Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Upcoming Impeachment Trial of Citizen Trump

Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe Weighs in on the Upcoming Impeachment Trial of Citizen Trump


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmakers line to discuss what he see’s happening with the impeachment trial of ex-President Donald J. Trump.

Leahy: Crom Carmichael the original All-Star panelists in studio. And on the newsmaker line our Washington Correspondent and our National Correspondent the great Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neal.

McCabe: Good morning men.

Leahy: It’s a little crazy in Washington next week. They’re going to start the impeachment trial. The president’s team responded. He finally has a team that’s sticking with him of attorneys. Also, we saw that Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed as the Secretary of Homeland Security despite all of the EB-5 Visa scandals that he’s been involved in. What do you make of Washington today Neal?

McCabe: Well, I think it’s interesting that a lot of people blame the Democrats for the fact that Trump and four years could never get any of his officials confirmed. But the fact of the matter is that it was McConnell who was keeping Trump from filling up any of those spaces and the dozens and dozens of ambassadorships that were left open.

And he was doing it through various devices. But the majority leader of the Senate has the right to call any vote at any time and can be recognized at any time. And so the majority leader is not as powerful as the Speaker of the House in that chamber, but that in and of itself is a tremendous power that Schumer has and not McConnell.

And what you’re seeing is that Republicans are rolling over and basically letting these guys go through. They’re not demanding the maximum of 30 hours of debate. They’re not staging demonstrations or walkouts at committee hearings. Basically everything is rolling forward and McConnell is doing for President Biden what he would never do for President Trump.

Leahy: I saw old Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Rob Portman. I think there was one other actually that did this.

McCabe: I think Dunn was at the White House. Are you talking about the White House meeting?

Leahy: The Mayorkas vote. But let’s talk about the White House where ten senators go in and Republican senators. I don’t know if you say hat in hand to try to reason with President Biden. Yes, he is our president. (Chuckles) To reason with President Biden who’s got this big blue state bailout masquerading as a coronavirus stimulus bill. Tell us about that meeting in the White House between 10 Republican senators and President Biden.

McCabe: Well, you know they did their dance and the president heard them out. And so he gets his photo op with the Republicans. He gets to demonstrate that he’s open-minded and that he’s trying to be the president of all the people. And then like Biden does, he’ll do whatever the left wants. He’ll do whatever the Democrat political machine wants him to do. He always says the right things.

You listen to a speech and you can listen to it as you’re going to be speaking and you’re like my goodness. He gets me completely to understand their point of view. And if you actually read the thing, you see, you know, how he sort of plays around with the words and it turns out he gives you nothing. And so there’s never a compromise with Biden.

And in a lot of ways during the Obama administration Biden was actually in the forefront getting ahead of Obama on some of this left-wing stuff. And so these guys did the dance. They gave Biden cover. But these establishment Republicans own the Biden presidency because they were throwing sand in the gears for Trump for four years.

And then when Trump was running for re-election, none of these guys lifted a finger to get Trump re-elected. And certainly, when we saw all the rigging and irregularities, none of these guys spoke up about the funny business that’s going on in these different states. And so, what are you going to do? We just basically have to ride this thing out and hope.

Leahy: And hope is the key operative word. Crom and I were talking before you came on Neil about the president’s legal team strategy for the impending impeachment trial. Crom, do you want to pose your question to Neil about the strategy on this that the team presents team should have yes Neil the president’s team should have?

Carmichael: Yes, Neil, the president’s team has said that one of the things they are going to do is they’re going to argue that the Senate doesn’t have the Constitutional authority to “convict” a private citizen. And I made the statement, I said if they’re going to make that argument they need to make that argument in the courts, not in the Senate.

McCabe: Right.

Carmichael: And they need to they need to take it to the courts and they should do that at the beginning of the trial. When the trial is called into session they should immediately file with the courts and have the courts weigh in on whether or not the the the Senate has the right to try a private citizen.

McCabe: An emergency petition to the Supreme Court to adjudicate a constitutional conflict. I think the answer Crom is if it was so it was so dressed right dress and good to go why is Chief John Roberts sitting it out? I would think that if the Senate was holding an impeachment trial and the chief justice of the Supreme Court didn’t show up for a sitting President does that mean that the chief justice can just sit it out If you want to? Why isn’t the sergeant of arms bringing John Roberts to the Senate chamber and shackles? They should arrest that guy. (Leahy chuckles)

Carmichael: Well you know John Roberts, and I’m not being facetious here or anything, but John Roberts has said that he does not have the authority to run a trial of a private citizen. Which is why he’s not doing it. That’s what he has said. That’s his reasoning.

McCabe: Well, there you go. I mean that’s your answer. And I think I would support that petition. I hope they pull it off. I’m also concerned almost like it seems like it’s almost like a bill of attainder where you basically hold. Is the Senate allowed to just hold the trial? And then decide what what are you gonna do is strip the Secret Service protection telling me can’t hold federal office anymore?

But in the end, this is a political process, not a judicial process. And so they can make whatever arguments they want. The defense team that is. The fact is they have 45 votes in their pocket. They could even give up some of those votes. as long as the guy gets 34 votes he’s good to go.

Carmichael: Just as a citizen I would like to know whether or not to say whether or not the Senate has the right to try a private citizen. And in so doing, strip that private citizen of certain rights? I’d like to know the answer to that.

McCabe: Yeah, I think we should figure it out and we’ll find out. The thing is that you’ve got more than 20 Republican Senate seats up in 2022 and we’re going to find out that a lot of these big talk Republicans when push comes to shove if they’re going to vote to acquit Trump. Because you know John Thune in South Dakota is not going to want to explain why he voted to convict Donald Trump to the voters of South Dakota.

Leahy: Look into your crystal ball Neil McCabe. And two months from today, how will this impeachment trial of the private citizen former President Donald Trump, how will it have played out two months from today?

McCabe: Well, the president will be acquitted with at least 40 votes. And I think that people are going to look back at it as an absurd exercise. And when people look back at the failed presidency of Joe Biden, they’re going to blame this trial as the distraction that completely disrupted old sleepy Joe’s first 100 days.

Carmichael: Are you then assuming in what you just said that that Trump will not file a suit with the courts?

McCabe: I completely appreciate your logic but the fact of the matter is that the Senate is not going to allow the Supreme Court to weigh in on one of its prerogatives.

Leahy: I think that probably is figuring into the thinking of the Trump team at this point to file preemptively on it. but who knows. Neil McCabe, thank you for joining us here again. You’ll be back next week appreciate all of your great work with The Tennessee Star and all of Star News Network.

McCabe: (Laughs) Absolutely men. Take care.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on a Second Impeachment of President Trump

Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on a Second Impeachment of President Trump


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line live from Washington, D.C.

During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on the looming second impeachment of President Trump and whether or not it would lead to a trial in the Senate. He added that he believes the president would be impeached yet may still offer a range of pardons to warriors and possibly a pre-emtptive Stephen K. Bannon.

Leahy: On our newsmaker line our Washington correspondent for the Star News Network Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Hey, Mike, Crom. Glad to be with you and good morning.

Leahy: Well we’ve got seven days and 5 hours left in the Trump administration. Nancy Pelosi and apparently Liz Cheney now wants to impeach him in the next seven days and five hours. And then there are rumblings about whether or not there would if impeached whether or not before his term ends for a second time. Rumblings about or not there would be a trial in the Senate. Tell us what you know about this, you know, unifying process going on in Washington today.

McCabe: Yeah. Let me just say that right before Thanksgiving Politico had this headline about a profile of Liz Cheney and that headline was She Kind of Reminds You of Margaret Thatcher.

Leahy: (Laughs) Excuse me. I can’t stop laughing.

Carmichael: I think they confused that with Gretchen Whitmer. (Leahy laughs)

McCabe: Let me just say that among the House Republican leadership like the guys who want to get along and go along. Al the good-time Charlies, they love Liz Cheney because she takes on Matt Gaetz. She takes on Jim Jordan. Now she’s taking on Kevin McCarthy. And frankly, she’s going to use this to catapult her challenge against Kevin McCarthy for the actual leadership of the House.

So inside the House Republican conference what’s really going on here is Liz Cheney is they’ve been her bid to take over. And they won’t have leadership, I doubt that they’ll change leadership this session. But what will happen is Liz Cheney is basically going to become the titular leader of the sort of the Washington party inside the Republican conference. Now, McConnell has already said that the trial will begin after Trump leaves office.

And because of what they call unanimous consent Schumer and the Democrats are going to let McConnell continue to run the Senate until Trump leaves. And basically, that allows McConnell to sort of like, you know wash his hands of the actual trial. So the trial will be run by Schumer and I doubt that the president will be convicted in the Senate. Joe Manchin has already said that the votes aren’t there.

And you have to be very careful about what’s been up in the media and what people say. And then you have to compare that to what people actually do. And when the rubber hits the road there are going to be very few Republicans, maybe 20 or 30, who vote for impeachment today. And in the Senate, if Trump has 35 votes he’s good.

And so it’ll be a little dicey for the Republicans in the Senate because, in 2022, there are at least 20 Republican seats up for re-election. And that’s going to be a heavy lift. John Coon is up in South Dakota. And you know, he’s been a real problem for the Trump administration for the last four years. But you know Trump is already talking about helping anyone who will primary soon. And going back to Liz Cheney, Trump did win Wyoming with 70 percent of the vote. So it’s like, hey lady, look at the numbers.

Wyoming’s a very tough state to run in statewide. It’s almost impossible to do polling there as you might remember Mike with the trouble we’ve had in the past doing polling there. And so, you know Dick Cheney, her father, is obviously very popular there. And so, you know, will she be primaried to be defeated? I don’t know in Wyoming. But it is important to remember that her state voted 70 percent for Trump.

Leahy: Now, let me ask you this a week from today when we have you on the call, will President Trump have been impeached for a second time by the House of Representatives?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: Okay. Now, will Trump when he’s out of office if they try to pass it to the Senate because the 25th Amendment is actually pretty clear on conviction to remove the president. There’s never been a case before the Supreme Court as to whether or not a person who is not in office can be removed from office. There’s never been one. So will it go to the courts?

McCabe: There was a Secretary of War.

Carmichael: There wasn’t a case. There’s never been a court case.

Leahy: Let’s just clarify it.

McCabe: I don’t know if you want to give the Supreme Court a role in this, A. And B, impeachment is a political process, not a judiciary or legal process. And so politically you there is no will to impeach or convict Trump, especially after he’s left office. We forget. Once you leave office something changes. Clinton and Obama were both relatively popular when they left, but it changes you and people think about you differently once you are an ex-president.

Nixon was the most hated man in America when they railroaded him out on bogus charges with dirty judges. But having said that, by the end of Nixon’s life, he was one of Reagan’s top advisors. He was even advising Nixon, you know the days before he died Nixon was like that respected. Things change when you become an ex-president. It’s like the popular support is there and that’s the most important thing. Trump and the people are lined up and the politicians know it.

Leahy: Neil will there be a trial in the Senate? And if there is, will the former president be convicted?

McCabe: No. There will be a trial. And he will not be convicted.

Carmichael: I believe the Supreme court will have to rule on whether or not it is permissible to have a trial to remove a president after they are not there. I do believe the Supreme Court will take that up.

McCabe: I think the Senate would say thanks for your opinion Supreme Court.

Leahy: None of your business. We’ll deal with it.

Carmichael: We are heading down a very very dangerous road then. Let me ask this question then. If President Trump pardons himself…

McCabe: For what?

Carmichael: Can a president pardon himself under the Constitution?

McCabe: The president can pardon himself. You have two problems. One, he didn’t do anything. And number two you can’t pardon yourself for impeachment because (Inaudible talk)

Carmichael: I’m not talking about impeachment. Can he give himself a broad pardon for anything he committed while he was the president?

McCabe: Yes.

Carmichael: There are people who say he can’t. Should that go to the Supreme Court?

Leahy: Well the question I would ask you Neil is do you believe the president will pardon himself in the next seven days?

McCabe: No.

Leahy: I would agree with that.

Carmichael: I disagree with that.

McCabe: I think there’s going to be a rash of pardons. I think there might be a pre-emptive Stephen K. Bannon pardon. I would look for some of these warriors who are being charged with war crimes by the Pentagon for what they did on our battlefields. I think we may see some of that but you know, Crom, the whole pardon thing, I don’t think Trump will pardon himself because he doesn’t believe what crime would he parked himself for? I can’t think of anything that he could be charged with legally.

Listen to the full third hour:

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Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on How Pence Will Rule in Joint Session of Congress

Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe Weighs in on How Pence Will Rule in Joint Session of Congress


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line.

During the third hour, McCabe weighed in on how he thought the joint session of Congress would go on Wednesday as Vice President Pence has the ability to object to the certification of Joe Biden as president-elect. Unfortunately, he believed that Mike Pence would not object and that the former vice president would be certified.

Leahy: We are in the studio with our good friend, the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. And on the newsmaker line is our Washington correspondent for the Star News Network and the Tennessee Star Neil McCabe. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Men, good morning to you.

Carmichael: Now you can’t say that on the house floor. (Laughter)

Leahy: Now that is funny Crom. That is funny. So Neil, what is going to happen?

Carmichael: That was good. Neil was good. That was good. Just jumped in there.

Leahy: You can’t say that on the House floor. So today we’ve got a big rally in Washington. How many people are going to be there? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? Quite a few. They’re going to try to stop the steal. The joint session of Congress begins at 1:00 pm Eastern time. The big question is what will Vice President Mike Pence do? The New York Times and ABC News reported last night that he met with the president and told the president that he wasn’t going to object to the certification of Biden and others. The president says not so fast. What do you think is happening? Do you think Pence will do exactly that?

McCabe: I think Pence will do exactly what Biden did four years ago. And what some of the other vice presidents have done. And he will gavel this thing over as quickly as he possibly can. And if Republicans go through with their challenges he will he will follow the rules. He will recognize people when you supposed to recognize people. Pence is not going to throw out any of these results even from the wacky states where there was obvious fraud. And you know, he’s going to want this thing to be over as quickly as possible.

Leahy: I think you’re probably right. Crom, what do you think the vice president will do?

Carmichael: That’s what I’ve been saying, Michael. You’ve been saying that that’s not going to happen.

Leahy: No, I haven’t been saying that.

Carmichael: You’ve been hoping it’s not going to happen.

Leahy: No. No, no.

Carmichael: You are hoping Mike Pence will do something more.

Leahy: No. No. What I’ve been saying is he could and he has the authority if he wanted to. Maybe you could weigh in on this Neil. I think he has the authority. First, since he’s presiding over the joint session, he would have the authority to first entertain a motion from Ted Cruz to do this 10-day audit of the swing states. What do you say, Neil? Do I have that right or wrong?

McCabe: As a presiding officer?

Leahy: Yeah.

McCabe: He cannot only recognize but he could also you know, make a ruling from the chair and then they would have to rule against him.

Leahy: Who is they? Who could rule against him?

McCabe: Well, both chambers would have to vote. If you oppose the ruling of the chair then both chambers would have to excuse themselves. Then each chamber would have to vote whether or not to overrule the chair. But you know he’s the guy in charge. He’s the presiding officer. What’s going to happen is you he’s just trying to try to get this thing over as quickly as possible.

It’s my understanding that although there are 13 Senators who are willing to challenge some of these states they don’t have Senators who will challenge all of the states. I would be curious to see how many of these states are actually challenged. And then what Matt Gaetz was saying last night was that the Republican leadership, so when they break off the first one up would be a for Arizona.

Leahy: A for Arizona.

McCabe: So when they break off into their separate chambers to deliberate whether or not to throw out Arizona or what Gaetz was saying is that the Republican leadership is going to give some of the Republican debate time to Republicans who opposed to the challenge.

Leahy: There’s not many of them, but they would give them some time right? I saw that.

McCabe: Well there’s not many of them, but the people who like committee chairmen Like Liz Cheney who is number three in the House leadership. And so she’s opposed to the challenge. And on the Senate side the number two Republican Senator John Thune.

Leahy: He’s opposed as well.

McCabe: And he’s a Whip. And he’s whipping against the president. So it’ll be very interesting to see. But the Republican leadership is basically joining with the Democrats to shut this thing down. And so once again conservatives find themselves on the outside looking in. And you know, it’s that paradigm that there are two parties in this country. There’s the party that wants Washington in charge and in control of everything and then there’s the party that doesn’t.

And so there are members of the Washington party both the Republican and the Democratic party. There used to be members of the sort of I’m not Washington party in the Democratic party. But they’ve probably been flushed out. And so if you stop looking at Washington as Democrat and Republican and conservative and liberal and just start looking at Washington as there is the Washington party and the not Washington Party then everything makes sense.

Leahy: So Neil, Crom, and I have been having lively discussions this morning about this whole process. So let me see if I understand this. Now my advice to the vice president if he were to call me this morning would be as the presiding officer of the joint session to first entertain the proposals from Ted Cruz to do this 10-day audit of these disputed states.

McCabe: Absolutely.

Leahy: And what you’re saying is if you were to make that ruling then there would be objections and they would break into their different Houses and they would vote on that. Is that what you’re saying?

McCabe: No. If he was the rule if he was to by Fiat rule out say when Arizona comes up, if he was to rule that Arizona is not certified that would be…

Leahy: No, no, no. I’m saying even before that as a presiding officer as the very first thing that he would do would be to entertain a motion from Ted Cruz on this 10-day commission. That’s what I would recommend he do.

McCabe: You couldn’t object to recognizing somebody on the floor if you get the second, that motion is in play.

Carmichael: And then it gives voted on by each House. Is that how it would work? Can the vice president just do that and would then they break up into each House and vote on that proposal for the 10-day Commission?

McCabe: I don’t know if they’re under House or Senate rules. In the Senate, you could actually rule something like that. And then the Senate would just have to object. Of course, anything can be done by unanimous consent. So they could just take it just you know by you see unanimous consent if nobody objects then it’s done. But what they would have to do is there would have to be a motion there would be a second and then folks would have to vote on it.

Leahy: Here’s what I’m getting at and this is I think more along the lines of Crom on this. So if the vice president were to do that and if and say I want to do the 10-day commission before I open the certificates, which I’m required to do and I’m the presiding officer under the Constitution. I think what you’re saying is if they were breaking up into the House and then into the Senate what would that vote be on the 10-day commission?

McCabe: They would lose.

Leahy: In both ones. And so rather than do that symbolically, the vice president is not going to do that. Is that your take on it?

McCabe: I think that you may be forced to go forward with the action. If Cruz is recognized, of course, that’s the other decision, right?

Leahy: Yeah exactly. Hey, we have 30 seconds. Tomorrow morning what will have happened? Where will we be?

McCabe: Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be recognized by Congress as the president-elect.

Leahy: I think your unfortunately correct Neil.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.