Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry
Nancy Pelosi has just done what we’ve been waiting for for months. She announced that six major Congressional committees will begin an impeachment inquiry against Pres. Trump regarding his alleged threats against Ukraine. During a July phone call with its new president, Trump demanded that it investigate Joe and Hunter Biden for alleged “corruption.” No charges were filed or even suggested against them as a result of this threat. The country’s corruption prosecutor has not found any evidence for these charges.
Pelosi has always been the key obstruction in the path of impeachment. But in the past week, the whistleblower complaint and its suppression by the Director of National Intelligence at the direction of Trump and the attorney general, have broken down any resistance. Even the most moderate and resistant Democrats have come around finally.
There are different views on what impeachment would mean. The pessimists claim that it is an empty gesture since the GOP-held Senate will never vote to convict. This is probably true. But Prof. Lawrence Tribe has suggested an alternate approach with has not been widely known till he broached it. There is no provision saying the House must refer its impeachment to the Senate for trial. If Congressional Democrats only vote to impeach, but do not refer the matter to the Senate, the latter cannot take up the case.
That would mean that Trump would not face a trial and would not be removed from office. But he would have the scarlet letter of impeachment hanging around his neck during the entire upcoming election. If you add to that the incessant coverage of every angle and aspect of the Ukrainian scandal, it should be a huge burden on his campaign, which already faces a huge uphill climb given he is underwater in almost every battleground state.
I have always favored impeachment despite the criticism of this approach by moderate Democrats. It may not provide the absolute means of ridding us of this president, but it will be one added arrow in the quiver all of which may accomplish the task in November 2020.
Trump just announced that he will release the transcript of his call with Pres. Zelensky. He claims the call “was very nice,’ whatever that means. He claims there is nothing to the entire episode. That remains to be seen. Regardless of what Trump says he plans to do, the proof is in the pudding. He says the transcript will be unredacted. But he has said many things that turned out to be otherwise than what he promised. Trump is now on very thin ice. The Democrats have significantly raised the stakes. And everything he does or says from now on will receive added scrutiny and could add more nails to his political coffin.
The whistleblower’s complaint is a key part of the impeachment inquiry and the battle over its release will remain a key bone of contention between Congress and the executive branch. The very fact that Trump refuses to release it leads the public to believe it is the smoking gun to impeachment. House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff announced that the whistleblower him/herself will likely testify before Congress in the next week or so. Even without the actual complaint, this could prove quite damning depending on what is said.
Reporters will, of course be investigating the Bidens. Hunter’s role on the board of a major Ukrainian energy company with interests in Crimea opens him to such an investigation, since these are precisely the sorts of enterprises which Russian oligarchs have been manipulating to make their dirty billions. But thus far, there has been absolutely no proof of anything untoward. And he is innocent till proven otherwise, despite what Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump might claim.
15 thoughts on “Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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When the Shofar blows, Trump goes.
“Pelosi announces Impeachment Inquiry”
An inquiry is not an impeachment. The Dems don’t even have their own majority in the House and even if it should reach the Senate it will be knocked down.
It seems the Dems have done nothing but accuse and scream since Jan 20 2017.
It is pretty factual that the party which tries to impeach loses most of the time and does actual harm to their bid for presidency in the 2nd round.
@avram: There are so many things wrongg with this comment. Where to start?
Never said it was.
Uh, yes they do.
Cardinal comment rule: don’t publish a comment unless you’ve read the entire post. That helps you avoid the mud puddle you stepped into. If you’d read the post you’d know that I suggested Laurence Tribe’s creative solution which is not even to refer the case to the Senate. But to rest content with an impeached president who isn’t tried or convicted or removed from office (at least not through impeachment).
“Pretty factual?” Is that like being somewhat pregnant? Your claim actually isn’t factual at all. In 1974, Nixon was ousted through impeachment proceedings (he resigned before the House could hand him his impeachment). THe result was a Democratic landslide in the 1974 Congressional elections.
When Bill Clinton was impeached the next election was almost a dead heat. The presidency was stolen from the Democrats, who won more popular votes than Republicans. Al GOre wasn’t hurt by the Clinton impeachment at all. Democrats picked up four seats in the Senate and lost a single seat in the House.
When Andrew Johnson was impeached the next presidential election brought Ulysses Grant to the presidency. He was a Republican, same party as Lincoln. Though Johnson was a Democrat, he was part of Lincoln’s ticket. Johnson’s impeachment had no impact on the next presidential election.
I’m afraid you’ve struck out.
Can it be proved that the foreign aid was to be used as a bribe?
Hard to say without hearing a recording of the phone conversation or reading the transcripts of the conversation.
Was this a Trump reelection ‘campaign finance law’ violation?
Hard to prove, since Trump has a role as chief diplomat and as commander in chief.
Whistleblower testimony tomorrow will be revealing, but probably not dispositive of anything.
Bravo to the dems for finally trying to rope in this guy.
Impeachment by the House still remains a pipe dream.
@ Benyamin: I’m always amused by Israeli right-wingers here, characterized by their enormous cynicism toward democracy, who predict outcomes to U.S. politics and elections which are invariably wrong. You are no exception. 215 Democrats support an impeachment inquiry. By the time it is complete there will easily be a majority approving impeachment. Mark my words.
The real question isn’t the House. That is almost a foregone conclusion. The question is whether the House will refer to the Senate or stop there and be satisfied with a president running for re-election with the albatross of impeachment hanging over his head.
Trump saw an opportunity to strike a deal … turning the state of the Ukraine from blue to a red state. Colour my oligarchs …
Joe Biden and US foreign policy in Ukraine – Vicky Nuland / Geoffrey Pyatt …
… to rein in the power of its oligarchs.
But the credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky [Israeli citizen], who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.
The identification of Privat Group as the owner of Burisma, though unconfirmed, is logical enough. Privat Group is a conglomerate controlled by the ferocious Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky.
Plenty of dirt all around.
If the Ukrainian “system” did not find anything wrong in these Biden connections is not surprising. They (the corruption prosecutors) never do. The owner of Burisma Holdings, Mykola Zlochevsky, was the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources when he “arranged” oil and gas licenses to the companies that belonged to him. If that alone is not corruption what is?
What were the “skills” Hunter Biden could offer to the Ukrainian/Israeli oligarchs and Burisma Holdings worth the millions payed to him? His knowledge and experience of oil and gas trade? No. American/Israeli contacts and protection? Yes.
Wikipedia tells us
Obviously an honest and stand-up gentleman. Involuntarily ingesting cocaine – come-on.
What is a bit troubling for us Europeans watching this unending “show” is that Trump is demanded to have “limits” as a candidate in elections and his position where he is elected. Democrats obviously not as candidates and or in their political position. Trump is obviously guilty before proven guilty. Clintons and Biden are innocent till proven otherwise. Hmmmmm ….
@ SimoHurtta: You’re grasping at straws. Is Hunter Biden a corrupt grasping guy? Sure. Does that have anything to do with Joe Biden in this particular matter? None at all.
Are you defending Trump? Because if you are, you’re in the wrong place.
SimoHurtta should read the rest of that Wikipedia entry on the qualifications and accomplishments of Hunter Biden. Regardless there is no question in my mind that he used his relation to his father in his career. That does not mean he was corrupt- especially if he did not want to do damage to his father. But after watching Trump this evening putting on his best act such hubris, such feigned self confidence so transparently clueless regarding anyone but his base!!) I could not help but feel that this is going to do Biden Sr. harm too. If this goes a long way towards prying Trump out of office that will be worth it.
@ Potter: Yes, it will make a mess of the Democratic primaries, which is what Trump wants. Democrats will pause before they vote for Biden realizing it will bring on a ferocious mudfest during the general election. It will make many Democrats flee Biden for another candidate, any candidate. I don’t like Biden as a candidate. But this fate would be terribly unfair to him. If he loses it should be based on ideas, not mudslinging or fear of scandal.
Strange days indeed, when the Department of Justice cannot discern whether a federal election law violation took place from a plain reading of a transcript.
@ Benyamin: This isn’t surprising at all. The Justice Dept is supposed to be a semi-independent department operating apart from executive branch oversight. Under Trump, the DOJ is a puppet of the White House and slavishly does its bidding.
It’s a similar issue between Mandelblit and Netanyahu. Will the AG act independently of the PM and move forward with indictments and prosecution? Or will he cave to political considerations? We’ll see.
BTW, a vote for an impeachment inquiry is not the same as a vote for articles of impeachment.
“But just because 218 lawmakers want the House to go through with the impeachment process, there’s no guarantee that they would vote to impeach Trump at the end of it. Of the 218, only 25 have said they’d vote to impeach the president right now.”
@Benyamin: please don’t bother to lecture me on the fine points of constitutional protocol. Of course the House members are not going to say right now before hearing evidence they’re prepared to vote for impeachment. That would be prejudicial to the accused. In fact I’m surprised that many have already said they’re prepared to impeach . It indicates how dire Trump’s position is.
The House Intelligence Committee going at lightning speed … throwing President Trump off balance …. nice to note the role Rudy Giuliani played in Ukraine … believing in one of the GOP invented conspiracies … bringing down his Master. The White House cover-up to seal the President’s fate … lock him up. 😉