Christmas Impeachment Stocking: There's Nothing In It

Mish

The Democrats have made the weakest case for impeachment since Andrew Johnson in 1868.

Stocking Stuffer

A quick check shows the Democrat impeachment stocking is stuffed with nothing. It's the weakest case since 1868.

Honey, We Shrunk the Impeachment

Please consider the Incredible Shrinking Impeachment.

So that’s it? That’s all there is? After all the talk of obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia, bribery, extortion, profiting from the Presidency, and more, House Democrats have reduced their articles of impeachment against President Trump to two: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Honey, we shrunk the impeachment.

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will vote as early as Thursday on the text of the two articles they unveiled Tuesday, and then they will rush it to the floor next week. It’s enough to suspect that Democrats understand they are offering the weakest case for impeachment since Andrew Johnson, that the public isn’t convinced, and so they simply want to get it over with.

Whatever happened to bribery and extortion? Democrats have retreated instead to charge “abuse of power,” a phrase general enough for anything Congress wants to stuff into it. [Mish Comment: That's what inspired my Christmas stocking idea.]

They don’t even pretend any more to prove a quid pro quo. Instead they assert that Mr. Trump, in his phone call with Ukraine’s president, “solicited the interference of a foreign government” in the 2020 election “in pursuit of personal political benefit.” They also assert that this “compromised the national security of the United States and undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process.”

Their problem is that Mr. Trump didn’t withhold military aid to Ukraine, and even if he had he would have merely been returning to Barack Obama’s policy of denying lethal aid. How would that have jeopardized national security?

The second Democratic article is weaker in that it amounts to impeaching Mr. Trump because he is resisting their subpoenas. “Without lawful cause or excuse, President Trump directed Executive Branch agencies, offices and officials not to comply with those subpoenas,” the article charges.

His lawful cause is defending his presidential powers under the Constitution. Every modern President has to some extent or another resisted Congressional or special-counsel subpoenas. Nixon and Mr. Clinton did until they lost at the Supreme Court. House Democrats are refusing even to fight in court, claiming impeachment gives them plenary power to see all documents and any witnesses they want.

This ignores that the Constitution stipulates co-equal branches that each have the right to defend their powers. If Democrats are right in their claim, then every President essentially works for Congress. We should skip elections and let Congress choose the President.

Democrats also claim the emergency of time, and as usual Rep. Adam Schiff puts this case in the least credible way. “The argument ‘why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let [Mr. Trump] cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time?,” Mr. Schiff told the press as the articles were unveiled.

Sorry, Pathetic Witch Hunt

What a sorry, pathetic joke of a witch hunt this turned out to be.

Bribery charges - MIA.

Extortion - MIA.

Dear Democrats, if you are going to present charges, at least present them in a way the general public can understand.

Instead, Democrats want to impeach Trump on the grounds he might do something deserving of impeachment if he gets reelected.

Why This?

Who knows? Certainly not me.

But I do know a pathetically weak case when I see one.

There is no way the Senate will convict on these ridiculous charges.

Democrats Up in Arms

The New York Times reports McConnell, Coordinating With White House, Lays Plans for Impeachment Trial

Mr. Trump said on Friday that he had no preference for how the trial — expected to begin in early January — unfolds, but he has privately pushed for a prolonged process that would allow him to mount a theatrical defense. Mr. McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, has resisted that idea in favor of a shorter, more dignified event.

Outraged Democrats, meanwhile, accused Mr. McConnell on Friday of abandoning his duty to render “impartial justice” in an impeachment trial — a response to a television interview in which Mr. McConnell dismissed House Democrats’ articles of impeachment as “so darn weak.” He added that he was “taking my cues” from the White House in shaping the trial.

No Trial?

There may not even be a trial.

The Senate can choose to to not even hear the case.

Unless there are 51 Senators willing to take the case, the process dies.

Monkey Trial?

If the Senate takes the case, it could easily morph into trial of Hunter Biden or other Democrats.

Trump wants theatrics. McConnell may or may not go along. Ultimately, McConnell will do whatever he thinks is best for Republicans, not just Trump.

But also look at it this way: If you make a mockery of the impeachment process by presenting amazingly weak charges, then expect a trial of the monkeys presenting the charges.

One does not have to like Trump to see what a farce this turned out to be. A majority of the US does not support this process.

And if all the Democrats can mount are these feeble charges, then expect the whole process to backfire on the Democrats.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (47)
Greggg
Greggg

No. 1-20
BaronAsh
BaronAsh

I think they are using impeachment as a pre-emptive defense against the upcoming Durham prosecutions, for they can claim the latter as a corrupt attempt to deflect impeachment charges (they always accuse their foes of what they are doing themselves!).

But also, I don't think Trump is interested in 'theatrics' for a shallow reason, indeed calling them theatrics is itself shallow. What Trump is probably pushing for is the chance to call witnesses in a solid way which amounts to a vigorous Counter Claim, turning impeachment against him into offense against them. If they can show that many aspects of the Ukraine business - which ties in directly to the Russia collusion story via the infamous DNC server etc. - were deliberately manufactured frauds perpetrated on both the American People and the Executive, then they have a case to prosecute those perpetrating that fraud. Furthermore, the public nature of the trial will diminish the considerable ability of the Press to distract and dilute its import.

Trump wants a solid counter punch. It's a solid play, a consummation devoutly to be wished.

If he can't do it in the Senate, he'll do it in the Courts via Grand Juries, but they won't be so public.

The reason he is being impeached is because he is in a very strong position, finally, after three years of taking unfair hits. Impeachment is a desperate move which already isn't playing well in Peoria - not to mention that not only will it fail, but also will probably boomerang back on them to ruin them both politically and personally.

Nadler is clearly on his last legs, fainting and drooling. Nancy is fading away monthly. Schiff seems fine, but he might well end up ranting and raving in Bellevue. They ceased being authentic politicians a while ago and instead are crooks. It's bad for the health, if nothing else.

L.Ron.Hoover
L.Ron.Hoover

Of the long list of things they could have gone after him for, seems like his letting Edrogan slaughter our allies because "I have a little conflict of interest, because I have a major, major building in Istanbul ... It’s called Trump Towers. Two towers, instead of one. Not the usual one, it’s two. And I’ve gotten to know Turkey very well." would have been a better fit. But Russia owns the republican party now, so I guess it doesn't really matter. It's up to the voters now.

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

So if impeachment doesn't work, what's next on the Democrat 'list of fixes?' Anyone wanna bet it won't be a rapid decline in the stock market as the election nears?

tz3
tz3

Look in your stocking Democrats! Trump need a black new deal. Coal fired powerplants for electricity, and outreach to all the no employed people with darker skin.

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

Has Trump done a good job so far in his presidency?

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Counterpunch begins?

Tengen
Tengen

There isn't much in anyone's metaphorical stocking this year, whether it's impeachment, MAGA, Russiagate, ending the wars, dealing with the big, fat ugly bubble, etc.

This impeachment blather does fill some news cycles and keeps discourse pointed in a useless direction, so I guess it's all good!

Axiom7
Axiom7

There will be no impeachment after Labour's stunning loss last week.

Jackula
Jackula

Dang! I was hoping for a major delving into the Ukraine coup and Biden et al's profiteering but O'Connell may be afraid of what all will be uncovered if some investigation is done on that steaming pile of sh*t. Military industrial complex corruption is deep both sides of the aisle.

Pater_Tenebrarum
Pater_Tenebrarum

Obviously you don't know the rules governing impeachment well enough. Updated below.

Ensign_Nemo
Ensign_Nemo

It's not absolutely certain that the Dems have the votes to pass impeachment. One Representative has announced that he will switch parties to the Republicans because he prefers to be re-elected more than he prefers to vote for impeachment.

This source gives the Dems 233 members, the Republicans 197 members, 1 independent, and four vacancies. With 431 voting members, 216 are required to impeach (216 "ayes" and 215 "nays", assuming everybody votes and nobody abstains).

It counts Amash as the sole independent, and he is anti-Trump. If Van Drew switches, and Amash votes to impeach, then it's 232 Dems, 198 Republicans, and Amash. One other Dem already voted against starting impeachment (along with Van Drew). Let's count him as anti-impeachment. That leaves 231 Dems who might or might not vote to impeach, and 199 probable "nays".

That's 231 Dems plus Amash = 232 possible "ayes", and 199 probable "nays", for a margin of 33. If 17 more Dems vote "nay" it's 215-216, and impeachment fails.

Are there 17 more Dems who represent pro-Trump districts, and value their seat more than they hate Trump? We will soon find out.

Captain Ahab
Captain Ahab

What everyone seems to be overlooking is that before Trump got involved, the DOJ had ample opportunity to investigate Biden's dealings in the Ukraine, and did NOTHING. The failure to do so, after US State Department officials reported Biden's son as possible malfeasance falls into the same category as DOJ investigating Hillary's emails, or the Clinton Foundation and questionable quid pro quo donations (eg. Ukraine was a major donor): NOTHING!

Takeaway--The upper levels of the DOJ and FBI are either incompetent or corrupt, or both. The hero here is not Schiff, or Igor.

Herkie
Herkie

Donald Trump is not and never has been a legitimate president and should not be in office, and even though that is true the impeachment is not about revoking the illegitimate 2016 vote, and it is also true that the impeachment case presented (so far) is weak because the democrats pulled their punches, they could have charged him with treason, bribery, and many other high crimes but feared a backlash and instead opted for the mealy-mouthed half measure of abuse of office and obstruction of justice, both provable but also not necessarily reason enough to remove a leader from office no matter how threatening he is to our nation.

The real damage in the charges as they stand are that they prove the treacherous nature of the GOP and their willingness to destroy all that the USA stands for in order to put party ahead of country.

Personally I think Trump will be elected (for the first time legitimately) in 2020 for the simple fact that the democrats are allowing the FAR fringe left to infiltrate and warp their party. Seventy percent of democrats have a negative view of socialism and yet the party is turning to socialism and politically correct green policy that will destroy all prosperity in the name of man made global warming panic. I am not one to deny human activity has changed the environment, but I also think that the claims by the far left are so far exaggerated that they might as well be lies, and their responses are nothing short of suicidal.

I am a lifelong democrat that first registered in 1975 and have not missed a vote since. But, the only democrats I could possibly see myself voting for are not going to be our nominee. Biden is just flat out too damned old as well as having nothing original to offer. I would vote GOP before I would vote for a "progressive," that is just code for socialist. I could vote for Mayor Pete, I like his brains and integrity, but will not get excited about him because let's face it, he has no chance at nomination. None of the over 70's are going to work for me, and Bernie Sanders is a russian plant, or may as well be, he would destroy America, the man is actually evil, I would vote for Trump (Satan) himself before I would vote for Sanders. Because the sand that Trump throws into the gears of democratic machinery can with time and effort be repaired, but Sanders proudly proclaims he would simply wreck the whole machine. His damage would be immediate and irreparable. It would be the end of this nation as a single republic. And what failing fragments were left he would force into an EU like confederacy that is incapable of self defense or appropriate legislation.

That does not mean I give the right a pass or the GOP any slack to continue what they are doing to the nation and I do hand them most of the blame for the suicidal left behaving the way they are. Because the right has so bent economics and prosperity in favor of a very small elite that working people and average citizens no longer have any hope or any voice. WTF did you expect tens of millions of people to do once they became structurally impoverished? Sit back and thank you for the lack of health care? Or kiss your feet for the scorn heaped upon them for their own poverty and the need to feed their kids? So, you will get what you deserve also, gloating now is not going to help you when your turn comes to be the targets of forces you have no power against and that day IS coming trust me.

Now return to your regular complaining but remember this, what the GOP and the far left are going to deliver is the end of civilization and possibly life itself, so quite the partisan nonsense and get out there and enjoy that last rays of the setting sun, because we have no future left. Trump, or the reaction to Trump, are the end for us as certainly as the Roman Empire crashed pretty much overnight. I just hope we are lucky enough as a planet to get only 1,000 years of dark ages because the alternative is a planet left a lifeless cinder.

KidHorn
KidHorn

The impeachment has nothing to do with the phone call. I think the democrats are horrified they'll lose in 2020 and are desperate to try anything.

The dems should be able to easily defeat Trump and they still might. If they win, it won't be because of their recent actions. It will be in spite of them.

Worker72a
Worker72a

Not so complicated. The fix is in. Dems reps get to IMPEEEECH!!!! Senate Repubs get to “Defend our <man><party><democracy>(choose any or all) and dismiss without trial. Everybody avoids disclosure of embarrassing facts. We’ll all just shrug and keep paying. For a while. Maybe.

abend237-04
abend237-04

Waaaaaaah!!! Mommy, make Donald give the White House back! Everybody knows we gave it to Hillary! The Patriotic Left.

AshH
AshH

"A majority of the US does not support this process."

Except there's that pesky Fox News poll that found that 54% supported impeachment, and 50% supported removal. What's your basis for that statement?

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Your too early Mish. Watch how it plays out after December 26th.

Wmjack50
Wmjack50

If any one still considers themselves a Democrat following all the revelations in the IG report and the impeachment inquiry---I am sorry for you but you qualify as STUPID


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