The vote to continue impeachment inquiry went as expected down party lines with two (2) defectors from Democrat trenches. I was a little concerned that four Congress people — 3 Republican and 1 Democrat — could not muster the moral courage to cast their vote. Perhaps those four have their pay cut for failure to do their duty to vote.

Now, if we actually have hearings with testimony from the witnesses in the open, we the public can see, hear and decide for ourselves. Also, we the people and ultimate jury, can decide on the conduct of Congress and decide their fate through the ballot box in November 2020.

(83) comments

E pluribus

Seems it will have to be the Voters who determine the outcome. The Senate has already decided. Some Senators are already declaring they won’t even look at the evidence...

antiteaparty

Lindsey Graham's staunch refusal to even read the transcripts is an affront to democracy. He has proven to be nothing more than a Dump boot licker.

dmilroy

The silence for South Dakota's congressional delegation about President Trump's requests that foreign governments investigate Joe Biden is deafening.

It is only if South Dakota's demand that John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Dusty Johnson do their jobs that they will protect our elections from enemies foreign and domestic.

DLJohnson

dmilroy and antiteaparty: It appears that the congressional delegates from South Dakota are doing what they are suppose to do. Not rushing to judgement and waiting for all the evidence to be presented for an informed decision. Completely opposite of your actions/conduct. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would want you on your jury? When you are judged I'm sure when can form a jury that rushes to judgement and does not wait for all the evidence to be presented. That would be alright with you, wouldn't it?

antiteaparty

How about Lindsey Graham? He is flat out refusing to even look at any evidence...

DLJohnson

antiteaparty: All the evidence is not being presented so why look at it now instead of waiting for the open testimony with open cross examination? You only want a decision on half of the story? Senator Graham, in fact all the Senators can make a decision when and if the Congress sends up articles of Impeachment and they have a trial in the Senate. It doesn't take much spinning from the Republics to blow your top.

antiteaparty

Mr. Hannity, they will not be making informed decisions without reading the testimonies. Your Faux News spin is tiresome.

dmilroy

Trump impeachment inquiry have no faced cross examination, but if you read the damning testimony from the Trump admistration officials, then you will see the Repubican and Democratic members of the committee cross examine the witnesses. In fact, you recently complained because Chairman Adam Schiff cross examined Ambassador Yovanovitch.

"Republicans have for weeks blasted the closed-door impeachment process, but transcripts released this week of private depositions show most GOP lawmakers on the three panels at the center of the probe have simply not shown up."

"The low attendance for most committee Republicans paints a very different picture of a party that recently stormed the secure room where the depositions have been conducted, demanding to participate in the process." https://www.rollcall.com/news/gop-questions-private-depositions-foreshadow-public-hearings

dmilroy

Mr.DLJohson, No need to rush to judgement. President Donald Trump stood on the lawn of the White House on Thursday Oct 3, 2019 and, in front of the entire world, called on foreign powers to interfere in American elections. The evidence against Mr. Trump from State and NSC officials is damning.

Even Sen. John Thune admitted that former Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor’s testimony was “not a pretty picture.” However, Mr. Thune has remained silent after President responded to his and Sen. Mitt Romney's gentle criticisms of his abuse of power by tweeting, “The Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!” Since, member of the leadership in the Republican Party in the Co-equal branch of the federal government, Sen. Thune R-SD has been silent as a church mouse.

It is only if South Dakotan's demand Mr. Thune, Mr. Rounds, and Mr. Johnson live-up to the oath to protect the Constitution that they will find their courage and quit being afraid of President Trump's mean tweets.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: When someone is stating truths about the Democrats is there anything else that needs to be said? Oh, and Bill Taylor had no first hand information on anything? Does your thought process place you equal to those who ridiculed Christopher Columbus because they heard the world was flat even though the educated of the time had determined that the earth was not flat?

dmilroy

Mr.DLJohnson, President Trump was “The Never Trumper Republicans" as "human scum!" not Democrats. Mr. Trump's tweet is irrational considering Senators Thune and Romney will be judging Mr. Trump's if he is impeached.

OnTheFence2020

dmilroy- I’d like to think you’re right. That your optimistic confidence in politicians like Thune and Rounds would mean they’d vote their conscience. But would they actually buck their constituents? Really? Maybe. But South Dakotans are still firmly behind Mr. Trump. Check the polls of farmers that the Farm Journal does. The proof of their loyalty is in their unshakable confidence that the hardships of his trade war will all be worth it some day. Misplaced or not, this loyalty - even in the face of personal struggles because of his policies - is unlikely to disappear because of a few hearings that are only followed closely by folks like you and antiteaparty.

OnTheFence2020

DLJohnson, we all pay lip service to making a judgment on the facts. But it looks to me like everyone on both sides has already made up their minds. My family is evenly divided. No one is changing their minds. One side sees a Russian traitor in the Whitehouse. The other side sees a “deep state” staging a coup. And judging from what you've written in numerous posts it seems to me - with all respect - this would include you. So please tell me honestly - do you really think there is any chance the Senate would ever vote to convict Donald Trump? No matter what evidence is presented?

dmilroy

OnTheFence2020, Your cynicism is misplaced for three reasons. First, at this point in the Nixon impeachment. The Republicans supported Mr. Nixon far more than they back Mr. Trump now. https://www.axios.com/trump-impeachment-richard-nixon-bill-clinton-858da3dd-3c1b-4918-a80d-f58fd9c5ce9e.html

As the evidence against Mr. Trump is laid out. Senators like Mike Rounds and John Thune will be less able to ignore it. You can tell Republican Senators are worried because their floating potential defenses of Mr. Trump's actions. Like Sen. Lindsey Graham's most recent rationalization, "What I can tell you about the Trump policy toward the Ukraine, it was incoherent … They seem to be incapable of forming a quid pro quo.” http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/11/lindsey-graham-trump-too-incoherent-for-quid-pro-quo.html

Second, it is not likely Mr. Trump will sit silently while the Senate Judges his actions. He has already lashed out at Republicans who questioned his conduct calling them "human scum." What's more likely: Mr. Trump calmly pulls out of his current spiral or Mr. Trump compounds his problems by lashing out?

Finally, the impeachment inquiry and Mr. Trump's potential trial in the Senate will lay bare the facts and evidence about Mr. Trump. The majority of the electorate are not never-say-die Trump supporters. Those on the fence may be impacted by what is revealed prior to the 2020 elections.

DLJohnson

OnTheFence2020: I do not see a clear violation of the law based on what has been leaked or released to this point. I want to hear the testimony of the witnesses and their responses to cross examination so I can make an informed decision. I do not rely on the opinions of politicians or the media when make decisions on what is factual and what is not. I rely on the verbal testimony and responses to cross examination that I hear from the witnesses to determine if they are presenting fact and truth.

The problem I have is that Democrats and bias news reporters have already declared the President guilty without having all the evidence. They have believed the information leaked by Schiff to be the totality of the evidence and information, when in fact there is far more to evaluate. There is a strong sense that the process to this point has lacked fairness. The fairness as citizens we rely on from the 6th Amendment should also be afford to the President under the political Impeachment Process. Remember the 6th Amendment?

Due to the conduct of the Democrats I have little trust in what they have leaked. I have a different interpretation of the transcripts. I have a difficult time finding confidence in what someone claims to be a fact when they testify that they have no first hand information and claim that they formulated their opinion on information they heard from "A", who heard from "B", who heard from "c" that "D" surmised that it occurred. Hearsay upon hearsay upon hearsay. Is that how we accuse and bear witness?

I believe that the Senate would do the right thing if presented clear and convincing (beyond a reasonable doubt) evidence of culpability in high crimes or misdemeanors on the part of the President. I believe that the American people care more about truth, honesty, right and wrong than what is political. At the point you take away my sense of truth, honesty, right and wrong you make me less than nothing. Is politics worth that?(Sorry for the word count)

E pluribus

I can’t see the Senate removing the President - no matter what he’s done. Their (correct) calculations from the beginning have been that running afoul of Trump and his unshakable base means the end of a career. There have been many occasions before this Impeachment Inquiry for “Profiles in Courage,” and not even irrefutable evidence of the betrayal of our American interests to the Russians is likely to inspire them now. If the choice is risking their livelihood or risking the end of the Republican Party at the hands of the voters, I think we know what they’ll choose.

DLJohnson

E pluribus: Such a fatalistic view.

E pluribus

It most certainly is fatalistic, DLJohnson. But that doesn’t mean it’s not likely. So far Republican Senators have stuck with him through each of many, many doubtful situations - any one of which would have meant his doom at their hands if he’d been Barack Hussein Obama. Won’t all those who testify against him just be dismissed as “Never Trumpers” or “Deep State Haters”? That’s what I hear when I listen to Rush or Fox and Friends. So, seriously, how do you see this playing out?

Jolly Roger

★ dmilroy, OnTheFence2020’s “cynicism” is another person’s realism. This ain’t the Nixon era. Nixon didn’t have FoxNews devoted to pushing his message. This is what you're up against when you battle DLJohnson. And this is what you're up against when you battle a corrupt, treasonous President. Nevertheless, if the Senate votes to convict, please feel free to shout in my face, “I told you so!” I’d rather be wrong than right.

DLJohnson

Jolly Roger: If you want to go through life being wrong , that's your choice. You say corrupt and treasonous, where is your evidence of those accusations? Just remember news reports and talk show hosts opinions or spins are not evidence. I challenge you digest the actual testimony of witnesses and review the context of what is said. You are shortchanging yourself if you rely on the spin of a politician or a reporter searching for sensationalism or a talk show host looking for ratings.

E pluribus

DLJohnson, How do we get first hand testimony with Trump blocking such testimony? And even when we do get first hand testimony from folks like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, he’s discounted as a “Never Trumper” or worse - a Ukrainian spy. Such confidence you’ve suddenly developed in a government you usually distrust!? Can you shed some light on your sudden transformation? (Are you actually the “Johnson” who wrote this opinion piece?)

DLJohnson

(Are you actually the “Johnson” who wrote this opinion piece?): Is that important to you E pluribus (who)? And does it have relevance?

Let's see what other people who listened to the call, and review their notes of the call, to see if they have the same information that Lt. Col Vindman complained about. Remember, 5 people can listen to a conversation and it will be interpreted 5 different ways. The confidence in Lt. Col Vindman's interpretation grows if enough of those listening to the call have similar notations and recollections as Lt. Col Vindman.

You are mistaken. I do not usually distrust the government. However, I have a high degree of distrust in politicians and opportunists. In other words, verify before you trust what they are saying is factual and truthful.

DLJohnson

E pluribus: The doubt may be in your mind, but others may see things differently and not have the same doubts. You can not win someone over to your point of view if you don't provide clear and convincing evidence. Innuendo does not rise to that level. If you rely on bias and verbally charged rhetoric to be your message, then trying to get people to see your point of view will be very difficult.

E pluribus

That’s all true, DLJ. Can’t disagree as far as you go What you say applies generically to all sides of the issue. But how do you get first hand information if the administration blocks it all? If there’s nothing to hide wouldn’t you think they should tell the world? Unfortunately, no matter what the public testimony is, I suspect that rather than anyone being “won over,” positions will harden. You’ll be convinced that your preconceived notions are correct, as will antiteaparty and dmilroy. Jolly Roger will criticize anyone he feels like. Kate will complain that all of us are being rude. And only I will have the wisdom to see the objective truth. (Just kidding, but you get my point.)

DLJohnson

E pluribus: It may be very true that hardliners will be hardened. You claim that I have a preconceived notion but shy away from your own preconceived notions. What first hand information, that you possess evidence that the person has first hand information, is being blocked? Otherwise it's called a fishing trip.

E pluribus

You puzzle me, DLJ. All news outlets report that the transcripts of the hearings released so far have identified multiple administration figures (like Mulvaney, Bolton, Sonderman and Pompeo) as having first hand experience of these matters. But the administration has blocked their testimony. You are aware of this - right? Wouldn’t their truthful testimony prove enlightening?

DLJohnson

E pluribus: How can you be puzzled? The principle of executive privilege existed for all previous Presidents and should and does exist for the current President. It appears that Schiff and the Democrats are treating this process as if they are a grand jury in which the witnesses are not allowed to have counsel/lawyers and the "prosecutor" (schiff) has complete control of the questioning.

First hand experience does not equate to first hand knowledge of wrong doing. The whistle blower has first hand experience on initiating the uproar on the phone call. Why doesn't Schiff want us to hear from the whistle blower? Hunter Biden has first hand experience about his involvement with Burisma and possible corruption and misuse of Aide and corruption that may have impacted the 2016 election. Why doesn't Schiff and the Democrats want us to hear from him? Isn't Schiff in fact blocking testimony from the whistle blower and from Hunter Biden.

I've read the same transcripts those news outlets read. I've been left scratching my head trying to figure out how they reached certain conclusions/interpretations from the information contained in them.

E pluribus

Your response, DLJ, is why I suspect you will come down on the same side of the issue where you began. My primary “preconceived notion” is that our President is in the pocket of the Russians. This has been my concern since the Republican Campaign plank promising to arm the Ukrainians against Russian aggression inexplicably disappeared. My concern has grown as our President has repeatedly taken Putin’s side against our intelligence community. I’m alarmed as we've abandoned the Kurds and surrendered to Russia dominance in the Middle East. Now our President has held up military assistance to the Ukraine’s even as their soldiers were dying at the hands of the Russians. Doesn’t Loyalty to our country come before loyalty to Trump? We should face the enemy together.

Putin

Good work, DLJohnson. Trumpsters have excelled in keeping this discussion on tangential details! My accomplishment here will go down as the most extraordinary accomplishment in the annals of spy craft! I couldn’t have done it without chumps like you! I can’t believe you people were once the pain-in-the-*ss Party of Reagan who brought down my beloved USSR! Спасибо за тачку, лох!

DLJohnson

Putin: I suggest that you do what you do best, KMA.

Jolly Roger

DLJohnson is confused. Mr. Putin is the KISSEE. It’s Mr. Trump who has been the kisser ever since he came down the elevator. And he still can’t get his hotel built in Moscow.

DLJohnson

Putin and Jolly Roger: You need more work on your comedy routine. Abbott and Costello you are not.

ClownsRus

Hey DLJ, you and your boys want to hear from the whistle blower. Right? That’s amusing. Suppose a person calls 911 - there’s a murder in process. The Police catch the murderer and collect their evidence. The prosecution presents the evidence to the judge. But the defense attorney demands the caller be identified. The prosecution has all the evidence. They don’t need the 911 caller. But if the caller is exposed to the retribution of the murderer and his friends, who will dare call 911 in the future? This pursuit of the whistleblower is a laughable distraction. That you would parrot this talking point tells us that e Pluribus is right - after the all evidence is presented you will predictably come down right where you began. But please keep entertaining us. A laugh or two is the most we can expect from you.

DLJohnson

ClownsRus: Thanks for showing why your name fits you so well. Are you sure your real identity isn't Adam Schiff? So far your so called evidence is falling short.

How do you square your scenario with an accused right's to face their accuser and to confront witnesses? Remember, if you limit another's rights you expose yourself to your rights being limited? You did not think through your comment before you wrote it, did you?

What if the person who called 911 put into motion events that lead to the conflict between the two parties and also put into motion the events that brought them together where the death occurred? Wouldn't that be withholding exculpatory and possibly mitigating evidence?

OnTheFence2020

I’m curious, DLJohnson. You haven’t really answered a very relevant question. If firsthand testimony is so important, why aren't those who have it allowed to testify? Do you have an answer? Or are you rendered as speechless by this as I am?

DLJohnson

Good question. Why hasn't Adam Schiff called the whistle blower to testify and provide the evidence of why this was started? Why hasn't Schiff allowed Hunter Biden to testify to his involvement or lack of involvement in Burisma corruption on the pilfering of U.S. taxpayer dollars?

DLJohnson

Just watched an interview of Democrat Congressman Swalwell. He left it out there that President Trump had to prove his innocence. I always thought the side doing the accusing were required to prove guilt. When did it change to the "defendant" having to prove his innocence? Perhaps he did not learn much during his short stink as a Deputy District Attorney.

DLJohnson

What is with Adam Schiff stating that he does not know who the whistle blower is? I sure wish that he would have been under oath at the time he gave that answer. That is worth how many Pinocchio emojis?

DLJohnson

dmilroy, Antiteaparty, Jolly Roger, E pluribus and Putin: Please don't tell me that you agree with Democrat Representative Mike Quigley and his belief that; " Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct evidence".

If you do agree with that statement, do me a favor; tell what crime you want to be convicted of and I'll gather the hearsay evidence to get you convicted. I won't have to track someone down who saw you or heard directly from you. All I have to do is find someone to say; " A told me that he heard from B, who heard from C, who heard from D, that E said that he saw F tell a story that G (place your name in G) did the crime.

Is that what you want to be the standard? I sure as h*ll don't.

OnTheFence2020

DLJohnson, I find it very significant that, despite all your wordiness, you won’t answer my question.

DLJohnson

Who do you believe has first hand information and what is the first hand information that you know they have? Are you looking for corroboration to an impeachable offense already identified with evidence or are you fishing for "new" yet undiscovered evidence? So far, the two witnesses questioned in the open testimony have not been able to identify any impeachable offense when asked what the impeachable offenses were.

And I did answer your question. I agreed with you, the Democrats should bring in Hunter Biden and the "whistle blower" to testify.

What is the bribery that you are relying on? Who in our government got paid the bribe and what did they do for the bribe? What is the coercion you are relying on? Who was coerced? The Ukrainian president claimed that he was not coerced. Did Ukraine get their aide? Did the President of Ukraine formally announce an investigation into Hunter Biden as a condition of his "coercion"?

Don't you find it odd that they cannot point their finger to an impeachable offense with evidence to back it up? You would think that the Democrats would start of with their strongest in formation.

During the testimony, Secretary Kent let the cat out of the bag on Hunter Biden? No Ukrainian language skills, no experience in the gas industry and the only positive and bankable trait he brought to the table is a direct pipe line to his father, the Vice President of the United States at the time. Did I not miss anything that was brought out on Wednesday?

dmilroy

Mr. DLJohnson, Once you choose to ignore the facts and evidence, you can be easily duped by phony Internet conspiracy theories.

Bill Taylor is top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent is a deputy assistant secretary of state who worked on Ukraine and five other countries. Both men were appointed by President Trump. Both men testified that White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was part of an "irregular" shadow communications channel between Washington and Kyiv that had sought a quid pro quo with Ukraine. As Ambassador Taylor testified, "Holding up of security assistance that would go to a country that is fighting aggression from Russia for no good policy reason, no good substantive reason, no good national security reason is wrong.”

This was not just about Ukraine’s security, it was about America’s as well. “That security was so important for Ukraine as well as our own national interests, to withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense,” he said. “It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.”

The evidence of Mr. Trump's misconduct will grow as more witnesses testify.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: Does irregular and "shadow communications" mean illegal? What security assistance was withheld? Did Ukraine suffer any harm? What U.S. Security was put in harm? Are you conceding that checking into interference in the 2016 election and corruption allegations Burisma's business affairs would show improper conduct of the Democrats in the 2016 election that would negatively impact current Democrat candidates for President in 2020?

Prior to the Trump administration providing lethal aide to the Ukrainians, what was the level of aide the Obama Administration provided to Ukraine?

Did the President of Ukraine perform any of the so called deeds considered part of quid pro quo that the Democrats accuse?

OnTheFence2020

Please, DLJohnson, you keep dodging my question Neither the whistleblower or boy Biden have firsthand information of our President’s conduct. Many others surely do. Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton to name a few. Let me ask you directly one last time. How can the President’s supporters complain that all the allegations against the President are only secondhand when firsthand information by those who likely have it is blocked by the President? To those of us trying to make up our minds, it makes him look like he has something to hide. Wouldn’t you agree? Your multiple postings leave me thinking you know this, too, but can’t bring yourself to acknowledge it. I’m disappointed.

DLJohnson

Thanks identifying the pink donkey in the room as having no first hand information. How does he/she meet the definition of a Federal Protected whistle blower?

What makes you believe that those individuals have negative information about the President. Let me see....the President's attorney has an attorney client relationship that appears to be protected unless you are saying that he is a co-conspirator with the President in a criminal act. Are you suggesting that Bolton, Mulvaney and Pompeo are co-conspirators with the President in criminal acts?

Did you ever ask yourself if the Democrats, the whistle-blower and Hunter Biden have something to hide?

I say, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the President is guilty of an impeachable crime, then he would need to be me removed. That is a high bar for the Democrats to reach. So far they are not on the first step of the ladder.

dmilroy

Mr. DLJohnston is mistaken about State Department Deputy Secartary of State George Kent's testimony before the congressional impeachment inquiry looking into President Trump's conduct.

During questioning by Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, George Kent, the top State Department official in charge of Ukraine relations, dismantled a popular right-wing argument: No, President Donald Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens are not in fact the same as the former vice president’s efforts to remove corrupt then–Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Himes asked Kent whether he thought Trump’s efforts to persuade Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the Bidens in a July phone call sounded like “the president participating in or requesting a thoughtful and well-calibrated anti-corruption program.” Kent replied, “I do not.”

Himes then asked Kent, “Is what the president did in his phone call and what Joe Biden did in terms of Mr. Shokin, are those exactly the same things?”

“I do not think they are the same things,” Kent replied. “What former Vice President Biden requested of former President of Ukraine Poroshenko was the removal of a corrupt prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, who had undermined a program of assistance that we had spent, again, US taxpayer money to try to build an independent investigator unit to go after corrupt prosecutors.”

DLJohnson

You didn't like Secretary Kent's answers to Congressman Jordan's questions did you? So in your mind those answers have no value. Is that your true colors of preconceived notion or political bias shinning through?

DLJohnson

The Obama administration sent blankets and MREs as their aide to Ukraine. The Trump administration sent Javelin missiles. Which one is more effective at fending off Russian tanks?

The Obama administration sent aide that would provide "comfort" to the Ukrainians as they capitulate to the Russians. Trump sends missiles to fight off the Russians. Which one shows solidarity in warding off Russian aggression and upholding U.S. security interests?

So, wasn't it actually Obama who was the Russian agent?

dmilroy

"Secretary Kent's answers to Congressman Jordan's questions did you?" No. "The Obama administration sent aide that would provide "comfort" to the Ukrainians as they capitulate to the Russians." Your assertion are not supported by the evidence. William B. Taylor Jr., implicated President Trump personally in an effort to withhold security aid until Ukraine’s leader agreed to publicly announce investigations of his rivals. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/trump-impeachment-ukraine.html

E pluribus

Consider the glaring contradiction of two fiercely defended GOP positions: 1)-The whistleblower had no firsthand knowledge, and therefore no credibility. 2)-

The whistleblower must be forced to testify. FOX and Friends can’t square this circle. No wonder DLJohnson dodges the critical question posed by OnTheFence: “Why won’t the administration allow those with firsthand information to testify? “ It’s a simple and obvious question. That DLJohnson won’t answer, speaks volumes. Has anyone else noticed: The more he’s at a loss for answers, the less he’s at a loss for words?

DLJohnson

You see no value in showing that the foundation of Democrats Impeachment Inquiry is sitting on quicksand?

dmilroy

"You see no value in showing that the foundation of Democrats Impeachment Inquiry is sitting on quicksand?" Impeachment is a power delegated to Congress in the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution is not quick sand. The evidence of President Trump's abuse of power and his obstruction of justice is substantial.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: It is clearly documented that the Obama Administration's aide to Ukraine was blankets and MREs with no lethal aide, and the Trump Administration provided lethal aide.

So in practice, Obama wanted the Ukrainians to be warm and fed as they succumbed to the aggression of Russia, where Trump provided them with a means to fend off the tanks of Russia. Which one better takes care of the interests of Ukraine and the United States?

Do your research!

DLJohnson

dmilroy: Again you misunderstand or purposely rearrange the narrative to make it fit your agenda. The Constitution is not quicksand. The basis and catalyst of the Democrat Impeachment stance is the quicksand.

dmilroy

Mr. DLJohnson's assertions regarding the Obama administration are not supported by the facts. By March 2015, the US had committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine and had pledged an additional $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/26/politics/donald-trump-barack-obama-ukraine-military-aid-sheets-pillows-fact-check/index.html

William B. Taylor Jr., implicated President Trump personally in an effort to withhold security aid until Ukraine’s leader agreed to publicly announce investigations of his rivals. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/trump-impeachment-ukraine.html

The facts and evidence mounting against President Trump shows the impeachment inquiry is necessary. The whistle-blower complaint against Mr. Trump has been substantiated by the witness testimony, the partial transcript of President Trump's call with the President of Ukraine and Mr. Trump's own admissions.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: Again you rely on CNN for your less than accurate information. You haven't learned that they are not a good source for accurate information. The $195 million in aide to Ukraine you point out contained no lethal aide. Counter-mortar radars are not lethal aide, night vision devices are not lethal aide, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are not necessary armed, therefore not lethal. Ambassador Yovanovitch confirmed in her testimony today that the Obama Administration did not supply lethal aide to Ukraine.

Not even a good try. Bill Taylor witnessed nothing and only had stories told from someone who heard but did not witness. The eleventh hour revelation of a staffer suddenly remembering that they overheard Trump on a telephone conversation at a Kiev restaurant smells like 10 day old mackerel.

I am trying to visualize the size of the ring in your nose that the Democrats are dragging you around by.

dmilroy

Mr. DLJohnson's asserts that CNN was incorrect about U.S. Military assistance to Ukraine is not supported by the facts. "In the next week, two more shipments of armored Humvees from the United States, for a total of 30, will arrive in Ukraine. The United States has committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine to date, and has additionally promised 230 Humvees in total, as well as $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices, and medical supplies." https://ua.usembassy.gov/first-u-s-armored-hmmwvs-arrive-ukraine-greeted-president-poroshenko/

Pretending the mounting evidence of President Trump's misconduct does not exist is irrational. Ambassodor Bill Taylor's assistant Foreign Service Office David Holmes testified that Trump called Ambassador Gordon Sondland on July 26 and asked for an update about whether Zelensky would go ahead with the Biden investigations. Holmes says he clearly heard the President’s voice and Sondland made clear he was talking to the President. Sondland told Holmes the President didn’t “give a sh*t about Ukraine” and only cared about the “big stuff” like the “‘Biden investigations’ that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.” According to Holmes there were two other US government officials at the cafe table where the discussion was had. So two other witnesses who should be able to confirm all of this.

Also important, according to Holmes, he immediately debriefed the Deputy Chief of Mission and others at the Embassy on the details of the conversations and held meetings about it over the course of the next day. In other words, there appear to be two other witnesses to the call and conversations and numerous witnesses to Holmes’ near-contemporaneous account.

E pluribus

DLJohnson, your stalwart single-mindedness Is impressive. But your thoughts on the whistleblower don’t make sense. Even if the whistleblower turns out to be Hillary Clinton - and totally biased - what counts in the end is the evidence gathered after the whistle was blown. When a drug dealer calls 911 to report a drug deal done by his rival, the prejudice of the 911 caller wouldn’t matter in the outcome of a subsequent trial, would it? So, 1)- how is this whistleblower situation different, and 2)- what does this have to do with the question you won’t answer: why can’t first hand witnesses like Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton be allowed to testify?

DLJohnson

Epluribus: You assume a lot in your scenario. A report in and of itself is insufficient with out corroboration. The motivation of the caller and his prejudices are very important in developing probable cause for arrest. Without probable cause you would not have an arrest and then you would not have a subsequent trial. Remember what happens when you assume,: u-make-an-a**-out-of-u-but-not-me.

1) The whistleblower situation is not different, you still have to make the connection, 2) It is not the responsibility of the defense to provide the case for the "prosecution"/Democrats.

To this point the Democrats have not provided evidence of an impeachable criminal act. We need to put Adam Schiff under oath then his lies would be perjury, isn't lying to the people as bad as lying to Congress?

Jolly Roger

I hope DLJohnson, remembered to buy popcorn to enjoy the Louisiana Gubernatorial election. We were warned this would happen with that Galatians 6:7 threat. DLJohnson just mixed up who was gonna do the reaping. It so sweet that Trump’s support helped the Trump-loving candidate beat the reasonable Republican in the Louisiana primary. An old-fastened Republican would have won. (Remember them? It was a long time ago, but before Trump took over the GOP they used to stand for free trade, fiscal responsibility and especially a strong defense against the Russians.) Anyway, here’s hoping our Traitor-in-Chief will help select more Trumpsters in the coming primaries.

Oh, by the way, doesn’t DLJ look nice in that band uniform?

DLJohnson

Jolly Roger: So you not only have disgust for the President, you also have disgust for the Military. Or is it jealousy because you can not measure up?

dmilroy

As campaign rallies, President Trump made governor elections in Kentucky and Louisiana a referendum on him and Trump's candidates lost.

Congressional support for confronting Russian aggression and Russian meddling in our elections was standard as little and two years ago. Now, Republican party leaders are pushing debunked conspiracy theories that Ukraine not Russia were behind the 2016 election interference.

ClownsRus

Jolly R noticed it. DLJohnson took a photo of himself in his band uniform. Maybe he wrote that unusually reasonable letter to the Press & Dakotan (above). Maybe he thought a dignified photo would add gravity to his comments following it. Anyway, what instrument did you play, DLJ? I was scared to death to go out for football, so I took up the piccolo. It was a lot safer sitting in the stands in a spiffy uniform, wasn’t it? Some of those big farm boys played rough. And their uniforms alway got messed up with sweat and spit and dirt and grass stains and sometimes even blood. (Eww, how disgusting…) Funny thing we should share this experience, don’t you think? Are we bonding?

E pluribus

Hi, DLJ, I see you're losing the insult contest with Jolly Roger and ClownsRus. But that’s because you're working with two contrary strategies. Sometimes you’re engaging in a rational debate with antiteaparty and dmilroy (who usually ignore your insults, making you look unserious), and sometimes you’re stooping to the level of Jolly R and the Clown who make no bones about mercilessly needling you at every opportunity. But they’re better at it than you are and make you look silly. Maybe you should focus. In my opinion you need to pick your approach. You’ve already lost OnTheFence.

DLJohnson

ClownsRus and Jolly Roger your shame at not being able measuring up defines what you are. Who you are is defined by your feeble attempt at humor to cover up your shame. Members of Middle School and High School Bands have far more class than you two. I'm guessing that you don't even rate to be in their presence. It's a good thing I don't have care about you antics. And the band plays on.

DLJohnson

Watching the testimony of Lt. Col Vindman and Ms Williams. I'm puzzled that Lt. Col Vindman would chastise a Republican Congressman (Nunes) for using Mister instead of Lt. Col when addressing him but would not chastise a Democrat Congressman (Maloney) for doing the same. Would that be a subconscious display of a political bias that he holds?

Lt. Col Vindman testified that he told two people of the call who were outside of his chain of command. Lt. Col Vindman testified that he does not know who the whistle-blower is. Adam Schiff stated from the chairman's chair previously that he does not know who the whistle-blower is.

Lt. Col Vindman is allowed to identify one of the persons he told but is prevented by Adam Schiff from him identifying the person from the intelligence community he told. If Adam Schiff does not know who the whistle-blower is, why would stop Lt. Col Vindman because it may out the whistler-blower. The only reason is he does know who the whistle-blower is and lied about it.

How do the words I'd like you to do me a favor come out to be a demand? I know you're going to say because it was the President of the United States saying it. Taxpayers are the bosses of the Congress and Senate. So if a taxpayer would say to Adam Schiff, " I'd like you to do me a favor and drop over dead", wouldn't he be required to drop over dead because one of his bosses is saying it?

dmilroy

When he was later asked about that exchange with Rep. Nunes R-CA by Rep. Chris Stewart R-Utah, Lt. Colonel Vindman explained that his request was based off "the attacks I have had in the press and Twitter have kind of eliminated the fact that either -- marginalized me as a military officer."

"Do you always insist on civilians calling you by your rank?" Stewart asked Vindman.

"Representative Stewart, I'm in my uniform, wearing my military rank. I just thought it was appropriate to stick with that," Vindman replied.

One of the ribbons that Vindman is authorized to wear on his uniform is the Purple Heart, an award given only to service members who have been wounded in combat.

Vindman earned that medal for injuries he suffered in Iraq in 2003 following the explosion of a roadside bomb that damaged his vehicle.

Above his ribbons he is also authorized to wear the Combat Infantryman's Badge that can only be earned by a soldier who has experienced combat.

Lt. Colonel Vindman explained why a request by the President of the United States would be viewed as a demand by the President of County whose very assistance depends support from America.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: Still doesn't explain why he would chastise the Republican but not the Democrat for doing the same thing. By the way, didn't know that Counties have a President. "Whose very assistance depends support from America", are you agreeing that European Countries are not doing their fair share to aide Ukraine?

DLJohnson

dmilroy: Wow, you really don't think that Lt. Col Vindman can stand on his own two feet. By not demanding the same level of respect from the Democrats show his allegiance to the Democrats as opposed to his declaration to be non-partisan. Nobody is questioning his right to be addressed by his rank or questioning his right to wear his uniform. His showing favoritism by not also demanding that the Democrats address him by his rank is what is in question.

DLJohnson

Adam Schiff's /Democrat's Impeachment ship is sinking. Just watched testimony of Tim Morrison, one of those with first hand knowledge of the July 25th phone call. because he was listening to it as it occurred. Mr. Morrison testified that he witnessed no demand from President Trump to the Ukrainian President. Mr. Morrison testified that he witnessed no bribery, no coercion, no demand, no quid pro quo. He also testified that he questioned the judgement of Lt. Col Vindman as did his predecessor Dr. Fiona Hill.

Ambassador Volker's testimony also took the wind out of Schiff's sails and he is sitting motionless in the water as he sinks. I see burial at sea looming in the future for the Democrats. Get ready to play taps for them. It looked as if Adam Schiff was going to blow a vein in his neck.

dmilroy, ClownsRus,Antiteaparty, Jolly Roger, Putin and E pluribus: You got the testimony from those with first hand knowledge that you wanted to hear from. Do you have your crying towels out yet?

E pluribus

An interesting perspective, DLJ. From where I stand, it looks like Volker and Morrison, the two witnesses called to defend Trump, instead threw him under the bus. And now it seems Sondland is doing the same thing.

DLJohnson

W pluribus: you need to clean your glasses.

Jolly Roger

Looks like our man in the spiffy uniform can’t decide if he’s John Phillip Sousa or Bagdad Bob. Maybe DLJ can give us one of his signature “merry go round ” insults. If he can’t, maybe he’ll crow one more time how all this spells doom for Democrats.

DLJohnson

Jolly Roger: I'm sorry that you are so jealous.

dmilroy

Mr. Tim Morrison testimony that he wasn't worried about the content of the Trump-Zelensky however, he "promptly" brought concerns about the call to White House lawyers because he worried a summary would be leaked with negative consequences.

Mr. Morrison's vague claims denigrating Lt. Colonel Vindman were rebutted by Vindman. Vindman responding by reading a recent performance review filed by Trump’s former top Russia analyst Fiona Hill, which praised his abilities and labeled him a top military official.

"Alex is a top one percent military officer and the best army officer I have worked with in my 15 years of government service,'” he said, quoting from Hill’s evaluation. “‘He is brilliant, unflappable, and exercises excellent judgment.’… I think you get the idea.” blob:https://www.nbcnews.com/c6d93cd1-54b1-4d9d-82a7-012ee1f463b8

The first hand testimony of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman, Mike Pence's chief European security adviser Jennifer Williams, and U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker is damning for President Trump.

It confirms the testimony of the United States' senior diplomatic official in Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent.

Today's testimony by the ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland further implicates President Trump. Ambassador Sondland told an impeachment hearing Wednesday that he followed President Donald Trump’s orders in seeking a “quid pro quo” deal for Ukraine to probe a political rival in exchange for a White House summit and security aid.

OnTheFence2020

I don’t know how you “fact-checker” guys do it. (You and antiteaparty and some others.) Mr. Johnson ducks and weaves, won’t answer the critical questions and all the while keeps throwing insults. Jolly Roger and ClownsRus are amusing and sometimes they make a good point, but you guys are serious. I suspect others who watch silently are appreciative too. Thanks.

DLJohnson

dmilroy: You claim that testimony from Volkeer, Vindman and Williams was damning to the President. Let me see; They answered no to questions regarding crimes they witnessed. You are right, that is pretty damning to the Democrats.

dmilroy

Volkeer, Vindman and Williams testified they were fact witnesses whose role was not to determine if President Trump conduct was impeachable.

Colonel Vindman testified that he was so disturbed by the call that he reported it to the council’s top lawyer.

“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” he said under questioning about his first thoughts when he heard Mr. Trump’s mention of investigations into Mr. Biden and an unproven theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election. “It was probably an element of shock, that maybe in certain regards, my worst fear of how our Ukraine policy could play out was playing out, and how this was likely to have significant implications for U.S. national security.”

Ms;Williams, a national security aide to Mr. Pence, said she found the president’s call unusual because it included discussion of a “domestic political matter.”

Vindman and Williams testified that not a single national security official supported freezing Ukraine’s security aid.

Kurt D. Volker, the president’s former special envoy for Ukraine testified, “I don’t think that raising 2016 elections or Vice President Biden or these things I consider to be conspiracy theories that have been circulated by the Ukrainians” were “things that we should be pursuing as part of our national security strategy with Ukraine.”

Mr. Volker said, “In hindsight, I now understand that others saw the idea of investigating possible corruption involving the Ukrainian company Burisma as equivalent to investigating former Vice President Biden. I saw them as very different — the former being appropriate and unremarkable, the latter being unacceptable. In retrospect, I should have seen that connection differently, and had I done so, I would have raised my own objections.”

DLJohnson

OntheFence2020: I answered the questions, but you just don't like those answers.

E pluribus

f you have, I sure missed it. OnThe Fence has given up on you, but I’ll ask again: How can the President’s supporters complain that all the allegations against the President are only secondhand when first hand testimony by those who likely have it is blocked by the President? (Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton to name a few.)

DLJohnson

E pluribus: Such language...get the bar of soap Ma, need to wash out somebody's mouth. The Democrats have the burden to prove. So prove it. Quit crying about Bolton, Pompeo Mulvaney and Guiliani not testifying. Go to court and force the enforcement of the subpoenas. You might want to check if Congress can direct the Justice department to detain and bring someone in front of congress for contempt for not submitting to a congressional subpoena.

dmilroy

Mr. DLJohnson, you criticized Democrats for not proceeding on impeachment. When the began impeachment inquiry, you complain because it was not public. Now you suggest congress should compel Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton etc... to testify.

You'd think, at this point, you would be careful what you ask for.

E pluribus

Sorry, DLJ. I meant no disrespect, but I see I left the “I” off what was supposed to be an “If” beginning my comments. I was puzzled by your response at first, but you won’t find me calling names or cursing to make a point. You can count on it. If you want me to quit crying about Bolton, et al, I will - just as OnTheFence has. I’m chagrined it’s taken me longer to recognized the inevitable. And I know better than to expect anything from the Justice Department so long as Trump’s lawyer, Mr. Barr, is in charge. Furthermore, your response proves a valid point - which is that the record being amassed by this impeachment hearing is mainly for the historians and will likely change no one’s mind. What matters is how it affects voters. And that’s still to be revealed at the ballot box.

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