The Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump

On Wednesday, January 15, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named  seven  Democratic House managers of the impeachment case against President Trump.  They were a diverse group of men and women who would prosecute the case for his removal from office. They were led by Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the  House  Intelligence Committee and Jerrold Nadler of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Jason Crow of Colorado , a former Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was elected in 2018. He is a leading voice on national security. Val Demings of Florida , a former police chief, is known as a respected questioner in previous trials. Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas is a path- breaking Latina  lawmaker in the state. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, is a rising lawmaker who has emerged as a party leader. Zoe Lofgren of California is a veteran of the Nixon and Clinton inquiries.

Speaker Pelosi   signed the Articles of Impeachment slowly giving each manager a pen.  When the signing was complete,  she said , “President Donald J. Trump  is impeached for Posterity”.

The seven managers then carried the two Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate in a solemn procession.   There was coverage on all Cable networks of the signing and the procession.  This management team is far more diverse than the thirteen white men Republicans selected to prosecute President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial.

On Thursday,  January 16,  The Senate was in session with Majority Leader McConnell in charge and Senator Grassley, the longest serving member in the chair.   Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John G. Roberts,  wearing his black robes, was escorted  into  the chamber where the senators were seated.  Grassley  greeted him and then asked him to raise his right hand with his left on the bible  before he administered the oath of impartiality.  Roberts  replied that he would and they shook hands.  He then moved to sit in the chair and address the senators.

Roberts asked them all to rise and raise their right hands.  Then he read the oath that called upon them to be impartial  as jurors in the trial of the president.  They all replied  they would.  Then,  each senator approached a desk at the front of the chamber where a recorder gave  a pen to sign the Registry .  The names of four senators were read aloud twenty five times in alphabetical order.  99 senators signed; one man was absent due to his wife’s illness.   They each signed the book  as a permanent record of the oath they had taken to be impartial jurors. This included Chairman Mc Connell who had said he would work with Trump and not be impartial  and Graham, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee who had said he would not read documents.  Both men had already said they wanted a speedy trial.

Roberts then read some procedural notes and adjourned the session until the following Tuesday.

The role of the Chief Justice in previous impeachment trials was written about in many newspapers and discussed on cable television.  Presiding over the Clinton trial, Chief Justice Rehnquist is quoted as saying, “I did nothing in particular and I did it very well.”   He was  pictured with gold stripes added to the sleeves of his black robes for the  significant occasion.

There are three current cases before the Supreme Court regarding Trump’s finances.  Another case concerns Trumps efforts to withdraw protection from the DACA immigrants who have lived here for years aiming to become citizens.   Many political columnists are addressing whether Roberts will be called upon to take a more active role than Rehnquist in the Senate Trial. Adam Liptak wrote in The New York Times,  “An Impeachment Trial Thrusts Roberts Into  Partisan Warfare”   He quoted from the Constitution, “When the president of The United states is tried, the chief justice shall preside.”  But the founding charter says  no more.  And what role the chief justice is to perform has proved baffling.

During the four days before the Trial would resume, major events occurred that would affect The Senate Trial.

On Friday, January  17,  Rachel Maddow conducted an in depth interview on MSNBC with Lev Parnas one of the men who worked with Rudy Giuliani on the stalking of  Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yuvonovich .  Parnas ,who is free on bail, described being  with President Trump often, supported by multiple pictures of them together at different times and places.  He agreed with Ambassador Sondland who said “everyone was in the loop.”  Also responded to Trump saying ,  “I don’t know the gentleman.  I take pictures with thousands of people.”   Parnas said bluntly,  “He lied.”   Parnas had become a cooperating witness and his testimony was on every talk show throughout the weekend.

Excerpts from Maddow’s interview were replayed many times by other commentators on Saturday and Sunday.  When the second half was shown on Sunday night, there were four million viewers.  Polls of Americans made clear that over 70 percent wanted witnesses and documents introduced into the Senate Trial.  Many said, “Whoever heard of a trial without witnesses?”

The big  news over the weekend  from The White House was that the president had added two “celebrity lawyers” to his team, Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz.   Since Trump appears to view the trial as a Television show, he was eager to have them join his regular lawyers.  Dershowitz immediately appeared on Ari Melber’s  hour and insisted that Abuse of Power in Article One is not a high crime and misdemeanor called for in The Constitution!  Ken Starr who ran the Clinton Impeachment was removed as Baylor University President over not acting on sexual abuses on the campus.  Both men have connections to Jeffrey Epstein the disgraced pedophile.

When the trial reconvenes tomorrow in the Senate, the men and women will not be allowed iphones  at their desks.  They must be silent and not ask questions.

Millions of Americans will be watching to see if Mitch McConnell will allow a rules change to include witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump.

Epilogue:

Tuesday morning January 21, 2020.  Last evening about six , Breaking News brought three BIG stories.   Donald J. Trump was boarding Air Force One to fly to Davos, Switzerland for the annual conference.  Mitch McConnell had released his plans for the Senate Impeachment Trial on a fast paced schedule.   He said weeks ago that he would work with the White House on the trial and the results shows that he did just that.  The third story was the White House lawyers release of a one hundred and ten page Brief (oxymoron) where they wrote that “the two Articles of Impeachment were constitutionally flawed and set a dangerous precedent”.

At about three this afternoon, the Democratic managers will begin their arguments in support of the Articles of Impeachment.  They will continue until midnight when most Americans will be sleeping.  Not prime time, for sure.    Each side will have 24 hours divided over two days.    By Saturday, this segment will be over.  Next week, the question of having witnesses, which 71 percent of the American public want will be raised.

At 1 p.m. today, the Trial will start.  I hope millions of Americans will be watching.   Perhaps Donald J. Trump will also watch in Davos.

……………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Justice John Roberts Writes His Yearly Report

As the country waited for The Impeachment Trial in the Senate of President Donald J. Trump,  Chief Justice Roberts ,who will preside over the trial, released his Yearly Report.   The focus was Civic Education and  knowledge of The Constitution with emphasis on The Rule of Law.

He wrote, “ We should reflect on our duty to judge without fear or favor, deciding each matter with humility, integrity and dispatch.  As the new year begins and we turn to the tasks before us, we should each resolve to do our best to maintain the public’s trust that we are faithfully discharging our solemn obligation to equal justice under law.”

The Report seemed to continue a conversation between the  Chief Justice and The President  that began in 2018. At that time, Trump called a judge of Mexican heritage who had ruled against his administration “an Obama judge.”  In response,  Roberts said, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges.  What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing  before them.” He also said the president had misunderstood the role of the federal courts in the constitutional system.

Donald Trump took issue with the Chief Justice’s statement on Twitter. He wrote, “Sorry, Chief  Justice John Roberts.  You do indeed have Obama Judges. And they have a much different view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.”

This year’s Yearly Report appears to continue emphasis upon The Chief Justice’s theme. He wrote, “We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary , a key source of national unity and stability. The judiciary has an important role to play in civic education.  We have come to take democracy for granted and civic education has fallen by the wayside.  In our age, when social media can spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government and the protection it provides is ever more vital. “

Roberts emphasized the importance the federal courts play by reaching  “accessible decisions”, citing Chief Justice Earl Warren  who illustrated the power of a judicial decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas” , the great school desegregation case.  His unanimous opinion on the most pressing issue of the era  was a mere eleven pages– short enough that  newspapers could publish all of it, or almost all of it and every citizen could understand the court’s rationale. Today, federal courts publish their opinions on line giving the public instant access to the reasoning behind the judgments that affect their lives.’’

Chief Justice Roberts praised the many educational programs across the nation  offered by federal judges in which students are invited to visit courthouses.  He did not address the issue of camera coverage which does not occur at trials in federal courts.

The pending Impeachment Trial of  Donald Trump  was not brought up in the Yearly Report. However, a news story  reporting Representative Jamie Raskin,  Democrat , Maryland  being  interviewed on CNN became news on Lawrence Tribe Twitter, a column read by thousands every day.  Raskin said,  “McConnell and Graham are  disgracing the Senate and posing a dilemma for Chief Justice John Roberts. How can the Chief Justice in good faith administer the oath “to do impartial justice” to senators who have said they will be anything but impartial? “

McConnell is Majority Leader of the Senate who has said he will coordinate the trial procedures with the White House and not be impartial.  Graham, Chair of The Senate Judiciary Committee, has said he will not read any documents presented at the Trial.

Epilogue:

We, the American people wait to see if and when the Senate trial will take place.  McConnell and Graham want a speedy trial.  Donald Trump has said he wants a show trial to prove his innocence. However, he will not release witnesses and documents that have been subpoenaed by the House of Representatives from the White House.

The Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi, has said she will keep the Two Articles of Impeachment until Senator McConnell agrees to discuss the procedures for a fair trial with Senator Schumer and they reach agreement.

Amen says this American citizen……. Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chaotic Story of Trump’s Ukraine Aid Freeze

December 29, The New York Times broke what they called “An 84 Day Clash of Wills ‘’  An in depth article traced the people and events that occurred from the inception of Donald Trump’s idea that he would put a hold on necessary funds Congress had passed to help Ukraine withstand Russian tanks on their border.

The president was known to make impulsive decisions without the advice of his Security aides.  He refused to read the daily policy briefs that gave him the latest information on foreign and domestic affairs.  He also had a fixed idea that Ukraine was a corrupt state.  This was unsupported by current information that  newly elected President Zelensky was a reformer.

The Story Begins:  June 27 was more than a week after Donald Trump first suggested putting a hold on security aid to embattled Ukraine.   Mick Mulvaney, Acting Chief of Staff, was on Air Force One with Trump flying to Japan. Mulvaney sent an email to an aide in D.C. asking, “Did we ever find out about the money for Ukraine and whether we can hold it back?” The aide, Robert Blair, wrote back, “ Expect Congress to become unhinged “. He had written in a previous email that would happen if the White House tried to countermand spending passed by The House and Senate. The aid Congress had approved was $391 million for javelin missiles,  rocket propelled grenades,  sniper rifles, night vision goggles, medical aid and other equipment .

During July and August,  top lawyers at the OMB ,Office of Management and Budget, met with White House lawyers to see if Trump as Commander in Chief could be able to freeze the aid to Ukraine.  Mulvaney shared Trump’s demands across the administration while the OMB and Pentagon were kept in the dark.   Trump insisted about Ukraine, “They are all corrupt…. Terrible people.”

In late August,  Mulvaney was joined by Defense Secretary Mark Esper,  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. They  arranged a meeting in the Oval Office with Trump sitting behind the Resolute Desk.   One by one, each man presented his case for lifting the aid freeze.   They were powerful men in important positions and all agreed that this should not happen.  The discussion was long and heated.  However, Trump had decided and they were not successful in changing his mind.  He declared, “Ukraine is a corrupt country…. And we are pissing away our money.”

It is important to note that these three men had been subpoenaed by The House Intelligence Committee in their Impeachment Inquiry.   The president had told all his administration officials to refuse the subpoenas and they had agreed.  However, Ambassador Taylor,  Ambassador Yovonovich,  Colonel Vindaman  and  fourteen other witnesses   gave one hundred hours of sworn testimony and answered questions from members of The Intelligence Committee.

Trump orders freeze on Ukraine aid  be partially lifted on September 12. 

Then, on  September 25, he made his  famous call to President Zelensky asking  that he do us “a favor”.  The favor had two parts.  First, announce publicly that he would start an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, Hunter for unlawful activities in Ukraine.  Second, he would support the unproven conspiracy theory that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election.  In return, Zelensky would be invited to a meeting in the Oval office, a much desired boost to his prestige as a new president. Note:This meeting never happened and Zelensky never supported the conspiracy theory.

Later, during the Impeachment Inquiry,  Trump’s offer was described as Bribery, one of the two examples of  High Crimes and Misdemeanors named  in The Constitution.

Enter The Whistle Blower:  A C.I.A. official who had once worked in the White House learned of the phone call. He or she wrote a complaint that was declassified and given to The House Intelligence Committee.  For the record, The Whistle Blower Protection Act was passed by Congress in 1989. It protects whistle blowers who report activities that violate laws, rules and regulations in government as well as business and industry.

Epilogue:   On September 25. The New York Times ran a banner headline: Pelosi Will Open Formal Impeachment Inquiry, Accusing President of Betrayal of The Nation.”

……………………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What We Saw and Heard During The Debate on The Articles of Impeachment.

On the day of the debate, each member was given one minute to speak.  Democrats alternated with Republicans over the long hours.  The entire session, carried live on cable channels,  gave the viewers a chance to see the vast differences between the Representatives of the two parties and to hear what they stressed.

As I watched and listened,  I saw the Republicans were mostly  old white men (  90 percent confirmed later). The Democratic white men (38 percent confirmed later) were joined by women (white and of color ) young  Blue Wave and  older  women alternated with  Black and Hispanic men.

Behind  Republican Jim Jeffords was a huge picture of the United States Map from the 2016 election with Red states and Blue states.  Trump states covered more space since his votes were spread out over the middle of the country, while the East and West coasts were heavily Blue.  The Title was “ Impeachment Is Their Only Option.”    The actual count of course, gave Trump 63 million votes.  Hillary Clinton polled 65 million votes despite James Comey’s press conferences and Russian interference for Trump, she won The Popular Vote.

During the speeches, Republicans  spoke with fury and anger  about  the act of impeaching  Donald Trump.   One compared him to Jesus Christ being nailed to the cross.  Another asked for a moment of silence for the sixty three million people who had voted for him.   They attacked the process of Impeachment throughout, naming Adam Schiff and others who led the Investigation in The House .

It is notable that not one Republican spoke of the president’s behavior , character, actions or morals in reference to the Articles based on his Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress of which they are all members.   He was portrayed as a victim.

Epilogue:

Donald J. Trump was impeached  on both Articles of Impeachment by solid majority votes in The House of Representatives.  He will forever have an asterix next to his name in the history books.  However, his fate lies with the Senate trial that should take place next.  The Senate decides on Conviction and Removal from Office or Acquittal.

The next step is a trial in the Senate.  However, a major problem has arisen, since the Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell has made clear that he is working with the  president’s lawyers to produce the trial.   He has said,  “I am not impartial”  although he and every senator has to take an oath saying they will be impartial jurors.

As a result, The Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi has said she will wait until it is clear that there will be a fair trial before she will forward the Impeachment Results to the Senate.   Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has presented McConnell with ways that can happen.   Now, it is a waiting game until  Congress returns after the Recess

The American people will celebrate the holidays and The New Year in the weeks ahead.   Whatever our political persuasion… let us all hope for a fair trial that will  bring witnesses and documents before the Senate and the American public.   Then a vote would have meaning for the president and the American people.

………………………………………………. Joyce S. Anderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Love With Writing

While reading Edith Wharton’s memoir, A Backward Glance, I came across a description

of another writer that blazed from the page.  She wrote of Joseph Conrad that “…he had

worshiped the English language all his life like a lover.”

As I read these words, I was struck by the passion of her imagery.  Of course, Edith

Wharton’s entire life was devoted to the English language from the time when she first

discovered  hundreds of leather bound books in her father’s library.  She went on to become a

distinguished novelist whose books limned the manners and mores of her day. The Age of

Innocence brought her the Pulitzer Prize; Ethan Frome, the ironic novella of life in a small

New England town,  appears on reading lists in many of our high schools.

I remember in eighth grade when we were first introduced by our English teacher to the

technique of ‘diagraming’ a sentence.  First, we had to separate each word as to the particular

part of speech: noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, article.  Then, out came the rulers to

draw a graphic design of the sentence.  The straight line and placement of the subject and

predicate.  Once these essentials were in place, we had to position the object. And then the many

diagonal lines for the modifiers and the phrases.

We started with simple sentences and progressed to more complex ones.  I must confess

that I was probably the only one in the class who appeared to enjoy this entire endeavor. There

was something about the order and symmetry of the design that I found profoundly satisfying.

Every word had a place in relation to every other word.  It all could be broken down and put back

together again.  Voila!  The structure of the sentence was revealed in its purest form.

In high school, when I studied Latin, the appeal was the same. To take the sentence

apart — finding the verbs,  nouns and modifiers. Then, reconstructing the sentence in English.

It was a puzzle that could be deciphered in measured steps.  And it served to heighten my

appreciation for the order of the English language as well. Some said that was the main reason to

study Latin, labeled a ‘dead language’. But I always felt it had intrinsic worth in itself. My

mother, the only person I knew who had studied Latin for eight years and Greek for seven,

agreed.  She was a wise woman in many ways, one of which was to value the Classics.

Many decades later, as I write this column, I still retain the wonder and love for the

beauty and majesty of the English language.  And I still have a lot to learn.

In the year 2000, when I began the interviews and writing that led to my first book,

Courage In High Heels, I was embarking in a new direction.  Writing articles for newspapers

and magazines for over twenty years was a different pursuit from writing a book.  Both, of

course, require the disciplined use of the language.   I like the term, ‘wordsmith’ as a descriptor

— a writer molds words  as a sculptor shapes the clay and a silversmith works with the precious

metal.

During the interviews with the eight women who gave me their life stories for Courage

In High Heels, I learned that their words were the heart of their stories. In an atmosphere where

trust was essential, they told me with candor and honesty  what they had thought and felt during

the skein of events that threaded through their lives.  They each had overcome formidable

obstacles in life with amazing spirit and resilience. Yet each woman had dealt with life in

an individual way. The words that they shared with me were very powerful and I used them liberally in each story. I call their quotes —  the “juices of the book”.

After completing my first book, there was the daunting task of finding a publisher.

Twenty proposals were out at all times to prospective agents and/or editors, in a process called

simultaneous submission.  During the two and a half years before the book was accepted for

publication, I embarked on a wonderful new romance with the English language — writing

fiction.  I found it exhilarating to create the characters and their ever evolving lives — the twists,

the conflicts, the drama in human relationships. I became totally engrossed in the writing.

The first novel, Flaw In The Tapestry, will be in print within the next six months.  If

Winter Comes and The Mermaids Singing are also completed and waiting in the wings.   All

three are indeed the fruits of a long and continuing love affair with the English language.

As my mother often said — onward!

 

 

Kimchi Family: Jewish Literary History

Our family had ancestors who wrote in the 19th and 20th centuries.  They can be found on Wikipedia under the Title above with pictures and books they wrote.  It is fascinating to explore.  Take a look.

When my sister, Shirley Sloan Fader went to Israel with her husband Seymour to live after the State of Israel was born, they met several  Kimchis who were writers.

It is fascinating to trace the probability that writing genes have been passed from generation to generation in our family.  Here goes:

Shirley and I were the daughters of Miriam Marcus Sloan.  Her mother was Hannah KIMCHI Marcus.  She had come to America with her father in about 1890 from Poland.  He didn’t   like it here and then went to Palestine.  She said, “I like it here.  I’m staying.”  Lucky for all of us, she was very independent and beautiful.  She was courted in the Lower East Side of New York by a German Jewish Doctor whose last name was Marcus.

They had three daughters, Deborah, Rose and Miriam. Deborah and Miriam were early scholars and loved to write.  They both went to Hunter College , free in those days, and studied many languages: Latin, Greek, Old English, Hebrew of course, French, German .  In later years, Miriam learned Braille to teach on a volunteer basis to classes for l7 years of her later life. She and her students sent books to The Library of Congress in Washington.

Deborah wrote “The Three Pillars”, the book given by The Theological Seminary to Jewish brides on their weddings for decades. The pillars were Thought. Worship. Practice. Deborah was also the Supervisor of Languages in Elizabeth , New Jersey where they lived.  Once a year she gave a lecture in Latin. She married a Sephardic Rabbi, Raphael Melamed.

Miriam married Samuel Louis Sloan, a doctor who opened his practice in Paterson , New Jersey.  My sister and I both loved to write.  Shirley became what was known as a three name lady writer.  Shirley Sloan Fader.   Her books are  in my library.  She wrote articles and books for children and adults.  “The Princess Who Grew Down”  , “From Kitchen to Career”  and “Jobmanship”  under a man’s name S. R. Redford.  ( The initials were for Shirley Ruth )

I started writing books after writing a weekly column for 15 years in Jewish Times, “ Dimensions” on Social and Political aspects of current life.  My first book, “Courage in High Heels”, published in 2003 became my bestseller.  My novels: “Flaw in The Tapestry” was followed by a sequel, “If Winter Comes”.  “The Mermaids Singing”  led to “The Critical Eye”, a collection of my articles on American life style and culture that have been published in newspapers and magazines over the years.

It appears that some of the original Kimchi genes from the European and Palestine Kimchi writers are appearing in my children and their children.   How delightful to contemplate this genetic progression.

Steven and David write as an integral part of their professional positions.  Steve is managing partner of the law firm he founded in New York City. Dave is a Senior Executive at the Washington Center in D.C.  He was  the editor of  “‘Leverage” and contributes Op Ed columns to The Hill, Baltimore Sun and other major publications. Faith has used her writing skills to build a solid career in the corporate business world where reports, and analyses are required in many aspects of the positions she has held.

Next Generation:   Steven & Lauren’s son Jason has a degree in English and has written a novel as well as several TV or Movie scripts.   David and Adrienne’s daughter Eden is aimed at a career in Design where she will edit and create in writing and pictures.  Faith’s daughter Jennifer matched writing skills to her art work  in college years.  She is currently  preparing Power Point presentations for a New York Doctor who gives lectures around the world on complex medical subjects.  Jen does the writing.

It seems to me the proud grandmother that all three of the next generation are displaying Kimchi genes to advantage.  Fantastic!

………………………………………………………………………………………Joyce S. Anderson

 

Alert:William Barr Preparing a Report to Blow up The Impeachment Inquiry!

 

Daily Kos has released a detailed account of what The Attorney General  has been doing as he races around the world.  He proved he was the president’s lawyer rather than the people’s lawyer when he gave his four page summary of the Mueller Report’s 400 plus pages.  For the past months, he has visited many countries seeking ways to build Donald Trump’s reputation and denigrate The Impeachment Inquiry and The Democrats.

Recommend:  Read Daily Kos 11/18/19 posting on your computer.   Full account of Barr’s actions , plans and Republicans cooperation in this scheme.

………………………………………..Joyce S. Anderson