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Westlake Legal Group > billy graham

Graham: I want Senate Republicans to send Pelosi a letter stressing that this Ukraine business isn’t an impeachable offense

Westlake Legal Group lg Graham: I want Senate Republicans to send Pelosi a letter stressing that this Ukraine business isn’t an impeachable offense zelensky Ukraine The Blog Senate republicans pelosi impeachment billy graham

So here’s a variation on the strategy I wrote about on Monday night. Some Republicans like Tucker Carlson and Rob Portman have settled on the view that what Trump did with Ukraine is bad — but not impeachable. That’s a smart position to stake out early in the process since it attempts to remove the subject from the realm of facts to the realm of law, where matters are much less uncertain. After all, Democrats could turn up damning evidence of Trump’s conduct. Imagine Gordon Sondland testifying that the president was worried about Joe Biden beating him next fall and told him that the Burisma investigation would help avert that. If the GOP concedes the Democrats’ point that this is an impeachable offense if it’s proved then Trump’s fate is in Adam Schiff’s hands.

The safer play is to say, “Yes, yes, Trump behaved inappropriately in asking Ukraine’s president to investigate the Bidens but that’s just not enough of a crime to justify removing a sitting president from office. Scold him, censure him, but let the voters issue a verdict on his job.” Taking that position renders the Democratic investigation largely moot (although if they can prove Trump intended a quid pro quo, that would change the game) and leaves Trump’s fate in Senate Republicans’ hands. It doesn’t matter what facts Pelosi and Schiff produce; we don’t execute people for speeding and we don’t oust presidents over petty nonsense like trying to influence the coming election by jumpstarting a foreign probe of the then-frontrunner from the other party.

That’s the strategy Lindsey Graham endorsed this morning on Fox, more or less. The difference is that Graham, as Trump’s foremost apologist in the Senate, won’t even concede that the call with Zelensky was inappropriate. Carlson and Portman are happy to do that knowing that it doesn’t really matter and, if anything, might mollify Trump critics a bit to see members of his own party criticizing him (mildly) for something they’re angry about. Graham can’t even be bothered. Portman can adopt the “bad but not impeachable” line on this if he likes; Graham’s taking the “not bad and therefore certainly not impeachable” approach instead. And he wants his colleagues in the Senate to tell Pelosi that right now.

That’s clever inasmuch as a letter like that would operate a bit like a judicial order granting a motion to dismiss before a trial takes place. Graham is accusing the Democrats of failing to state a claim. Instead of waiting around for them to impeach, why not let them know up front that the Senate sees nothing actionable here? Maybe it’ll convince Pelosi not to bother with impeachment. (Highly unlikely.) Maybe it’ll be a morale booster to Republican voters who are worried about what Trump might be guilty of. (More likely.) Maybe it’ll provide a pretext for McConnell to hold a truncated/expedited trial after Trump is impeached, since Republican “jurors” will already be on record as saying that no high crime or misdemeanor was committed as a matter of law. (Likely.)

Not everyone in the Senate will sign such a letter, of course. Romney won’t. Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, and Ben Sasse won’t. Various Republicans for various reasons will want to communicate to voters that they’re troubled by what Trump is accused of and are determined to let all the facts come out before reaching a conclusion. Call that the “nominally undecided” group. The next group, Portman’s “bad but not impeachable” faction, might not sign such a letter either. Obviously they disagree with Graham that Trump did nothing wrong. And even if he drafted the letter to avoid the question of whether Trump behaved appropriately or not and focused instead on whether there’s an impeachable offense here, Portman probably still wouldn’t sign it. He’s worried enough about the politics of this issue to have made a point of saying that what Trump did is bad. He won’t want to leap head-first into a GOP effort to prejudge the Democratic impeachment articles by insisting that there’s no crime even in a worst-case scenario.

All Graham needs to settle this matter, though, is 33 other Republicans to join him. If 34 GOPers in the chamber out of 53 are willing to commit to the position that nothing Trump did or conceivably could have done is impeachable then the impeachment and removal effort is officially doomed. Are there 33 other Republicans who are so cowed by Trump and his voters that they’d be willing to take that position right now?

I wouldn’t rule it out.

I assume Graham’s letter idea is being coordinated with the White House, in which case it’s part of a two-pronged strategy. The first prong is to make the case aggressively that the Democratic inquiry is a sham; it’s unfair, it’s an affront to due process, therefore any facts it produces are inherently suspect. That was the thrust of Pat Cipollone’s letter last night. Cipollone is playing offense. Graham’s letter would be playing defense, trying to frame the terms of the debate for the coming impeachment trial in the Senate. It doesn’t matter which facts the Democrats’ sham inquiry produced. There’s simply no crime here. Case dismissed.

The absolute best part of the clip, by the way, is the bit at the end when Graham exhorts Fox viewers to pray for the Kurds, as if they’re at risk of being victimized by a hurricane or some other disastrous natural force which America is powerless to influence. He took a similarly dubious view in a tweet this morning when he asked people to “Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration.” The Trump administration? I’ve only heard of one person within “the Trump Administration” who supports the decision to bug out of northern Syria as Turkey prepares to immolate American allies. It’s interesting, if not at all surprising, that Lindsey refuses to name that person.

It’s amazing how able he is to compartmentalize his disgust at Trump’s Syria policy with his zeal in defending Trump on impeachment, frankly. They’re two distinct matters, granted, but politicians use leverage they have over one matter to exact concessions on unrelated matters all the time. Pundits keep warning that Trump is playing with fire by antagonizing Senate Republicans on Syria at the very moment that they’re about to take his fate in their hands on impeachment, but is he really playing with fire? Graham is heartbroken about abandoning the Kurds and yet here he is on Fox trying to blow up the impeachment effort on the president’s behalf before it even reaches the Senate. With ass-kissing like this, why should Trump feel pressure to throw the Senate GOP a bone on foreign policy?

The post Graham: I want Senate Republicans to send Pelosi a letter stressing that this Ukraine business isn’t an impeachable offense appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group lg-300x159 Graham: I want Senate Republicans to send Pelosi a letter stressing that this Ukraine business isn’t an impeachable offense zelensky Ukraine The Blog Senate republicans pelosi impeachment billy graham   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Was John Bolton a source for the whistleblower?

Westlake Legal Group b-1 Was John Bolton a source for the whistleblower? zelensky whistleblower Ukraine Trump The Blog john bolton cockburn central intelligence agency billy graham analyst

Having speculated wildly about this very scenario yesterday, I feel obliged to pass along someone else’s slightly better informed wild speculation on the same topic.

This may not even count as “wild,” come to think of it. Cockburn makes it sound here like his source has reason to believe that *Trump* sees Bolton’s hand in all this.

Did the ‘Stache help expose a scandal that could conceivably end Trump’s presidency? I’m guessing “no,” but…

One veteran political consultant in Washington tells Cockburn that Trump is afraid Bolton is the mastermind behind all the damaging leaks on his secret dealings with the Ukrainians; the whistleblower’s Deep Throat, if you will. This, he believes, is why Trump’s cheerleader in the Senate, Lindsay Graham, keeps asking who was feeding the CIA whistleblower who came forward with details of a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president (in which Trump asked for dirt on the Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden). Graham tweeted: ‘It is imperative we find out which White House official talked to the whistleblower and why. Why didn’t they lodge the complaint?’ The price of Graham’s support, the political consultant thought, would be an eventual military strike on Iran.

He went on: ‘Watch Bolton’s role in all this. If he is in mix then Trump has real problems. I hear that Trump was obsessed with Bolton when he [Trump] was in New York. When Trump says the real whistleblower is a spy and should be treated as such, he’s threatening Bolton. Bolton would not play his game in Korea, Iran, Russia or Ukraine. This is Trump’s Achilles heel.’ All of this is pure speculation but interesting speculation nonetheless. The next time Bolton pops up to make a speech criticizing his old boss, perhaps someone should ask him if he was aware of contents of the call with the Ukrainian president back in July – and if he was, did he do anything about it?

Logically, if Bolton were feeding the whistleblower information, you would expect the two to have been in proximity — i.e., you’d expect the whistleblower to work in the field of national security and to have White House access, just like the National Security Advisor. If so, the topic of Trump’s call with Zelensky might have conceivably come up between them in the course of official business. Or, if Bolton were feeding information to the whistleblower surreptitiously in hopes of seeing it reported to Congress, the fact that they worked in the same place in the same field would have given them an “innocent” reason to converse frequently, without anyone becoming suspicious at the time.

As it turns out, if you believe the New York Times, the whistleblower does work in national security and was stationed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for some period of time. He’s a CIA officer and was “detailed to work at the White House at one point,” the paper claimed. Hmmmm!

We have means and opportunity, then. But what about motive? The whistleblower complaint was submitted to the ICIG by August 12. Bolton wasn’t fired until September 10. If Bolton is a source, why’d he stay on the job knowing/expecting that the complaint would eventually land in Democrats’ hands and the resulting investigation would sniff him out as a source? It’s easy to imagine the ‘Stache seeking revenge on Trump with damaging leaks after his termination. But while he was still NSA?

On the other hand, he had been marginalized in his role by the president by mid-August and even sporadically humiliated by him, like when he was sent to Mongolia while Trump met Kim Jong Un at the DMZ. It’s not hard to imagine him bearing Trump a grudge while he still held his position in the West Wing. Maybe Bolton was whispering to the whistleblower about Ukraine not knowing or expecting what the guy might do with the information; maybe he thought he’d simply leak it to the media instead of filing a formal complaint that would trigger a Democratic investigation that risked sniffing Bolton out as a source. Once Bolton realized that he would probably be outed, maybe that was his cue to finally “resign” as NSA and bail out before things got hairy.

One question, though. How much direct contact would the National Security Advisor have with a random CIA officer detailed to the White House? Bear in mind that Bolton was known for not bothering much with traditional natsec mechanisms like the National Security Council, in which case his opportunities to interact with junior intel people in the building were probably even more limited than most NSAs’ were. If you want to believe Bolton’s a source, you need to explain how he arrives at the decision to share potentially explosive dirt about presidential misconduct with some dude who normally doesn’t even work inside the building. Did Bolton know the whistleblower before the guy arrived at the White House? Why would he have trusted him enough to leak to him?

My strong suspicion is that he had no involvement in the whistleblower process, or certainly no direct involvement. Maybe something happened where Bolton told a deputy what Trump said to Zelensky, the deputy told his own deputy, and that deputy told the whistleblower. I don’t think Bolton intended for anything to be revealed — although I also wouldn’t put it past him to start corroborating details for the media about what went on with Ukraine now that he’s unemployed again. Bolton and Mike Pompeo have been on the outs for months and lo and behold we found out yesterday that Pompeo was on the call with Trump and Zelensky on July 25. How’d the press nail that fact down? I wonder.

Here’s Bolton yesterday making his disagreements with Trump’s North Korea policy plain.

The post Was John Bolton a source for the whistleblower? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group b-1-300x153 Was John Bolton a source for the whistleblower? zelensky whistleblower Ukraine Trump The Blog john bolton cockburn central intelligence agency billy graham analyst   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Joe Biden Joins the Goofy Brigade: In Lieu of More Gun Control for Colorado, He Calls the Offering of Prayers ‘Outrageous’

Westlake Legal Group joe-biden-lunch-eric-garcetti-SCREENSHOT Joe Biden Joins the Goofy Brigade: In Lieu of More Gun Control for Colorado, He Calls the Offering of Prayers ‘Outrageous’ Uncategorized trigger locks STEM School Highlands Ranch religion prayer Politics los angeles kendrick castillo Joe Biden Guns gun control Front Page Stories Featured Story Eric Garcetti democrats crime Colorado CNN Chris Cuomo California billy graham Allow Media Exception 2nd Amendment 2020

[SCREENSHOT FROM URL]

 

Just days ago, Joe Biden became the latest politician to castigate the offering of prayers in response to tragedy.

Speaking at a lunch with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday, the 2020 hopeful referenced the terrible Colorado shooting, in which student Kendrick Castillo was fatally shot while charging a gunman and throwing him against a wall. For more on that situation, please see here.

Joe claimed it’s “outrageous that we still only talk about offering prayers.”

Of course, when a Democratic politician uses such words regarding a crime involving a firearm, what they really mean is that it’s inexcusable for the world not to enact left-wing legislation, aka gun control.

Therefore, the statement is actually, “It’s outrageous that we’re not all Democrats.”

Here’s what he had to say:

“[I]t’s outrageous — it’s outrageous that we still only talk about offering prayers. Look, I don’t know enough detail to know — maybe you guys do — about whether or not, what kind of weapon was used, what the background checks were of the detail. But the idea the we don’t have universal background checks, the idea that we don’t outlaw a number of the weapons that I was able to get outlawed in the crime bill, from large magazines and assault weapons, this is crazy. By the way, it has no — it doesn’t impact on the First, the Second Amendment at all.”



Speaking of “by the way”: By the way, handguns are used in the majority of crimes, not “assault weapons” using large magazines.

The former vice president then moved to trigger locks:

“Look, if you left your car out there with the keys in it, and some kid took it? You’re gonna be sued for that and responsible. Why in God’s name — I don’t know where the gun came from, but if the gun came from somebody who didn’t have a trigger lock on it and the person doesn’t own it, they should be held responsible. It’s a requirement for public safety; it’s necessary. … The idea we have to rely on a young man throwing his body in front of, you know, someone who’s firing on our children? It’s just bizarre.”

Joe’s polishin’ his presidential shoes. But is the dismissal of prayer and the glomming onto a teen’s murder in order to push for trigger locks the best way to do so? Maybe it is.

CNN host Chris Cuomo’s surely on board; he responded to November’s 12-casualty Thousand Oaks shooting thusly:

“’First, I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers.’ Because that’s what you do when you offer, thoughts and prayers. You mock those who lost loved ones, because if you gave it any thought at all, you would never walk away from any of these without figuring out a better way to deal with them. And prayer — you think leaving it to God is the answer? ‘We pray for strength; we pray for wisdom; for resolve.’ But we clearly don’t want to act on any of those here. So what are you praying for?”

Democrats used to publicly value communication with a Creator. Consider this Inaugural Invocation from Billy Graham:

“And now, on this twentieth day of January, 1993, we commit to you President-elect (Bill) Clinton and Vice-President-elect (Al) Gore, who you have permitted to take leadership at this critical time in our nation’s history. Help them always to see the office to which they’ve been elected as a sacred trust from you. We pray that you will bless their wives who will share so much of the responsibility and burdens. Make President-elect Clinton know that he is never really alone but that the eternal God can be his refuge and he can turn to you in every circumstance. Give him the wisdom you’ve promised to whose who ask and the strength that you alone can give. We thank you for his predecessor President Bush and the dedication he gave to this office. Bless him as he and Mrs. Bush continue their dedicated service to our country in other spheres. We commit this inaugural ceremony to you and ask that the memory of this event may always remind us to pray for our leaders. I pray this in the name of the one that’s called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Amen.”

Billy Graham was — it should be noted — a Democrat.

We’ve come far. But not in the good kind of way.

I don’t think the Joe’s intent was to say prayer is a bad thing, but the tactic is lame. Will his rhetoric bolster chances for an Oval Office triumph? And should people talk into microphones while they eat? I lean toward No on both counts.

Joe did get manage to get in some jabs at Trump, including a bunt of this softball: A report goofily asked, “Mr. Vice President, are we in a constitutional crisis  at this point?” JB offered the ominous “It will depend on how the administration acts from here.”



-ALEX

 

Relevant RedState links in this article: here, here, and here.

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post Joe Biden Joins the Goofy Brigade: In Lieu of More Gun Control for Colorado, He Calls the Offering of Prayers ‘Outrageous’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group joe-biden-lunch-eric-garcetti-SCREENSHOT-300x160 Joe Biden Joins the Goofy Brigade: In Lieu of More Gun Control for Colorado, He Calls the Offering of Prayers ‘Outrageous’ Uncategorized trigger locks STEM School Highlands Ranch religion prayer Politics los angeles kendrick castillo Joe Biden Guns gun control Front Page Stories Featured Story Eric Garcetti democrats crime Colorado CNN Chris Cuomo California billy graham Allow Media Exception 2nd Amendment 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com