WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to back her House Democratic foot soldiers’ effort to impeach Donald Trump has swelled their numbers. But it has also hardened his Republican defenders in and out of his administration, setting the stage for a battle royal between the executive and legislative branches.

It may well be decided by the judicial wing of our three-prong democracy. Federal courts may soon be called on to rule on Congress’ constitutional power to subpoena high Trump administration officials and allies, seeking testimony and documents on their roles in the president’s alleged malfeasance in office.

His secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, his attorney general, William Barr, and his private lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, are central to the drama and the Trump’s effort to thwart the impeachment drive in the House. All have served notice they will resist the subpoenas and back subordinates in doing the same.

Pompeo, in a letter to three House committee chairmen who are demanding their appearances, flatly informed them that neither he nor other State employees would comply in person or in depositions. He defiantly described the subpoenas as “an attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

He added he would “not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts” to force them to cooperate. There could not have been any more defiant declaration, or one that federal jurists could easily brush off as themselves defenders of the letter of the constitutional separation of powers.

The showdown puts in focus the emerging tactics of the equivalent of a political mafia that is circling its own wagons, with Pompeo as the highest-ranking operative. He has signed on for the whole loaf of our jaw-jutting Benito Trumpolini’s gangland rule of a once-proud and cherished self-government.

Pompeo has been joined by Barr, who first joined the team by disputing and distorting the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian meddling in our 2016 election. Since then he has been globe-trotting in quest of more foreign collaboration, as in Trump’s verbal pitch to his Ukrainian counterpart to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

Never mind that Biden at the time was leading the U.S. effort in conjunction with our Western partners to assist Kiev in combating corruption in its own regime, as an ally trying to ward off further Russian intimidation and takeover. Son Hunter’s paid job on the board of a giant Ukrainian energy company was obviously an unwise embarrassment, but it was not subject of any official wrongdoing.

As for Giuliani, he has been a Trump hired gun turned loose in Ukraine and elsewhere, planning to free-lance in Kiev in search of more dirt on the Biden, until he canceled the trip when the optics went sour against him. But he apparently remains in Trump’s tolerance while seemingly at cross purposes with Pompeo at State.

Apparently not content with the trouble he’s made for himself in his dealings with Ukraine, and by using the full-fledged powers of the presidency to thwart the Democrats’ mission to impeach him, Trump on Thursday publicly called on another adversary to do him a favor. “China should start an investigation into the Bidens,” he said to a press gaggle outside the White House.

What are American allies and friends around the world to make of this insane abandonment of our own standards of self-government within the bounds of truth, justice and mutual respect for the rights of all everywhere?

The impeachment of Donald Trump is not merely a matter of cleaning out a morally infected national barn. It also cries out for loyal and patriotic Americans to recapture their woefully damaged democratic process from this reckless self-aggrandizing and incompetent political wrecking ball, and the sooner the better.

Waiting another year and more until the 2020 election invites more and more of Trump’s chaos and national self-destruction until our normal vehicle for changing our leadership arrives again at ballot boxes across the land. Our democratic way of life demands action now, as the Constitution provides and clearer thinking among all of us requires.

Copyright 2019 Tribune Content Agency.

(33) comments

matts853

So Trump now suddenly makes a deal with Turkey without consulting anyone in the Pentagon or congress. Of course he has trump towers (2) in Instanbul. Hmm, maybe Turkey took advantage of Trump’s predilection for trading favors. And now this morning, the State Dept ordered Sondland not to testify in front of congress. Face it Trump fans, the man is comprised and using the office to freelance his political and business interests, above the welfare of America. The coverup is gettting deeper and deeper. He’s got to go.

Samanthapowers

President Pelosi.

secpol1970

Lol spare us. We saw more zealotry in protecting traitor 44 than those who defended Trump. The idiots on the media were especially complicit in doing this.

richardlyons

[scared]

gary4books

Piffle.

rikkitikkitavvi

https://www.backwoodshome.com/who-were-the-best-and-worst-u-s-presidents/

timothygaydos

Too funny - Our POTUS during the 2016 campaign, after election and after swearing in ceremony his Administration has been targeted by zealots working within numerous government agencies supported by the DNC, media and democrats like Schiff, Nadler, Cummings etc... Now AG Barr got them scared because reports are coming out soon and they will be made public. Notice how this whistleblower report got handled starting back in August and now we know it is bogus. now a new whistleblower emerges from the dark claiming having first hand knowledge - why??? Because the report is coming out about FISA, leaking of communications from the White House, govt agencies etc... you wonder why Brennan, Clapper, Powers, Rice, Comey and so many others are ducking for cover.... it is the reason why Nancy never put impeachment up for a vote yet - so she can quickly shutdown the process and move on when this really blows up in their faces. Trump's base is increasing not only in the Republican Party but many conservative democrats and independents are going for Trump... too funny but it is a real joy reading these comments from liberals who are in serious needs of medications and therapy... laws enacted by Clinton and other recent presidents allow for the president to request foreign countries to investigate corruption and criminal matters and the POTUS can give that task to anyone in his administration...

des21

Hey, somebody who has actually been paying attention and has a clue what has been going on! What are you doing here? Good show! Another slime ball emerges from the "intelligence community" (that's becoming an oxymoron)! Excuse me if I don't gasp in surprise!



Nancy Pelosi handed this steaming pile (She is from SF after all, she knows how to avoid stepping in that stuff) to Adam Schiff who immediately screwed it up. You've got to say this for Nancy- her sense of self preservation- both physically (she has had some impressive work done. That's what comes from being married to the "Donald Trump of San Francisco!) and politically is pretty incredible.[whistling]

awteam2000

The irony here is if both Trump and Pence are impeached and removed from office Nancy Peloci will be president.😗

des21

In your dreams I think.

awteam2000

I was dreaming the Presidential Succession Act?🤔 You do know Trump won’t go down without trying to bring down Pence, too.

DickD

Aw, I hope Trump does bring down Pence with him. Pence is almost as bad.

richardlyons

[yawn]

olefool

Oh how little faith you have in the mindless blind mice that are the Republican Party. Some are very well educated mice but still scared of the elephant in the room.

gary4books

Nancy is Baltimore girl. Only Trump and Pence stand between her and the Presidency.

des21

I thought it was just the usual Trumpian hyperbole before i heard you loonies getting all excited about a Pelosi Presidency! Now i think he's right about the coup and the coming Civil War![scared][ohmy]

gary4books

Civil War, DES21? You want to lose again?

rikkitikkitavvi

Do you GARY?---http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/james-woods-i-guess-they-want-civil-war-would-not-end-well-for-them_10102018

besmartten

des, actually Speaker Pelosi is originally from Baltimore. Not that means anything. I am curious, have you ever been to SF. I suspect not. I am curious about what inside information you have on medical procedures you allude to . And who is this DT from jSF you refer to?

des21

I have been to SF- dated a woman from there. Pelosi's husband is a real estate magnate in SF- that's why she's among the wealthiest members of congress. She has had several procedures since last holding the gavel. Anything else?

awteam2000

Federal law prohibits a federal entity, be it a foreign national or foreign government, from giving campaign contributions to U.S. candidates and campaigns. And it prohibits campaigns and candidates from accepting such contributions. 

federal law reads - 52 U.S.C. § 30121 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 52.

"It shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State, or local election; a contribution or donation to a committee of a political party; or an expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication; or a person to solicit, accept, or receive a contribution or donation ... from a foreign national,"

des21

You have got A LOT of free time!!! What will you do when Trump leaves office in 2025?

threecents

I was thinking of learning to play the guitar. There will many songs to celebrate.

gary4books

Lyndon Johnson said it best: "I do know the difference between chicken salad and chicken bones." Or something like that. We know what is real.

DickD

Our A.G. violates the law and refuses to live up to the Constitution and his oath of office.

rikkitikkitavvi

Political Mafia? You just described the democrat party. Now we have a President that will fight said Political Mafia instead of kowtowing to the status quo of "politics as usual" and people like you #hateTrumpers, #neverTrumpers, #getTrumpatallcosts, @impeachTrump and of course the #Istandwithherbecausesheiswoman freaks can't stand it. We The People also stand with Him and more are joining every day. " we can't beat him (even by cheating) in the upcoming 2020 Election we need to impeach him. We need to get rid of him any way we can." Your "We care more for illegals than American citizen" party is doomed. You just don't know it yet. Have a MAGA day and get aboard the----https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=get+aboard+the+trump+train+you+tube&view=detail&mid=1CBD72AC5D1F0B74C1FA1CBD72AC5D1F0B74C1FA&FORM=VIRE

olefool

Delusional bloviating does not make or change facts..Trump's Base Support Is Eroding https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/22/poll-trump-s-base-support-is-eroding

Read it and weep....


DickD

Or shout for joy!

Dwasserba

God willing

des21

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html?utm_campaign=distroscale&utm_medium=video-player&utm_source=polls



Approval rating has been between 43-46% virtually his entire Presidency. It remains there. He raised 125 million last quarter for re-election. the leading Democrat (Bernie in terms of $$) raised 25 million. Why should we weep now?

olefool

His base has never been more that 38% of registered voters. His approval ratings RCP Average 9/26 - 10/6 -- 43.4% total voters approve 53.9% voters disapprove... a drop of 10.5% in the last week. Are you paying any attention to what he is doing to your country?????

richardlyons

[yawn]

besmartten

Again des, wrong his avg. polls have been 40%. running between 35% and 45%. Get your facts straight at least. Oh yeah alternative facts!

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