Displaying items by tag: House
Trump’s legal team put out a bold proclamation today. In a 171-page briefing that preceded the launch of his impeachment trial in the Senate, Trump’s lawyers argue that he cannot be removed from office for abusing power. They contend that since he did not break any laws, he cannot be removed from office. The team summarized their view, “House Democrats’ novel theory of ‘abuse of power’ improperly supplants the standard of ‘high crimes and misdemeanours’ with a made-up theory that would permanently weaken the presidency by effectively permitting impeachments based merely on policy disagreements”.
FINSUM: This is a very interesting argument as the legal team seems to have changed tactics. Rather than arguing the underlying facts in the case, they are now trying to say that even if all the facts are true, Trump still cannot be removed from office.
This week the House voted to impeach president Trump. But in a little known technicality, he is not formally impeached until the House speaker hands over the impeachment to the Senate to hold its trial. House speaker Pelosi is dragging her feet on doing so in an effort to get the Senate to run the kind of trial the Democrats think is fair. In response, Trump himself is demanding an immediate trial, with Senate leader McConnell mocking the Democrats for their previous urgency on impeachment coupled with their stalling strategy now.
FINSUM: Whether you are on the right or the left, the delay by Pelosi does not look good as it is a contradiction of the previous urgency.
In any interesting twist, President Trump has announced that he may personally testify in his impeachment probe. Trump has indicated he is interested in the idea of being able to set the record straight himself. He says “Even though I did nothing wrong, and don’t like giving credibility to this No Due Process Hoax, I like the idea & will, in order to get Congress focused again, strongly consider it!”. Trump’s comments came at the urging of House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request for him to testify. The president could testify via writing or in-person.
FINSUM: We doubt this will happen (Trump’s lawyers would probably be remiss in letting him testify in person), but it is an interesting turn. Imagine the media frenzy!
The Democrats are finally getting their time with Robert Mueller this week. Mueller is set to testify for a full five hours before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. Democrats are seen as likely to push him to give further details on his investigation, especially into obstruction of justice claims, while Republicans are expected to probe him on bias within the FBI.
FINSUM: Everyone seems to agree—it is hard to imagine anything happening at these hearings that would change anyone’s mind.
In what comes as a real eye opener, the House passed a bill this week that would block the SEC’s ability to enforce its new fiduciary rule. The driving force behind the rule, you guessed it, Maxine Waters. The measure came as part of a broader bill regarding the funding of federal agencies. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will likely be changed and then re-voted on. Democrats, who are in charge in the House, are worried the SEC’s rule does not go far enough to protect investors.
FINSUM: The interesting thing here is that this bill is likely not totally dead in the Senate. We wonder how hard the Democrats will stick to this part of it.