In a column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Jonathan Alter laid out the case that Democrats should proceed immediately with impeachment hearings on Donald Trump that would have the added benefit of putting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the position of having to defend the president.
With the Democratic House Judiciary Committee expected to vote this week on how to proceed forward with impeaching the president, Alter suggested McConnell could be collateral damage in an inquiry into Trump’s crimes and corruption.
Admitting that it was unlikely that the GOP-controlled Senate would vote for impeachment if it passed out of the House, Alter suggested that there is still a benefit that could help the Democrats take down McConnell who is facing re-election.
“I could also mean something else: attacking Trump and McConnell at the same time. It may be that a winning Democratic impeachment strategy is coming into view, one that simultaneously upholds the rule of law and yields political dividends,” he wrote. “I call it ‘Stain and Blame’ —stain Trump by impeaching him, and blame McConnell when he is acquitted in the Senate. ”
“The Clinton trial took place in a Republican-controlled Senate and was presided over by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who wore a special robe embroidered with ribbons he adopted from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. The prosecutors in the case were 12 ‘House Managers’ (including then-Rep. Lindsey Graham); the defense was handled by Clinton’s private lawyers—including a brilliant, wheelchair-bound litigator named Charles Ruff—and one Democratic senator, Dale Bumpers,” he explained before noting the proceeding were “humiliating” for Clinton.
“This time, the trial in the well of the Senate would be presided over by Chief Justice John Roberts, who, like Rehnquist, would run it like a quasi-trial, with evidence, witnesses (who would likely appear in person) and summations. Nadler and others from the House Judiciary Committee would serve as prosecutors. Trump would have private lawyers defending him. The senators would be the jury,” he continued as he once again conceded the GOP controlled Senate would likely not impeach Trump.
“If the Clinton case is any indication, a week-long Senate trial would wrap up only a month or so after impeachment. That means the whole thing would be over in January or February. The Democrats could shower blame on McConnell for the acquittal and move on,” he wrote. “By summer, Democratic members would have had plenty of time to refocus their attention on constituent concerns. No Republican challenger can credibly argue in October of 2020 that the incumbent Democrat ignored constituents for a brief period 10 months earlier while he or she voted for impeachment. People can’t remember what happened two weeks ago, much less 10 months ago.”
“With one exception: The impeachment of the President. The memories of that are long. Despite his acquittal, impeachment—a convenient shorthand for all of his despicable qualities—would hang around Donald Trump’s neck all the way to Election Day. And he would be stained forever in history, his just deserts,” Alter concluded.
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House Judiciary Schedules Impeachment Hearings With Constitutional Law Experts – and Invites Trump to Attend
President Donald Trump recently said he would be happy to testify at the House impeachment hearings, but never followed through. He may get his chance next week, when the next round of impeachment hearings is slated to begin.
This time the House Judiciary Committee will be in charge. Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) says the hearings will feature constitutional law experts, and he has invited the President and the president’s lawyers to attend.
Next week’s hearings are titled “The Impeachment Inquiry into President Donald J. Trump: Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.”
A House Democratic aide calls it “a very serious and solemn matter. This process starts with applying the constitutional law to the facts that have been found and the evidence is order to assess the seriousness of the alleged high crimes and misdemeanors,” according to The Hill.
“The Committee intends this hearing to serve as an opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment, as well as the Framers’ intent of terms like ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,'” Chairman Nadler says in his letter addressed to President Trump.
The hearing for now is slated for just one day, Wednesday, December 4. If the president decides to testify or even attend, presumably that could be extended.
State by State: Here Are the Top 5 States That Support Impeaching Trump and the Top 5 That Oppose It
After having the last two Republican presidents installed by the Electoral College despite both having lost the popular vote by a substantial margin, Americans are starting to understand that national polls – and the national vote – aren’t the best measure of what the future holds. The polls weren’t wrong – Hillary Clinton did, in fact, beat Donald Trump, and by almost 3 million votes – but 77,000 or so people across three states had a different opinion, and they literally decided the election.
So it’s a very good idea to look at public opinion state by state, at least until the Electoral College is no more.
The folks at Civiqs are doing just that. They’ve been measuring public opinion, state by state, on impeaching President Trump since June of 2018. There are some interesting – and alarming – insights.
Overall (yes, not important, but good to know as a baseline) 52% of Americans support impeaching trump, according to Civiqs’ latest report, and 45% oppose impeaching him.
The majority of Americans 18-49 support impeachment, the majority of those 50 and older do not.
58% of women support impeaching Trump, but 52% of men don’t.
54% of whites oppose impeachment. 87% of Blacks, and 70% of Hispanics and Latinos support impeachment.
So, by state?
Here are the top five (six, actually, due to a tie) states that support impeaching President Trump:
Hawaii (71%), Vermont (68%), Massachusetts (66%), California (64%), and Rhode Island and Washington (tied at 63%).
And the top 5 states that oppose impeaching President Trump:
Wyoming (69%), West Virginia (68%), Oklahoma (65%), and Arkansas and North Dakota (tied at 62%).
If you’re wondering how accurate this report is, Civiqs got 156,788 responses, which is a huge sample size.
Trump Forced to Face ‘Lock Him Up’ Chants and ‘Impeach’ and ‘Dump Trump’ Signs as He Delivers Speech in New York
President Donald Trump continued his strategy of using his office for political gain, including re-election, by delivering for the first time a speech in New York City on Veterans Day. Trump recently attended several sporting events where there were protests against him, and today was no different.
Surrounding Madison Square Park in Manhattan are several tall buildings, some of which featured signs that read “Impeach,” “Impeach and convict,” and “Dump Trump.” Outside the Manhattan park where Trump was speaking chants of “lock him up” and “impeach and remove” could be heard.
This is all a reminder of why it would have been virtually impossible for Trump to return to NY to live after the White House.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 11, 2019
Recent reports show Trump has decided to ignore the historic separation of a president’s political campaign and his public appearances and the use of the White House. After being caught fraudulently fundraising, last week Trump announced he would host the winner of a social media contest promoting his campaign at the White House.
Here are some of the protests of Trump’s Monday speech in New York City.
Trump decided to come to NYC again.
And hide behind veterans at our Veterans Day parade.
So New Yorkers showed up to say, “IMPEACH AND REMOVE!”
— Joshua Potash 🆘 (@JoshuaPotash) November 11, 2019
Protesting Trump at the NYC Veteran’s Day Parade. Trump deports vets, fires them (Vindman), and privatizes their health insurance. pic.twitter.com/fl7ShYnPlF
— Rise and Resist (@riseandresistny) November 11, 2019
In windows of building overlooking Trump’s Veterans Day speech site pic.twitter.com/tMYSnaNrv7
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 11, 2019
Building overlooking Madison Square Park where Trump will speak at Veteran’s Day parade has IMPEACH spelled out in windows. pic.twitter.com/LThKU3TDk4
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) November 11, 2019
— Alexander McCoy (@AlexanderMcCoy4) November 11, 2019
More signs overlooking Trump’s speech including “Dump Trump” pic.twitter.com/CK2SgcoHmP
— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) November 11, 2019
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