I begin my viewing of today’s impeachment testimony troubled deeply by the case for dictatorship Trump’s defense team is presenting. At the heart of the defense (bad metaphor so early in the morning. More coffee. There is no heart there!!) Instead let’s say down deep in the dark reeking pit of Trump’s defense is the claim that he should be king. But I’m an American and I have no king!
What do you think? Are you ready for Trump to be your ruler, above us all? If not, today would be a good time to speak your mind about it. Silence, they have said, is consent. I’ll be listening to the trial today, perhaps witnessing the fall of democracy, and I’ll be speaking my mind about it as best I can. Follow along if you like, pitch in your thoughts in the comments, if you like. It’s all up to you!
*** One big story line today is whether Rand Paul will defy the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to reveal the name of the whistle-blower. As if the name of the whistle-blower was of any real importance. We’ll see soon.
***A little pre-trial reading. Why do Trump’s defenders keep saying, “The president is the executive branch?” (The VP must cringe every time.) https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/bill-barrs-dangerous-pursuit-executive-power/592951/
*** another good prayer, “truth” “cognitive abilities” “relevant from irrelevant” “keep them from fear” “music of your wisdom” amen, dude! Thank you. Here we go. Time for the “pain of imprisonment” part, just to get your attention. This shite is the real thing!
***McConnell makes a side comment about the whistle-blower issue in his opening. Then it happened. Roberts got the question about the whistle-blower, and refused to ask it! Cool.
*** I’ve been finding it hard to write the word “Republican” when talking about the Trump defense. They aren’t Republicans at all. I’ll use the word “Trumpian” to describe them and all members of the Trump cult. “Republican” I’ll reserve only for principled conservative who stand up against the Trumpians.
*** I haven’t been posting, too fascinated by the show to do much more than take notes. But, Cipollone just blew up the Orwell meter! He said, with nearly a straight face but not quite, that “No one in this room doubts that Trump has fully cooperated with investigators.” No, really, he actually said that, near quote, anyway. A complete refusal to turn over documents is “full cooperation”. This is dangerous, okay, and yes, more dangerous in an election year.
One of the early questions was the “let’s make Roberts mad” question. Rand Paul’s question included the whistle-blower’s name and he refused to read it. What a burn, for that turd.
— The house managers are asked, “Why not follow through appeals courts to the Supremes on subpoenas, sole power, etc?”
Lofgren answers— She says the denied subpoenas were valid… then gives citations. I think the Trumpians should object on the grounds of actual evidence. That’s really not fair. A moment later Jason Crow rises to answer a question about whether Ukraine knew the aid was being withheld (It was only 400 million, I don’t know how they could have noticed) But instead of answering with sarcasm like I would, Crow answers directly and with evidence. Again. Darn those Dems! They’re like intellectual bullies or something, showing off how correct they are, using logic and evidence and all that. For example an email between Bolton and Blair that Ukraine knew the hold was in place. And then Crow calls for witnesses and documents. In a trial? Talk about not fair!
Lines from Adam Schiff. I’m a fan. “That way lies madness.” “an argument made of desperation.” “The one does not follow from the other.” Asked who is paying Guiliani, he says he doesn’t know but he knows “who is paying the freight for it, We all are. The American presidency is open for business.” Stingers. He gets cut off with his finger in the air. Schiff on the Catch 22 defense about courts, “you can’t make this stuff up.” I know what he means. Who would believe it, right?
***I keep misspelling Cipollone, so I might just say Chippy from now on. Anyway, Chippy had his best line yet, “calumny after calumny in dulcet tones” I had to go check if it was plagiarized but I didn’t find it. Nice diss, though. If this were a Shakespeare play. Which it resembles but in fact is quite real.
*** Liz Warren zings the room with a question about a trial without witnesses, including a reference to the judge. More classic Schiff “This is our remedy.” His response to “dulcet tones”? “The nicest thing he ever said about me.”
*** Poor Herschmann has to answer an open ended “respond to the House saying bad things about Trump” question. Softball, but his job is to read Trump’s tweets for a while. It’s a sad task for a grown man, but someone has to be at the bottom of the pecking order. He really struggles through the language, almost like it was the Constitution or something. Then he whines for while. Pathetic.
*** Hakim Jefferies gets a softball about what will stop Trump from becoming a monarch and he pretty much hits it out of the park. He says he’s counted up how many times the framers have been referred to in the hearings. He gets a laugh for saying he wants to bring a little more love for Tom Jefferson and Ben Franklin. From TJ “Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government and illegal for the citizenry.” “The Constitution matters.”
***I won’t call these Trump defenders Republicans anymore. The Trumpians are not Republicans. They don’t respect the law, or the Constitution, or Family Values or any Republican values. In fact, the Trumpians are not a political party at all. The Trumpians are a cult. And, as such, there is no reasoning with them, no argument that will sway them from following their idol. But there are Republican Senators who are not Trumpians. And the fate of our country is in their hands.
***Schiff is saying pretty well why the Dersh theory is dangerous. What is the remedy? Hold up a nominee? (Only impeachment can stop Trump) What will he do the day after he is acquitted in the Senate? (Look for a night of long ones, baby, and if you know what I mean, you would be worried, too. Cassandra is, that’s for sure. But she has another look right now, like something good is going to happen, too. Hmm? I hope so.)
*** Lindsey Graham and crew ask an important question that pleads “Please, isn’t it true this crime isn’t impeachable, so we can go golfing now?”
Philby answers, still saying there was no “no quid pro quo”, but just in case there was, esp. if John Bolton says there was, it still would not be impeachable. because— they don’t… because, oh yeah, they don’t involve a crime (though no one thinks that’s a valid point) and, 2) you know… It’s not high crimes and misdemeanors because it depends on intent, or was that motive? you know, what Dersh said, but “not the more radical portions of his interpretations” (to actual laughter) Anybody who agrees with this nonsense is a criminal. Now Philby says he fookin’ “demurs”? Son of a holy nun, he’s gonna go on. 3) legitimate public policy interest in both issues, even it it were true it perfectly permissible to break all sorts of laws. Oh, my goodness. But don’t worry about that nonsense, because there’s no linkage, no quid pro quo you know, no? What an answer! I think the technical term is nonsense.
Then Schiff responds. My notes are minimal because I was riveted. More classic Schiff— “that we would so willingly abdicate that responsibility…absolute power corrupts absolutely.” “We know why he did it, we all know the truth”… another good speech cut off to laughter. To be continued, he says.
*** Now Sekulow makes up “The Biden Rule”. He’s arguing to ditch the trial. Don’t bother finding out the truth. A lot of coughing going on. Dry air today? The whole long thing he read didn’t say anything about ditching the trial though. Putting in a long quote that didn’t quite apply was a favorite technique of my beginning writing students to fill up their papers. Most people don’t even read the quotes, you know.
He’s going on at length about some case he worked on once that went to Supremes. Then lies about executive privilege. But nobody has asked anybody to waive executive privilege. Because they have never asked for executive privilege. Dang these lying shite-buckets.
*** — Jeffries cheats again by answering a question with actual evidence, by listing in detail all the times Obama let people testify.
— Question from Merkley, et al. “Dersh said Trump can’t be impeached, Barr said he can’t be charged with a crime. Aren’t these views dangerous?” Ya think? Wow, everybody’s coughing like crazy tonight.
Schiff answers powerfully… “a prescription for a president with no constraint”
The next question suggests that Biden should be impeached instead of Trump. Um, maybe after he’s president… which I hope never happens. Philby answers by quoting Dersh again that only monetary actions are impeachable. But wait, um, Ivanka, Jared, Donny Jr.? This may not be where he really wants to go. Spends a while attacking Biden. Talking about buckets. That third bucket is where Trump will end up. The shite-bucket!
And after some confusion, the final question, which Nadler answers with a pretty simple idea. This is a trial. Every trial has witnesses.
So, the questioning is over? I guess so. Heavy, man. I don’t have a good feeling about this, over here on the Side. But Cassandra still has a tiny grin on her face.
*** Just broke that Susan Collins says she will vote for witnesses. But now Lamar Alexander said he’s a no. Dang!
But no one will get to vote until the morning comes.