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Senator: Possible Trump Impeachment Undermines Supreme Court Nominee

Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal says Donald Trump may be on the verge of impeachment and will not vote for the President’s Supreme Court nominee because of it.

The member of the Senate Judiciary Committee vowed to vote against Neil Gorsuch on Friday, joining 40 other senators in a bid to thwart the nomination of the 49 year old judge.

"The possibility of a Supreme Court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president of the United States is far from idle speculation," said Blumenthal in a televised hearing. "It has happened before in United States vs Nixon."

He said his vote was about the "constitutional crisis that may well be looming," as the FBI investigates alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Blumenthal however might be overstating comparisons between the current president and Nixon, who resigned from the White House in 1974 following the Watergate scandal. So far officials have presented zero evidence of the collusion that would be needed for impeachment.

That isn't stopping the Massachusetts city of Cambridge approaching impeachment from a different angle. The City Council passed a resolution on Monday that calls on the House to investigate whether Trump's many business interests violate the Constitution.

In hope of ensuring Gorsuch's confirmation Republicans have said they will employ the so-called "nuclear option," a rarely used motion that blocks filibustering and allows the president to get his nominations approved with a simple majority, rather than the 60-40 margin traditionally required. The threshold for breaking the filibuster would be lowered from 60 to 51, meaning the majority party could approve a nominee on a party line vote.

The Democrats' pick Judge. Merrick Garland was given the nod by former president Obama last March to take the prestigious and powerful seat opened by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, but with under a year left of his second term Republicans wrangled to hold off hearings until after the election.

"I am still angry about the treatment of Merrick Garland," Blumenthal explained. But anger won't prevent Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell confirming Gorsuch "no matter what," a situation that John McCain called "depressing."

"We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option," said the Arizona Senator.

The nuclear option was used back in 2013 when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid used it to get Obama's lower court and other executive branch nominees confirmed. Democrats however drew the line at the Supreme Court because it was seen as a set too far.

If the option is used, the good news is that in the long term the precedent isn't set in stone. If a similar situation should arrive, an appeal can be made and a vote taken on what the precedent should once again be - potentially going back to the 60-40 margin.

Posted by KeelanB at April 4, 2017 3:41 PM
Comments
Comment #414971

Blumenthal is a former prosecutor and a man who carefully chooses his words. He currently serves as the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as many others. He states that there is a looming constitutional crisis, and cites that as a reason not to vote for Gorsuch. At this point he is not directly calling for impeachment.

Impeachment means the president has committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The FBI investigation into cooperation between the Trump Campaign and the Russians is ongoing. The Treasury Department is investigating Manafort for money laundering allegations. And by the way, if circumstantial evidence proves it happened beyond a reasonable doubt, Trump could be impeached. Remember, it would have to be done by a Republican Congress, but I believe they would go through with impeachment if it really turns out to be as bad as it appears.

The establishment GOP owes Trump nothing, and they would probably prefer VP Pence anyway. If Pence is implicated, Ryan would be next in line. If Ryan obstructed justice when he protected Congressman Devin Nunes, it would go to Orrin Hatch, Senate Pro Tem.

Posted by: phx8 at April 4, 2017 4:02 PM
Comment #414973

Republicans would be stupid to not use the “nuclear option.” These liberal democrats now in charge of the party would do it in a heartbeat.

Posted by: kctim at April 4, 2017 4:12 PM
Comment #414974

Venezuela Reminds Us That Socialism Frequently Leads to Dictatorship

“In 1944, when he wrote his book, Hayek noted that the crimes of the German National Socialists and Soviet Communists were, in great part, the result of growing state control over the economy. As he explained, growing state interference in the economy leads to massive inefficiencies and long queues outside empty shops. A state of perpetual economic crisis then leads to calls for more planning.”

http://reason.com/archives/2017/04/04/from-socialism-to-dictatorship

Follow the money friends. The Left must rid itself of President Trump as he stands between them and more looting of the public purse.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2017 4:22 PM
Comment #414975

There are other complications with impeachment. It depends on the evidence. First, what if people from the Trump campaign are indicted, but not Trump? What if Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator, or not indicted at all?

Flynn has already made it known he wants immunity, and he “has a story to tell.” If Flynn, Manafort, or Carter Page turn on Trump in exchange for immunity, what would it take to impeach Trump?

Flynn is going to jail. His shenanigans with the plot to kidnap an exiled Turkish cleric and ship him back to Turkey, while working as an undeclared Foreign Agent, are enough to measure him for an orange jumpsuit.

Manafort is going to jail for money laundering. He was on a $10 million/year contract with a Russian oligarch. The oligarch gave Manafort $19 million to buy a cable company. Manafort received the money but never went through with the purchase. That is what money laundering looks like. Last year Manafort went to Cyprus. Dude’s going up the river.

Carter Page provided “basic documents” to a Russian spy. He claims that he was unaware the guy was a spy. He may have been the go-between for the 19% sale of Rosneft mentioned in the Steele Dossier. It was predicted in the Dossier last year. The sale actually occurred in December and Carter Page may have been the facilitator. But where did the money go.

Roger Stone is an interesting case, because his coordination with Wikileaks and the Trump Campaign can be plausibly defended as a matter of freedom of the press. Maybe.

Posted by: phx8 at April 4, 2017 4:37 PM
Comment #414976

Poor phx8. He complained of a lumpy mattress. It was found to be caused by all the bogymen hiding beneath his bed.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 4, 2017 4:51 PM
Comment #414977

RF,
You seem a little desperate to change the subject.

The HHS Secretary, Price, is under investigation for insider trading.

The head of the EPA, Pruitt, is having his license to practice law reviewed by the state of OK. Pruitt lied under oath. He claimed to have not used his personal e-mail for business. Boy, did he. Of course, RF, you would NEVER condemn someone for lying under oath about e-mails, right?

AT DOJ, Sessions has been forced to recuse himself from anything to do with the Russians because he lied under oath. He said he did not meet with the Russians, both aloud and in writing. He did.

Posted by: phx8 at April 4, 2017 4:59 PM
Comment #414987

Phx8,

While nearly everything we’ve learned thus far puts Trump in an unfavorable light, I suggest holding off on any firm conclusions until after all relevant investigations are over. Who knows what might happen? After all, Devin Nunes could discover some exculpatory evidence while riding a unicorn. LOL.

But seriously, there’s no evidence of actual coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, at least not yet. After Democrats regain control of Congress in 2019, things may be different.

Posted by: Warren Porter at April 4, 2017 8:36 PM
Comment #414989

WP,
It is true, there could eventually turn out to be no evidence of cooperation or collusion. The evidence could be insufficient to warrant any actions. Trump could be clear, but subordinates might be in trouble. There are a lot of possible positive outcomes for the Trump campaign and administration.

Given that Flynn has already asked for immunity, I would say it is highly likely he is asking for immunity if he did not a crime. Maybe he’s innocent. But it sure looks bad.

The FBI has reportedly stepped up its investigation and added resources. Since they may follow the leads into wrongdoing no matter where they go, the FBI could end up chasing a web of Russian mobsters, spies, collaborators, money laundering, crooked bankers, and more. This could take a long time.

Trump consistently acts like he is guilty. An innocent person would demand an immediate, open, transparent investigation, and push for it to be carried out as fast as possible. Everyone, and I mean everyone, would be better off if that were the case. Instead, Trump has done the exact opposite. He and his administration have done everything possible to obstruct, obfuscate, distract, and attempt to lead investigators on wild goose chases. That doesn’t mean they are guilty.

But it sure looks bad.

Posted by: phx8 at April 4, 2017 9:42 PM
Comment #414992

phx8,

Regardless of where this investigation goes, it is clearly a millstone around Trump’s neck just like Hillary Clinton’s email server was around her neck. Particularly when combined with the Russian hacks of the DNC and Podesta as well as the associated propaganda.

Her exoneration by James Comey in July did nothing to temper the Right’s anger and the optics of the entire situation probably cost her the election. Comey’s October surprise did not help things either.

This leads me to believe that even if the Russia investigation ends without indicting Trump, his political future is quite grim. Nunes’ bizarre behavior gives Democrats the opportunity to claim impropriety just like Bill Clinton’s meeting with Loretta Lynch did last summer. Ultimately, these allegations are going to be a big political winner for Democrats when they run for Congress next year. All they need to do is tell voters the truth, that Republicans cannot be trusted to responsibly handle a Congressional probe of Russian interference in our election last year.

Posted by: Warren Porter at April 4, 2017 10:47 PM
Comment #414994

WP,
Ironic that the one person who contributed the most to Hillary’s defeat, Director Comey, is the one conducting the investigation into criminal conduct by the Trump campaign. It is not a situation that fills me with confidence.

As for 2018… Remember at the end of the Bush administration the economy tanked, the stock market crashed, we were losing 600,000 jobs a month, people were losing their houses at a rate comparable to the Great Depression, and despite all that, and more- despite that- Bush still carried a 25% approval rating. Think about it. 25% of this country approved of that performance. Hey, job well done!

Trump lost the popular vote, but still, a lot of people voted for him. Despite the overt misogyny, the racism, the bigotry, the narcissism and erratic personality, people voted for him. They thought this would be a good idea. These are people who believed Obama was a Muslim and un-American, that the stock market had gone down under Obama and unemployment increased, and that Global Warming was a hoax.

So I think it would be a mistake to overestimate the intelligence and good judgment of the American people. We are in a slow motion train wreck right now. The State Department has been disabled and Tillerson is on an island, even as North Korea and Syria present challenges. Inexperienced people are at the tops of various government hierarchies.

We are adrift, and counting on a handful of generals and Goldman Sachs guys to keep this country afloat.

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2017 12:48 AM
Comment #414996

The Trump scandal is a nothing burger. The real story is the leaking of raw data by Obamas operatives. Also the fact that the administration requested surveillance of the Trumps transition team. Loretta Lynch is no longer the AG, and Obama can’t control the justice dept anymore. This witch hunt will blow up in the dems faces at some point. The leakers will be ferreted out, and prosecuted as they should.

Posted by: dbs at April 5, 2017 2:06 AM
Comment #415001

“The Trump scandal is a nothing burger.”

Or the most dramatic scandal in American history.

“The real story is the leaking of raw data by Obamas operatives.”

Name one ‘operative’ who leaked.

“Also the fact that the administration requested surveillance of the Trumps transition team.”

Did not happen. Comey and Rogers already testified that there was no evidence for that. Neither the DOJ or FBI or CIA or anyone else could find a shred of evidence.

Leakers of classified information do run a risk. There have been leaks in every administration. What there has NOT been is a campaign with so many ties to a hostile foreign power, and the strong possibility they coordinated attacks in order to take the White House.

By the way, today Roger Stone turned on Jared Kushner in a tweet and on Infowars, and claimed Kushner was leaking information on Stone to Joe Scarborough. That may not be true, since Stone is a notorious liar, but still, it is interesting that Stone turned on one of his own.


Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2017 10:16 AM
Comment #415012

dbs-
Even your own source Nunes says the targets were not on the Trump team, that they got caught in the surveillance incidentally. Meaning they were calling or being called by people they shouldn’t be.

I hear so many of you people echoing the same damn narrative: that this is really an Obama scandal rather than a Trump one. It’s something folks like you readily go with, but it’s really BS only Trump’s devoted supporters believe.

In the end, the victims that Trump is showing the most contempt to are his own supporters.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 5, 2017 1:12 PM
Comment #415014

phx8


“Name one ‘operative’ who leaked.”

Name one shred of evidence the Russians tampered with the election.

Posted by: dbs at April 5, 2017 3:33 PM
Comment #415016

You mean the 17 intelligence agencies that stated the Russians tampered with the election, and their published conclusion?

Oh wait. You are in the bag for Putin. Never mind.

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2017 3:42 PM
Comment #415017

Stephen

“Even your own source Nunes says the targets were not on the Trump team, that they got caught in the surveillance incidentally.”

The leaking of the names of those Americans who were incidentally recorded in that surveillance is a crime.


“Meaning they were calling or being called by people they shouldn’t be.”

It means nothing of the kind. That is nothing more than speculation on your part. If you have some evidence there was collusion between the Trump team, and the Russians, by all means throw it out there. otherwise it’s just hopeful speculation.

Posted by: dbs at April 5, 2017 3:44 PM
Comment #415018


phx8

“You mean the 17 intelligence agencies that stated the Russians tampered with the election, and their published conclusion?”

Again, what evidence, and which intelligence would that be ?

Posted by: dbs at April 5, 2017 3:47 PM
Comment #415022

How many times will the Left make stupid statements?

Hey phx8, can you tell us which of the “17 intelligence agencies” had any direct knowledge of the hacking of the DNC by anyone”

We wonder if anyone on WB actually knows the names of these “17 agencies”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 5, 2017 4:26 PM
Comment #415024

Oh! You can’t find it? Here. Let me google it for you:

www.google.com

Posted by: phx8 at April 5, 2017 5:47 PM
Comment #415025

LOL…thanks for confirming the absurdity of your claim.

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 5, 2017 5:52 PM
Comment #415034

RF

He’s got nothing. LMFAO ! But but but, “17 intelligence agencies”. Ba ha ha ha !

Posted by: dbs at April 6, 2017 6:37 AM
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