Monday, January 11, 2021

Last Call For The Reach Again To Impeach Again

Impeachment 2: Impeach Harder is coming along at a near record pace as House Democrats have introduced a single impeachment resolution over Donald Trump's incitement to violence last week directly resulting in the US Capitol terrorist attack, and Pelosi says they have the votes to proceed.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi is on the cusp of majority support in the House to impeach President Donald Trump, part of a two-front effort to punish and remove him for inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week.

Key members of the House Judiciary Committee introduced a single article of impeachment Monday that has already gathered at least 218 cosponsors, according to a congressional aide involved in the process, meeting the majority needed in the House. Pelosi signaled Sunday night that the House would vote on that article if Trump refuses to resign and Vice President Mike Pence won’t initiate other procedures to remove him.

“Because the timeframe is so short and the need is so immediate and an emergency, we will also proceed on a parallel path in terms of impeachment,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Monday. “Whether impeachment can pass the United States Senate is not the issue.”

“There may well be a vote on impeachment on Wednesday," he said.

At a brief House session on Monday morning, the House formally accepted the resignation of Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, who was partly responsible for security arrangements on Jan. 6. And moments later, Rep. Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) blocked unanimous consideration of a resolution from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) that would have urged Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment process to remove Trump from power. The House intends to vote on the resolution Tuesday.

Although some Democrats have voiced worry that impeaching Trump with just days left in his term could hamstring President-elect Joe Biden’s early weeks in office, momentum has only grown as new and disturbing footage of the violence wrought by the rioters has emerged.
That footage included the beating of a Capitol Police officer, yanked out of the building by a crowd of Trump supporters. The officer in the video has not been identified, but it surfaced after the news that at least one officer, Brain Sicknick, died of injuries sustained during the onslaught.

Every new indication that the rioters included a more sophisticated contingent of insurrectionists has inflamed the House anew, even as Republicans have continued to express wariness, if not outright opposition, to impeachment.
Facing an armed terrorist insurrection with people seeking to kill you or to take you hostage in order to install Trump in a coup has a remarkably clarifying effect on your goal priorities, and I'm glad to see Democrats essentially united in getting this done.

So what happens in the Senate trial? Is it moot once Trump is out of office? John Cassidy at The New Yorker covers that scenario:

Given the Republican Party’s continued refusal to take responsibility for Trump, what can be done to bring a dangerous President to book? Some Democrats are concerned that starting the Senate trial as Biden takes office, which is the timetable that McConnell has put forward, could endanger the new Administration’s policy agenda and its hopes of getting its Cabinet nominees confirmed quickly. One option that Pelosi and her colleagues are exploring is delaying the impeachment trial in the Senate, perhaps for as long as two or three months. Under this scenario, which Representative James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House, laid out on Sunday, the House would pass the article, or articles, of impeachment this week but then hold off on passing them along to the Senate. “Let’s give President-elect Biden the hundred days he needs to get his agenda off and running,” Clyburn, who is a close ally of Biden’s, said on Fox News on Sunday. “And maybe we will send the articles sometime after that.”

If the only goal of impeachment is to prevent Trump from running again in 2024, delaying a trial might be a defensible option. The danger is, though, that it might lessen the pressure on Senate Republicans to vote for a conviction. With many G.O.P. members already trying to wriggle away from their responsibilities in the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s insurrection, how much less likely are they to answer the call in three months? Conceivably, a delayed trial could give Trump yet another burst of publicity at a moment when most Americans are hoping to be rid of him—and then end with him claiming to have been vindicated.

One other option that is worth considering, Eisen told me, is invoking Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which says that anybody who has called for an insurrection against the federal government can’t run for office. Trump’s actions certainly seem to satisfy the statute, and Section 5 of the Amendment gives Congress the power to enforce it. “That’s certainly something that should be in the mix,” Eisen said. “But we should lead with impeachment.”

What’s required is a way to punish Trump for his sedition, make sure he can’t run for President again, and deprive him of the oxygen he so craves. The permanent ban by Twitter goes a long way toward meeting the third goal, but the first two are arguably even more important.

In other democracies, a leader who tried to overthrow an election result and incited a violent insurrection might well be cooling his heels in prison by now. In this country, the job of policing the President falls largely on the legislative branch. For four years, it has failed dismally to carry out this task. Even after the unprecedented events of last week, it’s far from clear that Congress will prove up to the task now. But this time, surely, and for the sake of American democracy, Trump must be held accountable.
Sadly, it looks increasingly like Republicans in Congress will refuse to hold Trump accountable. As for New York or other states, we'll see.
But more is coming, I guarantee. 

The Coup-Coup Birds Came Home To Roost

Part of the process of justice for last week's attempted coup has to involve a through investigation into what the military, intelligence and police knew about Trump's plot to incite a violent terrorist mob to stop the electoral vote count with deadly force. The evidence was overwhelming that something terrible was going to happen, and failure after failure occurred that could have resulted in the deaths of dozens of lawmakers and staffers. It's time to know what the Capitol Police were told, and who told them what.

The FBI and the New York City Police Department passed information to U.S. Capitol Police about the possibility of violence during the protests Wednesday against the counting of the Electoral College vote, and the FBI even visited more than a dozen extremists already under investigation to urge them not to travel to Washington, senior law enforcement officials said.

The previously unreported details undercut the assertion by a top FBI official that officials had no indication that violence was a possibility, and they add to questions about what intelligence authorities had reviewed before the Capitol riot, which led to the death of an officer and four other people, including a rioter who was shot and killed by police.

"Social media is just part of a full intelligence picture, and while there was First Amendment-protected activity on social media to include some people making threats, to this point, investigators have not found that there was an organized plot to access the Capitol," a senior FBI official said.

It was immediately obvious after the Capitol was seized by a violent mob Wednesday that Capitol Police, whose job is to defend the facility and the lawmakers who work there, had completely misjudged the security threat. The chief of the force was quickly forced out of his job, as were other key legislative security officials.

As evidence mounts that some extremists had told the world what they had in mind through social media, questions are emerging about whether the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies took the postings seriously enough — and why, if they did, they didn't step in until well after the building was under attack.

Asked Friday whether the slow police response Wednesday was the result of an intelligence failure, the official who leads the FBI's Washington field office, Steven D'Antuono, said no. "There was no indication that there was anything [planned] other than First Amendment-protected activity," he said.
First Amendment-protected activity.
They're going to cover their failures with "well, free speech, so we couldn't have done a thing." 

Guess next time we have to wait until even more Capitol Police die defending the country from insurrection.

Black Lives Still Matter, Con't

Missouri Democratic Rep. Cori Bush is the House Democrat from St. Louis, including Ferguson, Missouri. An activist and pastor, she ran for the House in 2018 and lost her primary to long-time Democratic Rep. Lacy Clay, but beat Clay her second time around last August and easily won election last November. She knows what being attacked by police is like, maced just a few months ago while at a demonstration in Missouri and she is not pulling any punches on dealing with the sedition caucus in the GOP.

On Wednesday, as I sat in the House gallery listening to my colleagues debate the certification of the electoral college votes, something prompted me to get up and leave. I left the chamber and quickly went to check on what was happening outside. The doors were locked, but as I stood on the second floor of the Capitol and looked out through windows in the doors, I could see Trump flags and Confederate flags gradually moving closer. I froze in disbelief. The next minute, my staffer was rushing me back to my office.

Once I was in my office and we secured the door, I felt a different kind of burn — this time inside. Watching on TV, we saw white supremacists stroll past Capitol Police, untouched and unscathed. Just minutes after we had locked our door, the mob entered the House Rotunda. The rioters broke windows, sat in the House speaker’s office and invaded the Senate floor.

There was no way to avoid the comparison or to duck the obvious answer: Would this have happened if the rioters were there to fight for Black lives rather than white supremacy? We’ve been tear-gassed for much less, beaten for much less and shot at for much less. We’ve been assaulted by law enforcement for much less.

But it’s clear to me that top law enforcement leaders on Capitol Hill had little interest in preventing this attempted insurrection. Videos have emerged of police taking selfies with protesters, walking them down the stairs and even opening gates for them. The front line of officers were not in riot gear, they were not wearing gas masks, they were not holding guns loaded with rubber bullets. And, above all else, there were no police dogs.

We faced police dogs when we fought for justice for Mike Brown in Ferguson in 2014. There were police dogs at protests for Black lives this year, from the East Coast to the West. The president himself tweeted in May that the “most vicious dogs” awaited protesters standing up for Black lives at the White House.

But there were no police dogs awaiting the white supremacists who gathered outside the Capitol. It was no coincidence that this tool of racial control was absent Wednesday, as rioters carried the flag of the slave-catcher’s Confederacy — and its modern manifestation, the Trump flag — through the House Rotunda.

Many have said that what transpired on Wednesday was not America. They are wrong. This is the America that Black people know.
To declare that this is not America is to deny the reality that Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate incited this coup by treasonously working to overturn the results of the presidential election. It’s to deny the fact that one of my senators, Josh Hawley, went out of his way to salute the white supremacists before their attempted coup. It’s to deny that he appropriated the sign of Black power, the raised fist, into a white-supremacist salute — a fist he has never raised at a march for Black lives because he has never shown up to one. It’s to deny that what my Republican colleagues call “fraud” actually refers to the valid votes of Black, brown and Indigenous voters across this country who, in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately kills us, overcame voter suppression in all of its forms to deliver an election victory for Joe Biden and Kamala D. Harris.

This is America, and it will continue to be America, until white supremacy is dismantled. Justice starts at removing each and every representative who incited this insurrection. I’ve unveiled my first piece of legislation that would do just that. We cannot denounce white supremacy and allow its endorsers to continue serving in our government.
Bush is introducing legislation this week to expel the sedition caucus member of the GOP that voted for Trump's coup. It will go to the House floor. And it will go on record.

If there's anyone who deserves to be expelled from the House, it's Qball nutjob Marjorie Taylor Greene, and gun fetishist Lauren Boebert.

Here's hoping.


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