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  #2251  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:46 AM
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I haven’t read the whole (45 page!) thread but why is Pelosi so afraid of giving Republicans subpoena power? AIUI, that’s one of the main reasons that she’s not bringing the inquiry up for a vote.
Because they will turn it into a Biden trial.
  #2252  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:46 AM
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Three pages in??? So it's not a tweet?
Even better— it's a bunch of them, all fancied up in some really official-like legalish-sounding language like them TV lawyers use. Check and mate and scatter the pieces off chessboard, Liddle' Adam Schiff!
  #2253  
Old 10-09-2019, 07:57 AM
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No worries. I could tell it was garbage halfway through the first paragraph.
I could tell it was garbage based on the post the link appeared in.
  #2254  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:06 AM
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I haven’t read the whole (45 page!) thread but why is Pelosi so afraid of giving Republicans subpoena power? AIUI, that’s one of the main reasons that she’s not bringing the inquiry up for a vote.
Because elections matter and Democrats took back the house in 2018 (in no small part a reaction to the lawlessness of this administration) she's in charge of the House majority now.

Did you have problems when Trey Gowdy was in charge of "oversight" but he spent all that time ignoring Trump and investigating Benghazi 13144 times?

Did you have similar problems when Mitch McConnell blocked a Democratic Supreme Court nomination for over a year, or held up other Obama judicial nominees, things he was able to do because he was in charge of the Senate majority? Will you have a problem if he pulls similar shenanigans if the House sends him articles of impeachment?

I'm pretty sure you didn't and wouldn't.

Elections have consequences, buttercup. And Republicans worried about decorum after all the shit they pulled can bite me for every record-breaking number of filibusters they did.

Last edited by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear; 10-09-2019 at 08:10 AM.
  #2255  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:08 AM
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Because they will turn it into a Biden trial.
But subpoena power has to happen sooner or later doesn’t it?
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Old 10-09-2019, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Nars Glinley View Post
I haven’t read the whole (45 page!) thread but why is Pelosi so afraid of giving Republicans subpoena power? AIUI, that’s one of the main reasons that she’s not bringing the inquiry up for a vote.
Maybe because the House rules change that effectively squashed subpoena participation by the minority party were implemented by then-majority Republicans in 2015 during the last years of the Obama administration, over objections by the Democrats.
  #2257  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:14 AM
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But subpoena power has to happen sooner or later doesn’t it?
So they might as well let the Republicans turn it into a Biden trial sooner?
  #2258  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear View Post
Because elections matter and Democrats took back the house in 2018 (in no small part due to the lawlessness of this administration) she's in charge of the House majority now.

Did you have problems when Trey Gowdy was in charge of "oversight" but he spent all that time ignoring Trump and investigating Benghazi 13144 times?

Did you have similar problems when Mitch McConnell blocked a Democratic Supreme Court nomination for over a year, or held up other Obama judicial nominees, things he was able to do because he was in charge of the Senate majority? Will you have a problem if he pulls similar shenanigans if the House sends him articles of impeachment?

I'm pretty sure you didn't and wouldn't.

Elections have consequences, buttercup. And Republicans worried about decorum after all the shit they pulled can bite me one time for every record-breaking number of filibusters they did.
“Buttercup?” Wow. You inferred quite a bit from what I believed to be an honest question. For the record, I fully support this impeachment inquiry and hope that Trump is drummed out of office in total disgrace.

But to answer your questions. Yes, yes, and yes.
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  #2259  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:18 AM
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How come this scandal doesn't have a catchy name yet?

Can we pin Stupid Watergate down?
Zelensky rhymes with Lewinsky. I'm sure someone more creative can come up with something...
  #2260  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:18 AM
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So they might as well let the Republicans turn it into a Biden trial sooner?
I think it better to get the nonsense out of the way now instead of at an impeachment trial.
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  #2261  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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There isn't some law of conservation of nonsense.
  #2262  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:21 AM
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Maybe because the House rules change that effectively squashed subpoena participation by the minority party were implemented by then-majority Republicans in 2015 during the last years of the Obama administration, over objections by the Democrats.
Oh.
  #2263  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:22 AM
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Zelensky rhymes with Lewinsky. I'm sure someone more creative can come up with something...
Monica Zelensky will do. I read somewhere that MZ is for rent whenever there's a POTUS who's pissed someone off.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 10-09-2019 at 08:23 AM.
  #2264  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:27 AM
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“Buttercup?” Wow. You inferred quite a bit from what I believed to be an honest question. For the record, I fully support this impeachment inquiry and hope that Trump is drummed out of office in total disgrace.

But to answer your questions. Yes, yes, and yes.
When you ask what Pelosi is "afraid" of, it's an easy inference to make. Moreover, don't be shocked people think you're a Republican when you spout Republican talking points.

She's not "afraid" of anything, she's operating within the rules that as YamatoTwinkie pointed out were rules that Republicans made when they were in charge.

Last edited by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear; 10-09-2019 at 08:29 AM.
  #2265  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by John_Stamos'_Left_Ear View Post
When you ask what Pelosi is "afraid" of, it's an easy inference to make. Moreover, don't be shocked people think you're a Republican when you spout Republican talking points.

She's not "afraid" of anything, she's operating within the rules that as YamatoTwinkie pointed out were rules that Republicans made when they were in charge.
I apologize if I'm not well versed in Republican talking points. I don't watch Fox and I don't follow Doug Collins on Twitter.

Pelosi can be both "afraid" and operating within the rules.
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  #2266  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:51 AM
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Pelosi can be both "afraid" and operating within the rules.
Human communication involves much more than words. Facial expression, and its recognition, has evolved in mammals over eons. It's advantageous.

Message boards and texting services have resorted to use emoticons to compensate. And it is a grossly inadequate compensation. Tough to emojify changes in voice (pitch, amplitude, pace), gesturing, posture, setting, and shared history.

I share your pain.
  #2267  
Old 10-09-2019, 08:55 AM
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Holy shit, he needs to be impeached on this Kurds thing alone. This is going to be a slaughter.

https://twitter.com/RTErdogan/status...846735872?s=20

"The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists in northern Syria. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area."
  #2268  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:03 AM
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The dumb fucker talks on the phone with an autocrat and without consulting anyone, removes the only protection that our Kurdish allies had against genocide. But but but her emails! And did you know China gave $1.5 Billion to Biden's kid? This administration has utterly destroyed the US's reputation throughout the world. We will never be trusted again. The US will never again stand for freedom.
  #2269  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:12 AM
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We will never be trusted again. The US will never again stand for freedom.
America is the most exceptional country ever.
  #2270  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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Fox News is reporting the US military has been ordered by Trump not to assist the Kurds.

https://twitter.com/JenGriffinFNC/st...254283784?s=20

OK, sorry, off topic. But shit, people are getting slaughtered now because of his incompetence. And fitness for office is, imho, an impeachable offense as well.

Last edited by JohnT; 10-09-2019 at 09:18 AM.
  #2271  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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I think it better to get the nonsense out of the way now instead of at an impeachment trial.
Out of the way? What gives you the idea that they intend to call a few witnesses then step aside to let the impeachment proceedings continue? The very purpose of all this Biden shit is to disrupt, so if/when they get that foot in the door it is never going to close again.
  #2272  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:20 AM
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I first saw this cartoon around the time of the 2016 election:
https://www.snopes.com/tachyon/2017/...g?fit=1200,628

(This image seems to have had the lower part cut off which shows the diaper in more graphic detail.)

Last edited by bobot; 10-09-2019 at 09:22 AM.
  #2273  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:22 AM
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The US will never again stand for freedom.
The US will also never again have allies, those who are with it to the end.

It's not just about abandoning the Kurds, antagonizing the EU, or calling Canada a "security threat". It's putting in doubt the very notion that the US can be trusted. Trust and the 'moral high ground' or a reasonable facsimile of such, was the US's for 75 years. Not anymore.

Whether this is a good, bad, or irrelevant thing remains to be seen.
  #2274  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:44 AM
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The US will also never again have allies, those who are with it to the end.
So, uh, when exactly do you expect the U.S. to be kicked out of NATO?
  #2275  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:48 AM
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Out of the way? What gives you the idea that they intend to call a few witnesses then step aside to let the impeachment proceedings continue? The very purpose of all this Biden shit is to disrupt, so if/when they get that foot in the door it is never going to close again.
I think that like most things, this is a battle for the voters in the middle. The sooner that the Republican strategy can be exposed for the shit that it is, the better.
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  #2276  
Old 10-09-2019, 09:59 AM
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I think that like most things, this is a battle for the voters in the middle. The sooner that the Republican strategy can be exposed for the shit that it is, the better.
There's no reason to think letting the Republicans turn this into a circus will more quickly expose the Republican strategy, most likely the opposite. We already have tonnes of documentation that Biden's interference was totally in line with US policy and a variety of Western authorities including the IMF. How do you imagine interviewing a bunch of Giuliani approved Ukrainians is going to make anything more clear?
  #2277  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:01 AM
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I think that like most things, this is a battle for the voters in the middle. The sooner that the Republican strategy can be exposed for the shit that it is, the better.
That doesn't explain why you think letting them steal the floor with that Biden crap will somehow get it out of the way. How long did they keep that Benghazi fiasco going, and what damage did that descent into madness do to the Republican party? What you are proposing isn't giving them enough rope to hang themselves-what you want to do is give them both ends of the rope and let them choose who is to be strung up.

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  #2278  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:02 AM
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That's as far as I got. Three pages in, and nearly every point is a lie or a pitiful twist of the truth. Is there any page that's not full of lies? Direct me to that one, and I'll read it, but I'll hold you accountable for any claim that it's an honest page.
I continue to respond out of order (I'll get around to the older posts, promise! Doing some research).

I won't vouch for everything on the page but page 4 has two points that I actually agree with. First point, it is claimed that Republican ranking members of the (Intelligence?) committee are not allowed to issue their own subpoenas. I would prefer for the impeachment proceedings to have some semblance of bipartisanship, but if only Democrats are allowed to conduct the inquiry it will appear quite partisan.
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In addition, the House has not provided the Committees' Ranking Members with the authority to issue subpoenas. The right of the minority to issue subpoenas-subject to the same rules as the majority-has been the standard, bipartisan practice in all recent resolutions authorizing presidential impeachment inquiries.11 The House's failure to provide co-equal subpoena power in this case ensures that any inquiry will be nothing more than a one-sided effort by House Democrats to gather information favorable to their views and to selectively release it as only they determine. The House's utter disregard for the established procedural safeguards followed in past impeachment inquiries shows that the current proceedings are nothing more than an unconstitutional exercise in political theater.
...
11 H.R. Res. 581, 105th Cong. (1998); H.R. Res. 803, 93rd Cong. (1974).
Second point, witnesses are allegedly being denied agency lawyers during their testimony. Unlike grand jury hearings, which are normally secret and in some cases hearsay, their testimony will be used publicly for or against the president during the Senate trial. There are also national security and diplomatic concerns if the witnesses are asked sensitive questions (the president's disregard for national security and diplomacy aside). Also, the witnesses testify under penalty of perjury. It would be prudent to allow lawyers to advise the witnesses during their depositions.
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Worse, the Committees have broadly threatened that if State Department officials attempt to insist upon the right for the Department to have an agency lawyer present at depositions to protect legitimate Executive Branch confidentiality interests-or apparently if they make any effort to protect those confidentiality interests at all-these officials will have their salaries withheld.13
...
13 See Letter from Eliot L. Engel, Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, et al., to John J. Sullivan,Deputy Secretary of State 2-3 (Oct. I, 2019).
The rebuttal at the bottom of page 8 and the top of page 9 is also convincing. In short, the House does have an oversight authority to request the very same documents, but the current requests were clearly made without exercising that authority.

I find the rest of the letter to be unconvincing.

~Max
  #2279  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:06 AM
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When you ask what Pelosi is "afraid" of, it's an easy inference to make. Moreover, don't be shocked people think you're a Republican when you spout Republican talking points.

She's not "afraid" of anything, she's operating within the rules that as YamatoTwinkie pointed out were rules that Republicans made when they were in charge.
Personally, I find it helps to debate/debunk the Republican talking points when I know from what compost heap they were pulled. YMMV.
  #2280  
Old 10-09-2019, 10:25 AM
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I continue to respond out of order (I'll get around to the older posts, promise! Doing some research).

I won't vouch for everything on the page but page 4 has two points that I actually agree with. First point, it is claimed that Republican ranking members of the (Intelligence?) committee are not allowed to issue their own subpoenas. I would prefer for the impeachment proceedings to have some semblance of bipartisanship, but if only Democrats are allowed to conduct the inquiry it will appear quite partisan.
How do you respond to the points that:
a) these subpoena rules were adopted under Republican control of Congress, so it's hardly Democratic partisanship to continue under them--arguably it's a rare moment of bipartisanship to have both sides agree to the same rules; and
b) Republicans have demonstrated a desire to three-headed-monkeying the whole proceeding by talking about Biden conspiracy theories instead of about the conduct of the person actually being investigated for impeachment?

Even if it's partisan, though, that's irrelevant. The solution to partisanship is the 2020 election. If what they're doing is totally skeezy but legal, the most partisan partisanship since McConnell last opened his mouth, the president must comply.
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Second point, witnesses are allegedly being denied agency lawyers during their testimony. Unlike grand jury hearings, which are normally secret and in some cases hearsay, their testimony will be used publicly for or against the president during the Senate trial. There are also national security and diplomatic concerns if the witnesses are asked sensitive questions (the president's disregard for national security and diplomacy aside). Also, the witnesses testify under penalty of perjury. It would be prudent to allow lawyers to advise the witnesses during their depositions.
There's a tiny but crucial bit of equivocation here that I'd like to resolve before continuing. Are they being denied agency lawyers, or all lawyers? If it's just the former, that's totally fair: the DOJ is patently engaged in obstructionism, so there's no reason to allow them to give the advice they'd give in this case.

Even if they're denied access to lawyers during their deposition, though, that's irrelevant, unless you can point to controlling legal authority that says people have the right to an attorney when speaking before congress. They may, of course, plead the fifth amendment.
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The rebuttal at the bottom of page 8 and the top of page 9 is also convincing. In short, the House does have an oversight authority to request the very same documents, but the current requests were clearly made without exercising that authority.
That's about as convincing as it is when sovereign citizens talk about how the US government lacks the authority to prosecute them. The White House has no more authority to tell Congress how to exercise their powers than sovereign citizens have to tell the US government how to exercise its powers. Separation of powers lets Congress set their own procedures for exercising their authority; and if the House says they're engaged in an impeachment, that's what they're doing.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 10-09-2019 at 10:27 AM.
  #2281  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:04 AM
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Second point, witnesses are allegedly being denied agency lawyers during their testimony. Unlike grand jury hearings, which are normally secret and in some cases hearsay, their testimony will be used publicly for or against the president during the Senate trial. There are also national security and diplomatic concerns if the witnesses are asked sensitive questions (the president's disregard for national security and diplomacy aside). Also, the witnesses testify under penalty of perjury. It would be prudent to allow lawyers to advise the witnesses during their depositions.
I don't see why an agency would deny legal representation to an official for acts in their governmental capacity -- which is a long way of asking for a cite -- but even still, the idea that there are people in policy-making positions in government (especially for the Trump Administration!) who do not carry professional liability insurance is just mind-blowing to me.

Seriously, anyone who isn't a government drone should know full well that if they pay like $250 a year, they get an insurance policy that covers you for any professional liability that may arise out of your government service. For that price you get like half a million or a million dollars of legal representation. If these people are being subpoenaed never bought in to such plan, they are fucking stupid and deserve what they get. I'm talking like Jared Kushner level of idiocy.
  #2282  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:12 AM
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I first saw this cartoon around the time of the 2016 election:
https://www.snopes.com/tachyon/2017/...g?fit=1200,628

(This image seems to have had the lower part cut off which shows the diaper in more graphic detail.)
I think that might have been an Economist cover? Or maybe I’m thinking of their awesome recent cover of Trump and Boris Johnson as Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Last edited by JKellyMap; 10-09-2019 at 11:14 AM.
  #2283  
Old 10-09-2019, 11:34 AM
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Second point, witnesses are allegedly being denied agency lawyers during their testimony. Unlike grand jury hearings, which are normally secret and in some cases hearsay, their testimony will be used publicly for or against the president during the Senate trial. There are also national security and diplomatic concerns if the witnesses are asked sensitive questions (the president's disregard for national security and diplomacy aside). Also, the witnesses testify under penalty of perjury. It would be prudent to allow lawyers to advise the witnesses during their depositions.


~Max
Aside from the plain fact that this inquiry is not a trial, the people being interviewed are witnesses, not defendants. Witnesses do not routinely require a lawyer to advise them.
  #2284  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:09 PM
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That doesn't explain why you think letting them steal the floor with that Biden crap will somehow get it out of the way. How long did they keep that Benghazi fiasco going, and what damage did that descent into madness do to the Republican party? What you are proposing isn't giving them enough rope to hang themselves-what you want to do is give them both ends of the rope and let them choose who is to be strung up.
https://www.apnews.com/8f2a9d08c0f448fcac3609e8d886eeca
Well Trey is back.

Last edited by drad dog; 10-09-2019 at 12:13 PM.
  #2285  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:21 PM
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Good to see Jim Trafficant's hairdresser still has a job.
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Old 10-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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Agency lawyers represent their agency, not its employees, except in limited circumstances. They are actually required by ethics rules to make sure that is clear if there's a chance that an employee might be confused about it. So, letting agency lawyers participate in an employee witness's testimony is like letting the defendant's lawyer make objections during police questioning of a fact witness. Or, really, it's worse than that. I mean, the agency lawyers are there to protect the agency, but here will also be protecting the administration. (I mean, they clearly won't choose lawyers who think it is in the agency's interest to root out corruption and misuse of government power and assets, and re-establish the legitimacy of the agency and its work...)

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  #2287  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:40 PM
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The dumb fucker talks on the phone with an autocrat and without consulting anyone, removes the only protection that our Kurdish allies had against genocide. But but but her emails! And did you know China gave $1.5 Billion to Biden's kid? This administration has utterly destroyed the US's reputation throughout the world. We will never be trusted again. The US will never again stand for freedom.
I think historians will one day look back and tag the Trump administration as the end of American hegemony. Europe is realigning, having realised that the only thing exceptional in American exceptionalism is our unique stupidity.

Last edited by KidCharlemagne; 10-09-2019 at 12:41 PM.
  #2288  
Old 10-09-2019, 12:53 PM
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Europe is realigning, having realised that the only thing exceptional in American exceptionalism is our unique stupidity.
Britain just asked someone to hold their beer.
  #2289  
Old 10-09-2019, 01:10 PM
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Crybaby tweets that original whistleblower should apologize to him! Says he released full transcript of Zelensky call (he did not). Says call was “perfect” because it was congenial! Uh, what does congeniality have to do with whether the call was appropriate or not? Rhetorical question.
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Old 10-09-2019, 01:49 PM
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Crybaby tweets that original whistleblower should apologize to him! Says he released full transcript of Zelensky call (he did not). Says call was “perfect” because it was congenial! Uh, what does congeniality have to do with whether the call was appropriate or not? Rhetorical question.
Well, Trump was polite.

As in "Nice house you have here. Shame if it burnt down"

See? That was a nice, perfect conversation.
  #2291  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:05 PM
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This Trey Gowdy?

https://twitter.com/lotsofuss/status...21416728625153
  #2292  
Old 10-09-2019, 02:38 PM
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LOL, Trey Gowdy. Trump's standards to only hire people who "look the part" are slipping fast.

It can certainly be said that no one outshines Trey. (Twitter, for photo only)
  #2293  
Old 10-09-2019, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
LOL, Trey Gowdy. Trump's standards to only hire people who "look the part" are slipping fast.

It can certainly be said that no one outshines Trey. (Twitter, for photo only)
Pre-lubricated tip so he'll glide more easily right up Trump's ass.
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St. QuickSilver: Patron Saint of Thermometers.
  #2294  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Miller View Post
Britain just asked someone to hold their beer.
I think the ball is back in Britain's court with the "I just don't feel like testifying" coming from America. Boris did have a good go at it with his "We're going to Brexit and there's nothing that Parliament or the Queen can do about it!" which would be worse, but doesn't seem as high a chance of it working. If he keeps pushing that line of thinking, though, he could still regain the title of biggest trainwreck.
  #2295  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Aspenglow View Post
LOL, Trey Gowdy. Trump's standards to only hire people who "look the part" are slipping fast.

It can certainly be said that no one outshines Trey. (Twitter, for photo only)
He reminds me of that really sweaty Nazi from Raiders of the Lost Ark

This guy: https://images.app.goo.gl/r1HZmBZ4Qo3fst1j8
  #2296  
Old 10-09-2019, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
How do you respond to the points that:
a) these subpoena rules were adopted under Republican control of Congress, so it's hardly Democratic partisanship to continue under them--arguably it's a rare moment of bipartisanship to have both sides agree to the same rules; and
House Rule XI, clause 2
SPOILER:
Quote:
...
Calling and questioning of witnesses
(j)(1)Whenever any hearing is conducted by any committee upon any measure or matter, the minority party members on the committee shall be entitled, upon request to the chairman by a majority of them before the completion of such hearing, to call witnesses selected by the minority to testify with respect to that measure or matter during at least one day of hearing thereon.
(2)(A) Subject to subdivisions (B) and (C), each committee shall apply the five-minute rule during the questioning of witnesses in a hearing until such time as each member of the committee who so desires has had an opportunity to question each witness.
(B) A committee may adopt a rule or motion permitting a specified number of its members to question a witness for longer than five minutes. The time for extended questioning of a witness under this subdivision shall be equal for the majority party and the minority party and may not exceed one hour in the aggregate.
(C) A committee may adopt a rule or motion permitting committee staff for its majority and minority party members to question a witness for equal specified periods. The time for extended questioning of a witness under this subdivision shall be equal for the majority party and the minority party and may not exceed one hour in the aggregate.
Hearing procedures
(k)(1)...
(2) ...
(3) Witnesses at hearings may be accompanied by their own counsel for the purpose of advising them concerning their constitutional rights.
(4) ...
(5) Whenever it is asserted by a member of the committee that the evidence or testimony at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person, or it is asserted by a witness that the evidence or testimony that the witness would give at a hearing may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate the witness--
(A) notwithstanding paragraph (g)(2), such testimony or evidence shall be presented in executive session if, in the presence of the number of members required under the rules of the committee for the purpose of taking testimony, the committee determines by vote of majority of those present that such evidence or testimony may tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person; and
(B) the committee shall proceed to receive such testimony in open session only if the committee, a majority being present, determines that such evidence or testimony will not tend to defame, degrade, or incriminate any person.
In either case the committee shall afford such person an opportunity voluntarily to appear as a witness, and receive and dispose of requests from such person to subpoena additional witnesses.
(6) Except as provided in subparagraph (5), the chair shall receive and the committee shall dispose of requests to subpoena additional witnesses.
...
...

Power to sit and act; subpoena power
(m)(1) For the purpose of carrying out any of its functions and duties under this rule and rule X (including any matters referred to it under clause 2 of rule XII), a committee or subcommittee is authorized (subject to subparagraph (3)(A))--
(A) ...; and
(B) to require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents as it considers necessary.
(2) ...
(3)(A)(i) Except as provided in subdivision (A)(ii), a subpoena may be authorized and issued by a committee or subcommittee under subparagraph (1)(B) in the conduct of an investigation or series of investigations or activities only when authorized by the committee or subcommittee, a majority being present. The power to authorize and issue subpoenas under subparagraph (1)(B) may be delegated to the chair of the committee under such rules and under such limitations as the committee may prescribe. Authorized subpoenas shall be signed by the chair of the committee or by a member designated by the committee.
(ii) In the case of a subcommittee of the Committee on Ethics, ...
(B)...
(C) Compliance with a subpoena issued by a committee or subcommittee under subparagraph (1)(B) may be enforced only as authorized or directed by the House.

If the Democrats are not allowing Republican committee members equal questioning time or the ability to call their own witnesses, that would appear to violate Rule XI, clause 2(j). Yes, technically the House can change its own rules for this inquiry in particular. It would lose the semblance of bipartisanship, but it is still constitutional as far as I can tell. But the relevant rules haven't changed with the incoming 116th Congress, so if the Republican minority is being denied equal questioning time and the ability to call their own witnesses, not only are Democrats appearing partisan, they are also violating their own rules.

Or perhaps the rules have changed. H.Res.6 sec. 103(a), passed in January, gives the chair of every standing committee (other than the Committe on Rules), and the chair of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (Mr. Schiff), with mere consultation of the minority ranking member, the power to order the taking of depositions pursuant to subpoena. If that's the rule being used/abused, it's new.

Regarding the actual subpoena power, both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment inquiries the relevant committees allowed the minority party to issue subpoenas. The cites are in the letter and those resolutions were specifically adopted for the Judiciary committee's impeachment inquiries. If the general subpoena power has changed in the meantime, that does not diminish the fact that this inquiry would be breaking a pattern of deference to the minority party during presidential impeachment inquiries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Even if it's partisan, though, that's irrelevant. The solution to partisanship is the 2020 election. If what they're doing is totally skeezy but legal, the most partisan partisanship since McConnell last opened his mouth, the president must comply.
The president need not comply. He is under no obligation to do any such thing, even if Congress unanimously ordered the President to produce some document, the President is within his power to refuse that order on even the flimsiest of grounds until the courts strike down those grounds. But I doubt the Supreme Court will attempt to compel the President to do anything. They might resolve a controversy or question of law between the branches, but that's it. Notably, the Congress is also free to impeach and convict the president for refusing a lawful order.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
There's a tiny but crucial bit of equivocation here that I'd like to resolve before continuing. Are they being denied agency lawyers, or all lawyers? If it's just the former, that's totally fair: the DOJ is patently engaged in obstructionism, so there's no reason to allow them to give the advice they'd give in this case.
Right, I agree with you there. I had assumed that the witnesses want the agency's lawyers, if they want and are allowed to bring their own lawyers then the agency lawyers are unnecessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Even if they're denied access to lawyers during their deposition, though, that's irrelevant, unless you can point to controlling legal authority that says people have the right to an attorney when speaking before congress.
Aside from House Rule XI clause 2 (k)(3) which guarantees all witnesses the right to an attorney of their choice, we have the Fifth Amendment right to due process. This requires that the witness is told their rights, and the scope of what he is required to answer. Although due process alone does not require the presence of a lawyer during testimony, it would be reasonable to have one on hand.

During Congressional testimony, it is a crime to refuse to answer "any question pertinent to the question under inquiry". 2 U.S.C. § 192. The witness has "the right to have available, through a sufficiently precise statute, information revealing... the pertinency of the questions propounded to the witness". Also, he "must decide at the time the questions are propounded whether or not to answer. As the Court said in Sinclair v. United States, the witness acts at his peril... An erroneous determination on his part, even if made in the utmost good faith, does not exculpate him if the court should later rule that the questions were pertinent to the question under inquiry." Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 208 (1957).

Certainly it is enough to tell the witness their rights, the scope of the inquiry, and that it is a crime to refuse pertinent questions. But it still makes a lot of sense (would be prudent) to let the witness bring a lawyer in to help them make that determination, as each question comes, as to whether he must answer the question.

Add in the additional possibility that the witness will be asked questions that may or may not invoke executive privilege or national security or a variety of other concerns, and that the witness is not the whistleblower and is on the President's side, and it makes sense for the witness to want an agency lawyer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
They may, of course, plead the fifth amendment.
Congress can sue witnesses who invoke the fifth amendment right against self-incrimination. They can reject the privilege claimed and argue in court that it is invalid. Quinn v. United States, 349 U.S. 155 (1955). Technically, Congress could arrest and jail the witness on their own authority until the end of the legislative session. Anderson v. Dunn, 19 U.S. 204 (1821). That would probably be subject to habeas corpus, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Separation of powers lets Congress set their own procedures for exercising their authority; and if the House says they're engaged in an impeachment, that's what they're doing.
You seem to be begging the question. Did the House of Representatives, as a matter of fact, authorize the relevant committees to subpoena the administration for the stated reason, "as part of the House's impeachment inquiry"?

The Constitution doesn't say that a Committee gets to decide the rules in the House of Representative. The word of one or three committee chairs, or even the Speaker of the House, does not constitute prima facie evidence that they have the full backing of the House of Representatives as an institution, especially in such a politically sensitive case as the impeachment of the President. The constitution says that the House decides its own rules, and the House rules - approved by a House vote each legislative session - say that committees can only issue subpoenas "For the purpose of carrying out any of its functions and duties" under rules X, XI, and XII.

The cited October 4 subpoena was signed by the chairs of three committees:
  • Elijah E. Cummings, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform
  • Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs
The subpoena was ultimately "issued by the Committee on Oversight and Reform under the Rules of the House of Representatives in exercise of its oversight and legislative jurisdiction". That committee's jurisdiction is specified in House Rule X, clause 1(n), reproduced in the spoiler below:
SPOILER:
Quote:
(n) Committee on Oversight and Reform.
(1) Federal civil service, including intergovernmental personnel; and the status of officers and employees of the United States, including their compensation, classification, and retirement.
(2) Municipal affairs of the District of Columbia in general (other than appropriations).
(3) Federal paperwork reduction.
(4) Government management and accounting measures generally.
(5) Holidays and celebrations.
(6) Overall economy, efficiency, and management of government operations and activities, including Federal procurement.
(7) National archives.
(8) Population and demography generally, including the Census.
(9) Postal service generally, including transportation of the mails.
(10) Public information and records.
(11) Relationship of the Federal Government to the States and municipalities generally.
(12) Reorganizations in the executive branch of the Government.

A matter is then said to be "referred" to the committee of proper Rule X, clause 1 jurisdiction by the Speaker of the House, pursuant to Rule XII, clause 2:
SPOILER:
Quote:
Referral
2. (a) The Speaker shall refer each bill, resolution, or other matter that relates to a subject listed under a standing committee named in clause 1 of rule X in accordance with the provisions of this clause.
(b) The Speaker shall refer matters under paragraph (a) in such manner as to ensure to the maximum extent feasible that each committee that has jurisdiction under clause 1 of rule X over the subject matter of a provision thereof may consider such provision and report to the House thereon. Precedents, rulings, or procedures in effect before the Ninety-Fourth Congress shall be applied to referrals under this clause only to the extent that they will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of this clause.
(c) In carrying out paragraphs (a) and (b) with respect to the referral of a matter, the Speaker--
(1) shall designate a committee of primary jurisdiction (except where the Speaker determines that extraordinary circumstances justify review by more than one committee as though primary);
(2) may refer the matter to one or more additional committees for consideration in sequence, either initially or after the matter has been reported by the committee of primary jurisdiction;
(3) may refer portions of the matter reflecting different subjects and jurisdictions to one or more additional committees;
(4) may refer the matter to a special, ad hoc committee appointed by the Speaker with the approval of the House, and including members of the committees of jurisdiction, for the specific purpose of considering that matter and reporting to the House thereon;
(5) may subject a referral to appropriate time limitations; and
(6) may make such other provision as may be considered appropriate.
(d) A bill for the payment or adjudication of a private claim against the Government may not be referred to a committee other than the Committee on Foreign Affairs or the Committee on the Judiciary, except by unanimous consent.

The question is this, did Speaker Pelosi refer the matter of impeaching the President to a committee or committees? There is some precedent in referring an investigation, in that the first attempt to impeach President Johnson was made by indirectly requesting an ad-hoc committee investigate the administration (Hinds III, § 2399, 822-823). Or are they trying (as it would appear) to fit the impeachment inquiry into their jurisdiction over the "[f]ederal civil service"? That flies in the face of precedent (re: Nixon and Clinton, cites in White House letter), which seems to imply that the House Judiciary Committee has jurisdiction over impeachment inquiries.

~Max
  #2297  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:26 PM
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This CNN article says
Quote:
If the White House stonewalls, Congress can seek enforcement of the subpoena in court. Given the enormity of the stakes, Congress could try to get the case quickly to the Supreme Court under a rarely-invoked rule permitting direct review if the case "is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in this Court."
Indeed, the Nixon case went straight from the district court to the Supreme Court under this rule. It took just over three months -- from April until July 1974 -- from filing of the Nixon case in the district court to the Supreme Court's decision.
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/opini...nig/index.html

So they can ask for a fast track but it might still be a few months. I’ve seen articles that indicate Dems are looking toward a Thanksgiving impeachment.
  #2298  
Old 10-09-2019, 05:54 PM
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I thought the most striking finding from the new WaPo poll was:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...htmlview#gid=0
“In impeaching Trump, do you think Democrats in Congress are making a necessary stand against Trump's actions , or not?”

61% yes, 36% no.

The same poll finds 52% agreeing that impeaching Trump distracts from more important issues. But this question about “making a necessary stand” clearly shows that a significant chunk of that group thinks it is unfortunate that it distracts from important issues, but that it has to be done anyway.

This is probably about the worst kind of poll number for Republicans. If the polling were 90% for impeachment, they could just go along without paying much penalty. But they are really caught between swing voters’ antipathy for Trump’s behavior on one hand, and the strong countervailing opinion of their own primary voters on the other.
  #2299  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:13 PM
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New Fox News polls:
Quote:
Should President Trump Be Impeached And Removed From Office?

Impeached and Removed: 51%
Impeached, But Not Removed: 4%
Not Impeached: 40%

Appropriate For President Trump To Ask Foreign Leaders To Investigate Rivals?

Appropriate: 25%
Not Appropriate: 66%

Is Trump Administration More/Less Corrupt Than Previous Ones?

More: 51%
Less: 27%
Same: 18%

In The Impeachment Inquiry

Trump Getting What He Deserves: 48%
People Are Out To Get Trump: 37%
  #2300  
Old 10-09-2019, 06:18 PM
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New Fox News Poll:
Quote:
A new high of 51 percent wants Trump impeached and removed from office, another 4 percent want him impeached but not removed, and 40 percent oppose impeachment altogether.
Sorry for the duplicate link, poster above beat me to it.

Last edited by dontbesojumpy; 10-09-2019 at 06:19 PM. Reason: redundancy.
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