How Republicans Scotched the Idea of Witnesses in Trump’s Impeachment Trial
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R. Ky.), aided by White House liaisons, exercised a behind-the-scenes campaign in the chamber to keep his members from panicking and breaking en masse from Mr. Trump. Mr. McConnell’s office even advised the president’s legal team throughout the process on which arguments were important to be made on the floor to resonate with certain undecided senators.
Mr. Trump stayed largely on the sidelines, heeding advice he had received directly from Mr. McConnell to give fence-sitting Republican senators—who were wary both of crossing the president and appearing browbeaten by him—the space to make their own decisions. But he engaged in some political saber-rattling with tweets about the need for a speedy trial resolution and criticism of Mr. Bolton, which was amplified by conservative allies in the media.
“Once he got over being pissed about this whole thing,” an administration official said, “he could see the wisdom of sitting still and letting the Senate come to its conclusions.”
McConnell rigged the process from the beginning.
Trump administration reveals it’s blocking dozens of emails about Ukraine aid freeze, including President’s role
The Department of Justice revealed in a court filing late Friday that it has two dozen emails related to the President Donald Trump’s involvement in the withholding of millions in security assistance to Ukraine – a disclosure that came just hours after the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional documents and witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial, paving the way for his acquittal.
The filing, released near midnight Friday, marks the first official acknowledgment from the Trump administration that emails about the President’s thinking related to the aid exist, and that he was directly involved in asking about and deciding on the aid as early as June. The administration is still blocking those emails from the public and has successfully kept them from Congress.
A lawyer with the Office of Management and Budget wrote to the court that 24 emails between June and September 2019 – including an internal discussion among DOD officials called “POTUS follow-up” on June 24 – should stay confidential because the emails describe "communications by either the President, the Vice President, or the President’s immediate advisors regarding Presidential decision-making about the scope, duration, and purpose of the hold on military assistance to Ukraine."
Look at the timing. They did this on purpose, right after they knew it wasn’t going to be admissible into the trial.
But Senator Alexander, I how can the people decide without viewing the evidence or hearing from witnesses? The people need all the facts.
A president ‘is not above the law,’ Trump lawyer asserts in batting back criticism of his impeachment defense
Interesting idea, though uncertain if it could actually be done. Thoughts?
Schiff could move for mistrial in Senate impeachment after Trump legal team’s conflicts of interest
No spine, no morals, no depths they won’t sink to.
Marco Rubio’s mind-blowing explanation of his impeachment vote - he admits Trump is guilty but insists it’s “in the nation’s best interests” not to remove him.
Watch: Senate Impeachment Trial, Day 12
The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump continues with closing arguments. Senators will also debate the articles.
Wait…there’s going to be more !expletive! hitting the fan for T…just wait. More things hitting at a high rate all the way through to election time. What’s going to break him or will it be full speed ahead, with fake news, fake hoaxes etc?
Republicans voted down a measure to call witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and are moving to acquittal in a hell-for-leather dash to put the crisis behind them. It’s a doomed errand. With Trump, the next crisis is always just ahead.
Actually, the first “next crisis” has already arrived. The New York Times reported Friday that, in his forthcoming book, former National Security Adviser John Bolton writes that Trump first tried to put the squeeze on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in early May 2019—and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was a witness in the very room where the plot was hatched. Even as Cipollone argued on the president’s behalf that witnesses were unnecessary, he was plausibly alleged to be a crucial fact witness by another fact witness.
This double-dealing will surely trigger a new battle to compel testimony from Bolton and Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney—and perhaps to discipline Cipollone for unethical legal conduct. During impeachment proceedings, Bolton and Mulvaney defied congressional subpoenas; now there’s yet more urgency to determine what the president’s team of lawyers actually knew at the time they were making Trump’s case before the Senate.*
Then will come the crisis of the administration’s battle to suppress Bolton’s book.
Sometime before the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in consolidated cases about whether Trump can continue to keep secret his tax returns and other business documents.
One case began with a New York State grand-jury subpoena of Trump business documents, to probe whether he broke laws when he allegedly paid hush money to two women during the 2016 campaign. The others involve subpoenas by House committees—Oversight, Financial Services, and Intelligence—of tax returns and banking records.
The multiple subpoenas raise different legal issues, especially because the Financial Services and Intelligence subpoenas were served not on Trump or his organization, but on his accounting firm and two of his banks.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of some or all of the subpoenas, damaging financial information will tumble into the public domain right as the election season begins in earnest.
Trump is driving a poorly packed egg cart over stony roads. He holds too many secrets, too ill-concealed, shared with too many people and companies with too little loyalty to him. Michael Cohen’s prison sentence stands as a reminder of the ultimate consequences of loyalty to Trump. Gordon Sondland jumped off before that point, and so, sooner or later, will Mulvaney. Everybody turns on Trump in the end, if only because they can no longer endure the abuse. His party in Congress follows him only so long as he looks like the path to success. If things begin to go south before Election Day, the defections will begin and then accelerate.
NBC reporter, says that Murkowski does agree with Sen Alexander. Will that change her final vote?
CNN Reporter Manu Raju also concurs
That would be an awesome move! Of course, McConnell will swat it down, but it’s all about the headlines and the votes on record by Trump’s Republican enablers. Most Americans probably do not understand at this point that Cipollone was involved in the scheme for which Trump was impeached. This would get the word out. The Republicans took the gloves off long ago – back when Trump asked Russia to help him win in 2016. It’s time for us to take the gloves off, too.
President Donald Trump is denying a new allegation that he coordinated with his top aides earlier than previously known on an effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political opponents — a claim that further entangles Trump’s top impeachment lawyer in the Ukraine investigation.
The New York Times reported earlier Friday that former national security adviser John Bolton claims in his forthcoming book that Trump directed him to ensure that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would meet with Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.
Bolton reportedly indicated that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — who is spearheading Trump’s defense at the Senate’s ongoing impeachment trial — also attended the early-May 2019 meeting in the Oval Office.
Senate Republicans just paved the road to American authoritarianism
Read: Part 5 of Mueller’s Secret Memos
Sen Joe Manchin (D-WVA) thinks a vote to censure T would bring about more bi-partisan support. Manchin’s issue is that he tends to go for all things T and this may be a slap on the wrist. Not sure what will happen in the final Impeachment vote. But this is a new wrinkle. Too little too late perhaps.
Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), a moderate who is friendly with the White House, on Monday asked his colleagues to consider censuring President Trump as the Senate moves toward votes on impeachment.
“I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his action in this matter. Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines,” Manchin said in a speech on the Senate floor. “His behavior cannot go unchecked by the Senate and censure would allow a bipartisan statement condemning his unacceptable behavior in the strongest terms.”
It is an effort that could put pressure on some Republican senators as they mull whether to reprimand Trump in the coming weeks, even if they vote Wednesday to acquit him on the House’s two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
“Multiple Republicans agree: Trump’s guilty, but it doesn’t matter”
Teri Kanefield makes a strong case for censure from the House once the GOP Senate moves to acquit Trump. She points out how it allows Pelosi to keep publishing the evidence of his crimes.
She also notes that the only other president to be censured was the abominable Andrew Jackson, Trump’s personal hero.
Business as usual response from Murkowski…
" I cannot vote to convict. The Constitution provides for impeachment but does not demand it in all instances," Murkowski said from the Senate floor, adding that removing Trump from office would be “the political death penalty.”
Asked by reporters off the Senate floor if she had any advice for Trump, she quipped as the elevator doors closed, “Read the transcript.”