The ‘So What’ Defense

What kind of impeachment defense the White House brings to the Senate is up in the air. Even Mitch probably doesn’t know, because Trump probably hasn’t made up his mind.

Former WH Chief of Staff Reince Priebus might have nailed the only argument left last night on FOX:

“Sometimes the best defense is the ‘So what’ defense, which is if everything the Democrats said is true, it’s still not impeachable. If everything Lev Parnas has said is true, it’s still not impeachable. “

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Author: craigcrawford

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43 thoughts on “The ‘So What’ Defense”

  1. headline by the week that deserves some kind of award – at least a groan for it’s pun- ditry:

    Late night hosts break out the popcorn as ‘smoking goon’ Lev Parnas ‘spills the borscht’ on Trump and Ukraine

     

  2. The leader of the Ukraine is proving that a real clown has more empathy and ethics than the vicious phony version we have in the White House.

     

  3. NYTimes best of late night:

    Revelations about the Ukraine scandal kept the late-night mill running on Thursday — including Rachel Maddow’s interview with Lev Parnas, who said President Trump “knew exactly what was going on” with his mission to pressure Ukrainian officials into announcing an investigation of Joe Biden. Stephen Colbert brought out a giant bag of popcorn for the occasion.
    “This is historic. It’s the first time anyone has ever used the phrase ‘Trump knew exactly what was going on.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT
    “The only way this could be more damning for Trump is if there was some kind of phone transcript of him demanding an investigation of — oh.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
    “Now the White House has responded to this interview saying that Parnas is a liar. They say he’s only saying this because he’s been indicted for campaign finance fraud and so now he’s trying to get a lighter sentence, like a Ukrainian Tekashi69.” — TREVOR NOAH
    “But here’s the thing: he brought the receipts. Tuesday, House Democrats released a huge cache of incriminating documents provided by Parnas, and then they released another one yesterday — handwritten notes, text messages, voicemails, pictures, calendars. He even has a scrapbook: ‘Our Ukraine-zy summer vacay — getting colludey with the Prez and Rudy!’” — STEPHEN COLBERT
    “You know the game is real when someone is threatening to open their camera roll. You know when a friend does that? It’s like ‘Oh, you want me to AirDrop these to you? ‘Cause I’ll AirDrop them to everyone. We both know what happened at that Sandals resort.’” — TREVOR NOAH
    “Parnas said everyone in Trump’s inner circle knew what was going on. Mike Pence, John Bolton, the attorney general, William Barr — probably even Kanye knew what was going on.” — JIMMY KIMMEL
    “So many people are involved, they’re going to have to take a party bus to the trial.” — TREVOR NOAH

  4. off subject but interesting story in today’s the guardian considering the current climate of pols either splitting hairs or pulling their hair out over IMpotus trial: 

    The US congresswoman Ayanna Pressley unveiled a bold new look on Thursday.
    The 45-year freshman representative from Massachusetts is completely bald, a condition she revealed is caused by alopecia.
    The member of the four-strong, so-called “Squad” of progressive Democratic party newcomers to Congress disclosed her diagnosis in an exclusive video with the Root.
    In the video, Pressley begins by telling the story of her hair journey, going from typically pressed or bunned hair to more Afrocentric styles, most notably her Senegalese twists.
    Predicting this would be “filtered and interpreted by some as a political statement that was militant”, she instead received letters of support from women and girls across the country, she said.
    “Little girls were wearing T-shirts that said ‘My congresswoman wears braids,” she reveals in the video. “We received letters from all over the globe from women who talk about their own emancipation, that they felt I’ve given them permission.”
    But then Pressley was increasingly spotted donning lace-front wigs. That’s because during a routine hair appointment to have her hair re-twisted, she noticed her hair was thinning. Soon after, it had completely fallen out.
    “It’s accelerated very quickly. I had been waking up every morning to sinks full of hair,” Pressley said. “Every night I was employing all the tools that I had been schooled and trained in throughout my life as a black woman. I wrapped my hair, I wore a bonnet, I slept on a silk pillowcase.”
    Alopecia is the medical term for baldness, and according to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, is a “common autoimmune skin disease, causing hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. The condition affects as many as 6.8 million people in the US with a lifetime risk of 2%.”
    Pressley said she has concealed her hair loss for much of her first term in Congress.
    She lost the final strands the night before Congress voted to impeach Donald Trump in December, she said.

    [continues]

     

  5. Rereading Stranger In A Strange Land . Robert Heinlein was ahead of his time by about 60 years.

    Remind me to write an article on the compulsive reading of news.  The theme will be that most neuroses can be traced to the unhealthy habit of wallowing in the troubles of five billion strangers.  Title is “Gossip Unlimited”–no, make that “Gossip Gone Wild”

    The story is supposedly set far enough in the future to have the first humans to reach mars.  So he only missed the number of “strangers” by several billion.  Twitter and Facebook are alive and well right now.

     

     

  6. xrep,
    you can take screenshots to share pictures of media to which you are leery of linking.      press the power and home buttons at the same time on a phone or crtl prnt_scrn on a pc.

  7. The ladies love Michael Valentine Smith because he only thinks of them and them only, in “the moment”, iirc😉

  8. patd – recently I watched the Burns documentary Jazz.  It was entertaining and mostly enjoyable.  The only glaring fault was the focus on free form jazz starting post WWII to the exclusion of most of the works of artists such as Herbie Mann and Ramsey Lewis.  Miles Davis gets a good review.
     
    Happy Birthday to Betty White.  98 years old.

  9. Barbara Jordan died 24 years ago today.  She was only 59.  What a loss! From Wi,ki, “Because of segregation, she could not attend The University of Texas at Austin and instead chose Texas Southern University, an historically-black institution, majoring in political science and history. At Texas Southern University, Jordan was a national champion debater, defeating opponents from Yale and Brown and tying Harvard University.[9] She graduated magna cum laude in 1956. She attended Boston University School of Law, graduating in 1959. On July 25, 1974, Jordan delivered a 15-minute televised speech in front of the members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.[16] She presented an opening speech during the hearings that were part of the impeachment process against Richard Nixon.[16] This speech is thought to be one of the best speeches of the 20th-century American history. She would have given Trump a run for his money! 
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Jordan
     
    https://danratherjournalist.org/investigative-journalist/60-minutes/barbara-jordan/video-barbara-jordan-impeachment
     
     
     

  10. Bink

    Yes.  The description is that he isn’t thinking about “anything else” while kissing.  The first one he kissed that way passed out.  LOL

     

  11. I too have reread several books in the last 3 months.  The first was Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” and the second was Richard Russo’s “Empire Falls”.  For me… it has to be a really good book…  then the second reading is always better than the first.
     
    Craig…  most of us wouldn’t let our kids get away with that type of excuse.  It’s amazing that some of these same parents will accept that out of our president though…    putzes!

  12. One of these daze I’m going to have a YouTube channel that’s nothing but ads.  Ads stacked on top of ads.  And then a website and maybe blog that’s nothing but ads.  No content. Little ad panes all over the place overlapping so that ya can’t even look at a whole ad.

  13. We’re all mad here!  I know a usb-c because the newest Kindle uses it.  I found out because none of my drawer full of connectors would work with it.  This was while I was having a nervous breakdown. Only a man would think up this stuff. 
     

  14. 1.Thanks for the additional 5th point regarding parnas’ believability, Ms Pat. 
    2. Employed by fred ?!? Yikes !  Thank you, Ms Dallas.
    3. Oh, how I’ve missed Barbara Jordan. sigh
     

  15. Dershowitz and Sekulow are not a defense attorneys. They are both civil rights/1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th Amendment attorneys, with extensive court room experience. Their business has been to sue people and organizations on behalf of victims of civil rights violations. Dershowitz at least is still smart enough to know that he is not the whiz on defense that trump needs, so he’s wisely stepping back. I hope Sekulow demits also. We don’t want trump convicted because of incompetent counsel.
     

  16. Btw, since parnas claims that Sekulow was ‘in the loop’ and knew everything, he may be called as a witness. That would make his ‘membership’ in the defense team a major ethical difficulty. It happens fairly often in the movies, but I never saw an actual attorney called as a witness against his/her client’s interest. Maybe we should just scratch Dershowitz and Sekulow right now. 
    Speaking of incompetent counsel, ken starr is on the trump defense team. Maybe he is a better defense counsel than a pro-sexual harassment college president or law-breaking presidential investigator. Cipillone is a wildly successful commercial litigator who probably never saw the door of a criminal court. Cipillone at least looks the part, and he has tremendous presence, but it’s like getting a back surgeon to your cataract surgery.

  17. You will no doubt remember robert ray as a tv ‘expert’ on legal issues. He was the guy who got the mcdougals put away, who persecuted poor Bernard Nussbaum, and who harassed HRC and bill for 6 years. He cleaned up the mess after ken starr left the 6 year $77M!LL!ON$ ‘Whitewater’ investigation, impeachment and trial. Ray is the real deal, even if he is a prosecutor. A prosecutor, but hardly a Train, Dewey, or Jawarski , for even with the unlimited resources granted by Speaker nude grinch, the team of starr and ray achieved only two convictions – the mcdougals. The rest was a complete waste of a fortune. ray’s competence in defense is an unknown. As with the others, defense just isn’t his line of work.

  18. Having assessed Dershowitz, Sekulow, starr, ray, and Cipillone, I come to the final member of the trump defense team, Pam Bondi, another professionl prosecutor. Bondi’s big success was getting Dwight Gooden convicted of probation violation. She lost what should have been slam dunks in the Boot Camp case of 14 year old Martin Anderson’s death. 8 acquittals ! She was also unwise enough to get suckered by a Scientology gang who “wanted her to investigate human trafficking” – a diversion, because the FBI was simultaneously investigating that Scientology group for human trafficking. 

    Bondi did get an execution postponed, but not as a matter of defense. The date conflicted with her big fundraiser, which would have been inconvenient for her. Obviously her pro-life-ism has small dimensions.

    Anywhat, Bondi knows crime, but as a prosecutor, and not one of the great ones, even though she gained her JD at Stetson U. 

  19. Thank you for your technical advice, Mr Bink. I hope that I can remember to use your directions to our advantage the next time an opportunity arises.

  20. Finally, I no longer think Tribes would add much to the prosecution, as it occurs to me that he is not a professional prosecutor. Perhaps, as Mr Pogo suggests, he could be valuable to the defense. He has the court room manner down pat though, and could be of use to calm the jitters of the other team members. 
    In all, I think that in the case of donald john trump the prosecution team is far superior to the team for the defense. 
    Further, this pundit saith naught.

  21. XR, Tribe would be valuable to the House managers and their case against SFB.  If I said to the defense I misspoke.  Word is that Dershowitz was brought on with the idea that he would handle the constitutional-legal argument that the prosecution of SFB in the Senate is not constitutional.  Tribe could cut that off at the knees, and he has the gravitas to counter Dershowitz.  Oh, and Dershowitz has got criminal defense trial experience, and plenty of it.  He was part of the OJ trial team –  and his other crimnal defense work was from Harry Reems through Claus von Bulow to OJ and most recently Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein. 

  22. Sorry, I meant that I don’t think Tribes would add much.
     
    My double negative was an mistake. I’ve corrected it now.
     
    If you were not misled by my error, please disregard this message.

    If I misled you, I am deeply sorry.

    X

  23. Mr Pogo, 
    I sit corrected on the topic of Dershowitz for the defense, sir.
    Also, did Dershowitz work on many defense cases that weren’t high profile circuses and losers ? Was he brought in to rescue hopeless cases, and did he accept the jobs because the notoriety of the cases guaranteed lots of tv face time ? Just curious.
    Dershowitz first made his name in a few 1st Amendment and 4th Amendment defenses, in which he was brilliant, astonishing and a legal landscape changer. However, I really don’t see him as an Article III kind of genius, and I think he agrees with me.  

  24. Another confession : I learned yesterday that in the event of a ‘tie’ vote, the Vice President does not have the power to break that ‘tie’. 
     
    As babybush would say, “I must have misremembered the facts.”

  25. The pundits are all in a choir, singing that it’s “a ’90s tv defense team.”
     
    I’m not sure it’s that good.
     
     

  26. Hey, folks- i’m making major in-roads with my local Trumpistanis.  Keep up with those in-person chats- keep it light, back-off when you have to.  They “can see the forest for the trees”.  
     
    …some of them, anyway.

  27. pogo & XR. tribe has been offering advice off and on to the House since this whole thing began.  probably will continue to do so sub rosa.

  28. for you nunes fans, politico:

    House impeachment investigators sought Friday to pull Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, deeper into the Ukraine scandal at the center of President Donald Trump’s upcoming impeachment trial.
    A set of text messages released Friday evening by the Intelligence Committee show a top Nunes aide, Derek Harvey, in frequent contact with Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani who has become a key figure in the Ukraine controversy that resulted in Trump’s impeachment last month. In one exchange, Harvey appears to pass along Nunes’ contact information two days before the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report indicated that a phone connected to Nunes made contact with a phone connected to Parnas.
    The text messages, provided to investigators by Parnas, show Harvey in contact with Parnas throughout the spring of 2019 — the same time Parnas was working with Giuliani and other Trump allies to remove the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. Yovanovitch had been viewed as an obstacle to Giuliani’s effort to convince Ukraine to investigate Trump’s political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden. Previously released information suggested Harvey and Parnas began communicating at least as early as January 2019.
    Trump abruptly pulled Yovanovitch out of the country last May, and she testified publicly late last year in the impeachment inquiry, telling lawmakers she was the victim of a smear campaign.
    The newly released text messages show Harvey asking Parnas to pursue several lines of inquiry with his Ukrainian contacts, including one regarding what Harvey calls “rumors” about coordination between the 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Ukrainian government to dig up dirt on Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort.
    Harvey asked a few days later whether Parnas was preparing to send documents or if he would “keep working through [John] Solomon,” a reference to a former columnist at The Hill who was working closely with Parnas and Giuliani on the effort.
    Over the next few weeks, the pair attempted to arrange Skype interviews between Republican staff of the Intelligence Committee and senior officials in Ukraine, including former prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko, who had been working to oust Yovanovitch and had offered up allegations of dirt on Biden. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was released in the middle of their effort, and Harvey asked at one point if they could postpone a phone call while he dealt with “Mueller stuff.”
    “Lev, I have not received anything to assist. I also need some additional time to prepare,” Harvey wrote on April 17, 2019. “Can we do this Thursday rather than 1pm Wednesday?”
    It appears that at least one of the interviews ultimately occurred but Harvey then asked on April 19 to hold off on “any more interviews” until there were official letters exchanged and documents available.

    [continues]

  29. btw, i posted a song months ago that is now atop the “indie hitlist” (i won’t even post it), you’re welcome for keeping you ultra-hip.

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