Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Shampeachment: Senators Bolting over Bolton

Some lingering Russiagate as Lloyd Billingsley at Front Page compares Spygate to Ruby Ridge in Clues to the Coup Clan
That’s the lesson of Ruby Ridge.

FBI big shots emerged unscathed and the FBI went on to deploy massive military force at Waco, Texas, which claimed 75 lives including 25 children. If Comey and McCabe don’t serve serious time, the Deep State is sure to deploy against a future president and his supporters.
I think it's time to end the FBI and roll its crime fighters into the Marshal's Service. Move the counterintelligence to DOD maybe. And speaking of federal crime, CNN's presidential contender and former attorney to Stormy Daniels, on trial for extorting Nike, Michael Avenatti Googled ‘insider trading’ before Nike meeting. I guess cyber security wasn't his forte.

Le Affair Bolton. Stephen Kruiser at PJ Media, The Morning Briefing: Bolton's Book Leak Will Be the Latest 'BOMBSHELL!' Dud for the Dems and Rich Lowry, NYPo, Why John Bolton’s ‘bombshell’ really isn’t. Statistically, it's a good bet. It sounds like old news repackaged. I hope whatever the Democrats have lined up for next week is better. Paul Goldberg's NewsThud, George W. Bush Called John Bolton ‘Not Credible’ In 2008: “I Don’t Consider Bolton Credible”. Michael Goodwin, NYPo, Even with Bolton, case against Trump too small for impeachment. And the Dersh agrees,Da Caller,  Alan Dershowitz Addresses Times Report On Bolton Manuscript In Senate Arguments and  Dershowitz: Even If Bolton’s Correct, It’s Not Impeachable Conduct, from Capt. Ed at Hot Air.

Robert Spencer at Front Page, John Bolton Sells Out and America pays the price and for just plain lunacy, Capt. Ed, White House, GOP On Bolton: “John The Backstabber” A Disgruntled Profiteer, Or Something.  Mary Chastain at LI reports Lawrence O’Donnell claims Trump may have killed Soleimani “to influence Bolton not to testify to the Senate”

AllahPundit at HotAir, GOP Sen. James Lankford: The White House Should Give Us A Copy Of Bolton’s Manuscript; Update: No SCIF, Says Schumer. In case you forgot, you're not the boss here anymore, Chuck. Also, Ron Johnson To Bolton: How About You Open That Yapper Of Yours And Give Us Some Clarity On This Ukraine Thing. That seems the simpler solution. HerTrib, Former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly tells Sarasota crowd ‘I believe John Bolton’

Tom Maguire at JOM has Andrew McCarthy On Bolton And Surprises
Andrew McCarthy has been skeptical of this impeachment process (as have I) but he is highly critical of the Trump defense "strategy" - Bolton has been a joker in the deck for a while (his proposed book manuscript has been circulating in the White House since late December). Why risk surprises, or especially non-surprises?
For months, I’ve been arguing that the president’s team should stop claiming there was no quid pro quo conditioning the defense aid Congress had authorized for Ukraine on Kyiv’s conducting of investigations the president wanted. Trials and impeachment itself are unpredictable. You don’t know what previously undisclosed facts might emerge during the trial that could turn the momentum against you. So you want to mount your best defense, the one that can withstand any damaging new revelations.
Here, the president’s best defense has always been that Ukraine got its security aid, and President Volodymyr Zelensky got his coveted high-profile audience with the president of the United States (albeit at the U.N., rather than at the White House). Kyiv barely knew defense aid was being withheld, the very temporary delay had no impact whatsoever on Ukraine’s capacity to counter Russian aggression, and Zelensky was required neither to order nor to announce any investigation of the Bidens.
Axios triumphantly trumpets Trump's defense team shifts from complacency to urgency and at Da Fed, After Urging Bolton Testimony, Pierre Romney Delicto Refuses To Say If He Supports Calling Biden, Schiff, Whistleblower As Witnesses and Politico, Mitt makes his move.

Which brings us to the newly revived question of witness. Sundance at CTH, Mitch McConnell Prepares for Next Steps in Senate Trial – Questions, Then Possible Witnesses… Via Hot Air, NYT thinks Report: Trump Sees Witnesses As Increasingly Likely. Axios, Republicans brace for domino effect on witnesses,  AllahPundit  Reports: Trump, McConnell Each Increasingly Resigned To Senate Calling Witnesses  Streif at Red State, Lindsey Graham Says There Are at Least 51 Votes for More Witnesses and the Democrats Aren’t Going to Like Them. I like the new Lindsey. Then in quick succession from Hot Air, Breaking: McConnell Tells GOP He Doesn’t Have Votes To Block Witnesses and McConnell Doesn’t Have The Votes To Block Witnesses Yet — But It Sounds Like He Will By Friday
The headlines going around this evening, all to the effect that “McConnell doesn’t have the votes!”, are misleading when you read down into the stories themselves. Republicans sound much calmer and more resolute about ramming through an acquittal verdict without witnesses than they did 24 hours ago, in the first flush of the NYT’s story on Sunday night about Bolton’s book. McConnell doesn’t have the votes yet but as of Tuesday night Collins and Romney remain the only two Republicans willing to say it’s highly likely they’ll vote to call witnesses. Murkowski is interested in hearing from Bolton but won’t go any further than that now. And no one thinks Lamar Alexander’s going to blow up his buddy Mitch’s plans for a quick ending to the trial.
Herr Professor at LI, With several Republicans apparently succumbing on impeachment witnesses, Mitch McConnell may need to go ‘nuclear’
So McConnell’s way out it to force Democrats to reject a witness deal. That way, Democrats are the ones responsible for no new witnesses. It provides cover to people like Susan Collins who may be concerned how voting against witnesses my impact their reelection chances.

McConnell needs to go nuclear. Mutually Assured Destruction nuclear on witnesses — the Bidens or bust.
But are witnesses just a Democratic stall on the way to acquittal? Probably. Ace, Diane Feinstein: I Don't Know If There's Enough Evidence for Impeachment to Support Anything But an Acquittal Interesting . . . Twitchy, Did Dianne Feinstein just suggest that she might vote to acquit Donald Trump? The LA Times seems to think so; UPDATE: Feinstein responds. Evidence? What doe evidence have to do with it? AllahPundit, No, Dianne Feinstein Isn’t Leaning Towards Acquitting Trump. But It Sort Of Sounded That Way At First. But, John Sexton at Hot Air Three Democratic Senators Are Considering Acquitting Trump
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama are undecided on whether to vote to remove the president from office and agonizing over where to land. It’s a decision that could have major ramifications for each senator’s legacy and political prospects — as well shape the broader political dynamic surrounding impeachment heading into the 2020 election.

All three senators remain undecided after hearing arguments from the impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team. But they could end up with a creative solution.

One or more senators may end up splitting their votes, borrowing a move from Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), who voted for the abuse of power charge but against the one on obstruction of Congress.
Bipartisan acquittal? I like the sound of that.

Michael Walsh at ET, With Impeachment, Democrats Fall for Russian Gambit as Putin pulls the Democrat strings. But fortunately from Rassmussen, Most Say Impeachment No Problem for Trump in Upcoming Election because, as Daniel Greenfield notes in Impeachment Is Killing Trump Derangement Syndrome, "You can only hit the rage button so many times." Mollie at Da Fed, Trump Is Right. Adam Schiff Has Not Paid For Damaging The Country With Years Of Lies

And we have some reviews for the Trump defense team. At Da Caller, Ken Starr Accuses House Democrats Of Delivering Impeachment Articles ‘Dripping With Process Violations’, Paul Goldberg's NewsThud has Trump Lawyer Jane Raskin Wins Day With Adam Schiff Takedown: “Score is Giuliani Four, Schiff Zero” and Eric Herschmann Hits For Obama Abusing Power For Political Benefit Shaming Dems: ‘Sound Familiar House Managers’. Althouse dodges the question of "Ann, I need your assessment. I thought Dershowitz was excellent but I’m not a lawyer nor a law professor. You are. Give him a grade, Professor."
I didn't give Dershowitz a question. To think in my lawprofessorly way about grades, I would have to infer a question that I might have asked.

I think that question should be: Restate the constitutional phrase "high crimes and misdemeanors" into a workable standard that the House and the Senate can and should use today and in the future in all cases of presidential impeachment. Explain your choice using all of the methodologies of constitutional interpretation that you deem appropriate (and explain why you are deciding this approach to interpretation is appropriate).
Do you think he did that? Read the transcript.
From Tyler O'Neil at PJ Media, Trump Defense Lawyer Pam Bondi Rakes Hunter Biden Over the Coals, Exposing Burisma Corruption, Breitbart, Pam Bondi Lays Out Case Against Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Burisma and EBL #QuidProJoe and Hunter Biden: Pam Bondi in the Senate 🔥

Stacy McCain brings us Hunter Biden Settles Child-Support Arrangement With Arkansas Stripper.
Here is one tiny snippet of the story:
Biden, who is a lawyer, originally denied having sex with Roberts.
But a DNA showed that the child was almost certainly his, and he stopped contesting paternity in the case.
So . . . Biden lied. He did not merely lie, but he lied to a court, and what happens to lawyers who lie in court? Isn’t disbarment appropriate? Perhaps there is some loophole for lying about sex, but whatever the case may be in terms of legal ethics, it is now established as a fact that you can never trust a Biden to tell the truth. Dishonesty is a hereditary trait, and yet every “mainstream” (i.e., liberal) news organization thinks we should just accept Joe Biden’s word that Hunter didn’t do anything wrong in accepting an $83,000-a-month “job” with Burisma
. . .
But there’s no corruption worth investigating when Democrats do it. Just the cocaine-addicted son of the former vice president, impregnating strippers while on the payroll of Ukrainian kleptocrats — you’re promoting a “right-wing conspiracy theory” if you want to investigate.

From Adam Freedman at City Journal, Abuse of Procedure, "The House Democrats make an underwhelming case for impeachment—one without a constitutional basis."

Sundance thinks Elise Stefanik Swings Big Timber…
We might not align on all issues, but whooo doggies…. Rep. Elise Stefanik swings big timber and fights when needed during this impeachment fiasco. If I had a $10 budget for lunch, I’d send it to her reelection campaign and wait to eat til dinner…. she’s worth it.

The reporter here is just an awful hack. Patricia McCarthy at AmGreat, After two days of defense, Schiff's impeachment ploy is becoming clear
The irrationally obsessed Schiff had a plan, as surely as the Crossfire Hurricane cabal had a plan, to take Trump down by hook or by crook. The Mueller Report failed to deliver, so he sought a new and fabricated reason to impeach.

Now that we see and hear Schiff's case be completely devastated by Trump's defense team, one has to wonder how the House managers had the gall to stand up and spew the lies each of them put forth over twenty-three hours. It is probably safe to assume that they did none of their own research, nor did they write their own presentations. Most likely, Schiff directed his own staff to prepare their carefully constructed speeches, which they came to the podium to read.

Had questions been asked of them about their arguments in favor of impeachment, it is doubtful they could have answered even one. Bottom line? These "managers" know far less about all that has taken place than the average American who has been paying attention. They live in an insulated bubble of Trump-hatred and are constitutional illiterates.
At Fox, Deroy Murdoch reminds us that the Democrat impeachment managers voted AGAINST military aid to Ukraine. Hypocrisy in Congress? Whoda thunk?

Lots more links at the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 01.27.20 and In The Mailbox: 01.28.20

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