March 7, 2017

The Harvard law professor argues that the President of the United States can and should be impeached for saying something that's not supported by evidence.

This is Noah Feldman, writing at Bloomberg:
The sitting president has accused his predecessor of an act that could have gotten the past president impeached. That’s not your ordinary exercise of free speech....

In a rule of law society, government allegations of criminal activity must be followed by proof and prosecution. If not, the government is ruling by innuendo....
But impeachment is not available as a solution to excessive innuendo.
Breaking the law by tapping Trump’s phones would have been an abuse of executive power that implicated the democratic process itself. Impeachment is the remedy for such a serious abuse of the executive office....
Why would that make impeachment the right remedy for saying that Obama did it?
The Constitution speaks of impeachment for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”... Suffice it to say that what makes crimes “high” is that they pertain to the exercise of government office. That’s exactly what accusations by the executive are: actions that take on their distinctive meaning because they are made by government officials....

Obama is the best-known and most popular Democrat in the country. The effect of attacking him isn’t just to weaken him personally, but to weaken the political opposition to Trump’s administration.

Given how great the executive’s power is, accusations by the president can’t be treated asymmetrically. If the alleged action would be impeachable if true, so must be the allegation if false. Anything else would give the president the power to distort democracy by calling his opponents criminals without ever having to prove it.
So the power available to be used against the President must equal the President's power? We need symmetry, an equal-playing-field fight? If that's the theory, we won't have a presidency anymore. The fact that seems to escape Feldman is that Trump was elected President. THAT was the procedure. The trust was put in him.

I know some people are having a terrible time accepting that. Trump wasn't supposed to win. But he did, and the people who voted for him are entitled to their victory, and those who did not still need a President, and those about to devote themselves to the next campaign need elections to maintain their meaning.

Trump may be outright lying about Obama, but Obama told lies too, and all Presidents tell some lies, sometimes for good reason. We made a human being President. We always do. This person will say many things, and we'll be saying many things against him too. Like Professor Feldman, we can say that the President ought to be impeached. But to say the President should be impeached for lying about a political opponent is too much drama.

174 comments:

Ryan said...

I'm so sick of all this attention on what people SAY. It's infected everything. Let's forget about words and just be people of ACTION.

Chuck said...

I'd advise waiting. I tend to think that there will be much better reasons to impeach Trump in the future.

Ryan said...

I've instituted a new rule with my kids: I don't want to hear about what X said to Y. I don't give a shit anymore. Alert me when someone is bleeding.

AJ Lynch said...

Libruls are nuts....you need a tag for insane librul musings like this. I know- I have told you that before many times.

Achilles said...

If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor...

John Tuffnell said...

To impeach is to call into question the validity or integrity of an act or statement.

I'd say the retired law professor from UW impeached the Harvard Law grandee's opinion article.

MadisonMan said...

So Harvard Law Professors think Speech is a High Crime / Misdemeanor.

Ryan said...

I also have a longstanding rule that I put into place as soon as my first child learned how to talk: I don't answer any "WHY" questions. You can ask me anything else, but not "WHY."

One of the luxuries of being a parent is setting your own rules, and this one has been my favorite and most effective rules.

JPS said...

They could do Trump no greater favor. They try this, the effort falls flat, no one takes them seriously again, and he is immunized for the duration of his presidency. If I were president and I actually wanted to commit impeachable offenses I'd be praying for this.

And, Ryan, 11:36: I have a very similar rule. Basically, You do not want me to intervene over that.

Achilles said...

"Breaking the law by tapping Trump’s phones would have been an abuse of executive power that implicated the democratic process itself. Impeachment is the remedy for such a serious abuse of the executive office...."

Why would that make impeachment the right remedy for saying that Obama did it?

I think he was saying, correctly, that the executive of an administration that used government surveillance meant for foreign enemies on political opponents would be an impeachable offense. I.e. that what Obama did deserved impeachment and conviction.

That is at this point undeniable.

tcrosse said...

Of course, none of this is going to make Hillary president. Ever.

JAORE said...

Can Law Profs be impeached for gross ignorance of civics, the Constitution or bone headed thinking?

Michael K said...

The left has lost its mind, along with a few supposed "life long Republicans."

Victor Davis Hansen has good advice for them.

Finally, after Democrats, Obama officials, and the media massaged the leaks from surveillance of Team Trump, in Samson-like fashion, Trump pulled down the temple on everyone — by tweeting groundbreaking but unsupported accusations that a sitting president of the United States and his team were the catalysts for such unlawful tapping. Apparently, he reckoned that the liberal conversation would therefore turn defensive rather than accusatory.

I think his tweet, while inexact, was largely true and will set up the Democrats for huge problems.

He still has to get some things done in his agenda but Democrats, by mindless obstruction, are giving him more room.

Paddy O said...

I think arguing this is a fireable offense by this professor.

Spiros Pappas said...

So Obama is something like a prophet and any criticisms of him is blasphemy. But if Trump is right, and it does look like he's right, than Obama or Loretta Lynch or whoever authorized the wiretaps committed treason. These people wiretapped the President of the United States. That is so outrageous.

Bob Boyd said...

You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater.
But you can say "I heard the previous owner tried to burn down this theater for the insurance money."

M Jordan said...

I say we impeach Obama retro-actively. It wouldn't do anything to change his reign, but it would at least be nice to see him listed with impeached presidents ... like Clinton but not Nixon.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Does everyone remember when Feldman called for Senator Reid's impeachment after Reid lied about candidate Mitt Romney's tax payments? You know, the lies Reid told in his capacity as a US Senator, including in the Senate chamber itself, for purposes of influencing a Presidential election? The lies Reid has since bragged about?

I mean, it must have happened, right? Weirdly a Google search of Feldman and Reid doesn't return that article. I thought maybe Feldman called for censure or "removal" instead, so I searched those terms...also nothing!

What can possibly explain it?

Oh, also: fuck you, Feldman. Seriously, God help people like him if they actually got their way. Can you imagine what would happen if the Dems gin up some shit and actually knock off elected Repubs over the loud objections of people who voted for the Repubs...outside of "normal" elections? God help them.

Paco Wové said...

"So Harvard Law Professors think Speech is a High Crime / Misdemeanor"

Not speech in general. I think Spiro has grasped the core of the argument here: criticism of Democrats in general, and the Lightworker in particular, must not be borne.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "I'd advise waiting. I tend to think that there will be much better reasons to impeach Trump in the future"

Now that Vichy Chucks latest and greatest beloved dem/lefty narrative is collapsing, Vichy Chuck offers up a 'gee, those grapes were sour anyway' comment!

Keep hope alive Mr. Moby! Keep hope alive!

Chuck said...

Michael K:

You and Victor Davis Hanson should know better, and that Donald J. Trump has probably never used (or even thought about) the word "catalyst" in a completed sentence.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" and "Demander of Precision and Accuracy in Assertions" Chuck: "Michael K: You and Victor Davis Hanson should know better, and that Donald J. Trump has probably never used (or even thought about) the word "catalyst" in a completed sentence"

Show your work Frigate Boy.

M Jordan said...

Impeachment is the political equivalent of a criminal indictment. It is not a conviction, just a charge. Only two presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both were acquitted by the Senate.

Let's add Barack Obama's name to the impeachment list. His crime: spying on and wiretapping political foes (James Rosen, the AP, Sharyl Attkisson, and Donald Trump) as well as placing scapegoats into prison (Nakaola Basseley Nakoala, the film-maker who they blamed Benghazi on).

This would bring me great joy and that is very important.

SeanF said...

Ryan: I also have a longstanding rule that I put into place as soon as my first child learned how to talk: I don't answer any "WHY" questions. You can ask me anything else, but not "WHY."

Is there a reason for this rule?

Sebastian said...

"If the alleged action would be impeachable if true, so must be the allegation if false." Hey, that's a fun game. Can I play? "If the alleged rape would be punishable by expulsion from college and 20 years in prison if true, so must the allegation if false."

A little late to call for O's impeachment now. Let's see if the Harvard prof sticks to his argument if it turns out that DJT was right about the abuse of power under O, even if not "ordered" by O.

Much as I appreciate AA's take-down of the Harvard don, it's not "drama" that's the problem here. It is the deliberate effort of the insane left to take down Trump, by any means necessary. If they keep pushing it, they'll get more drama than they bargained for.

Bay Area Guy said...

Memo to Feldman:

As a practical matter, a GOP House won't impeach a President of their own party. Sorry.

As a substantive matter, ask former AG Loretta Lynch if she obtained a FISA warrant on Trump Tower in October 2016. That would lend clarity to the issue.

Drago said...

SeanF:
Ryan: I also have a longstanding rule that I put into place as soon as my first child learned how to talk: I don't answer any "WHY" questions. You can ask me anything else, but not "WHY."

"Is there a reason for this rule?"

SeanF's question really does get to the "Why?" of Ryans rule.

Drago said...

Bay Area Guy: "As a substantive matter, ask former AG Loretta Lynch if she obtained a FISA warrant on Trump Tower in October 2016. That would lend clarity to the issue"

Black Attorney General FISA Warrant Requests Matter!

Bill Peschel said...

I see he gave himself an out:

"Breaking the law by tapping Trump’s phones would have been an abuse of executive power that implicated the democratic process itself."

Because Obama didn't break the law. He went before the court, metaphorically, got the warrant, and then tapped Trump.

See? Not actionable at all.

And don't forget, Obama could have recourse to the law as well. Simply sue Trump for libel. Take him to court, open the records, and show that he didn't seek judicial permission to wiretap Trump.

virgil xenophon said...

Good professor Feldman proving once again the truth of Orwells statement that "there are some things that only intellectuals could possibly believe in as no ordinary person could ever BE such a fool."

William said...

Tenure guarantees are not absolute. For example, if a Harvard law professor should have argued that Obama had done anything impeachable during his Presidency, such a professor would be enquiring about employment opportunities at Liberty College.

AprilApple said...

Proggy librul neo-fascists get to pick and choose what facts and speech are correct.

It's a brave new world... same as the old one in USSR.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fella on NPR last night, that Indivisible show, pretty sure it was legal prof. Jeffrey Rosen, was talking about Trump's new executive order on visas. He was laying out how it might be challenged, and pointed out that courts usually don't have much say over that kind of policy (just a basic rationality test as long as there aren't protected classes involved) what with the Congress having plenary powers over immigration issues and the Executive having nearly infinite discretion over enforcing those laws. He then said something like "but in this case, though..." and I knew we were off. He said Trump's prior comments likely "had judge's backs up" and "these aren't normal times" and even though most of the people affected wouldn't have standing "there will be so many courts looking at this" that it's likely some judge somewhere will find some excuse to oppose Trump.

Isn't that always the way, though? When the Left is out of power they insist on being given every courtesy, right, and privilege under the law and custom--it's what's fair. When the Left is in power in a given situation, well, suddenly it's different, these aren't normal times, comrade, and your old values (like law, separation of power, journalistic ethics, etc) just don't apply. Sure, it's a huge coincidence and the Occam's razor explanation that the Left doesn't care about laws or rules, only power, is cleaner...but trust them, it's only because THIS particular non-Leftist is so bad that they have to bend and break all the rules to get their way.

Normally we wouldn't impeach an elected President for saying things we don't like or agree with, sure; but Feldman says THIS time it's different, THIS time the normal rules don't apply.

Fuck you, Feldman.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...
Michael K:

You and Victor Davis Hanson should know better, and that Donald J. Trump has probably never used (or even thought about) the word "catalyst" in a completed sentence.


One thing that is clearly obvious is that Trump is far more intelligent than you are Chuck. You can't even pretend to be a republican well.

Alexander said...

What about Congressman, Politicos, Journalists, Lobbyists, Bureaucrats, et. al. who accuse the President of the United States of being a foreign puppet, of say... oh, I dunno, Russia.

What do Harvard law professors suggest be done to them when it is shows to be more innuendo than evidence?

Kristian Holvoet said...

You can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

Sure you can: if there is a fire. Or a lot of, say, smoke. Because, where ... yada ... fire.

Also, per the rules, doesn't the seriousness of the charge demand an investigation?

Chuck said...

M Jordan said...
Impeachment is the political equivalent of a criminal indictment. It is not a conviction, just a charge. Only two presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both were acquitted by the Senate.


Clinton was never, ever going to get removed. The Democratic Conference was unified behind him.

Johnson was different. His party was divided, and disinterested in him. He was just one vote away, from a 2/3 vote to convict and remove him.

Can you imagine 18 Republicans in the current Senate voting to convict and remove Trump, if they felt that there were grounds and that the Party would be better off, in 2020 and beyond without him? I wouldn't predict it, but I can certainly imagine it. I can think of 18 Senate Republicans who voted against Trump in the primary, and some who may not have voted for Trump in the general.

traditionalguy said...

Harvard professors have a niche as the Marxist Anti-American school of choice. There is no use arguing with them. They will accuse you of being pro-American...and suggest that you be arrested for a crime against The People.

John Borell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Borell said...

Drago might be the new Laslo.

David Begley said...

Unhinged doesn't begin to describe this but expect this guy to be on CNN and MSNBC soon.

AprilApple said...

Shut up, they explained.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck,

Don't you think it a bit disingenuous, and a tad premature to talk about impeaching a President ONE MONTH INTO HIS TERM?

It's kinda crazy. Usually, you wait for something to happen, say, a High Crime or Misdemeanor.

I don't think a Twitter Tweet rises to this level, nor the more colorful "pussy grabbing" comment.

In fact, I would suggest that Trump's opponents are far more removed from reality than Trump is. Literally, Trump is driving them crazy.

It's a similar dynamic as played out with Milo Y. In fact, Milo was the victim of adult-child sex, spoke out about it a decade or two later (albeit imprecisely and somewhat obnoxiously), but then he got treated as the culprit, and was ostracized.

Classic case of reversing cause and effect, or as Michael Crichton eloquently put it, "wet sidewalks case rain."

Methinks you and the Left are getting things backwards these days.



Henry said...

The law professor writes, "If I accused Obama of wiretapping my phone, he could sue me for libel. If my statement was knowingly false, I’d have to pay up."

That seems an obvious mistatement of libel law in regards to public figures. Since Feldman makes an knowingly false statement of the law with the intent to damage the president, can we assume the presence of malice?

* * *

I'm increasingly tired of these rhetorical confections intended to prove that Trump is indictable, or impeachable, or insane, or in some other way proved by logical dot connection that he may not be president. They beg the obvious. They are unserious. They are the tedious tick-tock of a wind-up toy.

Drago said...

Vichy Chuck: "Can you imagine 18 Republicans in the current Senate voting to convict and remove Trump, if they felt that there were grounds and that the Party would be better off, in 2020 and beyond without him?"

And it was a Tuesday, in Belgium, and everyone had filled up on chocolate waffles, and a matinee starring Audrey Hepburn was playing at the local cinema, and it was beautiful sunny day just right for taking off ones shoes and letting the sand sift between your toes, and...and....and....and....and...

Drago said...

I think we are all about ready for another of Laslo's offerings on "A Day In The Life Of A Lifelong Republican".

roesch/voltaire said...

Trumps tweets are a lie unto themselves that have become so common and full of errors they are not worth reading or fact checking anymore.

Angel-Dyne said...

Obama is the best-known and most popular Democrat in the country. The effect of attacking him isn’t just to weaken him personally, but to weaken the political opposition to Trump’s administration.

This is the same sort of vacuous "reasoning" that we get in "we have to ban hateful/hurtful speech (that we don't like), because it establishes a 'hostile environment' that undermines 'equality' blah blah blah..." Or "any negative speech (that we don't like) is a slippery slope to violence". (Slippery slope is only a fallacy when people we don't like employ it. We, however, shamelessly use if for everything.)

It's quite insane. I hope the current state of affairs is enlightening more people about just what shabby hustling casuists so many "thought leaders" are.

Drago said...

roesch/voltaire: "Trumps tweets are a lie unto themselves that have become so common and full of errors they are not worth reading or fact checking anymore."

.....he muttered quietly to himself as the entire Media Landscape shifted to address the Tweets which caused the utter collapse of a dem/Lefty/MSM narrative that had been carefully constructed over the course of 6 months with the help of Obama appointees in order to delegitimize the Trump presidency.

Thanks for playing R/V. Recess for you starts any minute....

David said...

"If the alleged action would be impeachable if true, so must be the allegation if false."

So much for the First Amendment.

Fucking idiot.

Ryan said...

SeanF 11:56: "Ryan: I also have a longstanding rule that I put into place as soon as my first child learned how to talk: I don't answer any "WHY" questions. You can ask me anything else, but not "WHY."

Is there a reason for this rule?"

LOL, the kids quickly figured out that they could ask "how come" etc. and avoid saying "why." "Is there a reason for..." is another one of those, but the rule encompasses all such variants.

Between us, the main reasons for my No-Why Questions Rule are:

1. "Why" questions usually mean kids want to argue or delay. I simply want to be obeyed.
2. There is no end to "why" questions, so better not to even start.
3. Most times I don't have a good answer, or don't want to share the answer with kids.

Bear in mind that the generous corollary is that they ask, and I will agree to answer, any other kind of question.

n.n said...

Would this level of accountability apply to anyone with authority, disproportionate influence (e.g. teachers, scientists, rights organizations), or disproportionate reach (e.g. press)?

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

Can you imagine 18 Republicans in the current Senate voting to convict and remove Trump, if they felt that there were grounds and that the Party would be better off, in 2020 and beyond without him? I wouldn't predict it, but I can certainly imagine it. I can think of 18 Senate Republicans who voted against Trump in the primary, and some who may not have voted for Trump in the general.

What your fevered little dream doesn't include is what would happen to DC afterwords and that the GOPe would be included in those festivities.

damikesc said...

So, lying under oath isn't impeachable, per multiple law professors in regards to Clinton.

Lying when NOT under oath is.

Intriguing.

Don't you think it a bit disingenuous, and a tad premature to talk about impeaching a President ONE MONTH INTO HIS TERM?


It does belie the inevitable "Well, we gave him a chance" bullshit that will spew in 2020.

This is the same sort of vacuous "reasoning" that we get in "we have to ban hateful/hurtful speech (that we don't like), because it establishes a 'hostile environment' that undermines 'equality' blah blah blah..." Or "any negative speech (that we don't like) is a slippery slope to violence". (Slippery slope is only a fallacy when people we don't like employ it. We, however, shamelessly use if for everything.)

I bet he was LIVID when the Democrats claimed Bush lied about WMD in Iraq.

Ryan said...

One might encourage kids to engage in physical fights to resolve petty disputes.

Teenage kids are glued to their phones 99% of the time in a lame virtual existence, and are at risk of losing touch with the physical world.

Static Ping said...

Chuck said... I'd advise waiting. I tend to think that there will be much better reasons to impeach Trump in the future.

This is accurate in the sense that this super-libel justification would be a truly poor reason to impeach anyone. Or it would be a great reason as we could flush out half of Congress and the Supreme Court.

That said, the "high crimes and misdemeanors" clause really does not mean anything. It means whatever Congress wants it to mean. "We don't like him" is a perfectly valid reason. The "high crimes" clause is there, more or less, as a warning that if you do something rash that the result may be unpleasant as in "new hole in your head" unpleasant or "I have a great view hanging from this light post" unpleasant. Given that civility has broken down, I do not know how much sway this has anymore.

Chuck said...

Bay Area Guy said...
@Chuck,

Don't you think it a bit disingenuous, and a tad premature to talk about impeaching a President ONE MONTH INTO HIS TERM?


Yeah, I kind of agree with you. Which is why I didn't write anything about impeachment yesterday, or a week ago, and why I didn't say that I agreed with the column in Althouse's post.

I didn't do a blog post about "impeachment."

I commented, when Professor Althouse raised the subject on her blog. She thinks, apparently, that it is silly and hyperventilating to be talking about some sort of impeachment "cause of action." It sure wasn't my idea. I simply responded to another commenter's citation of the Johnson and Clinton impeachments.

Achilles said...

Ryan said...

Bear in mind that the generous corollary is that they ask, and I will agree to answer, any other kind of question.

My rule:

They can submit questions starting with "why" or any variants in writing with the question and at least 2 alternative answers I could give them properly supported, and with my option of adding 1 or more possible responses that they would have to supply supporting reasoning for.

Chuck said...

Achilles said...
Chuck said...
"Can you imagine 18 Republicans in the current Senate voting to convict and remove Trump, if they felt that there were grounds and that the Party would be better off, in 2020 and beyond without him? I wouldn't predict it, but I can certainly imagine it. I can think of 18 Senate Republicans who voted against Trump in the primary, and some who may not have voted for Trump in the general."

What your fevered little dream doesn't include is what would happen to DC afterwords and that the GOPe would be included in those festivities.


What do you suppose would happen to DC "afterwords"? What sort of "festivities" are you predicting in such an event? A legal, by-the-book impeachment and removal of Trump, that is. What, exactly, are you suggesting?


damikesc said...

What do you suppose would happen to DC "afterwords"? What sort of "festivities" are you predicting in such an event? A legal, by-the-book impeachment and removal of Trump, that is. What, exactly, are you suggesting?

Impeaching him after a month for no reason?

You'd likely see an armed insurrection.

buwaya said...

"A legal, by-the-book impeachment and removal of Trump, that is. What, exactly, are you suggesting?"

A total loss of legitimacy of the FedGov, and far more "active" extremism.
Your country already has more than enough mutual hatred for five normal civil wars.
Stop piling up more.

harryo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Ryan and Achilles:

I like to ask my kids the "why" back. As in "why did you ask that?" or "why did you say it that way? or "why are you upset?" or "why is this important to you?"

Chuck said...

damikesc said...
...

Impeaching him after a month for no reason?

You'd likely see an armed insurrection.


You took my scenario and made it something else. I could never even imagine, an impeachment of Trump "for no reason." It would have to be a damned good reason.

And, I have never even considered an impeachment of Trump, or anyone, "a month" into his or her term. My very first comment in this thread was to "wait" for any grounds on which to seriously impeach Trump.

Back during the campaign, when I grimly and sadly expected a Hillary Clinton win, I thought that there would never be any way to impeach her (say, for mishandling secret documents, or worse) until 2019; I specifically pondered a 2018 midterm in which Republicans got something like 60 seats. But even then, it would be a very tough sell.

Now, lastly, I have naturally expected the Trump extremists to talk about an "armed insurrection" if Trump were impeached. Just the same sort of way that Black Lives Matter would have talked about an Obama impeachment.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

You put these in the wrong order.

A legal, by-the-book impeachment and removal of Trump, that is.

After Clinton and Obama committed numerous felonies you want to impeach Trump by the book now? It would be clear both parties in DC are acting to protect themselves from the will of the rest of the country. Particularly veterans and armed citizens.

What do you suppose would happen to DC "afterwords"? What sort of "festivities" are you predicting in such an event? ... What, exactly, are you suggesting?

A DC Tea Party.

buwaya said...

"Just the same sort of way that Black Lives Matter would have talked about an Obama impeachment."

A Trump impeachment, will, at least to a very large minority, seem like an outrageous injustice no matter the circumstances. There simply is no trust at all.

The difference vs BLM is that the disaffected, in the case of a Trump impeachment, will be orders of magnitude more numerous and infinitely more dangerous.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...What do you suppose would happen to DC "afterwords"? What sort of "festivities" are you predicting in such an event? A legal, by-the-book impeachment and removal of Trump, that is. What, exactly, are you suggesting?

Chuck my friend, have you not watched the news in the last few months? Trump was elected, legally, by-the-book. Did you see the massive, nationwide protests? Have you seen the violence, the small riots, the attacks against old people wearing red hats?
That's pretty out there, man, and that's in response to a regular election!
Some Dems felt a bit cheated 'cause their girl lost after everyone predicted she'd win. They're mad enough to do all the stuff they've done (including, in fairness, large peaceful protests) just 'cause one of the worst candidates for President in decades lost.
Try to imagine, Chuck, how much MORE cheated people who voted the other way will feel when you get Trump impeached and removed. Try to imagine how much angrier they'll be. The Left is doing its very best to normalize violence as political expression (punch a Nazi! shut down a speech, shout down speakers, pepper spray people in Trump hats! etc). Do you imagine that's a one-way street, Chuck?

"Ho-hum, a corrupt Media and DC establishment got rid of the one guy I thought could "drain the swamp" and is dancing around telling me how much fun they had overturning the election and breaking the institutions I believe in just so they can get their preferred candidate into power (to push their social agendas). Guess I'll just meekly crawl back to my house and say quiet--it'd be darn impolite to do otherwise."

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

You took my scenario and made it something else. I could never even imagine, an impeachment of Trump "for no reason." It would have to be a damned good reason.

In light of Obama:

1. Using the IRS, NSA and other federal agencies etc to attack his political enemies, i.e. Trump and real conservatives, and

2. Obama sending billions of dollars to Iran without congressional authorization and purposely misleading congress and the American people about the Iran deal, and

3. Obama jailing a US citizen to buttress the lie that Benghazi was caused by a video, and

4. Obama selling guns to Mexican cartels then "losing" track of them and leading to the deaths of hundreds of Mexican nationals, and

5. Clinton committing perjury, and

6. another Clinton committing espionage.

What exactly would Trump have to do to be legitimately considered for impeachment? I honestly want to know what the standard for impeachment is.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

That was poorly written and poorly argued, but is the principle it asserts that a President can be impeached for false and defamatory speech wrong? For example, if one of Trump's tweets were to needlessly provoke a war that results in the deaths of thousands or millions of Americans, I think he could certainly be impeached for that.

Could he also be impeached for intentional infliction of emotional distress? Certainly he could be removed from office for being crazy. Why not also for driving thousands or millions of Americans crazy? The Constitutional limitation is that to be removed from office the high crime or misdemeanor has to be impeachable in the eyes of a majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate.

The charge of gaslighting does go beyond a mere political dispute like the one for which President Andrew Johnson was acquitted. As an assertion, it has not been proved, but you can't argue that it doesn't meet the standards for a Trump tweet. It may be proved true by subsequent revelations. Be advised that Noah Feldman tweeted a link to his article. That's a signal Twitter rules apply.

robother said...

If not a Moby, the lifelong republican has certainly forfeit his "h".

Dave in Tucson said...

Trump is actually genius in getting inside the left's OODA loop and making them reveal their most extremist inclinations.

And the more extreme the left looks, the harder it will be for them to win elections outside of their blue enclaves.

Martha said...

Feldman:

Obama is the best-known and most popular Democrat in the country. The effect of attacking him isn’t just to weaken him personally, but to weaken the political opposition to Trump’s administration.

and therein lies Trump's genius.......

Chuck said...

Hoodlum Doodlum:

No, you are not surprising me with your talk about Trumpkins coming to Washington in their pickup trucks and on their Harleys, armed with pitchforks and AR-15's and Sean Hannity, to riot.

I just wanted you to verbalize it first.

btw; I am with the many commenters on this blog who are regularly struck by the disparate media treatment of right-wing and left-wing protests. Left-wing protests are far too often violent, and are too often excused. Right-wing protests are almost never violent, and are generally excoriated to the point of falsity by much of the media.

I'm not so sure that I fear any pro-Trump rioters. Trump's supporters are playing golf in Florida and Arizona. And trying to hold down jobs in Indiana and Wisconsin. They aren't college students, all hooked up on social media.

Darrell said...

Obama said that 10,000 people died when a tornado formed in Kansas. It wasn't a slip of the tongue. He went on to explain how he spoke with the governor and how it was all Republicans' fault for not rubber stamping his global warming policies.

Chuck said...

Achilles, I quit responding to all of the, "B-b-but what about Obama?" posts two months ago.

ddh said...

Professor Feldman has slipped off the slippery slope into the abyss. Would he be willing to work under a similar rule that would call for dismissing faculty for saying something for which he lacks metaphysical certainty?

Achilles said...

Chuck said...
Achilles, I quit responding to all of the, "B-b-but what about Obama?" posts two months ago.

That is because you need to distance yourself from past actions in order to pretend your present position is supportable.

You think that statement is clever. Everyone else just sees a disingenuous hypocrite.

Static Ping said...

I could definitely see the Republican Party impeaching a President of their own party, if the matter warranted it. My suspicion is if Bill Clinton was a Republican there would have been a high risk of his removal. While there are certainly exceptions, Republicans tend to be believe in objective standards (or at least profess to believe them and act upon them). If the President crosses a line would see him as unfit.

I do not see the Democratic Party doing the same thing. If Obama was found trying to fix the election with the Russians, they wouldn't have touched him.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...You took my scenario and made it something else. I could never even imagine, an impeachment of Trump "for no reason." It would have to be a damned good reason.

Harvard Professor Feldman says Tump's assertions about Obama/Obama's DOJ is "a damned good reason," Chuck. You yourself have cited an unending parade of horribles resulting from Trump's election (before the fact) and nearly every one of his actions or utterances (since elected). Even when you couch them in "if this is true" hand waving you still manage to imply that such things must not be allowed to happen or stand...one remedy for which is, naturally, impeachment. But fine, fine, you haven't called for Trump's impeachment yet, Chuck, fine. Feldman did, and Feldman is an honorable man...

I'm pretty far from a "Trump extremist," Chuck. I haven't called for armed insurrection and I think the normalization of political violence is scary, dangerous stuff. You can't put some things back together once they're broken. You can't easily go back to a pre-crisis time once key norms have been violated. These people working hard to undermine the legitimacy of a legal election, Chuck, and using both the Media and political violence to do it, and playing with fire. Should their efforts be successful...well, you've heard of the 3 or 4 boxes of liberty, right Chuck? The soapbox, the jury box, the ballot box, and the cartridge box.

If Trump's impeached and removed/if the "Trump regime" is overthrown as the Left says they'd love to do, it'd better be with the hearty assent of the vast majority of this country, including the vast majority of people who voted for Trump.

hombre said...

It is probably a character weakness. I don't know whether to be gladdened or saddened that so many law professors are now proving publicly to fit the picture I had of them when I was practicing.

Of course, the real proof of the pudding was in the eating of their graduates in the courtrooms. Yum yum.

Feldman's stupidity - yes, I mean stupidity - should really be considered by the Harvard administrators when deciding which classes and minds he will be allowed to pollute.

This is basically ad hominem, but his argument is so absurd it is not worth addressing directly.

damikesc said...

You took my scenario and made it something else. I could never even imagine, an impeachment of Trump "for no reason." It would have to be a damned good reason.

We've seen a collection of increasingly ridiculous reasons for it offered thus far. Constant "Let's impeach him" nonsense isn't playing well.

Now, lastly, I have naturally expected the Trump extremists to talk about an "armed insurrection" if Trump were impeached. Just the same sort of way that Black Lives Matter would have talked about an Obama impeachment.

Chuck, we've seen the "issues" involving the election getting further and further shown to be absurd. Yes, an armed insurrection would likely occur from people who already think the Feds don't care about them.

viejo loco said...

Chuck - If you keep pulling your pudd like this, you are going to injure yourself. Your oh-so-innocent phrasing that you will wait for the reason for impeachment is just snark. "What me worry?"

Chuck said...

Static Ping said...
I could definitely see the Republican Party impeaching a President of their own party, if the matter warranted it. My suspicion is if Bill Clinton was a Republican there would have been a high risk of his removal. While there are certainly exceptions, Republicans tend to be believe in objective standards (or at least profess to believe them and act upon them). If the President crosses a line would see him as unfit.

I do not see the Democratic Party doing the same thing. If Obama was found trying to fix the election with the Russians, they wouldn't have touched him.


I wouldn't care to argue this point.

Remember it was Barry Goldwater who went to President Nixon and said that there was no longer sufficient Senate Republican support for his presidency. Nixon's resignation wasn't all that mysterious. It was a whip count essentially.

That is all that I was doing with regard to Trump. Republicans have a majority, which ought to insulate President Trump to a massive extent. House and Senate. it would require a massive defection of disenchanted Republicans. All the more reason for Trumpkins to work for Republican congressional wins in 2018. Problem is that more moderate Republicans win general elections. And Tea Party nutjobs don't.

harrogate said...

"Doesn't the seriousness of the charge demand an investigation?"

--said in response to Trump's Twitter account.

Pretty, Pretty, Pretty Good.

buwaya said...

"Trump's supporters are playing golf in Florida and Arizona"

A great number are unmarried, divorced, unemployed or underemployed men with weapons and vehicles and nothing to lose. It really won't take much to set off a hundred Anders Breiviks.
And then God knows.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The eventual pivot to "Surveilling the Trump campaign was the right thing for Obama to do" is going to be hella awkward.

dbp said...

Noah Feldman makes an argument that is only superficially sound: If the accusation is true then Obama could have rightfully been impeached, therefore if the accusation is false, Trump should be impeached. But Obama isn't president and so if the accusation is true, he faces no legal* consequences. Since Obama faces no consequence (other than public disapproval) why should Trump face anything more than that?

*One could presume that former presidents cannot be sued for official acts.

jr565 said...

"In a rule of law society, government allegations of criminal activity must be followed by proof and prosecution. If not, the government is ruling by innuendo...." thats the entirety of the Case against Trump being in league with the Russians. its nothing BUT innuendo. In addition, the news agencies have already reported (buried in the stories) that there is, in fact no evidence of collusion at this juncture. So its ALL innuendo.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...No, you are not surprising me with your talk about Trumpkins coming to Washington in their pickup trucks and on their Harleys, armed with pitchforks and AR-15's and Sean Hannity, to riot.

I just wanted you to verbalize it first.


Well, as someone who's not a Trumpkin, I'll take a crack at this. I sold my Harley last year, of course, and I don't own a pitchfork nor do I listen do/consider myself "armed with" Sean Hannity...but you're missing the point here, Chuck. I didn't say people would violently oppose Trump being impeached in order to support Trump's Presidency/keep Trump in power.

That's a dumb Lefty-style caricature I'm surprised a lifelong Republican like yourself would buy into. For all his populism Trump doesn't inspire Lightworker-levels of worship as Obama did (I haven't seen videos of schoolchildren singing hymns to Trump yet, for example). At any rate the actual violence would be worse, I think. Fighting to support a candidate is one thing (a thing that presumably dies with the candidate), but fighting against any and all representatives of what you see as a hopelessly corrupt system/government as a whole is something else entirely.

Look, lots of people feeling like they've been cheated in some way and their problems ignored is a large part of how Trump got elected. I agree those people's hopes for Trump to help them out/address their problems in a smart way are misguided, but they're real. Most of those people still believe in the laws, the rules, and the cultural norms we're used to. Toss out the guy they elected in a way that they see as unfair or illegal, though, and that changes, fast. Then what? I don't think it's nuts to guess that what comes after that would include violence, Chuck. And, frankly, I don't consider it an insult to Trump supporters to assume that violence is a likely result in such a scenario.

jr565 said...

if FISA warrants were issued, then the Attorney general had to have signed off on them. THerefore Loretta Lynch was involved. THerefore Obama was involved. Trump may be factually wrong that Obama himself ORDERED the wiretaps. but if Loretta did so, its not as if she operated without the go ahead from Obama.
So Trump is not really wrong.

Amadeus 48 said...

How can Feldman say Trump had no evidence? Trump read it in the NYT.

Brando said...

You can impeach for anything, the only standard for impeachment is what a House majority wants, subject to popular opinion. So all this talk is nonsense unless the Dems get the House back and (presumably) have enough of the public pushing for impeachment. But in effect there's no "legal standard" (as "high crimes and misdemeanors" mean whatever Congress wants them to mean).

Chuck said...

jr565 said...
if FISA warrants were issued, then the Attorney general had to have signed off on them. THerefore Loretta Lynch was involved. THerefore Obama was involved. Trump may be factually wrong that Obama himself ORDERED the wiretaps. but if Loretta did so, its not as if she operated without the go ahead from Obama.
So Trump is not really wrong.


Oh bullshit. Of course Trump was wrong. Trump tweeted that Obama was a bad, or even a "sick" guy to have done it. We all know what to make of that. That Trump personalized it; Trump wanted us to think that it was Obama's idea, and doing, and perhaps even Obama's personal psychopathology.

Why does anybody continue to try and read Trump's tweets in any sort of nuanced, understanding way to give credit or even credence to Trump? Trump has tweeted so much reckless and false shit, you need a spreadsheet to tally it all.

mockturtle said...

Chuck contends: I'd advise waiting. I tend to think that there will be much better reasons to impeach Trump in the future.

Hope springs eternal in the mobian breast.

Amadeus 48 said...

"I think they'll be much better reasons to impeach Trump in the future."

It is hard to see how. Andrew Johnson was impeached for removing cabinet officers over the objections of the Radical Republicans. Bill Clinton was impeached for any number of unsavory acts. Neither was convicted.

Trump has been in court a lot. He knows how to deal with lawyers.

I think Trump's frustrations will be many, but essentially he'll keep moving forward.

mockturtle said...

Buwaya declares: A great number are unmarried, divorced, unemployed or underemployed men with weapons and vehicles and nothing to lose.

And a lot of us are retired. Many, if not most, with military backgrounds.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" and "Stickler For Proof and Evidence" Chuck: "Of course Trump was wrong. Trump tweeted that Obama was a bad, or even a "sick" guy to have done it."

I suppose we are supposed to forget your embrace of the "golden showers" oppo research document and that you used it as a basis to insult Trump voters.

Well, Moby's gotta Moby.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...

Oh bullshit. Of course Trump was wrong. Trump tweeted that Obama was a bad, or even a "sick" guy to have done it. We all know what to make of that. That Trump personalized it; Trump wanted us to think that it was Obama's idea, and doing, and perhaps even Obama's personal psychopathology.

Obama's administration has used these surveillance methods on many people including reporters, members of congress and the senate, and now political opponents in elections. It is beyond stupid to believe Obama somehow didn't know or approve of this activity. it is pure bad faith on your part.

Why does anybody continue to try and read Trump's tweets in any sort of nuanced, understanding way to give credit or even credence to Trump? Trump has tweeted so much reckless and false shit, you need a spreadsheet to tally it all.

You give the benefit of the doubt to democrats every time despite all contrary evidence. You are obviously here in bad faith.

Chuck said...

Oh fuck off Achilles. You can't find a single word of support or alliance I have written for Democrats. I am telling you right now that you can't, and I am calling you out as the lying sack of shit you are.

And if I were here to support Dems, is that "bad faith"? Is this a Trump-only safe space?

You say that I am "obviously" here in bad faith. And yet you can't cite a single substantive bit of evidence of my bad faith. There is none.


buwaya said...

"And a lot of us are retired. Many, if not most, with military backgrounds."

To be clear, a reaction to a "coup" is likely to be started by people doing evil, evil things, in a mad rage, or in a state of cold inhumanity much like Anders Breivik. The beginning of this will seem more like a series of bombs going off. Human bombs.

The consequences, and reaction, will draw in the sane, but by then its likely that the dogs of war will be loose.

I'm not advocating this, I am afraid of the possibility.

Stephen said...

"Trump may be outright lying about Obama, but Obama told lies too, and all Presidents tell some lies, sometimes for good reason."

Clearly Feldman is wrong to suggest impeachment. You are also right that Trump deserves a chance to govern. But when you go from Trump's right to govern to his right to lie, you lose me. To be sure, every President must sometimes lie and sometimes those lies are in the public interest. So far so good. But there is nothing to suggest that this lie was necessary or in the public interest, is there? If there is, you haven't suggested what it is.

Trump accused Obama of wiretapping his phones and likened him to Nixon and Joe McCarthy. Obama and Clapper deny. Comey asks to disclose the facts, but Trump's justice department won't allow him to do so. Trump, who has the power to ask his subordinates for the facts and to order that they be revealed, refuses to do either. Do you have any problem with this at all? After all, Obama was a President, too. And he deserves respect for his service, not unfounded calumny. To me, this feels like a birther replay, but using the power of the Presidency as a megaphone. Yet you quibble about language and don't seem to able to look squarely at this conduct before leaping to its defense. Why?

khesanh0802 said...

Cambridge will be the last place that common sense breaks out.

Chuck said...

Drago said...
"lifelong republican" and "Stickler For Proof and Evidence" Chuck: "Of course Trump was wrong. Trump tweeted that Obama was a bad, or even a "sick" guy to have done it."

I suppose we are supposed to forget your embrace of the "golden showers" oppo research document and that you used it as a basis to insult Trump voters.


I never did any such thing. The fact that you are vouching for it is the best evidence that I never did it.

Brando said...

"And if I were here to support Dems, is that "bad faith"? Is this a Trump-only safe space?"

Chuck, there's no point in arguing with some of these Trumpers--these are the sort that believe there was totally a pizzeria pedophile ring in the basement of a building that had no basement, but that the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with the DNC cyberattacks and Wikileaks dumps. You might as well call in to Alex Jones' show and try to have a reasonable argument.

As for Trump's accusation, there's one of three possibilities--he's completely full of BS and just making up the Obama wiretap because he saw someone talk about it on TV, or he's right and Obama had a legitimate wiretap approved by a court warrant, or Obama ordered an illegal wiretap. Possibility one just makes Trump look like an irresponsible fool, but it won't hurt him any because his die hard fans have accepted whatever reality Trump gives them. Possibility two is actually the worst for Trump, because it means the government had good reason to wiretap him (enough to pass court muster). Possibility three makes Trump a wronged victim of a Nixonian Obama.

I'm going with Possibility 1. But then I also thought Pizzagate was a bunch of insane BS.

GWash said...

what's the rush... the entertainment is priceless and there will so many more possibilities for impeachment... i say let it play out a little longer... too much fun watching the flailing... maybe he should take some more time off to play golf... the job is very stressful... and paranoia only adds to the stress...
Watch you wallets.. it's beginning... healthcare costs will soon sky rocket for the old heads on this blog...

Joe said...

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

Unknown said...

Well, SOMEBODY got the FISA court to allow a wiretap, and it was someone in Obama's administration, so perhaps a little loose with the facts but...seriously but not literally comes to mind.
I saw some guy (congress critter I think) on Tucker's show last night I think outright denying that any such wiretap happened, in spite of the FISA involvement. In the current climate, I think proving that someone is lying or telling the truth (either way) is nearly impossible, so not a good basis for any legal charges.

Unknown said...

Oh, and if no wire tap existed, how did the phone transcript of Flynn come to exist?

mockturtle said...

buwaya opines: To be clear, a reaction to a "coup" is likely to be started by people doing evil, evil things, in a mad rage, or in a state of cold inhumanity much like Anders Breivik. The beginning of this will seem more like a series of bombs going off. Human bombs.

I think you are wrong about this. The Progs are the ones most capable of 'cold inhumanity', which would be evident in the coup itself if it were to happen. Personally, I doubt they could organize a coup but, if they did, it would not go uncontested.

Jon Ericson said...

"lifelong republican" and "Stickler For Proof and Evidence" Chuck:
I'd wager he's one of the highest paid.
Thirty pieces of silver don't go as far today as in Jesus' time.

Brando said...

"Oh, and if no wire tap existed, how did the phone transcript of Flynn come to exist?"

I thought they tapped the Russian ambassador, not Flynn, and simply caught Flynn on the calls to and from the ambassador. Did anyone confirm that Flynn was actually the one being tapped?

mockturtle said...

More likely, it would be an alliance between the Dems and the GOPe trying to unseat Trump. This would be a fatal move for both.

damikesc said...

Oh bullshit. Of course Trump was wrong. Trump tweeted that Obama was a bad, or even a "sick" guy to have done it. We all know what to make of that. That Trump personalized it; Trump wanted us to think that it was Obama's idea, and doing, and perhaps even Obama's personal psychopathology.

Chuck, as the BOSS, Obama's is ultimately responsible for all actions in the Executive branch. That's one of the curses of being the boss.

There is, literally, zero evidence that Bush "lied" about WMD being in Iraq...yet he is specifically blamed for it nonetheless. No evidence exists that Reagan actually was directly involved in Iran/Contra, yet he was blamed.

Don't get why "The Buck Stops Here" should only be the case with Republicans.

Jon Ericson said...

Bwando, trying to out-Pee-Wee Pee-Wee.
LOL.

JaimeRoberto said...

I'm old enough to remember when not accepting the results of the election was darn near considered treason.

Jon Ericson said...

Try open mike night for pwactice, Bwando,
or just keep making dull observations.

rhhardin said...

Congress can impeach for anything or for nothing. It's not law-bound.

It's responsible to voters in the next election, is all.

Chuck said...

It has become popular, I gather, for Trumpkins to think that "Tucker destroyed" Rep. Jim Himes.

One thing is that Carlson conceded that Trump's Tweet of last weekend was poorly worded and literally inaccurate.

The other thing is that Carlson conceded was that Trump was indefensible in the hateful quote from Trump comparing U.S. intelligence to "Nazis."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3KHdN0lqoo

Also, here is the article (Washington Free Beacon) in which Rep. Himes' statements on "patriots" was taken out of context. Tucker Carlson wanted to re-blast the gist of that article, without the context of the video-interview.

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/rep-himes-justifies-leaks-by-intelligence-agencies-against-wh-calls-them-patriots/

The clear aim of the Tucker Carlson fight with Himes was to pin down Himes on the notion that people who leaked information about any surveillance of Trump campaign staff were "patriots." But Himes said repeatedly, from the very start, that "leaking" in the exact context that Carlson mentioned was likely a felony, and ought to be prosecuted as such.


harrogate said...

Althouse cannot in good faith respond to Stephen's comment, so she'd be a lot better off not responding at all.

JC said...

Bill Peschel said:

"And don't forget, Obama could have recourse to the law as well. Simply sue Trump for libel. Take him to court, open the records, and show that he didn't seek judicial permission to wiretap Trump."

Wouldn't the Discovery phase in such a lawsuit be fun? Might open a whole different can of worms. LOL.
I highly doubt Obama will do that...because of what "opening the records" might actually reveal.

Chuck said...

damikesc said...
...
There is, literally, zero evidence that Bush "lied" about WMD being in Iraq...yet he is specifically blamed for it nonetheless.


Blamed for it, "with literally zero evidence" by NONE OTHER THAN DONALD J. TRUMP!

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/13/trump_vs_bush_they_said_there_were_weapons_of_mass_destruction_and_they_knew_there_were_none_they_lied.html

Jon Ericson said...

Those pieces of silver must be pretty big eh, Chuck?
What are you going to buy?
Some indulgences?
A yacht?

Jon Ericson said...

Fifty square blocks of Detroit?

Swede said...

It must be true because he really, really, really, really wants it to be true.

Lawyers/law profs like this guy are why the "skid marks in front of the dog" joke are so funny.

Unknown said...

Trump has pretty much already impeached himself. No one takes him seriously, not even his loyalists. Some of the cultists still do, but there's no hope for them anyway.

Jon Ericson said...

Musical interlude:
https://youtu.be/Fgjfi1DU1mQ

Paul said...

Noah Feldman is FOS.

Jon Ericson said...

Oh, shit, she's back with nothing.
I think she needs
"A baby's arm holding an apple".

Unknown said...

"Yet you quibble about language and don't seem to able to look squarely at this conduct before leaping to its defense. Why?"

Quibbling about language seems to interest her, along with translating for Trump. I still think she was hypnotized by Scott Adams.

Jon Ericson said...

Another musical interlude.
https://youtu.be/0AD5pvBY2XQ?t=20

buwaya said...

" I still think she was hypnotized by Scott Adams."

But Adams was right, and right, and right again when so many were wrong.
Sort of how Nassim Taleb was right, and right, and right again.
And Althouse was right, and right, and right again re Scott Walker.

At some point one has to consider the track record. When you want to place your bet on the horsies, the punter who wins a lot is the one to look to.

Unknown said...

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

n.n said...

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Spontaneous human conception, and the final solution, reimagined.

Transgender conversion therapy targeting prepubescent and adolescent children.

Trail of tears from Libya to Syria to Ukraine... with a segue to the Soviet invasion of Ukraine.

Immigration bans of Christians from Eastern Europe following Clinton's war on Christians.

[class] diversity or judge people by the "color of their skin".

Disenfranchising and denying Americans their civil rights... and doctors.

The perspective is tainted by the twilight fringe.

Jon Ericson said...

Thanks, buwaya, for reporting the stylings of:

The left hand part of the bell curve,
the paid cross-eyed shitposters,
and the highly paid mobys.

(I use killfile)

The drivel meisters are always quoted, with an appropriate response.

Thanks, all you hillbillies!
XOXO

buwaya said...

"Wrong, wrong, wrong."

Trump didn't win the election?

Jon Ericson said...

Is this more of a Jim Jones, or a Heavens's Gate sort of pathology?
Or are the meds just not working?

Bay Area Guy said...

@Brando,

"Possibility two is actually the worst for Trump, because it means the government had good reason to wiretap him (enough to pass court muster)."

Disagree. Trump speaks and tweets in a non-lawyerly, non-precise way, that rubs many people the wrong way, but also connects with many people as well.

No, I don't believe Obama specifically ordered a phone tap. But, I do believe that Obama's AG, Loretta Lynch approved/authorized a FISA application which authorized the FBI to surveil computers and/or phones at Trump Tower. It is not a probable cause standard, where there is an actual target, and the potential for an actual prosecution. It is a much more lax "national security" standard, that can be easily met.

If granted, and if the surveillance began, then it is not a great leap, that on occasion Trump's communications got caught in this large dragnet.

Most likely, the numerous anonymous leakers in the NY Times and/or Wash Post articles, have either heard or seen transcripts of this mined data. The "Russian angle" in the papers has been artificially fueled, in my opinion, by some of this leaked surveillance.

As for Trump, Yes, he was imprecise in his tweet, but mostly correct.

The proper question is, did anyone from any Government agency (FBI, NSA or others) listen in on Trump's phone before the election? I'm willing to bet under a FISA warrant, the answer is Yes.

The following non-denial by Josh Earnest suggests it too:

http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/03/05/josh-earnest-refuses-deny-wiretap-trump-authorized/



Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck is letting the mask slip more than usual today.

No doubt the side effects of another collapsed far left meme.

Hang in there Chuckie! There will be another false set of allegations against Trump that you can latch onto soon enough!

Drago said...

Drago: "I suppose we are supposed to forget your embrace of the "golden showers" oppo research document and that you used it as a basis to insult Trump voters.
3/7/17, 2:03 PM

"lifelong republican" and "Stickler For The Facts And Truth" Chuck: "I never did any such thing. The fact that you are vouching for it is the best evidence that I never did it.
3/7/17, 2:25 PM

Oops!!

From: January 11, 2017
"The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer."

"lifelong republican" and Moby Chuck: "Trump has clearly won the golden shower vote.
1/11/17, 11:52 AM"


Those darn "interwebs" are for-ev-uh!

Drago said...

Needless to say this is not the first time "lifelong repubican" Chuck has used whatever the latest lefty meme to emerge to attack republican voters.

Gee, it's almost like "lifelong republican" Chuck isn't a lifelong republican at all.

Jon Ericson said...

You could have knocked me over with a feather!

Chuck said...

That's it, Drago? I write a funny line about "the golden shower vote," and you call it "embracing the oppo research."

Actually, I need to be humble here. Because you are a bigger joke than the one I attempted in writing.

God, I am so glad you took some of the invaluable time out of your important life to do that oppo-research on me. Kept you out of trouble for at least a little while.

Seeing Red said...

Refresh my memory, please! Wasn't it something like just because you have absence of evidence doesn't mean evidence is absent?


Isn't this from the Clinton years?

Chuck said...

Drago said...
Needless to say this is not the first time "lifelong repubican" Chuck has used whatever the latest lefty meme to emerge to attack republican voters.


I am not attacking "republican [sic] voters." I AM a Republican voter. No; I am attacking Trump. And the Trump enthusiasts who won him the Party nomination.


Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "God, I am so glad you took some of the invaluable time out of your important life to do that oppo-research on me."

It only took about 5 seconds of my time to illustrate your fantastic Moby-ness.

It always takes about 5 seconds of my time to illustrate that.

It always will only take about 5 seconds of my time to continue to do that.

So rest easy big fella. You've got some serious work ahead of you in finding the next fake lefty meme to latch onto!

Hang in there Tiger and carry on!

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" and "Attacker of Republican Voters" Chuck: "I am not attacking "republican [sic] voters." I AM a Republican voter. No; I am attacking Trump. And the Trump enthusiasts who won him the Party nomination."

"lifelong republican" Chuck takes time out from attacking republican voters to claim he was doing no such thing even as he admits he did.

"lifelong republican" Chuck is a strange little bird who apparently is not highly sought after in MI political circles even though he is some sort of self-described "expert".

CWJ said...

Stephen wrote -

"Clearly Feldman is wrong to suggest impeachment." That's the point, isn't it. All the rest is you carping that Althouse didn't write the post your way.

OldManRick said...

Bill Clinton was impeached for any number of unsavory acts.

One of the interesting things I read about the Clinton Impeachment was the house republicans kept on asking the senators to go read the FBI files. What was in the FBI files that they were convinced would change senators minds? Interviews with Juanita Broderick. The house republicans were convinced (after cases like Bob Packwood) that if this got out there would be a real constitutional crisis. They were naive, those rules only applied to republicans. Everyone who should have been upset on the democratic side (and in the press) didn't care.

It was a sad day for the United States in many ways.

tim maguire said...

Just another Harvard jackass out to damage the brand.

Matt said...

Ann and conservatives here:

Ann writes:
"Trump may be outright lying about Obama, but Obama told lies too, and all Presidents tell some lies, sometimes for good reason. We made a human being President. We always do... But to say the President should be impeached for lying about a political opponent is too much drama."

This is a CLASSIC case of double standards and hypocrisy. When Obama lied [or may have lied] many of you wanted to impeach him. You hated him for it. Now when Trump lies [or may have lied] it's okay because - you know - he's human. LOL. Come on! Listen to yourselves.

I do not want to impeach Trump for his b.s. lies. But to soft peddle and find nuance with his lies compared to Obama is really absurd. Choose one standard and stick to it without the partisan spin.

Danno said...

Matt, exactly who wanted to impeach Obama, and was any action taken on it? Was it a journalist from a respected journalistic organization?

I don't think so.

Drago said...

Matt: "When Obama lied [or may have lied] many of you wanted to impeach him."

I think we are going to need some links there Tiger, otherwise I'm calling BS on that weak-tea-after-the-fact-rewriting-of-history-intended-to-justify-todays-latest-lefty-lunacy.

Bay Area Guy said...

I never wanted to impeach Obama. I thought Obamacare was bad policy, but not an impeachable offense

Ditto for his premature withdrawal of troops in Iraq.

More importantly, is there any evidence that any GOP congress critter moved to impeach Obama? I doubt it.

Gahrie said...

You and Victor Davis Hanson should know better, and that Donald J. Trump has probably never used (or even thought about) the word "catalyst" in a completed sentence.

Wow...that hacker is back Chuckles.....but he went too far again...everyone knows that a lifelong Republican would never write about how stupid a Republican is....that is however something the Democrats have done about every Republican ever.....you should change your password immediately...apparently iamsonotamoby is too predictable.....

Chuck said...

Bay Area Guy said...
I never wanted to impeach Obama. I thought Obamacare was bad policy, but not an impeachable offense
Ditto for his premature withdrawal of troops in Iraq.
More importantly, is there any evidence that any GOP congress critter moved to impeach Obama? I doubt it.


I think you are correct; for my own part, I cannot remember any Republican in Congress suggesting an impeachment of Obama. I don't even remember anyone stupidly talking it up for the press, much less taking any action.

But when it comes to "Obama" and "stupid" and "talking it up for the press"... well we know where that leads, right? None other than The Donald.

In 2014, The Donald was yakking it up on his fave show, "Fox & Friends," about how Obama "could be impeached."

So you all were mostly right; you couldn't remember any congressional Republican being so stupid. And because he was such a fringe figure at the time, you couldn't recall The Donald doing it. But he did.

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Donald-Trump-Democrats-Republicans-impeach/2014/11/24/id/609247/


Chuck said...

Hey Gahrie, I wasn't talking about any Republican. I was talking about Trump.

mockturtle said...

Hey Gahrie, I wasn't talking about any Republican. I was talking about Trump.

And when, Chuck, are you not??? You are clearly obsessed.

Matt said...

Funny how because some of you say you never wanted to impeach Obama and therefore it was something no one ever said or proposed. Do a simple Google search. Also note the Bloomberg article doesn't call for impeachment, it simple says it could happen. Here's a link to people including Congressman who floated the idea of impeachment of Obama. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efforts_to_impeach_Barack_Obama

My comment was primarily about the nature of how some here handle lies. An Obama lie is bad while a Trump lie is just him being human. Clever and useful.

Howard Hanek said...

When Harvard Professors stop proclaiming their delusional fantasies the world will be a lesser place.

Drago said...

Matt: "Funny how because some of you say you never wanted to impeach Obama and therefore it was something no one ever said or proposed."

Hilarious.

You made an assertion which you couldn't back up. Now you want to make it about something else.

No one is surprised.

Nice try li'l lefty. Aren't you late for an assault on some professor somewhere?

Achilles said...

Matt said...

This is a CLASSIC case of double standards and hypocrisy. When Obama lied [or may have lied] many of you wanted to impeach him. You hated him for it. Now when Trump lies [or may have lied] it's okay because - you know - he's human. LOL. Come on! Listen to yourselves.

Pathetic straw man. Nobody wanted to impeach Obama for lying and for bad policy. We wanted to impeach him for breaking the law. The list:

1. Selling guns to known Mexican gang straw buyers, "losing track" of those guns, and finding them at the scenes of hundreds of murders in Mexico and at the scene of a dead ICE agent.

2. Putting a film maker, a US citizen, in jail because he made a video in order to buttress a lie his administration pedaled about Benghazi.

3. Shipping billions of dollars to a known enemy state and sponsor of terrorism, Iran, while misleading congress and the American people about the transfers of funds and the deal he made with Iran.

4. Let us just add electronic surveillance of political opponents while abusing the FISA statues to this list.

Achilles said...

Chuck said...
That's it, Drago? I write a funny line about "the golden shower vote," and you call it "embracing the oppo research."

Got any rumors about 10 year old kids and autism you want to pass along "Chuck?"

Brando said...

Bay Area Guy--my "possibility two" is that the wiretap was done but lawfully, with a showing of probable cause which suggests there really was something going on. I doubt that was the case--I can't imagine Trump being stupid enough to actually collude with the Russians, more likely the Russians did their hack to weaken Hillary and while Trump may have been happy it was happening it would be mind bogglingly idiotic to actually communicate with them to encourage such action. So I doubt Obama would have had probable cause, which leaves just the other two possibilities--Obama being reckless enough to order an illegal wiretap (which, if he really wanted to interfere illegally in the election there are more effective ways to do it with less risk), or Trump just repeating some charge he saw on Breitbart.

I'm all for investigating all of this--if there was some Obama Team shenanigans, and whatever the Russians did beyond what we already know about, we have to know before something like this happens again. The blind Trumpers who are just thrilled that things worked out for their guy ought to consider for a minute that the Russians can turn on them too. (I don't lump you in with the blind Trumpers of course, as you haven't yet accused me of willfully trying to get Hillary in the White House somehow!)

Ultimately I'd like to see sanctions against Russia for this, as their interference cannot be tolerated, and whatever safeguards we can put up to prevent them doing this again.

damikesc said...

I can't imagine Trump being stupid enough to actually collude with the Russians, more likely the Russians did their hack to weaken Hillary

Given the recent leaks from Wikileaks, there is literally zero evidence that Russia was involved at all.

Ultimately I'd like to see sanctions against Russia for this, as their interference cannot be tolerated, and whatever safeguards we can put up to prevent them doing this again.

We now know the CIA has the ability to falsely implicate a state in an action when the state wasn't involved at all. I'd like to see some seriously hard evidence given that the CIA is more than capable of fabricating out of nothing the "evidence" we have thus far.

Brando said...

"Given the recent leaks from Wikileaks, there is literally zero evidence that Russia was involved at all."

Our intel agencies seem to have determined the hacks came from Russia--if you think they're full of it all the more reason to investigate and expose this for a false smear. I'd rather know for sure that Russia was or wasn't behind it than to leave this hanging out there.

damikesc said...

Brando, I would prefer evidence to back up a need for an investigation. Launching one to seek evidence to justify one seems backwards.

Brando said...

"Brando, I would prefer evidence to back up a need for an investigation. Launching one to seek evidence to justify one seems backwards."

To me the fact that our intel agencies are asserting this is grounds enough to investigate, to determine what they're basing their findings on or to determine if they're just making baseless accusations. Either conclusion requires action.

The alternative is to say "we don't trust our agencies' findings, we think they're lying" and to leave it at that.

aritai said...

They should impeach him I guess for getting a running start on his hundred day pledge and promise before the inauguration. He and his calling a dozen countries to get their initial positions set allowing both parties to talk. How unfair. He should be like every other president and sit on their hands for a year while confirmations happen and the like before they do anything for the people that elected them.Oh Oh, I forgot. He's a business man that uses Management by objectives. Doesn't he know he's supposed to punish those that complete their objectives early?

Not.

khesanh0802 said...

The Wikileaks release yesterday certainly makes a lot of the comments on this thread obsolete. I agree with Brando on the investigation, but the shape of the investigation changed drastically from yesterday to today. The attention will swing from "The Russians" to the CIA and I believe some truly ugly stuff is going to be hidden behind closed doors. Take a look at the organizational chart of the CIA in this "rejahm" link from yesterday. According to the article there are over 5,000 people in the CIA alone working on hacking the world. Scary shit and, to my mind, totally unjustified.

I ask once again: Did Trump know this was coming and set it up with his tweet? If so the guy is way smarter than most give him credit for.

damikesc said...

To me the fact that our intel agencies are asserting this is grounds enough to investigate, to determine what they're basing their findings on or to determine if they're just making baseless accusations. Either conclusion requires action.

The alternative is to say "we don't trust our agencies' findings, we think they're lying" and to leave it at that.


But what would prevent fabrication of future "scandals"? We have no means to really investigate the CIA outside of what Wikileaks seeks to publish.

We need to burn the CIA and Homeland Security to the ground and rebuild. They have garnered far too much power for themselves and are negatively impacting Americans for no benefit.

Angel-Dyne said...

khesanh0802: I ask once again: Did Trump know this was coming and set it up with his tweet? If so the guy is way smarter than most give him credit for.

Not entirely implausible. At least, not as implausible as the fond belief that Trump is Chauncey Gardiner.

Brando said...

"We need to burn the CIA and Homeland Security to the ground and rebuild. They have garnered far too much power for themselves and are negatively impacting Americans for no benefit."

I don't know if I'd go as far as "burn to the ground" but all our intel and NS agencies need to be deeply reformed. If they've manufactured this whole thing, or if they skewed the info they do have for political reasons or to push an anti-Russian agenda, then all the more reason for Congress to expose that.

Bruce Hayden said...

We need to burn the CIA and Homeland Security to the ground and rebuild. They have garnered far too much power for themselves and are negatively impacting Americans for no benefit.

The problem is that we need those CIA hackers, both offensively, and defensively. We are talking MAD (mutually assured destruction) here, in terms of cyberwar. We have seen hacking, or at least hacking attempts, against our infrastructure, presumably by foreign nation states. They need to know that if they go to war against us, with cyberattacks, and/or with more conventional/kinetic means, that we have the capability of hitting back even harder.

Which is why I thought it interesting that the CIA had tools to make their hacking look like the Russians did it. Why the Russians? Because they have a little bit of the crazy side to them, at least in how they deal with Islami terrorism. Esp with Putin at the helm. (There is a good reason that Soviet/Russian embassies are not attacked, but ours are). Not as cra-cra as the Norks, but a bit crazy, with the ability to pull it off. Chicoms may have more hacking ability, but the country is still run by octogenarians. The only countries capable of getting the Ruskies to back down are the US and China, so any other country finding "Russian" hacking is going to, ultimately, back down. Contrast that with Obama's America that backed down to the Syrians, Iranians, etc. so, it was far safer to make any CIA hacking look like Russian hacking, than if they let the targets know that it was American. Trump is a bit cra-cra, so this may change in the future - he may ultimately scare our enemies more than the Russians do. We shall see.

Bruce Hayden said...

What this academic, living and working in the dark blue bubble in and around Cambridge, MA, is that, right now, impeachment isn't getting anywhere near the House floor. The House doesn't work that way. It isn't as simple as peeling off enough Republicans to get a majority (which they wouldn't get anyway, unless Trump is caught red handed committing murder in broad daylight on Pennsylvania, right in front of the White House. Ok, maybe the classic getting caught in bed with a dead woman (not his wife) or a live boy). The Speaker controls what gets to the floor, and he serves at the convenience of his caucus, most of whom were elected in Trump voting districts. Right now, the election is too recent, and their voters are still on honeymoon with Trump. Most of the caucus, if they were to vote for impeachment, would probably expect to lose a primary challenge in a year or so. Which is to say, that it ain't gonna happen.

Yes, an Impeachment, right now, combined with a removal of Trump from office by the Senate, would probably, more likely than not, trigger an armed revolt. Good news though is that gun sales seem to be down from the level right before the election. I think that this means that the demographic most likely to buy and own firearms in this country is more confident that the country is on the right track, than they were before the election, believing then that they were facing the inevitability of an even more lawless Crooked Hillary in the White House.