Founders: Removal from office is not the only purpose of impeachment

"As Congress moves toward a possible formal impeachment of President Donald Trump, they should consider words spoken at the Constitutional Convention, when the Founders explained that impeachment was intended to have many important purposes, not just removing a president from office." - The Conversation

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TylerR's picture

Editor

Ignore the news analysis. Read the letter itself from the whistleblower (or, more accurately, from his attorneys). Here is the bottom line from an investigative standpoint:

  • the complainant has no personal, firsthand knowledge of anything in the letter
  • the letter contains little more than hearsay and speculation
  • the letter is a starting point for an investigation, but it contains little of legal substance in and of itself

Here are my thoughts on the situation:

  • like the Republicans 20 years ago, the Democrats are consumed with an irrational rage and hatred for the incumbent President
  • Pelosi is not a stupid woman; she's intelligent and formidable. I find it hard to believe she would start down the impeachment road based on a complaint filled with hearsay. Either there's more, or she made a bad mistake (ala Gingrich)
  • I believe President Trump is foolish enough to offer a quid pro quo to a foreign government against a political rival. Whether he actually did it in this case is another thing
  • this hearsay letter does not warrant the breathless speculation we've already seen, and will continue to see. I've already seen yet another NYT piece with avatars and lines of "connection."

I am tired of all this. I suspect most Americans are, too. President Trump has never gone above 50% approval. All a Democrat has to do to defeat him is be normal. That may be asking too much.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

TylerR's picture

Editor

I noted, above, that the complaint contains nothing but hearsay and is thus of little to no legal value, in and of itself. Behold this from The Federalist:   

Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings. This raises questions about the intelligence community’s behavior regarding the August submission of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump.

Hearsay is bad evidence. It's allowed in administrative hearings, generally (although an attorney is foolish if he hangs his hat on nothing but hearsay), but it certainly doesn't warrant impeachment proceedings.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Mark_Smith's picture

and so would you if you were president. If you are dealing with a foreign leader who is not doing what you want, you offer him/her something in exchange for doing it. Happens all the time.

In this case, there is no quid pro quo in the transcript we have.

Biden's son was a train wreck. He had no experience, yet started a hedge fund and was making billion dollar deals, including one with China when he flew with his father to China on Air Force Two. Dad says they never talked business... yeah right. Kinda like Bill Clinton only swapped family stories with the Attorney General on the tarmac of Phoenix airport, right? Nothing to be found here at all if you work for the media...

Ukraine was investigating Biden's son, but a new regime took over. That is when Dad Biden asked Ukraine to fire the investigator. As cover he claims the Europeans wanted the investigator gone due to corruption.

Apparently the Democrats, and more than a few Republicans, were trying to gain power and money in Ukraine.

Whistleblowers are covered by anonymity. But they have to name names of people who talked to them. This whistleblower complaint has not done that.

Speaking of whistleblowers. How can hearsay of hearsay evidence mean anything?

Finally, since when is the president an "intelligence operative" covered by the DNI whistleblower statute?

The whole thing is nothing. Nothing. The only people who will put up with it are the ones who want Trump gone no matter the cost.

Jonathan Charles's picture

1.  It might be just to have the means to keep Trump's misdeeds (real or supposed) before the nation during an election year. 
 

2.  Political strategist, Lee Atwater, once said, "Just keep stirring the pot, you'll never know what will come up."  Who knows what could be uncovered?  The Democrats are taking a chance that having started the process, that something bigger than what has already been alleged will come up, or evidence for what has already been alleged. 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Time will tell.

Our President has made it clear that he believes he is entitled to do whatever he pleases (he has actually said so, but his actions are evidence enough). If this particular incident doesn't undo him, another will... if he is in office long enough.

GregH's picture

This kind of discussion is so interesting to me. Lots of people want to try to misdirect the attention on all kinds of things except what is important.

* Really doesn't matter if the whistle blower is partisan.

* Really doesn't matter what Hunter Biden did several years ago unless someone comes up with evidence that he did anything but trade on his last name (which is weak but not a crime or possibly even immoral). People with brains know that Trump is interested in Hunter because of his dad. How many other past "crimes" is he concerned about?

* Doesn't matter if the complaint is based on hearsay since the complaint is only a starting point for an investigation. No one suggests that Trump should be impeached simply because of the complaint; there will be an investigation.

* Doesn't matter if there was no explicit quid pro quo stated (as if long-time criminals like Trump don't know how to speak in ways that get the point across without actually saying it--watch a mafia movie, people).

All that matters is if Trump did what he is accused of. In other words, what matters is the truth.

In this case, there is plenty of evidence that Trump is guilty of putting his pathetic personal agenda ahead of the country. Forget about the complaint--his own words condemn him as do his fool lawyer's. I don't have any hope that Republicans will find a moral backbone and throw him out if he is impeached. However, impeachment is necessary at this step just so half the country (the half that is not Republicans) can at least pretend like it cares about morality in its highest office. I don't know that there is any hope for the other half.

Mark_Smith's picture

Read the transcript. Its available on line. Then listen to Adam Schiff's characterization if it. Then ask yourself who's desperate. You don't have to guess and wonder. Its all there.

 

And yes it does matter whether a CIA operative who knows nothing can file a complaint against the President just because he doesn't like the President.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Transcript

Not interested in what Rep. Schiff thinks of it.

As for the whistle blower, every company that has any interest in being ethical encourages employees to report suspected misconduct to the appropriate authorities, even if they aren't sure the misconduct really happened.

In nearly every company I've worked for, there is training that tells you who you're supposed to report it to and what the recipient of the  report is supposed to do to determine if further investigation should occur. Then there are policies for internal and external investigation based on various factors. The motive of the one reporting is never relevant. Only the facts.

Most municipal and county governments have such policies. I haven't looked at state policies much, but I expect it's the same story.

Surely the federal government should not be less ​​​​​​ accountable for its ethics.

I don't know if the whistleblower reported to the right authority or not, but he/she certainly did the right thing in reporting what appeared to be an abuse of the power of the office.

GregH's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Read the transcript. Its available on line. Then listen to Adam Schiff's characterization if it. Then ask yourself who's desperate. You don't have to guess and wonder. Its all there.

 

And yes it does matter whether a CIA operative who knows nothing can file a complaint against the President just because he doesn't like the President.

Mark, why don't you focus on what actually matters--did Trump abuse his power or not? You Trump supporters (and Trump) sound like a guy that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar but tries to blame his sister for telling on him. It is frankly hypocritical for Christians to continue to defend a criminal like this. I can't get over the fact that Trump's biggest defenders (Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows, Pence, Huckabee, etc) claim to be Christians.

Yes, Schiff's paraphrase was dishonest. What does that have to do with Trump's actions? And since when does a Trump supporter care about honesty in the first place? It is very clear that honesty is not an important character quality to anyone that still defends Trump.

Focus on what matters. What matters is that Trump basically admitted to abusing power. He should be thrown out of office regardless of Schiff, the political beliefs of the whistle blower, and all the other smoke and mirrors that you guys keep trying to throw up.

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Recommend calm...to all involved.

There will be investigation, and then some sort of conclusion to the whole business... Eventually.

But our personal views will have no bearing on any of it. Might as well relax.

Mark_Smith's picture

GregH wrote:

 

Mark, why don't you focus on what actually matters--did Trump abuse his power or not?

No, he did not. Period. Read the transcript. Its plain as day. But, the point is, the President has the leeway to say pretty, much anything he wants while negotiating with another leader.

Greg, are you interested in the slightest whether Biden hooked his son up repeatedly? Biden admitted himself to demanding the Ukrainians fire the guy investigating his son to get $1.8 billion in loan guarantees.

GregH's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

No, he did not. Period. Read the transcript. Its plain as day. But, the point is, the President has the leeway to say pretty, much anything he wants while negotiating with another leader.

We are clearly in such different universes that I don't think it really worth engaging. To put it mildly, I don't think a President can say/do whatever he wants.

Mark_Smith wrote:

Greg, are you interested in the slightest whether Biden hooked his son up repeatedly? Biden admitted himself to demanding the Ukrainians fire the guy investigating his son to get $1.8 billion in loan guarantees.

I would if there was evidence of such. There isn't. So no, I am not interested in the dishonest nutty conspiracy theories of the Trumps, Guillianis, Hannitys and Tucker Carlsons of the world. 

mmartin's picture

This quid pro quo issue the Democrats are in hysterics about happens all the time.  It is what politics is.  Obama did it.  The Clintons absolutely did it.  Bush 1 & 2 did it.  Pelosi herself does it.  They all do it, which is what makes this issue laughable.

The reason why Schiff's pathetic & shameless parody matters is because it wasn't presented as a parody.  It was pure deceit.

With the stupid Russia investigation, the outrageous & false accusations against Kavanaugh, both of which were put out there by the Democrats, how can you, how can I believe anything they say?  The Democrats have no moral compass, which is why they keep crying wolf based on false accusations, hearsay, & deceit.

As Tyler said, all it would take for a Democrat to defeat Trump is to be reasonably normal.  But, that isn't going to happen because the Democrats won't let a "normal" person run against Trump.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's true that "give us this and we'll give you [plural] that" is a normal part of negotiation for heads of state. What is not normal or ethical is when it becomes "give me this and we'll give you that"... especially if what's being asked for is a personal targeting of a political enemy in the President's own country. This is not normally how Presidents behave. I'm not going to say it hasn't been done before, but the interest in quid pro quo is not made up or trivial.

This may be helpful to some: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/the-trump-ukraine-transcript-conta...

None of this is the least bit surprising from Trump, nor are the reactions on the new right and the (both old and new, if there is a new) left.

Joeb's picture

It does not matter about whether the allegation holds water or not on its face.  When I worked Internal Affairs with the IRS and the Employees were told not determine if an allegation held substance.  Employees were required to report any acts of misconduct by an employee any bribery attempts by Taxpayers or any threats of violence against the IRS by a taxpayer. It was me and my management who evaluated the allegation   I worked for the Treasury Inspector General For Tax Administration (TIGTA) so what Aaron spells out is right on the money no matter what Donald Trump and his supporters say.    

Now we do know the CIA IG did some investigation and found it credible and Urgent.  This CIA IG certified it and was APPOINTED BY TRUMP.   So lets pull no punches here fellows the matter should have been given to Congress immediately AS REQUIRED BY LAW.  However that did not happen.  Trump’s Director instead went to Trump for all intensive purposes then to Bill Barr.  Big problem.  The CIA Director then in his testimony tried to bail himself out by defending the Whistleblower and said everything was done according to the law except him giving it directly to Congress.  It should be noted that when has Trump and his minions ever obeyed the law   

Now reality folks.  The Whistleblower will have to give up his sources if that has not already been done to the IG.  If those sources back the allegation then there is an issue.  The quid quo pro to me will be the central part of the allegation.  

Now here is the BIG TRUTH.  Even if everything that the Whistleblower said Is substantiated the Senate will never convict Trump.  They can hang their hat on that the Democrats did not find Billy Boy guilty of Impeachment. So as my Old Time Democrat Friend said, who is a Former Fellow Criminal Investigator,  THIS IS A THEATER OF THE ABSURD AND NOTHING WILL COME OF IT.   

Now with all the above being said I am right with Greg and Aaron in their opinion of Trump.  Realistically though Trump is going to win a second term.  There is not one Democrat right now who can beat him barring any big collapse in the economy.  Even at that the Democrats will have to pull a Rabbit out of a hat to beat Trump. If Pocahontas is the nominee Trump will eat her for lunch.  That’s my prediction  

The Democrats will have to have pictures of Trump naked in Bed with a Chimp or his face in a pound of cocaine on his Oval Offices Desk before the Senate Republicans will vote to impeach Trump.  

A little trivia.  My sister-in-law is a descendant of the one child Pocahontas had.    It’s a very big Southern Family that used to literally owned Smith Mountain down by Atlanta   I may have got the name of the mountain wrong please correct me if I’m wrong.   

Note: I will not vote for any Presidential Candidate in 2020.  If the opposing Candidate is the CEO of the Starbucks he would get my vote.  

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Read Trump's weekend Tweets.

In one of them, he basically threatened civil war if he is removed from office. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1178477539653771264

(Quoting Jeffress... but does that make it less menacing?)

Just read his tweet stream in general and tell me what sort of public office such a man is fit for.

TylerR's picture

Editor

The President suggested this morning that Adam Schiff be arrested for "treason." We have entered the Twilight Zone. 

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

It's all very third world.

This from the famously left wing Wall Street Journal last week...quoted by Quin Hilyer in the also famously left wing Washington Examiner:

“There is no known precedent for a president to offer his private lawyer and the attorney general to assist a foreign country with an investigation into his own political rival.”

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

TylerR wrote:

The President suggested this morning that Adam Schiff be arrested for "treason." We have entered the Twilight Zone. 

Tyler, have read anything Schiff says all the time? He's the one in looney land.

Joeb's picture

Guys except for the sorry state this whole matter is we probably all need to start laughing at how all these little toddlers conduct themselves.  What is dangerous is both sides statements could cause a loon out there to do something violent.  We should all pray that the Lord watches over our Country and protect the innocent.

 Now if Bert was President of the US and Aaron his Vice President  with  Greg being Speaker of the House with Republicans in Power and Mark running the show in the Senate with the Republicans in power.  Wow could we get something done.

Of course lest not forget Jim.  I’d let Jim choose his own position.  Sorry Bert can’t make all the picks.  

Boy with all that brain power and wisdom our Country we be even better than GREAT.   

mmartin's picture

Joeb wrote:

Guys except for the sorry state this whole matter is we probably all need to start laughing at how all these little toddlers conduct themselves.  What is dangerous is both sides statements could cause a loon out there to do something violent.  We should all pray that the Lord watches over our Country and protect the innocent.

 Now if Bert was President of the US and Aaron his Vice President  with  Greg being Speaker of the House with Republicans in Power and Mark running the show in the Senate with the Republicans in power.  Wow could we get something done.

Of course lest not forget Jim.  I’d let Jim choose his own position.  Sorry Bert can’t make all the picks.  

Boy with all that brain power and wisdom our Country we be even better than GREAT.   

With Bob Jones III as Secretary of Defense.  :-)!

 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Some of us know we shouldn't try to run a country. Probably everybody on that list!