December 1, 2019 by epoetus
“The Republicans got nothing.” – Senator Hirono 10/29/2019
Fiona Hill, expert on Russian intelligence, speaking at the Brookings Institute
“Hillary did it” – But the Republicans were the ones who initially commissioned the opposition research that we now call “The Steele Dossier”
Despite the Republicans repeatedly bringing up the Steele Dossier, this Fusion GPS research was initially funded by Republican Presidential candidates hoping to win the nomination in 2016. During the public impeachment testimony, the misinformation that Hillary was solely responsible for producing the Steele dossier was asserted so many times, as it has been for many months now, that the lack of rebuttal almost appeared to turn a lie into the truth. Hillary subscribed to this opposition research after it had been handed down from multiple Republican candidates who lost their races and Trump was the defacto Republican Presidential Nominee. Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, the authors of “Crime in Progress” which is about the Steele dossier, completely destroyed that brewing Republican fictional narrative on “Meet the Press” this past weekend. Way back when the Mueller investigation started it was well-known that the Republicans initially funded the Steele Dossier (see dailykos from 2017 as an example.) It is truly remarkable to see how confident the Republicans are in believing that they can brainwash us all by continually repeating a lie as a way to negate factually provable information. But why haven’t the mainstream media consistently debunked this statement? Does the addictive titillation value of the news for advertisers mean more than democracy and the factual information required to engage in civic discourse?
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The matter of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” in the impeachment proceedings
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 4: “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
Neal Katyal, author of “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump,” said it best: the sentence goes “or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” where “Bribery” is right before it. The sentence passage is thus “Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Bribery *is* a high Crime or Misdemeanor, because the passage after it says “or other.” To have the Republicans say that there is no high Crime or Misdemeanor, is once again an unfounded – let’s say completely false, arrogant and insulting – attempt to lie about the easily verifiable truth once again. Where at one point these impeachment discussions were about ‘quid pro quo’ the Democrats have correctly honed in on a synonymous word ‘Bribery’ which is unambiguously and clearly tied to the constitutional passages that define impeachment.
The President, his cronies and his administration engaged in Bribery with the Ukraine for personal gain
1. The offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of something of value for the purpose of influencing the action of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties. The expectation of a particular voluntary action in return is what makes the difference between a bribe and a private demonstration of goodwill.
2. An attempt to make someone do something for you by giving the person money, presents, or something else that they want.
“I would like you to do us a favor though.”
The President engaged in Bribery with that statement. Somehow the Republicans have determined that “He didn’t do anything wrong” is the best impeachment defense for Trump. Bribery is illegal in the United States. Because the President of the United States asked the President of the Ukraine to help him with his re-election by, among other things, publicly announcing an investigation of Hunter Biden and, in exchange for that favor, he would get the vital anti-tank weaponry needed to secure the Ukraine, that is self-dealing. From the standpoint of impeachment, self-dealing is impeachable, and Bribery is an impeachable offense in the Constitution. The President of the United States cannot hold up arms that Congress authorized and are essential to the survival of the Ukraine because he wants the President of the Ukraine to perform a domestic errand for his re-election campaign. The interests of both the people of the Ukraine and the United States were compromised by the President’s self-dealing abuse of his Executive Branch power. How in the world could the citizens of this country tolerate this totally corrupt, irresponsible and dangerous behavior? Impeachment is the only appropriate response.
Is it best to resolve this all through the ballot box, as the Republicans hope?
Again Neal Katyal says it best:
KATYAL: I think two things. No. 1 is the allegations here involve cheating in next year’s election. So it’s a little weird to say, oh, let’s have the election and then let that decide. I mean, that’s kind of like if you’re accused of cheating in Monopoly and your solution is, oh, well, let’s just play a game of Monopoly and decide – and see who wins to decide who’s right. That can’t possibly be the rule. That’s the first thing.
And the second is this is such a core impeachable offense. This is literally the president putting his personal interests over those of the American people. And because of that, I don’t think that, you know, this is a kind of wait-and-see kind of thing. It’d be one thing if this president had expressed contrition and said, OK, I did something wrong. I made a mistake. I won’t do it again.
We cannot forget that the Mueller Report was all about cheating during the 2016 elections.
Well, the Republicans *almost* have nothing. They have Fox News to keep the Republican base misinformed and in line. They have the various court proceedings that are holding up subpoenas and information like tax returns – as part of a ‘rope-a-dope’ strategy of delay tactics according to Representative Adam Schiff. But is that enough?
How do we break through the addictive news silos and broaden the discussion so that even the reach of Fox News is no longer effective? Talk. Maybe some public forums should be set up to get both sides together to discuss the facts, and the gravity of the President’s impeachable offenses in a calm, de-escalated manner. Maybe the holiday family gatherings can be used to set aside a small, well-defined block of time for these discussions, where a calm moderator can ensure that respect and decorum are maintained.
Steele Dossier initially commissioned by the Republicans during the Republican Presidential Primaries in 2016
Transcript of meet the press on 11/24/2019, which clearly states that the Republicans started the Steele research
Neal Katyal on impeachment
The Republican Defense strategy against impeachment
Cambridge definition of bribery
Senator Hirono The Republicans got nothing
How to discuss impeaching the President during the holidays
2017 article on the Steele Dossier, where it was clear at the time that Trump and his cronies were focused on spreading disinformation about the source of it – they wanted to blame Hillary
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