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Notes from Senate Impeachment Trial – #2

Speeches over; questions next

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 28,2020)

Some impressions as the trial completes phase one and prepares for phase two:

  1. The first take-away is the comparison between the two presentations. The House speakers were on a mission and they showed it. They were obviously playing to the television audience more than the senators. Their rhetoric was graphic, at times crude (particularly Mr. Naylor). Their tone was passionate, sometimes angry. Their body language was tense. The exception was Mr. Schiff, who proved himself an effective and articulate advocate, who appeared convinced and convincing, especially in his opening summary. In his final speech, however, some of the earlier polish seemed to have worn off as he spoke of the President in personal and insulting terms, dripping with hatred.
  2. The President’s team overall was much cooler in manner, with the exception of Mr. Sekulow, who supplied the passion, sometimes slipping into anger. White House Counsel Patrick Capilione was quietly and rationally effective, in the sharpest contrast to the House team. I found his manner more effective than Sekulow’s. Anger in the Senate chamber seemed a bit out of place.

In terms of the arguments on their merits, I, like many others, found the House case full of assumptions, presumptions and very weak. Of course, I had the same reaction to the original testimony, so my reaction was not surprising that I reacted to the trial presentation which was derived from and actually re-used large portions of the House footage.

The basic issue was the definition of “crime”. The House wants to call such terms as “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” crimes meeting the standard of the Constitution. That standard is admittedly brief – “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. However, the application of common sense to this description, as pointed out by the founders’ commentary, demands that “crimes” must be specific and provable. Otherwise, the charge is simply a matter of opinion and therefore indefensible. Such are the terms of the current articles approved by partisan House.

The President’s team had their moments. Particularly damning was the recitation of the case against Joseph and Hunter Biden. Three lawyers split the presentation into Overview (Sekulow), Facts (Pam Bondi) and Conclusions (Eric Herschmann). It is hard to believe that the elder Mr. Biden can continue to attract support for his presidential bid after such a graphic, detailed and public recitation of the case against him.

Also notable was the presentation of Alan Dershowitz, who spoke to the constitutional standard of impeachment. His explanation was replete with citations and quotations and delivered in such a rapid-fire style that it was like trying to get a drink from a fire hose. The prominence of the speaker, however, added a certain level of authority to the argument. In view of his status as a lifelong Democrat, it is doubtful that his performance swayed any Democrats.

Today’s defense of the President ended with a plea to the Senators from Mr. Capilione to preserve for the American people the right to vote for their president, and to vote “for what in your heart you know is right”. As one of the commentators observed, however, politicians rarely vote what is in their hearts, preferring to vote for their best political advantage – a cynical remark which is unfortunately all too often true.

The overall impression of this entire exercise appears to be a gigantic waste of time and resources because the entire body of the Senate knew the outcome before the whole drama began. Namely, they will almost all vote the party line, and nothing said in this whole charade will change more than a few votes.

The only true exceptions to this outcome will be those politicians who believe that they cannot be re-elected if they vote with the party or have already decided not to run again. This whole business has to be changed to accurately reflect the momentous responsibility involved in an impeachment vote for both the immediate present and future American generations. I don’t know how that can be accomplished, but it is imperative that this process not be allowed to destroy America’s electoral process.

 

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

Notes on Senate Impeachment trial – #1

The rules for impeachment must be changed

by Dr. Larry Fedewa (January 22, 2020)

Some notes on the early stages of the Senate impeachment of President Trump:

A. Definitions: “crime”, “evidence”

a. It appears that the most basic differences between the two sides in the impeachment trial revolve around the definitions of two terms: “crime” and “evidence”.

b. The President’s team insists that the Constitution language “bribery, treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors” requires that impeachment can be carried forward only if there is an act which breaks a recognizable law, in other words, a “crime” as normally defined. This can be considered a technical definition of “crime”. Keep Reading

Today’s impeachment hearing

Bias among the elite

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (December 4, 2019)

The first House Judiciary hearing featured three professors in favor of Trump impeachment, one against. The three anti-Trump witnesses elaborated their definitions of “high crimes and misdemeanors” and all came to the conclusion that Mr. Trump was guilty as charged of the three principal charges advocated by the House Intelligence Committee report on its “investigation”, namely, bribery, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.

Jonathan Turley, the lone expert opposed to impeachment, advocated caution and against proceeding with the current case because it has no solid evidentiary basis and no bipartisan consensus of wrongdoing – hallmarks of the previous two modern cases of impeachment. As expected, the questioning was conducted along partisan lines. Keep Reading

What now?

Exhausted by their hearings, the House now takes a 10-day vacation

By. Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 23, 2019)

Amid apparently lagging interest in the whole impeachment drama on Capitol Hill, the Democrats leave Washington for the Thanksgiving recess with a serious question to ponder. They have to decide whether to pursue their impeachment strategy toward what looks like a bitter end, or to construct an alternate strategy. It looks increasingly like the practical politicians versus the true believers.

As this column has pointed out, the stakes are very high: almost certainly the control of the House in 2020 and probably the presidency as well. The House is currently split with 233 Democrat seats versus 197 Republican seats (+4 vacancies). The Republicans need to gain a net 18 seats to resume control. Their prospects seem to depend on re-gaining the 31 so-called “Trump districts”, i.e. seats that Democrats won in 2018 that had voted for Trump in 2016. Historical trends are against the Republicans, since control of the House has flipped during a presidential election only twice (1948 and 1952) since 1900. Keep Reading

What have the Dems’ impeachment hearings revealed so far?

Interesting but irrelevant

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 16,2019)

The much-publicized hearings of the House Intelligence Committee began last Wednesday with three high ranking State Department officials over two days. The hearings revealed two things: 1) how deep the “Deep State” goes, and 2) how shallow the Democrats’ case against President Donald Trump really is.

The Deep State 

There are thousands of honest, hard-working people in the federal bureaucracy, who toil conscientiously every day to do the jobs they have been assigned. Among them are the first three witnesses called by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) to lead off the public testimony phase of his impeachment inquiry.

Their testimony demonstrated just how deep the “Deep State” goes by revealing its characteristics. These people are sincerely dedicated to what they perceive as the official policies of the United States government. The fact that the policy they are dedicated to has been crafted by the senior career officers of their department is simply beyond their grasp. They believe and earnestly defend the un-Constitutional premise that foreign policy should be non-political and that all key decisions and staff should reflect an ongoing strategy and practice which transcends the comings and goings of politicians.    Keep Reading

Will Trump win in 2020?

 

 

Don’t be too sure

 

 

                                        

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (November 9, 2019)

The general opinion among Trump supporters – and many Democrats — is that a sitting president who oversees a thriving economy is very difficult to beat in an election for his second term. There is plenty of precedent for this prediction. Only two presidents since WWII have been defeated for a second term – Jimmy Carter and George Herbert Walker Bush. Carter faced a serious recession and Bush shared the vote with third party candidate, Ross Perot. So, history is definitely on the side of this opinion.

Many Trump supporters believe that his re-election is virtually assured. This is a potentially dangerous presumption. Keep Reading

The Dems are destroying the presidency

The real challenge to the Constitution

 

  Among the many absurd accusations being carelessly hurled around by the Democrats these days is the most absurd of all: that the President is violating the Constitution. In fact, we are seeing another example of the Left’s habit of accusing the President – and conservatives in general – of committing the very crimes that they themselves have actually committed.

The most egregious example of this behavior is the Democrats’ accusations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to overthrow the 2016 election, when in fact the Clintons and their campaign had a long – and very profitable —  influence-peddling scheme going  on, using the Clinton Foundation as their cover – to the tune of over $100 million! Even the Mueller fiasco could not find evidence of Trump involvement.

In this case, Nancy Pelosi, through Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler and their cohorts, have all but destroyed any U.S. president’s ability to carry on foreign policy. What leader of a foreign government is going to want to talk confidentially with the American president when they have a well-founded fear of their conversation being broadcast to the public? The same goes for American diplomats. Keep Reading

Thank God for elections!

The only way to resolve the current stand-off      

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (October 20, 2019)

The most important function of government in the United States of America is ultimately the elections at every level of government – federal, state, county, township, and some other public services, such as public school boards and bond issues. Elections are the way we proclaim our collective “consent of the governed”, as required by the Constitution.

It is important to remember this basic fact at this time in view of two factors which will dominate the next election: 1) the serious and almost successful attempt by the bureaucracy to reverse the presidential election of 2016, and the current attempt of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives to accomplish the same objective through their peculiar activities to impeach the winner of that election; 2) the extraordinary level of disagreement over the state and future of the country which exists on both sides, which has resulted in massive demonstrations by both sides and frequently by violence from the opponents of the current administration.  Keep Reading

Hey Dems, control your attack dogs!

The warning of the Minneapolis Trump rally

By Dr, Larry Fedewa (October 13, 2019)

The contrast could not have been starker: 20,000 people inside and 25,000 people outside the Minneapolis Target Center on Thursday night, having a great time at a Trump rally compared to a few hundred angry protesters in the parking lot taunting police, breaking things, and burning confiscated property. The threat of further violence was thick in the air, particularly as the audience began to leave for home after the event. The fact that no one was hurt appears to have been due to the very visible presence of the police, who were out in force.

Political protest is one of the rights of all Americans. But violence in the name of free speech is NOT a right. The American Left seems to have trouble recognizing this fact. Nor do they recognize the rights of conservatives who also have the right to free speech, as witnessed by all the effective blocks of conservative speakers on U.S. campuses.

But what do the thought leaders of the Democrat Party have to do with violence in the streets? Most of the time, they weren’t even there. The answer is in their words. Namely, the apocalyptic tone of so many of their messages. A good example is the leader of their party, Nancy Pelosi, who speaks of this President as bringing about the “end of our democracy”, “violating the Constitution”, and the like. Talk about condemnation without a trial! She and her co-conspirators are condemning the President first and looking for evidence later.

Even more apocalyptic is the rhetoric of the radical wing of the party who are predicting the end of the world unless their insane recommendations for climate control are heeded. “Seven years left to sustain a habitable planet!” “Eliminate fossil fuels or die!” Their “Green America” agenda is packed with outlandish proposals.

All this rhetoric is bound to stir up extreme reactions. It is intended to. Fear can be a great motivator. It can also overcome logic, common sense and science. Witness the huge reaction of youths during their March 15, 2019 international strike for climate change.

It is also inciting to riot. The irresponsible talk by the leaders of the Democrat Party has let the genie of violence out of the bottle. It seems inevitable that protests like the one in Minneapolis  will evolve between now and November 3, 2020 into violence – UNLESS the rhetoric of the candidates and leaders of the Democrat Party cools off. Even then, it may be too late!

As usual, the Dems accuse the Right of committing the very sins the Left are in fact guilty of – whether they be conspiracy, corruption, or in this case violence. In Minneapolis, the supporters of the President were having an exciting but peaceful event. The protesters were the villains in the story – as they have been in so many demonstrations, riots and marches. The days of Martin Luther King, Jr. and non-violent protests are long gone.

The days of Antifa are here.

 

© Richfield Press, 2019. All Rights reserved.

It’s really not that complicated!

The deep state’s last stand (this term)

By Dr. Larry Fedewa (October 5,2019)

The Attorney General of the United States is investigating the nearly successful coup d’etat 2015-17 which attempted to overthrow the President of the United States. Since there is evidence of interaction between the American conspirators and several foreign countries, including the United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, China, Australia, and perhaps others, the AG asked the President to help him open doors in these countries.

The President then asked for this assistance during his telephone conversations with the leaders of these countries. As in any such conversations, the two leaders engage in some bargaining – some subtle and some explicit. Both assume that their conversations are protected by Executive Privilege from public disclosure.

On July 25, 2019 the President talked to the new President of the Ukraine government. It happens that the $400+ million military aid grant from the US to Ukraine has been held up since the spring, presumably because of the Ukrainian election and change of administrations.

It also happens that former Vice President Joseph Biden, now running for the Democrats’ presidential nomination, has long been mentioned as having used his position to shield his son, called Hunter Biden, from investigation by the Ukrainian government for corruption. Since there is evidence of Ukrainian input to the American conspiracy, the US President asked the Ukrainian President for his cooperation in finding out the truth behind this story.

The case was centered on the younger Biden being named a Board member of a Ukrainian energy company with a handsome stipend (now reported as $83,000 per month), simply and solely because of his last name. The senior Biden has even bragged on television about how he succeeded in threatening to withhold US military aid to Ukraine – fighting the Russians in Crimea at the time – unless the Ukrainian government fired a prosecutor who was investigating the company which was paying his son.

Did President Trump do something wrong as the Democrats alleged (before having read the transcript)? Perhaps he was not attentive enough to appearances – Mr. Trump is not known for subtlety. But a crime? Or a “high crime or misdemeanor” worthy of impeachment? That is pure fantasy. Since it comes right on the heels of the failure of the Mueller Report to provide a credible basis for impeachment, these charges seem to reflect a last-ditch effort to discredit the President sufficiently to prevent his reelection next year. That interpretation also would explain why the hurry. Time is running out before the presidential campaign hits high gear. With a Republican majority in the Senate, it is extremely unlikely that there would be the 67 votes necessary to convict a Republican President. The current effort is therefore best understood as part of the 2020 campaign.

There are many extraneous charges, arguments, and issues being raised regarding the identity of the whistleblower, the House Intelligence Committee procedures, the House protocols, subpoenas, executive privilege, the role of the President’s personal attorney, etc. But the fact remains that the intelligence community, initially led by Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan and DNI chief James Clapper, have a long history of attempting to sabotage this President.

So don’t be fooled: it’s not really that complicated.

 

© Richfield Press, 2019. All rights reserved.