onePolitics Blog (tm)
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Donald Trump has lied, distorted facts or made misleading statements over 16,000 times since entering the oval office. However, those distortions are not limited to Trump when it comes to his legal defense in the Senate “impeachment” trial. There are some disturbing distortions arising from his legal defense.
The Associated Press: TRUMP's legal brief: “Anyone having the most basic respect for the sovereign will of the American people would shudder at the enormity of casting a vote to impeach a duly elected President. ... House Democrats were determined from the outset to find some way — any way — to corrupt the extraordinary power of impeachment for use as a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election."
THE FACTS: This is an odd reading of constitutional history. Removing a duly elected president is exactly the goal of the Constitution's impeachment clause, not a perversion of it.
The Constitution gives the House the sole power to impeach a president, which the House has done, and the Senate the responsibility of convicting or acquitting that president, which the Senate trial will do.
THE FACTS: Egregious conduct, yes. But impeachment does not require a crime to have been committed.
The Constitution's framers had a vigorous and well-documented debate over just that point.
Constitutional scholars say the grounds for impeachment and removal from office — "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” — are a catch-all designed to redress any consequential abuse of power so long as that abuse hurts the country at large.
Months after the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Alexander Hamilton explained in the Federalist Papers that a commonly understood crime need not be the basis of impeachment. Offenses meriting that step “are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”
To be sure, the commission of an actual crime can strengthen the hand of those seeking to remove a president, and the articles of impeachment against Trump do not accuse him of a crime.
Even so, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, concluded last week that the Trump administration broke the law by freezing military aid to Ukraine that Congress had approved.
Its report said, “the President is not vested with the power to ignore or amend any such duly enacted law." The money was held up last summer on orders from Trump but released in September after Congress pushed for its release and a whistleblower's complaint about Trump's July call with the Ukrainian leader became public. The Associated Press
Many believe Trump is doing the same thing all politicians do. Unfortunately, that belief is not based in fact as Trump, and now his legal team, are distorting facts designed to mislead the voting base. These distortions rise to unprecedented levels.
Donald Trump has a clear history of making false statements. When you look at his term in office, it appears that his ability to deceive is infectious, with those around him willing to participate in the deception. Unfortunately, the Senate trial considering his removal is a prime example of the Trump deception machine at work.
Read: AP FACT CHECK: Distortions in Trump's legal defense
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
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