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Constitutionally, it may be conducted in any way the House decides. The Constitution does not require due process, presumption of innocence, nor the President’s involvement in the process.  The drafters of the Constitution deliberately made it that way.  The linked article outlines a bit of the history.

From the article:

To be fair, the Constitution is pretty spare in its description of how impeachment works. It gives the “sole power of impeachment” to the House of Representatives and the “sole power to try impeachments” to the Senate but it doesn’t say much more, beyond the fact that Congress’s power is limited to removing someone from office — a point the founders wanted to stress, since in England at the time, an impeachment conviction could lead to execution.

And there hasn’t been much elaboration since. The Supreme Court weighed in on the Senate’s procedures for impeaching judges back in 1993, but the justices ruled that the question of how the Senate was conducting its impeachment trials was a political one, and therefore beyond their power to decide. “The consensus was that it would take something extraordinary, verging on deciding the outcome with a coin-flip, to allow the justices to intervene and say the Senate was doing things wrong,” Bowman said.

I keep hearing the refrain, “you and the left defrauded the country about collusion for two years and so now you’re on to something else because that didn’t work.”  First of all, the House continues to investigate the issue of collusion (which is distinct from “criminal conspiracy” as Mueller noted).

From Time Magazine:

The Report documents the following actions (each of which is analyzed in detail in Part II):

1. Trump was receptive to a Campaign national security adviser’s (George Papadopoulos) pursuit of a back channel to Putin.

2. Kremlin operatives provided the Campaign a preview of the Russian plan to distribute stolen emails.

3. The Trump Campaign chairman and deputy chairman (Paul Manafort and Rick Gates) knowingly shared internal polling data and information on battleground states with a Russian spy; and the Campaign chairman worked with the Russian spy on a pro-Russia “peace” plan for Ukraine.

4. The Trump Campaign chairman periodically shared internal polling data with the Russian spy with the expectation it would be shared with Putin-linked oligarch, Oleg Deripaska.

5. Trump Campaign chairman Manafort expected Trump’s winning the presidency would mean Deripaska would want to use Manafort to advance Deripaska’s interests in the United States and elsewhere.

6. Trump Tower meeting: (1) On receiving an email offering derogatory information on Clinton coming from a Russian government official, Donald Trump Jr. “appears to have accepted that offer;” (2) members of the Campaign discussed the Trump Tower meeting beforehand; (3) Donald Trump Jr. told the Russians during the meeting that Trump could revisit the issue of the Magnitsky Act if elected.

7. A Trump Campaign official told the Special Counsel he “felt obliged to object” to a GOP Platform change on Ukraine because it contradicted Trump’s wishes; however, the investigation did not establish that Gordon was directed by Trump.

8. Russian military hackers may have followed Trump’s July 27, 2016 public statement “Russia if you’re listening …” within hours by targeting Clinton’s personal office for the first time.

9. Trump requested campaign affiliates to get Clinton’s emails, which resulted in an individual apparently acting in coordination with the Campaign claiming to have successfully contacted Russian hackers.

10. The Trump Campaign—and Trump personally—appeared to have advanced knowledge of future WikiLeaks releases.

11. The Trump Campaign coordinated campaign-related public communications based on future WikiLeaks releases.

12. Michael Cohen, on behalf of the Trump Organization, brokered a secret deal for a Trump Tower Moscow project directly involving Putin’s inner circle, at least until June 2016.

13. During the presidential transition, Jared Kushner and Eric Prince engaged in secret back channel communications with Russian agents. (1) Kushner suggested to the Russian Ambassador that they use a secure communication line from within the Russian Embassy to speak with Russian Generals; and (2) Prince and Kushner’s friend Rick Gerson conducted secret back channel meetings with a Putin agent to develop a plan for U.S.-Russian relations.

14. During the presidential transition, in coordination with other members of the Transition Team, Michael Flynn spoke with the Russian Ambassador to prevent a tit for tat Russian response to the Obama administration’s imposition of sanctions for election interference; the Russians agreed not to retaliate saying they wanted a good relationship with the incoming administration.

During the course of 2016, Trump Campaign associates failed to report any of the Russian/WikiLeaks overtures to federal law enforcement, publicly denied any contacts with Russians/WikiLeaks, and actively encouraged the public to doubt that Russia was behind the hacking and distribution of stolen emails.

One qualification before proceeding to the analysis in Part II: a significant amount of relevant information was unavailable to Mueller due to four factors. First, as the Report states, “several individuals affiliated with the Trump Campaign lied to the Office,” and “those lies materially impaired the investigation of Russian election interference.” Second, President Trump’s interference in the investigation also appears to have stymied the investigation. A key example is Paul Manafort’s failure to cooperate with the Special Counsel because he was apparently led to believe that President Trump would pardon him. Third, some individuals used encrypted communications or deleted their communications. Fourth, some of the individuals who “cooperated” with the investigation (e.g., Steve Bannon) appear to have been deceptive or not fully forthcoming in their dealings with the Special Counsel. Several individuals failed to recall the content of important conversations with Trump or other Campaign associates. The Report states, “Even when individuals testified or agreed to be interviewed, they sometimes provided information that was false or incomplete.”

A court last week ordered the DOJ to produce Mueller’s note about counterintelligence and the Intelligence Committee is being less timid than Mueller about pushing subpoenas where Mueller just accepted the lack of cooperation as a given.  It hasn’t been in the headlines, but it will probably be revived in time.

I don’t think you quite realize that the latest is so blatant that even the conservative Democrats are on board, and we will be hearing much more about the 2016 election before this is through.

But regardless of whether there was criminal conspiracy, there is absolutely no doubt that Trump consistently seeks the assistance of foreign powers to aid him in winning elections.  And if the majority of Americans decide they have no problem with this, then we are going to open a floodgate, because every candidate will get free help from foreign governments from here on in.

Milo vs. Spencer.

Remember when Trump went to bat for these guys?  Those days are probably over.


November 2019