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Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:33 AM

Which Articles of Impeachment?

Our national security was betrayed. Treason.

Withheld funds from Ukraine, without Congressional approval, to get the president of Ukraine to investigate his political opponents. Bribery.

Refused to cooperate, with the constitutional duties of the Congress in an impeachment trial, by refusing to let anyone in his Administration testify before the Congress. Obstruction of Congress.

In the Mueller investigation, with people under oath, there were several instances of attempts to block or obstruct the investigation. He attempted to fire the Special Counsel. In one instance, he wanted his White House Counsel to change the official record to cover for his criminality. Obstruction of Justice.

There were four Articles against Bill Clinton but the Congress only approved two of them. They could have impeached with just one Article.

The same should apply here.

They should pass articles on Treason, Bribery, Obstruction of Congress, and Obstruction of Justice. They can put any additional charges under one of the Four above. It is an umbrella big enough to hold all the charges against Mr Trump, in my opinion.

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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply Which Articles of Impeachment? (Original post)
kentuck Dec 2019 OP
MineralMan Dec 2019 #1
SterlingPound Dec 2019 #2
MineralMan Dec 2019 #6
SterlingPound Dec 2019 #8
kentuck Dec 2019 #3
MineralMan Dec 2019 #4
kentuck Dec 2019 #7
MineralMan Dec 2019 #14
H2O Man Dec 2019 #17
TwilightZone Dec 2019 #5
MineralMan Dec 2019 #9
TwilightZone Dec 2019 #11
kentuck Dec 2019 #12
MineralMan Dec 2019 #15
getagrip_already Dec 2019 #10
H2O Man Dec 2019 #13
MineralMan Dec 2019 #16
H2O Man Dec 2019 #18
MineralMan Dec 2019 #20
H2O Man Dec 2019 #23
MineralMan Dec 2019 #28
kentuck Dec 2019 #19
H2O Man Dec 2019 #21
kentuck Dec 2019 #22
H2O Man Dec 2019 #24
kentuck Dec 2019 #25
H2O Man Dec 2019 #26
kentuck Dec 2019 #27
MineralMan Dec 2019 #29

Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 11:50 AM

1. Don't look for the word "Treason" in any of the articles.

It won't appear in them. Treason is very narrowly defined in the Constitution. None of Trump's many high crimes and misdemeanors fits that narrow definition.

All the other crimes, though, have plenty of examples of Trump committing them. But, not Treason, by the definition in the Consitution. So, that word won't be used.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:21 PM

2. I think a good case for espionauge could be made though

when trump gave Russia voting intel.

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Response to SterlingPound (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:33 PM

6. Possibly. However, it would be a stretch and might

diminish the effectiveness of the other articles.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:35 PM

8. depends on how strong a case they make against him on it

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:26 PM

3. I suspect you are right. However, it would throw Trump for a loop.

Even if voted down, it would get their attention.

They could substitute Abuse of Power , I suppose?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:31 PM

4. No. What it would do is create an obvious flaw in the

articles of impeachment. A flaw large enough to bring the entire thing down. A flaw easy enough to explain that it would taint the entire process and hurt the actual articles that are accurate and true.

Yes, Abuse of Power. No, Treason. Playing for effect is a losing game at that level.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:34 PM

7. How about Bribery?

Is that flawed also?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:39 PM

14. No. Bribery is easily handled. Trump's bargaining

with the funds allocated by Congress fit into that category. Also, since it is named as one of the high crimes and misdemeanors in the Constitution, it should probably be used in the Articles of Impeachment. It's easy to explain why Trump's actions constituted bribery.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:43 PM

17. Bribery

is a perfect fit. Keep in mind that it does not equate with today's federal laws on bribery. Rather, as there were no federal laws on bribery at the time of the Constitutional Convention, we go by what were clearly recognized as the standards of the day. And these standards can be found in the Federalist Papers.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:33 PM

5. Correct. We (and Trump) misuse that word frequently.

For sake of simplicity, it requires an enemy in a declared war with active hostilities. Contrary to popular opinion, we are not officially at war with Russia and they aren't officially an enemy.

The definition is so narrow that the Rosenbergs weren't tried for treason, in part because the Cold War wasn't an active war. If it didn't apply to them, it almost certainly doesn't apply to Trump.

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/americans-have-forgotten-what-treason-actually-means-how-it-can-ncna848651

That won't stop people from using it, however.

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Response to TwilightZone (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:35 PM

9. Exactly. We need not to make stupid mistakes in charging Trump.

A good case can be made for bribery. A good case exists for abuse of power. An excellent case is available for obstruction of justice. Those are the charges that should be brought. Iffy charges that create an argument over word definitions are not a good idea.

Fortunately, we have enough lawyers in Congress to make sure the charges are well-stated. It's irrelevant what the public thinks treason is. This is too important to screw up by using the wrong words in charges.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:37 PM

11. Agreed.

As much as Trump and the media fixate on things out of context, trying to shoehorn treason into the articles would be a disaster.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:37 PM

12. Would obstruction of Congress be valid?

I think it is good to have this discussion.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:41 PM

15. Yes, of course. I mentioned that above.

In fact, it is a primary high crime to be charged. Trump has patently obstructed Congress in its investigation. There is a prima facie case for that. I don't see any possible defense Trump can make against that charge.

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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:36 PM

10. Treason?

Requires an act or time of war. You might be able to sell that as assisting an enrmy to attack us, but it would be a stretch and give the gop an out.

Maybe Conspiracy to ally with an enemy to attack our national interests globally.

Failure to uphold the constitution and protect the usa from all enemies, foreign and domestic might work also.

Remembrr. Thr charges dont have to be a crime (though that makes it understandable). They do have to demonstrate abuse of office that harms the national intrrest.



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Response to kentuck (Original post)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:38 PM

13. Recommended.

I'd go with Abuse of Power, Bribery, and Obstruction of Congress and of Justice. It's important to remember that treason is defined within the Constitution, and that Trump's behaviors does not meet that standard. (It might in the now common use of the word, but that is distinct from the constitutional definition.)

The "Abuse of Power" allows for a long list of activities, as does each of the Obstruction charges. The Bribery is exclusive to the Ukraine. Thus, they can easily be proven in the Senate trial.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:42 PM

16. I'm sure those are exactly the charges that will be brought.

Fortunately, we have competent attorneys in Congress, who won't make boneheaded errors in the articles.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:47 PM

18. One of the best

things going for us is the extremely high quality of the legal team the Democrats have. Back in 2018, when there were discussions on who should serve as Speaker of the House, I said that, if for no other reason, Nancy Pelosi was the obvious choice -- based upon both the legal team she put together in her first go as Speaker, and the work she was doing in anticipation of on-going obstruction from Trump.

While I have a degree of respect for the legal representation the House republicans have had in the impeachment hearings, it is obvious that they know Trump is guilty as sin.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:53 PM

20. Well, the defense will be primarily bluster, diversion, and obstruction.

That's all they have to work with, really. It would be high comedy if it weren't so damned serious.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:01 PM

23. When the trial

is held in the Senate, there will almost certainly be two distinct defense efforts. The republicans will most likely take the, "yeah, Trump did stupid things, but they do not rise to the level of being impeachable." Since Trump will have his own legal team there -- unless he backs down from that -- they will try to "prove" what he did was lawful, citing previously unknown legal concepts that don't hold water. We will, exactly as you noted, witness strange attempts to hijack the issues, and insist that everything Trump did was "perfect."

With every great opportunity comes great risks. There have been times during these past few months when I laugh out loud while watching hearings, then feel like I'm about to vomit when I think about how dangerous these times are.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 02:00 PM

28. Yes. There is a precarious balance that will be needed.

I'm counting on the Senate to acquit Trump. They seem bent on that. So, it's going to be up to our side to present a case so damning and clear against Trump that he will understand he cannot win the election in November. Then, he will either tough it out or resign. Frankly, by sometime next year, I will be hoping he does not resign, because Pence will certainly pardon him if he does. I would love it if he could be prosecuted criminally by a Democratic DOJ. However, I believe that he will, indeed, resign, if it becomes clear he has no chance of winning reelection. So, a pardon would occur.

The risk is that we, the Democrats, will step on our own tender parts in our zeal, and inadvertently help Trump get a second term. That is the disastrous possibility that makes me fearful. We need to tread both heavily and yet lightly on this process. Heavily, to make it clear how bad Trump has been, but lightly to avoid a backlash that boosts Trump's chances in November.

I do not know how we will do. There are still things that could happen to throw the entire thing out of balance. I do trust Nancy Pelosi to take the measured approach that is needed, but to prosecute this case thoroughly, with the help of others who are more than qualified to do so. Trump is the unknown in the matter. He is perfectly capable of taking some step that puts the nation in danger. That is my greatest fear.

Thanks for your insights!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:48 PM

19. That makes sense.

Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Justice could be an umbrella for several violations.

Bribery is in the Constitution. If it were Extortion, it would likely be considered a high crime?

The Obstruction of Congress has been obvious.

I think they need to narrow the Articles to three or four and keep it as simple as possible.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:53 PM

21. In post #17,

I detailed why bribery is a powerful option. I'd definitely include it with the other three.

Each article, in theory, allows for several examples to be cited. The best example of this is found, of course, in what the House committee was preparing to introduce to the full House per Nixon. In the Clinton example, the committee introduced four articles, and the House passed two of them, while rejecting the other two.

Trump has done enough corrupt actions that I think the full House will pass four articles.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #21)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 12:56 PM

22. Sounds about right.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:03 PM

24. One of the best things,

as has been discussed in this thread, is the extraordinary quality of the Democrats' legal team. I have total faith in their abilities.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:09 PM

25. Can Trump "sit out" his own trial in the Senate and not show up?

Can his lawyers and spokesmen come in and blame everyone else except Trump?

Can he get away with that?

Does he have to go if requested to testify?

He would prefer to watch it on television, I am sure.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #25)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:21 PM

26. Very interesting questions.

If the republican Senators agree that he should testify, it may be that he would try to do so via video, rather than in person. But that is speculation on my part. And so much of this is unchartered territory. While the Constitution clearly provides that the Senate has sole power for hearing cases of impeachment, it does not lay out the ground rules in any precise manner.

One thing that interest me is what role Chief Justice Roberts will play. By tradition -- with the Clinton case being the only recent example -- he could play a minor role. However, because of the raw emotions that infect the nation and the House, and may spill over into the Senate trial by way of Trump's legal representatives -- I suspect he may be forced to play a more influential role. Certainly, the republican Senators respect him, and are unlikely to put him in a tense position. But Trump's team just might.

I've got to run to the store briefly, but I'm already anticipating getting back to this OP/thread. It's a very important topic of conversation, and I really appreciate that you have got this going! Well done!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 01:29 PM

27. This is unchartered territory...

How can there be a trial and not have a defendant present?

I think that would need to be resolved before the trial begins.

Since they want to subpoena the Bidens and others, and if they were to try such a tactic, then why could not Democrats subpoena VP Pence and Donald Trump?

I think Chief Justice Roberts may play a bigger role than we now imagine.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 7, 2019, 02:05 PM

29. There are some precedents for trying defendants in absentia.

Of course, Trump will put on a defense of some kind, but he may well opt out of personally appearing. In that, he is protected by the 5th Amendment and tons of precedent. If he does show up, his lack of reason will tell on him severely. He will attempt bluster as a defense, but he would be doing so before a group of people, many of whom who have a high level of intelligence and legal training.

It is going to be a tough call for Trump. Either way, though, he is in grave peril, at least in terms of another term in office.

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