Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

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I am recommending this new title by Neal Katyal and Sam Koppelman. Katyal is a former Acting Solicitor General for the US, and law professors at Georgetown, and you know him as a frequent contributor on various MSNBC shows.


Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump
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Why President Trump has left us with no choice but to remove him from office, as explained by celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.

No one is above the law. This belief is as American as freedom of speech and turkey on Thanksgiving—held sacred by Democrats and Republicans alike. But as celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal argues in Impeach, if President Trump is not held accountable for repeatedly asking foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, this could very well mark the end of our democracy. To quote President George Washington’s Farewell Address: “Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” Impeachment should always be our last resort, explains Katyal, but our founders, our principles, and our Constitution leave us with no choice but to impeach President Trump—before it’s too late.

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14 thoughts on “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

  1. The evidence may be clear, but the roadblocks are significant: the Republican party has abandoned any semblances of morality and integrity. They see
    – chances to remove the social aids that provide help to the undesirable members of society (anyone not in the intersection of white, rich, male). The irony is that many of them used those aids themselves on their way up
    – chances to roll back environmental and worker protections, despite how effective they’ve been, because their donors don’t like them
    Most importantly
    – they see that the people who have been the core of the Republican party since the mid 60s, and vocal about it since Reagan, the racists, bigots, homophobes, etc., finally have a strong supporter in the White House, they don’t want to risk crossing that group

    All of that means that you get blatant liars like Nunes (and his instantly debunked “memo”) and others deflecting the discussions that have been held with observations that are asinine but effective with the right. You get them complaining about the hearings and the whistelblower not “being fair” when, in fact, all the guidelines that they themselves put in place were followed. And you get their blatant comments that they don’t care what evidence is presented, they will not vote to oust the nazi lover from the White House.

    It is clear, if you have an IQ that’s numerically higher than the skin that forms on cooling pudding, that Trump is guilty, and it’s even more clear that the rear-end lickers in Congress and the Senate don’t care, and that the uninformed public who support racism, bigotry, etc., will continue to support him.

    When the low-lifes of the country have as much influence as they do now, times are bad.

    1. As a note on how lacking in integrity the modern Republican party is: Mitt Romney is being lauded as “brave” for saying:

      ““I saw no evidence from our intelligence community, nor from the representatives today for the Department of State, that there is any evidence of any kind of that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our elections”

      Brave, heroic, for stating something that’s been known for years? The real story is that there are right-wingers who still deny facts and say the Ukraine was responsible.

    2. Rachel Maddow had a case in point on her show yesterday (Dec. 2). When Don the Con was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, congressmen Chris Collins (NY) and Duncan Hunter (CA) were the first party officeholders to voice their support for him. Both were soon under indictment, Collins for multiple count of insider trading and Hunter for multiple counts of misappropriating campaign financing monies. Both ran successfully for reelection while under these indictment and both later pled guilty and are likely for some jail time.

      “Lock her up” Trump showed his love of even-handed justice by calling out then Attorney General Jeff Sessions for prosecuting these felons, as if it were a bad thing. You can be sure the current A.G. will not make such a mistake though. He has already refused to even investigate the Russian involvement in the 2016 election and has already written an “objection” to the Inspector General’s conclusion that there is no evidence that there was political bias behind the F.B.I.’s investigation.

  2. Heck, apparently Barr is one of the buffoons who says he doesn’t believe it was the Russians that meddled. Think about that: the AG is willing to lie because the facts go against the presidential line.

    1. What Barr says and what he thinks may or may not be in synch. In any case, Barr was handpicked by Trump to do what he’s doing: protecting Trump first, last, and always. Forget an independent judiciary.

  3. Listening to today’s hearings. Once again: no facts from the right, but a good number of lies and re-hashes of debunked conspiracies. (The favorite lie is that the Democratic politicians aren’t doing any real work when the right has been sitting on many things without acting on them. )
    In a sane world that would demonstrate the lack of defense Trump’s butt-lickers have in this case. In today’s world, their dishonesty will not be noticed by most. There are no words sufficient to describe the scale of the lack of integrity those at the top, the middle, and the working class of the modern right collectively display.

    1. My take on today’s hearings is that they are not very persuasive. I was listening to PBS commentary and even the moderator was talking about the format and how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony. It appears very biased and even PBS seemed to think that.

      The assumption is that the favor asked by Trump was for personal benefit and to help in the 2020 election. But how do we know that? What if Biden actually used foreign aid to benefit himself in 2016? Can nobody investigate that?

      Isn’t what Biden did exactly the same as what Trump is accused of doing? To pretend that it was all about the future and not the past is a bit silly, at least to me. I see nothing wrong with Trump asking a favor to investigate whether a politician did something wrong in the past, just as I see nothing wrong with a future president asking Ukraine or China if Trump did anything wrong.

      According to the definition the 3 law professors use, even hosting a fund raiser would be an impeachable offense – because how can you not personally benefit by getting cash from people for your reelection? It is just a joke how broad their definition of “bribery” is.

      But it is what it is – a politically biased impeachment supported by only one party. I doubt the democrats will be happy when the same standard they now advocate is applied to future democrat presidents.

      The trial in the Senate will look quite a bit different and will no doubt result in an acquittal.

  4. “All her other crimes are well documented ”

    Well no, they aren’t.

    “Defeat ISIS”

    Hasn’t been done — they are still alive and well. He did, with his withdrawal, manage to release a good bunch of them that had been held.

    “out of Iran agreement”
    Which, in the eyes of our intelligence agencies and intelligence agencies around the world, was a success. Since leaving Iran has been ramping up its nuclear research.

    “fixing NATO ”

    Which, to the surprise of nobody, wasn’t broken.

    “no to socialism,”

    We don’t have socialism in the way clowns like you think of it. We have, however, thanks to trump, now paid farmers more money to make up for the harm trump’s needless tariffs have caused than was paid out to auto companies.

    “jobs (including manufacturing)”

    Again, no, no substantial change in jobs especially in manufacturing. We have had several of the plants trump claimed he saved close though. (And note: in spite of his shit-show of a PR session in Texas at the plant that will assemble the new Mac Pro, that is not a new plant: it’s been working for Apple since 2013, was in business before that, and isn’t manufacturing the new computers, it’s simply assembling parts produced overseas.)

    “After the Obama’s attempt to fundamentally change our Country”
    We get it: you folks didn’t like that he had the audacity to be non-white while serving as president.

    “Michelle’s not being proud of our (and her) Country”
    She said (before Barak was elected)”For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change”

    “even though she had affirmative action and a no-show job for 1/3 of a million dollars a year.”

    Racist bullshit not deserving of a response.

    “BLM”

    Gee, what could there possibly be about a movement that points out that for too long African Americans have been treated as less than real citizens and whose goal is to improve the situation for people who don’t have access to money and power.
    Oh yeah — your ignorance, bigotry, and racism.

    “That is right nothing unless you watch Joe Biden demanding Ukraine fire a prosecutor”
    Well, that made it — every comment you made is phrased to make a lie seem like a tease. Go back and read the reports of this — even the Republican report written at the time — that showed there was nothing nefarious there. The US, England, European Union, all lobbied to have the prosecutor in question fired since he was not doing, as he was told to do, any investigation. His replacement — the one Biden elder and others wanted in place — did begin the prosecution.

    I’m amazed at your intense dishonesty and racism. Ignorance and dishonesty like yours have been around for centuries, but it’s thanks to the modern right’s opinion that such things are virtues that you and others feel so secure in publicly airing them.

  5. “What if Biden actually used foreign aid to benefit himself in 2016? Can nobody investigate that?”

    Holy christ, that’s effing stupid even for you.

  6. “My take on today’s hearings is that they are not very persuasive. I was listening to PBS commentary and even the moderator was talking about the format and how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony.”

    From your past posts here, it is no surprise that you found it “not very persuasive.” What’s the problem? The Constitution is not vague or complex enough for you? Did you expect scholars of the Constitution and its framers to have wildly different ideas about what they thought the Constitution says and meant about bribery, extortion, and interfering with Congressional oversight and investigations?

    The Constitution uses few words but it is clear on impeachment once the framers’ context is made clear. And it is also clear that Trump transgressed it. (He has obviously never read the Constitution; his lack of ability to get anything out of written documents is well known. He also showed this when he tried to get the G7 conference sited in his bedbug-infested, rundown Florida business. When this was pointed out to him as being Constitutionally prohibited, he said that the emolument clause was a fake.)

    Again, not surprising, the Republican mouthpiece said absolutely nothing about the Constitution for as long as I could stand his whining about the supposed persecution of Trump. His warning that the bar for impeachment was being lowered was ridiculous since all other speakers pointed out exactly what Trump did and why that was contrary to the Constitution.

  7. “how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony.””

    RickA isn’t accustomed to listening to real lawyers.

  8. “The assumption is that the favor asked by Trump was for personal benefit and to help in the 2020 election. But how do we know that?”

    Duh! We know that because Sondland, the million dollar Trump donor rewarded with the ambassadorship to the EU — who was moved by Trump to the Ukraine to oversee Giuliani et al.’s alternate foreign policy channel — testified that he got the clear impression from Trump that all he wanted was the announcement of an investigation; whether there WAS an investigation didn’t matter. The announcement was enough for a smear campaign in the coming election; a real investigation might turn up with the wrong answer from Trump’s point of view.

    We also know from testimony that Trump wanted tampering in the 2016 election by the Ukraine to be investigated, despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence agencies are all convinced that Russia, not Ukraine did it. (Anyone who got there news from Facebook knows that the majority of political opinion there was anti-Hillary. There is only one country that Trump can’t do enough for and that’s Russia. The Ukraine had no reason to be anti-Hillary. Candidate Trump had suggested that Russia should keep what it had taken from Ukraine.)

    It seems clear enough to me when you look at motive and evidence. Trump wanted the announcement so he could smear Joe Biden, his bete noir, with impunity during the election; he wanted an announcement that the rightwing fantasy that it was Ukraine that biased the 2016 election not Russia investigated because it WAS Russia and they helped Trump win the election.

    1. As we know, facts mean nothing to the right.

      I don’t expect the impeachment to go anywhere in the Senate — not, as the resident lying lawyer above claims, because there is no there there, but because, like him, the republicans in the Senate are still butt-hurt that there was a black man in the white house that managed to clean up a good number of the messes the previous republican had created. (Not to clear him completely: he did expand the drone war, continue the asinine ‘war on terror’, and so on.) Those republicans are also intent on rolling back polices that have helped the poor, protected wildlife and natural resources, and in general helped society. Pushing fundamentally racist polices and supporting nazis is simply icing on their cake. They can’t do that if they allow themselves to be held to the rule of law.

      More directly: when you listen to the comments the Republicans tossed out during the hearings, you noticed one thing: nothing was based on fact. Debunked theories about the Ukraine meddling with elections? Check. Debunked stories about the Biden’s beneffiting from the sacking of the first Ukrainian prosecutor? Check. On and on and on, all bullcrap. Lying that the rules weren’t followed in the leadup to these hearings? Yup (note that not only were rules followed, they were the rules the Republicans wrote).

      Was it a waste of time for them? No, because as we’ve seen from a certain poster here there are people in the public with both IQ and integrity low enough to buy into those comments and repeat them.

      No, this won’t go anywhere in the Senate, and it won’t be because the p.o.s. in the White House isn’t guilty, it’ll be because the Republicans running things are ethically and morally bankrupt. Just like a good percentage of their supporters.

  9. “But it is what it is – a politically biased impeachment supported by only one party. ”

    It is supported by only one party because the other party is now completely dependent on a core group of supporters who love Trump for exactly the things that normal people dislike about him: lying without effort about nearly anything and everything, willingness to cheat at anything he does, crudeness of speech and thought, ignorance of nearly everything a president needs to know, mercurial, disdainful of facts and expertise in others, inability to process information, tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way. All of these things have been public knowledge and have come from observations by those who have worked with and for him. Why people find this attractive in a grown man I don’t know but they exist.

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