US Politics: Trump writes blistering letter to House accusing leaders of ‘war on democracy’

Letter is a thinly veiled attempt to redirect back impeachment inquiry’s findings he abused power and obstructed Congress

Ed Pilkington in New York and  in Washington – 

President Donald Trump

Donald Trump has accused Democratic leaders in the House of declaring “open war on American democracy”, on the eve of a historic vote that is likely to make him only the third president in US history to be impeached.

Trump issued the incendiary accusation in an intemperately-worded letter sent to the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, on Tuesday December 17, 2019.   

Over six pages packed with scathing criticism, the president charges the architects of the impeachment process with violating their oaths of office, breaking their allegiance to the constitution and cheapening what he calls “the very ugly word, impeachment!”

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  • kamtanblog  On December 18, 2019 at 5:49 am

    💤🇺🇸💤

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 18, 2019 at 6:40 am

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 18, 2019 at 7:55 am

    AN ANGRY LETTER REVEALS THE FICTION OF THE TWO TRUMPS

    The president’s allies have long asked the public to distinguish between the president’s tweets and his official acts.

    David A. Graham | The Atlantic

    For most of the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump has passed on opportunities to mount a formal defense of his conduct. Initially, the White House complained that House Democrats were not affording him chances to defend himself. Once they did, he eschewed them, declining to participate in House Judiciary hearings, and refusing to allow testimony from witnesses who, his allies claimed, might vindicate him.

    Trump has not been silent, of course — he’s railed against the inquiry publicly, and complained loudly in his somehow ever more prolific tweets. Today, however, on the eve of a vote that’s almost certain to impeach him, the president directly involved himself – in the form of a remarkable letter – in a way he hasn’t since early October — when his White House counsel vowed that the administration would not cooperate.

    THE SIX-PAGE LETTER TO HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI IS A WILD RIDE. The president veers among incoherent semantic lament (“You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!”), bald-faced lies (about former Vice President Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine), self-righteous whining (“You did not recant. You did not ask to be forgiven. You showed no remorse, no capacity for self-reflection”), and atrocious misrepresentation of history (“More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials”).

    For the most part, the letter is a farrago of common complaints the president had issued in rallies and on his Twitter feed. THE PRESIDENT MAY BE MOST COMFORTABLE AT 280 CHARACTERS, but he can expand to six pages given the opportunity ……….

    – EVEN THOUGH THE SUBSTANCE IS RECYCLED, THE LETTER IS NOTABLE BECAUSE IT IS AN OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION, ON WHITE HOUSE LETTERHEAD.

    In other words: It’s more of the same. Much more. (AT LEAST TRUMP’S LETTER TO TURKEY’S RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN WAS BRIEF.)

    Throughout the Trump presidency, his reluctant allies have asked the public to imagine that there are effectively two Trumps. LET’S CALL THEM MR. TRUMP AND PRESIDENT TRUMP.

    Mr. Trump says unhinged and unwise things at his rallies and tweets wildly. President Trump, meanwhile, is a dignified and relatively normal commander in chief. When Mr. Trump tweets something wacky, Republicans say they deal only with President Trump. Adopting a tactic popularized by former Speaker Paul Ryan, members of Congress will often insist that they don’t read Twitter.

    When Mr. Trump heads off on self-destructive flights of fancy, Republican apologists try to redirect attention to President Trump’s actions — judicial appointments, regulatory rollbacks, and so on — and plead with people to ignore the rallies and social-media missives.

    THE WHITE HOUSE HAS EMBRACED THIS DISTINCTION, ALSO.

    Sure, Mr. Trump loudly trumpeted his plans to ban Muslims from entering the United States, but government lawyers asked courts to ignore those wild statements at rallies and instead consider only the official paper trail of documentation that the administration created to support a ban AFTER PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE.

    During the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have asked the public to accept President Trump’s assurances that his shadow foreign policy in Ukraine was simply a result of his executing the duties of his office, and to ignore the many statements from Mr. Trump that make clear he was seeking personal political advantage.

    THE IDEA OF TWO TRUMPS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A THIN FICTION, AND THE SIX-PAGE LETTER TO PELOSI RIPS THROUGH IT LIKE TISSUE.

    It is Mr. Trump in his voice, while sitting at President Trump’s desk in the Oval Office and using his official stationery. The abandonment of any pretense of separation comes, as Trump correctly notes, at a historic moment.

    There can hardly be a more somber moment than the impeachment of a president, and this is how he responds to the moment.

    With apologies to Attorney General William Barr, this is the real unitary executive:

    THERE HAS ONLY EVER BEEN ONE TRUMP.

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 18, 2019 at 7:59 am

    Samuel Johnson – unmistakably said:

    “DEPEND UPON IT, SIR, WHEN A MAN KNOWS HE IS TO BE HANGED IN A FORTNIGHT, IT CONCENTRATES HIS MIND WONDERFULLY.”

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 18, 2019 at 8:04 am

    The House is expected to vote on TWO ARTICLES of impeachment – ABUSE OF POWER AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS – [today] – 18 Dec 2019.

    Trump sent the letter as the House Rules Committee met to establish the rules of debate for that vote.

    • kamtanblog  On December 18, 2019 at 8:23 am

      Maybe USA should return its
      Wild West days.
      Lynching without trial. !

      Only in USA

      HRH QE2 should either re-colonise USA
      or demand payment of back taxes/royalties.

      Now that would be an interesting debate

  • IAN  On December 18, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    You liberal reporters are a major part of the problem. A MAJOR PART! You all are nothing but the scum of the earth. You don’t report fact, you report liberal, socialist, communist opinion. HOW PATHETIC IS THAT!

  • wally n  On December 18, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    PRESIDENT TRUMP reminded all AMERICANS if the President can be convicted without evidence, then anyone can suffer this injustice too. This CRAP WILL BE DUMPED BY THE SENATE. The democrats destroyed the lives innocent people with this charade, but there is an upside, democrats have opened a Pandora box, in doing so, all the dishonest actions of obama and underlings will come crashing down on their heads.
    My only wish, there is enough jail space,available.
    Buckle Up, it’s coming down!

  • Clyde Duncan  On December 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    TRUMP’S BIGGEST IMPEACHMENT MISTAKE

    The House impeachment report accuses Donald Trump of obstructing Congress more than any president in history, capping a confrontation that began the moment Democrats recaptured the majority in 2018.

    Russell Berman | The Atlantic

    Part of what has distinguished the House’s impeachment drive against President Donald Trump is that its inquiry was not principally about a cover-up.

    UNLIKE THE SCANDALS THAT PROMPTED THE PREVIOUS TWO IMPEACHMENTS, the Ukraine affair was NO “third-rate burglary”, NOR was it an extramarital assignation in the Oval Office.

    The underlying accusation of wrongdoing against Trump — THAT HE HELD UP HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MILITARY AID TO A U.S. ALLY IN A SCHEME TO AID HIS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN — is of a different nature entirely.

    Yet in the 300-page impeachment report, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee made clear that even here, Trump’s attempted cover-up of his alleged quid pro quo was just as bad as the earlier transgression.

    IN DETAILING TRUMP’S FLAT-OUT REFUSAL TO COMPLY WITH THEIR INVESTIGATION, DEMOCRATS EFFECTIVELY ACCUSED HIM OF THE WORST CASE OF PRESIDENTIAL OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS IN THE COUNTRY’S HISTORY.

    The report clearly states:

    “DONALD TRUMP IS THE FIRST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES TO SEEK TO COMPLETELY OBSTRUCT AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY UNDERTAKEN BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES UNDER ARTICLE I OF THE CONSTITUTION, WHICH VESTS THE HOUSE WITH THE SOLE POWER OF IMPEACHMENT. HE HAS PUBLICLY AND REPEATEDLY REJECTED THE AUTHORITY OF CONGRESS TO CONDUCT OVERSIGHT OF HIS ACTIONS AND HAS DIRECTLY CHALLENGED THE AUTHORITY OF THE HOUSE TO CONDUCT AN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY INTO HIS ACTIONS REGARDING UKRAINE.”

    “No other president,” it concludes, “has flouted the Constitution and power of Congress to conduct oversight to this extent.”

    In singling out Trump’s defiance, DEMOCRATS COMPARE HIM UNFAVORABLY TO NIXON, who, despite infamously refusing to hand over tapes from the White House’s secret recording system, INSTRUCTED HIS STAFF TO COOPERATE VOLUNTARILY WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, which ultimately led to his resignation.

    THE DEMOCRATS’ FOCUS ON OBSTRUCTION IS NEITHER NEW NOR SURPRISING.

    Immediately after launching the impeachment probe, the party made a crucial decision to largely abandon its attempts to compel the production of documents and witnesses from the administration through the COURTS; INSTEAD, THEY SIMPLY RESPONDED TO EACH IGNORED SUBPOENA BY WARNING TRUMP AND HIS AIDES THAT THE REFUSAL COULD BE GROUNDS FOR AN OBSTRUCTION CHARGE.

    The move was an early sign that Democrats intended to move quicker than former Special Counsel Robert Mueller did in his two-year investigation into Russian interference in 2016 and would not allow the Trump administration to essentially run out the clock by forcing Democrats into court fights that would drag impeachment close to, or beyond, the 2020 election.

    THE REPORT DEVOTES DOZENS OF PAGES TO DOCUMENTING EACH INSTANCE IN WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION WITHHELD A REQUESTED DOCUMENT OR BLOCKED A WITNESS FROM TESTIFYING.

    It also delivers on Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s promise to include, as part of its obstruction case, Trump’s attacks — verbally and via Twitter — on the officials who testified against him, which Schiff had characterized as WITNESS INTIMIDATION.

    OF COURSE, DEMOCRATS ALSO POINTED OUT THAT THE ADMINISTRATION’S BLOCKADE DID NOT SUCCEED:

    Several current and former officials in the White House and the State Department cooperated with the inquiry despite the administration’s instructions not to, and their collective accounts, in private depositions, documents, and public testimony, provide the basis for nearly 300 pages outlining the Democrats’ core case against Trump.

    The House and Senate will vote separately on individual articles of impeachment, and Democrats will try to appeal to Republicans by arguing, as they write in their report, that if left unanswered, Trump’s obstruction “risks doing grave harm to the institution of Congress, the balance of power between our branches of government, and the Constitutional order.”

    Still, Republicans have offered little indication that they are any more inclined to support an obstruction charge against Trump than they are to convict him based on his conduct toward Ukraine.

    The likelihood of an obstruction impeachment charge is the culmination of a confrontation between two branches of government that began as soon as
    Democrats won control of the House in the midterm elections 13 months ago.

    BATTLES BETWEEN CONGRESS AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OVER PROPER LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE REPUBLIC, BUT TRUMP TURNED A COMMON SKIRMISH INTO AN ALL-OUT WAR by refusing at the outset to cooperate with any House investigations into either his own personal conduct or his administration’s policies.

    THE PRESIDENT’S DEFIANCE OF CONGRESS HAS ALWAYS BEEN AT THE TOP OF ITS LIST OF GRIEVANCES, JUST AS HIS POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WAS A FOCUS OF MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION AS WELL.

    So, while few could have predicted the precise circumstances that have put the Democratic House majority on the brink of impeaching this Republican president,

    THE FACT THAT THEIR RAP SHEET INCLUDES A CHARGE OF OBSTRUCTION WAS INEVITABLE.

  • kamtanblog  On December 18, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Politricks my friend.
    Dirty game …no rules (discipline)

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