"No witnesses, no long trial. Republicans want quick end to Ukraine impeachment hoax (Video)"
The Duran Quick Take: Episode 404 (December 26, 2019)
Alex Christoforou: “The House Democrats have announced that they will move forward with the impeachment, drafting the articles and getting everything together to impeach Donald J. Trump. The charges brought against President Trump are (1) Obstruction of Congress and (2) Abuse of Power, whatever the hell that means. We’ve gone from quid pro quo to bribery to extortion to you-name-it, to ‘He’s a Russian stooge,’ ‘He’s blackmailing Ukraine,’ we’ve hit it all now. So here we are: Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress. Alexander, what are your thoughts on this announcement?...
Alexander Mercouris: “To say that I am not impressed with these articles of impeachment would be probably the greatest understatement that I have ever made.”Flimsy” does not actually cover it. Let us just deal with the Abuse of Power thing. This is basically the invitation to Ukraine to interfere on Trump’s behalf in the 2020 election by getting them to announce investigations of Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, and the quid pro quo that is supposedly offered to the Ukrainians in relation to it, I mean this idea that Zelensky was going to be denied a meeting with Trump, that the “aid” was going to be held up to get him to do these things.. We’ve discussed these at such enormous length."
Firstly, there is no crime here. I am well aware and very familiar with this argument that you don’t need an actual crime for impeachment. I think this is based on a misunderstanding of British impeachment law – US impeachment law is based on British impeachment law – this famous phrase “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” comes from British impeachment law. It actually dates from the Fourteenth century when it was used in one of the early impeachments that happened in England. I have no doubt at all in my mind that when the Founders drafted the Constitution they envisaged something that was
a crime or something very like a crime as the basis of an impeachment. They specifically rejected concepts like corruption and maladministration because they said these were too vague. So where do you get precision from? You can only get it effectively from criminal law and that points you in the direction of a crime. BUT, even if you don’t accept that view, which is the one I’ve just expressed – and most American scholars, I understand, do not accept that view – this is so incredibly thin, that it’s basically invisible.
Let’s start with this: firstly, as was rightly pointed out before, in every previous impeachment, that of Andrew Johnson in the 1860s, Richard Nixon in the 1970s, Bill Clinton in the 1990s, there actually was a crime. There was a hook. You could actually say that the President had committed a crime. No one is suggesting it here. And the quid pro quo that people are talking about, again, we’ve discussed this many times, the Democrats haven’t been able to prove it. The only evidence they have that Donald Trump was involved in any kind of quid pro quo is that one official who had direct dealings with him, Ambassador [Gordon] Sondland, GUESSED that was the case. Do you impeach a president on the strength of someone’s GUESS?
Alex Christoforou: “Or presumption.”
Alexander Mercouris: “A presumption. So, No crime. Plus a guess. Does not an impeachment make. That’s all I can say about that. It seems to me ridiculous.
"The second part, the Obstruction of Congress, first of all, notice the words, no suggestion here of an obstruction of Justice. That’s not what is being discussed here. If we’re talking about obstruction of Congress, then it seems to me that whatever Trump did, he did on the advice of White House council. That’s not disputed. And I cannot honestly see how you can impeach a president for doing something that his legal advisers tell him he had entire and complete right to do. And the reason his legal advisers told him he was entitled to do it and was acting properly in order to do it, was because the entire impeachment process that has been conducted has violated due process in so many ways. So Republicans are not allowed to call witnesses, the entire proceedings are initiated without a vote in the House of Representatives; witnesses who are only called by the Democrats are rehearsed initially in secret hearings in a basement room of the Congress building; and, of course, you have an interventionist chairman in the form of Adam Schiff who is constantly involved in everything. He is apparently involved in some way in formulating the original “complaint” by the [gossip] blower [ CIA officer and White House spy Eric Ciarmella], whom we know but aren’t allowed to mention [by whom?] and, of course, in the actual questioning of the “witnesses.” Schiff was ridiculously over controlling in the way that that was done. So, huge problems with due process. And an underlying case of Abuse of Power based on no crime and on someone’s guess, and obstruction of Congress, allegedly, arising from actions provoked by gross abuse of due process by the Democrats themselves and carried out following legal advice, I can’t see that there’s a case here. I don’t think that anybody thinks there is. And I don’t think that any Republican Senators will support this thing. Some people have been talking about Mitt Romney but even he can see how threadbare this is. … There isn’t going to be a successful impeachment on this. It is just too silly."
Alex Christoforou: “… [agreement on MCA and other cave-ins to Trump on other issues]
[13:57] Alex Christoforou: “… [knew Dossier was a load of crap but Dems wanted to put together a case for obstruction against Donald Trump ... novel idea of Obstruction of Congress … needs some evidence of wrongdoing …"
‘End this’: Republicans poised to call no witnesses during Trump impeachment trial in Senate.
“We called this. Lindsey Graham hinted at this… The Republicans in the Senate are going to go along with this. And you said this was very disappointing."
Alexander Mercouris: “This would have been a good opportunity to get everybody together."
Alex Christoforou: “I think Trump would have liked a trial."
Alexander Mercouris: “Trump wants a trial. No question about it."
Alex Christoforou: “They’re squashing this story, right? They don’t want to expose the crimes that EVERYONE was doing in Ukraine. EVERYONE was doing. That includes the illegal funding of neo-Nazi alt-Right forces in Ukraine [shows picture of Petro Poroshenko shaking hands with John McCain]. That includes all the money that was poured into Ukraine and leaving back out of Ukraine. EVERYONE has their hands dirty and those who don’t have their hands dirty don’t want this to see the light of day because it is just going to be the biggest of big bombshells, maybe – outside of the Epstein story – this would be the most damning thing to all these members of the Senate. They’re going to squash this because there’s no way you can have Chalupa and Steele and Hunter Biden and all these people testify. And there’s going to be no way for these guys to question them without incriminating themselves."
[18:00] Alexander Mercouris: “And to have all these witnesses subject to cross examination. … The accusers would very rapidly become the accused. … A great many Republicans are implicated in these activities also. …. It’s going to be all closed down. It’s going to be squashed. And so we’re probably going to get a very rapid two-week trial in the Senate. Probably the vote will be on strict party lines. … and Donald Trump’s numbers will be pumped up even further. But we will be no closer to the truth about all these terrible things going on than we were before."