Americans--not House Democrats--should impeach Trump

Ira Lacher: “Acting alone in a partisan snit fit can’t cut it.” -promoted by Laura Belin

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on December 5 that the House Judiciary Committee will draft articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump. Want to bet that no Republican will vote for them?

In all likelihood, the articles will focus entirely on Trump abusing the power of the presidency to make a foreign leader do oppo research on his likely election opponent as a condition for releasing hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that was approved by a coequal branch of government.

But you know what? Most Americans do not believe that this is an impeachable offense and it wouldn’t be wrong to change the motto on the greenback from “e pluribus unum” to “quid pro quo.” Long before the election of 2016, three-fourths of Americans believed that our government is corrupt, that the needs of the privileged few outweigh the needs of the many.

Continue Reading...

Grassley pushing Ukrainian election interference narrative

While testifying before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee on November 21, former National Security Council official Fiona Hill urged Congressional Republicans not to “promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.” She was referring to the idea that “Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did.” Hill added, “This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.”

Meanwhile, “American intelligence officials informed senators and their aides in recent weeks that Russia had engaged in a yearslong campaign to essentially frame Ukraine as responsible for Moscow’s own hacking of the 2016 election,” Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg reported for the New York Times on November 22, citing three officials familiar with the classified briefing.

Nevertheless, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley persisted.

As evidence mounts that President Donald Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to boost his domestic political prospects, Grassley has advanced the narrative that Ukrainian government officials interfered in the 2016 election to support Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump.

Continue Reading...

Interview: Ed Mezvinsky contrasts Nixon, Trump impeachment hearings

Republican members of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee used most of their speaking time during recent impeachment hearings to run interference for President Donald Trump. They attacked the credibility of fact witnesses, pushed alternate narratives about foreign interference in U.S. politics, and tried to shift the focus to the whistleblower despite extensive corroborating evidence.

The Iowan who served on the House Judiciary Committee when Congress considered impeaching President Richard Nixon recalls GOP colleagues who were open to discovering and considering facts about the president’s possible high crimes and misdemeanors.

Continue Reading...

Iowa political reaction to U.S. House vote on impeachment

The U.S. House voted mostly along party lines (232 votes to 196) on October 31 to approve rules for an impeachment inquiry. Iowa’s four House members split as one would expect: Democratic Representatives Abby Finkenauer (IA-01), Dave Loebsack (IA-02), and Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted for the resolution, while Republican Steve King (IA-04) opposed it.

The New York Times explained that the resolution

authorizes the House Intelligence Committee — the panel that has been leading the investigation and conducting private depositions — to convene public hearings and produce a report that will guide the Judiciary Committee as it considers whether to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.

The measure also gives the president rights in the Judiciary Committee, allowing his lawyers to participate in hearings and giving Republicans the chance to request subpoenas for witnesses and documents. But the White House says it still did not provide “basic due process rights,” and Republicans complain that their ability to issue subpoenas is limited. They would need the consent of Democrats, or a vote of a majority of members. That has been standard in previous modern impeachments. The majority has the final say over how the proceedings unfold.

I enclose below statements from Finkenauer, Loebsack, and U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. I will update this post as needed with comments from the other members of the Congressional delegation. Grassley’s mind appears to be made up: “This entire process has been contaminated from the beginning and the Senate may have a difficult time taking seriously an impeachment founded on these bases.” That’s comical, given that Iowa’s senior senator voted to remove President Bill Clinton from office on charges stemming from an investigation into unrelated property transactions.

Continue Reading...

Joni Ernst locked into Trump's talking points on impeachment

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst repeatedly insisted today that she will evaluate any evidence about President Donald Trump’s wrongdoing as a “jurist.” But in her first conference call with Iowa reporters since mid-September, Ernst didn’t sound like a juror with an open mind about the case.

On the contrary, the senator expertly echoed White House talking points, from denouncing a “political show” and unfair process to using Trump’s derisive nickname for a key House committee chair.

Continue Reading...
View More...