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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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#2152

:eyes: Rep. Val Demings is a house impeachment manager


Watch: President Trump: “We Have All the Materials”

During a news conference in Davos, Switzerland, President Trump reacts to the latest developments in his impeachment trial in the Senate. He denies that he abused his power when he asked the Urkainian president to investigate the Bidens in exchange for military aid and again calls the call “perfect.” He also dismisses the case against him, saying of the Democrats at one point, “Honestly, we have all the material. They don’t have the material.”

At about 1:50 is the start of short clip that’s being passed around on Twitter.


#2153

Watch: Senate Democrats News Conference on Impeachment Trial

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with other Democratic senators, held a news conference ahead of opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial against President Trump. The minority leader criticized the Republican majority for voting against several amendments that would have allowed new evidence and witnesses to be included in the proceedings. Mr. Schumer also dismissed the idea of Democrats agreeing to hear from former Vice President Joe Biden in exchange for their desire to hear from former National Security Adviser John Bolton.


#2154

:eyes:


#2155

Watch: Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 3

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continues with opening arguments from House managers and the President’s defense team.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?468322-1/senate-impeachment-trial-day-3

Featured Clip:

House Manager Adam Schiff Outlines Case Against President Trump

Senate Impeachment Trial Day 3, Opening Arguments from House Managers

Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 3, Continued Opening Arguments from Representatives Schiff and Lofgren


Listen Live


#2156

How a Russian disinfo op got Trump impeached

“Trying to blame Ukraine for the interference is not inconsistent with Russian disinformation active measures,” said Sen. Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee who aligns with Democrats, said in an interview last month. “This is consistent with the Russian playbook.”

That initial disinformation effort failed to catch fire, but it solidified a Clinton-Ukraine connection among some on the political fringes—the RT story was posted dozens of times in far-right, pro-Trump, and pro-Bernie Sanders Facebook groups between 2015 and 2019—and set the stage for another Russia-promoted conspiracy theory that continues to be amplified by Trump: that the Ukrainians hacked the Democratic National Committee with the help of a cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, and framed Russia.

The theory that Ukraine was responsible for the DNC hack was first floated by Trump’s own campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, recently released documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation show.

According to Trump’s deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, the idea was seeded by Manafort’s business partner in Ukraine, a dual Russian-Ukrainian citizen named Konstantin Kilimnik who U.S. officials have linked to Russian intelligence. Manafort had worked with Kilimnik for years in Ukraine to prop up the country’s pro-Russia politicians, including the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The story goes on to recount more instances in which this disinformation campaign surfaces, until it’s generally believed as common knowledge within the Trump GOP media ecosystem. Much like the whole Clinton Cash disinformation campaign.


(David Bythewood) #2157


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Just needed to bring this up again to get the facts straight.


(David Bythewood) #2158



(David Bythewood) #2159

The Trump regime never lacks for dumb excuses.

Donald Trump Jr. says he has met Lev Parnas, thought he was Israeli

‘I didn’t realize he was Ukrainian,’ US president’s son says of American-Jewish businessman charged in Ukraine scandal


#2160

Fact check: Trump lawyers make at least three false claims during impeachment arguments

By Daniel Dale

President Donald Trump’s legal team made at least three false claims during Senate impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, plus two more claims we’ll call misleading.

We’re still going through the transcript of the proceedings and will add to this list as necessary.


#2161

Kushner’s FBI interviews to be held for review, Justice Department says

The Justice Department did not hand over the FBI’s summary of Jared Kushner’s interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller last week – despite a judge’s order to do so – because “a member of the intelligence community” needs to ensure the material has been properly redacted, a department attorney said Wednesday.

DOJ lawyer Courtney Enlow informed CNN as part of an ongoing lawsuit that Kushner’s memo, also known as a “302, will be released with the appropriate redactions” after the intelligence agency has finished its review.

Enlow did not say which intelligence agency is working on the document’s release or how long that review would take.

Judge Reggie Walton had ordered the FBI to give CNN and BuzzFeed access to Mueller witness memos that the US House previously reviewed in secret, including Kushner’s, by January 17.


#2162

Sen. Paul: 45 Republicans ready to dismiss impeachment charges against Trump

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a leading ally of President Trump, said Wednesday that 45 Republicans are ready to dismiss the charges against the president and he would keep pushing to rally a majority of GOP senators to end the impeachment trial.

“There are 45, with about five to eight wanting to hear a little more,” Paul said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I still would like to dismiss it, but there aren’t the votes to do it just yet.”


#2163

Cross-posting :raised_hands:


#2164

Adam Schiff’s Moment

By Susan B. Glasser

Susan Glasser of the New Yorker is an excellent fly on the wall, capturing the oddities, mood and overall feeling of these proceedings. Republicans are bored without their phones, some drink milk and Trump set records for most presidential tweets in today’s piece.

Even if Schiff was not convincing any senators, the Democrats’ uninterrupted day of speaking on the Senate floor, unrebutted by any Republican, seemed to make the President predictably furious. Although he was travelling back from a short trip to Davos, Switzerland, to bask in the applause of the global financial élite, Trump easily surpassed his previous single-day record of frenetic social-media activity during his Presidency, sending out a stream of more than a hundred and thirty tweets and retweets—the vast majority of them complaints about his impeachment and the Senate trial. At one point, Trump passed along a tweet from Rand Paul, the Republican senator from Kentucky, who claimed that “the more we hear from Adam Schiff, the more the GOP is getting unified against this partisan charade!” “True!” Trump tweeted. For a President who often has a problem with the facts, he might even have been right. But all it takes is four Republican senators to prove him wrong, four Republicans to vote for witnesses and breach the information blockade that has made Trump perhaps the most successful stonewaller in Presidential history. If he was so confident, why was he tweeting so much?


(David Bythewood) #2165

Trump says he doesn’t consider brain injuries sustained by US troops during Iran missile barrage ‘serious’


What happened in Wednesday’s Senate trial, in 5 minutes

Lev Parnas Attorney Shares Video of Mike Pence With Indicted Giuliani Associate After VP Denies Knowing Him


#2166

What happened in Wednesday’s Senate trial, in 5 minutes

Lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) spent two of those hours laying out the broad outlines of their argument. Here’s what he said:

  1. Democrats are not overstepping their bounds by impeaching Trump and telling the Senate to kick him out of office. In fact, they’d be ignoring their duty not to impeach him, Schiff said: “The framers of the Constitution empowered Congress to thoroughly investigate presidential malfeasance and to respond, if necessary, by removing the president from office.”

  2. Then he outlined the evidence Democrats gathered to show that Trump withheld an Oval Office meeting for political gain. (Fact check: That’s pretty thoroughly backed up by the evidence we’ve seen.) Democrats are also pretty sure Trump withheld money Congress approved for Ukraine for the same political purposes. (But, fact check: They have yet to prove that Trump explicitly ordered this.)

Still, Schiff argued that a quid pro quo almost certainly happened if you take a common-sense approach to reading Trump’s rough transcript with Ukraine’s president and other evidence: “President Trump conditioned hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally appropriated, taxpayer-funded military assistance for the same purpose: to apply more pressure on Ukraine’s leader to announce the investigations.”

  1. Finally, Schiff took a step back and argued that if the Senate didn’t throw Trump out of office, it would undermine the United States’ standing in the world. “Vladimir Putin would like nothing better” than for Republicans to acquit Trump, Schiff said.

Impeachment managers spent the rest of the day chronicling Trump’s actions on Ukraine in a detailed timeline. Want a refresher? We have our own exhaustive one here.

Good article. There are only three holding patterns for the media to cover this, arguments, closed door negotiations and Trump reaction. WaPo does a good job here, summarizing the arguments made yesterday.


#2167

Watch: Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 4

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continues with opening arguments from House managers. Other legislative work is also possible

Listen


Day 1099
#2168

Democrats say White House improperly classifying piece of impeachment evidence

Senate Democrats said a letter from a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence that was admitted as evidence in the impeachment trial late Wednesday should be made public before the proceedings against President Donald Trump end.

“It highly corroborates the case that Chairman Schiff has been making and exhibits no apparent reason that it should be classified,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said Thursday. “I’d like to have somebody under oath from the administration [on] how it was made classified and what they say is classified, because I don’t think it’s defensible.”

Schiff asked the vice president to declassify it, claiming there was no “legitimate basis” to keep it secret. He said the decision to classify the information “cannot be justified on national security or any other legitimate grounds we can discern.”

Senate Democrats echoed that claim on Thursday. “I have no idea why they wanted to classify it,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), emerging from the Senate’s secure facility where the letter has been made available to lawmakers.

“There is nothing I can see in that document that justifies its being classified,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).

[…]

Three Republican senators were spotted walking into the secure facility before the impeachment trial resumed on Thursday: Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.

When Johnson was asked if the letter was significant, he shook his head. But on whether the information should be declassified, he said: “I will make a blanket statement that we classify way too much information.”

It’s seems like, maybe the classification system is being abused? Boring corrections that simply corroborates other testimony is being withheld from the public.


#2169

Where the Trump defense goes too far

By Jonathan Turley

This defense is anything but nuanced. It appears premised on two highly contested points.

First, there is the position that there was nothing even remotely inappropriate in the president asking a foreign country to investigate a political rival. This position can be accepted or not accepted by senators.

However, the second point presents a far more difficult problem for senators concerned about the interpretation of the Constitution. The White House is arguing that you cannot impeach a president without a crime.

It is a view that is at odds with history and the purpose of the Constitution. While Framers did not want terms such as “maladministration” in the standard as dangerously too broad, they often spoke of impeachable conduct in noncriminal terms, such as Justice Joseph Story referring to “public wrongs,” “great offenses against the Constitution” or acts of “malfeasance or abuse of office.” Alexander Hamilton spoke of impeachment trials as addressing “the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”

In the impeachment trials of Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, both sides accepted that the presidents had committed criminal acts.

In this impeachment, the House has decided to go forward on the narrowest articles with the thinnest record of a presidential impeachment in history. However, many senators may be legitimately leery of buying what the White House is selling with its categorical approach. There is a vast array of harmful and corrupt acts that a president can commit outside of the criminal code.

While I believe that articles of impeachment are ideally based on well-defined criminal conduct, I do not believe that the criminal code is the effective limit or scope of possible impeachable offenses. If some of the president’s critics are adopting a far too broad understanding of impeachable offenses, the White House is adopting a far too narrow one.

The GOP own impeachment expert takes issue with the White House’s defense. Writes Op-Ed and Nadler just quoted from this piece on the floor. Hah.:smirk:


(David Bythewood) #2170

The Trump legal team and GOP Senate strategy is “no witnesses”.

Trump from Davos asked for witnesses, then backpedaled, and now this.

He is literally undermining his own defense team. So… good? I guess?
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(David Bythewood) #2171