White House cowers, blocks ambassador's testimony; Schiff pissed off

I don’t think it matters either way for public opinion. Until they get some benefit from the impeachment, it’s never going to happen, regardless of opinion. And even if it does, what are the chances that the Senate will do squat, again, regardless of public opinion. See McConnel’s approval rating in KY.

Even if the Senate let him off the hook he’s going to go down in history books as a president who was impeached by the house of representatives. And there has been some reporting that he was actually concerned about that. That’s not nothing.


We’ll have to agree to disagree about whether going along with strong public opinion can be a benefit worth pursuing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting the Senate to convict and/or remove, and would be surprised if they did so. I am pointing out, however, that the political cost of the Senate doing so is going up significantly, and that is not good news for the GOP.


"Congress’s contempt power is the means by which Congress responds to certain acts that in its

view obstruct the legislative process. Contempt may be used either to coerce compliance, to

punish the contemnor, and/or to remove the obstruction. Although arguably any action that

directly obstructs the effort of Congress to exercise its constitutional powers may constitute a

contempt, in recent times the contempt power has most often been employed in response to non

-compliance with a duly issued congressional subpoena—whether in the form of a refusal to

appear before a committee for purposes of providing testimony, or a refusal to produce requested


Congress has three formal methods by which it can combat non-compliance with a duly issued

subpoena. Each of these methods invokes the authority of a separate branch of government. First,

the long dormant inherent contempt power permits Congress to rely on its own constitutional

authority to detain and imprison a contemnor until the individual complies with congressional

demands. Second, the criminal contempt statute permits Congress to certify a contempt citation to

the executive branch for the criminal prosecution of the contemnor. Finally, Congress may rely on

the judicial branch to enforce a congressional subpoena. Under this procedure, Congress may

seek a civil judgment from a federal court declaring that the individual in question is legally

obligated to comply with the congressional subpoena."



Which is meaningless if trump’s DoJ and his Supreme Court choose not to enforce any of that.

Clearly the trumpers (formally known as the GoP) end game is dictatorship.

(It’s dark, cold and cloudy outside.)


Citing with Inherent Contempt and sending a posse would be a remedy, but I fear that might result in a face-off with actual guns, given how crazy the preznit is, and how far his psychophants might be willing to go.


It’s meaningless if Congress doesn’t exercise its dormant power to arrest. But - they have been pretty spineless…


Yeah that too. Republicans are gonna be on record as supporting a crook. Key the blue wave in the senate. The only reason there wasn’t a blue wave in the senate last election was there were vastly more democratic seats up for election than republicans. A lot of Those republicans haven’t faced the electorate since trump was elected.


You either support a democracy or you don’t. Giving in to fear is pre-capitulating.


Exactly. “Did you bring your handcuffs?” - AG Barr


Recent story, guy oversleeps and misses Jury duty, he is sent to jail for 10 days.

It’s scary to realize how much our government relies on norms to operate. Much like the Supreme Court has no enforcement arm. It works on the assumption that people will respect it’s decision.

Removing all these norms will at some point destroy the government.


Meanwhile, Chelsea Manning sits in jail for refusing to testify.


I was thinking of that exact story, indeed. Ignoring the court and breaking laws isn’t really an option for those of us who aren’t government celebrities or ultra-affluent.

You’re spot on – for 200 years, we’ve had a set of guidelines and norms that those in government have just been expected to operate by, written or unwritten rules about things you simply don’t do. Trump & McConnell said, “Well, who cares?” and did them anyway, and we’re still figuring out how to deal with that.


I sometimes wonder how much of that is because of things we didn’t think were necessary to codify vs. things we don’t know how to codify, vs. things we don’t agree on enough to codify. I guess things elites agree on but can’t admit to in public is also a category.



Laws are, after all, only for the little people :expressionless:


Fivethirtyeight has started aggregating impeachment polls.

Apparently its sits about where polls were when Nixon resigned and his impeachment and removal were considered a forgone conclusion. For Nixon the numbers were inverted at a similar point in the process (smoking gun tape).

Trump is claiming an incredibly expansive version of executive privilege, as well as a total immunity to subpoenas and from criminal prosecution/investigation that extends to the entire executive branch. Its all based on legal crazy balls and stands no hope of actually holding up.

But they’re refusing to cooperate on those grounds, and threatening to prosecute anyone who does. The House (and several states, and the City of New York) are attempting to use the courts to enforce subpoenas and contempt findings over this. But those are still winding their way through that whole due process thing. Once a something makes it through each of those claims, then Trump shouldn’t be able to raise them against additional subpoenas and contempt charges. But his legal team has been doing what they do, and filing endless appeals and offering endless new variations designed to require new arguements and rulings. Basically stretching it all out as long as possible.

Yeah. But unfortunately you have to prove it is in court to get around the attempt.


No, the laws only apply to people who don’t have dirt on Trump. Unless you get caught and can use your leverage to try to get off. Then it’s jail, or if the stuff is really bad suicide.


I think a lot of them are aware that’s the only way they are staying out of prison. Especially the big guy and his family.


I guess this is the difference between having a constitutional lawyer as President vs. having someone who’s made a career out of abusing the legal system as the World’s Worst Plaintiff.