- The Democratic presidential campaign has produced confusion rather than clarity
The Stamford Advocate provides an op-ed commentary on the Democrat field as of 30 November 2019.
The Democratic presidential candidates have been on the campaign trail for nearly a year. Confusion rather than clarity continues to be the story of their contest for the 2020 nomination.
Early in the year, the party’s liberal wing seemed to be ascendant, defined by the candidacies of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and the embrace of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health-care program. Sanders and Warren were calling for other dramatic changes to the system – economic and political – and their voices stood out. Some other candidates offered echoes of their ideas.
That proved to be a misleading indicator of where the Democratic electorate was on some of the issues, particularly health care, in part because there were fewer moderate voices being heard. Former Vice President Joe Biden didn’t join the race until April. South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg wasn’t being taken very seriously. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., wasn’t breaking through.
The candidate debates provided the setting for the arguments to play out before a larger audience. Warren and Sanders came under attack from moderate Democrats at the first debate in June in Miami, with former Maryland congressman John Delaney the most vocal. But Warren and Sanders more than held their own. It appeared as though the progressive wing was on solid ground.
(Read more at the Stamford Advocate)
Since the modus operandi of Democrats means taking the worst qualities of the speaker and assigning them to the opponent, …
A debate on the merits of Democrat ideals comes up lacking
The only two questions at most of the Democrat debates has been:
- Who can sling the most insults against President
- Who can be the most socialist without tipping their hand to the Millennials that young, working-class people will be the ones who pay for the socialist programs
- Schiff re-inacts Nixon: Schiff pulls the phone records of Republican Nunes
Breitbart reports in a 3 December 2019 article that Democrat Schiff obtained the phone records of ranking Republican Nunes for the Democrat impeachment inquiry.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) investigated Ranking Member Devin Nunes (D-CA) as part of his impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, the committee report revealed on Tuesday.
The revelation that Schiff had obtained telephone records related to Nunes was the only new revelation in the report, which otherwise re-hashed Democrats’ arguments in favor of impeaching Trump for allegedly asking Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election.
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Schiff declined to say when the committee had obtained the records, but given the Democrats’ repeated questions during the inquiry about administration officials who had worked with Nunes, such as former Intelligence Committee staffer (now National Security Council official) Kash Patel, it is likely the Democrats sought those records before or during the hearings.
The report cites media reports that Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who has ben indicted on campaign finance charges, claimed that Nunes tried to meet with Ukrainians to “dig up dirt” on former Vice President Joe Biden. (Nunes had threatened to sue those media outlets, and did so on Tuesday, suing CNN for defamation; he does not appear to have been given an opportunity to answer the allegations in the report.)
Shifts report also cites “phone records” showing apparent conversations between Giuliani and Nunes, as well as Parnas and Nunes, in April 2019, around the time that then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was criticized in the media. The report also cites records of phone calls between Giuliani and Nunes staffer Derek Harvey, as well as between Giuliani and Patel. The phone records were apparently obtained from AT&T, according to a footnote in the report.
(Read more at Breitbart)
Truth of the matter is that Schiff submitted subpeonas for numerous Republicans (but made incorrect assumptions based on those documents)
Making assumptions with limited intelligence (id est, little coordinating information on what the subject was doing — although other definitions of “intelligence” might also apply here) never works well. As Adam Mill points out in The Federalist:
House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff has released a 300-page Trump-Ukraine impeachment inquiry report. It’s what you would expect of a rushed report after two weeks of hearsay and opinion testimony: full of unsupported conclusions based upon faulty assumptions.
Garbage assumptions lead to garbage conclusions. Below is a list of several key assumptions Schiff totally failed to support in the report.
Garbage in, garbage out.
- Flashback: Jerry Nadler Warns ‘There Must Never Be’ a Partisan Impeachment Effort
Breitbart quotes Jerry Nadler during his efforts to support Bill Clinton.
House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) warned of the dangers of partisan impeachment efforts during former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings, cautioning that it would “produce decisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come.”
Nadler adamantly opposed a partisan impeachment effort during Clinton’s scandal, emphatically warning his colleagues that they should not impeach a president without the “overwhelming consensus” of the American people and stressing that “an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other” will lead to bitterness and divisiveness and cause people to question “the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”
“And we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the American people. There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other,” Nadler said in a throwback clip, which Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) reintroduced on the morning of the House Judiciary Committee’s first public impeachment hearing:
Here's what Jerry Nadler said about impeachment 20 years ago. This kind of hypocrisy is exactly why Kansans can see… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Dr. Roger Marshall (@RogerMarshallMD) December 04, 2019
“Such an impeachment will produce decisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions,” he warned.
Nadler made, precisely, the same arguments Republicans have made against the Democrats’ partisan impeachment efforts in recent weeks.
(Read more at Breitbart)
We need to make Nadler remember his words now that he has taken part in the impechment
We need to be a thorn in the side of this man and help him grow into a more mature politician. Just as Maxine Waters has encouraged her followers to confront people, we need to (but doing so legally and with the love of Christ for people).
- Pamela Karlan presumes to read President Trump’s mind during impeachment hearing
The Daily Caller noted how liberal professor Pamela Karlan assumed that she knew the motivation for Trump’s naming of his youngest son and other actions.
Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford Law School, dragged President Donald Trump’s 13-year-old son Barron into the impeachment drama Wednesday.
Karlan made the comments while explaining the difference between a president and a monarch.
“I’ll just give you one example that shows you the difference between him and a king, which is, the Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son ‘Barron,’ he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan said.
Karlan was one of four law professors to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about impeachment Wednesday, with three of them arguing in favor of impeachment.
Democrats chose liberal professor Pam Karlan as their star impeachment witness. She just went out of her way to mo… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 04, 2019
One of Democrats' impeachment witnesses, the one who says she can't walk on the sidewalk in front of Trump hotel be… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 04, 2019
Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 04, 2019
(Read the original at the Daily Caller)
Ms. Karlan may consult familiars, march in degenerate marches, and publish her desire to impeach the President months before claiming she was impartial, but she cannot read minds
However, had Ms. Karlan wanted to project herself as an unbiased expert worthy of belief during the House impeachment hearings, she might have avoided mentioning how she crosses the road to avoid walking in front of Trump tower. That does not project an image of impartiality.
- Jonathan Turley: No bribery, no obstruction in Trump’s actions
Breitbart quotes constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley as he points out that this impeachment sets a precedent.
President Trump’s actions toward Ukraine do not constitute “bribery” and resisting Congressional request is not “obstruction” George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told the House judiciary committee Wednesday.
Turley took aim at what he called a “boundless” definition of bribery employed by the Democrats in their impeachment report. He also criticized the Democrats for attempting to construe Trump’s challenging House subpoenas or refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry as “obstruction of justice.”
“You can’t accuse a president of bribery and then when some of us note that the Supreme Court has rejected your type of boundless interpretation say, ‘Well, it’s just impeachment. We really don’t have to prove the elements,’” Turley said. “If you are going to accuse a president of bribery, you need to make it stick because you are trying to remove a duly elected president of the United States.”
Turley said that proponents of impeachment, including Rep. Adam Schiff and the legal experts called by Democrats to the Wednesday panel, were wrong when they said that Trump’s alleged actions would fit the definition of bribery at the time the constitution was adopted even if it did not fit the statutory definitions of the current era.
“The bribery theory being put forward is as flawed in the 18th century as it is in this century,” Turley said.
Bribery was not an “over-arching concept” in the 18th century, Turley said. Instead, it constituted such a narrow crime that some of the attendees of the constitutional convention worried that restricting impeach to “Treason and Bribery” was too limited. An originalist interpretation of bribery would limit it to the actual acceptance of money from someone seeking favorable treatment or policy from a public official.
In his prepared remarks, Turley quoted from a legal treatise that explained: “The core of the concept of a bribe is an inducement improperly influencing the performance of a public function meant to be gratuitously exercised.”
“Bribery, as used here, did not indicate some broad definition, but a classic payment of money,” Turley explained in his written remarks.
Turley argued that the narrow definition does not fit Trump’s alleged actions in the current controversy. Even if Trump sought to pressure Ukraine to open investigations by withholding military aid or offering a White House visit, this would not constitute bribery under common law definitions.
(Read more at Breitbart)
- Turley To House Democrats: If You Make Going To The Courts An Abuse Of Power, It Is “Your Abuse Of Power”
Real Clear Politics quotes Jonathan Turley as he makes one of several cases against the Democrat argument for impeachment.
Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley told House Democrats that charging President Trump with a count of obstruction of justice for going to the courts over the subpoena of witnesses is itself an abuse of power.
“If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power,” Turley said during the first day of impeachment inquiry hearings in the House Judiciary committee on Monday.
(Read more at Real Clear Politics)
- Professor Turley, though not a fan of Trump, takes on three Democrat witnesses and the entire impeachment coup
Biz Pac Review lists the issues identified by Professor Turley.
While “witnesses” who have thus far testified to the House in the impeachment inquiry have been in support of the removal of the president without providing any solid evidence of wrongdoing, a Wednesday witness before the House Judiciary Committee tore apart the legal case presented against Trump and called the inquiry “dangerous.”
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School who also testified in the Bill Clinton impeachment case, called the case presented thus far against Trump “woefully inadequate.”
“President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come,” Turley said during his opening testimony. “I’m concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger.”
Turley said the current standard for this potential impeachment “fails to satisfy the standard of past impeachments.” He also said the lack of solid evidence presented in the case sets a “dangerous precedent for future impeachments.”
While leftists will likely write Turley off as a blind supporter of the president, the law professor confirmed on Wednesday that he is not a “supporter” of Trump, but rather someone who is concerned that the “integrity” of the impeachment process is quickly being eroded with the current hearings.
“One can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president,” he said.
Further proving he’s not a supporter of the president, Turley said Trump’s reference to Joe Biden’s dealings with Ukraine and Burisma, the company his son worked for, in his phone call with the Ukraine president over the summer should have never happened and is worth criticism. However, he argued, the reference in the phone call — which never led to the imaginary quid pro quo Democrats have accused Trump of — does not equate to “bribery,” which is what Trump is currently being accused of in the impeachment inquiry.
“The reference to the Hunter Biden deal with Burisma should never have occurred and is worthy of the criticism of President Trump that it has unleashed. However, it is not a case of bribery,” Turley said.
While one can argue the comment was not “correct,” Turley said there is nothing “corrupt” in the mentioning of the dealings to the Ukraine president.
“In my view, there is no case law that would support a claim of corrupt intent in such comments to support a bribery charge,” he said.
Turley also argued there was no malicious motivation on Trump’s part as the president “honestly believed that there was a corrupt arrangement with Hunter Biden that was not fully investigated by the Obama administration, the request for an investigation is not corrupt, notwithstanding its inappropriateness.”
The trouble, Turley argued, is that an investigation into Biden — which never actually happened — would have helped Trump politically.
Turley eventually made a call to action, asking those in support of impeachment to put the current process in the context of history and to see beyond their “rage.”
“If we are to impeach a president for only the third time in our history, we will need to rise above this age of rage and genuinely engage in a civil and substantive discussion,” he said.
If impeachment were to actually happen, Turley predicted it would be a black mark on American political history.
“If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president,” he said.
(Read more at Biz Pac Review)
To quote Professor Turley, we are setting a dangerous precedent
On page 12 of the printed version of his testimony before Congress, Jonathan Turley pointed out the low standard the Democrats are setting for impeachment.
In the current case, the record is facially insufficient. The problem is not simply that the record does not contain direct evidence of the President stating a quid pro quo, as Chairman Schiff has suggested. The problem is that the House has not bothered to subpoena the key witnesses who would have such direct knowledge. This alone sets a dangerous precedent. A House in the future could avoid countervailing evidence by simply relying on tailored records with testimony from people who offer damning presumptions or speculation. It is not enough to simply shrug and say this is “close enough for jazz” in an impeachment. The expectation, as shown by dozens of failed English impeachments, was that the lower house must offer a complete and compelling record. That is not to say that the final record must have a confession or incriminating statement from the accused. Rather, it was meant to be a complete record of the key witnesses that establishes the full range of material evidence. Only then could the body reach a conclusion on the true weight of the evidence—a conclusion that carries sufficient legitimacy with the public to justify the remedy of removal.
- All Presidents of the past would have been impeached under the current standard
At Jonathan Turley’s blog, the professor points out how all presidents fall when put up to the standards exacted by the current Democrats.
“This is beyond anything Nixon did.” Those words declared by Democratic House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff capture the vast constitutional challenge for the House Judiciary Committee as it heads toward its announced hearing on the impeachment of President Trump. There is still disagreement, to use a Clintonian twist, of what “this” is.
Yet whatever “this” is, it is not Nixonian, at least not yet. Schiff seems to struggle to reduce the harsh allegations against Richard Nixon in order to elevate those against Donald Trump. Schiff explained that Watergate was merely “a third-rate burglary of the Democratic headquarters” while “what we are talking about here is the withholding of recognition in that White House meeting” of the Ukrainian president and of “the withholding of military aid to an ally at war. This is beyond anything Nixon did.”
The Nixon impeachment began with a felony crime with the Watergate burglary and then swept to encompass an array of other crimes involving political slush funds, payments of hush money, maintenance of an enemies list, directing tax audits of critics, witness intimidation, multiple instances of perjury and even an alleged kidnapping. In the end, there were nearly 70 officials charged and four dozen found guilty. Nixon was also named as an unindicted conspirator by a grand jury.
However, according to Schiff and Katyal, all those federal crimes appear to pale in comparison to the Ukraine controversy. Katyal said on air that Trump has denied Congress the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton and “a whole bunch of other people.” This on its face, Katyal claimed, constitutes “unprecedented obstruction, in many ways even worse than President Nixon during Watergate. They have gagged every single executive branch employee from going and testifying.”
But that is not exactly unprecedented. Take the Obama administration position, for instance, on the investigation of “Fast and Furious,” which was a moronic gunwalking operation in which the government arranged for the illegal sale of powerful weapons to drug cartels in order to track their movement. One such weapon was used to murder Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, and Congress began a justified oversight investigation. Some members called for impeachment proceedings. But Obama invoked executive privilege and barred essential testimony and documents. The Obama administration then ran out the clock in the judiciary, despite a legal rejection of its untenable and extreme claim by a federal court.
During its litigation, the Obama administration argued that the courts had no authority over its denial of such witnesses and evidence to Congress. Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who has tried Trump associate Roger Stone, ruled that “endorsing the proposition that the executive may assert an unreviewable right to withhold materials from the legislature would offend the Constitution more than undertaking to resolve the specific dispute that has been presented here. After all, the Constitution contemplates not only a separation, but a balance, of powers.” Katyal is likely familiar with this precedent. He was acting solicitor general of the Justice Department at the start of “Fast and Furious” at the start of the controversy.
Presidents have often gone to court to litigate conflicts over Congress calling top White House officials whose conversations are ordinarily protected by executive privilege. George Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama all barred evidence on that ground, and presidents are entitled to receive judicial review in conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. In the Obama litigation over the blocking of evidence, Jackson reaffirmed that such judicial review is part of the constitutional system of allowing courts to “determine whether another branch has exceeded its power.” Citing two Supreme Court rulings, Jackson added that it would “elevate and fortify” one branch to dictate the results in such conflicts.
It is difficult to see the “devastating” aspect of such an incomplete record against Trump as it exists today, let alone the claim that Trump has “out-Nixoned” Nixon. That is why, whatever “this” is, in the words of Schiff, it is not Watergate. That does not mean it is not impeachable, but the House will have to build its case to that level, not lower historical impeachments to “this” level.
(Read the full blog post at Jonathan Turley’s blog)
- One of Nadler’s ‘Star’ Impeachment Witnesses Misrepresented Himself During Sworn Testimony
Jerry Nadler’s impeachment hearing was a bust. It actually made Adam Schiff’s circus look legitimate – and that’s saying a lot since Schiff’s hearings were a total joke and embarrassment.
Nadler trotted out three elitist anti-Trump college professors to share their “feelings” and “opinions” on why they think Trump should be impeached.
What a total waste of time and taxpayer money.
Much like Schiff’s impeachment charade, Nadler’s was just a bunch of Trump-haters complaining. There was no first-hand knowledge of anything, no evidence. Just a #Resistance rally for people who hate President Trump with an abnormal amount of passion.
While Schiff’s witnesses were insufferable windbags, Nadler’s were insufferable and downright mean, not to mention liars.
Nadler’s star witness Noah Freeman said under oath that he was an “impeachment skeptic” until July 2019.
You can watch the video below:
"Until this call on July 25th I was an 'impeachment skeptic.' The call changed my mind sir, and for good reason."… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) December 04, 2019
However, investigative journalist Mike Cernovich says “not so fast.”
Will anything be done about it? Don’t hold your breath.
Noah Feldman’s own words contradict his testimony.
In a May 17, 2017 story in Vice about the Comey firing, Professor Feldman said:
What the president did is an outrage. It’s impeachable, and obstruction of justice in the sense of being a “high crime and misdemeanor.” But it’s almost certainly not a crime of obstruction of justice.
When pressed to provide more nuance about impeachment, Professor Feldman said:
So just to clarify, this looks like obstruction of justice in the high crimes and misdemeanors sense but not in the Jeff Sessions–led Justice Department will do anything about it sense? Correct. And frankly, breaking the norm of politicizing law enforcement—it’s a great basis for impeachment. It’s not a crime, and in fact it’s in the president’s constitutional authority, but it’s still impeachable. That’s the whole point—the president can do things within his legal constitutional authority where the only sanction available under our system is impeachment.
Feldman doesn’t qualify his statement. He doesn’t express skepticism or doubt. He is clear with his words: “What the president did is an outrage. It’s impeachable.”
(Read more at Wayne Dupree)
- Blue State Blues: Adam Schiff Abused His Power to Dig up Dirt on Opponents
Breitbart reports in a 6 December 2019 article how Schiff abused is power to dig up dirt on opponents.
House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has done almost exactly what he and fellow Democrats accuse President Donald Trump (falsely) of doing: he abused his power to ask an outside entity to investigate political opponents.
Schiff subpoenaed phone records from AT&T that he then used to claim his Republican counterpart, Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes (D-CA), was part of a plot to smear a U.S. ambassador.
What Schiff did is arguably worse than what he claims Trump did in his telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. AT&T is an American company, not a foreign government.
But Schiff didn’t simply ask AT&T for dirt on his opponents. He forced it to hand over the records. And he did so without giving Nunes any warning, or any opportunity to respond to the claims he would later sneak into his 300-page impeachment report.
Schiff’s strategy was not to go for Nunes’s phone number directly, but to subpoena the records of numbers of people who might have called him. So when he showed Nunes his unilateral subpoena — which he is required to do — Nunes had no idea what Schiff was doing. Nor did Schiff explain it to the public: the footnotes in his report simply refer to “AT&T Document Production” with no further explanation.
Schiff’s phone records also targeted Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and investigative journalist John Solomon. He risked violating attorney-client privilege, as well as the freedom of the press. And those are just the records that have been identified: other Americans, including journalists, are likely to have been swept up in the search.
Schiff also apparently mis-identified one of the phone numbers as coming from the Office of Management and Budget, basing key accusations on that sloppy mistake.
Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal notes: “Mr. Schiff claims the ignominious distinction of being the first congressman to use his official powers to spy on a fellow member and publish the details.” She adds, quoting former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, that Schiff’s subpoena may have broken the law. Phone carriers cannot divulge call records without an individual’s consent, except for a legitimate law enforcement purpose: this was not.
(Read more at Breitbart)
- House GOP escalate feud over Nunes phone records
One America News Network reports in a 6 December 2019 article how some Republicans in the House have started matching force with force.
House Republicans are accusing House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff of carrying out a smear campaign against his GOP counterpart. House Democrats have refused to explain how some phone records of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) were obtained and published in the Intelligence panel’s recent report.
They have cited the records to accuse Nunes of working with the Trump administration to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations into the president’s opponents. Call logs show Nunes was in contact earlier this year with Rudy Giuliani and other individuals swept up in the inquiry.
Republicans have warned the move by Democrats is unprecedented and are now demanding answers.
“So two questions are hanging out that everybody’s looking for an answer for, including me: who ordered it? …why was it decided for nothing but smears purposes to be included in the the Schiff report?” asked Rep. Doug Collin (R-Ga.).
Schiff has argued it is standard procedure to seek phone records, while denying they were obtained through subpoenas. Meanwhile, Republicans say they are concerned with names of individuals being revealed who are not under criminal investigation.
Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) December 09, 2019
(Read more at One America News Network)
- Nadler did not swear in witnesses
As pointed out in a 9 December 2019 edition of Roll Call, we know that Jerold Nadler did not swear in the witnesses for the impeachment hearing.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s gavel got a workout when Republicans raised a number of objections, unanimous consent requests and parliamentary inquiries in the committee’s impeachment hearing on Monday.
“The steamroll continues!” ranking member Doug Collins said as Nadler called upon Barry Berke, counsel for House Democrats. Republicans were shouting over each other and Nadler’s gavel as they attempted to submit their dissatisfaction with the proceedings.
Collins called Democrats’ investigation inquiry into President Donald Trump a “focus group impeachment” in its opening statement as the committee began its hearing on investigators’ report.
“Presumption has now become the standard instead of proof,” Collins said in his opening statement.
Republicans also reasserted their allegations that the impeachment process is an effort by Democrats to negate Trump’s election.
“Is this when we just hear staff ask questions of other staff and the members get dealt out of this hearing for the next four hours?” asked Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. “Are you are going to overturn the results of an election of the elected people?”
(Read more at Roll Call)
- Court Criticizes Obama Admin for Illegal Spying on U.S. Citizens
Breitbart pointed out how a court criticized the Obama administration for spying on the Trump campaign.
Intelligence agencies violated the constitutional rights of American citizens through illegal surveillance during the Obama administration, recently declassified documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) show.
The secretive court also notes a change for the better under President Trump’s team.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes two courts to provide judicial review for U.S. intelligence agencies when their activities require them to monitor people on U.S. soil. One is FISC, and the other is the court that hears appeals from FISC decisions, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR). The benches of FISC are comprised of federal judges from regular federal trial courts throughout the nation, and three appellate judges from around the nation comprise the bench of FISCR.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently declassified an April 26, 2017, ruling from FISC, detailing violations of Fourth Amendment rights during the final year of the Obama administration.
The problems dealt specifically with Section 702 of FISA. This provision of federal law, found at 50 U.S.C. § 1881a, contains “minimization” procedures for U.S. citizens whose information is scooped up by the intelligence community while those agencies are conducting FISA surveillance. These safeguards minimize the burden on civil rights caused by the intrusion of the federal government into citizens’ lives.
The Fourth Amendment commands:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Writing the 99-page opinion for FISC, Judge Rosemary Collyer castigated the Obama administration for failing to follow the Section 702 procedures designed to ensure that the government does not violate Americans’ civil rights as it is performing work that is vitally important to national security. Collyer declared that the previous administration’s cavalier violations of Section 702’s requirements created “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
(Read more at Breitbart)
This is a day late and a dollar short for a judge who should have responded to Rep. Nunes
Over a year ago, Representatives Nunes and Goodlatte wrote a letter to this judge (warning of the issues brought up in the IG report and more). She should have started investigations and leveled charges then, had she wanted to maintain the honor of her court.
- Doug Collins speaks out during the impeachment debacle
In the following video, Representative Doug Collins speaks in the “impeachment” debates (put in quotes because the Democrats limited the terms of debate throughout the process). In this speech, he points out how Democrats have rushed headlong into this “impeachment” from the moment President Trump was elected. Facts and votes have been damned by the Democrats.
Thank you, Madam Speaker. And we are here today to enter into a debate, this should surprise no one.
This is not — this has not been a surprise and it’s not even something that we would not have thought about. From the very moment that the majority party in this House won the inevitability that we would be here today was only a matter of what date they would schedule it. Nothing else.
In fact, how it even began to look even further was on September 24, the Speaker announced an impeachment inquiry before even seeing the call transcript that we’re going to hear so much about today. You know, it’s not about what this body can do, in its constitutional oath. And there’s been a lot of “constitutional” and “founders” thrown around and will be all day today. But there’s one thing that I will mention all along and that is also the founders were very concerned about a partisan impeachment in which politics or the majority who have their strength can do what they want to do regardless of any facts.
In fact, I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. I do not believe, no matter what was said today and what has been said, this is not a solemn occasion. When you go looking for something for three years, and especially this year since January, you ought to be excited when you found it. But they can’t. Because I know what has now happened.
It took me last night, but I was thinking about it. Why do we keep calling this a solemn occasion when you’ve been wanting to do this ever since the gentleman was elected? Mr. President came forward and did what he saw fit for the American people, but yet they wanted to impeach him. Now I know. The reason they wanted to is now they realize, when I told them and have been telling them for the last few weeks that the clock and the calendar are terrible masters. The clock and the calendar are terrible masters. They do not care about anything except getting the time done and the calendar fixed. They do not care about facts. They do not care about time. And one day the clock and the calendar will hang along this body in a very detrimental way.
How do I know this? Because one of our members said on the night she was sworn in, we’re going to impeach. Well, you know the rest.
In May of 2019, Al Green said, “I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.” That’s probably the most prescient thing said by the majority in the last year. They said, we can’t beat him if we don’t impeach him. There’s a reason behind this impeachment. Even Speaker Pelosi said it would be dangerous to leave it to voters to determine whether President Trump stays in office.
Really? After we just said the pledge of allegiance, we go back to the Speaker’s own words and said it would be dangerous to leave it to the voters? I will tell you right now, Madam Speaker, we on the Republican side have no problem taking our case to the majority and to the people of this country, because they elected Donald Trump and it is a matter — matter for the voters, not this House, not in — voters, not this House, not in this way and not in the way this is being done. It has trampled everything this House believes in.
I said it yesterday and I believe it to be this true today. I will fight this on process which has been deplorable, to use a word of the majority. It has been awful. The calendar and the clock make it impress have we actually do it quickly — impressive that we actually do it quickly. We don’t care about rules and minority days, we don’t care about giving opportunity for witnesses to call, because the chairman gets to determine what is relevant. Wow, that’s pretty good. Let the accuser determine what is relevant to the one being accused.
The people of America see through this. The people of America understand due process and they understand when it is being trampled in the people’s House.
You see, it’s also not a matter of process which will be discussed today, it’s a matter of actual facts.
I will fight the facts all day long. Because what we found here today is a fact — is a President who did not do as being charged. They had to go to abuse of power, this amorphous term that you’re going to hear many arguments about how that abuse of power — except for one thing, the call itself, the two parties say no pressure. Nothing was ever done to get the money. In fact, they didn’t even know the money was held. But there is something that very much bothers me about the facts. There were five meetings, we’ll hear about those today. In which it was never a linkage — there was never a linkage made.
There was one witness that is depended on over 600 times in the majority’s report. That in the end, after questions, had to say, that was not presumption of what was happening. You see, this is an impeachment based on presumption. This is an impeachment basically a poll-tested impeachment on what sells to the American people.
Today’s going to be a lot of things. What it is not is fair. What it is not is about the truth. What is true today, and I just heard it just a moment ago in the articles themselves where it said, and the Speaker I believe talked about this, is, well, if the president weakened a foreign leader. You know what the truth of the matter is, madam Speaker?
The most interesting and deplorable thing that I’ve heard over the last few weeks? Is the actual attack by the majority on President Zelensky. Because they realize the whole crux of their case is if he was not pressured, their House of cards falls and by the way it’s already fell.
But if we can’t pressure, show pressure, then we either have to call him a liar, a world leader, or we have to make up names to call him. And that’s exactly what happened in judiciary committee when a member of the majority actually said, he’s acting (or they compared him to) a battered wife. That’s below the dignity of this body. To take a world leader and when he doesn’t make the case for you, to belittle him. As will be often said by the majority, that they’re in the middle of a hot war with Russia.
You see, President Trump actually did give them offensive weapons. President Trump did nothing wrong. We’re going to talk about that all day long today. We went on process and we went on facts. Why? Because the American people will see through this.
Before I close this first part, I will have to recognize that even the senate, the minority leader in the senate, recognizes that the House did not do their job.
Because he can’t make the case to his own members, so he’s having to ask for witnesses.
Ask for more time. You see, even yesterday, it was sort of funny, I found it hilarious that the minority leader in the senate went out and did a press conference and said, they did not — my witnesses, they denied my witnesses, they denied my process. Welcome to the club. That’s what’s happened here for the last three months.
We’re going to talk a lot about impeachment and the president and two articles of impeachment today. Abuse of power, because they can’t actually pin anything of factual basis on him. The president did nothing wrong in this issue. And then they’re going to talk about obstruction of congress.
You know, obstruction of congress, as I’ve before, is like pet lent children saying, we didn’t get our way when we didn’t ask the right way and we didn’t try to go after and make a case. You know why, Madam Speaker, the clock and the calendar are terrible masters and the majority will own that problem today. Because to the clock and the calendar, facts don’t matter. The promises to the base matter. And today is a promise kept for the majority. Not a surprise.
- Kevin McCarthy points out the glaring truth
In this next video, Representative Kevin McCarthy recounts the words and acts of the Democrats when they lied to the American people.
Madam Speaker, I must warn you, I’m about to say something my democratic colleagues hate to hear.
Donald J. Trump is president of the United States. He is President today. He’ll be President tomorrow. And he will be President when this impeachment is over.
Madam Speaker, when they accept that, maybe this House can get back to work for the American people.
Tonight I rise not as the leader of the opposition to this impeachment, or as the elected representative from the central valley of California. I rise as Kevin McCarthy, citizen. No better, no worse than the 435 representatives that are in this chamber. Or the 330 million Americans watching this institution make what I believe is to be one of the worst decisions we have ever made. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, whether you’re liberal or conservative, whether you’re the first generation or the 10th, at our core we are all Americans. All of us.
We choose our future. We choose what kind of nation we want to be. Here’s our choice tonight. Will we let impeachment become an exercise of raw political power, regardless if it damages our country? Or will we protect the proper grounds and process for impeachment now and in the future?
For months democrats and many in the media have attempted to normalize the impeachment process that would remove a duly elected president from office. After three years of breathless and baseless outrage, this is their last attempt to stop the trump presidency.
Madam Speaker, Speaker Pelosi even recently admitted that democrats have been working on this impeachment for 2 1/2 years. Those were her words, they were not mine. Because they lost to him in 2016, they’ll do anything or say anything to stop him in 2020.
That’s not America. That’s not how democratic republics behave. Elections matter. Voters matter. And in 11 months, the people’s voice will be heard again.
Impeachment is the most consequential decision congress can make other than sending our men and women into war. Yet 85 days ago, Speaker Pelosi chose to impeach the president of the United States. She wrote the script and created an artificial timeline to make the details fit.
Why else are we doing this just hours before Christmas? If that’s all it was, a rush to judgment, she could be forgiven. But before the Speaker saw one word or one shred of evidence, she moved to impeach.
In the path, in this body, such a step demanded a vote from all of us from the start. But not only did she move to impeach before she gave this House and the hundreds of millions of people we represent no say in whether to pursue an impeachment inquiry, she threw out the bipartisan standards this house gave president Nixon and Clinton. That is why I immediately sent Speaker Pelosi a letter, asking her to follow the rules of history, of tradition, and follow those standards that have served America well.
What did she say? She rejected it. She rejected it because democrats knew a fair process would crumble their case. A fair process would have exposed to the American public what many already knew. Democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since the day he was elected. And nothing was going to get in their way, certainly not the truth.
Madam Speaker, chairman Schiff said he had evidence, more than certain, of collusion. That was false. In January, where we all stood in this body, we stood up, we raised our hands, we swore that we’d uphold the constitution — and a few mere hours after that, congresswoman Tlaib said she was going to impeach the mother-f ‘er. Those are not my words.
A year before taking the majority chairman Nadler campaigned to the Democrats that he wanted to be chairman of the Judiciary Committee where impeachment is. “New York Times” writes, Madam Speaker, because he is the strongest member to lead a potential impeachment. And Congressman Raskin, a leading Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, one that the Democrats had represent in the rules committee, for these articles just yesterday, told a crowd he would impeach President Trump two days before he was ever sworn into office.
What we’ve seen is a rigged process that has led to the most partisan and least credible impeachment in the history of America. That is this legacy. Any prosecutor in this country would be disbarred for such blatant bias, especially if that prosecutor was the fact witness, the judge and the jury. Madam Speaker, Democrats haven’t just failed on process, they’ve also failed — failed on evidence.
I heard a lot of debate on this floor today, but I haven’t heard one member of this body dispute this simple fact — President Trump provided lethal aid to Ukraine. It came before the call, it came after the call, and it continues to this day. President trump provided Ukraine tank-busting bombs, the previous administration, they gave blankets. This is the truth. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ case is based on secondhand opinions and hearsay. Simply put, there are no grounds for impeachment.
As constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley (and I would challenge to say he’s probably the most respected — and we all know it — a Democrat who did not vote for the President) said under oath, “There was no bribery. There was no extortion, no obstruction of justice, and no abuse of power.” Based on the facts, based on the truth, based on the lack of evidence, Turley called it “the fastest, thinnest, and weakest impeachment in the U.S. history.” Such a definitive answer should be the end of all of this.
But Speaker Pelosi is still moving forward with this impeachment. Without evidence of facts or truth or public support. The Speaker says it is out of allegiance to our founders. On this I agree. I agree with the Speaker, we should listen to the founders. And if one does, it’s very clear that this impeachment is unfounded and improper.
In the federalist papers, Alexander Hamilton wrote, there will always — there would always be the greatest danger, that impeachment would be driven by partisan animosity instead of real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. That impeachment would be driven by partisan animosity instead of real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. James Madison, another author of the federalist papers, wrote, the danger of legislative abuse must lead to the same tyranny as is threatened by executive abuse. The founders did not want impeachment to be used for political or partisan battles.
If my colleagues do not want to follow the constitutional high standards for undoing a national election, perhaps you could have followed Speaker Pelosi’s standard, at least the one she promised to follow back in March.
It was a very sensible standard. She says impeachment is so divisive that the evidence must be overwhelming, compelling and bipartisan. Not one of those criteria have been met today. Based on the facts, based on the evidence, based on the truth, this impeachment even fails that Pelosi test. Those now who say removing president trump would protect the integrity of our democracy have it backwards. By removing a duly elected president on empty articles of impeachment, Congress will erode the public trust in our system of government.
I understand you dislike the president. His beliefs, the way he governs, and even the people who voted for him. How do I know this? Because you say so day in and day out. In 2016 they even dismissed his supporters. Remember calling us “Deplorables?” Now they are trying to disqualify our voice before the 2020 election. They want to undo the results of the last election, to influence the next one. As I’ve said, President Trump will still be President when this is all over. But Congress will have wasted months of time and taxpayer dollars on impeachment rather than doing what the American people want us to do.
It didn’t have to be this way. Is this why we came here to serve? To trample on due process rights? To issue more subpoenas than laws? To appease the new democrat socialist base? That is not leadership. That is raw political politics and you know it. By refusing to acknowledge the truth or follow the facts, by substituting partisan animosity for real demonstration of innocence or guilt, and by continuing a three-year effort to undermine the President, this impeachment has divided this nation without any concern for the repercussions.
Moreover, politicizing this process has discredited the united states house of representatives. And could forever weaken the remedy of impeachment. To again quote Professor Turley, it is the democrats’ rush to impeachment on these grounds with unfair procedures that is an abuse of power. History will write that.
Madam Speaker, as I said at the beginning, we face a choice. Do you trust the wisdom of the people? Or do you deny them a say in their government? Fortunately, the people will have the opportunity to speak up and render their verdict in 11 months, to my fellow Americans.
To my fellow Americans, if you prove of the — approve of the way this House has conducted its business, if you want to see your tax dollars go forward into endless investigations, support this impeachment. — to endless investigations, support this impeachment.
But if you want to restore a working Congress like the previous congress that listened to you and worked to bring the best economy in this country — this country has ever seen and one that once again will work with the president to get things done for you and your family, then join with us in rejecting this baseless impeachment.
That’s what’s wonderful about this system of ours. We are a government of, by, and for the people. Always remember, we work for you, not the other way around. Now I will say this stronger and with more conviction than I have ever said it before. In this time of great trial and tribulation, may God bless America. I yield back.