Trump impeachment

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP: MITT ROMNEY IS LONE REPUBLICAN WHO VOTES TO CONVICT

By Miriam Raftery

February 5, 2020 (Washington D.C.) – After refusing to allow any witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the Senate voted to acquit the President, who will remain in office.  The vote split down party lines with the exception of Utah Senator and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the lone Republican who voted to convict on one of the two counts.

Romney said that his vote stemmed from his “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it.” He said Mr. Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust” and indicated he was voting to convict despite the prospect of retaliation for becoming the first member of Congress ever to vote to convict a president in his own political party. Read his floor speech.


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DID TRUMP THREATEN VIOLENCE AGAINST SENATORS AND AN AMBASSADOR?

By Miriam Raftery

January 24, 2020 (Washington D.C.)- - As  Democrats wrapped up their arguments for removing President Trump from office during the Senate impeachment trial this week, Republicans controlling the Senate have thus far refused to allow new witnesses to be called. The White house continues to defy requests for public records. 

Now, CBS news reports that a confidant of President Trump told CBS that senators were warned quote: “vote against the president & your head will be on a pike.”

Such a threat, if true, could amount to witness tampering and threatening federal officials with violence.

In addition, MSNBC reports hearing a tape in which Trump demands that Marie Yovanovich, the former ambassador to Ukraine, be removed, though whether he was calling for her firing or assassination is unclear.

 “Get rid of her...Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,.” A voice that sounds like  Trump is heard demanding on the tape, ABC News reports. 

The recording was allegedly made during a 2018 dinner party with Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Parnas’ attorney, Joe Bondy, has issued a statement which says of the recording, which he indicated was not released by his client, “It is yet another example of Mr. Parnas’s version of events being corroborated by evidence in the form of recordings, emails, text messages.”

Trump has used the phrase “take out” when he referred to his order to kill Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. air strike in Iraq.  Trump, who formerly starred in the Apprentice game show, famously used the phrase “You’re fired!” when referring to terminating a job.


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SENATE LEADER ADMITS BIAS AND DEFIES CONSTITUTION; DOZENS OF MAJOR NEWSPAPERS CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT WHILE VOTE LOOMS IN HOUSE

By Miriam Raftery

December 18, 2019 – The House prepares to vote today on impeaching President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  If impeachment passes the House, the Senate must hold a trial and set the rules. 

But  Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), who is in charge of setting rules for a Senate trial, has brazenly stated, “I’m not an impartial juror.” That violates the U.S. Constitution, which requires that Senators must take an oath pledging to act as an "impartial justice" before engaging in an impeachment trial. McConnell has further stated that he is "in total coordination with the White House counsel's office" and is "taking my cues from the president's lawyers."

Journalists, whose obligation is to report truth and provide readers with facts instead of propaganda, have taken a far different view.  Dozens of  major newspapers including virtually all of the nation’s top newspapers have published editorials calling for impeachment--including such respected national news sources as USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, the conservative-leaning Salt Lake City Tribune and Houston Chronicle, and newspapers spanning the nation geographically including the San Diego Union-Tribune, Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Sun-Times, Orlando Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Portland Oregonian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Detroit Free Press, Connecticut Post, the Atlantic, San Jose Mercury News, York Dispatch in Pennsylvania, and the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

USA Today’s editorial board wrote, “In his thuggish effort to trade American arms for foreign dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, Trump resembles not so much Clinton as he does Richard Nixon, another corrupt president who tried to cheat his way to reelection. This isn’t partisan politics as usual. It is precisely the type of misconduct the framers had in mind when they wrote impeachment into the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton supported a robust presidency but worried about “a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper” coming to power. Impeachment, Hamilton wrote, was a mechanism to protect the nation “from the abuse or violation of some public trust.”


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JUDICIARY COMMITTEE VOTES TO SEND IMPEACHMENT TO HOUSE FLOOR



By Miriam Raftery

December 13, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The House Judiciary today voted to send two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the full House. The causes for impeachment listed are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress including the President ordering the White House, executive branch agencies and officials to defy subpoenas and withhold documents and records. 

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impede so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate `High Crimes and Misdemeanors’, the obstruction of Congress article state, noting that federal agencies including State, Defense, and others “refused to produce a single document or record.” Trump also banned witnesses from testifying. “This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct and to seize and control the power of impeachment – and thus to nullify a vital constitutional safeguard vested solely in the House of Representatives,” the article continues.


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COURTS HAVE AVOIDED REFEREEING BETWEEN CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT, BUT TRUMP MAY FORCE THEM TO WADE IN

By Kirsten Carlson, Wayne State University

This article is republished in " The Conversation" http://theconversation.com under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article at https://theconversation.com/courts-have-avoided-refereeing-between-congress-and-the-president-but-trump-may-force-them-to-wade-in-128269

Photo:  President Donald Trump’s claims of executive privilege may end up at the Supreme Court. Here, he’s with Chief Justice John Roberts after taking the oath of office, Jan. 20, 2017. AP/Jim Bourg/Pool Photo

December 10, 2019 (Washington D.C.) - President Donald Trump’s refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by U.S. courts.


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IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS: WEEK 1 WRAP-UP

By Miriam Raftery

November 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – The House Intelligence Committee held its first open impeachment hearings this week into allegations that President Donald Trump abused his powers by withholding military aide from the Ukraine and potentially committing bribery for personal gain. The President is accused of pressuring Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020.

You can view full video coverage and highlights of the impeachment hearings on C-Span at https://www.c-span.org/impeachment/.

Below are summaries and highlights of this week’s testimony, as well as reactions from leading Congressional Democrats and Republicans:

 


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ROGER STONE FOUND GUILTY OF DEATH THREAT AGAINST WITNESS, LYING TO CONGRESS DURING RUSSIA PROBE TO COVER UP FOR TRUMP

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Roger Stone, CC by NA

November 15, 2019 (Washington D.C.) – “You are a rat.  A stoolie. Prepare to die,” long-time Trump ally Roger Stone texted to a witness slated to appear before the House Intelligence Committee regarding Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump-Russia ties. The  trial revealed damning evidence not only against Stone, but also evidence discrediting statements made by Donald Trump in which Trump denied discussing hacked emails during his presidential campaign.

The witness, radio host Randy Credico, was Stone’s intermediary to Wikileaks and Julian Assange to obtain details on e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee that were damaging to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 political rival.  Stone also urged the witness via e-mail to follow the actions of “Godfather II” character Frank Pentangeli, who lied to Congress to avoid incriminating Mafia boss Michael Corleone.


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TRUMP THREATENS WHISTLEBLOWERS, ACCUSES CONGRESSMAN OF TREASON OVER IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS AND EVOKES “CIVIL WAR” IN TWITTER STORM

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  President Trump and Congressman Adam Schiff, whom Trump accused of “treason” for chairing an impeachment inquiry

September 30, 2019 – Attorneys for the whistleblower whose complaint launched an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have sent letters to the Acting Director of National Intelligence and to Chairs of the House and Senate intelligence committees requesting federal protection for their client.  The letter cites overt threats made by the President calling for the death of whistleblowers and leakers. On Sept. 26, Trump stated during a meeting with United Nations leaders caught on tape by the Los Angeles Times:


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DEMOCRATS LAUNCH IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY, FULL WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT NOW REVEALED

Inspector General for intelligence community warns that whistleblower complaint is “an urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”

Hear audio of the declassified whistleblower complaint read aloud here.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2019 (Washington D.C.)  -- A whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump has been declassified and released today in its entirety.  The complaint states that the President abused his power during a July 25, 2019 phone call,  pressuring the Ukraine’s president to investigate the son of Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in an effort to influence the 2020 election.

The whistleblower, whom the New York Times reports is a CIA agent assigned to the White House, also alleges that Trump tried to hide his actions by locking up records of the call. The Washington Post reports that just one week before the call to the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump ordered a halt to military aide promised to the Ukraine. 

The Trump administration’s own intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson warned that the whistleblower complaints to be both credible and an “urgent concern” that raises “serious national intelligence and security risks.”


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