Trump may finally be in real trouble

January 27, 2020 • 3:30 pm

Apparently John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor, can testify that Trump told him to call a halt to aid to Ukraine until that country “got help with investigations into Democrats.” Trump denies this (but of course most of us believe Bolton), and if Bolton somehow manages to testify before the Senate, this will be a serious blow to Trump, though his credibility before us Democrats is already at rock bottom.

Will Bolton testify? Pressure is mounting to bring him in, and it’s hard to resist, even for some Republicans. The Democrats need four Republican defectors to allow Bolton to testify, and some GOP Senators, like Mitt Romney, are wavering.

If Bolton comes before the Senate and says his piece, it would be harder for Republican senators to acquit him in the final vote. After all, we have one of Trump’s own men saying that Trump not only did a quid pro quo, but lied about it.

I have my fingers crossed, but it takes those four defectors and then about twenty Republican senators to be sufficiently swayed by Bolton’s testimony that they join Democrats to secure the 2/3 majority needed for a conviction.

The Republicans should do the right thing and hear testimony—at least Bolton’s. By refusing to do so, they are shirking their duty as impartial judges of the charges.

Does anyone think that there’s now a chance for Trump to be convicted by the Senate?

246 thoughts on “Trump may finally be in real trouble

    1. Agree. Not sure about testimony, but removal still seems to me extroadinarily unlikely.

      In terms of reapolitik, those GOP Senators would have to calculate that removing him bettered their chances of reelection more than keeping him in office. But the GOP base loves Trump – his approval rating is like 90% amongst them – and what’s more, only 23 GOP senators total are up for reelection in 2020.

      I would be willing to believe that many GOP Senators think Trump ought to be removed. But I find it very hard to believe that they would vote against their own self-interest in order to remove him.

  1. NO, tRUMP will NOT be convicted. It’ll be a miracle if Bolton or anyone else gets to testify, but even if they do, the Repugs will not vote to convict. This speaks volumes about today’s Repugs, and none of those words are good.

    1. As most others have said, there is zero chance of Trump being convicted, no matter what Bolton says, in the unlikely event that he gets to testify.

      If Bolton should testify, it would be a boon for the Democrats, not regarding conviction, but for campaign commercials.

  2. No.
    About a 5% chance that they will allow witnesses, and about the same probability that this will cost them the senate. Business as usual for the GOP.

  3. Watching from afar in Australia, I don’t see any realistic scenario in which Trump gets convicted. The Republican Party is now the Trump Party and any evidence Bolton gives will be shrugged off as someone trying to sell books, because this is the Gospel of Trump.

  4. Je suis d’accord avec tout le monde, pas de conviction.

    But, it’s all out there now. I think the best is to drag it out and maybe it’ll resign (doubtful but the only option I see).

    1. It’ll resign? I think not. He’s not a rational human being and has no sense of shame. Resignation is unthinkable.

      1. He will if it’s in his interest to do so— he can quit anytime he wants to. Even a week before the election, if he was sure he’d face a crushing defeat. He could make up any excuse he wanted. His fan base wouldn’t care.

        1. True enough, but I suspect the race will look quite close. He won’t run out of unearned confidence. If he loses, he can always say, “It was rigged!”

        2. I don’t think he’s capable of imagining a defeat. His ego will not allow such thoughts to creep into his addled brain.


  5. Oh my, not a chance. That is a dream. After all he has said and done without anything sticking, to imagine that something Bolton says will be any different seems like a fantasy to me. Like he says, he could walk out on 5th avenue and murder someone and get away with it. No magical republican spine forming going on here (I wish that it weren’t so).

      1. Trump has the lowest approval rating since Jimmy Carter in the context of a very strong economy. A normal president would be sailing to re-election, but Trump is still losing in the polls. Not sure the characterization “teflon” applies.

        1. Wasn’t referencing ratings, but rather noting that everything that has been thrown at Trump has slid off him like a fried egg off Teflon. We’ve been hearing for quite some time “This will get him” and we still have him. Only real hope is the next election for not only ousting this despicable POSPOTUS but also his Republican enablers/

          1. Wasn’t referencing ratings, but rather noting that everything that has been thrown at Trump has slid off him like a fried egg off Teflon.

            If it slid off him his approval rating wouldn’t be so low. A lot of the gunk is sticking to him.

              1. I’m just saying if he didn’t have all these scandals and blunders, with this economy his approval would be up in the 60s.

    1. It makes you wonder what it would it take for the Republicans to finally abandon Trump. Maybe if he publicly became a gay socialist atheist. Or ate a baby on the White House lawn. Short of that, the Republicans really will let him do anything.

  6. No, and as with so much in politics, a Game of Thrones scene demonstrates why. The king has died and the two people vying to replace him are there king’s brothers. The older brother obviously has the better claim, but no one much likes him, and the younger brother has amassed a literal army to support him. When the older brother confronts the younger and asks “what claim do you have to be king,” the younger gestures to his army and says “there’s my claim.”

    This is our situation. When confronted with incontrovertible evidence of impeachable offenses and asked what their argument against removal is, Trump and his sycophants in the Senate gesture to their voter base and say “there’s our argument.”

  7. This has never been about facts and rule of law. So, nope, I don’t see Trump being convicted in the future. I would be astounded if the republican-held senate did an about face. They will simply deny the factual basis of the info, and attack the messenger…as they have done consistently up until now. Pass the alka seltzer.

  8. Sadly, I don’t think there’s a chance. And a very low chance that enough Republicans will even vote to call witnesses. Very few spines that side of the room.

    I fear we’ll be stuck with IMPOTUS for quite a while longer.

  9. I’m mystified by one accusation leveled by Trump at the European Union: that the EU does not sufficiently contribute financially to the Ukraine (burden sharing): (15 billion $ since 2014)

    The US aid is even reduced by the fact that the financial contribution serves for the purchase of these Javelins.

    1. Why be mystified? Any connection between anything tRump says and reality is completely random.


  10. No chance of conviction, never has been. Politicians (of any party) have only one concern; gaining and holding office, along with whatever graft they can pocket on the side. Red State senators are scared of Trump supporters, they know they will get the boot if they vote against Trump.

  11. This will not be a fair trial. Not a single republican voted to impeach, so why would they convict? I’ve completely lost my faith in the morality of republicans and it wasn’t very much there to start with, either.

  12. While I agree that Bolton should testify, don’t get too far over your skis. What we know is that the NYTimes says that a manuscript says something. Given what the media has gotten wrong and always in an anti-Trump direction over the past three years, we would be wise to withhold judgement. (I’m happy to provide examples.) Even then, is it always wrong to investigate a political enemy? Clearly the democrats are gleefully investigating Trump. Some of the investigations have been grounded but others have been frivolous. The Democrats still need to prove Trump’s corrupt intentions. So far, they are convicting him on the basis of their assumptions as to his intentions. Don’t break out the party hats yet. (Someone more cynical than me would see parallels to the Dems’ demands for another investigation of Kavanaugh, when several new accusations surfaced, at exactly the right time, including drug-fueled orgy allegations from Mr. Avenatti and at least two others that were withdrawn soon after the “bombsheels” dropped.)

    1. … is it always wrong to investigate a political enemy?

      Of course not. What is always wrong is for a president to put the nation’s national-security interests behind his own private interests by using his official powers to pressure a foreign government for assistance against a political rival. And Donald Trump has no straight-faced defense that that isn’t precisely what he did.

      What investigation of Donald Trump has been “frivolous”?

      1. We’ve engaged on this before, Ken.

        “put the nation’s national-security interests behind his own private interests” – an unproven allegation made worse by the recognition that if Ukranian defense is in the US national security interest, Ukraine was failed far worse by Obama to years of silence by those making this allegation.

        “by using his official powers to pressure a foreign government” There is no evidence of pressure. The alleged “pressee” denies being pressed. There is no evidence for this claim.

        ” for assistance against a political rival.” Foreign assistance for investigations is fine. (Mueller, others) Once again, you are assuming that the investigation is BECAUSE it was a political rival. (I have to ask if you were as exercised about the DNC’s inquiries into Manafort or the DNC’s use of Christopher Steele and his Kremlin contacts.)
        One frivolous demand is the subpoena for Trump’s tax returns. Is there probable cause to suspect a crime?

        1. “put the nation’s national-security interests behind his own private interests” – an unproven allegation

          Not exactly unproven. There’s a mountain of evidence supporting this.

            1. The memorandum of the phone call.

              Sondland’s testimony.

              Colonel Vindman’s testimony.

              Trump’s own appeal to the Ukraine and China on the lawn of the Whitehouse in front of the media.

          1. My point is that it’s never been discussed as a national interest until it got tied up here. So it’s probably not a high priority for our security interest but is being used for political purposes.

        2. One frivolous demand is the subpoena for Trump’s tax returns. Is there probable cause to suspect a crime?

          YES! You do know his history, right? He’s as corrupt as they come. And even if he wasn’t suspected of a crime, demanding to see his tax returns is far from frivolous. You are one of those people who really doesn’t want to know the truth about the Don. Strange attitude to be sure.

            1. He should release his returns. I’d like him to. That’s not the question. The poster before you alleged some general corruption as a reason to subpoena tax returns. That’s not how our country works. If there is probable cause to suspect a specific crime where the returns are appropriate, then have it. Until then, privacy is the legal and American way. (I’m a little shocked at having to explain this. Do Dems care about due process, the law and constitutional norms any more? Or do they have to burn the village in order to save the village?)

              1. Regardless of probable cause, of which I think there is plenty, he’s president of the United States of America. Shouldn’t he be willing…eager to show us he’s not a crook? That’s not the question, my ass!

              2. I am sure that the lowliest of clerks at the smallest of government departments have a minor amount of privacy given up when they first applied for their job or the like. Trump applied for a very high profile, highly sensitive job. IMO, his privacy *should* be (carefully, with proper procedures) put aside to ensure he can do the job. Does this entail tax returns? Maybe. I do not know what the proper security controls against corruption, etc. should be – that’s not *my* field. But I do recognize (as an IT security person) that there is a place for proper security controls here!

        3. I’ve refuted these arguments before and will here tarry not again to do the same.

          As for Trump’s tax returns, the House Oversight Committee is entitled to a copy of a president’s tax returns as a matter of right, with no showing required that the returns will disclose evidence of a crime, as two federal courts have thus far determined.

          In any event, every US president (and every candidate for US president) since Richard Nixon has disclosed his or her tax returns as a matter of course. During the primaries, Trump originally asseverated he’d do the same, then reneged based on the risible (and unevidenced) excuse that his returns were “under audit.” Have you no interest is seeing what he is trying to hide?

          The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York — where Trump’s shyster lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted for felonies committed at Trump’s behest, and where Trump’s current lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is now under criminal investigation for the same — certainly has.

          1. Jerry didn’t give us enough nested comment capacity for me to respond to your rebuttal, so I dropped it. But lucky you, someone else is interested in continuing the chat, below.

            Re tax returns: Trump should disclose them and his “reasons” weren’t. All agreed. If the returns are legitimately required (e.g. Stormy’s payments), also agreed. But giving Congress the right to subpoena anyone’s return without a valid legislative purpose almost certainly violates the Fourth Amendment as would any warrantless search. (This is what a true liberal would have fought for, before r) In any case, this is winding its way through the courts and the final conclusion has not been reached. SCOTUS may agree with you. Or not.

            1. Title 26 of the United States Code section 6301(f) requires the IRS to furnish the House Ways and Means committee with the tax returns of any US citizen upon request — you, me, Donald Trump, or anyone else. The statute admits of no discretion on the part of the IRS to refuse such a request, as every federal court ever to consider the issue — and as the two federal courts to consider the question specifically with regard to Donald Trump — have held.

        4. Unproven allegations?
          Here is the official government record of Trump’s call with Zelinskyy. At the bottom of page 2, Zelinskyy says the Ukraine is ready to buy more Javelin missiles from the U.S. President Trump replies on top of page 3: “I would like you to do us a favor though” and then asks him to investigate a California-based company that held DNC servers. Then later he asks Zelinskyy to work with Giuliani to investigate Hunter Biden.

          In addition to that, Sondland has said it was quid pro quo. Bolton is likely to say it was quid pro quo. Mulvaney has admitted it was quid pro quo in response to released texts (i.e. a documentary record) between U.S. diplomats discussing the quid pro quo.

          As for the charge of “Obstruction of Congress,” Trump bragged about obstructing them in a public speech at the Davos conference just last week. “We’re doing very well. I got to watch enough. I thought our team did a very good job. But, honestly, we have all the material; they don’t have the material.” Stating you have all the material and you’re not releasing it to Congress is pretty much the definition of obstructing Congress.

          There’s a reason his defense team has decided to argue that only federal crimes count as impeachable offenses. There’s a reason the GOP is trying to prevent all witnesses and new testimony being introduced. These are not strategies used by a defense team that believes that laying all the evidence out in front of the jury would exonerate their client.

          1. “In addition to that, Sondland has said it was quid pro quo. Bolton is likely to say it was quid pro quo. Mulvaney has admitted it was quid pro quo…”

            Here’s the part that mystifies me: the GOP makes much of the fact that Zelensky claims that he never felt any pressure, and never thought that it was a quid pro quo.

            OK…and where are the voices saying: “well, of course, dumb fuck, what do you EXPECT him to say?” He knows that he’ll be dealing with Psycho-Clown for AT LEAST another 18 months (measured from the date of “the call”) and perhaps another 5 1/2 years. You really think that he wants to antagonize the guy who can single-handedly strangle his military and feed him AND his whole country to Putin’s goons?

      2. We’ve engaged on this before, Ken.

        “put the nation’s national-security interests behind his own private interests” – an unproven allegation made worse by the recognition that if Ukranian defense is in the US national security interest, Ukraine was failed by Obama to years of silence by those making this allegation against Trump.

        “by using his official powers to pressure a foreign government” There is no evidence of pressure. The alleged “pressee” denies being pressed. There continues to be no evidence for this claim, merely insufferable restatement of House Dems’ allegations.

        ” for assistance against a political rival.” Foreign assistance for investigations is fine. (as you admit) It appears you are assuming that the investigation was asked for BECAUSE it was a political rival. No evidence of that. (I have to ask if you were as exercised about the DNC’s overseas inquiries into Manafort or the DNC’s use of Christopher Steele and his Kremlin contacts.)

        “And Donald Trump has no straight-faced defense that that isn’t precisely what he did.” A reminder: in the United States, the prosecution needs to prove its claims. (Pedantry warning: Your argumentum ad ignoratium is “I, Ken, can’t think of any other reason for Trump to have done this, therefore my interpretation is the right one.” (Try to sell Dr. C. on god this way. Let me know how it goes.)

        One possible frivolous demand is the subpoena for Trump’s tax returns. Is there probable cause to suspect a crime? The president is not above the law. Neither is Congress.

        Another potential one: the suspect FISA warrants that launched the Mueller report. At least two of four are now deemed to not have been granted validly. (I recall when liberals defended the rights of the accused.
        Sigh.) And note the result: no collusion, full stop. All allegations of possible obstruction relate to the investigation that perhaps should never have been started. (My take, since you asked, is that there should have been a nonpartisan commission on Russia interference instead of a special counsel investigation. Instead, the Dems sought to delegitimize Trump’s election by hanging a cloud over the result, much like impeachment now) One fears for our democracy.


        1. My take, since you asked, is that there should have been a nonpartisan commission on Russia interference instead of a special counsel investigation. Instead, the Dems sought to delegitimize Trump’s election by hanging a cloud over the result

          A Republican Deputy AG selected a Republican Special Counsel after Trump fired a Republican FBI Director.

        2. Pedantry warning: Your argumentum ad ignoratium is “I, Ken, can’t think of any other reason for Trump to have done this, therefore my interpretation is the right one.”

          The House impeachment committees adduced a prima facie case, based on the testimony of 11 witness and numerous documents. Donald Trump has failed to counter this with a theory of defense that both accounts for this wealth of evidence and is consistent with his innocence. Pedantry notwithstanding, that observation hardly constitutes an “argumentum ad ignoratium [sic].”

  13. Messaged my R Senator a few days ago: Vote to allow witnesses.

    If O6 slips thru this one, the message will be: You and 20 of your confederates will have the collapse of the Republican Party on your shoulders.

    1. My Republican Senator proffered the usual BS:

      Dear Professor Swartzendruber,

      Thank you for contacting me regarding impeachment. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.

      On September 25, 2019, the Speaker of the House announced a formal impeachment inquiry into the President of the United States. The Speaker asserts that President Trump violated his oath of office by attempting to enlist Ukraine to investigate events connected to the 2016 presidential election as well as issues concerning Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives may bring forward articles of impeachment against a President who has committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. If the articles are agreed upon, they are then presented to the Senate to consider conviction and removal. In the history of the United States, only two presidents have ever been impeached, and the Senate has never removed a president from office.

      Americans deserve a government that is attentive and responsive to their concerns, respects and protects their rights, and does not overreach its Constitutional authority. No matter who occupies the Office of the President, I will always hold the President and his or her administration to the highest standards.

      Presidential impeachment is a grave and immense power. By giving that power to the Peoples’ representatives, the Constitution helps ensure that the People have the ultimate check on executive power. That power demands a thorough and fair process, not a political exercise that divides the country. Rest assured, if the House of Representatives agrees on articles of impeachment and they are presented to the Senate, I will take all of the information into account and keep your concerns in mind as I fulfill my duties as a United States Senator.

      Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.


      Cory Gardner
      United States Senator

      1. That power demands a thorough and fair process, not a political exercise that divides the country.

        No shit Sherlock, that’s why Dems are asking for witnesses and documents, because that would be as you put it “thorough and fair”. And Trump is doing fine dividing the country all by himself thank you very much. After all, he pretty much impeached himself.

    2. I wrote to both my Republican US senators, and received simple form acknowledgments in response. (Plus one of the blithering fools put me on a mailing list for his “supporters.”)

      It’s probably like spitting in an ocean of ignorance, but I plan to write to them again before the final senate vote is taken on whether to subpoena witnesses.

      1. In some cases I’ve heard of the staff takes a sample of incoming mail, reads far enough into them to determine whether the sender is pro or con, and put’s them in separate stacks. The principle can see which stack is larger and can do what he wants with this information. Perhaps we should all each use many aliases and hope to influence the government.

        1. I think that’s the best that can be expected, but it’s better than nothing. They’re probably being flooded from the opposite side to resist.

  14. I’m hearing from some legal pundit that Roberts can call witnesses and he can overrule trump’s claims of executive privilege. If need be, will he step up to the plate?

    I also hear that more Republicans are considering voting for having witnesses. Also that privately, they’re beginning to wonder why they were sold a bill of goods when, because Bolton’s book has been in govt. hands for vetting for quite a while, Trump and his minions knew that Bolton’s declarations gave the lie to T’s claims yet said nothing.

    Despite all this, even if witnesses are called, I think the Republicans have sold their souls to the devil, so to speak.

    1. If the opportunity presents itself, conservative, Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts will make honest evidentiary rulings regarding relevancy and privilege issues, I think. And that’s what Republicans in this proceeding fear the most.

        1. Impeachment is an arcane bit of constitutional law I have no particular expertise in. But, for what it’s worth, the arguments made on Trump’s behalf by both Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz appear to cut against the great weight of opinion from knowledgeable authorities.

          The arguments by Starr struck me as especially ironic, coming as they did from the Inspector Javert of fellatio-related felonies.

    2. Trump waived executive privilege when he tweeted that Bolton was lying.

      You cannot call some one a liar and then claim a privilege to prevent them from testifying under oath to defend themselves.

  15. No, the Republican Party of Trump will not convict. I think the best that can come out of this is that we will see a witness or two and the trial will go on past the State of the Union Feb. 4th. That way, Trump won’t be able to gloat and croak to the American people EXONERATED! Not that I’d be watching it anyway.

  16. I thought Bill Maher struck the right chord last week, calling this the US’s “Julius Caesar moment”.

    I can understand why the sensible half of the US maintains hope that this Trump business might be over soon, but looking from the outside, I don’t see any realistic chance of it happening.

    My fear is not the inevitable second term of Trump, but what who his successor will be. We know Trump: he probably won’t start any major war, because he lacks the attention span, wouldn’t know how to start one, and above has never done that before (he only repeats the behaviours he’s learned so far: motivational speaking & the attendant scams, petty criminality conducted in the manner of a wannabe mafia don, playing subordinates off against each other, supine submissiveness to those who dominate him, and petty acts of retribution).

    But his successor will inherit a dismantled supine state, a corrupt secret police riddled with foreign agents, supine military and normalisation of the US President using all organs of state to enrich himself and attack enemies all around the world.

    1. I was struck by the argument Maher made – I guess sure, he could be convicted. So what? He won’t leave. He has his rally attendees to back him up.

      1. That’s what really scares me. If Trump gets convicted or loses the election, he won’t go quietly. We have to hope that the police or the military remain loyal to the constitution and make him leave. The man is determined to keep pushing the envelope and see what he can get away with.

        1. Your concerns are not frivolous. If Trump loses, he will cry that the election was rigged. It is not inconceivable that he will call his cult to the streets. The right-wing militias could start shooting. Sporadic violence (right-wing terrorism) could become commonplace. So, even if the military and police accept the results, things will not be pleasant. Another possibility is that police and military units may square off against each other. So, unless Trump accepts defeat gracefully (not something I would bet on), chaos could result and with that the end of democracy as we have known it.

          1. Yeah, that’s the type of thing that has happened in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and various Latin American countries. When I read about those events in the news, they seemed very remote and I was convinced that such things couldn’t happen in the U.S. Now I’m not so sure.

            1. Karl Jaspers said this:

              ”Everywhere in the world I dread that same self-deception which holds that ‘it can’t happen here.’ It can happen anywhere. It becomes unlikely only where the mass of the population is aware of the threat, where there is accordingly no relapse into lethargy, where the character of ‘totalitarianism’ is known and recognized from its very inception and in each of its aspects-as a Proteus which is constantly putting on new masks, which glides out of your grasp like an eel, which does the opposite of what it claims, which perverts the meaning of its words, which speaks, not to impart information, but to hypnotize, divert attention, insinuate, intimidate, dupe, which exploits and produces every type of fear, which promises security while destroying it completely.”

              (Note that the quotation is often misattributed to Richard Lawrence Miller, who quoted it at the beginning of his Drug Warriors and Their Prey—From Police Power to Police State. See…/dp/B01FKU.)

          2. Why would the military and the police not accept the results? Trump’s policies have not been friendly to them. He’s fired their leaders. He’s stolen money off them to build his wall. He’s overruled their disciplinary proceedings. He’s leaked their secrets. He even cancelled leave for some of them so he could have his poxy parade on 4th July.

            If Trump loses in November (admittedly, I’m not optimistic), come 20th January, he will turn back into a pumpkin because that is what the Constitution says. At that point, if he refuses to leave the Whitehouse, he will be forcibly ejected.

            1. I think you are probably correct, but it is worth mentioning that despite how poorly the military has fared under Trump, and how disrespectful he has been to many of the military’s leaders and heroes, his approval among them is very high. Especially among enlisted, but even among officers his approval rating is firm.

              I’ve never come across any data regarding his approval among police, but I can guess. A significant percentage of police officers became so because of a desire to play “tactical” not to serve and protect the public. I would bet a moderate amount that Trump’s approval rating among police is considerably higher than among the general population.

            2. “… if he refuses to leave the Whitehouse, he will be forcibly ejected“

              I think the question is not whether the systems of government will operate as expected, but how the significant DIY vigilante citizen will of the president’s personality cult will play out.

              Ture, it is a dramatic scenario to put forth on a talk show – but is is _just_ that? I think the potential for trouble is significant.

              1. True not Ture

                I don’t even think that’s a word… nope – not even for Scrabble.

              2. “…but how the significant DIY vigilante citizen will of the president’s personality cult will play out.”

                Why do we imagine that the Trumputos are the only ones with guns?

              3. I’m pointing only to things we know – statements and shows of force from rallies, etc.

                I haven’t seen any Buttegeig, Sanders, or Warren supporters boast their love of guns, or pseudo-military interests, for example. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any, it’s true. But it’s about what is more likely- and the likelihood is not high.

              4. Well, I do know a lot of liberals who are armed to the teeth. Some ex-military. And you’re right–they don’t talk about it much.

                But that doesn’t mean that we would suffer a coup lightly.

                But all of this is a bit feverish. I agree with the writer who stated that the Secret Service would do its job and that would be that. The idea that just because Trump has support in the military means that troops would take up arms against their fellow citizens in a necessarily organized way is also, I think, a bit paranoid.

              5. Right on Brujo – I know quite a few Independents and a couple of Dems who have pistols, rifles, shotguns and assault rifles. No doubt that we would be willing to help oust the POSPOTUS from the White House if needed. 🙂

            3. I can see it now. tRump, dressed in his pajamas, Melania and Ivanka tearfully beg him to leave the White House. Jared and Eric pacing outside around the official chopper – Jared having taken up cigarettes – Eric with a bottle in a brown bag. There’s a drizzle of rain. Bernie being interviewed at the front gate – “I’ll give him all the time he needs, as long as he’s out by my bed time.”

    2. His point about how Democrats say they “have to win by a landslide” – I couldn’t believe so many have made this argument on TV. It really has to be heard as Maher put it across.

      1. Much as I love Bill Maher, I think he was wrong with his bit about calls for a Dem landslide. He took them to be saying that a close vote would not count, perhaps only so he could make his point. Instead, I think people calling for a landslide are just saying that it would be a good thing and want to make sure everyone turns out for the election, even if the Dem is seen to have it in the bag. There is a desire to tell the MAGAs in terms perhaps they can understand that the country does not agree with them and truly despises their candidate and all he stands for.

        1. My impression was that coordinating the party to win by a large margin – that is, genuinely appeal to the most people by making a clear argument – will work against the party because… I can’t keep this straight, but Sanders voters ruined the 2016 election, by draining votes away from Clinton. I think that’s the idea – sleepwalking to a replay of 2016. That and the notion that Republicans can win by one vote but Democrats are somehow above that – the pretentious “we go high” cheerleading. Winning by one vote is still winning.

  17. Like Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen, Mitch McConnell has made it clear: verdict first, trial later! It would be very cool if witnesses are called, though, and especially if John Roberts made it happen (as Jenny H suggests). He did cast the deciding vote allowing Obamacare to withstand Constitutional challenge. But I don’t expect him to prefer nation over party here.

  18. As a thought experiment – suppose for a moment that the senate did impeach and remove. That would leave the Dems running against Mike Pence (I assume) in the general election. A conventional theocratic republican. Is that better or worse than running against Trump?

      1. Huh? You don’t even know who the (D) nominee will be and you’re predicting 0% chance of winning. Man, I thought I was cynical.

        1. Well the Dem nominees are known, and none of them are capable of beating Trump. I’d like to be proven wrong this time around, but I also hope that those opposing Trump learn a little about political activism and stop exhausting themselves with emotional self-therapy instead of effective political action. Any sensible, ethical person will vote for whoever the Dems nominate. Sadly, too many will be so exhausted that they won’t bother voting, just like last time.

          1. You have provided no evidence that no Democrat can defeat Trump. Trump may win, but if so, as in 2016, the race will be very close. This is what the polls currently indicate.

            1. True, but the polls are misused by the media as if they count as evidence of “Hillary having a 92.5% chance of victory” etc, etc.

              I would have hoped for a more realistic and serious response from Dems than falling over each other to run against a guy that none of them have the rhetorical ability or tactical nous to effectively counter in a campaign. So it’s all down to watching absurd squabbles between candidates for months on end, all aimed at trying to convince a minority of swing voters to to vote, or vote differently.

              And, as Bill Maher pointed out, the Dems have no idea what they’d do if the win and Trump refuses to go. The Dems and Trumps opponents have consistently underestimated the forces they are up against and lost every fight they’ve entered, except the mid-terms.

              1. “…except the mid-terms.”

                You remind me of that joke that asks Mrs. Lincoln about her evening at the theater.

              2. And, as Bill Maher pointed out, the Dems have no idea what they’d do if the win and Trump refuses to go.

                The Dems don’t have to do anything, the Secret Service will remove Trump. “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.”

          2. Sadly, too many will be so exhausted that they won’t bother voting, just like last time.

            I really doubt that. We’re going to have record high turnout on both sides in the 2020 election.

          3. The 2018 midterms disproves your last sentence. And recently, the political changes in Virginia and Kentucky also disproves that sentence.

        2. Cynicism might be a good thing.

          I recall months before 2016 election so many people were convinced Trump had 0 chance of winning. I think I’d like to let the GOP really believe that no Dem candidate can win…Maybe then the over confidence will be bad if not a burden for the Trump clan.

    1. I never wanted Trump removed from office because Pence, with his congressional and governor experience, would be able to get a lot more of the Evangelical agenda accomplished.

    2. The GOP vote will collapse. The reason why Republican Senators are toeing the line at the moment is because a lot of their voters think Trump is the new Messiah. If he gets impeached, it will be because some of those senators turned against him. They’ll hold his impeachment against the GOP in much the same way as Bernie supporters resented the Dem party because he didn’t get chosen. I think a lot of the Trump voters will hold that against them and simply stay at home on voting day.

  19. Of course Republican Senators will shirk their constitutional duty by refusing to hear Mr. Bolton. In early 2016, they shirked their Senatorial duty to advise and consent in regard to the President’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. These triumphs of faction over principle illustrate why Hamilton and Madison were nervous about the outcome of the experiment they called a “democratic republic”. Maybe the experiment, at least their version, is coming to an end.

  20. I was listening to the hearings today on NPR while driving. There are some very smart lawyers providing lots of ‘cover’ for Republicans to use as they vote to acquit. Actually, it came off like the Dems in the House made a number of procedural blunders in their rush to get this done fairly quickly. But procedural blunders are a tool to argue for acquittal by due process.

  21. I think the Republicans have already shown that there is no evidence that will cause them to vote Trump out. The evidence is already overwhelming that Trump is guilty of the charge at hand, but the Rs don’t consider it an impeachable offence even if true so Bolton’s testimony is moot.

  22. Even if Bolton testifies, there’s no chance in hell the Rethuglicans will ever vote to remove Trump. There is NO integrity left in that party.

    1. Agreed. The Republican party is irredeemable.

      Their “conservatism” is a cover for the only two goals that republican politicians are passionate about: 1) de-regulation of environmental and health/safety policy and 2) tax cuts for the rich. Conserving democratic norms and the environment is nowhere on the agenda.

      I really hope the US quickly moves towards a parliamentary system, and permanently ditches the duopoly. There’s no point in defending the two party system when one of the parties transforms into an ecocidal enabler of authoritarianism.

      1. EB said: “… the only two goals…”

        I was going to object that this ignores a third goal–everlasting elevation of the evangelical program, including anti-abortion laws, publicly-funded religious instruction, the rise of Xhrister dominionism in the military, etc.

        But then I realized that EB is right…neither Trump nor most of his Orcs in the House or Senate give a shit about any of that. The Rethuglicans (thanks for that locution, Mikkel–the best of several variations that I’ve seen)are happy to use the evangelicals to reach goals 1 and 2, as EB lists them. If they thought that they could get there by making Satanism the official religion, and abortion a sacrament, they’d be all over that shit in a heartbeat.

      2. I agree. A two-party system leads to a dictatorship by one of the parties. Idem for the UK. Brexit would not have happened with a multi-party government. This is just simple math.

  23. Since everyone here has been batting zero for the democrats for the past three years, why not continue. First we wright off the Mueller investigation and now this. Actually the Mueller event and all that it entailed was worse than the current impeachable offenses. In that special there was plenty of obstruction and conspiracy with Russia to get him elected. And it worked.

    Here he was just attempting to do similar work with a foreign government to help himself and to help Putin as well with the garbage that Ukraine and not Russia did the 2016 events.

    Let us all wake up and impeach this bastard and stop being so negative. Like we say about the Republicans in the Senate – grow a backbone and get on with it.

    1. “In that special there was plenty of obstruction and conspiracy with Russia to get him elected. And it worked.”

      I’m sorry folks, if this is what some of you believe, then we’re walking among the delusion. Mueller stated clearly that he found no evidence of any American colluding (ok, “engaged in a conspiracy with any foreign power” of manipulating the election. When people repeat discredit claims, they discredit themselves. Pardon my bluntness.

      1. Mueller said that they weren’t able to prove a conspiracy, not that Trump exoneration you seem to imply. That’s a huge difference. Mueller went on to say that there were a lot of highly suspect activities involving the Trump campaign and Russians. Just the sheer number of times the Trump campaign met with Russians should give us pause. The gun wasn’t just smoking but had completely exploded. Unfortunately, Mueller couldn’t find the bullet. Then there’s all Trump’s henchmen that have actually been convicted of crimes. Need I go on?

        1. And let us not forget that Mueller essentially punted to the Congress to do something….like impeachment. They did not have the backing of their own party (Pelosi) to do that so what do you know. Along came Trump again attempting to get what he wanted from poor Ukraine. Then finally, Pelosi had enough of Trump.

      2. Mueller stated clearly that he found no evidence of any American colluding (ok, “engaged in a conspiracy with any foreign power” of manipulating the election.

        Wrong again. Mueller clearly stated no such thing. Mueller’s testimony: “We did not address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.”

      3. Oh gawd, if Obama did any of this sh**, you would be marching in the streets to remove. Birth Certificate anyone. What a joke.

      4. “Mueller stated clearly that he found no evidence of any American colluding (ok, “engaged in a conspiracy with any foreign power” of manipulating the election.”

        No he didn’t. As with nearly all of your standard talking point claims this one is completely wrong, but more subtly so than direct “in your face”. As if crafted to deceive.

        I of course couldn’t say whether you are a knowing participant in these lies or merely a tool. But you are the one that is walking among the delusion. I wish you and those walking with you would shake it off. Your nation needs you to.

        1. Darrelle, Suit yourself. Here are others that are “walking with me in delusion” as you put it:

          American Bar Association: The special counsel found that Russia did interfere with the election, but “did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple efforts from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”

          Right-wing organ, the New York Times: “Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy, but Stops Short of Exonerating President on Obstruction”

          Both are entirely consistent with my understanding (in fact, my understanding was shaped by reporting such as this) But you do you.

          1. We have Mueller’s exact words on this issue, so no 3rd party interpretation is going to rationalize your misinformation.

            1. And the entire Muller investigation is still under wraps. No one except Mueller’s team and cover-up extraordinaire AG Barr has seen the unredacted version.

              1. So., Mark, above says we have Mueller’s exact words implying that Mueller found collusion and you tell us we don’t know what Mueller said, therefore, “collusion”. Maybe you guys should have a chat first, then come back to me.

            2. Yes, your right. Both the NYTimes and the ABA, known water-carriers for Trump are clearly misrepresenting Mueller’s words. The ABA’s quote quotes Mueller’s language. Sorry man.

          2. Interesting. That quote from the article you reference isn’t a direct quote from the Mueller Report. It isn’t even a direct quote from Barr’s 4 page letter summarizing the MR. The subtle difference? Changing the word “find” with “establish.” Why is that a point, in fact the point? Because it is a form of lying. It is a common tactic to change what the facts are with the goal of deceiving the public. Note that Mueller himself, a life long Republican, complained about precisely this false narrative you are helping to propagate.

            Though I’m sure it will do no good, perhaps you might read through this.

            Guide to the Mueller Report’s Findings on “Collusion”

          3. continued . . .

            Of note regarding claims like “no evidence,” which, by the way, I notice you already walked back.

            “I. Summary of Major Findings

            The redacted Mueller Report documents a series of activities that show strong evidence of collusion. Or, more precisely, it provides significant evidence that Trump Campaign associates coordinated with, cooperated with, encouraged, or gave support to the Russia/WikiLeaks election interference activities. The Report documents the following actions (each of which is analyzed in detail in Part II):

            1. Trump was receptive to a Campaign national security adviser’s (George Papadopoulos) pursuit of a back channel to Putin.

            2. Kremlin operatives provided the Campaign a preview of the Russian plan to distribute stolen emails.

            3. The Trump Campaign chairman and deputy chairman (Paul Manafort and Rick Gates) knowingly shared internal polling data and information on battleground states with a Russian spy; and the Campaign chairman worked with the Russian spy on a pro-Russia “peace” plan for Ukraine.

            4. The Trump Campaign chairman periodically shared internal polling data with the Russian spy with the expectation it would be shared with Putin-linked oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.

            5. Trump Campaign chairman Manafort expected Trump’s winning the presidency would mean Deripaska would want to use Manafort to advance Deripaska’s interests in the United States and elsewhere.

            6. Trump Tower meeting: (1) On receiving an email offering derogatory information on Clinton coming from a Russian government official, Donald Trump Jr. “appears to have accepted that offer;” (2) members of the Campaign discussed the Trump Tower meeting beforehand; (3) Donald Trump Jr. told the Russians during the meeting that Trump could revisit the issue of the Magnitsky Act if elected.

            7. A Trump Campaign official told the Special Counsel he “felt obliged to object” to a GOP Platform change on Ukraine because it contradicted Trump’s wishes; however, the investigation did not establish that Gordon was directed by Trump.

            8. Russian military hackers may have followed Trump’s July 27, 2016 public statement “Russia if you’re listening …” within hours by targeting Clinton’s personal office for the first time.

            9. Trump requested campaign affiliates to get Clinton’s emails, which resulted in an individual apparently acting in coordination with the Campaign claiming to have successfully contacted Russian hackers.

            10. The Trump Campaign—and Trump personally—appeared to have advanced knowledge of future WikiLeaks releases.

          4. continued . . .

            “11. The Trump Campaign coordinated campaign-related public communications based on future WikiLeaks releases.

            12. Michael Cohen, on behalf of the Trump Organization, brokered a secret deal for a Trump Tower Moscow project directly involving Putin’s inner circle, at least until June 2016.

            13. During the presidential transition, Jared Kushner and Eric Prince engaged in secret back channel communications with Russian agents. (1) Kushner suggested to the Russian Ambassador that they use a secure communication line from within the Russian Embassy to speak with Russian Generals; and (2) Prince and Kushner’s friend Rick Gerson conducted secret back channel meetings with a Putin agent to develop a plan for U.S.-Russian relations.

            14. During the presidential transition, in coordination with other members of the Transition Team, Michael Flynn spoke with the Russian Ambassador to prevent a tit for tat Russian response to the Obama administration’s imposition of sanctions for election interference; the Russians agreed not to retaliate saying they wanted a good relationship with the incoming administration.”

            And this of course is also directly to the point.

            “First, as the Report states, “several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office,” and “those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.””

            Also, note the section that describes that, and how, Mueller clearly distinguishes throughout the report when there was evidence, absence of evidence and evidence of absence, and the differences between having a fuck-ton of evidence and having what is necessary to prosecute people for a crime. Oh, and that brings to mind, do note that many of the people looked at in this investigation have been convicted of crimes.

            1. For clarification purposes, darrelle, would that be a metric fuck-ton of evidence or a fuck-ton avoirdupois?

              1. 🙂 Forget Trump. You, Ken, have the best words! Made me look up another one.

                Being a barbaric USian that would be a fuck-ton avoirdupois.

            2. darrelle objects to the use of non-Mueller quotes, before providing two pages of non-Mueller quotes.

              More to the substance: If you would like to post Mueller’s words to the effect that he found evidence of collusion or conspiracy, I’ll cheerfully concede. You may be conflating the contacts that Mueller investigated before coming to his conclusion of exoneration with findings of conspiracy that some people wish Mueller had found but didn’t. Unfortunately, they aren’t the same thing.

              While this will do no good, consider that Mueller said, explicitly, that he could not exonerate (or prosecute) Trump for obstruction, yet he made no such caveat for conspiracy. Here, the exoneration conclusion could be reached without ambiguity. Ken will be so disappointed.

              1. But of course. Instead of actually following the link I provided and reading the analysis of the Mueller Report, with all of the extensive quotations and excerpts from the actual Mueller Report, and following all the sources referenced there, including all of the ones to the actual Mueller Report, you continue to spin and propagate falsehoods.

                You are helping to turn the US into a banana republic. Please stop. Where is your patriotism?

  24. One of my senators is Marsha Blackburn. She has been clear from the beginning that she will support Trump no matter what, and is not interested in evidence. And that describes the Republican stance in the Senate. They don’t care, and nothing will sway them.

    Facebook meme going around: Trump could shoot a Senator and the Senate would still acquit him 53-47. Unless he shot a Republican, then the vote would be 52-47.

  25. I think that IF witnesses are called, there is a good chance the he’ll be removed or at lease come close.

    I recall hearing in the news that public opinion shifted dramatically in the Nixon case, before and after impeachment was started.

    At the very least, public first-hand accounts of Trump’s crimes may sway moderate republicans and independents to abandon him in November.

    1. Exactly! Nixon’s ratings were high even after the impeachment proceedings started. Then, the ratings dropped fast once Nixon’t guilt was obvious.

  26. Senator Schumer says that Bolton is not going to testify. Indeed, he doesn’t want Bolton to testing (if that makes Biden a witness). Given that the Democrats don’t want Bolton/Biden as witnesses, the chance of any witnesses at this point is low.

  27. In my opinion, the Democrats have never been serious about this. If they were, they would never allowed Schiff to lead the effort (to impeach Trump). Schiff burned his credibility with his Russiagate obsession.

    He should have resigned when Russiagate fell apart. At very least, he should have avoided future high profile undertakings.

    Like I said, the Democrats aren’t serious.

    1. Agreed. Schiff’s hackery is so egregious that only highly partisan Dems will accept his comments. (Republicans have several officers of their own that play similar roles.) I agree with you that the Dems always knew they didn’t have 67 Senators. I suppose the idea is to sow enough doubt for long enough to gain an electoral advantage. It is starting to feel like Kavanaugh again: calls for more investigation, play games with timing of the process, suspiciously timed “bombshell” leaks, keep it in the news as long as possible, damage the target. Politics ain’t beanball.

      1. Schiff’s hackery is so egregious that only highly partisan Dems will accept his comments.

        Wrong again. Many conservatives (Jennifer Rubin, Joe Scarborough, Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, etc.) have been singing Adam Schiff’s praises. Most of the country is in support of impeachment.

  28. Like virtually everyone here and elsewhere, I don’t see the Republicans throwing Trump out of office. We may not even get any more witnesses. Still, all this may lead to the best outcome we can hope for given the circumstances.

    If Trump was thrown out of office, he and his supporters would never endingly claim that it overturned the results of the 2016 election, unfairly prevented his 2020 reelection, and that it is all so unfair.

    On the other hand, even if the GOP Senators deny witnesses, they won’t stop Bolton’s book and his inevitable interview tour. All but the most die-hard MAGAs will know that the Senate staged a successful cover up and that Trump was guilty as hell. No way does Trump get his exoneration that he so desires. The evidence that the Senate refused to pursue will trickle out between now and November and beyond.

    1. “All but the most die-hard MAGAs…”

      Yes, but “the most die-hard MAGAs” IS almost all of them. Yes, I’m cynical, but hard for me to imagine anyone who ever donned one of those idiot chapeaux being swayed by anything as unimportant as facts.

  29. I wouldn’t say Trump is in real trouble as he will be “acquitted” no matter what evidence is presented. But the Republican Senators are in real trouble – they either have to fight like hell to suppress Bolton’s testimony or vote to acquit in light of Bolton’s testimony.

    Thank god Nancy Pelosi held up the proceedings for a couple weeks – if she hadn’t this would be over and done by now.

    1. The evidence that would be most compelling is being obstructed by the “president”. Why is this so hard for people to “get”? Someone who is innocent would not…repeat…would not obstruct to this extent. Only a guilty person acts like Trump. You know, human nature and all.

  30. I think it’s possible but not likely. They’ll be watching the polls at home if they are up for reelection in 2020, and possibly also if they are up for reelection in 2022. The threat of being primaried would be an empty threat if a Trump toady would be unpopular.

    And of course, saving their own congressional power is more important to them than saving the integrity of the 2020 election, especially if the cheating helps them.

  31. “Profiles in Courage,” congressional Republicans ain’t. (As JFK himself noted, there’s a reason his book was one thin volume.)

    As it stands, with Mitch McTurtle leaning on his craven caucus, senate Republicans are unlikely to muster the four votes needed to subpoena witnesses, let alone the twenty it would take to remove Trump from office.

    But there is a simple, straightforward calculus to how this fiasco will end: the one thing — indeed, the only thing — Mitch McConnell really cares about is remaining senate majority leader. He has absolutely no desire to lead the senate’s minority party and thereby to taste the lash he’s wielded so ruthlessly for the last four years.

    All things being equal, McConnell would like to have a Republican president so he can continue to ram reactionary judges onto the federal bench. But he knows Donald Trump is less than even money to be reelected. Should McConnell ever take a notion that opposing Trump’s impeachment will cost Republicans their senate majority — and, thus, cost McConnell his power to obstruct the legislative agenda of Trump’s Democratic successor — Mitch McConnell will gut Donald Trump on the Capitol steps and dance in his blood.

    That is the sole route to Trump’s conviction by the senate.

    1. “Should McConnell ever take a notion that opposing Trump’s impeachment will cost Republicans their senate majority — and, thus, cost McConnell his power to obstruct the legislative agenda of Trump’s Democratic successor…”

      And this is precisely why I, a libertarian in California, have been sending money to Amy McGrath AND to Mark Kelly.

    2. I don’t comment very often here and not anywhere else but nothing really makes me madder than people distorting a person’s name to score cheap points.It’s what Trump does on a daily basis.You should at least try to be a better person than him.

      1. Fair enough. No more mocking names for the senior senator from KY from me, unscrupulous and chelonian though he may be.

      2. “…but nothing really makes me madder than people distorting a person’s name to score cheap points.”

        Sorry, I feel your pain, but Der Drumpf has, to me, been His Orange Shitheadedness, and the Mango Mussolini, and worse, since BEFORE the ’16 election. Not planning on mending my ways any time soon.

    3. I completely agree and have said so many times in the past few months. Mitch McConnell is the most powerful person in the US and has been for at least as long as Trump became POTUS. When it comes down to it Trump and the damage he has caused / is causing is all on Mitch McConnell.

  32. Lost faith in the whole process. From the start, Moscow Mitch McConnell said, “I’m not an impartial juror.” Why the hell is allowed to take the impartiality oath ‘so help his god’. Another useless thing god does. Since it doesn’t exist, they can swear to him or at him all they want.

  33. If Mitt Romney is only wavering, given the overwhelming evidence already on display, it doesn’t say much for Mormonism, does it. He’s a bishop in the church, for Christ’s sake!

  34. There might be a small chance witnesses (Mr Bolton) will be heard. Chances are even smaller that the Senate might be swayed by their testimony.
    Only by two (both highly unlikely) ways Mr Trump will be removed;
    – Public opinion in states with Republican Senators turns against Mr Trump.
    – A secret vote about removal is held in the Senate. (Here too a simple majority would suffice for a secret vote, if I’m not mistaken). A secret vote would avoid risking a Senator’s head ending ‘on a pike’.

      1. Secret ballots/votes would terrify me. In this one case it might work in my (anti-Trump) favor, but in general – terrifying not know who’s doing what.

        (But it would be funny if the Senate did secretly vote to convict/remove Trump – and all the GOP senators said “I didn’t vote to convict! It was Ted Cruz! Ted Cruz voted to convict! Kill him! Kill Ted Cruz!”)

  35. The Democrats need four Republican defectors to allow Bolton to testify

    The interesting thing will be if only 3 Republicans vote to have Bolton testify. I believe John Roberts, not Pence, will be the tie breaker.

    Could John Roberts possibly vote to not hear an extremely material witness?

  36. When Nixon was at risk of impeachment, he would have been convicted by his own party because the norm back then was to retain the dignity of the party.

    These days all of that is gone, for both parties. Trump could shoot someone in Times Square and still not be convicted. That’s where we are.

  37. The day before Nixon resigned, Representative Earl Landgrebe of Indiana said: “Don’t confuse me with facts; my mind is made up … I’ll stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.”

    He was one of the remaining few Republicans at that point–today that’s the majority of the Republican party.

    1. “today that’s the majority of the Republican party” Majority? It’s worse than that. Possibly all. So far, none have broken from the pack, except that guy from Michigan – who left the party.

      1. Justin Amash (Trump thinks that means he dresses funny and drives a horse’n’buggy) — the only congresscritter so far who’s in the running for a “Profile in Courage” award (although Mitt Romney might be bucking for an honorable mention — as are the Democratic representatives elected in 2018 from districts that Trump won in 2016, but who nevertheless voted to impeach).

        1. Mitt is pretty good at making nice noises that then fall silent. Maybe he’s being harassed to do the right thing by some introspective Mormons. But, in the end, he’ll do whatever Mitch says.

  38. Republicans missed every chance (and there were many) to get off the bullet train to hell that is trying to defend the indefensible Donald Trump.

    They will not change course now. They’re doomed whether they do the right thing or the wrong thing so why break the streak of consistently doing the wrong thing? If they’re gonna go down they’re going down pissing in the faces of every American.

  39. Me: Australian resident Hong Kong; would have voted for Hillary.
    (a). I lean to the “So What?” defence. Quid pro quos are a normal part of daily politics and foreign affairs. Joe Biden boasted of his Ukrainian QPQ. Trump sought QPQ from Zelensky. So what? Because…
    (b). Trump can plausibly claim the QPQ was for info on corruption related to the 2016 election, even if he almost certainly also had its usefulness for 2020 in mind. There was prima facie case for investigation into the Bidens. Because …
    (c). Democrats’ claim that Hunter/Joe Ukraine corruption is “debunked”is itself a bit rich. Even the NYT says “A subsequent prosecutor cleared Mr.Zlochevsky.”* The subsequent prosecutor was appointed only after the previous one was fired, under the threat from Joe to hold up $1 Billion in aid. Zlochevsky was the boss of Burisma. He was widely considered deeply corrupt. Yet he was cleared by the prosecutor appointed on Biden’s initiative. Biden’s son, Hunter, was on the board of Burisma. And to all of this we are supposed to believe “nothing to see here folks”?
    (d). A removal of Trump would be hugely damaging to America.
    (e). The bar to impeachment has been lowered and will be used every time the party in the House is different from the party in the WH. This cannot be a good thing.
    And I almost forgot: the above is why Bolton’s leaked book “revelations” are irrelevant.
    All in all, as a not-Trump-loving outside observer, I reckon that his removal would be both wrong and dangerous.
    Lucky it won’t happen.


    1. (d). A removal of Trump would be hugely damaging to America.

      No it wouldn’t. Trump fans would whine and complain and make threats, but we’ve been through this before with Nixon.

      1. Yeah, I don’t get this take. Why would it be hugely damaging? It would actually show that the American system was working.

        1. Remember, Trump bluffs and folds with regularity. Lots of talk without action. Lots of big talk, unfulfilled. His fans tend to mimic his style.

    1. Bolton will be a hugely credible witness since his testimony will undoubtedly fit like a huge jigsaw puzzle piece with all the rest of the House impeachment testimony. Perhaps not “credible” to Republican Senators but they have their hands over their ears.

      1. I think he meant that Bolton will not be a credible witness to those who don’t think credible witnesses can exist. Trump says there are no credible witnesses, therefore… Simple, really.

        1. No, I meant he is a disgruntled ex-employee with an ax to grind and a book to sell.
          You are not really saying you have any respect for Bolton are you. He is a neocon with the most dangerous ideas and policies in Washington.

          1. Trumplets can’t help but constantly remind us about what a bad, bad man that John Bolton was based on beliefs that he’s held for his entire public life.


            I think even the stupidest Trumpies stopped saying “he only hires the best people” about 20 or 30 firings ago.

          1. Not sure what “soeskung” is, OG, but it sounds kinda kinky.

            Your keyboard seems to be channeling Chaucerian English again. 🙂

  40. Ah, it’s so fun to watch the democrats panicing so badly that they’ve actually Kavanaughed the Senate impeachment trial with nonsense from an unpublished book written by a disgruntled ex-White House employee leaked by the NSC of all people. Perhaps they could also get Blasey-Ford to make a statement. Be just as relevant. The democrats just need to admit that they botched the whole sick, sad and sorry impeachment deal and give it up. But they won’t. They’ll just march to their doom this November like the good lemmings they are.

    1. I’ll put this comment up to show what a mushbrain you are. In fact, there’s lots of evidence of what Trump did beyond Bolton, but the damn Republicans won’t let it in. It is YOUR side that is behaving reprehensibly, and you are reprehensible for approving that behavior.


      1. I think that’s a symptom of how power intoxicates – when your team’s #1 objective is to gain power, and then has the power, anything can and will make sense to the team, because after all – what difference does it make – they have the power, the other team doesn’t.

      2. BTW I reply to the latest comment instead of the penultimate comment because there are more steps involved, if read in email. Shameful I know – and confusing because the intended recipient seems to be someone else.

    2. The Democrats “just need to admit that they botched the whole sick, sad and sorry impeachment deal.”

      They pulled it off beautifully. Now it up to the Senate to uphold their oath of office or just show up to posture on TV to win approval of their real boss.

      PS- you know that lemmings don’t really dive off cliffs to their doom, right? This is only folklore elevated by Disney to “prove” something without caring if it was correct or not.

    3. John Bolton is a lifelong conservative Republican, a former UN ambassador, a former Fox News analyst, and was Trump’s personal choice to be his National Security Advisor for 17 months. He was THERE when the shit went down (and most GOP senators have known and trusted him much longer than they have Donald Trump).

      Doesn’t seem you paid much attention to the testimony during the House impeachment inquiry. Had you, you’d’ve heard several witnesses testify to John Bolton’s frequent contemporaneous — viz., made long before he was fired and disgruntled and had a motive to fabricate — statements describing the Ukraine-aid/Biden-investigation quid pro quo as akin to a “drug deal,” and calling Rudy Giuliani’s private foreign-policy frolic with his Ukraine Clown Posse a “hand grenade” that would blow up in Donald Trump’s face.

      Bolton is also a notoriously meticulous note-taker, so it’s safe to assume that there will be his contemporaneous notes and many other documents corroborating his version of events.

  41. The chance that 4 Republicans will vote for witnesses is far less than 1%. It will not happen, as their concern is being primaried or vilified by Trump followers.

  42. Hopefully, the obvious Republican cover-up in the Senate “trial” will turn enough voters to soundly defeat them in 2020. Unfortunately given the 2016 election, I realize that I don’t have a good understanding of American voters and that rational consideration is unimportant to many people.

    1. To understand American voters you have to realize that the country is about evenly split between conservatives and liberals and they hate each other. Republicans and libertarians, both conservative, received a majority of the votes in 2016.
      2020 is going to be another split vote. You can understand the voters by reading a lot of history going back to Jamestown and the Puritans. I had ancestors that were in both places. It is a long story.

      1. One needn’t go all the way back to Jamestown and Plymouth Rock to understand today’s GOP.

        A better starting place is passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was shortly thereafter, with Richard Nixon’s embrace of his “Southern Strategy,” that the GOP opened its arms to racists disaffected from the Democratic Party. Since then it has successively cleaved to its bosom Evangelicals, Tea Partiers, white-nationalists, and “Birthers.”

        This is no longer your father’s big-tent Republican Party that could contain within its ranks both a William F. Buckley, Jr., and a Nelson Rockefeller, both a Barry Goldwater and a Margaret Chase Smith. It is now a Party that appeals primarily to older, disgruntled, more-rural white voters (most of them males) — and ever-shrinking demographic within our American polity.

        1. Unless it makes a course correction (as was suggested in the “autopsy” commissioned by Party elders after Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential loss), the Republican Party is moribund, doomed to take its place with other American political parties that have failed to adapt and resultantly perished, like the Wigs and the Know-Nothings.

          Trumpism may prove to be the GOP’s death rattle.

          1. I’d worry more about the woke/SJW/language police identitarians tearing the Dem party away from its traditional working class base.

          1. They automatically qualify for appointment to the GOP platform committee. 🙂

            Along with anyone willing to separate families at the border and toss the kids into cages. Somebody gotta do the “wet work.”

      2. Republicans and libertarians, both conservative, received a majority of the votes in 2016.

        You’re failing at some pretty simple math there, OG.

        1. “You’re failing at some pretty simple math there, OG.”

          Actually, he’s not…necessarily…see

          Add the votes for Johnson to those for Trump, and the “conservatives” beat Hillary, but if you add Stein’s “liberal” votes to Hillary’s, “the liberals” win.

          I suspect that McMullin and Castle would be considered “conservative,” so back goes the pendulum. The others’ votes were so minimal so as not to matter.

          But OG’s real mistake was calling libertarians “conservative.” I know that this is not an uncommon fantasy among liberals (just like the conservatives accuse the libertarians of being liberals), but speaking as one of the resident libertarians, I call bullshit.

      3. Republicans and libertarians, both conservative, received a majority of the votes in 2016.

        I apologize for my previous comment “you’re failing at some pretty basic math”.

        As Brujo Feo pointed out, your math was correct, mine was wrong.

        I stand correct.

  43. Even if Bolton doesn’t testify in the Senate (unlikely) his book appears to be politically damning to trump and other top officials. Alas, as mcconnell and the Republicans have demonstrated incessantly for many years, all they care about is unmitigated power, obstructing positive government action, protecting their tribe, and they have no qualms about lying and demonizing the opposition. A conviction in the Senate would be so miraculous I might reconsider my atheism.

  44. For those who couldn’t follow the Trump defense team’s arguments in the Senate yesterday (who could?), The Nation has it covered in detail

    This summary wraps it all up.

    “Ken Starr argued that impeachment is no longer a constitutional provision that should be applied to a president. Michael Purpura argued that nobody ever heard Trump order a quid pro quo. Jane Raskin argued that Rudy Giuliani was a distraction, but also a great guy who did nothing wrong. Patrick Philbin argued that presidents never have to comply with congressional subpoenas they don’t like. Pam Bondi argued that corruption is rampant in Ukraine because of Joe and Hunter Biden. Eric Herschman argued that… well, he held a MAGA rally from the well of the Senate and argued that President Barack Obama should be impeached. Robert Ray argued that presidents cannot be prosecuted. And finally, Alan Dershowtiz argued that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, while self-owning the fact that essentially no credible legal scholars agree with him.”

    And as one pundit commented, “Trump’s lawyers presented their case for impeaching Hunter Biden yesterday.”

    1. If today they start talking about FISA warrants and the Hillary Clinton Bought And Paid For Phony Russian Collusion Dossier then I will be certain that Trump’s chief legal advisor is Sean Hannity.

      1. “If today they start talking about FISA warrants…”

        I only tuned in for a few minutes. Jay Sekulow was talking about… FISA warrants.

  45. We need to hear from the witness and documents that the Trump Administration have been holding what are they trying to hide

  46. If there is probable cause to suspect a specific crime where the returns are appropriate, then have it. Until then, privacy is the legal and American way.

    Wrong again. The statute is quite clear:

    Upon written request by the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish him with any return or return information specified in such request.

    Section f:

    1. It appears you are correct. If that is the law, doesn’t it seem to you to violate the spirit of the Fourth Amendment? This seems easy to abuse for partisan purposes, like an open invitation for political fishing expeditions. We’ll see what the next court decides, but so far, you have a fair point.

  47. I will be shocked if he is removed from office, but I think this obvious cover up and dereliction of duty will *really* hurt the Republicans. I’ll be surprised if they don’t lose the Senate. Trump won’t have a good time if he’s reelected with a House and Senate Democrat majority. How long before he’d get impeached and removed at that point? We really need McConnell gone as well.

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