Trump’s America –Episode #150 – Honoring The Best

By Arthur Piccolo

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 6,
2019:
We are all HONG KONGERS, or should be!

Up until Wednesday, this all-important milestone episode #150 of
Trump’s America was going to be all about the brave Hong Kong freedom fighters
who are teaching all of us – the entire human society – about confronting
oppression and abusers of power here in the 21st century. They
very much deserve it …

Then Jonathan Turley came in the picture Wednesday and spoke
brilliantly at the Congressional Presidential impeachment inquisition …

Even better that his views echoed my own in episode #148 and most
of all that he also spoke truth about Alexander Hamilton, unlike Ron Chernow
and others hell bent on impeaching Donald Trump no matter what the reality.

Professor Jonathan Turley has earned this all-important 150th episode.
I will continue to return to the Hong Kongers again and again in the future.

Here is how I will prove Professor Turley deserves this important
episode. This will be my longest episode ever of both Obama’s America and
Trump’s America – a total of more than 450 weekly episodes over both administrations.

ALL I am going to do is let Professor Turley speak for himself as
he did before Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler’s illegal inquisition. They and many
others in Congress are guilty of impeachable offenses and blatantly misusing
their positions and the Constitution for outrageous political gain.

… To MISUSE the Constitution in a most dangerous way to do what
they believe will increase the chances for a Democrat to defeat Trump in the
2020 election rather than use their differences with him LEGALLY in the
campaign.

Professor Turley just like me is a Democrat and a fierce critic of
President Trump who did not vote for him in 2016 and will not in 2020. I call
those like Turley and myself and many others who oppose this flabby improper
impeachment REAL Democrats; unlike unprincipled political hacks and DINOSAURS
like Pelosi, Schiff, Nadler and others.

This is a WAR for the future of our nation and the Democratic
Party.

Now it is my proud honor to present Professor Turley at length …

If you value being an American and the future of our nation, you
will take the time to read these various excerpts from Turley’s much longer
testimony.

The opening …

“Alexander Hamilton warned that charges of impeachable conduct ‘will
seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it
into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.’”

ENCORE ….

“Alexander Hamilton warned that charges of impeachable conduct ‘will
seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it
into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused.’”

“As with the Clinton impeachment, the Trump impeachment has
again proven Hamilton’s words to be prophetic. The stifling intolerance for
opposing views is the same. As was the case two decades ago, it is a perilous
environment for a legal scholar who wants to explore the technical and arcane
issues normally involved in an academic examination of a legal standard
ratified 234 years ago.

“I have spent decades writing about impeachment and presidential
powers as an academic and as a legal commentator. My academic work reflects the
bias of a Madisonian scholar. I tend to favor Congress in disputes with the
Executive Branch and I have been critical of the sweeping claims of
presidential power and privileges made by modern Administrations.

“I would like to start, perhaps incongruously, with a statement of three irrelevant facts. First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Second, I have been highly critical of President Trump, his policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with the Ukrainian president.

HARD-TO-BEAT-COLLECTION

“These points are not meant to curry favor or approval. Rather
they are meant to drive home a simple point: one can oppose President Trump’s
policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for
impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous,
as the basis for the impeachment of an American president. To put it simply, I
hold no brief for President Trump.

“My personal and political views of President Trump, however,
are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your
impeachment vote. Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the
constitutional standard and process of impeachment.

“President Trump will not be our last president and what we
leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come.
I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of
evidence and an abundance of anger.

ENCORE …

“President Trump will not be our last president and what we
leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to
come. I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of
evidence and an abundance of anger.”

“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this
impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest
proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds
ever used to impeach a president.

“That does not bode well for future presidents who are working
in a country often sharply and, at time, bitterly divided.

“In the end, the Framers would reject various prior standards
including ‘corruption,’ ‘obtaining office by improper means,’ betraying his
trust to a foreign power ….It is worth noting that, while Madison objected to
the inclusion of maladministration in the standard in favor of the English
standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ he would later reference
maladministration as something that could be part of an impeachment and
declared that impeachment could address “the incapacity, negligence or perfidy
of the chief Magistrate.

“Likewise, Alexander Hamilton referred to impeachable offenses
as ‘those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in
other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.’

“As I have stressed, it is possible to establish a case for
impeachment based on a non-criminal allegation of abuse of power. However,
although criminality is not required in such a case, clarity is necessary.
That comes from a complete and comprehensive record that eliminates exculpatory
motivations or explanations. The problem is that this is an exceptionally
narrow impeachment resting on the thinnest possible evidentiary record.

“During the House Intelligence Committee proceedings, Democratic
leaders indicated that they wanted to proceed exclusively or primarily on the
Ukrainian allegations and wanted a vote by the end of December. I previously
wrote that the current incomplete record is insufficient to sustain an
impeachment case, a view recently voiced by the New York Times and other
sources.

“In the current case, the record is facially insufficient. The
problem is not simply that the record does not contain direct evidence of the
President stating a quid pro quo, as Chairman Schiff has suggested. The problem
is that the House has not bothered to subpoena the key witnesses who would have
such direct knowledge.

“This alone sets a dangerous precedent. A House in the future
could avoid countervailing evidence by simply relying on tailored records with
testimony from people who offer damning presumptions or speculation. It is not
enough to simply shrug and say this is “close enough for jazz” in an
impeachment.

 ENCORE ..

“This alone sets a dangerous precedent. A House in the future
could avoid countervailing evidence by simply relying on tailored records with
testimony from people who offer damning presumptions or speculation. It is not
enough to simply shrug and say this is “close enough for jazz” in an
impeachment.”

“Indeed, some of our greatest presidents could have been
impeached for acts in direct violation of their constitutional oaths of office.
Abraham Lincoln, for example, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War
despite the fact that Article 1, Section 9, of the Constitution leaves such a
suspension to Congress “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may
require it.”

ENCORE …

“Indeed, some of our greatest presidents could have been
impeached for acts in direct violation of their constitutional oaths of office.
Abraham Lincoln, for example, suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War
despite the fact that Article 1, Section 9, of the Constitution leaves such a
suspension to Congress “in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may
require it.”

“The unconstitutional suspension of the ‘Great Writ’ would
normally be viewed as a violation of the greatest constitutional order. Other
presidents faced impeachment inquires that were not allowed to proceed, including
John Tyler, Grover Cleveland, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon,
Ronald Reagan, and George Bush.

“President Tyler faced some allegations that had some common
elements to our current controversy. Among the nine allegations raised by Rep.
John Botts of Virginia, Tyler was accused of initiating an illegal
investigation of the custom house in New York, withholding information from
government agents, withholding actions  necessary to ‘the just
operation of government’ and ‘shameless duplicity, equivocation,
and falsehood, with his late cabinet and Congress.’

“Likewise, Cleveland was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors
that included the use of the appointment power for political purposes
(including influencing legislation) against the nation’s interest and
“corrupting politics through the interference of Federal officeholders.” Truman
faced an impeachment call over a variety of claims, including “attempting to
disgrace the Congress of the United States.

“I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic
friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are
mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never
mad. We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make
us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in
every future administration?

ENCORE …

“I get it. You are mad. The President is mad. My Democratic
friends are mad. My Republican friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are
mad. Even my dog is mad . . . and Luna is a golden doodle and they are never
mad. We are all mad and where has it taken us? Will a slipshod impeachment make
us less mad or will it only give an invitation for the madness to follow in
every future administration?”

“That is why this is wrong. It is not wrong because President
Trump is right. His call was anything but “perfect” and his reference to the
Bidens’ was highly inappropriate. It is not wrong, because the House has no
legitimate reason to investigate the Ukrainian controversy.

“The use of military aid for a quid pro quo to investigate one’s
political opponent, if proven, can be an impeachable offense. It is not wrong
because we are in an election year. There is no good time for an impeachment,
but this process concerns the constitutional right to hold office in this term,
not the next.

“No, it is wrong because this is not how an American president
should be impeached.

ENCORE …

“No, it is wrong because this is not how an American president
should be impeached.”

“For two years, members of this Committee have declared that
criminal and impeachable acts were established for everything from treason to
conspiracy to obstruction. However, no action was taken to impeach. Suddenly,
just a few weeks ago, the House announced it would begin an impeachment inquiry
and push for a final vote in a matter of weeks.

“To do so, the House Intelligence Committee declared that it
would not subpoena a host of witnesses who have direct knowledge of any quid
pro quo. Instead, it will proceed on a record composed of a relatively small
number of witnesses with largely second-hand knowledge of the position.

“The only three direct conversations with President Trump do not
contain a statement of a quid pro quo and two expressly deny such a
pre-condition.

ENCORE …

“The only three direct conversations with President Trump do not
contain a statement of a quid pro quo and two expressly deny such a
pre-condition.”

“In this age of rage, many are appealing for us to simply put
the law aside and “just do it” like this is some impulse-buy Nike sneaker. You
can certainly do that. You can declare the definitions of crimes alleged are
immaterial and this is an exercise of politics, not law. However, the legal
definitions and standards that I have addressed in my testimony are the very
thing dividing rage from reason.

ENCORE …

“In this age of rage, many are appealing for us to simply put
the law aside and “just do it” like this is some impulse-buy Nike sneaker. You
can certainly do that. You can declare the definitions of crimes alleged are
immaterial and this is an exercise of politics, not law. However, the legal
definitions and standards that I have addressed in my testimony are the very
thing dividing rage from reason.”

“Listening to these calls to dispense with such legal niceties,
brings to mind a famous scene with Sir Thomas More in ‘A Man For All Seasons.’
In a critical exchange, More is accused by his son-in-law William Roper of
putting the law before morality and that More would ‘give the Devil the benefit
of law!’ When More asks if Roper would instead ‘cut a great road through
the law to get after the Devil?’

“Roper proudly declares: ‘Yes, I’d cut down every law in England
to do that!’ More responds by saying: ‘And when the last law was down, and the
Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being
flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws,
not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you
really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, Id
‘give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!’

“We have forgotten the common article of faith that binds each
of us to each other in our Constitution. However, before we cut down the trees
so carefully planted by the Framers, I hope you consider what you will do when
the wind blows again . . . perhaps for a Democratic president.

Where will you stand then?”

STOP THIS MADNESS. Thank you, Professor Jonathan Turley!

It is time for each of us decide what is the REAL
Democratic Party. Is it the party of out of control DINOSAURS like Pelosi,
Schiff and Nadler among others OR a NEW Democratic Party for the 21st century
of America?

TIME TO DECIDE RIGHT NOW!

 (This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)

Arthur-Piccolo-ObamasAmerica

EDITOR’S NOTE: About The Writer: Arthur Piccolo is a professional writer and commentator and often writes about Latin America for New Americas.

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