Step One in Impeachment Process Has Begun, but it’s a Very Long Process
Keep that qualifier in mind here so we all keep an accurate picture. I wrote a little bit about the furor over Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor’s piece yesterday.
My take is there are a few things going on with why they are such lightning rods:
1. The MSM is protecting its turf
2. There is also a lot of rivalries and jealousies going around. And that’s totally counterproductive, of course. What matters is getting to the truth of Trump Russia collusion. Not rivalries. People should focus on doing good work and they will get all deserved credit but focus on what matters.
3. I also think you have your Glenn Greenwalds of the world who would like to use any errors real or imagined with Mensch/Taylor, etc, to discredit the idea of Trump Russia collusion altogether. Why? They’re Bernie Bros who want to pretend that Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate rather than Comey and Russia.
Because Taylor, Mensch-and others like Pudesto Loco, or Scott Dworkin-are not traditional media, they run risk of their mistakes being hit much harder. And they are a little less cautious in terms of being willing to report on anonymous sources-the MSM uses them too, of course, but demands four verified sources before reporting.
Now let’s look at the offending story that started all the hubbub. Note going forward that there is a strong desire for the reasons we enumerated above to discredit Mensch and Taylor.
“Multiple sources close to the intelligence, justice and law enforcement communities say that the House Judiciary Committee is considering Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States.”
“Sources further say that the Supreme Court notified Mr. Trump that the formal process of a case of impeachment against him was begun, before he departed the country on Air Force One. The notification was given, as part of the formal process of the matter, in order that Mr. Trump knew he was not able to use his powers of pardon against other suspects in Trump-Russia cases. Sources have confirmed that the Marshal of the Supreme Court spoke to Mr. Trump.”
Now in fairness, I was a bit taken aback by this story when I first read it too. It did seem highly unlikely that the GOP on the House Judiciary Committee is already considering impeachment. But that’s just it-this is not what’s asserted.
I argued yesterday myself that in my view the odds of removing Trump before 2020 are long.
Nate Silver always warns us that we humans are not good at assessing probability, but if I had to guess the chances that Trump is removed before 2020 election, I’d say ‘Considerably less than 50%’-though how much less is tough-as probability is so tough to assess.
However, the chance of impeaching Trump is clearly higher than the chance of removal from office. By necessity as impeachment is part of the removal process. I’d guess the chances of impeachment roughly correlates with the chances of a Dem takeover of the House. The odds of a Dem House is greater than a Dem Senate at this point which is another reason removal is less likely.
Now when I first read the above paragraphs by Mensch and Taylor, I myself had some real questions as I think it’s important to manage our expectations. Mensch herself has said she thinks Trump will be gone this year. That seems to me pretty unlikely.
I’m basing this on everything I know about partisanship and the GOP. Broadsword_6 does make a good point however:
3. As a country we are in uncharted waters. Everyone is regurgitating how bad Trump is. When what's really happening right in front of your
— Broadsword_Six (@Broadsword_Six) May 20, 2017
5. No one has ever been here before. Ever. Clinton got a blowjob and lied about it. This is far more serious. Promise. END.
— Broadsword_Six (@Broadsword_Six) May 20, 2017
Now regarding this talk if ‘beginning impeachment proceedings’ don’t lose sight of ‘beginning.’
Those fulminating against Mensch and Taylor seem to think they claimed impeachment hearings are just ending and Trump will be removed from office, tomorrow.
But no, this is just about the start of impeachment proceedings. Step one in a very long process.
Bill Palmer over at Palmer Report:
“The impeachment of Donald Trump is a long and winding process. But we’ve arrived at Step One.”
“Impeachment is one of the most widely misunderstood concepts in all of American society, both because it’s so complex and because it’s occurred so rarely. The only two Presidents who have been impeached were never removed. The only President who’s been removed was never impeached. But even with impeachment being a long and winding process, it appears we’ve arrived at Step One – and that alone is more significant than you might think.”
At this point, you have Democrats like Ted Lieu-who’s on the Judiciary Committee-starting it. But again, first step.
“Congressman Ted Lieu sits on the House Judiciary Committee, and he’s publicly confirmed this weekend that he’s now researching impeachment (link). There’s also the sourced report claiming that the entire committee is in fact considering the impeachment question (link). This is crucial because the first step in any impeachment process is for the House Judiciary Committee to take up the matter.”
Ok-let me say-that’s the part I’m iffy about. What does it mean to day the entire committee is considering it? My take is that anyone can simply put the question before the Committee-which doesn’t mean it ends up with the votes-I’m certainly assuming it wouldn’t right now.
If the impeachment process survives the committee by a majority vote, then it moves to the full House, where a majority vote would be required in order to begin impeachment hearings.”
Presumably, it won’t survive at this early stage with a GOP majority on the Committee.
“After that concluded, if needed, the Senate would begin an impeachment trial which would require a two-thirds vote for conviction/removal. That last requirement is why no President has ever actually been convicted; Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were both acquitted of all charges by the Senate. The only President with any real chance of being convicted, Richard Nixon, resigned long before the process could get that far.”
“But that last part about Nixon is probably the guide lamp when it comes to Donald Trump. Nixon saw that even his own allies in Congress (the Republicans and the conservative southern Democrats) were finally ready to throw him overboard in order to preserve their own political viability, and he knew there was little point in sticking around and getting convicted, so he resigned instead.”
That’s why at this point, I imagine the odds of removal from office are not that good. It’d require too much GOP buy in. If the GOP holds onto the Senate-a decent possibility even if the Dems take the House-it’s tough to see removal happening. Though we must remember Broadsword_Six’s warning that we’re in uncharted territory.
“While we’re not yet at the impeachment stage that Richard Nixon was at when he opted to resign, and we frankly may not even be close to that stage yet, we do appear to have arrived at Stage One. At least one Congressman on the relevant committee is confirmed to be going down the impeachment road, and others on the committee are reportedly doing the same. In comparison to past impeachment timelines, the effort against Donald Trump is proceeding at light speed in comparison – even if it is a long and winding road and we’re just now entering the on-ramp.”
One last point on the Louise Mensch wars. I just had this exchange with a friend on Twitter who’s very negative about Mensch. Honestly, I wish there was less debate over Mensch than getting to the bottom of Trump Russia.
— mike sax (@evilsax) May 21, 2017
I’m Mike Sax, naturally. But this is the reality-rumors are part of the journalistic chain, With much of what Clark has said he seems to want his news already processed and packaged. He doesn’t want to see how the sausage is made.
That’s his right. If others feel that way they can just sit back and wait for the MSM to spoonfeed them.
For me-and many folks I know at the present-there is a desire for more. We see how the MSM obsessively overhyped a minor email scandal while practicing radio silence on Trump Russia before the election. Now they’ve been doing some good work but that Trump got through with this sort of scrutiny before the actual election is MSM malpractice.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.