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GreyhoundFan

Impeachment 4: The Orange Boil Has Not Been Removed, But He's Forever Impeached

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GreyhoundFan

Continued from here:

 

"10 women chanting ‘Trump is guilty’ arrested in Capitol rotunda amid protest over impeachment vote"

Spoiler

Tourists in the U.S. Capitol rotunda on Wednesday stopped taking pictures of the busts and paintings on the ornate sandstone walls to take in another sight: 10 women who locked arms and demanded that senators vote to remove President Trump from office.

The group, which broke off from an early afternoon tour of the building, sat beneath the dome as a tour guide in a red jacket tried to draw visitors’ attention to the bronze and marble statues of famous Americans and former presidents.

“Trump is guilty,” the women’s chants echoed through the hall as about two dozen supporters — wearing black shirts with messages like “Trump leads a mob of thugs” and “Remove Trump” — raised their fists in solidarity.

Bright flashes and the sound of camera shutters bounced off the walls as other tour groups passing through took in the scene around them: Capitol Police officers encircling the demonstration as the women shouted in unison, “Acquittal is a coverup.”

“Thank you,” said one woman from Minnesota. Others shook their heads in silence.

The women were charged with obstructing and incommoding the rotunda walkway, a misdemeanor. It is illegal to protest in the building.

“I think the president is a danger to democracy and a danger to America, and I wanted to give one last plea to Republican senators before the vote to honor their oath,” said Jennifer Fisher, 60, who was arrested Wednesday. Fisher, who came from New York for the demonstration, said she had never been arrested before.

“It just feels like the Ministry of Magic has been taken over by the followers of Voldemort,” she said. “I felt like I had to be here, to say something.”

The demonstration was one of several planned Wednesday around the Senate’s vote to acquit Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — the culmination of a Senate trial that did not include live witnesses.

Trump was impeached by the House following an investigation into allegations that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Thousands of people were expected to attend more than 200 demonstrations around the country Wednesday to denounce the Senate’s acquittal. Dubbed “Reject the Coverup,” the demonstrations will allow protesters to express dismay and frustration at the impeachment process and the Senate’s refusal to call witnesses, organizers said.

“While this is the conclusion of one particular process, this is also a moment where President Trump was, for one of the few times in his life, held accountable for his actions,” said Jessie Littlewood, vice president of campaigns at Common Cause and an organizer of the evening demonstration.

In the District, protesters will gather about 5:30 p.m. on the east lawn of the Capitol grounds. Many of the activists who were not arrested said they planned to attend. Several lawmakers, including Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), were also expected to participate, organizers said.

Littlewood said having hundreds of people standing outside Congress moments after the impeachment vote is cast will send a symbolic message to legislators about the disappointment many Americans feel.

“This is our opportunity to say we’re not going to let Trump run roughshod over our democratic process, that even if the GOP gives [him] a pass, we’re not going to,” he said.

While protests on the Capitol lawn are a common occurrence, demonstrations in the middle of a tour happen less often, U.S. Capitol Visitor Center officials said.

“The American public is passionate about the issues they care about and the Capitol is where people come to express themselves,” said spokeswoman Laura Trivers. “We’re always prepared.”

Several demonstrators were overcome with emotion at the symbolism of standing in the rotunda shortly before the vote.

Deborah Martin, 56, of Falls Church, began to cry as chants of “honor your oath” filled the rotunda.

“Seeing the women’s suffrage statue and then watching this group of brave women doing the very thing that has gotten us all to where we are today, it was just overwhelming to be in the middle of that,” Martin said. “The strength and the power of it was really moving for me.”

 

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fraurosena

I love the reference to Tangerine Twitler being forever impeached, @GreyhoundFan!

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JMarie

https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/05/politics/ronna-mcdaniel-mitt-romney-impeachment-vote/index.html

Quote

Sen. Mitt Romney's vote on Wednesday to convict President Donald Trump on one of the articles of impeachment not only rankled his fellow Republicans but also led his niece, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, to publicly disagree with him.

Romney's decision came as a surprise to his Republican Senate colleagues and was swiftly met with condemnation from many of the President's allies.

"This is not the first time I have disagreed with Mitt, and I imagine it will not be the last," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted. "The bottom line is President Trump did nothing wrong, and the Republican Party is more united than ever behind him. I, along with the @GOP, stand with President Trump."

 

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WiseGirl

Screenshot_20200205-210736_Twitter.jpg

 

Spoiler

Screenshot_20200205-210716_Twitter.jpg

 

Edited by WiseGirl
Spoiler

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Smee

I vaguely remember Romney refusing to endorse Trump back in 2016 and some people saying they found new respect for him then, but I could be misremembering. Was he one of the thousand republicans running in the primaries? Am I thinking of remarks that came out of a debate? I could have sworn it was after it became clear that Trump would have the nomination.

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apple1

I must say, Romney surprised me. Kudos for conscience. His statement about his children and grandchildren knowing that he did the right thing -- well, that is part of the moral compass that all of us can aspire to. (If the next generation is not yours by birth, then by example).

And Doug Jones -- Wow. Triumph of conscience, even when the price to pay is high.

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GreyhoundFan

"‘Judas, Brutus, Benedict Arnold’: Romney stepped out of line and pro-Trump media isn’t happy"

Spoiler

The onslaught of abuse that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) predicted would come after he broke ranks with Republicans by voting to convict President Trump of abuse of power Wednesday continued materializing overnight as conservative media figures came out in full force to denounce him.

Romney was the only Republican to vote to remove Trump from office, explaining his decision in an emotional speech on the Senate floor where he cited his faith and a duty to uphold the Constitution. While Democrats praised Romney’s courage, the right — led by vocal pro-Trump commentators — immediately attacked after the president was acquitted of impeachment charges.

“Utah’s junior senator reminded us of why he couldn’t connect with most regular, working-class people,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Wednesday night. “They don’t like politicians who claim to be holier than thou when they’re really just sticking a shiv in your back.”

“He’s the ultimate selfish, preening, self-centered politician,” she added.

The tone and message of Ingraham’s monologue echoed widely across Fox News and conservative news outlets Wednesday as Trump’s supporters rushed to make an example out of Romney.

Critics viciously dissected Romney’s political career and cast him as a traitor who not only betrayed the president but also the Republican Party and his constituents in Utah.

Trump got in on the Romney bashing, tweeting a video that labeled the senator “a Democrat secret asset.” Late Wednesday, Trump lashed out at Romney again in another tweet, this time taking aim at the senator’s unsuccessful presidential run in 2012.

“Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,” Trump wrote.

The president’s reaction, however, was mild in comparison to the attacks being mounted by his numerous supporters in conservative media.

Breitbart News, a right-wing media outlet, led its homepage with a column titled, “Mitt Romney stabbed American workers in the back long before he stabbed Trump."

“Anyone who has followed Mitt’s career could have seen this betrayal coming,” the column said. “This isn’t the first time he’s behaved like a bitter sanctimonious weasel when it comes to Donald Trump.”

The betrayal theme continued on Fox Business Network, where host Lou Dobbs said Romney would be “associated with Judas, Brutus, Benedict Arnold forever.”

Meanwhile, Fox News host Tucker Carlson couldn’t even bring himself to say Romney’s name on-air.

“That senator shall go unnamed on this show on the grounds that silly moral preening should not be rewarded with the publicity that it’s designed to garner,” Carlson said.

Following Carlson was Fox News host Sean Hannity, who introduced his viewers to a new nickname for Romney: “Pierre Defecto,” a play on the senator’s secret Twitter alias, “Pierre Delecto,” which became public last October.

“I know a lot of you, especially in Utah and around the country, are mad at Mitt tonight and you have every right to be,” Hannity said, slamming Romney’s arguments as “constitutionally incoherent.” “Frankly, it is sad. Mitt Romney is now a diminished figure. Clearly, losing a presidential election ruins people.”

Ingraham took her censure of Romney a step further, urging him to resign.

“If he were up for reelection this year, the people of Utah would have their own payback against him because they were defrauded by Romney,” she said, accusing the senator of choosing Democrats “over common sense and conservatism.”

Ingraham went as far as saying that she would move to Utah to run against Romney if necessary.

“We won’t ever forget,” she said. “Utah should never forget.”

Though Romney won’t face reelection until 2024, that didn’t stop conservatives from arguing Wednesday that his vote to convict Trump marked the end of his time in politics.

“His career is done,” said former White House aide Sebastian Gorka on his radio show.

Romney has not publicly addressed the criticisms that poured forth Wednesday, but he told Fox News’s Chris Wallace ahead of the vote that he was prepared for the backlash.

“I know in my heart that I’m doing what is right,” the senator said. “I understand there’s going to be an enormous consequence. And I don’t have a choice in that regard.”

 

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GreyhoundFan

"Here is what we can take away from Trump’s impeachment and acquittal"

Spoiler

President Trump’s four-month-long impeachment saga is over: He was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday on both charges, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Trump will forever have an asterisk next to his name as the third president to be impeached by the House, but he’ll remain in office. Now we’ll see a president for the first time in modern history seek reelection while carrying that asterisk.

...

Just as the House of Representatives did in December, the Senate voted on each article of impeachment separately. To kick Trump out of office, 67 senators needed to vote to convict him on at least one article. There was nowhere near that much support for either article.

The most important political takeaway from the vote is how partisan it was. Not a single Democrat voted to acquit the president, not even the senators representing Trump-friendly states. Only one Republican voted to convict him, Mitt Romney of Utah, after no House Republicans supported impeachment.

But Romney’s lone vote changes how Trump can talk about his impeachment going forward. He can no longer technically say his impeachment was solely driven by Democrats. One Republican — a prominent one at that — voted to convict him.

Romney voted to acquit Trump on the second charge of obstruction of Congress. His conviction vote on the first charge was historic though: He’s the first senator in an impeachment trial to vote to convict a president of the same party.

“The president’s purpose was personal and political,” Romney said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday announcing his vote. “Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.”

Takeaways from the entire impeachment process

1. Impeachment is politically driven

So many readers I talked to wanted to think of impeachment as a process where blind justice reigns. And sure, there were some House Democrats who put their careers at risk by voting to impeach Trump even though their districts had supported him. Romney said he expects to be “vehemently denounced” by some in his party for his decision. (Fact check: True. Donald Trump Jr. is already driving a push to kick him out of the party.) But by and large, lawmakers voted with their political futures in mind, rather than the facts.

That’s because you can’t take the political calculus out of Congress. In fact, impeachment was designed to have an inherent contradiction. The nation’s founders set up a check on the executive, but they gave a political body — and not a court — the ultimate say on this.

The partisan process allowed Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to say the quiet part out loud, that he was working in “total coordination” with the White House on how to hold a trial that best benefited Trump. And his supporters could accurately point to instances of Democrats doing the same when their party’s president was being impeached. Democrats and privately some Republicans may truly feel that Trump should be kicked out of office, but at the end of this, their decisions were driven more by politics than conscience.

2. Trump’s greatest asset was his party’s loyalty

At one point during impeachment, former Arizona Republican senator Jeff Flake told reporters he thought there would be “at least” 35 Republican senators who would vote to convict Trump if the vote were private.

We don’t know if that was true, and it obviously didn’t bear out in a public vote. But Flake got at the fundamental dynamic within the Republican Party, which is many lawmakers privately disagree with the president on policy, politics and character, but have decided their political futures rest on standing by Trump.

Party loyalty is not abnormal politics, but the degree to which Republican lawmakers have defended the president is. Trump has created an environment where there is no room for deviation from him even (or perhaps especially) on something as serious as the allegations facing him on Ukraine.

By the end of the trial, some Republican senators were forced to acknowledge that Trump did do the things the House accused him of. But they were in the minority of their party and, save Romney, still voted to acquit the president.

Flake also served as a powerful reminder to Republican lawmakers of what happens when they cross Trump. He was watching the trial from the public gallery, a senator who retired last year in part because he chose to publicly speak out against the president. The lawmakers below him have kept their jobs in large part because they have chose not to speak out against the president whenever possible. That is how Trump survived impeachment even though some of his own former advisers said he did what he was accused of doing.

3. We don’t know how this will affect the 2020 reelection

In fact, it’s possible it doesn’t have much of an impact. From the beginning of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in September to the end on Wednesday, the nation has been divided on whether Trump should be removed from office. And — surprise — Americans’ opinions on impeachment are baked into their political views.

Precisely because of that partisanship, it has seemed difficult if not impossible for Democrats to peel off supporters from the other side, and vice versa. The independents are also split down the middle.

In addition, the result of Trump’s impeachment has inevitable for many voters: House Democrats impeach Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate acquits him.

So if there aren’t surprises on impeachment (save one Republican senator’s vote), what about this process should move the average voter in November?

4. The investigation into what Trump did is not over

There will be more revelations about what Trump’s intentions were when he paused Ukraine’s aid and asked Ukraine’s president to investigate the Bidens, whether they come from former national security adviser John Bolton’s book, or from others who resisted House subpoenas speaking out, or from witnesses called by House Democrats.

Already, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold E. Nadler (D-N.Y.) has said Democrats will subpoena Bolton (who said he’ll talk to the Senate and has written Trump has political intentions on Ukraine). Other lawmakers cautioned to The Post’s Rachael Bade that decision hasn’t been made yet. They are likely aware of how political it will look to continue investigating Trump’s actions on Ukraine after impeachment is over.

 

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fraurosena

Marie Yovanovitch: These are turbulent times. But we will persist and prevail.

Quote

After nearly 34 years working for the State Department, I said goodbye to a career that I loved. It is a strange feeling to transition from decades of communicating in the careful words of a diplomat to a person free to speak exclusively for myself.

What I’d like to share with you is an answer to a question so many have asked me: What do the events of the past year mean for our country’s future?

It was an honor for me to represent the United States abroad because, like many immigrants, I have a keen understanding of what our country represents. In a leap of optimism and faith, my parents made their way from the wreckage of post-World War II Europe to America, knowing in their hearts that this country would give me a better life. They rested their hope, not in the possibility of prosperity, but in a strong democracy: a country with resilient institutions, a government that sought to advance the interests of its people, and a society in which freedom was cherished and dissent protected. These are treasures that must be carefully guarded by all who call themselves Americans.

When civil servants in the current administration saw senior officials taking actions they considered deeply wrong in regard to the nation of Ukraine, they refused to take part. When Congress asked us to testify about those activities, my colleagues and I did not hesitate, even in the face of administration efforts to silence us.

We did this because it is the American way to speak up about wrongdoing. I have seen dictatorships around the world, where blind obedience is the norm and truth-tellers are threatened with punishment or death. We must not allow the United States to become a country where standing up to our government is a dangerous act. It has been shocking to experience the storm of criticism, lies and malicious conspiracies that have preceded and followed my public testimony, but I have no regrets. I did — we did — what our conscience called us to do. We did what the gift of U.S. citizenship requires us to do.

Unfortunately, the last year has shown that we need to fight for our democracy. “Freedom is not free” is a pithy phrase that usually refers to the sacrifices of our military against external threats. It turns out that same slogan can be applied to challenges which are closer to home. We need to stand up for our values, defend our institutions, participate in civil society and support a free press. Every citizen doesn’t need to do everything, but each one of us can do one thing. And every day, I see American citizens around me doing just that: reanimating the Constitution and the values it represents. We do this even when the odds seem against us, even when wrongdoers seem to be rewarded, because it is the right thing to do.

I had always thought that our institutions would forever protect us against individual transgressors. But it turns out that our institutions need us as much as we need them; they need the American people to protect them or they will be hollowed out over time, unable to serve and protect our country.

The State Department is filled with individuals of integrity and professionalism. They advance U.S. interests every day — whether they are repatriating Americans vulnerable to a pandemic, reporting on civil unrest, negotiating military basing rights or helping a U.S. company navigate a foreign country. As new powers rise, alliances fray, and transnational threats require international solutions, our diplomats are more than ready to address these challenges.

But our public servants need responsible and ethical political leadership. This administration, through acts of omission and commission, has undermined our democratic institutions, making the public question the truth and leaving public servants without the support and example of ethical behavior that they need to do their jobs and advance U.S. interests.

The next generation of diplomats is counting on something better. Our newest diplomats fill me with hope. They are smart, motivated and idealistic — and yet realistic about the unprecedented challenges facing the United States. While it is bittersweet to retire from a job that I love, I know there is a new generation of experts who will advance our interests in an increasingly dangerous world.

This Feb. 14, the newest class of diplomats will swear an oath, as so many before them have done, to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic”; and “bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

These are turbulent times, perhaps the most challenging that I have witnessed. But I still intend to find ways to engage on foreign policy issues and to encourage those who want to take part in the important work of the Foreign Service. Like my parents before me, I remain optimistic about our future. The events of the past year, while deeply disturbing, show that even though our institutions and our fellow citizens are being challenged in ways that few of us ever expected, we will endure, we will persist and we will prevail.

 

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GreyhoundFan

Poor Susie Snowflake is upset that people oppose her impeachment votes:

 

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GreyhoundFan

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GreyhoundFan

 

Rolling my eyes:

image.png.c48fd93b44c72e5bbc011b9c37bb9d5e.png

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GreyhoundFan

FFS: "Trump offers a new defense: I had to do it"

Spoiler

President Trump’s legal team offered a number of strained defenses over the course of the impeachment trial. But even as he celebrated his acquittal in a lengthy White House monologue Thursday, Trump conjured a new one.

He said not only that he didn’t do anything wrong but that he had to bring up to Ukraine the allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trump pointed to a legal cooperation treaty between the United States and Ukraine that was signed in 1998 and went into effect in 2001.

“We even have a treaty — 2001, 1999 — it’s a treaty, signed treaty, that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine,” Trump said. “I probably have a legal obligation, Mr. Attorney [General], to report corruption.”

The problem with Trump’s claim is that there is nothing in the treaty that compels him to report alleged corruption to Ukraine. It’s mostly about what forms of assistance each country should provide to the other when there are legal matters that span both countries. There is no mention of “corruption” in it and in fact, if Trump was acting according to the treaty, he wasn’t abiding by it.

The treaty specifies that any forms of cooperation must be run through the country’s top prosecutors — in the case of the United States, the attorney general.

“Each Contracting State shall have a Central Authority to make and receive requests pursuant to this Treaty,” it says. “For the United States of America, the Central Authority shall be the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney General.”

The Justice Department has said explicitly that it wasn’t involved in Rudolph W. Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to launch the president’s required investigations. And in fact, it has strained to distance itself from Trump’s personal attorney. To the extent this did involve actual government officials, they were diplomats from the State Department — Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker — and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry, not lawyers from the Justice Department, as the treaty states.

What’s more, even if the treaty did require Trump to report potential corruption inside Ukraine, there appears to be an exception that would pertain to the Bidens.

“The Central Authority of the Requested State may deny assistance if … the request relates to a political offense,” the treaty says. In other words, the treaty seemed to try to prevent these matters from being politically weaponized.

In fact, the only section in which the treaty refers to informing the other country about potential wrongdoing is when it states plainly that it’s an option — rather than an obligation.

“If the Central Authority of one Contracting State becomes aware of proceeds or instrumentalities of offenses that are located in the other State and may be forfeitable or otherwise subject to seizure under the laws of that State, it may so inform the Central Authority of the other State,” the treaty says.

It seems there is a very good reason this treaty never came up in the hours and hours of defenses that Trump’s legal team offered.

But even setting that aside, the fact that Trump is still explaining his actions suggests he’s not nearly as chastened as GOP senators predicted and/or hoped he would be.

 

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fraurosena
35 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

FFS: "Trump offers a new defense: I had to do it"

  Hide contents

President Trump’s legal team offered a number of strained defenses over the course of the impeachment trial. But even as he celebrated his acquittal in a lengthy White House monologue Thursday, Trump conjured a new one.

He said not only that he didn’t do anything wrong but that he had to bring up to Ukraine the allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Trump pointed to a legal cooperation treaty between the United States and Ukraine that was signed in 1998 and went into effect in 2001.

“We even have a treaty — 2001, 1999 — it’s a treaty, signed treaty, that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine,” Trump said. “I probably have a legal obligation, Mr. Attorney [General], to report corruption.”

The problem with Trump’s claim is that there is nothing in the treaty that compels him to report alleged corruption to Ukraine. It’s mostly about what forms of assistance each country should provide to the other when there are legal matters that span both countries. There is no mention of “corruption” in it and in fact, if Trump was acting according to the treaty, he wasn’t abiding by it.

The treaty specifies that any forms of cooperation must be run through the country’s top prosecutors — in the case of the United States, the attorney general.

“Each Contracting State shall have a Central Authority to make and receive requests pursuant to this Treaty,” it says. “For the United States of America, the Central Authority shall be the Attorney General or a person designated by the Attorney General.”

The Justice Department has said explicitly that it wasn’t involved in Rudolph W. Giuliani’s efforts to get Ukraine to launch the president’s required investigations. And in fact, it has strained to distance itself from Trump’s personal attorney. To the extent this did involve actual government officials, they were diplomats from the State Department — Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker — and then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry, not lawyers from the Justice Department, as the treaty states.

What’s more, even if the treaty did require Trump to report potential corruption inside Ukraine, there appears to be an exception that would pertain to the Bidens.

“The Central Authority of the Requested State may deny assistance if … the request relates to a political offense,” the treaty says. In other words, the treaty seemed to try to prevent these matters from being politically weaponized.

In fact, the only section in which the treaty refers to informing the other country about potential wrongdoing is when it states plainly that it’s an option — rather than an obligation.

“If the Central Authority of one Contracting State becomes aware of proceeds or instrumentalities of offenses that are located in the other State and may be forfeitable or otherwise subject to seizure under the laws of that State, it may so inform the Central Authority of the other State,” the treaty says.

It seems there is a very good reason this treaty never came up in the hours and hours of defenses that Trump’s legal team offered.

But even setting that aside, the fact that Trump is still explaining his actions suggests he’s not nearly as chastened as GOP senators predicted and/or hoped he would be.

 

Huh. And here I was thinking his 'trial' was over...

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GreyhoundFan

This is an interesting op-ed from Sen. Sherrod Brown: "In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear"

Spoiler

Not guilty. Not guilty.

In the United States Senate, like in many spheres of life, fear does the business.

Think back to the fall of 2002, just a few weeks before that year’s crucial midterm elections, when the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq was up for a vote. A year after the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of members of the House and the Senate were about to face the voters of a country still traumatized by terrorism.

Senator Patty Murray, a thoughtful Democrat from Washington State, still remembers “the fear that dominated the Senate leading up to the Iraq war.”

“You could feel it then,” she told me, “and you can feel that fear now” — chiefly among Senate Republicans.

For those of us who, from the start, questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war, our sense of isolation surely wasn’t much different from the loneliness felt in the 1950s by Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, who confronted Joe McCarthy’s demagogy only to be abandoned by so many of his colleagues. Nor was it so different from what Senator George McGovern must have felt when he announced his early opposition to the Vietnam War and was then labeled a traitor by many inside and outside of Congress.

History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival. As the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how “moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle.”

Playing on that fear, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, sought a quick impeachment trial for President Trump with as little attention to it as possible. Reporters, who usually roam the Capitol freely, have been cordoned off like cattle in select areas. Mr. McConnell ordered limited camera views in the Senate chamber so only presenters — not absent senators — could be spotted.

And barely a peep from Republican lawmakers.

One journalist remarked to me, “How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?”

Fear has a way of bending us.

Late in the evening on day four of the trial I saw it, just 10 feet across the aisle from my seat at Desk 88, when Mr. Schiff told the Senate: “CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that Republican senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’” The response from Republicans was immediate and furious. Several groaned and protested and muttered, “Not true.” But pike or no pike, Mr. Schiff had clearly struck a nerve. (In the words of Lizzo: truth hurts.)

Of course, the Republican senators who have covered for Mr. Trump love what he delivers for them. But Vice President Mike Pence would give them the same judges, the same tax cuts, the same attacks on workers’ rights and the environment. So that’s not really the reason for their united chorus of “not guilty.”

For the stay-in-office-at-all-cost representatives and senators, fear is the motivator. They are afraid that Mr. Trump might give them a nickname like “Low Energy Jeb” and “Lyin’ Ted,” or that he might tweet about their disloyalty. Or — worst of all — that he might come to their state to campaign against them in the Republican primary. They worry:

“Will the hosts on Fox attack me?”

“Will the mouthpieces on talk radio go after me?”

“Will the Twitter trolls turn their followers against me?”

My colleagues know they all just might. There’s an old Russian proverb: The tallest blade of grass is the first cut by the scythe. In private, many of my colleagues agree that the president is reckless and unfit. They admit his lies. And they acknowledge what he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard Nixon never did. And they know that more damning evidence is likely to come out.

So watching the mental contortions they perform to justify their votes is painful to behold: They claim that calling witnesses would have meant a never-ending trial. They tell us they’ve made up their minds, so why would we need new evidence? They say to convict this president now would lead to the impeachment of every future president — as if every president will try to sell our national security to the highest bidder.

I have asked some of them, “If the Senate votes to acquit, what will you do to keep this president from getting worse?” Their responses have been shrugs and sheepish looks.

They stop short of explicitly saying that they are afraid. We all want to think that we always stand up for right and fight against wrong. But history does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election. They might claim fealty to their cause — those tax cuts — but often it’s a simple attachment to power that keeps them captured.

As Senator Murray said on the Senate floor in 2002, “We can act out of fear” or “we can stick to our principles.” Unfortunately, in this Senate, fear has had its way. In November, the American people will have theirs.

 

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Xan
12 minutes ago, GreyhoundFan said:

This is an interesting op-ed from Sen. Sherrod Brown: "In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear"

  Hide contents

Not guilty. Not guilty.

In the United States Senate, like in many spheres of life, fear does the business.

Think back to the fall of 2002, just a few weeks before that year’s crucial midterm elections, when the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq was up for a vote. A year after the 9/11 attacks, hundreds of members of the House and the Senate were about to face the voters of a country still traumatized by terrorism.

Senator Patty Murray, a thoughtful Democrat from Washington State, still remembers “the fear that dominated the Senate leading up to the Iraq war.”

“You could feel it then,” she told me, “and you can feel that fear now” — chiefly among Senate Republicans.

For those of us who, from the start, questioned the wisdom of the Iraq war, our sense of isolation surely wasn’t much different from the loneliness felt in the 1950s by Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, who confronted Joe McCarthy’s demagogy only to be abandoned by so many of his colleagues. Nor was it so different from what Senator George McGovern must have felt when he announced his early opposition to the Vietnam War and was then labeled a traitor by many inside and outside of Congress.

History has indeed taught us that when it comes to the instincts that drive us, fear has no rival. As the lead House impeachment manager, Representative Adam Schiff, has noted, Robert Kennedy spoke of how “moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle.”

Playing on that fear, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, sought a quick impeachment trial for President Trump with as little attention to it as possible. Reporters, who usually roam the Capitol freely, have been cordoned off like cattle in select areas. Mr. McConnell ordered limited camera views in the Senate chamber so only presenters — not absent senators — could be spotted.

And barely a peep from Republican lawmakers.

One journalist remarked to me, “How in the world can these senators walk around here upright when they have no backbone?”

Fear has a way of bending us.

Late in the evening on day four of the trial I saw it, just 10 feet across the aisle from my seat at Desk 88, when Mr. Schiff told the Senate: “CBS News reported last night that a Trump confidant said that Republican senators were warned, ‘Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’” The response from Republicans was immediate and furious. Several groaned and protested and muttered, “Not true.” But pike or no pike, Mr. Schiff had clearly struck a nerve. (In the words of Lizzo: truth hurts.)

Of course, the Republican senators who have covered for Mr. Trump love what he delivers for them. But Vice President Mike Pence would give them the same judges, the same tax cuts, the same attacks on workers’ rights and the environment. So that’s not really the reason for their united chorus of “not guilty.”

For the stay-in-office-at-all-cost representatives and senators, fear is the motivator. They are afraid that Mr. Trump might give them a nickname like “Low Energy Jeb” and “Lyin’ Ted,” or that he might tweet about their disloyalty. Or — worst of all — that he might come to their state to campaign against them in the Republican primary. They worry:

“Will the hosts on Fox attack me?”

“Will the mouthpieces on talk radio go after me?”

“Will the Twitter trolls turn their followers against me?”

My colleagues know they all just might. There’s an old Russian proverb: The tallest blade of grass is the first cut by the scythe. In private, many of my colleagues agree that the president is reckless and unfit. They admit his lies. And they acknowledge what he did was wrong. They know this president has done things Richard Nixon never did. And they know that more damning evidence is likely to come out.

So watching the mental contortions they perform to justify their votes is painful to behold: They claim that calling witnesses would have meant a never-ending trial. They tell us they’ve made up their minds, so why would we need new evidence? They say to convict this president now would lead to the impeachment of every future president — as if every president will try to sell our national security to the highest bidder.

I have asked some of them, “If the Senate votes to acquit, what will you do to keep this president from getting worse?” Their responses have been shrugs and sheepish looks.

They stop short of explicitly saying that they are afraid. We all want to think that we always stand up for right and fight against wrong. But history does not look kindly on politicians who cannot fathom a fate worse than losing an upcoming election. They might claim fealty to their cause — those tax cuts — but often it’s a simple attachment to power that keeps them captured.

As Senator Murray said on the Senate floor in 2002, “We can act out of fear” or “we can stick to our principles.” Unfortunately, in this Senate, fear has had its way. In November, the American people will have theirs.

 

He's right.  You can see how they're already turning on Romney.  The trouble is that he's just one person.  In order for things to change, you have to have enough peoples stand up for what's right.  They can't withstand the heat from Trump if it's just one or two but if they see several Republican senators turn away, they'd follow.  Courage in numbers.

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GreyhoundFan

So the vengeance tour is hitting full speed.

Spoiler

President Trump is preparing to push out a national security official who testified against him during the impeachment inquiry after he expressed deep anger on Thursday over the attempt to remove him from office because of his actions toward Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a National Security Council aide who testified during House Democrats’ impeachment hearings — will be informed in the coming days, likely on Friday, by administration officials that he is being reassigned to a position at the Defense Department, taking a key figure from the investigation out of the White House, according to two people familiar with the move who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel decisions.

Vindman had already informed senior officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from his assignment and leave his post by the end of the month, according to people familiar with his decision, but Trump is eager to make a symbol of the Army officer soon after the Senate acquitted him of the impeachment charges approved by House Democrats.

Trump made clear on Thursday that he is ready to make his impeachment a key part of his reelection strategy and highlight his anger at Democratic leaders who led the charge to remove him from office, as well as Republicans who did not embrace the defense of his actions even though he was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday.

At an event in the East Room of the White House, he called Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a “horrible person” and derided Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) as a flip-flopping Republican with “no sign of principles” whose vote to convict Trump on abuse of power charges was born not out of principle but bitterness over his failed 2012 presidential bid.

And he kicked off the day at the National Prayer Breakfast by questioning the two lawmakers’ claims about the role religion plays in their public lives.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so,” he told a room full of religious leaders.

Trump and his allies are considering doing more than just launching verbal fusillades at his perceived enemies over impeachment as the decision regarding Vindman shows. Some of the president’s aides are discussing whether to remove or reassign several administration officials who testified during the impeachment inquiry, according to aides and advisers who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans. Meanwhile, Senate committee chairmen are ramping up their investigation into Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine while his father, Joe, was vice president.

“Lieutenant Colonel Col. Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,” Trump said during an event at the White House, mocking the national security counsel aide who testified during hearings investigating the White House’s actions toward Ukraine.

Trump has complained about Vindman in private, mocking the way he spoke, wore his uniform and conducted himself during the impeachment inquiry, according to people familiar with his remarks. He has discussed with aides removing other national security officials who testified or cooperated with House Democrats, with Trump calling them disloyal and asking whether he should further cull his national security staff after impeachment. He remains incensed that so many people in his administration testified last year, according to allies of the president. No final decisions have been made on what to do with the officials, these people said.

But the White House is not hiding from the fact it would like to see Democrats and Romney feel some pain for their role in his impeachment.

Stephanie Grisham, the president’s press secretary, said making people pay for their conduct was a reason Trump held an event Thursday in the East Room of the White House, which Trump later said was not a speech but a “celebration” of his acquittal by the Senate a day earlier.

Advisers to the president said Trump is already thinking about a scorched-earth nine-month campaign and how Democrats might attack him next — and how he can land punches of his own.

“He’s keenly aware of the fact that the Democrats only have one play: to destroy him personally every single day … until November,” said Jason Miller, an informal adviser and former campaign aide.

Additionally, Trump sees it as valuable to frame previous investigations as witch hunts because he expects more probes, Miller and other Trump allies said, and the president has told his aides that Democrats will continue to investigate his finances, his Cabinet officials and his interactions with foreign leaders.

Trump was not in a reflective mood about his conduct on Thursday.

He was impeached by the House on charges that he abused his office and obstructed Congress. The crux of the case against him is the allegation that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden — who served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president — as well as a widely discredited theory that Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and — despite some Republican senators calling his action wrong even if not impeachable — he has shown no remorse.

That was evident from the time he left the White House on Thursday morning on his way to the prayer breakfast being held at a nearby hotel.

He rewrote parts of his speech for the event, scribbling en route, to highlight his impeachment and attack his foes at a traditionally staid, nonpartisan affair, according to officials. When Arthur Brooks, a conservative columnist, encouraged guests at the breakfast to “love your enemies” and set aside contempt, Trump pointedly said that he did not concur.

“I don’t know if I agree with you. I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say,” he said, before attacking both Pelosi and Romney from the dais at the Washington Hilton.

His event in the East Room later in the day was part celebration, part tirade as he thanked his supporters and laid into his critics.

“They are vicious and mean, vicious. These people are vicious,” he said of Democrats before focusing specifically on Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who led the impeachment inquiry.

He brought up Hunter Biden, criticizing his role in Ukraine and mocking him for being discharged from the Navy Reserve after allegedly testing positive for cocaine.

Trump plans to repeatedly bring up the younger Biden on the campaign trail, according to White House officials, hoping to use it against Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and to argue that Democrats are corrupt. Neither Biden has been charged with any wrongdoing by Ukrainian officials.

Trump has continued to suggest to aides that his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, could have valuable information and that Hunter Biden resonates with the general public.

He may get help on this topic from Senate Republicans.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the head of the Secret Service, two Senate committee chairmen wrote that they are “reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration, particularly with respect to his business activities in Ukraine and China.”

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) said they are seeking information on any instances when Hunter Biden traveled with a protective security detail during the time his father was vice president, as well as when he flew on government planes.

Trump has been convinced by polling and rallies in recent months that relentlessly attacking Pelosi is key to his reelection success, and he has shown flashes of anger when discussing her, according to aides.

Republican lawmakers and Trump have also discussed ways to exact revenge on Schiff for his leading role in the president’s impeachment, according to people familiar with the conversations.

Some White House, campaign and congressional officials are pushing Trump to move on from talking about impeachment or attacking Romney, the lone Republican to vote for his conviction. RNC and campaign officials said they were happy Thursday that Trump did not seem to have a specific plan to take on Romney, even as the White House lashed into him in a long page of talking points.

“There’s a lot of anger there. But I think this, too, shall pass,” said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a Trump ally.

One top ally suggested the president should go to Florida, golf for a few days and bask in the sun with his friends — or turn his focus to attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or attempting to sow division among the Democratic 2020 nominees.

Trump’s allies said he is in his strongest political position in years. His poll numbers rose during impeachment, with Gallup showing him at 49 percent approval, and the economy is performing well overall. Voters have not yet coalesced around a candidate in the splintered Democratic presidential field. And with the impeachment probe and the Russia investigation over, no investigative threat currently appears to loom over the president.

Aides said the mood in the West Wing is brighter than it has been in many months.

“Look at the successes we’ve had. Contrast that to the Democrats,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

But Trump was unable to hide his anger in public on Thursday and it’s unclear when or if he will stop focusing on his impeachment and investigations into his administration.

“We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars,” he said in the East Room. “And this should never, ever happen to another president, ever.”

 

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GreyhoundFan

I think this applies to almost every repug:

 

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GreyhoundFan

Oh FFS: "Trump says the House should ‘expunge’ his impeachment"

Spoiler

President Trump said Friday that his impeachment by the House should be “expunged” because it was a “total political hoax,” as he headed to North Carolina on his first trip out of Washington since being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial.

Trump also referred to his impeachment early in his remarks at an event focused on providing economic and job opportunities in low-income neighborhoods. His comments came as fallout from the trial continued, including reports that he is preparing to push out a national security official who testified against him.

Trump also continued to target House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Republican who voted to convict him.

The crux of the case against Trump was the allegation that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president.

...

 

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SassyPants
6 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

So the vengeance tour is hitting full speed.

  Hide contents

President Trump is preparing to push out a national security official who testified against him during the impeachment inquiry after he expressed deep anger on Thursday over the attempt to remove him from office because of his actions toward Ukraine.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a National Security Council aide who testified during House Democrats’ impeachment hearings — will be informed in the coming days, likely on Friday, by administration officials that he is being reassigned to a position at the Defense Department, taking a key figure from the investigation out of the White House, according to two people familiar with the move who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss personnel decisions.

Vindman had already informed senior officials at the NSC that he intended to take an early exit from his assignment and leave his post by the end of the month, according to people familiar with his decision, but Trump is eager to make a symbol of the Army officer soon after the Senate acquitted him of the impeachment charges approved by House Democrats.

Trump made clear on Thursday that he is ready to make his impeachment a key part of his reelection strategy and highlight his anger at Democratic leaders who led the charge to remove him from office, as well as Republicans who did not embrace the defense of his actions even though he was acquitted by the Senate on Wednesday.

At an event in the East Room of the White House, he called Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) a “horrible person” and derided Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) as a flip-flopping Republican with “no sign of principles” whose vote to convict Trump on abuse of power charges was born not out of principle but bitterness over his failed 2012 presidential bid.

And he kicked off the day at the National Prayer Breakfast by questioning the two lawmakers’ claims about the role religion plays in their public lives.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that that’s not so,” he told a room full of religious leaders.

Trump and his allies are considering doing more than just launching verbal fusillades at his perceived enemies over impeachment as the decision regarding Vindman shows. Some of the president’s aides are discussing whether to remove or reassign several administration officials who testified during the impeachment inquiry, according to aides and advisers who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the plans. Meanwhile, Senate committee chairmen are ramping up their investigation into Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine while his father, Joe, was vice president.

“Lieutenant Colonel Col. Vindman and his twin brother — right? — we had some people that — really amazing,” Trump said during an event at the White House, mocking the national security counsel aide who testified during hearings investigating the White House’s actions toward Ukraine.

Trump has complained about Vindman in private, mocking the way he spoke, wore his uniform and conducted himself during the impeachment inquiry, according to people familiar with his remarks. He has discussed with aides removing other national security officials who testified or cooperated with House Democrats, with Trump calling them disloyal and asking whether he should further cull his national security staff after impeachment. He remains incensed that so many people in his administration testified last year, according to allies of the president. No final decisions have been made on what to do with the officials, these people said.

But the White House is not hiding from the fact it would like to see Democrats and Romney feel some pain for their role in his impeachment.

Stephanie Grisham, the president’s press secretary, said making people pay for their conduct was a reason Trump held an event Thursday in the East Room of the White House, which Trump later said was not a speech but a “celebration” of his acquittal by the Senate a day earlier.

Advisers to the president said Trump is already thinking about a scorched-earth nine-month campaign and how Democrats might attack him next — and how he can land punches of his own.

“He’s keenly aware of the fact that the Democrats only have one play: to destroy him personally every single day … until November,” said Jason Miller, an informal adviser and former campaign aide.

Additionally, Trump sees it as valuable to frame previous investigations as witch hunts because he expects more probes, Miller and other Trump allies said, and the president has told his aides that Democrats will continue to investigate his finances, his Cabinet officials and his interactions with foreign leaders.

Trump was not in a reflective mood about his conduct on Thursday.

He was impeached by the House on charges that he abused his office and obstructed Congress. The crux of the case against him is the allegation that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden — who served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president — as well as a widely discredited theory that Ukrainians interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing and — despite some Republican senators calling his action wrong even if not impeachable — he has shown no remorse.

That was evident from the time he left the White House on Thursday morning on his way to the prayer breakfast being held at a nearby hotel.

He rewrote parts of his speech for the event, scribbling en route, to highlight his impeachment and attack his foes at a traditionally staid, nonpartisan affair, according to officials. When Arthur Brooks, a conservative columnist, encouraged guests at the breakfast to “love your enemies” and set aside contempt, Trump pointedly said that he did not concur.

“I don’t know if I agree with you. I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say,” he said, before attacking both Pelosi and Romney from the dais at the Washington Hilton.

His event in the East Room later in the day was part celebration, part tirade as he thanked his supporters and laid into his critics.

“They are vicious and mean, vicious. These people are vicious,” he said of Democrats before focusing specifically on Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), who led the impeachment inquiry.

He brought up Hunter Biden, criticizing his role in Ukraine and mocking him for being discharged from the Navy Reserve after allegedly testing positive for cocaine.

Trump plans to repeatedly bring up the younger Biden on the campaign trail, according to White House officials, hoping to use it against Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and to argue that Democrats are corrupt. Neither Biden has been charged with any wrongdoing by Ukrainian officials.

Trump has continued to suggest to aides that his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, could have valuable information and that Hunter Biden resonates with the general public.

He may get help on this topic from Senate Republicans.

In a letter sent Wednesday to the head of the Secret Service, two Senate committee chairmen wrote that they are “reviewing potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration, particularly with respect to his business activities in Ukraine and China.”

Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) said they are seeking information on any instances when Hunter Biden traveled with a protective security detail during the time his father was vice president, as well as when he flew on government planes.

Trump has been convinced by polling and rallies in recent months that relentlessly attacking Pelosi is key to his reelection success, and he has shown flashes of anger when discussing her, according to aides.

Republican lawmakers and Trump have also discussed ways to exact revenge on Schiff for his leading role in the president’s impeachment, according to people familiar with the conversations.

Some White House, campaign and congressional officials are pushing Trump to move on from talking about impeachment or attacking Romney, the lone Republican to vote for his conviction. RNC and campaign officials said they were happy Thursday that Trump did not seem to have a specific plan to take on Romney, even as the White House lashed into him in a long page of talking points.

“There’s a lot of anger there. But I think this, too, shall pass,” said Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), a Trump ally.

One top ally suggested the president should go to Florida, golf for a few days and bask in the sun with his friends — or turn his focus to attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or attempting to sow division among the Democratic 2020 nominees.

Trump’s allies said he is in his strongest political position in years. His poll numbers rose during impeachment, with Gallup showing him at 49 percent approval, and the economy is performing well overall. Voters have not yet coalesced around a candidate in the splintered Democratic presidential field. And with the impeachment probe and the Russia investigation over, no investigative threat currently appears to loom over the president.

Aides said the mood in the West Wing is brighter than it has been in many months.

“Look at the successes we’ve had. Contrast that to the Democrats,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said.

But Trump was unable to hide his anger in public on Thursday and it’s unclear when or if he will stop focusing on his impeachment and investigations into his administration.

“We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil. It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars,” he said in the East Room. “And this should never, ever happen to another president, ever.”

 

And his twin brother too. I guess he Trumped Trump by informing Trump he’d being taking an early exit. Trump, always a day late and a billion dollars short.

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SassyPants

Sondland recalled by Trump. He’s on a roll.

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fraurosena
15 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

Oh FFS: "Trump says the House should ‘expunge’ his impeachment"

  Hide contents

President Trump said Friday that his impeachment by the House should be “expunged” because it was a “total political hoax,” as he headed to North Carolina on his first trip out of Washington since being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial.

Trump also referred to his impeachment early in his remarks at an event focused on providing economic and job opportunities in low-income neighborhoods. His comments came as fallout from the trial continued, including reports that he is preparing to push out a national security official who testified against him.

Trump also continued to target House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah), the only Republican who voted to convict him.

The crux of the case against Trump was the allegation that he withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son. Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, while his father was vice president.

...

 

Expunge his impeachment.. he wishes. I really love how his 'forever impeached' status hasn't lost its sting.

12 hours ago, SassyPants said:

Sondland recalled by Trump. He’s on a roll.

His revenge tour is so telling. Such petty vindictiveness from a wannabe dictator. Although I deplore his actions, and feel for those affected by his malevolence, the upside is that it's driving the incentive for dems to get out and vote even more.

 

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GreyhoundFan

Honestly, I’m surprised that he went after two men first. He holds women in such low regard that I figured he’d fire all the women first. Marie Yovanovitch was smart to retire before he could make a show of firing her.

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GreyhoundFan

Great op-ed from the Speaker: "Nancy Pelosi: McConnell and the GOP Senate are accomplices to Trump’s wrongdoing"

Spoiler

Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, is speaker of the House of Representatives.

For more than 200 years, our republic has endured, not only because of the wisdom of our Founders and the brilliance of our Constitution, but because of the generations of patriotic Americans who have had the courage to risk their lives to defend it.

But, tragically, the American people have watched President Trump and Republicans in Congress dismantle the Constitution that we cherish.

The House impeachment managers, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), presented to the Senate and the public an incontrovertible truth that the president himself has admitted: President Trump abused the power of his office to pressure a foreign power to help him cheat in an American election. And when he was caught, the president launched an unprecedented coverup to block Congress from holding him accountable. The president’s actions undermined our national security, jeopardized the integrity of our elections and violated the Constitution.

The Democrats in the Senate under the leadership of Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) patriotically voted unanimously to honor the oath to support and defend the Constitution. They, along with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), deserve our gratitude for their moral courage.

The president’s lawyers all but concede his misconduct. Their argument was only that Congress and the American people have no right to stop him from using his power to cheat in our elections. With their vote, Senate Republicans embraced this darkest vision of power: that if the president believes his reelection is good for the country, he can then use any means necessary to win, with no accountability or consequences.

For weeks, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the Republican-controlled Senate have made themselves accomplices to the president’s wrongdoing by suppressing additional evidence and rejecting the most basic elements of a fair judicial process. In declaring their loyalty to the president over our Constitution, Republicans have made a farce of the old boast that the U.S. Senate is the greatest deliberative body in the world. And they have joined the president in normalizing lawlessness and rejecting the checks and balances of our Constitution.

The House of Representatives voted to impeach the president because our institution believes in the sanctity of our oath and the urgency of protecting our republic. One chamber of Congress held the president accountable. President Trump is impeached forever, disgraced in history for his abuse of power and contempt for our Constitution. He will go down in history as the first president to be impeached with the support of a majority of Americans, and the first to ever face a bipartisan vote to convict him in the Senate.

Our Founders put safeguards in the Constitution to protect against a rogue president. They never imagined that they would at the same time have a rogue leader in the Senate who would cowardly abandon his duty to uphold the Constitution.

Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the president remains an ongoing threat to American democracy. He continues to insist that he is above accountability and that he can corrupt the elections again, if he wants to.

The People’s House will continue to defend democracy for the American people. We will uphold and protect the checks and balances enshrined in the Constitution, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion to preserve our republic “if we can keep it,” to quote Benjamin Franklin.

And we will always insist on this truth: that, in America, no one is above the law.

 

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JMarie

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/republican-senators-tried-to-stop-trump-from-firing-impeachment-witness/ar-BBZNiFx?ocid=spartanntp

Quote

A handful of Republican senators tried to stop President Trump from firing Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who testified in the House impeachment hearings, but the president relieved the diplomat of his post anyway, according to people briefed on the discussions.

The senators were concerned that it would look bad for Mr. Trump to dismiss Mr. Sondland and argued that it was unnecessary, since the ambassador was already talking with senior officials about leaving after the Senate trial, the people said. The senators told White House officials that Mr. Sondland should be allowed to depart on his own terms, which would have reduced any political backlash.

But Mr. Trump evidently was not interested in a quiet departure, choosing instead to make a point by forcing Mr. Sondland out before the ambassador was ready to go. When State Department officials called Mr. Sondland on Friday to tell him that he had to resign that day, he resisted, saying that he did not want to be included in what seemed like a larger purge of impeachment witnesses, according to the people informed about the matter.

Quote

Among the Republicans who warned the White House was Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who after voting to acquit Mr. Trump said she thought he had learned a lesson. Others included Senators Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Martha McSally of Arizona and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. The White House did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday but a senior administration official confirmed the senators’ outreach.

 

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