Pat Cipollone, a attorney worthy of Trump


“The opening debate of the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday afternoon was supposed to be merely about the trial rules. But in quintessential Trump fashion, members of President Donald Trump’s legal team wasted no time telling a number of lies before things really got going.”    [Vox]



White House counseler Pat Cipollone

The head of impeachment defense

Put a show on we call dog and pony

With the smoke and the mirrors nonsense.

As he stood on the floor of the Senate,

Where the Chief Justice had to preside,

Disregarding integrity,  when it

Was his turn to argue,  he lied!





Filed under: impeachment trial


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  • Well done. Keep airing out this mess!

  • I kept thinking how this was going over with the people in the Senate chambers. Many senators in both parties are lawyers and most others are intelligent, experienced public figures. If I were in their position I would feel patronized by Cipollone's simplistic, vulgar rant. I also wondered how Chief Justice Roberts was taking it. Any lawyer who made a Cipollone-type argument would have nine robed figures landing on him at one time.

    But, I am not naïve. Cipollone's argument was addressed to someone outside the Senate chamber and his followers.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    On your last point, unless the prospect exists for 67 Senators to convict, that is all there is. There may be a question whether the acolytes are willing to sit through 48 hours of streaming or CSPAN, but I'm sure Rush and Hannity will give them all they need to "know."

    Roberts is relevant only to the extent that when he is presiding over the Senate trial, he isn't doing any court work, unless he is the usual lawyer being able to bill 28 hours a day.

  • In reply to jack:

    The Founding Fathers should have carved out a bigger role for the Chief Justice than procedural puppet or exhorter for decorum.

    As to point #2, it's basically Roberts' chance to display his robe.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    I had (maybe mistakenly), replied to this in a reply to jnorto.

  • Something I mentioned here a couple of weeks ago has bit the Democrat managers in the tuchus. I said that the articles should have specifically charged crimes in 18 USC, such as the sections in the Blago indictment. Now, reportedly, there are enough Republican senators saying that crimes were not charged or that the charges are not impeachable. Schiff saying that if these articles are not impeachable, nothing is, isn't going to convince them.

  • In reply to jack:

    Do you really think in the least that they can be convinced of anything except the benefits of a Trump presidency factored in with sheer terror of his base?

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Probably not. When you had the Dem. senator from Indiana unsuccessfully running on "the Trumpsters lied, I supported Trump on this, this, and that," just think what a Republican would face. I was surprised that the Senate did not flip as the House had.

    The current dynamic is whether the Senate can get 4 Republican votes to subpoena witnesses; not at least 20 to convict.

  • In reply to jack:

    But I don't think anything would have been improved by charging a statutory crime. If, for example, the articles of impeachment had charged Trump with extortion, Trump's attorneys would have led us all on an extended debate on whether or not all of the elements of 18 USC 872 had been met, and if so, whether a felony punishable by only three years imprisonment would qualify as a "high crime or misdemeanor." Do you think 20 Republicans in the Senate would have been persuaded to vote to remove Donald Trump?

    I think the House may have done the right thing in charging Trump with the real crimes that should call for his removal. In the words of Hamilton from Federalist 65, "those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust." These are the crimes that the American people will ultimately try Trump for in November. The ultimate trial is not in the Senate.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Of course on the last. I'm just passing on why the House apparently had to have the spectacle of 3 out of 4 professors saying the charges were impeachable, but that just giving the Republicans a talking point.

    Since we brought up attempted extortion, Trump should face up to that Blago didn't do anything wrong either (as Blago keeps saying), but obviously a pardon isn't coming because he's figured out that there is no political upside to that.

    But on the question of "high crime or misdemeanor," any crime in excess of a traffic offense is. Punishment for a misdemeanor is limited to 1 year in jail, so 3 years is certainly a felony.

    Mentioning The Federalist reminds me that Roberts isn't there to make rulings of law, in the sense of directing a verdict, so no matter what the Federalist says, nobody (including the ghost of Justice Scalia) is telling the senators what the clause means. Presumably, the Chief Justice presides because the Founders did not want the VP or pres. pro tem to preside (consider the conflict Pence would have had).

  • In reply to jack:

    So you are arguing that every crime is a "high crime or misdemeanor"? I don't think you will find much support for this. Certainly the Senate did not agree when it considered removing Bill Clinton. He clearly committed perjury, which, under at least one federal statute, 18 USC 1620, is punishable by up to 5 years. The Senate acquitted him and most of the senators agreed that he lied, but that lying about a private sexual matter did not rise to the level of a violation of a public trust. The people apparently agreed, since his popularity increased after the impeachment trial.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Everything in excess of a violation is. Your argument doesn't prove any legal proposition except that it takes 67 to remove, and if IIRC, Clinton's trial in the Senate started on the premise that the votes were not there.

    Similarly, the Republicans are now arguing that the obstruction article fails because the WH was exercising proper executive privilege, and the abuse of power one fails because the President has the right to direct the course of foreign policy and investigate corruption.Considering all the judicial rebukes to various administration actions, there could have been articles based on the Muslim ban, the government shutdown, diversion of other defense construction appropriations to the wall, etc., but Congress didn't impeach on those grounds. Hence, abuse of power is too amorphous to stick (not to consider how guys like chef considered abuse of power during the Obama years).

    Bringing up Clinton, I'm sure the Republicans are saying that they are using the same rules as in the Clinton trial because they know the 67 votes aren't there. So, again, finish it quickly.

  • If all felonies and misdemeanors are high crimes and misdemeanors the founders wasted an adjective.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Which one? There isn't one in front of misdemeanor.

    Black's Law Dictionary says under CRIME

    High crimes
    High crimes and misdemeanors are such immoral and unlawful acts as are nearly allied and equal in guilt to felony, yet, owing to some technical circumstance, do I not fall within the definition of “felony.” State ” v. Knapp, 6 Conn. 417, 16 Am. Dec. 68. ... They are more nearly allied and equal in guilt to felony , but which do not fall within its definition. Firmara v. Gardner, 86 Conn. 434, 85 A 670. 672.

    Similarly in Merriam Webster:
    Legal Definition of high crime

    : a crime of infamous nature contrary to public morality but not technically constituting a felony specifically : an offense that the U.S. Senate deems to constitute an adequate ground for removal of the president, vice president, or any civil officer as a person unfit to hold public office and deserving of impeachment

    The last sentence is the core of it. The Dems were running a tape last night that Lindsay Graham said 21 years ago that it doesn't require a crime, but now it does.

    All I'm saying, Antonin, is that it takes 67 votes to define what is a high crime or misdemeanor, and if something less than a felony is impeachable, a felony certainly should be.Now shaking down a Ukrainian without a quid pro quo may be impeachable, but it would be certainly nonsensical to say that felony extortion isn't, and Trump has always argued the opposite, or he would not have repeatedly said there was no quid pro quo or pressure.

    In any event, the GPO or West has not published any Impeachment Reports binding on the Senators*, so you are basically pettifogging.

    *Not that a conservative Supreme Court felt bound by prior decisions on mail order use tax and opting out of union political activities.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you. Black and Merriam Webster reinforce my point.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Only to the extent that you agree with the old Lindsay. Certainly not the point on the adjective.

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