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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

THIS IS HUGE

It is now reported that Mitch McConnell is said to be pleased that Trump will be impeached and considers that he committed impeachable offenses. This means that my analysis was correct and that things are moving very rapidly. It remains to be seen how the millions of Trump supporters will respond.


I can see the merit in the old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." 

34 comments:

Jerry Brown said...

Thought that was an Irish curse.

Howie said...

And oh to be young. Is it a an interesting time to be old and have seen everything history can throw at you?

aaall said...

The news on this just keeps getting worse. I assume McConnell and Cheney (and soon other Rs) are scrambling to get ahead of it. Resign or not Rs will need to convict and bar or the next four years will kill the party.

Anonymous said...

The common belief that the phrase “May you live in interesting times” is a Chinese curse is actually apocryphal. Researchers have found no corresponding expression in Chinese literature or folklore. The actual derivation is a speech by British politician Joseph Chamberlain, father of Neville Chamberlain, which he gave in 1898, referring to his alleged involvement in the Jameson raid which led to the overthrow of the Transvaal government.

aaall said...

I just noticed that the JCS has sent it's second statement affirming the military's support for constitutional order. Most interesting was this graph:

“The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”

That line should cause any active duty or reserve personnel as well as retired officers that were in the insurrection to worry. 10 USC 894 is kind of scary.

Anonymous said...

aaall,

Sorry, “the news on this just keeps getting worse”? Are you saying you would prefer that McConnell and other Republicans stick by Trump and not convict him in the Senate trial which will follow his impeachment just so the Republican Party will continue to have to deal with Trump’s political ambitions during 2001-2004, causing dissension within the Republican Party, to having Trump convicted and prohibited from running for President again in 2004, and continuing to wreak havoc on our political system?

gia_lege said...

I'm writing to inform you that here in Greece a paid add popped up in my Facebook "Republicans Overseas HCED" asking people for support. As I am writing, I see a picture of that old spaghetti taper ware you have for president with a caption: "let's finish this". I did comment accordingly and reported it. They advertize a new social platform named "frees".

Yesterday, I went to check out what Mister Dugin thinks about this whole thing, and you would be pleased to know he did comment on his page and feels one of the crowd, one of those who are being silenced, "we are all Ashli Babbitt" he writes.

You know they are neonazis all around Europe, don’t you?

Anonymous said...

This is an aside about how amazing a melting pot of immigrants our country is. Tonight on Henry Louis Gates’ PBS program, “Finding Your Roots,” he interviewed and presented the genealogies of Nancy Pelosi, Norah O’Donnell (CBS Evening News anchor), and Zak Posin (fashion designer). At the end of each show, Prof. Gates divulges the results of a DNA analyses of each of the guests. Norah O’Donnell’s DNA revealed an amazing coincidence. Her DNA indicated that all of her ancestors were 100% Irish. Prof. Gates asked her to turn the last page of the journal which he provides each of his guests. The following page had a photograph of a Caucasian male. Prof. Gates asked Norah if she recognized the photo. Norah, puzzeled, said “No.” Prof. Gates asked her if the photo looked like anybody she recognized. Norah said, “Sort of,” but could not place the resemblance. (I thought to myself, I hope he is not going to tell her that she is related to Trump.) Prof. Gates then said, “That’s my great grandfather, and you have a unique marker on one of your chromosomes that you share with him.” So, Prof. Gates’ great grandfather was Irish. He did not elaborate how an Irishman could be his great grandfather – whether, e.g., a scion of his great grandfather was a slave holder. Norah and Prof. Greats gave each other a high five, calling each other cousin.

Anonymous said...

Prof. Gates and his show are both "Greats."

LFC said...

Anonymous @8:05 p.m. (btw I think your identity is clear to people who follow this blog, but whatever): I took aaall to mean "worse" as in "worse for Trump."

Btw, happened to hear an interview today w the author of _Kill Switch_, a book about the history of the filibuster and the need for reform of Senate rules.

aaall said...

Anon: What I meant is that the more we see and find out the more serious were the events on Wednesday. Watching more videos, it seems that there were pods of organized cadres, possibly/likely armed and intent on assassination. It seems there was more then a little involvement by police and military which I assume is why the JCS letter references the possible consequences for any past and future military involvement. Every department in the nation needs to vet its members and that will be a mess. I also assume at least some Republicans want to get ahead of what we will likely find out that other Republicans were way involved. And, of course, Trump watching all this like it was a WWE cage match is not a good look. He needs to be impeached and barred from future office and every jurisdiction that can needs to indict him. Hope this helps.

aaall said...

BTW, the two thirds for impeachment in the Senate is of those present and voting so it could be the case that a number of Rs suddenly find they conveniently need to quarantine.

Anonymous said...

aalll,

Yes, the clarification is helpful. Your original comment was rather cryptic.

Although I share your hope that the Senate will convict, even the impeachment alone is important, since under Article II, Sec. 2, it will preclude him from pardoning himself, as bizarre an idea as that may sound.

David Palmeter said...

Anonymous

Could you explain how Trump would be precluded from pardoning himself if he's impeached? As I read Ar. II Sec. 2 he may not pardon in cases of impeachment, but that leaves him free to grant pardons for anything else, such as inciting a riot. Whether that includes self-pardons is a question the constitutional lawyers seem split on.

Anonymous said...

David,

First, it should be said that the very idea that a President can pardon him/herself is counter-intuitive. Other than in polite company when one burps (or otherwise expels gas) and says, “Pardon me,” the concept of pardoning semantically and historically (i.e., in Great Britain) has only applied to others. (I have no doubt that, absent being impeached, should Trump seek to pardon himself, his lawyers would argue it is clear one can pardon oneself - look what we often say in polite company. Except even in that instance, the expeller is asking others to pardon the perpetrator. Could a smart aleck lawyer argue that this is wrong, because the answer is indeterminable – like, “In the country where there is only one barber, who shaves all those who do not shave themselves - who shaves the barber? What if the barber is a woman? Here, the President is the only federal officer who can grant pardons. The question, then who pardons the President does have an answer – no one, because like the female barber, the concept of pardon excludes the President.)

Regarding Article II, Sec. 2, which states, “[H]e shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of impeachment[,]” it appears clear that at least one of the articles of impeachment which the House is expected to ratify today will be for inciting the riot last Wednesday. Even if not convicted in the Senate, were Trump to then attempt to pardon himself for having incited the riot, he would in turn be pardoning himself for the very conduct for which he was impeached. This is precluded by Article II, Sec. 2, which prohibits him from pardoning anyone who has been impeached, which entails that he cannot pardon anyone for what they have been impeached. For example, Justice Samuel Chase (the only Supreme Court Justice to ever be impeached), was impeached for allegedly showing bias against defendants and their attorneys when he was a trial judge. Although he was not convicted by the Senate, President Jefferson could not thereafter have pardoned Chase for allegedly having shown bias against defendants and their attorneys, because to do so would essentially have been pardoning his impeachment.

Anonymous said...

Clarification:

Regarding the female barber, it is stipulated that the barber shaves only faces, not legs or armpits. In addition, the female barber is not a bearded lady in a circus.

Anonymous said...

The Barber's Paradox, made famous by another famous name on this blog, Bertrand Russell, is a conundrum regarding set of sets. It is not about cascading rights as one of the comments seems to wrongly equate. Anyone can pardon anyone; there is no inherent hierarchy or structure necessary for pardoning as the original paradox depends on.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

The Barber’s Paradox was actually made famous by Zeno, and was adapted by Bertrand Russell in his set theory analysis. I was in turn adapting the paradox to the question of self-pardoning. And “anyone can pardon anyone”? Really? So, a person indicted for murder can pardon him/herself? In what system of jurisprudence is this the case? Not under the United States system of jurisprudence, and Trump may not pardon himself, especially if he is impeached.

David Palmeter said...

Anonymous,

I think you are conflating political impeachment and conviction with a possible subsequent prosecution on the same grounds. Assume Trump is impeached and convicted of inciting a riot. The only consequence of this, by itself, is his removal from office. A subsequent Senate vote can bar him from an future Federal office. Trump may not pardon anyone, including himself in this instance. (Most impeachments have involved Federal judges; the President has no role in those procedings).

Inciting a riot is also a criminal offense, but would require proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt--a high standard that does not apply to impeachment. So Trump could properly, with no inconsistency, be impeached and convicted of inciting a riot and acquitted by a jury of the same offense.

The question of whether a President can pardon himself applies to the criminal phase, and has no necessary connection to the impeachment proceedings.

Anonymous said...

David,

I am not conflating anything. You originally asked on what basis I claimed that if Trump is impeached, he may not pardon himself under Article II, Sec. 2. I responded that he could not pardon himself even in the absence of being impeached, but clearly could not pardon himself if he is impeached, as is occurring as I write. The issue regarding his possible criminal prosecution is a totally separate matter which I was not addressing, but, in any case, it is clear that once he leaves office on Jan. 20 he no longer has the power to pardon anyone, let alone himself. Were he indicted and convicted of criminally inciting an insurrection, the only person who could pardon him would be President Biden, which is not going to happen. What could have occurred had Trump been criminally indicted and convicted before he left office, and had also been impeached? I maintain that had this occurred, he still would not have had the power to pardon himself for the criminal prosecution, based on the first argument I offered above. In any event, we are not going to face this hypothetical, since he has not been criminally indicted – but may be after Jan. 20.

David Palmeter said...

Anonymous,

Perhaps my misunderstanding stems from confusion over what you mean by "could not pardon himself in the absence of being impeached." Pardon himself for what offense--a high crime or misdemeanor in an impeachment proceeding? If not, what has his being or not being impeached have to do with any other proceeding.

Anonymous said...

David,

My apologies. Perhaps I was not clear regarding what Trump might seek to pardon himself for, since he has not been criminally charged or indicted for anything. In Ex parte Garland, 71 U.S. 333 (1866), the Supreme Court held that the President has the power to pardon individuals prospectively, for crimes they may have committed, but have not been charged, indicted or convicted, stating the pardon power applies “to every offense known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are take or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgement.” I was contemplating Trump prospectively pardoning himself for crimes he may be indicted for after he leaves office, and was arguing that he does not have the power to do so, even in the absence of being impeached, i.e., that the decision in Garland does not apply to him.

However, the decision does apply to his entire family, and it applies to all the rioters who are being identified by the FBI and who will shortly be indicted. The question I do not know the answer to is, would Trump have to name each of the individuals he wishes to pardon by name, or could he, for example, announce, “I hereby pardon every person who attended the rally on January 6, 2021, and every person who took part in entering the Congress that day, from all potential charges and indictments by the federal government.” It is the potential of such a mass pardon that makes it imperative that he be impeached as soon as possible, before he makes such an announcement. The articles of impeachment would have to be worded as broadly as possible in order to incorporate my previous argument that he cannot pardon the impeachment of others, including for the crimes incorporated into the article of impeachment. This cannot be accomplished by convicting him in the Senate, because it has been acknowledged that the trial itself will only occur after Biden is already inaugurated as President.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

To the discussion of a president pardoning him/herself -

I have always assumed that, in our Anglo-Saxon derived justice system, that a president could not pardon himself. To be able to would violate the principle that one con not be the judge or jury in your own case. There seem to be lots of people, including Pelosi, who think that Trump can pardon himself, despite that it has never been done and never been adjudicated. Which leads to another question: should Trump pardon himself, can the pardon be challenged in court.

Anonymous said...

The self-pardon can indeed be challenged in court, all the way to a potential 6-3 approval by Trump's judges. Sets a terrible precedent. The three newest members, however, with a view to a long tenure, may just not go along.

LFC said...

It's a bit of a shame that none of the participants in today's impeachment "debate" in the House of Representatives is likely to quote Churchill's lines[*] that begin "History with its flickering lamp..." Btw, I'm not an unalloyed fan of Churchill (reactionary; imperialist; Bengal famine; etc. etc.), but he could turn a phrase.


*The passage doubtless can be found online, but I found it (refreshing my memory) in the
meticulously produced, indexed, and edited hardcover 14th edition of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, ed. Emily Morison Beck (Little, Brown & Co., 1968).

Anonymous said...

LFC,

How does one weigh and compare on the scales of historical significance the fact that Churchill, through his inspirational rhetoric and undaunting spirit virtually saved England from Nazi conquest during the blitz, and thereby arguably saved Western civilization from envelopment by forces of fascism, against his colonialist instincts; his opposition to the liberation and partition of India; his general conservative views on social and moral values. Had the first not occurred, would any of the second have even mattered? Surely not a subject resolvable on this blog, or in any number of symposia, but worth pondering.

LFC said...

Anonymous,

I must for various reasons decline any invitation to engage in a debate about Churchill's merits and demerits, at least for now. You have not listed the demerits altogether accurately (look up his role in the Bengal famine of 1943) but, as I say, I'm not going to get into this now.

I just happen to like that passage whose opening words I quoted, and I think it would have been an apt passage for today's debates, referring as it does to the "shield" of individual conscience and "sincerity". By the way, according to Bartlett's, it comes from a speech Churchill delivered in the House of Commons on November 12, 1940. It was a tribute (not sure exactly what kind of tribute) to someone he had clashed with on policy before the war, namely (a moment of suspense) Neville Chamberlain.

Anonymous said...

LFC,

I appreciate that you do not wish to get into a long, drawn out debate regarding Churchill’s merits and demerits, but you know, I am sure, that with regard to the role which Churchill’s policies played in the 1943 Bengal famine, there is widespread disagreement in the community of historians, e.g., between Mayor Johnson on the one hand (guilty), and Sir Martin Gilbert on the other (not guilty), regarding whether Churchill bears any responsibility for that unfortunate famine, and yet you refer to the issue as if it is an open and closed case in favor of guilt. In 1943, Churchill had a good deal on his mind regarding the Nazi threat and how to deal with the extreme worldwide shortages which were affecting a large proportion of the British Empire besides India. In this debate, what Churchill did and said (oratory which went beyond the mere charming turn of phrase, as you put it) in the face of the Nazi threat to the world, his leadership and courage loom large. His guidance in matters as trivial as the abdication of Edward VIII – an overt admirer of Hitler – for example, cannot be minimized, at the same time that his alleged role in the Bengal famine is maximized.

David Palmeter said...

LFC

Thanks for the Churchill quote. I'd never seen it before. I'm on something of a history binge these days, taking advantage of the pandemic to read Gibbon's Decline and Fall, and that is an incredibly apt quote for Gibbon: "History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days.”

Anonymous said...

Regarding the question raised above whether Trump could issue a mass pardon of all of the individuals who engaged in the rally and/or riot and/or insurgency on Jan. 6, I recalled that in September, 1974, President Ford issued a mass amnesty to all draft dodgers who had gone AWOL during the Vietnam War. He did not identify them by name and the amnesty had the legal effect of a pardon. Trump could issue an amnesty proclamation en masse, conditioned, for example, on each such individual reporting to the FBI and identifying what they did as part of their participation in the rally/riot. I do not believe even his impeachment could preclude him from doing so, nor would it vitiate the legal effect of the amnesty.

LFC said...

David Palmeter

Glad you like the Churchill quote.

I've never read Gibbon, though I hope to some day.

jeffrey g kessen said...

Just a little petty gossip from Boswell's, "Life of Johnson". Gibbon, so both Boswell and Johnson concurred, "was an ugly fellow, though melodious of prose." --- That's the best these two Christian fanatics could do in criticism of the great man's, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

David Palmeter said...

Boswell called Gibbon "an ugly affected, disgusting fellow."

jeffrey g kessen said...

Oh, hell, Thanks David. I might as well clean up the rest of the quote. Boswell didn't refer to Gibbon's prose as "melodious", he referred to the worthy gentleman's prose as "mellifluous"--though still in the context of a condescending manner. Ahh, one longs for the days of a reliable memory.