WASHINGTON

For the first time, the Democrats’ case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment streamed from Americans’ TVs Wednesday, including a new contention that he was overheard asking about political “investigations” that he demanded from Ukraine in trade for military aid.

On Day One of extraordinary public U.S. House hearings — only the fourth formal impeachment effort in U.S. history — career diplomats testified in the open after weeks of closed-door interviews aimed at removing the nation’s 45th president.

The account they delivered was a striking though complicated one that Democrats say reveals a president abusing his office, and the power of American foreign policy, for personal political gain.

“The matter is as simple and as terrible as that,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the Intelligence Committee, as he opened the daylong hearing. “Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency but the future of the presidency itself.”

Career diplomat William Taylor, the charge d’affaires in Kyiv, offered new testimony that Trump was overheard asking on the phone about “the investigations” of Democrats that he wanted Ukraine to pursue that are central to the impeachment inquiry.

Trump said he was too busy to watch on Wednesday and denied having the phone call. “First I’ve heard of it,” he said when asked.

All day, the diplomats testified about how an ambassador was fired, the new Ukraine government was confused and they discovered an “irregular channel” — a shadow U.S. foreign policy orchestrated by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that raised alarms in diplomatic and national security circles.

The hearing, playing out on live television and in the partisan silos of social media, provided the nation and the world a close-up look at the investigation.

At its core, the inquiry stems from Trump’s July 25 phone call when he asked Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, for “a favor.”

Trump wanted the Ukraine government to investigate Democrats’ activities in the 2016 election and his potential 2020 rival, Joe Biden — all while the administration was withholding military aid for the Eastern European ally that is confronting an aggressive neighbor, Russia.

Both sides tried to distill it into soundbites.

Democrats said Trump was engaged in “bribery” and “extortion.” Republicans said nothing really happened — the military aid was ultimately released after Congress complained.

Trump restated his aggressive defense with rapid-fire tweets, a video from the Rose Garden and a dismissive retort from the Oval Office as he met with another foreign leader.

“It’s a witch hunt. It’s a hoax,” he said as he appeared with visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by his side.

Across the country, millions of Americans were tuning in — or, in some cases, deliberately tuning out.

Viewers on the right and left thought the day underscored their feelings. Anthony Harris, cutting hair in Savannah, Georgia, had the hearing on in his shop, but he said, “It’s gotten to the point now where people are even tired of listening.”

The hours of partisan back-and-forth did not appear to leave a singular moment etched in the public consciousness the way the Watergate proceedings or Bill Clinton’s impeachment did generations ago.

“No real surprises, no bombshells,” said committee member Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah.

Still, the session unspooled at least partly the way Democrats wanted with the somber tones of career foreign service officers telling what they knew. They sounded credible.

The witnesses, the graying Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent in his bow tie, defied White House instructions not to appear. Both received subpoenas.

They are among a dozen current and former officials who already testified behind closed doors. Wednesday was the start of days of public hearings that will stretch into next week.

Taylor, who was asked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to return to Ukraine as Trump was firing Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, introduced new information Wednesday.

He testified that a staff member recently told him of overhearing Trump when they were meeting with another diplomat, Ambassador Gordon Sondland, at a restaurant the day after Trump’s July 25 phone call to the Ukraine president that sparked the impeachment investigation.

The staff member explained that Sondland had called the president and they could hear Trump on the phone asking about “the investigations.” The ambassador told the president the Ukrainians were ready to move forward, Taylor testified.

In the face of Trump’s denial, Schiff expects the person to appear before investigators for a closed-door deposition. He is David Holmes, the political counselor at the embassy in Kyiv, according to an official unauthorized to discuss the matter and granted anonymity.

Republicans argued that even with the diplomats at the witness table the Democrats have only second- or third-hand knowledge of Trump’s alleged transgressions.

A Trump ally on the panel, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, mockingly called Taylor the Democrats’ “star witness” and said he’d “seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this.”

Taylor, a West Point graduate and former Army infantry officer in Vietnam, responded: “I don’t consider myself a star witness for anything.”

The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, said Trump had a “perfectly good reason” for wanting to investigate the role of Democrats in 2016 election interference, giving airtime to a theory that runs counter to mainstream U.S. intelligence which found that Russia intervened and favored Trump.

Nunes accused the Democratic majority of conducting a “scorched earth” effort to take down the president after the special counsel’s Russia investigation into the 2016 election failed to spark impeachment proceedings.

The veteran foreign service officers delivered heartfelt history lessons about Ukraine, a young and hopeful democracy, situated next to Russia but reaching out to the West.

Asked about Trump’s withholding military aid from such an ally, Taylor said, “It was illogical. It could not be explained. It was crazy.”

Both men defended Yovanovitch, a career officer who Kent has said was subject to Giuliani’s “campaign of lies.” She is to testify publicly Friday.

Kent, in his opening remarks, directly contradicted a core complaint against Joe Biden being raised by allies of the White House. While he said he himself raised concerns in 2015 about the vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, being on the board of Burisma, a Ukraine gas company, he “did not witness any efforts by any U.S. official to shield Burisma from scrutiny.”

Republicans sought to hear from the anonymous whistleblower by subpoenaing him for a closed-session. The panel voted down the request and Schiff and repeatedly denied the GOP claim that he knows the person.

“We will do everything necessary to protect the whistleblower’s identity,” Schiff declared.

The Constitution sets a dramatic but vague bar for impeachment, There’s no consensus yet that Trump’s actions at the heart of the inquiry meet the threshold of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The anonymous whistleblower first alerted officials to concerns about the Trump phone call with Zelenskiy. The White House released a rough transcript of the telephone conversation, with portions deleted.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was initially reluctant to launch a formal impeachment inquiry. But she pressed ahead after the whistleblower’s complaint. She said Wednesday it was sad that the country has to undergo the inquiry with Trump, but “he will be held accountable.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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(55) comments

Bailey Jones

I enjoyed the first couple of hours with the two professional counsel. It went south quickly when both sides resumed the 5 minute soundbite-a-thon.

Gary Miller

I watched it and heard the witnesses say, under oath, they had no information on Trump that could be impeachable. All the testimony was that the witnesses had OPINIONS based on hearsay they got from others who also got it from hearsay. HE said, He said,

Mike Zeller

President Trump did absolutely nothing wrong. Just wait and see when "all the presidents men" testify (Giuliani, Pompeo, Mulvaney, Bolton). Oh! wait a minute...... That's right, none of them will testify to clear Trump. I wonder why? [ohmy]

Carlos Ponce

No need to wonder why, Mike. It's quite evident this is a sham investigation.

Emile Pope

The president is a crook...

Carlos Ponce

"The president is a crook..." I now know why Emile keeps repeating this line.....Trump has stolen his heart![love][love][love][love][love][love]

Emile Pope

At the end of the day the president is a crook...

Carlos Ponce

Is Trump still stealing your heart, Emile? [love][love][love][love][love][love]

Emile Pope

Donald didn't release the funds until the whistleblower made his charges. And if he hadn't the funds would have been taken away in two weeks. The whistleblower is a hero as well as these witnesses...

Carlos Ponce

According to Federal Law, Eric is not a whistleblower. And these are not witnesses.

witness - one who has personal knowledge of something

They had second and third hand information, even that taken from the New York Times.

Jim Forsythe

The Whistleblower reported what they considered a possible problem that needed to be investigated. It is up to the people that received the report of possible problems to investigate it. It has now been found to be creatable.

The Whistleblower Protection Act only requires possible existence and not positive existence!

The Whistleblower did what they though was right, and they have nothing else to do with the impeachment process, unless they are someone like Mike Pence.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the POSSIBLE EXISTENCE of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant

Carlos Ponce

Eric Ciamella is NOT A WHISTLEBLOWER. By LAW a whistleblower must have first hand knowledge (he does not) and must not have a political motive. Let's see, he had worked for Biden (nothing wrong there), was removed from the White House for spreading false rumors Putin ordered Comey's firing. Sound like political vengeance is his motive.

Emile Pope

Just made up garbage...

Emile Pope

There is no requirement for first hand knowledge...

Carlos Ponce

Emile, if you saw the Zapruder film does that make you a "witness" to the John F. Kennedy assassination? If you learned about the JFK assassination from a movie or teacher does that make you a "witness"?

Emile Pope

Donald, Mulvaney, Bolton, or Giuliani are free to testify at any time...

Carlos Ponce

Until they are allowed to interview Eric Ciaramella,Hunter Biden, and all those on the Republican's list this is a sham investigation.

Bailey Jones

According to the Whistle Blower Protection Act, A whistle blower is any "federal employee or applicant for employment who lawfully discloses information they reasonably believe evidences: a violation of law, rule, or regulation; gross mismanagement; a gross waste of funds; an abuse of authority; or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. "

Standard of evidence = "reasonably believe". First hand knowledge is not required.

Imagine that one of your students told you, "I heard Billy say he was going to set the cafeteria on fire tomorrow". You tell the principal who calls the police - now it's third hand information. Do the cops say - "there's nothing here - just hearsay, besides, Mr. Ponce has been trying to get Billy expelled since Billy came here!!!"? No - they go and talk to Billy. (Unfortunately Billy's parents claimed executive privilege and Billy refused to testify.)

No need to reply.

Gary Miller

Emile> You must be unaware there is no whistle blower. The justice administration investigated and ruled that individual could be called a spy or leaker but doesn't qualify as whistle blower as described in the law. Democrats and Shifty know this but still use the phrase to keep the lie going. Some suspect the leaker actually is a figment of Shifty's imagination, That he invented the whistle blower because he had nothing else.

Emile Pope

Simply made up...

Carlos Ponce

Emile the Justice department ruled Eric Ciaramella is not a whistleblower. The Democrats revised the form but not the LAW.

Emile Pope

proof?

Ray Taft

Republicans clearly highlighted the gaping holes in the Democrats' argument and established the unreal levels of hearsay involved. These witnesses have never met President Trump and they were not on the call.

When the two “star” witnesses were asked, “where is the impeachable event in that call?” Both stared straight ahead with a blank look on their face, remained silent, and were unable to answer the question. That would be the end of a case run by normal people, but not the Democrats with their Schiff for brains.

So Holy Schiff! Neither of the Democrat star witnesses at the hearings could point out an impeachable offense. This hearing is about the unfounded Democrats’ impeachment fantasy.

After 4 years of the ongoing Democrats’ impeachment scam, Democrats still have nothing except a case that is so weak that Democrats have to lie and exaggerate about it. Reasonable people watching this cannot conclude that the President of the United States can or should be impeached.

Emile Pope

Their job is not to determine what is impeachable. It's to state the facts. The House decides what is impeachable. And that's what they said. Get your facts straight...

Carlos Ponce

"It's to state the facts." No FACTS were stated, only their opinion and second hand, third hand information.

Emile Pope

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/second-ukraine-whistleblower-firsthand-knowledge-inspector-general.html

Emile Pope

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/us/politics/Alexander-Vindman-trump-impeachment.html

Emile Pope

https://www.npr.org/2019/10/29/774506959/ukraine-expert-lt-col-alexander-vindman-says-he-warned-officials-after-trump-cal

Carlos Ponce

REPEAT REPEAT REPEATING:

No FACTS were stated, only their opinion and second hand, third hand information.

Mike Zeller

If your President doesn't let his guys testify, he will be impeached with your so called second hand evidence. It's his call, whether you like it or not.

Carlos Ponce

No, he won't be impeached. I'm certain after Schiff lifts the CONE OF SILENCE off those idividuals Republicans want to question maybe then this Inquisition will seem legitimate - then again......

Charles Douglas

The President's men will never testify! If the Democrats want to go forth with this venomous low-life, satanic hatred they perpetuated before Trump took office, let them get at it and STOP TALKING, and lying about one thing after another! I cannot believe I spent half my life voting for those clowns, who want to keep minorities down, to piece mill their votes by giving out free stuff! The Democrats don't have a snowball chance in HELL, of getting Trump ousted by a Senate conviction and they know It! Their game is to mug Trump before the 2020 election, beat him up, drain him of his will, and energy, then let a Biden or a Warren limp across the finish line ahead of him! Their plan is as lame as they are! People will be coming out the woodwork to vote for Trump in 2020, don't take my word, just wait and watch!

Bailey Jones

Charles, I have no doubt that Trump supporters "will be coming out of the woodwork".

Carlos Ponce

Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

" to be confronted with the witnesses against him" What's that? Schiff won't allow Eric Ciaramella upon whose statements this impeachment is based on to be questioned? Can ANY law or House rule circumvent the US Constitution????? NO!

"and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence" In previous impeachment hearings each president's counsel was allowed in the proceedings BUT NOT NOW because Schiff won't allow it?

Is this impeachment inquiry even legal? NO!

The Washington Post states, " The president’s Sixth Amendment right to face his accuser applies only to criminal, not impeachment proceedings." What part of "high crimes and misdemeanors" eludes WAPO writers? First they have to establish that a high crime or misdemeanor has occurred so the Sixth Amendment applies.

Jim Forsythe

The Whistleblower reported what they considered a possible problem that needed to be investigated. It is up to the people that received the report of possible problems to investigate it. It has now been found to be creatable.

The Whistleblower Protection Act only requires possible existence and not positive existence!

The Whistleblower did what they though was right, and they have nothing else to do with the impeachment process, unless they are someone like Mike Pence.

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9), Pub.L. 101-12 as amended, is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the POSSIBLE EXISTENCE of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement, gross waste of funds, abuse of authority or a substantial and specific danger to public health and safety. A federal agency violates the Whistleblower Protection Act if agency authorities take (or threaten to take) retaliatory personnel action against any employee or applicant because of disclosure of information by that employee or applicant

Carlos Ponce

Under Federal Law the person you are referring to is not a "whistleblower".

Carlos Ponce

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) determined that the complainant’s submission was statutorily deficient and therefore was not required to be submitted to Congress. "The complaint does not arise in connection with the operation of any U.S. government intelligence activity, and the alleged misconduct does not involve any member of the intelligence community. Rather, the complaint arises out of a confidential diplomatic communication between the President and a foreign leader that the intelligence-community complainant received secondhand. The question is whether such a complaint falls within the statutory definition of 'urgent concern' that the law requires the DNI to forward to the intelligence committees. We conclude that it does not.”

https://games-cdn.washingtonpost.com/notes/prod/default/documents/5f9e761a-68b1-4faf-88ff-a18f462005ab/note/732946be-0742-4e91-9e6b-2f4bac91565f.pdf#page=1

Carlos Ponce

Eric Ciaramella's statements are filled with inaccurate statements:

"The anti-Trump complaint also made several false claims that have been directly refuted and debunked. While the complaint alleged that Trump demanded that Ukraine physically return multiple servers potentially related to ongoing investigations of foreign interference in the 2016 elections, the transcript of the call between Trump and Zelensky shows that such a request was never made.

The complainant also falsely alleged that Trump told Zelensky that he should keep the current prosecutor general at the time, Yuriy Lutsenko, in his current position in the country. The transcript showed that exchange also did not happen.

Additionally, the complaint falsely alleged that T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a U.S. State Department official, was a party to the phone call between Trump and Zelensky.

“I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call,” the complaint alleged. Shortly after the complaint was released, CBS News reported that Brechbuhl was not on the phone call.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/27/intel-community-secretly-gutted-requirement-of-first-hand-whistleblower-knowledge/

Carlos Ponce

The complainant also cites publicly available news articles as proof of many of the allegations.

“I was not a direct witness to most of the events” characterized in the document, the complainant confessed on the first page of his August 12 letter, which was addressed to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the respective chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees. Hearsay is generally inadmissible as evidence in U.S. federal and state courts since it violates the constitutional requirement that the accused be given the opportunity to question his accusers.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/27/intel-community-secretly-gutted-requirement-of-first-hand-whistleblower-knowledge/

Bailey Jones

I appreciate your comments, Carlos. I really do. I would like you to do us a favor though.

Trump to Zelensky: "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great."

Why is "hearsay" evidence sufficient for Trump to request an investigation into Hunter Biden, but it's not sufficient to launch an investigation into Trump?

Jim Forsythe

Who ever the whistleblower is, they fall under the whistleblowers protection because they are a whistleblowers. You may no like it, but they are protected. "protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report the POSSIBLE EXISTENCE of an activity constituting a violation of law, rules, or regulations, or mismanagement"

At this time it makes no difference because the fact gathering is underway. The whistleblowers is done as far as their part is concerned.

Now it comes to light that 2 calls are involved, because of this what Trump will be charged with may increase .

Since this is not in a U.S. federal and state courts it does not violates the constitutional requirement that the accused be given the opportunity to question his accusers.

As the constitution does not say how to set up the investigation, it is up to the party in charge to set the rules.

Until the congress set up rules, it will continue this way with new rules each time.

The House is using the frame work of a grand jury.

Basic grand jury procedures:

Hearings are secret and jurors are sworn not to reveal information about events taking place in the grand jury room.

Evidence to determine whether there is probable cause to prosecute is presented by the prosecuting or circuit attorney, who also acts as advisor, to the jury.

Possible defendants or their attorneys are not allowed to be present when testimony is given concerning them; however, they may present their own defense to the grand jury if the prosecuting or circuit attorney permits.

Witnesses are sworn to secrecy after testifying, though they may comment if they desire before they testify.

Only grand jurors may be present when deliberations are held and when votes are taken.

A grand jury is a group of individuals who determine whether there is warranted reason to charge a person for a crime. If the grand jury decides that there is sufficient evidence that the person committed a crime, the grand jury will issue an indictment.

Carlos Ponce

"There's a lot of talk about Biden's son,. that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me."

Sounds like Trump is trying to get to the bottom of corruption involving a sitting US Vice-President and a US citizen. It is HIS CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY to do so. What's wrong with that?

NO QUID

NO PRO

NO QUO.

"Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution" What did VP Joe Biden say?

"They were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, ... we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, ‘You have no authority. You’re not the president.’ … I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. ... I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time."

Now, THAT'S QUID PRO QUO from QUID PRO JOE.

Let me repeat that for you since you are having difficulty fathoming the statement:

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

"If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money."

Bailey Jones

Asked and answered, Carlos. But let's go over it again, and I'll type slowly and try to use small words. Biden holding out money until Ukraine removed a corrupt prosecutor - the same prosecutor that Trump kept praising in his perfect phone call, and the same prosecutor who was NOT investigating Hunter Biden but who WAS blocking joint US/Ukraine efforts to root out corruption in Ukraine - yes, that was a quid pro quo. A perfectly legal and appropriate exercise of American diplomatic power. Trump holding out money to force Ukraine to advance his own personal political interests and influence the 2020 election is neither legal, nor an appropriate exercise of American diplomatic power.

Now, please do us that favor, though. Why is "hearsay" evidence sufficient for Trump to request an investigation into Hunter Biden, but it's not sufficient to launch an investigation into Trump? Or are you accusing your president of violating the 6th amendment?

Carlos Ponce

"and the same prosecutor who was NOT investigating Hunter Biden " He was investigating Burisma, Hunter Biden's company, when VP Joe Biden threatened to withhold funding unless they removed the prosecutor.

"You have no right to confront witnesses during an investigation." There is precedent found in previous impeachment inquiries. Charles F.C. Ruff, Gregory B. Craig, Cheryl D. Mills, David E. Kendall and Dale Bumpers were his lawyers. Ruff handled the opening on Tuesday. On Wednesday, special White House counsel Craig discussed the allegation that the president committed perjury before independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr’s grand jury. Deputy White House counsel Mills rebutted obstruction of justice charges related to the hiding of presidential gifts in the Paula Jones case and the alleged witness tampering of his secretary Betty Currie. And Kendall, the private attorney who has represented Clinton through most of the 4½-year Starr investigation starting with Whitewater, handled the remaining obstruction allegations. I'm sure you were around during Bill Clinton's impeachment.

Bailey Jones

"He was investigating Burisma, Hunter Biden's company, when VP Joe Biden threatened to withhold funding unless they removed the prosecutor." George Kent yesterday testified under oath that he never saw any attempt to shield Burisma from scrutiny because of Biden’s connection to the company. These accusations come from Rudy & co. Perhaps Giuliani would like to testify under oath that Mr. Kent is committing perjury - thus destroying the whole impeachment inquiry? That's what I would do if I was a perfectly innocent president approaching re-election - bring in my boys to testify under oath in front of the whole country and destroy my political enemies with my awesome and righteous Sword of Truth.

Bailey Jones

You don't really understand the constitution, do you, Carlos? Even when it's discussing such a simple concept. There is no "criminal prosecution" going on here. There is no trial happening. There are no articles of impeachment (the equivalent to an indictment in a court of law). What is happening is an investigation. You have no right to confront witnesses during an investigation. (Although the rules do allow for the president's lawyers to respond in writing to any and all of the evidence presented.)

Once the investigation is complete, the house judiciary committee will determine whether articles of impeachment are warranted and if so, issue them - this is the indictment(s).

Once the articles (indictments) are issued, there will be a trial in the Senate. It's during this trial that Donald J can come and face his accusers mano-a-mano (although it's much more likely that he'll hide in his tweet bunker and let his lawyers do the work).

Since the trial will occur in the Senate, you can be assured that Trump will be coddled with the softest of hands - those of Mitch McConnell. There will be no bias against Trump, only the obsequious deference towards him that we've come to expect from the Republican Senate. Don't worry, Carlos - Republican Party justice will prevail!!!

Carlos Ponce

So in other words all presidents are equal but Democrat presidents are more equal and don't lose their Constitutional rights.[rolleyes]

Bailey Jones

and, there it is. Q.E.D.

Carlos Ponce

It has already been shown, Bailey.

Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton did not lose their Sixth Amendment Rights during those respective impeachment inquiries. Donald Trump has been denied his Sixth Amendment rights. Due Process denied.

Bailey Jones

There is no 6th amendment right here - since, one more time with feeling, this is an investigation, not a trial. I grant that earlier impeachments rules may have granted the president more latitude during the investigation phase, but that's entirely up to congress - it has no basis in the constitutional or criminal law. I don't grant that Trump has ever shown the least interest in "procedural norms", so I would call it hypocritical for him to invoke them here.

Oh, BTW - I saw Ambassador Yovanovitch state under oath today that she never said anything against your president. Once again, these accusations come from Rudy & co. Perhaps Giuliani would like to testify under oath that Ambassador Yovanovitch is committing perjury - thus destroying the whole impeachment inquiry? That's what I would do if I was a perfectly innocent president approaching re-election - bring in my boys to testify under oath in front of the whole country and destroy my political enemies with my awesome and righteous Sword of Truth. (I'm just going to save this off in a text file so I can paste it into a comment as each witness comes forth and declares under oath that the president and republicans are lying.)

Carlos Ponce

So Bailey is saying THIS president loses his Constitutional Rights. You concede other presidents were granted Sixth Amendment protection. Why did this happen? Because the Congress in question recognized the Sixth Amendment applies in impeachment inquiries.

Jim Forsythe

Donald Trump is not being denied his Sixth Amendment rights. The investigation is under the rules that was used during the BENGHAZ investigation. If a party makes rules, they must be ready to go by them!

For all Trump's griping about lawyers, the House impeachment inquiry isn't a trial at all. But the reason he won't have a lawyer representing his interests in the hearings is because Republicans made a point to continue the procedure during the Benghazi investigation. During that investigation, Republican committee members approved rules specifically stipulating that "counsel … for agencies under investigation may not attend."

HOUSEH4056 May 9, 2014 DEPOSITION PROCEDURES FOR THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE 2012 TERRORIST ATTACK IN BENGHAZI

(c) Witnesses may be accompanied at a deposition by counsel to advise them of their rights. No one may be present at depositions except members, committee staff designated by the chair or ranking minority member, an official reporter, the witness, and the witness’s counsel. Observers or counsel for other persons, or for agencies under investigation, may not attend.

Carlos Ponce

Benghazi is not an impeachment. Apples and oranges. In previous impeachment hearings (Johnson, Nixon, Clinton) the president's counsel was part of the procedure. Your point is irrelevant.

Jim Forsythe

A person that goes before a grand jury does not loose rights, just as in the impeachment investigation, questioning a person does not take away rights. Benghazi was a investigation just as impeachment is a investigation

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have the right to make their own rules governing their procedure, and to change those rules.

"The Committee is engaged in an investigation that will allow us to determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment with respect to President Trump," chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said. "Some call this process an impeachment inquiry. Some call it an impeachment investigation. There is no legal difference between these terms, and I no longer care to argue about the nomenclature."

Donald J. Trump’s White House announced that they will not be cooperating with the impeachment inquiry, claiming that it is an “unconstitutional” investigation.

President Trump Calls Impeachment Investigation A Hoax During Press Conference .

Donald Trump Jr. calls impeachment investigation a 'disgrace'

Trump Organization executive vice president Donald Trump, Jr. on the Democrats' endless investigations into the president. Donald Trump Jr. calls impeachment investigation a 'disgrace

The White House also said the investigation was not legitimate because the full House had not voted to authorize it, reiterating an argument frequently made by some Republican lawmakers.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday voted along party lines to expand its impeachment investigation, representing a new urgency in the Democrats' probe into President Donald Trump.

Carlos Ponce

This isn't a grand jury. DUH!

"Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have the right to make their own rules governing their procedure, and to change those rules." But they cannot replace Constitutional authority with those rules.

How to legitimatize this sham of an investigation? Use the same rules used to impeach Bill Clinton.The Republicans changed some of the rules earlier but not like what we're seeing.

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