The Impeachment Process Has Officially Begun (2 Viewers)

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Andrus

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By Laura Bassett

After months of internal arguing among Democrats over whether to impeach President Donald Trump, the dam is finally breaking in favor of trying to remove him from office. The Washington Post reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would announce a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, following a bombshell report that Trump illegally asked Ukraine’s government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of his political opponents. (He essentially admitted to having done so over the weekend.)

“Now that we have the facts, we’re ready,” Pelosi said Tuesday morning at a forum hosted by The Atlantic. At 5 p.m. the same day, she was back with more. "The actions taken to date by the president have seriously violated the constitution, especially when the president says Article Two says I can do whatever I want," referring to the segment of the Constitution that defines the power of the executive branch of the government. Pelosi's message was that checks and balances of those branches are just as central to the Constitution. And one more thing: "Today, I am announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry," she said at a conference broadcast on Twitter by the Huffington Post. ...

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UncleTrvlingJim

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So am I and so are most people I've had discussions with on this particular matter. The problem is the House is not providing oversight on the White House; instead you have a political hack with no credibility pretending to conduct an objective "inquiry" on a political opponent he openly despises. Let the House conduct a legitimate bipartisan impeachment inquiry as has been done before and I think most people will accept the outcome.
So what are your concerns about the current process?
 

LA - L.A.

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The "ask" that you refer to has been practiced longer than you and I have been alive...
Which president asked the leader of a foreign government to publicly announce a corruption investigation into one of the president's primary rivals during an election campaign cycle?

Some keep saying it's a common and legal practice, but I've never heard of it happening before.
 
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yuyi64

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So what are your concerns about the current process?
Did you not read the very post you quoted? Does a unilateral secretive "investigation" being conducted by a hyperpartisan discredited committee chair that follows no historical impeachment precedent not give you any concerns as to its fairness and impartiality?
 

UncleTrvlingJim

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Did you not read the very post you quoted? Does a unilateral secretive "investigation" being conducted by a hyperpartisan discredited committee chair that follows no historical impeachment precedent not give you any concerns as to its fairness and impartiality?
Your using opinions instead of facts. Terms like hyperpartisan and discredited are your opinion. What I was asking is how specifically should the House proceed? And I'll thank you to tone done the snark I did read the post, but you provided no specifics.

There have only been three impeachment proceedings before,so not a lot of precedence to follow.

I'm boarding a flight to Europe so I'll hang up and read later.
 

yuyi64

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Your using opinions instead of facts. Terms like hyperpartisan and discredited are your opinion. What I was asking is how specifically should the House proceed? And I'll thank you to tone done the snark I did read the post, but you provided no specifics.

There have only been three impeachment proceedings before,so not a lot of precedence to follow.

I'm boarding a flight to Europe so I'll hang up and read later.
Not just my personal opinions. Even within his own party Schiff is considered one of the most political and partisan members, which is why Pelosi chose him to lead this sham inquiry. He has discredited himself many times by lying about non-existent evidence he claimed to have, by lying about having no knowledge of the so-called whistleblower's complaint, and by creating fictitious accounts of well-documented events. He's issuing subpoenas and deposing cherry-picked witnesses without giving minority members the same courtesy and allowing cross-examination of those witnesses. Three previous impeachments is sufficient precedence to use as a guideline for any future impeachment process so it would make sense to follow historical precedence. Have a safe flight to Europe (I lived there for three years so I'm jealous)! PM me when you get back and I will give you specific steps I think the House should be following in order to have a legitimate impeachment inquiry.
 

Beach Friends

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Your using opinions instead of facts. Terms like hyperpartisan and discredited are your opinion. What I was asking is how specifically should the House proceed? And I'll thank you to tone done the snark I did read the post, but you provided no specifics.

There have only been three impeachment proceedings before,so not a lot of precedence to follow.

I'm boarding a flight to Europe so I'll hang up and read later.
Wait, I thought we had agreed that it was important that these proceedings be carried out with fairness so as to mitigate their devisiveness?
 
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Infoman

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Your using opinions instead of facts. Terms like hyperpartisan and discredited are your opinion. What I was asking is how specifically should the House proceed?
I would start with openly and go from there... and to be fair... when you said... "It seems far more likely that he's doing it for political gain than fighting corruption." this is also an opinion...

Both are opinions really... I think both are valid opinions... still... they are opinions.

I'm not some Trump cheerleader - I am not a personal "fan" of his... nor am I a fan of all these obviously politically motivated "investigations" that the Dems keep dragging out with their pitch forks and torches in hand...

I think everyone knows that Trump will not be removed from office via this "impeachment process"... and both sides are really just posturing, and trying to gain as much dirt as possible on the opposition for 2020...

The illusion of "finding truth" in all these investigations... is just that... illusion... I don't have cold hard facts to support that opinion... but it sure seems far more likely... to me.
 
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LA - L.A.

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Not just my personal opinions. Even within his own party Schiff is considered one of the most political and partisan members...
This is the first I've heard of this. Can you cite Democratic sources on this?
Three previous impeachments is sufficient precedence to use as a guideline for any future impeachment process so it would make sense to follow historical precedence.
It's my understanding that the three previous processes were varied and that the current investigative process is most closely following the Clinton investigative process established by a Republican controlled House.
 

yuyi64

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It's my understanding that the three previous processes were varied and that the current investigative process is most closely following the Clinton investigative process established by a Republican controlled House.
No, not following closely at all. The full House voted in 1998 on whether to open an impeachment inquiry or not; they did not start a pseudo impeachment inquiry by a single committee prior to that vote. Also, two specific charges (lying under oath and obstruction of justice) were presented to the House prior to the vote to commence impeachment hearings, not an open-ended accusation of possible wrongdoing.
 

MT15

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So am I and so are most people I've had discussions with on this particular matter. The problem is the House is not providing oversight on the White House; instead you have a political hack with no credibility pretending to conduct an objective "inquiry" on a political opponent he openly despises. Let the House conduct a legitimate bipartisan impeachment inquiry as has been done before and I think most people will accept the outcome.
Trump was asked directly today whether he would cooperate with the inquiry if the full House took a vote.

He won’t commit to cooperating even if what you want happens. He said he will cooperate “if he thinks the inquiry is fair”.

That’s not how it works, that’s not how any of this works. The subject of the inquiry doesn’t get to pass judgement on it from the start.

So we should just forget about the vote, it doesn’t matter because Trump won’t change his behavior and cooperate even if the vote happened. It’s noise, not signal.

The true question is just what happened on the phone call with Ukraine’s President. Is the president using the State Department and the DOJ to pressure a foreign country into making up allegations about a political rival? Does the president make decisions about foreign policy and military matters based on personal motives?

These are important questions. There is some real doubt about them. We should all want the answers.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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No, not following closely at all. The full House voted in 1998 on whether to open an impeachment inquiry or not; they did not start a pseudo impeachment inquiry by a single committee prior to that vote. Also, two specific charges (lying under oath and obstruction of justice) were presented to the House prior to the vote to commence impeachment hearings, not an open-ended accusation of possible wrongdoing.
Again, the investigative process during the Clinton Impeachment was done via Independent Counsel Ken Starr.

Impeachment by House of Representatives

Since Ken Starr had already completed an extensive investigation, the House Judiciary Committee conducted no investigations of its own into Clinton's alleged wrongdoing, and it held no serious impeachment-related hearings before the 1998 midterm elections. Nevertheless, impeachment was one of the major issues in the election.

Impeachment proceedings were initiated during the post-election, "lame duck" session of the outgoing 105th United States Congress. Unlike the case of the 1974 impeachment process against Richard Nixon, the committee hearings were perfunctory but the floor debate in the whole House was spirited on both sides. The Speaker-designate, Representative Bob Livingston, chosen by the Republican Party Conference to replace Gingrich as House Speaker, announced the end of his candidacy for Speaker and his resignation from Congress from the floor of the House after his own marital infidelity came to light.[17] In the same speech, Livingston also encouraged Clinton to resign. Clinton chose to remain in office and urged Livingston to reconsider his resignation.[18] Many other prominent Republican members of Congress (including Dan Burton,[17] Helen Chenoweth,[17] and Henry Hyde,[17] the chief House manager of Clinton's trial in the Senate) had infidelities exposed about this time, all of whom voted for impeachment. Publisher Larry Flynt offered a reward for such information, and many supporters of Clinton accused Republicans of hypocrisy.[17]

Although proceedings were delayed due to the bombing of Iraq, on the passage of H. Res. 611, Clinton was impeached on December 19, 1998, by the House of Representatives on grounds of perjury to a grand jury (by a 228–206 vote)[19] and obstruction of justice (by a 221–212 vote).[20] Two other articles of impeachment failed – a second count of perjury in the Jones case (by a 205–229 vote)[21] and one accusing Clinton of abuse of power (by a 148–285 vote).[22] Clinton thus became the second U.S. president to be impeached, following Andrew Johnson in 1868, and the third against whom articles of impeachment have been brought before the full House, that being Richard Nixon in 1974.

Five Democrats (Virgil Goode, Ralph Hall, Paul McHale, Charles Stenholm and Gene Taylor) voted in favor of three of the four articles of impeachment, but only Taylor voted for the abuse of power charge. Five Republicans (Amo Houghton, Peter King, Connie Morella, Chris Shays and Mark Souder) voted against the first perjury charge. Eight more Republicans (Sherwood Boehlert, Michael Castle, Phil English, Nancy Johnson, Jay Kim, Jim Leach, John McHugh and Ralph Regula), but not Souder, voted against the obstruction charge. Twenty-eight Republicans voted against the second perjury charge, sending it to defeat, and eighty-one voted against the abuse of power charge.

Article I charged that Clinton lied to the grand jury concerning:[23]

  1. the nature and details of his relationship with Lewinsky
  2. prior false statements he made in the Jones deposition
  3. prior false statements he allowed his lawyer to make characterizing Lewinsky's affidavit
  4. his attempts to tamper with witnesses
Article III charged Clinton with attempting to obstruct justice in the Jones case by:[24]

  1. encouraging Lewinsky to file a false affidavit
  2. encouraging Lewinsky to give false testimony if and when she was called to testify
  3. concealing gifts he had given to Lewinsky that had been subpoenaed
  4. attempting to secure a job for Lewinsky to influence her testimony
  5. permitting his lawyer to make false statements characterizing Lewinsky's affidavit
  6. attempting to tamper with the possible testimony of his secretary Betty Currie
  7. making false and misleading statements to potential grand jury witnesses

If the House were to hold a vote today, what evidence would they present?
 

Beach Friends

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Trump was asked directly today whether he would cooperate with the inquiry if the full House took a vote.

He won’t commit to cooperating even if what you want happens. He said he will cooperate “if he thinks the inquiry is fair”.

The subject of the inquiry doesn’t get to pass judgement on it from the start.
So, on the one hand you say he doesn't get to pass judgment on the inquiry from the start, and on the other you are criticizing him for not passing judgment on the inquiry from the start.
 

MT15

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So, on the one hand you say he doesn't get to pass judgment on the inquiry from the start, and on the other you are criticizing him for not passing judgment on the inquiry from the start.
I don’t follow. I’m critical of him ignoring subpoenas from the House and blocking the testimony of witnesses.

I will say that I heard a lawyer on TV say that when you are defending a client and the facts aren’t in your favor, you tend to dwell on procedural complaints. I don’t know if that’s right or not, maybe one of our counselors will weigh in.
 

yuyi64

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Trump was asked directly today whether he would cooperate with the inquiry if the full House took a vote.

He won’t commit to cooperating even if what you want happens. He said he will cooperate “if he thinks the inquiry is fair”.

That’s not how it works, that’s not how any of this works. The subject of the inquiry doesn’t get to pass judgement on it from the start.

So we should just forget about the vote, it doesn’t matter because Trump won’t change his behavior and cooperate even if the vote happened. It’s noise, not signal.

The true question is just what happened on the phone call with Ukraine’s President. Is the president using the State Department and the DOJ to pressure a foreign country into making up allegations about a political rival? Does the president make decisions about foreign policy and military matters based on personal motives?

These are important questions. There is some real doubt about them. We should all want the answers.
It doesn't matter what Trump thinks or whether he cooperates or not. A full House vote would legitimize the process because the way it's being conducted right now seems arbitrary and partisan, as well as a poorly-disguised attempt at not making House members put their vote on record for beginning an impeachment inquiry. The optics on this are horrible and if Pelosi and Schiff continue down this path of unilateralism and secrecy the voters will not forget in 2020.
 

Lazybones

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I don’t follow. I’m critical of him ignoring subpoenas from the House and blocking the testimony of witnesses.

I will say that I heard a lawyer on TV say that when you are defending a client and the facts aren’t in your favor, you tend to dwell on procedural complaints. I don’t know if that’s right or not, maybe one of our counselors will weigh in.
If the objective is to get him in an obstruction charge, isn’t it smart to not participate?
 

N.O.Bronco

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I don’t follow. I’m critical of him ignoring subpoenas from the House and blocking the testimony of witnesses.

I will say that I heard a lawyer on TV say that when you are defending a client and the facts aren’t in your favor, you tend to dwell on procedural complaints. I don’t know if that’s right or not, maybe one of our counselors will weigh in.
If the facts are on your side, pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.


Whining about a mostly inconsequential process step without any overarching rules governing it is basically the congressional equivalent of pounding the table here.
 

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