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Thread: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

  1. #1
    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who for months resisted efforts to launch impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, announced a formal inquiry on Tuesday, saying that the president’s burgeoning Ukraine scandal marked a “breach of his Constitutional responsibilities."


    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/tru...trump-n1058251

    Pelosi finally decides to pull the trigger, just as Trump announces he’s going to release the transcript of his call with the President of Ukraine in a bid to recapture the narrative. Even so, I’m surprised she actually did this. We’ve been down this road, and Trump has already signaled he’s riding the “witch hunt” narrative wherever it takes him.


    With a Republican Senate, I don’t believe there’s any chance it goes to trial, even if the House votes to impeach before the election. There’s no Constitutional imperative that prevents McConnell from refusing to initiate any related proceedings, nor Senate Republicans from voting to dismiss the case outright.


    Nevertheless, I’ve always believed it’s vital for the health of the country that impeachment proceedings are initiated against Trump, if only to preserve any precedent of culpable conduct for the future. If, by some miracle, Senate Republicans are forced to go on record as well, that would be a wonderful bonus.


    What will ultimately come of this move by Pelosi? What will any formal proceedings manage to accomplish before the election? Will this help or hurt Democrats heading into 2020?

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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    There’s actually some fun history worth going into for this. All the way back a few hundred years.
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    How is this not toothless? With a Republican control of the Senate, won't the just block literally anything that'll put Trump out of office?

  4. #4

    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Not sure why Pelosi jumped the gun like this. Should’ve waited till all the information comes out, “whistleblower” with no first hand knowledge of the call isn’t very reliable.

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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    How is this not toothless? With a Republican control of the Senate, won't the just block literally anything that'll put Trump out of office?
    Then everyone will be on record. Impeachment is either a slam dunk you actually have treason or its the second half of the house acts and that is vague and political high crimes or undefined misdemeanors. Another round is good it shakes the cold war era rust of the US system the one of grade civics fairy tails with a civil senate (no assault here as in 1850/60 - civility, you just like the civility the clan used to enforce secragation) a SCOTUS that always had the same number of justices and no ridiculous unpopulated states added just to get a few senate seats...

    Also politically why not? It not like any amount center-ism is going to win the Dems the senate anyway. And even if they did what get quasi blues like the dems made Obama care the least possible option to pass? Playing nice is not going to turn the heads of MAGA rally types better off energizing the left that failed to show up Clinton and get the POTUS back even if all you get after that is repairing the Trump damage for 4 years.
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Then everyone will be on record. Impeachment is either a slam dunk you actually have treason or its the second half of the house acts and that is vague and political high crimes or undefined misdemeanors. Another round is good it shakes the cold war era rust of the US system the one of grade civics fairy tails with a civil senate (no assault here as in 1850/60 - civility, you just like the civility the clan used to enforce secragation) a SCOTUS that always had the same number of justices and no ridiculous unpopulated states added just to get a few senate seats...
    First. Treason is War. That's not really what they're investigating here. Other than that, you might want to read up on ironic legal history.

    Also politically why not? It not like any amount center-ism is going to win the Dems the senate anyway. And even if they did what get quasi blues like the dems made Obama care the least possible option to pass? Playing nice is not going to turn the heads of MAGA rally types better off energizing the left that failed to show up Clinton and get the POTUS back even if all you get after that is repairing the Trump damage for 4 years.
    Bad politics aside...

    So our big line of the day is that Pelosi, as the Speaker, has formally thrown her support behind the impeachment query. It's been going on for...a while now. But, now...we might as well say the House is going full bore behind it. Do the House Republicans support it? Dunno. They're too scared to say yes or no. So, well, there you go.

    But big thing. What can impeachment do?

    First obvious question. Does the Senate have an obligation to conduct a trial of the president if the House impeaches him? Most assume that if the House vote to impeach, the Senate will hold a trial. This is a rather logical construction of the Constitution's provisions of the impeachment process. In fact, of the general known impeachment process, this is what has happened. Hell, for two presidents, Johnson and Clinton, the House voted to impeach, the Senate tried.

    The current Senate Rules would support this view. When the House has impeached, the Senated will be notified. The House will present their case and trial proceedings, which rules presribe in some detail.

    But hell. It's also possible in this time of disregard of established norms, the current leadership of the Senate could choose to ignore them once more. The same Moscow Mitch who blocked the Senate's authority to advise and consent for a SCOTUS nomination could attempt to prevent the trial of a House impeachment of Donald Trump. Not too far to look for Constitutional arguments much less to revise Senate rules to accomplish this.

    The Constitution does not express terms to direct the Senate to try an impeachment.

    In fact, it confers on it "the sole power to try," which is a conferral of authority and not a procedural command. The Constitution couches the power to impeach in the same terms. It is the House's: "sole power." The House may choose to impeach or not. The Senate is just as free in the exercise of its own 'sole power' to decline to try any impeachment or not.

    Problem is current Senate rules do not(or do depending on your POV) pose an insurmountable problem for this maneuver. Senate leadership can have rules reinterpreted whenever they want, seeking a ruling of the chair on the question, and avoiding a formal revision of the rule that would require supermajority approval. It's a replay of procedure related to the nuclear option that changed the threshold for "cloture". Republicans floated the option in 2005, it lead to....well...the Senate rules being reinterpreted now.

    Bottom line. The Senate has options. Forget simple refusal. The Senate can try any impeachment case any god damned way they want to. It's their courtroom. The Supreme Court has confirmed that the Senate's 'sole power to try' means that it is not subject to any limitations on how it could conduct a proceeding. Senate leadership could engineer a motion to dismiss and moot the current rule's call for the current rule's call for the president or counsel to appear before the Senate. The rules in place only provide that "The Senate shall have power to compel the attendance of witnesses", for after all they are trying them. They do not require that any other than the President be called in this case. Funnily, the Senate could adjourn at any time, terminating proceedings and forgetting House articles. This occured for the trial of Andrew Johnson. They fell one vote short for the main Tenure of Office Act impeachment, failed to convict him on two additional articles, and dropped the rest.

    The Democrats might then be careful with history given Senate don't have to bother.

    Might never come to pass. Let's pretend. Trump impeached. The evidence for removal could turn out so overwhelming that it would be politically untenable for Moscow Mitch to adopt this course or impossible for him to hold his caucus in line. These outcomes depend on public opinion at the time and how it swings decisively for or against the president. Alternatively, maybe he has institutional instincts to kick in and lead him to follow Senate rules and precedent. Right.

    Republicans have laid the groundwork for rejecting legitimacy of House impeachment. Not because it came from the House. Just because it came from the Democrats. The president and the party's leadership and supporters have repeatedly characterized the criticisms of Trump as infected by partisanship, personal hatred, and unrelenting refusal to accept 2016 results. Whatever evidence surfaces, Senate Repubicans have already shrugged off the president's appearance in a successful criminal prosecution as "Individual 1".

    It's argued that the Senate retains a duty to proceed with a trial. Grounded with the structure, history, function, and logic of the impeachment power, not from any mandating language. Many agree, the Senators would violate their oaths to ignore the Constitutional Vote of the House. For the Senate and a majority to adopt this course is wrong and dangerous.

    But such a duty is not the same as a clear-cut obligation expressed in text. Depending on events and political impacts, the Republicans may be motivated to take advantage of the difference. If the Senate can readily alter its rules and sidestep a trial, then opposition can only respond through public pressure and threat of electoral justice. No dispute of judicial remedy or other means of enforcement.

    But still. If you can't do your job.

    May seem academic when the House has only just initiated an impeachment inquiry. But the country could see some very rapid movements toward some very political extremes now. Who knows.
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    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Trump played Pelosi like a fiddle. Taunting and trolling till Pelosi (a not-so-smart person) made the mistake to fall in the trap.

    Unless there's something really big in the "Ukraine files" Trump will prevail while democrats fight between themselves.
    And if there was something really big, Trump would not give the transcript.

    As such pro-impeachment democrats would be firing salvos against anti-impeachment democrats while the Republicans will find even greater unity.

    In elections it's not the side with the most voters that wins. It's the side that brings most of its voters to vote. With democrats fighting between themselves and the Republicans screaming "they are using lies trying to chase our president!!!!1111" the republicans will show up in droves while the democrats would be disillusioned by the infighting. Sure, in Democrat strongholds, a serious move to impeach would invigorate the democrats. But does it matter whether they win California with 20% or 25%? No, it doesn't.

    With 65% of Americans against impeachment, if the Ukraine transcripts are a nothingburger, the democrats would lose votes, not gain votes.

    Quote Originally Posted by tgoodenow View Post
    Not sure why Pelosi jumped the gun like this. Should’ve waited till all the information comes out, “whistleblower” with no first hand knowledge of the call isn’t very reliable.
    Because she's a fool. She caved in to the screaming masses of demotards that wanted impeachment to favor their own election chances although it hurts the democrat party in general.
    Last edited by alhoon; September 25, 2019 at 06:04 AM.
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    caratacus's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    Trump played Pelosi like a fiddle. Taunting and trolling till Pelosi (a not-so-smart person) made the mistake to fall in the trap.

    Unless there's something really big in the "Ukraine files" Trump will prevail while democrats fight between themselves.
    And if there was something really big, Trump would not give the transcript.

    As such pro-impeachment democrats would be firing salvos against anti-impeachment democrats while the Republicans will find even greater unity.

    In elections it's not the side with the most voters that wins. It's the side that brings most of its voters to vote. With democrats fighting between themselves and the Republicans screaming "they are using lies trying to chase our president!!!!1111" the republicans will show up in droves while the democrats would be disillusioned by the infighting. Sure, in Democrat strongholds, a serious move to impeach would invigorate the democrats. But does it matter whether they win California with 20% or 25%? No, it doesn't.

    With 65% of Americans against impeachment, if the Ukraine transcripts are a nothingburger, the democrats would lose votes, not gain votes.

    Because she's a fool. She caved in to the screaming masses of demotards that wanted impeachment to favor their own election chances although it hurts the democrat party in general.
    After a huge investigation on ties with Russia which drew a blank, we now have this. It really does seem like desperation by the Democrats to the casual observer of American politics. A threat of impeachment spun around what a President said on a telephone regarding a leading Democrat and his son who could equally be seen to be acting far from proper. The potential for blowback is immense.

    Surely the Democrats should be targeting the Republicans on other issues than this on the run up to an election next year. Wasn't Biden's campaign flagging recently, which may have something to do with this rear guard action by his ally Pelosi? I guess American politicians are so wrapped up with themselves in their power politics, they forget those they purport to represent.

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    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by caratacus View Post
    I guess American politicians are so wrapped up with themselves in their power politics, they forget those they purport to represent.
    To be 100% honest, I think that since it's a polarizing issue with most of the electorate against it, many congressmen will consult polls in their districts about this before they vote pro- or against- impeachment. I.e. they will actually look for the answer in what their own voters want. Which is actually democratic.
    As such, some democrat politicians that are vulnerable would probably vote against impeachment if their electorate is against it.

    As such, I doubt the impeachment would pass the House which means democrats would tank their own efforts and suffer humiliation in an election year.
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    Katsumoto's Avatar Quae est infernum es
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by alhoon View Post
    To be 100% honest, I think that since it's a polarizing issue with most of the electorate against it, many congressmen will consult polls in their districts about this before they vote pro- or against- impeachment. I.e. they will actually look for the answer in what their own voters want. Which is actually democratic.
    As such, some democrat politicians that are vulnerable would probably vote against impeachment if their electorate is against it.

    As such, I doubt the impeachment would pass the House which means democrats would tank their own efforts and suffer humiliation in an election year.
    Actually it seems because more moderate Democrats from purple districts are now in favour of impeachment that Pelosi has decided to proceed with the formal inquiry.

    On Tuesday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her plans to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Trump. Although she and others in House leadership positions have resisted opening formal impeachment proceedings for months, a deluge of new calls from more moderate members of her party may have cemented her decision to move forward.

    More than two-thirds of the Democratic caucus now favor beginning an impeachment investigation in response to allegations that Trump attempted to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden, and may have threatened to withhold foreign aid.

    This is a huge change from the end of July, when we last checked in on where impeachment stood among House Democrats. At that point, just a few days after special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before two House committees about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, 109 Democrats were in support of impeachment. Granted, more than half of House Democrats have been in favor of impeachment since early August, but that number has now risen to 179, according to the New York Times,1 which means a solid majority of the Democratic caucus now supports impeachment.
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ment-happened/
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    alhoon's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    True, but 65% in general are against impeachment and it would rally the Republicans while it would divide the Democrats. And if the Ukraine transcript isn't big it would be like a 2nd act of Russia probe reinforcing the witch-hunt allegations.
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    Katsumoto's Avatar Quae est infernum es
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    I'd say let's wait and see what the impeachment enquiry reveals before judging voter opinion. Trump has been stonewalling most of the investigations. As I recall there was no appetite for impeaching Nixon either until shortly before he resigned. A lot can happen (and be revealed) in a year.

    Also, the Russia probe wasn't a witch hunt. It revealed multiple dodgy contacts between Trump associates and Russians that were deemed not to have been illegal, but not exactly cool either. Not to mention the multiple attempts at obstructing justice. The same people that aren't bothered by this were chanting to lock up Hillary Clinton because she had a private email server. Either these people take their cyber security very seriously or there's a bit of a double standard going on.
    Last edited by Katsumoto; September 25, 2019 at 07:18 AM.
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    conon394's Avatar hoi polloi
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    First. Treason is War. That's not really what they're investigating here. Other than that, you might want to read up on ironic legal history.
    Has a bit a vise of somebody with a law degree patting the profession on the back. Its fairly obvious that with a non legal term 'high crimes and misdemeanors' and specifically locating impeachment in the Congress and not the courts what was created was a political process not a legal one. My point was treason would be easy its clearly defined but the second set of reasons is vague and undefined.

    ----

    Russia probe reinforcing the witch-hunt allegations.
    The Russia probe was hardly a witch hunt the conclusion is there was no particular authority for the justice department to bring a charge against the president - congress had to act via impeachment. The latest event taken with a whole of other activities - emoluments, reckless appointment of family who could not get security clearances, use of unsecured phones.. if taken together and buried my the news cycle paint an ugly picture.
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    Big War Bird's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Good luck with that Democrats.

    Lets see here. Trump recommends that the new Ukrainian president,elected on an anti corruption platform, have a hard look at the company that was employing the son of an American vice president in a $600,000 a year no work job, who was already known to be a crackhead, so far as we know doesn't speak Ukrainian, doesn't live in Ukraine, and definitely does not know anything useful about the company's line of business. And then that US vice president comes along and does pressure the prosecutor looking into that aforementioned company into being sacked.

    I can't imagine how anyone can look at that set of facts and have the idea that maybe, possibly, something isn't quite right.

    If anyone should have whistle blower protection, its Trump.
    Last edited by Big War Bird; September 25, 2019 at 11:12 AM.
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    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Impeachment is a political process. As was demonstrated in the Russia investigation, the DoJ can’t charge a sitting President with a crime, no matter what Trump did, and any investigation by the DoJ would therefore explicitly avoid prosecutorial intent or conclusions. That’s why impeachment is the avenue of final accountability for presidents.


    The difference between Russian election interference on Trump’s behalf, and Ukraine, is that there was no explicit solicitation by Trump himself to the Russians, as far as we know. In this latest case, Trump explicitly asked the Ukrainian government for a “favor.” That “favor,” as Trump explained verbatim, is to meet with Trump’s personal lawyer and investigate the family of a political opponent, specifically Biden. Pelosi was right to seize on this as the “final straw” for impeachment, and given that that a huge wing of her own party is clamoring for impeachment, this Ukraine scandal was clearly a now-or-never opportunity. Trump’s standard “yeah, I did it, so what?” defense can only help the case for impeachment.


    Like I said, I hope impeachment gets as far as it can, regardless of the final outcome, if only for the sake of precedent. If Trump doesn’t qualify to be impeached, the whole concept is functionally null and void, and the chief executive is de facto above the law. A serious effort to document his corruption via an impeachment inquiry is utterly necessary.


    I’m also at a loss as to where this reservoir of voter sympathy for Trump is supposed to be coming from. Bill Clinton was well-liked by the electorate to begin with, Trump is not. The idea that Democrats have something to lose by initiating an impeachment inquiry makes no sense from a cost-benefit perspective. If the Russia investigation, which Democrats originally framed as an impeachment-oriented investigation, didn’t flip voters to the GOP, I’m not sure why impeachment by another name would suddenly change hearts and minds.

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    Big War Bird's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Impeachment is a political process.
    Indeed, and as such it is subject to practical political considerations. And the practical politics of it is that Joe and Hunter Biden and Barisma Holding did some things that can plausibly be interpreted as corrupt. Can Democrats really spin Trump saying out loud what everyone already thinks into something closely resembling a crime?
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Riling up Republicans and putting off independent voters... doesn't sound like a smart strategy. I'm starting to think Democrats want to lose.

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    Legio_Italica's Avatar Lost in Limbo
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    Quote Originally Posted by Big War Bird View Post
    Indeed, and as such it is subject to practical political considerations. And the practical politics of it is that Joe and Hunter Biden and Barisma Holding did some things that can plausibly be interpreted as corrupt. Can Democrats really spin Trump saying out loud what everyone already thinks into something closely resembling a crime?
    Who is “everyone?” And I can just as easily say that asking a foreign power for a “favor” to look for dirt on your political opponents is something “everyone” should agree is fundamentally wrong and a definitive example of corruption in the presidency.

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    Big War Bird's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: US House Speaker Announces Formal Impeachment Inquiry

    "I can't imagine how anyone can look at that set of facts and have the idea that maybe, possibly, something isn't quite right."

    I suppose this is un-ironically you then.

    You do realize that that the Clinton campaign sought damaging information about Trump and his campaign manager, Manafort, during the the 2016 election right. And as we all know Manafort was convicted for money laundering in connection to his work in Ukraine.

    Of course no one is talking about prosecuting HRC, and for good reason. It turns out getting dirt on your political opponent is not illegal. I'm happy to admit that It doesn't look good for the candidate (or the president as the case may be) to be seen doing it especially when it come from a foreign source.

    The legal and impeachment question is, was there a quid pro quo, specially was Trump holding back US taxpayer money to Ukraine, in exchange for the Ukraine government looking for dirt on the Bidens. That quid pro quo is not in the phone call. Possible it exists elsewhere, perhaps the whistle blower complaint will shed some light on where that might be.
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