Background Briefing With White House Counsel…

In advance of the formal answer to the Senate summons, the White House counsel held a background press briefing with media.  Here’s the transcript as released:

MR. GIDLEY: Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everyone. Thanks for taking the time to join this background call regarding impeachment.

The ground rules are as follows: Information on this call is on background, and can attributable to “sources close to the President’s legal team.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Thanks, Hogan. I’m going to start, and then I’m sure my colleague is going to want to jump in.

So, from a procedural standpoint, we’re going to be filing in the next — probably next hour or two — our answer to the summons. [pdf Answer Here] This was the summons, which is part of the process that the Senate sent over to us with the articles of impeachment. We are issuing a very detailed response. This is not to be confused with our brief; our brief is not due until Monday.

The response that we will be putting forward will address both the procedural and the substantive issues raised in the articles of impeachment. When I talk about the procedural aspects, I’m referring to the procedural irregularities that took place during the course of the investigation. When we talk about substance, we’re referring to legal threshold standards, as it relates to impeachment under the Constitution. So, that’s going to give you an overview.

The answer — our response — will respond to both of those. I’ll give you a taste of it, a little bit, so that you have a sense of the tone of what we’re going to say. Our first response reads as follows:

The Honorable Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, hereby responds: The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President. 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. This highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began even before his election and continues to this day.

We next assert that:

The Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone “high Crimes or Misdemeanors.”

That is all required, of course, by the Constitution itself. So that’s why I’m saying both the process and the legal issues are being impacted here. And then we will respond to each and every one of the two articles separately.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, and I — this is [a source close to the President’s legal team]. I think, at the end, there’s a lot of detail in the response. The conclusion, at the end of the day, is that the articles of impeachment violate the Constitution. They are defective in their entirety. They are the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the President any due process rights. They rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government.

The bottom line is: In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me give you some of the individual responses to the two articles of impeachment. With regard to the first article of impeachment, we are going to assert that they must be rejected because the — and it relates to the first article of impeachment — it fails on its face to state an impeachable offense. It alleges no crimes at all, let alone high crimes and misdemeanors, as required by the Constitution. In fact, it does not allege any violation of law whatsoever. We assert that the House Democrats’ abuse of power claim would do lasting damage to the separation of powers under the United States Constitution.

We then get into some very specific allegations, regarding the phone call itself, as it relates to this abuse of power claim. I will tell you this: We will address both the April 21st and July 25th phone calls. We will be making it very clear what President Zelensky said, as well as what the President of the United States said on those calls. We will again reiterate that the House record establishes that President Zelensky and his top aides have never said there was a quid pro quo situation, as that issue came up.

And remember: This case started — first it was going to be quid pro quo. Actually, first it would be extortion, then bribery, then quid pro quo, then it becomes abuse of power — with the word “quid pro quo” never showing up in the actual articles of impeachment.

We’re raising it because we’re going to remind the American people of exactly what this is all about and how it started. So that’s how that one is going to start.

We’re going to also take a look at the fact that the bilateral presidential meeting that was so often discussed actually did take place. The security assistance was sent. And all that took place without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigations.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: With respect to the second article of impeachment, our answer states very clearly that the second article of impeachment also fails on its face to state and impeachable offense. It does not allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever.

To the contrary, the President’s assertion of legitimate executive branch confidentiality interests, grounded in the separation of powers, cannot constitute obstruction of Congress.
Furthermore, the notion that President Trump obstructed Congress is absurd. President Trump acted with extraordinary and unprecedented transparency by declassifying and releasing the transcript of the July 25th call that is at the heart of this matter.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Let me add one other thing because this will apply to both — this will apply to both articles, but this is contained in our answer, and I think it’s important for you to have a sense of how that sets forth.

We’re also going to go to the process issue. So we’re going to say that House Democrats ran a fundamentally flawed and illegitimate process that denied the President every basic right, including the right to have counsel present, the right to cross examine a witness, and the right to present evidence. And despite all of this, the information that the House Democrats actually assembled disproves their claims against the President. We’re going to then assert — so that’s a process aspect.

Then we’re going to say the President, at all times, acted with full, constitutional legal authority in our own national interests, and continued his administration’s policy of unprecedented support for Ukraine, including the delivery of lethal military aid that was denied to the Ukrainians by the prior administration.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Again, with respect to article two, obstruction of Congress: We will state that the Trump administration replied appropriately to the subpoena and identified their constitutional defects. And this is an important point: Tellingly, House Democrats did not seek to enforce these constitutionally defective subpoenas in court. To the contrary, when one subpoena recipient sought a declaratory judgement as to the validity of the subpoena he had received, House Democrats quickly withdrew the subpoena to prevent the court from issuing a ruling.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The way that this — so, I think what you’re getting at — what we’re giving you — this is about a six-page document, is the answer. It’s going to address both procedural irregularities, and substantive irregularities, including the lack of constitutional support for the position that the House advocated in the articles of impeachment.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: And it will address the articles both on the law and the facts.

MR. GIDLEY: Okay. Moderator, we’d like to open for questions now. But I want to remind the group one more time, if I may, that, again, the attribution here is “source close to the President’s legal team.” And, second, is a reminder that the content is embargoed until 5:00 p.m.

With that, if you could open it up for questions, we’d appreciate it.

Q Hi, guys. Thank you so much for doing this. This is Franco Ordoñez, from NPR. In addition to Dershowitz, who says he is going to give an opening statement, will each of you be giving an opening statement? And can you give a flavor of what each of you will be saying? Will you be, kind of, discussing each article, as you just kind of broke down right now, in the opening statement?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So the way that we plan on it happening — of course, we’re coming up second in this process, as the House Managers will go first — is will do the initial opening, where he will address a variety of both substantive and constitutional and procedural position.

I will — as is planned right now, and this could change — I will go next, where I will be addressing more of an overview on the entire process, which will include, from beginning to end, on how we got there.

Now, we may break it up some. We don’t know yet — where, you know, my colleague goes for 45 minutes and I go for 45 minutes, and maybe we come back up later in the afternoon or evening. It’s going to depend on how the day is flowing.

And then, as to the question you’re asking about Alan and Ken Starr and Bob Ray, they will have discrete functions that they will be addressing at particular times. We don’t know what those times are yet; we just got to see how everything plays out.

Q Hey, it’s Zeke Miller, with AP. Thanks for doing the call. First of all, by any chance, is there any way you can move this on the record, since it’s awfully weird to have a call with “people close to a legal team” when we’re talking to the legal team?

And then, substantively, in terms of this response and the legal brief, do we expect this to sort of be the nature of the President’s defense here — sort of a broadside against the process? And are you concerned that that sort of rhetoric might not fly with the senators who have a more staid view of their chamber?

MR. GIDLEY: First things first, Zeke: Let me address the first question. The answer to that is no. You can call me after and we can have that conversation. But as far as the next one is concerned, I’ll turn it back over to the team.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, Zeke, this is [a source close to the President’s legal team]. I think it’s fair to say that this answer addresses both the law and the legal issues and the procedural issues — but also the facts, and takes the facts head on.

So I think it covers all of the issues, not just the procedural issues.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Right. And the brief — obviously, because we have a lot more we can write in the brief — will cover everything in much more detail.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: This is just the answer. But it does cover — as I have said, it’s both procedural and the substantive legal. It also makes the argument that all you really need to look at are the articles of impeachment themselves. That — if you look at them, they allege no violation of law whatsoever. They don’t remotely begin to approach what you would need to begin (inaudible) impeachment.

So that will be an additional argument that we’ll make — we’ll be making.

Q Hi, there. It’s Michael Moates, with D.C. Chronicle. Hey, I was just curious: The statement that you guys are going to be submitting as your answer, will that be made public through — after — are you guys going to pre-release that? Or are we going to be waiting until after that is submitted to Congress?


SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, the plan is: It’s embargoed until 5:00 p.m., and we expect to send you guys the text at that time.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: You’ll have the answer, in other words.

Q Good afternoon. This is Jon Decker, from Fox. Thank you for doing this. Republican lawmakers and those speaking on behalf of the President, including yourselves, have repeatedly said that there must be an underlying (inaudible) to meet the standard for impeachment and removal. And you’ve clearly made that point in the answer that you’ve just spoken about.

As you know, yesterday, the Government Accountability Office released a report saying that it was, in fact, illegal for President Trump to withhold military aid from Ukraine to pressure them to interfere in the 2020 election.

Based on this new development, in your view, wouldn’t you each agree that the Republicans’ own standard on impeachment and removal has now been met? Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Those aren’t — we’re dealing with discrete articles of impeachment. That’s what this — so, this is not twelve reports later, two week later. It’s a discrete — they brought up two articles of impeachment. That is what’s before the United States Senate.

And we obviously disagree with that conclusion. And, in addition to that, if you look at the articles of impeachment, it’s not only that they don’t allege any crime; they don’t allege any violation of any law whatsoever.

Q Hi, this is Andrew Feinberg, with Breakfast Media. Thanks for doing the call. It sounds a lot like the defense that you’re going to put forth is almost identical to what’s already been said by Republican members of the House, and the President, in his letter just before the vote on the impeachment articles. Is there anything new that we should expect to hear that perhaps addresses the actual allegations being made, rather than the process on these sort of broad brush arguments about the articles of impeachment not mentioning crimes? Anything that hasn’t already been brought up by the House, perhaps?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There’s no question that, during the course of the presentations and the proceedings before the Senate and then the briefs that we’re going to be filing, we will be addressing both procedure irregularities — again, ignore those (inaudible) implications as well. And also, substantive issues that arise, including facts.

So all of that will be addressed. So, don’t — there shouldn’t be not misunderstanding that this is a factual — an attack only on process. We’re not ignoring the tainted process, because it has serious constitutional implications, but we’re going to be — it’s going to be a full throttle address.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We will take the facts head on, and we believe that the facts will prove that the President — and have proven that the President did absolutely nothing wrong.

Q Good afternoon, [sources close to the President’s legal team]. This is Kelly O’Donnell, from NBC. When you look at the arc of how expect this trial to move forward, in terms of its length, your willingness or lack thereof to have witnesses, what is your latest thinking on what we should expect for your strategic ideas, going beyond this initial phase that you’re announcing today with the response to the articles?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think that, first — the first thing we have to look for is actually how the rules come out — the final rules, what the final agreements are. And I don’t think any of us — what we’re hearing is what you’re hearing, which is 24 hours, each side — which was under the Clinton model. That the witness decisions would be made after the presentation of the actual arguments by both counsels — or by the Managers and by our team.

And then, if there’s witnesses, it would proceed to a vote. And if they decide there’s going to be witnesses, there’d be depositions. And, by the way, if there’s witnesses, it means that, you know — Chuck Schumer takes the view that they hear the witnesses they demand. Well, you know, we would get to demand witnesses, too. It’s a two-way street.

So, we’re prepared for all contingencies. We’ll see what happens. It’s like any other trial; you prepare for the contingencies and you see what happens.

Q Hi, it’s Peter Baker, from the New York Times. Thanks for doing the call. Appreciate it. Quick question: You guys now have a lawyer on your team who has made the argument in the past that it is an impeachable offense to improperly invoke executive privilege to block an investigation. How do you — how are you going to square the statements and the positions that Judge Starr has taken in the past now that he’s on your team and will be on the Senate floor in the trial?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yeah, let me address this, because (inaudible) obviously (inaudible). Obviously, the issue of the obstruction of Congress is a significant one, constitutionally. I think he will be very — we will be very pleased with Judge Starr’s presentation on how he’s going to move this forward, what he sees are the issues, and the different aspects of the fact of the activities that we’re involved in, in this situation with Bill Clinton’s, are markedly different than what even the allegations are here.

And remember: It was — Bill Clinton was asserting executive privilege over private conduct. This is markedly different. And I think that that’s a clean distinction and clean (inaudible).

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: All right. And, hey, on more thing, if I may address, too. Zeke, I believe you asked the question about the GAO. I just want to make this point. A couple things: First of all, the aid was released, and it was released before the deadline.

Second of all, it’s pretty clear that GAO is just inserting itself in today’s news cycle. Let’s be clear: They made a lot of rulings in the past that they’ve had to go back on, rulings they’ve had to change — and the media didn’t say a word about it when they went after Obama, they went after Clinton, they went after Bush. They’ve done it in the past.

So, this is nothing new from them. The fact is, we’re on strong legal footing, the President has done nothing wrong, and we believe that’s going to be borne out through this process.

Thanks everybody for the call.

[Transcript End]


This entry was posted in 4th Amendment, 6th Amendment, Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Deep State, Dem Hypocrisy, Donald Trump, Election 2020, Impeachment, Legislation, media bias, Notorious Liars, President Trump, Supreme Court, Typical Prog Behavior, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

310 Responses to Background Briefing With White House Counsel…

  1. Santiago 1314 says:

    “This trial is a travesty. It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” (Woody Allen-Bananas-1971)


  2. Troublemaker10 says:

    The Senate needs to be very careful here .

    They are setting a precedence on how the Senate should respond to House impeachments that violate the Constitution.


    • Troublemaker10 says:

      *precedent (not precedence).


    • IGiveUp says:

      Technically correct but as a body devoted to politics and the administration of power, I’m not sure the Constitution has much to do with it in their minds, and unfortunately, in fact. The same goes for the regard, or disregard, of precedent. I think the one thing that Americans can be very sure of these days is that the law, and the spirit of the law, will not stand in anyone’s way.


  3. Santiago 1314 says:

    All we need to say has been said already; “This trial is a travesty. It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” (Woody Allen-Bananas-1971)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Troublemaker10 says:

    Doug Collins: House Democratic leader’s remark about letting Trump ‘prove innocence’ should alarm Americans

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leaving says:

    It occurred to me while reading this: it’s easy for the Democrats to claim the defense isn’t responding to the crimes because the didn’t actually list any crimes in the impeachment.

    Liked by 7 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      Actually they did if you read the letter. They said “the articles”, which are the textual definition of the “crime”. The democrats create the grounds for dismissal if they make the claim you describe, as they admit their Articles are invalid.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. X XYZ says:

    The house gets to make the rules on what is impeachable. There is nothing in the constitution that says an impeachment can’t be frivolous. It’s essentially an indictment – and “you can indict a ham sandwich.” And the impeachment can’t be dismissed – unless and until it is underway.

    The senate gets to make it’s rules on how they run their pseudo “trial”. It’s called a trial – but it is not a trial as we know it.

    Both bodies get to make up the rules of the games of impeachment and “trial” as they are played out. Their playgrounds are their courtrooms.

    The ordinary rules of a court of law do not apply here. This is the epitome of what a kangaroo court is. Welcome to the legislative branch. We’re now in the Twilight Zone.

    “All rise!” The presiding Chief Justice is now about to HOP into the chamber…

    Liked by 4 people

    • ltravisjr says:

      I said from the beginning that they could impeach him for his hair style of they wanted.

      Liked by 3 people

    • paulashley says:

      There is ample evidence of what the framers intended impeachment not to be. They rejected language that would would encourage frivolous charges. High crimes and misdemeanors meant something to the framers, and it did nit include “whatever Congress wanted”. If we concede to the left the argument saying only explicit language counts, and not context, then we’ve lost the Constitution entirely.

      Liked by 10 people

      • De Oppresso Liber says:

        Precisely — well said Paul.


      • zekness says:

        spot on….I think it’s important to make that distinction..

        essentially the founders were concerned that powers of the president could be abused. But they also understood the risk that that congress could restrict the president through impeachment based on trivial political mischief (of their own persuasions)..

        I think of it this way:

        the President is not above the law.

        the President is NOT BELOW the law.

        if there is no concrete crime alleged….”abuse of power” and “obstruction” are very very very dubious charges applied here. Then we have a non-starter even from a political impeachment process. This simply results in placing the President in the “BELOW THE LAW” spectrum.

        This is why the founders were very clear that impeachment as an whole would be developed to represent as close as possible normal rules of law and standards and due process.

        The senate acts with independence. The senate has the responsibility not merely to carry water for this fraud, but to put an end to it, with a termination based on lack of anything at all that amounts to due process, standard rules of law….where is the crime? What laws were breached? it’s just that easy.

        I am not fearful or anxious to know the outcome of this “trial”….I am more anxious that an opportunity to expose the fraud will be missed entirely by the senate if it simply votes to dismiss the case without first going through a call for witnesses to tear them a new asshole. I think that is important to perform. These corrupt democrats deserve this…the rule of law and justice demands it. The President of the United States needs to see these villains CRUSHED UP and tossed in the dust bin of dirt bags that they are.

        My opinion is the senate should take the trial right up to exposing all the fraud, get Schiff to commit to some more lies under oath..and move to committee to seek him expelled for abuse of his power in the house. I would be happy even seeing an attempt to do this.


    • markmurraybooks says:

      XYZ, You’re completely wrong. The House never gets to make the rules on what is impeachable. We have a Constitution for a reason. The Founders are on record on what was or was not, in their view, impeachable offenses. The House *must* work under Constitutional standards. If not, then whatever they do is … unconstitutional. It’s that simple a concept. Where things get into the grey area is when people start trying to define “offenses” that the Founder’s viewed as impeachable.

      First, there are checks and balance built into the US gov’t by the Founders, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Congress is part of one branch, the Executive another, and the Judicial the final. When Congress sent those fake subpoenas out, they were unconstitutional. The House did not follow any standard. Again, the House *must* work within the Constitutional limits it has been given. The House is *not* all powerful, nor can the House give itself powers not expressly defined in the Constitution. Most notably, it cannot reach out to the Executive branch with fake subpoenas for information it would like to have and then call it a “obstruction” when they don’t get the information.

      So, no, the House cannot Constitutionally state obstruction of Congress as an impeachable offense. And, if it’s not Constitutional, then the Senate doesn’t ever have to take up those articles. The only reason the Senate is doing so is because of the number of Deep State senators who either want this to go through or want it buried quickly (my guess is that McConnell is the latter) so their crimes don’t come to light. Otherwise, in a sane world under Constitutional standards, the Senate would have told the Dems in Congress to go pound salt. Take their “impeachment” up with SCOTUS (really, the judicial but everyone knows where it would end up) first because they’ve definitely not worked within the powers given them by the Constitution.

      These people (all of Congress) are so far outside Constitutional standards that it’s no longer funny in any manner. Greed, power, corruption have taken over and they ignore the Constitution to protect their own hides. They’ll do whatever they want now. And that’s the problem. There is no rule of law anymore. None.

      Liked by 9 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      No, your very first sentence is 100% wrong. The house allocated the power to make rules to define the PROCESS to impeach and to determine if a criteria defined by the CONSTITUTION for impeachment has been met. The constitution defines the impeachable offenses and criteria.

      The House failed to define which CONSTITUTIONAL criteria was met. The House started trying to prove the constitutionally defined criteria had been met and realized they had NO evidence. That is why our good friend Mike Robinson keeps beating the Attainder Drum. The house is trying to define a crime using non-criminal criteria (“intent”, “exercising constitutional rights” and “executing constitutionally allocated presidential authority”) and then accuse the President of committing that crime.

      Liked by 4 people

      • thedoc00 says:

        Dershowitz, Turley and even one of the Democrat’s own witnesses from the “Constitutional Panel” have all maintained that the democrats are attempting to impeach the President for executing his constitutionally assigned powers.

        Liked by 2 people

        • X XYZ says:

          Agreed. Congress HAS impeached the President for executing his constitutionally assigned powers.

          ***And there is NOTHING in the constitution pertaining to impeachment to prevent them from doing that.***

          Actions speak louder than words. They have already DONE it. And unless and until there is some restriction (which would probably require a constitutional amendment to change the words used to describe what are considered impeachable offenses in the constitution) those in congress CAN and WILL do it again.


      • X XYZ says:

        Historical perspective:
        The Founders were not in agreement about the terms used to define impeachable acts.They were not in agreement about it and the phrase “other high crimes and misdemeanors” was a compromise, leaving it vague and unspecified, other than the treason and bribery terms.

        How high is “:high”? What is a high misdemeanor? That is not defined.

        Those words can mean whatever anyone wants them to mean. The important point is this – the Founders were not in agreement on the language they agreed to leave it open ended. And the differences of opinion the Founders had over that detail remains with us to this day.

        Look, I agree that they made a travesty, a mockery of the process. But the important thing is that ***there is nothing in the constitution to prevent them from doing so.***. The fact that they have already done it proves that. And it can and probably will happen again.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thedoc00 says:

          You are wrong. The operative word and word that is used for comparison by constitutional scholars as well as founding fathers is “CRIMES”. The founders did not want to create a laundry list of CRIMES, that was source of disagreement. There is a Federal Code that defines CRIMES and there are various levels of criteria to mitigate the level of crime committed.

          Read the Federalists Papers. It is the reason they are stored in the national archive with the Constitution. The confusion at the time was due to the fact the Federal Codes defining “CRIMES” did not exist at the time but does today and is the standard used by the courts as well as constantly under evaluation by the courts.

          The Bill of Attainder, so often discussed by our friend Mike Robinson involves creating a law base on criteria that is NOT criminal and then using that law to convict somebody. That is defacto, what the Democrats have done. They are using Non-Crimes and in fact the President’s allocated constitutional powers to define a “crime”. To make matters worse, the cowards did not have the courage to even pass a law based on the criteria they are attempting to use.

          Liked by 1 person

          • X XYZ says:

            “Read the Federalists Papers. It is the reason they are stored in the national archive with the Constitution.”

            The Federalist Papers ***are not part of the Constitution***..Go read the Papers all you like. They are not IN the actual Constitution.

            Now tell us the exact wording of the Bill of Attainder clause, and what it pertains to.

            I think your last sentence hints at why it is not applicable to impeachment – although you and your friend Mike might not realize it.


            • thedoc00 says:

              if reading was in your repertoire, I used the word defacto as in alluded to or implied.

              Also, the Federalists are a defacto part of the constitution as they are referred to as a means to sort out questions and unclear points by judges, members of congress, lawyers et al.

              If you further read my comment notice the word CRIME, which is part of the constitution as in criminal and defined by law. Crime means part of a federal code or as in violation of LAW passed by congress.

              Liked by 2 people

        • De Oppresso Liber says:

          The basis for your argument — that the America haters may impeach the president on any grounds, precisely because the Constitution does not define what congress “may not do,” is simply nonsensical.

          The Constitution clearly defines what offenses a president may be impeached for committing.

          In my humble, lay opinion, your argument is just factually deficient.


          • X XYZ says:

            @ Opresso & Doc00,

            “You are wrong.” My point is “simply nonsensical”. My “argument is just factually deficient”.

            It is so easy to say those things, and to replay them repeatedly. Just like “Orange Man BAAAD!”. But such statements only express your emotions. That is not an argument based upon fact. That does not tell anyone here WHY I am “wrong”.

            “The Constitution clearly defines what offenses a president may be impeached for committing.”

            REALLY? “…other high crimes and misdemeanors”. That’s about as clear as mud.

            Gerald Ford was not the brightest president. But he wasn’t stupid, either. He was a longtime congressman. He said words to the effect that congress could impeach a president for anything. He was, and still is RIGHT. Not “WRONG”.

            Don’t blame me. Don’t blame President Ford. Just look at the impeachment that has just happened. Did the Bill of Attainder clause apply? Ford knew why it didn’t. So does McConnell. Do you?


            • ATheoK says:

              Section. 4.
              The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

              The standard for “High Crimes” is established by direct reference of Treason and Bribery. To be called a “High Crime” it must be as egregious as Treason.
              Misdemeanors can not be used as a sole reason for impeachment. They can be used to buttress impeachment for “High Crimes”.

              Claiming that the House gets to “make up” impeachment rules means that the Senate gets to “make up” their trying an impeachment case…
              Since the Executive Branch is equal to Congress, they also get to make up their defense rules…

              Nope. None of it washes. That is all braggadocio.
              The Supreme Court is the sole arbiter of justice under the Constitution. Any and all questions about legality can be brought to the Supreme Court.

              Liked by 1 person

              • X XYZ says:

                “Claiming that the House gets to “make up” impeachment rules means that the Senate gets to “make up” their trying an impeachment case…”

                Yes! That’s it, exactly! That is what they did and they will continue to do.

                “Nope. None of it washes”

                We will see who gets to wash the dirty laundry and what will come out of the wash.


    • ATheoK says:

      “X XYZ says: January 19, 2020 at 1:22 pm
      The house gets to make the rules on what is impeachable.”

      The founders discussed the impeachment topic at length in the Federalist papers, including citing examples of impeachments that occurred in Great Britain. The text and words instilled into the Constitution were chosen with great care.
      There are specific reasons why “High Crimes” is an explicit requirement.

      Those Founders examples, precepts, discussions and concerns all form precedent for any impeachment.
      Lawfare and Pelosi took the worst cases the founders wanted America to never experience and devised a faux impeachment based upon those issues.

      In short, this impeachment is an assault on the Constitution, Supreme Court, American Jurisprudence, elections, Presidents and the Executive Branch.
      Pelosi is not just trying to impeach President Trump, she is trying to destroy America and our inconvenient Constitution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • X XYZ says:

        “The founders discussed the impeachment topic at length in the Federalist papers, including citing examples of impeachments that occurred in Great Britain. The text and words instilled into the Constitution were chosen with great care.”

        Okay. Now show me where any of what you cited is *explicitly stated* in the constitution.

        Inferences are nice. References are nice. But they are different than what was actually written, as being formally constitutional regarding impeachment. They chose their words with care. And when they could not agree, they compromised on the words used – also with care.


  7. truthbomb says:

    Funny how Lindsey Graham goes on Wallace’s show and says “We don’t have the votes to dismiss” as if that attempt is futile. How about we take the vote anyway, and see where the RINO’s stand? Oh yeah, they don’t want this early warning system event.

    Liked by 15 people

    • Newhere says:

      This whole thing is depressing.

      It’s like watching the Republican party nominate John McCain or Mitt Romney, and tell us it’s how you win. Totally self-referential and disconnected from the public.

      The President’s team needs to remember how the Glorious President Trump told the party stalwarts to stuff it and WON. The President is more popular than the senate collectively, and at least most every single one of them.

      Placating the Senate only gives them control. He needs this impeachment trial to be FULL TRUMP. Get his fighters in there. I’d rather watch Don Jr. and Corey Lendowski than Cipollone and Sekulow — as great and loyal as they are. And don’t get me started again on Dershowitz or Bondi.

      Matt Gaetz actually said it perfectly: “The Senate may not want a circus, but the democrat House managers are bringing one, and if it’s going to be a circus, you need someone who knows how to ride an elephant.” Perfectly stated Congressman.

      He needs lawyers who know how to do TV. I think Bondi, Dersh and Starr are supposed to be the “camera ready” talent. PUHLEASE!! They guarantee channel changing. Jonathan Turley as an “expert witness” was the gold standard on disinterested, “objective” Constitutionalists. If he’s not conflicted b/c of his prior role, call him!

      It’s depressing because we KNOW the President has the right instincts on this, but we’re not seeing what we know to be a TRUMP team of legal warriors. He’s needs his Sidney Powell! That’s what’s at stake here. It’s the difference between having a swamp-pleasing cast from the cocktail party circuit, who will encourage you plead out when you’re innocent, take a few lumps for a “good outcome,” versus having a truth-telling wolverine like Sidney Powell, who will stare down the circling predators and say “not on my watch.”

      It’s not too late. There are “star power” lawyers in the wings who know the details and context way better than Starr and Dersh and Bondi likely do. Keep the loyalists (Sekulow, Cipollone, Robert Ray) and replace the “star power” with MAGA Trumpsters: DiGenova, maybe even Mark Levin, Gaetz, Jordan, Collins, Meadows, Radcliffe — or even some of their staff, who probably know it cold, and are just has eager to get in the arena.

      It’s not too late, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. I’m not (YET) terribly afraid he might actually be convicted; that possibility still seems remote (though Kavanaugh is the model here, and that was WAY too close).

      I’m afraid that this is OUR CHANCE, and we’re blowing it. This is the inflection point on the narrative around his presidency. If the President loses it now, he won’t get it back. If he wins it now, imagine what that means, and looks like. Imagine what his next term looks like. Imagine the pressure on DOJ and FBI actually to DO THEIR JOBS.

      If it goes the other way, I fear we’ll be living through this until the election, and beyond if Trump wins. Forget about accountability. Forget about American first. A lot of what the President has done — as hard fought and hard won — can be undone. We have a government-in-exile waiting to do it. Even the trade agreements can be substantially altered with “side agreements” and “memorandums of understanding.” I wouldn’t put it past the dems to actually bulldoze the streches of wall we’ve built. They are trying to kill MAGA. If we’re going to prevail, we have to stand up to them, and the time is now.

      Liked by 8 people

      • Walley says:

        I agree with everything you said. Pam Bondi? come on, She’s sub-caliber talent at best. Ken Star has no fire in the belly. A real sleeper. The names you mentioned as fire breathers, Yes! I just don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • hawkins6 says:

          Why shouldn’t P Trump be kind to the rabid evil opposition by including some B grade legal reps to represent his side rather than adding all hard hitting eloquent reps instead like those “newhere” suggested. What’s the worst that can happen?

          As a duly elected President he will just be deposed or stripped of his temporary job as President due to the political manipulations of the devious Dems, Lawfare and their corrupt media and not due to actual crimes. Then, there will only be 9-10 months before the next futile, soon to be ignored Presidential election results are known for either Trump or Pence against Joe or Bernie and then the same impeachment process will begin anew until one political side is vanquished and the Republic disintegrates. (Dark sarc/ or prescience?)


    • Snellvillebob says:

      They don’t want to make each other look bad for elections in November.


    • DiogeneseVindicated says:

      Yes please take the fricken vote. The president and those that elected him deserve to know who supports him.

      Liked by 4 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      I look for the President to call them and force a vote to dismiss. You are correct, Lindsey does not want his friends to be exposed to the wrath of the deplorables. It will be 10 months of nasty tweets and maybe even a some of them falling in the primaries. Those voting against dismissal will then be the position of having to crawl to the President for an endorsement.

      Liked by 1 person

    • aarmad says:

      Exactly my thought. The motion or whatever it is called needs to be done up front! As you say to see where the rino s stand!!!! This keeps them honest and out in the public eye. Obviously Lindsey is covering something Vote it FIRST!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. lizajmoon says:

    asking for a little help here. anybody besides me notice the interwebs have been scrubbed of mention of the House needing a full floor vote to empower their subpoenas? i have been arguing the point for weeks with “friends” on fb, but as of yesterday i cannot find a single mention of impeachment being the one special case when, after a full floor vote, the House has subpoena power. the obstruction of congress charge relies on the subpoenas being valid and enforceable. now a google search shows the Lawfare Blog as the main source for interpreting the Constitution, and someone name elizabeth rybicki rewrote the government’s info page on impeachment, revised mid november last year.


    • Rileytrips says:

      Wow! With their Silicon Valley tech lobby friends, the House Democrats can change to their own ideology, on a whim, the entire internet! A,Erica s can’t even research factual information about the Consitution!
      Tech lobby friends are WAY better than beach friends!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Redzone says:

      Liza- great question. Sundance has discussed those details a few times here in CTH. If you do a little digging on his posts, I suspect you will find pay dirt.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lizajmoon says:

        yeah, but the treehouse doesn’t count. surely you knew that.


          • Redzone says:

            Also, try using Duck Duck Go instead of Google for your searches of this type.

            I was trying to help my daughter find info on Global Warming/Climate Change/ Whatever they call it now, and Google results were seriously flawed.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Nothing political can be reliably searched on Google. The past is buried and erased.
              I use Startpage for things that Liberals want hidden and Google for finding travel info, products or product reviews.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Dabigragu says:

                Agreed. Love StartPage which also erases all your footsteps after 24 hrs.

                Liked by 3 people

              • lizajmoon says:

                just looked at startpage, searched ” impeachment subpoena power” and sure looks like the google results. mike bloomberg followed by newsmax followed by lawfare as the top 3 results. followed by the atlantic, usa today, cnn, and wikipedia.


                • Was Duck Duck any better? I do a lot of searching. Today I was looking for material on the phony “fine people” brouhaha and the Ted Cruz material. Since Google is fine with negatives on Cruz I found materials in booth engines. The fine people material was only found on Startpage & not in the first two pages.


            • lgstarr says:

              A friend (a very smart friend) is a Founder of this organization (he also has a Fusion4Freedom company) so, since you were looking for good information, please check out the site:

              Excerpt from the ABSTRACT:
              The global warming hoax has taken root the world over. The United Nation’s IPCC along with the Club of Rome have become political bodies whose intentions are the restriction of energy avaliability, the reduction of population, and the establishment of a one world government institution. As a result of this reckless activity, millions of people’s lives will be negatively impacted, including a tremendous loss of life. This entire set of facts and their basis in fact must be brought to the attention of the vast majority of the American people and then to the people of all nations. The 2019 Democrat political party is making the false notion of climate change a principal issue, and the Republican Party is becoming more receptive to that position.


              Liked by 1 person

            • Zippy says:

              “I was trying to help my daughter find info on Global Warming/Climate Change/”

              Tony Heller’s impressive CV on his web page:

              Who Is Tony Heller?
              April 3, 2019


              Go here and pick the videos you want from a huge selection which obliterate climate catastrophe lies using their own data:


              And here’s a great quote from one of those videos:

              “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

              “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

              “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

              “In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. – Michael Crichton, MD

              Liked by 1 person

          • lizajmoon says:



    • Snellvillebob says:

      I wonder if Elizabeth Rybicki is the wife or related to James Rybicki? I can find no spouses for either net searching. If you remember James was chief of staff for both Comey and Wray before he left suddenly. Perhaps he did not want to talk to the IG.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Newhere says:

      Thanks for tracking so closely. The community here at Treehouse is indispensable!

      If we had an honest judiciary, I would trust this would be sorted out, because the House would be justly swatted back for their terribly-constructed cases. Good judicial outcomes would go along way in exposing the sham of “obstruction of Congress.”

      I will admit I thought the “obstruction of Congress” charge was because the White House declined the Congressional subpoenas for impeachment testimony by asserting executive privilege. Remember — and this is critical — the House could have challenged the assertion of executive privilege and if it won, would have a judicial ruling to enforce its subpoenas for impeachment testimony. This is how it’s always been done. But instead, the House quickly WITHDREW that court petition, and decided instead that the White House’s mere assertion of executive privilege was impeachable “obstruction.” This is what Constitutional lawyers (and any sane person) are calling transparently bunk.

      But the House also has done a sleight-of-hand, which would be utterly confusing without Sundance. Separate from the witnesses the House claims it wanted for its impeachment “inquiry” (but never actually pursued through court order), the House ALREADY had active litigation challenging the withholding of evidence by the executive branch that it had wanted in connection with the Mueller report: (1) the testimony of Don McGhahn, withheld by white house assertion of executive privilege, and (2) “6(e) grand jury material” withheld by the DOJ, because it is raw investigatory material related to a declination to prosecute.

      The only colorable argument, based on legal precedent, for the House to obtain the “Mueller evidence” is if it were seeking it in the course of an impeachment investigation. So, with the President now impeached, the House is hoping the court will skip the details, and call the impeachment an adequate legal/Constitutional basis to break executive privilege for Don McGhahn re Mueller, and to handover the 6(e) evidence. Therein lies the sleight-of-hand.

      Courts would have to skip the details, because the closer you look the worse it gets. The House is asking the Court to reach deep into the executive branch, shatter the separation of powers, on a predicate of an “impeachment investigation” which NEVER actually was opened; it hadn’t been opened when the evidence in question was sought (MAJOR FLAW) and it never was actually opened prior to a vote to impeach (hence the reason the House didn’t try to subpoena new witnesses based on the authority of its faux “impeachment inquiry”).

      There was a way to do all of this, and that was to vote on a bona fide impeachment investigation, and subpoena witnesses, and seek court authority to enforce them. Thanks to Sundance, we have some idea of why they may have done it this way. But whatever the reason, the fact is they skipped any actual Constitutional impeachment investigation, never had the authorities historically accorded to that process, but are hoping the court will say “bygones.”

      If Lawfare is now saying the House has subpoena power AFTER an impeachment vote (when, by the plain meaning of the Constitution, the House’s role is now OVER), it sounds like they’re trying to hedge on the twisted logic is set up in the first place. Pray we have an honest Supreme Court.

      Liked by 4 people

  9. dayallaxeded says:

    What the Demonrats and their Law-un-fair and deep stank cadres have cobbled together is a clear conspiracy to commit sedition. There need to be repercussions on a nuclear scale.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. freepetta says:

    Let’s not forget what Nutty Nervous Nancy said:
    Allegations are the only things that matter.

    Evidence doesn’t matter or count.

    This woman is totally off the wall.

    Liked by 7 people

    • littlequilterkitty says:

      True Freepetta. But, from Nervous Nancy’s point-of-view, SHE IS THE LAW! Makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

    • Joemama says:

      Yes, and you are guilty of the allegations, until you prove yourself innocent.

      I am really beginning to hate these people. I don’t like to hate people. Life is too short.

      Liked by 2 people

    • thedoc00 says:

      She was not the only one flying the coo-coo nest. During the House hearings many democrats and their medias pundit friends claimed hear-say was better than direct evidence.

      It would be an interesting bit of court room presentation to string together all the democrat congressional member video clips starting in November 2016 to today concerning the impeachment, as part of the opening summation, to amplify how the democrats have no intention of using impeachment as defined in the constitution.

      Democrats calling for impeachment before elections.
      Democrats calling for impeachment before inauguration.
      Democrats calling for impeachment to correct the election.
      Democrats stating no direct evidence needed.
      Democrats stating hearsay was better than direct evidence.
      Now Nancy’s statement.

      Liked by 3 people

    • old deplorable owl says:

      While I would, on one hand, like to see dismissal, I would also very much like to see PDJT’s law-yuhs force Barney Google to release all the “classified” testimony he’s keeping locked up. Despite his “summaries”, much of the testimony we were able to witness, especially from State, fell far short of incriminating. WHY can we not see the rest of it? I suspect it likely resembles one of those infamous petards……
      Nothing could please me more than to have it be revealed that first-hand witnesses incontrovertibly showed Pres. Trump’s innocence, and Barney buried it and went right on with the charade! Ooohhh boy!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • freepetta says:

        If the case would be summarily dismissed would be a great thing, but just imagine the leaks to the NY Slimes and the Washedup Post. They would be printing lies and accusations for months.
        I especially want to hear what that jerk Atkinson has to say and hear from little Eric Ciaramella and his history with Brennan, Joey B and Hussein.
        Kind of wondering if Hunter can spell his name. With all those drugs and alcohol his brain must be mush.
        The RATS 🐀 should be careful what they wish for.

        Liked by 1 person

        • thedoc00 says:

          The leaks and nasty news coverage continues no matter how the impeachment trial is conducted. I prefer the dismissal, so there is no excuse to keep the congress from getting on with their jobs. It would also further expose the House Democrats and they attempt to conduct the next impeachment charade they promised.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Amy2 says:

    Some people do the right thing and don’t consider if it’s a “career enhancer.” What a goober.


  12. deeperinfo says:

    Did President Trump direct Ukraine to find Biden guilty, or actually did he ask for an impartial investigation?
    Did President Trump ask Ukraine to work with Rudy, or actually did he ask them to work with AG Barr?
    Doesn’t the anti-corruption Treaty with Ukraine actually make this an official government investigation?
    Didn’t the State Department witnesses testify that Biden’s act gave “an appearance” of conflict of interest laws that actually justifies the investigation?
    Actually, Yes.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Zydeco says:

    Take heart. Trump has been playing “Play with Fire” at the rallies. I like the message.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. JohnCasper says:

    “Donald Trump, guilty until never proven innocent”.
    – Democrat Impeachment Klan Managers


  15. Curt says:

    Interesting how this can happen when there is no real crime alleged; not even having shown a modicum of evidence of any crime. What I find even more perplexing is why some Republicans are actually going along with this charade. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but this is beyond reason. If this impeachment of a performing president were to succeed I believe it would destroy the nation. Yet, here we have politicians and millions of citizens who support this because the don’t personally like the man or they know they can’t win an election. Honestly, this is far more dangerous to this republic than Iran, China, NK, and Russia combined.

    Liked by 4 people

    • islandpalmtrees says:

      What you have is congressional leadership threaten with prosecution and/or a dramatic change in their life style. Simply put, both sides are corrupt and they fear paying the price for it.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. glissmeister says:

    “Donald Trump is Toto.”

    From the brilliant and ever-lovely Clarice Feldman, the perfect way to explain to unbelievers what is actually going on in two sentences or less. This is genius, with clarity and humor:

    Liked by 2 people

    • Raptors2020 says:

      A good article, gliss, but I long ago noted the Left blames all conflicts on the more reasonable party; the cop versus the criminal is the fault of the cop for not doing more to avoid it (Darrell Wilson versus Michael Brown in Ferguson, for example). Israel suffers for being an enlightened liberal-democracy: they should do more, give more, somehow.

      Since all leftism is premised on power relationships (strong versus weak, rich versus poor) they will thereby subjectively assign blame. The winner in a war becomes culpable for being the stronger party. Leftist government has a parent-child relationship with its citizens: the parent has the power, the parent has the responsibility.

      Leftism has long embraced the “noble savage” approach to viewing other races, other cultures. The racism is lost on them. To a leftist like John Kerry or Obama, it’s impossible that Iran could have been devious or deceitful in negotiating their nuclear deal. Only white westerners would do such a thing! In a conflict between Iran and America, or Iran and Israel, the noble Iranians must be given the benefit of the doubt. I think that is a big part of why Jimmy Carter chose to buy the absurdity that the Iranians who attacked the American Embassy were students: the Iranians wouldn’t lie!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Doppler says:

    I’m having trouble squaring my sense of what appeared to be an impeachment trap late last summer, by which PDJT snookered the House into impeaching him over Biden’s (and many others’) corrupt activities in Ukraine, and this lack-luster purely-defensive prep for the Senate trial – as if “winning” means just getting 1/3d + 1 senators to vote against conviction.

    When does the atomic hammer of truth fall on the kleptocrats who’ve milked US foreign policy for billions in personal gain, and who put their loyalty to Marxist Globalism above the Constitution? I’ll be reading Schweitzer’s “Profiles in Corruption” this wee,” but, so far, his prior exposes, of Uranium One, and China’s Secret Empires, and Rudy’s, and Joe diGenova’s, and Sidney’s, and Tom Fitton’s, and Kevin Nunes’s and John Solomon’s and Sundance’s many revelations of corruption and disloyalty within the Deep State have resulted in absolutely zero accountability.

    Liked by 4 people

    • islandpalmtrees says:

      Have you tried to find Pientka’s picture on the internet lately? How much time do you need to cover your tracks. If you had the IC helping you.

      Maybe you would even have to send some people to the Ukraine, in order to help things along.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. John Nolte says:

    While the House can impeach for any or no reason (they just did), they do not have authority under the Constitution to impeach except for treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors. The House has violated its Constitutional oath. The Senate must call them on it.

    Liked by 5 people

    • islandpalmtrees says:

      Sadly, The Senate can not undo the road to impeachment build by the Socialist. It will take more than the Senate to correct. If it can be corrected?

      Liked by 1 person

  19. islandpalmtrees says:

    Part of the formal answer referenced above by SUNDANCE: “The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution of the United States.”

    So what makes this in the front. We hear allot about “Obstruction of Congress” and nothing about the Obstruction this represents to the executive branch of our government. The legislative branch, through Nancy Pelosi and the Lawfare group are seeking to expand their powers unlawfully as defined by our Constitution.

    Levin is demonstrating in the following audio that our judiciary is seeking to do what are legislative branch is attempting to do. To expand their powers at the expense of the executive branch. Here we have to hold the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court accountable for the judges like McGahn.

    Levin blasts ‘tyrannical judge’ who ordered McGahn to testify before House: ‘A president must be able to have legal advice’ (Audio)
    Posted on November 27, 2019 in Congress, Executive Branch, Impeachment, Judiciary, Politics

    It’s interesting to examine how the judiciary represented by McGahn and the legislative represented by Pelosi and Lawfare Group are working together to minimize if not eliminate the executive branch.

    So why hasn’t the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts not corrected the clear imbalance in power between the three branches of government before the articles of impeachment were released to the Senate?

    We know from our previous work at the tree-house, that John Roberts is corrupt.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. So essentially the GOPs who don’t want to dismiss WILL in fact be committing political suicide.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Amy2 says:

    “I remember when Comey said no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Hillary when there was ample of real evidence of many crimes. I think the Senate should do likewise with Pelosi’s fake articles of impeachment. dump the fake charges. Hell, if we ignore real charges against Hillary, why would we prosecute fake ones against Trump?” Saw this in the Fox comments section. I liked it.


  22. 2Alpha says:

    OK kids… What do we do if this thing turns sideways and The Senate votes to remove President Trump? Do we continue to carp & moan on the internet or do we show America where are loyalties are with a show of force? Do we allow them to take our President or do we tell them NO?!


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