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Ash writes: "The problem and the paradox for Pelosi and Democratic House leadership is that either everything they and their media oracles have been saying for 3 years is a complete joke or they are duty-bound to proceed with impeachment."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (photo: Eric Thayer/NYT)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (photo: Eric Thayer/NYT)

Somebody Haul Nancy Pelosi Out From Under the Bed

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

31 May 19


obert Mueller is trying to handle this like a pro. He is conspicuously understated and remarkably measured in his presentation, given the tectonic portent of his report. Nonetheless, in substance his statement yesterday could not have been more unequivocal. This is not a “punt” to Congress, it’s a hand delivery. With emphasis.

The problem and the paradox for Pelosi and Democratic House leadership is that either everything they and their media oracles have been saying for 3 years is a complete joke or they are duty-bound to proceed with impeachment.

What Special Counsel Robert Mueller said loud and clear yesterday was, in substance: It ain’t no joke. More specifically, he said, “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments — that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

What is the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans?

The line from Congressional Democrats for the last two years is that the Republicans cared more about holding onto power than acting to protect the country. “Politics over country.” Now the Democrats have power, and they are the ones who will not act — for the very same politically-based reasons.

The danger of inaction on the part of the Democrats in light of the clear and present danger articulated both in the Mueller report and in his supplementary statement yesterday is twofold.

On a national security level, the country has been notified that a threat exists and that something needs to be done. Inaction leaves the vulnerability open and the country at risk. On a political level, inaction looks cowardly, under the circumstances, and given the political calculations the Democrats are clearly making, duplicitous.

It should be noted that Congress is not really set up to play cops and robbers. The Constitution provides the framework for Congress to investigate, prosecute, and impeach along with the capacity to subpoena and enforce those subpoenas if necessary. But no one down at the Capitol Building is particularly accustomed to directly confronting serious criminal activity, especially as it would pertain to the president. Normally that’s left to the Justice Department, which does that sort of thing on a rather routine basis.

The Republicans did absolutely impeach Bill Clinton for lying about his tryst with a White House intern. The difference was that the Clinton impeachment was pure political theater, as was the underlying investigation by Special Prosecutor Ken Starr.

The investigation into Russian election interference is, on the other hand, arguably the most serious investigation ever launched into a presidential administration. That makes it more complicated for Congress, not less. This one actually has material ramifications, and vast ones.

The Democrats, along with the US law enforcement and intelligence communities, sounded an alarm, loudly and with urgency. The special counsel’s investigation has confirmed their warnings. The facts are voluminously on the table for all to see. Further investigation would be unnecessary, redundant and amounts to nothing more than political cover for the Democrats. Inaction now would unavoidably be viewed as cowardice in the face of a national security threat.

That’s no way to win an election.

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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

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+30 # Ralph 2019-05-31 09:08
Pelosi is nothing more than a Republican dressed in Democrat clothing. Until the Democratic party stands up in earnest for the working class, things will continue to get worse. The frustration of the working class is apparent as they vote for a Hitler-esque, populist, knucklehead imposing tariffs and chasing after immigrants. The Democrats having nothing substantial to offer in rebuttal. These are bad times and they are getting worse.
-4 # chemtex2611 2019-05-31 09:19
The House can only refer for trial, they cannot remove the Pres. Why waste time on this route when defeat at the polls would be much more effective in the long term? Do you really want Mr.T running around saying that both Mueller AND the Senate exonerated him?
Do you really want Pence to be president?

Move on to something more constructive.
0 # hwmcadoo 2019-06-10 12:24
He can do an infinite amount of damage before then. Also I don’t see Trump leaving the White House into the arms of Federal Marshals. He won’t leave. He will declare the election fraudulent, declare it an emergency and make himself President (dictator) indefinitely (forever).
+27 # ddd-rrr 2019-05-31 09:35
"Right-on, MA!" -- although I think there is still some value in "easing into"
an impeachment with further investigations to "pile on" additional
confirmations of what is already known, in an attempt to move
those who still "cannot see", difficult and futile
as that is likely to be.
+2 # logical1 2019-06-01 22:54
There is no easing into an impeachment.
If the house democrats stick together they have the votes to impeach. Do not make long articles of impeachment.
Just present to the House without discussion, vote, get over it. This will throw it into the senate to die there.
Already too much attention and talk wasting time on the impeachment subject.
Do not expect to get him out of office.
Get on with governing.
+8 # Porfiry 2019-05-31 10:15
Pelosi is smarter than you folk. To impeach without thoroughly getting all the real, non-fake facts would hand Trump the 2020 victory. He would have fa field day in spinning the "awful, dangerous Dems who want criminals to come into the country and are trying to get me out of the way by lying about me so I can't stop them, etc., etc."
+8 # lfeuille 2019-05-31 18:51
Bullshit. We already have enough real non-fake facts.
-8 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-01 04:46
I'm with Porfiry on this one. Can you name just a few truly impeachable offenses. Mueller could not. He would have said so if he had them. His 9 obstruction of justice claims are just vapor.
+29 # chapdrum 2019-05-31 10:22
Trump should be exiled.
+17 # Farafalla 2019-05-31 12:37
He should move into the Kremlin. He already likes all the gilded columns and over-the-top luxury of the Tsar's palaces. Melania will be right at home in the Slavic heartland and Don and Eric can get jobs with Putin. Barron should ask for political asylum in Mexico.
+10 # lfeuille 2019-05-31 18:53
I propose making the plastic trash heap in the Pacific Trumpland - Reserved exclusively for him and his relatives and his biggest MAGA Moron followers.
+7 # joejamchicago 2019-05-31 10:33
What makes anyone think Trump would in any way cooperate in an impeachment process? Produce documents? Testify? Permit others to testify? In the EXTREMELY unlikely event the Senate convicted, what makes anyone think Trump would accept the result (unlike the patriot, Al Gore, who was robbed, screwed, cheated, but nonetheless placed the rule of law, corrupt as it was, over his own interest and what he no doubt saw as the country's interest)? You want civil war? Trump barricaded in the White House, thousands of gun-toting fascists and white supremecists "protecting" him? Nancy has more brains, experience, and savvy than the entire bunch of airheads banging the impeachment drum. Better bet, still risky, is to look to the election fast approaching--No vember 2020.
+6 # lfeuille 2019-05-31 18:55
Who cares if he cooperates. Lack of cooperation is just another article of impeachment.
+5 # johnescher 2019-06-01 06:44
Yes, joejamchicago, she's absolutely brilliant, just like any coward. "Do not engage." Let the bully have his way. Just watch then what happens.
-5 # HenryS1 2019-05-31 12:43
Mark's appeal to "duty" is threadbare and naive. I disagree totally with this article. Pelosi understands patience, and politics, and how things get done. She wants a SUCCESSFUL impeachment as much as anyone, and is working hard to keep the mob under control long enough to get the evidence, and show up Trump for obstructing legal rights of Congress.

Most of this country has drunk Trump's Kool-Aid, and premature impeachment is Trump's fondest hope, as it means an unsuccessful one he can use to get re-elected.

A little bit of patience, people. The stakes are too high to go off half-cocked against an opponent that holds most of the cards. If you respect Mueller, then respect the patience he had, and yet how powerful the resistance to what he did. And he is a Republican! Trump has effortlessly convinced most of the nation that Mueller was the Anti-Christ, and that Trump is the poor victim and the true Christian.
-25 # skylinefirepest 2019-05-31 18:25
You see, guys and girls, the problem is that there's no credible evidence and the democrat party has totally wasted two full years of whining and bitching about trump instead of doing the job they're getting rich off of! I daresay that the silent majority will totally kick the leftist's ass come twenty!
-4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-05-31 18:35
Trump's policies are just making him more hated every day. The most recent really stupid 5% tariff on goods made in Mexico will turn very many people away from Trump. Trump's base will be hurt by a 5% rise in prices. China just stopped importing US soy beans because of Trump's punitive tariffs. That will hurt rural America, more of Trump's base.

On the other hand, impeachment hearings that don't really have any substantive charges but are only political in nature, will energize Trump's base.

I don't really like Pelosi but probably she's got the right strategy.

Mueller is just a sorry S.O.B. He's got no substantial charges against Trump. He's a coward who will not testify before congress because some republican hard-ass like Mark Meadows would ask him to name on instance in which Trump obstructed his work. Mueller would have nothing. He could lie. Probably he would lie.

Mueller is a fraud. Probably Pelosi is smart to steer clear of him.

I want Trump gone as much as anyone. But I am more afraid of Pence than I am of Trump. And I'm even more afraid of democratic party controlled by Pelosi, Clintons, Nadler, Schiff, Warner and the rest of the corporate lackeys.

We are in a real mess. The right way out is to make Sanders so strong that the Clinton faction cannot cheat him out of the nomination.
+4 # Caliban 2019-06-01 19:36
Your comments are usually thoughtful and interesting, #RR except about Mueller and the Mueller Report.

Mueller is a "fraud"? Where is your evidence? Nowhere. And you are more afraid of mainstream Dems than of the Trump team (even without the embarrassing cohort of Mueller indictees)?

Personally, I think you find Trump tolerable because he is useful to Putin. But it could be quite enlightening to hear your own justification for some of your (to me) rather bizarre allegiances.

So, #RR, how about opening up a bit and letting the rest of us into your thought processes?
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-02 05:58
Cali --

On Mueller's fraud. There's been an avalanche of articles on the weaknesses of the Mueller Report. It simply fakes the stories it tells or it makes things up. For example, on the DNC emails, Mueller claims with really impossible evidence (see the articles by Ray McGovern) that the Russians did it. The Report goes on to say that Assange made up the story of Seth Rich in order to deflect attention from the Russian, whom he was working for. Assange was in total confinement so he could not answer this charge. But Mueller knows better. The FBI has Rich's laptop and leaks suggest it contains communications between Rich and others about the DNC emails. Mueller omitted what the FBI must know about Rich.

Trump is not tolerable. He's certainly not useful to Putin or any other nation except Israel and Saudi Arabia. I just want a strong opposition Democratic party.

On another thread I wrote about Mueller's really bizarre theory of obstruction of justice. Ifeulle above cites Mueller's theory: "Lack of cooperation is just another article of impeachment." Mueller thinks that any failure to cooperate with a prosecutor is obstruction, even to defend oneself with counter-evidenc e and arguments.

I'm still standing for the 4th, 5th, and 6th of the Bill of Rights which limit what a prosecutor can do and assert the rights of the accused.

I try to be thoughtful, but sometimes there are lapses. Sorry about that.
+1 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-02 06:19
Cali -- a little more on the Mueller fraud. Another thing that bothers me about Mueller is that all along he pretended that Trump was not the target of a criminal investigation. Comey said this, too. Trump's lawyers tried over and over to get Mueller to say whether or not Trump was under criminal investigation. Finally Mueller said he was not. This happened in a meeting with Mueller and leaders of the congressional committees working on the same investigation.

Trey Gowdy, a republican leader of the house intelligence committee, was very supportive of Mueller saying that he was investigating Russia and not Trump. Trump was only part of the investigation because he may have been a victim of Russian infiltration.

But Mueller was lying all along. He said Trump was not the target of a criminal investigation in order to get Trump to be interrogated in person. If Trump were the target, he would have Miranda rights and could not be interrogated with out legal support.

Now we know from the Report and from Mueller's Farewell Address that Trump was the target from the start and Russia was just the ploy. Volume Two is Mueller's real interest in the Report. And Mueller is now urging Congress to impeach Trump.

It is hard to conclude that Mueller wasn't part of the regime change plot from the very start, the one Strzok kept referring to in his texts. Mueller has kept most of those texts secret, even now.
+5 # DongiC 2019-05-31 23:36
"That's no way to win an election." It's also no way to run a democratic republic. The nation's honor is at stake. Something, Speaker Pelosi ought to be aware of. She has a very wealthy husband and hardly understands the problems of the lower classes. Maybe, she should try to see things from their perspective. And for them, Trump is a disaster: inadequate medical insurance, no increase in the minimum pay, no support for unions, global warming is a Chinese hoax, tax reform which favors the millionaire class, and, the necessity to have two jobs to make ends meet.

So come on, Nancy, do what is honorable and put what is good for all the nation ahead of what is good for the upper class. It is difficult, I know, but you can do it.
+8 # lorenbliss 2019-06-01 15:09
Face it, folks. The murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a triple murder: the president, the Republic, and far less obviously the Democratic (sic) Party, which since its fawning acceptance of the Warren Report in 1964 has never been anything more than a Republican Fifth Column -- nor will ever again be anything more.
+3 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2019-06-02 05:50
l.b. -- yes, I agree with you. The murder of JFK was the turning point in US history. But I would put the turn differently. It was a coup d'état or a take over of the federal government by the CIA. I personally believe that Allan Dulles was the mastermind behind the JFK murder. Since then, the president and congress has answered to the CIA -- both parties are the same in this regard. There are, of course, holdouts but they don't have much effect.

In Russiagate, we also see the actions of the imperial CIA.
+1 # dbrize 2019-06-02 13:12
Quoting Rodion Raskolnikov:
l.b. -- yes, I agree with you. The murder of JFK was the turning point in US history. But I would put the turn differently. It was a coup d'état or a take over of the federal government by the CIA. I personally believe that Allan Dulles was the mastermind behind the JFK murder. Since then, the president and congress has answered to the CIA -- both parties are the same in this regard. There are, of course, holdouts but they don't have much effect.

In Russiagate, we also see the actions of the imperial CIA.

You are both on the money.

I would add that the last vestige of a genuine, meaningful antiwar, anti national security state political force ironically, was the post war element of the GOP led by Robert Taft. He had a real chance to win the nomination in 1952 until the eastern banking establishment succeeded in stealing the nomination for Eisenhower. With Taft out of the way, the GOP quickly became the party of WF Buckley and the CIA.

Though Ike is hardly the worst of our presidents, he was a Trojan horse for the CIA, etc. He was the last president with the gravitas to control them to a degree, but also played ball with them. After he was gone they asserted their clandestine power over the those since by reminding one and all of Kennedy.
+2 # 2019-06-01 22:05
In light of the following, Mueller was never needed:
+3 # 2019-06-01 22:07
And Mueller never interviewed Assange.

Again, see:
-3 # HDSMTS 2019-06-02 16:50
And even if there were enough votes in the Senate to impeach, why would we want to run against Pence instead of Trump in 2020? I see no positives in impeachment.

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