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Posts tagged ‘Impeachment’

Trump Paid Stormy Himself. Congress Paid Its Victims $17 Million out of Treasury. Who’re the Real Criminals?



Reported By Cillian Zeal | December 10, 2018 at 12:16pm

The one person who seemed to sum up the Democrats’ reaction to Michael Cohen’s guilty plea — and subsequent allegations against President Donald Trump — was Rep. Jerry Nadler. There’s long been speculation that the New York Democrat is considering impeachment hearings against Trump and anyone around him regardless of what the evidence might entail. A report from the day after the midterms had the powerful ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee ranting on a train about impeaching Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. He also talked about going “all in” on Russia.

Well, Russia might not work out, but how about Cohen? On TV this weekend, Nadler talked in grave terms about Cohen’s claim that Trump directed him to pay Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement and paid him back. This would, according to Nadler, be a sufficient reason to remove Trump from office.

“They would be impeachable offenses. Whether they’re important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question,” Nadler said in an appearance on CNN.

“Certainly, they’re impeachable offenses, because, even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office.”

This is hardly a surprise; from Day One, Nadler has called Trump “not legitimate” as a president. But the media is lapping it up. They seem to forget two things.

One, campaign finance issues — and it’s questionable as to whether this falls under the aegis of campaign finance — are generally settled without impeachment proceedings, mostly because they aren’t important enough to justify an impeachment.

The second is, well, how does Congress have any room to talk?

Yes, $17 million of taxpayer money has been spent on settling, among other things, sexual harassment claims in Congress, and we pretty much don’t know anything about the cases. As CNN noted, the names of those involved are withheld not only from the public but also from party leadership.

“A source in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office told CNN that Ryan is not made aware of the details of harassment settlements. That source also said that the top Democrat and Republican on the House administration committee review proposed settlements and both must approve the payments,” the network  reported in November 2017.

“Similarly, a source in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office told CNN that Pelosi also is not made aware of those details, and that they are confined to the parties of the settlement and the leaders of the administration committee.”

This is essentially the cozy system that the establishment has set up so that it doesn’t have to face repercussions from sexual harassment lawsuits, discrimination suits and the like. There are also other rebarbative elements of how the system is set up, too long to detail here but enraging in their own right.

But this is perfectly legal.

Trump, meanwhile, paid a much smaller sum to women who allege he had consensual sex with him in order to obtain an NDA. Because of the methodology of obtaining it and the question of whether or not it should have been included in campaign finance reports, we’re now talking impeachment. Apparently, Nadler isn’t going all-in on Russia, he’s going all-in on Stormy. I guess it’s easier.

So, yes, Nadler can continue to claim that “the president was at the center of a massive fraud — several massive frauds against the American people.” That doesn’t actually mean anything. If we scrutinized the campaign ledgers of everyone in high office for any sort of problem, we’d probably have to extirpate at least half of them from their position.

Now, here’s the thing: I haven’t seen the Mueller report. Neither has Nadler. For all I know, Trump is implicated in a panoply of heinous crimes and his ties with Russia were way more extensive than we thought. Or it could be a very big nothingburger, albeit a nothingburger dressed up like a very appetizing somethingburger and advertised incessantly in the media like it was the Arch Deluxe circa 1992.

I still have my money on the latter, and I think Nadler does too. He heavily qualified whether the alleged campaign finance violations rose to the level of impeachability.

“You don’t necessarily launch an impeachment against the president because he committed an impeachable offense,” he said. “There are several things you have to look at.”

“One, were impeachable offenses committed, how many, et cetera. Secondly, how important were they? Do they rise to the gravity where you should undertake an impeachment? An impeachment is an attempt to effect or overturn the result of the last election and should do it only for very serious situations. That’s the question.”

My guess is that Nadler finds they were very important, committed with great frequency and rise to the gravity where one should undertake an impeachment — an impeachment which would overturn the result of the last election, which elected a president Nadler has already declared as “not legitimate.”

The rest of us might look at the report and realize this has nothing on what Congress has been doing for years. Whether that makes it right is an entirely different question, but the contrast will still make a huge difference in terms of how Americans view any attempts at impeachment.

After all, Trump used his own money to pay for an NDA through a liaison, which would generally garner a minor fine at most if you even concede it was a campaign-related expense. Congress used $17 million of your money to pay for its mistakes, some of which involved sexual harassment. They took every possible step to make sure you didn’t know about it. And they made it all perfectly legal.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Summary
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Writing under a pseudonym, Cillian Zeal is a conservative writer who is currently living abroad in a country that doesn’t value free speech. Exercising it there under his given name could put him in danger.

Ex-FEC Chair Indicates Trump Using Own Money to Pay Off Stormy Was Not Violation


Reported By Lisa Payne-Naeger | August 22, 2018 at

10:37am

Liberals across the nation are squirming in their seats with glee at the latest news that President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, struck a plea deal with prosecutors that involved violating campaign finance laws related to a payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Not so fast.

As conservative talk radio star Mark Levin made clear Tuesday, through an interview with a former Federal Elections Commission chairman, the Cohen plea bargain is not exactly the slam dunk against Trump that it’s being portrayed by the mainstream media.

Cohen agreed to plead guilty to eight criminal counts of tax evasion (five counts), making a false statement to a financial institution (one count), and campaign finance violations (two counts), according to The Wall Street Journal.

It’s the campaign finance charges that have liberals going bananas. But Cohen only pleaded to them, Levin said, to avoid prosecution on even more charges.

“Prosecutors and Cohen cut a deal. It’s a plea bargain,” Levin said, according to Conservative Review. “It’s not a precedent. … They obviously had more on Michael Cohen, or Michael Cohen wouldn’t have cut a deal.”

More to the point, Levin said, Cohen’s guilty plea to campaign finance charges don’t mean there was an actual violation of the law. 

And it wasn’t just Levin. Bradley Smith, a Clinton-appointed member of FEC from 2000 to 2005 and its chairman in 2004, agreed.

Early in the interview with Levin, in response to a hypothetical situation Levin described, Bradley said a payment such as the one involving Cohen, which related to behavior that took place prior to a potential candidate’s political campaign, “should not be” considered a campaign violation

In the interview, Smith — the former chairman of the FEC, remember — makes the point over and over again that just the fact that an expenditure might help a candidate’s public image does not make every penny a candidate spends a matter of campaign finance law.

The whole interview is worth listening to, but the heart of Levin’s questioning comes about the 2:45 mark.

“The argument seems to be and it hasn’t changed is that if I spend money to make myself look better or to take away negative issues in my private life, my business life, my employment life, and use my own money, that somehow that is a campaign contribution, correct?”

Smith agrees, “Right.”

Levin confirms, “Which is it’s not.”

And Smith again validates, “That’s right, it’s not.”

Clearly, no matter Cohen might have agreed to to avoid other forms of prosecution, the alleged “campaign finance violation” is incredibly weak.

Then Levin, a constitutional lawyer who served in the Reagan Justice Department, went deeper to ask how much weight Cohen’s conviction would carry in future legal proceedings.

Smith’s answer, basically, was not much.

Levin asked: “Does this have judicial precedent? Stare decisis? Is it controlling in any way on any future case in that respect?”

“No, it’s not the same as if you had a judgment from the court,” he said. “Defining this as a campaign expenditure. It’s a plea bargain. People plea bargain for lots of reasons and one of the big reasons is that they plea bargain down to lesser charge to get a lesser penalty for pleading to something. …

“Sometimes they plea bargain to one charge because the penalty for that is less than the other thing they would be charged with. There are lots of reasons why people plea bargain, but bottom line is just as you said, it’s not judicial precedent that you can cite in court to prove the law of a case.”

The interview is loaded with reasons why the liberal media’s evident delight in Tuesday’s Cohen plea deal is as misplaced as all the media’s previous certainties that whatever the latest scandal was, it was going to be the one to bring Trump down.

Is it good news for the president that his former attorney has pleaded guilty to eight counts of criminal behavior? Obviously not.

But is it the legal crisis that Chuck Todd at MSNBC and the rest of the liberal media are pretending it is?

A guy who used to be in charge of the Federal Elections Commission doesn’t think so.

And he knows a little more about it than Chuck Todd.

Until such time as liberals come up with something of substance for to go after the present administration, it’s my opinion that there is probably a lot of really important news on which to focus.

And while we turn our attentions there, we can also enjoy a better economy, higher employment numbers and hopefully celebrate an upcoming confirmation of a constitutional conservative to the Supreme Court.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Summary

An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.

Media Celebrate Trump Mishandling $280k. Forget Obama Mishandled $88 Million.


Reported By Kara Pendleton | August 22, 2018 at

12:44pm

Another day, another “we’ve got him now. No, really, we’ve really, truly, madly, deeply got him, now!” series of headlines from the establishment media about President Donald Trump.

This time the focus is on campaign finance.

And once again, voters are left to their own devices to figure out what the truth really is and if there actually is a crime involved. Add to that the way the establishment media addressed the topic when President Barack Obama was involved in similar “scandals,” and you have more evidence as to why the establishment media outlets are so often called “fake news.”

The latest “Get Trump” establishment media feeding frenzy stems from a plea deal made by Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges against him, including two alleged campaign finance violations. One involved a payment of $130,000 in 2016 from then-candidate Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels. The other involved coordinating a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer’s publisher to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A great breakdown of the situation comes from radio and television personality Mark Levin, who is also a lawyer and worked in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration.

Appearing on “Hannity,” Levin offered his “help to the “the law professors, the constitutional experts, the criminal defense lawyers, the former prosecutors, and of course the professors” in regards to “what the law is” surrounding the campaign finance issue and Michael Cohen plea deal.

“The general counsel for the Clinton Mob Family, Lanny Davis, he had his client plead to two counts of criminality that don’t exist. These campaign finance violations that they are saying all over TV implicates the president directly.”

“First, let’s back up. It’s a guilty plea. It is a plea bargain between a prosecutor and a criminal. A criminal who doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison. That is not precedent. That applies only to that specific case,” Levin said.

“Nobody cites plea bargains for precedent. That’s number one.

“Number two: Just because a prosecutor says that somebody violated a campaign law, doesn’t make it so. He’s not the judge, he’s not the jury. We didn’t adjudicate anything–it never went to court. That’s number two.

“A campaign expenditure, under our federal campaign laws, is an expenditure solely for campaign activity. A candidate who spends his own money, or even corporate money, for an event that occurred not as a result of the campaign, it is not a campaign expenditure.”

Levin then gave some examples, one being a candidate for office having disputes with a vendor and not wanting the negative publicity. In this scenario, the hypothetical candidate instructs his private attorney to just pay the vendors and he (the candidate) will reimburse the attorney.”

Levin adds that this is “perfectly legal” and a “point” made that such an act would “influence an election” was “stupid.”

Earlier this year, Newsweek tackled the “the question of whether longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s $130,000 hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign contribution.”  Ex-Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith told Newsweek in March that, “It looks like Trump has made these kinds of payments to people before unrelated to his campaign or as a candidate. It’s hard to show this payment was made solely because he was running for election.”

By way of comparison as to how the media handled a “campaign finance scandal” when it came to Trump’s predecessor, let’s first ask if anyone was aware there even was one.

In one of the few mainstream media reports about it, a U.S. News & World Report headline from 2013 announced, “Obama Campaign Fined Big for Hiding Donors, Keeping Illegal Donations.”

The article went on to note that,The FEC levied one of its largest fines ever against Obama’s campaign committee, new documents show.” The Federal Election Commission fined his campaign $375,000 for “a failure to disclose or improperly disclosing thousands of contributions to Obama for America during the then-senator’s 2008 presidential run.”

More specifically, citing the FEC, the article stated that “the Obama campaign failed to disclose the sources of 1,300 large donations, which together accounted for nearly $1.9 million. Election Commission rules state campaigns must report donations of $1,000 or more within 20 days of Election Day.”

“Obama for America was also fined for ‘untimely resolution of excessive contributions,’ according to the conciliation agreement, FEC says,” the report continues. “The campaign accepted more than $1.3 million in contributions that came from donors who had already given $46,000 — the maximum allowed by FEC rules. The campaign eventually refunded the excess cash but did not do so within the 60-day window allotted for resolving such cases.

“In addition to failing to report big donors and excess donations in a timely manner, the Obama campaign incorrectly dated the filings dealing with $85 million in funds, the FEC claims. This error appears to have been primarily the result of one transfer to the campaign committee from the Obama Victory Fund, a fundraising group that includes money raised by the Democratic National Committee that is earmarked for the presidential race.”

Do you remember the media having a field-day with the news and screaming for Obama to be impeached?

Was anyone sent to jail over actual mishandling of actual campaign funds? (No Russians were implicated in the commission of those violations of federal election law, either.)

The sharp contrast between the two situations is undeniable.

To anyone with eyes to read, there is a distinct appearance of the establishment media using extreme measures to smear a sitting president and build public pressure for impeachment. Neither of which is the duty of a free press or an honorable Fourth Estate.

Appalachian Justice: Here’s How WV Handles an Out-of-Control Supreme Court


Reported By Ben Marquis | August 8, 2018 at 1:31pm

The issue of corruption among elected officials is one that enrages many American citizens as far too often it seems that the “powers that be” are willing to let suspected corrupt officials slide or slink away quietly without ever being held accountable to the people. However, in at least one instance it appears that won’t be the case. The four sitting justices on West Virginia’s state Supreme Court are collectively facing 14 counts of impeachment for alleged corrupt activities, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

The 14 articles of impeachment against the justices were approved on Tuesday by the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee and include such charges as corruption, neglect of duty and “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer money, among other allegations.

The articles of impeachment will soon be submitted to the House for a vote, and if they obtain a majority will then proceed to the Senate. If two-thirds of the senators approve the impeachment articles, a trial will commence that would require another two-thirds majority for conviction, at which point the justices would be removed from the bench and barred from ever seeking public office in the state again.

“It’s a sad day, and it certainly isn’t a cause for celebration,” Judiciary Chairman John Shott said Tuesday, according to the Gazette-Mail.

The four justices charged under the articles of impeachment, which stem from violations of the impeachable offenses listed in Section 9, Article 4 of the West Virginia Constitution, include

  • Chief Justice Margaret Workman (four counts)
  • Justices Robin Davis (four counts),
  • Allen Loughry (eight counts)
  • Beth Walker (two counts).

All four justices face charges of “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer money to renovate their offices. They’re also accused of failing to develop and maintain court policies with regard to the use of state resources.

Davis, Loughry and Workman also face a charge of signing documents that authorized pay for senior status judges in excess of what was allowed by law. Loughry faces additional charges that include allegedly using a state vehicle for personal travel, using state-owned computers and furniture in his home and using taxpayer money to have artwork, documents and personal photos framed.

Former Justice Menis Ketchum, who resigned from his seat on the bench last month, escaped being named in the articles of impeachment by virtue of his recent resignation, which removed him from the oversight of the Judiciary Committee. It is worth noting that Ketchum just pleaded guilty to one count of federal wire fraud. Loughry was also recently hit with a 23-count federal indictment that included 16 counts of mail fraud, three counts of making false statements to federal investigators, two counts of wire fraud and one count each of obstruction of justice and witness tampering.

On top of that, Loughry — who was suspended from the bench without pay on June 8 — has also been charged with 32 counts of violating state’s Code of Judicial Conduct by the West Virginia Judicial Investigation Commission for similar charges included in the articles of impeachment, as well as for lying to lawmakers, the media and the public about his alleged conduct.

Of course, there were several lawmakers who opposed the articles of impeachment, not necessarily because they believed the justices were innocent of the charges against them, but because taking out all of the sitting justices in one fell swoop would allow Republican Gov. Jim Justice to appoint their replacements, most likely for at least a two-year term, given the close proximity and limited time-frame between now and November’s elections.

Such was the argument put forward by Democrat Del. Mike Pushkin, who said he didn’t like the fact that all four justices were grouped together in the articles of impeachment, as well as by Democrat Del. Barbara Fleischauer, minority chairwoman of the committee, who likened the move to an attempted “coup” against an entire branch of the state government by Republicans.

“We said this to our committee when we started, this was a no-win situation,” Chairman Shott said of those accusations. “Especially in an election year, there’s going to be people who will spin it however it creates the most advantage to them. That’s just part of the process.”

While impeaching all of the sitting justices on the state’s Supreme Court at once does seem rather drastic — and certainly opens the door to partisan complaints — it nevertheless also appears to be the correct remedy in this case for holding apparently corrupt elected officials accountable for their actions. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks and months.

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Pelosi Claims Trump Will Self Impeach


URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/pelosi-has-lost-it/

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It’s a bit difficult to take talk of impeachment of President Donald Trump from the left seriously, if only because we’ve been hearing it from the moment that he was elected. Any misgiving the left has about our 45th president is almost immediately transmuted into a clarion call to impeach the man and throw him out of office.

In fact, a recent poll by Politico and Morning Consult found that 43 percent of the people who favor impeaching the president don’t actually think he’s committed a crime that rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is the standard the Constitution sets.

Don’t worry, though. Nancy Pelosi has a new strategy to impeach Trump, and it shows just how much she’s lost it: she thinks that the president can be “self-impeached.”

Yes, really. Politico reported that during a closed-door meeting with Democrats on Tuesday, the House minority leader used the expression to mollify her charges in the lower chamber and implore them to wait for investigations of the president to run their course.

“It’s a big deal to talk about impeachment,” multiple sources present reported Pelosi as saying. “I think he’s going to self-impeach.”

I’m not quite sure how that works (is it like an Ouroboros of impeachment or something?), but it’s become pretty clear that the Democrats are now pinning their hopes on the president tweeting something that lets them vote him out of office. Good luck with that one.

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In spite of the fact that she has turned into a bit of a nutter, there is (kind of) a method to Pelosi’s madness. According to The Hill, Democrat leadership is quickly coming to the realization that the perfervid rage of their constituents and rank-and-file legislators against the president is translating into poor decisions — including an effort by Rep. Brad Sherman of California to introduce evidence-free articles of impeachment.

At the same caucus meeting, Rep. Michael Capuano — a Massachusetts Democrat who is an ally of party leadership — said there needed to be “a discussion within the caucus — in a public forum — before we do something that would position our colleagues or our future colleagues.”

“Emotions are high. These issues have political implications and government ones,” he added. According to reports, Pelosi backed Capuano’s statement.

However, this shouldn’t be a surprise to Minority Leader Pelosi. Even the slightest innuendo about the president gets liberals talking about impeachment. Why should we be surprised when the men and women who represent these snowflakes take them seriously?

Here’s a brief compendium of the things the left thinks Trump should be impeached for:

  • Firing James Comey. (Even though they wanted to.)
  • Colluding with the Russians. (Even though he didn’t.)
  • Obstructing justice. (Even though that’s a matter of opinion.)
  • Eating two scoops of ice cream while everyone else had one. (Call me when he eats an entire Fudgie the Whale cake.)
  • Being the second shooter on the grassy knoll. (We all know that shot was fired from an Illuminati black helicopter.)
  • Canceling “Twin Peaks” back in 1991. (David Lynch is just existentialist nonsense masquerading as profundity, anyhow.) Making up the last two items on this list. (Fair enough.)

There is not, at this time, any evidence which should lead to the impeachment of President Trump. This puts the Democrats in a bad position. Either leadership allows the party’s most unhinged members to go through an impeachment attempt they know won’t (and shouldn’t) succeed, or they acknowledge that the fervor they’ve been fomenting against the president has all been for show.

For now, Pelosi is splitting the difference, setting a strategy of “self-impeachment.” Nice try. I think it’s time to consider “self-retirement,” Rep. Pelosi.

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