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The Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump

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#1969

Trump’s Iran mess is getting worse. Here’s Adam Schiff’s idea on what to do about it.

The deliberations that went into President Trump’s decision to assassinate Iranian general Qasem Soleimani are looking more slapdash and reckless by the hour. What we’re now seeing will require House Democrats to make a serious and sustained effort to get to the bottom of it all.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told me in an interview that he wants to see the House hold open hearings on multiple aspects of this spiraling situation.

“I think there should be open hearings on this subject,” Schiff told me. “The president has put us on a path where we may be at war with Iran. That requires the Congress to fully engage.”

:clap::clap::clap:


#1970

Cross-posting :pray:

@matt I hope you had a restful holiday, this shit is bananas :banana::banana::banana:


#1971

Cracks in the damn are spreading. However, this headline is a little deceptive. Romney is still not saying that he would actually vote for subpoenaing Bolton. His statement is a little more vague, but does show a weakness in McConnell’s stone wall.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on Monday that he wants to hear from John Bolton after the former White House national security adviser offered to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial if subpoenaed.

Romney told reporters at the Capitol that he wants to hear from Bolton and find out “what he knows” about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

“I would like to be able to hear from John Bolton. What the process is to make that happen, I don’t have an answer for you,” he added.
Romney is the first GOP senator to specifically say he wants to hear from Bolton since the former Trump administration official said earlier Monday that he is willing to testify if the Senate subpoenas him.

Romney did not indicate if he thinks there needs to be a deal on hearing from Bolton at the outset of the trial, saying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) are still working on trying to get a deal on the rules.


#1972

:boom:

Federal prosecutors told a judge Monday they are prepared to release sealed materials in search and seizure warrants against Roger Stone issued during the FBI probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington opted for the government’s proposed 60-day timeline to hand the sealed court records over to a coalition of media outlets that sued for the secret materials last year. …

Can’t wait! :hourglass_flowing_sand: :mag_right:


#1973

Mmmm… If this is true, it’s discouraging. The only upside would be that Republican Senators would need to go on record almost immediately saying they won’t commit to calling witnesses, exposing them to possible blowback from their constituents.

They’re line is: Well, we won’t commit to calling witnesses at the beginning of the trial, but maybe we will later. They’ll kick the can down the road and then try to wiggle out of calling witnesses later in the trial, drumming up some new excuse. However, they do so at their own peril, considering 71% of Americans say they want to hear from witnesses.

71%20per%20cent%20want%20witnesses

And even if McConnell railroads this vote through, there’s still nothing compelling Pelosi to send the articles over. She’s played her hand brilliantly thus far and there’s every reason to believe she will continue to do so.

Pelosi has already scored big time with her strategy of holding back the articles of impeachment as leverage for a fair trial in the Senate. There’s a good chance that if she had turned them over immediately, Bolton would never have said he’s willing to testify. Also, thanks to the delay, the witness issue has captured the public’s attention so if, in the end, Republicans refuse to allow witnesses, they will suffer huge political consequences in the 2020 elections. The Republicans may win the battle, but lose the war – that is, they may succeed in temporarily hiding the truth about Trump, but thereby lose their majority in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has the votes to quash Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer’s (N.Y.) demands to require additional witnesses testify at the start of President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Two key moderate senators, Susan Collins (R-Alaska), on Monday evening backed McConnell’s position that the Senate should follow the precedent of the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial and defer until later in the process the question of calling additional witnesses.

Collins told reporters at Monday evening votes that the Senate should follow the 1999 precedent and consider the question of subpoenaing additional witnesses and documents only after House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team present their opening arguments.

She noted in a statement Monday that then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) adopted a resolution in 1999 to set out the rules for the proceeding that didn’t include any agreement for specific witnesses to testify.

“The process moved to a period during which the Senate debated and voted that three witnesses should be deposed. I believe that this process — the Clinton approach — worked well,” she said.

Murkowski also urged colleagues to follow the path laid out during the Clinton trial.

“I think we need to do what they did the last time they did this unfortunate process and that was to go through a first phase and then they reassessed after that,” she told reporters.

The Alaska senator also said questions about whether former national security adviser John Bolton and other key witnesses should testify should be discussed only after Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sends the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

“We don’t have anything to get to? So do you have any interesting news for me on that? Like when we might be able to get articles?” she said.

She said the precedent set by Clinton’s trial “is how we get started with this.”

“I don’t think there is any decision on Bolton because we don’t have articles,” she added.

The statements of these two crucial votes are a setback for Schumer and Pelosi who have been pressing GOP moderates hard over the past several weeks to insist on an opening resolution for the trial that would set the table for subpoenaing key witnesses and documents. …


#1974

Impeachment News

December 18th - January 6th

Notes from over the break


Newsfeed:

New Documents:


:newspaper: Timeline has been updated. Breaking news starts below. :point_down:


#1975

Awesome reference!

Luv the gif – so peaceful and stress relieving – I think I’ll just gaze at it for an hour. :relaxed:


#1976

Cross-posting :pray:


#1977

Yes! And here’s hoping that a lot of “political theatre” unfolds around this vote. I’m sure Schumer will extend the discussion as long as possible. Let’s get some sound bites from those Republicans on why they’re weaseling out of committing to witnesses at the start of the trial. Those clips will come in handy during the upcoming Senate election battles.

Later, after the opening arguments, Schumer will push for a vote on witnesses again. That’s when Republican Senators whose seats are not safe in November will really start sweating it. :sweat:


General Impeachment News January 2020
#1978

Dear Colleague on Senator McConnell’s Untrue Claims Regarding Impeachment

JANUARY 7, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Dear Democratic Colleague,

In December, the House upheld its constitutional duty to defend democracy For The People, honoring our Founders’ vision for a Republic. Soon, the Senate will have the opportunity to honor its oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.”

Sadly, Leader McConnell has made clear that his loyalty is to the President and not the Constitution. Leader McConnell has insisted that the approach under consideration is identical to those of the Clinton trial and that “fair is fair.” This is simply not true. This process is not only unfair but designed to deprive Senators and the American people of crucial documents and testimony. Under the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed.

I encourage you to review the attached document from Leader Schumer, which exposes Leader McConnell’s misleading claims about the Clinton trial process that are being used to justify the GOP’s decision to cover up witnesses and documentation that would fully expose the President’s wrongdoing.

In addition, this morning, Leader McConnell said, “We’ll be glad to show [the resolution] to you when we unveil it.” It is important that he immediately publish this resolution, so that, as I have said before, we can see the arena in which we will be participating, appoint managers and transmit the articles to the Senate.

Thank you for your patriotic leadership.


#1979

:nail_care:

Nancy has the high ground, she doesn’t have to move one inch. This is weirdly working as a pressure campaign for moderate Republicans in the Senate. Over the break both Lisa Merkowski and the other one Susan Collins started ringing their hands about what McConnell is proposing. Then when John Bolton said he would testify Mitt Romney spoke up about wanting to hear that testimony. On top of that the polls have climbed to a record high, now a majority of Americans now supporting removal. It’s a shameless attention grab that no one will remember once the trial starts.

If McConnell has the votes, then he should pass and publish the resolution, why is he hesitant here, he never hesitates. Call his bluff, there’s nothing to loose because ultimately the House wants the trial to start eventually and the closer we can push that to the general the better. It would be hilarious if Republicans in the Senate moved first on impeaching the President.

Democrats have a decent shot at winning back the Senate this year, let’s get these GOP Goons on the record and let the voters decide.


(Jake) #1980

Thanks for this. I was originally not too sure about this whole impeachment thing, but now that I’ve had various accounts of it read to me and read some things myself, I think impeachment is the correct way to go.


(David Bythewood) #1981

I don’t know if I agree, but this is a fair argument that if Pelosi sends the articles over and there’s a sham trial, it is pretty much guaranteed that more evidence will come to light that will forever vilify the GOP’s actions.

Pelosi should send the articles of impeachment — with a warning


#1982

Pelosi Announces Vote to Limit Trump’s War-Making Power Against Iran

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday that the House would vote on Thursday to force President Trump to quickly wind down military action against Iran unless he is given explicit authorization from Congress, opening what promised to be a searing debate over presidential war powers.

Ms. Pelosi made her announcement as lawmakers breathed a sigh of relief on Capitol Hill after Mr. Trump announced he would back away from any military escalation against Tehran. But congressional Democrats, skeptical of the administration’s case for the drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and dissatisfied with the rationale Mr. Trump’s team offered for taking it, pledged to press ahead with their efforts to rein in the president’s war-making authority.

They said they would press forward with a measure that would require that Mr. Trump cease all military action against Iran within 30 days unless Congress votes to approve it. The measure stands little chance in the Republican-controlled Senate, but it is certain to ignite a fierce debate over Mr. Trump’s strategy on Iran, and Congress’s role in curtailing a president’s ability to wage war.

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement. “Our concerns were not addressed by the president’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the administration’s briefing today.”

After a dizzying pace of developments in Washington unfolded overnight — missile strikes on Tuesday night on bases in Iraq with American troops, followed by Mr. Trump’s speech and a set of classified briefings by administration officials on Capitol Hill — by Wednesday afternoon, lawmakers had dug into their respective, partisan corners.


#1983

Cross-posting :pray:

5/ Several Democratic senators want House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to submit the articles of impeachment against Trump to the Senate , saying the party has little to gain from further delay. Pelosi called on McConnell to publish a resolution outlining rules for the impeachment trial before the House sends over the articles. McConnell, however, declined, saying “There will be no haggling” and that the House had no choice but to end “shameless game-playing” and transmit the two articles of impeachment. (Bloomberg / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Politico / New York Times / Washington Post)


#1984

STATE DEPARTMENT RECORDS OF UKRAINE-RELATED COMMUNICATIONS WITH DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS

https://www.americanoversight.org/document/state-department-records-of-ukraine-related-communications-with-department-officials

Records from the Department of State in response to American Oversight’s request for external communications regarding efforts to influence the Ukrainian government to investigate the president’s political opponents.


#1986

Pelosi Statement on Vote on War Powers Resolution

JANUARY 8, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued this statement announcing the upcoming vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military action regarding Iran:

“Last week, the Trump Administration conducted a provocative and disproportionate military airstrike targeting high-level Iranian military officials. The Administration took this action without consulting Congress. This action endangered our servicemembers, diplomats and others by risking a serious escalation of tensions with Iran. Since then, the President has made clear that he does not have a coherent strategy to keep the American people safe, achieve de-escalation with Iran and ensure stability in the region.

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the Administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. Our concerns were not addressed by the President’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the Administration’s briefing today.

“Today, to honor our duty to keep the American people safe, the House will move forward with a War Powers Resolution to limit the President’s military actions regarding Iran. This resolution, which will be led by Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin, will go to the Rules Committee this evening and will be brought to the Floor tomorrow.

“The House may also soon consider additional legislation on the Floor to keep America safe. This legislation includes Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s resolution to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and Congressman Ro Khanna’s legislation to prohibit funding for military action against Iran not authorized by Congress.

“The Administration must work with the Congress to advance an immediate, effective de-escalatory strategy that prevents further violence. America and the world cannot afford war.”


(David Bythewood) #1987

Whatever happens, McConnell is once again showing that all of the GOP’s screaming about bipartisanship is just noise, as they steamroll ahead to a sham trial.

McConnell’s win on impeachment trial procedure was months in the making

Chuck Schumer demanded Tuesday morning that Republicans allow witnesses to testify during President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. But Mitch McConnell already knew he had the votes to roll over his adversary.

It took just a few hours for McConnell and Senate GOP leaders to clinch a final whip count in support of moving forward with a trial framework that ignores Democratic requests. And all 53 Republicans — even moderates such as Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Mitt Romney of Utah — have agreed to the majority leader’s proposal, according to senators involved in the process.

McConnell had spent months cultivating his caucus to get to this point. And after McConnell told his colleagues of his plans at the GOP’s weekly lunch, he went out and told a media horde the same.

“We have the votes,” McConnell declared, meaning Republicans can start the Trump trial with no Democratic input once Speaker Nancy Pelosi sends over the articles of impeachment.

Under the tentative rules package, which is the same as those used in President Bill Clinton’s 1999 Senate trial, the House will be allowed to present its case against Trump and then the president’s defense team will respond. At that point, McConnell or any GOP senator could move to end the trial and call for a final vote on the charges against Trump. Or Democrats could try to seek witness testimony or the introduction of new documentary evidence. It will be up to a majority of the Senate to decide.

Yet for McConnell and Trump, the victory is securing a path to getting the trial started. For both the Senate majority leader, whose majority is endangered, and a president facing reelection in nearly 10 months, the overwhelming concern is kicking off the proceeding so they can hurry up and acquit Trump.

McConnell’s raw exercise of power is also a setback for Schumer, who had pressured Republicans for weeks to allow witnesses and new evidence to be introduced but ultimately had little leverage if McConnell could keep his caucus together. The minority leader warned that the decision would come back to haunt Republicans, especially those who go before voters in November with Trump on the top of the ballot.

“Make no mistake: On the question of witnesses and documents, Republicans may run, but they can’t hide,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “There will be votes at the beginning [of the trial] on whether to call the four witnesses we’ve proposed and subpoena the documents we’ve identified. America, and the eyes of history, will be watching what my Republican colleagues do.”

As with much of what McConnell does, he laid the groundwork for Tuesday’s maneuver over several months. Using a series of presentations starting in the fall, McConnell began gently guiding his members toward the Clinton impeachment rules, with special attention given to his members up for reelection this cycle.

Collins wouldn’t delve into the details, but she said she’d had several conversations with McConnell. And while she had hoped Schumer and McConnell could reach an agreement to establish trial parameters like past Senate leaders, “it doesn’t appear that’s going to happen.”

While Schumer may get the last laugh if McConnell’s impeachment strategy costs the GOP the Senate, in the short term, his unceasing demand to hear from key administration witnesses and subpoena administration documents appears to have annoyed Collins and helped drive the Republican Conference together.

“I don’t think Chuck Schumer is very interested in my opinion since he’s just launched a website in Maine and just committed an additional $700,000 in additional negative advertising from the Majority Forward PAC,” Collins groused about Democrats’ drive to deny her a fifth term in November. “I don’t think he’s really very interested in doing anything but trying to defeat me by telling lies to the people of Maine. And you can quote me on that.”

For her part, Murkowski had gone radio silent over the holiday break to spend time with her family. On Monday evening, she met privately with McConnell to discuss impeachment and the potential U.S. military conflict with Iran.

“It was not an effort to ‘get my vote.’ The leader and I had exchanged phone calls over the Christmas holiday and I know this is going to shock you, but I took family time. I did!” Murkowski said in an interview. On Monday “he was checking in with me and I needed to check in with him too. … I was able to share with him some of my views.”

Winning over Collins and Murkowski is particularly notable because both senators had expressed discomfort with McConnell’s vows to coordinate closely with the White House on the impeachment trial .

Romney also hadn’t talked to McConnell since December — but the Utah Republican had already studied the Clinton impeachment trial with his staff and come to the conclusion it showed the best way forward.

However, unlike other Republicans, Romney is open to supporting motions to hear from witnesses, including former national security adviser John Bolton, indicating McConnell still has work to do to keep Trump’s acquittal on the fast track.

“There’s been no lobbying towards me in that regard. The Clinton process — I met with my team and gave it consideration,” Romney said. It “allows for a vote to determine whether or not we have witnesses after we have opening arguments. And that pathway will be available to us.”

Throughout his tenure running the Senate — which began two years before Trump’s presidency — McConnell has operated with a razor-thin majority and overwhelming Democratic opposition to everything he’s tried to do. So McConnell appeals only to Republicans on most issues, figuring that getting 51 votes, rather than 60, is his goal.

McConnell’s attempts to overturn Obamacare failed by the narrowest of margins in 2017, yet he was able to push through Trump’s tax cut in 2017 using parliamentary procedures that allowed the Senate to approve the measure on a party-line vote.

McConnell used the “nuclear option” to allow Republicans to unilaterally change Senate rules on nominations so Trump could put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court that year as well. And that was followed by the intensely bitter struggle over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the high court in 2018, a battle that remains seared in the minds of senators from both parties, especially those like Collins up for reelection this year.

Democrats claim Pelosi’s decision to withhold the impeachment articles for several weeks increased scrutiny on the question of whether the Senate would conduct a fair trial on charges that Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress in the Ukraine saga.

But it also appeared to backfire with Republicans. With Trump and McConnell both repeatedly bashing Pelosi and Schumer for the tactic, Republicans said it made it easier to persuade their vulnerable members to unify and endorse the Clinton impeachment trial rules.

“I think as the last few weeks have developed, it made the impeachment process from the House look more and more partisan all the time,” said Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 4 Senate Republican.

“We have a lot of people who weren’t here in ’99,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune added. “Making sure it’s an open and fair process is what’s important to our folks. A lot of our members just don’t want to get the label that the House members had about it being a rigged sham partisan process.”

Story Continued Below

Trump and White House officials were pleased by McConnell’s announcement Tuesday.

“We are heartened that we have a process now in place that allows us to begin as quickly as possible that allows us to make a full explanation of the facts against the false charges from the House,” said Eric Ueland, White House legislative affairs director, who sat in on the Senate Republican Conference meeting.

Democrats decried McConnell’s decision to move ahead without really seeking a bipartisan deal, accusing him of hurting the Senate as an institution over the long run to achieve short-term political goals.

“That’s what he’s done his whole career. He’s been an opportunist,” Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio fumed. “I’m not surprised he says anything. I’m not surprised he acts this way.”


(David Bythewood) #1988

#1989

House Speaker Weekly Briefing

House Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) held a news conference on the legislative agenda and the military strikes between the United States and Iran.

Featured clip:

Speaker Pelosi Holding Onto Articles of Impeachment Until Senate Presents Terms of Engagement

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterates her position on articles of impeachment, saying that she will send them over when the House sees the Senate’s terms of engagement. She also says that any effort by the Republican majority in the Senate to “dismiss” the articles of impeachment would amount to a “cover-up.”