Jim Fetzer, Why the Impeachment Trial may Come to an Abrupt End

Jim Fetzer

 

                  “If we don’t impeach this guy, he will get reelected”–Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

 

For only the third time in American history, a President of the United States has been impeached by the House of Representatives, in this case, on the grounds of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. The first article purports to be based upon a phone call with the President of Ukraine, where he is alleged to have withheld foreign aid unless Ukraine were to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential political rival in the 2020 Presidential Election. The second alleges that the President has defied Congress by refusing to honor subpoenas for witnesses and evidence in support of these allegations. The principal problem with these charges is that they do not obviously qualify as violations of the US Constitution, which specifies that impeachment requires “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”, which are not among the offense with which Donald J. Trump has been charged.
 

Historical Background

 
The present trial cannot be understood without appreciating the partisan character of the proceeding. The Founding Fathers were wary that, in a divided Congress, where the House was dominated by the members of one party but the presidency held by a member of the other, impeachment could become a tool of policy where, because of purely political differences, the House would bring articles of impeachment as instruments to remove a president whose policies they did not support rather than because of any real crimes or misdemeanors. Indeed, this trial is fraught with indications that this may be precisely such a case, where allegations of collusion between the President and Russia (known as “Russiagate”) have dominated the media for nearly three years now and where the latest incarnation (known as “Ukrainegate”) appears to many impartial observers to be nothing more than a thinly veiled version of Russiagate 2.0.
 
The Mueller investigation, which was widely expected by Democrats to create a powerful case for impeachment over Russiagate, fell flat, when its ostensible author, Robert Mueller, former head of the FBI and lauded as akin to a national hero, turned out, during his Congressional testimony, not to know the contents of his own report and where no proof of collusion has ever emerged either then or since. Indeed, it turned out that the allegations of Russian collusion were introduced by Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers, Robbie Mook and John Podesta, in an effort to distract attention from her incompetent campaign, Podesta’s involverment in Pizzagate (the US franchise of the world-wide phenomenon known as Pedogate), and her own financial entanglements with Russia, involving the sale of 20% of US uranium reserves to Russia through the Canadian company, Uranium One, with the approval of then-Prsident Barack Obama.
 
Indeed, investigations by the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, have exposed the abuse of the FISA Court to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance on parties connected to the Trump campaign, which were justified on the basis of a dossier fabricated by former MI6 agent, Christopher Steele, who has admitted under oath to a British Court that he composed it as an employee of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. It was an indispensable element in (what was called Operation Crossfire Hurricane, involving many high ranking members of the federal government, including John Brennan, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and even Susan Rice and (ultimately) Barack Obama. When Federal Prosecutor John Durham’s investigation becomes public information, it may reveal the greatest political scandal in the history of the United States–with perhaps the exception of Trump’s impeachment.
 

The Impeachment

 
Even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged various committees of the House to conduct their hearings expeditiously, emphasizing that fashioning articles of impeachment was a matter of national security and of the greatest urgency, once they had been drafted, she refused to send them to the Senate for trial, attempting to manage how the Senate would conduct the trial as the Speaker of the House. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, however, was not disposed to play Nancy’s game, where, under pressure from members of her own party, she reluctantly forwarded them to the Senate on 15 January 2020, nearly a month after they had been adopted by the House on an overwhelmingly party-line vote taken on 18 December 2019, whereupon McConnell moved forward to resolve the matters pending for the trial by the Senate to take place, including especially formalizing the rules under which the trial would proceed.

 

On Monday, 20 January 2020, the Senate Majority Leader eased up on his plan for a tight two-day schedule to allow each side to have three days to present its case and allowing the House evidence to be admitted for the trial. McConnell did not change the rules for admitting witnesses or new documents, however. During a series of votes about specific witnesses, moreover, he prevailed–again and again–on straight 53-47 party-line votes, a powerful affirmation of the widely-held expectation that the President was most unlikely to be removed from office, a result that requires a 2/3 (or 67 vote) majority in the Senate. While that has never seriously been in doubt, there were questions about whether Mitt Romney, a harsh Trump critic, or Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski might vote in favor of witnesses. As matters now stand, there appears to be no prospect for the introduction of new evidence or testimony during the trial by the Senate.

 

The Prosecution thus has three days to present its case–Wednesday, Thursday and Friday–while the Defense will then begin on Saturday and continue on Monday and Tuesday, absent a motion to dismiss, which may be expected when the Prosecution rests. Such a motion contends that, even if everything the Prosecution has alleged were true, no impeachable offense has been committee and therefore the charges should be dismissed. Alan Dershowitz, the brilliant Constitutional authority, has made that argument during interviews on cable networks, where many believe it will carry the day. The Democrats have been hampered by arguing, on the one hand, that the case for impeachment is overwhelming, but also, on the other, that additional witnesses and evidence are indispensable. They can’t have it both ways. The President’s tenure in office seems to be secure and his trial may come to an abrupt end just a few days hence.

 

James H. Fetzer, Ph,D., a former US Marine Corps officer, is McKnight Processor Emeritus on the Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota and co-founder of moonrockbooks.com
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15 thoughts on “Jim Fetzer, Why the Impeachment Trial may Come to an Abrupt End”

  1. This is a sham. They have interfered with Trump his whole time as president. Trump is appearing to be not what he promised, but the demos hate him, so he must be doing something right, unless they are pretending, if they are pretending they must be insane. These people are all idiots.

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    1. “If we don’t impeach this guy, he will get reelected”–Rep. Al Green (D-TX)

      The best outcome would be for the Senate to conclusively repudiate the Democrats’ impassioned, though ludicrous, notion that you protect democracy by overturning elections.

      Don’t they call themselves Democrats, for chrissakes?

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    2. Here’s a bit of a take.
      IF the Dems are serious, why not either add to this impeachment if possible OR start a new impeachment based on his assassination of a foreign leader, which I am sure is against international law. BUT, they are not. Why? I guess one could say they are stalling and ‘eating up time’ until as close to November they can get. But why put in all that futile effort for an impeachment that can go no where compared to the possibility of a faster and LEGITIMATE impeachment?
      I can only conclude it’s a show and/or a distraction from something much larger beyond party lines and against WE the People.

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      1. I don’t think they would ever make the Soleimani assassination the issue because the whole congress is under pressure to signal obeisance to every warlike action. What the Democrats get out of this is they will forever be able to whine that Trump obstructed them from convicting him. Pelosi hopes the damage is done for the 2020 election; she says he will be “forever impeached.”

        I think they are focusing on ‘election interference’ because they are scrambling to raise a battlement against the exposure of their own crimes. Democrats connived to separate Trump from the Presidency since before he was even nominated in the 2016 election. Hillary is implicated and so is the Obama administration. This must be terrifying to them. So they orchestrate this impeachment to fling back the charges that could be made against them onto Trump, hoping to immunize themselves. It’s an old ploy.

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  2. I’m convinced that Biden’s bid for the nomination is a sham campaign meant to provide a raison d’etre for the impeachment. There is no way he could be elected. At his age, it would be too easy to discredit his goofball ways as the product of senility, rather than the hip personality with sunglasses that he cultivated under Obama. I think it may always have been presumed by the party that he would lose the nomination to another Democrat.

    The Democrats need to be able to say, “Trump is attacking his political opponent!” Biden’s campaign makes him a CURRENT political opponent of Trump, and therefore, according to Democrat Impeachment Managers, a credible threat feared by, as they describe him, an insane and vindictive Trump (seriously, you should hear their language). According to Democrats, Trump rigged the last election with Russian help, and then he tried to rig 2020 with help of Ukraine.

    Making the Biden issue central to the impeachment argument has the added advantage of providing camouflage for Biden’s family-based Ukraine corruption which is referred to again and again by Democrats as a conspiracy theory. And we know where that phrase comes from.

    The Democrats are foregoing telling a compelling and coherent story of their case. It might highlight that their accusation that Trump held back aid from Ukraine strongly resembles what Biden actually did. He demanded his quid pro quo, got it and bragged about it. And, oh yeah, profited from it. But investigating this is the impeachable offense.

    It seems like the Democrats are trying to drive away their audience. Maybe they think countless hours of fog will cause viewers to drop in frustration and just declare, “There must be something there!”, all the while, counting on the drumbeat of words like ‘cheat’, ‘bribery’ and ‘conspiracy theory’ to continue to imprint on the numbed mind of the public.

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  3. The Impeachment trial in the Senate makes Alice’s Tea Party look like serious business. Hopefully it will end abruptly.
    The to allow an embarrassment like Schiff to speak at the podium of the Senate is odious in the extreme.

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  4. Once the prosecution has presented their case at the end of today, why spend three more days defending articles of impeachment that have no basis in law? Would it not be similar to defending a client in a court of law that has broken NO LAWS and is just there at the whim of the prosecution? Dismiss it tomorrow and be done with it. What’s to be gained?

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    1. Further, allow the Dems an inch and they’ll stretch this mess out until November.
      Do not think that is not the plan given the insanity of the last three years. The defense had better make there move NOW.
      No WITNESSES are required if there is NO CRIME.
      IF this continues, we can be pretty damn sure this is all theater and our total subjugation is closer than we think….especially with this pseudo-pandemic in the works.

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      1. As far as this ‘cold” virus goes, here’s the best comment I have found so far:

        PRECEDENT: Sandy Hook: – If they could stage such an event in a school that had been closed for 4 years and ram it down America’s throat through a rigged MSM they can certainly do a virus scam and have nothing at all be real, Britain does not even need to put quarantines in place, none of it has to be real, the MSM can wag the entire damn thing and there will be no way for the public to know if any of it is real or not. But you can bet martial law in the U.S. will be real if they take this that far, while the reason behind it is entirely fake.

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        1. LOOK AT THIS: The highest FISA Court has ruled the Carter Page warrants were invalid! Those were the 3rd and 4th of four issued–and almost certainly the first two will go down, too! That means the investigations and prosecutions based upon them–up to and including the Mueller investigation, no doubt–are going to be vitiated as “fruit of the poisonous tree”! And the Democrats have been citing Mueller again and again during their impeachment presentation! Fantastic timing! https://www.rt.com/usa/479033-doj-page-fisa-warrants/

          1. Hope we hear about these invalidated FISA warrants from the Defense. The Democrat Impeachment Managers have been piously citing Mueller in their pantheon of patriotic heroes – ha! Can’t wait for this all to go down, maybe all the way to acquittal as the article suggests.

            Trump is, of course, wholly compromised, but I can’t help feeling elated to see the other side thwarted. That they despise Trump so thoroughly is the best thing about him.

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