October 28, 2019

Maybe they hope it will be voted down! Suddenly, House Democrats want a formal vote on impeachment.

The NYT reports.

The vote will take place on Thursday, and it will be presented as whether to “affirm” the inquiry... which seems to say that they don't want to admit that they were doing it wrong, just asking for an affirmation.



Democrats are good enough. They're smart enough. And doggone it, people like them.

My first thought was, the Democrats are in trouble, they know the impeachment inquiry is dragging them down, and they want the vote to fail. But here's how Nancy Pelosi put it:
“This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the president and his counsel.... We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives."
In other words, the procedural arguments are damaging and distracting, and they want to knock them out of the picture.

If you keep reading the article at the link, you get to "an earlier version of the story," which begins:
House Democrats will forgo using the federal courts to try to compel testimony from recalcitrant witnesses in their impeachment inquiry, a top Democratic chairman said Monday, warning that lawmakers would instead use the lack of cooperation to bolster their case that President Trump has abused his office and obstructed Congress’s investigation.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed the shift in strategy after Charles M. Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser and one of Mr. Trump’s “closest confidential” advisers, defied a House subpoena for testimony that had been scheduled for Monday morning.

The White House on Friday said that Mr. Kupperman was absolutely immune from testifying and directed him not to appear in defiance of a subpoena. That prompted the former official to file a lawsuit against Mr. Trump and congressional Democrats asking a federal judge whether he could testify, raising the prospect of a drawn-out legal battle over weighty questions about the separation of powers that could effectively stall the impeachment inquiry for months....

“We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts, so we press ahead,” Mr. Schiff told reporters outside his secure hearing rooms.
The formal vote on the inquiry will help address some of the procedural arguments about the impeachment inquiry, but I don't see how it can change the scope of executive privilege. It sounds as though the House Democrats plan simply to argue for negative inferences based on the withholding of testimony.

And notice that Kupperman has filed his own lawsuit, so it's not the House Democrats who are asking a court to pass judgment on the scope of executive privilege. This lawsuit seems to have triggered the decision to have a formal vote on the inquiry. House Democrats may be thinking that the argument against executive privilege is stronger if the whole House has voted or that by demonstrating a better standard of procedural regularity, they may influence the judge to avoid the case without reaching the merits.

Alternatively, the House Democrats know they're cornered and are hoping Thursday's vote is no.

ADDED: To get a no vote, some Democrats will need to vote no, but there are 31 House Democrats in districts that Trump won in 2016 (and 55 districts with Democratic representatives that the GOP is targeting in 2020). If the Democrats want a no vote, there could be a way for some of those threatened Democrats to stage some political theater about their independence and their somber judgment that the American people would be best served by concentrating our attention on the next election and vote no.

145 comments:

steve uhr said...

Makes sense. Her political instincts are first rate.

Bay Area Guy said...

Let's ratify after the fact our illegal investigation!

The modern day Democrats are simply pathetic. My Inlaws (mid-80s) are stuck in a time warp, pining for the youthful vigor of JFK. I keep telling them, at best, y'all got the lawyerly geekiness of Adam Schiff.

rehajm said...

I'll wait and see the details of the resolution as an indicator why lefties have had a change of heart. Will Republicans on the committee have the same powers as the lefties, for example? My feeling at the moment is this is only more stage craft.

rehajm said...

Nobody is above the law.

...so we're moving forward with this political act!

traditionalguy said...

Nasty Nancy is helping Trump win re-election. Go figure.

Leora said...

Seems unlikely that there are 18 Democrat no votes unless Nancy wants them. And that's assuming no Republican yes votes.

steve uhr said...

Now the republicans can only whine about the fact that they cannot attend the closed hearings, ignoring the 40 or so who can.

Amadeus 48 said...

"Alternatively, the House Democrats know they're cornered and are hoping Thursday's vote is no."

No. Too much loss of face in its being voted down. The leadership would rather be accused of an organized coup than be shown to be not in control.

chuck said...

Interesting. I'd be surprised if the Democrats want to back off at this point. OTOH, the longer things drag on, the weaker their position becomes. There are other news worthy events coming: the Flynn trial, the Durham criminal investigation. At some point there will be a fight for attention and a majority of voters are probably already bored with impeachment.

narciso said...

it's not a real impeachment vote, it's just margarine, the courts obviously don't buy this folderall, well leahy's former chief of staff does,

Hagar said...

They've got the man, but are still searching for the crime.

Eric said...

So we're looking at Obstruction of Justice Round 2? In Round 1 the obstruction was vis-a-vis a relentless investigation looking for something that didn't happen, so it's sort of difficult to see non-cooperation as unreasonable. In Round 2 we have non-cooperation with an investigation into the President's possible efforts to reopen an investigation that Joe Biden publically boasted about how he had it shut down. I suppose they could try to get Biden indicted just to even things out, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

n.n said...

The Democrats expected Trump to kneel. Since he called their bluff, they are discombobulated and desperate. Trump will proceed to investigate their corruption at home and abroad, and prosecute the hunters, the judges, the ragers, colluders, and social justice-mongers that nearly progressed the next world war, and left millions displaced, injured, and dead.

MikeR said...

I guess the simple understanding is that the Democrats recognize that it's making them look bad that they won't vote to have an inquiry. And probably they'd lose in court until they do. It will hurt some Democrats in swing states, but they can always say they thought it was important to hear the issue through and vote against impeachment later.

n.n said...

Nasty Nancy is helping Trump win re-election. Go figure.

Perhaps she's a whistleblower under a cloak of privacy, and is implicated in the overlapping and converging special and peculiar interests that ran amuck during Obama's administration.

Drago said...

steve uhr: "Makes sense. Her political instincts are first rate."

LOL

Then she should have foreseen how she would be run over by the far lefties in her caucus and developed more effective strategies to fight them off.

But she didn't.

John henry said...

Sounds good to me. At least now we will find out what it is tha PDJT's done that merits impeachment.

The resolution will include that, won't it?

John Henry

Hagar said...

"Can't nobody here play this game?"

eric said...

This doesn't seem like a vote to affirm the inquiry. This seems more like a vote to give the impression of confirming the inquiry.

They've already decided to begin an inquiry. They call it a "Formal" impeachment inquiry in order to make it sound more official than it is.

Now they're skipping to the next step. Now that the formal impeachment inquiry has begun (Without a whole House vote) they'll have a whole House vote in order to agree on the rules.

Let's play baseball!

No!

Too bad, we're already playing baseball, now let's discuss the rules.

If you refuse to discuss the rules, then you can't complain about the rules once the game starts.

stever said...

My Rep, a first term Dem in a district that is normally Red would be vulnerable as a yes voter and no doubt she would be a candidate for getting a pass from Nancy if she otherwise had enough.

Jim at said...

Um, weren't they supposed to do this before? You know, like in the beginning?

PM said...

Excuse 1 for No: We'll let the American voters decide the fate of this slimebucket.
Excuse 2 for Yes: The American people deserve to see the depth of his slimebucketness.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Maybe Nancy promised this vote to her Republican whip in the Senate. Whatever the human scum ask for, Nancy has to give them to get the conviction, right? Conviction is the best outcome for Democrats. I think we should assume Nancy is playing to win.

Phil said...

I've been saying for weeks that no committee has the authority to compel testimony in this matter absent a vote of the full chamber. Standing committees can compel testimony on subjects that are part of their brief. Impeachment doesn't fall into that.

tim maguire said...

Pelosi wants this to go away before house members have to start their campaigns. A no vote gives Dems in radical districts the ability to say, “we tried” while allowing the rest of them to say impeachment is off the table. I get what Amadeus is saying about loss of face for Pelosi, but it might be necessary for her to keep her majority.

narciso said...

ot, you should see the commenters on the perky miss hill's twitter, pt barnum was right,

Amadeus 48 said...

"the lawyerly geekiness of Adam Schiff"

I am sorry. I can't get there. Adam Schiff is so obviously incompetent as an advocate that I don't think of him as a lawyer. He is more like a sleezy political consultant who is peddling a story that some credulous 27 year-old reporter might believe. Think of Sid Blumenthal ("Sid Vicious") as the head of the House Intelligence Committee, and you would start to approach the affect. This is a guy that for two years claimed that he had evidence of Trump's collusion with Russia, and then produced nothing. This guy has no ability to convince anyone of anything. He is a fanboy of the MSNBC approach to news reporting: let's get some dubious gossip about Trump and then fantasize about what it could mean if it were true.

The essential job of a lawyer is to persuade. Schiff and his ilk (Avenatti, Michael Cohen, Jerry Nadler, etc.) don't get there. Peter Rodino, Fred Thompson, etc. were much better.

YoungHegelian said...

“We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts, so we press ahead,” Mr. Schiff told reporters outside his secure hearing rooms.

Actually, my bet is that the House Dems have shaken down all the Constitutional lawyers on their side, and they all told them the same thing -- The Executive can safely ignore a committees subpoenas. It would be hard to argue otherwise, since the Obama admin's Attorney General, of all people, did exactly that without penalty.

The only reliable hammer the House has against the Executive branch is impeachment.Trump has called their bluff, & the electorate is not really interested in this squabble. Time for the House to put up or shut up.

Yancey Ward said...

She wouldn't be calling this vote if it was going to lose, so I will assume it passes. The only interesting thing in the vote is to see if it is unanimous on the Democrat side.

Howard said...

We shall see

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The Dims must have received the results of a poll.

People who are skeptical of the whole impeachment circus find the idea of a secret Star Chamber with secret accusers repulsive. The idea that the Dims can just skirt the rules and try to do an end run around the Constitution does not sit well....even with people who might be on the fence about Trump.

The people's innate sense of fairness in seeing half of Congress just shut out of the process is being tested.

Those who want to see him impeached are realizing that this drummed up process is making them look bad. They see the negativity and decided...Hmmmmmm maybe we should do this out in the open like we were supposed to do in the first place.


I like the idea that the House should vote on proceeding with or not proceeding with impeachment. This way we get to see just WHO is voting which way. The cowardly Dims in the areas where Trump was popular and is getting popular can't hide anymore. The Rino scum like Romney also have to come out and take a stand.

Suck it up Buttercup. Take a vote. Take a stand. Take the consequences.

William said...

I think they've got something they think will work. They've mis-calculated before. Let's hope they've done so again.

Mike Sylwester said...

Impeachment isn't popular in Wisconsin and these 5 other key swing states, an article by CNN's Henry Enten

[quote]

.... an examination of the battleground states that Democrats almost certainly need to make inroads into in 2020. The New York Times and Siena College, 2018's most accurate pollster, took a poll of voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Arizona. These were closest states in the country that cast their electoral votes for Trump in 2016.

Just 43% of voters in these six states want to impeach and remove from office at this point. The majority, 53%, do not. This means that the margin for not impeaching and removing Trump in these states (+10 points) is running well ahead of Trump's margin in these states of about 1.5 points.

Put another way, impeaching and removing Trump from office in these states is not a popular position. ...

The bottom line is that the electoral implications of impeachment are currently far less favorable to Democrats in the swing states that are likely to determine next year's presidential election than the national polls indicate. For Trump, this is good news. For the Democratic presidential candidates, it suggests more caution may be needed in articulating an impeachment position than the national polls indicate.

[end quote]

tim in vermont said...

Support for “peachment” will go right back down if there is no evidence.

It’s kind of funny that they co-opted Drudge somehow. He was a key player in the Clinton impeachment, and they have gotten to him somehow. This is not the same old Drudge passing up on some pretty juicy stories.

Beasts of England said...

Is this just a vote for an inquiry? Don’t be a wimp, Nancy pants!! Go for the Full Monty! 🤪

Bill Harshaw said...

I recommend to you the report of the Benghazi committee, which wrote:
The Committee's preference for private interviews over
public hearings has been questioned. Interviews are a more
efficient and effective means of discovery. Interviews allow
witnesses to be questioned in depth by a highly prepared member
or staff person. In a hearing, every member of a committee is
recognized--usually for five minutes--a procedure which
precludes in-depth focused questioning. Interviews also allow
the Committee to safeguard the privacy of witnesses who may
fear retaliation for cooperating or whose work requires
anonymity, such as intelligence community operatives.
Both witnesses and members of Congress conduct themselves
differently in interviews than when in the public glare of a
hearing. Neither have an incentive to play to the cameras.
Witnesses have no incentive to run out the clock as long-winded
evasive answers merely extend the length of the interview.
Likewise, Members have no need to interrupt witnesses to try to
ask all their questions in five minutes. Perhaps more
importantly, political posturing, self-serving speeches, and
theatrics serve no purpose in a closed interview and, as a
result, the questioning in interviews tends to be far more
effective at discovering information than at public hearings.
For these reasons, nearly all Executive Branch investigations
are conducted in private and without arbitrary time
constraints. This is no less true in a Legislative Branch
investigation, yet the manner in which the media portrays these
investigations is starkly different."

Yancey Ward said...

As for Kupperman, he only filed the suit because he was caught between the House and the Executive Branch and is looking for guidance from a federal judge as to whether he his appearance can be demanded or denied by the two branches, though the media are trying to portray this as Kupperman wanting to testify, but be barred from doing so. All Kupperman wants is for someone to make a decision that doesn't leave him holding the bag.

dbp said...

A full vote in the House is necessary, but not sufficient. The resolution needs to state the reasons for impeachment. Hearings and testimony would be to answer two questions: Did Trump do the things listed in the resolution and are those things impeachable offenses.

If the resolution is vague to the point of--this vote gives the House carte blanche to look at whatever they feel like, then Trump would have every right to still fight subpoenas for testimony or documents in court.

iowan2 said...

I am now at 60/40 Dems will never vote to impeach. But, this maneuver, may be their out. Failure of this "vote" by "thoughtful" Democrats deciding not the tear the nation apart during an impeachment trial in the Senate. The house represents the Peoples will. Something not needed, since the People can speak for themselves in 12 months.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Alternatively, the House Democrats know they're cornered and are hoping Thursday's vote is no."

Disagree. Nancy hasn't called for a vote, because she didn't have the votes. Finally, she's got the votes, so now she's calling for a vote.

A "No" would crater her Speakership and cause the hard left to freak out. So, likely she has confirmed a Yes.

LYNNDH said...

So if the vote is NO, does that mean that the inquiries into an inquiry would stop? Would Shiffty be stopped? Someone explain it to me. What would happen next?

Achilles said...

Don’t they have to have a list of crimes?

What is the crime Trump has committed?

Other than beating Hillary that is.

The Democrats are jumping in to a puddle they don’t have the boots for. Trump is better at this fight than Clinton was .

tim in vermont said...

I think Pelosi has a tiger by the tail in this, but I would think she has the votes, as long as the red district voters can couch their vote in “it’s just to make the investigation more fair and thorough.”

readering said...

I think it may be triggered by the Kupperman lawsuit in the sense that they see that interviews by cooperative executive branch employees may be winding down after this month. So on to open Judiciary Committee testimony from those who have already appeared for closed testimony. No way Pelosi expects to lose the vote Thursday.

Bruce Hayden said...

“House Democrats will forgo using the federal courts to try to compel testimony from recalcitrant witnesses in their impeachment inquiry, a top Democratic chairman said Monday, warning that lawmakers would instead use the lack of cooperation to bolster their case that President Trump has abused his office and obstructed Congress’s investigation.”

What they aren’t saying is that they don’t have subpoena power over the White House under their A1S1 Oversight power, since the Presidency was not created by Congress, and instead has its own legitimacy through the entirety of Article II. They weren’t going to win this Separation of Powers issue in the courts. Maybe get an Obama District Court judge to rule their way, as they did Friday, but that isn’t going to work long term, through the appeals process, esp after all the appeals court judges Trump has gotten confirmed. They know this, which is why they have been claiming, in their fake subpoenas, that this will be held against Trump. Except, of course, the White House has no moral, legal, or Constitutional duty to cooperate with the House Dems trying to utilize their Oversight authority where they have no Constitutional jurisdiction in their witch hunt.

I think that they have gone about as far as they can in this regard. Any currently employed federal employee testifying before Shifty Schiff’s Secret Star Chamber commits a fireable offense by testifying, given that Trump has asserted Executive Privilege. Their only reasonably feasible way around this problem is to formally invoke their A1S2 Impeachment Power, and to get the courts to accept this, and use the Nixon case as precedent to override Executive Privilege, is for them to formally open an impeachment inquiry by majority vote that provides sufficient Due Process protections for both the minority Republicans and the President.


narciso said...

oddly the fact that real important work, was being done while Pelosi was running her clown show, doesn't dawn on these people,

rhhardin said...

Impeachment for what. I would seem that has to be part of the vote.

Ray - SoCal said...

>No. Too much loss of face in its being voted down

Trump not notifying Pelosi and/or Schiff of the Syria Raid was a direct hit to Pelosi's status, so much for her trip to the Middle East.

A timing challenge is the Inspector General FISA Report will be released, with only a few redactions very soon. This could be driving the timing, this way Pelosi hopes she can label the report, plus the investigation that Barr is doing into the origins of FISA, as political.

The Gang of 8 Intelligence Committee seemed to have been up to it's eyeballs in the Russian Collusion / Steele Dossier Coup attempt.

The death of Al-Baghdadi and the Syrian Raid destroys the narrative against Trump in Syria.

Impeachment is polling really bad, so Pelosi has to do something to change the narrative. The Republicans have managed to frame it as a star chamber inquiry. The Ukraine Schiff Colusion is a PR disaster, and the Democrats have tried hard to memory hole this.

I don't think the Democrats are ready to have Republicans start asking questions, in the hearings.

If the vote Yes means the Republicans will be able to ask questions in the hearings, then the vote will be No, to limit the political damage.

Bob Boyd said...

whether to “affirm” the inquiry

Sounds like a fake impeachment vote. They're trying to have it both ways. Are they impeaching Trump or aren't they? Apparently no. They're trying to get cover for doing exactly what they have accused Trump of doing, i.e. use their official position to dig up dirt on a political opponent during an election campaign.

narciso said...

meanwhile judge Sullivan is reviewing Sydney powell's info re general Flynn,

GatorNavy said...

I am of the opinion that a series of private polls showed the Democrat leadership that unless they held a vote for yea or nay on impeachment, they were going to get buried in 2020. Pelosi does not want her legacy to be a slaughtering of her fellow travelers and grifters.

Earnest Prole said...

Unlike Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi counts first before conducting House votes.

wildswan said...

It's also a way of taking a vote in the house just as Lindzey Graham has taken a vote in the Senate. And we'll see how many Repubs are secret slime. And how many "moderate Dems" are going to vote for impeachment. My opinion - all the "moderate Dems" will all do so. The whole "moderate" thing was a charade to gain the Gullibles votes.

tim in vermont said...

I think. I am going to lay off of this topic until there is an actual vote.

narciso said...

in Italy, the alliance between the 5 star movement and the left party for democracy, seems to have run aground in local elections,

Bob said...

Speculation awhile back was that Pelosi got ahead of impeachment fever by supporting the current closed inquiry. The idea was to move to a quick impeachment vote, get it over to the Senate (where it will likely die one way or the other), and get it all over with before serious campaigning begins in 2020.

So maybe this Thursday's House vote is simply part of the plan. If the affirmation passes, we have an open impeachment process, as we should. Perhaps at some point the House leadership decides the "evidence" is not strong enough to continue, and the process stops. If the vote fails, it's over. Either way, Nancy gets her wish.

If the Democrats feel the evidence is strong enough to go public, then impeachment proceeds regardless of Republican resistance.

I saw some polling reported at Instapundit, I think, that suggested impeachment is not that popular in the swing states. So, that may figure in this change of strategy.

Or maybe, just maybe, the "Wisdom of Gabbard" is more prevalent among the Democrats than the Squad wants to admit.

Francisco D said...

Makes sense. Her political instincts are first rate.

That may be true, but please tell me WHAT makes sense, steve.

I am apparently unable to understand what the vote does. Does it affirm the current situation which is not an impeachment inquiry or does it start an impeachment inquiry. I am not very good at understanding Nancy's "political instincts."

Don't chicken out, steve. Your input is important. Tell me what you understand this vote to mean.

narciso said...

what is impeachable, delaying weapons shipments for a week or two, while Obama didn't send any for three years?


https://www.ft.com/content/34be76ce-f708-11e9-a79c-bc9acae3b654?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754ec6

Bob Boyd said...

It seems like Schiff has appointed himself Special Counsel. What's his authority without some kind of vote?

Questions for somebody smarter than me:

Does the House have the authority to investigate the President?
Has Congress conducted it's own investigation in any past impeachments? Or did they consider charges brought to them by Justice or a Special Counsel or something?
This is not a good look. Isn't this why we have a Special Counsel law?
Why don't they appoint another SC for this new business?

Mark said...

They got what they needed last week and want Bolton to go on the stand on national TV.

Leland said...

As I wrote over the weekend, its the Democrats that need to explain themselves. The federal judge's 70 page ruling didn't even seem to meet the Democrats own snicker test. I also noticed the careful construction of Pelosi's statement.

I guess it gives them two more days of favorable coverage. This suggests to me that somethings about to drop from Dunham's investigation.

bagoh20 said...

There are numerous blind spots in the thinking of the left, but the key one is that they never take unintended consequences serious enough to change course. You go, girls.

Birkel said...

Earnest Prole is wrong.
Paul Ryan counted votes too.
Why do you think he never passed conservative legislation by accident?

bagoh20 said...

Open impeachment hearings with cross examination will kill the Dems in 2020.

Bay Area Guy said...

It'd be nice to know what the alleged "high crime and misdemeanor" is to support an impeachment inquiry.

In Watergate, there was a burglary.

Here, there was a tough loss in 2016, and Trump's successful effort to rebut a Russian Collusion hoax.

Doesn't seem impeachable to me.

Can they impeach Hunter Biden for being an idiot grifter?

bagoh20 said...

Dead party walking.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe they have been drinking their own Kool Aide...

Gk1 said...

The democrats are the Shamwow of political parties. They talk big but have produced nothing but intestinal gas since they took over the House almost a year ago. I don't care how the democrats try to finesse their impeachment vote in states Trump carried, they are dead meat on a stick and will have to defend that next year no matter how weasely the resolution was worded. They aren't fooling anyone. But kudos for Nancy for wanting to take this star chamber out of the basement and into the sunlight. They may be able to retain a speck of dignity this way.

narciso said...

well hunter's not a public official, interestingly he was on the board of ndi, the counterpart of the iri from where they drew klimnik from, and bill taylor is also a member, and they work with the atlantic council, which in turn is partially funded by burisma,

mockturtle said...

Skylark opines: I think Pelosi has a tiger by the tail in this, but I would think she has the votes, as long as the red district voters can couch their vote in “it’s just to make the investigation more fair and thorough.”

JMHO but I think any GOP House members who vote to impeach are committing political suicide. But then, I live in a red county in a red state.

JaimeRoberto said...

Is affirming the inquiry something like deeming a bill passed?

tim in vermont said...

Well, maybe it will no longer be allowed, as just happened recently, for Schiff to take a witness into another room alone to talk to them.

Schiff’s badgering of witnesses “You are making this harder than it needs to be” won’t fly on TV either.

cubanbob said...

The House will do what it will do. However the Senate isn't obligated to swallow the BS from Schiff and Pelosi. The Senate simply could advise the House that if they bring an impeachment to the Senate, the Senate will demand that all of the information gathered by the House as well as the names all the witness for it to study before they accept hearing the impeachment. Doing that will shut this garbage down immediately. And to twist the knife the Senate should pass a resolution that if there is to be an impeachment trial in the Senate that any Senator running for president needs to recuse themselves in order to have a fair hearing.

DavidUW said...

One beautiful thing, among many, Trump has accomplished, is demonstrated without a doubt, just how /alien/ the thought processes of our "ruling class" are when compared to normal people.

TRISTRAM said...

There's the note about the judge saying what they had was good enough so give them grand jury testimony. I'm puzzled, weren't there recent votes (John Lewis motion?) specifically against impeachment proceedings? So actual, on the record no, and a voteless press conference mean, sure, lets give them grand jury testimony? WTF?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"Nobody is above the law!"

Except Hillary and Joe Biden.

narciso said...

ot, the sandmann lawsuit is back on, like donkey kong,

Beasts of England said...

Nancy’s political instincts used to be top notch, but she’s been outflanked by the progtards. Taking an official impeachment inquiry vote four days after Trump gave the go-ahead to kill the head of ISIS? Fucking priceless, baby!! 😂

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

It's illegal to look into democratic corruption.

Democrats running for office have automatic immunity. Amazing!

Hagar said...

For Nixon and Clinton there were actual crime crimes committed - by Nixon during the cover-up of the Watergate burglary and by Clinton in perjuring himself to deny Paula Jones' claim for damages in her civil suit against him.

In Andrew Johnson's case there was a difference of opinion as to whether the President could fire his Attorney General without Congressional permission.
Senator Ross did not like Andrew Johnson any more than his Republican colleagues, but in the end he decided that it would be a very poor precedent for the future if Congress were allowed to remove the President on the pretext of a debatable nominal transgression of his powers, but really in order to remove him as an obstacle to carrying out their desired programs of a much more serious nature.
So he voted no, and the impeachment failed by one vote.

Todd Roberson said...

Yawn.

Mark said...

Bob Boyd, they had plenty of authority to investigate the Executive Branch during Benghazi. Including starting with closed door restricted hearings like this.

minnesota farm guy said...

Boiled down, this stage of the coup is based on a phone call of which we know pretty well what was said. Seems a very weak foundation from which to cry "high crimes and misdemeanors'. Joe must be ecstatic that he and Hunter are going to be dragged through the streets in public this time. Having read both the" whistleblower" third hand submission and the Taylor opening statement that was pretty much the same fantasy of hearsay and surmise, I look forward to watching Trey Gowdy cross examine those two and others.
I imagine Nancy has the votes, but I must say that I am unclear about what is being actually voted on. Obviously there is a lot of inside baseball going on, but my belief is that the Dems' foundation has weakened considerably over the last week.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Not a vote on impeachment.

Just (supposedly) a vote on procedures!!

LOL

Awesome.

Seeing Red said...

They’re voting on Halloween while Brexit might be taking place?

h said...

By the time my post is posted I bet it will look like repetition of a lot of other people's posts. But anyway: It looks to me like the House Dems realized that a lot of people were going to refuse to testify, and were going to go to court to claim "we don't have to testify because there isn't an impeachment inquiry, authorized by a House vote". And the House Dem lawyers told the House Dem leaders, "They are likely to win that argument in court." So I don't think Pelosi is calling for a vote because she wants it to fail; I think she is calling for a vote which she believes will succeed because that is the legally necessary step to compel testimony.

gilbar said...

Bob said....
Perhaps at some point the House leadership decides the "evidence" is not strong enough to continue, and the process stops. If the vote fails, it's over.


That's my guess. It's not like this is the first impeachment vote this congress
(people just don't remember the other one, do they?)

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

“We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts, so we press ahead,” Mr. Schiff told reporters outside his secure hearing rooms.

I'll give him credit for recognizing who the dope is in this scenario.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

House corruptocrats are admitting they want a circus to drive Trump's poll numbers down.

Browndog said...

Bruce Hayden said...

10/28/19, 5:07 PM


This is exactly right.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Leland said...
As I wrote over the weekend, its the Democrats that need to explain themselves. The federal judge's 70 page ruling didn't even seem to meet the Democrats own snicker test. I also noticed the careful construction of Pelosi's statement
***********

I've seen allusions to this ruling, but no citations. Who, what court, when, where, who were the parties in the suit, and...what was the holding?

Beasts of England said...

’...they had plenty of authority to investigate the Executive Branch during Benghazi.’

And neither the House nor the Senate had any power of enforcement or punishment. Nor was Hillary an elected official. Other than those teeny tiny minor details, it’s a perfect analogy!! Wow...

Narayanan said...

Let me ask it this way:

Did Senator Byrd wield collegial influence enough to restrain shenanigans of the sort going on now?


I've heard he's stickler for Constitution ?

jeremyabrams said...

I think she has the votes and intends for this to pass. If it fails, how do they fill the airwaves? They have a pressing need to avoid governing with the platform they are presenting, and the networks abhor a vacuum.

Beasts of England said...

‘Wimpeachment’ for the win, ICTARM!! :)

Ken B said...

🐝 https://babylonbee.com/news/cnn-uncovers-evidence-hero-dog-sniffed-butts

Ken B said...

Like most I think Ann must be joking or toking. Pelosi wouldn’t call the vote if she didn’t have the votes. The resolution sounds vacuous, so it’s just PR. They need to formally authorize investigating reasonably specific topics. But won’t .

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Treehouse:

Speaker Pelosi is holding a vote, a resolution, to affirm her previous declaration of a House “inquiry”. The resolution is currently being written by Lawfare. Pelosi is not delivering a House “Resolution on Impeachment” for a vote, because if she did hold a vote on an impeachment resolution, the minority and the Executive branch would gain rights therein.

This is a House vote to show support for Pelosi’s previous unilateral decree. Right now the rules committee is adding language to the resolution that will provide additional one-sided support for a completely partisan process.

Note in this video, Pelosi is careful to say “this is not an impeachment resolution”:


Confusion by design

Nancy Pelosi - "It's not an impeachment resolution."

Drago said...

BTW, this non-impeachment vote is simply an attempt to get the House on record as supporting the Make It Up As They Go "rules" the dems have been operating under with this specific intent as an outcome:

1) Republicans will still not have any rights to subpeona witnesses or any number of other minority rights due them under impeachment rules

2) The dems will try to piggy-back on this non-impeachment vote as if it were an impeachment vote and, using their recent obama judge ruling, use this decidely non-impeachment vote to gain lefty judge approved access to executive branch documents, even though its not really an impeachment vote

cf said...

Democrats & their Elite Media Machines @NPR & @nytimes Love to lead us out into the weeds, wayyy out -- distracting us from Ground Zero -- keeping us busy, our nose to the ground examining their fussyButt detailia that is consistently pure fabrication. the times just won a pulitzer for this kind of "excellence".
keeping us out in the weeds.
this is their latest.

Ken B said...

Excellent news. The judge in the WaPo Sandman case reversed course and so discovery will proceed. https://www.citybeat.com/news/blog/21094469/federal-judge-partially-revises-decision-in-sandmann-case-against-washington-post

It’s discovery that will most hurt the Post I believe because it will show their malice and recklessness to the world. Even journalists can be shamed.

Morkoth4682 said...

Sorry, but my weasel sense is tingling... I dont buy any of it... this is just another attempt by the Dems to trick LIVs into thinking they are following proper procedures, but in reality all they are doing is trying a slightly different strategy to accomplish the same goal, just using different wording in order to sound more official... there is not going to be an actual full house vote on whether to begin official impeachment proceedings... instead it will be a meaningless attempt to try and grant legitimacy to their current inquiry and convince the electorate that it is just as official and powerful as the real deal, yet which at the same time allows them to do whatever they want and not follow traditional constitutional rules, completely cutting-out Republicans (except maybe for sympathetic NeverTrumpers to give them a fig-leaf of impartiality) and stripping the President of any right to cross-examine or defend himself...

Jim said...

there is a good reason why the poll numbers for Congress, whether dem led or rep led, are in the flaming dumpster range. Congress refuses to do the job it was created to do. The house and the senate are sad pathetic jokes. but it's not funny. take a stand, vote. debate, discuss. Instead, they do stock deals, real estate deals, insider deals of all kinds. Anything but do real work. Most of the current problems, whether Syria or Russia, should have been debated, in open session, by the Congress.
The executive branch wasn't supposed to have all the power. Congress uses, and has used, the President, who ever it is, as cover.

cubanbob said...

Ken B said...
Like most I think Ann must be joking or toking. Pelosi wouldn’t call the vote if she didn’t have the votes. The resolution sounds vacuous, so it’s just PR. They need to formally authorize investigating reasonably specific topics. But won’t ."

There are a number of Democrats in the House in districts that Trump carried. They need an out to have a chance next year and between risk losing their seats to placate the relatively safe progressives they will probably not risk political suicide. Pelosi knows this and knows that if the Democrats lose the House they most probably have a Republican president, house and senate.

rcocean said...

This is how I see it:

1) Nancy is not a "Moderate" who's going to call this off the impeachment. She wouldn't call a vote if she didn't have enough D's to pass it.
2) The D's vote in lockstep. The "moderate Democrat" is a myth
3) Impeachment will pass. The Evidence is irrelevant. this is all politics.
4) The Senate Trial will be dragged out as long possible. You will always have the 46 D's, the RINO sisters, Mittens, and a few other R's, passing motions to keep the proceedings going and refusing to speed up the process.
5) Mittens and Collins will Grandstand and make speeches and love their moment in the Sun.
6) Trump will stay in office, since a vote to remove would destroy the R Party.
7) The whole point is keep Trump's approval ratings down and ensure he loses in Nov 2020. Again, this all politics.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I feel a little celebration is in order. Just yesterday everyone was complaining that the Dems hadn't voted, now they are having a vote. The Althouse commentariat has spoken and the politicians responded. Everyone deserves a pat on the back and a 'jolly well done'.

Francisco D said...

Don't chicken out, steve. Your input is important. Tell me what you understand this vote to mean.

Stevie? Any response?

It looks like little stevie is just a hit-and-run troll.

Iman said...

“...pining for the youthful vigor of JFK. I keep telling them, at best, y'all got the lawyerly geekiness of Adam Schiff.”

Key word geekiness, but it avoids the undeniable oily, fetid character of the fellow.

Bob said...

It's interesting to read the comment section on a Slate article about this topic. The commenters there are just as certain this is a brilliant move by the Democrats as the commenters here are certain of the opposite.

gilbar reminds us of the prior impeachment vote (over obstruction of justice) in the House which failed. We should note that was before the "whistleblower revelation" that Trump extorted Ukrainian help to "dig up dirt" on Biden. At that point, the Democrats said, "We got him this time!"

The divide in the political class is over the Zelensky phone call. If you are sympathetic to Trump, the call was slightly uncomfortable (maybe) but no impeachable offense occurred. If you hate Trump, it's, "We got him this time!"

Iman said...

I hope the Democrats choke on it.

FullMoon said...

This stupid thing will "pass" and low information voters will be told it is a vote to impeach Trump ..

Many LIF voters are average people who have jobs and responsibilities and only get news from tv before dinner or bedtime, or radio on way to work. Not bad or stupid, simply bombarded by propoganda.

Darkisland said...

And now Pelosi says "It is not an impeachment resolution"

Video here

https://twitter.com/RebeccaRKaplan/status/1188933086387593217/video/1

So what is it?

John Henry

Gregg said...

Pelosi was pressured into doing this vote because there were too many Dems on the sidelines, not part of Schiff cirle, not a part of the process. So fine, now they'll have a voice, they won't be on the periphery anymore. A no vote doesn't mean impeachment won't go forward, it just means they won't hold public hearings. They have to take this all the way, no matter the outcome.

Temujin said...

I sense another breathless 72 hours coming up. Followed by everyone forgetting about it. Followed by some other breathlessness. I don't know how much oxygen journalists require these days, but I'm thinking of investing in ready-to-move O suppliers.

GRW3 said...

If she thinks voting onto keep going with their current practice will make it OK, she’s delusional. If they plan to keep Republicans from participating and the a President from having representation, it will still be resisted.

Unknown said...

Is affirming the inquiry something like deeming a bill passed?

Mad Magazine used to have a feature back in the 70s, something like "Common Phrases Illustrated". So for "redeeming a coupon", it had some sort of demonic-ish creature on its knees crying and hugging a priest. The others were in the same spirit. Unfortunately, neither google nor bing image search leads me to any of them, but if they did "affirming an inquiry", it would doubtless be wagging its tail while being patted on the head..

phantommut said...

Who would be truly surprised if every server at the CIA, FBI, and NSA suddenly caught fire in the next week?

Ray - SoCal said...

It’s not an impeachment vote, but one to hold the inquiry into impeachment vote.

A decision by an Obama appointee seemed to have greased the way.

Under the Red Queens Alice in wonderland rules.

Pelosi Calls House Vote to Affirm Speaker Impeachment Inquiry The House Never Authorized…

Danimal28 said...

This is not a vote on a resolution; it is a vote to continue more of the same BS:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/10/28/pelosi-calls-house-vote-to-affirm-speaker-impeachment-inquiry-the-house-never-authorized/

magamamma said...

Rep. Jim Jordan Retweeted
Oversight Committee Republicans
@GOPoversight
·
5h
Dems plan to cut even more House members out of their ridiculous, unfair, and biased impeachment process.

Only Schiff's Intel Committee gets to participate. Even Oversight and Foreign Affairs get cut out!

What are Dems afraid of?
Rep. Jim Jordan Retweeted

anti-de Sitter space said...

My first thought was re DJT said nice stuff about a dog, but he never had a dog, hence Nancy sux!

Ha ha.

cyrus83 said...

This is just stalling by Pelosi by using political theater. The Democrats have been trying to get the Impeachment balloon off the ground for nearly 3 years now, but they don't think they have a case they can sell yet so they will keep having non-impeachment impeachment votes and keep running investigations to give the illusion of momentum and forward progress.

Democrats need to piss or get off the pot on this issue. We are only 53 weeks away from the election, and if this isn't over before the new year, the primaries and the election campaign are going to be dominated by impeachment, sucking up all the oxygen from whoever the Democrat nominee is. Trying to overturn the 2016 election with a Congressional circus does not seem like a good strategy for winning the 2020 election.

Bob Loblaw said...

Unlike Paul Ryan, Nancy Pelosi counts first before conducting House votes.

Yep. I don't think there's any chance she doesn't have the votes. It would be too damaging to Pelosi personally. If they wanted to put the whole thing to bed because it was polling badly she and the rest of the Democratic leadership would have laid the groundwork beforehand.

D 2 said...

"We have to pass the bill of attainder, before we find out what's in it"

Bruce Hayden said...

“This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the president and his counsel.... We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives."

If you have any doubts, this pretty much gives away the fact that this was written by the Lawfare people brought on by Shifty Schiff and. Wadler. What they are doing won’t affect whether the President can prevent witness testimony or withhold documents (since they are still operating under their A1S1 Oversight authority, and not their A1S2 Impeachment authority). That also means that they cannot issue “duly authorized subpoenas” to Trump’s aids, and merely asserting the President’s Article II powers isn’t obstructing the House, because, under Separation of Powers, they have no legal, moral, or Constitutional right to the documents they want it to the testimony of the Presidential people they want to force to testimony. If anyone has crossed Constitutional bounds, it is the House.

Bruce Hayden said...

This is why I deftest the Lawfare Group. They are a bunch of highly unscrupulous attorneys who manipulate the wording of laws far out of context and traditional to gain power for the left. They rose to power because of sympathy for their goals and methods by the Obama Administration. Indeed, there seem to have been a revolving door between Soros financed groups and the government, and in particular, the DOJ. But as noted above, both Schifty and Wadler have hired Lawfare Groupies. As far as this whole string of abuse, their abuse seems to have started with the destruction of the FISA Article VII safeguards, starting early in Obama’s second term. This allowed political use of NSA databases by the Democrats using the FBI’s 702 database interface (added to FISA by the PATRIOT Act in response to 9/11). Possibly next was the exoneration of Crooked Hillary by rewriting the Espionage Act intent requirement, as well as by granting immunity to all of her coconspirators, and allowing them to be treated as her lawyers. Next was their bouncing back and forth between National Security and Criminal investigations in the Trump/Russian collusion investigation. FISA was given a small opening allowing evidence of criminality inadvertently discovered during a National Security investigation to be utilized in criminal investigations. This small opening quickly became a thoroughfare in 2016. Then, despite no provision in DOJ rules and regulations for a Special Counsel investigating National Security matters, Mueller was given just that power. And, adding insult to injury, the third renewal of the Carter Page FISA warrant was acquired solely for the benefit of the Mueller prosecutors (without bothering to notify the FISC that Crossfire Hurricane had been shut down by then, and transferred to the Mueller investigation). The hyper partisan Mueller prosecutors, with extremely close ties to the Lawfare Grouplies, were given the power to wiretap the President and his top aides through this. They also had the power to demand bank and utility/phone records without subpoena with National Security letters, thanks to National Security Branch FBI agents like Peter Strzok being assigned there. Then, they came up with their novel misinterpretation of an Obstruction of Justice statute, effectively changing the required mens rea from specific to general intent, and this was utilized to protect both the Mueller investigation from oversight and being shut down, and to prevent Congress from investigating SpyGate. Now, Lawfare Groupies have been hired by Schifty and Wadler to structure and run their fake impeachment inquiry/investigation (Lawfare was, of course, heavily involved, in the Dems’ House rewrite of committee rules last December). So far, this seems moderately successful.

These people truly are evil.

Bruce Hayden said...

Let me add to my point about this whole vote here being an exercise in Lawfare abuse, that apparently, this motion is little more than just putting up to a House vote what Schifty, Wadler, etc are already doing. As we saw with the Mueller investigation, their idea of Due Process is extremely deficient, compared to what has typically been required by our jurisprudence (to see some of this in action, just read Sydney Powell’s motions in regard to the Gen Flynn trial).

One of the weaknesses of their plan right now is that it is vulnerable to the argument that the entire Impeachment Inquiry has been based on the approval of one person - Speaker Pelosi. That isn’t going to overcome Executive Privilege. Not even close. Having a House vote on approving what Schifty, Wadler, etc are doing will presumably help overcome that hurdle. And note, the Dems voting for it will be able to argue to their constituents that they haven’t actually voted for impeachment, nor even really a real investigation, but rather just for what is really just a preliminary inquiry. They would be voting for what they had tacitly approved when the new Congress was opened in January by voting for Speaker Palsi and her band of loathsome committee chairs, as well as the new House committee rules.

iowan2 said...

h.@7:35
No. This is by Pelosi's own words, not a vote to advance an impeachment inquiry. This is a resolution (not binding on the House of Representatives). A resolution affirming what they have been doing(what ever that is, specifically was not a vote to launch an impeachment, Article 1 sec. 2 inquiry).
This "resolution" is a nothing vote, on a nothing procedure.

Bruce Hayden @5:07 has an excellent constitutional explanation of what is happening

Rusty said...

ARM. Put it back in your pants.

Daniel Jackson said...

The Dumb-o-crats need a way out. Desperately so since re-election has already started. They have nothing to show their voters except bullshit over something in another part of the world that means jack shit to the serious local issue at hand.

It's going nowhere and well passed the point of diminishing marginal returns.

Now, rank and file Dumb-o-crats will have to stand on the floor and individually give their voice vote after their name is called Live and on TV.

What a way to begin the Begging Bowl Season.

Lot's of luck, Dumb-o-crats.

Hagar said...

An improved vote to keep looking for a "high crime or misdemeanor," but still not a House resolution to impeach?

Birkel said...

This confirms a couple of things:
1. The previous position of the House was deficient,
2. Voters were noticing,
3. Democratics do not have the goods,
4. A new smokescreen was necessary,
5. Democratics must drag this out for political purposes.

Hagar said...

BTW, when I think about, I am not sure they ever proved Nixon had committed any crime crime though other people certainly did. If he had not resigned and had been impeached, could he have successfully argued that what he had done, however reprehensible in some peoples' opinion, were within his presidential powers?
I wonder if his congressional Republicans turning on him was an example of the "mommy instinct," i.e., let the children have their way on this and maybe it will all go away and we can have some peace at the dinner table again?
I do remember him resigning and then Ford pardoned him, and the Democrats went insane howling for blood and the powers that be threw some relatively innocent people out of the sled to be prosecuted and convicted on thin pretexts to satisfy the crowd's demand for a lynching.

Nichevo said...

Now, right now if ever, is the time to write your congresspeople, Democrat or Republican, solid or flaky, to oppose impeachment. If you should happen to meet them in person, this is magnified a hundredfold.

I was once struck (although it's probably coincidence) by the power of personal appeal. In I believe it was 2014 I ran into Senator Charles Schumer at LaGuardia Airport on my way to wherever it was. The timing was just before the Iran deal. I looked at himb wr made eye contact, I nodded and he nodded in that New York way. I went on my way, then I thought about it. I wrote a hasty note, folded it, turned back around, came up to where he was sitting and placed the note in front of him on the coffee table, looked at him again, nodded and smiled, then proceeded about my business. Not to be harassing the man.

The note said, in so many words, please, Senator Schumer, oppose this disastrous Iran deal. Believe it or not, which I entirely did not expect, he did in fact vote against it. He did not manage to wield enough power to gain other votes to defeat it, but he did himself vote against.

Probably just Kabuki and I doubt I made the frail little old gentleman do anything he didn't want to do, but it was gratifying and possibly a little instructive.

Invoke JFK's Profiles in Courage. This is simply not good for the nation. Any sane neurons remaining in their brains must fire on this realization.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

I'd like to know how many assholes are listening in on Trump's phone calls?

mockturtle said...

Nichevo suggests: Now, right now if ever, is the time to write your congresspeople, Democrat or Republican, solid or flaky, to oppose impeachment. If you should happen to meet them in person, this is magnified a hundredfold.

I did this over a week ago, although in my case it was unnecessary as my GOP Congressman is pretty solid. Now, if it gets to the Senate, that's when things get sticky here in AZ: Sinema is a truly moderate Democrat with [gasp!] common sense who doesn't vote lock-step with the Party but still a Dem; then there is McSally, a never-Trump Republican who was appointed to take over McCain's post. But she is up for re-election next year so she'd better mind her p's and q's.

Ken B said...

CubanBob
You are right about the Dems in Trump districts wanting cover. That is why this resolution is so vacuous. It is NOT an impeachment resolution. It is a meaningless “OMB and we care” vote. So they can vote for it.

FullMoon said...

They want televised hearings so the media will be able to cherry pick video and audio for broadcast.

The full televised hearings would not be watched by most people.

Skippy Tisdale said...

No one expects the Pelosi Inquisition!

mockturtle said...

No one expects the Pelosi Inquisition!
:-D

Skippy Tisdale said...

Unknown, Google Image "mad magazine horrifying cliches"

revenant said...

Most important, Bruce Hayden is correct—Lawfare is an evil, Un-American, anti-Rule of Law operation.

I happen to think this is a mechanism to accelerate the process of arriving at a vote on Impeachment in the House. Pelosi surely knows she has to get this off the table asap. She needs to give a couple dozen red-district members the OK to vote “no” and she needs to get to a vote to impeach asap. She wins the impeach vote so as to allow every Democrat to run against the impeached Trump and the “crooked” Senate that acquitted him even though he is “obviously guilty of being Donald Trump.” I think it shows she’s desperate — she had no choice but to start this process, but she also knows it is likely to derail a Dem House if it drags into spring and summer. Couldn’t happen to a nicer Speaker.

iowan2 said...

This is a day late. But not a dollar short. USA Today/Suffock poll show 36% of registered voter want to remove President Trump by impeachment.

I sense a shift in polling that is attempting to get in line with what the people really think. I guess the real number is closer to 25%

Unknown said...

Blogger Skippy Tisdale said...
Unknown, Google Image "mad magazine horrifying cliches"


That's it!

Thanks, Skippy.

There's even a book of them I may pick up.