The impeachment of President Donald Trump officially moved to the United States Senate, today. It is reasonable to expect that the antics of the House will be very much present as the lead House manager is Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
The Democrats continue, with one voice, to verbally bully the president and the Senate and pre-emptively accuse them of a cover-up if the House managers don’t get their way.
Pelosi and Schiff weave a tangled web to deceive
In a stunningly hypocritical moment, Pelosi quoted the familiar “What a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive” and applied it to President Trump.
An “infallible, undeniable” case
Pelosi said the House Democrats saw a strong case for impeachment, an “infallible undeniable case.” But the House and Senate Republicans have been poking a lot of holes in the “infallible” case even as it was presented on national television. The case that has been sent to the Senate was definitely weak and fallible. That is why Pelosi and her “henchmen and women” want more witnesses and evidence admitted to the Senate trial.
Nancy Pelosi called Senate leader Mitch McConnell the grim reaper. She called AG William Barr “the rogue Attorney General” who should but wouldn’t appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the claims made by Lev Parnas. because he, Barr, is implicated in “all of this.” She then said he was an example of all the president’s “henchmen,” and hoped that senators would not become his “henchmen.” She then called Barr a puppet!
When asked if Lev Parnas, under federal indictment for campaign finance violations, would be a credible witness, Pelosi wasn’t as confident and clear. She did seem to want to believe Parnas as she said that Barr was implicated in Parnas’s testimony.
Watch Lindsey Graham respond to Lev Parnas and “new” evidence:
Pelosi accused President Trump of violating the Impowerment [sic]Control Act during her weekly press conference, which makes it seem as if this might be the first time she ever heard of the ICA. But the “I” in ICA stands for Impoundment, not “Impowerment” which is not actually a word.
Did President Trump violate the Impoundment Control Act?
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) violated the law,
“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.[The Office of Management and Budget] OMB withheld funds for a policy reason … not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that the OMB violated the ICA [Impoundment Control Act].”
The non-partisan GAO issued an opinion about the deferring of funds for Ukraine, which seems to help the House Democrats at this point.
Did the president violate the Impoundment Control Act (ICA), an act passed by Congress in 1974 during Richard Nixon’s administration? One wonders why a president wouldn’t veto an act that effectively ties his hands when it comes to funds and foreign policy?
According to the ICA, Congress can appropriate funds and mandate that they be spent in a foreign country and the president has to comply, even if it conflicts with his own foreign policy agenda as in the case of aid to Ukraine. This is obviously a problem for the president now and going forward.
For a full analysis of the Impoundment Control Act, go here.
How important is the GAO opinion that Trump broke the law?
At first, the GAO opinion seems like the absolute end of Trump, but let’s get a little perspective. The GAO issued letters of at least seven violations during President Obama’s administration, including one for the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange. Here’s what the Washington Post had to say about that back in August, 2014.
The Government Accountability Office released a review Thursday stating that the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap broke a law mandating that Congress be informed of prisoner transfers from Guantanamo. The review handed opponents of President Obama powerful reinforcement of two of their key critiques: that Obama routinely oversteps his executive authority, and that his maneuvers on foreign policy make the country less safe. But the actual effect of the letter from the nonpartisan agency may be only that — that it becomes a political talking point.
Now, the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap was far more serious in nature as the Taliban 5 (all five had ties to Al Qaeda) that were released are now negotiating the US exit from Afghanistan. But, the press gave President Obama a pass and he was not impeached for not informing Congress that the prisoners from Guantanamo were being released.
Watch Pelosi’s press conference: