Monday Evening Open Thread: Like He’ll Have A Choice…

President Donald Trump, facing calls for impeachment from some Democrats, sought on Monday to draw a contrast between himself and former President Richard Nixon, who resigned in 1974 before lawmakers could remove him from office….

Trump’s comments came the same day John Dean, the former White House counsel to Nixon, testified before the House Judiciary Committee and drew comparisons between the president and his former boss. Following the testimony, Trump said “John Dean’s been a loser for many years.”

Some Democrats are pushing for impeachment proceedings linked to former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the president obstructed justice…

His foreign paymasters remove their support, and within 24 hours the Squatter-in-Chief (plus whichever members of his family he chooses to share the news with — tough luck, Eric! Too bad, Melania!) will be hiding in a country with no extradiction treaty. Doubt the Bush clan will let him into their Paraguay holdings, though…








Russiagate Open Thread: One Step At A Time…

Note carefully, he’s not disagreeing with Pelosi — this is the next step in the essential choreography to block off every Repub bolthole:

Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, who as recently as last month cautioned Democrats about the perils of pursuing President Trump’s impeachment, now says the House should open an impeachment inquiry that might or might not lead to a formal effort to remove him from office.

“It’s not the right thing to do nothing,” Reid said in an interview Monday with USA TODAY. “It’s not the right thing to jump into impeachment without doing an inquiry.”

The most important goal, he said, would be to “give the American people a view of what’s going on.”

The House could establish an impeachment panel to investigate the allegations that some say amount to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary under the Constitution to remove a president from office. But such a panel wouldn’t necessarily vote to impeach Trump — that is, to approve Articles of Impeachment that would send the process to the Senate for a trial….

Reid’s comments are also notable because he had what he called “a front-row seat” at the nation’s last impeachment trial, when Reid was Senate minority leader. Then, the Republican-controlled House voted to impeach Clinton, but the Senate didn’t convict him in the trial that followed.

That impeachment effort rebounded politically against GOP candidates in the 1998 midterm elections.

Reid acknowledged the potential political blowback and the likelihood that the current GOP-controlled Senate would never vote to remove Trump from office…

In the end, he said, “I just think that Republicans are going arm-in-arm with Trump, right over the cliff.” But he said public opinion might be affected by a systematic effort to explore allegations that Trump tried to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation and engaged in other wrongdoing….








Wednesday Morning Open Thread: The Long Game

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Karen Tumulty, in the Washington Post:

There is something about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that allows her to unnerve President Trump as seemingly no one else can.

“I pray for the president of the United States,” she said on Thursday. “I wish that his family or his administration or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country. Maybe he wants to take a leave of absence.”

The proof that she had hit the giant bull’s eye of Trump’s insecurities was his response: “I am an extremely stable genius.”

Exchanging insults with Trump is not an endeavor that is normally productive, as many others who tried it have found. But Pelosi is a dangerous foil for a president who operates on impulse and outburst. While Trump succeeds in making everyone else around him dizzy, Pelosi’s unique talent is an ability to keep her focus on the endgame.

Her current goal is to assure that the president vacates the Oval Office, as swiftly and as surely as possible.

That means Pelosi must do two things at once: Keep Trump off balance, and restrain those within her Democratic caucus who are urging a precipitous drive toward impeachment.

Pelosi knows that unless and until there is overwhelming, bipartisan support for such an effort, it will end with Trump’s acquittal in the Senate. And that would only help him win another four years in office. “He wants to be impeached so he can be exonerated by the Senate,” she told top Democrats in a private meeting. “His actions are villainous to the Constitution of the United States.”

The speaker argues for another course: Continuing congressional oversight and relying on the courts to provide air cover as six different House committees seek documents and testimony from a stonewalling administration. While not as gratifying to those who are eager to begin impeachment proceedings, and who argue that anything less is a dereliction of Congress’s duty to hold Trump accountable, it is the more likely path to defeating him in 2020…


Read more








Open Thread: Good for Senator Harris

Jen Rubin, in the Washington Post:

Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) asked clipped, insightful and fact-based questions. She left Barr stammering and got him to concede that he had not looked at the underlying evidence before giving his own prosecutorial opinion on obstruction of justice. Even worse, he fumbled around when asked if the president or anyone else at the White House had asked or suggested he investigate someone…

It was the highlight of the hearing for Democrats, and her performance is not likely to be lost on Democratic primary voters. To the extent that they are looking for someone to take down President Trump, the veteran prosecutor offers Democrats someone entirely capable of slicing and dicing a Republican who refuses to acknowledge easily established facts.

One can argue that prosecutorial skills are not generally what we look for in presidential candidates. However, in the case of Trump, Democrats, frustrated with years of dissembling and incoherent assertions, would dearly love to see someone reduce him to a stuttering, defensive figure — just like Barr.

After the hearing, Harris told reporters, “This attorney general lacks all credibility and has, I think, compromised the American public’s ability to believe that he is a purveyor of justice.” Should he resign? Yes, she said simply, before departing. More Democrats and outside legal experts are echoing her opinion, in part because she so effectively revealed Barr to be acting as a ham-handed defense attorney rather than the attorney general…








Thursday Morning Open Thread: Tick… Tick… Tick

(Drew Sheneman via GoComics.com)
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