The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Impeachment (Ver. 1,205,736)

Rich Galen

Thursday December 5, 2019

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  • I watched all 9-or-so hours of the first Impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing featured four Constitutional scholars - three of whom were ready then and their to pull the handle on the impeachment guillotine, and one who was not so sure.

  • The three who pronounced Donald Trump guilty of the Constitutionally mandated "High Crimes and Misdomeanors" were calle by the Democrats.

  • The fourth, Jonathon Turley, professor of law at George Washington University was called by the Democrats.

  • I agreed with Prof. Turley because he agreed with me that the rush to impeachment by House Democrats is unseemly at best and dangerous at worst. I wrote a column about this very subject in a Mullings titled " Slow Down, You're Movin' Too Fast" in October.

  • Keep in mind that Turley is a full professor of law. My total background (as I might have mentioned in passing) is three hours in the Con Law class of the late Professor Robert Hill at Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750).

  • That Turley and I agree tells you something about how good a teacher Dr. Hill was.

  • Turley said the speed with which the Democrats are lunging toward impeachment is "slipshod." He said the Ds (who run this and every other House Committee) should have called more witnesses.

  • At one point, he said:
    "I get it. You are mad. The president is mad. My Republican friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad, and 'Luna' is a goldendoodle and they don't get mad."

  • Even having Jonathon Turley and Rich Galen on the other side, it does not appear that Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) nor Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) are likely to apply the brakes.

  • The Democrats correctly pointed that the Trump White House has instructed every person on the Executive Branch payroll to ignore inquiries, requests, and subpoenas from the Congress. Trump hasn't said not to cooperate until some date in the future. He has said (or caused to have been said on his behalf) "don't cooperate ever."

  • The House Republicans were a little thin on defending Trump's behavior in all this. Which is to say I don't remember their lawyer or any of the Members on the R side laying out a defense of the merits.

  • The Democrats' total defense is procedural. Mostly that the Ds won't let them call the Whistleblower from whom the impeachment proceedings were initiated.

  • It is not clear to me why they are so focused on getting the Whistleblower under oath. Whatever he or she wrote - not withstanding it was second hand or fifth hand - it appears to have been true.

  • It is possible to argue over whether what Trump is quoted as having said to the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, about investigating Joe and Hunter Biden is an impeachable offence.

  • I think it is. But, I can't get myself whipped up into a projectile sweat that it is worthy of tossing the guy out of the Presidential limo to the curb in front of Trump Tower.

  • And, you know what I think of Trump.

  • If the Ds think Trump's refusal to supply witnesses, documents, emails, and texts is "obstruction of Congress" then they should wait until a court - probably the Supreme Court - rules. If Trump is ordered to turn over documents and still refuses, that would be obstruction. And impeachable.

  • But, the Democrats don't want to wait. Among other reasons, they know that when the calendar clicks over to 2020, the call to "let the voters decide" will take on a new and more convincing tone.

  • On the other hand, if this whole exercise is to prove that Trump was attempting to tamper with the Presidential elections next November, then waiting until next November to see whether he was successful or not doesn't seem to make much sense.

  • I do not believe today's hearing moved the needle. I'll bet more Americans can discuss Trump's having been laughed at by other heads of state at the NATO meeting in the U.K. than they can what the House Judiciary Committee was up to.

  • Trump believes that, too which is why he stormed out of the NATO meeting early after angrily calling the Canadian Prime Minister (and Scoffer-in-Chief) Justin Trudeau "Two Faced."

  • To be continued

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the WaPo's summary of the hearing, to a USA Today reminder about the July phone call that started all this, and to video of the NATO attendees laughing at Trump.

    The Mullfoto is of a pack of dogs in Utah. It's very cute.

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