Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #3101  
Old 10-22-2019, 03:40 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Some quotes from the same tweet thread linked above (continued since then):

Quote:
Three members taking part in closed Taylor interview told me that Gordon Sondland testimony was inconsistent with what they heard today. They did not get into specifics.

Gerry Connolly: “I think Gordon Sondland may very well have to come back. He’s got some explaining to do.”

“He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations,” Taylor said Sondland told him.

GOP Rep. Francis Rooney on whether it throws into question Sondland testimony: “Yeah I think there is asymmetry on what we heard today and what Sondland had to say....There were some things that seemed a little at variance here.”

Got a copy of Taylor’s opening statement who said Trump wanted Zelensky to “state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election - and “everything,” including security assistance was conditioned on it, per what Sondland said

“He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations,” Taylor said Sondland told him.

“In fact, Ambassador Sondland said ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance” Taylor testified, referring to the probes that could help Trump politically.
https://twitter.com/mkraju/status/11...988904449?s=20

Last edited by JohnT; 10-22-2019 at 03:41 PM. Reason: ETA: Well, I thought I linked to this guy in this thread. Oh well, link added.
  #3102  
Old 10-22-2019, 03:50 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Long and short of it, it appears... from this statement... that Trump and team weren't even interested in the investigation. They just wanted Ukraine to announce they were investigating the Biden kid.
  #3103  
Old 10-22-2019, 03:55 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,426
They saw how well Comey's Hillary announcement worked for them.
  #3104  
Old 10-22-2019, 03:55 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Quote:
Before these text messages... Ambassador Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman signs a check over to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing his check. Ambassador Volker used the same terms several days later while we were at the Yalta European Strategy Conference. I argued to both that the explanation made no sense: the Ukranians do not "owe" President Trump anything, and holding up security assistance for domestic political gain was "crazy", as I said in my text messages...
Emphasis mine, JT
  #3105  
Old 10-22-2019, 03:58 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Quote:
Trump on Oct 3rd: "I spoke to (McConnell)...he said, 'That was the most innocent phone call that I've read.'"

Mcconnell today: "I don't recall any conversations with the President about that phone call."
https://twitter.com/frankthorp/statu...17918526148608
  #3106  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:13 PM
jsc1953 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 10,727
“Asymmetry” and “variance” sound so much nicer than “lies” and “horseshit”.
  #3107  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:16 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by drad dog View Post
I don't know what you mean. If you mean the nuttiness of the last 48 hours you probably shouldn't dig that hole. Are you saying it's not unique now because tirnp got anxiety and needed to act out to double down? Does that reflect well on his judgement? He might do it now, to make it "non-unique" and to advertise to his base that he is ...freewheeling(?), but the horse left the barn. He is massaging his knowledge that he has done something wrong in a stereotypical way.

"I am of the opinion that a pattern or lack of pattern is irrelevant." So you aren't talking about the justice or political systems? Just your own whims and notions?
Replying to a two and a half week old post, but I was at the time referring to the President's then-recent doubling down and asking Ukraine and China both to investigate the Bidens. And my opinion is in fact my own whims and notions, I will own that.

~Max
  #3108  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:19 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
Again: what US laws do you think might have been broken? If you know of none, why are you calling for an investigation? What is it that you want investigated?
I know of none, but I'm calling for an investigation of the administration (which is happening, if not "formally"), not an investigation of the Bidens.

"[I]t is incumbent on the House of Representatives to ask whether the administration had any reasonable basis to start an investigation (if they even started one). Then it's on the administration to defend themselves."

~Max
  #3109  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:21 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
Wow. Who in the hell is saying law enforcement is prohibited from investigating Biden? Why are you so easily conflating a normal investigation instigated by the proper authorities and Trump personally instigating an investigation into his political rival based on conspiracy theories?
As I understand it, the President and his agents are the proper authorities.

~Max
  #3110  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:25 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Lol, don't fall for the 2-week hijack, guys.
  #3111  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:25 PM
John_Stamos'_Left_Ear is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Long and short of it, it appears... from this statement... that Trump and team weren't even interested in the investigation. They just wanted Ukraine to announce they were investigating the Biden kid.
That's where it begins. The whole thing about being blackmailed is that as long as the blackmailer has something over you, you have to continue to capitulate.

First, they have to announce there's an investigation. The next time they need something, they have to announce that evidence has been found. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, we've already established that a third of the country will believe any bullshit that backs up anything Trump wants to say.

What's after that? No idea, but I'm sure if they wanted to continue getting their aid they do whatever it was that Trump asked for.

Sent from my SM-G935P using Tapatalk
  #3112  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:30 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjmlabs View Post
The merits of a Biden investigation are irrelevant to this core point: Trump has failed in his fiduciary responsibility to the American people to put the country's interests above his own.
Is not the fiduciary failure you mention Mr. Trump's request for Ukraine to talk with the Attorney General and Mr. Giuliani about investigating the Bidens or a computer server? And if Mr. Trump had legitimate reasons to make such a request, if he was motivated by his duty to ensure the law is faithfully executed, is it still a breach of trust?

~Max
  #3113  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:37 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Max, your argument was baseless when you made it and it's even more baseless (if possible) today.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-22-2019 at 04:40 PM.
  #3114  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:40 PM
k9bfriender is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 11,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Is not the fiduciary failure you mention Mr. Trump's request for Ukraine to talk with the Attorney General and Mr. Giuliani about investigating the Bidens or a computer server? And if Mr. Trump had legitimate reasons to make such a request, if he was motivated by his duty to ensure the law is faithfully executed, is it still a breach of trust?

~Max
And if unicorns gave him a ride to the next SOTU address...

Do you have any actual evidence that the FBI had an investigation into the Bidens that was being held up by Ukrainian politicians, the state department wasn't able to liaise with them, and so they asked Trump to make a personal call to Zelensky to get the matter rolling?
  #3115  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:41 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschrodinger View Post
The Trump campaign can investigate political rivals, but can't use the government to do it.

The Justice Department/FBI can investigate Trump's political rivals, but it is inappropriate for Trump to be involved in any way, and it should begin such an investigation only if it has legitimate grounds that would trigger an investigation of anyone else. It is an abuse of power for Trump to push for or instigate an investigation that benefits him.

It is an abuse of power and violative of campaign and election laws for Trump to ask foreign agents to investigate his political rivals. Even if there were a legitimate domestic investigation happening, Trump should not be involved, and should not be advancing it in a way that benefits him.

[...]

Max S., I get what you are getting at. You don't want to set precedents that could unfairly be used against a more sane president in the future, or you want to be sure that there is a principled basis behind the arguments, which holds up when applied to other presidents. I think the above principles are sound. I think that Trump has severely blurred the line on how independent the Justice Department is supposed to be, but I'm positive that a president should never ever be involved in the advancement of even a legitimate investigation of a political rival. A president should never ever be holding up foreign aid and diplomatic gestures in exchange for personal favors, let alone when the requests are for foreign governments to involve themselves in our elections.
It has taken me some time to build a proper response to only the first three points here, and the other two (about bribery and impoundment) I will have to address later.

***

The question is this: is it necessarily an abuse of power for the President of the United States to personally ask a foreign country to investigate a political rival's family member?

I say no, it is not necessarily an abuse of power.

Within the Constitution I find an inherent authority for the President to poersonally investigate and uphold the Laws of the United States, and further that the Congress lacks authority to deny the President his constitutional grant of executive power. Congress may shape the law, and the Supreme Court may interpret it, but the President is personally responsible for putting the law into action.

The Congress may by law create officers subordinate to the president, to assist him in his duties, and may even restrict the President's authority to fire these officers in cases where the officers exercise a legislative and not executive power. But the power to investigate an individual suspected of committing some crime against the United States does not fall under that exception, even if that individual is a political rival's family member.

Even if the President does not have these powers, the Attorney General does, by statute. If the Attorney General orders an investigation of a political candidate's family member based on probable cause, I do not find room to impeach the President for encourageing or cooperating with that investigation.

It may also be appropriate for the president to ask a foreign country to investigate a political rival's family member. Within the Constitution I find that the President has the power to meet with foreign ministers, including heads of state. If an existing domestic investigation calls for foreign cooperation, I find that the President is within his power to raise the subject with the head of that foreign state.

Neither do I find any problem with the President's use of a personal representative or special envoy, especially when the position of ambassador is vacant.

In the present case, I am of the opinion that it is possible that the President or Attorney General had or reasonably believed they had probable cause to order an investigation of Hunter Biden or Burisman Holdings, LLC for criminal acts against the United States committed in Ukraine, and that the investigation required assistance from Ukrainian authorities. Therefore it is possible for it to have been appropriate when the President asked the President of Ukraine to work with the Attorney General and a personal representative. Until this possibility is ruled out, I am staunchly against conviction in the Senate for the high crime or misdemeanor of abuse of authority on these grounds.

***

The President Has the Authority to Investigate and Prosecute Crimes
SPOILER:
I am of the opinion that the power to investigate and prosecute crimes against the United States generally falls within the executive power. The Constitution provides that "The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." U.S. Const. art. II, § 1. When enumerating the categories of "executive Power", the Constitution declares that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, § 3.

Exegesis begins by noting that the Constitution plainly vests "The executive power" with "a President", singular. This grant of power is similar in many ways, but critically different, to that grant given to Congress, which reads "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives" (emph mine). U.S. Const. art. I, § 1. Whereas there are multiple distinct legislative powers split between two chambers of Congress, the whole executive power is vested in a (single) president. Also note that not all legislative powers are granted to Congress, only those which where listed and granted "herein". No such restriction accompanies the grant of executive power to the President.

The implication is that the legislative powers are restricted to those which are enumerated in the Constitution, while executive powers are all-encompassing. If a law is Constitutional, the President personally has the power to execute that law.

The framers had good reasons to create such a powerful presidency. Directly preceding the Constitutional goverment were the Articles of Confederation, which lacked (among other things) an executive power and was plagued by indecisiveness. When drafting the Constitution, the framers wished to create a strong, efficient executive. It was agreed that the best way to do that was to provide for a "unitary" executive.

Mr. Randolph's original Virginia Plan proposed a "national executive... to be chosen by the national legislature". Immediately Mr. Wilson of Pennsylvania moved to amend the resolution so as to read "that a National Ex. to consist of a single person to be instituted". Mr. Randolph claimed that a single executive is the "fetus of monarchy", and that a council would do better. Mr. Wilson argued that a single executive would be the best safeguard against tyranny. Both agreed that the executive ought to be independent of the legislature, and after debate Mr. Wilson's amendment eventually passed.

Consider also Publius (A. Hamilton) of The Federalist No. 70, who wrote that "Decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch" are better realized through a single man than many. He specifically noted that one of two ways to destroy that unity is by subjecting the President, "in whole or inpart, to the control and co-operation of others, in the capacity of counsellors to him." Valid concerns are also raised that independent executive authorities wil abdicate responsibility in favor of blaming each other.

I find limited support in opinions of the Supreme Court. First, if Congress has delegated authority to the President, the President may delegate his authority to his subordinates. Second, Congress may delegate their own powers to executive branch officials, and may somewhat restrict the President's authority to remove those officials. The Court has not to my knowledge ruled on the question of whether Congress can unilaterally delegate the President's own inherent powers to his subordinates, but I argue that this goes against the doctrine of separation of powers.
The President May Delegate His Own Authority to Subordinates
SPOILER:
"The President speaks and acts through the heads of the several departments in relation to subjects which appertain to their respective duties". Wilcox v. Jackson, 38 U.S. 498, 513 (1839). (Noting that the war department's reservation of Indian territory is "in legal effect, a reservation made by order of the President"). The Court said it must be so because it would be "impossible" for the President to actually "perform in person the the numerous details incident to services which, nevertheless, he is, in a correct sense, [U]by the Constitution[/I] and laws required and expected to perform" (emphasis added). Williams v. The United States, 42 U.S. 290, 297 (1843). (Where the Treasury had the authority to provide cash advances to marshals without explicit Presidential consent). Finally, note that the President necessarily appoints all principle officers in the administration.

Congress May Delegate Certain Powers of Their Own to The President's Subordinates
SPOILER:
"[I]n our increasingly complex society, replete with ever changing and more technical problems, Congress simply cannot do its job absent an ability to delegate power under broad general directives." Mistretta v. United States, 488 U.S. 361, 372 (1989). "Delegation by Congress has long been recognized as necessary in order that the exertion of legislative power does not become a futility." Sunshine Anthracite Coal Co. v. Adkins, 310 U.S. 381, 398 (1940).

While "the legislative power of Congress cannot be delegated" in general, United States v. Shreveport Grain & Elevator Co., 287 U.S. 77, 85 (1932), specific powers can be delegated if accompanied by an "intelligible principle". J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 409 (1928). The current doctrine requires a "legislative standard", which is essentially identical to the intelligible principle standard. See Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388 (1935). See also A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935).

For example, the power to set tariffs has been delegated to the President himself and upheld in court. J. W. Hampton, Jr. & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394 (1928). (It follows that the President can delegate that same power to his subordinates, see the previous section.) Congress has delegated to the Federal Power Commission the power to issue rules and regulations affecting or pertaining to the justness and reasonableness of natural gas rates and charges. 15 U.S.C. § 717c(a); upheld in Federal Power Com'n v. Hope Natural Gas Co., 320 U.S. 592 (1944). Congress has delegated to the Federal Broadcasting Commission the power to issue rules and regulations pertaining to broadcast licensing. National Broadcasting Co. v. United States, 319 U.S. 190 (1943). The list goes on, and on, and on. Virtually every executive agency regulation is based on a Congressional delegation of power to the President's subordinates.

Congress may also delegate their power to appoint officials, which are otherwise nominated by the President and appointed by Congress. "Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments." U.S. Const. art. II, § 2. These "inferior Officers" include among their ranks the independent counsel, which is currently appointed by the DC Circuit as provided by 28 U.S.C. § 593. Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988). If Congress so wished, the appointment of independent counsel could be a power granted to the Attorney General.

The President Has the Power to Remove His Subordinates from Office, If They Interfere with the Faithful Execution of the Law
SPOILER:
The President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States." U.S. Const. art. II, § 3.

The President has a personal responsibility to see that the Laws are faithfully executed. If he has not the power to remove insubordinate officers, how can he fulfil his duty? The reasonable inference is that "in the absence of any express limitation respecting removals, that as [the president's] selection of administrative officers is essential to the execution of the laws by him, so must be his power of removing those for whom he can not continue to be responsible." Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926), citing Fisher Ames, 1 Annals of Congress, 474.

But the President is not without limits. He is not at liberty to remove officials who exercise what are essentially legislative or judicial powers, as opposed to executive powers. Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602 (1935). (Holding that a member of the Federal Trade Commission is not subject to the President's removal power except as specified by statute, because the FTC exercises quasi-legislative powers). See also Weiner v. United States, 357 U.S. 349 (1958). (Holding that the President may not remove quasi-judicial officers from the War Claims Commission except as specified by statute).

But what if Congress creates an office charged with executing the law? Can Congress deny the President the power to remove officials that execute the law? The Supreme Court has explicitly answered that question in the negative. "Congress cannot reserve for itself the power of removal of an officer charged with the execution of the laws except by impeachment." Bowsher v. Synar, 478 U.S. 714 (1986).

The most recent and most relevant case on removal power is Morrison v. Olson, 487 U.S. 654 (1988). There the Court held that "the real question is whether the removal restrictions are of such a nature that they impede on the President's ability to perform his constitutional duty [to take care that the laws are faithfully executed], and the functions of the officials in question must be analyzed in that light". After considering the temporary nature of the office, its limited jurisdiction, and its oversight purpose, the Court ruled that the President through the Attorney General cannot remove the independent counsel but for cause, as statute specifies.

The Power to Investigate an Individual Suspected of Committing a Federal Crime is an Executive Power
SPOILER:
What does it mean to execute the law, if investigating and prosecuting lawbreakers is not included? The Supreme Court has ruled that the investigatory and law enforcement functions of the independent counsel were executive in nature.Id. At the very least, it follows that the President could, if he so wished, investigate and fire his own cabinet members who he determines are not faithfully executing the law. In my understanding of the law, the President can personally investigate and prosecute any member of the public in order to uphold the law, although he must still respect constitutional rights including those enshrined in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Amendments.

Even if the President has no such personal power, it should not be controversal to assign the power of criminal investigation and prosecution to the executive branch of government, as an "executive power". In my opinion such a power is implied by the second article of the Constitution, much like the Court has ruled that Congressional power of Contempt is implied by the first article of that document. Anderson v. Dunn, 19 U.S. 204, 225, 226, 227 (1821). "To enforce [Congress's] laws upon any subject without the sanction of punishment is obviously impossible." Id at 223. And so too is it impossible to execute and uphold a criminal statute without the power to investigate and prosecute criminals.

Congress May Not Delegate Away the President's Power to Investigate and Prosecute Criminals
SPOILER:
Given that the Constitution grants the President the power to investigate and prosecute criminals, and Congress may not deny another political branch their Constitutional powers, it follows logically that Congress may not deny the President the power to investigate and prosecute criminals. Congress may redefine the criminal statutes, but that is subject to Due Process and cannot infringe upon the President's sole power to grant pardons; such a revision cannot name particular individuals and exempt them from criminal investigations and prosecutions.

This fits in with the framers' idea of a unitary executive. As I wrote above, Publius (A. Hamilton) argued in Federalist No. 70 that one of two ways to destroy executive unity is by subjecting the President, "in whole or inpart, to the control and co-operation of others, in the capacity of counsellors to him." If we allow Congress to delegate the President's power to investigate and prosecute to the Attorney General, that is effectively subjecting the President to the control and co-operation of the Attorney General, in the capacity of a counsellor to the President.

Nay, the Department of Justice does not find its authority to investigate and prosecute crimes in the United States Code or any statute. That power comes directly from the President; only the funding comes from appropriations of Congress. The President may delegate investigatory and prosecutory powers to the Department of Justice, if he so wishes and as he has done by appointing an Attorney General. But this does not constitute forfeiture of his power to investigate and prosecute a case personally. No act of Congress can remove the President's power to investigate or prosecute a case personally.

Neither is it necessarily an abuse of power when the President takes charge of a case, even in the face of impropriety. The president is not abusing his position to usurp someone else's investigatory power. He has the power to investigate and prosecute crimes. Whether personal involvement in or commencement of an investigation is an abuse of power will turn on whether the President's actions were appropriate: did he have probable cause?

Even If the President Cannot Investigate, the Attorney General Can
SPOILER:
The power to investigate crimes is vested by law in the Attorney General. Even if specific divisions of the Department of Justice have explicit investigatory functions, 28 U.S.C. § 509 vests in the Attorney General personally all of their functions. It also happens to be the Attorney General who appoints officials that "detect and prosecute crimes against the United States". 28 U.S.C. § 533 (1).

The President Has The Authority to Meet with Foreign Heads of State
SPOILER:
This shouldn't be controversial either. The President "shall recieve Ambassadors and other public Ministers". U.S. Const. art. II, § 3. It is undisputed that the President alone has the power and discretion to recieve foreign heads of state or their ambassadors when they visit our nation. In 1799 Representative John Marshall, later Chief Justice Marshall, said quite plainly, "The President is the sole organ of the nation in its external relations, and its sole representative with foreign nations." 10 Annals of Congress 596, 613 (1800). So too does the President have the power to visit heads of state in their own nations, for example when President Nixon visited China.

The framers of the Constitution did not envision transatlantic telephone communications, but it follows logically that the President is within his powers to speak with a foreign head of state during a transatlantic phone call. Whether such a call constitutes an abuse of power turns on whether what the President said or did was appropriate.

The President May Ask a Foreign Head of State to Assist with an Investigation
SPOILER:
Assuming that there is a valid domestic investigation, be it the President's or the Attorney General's or both, it may be appropriate for the President ask a foreign nation (via their head of state) to investigate a person or business. The circumstance that makes such a request appropriate is the existance of a mutual legal assistance treaty providing for such requests, such as the Treaty Between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, ratified by the Senate on October 18, 2000.

Article 2 of that treaty designates the Attorney General as the United States "Central Authority" which may request from Ukraine's Central Authority (Prosecutor General) such assistance as testimony, documents, etc. as listed in Article 1.

When President Trump tells President Zelenskyy, "I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people...", or "I would like [Mr. Giuliani] to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General", or "I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it", it can be interpreted as letting Ukraine know that our Central Authority wants to make some requests as provided under the treaty.

In fact you can take President Zelenskyy's response (and President Trump's response to that) as a bit of a warning that he will have the new Ukrainian Central Authority request U.S. assistance for a Ukrainian investigation of former Ambassador Yovanovitch.

The President May Send a Personal Representative on Diplomatic Missions
SPOILER:
I quote from my previous post #21918015:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
There is a rich, rich history of Presidents appointing so-called "personal representatives" to do official state business, with hundreds if not thousands of instances and many of them quite important to the history of the world.

I believe the first instance was David Humphreys, a personal friend and private citizen appointed by Mr. Washington without advice or consent of the Senate, and empowered to negotiate the Treaty of Tripoli. President Cleveland famously sent retired Senator James Henderson Blount to Hawaii to investigate the recent coup there, without Senate approval, despite the Senate being in session and the availability of John Stevens, American Minister to Hawaii (who was later fired at Blount's recommendation). Colonel House, a private citizen and personal friend of Woodrow Wilson, was not only sent out on diplomatic missions (eg: the armistice) but even had living quarters in the White House. No official rank, post, commission, or confirmation accompanied Mr. House. Perhaps you may recognize the Henry Kissinger, who won a Nobel Peace prize for diplomatic work... as National Security Advisor, reporting directly to the president, before he was made Secretary of State, before he was confirmed by the Senate.

The trick, or legal fiction, is that none of these people held "Office". They were so-called "personal representatives" of the President, appointed "temporarily" and paid, if at all, out of the President's discretionary foreign services funding. Sometimes they held official rank, such as National Security Advisor or Special Envoy, sometimes they do not. Sometimes they have staff, sometimes they do not. The point is, there is ample precedent for such unilateral appointments and use of private citizens and friends of the President in diplomacy.

Mr. Trump sending Rudy Giuliani to do official state business is not, ceteris paribus, an issue.


~Max
  #3116  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:50 PM
Walken After Midnight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,301
Full text of Amb. Taylor's opening statement.
  #3117  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:52 PM
MulderMuffin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Buckle of the bible belt
Posts: 77
I take back my optimistic assertion that the members of this board were too intelligent to still be shoveling this BS after all we have learned over the past few weeks. My bad. I was lulled into a false sense of sanity.
  #3118  
Old 10-22-2019, 04:59 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,426
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Is not the fiduciary failure you mention Mr. Trump's request for Ukraine to talk with the Attorney General and Mr. Giuliani about investigating the Bidens or a computer server? And if Mr. Trump had legitimate reasons to make such a request, if he was motivated by his duty to ensure the law is faithfully executed, is it still a breach of trust?

~Max
I thought this was cleared up pages ago. Trump was derelict in his obligation to this fine country of ours to ask Ukraine any such fucking thing.
  #3119  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:03 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Quote:
Originally Posted by MulderMuffin View Post
I take back my optimistic assertion that the members of this board were too intelligent to still be shoveling this BS after all we have learned over the past few weeks. My bad. I was lulled into a false sense of sanity.
Eh, Max is 23yo (it's in his profile). And "the Board" is an agglomeration of "members" who average out to...something. If you think the average Doper is more intelligent than whatever, because the group seems so, that doesn't necessarily hold to specific people.
  #3120  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:03 PM
Jack Batty's Avatar
Jack Batty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: The Astral Plane.
Posts: 15,628
I just finished the entire PDF - I think Trump may actually be fucked. The whole "there is no quid pro quo" defense hangs on the fact that Trump kept repeating "this isn't a quid pro quo" and then saying, basically, "but if you don't do what I want, we're at a stalemate" - meaning no money for Ukraine. But it's not a quid pro quo because Trump kept chanting it.



Give me all your money or I'll shoot you in the face! But don't worry, this isn't an armed robbery.
  #3121  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:12 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Max seems to have missed this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
The crime is Bribery and it's spelled out in the Constitution, guys. The Constitution is silent as to whether it's the offering or taking of bribes, so we may assume both are valid.

Art 2, Sec 4:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High crimes and Misdemeanors."
  #3122  
Old 10-22-2019, 05:13 PM
Jack Batty's Avatar
Jack Batty is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: The Astral Plane.
Posts: 15,628
Also to add - it was a very well written, clear narrative that puts the whole series of events in perspective. You can tell this guy's passion for Ukraine; there was no way he was just going to roll over and say, "what color?" when Trump tells him to shit. I'm thinking the name Bill Taylor may become extremely prominent in the coming years.
  #3123  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:05 PM
Dinsdale is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 18,904
So at what point is Trump subpoenaed to testify? What happens then?
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.
  #3124  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:11 PM
Akaj's Avatar
Akaj is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: In the vanishing middle
Posts: 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
So at what point is Trump subpoenaed to testify? What happens then?
I don't see why he hasn't been already. (In fact, I still can't believe his team outmaneuvered the Mueller investigation to keep him from testifying then.) But I know exactly what will happen -- his team and Barr's will fight tooth nail and claw against the subpeona, employing every motion and appeal available, to keep their man from swearing an oath.

And then, when the House impeaches him anyway, he'll tweet that it's unfair because they never even talked to him!
__________________
I'm not expecting any surprises.
  #3125  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:37 PM
bengangmo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 9,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
What happens now?
How is Bill Taylor going to be attacked by the Whitehouse?

That testimony is particularly clear and damning, and I don't imagine how it can be discredited, but I know that they are going to try.

Will there be some sort of paper trail that documents the delay in the security assistance? And who was issuing those orders?

It also appears, that although Pence was only mentioned once in that testimony, he was in this up to his eyebrows. With this in mind, is further evidence of Pence's complicity going to emerge (or alternatively, some contemporaneous documents that he was fighting it but ultimately followed orders?)
  #3126  
Old 10-22-2019, 06:41 PM
bobot's Avatar
bobot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago-ish
Posts: 9,426
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengangmo View Post
...
That testimony is particularly clear and damning, and I don't imagine how it can be discredited, but I know that they are going to try.
...
If he ever voted for a Democrat and failed to keep it a secret, you can bet your ass that Trump will be shouting it from the mountaintops. Unless he's feeling particularly, you know, low energy that day. Then, he'll just be tweeting it from his phone.
  #3127  
Old 10-22-2019, 07:04 PM
Snowboarder Bo's Avatar
Snowboarder Bo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 27,556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
  #3128  
Old 10-22-2019, 07:15 PM
Sherrerd's Avatar
Sherrerd is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 7,267
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnT View Post
Long and short of it, it appears... from this statement... that Trump and team weren't even interested in the investigation. They just wanted Ukraine to announce they were investigating the Biden kid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear View Post
That's where it begins. The whole thing about being blackmailed is that as long as the blackmailer has something over you, you have to continue to capitulate.

First, they have to announce there's an investigation. The next time they need something, they have to announce that evidence has been found. It doesn't matter if it's real or not, we've already established that a third of the country will believe any bullshit that backs up anything Trump wants to say. ...
Even just the 'you must announce an investigation' part would have worked like gangbusters for Trump, because the media would have been reporting it as though it were real---in large font, front page, Breaking News on CNN, etc. etc. etc. far into the night.

Reporters would have included a half-sentence in each ten-minute segment to the effect that 'no actual evidence against Biden has been made public'....but the story, day after day, night after night, would have been "Biden Under Investigation."

It worked beautifully against Hillary in 2016. And it would have worked for 2020 against Biden.


....if not for that meddling whistle-blower. (One month* since that news broke. Hard to believe, but true.)

*https://www.apnews.com/310241fb94e24458905f99afc9d948d6
  #3129  
Old 10-22-2019, 08:52 PM
DSeid's Avatar
DSeid is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 22,797
This may be the biggest sign that Trump's certainty of protection by the Senate is less sure than we thought.
Quote:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he never had -- or at least doesn't recall having -- a conversation with President Donald Trump in which he described Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as perfect.

McConnell's statement comes after Trump asserted earlier this month that McConnell deemed the White House transcript of the conversation, which is at the center of the House's impeachment inquiry into the President, completely innocent. Trump has also said multiple times that the call was perfect, including during his Cabinet meeting on Monday.

McConnell, asked at his weekly news conference in the Capitol if he believed the President handled the Ukrainian situation perfectly, said, "We've not had any conversations on that subject."

When pushed on whether Trump was lying about an exchange between the pair, the Kentucky Republican responded, "You have to ask him. I don't recall any conversations with the President about that phone call."
When the rattiest of rats is trying to put some distance from the ship concluding that it may actually be really sinking begins to seem most reasonable.
  #3130  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:25 PM
Walken After Midnight is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 5,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengangmo View Post
How is Bill Taylor going to be attacked by the Whitehouse?
"Radical unelected bureaucrat waging war on the Constitution." - White House Press Secretary

Trump hasn't tweeted much today, so I expect he's working on a nickname for Taylor.
  #3131  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:47 PM
KidCharlemagne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 5,374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
"Radical unelected bureaucrat waging war on the Constitution." - White House Press Secretary

Trump hasn't tweeted much today, so I expect he's working on a nickname for Taylor.
Tattle Taylor?
  #3132  
Old 10-22-2019, 09:53 PM
jsc1953 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Bay Area, California
Posts: 10,727
Quote:
Originally Posted by KidCharlemagne View Post
Tattle Taylor?
He’s not that clever. He’ll come up with a gem like “Liddle’ Bill Taylor”.
  #3133  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:24 PM
Sage Rat's Avatar
Sage Rat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 22,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Within the Constitution I find an inherent authority for the President to poersonally investigate and uphold the Laws of the United States, and further that the Congress lacks authority to deny the President his constitutional grant of executive power. Congress may shape the law, and the Supreme Court may interpret it, but the President is personally responsible for putting the law into action.

The Congress may by law create officers subordinate to the president, to assist him in his duties, and may even restrict the President's authority to fire these officers in cases where the officers exercise a legislative and not executive power. But the power to investigate an individual suspected of committing some crime against the United States does not fall under that exception, even if that individual is a political rival's family member.

Even if the President does not have these powers, the Attorney General does, by statute. If the Attorney General orders an investigation of a political candidate's family member based on probable cause, I do not find room to impeach the President for encourageing or cooperating with that investigation.

It may also be appropriate for the president to ask a foreign country to investigate a political rival's family member. Within the Constitution I find that the President has the power to meet with foreign ministers, including heads of state. If an existing domestic investigation calls for foreign cooperation, I find that the President is within his power to raise the subject with the head of that foreign state.

Neither do I find any problem with the President's use of a personal representative or special envoy, especially when the position of ambassador is vacant.

In the present case, I am of the opinion that it is possible that the President or Attorney General had or reasonably believed they had probable cause to order an investigation of Hunter Biden or Burisman Holdings, LLC for criminal acts against the United States committed in Ukraine, and that the investigation required assistance from Ukrainian authorities. Therefore it is possible for it to have been appropriate when the President asked the President of Ukraine to work with the Attorney General and a personal representative. Until this possibility is ruled out, I am staunchly against conviction in the Senate for the high crime or misdemeanor of abuse of authority on these grounds.

[...]
While that answers the literal question you raised (emphasis added):

Quote:
The question is this: is it necessarily an abuse of power for the President of the United States to personally ask a foreign country to investigate a political rival's family member?
That's sort of like responding to question of whether it's okay for a doctor to accept money and saying "Yes!" even though the discussion is about a doctor who took money off-the-books to give someone heavy narcotics, way beyond any valid medical need or dosage. It's the answer to the literal question but completely irrelevant to the actual question being asked.

The actual question being asked is, "Did the President have corrupt purpose in trying to bypass investigative procedural norms of separation between politics and non-partisan law enforcement and in attempting to directly apply pressure against foreign governments to investigate or produce (honestly or not) evidence against his political rival?"
  #3134  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:55 PM
Aspenglow's Avatar
Aspenglow is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,275
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
This may be the biggest sign that Trump's certainty of protection by the Senate is less sure than we thought.


When the rattiest of rats is trying to put some distance from the ship concluding that it may actually be really sinking begins to seem most reasonable.
I think you are right. Moscow Mitch has made a number of surprising moves lately that demonstrate in subtle ways that he could break with Trump. He understands polling about as well as anyone, and preserving his Senate majority is top of his list.

Trump has a low cunning understanding that McConnell's support is only reliable to the extent Trump can deliver the election to that majority. I'd say that becomes a less forgone outcome every day. People are just sick of this.

Support for Impeaching Trump Soars Among Independents. (Reuters)

Quote:
Support for impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump surged among political independents and rose by three percentage points overall since last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
  #3135  
Old 10-22-2019, 10:56 PM
Max S. is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida, USA
Posts: 1,902
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sage Rat View Post
The actual question being asked is, "Did the President have corrupt purpose in trying to bypass investigative procedural norms of separation between politics and non-partisan law enforcement and in attempting to directly apply pressure against foreign governments to investigate or produce (honestly or not) evidence against his political rival?"
Responding out of order, but I don't think that's a strong question. The presumption is of innocence and the burden for corrupt purpose is beyond a reasonable doubt - these are my opinions of course, but I believe they are shared by most if not all Republican Senators who constitute the jury majority. I'm speculating, but something as simple as "We didn't have an ambassador at the time and I thought I/Rudy/Bill Barr could do a better job than Mr. Taylor" would prevent me from finding corrupt purpose without as-of-yet-unseen evidence to the contrary.

~Max
  #3136  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:00 PM
jasg is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Upper left hand corner
Posts: 6,217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight View Post
"Radical unelected bureaucrat waging war on the Constitution." - White House Press Secretary

Trump hasn't tweeted much today, so I expect he's working on a nickname for Taylor.
A West Point graduate, Vietnam Veteran (101st Airborne) with nearly 50 years of public service... Since his high school graduation, only his two year masters program at Harvard have not been in service to our nation.

Yet the True Believers will attempt to dishonor him.
  #3137  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:08 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is online now
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
...

Support for Impeaching Trump Soars Among Independents. (Reuters)
Quote:
Quote:
Support for impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump surged among political independents and rose by three percentage points overall since last week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
Increasing by 3 percentage points constitutes "surging" and "soaring"?
__________________
"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." --Václav Havel
  #3138  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:21 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
It jumped from 33% to 45% among independents, as the headline says. Pretty big surge (about a 33% improvement) to me.
  #3139  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:35 PM
Sage Rat's Avatar
Sage Rat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Howdy
Posts: 22,058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Responding out of order, but I don't think that's a strong question. The presumption is of innocence and the burden for corrupt purpose is beyond a reasonable doubt - these are my opinions of course, but I believe they are shared by most if not all Republican Senators who constitute the jury majority. I'm speculating, but something as simple as "We didn't have an ambassador at the time and I thought I/Rudy/Bill Barr could do a better job than Mr. Taylor" would prevent me from finding corrupt purpose without as-of-yet-unseen evidence to the contrary.

~Max
The evidence is still coming in, of course, but I would note that this isn't a criminal conviction.

If you are prosecuted of a crime, you are separated from your family, put behind bars, and your career future wrecked. There's some reason to be careful about your verdict. If you are not found guilty of the crime, even though you did it, it's likely that you'll never offend again anyways (or improve at getting away with it even more). The risk of NOT jailing is not amazingly huge in nearly all cases.

For the President, if fired, he goes on to a money making lecture series career and lives a wealthy and comfortable existence. But if he's guilty, and is allowed to stay in his position, then he is building corruption into the system, he is exposed to those who may hold evidence of his transgressions, etc.

Just the fact that Trump has 20+ close criminal acquaintances regardless of Ukraine or anything is already sufficient basis for impeachment and removal. We are not convicting a crime, we are asking whether Donald Trump performs in "a manner becoming of a gentleman". Despite statements to the contrary, impeachable conduct is not criminal conduct as suitably provable to take it to court, it's whether a reasonable person would take the sense that Trump is a trustworthy person who can be trusted to faithfully execute his Oath of Office in, at all times, an honorable fashion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_c...d_misdemeanors
  #3140  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:44 PM
steronz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,163
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max S. View Post
Responding out of order, but I don't think that's a strong question. The presumption is of innocence and the burden for corrupt purpose is beyond a reasonable doubt - these are my opinions of course, but I believe they are shared by most if not all Republican Senators who constitute the jury majority. I'm speculating, but something as simple as "We didn't have an ambassador at the time and I thought I/Rudy/Bill Barr could do a better job than Mr. Taylor" would prevent me from finding corrupt purpose without as-of-yet-unseen evidence to the contrary.

~Max
You keep trying to dance on the head of this pin here. And maybe, sure, maybe Trump will be standing there on the head of that pin with you after all the cards fall. With God, all things are possible.

But please, take a step back. At best, AT BEST, this Ukraine fiasco tells us 3 things. One, Trump is a terrible leader, since his own state department employees have testified that they had no fucking clue what was going on. Two, Trump is a terrible communicator, since no coherent message was ever presented to his own staff about his vision for Ukraine. And three, Trump has absolutely no understanding about ethics in government.

Do you see what all the career civil servants did after witnessing even small parts of this shitshow go down? They did what ethical people do - - they documented their observations contemporaneously, they spoke to their chain of command, they spoke to legal counsel, they reported things to the IG. Every single one. As they're trained to do.

If Trump had even one iota of a clue about how government ethics work he would have known, KNOWN, that the career civil servants would have reacted the way they did. He would have KNOWN that there would be reasonable concerns about the appearance of unethical behavior. To combat these entirely predictable reactions, he would have clearly COMMUNICATED his plan to the state department. He would have coordinated with legal counsel. He would have couched all of the above in clearly defined policy goals that would result in effective execution of his vision.

But he didn't. And every time Donald Trump finds himself in ethical hot water, he and his drones blame everyone but the one person who could have prevented each and every scandal in the first place, by being an effective communicator and leader.

So MAYBE you're right, in that Trump is totally ethical but just completely bad at his job. Is that the goal post now?

Isn't it much more likely that the reason he keeps finding himself in these ethical quandaries is that, you know, he actually lacks ethics?
  #3141  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:45 PM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 35,274
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
Trump has absolutely no understanding about ethics in government.
Or anywhere else, for that matter.
  #3142  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:52 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
Max S's "arguments" rest on a faulty assumption which has zero basis in historical fact: that sovereign nations welcome interference with the political processes which determine the leaders of the State's policy-making apparatus.

No successful country in recorded history has ever welcomed foreign influence in this decision. In fact, when this does occur, it is commonly cited as an indicator of that State's decline.

So all that wall of text? It's meaningless wordsmithing, with little fact or historicity behind it, because the assumption behind the wall is... well, it's wrong. It's like generating a mathematical proof after declaring any number divided by zero = 14.3765. The proof itself may work, but since it isn't factual, it's worthless.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-22-2019 at 11:56 PM.
  #3143  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:56 PM
JohnT's Avatar
JohnT is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 23,897
(Is 'historicity' a word? It is one now! )
  #3144  
Old 10-22-2019, 11:56 PM
steronz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,163
(in reply to Skywatcher)

Sure. But my point is that civil servants are taught ethics. It's not like Bill Taylor reacted the way he did because he's a particularly ethical person (although he may very well be, and I have no reason to doubt that he is). Rather, he reacted the way any civil servant would have. And Trump lackeys are quick to say, "But Trump isn't a politician!" which in this case is to say, Trump never had the ethical training Bill Taylor likely did.

But he's had almost 3 years now to surround himself with people who know these things. He's had almost 3 years to learn how government works. But we're made to believe that he was just straight up baffled at how all these government employees and "so called whistleblowers" reacted to his actions? Is he that bad at being a leader? And is that the defense Republicans really want to hang their hat on? If he can't identify unethical behavior when he's the one doing it, how can we expect him to clean up corruption in the US, Ukraine, or in his own staff?

We can't. Either Trump is unethical, or he's so bad at being president that there's no functional difference between him acting unethical because he's a bad person and him acting unethical because he's incompetent.

Last edited by steronz; 10-22-2019 at 11:57 PM.
  #3145  
Old 10-23-2019, 12:00 AM
eschrodinger's Avatar
eschrodinger is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 260
Nothing in my post that you quoted, MaxS said that the president lacked the power to do those things. It said it was an abuse of power to do those things for those purposes.

And while it may have been an interesting exercise weeks ago to think about how things might play out if there had been a legitimate US DOJ investigation going on, by now it is clear that is not what was happening. So I'm not going to respond to all the rest of what you posted.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 10-23-2019 at 12:01 AM.
  #3146  
Old 10-23-2019, 12:43 AM
Kolak of Twilo's Avatar
Kolak of Twilo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Edgewater/Chicago
Posts: 3,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
...Either Trump is unethical, or he's so bad at being president that there's no functional difference between him acting unethical because he's a bad person and him acting unethical because he's incompetent.
I don't know that I would say he is unethical, I think amoral might be a better word. I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist so I have not training to diagnose our President but it seems to me he looks at right and wrong only in relation to how it impacts him personally or what he personally wants. If that means he is a narcissist so be it but I don't pretend to be qualified to make that diagnosis.

We know he doesn't read much of anything and clearly he has very little understanding of how our government functions or what limits there are on the office he holds. His ignorance in this regard is clearly illustrated in his tweet today claiming the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution is "phony" while at the same time saying the impeachment investigation is itself unconstitutional. There can be no question this guy is the most ignorant person to ever hold the office he currently occupies.

Can he be unethical if he is too stunted intellectually to understand what ethics actually are?

Last edited by Kolak of Twilo; 10-23-2019 at 12:44 AM.
  #3147  
Old 10-23-2019, 12:49 AM
steronz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oh-hiya-Maude
Posts: 5,163
I mean, in my own government domain, when someone is caught violating ethical guidelines it's a fact based decision, intent or ignorance of the rules doesn't come into it. So whatever point you're trying to make, and linguisticly or semantically I think you're making a good point, it doesn't really apply to the issue of whether or not Trump is a dingbat.
  #3148  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:15 AM
Kolak of Twilo's Avatar
Kolak of Twilo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Edgewater/Chicago
Posts: 3,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by steronz View Post
I mean, in my own government domain, when someone is caught violating ethical guidelines it's a fact based decision, intent or ignorance of the rules doesn't come into it. So whatever point you're trying to make, and linguisticly or semantically I think you're making a good point, it doesn't really apply to the issue of whether or not Trump is a dingbat.
I wholeheartedly agree that understanding/knowledge of rules or of the law as well as intent or ignorance of said rules/laws don't figure into it. I believe the President is completely lacking any understanding of right and wrong in the way you and I understand it. Anything that affects him negatively is dishonest, crooked, unconstitutional, blah blah blah. Things that are pleasing or have a positive impact are perfect, beautiful, blah blah blah. There is something wrong with the way his brain perceives what is going on around him. Maybe it's mental. Maybe it's developmental. But clearly the guy isn't right in the head in some way.
  #3149  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:20 AM
dontbesojumpy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
So at what point is Trump subpoenaed to testify? What happens then?
The only thing I know about ANYTHING is that ANYONE who handles Trump will never, ever, let him any where near a sworn testimony because anyone who has ever met him knows he can't help but purger himself via every spoken word excreted from his neck orifice.

I'm not going to be more descriptive because I've already been warned about sexually descriptive conversation,

...

But Trump's neck folds.

He lies out of those neck folds. This guy can't ever be put under oath because he literally cannot refrain from lying because he literally cannot understand what truth even is.

(moderation warning duly note).
  #3150  
Old 10-23-2019, 01:23 AM
dontbesojumpy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,268
I don't know where else to post this for effect, but tonight I saw "we are trademarking the term 'fake news' so we can sue Trump if he uses it."

I loled myself into a fit.

Who is doing that?!

TEEN VOGUE.

I laughed so hard I might as well be dead. Now I hope I die tonight because what can beat that? TEEN VOGUE is a front-line infantry against president pussy-throat.

(mod warning noted).

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 10-23-2019 at 01:25 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:41 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017