Testification Tuesday – Let the Impeachment Begin!
Here we go!
After months of nonsense, the public Impeachment Hearings finally begin next week and, just to be clear, this is just a show for the public because the witnesses have, for the most part, already testified in closed-door meetings and will now be asked to repeat the highlights of their testimony for public consumption. That's not a knock on the Democrats – that's just how these things work.
Later on, there will be fresh testimony from people closer to the top of the Trump Food Chain – as well as from people who are, even now, attempting to block being forced to testify so they can (hopefully) avoid being charged as co-conspiritors, enablers or traitors. During Nixon's impeachment, we had testimony from:
James McCord: One of the Watergate burglers who used to be in the CIA and the FBI. Security officer for the Committe to RE-Elect the President (CREEP). McCord wrote a letter to Judge Sirica claiming the defendents had pled guilty under pressrue and committed purjury. In January 1973, WH Security Liaison Caulfield had told McCord the White House would grant him clemency, money and a job if he accepted his prison sentence and didn’t testify against members of the administration. When McCord relayed he had been offered clemency “from the highest levels of the White House” before the Senate Watergate committee on May 18, 1973, Nixon’s ties to the efforts of the White House to break into Democratic National Committee Headquarters finally surfaced.
John Dean: Former WH Counsel pled guilty to obstruction of justice in Oct, 1973. Spent 4 months in jail. Barred from practicing law (as Guilianni will be), Dean became an author and does well as a guest and speaker post-Watergate.
HR Halerman: Nixon's Chief of Staff. A tape revealed the President discussing with Haldeman a plan to have the CIA divert the FBI from the probe because it involved national security. Haldeman resigned in April 1973 and was jailed for 18 months. Halderman went to work for David Murdock's Real Estate Company.
Alexander Butterfield: Nixon's Deputy Chief of Staff who revealed the existence of the taping system in the first place saying “When Don Sanders, the deputy minority counsel … asked the $64,000 question, clearly and directly, I felt I had no choice but to respond in like manner.” After Watergate, Butterfield became the Administrator for the Federal Aviation Administration.
Donald Segretti: Known widely for his smear tactic campaigning against Democrats in 1972 while serving on CREEP. Segretti spent four-and-a-half months in prison in 1974 for spreading illegal political campaign literature (the 1974 version of Fake News). He left public life after that.
Jeb Magruder: Deputy Director of CREEP spent 7 months in prison for perjury and conspiracy to obstruct justice. He left politics to become a Presbyterian Minister.
John Ehrlichman: A military analyst who was Nixon’s assistant for domestic affairs from November 1969 through May 1973. Ehrlichman leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press, helping to end the Vietnam War but he served 18 months in prison for conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. Ehrlichman said something of Nixon that is very much like the vibe we get from Trump:
"There were many times that you simply did not call Richard Nixon in a situation like that if you wanted to continue to do business with him. He could freeze you out. So they were being very politic, I guess, and letting him spout off. That was the Queen of Hearts syndrome, we called it, “off with their heads.”"
There are a lot of parrallels between Nixon and Trump. After 10 years of Kennedy and Johnson, Nixon was the Conservative Savior of his time and could do no wrong as far as the party was concerned but, nonetheless, he was ultimately impeached ajnd it DID, eventually, affect the stock market. Even Clinton, who was impeached over saying he didn't have sex with an intern (because a President telling a lie was an impeachable offense back then) saw the S&P drop 25% as the hearings heated up.
So far, despite 13,434 "false or misleading claims" by the current President (as of last month), the market has not taken much notice of what's about to happen and we're up again today and maybe Impeachment doesn't matter – but I'd rather wait and see.
Nonetheless, I will be on Money Talk tomorrow and we will have at least two picks to start our new Money Talk Portfolio – just let's watch out for bombshells from the impeachment testimony – in case the market finally hears something they take notice of.