Posted on

Gregg Jarrett: McConnell should go ahead with impeachment trial in Senate without Pelosi

 

“The framers never envisioned a stunt pulled by a speaker of the House like Nancy Pelosi holding onto articles of impeachment. Two decades ago it was sent over immediately, within minutes. There was a vote to convey and transmit it,” Gregg Jarrett said on “Hannity” on Friday. “The Constitution is actually silent about that. It doesn’t say that the Senate has to wait until it’s transmitted. It’s simply a Senate rule.”

“Mitch McConnell shouldn’t be subjecting himself to the extortion of Nancy Pelosi,” Gregg Jarrett continued. “He can, beginning in January, simply alter the rule or eliminate it entirely and set a date for an impeachment trial.”

“Mitch McConnell can say, ‘Well, if you’re not going to send them over, I don’t care. We’re not we’re not going to deal with it,’” Jarrett said. “Nancy Pelosi, though, could then use it as a cudgel to hit Trump over the head at every turn — add things to it.”

“Simply change the rule, hold a trial, do it. Do it on your own terms,” Jarrett advised McConnell.


More:

Posted on

Joe Biden explains why he’d defy a Senate impeachment trial subpoena

Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview on Friday that if he were subpoenaed to testify in President Donald Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial, he would defy the order.

His comments, made to the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, marked the second time this month that he’s said that he’d ignore such a congressional order. Both times he said he’d do so because he believes his testimony would serve as a distraction from the purpose of the impeachment trial.

“You guys, instead of focusing on him, you’re going to cover for three weeks anything I said. And he’s going to get away,” Biden told the Register.

Republicans have indicated that they plan to defend the president at the trial by redirecting focus on Biden, by pushing unfounded claims about the vice president’s son Hunter Biden, and by promoting conspiracy theories about Ukraine meddling in the US’ 2016 election.

“Look, the grounds for them to call me would be overwhelmingly specious. But so I don’t anticipate that happening anyway. But what it would do — if I went, let’s say I voluntarily, just said let me go make my case, what are you going to cover?” Biden said in the interview.

Biden went on to argue that a subpoena would be “designed to deal with Trump doing what he’s done his whole life — trying to take the focus off him.”

Saturday, Biden clarified his comments on Twitter, explaining why he believes his flouting a congressional subpoena would be different from the obstruction the president was charged with in his articles of impeachment — a charge brought for blocking testimony and ignoring House subpoenas.

“I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests,” Biden wrote. “But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial. … This impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine.”

Later in the day in Iowa, Biden further clarified his Friday statement — and his tweets — by suggesting that he may actually be open to complying with a subpoena, saying, “I would in fact abide by whatever was legally required of me, I always have.”

When asked, however, by the New York Times’ Thomas Kaplan if he would challenge a subpoena in court, Biden said, “Let’s cross that bridge when it comes.”

Nevertheless, the former vice president maintained that his appearance at the Senate trial would be a useless distraction from the question of Trump’s removal: “I have no firsthand knowledge,” Biden said. “There’d be no basis to call me as a witness to an event that, in fact, I cannot have any impact on.”

Even if Biden isn’t subpoenaed, he’ll have to face GOP attacks during the Senate trial

At the moment, subpoenaing Biden doesn’t appear especially likely during the Senate trial, which is expected to take place in January. While some Republicans — like Sen. Ted Cruz — have argued witnesses like Biden should be called if Trump wants them to be, Republican leaders have generally indicated that they’re not interested in calling witnesses, and that their strategy is to move speedily toward a vote on acquittal.

However, that strategy could be subject to change. The question of witnesses has not yet been settled, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled some willingness to entertain the idea during a Fox News appearance last week, in which he said, “We haven’t ruled out witnesses.”

Democrats would like to call at least four witnesses, all of whom were called before the House during the impeachment inquiry and refused to testify.

Should Biden be subpoenaed, he would not be the first Trump impeachment witness to ignore such a document. Former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman filed a lawsuit asking a judge to rule whether he needed to submit to a House subpoena in October. And in a Mueller report-related case, the question of former White House counsel Don McGahn’s refusal to testify is working its way through the judicial system.

Democrats have complained about the hesitation current and former Trump administration officials have shown in testifying before Congress, and Republicans would likely do the same should Biden be summoned and refuse to show. As Vox’s Ella Nilsen has explained, Congress has two methods by which it may try to enforce a subpoena: fines and jail time. The House did not use either to compel testimony in its impeachment inquiry, but should Republicans call witnesses in the Senate, lawmakers in the upper chamber may not show similar restraint.

Overall, questions over whether Biden might be called — and his response to these questions — underscore a unique vulnerability Biden has to attacks from Trump and the GOP in his bid for the White House.

Right-wing claims that back during the Obama years Biden attempted to protect his son’s lucrative board position at a Ukrainian energy company by pushing for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor are not backed by evidence. But that fact has not stopped the president and his allies from continuously claiming Biden misused the power of his office, forcing him to defend himself time and again, and — as Biden himself suggested — moving the focus of Trump’s impeachment away from the president and onto the former vice president.

These attacks are not likely to stop, meaning whether Biden is subpoenaed or not, he will feature heavily in the Senate trial. And should he win the Democratic presidential nomination, they are sure to intensify.

Posted on

Joe Biden Says No ‘Legal Basis’ Exists for the Senate to Seek His Testimony

IOWA CITY — Joseph R. Biden Jr., elaborating on his remarks a day earlier that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate, wrote on Twitter on Saturday that there would not be “any legal basis” for such a subpoena.

Mr. Biden wrote that over the course of his decades-long political career, he had “always complied with a lawful order,” and in his two terms as vice president, his office “cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”

In the first of three tweets on the subject on Saturday morning, Mr. Biden wrote that he wanted to “clarify” comments he made on Friday, when he met with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register, whose endorsement in the Iowa caucuses is highly sought after by presidential candidates.

Mr. Biden was asked by The Register whether he stood by previous comments that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in the impeachment trial. He said he did, and explained that complying with a subpoena and testifying would effectively allow Mr. Trump to shift attention onto Mr. Biden and away from the president’s own conduct.

Posted on

Biden clarifies previous statements about not testifying in Senate impeachment trial

Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says he would not comply with a Senate subpoena in Trump’s impeachment trial Poll: Most Democrats prize shared values over electability Progressive activist Zephyr Teachout endorses Bernie Sanders MORE on Saturday clarified a prior statement that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena in President TrumpDonald John TrumpLA Times editorial board torches Trump on climate Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices MORE‘s impeachment trial, saying that the matter concerns “Trump’s conduct, not mine.”

“I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceSunday shows – Impeachment stalemate dominates Pence chief of staff says Trump was impeached ‘because he’s winning in so many ways’ Pence chief of staff says he’s ‘confident’ Pelosi will yield on articles of impeachment MORE — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests,” the former vice president said on Twitter. 

“But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial,” he continued. “That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine.”

 

“The reason I wouldn’t is because it’s all designed to deal with Trump doing what he’s done his whole life, trying to take the focus off him,” he told the paper. 

 

Trump was impeached after a July 25 phone call in which he asked Ukraine’s president to look into unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against Biden and his son. 

 

Some of the president’s allies have floated the idea of subpoenaing the former vice president, who has denied wrongdoing, according to the Des Moines Register.

 

Trump last month asserted that the Bidens should testify in the House’s impeachment inquiry.

 

The House voted late last month to impeach Trump, charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  

 

The president has denied wrongdoing and blasted the impeachment process as a “witch hunt.”

 

Two-thirds of the Republican-led Senate would have to vote for Trump’s ouster in order for him to be removed from office.

 

 

Updated: 12:45 p.m.

Posted on

Biden: GOP has no ‘legal basis’ to subpoena him in Trump impeachment trial

After that Friday interview, Biden critics were quick to point out that the second article of impeachment against Trump concerned his defiance of congressional subpoenas — albeit on a broad and indiscriminate basis — but Biden says there’s no comparison between him and Trump.

“I want to clarify something I said yesterday,” Biden tweeted on Saturday. “In my 40 years in public life, I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”

“But,” he continued, “I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial. That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine.”

For Biden, the controversy is as much political as it is personal.

Trump’s impeachment revolves around the president’s attempt to get Ukraine to investigate Biden over his son’s business dealings in the country when the former vice president was involved in withholding aid to the country to clean up corruption. The controversy led to a fiery clash between Biden and an Iowa farmer earlier this month, but some voters were still left with questions about son Hunter Biden’s business deals.

While Trump has tried to draw a link between the Bidens and Ukraine, no illegal activity has been found. And Trump administration witnesses during his impeachment inquiry testified that Biden did nothing illegal in Ukraine. Some, however, said Hunter Biden’s business deal raised the specter of a possible conflict of interest.

Biden reiterated Saturday that he and his son are not germane to the case against Trump leveraging aid to Ukraine in return for an investigation of a political rival.

“The subpoenas should go to witnesses with testimony to offer to Trump’s shaking down the Ukraine government — they should go to the White House,” Biden wrote.

Earlier this month, when asked about the appearance of a potential conflict of interest, Biden told reporters in Iowa that his son “spoke publicly about it. He said that in retrospect if he had thought about what was going to happen — how it was going to be handled by Giuliani and company — he wouldn’t have done it. Nothing he did [was] wrong. The appearance looked bad. And he acknowledged it. And that’s it. That’s all I’m going to talk about.”

But when asked if he shared his son’s view about how “the appearance looked bad,” Biden wouldn’t say.

On Friday, Biden was asked by the Des Moines Register if he would defy a subpoena, leading him to indicate he would.

“Correct,” he responded. “And the reason I wouldn’t is because it’s all designed to deal with Trump doing what he’s done his whole life, trying to take the focus off him.”

Biden also rejected the notion that defying a subpoena would put him above the law, noting that “the grounds for them to call me would be overwhelmingly specious, but so, I don’t anticipate that happening anyway. But what it would do if I went — let’s say I voluntarily just said, let me go make my case.”

Biden also repeated his statement that him testifying would be a distraction.

“What are you going to cover?” Biden asked the paper. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything I said. And he’s going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time … Think what it’s about. It’s all about what he does all the time, his entire career. Take the focus off. This guy violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help.”

Posted on

Joe Biden Says He Would Defy Impeachment Subpoena—Then Tries to ‘Clarify’

Joe Biden told a newspaper that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial—then sought to clarify his remarks on Saturday.

“The reason I wouldn’t is because it’s all designed to deal with Trump doing what he’s done his whole life: trying to take the focus off him,” Biden told the Des Moines Register editorial board. “The issue is not what I did.”

This is all about a diversion,” Biden added. “And we play his game all the time. He’s done it his whole career.”

Biden’s statement of defiance to the Register drew sharp criticism from some quarters, including a former associate White House counsel under President Barack Obama.

“Terrible answer @JoeBiden,” Ian Bassin tweeted. “Subpoenas aren’t optional. You know better. You should correct record and commit to complying with any lawful subpoena, reserving the right to contest it in court if you believe it to be unlawful. Let Trump tarnish the rule of law; you should defend it.”

Posted on

The Year in Class Struggle

The year 2018 could have been a tough act to follow. It’s not every year that a grassroots movement of teachers captures the nation’s attention.

But workers across the country rose to the occasion, making 2019 one of the most exciting years for the labor movement in recent memory.

In terms of the number of workers who went on strike, 2019 is on pace to match 2018.

Teachers again made a huge showing — this time leading in big, heavily unionized school districts. United Teachers Los Angeles kicked it off in January with a seven-day walkout in the country’s second-largest school district.

Union reformers built that strike, which drew huge crowds of supporters to rally against privatization. The Union Power caucus won leadership of the local in 2014, pledging to team up with parents to demand better staffing and quality schools, not just the wage increase that the previous administration had emphasized.

Denver teachers grabbed the baton in February, striking for three days and winning reforms to a convoluted pay system. Strike leader Tiffany Choi was later voted in as union president on a program of democratizing the union, strengthening community support, and taking on the billionaire-backed “education reformers.”

Continuing their 2018 struggle, West Virginia teachers struck again for two days, defeating a bill that would have sucked funds from public schools and opened the door to privatization. Teachers saw the bill as legislative retaliation for their strike last spring.

Oakland teachers struck next — another reformer-led union taking the fight to one of the most intense fronts in the war with the privatizers. Teachers at eight charter schools held wildcat strikes to join public school teachers on the picket lines.

In the fall, Chicago teachers and school employees struck back, targeting new mayor Lori Lightfoot. Her promises to leave behind the old ways of her predecessor, union nemesis Rahm Emanuel, didn’t last long. But the unions forced her to find money she said wasn’t there, putting a nurse and librarian in every school.

Their campaign broke ground in expanding the imagination of what a union can bargain for, with demands for affordable housing, which they didn’t win, and support for homeless students, which they did.

Little Rock teachers waged a one-day strike against the racial resegregation of schools and against a move by the state of Arkansas to retract their union recognition.

Educators in the Boston suburb of Dedham, Massachusetts defied a court injunction (carrying the threat of fines and jail time) and went on strike anyway. They won all their demands, including a raise and a sexual harassment process. Seeing the writing on the wall, another nearby school district, Newton, hastily settled a teacher contract it had spent a year resisting.

And continuing from 2018, “Red for Ed” rallies at state capitols brought out thousands in Indiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and elsewhere. The list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, private sector workers in a number of union strongholds got in on the act, showing that strikes can still inflict significant economic damage on employers.

Locomotive manufacturing workers struck for nine frigid February and March days in Erie, Pennsylvania, and beat back the demands of new owner Wabtec, which wanted to unilaterally impose a two-tier system and strip workers of the rights they had won through decades of battles with General Electric.

Thirty-one thousand workers at the New England grocery chain Stop & Shop struck for eleven days in the run-up to Easter, costing the company between $90 and $110 million — 3 percent of its annual profits — and fending off the worst of the company’s concessionary demands on health care, time and a half, and pensions.

AT&T workers went out for four days across the Southeast, halting the company’s effort to raise their health care costs. The workers also won big wage increases and pension and 401(k) enhancements. It was the biggest private sector strike in the South in a decade.

Twenty thousand grocery workers in the Pacific Northwest used their contract campaign to highlight a gendered pay disparity. The union’s analysis found that women were twice as likely as men to be hired into jobs on the lower of two pay schedules, with an average gap of $3.50 an hour. They authorized a strike but avoided one, settling a contract that raised wages for lower-paying jobs and formalized the steps to advance into higher-paying jobs.

And in the midst of deepening accusations of corruption against the leaders of their union, forty-nine thousand General Motors factory workers went out on the longest national strike the US auto industry has seen in decades. In six weeks they cost the company $3 billion in profits.

The strike ended with a contentious settlement that brings current second-tier workers up to top pay faster and provides a pathway to permanent employment for some temps. However, the tiers will persist for new hires, and the union conceded the closure and sale of the Lordstown plant and two other facilities.

Beyond the schools, a public sector standout union was AFSCME Local 3299, representing twenty-five thousand campus and hospital workers in the University of California system. This year they waged their fourth and fifth short strikes in a long-running contract campaign — since 2017 — that takes aim at racism in the state’s higher education system.

The number of workers on strike is not the only way to measure the strike’s power, of course. We need no better example than the ten air traffic controllers called in sick during the government shutdown in February, leveraging their unique position to end the political stalemate. Transportation Security Administration agents had also been calling out in record numbers during the shutdown, slowing down airport operations.

But while the numbers of strikes, strikers, and “days of idleness” have reached thirty-year highs, they’re still far below the levels that workers sustained during the entire post-WWII period through 1979.

Only one in sixteen workers in the private sector belongs to a union. Successful union drives are few and far between — an exception being the recent organizing boom among journalists. Union busters continue to break the law with impunity. The most high-profile organizing drive this year, by autoworkers at Volkswagen in Tennessee, went down to defeat. A union drive among Delta’s twenty-five thousand flight attendants has sparked some hopes, though it follows several failed efforts.

Organizing among immigrant workers has suffered, as the Trump administration has revived high-profile workplace raids. In the largest such raid since 2006, 680 Mississippi poultry workers were detained, just hours after some of them had dropped their children off for the first day of the school year.

Unions had braced for major membership losses following last year’s Janus v. AFSCME decision at the Supreme Court, which made the entire public sector “right to work.” Fortunately, these losses mostly have not materialized so far.

Still, right-wing state governments haven’t let up in their onslaught against public workers. The governor of Alaska, for example, tried to require state workers to opt in to the union every year; the policy is currently held up in the courts. Rather than raise taxes on oil companies, the governor has set about slashing public services.

One anchor of resistance has been the union of cooks, deckhands, engine workers, and pursers who operate the ferries that are crucial to isolated coastal communities along the Gulf of Alaska. These workers teamed up with local residents to battle cuts to the ferry system. (Their slogan: “We believe in ferries!”) So when they went on strike in July, the ferry workers enjoyed community support — people even took stranded strikers into their homes and fed them.

But overall, while unions are fighting to win back some of what we lost during the Great Recession, it’s an uphill battle — and most are still failing to harness members’ potential power, which is especially unfortunate given the tight labor market.

The almost entirely nonunion tech sector saw flashes of activity. This fall, one thousand Amazon tech workers walked out in Seattle to demand the company do more on climate change. Some of them had previously flown to Minnesota to show their solidarity with warehouse workers who walked out during the company’s “Prime Day” sales blast in mid-July.

Workers at the Boston headquarters of online furniture retailer Wayfair walked off over the company supplying beds to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency’s infamous detention centers.

Amazon warehouse workers in Chicago and Sacramento who don’t have a formal union have banded together under the banner of local “Amazonians United” groups. Through petitions and marches on the boss, they forced the e-commerce giant to pay them when the warehouse shut down during a heat wave, improved health and safety, and got fired workers unfired.

Drivers for companies including Uber and Lyft built a grassroots campaign in California to support the passage of a law that would make drivers employees rather than independent contractors.

Rideshare Drivers United (RDU) in Los Angeles, a driver-led organization, built their organization up through one-on-one outreach. RDU was the first driver organization to call for a strike to line up with Uber’s stock launch in May, and helped to coordinate efforts across the country.

Globally, 2019 has been a year of major uprisings. In many, unions played an important role.

In Chile, protests that initially targeted a public transit fare increase erupted into a broad-based attack on the country’s political leadership. Unions — first the militant dockworkers, later joined by miners, construction workers, public sector workers, and more — joined in on the movement, helping to leverage the pressure that won a referendum on the country’s constitution.

As of this writing, workers in France are engaged in an ever-growing strike against changes to the country’s pension system. Unions in Colombia have joined the movement against their country’s leadership in the form of days of national strikes. Postal and transport workers in Finland brought down their prime minister.

In Hong Kong, millions took to the streets to defeat a bill that would have allowed residents to be extradited to mainland China’s opaque legal system, where labor activists continue to be arbitrarily detained for organizing. The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions has reported an upsurge in interest from workers interested in forming unions.

Puerto Rican unions, meanwhile, helped overthrow the US territory’s governor as part of the largest general strike in the island’s history.

As always, when we stand up, bosses and their cronies try to beat us down. This year has been no different.

The Trump National Labor Relations Board has continued its attacks on workers’ rights, rolling back many of the advances of the Obama board, including on faster unionization elections, graduate students’ right to unionize, and joint employer responsibility. To make matters worse, they reversed longstanding precedent on employers’ ability to unilaterally implement mid-term contract changes.

Two particularly egregious cases of the courts coming down on job actions are on the top of many labor activists’ minds, and are a healthy reminder that the legal system is rarely the friend of workers.

The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), who jointly represent mechanics at American Airlines, were targeted by the courts with a “permanent injunction” for alleged slowdowns at the airline during contract negotiations. Facing stiff financial penalties, the unions had to do a government-mandated tour of denunciations around the alleged job actions.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), meanwhile, is fighting a $93.6 million jury award over work slowdowns at the Port of Portland. The award could force the international, which has $8 million in assets, to enter bankruptcy proceedings. The ILWU has appealed to the judge to dramatically lower the award.

And while attacks from the bosses, government, and government bosses continue, we’re also reminded that we have to keep a sharp eye on some of those on “our” side, as well.

The leadership of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) is falling like a house of cards amid federal indictments, with rumblings of a government takeover. The head of the largest federal employee union is on leave while facing allegations of sexually harassing staffers.

In California, leaders of the Teamsters and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in California tried to undermine the potentially transformative legislation on the misclassification of workers as independent contractors by attempting a backroom deal with Uber and Lyft. The failed scheme was done under the guidance of the Machinists, who have a head start with the Uber-backed Independent Drivers Guild in New York.

And backstabbing continues to haunt the building trades. New York City construction unions — with the exception of the leadership of the Carpenters — fought a lengthy battle to make the next phase of Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in US history, all union. But they were stabbed in the back by the Ironworkers international leadership, who ousted a militant New York City business manager and ordered members to cross the picket line or have their local trusteed.

Meanwhile, members throughout the labor movement are pushing for more democratic presidential endorsement processes inside their unions, hoping to avoid a repeat of the 2016 debacle in which many unions lined up early behind Hillary Clinton’s doomed campaign and thumbed their noses at Bernie Sanders’s insurgent, pro-worker primary run. With a more crowded Democratic primary field this time around, most unions have yet to endorse, though United Teachers Los Angeles members recently voted to back a Sanders endorsement, which pushed the national leadership of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to publicly declare that other locals were free to make their own endorsements as well. The National Union of Healthcare Workers endorsed both Sanders and Warren in a membership vote.

Across the labor movement, there are members organizing to make their unions stronger and more democratic. In both the public and private sector, reformers are recognizing that unions need to be strengthened from the bottom up.

In the NewsGuild, thirty-two-year-old journalist Jon Schleuss of the LA Times ousted a three-term incumbent on a pledge to increase transparency and democratize the union. Baltimore and Denver teachers elected new leaderships, who were battle-tested in campaigns around heat in schools (in Baltimore) and a strike over merit pay (in Denver).

Teamsters in Charlotte, Philadelphia, and New Orleans elected new leaders, supported by Teamsters for a Democratic Union. These wins provide momentum to the effort to unseat IBT President James P. Hoffa in 2021.

And those are just a few examples of groups that have taken leadership. Other groups, like Philadelphia’s Caucus of Working Educators, continue to show us that there’s a lot of progress to make even without having won leadership. They’ll take that energy to the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers leadership election next year, with a slate of members who have been hard at work organizing in their worksites.

Labor is going into a new decade weaker than it’s been in nearly a century. But the year was a promising one for those looking for sparks from the US working class. Here’s hoping the new decade can stoke those sparks into a flame.

Posted on

Final Jeopardy for Chuck Schumer and Impeachment

While watching “Jeopardy” the other night, I had a fantasy. Suppose Alex Trebek had a Final Jeopardy category called “The Ultimate Impeachment Hypocrite”?

Here’s how I thought it might go.

Trebek: “We go first to Joe, who is in third place, and he wrote, ‘Who is Bill Clinton?’”

“No, that’s wrong, but a good guess. Clinton did say about the House impeachment of President Trump: ‘Congress is doing its job.’ How much did you wager? All of it and you are left with nothing, like the Democrats with their trumped-up (pun intended) articles of impeachment.”

“Next we go to Mary and she wrote, ‘Who is Rep. Eliot Engel?’”

“Another good guess, but also wrong, even though the Democratic congressman from New York opposed Clinton’s impeachment, but favors the impeachment of Trump. How much did you wager? Oh, everything, so you are left with nothing, again like the Democrats, who pushed Russian collusion, racism, and other subjects for which they had no evidence.”

“We go to our champion, Judy, and she wrote: ‘Who is Sen. Chuck Schumer?’”

“You are correct, Judy. It was Schumer who said in 1998 while a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the same committee that voted articles of impeachment against President Trump: ‘Impeachment was designed to be used rarely and only in times of national crisis.’”

“Schumer at the time warned of ‘profound consequences’ for the country and for the presidency if Clinton were to be impeached.’”

It gets better, or worse, depending on your perspective.

Schumer went on (as he usually does): “Several weeks ago the notion that we would be on the verge of actually using the hammer of impeachment to remove the president for just the third time in 200 years was unthinkable. Now we are only one day from possibly passing a resolution to remove a duly elected president from office.”

Always on his high horse while taking the low road, Schumer added:

The actions that we take … far transcend the conduct of Bill Clinton and will have profound consequences on the future of the country. If we vote articles of impeachment, I fear that we will be setting a precedent that could seriously weaken the office of the presidency, whether the president is removed from office or not.

In my judgment, we will be substantially lowering the bar for removing a sitting president so that we will be in danger of all too frequently investigating presidents and seeking to remove them from office; this, as we enter a century which demands a strong and focused president of the United States.

Never mind. That was then and this is now, when impeaching President Trump serves the purposes of the Democrats, who appear all-in no matter the amount of contradictory evidence. Even as Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report revealed that while “the FBI opened the Russia investigation for a legitimate reason and was not motivated by partisan bias when it did so,” he found at least 17 incidents of “sloppiness,” as well as “major errors and omissions in applications the FBI submitted to eavesdrop on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.”

In his recent interview on “Fox News Sunday,” James Comey, the former FBI director fired by Trump, admitted he was “wrong,” but who cares? The damage was done and like then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said when he promoted the fiction that Mitt Romney didn’t pay his taxes, “It worked, didn’t it?”

See how easy it is for Democrats to play this game? They are helped enormously by their ideological soul mates in the major media, who cover up past statements like those of Schumer.

Democrats have placed themselves in a position that very well may cause them to lose their House majority and expand Republican numbers in the Senate. There are no champions in this game.

Back to you, Alex.

(c) 2019 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Posted on

Trump says New York, California must ‘politely’ ask for help to tackle ‘tremendous’ homeless problem

President Trump on Saturday called on New York and California to tackle what he described as their “tremendous homeless problems” — suggesting they should ask the White House “politely” for help if they can’t sort it out by themselves.

“California and New York must do something about their TREMENDOUS Homeless problems. They are setting records!” he tweeted. “If their Governors can’t handle the situation, which they should be able to do very easily, they must call and “politely” ask for help. Would be so easy with competence!”

TRUMP WARNS NEWSOM: IF CALIFORNIA HOMELESS CRISIS PERSISTS, FEDS ‘WILL GET INVOLVED’

The Department of Housing and Urban Development this month reported a 2.7 percent national increase in the homeless population, driven primarily by a spike in California. The report found that the liberal stronghold had seen a 16.4 percent increase in its homeless population.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom responded by saying the state was doing more to combat the challenge, but called on the federal government to put “real skin in the game.”

“Federal leadership matters. Investments made during the Obama administration are proving effective and have contributed to more than a 50% drop in homelessness among veterans since 2010,” Newsom said.

According to that survey, first reported by The Associated Press, the states with the highest rates were New York, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington. Washington D,C, had a homelessness rate of 94 per 10,000 people, more than twice as high as New York.

HOMELESSNESS CRISIS: FROM HOUSEBOATS TO BOULDERS, UNCONVENTIONAL METHODS USED TO TACKLE PROBLEM IN 2019

Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new initiative to end homelessness this month, spending an estimated $120 million in 2020 to get people off the streets in his ongoing effort to tackle homelessness.

Trump, who is from New York, has been vocal in his criticism of both states for failing to get a grip on the homeless crisis. This week he took aim at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accusing her of having lost control of the situation in her district.

“Nancy Pelosi’s District in California has rapidly become one of the worst anywhere in the U.S. when it come to the homeless & crime,” he tweeted.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“It has gotten so bad, so fast – she has lost total control and, along with her equally incompetent governor, Gavin Newsom, it is a very sad sight!” he said.

On Wednesday, he warned Newsom that the feds could get involved if he can’t sort it out.

“Governor Gavin N has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California. If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!” Trump tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Posted on

McConnell “impaneling an all-white jury for a Klansman trial”

The nice thing about the Christmas season is the way it seems to bring everyone together for a rare period of harmony and polite discourse. Some of that warmth seemed to be mysteriously missing on CNN on Friday, however, when former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter took part in a panel to discuss (what else?) the impeachment trial of the President, which may or may not be happening next month. Painter managed to avoid a Hitler reference, but not by much. He immediately invoked the Ku Klux Klan when describing how Mitch McConnell was describing how he would handle the proceedings. (Mediaite)

“For Mitch McConnell to say he’s working with the White House, coordinating with the defendant in this trial before the trial has even begun is atrocious. He may think he’s a judge impaneling an all-white jury for a Klansman trial in Mississippi in 1965. That’s not the kind of trial we have.”

Fellow panelist Rick Santorum wasn’t having it, though, interrupting to insist Painter was being “absurd.”

Painter quickly shot back that he was not being absurd, prompting Santorum to say he “was there.”

“I saw what Tom Daschle did in 1998, and I don’t think you were complaining one bit about him carrying the water for the president,” Santorum said. “This is typical, and I think completely appropriate.”

Here’s the video of the exchange from CNN’s YouTube channel.

Rick Santorum was making a good point there, reminding everyone of the hypocrisy that’s regularly on display in Washington. If he needed a better example to remind Mr. Painter of how these things work, he could simply have invoked Chuck Schumer’s name. Keep in mind that Schumer was equally critical of the things Cocaine Mitch has been saying about the handling of the trial, ignoring the fact that Schumer said almost exactly the same things, word for word, back when Clinton was heading to trial.

As to what Painter may or may not have thought of how the Clinton impeachment trial played out, that’s hard to say. He’s bounced around a bit in his career, at one point serving in the administration of George W. Bush. But he later went on to take over as the head of the left-wing watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Back during the second Clinton term, he was variously working as a law clerk on the Ninth Circuit and then for a couple of law firms in New York and Connecticut. Nobody was seeking him out for interviews at the time so he apparently wasn’t on the record.

We do have a good idea where he’s stood ideologically in more recent years, however. Before the balloons had been gathered up after Trump’s inaugural parties, Painter was spearheading a CREW lawsuit against the President alleging violations of the Emoluments Clause. Keep in mind that this was taking place in January of 2017. At that time, he suggested that if Barack Obama had failed to place certain assets in a blind trust (as opposed to transferring them to his family) he would have been “impeached in two weeks.”

Later, when Donald Trump had only been in office for four months, Painter went on the record comparing him unfavorably to Richard Nixon and claiming that he was “a Russian agent.” He again invoked the possibility of impeachment during that interview.

So Painter has been aching to impeach Trump literally since the President was sworn in. Is it any surprise that he’d now be pushing to allow the Democrats to control how the trial plays out? (Assuming Nancy Pelosi ever delivers the paperwork.) You can safely take anything Richard Painter has to say vis a vis Donald Trump with a substantial grain of salt.