Nel's New Day

February 13, 2021

Impeachment End – Five Days That ‘Will Live in Infamy’

Friday was the 22nd anniversary of the Senate vote to acquit President Bill Clinton for lying about having sex with Monica Lewinsky. After a five-week trial, 50 Republicans voted he was guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors for this act. After the vote, Clinton told the U.S. he was “profoundly sorry” for his actions and the “great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people.” He promised to all people in the nation “to rededicate ourselves to the work of serving our nation and building our future together.”

Saturday, February 13, 2021, 43 GOP senators voted to acquit former Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) of any impeachment charges after he spent several months persuading his followers any election not making him president was “rigged” and “stolen.” After the election, DDT’s rhetoric heated up the rising violence in the United States, culminating in his rally on January 6, 2021, encouraging the attending mob to attack people in the U.S. Capitol with the purpose of blocking the Electoral College vote for legally-elected President Joe Biden. After the MAGA mob breached the building with the purpose of assaulting and possibly killing lawmakers, DDT refused to provide any help and encouraged his followers to attack VP Mike Pence. DDT has made no statement about his acquittal.

The vote followed a few hours of closing arguments by both the prosecution and the defense. Michael van der Veen, in a rambling and vague support for DDT, repeated his lies from his earlier presentation to let GOP senators they could vote to acquit. Van der Veen failed to understand that impeachment trials are not bound by constitutional process, but he did reverse his earlier lie about the attack, calling it a “violent insurrection” in his close. He accused Democrats of putting “fabricated evidence” into their “big” four volumes with “little tiny print.” “Shocking” was his conclusion as he said acquittal would start the nation’s “healing.” The defense lawyer also failed to mention jurors in a real judicial proceeding don’t help the defense with its strategy as GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Josh Hawley (MO) did throughout the impeachment trial.

According to the acquittal—which may create the law of the land—U.S. presidents are free to say anything they want with impunity. In his opening, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) warned about this privilege, calling it the “January exception”—the time at the end of a president’s term when he is no longer accountable for constitutional offenses.  Raskin said:

“It’s an invitation to the president to take his best shot at anything he may want to do on his way out the door, including using violent means to lock that door. To hang on to the Oval Office at all costs and to block the peaceful transfer of power. In other words, the January exception is an invitation to our founders’ worst nightmare.”

In his brief rebuttal, Raskin answered van der Veen’s assertion about an unprecedented impeachment trial for incitement to violence with the response that any presidential incitement to violence is completely unprecedented. Van der Veen complained DDT’s speech had been “stifled” and his “liberty” denied. Raskin pointed out that DDT’s speech has never blocked. In citing Bond v. Floyd, a Supreme Court case about civil rights activist Julian Bond not allowed to take his oath of office because he protested the Vietnam War, van der Veen drew a parallel with the impeachment trial. Raskin explained the defense’s error, that the court’s ruling meant Bond could take his oath in his newly-elected office while the impeachment trial concerned whether DDT could violate his own oath of office.

Despite the prevalence of evidence against DDT, all the GOP senators voted almost as expected. The six Republicans voting that the constitution permitted the trial after the subject was out of office, as approved for other officials, voted to convict him: Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Mitt Romney (UT), Ben Sasse (NE), and Pat Toomey (PA). The seventh Republican voting for conviction, Richard Burr (NC), had voted no at the previous vote.

House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), hoping for a Senate majority in the 2022 election, tried to ride both sides of the fence during the trial. After saying he was considering conviction, he notified the other GOP senators before the closing statements of his decision to acquit DDT. After this vote, he delivered a speech declaring DDT is guilty of inciting the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and guilty of a “high crime and misdemeanor.” McConnell called DDT’s actions a “disgraceful, disgraceful dereliction of duty” and said DDT is “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day.” Therefore he blames DDT for the deaths on January 6 and for the threat to VP Mike Pence’s life. And he believes Democrats proved their case.

Yet McConnell said he voted to acquit because a trial cannot be held after a president is no longer in office. He alone is responsible for the trial being delayed because he refused to hold it before Biden’s inauguration. The House passed the Article of Impeachment on January 13, seven days before the inauguration. The trial lasted five days.  

Of the 43 GOP senators voting to support DDT, fifteen may be running again in 2022.  Marco Rubio (FL). Rand Paul (KY). Chuck Grassley (IA). Tim Scott (SC). Todd Young (IA). Ron Johnson (WI). Roy Blunt (MO). John Boozman (AR). John Neely Kennedy (LA). John Thune (SD). John Hoeven (ND). James Lankford (OK). Jerry Moran (KS). Mike Lee (UT). Mike Crapo (ID). 

In Vox, Andrew Prokop called DDT a “winner”: acquittal leaves him to create the same chaos in 2024. If DDT wins, he can go back to destroying the country; if he loses, he can gin up the violence to a higher level because he figures no one will stop him. As Kerry Eleveld wrote:

“Trump could do it all over again. He could run the most incendiary, hate-filled, and vitriolic campaign ever seen in the nation’s history with the very intention of losing and then unleashing his dogs on lawmakers and the American public alike in order to violently overthrow the U.S. government.”

Prokpo’s losers:

The U.S. constitutional system: For the first time since George Washington was picked for president in the 17th century, a person in the Oval Office tried to overturn an election to stay in the White House—lies about the election, frivolous lawsuits, demands on state officials to reverse the vote of the people, pressure to eliminate individual and electoral votes, and, when all else failed, a violent insurrection. And he was acquitted.

Mitch McConnell: DDT’s behavior probably lost McConnell the majority in the Senate after two Democrats won senate seats in Georgia, and he may not get it back in 2022. Now he burned his bridges with DDT, in a gamble for the power of the GOP to get a majority GOP Congress in two years.

The House impeachment managers: Deciding not to use witnesses after the Senate voted to do so may seem like a surrender. [Others may not see this as a loss. The Democrats had no idea what witnesses would say—or lie about—if they were called, and it would considerably lengthen the trial, taking time from Biden’s agenda to move the nation forward. It was also part of a deal to put into the congressional record the information about DDT refusing House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) plea for help as DDT’s MAGA people were breaking the windows to get into McCarthy’s office. DDT left the lawmakers and their staff to die, and 43 of them voted to acquit him.]

The United States Senate: Instead of considering evidence presented in the trial, senators prioritized leaving town for their recess.

DDT’s attorneys: They had no victory because everyone knew the fix was in, and their threatening, lying, vague performance was pathetically filled with mistakes. About the two-hour, forty-minute defense, Dana Milbank wrote:

“Even in that brief period, they misstated legal precedents. They invented facts. They rewrote history. Trump lawyer Bruce Castor, panned for his rambling opening argument Wednesday, closed the argument Friday by confusing Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.”

The acquittal leads to more fascist actions from Republicans; QAnon conspiracy theory, now tied into Republicanism, parallels Nazi anti-Semitic myths which includes white supremacy and patriarchal misogyny. In DDT’s cult, he is the father of the nation, the “only I” of his campaigning. Fascist propaganda includes a divisive sense of loss and revenge for those considered responsible, a glorification of the past, and a military attitude to overthrow multi-party democracy. DDT’s movie at his “Save America” exalts masculinity and loss from traitors while portraying President Biden, House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) as weak and completely unworthy because of their Jewish connections in contrast to images showing the military power of DDT.

The clearest message of the video? And the acquittal? The monster could return to the White House—or destroy it trying, thanks to GOP cowardice by 43 U.S. senators.

On Valentine’s Day, the U.S. has over 28 million COVID-19 infections and is about a day from 500,000 coronavirus deaths in one year. Shortly after the first death from the virus, DDT said the disease would disappear in a few days. He spent the rest of his term either ignoring it or trying to cover it up in what may be the biggest leadership mismanagement in U.S. history.

February 12, 2021

Impeachment Day Five, Damning Revelations for DDT

Filed under: impeachment — trp2011 @ 11:47 PM
Tags: , , , , , ,

The lawyers for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) lasted under three hours in their weak attempts to defend their client during the second impeachment trial, using about 15 percent of their allotted 16 hours for their task. Part of their presentation was a video with extremely short clips of DDT saying “law and order” and Democrats using the term “fight” taken out of context, some of them played more than once. One defense lawyer, David Schoen, had criticized the videos for Democrats for the same thing although Democrats’ videos used much more context. The videos even had clips of people like Madonna, saying she’s “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House” following Trump’s election. Michael van der Veen justified these clips by claiming his examples aren’t “whataboutism,” just an attempt to protect “all political speech.” Madonna had followed her statement with “I know that this won’t change anything,” not included in the defense’s clip. 

Excusing the brevity of the defense, Bruce Castor told senators he hoped “you will take back these hours and use them to get delivery of COVID relief to the American people.” According to Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis, the reason for a short defense is that “they think they have the votes.”

The popular view assume Dennis is correct, but reports of an exchange between DDT and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), showing up one of the defense’s statements as a lie, led to consternation. Defense had argued DDT was upset about the attack on the U.S. Capitol and immediately tried to stop it. Details about a yelling match over the telephone during the insurrection belies that myth.

When no help came for the Capitol Police after DDT’s supporters breached the building, the desperate McCarthy called DDT for assistance. At first, DDT said the mob was composed of far-left antifa members, but McCarthy told him the thugs were MAGA people and pleaded with him to call them off. According to McCarthy, DDT answered:

“Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

Furious with DDT’s response, McCarthy shouted that rioters were breaking breaking into his office through the windows and demanded, “Who the f–k do you think you are talking to?” Republicans who reported the event said the interaction proves DDT wasn’t going to stop the rioters, and some called it a dereliction of duty. One of them said, “He is not a blameless observer, he was rooting for them.” Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) first described the telephone call in a town hall earlier this week.

The defense lawyer also lied when he said DDT didn’t know VP Mike Pence was in danger of the mob attack when he attacked Pence with tweets. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), a strong DDT supporter, verified he told DDT about Pence’s being rushed from the mob before DDT’s tweets damning Pence. A source near Pence also declared DDT’s legal team lied when lawyer Michael van der Veen said “at no point” did “the 45th president” know his vice president was in danger. DDT not only didn’t check on Pence during the attack, but he also didn’t contact him for the next five days after the insurrection.

The U.S. people were also at danger when Pence was almost captured. He was carrying the “football,” the black briefcase with nuclear launch codes and encrypted communications equipment, when the mob was fewer than 90 feet away from him. Although capturing it might not have allowed a launch, showing it off would result in chaos and panic as well as giving adversaries knowledge about ways in which the U.S. would respond to a major attack.

Evidence was another area about which DDT’s legal team lied. In DDT’s defense, Schoen tried to use the new footage of the insurrection presented by the House prosecution as a violation of due process with the lie that the defense had not seen it. The prosecution, however, reported, “Every piece of evidence, including new videos, were given to the defense team before the trial.”

Thursday night, Schoen tried to quit DDT’s legal team, but he remained after DDT begged him to stay. Even on Friday morning as the team was scheduled to begin, the team of three lawyers argued about the order of presentations. Eventually, van der Veen led off because Bruce Castor was a disaster in his earlier presentation. Earlier on Thursday, Schoen skipped the House managers’ prosecution to appear on the Fox network, per DDT’s direction to defend him on television.

One defense lawyer wouldn’t even say whether Joe Biden was elected president. In other lies, the defense team:

Skipped all mention of DDT’s defending violence: “Contrast the President’s repeated condemnations of violence with the rhetoric from his opponents.”—Michael van der Veen. Examples of DDT lauding violence: praised a Montana congressional candidate for assaulting a journalist; urged police not to protect suspects’ heads during arrests; expressed wish to punch protester in the face; told supporters to “knock the crap out of” protesters holding tomatoes; covered for a kidnapping plot against Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer; approved a false story about a general massacring Muslim terrorists with bullets dipped in the blood of pigs; used the term “beautiful sight” for authorities throwing a journalist to the ground during Minneapolis protest; mocked a reporter shot with a rubber bullet; and cheered his supporters surrounding a Joe Biden campaign bus on the highway and trying to run a following car off the road.

Claimed DDT’s first two tweets during the Capitol attack urged calm: Two later tweets followed DDT’s calling Pence a coward for not protecting “out Country and our Constitution” after the vice president was in danger from DDT’s mob.

Accused Democrats and media of “repeating without any evidence that the 2016 election had been hacked” for four years: Evidence shows the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign were hacked by the Russian government stealing and leaking internal documents and emails, but the entire party and media didn’t push the information for four years.

Asserted rioters didn’t attend DDT’s January 6 incendiary rally because the assault was pre-planned: Rioters who broke into the Capitol started at the rally, and many others heard the speech on their phones. Most of the over 215 criminal cases on arrested insurrectionists show they did not intend to break into the Capitol when they arrived on January 6 until they attended the rally.  

Repeated the lie that Georgia saw a “dramatic drop” in ballot rejection rates: The lawyer argued that DDT’s mandate to the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” another 11,780 votes was to lower the rejection rates. Georgia had no “dramatic drop,” according to data, but instead had an increase in proportion to the additional votes, keeping the percentage the same.

Claimed trial violated due process: Due process doesn’t apply to an impeachment inquiry because it is a political process, not a criminal case. The constitution also fails to prescribe a procedures of impeachment proceedings.

Denied the January 6 attack was an insurrection because it didn’t meet the legal definition: Definition – “the act or an instance of revolting, esp. violently against civil or political authority or against an established government ;also the crime of inciting or engaging in such revolt [whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or against the authority of the United States.” It fits.

Maintained January 6 was evitable, no matter what DDT said or did: DDT has been feeding his supporters lies about a stolen election for several months and, at the same time, calling his supporters to take action to make him president.  

Declared DDT’s limitless right to free speech: The team cited Wood v. Georgia and Bond v. Floyd for its claim, but their decisions are narrow.  Wood’s ruling stated officials can freely speak about grand jury proceedings unless it threatens the proceedings, and Bond is about if a politician can be prevented from taking the elected office because of statements about government policy.

Lectured about prosecution missing facts while abusing facts: Falsehoods – one of the first arrested people after January 6 was a leader of antifa, which has no leader, although the person suspiciously subscribes to a number of political movements; and a conviction would negate 75 million votes and “cancel” DDT’s voters although DDT got only 74.2 votes.

While complaining about the impeachment trial process not being constitutional, Bruce Castor threatened GOP senators with primary challengers if they voted to convict DDT.  

Spin from the legal team was at times ridiculous. The House managers referenced the tweet from a DDT supporter, “Calvary is coming,” as misspelling “cavalry.” Schoen argued the tweeter meant “Calvary Hill” where Jesus was crucified. He explained:

“The tweeter promised to bring the calvary—a public display of Christ’s crucifixion, a central symbol of her Christian faith—with her to the president’s speech—a symbol of faith, love and peace.”

The basic defense argument, however, that Democrats sole purpose in the impeachment trial is “hate” for DDT, and lawyers scolded lawmakers, saying “Hate has no place in the American justice system.” It is their fallback position in a case with no merit. The defense team only wants to give GOP senators an excuse to exonerate the man who pulls their strings.

February 11, 2021

Impeachment Day Four, Prosecution Rests

Filed under: impeachment — trp2011 @ 10:55 PM
Tags: , , , ,

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/02/11/us/impeachment-trial#trump-impeachment  On Thursday, the Democratic House managers wrapped up their prosecution to convict Deposed Donald Trump after approximately 11 hours of its 16 allotted hours. The defense attorneys said they might not use their entire 16 hours either.

 Arguments from the prosecution:

“If you think this is not impeachable, what is? What would be? If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanor today you have set a new terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America.”—Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

“If anything, Donald Trump’s conduct was an assault on the first amendment [by attempting to remove a fair and free election].”—Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

“[In DDT’s comments after the insurrection calling the participants ‘very special’ and saying ‘We love you,’] he issued messages in the afternoon that sided with them. The insurrectionists who left police officers battered, bloodied. He reacted exactly as someone would react if they were delighted.”—Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO)

“We humbly, humbly ask you to convict President Trump for the crime for which he is overwhelmingly guilty of. Because if you don’t, if we pretend this didn’t happen, or worse, if we let it go unanswered, who’s to say it won’t happen again?”—Rep. Joe Neguse (D-CO)  

“My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way? Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”—Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

“I’m not afraid of Donald Trump running again in four years. I’m afraid he’s going to run again and lose, because he can do this again.”—Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA)

“[The attackers’] own statements before, during and after the attack made clear the attack was done for Donald Trump—at his instructions and to fulfill his wishes. All of these people who have been arrested and charged, they’re being accountable, held accountable for their actions. Their leader, the man who incited them, must be held accountable as well.”—Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)

 “Impeachment is not to punish, but to prevent. We are not here to punish Donald Trump. We are here to prevent the seeds of hatred that he planted from bearing any more fruit.”—Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)  

According to court records, over two dozen people charged with the attack said they went to the insurrection because DDT told them to gather and fight.  

Raskin’s questions for DDT if he would testify:  

  • Why didn’t Trump try to get his supporters to stop the attack on the Capitol as soon as he learned of it?
  • Why did he wait at least two hours to send help to the Capitol?
  • Why didn’t Trump condemn the violent insurrection on 6 January?
  • If a president did indeed incite a violent insurrection, would that count as a high crime and misdemeanor?

As Republicans deny DDT’s guilt, they lose the self-image of being the party of law and order. DDT has smashed other myths of the GOP policies, including working for families after permanently breaking them apart at the southern border and fiscal conservatism after Republican tax cuts for the wealthy and the huge cost of DDT’s mismanaged pandemic cost taxpayers trillions of dollars. Christopher Cook writes:

“If it was not clear before, the Senate impeachment trial has laid bare and unmasked Republican Party leaders as a group of political cowards who talk tough yet support lawlessness, anti-constitutional mayhem, and anarchy. The barren naked truth, revealed starkly by this trial, is that the Republican Party has no interest in ‘law and order’ or the Constitution… When was the last time the Republican Party leadership accepted even the slightest responsibility or accountability for anything they’ve done?”

As Cook explains, Republicans and DDT want “law and order” only when “policing black and Brown people, poor folks, leftists, and protests they disagree with.” Yet GOP leaders have no law and order for polluters, corrupt and/or bankrupt businesses, and repeat violations of workplace safety laws. After ignoring almost 60 court cases showing no election fraud, Republicans obviously have no respect for the judicial system unless AG Bill Barr is controlling the decisions.

According to Cook:

“If nothing more comes of the impeachment trial, let these truths at least spread far and wide: Trump lied and incited deadly riots; the Republican Party leadership aided and abetted; and when faced with opportunities to own these profoundly grievous acts—to accept responsibility and accountability—they ducked, blinked, and failed. If nothing else comes of this debacle, let us never again hear the words ‘law and order,’ or ‘Constitutional originalism’ from Republican Party leaders’ lips. With their cowardly calculating decision to reject the conviction of Trump, they have forfeited this terrain, perhaps in perpetuity. No great loss there, except to the future of their own lost party.”

To allow themselves votes against conviction, some GOP senators falsely claim that impeaching DD after he left office is unconstitutional. To escape the ire of DDT, they are using the “January defense,” that all presidents can commit all crimes, no matter how heinous, in the last month of their last term with complete impunity.

Conservatives claim the mob, composed of “nice people,” would not hurt Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi—although the mob mentality might have led to some injuries. In talking about the death toll of the attempted coup, the media rarely mentions how the “nice” people in the mob killed one of their own by trampling her when they stormed the Capitol.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) went farther into conspiracy theories than other GOP senators when he asked if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) knew about the planned violence prior to January 6. He also exonerated DDT from any guilt because of the pre-planning. Despite DDT’s frequent requests to his followers that they come to Washington, D.C. for overturning the election, Graham said DDT’s rally on the day didn’t cause the insurrection. Yet the day after the MAGA attack, Graham said, “Enough is enough” and declared “count me out” while saying that Biden was legitimately elected president. Now he maintains the videos of the attempted coup on the Capitol and the timeline presented in the impeachment trial presentation are “offensive and absurd.”

House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told GOP senators to vote their “conscience”; Democrats asked everyone in the Senate to render the “impartial justice” and embrace the “common sense” of the country’s founders.

The House Democratic impeachment managers (left) all lawyers, are led by Jewish Jamie Raskin (MD) and include Latino Joaquín Castro (TX), Asian-American Ted Lieu (CA), and Blacks Joe Neguse (CO) and Stacey Plaskett. Neguse, 36, was born to refugees from Eritrea 40 years ago, and Plaskett, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, is the first non-voting delegate to the House to be on an impeachment team. The focus of the impeachment trial is the attack of the U.S. Capitol by White supremacists trying to install a president who plans to make the U.S. a White male-oriented nation. Diana DeGette (CO) was born in Japan, David Cicilline (RI) is openly gay, and Madeleine Dean (PA) started a three-woman law firm near Philadelphia. Eric Swalwell (CA) has been a presidential candidate.

All 100 senators are on the jury in a trial to convict DDT: three GOP jury members—Ted Cruz (TX), Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee (UT)—discussed the defense case with DDT’s team the evening before it presents its arguments. Three of the 44 Christian and primarily male and White heterosexual senators likely voting against accepted interpretations of the law and constitution, they are unswayed by arguments from the nine diverse Democratic prosecutors representing a cross-section of the U.S. in age, gender, race, and religion.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) blames the impeachment on divisiveness within the nation, but some congressional members refuse to accept Biden as the nation’s legally elected president even three weeks after his inauguration, leading a sizable number of people to agree. Violence may be necessary to achieve Republican goals, including DDT back into the Oval Office, according to 39 percent of the Republicans. Republicans continue to rile up the crowd and block unity. Another 29 percent of Republicans, mostly white evangelicals, believe in the QAnon conspiracy theory that DDT is secretly fighting a cabal of pedophile Democrats, many of them Democrats and the elite. About half of White evangelicals believe antifa, not MAGA followers, attacked the U.S. Capitol although the FBI refutes this lie.

The last time Republicans refused to convict DDT, they said, “He’s learned his lesson.” A year later, DDT had learned the lesson that he can persuade his followers to attack the U.S. Capitol for the first time in 207 years and endanger hundreds of lives.

February 10, 2021

Impeachment Day Two, Horrifying Images

The U.S. House continued its part in the second impeachment of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) on Wednesday with startling new revelations about how close congressional members and staffers in the Capitol came to physically being attacked by the mob on January 6. The case is based on DDT calling people to come to Washington, D.C. on January 6 to block the peaceful counting of votes for the president with his continued claims the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president was rigged. Once his supporters arrived, as DDT told them to do, he ordered them to go to the Capitol and stop the reading of the votes, to “fight” for their country.

DDT has refused to be a witness at the trial, but the presentation of a great number of tweets and videos starring him are front and center, making him a defacto witness in the Democratic prosecution. After Democrats spend one more day defining DDT as “inciter in chief,” the Senate can vote on whether either side will request actual witnesses.

Amidst the newly-released terrifying videos showing how close congressional members and their staffers were to being physically attacked and possibly killed, one of the House Democratic presenters talked about DDT’s order for his violent supporters to go from his rally at the Ellipse south of the White House, where people had a permit to be, and go to the Capitol.  

The rally was a big show, orchestrated by DDT who helped organize the speaking lineup and the music, but the permit for the event included no march. Another rally in Freedom Plaza also specified no march was authorized. After DDT got involved in the rally, the permit included an “activity overview” mentioning movement between the two sites. At his rally, DDT announced the march:

“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

The organizer of the original speaking line-up before DDT involved himself, Dustin Stockton, said the plan was “to stay at the Ellipse until the counting of state electoral slates was completed.”

In another revelation, DDT’s tweet attacking VP Mike Pence was posted ten minutes after DDT learned Pence was removed from the Senate floor to save him from DDT’s mob. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) had told DDT about the Pence’s danger when DDT called Tuberville to delay the counting of votes. DDT tweeted:

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”

Outside the Capitol, the mob built a gallows; inside the mob chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” At one point, violent mob members were only a few yards away from Pence.

DDT’s campaign and joint fundraising committee provided at least $3.5 million directly to people and organizations participating in the January 6 demonstration, and name of at least three people and a firm paid by DDT’s campaign were on the permits.

Andy Kroll compared DDT’s impeachment trial strategy to QAnon conspiracy theories:

“It is admitted that after the November election, the 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect, since with very few exceptions, under the convenient guise of Covid-19 pandemic ‘safeguards’ states election laws and procedures were changed by local politicians or judges without the necessary approvals from state legislatures. Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President’s statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false.”

Because of insufficient evidence to disprove DDT’s unsupported claims about a stolen election, his claims must be true–according to his supporters. DDT and his allies lost more than 60 lawsuits in state and federal courts while winning one minor one. Judges and elected officials from both parties dismissed fraud or corruption. DDT’s own appointee, Judge Stephanos Bibas, wrote, “Calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific  allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Like other conspiracy theorists, DDT claims if one cannot fully disprove repeated claims, one cannot say they’re false. Joe Uscinski, a University of Miami associate professor and expert on conspiracy theories, calls his approach the classic defense of the conspiracy theorist. President Obama’s birth certificate never satisfied “birthers” who believed he wasn’t born in the U.S. Conspiracy theorists always claim that denials are tantamount to coverups. Inability to disprove a negative makes people believe their beliefs are true. A prime example: how do you prove Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction if you can’t find any weapons? Some people still believe the weapons existed because no one found them.

The Coup D’etat Project at the University of Illinois’ Cline Center for Advanced Social Research determined the events of January 6 are an “attempted coup d’état [by dissidents]: an organized, illegal attempt to intervene in the presidential transition by displacing the power of the Congress to certify the election.” The center defines “dissidents” as a “small group of discontents that can include former government officials, religious leaders, business owners or civilians.” Coup is a shortened version of “coup d’etat,” a French term that meaning the overthrow of the government beyond the bounds of legality. In 2013, the Cline Center defined a coup d’état as “the sudden and irregular (i.e., illegal or extra-legal) removal, or displacement, of the executive authority of an independent government.”

The three categories of coups:

  • Coup conspiracies: planned but thwarted before they start.
  • Attempted coup: actions taken but unsuccessful.
  • Successful coup – those achieving its goals.

The project’s database includes 426 realized coups, 336 coup attempts, and 181 coup conspiracies with the event on January 6 being an attempted coup. This one is only the second entry in the U.S., the first being a conspiracy in 1948 when members of the Communist Party planned to violently overthrow the U.S. government.

Three characteristics of the January 6 attempted coup:

  • One or more persons posing a credible threat to the legislative power to determine national policy: safety concerns from thousands of people advancing on the Capitol forced lawmakers to stop conducting constitutionally mandated business to be evacuated from the building.
  • Attackers trying to change who controls the government: the focus of “The ‘Save America March’ rally immediately before the attack was changing the results of the 2020 presidential election.
  • Elements of advance organization before the attack: one or more groups “carefully planned, equipped, and organized themselves for violent action.”

If other revelations encompass sitting government officials, the event would be an attempted auto-coup, defined by when “the incumbent chief executive uses illegal or extra-legal means to assume extraordinary powers, seize the power of other branches of government, or render powerless other components of the government such as the legislature or judiciary.”

Much has been said about the pathetic performance of DDT’s first defense lawyer, Bruce Castor, on Day One of the second impeachment trial. Conservative pundit Matthew Walther, however, made these comments about the second speaker:

“The main event from David Schoen was a rant about ‘cancel culture.’ He screamed about due process and insisted that his client, who has refused to take part in the proceedings, deserved the right to be there. He contradicted his partner by invoking the rights of accused persons in the British legal tradition. He used the phrase ‘insatiable lust.’ He insisted that by speeding up the trial process, Democrats were violating some deep but unwritten principles of the same common law that are supposed to be irrelevant here, albeit without noting that the timeline was accelerated with the cooperation of the Senate Republicans who will be voting to acquit Trump. He ended with a poem by Longfellow.”

Unfortunately, too, Schoen read Longfellow’s poem very badly. Walther wrote:

“Trump would have been better served having the My Pillow guy give a two-hour infomercial or having Ted Nugent perform ‘Wang Dang Sweet Poontang’ live on the Senate floor.”

In another backlash from DDT’s long series election lies and misuse of his power, the recently-elected Fulton County (GA) Fani Willis DA has started a criminal probe into DDT’s attempts to overturn the election in that state with grand jury subpoenas to be sent out as soon as March. The investigation comes from DDT’s January 2 conference call to Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger when DDT badgered the official into finding 11,780 more votes for him. He wanted to be the winner of the state’s election, but the change would have made no difference in the U.S. presidential election selecting Joe Biden. The complete call was taped, and Raffensperger’s office has its own inquiry, possibly leading to a referral to a prosecutor’s office. DDT had already called Georgia’s GP governor, Brian Kemp, pressuring him to call a special legislative session to flip DDT’s loss to a victory. DDT’s spokesperson Jason Miller claimed that a president’s call to demand more evidence-free votes from state officials  is not “improper or untoward.”

Because of the aftermath of DDT’s long-term mishandling of the COVID-19 disaster, 6,700 people have died from the virus since the impeachment trial began. 

February 9, 2021

Impeachment Trial Day One, More DDT Losses

On the first day of the second impeachment trial of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT), lawyers used DDT’s favorite defense—victimization. David Schoen vigorously complained the Democrats had impeached DDT only because they hated him. The rest of their argument covered up his incitement of violence and accused Democrats of playing the videos of DDT’s speech followed by the mob at the Capitol only for “blood sport”—a “sport” that DDT loved watching on January 6.

DDT’s lawyers argued he was “horrified” about what was happening and “immediately” moved to stop the attack. Yet a senior official, one of DDT’s former aides talking about DDT’s enjoyment at watching the mob’s attack said DDT was “loving watching the Capitol mob.” Both Republicans and Democrats begged DDT to ask his supporters to stop, but DDT remained silent while watching the tragedy on television. He waited hours to tell the rioters, who he called “special,” to halt and didn’t call for any military help, leaving the responsibility to then VP Mike Pence, whose life was threatened in the coup attempt.

The team of DDT’s two failed attorneys, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, gained a third—Michael van der Veen. None of them is a constitutional lawyer, and van der Veen, a personal-injury attorney, sued DDT last year for “repeated claims” about mail voting being fraudulent “despite having no evidence in support of these claims.” Van der Veen sued DDT and Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for decreasing “sufficient access to vote by mail” through operation “delay.” Castor works for a firm founded by van der Veen, well known in Philadelphia for his huckster advertising on a local radio station regarding personal injury representation.

In arguing the constitutionality of an impeachment trial for DDT, Schoen invalidated the second penalty of disqualified the convicted person from future office, “always and only imposed on former officials,” according to Michael Gerson. Schoen believes the word “and” between the two penalties makes them “inextricably entwined” although “and” is a grammatical structure, not a mandate for two elements becoming one.

The vote from 44 GOP senators agreeing with DDT that impeachment is “unconstitutional” matched the consistent failure of Republicans to follow the U.S. Constitution in their effort to protect DDT—and themselves. For example, these GOP members of Congress have ignored the Emoluments Clause in order for DDT to illegally make money from foreign governments. The “yes” votes from 46 Democrats, 6 Republicans, and 2 unaffiliated senators demonstrates the unity which Biden seeks, and a secret vote could let some of the 44 naysayers change their vote. One-third of them are up for re-election in fewer than two years, and DDT has sworn revenge on non-loyalists. Four leading GOP senators—Richard Burr (NC), Rob Portman (OH), Richard Shelby (AL), and Pat Toomey (PA)—have already said they won’t be running; of the remaining 16, only one, Lisa Murkowski (AK), voted that the impeachment is constitutional. (Left: map for 2022 senatorial elections: Blue – Democratic incumbent; Orange – Republican incumbent; Red – Republican retiring; Gray – No election)

Even DDT recognized how bad his attorneys performed on the first day, especially after Bruce Castor traded places with David Schoen to take the opening. Castor explained he went first because “the House managers’ presentation was well done” and he wanted to drop the emotional temperature. His patronizing approach failed as evidenced by criticism from such GOP senators as Texans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. When Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was asked in what way DDT’s lawyers did such a bad job, he answered, “Did you watch them?” Even Alan Dershowitz, a former member of DDT’s legal team, told Newsmax he couldn’t figure out what Castor was doing in his opening presentation.

Part of DDT’s fury about his lawyers may have come from Castor’s statement that DDT is no longer a president and that DDT could be criminally charged if he weren’t convicted in an impeachment. In his opening, Castor said:

“After he’s out of office, you go and arrest him. So there is no opportunity where the President Of The United States can run wild in January at the end of his term and go away scot-free. The department of justice does know what to do with such people.”

The quality of DDT’s lawyers, however, may make no difference. It is assumed the fix in in, that over one-third of the senators, all Republicans, will vote against conviction no matter the evidence or pathetic ability of DDT’s lawyers. On Fox, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) claimed DDT deserves a “mulligan” because “everyone makes mistakes.” Like a person elected as president trying to overthrow the government and sending people how to commit violence and kill people in giving him what he wants.

In an article for the conservative Bulwark, Sarah Longwell, active in the Lincoln Project and co-founder of Republicans for the Rule of Law, wrote:

“There is something deeply, cosmically unfair about a group of elites force-feeding voters a lie about a stolen election, bilking them out of their money, demanding with the most overheated rhetoric that they ‘fight’ to save the country—and then avoiding all responsibility while those people are hauled off to jail for doing what they’d been asked to do. Look: the people in mobs are supposed to be held accountable for their actions. That’s the law. But there’s also a whole section of the law which realizes that the creation and instigation of a mob is, itself, a criminal action. And people who do that are supposed to be held to account too.”

Outside the impeachment, DDT keeps losing:

A U.S. District Court judge temporarily halted a massive ConocoPhillips oil project on Alaska’s North Slope in the western part of Arctic Alaska. Based on a lawsuit that DDT’s administration failed to consider environmental impacts, the order stops gravel-related work until February 20, giving time for the 9th Circuit Court to look at the case. The judge’s order permits continued work on ice roads which melt in summer. Biden’s review of DDT’s oil policies includes this project.

A man who took over $38 million in no-bid federal contracts to provide N95 masks for the VA and FEMA; he pled guilty to fraud, theft, and lying after delivering no masks. To get the contract, he said he lied about having the masks when he no plan to find or buy them. The federal government supported price gouging and profiteering by hiring contractors with no experience in finding PPE. The contractor, an Air Force veteran, benefited from the program giving forgivable loans when he provided false tax forms claiming 37 employees instead of his actual nine. He has since repaid most of the $805,000 he received while pleading guilty to taking $261,000 from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program for his personal extravagant spending. He also collected almost $74,000 from VA benefits by lying about being a disabled Marine corporal.

A judge has ordered Herring, the owner of far-right One America Network, to pay Rachel Maddow, host of an MSNBC show, $258,000 for its failed defamation lawsuit against her. Maddow reported an OAN journalist also contributed to Russia-owned news outlet Sputnik and accused OAN of being “paid Russian propaganda.” Herring demanded $10 million in damages from Maddow and plans to appeal while it faces a lawsuit from Dominion voting machines for a two-hour conspiracy video by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell about his baseless claim the 2020 presidential election was rigged.

The federal government could have blocked the Russian hacking of both its agencies and businesses with a free cybersecurity system, in-toto, developed with $2.2 million taxpayer funding. The system was first adopted in 2018 by Datadog, a competitor of SolarWinds which allowed the hacking into its software. Datadog’s customers include Nasdaq, Whole Foods, and Samsung. The hacked SolarWinds has 320,000 customers in 199 countries, including 499 of the Fortune 500 companies, and its Orion products, responsible for the cyberattack, bring the company 45 percent of its over $1 billion revenue.  “We make IT look easy” is SolarWinds slogan.

A big promise from DDT was to eliminate U.S. trade deficit. Last year’s trade deficit was the biggest and worst ever—worsening by six percent at $916 billion. Exports dropped by 13.2 percent to $1.43 trillion, the worst since George W. Bush’s recession in 2010. Goods imports fell by 6.6 percent to $2.35 trillion. Half the decline came from the 38 percent plunge–$120 billion to $80 billion—in petroleum products, the lowest since 2002. More bad news is here. 

The DOJ has dropped a lawsuit against Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former friend of Melania Trump, for releasing taped conservations between the two women when Trump children’s separation and holiday decorations at the White House. Conservative David Frum called the case “an abusive deployment of state power for personal revenge,” and  Attorney Bradley Moss called Trump “a petulant and tiny person unworthy of the role she held.” Moss also tweeted it was a “stupid lawsuit that was dead on arrival and flew in the face of decades of first amendment precedent.”

According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, 56 percent of people think DDT should be convicted; they also say by a 17 percent margin that the GOP has more radical extremists than Democrats. In a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 58 percent believe DDT should either “probably” or “definitely” be barred from running for public office in the future. One-third of Republicans want DDT to testify in his impeachment trial.

February 8, 2021

DDT Returns to News, Biden Still Governs

This week’s biggest news will probably be the second impeachment trial of Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) which starts tomorrow. Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have agreed to the impeachment rules:

Tuesday: Four hours of debate followed by vote on the trial’s constitutionality.

During the trial: Debate on calling witnesses.

Wednesday: Opening arguments beginning at noon for both sides having 16 hours to present case.

Friday, 5:24 pm – Sunday: Originally a pause to observe the Jewish Sabbath although it does not conform with constitutional process. But after the agreement, the Jewish lawyer who asked for the dispensation then said the trial could proceed. It’s the typical DDT process—make a statement, change the statement, and then maybe make more changes. Friday isn’t here yet.

Both Sides: Two hours for closing arguments.

Conclusion: Within a week.

According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, 56 percent of people think DDT should be convicted; they also say by a 17 percent margin that the GOP has more radical extremists than Democrats. In a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, 58 percent believe DDT should either “probably” or “definitely” be barred from running for public office in the future. One-third of Republicans want DDT to testify in his impeachment trial.

DDT ended his term with pathetic jobs reports. After losing 227,000 jobs in December, his last month of January 2021 picked up only 49,000 jobs, showing that Biden’s stimulus plan is badly needed. About 3.5 million people formerly considered temporarily unemployed permanently lost their jobs, and 40 percent of the 10 million unemployed during the past year have had no job for over six months. DDT may have been the first person in the Oval Office during modern times to have no new jobs for the entire four years. The fall in unemployment from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent was driven by over 400,000 people who left the workforce. Regaining the lost jobs from the past year could take over 16 years at January’s rate.

Before the GOP games begin tomorrow, news about President Joe Biden’s progress:

As with all new administrations, Biden is making a great deal of personnel changes. This week he called for the resignation of all DDT’s ten appointees to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, in charge of resolutions for “impasses” in negotiation. Not only DDT loyalists, these members of the agency, anti-union activists, undermined collective bargaining and discouraged managers from working with employees. Eight of the members gave Biden resignations when he asked, but two refused. He fired them.

Biden’s next project is to remove the Federal Labor Relations Authority, home to the impasses panel, from GOP control. The three members deliver binding decisions about federal unions’ rights. The two Republicans wrote “policy statements” giving the managers power over the unions before a dispute about the situation. In addition, they eliminated the unions’ right to bargain over workplace conditions before the expiration of current agreements. Their actions prevented unions from negotiating health and safety rules during the pandemic.

In another act, Biden removed over 30 nominations DDT had sent to the Senate, many in his last weeks, including judges, ambassadors including those to Bahamas and Singapore, and a member of the Federal Reserve System.

Not all DDT’s appointees are going quietly. Roger Severino, appointed to the council of the Administrative Conference of the United States a day or two before Biden became president, is suing him for being ousted. Severino claims the council is separate from executive power. Before this appointment, he worked at DHS preventing abortions and protections for LGBTQ patients.

DDT’s attempt to permanently embed his loyalists in agencies, many of them as recently as days before Biden’s inauguration, continues to unravel. New Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin removed all members on 31 defense advisory boards, starting February 16, and immediately suspended operations for 42 panels while the Pentagon completes a “zero-based review” of boards and commissions. Unfortunately, DDT’s appointments should be retained during the review, but some can go because their paperwork had not been finished.

Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) former staffer Kash Patel, part of Nunes’ leaking to DDT, is on hold. Under review are four DDT appointees on a committee to remove names of Confederate leaders from military bases, opposed by DDT. One of these appointees was in charge of DDT’s purge and replacement with DDT’s loyalists. Gone are Anthony Tata, policy chief who called President Obama a “terrorist leader,” and Scott O’Grady, who tweeted Biden is not the real president. The boards of visitors to military academies thus far keep Kellyanne Conway, Sean Spicer, former Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor, and former Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought.

DDT’s support for white supremacists—aka domestic terrorists—let them get out of control, and Austin is working to struggle with the issue in the military. One of his memos orders commanding officers and supervisors to have a one-day stand-down within 60 days in a search for this violent extremism in the military. Before that step, Biden is reviewing whether more FBI agents are needed to work on the threat of “domestic violent extremism,” according to one of Biden’s senior officials.

Biden had already ordered intelligence agencies to conduct a “comprehensive threat assessment.” Former DHS officials from both parties blamed the January 6 Capitol attacks on ”four years of inadequately monitoring and communicating the rising threat of right-wing domestic extremists.” DDT had pressured his officials to overlook this threat and instead find a non-existent left-wing criminal conspiracy. He also eliminated resources in opposition to the top domestic terrorism threat of white supremacy. New Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner (D-VA) plans an investigation including issues about ties between anti-government extremism in the United States and in similar European and Russian organizations.

The Senate confirmed Denis McDonough for Secretary of Veterans Affairs by 87-7. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is the only senator to oppose all Biden’s appointments. McDonough’s early responsibility is providing 18 million veterans with COVID-19 vaccinations while heading up the largest integrated healthcare system in the nation. He inherits a problem with falsifying records to cover up long wait times for medical care and former VA Secretary David Shulkin’s scandal of inappropriate spending, requiring subordinates to perform personal duties and unethically accepting gifts.

While Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), tried to get judges to retire so that he could cram more young, unexperienced, highly conservative people into the federal judicial system. He failed, but with a Democratic Senate majority and president, judges have started to retire. In fewer than three weeks since Biden’s inauguration, federal district and appellate courts have 57 vacancies with another 20 soon becoming vacant. Check here for details about retirees. DDT managed 226 appointments including three Supreme Court justices, 54 appeals court judges, and 174 district court judges. To push through DDT’s appointments, McConnell greatly shortened the time to confirm judges which can benefit Biden.

Eighteen months into his first term, DDT stripped former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance to obtain classified information because Brennan had offended DDT. Now Biden has talked about removing DDT’s rights to classified daily briefings but explained his intelligence team would have the final decision. A president has authority to deny intelligence access to anyone. Reasons for keeping DDT from classified information include his high level of political activity with far-right extremists and close business ties with foreign entities, both making DDT vulnerable to U.S. enemies.

The U.S. will return to the UN Human Rights Council after DDT withdrew from the organization, leaving a “vacuum of U.S. leadership,” according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He added:

“When it works well, the Human Rights Council shines a spotlight on countries with the worst human rights records and can serve as an important forum for those fighting injustice and tyranny.”

The UN General Assembly will be electing new members for three-year terms later this year. China, with a seat on the Council, may object to a U.S. attempt for full membership, but Biden plans to begin as an observer. Republicans will hope the U.S. cannot gain membership because the Council criticizes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory.

Biden has deployed over 1,000 active-duty troops to five FEMA COVID-19 vaccination centers, and FEMA has requested another 10,000 DoD personnel. Although the number is still low, vaccinations are up to between 1.3 to 1.5 people a day, and these deployments should speed it up.

Concerned about Russia’s attempts to shut off natural resources and maritime access through militarization, Biden has deployed four B-1 bombers and 200 personnel to Orland Air Base in Norway for missions in the Arctic Circle and international airspace off northwestern Russia. Last month, a Russian fighter jet flew near the USS Donald Cook, a naval destroyer, in the international waters of the Black Sea. As Biden said, “America is back!” and the days of coddling Russia are over.

A judge gave Biden another month to consider how to proceed in a lawsuit about DDT’s tax returns. The law allows heads of congressional tax committees to examine private tax information, and House Democrats are suing the Treasury demanding six-years of DDT’s returns after issuing a subpoena. DDT’s Treasury Department had refused. DDT’s team has a 72-hour notice if the returns will be given to House members, giving the lawyers an opportunity to block the action in court.

January 15, 2021

Sedition Has Consequences

The impeachment is over, with National Guard protecting the House chamber, and Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) needs a team for the trial in Senate. He may have trouble finding one. He’s unhappy with Rudy Giuliani for his failure to overturn the election and refuses to pay him the promised $20,000 a day—maybe not even travel costs. But DDT is famous for stiffing his employees. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was so disgusted by the Capitol siege he told staffers he won’t be defending DDT in the current impeachment as he did last time. DDT also can’t get several prominent law firms this time around, and most of the lawyers from last time have bailed, leaving only Alan Dershowitz who didn’t a poor job the first time around. Yet Dershowitz said provoking people to storm the Capitol was a “political and moral sin.”

Law professor John Eastman (left) who claimed election fraud at DDT’s January 6 rally inciting violence is a consideration. The Chapman University (Orange County, CA) professor was immediately “retired” by the school after his recitation of lies about election fraud. 

In the name of “freedom,” recalcitrant GOP House members are ignoring rules such as wearing masks and using the metal detector before entering the chamber. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is fed up with the lack of security: she’s fining them $5,000 for the first one and $10,000 for the second one, with the money directly deducted from salaries by the Chief Administrative Officer. Her decision came after appearances of collusion between some of the representatives and the violent protesters. The day after the siege, newly-elected Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) bragged about carrying a gun into the House chamber, a violation of the law.

Newly-elected Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), conspiracy theorist who tweeted Pelosi’s location at the beginning of the Capitol attack and fought the use of a metal detector, announced on Newsmax she plans to file articles of impeachment against Joe Biden on January 21 for abuse of power. After voting against DDT’s impeachment, she accused Biden of being “easily bought off by foreign governments,” referencing “Chiney” (her word) and Ukrainian energy companies.

QAnon follower Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) gives Boebert a run for her money in inciting violence. One week after the mob stormed the Capitol, Greene tweeted:

“These Democrats are the enemies to the American people who are leading the impeachment witch hunt against President Trump. AGAIN! They will be held accountable.”

A member of the party that advocates calming rhetoric, Greene claims DDT “will remain in office” and added, “This Hail Mary attempt to remove him from the White House is an attack on every American who voted for him.” GOP colleague Adam Kinzinger (IL) said the language, which may “incite insurrections,” is “literally anti-democracy.” Greene was one of the Republicans who refused to wear a mask at the superspreader lockdown in the Capitol. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) was the fourth Democrat to contract COVID-19 since some Republicans refused to follow health guidance during last week’s lockdown.  [visual – Marjorie

And Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) wants to know “why there aren’t more uprisings around the country.”

Newly-elected Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI), one of ten Republicans who voted for impeachment, said he is buying body armor to protect himself from death threats as well as hiring armed escorts for himself and his family while traveling.

Some Republicans booed the plea newly-elected Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) made for impeachment. Perhaps they were comfortable doing that because she’s a young Black woman. Her entire speech:

“Madam Speaker, St. Louis and I, we rise in support of the article of impeachment against Donald J Trump. If we fail to remove a white supremacist president who incited a white supremacist insurrection, it’s communities like Missouri’s First District that suffer the most. The 117th Congress must understand that we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives. The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief. Thank you and I yield back.”

No one booed Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, when she made her speech about how DDT “summoned” the mob that attacked the Capitol, “assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.″ She said, “Everything that followed was his doing” because he could have stopped he riot but didn’t, a riot resulting in five deaths including a police officer. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was visibly upset by her statements, including: 

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

A common meme about disasters, especially during the years of DDT—“It is what it is.” Fox’s Pete Hegseth has coined a new one for 2021 when talking about the insurrection at the Capitol: “What happened, happened.

Corporations claim they won’t donate to congressional members voting to overturn the election, but an analysis shows corporate and trade association political action committees gave $170 million to those 146 congressional members since the 2016 cycle. Of the PACs, 46 donated to at least 50 percent of those who objected to electoral votes in Arizona and Pennsylvania.  

Law enforcement seems to finally take the threats to the new administration seriously. Plans for the inauguration:

  • Citywide emergency declaration until inauguration.
  • More fencing—lots more fencing—including around the perimeter of the Capitol and the Pentagon.
  • At least 21,000 National Guard members deployed, many of them armed, and the number could grow.
  • Warnings about armed protests by violent DDT supporters in all 50 state capitals.
  • The National Special Security Event lockdown declaration, usually for the day of the inauguration, moved up to January 13.
  • Sealed parking garages downtown.
  • The 13 Metro stations inside the security perimeter shut down.
  • All downtown hotels urged to close and pay their staff. (Several of them, as well as Airbnb, have already done so.)
  • Reduction of those included inside the perimeter dropped from 200,000 to 3,000.
  • Parade viewing stands near the White House dismantled and inaugural balls canceled.
  • A virtual parade instead of the typical walk.
  • Interior Department asked to issue no permissions for permits.
  • Closure of National Mall and major bridges into downtown D.C. on Inaugural Day.

On the day after his impeachment, DDT released a five-minute video on the White House Twitter account condemning violence and saying he would never condone it—a week after he gave a White House party cheering on the mob descending on the Capitol. He tried to look presidential but finished the speech by lambasting people who attempt to “silence” others. DDT failed to announce “the election was not stolen,” and his official Peter Navarro went on Fox the next day to declaim DDT was “legally elected” as president. DDT also asked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who accompanied DDT on his official trip to Alamo (TX), to persuade fellow senators to vote against impeachment conviction.

As DDT gets closer to being an ex-president, he breaks into more rages, especially when confronted with comparisons between him and ex-President Nixon. The reminder of his departure hangs outside his White House residence in the banner stating  “2021 Biden-Harris Inauguration.” DDT refuses to make any farewell address and leaves all official duties to VP Mike Pence. DDT’s schedule continues to be blank. Meanwhile, the administration members are taking “moving” to the extreme: they’re walking out of the White House with items belonging to the U.S. people.

Unemployment claims for the first full week of January have gone up 25 percent to 965,000—a non-adjusted claims of 1.2 million—with another 284,500 from those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

And nobody is leading the country; the surge is escalating. World-wide the deaths are past 2 million; in the U.S. the number of deaths will go above 400,000 by the end of January 15 with an estimate of another 100,000 within two weeks. 

The high note of the January 6 attempted coup came four days later when David Smith, recently retired from the Navy, gathered almost 200 veterans and other volunteers to pick up the trash left behind by the mob. On a sweep through the area around the Capitol and downtown D.C., they collected “Stop the Steal” and other pro-DDT detritus left from the riots and used scrapers and adhesive remover to remove signs and stickers from neo-Nazi and alt-right groups. Messages expressing the need for veterans “to stand up” led to a group deciding to attend Black Lives Matter protests to give demonstrators security and supply them medical and logistical support. Smith said they want to stick to their oath, “to defend the Constitution, thereby ensuring the rights of all our citizens.”  

Five more days of temper tantrums and failures in the White House.

January 14, 2021

DDT Achieves Second Impeachment

Filed under: impeachment — trp2011 @ 12:29 AM
Tags: , , ,

For the first time in U.S. history, a person elected to be president of the U.S. has been impeached twice. This time, charges against Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) are “high Crimes and Misdemeanors for inciting violence against the Government of the United States.” The House voted 232-197 in favor of the impeachment after VP Mike Pence rejected using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office; ten Republicans voted for the impeachment. The brief articles of impeachment are here.

These ten GOP representatives voted for impeachment: Liz Cheney (WY); third-highest-ranking House Republican; Anthony Gonzalez (OH); Jamie Herrera Beutler (WA), who found “indisputable evidence” for impeachment; John Katko (NY), the first Republican to support impeachment in the House; Adam Kinzinger (IL); Peter Meijer (MI), who took over his district from GOP-turned independent-turned Libertarian Justin Amash; Dan Newhouse (WA); Tom Rice (SC), who had voted to overturn the elections in both Arizona and Pennsylvania; Fred Upton (MI), a moderate Republican; and David Valadao (CA), who voted 100 percent in 2017 and 2018 for DDT’s bills. Those are ten more GOP votes than for DDT’s first impeachment over a year ago. Four GOP representatives who did not vote: Kay Granger (TX), Andy Harris (MD), Greg Murphy (NC), and Daniel Webster (FL).

According to constitutional law, the Senate must conduct a trial. Its majority leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to start the trial before the inauguration, meaning Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be in charge for the entire process when the two Democratic Georgia senators join the current 48 Democrats and independents in the chamber. McConnell has been trying to look conciliatory regarding a conviction, but his past shows himself cut from the same cloth as DDT—every one of his actions is to benefit himself.

According to the polls:

  • 55 percent want DDT to immediately leave the White House.
  • 74 percent believe next week will bring more acts of violence.
  • 70 percent done want DDT’s supporters to hold protests next week.
  • 87 percent disapprove of the attack on the Capitol.
  • 59 percent believe storming the Capitol is an insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government.
  • 80 percent view force and violence are always unacceptable.

Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine reported he is investigating whether to criminally charge DDT and his allies for inciting the violence in their speeches at the rally.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) reported congressional members may have led groups on alleged “reconnaissance” tours of the Capitol, adding to reports the insurgents had insider information of the building’s layout and security. Ali Alexander, an attempted coup organizer, claimed he had help from three GOP representatives: Mo Brooks (R-AL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Andy Biggs (R-AZ). In a video, he said they planned to put “maximum pressure on Congress” during the certification of the electoral votes and “change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside.” Panic buttons in the office of Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) were ripped out before the Capitol siege.

Conservatives feed the lie that liberals set up the attempted insurgency; in her speech opposing impeachment, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) directly blamed Democrats for the violence. Rally organizers removed their involvement from the internet, but archives never forget. Nine groups who “invited” the mob to Washington, D.C. to overturn the election:

Women for America First: Run by a former leader of Tea Party Express, the group was formed to oppose DDT’s first impeachment.

My Pillow: Mike Lindell, conspiracy theorist and financier of DDT’s “lawyers” Lin Wood and Sidney Powell as well as one of Fox’s biggest advertisers, spread the lie that “plants” orchestrated the violence.

Turning Point Action:  Charlie Kirk, leader of the student-oriented far-right group and DDT’s first speaker at last summer’s convention, has deleted his tweet about “sending 80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight for this president.”  

Phyllis Schlafly Eagles: Schlafly died in 2016, but the group still opposes UN treaties, “radical feminists,” gun restrictions, federally-regulated daycare, etc. On the day of the insurrection, the leader was photographed with Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) in which they hold a “Stop the Steal” sign and later tweeted the lie of antifa orchestrating the mob. Two days later, he also tweeted a lie about “no evidence of an attack on the Capitol police officer.”

Moms for America: In this Schlafly-esque group, the leader called the media “the publicity arm of the Democratic party” because it didn’t report conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton and appeared with Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL) on January 6.  

Peaceably Gather: The fiery pastory leading this self-described group “to freely worship” opposes limiting church attendance to protect people from COVID-19 and called for killing in a speech about the Black Robe Regiment, preachers who fought during the American Revolution.

Wild Protest: Its website referenced DDT calling January 6 a “wild” day and stated they “must take to the US Capitol lawn and steps,” areas not covered by the protest permit.

Stop the Steal: This right-wing movement, led by Alexander, intends to overthrow the election.

Tea Party Patriots: One of the most influential groups in the movement from an anonymous $1 million donation, it pays big salaries and had the use of a private jet before the 2020 election.

David Corn wrote:

“Together, they gathered a crowd that included extremist militants, got them hopped up on lies and hatred, and pointed them at the Capitol. In the aftermath of this horrific event, they can delete tweets and promulgate more conspiracy theories, but they bear responsibility. They literally set the stage for the deadly attack. Their collective culpability cannot be wiped away by taking down a website.”

For six years, Republicans divided the country through arbitrary “lawmaking” and packed the courts with inappropriate judges, while defending their actions with the statement “elections have consequences.” Having lost the Congress and the executive branch for their party, GOP House members delivered sanctimonious speeches about “not further dividing the country,” “working for unity,” “healing,” and, worst of all, “finding out better angels.” They complained about the “unprecedented” impeachment, yet they accepted other unprecedented actions such as DDT’s blackmailing Ukraine to find “dirt” on his opposition or extorting other Republicans to overturn the election for himself. Or sabotaging the transition of his administration to the man and woman who legally won president and vice president.

Republicans had no interest in “healing” when they ramrodded through their third Supreme Court justice only weeks after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and one week before the election of a new president. Amy Coney Barrett, member of a conservative religious cult, just delivered her first anti-abortion vote along with the justice in the position stolen from the Democrats, blocking the use of a medication safely used for abortions on her way to eliminating abortion in the United States. The “pro-life” high court also ruled to execute Lisa Montgomery, the first woman killed by the federal government in 68 years.

DDT vowed at his inauguration he would “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic [and] bear true faith and allegiance to the same.” Yet he ignored calls to kill his own vice president and said “people” think his speech inciting violence was “appropriate.”

Republicans voting against impeachment may be afraid they, too, could be impeached. They may have two other reasons for voting against impeachment. GOP freshmen House members said they need direction from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to tell them how to vote instead of what is right for the country. Several Republicans also feared for their lives or the lives of their families if they voted to impeach DDT. At DDT’s first impeachment, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned Republicans:

“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”

Schiff was right: Republicans’ own party members may literally call for their GOP lawmakers’ heads on pikes. As Schiff said almost exactly a year ago at the impeachment trial, DDT can do “a lot of damage” in a year.

Two new regulations for the House are wearing masks and going through a metal detector to enter the chamber. Republicans are angry about both of them, especially the metal detector requirement. Boebert, who had tweeted the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R-CA) at the beginning of the January 6 attack, tried to refuse going through the metal detector. She had also insisted she would bring her gun onto the House floor despite the rules against them.

With only six days before the inauguration, empty boxes are arriving at the White House grounds but seem to be for staff members. Cleaning to prepare for the Biden administration will be almost $500,000 more than usual because of the multiple outbreaks of COVID-19. Instead of using the White House staff for the cleaning, the Biden administration has requested a private contractor. Melania Trump has been moving for two months with several shipments to Mar-a-Lago and much of their furniture and décor into storage. Her recent focus has been on her photo album with the help of her official photographer who billed many overtime hours. She has not appeared in public since December 31.

With DDT still the titular head of the U.S., the daily COVID-19 statistics in the country: 236,462 infections and 4,098 deaths. DDT’s schedule is—as usual—nothing.   

February 5, 2020

Profiles in Courage

Only one Republican senator voted to convict Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in one of the two articles of impeachment, abuse of power. When Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) gave a speech on the floor of the Senate to explain his vote, only three Democrats and two Republicans, one of them there to preside over the Senate, were present. Yet the transcript and video of Romney’s have gone viral. DDT was so upset by both the vote and his speech that he disinvited reporters to join him in a meeting with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

Mitt Romney’s speech about his vote against DDT:

The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic’s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of Congress for these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a Senator-juror, I swore an oath, before God, to exercise “impartial justice.” I am a profoundly religious person. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the President, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House Managers presented evidence supporting their case; the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the President’s team presented three defenses: first, that there can be no impeachment without a statutory crime; second, that the Bidens’ conduct justified the President’s actions; and third that the judgement of the President’s actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address each of those defenses.

The historic meaning of the words “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the writings of the Founders and my own reasoned judgement convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they are not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove a president defies reason.

The President’s counsel noted that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian Prosecutor General. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the Vice President should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong.

With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the President’s counsel that a crime had been committed, the President’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There is no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the President would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president. Hamilton explained that the Founders’ decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to voters was intended to minimize—to the extent possible—the partisan sentiments of the public.

This verdict is ours to render. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfilled our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

Yes, he did.

The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so.

The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders.

The President’s purpose was personal and political.

Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.

What he did was not “perfect”— No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security interests, and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I have received numerous calls and texts. Many demand that, in their words, “I stand with the team.” I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind. I support a great deal of what the President has done. I have voted with him 80% of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented, and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I am aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters, I will be vehemently denounced. I am sure to hear abuse from the President and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he said might raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I am convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We have come to different conclusions, fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the President from office. The results of this Senate Court will in fact be appealed to a higher court: the judgement of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the President’s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate. But irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me. I will only be one name among many, no more or less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the President did was wrong, grievously wrong.

We’re all footnotes at best in the annals of history. But in the most powerful nation on earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that is distinction enough for any citizen.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) denied that his vote to convict DDT was a “profile in courage,” but he is running for reelection this year in a very red state. He said, “It is simply a matter of right and wrong. Doing right is not a courageous act.”

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) explained her vote against DDT to the Arizona Republic:

“The facts are clear — security aid was withheld from Ukraine in an attempt to benefit the president’s political campaign. While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious, it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”

The irony of her statement is that at least ten GOP senators agree with her first sentence, but they still voted to acquit with a variety of justifications for DDT. One excuse will come back soon to bite them–that he’s learned his lesson. Proponents of this flawed argument include Sens. Lamar Alexander (TN), John Boozman (AR), Mike Braun (IN), Sherry Capito (WV), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Joni Ernst (IA), James Lankford (OK), Lisa Murkowski (AK), and Rob Portman (OH), and others expressed concern about DDT’s actions.  [A few hours after her vote to acquit, Collins admitted she was probably wrong.] DDT has learned his lesson–that he can do anything and Republicans will cover for him. These senators, part of what Chief Justice John Roberts called “the greatest deliberative body in the world,” will go down in history with their profiles of cowardice. 

 

January 31, 2020

‘We Don’t Want to Hear the Truth’

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said:

“If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.”

On Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5:42 pm, Republicans cast 51 votes in favor of having a trial with no witnesses, no documents, and no debate. Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) voted for witnesses; retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he would vote against witnesses because he had heard enough. Like other Republicans, Alexander said that the actions of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) aren’t “impeachable.”

The entire world has now watched Republicans ignore the U.S. Constitution. Even Chief Justice John Roberts has come out as a loser. Despite his measured demeanor, his face fell when Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked

“Does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution?”

Since the beginning of the impeachment inquiry, Democrats gave Republican lawmakers everything that they asked for the process. When Democrats met GOP requirements, Republicans changed their demands. By the end, Republicans resorted to the “so what” decision: DDT did what he was charged with, but his actions, which violated the U.S. Constitution, didn’t go beyond “inappropriate” or “improper.”

The possibility of former national security council adviser John Bolton being called as a witness frightened GOP senators. They wanted “first-hand witnesses” but rejected a person who was present when DDT issued his orders. Reporting has already provided enough information from Bolton’s forthcoming book, The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, to know that his testimony can make DDT look guilty.

According to Bolton, DDT did try to extort Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing a Biden investigation in exchange for DDT releasing congressionally-approved military aid to Ukraine—and ordered Bolton to tell Zelensky to meet with DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to issue the threat last May. Bolton said he didn’t make the call, but his statement adds to the timeline of Ukraine’s knowledge about the withholding of aid. New reporting also cites the presence of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, White House counsel Pat Cipollone, and Giuliani in the room with Bolton and DDT when the order was given. All four of the officials with DDT would be “first-hand” witnesses.

If Bolton’s narrative is true, Cipollone could be disbarred because he took part as a lawyer in a proceedings where he was potentially a “fact witness,” having observed the events of the trial. The lawyer who is supposed to represent the office of the president and not the person in the Oval Office failed to disclose that he witnessed the crime from which he is defending DDT even after House Managers wrote Cipollone ten days ago demanding that he dislose all first-hand facts and information before the trial.

Bolton’s book has much more about DDT. He called DDT “mentally unstable” and said that DDT would pull the U.S. out of NATO if he is reelected. Bolton wrote about DDT giving favors to autocratic leaders like Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Xi Jinping of China. He also wrote that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knew about the smear effort against Ambassador Yovanovitch, Giuliani’s claims about her being false, and Giuliani’s work on behalf of others. Last September, Bolton asked House Democrats to investigate DDT’s firing of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in September before the impeachment inquiry, contrary to DDT’s claim that Bolton stayed quiet about his concerns regarding Ukraine.

DDT’s first attempt to shut up Bolton was to tweet about his “nasty & untrue book.” Joined by officials in danger of Bolton’s testimony such as Pompeo and Mulvaney, DDT described Bolton as a departed, disgruntled government employee. Former acting chief of staff John Kelly, however, disagrees: “If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton.” DDT’s next step was to block the book from its March 17 release on the basis of “classified information.” Defined broadly, the term could be making DDT’s “job very hard” if foreign leaders find out he doesn’t have a “positive” opinion of them. DDT thinks all information making him look bad is “classified.”

Before GOP senators denied all witnesses, Lev Parnas’ lawyer wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about Parnas’ evidence regarding DDT’s involvement with the Ukraine debacle: personal knowledge and evidence including text messages, phone records, documentary evidence, and travel records. Parnas’ information directly involves not only those cited by Bolton but also other top Republicans such as VP Mike Pence, AG Bill Barr, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Nunes’ adviser Derek Harvey, journalist John Solomon, attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, and pro-DDT super PAC America First.

In testimony about DDT’s pressure on Bolton to help push Zelensky into an announcement into investigating Biden, Parnas would testify to:

  • His trips to Ukraine “to directly convey the president’s alleged ‘quid pro quo.’”
  • Times and places where he overheard Giuliani talk to DDT along with Parnas’ direct interaction with DDT.
  • His meeting with a top Zelenskiy aide when Parnas communicated the conveyed the quid pro quo.
  • A conversation between Giuliani and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry that communicated DDT’s arrangement
  • His trip with Giuliani to Madrid to meet with Zelenskiy aide Andrey Yermak.
  • Coordination during the UN General Assembly in September 2019 when Zelenskiy met with DDT.
  • The origins of his relationships with DDT and Giuliani.
  • His actions “at all times” “at the direction of Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of the president,” and with DDT’s knowledge about these demands on Ukraine.

Alan Dershowitz—Fox contributor, Jeffrey Epstein and O.J. Simpson lawyer, and member of DDT’s legal team, gave Republicans the reason that they will acquit DDT:

“Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest. And if a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.

“’I want to be elected. I think I’m a great president. I think I’m the greatest president there ever was. If I’m not elected the national interest will suffer greatly.’ That cannot be impeachable.”

Garry Kasparov, Chair of the Human Rights Foundation tweeted:

“Dershowitz is actually making the King Louis XIV argument right now! Trump is good for the country, so anything he does to stay in power is the national interest, even if corrupt or illegal. That’s the language of every king & dictator: I am the end and the means justify me.”

In an attempt for backup, Dershowitz frequently cited Harvard Law School professor Nikolas Bowie as agreeing with Dershowitz’s arguments. Bowie labels his arguments for acquitting DDT as “irresponsible and ludicrous.” Bowie said, “Abuse of power is a crime” and followed up by stating that people are convicted of this criminal offense. Dershowitz’s standard of “national interest” allows DDT to “order the military to start rounding up black people because he’s afraid of losing the next election.” Or a president could promise a federal job to a state election official who selectively suppresses the opponents’ votes or paying people to spread false information. Or withhold tax dollars for his personal gain to push a foreign country into helping him with his reelection.

Acquitting DDT, as GOP senators are wont to do, permits presidents to do all this and more because this trial sets that precedent—at least for DDT. Dershowitz claimed in his book The Case against Impeaching Trump that a president can give Alaska back to Russia without being impeached. A president could even allow Russia to annex the entire United States, according to Dershowitz’s standard.

Dershowitz protested the media coverage of his statements. He tweeted:

“They characterized my argument as if I had said that if a president believes that his reelection was in the national interest, he can do anything. I said nothing like that.”

He claimed that his absence from the trial on the day after his “national interest” speech was because of a prior commitment and that DDT’s legal team “begged me to stay.”

Even the editorial board of the conservative National Review disagrees with Dershowitz, stating “that the Framers did not intend to limit impeachable offenses to certain statutory crimes and their close kin.” With Dershowitz’s standard, “the president could subvert the Constitution itself,” something that the Constitution does not permit.

Senators are scheduled to vote on the two articles of impeachment against DDT on Wednesday, the day after he gives his State of the Union speech. Giuliani must be making plane reservations to Ukraine in order to continue his pressure on Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. And DDT will be able to do anything he wants.

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