I agree with Ed Barreras that we really need one more significant defection to put a cherry on it, but these are early days, and Trump does not inspire to-the-death loyalty, so I am hopeful. There are all the people the whistleblower talked to in the White House. One or more of them may be feeling a trifle queasy at this point and wondering whether they really want to go down with the ship.
It is clear that the Trump White House is a leaking badly, and every reporter from New York to Washington is working non-stop to catch any drops that fall from the sieve, so I expect more revelations, even as I type these words.
Now I think I will relax and read the full texts of the phone call and the whistleblower report, which I deferred until my Marx lecture was complete [I have some sense of priorities!]
I'll wager that the second defection, the cherry on top, will occur tomorrow. You know, Sundae.
groan. From your lips to God's ear. :)
One of the many arguments against impeachment was that it would take too long. Now we see the Democrats working furiously against a very tight schedule.
If we assume that the Democrats (and a couple non-Democrats, perhaps) vote to impeach, the question is: will McConnell even hold a trial? Will he argue that the Constitution doesn't actually require the Senate to hold a trial in the case of impeachment?
Jeffrey St. Clair:
"We’ve been told that an impeachment inquiry will add legal weight to House subpoenas and challenges to assertions of executive privilege, which might be reason enough to do so, even if you don’t plan on impeaching. However, the House has actually to pass a resolution. Pelosi can’t just say in a press conference that’s what they’re doing and expect a federal judge to believe it."
So when is the "resolution" to be adopted?
"An impeachment process against Richard Nixon was formally initiated on February 6, 1974, when the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution, H.Res. 803, giving its Judiciary Committee authority to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach Richard Nixon,...."
Whether or not Trump is finally removed from office or not (I doubt that Senate Republicans will vote to oust him), this whole affair has a silver lining: Biden is over.
The more this affair is investigated the more the public will become aware of the corrupt ties of Biden's son and Biden himself with shady economic interests in the Ukraine. By the way, what about Saint Obama? Shouldn't Saint Obama have known that his Vice-President son was being paid 50 thousand dollars a month to win friends and influence people because of who his father is? Shouldn't Saint Obama have done something about that besides smile for the photos?
Most progressives do care about corruption, so those who backed Biden are going to end up backing Warren. On the other hand, most core Trump supporters don't care whether he is corrupt or not, so I doubt that Trump will lose much support if the Senate does not vote to oust him and if he runs for re-election. Now that the probable Democratic candidate is Warren, not Biden (thank the goddess for that), lots of Wall St. money is going to go to the Republican Party for the election, not to the Democrats (Leiter blogged about that yesterday).
I think it will be a mistake to limit the inquiry to the Ukraine scandal. There are lots of crimes to investigate. I don't think that the House has to send the indictment to the Senate on any particular timetable, if ever. I think that the Representatives should let its competent staff lawyers go to work AND do the questioning of witnesses. It was well into the impeachment process before Nixon's popularity went as low as Trump's *current* level.
As usual, CRS has produced a valuable road map to the process: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R45769.pdf
I notice that the summary states that "it has been more common than not that the Judiciary Committee used information provided from another outside investigation," which suggests that DDA's desideratum @6:13 PM will be satisfied.
Regarding Pelosi's management:
At a recent mtg with senior House Democrats, she argued in favor of a quick, single focus (Ukraine) impeachment process (https://wapo.st/2m8wFZs).
I think a better strategy, for a number of reasons (for example, giving Republican Senators the ability to vote no on some articles while voting yes on Ukraine - among others) would be to broaden the indictment. Medi Hansan, here, provides a good argument, I believe, for doing so (http://bit.ly/2mRF1oD).
I think Jerry is right on strategy. But as far as I can tell, there is no need for a resolution to start an impeachment inquiry. There is nothing that I am aware of that requires that step. The House could follow regular order: various committees could pass out of committee a bill of impeachment appropriate to that committee. Justice could pass a bill impeaching Trump for obstruction, Intelligence could pass a bill of impeachment on Ukraine, etc. Then the Rules Committee could aggregate them, present a broad indictment for the House to vote on.
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