Re- the Obstruction Article Against Trump,

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    • #255882
      snot
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      • Total Posts: 1,174

      …after listening to the argument this afternoon, I have to say that if the Senate fails to act, it will have rendered itself a useless appendage to the executive.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

    • #255894
      jbnw
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,132

      I have to ask what makes it unconstitutional?  The Congress has been giving more and more powers to the executive branch, without considering who may be in office in the future.

    • #255895
      xyzse
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,763

      I took the Obstruction Article against Trump as dangerous.

      What Tulsi did was called for a Censure on Trump rather than an impeachment.  In that manner, that makes more sense.

      The Obstruction of Congress Article to me was equated as “Trump Didn’t Give Congress What They Wanted as They were Investigating Him.”  That he made Congress’ job to do so harder since he leveraged his contacts to protect him.  So yeah, what he did is unethical, I agree with that, but it is not impeachment worthy at all.

      Reason being, since Congress has been able to impeach a President, for stone-walling an investigation, that has not gone to an actual trial, they don’t have a reason to incriminate themselves.

      Trump is very corrupt, but this Article is setting any President for failure.  It is giving others a precedent that can now be used to a Progressive President.  They can set-up some phony investigation, then ask, why are you not cooperating, where is this stuff, where are your contacts with this group and so forth.

      If they don’t comply or just not having anything to show for it, they would still consider it as obstruction.

      Even if a President were to comply, they will just move the goal-post and keep on going, it’s a waste of time.  Then they’ll impeach any way charging obstruction.

      It’s so vague and as such easily abused.  Also, I don’t see this as Unconstitutional at all, it’s skeezy, disgusting and all that BUT!,  a citizen has the right not to incriminate themselves.  Trump has effectively just made Congress take him to court.

      • #255919
        virtualobserver
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 163

        I disagree.  If there is a phony charge, people in the executive branch can testify and nothing will be found.

        Innocent people do not stonewall Congress.

        • #256003
          Maedhros
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          • Total Posts: 730

          Maybe…maybe not.

          As we saw with Ken Starr’s ‘investigation’ of the Whitewater real estate swindle, he ended up waving a semen-stained dress in front of Congress.  A lesson to be taken from that is:  don’t give the special prosecutor ANYTHING, because you have no way of knowing what bizarre tangent they’ll take and you may end up facing a whole new set of accusations.

          I can see a President stonewalling Congress because, as we’ve seen with the Clinton impeachment, Congress doesn’t act in good faith when it comes to impeachment.  Turn over the wrong, seemingly-innocuous document and Trump could find himself under fire for having a consensual affair with an intern.

          His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
          but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
          and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
          more deadly than his right had been.

    • #255980
      snot
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 1,174

      Here are some counter-arguments: Trump has not asserted executive privilege or any other litigable defense against producing the subpoenaed information.  Even if he had, it was pointed out in the arguments this afternoon that the Constitution gives Congress the sole power of impeachment and to determine the rules for their proceedings; requiring them to go to Court in order to enforce subpoenaes would make that power subject to the judiciary.  Also, the impeachment power was included partly to provide a means for removal between elections; but litigation in the courts would take years.

      Granted any Congress could use their subpoena power to harass a Prez just because they don’t like him; but that’s a lesser harm than simply allowing a Prez to flat-out defy all requests for info, no matter what atrocities the Prez might be trying to hide.

      Believe me, I’m thoroughly jaded/disgusted with most Congressional Dems and their choice of grounds for impeachment (reflecting their efforts to hide their own corruption).  But Tump’s obstruction has been totally unprecedented and if not opposed, would render the power of impeachment a nullity.

      Honestly, I can see arguments both ways; but just as I’ve been in favor of interpreting the law in such a way as to give Trump latitude to investigate corrupt Dems, I’m in favor of interpreting the Constitution in such a way as to give Congress latitude to investigate corrupt Prez’s.

      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

    • #255987
      RufusTFirefly
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,488

      The Obstruction of Congress article gets to the very heart of checks and balances.

      If the President can simply defy Congressional subpoenas without claiming executive privilege, s/he is for all intents and purposes above the law, and the Constitution is useless.

    • #256013
      sadoldgirl
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      • Total Posts: 1,208

      I happen to agree with Turley on this. Since impeachment

      is a political, not legal, action. The case for witnesses from

      the administration should have gone to the courts, as the

      arbiter between the partisan House and the WH. The fact

      that the House now wants the equally partisan Senate to

      remedy  their mistake seems to be ludicrous.

    • #256046
      Ohio Barbarian
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 19,982

      The House of Representatives is the only branch of government that has the power to impeach the President because they are supposed to be the People’s House. The intent of the impeachment power was clear–the House decides whether to start impeachment proceedings or not and they have the sole authority on whether documents or witnesses must be provided by the Executive Branch.

      The idea was to let the President know if he really pissed off the representatives closest to the people, then they could impeach his ass. That was put in there to allow a democratic republic to defend itself against a tyrannical executive. And it worked for 210 years, until 1998 when the Republicans impeached Bill Clinton for lying about a fucking blow job.

      We The People need to show some responsibility here and elect Congresspeople and a President who won’t use the Constitution as some kind of political toy. There’s nothing wrong with the Obstruction Article; there definitely is something wrong with the House and the Senate and the President.

      No people ever gets a government it doesn’t deserve.–Voltaire

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #256090
      peacecorps
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,223

      That is long term, big picture (balance of power, checks and balances, democracy) thinking.

      GOP senators (like the D version) are more worried about renomination (Trump is very popular with ther primary-voting hard core) and re-election.

      Big picture concerns can’t compete with ‘looking out for No. 1’

      The Big Lie: "Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it." AH.

      "Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect." JG

      National issues (slavery/racism, income inequality, pandemics and pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war, pandemics) are not solved with more nationalism.

    • #256111
      jerry611
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      • Total Posts: 1,225

      Something that should be made clear here…. If you are being investigated for a crime, you are under no obligation to go out of your way to help the police solve it. If you refuse to cooperate or talk to police, that is NOT obstruction of justice. Obviously you can’t lie or destroy evidence or defy court orders. But you don’t have to help the police put you in prison.

      The argument that an innocent person should gladly cooperate with the police is totally invalid. In fact, any defense attorney in this country would advise you to shut your mouth and don’t do anything at all if you are under investigation….no matter if you are guilty or innocent. You never talk to the police.

      Likewise, the president doesn’t have to bend over backwards and help his opposition party roast him.

      Democrats could have gone to the courts for many of their complaints but didn’t because 1) it would take too long and they don’t have the patience to stretch this into the election season. And 2) they don’t want to weaken executive privilege for future presidents.

      A lot of this that you are seeing right here is just political pandering and grandstanding. A lot of Democratic voters have been demanding impeachment since the day Trump won the election. Now, these representatives can all go back to their districts and shrug their shoulders and say, “Well…we tried.”

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