Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Two questions

I've been researching the impeachment allegations against President Trump for a couple of hours, to try to get a handle on why the Democratic Party thinks it can impeach him over his conversation with the President of Ukraine.

I have two questions.  The way I see it, if neither can be affirmatively answered, then the President has no case to answer.  Instead, as Kimberley Strassel noted this morning, "This is another internal attempt to take out a president, on the basis of another non-smoking-gun."

1.  The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998, and subsequent legislation, specifically reference intelligence operations.  Slate - hardly a pro-Trump source - explains:

The act protects intelligence officials—just as a similar 1989 bill protected other federal officials—who report actions that constitute “a violation of laws, rules or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to the public health and safety.”

What’s so dramatic and controversial about the current crisis is that the whistleblower filed a complaint of “urgent concern,” which the act defines as a “serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive Order, or deficiency” relating to intelligence activities and involving classified information.

Would someone please identify any intelligence activity, or any classified information, or any function of any intelligence department whatsoever, that was discussed between President Trump and President Zelensky?  If there were none, as appears to be the case from the transcript of their conversation, surely the "complaint" from the as-yet-unidentified whistleblower does not concern an actionable offense, and does not fall under the protection of the laws mentioned above?  If there was no criminal act, no "high crime or misdemeanor", how can impeachment be justified?

2.  It might well be an impeachable offense if a sitting President were to ask a foreign leader to investigate his opponent in a forthcoming Presidential election.  However, former Vice-President Biden is one of many candidates currently contesting the Democratic Party's nomination for the Presidency in 2020.  He is not - at least, not yet - President Trump's electoral opponent.  How, therefore, is it impeachable for the President to request an investigation of potential offenses to which Biden has already openly admitted, on camera?

In sum, we appear to have no impeachable crime being committed, and no influence being exerted against a duly nominated political opponent.  Therefore, what grounds exist for impeachment?  I simply can't see any, in terms of U.S. law.

Readers, can you help me out?



freddie_mac said...

Because ... shut up.
(aka, "it isn't illegal when *we* do it.")

Paul M said...

Good questions...but even answered are not relevant because this whole ugly mess is a contrived smokescreen in yet another attempt to remove a sitting president. It's designed to protect the swamp because all of them (save for a few) are corrupt as the day is they lie, make up lies, then build "a case" on those same lies.

Beans said...

It's not about the laws. They are using the pretense of the laws as a way of prosecuting their feelings. Especially by projection. Hear me out.

They feel OrangeManBad has done illegal things. Why? Because those who are accusing President Trump HAVE done and ARE doing illegal things, therefore, He must be doing illegal things.

Diverting funds illegally for themselves and friends? Yeah...

Accepting foreign and criminal donations? Yeah...

Using Federal and State resources for their own purposes? Yeah...

Committing openly anti-American acts, like supporting illegals over citizens? Yeah...

Making sweet-heart, illegal, real-estate deals for fun and profit? Yeah...

Turning in patently false IRS statements? Yeah...

Using Fed and State resources to cover up their crimes? Yeah...

Using Fed and State resources to pay for their lifestyles and vacations? Yeah...

So. Look at how many House and Senate Dems, and too many Republicans, fit the above statements.

Things like, oh, how did Pelosi's family business get so many exemptions that allowed them to dominate the tuna market? How did the Clinton's make so many great real-estate decisions? How many of them have lined their pockets and their family's pockets with, quite frankly, illegal cash, in such a way that a drug dealer would look askance at?

They think, well, if we do this, then HE must do this. We don't have proof, so let's do the spagetti method. Throw as much against the wall as possible to see what sticks.

What they don't realize is that the very things they are throwing at Trump are going to boomerang upon many, if not all, of them. Every time they yell for his tax returns, there are larger and larger callings from the populace to openly see their tax returns. Every time they try to say he used the intelligence services for bad things, the focus shifts on them.

His and many of his cabinet donating their salaries and actually losing money while working is pissing them off. It is showing that they are the corrupt ones, gorging themselves off the public.

This is getting interesting, like watching clowns tap-dancing in a minefield while ICMs are falling around them.

The potential fallout of all of this carp is, well, the complete shift of the elected officials towards either independent, libertarian or republican candidates.

Gonna be interesting watching the lesser politicos try to distance themselves from the splash zones as the big ones fall.

mark leigh said...

Beans you just may be on to something. As a lifelong libertarian at 69 I sometimes despair for country while watching the media circus. Yet Every one of the people I know and meet is far more sane than any politician and hope resurges always. This election cycle may be the most important in my lifetime. When all a politician has to do is be honest to turn the whole machine against him the machine is broken. If we don't have blood running in the streets a year from now the future will be bright indeed.

LL said...

What Beans said.

LargeMarge said...

This is another diversion.

What are the magicians' other hands doing?

Billll said...

The Dems need an issue to run against Trump but so far Trump has been doing well enough to eliminate most of their "issues". Impeachment is an attempt to elevate OrangeManBad into an issue in hopes that it resonates outside the party base. I'm not seeing this as being very successful. The only issue I can see as usable against Trump would be running up the national debt but no way can a Dem use that.
It's an act of desperation from a party that sees that unless Trump is somehow removed from office before the next election, he's a shoe-in for another term and will likely add to the conservative count in the legislatures.

Silent Draco said...

SJWs always project.

Notice how the leftists routinely scream about (a) plutocrat in politics. Orange Man BAD!

Going down the list, and skipping the Roosevelts, it's been a coon's age since an independently wealthy man served as president. How do you bribe or suborn a man who already has sufficient power wealth for his wants, and is happy with his lot in life? HE can't be bought ... but every 'honest middle class politician' of the past century was bought at a discount. They crave power and money. They fear having their deals for power and money exposed to the light of truth.

The only thing they know is to continue lying LOUDER, and doubling down LOUDER, because a still, small voice is probably saying "Mene, mene tekel upharsin" to their inner ear.

lpdbw said...

Ever since the impeachment of Bill Clinton (who did, in fact, commit criminal acts), we have learned one thing: Impeachment is a purely political act.

Guilt or innocence, or the actual presence of criminal activity, have become irrelevant.

I'm old enough to remember when was founded to strongly protest the "persecution" of Bill Clinton for "political" motives. I am waiting for them to strongly protest this persecution of a sitting president.

I expect to wait for some time.

Steve Sky said...

Couple of possibilities:
1) It's to take out Joe Biden.

2) It's to change our government in the way the left wants.

I could see a number of reasons as I don't think there is a "real reason", and multiple groups would have differing reasons.

Ray - SoCal said...

Impeachment originally had a range. From a sign we don’t agree with you, to removal from office. It’s now morphed into removal from office. Note the word misdemeanor.

high crimes and misdemeanors

Conservative Treehouse has had the best analysis I have seen.

It’s lawfare, and this is just a continuation of the Steele / Mueller debacle as a way to hamstring Trump. Russia, Russia, Russia died, so something else had to be found to replace it. The hope was the Ukraine allegations would enable the house to get the Mueller Grand Jury information, so they could look for dirt on Trump. And keep trying to smear Trump.

kamas716 said...

As someone else suggested at another site, it's just another diversion scandal to get people's minds off something else they don't want us focusing on.

John T. Block said...

Impeachment is a political act, not a criminal one. There for it boils down to "we hate your guts for winning,so we will act like mental patients!" Pelosi actually looks moderate, compared to Nadler, Schiff and the "squad"... But she's as bad as any, just a tad smarter. That's why she regained the Speakeship.
Watching her "tut-tut"in over Trump's betrayal of his Oath of Office makes me sick, seeing how the Bill of Rights means NOTHING to Dem. Leadership.