Trump’s Ukraine Money Holdup Doesn’t Make For An Impeachable Breach Of The Law

Good takedown of the GAO claim and the main crux of impeachment.

Via NY Post:

The Government Accountability Office this week found that President Trump violated the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act when he delayed $215 million in foreign aid to Ukraine. “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the GAO bureaucrats said.

Cue the ritual hue and cry from the left. The same folks who publicly flirted with impeachment justifications like “quid pro quo” and bribery before settling on amorphous “abuse of power” and nonsensical “obstruction of Congress” charges have now glommed on to the GAO’s finding with alacrity. There’s even been some talk of drafting a new article of impeachment based on it.

They should curb their enthusiasm. First, Trump likely did not violate the ICA. Second, even if he did breach it, that law itself comes with its own remedy baked in — and it is a far less draconian remedy than impeachment.

Congress passed the ICA to counter its belief that Richard Nixon abused his executive-branch powers by impounding duly appropriated funds — a presidential custom stretching back to the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. The ICA allows for a president to formally request that Congress rescind appropriated funds; Congress then has 45 days to approve the president’s request. The GAO alleges that Trump flouted this process, and, in turn, his Article II constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

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Trump Team, House Managers Trade Sharp Views On Impeachment, Dems Trying To ‘Overturn 2016 And Interfere In 2020’

It’s always been about how much they can undermine.

Via Fox 5:

WASHINGTON – Dueling statements from President Donald Trump’s legal team and House Democrats offer a preview of the arguments in his impeachment trial. Trump’s team has issued a fiery response ahead of opening arguments while House Democrats laid out their case in forceful fashion, saying the president had “abandoned his oath” and betrayed the public trust.

Trump’s impeachment trial begins in earnest on Tuesday. Democrats and lawyers for the president are seeking to make their case for an American public bracing for a presidential election in 10 months.

President Donald Trump’s legal team issued a fiery response Saturday ahead of opening arguments in his impeachment trial, while House Democrats laid out their case in forceful fashion, saying the president betrayed public trust with behavior that was the “worst nightmare” of the founding fathers.

The dueling filings previewed arguments both sides intend to make once Trump’s impeachment trial begins in earnest Tuesday in the Senate. Their challenge will be to make a case that appeals to the 100 senators who will render the verdict and for an American public bracing for a presidential election in 10 months.

“President Donald J. Trump used his official powers to pressure a foreign government to interfere in a United States election for his personal political gain,” the House prosecutors wrote, “and then attempted to cover up his scheme by obstructing Congress’s investigation into his misconduct.”

Trump’s legal team, responding to the Senate’s official summons for the trial, said the president “categorically and unequivocally” denies the charges of abuse and obstruction against him.

“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away,” the president’s filing states.

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Overnight Open Thread: Dog Sled Delight

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Chuck Schumer’s 1999 Letter About Impeachment Comes Back To Bite Him

He ran for his Senate seat, specifically promising to help acquit Clinton if he won. Impartial, not.

Via NY Post:

Mr. President, this is a day of solemnity and awe. I rise humbled that we are participating in a process that was mapped out more than 200 years ago by the Founding Fathers and that the words we say today will be looked upon by historians and future Congresses for guidance. That is quite a responsibility.

I began this process in the House where it degenerated quickly into bitter acrimony. I would like to say to Majority Leader [Trent] Lott and Minority Leader [Tom] Daschle, and to my new colleagues who have wrestled with this case, that I deeply appreciate your fairness and patience and the way this has been handled with such dignity in the Senate.

Growing up, our country and its government seemed like a mighty oak — strong, rooted, permanent, and grand.

It has shaken me that we stand at the brink of removing a President — not because of a popular groundswell to remove him and not because of the magnitude of the wrongs he’s committed — but because conditions in late 20th century America has made it possible for a small group of people who hate Bill Clinton and hate his policies to very cleverly and very doggedly exploit the institutions of freedom that we hold dear and almost succeed in undoing him.

Most troubling to me are the conditions that allowed this to happen, than the small group who precipitated them.

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FBI Interview Notes With Page And Papadopoulos Are Released

Via Daily Caller:

The Justice Department released its fourth batch of documents from the special counsel’s probe Friday, including notes of FBI interviews with former Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The documents include the FBI’s interviews conducted in 2017 with Papadopoulos and with Page, as well as interviews with Russian associates of Page.

The records were provided to BuzzFeed News and CNN in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits for FBI notes, known as 302s, that were used in the Trump-Russia probe.

Papadopoulos and Page were two of the four original targets of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

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How Five Members Of Joe Biden’s Family Got Rich Through His Connections

Via NY Post:

Political figures have long used their families to route power and benefits for their own self-enrichment. In my new book, “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite,” one particular politician — Joe Biden — emerges as the king of the sweetheart deal, with no less than five family members benefiting from his largesse, favorable access and powerful position for commercial gain. In Biden’s case, these deals include foreign partners and, in some cases, even U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The Biden family’s apparent self-enrichment involves no less than five family members: Joe’s son Hunter, son-in-law Howard, brothers James and Frank, and sister Valerie.

When this subject came up in 2019, Biden declared, “I never talked with my son or my brother or anyone else — even distant family — about their business interests. Period.”

As we will see, this is far from the case…

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Pelosi Fist Bumps Over Impeachment With Bill Maher

Update to this story

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NBC Posits: Voting For Trump May Be Unconstitutional

How do they come up with things like this?

Via Twitchy:

The day is still young, but we’ve already got the hot take to end all hot takes, as spotted by Byron York.

There are too many levels of “wrong” in that to even be counted.

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Supreme Court To Hear ‘Faithless Elector’ Case Ahead Of 2020 Presidential Election

This could impact/invalidate the National Popular Vote effort as well.

Via Fox News:

The Supreme Court said Friday it will hear a case over whether presidential electors have to vote in accordance with their states’ popular vote in the Electoral College.

The court said it would take up the case of Chiafalo v. State of Washington, where three so-called “faithless electors” who were fined after voting in 2016 for Colin Powell are challenging whether a state can bind an elector to select the state’s popular vote winner.

In the faithless elector case, advocates for the court’s intervention say the issue needs urgent resolution in an era of intense political polarization and the prospect of a razor-thin margin in a presidential election, although so-called faithless electors have been a footnote so far in American history.

The justices will hear arguments in April and should issue a decision by late June.

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Elizabeth Warren Takes Credit for Sponsoring Bills She Voted Against

Does she ever tell the truth?

Via Free Beacon:

Underperforming presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has portrayed herself as a bipartisan dealmaker by taking credit for sponsoring bills she ultimately voted against.

“I do work with the other side,” Warren said in October during a radio interview in New Hampshire. “I’ve gotten more than a dozen bills passed into law, and they’ve been bipartisan. And that’s just been since Donald Trump has been elected president.” A post on the “Fact Squad” section of Warren’s campaign website similarly boasts that “Donald Trump has signed more than a dozen of Elizabeth’s proposals into law” and lists 15 pieces of legislation Warren sponsored.

Three of the items included in that tally, however, are bills that Warren ultimately voted against. The Gambling Addiction Prevention Act, the Sexual Trauma Response And Treatment Act, and the National Guard Promotion Accountability Act all passed the Senate in August 2018 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. Warren was one of only 10 senators who voted against the 2019 NDAA, along with fellow 2020 contenders Kamala Harris (RIP), Kirsten Gillibrand (RIP), and Bernie Sanders.

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Pelosi Gleefully Reminds Trump He’s ‘Impeached Forever’ During Appearance On Bill Maher Show

Her “solemn and sober” tour. Not so much.

Via Fox News:

Not much seemed solemn or prayerful about Nancy Pelosi’s appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday night.

In Maher’s return from a holiday hiatus, the House speaker spoke gleefully about her colleagues impeaching President Trump and doubled down on her Russian-charged attacks against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

After Maher pointed out that Pelosi was initially “rather reluctant” to move forward with impeachment and waited until “it was inevitable,” the California Democrat responded that Trump simply gave his critics in the House “no choice” in the matter.

“The president was self-impeaching almost every single day,” Pelosi said.

“There are some people who have actually said that he wanted to be impeached,” Maher then observed. “Just for the record, being impeached is a bad thing, right?”

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The Comey Coverup Unravels

Update to this story. Whole lot of questions.

Via Fox News:

In a curious report on Thursday evening, the New York Times carefully averts its eyes from everything that’s interesting. Even Adam Schiff has acknowledged that James Comey’s actions in 2016 may represent the most important and significant Russian influence on the election. (Hoist your shot glass. This will be the umpteenth time I’ve quoted Mr. Schiff on this matter in this column.)

Surely one of the most consequential pieces of intelligence ever received by U.S. agencies was, as we now learn, received in early 2016 from a Dutch counterpart. This is the dubious Russian intelligence that set off Mr. Comey’s multiple interventions in the last presidential race, culminating in an improper act that may have inadvertently elected Donald Trump. Even at the time Mr. Comey’s FBI colleagues considered the intelligence, which indicated questionable actions by the Justice Department to fix the Hillary email investigation, to be false, possibly a Russian plant.

The Times adds the unsurprising revelation that Mr. Comey himself is suspected in the illegal leak that, in early 2017, alerted the media to this untold aspect of his 2016 actions, before the matter disappeared again behind a veil of official secrecy. Yet bizarrely, the paper plays down its scoop, suggesting that any inquiry into a “years-old” leak now can only be a political hit job by an “ambitious” Justice Department attorney seeking to please President Trump.

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Senate Judiciary Pauses Nominations For Impeachment Trial

Why they should have just dismissed this.

Via Bloomberg:

The Senate Judiciary Committee won’t meet until after the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump has concluded, Chairman Lindsey Graham said amid calls by Democrats to halt judicial nominations during the period.

“We’ll see you after impeachment,” Graham said Thursday before adjourning a committee meeting for several judicial nominees who included Trump’s pick for a Atlanta-based appeals court, Andrew Brasher.

It is still unclear, however, if nominees on the floor will move forward during periods when senators aren’t engaged in the trial, which is set to start on Jan. 21.

The committee has aggressively vetted and cleared Trump circuit and appeals court nominees, sending them to the floor for final consideration. Virtually all have been confirmed.

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Watch: North Korean Female Soldiers Perform For Kim Jong Un

RT propaganda calls it “brilliant.” Not quite the word I would have for it. Performing as though their lives depended on it, because they do.

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Overnight Open Thread: Trump Has Fun With LSU Champions

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Supremes To Decide If Electoral College Voters Must Vote For Winner Of State Popular Vote

Dems just can’t win unless they try to turn over everything.

Via Townhall:

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that would decide whether electoral college delegates must vote for the winner of their state’s popular vote. Half the states currently have laws requiring their electors to follow the voters’ decision in their state.

Electors who do not vote in accordance to the winner of their state’s popular vote are known as “faithless electors.” According to NBC News, the so-called problem of faithless electors has never really been an actual problem before. In fact, most states simply throw out the ballot of an elector who doesn’t follow the state’s popular vote.

But in 2016, the Democrats ran such a rotten candidate that several electors in states carried by Hillary Clinton cast their ballots for someone else. One elector in Colorado voted for John Kasich, one in Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders, and four in Washington state voted for someone else — three for Colin Powell and one for Faith Spotted Eagle, the name of a Native American activist, not Elizabeth Warren. Other Democratic electors contemplated voting differently but were reportedly pressured into voting for Clinton. Colorado simply replaced its errant elector with one that would vote for Hillary, while Washington state fined their independent-thinking electors for violating state law.

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Flashback: Feinstein On Clinton Impeachment, ‘Tears At The Fabric Of The Presidency’

But now, it’s just hunky dory.

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Trump Admin Wishes Michelle Obama Happy Birthday In The Best Way Possible

They completely ignore how disgusting Michelle Obama lunches were for the kids who basically revolted on social media because the meal were revolting.

Via Twitchy:

Happy birthday, Michelle Obama!

And as a special gift to help her celebrate, the Trump administration picked today to roll back her awful-tasting school nutrition standards:

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Brutal: Voters Mock Elise Stefanik’s Challenger for Struggling to Call Soleimani a Terrorist

How can you not immediately acknowledge he’s a terrorist? They’ve completely lost their minds.

Via Townhall:

It’s not hard to call former Iranian terror leader Qasem Soleimani a terrorist. But Democrats are making it look like neurosurgery. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) nearly had a conniption before finally admitting that Soleimani, the guy who helped orchestrate deadly attacks on U.S. troops and was planning more, was a terrorist. She was followed by Tedra Cobb, the progressive New Yorker who is running against conservative incumbent Rep. Elise Stefanik.

At a recent campaign event, a group of voters asked Cobb why she had refused to call Soleimani a terrorist. Watch below as Cobb heavily leans on her campaign aide for the assist. It was embarrassing and brutal. And it was not an answer.

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‘Jabba The Jihadi,’ 560-Pound Terrorist, Arrested In Iraq. Donald Trump Jr. Weighs In.

Now that’s a big capture.

Via Daily Wire:

Abu Abdul Bari, a heavyweight terrorist responsible for ordering the executions of religious figures who didn’t bow down to ISIS, was captured this week after an Iraqi military group surrounded him in his bed in Mosul, Iraq.

According to Stars and Stripes:

The arrest of ISIS mufti Abu Abdul Bari, also known as Shifa al-Nima, was announced by the Iraqi government’s security media cell in a statement Thursday.

Bari, a preacher known for “provocative speeches against the security forces” is considered one of the top leaders of “ISIS gangs,” the statement said.

Considered by ISIS to be an authority in Quranic law, Bari issued religious rulings, or fatwas, ordering the execution of scholars and clerics who refused to pledge allegiance to the terrorist group when it occupied Mosul, the statement said. He also ordered the July 2014 destruction of a mosque built at the site believed to be the burial place of the biblical prophet Jonah, who once had a notable encounter with a whale.

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