Lay Down Your Marker: Impeachment

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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  1. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    1. December
    2. 17 no or present votes among the Dems.* All Republicans will vote no and maybe a few present.*
    3. 43 votes for impeachment. Two Dems and maybe a couple of Republicans will vote present.*
    3.b. It might not get far enough in the Senate for there to be a vote. AND/OR…..the Senate will drag out the hearings to that impeachment will be alive issue in November 2020.

    *I don’t have names.Report

  2. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    1. When will the Impeachment Vote itself be held?

    April.

    2a. What will the numbers be in the House?

    194 Republicans Against
    3 Republicans Present
    54 Democrats Against
    73 Democrats For
    106 Democrats Present
    1 Independent For

    2b. If there are multiple articles introduced, will all of them go through?

    There will not be multiple articles introduced.

    3. What will the numbers be in the Senate?

    There will not be a vote in the Senate.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    Relevant to placing your markers:

    Democratic leaders announced they would move to charge President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress when the Judiciary Committee meets to consider articles of impeachment”

    December
    Simple Party line vote yes (+/- 3 Dems for electoral purposes)
    Abuse of Power, yes; Obstruction of Congress, probably with some chance of failure… 70%/30% (on failure, not vote)
    Acquitted in the Senate with 2 Dem defections.

    Editorial gloss:
    The Abuse of Power is reasonable… in the end I think its just too narrow (ironically, since I support narrow approach), but I think they’ve undermined their extremely slim chance by adding Obstruction of Congress [as it relates to the impeachment] without taking any of their subpoena requests to court. I recognize that taking them to court would prolong the process and the runway is too short, but absent that step, this article is unsupported and doesn’t make their case stronger to the American public… in fact it weakens it. And I say this (if one recalls) as someone who supported the belated vote on formally launching the impeachment precisely so they could subpoena executive branch officers and materials… so that their subpoena’s could be validated in court as relevant (or possibly not) to impeachment. Informed, in part, by Br. Likko’s fine article on how the courts participated in the Watergate impeachment inquiries.

    As such, I’m preemptively calling this a failed impeachment. Pending how the Senate handles the trial, I’ll withhold my political calculations on winners/losers, but I think its trending against Team Blue.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
      Ignored
      says:

      Just two? I admit: If I were smart enough to have posted this last week, I would have asked “how many will drop?” and put the over/under at 3-and-a-half. (And I would have guessed “five” if cornered as to how many exactly.)

      So now the question is: Both? One? (Because there’s going to be *ONE*. Seriously.)Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Eh, I was only really expecting 1. Abusing Power to subvert Electoral rival is legitimate; I’ve suggested that a “Broadly Narrow” Abuse of Power a’la Military Code of Justice that might capture a range of actions illustrating general unfitness might work… things like the recent pardons might have been worked in – assuming its done in a pro-military fashion. I’m sensing a lot of angst/ambivalence on the military right that could be nudged in the pro-abuse direction – or slammed into anti, depending on the take.

        But, the big loser is Obstruction of Congress… and, unfortunately, the one that will get the most play and the biggest, “yeah buts”… if the obstruction is referencing Impeachment (which it is) and not other duly adjudicated obstruction of Congressional oversight in other areas.

        [and I should note, when I say taking the Subpoenas to court, I mean the SCOTUS, which is where they will end up in this case]Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Marchmaine
          Ignored
          says:

          He’s already lost other court battles on subpoenas so my reading is they see it as a conclusion that he will keep loosing battles and failing to adhere. Sure, SCOTUS has failed to rule yet -much less grant cert, but with Robert’s alleged laser focus on the legacy of the court I don’t see the Supremes allowing the president to do something no other president would be allowed to do.Report

          • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            We’ve been round this before… no court ruling below SCOTUS matters in this case. Take it to conclusion or drop it.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Marchmaine
              Ignored
              says:

              There will be no more rulings because I don’t see Roberts allowing the Court to grant cert on appeals by Mr. Trump of his losses thus far in all the subpoena cases he has appealed. Even if those appeals don’t pertain to the impeachment per se, they reaffirm precedent that the President has to comply with Coongressonal subpoenas.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                If SCOTS doesn’t allow Cert, then that’s “a” conclusion: Lower Court ruling stands.

                But given that the Impeachment is around the President’s Conduct of Foreign Policy, to ignore the obvious fact that there are two constitutional powers overlapping and that a lower court’s ruling is simply insufficient, is somewhat willful.

                …and as such, I think your assertion that the Roberts court wouldn’t grant hypothetical cert on appeals is probably wrong.

                Again, see Burt’s article on how the Nixon administrations attempt to shield Watergate with bogus Foreign Affairs/CIA cover was ultimately pierced.

                To be clear, I think Congress probably *would* prevail with SCOTUS (having belatedly voted to authorize impeachment inquiries)… but to state that it isn’t needed…and that its obstruction when the Exec Branch is asserting privilege is just circular.

                If SCOTUS denied Cert or took the case and ruled in favor of Congress, and the Exec Branch continued to defy subpoenas? Then that would be a fantastic case for impeachment with two branches asserting Constitutional malfeasance. But that would certainly drag into 2020.

                Alas, if we game it out, I think Pelosi and crew understand that eventually Mulvaney and Pompeo would testify, but that we already know what their testimony is/would be – they having spoken in public on the matter – but it doesn’t fit in a useful timeline, so we’re back to the single meaningful article of impeachment about Abuse of Power.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                And by SCOTS I clearly mean Scott’s Tots.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
            Ignored
            says:

            From what I’ve heard, Congress doesn’t need a court order to subpoena evidence and testimony for impeachment; the Constitution already explicitly gives them the power to do so.

            But in any event, the charge that the administration is trying desperately to obstruct and disrupt the proceedings is obvious.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Congresses subpoena powers generally have been upheld in courts, that hasn’t stopped the administration from a number of lawsuits designed to block congressional subpoenas – which the WH is loosing so far.Report

  4. Avatar Nevermoor
    Ignored
    says:

    My money is on a vote in January with three articles (the two reported plus something for prior investigations).

    I think both chambers vote party-line, the GOP criws that impeachment “failed”, and the GOP loses more Senate seats than expected in November due to the votes.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Okay, it ain’t fair for me to ask the questions but not answer them:

    1. I’m guessing December. Like, 5 minutes before everybody has to leave to make their flights to get home.

    2a. and 2b. I asked these in the wrong order. Pelosi only wants/needs one of these to go through. So she will whip her caucus on *ONE*, but not both, of these. She will tell her people “vote however you think your constituents will best feel represented” on the one (and take a temperature that way) but she will tell her people that they *WILL* vote “yes” on this one, dang it. (She might make a few deals here or there but she cannot afford a 216-215 impeachment vote… so that other one will be at least 220-211). The other one will be close but will fail not to “no” votes but “present”.

    3. The senate will have a trial (in January, as soon as they get back… like, the first full day back) and the trial will take less than an hour and it will be a partisan “no”, voting the one article of impeachment down.

    And both sides will declare victory.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      1. I think that’s the plan, but as someone trying to wrap up my own business projects by EOY, I’m starting to think maybe congress can’t act that fast… so I’m thinking maybe January. But, yeah, intent is DEC.
      2. Interesting, if that’s the case, then I think my hunch that Obstruction fails… will fail. But not sure that they are getting a “conscience” vote… or that anyone sees them as all that distinct.
      3. Bold. That’s partly what I mean by waiting to see how Senate handles this, but I confess, this is one of the scenarios I’ve wondered most about.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
        Ignored
        says:

        My boss tells me that 3 ain’t gonna happen. “Mitch is going to have a trial! He’s going to call witnesses! He will have democrats begging him to stop dragging this out in an election year!”Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Which is the other scenario I most wonder about.

          A bit like Pelosi shutting down the hearings after Karlan, my gut says that the power move that benefits Team Red the most is an up/down vote without a circus… a reading of the articles, no further witnesses, and whatever Roberts ordained mechanics required to send to the jury.

          A Team Red Circus trial? Maybe gratifying to the fanbase, my gut says that’s a Team Blue win.

          Pending, of course, the actual execution of either said strategy.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I would think the GOP would need to have some kind of case to present or persuadable narrative to peddle for that to work for anyone outside their base.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m not making any predictions, because honestly, I believe that impeachment, and the American experiment can go either way.

    One path is that the American people look at the GOP’s promise of a Russian style authoritarian white ethnostate and decide they actually like it just fine.

    The other is a slim majority fight it back.

    I really don’t know at this point which way it will go.Report

  7. Avatar North
    Ignored
    says:

    December.

    Three articles, the two we know about and one potential extra one depending on what additional information shakes loose.

    Fails in the Senate pretty much along party line votes with Romney possibly voting in favor if Moscow Mitch fishes up the trail or Manchin voting against if the Trial goes well for the GOP or they manage to make it a push.

    I can’t help but think that the electorate won’t move much off its current position which means it’ll be yet another albatross around Trump and the GOP’s neck but not a big one. Conservative predictions that impeachment will be a bane on the Dems will be proven as another right wing fever dream. Left wing hopes that impeachment will cause the Trumpian GOP to collapse will also be proven to be entirely based in fantasy- the GOP is firmly astride the Trump tiger, they can’t get off now.Report

  8. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    Both articles will pass in the house. They should have had articles based on the Mueller report but alas.

    I”ll go on a limb a bit and say Romney votes to convict. Collins brow will be officially furrowed of course. Even the few R senators with some spine , like AK’s own Murkowski, will fail to put country over party.Report

  9. Avatar dragonfrog
    Ignored
    says:

    1. House vote in January

    2a. 196 Republicans no, 1 present; 210 Democrats/Independents yes, 10 present, 14 no

    2b. All articles will go through

    3. 53 Republicans no, 42 Democrats / Independents yes, 2 present, 3 no

    4. Trump will die in office.Report

  10. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Democrats by two. +/- 2

    But it will be strictly party line.Report

  11. Avatar Andrew Donaldson
    Ignored
    says:

    Mine Prediction sure to go wrong for the record:

    1. House votes right before holiday break. Senate takes up in January and tries to get it over with before Iowa Caucus
    2. There are already 2 “No”s on the D side so probably 10-12 more will take the cover, Amash is now an I so he will go no and maybe one or two other R’s cast a “yes” and it passes narrowly.
    3. Senate will be straight party line dismissal with the I’s going no, so 53-47Report

  12. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    Two articles introduced and pass in the House next week, mostly along party lines, ~5 Dems vote nay. There are ~25 Republican US House members who have announced their retirement (most from politics entirely, not just from the House). Some of them have subsequently said nasty things about Trump. It wouldn’t surprise me — although I’m not betting on it — if some of them voted aye on the articles of impeachment.

    Acquittal in the Senate, also mostly along party lines. Doug Jones of Alabama votes present, Susan Collins of Maine votes to convict. Besides Collins, I think Gardner from Colorado is the only other Republican Senator from a state that voted for Clinton up for reelection (and Colorado swung even farther blue in 2018). He’s in a bind — vote to convict and there’s still time to get primaried; vote to acquit and it’s another nail in his coffin in the general election.Report

  13. Avatar Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    1. When will the Impeachment Vote itself be held?
    After Congress either approves another continuing Resolution or – perish the thought – actually gets its house in order and passes appropriations. McConnell doesn’t want Democrats wagging their fingers in public about how the government was shut down right before a vote on articles of impeachment. And for those keeping score we have 10 days left on the current CR.

    2a. What will the numbers be in the House?

    for actual articles, 230 Yes, 200 No with a few crossing party lines both ways.

    2b. If there are multiple articles introduced, will all of them go through?

    The two now on the table go through; if a third is added for obstruction based on the Mueller Report I give it 70-30 odds of passage.

    3. What will the numbers be in the Senate?

    If there’s an on record public vote, 53-47 to against conviction.

    If McConnell is smart (and seeking to retain his Senate majority as his priority) first thing he does is gets his caucus to ram through a rule change that makes the vote anonymous. Then he orchestrates either a vote to convict and they dump they guy (as his usefulness to their agenda is getting less by the day) or he goes down to the WH and tells the president there will be enough votes to convict if they go through with a trial and convinces him to resign so Pence can pardon him for any federal crimes.

    Min you I don’t expect McConnell to be that smart, and I fully expect the very first motion will be to dismiss. That’s where Roberts comes in, and while he’s a shrewd defender of SCOTUS (and his) legacy, I have no idea how he’d rule on such a thing.

    Bonus Prediction
    SCOTUS fails to grant Cert on any of the subpoena petitions that Mr. Trump or his people have appealed forcing a massive dump of lots of very nasty if not incriminating documents right in the middle of all this.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Philip H
      Ignored
      says:

      There are some problems with your analysis. If five senators request that a vote be recorded, then it has to be on the record. If some Senators decided to vote on whether to make the impeachment vote anonymous, five senators can request that the vote on that vote be recorded, just so everybody knows who to throw out of office.

      Second, when Senator Kennedy was asked whether the Republicans would possibly vote to remove Trump, he laughed and said “Not a chance in he**!” Many Senators have rolled their eyes and said that there’s just no “there” there. They’re not in Schiff and Nadler’s crazy world where ordinary executive activities, done by every president on a routine basis, are actually crimes, much less activities that House and Senate members engage in on a weekly basis. Heck, several Democratic Senators sent a letter to Ukraine demanding they keep investigating Trump, threatening to cut off Ukraine’s aid if they didn’t, and sent the letter on Senate letterhead with their signatures attached. Should they be removed from office for doing the same thing they’re accusing Trump of doing?

      And third, there is no massive document dump that will implicate Trump in anything. The first thing he did when the whistleblower hurled charges is to release the transcript of his call with Zelensky. That’s not the act of a man who has something to hide. Further, there are so many “resistance” people with high level access that if there were any incriminating documents, the press would already know about them. The New York Times would already have copies.

      And finally, conservatives hold a majority on the Supreme Court, and everyone on the court is, obviously, a judge who hears cases and evidence, and even Democrat judges are rolling their eyes at this nonsense. It’s a PR stunt, not a legal case. It’s not unlikely that one of the reasons that Democrats are so desperate to impeach Trump, knowing there’s no chance that he’ll be removed by the Senate, is that they want to build a case that he can’t be allowed to appoint a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg during 2020 because he’s “been impeached”.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Well, its established precedent that no SCOTUS nominations can be considered in an election year.

        Heck, nominating one in defiance of that august tradition could itself be impeachable.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          It would hardly matter if Trump decided to delay or not because he’d just appoint Judge Amy Barrett in 2021, and she’s fly through Senate confirmation like almost all his other judicial picks.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            Hey, no disagreeing with people until you lay down your marker.Report

            • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Oh! I’d forgotten about that.

              I’d say it’s likely the impeachment vote, probably in December because Nancy is in a panic, narrowly fails because the expected Democrat no votes from freshmen in Trump districts is buttressed by a few who argue that passing the measure, since the Senate isn’t going to remove Trump, would just allow McConnell, Grassley, Graham, and others to turn the Senate Trial into what the House Democrats would describe as a “witch hunt” or “circus”.

              However, if Nancy thinks that might happen, she might delay the vote till January to give her time to try to whip people back into line. But I’m not betting on that, as she knows dragging things out to get a bad Senate outcome might be worse than just losing the vote in the House.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
          Ignored
          says:

          That’s only when the Senate and Presidency are held by opposite parties.

          Even Biden himself, claimed he meant: “Biden responded that his position was and remained that the president and Congress should “work together to overcome partisan differences” regarding judicial nominations.[14]”

          When the same party holds both the Senate and the Prez, there are no “partisan differences” to overcome.Report

  14. Avatar Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    The Impeachment Vote: Soon, so December.

    The House numbers: 237 for. 197 against. Party line.

    There are multiple articles, they will all go through, team Blue controls the House.

    What will the numbers be in the Senate?: Party line. 53-47. Everything fails.

    This will be viewed as a political exercise, not because Trump is innocent but because his deeds aren’t something Team Blue couldn’t ignore if they did it themselves.Report

  15. Avatar Burt Likko
    Ignored
    says:

    1. When will the Impeachment Vote itself be held?

    December. Before the holiday recess

    2. What will the numbers be in the House?

    231 Democrats for impeachment.
    197 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and Independent Justin Amash against.
    Articles pass, 231-200.

    Numbers will be identical for both proposed articles.

    3. What will the numbers be in the Senate?

    All 53 Republicans and Democrat Joe Manchin will vote to acquit.
    44 Democrats and both Independents will vote to remove.
    Identical vote on both articles.
    Result: 54-46 acquittal.

    And at that point, the table is set for the election in November.Report

  16. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    1) December, sometime next week. (probably Thursday)
    2a) It’s going to be a strict party line vote(except the independent) 225-190, with the people not tallied not voting. (Amash will vote to impeach)
    2b) both articles will go through by the same vote
    3) The senate vote will also be strictly party line (treating the independents in this case as Democrats for all practical purposes)Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    538 breaks down the Senators.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      No surprises there.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      A whiff of a contrary shift at Hot Air.

      Freshman Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) who had been out front and early in pushing for impeachment (co-authoring a September op-ed arguing for it) now says she’s not sure how she’ll vote. She’s in a purple district and it was her support, and that of similarly situated freshmen, that likely convinced Nancy that the votes were going to be there. Now it seems the vulnerable freshmen might be getting cold feet.

      With other polls tilting more and more strongly against impeachment, there’s a chance the support could quickly collapse as Democrats try to read the country’s mood and game out their November strategies.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        I’ve heard rumblings to that effect and that sort of thing is why I thought that there would be a split impeachment. Allow the purples to be both hot *AND* cold and boldly vote for one and boldly vote against the other and thus appeal to nobody.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Support could collapse – I am no fan of the lackadaisical approach of Democrats so far – but Pelosi isn’t going to authorize the steps she has without knowing she can get articles approved in the House.

        As to your polling data – show your work. I’ve seen a lot of polling thats flat, but none showing a reverse in approval or support.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          538 has a rolling tracker of support for impeachment.

          It spiked upon announcement, the start of the closed-door hearings, and after Sondland testified. The high water mark as 50.3% prior to public hearings. Once public hearings began, support eroded then spiked after Sondland, and now is eroding again and sits around 47% in favor… trending downwards.

          Not collapse, but for a president with 53% disapproval ratings, a mere 47% in favor of impeachment after the public hearings is the sure sign of a failed impeachment. One could possibly say that the *Idea* of impeachment is more attractive than the facts of impeachment.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah there’s not much sign of the kind of groundswell of public opinion that would cause the Senate GOP to hesitate on keeping Trump. Also notably missing in action is the great reversal of polling or opinion, predicted by right wingers, that’ll punish the Dems for having impeached in the first place. Looks like a push so far.Report

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