trump had signed into law. Furthermore, Bolton’s account reportedly contradicted earlier denials from both Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Attorney General William Barr.
Suddenly, Democratic House impeachment managers who had just concluded their presentation to the Senate saw an opening to increase pressure for subpoenas, especially for Bolton. Some Senate Republicans seemed open to the idea as well, worried about how it would look to have Bolton’s account made public without consideration at the trial. McConnell’s unity appeared to fray in the first 48 hours after the leak as GOP moderates talked about cutting deals for a witness trade.
Others, especially Trump, pushed back hard against the leak. Trump went on Twitter almost immediately to emphatically deny the description of Bolton’s account, accusing Bolton of cooking it up to “sell a book.” Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani called Bolton “John the Backstabber” while insisting the account was false. The RNC amplified Trump’s charge by questioning the timing in a statement noting “how convenient” it was that the leak came “at the same time preorders” on Amazon could first be placed. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham picked up on the timing argument, calling it “very, very suspect” that the revelations came just after Trump’s defense team had begun its presentation.
The timing is notable, but not necessarily because it handicaps Trump.
Bear in mind that the publication date for Bolton’s memoir was in less than two months. The certainty that Bolton would speak out by mid-March one way or the other put Senate Republicans in an extremely uncomfortable position. If they voted to acquit Trump without knowing what Bolton had to say, the outcome would be widely seen as illegitimate. It might have even pushed House Democrats to vote a new article of impeachment on the basis of Bolton’s memoir and force the Senate back into a trial, but at the very least it would have made for campaign fodder against vulnerable Senate Republican incumbents this fall.
Now, however, the leak lets Republicans off the hook, even if still leaves Trump on it. Trump may not have told the truth in his outright denials on the quid pro quo allegation, but at least Senate Republicans now know that for certain. The New York Times leak put the worst possible conclusion from Bolton where they can openly consider it and then still move to the alternate argument. After all, as former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review, there is no need to deny the quid pro quo because it’s a moot point — the aid went without strings attached in the end, and it didn’t rise to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” bar anyway.
Trump’s legal team subtly shifted its presentation to emphasize this point after the leak. Alan Dershowitz told the Senate on Monday that a “quid pro quo alone is not a basis for abuse of power … based on mixed or sole motives.” In fact, Dershowitz said, “nothing in the Bolton revelations — even if true — would rise to the level of an abuse of power.”
@Ronald J. Ward:
When have I EVER said that before? Provide the link.
Back up your claim or STFU.
I’m reasonably certain of 3 things.
1) When you have the authority or ability to shut me up, let me know.
2) You’re flat out stupid.
3) If you disagree with # 2, review # 1.
@Ronald J. Ward:
Get some mental health assistance for your anger issues.
@Ronald J. Ward:
And you’re leaving out the independent investigation that lead to a careful and bipartisan impeachment inquiry, where witnesses were cross-examined.
You’re leaving out the facts, and look stupid doing it. Even you know that’s bullshit. The House led an partisan hack job, and you can’t defend that in the least.
Partisan rhetoric. Your party accused Trump of that, and failed to prove it. You don’t get to call him guilty now when he wasn’t convicted.
And if we want to show “a president may now use his power of office not only to coerce foreign governments into providing politically useful favors, but also to suppress investigations of the same.”, then any sane American would start with Obama, who did all of this.
You’re just not convincing anyone of your propaganda this time, gaslighting or no.
Can you win at the ballot box, or does your party need more dirty tricks and lies like the impeachment? I guess we’ll see.
I love watching these Leftist trolls bitch and make excuses for why they can’t win.
Tell us all why Trump is in trouble and blah blah blah…
I see the Dems are so desperate they’re turning to a narcissistic NYC billionaire to challenge Trump…because Trump is a narcissistic NYC billionaire.
@Nathan Blue: bloomers is running on beat Trump, he can pour unlimited money into cheap ads. he is no fighter. The ads are ineffective just annoying platformless fluff.
Happy Brexit day, a loss of epic proportions to progressive globalists.
Trump’s followers sure do like that “Game Over” phrase. The thing is, it’s not a game, and it sure as hell isn’t over.
…because the man believes he can do whatever the hell he wants, and the GOP apparently hasn’t got the integrity or the spine to send him a clear message that they’re not on board with that lunacy.
Well, backing up his lies with facts is not actually an AJ thing. Sorry.
@kitt: DNC seem to have chosen Blahblah as their chosen one; after shunning blacks and Hispanics from their debates because they didn’t have enough donors, they change the rules (now that those nasty “cullered folks” are gone) so white billionaire Blahblah can join in. They are also discussing changing the “super delegate” rules so they can screw Bernie again. They are really working hard to build a cohesive voting bloc, aren’t they?
@Greg: Why don’t you and the rest of your crybaby, sore loser, petulant spoiled brat, bitter, whining party get back with us whenever you actually find a real impeachable crime? Meanwhile, go back to your basement and scream at the ceiling.
Most are aware of that, excluding Pelosi et al. They’ve turned this into a juvenile game, and now it’s over. Hence, “game over” you idiot.
It better be or the Dems and their followers are going to be labeled for the treason and sedition they are currently perpetrating. Trump isn’t acting like a “King”, and that line of logical fallacy is just meant to whip up an uneducated, under-experienced Leftist base.
Two GOP Senators wanted witnesses. All Dem lined up the same, like lemmings. The GOP has a spine. The Dems? Not so much.
All of this “impeachment” nonsense has mobilized the people around me, now knowing how desperate and deranged the Dems have become in the face of losing their power since Obama. We’re ready to oppose them in every way, merely wanting the Constitutional Republic to continue to be free, and not fascistly dominated by the increasingly authoritarian Left.
TRUMP RAISED $109 MILLION DURING THE IMPEACHMENT!
@Nathan Blue: What these idiots don’t realize that while many Republicans wanted witnesses, they didn’t want the witnesses Democrats wanted to restrict the list to. If they wanted to hear Bolton; fine. But we would have also heard from witnesses that would have exposed the vast corruption and cover ups of the Democrats. Therefore, there would have never been witnesses because Democrats would not have agreed to having the real witnesses heard just to hear Bolton discuss something that not only wasn’t a crime… but didn’t even happen.
And if Graham is good to his word… all the good stuff is going to come out anyway.
Meanwhile, the DNC passes rules that will run off many of their voters and possibly even induce violence. I couldn’t be more pleased.
@Deplorable Me, #111:
They wanted “witnesses” they could use to reinforce the same lunatic conspiracy theories that have already turned the republican base into an easily manipulated flock of hypnotized sheep who are mindlessly celebrating their own manipulation.
Only an idiot can’t figure out that republicans have allowed the self-aggrandizing jackass in the White House to turn the Senate impeachment trial itself into another case of abuse of power and obstruction. Every one of the witnesses Trump blocked is a republican, and every one of them has direct, first-hand knowledge of the truth about Trump’s Ukraine scam.
It will be interesting next week, when the republican oath-breakers and betrayers of the Constitution are given time to try to explain away and rationalize why they’ve aided Trump in an obvious, odious cover up. And that will only be the beginning. They’ll need to keep on doing that until the election, day in and day out, as more and more of Trump’s bullshit is revealed.
Comrade Greggie, your hated level is increasing to a more than dangerous level. How much longer before you become totally unhinged and become a viable threat to yourself?
Well, Greg, it’s called evidence. Facts. If your Democrats had had any, perhaps they wouldn’t have looked like such incompetent, childish idiots. Aside from the FACT ([fakt] NOUN…a thing that is known or proved to be true.) that Trump never committed the heinous non-crimes he was accused of, he had a valid reason to be interested in Ukraine’s dedication to fighting corruption. This explains why Democrats were so desperately AGAINST Republicans calling their own witnesses in the House and, beyond any doubt, they would have desperately fought them being allowed to testify in the Senate.
And every one of the witnesses could have testified if Democrats had only subpoenaed them. They were afraid to.
Your Democrats are the oath breakers. Every person that supported impeachment under these conditions has violated their oath to the people and the Constitution. Every one of them should be removed from office.
Given that you’re angry, insulting, and hateful to the point of being unhinged much of the time, there’s a slight possibility that you might be judging non-Trumpists using a double standard. There seems to be a lot of that going on in Trump circles.
@Greg: Are you talking to yourself now? Talking to yourself is one thing… ANSWERING yourself is a bad sign. Just chill out; the Democrats knew they could never succeed with such a transparently weak joke of a case anyway.
@Deplorable Me, #114:
Trump locked down all related material documents under control of the Executive Branch, and ordered every material witness with direct knowledge of what he did to defy lawful congressional subpoenas. Obviously evidence and facts aren’t things that he has any intention of letting voters know about.
You’re so much under the influence of right-wing propaganda and Trump’s incessant flow of lies and b.s. that you don’t even grasp the fact that all of these things were properly subpoenaed, that the subpoenas were all defied at the his command, and that Senate republicans don’t have the balls to stand up against obvious abuse of power and obstruction. They won’t stand up for their own sworn constitutional duty to serve as a check against dangerous executive misconduct.
No one was demanding a guilty verdict. All that was being demanded was an impartial trial as the Constitution specifies, which—as with any impartial trial—requires that obviously material testimony be heard and obviously material evidence be examined. There’s nothing remotely impartial about a trial where the accused is allowed to suppress both material testimony and evidence.
Cowed republicans wouldn’t agree, because they know in their heart of hearts what that testimony and evidence would likely reveal. Now they’ll have to try to explain away their dereliction of duty with lies while more facts come out, and while an emboldened Trump tries to push the envelope even further. There’s an election coming, and they’ve told him that what he tried with Ukraine is perfectly OK.
@Deplorable Me: Schumer said the truth will come out, while Schiff hides the WB and testimony of Atkinson. Somehow I dont think they really want the truth to come out.
Hiding part of the evidence gathered, they really dont need any new stuff.
@Deplorable Me: @kitt:
Isn’t it amusing that Comrade Greggie accuses Trump of the things Obama actually did?
I’m out of here for the day. I don’t find your assertive stupidity even remotely amusing.
@retire05: He keep dragging Barry and Stinky into things, sometime Quid Pro Joe.
Oh. Really. So what was it that the Democrats had that was so “irrefutable” and “uncontested”? If they felt Trump was hiding all this nasty, incriminating dirt, WHY didn’t they try to go get it? The Executive branch of the government has ever right… DUTY to protect its separation. Obama certainly made good use and OFTEN of executive privilege. Did you complain then? No. You didn’t.
I know this, and it is from first-hand observation: the crime they accused Trump of NEVER HAPPENED, so it is absolutely impossible that the committed it. Ukraine got their aid, they never made any “statements” and they didn’t know the aid was held up. It take a really committed idiot not to be able to see this.
So, you admit the Democrats were only putting on a show, never expecting their weak-ass case to be taken seriously. Well, you don’t need to tell me; I figured that out as soon as the House rules were make known. First, a lesson: if you aren’t willing to BE fair, don’t EXPECT fair. Yet, the Senate participated in their stupid little theater.
No Republicans were “cowed”. They simply had no inclination to allow infantile, visceral hate to direct their votes.
@kitt: No, HIDING the truth is what they HAVE to do. Hiding the fact that THEY conspired with Russians and Ukrainians to try and impact elections and the corruption so many of them are deeply involved in.
@retire05: I don’t think he’s taking the Democrat failure and collapse well. Sadly (for him) there is more bad news on the way. It appears many in the Democrat party are not taking Bernie’s popularity well; if Bernie gets the nomination, many Democrats threaten to either not vote or vote for Trump. However, if Bernie is treated unfairly (and they are contemplating changing the rules to screw him over again) he and his fascists will turn against the Democrats. It is looking like no matter what happens, their party will be split. Well, that’s what happens when you get in bed with socialists.
AND we are all failing to amuse him. Shame on us.
The thing that pissed them off is the Republicans were not cowed. Schumer with his innuendo of “He will cheat AGAIN! Nadlers “You are on trial” And every 5 minutes that they were complicit in a cover-up.
How they most un-cleverly tried to weave there had to be a “plot” to unseat the Ukrainian Ambassador, a leap into the we dont need facts ring.
Beating the Article 2 statement into the libs heads like a hammer.
Expect more come Monday 2 hours more.
It is perfectly legal for the President to inquire about crimes committed by US citizens on foreign soil.
Then there is that pesky money laundering thing
No doubt the Democrats expected the Republicans to fold to them like they have in the past. Trump is showing them how to stand up to the intimidation of the Democrat/media collaboration. Even with 100% negative coverage by the corrupt liberal media, Trump’s approval STILL rose during the impeachment farce. No doubt THAT pissed them off quite a bit.
Only a total fool is upset about the outcome because only a total fool ever thought the outcome could have been anything else.
Comrade Greggie never takes defeat well. He just continues to dig in the manure knowing the pony he wants is there.
Now the DNC has a Bernie problem. The nation is not yet ready for Socialism (Communism lite) yet but Bernie is giving Uncle Joe a run for his money.
Nearly all elected republicans are terrified of crossing or even publicly criticizing Donald Trump, who leads their hypnotized voters around like the Pied Piper. Those who have done so have either been humiliated and beaten like dogs into groveling submission, or have left because they couldn’t stomach becoming the tools of such an a**hat. He has pretty much destroyed the GOP as the party of fiscal conservatism and traditional moral values, none of which he ever believed in or has ever lived by. They’re just guidelines for the stuff he has to pretend to believe while posturing in the spotlight. Now he can even get away with slipping on those points. A built-in, trillion-dollar-per-year deficit, for example, no longer matters.
Yeah. They’ve been cowed. They’ve essentially been neutered. They’ve become Trump’s fawning, servile tools, when he’s a lesser man than almost any of them. Turning a blind eye on the openly acknowledged fact that he puppeteered Mitch McConnell as his means of neutralizing any meaningful congressional response to his acknowledged abuses is evidence that will be cited in the history books. (Yeah, he abused his powers of office to coerce election help from a foreign government—but hey, that’s not an impeachable offense. Get over it.)
Presently, having voted to let him get away with suppressing material evidence and testimony, they’re trying to figure out how to cover their own exposed posteriors. Maybe they’ll now take the ludicrous step of supporting a motion to censure him for the thing they refused to hear first-hand testimony about. Then they can proclaim that they took a stand any time it’s pointed out that they didn’t.
Provide some evidence of your claim. There have been no such instances and NO Republicans voted out of fear of anything; they voted against a sham impeachment based on a rigged hearing to generate articles out of thin air. Those who respect the Constitution opposed this embarrassment of an attempted coup.
You are getting as bad as AJ with your made up scenarios, delusions and avoidance of fact.
@Deplorable Me, #127:
Exhibit A: Ted Cruz. (Rolled over after repeated insults, slander, and abuse.)
Exhibit B: Lindsey Graham. (Ditto.)
Exhibit C: Jeff Flake (Driven out, honor intact.)
February 2, 2020 — Justice Department acknowledges 24 emails reveal Trump’s thinking on Ukraine
That was carefully timed.
That is, They can’t be redacted because they reveal information that’s completely specific to the charges the Senate must render a verdict on.
Right. Because that’s what it proves.
Hey, it isn’t the government’s filing. It’s the Executive Branch’s filing.
No the NYT says someone told them thats what is in a book manuscript.
They can add it to closing arguments on Monday.
It will not matter to the republicans who are not doing this to be Trump toadies but so they dont reward Schiff for his slapdash rush to impeach, then expect the Senate to do his job. Wow if this all would have come to light while they were getting a court to enforce a subpoena, they missed it by thiiis much. Or not.
You see if there was a quid pro quo, not that there was, it wouldnt matter, the President has the right to investigate if crimes took place involving American Citizens overseas, we even have a treaty for that.
It part of the defense you just cant get through your Democrat skull.
Timing yes, Schiff is being trolled.
@Greg: Cruz has rolled nothing. Graham criticizes Trump when he feels criticism is warranted and sides with Trump when he is right (which is most of the time). Flake apparently didn’t want to support conservatism.
So, like your House Democrats, you FAIL because all you have is BULL SHIT.
A. Ukraine didn’t know they aid was delayed.
B. Ukraine never made any public announcements
C. Ukraine got the aid.
D. Biden bragged, on video, that he successfully extorted Ukraine to protect his corrupt son and his own corrupt interests.
Summary: the accusations the Democrats made were BULL SHIT. They made the false accusations because they are CHICKEN SHIT.
January 30, 2020 — DOJ tells court that Congress can’t sue to enforce subpoenas
Which, of course, directly contradicts the argument Trump’s lawyers repeatedly made on the floor of the Senate, that it must not vote to subpoena witnesses or documents because the House failed to pursue the matter in court as it should have done when Trump locked everything down.
They’ve reversed their line of bullshit 180 degrees, but Trump’s followers won’t notice and wouldn’t care if they did. This is a given. To believe in this strutting bunco artist, they’ve got to be willing not to see what’s directly in front of their faces.
Was part of Pelosi’s scheme promoting this fake impeachment, rushing it to get it voted for quickly, then sitting on it for a month a gambit to keep Fauxahantas and Bernie out of Iowa? She’s no fan of candidates that are further left than she is.
Hmm…. use impeachment as a political tool to simultaneously try and damage Trump while keeping THEIR most toxic candidates out of the campaign. Yeah, that’s what the Founders and the Constitution had in mind for impeachment.
@Greg: No matter how you try to twist it, you FAILED to weaponize impeachment to destroy Trump. Without an impeachable crime (and no matter what you want to imagine Trump was thinking, NOT committing a crime is not an impeachable offense), unless you can have a majority in the House willing to trample the Constitution and lie, as we have now, and a super-majority in the Senate that will reverse a legal election for purely political motives, you aren’t going to win using impeachment as a weapon.
It is short-sighted of Democrats to go this route. In the past, Democrats could rely on liberal judges that would ignore Constitutional guidance and vote to support the liberal agenda. Thanks to Harry Reid, McConnell is rapidly removing that weapon. Destroy the separation of powers would definitely bite Democrats in the ass severely in the future if they tried the abuses Obama enjoyed again. They wouldn’t find near universal judicial support for their actions as they did under Obama or wielded against Trump in the first couple of years.
There are three branches of government and all Trump is doing is protecting that Constitutional construct. Butthurt won’t eliminate it.
Restore the citizenship question that was on every census form prior to BHO removing it to retain seats in congress. California, NY and perhaps Florida and TX.
Only removed in 2010.
Trump should have stayed in that fight.
You can see how petty the Dems have become, fighting every single thing Trump tries to do down to a single census question.
No one has anything to say about Post #132, I guess.
That’s hardly unexpected. It’s one of those things that puts the lies behind the White House’s rigged Senate trial fully in spotlight.
@Greg: That’s because people that routinely scurry away from questions don’t get theirs answered.
@Deplorable Me, #136:
It’s because neither you nor any other of Trump apologists have an answer to a real and totally relevant question.
It’s why republicans have had to cooperate with the White House in turning the Senate trial into an obvious cover-up.
I can hardly wait to hear the lame excuses they try to roll out before they acquit without hearing material witnesses or seeing material documents. Everybody knows what they’re doing.
Yes we do and it is glorious.
The Democrats better begin to look for a viable candidate with a platform.
@Greg: I’ve been asking what happened to Schiff’s claim he had proof Trump colluded with Russians ever since the Mueller report came out and his “evidence” just vanished. You don’t have any room to demand or expect any answers. Nor do you deserve them.
Obama withheld evidence demanded of his sorry, corrupt White House; why shouldn’t Trump have the same right AGAINST corrupt demands?
There was plenty of evidence that collusion took place, in the form of secret meetings, internal polling data supplied to the Russian ambassador, etc. What Schiff stated is that there was “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” That statement is correct.
Mueller made no determination regarding collusion because collusion is not actually a legally defined term. What the Mueller report states is that insufficient evidence was found to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the Trump campaign coordinated its own efforts with the Russian government’s election interference efforts. That’s sure as hell not “total exoneration”—particularly when the accused refused to answer any questions related to the matter.
Mueller did find and detail many specific examples of obstruction of justice, and only refrained from making a formal conclusion that it had taken place because DoJ policy prevented him from doing so. He clearly stated that. He said the only response could come from Congress.
But you’re really just dodging a much simpler question for which you have no reasonable answer:
How can Trump’s lawyers argue in the Senate that there should be no witnesses called because the House failed to pursue their subpoenas in court, while simultaneously arguing in court that any efforts on the part of the House must be disregarded because only Congress has authority to issue such subpoenas? This is complete bullshit. Anyone knows that both claims cannot possibly be true.
Do you think by jumping from thread to thread no one notices you blather the same b/s over and over and over?
@Greg: Yeah, there was plenty of evidence of collusion… by DEMOCRATS.
Mueller said he found NO EVIDENCE anyone in Trump’s campaign collusion. Further, he verified NO OBSTRUCTION as well.
Still not answering the questions about lying. Scurrying away just like AJ.
Arguing with Trump supporters is like arguing with a room full of 6-year-olds.
@Greg: Well, if the 6 year olds had the facts, logic and truth on their side and were citing actual evidence and events… yeah, you’re probably right.
Sadly, you have a bunch of spoiled, petulant, whiny, sore loser, crybaby 3 year olds in your party representing you in Congress. They will lie, ignore precedent, deny representation and trample the Constitution… then complain when faced with some much better informed 6 year olds.