Wednesday, January 15, 2020

From Roger Fitch and our friends down under at Justinian.....

Impeachment and other crimes

What about all the other impeachable offences? ... No immunity for impeachment crimes ... Trump remains unchastened ... Fair elections cauterised by the Supreme Court ... War criminals to the rescue ... Judgeships for ideologues and party hacks ... From Roger Fitch in Washington
"There is a mountain of well-known evidence in the public record ... that the current president is a racist, a coward, a bully, a liar, an ignoramus, a hypocrite, a narcissist, and a fool - in short a very bad guy. Yet by design, the Constitution entrusts an impeachment trial to the Senate, not to a jury selected for its impartiality ... If such Senators are capable of putting aside their longstanding views of the president's character to focus on whether he committed treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanours - as the Constitution assumes they are - then surely they are capable of the much easier task of setting aside any bad-guy inference that propensity evidence might engender." 
- Law Prof Michael Dorf dismissing the danger Trump could be convicted for the wrong reasons. 
There's gangster government in Washington, with a one-man mob taking over a major political party; even so, Donald Trump has received a setback. 
In December, the House of Reps finally confronted - albeit gingerly - the brazen criminality of the US president, a man whose "stench is slowly seeping into every corner of government". 
Remarkably, only two articles of impeachment were adopted, with the Democrat-controlled house impeaching Mr Trump for abuse of power (L'Affaire Ukrainienne) and obstruction of congress. 
There were so many impeachable offences to choose from, a veritable A-to-Z. The articles the house adopted didn't include the Mueller Report findings (e.g. an important obstruction incident), or Trump's response to Russian interference in the 2016 election. Flagrant personal corruption was also missing. 
In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, constitutional lawyers Bruce Fein and Louis Fisher joined Ralph Nader in listing 12 impeachable offences. Just Security noted Trump's pattern of soliciting foreign interference in US elections. The public interest organisation CREW concentrated on five crimes involved in the Ukraine extortion attempts, the basis for the "abuse of power" charge. 
The house impeachment was backed by a 658-page Judiciary Committee report, and also by legal scholars and historians.
The Judiciary Committee produced a memorandum on impeachment law, and one of its lawyer witnesses, Noah Feldman, later elaborated on his testimony, as well as on Donald Trump.
Just before the successful vote on the impeachment articles, Mr Trump sent a bizarre letter to Speaker Pelosi, abusing her and the Democrat House of Representatives for having the effrontery to seek his impeachment. The Washington Post fact-checker had a field-day with Trump's six-pages of persecution mania.  
As Dan Froomkin complained, it still wasn't enough to make the media question Trump's mental state (a few did), but the media did notice the shameful depths reached by Trump's Republican house supporters