House Judiciary Committee

Historic Moment As First Impeachment Investigation In 21 Years Commences

After months and a few years of speculation about an impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump, the die has been cast, and is proceeding forward.

This is only the fourth such case in American history, preceded by Andrew Johnson in 1868; Richard Nixon in 1974; and Bill Clinton in 1998.

Johnson and Clinton were impeached, and then found not guilty by the US Senate, although Johnson was only saved by one vote short of the two thirds needed to convict and remove him.

Clinton had votes in favor of conviction of 55-45 and 50-50, way short of the 67 votes needed.

Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee voted to impeach him on three counts, but before a vote of the whole House of Representatives, which was ready to impeach him. And Nixon had been informed by top leaders of his Republican Party that there was no way for him to gain 34 Republican Senate votes to avoid conviction and removal by a two thirds vote.

This is an historic moment in American history, and how it will exactly play itself out is uncertain, but at least, finally, the Democratic House of Representatives is taking action against the flagrant abuse of power by Donald Trump.

What Is Nancy Pelosi Waiting For? The Need For Impeachment For Historical Reasons!

The time has come for the impeachment inquiry regarding Donald Trump go move forward.

After the Special Counsel Robert Mueller testimony at the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, there is no reason to wait anymore.

Some might say that Trump will not be convicted by the US Senate, so it is a waste of time.

But even though Trump will not be removed by the Senate, it is important to impeach for historical reasons, to make the record clear for all time that Donald Trump deserves to be impeached.

If Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton could be impeached for far less reasoning, then Donald Trump, with his multitude of sins as President, deserve to be impeached, and have his future obituary highlight the impeachment, as it has for Andrew Johnson and will do so for Bill Clinton in the future.

It is time for Nancy Pelosi to move ahead on impeachment.

Nancy Pelosi Is Wrong On Impeachment, And It Will Likely Occur Anyway, As History Justifies It, Even With Reality That Trump Would Not Be Convicted By US Senate

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has come out against moving toward impeachment of Donald Trump, saying it is NOT worth it to do so, unless the evidence is overwhelming, conclusive, and has bipartisan backing.

That was NOT the viewpoint of Republicans in 1868 when they impeached Andrew Johnson, or Republicans in 1999 when they impeached Bill Clinton.

The case against both Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton was weak, and both avoided conviction in the US Senate.

But the case against Donald Trump is very strong, as clearly, he has abused power, obstructed justice, has had the most corrupt administration in American history, and has had more of the people associated with him indicted, convicted, and sentenced than any other President, and after only two years in office, with the first legal actions starting months into his term.

Donald Trump will not be convicted in the US Senate, unless something shocking occurs, which finally moves Republicans to abandon him, as they eventually did in the case of Richard Nixon.

For the record of history, Donald Trump needs to be punished by being impeached, based on the facts, and for his eventual obituary to report that fact in an early paragraph, as it did for Andrew Johnson, and will for Bill Clinton, both impeached on flimsy grounds. And as it is reported on Richard Nixon, that he was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, and resigned shortly after.

The Beginning Of A Challenge To Donald Trump For Renomination: William Weld And Larry Hogan

It seems as if the beginning of a challenge to Donald Trump for renomination by the Republican Party has arrived.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997) , also the Libertarian nominee for Vice President in 2016 with Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, has indicated he is planning to challenge Trump. He would be 75 at the time of the inauguration in 2021.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who just won reelection last year by a 12 point margin, has also indicated he plans to compete for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020. He would be 64 at the time of the next election.

Both are moderate Republicans, seen as centrist and pragmatic, and both won office in heavily Democratic states.

Weld has a distinguished aristocratic background starting with ancestors coming over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims in 1620. He was a counsel with the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Impeachment inquiry, and with one of his colleagues being Hillary Rodham, before she married Bill Clinton.

Hogan has the heritage of being the son of a Congressman, with the same name, who, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, voted to bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon.

Can either of them seriously overcome the advantages of being an incumbent President?

History tells us when incumbent Presidents are challenged for renomination, invariably, the President defeats his opponent, but then loses the election.

So even if Weld or Hogan cannot defeat Trump, hopefully, they can weaken him enough that he will follow in the tradition of William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush, who overcame, respectively, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Buchanan, and yet lost the second term as President.

Donald Trump’s Collapsing Polls, And The Indictment Of Roger Stone, Make It More Likely That He Will Be Challenged For The GOP Presidential Nomination In 2020

Donald Trump now has collapsing polls that mark him as having the worst ratings since public opinion polls began in 1945.

Trump is as low as 34 percent in some polls, and 57 percent are unhappy with his performance.

So rumors are starting that Trump will have a challenger for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020, with former Ohio Governor John Kasich, former Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, and sitting Maryland Governor Larry Hogan seen as the most likely challengers.

Hogan is a new name, a moderate centrist Republican who has been able to win the Governorship of a strongly “Blue” state twice, and his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr. was a Congressman on the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, like his son a moderate Republican, who was the first Republican on that committee to call for the impeachment of Richard Nixon.

The Roger Stone indictment, of a person who has been close to Donald Trump for 40 years, makes it more likely that Trump will face likely attempts to remove him or have him resign, and also makes it more likely that one of these three mentioned above, might make the challenge.

Major Roles To Be Played By Democratic Committee Chairs In 116th Congress

The 116th Congress will see Democrats taking over the committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives.

Adam Schiff of California will be the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, and will require many Trump Administration figures, including his children and son in law, to testify.

Elijah Cummings of Maryland will head the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Jerrold Nadler of New York will head the House Judiciary Committee, which might move to have impeachment hearings against Donald Trump.

Eliot Engel of New York will lead the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and deal with the problems of unstable foreign policy of Donald Trump.

Maxine Waters will lead the House Financial Services Committee, and is sure to demand lots of testimony and documents from the Trump Administration.

Nita Lowey of New York will be the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, clearly crucial in dealing with spending programs.

Raul Grijalva of Arizona will be the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, and will be engaged in combat with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department over Donald Trump’s refusal to combat global warming.

These seven committee Chairs are going to face a constant assault by the right wing extremists, Fox News Channel, and Donald Trump himself, along with others who are Chairs of other committees in the House of Representatives.

One point of particular concern is that four of these seven committee Chairs named above are Jewish (Schiff, Nadler, Engel, Lowey), two (Cummings and Waters) are African American, and Grijalva is Hispanic, which makes it likely that white supremacists, encouraged by Donald Trump rhetoric, are likely to pose a growing threat to these committee Chairs, and makes it likely they will need security services to protect them, a horrendous reality.

But the move to investigate and hold Donald Trump and his administration responsible is urgent, even with the growing threat.

New Diverse House Democratic Leadership Emerging: Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico And Hakeem Jeffries Of New York

Although there is some opposition to the existing Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives, it is now clear that younger members of diverse background are being groomed to be in the top leadership by the 117th Congress in 2021.

Ben Ray Lujan of New Mexico, The Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the past four years, will now have the position of Assistant Democratic Leader, the fourth ranking position in the House leadership. Lujan is 46 years old, and has been a member of the House for ten years, and would be the highest ranking Latino in Congressional history. He is a leader on the issue of public lands, and has also led on Native American issues in his tenure, and is an inspiring figure who could become the new Speaker of the House or the House Majority Leader in the 117th Congress.

Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee in the present Congress, will have the position of Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, the fifth ranking position in the House leadership, He is 48 years old, and has been a member of Congress for the past six years, after six years in the New York State Assembly. He has been the Congressional Black Caucus Whip, and has been active in pursuing programs to deal with the high public housing and high unemployment of his Congressional district. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is seen as a rising star in the party, who also might contest to be Speaker of the House or House Majority Leader in the future.

So in a nation becoming more diverse, we have a Latino member and African American member of the House of Representatives who will be making news in the coming years, and rising into House leadership.

Matthew Whitaker Becoming Acting Attorney General Creates A Constitutional Crisis Over Robert Mueller Investigation

The decision of President Donald Trump to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and temporarily replace him with Matthew Whitaker, who has clearly stated his belief in 2017 that there should not be a continuation of the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian Collusion, is an alarm bell in the night.

It is now clear that Trump has decided to take action on Mueller before he can issue a report, and before the Democrats take over the House of Representatives, and start investigations and issue subpoenas to the Trump Administration.

Trump’s bizarre performance in his nearly hour and a half press conference yesterday makes one worry as to what will happen next, as Trump is acting totally bipolar, whether he is or not.

The rumor that Donald Trump, Jr. may soon be indicted by Robert Mueller is probably the reason behind the suddenly rash action by Trump to fire Sessions.

But ordinarily, the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the Mueller investigation, and who hired Robert Mueller in the first place, should be the Acting Attorney General.

So many observers think we are on the verge of repeating the “Saturday Night Massacre” of Richard Nixon in October 1973, which led to impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, the decision of the Supreme Court in US V. Nixon, and Nixon’s resignation in August 1974.

The Next Speaker Of The House IF GOP Keeps Majority: Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, Or Jim Jordan

If the Republican Party, somehow, holds on to majority control of the House of Representatives in the 116th Congress, they will need to select a new Speaker of the House, as Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

At this point, there are three key contenders for the Speakership in the Republican Party:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana

House Freedom Caucus member Jim Jordan of Ohio

All three, honestly, make outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan look better by comparison, and yet, my readers know how much I dislike, and have denounced Paul Ryan, including when he was the Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, for which I was viciously attacked on several right wing websites at the time.

But seriously, Kevin McCarthy is practically the “lap dog” of Donald Trump, extremely loyal and obedient, and was seemingly aware of Russian Collusion in 2016, was talking about it at a Republican House conference meeting, until Paul Ryan told him to stop talking about it. He is a man without any principles other than the advancement of Donald Trump and his agenda, part of the Trump party, rather than the traditional Republican Party, and even more so than Paul Ryan, who has been unwilling to speak out against Trump’s disgraceful tweets and policies. McCarthy has refused to engage in Town Hall events in his Bakersfield, California district since 2010. He also promoted pursuit of Hillary Clinton for the Benghazi, Libya incident, where four diplomats were killed, gaining a reputation of promoting a “hit job” on her, when many more diplomats were killed at embassies during the Presidency of George W. Bush.

Steve Scalise, thankfully, recovered from being shot at the Congressional baseball game in June 2017, but it had no effect on his views on gun control, which is no regulation at all. Beyond that, Scalise used to be a friend of Ku Klux Klan Wizard and white supremacist David Duke, although now, of course, he denies it, and tries to claim it was not so. He would, in this author’s view, be a worse choice than McCarthy. However, for those who are uncomfortable with McCarthy, and might prefer a Southerner as the next Speaker, due to the strong GOP presence in the South, he might be seen as a potential favorite, and certainly less disgraceful by comparison, to the third choice, Jim Jordan of Ohio.

Jim Jordan, who is a co leader of the House Freedom Caucus, the most Far Right group in the Republican Party, has been accused of covering up abuse of athletes on the wrestling team at Ohio State University, when he was an assistant coach in the 1980s. He was one of the Republicans who promoted government shutdowns, and has done everything possible to block the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee from pursuing investigation of the Donald Trump collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign. He also pursed the Benghazi, Libya investigation of the deaths of four diplomats, targeting Hillary Clinton in a total of 11 investigations, which found no evidence of wrongdoing, and which featured 11 hours of testimony by Clinton, with no sign of weakness on her part, as compared to the performance of many others investigated by Congressional committees. Plain and simple, Jordan would be the absolute worst of the three choices being considered by the Republicans, although others might join the fray after the midterm elections.

It is indeed a very sad situation when we can look back on John Boehner as being far better than Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan.

Let us hope that one of the latter three will be the Minority Leader, rather than the Speaker of the House in 2019-2020.

Eve Of Richard Nixon Resignation From Presidency 44 Years Ago, And Sense Trump Is On Road To Similar End

We are on the eve of the 44 year anniversary of the resignation of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, who faced the reality that he had been impeached by the House Judiciary Committee, by a bipartisan vote.

Nixon had also been ordered by the Supreme Court, which included four Justices selected by him, to hand over the Watergate “smoking” tapes, which demonstrated his guilt.

It was certain that the US Senate would move to convict him on impeachment charges, had he chosen to fight, but Republican Senators, headed by Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania and Barry Goldwater of Arizona, and leading House members, had gone to the White House to inform Nixon that he did not have the support to survive an impeachment trial vote of two thirds of the Senate and more, convicting him, and removing him from office.

It was tomorrow, August 8, 1974, that Nixon went on television, and announced he would resign at noon the next day, August 9, and Vice President Gerald Ford would succeed him in the Oval Office.

As we come up to this anniversary, there is a growing sense that Donald Trump is on the road to a similar end.

No one believed Richard Nixon would resign, but he did, and few are willing to believe that Donald Trump will resign, but it looks more and more likely.

Trump is indicting himself on Twitter, and his involvement in Obstruction of Justice seems clear, along with other violations.

And his family members are in trouble too, particularly Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner.

The Robert Mueller investigation is moving fast forward, and it seems, at least to this author and blogger, to be inevitable that Vice President Mike Pence will be President by the end of the year.

We shall see how accurate this author and blogger is, so stay tuned!