Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, October 09, 2019

House Republicans changed the rules in 2015 to allow many of their committee chairmen to issue subpoenas without consulting the minority party ... Before the 2015 rule change, most House subpoenas needed at least some bipartisan cover, requiring a majority vote of committee members and consultation with a panel's ranking member.

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Three years ago, Democrats slammed the move as an abuse of the minority party's rights and a break with generations of tradition " one they warned would have long-term consequences.

"It sets a terrible precedent and would likely become a permanent fixture for the committee," New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee, said at a January 2015 hearing. "I think that subpoena authority is a powerful authority and should be used only as a last resort."

Sixteen Democratic ranking members blasted the move in a February 2015 letter, warning that the move evoked the "abusive model" of unilateral subpoenas used by the likes of former Sen. Joe McCarthy and former House Oversight Chairmen Dan Burton and Darrell Issa.

Even some Republicans worried that giving committee chairmen subpoena power would eventually come back to haunt them.

"I thought it was a mistake then, but they did it," retiring Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) told POLITICO in a recent interview. "It's a powerful tool, and you should either vote on it or it should be bipartisan."

Well, well, well. Republican overreach comes home to bite them in the butt at the most precipitous time.

I just sat and listened to a GOP operative admit that the Dems don't procedurally have to hold a vote nor extend any special rights to the House GOP because of the rule change but in the spirit of history, they should. His head didn't explode, but the commentator interviewing him tied him into knots by simply asking him why should the Dems give up something that the GOP changed to go after Obama(?)

He didn't even mention Merrick Garland either....

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 01:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

@#1 ... Well, well, well. Republican overreach comes home to bite them in the butt at the most precipitous time. ..

Didn't the Democrats once change a rue about confirming Judges?

What's been occurring in the Senate?

(question to spell-check --- really, occurring has two "r"s? Jus' askin'...)


#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-10-09 02:21 AM | Reply

@#2

rue

should be

rule

#3 | Posted by LampLighter at 2019-10-09 02:23 AM | Reply

Didn't the Democrats once change a rue about confirming Judges?

Not the same. The Dems only changed the filibuster rule for judges beneath the SCOTUS on purpose. And they didn't do so to cram unqualified judges into seats, they did it because the GOP was bottlenecking qualified nominees for no reason other than politics.

The Dems left the minority GOP's filibuster power to block SCOTUS nominees intact while they had the majority.

The Republicans took it to the next level when they got back into power because they needed it for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

One step is far beyond the other.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 02:30 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 6

"House Republicans changed the rules in 2015 to allow many of their committee chairmen to issue subpoenas without consulting the minority party."

Just like when the Democrats changed the rule for confirming Obama's appointees and SC justices. Of course it would come back to bite them in the ass.

The problem is that the Democrats acknowledge that they change the rules and now have to live by them. The Trumpublicans however, whine incessantly about the rules now being unfair without any acknowledgement that they created them.

It's all too typical SOP for the GOP.

#5 | Posted by Nixon at 2019-10-09 07:23 AM | Reply

The Dems only changed the filibuster rule for judges beneath the SCOTUS on purpose. And they didn't do so to cram unqualified judges into seats, they did it because the GOP was bottlenecking qualified nominees for no reason other than politics.

Oh please. Obama's confirmation rate was if anything slightly quicker than what Bush had. Stop with the revisionist history.

The Dems left the minority GOP's filibuster power to block SCOTUS nominees intact while they had the majority.

They did that because they were fairly certain they wouldn't be in a situation, short-term, where they'd have the WH and a Senate majority. And they were right.

Fact is, until Garland every escalation in tactics in the war over the courts were taken by Democrats, who then cried foul when the GOP matched their tactics when power shifted.

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 07:24 AM | Reply | Funny: 4 | Newsworthy 1

They did that because they were fairly certain they wouldn't be in a situation, short-term, where they'd have the WH and a Senate majority.

Yeah, the Dems were totally unaware of the demographic makeup of the states and the disproportionate advantage that overclustering of liberals into more desirable (hence more populated) states would give the GOP. The Dems were clueless that they had vulnerable Senators coming up for re-election during 2018 from states that were solid red and very hard to hold in a non-presidential cycle.

Do you even think anymore? There is not an iota of doubt even if the Democrats hadn't removed the filibuster for non-SCOTUS judges that given the importance of Scalia's death during Obama's term and the opportunity to replace centerist Kennedy early in Trump's, the Mitch McConnell led GOP senate would have scuttled the SCOTUS filibuster faster than Yertle could say "Of course."

One has to be delusional or simply dense not to admit the obvious.

Nevertheless, all the GOP whining about the impeachment inquiry requiring a full vote of the House is nothing but a canard since the GOP House changed the rules where such a vote used to be necessary but no longer is in the same unquestioned way judicial filibusters are history.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 08:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#7 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

That made no sense.

#8 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 08:58 AM | Reply

That made no sense.

You and I AGREE.

It's the end of the world.

Get it?

#9 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:07 AM | Reply

#9

Sorry, thought you were referring to the other thread.

#10 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:08 AM | Reply

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When Harry Reid changed the filibuster rules, Democrats were fully aware that individual state demographics were trending away from them and toward Republicans. We've been talking about this for the last decade. The slim Senate majority was almost certain to fall in 2018 because of the red state seats the Dems won in 2012. This was no secret.

You claim that the Dems didn't think the rule change would affect them and I'm saying that's ridiculous. The Dems drew the line at the SCOTUS because of its unique importance above and beyond that of CA positions. The very reason for Merrick Garland's nomination as an older moderate candidate was to ameliorate GOP fears of a younger openly liberal jurist filling Scalia's seat. That wouldn't have been the case if the filibuster wasn't in place although at the time no one thought McConnell would just pocket veto the nomination altogether because something like that had never been done before.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:17 AM | Reply

#10 no worries. I thought your comment on the other thread was funny.

#11 makes sense, but I think you have it 180 backwards. The filibuster favors the minority. The Dems not nuking it for SCOTUS was calculated, but in their favor. Given that their hold on the Senate was in question and nobody knew what would happen in 2016 at that time, they were keeping it intact because SCOTUS vacancies don't happen often. If they thought they were going to retain their majority for a while and reports were out that a justice was in real bad health you can bet your arse they would have nuked the SCOTUS filibuster too.

Fact is nuking the filibuster for lower court nominees and cabinet positions was purely a short-term calculation.

During the Bush years I applauded the Gang-of-14 killing the nuclear option and when conservatives bitched about it my response was, "Imagine in 2009 a Hillary Clinton presidency and a Dem majority in the Senate...you'll look back on this and say "Thank God."

A LOT of lefties applauded Dems going nuclear and I warned them that they'd come to rue the day. Then, just a few years later they sat and watched in horror as Trump made appointment after appointment of people whom they were mortified by and yet sat completely powerless to stop.

#12 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 09:35 AM | Reply

A LOT of lefties applauded Dems going nuclear and I warned them that they'd come to rue the day. Then, just a few years later they sat and watched in horror as Trump made appointment after appointment of people whom they were mortified by and yet sat completely powerless to stop.

True dat. The difference being that the Dems have almost always nominated qualified jurists supported by independent third parties. Some of Trump nominees, not so much.

#13 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:42 AM | Reply

Back on topic Jeff, your thoughts?

Funny, you haven't registered any on the GOP having changed the House rules as yet.

#14 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:44 AM | Reply

Back on topic Jeff, your thoughts?
Funny, you haven't registered any on the GOP having changed the House rules as yet.

#14 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

Honestly, this is the first I've even heard about this.

I have no thoughts because I wasn't aware this had happened. I'll have to do a little research before weighing in. My other comments on this thread were just reacting to comments, not the thread topic.

#15 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 10:01 AM | Reply

Alright, Tony.

I just perused your Politico article and the parallels of Dems nuking the filibuster are striking.

Short-term power grabs always come back to haunt and this is no exception.

It also better explains why Democrats are behaving as they are.

I've got no sympathy for the GOP on this. They built this!

I've asked others to Hans this and encourage you to as well:

If the GOP wins the WH in 2020 but loses the Senate and a SCOTUS vacancy opens shortly thereafter I expect Schumer to strut into the Oval Office with a list of Dem-approved jurists and I expect Schumer to inform Trump that any nominee not on that list will get the Garland treatment.

If that hypothetical becomes reality, even if the court sits at 8 for years, you will NOT see me complain one iota. Well, I might complain but my ire will be directed at the GOP for creating this dysfunction.

#16 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 10:09 AM | Reply

Honestly, this is the first I've even heard about this.

I guess I'm not surprised. The linked article is from 2018, not today, but the information is indeed correct. Here is another link to congressional testimony from just weeks ago expounding on the House's constitutional right to set their own rules for impeachment regardless of what the Executive might say.

docs.house.gov

#17 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 10:16 AM | Reply

I've got no sympathy for the GOP on this. They built this!

Thank you for your candor and honesty.

Hope Laura sees this and at least acknowledges as much for this topic.

#18 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 10:18 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Well, I might complain but my ire will be directed at the GOP for creating this dysfunction.

The dysfunction has been along time in the making. Republicans widened the ability, Democrats finished the job. Which is why they call it dysfunction.

This rule (Dems Changes) presents two significant developments promoting aggressive oversight.

First, the chairs of the standing committees and intelligence committee now all have the functional power to issue subpoenas unilaterally.

Once confined to the oversight committee alone, successive new rules packages have continued to expand the number of committee chairs with that power. That trend toward unilateral, partisan subpoena power in the hands of committee chairs has continued its march, mirroring the increasingly polarized political environment. While this practice would stop a recalcitrant minority from hamstringing legitimate investigations, it risks facilitating partisanship in investigations of interest to the majority. It is also a practice that lets other members of the majority off the hook because they do not have to go on record for a roll call vote in committee to approve a subpoena. The Democrats are continuing down this path with this rule change. I hope the chairs will exercise that power responsibly.
www.justsecurity.org

In the past 60 years, only three chairmen have embraced issuing subpoenas without obtaining bipartisan or committee support: Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.), Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). It is not a coincidence that these men led the most discredited, partisan and unfair congressional investigations in modern history.

#19 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 10:28 AM | Reply

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). It is not a coincidence that these men led the most discredited, partisan and unfair congressional investigations in modern history.

#19 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

It's why Democrats rightly scream, "Benghazi!" Issa built that. The investigation that Trey Gowdy lead was done right, but it was tainted from the start because of bogus and highly partisan investigations the came before that weren't interested in finding the truth but were conducted purely for partisan purposes.

#20 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 10:31 AM | Reply

In this case at this point, the Democrats in the House are investigating the Ukraine situation because Trump's release of his phone call with Zelensky memo established a prima facie case of lawbreaking due to Trump asking a foreign government for a favor, regardless of why he made the ask. Now, all the other aspects of this conspiracy (because the events surrounding the decision to withhold congressionally-passed security funding for war-torn Ukraine involved many others within Trump's government) have become ripe for further investigation too.

Throw in multiple whistleblowers who supplied alarming evidence through the proper channels to do so, and the House investigation is well founded as both warranted and reasonable at least to this point.

What is not reasonable is the White House's efforts in trying to throw mud and inflammatory epithets at the constitutional process the House is following so far to a t by refusing to follow the law and cooperate with Congress' right of inquiry into an issue of national security importance.

#21 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 10:42 AM | Reply

#20 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

This "partisan" reconstruction of the rules, won't end well regardless of who started it.

#22 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 10:43 AM | Reply

#21 | POSTED BY TONYROMA

Just because you issue a subpoena to the Executive branch doesn't mean it legitimate.

Again as I stated a bipartisan subpoena would go a long way in legitimacy.

See this is what happens when there is a checks and balance in government, the HouseRules changes as noted in my post lead to BS

it risks facilitating partisanship in investigations of interest to the majority. It is also a practice that lets other members of the majority off the hook because they do not have to go on record for a roll call vote in committee to approve a subpoena. The Democrats are continuing down this path with this rule change. I hope the chairs will exercise that power responsibly.

QFT.

#23 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 10:48 AM | Reply

According to your logic ...

Each branch writes its own rules and the other branches have to conform?

LOL God I pray it never becomes that...

#24 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 10:50 AM | Reply

All congressional rule changes are partisan Andrea because they're made to either advantage or disadvantage one side or the other.

I don't recall you complaining when the rule change was used to investigate the Obama Administration for the sundry scandals the GOP breathlessly tried to give air to that never flyed.

As I've mentioned in other threads, the House's role in impeachment is akin to a prosecutor's role with a grand jury. The accused does not have any right to question witnesses nor challenge evidence or testimony. And there is no right to have the investigation in public either.

Once the articles are compiled and supported, the full House votes up or down by majority rule. If passed the article(s) move on to the Senate and THAT is where the accused has the full rights assigned in normal adversarial adjudicated trials.

#25 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 10:51 AM | Reply

Each branch writes its own rules and the other branches have to conform?

Only as they pertain to the constitutional operation of the body in question. You are taking your point to absurdity.

The right of impeachment is constitutionally dictated to Congress, not the Executive. If Republicans had an issue with the rules they wouldn't have changed them toward their own benefit in 2015 over the objections of the Democrats.

It's rich that you're finding this egregious now that the GOP's rules are being used in a reasonable manner against an unprincipled president.

#26 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 11:03 AM | Reply

If the House minority wants a subpoena issued (say Biden and his son) and the majority stops it, then what?

The House may impeach, but the Senate is controlled by Repubs. The subpoena power is then theirs.

I hope all subpoenas, with proper care, are allowed and enforced in both houses of Congress.

#27 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-10-09 11:04 AM | Reply

#27

Are you mixing apples and oranges here?

1.) On what basis are Biden and son to be subpoenaed for by the House GOP? There is no evidence of any crime that they've committed.

2.) The relevant Senate committees all have subpoena power based upon their need to exercise their oversight responsibilities, but
I'm not versed on whether the Senate's rules mirrors or differs from the House's.

3.) The enforcement of subpoenas by Congress are limited to the actual power they have to enforce them if the DOJ refuses to assist
in using its LEO resources to help them.

If your questions are regarding subpoenas related to the impeachment inquiry, refer back to the differing functions of each house where one is analogous to a grand jury proceeding and the other a full blown jury trial.

#28 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 11:17 AM | Reply

You believe Biden and son shouldn't be subpoena. I believe the republicans will demand testimony from them.

I believe the House Repub will demand their testimony and want a subpoena.

The Dems in the House can stop it, but they cant stop the Senate Repub subpoena for Biden.

After impeachment, the case moves to the Senate. The Senate can subpoena at this stage. They dont have to rely just on the House information.

What I read lately is the Senate Dems and Repub agreed to no new witness testimony during Clinton's trial. They didnt want Monica testifying. Too much circus expected. They stopped any new subpoenas then.

Do you think a circus wont occur this time?

#29 | Posted by Petrous at 2019-10-09 12:03 PM | Reply

How are Biden and son connected to what Trump has said and done with Zelensky? Don't you understand that when Trump asked for a favor he violated US campaign finance laws? The fact that investigating the Bidens WAS the favor isn't relevant in the charge, so again, how are the Bidens materially involved in Trump's impeachment inquiry?

And no, I don't expect a circus unless the GOP creates one. Again, the Dems goal is to gather facts and evidence to support articles of impeachment. The details will either make or break their case. There is no need to embellish any further.

I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree for I see no role whatsoever for the Biden affair to play in Trump's impeachment situation.

If the GOP wants to go after the Bidens they'll have to do it outside of impeachment and first come up with an actual reason tied to lawbreaking. No such evidence-supported reason now exists.

#30 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 12:12 PM | Reply

How are Biden and son connected to what Trump has said and done with Zelensky? Don't you understand that when Trump asked for a favor he violated US campaign finance laws? The fact that investigating the Bidens WAS the favor isn't relevant in the charge, so again, how are the Bidens materially involved in Trump's impeachment inquiry?

Not sure how you are ignoring the disconnect in this statement- Since the "favor" was to investigate the Bidens, what they did is entirely relevant to the examination of whether the "favor" is inappropriate: If an American citizen is alleged to have committed a crime on foreign soil, it then becomes a question of fact whether the request from POTUS to that Head of State to pursue the investigation into that alleged crime is improper or not.

Discovery rules for both civil and criminal matters define "relevance" fairly broadly: Federal Rule of Evidence 401 defines the test for relevance as:

Evidence is relevant if:

(a) it has any tendency to make a fact more or less probable than it would be without the evidence; and

(b) the fact is of consequence in determining the action.

Since the investigation of Burisma is the focus of the "favor", then that investigation is "of consequence in determining the action" and is therefore relevant.

No matter how much you wish it weren't so, Joe and Hunter Biden are in this up to their eyeballs as this inquiry proceeds.

#31 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-09 12:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If an American citizen is alleged to have committed a crime on foreign soil, it then becomes a question of fact whether the request from POTUS to that Head of State to pursue the investigation into that alleged crime is improper or not."

GOP wants to know if Biden got an investigation into the company his son worked for stopped (he didn't).

Dems want to know if Trump got a series of Ukrainian investigations into Manafort stopped and if Trump got the Ukrainians to stop cooperating wit Mueller's investigation. Also why they let "a key potential witness for Mueller--a Russian Ukrainian business partner of Manafort named Konstantin Kilimnik, who the FBI concluded was associated with Russian intelligence--leave Ukraine before Mueller's investigators could question him."

Prosecutor in Trump-Ukraine Scandal Refused to Cooperate With US Congress
He wouldn't answer questions about possible Trump-Ukraine collusion.

www.motherjones.com

#32 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2019-10-09 01:01 PM | Reply

Not sure how you are ignoring the disconnect in this statement- Since the "favor" was to investigate the Bidens, what they did is entirely relevant to the examination of whether the "favor" is inappropriate:

Why did you ignore that the Democrats have already announced that one a specific single article they are focusing on the ASK, not the reason why Trump asked?

Of course other articles might involve the predicate of Trump's asking for a favor, but on the charge of the ask, the Biden's are irrelevant and that was the only focus of my point.

#33 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 01:05 PM | Reply

Damn, let me restate in english: Democrats have announced that one specific article they believe already is confirmed by Trump's memo is violation of the finance law which makes his ASK a crime regardless of any reason why he asked for the favor.

#34 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 01:08 PM | Reply

One has to be delusional or simply dense not to admit the obvious.#7 | POSTED BY TONYROMA AT 2019-10-09 08:22 AM | FLAG:

Right, that the congressional dems won't hold a vote because they are too gutless to have each of their names attached and hacks like Roma are simply dense not to admit the obvious.

#35 | Posted by fishpaw at 2019-10-09 01:11 PM | Reply

Why did you ignore that the Democrats have already announced that one a specific single article they are focusing on the ASK, not the reason why Trump asked?

Under FRE 401, the Dems wanting to limit this to the "ask" doesn't keep other relevant evidence out of an impeachment trial, no matter how much they wish it didn't.

#36 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-09 01:17 PM | Reply

Does the FRE apply to impeachment proceedings? I thought they were governed by House rules.

This story reminds me of how Scott Walker changed the law in Wisconsin to limit the percentage difference under which a losing candidate could request a recount...and then promptly lost by a margin he could have gotten a recount for under the previous version of the law.

#37 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 01:42 PM | Reply

Does the FRE apply to impeachment proceedings? I thought they were governed by House rules.

That is an excellent question, and while House Rules X and XI govern the issuance of subpoenas, enforcement will ultimately be in the hands of the Judicial Branch, which will look to the FRE for guidance.

Moreover, once the Articles of Impeachment reach the Senate for a criminal trial presided over by CJ Roberts, the FRE will be in full play.

IMO Pelosi and the rest of the Majority are doing whatever they can to limit the defense that the Administration can put up in the House, but that could ultimately be counterproductive in both their enforcement actions and during the Senate trial.

#38 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-09 01:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

enforcement will ultimately be in the hands of the Judicial Branch, which will look to the FRE for guidance.

Will they? Impeachment is a uniquely Constitutional animal. I find it hard to believe courts would stray from the Constitutional conferring of powers (sole power of impeachment lies in the House) unless of course it suits the judge's politics to look elsewhere.

#39 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 02:16 PM | Reply

Likewise, i think Nancy is slow rolling this for obvious reasons and that this isn't going to be in the Senate's hands anytime soon. Her goal looks to be to get so much of the public to support impeachment that by the time she passes it off to Moscow Mitch he will have no choice but to seek removal.

#40 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 02:18 PM | Reply

Likewise, i think Nancy is slow rolling this...

#40 | POSTED BY JOE

She might be slow-rolling this for political reasons. If Trump has the specter of impeachment hanging over him throughout the general it might improve Dems' chances in 2020.

#41 | Posted by JeffJ at 2019-10-09 02:26 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#41 Agreed that might be the impact, but i don't think she could possibly sit on it that long.

#42 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 03:16 PM | Reply

She might be slow-rolling this for political reasons. If Trump has the specter of impeachment hanging over him throughout the general it might improve Dems' chances in 2020.

#41 | POSTED BY JEFFJ

If you take into account the HouseRules changes .... they have been planning this from the start of this Congress.

#43 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 03:35 PM | Reply

sole power of impeachment lies in the House

The sole power to define the articles of impeachment lies in the House.

Articles of Impeachment are analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury.

#44 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-10-09 03:38 PM | Reply

Articles of Impeachment are analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury.

I know what they are.

The question was whether the Federal Rules of Evidence apply to impeachment proceedings. They don't.

"The Senate has not adopted standard rules of evidence to be used during an impeachment trial. The Presiding Officer possesses authority to rule on all evidentiary questions."
www.senate.gov

#45 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 04:05 PM | Reply

#45

Correct, but under Art. I of the Constitution the Presiding Officer shall be the sitting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who will most likely adopt the FRE or something very close to that:

"Art. I, Sec. 3, Cl. 6 & 7:

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that
Purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is
tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no Person shall be convicted without
Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present."

#46 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2019-10-09 04:35 PM | Reply

Articles of Impeachment are analogous to the bringing of an indictment by a grand jury.

Carrying the analogy further, the target of the grand jury has no right to participate the process. The target has no right to counsel to participate, no right to cross examine witnesses, no right to subpoena documents or witnesses, no right to present evidence. In fact, the target has no right to even know of the existence of the proceeding.

#47 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-09 05:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Thank you et_al. I've been trying to make this point but not as succinctly as you just did.

#48 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 05:32 PM | Reply

The Constitution gives the House the "sole power of impeachment" and does not prescribe how the process should unfold, said Gerhardt, author of "Impeachment: What Everyone Needs Know."

"The president doesn't get to dictate to the House how it should do its job," he said. "This is an attempt to flout the law and place the president above the law."

Ilya Somin, a professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, joked in a Facebook post that the Trump administration's legal reasoning made him wonder "whether the White House counsel was sick the day they taught law at law school."

Somin also rejected the assertion from the White House that the inquiry violates "constitutionally mandated due process." An impeachment inquiry, he said in an interview, is not a criminal trial.

"What's at stake is losing a position of power," Somin said. "None of the rights the White House demands" are required by the Constitution.

#49 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 07:46 PM | Reply

Let the Dems issue all the subpoenas all they want. If the Executive branch stonewalls, the Democrats have no means of enforcement.

#50 | Posted by Ray at 2019-10-09 08:44 PM | Reply

the Democrats have no means of enforcement.

Yes they do. They issue more articles of impeachment for obstructing Congress. The Constitution couldn't be more clear and the SCOTUS has already ruled that the Judiciary has no legal sayso over the House's constitutional process of impeachment.

It's called separation of powers. Nowhere in the Constitution does either of the other branches of Congress have any legal say in how the House conducts impeachment.

#51 | Posted by tonyroma at 2019-10-09 09:01 PM | Reply

If the Executive branch stonewalls, the Democrats have no means of enforcement.

The House has inherent contempt powers which they used to actually use, and the SC has repeatedly upheld. Dragging a few Sondland-tier pieces of ---- to jail for refusing to testify would do some good, and blow things wide open.

#52 | Posted by JOE at 2019-10-09 10:20 PM | Reply

The House has inherent contempt powers ...

I've seen some rumblings about that being reinvigorated. I'm not hopeful.

So, we're back to contempt and the district courts. There's been a couple glimmers recently.

#53 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-10 02:38 AM | Reply

So, we're back to contempt and the district courts. There's been a couple glimmers recently.

Posted by et_al

Article III gives Congress the right to go straight to the SC over Sondland:

Article III, section 2, of the Constitution distributes the federal judicial power between the Supreme Court's appellate and original jurisdiction, providing that the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction in "all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls," and in cases to which a state is a party.

#54 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-10-10 02:58 AM | Reply

Ambassadors: Sondland
Public Ministers: Cabinet members
Consuls: William Barr

#55 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-10-10 03:01 AM | Reply

#54 & 55

Wrong. drudge.com

#56 | Posted by et_al at 2019-10-10 03:08 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Carrying the analogy further, the target of the grand jury has no right to participate the process.

#47 | POSTED BY ET_AL

That is a good point, but usually the proceedings are secret to protect the reputation of the accused. And, I am assuming that actual impeachment will be public. I think that general public sentiment may lean towards the President having some ability to defend himself against these accusations because they are public. I don't think they will need to have fully equal powers, but I think that the President's defenders may need to have some ability to defend him to not get a backlash from the public by it seeming "unfair".

But, so far, all the depositions have been behind closed doors. That is good. It will allow the House to investigate without interference and obstruction from Trump's defenders without the public feeling like Trump needs to have an equal opportunity to defend himself (because the actual investigation - deposition, interviews, etc - is not playing out in the court of public opinion).

#57 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2019-10-10 11:19 AM | Reply

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