Trump’s Trick Won’t Work Again

5 mins read

This morning, Russell Vought, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that it was “fake news” that his office would comply with the Congressional impeachment inquiry:

The OMB is the office that, on Trump’s orders, withheld aid to Ukraine. This is significant because it means that the OMB is helping Trump try to pull the “No Collusion” trick again.

What’s that? See yesterday’s post.

Dare I say it: The House Democrats know what they’re doing.

See Representative Ted Lieu’s response to the OMB’s refusal to comply with the impeachment inquiry.

The No Collusion trick won’t work again because:

  • The House already has enough evidence that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden (proving bribery beyond a reasonable doubt isn’t necessary.)
  • House investigators simply point out that innocent people don’t withhold evidence.

People get that innocent people don’t hide evidence. I venture to maintain that even Fox viewers get that.

Why, then, is the House issuing subpoenas and demanding depositions?

Because if they don’t, Trumpsters will say, “They didn’t even give us a chance to tell our side of the story!”

The OMB has a chance to tell its side of the story.

Their refusal will further strengthen the Articles of Impeachment dealing with obstruction of justice.

Senate Republicans will have to answer the question: Should the US President be able to completely insulate himself from Congressional inquiries?

No doubt, about 35% will say that the president SHOULD be able to insulate himself—if the president is Donald Trump.

35% and the support of enough red-state Republicans may be enough for Trump to stay in power.

But not enough for the Republican Party to remain viable.

Pelosi and Schiff, in their Oct. 2 press conference, made clear their goal: To write Articles of Impeachment so compelling that Republican leadership will find it extraordinarily difficult (and for many, impossible) to defend the president.

I predict the Articles of Impeachment will divide, split, and forever damage the Republican Party. (In fact, that sentence may be the start of my next post.)

FelineCannonBall asked this:

That’s exactly how to frame it.

But we shouldn’t talk about crimes at all. We should talk about abuse of power. But, to correctly use the terms, quid pro quo alone isn’t a crime. Quid pro quo is one element of a crime. To get a conviction, each element must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Extortion is an entirely separate crime.

To obtain a conviction, a prosecutor must prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Each crime has specifically defined elements. You can find them in the criminal code. Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, you needed a law library. Now you need Google. Type: Elements of bribery / federal

Each state has its own criminal code, and there’s a separate federal code. I like Cornell’s database. 

What you don’t find in the statutes is that the Supreme Court recently made it more difficult to prove the elements of bribery.

I think the case is called McConnell something. You can find it by typing “Supreme Court Bribery / Quid Pro Quo” into Google.

If you have to pick a crime, extortion more accurately describes Trump’s behavior. It’s not a coincidence that Trump started right away with the “no quid pro quo.” Someone told him SCOTUS has made it hard to prove bribery.

But impeachment is about abuse of power.

Originally published at MUSING ABOUT LAW, BOOKS, AND POLITICS. Re-posted with permission.


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Teri has written novels, short stories, nonfiction for both young readers and adults, and lots of legal briefs. She is currently writing an overlapping series of biographies called the Making of America. Her political commentary has appeared on the NBC Think Blog and CNN.com. Her articles and essays have appeared in publications as diverse as Education Week, Slate Magazine, and Scope Magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in the American Literary View, The Iowa Review, and others. For twelve years she maintained a private appellate law practice limited to representing indigents on appeal from adverse rulings. She believes with the ACLU that when the rights of society's most vulnerable members are denied, everybody's rights are imperiled. She also believe with John Updike that the purpose of literature is to expand our sympathies. Teri lives with her family on the beautiful central coast in California.

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