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#1 User is offline   Moderator T 

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  Posted 27 November 2019 - 08:04 AM

Why Trump’s Ukraine demands weren’t remotely illegal

Josh Hammer
NY Post
11/26/19

EXCERPT:

For months, the White House, congressional Republicans and the conservative punditocracy have rebutted House Democrats’ impeachment efforts by arguing that President Trump’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, didn’t amount to some nefarious “quid pro quo.”

This strategy is mistaken. The “no quid pro quo” clash amounts to a semantic debate over a phone call transcript. And it is largely unpersuasive, on its own terms, and especially to the president’s haters.

Instead, there is a more intellectually compelling and politically potent line of argument that Trump and his defenders ought to adopt — free speech.

In 2014, a Texas grand jury indicted then-Gov. Rick Perry for supposedly abusing his official capacity when he threatened to withhold $7.5 million in funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public-integrity unit unless the troubled DA ­resigned her post.

Let’s call a spade a spade: This was a quid pro quo.

At the time, an illustrious and ideologically diverse group of legal scholars — ranging from former Judge Michael McConnell and former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey on the right to liberal free-speech champions Floyd Abrams and Alan Dershowitz on the left — argued that the First Amendment protects a governmental official’s right to threaten taking a lawful action to attain a preferred political outcome.

In a nutshell, they argued that Perry’s threat amounted to constitutionally protected “core political speech.”

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#2 User is offline   Martin 

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 12:34 PM

Travis County, which contains the college and government city of Austin, is an island of liberal voters in the sea of conservative Texas. Since liberals regard prosecution as a legitimate political weapon when they wield it against conservatives, Travis County has a tradition of prosecuting conservative politicians to drive them from office.

A good example was Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. In 1993, Travis County DA Ronnie Earle conducted a warrantless search of Hutchison's office. He used the evidence thus collected to get a ham sandwich indictment of Hutchison from the local grand jury on charges of official misconduct and records tampering. Yet, at trial, Ronnie Earle declined to produce any evidence for the charges. Faced with this utter lack of evidence for the charges, the judge immediately directed the jury to acquit, which the jury immediately did.

The voters of Austin, though, are content to re-elect a f**k-up DA if he is willing to abuse his office to persecute Republicans. Hence, Earle was still in office in 2005 when he got another ham sandwich indictment against Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) on a charge of money laundering. The judge threw out the charges.

Therefore, Earle sought another indictment of DeLay from another grand jury. Remarkably, the second grand jury returned a no-bill.

Therefore, Earle sought another indictment of DeLay from a third grand jury. This time, he got a ham sandwich indictment on conspiracy to launder money. A Travis County jury convicted DeLay in 2010. DeLay appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which overturned the conviction on the ground that the evidence did not support it.

So, when we Texans hear of a Travis County prosecutor or grand jury trying to prosecute a Republican official like Gov. Perry, we naturally regard it as a prosecutorial abuse for political motives. That has been our experience for decades. We put as much trust in Travis County jurisprudence as we did that of the Soviet Union, for similar reasons. Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats are as blind to what their persecution of President Trump is doing to American trust in government as the District Attorneys of Austin have been to Texans lapse of trust in Travis County DA's.

In all probability, Congressman Schiff's antics will get both him and President Trump re-elected. Schiff will not understand why, but President Trump will.
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#3 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 01:39 PM

View PostMartin, on 27 November 2019 - 12:34 PM, said:

Unfortunately, Congressional Democrats are as blind to what their persecution of President Trump is doing to American trust in government as the District Attorneys of Austin have been to Texans lapse of trust in Travis County DA's.

In all probability, Congressman Schiff's antics will get both him and President Trump re-elected. Schiff will not understand why, but President Trump will.


The only word I disagree with is the word "Unfortunately". The Democrats' self-destruction is based purely on their infantile temper-tantrum over losing an election fair and square. That's not "unfortunate", it's a good thing. The more damage the lying, corrupt, worthless, hypocritical Democrats do to themselves, the better for America.

:yes:
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#4 User is offline   Martin 

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Posted 27 November 2019 - 03:58 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 27 November 2019 - 01:39 PM, said:

The only word I disagree with is the word "Unfortunately". The Democrats' self-destruction is based purely on their infantile temper-tantrum over losing an election fair and square. That's not "unfortunate", it's a good thing. The more damage the lying, corrupt, worthless, hypocritical Democrats do to themselves, the better for America.


What is unfortunate about it is that without understanding their defeats the Democratic Party will never remedy them. We need a healthy two-party political system. One-party government inevitably grows corrupt, as in California, Illinois and Austin, Texas. It would have been vastly better for the Democratic Party had Hillary Clinton analyzed the real reasons for her stunning defeat, that many people distrust her, instead of blaming it on other people's bigotry and malevolence. What the country and the Democrats need is for the Democrats to say, "Here is why we lost" instead of "We wuz robbed."

One of the main reasons for this is that one faction's belief that the other side is cheating is that they use it to excuse their own cheating. Which becomes the other side's excuse for cheating, too, and so politics becomes a whatabout race to the moral bottom.
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