Impeachment facts

Facts. Trump’s lawyers try to sound like they’re all about facts. My twenty years as an administrative law judge gave me tons of experience with lawyers twisting facts to push what are really lies. Especially lawyers for the telephone company. But they were paragons of honesty compared to Patsy Baloney and the rest of Trump’s team.

They paint impeachment as an illegitimate partisan fraud. A one-sided proceeding in the House? Only insofar as Trump refused to participate. But Republicans had a full opportunity to question witnesses and cover themselves with shame screeching falsehoods on his behalf.

Democrats’ selective “hand-picked” witnesses? Only because Trump himself blocked other witnesses like Bolton, Mulvaney or Pompeo from testifying. But the upstanding patriotic civil servants who did testify — Taylor, Vindman, Hill, and many others, who were privy to what happened — told the truth, and the resulting damning picture is factually indisputable. Even Trump’s flunkey Sondland confirmed it. And how about getting testimony from Lev Parnas, who’s now produced a shocking video of Trump proving he’s a liar (and a creep)?

They accuse Democrats of trying to steal two elections: undoing 2016, and barring Trump from the 2020 ballot. Sheer nonsense. Removing Trump from office won’t make Hillary president. Nor keep Trump off the ballot this year. He could still run. Likely as the Republican nominee.

The Constitution provides for elections. Also for impeaching a president who abuses his office. If Trump’s argument had any logic, the Constitution’s impeachment provision would not even be in there, because any successful impeachment would “undo an election.”

I actually didn’t think they’d dare insist “he did nothing wrong.” But I underestimated the brass of these liars. Seeking to use U.S. aid to extort a bribe from a foreign leader to pervert a U.S. election by falsely smearing an opponent — breaking the law — and trying to cover it up — and to block Congress from investigating it — all proven facts — are wrong. Bigly.

Trump’s team claimed foreign aid is often held up, for various good reasons. True, for routine aid within executive branch discretion. This was different, specifically mandated by congressional legislation. Thus coming within “impoundment” laws — which Trump violated (as the Government Accountability Office has adjudicated).

And the idea that he held up the aid for legitimate reasons relating to Ukraine corruption is a sick joke. Nobody with any sense actually believes this. A Trump lawyer quoted Fiona Hill (as though a gotcha) in the House hearings saying that combating Ukraine corruption was U.S. policy. It was indeed — in spite of Trump. He couldn’t care less about that, it was irrelevant to his Ukraine aid suspension.

If Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky was “perfect,” why did everyone around him freak out and swiftly move to cover it up? The facts show the call was just a small piece of a long sordid scheme, with Giuliani doing the dirty work, aimed solely to achieve a phony smear of Biden. We now know how much effort went into this. How many levers were pulled, people deployed, others overridden, machinations undertaken. If only Trump were so assiduous dealing with our actual problems.

And here’s a question. Why didn’t Zelensky just give in to Trump’s demand? Not even an actual investigation, merely announcing one. Why not simply do it, to get the aid, and White House visit, Zelensky desperately sought? Because he knew it was wrong. He steered clear of what National Security Advisor Bolton called Trump’s “drug deal.”

Because humans evolved for social life, we got programmed with strong instincts to know who’s trustworthy and who isn’t. But Trump cultists seem to have deleted that app from their brains. If you actually believe Trump is a good guy and Adam Schiff is not — if you can’t see Trump is stinking human garbage and Schiff is a patriotic hero — then something has gone seriously wrong with you.

And with America. This country’s integrity and ideals are being destroyed. Our keystone institutions, rule of law, democratic accountability, respect for truth and facts, and plain-out human decency, are all crumbling under this intensive assault.

Other societies have fallen. God did not decree America immune.

4 Responses to “Impeachment facts”

  1. grogalot Says:

    Very well put, thanks. Now the scary part. Will there be witnesses? How could there not be? GROG

  2. Robyn Blumner Says:

    You are an excellent writer. I am so enjoying your blog.

    Robyn E. Blumner *President and CEO*, Center for Inquiry *Executive Director,* Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science 1012 14th St. NW, Suite 205 Washington, D.C. 20005 RBlumner@centerforinquiry.org 202-733-5276

    The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Our vision is a world where people value evidence and critical thinking, where superstition and prejudice subside, and where science and compassion guide public policy.

    On Sun, Jan 26, 2020 at 4:18 PM The Rational Optimist wrote:

    > rationaloptimist posted: “Facts. Trump’s lawyers try to sound like they’re > all about facts. My twenty years as an administrative law judge gave me > tons of experience with lawyers twisting facts to push what are really > lies. Especially lawyers for the telephone company. But they we” >

  3. Lee Says:

    To me, if Trump is to escape the increasing amount of evidence against him, he has to prove that pressuring Zelenskyy was in our nation’s interest. To that end, there is an article in Bloomberg News that indicates that Trump’s defense along those lines doesn’t work out.

    Specifically, if Joe Biden was acting on behalf of Burisma, the company that employed his son, instead of on behalf of the USA, why was his action a year too late to help this company? The investigation of Burisma was stopped in late 2014 and was dormant at the time that Joe Biden pressured for the firing of Shokin in early 2016.

    Furthermore, the reason that Joe Biden sought the removal of Shokin is because Shokin was not investigating corruption and was not investigating Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma. If anything, Joe Biden’s late actions could have resulted in a restarting of the investigation of Zlochevsky and Burisma and would have hurt his son, n’est-ce pas?

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    Lee, your efforts to see both sides of an issue may be notionally admirable, but it can become an impediment to seeing the obvious. The wickedness of Trump’s actions here have been obvious for a long time now.

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