In 1974, the last time one of their own presidents faced impeachment, Republicans on Capitol Hill told Richard Nixon he lacked the votes in the Senate to beat the rap, and he resigned. Will their heirs today follow in their footsteps and so inform Donald Trump?

That is the key question as House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi sped up the impeachment process against him Thursday, and the House, by a nearly party-line 232-196 vote, agreed to proceed with it. Two Democrats voted against the resolution; Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party in July, voted in favor.

If the House votes to impeach Mr. Trump, as is now expected, it would take 20 Senate Republicans abandoning him to remove him from the highest office and make him the first ever so dispatched by congressional will.

But right now, Trump seems to hold a tighter grip on the Grand Old Party than Nixon did then, when the evidence captured in the White House tapes documented his involvement in the Watergate fiasco and sealed his fate.

Those tapes recorded Nixon’s willingness to stop any investigation — he even talked of buying the silence of the burglars who had broken into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex — though it was never proved that he knew of the raid beforehand.

One investigator argued later that the break-in was not conducted to find dirt on the Democrats; rather it was done to intercept evidence that Nixon had urged South Vietnamese officials to boycott an 11th-hour Paris peace conference on the eve of the U.S. presidential election that might have undercut his reelection.

This time around, the Democratic case against Mr. Trump is based on a clearly impeachable offense. The charge is that Trump used his office to hold back $391 million in congressionally mandated military aid to Ukraine in order to extort that country’s government into helping produce political dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and his son, as well as into substantiating a bizarre conspiracy theory about CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that linked the 2015-16 cyber attacks on the DNC to Russian intelligence services.

Veteran American diplomats dealing with Ukraine have now lined up before House impeachment investigators, testifying their evidence of Trump’s quid pro quo pressure campaign against the Ukrainians. Congressional Republicans and Trump staffers are growing more apprehensive that one or more impeachable offenses will be hung on the sitting president, and Trump himself shows signs of panic.

Allies tell reporters of their consternation that Trump seems to lack any effective defense strategy, instead resorting to his customary bombast and slanders on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and his inner circle have assaulted the character and patriotism of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a distinguished Army combat veteran in Afghanistan, born in Ukraine but long a naturalized U.S. citizen, who serves on the staff of the National Security Council. His testimony before congressional committees elucidated two key events. He was present at a meeting at which Trump surrogates in the State Department urged a Ukrainian official to investigate Biden in return for a meeting with Trump. He also testified he listened in on the phone call in which Trump made the quid pro quo offer. He later discovered the official transcript of the call contained omissions. His attempts to correct the omissions were not successful.

Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, defended Mr. Vindman from Republican calumny. “We’re talking about decorated veterans who have served this nation who have put their lives on the line,” she said. “It’s shameful to question their patriotism, their love of this nation. And we should not be involved in that process.”

The testimony of acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor first confirmed that Trump had offered a quid pro quo to the Ukrainian president on the Bidens, though Trump still denies it.

The question for the 20 Republican senators who now appear to hold the power to determine whether the Trump charade goes on or is finally halted, is whether their own consciences mean anything to them anymore.

Will the president’s wall of partisan solidarity hold? As Republicans ponder their moment of truth, and possibly the survival of their party, the Democrats will be using the mandate they now have to gather more testimony against Trump and make it public.

Jules Witcover’s latest book is “The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power,” published by Smithsonian Books. You can respond to this column at juleswitcover@comcast.net.

(78) comments

Jeepers11md

those stupid Democrats' need to get a life Hillary lost far and square, they need to concentrate on more important things like healthcare and the American Elderly and quit wasting money and our law makers time with this stupid witch hunt and get over it Trump is the Man and respect him look at our economy MUCH better then when Obama was in and those Democrats want to give everything away for free and help the ILLEGALS respect the President or let me know I gladly help you pack and move out of this great country

des21

Did Bloomberg actually says he knows a con man when he sees one? was it after he looked in a mirror![beam]

MRS M

The Republican Party members of today have become nothing more than castrati singing their histrionic songs in the face of the coming impeachment hearings. There really is no telling where this is going to go, as Americans gets to see and hear, firsthand in the coming weeks, the diplomats and the men and women of the armed forces and the foreign services, as well as those working within the administration, who have FIRSTHAND knowledge of Donald's attempted bribery of the Ukraine president. (yeah, that's a crime). And here we thought the Republican Party, and the (formerly) proud conservative deep-thinkers, supported law and order, service to one's country, an aspirational moral standard of truth and justice, and the Constitution. But not with this slavish bunch of cowardly boot-lickers. History will not be kind to the likes of Moscow Mitch McConnell, the groveling Graham, Nunez, Pence, McCarthy and the lathered up and embarrassing Jim Jordan, who is able to distract desperate supporters with his blather, but has no real intellectual substance to compare to the prosecutors who will be interrogating beginning tomorrow. In the meantime Republican moderates can look to Nikki Haley for the rebuilding of their future party post-Trump, as they prepare for 2020. (Oh wait...............has anyone informed Pence?) But for Donald's sake, here's hoping he'll still be around to attend the Russian Victory Parade in Moscow in May, yet another reason for his supporters to cheer him on, as Americans hope that our 2020 election will be protected from those foreign enemies who wish to undermine it.

olefool

This is a series of questions for the GOP posters here: If you walked into a bank, armed, with the intention to rob the bank, and you stick your gun in the teller's face and she gives you the money and you go to leave the bank but the cops bust you on the way out the door and you drop the money, does that mean your are innocent of any crime????? HELL NO... it means your are GUILTY AS SIN.... so why are so many people so quick to give Trump a pass on his criminality???? So I again ask the Trumpers, why, if he so weak and feeble that you believe it's OK for him and you to lie, cheat and sell out our country in order to get re-elected??? Why would you want a coward like that as your president anyway??? All I can say is get ready for the GOP clown show during the impeachment testimony, this will be a shame and black mark on our freedoms and rule of law...

Obadiah Plainsmen

If the the Democrats don't get their way and the Senate fails to convict this will be the first paragraph of Witcovers next article.

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for Democrats to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with Republicans( and any other political party) and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of humanism a decent respect to the opinions of only Democrats requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

DickD

You don't really understand, OP. Everyone knows what the Republicans in the Senate will do, it is how the voters view all of this and this will not be known until November 2020.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I think it's you that doesn't understand. It's not the voters , it's the Constitution that's the problem. What happens if the voters send the same message in 2020? Remember it's the majority that counts, not in votes but electoral college. #theroadto270

awteam2000

The Decoration of Independence actually says “ When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.“

I don’t think we will declare war on England if Trump is not impeached 🙇‍♂️.

hayduke2

And that is why the electoral college needs revisited.

DickD

Yes, but Trump has never gotten a majority. If the citizens can be duped into election of Trump, one more time, we will definitely deserve Trump. As Bloomburg says; "I know a con man when I see him".

jsklinelga

DickD

I guess secpool got deleted. Did not see his comments but par. It is virtually fruitless to read or respond to most comments but yours has a ring of truth. Everyone knows this is not about impeachment. It is about the 2020 election and using Congress and an artificial impeachment process as a smear campaign. Like all the other false narratives and conspiracy fantasies this will die an inglorious death.

DickD

It wouldn't be artificial if Senate Republicans weren't worried about reelection. And if the House didn't Impeach, they would be derelict in their responsibilities.

awteam2000

Smear? Yes you shouldn’t respond to comments if you don’t realize Trump owns stock in ‘SMEAR’.🤷‍♂️ Right?

From the Whistleblower, Biden, Schiff, Pelosi, distinguished war vets and gold star families , to life long Republicans like McCain, Romney, Bush to his 24 sexual-assault accusers, from the birther movement to - calls on Russia to find Hillary’s emails, “where’s Hillary’s email” ? By the way his state dept has concluded that was bogus. Only smears.

Tomorrow you will hear from life long public servants, patriots, appointed by TRUMP. But he will continue to smear their life long reputations. The only one smearing is Trump, the “5” deferments from the military who likes to have military parades, Putin’s lackey, Trump is the “King of Smear”.

Russian

Trump has discussed returning a portion of Alaska back to Russia under the guise of a reset with Russia

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phydeaux994

secpol, why do you never mention how far the RRR(RadicalRightRepublicans) have swung to the Right since 1994 with Adulterer Newt Gingrich and his Contract ON America and the Party of NO NO NO!!! White Supremacy, guns, anti-everything the majority of Patriotic Americans believe in like the Constitution and the Rule of Law, just plain Human Decency. Racism and Hate and the vile rhetoric toward those that don’t buy Trump’s vision of what America stands for. The abandonment of our allies and Trump’s actions that always seem to benefit Vladimir Putin and his plan to divide and conquer our Nation. He’s already accomplished the divide and he’s working hard to achieve the conquer with Trump’s help. What don’t you get??

DickD

Good Republicans?  You mean Mitt Romney and before he died, McCain?  The rest are spineless jellyfish politicians supporting the Trump cult, in an effort to be reelected.

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

Who are the moderates in the Republican party secpol - are they the 20 who have decided they can't run again or are the the Lindsey wannabes that condone everything they stood against in the past. Nice blinders you have on.

thump1202

How about asking where are the principled politicians in America today? Both parties are serving us a can of sardines and calling it caviar. Instead of buying into this tribal garbage let's kick them all out until they do something for us. All Trump cares about is himself and being liked, he'd sign anything put in front of him. Why this non stop focus on how evil he is? Kiss his butt, play his game, manipulate the hell out of him and do something for the people Congress. We didn't hire you to give us smoke and mirrors BS.

Russian

Reports are that Sen McConnell has decided to remove Trump

Russian

Trump’s goose is cooked

According to a column written for Politico by a former senior adviser to multiple Republican lawmakers, there is a path to forcing Donald Trump from office that would only require three GOP senators to join forces with the Democrats.

Under the heading, “There’s a Surprisingly Plausible Path to Removing Trump From Office,” Juleanna Glover — who served as an adviser to former President George W. Bush and ex-Vice President Dick Cheney — laid out a simple way to force an impeachment vote that would be conducted in secret, freeing GOP senators to turn on the president without fear of repercussions.

Russian

Just because Trump attempted felony extortion doesn’t mean he should be treated like a poor white man

DickD

Which part do you question, Russian?

gary4books

So many of the responses here are pure examples of "sophistry" and I will let the readers decide which ones to select for that distinction.

des21

Or perhaps their perception of what has happened and is happening is different from yours Jules. Just a possibility.[wink]

While the Democrats are high-fiving their way to another defeat many realize that we have not yet had a chance to hear the president's defense and that will not come until the trial takes place in the Senate. For all of you who have pre-ordained what has happened- good for you. For those of us without your certitude, it may be helpful to actually hear the accused's defense. Just a thought. I am increasingly sure, given the opposition, that Trump will win re-election and the luxury car-driving "Resistance" will once again be left shaking their collective head saying "how could this happen?" Look no further than your nominee. I believe the Republic will survive.

awteam2000

“Hear Trump’s defense?” He’s the one stopping subpoenaed witnesses from testifying. But he’ll have another chance once they get to the senate court phase.

des21

yup. that's where the trial will be held and he'll be acquitted. Much like bill Clinton.

shiftless88

des; as awteam2000 mentions, could you please illustrate why we haven't heard Trump's "defense"? Is it that his witnesses like Mulvaney have not testified? Has Twitter blocked Trump's feed? Has Trump volunteered to testify and been turned down? Please let us know. Thank you.

des21

Its "inconceivable" that he will win again in 2020. And yet he will. [beam][wink] The longer this impeachment fiasco goes on the better it is for Trump. sorry to be the voice of reality for you all...……….. well, not that sorry.[wink]

threecents

Des, What in the column wasn't established fact? Plus, as others pointed out, Trump is trying to intimidate witnesses and preventing some from testifying. He is deliberately violating whistleblower laws. That in itself is enough to impeach. He does something nearly every week that is possibly impeachable. Sometimes I think he does it purposely to stay in the news. Other times it appears to be more out of ignorance.

des21

If I hear one more non-constitutional lawyer say "that is enough to impeach" I may lose my lunch. there have been, according to your side as many impeachable crimes as there have been days in Trump's presidency and yet not one has stuck. You'd think you guys would move on from that nonsense!

DickD

Trump was asked and refused, Dave.https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/10/trump-defenders-misleading-claims-about-house-impeachment-inquiry/

des21

The trial is in the Senate boys and girls. That's when a defense will be heard- if McConnell decides to hold a trial. This nonsense is such a partisan circus he may decide to just pass on it and say it's illegitimate. Which it is IMO.

Comment deleted.
awteam2000

Secpol is extortion a right or left position?

awteam2000

Both the Nixon and Clinton impeachment’s had special prosecutors who handled the investigations before it went to congress for charges of impeachment. In Trump’s case the investigation into extortion, Congress is doing the inquiry which the Justice Department should've done but Bill Barr refuse to do so... Barr is more focused on investigating the investigators of the Russian probe, following conspiracy theories that all the US intelligence agencies were conspiring against Trump and Russia to help Clinton win the election.

Don’t be distracted by those pushing the Hunter Biden conspiracy. That’s been proven to be bogus and doesn’t take away from Trump’s wrong doings - extorting another country to get dirt on a political opponent.

Public hearing starts tomorrow. The criminal act goes way beyond a single call or the transcript of that call, which is incriminating enough. You’ll hear from first hand witnesses of Trump’s corrupt acts, Giuliani‘s shadow state department and mishandling of US funds for personal advantage. You’ll hear about Manafort ties to Russian oligarchs in the Ukraine and the mobsters associated with Trump’s minions.

des21

Right. The facts that Mueller came up with were not sufficient to get your side what they wanted so they came up with this circus. Congratulations, you must be very proud. Enjoy Jordan's evisceration of Schiff. It'll be a hoot![beam]

awteam2000

And , Yes you must be very proud Jim Jordan was added to the House Intelligence Committee, replacing Rick Crawford. The former wrestling coach has now been accused by a second victim of covering up sexual misconduct by Ohio State athletics department doctor. Jordan has a distinct record for covering up for incriminating acts by accusing the accusers. He’ll do his best to distract from Trump’s wrongdoings and turn it into a circus 🎪.

hayduke2

Come on aw, that stuff doesn't matter to the self-righteous right. Look at how all of Trump's past deeds are given a pass by those evangelicals. Yes, Mr. Jordan will turn this into a misinformation rally and be cheered by those who worship Trump, and that is just sad.

des21

Way to engage in exactly what you accuse JJ of doing AW. But you're smart enough to realize that ….. right?

timothygaydos

you are fighting a losing battle with these liberals that are off their ACA medications... just sit back and wait until Nov 2020 election night and the results come in announcing Trump wins! They will need more therapy and more medications! They even want to go down the path of comparing Jim Jordan as a co-conspirator for the sexual misconduct at Ohio State and yet will never address the Epstein sex shop with the Clintons etc... anyway good luck!

shiftless88

I am surprised, though I shouldn't be, that you would sweep the abuses under the rug. Putting party before country/constitution.

hayduke2

Always Tim, put the party before the country.

des21

No mention of the Epstein-Clinton nexus Hay? Shift? way to put party before decency as in Northrup and Fairfax too. Nice work boys.

Comment deleted.
secpol1970

Whose the nazi....oh thats the socialists are. Got it.

olefool

Oh yeah, in answer to the title of this letter: THERE AIN'T NONE!!!!

Russian

Hip Hop is now the most popular music in Russia.

Lemmy

They began with a “whistleblower,” but it was quickly shown that this person was nowhere near any of the events in question and likely colluded with Democrats prior to even filing the complaint. The "whsitleblower" is registered Democrat and CIA official who worked with former CIA Director John Brennan and former Vice President Joe Biden during the Obama administration. He was also Biden's right-hand-man while the former vice president was manipulating the firing of Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Burisma and Hunter Biden. He also worked very closely with a Democratic National Committee "operative" named Alexandra Chalupa, who we now know was working with Ukraine officials to dig up dirt on Donald Trump in 2016.

Seems legit.

Lets just fast forward to the acquittal in the Senate and skip the continued Democratic whining.

olefool

How's tricks up there in la la land lemmy??? I've one question for you, why don't you have the same disgust for our arch enemy Russia who has as it's mantra the complete destruction of the USA and it's constitution and rule of law???

Lemmy

Don't drink so early in the day.

shiftless88

So if an investigation starts with an anonymous tip to police about, say, drug dealing, then the police confirm through independent means that the people are in fact dealing drugs, should the case be tossed? Should it matter if the anonymous tipster is the next door neighbor or a rival drug dealer?

hayduke2

Lemmy, do you see the similarity to shiftless's post at 9:22?

olefool

Is this your answer to my question?? Or are you dodging again. When you don't know what to say, you just have nothing to say, eat it...

marinick1

[thumbup]

awteam2000

All roads lead to Russia... Erdogan will be at the White House tomorrow after Trump surrendered Kurd territories to the Turks and Russia. We had to leave so quick that the US military had to blew-up our own military base. Now the Turks are buying Russian Air Defense Systems counter to our security systems. WOW!

threecents

The whistleblower is no longer needed. It does not matter who he is or what he thinks. His only value was as someone who heard conversations that have been transcribed. All Trump has to do is release the full transcripts to congress. The parallel's with Watergate are extraordinary. Nixon, release the phone call tapes of you trying to get dirt on your opponents. Trump, release the phone call transcripts of you trying to get dirt on your opponent - from another country - or they won't get money appropriated by congress.

Comment deleted.
Lemmy

"Nazi!"

DRINK!

Russian

"We have to become competitive with the world. Our taxes are too high, our WAGEs are too high. Everything is too high. We have to compete with other countries."

Donald Trump

FCPS-Principal

The answer to the question in the first paragraph is No. Moscow Mitch and Lipspittle Lindsey are two imps very different than the honorable Howard Baker and Lowell Weiker.

matthewboh

[thumbup][thumbup]

jsklinelga

Wow! What an absolute, one-sided, contrived piece of rubbish. Consider the US House vote to open an impeachment inquiry against Nixon 410-4. There was a crime. Where is the crime now? Someone please show the quote where President Trump told Zelensky to investigate Biden or have money withheld. President Zelensky has testified it never happened. The money was not withheld. Unlike Joe Biden who openly stated (paraphrase) I am leaving in 6 hours. If the prosecutor is not fired you will not get the Billion dollars.

It is sad, and potentially irreparably damaging to our country, and its foundations, that impeachment is being used for such an obvious political hit job. The only saving grace is that the charge is so frivolous and contrived it will most likely have dire political consequences for the Democrats and caution similar efforts in the future.

jsklinelga

As a follow-up and reminder, 31 Democrats voted to open Clinton's impeachment inquiry. I sincerely hope Adam Schiff ends up on the witness stand somewhere.

awteam2000

The vote was to move forward from closed hearings to the open phase, with public testimonies, that’s what Republican’s wanted until they got it.

seanjames

and of course, there were republicans present during all of those "closed door" hearings anyway, despite their pathetic and illegal protestations. and this brings us to the crux of what's different now from watergate -- there was no fox news in '72 continually feeding a stream of lies and conspiracy theories to willing ignoramuses

olefool

Yada yada yada yada.... Your Russian handlers must be proud of your bloviations.

shiftless88

jsk, the money was ready to go (appropriated and targeted) in the late spring, IIRC. It was dispersed in September just before it expired. So what was the delay?

Alice Jones

The damage comes from a traitorous con man burrowing at 1600.

shiftless88

jsk; perhaps you have not yet read the transcripts from the testimony yet. That is understandable since you likely don't read many news sources. But it is a fact that Trump decided to withhold the funds. Cooper discussed in in testimony released yesterday, and others have mentioned it.

phydeaux994

When the Nixon impeachment was being considered, the Republicans still put America before Party. How many Republican votes in Congress did President Obama get in 8 years? Trump has gotten a lot more Democratic support for his Legislation since January 20, 2017 than the Democrats have gotten from Republicans for theirs since Adulterer Newt Gingrich started the Party of NO NO NO in 1994. Just watch the televised hearings jsk, it will become crystal clear. BTW jsk, why didn’t the Republicans investigate the Biden’s when they owned the Government in 2017-2018...? Why now???

hayduke2

jsk - explain this "“The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation,” Mulvaney told reporters. “Did he also mention to me in the past the corruption that related to the DNC server? Absolutely, no question about that.” Mulvaney continued: “That’s why we held up the money.” Maybe you should consult with Kellyanne to come up with a set of alternative facts.

DickD

Not that it will make any difference to you, Jim, but here is the proof:

.https://variety.com/2019/politics/news/white-house-transcript-trump-biden-ukraine-president-1203348761/#! President Donald Trump asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden during a July 25 phone call, according to a transcript released by the White House on Wednesday.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/22/diplomat-says-ukraine-military-aid-linked-to-investigations.html

Top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor testified Tuesday that he was told a military aid package to Ukraine had been withheld by President Donald Trump pending an agreement by Ukraine to launch investigations into Trump’s political rivals.″‘Everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance,” Sondland said, Taylor testified in the closed-door hearing with House lawmakers conducting an impeachment inquiry into the president

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/mulvaney-confirms-trump-withheld-aid-to-pressure-ukraine-to-investigate-2016-election-interference/

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Thursday that President Trump ordered the State Department and Pentagon to withhold military aid to Ukraine in part to pressure the country to investigate interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.“The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about,” said Mulvaney during a press conference.When a reporter pointed out that Mulvaney was describing a “quid pro quo” in withholding the military aid package, Mulvaney responded, “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”

DickD

The Bible verse for "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers or sisters you do to me" is Matthew 25:40. The full verse reads, according to the New International Version of the Holy Bible, "The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

The Bible is made up of both the New Testament and the Old Testament. The Old Testament originally was written in Hebrew (translated to many languages) and is used by the Jewish people as well. The New Testament was written about Jesus' life and Jesus' contribution to the faith as the messiah.

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