Nel's New Day

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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