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Trump Defense Finale Puts GOP Near Moment of Reckoning on Bolton

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,389
3,035
126
So we will see! If I were a betting man I would say they will look at the transcripts of Bolton`s book and then make some excuse how none of it is firsthand or relevant! Even if they have to lie!]
On the other hand this would be a good time for a few Republicans to vote for witnesses....because it seems as if the new evidence is too damning to just sweep it under the rug!!



Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s lawyers begin their final day of arguments Tuesday having only barely noted the bombshell revelation from former National Security Adviser John Bolton that threatens to upset White House plans for a quick end to the Senate impeachment trial.


Trump’s defense team is expected to speak for about two more hours as they wrap up their case, an administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. That will be followed by hours of questions from senators, set to begin Wednesday.

Then will come what promises to be a dramatic debate and a moment of reckoning for a handful of Republican moderates over whether to call Bolton or other witnesses, with a vote likely to come Friday.

“I think Bolton probably has something to offer us. We’ll figure out how we’re going to learn more,” said Alaska GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski, who is viewed as a barometer of whether there will be enough Republican votes to call witnesses.

Republicans have floated the idea of viewing Bolton’s manuscript before a decision on whether the Senate calls him as a witness. Democrats said that won’t be sufficient and are continuing to demand that he and other administration figures testify.

While Trump and his allies delivered broadsides against Bolton on Twitter and to reporters on Monday, his lawyers mostly stuck to making a subdued presentation of legal arguments against the charges in the House articles of impeachment that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

It was left to celebrity lawyer and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, who was given a prime-time slot at the end of the defense presentation on Monday, to fleetingly address what has become a looming issue in the trial.

“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,” Dershowitz said.

A New York Times report that Bolton wrote in a yet-to-be-published book that Trump directly linked the release of security aid to Ukraine to get the government there investigate a political rival divided Senate Republicans and could reset the course of the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been steering his GOP majority toward a vote as soon as Friday that is all but certain to result in Trump’s acquittal.

Bolton’s disclosure bolsters the Democrats’ impeachment articles and undercuts the president’s main defense, throwing the trial timeline into question.

Murkowski and her Republican colleagues Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine are among the senators openly discussing whether to join Democrats to subpoena Bolton and perhaps others to testify. That would extend the trial past the Feb. 4 State of the Union address and perhaps much longer, though there’s still no expectation there will ever be the 67 votes needed to remove Trump from office.

“I’d like to hear from Mr. Bolton,” Romney said Tuesday morning, adding that he doesn’t know for sure whether any other Republicans will vote to subpoena new witnesses.

Senior Republican lawmakers continued to resist the idea of witnesses.

“Unless there’s a witness who’s going to change the outcome, I can’t imagine why we’d want to stretch this out for weeks and months,” said Republican Senator Roy Blunt, a member of McConnell’s leadership team.

Witness Vote
A vote on witnesses could come by Friday after senators get up to 16 hours to question both sides. It would take four Republican senators to side with Democrats to get a 51-vote majority to call Bolton.

While they largely avoided Bolton, the president’s lawyers went directly after Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is seeking to challenge Trump in November. In his July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump said “there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son” and that Joe Biden tried to stop an investigation into a Ukrainian energy company that had Hunter Biden on its board.

“So if you can look into it,” Trump said according to a rough transcript of the conversation released by the White House after an intelligence community whistle-blower raised alarms about the call. “It sounds horrible to me.”

Crucial Conversation
That conversation is at the heart of the abuse of power charge against Trump. The impeachment article says Trump withheld military aid and a meeting with Zelenskiy as leverage to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden.

Trump lawyer Pam Bondi, a former Florida attorney general, focused on Burisma corruption allegations and concerns raised in media reports at the time about potential conflicts posed by Hunter Biden’s position on the board. She played video excerpts and pull-out quotes from coverage by major news organizations, including ABC and the Washington Post.

“All we are saying is that there was a basis to talk about this, to raise this issue, and that is enough,” Bondi said.

The focus on the Bidens could intensify if the Senate votes to seek witnesses. Several Republican senators have said they will force votes on calling Hunter Biden and perhaps others if the Senate votes to allow fresh evidence alter this week. That, in turn, could keep the issue of the Bidens front-and-center heading into the Iowa caucuses next week and beyond.

Political Implications
Democrats have argued that Trump only became interested in corruption in Ukraine after Biden entered the presidential race last April and polls showed that he could beat Trump in November. The political implications were illustrated by Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst, who wondered if Trump’s lawyers’ presentation could hurt Biden’s candidacy and his showing in Monday’s caucuses.

“I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers. Will they be supporting Vice President Biden at this point?” Ernst told reporters.

Biden dismissed the attempt to direct attention to him. A spokesman for his campaign, Andrew Bates, said Ernst “just said the quiet part out loud: Republicans are terrified that Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, defeat Donald Trump, and help progressives gain seats in the House and take the Senate.”

Top Democrats were clearly perturbed during Bondi’s presentation. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and his deputy, Dick Durbin of Illinois, stared straight ahead and

didn’t look at the video monitors as she displayed the excerpts. Dianne Feinstein of California, another senior Democrat, sat with her arms folded tightly in front of her. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 2 Senate Republican, gave Bondi a fist bump and thumbs up after the defense wrapped for a dinner break.

Read More: Impeachment Maelstrom Pulls Chief Justice Into Politics He Shuns

Trump’s lawyers spent the bulk of the day criticizing the case brought by the House, relying heavily on the lack of firsthand evidence in the House argument that Trump held up release of military aid for Ukraine to pressure its government for help to tarnish.

“We deal with transcript evidence, we deal with publicly available information. We do not deal with speculation, allegations that are not based on evidentiary standards at all,” Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said.

In an ironic twist, Trump’s defense turned to President Bill Clinton’s prosecutor Kenneth Starr to complain that impeachments are becoming too common.

“We are living in what I think can aptly be described as the age of impeachment,” said Starr, who investigated Clinton for years as independent counsel.

tarr said that after the Clinton impeachment both parties decided “enough was enough” and allowed the independent counsel statute allowed to expire.

But, he added, “the impeachment habit proved to be hard to kick.”
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,389
3,035
126
The guy refused to testify before the peoples' representatives, but he can put it all in a book for cash? Slime.
It was already in a book for cash...it just was not published yet!
How is he slime?
Experts say Bolton’s decision to say he would abide by a Senate subpoena could undermine any claims he might have to fight a House subpoena. The Democratic-controlled House has thus far declined to subpoena him, but only because he has indicated that he would allow a lengthy court case to play out before appearing, and Democrats said they couldn’t wait.
 

conehead433

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 2002
5,197
247
106
Amusing that in defending Trump's actions that his lawyers could only spew out Biden, Obama, no law broken, not consitutional to remove a President from office. I would say that his lawyers must think that all Senators are fifth graders, but I would be insulting fifth graders.
 
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soundforbjt

Lifer
Feb 15, 2002
16,066
3,680
136
Amusing that in defending Trump's actions that his lawyers could only spew out Biden, Obama, no law broken, not consitutional to remove a President from office. I would say that his lawyers must think that all Senators are fifth graders, but I would be insulting fifth graders.
They're talking to the base (and the audience of One) not the Senators, Suksalot sounded like he was celebrating Festivus reading the "List of Grievances".
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,652
13,733
136
It's been an exercise in the impudence of the Big Lie from end to end. There never has been any evidence that Biden acted with corrupt intent when he called for dismissal of a notoriously corrupt prosecutor. All the honest leaders & organizations working with & in Ukraine cheered when it happened. Trump tried to strong arm the Ukrainians into embellishing that lie. His lawyers sustain it today. It's the basis for the even more preposterous lie that Trump was trying to fight corruption he knew didn't exist in the first place.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
25,649
10,704
136
Amusing that in defending Trump's actions that his lawyers could only spew out Biden, Obama, no law broken, not consitutional to remove a President from office. I would say that his lawyers must think that all Senators are fifth graders, but I would be insulting fifth graders.
The constituents of GOP Senators are the fifth graders. Senators just need an excuse to give them


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Stokely

Senior member
Jun 5, 2017
854
706
106
The whole thing is a giant pre-ordained farce. They have no interest nor any motivation to have Bolton talk...and for his part, as much as he dislikes Trump I'm sure he hates libtards more.

At no point does "doing the right thing", "following precedence" or "getting to the truth of the matter" apply whatsoever to this thing. Murkowski is just another "let's sound reasonable for now" GOP member. See also, Mr. "I'm so concerned" Lindsay Graham. The only one that has (once at least) recently put their money where their mouth is was a dying man not seeking reelection.
 
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ShookKnight

Senior member
Dec 12, 2019
646
657
96
I love how John Bolton went from Uber Conservative Mensch to Screaming Liberal that eats babies and is an agent of Obama.

Trump is dead to right guilty of treason - LOCK HIM UP!!
 
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Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
8,158
3,103
136
The whole thing is a giant pre-ordained farce. They have no interest nor any motivation to have Bolton talk...and for his part, as much as he dislikes Trump I'm sure he hates libtards more.

At no point does "doing the right thing", "following precedence" or "getting to the truth of the matter" apply whatsoever to this thing. Murkowski is just another "let's sound reasonable for now" GOP member. See also, Mr. "I'm so concerned" Lindsay Graham. The only one that has (once at least) recently put their money where their mouth is was a dying man not seeking reelection.
I pretty much agree with this. Political theater. Like the White House would let Bolton talk anyway. Giant game of charades for a predetermined outcome. SAD.
Additionally, the news media (CNN) is driving mad acting like anything substantive is going to change.
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,652
13,733
136
I pretty much agree with this. Political theater. Like the White House would let Bolton talk anyway. Giant game of charades for a predetermined outcome. SAD.
Additionally, the news media (CNN) is driving mad acting like anything substantive is going to change.
Not quite. Should Bolton fail to respond to a Senate subpoena at Trump's command then Trump is guilty of obstruction, count two of the writ. It's also important to remember that every GOP Senator has their own agenda & their own constituency. If 4 or more see stepping away from Trump as being to their personal advantage a new set of possibilities opens up. If it's only 3, then Roberts becomes the tie breaker. That would be Pence's role if he were presiding, but he's not. Or maybe the rules deny Roberts that power. Or maybe McConnell will finagle a vote of not guilty before the official request for witnesses is even made. That might be the best sell in Kentucky, which is all McConnell really cares about.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
8,158
3,103
136
Not quite. Should Bolton fail to respond to a Senate subpoena at Trump's command then Trump is guilty of obstruction, count two of the writ. It's also important to remember that every GOP Senator has their own agenda & their own constituency. If 4 or more see stepping away from Trump as being to their personal advantage a new set of possibilities opens up. If it's only 3, then Roberts becomes the tie breaker. That would be Pence's role if he were presiding, but he's not. Or maybe the rules deny Roberts that power. Or maybe McConnell will finagle a vote of not guilty before the official request for witnesses is even made. That might be the best sell in Kentucky, which is all McConnell really cares about.
Trump's already guilty of obstruction (though, not legally). I don't see republican senators submitting to the houses Impeachment articles under any circumstances.
We were screwed by the whistle blower, if he/she had waited till Zelensky announced the investigation on GPS, then he would have committed bribery, and I think we would be in a different place (It would stand out as an 'actual' crime in the minds of more Americans).
 

Jhhnn

No Lifer
Nov 11, 1999
61,652
13,733
136
Trump's already guilty of obstruction (though, not legally). I don't see republican senators submitting to the houses Impeachment articles under any circumstances.
We were screwed by the whistle blower, if he/she had waited till Zelensky announced the investigation on GPS, then he would have committed bribery, and I think we would be in a different place (It would stand out as an 'actual' crime in the minds of more Americans).
Gawd. Trump has behaved like a sleazy building inspector who won't sign off on good work until you grease his palm. Whether he gets the money or not he's still guilty of soliciting a bribe.
 

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
8,158
3,103
136
Gawd. Trump has behaved like a sleazy building inspector who won't sign off on good work until you grease his palm. Whether he gets the money or not he's still guilty of soliciting a bribe.
That difference isn’t something that the average American won’t understand, so pressure remains low. Who cares about screaming liberals any way.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
11,825
3,059
136
Bolton's revenge on Trump for dumping him is bearing fruit.

A plausible scenario in my mind: Bolton is thinking If only Trump had listened to him and put in play his plan for wars in the Middle East, we'd happily be at war with Iran this very minute instead of being in this deepening mess that resulted from Trump listening to Trump and only Trump.

Those former cabinet members that Trump kicked to the curb in humiliating fashion should all get together and write a combined literary treatise corroborating in timeline fashion each other's assessments and observations of Trump's moronic behavior.

I'd def buy a copy.
 
Nov 25, 2013
32,083
11,714
136
Bolton's revenge on Trump for dumping him is bearing fruit.

A plausible scenario in my mind: Bolton is thinking If only Trump had listened to him and put in play his plan for wars in the Middle East, we'd happily be at war with Iran this very minute instead of being in this deepening mess that resulted from Trump listening to Trump and only Trump.

Those former cabinet members that Trump kicked to the curb in humiliating fashion should all get together and write a combined literary treatise corroborating in timeline fashion each other's assessments and observations of Trump's moronic behavior.

I'd def buy a copy.

That's what Bolton is counting on. Money in the bank.
 
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hal2kilo

Lifer
Feb 24, 2009
16,368
4,322
136
I knew Bolton leaving on a bad note from this administration ,was a big mistake on Trump's part. Then of course he couldn't just fire him and keep his mouth shut either. Bolton is getting his revenge, and I hope he is the key to get this clown of a human being, let along being a leader of the most powerful country on the planet, Fired!
 

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