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  1. #271

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Something we shouldn't forget:

    Scott DesJarlais @DesJarlaisTN04

    House Democrats ran secret impeachment hearings. Called partisan donors to testify. Refused to call others who would contradict their hoax. Refused to wait out court reviews. Now impeaching the President for “obstruction of Congress.” They turned this entire process into a joke!
    Jesse Lee @JesseCharlesLee

    All the key witnesses were members of the Trump Administration. Republicans did not request any witnesses who "contradict" the overwhelming evidence because those witnesses do not exist. Trump's closest staffers were invited and subpoenaed to come, and Trump ordered them not to.

    Simon Rosenberg @SimonWDC

    All of Trump's allies who've been prosecuted have been charged by his DOJ. Comey, Rosenstein, Mueller were all Republicans. DOJ IG, IC IG, CIA General Counsel - all his people. Every Ukraine witness worked for Trump.

    Everything has been Trump people. Dems nowhere in this.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  2. #272

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Now that the articles have been drawn up and released I do have more of an opinion about how the House handled what in effect was its role as Grand Jury.

    I'm glad they only offered two Articles. It will force Tiny and his cronies/lackeys to have to focus on those two issues. We all know that there are so many more issues they could've listed but that would, in my non legally trained opinion, have allowed Moscow Mitch et al to do what they've been doing and ranting about any and every little nuance. Imagine what they would've done if "Bribery" had been listed as a separate article?

    I think it was a smart move and further puts Tiny in a corner.

    Ari, Rachel and Lawrence should be great tonight.


    I always skip the Chris's because they both annoy me.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  3. #273

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    WaPo Updates Post #2

    12:30 p.m.
    Pelosi warns against the arrival of a ‘president-king’

    If House Democrats do not pursue the impeachment of Trump, they risk saying “goodbye to the republic” and “hello to the president-king,” Pelosi said during a public appearance early Tuesday afternoon.

    “It’s a very sad day actually, a solemn day,” Pelosi said during a moderated conversation at Politico’s Women Rule Summit in Washington.

    Pelosi argued that lawmakers are honoring their oaths of office and would be “delinquent” if they did not seek to impeach Trump.

    “I wish it were not necessary. I wish the president’s actions did not make it necessary,” she said.

    By John Wagner

    (...)

    1:00 p.m.
    Three senators eyeing the White House voice support for impeachment

    Three presidential contenders who are sitting U.S. senators — Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.) — voiced their support for the House’s decision to move forward with impeachment on Tuesday.

    As sitting senators, each would be called upon to participate in a Senate trial should the House vote to impeach the president. Each is seeking the Democratic nomination for the chance to unseat Trump in November, but they emphasized their constitutional duties as senators in their statements.

    “This is a sad, sobering moment for our country,” Booker tweeted. “This President violated his oath to the American people. Now, those of us who swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution have a duty to follow ours.”

    In his tweet, Sanders, posting under his official Senate account, called Trump “the most corrupt president in history, and he must be held accountable.”

    “I strongly believe the announcement of articles of impeachment are appropriate and necessary, and I call on the full House to pass them,” Sanders wrote. In the event impeachment passes the House, he called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to “quickly schedule a full trial in the Senate, where I will uphold my constitutional responsibility as a juror.”

    Bennett went so far as to say that if “evidence of the president’s wrongdoing and abuse of power continues to remain consistent with what we’ve seen, it’s likely I would vote to impeach.”

    By Kayla Epstein

    1:10 p.m.
    Grisham says White House expected more articles of impeachment

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Tuesday that Trump aides had expected House Democrats to unveil four or five articles of impeachment instead of two.

    The narrower focus, she argued during an appearance on Fox News, is a sign that Democrats are having a hard time selling impeachment in their districts.

    “One of them is obstruction of Congress, which is code for, ‘He didn’t play nice with us,’ ” Grisham said. “‘You guys didn’t participate in Congress, so now we’re going to go ahead and hit you with obstruction of Congress.’ That’s silly.”

    The resolution unveiled Tuesday notes that Trump has refused to comply with subpoenas throughout the impeachment inquiry.

    Grisham also downplayed the article alleging abuse of power, suggesting that rough transcripts released by the White House of Trump’s calls with Zelensky showed no wrongdoing.

    By John Wagner

    1:30 p.m.
    Centrist Democrats skittish on impeachment consider voting down obstruction article

    A band of centrist House Democrats are skittish about backing a move to oust the president, privately floating the idea of a less severe punishment and the prospects of even voting against an impeachment charge against Trump.

    A group of 10 moderate Democrats from Trump-carried districts discussed their desire to vote to censure rather than impeach Trump during a Monday night huddle, according to a person familiar with the conversation who requested anonymity to share private conversations. The idea had been batted around by moderates worried about political blowback since the Thanksgiving break.

    Other moderate Democrats, eager to show independence from the party, have discussed voting down one article of impeachment pertaining to obstruction of Congress. These Democrats worry that there’s not enough evidence to suggest Trump tried to flout the legislature’s authority since ultimately these matters will be decided in the courts.

    The concerns come despite Pelosi’s move Tuesday to keep articles of impeachment narrowly focused on the Ukraine controversy as well as obstruction of Congress. Many lawmakers, including those on the House Judiciary Committee, also wanted a third charge of obstruction of justice, citing former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report. But Pelosi and her leadership team, knowing the fears of the moderates, ultimately chose a narrower scope.

    The idea of a censure has been raised multiple times before, including over the Thanksgiving recess by Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.). However, Democrats in leadership argue that censuring Trump after all this work and investigation would be, essentially, acquitting him of wrongdoing — or at least suggesting his actions weren’t that bad.

    By Rachael Bade

    (...)

    2:30 p.m.
    Bill Clinton says Congress ‘doing what they believe is right’ on Trump impeachment

    Bill Clinton, who was the second president in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, said that “Congress is doing what they believe is right” by moving forward with articles of impeachment against Trump.

    Clinton was asked about the Democrats’ decision while touring a high school in New York City as part of his work for the Clinton Foundation, Fox News reported.

    “They also said they were going to support the Mexico-Canada trade deal,” Clinton told Fox News. “They’re doing their job as they see it, and we should wait to see it unfold. And the rest of us should go about our jobs and do them as we see it.”

    In 1998, the Republican-controlled House impeached Clinton over charges that he lied under oath and obstructed justice. He was acquitted in a Senate trial the following year.

    By Kayla Epstein

    2:40 p.m.
    McConnell would be ‘totally surprised’ if Trump is convicted in Senate trial early next year

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled Tuesday that a Senate trial would start in early January and said he would be “totally surprised” if there are 67 senators who vote to remove Trump from office.

    Speaking to reporters at the Capitol, McConnell said it remains unclear whether the trial would include testimony from witnesses, as Trump has publicly advocated.

    Ticking through the schedule of Senate business in coming weeks, McConnell said it is “not possible” to conduct a trial before the holiday recess and that he expects the Senate will return “right around the time the bowl games end,” referring to college football.

    House Democrats are seeking to hold a full House vote on impeaching Trump next week.

    McConnell said he anticipates a trial in which both House and impeachment managers and lawyers for the president would make opening arguments. After that, he said there would be two options: to proceed with calling witnesses or to end the proceedings if a majority of the Republican-led Senate is prepared to do so.

    He noted that he previously said he would be “totally surprised” if there are enough votes to convict Trump.

    “That remains my view,” McConnell said.

    By John Wagner

    3:15 p.m.
    Senate Democrats slam the ‘conspiracy caucus’

    Senate Democratic leadership warned their Republican colleagues not to indulge in conspiracy theories as the impeachment inquiry appeared to head toward a Senate trial.

    In recent weeks, Republicans, including Sens. John Neely Kennedy (La.) and Ted Cruz (Tex.), have echoed Trump’s debunked assertion that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election as they’ve ramped up their defense of the president.

    On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) labeled the GOP senators who advanced this theory as the “conspiracy caucus,” while Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said that Democrats had to play “whack a mole” to stymie these disproved claims.

    “The president’s government is still not buying this wild-eyed theory of Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 campaign, and yet we continue to whack these moles down,” Durbin said. “I hope it’s time we put this behind us once and for all.”

    By Kayla Epstein
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  4. #274

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Growing divide between Trump and McConnell over impeachment trial
    By Kaitlan Collins and Phil Mattingly, CNN

    Updated 12:21 PM ET, Tue December 10, 2019

    Trump and Mitch McConnell are both looking ahead to the Senate impeachment trial, but there is a growing divide between the two over what that trial should look like, CNN has learned.

    ... the Kentucky Republican has made clear he hopes to end the trial as soon as he can, an effort to both get impeachment off his lap and protect his conference from potentially damaging votes...

    But the show is exactly what Trump wants. He's made clear to advisers privately that rather than end the trial as quickly as possible, he is hoping for a dramatic event, according to two people familiar with his thinking. He wants Hunter Biden, Rep. Adam Schiff and the whistleblower to testify. He wants the witnesses to be live, not clips of taped depositions. And he's hoping to turn it into a spectacle, which he thinks is his best chance to hurt Democrats in the election.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/10/polit...ent/index.html
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  5. #275

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    WaPo Updates Post #3

    3:20 p.m.
    Impeachment trial ‘has to come first’ for 2020 candidates, Schumer says

    A Senate impeachment trial early next year could interfere with campaign schedules for the five senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    But Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) offered no concessions when asked about the situation Tuesday, telling reporters that for those senators, “This has to come first.”

    “This is one of the most solemn decisions that anyone has to make, and I’ve told all members of my caucus that scheduling concerns are secondary to doing this the right way,” Schumer said at a news conference on Capitol Hill.

    The leader’s comments came after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) signaled that a trial would start in early January.

    The presidential primary season begins Feb. 3 with the Iowa caucuses.

    By Elise Viebeck

    3:45 p.m.
    Russian foreign minister leaves White House after meeting with Trump

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left the White House on Tuesday afternoon after a scheduled Oval Office meeting with Trump.

    The meeting was part of Lavrov’s first trip to Washington since 2017. That earlier visit led to a firestorm of criticism after the Russian Embassy in Washington released images of him and other U.S. officials smiling and shaking hands in the Oval Office. The Russian delegation was allowed to bring a photographer in the room from the state news agency Tass while U.S. photojournalists were barred entry to the meeting.

    The White House has yet to release a readout of Tuesday’s visit.

    By John Wagner

    4:15 p.m.
    Spending talks continue with impeachment in the background

    Ten days from a government shutdown deadline, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday to jump-start moribund spending talks, meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and top appropriators to smooth the way to a fiscal accord ahead of the Dec. 20 deadline.

    House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) emerged from the meeting upbeat, saying they expected to work over the next 48 hours to resolve minor issues in hopes of potentially striking a final deal Thursday, when Mnuchin is expected to return to the Capitol.

    “We’re adults. We’re appropriators,” said Lowey. “If there’s a commitment to get our work done, I intend to keep that commitment.”

    Congressional leaders have struggled to reach agreement on key issues since inking a sweeping budget deal over the summer that set top-line spending levels for fiscal 2020 and 2021. Negotiating the nitty-gritty of agency appropriations has been thornier — especially the issue of border wall construction and immigration enforcement funding.

    Multiple officials from both parties said there is a mutual understanding that border issues will have to be resolved somewhere close to the status quo, where Congress provides no specific money for the wall but President Trump retains the power to shift funds from elsewhere in the government.

    But the exact details of that arrangement, as well as strictures on detention beds for detained migrants and other immigration-related issues, could be trickier for the leaders to navigate.

    Those matters were not discussed in Tuesday’s meeting, Lowey said. But she added that Mnuchin helped reassure congressional leaders that Trump is interested in consummating a deal before the Christmas holiday despite his impending impeachment in the House.

    “He’s very cooperative,” she said. “I was very pleased with his tone. He was happy to be there. He made it clear that they want to get a deal.”

    By Mike DeBonis

    4:30 p.m.
    Trump’s face photoshopped onto supervillain in video calling his reelection ‘inevitable’

    A Twitter account affiliated with Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted a video of the president’s head photoshopped onto Thanos — the star villain from Marvel Studios’ popular “Avengers” film series — asserting that his reelection next year is “inevitable.”

    “House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want,” the tweet reads. “President Trump’s re-election is inevitable.”

    In the video, the photoshopped Thanos snaps his fingers, causing Pelosi, Nadler and other House leaders to disappear. It was tweeted Tuesday afternoon by Trump War Room, a verified Twitter account managed by Trump’s 2020 campaign.

    Many were quick to point out, however, that the “Avengers: Endgame” clip used in the video comes moments before Thanos realizes he has been outsmarted by the movie’s protagonists.

    By Michael Brice-Saddler

    5:00 p.m.
    House Republicans call for minority hearing on impeachment

    A group of House Republicans accused Nadler of ignoring their request for a minority hearing, according to a letter published Tuesday by the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

    “When considering the unprecedented speed at which the majority is moving towards impeaching a duly elected president, a delay under these circumstances is tantamount to a denial of our right to a minority hearing,” the letter, addressed to Nadler, reads.

    The letter is signed by 72 House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).

    “Under House rules, the minority is entitled to their own hearing on impeachment, but @RepJerryNadler has stonewalled,” tweeted Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.). “My colleagues and I are prepared to use every parliamentary tool available to get some kind of fairness.”

    By Michael Brice-Saddler

    5:30 p.m.
    Trump denounces ‘very weak’ articles of impeachment ahead of Pennsylvania rally

    Addressing reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before leaving for his rally in Pennsylvania, Trump disparaged the articles of impeachment unveiled by Democrats.

    “Even the Democrats, they couldn’t find very much,” Trump said. “Because they put up two articles that, frankly, are very weak. They’re very weak.”

    Trump praised Republicans who he said stuck together through the “witch hunt,” and celebrated an agreement with House Democrats on a North American trade deal announced earlier in the day, which the president called a “silver lining to impeachment.”

    He argued that Democratic lawmakers are using the trade agreement as a way to distract from impeachment.

    “The reason is they wanted to muffle down the impeachment because they’re embarrassed by it,” he said.

    By Michael Brice-Saddler

    6:30 p.m.
    House Democrats say Trump is unfit for office but eagerly deal with him on trade

    On one hand, Democrats called President Trump “a continuing threat to our democracy and national security.” On the other, they said he is a trustworthy partner in consummating the grandest trade deal the United States has ever negotiated.

    The nation saw a split screen Tuesday morning, in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) dashed from a somber announcement of articles of impeachment against the president to a jubilant proclamation of a revised North American trade accord — bewildering liberals who said Democrats were sending disastrously mixed messages about Trump 11 months before the 2020 election.

    But inside the confines of the House, the tandem moves made perfect sense: It is, multiple Democratic lawmakers said, the ultimate expression of the “walk and chew gum” mentality that Pelosi and other party leaders have been pushing since the earliest days of their majority, and it generated nearly universal acclaim from lawmakers Tuesday.

    “Imagine if we had caved to those people who would have said, ‘Why give the president a win?’* ” asked Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee who has pushed for impeachment. “We’d be torpedoing something that is good for the American people for political gain. That’s what the president is being impeached for, so we’re not going to do that.”

    Read more here.

    By Mike DeBonis and Rachael Bade
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  6. #276

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Giuliani says Trump asked him to brief Justice Dept. and GOP senators on his Ukraine findings

    By
    Josh Dawsey
    Dec. 10, 2019 at 4:34 p.m. EST

    Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, said Tuesday that the president has asked him to brief the Justice Department and Republican senators on his findings from a recent trip to Ukraine ahead of a likely Senate impeachment trial.

    “He wants me to do it,” Giuliani said in a brief interview. “I’m working on pulling it together and hope to have it done by the end of the week.”

    However, it is unclear whether GOP senators or Justice Department officials want information from Giuliani, whose meetings in Europe last week with Ukrainian sources drew condemnation from Democratic lawmakers and winces even from some Republicans.

    In a recent interview, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he had no plans for Giuliani to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has launched an inquiry into former vice president Joe Biden and his communications with Ukrainian officials. Attorney General William P. Barr has counseled Trump in general terms that Giuliani has become a liability and a problem for the administration, as The Washington Post previously reported.

    A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Two White House officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations said that Trump did not instruct Giuliani to go to Ukraine. The president’s advisers were displeased about the trip, although Trump has not expressed those concerns, they said.

    Indeed, on Saturday, Trump appeared happy with his lawyer’s work, telling reporters that Giuliani was going to “make a report” to the attorney general and Congress.

    “He says he has a lot of good information,” Trump said, adding, “I hear he has found plenty.”

    Meanwhile, federal prosecutors in New York are scrutinizing Giuliani’s ties to two recently indicted associates and his consulting business as part of a broad probe of possible foreign-lobbying violations and other potential crimes, according to people familiar with the investigation.

    Giuliani said Tuesday that he has unsuccessfully sought to learn why he is under investigation in the Southern District of New York, the office he led as U.S. attorney in the 1980s.

    “They are refusing to tell us why they are investigating,” he said. Giuliani said he wants to present evidence that he is innocent to prosecutors but has not been given the chance.

    He said his former office is pursuing the “most unfair, vindictive investigation they have ever conducted.”

    “I believe that the leaks and the investigation is intended to intimidate me as the president’s lawyer,” Giuliani said. “I am fully confident that I did not commit any crimes of any kind. They’re going after the wrong guy. The more they try to intimidate me, the more I think, I better go get additional evidence.”

    The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment.

    Giuliani said he returned Saturday from a trip that took him to Ukraine, Hungary and Vienna, where he said he was looking for documents and witnesses to buttress unproven claims he has made about Biden’s son Hunter, as well as the unfounded assertion that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election.

    Giuliani said he had gotten new documents and additional witnesses to participate in his effort, though he declined to provide details.

    He was accompanied by correspondents from the conservative One America News Network, which is producing a documentary about his work.

    While Giuliani was in Kyiv, he met with Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who told The Post that he handed Giuliani documents on allegations relating to inefficient expenditure of U.S. government money on projects in Ukraine and other matters.

    Derkach, an independent lawmaker who was formerly a member of a pro-Russian party in parliament, went to the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow. He is the son of a KGB officer who later served as head of Ukrainian intelligence.

    Giuliani said he also wanted to meet with former prosecutor general Viktor Shokin, but the latter was unable to travel to meet him, he said.

    “I’m fearful Mr. Shokin is not healthy, and it is important to memorialize his testimony on tape,” Giuliani said.

    Devlin Barrett in Washington and Shayna Jacobs in New York contributed to this report.


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...7a1_story.html
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  7. #277

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    4:30 p.m.
    Trump’s face photoshopped onto supervillain in video calling his reelection ‘inevitable’

    A Twitter account affiliated with Trump’s reelection campaign tweeted a video of the president’s head photoshopped onto Thanos — the star villain from Marvel Studios’ popular “Avengers” film series — asserting that his reelection next year is “inevitable.”

    “House Democrats can push their sham impeachment all they want,” the tweet reads. “President Trump’s re-election is inevitable.”

    In the video, the photoshopped Thanos snaps his fingers, causing Pelosi, Nadler and other House leaders to disappear. It was tweeted Tuesday afternoon by Trump War Room, a verified Twitter account managed by Trump’s 2020 campaign.

    Many were quick to point out, however, that the “Avengers: Endgame” clip used in the video comes moments before Thanos realizes he has been outsmarted by the movie’s protagonists.

    By Michael Brice-Saddler


    John Fugelsang @JohnFugelsang

    Thanos is a deranged, evil, obese, bizarrely-colored authoritarian villain who causes mass suffering and is obsessed with his own daughter & ultimately dies defeated and despised.

    So, sure.

    Over to you, @Disney Legal Dept https://twitter.com/TrumpWarRoom/sta...03645607333888
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  8. #278

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Wendy Siegelman
    @WendySiegelman
    SDNY prosecutors ask judge to revoke bail for Giuliani associate Lev Parnas & send him to jail for making false statements about his assets, including a $1 million payment from Russia in September sent to an account in the name of his wife Svetlana Parnas


    Rudy Giuliani’s associate Lev Parnas got $1 million from Russia in September, a month before he was charged with conspiring to funnel foreign money into U.S. political campaigns, according to U.S. prosecutors who asked a judge to jail him for understating his income and assets.

    “Parnas failed to disclose, in describing his income to the government and pretrial services, the fact that in September 2019, he received $1 million from a bank account in Russia into Account-1,” prosecutors said in a court filing Wednesday.

    The payment raises provocative new questions about the nature of the work Parnas and his associate Igor Fruman were doing and who they were doing it for. Much about the nature of their work remains unclear.

    (...)

    Giuliani and his lawyer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    There was little detail or explanation about the source or purpose of the payment to Parnas in the court filing. Prosecutors said the money was sent to an account in the name of Parnas’s wife, Svetlana Parnas. It appeared “to be an attempt to ensure that any assets were held in Svetlana’s, rather than Lev’s, name,” prosecutors claimed.

    The payment came the same month that Parnas and Fruman received the first of two requests for documents from congressional committees investigating the Trump administration’s actions in Ukraine. The pair initially refused to comply with the requests, and were arrested days later as they sought to board a plane with one-way tickets to Vienna. Parnas’s lawyer has subsequently said his client is willing to comply with the congressional investigation.

    Prosecutors asked the judge to revoke Parnas’s bail, saying he also lied about his income.

    “Parnas poses an extreme risk of flight, and that risk of flight is only compounded by his continued and troubling misrepresentations,” prosecutors said.

    The request came after Parnas had requested that he be allowed some time each day outside his apartment while he is under home detention. Parnas’s lawyer, Joseph Bondy, declined to comment and said he would respond to the prosecutors with his own filing.

    (Updates with comment from prosecutors in second paragraph.)
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  9. #279

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    The WaPo has updates

    Impeachment live updates: House Judiciary panel poised to debate articles of impeachment against Trump tonight

    By
    John Wagner,
    Elise Viebeck,
    Colby Itkowitz and
    Michael Brice-Saddler
    Dec. 11, 2019 at 7:39 p.m. EST

    The House Judiciary Committee is poised to start weighing articles of impeachment Wednesday accusing President Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, with both parties girding for a spirited debate about his conduct toward Ukraine.

    Trump is just the fourth president in U.S. history to face the prospect of such a sanction for misconduct in office, which could be approved by next week on the House floor.

    At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.


    6:15 p.m.
    Schiff sends classified witness testimony to Judiciary Committee

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) sent a document containing classified witness testimony Wednesday to the Judiciary Committee for consideration before it marks up articles of impeachment, according to a letter from Schiff that accompanied the material and was released publicly.

    The letter described the document as a “classified supplemental written submission” from Jennifer Williams, a special adviser on Russia to Vice President Pence who testified in an open impeachment hearing last month. The topic is a Sept. 18 phone call between Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the letter stated.

    The classified material was not released publicly, and The Post could not independently verify its contents.

    Schiff wrote that his panel asked Pence’s office Dec. 6 to declassify the document “as there is no legitimate basis to assert that the information therein is classified,” but that Pence’s office has not responded. Pence’s office has said the call was classified and cannot be discussed in open settings.

    Schiff’s letter stated that Williams provided the supplemental material to the Intelligence Committee through her lawyer Nov. 26, a week after her public testimony.

    By Elise Viebeck

    7:00 p.m.
    Michael Cohen’s lawyer needles Trump over impeachment in court filing

    An attorney for Michael Cohen filed a motion in federal court Wednesday that his client deserved a reduced jail sentence, arguing, in part, that the Justice Department under Attorney General William P. Barr is not a fair arbitrator because of his “Trumpian subservience.”

    Cohen, the former attorney and “fixer” for Trump, who is serving a three-year prison sentence for financial crimes and lying to Congress, has requested his sentence be reduced to a year and one day or to be allowed to spend the duration of his sentence on “home confinement.”

    The filing includes many pointed attacks on Trump, and makes several references to the impeachment proceedings.

    “With ‘Articles of Impeachment’ drafted and awaiting a vote in the House of Representatives, and with an Inspector General’s Report “hot off the press,” Attorney General William Barr has moved both publicly, and vigorously, to insure that he is aligned with President Trump — a man for whom disruption and rancor know no discernible limits, as reflected by his references to the F.B.I as ‘scum’.”

    By Colby Itkowitz

    7:15: Nadler calls facts against Trump ‘overwhelming’ in opening statement

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) opened up Wednesday night’s hearing by detailing the rationale behind the two articles of impeachment drafted agianst President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

    He called the facts, laid out in previous hearings, “overwhelming.”

    “President Trump should have been focused on America’s national security,” Nadler said. “Instead, he completely ignored them to push his own personal, political interests.”

    Nadler closed with an appeal to House Republicans, reminding them Trump would not be president forever. He implored them not to justify behavior “that we know in our heart is wrong.”

    “When his time has passed, when his grip on our politics is gone, when our country returns, as surely it will, to calmer times and stronger leadership, history will look back on our actions here today. How would you be remembered?” Nadler asked.

    “We have each taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. I hope to be remembered for honoring that oath. I hope you feel the same.”

    By Michael Brice-Saddler

    7:30: Top Republican accuses Democrats of attacking Ukrainian president

    Rep. Doug Collins (Ga.), the top Republican member on the House Judiciary Committee, said the Democrats are “tearing down a world leader” and calling Zelensky “a liar” by suggesting he felt pressured by Trump when the Ukrainian president has said he didn’t.

    “When we can’t make our case, we tear down, not only try to tear down the leader of the free world, President Trump, but we’re tearing down the newly elected leader of the Ukraine. This is amazing to me,” Collins said.

    “I never thought we would cross outside of the ocean to try to basically impugn the integrity of a world leader like we have been on the last two hearings,” he added.

    One of Democrats’ central arguments for impeachment is their contention that Trump tried to use a vulnerable ally to help him politically.

    Collins, his voice raised to a yell, also railed against the Democrats for not allowing the Republicans to hold a minority hearing, warning that one day GOP will be back in power and will tell the Democrats they “put a dagger in minority rights.”

    By Colby Itkowitz
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  10. #280

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    At the core of this entire charade with Tiny there will be lessons that will not only apply to America, but to the rest of the world too. How will POLITICS be conducted from now on? It is obvious that Reason and Principles no longer apply to a large segment of the politicians of the world and therefore to their constituency. Lying is now seen as a tactical practice, not as a moral flaw. And the proper rules for debate and discourse are long gone.
    So the question (to me) is: how can we regain some of those attributes? Or am I again simply romanticizing some frame-less past?
    Missing winter...

  11. #281

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    WaPo Updates

    Impeachment live updates: House Judiciary panel debates Trump’s Ukraine conduct as it moves toward approval of articles of impeachment

    Dec. 12, 2019 at 5:53 p.m. EST
    Democrats and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee engaged in a rancorous debate over President Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine on Thursday as they moved toward approval of two articles of impeachment.

    Trump is just the fourth president in U.S. history to face the prospect of impeachment for alleged misconduct in office. A vote is expected by the full House next week.

    At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine to combat Russian military aggression, to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

    ●Senate Republicans look to hold a short impeachment trial despite Trump’s desire for an aggressive defense.

    ●House Democrats brace for some defections among moderates on impeachment of Trump.

    ●In new legal memo, White House budget office defends withholding aid to Ukraine.

    How impeachment works | House resolution impeaching Trump | House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment inquiry report | Key figures on the House Judiciary Committee

    1:00 p.m.
    As the House debates impeachment, Senate confirms new ambassador to Russia

    The Senate confirmed John Sullivan on Thursday to be the next U.S. ambassador to Russia, as the House Judiciary Committee debated the articles of impeachment against Trump for his actions regarding Ukraine — some of which involved Sullivan.

    Sullivan, who previously served as deputy secretary of state, was the official who ultimately told former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch that Trump “had lost confidence” in her, and that she “would need to depart [her] post” — despite the fact that she had “done nothing wrong,” according to Yovanovitch’s testimony.

    Sullivan testified about the conversation during his confirmation hearing in October. He also told senators that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was one of several individuals who were part of a “campaign” against Yovanovitch. He also said that it would not “be in accord with our values” for Trump to request that Ukraine investigate a political rival.

    The Senate voted 70 to 22 to confirm Sullivan, a bipartisan showing at a time when the parties are usually bitterly split over matters involving Russia and Ukraine. Sullivan succeeds Jon Huntsman as ambassador. Huntsman is now running to be governor of Utah.

    By Karoun Demirjian

    (...)

    1:45 p.m.
    McConnell blames dearth of legislating on impeachment

    As the House Judiciary Committee debated articles of impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was on his chamber’s floor blaming the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry for the race against the clock on spending bills and other legislative priorities.

    “As I said, the Democrats’ fixation with impeachment has pushed crucial governing priorities into the 11th hour,” McConnell said.

    McConnell also lamented that the deal on trade between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House happened too late to be debated and passed by the Senate by year’s end.

    “Now, at the 11th hour, Speaker Pelosi has finally realized it would be too cynical and too nakedly partisan to allow her conference’s impeachment obsession to kill the USMCA entirely,” McConnell said, referring to the trade deal known as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement. “So after a year of obstruction, she finally gave in to Republican pressure and struck a notional deal with the White House.”

    House Democrats point out that they’ve passed hundreds of bills that McConnell will not bring up. Congress’s struggle to pass major legislation and complete spending bills on time is a problem that started long before the impeachment probe.

    By Colby Itkowitz

    2:15 p.m.
    White House officials meeting with McConnell on impeachment

    White House counsel Pat Cipollone and legislative affairs director Eric Ueland were spotted walking into the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), as the House readies to impeach the president next week.

    A McConnell aide confirmed that he is meeting with the pair of White House officials on impeachment.

    The meeting comes as the Senate considers what kind of trial to have in January; many Republicans are advocating for a short one to quickly acquit Trump.

    Cippollone has rejected House entreaties to participate in the impeachment probe and present the White House’s side. The White House said it would not legitimize a “sham” process and would wait until it got to the Senate to engage.

    By Colby Itkowitz and Seung Min Kim

    2:30 p.m.
    Appeals court considers whether Trump is illegally profiting from foreign business

    For the second time this week, appeals court judges considered whether Trump is illegally profiting from foreign government payments to his private business.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit appeared divided about whether to dismiss the lawsuit from the top lawyers for Maryland and the District of Columbia, alleging the president’s hotel in downtown Washington violates the Constitution’s anti-corruption ban.

    Trump’s lawyer told a full complement of 15 judges that it is “clear and indisputable” that the president cannot be sued unless such a lawsuit is expressly authorized by Congress. But Judge James A. Wynn Jr. asked what else could be done to “remedy a president who openly and without any reservation violates the emoluments clause?”

    “He is above the law?” Wynn asked.

    On the other side, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III repeatedly made clear he was prepared to dismiss the unprecedented case, saying there is no “direct evidence that the president has directly harmed anyone.”

    “We’re up here making it up. We’re winging it,” Wilkinson said. “There’s no history that authorizes it. There’s no precedent that authorizes it.”

    Read more here.

    By Jonathan O’Connell and Ann E. Marimow

    2:45 p.m.
    GOP congressman: ‘We were sent here to obstruct this Congress’

    Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) argued that impeaching Trump for obstruction of Congress doesn’t make sense because Republican lawmakers were “sent here to obstruct this Congress.”

    Buck said Republicans were sent “to make sure that this power of the purse is actually exercised around this place.” While praising Trump’s policies, he also chastised the deal Democrats made with the White House to provide all federal employees paid family leave for three months.

    Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) pushed back on Buck, calling it “terrible ignorance” to suggest that obstruction is a good thing.

    “Whether you think Congress is behaving well or badly, whether it’s popular or unpopular, if you want a dictator, then you subvert the ability of Congress to hold the executive in check,” Nadler said. “What is central here is do we want a dictator? No matter how popular he may be, no matter how good or bad the results of his policies may be. No president is supposed to be a dictator in the United States.”

    “When I hear colleagues of mine arguing that the Congress is unpopular and therefore obstruction of Congress is a good thing, this shows terrible ignorance or lack of care for our institutions, for our democracy, for our form of government, for our liberties,” Nadler added.


    By Colby Itkowitz

    3:25 p.m.
    Dean says Congress does not need permission from president or courts

    Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.), a former lawyer from Philadelphia, gave an impassioned speech about the power of the Congress to conduct its own oversight under the Constitution.

    “We do not need permission from the president; we do not need permission from the courts,” she said, holding up a pocket-size Constitution, setting the room abuzz with camera clicks. “In fact, we have an obligation to do our job under this simple, smart document.”

    Republicans have sought to cast Trump’s stonewalling of congressional oversight as a routine interbranch dispute like that which has plagued past administrations and Congresses. Trump, however, has vowed to ignore “all the subpoenas” and refused to allow critical witnesses on the Ukraine matter to appear in the impeachment inquiry.

    “This is not an ordinary dispute, folks,” Dean said, referring to Trump’s refusal to comply with even a single congressional investigation. “This is a very rare, thankfully, very rare dispute.”

    Dean warned the room: “Do not be confused by the lawyers on the other side who would teach the wrong civics lesson and distract you with the notion [that] we need to go to court, we need permission of a president, we need permission of a court.”

    “We do not,” she said.


    By Rachael Bade

    3:30 p.m.
    Jeffries says Trump attacks everybody ‘who won’t bend the knee’

    Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) took a direct shot at Trump, whom he said “attacks everybody who won’t bend the knee.”

    “He’s attacked John McCain, a war hero. He’s attacked Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican nominee. He’s attacked Bob Mueller, a Marine — a distinguished professional in law enforcement,” Jeffries said. “He has attacked your former speaker Paul Ryan. He attacks gold star families.”

    “He even attacked today a 16-year-old teenage activist, Greta Thunberg,” Jeffries added. “Are you here to defend that as well?”

    Jeffries said his Republican colleagues appeared more focused on attacking the Bidens rather than discussing the allegations against Trump. He implored them to stay on task.

    “Is it okay for the president to solicit interference in the 2020 election or not? Who should decide the outcome of our elections? Is it the Russians? The Chinese? The Ukrainians? Or the American people?” Jeffries asked. “It should be the American people — and that’s why we’re here at this moment … so let’s have a serious discussion about it, and stop attacking Americans who refuse to bend the knee to this president.”

    By Michael Brice-Saddler
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  12. #282

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Updates Part 2

    3:40 p.m.
    Committee rejects amendment adding Hunter Biden’s name to articles of impeachment

    On a 23-to-17 vote along party lines, the Judiciary Committee rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) that would have added the name of Hunter Biden to the articles of impeachment.

    The vote came more than three hours after the amendment was introduced.

    By John Wagner

    3:45 p.m.
    Third Republican amendment seeks to clarify that Ukraine received aid money

    Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) offered the Republicans’ third amendment that would add language to the articles of impeachment stating that the U.S. aid to Ukraine was released after the new Ukrainian government signed anti-corruption measures into law.

    Republicans have long argued that Trump withheld the aid to Ukraine over concerns generally about corruption in the country. Democrats have noted that at no time on a July call with Zelensky does Trump mention corruption, only the desire for an investigation in the Bidens.

    “My amendment, it basically covers and sets forth clearly what the holding or the pause of the Ukrainian aid was about. And they got their money and they got it on time,” Biggs said.

    Speaking in opposition to the amendment, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) said had Zelensky felt pressured by Trump, he would have never publicly said so.

    “Was he supposed to publicly complain and criticize President Trump when the whole world knows how the president doesn’t respond to anything except for praise?” Bass asked. “What hostage would come forward and complain publicly against their captors, especially if they knew that the aid could be withheld or they could be compromised at any point in time?”

    By Colby Itkowitz

    3:50 p.m.
    White House official says it will work ‘closely’ with Senate GOP on trial process

    The White House will be “cooperative and very collaborative” as the Senate moves to a trial, Trump’s legislative affairs director Eric Ueland said.

    “We’re having good close communication and conversation with Senate Republicans in the event the House goes ahead and actually produces articles of impeachment,” Ueland said, after leaving a meeting at the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) “We’re going to continue to work closely with Senate Republicans as well as other members of Congress on the questions, and we’ll continue to be very cooperative and very collaborative with our friends up here on the Hill as we work through this process.”

    Ueland, who visited Capitol Hill with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, wouldn’t respond to specific questions about process or whether the White House would want Senate GOP to call witnesses.

    “I think the president’s been pretty clear on priorities that he’d laid out when it comes to this, but while we focus on the questions of how best to deal with the process in the Senate, we’re also focused on substantive results for the president’s agenda on the American people,” Ueland said.

    By Seung Min Kim and Colby Itkowitz

    4:00 p.m.
    Trump campaign says impeachment will help him win reelection

    As Trump faced a critical vote on his impeachment Thursday, his top political advisers said the process had already begun to reap benefits for his reelection campaign.

    “This lit up our base, lit up the people that are supporters of the president. They’re frustrated, they’re upset, and that motivates voters,” campaign manager Brad Parscale told reporters during a briefing Thursday. “They have ignited a flame underneath them.”

    Parscale — who prefaced his remarks by saying he did not believe Trump deserved to be impeached — said that “every metric” he tracks, from fundraising to voter sentiment to volunteer recruitment, shows a political benefit for the president.

    “That has put money in our bank, it has added volunteers to our field program,” he said. “It’s filled up the rallies easier.”

    Read more here.

    By Toluse Olorunnipa

    4:10 p.m.
    Democrat compares Republicans to Judas

    In yet another sign of the acrimonious split between Republicans and Democrats on impeachment, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.), a senior House Judiciary Committee member, compared Republicans’ support of Trump to Judas’s betrayal of Jesus in the Bible.

    “Today I’m reminded of Judas — because Judas for 30 pieces of silver betrayed Jesus; for 30 positive tweets for easy reelection, the other side is willing to betray the American people … the future of our great country,” Richmond said.

    By Rachael Bade

    5:00 p.m.
    Democrat compares GOP contortions to her yoga-teaching sister

    Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.) chided Republicans, comparing their defenses of Trump to the yoga poses her sister can do.

    “It is incredible to me to see some of my colleagues bend over backwards to cover up for this president,” she said. “My sister is a yoga teacher. She doesn’t contort the way some of my Republican colleagues distort the facts, all to protect this president.”

    By Colby Itkowitz

    5:15 p.m.
    A tally of which House members support impeaching Trump

    The House is expected to vote on the two articles of impeachment next week before breaking for the holidays. The Washington Post has compiled a tally of how members have indicated they will vote.

    Take a look at it here.

    5:25 p.m.
    Another GOP amendment is defeated

    The Judiciary Committee has defeated a GOP-backed amendment that would have added language to the articles of impeachment stating that the U.S. aid to Ukraine was released after the new Ukrainian government signed anti-corruption measures into law.

    The amendment, introduced by Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), was defeated 23-17.

    By John Wagner

    5:45 p.m.
    Republicans seek to strike obstruction of Congress charge

    As the impeachment markup barreled past the 8-hour mark, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) offered the fourth GOP amendment: to strike article II, the entire obstruction of Congress charge.

    “Who is really obstructing Congress?” Reschenthaler asked, seeking to turn the blame onto Democrats.

    Republicans over the past few weeks have argued that it’s actually Democrats who have abused their power, by refusing to give the GOP a minority-day hearing or allow the president to call his own witnesses. Democrats, however, gave the president the opportunity to cross-examine staff counsel presentations; the White House declined to do so.

    Some of the Judiciary panel’s top Republicans were among the most dogged investigators of the Obama administration. Now, they approve of Trump’s refusal to comply with committee requests.

    The Republicans argue that Democrats should go to court to settle the fight.

    “The Democrats have no case when it comes to obstruction,” Reschenthaler said. “This obstruction charge is completely baseless and bogus.”

    By Rachael Bade
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  13. #283

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    TheBeat w/Ari Melber
    @TheBeatWithAri

    As we reported on The Beat last week, Ukraine has yet to receive all of the military aid, despite many Trump defenders' argument. Today, the Office of Management and Budget has confirmed Ukraine still hasn't received $20 MILLION of promised aid.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  14. #284

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Kyle Cheney
    @kyledcheney
    NEWS: Pence's office has rejected Schiff's request to declassify Jennifer Williams' supplemental testimony, declaring that the request is invalid because the impeachment inquiry has ended.

    w/
    @AndrewDesiderio

    By KYLE CHENEY and ANDREW DESIDERIO

    12/11/2019 11:00 PM EST

    Vice President Mike Pence’s counsel rejected House Democrats’ request to declassify details of a Sept. 18 call between Pence and Ukraine’s president, calling the request illegitimate because the impeachment inquiry has concluded.

    In a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Pence’s lawyer, Matthew Morgan, said it “serves no purpose” to declassify supplemental testimony from one of Pence’s national security aides, as Schiff had demanded.

    “At this point, the Intelligence Committee’s oversight authority is limited to those areas in which it may potentially legislate or appropriate,” Morgan wrote to Schiff, who pressed Pence last week to declassify supplemental testimony from one of the vice president’s national security aides, Jennifer Williams.

    The additional testimony, Schiff said, centers on Pence’s Sept. 18 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Earlier Wednesday, Schiff formally transmitted the classified testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, which began debating articles of impeachment late Wednesday night.

    Morgan also appeared to rebuke Williams, writing that “the contents of a classified call with a foreign head of state should never have been discussed in an unclassified committee hearing or an unclassified deposition.”

    The letter is the second rebuke by the vice president’s office to House Democrats’ requests for assistance with the ongoing impeachment inquiry. The first came in mid-October, when Morgan said the House’s inquiry was invalid because there had not been a House vote to authorize it — a position a federal judge recently rejected as unnecessary.

    Democrats have made no pronouncements that their impeachment investigation has formally concluded — in fact, Schiff has indicated he would consider filing “supplemental reports” to the Judiciary Committee if more evidence emerged in the fast-moving investigation.

    However, Democrats revealed two articles of impeachment arising from their 300-page Ukraine report on Tuesday and are expected to consider them on the House floor next week.

    “Your request, coming after the completion of your report, serves no legitimate legislative or impeachment inquiry purpose,” Morgan wrote.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/1...stimony-083349
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





  15. #285

    Re: The Road to...The Senate

    Adam Klasfeld
    @KlasfeldReports

    Reschenthaler just claimed to have "several" more amendments that he wants to introduce.

    It is almost 8 p.m.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa





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