Newspaper column: Articles of impeachment are flimsy ploys

This past week Donald Trump became only the third president to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. Neither of the other two were convicted by the Senate — Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999 — and neither will Trump, because Republicans hold a majority of Senate seats and there is no way to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority to remove Trump from office.

Not a single House Republican voted in favor of either article of impeachment, because they were flimsy to the point of being wisps in the Democratically driven wind. Even a couple of Democrats rejected them.

Both “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” are so nebulous that they can be defined as disagreeing with someone or anyone.

“Through their depraved actions today, crazy Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats have branded themselves with an eternal mark of shame, and it really is, it’s a disgrace,” Trump correctly informed a rally in Battle Creek, Mich., shortly after the vote, according to the Washington Examiner. “They think the Washington swamp should be able to veto the results of an election. That’s what they think. There’s never been a time like this.”

What constituted “abuse of power” was Trump suggesting in a July telephone conversation with the newly elected president of the Ukraine that someone should investigate past dealings by 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. “So, if you can look into it …” Trump said, according to the transcript. This was not a request to “dig dirt” on a potential political opponent as so many in the press have described it, but rather a suggestion that an investigation might be warranted. Trump was accused of withholding military aid to coerce the investigation.

Since Trump has been investigated by countless government bureaucracies since he raised his hand to take the oath of office, might that be construed as abuse of power and an attempt to influence the next election?

As for “obstruction of Congress,” The Wall Street Journal notes that this amounts to nothing more than Trump going to court to protect the powers of his office from politically motivated snooping, something many presidents have done, including Clinton and Barack Obama. Democrats didn’t give the courts a chance to rule on what the law is.

Nevada’s Democratic representatives — Dina Titus, Steven Horsford and Susie Lee — all voted for both articles of impeachment. In a statement Titus said of Trump, “He tried to rig the 2020 elections by soliciting foreign interference, and then engaged in an unprecedented cover-up once he got caught. No president can be permitted to abuse the power of the office for personal, political gain, nor try to hide his misdeeds by demanding that his subordinates withhold key documents and refuse to testify before Congress.”

Republican Congressman Mark Amodei, who represents northern Nevada voted “nay” on both articles. Amodei noted in a statement explaining his votes, “What happened after the phone call is also essentially uncontested. Ukrainian aid was slowed for several weeks but provided by mid-September. There was a meeting between President Trump and President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy. There is no evidence that the Ukrainian Government has investigated the Bidens and therefore, no announcements regarding the same.”

As for obstructing Congress, Amodei listed a litany of refusals by the Obama administration to cooperate with requests from Congress — everything from Fast & Furious gun dealings with drug cartels to the Iran Nuclear Deal to Obamacare subsidies to Solyndra and Benghazi.

Regarding the attack in Benghazi that left four Americans dead, Amodei quoted the White House counsel’s explanation for refusing to answer questions from Congress, “If the President were to answer your questions, his response would suggest that Congress has the unilateral power to demand answers from the President about his official acts.” Which is what Congress just tried to do with Trump.

The congressman concluded that he didn’t believe Obama should have been impeached for obstructing Congress and neither should Trump.

This entire process has been an affront to American voters, who should remember how their current representatives abused the system for the sake of political power come the November election.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

13 comments on “Newspaper column: Articles of impeachment are flimsy ploys

  1. reziac says:

    Since when were any of the Dem accusations actually CRIMES in the first place? “Quid Pro Quo” and “Obstruction of Congress” are literally the President’s Constitutional job description — he’s *supposed* to negotiate with the world and he’s *supposed* to block Congress from being stupid (what the heck do they think his Veto power IS, anyway??)

    So I guess what the Dems are saying is that the President should be just a figurehead, and anything more is unacceptable. Boy, is that gonna bite the next Dem president (assuming, unfortunately, that we’ll be dumb enough to elect another Dem to high office).

  2. Anonymous says:

    CRIMES? What difference has whether a president committed CRIMES or not ever matter to republicans when it comes to impeaching a DEMOCRATIC president?

    “This is a genuine quote from Graham.

    Graham was one of 13 U.S. House Republicans from the judiciary committee who served as a “manager” (similar to a prosecutor) during the impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton. As Graham made his case for Clinton’s impeachment on Jan. 16, 1999, the South Carolina lawmaker explained his thoughts on what constituted a “high crime” and argued that a president’s being convicted of a crime was not required for impeachment.”

    You people man.

  3. Rincon says:

    This article suggests that the famous phone call “transcript” is the only piece of evidence. The “transcript” was not word for word, but taken from the notes of White House partisans by partisans who work closely with the President. Presumably, the President was able to inspect and approve this so called “transcript”. Not a terribly reliable piece of testimony.

    This article ignores the testimony of twelve witnesses, many whose careers were endangered by testifying, regarding several other conversations, other communications, and Presidential orders given. Gordon Sondland in particular actually summarized his testimony by saying, “Was there a quid pro quo?…. the answer is yes.” But Thomas somehow decided this wasn’t important enough to include.

    He also ignores the fact that somewhere near 18 people, many who presumably could testify in favor of Trump, if he was innocent, have defied Congressional subpoenas. If any of us did that, we would be in the slammer. And no, Obama’s people didn’t defy Congressional subpoenas left and right. Eric Holder was a defendant. Normal citizen defendants have the right to refuse to be called to the stand. Lois Lerner pleaded the 5th Amendment, as all citizens have the right to do. Brian Pagliano also pleaded the 5th. But Thomas thinks this is equivalent to the stonewalling by 18 of Trump’s Administration, under Trump’s orders according to some of them. Presumably, Thomas believes Congress should be stripped of its subpoena power. So much for checks and balances.

    He also ignores that fact that Trump’s personal lawyer engaged in covert negotiations with several Ukrainian bosses on several occasions in order to dig up (or manufacture) dirt on Biden. I argue that if we consider it acceptable for a President to use his personal employee to covertly negotiate with foreign leaders for said President’s personal gain, then we must also allow the same for a future President’s thugs and henchmen. Sounds pretty autocratic to me.

    And he also chooses to ignore the abundant evidence of obstruction of justice in both the Ukraine and Mueller investigations.

    Speaking of the Mueller Investigation, the facts are that Trump publicly invited Russia to hack into the DNC computers, his campaign benefited from this hacking, covertly maintained contact with Russian agents regarding this matter, and actively attempted to suppress this information, publicly denying that anything of the sort occurred. Several Trump staffers were convicted of perjury, among other things. But Trump was the victim of a witch hunt in the eyes of his supporters.

    I agree that Trump should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, just like OJ Simpson.

    A nicely written editorial, but perhaps just a wee bit one sided.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Would the repeated violation of the law against employing illegal aliens be sufficient grounds for you to believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office Thomas?

    Obviously this has occurred, and continues to occur, and as of yet, I’ve heard nothing about it here and that’s true even while your opinions about…illegals, are so well known.

    What gives?

    Maybe the most hypocritical thing is that for all the condemnation folks on the right have for these people, and of course the damn democrats because…well, just because, you’ve got a prime example of exactly why “these people” keep coming here, and nothing but silence.

    You people man.

    “Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Va., fired at least seven undocumented employees on Monday, according to The Washington Post, citing two of the workers.

    The Trump Organization dismissed several undocumented greenskeepers and cooks at Trump properties 11 months ago, but the winery firings came after the completion of the winery’s annual grape harvest, the Post reported Tuesday.

    Omar Miranda, a tractor driver from Honduras who was fired on Monday, speculated that the dismissals were purposely timed for immediately after the completion of the annual harvest so that the company could take advantage of their labor as long as possible. A second worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed the same belief to the Post. Both workers had been employed at the location for more than a decade, the newspaper reported.”

  5. Anonymous says:

    So nothing?

    You guys man.

    Principles Thomas, principles.

  6. You had your say. What do you want? An echo chamber?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I guess what I want is for people like you, who for years suggested that Trump has committed no crime, actually has committed crimes and that the crimes he has committed are not only impeachable offenses, but serious enough for the very future of the country, that he should be investigated for what he knew about his companies employing illegals, and that if he did know that he should be removed.

    Instead of just silence.

  8. You think Trump knew about the illegal alien gardener?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is trump not responsible? And if you don’t know if trump knew, shouldn’t we find out through an investigation?

    Doesn’t it bother you that the president that speaks out against illegals on a daily basis, with your support, would benefit from hiring those illegals? How do justify this?

  10. Anonymous says:

    As far as Trump lying, well, we all know he lies, then lies some more, and more until people expect that he’s lying. But, he said way back in December of lat year that he company was using EVerify to ensure his companies were no longer employing the illegals that they’ve employed since trump took over for his daddy.

    “There are many people without papers,” said Ms. Diaz, who said she witnessed several people being hired whom she knew to be undocumented.

    Mr. Trump has made border security and the fight to protect jobs for Americans a cornerstone of his presidency, from the border wall he has pledged to build to the workplace raids and payroll audits that his administration has carried out.

    During the presidential campaign, when the Trump International Hotel opened for business in Washington, Mr. Trump boasted that he had used an electronic verification system, E-Verify, to ensure that only those legally entitled to work were hired.

    “We didn’t have one illegal immigrant on the job,” Mr. Trump said then.

    [I REALLY loved this lie!}

    But throughout his campaign and his administration, Ms. Morales, 45, has been reporting for work at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, where she is still on the payroll. An employee of the golf course drives her and a group of others to work every day, she says, because it is known that they cannot legally obtain driver’s licenses.”

    So, you got him hiring illegals, lying about hiring illegals, then getting caught for hiring illegals, all the while saying how much the country was being wrecked because peole were hiring illegals, and guys like you cheering him on.

    What gives?

  11. Anonymous says:

    So now that the GAO has found that Trump did commit a crime when he withheld the military aid from the Ukraine can we expect an update here Thomas?

  12. That is the opinion of the deep state bureaucrats at the GAO.

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