Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 29, 2019

Mueller Punts On Obstruction Charges - Impeachment Would Hurt The Democrats

The Special counsel Robert Mueller today closed his investigation into alleged collusion of the Trump campaign with alleged Russian interference with the 2016 election.

Mueller said nothing that goes beyond his already published report. But he empathized that his report did not absolve Trump of obstructing his investigation. Mueller said:

“If we have confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”


“Charging the President with a crime was [..] not an option we could consider.”

It is the long standing legal opinion of the Justice Department that it -as part of the executive-  can not indict a sitting president for a crime. The only entity which can do that is Congress through the impeachment process. Mueller had to follow that opinion. He now punted the issue to Congress.

Even before Mueller's statement some Democrats strongly argued that such an impeachment process is warranted. Mueller's statement today will be seen as support for that demand.

The leader of the Democratic party in the House Nancy Pelosi so far rejected to make that move. She fears that an impeachment process will only help Trump during the upcoming campaign season. He would certainly try to block the process. He would play the victim and demonize the Democrats over it. The media noise during a running impeachment process would also drown out any other policy issues the Democrats might want to highlight. Russiagate already did that throughout the last two and a half years. It didn't help the party.

But there are also arguments that an impeachment process could damage Trump and increase the chance that he loses the 2020 election. Professor Alan Lichtman, who correctly predicted all presidential election since 1984, uses 13 true/false statements to judge if the candidate of the incumbent party will get elected. His current prediction:

"Trump wins again in 2020 unless six of 13 key factors turn against him. I have no final verdict yet because much could change during the next year. Currently, the President is down only three keys: Republican losses in the midterm elections, the lack of a foreign policy success, and the president's limited appeal to voters."

One of Lichtman's key factors is 9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

Lichtman thinks that an impeachment process would be negative for Trump:

"Democrats are fundamentally wrong about the politics of impeachment and their prospects for victory in 2020. An impeachment and subsequent trial would cost the president a crucial fourth key -- the scandal key -- just as it cost Democrats that key in 2000. The indictment and trial would also expose him to dropping another key by encouraging a serious challenge to his re-nomination. Other potential negative keys include the emergence of a charismatic Democratic challenger, a significant third-party challenge, a foreign policy disaster, or an election-year recession. Without impeachment, however, Democratic prospects are grim."

I disagree with that take. Even with impeachment and a nomination challenger Trump would likely still win the election. 

There is no charismatic Democratic challenger in sight. Currently leading in the primary polls are Biden, Sanders and Warren. Neither of them can compete with the Trump's popularity. Despite Russigate he still has a 41% approval rating which is quite high for a midterm presidency.

Trump is also a master at playing the media. He would surely find ways to turn an impeachment circus to his advantage. His arguments would be very simply:

If I, as your all powerful president, had really wanted to obstruct the investigation, I would have succeeded.


Why would I have obstructed an investigation that I was sure would find me innocent - which it clearly did.

Trump would turn the impeachment process from a scandal about him into a scandal that the Democrats are to blame for.

With or without impeachment the Democrats have little chance to win the presidency. They should concentrate on keeping their House majority and on fetching more Senate seats. An impeachment will be anyway be unsuccessful because the Republicans own the Senate and will vote down any impeachment indictment that might pass the House.

The Democrats can only win the 2020 election if they have a real strong policy issue that is supported by a large majority of the population. 'Medicare for all' is such a winner. Health care is THE top issue for U.S. voters. Some two thirds of them support a universal government run health insurance that would cover the basic health issues and catastrophic cases. Private insurance for more cosmetic issues could be bought on top of that.

But significant parts of the Democratic party leadership are against such a system. They fear for the large donations and other bribes the pharma and health industry throws at them.

During the midterm election Gallup asked voters about their main policy issues. Despite two years of loud media noise Russiagate was the issue they named least. An impeachment process would likewise create lots of media attention, but would have little relevance for the real problems the voters care about. It would drown out the policy messages the Democrats need to send.

To hype Russiagate was already a mistake. The voters did not care about it. To go for impeachment over murky obstruction charges would likely be worse.

Posted by b on May 29, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

next page »

“If we have confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

Mueller's statements constitute reprehensible innuendo. As B. notes, both this oblique negative "clarification" and Mueller's implication that his hands were tied by DOJ regulations amounts to a reprehensible attempt to signal that the institutional anti-Trump "Resistance" should vigorously pursue stitching up Trump despite Mueller's own inability to do so.

It's like a tag-team marathon lynching, and the odious Mueller is handing off the baton to his teammates in malfeasance.

It's not exactly a selfless act on Mueller's part, either. If Trump is prematurely removed from office, or sufficiently slandered to a point that renders him unelectable, Mueller and his corrupt associates will claim vindication.

Posted by: Ort | May 29 2019 18:11 utc | 1

Impeachment would be another distraction that would go nowhere positive for either party so it won't happen.

Trump has as much dirt on the Dems as they do on would be an ugly cat fight and the public would win....we can't have that

I like the last paragraph of Catlin Johnstone's latest
All political analysis which favors either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party is inherently worthless, because both parties are made of swamp and exist in service of the swamp. If you can't see that the entire system is one unified block of corruption and that ordinary people need to come together and unite against it, then you really don't understand what you're looking at.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 29 2019 18:14 utc | 2

"There is no charismatic Democratic challenger in sight."

Tulsi Gabbard is pretty charismatic:)

Posted by: SharonM | May 29 2019 18:18 utc | 3

Paul Sperry
Here essentially is Mueller's spin job: "Russians hacked Hillary & I didn't find Trump didn't collude with them, I just came up short on proof, and I never said he didn't obstruct my probe, just that I wasn't allowed to charge it. However,Congress can charge him thru impeachment" Mueller is likely to have his day in court along with the rest of the conspirators. How will those public hangings affect Lichtman's 13 keys?

Posted by: JNDillard | May 29 2019 18:24 utc | 4

Impeachment PROCEEDINGS will divert attention away from Trump being an Israeli stooge. Trump is too valuable for Israeli interests to be removed from office.

I voted for Trump based on 3 issues; Immigration, trade policy and ending futile foreign wars. As far as I am concerned, he’s failed on all three and I don’t care if he is removed from office.

Posted by: guest | May 29 2019 18:25 utc | 5

The investigation should have been about Israel and Saudi Arabias collusion with US Presidents, of which Trump has just managed to take the mask off for all to see. Since Nixon the US has guaranteed Saudi Arabias safety due to the Petro-dollar. The US to stay in the Saudis good graces has based our foreign policy on their objectives, even willing to join them as being the largest financiers of terrorists (such as al Qaeda) in the world and with the genocide in Yemen. The Saudi objectives also align with Israels, as outline in their “Clean Break” policy in 1996 and thus ours.

The job of the Democratic Party is to take out progressives in the primary, for a corporate shill favorable to their donors. Impeachment would just divert their efforts. The Democratic establishments working hard to take down Bernie and Tulsi. They would rather have Trump than a true progressive.

Posted by: Stever | May 29 2019 18:31 utc | 6

My comment here links to transcript and video.

The utter falsity underlying the entire Russiagate hoax makes for big D Party problems. Current R Party Senate majority would likely negate an Impeachment Conviction; and do we really want Pence to become POTUS?! The better political move is to remove Trump via the 2020 election. Sanders would have won handily in 2016 and will do so if given the opportunity in 2020, particularly if it's Sanders/Gabbard. More could be said, and likely will later.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 29 2019 18:32 utc | 7

"The media noise during a running impeachment process would also drown out any other policy issues the Democrats might want to highlight."

Yes, very true. But I just have to ask, what policy issues?

Seriously. They propose nothing when it comes to policy.

Posted by: Kevin Hall | May 29 2019 18:38 utc | 8

There's media silence on Gabbard. Even the Brit media don't mention her.

Posted by: lysias | May 29 2019 18:39 utc | 9

Nothing matters except results. Another dem/rep talking head lying and making promises they'll never keep. Sorry, all done with that. My government is now something to be endured. The time is now to create our own solutions to our common problems. Enough is enough.

Sadly Trump was only the beginning. Most people have a blind belief in our system of government and once they lose that trust they are going to be electing people who make Trump look like the the best thing since sliced cheese. Go read the text of the Abortion law in Kentucky. Sick stuff.

Posted by: so | May 29 2019 18:40 utc | 10

Basically I can agree with b, thou for my part, I've seen nothing from the dems in years !! They play this centralist game as if one damn republican will ever side with anything they say ?? Also, the dems are just as to blame for this current mess, ie, Obama's that's look forward and not backward, failure to haul all the criminal bankers to court, not to mention they never forfeited a dollar, but make even more !! Then there is this crappy bailout of insurance companies along with the bankers and all others that benefited from this bailout !!! Also thanks to the great Bill and paving the way for the 2008 crisis, yes Bill, we know, you just didn't think it would turn out that way !! Straight from the liar that brings forth an even bold lair in Trump !!

All that said, I agree with the statement offered by Psychohistorian which offers the truth of Caitlin Johnstone's last paragraph !!! In other words we're screwed !!!

Posted by: terrorist lieberal | May 29 2019 18:42 utc | 11

The economy. The emperor’s beautiful flowing robes notwithstanding, Trump’s trade war is going to bite him.

Posted by: Cesare | May 29 2019 18:44 utc | 12

Trump is not a master at playing the media. This I think is an outright falsification designed to further nonsense about Trump the stable genius. Trump is favored by the rich people who buy advertising. If they had wanted, the TV news would have covered Trump's business career the same way they covered Clinton's email/Benghazi/Clinton Foundation. And they would have given Sanders the same free publicity they gave Trump in the primaries too.

Trump impeachment for emoluments clause, Trump impeachment for relations with Saudi, Trump impeachment over illegal transfer of funds (Nixon called it impounding) Trump impeachment over yes executive privilege do indeed offer enormous opportunities to Democrats. Impeachment over treason with Russia doesn't, but then, equally stupid nonsense about Clinton treason got endless play, didn't it?

The Clinton impeachment did not help the Republican in the Senate, though, as near as I can tell, actually pinning a Senator to their vote in the trial makes a difference.

Licthman is not as big a fool as many political scientists seem to be, but predicting the EC winner is not really what he's predicting. He predicted that Trump would win. I think at this moment Trump would lose the election again, but win the EC again. And I would say his really strong moves are in gerrymanders and vote suppression.

The economic factor does not strongly favor Trump, no more than it strongly favored Clinton. The official statistics are not very reliable in measure the welfare of the citizens (not least because the government doesn't care.)

Posted by: steven t johnson | May 29 2019 18:48 utc | 13

If Hillary and Pelosi are against impeachment, how can any progressive not be FOR impeachment?

The timeline here is telling:

1) In December 2018 - before the vote for the Speaker of the House - Trump invited Pelosi and Schumer to the oval office to discuss the Wall. This helped Pelosi to win the vote for Speaker of the House.

2) Before the Mueller Report was released, Pelosi began to shoot down calls for impeachment, saying little more than "it's just not worth it" (in an interview with establishment rag Washington Post).

3) The Mueller Report was released on April 18th.

4) On April 23rd, as Democrats continued to push for impeachment, Hillary came out of retirement to support Pelosi who was beset with demands from Democrats to impeach Trump. Hillary urged caution and said that the Senate would not convict so impeachment was essentially useless (not so!).

<> <> <> <> <> <>

The reluctance to impeach Trump is in sharp contrast to the 'Deep State' horror during the 2016 election at the prospect of a Trump presidency and the (supposed) continuing anger at Trump since.

But it supports what I've said for at least a year now:

The 'Deep State' was shocked by Russia's determined action against their plans in Syria (2013) and Ukraine (2014).

They decided that the next President should be MAGA nationalist and overt militarist (as indicated by Kissingers WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014) and the fact that Trump was the only MAGA nationalist candidate in the Republican Primary (out of a field of 19!).

Hillary ran a terrible campaign that raises serious doubts that she wanted to win. Her deliberate loss is highly likely as she is a member of the 'Deep State' that wanted a MAGA nationalist. (Other likely 'Deep State' members: Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller)

In addition to electing a MAGA nationalist, CIA/MI6/Mossad used the election to initiate a new McCarthyism, to smear Wikileaks, and to settle scores with Michael Flynn (who had angered them with his admission that the Obama Administration had made a "willful decision" to support ISIS).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 29 2019 18:54 utc | 14

thanks b... i pretty much agree with you and many of the comments -and tend to agree with @13 steven johnsons comments which run counter to some of it here as well... i don't think trump is this brilliant media manipulator... israel / ksa and a few other obvious suspects are determined to keep trump in power.. meanwhile the cia/dem russiagate story is a complete distraction that many are not completely buying - fortunately...

no matter impeachment or not - the cia seems to be running the usa at this point, which is likely how israel/ military / financial complex like it too... trump is the perfect fit! until the dems come up with a different strategy, trump will continue to muddle along with all his trump fans in tow... the guy is a complete jackass - perfect alibi for those who are really running the show here..

Posted by: james | May 29 2019 19:03 utc | 15

for an example of otherwise intelligent people getting completely distracted by russiagate, visit emptywheel.. the can see the trees so well, they are unable to see the forest they are living in..

Posted by: james | May 29 2019 19:13 utc | 16

There is now a ragging debate about whether Mueller's Report is a "referral" (for Impeachment) to Congress.

AFAIK, Congress must receive an 'Impeachment Referral' before taking up Impeachment.

According to this 2018 analysis, it would now be William Barr that would have to make an 'Impeachment Referral':

At the heart of the issue are limits on the powers of the special counsel. Many legal scholars believe a sitting president can’t be criminally indicted, meaning that if Mueller finds evidence of crimes by Trump, his strongest recourse might well be to make a referral to Congress for potential impeachment proceedings. But some of those experts tell TPM that under the regulation governing the special counsel’s office, Mueller lacks the authority to make that referral without approval from Justice Department officials overseeing his investigation.

After Kenneth Starr’s pursuit of Bill Clinton, Congress changed the laws governing special investigations in 1999: No longer could a three-judge panel appoint an “independent counsel” acting with no direct DOJ oversight. Instead, the decision to appoint a “special counsel” had to be made by the attorney general. In Mueller’s case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, because of meetings he had held with the Russian ambassador, leaving Rosenstein to appoint and manage Mueller and his probe.

[Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein have left DOJ. William Barr replaced Sesssions and, AFAIK, has no reason to recuse himself so later references to Rosenstein's authority should apply to Barr instead.]

“Those regulations don’t explicitly give the special counsel authority to make a referral,” William Yeomans, a 26-year DOJ veteran who has served as an acting assistant attorney general and is now a fellow at the Alliance for Justice, told TPM. “If there is a referral, it’s going to have to go through Rosenstein [Barr]. Ultimately, it’s probably his decision.”

Susan Low Bloch, professor of constitutional law at Georgetown Law School, agreed. “Rosenstein [Barr] decides what to do, and if he sees an impeachable offense I would say that he should send it to Congress,” she said in a phone interview on Monday. “But if he chooses not to, I don’t think you can do anything.”

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 29 2019 19:13 utc | 17

The new US "justice" system--
“If we have confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
So sorry about that pal, you must be guilty because you can't prove you're innocent.
And you, over there, snickering in the corner -- I have no proof of your innocence either! . . .Get the cuffs.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 29 2019 19:23 utc | 18

I don't think impeachment will be pursued as long as Pelosi is Speaker of the House. How likely are Democrats to pursue it? They don't have the guts or the honor to carry it off. They were complicit in the Iraq War, joining the Republicans, and brought no impeachment against G.W. Bush for his crimes against humanity, for implementing torture as policy, and even upholding as legal such unspeakable acts. Along the arc of the government's vile history it's clear that the Democrats have surrendered and made accommodations for crimes as they occurred. Pelosi and her leadership surrendered at each step to the creeping fascism and the surveillance state. They are as eager to see Assange destroyed, Venezuela invaded, and to look blithely upon a dystopian, Big Brother state. They are quite as infamous as the republicans.

Posted by: Copeland | May 29 2019 19:30 utc | 19

Impeachment talk is now just a way to fill time before next summer's Democratic nomination. I think B is exactly right, the resulting circus in the Senate would give Trump 2-3 extra points in the polls, which would bring his odds up (my intuitive guess) from 1:4 now to 1:1.

A Biden candidacy would make it really hard to make anything other than "I am not Trump" to be the message. Anyway there are other things going on.

The economy and China seem to be the wild card.

On a popular level, basic and unsophisticated hostility toward China might actually be a positive for Trump's audience, I really don't know.

The agricultural-export states currently eating the consequences of the trade war so far will vote Republican either way, they're irrelevant.

For Boeing to hit a pain point via China would be very significant. But their response would be to just tell the Trump admin what to do, rather than bother changing the election.

Natural gas industry would be electorally significant, because it is centered on the most pivotal state, PA. But global natgas flows and pricing take years to change, so the timing may prevent it from being a relevant issue in the election. (Japan's re-nuclearization, hence reduction of LNG imports, may be a closely related subject to watch, with Trump there just now)

Posted by: ptb | May 29 2019 19:36 utc | 20

Sanders would easily win campaigning strong for Healthcare for All. The DNC is gonna force Biden again though, easy win for Trump.

Posted by: Rafael | May 29 2019 19:50 utc | 21


Yield Curve Collapse Continues, recession is near.

In one year, an economic recession will start in the US.

Posted by: Passer by | May 29 2019 20:01 utc | 22

There is bipartisan support for Trump's targets of choice - China, Iran, Venezuela, but the mob parts ways on Russia. Trump and the smaller faction behind him recognise that Russia needs to become a neutral if not an ally US to give the US a chance at taking down China.
The larger part of the mob think they can take down any combination of target countries as they are the exceptional nation.

Over the last few weeks China seem to have decided that what Trump kicked off will be continuing with increasing intensity and now going into war mode. Russia came to this point shortly after MH17. I don't think Trump would have succeeded in separating Russia from China, but Russiagate is ensuring that Russia and China form a solid war mode alliance against the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 29 2019 20:06 utc | 23

The last guns and butter President was LBJ, and it ruined his presidency. Social programs like Medicare for All (single payer), tuition free college and infrastructure are not possible with continued high military expenditures and foreign wars. Tulsi Gabbard states this clearly and it's resonating when she's allowed to be heard. In addition, Trump has made himself vulnerable to a real antiwar candidate with the Venezuela fiasco, delaying the withdrawal from Syria and vetoing the Yemen bill. But only a real antiwar candidate can win unless Trump actually starts a war. I'm disappointed Bernard doesn't even mention Tulsi as a charismatic candidate who could defeat Trump if given a fair shot at the nomination.

Unfortunately, as Jimmy Dore says, "Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive." Their strategy of flooding the field with just enough "favorite son" candidates to keep anyone from winning on the first ballot will work, allowing super delegates to nominate Biden as a "compromise," who will lose hands down to Trump unless Trump actually starts a war.

Perhaps the best outcome would be for the House to start impeachment proceedings at the same time Barr indicts both Orrs, Page, Strzok, Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Rice (Susan), Clinton, Obama and perhaps even Mueller himself. Clean out both wings of the stable at the same time.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | May 29 2019 20:11 utc | 24

Copeland @ 20, well said, couldn't agree more, there's no there when it comes to the dems, a complete sellout of the people they're supposed to or say they represent !!

Posted by: terrorist lieberal | May 29 2019 20:17 utc | 25

I don't know for sure that b understands this country, not having grown up here. What is to oppose this juggernaut of hypocrisy, and how much more moral accommodation will the traffic bear? It is far more than the case of justice delayed is justice denied. The repackaging and the makeover of lies will be unendurable for another election cycle, merely going through the motions, just sticking our nostrils into the stink of corruption one more time.

The objective of this political circus is noise, its prime manipulation is to discourage real dialogue, its methods are demagogic. If any honor could be summoned; it would have as its objective an impeachment proceeding in which there was a determination to talk about reality, to examine this nation's real problems. It will be easier to accept the counterfeit proceedings of the 2020 campaign.

Imagineering and propaganda are leading us straight to hell. One more season of politics where the candidates of the unreal appear willing to bamboozle the country, on the altar of power, will put an end to us. One more wretched ambassador of the empire. One more glad-handing sport to tell us how great we are. One more oligarch or oligarch's man/woman will be the final stroke.

Posted by: Copeland | May 29 2019 20:22 utc | 26

Wow what a disgraced person he really is, instead of correcting that his witch hunt didnt find any collusion nor obvious obstruction, he just doubles down before retire:

Pulling a Comey: How Mueller dog-whistled Democrats into impeachment of Trump

US is so finished politcally, new voices, parties needs to be created.

Posted by: Zanon | May 29 2019 20:56 utc | 27

Mueller put a great deal of emphasis on Russian interference with the election, which is being both parroted and universally interpreted as a Russian hack of the DNC server - a hack which could not possibly have taken place. The "Russian interference" issue was ancillary to Mueller's investigation, yet it is a focal point of his comments. Why was it so important that it merited that degree of relative emphasis? If it was a download and not a hack, the only suspect is the late Seth Rich. The only person (I assume) who can unequivocally prove where those materials came from is Julian Assange. After years, suddenly asylum is revoked, and suddenly the US is prosecuting for espionage. After years of disparagement, mainstream media is suddenly rallying to Assange's case - yet truth be told nobody at CNN will ever face even administrative sanction for the same sort of activity as Assange's. SOS Pompeo met with FM Lavrov, came back to the US and said he had warned Lavrov about interfering with US elections...and Lavrov and Russian press reported those statements were never made. Apparently someone corrected Pompeo's errant failure, and at the next meeting he did in fact warn Lavrov about such interference. Obviously it was a big deal - to someone that was sufficiently powerful to tell the SOS what to do with great specificity - that this official condemnation was publicly registered. It certainly was not Trump. Lavrov responded with not only denial, but as Aaron Mate pointed out and was noted here, Lavrov said he had a file on it and was prepared to discuss it. Pompeo was not prepared to discuss whatever was in that file. Although it is patently obvious the Russians did not hack the DNC server, and that the materials in question - which relate to HRC - were downloaded, it is apparently an imperative of a very large number of powerful people to maintain the official narrative of a Russian hack of the DNC computer. While that suits other narratives, it also buries any questions as to who might have downloaded the materials (and someone did). Which ends any inquiry as to what might have happened from that moment in time, just as inquiry into Whitewater ended with Vince Foster's demise and an incredibly "irregular" forensic inquiry. Boxes of documents were removed from Foster's office that same evening - by HRC personally. Recall she wanted to drone strike Assange. All of this is happening on the heels of the revelation that the Mueller investigation was not going to take down Trump and end all potential for inquiry into any untoward DNC related activity. Thank you in advance to any comments in response to this comment.

Posted by: Bruce | May 29 2019 21:15 utc | 28

After reading numerous articles on "Russia gate," the 2016 presidential election and the rise of Generalissimo Bone Spur and President Chief Kaiser to the US presidency, Donald Trump, the 19th century British political historian and thinker Lord Acton summed it all up best; namely "never underestimate the influence of stupidity on history." What else is there to say?

Posted by: GeorgeV | May 29 2019 21:24 utc | 29

@ Bruce # 29 with the Seth Rich questions about the DNC

You are correct in pointing out that the Mueller investigation is hiding DNC and Clinton II crimes which is why I said above that the impeachment will not proceed. Somewhere I read that Hillary is on tape having said that she/they were screwed if Trump won.

The bottom line is that none of those folks are working in my best interest and are committing crime after crime to stay in power.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 29 2019 21:34 utc | 30

Impeachment indeed would be a mistake. The Dems have been denigrating trump from the beginning and what has that got them?

Also, remember Trey Gowdy and his endless investigations? Adam Shiff is nearly as repugnant and should turn to other work in Congress.

Yes, SharonM, Tulsi is charismatic, as well as calm and collected. So far, though, she is being ignored by the D.C. pundits. We should keep an eye on her positioning with respect to the new DNC debate thresholds.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 29 2019 21:37 utc | 31

"Trump is also a master at playing the media."

It won't take a masterful performance given the news that keeps spilling over the transom. Meanwhile Mueller plays his criminal hand of innuendo until the end. Were he ever to submit to questions in a Congressional setting, Mueller would be out-Giancana-ing Sam on taking the Fifth. The Special Counsel format is at this stage a superseded footnote. The ball's now in Barr/Durham's court now and the theme is Hunt for Red Predicates.

Breaking news. The Russia Collusion time-zero may in fact lead to Rome as all roads are wont to do. Italy is not a Five Eyes member. However that did not prevent Obama and Brennan from treating it like one. Both spent a lot of time there at opportune moments.

As it turns out the oft-cited, oft-profaned Steele Dossier was the barest of predicates that was always meant to be hopped over anyway. The Mother of all Predicates was a a failed effort on the the part of Italian intelligence and the FBI to frame Trump in a stolen (Clinton) email scandal. How did the Italians get hold of these emails and who thwarted the frame-up attempt? Hmm.

Just when you think the transnational plot is thick enough, it gets thickerer, and if Obama's Milan itinerary's any indication, it may well reach the tippy-top.

Nine Days in May (2017) is where 90% of the action is.

Posted by: Full Spectrum Domino | May 29 2019 21:38 utc | 32

notice no US president or advisor has ever been sent to prison over war crimes..the impeachment circus is not going anywhere

Posted by: brian | May 29 2019 22:00 utc | 33

Mueller is like sending a kid to the store to buy Lifesavers. He spends forty million dollars and comes home with no Lifesavers.

Posted by: bSirius | May 29 2019 22:03 utc | 34

@29 bruce... everyone here at moa is saying much the same which is why some of us are saying the cia is running the usa at this point.. that and a confluence of other interests... mueller - ex cia... so, basically the mueller investigation was more cover up and b.s. for the masses... it seems to have worked to a limited degree..

Posted by: james | May 29 2019 22:07 utc | 35

james @36 cia is running the usa"

Some think the CIA has been running the show since the Kennedy assassination. But with the rise of the neocons and the end of the Cold War, it became more apparent.

IMO it also became more apparent when the Deep State f*cked up by no bringing Russia on-side after the end of the Cold War while continuing to assist China's "peaceful rise". That caused the dislocation known as Trump. There's gonna be some turbulence when you turn a massive entity like USA.

Last thing that as become 'apparent' is this: the vast majority of people in the West (including many smart people in alt-media) can't dislodge their thinking from the MSM narratives. Despite being skeptical of MSM and USA, they just can't bring themselves to see the degree of manipulation that leads to the logical conclusion: "cia is running the usa".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 29 2019 22:34 utc | 36

james @36: cia is running the usa

Some think the CIA has been running the show since the Kennedy assassination. But with the rise of the neocons and the end of the Cold War, it became more apparent.

IMO it also became more apparent when the Deep State f*cked up by no bringing Russia on-side after the end of the Cold War while continuing to assist China's "peaceful rise". That caused the dislocation known as Trump. There's gonna be some turbulence when you turn a massive entity like USA.

Last thing that as become 'apparent' is this: the vast majority of people in the West (including many smart people in alt-media) can't dislodge their thinking from the MSM narratives. Despite being skeptical of MSM and USA, they just can't bring themselves to see the degree of manipulation that leads to the logical conclusion: "cia is running the usa".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 29 2019 22:35 utc | 37

Regarding a candidate addressing a really important domestic issue in USA, Pres. Trump has drawn the teeth (to an extent) on that one, and put the Democratic party in the position of either supporting the Republican initiative, or throwing sand in the wheels of a measure which will be very popular with the American public:

May 9 - surprise medical bills will be outlawed

"...Today I’m announcing principles that should guide Congress in developing bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical billing...we have bipartisan support, which is rather shocking..."

Posted by: powerandpeople | May 29 2019 22:45 utc | 38

website URL for press release info on ending suprise medical billing and provision for cheap generics

Posted by: powerandpeople | May 29 2019 22:49 utc | 39

Whatever you may think of Trump, the people who set out to 'get him' are the scum of the Earth. I recommend listening to the two-part interview of George Papadopoulos with Mark Steyn, where he describes the convoluted plot to use him to bring down Trump.

What they did to this guy is truly disgusting. Brennan belongs in a prison cell, and he should be sharing it with Mueller. Papadopoulos also has written a book about his experiences called 'Deep State Target, How I got caught in the crosshairs of the plot to bring down President Trump.

And, a final comment. Hillary Clinton proved beyond all doubt that she and not Trump was not fit to be President. To engage in this scheme and then to raise tensions through the roof with a nuclear superpower, which can destroy this country, is about as low and selfish as it is possible to be.

Posted by: SteveK9 | May 29 2019 22:54 utc | 40

the democrats don't really have squat as far as real impeachment charges are concerned. I lived through Watergate and everyone in college at that time enjoyed that circus daily, and there was real evidence which continued to grow as the hearings went on..... please recall only one of the charges against nixon related at all to the war, if I recall, about the 'secret' bombings of Cambodia - there's nothing in foreign policy they can or would indict this guy on (sad to say), without involving their own complicity in all the wars and war crimes in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and so on... Same goes for their incredible Surveillance State. they are all guilty.

This business against trump would be pure showmanship, and the democrats have lost nearly every single time they tried to show up trump, who is admittedly a sorry rotten ass it's true but a more clever showman and bullshitter than any of them.

how can the Democrats win on anything other than bread and butter issues? but they haven't been strongly in favor of the working and middle classes in 30-40 years and are a corporate party more now than ever. they fucked up so bad in 2016 and have been totally distracting with this 'russiagate' nonsense. nobody that makes a real living in the country gives a shit about that, it's health care, wages, standard of living, climate catastrophe and other real things that concern people.

maybe the russiaGaters make a lot of noise, but so far pelosi and schumer know better than to fall into that trap

as long as the US and world economy don't tank (which I believe is a very real possibility - like what gave obama his win against mccain in sept-nov 2008), then alas, I believe trump will very likely win. but well over 17 months to election is a long long time in politics and many things can happen

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 29 2019 23:06 utc | 41


You might be interested to know that there was someone out there who agreed with every one of your points: me.

Posted by: Roger Milbrandt | May 29 2019 23:13 utc | 42

b is correct in stating that the Democrats' hyping of Russiagate was a mistake, but he is wrong in believing that impeaching Trump would be a similar mistake. That is because Trump, in rejecting Congress's efforts to investigate his administration, has gone beyond mere obstruction of justice. He has declared that Congress has not the power to investigate his office, which is a direct violation of the Constitution's provision that Congress has not only the power, but the duty, to oversee the Executive Branch. If the Democrats accept such a declaration, then the United States will have officially crossed the line into authoritarianism and fascism. Whether Trump's chances of re-election are helped or hurt is almost besides the point. The nation cannot meekly bow to the will of a tyrant who holds himself unaccountable and above the law.

Posted by: Rob | May 29 2019 23:31 utc | 43

At this point I hope they do try to impeach. The Democrats presumably had the option of taking the high road against Trump and trying to legislate around him, but chose the low road instead. Now find themselves spinning their wheels in the muck, with no other options on the table. As they continue down this road, it will only show how useless the whole charade is becoming. The assumption being There Is No Alternative. The underlaying intention being true oligarchy, as this equivalent of a national home loan eventually comes due and those with the biggest piles of treasuries intending to trade them for the remaining public assets, facilitated by those bureaucrats who understand they are already working for their future employers.
Yet the only tool of control they will have, as all hope dies, is fear. Then the reset will start, as the scab becomes ever more separate from the wound. The nations of the Eurasian continent will eventually thank the US for forcing them to work together, while we and those most attached, such as England, slowly come to realize that it is all about something far deeper and more important, than the Benjamins. We need public finance, like we needed public government and usurped monarchies. The bankers are having their 'Let them eat cake' moment and it is getting messy. They may as well wallow in the swamp.

Posted by: John Merryman | May 29 2019 23:36 utc | 44

@ Rob 44
the Constitution's provision that Congress has not only the power, but the duty, to oversee the Executive Branch
Where is that provision, article and section?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 29 2019 23:49 utc | 45

The purpose of Russiagate was to 1) prevent any foreign policy initiative which featured rapprochement with Russia. 2) prevent or forestall any honest appraisal of why Clinton lost.

It is obvious that the Democratic Party establishment is hostile to progressive initiatives, including a Single Payer medical system which absolutely would be a winning platform in America. Therefore the impeachment circus will continue as it keeps the Dem base focussed on the supposed national emergency which is Trump. Trump's election was probably the biggest opening for non-mainstream politics in decades in America, and its been mostly squandered by deliberate misdirection.

Posted by: jayc | May 30 2019 0:00 utc | 46

Impeachment is not a conviction, it just shoves a trial over to the Senate where the Democrats are sure to lose. Its poor strategy to proceed with more nonsense. The whole Russian maneuver is going to end badly for them. They are turning Trump from a sure loser to a possible winner.

There is some talk of kicking Pence off the ticket and adding Nicky Haley if there is a sense of trouble in Trumps reelection. They promised us a 100 years war. 4 more years of Trump and 8 years of Haley would add another 12. Probably we will have those 12 more years of war no matter who is in the office. The socialist opposition is absent of war party opposition.

Someone mentioned the economy and that could end it all for the Trump ticket. Things look lousy.

Posted by: dltravers | May 30 2019 0:05 utc | 47

Don Bacon @ 46:

The relevant provision you are looking for would be Article 1 / Section 8 of the US Constitution.

Congressional oversight is implied in the US Constitution rather than stated explicitly.

Further information and elaboration of Congress's powers of oversight are at this link.

Posted by: Jen | May 30 2019 0:18 utc | 48

What do you expect from the master of coverup himself?

He basically said in so many words “Russians hacked Hillary & I didn't find Trump didn't collude with them, I just came up short on proof, and I never said he didn't obstruct my probe, just that I wasn't allowed to charge it. However,Congress can charge him thru impeachment"

Except for the Russian involvement thats the truth. But the Russian spin is the key to maintaining Russia as a fake enemy and using their fake involvement in the election to get support to suppress alt media and censor social media. This is a bipartisan agenda. Impeachment just serves to divide and distract, exactly what they want.

Russia like China is a fake enemy. Fake conflict with the US serves them just as well as it does with the US. The people must have an enemy lest they focus attention on the government. So they all play along.

No wonder hollywood is producing crap now and messed up GOT finale. All the good writers are engaged in scripting our reality under the guidance of the Deep State. Trumps nothing more than an actor following a script.

Posted by: Pft | May 30 2019 0:25 utc | 49

An Impeachment attempt would guarantee an already likely Trump re-election win.
If there is an attempt to impeach him, he'll beat his breast all the way back into the White House saying he is being "witch hunted".
What is also interesting is how other commenters talked about disappointment in Trump's trade policy.
Isn't free trade an ongoing gift to the multinationals and oligarchy? And while a trade war will certainly hurt the common man - the common man doesn't vote based on the absolute cost of goods in Wal Mart. They vote based on whether they think their interests are at least being listened to. Underestimating the anger at offshored jobs and production is exactly the mistake the DNC and mainline Democrats have been making.
In any case, my view is that Bernie Sanders is the biggest factor, not Trump.
Even without H. Rodham running, the DNC will do everything it can to not let Bernie be the Progressive or Liberal representative in the Presidential race - even to the point of losing again to Trump. That's what really matters in 2020.

Posted by: c1ue | May 30 2019 0:32 utc | 50

@ jackrabbit.. clearly we see it in a similar way... everything else is the cult of political personality - trump, pelosi, clinton, mueller, brennan, barr and etc etc - sideshow to keep the kiddies entertained.. meanwhile the fox continues to run the chicken house..

don't get me wrong.. whether one votes for scuzball trump, or scuzball whoever from the dems - it will be business as usual - war, war, and more war with an ongoing sideshow of political personality to keep everyone distracted.. both the repubs and the dems have shown their true colour and it has nothing to do with small people getting a leg up.. maga my ass and all the rest of the politically subservient tripe..

Posted by: james | May 30 2019 0:48 utc | 51

@ anti_republocrat | May 29, 2019 4:11:00 PM #25

"Democrats would rather lose to a Republican than win with a progressive." Their strategy of flooding the field with just enough "favorite son" candidates to keep anyone from winning on the first ballot will work, allowing super delegates to nominate Biden as a "compromise," who will lose hands down to Trump unless Trump actually starts a war.

The first parts I agree with entirely, and on that account I must retreat from my earlier declaration Sanders would win. As things stand now, I believe he has no chance to get the nomination.

The second part is where we disagree. I have a visceral feeling Trump will not be President in 2021 unless some extra-legal things happen, for any of the Democrats in the race will defeat him - badly. Even the horrid Biden. Biden or one of the other Hillary clones will most likely take office in 2021. I'd prefer Warren, Sanders or Gabbard, but the Democratic Big Brass aren't likely to allow any of these.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 30 2019 0:49 utc | 52

@ Jen 49
re: Rob 44 -- the Constitution's provision that Congress has not only the power, but the duty, to oversee the Executive Branch

>The relevant provision you are looking for would be Article 1 / Section 8 of the US Constitution.
No, it isn't there.

>Congressional oversight is implied in the US Constitution rather than stated explicitly.
Implication? Come on. Rob 44's cmt is above -- "Constitution's provision..."

>Further information and elaboration of Congress's powers of oversight are at this link.
Requested Page Not Found (404).

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 0:53 utc | 53

@50 pft... i agree with your last comment.. my wife and i went and saw a movie last night which had great ratings - booksmart.. we live in a small town.. what comes thru to the movie threatres where we live is generally very poor, but this had some high rating and we went.. pure crap... the ratings must have been given by 10 year olds.. we walked out 1/2 hour in.. good thing it was cheap tuesdays! i go to a movie maybe once or twice a year max... this movie was so bad, i question my sanity going to a movie even this often..

Posted by: james | May 30 2019 0:54 utc | 54

Wow! Is it me or is the room getting a tad bit louder discussing impeachment?

Do you know what it means? It means the the impeachment distraction is working perfectly!

Also, just in time to rescue the Demoncrats, the Republitards are passing anti-aborttion bills that are bad enough to increase Demoncrat voter turnout.

Accordingly, for the regular voter, the wars, coups, and trade will remain out of sight, out of mind.

Congratulations, Amerikan regime! You guys are awesome!

Posted by: oglalla | May 30 2019 0:55 utc | 55

@ oglalla | May 29, 2019 8:55:07 PM #56

Impeachment is senseless if there is no prospect of a conviction. And there is no chance at all for that.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | May 30 2019 1:04 utc | 56

So far, there are no grounds for impeachment.
>Nixon lied about and covered up an actual crime, the Watergate break-in.
>Clinton lied about his disgusting Oval Office toilet activities, and came out on top (so to speak).
>Trump, as far as we know, has no such "criminal activity." No crime. He's just a BSer, somewhat like us.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 1:14 utc | 57

"With or without impeachment the Democrats have little chance to win the presidency."

Ha, ha. You have no idea how reviled Trump is, even by many Trump voters.

Now if the Democrats nominate Harris, Booker, Gillibrand, or Biden, they well lose to Trump.Jay

Posted by: Jay | May 30 2019 1:37 utc | 58

I agree with the author on the likely effects of impeachment.

I agree also with his assessment that with the Democrats lacking any charismatic candidate, Trump will be re-elected.

The Democrats actually have one in Tulsi Gabbard, but they will not embrace her. The establishment press avoids giving her almost any attention. She basically is poisonous to existing domestic establishment arrangements in America.

I am much distressed by the fact that Trump will likely win, but I am a realist, and Trump is the ugly in-your-face reality of contemporary America.

There is a bit of a silver lining to the dark clouds though.

Trump unquestionably is helping to speed along the evolution towards a new world order, the multi-polar world that is on its way to replacing America as world arbiter.

He has made many enemies, caused many leaders to become troubled about a future coupled to such a single-minded, selfish, and hostile place as America. And that very much includes important traditional European allies.

Readers may enjoy:


Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | May 30 2019 1:56 utc | 59

The Dems can't believe Hillary lost all on her own. It must have been the Russians who threatened US democracy and it's too bad we don't have the truth b/c Trump obstructed the patriotic and sacred investigation according to a powerful person.
. . .Nancy Pelosi --

“The Special Counsel’s report revealed that the President’s campaign welcomed Russian interference in the election, and laid out eleven instances of the President’s obstruction of the investigation. The Congress holds sacred its constitutional responsibility to investigate and hold the President accountable for his abuse of power.

“The Congress will continue to investigate and legislate to protect our elections and secure our democracy. The American people must have the truth. We call upon the Senate to pass H.R. 1, the For The People Act, to protect our election systems.

“We salute Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team for his patriotic duty to seek the truth.” . . .here

After all, the quadrennial presidential election, when we get the opportunity to vote for one clown or another, two max, is a mainstay (about the only one) of our "democratic" nation. And the wrong clown won! Damned Russians.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 2:27 utc | 60

U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 8
Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The concluding clause says:

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The Executive exists to carry the laws of Congress into execution. We live in an age when the Congress is so dysfunctional that one single Executive can contest its (lack of) resolve. If the Congress were to summon its resolve in concerted action, no President could resist.

Posted by: Grieved | May 30 2019 2:41 utc | 61

As I stated on the open thread, to paraphrase Muller;

I don't give a s###. figure it out yourself, Im f***ing outta' here.

The whole point of impeachment, is to have a show trial, not actually impeach. If the thing is on TV, the American people may watch it, and that would be interesting.

Not to worry though, Pelosi and Schumer won't let that happen. Appeasing their donors,is all they care about.

psycho @ 2 quoting C. Johnston stated;

"All political analysis which favors either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party is inherently worthless, because both parties are made of swamp and exist in service of the swamp. If you can't see that the entire system is one unified block of corruption and that ordinary people need to come together and unite against it, then you really don't understand what you're looking at."

That, my friends, is the clearest truth of all..

Posted by: ben | May 30 2019 2:45 utc | 62

By the way - wildly off topic, but since the link is here...Article 1 Section 8 also provides for the money power. I have always loved this clause:

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

The duty and power to maintain a sound money was given in the same breath as the duty to regulate sound weights and measures. So that everyone could know the value of things, and so that society and all endeavors could run on a level playing field. It's beautifully simple in its prescription.

Remember, all of these men who wrote this document came from States that were, in true reality, sovereign Republics, and that each had the power to create its own money. They had all seen many crashes, spectacular inflationary sprials, and the destruction of savings and industry through government failure to keep the money accountable. They regarded money as being as deserving of incorruptible regulation as any other measure.

Sorry for the off-topic - the chance arose.

Posted by: Grieved | May 30 2019 2:52 utc | 63

@ Grieved 62
re: off topic
Okay, I'll bite, why is a constitutional quote that the Congress can make laws, on topic?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 3:01 utc | 64

P.S. If they actually convened an impeachment hearing, the "Russian" part would be incidental, it's the "obstruction of justice" part that would bear fruit.

Not because DJT would be impeached, with the make-up of the Senate, that wouldn't happen, but, because the whole "obstruction" thing would be seen by the public. That might change some minds. That part is obvious..

Posted by: ben | May 30 2019 3:03 utc | 65

@ Bruce #29: Great comment.
@ James #52: Yep.
@ Pft #50: Exactly.

(I hope the rest of the commentariat won't take umbrage at my calling out these three. As usual the MoA comments are compelling/educational, and do much credit to the magnificence of b's site.)

2 observations:

1. These Democrats are SO dumb, SO bent on starting a war with Russia, SO willing to foment a civil war over their foot-stomping tantrums, SO in servile service to their Deep State masters, they've once again given Trump enough room to tell the truth. His tweet is On The Money (sorry to say).

Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you— Drumpf blah blah May 29, 2019


... Mueller appeared to affirm that he wouldn't be testifying before Congress, saying that the report should be considered his testimony, and that he wouldn't be saying anything beyond what's contained in the report to Congress or anyone else.

Notice Mueller's taking EXACTLY the position Chelsea Manning took about testifying to the latest kangaroo grand jury, and HE's NOT GOING TO JAIL!!

(Sorry for shouting.)

Posted by: therobin | May 30 2019 3:06 utc | 66

@Don Bacon (46)

From Wikipedia:

Although the U.S. Constitution grants no formal, express authority to oversee or investigate the executive or program administration, oversight is implied in Congress’s array of enumerated powers.[8] The legislature is authorized to appropriate funds; raise and support armies; provide for and maintain a navy; declare war; provide for organizing and calling forth the Militia; regulate interstate and foreign commerce; establish post offices and post roads; advise and consent on treaties and presidential nominations (Senate); and impeach (House) and try (Senate) the President, Vice President, and civil officers for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Reinforcing these powers is Congress’s broad authority “to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof”.
The authority to oversee derives from these constitutional powers. Congress could not carry them out reasonably or responsibly without knowing what the executive is doing; how programs are being administered, by whom, and at what cost; and whether officials are obeying the law and complying with legislative intent. The Supreme Court has legitimated Congress’s investigative power, subject to constitutional safeguards for civil liberties. In 1927, the Court found that, in investigating the administration of the Department of Justice, Congress was considering a subject “on which legislation could be had or would be materially aided by the information which the investigation was calculated to elicit”.[9]

Posted by: Rob | May 30 2019 3:12 utc | 67

@ ben # 66 with the obstruction of justice comment

I am not supportive of Trump but all he has to do is bring out the dirt about the DNC/Clinton II and claim that he is being framed.

I would welcome an impeachment because it would bring out tons of dirty laundry that needs to come out anyway as the basis for war crimes trials....

Either way the world gets to see the naked and morally bankrupt empire for what it is.....on with the circus...

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 30 2019 3:18 utc | 68

@65 Don Bacon

I'm not completely sure what you're asking. For the topicality, you all were already discussing this when I showed up. The link was broken so I supplied a link.

As to the power of the laws - in the US, there is no other power than that.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Certain details of governance are stipulated and made law through the Constitution itself, but apart from those things, all other things come into being from the laws of Congress passed in pursuance of the dictates and delegations of the Constitution.

The President is created in the Constitution, but has very little power other than to carry into execution the laws of Congress. Try Article 2 - The Executive Branch to see how slim the mandate is:

The ascendancy of presidential power is commensurate with the corruption of Congress. It has ebbed and flowed over the decades and centuries.

I hope this has made some kind of answer.


ps..I understand very clearly that how it was prescribed is not how it's done. But my offerings have all been about the original prescription, and nothing more.

Posted by: Grieved | May 30 2019 3:24 utc | 69

@ Rob 68
the U.S. Constitution grants no formal, express authority to oversee or investigate the executive or program administration,
I agree, which is why I questioned your 44: "the Constitution's provision that Congress has not only the power, but the duty, to oversee the Executive Branch." No way.

It's an important point, that the Congress may investigate or even impeach the president, but it has no express Constitutional authority to do so especially when no laws have been violated. Likewise, the president has no obligation to cooperate in any such investigation or impeachment especially of such mundane events such as talking to Russians.

Again, the driver here is, and continues to be, the Hillary loss to the outsider Trump. Must have been the Russians!

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 3:33 utc | 70

Impeachment? ? ?

May I spell it for y'all -- P-e-n-c-e, next P-e-l-o-s-i . . .

Maybe the Dems should invest time and money in a candidate that can take the US back from the brink and win in 2020. Joe Biden??

I like Tulsi.

Posted by: naiverealist | May 30 2019 3:43 utc | 71

Pft @50--

I agree with you 100%. However, there are many, many other unconstitutional actions and crimes Trump has committed that are impeachable. Unfortunately, they are essentially the same acts perpetrated by Obama, G. Bush, Clinton, GHW Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Ike, and Truman. Yes, the unconstitutional criminality easily goes back that far, and even beyond; but it's much harder to dig up the appropriate charges since the UN Charter wasn't incorporated into the US Constitution yet.

Grieved @62--

Yes!!!! If Congress had gumption, no president would be able to get away with unconstitutional acts. But only within segments of the Antebellum Era were there Congresses capable of challenging a POTUS, while Polk in the middle provided a preview of the post-WW2 Imperial Presidency.

As I wrote earlier, the only solution I see is evicting TrumpCo in 2020 by ensuring Sanders becomes POTUS, which means defeating the DNC's likely efforts to make Biden its nominee. The way to defeat Biden will need to wait, but he's very vulnerable on numerous polies AND his own previous documented history of abetting Obama's unconstitutional and illegal acts.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2019 3:56 utc | 72

Donald's trade war is getting dangerously close to crashing the stock market. This won't bother farmers because they get subsidised but Wall Street won't be happy. Nor will mutual fund holders.

Interesting to see Huawei (huge threat to world security) become a bargaining chip...

Posted by: dh | May 30 2019 4:00 utc | 73

@ karlof1 73
there are many, many other unconstitutional actions and crimes Trump has committed that are impeachable
What are they, and why are they unconstitutional?

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 4:01 utc | 74

@68 Rob, @71 Don Bacon

The Congress (and I use the term to mean the House and Senate, either separately or combined) has the power to impeach the President. The President has the obligation to report to the Congress as to the State of the Union.

What this means in fine-grained detail, was not spelled out in the Constitution, because it was not felt necessary. The framers of the Constitution had no hesitation to place obligations and constraints where they felt it needed to be specified. But they didn't care to spell these things out. Perhaps they saw that the balances of power would always be in flux - I'm not sure, and I would have to check source records to be sure.

But it didn't seem necessary then, and frankly it doesn't seem necessary now - it would always come down to the give-and-take of the day, and the strengths and weaknesses of each force. This is exactly the case today when, in this very thread, we are trying to guess who would win what, in which contest.


But I will note that an implied power is not to be taken lightly just because it hasn't been specifically written out in longhand. An implied power of governance is one that the Supreme Court will uphold. If it's implied, it follows from logical causes that it exists, not simply as a wish. Many powers have been delegated by the Constitution that it has taken the Supreme Court to establish into clarity through its logical examination of the Constitution's intent.

I agree with the thought that the Congress has the power and the duty to watch everything the President is doing, and to use the ultimate cudgel of impeachment as an ultimate regulator, with all shades of agreement and disagreement in between.

This power and duty would come naturally enough from the jealousy of bureaucracy and the force of self-empowerment, but more formally would exist in recognition of the secondary and devolved nature of the Executive - the source of the Presidential power largely devolves from the laws of Congress. If the Congress passed no laws, the President would have almost nothing to do.

(And per Article 2, even running the militia doesn't happen unless the Congress has called out the militia.)

If I were the Congress, I would parse the Constitution's delegation of power to me in precisely this way. If I were the President, I would test, challenge and subvert that power at every turn.

Checks and balances.

Posted by: Grieved | May 30 2019 4:09 utc | 75

@Don Bacon (71)

Congress's authority to require testimony from the Executive Branch, either in the form of documents or direct interrogation, is a matter of long and well established precedence in U.S. governance. It is an essential component of what is supposed to be a system of checks and balance. With regard to the specific matter of impeachment, it would be impossible for Congress to carry out this function, if it could not demand testimony. Furthermore, if Congress has the power to impeach and remove a president from office, it is self-evident that oversight of the Executive Branch is part of Congress's duty.

Posted by: Rob | May 30 2019 4:14 utc | 76

The various comments regarding the supposed power of the Congress over the Executive have been belied by the continuing, increasing "executive privileges" which include many executive orders, and also presidential agreements with foreign countries. These have been possible because of a weak misdirected Congress which is incapable of doing anything important except to yap about the president, mostly..

Congress has the implied power to impeach and remove a president for ridiculous reasons and yet lacks the gumption to exercise their express authority to pass laws to curb endless war and to elevate the citizens nearer to parity with other developed countries in many areas such as health care, maternal/infant morbidity, incarceration, and various other human rights? Where did Congress get the authority to avoid their express Constitutional legal duties and instead take on their notional implied duties continually to oversee and harass the president?

And all this over the mythical Russian election influence which stifled dear Hillary, which of course requires the Congress to require testimony from the president. What a stupid situation. Congress in presidential overwatch mode, forsaking their real Constitutional roles.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 4:59 utc | 77

As many on this thread note and as I've written about numerous times, the US Constitution does very little to restrain presidential power. During the Constitutional Convention and afterwards, there was much discussion/debate that the constitution made it extremely easy for the president to become king/dictator. And as myself, other historians and numerous persons at the time have noted, George Washington was trusted well enough to not become what was feared. Unfortunately, his example hasn't been followed much at all since, and especially since 1945. Qualitatively, the Articles of Confederation didn't have any such person endowed with so much unrestrained power. Many, including myself, see the 1787 Constitution as a gross error--a sort of coup--foisted upon the vast majority of those in whose name the document was supposedly made--We The People. What's amazing is the numerous arguments written in its favor--such as those compiled in The Federalist Papers--are many more times its length and complexity. That alone ought to have informed those able to vote on Ratification that the document was highly flawed, that it was far from specific enough it its detailing duties. But through a stoke of luck, the Constitution was amended by the UN Charter and numerous treaties that--when obeyed AND enforced--constrict presidential power and make it much easier for Congress to discipline POTUS via Impeachment. As many note, it's the lack of enforcement over decades that's created the Monsters that have inhabited the White House.

Trump ought to be impeached and convicted, as should Pence and a host of others, Pelosi and other members of Congress, too. That's how bad it's become!!!! A 2/3s Senate majority's required to Convict and Remove. As stated above, IMO, that's not going to happen and the effort will be wasted primarily because what he's likely to be Impeached on isn't what he ought to be impeached for--his numerous unconstitutional and thus illegal actions. To diminish the power of POTUS, the all too numerous unconstitutional acts must be relentlessly aired and attacked for what they are--Unconstitutional and thus Illegal!

I know Tulsi Gabbard understands the above as I've written to her and her team about this entire subject, and she talks the talk during interviews. I can't say how much Sanders understands, but that can be discovered. Trump's in violation of the Constitution on a daily, ongoing basis. He must be vilified for those daily ongoing acts of lawlessness that can only be blamed on him, although some were initiated by his predecessors. In that manner the Villain can be dressed as a Villain and talked about as a Villain. And he's so self-evidently guilty!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2019 5:10 utc | 78

@ karlof1 80
Trump's in violation of the Constitution on a daily, ongoing basis. He must be vilified for those daily ongoing acts of lawlessness
You haven't yet told us what these daily Constitutional violations are.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 30 2019 5:21 utc | 79

Mueller has done a masterful job. He has built a podium and presents it to Congress and walks away, no muss, it's up to them how they use it.

Unless Barr removes all the screws, it falls over and hits Mueller's arse on the way out

Great article if I can share

Posted by: Doggrotter | May 30 2019 5:24 utc | 80

Don Bacon @75 & 78--

We've discussed and enumerated Trump's unconstitutional actions which are thus crimes since those actions violate the Supreme, Fundamental, Law of the Land. Just having troops in Syria and imposing the crazy number of sanctions are all unconstitutional and thus illegal thanks to the inclusion of the UN Charter within the US Constitution via Senate Ratification in 1945. The illegal missile attacks he ordered against Syria killed and injured people, which are Capital Crimes. And I've only--barely--started to scratch the surface. Also, as I wrote @80, Congress is part of the problem due to its unwillingness to perform its duty to enforce the Constitution, and numerous of its members have effectively abetted the crimes of several POTUS, Trump included, and ought to be evicted.

IMO, the questions that ought to be asked are: What do we do now and why? I gave my answer @80.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2019 5:25 utc | 81

Hogwash. Trump already has a charismatic challenger on the Republican side: Justin Amash, and he's behind impeachment 110%. Smart guy, and his star is on the rise.

Trump is a menace to this planet, and a menace to society. He is a conman in every sense, always was and always will be. Already he has the campaign finance issue, but there will be tax issues, and profiteering from the Presidency and maybe even insurance fraud. These are simmering investigations, but the obstruction issue is gaining steam. I know consciousness of guilt when I see it. Trump does protest too much for someone so innocent as he professes to be. When the cover-up is so exhaustive as to completely displace the collusion issue--you know there's something hidden that Trump is protecting. Trump is just lucky and relieved Mueller didn't find it, but boy did Trump raise a hell of a stink on Twitter over nothing day after day for two years. was over something! Guilt and fear are always symptomatic of wrongdoing. For all his exaggerated bragadoccio, the moment the collusion investigation started, I always felt Trump was a man skating on thin ice.

Impeachment is the only way to get rid of this ass-hole. The reason Pelosi is against impeachment is because her Zionist financiers want Trump or Biden to win, and if Trump is impeached this will favor Sanders. Sanders would be higher in the polls if Dems weren't so scared of Trump labelling him a radical socialist.

So yeah, bring on impeachment and nail his sorry ass, and once he's finally out in disgrace, I'm dreaming of an orange jump suit to match his hair and tan. It's the karma he finally deserves for ruining other people's lives with his Trump licensing, his bankruptcies, his Trump university scams and what he's done since becoming President in Venezuela, Iran and Yemen. LOCK HIM UP! And throw away the key!

Posted by: Circe | May 30 2019 5:32 utc | 82

POTUS is to see that the laws of the USA are "faithfully executed." Well, he's shielding Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her lawbreaking and a whole host of others. He's Obstructing Justice in an open manner that isn't being called-out--except by a few genuine Conservatives like those at Judicial Watch. Obama shielded the Banksters from being prosecuted and also Obstructed Justice; Trump does the same by not having Obama indicted for that and his many other crimes, many of which Trump has also committed. He violated a UNSC resolution--the JCPOA--which is an unconstitutional act and thus illegal. And there's so damn many more--thousands most likely. And I bet he'll do something new tomorrow aside from his ongoing illegal actions, other wise known as crimes.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2019 5:38 utc | 83

Mueller's bullshit is a reaction to this.

Donald J. Trump
‏Verified account
May 23
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities....
....during the 2016 Presidential election. The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information....
....Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 30 2019 5:41 utc | 84

Circe @85--

Yes, Trump's all of that, but he differs little from his predecessors as I enumerated, and Pence is even worse than Trump. Clearly, your hatred is clouding your judgment. And your obvious bias destroys any chance you have at convincing a skeptic. You must learn how to control your hate and channel that energy into productive pursuits. Right now, you're acting like Rambo in the Police Station, blasting away at everything in sight with an M-60. Keep your cool and fight smart!

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2019 5:51 utc | 85

Trump should also be impeached for his election campaign dog whistle racist election campaign! His rally’s were nothing more than kkk meetings. Triggering a wave of cops killing inocent black people ! Count one incitement of Murder !
Russiagate seems over. He needs to be investigated over his Israel connection (won’t happen) United States of Israel!
Investigate / follow the money trail of the arms trade -defrauding tax payers money !
The list is endless.
The fact it won’t happen is the reason. It should be taken to the streets. You have a criminal govenment surely the right to bare arms was for exactly that contingency. ( milita)
Nearly all the human rights you and your family enjoy and take for granted were one on the streets. Grow some balls or ya toast !

Posted by: Mark2 | May 30 2019 7:11 utc | 86

Trumps coming to U.K. on the tenth ! To meet the queen. We’l need To count the silver spoons when he leaves !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | May 30 2019 7:31 utc | 87

james | May 29, 2019 3:13:10 PM | 16

DO NOT WASTE TIME visiting emptywheel. That is a totally stupid site. A wheel with no spokes... empty! and could not go round if you kicked it. Marcy Wheeler is as bad as HA Goodman when it comes to predicting the demise of Trump or Clinton. They are time wasters.

The trouble with impeachment and the Dems chasing after the Trump for dirty money deals is that Biden will be outed for the same offense. Biden got grubby nobbling a judge in Ukraine to protect his son's million$. And that is the most prominent of his willingness to "prostitute' himself for ca$h.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 30 2019 7:42 utc | 88


They all have dirt to hide and at the moment, none are game to start a war of attrition.
Trump makes a threat by declassifying some documents from the Mueller investigation and Mueller comes back with his move, but so far no heads have rolled and perhaps never will.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 30 2019 8:00 utc | 89

Circe 85 and Peter AU 1 87

Absolutely brothers, you nailed it. There is a high probability that we could see two hulks (Dems and Repugs) bashing it out in the ring. The spectacle could totally trash the leadership of both and leave the field open for a leader. If only it were easier to have a new third party for the Presidential race. AFAIK establishing a third party to run takes years and can only be registered after immense hurdles are crossed.

And no, I am not advocating the Greens for Bernie or Tulsi. That way is suicide.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | May 30 2019 8:06 utc | 90

I am sure there are many reasons why democrats want to impeach trump but to me it comes down to this, they are hot about impeachment because they are so afraid they won't be able to defeat him in the next election. get it. this is really simple.

there are two ways to get him out of power, so they think - either successful impeachment (highly doubtful both on the actual charges, and convincing 67 senators to go along with the house), or actually defeating him in 2020..... how they gonna do that? what are the great issues that the democrats are going to taken on, again, to defeat this wanker - bad trump bad bad bad! you know, that worked really well the last time didn't it?

the man is a menace both to the country and to the world, and should be defeated. who's gonna take hi s place, another neo-liberal and war monger, like biden. don't make me laugh.

but how are the corporate hacks that run the democratic party going to do it? the core economic and social issues are waiting to be taken up (again) by a progressive candidate - it infuriates me what the DNC and clinton did to Sanders, because he would be sitting in the white house right now if they hadn't pulled their dirty tricks.

and no, identity politics is not going to defeat this fucker. nor is screaming russia russia russia

Posted by: michaelj72 | May 30 2019 8:30 utc | 91

Trump is just a bloody clown and maybe the American people deserve hold.
The American people are ‘exceptional’ in there delusional degenerate greed.
Here is a clip from the speaker of the U.K. House of Commons (a Tory)

This is what the world think of you and him.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 30 2019 8:40 utc | 92

all of this talk about the 'true' spirit of the Constitution is quaint, very picturesque…

meanwhile pretty much every president in living memory has gotten away with treason…

but, as james says, the CIA is running the USA, it's actually fairly obvious…

and they pay well.

Posted by: john | May 30 2019 10:44 utc | 93

If Trump is impeached then this will just confirm the false-fact of Russian interference in the US elections.

While the fuss about Venezuela was going on, US mercenaries appear to have been involved in massacres and putting down an insurrection/revolution in Haiti.

The US have (this week) encouraged Kosovo special forces to conduct operations in Serbian held areas in violation of UN agreements and have assaulted and arrested UN officers (who are Russian) - The US is seeking to provoke the nightmare of Balkan conflict and drag Russia into open conflict by provoking a war between Kosovo and Serbia.

The US have (today) accused Russia of conducting Nuclear Tests when there is absolutely no evidence of this (Nuclear explosions would have been detected).

The US is manoeuvring towards war. Only the American people can stop this. The Trump psycho-drama is a major distraction which is obscuring US actions from its own people.

This next US election looks like it's going to be a major joke. American's are going to get a lot more comments like that of Lowdown @92 unless you start getting control of what your Nation (on your behalf) is doing to the world.

Posted by: ADKC | May 30 2019 10:44 utc | 94

Circe wrote: "The reason Pelosi is against impeachment is because her Zionist financiers want Trump or Biden to win, and if Trump is impeached this will favor Sanders. Sanders would be higher in the polls if Dems weren't so scared of Trump labelling him a radical socialist."

I can think of two reasons for Pelosi to be against impeachment - Trump will continue cry "witch hunt!" and the media will help him with plenty of coverage, and he and the GOP will point out that the House is wasting time with investigations instead of helping "hard working Americans". They may even revive the old "Do nothing Congress" tag.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 30 2019 12:57 utc | 95

Trump's crimes such as they are have yet to be revealed. The federal courts in New York state will be the venue and it is inconceivable based on any objectice reading of the US Criminal Justice System that an investigation into Trump's businesses for the prior 10-20 years will not result crimes being uncovered.

The other objective reading that will apply is whether Trump by virtue of his now extreme elitism will be let off the hook. I'm thinking the answer is yes he will be let off the hook.

Anyone stuck on "Russiagate" is simply evading Trump's true legal exposure.

Posted by: donkeytale | May 30 2019 13:10 utc | 96

correct: state courts in New York

Posted by: donkeytale | May 30 2019 13:16 utc | 97

Trump is tooting Boris and Nigel's horn. Notice how this Zio ass kisser doesn't even give Corbyn the time of day, but instead is slobbering all over Netanyahoo calling his win resounding and now what is happening to BibiYahoo so unfair. Then you expect me to show restraint where Trump is concerned?

The best thing that can happen is Sanders getting Pence as a campaign opponent! Trump would be way more dirty with Sanders. Anyone against impeachment is in the Zionist camp! PERIOD, end of sentence.

Posted by: Circe | May 30 2019 13:18 utc | 98

It utterly amazes me how you neo liberals still don't get why people voted for Trump. It will be the same reasons why he isn't going to win again.

He won by just barely flipping three rust belt states. Has he stopped any income depressing immigration? Nope, its accelerating. How about ending those pesky international entanglements, and getting along? Unless your an Israel firster, the answer is a big zero. PA, Wisconsin, Michigan all have Democrat governors now. Woohoo...more dead and illegals voting Democrat. Make matters worse you have the impending agriculture and financial collapse. My guess is the Donald will pull out of the election at the most inopportune time, and not even bother with it.

By the way Trump ain't the problem. The bankers and their central bank are the problem. The deep state was created to serve them. Guess for some as long as (D) is in back of our politicians name, all will be good. Sad.

Posted by: Marian | May 30 2019 13:36 utc | 99

Re “An impeachment will be anyway be unsuccessful because the Republicans own the Senate and will vote down any impeachment indictment that might pass the House.”

Respectfully, MofA, please stick to your excellent, insightful, and informative analyses in the international arena and stay away from US domestic politics.

The Dems are not at all sure about winning in 2020, not least because of the pathetic gaggle of so-called candidates they’ve go to offer. Their main goal in pursuing impeachment will not be to weaken Trump for 2020, it’s – still – to get him out of the White House.

As was the case in 2016, Trump’s the only GOP candidate who has a shot at winning, though it’s not a sure thing. The Dems want a sure thing.

Do they have the goods to get rid of him yet? No. That’s while they’ll keep digging. Taxes. Business skullduggery in NY. Babes. They hope that sooner or later they’ll uncover something that will give enough Republicans in the Senate an excuse to give Trump the heave-ho.

A Republican Senate will “vote down any impeachment”? Ha. Compare Clinton and Nixon. Clinton literally could have raped Juanita Broaddrick in the middle of Fifth Avenue and the Dems still would have circled the wagons to defend him, as they in fact did, without a single Dem vote to convict.

Nixon, however, was done in by his own party when Senate GOP leaders told Tricky Dick (loathed by most of his party, as Trump is) that he had to resign or they would vote to remove him. Depending on what the Dems dig up, Republicans can be counted on to see scary editorials in the Washington Post and New York Times and run in panic. “I’ve always been supportive of the president, but I can’t defend that. So I have no choice but to …”) Add the fact that between a quarter and a third of GOP Senators would jump at the chance to put a knife in Trump’s back if they got the opportunity, with sanctimonious warmonger Mitt Romney at the front of the line.

I am not predicting that Trump will be removed: the Dems might come up empty on the needed dirt; they may fall short of the number of Republicans they need to give him the “Nixon talk”; even if he is given an ultimatum, he may decide to fight and actually win. But don’t take it as a given that impeachment is a futile exercise undertaken only to weaken Trump for reelection and likely to backfire. It might succeed.

If it doesn’t, Trump’s chances of winning reelection are better than even, though the landscape has become less favorable. His base remains strong (most of his Deplorables think he’s actually delivering on his promises, because he says so in tweets and at his rallies. Look at that big, beautiful invisible nonexistent Wall! Winning!). On the other hand, failure to control our border means the demographic shift against Republicans continues, coupled with zero efforts to police voting by non-citizens and (notably in Florida) letting felons vote. If Trump loses either Florida or Pennsylvania, it’s probably all over even with a lousy Democratic opponent. That’s aside from whatever economic hiccup occurs between now and next fall. Or if Trump gets in a war somewhere.

Finally, I dispute the suggestion it’s desirable to elect more Dems to Congress. Let’s agree Republicans are horrible. But even if you like the Dems on domestic grounds (I don’t) let’s not ignore the fact that on the warmongering front the Dems are at least as bad as the GOP and in most cases worse, especially when it comes to Russia. Note how Mueller began and ended his swan song by emphasizing the Russian “attack” on the US in 2016. That’s will continue to be the core dogma of the Democratic Party, with most of the GOP joining them in making sure Trump shows no sign of heresy. More Democrats means even more of a straitjacket on whatever off-script impulses Trump occasionally displays with regard to Korea, Syria, and Russia. Even Iran, where he has disavowed regime change (somebody tell President Bolton!).

Posted by: Jim Jatras | May 30 2019 14:47 utc | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.