"Trump NOT Legally Impeached Says Dems Own Lawyer"
The Jimmy Dore Show (December 21, 2019)
Michael Tracy: “Noah Feldman was the Constitutional Law professor that the House Democrats chose to testify in one of their hearings two weeks ago regarding all the legal implications of the Trump Impeachment. And now, Noah Feldman is being cited, not directly by Trump, I guess, but by some Republicans and Trump defenders, because they’re saying, ‘Look the Democrats’ chosen constitutional law professor says that Trump has not been impeached, but also, on the other hand, Jonathan Turley, the Republicans’ chosen constitutional law expert at that same hearing disagrees with Noah Feldman and says that Trump has been impeached. So you have this weird, bizarre perversion that only heightens the total absurdity of this entire process. I’m not a constitutional law expert, but I like to think that I can logically reason about things, to the best of my ability, but I think that what Noah Feldman is saying is just bizarre and wrong and Turley is actually right.
Jimmy Dore: “So the Democratic expert on impeachment and constitutionality and all that stuff, the guy that they called themselves, this guy is now saying that he [Trump] isn’t actually impeached, but it turns out this guy doesn’t know what he is talking about.
Michael Tracy: “He knows what he is talking about to some extent because he’s like this Harvard Law professor, who, believe it or not, was chosen by the George W. Bush administration to help draft the new Iraqi constitution after the invasion. That’s a side story, but it’s amazing how he was ultimately brought forward as the big constitutional authority on impeachment. So it doesn’t surprise me that he’s full of crap on this issue because a lot of what he said during the hearing was a lot of crap, as well. But here’s the thing, it’s kind of like this weird, arcane, academic constitutional debate, that we’re even having it right now is also weird unto itself. But here’s how I think of it. …
“Resolved, that Donald John Trump, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.”
So, if the House of Representatives has the sole power to impeach and they pass a resolution saying that the President is hereby impeached, then the President is impeached. But what Feldman and others are saying, is that because Pelosi has not formally transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate, that therefore the Impeachment process is not been completed. And what has happened is only that the House has voted to impeach Trump but not that Trump has been impeached. So it is a subtle distinction there."
Jimmy Dore: [shows a headline from Bloomberg News that reads]:
Trump Isn’t Impeached Until the House Tells the Senate.
[shows more from the Bloomberg article]:
The Constitution doesn’t say how fast the articles must go to the Senate. Some modest delay is not inconsistent with the Constitution, or how both chambers usually work.
But an indefinite delay would pose a serious problem. Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial.
Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial.
If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all.
That’s because “impeachment” under the Constitution means the House sending its approved articles to the Senate, with the House managers standing up in the Senate and saying the president is impeached.
For the House to vote “to impeach” without ever sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial would also deviate from the constitutional protocol.
It would mean that the president had not genuinely been impeached under the Constitution; and it would also deny the president the chance to defend himself in the Senate that the Constitution provides.
Michael Tracy: “That makes no sense to me. Maybe Noah Feldman’s IQ is several orders of magnitude beyond mine so that I can’t grasp the logic of what he is trying to say there because I’m too stupid. But I can read the Constitution and nowhere in the Constitution does it stipulate or provide anything that relates to this transmittal process. There is no provision in the Constitution which governs how or when or for what purpose the articles of impeachment must be transmitted to the Senate. That is a procedural matter undertaken by the House and the Senate. And any procedural matter governed by House and Senate rules, or whatever, is just by nature superseded by the Constitution. … Jimmy Dore: “
Michael Tracy: Meanwhile, Jonathan Turly says the polar opposite and he’s the one they selected to be their Constitutional expert. So, again, you have this mutation of bizarre partisan wrangling which actually gets to what Tulsi stated in her rationale for why she voted “present” and basically abstained, or did a protest vote, because none of these competing logics hinge on anything coherent other than who wants the political upper hand. So its almost fruitless to engage in these arguments on any objective level because it’s all being done as a political bargaining chip on either side. I think that on the substance what Noah Feldman is saying, again, makes no sense, but, yes, it does pose a political problem that the Democrats chose, if you do not do X, Y, or Z, then your whole Impeachment process was a folly.
Jimmy Dore: This is an emotional temper tantrum by the Democrats because they know that the Senate isn’ going to convict, right? ...And so Nancy Pelosi is threatening to not even send the articles of impeachment to the Senate which proves that she knew that that’s all this was. But people have been saying to me, Michael, that I want to have that blotch next to his name that he was one of only three presidents impeached. That makes people feel good emotionally at a very juvenile level. And so now, if this is true what Noah Feldman is saying, they don’t even get that.
Michael Tracy: What Noah Feldman wrote in one column on Bloomberg News is not going to be treated as gospel by the entire Constitutional law establishment. It’s not like everybody is going to automatically assume that he is unalterably correct in that assessment. So you could still make a reasonable argument, regardless of what Noah Feldman says, that Trump has, in fact, been impeached. And just to make one other Constitutional law point, I’ve heard some people say that because the House has not yet transmitted the articles, the Senate is prevented from holding a trial. And if the Senate is prevented from holding a trial, then impeachment has not been completed, because necessary to complete impeachment is for the articles to be brought forward to the Senate. But the Senate has sole power to try, so they could just hold the trial whenever they want. And people point to these Senate rules that were passed in the 1800s, which says that a trial commences “whensoever” (the antiquated language) the House gives notice that they have the managers selected and the articles have been passed. But there is nothing stopping Mitch McConnell from just passing a new rule that overrides that and says: ‘The Senate tries impeachments when the House passes a resolution impeaching the President.’ … It is so clouded with political passions that it seems that the academic debate is somewhat irrelevant. I do think that at some point they will probably wind up transmitting the articles. I don’t see how it is tenable for them not to. But it does speak to a fundamental unspoken lack of confidence that the Democrats have in the soundness of their case.
Because think of what they do and have done for years. Every time a “moderate Republican” or some Republican registers a criticism of Trump, that Republican is held up as an exemplar of all that is right and good in the universe. And yet, they couldn’t even get the handful of those guys in the House, some of whom are retiring and don’t even have a primary to worry about. They couldn’t even get any of them. This guy Will Herd, a Republican from Texas, he’s on TV every other day criticizing Trump. And even he didn’t buy it. They don’t even think they can get Mitt Romney, who when Trump was running for office gave a speech denouncing him basically as a cancer on the country. So maybe if you can’t get ANY Republicans, literally zero, that speaks to your case not being as strong as you’d like to imagine. Although a large section of the Republican party is just reflexively pro-Trump and are not going to impeach him on any grounds, you have little slivers of the party who at least would be open to the argument, theoretically, and they have gotten ZERO.
Jimmy Dore: “There are lots of Republicans who are Never-Trumpers. There are lots of people from the Bush cabinet who are Never-Trumpers. And its funny that they can find even one of those guys in Congress to go along with them. Not One. Does it kind of blow your mind, Michael, to see people who consider themselves on the Left and opponents to Trump pushing as hard as they are in this impeachment knowing that his poll numbers are up again, his approval rating is up again. It’s just like Bill Clinton. This is helping him. So, what I’m trying to tell people, is that if you consider yourself on the Left or an opponent of Trump and you’re pushing Russia-gate which has propped him up, and now you’re pushing Impeachment which props him up, you’re reckless, and me high on drugs can see through this. … I just had a conversation with Cenk Uygar in my studio last weekend, Sunday, and I begged him to stop doing things that prop up Trump. I begged him to stop Russia-gating. And I begged him to stop doing impeachment. And he’s not. In fact, they’re out there giving Tulsi a hard time because she’s actually standing up against the establishment. So they’re wittingly, because I told Cenk, so they’re on purpose propping up Donald Trump right now, just to get over an emotional tantrum of making them feel good about Donald Trump. Does it blow your mind to see that happening?
Michael Tracy: “It doesn’t, Jimmy, mainly because I am now unfortunately resigned to my advice on any of these subjects never being heeded by anybody with any affiliation with the Democratic party, aside from a handful of total miscreants who are ostracized and mocked, including, in a way, Tulsi. So no, it doesn’t surprise me. I almost think that it is wrong to differentiate this impeachment from Russia-gate, in many ways it’s actually a culmination of Russia-gate.
I follow UK politics pretty closely, and I don’t know if you followed this most recent election last week, but Jeremy Corbyn got totally decimated. The Labor Party writ large got decimated in some of their long-time strongholds in the North and West in particular ...
Jimmy Dore: “They thought they could double-cross them and they’d still vote for them anyway. Just like Hillary Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin, they didn’t come out an vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Correct?”
Michael Tracy: “Right. But they did in 2017. Just two-and-a-half years ago, Jeremy Corbyn triumphed. He outperformed what practically everybody said he was capable of in 2017. And the only major difference between 2017 and 2019 in the UK context was that Jeremy Corbyn capitulated to the demands of the urban elites within the Labor Party and endorsed a second referendum which would have essentially overridden the democratic mandate of Brexit, so all the Brexit-voting constituencies in the UK that have voted Labor, in some cases since they were founded over a hundred years ago, they voted for the Conservative Party. There’s a parallel here, and actually I made this point a couple of days ago, and Trump re-tweeted it, which is sort of weird, but nonetheless I stand by it. Which is that there’s a parallel here in that even though impeachment isn’t actually, technically, the overturning of an election, you’re delusional if you don’t think it’s going to be perceived as such by wide swaths of the electorate. Especially if it’s totally along partisan lines and if there is nothing even approaching a national consensus about its necessity. This is what Tulsi is saying. There are other problems with the logic instilled by these impeachment articles, because they trotted out all these Security State functionaries to say that Trump defied what they called “Official U.S. Foreign Policy” and tried to conduct his own foreign policy. What happens down the line when a President Bernie or a President Whoever decides to buck the National Security State and Policy Bureaucracy for reasons that have nothing to do with Joe Biden. And those same people could say, “We impeached the previous President and he did the same thing that you’re doing.” These things always establish a precedent. But most Democrats and Democrat-adjacent media are so blinkered in their monomaniacal obsession with Trump as a person that they have no perspective, and they have no idea how any of this stuff boomerangs down the line. And am I shocked because they’re not cognizant of that? No, because they’ve totally ignored everything I’ve said about this now going back years.
Jimmy Dore: “I think they are cognizant of it and they don’t care. I know first hand that one of the biggest Russia-gaters in the country was told, “You know this is propping up Trump” and he said “I don’t care.” So this idea that they are unwittingly propping up Trump I think is bullshit. I think that when Representative Pramila Jayapal went on Democracy Now and they told her, “Trump’s poll numbers are swiftly moving up after this impeachment” and she just ignored it, and said half the country wants him gone so that’s good enough. So, she’s been told, and after you’ve been told that you’re actively helping Trump and you continue to do what helps Trump. What does that make you?
Michael Tracy: “A witting agent. …
Jimmy Dore: “They’re not unwittingly propping up Trump. They are wittingly, on purpose, doing the bidding of Donald Trump. That’s what they said Jill Stein was doing. That’s what they said anybody voting third party was doing. And now here they are doing it and they don’t give a shit, because they are emotional children. It’s amazing. My whole life I grew up thinking that everyone else was better than me. And then, as soon as I stick my toe in the water, I find out they’re not. Nobody in journalism is better than me. Certainly nobody in politics. These are all Mediocres. These are the most mediocre of fucking people with the most transparent of motivations, and a guy like me can see right through them after I smoke a bowl. And they’re all the same. That goes for Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow and Jake Tapper and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and anybody on the left who is pushing impeachment. You are a witting dupe and idiot. This is not how you oppose Donald Trump. This is how you prop Donald Trump up once again. That’s why this country is in such a shit-show because not only do the people who think they are against Donald Trump ingest the propaganda, but they believe the propaganda and they repeat the propaganda. So, if there is anything we need to oppose right now, it is the Democratic fucking party. And that’s what Tulsi Gabbard is doing. And I say Bravo. Talk about ‘balls of steel.’ These Democrats do not have one iota of the courage that Tulsi Gabbard has.