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Democratic House Investigations of Donald...

Probabilistic's Photo Probabilistic 10 December 2019 - 11:51 AM

View Postgolden_valley, on 10 December 2019 - 11:26 AM, said:

Yeah well Mr Comey your victory dance is not well earned. You're the one who told the world about Clinton emails on Weiner's laptop before your people actually looked at them. And you're the one who didn't tell the world about opening an investigation on Russian meddling before the election. (though that's on the whole intelligence community and Obama too).

Comey's vindication is well earned. To be called a traitor, to undergo daily vilification, to be subjected to physical threats, to hear threats of being frog-marched to prison must be deeply unsettling when you haven't done anything wrong. The truth is every bit of it was made up and served with a great degree of malice and hatred.

Remember the context. When the investigation in to Hillary Clinton's emails was reopened in October 2016, FBI New York office was leaking to Rudy Giuliani. Rudy already knew. He was on TV talking about upcoming disclosures. It was imminent. Comey's decision to publicly announce the reopening of the email investigation was likely a mistake, however not a case of malfeasance. In his mind, he was trying to control the narrative and fulfill his undertaking to Congress to let them know if new evidence came forth. Still, I doubt there was compelling public interest for disclosure, especially given the imminence of the election.

None of that is the case for Durham. There is no discernible public interest for disclosure of the disagreement at this time. Moreover, Durham said he advised the IG of his findings. Which means, the IG took in to account Durham's arguments and evidence and determined those didn't amount to much. It didn't affect the Horowitz's determinations at all.

Probabilistic's Photo Probabilistic 10 December 2019 - 12:00 PM

View PostRue Bella, on 10 December 2019 - 11:49 AM, said:

Bottom line, Mr. Comey - you are responsible for cursing the world with Donald Trump, POTUS.

Are you willing to absolve the American electorate of their responsibility of voting Donald Trump to power?! People knew who and what they were voting for, and now rejoice in the destruction and chaos they have unleashed. America not only willingly elected Trump, they have more so willingly sustained him in power.

I vehemently disagree with you on where the responsibility lies.

JackD's Photo JackD 10 December 2019 - 12:11 PM

One doesn't have to absolve the American electorate of its responsibility to allow Comey to have his fair share.
The electorate hasn't sustained Trump in power. The constitution has. According to polls, he seems to have the support of about 40% of the electorate.
Furthermore, the electorate didn't put Trump in power; the electoral college did.

MSheridan's Photo MSheridan 10 December 2019 - 12:23 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 10 December 2019 - 12:00 PM, said:

Are you willing to absolve the American electorate of their responsibility of voting Donald Trump to power?! People knew who and what they were voting for, and now rejoice in the destruction and chaos they have unleashed. America not only willingly elected Trump, they have more so willingly sustained him in power.

I vehemently disagree with you on where the responsibility lies.

The responsibility lies heavy on those who voted for Trump. It lies even heavier, in my view, on large segments of the media. Les "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS" Moonves only vocalized what everyone who profited off what they saw as clickbait gold was thinking while giving him free billions in publicity. And certainly there are plenty of individuals at whom we could point the shaming finger, albeit unfairly in many cases. Anthony Weiner is a schmuck, but he could never have guessed his dick pics would lead to this.

But, in fact, very few are those people who can honestly say they did absolutely everything within their power to avert this national tragedy disguised as a farce. I know I didn't take Trump seriously enough. I could have done more. We are all--or most of us, anyway--guilty in some measure.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 12:30 PM

The Dems announced two articles of impeachment; abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Both are staggeringly well supported IMHO.


House Democrats on Tuesday announced just two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his Ukraine pressure campaign.

The articles did not appear to impeach the President for anything in Robert Mueller’s report, which presented evidence that Trump had obstructed the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The written articles against Trump said only that his Ukraine conduct was “consistent” with his previous invitations of foreign interference, as well as his previous efforts to undermine investigations into foreign interference.

In a press conference Tuesday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announcing the articles of impeachment, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said Trump had violated his oath of office.

“Our President holds the ultimate public trust,” Nadler said. “When he betrays that trust and puts himself before country, he endangers the constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security.”

Trump has sought to obtain personal benefit using his public office, Nadler said, referring to the pressure Trump and others under his direction put on Ukraine to investigate Democrats.

“And when he was caught, when the House investigated and opened an impeachment inquiry, President Trump engaged in unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry,” Nadler said.

Pelosi and Nadler were joined by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Finance Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA).

The Democrats did not take questions at Tuesday’s announcement. Nadler said the Judiciary Committee would consider the articles “later this week.”

Schiff, whose led the impeachment inquiry before passing it to Nadler’s panel, said “the evidence of the President’s misconduct is overwhelming and uncontested,” pointing to Trump’s own words on a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian President.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 12:38 PM

Trump is freaking out as expected. He really didn't believe it would happen. Mulvaney publicly licks Trump's taint. Same old, same old.


President Trump and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney jumped at the chance to disparage House Democrats’ announcement Tuesday of two articles of impeachment.

In a series of tweets posted within minutes of the announcement, Trump took aim at House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA). The President also reprised his argument from last week that when he said in his now-infamous call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that “I would like you to do US a favor,” the word “us” referred to the United States.


Donald J. Trump

Nadler just said that I “pressured Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 Election.” Ridiculous, and he knows that is not true. Both the President & Foreign Minister of Ukraine said, many times, that there “WAS NO PRESSURE.” Nadler and the Dems know this, but refuse to acknowledge!


Shifty Schiff, a totally corrupt politician, made up a horrible and fraudulent statement, read it to Congress, and said those words came from me. He got caught, was very embarrassed, yet nothing happened to him for committing this fraud. He’ll eventually have to answer for this!

Read the Transcripts! “us” is a reference to USA, not me!

Trump’s tweets came on the heels of Mulvaney’s live question-and-answer session with the Wall Street Journal Tuesday morning. Mulvaney called the articles “very specific” and that “they should surprise nobody” because “that’s what this was going to be from the beginning anyway.”

The embattled acting chief of staff then argued that impeachment “is a political process, not a legal process” nor is it “judicial.”

However, when asked whether he would be open to testifying in the impeachment proceedings, Mulvaney responded that “part of me really wants to” but that it depends on what Trump “wants us to do,” according to CNN.

You gotta' love that is only took them 5 months to come up with the excuse of "us" meaning the U.S. and not Trump because, after all, a bogus investigation into something already investigated against Trump's top political rival is what the U.S. needs.

Probabilistic's Photo Probabilistic 10 December 2019 - 12:40 PM

View PostJackD, on 10 December 2019 - 12:11 PM, said:

One doesn't have to absolve the American electorate of its responsibility to allow Comey to have his fair share.
The electorate hasn't sustained Trump in power. The constitution has. According to polls, he seems to have the support of about 40% of the electorate.
Furthermore, the electorate didn't put Trump in power; the electoral college did.

Comey didn't curse the world with Donald Trump.

The electorate has sustained Trump in power. Enough of the people have encouraged Trump's conduct by sticking with him steadfastly in the face of wholesale eradication of truth and decency. If they thought they were hoodwinked by Trump, or disgusted by increasingly dangerous behavior, or simply thought they made the wrong decision based on Comey's reopening of the email investigation, would they have continued to rejoice with Trump?

Do you think the Republican Senators and Congressmen would have behaved in the same manner had they been held accountable by the electorate? Even between elections, voices of protest matter.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 12:40 PM

TPM lines up the most vomit inducing "defenses" from the American traitor party a.k.a. the Republicans, the Guardians Of Putin. Here's the first one.


Biden Did The Actual Quid Pro Quo

In perhaps the purest form of the diversion strategy, several committee Republicans claimed that the real quid pro quo happened when then-Vice President Joe Biden conditioned U.S. loan guarantees on the removal of a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor. Never mind that Biden was pursuing stated U.S. policy.

“You’re investigating the wrong guy,” Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) said, twice.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) posited that if Biden were elected President in 2020, Republicans could just slot his name into the same impeachment “forms” Democrats are now using to impeach Trump.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 12:41 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 10 December 2019 - 12:40 PM, said:

Do you think the Republican Senators and Congressmen would have behaved in the same manner had they been held accountable by the electorate? Even between elections, voices of protest matter.

To be fair in 2018 they kinda' were held accountable. The ones dug in like ticks now are mostly from safe states and districts.

Practical Girl's Photo Practical Girl 10 December 2019 - 02:33 PM

View PostProbabilistic, on 10 December 2019 - 12:40 PM, said:

Comey didn't curse the world with Donald Trump….

Do you think the Republican Senators and Congressmen would have behaved in the same manner had they been held accountable by the electorate? Even between elections, voices of protest matter.

All due respect to the whole comment, the elected GOPers, are in fact, being held accountable by the electorate. For the most part, they just want a win against the Dems. Because it is an ignorant electorate (mostly) they continue to vote against their own interest just to win.

Sure. A note of protest is heard here or there- few and far between. It is, of course, in response to a wake up call. A father in Texas who realizes that living in a state that refused to extend medicaid finds himself with heaping medical bills. Go Fund me- waaa. I'm a good Republican. A few suburban Southern educated women who wake up to find the destruction they helped bring forth. I'll never do it again- I'm a good Republican. Those sweeties will leave it blank, rather than vote against their Daddys' party.But play like they did the right thing.

Bubbles on both sides are very dangerous. Shortly before the 2016 election, I met a woman on a plane. Total liberal from CA, highly educated, newly minted in Austin for a nice big general counsel job. We had a spirited debate about a range of election issues, most of which we ultimately agreed on. But she simply refused even the notion that Trump would win. I patiently laid out my argument for our sick electorate (and the electoral college) how we couldn't get complacent if we cared she had a little smile and was obviously far away. As we deplaned, she did every thing but pat my hand to reassure me that Trump would never win.

She had just spent a month in South Carolina and another in Tennessee, coming home to TX. Couldn't have been bothered to look around, listen. Should she have chosen, she would ha ve seen the coming shitstorm. Instead, she stayed within her bubble. My guess is that she was either incredulous or very, very angry at the results. Something tells me though, that she sees herself as blameless as the rest of bubble dwellers.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 04:09 PM

Larison calls the case for impeachment "overwhelming."


he House Judiciary Committee has released the two articles of impeachment that it has drawn up against the president. The two articles cover only the president’s abuses of power to solicit favors for his personal benefit and his obstruction of Congress in order to conceal those abuses. The first article of impeachment concludes by saying:


Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

The case for Trump’s impeachment seemed quite strong more than two months ago, and the evidence provided to the House’s impeachment inquiry has strengthened it further. The president’s abuse of power is not in dispute. It is clear that he used the powers of his office in an attempt to extract a corrupt favor for his personal benefit, and this is precisely the sort of offense that impeachment was designed to keep in check. It doesn’t matter if the attempt succeeded. All that matters is that the attempt was made. It is also undeniable that he has sought to impede the investigation into his misconduct. The president has committed the offenses he is accused of committing, and the House should approve both articles of impeachment.

The president doesn’t have a credible line of defense left. That is why his apologists in Congress and elsewhere have been reduced to making increasingly absurd and desperate claims. The president’s defenders want to distract attention from the fact that the president abused his power, violated the public’s trust, and broke his oath of office, but these distractions are irrelevant.

Rue Bella's Photo Rue Bella 10 December 2019 - 04:26 PM


I vehemently disagree with you on where the responsibility lies.
The outcome of elections obviously involve many elements, not just one. But Comey was indeed a big factor that influenced the election.

A few that come to mind are Bernie and his Bros who wanted to burn it down. Smell the smoke yet SusieQ?
The idiot evangelicals who are incapable of rational thinking.
Fox and Rush and the MAGAts and the racists...

There are many others of course, but most likely the close election would have gone the other way if just one of the above had been less prominent. James Comey would have been the easiest - if it had not happened.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 04:55 PM

Trump wants a f***ing circus in the Senate as he tries to spin his impeachment trial to help him in the election. Literally everything Trump does has one of 3 purposes; stroke his ego, fill his wallet, and/or help him win the election. It explains every move he makes.


President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly cannot get on the same page regarding how to approach the Senate impeachment trial.

According to a CNN report Tuesday, one source said that while McConnell favors getting the Senate trial over with as soon as possible and even floating a 10-day minimum during talks, Trump is on the opposite page.

Two sources told CNN that Trump has privately made clear to advisers that he prefers a dramatic event rather than ending the trial swiftly because he believes it’s his best chance at hurting Democrats in the 2020 election.

CNN reported that Trump wants Hunter Biden, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the whistleblower — whose complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry and still remains anonymous despite efforts by Trump and his allies to expose their identity — to testify on the Senate floor in-person, rather than via taped depositions.

One Republican senator told CNN that within the past month, several Republican senators warned White House counsel Pat Cipollone not to “turn the Senate into a circus.” Another source told CNN that Cipollone and Trump share the same opinion on how the trial should be handled.

CNN’s Tuesday report highlights the ongoing dizzying back-and-forth between the White House and Trump’s allies when it comes to approaching the Senate trial.

Hey! Moscow Mitch! Why the F*** are you talking the guy getting impeached in the first place? Can you be any more inappropriate and partisan? It's "almost" like you already know it's a sham trial and now you're just reaching for the best possible spin.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 05:54 PM

Republicans are lying about Russia and and lying about Ukraine on a 24-7 basis.


After Barr criticized Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s finding that the FBI’s investigations into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election was justified, he also accused the FBI of running a “bad faith” investigation and said actions like that represent the biggest threat to the integrity of American elections.

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, was astonished by the attorney general’s attacks on the law enforcement agencies that he oversees.

“The Attorney General is saying that the FBI is a bigger threat to the United States than Russia,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is banana republic stuff.”

New York University Law professor Ryan Goodman, meanwhile, argued that Barr’s declaration that the FBI’s actions represented a massive danger to American democracy stand in stark contrast to his belief that President Donald Trump has the right to use the machinery of the State Department to pressure foreign governments to launch investigations into his political rivals.

“But that’s NOT what FBI did in 2016,” he wrote. “That IS what Trump did with Ukraine for 2020.”

Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, argued that Barr’s attempts to discredit the inspector general’s report make him a danger to the system of oversight over law enforcement agencies.

“The whole reason why we have Inspectors General is for cases in which there’s reason to doubt that political appointees can be fair decisionmakers,” he wrote. “The Attorney General taking this position is proof only of why that independence is so important — and why this wasn’t up to him.”

And national security attorney Bradley Moss wrote that America’s attorney general has now completely morphed into the president’s personal fixer.

“Bill Barr went full Michael Cohen/Roy Cohn in this interview,” he wrote.

Even Faux News wouldn't let McCarthy keep ranting and lying.


Fox News and other cable outlets cut off House Minority Leader Kevin McCarty (R-CA) on Tuesday as he was denouncing articles of impeachment that were introduced by Democrats moments earlier.

McCarthy reacted to the articles of impeachment by attacking the Democrats’ process instead of mounting a defense of President Donald Trump’s alleged abuse of power.

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 05:55 PM

Did I mention that Republicans are now reduced to just continually lying?


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended President Donald Trump from the articles of impeachment issued by Democrats, and he was roundly criticized for lying about the evidence.

The California Republican complained that the minority was not allowed to call witnesses during impeachment hearings, and then cited testimony from a GOP witness to defend the president.

“We watched in a hearing, a Democrat constitutional scholar that did not vote for President Trump say this was the weakest, the thinnest, the fastest impeachment in the history of America,” McCarthy said. “He then went to say if there was an abuse it would be abuse on the Democrats to move forward. The speaker must not have listened to that hearing. If the speaker had only waited 48 hours to release the transcript, America would not be put through the nightmare.”

McCarthy then misrepresented the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general, who found no evidence of bias or political motivation in the opening of the Russia probe, and insisted that Democrats wanted to undo the results of the 2016 election.

“Just because you created a timeline to impeach a president that you disliked, you ignored facts,” he said. “We would never be here if they paid attention to the facts or the hearings. This is not a day that America will be proud about. It’s not day that history will write that anybody wants to repeat.”

“Alexander Hamilton warned us that this day would come,” McCarthy added. “That a majority would use their political power just for politics, even though we all raise our hands to uphold the Constitution. I just hope no Congress, regardless who is in the majority, will ever take us down this path again, to waste a majority on this is an embarrassment to this Congress.”

LFC's Photo LFC 10 December 2019 - 06:07 PM

Schiff shuts down the argument that they shouldn't impeach and just wait for the election.


Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) on Tuesday delivered a blistering rebuttal to critics who say that Congress should wait until it has more evidence to impeach President Donald Trump.

In announcing articles of impeachment against the president, Schiff said that waiting for the courts to weigh in would take far too long and would give Trump even more time to try to rig the election in his favor.

“It took us eight months to get one court decision,” Schiff said, referring to the court decision that former White House counsel Don McGahn does not have absolute right to avoid testifying before Congress.

Schiff then argued that advocates for delay are really saying, “Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why don’t you just let him cheat one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time?”

The bottom line, said Schiff, is that “to do nothing would make us complicit.”

Complicit. The perfect word for Republicans.

LFC's Photo LFC 11 December 2019 - 11:41 AM

View PostLFC, on 10 December 2019 - 05:54 PM, said:

Republicans are lying about Russia and and lying about Ukraine on a 24-7 basis.

Giuliani is laying more Yule Lies on the fire this holiday season. Expect Republicans to lap it up. Here's the opening but it comes down to a once again 100% unsubstantiated claim from a Ukrainian with ties to somebody rich and in legal trouble.


The seed of another wacky conspiracy theory is sprouting in Ukraine.

And this time, it purports to implicate both President Barack Obama and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA).

According to a Tuesday report in the Washington Post, Trump asked Giuliani to brief Trump and GOP Senators about what he was told while in Kyiv last week.

The Ukrainians who met with Giuliani have announced, on their own, what they told the President’s lawyer. What emerges is a new conspiracy theory positing an elaborate scheme involving the Franklin Templeton investment fund, Obama, and Schiff.

Here's the synopsis of the supposedly nefarious scheme (cue dramatic music please). Note that lie about Franklin Templeton being one of Obama's biggest donors.


In the video, Dubinsky echoed claims made by former Ukrainian general prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, who initially fed dirt to Giuliani.

The allegation is based on $7 billion in bonds issued by the Ukrainian government and purchased by Franklin Templeton, the investment management company.

Dubinsky and Lutsenko allege that the bonds were actually part of an elaborate scheme to siphon money out of Ukraine and make millions.

Without providing any evidence to support the claim, Dubinsky said in the video that $7 billion that had been stolen from the Ukrainian budget via various corruption schemes was laundered into the U.S. by being used to purchase an equal amount in bonds issued by the Ukrainian government.

Franklin Templeton, Dubinsky said, agreed to take the dirty money and buy the bonds, which came at a 9.5 percent annual yield. The investment manager overseeing the alleged scheme was also one of the Obama campaign’s biggest donors, Dubinsky said.

FEC records do not corroborate the claim.

So where does Schiff come in? Glad you asked.


Giuliani tweeted last week that Schiff is an “investor” in Franklin Templeton.

But what’s the truth? Schiff’s financial disclosure forms shows that he holds investments in publicly available mutual funds that Franklin Templeton manages.

Franklin Templeton is a major, public investment management company. Schiff has holdings in five FT funds, according to his financial disclosure.

The value of Schiff’s holdings ranges from $165,000 to $350,000, according the disclosure forms. Franklin Templeton has more than $740 billion under management.

Schiff’s connection to the mutual fund company appears to be as passive and insignificant as that of a typical investor with money in Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard.

Right-wingnut news outlets were not content with that connection so they added more lies.


One America News and right-wing news website Gateway Pundit appear to have misreported Schiff’s supposed connection to the investment fund.

The right-wing outlets reported that Schiff received political contributions from Franklin Templeton. A TPM search of FEC records do not turn up any political contributions from Franklin Templeton to Schiff.

So if I try to summarize all of the lies and half-truths in just this one conspiracy theory they are:
  • Franklin Templeton laundered money to buy Ukrainian bonds.
  • The bonds purchases "siphon" money from Ukrain.
  • Franklin Templeton was one of Obama's biggest donors.
  • Adam Schiff is conflicted because he owns some publicly available mutual funds through Franklin Templeton.
  • Adam Schiff received political donations from Franklin Templeton.
I've probably missed some lie or another. It's tough to keep it all straight when they pack so many into one bullshit story.

LFC's Photo LFC 11 December 2019 - 11:55 AM

The articles of impeachment were narrowed because of the firehose of Republican lies.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) were not on the same page about how many “high crimes and misdemeanors” to charge President Trump with, Politico reported.

Pelosi, as well as House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) and several members of the Democratic caucus and House lawyers, wanted to keep the articles of impeachment laser focused on the Ukraine pressure scheme. But Nadler, alongside House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC), tried to make the case during a recent meeting for the inclusion of obstruction of justice, a conclusion laid out in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Pelosi has reportedly long held the belief that Democrats should keep its focus narrow and not muddy up a process that’s already been criticized by the right. Over the weekend, the decision to exclude the Mueller findings was made final, according to Politico, leading to the articles announcement the world witnessed on Tuesday morning.

Democrats plan to rely heavily on evidence Mueller presented in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election in a report that will be included with the articles of impeachment during the Judiciary Committee vote this week. The plan is to use Mueller findings to illustrate obstruction and abuse of power as patterns Trump has followed throughout his presidency.

Republicans have set themselves up as the enemies of democracy, reality, and justice.

LFC's Photo LFC 11 December 2019 - 03:37 PM

Speaking of Republican lies, here's their strategy laid out in all its anti-democratic naked partisan glory.


The impeachment hearing Monday made clear that Congressional Republicans have a three-prong strategy to protect Trump and thus themselves from being voted out in a primary for being insufficiently subservient to the man who says–falsely–that our Constitution gives him the power to do anything he wants:


1. Assume that voters, at least in GOP districts, are so lacking in critical thinking skills that they won’t notice that House Republicans offered no factual defense of Trump’s dishonest and disloyal conduct. As Trump said, “I love the poorly educated.”

2. For Congressional Republicans, lying in defense of Trump is no vice, acknowledging facts is no virtue, perverting the perverted extremism justification concept put forth by the party’s 1964 standard-bearer, Barry Goldwater. House GOP impeachment lawyer Steven Castor falsely claimed Ukrainians didn’t know military aide was being withheld by Trump to argue there was no presidential extortion.

3. Regurgitating Kremlin disinformation is fine so long as it helps Republicans win elections. Throughout the Judiciary Committee hearing, we heard Republicans repeat the Kremlin lie that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections.

Taken together this strategy shows that Trump has stripped the Republican party of any semblance of intellectual integrity and skepticism about Russia. Instead, GOP leaders have chosen to make themselves into what the old Soviet called “useful idiots” by spreading the lies of Vladimir Putin, whom Trump says he takes at his word and trusts more than America’s intelligence agencies.

LFC's Photo LFC 12 December 2019 - 01:16 PM

McConnell continues to desperately rig the Senate impeachment "trial" to give Trump the best possible political outcome.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is planning to hold an acquittal vote to clear President Donald Trump of all charges rather than a simple-majority dismissal of the impeachment articles to avoid a possible tie or nail-biter conclusion.

According to CNN, the Constitution requires 67 votes to convict Trump and remove him from office. Republicans, with their 53-seat majority, are confident that Democrats would not be able to rustle up enough defections to make that result a real possibility.

And by going for acquittal, McConnell would avoid any possible complications that could arise from a dismissal vote, which only requires 51 votes. Due to the obvious conflict of interest, Vice President Mike Pence would be barred from tie-breaking in that situation. Instead, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would be called in to preside over the Senate trial, and any tied motions would fail.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) echoed this thinking to CNN, saying that it would make “more sense” to vote for acquittal or conviction than to “decide this on a 51-vote threshold, with the potential tie and all the recriminations that would flow from that.”