Hang Him by the Nuts

The Constitutional standard for impeachment is “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Further examples are not provided, but the named crimes suggest the gravity intended — presidents shouldn’t be impeached over a parking ticket.

The standard is suggestive in another way, in that it isn’t a standard at all. Despite the intended similarity, impeachment is not an indictment, and trial in the Senate is not trial in court. Impeachment is a political act dressed in legalism. It originates in the House and is decided in the Senate. They can define it however they want.

All they need are the votes.

It is for this reason that Clever People have proclaimed the futility of the exercise: Whatever case is made, you still need 67 votes to throw out the rascal, and good luck finding twenty Republicans to jump ship.

We have been one of those Clever People, but with a clever caveat: In the face of that futility, impeachment needs a reason to exist on its own terms.

Impeachment isn’t the only game in the House. The majority party has the power to issue subpoenas and run investigations. Much light can be shined on an Administration if they care to exercise that authority. Impeachment isn’t needed to drive that process; the incoming committee chairs are already filling their calendars. Much fun will be had.

Nor can you just “impeach”: An impeachment is a case to be made, not a finger to be pointed. And, until now, there hasn’t been much of a case available: What we know is what newspapers and legal filings tell us, and those are inadequate sources of documentation and substantiation. Congressional hearings have been a sham to date, because Republicans are willing beneficiaries of the power bestowed by a treasonous president: They get their judges nominated, they get their bills signed. They collude in the conspiracy.

We have counseled patience in this respect: There is an honest investigation in town, and we no longer fear that its final report will be buried by an uninterested House. By policy — if not law — the President will not be indicted, but the facts that would support an indictment will be clear, detailed, and comprehensive.

The case will be made.

That is when you begin impeachment proceedings. Not because they have any chance of success across the Capitol, but because the case must be presented for its own sake, in public. The crimes against our elections and our sovereignty must be made clear, such that those who deny them can be seen for the collaborators they are.

And hey, if you wanna be crass about it, impeachment hearings on solid grounds will be the best show in town. Maybe even the Times will take a stand.

We speak in serious tones, as befits a grave subject, and while we agree with the Founders that the only appropriate remedy upon conviction is removal from office, we find that our passion overwhelms our cold rationality, and so we find ourself hoping that, in some just universe, the eviction ceremony would include unpleasant violations upon the person of the tyrant. We deserve no less.

18 comments:

10:46 am • Saturday • December 8, 2018

Strangely quiet out there this morning, like it’s sinking in or something. You read the sentencing memos, and there’s nothing coy about “Individual-1”, nothing between the lines. He’s identified explicitly, in writing, as a political candidate who became President of the United States. His name is only omitted as a matter of house style, as all other names are except Cohen’s.

Trump did it. And now the people who have been afraid to say Trump did it can say so. They don’t have to be coy about it, either.

11:39 am • Saturday • December 8, 2018

@nojo: And yet they’re not saying. It’s almost like Respectable Media want the clownshow to go on just as much as the dumbnuts at Faux News.

3:14 pm • Saturday • December 8, 2018

@SanFranLefty: PBS has a good rundown of the three filings, including Manafort’s. Key passage:

“Cohen admitted that he ‘acted in coordination with and at the direction of’ Trump in making both payments, prosecutors said. The language left no doubt that federal prosecutors believe Trump acted illegally, a significant development in the case that raises questions about whether the president will now be open to potential charges that he violated campaign finance law.”

That’s about the most cautious way you can say it as a Serious Journalist, and that legally implicates Trump in a way that cannot be ignored any more. It is now a claim with an authoritative source. A fact!

That it will be ignored, and by whom, and how, you can guess. But there it is, and that’s what’s seeping in. The President has now been accused, on the record, in court, of aiding a campaign-finance violation. And the clues about the Russia story are also there in plain sight.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/how-new-details-about-cohen-and-manafort-could-shape-the-russia-investigation

7:25 pm • Saturday • December 8, 2018

Gregg Jarrett of Fox:

“Look at the four attorneys who signed the Cohen sentencing memo under Robert Khuzami’s name. Griswold, Maimin, McKay and Roos. They’re all kids. No real experience. They don’t know anything about the law. They don’t understand the Federal Campaign Election Act.”

They’re ceding the argument and going after the lawyers. That’s the strategy.

8:02 pm • Saturday • December 8, 2018

‪Donald Trump is now officially an unindicted co-conspirator‬. Surprised I haven’t seen anyone drop that reference.

9:27 pm • Saturday • December 8, 2018

@nojo: A law professor I know had some thoughts/responses to Jarrett’s idiotic argument. She started off by noting that if these OSC attorneys are “kids” then half of the Federalist Society dick-suckers nominated by Drumpf to SCOTUS and the Courts of Appeals are babies/fetuses/feti:

https://twitter.com/nancyleong/status/1071487744738713600

11:15 pm • Saturday • December 8, 2018

@SanFranLefty: And beyond that, all I hear about SDNY is that it’s the cream of the crop. Manhattan ain’t the sticks.

I shouldn’t be surprised they’re going after the AUSAs, since all they do is go after Mueller. But really, I was thinking they’d belittle an election-law violation as not a “real” crime, certainly not as serious as lying about a blowjob.

11:20 am • Sunday • December 9, 2018

@SanFranLefty: @nojo: “And I would have got away with it, too, if not for these pesky kids!” is an interesting choice of defense.

12:54 pm • Sunday • December 9, 2018

We’re truly through the looking glass when Prezinazi AntiChrist’s lawyers are telling him to stay in office at all costs in order to avoid indictments, despite the fact that he and his minions are grossly corrupt, destructive, divisive, and incompetent, and this is a valid and politically acceptable legal strategy.

10:02 pm • Sunday • December 9, 2018

As I have said in this space before – they cannot be merely embarrassed, or merely prosecuted, they must be destroyed. Every one of them who contributed to this dumpster fire of an administration needs to be stripped of their assets and imprisoned.

11:45 am • Monday • December 10, 2018

It’d be irresponsible not to wildly speculate on the blackmail that it took to get a ruthless, shameless sociopath like Nick Ayers to tuck tail and run off to Georgia “to spend more time with his family,” ha ha.

So, cannibalism?

1:49 pm • Monday • December 10, 2018

@¡Andrew!: The take on Ayers is that he’s gonna make a ton more money running a Trump PAC, and the Chief of Staff job is damaged goods.

7:38 pm • Monday • December 10, 2018

@nojo: No sane or competent person would want to be Prezinazi AntiChrist’s POS COS. They’d be humiliated and disgrace the nation.

Also re: Ayers. Apparently he’s “amassed a fortune of between $12 million and $54 million” by age 36 thanks to his ties to dark money groups (cough, money laundering, cough), so it’s a safe bet that he sure as hell didn’t want reporters digging into where all those millions came from.

8:08 pm • Monday • December 10, 2018

@¡Andrew!: The scam is breezier than that. You run a PAC. The PAC places ad buys through an agency. The agency takes a cut of the placements. You own the agency. No laundering required.

12:17 pm • Tuesday • December 11, 2018

@nojo: Tdump’s gonna have to hire an undocumented migrant to be his POS COS, since they’ll take jobs that Americans won’t.

1:52 pm • Tuesday • December 11, 2018

@¡Andrew!: His housekeeper’s available.

9:54 pm • Tuesday • December 11, 2018

Meanwhile, next time my Congresscritter Nancy goes to the White House to school Mango Mussolini, she should leave Chuck behind. The video of her leaving was a beautiful thing.

7:26 pm • Friday • December 14, 2018

POS COS update: This is gonna be a huge Mickstake for all involved.

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