Displaying items by tag: senate
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 mulling one their biggest risks heading into 2020. That huge decision is whether to make Medicare for all part of their platform for the next election. The House currently has no less than eight proposals for how to make Medicare available to all. None of them are likely to pass in the next two years as the Republicans have control of the Senate. However, adopting the goal of Medicare for all would be a major signal about the direction of the Democratic party headed into the future. The idea is popular with liberals, but more contentious with swing voters.
FINSUM: This is a high risk/high reward strategy. It could either become a major rallying cry or another reason for those in the middle to abhor the left-most leanings of the Democrats. Speaking from a politically neutral position, we do think this would be a good strategic move for the left, as one of the big challenges for the party is that President Trump and the right have grabbed the reins on shaping the vision for the future of the nation. This would be a chance for the Democrats to start to put forth their own cohesive vision.
The trouble for Supreme Court justice-nominee Kavanaugh continues to pile up. Not only has one woman come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, but now another has done so. Kavanaugh is set to give testimony, along with his accuser, on Thursday, but just as this was decided, a new accuser (this from his college years) has come forward. In a rare television interview, Kavanaugh confirmed yesterday that he had not sexually assaulted anyone, ever, and that he would not be withdrawing from the nomination hearings.
FINSUM: This is a very high stakes nomination considering the midterm elections are looming. There are certainly more fireworks to come.