Saturday, December 21, 2019

Impeachment 2019 to 2020

It's been a long time since my last blog.  I still don't know whether I was right about William Barr or not.  The DOJ IG report on the Page FISA application came out a mixed bag.  It points out lots of FBI misconduct, mistakes, and/or illegal acts, all of which worked towards continuing a pointless investigation of President Trump.  But IG Horowitz failed to draw any conclusions regarding bias or intent.  It's kind of like he takes Pelosi's word that she prays for the good of President Trump while she's impeaching him on trumped up 'nothing' charges.  Surely she cannot hate, detest, or dislike President Trump since she doesn't admit to those feelings!

Since FBI Director Wray is just correcting the process within the FBI so the FISA mistakes won't happen again, that leaves only prosecutor Durham's investigation to produce any consequences for the FBI, DOJ or intelligence community beyond changing internal regulations.

But what I really wanted to talk about was the recent passing of Articles of Impeachment by the House of Representatives against President Trump.  Those were for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress.  I don't believe either is written in law with any legal consequences.  Thus no crime.  I won't go any further with those arguments, as it's been done comprehensively and repetitively in the press and blogs.

But after passing the articles, with only Democratic congress-persons votes, Speaker Pelosi did not have a vote to transmit the articles to the Senate.  She has indicated that she will not transmit them until she is satisfied that there will be a 'fair' trial in the Senate.  Since she has no leverage to change Senate rules for such a trail, I have my doubts about her public reasons.

And an aside here.  The Articles of Impeachment were published, so the Senate has access to them.  Likewise, they published the vote on TV and announced that the Articles had passed.  I relooked at the Constitution and it says nothing about the House being required to transmit them to the Senate.  The only thing stopping the Senate from holding a trial now is the Senate's own rules.

Many folks seem to think Pelosi is afraid of a quick disposition and acquittal of President Trump.  That is likely true.

But consider the alternatives going forward:

  • The House transmits the articles sometime after the new year, and public opinion has grown even more against finding President Trump guilty.  She's worse off.
  • The House transmits the articles sometime after the new year, and public opinion has turned against President Trump.  Democrats have scored for 2020 elections.
  • The House holds the articles until the election, hoping to gain seats in the Senate where they can convict Trump in the new congress.  Election impact is unknown for Democrats.
  • The House holds the articles until they can add another article, with a more credible sounding crime, to the list.  Hurts Republicans in the election, and may sway Republicans to convict in a Senate trial.
  • Finally, the House transmits the articles, loses in the Senate, then creates new articles of impeachment for another try (or two or three).
I figure Speaker Pelosi is going to do her risk analysis and try to pick the option with the best outcome for Democrats.  I do not believe she is limited to only transmitting or not transmitting the current two Articles of Impeachment.

Consider that in the past (and near present), the media has been a big plus for Democrats, doing everything they can to bring down Trump.  It didn't work in the impeachment trial--I suspect because they couldn't control what the public saw on round-the-clock, live coverage.  But everyone learns from mistakes, especially the broadcast networks.  If they don't broadcast everything live, they can cherry pick quotes and present lies and misconstrued statements as facts.  Most of the public sees only what they want them to see.  Public opinion would move in their favor.

Hence, I believe if the Democrats can gin up any kind of follow-up charges, they can add them to the list of Articles of Impeachment and do a better job of moving public opinion their way.  Democrats in this case are the combined democrats in congress, democrats in the deep state (the bureaucracy), and the media.

I really hope that doesn't happen and I'm just wandering around lost within my own thoughts.