#impeachment

Schiff’s whistleblower may not testify at all

Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, has admitted that the first whistleblower may not testify in person or in writing. It was only several weeks ago that Schiff said the whistleblower was ready to go on record as the pillar of the impeachment hearing. Schiff said on CBS,

Well, our primary interest right now is making sure that that person is protected … given that we already have the call records we didn’t need the whistleblower, who wasn’t on the call.

The Democrats look like the Keystone Cops running this investigation. If it is such an open and shut case, why are such rookie errors being made? This is what happens when derangement clouds one’s judgment. Unbridled hatred of Trump has removed any sense of coherency in the process.

Impeachment for budding US constitutional experts

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Salvatore Balbones has written one of the better pieces as goes impeachment to all those budding US constitutional experts in The Spectator today.

In the United States, no president has ever been convicted in an impeachment proceeding, even if he was guilty. In 1998, Bill Clinton almost certainly committed at least two high crimes (perjury and obstruction of justice), and God knows how many misdemeanours, but even he was acquitted. And that was with Republicans in control of the Senate. The idea that Donald Trump would be convicted on vague charges of ‘abuse of power’ by two-thirds of a Senate where his party controls an absolute majority is preposterous. Even Donald Trump isn’t that unpopular.

And then there’s the election. In case you haven’t heard, 2020 is an election year in the United States. Conviction in an impeachment proceeding removes the incumbent from office, but it doesn’t automatically disqualify him from running again. That takes an additional vote. But if Senate Republicans not only convict President Trump but also disqualify him from holding office in the future, who would be the Republican candidate in the 2020 elections? Currently, no one else is (seriously) running. The national Republican party isn’t even holding candidate debates, and some state parties are cancelling primaries and caucuses. It seems very unlikely that the Republicans would let the Democrats walk into the White House unopposed.

Seems whistleblower may have worked with Biden when he was VP

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There are so many twists and turns in the Trump impeachment saga. So many allegations. Who to believe? What to believe? Adam Schiff, who managed to score 4 Pinocchio’s from the heavily left-leaning Washington Post, is now a key witness in a trial he is slated to chair. Did Joe Biden receive $900,000 as a Ukrainian MP outlined? Is his word to be believed?

Despite confirmation from the Inspector General that the CIA whistleblower #1 was involved with the candidacy of a 2020 Democratic nominee it turns out he is working for Joe Biden’s campaign. A retired CIA officer has told the Washington Examiner the following,

From everything we know about the whistleblower and his work in the executive branch then, there is absolutely no doubt he would have been working with Biden when he was vice president.

As Zero Hedge noted,

So, to clarify, a registered Democrat on the CIA payroll, who previously worked with VP Joe Biden, went to Adam Schiff’s committee, who referred him to a Democratic operative attorney, who helped him file a whistleblower complaint about Trump attempting to uncover Biden’s corruption, on a form which was altered to allow second-hand information.

CM is sure there is even less to see.

Pot calling the kettle black?

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Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach revealed yesterday that former VP Joe Biden received $900,000 from Burisma Group (the one his son Hunter worked for) for lobbying activities.

Derkach publicized documents which explained the channel of getting those funds. He said,

This was the transfer of Burisma Group’s funds for lobbying activities, as investigators believe, personally to Joe Biden through a lobbying company. Funds in the amount of $900,000 were transferred to the U.S.-based company Rosemont Seneca Partners, which according to open sources, in particular, the New York Times, is affiliated with Biden. The payment reference was payment for consultative services…According to the documents, Burisma paid no less than $16.5 million to [former Polish President, who became an independent director at Burisma Holdings in 2014] Aleksander Kwasniewski, [chairman of the Burisma board of independent directors] Alan Apter, [Burisma independent director] Devon Archer and Hunter Biden [who joined the Burisma board of directors in 2014]“…

Using political and economic levellers of influencing Ukrainian authorities and manipulating the issue of providing financial aid to Ukraine, Joe Biden actively assisted closing criminal cases into the activity of former Ukrainian Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, who is the founder and owner of Burisma Group…Biden’s fifth visit to Kyiv on December 7-8, 2015 was devoted to making a decision on the resignation of [then Ukrainian Prosecutor General] Viktor Shokin over the case of Zlochevsky and Burisma. Loan guarantees worth $1 billion that the United States was to give to Ukraine was the point of pressure. Biden himself admitted exerting pressure in his speech at the Council of Foreign Relations in January 2018, calling Shokin ‘son of a bitch who was fired.”

Derkach added that international corruption of this magnitude couldn’t have taken place without the participation of then Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko.

International corruption of this magnitude, as well as interference in the U.S. presidential election, could not have occurred without Poroshenko’s participation

…We see the conflict in which the new government of Ukraine faces due to the activities of the previous president. I want to emphasize that I’m almost sure, and not only I, but many journalists, that Poroshenko personally bears responsibility for the situation in which Ukraine has ended up, for dragging Ukraine into interfering in the U.S. presidential election, for a huge number of corruption scandals and international corruption that could not have occurred without his control or participation.

Of course, all this must be proven in a court of law, but isn’t it ironic that Biden is demanding Trump is impeached when it would seem the VP (undoubtedly in the full knowledge of the President) might have been complicit in quid pro quos with Ukraine himself.

Do we believe Joe Biden? Biden claimed he had never spoken to Burisma until a picture came out showing him playing golf with Devon Archer and his son, Hunter Biden, both directors of Burisma. Archer and Hunter were managing partners at Rosemont Seneca Partners. Archer was also a co-founder of the private-equity firm Rosemont Capital with Christopher Heinz, his college roommate at Yale. Archer had served as a senior adviser to Heinz’s stepfather, Democratic Senator John Kerry Kerry, during his 2004 presidential bid. Surely Joe never heard a peep about Burisma? Almost as believable as Bill Clinton’s chance meeting with AG Loretta Lynch on a Phoenix Airport runway, a day before her testimony on Hillary’s emails. Nothing to see here.

It smells like Kavanaugh 2.0

Can the Democrats really be so careless? It turns out that the CIA whistleblowera self-disclosed Democrat, who came forward over the Ukrainian affair has professional links to one of the 2020 Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The Inspector General (IG) Michael Atkinson stated this was the case, according to Washington Examiner journalist, Byron York.

Is this why House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff won’t release the transcript of former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker’s 10-hr testimony, which would possibly disprove allegations of a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukraine’s government?

It is embarrassing enough that Schiff risks being a witness to an impeachment hearing he is chairing.

Kavanaugh 2.0? Do texts tell anything?

CM will say this from the outset. If Trump is actually guilty of a crime that validates formal impeachment, then the law of the land must prevail, regardless of partisan bias.

Unfortunately, this impeachment process smacks of Kavanaugh 2.0. Don’t be surprised if more allegations come out of the woodwork. After Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation, recall that many who came forward in the hearings suffered bouts of amnesia or flat out reversed the initial allegations made. The Democrats remain so deranged, that if not careful, this could create an ill wind that will blow back on them if not successful.

Luckily for the Democrats, having a compliant mainstream media which can think of nothing better than aiding and abetting an impeachment are salivating so as to recover self-inflicted slumping ratings. So much for objective journalism. How cute that they pass so little airtime over allegations that US politicians could have family members embroiled in corrupt activities while they were in office. Don’t Americans see that as worth knowing? Isn’t it odd that Hunter Biden, a man with no experience in a particular field, was given a $600k job to act as a director, 10x the average CEO salary in the country?

How they missed the allegation that the first whistleblower, failed to disclose his meeting with House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff to the Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Atkinson didn’t follow up because he had no knowledge until it came out. Never mind that according to 18 U.S. Code § 1001, anyone who “falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact” might be guilty of making a false statement. A felony?

Now that whistleblower #1’s credibility is looking even shakier (given his testimony was based on second-hand information), how surprising that whistleblower #2 has come out of the woodpile with supposedly first-hand information. He claims to have evidence supporting the first. What a surprise?

Will he/she also be found to be a registered Democrat? Will he have the same impartiality of FBI agent Peter “at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took” Strzok when the lead investigator of Hillary Clinton’s email saga and Trump’s alleged Russia collusion?

Now the media wolf pack is seizing on comments that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made supposedly about quid pro quo. He said,  “This is what we do. Nations work together and they say ‘Boy...if you can help me with X, we’ll help you achieve Y. This is what partnerships do. It’s win-win, it’s better for each of us.” If one looked at nearly every administration, countries look for mutual benefits. What is remotely odd about that? Does America give aid to countries that benefit it? Israel perhaps? If you help keep peace in the region, we’ll sell you state of the art equipment? Saudi Arabia? If you buy our fighter jets, we’ll buy your oil?

Zelenskiy said there was no quid pro quo. Australian PM Scott Morrison spoke of exactly the type of cooperation Australia and the US has had for decades. It isn’t a quid pro quo. It is mutual benefit. Sharing common values.

Officials taking part in the texts are Kurt Volker, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; William Taylor, who was interim chargé d’affaires in Kiev is the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine; Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union; and Andrey Yermak, a top aide to Zelenskiy.

In an exchange dated Sept. 9, in a text Taylor sent to Sondland, the career diplomat wrote: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland responds: “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.

In a July 25 message between Volker and Yermak — the aide to Ukraine’s president Zelenskiy — which occurred just ahead of the Trump-Zelenskiy call, Volker wrote:

Heard from White House—assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate/’get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington.

Weeks later, on Aug. 9, Sondland and Volker exchange texts as they try to establish a date for Zelenskiy’s visit:

Sondland: “Morrison ready to get dates as soon as Yermak confirms.”

Volker: “Excellent!! How did you sway him? 🙂

Sondland: “Not sure I did. I think POTUS really wants the deliverable

So the texts go to show there was no quid pro quo which involved “monies being withheld”, which is the real point of attack by Schiff et al.

Does Trump wanting to get to the bottom of the very collusion during the 2016 election that the Democrats had been screaming about for the better part of two years all of a sudden require impeachment because that it doesn’t suit their purposes? Do they want a president to wield a big stick or be a wallflower? 

Washington Post gave 4 out of 5 Pinocchio’s to Adam Schiff. How hard must have that been? Pelosi removed Jerry Nadler from the investigation. Surely she must think to remove him given the incompetence he has shown? Now Schiff has made himself part of the investigation. He is now a witness. A bit hard to chair an impeachment enquiry when he himself is part of it.

What a farce.

Impeachment Trends, Biased Sampling and why Batman knows best

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Monmouth University has conducted an impeachment poll. It is not hard to see where the bias lies. 27% Republicans, 30% Democrats and 43% Independent. In nearly all polls conducted by the university, this is the respondent stack skew. It is so obvious that one could be forgiven for thinking the ABC Q&A programme must be taking the roll call. No surprise that Trump’s approval rating remains firmly stuck in the low 40s according to Monmouth. Monmouth had Hillary Clinton at a 9% lead over Trump in mid-October 2016. CM wonders why? Rasmussen, which was the most consistent and accurate poll leading into the 2016 election, has Trump at 48%, ahead of Obama at the same point in his presidency by 2%.

Monmouth wrote in its most recent poll, “At this time, 44% of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 52% disagree with this course of action. These numbers mark a shift from Monmouth’s prior poll in August (35% supported impeachment and 59% did not), but it is not the first time these results have been found in the two years Monmouth has been asking this question.”

There is something telling that there have been impeachment talks for over 2 years. Just the subject matter has continually shifted. Maybe the August 2019 Monmouth impeachment poll made the level of reasoning more clear. The 25% Republican, 30% Democrat, 45% Independent produced the following results,

– A good idea or bad idea to impeach Trump. 41% plays 51% respectively,

– Why would it be a good idea to impeach – Top 5 responses – Need to follow evidence (18%), Broken the Law (17%), Moral Character (17%), Bad Policies (16%), Racism (11%).

– Why would it be a bad idea to impeach – Top 5 responses – Trump has done nothing wrong (27%), Waste of Time (22%), Partisan Witch Hunt (13%), Trump has done Good Job (12%), Congress should work on other things (10%).

Interesting to see that racism, moral character and bad policies are viewed as plausible grounds for impeachment. The March 2019 poll from Monmouth, the question put as to whether Democrats are more interested in the truth vs undermining Trump, the results were 31% vs 46% respectively.

So even with a high proportion of skew against Republicans (Consistently at 25-27%), the results are rarely pointing to massive landslides against Trump. It should come as no surprise that when analysing the party affiliation in the poll, there is heavy partisan bias which sort of defeats the purpose of the poll putting out meaningful data. If anything the “independent” people who have contributed to the poll do not seem to be giving Monmouth the results they are hoping to get.

Of course, the mainstream media made extra effort to report that 4 in 10 Republicans thought Trump “probably did” mention the possibility of investigating Biden implying 60% didn’t. If you read the hyperlink address, it clearly makes out the majority of GOP supporters don’t believe which is disingenuous. 31% said, “don’t know.” Do we assume that all people read the transcript?

In this day and age the number of people that make kneejerk reactions – driven by media headlines (or suspiciously cut videos to remove context) on both sides of the partisan divide – without even reading the body of the article, let alone facts means such data polls tell us little. 

Last week, Rasmussen noted, “But 46% think it’s more likely that Trump will be reelected in 2020 than defeated by the Democratic nominee or impeached, unchanged from late July…28% see a win by the Democrats’ candidate as more likely, down from 33% two months ago. 17% believe Trump is likely to be impeached before serving his full term in office, up from 11% in the last survey but down from a high of 29% when Rasmussen Reports first asked this question in late December 2017.”

In the end, Batman knows best. “Don’t trust the polls.