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Lankford proposal: Give the Senate a secure look at Bolton’s book

According to me, there’s really no good reason to try to wrap up the impeachment trial without hearing from John Bolton about whether, as rumored and as he apparently wrote in his soon-to-be-released book, President Donald Trump linked aid to Ukraine with a promise from Ukraine to publicly announce an investigation into the Bidens.

To try to wrap up the trial without investigating that question would be a ridiculous insult to the country.

Sen. James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma and one of the jurors, just made an incredibly reasonable suggestion. Bolton’s book has not been published, and cannot be until it undergoes scrutiny to decide whether anything in it must be removed for national security reasons.

Lankford proposes that the manuscript be made available to all senators, in a secure room to avoid compromising national security, so they can make an informed decision on whether anything in the book is sufficiently relevant and compelling that the impeachment trial should not be wrapped up or submitted to a final vote without knowing what Bolton wrote.

Good for Lankford. What could possibly be wrong with his suggestion?

Comments (69)

  1. Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 01/28/2020 - 02:14 pm.

    What could be wrong with this suggestion is that it is – as you state – incredibly reasonable.

  2. Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/28/2020 - 02:26 pm.

    Since this is probably the best that can be obtained from the Repub majority, it’s better than nothing, one supposes.

    But it’s hardly the best evidence of Bolton’s role, and it will not answer all the questions that would be put to Bolton were he to testify. It also means that the verdict will be based on evidence that was withheld from the view of the people, and there’s simply no good reason for that. I think posterity will find it rather ridiculous, after future Dem admins have released all the documents Trump has improperly withheld.

    It does give McConnell’s Repub majority something to point to in order to get themselves out of this “Bolton’s Book” mess. But they have already made clear by their preposterous evidence “rules” that they are terrified to look at all the relevant evidence, and are desperately seeking an end game that will shut down the trial as quickly as possible.

  3. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/28/2020 - 02:28 pm.

    What could be wrong? I’m sure Mitch McConnell will think of something. How about just issuing a subpoena to Bolton to appear and asking him questions about what he knows vis-a-vis Trump’s actions? It would be good to know why Bolton refused to testify in the House Impeachment investigation until a court ruled on Trump’s claims of “immunity” and why he is now publishing a book that tells all anyway.

  4. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/28/2020 - 02:43 pm.

    What could be wrong? It might not exonerate Trump, and it certainly would not involve calling one or both of the Bidens for the sole purpose of embarrassing them.

    Good Lord, Eric, you almost sound as if you think the Republicans are interested in finding out the truth.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/28/2020 - 04:00 pm.

      The Dems never found any truth or evidence. They could have called all these witnesses but chose not to because they didn’t want to go thru the courts which was the proper way to handle these issues.

      Trump committed no crimes, he will be acquitted and win a 2nd term because of this nonsense.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/28/2020 - 05:41 pm.

        “They could have called all these witnesses but chose not to because they didn’t want to go thru the courts which was the proper way to handle these issues.”

        No, the proper way to handle this would have been for the President not to issue a blanket claim of executive privilege. There are instances when executive privilege is proper (FYI, courts say that privileges should be narrowly construed, because they obstruct the process), but “I don’t wanna” is not one of them. Of course, that would mean having a President with a due respect for the rule of law and the Constitution, and that ship has sailed.

        What is the point of taking him to court? The Goniff-in-Chief has a well-documented history of contumacious and ill-founded litigation, fighting endlessly when he has lost, just to try to wear the other side down (ask any of the dozens of contractors he’s stiffed over the years).

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 10:54 am.

          The point of taking him to court for exercising his exec privilege is that if you want the information bad enough then you go to court as previous Congresses have done many times. That’s how our system of govt works. And Presidents can (and have) asserted EP over many things. That includes Obama doing it many times while he was in office.

          The Dems in the House didn’t want to go to court because they were in a rush to get this done to hurt Trump during an election. If you remember, Dems voted with Repubs to impeach Clinton. This vote was purely partisan.

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/29/2020 - 11:04 am.

            As you say, the problem with ‘going to court’ is that the case would be tied up at least until after the 2020 election; maybe much longer if the Roberts Court decided to hold it up.
            This has been Trump’s career strategy: let people try to sue him and tie it up in court until it’s moot.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/29/2020 - 11:27 am.

            “This vote was purely partisan.”

            That says as much about the Republicans as it does about the Democrats. The fact that they are reflexive in putting their loyalties to Trump over any concerns about the Constitution, or about the appropriate role of the Executive, shows a serious moral failing on their part.

            And I am not gullible enough even to entertain the notion that their concern was over the “unfair process.” It’s difficult even to type that sequence of words.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/28/2020 - 10:37 pm.

        “Trump committed no crimes”

        Oh yes he did…

        The GAO says so:

        OMB violated the ICA when it withheld DOD’s USAI funds from obligation for policy reasons. This impoundment of budget authority was not a programmatic delay. OMB and State have failed, as of yet, to provide the information we need to fulfill our duties under the ICA regarding potential impoundments of FMF funds. We will continue to pursue this matter and will provide our decision to the Congress after we
        have received the necessary information. We consider a reluctance to provide a fulsome response to have constitutional significance. GAO’s role under the ICA—to provide information and legal analysis to Congress as it performs oversight of executive activity—is essential to ensuring respect for and allegiance to Congress’ constitutional power of the purse. All federal officials and employees take an oath to uphold and protect the Constitution and its core tenets, including the congressional power of the purse. We trust that State and OMB will provide the information needed.

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 10:57 am.

          The GAO is a partisan group from Congress. Their claims have been refuted as well. So no, Trump did not commit any crimes. If you actually read the ICT, there is room for a President to withhold funds. Obama did it at least 7 times and you said nothing. Precedent has been set (by at least Obama but likely going back much further ) which means the House and GAO have no standing to make such claims.

          • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/29/2020 - 11:33 am.

            The GAO is considered the “gold standard” of government accountability since their founding in 1921.

            Their charge is simply to insure that government funds are being spent in lawful manners and they ruled Trump did not in the case of Ukraine aid:

            “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA). The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB violated the ICA.””

            The knee jerk “if you don’t agree with me you are a partisan hack” is perfect Trumpian logic where truth is defined by facts when the truth fits needs and alternative facts when it does not.

            A pretty convenient approach, yielding: “I’m always right”.

            • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 09:24 pm.

              OMB refutes GAOs claim. ICA also does have exceptions in it to allow delays. Obama delayed funds at least 7 times yet neither you or any Democrat said a word, including GAO. Hypocrisy at its finest. It was ok for Obama (a dem) but not ok for Trump apparently.

              GAO IS partisan because of things like that and thus has no credibility at all.

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/30/2020 - 09:07 am.

                OMB is headed by a director appointed by the President. It is, by its nature, a partisan agency.

                OMB has credibility only if you’re a Trump devotee.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/29/2020 - 11:36 am.

            The GAO is a nonpartisan agency working for Congress (even Republicans). The only “refutations” I can find are Senator Cronyn’s disagreement with the GAO findings, and a couple of opinion pieces in the Wall Street Journal. So no, your claim that Trump did not commit any crimes is baseless.

            You really need to get over the “Obama did it, and you said nothing” line. In case you hadn’t noticed, saying that someone else got away with wrongdoing does not exonerate another wrongdoer. Calling anyone else out on supposed hypocrisy is an exercise Trump supporters should not engage in.

          • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/29/2020 - 12:03 pm.

            Why are you so determined to create a presidential autocrat, Bob? Why are you so contemptuous of the legislative branch, the branch the Framers envisioned to be “closest to the people”? Why are you so indifferent to the rule of law, as expressed by the GAO ruling?

            You sound very much like a Tory would sound in 1776.

            • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 09:30 pm.

              Trump did no wrong. He actually wanted corruption from the last administration investigated. That’s a good thing as bullions of taxpayer funds went missing and much of it ended up in the pockets of the Bidens, Kerrys,Pelosis, Romneys etc. Ukraine was simply a money laundering scheme where corrupt people bought access to high level politicians in the US.

              Of the presidents in our lifetimes, Trump appears to be the only one actually trying to root out some of the corruption. For that he should get kudos, not impeachment by a group who is mad they lost the election. There are plenty of things Trump should be criticized for but this isn’t one of them.

              • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/30/2020 - 08:30 am.

                Sadly, if I didn’t know you were deadly serious, I’d think this was satire.

                Trump the corruption-fighter. Simply preposterous.

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/30/2020 - 11:29 am.

                “Of the presidents in our lifetimes, Trump appears to be the only one actually trying to root out some of the corruption.”

                Honestly, Mr. Barnes, there is no reply that can do justice to that sentence. None whatever.

              • Submitted by Kevin Schumacher on 01/30/2020 - 06:00 pm.

                Oh Bob…It will be interesting to re-read your posts as more information comes out. The curious thing is that R’s want to re-elect this grifter, fully knowing that he is cancer. I wish you well, but trump is going to destroy this country, and R’s will be responsible.

  5. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/28/2020 - 04:06 pm.

    What could be wrong? The words in the book weren’t convincing enough. They used Calibri instead of Arial font. There was nothing referencing the debunked Hunter Biden situation. He didn’t say a word about Obama’s golfing expenses. Couldn’t find a thing that said Crowd Strike wasn’t from Ukraine. The reference was to President Donald Trump, not Donald J Trump, could be 2 different people. Didn’t see anything about Hillary or Bill Clinton. And on and on and on………………………………………………….

  6. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/29/2020 - 07:36 am.

    It’s really amazing how far we have moved from the the days of the heavily edited partial transcript of the “perfect call” and the “no quid pro” to the point where it’s an attack on the Constitution to question the President’s right to extort personal/political favors from a foreign country.

    Notice that there has been no release of the real, full transcript of the call.

    Proud to be an American, eh?

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/29/2020 - 08:43 am.

      That McConnell’s Repub majority immediately made clear they had no interest in even seeing the actual (wrongfully withheld) transcript of the critical call makes clear they hadn’t the slightest intention of honoring their oaths to “do impartial justice”. No legitimate “court” would do such a thing, and no responsible democratic citizenry (I’m looking at you, Trumpite cultists) would obstinately defend such authoritarian intransigence and defiance.

      So basically at every turn “government” by conservatives necessitates violations of the Constitution. It’s a feature, not a bug.

  7. Submitted by Brian Simon on 01/29/2020 - 09:38 am.

    Looking at the book in a secure location is utterly ridiculous. The author is willing to testify, under oath. Given the seriousness of the trial & allegations, anything less is a disservice to the country, the constitution & the accused.

    • Submitted by Kevin Schumacher on 01/30/2020 - 06:09 pm.

      I agree without reservation, but to me the most galling thing is the R’s mistrust of the American people, as if we were incapable of reading a book and coming to a conclusion. This is simply another way to keep information away from voters, while seeming to appeal to what is just, a lot like trickle down economics: just another R scam that sounds great but helps only the privileged.

  8. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 01/29/2020 - 10:17 am.

    Mr. Barnes and others of his persuasion live on a different planet, one that doesn’t exist in a rational universe.

    First, the GAO says explicitly that the Trump-ordered holdup in aid to Ukraine (testified to by multiple witnesses during the House hearings) is against the law.

    Second, Mr. Trump, given his apparent financial and political resources, would do everything in his power to continue to prevent the most potentially-damaging witnesses from appearing in a courtroom. The potential litigation, given Trump’s past behavior in other lawsuits, literally drag on until he has died, at which point it would, of necessity, become moot. RB Holbrook’s use of “contumacious” is spot-on here.

    Third, roughly two centuries of impeachment proceedings, most involving federal judges, but several involving sitting presidents, show that “crimes and misdemeanors” in an impeachment context is a phrase that means whatever the Congress of that time and place choose it to mean. Plenty of people, including presidents, have previously been impeached for actions that did not meet the legal definition of “criminal.” The current House – the only body with the constitutional authority to bring charges – had decided that Trump’s actions meet the House’s current definition of “criminal.”

    Arguing that the House’s bringing of charges is purely political and without merit as a result fails to take into account the likelihood of precisely the same thing happening – in reverse, of course – should the Senate vote, as expected, to acquit. That acquittal could just as easily be argued as one taking place for purely political reasons that have no merit in fact or law.

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 11:24 am.

      Since you called me out I will refute your nonsense.

      First, OMB refutes the claims made by GAO. keep on mind GAO works for Congress and is completely partisan. Also keep in mind that Obama withheld funds at least 7 times during his time in office and not one word was said about by GAO or any Democrats. That is the exact same behavior they now claim is illegal when Trump does it.

      Second, likely every President in US history has used executive privilege at some point. Obama used it many times as well. Scotus has ruled that it is a legitimate power of the President due to separation of powers. Congress cannot simply demand things from another branch. The President does not serve at the pleasure of Congress. If Congress doesn’t like EP being used then they must go to the courts for relief. Democrats in this House didn’t want to do that though. They are trying to overturn not only many scotus rulings on EP but also make the Presidency a seat that serves at their pleasure …ie remove separation of powers.

      Third, no President has been impeached for a non criminal offense , until now. Clinton perjured himself which is why he was impeached. Johnson violated a law (which was later removed from the books). Trump broke no laws. He did exactly what many others have done before him , including Obama. The transcript clearly shows he was simply wanting corruption investigated (which he is obligated to do given the treaty we have with Ukraine).

      In Clinton’s case, both parties voted to impeach him in the house (5 Dems voted for impeachment) and several Republican Senators voted not guilty. So it wasn’t purely partisan like this one. This was done purely for political reasons as Democrats called for his impeachment the same day he was inaugurated (some even before he won the election). And if you were honest, you’d note that quid pro quo wasn’t an article, bribery failed as well, treason failed, collusion with Russia failed, obstruction of justice failed….every single claim made by House Democrats failed to make it into the impeachment articles because there was no evidence to support any of those claims. All they could come up with was obstruction of Congress (which isn’t a real thing and certainly not impeachable since every President does it and has the authority to exercise exec privilege ) and abuse of power … which is so vague every President could be impeached.

      I don’t support Trump and never have. I believe he should have resigned for not keeping his promise to fix healthcare properly among other broken promises. But this is by far the worst political hack job I’ve seen in my 50 plus years on this planet. Keep in mind, the spying Obama did on Trump is now acceptable for Trump to do on YOUR candidate because YOU refused to hold the Obama administration accountable for it. Also keep in mind that the next Democrat President can (and likely will) be impeached over these very same issues because YOUR party sunk to a new low and set the precedent. Just like Harry Reid using the nuclear option which McConnell then used on Dems when he regained control. What goes around comes around.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/29/2020 - 11:55 am.

        What GAO Does
        “What GAO does
        GAO provides Congress, the heads of executive agencies, and the public with timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can be used to improve government and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
        Our work is done at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or is statutorily required by public laws or committee reports, per our Congressional Protocols.”

        Sorry Bob, relatively speaking, I think you lose to the GAO, or do you have something else to support your numerous points of conjecture other than above? You did notice “executive agencies”?

        • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/29/2020 - 09:34 pm.

          So why didn’t the GAO come out and say Obama broke the law when he withheld aid? Do you not see the bias and hypocrisy???? GAO has no credibility when they aren’t consistent.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/30/2020 - 09:09 am.

            So why didn’t the Republicans in Congress come out and ask for the GAO to investigate?

            It’s easier to hold pointless hearings on their own, isn’t it?

          • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/30/2020 - 02:03 pm.

            Well, just perhaps they didn’t find anything wrong? It appears to be your conjecture or some RW conspiracy theory against the GAO. Sorry some of us folks don’t bite the RW conspiracy theory that every person that works in government is a deep state liberal plant. Maybe they just call out wrong doing when they see it, I guess to some that is a deep state liberal plant, especially when the Senate wants to sanction corrupt president behavior. Can’t make this stuff up.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/29/2020 - 12:43 pm.

        For someone who has “never supported Trump” you certainly are up-to-the-minute as to every Trumpite argument, defense and talking point, Bob. Why then the intense interest and indefatigable efforts on your part?

        In any event, persisting in the idea that the GAO is “partisan” is simple obstinacy on your part. It’s mission is to be non-partisan, and the ruling you disdain is their very core function.

        We’ve dealt with your executive privilege point ad nauseum. No president before Trump has asserted a blanket “right” not to comply with a House subpoena. Citing prior (limited) assertions of the privilege by prior presidents gets you nowhere and is just being obstinate. Trump’s “arguments” are not made in good faith and were asserted solely for delay.

        The idea that impeachment is reserved solely for statutory crimes has been the subject of study for well over a century, and the overwhelming consensus of scholars is that your argument is absolutely wrong, despite whatever a non-expert criminal defense attorney like Dershowitz may assert–especially after he opined precisely the opposite in the Clinton impeachment. Again, you are being willfully obstinate here.

        Further, their was an abuse of office article in the proposed articles impeaching Nixon. He resigned (and wasn’t impeached) because in those days there was still a respect for reason and the rule of law in the Repub party. Those days are gone.

        The idea that the abuse of office charge is vague and would subject every president to impeachment is ridiculous, since I assume you have actually read the article and can see exactly the conduct that is being asserted to be the abuse. It’s quite specific and hardly “vague”.

        The Clinton impeachment can hardly be called bipartisan, nor was it supported by even a plurality of citizens. If this is the standard, then the Trump impeachment is bipartisan as well, since one Repub voted for it.

        As to whether Trump will attempt to cheat and bend the surveillance law against the upcoming Dem candidate, he will still have to get some FBI officials to open an investigation and get a FISA judge to issue a warrant. This was easily done with Trump, since he was up to his neck in advisors with pro-Russian sympathies and connections, as he was himself. So we’ll have to take our chances on Trump trying to (again) cheat and commit ANOTHER abuse of power.

        As for future impeachments of Dem presidents, you’ll first have to get the House back, and impeachments are not so easy to sustain as you seem to believe. It took some pretty egregious conduct by Trump to get impeached, after all. But I guess it will be something for you to work for and look forward to!

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/29/2020 - 01:25 pm.

        The OMB is part of the Executive branch.
        It’s about as nonpartisan as AG Barr.
        ‘Nuff said.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/29/2020 - 02:14 pm.

        “keep on mind GAO works for Congress and is completely partisan.”

        Here is a link to the org chart for the GAO. Show the class any evidence that wholesale changes have been made to the GAO in the transition from the R controlled congress to the D controlled congress. In fact, given the 8 years of R control, the GAO, if you, claims are true, would have an R bias…

      • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/29/2020 - 05:29 pm.

        The GAO’s findings of a violation of the law only found OMB violated the law by attaching unauthorized conditions or “strings”, which was done at the direction of Trump. This was Trump’s condition that the Ukraine do Trump a “favor” by launching an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Article I of the Articles of Impeachment accuses Trump of abusing his office and power by soliciting what would be a bribe under federal criminal law if the Articles were an indictment or information.

        The language of Article of Impeachment II in effect charges Trump with “obstruction of an investigation committee of Congress” which is a crime and a violation of 18 United States Code section 1505:

        “Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede . . . the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—

        “Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”

        “Corruptly”is defined in 18 United States Code section 1515(b): “As used in section 1505, the term “corruptly” means acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement, or withholding, concealing, altering, or destroying a document or other information.”

        This language is woven into the particular acts of corruptly obstructing the investigation of the House Intelligence Committee of Trump’s alleged solicitation of a bribe from the Ukraine in Article I.

        You’re also mistaken that “no President has been impeached for a noncriminal offense.” President Andrew Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act by an appointment that outraged Congress. True, Johnson was not removed from office (“acquitted” one might say) but the “impeachment”-the action of the House which triggered the trial in the Senate-was not based on an alleged crime or a criminal offense.

  9. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/29/2020 - 11:06 am.

    The problem with simply distributing the book rather than calling Bolton as a sworn witness is that he may know things that he did not put in the book.

  10. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 01/30/2020 - 09:49 am.

    John Bolton is one of the worst monsters ever to reside in the Washington Swamp. Ever working to incite wars since the 80’s, ever willing to lie in service to empire, to further his influence and career. Fired by Trump by tweet, hungry to take down a president.

    Hinging hopes on Bolton makes this Dem impeachment process look even less connected to reality, even more merely a narrative architecture of belief.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/30/2020 - 11:26 am.

      Is it possible for one to be both a lifelong committed warmonger and militarist with extraordinarily poor judgment, yet be able to accurately recount the words uttered in a recent conversation?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/30/2020 - 04:56 pm.

        That’s my take on the man. By all accounts, he generally sticks to the truth even if he is an advocate for a hyper-militarized, imperialist foreign policy.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 01/31/2020 - 06:34 am.

        With Bolton, as callow as he is, the most likely scenario is he made it up to make himself famous. One cannot discount that in any case.

        • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/31/2020 - 10:36 am.

          Yes indeed, most likely made up out of whole cloth—even though Bolton’s story simply corroborates the testimony of every other witness and is merely cumulative!

          • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/03/2020 - 11:03 pm.

            Not a single fact witness in the bunch. All hearsay. The only person who was on the call that was called as a witness said there was no quid pro quo (something that never really made it into either of the articles). Why weren’t you hollering about witnesses when Republicans weren’t allowed to call a single witness in the House?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/31/2020 - 01:01 pm.

          Then call him as a witness. Put him under oath, and if there is any reason to believe he is lying, prosecute him and his mustache for perjury.

          What could possibly go wrong? Apart, that is, from disrupting your “Our Beloved Leader Can Do No Wrong” narrative.

      • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/03/2020 - 11:01 pm.

        The problem is Bolton is on public record stating he would lie to push an agenda AND also saying that there was nothing wrong with the call. Funny how he says nothing was wrong until his book is ready to be released. At best it would be “he said he said” .. because he has not physical evidence to prove Trump said what he claims. Bolton is not someone you could ever trust even if they put him under oath.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/30/2020 - 03:00 pm.

      A few years ago I would have agreed with you.
      Trump and his flunkies have moved to a new level of monstrosity.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 01/31/2020 - 06:38 am.

        He was a Trump flunkie until Trump turned out not to be a big enough warmonger for Bolton. Then Trump fired him by tweet. There is nothing more vicious and vindictive on this Earth than a warmonger scorned.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 01/31/2020 - 09:31 pm.

          So put him on the stand under oath and demonstrate that his statements are false.

          • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/01/2020 - 12:23 pm.

            Fine. Then I want to know why the whistleblower, if it is true he worked for Biden and Brennan, and he was looking for ways to take down this president, as has been reported, what was he doing in Trump’s Whitehouse, who put him there and who was he communicating with before the complaint.

            That would be a trial, if this were about the truth. But truth would make both sids look very compromised indeed. So no trial. And now both sides can confim their own righteous indignation. And nobody wins!

            • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/02/2020 - 03:03 pm.

              All your speculation would “prove” (even if true) is that Trump is a colossal fool who “took [himself] down” through his abusive conduct in front of a dozen witnesses.

              Trump made the Ukraine call, Trump made the demand for politically motivated foreign investigations, Trump ordered the illegal withholding of the aid to coerce Zelensky, and Trump deployed his henchmen Rudy to the Ukraine—not the CIA whistle blower. Or perhaps you can modify your speculation to lay these “items” at the foot of the whistler blower, too….

              Further, since you don’t (and can’t!) contest the substance of the whistle-blower’s account, your obsession with him/her is logically incoherent, and simply an emotional response, quite independent of truth or falsity of allegations, which is what a trial is aimed at.

              • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/03/2020 - 09:26 am.

                If the whistleblower is a CIA agent, planted in the Whitehouse by enemies of the President, seeking a way to take down the president, then a discussion about that is every bit as relevant to this thing we call democracy, as the actions of the president.

                • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/03/2020 - 11:07 am.

                  You can’t explain how this imagined motivation would be “relevant” to the (eventual) allegations. And your story presumes that “they” would somehow know ahead of time that Trump would do something that would “take down the president”. And why your extreme concern for protecting a president who is so corrupt that he performs acts that would “take down his presidency”?

                  • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 02/03/2020 - 12:09 pm.

                    Like many Democrats, you are happy to point out the corruption of Trump, while at the same time, turning away from the corruption of the FBI using the mostly fraudulent Steele Dossier to spy on the Trump campaign and Administration, and the fact that a CIA agent may have been conspiring with others to spy on the president, when it is illegal for the CIA to spy on any American on American soil, or the corruption of the Biden family or DNC leadership generally.

                    My point is, it is highly damaging to this thing called democracy and the Republic, that both the right and left of America are so ready to scream about corruption on the other side, while so willfully blind to corruption on “my” side/acting like “my” side is morally righteous.

              • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/03/2020 - 10:58 pm.

                ” Trump made the demand for politically motivated foreign investigations, ” — that is purely your opinion and not supported by the facts. Trump never did anything politically motivated on that call.. read the transcripts. “Us” isn’t “Me”. Also, I suggest you go look up the treaty we have with Ukraine from 1998 (Bill Clinton’s admin). Trump requested that corruption be investigated per the Treaty. Just because corrupt Joe Biden is running for office doesn’t mean he is above the law.

                Trump never broke the law, period. Even Bolton said there was nothing wrong with the call prior to releasing his book (gee create a controversy to sell more books).

  11. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 01/30/2020 - 11:44 am.

    After listening to Trump’s lawyers try to defend his actions against all fact witness testimony and documentation, and especially listening to the absurd Dershowitz argument that Trump is the State and nothing he does can be construed as wrong because his continuing in the presidency is vital to the continuing existence ad health of the country, I suggest that we all just sit down and re-read “Catch-22.”

    One can do not more than gasp at the outrageous Trump-camp claims for this ignorant and intellectually lazy man we have in the White House. Trump’s lawyers say the House Articles of Impeachment do not say Trump broke any law, but then they also claim that he could not be indicted–or even investigated!–for any crime, either. Catch-22.

    Ad nauseam.

  12. Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/30/2020 - 12:47 pm.

    Continuing with the saga of The Trial of Trump, it appears that the Repubs saw no need to agree even on Lankford’s toothless “hidden book” proposal. And thus McConnell’s Sham proceeds to its pre-determined end: an acquittal which was pre-ordained by a phony “court” that saw from the very start no need whatever to acquaint itself with all the evidence known to exist, while refusing to credit the enormous amount of evidence that was submitted.

    In this it was the reverse of a totalitarian “show trial”, where the (innocent) defendant is certain to be convicted. Here the (obviously guilty) defendant was certain to be acquitted.

    Watching the absolute willingness of our conservative friends to ingest the most absurd and illogical arguments, shut their minds off from the actual evidence submitted, and then parrot arguments that they wouldn’t accept from any other person on earth, we have to accept that 45% of the populace has been gleefully indoctrinated into a new American fascism, and that the country is now permanently and hopelessly divided, with no possibility of agreement on even the most basic democratic or constitutional principles. Conservatives are now cheering on Dershowitz’s “l’etat c’est moi” performance art, for goodness sake! (as long as the king is a Repub, of course.)

    One hopes that, as a final gesture, Dems will find some way to force Roberts to directly rule that he (as the so-called presiding judge) also won’t require Trump to provide all the additional evidence that he is wrongfully withholding from the public and senate. Then we can indict both Gravedigger McConnell’s Repub majority plus the leader of the (democratically illegitimate) conservative Supreme Court majority as equally complicit in the destruction of American democracy.

  13. Submitted by Bob Barnes on 01/30/2020 - 04:22 pm.

    Shokin just announced a demand for Biden’s arrest for interfering in Ukraine law enforcement activities. The thing Biden bragged about in public. One of the things Trump wanted investigated.

    You can’t avoid investigation or prosecution by announcing you are running for office. Trump had every legal right (including under a treaty with Ukraine) to ask them to investigate US officials involved in corruption over there and involvement in US election meddling (Crowdstrike for one).

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/30/2020 - 04:42 pm.

      Thanks for your diligent reporting.

      You might add:

      Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax
      911 Was a CIA inside job
      Castro killed Kennedy
      The Holocaust never happened

      Just because you read it on the internet and you really like what it says does not make it true.

      I think the tin foil hat is obstructing your vision…

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/30/2020 - 04:58 pm.

      You know that Shokin is not a prosecutor anymore, right? That he is just another liar in support of Trump?

      Once again, the idea that Trump cares about cracking down on corruption is one of the funniest things I’ve seen this week.

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 01/30/2020 - 05:24 pm.

      “Shokin just announced a demand for Biden’s arrest for interfering in Ukraine law enforcement activities.”

      So a prosecutor, fired for his inaction in 2015-2016 in failing to investigate corruption in Burisma and since retired, comes out to demand Biden’s arrest because he got Shokin fired? I suppose that’s news but unless Shokin suddenly became unretired and reappointed to the job he was fired from 4 years ago, who care what he thinks or demand now?

      “You can’t avoid investigation or prosecution by announcing you are running for office.” Trump is proving you can and even get away with it if you’re a Republican President and you have enough toadies in the Senate to support you.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/30/2020 - 05:39 pm.

      “Shokin just announced… *** US election meddling (Crowdstrike for one).”

      Bob, this puts me in mind of Orwell’s 1984: “We are now at war with Eastasia!”

      What American doesn’t love Big Brother?

  14. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 01/31/2020 - 08:52 am.

    And there you have it:

    Trump offers up one, and only one, solitary witness, Constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley and his most significant, noteworthy testimony is:

    If a quid pro quo could be proved it would be an impeachable offense.

    And the moderate, seasoned, retiring with honor, deciding vote in the Senate, Lamar Alexander tells us:

    “I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the U.S. Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.”

    So the final word is:

    Trump says:

    If you can prove I’m guilty I should be impeached

    And the Senate says:

    “You’re guilty, but, what the hay, we luv ya big guy, keep it up”

    And I thought stealing a Supreme Court seat was a clever ruse.

    Thhhhhh that’s all folks…..

  15. Submitted by BK Anderson on 01/31/2020 - 10:30 am.

    It will be interesting to see if our (now above-the-law) autocrat’s determined online defenders are able to perceive that the Repub senate has essentially agreed that Trump’s Ukraine Shakedown was proven to anyone with eyes to see. As Mr Blaise says, McConnell’s majority has concluded that a president can violate the law to aid his re-election, that’s not an impeachable offense.

    So that’s the new state of being in conservative “Big Lie” America. It will mean that incumbent presidents will be more difficult to remove via election, since they now have license to suborn or coerce foreign powers to aid their campaigns. Obviously it also means that intentional lawbreaking is no longer impeachable, indeed, this is the end of the Impeachment clauses, except as harassment measures. The party of the president in the senate will not permit a conviction no matter the charge. So that constitutional backstop is forever gone.

    And all to protect one of the worst scoundrels ever to force his loathsome presence into the national scene. Stunning. An unqualified political criminal who had no business running for the office, let alone “winning”. That’s what the conservative movement was hellbent to protect.

    I suppose one can say that this was all baked into the cake by the Constitution’s creation of a presidential system of government, one which necessarily had to rely upon traditions and norms in order not to devolve into an elective autocracy. Trump and his movement have destroyed that, and we will have to see what the system now turns into. Certainly future Dem presidents will now play by Trumpism’s rule as well. They would be foolish not to.

    Heckava job, conservatives!

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 01/31/2020 - 02:38 pm.

      Suspect that with cheating legalized along with Citizens United, they have their dictator/king now installed (corruption rules) and they will over-rule the 2 term limit,(just as Putin has overruled in Russia) and expect to be in power for eternity! Trump falls away, make his kid/son king on the throne. Can’t make this stuff up! Anyone want to take bets?

    • Submitted by Bob Barnes on 02/03/2020 - 10:42 pm.

      Actually just 1 or 2 never-trumpers (one of whom is retiring) claim he did something wrong. That does not mean he actually did. He did not do any of this for his own gain. He said “us” not “me” which means he wanted them to look into corruption and election interference for the American people… as our Treaty with them requires.

      Also, just because Biden is running for office does not give him a free pass. If that were the case, Al Capone could have run for office to avoid getting arrested for his crimes. Joe Biden admitted his crime publicly. And now there is a declaration from Shokin wanting him arrested for interfering in their law enforcement per their Constitution.

      Do you not see the hypocrisy here? Biden did exactly what you accuse Trump of doing so his kid (and family) could benefit. The dems said nothing.. in fact many of them were in on it including Kerry.

      Finally, Trump is required by the treaty with Ukraine (at the very least) to seek investigations into corruption. Since it all happened in Ukraine, the US has to let Ukraine officials do that investigations.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 02/04/2020 - 09:36 am.

        So what is the problem with never dictators (Trumpers)? Seems you think dictators should be in a democratic playbook? The 100% fallacy in your argument is as follows. We have a diplomatic group called the state department that can work with Ukraine to handle what needs to be done. And that is what Biden did. it is all out in the public record, but most Trumpers prefer the propaganda and conspiracy record, over facts.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/04/2020 - 09:38 am.

        You are really grasping at straws here, Bob. Trump’s use of “us” demonstrates nothing–it’s simply the royal “we”. And no fortuitous word choice can negate the fact that the requested (bogus) investigations would have aided Trump’s political campaign. Especially considering that the evidence demonstrated Trump only wanted public announcements of investigations, not the real thing. Again, this would only aid his political campaign, not the interests of the US.

        Your “treaty” argument is post-hoc rationalization by Trumpite forces, which no scrap of evidence supports. In any event, the lawyers at State and the Pentagon would have signed off on this long before it ever reached Trump’s desk. There’s not a treaty on earth that Trump cares about, anyway.

        There’s no need to address for the 100th time your “Biden did it, too!” and “hearsay” arguments. You refuse to process the distinctions and facts (i.e. the three House witnesses to the July 25th call.)

        As for what the Repub senators believe has been proven in The Trial of Trump. there’s another EB Ink thread going on that, one which refutes your claim as well.

      • Submitted by BK Anderson on 02/04/2020 - 10:51 am.

        And if you’d like to focus on word choices, Bob, why would Trump use the phrase “do us a favor” if he were (supposedly) actually “required” (by treaty) to demand the investigations? That would make it seem kinda discretionary, no?

        And why not actually mention to Zelensky that the treaty “requires” the investigations? And why no mention of such a “requirement” in ANY of the evidence that the House did obtain? And why would Trump not provide evidence that this was the reason for the hold, if it existed?

        The questions answer themselves, don’t they? Because this is a preposterous, after-the-fact rationalization (Big Lie) for Fox News consumption. Because the “treaty” never entered into Trump’s mind, nor any deliberations involving withholding the aid, and because its terms most certainly did not “require” these bogus investigations. Take your pick…

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