Ted Lieu: Instead Of Holding Stupid Hearings About Why Republican Legislators Don't Get Enough Likes On Facebook, We Will Be Holding Hearings On Whether Any Crimes Were Committed
March 5, 2019

The Washington Post has a squad devoted to reporting on Trump's lies. Monday they wrote about his deranged address at CPAC-- the one that crackpot editor of Reason, Nick Gillespie, insists won him the 2020 election: "Powered by his two-hour stemwinder at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2-- which featured more than 100 false or misleading claims-- President Trump is on pace to exceed his daily quota set during his first two years in office. The president averaged nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in his first year in office. He hit nearly 16.5 a day in his second year. So far in 2019, he’s averaging nearly 22 claims a day.

That Trump lies a lot should surprise no one with a functioning brain. At the moment only 4% of the statements PolitiFact have checked out by him are true-- YES, only 4%! Saving grace: another 15% of his statements have been found mostly true. that means just over 4 out of 5 of Trump's checked statements are rated half true, another way of saying half false (14%), mostly false (21%), flat out false (34%) or such big lies that they are rated "Pants on Fire" (14%). Lying isn't an impeachable offense per se. But in Trump's case, it endangers the security of the nation and should absolutely be part of the impeachment process.

In response to a tweet by Bob Cesca after Trump's CPAC breakdown ("This crackpot has the nuclear codes in his pocket. Sleep tight, world."), top Republican Party strategist Stuart Stevens tweeted that "It is impossible to watch Trump’s two hour meltdown at CPAC and think this person is of sound mind." In case you're unaware of who Stevens is, he was Romney's chief strategist in 2012 and worked for President Bush, Governors Haley Barbour (R-MS), Tom Ridge (R-PA), Bill Weld (R-MA), Paul Cellucci (R-MA), and Bob Riley (R-AL), as well as Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Dick Lugar (R-IN), Mel Martinez (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

Mental health isn't impeachable but theoretically there is a way of removing a mentally deranged president, like Trump-- the 25th Amendment. Here's a brief analysis:

[W]hat happens if the President becomes unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office? Several Presidents suffered debilitating illnesses and injuries. For weeks and months at a time, the country was left without effective or accountable presidential leadership. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 provided for the Vice President to step in when the President had an “inability to discharge [his] powers and duties,” but it provided no decision-maker, no procedures, and no definition of “inability.” Nor did it make clear whether the Vice President would act as President only until the President recovered, or instead would become President for the duration of the term. No Vice President wanted to seem like a usurper. In practice, power was never transferred and presidential inner circles typically concealed the President’s condition.

...Section 4 addresses the dramatic case of a President who may be unable to fulfill his constitutional role but who cannot or will not step aside. It provides both a decision-maker and a procedure. The initial deciding group is the Vice President and a majority of either the Cabinet or some other body that Congress may designate (though Congress has never done so). If this group declares a President “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” the Vice President immediately becomes Acting President. If and when the President pronounces himself able, the deciding group has four days to disagree. If it does not, the President retakes his powers. But if it does, the Vice President keeps control while Congress quickly meets and makes a decision. The voting rule in these contested cases favors the President; the Vice President continues acting as President only if two-thirds majorities of both chambers agree that the President is unable to serve.

That's never going to work against Trump. He could be filmed naked, eating grass on the front lawn of the White House and screaming obscenities at passers-by and still be declared perfectly sane by Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Steven Mnuchin, Patrick Shanahan, William Barr, Rick Perry, Betsy DeVos, Wilbur Ross, Alex Acosta and Mr. and Mrs. (and Miss) Mitch McConnell, et al.

And that takes us back to... Jerry Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Yesterday, the committee's attorneys sent letters to 81 individuals, companies and government entities seeking a wide range of materials that should be able to help prove that Trump is guilty of clearly impeachable offenses.

In the letters, Nadler wrote that "This is a critical time for our nation. President Trump and his administration face wide-ranging allegations of misconduct that strike at the heart of our constitutional order."

Credit: Aaron Blake on Twitter

The letters will lead to closed door interviews and open hearings and some of the recipients include Trumpanzee, Jr., Allen Weisselberg, David Pecker, Alan Garten, Rhona Graff, Ivanka, Kushner-in-law, Steve Bannon, Tom Barrack, Reince Priebus, Don McGahn, Jay Sekulow, KT McFarland, Hope Hicks, Sean Spicer, Corey Lewandowski, Paul Manafort, Anatoli Samochornov, Brad Parscale, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Roger Stone, Carter Page, Erik Prince, Jeff Sessions, Michael Caputo, Randy Credico, Sam Nunberg, Viktor Vekselberg, Tony Fabrizio, as well as Wikileaks and the NRA.

I still haven't been able to confirm if either of the Mercers, who were clearly behind Putin-Gate, have gotten letters yet.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: "The counsel’s office and relevant White House officials will review it and respond at the appropriate time."

Credit: CNN's Reliable Sources

As I mentioned yesterday-- but worth repeating today-- Judiciary Committee member and Air Force JAG officer, Ted Lieu told me that

"Unlike last term, the House Judiciary Committee will actually conduct oversight over the Executive Branch.

Instead of holding stupid hearings about why Republican legislators don't get enough likes on Facebook, we will be holding hearings on whether any crimes were committed by Executive Branch officials and those within their orbit.

We have launched a massive investigation into Trump, his family and his associates. We do not work for Trump. We are part of a separate and coequal branch of government. And we intend to honor our oath of office."

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