Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 4

I apologize for the detour in my weekend posts but the impeachment trial is too important to ignore.  I hope that this does not spoil and otherwise calm weekend.

What seems like the “Never Ending Story” continues and we mere mortals are standing on the sidelines watching this farce of a legal proceeding.

Fidget spinners. Rule-breaking and evident boredom among senators is becoming a theme as the trial progresses. The New York Times reports that senators, who are supposed to sit and silently listen, have taken to wandering outside the chamber, often to the cloakrooms where their electronic devices are stores. At lunch, GOP Sen. Richard Burr handed out fidget spinners to his 52 colleagues.

Republicans don’t want a speedy acquittal. Politico reports that while most Senate Republicans are ready to acquit Trump, they would prefer Trump’s lawyers to offer a substantial, fact-based defense instead of “phoning it in.” “The president’s team … has never presented its case since it did not do so in the House,” says GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who is considered one of the few possible swing votes.

I agree with Chris Hayes on these proceedings……

“Most of those people have other jobs they have to take leave from,” he exclaimed. “If the trial goes for a long time, often they don’t collect their paycheck from that and are given a meager amount of money relative to what some of those people might make.” “These peoples’ jobs is to do this,” Hayes continued. “This is literally their job. If you find it too annoying or frustrating or uncomfortable to sit for eight hours and listen, you can resign tomorrow and go get another job!”

I agree for if I acted like these immature twats in the Senate while serving on a jury I would be held in contempt and gone to jail to think about my attitude….time to teach these Senators that their actions are insulting to the laws of this nation then laws they swore to uphold and protect.

Sorry I needed to get that off my chest.

Day 4 proceedings in the US Senate…….but first a little observations……

Democratic House impeachment managers are in their final day of arguments against President Trump. Friday’s focus: obstruction of justice. The impeachment managers are asserting that Trump withheld crucial documents and blocked the testimony of top White House officials, reports the Wall Street Journal. “The president tried to cheat,” said impeachment manager Rep. Hakeem Jeffries at the start of Friday’s session, per CNN. “He got caught, and then he worked hard to cover it up.” As for the delay in US aid to Ukraine at the heart of the controversy: “The $391 million in security aid was only released because President Trump was caught red-handed,” said Jeffries. Related:

  • Invoking McCain: Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff put the case-to-impeach this way: “If someone sacrifices the national interest in favor of his own and is not removed from office, our democracy is in jeopardy. It’s just that simple.” He also invoked the late John McCain, who said in 2014 after a Russian incursion into Ukraine: “We are all Ukrainians.” He said McCain “advised that this is a chess match reminiscent of the Cold War, and we need to realize that and act accordingly,” Schiff said, per the Washington Post. “He was, of course, absolutely right.” He also played a video clip of McCain extolling the beauty and importance of that country, notes Politico.

Witness protection: Trump’s effort to obstruct justice reached witnesses in the House investigation, Rep. Val Demings told the Senate. She brought up his tweet about Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to Ukraine, during her testimony and showed video of his attacks on others. It adds up to witness intimidation, she said, per the Post. “We must not condone President Trump’s attacks on whistleblowers and witnesses,” Demings said.

Trump unhappy: The president tweeted Friday that he’s not thrilled with how the impeachment schedule has fallen. “After having been treated unbelievably unfairly in the House, and then having to endure hour after hour of lies, fraud & deception by Shifty Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer & their crew, looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.,” Trump wrote.

Short Saturday: This should help Trump’s concern about Saturday: That day’s session will be short, reports the Hill. It’s scheduled to begin at 10am and wrap up two hours later. The trial would then resume on Monday.

Watch Lamar: Senators won’t decide on whether to call witnesses until after opening arguments, and it all hinges on whether Democrats can get four Republicans to vote with them. Politico reports that GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is the key vote. Three other senators already have voiced some degree of support about witnesses, and Alexander, who is retiring this year, could be the deciding factor.

Believe it or not….but the Senate will do something they rarely do….work on Saturday.

Day 5 coming up!

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“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 3

The drama continues…..theatrics abounds…..and mind numbing yada yada…….but someone must take it upon needs to report the soul sucking saga…..

Day Three and nothing has really changed in the attitudes of the belligerents…..it is still a tragedy in many parts……

Day 3 of President Trump’s impeachment trial is underway, and Democratic impeachment managers plan to focus much of the day’s arguments on the abuse-of-power allegation against the president, reports the Hill. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact,” said one of those managers, Rep. Jerry Nadler. It “does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.” Coverage:

  • Early slam: Nadler told senators that Trump’s conduct “puts even Richard Nixon to shame,” reports Politico. “This conduct is not ‘America First,’” he said, a nod to Trump’s campaign slogan. “This conduct is Donald Trump first.”
  • About-face? Nadler also sought to use Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz’s own words against him, reports the Washington Post. He played a video of Dershowitz in 1998 speaking about the Bill Clinton impeachment and asserting that no crime was necessary to impeach. “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and poses great danger to our liberty,” said Dershowitz, who has since changed his view. (Dershowitz was grilled about this by Anderson Cooper.) Nadler made similar points about previous comments by Lindsey Graham and Attorney General Barr.
  • Defending Biden: Rep. Sylvia Garcia, another of the impeachment managers, defended Joe Biden’s actions toward Ukraine when he was vice president. “The allegations against Biden are completely groundless,” Garcia said, referring to Biden’s efforts to get Ukraine’s prosecutor general ousted because of corruption allegations. Biden’s actions were in sync with US policy, unlike Trump’s, she said. Republicans say Biden was trying to protect his son.
  • Rand’s doodle: Rand Paul spent the early part of the day doodling an image of the US Capitol, notes the New York Times. But then Garcia played a video clip of State Department official George Kent being asked whether Republicans such as Paul believed that what Biden did is the same as what Trump did. “Looking up from his doodle, Mr. Paul smiled and raised a fist with his index finger extended, as if to say, ‘Yes!'” per the Times. “Then, when Mr. Kent answered by saying that what Mr. Biden did was very different than what Mr. Trump did, Mr. Paul lowered his arm.”
  • Graham’s timing: Nadler rolled out a video clip of Graham speaking years ago as one of Clinton’s impeachment managers. “What’s a high crime?” he asked then. “How about an important person hurts someone of low means? It’s not very scholarly but I think it’s the truth.” However, Graham wasn’t actually in his seat when the clip came out because he had left the chamber. Politico suspects he knew the video was coming. On his return, fellow Republican Ben Sasse whispered something to him and Graham chuckled.
  • Hacking theory: Lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff said a “completely bogus” theory often cited by Trump that Ukraine, not Russia, hacked the 2016 election actually came from the Kremlin. He also noted speculation that Trump was heavily swayed by Rudy Giuliani. “You can say a lot of things about President Trump, but he is not led by the nose by Rudy Giuliani.”
  • Short Saturday: It looks like the Senate will opt for a short Saturday session that begins early and wraps up in the morning, reports CNN. The plan isn’t finalized yet, but few senators are expected to object—especially the Democrats running for president who might hightail it for Iowa. No session will be held on Sunday.

I realize that few are actually reading this analyses….but there may be some that actually care about the ramifications of these accusations…..I do this for them.

Day 3 came to an end…..but not mercifully.

Sadly to me it looks like a mockery in process……https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/23/a-cesspool-of-constitutional-nonsense-impeachment-in-the-senate/

I will return for the analysis of Day 4…….

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“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 2

The REAL news was the revelation the US invented the wheel….how could history be so wrong?

But now back to the mundane……the sage continues….Roberts scolds Senators for childish behavior…..Dems continue to make their case…..

Chief Justice John Roberts told House impeachment managers and administration lawyers to remember where they were, Washington Post reports. “I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and president’s counsel in equal terms to remember that they are addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body.” He was speaking after an angry exchange between House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Trump lawyers Pat Cippolone and Jay Sekulow.

Day Two was just about as boring as Day One…..

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester described the first day of President Trump’s impeachment trial, which clocked in at nearly 13 hours, as “like sitting on a tractor,” reports NBC News. And it’s back on the tractor today: With the rules for the trial now set, House managers led by Rep. Adam Schiff on Wednesday started their opening arguments. They have up to 24 hours, spread over three days, to make their case. Schiff spoke first and began by quoting Alexander Hamilton, who warned of a future leader whom Hamilton described as “a man unprincipled in private life, desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits, despotic in his ordinary demeanor, known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty.”

  • Hamilton and the other founding fathers created impeachment as a protection against such a president, said Schiff, who spoke of taking “this solemn action, for only the third time in history, because Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has acted precisely as Hamilton and his contemporaries feared.”
  • AP White House reporter Zeke Miller tweeted that the White House busily emailed responses to Schiff, citing “7 in last 45 min,” among them, “President Trump Has Been Completely Transparent with the American People.”
  • CNN notes some of the talking points to come out of the White House invoked Hamilton too: “Our founding fathers feared that impeachment would be abused as a partisan tool—rather than the grave remedy it was intended to be. Hamilton and Jefferson warned about a majority using impeachment for political purposes.”
  • Prior to entering the Senate chamber, Schiff spoke with reporters and gave a broad outline of today’s plan, per the Washington Post: “We will begin our trial with the factual chronology. The facts are damning. We’re going to lay them out in great detail in our chronology today.” He spoke for 2.5 hours and said the six other House impeachment managers (Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow and Sylvia Garcia) would each present a portion of the opening arguments.
  • As Schiff spoke, Trump tweeted from Air Force One, writing in quotation marks, “NO PRESSURE,” an apparent reference to his dealings with the Ukraine.
  • In regards to the president’s Ukraine call, Schiff had this to say: “The counsel for the president would like you to think this is just about that call … They don’t want you to look at the months that went into preparing for that call, or the months of pressure that followed.”
  • CNN notes Schiff also dismissed the idea of allowing witnesses Democrats want to hear from in exchange for also allowing witnesses the GOP wants (ie, John Bolton and Hunter Biden, respectively). “This isn’t a fantasy football trade,” he said, panning the idea of “offer[ing] a witness irrelevant and immaterial with no relevant testimony but a witness that allows us to smear a presidential candidate if you give us a witness. That’s not a trade. Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also later dismissed that idea.
  • As of this posting, Nadler, Garcia, and Crow had taken their turns presenting their portion of the opening statement and Jeffries was up (a protester briefly interrupted the proceedings during Jeffries’ remarks). As the afternoon wore on, CNN noted a few senators had abandoned their seats, though some could still be seen in the chamber. Republican Sen. John Cornyn summed things up thusly: “I think we’re already beginning to lose certainly the television audience and maybe the press to some extent, but certainly senators are struggling to try to see why we have to sit there, sit hearing the same arguments over and over and over and over again.”
  • CNN and the Guardian also reported senators were seen filling out crossword puzzles, pacing, eating candy, and, in Ben Sasse’s case, “shoving unidentified pieces of food into his mouth.” Some were also drinking milk: As the site explains, milk and water are the only beverages allowed on the Senate floor during the trial.

Another long day……more to come…..

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“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 1

Finally the drama of the year has begun…..and all Americans are looking elsewhere….

I promised my reader that I would give them a running analysis of the trial so they could go about their lives……

The impeachment trial of President Trump has begun. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts gaveled the historic proceedings into session shortly after 1pm. First up: Senate Republicans and Democrats are haggling over the rules before opening arguments begin. Developments:

  • McConnell eases up: Mitch McConnell has loosened up on his short timeline and restrictions on evidence, reports the Hill. Each side will still get 24 hours to present its case, but that will be spread over three days, instead of two. Also, evidence will now be automatically admitted unless there’s a vote in opposition to it, per CNN. The changes came after Democrats said the original proposal amounted to a cover-up, because much of the proceedings would take place late at night. GOP Sen. Susan Collins pushed for the changes, too, reports Politico.
  • SOTU: The new timeline means the trial could overlap with Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, notes the Hill. It could also, theoretically, be wrapped up by the end of the month, and sources say that’s the timeline McConnell has in mind—he wants to finish up in about 10 days.
  • Little chance: Democrats are expected to push for more changes in the trial rules as the day goes on, but McConnell has the votes to push through his resolution without further revision, reports Politico. As of this posting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had introduced four amendments to the rules and three have been voted down along party lines; senators broke for dinner before hearing debate on the fourth one. All of them have to do with subpoenaing documents (from the White House, State Department, Office of Budget and Management, and Mick Mulvaney). Schumer says he has a “series” of amendments to introduce. After he gets through those, the chamber will vote on McConnell’s underlying resolution, so the number of amendments proposed will dictate how late the day goes.
  • Trump weighs in: While in Davos, Switzerland, the president called the impeachment process a “total hoax,” reports NBC News. “It’s a witch hunt that’s been going on for years and it’s, frankly, it’s disgraceful,” the president told reporters. Later, he tweeted, “READ THE TRANSCRIPTS!”
  • His attorney: In a brief opening statement Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the president did nothing wrong. “We believe that once you hear those initial presentations, the only conclusion will be that the president has done absolutely nothing wrong.”
  • Silence: Senators can’t bring cell phones or other electronic devices into the Senate chamber during the trial, reports CNN. Not only that, but they can’t talk, period, while presentations are being made. It will “be a new experience for a lot of my colleagues (to) not be able to talk and not be able to consult our email or text messages,” says GOP Sen. John Cornyn. “But we’ll live through it.” He adds: “It’s obviously a very serious and grave matter so we should be paying attention.” CNN notes there are rumors some senators may be wearing Apple watches on the floor.
  • “Remarkably like seventh grade”: Later in the day, CNN noted some senators appeared “restless” while others were taking copious notes in an effort to keep busy; still later, the news organization noted senators could be seen passing notes to each other, breaking the rules by whispering to each other and sometimes even laughing, chewing gum, sharing candy, absentmindedly clicking pens to the annoyance of their colleagues, yawning, and even, in some cases, apparently nodding off briefly. It compared the atmosphere, at times, to “remarkably like seventh grade” and the senators to “bored students in a particularly long lecture.”
  • No Bolton? It remains up in the air whether Democrats will be able to force witnesses to testify. But even if they can, don’t expect John Bolton to appear. The former national security adviser says he would be willing to do so, but Trump’s legal team and Senate Republicans are working to make sure that doesn’t happen no matter what, reports the Washington Post. Trump would invoke executive privilege, and the White House might go to the federal courts to make sure Bolton complies.

All in all……this was the Greek play without the chorus……at times it was a comedy and others a tragedy…..

All that aside history was made……

I shall return tomorrow with more stuff.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial Plan

History will be made today!

I really do not give a crap what you think of the president….this post is about the plan from the Senate……

Today begins the historic trial for the impeachment of the the president…..McConnell has set the plan for running this trial…..

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to seek a speedy impeachment trial of President Trump. In a Senate resolution released Monday evening, the AP reports, McConnell detailed the structure for the trial’s opening phase, with votes on witnesses deferred until next week. The resolution would permit Trump’s lawyers to move early on to win acquittal of the president and sets up a vote next week on calling witnesses. Below is the way the trial would go under McConnell’s plan.

First fight: McConnell’s resolution does not specifically allow for witnesses to testify, and Democrats promise to try to guarantee that witnesses, documents and other evidence are part of the trial. Any debate on these topics must be conducted in closed session under the Senate’s impeachment rules.

Initial motions: After the Senate adopts the organizing resolution, which will consume Tuesday, the legal teams for Trump and the House on Wednesday will be able to offer motions on housekeeping questions involving matters other than evidence or witnesses. In theory, Trump’s team could move to dismiss the case altogether.

Opening arguments: House impeachment managers will have 24 hours—packed into only two days—to make their opening arguments. The White House will have the same amount of time to respond, though Trump’s lawyers may not use it all.

Questions: Sixteen hours will be reserved for senators to ask questions of both legal teams. Those questions will be posed in writing through Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside.

Witnesses: The issue of whether to call witnesses and which ones to call will be considered with up to four hours of argument by the White House and House Democrats. The Senate may go into closed session to debate further and then have a series of votes. If witnesses are called, they will be deposed before any potential live Senate testimony.

The verdict: After the Senate finishes deliberations, it will vote on the two impeachment articles, which requires a two-thirds vote to find Trump guilty and remove him from office.

There is the plan…..

I think there should be one minor adjustment…..all those Senators that went before the public and stated that they had already made up their minds should recuse themselves for violating the oath and the rules of a fair trial.

I will be giving a running tally of the trial……

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“lego ergo scribo”

Historic Impeachment Begins!

Just a quick look at the process……(please comment on the process not the popularity of the accused)…..

Just a short reminder of what a fair and impartial process will look like…..

Article I of the Constitution grants the House the sole power of impeachment, and if the House does impeach, the Senate the “sole power to try all impeachments.” It also provides that the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court will preside if the trial involves a president. The Constitution authorizes the Senate to “determine the rules of its proceedings,” including additional rules governing an impeachment trial by the Senate. The Senate has established and may modify its own rules supplementing these constitutional requirements.

Four principles for conducting a full, transparent, and fair impeachment trial:

  • Trial procedures should be established before the trial commences. A trial can only be fair if the rules are agreed to in advance. For that reason, any supplemental rules or modifications to the existing rules should be agreed to before the trial commences.
  • The Senate should hear the full case before voting on the President’s removal. The Senate must allow members of the House to present the case for the President’s removal and the President should be afforded an opportunity to respond. Both should occur before a vote to dispose of or approve an article of impeachment.
  • The trial should be open to the public. An impeachment trial of a president is a matter of exceptional importance to the American people. They should be able to understand the case for the President’s removal and the President’s defense. The doors to the Senate chamber should be open and the American people permitted to witness the proceedings to the extent possible. Transparency should only be sacrificed to advance compelling interests such as the sanctity of Senate deliberations, the need to protect legitimately classified information, or the recognition of a whistleblower’s right to anonymity.
  • Each Senator should take seriously his or her oath to “do impartial justice” and to “support and defend the Constitution.” The question is not whether to support the President. The question is whether the President has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors within the meaning of the Constitution.

How a Fair, Transparent Impeachment Trial Should Proceed

If you truly want a fair and transparent trial then the recusal of any and all Senators from the juror pool for statements made that their mind is made up before the trial and anyone that has stated that they are in contact with the accused for coordination.  That would be Sens. Graham, Kennedy, McConnell et al….these Senators violated Nos. 2 & 4……

Like anyone really cares about the process…..it is much easier to rant and moan about how it appears not the legality.

This process will be a circus and the Senate will be the clowns for our entertainment.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

"He Said Bad Stuff"

I am as most already know that I like foreign policy and conflict management…..I have studied many forms of the execution of foreign policy but I have never heard of one that is actionable because of Rhetoric.

Most Americans know that we recently killed a top Iranian general in an airstrike…..there is a story that there were plans to attack American embassies and a couple of other reasons for the assassination.

But Trump has said now that he was killed because he said “bad things”……seriously?

President Trump has struggled with legal justifications for the US assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, failing to back up claims of an “imminent” threat, claiming that didn’t matter because of bad things he’d done. On Friday, Trump suggested to donors that Soleimani was killed not because of what he did, but because of what he said.

Trump made the comments at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser, saying that he heard Soleimani’s comments, and asked “how much of this shit do we have to listen to?” Trump made no mention of any threats in his decision to kill Soleimani.

This is particularly noteworthy because it represents another example of the president changing his story on the controversial assassination, one which very easily could have led to a major war with Iran.

Claims of an “imminent threat,” true or not, are always made by the US military after an attack because it is one of very few legal pretexts established for carrying out an otherwise aggressive attack. Being insulted by what Soleimani was saying, naturally, is not a legal justification of any sort.

That in less than two weeks the president has repeatedly changed his justification isn’t a good sign, and that this most recent narrative was offered only during a private dinner to his donors, suggests that this was neither meant for public consumption, nor a very good justification at all.

This also came just a day after Trump warned Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to “be careful with his words” after a critical sermon. In this new context, we are clearly meant to understand that if Trump didn’t like what he said, it might easily be a reason for him to be killed.

(antiwar.com)

If they is an adequate reason to assassinate a leader then h why have we not done so for North Korea’s Kim, who has said more “bad stuff” than just about anybody?

I truly would like to know just what style of foreign policy does Trump subscribe to….that is besides the “Pasta Technique”……

I Read, I Wrote, You KNow

“lego ergo scribo”