On the removal of Sondland and Vindman

Featured image Two of the key witnesses in the Trump impeachment have been removed from their positions. Gordon Sondland is out as Ambassador to the European Union. Lt. Col Alexander Vindman has been reassigned from the National Security Council to the Pentagon. Democrats are crying foul, of course. But was it improper for Trump to take these personnel actions? Sondland’s case seems easy to me. Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the »

Me On Impeachment and the SOTU, on Australian TV

Featured image Andrew Bolt is a terrific Australian columnist, commentator and television host. He has a show on Sky News called the Bolt Report; I appeared on Tuesday’s show immediately after President Trump’s State of the Union speech to convey my impressions on the evening, as well as the collapse of the Democrats’ impeachment drive, to Andrew’s Australian audience. My themes will be familiar to Power Line readers, but perhaps they shed »

Who is Mitt Romney?

Featured image If Mitt Romney voted his conscience yesterday when he favored convicting President Trump for “abuse of power,” then I respect his vote. An impeachment trial isn’t a team sport, or shouldn’t be. But I don’t believe Romney voted his conscience. I’m not sure he has one. Who is Mitt Romney? He was a center-right governor of Massachusetts. Then, he was a hard-right candidate for the Republican nomination. He was “pro-choice” »

Strange new respect, Romney edition

Featured image The New York Times is nothing if not predictable. In the age of Trump, it has become even more so. Having pioneered the “strange new respect” profile genre — i.e., the laudatory profiles of Republicans or conservatives who “get above their raisin'” to join the sanctified line of the Democratic Party — the Times owed Romney, and the Times has now delivered. Before we get to it, however, let us »

Our Long National Nightmare Is Over

Featured image To no one’s surprise, the Democrats’ impeachment drive fell flat in the Senate today. Both articles were decided on a purely party line vote, but for Mitt Romney, who switched sides on the first article (“abuse of power”). The only mild surprise is that no Democrats voted against removal. Doug Jones of Alabama, for one, can forget about any possibility of re-election. But with Jeff Sessions waiting in the wings, »

Remit Mitt

Featured image No thanks to Mitt Romney, the Senate has just acquitted President Trump of the first article of impeachment brought against him by the House. Senator Romney announced this afternoon that he would join the Democrats to vote Trump guilty of the first article. He explained in an interview with Chris Wallace on FOX News that in his heart, he knows he’s right. In my heart, I know he’s a fool, »

Did Trump do anything wrong?

Featured image Tomorrow, the Senate will acquit President Trump. There’s a good chance that more Democrats will vote to acquit than Republicans will vote to convict. In fact, there’s a good chance that no Republican Senator will vote to convict. These outcomes would be a defeat for the Democrats. However, the impeachment will still be worth it for the Dems if it helps them in November — e.g., by enabling them to »

Schiff’s closing fantasia

Featured image Chief House impeachment manager has established himself as a contender for recognition as the most repulsive Democratic officeholder in the United States. The competition is intense, however, and I may be overlooking some obvious candidates for the crown. Schiff continues to chart the path upward in the Democratic Party. Schiff continued in his accustomed vein during closing arguments in the Senate impeachment trial yesterday. Tristan Justice isolated a notable thread »

“Numerous historians and legal experts” are wrong about impeachment

Featured image Among those who write for the Washington Post’s news pages, Philip Rucker is arguably the most vicious and dishonest when it comes to President Trump. Rucker’s latest anti-Trump article is called (in the paper edition) “Probable acquittal [of Trump] will have long-term effects.” The subtitle is “Senate lowering bar for presidents’ permissible conduct, historians say.” In the body of the article, Rucker claims that this view is supported by “numerous »

The Jeffries distinction

Featured image Inside the sordid impeachment saga there must be a fat Robert Ludlum novel struggling to get out. In the video below from the Senate trial this past Thursday, for example, House impeachment manager Hakeem Jeffries quickly offered The Jeffries Distinction in response to a question posed by Senator Richard Burr. In The Jeffries Distinction he differentiated foreign meddling in the 2016 election undertaken by the Democrats from whatever Trump has »

Roberts rules

Featured image Senate Minority Leader Schumer seems to have thought he might get 50 votes for the Dems’ motion to add “witnesses” and “documents” to the case assembled by the House impeachment managers. Planning ahead, Schumer wondered what might happen in the event of a tie vote on the Dems’ motion. Schumer raised the issue by way of an “inquiry” to Chief Justice Roberts this past Friday, seeking to have Roberts commit »

Bar complaints against Trump’s defense team?

Featured image Michael Gerhardt is a law professor at the University of North Carolina. During the House impeachment hearings, Gerhardt embarrassed himself. He claimed that if what President Trump was accused of doing “is not impeachable, then nothing is.” That’s absurd. If the House hadn’t impeached Trump because of his Ukraine stunt, presidents could still be impeached for a multitude of offenses — e.g., selling state secrets to a foreign power or »

It’s John Bolton’s turn

Featured image So now it’s John Bolton who, in the name of defending President Trump, is to be demonized by conservatives. Some conservatives will find the task an easy one. Bolton is a foreign policy/national security hawk. Many conservatives have become rather dovish. But many other conservatives have continued to admire, or at least respect, Bolton. We like his hard line stance against America’s worst enemies, especially Iran. Bolton has plenty of »

From Paul Sperry’s notebook

Featured image Behind the impeachment of President Trump lies the “whistleblower” whose identity the mainstream media have carefully protected from disclosure. The Democrats have classified it Sensitive Compartmented Information. This must account for the media have blackout. At RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry (@paulsperry) has refused to abide by the blackout “rules.” He explored the back story in his deeply reported 4,000-word investigative account “Whistleblower Was Overheard in ’17 Discussing With Ally How to »

It’s All Over But the Whining [Updated]

Featured image With Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski announcing that they will vote against calling witnesses, the Senate’s impeachment proceeding nears an end. I thought they might actually vote tonight and bring the farce to a merciful conclusion, but apparently that isn’t happening. The New York Post offers a bipartisan explanation, but I suspect that part of what is going on is that the Democrats hope to extend the process beyond President »

Elizabeth Warren’s question

Featured image Former Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren posed a grandstanding question attacking Chief Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump yesterday. Warren was shrieking for attention. Why might that be? It is a little difficult to follow the logic of the question. The patent stupidity of the question should embarrass her and her target audience. Chief Justice Roberts was visibly chagrined by the »

Dems then & now: Biden memo edition

Featured image It’s hard to top my first impeachment related edition of “Dems then & now.” The retrieval of the 1999 Biden memo, however, makes a timely appearance for the windmills of your mind. John Bresnahan and Burgess Everett report at Politico: “In January 1999, then-Sen. Joe Biden argued strongly against the need to depose additional witnesses or seek new evidence in a memo sent to fellow Democrats ahead of President Bill »