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Westlake Legal Group > Biden, Joseph R Jr

In Iowa, the ‘Not Sanders’ Democrats Find Voters Torn

Westlake Legal Group 27iowa1-facebookJumbo In Iowa, the ‘Not Sanders’ Democrats Find Voters Torn Warren, Elizabeth Vilsack, Tom Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Democratic Party Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Biden, Joseph R Jr

BETTENDORF, Iowa — As they streamed out of the ballroom following a Scott County fund-raising banquet Saturday night, one after the other Iowa Democrats admitted that they still had not decided whom to support just over a week before the state’s presidential caucuses.

But by not mentioning his name as they rattled off their short lists, they made it clear whom they would not support: Senator Bernie Sanders, the democratic socialist from Vermont who has taken the lead in recent polls.

Instead, every one of the 30 still-undecided Democratic activists here rattled off some combination of the same four names — Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

As Mr. Sanders tightens his grip on the party’s young and left-wing voters in Iowa, more traditional Democrats, the ones who happily sit through marathon banquet dinners to hear the candidates and their representatives, remain split between his four leading competitors or remain unsure altogether about whom to rally behind.

“I have told my colleagues all along: Bernie Sanders can win with 27 percent of the vote here,” said Representative Dave Loebsack, an Iowa Democrat supporting Mr. Buttigieg, alluding to his fellow lawmakers, many of whom are deeply uneasy about running with Mr. Sanders on top of the ticket.

The fracture among mainstream Democrats here carries profound implications for a primary that has already unsettled the party establishment and prompted late entrants into the race.

Mr. Sanders is threatening to seize control in the early states, taking narrow but clear polling leads in Iowa and New Hampshire and increasingly menacing Mr. Biden’s advantage in national polls. With his mammoth online fund-raising operation, Mr. Sanders appears to be in a position of financial strength unmatched by any other candidate besides Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City.

Mr. Sanders’s endurance, and his apparent rise in the earliest primary and caucus states, reflects both the loyalty of his core supporters and their conviction that Mr. Sanders would bring the same fighting resilience to the general election. But even among many liberals who admire Mr. Sanders’s campaign, or some of his policy ideas, there is deep concern about the implications of nominating a candidate from the left whom President Trump is sure to portray as extreme.

“I think that Bernie is just a bridge too far for the country,” said Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general who is supporting Mr. Biden. Ms. Campbell said she would have no difficulty supporting Mr. Sanders in the general election, but added, “I can tell you, I hear from friends and colleagues who say: ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do if Bernie wins?’”

But in Iowa, Democrats who hope to avert that outcome do not appear close to settling on another candidate as an alternative to Mr. Sanders. And if more moderate voters don’t coalesce behind an alternative by next week’s caucus, party traditionalists fear, Mr. Sanders could win Iowa with only a modest plurality, emboldening his leading rivals to remain in the race, and then notch another victory again a week later in New Hampshire. No Democrat in modern times has lost contested races in both Iowa and New Hampshire and claimed the nomination.

The early primary and caucus outcomes could have an outsize impact on later primaries, including the large states voting in March, some of which begin collecting mail-in and early ballots in the immediate aftermath of Iowa. If a candidate like Mr. Sanders were to seize momentum next week, it could help him build a head start in states like California and Texas.

It is a scenario that is deeply alarming to establishment-aligned Democrats, if not unfamiliar. Four years ago, convinced Donald Trump could not win the presidency, they watched with delight as he snatched the Republican nomination without winning majorities because his more traditional rivals divided the vote and refused to bow out.

The Democrats in this race have been as reluctant to target Mr. Sanders as the Republicans were to target Mr. Trump four years ago; in each case they were skeptical of his staying power and believed they had more to gain by attacking other rivals.

Even now, as Mr. Sanders takes a lead in the first two early states, his opponents have not delivered a sustained argument against his candidacy, and remain reluctant to take him on: while Mr. Buttigieg drew attention for warning in a fund-raising solicitation that a Sanders nomination would be too risky, he notably declined to amplify his rhetoric in television interviews over the weekend. The closest he has come to confronting his rival on the left is to make oblique references to the often-bitter 2016 primary between Hillary Clinton and Mr. Sanders.

“Most of us would agree the less 2020 resembles 2016 the better — in all respects,” Mr. Buttigieg said in a brief interview. Each of the would-be Stop Sanders candidates has built enough political strength to justify forging ahead: Mr. Biden remains the national front-runner, with unmatched support among black voters; Mr. Buttigieg and Ms. Warren both have double-digit support in New Hampshire polls, and sizable war chests; Ms. Klobuchar has the thinnest operation beyond Iowa of the group, but over the weekend she earned the endorsement of New Hampshire’s influential Union Leader newspaper.

Should all four move forward from Iowa, with their perceived strengths and weaknesses, it could make it difficult for any of them to become a rallying point for voters uneasy about Mr. Sanders.

Complicating matters further for traditionalists, and making this race potentially even messier than Mr. Trump’s primary, is the presence of Mr. Bloomberg, who is not contesting the traditional early states in February but has already poured more than $270 million in advertising into later contests and made clear to allies that he will remain in the race should Mr. Sanders come roaring into March.

Mr. Bloomberg was on Ms. Klobuchar’s mind as she left the dinner here Saturday. She was asked if she would remain in the race if she did not break into the top three in the caucuses, which has often been the number of viable candidates who leave the state.

Even if you’re in fourth, she was asked?

“You think it’s only going to be down to four candidates even by New Hampshire?” she said before answering the question. “No, it’s not.”

Then, pointing to Mr. Bloomberg, she explained why the Democratic vote may remain splintered.

“Why would I get out while he’s still in?” Ms. Klobuchar demanded.

With nearly 40 percent of Iowa voters indicating in a new New York Times-Siena College poll that they were still not certain about whom to support, Mr. Sanders could still suffer a reversal of fortune here.

That’s in part because of the state’s complex, multiphase caucusing process, which allows supporters of underdog candidates to shift to stronger contenders. If Mr. Sanders has the most enthusiastic base of support in Iowa, he may be less well positioned to expand his bloc in later rounds should moderate voters rally to one of the four other leading candidates.

And it’s Ms. Klobuchar whom Iowa Democrats are watching most closely. If she does not reach 15 percent in most precincts, her supporters could determine the statewide winner if they migrate mostly to one candidate.

Former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa, Mr. Biden’s most prominent supporter in the state, was blunt about why Ms. Klobuchar’s backers should support the former vice president.

Mr. Biden has the best chance of winning the general election, he shares Ms. Klobuchar’s pragmatic politics and “Joe is going to need a running mate,” Mr. Vilsack said.

A more urgent concern for Mr. Vilsack was the prospect of Iowa producing a muddled result, a scenario that’s more likely this year because the state party, for the first time, is releasing raw vote totals from the initial round of balloting as well as the final results and delegate allocations.

“If I had to make one prediction, there will be a split decision and that’ll have repercussions,” he said. “Because whoever quote-unquote wins can claim that they won, and talk about it going into New Hampshire.”

So while they still hope to best Mr. Sanders in Iowa or New Hampshire, several of Mr. Sanders’s rivals have begun emphasizing their strengths in states later in the calendar.

Mr. Biden’s advisers and surrogates have been stressing his support among minority communities that become important starting with the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22, while Ms. Warren’s campaign circulated a memo last week detailing its preparations in the March primaries that will award most of the delegates that will settle the Democratic nomination.

And in a conversation with volunteers before a town hall-style meeting in Davenport on Sunday, Ms. Warren reiterated her determination to compete into March and beyond, telling supporters she already has staff in 30 states, according to a volunteer who attended the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“We all know that this is very likely to be a long nomination process,” said California Assemblyman David Chiu, who on Sunday was opening a campaign headquarters in San Francisco for Ms. Warren and said of her campaign: “They are going to put up a tremendous fight here in the state.”

That phase of the race is also when Mr. Bloomberg, with his vast personal fortune, could become a more urgent factor, either rising as an obstacle for Mr. Sanders or further fracturing the party’s moderate wing.

In California, Mayor Robert Garcia of Long Beach, who endorsed Mr. Biden this month, said he expected the former vice president to consolidate support there “once it becomes clear that there’s a few candidates left.”

But gathering support around just a few candidates could also be difficult in California, Mr. Garcia noted, because the state’s mail-in ballots would list the names of candidates who falter or withdraw over the course of February.

“There are going to be a lot of candidates in California, because they are going to be on the ballot,” he said. “There will be some drop-off, but they’re all competitive here and that’s going to continue.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

T Minus 8 Days: A Frenetic Weekend on the Trail in Iowa

DES MOINES — With the Iowa caucuses a week away and senators briefly sprung from their impeachment-induced confinement on Capitol Hill, the Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates spilled out across Iowa on Sunday.

They gave their stump speeches. They took photos and shook hands. They tried mightily to address the elephant in the room — a series of polls showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont pulling even with or ahead of the longtime front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — without appearing to concern themselves with it.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., carried on the long tradition of campaign-trail subtweeting, attacking Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden unmistakably but without naming them.

“The country will be crying out for a president capable of unifying and healing the American people,” Mr. Buttigieg said at a rally in West Des Moines, a clear shot at Mr. Sanders.

Later, at a town hall televised on Fox News, he said that he had “heard some folks saying” that now was not the time for voters to take a risk — Team Biden is running an ad arguing exactly that — but that the real risk “would be to try to go up against this president with the same old playbook that we’ve been relying on.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who has gained ground in recent weeks but is still polling a distant fifth here, tried to focus on crowd sizes instead — and on somewhat better poll results she received in New Hampshire, which will vote the week after Iowa.

“We are seeing this overwhelming number of people showing up on a Sunday afternoon,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters in Ames. “We’re seeing the poll that we just saw this morning in New Hampshire, in double digits, just a few points away from many of my maybe more well-known competitors on the national stage.”

And besides, how much attention should voters pay to polls to begin with? “Let’s see what happens when people are actually showing up,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group democratic-candidates-20-questions-promo-1579898311650-articleLarge-v10 T Minus 8 Days: A Frenetic Weekend on the Trail in Iowa Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Klobuchar, Amy Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

20 (More) Questions With Democrats

We sat down again with Democratic candidates and asked them a new set of questions. Watch their answers.

As always, the undertone — and sometimes the overtone — was each candidate’s so-called electability against President Trump. From Davenport in the east to Sioux City in the west, the candidates circled one another, jostling to cast themselves as the most viable contender for November.

“Can we just address it right here? Women win,” Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said at an event in Davenport, invoking the same argument she made at this month’s debate when she noted that she and Ms. Klobuchar were the only people onstage who had never lost an election. “Women candidates have been outperforming men candidates since Donald Trump was elected.”

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden, meanwhile, continued to spar with each other, each seeing the other — justifiably, based on recent polls — as his biggest threat.

After a weeklong public fight over their records on Social Security, they turned to climate. At an event in Perry on Sunday, Mr. Sanders shot back at Mr. Biden for his remark a couple days earlier that “not a single solitary scientist” considered Mr. Sanders’s climate plan workable.

“Well, Joe, you’re wrong,” Mr. Sanders said. “Many leading scientists agree with our plan, and in a few days we’re going to have a long list of scientists who agree with our plan.”

In Des Moines, Mr. Biden drew voters’ attention to what is arguably his biggest strength nationally: his strong support from black voters. It is a key part of the same electability argument that echoed across the state all weekend: Black voters are an essential constituency in the Democratic Party.

“I know a lot of folks out here were wondering, ‘Why does Biden get such overwhelming support from the African-American community?’” Mr. Biden said. “Because that’s what I’m part of. That’s where my political identity comes from. And it’s the single most loyal constituency I’ve ever had.”

As for the Iowans he and everyone else were courting, some of them ended the weekend as torn as they had begun it.

“It’s hard to tell. They are all so similar,” said Ann Clary, a state budget analyst who attended one of Mr. Buttigieg’s events on Sunday but is also considering caucusing for Mr. Biden and Ms. Klobuchar. “Sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night. I just can’t stop thinking about it.”

As night fell, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg went on with business as usual, looking forward to another full week of events. And then there were the senators.

Round and round the state they went: Ms. Warren from Davenport to Cedar Rapids, Ms. Klobuchar from Waterloo to Ames to Des Moines, Mr. Sanders from Perry to Storm Lake to Sioux City.

They had to hurry, because soon the day, and their window, would be over.

“I could have literally done these in every town and revisited all 99 counties again,” Ms. Klobuchar told reporters wistfully after an event in Ames. “That was one of my secret plans, but it’s now been dashed, since I turn into a pumpkin at midnight.”

Reporting was contributed by Nick Corasaniti from Ames, Iowa; Sydney Ember from Ames and Perry; Reid J. Epstein from West Des Moines and Storm Lake; Shane Goldmacher from Davenport; Thomas Kaplan from Des Moines; and Lisa Lerer from Perry.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says

Westlake Legal Group 26dc-bolton-facebookJumbo Trump Tied Ukraine Aid to Inquiries He Sought, Bolton Book Says Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Senate Pompeo, Mike Mulvaney, Mick Johnson, Ron (1955- ) Inhofe, James M impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Bolton, John R Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The president’s statement as described by Mr. Bolton could undercut a key element of his impeachment defense: that the holdup in aid was separate from Mr. Trump’s requests that Ukraine announce investigations into his perceived enemies, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, who had worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while his father was in office.

Mr. Bolton’s explosive account of the matter at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, the third in American history, was included in drafts of a manuscript he has circulated in recent weeks to close associates. He also sent a draft to the White House for a standard review process for some current and former administration officials who write books.

Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair.

The book presents an outline of what Mr. Bolton might testify to if he is called as a witness in the Senate impeachment trial, the people said. The White House could use the pre-publication review process, which has no set time frame, to delay or even kill the book’s publication or omit key passages.

Over dozens of pages, Mr. Bolton described how the Ukraine affair unfolded over several months until he departed the White House in September. He described not only the president’s private disparagement of Ukraine but also new details about senior cabinet officials who have publicly tried to sidestep involvement.

For example, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged privately that there was no basis to claims by the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani that the ambassador to Ukraine was corrupt and believed Mr. Giuliani may have been acting on behalf of other clients, Mr. Bolton wrote.

Mr. Bolton also said that after the president’s July phone call with the president of Ukraine, he raised with Attorney General William P. Barr his concerns about Mr. Giuliani, who was pursuing a shadow Ukraine policy encouraged by the president, and told Mr. Barr that the president had mentioned him on the call. A spokeswoman for Mr. Barr denied that he learned of the call from Mr. Bolton; the Justice Department has said he learned about it only in mid-August.

And the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was present for at least one phone call where the president and Mr. Giuliani discussed the ambassador, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Mulvaney has told associates he would always step away when the president spoke with his lawyer to protect their attorney-client privilege.

During a previously reported May 23 meeting where top advisers and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, briefed him about their trip to Kyiv for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mr. Trump railed about Ukraine trying to damage him and mentioned a conspiracy theory about a hacked Democratic server, according to Mr. Bolton.

Charles J. Cooper, a lawyer for Mr. Bolton, declined to comment. The White House did not provide responses to questions about Mr. Bolton’s assertions, and representatives for Mr. Johnson, Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney did not respond to emails and calls seeking comment on Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Bolton’s submission of the book to the White House may have given the White House lawyers direct insight into what Mr. Bolton would say if he were called to testify at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial. It also intensified concerns among some of his advisers that they needed to block Mr. Bolton from testifying, according to two people familiar with their concerns.

The White House has ordered Mr. Bolton and other key officials with firsthand knowledge of Mr. Trump’s dealings not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Bolton said in a statement this month that he would testify if subpoenaed.

In recent days, some White House officials have described Mr. Bolton as a disgruntled former employee, and have said he took notes that he should have left behind when he departed the administration.

Mr. Trump told reporters last week that he did not want Mr. Bolton to testify and said that even if he simply spoke out publicly, he could damage national security.

“The problem with John is it’s a national security problem,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference in Davos, Switzerland. “He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals what I think about a certain leader and it’s not very positive?”

“It’s going to make the job very hard,” he added.

The Senate impeachment trial could end as early as Friday without witness testimony. Democrats in both the House and Senate have pressed for weeks to include any new witnesses and documents that did not surface during the House impeachment hearings to be fair, focusing on persuading the handful of Republican senators they would need to join them to succeed.

But a week into the trial, most lawmakers say the chances of 51 senators agreeing to call witnesses are dwindling, not growing.

Mr. Bolton would like to testify for several reasons, according to associates. He believes he has relevant information, and he has also expressed concern that if his account of the Ukraine affair emerges only after the trial, he will be accused of holding back to increase his book sales.

Mr. Bolton, 71, a fixture in conservative national security circles since his days in the Reagan administration, joined the White House in 2018 after several people recommended him to the president, including the Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson.

But Mr. Bolton and Mr. Trump soured on each other over several global crises, including Iranian aggression, Mr. Trump’s posture toward Russia and, ultimately, the Ukraine matter. Mr. Bolton was also often at odds with Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney throughout his time in the administration.

Key to Mr. Bolton’s account about Ukraine is an exchange during a meeting in August with the president after Mr. Trump returned from vacation at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J. Mr. Bolton raised the $391 million in congressionally appropriated assistance to Ukraine for its war in the country’s east against Russian-backed separatists. Officials had frozen the aid, and a deadline was looming to begin sending it to Kyiv, Mr. Bolton noted.

He, Mr. Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper had collectively pressed the president about releasing the aid nearly a dozen times in the preceding weeks after lower-level officials who worked on Ukraine issues began complaining about the holdup, Mr. Bolton wrote. Mr. Trump had effectively rebuffed them, airing his longstanding grievances about Ukraine, which mixed legitimate efforts by some Ukrainians to back his Democratic 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, with unsupported accusations and outright conspiracy theories about the country, a key American ally.

Mr. Giuliani had also spent months stoking the president’s paranoia about the American ambassador to Ukraine at the time, Marie L. Yovanovitch, claiming that she was openly anti-Trump and needed to be dismissed. Mr. Trump had ordered her removed as early as April 2018 during a private dinner with two Giuliani associates and others, a recording of the conversation made public on Saturday showed.

In his August 2019 discussion with Mr. Bolton, the president appeared focused on the theories Mr. Giuliani had shared with him, replying to Mr. Bolton’s question that he preferred sending no assistance to Ukraine until officials had turned over all materials they had about the Russia investigation that related to Mr. Biden and supporters of Mrs. Clinton in Ukraine.

The president often hits at multiple opponents in his harangues, and he frequently lumps together the law enforcement officials who conducted the Russia inquiry with Democrats and other perceived enemies, as he appeared to do in speaking to Mr. Bolton.

Mr. Bolton also described other key moments in the pressure campaign, including Mr. Pompeo’s private acknowledgment to him last spring that Mr. Giuliani’s claims about Ms. Yovanovitch had no basis and that Mr. Giuliani may have wanted her removed because she might have been targeting his clients who had dealings in Ukraine as she sought to fight corruption.

Ms. Yovanovitch, a Canadian immigrant whose parents fled the Soviet Union and Nazis, was a well-regarded career diplomat who was known as a vigorous fighter against corruption in Ukraine. She was abruptly removed last year and told the president had lost trust in her, even though a boss assured her she had “done nothing wrong.”

Mr. Bolton also said he warned White House lawyers that Mr. Giuliani might have been leveraging his work with the president to help his private clients.

At the impeachment trial, Mr. Trump himself had hoped to have his defense call a range of people to testify who had nothing to do with his efforts related to Ukraine, including Hunter Biden, to frame the case around Democrats. But the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, repeatedly told the president that witnesses could backfire, and the White House has followed his lead.

Mr. McConnell and other Republicans in the Senate, working in tandem with Mr. Trump’s lawyers, have spent weeks waging their own rhetorical battle to keep their colleagues within the party tent on the question of witnesses, with apparent success. Two of the four Republican senators publicly open to witness votes have sounded notes of skepticism in recent days about the wisdom of having the Senate compel testimony that the House did not get.

Since Mr. Bolton’s statement, White House advisers have floated the possibility that they could go to court to try to obtain a restraining order to stop him from speaking. Such an order would be unprecedented, but any attempt to secure it could succeed in tying up his testimony in legal limbo and scaring off Republican moderates wary of letting the trial drag on when its outcome appears clear.

Katie Benner and Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

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Fact-Checking Joe Biden Before the Iowa Caucuses

Westlake Legal Group defaultPromoCrop Fact-Checking Joe Biden Before the Iowa Caucuses United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Social Security (US) Sanders, Bernard Rumors and Misinformation Presidential Election of 2020 Federal Budget (US) Embargoes and Sanctions Civil Rights Movement (1954-68) Black People Biden, Joseph R Jr

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. remains atop most national polls before the first votes are cast next month in the Democratic presidential primary. Before the Iowa caucuses, The New York Times reviewed recent statements he made defending his decades-long career, stressing his standing in the black community and highlighting his perceived strength on foreign policy. Here’s a fact check.

what the facts are

What Was Said

Antonia Hylton, a reporter for Vice News: “Do you think, though, that it’s fair for voters to question your commitment to Social Security when in the past you’ve proposed a freeze to it?”

Mr. Biden: “No, I didn’t propose a freeze.”
at the Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum last week in Iowa

False. In 1984, faced with budget deficits under the Reagan administration, Mr. Biden was a co-sponsor of an amendment with two Republican senators that froze for one year nearly all military and domestic spending, including cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security benefits.

Pressed by Ms. Hylton after his inaccurate denial, Mr. Biden said that his proposal came “in the context of we saved Social Security during the Reagan administration” and noted that Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, a liberal stalwart, voted for the plan.

When President Ronald Reagan entered office in 1981, Social Security was running low on funding and Mr. Reagan did propose to make deep cuts to benefits. But he ultimately endorsed and signed bipartisan legislation in 1983 — which Mr. Biden and Mr. Kennedy both voted for — to assure the fund’s continuing solvency. Changes included postponing cost-of-living adjustments, and the Biden campaign said that the former vice president was referring to this episode.

“It is easy to believe Biden thought minor cuts in the program in the short run would represent a better outcome than the much bigger cuts President Reagan and his advisers seemed to favor,” Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said. “In those days, ‘compromise’ was not a dirty word in the eyes of most members of Congress.”

Mr. Biden’s own freeze plan, though, came “well after the Social Security rescue was over,” said Paul C. Light, a professor at New York University who wrote a book on the 1983 effort.

Rather, the plan was another step in a decades-long “mating dance between centrist Democrats and Republicans to come up with a grand bargain on the deficit,” said Eric Laursen, author of “The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan.”

Mr. Biden said as much in April 1984, as he decried “gargantuan deficits” and argued that not accepting a one-year freeze to cost-of-living adjustments would lead to a “a fundamental debate over whether or not there should be COLAs in Social Security” at all. The amendment that he co-sponsored ultimately failed by a vote of 65 to 33 (Mr. Kennedy voted against it).

Mr. Biden’s overall record on Social Security includes both actions that would slow or reduce spending and those that would protect benefits.

He voted for an amendment in 1995 to require a balanced federal budget that he and other Democrats warned would endanger the Social Security fund. He supported raising the eligibility age for Social Security in 2007. And he brokered a deal with Republican lawmakers in 2010 that extended the Bush-era tax cuts and created a holiday for the payroll tax, which funds Social Security, that temporarily reduced the tax by two percentage points.

But Mr. Biden also voted for an amendment to that balanced budget legislation in 1995 that would have excluded Social Security from its aims. From 2001 to 2008, he repeatedly voted against privatizing Social Security and for improving the trust fund’s solvency, according to the Alliance for Retired Americans, an affiliate of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. that represents union retirees. In 2008, Mr. Biden’s last year in the Senate, he received a lifetime score of 96 out of 100 from the group. He spoke out against Social Security privatization in the 2012 vice-presidential debate and his current plan vows to protect the safety net.

What Was Said

Lauren Kelley, New York Times Editorial Board member: “You also originally argued for greater exemptions to the contraception mandate in Obamacare. So I think there’s some concern out there —”

Mr. Biden: “No, I didn’t, by the way.”
— in an interview with The New York Times Editorial Board published Jan. 17

This is disputed. The Obama administration announced in January 2012 a rule requiring most insurance plans to cover birth control free of charge, including for the employees of hospitals, schools and charities run by Catholic groups.

The making of the rule sparked an internal debate in the White House. Reporting from news outlets cast Mr. Biden as part of the camp arguing for a less stringent rule.

According to ABC News and Bloomberg, the vice president and William Daley, then the chief of staff to President Barack Obama, warned of the political fallout with Catholic voters who backed Mr. Obama in the 2008 election and argued that the issue would be framed as an attack on religious liberty. The Times reported that officials had initially sought a year to work out a compromise, but “a group of advisers had bested Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and others and sold the president on a stricter rule.”

The announcement fueled a fierce backlash from Catholic organizations and Republicans. As the Obama administration contemplated the fallout, Mr. Biden did not publicly oppose or defend the rule, but hinted during a radio interview that it would be softened.

“There’s going to be a significant attempt to work this out, and there’s time to do that,” he said on Feb. 9, 2012. “And as a practicing Catholic, you know, I am of the view that this can be worked out and should be worked out and I think the president, I know the president, feels the same way.”

Mr. Biden also said in the interview that the administration wanted to “make sure women who need access to birth control are not denied that,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

A day later, the administration revised the rule to shift the responsibility of providing contraception to insurers, rather than the religiously affiliated institutions themselves.

what the facts are

What Was Said

Ms. Hylton: “Why is Senator Sanders leading you with voters under age 35?”

Mr. Biden: “He is not leading me with black voters under the age — look, just all I know is, I am leading everybody, combined, with black voters.”
— at the Brown & Black forum

This is exaggerated. Mr. Biden is correct that in most polls, he leads Democratic candidates among black voters overall, but he is wrong to deny Senator Bernie Sanders’ edge with younger African Americans.

A January poll conducted by The Washington Post and Ipsos, a nonpartisan research firm, found that Mr. Biden held a wide lead among black Democrats with 48 percent support, but Mr. Sanders led with those between age 18 and 34 at 42 percent while Mr. Biden placed second at 30 percent.

An Ipsos survey conducted with Vice this month asked black Americans who they would consider voting for and found that 56 percent would consider voting for Mr. Sanders and 54 percent for Mr. Biden, a statistical tie. Among those between ages 18 and 34, Mr. Sanders’ support increased to 81 percent compared with 65 percent for Mr. Biden, according to a breakdown provided by Chris Jackson, the vice president of Ipsos Public Affairs.

In a poll by the political action committee BlackPac and released in December, Mr. Biden led all black voters with 38 percent, but trailed Mr. Sanders in support among black voters between ages 18 and 24 at 14 percent compared to 30 percent for Mr. Sanders. Support for the two candidates was nearly identical among black voters between the ages of 25 and 39, with 24 percent supporting Mr. Biden and 25 percent supporting Mr. Sanders.

The Sanders campaign also pointed to an array of surveys demonstrating the same generational gap: a fall poll from Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics where Mr. Sanders was the first choice of black voters between ages 18 and 29, a January poll from Chegg Media Center where Mr. Sanders led with black college students with 43 percent and a September survey from Essence Magazine where Mr. Sanders had the most support of black women between ages 18 and 34 with 19 percent.

What Was Said

“I was involved in the civil rights movement.”
— at the Brown & Black forum

This is exaggerated. Over his long political career, Mr. Biden has occasionally suggested he played a greater role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s than he actually did. While there are accounts of Mr. Biden participating in a few desegregation events, he has also said he would not consider himself an activist in the movement.

Mr. Biden has said that he protested a segregated movie theater in demonstrations in Wilmington, Del. at the Rialto Theater in the early 1960s. His account is backed by a former president of the state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a former president of the Delaware A.F.L.-C.I.O.

A 1987 edition of “Current Biography Yearbook,” a magazine that profiles American figures, noted that Mr. Biden had participated in “anti-segregation sit-ins at Wilmington’s Town Theatre during his high school years.”

During his first bid for president, Mr. Biden wrongly said in 1987 that he had “marched with tens of thousands of others” in the civil rights movement. Later, a spokesman for Mr. Biden clarified that he had participated in actions to “desegregate one restaurant and one movie theater.” Mr. Biden himself conceded that “I was not an activist.”

“I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Del. I was involved in what they were thinking, what they were feeling. But I was not out marching,” he said in a news conference that fall. “I was not down in Selma. I was not anywhere else. I was a suburbanite kid who got a dose of exposure to what was happening to black Americans.”

He struck a similar tone in interviews with the journalist Jules Witcover, who wrote the book “Joe Biden: A Life of Trial and Redemption.”

“I didn’t do any big deal, but I marched a couple of times to desegregate the movie theaters in downtown Wilmington,” Mr. Biden said in the book. But he acknowledged that “I wasn’t part of any great movement.”

what the facts are

What Was Said

“The president showed up, met with them, gave him legitimacy, weakened these sanctions we have against him.”
— at the Democratic presidential debate in January

This is misleading. Mr. Biden is referring to Mr. Trump’s efforts to engage diplomatically with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. There is a widespread consensus that the president’s willingness to meet with him provided Mr. Kim with additional credibility at home and abroad without giving the United States and its allies much in return.

At the same time, Mr. Trump’s meetings with the North Koreans have increased support from China and Russia for easing United Nations sanctions on North Korea, as the Biden campaign pointed out. Soo Kim, a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, a research group, pointed out that South Korea has also recently been testing the waters for securing sanctions relief for its northern neighbor.

But the Trump administration itself has not lifted the United States’ own sanctions and has opposed the calls from China and Russia to ease the international sanctions.

“As far as I know, sanctions have not been eased,” said Jim Walsh of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Certainly the international U.N. sanctions continue unabated, and I am unaware of any significant sanctions relief granted by the administration.”

A spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said Mr. Biden’s statement was inaccurate and that the agency “has sanctioned 261 individuals and entities under its North Korea authorities, accounting for more than half of North Korea-related sanctions ever imposed.”

Nearly every month from March 2017 to March 2018, the department announced sanctions on North Korean nationals and companies, as well people and entities around the world linked to North Korea. After Mr. Trump’s summit with Mr. Kim in Singapore in June 2018, Treasury imposed more sanctions in August, September, October, November and December of that year.

In March 2019, shortly after Mr. Trump met again with Mr. Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, the president issued a confusing statement on Twitter announcing that he had rolled back newly imposed sanctions on North Korea, though restrictions announced a day earlier on two Chinese companies linked to North Korea were not actually revoked. The White House press secretary at the time, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, explained that Mr. Trump “doesn’t feel it’s necessary to add additional sanctions at this time.”

A month later, Mr. Trump said the sanctions on North Korea are “at a fair level” and should remain in place. More were announced in June, August and September. The United States opposed lifting United Nations sanctions on North Korea in December and sanctioned two more entities January.

Mr. Biden’s theory that Mr. Trump’s personal appeals to Mr. Kim has weakened the resolve of other countries to enforce sanctions is a matter of interpretation.

This line of argument “was trotted out every time Obama engaged in diplomacy,” Mr. Walsh said. “We don’t know if diplomacy with North Korea has had the effect of reducing the impact of sanctions. Maybe. But as with all things North Korea, it’s hard to say.”

Curious about the accuracy of a claim? Email factcheck@nytimes.com.

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‘Good Not to Be In Washington’: Senators Return to Iowa for Burst of Campaigning

Westlake Legal Group 25dems06-facebookJumbo ‘Good Not to Be In Washington’: Senators Return to Iowa for Burst of Campaigning United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Midterm Elections (2018) Endorsements Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Axne, Cindy

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar dashed back to Iowa for a frenzied burst of campaigning on Saturday after a week in which they were confined to Washington for the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Their appearances took place amid signs of growing strength in Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, particularly a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely caucusgoers released Saturday that showed him leading the field in Iowa. Given the fears of some Democrats that he could be portrayed as too far to the left to defeat Mr. Trump, his show of strength is likely to alarm some of his detractors as much as it pleases his own supporters coming so close to the Feb. 3 caucuses.

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign sent a fund-raising email on Saturday warning that “Bernie Sanders could be the nominee of our party,” followed by another email that cast doubt on Mr. Sanders’s ability to beat Mr. Trump. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a tweet took an implicit jab at Mr. Sanders over his campaign’s promotion of an endorsement from Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host who has been criticized for comments he has made on race and about transgender people.

Mr. Sanders, sounding a bit congested, made it to Iowa in time to attend a rally in Marshalltown with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the filmmaker Michael Moore.

He made no mention of his poll showing, but he didn’t have to.

“We’re taking on the establishment, and the establishment is getting a little bit nervous,” he told a modest but enthusiastic crowd.

But he did take a swipe at the impeachment trial for scrambling his campaign plans.

“As you well know, we have had to radically change our schedule in the last week — kind of toss it into the garbage can and begin anew,” he said. “But we are going to be back here in Iowa in the next week every moment that we possibly can.”

Mr. Sanders plans to hold events across the northwestern part of Iowa on Sunday before the trial resumes on Monday.

Before he settled into his familiar talking points, Mr. Sanders also issued something of a warning, suggesting he was aware of the renewed attacks from rivals as he continued to display strength in Iowa and other early voting states.

“In the last week of a campaign, a lot of stuff is going to be thrown around — that’s what happens in campaigns,” he said. “But I would hope that this state, New Hampshire and the country does not lose focus on what are the most important issues.”

The day also brought good news for Ms. Warren, who returned to Iowa for the first time since the impeachment trial with a town-hall-style event at a middle school in Muscatine. “Good not to be in Washington,” she told reporters.

She was working her way through her selfie picture line when the news broke that she had received the coveted endorsement of The Des Moines Register. In other endorsements Saturday, The New Hampshire Union Leader backed Ms. Klobuchar, and The Sioux City Journal in Iowa gave its support to Mr. Biden.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, who has struggled to gain traction in the primary race and has also been tethered to Washington because of the impeachment trial, traveled to New Hampshire on Saturday and planned to campaign there through the weekend.

Two other leading contenders, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg, were not stuck in Washington this past week. Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., arrived in Iowa for the beginning of a 10-day sprint across the state before the caucuses. His first stop was a town-hall-style event before about 300 people inside of an old opera house in Fort Dodge.

Mr. Buttigieg began his remarks by reminding the audience that, after 13 months of candidate events, they were in “the final days” of the race in which he has outlasted a handful of adversaries who began the race better-known and better financed than the mayor of South Bend.

After a town-hall-style event in Storm Lake, he was asked about his campaign’s reference to Mr. Sanders in one of the fund-raising emails as “a risk we can’t take.”

“I believe that we should be very mindful that one of the worst risks we can take at a time like this is to recycle the same Washington-style political warfare that brought us to this point,” he said. “If we believe it’s important to win, then the best thing we can do is put forward a candidate who offers something new, something different and something that will break us through the dynamics that have gotten us into this era that’s just got to change.”

Mr. Biden flew to Iowa after beginning his day with an event in Salem, N.H. Speaking in an elementary school gym, Mr. Biden alluded to the impeachment trial that is playing out in Washington and reminded the crowd that he had come under relentless attack from Mr. Trump.

“My guess if you go back and turn your TV on today, you’re going to find the name ‘Biden’ mentioned many, many, many times,” Mr. Biden said. “I wonder why he doesn’t want to run against me.”

Mr. Biden also received a boost on Saturday when he picked up the endorsement of Representative Cindy Axne of Iowa, a freshman Democrat who unseated a Republican incumbent.

“He is who I believe is the one sure bet to beat Donald Trump,” Ms. Axne said in an interview.

Ms. Axne hails from the kind of swing district that was key to the party’s takeover of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, and will be crucial to its continued control of the chamber.

Ms. Axne appeared with Mr. Biden on Saturday night at an event in her district in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines.

“It’s not just that Joe’s been there, and he’s been in the Situation Room,” she told the crowd in Ankeny. “We also need somebody who’s running on a message of hope, a message of unification of this country.”

Mr. Biden has now been endorsed by two of Iowa’s three Democrats in Congress. Representative Abby Finkenauer, another freshman who flipped a Republican-held seat in 2018, endorsed him in early January. The state’s other House Democrat, Representative Dave Loebsack, has endorsed Mr. Buttigieg.

Ms. Axne’s district includes Iowa’s most populous city, Des Moines, and covers the southwestern corner of the state. President Barack Obama won the district in 2012, but Mr. Trump carried it in 2016. Two years later, in the midterm elections, Ms. Axne unseated a two-term Republican, David Young.

Ms. Axne said she believed that Mr. Biden would drive turnout in districts like hers, and emphasized the importance of protecting the Democratic majority in the House.

She also nodded to what she suggested was Mr. Biden’s broad appeal. “I truly believe that there are Iowans that would have some difficulty with some of the positions by other people running in this party,” she said.

Sydney Ember reported from Marshalltown, and Thomas Kaplan from Salem, N.H. Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting from Muscatine, Iowa; Reid J. Epstein from Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Maggie Astor from Ankeny, Iowa.

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Freed From Washington, Senators Return to Iowa for Burst of Campaigning

Westlake Legal Group 25dems06-facebookJumbo Freed From Washington, Senators Return to Iowa for Burst of Campaigning United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Midterm Elections (2018) Endorsements Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Axne, Cindy

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa — Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar dashed back to Iowa for a frenzied burst of campaigning on Saturday after a week in which they were confined to Washington for the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Their appearances took place amid signs of growing strength in Mr. Sanders’s candidacy, particularly a New York Times/Siena College poll of likely caucusgoers released Saturday that showed him leading the field in Iowa. Given his base in the party’s most progressive wing, his show of strength was reflected equally in his camp and in that of his opponents ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses.

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign sent a fund-raising email on Saturday warning that “Bernie Sanders could be the nominee of our party,” followed by another email that cast doubt on Mr. Sanders’s ability to beat Mr. Trump. And former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a tweet took an implicit jab at Mr. Sanders over his campaign’s promotion of an endorsement from Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host who has been criticized for comments he has made on race and about transgender people.

Mr. Sanders, sounding a bit congested, made it to Iowa in time to attend a rally in Marshalltown with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and the filmmaker Michael Moore.

He made no mention of his poll showing, but he didn’t have to.

“We’re taking on the establishment, and the establishment is getting a little bit nervous,” he told a modest but enthusiastic crowd.

But he did take a swipe at the impeachment trial for scrambling his campaign plans.

“As you well know, we have had to radically change our schedule in the last week — kind of toss it into the garbage can and begin anew,” he said. “But we are going to be back here in Iowa in the next week every moment that we possibly can.”

Mr. Sanders plans to hold events across the northwestern part of Iowa on Sunday before the trial resumes on Monday.

Before he settled into his familiar talking points, Mr. Sanders also issued something of a warning, suggesting he was aware of the renewed attacks from rivals as he continued to display strength in Iowa and other early voting states.

“In the last week of a campaign, a lot of stuff is going to be thrown around — that’s what happens in campaigns,” he said. “But I would hope that this state, New Hampshire and the country does not lose focus on what are the most important issues.”

The day also brought good news for Ms. Warren, who returned to Iowa for the first time since the impeachment trial with a town-hall-style event at a middle school in Muscatine. “Good not to be in Washington,” she told reporters.

She was working her way through her selfie picture line when the news broke that she had received the coveted endorsement of The Des Moines Register.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, who has struggled to gain traction in the primary race and has also been tethered to Washington because of the impeachment trial, traveled to New Hampshire on Saturday and planned to campaign there through the weekend.

Two other leading contenders, Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg, were not stuck in Washington this past week. Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., arrived in Iowa for the beginning of a 10-day sprint across the state before the caucuses. His first stop was a town-hall-style event before about 300 people inside of an old opera house in Fort Dodge.

Mr. Buttigieg began his remarks by reminding the audience that, after 13 months of candidate events, they were in “the final days” of the race in which he has outlasted a handful of adversaries who began the race better-known and better financed than the mayor of South Bend.

After a town-hall-style event in Storm Lake, he was asked about his campaign’s reference in one of the fund-raising emails to Mr. Sanders as “a risk we can’t take.”

“I believe that we should be very mindful that one of the worst risks we can take at a time like this is to recycle the same Washington-style political warfare that brought us to this point,” he said. “If we believe it’s important to win, then the best thing we can do is put forward a candidate who offers something new, something different and something that will break us through the dynamics that have gotten us into this era that’s just got to change.”

Mr. Biden flew to Iowa after beginning his day with an event in Salem, N.H. Speaking in an elementary school gym, Mr. Biden alluded to the impeachment trial that is playing out in Washington and reminded the crowd that he had come under relentless attack from Mr. Trump.

“My guess if you go back and turn your TV on today, you’re going to find the name ‘Biden’ mentioned many, many, many times,” Mr. Biden said. “I wonder why he doesn’t want to run against me.”

Mr. Biden also received a boost on Saturday when he picked up the endorsement of Representative Cindy Axne of Iowa, a freshman Democrat who unseated a Republican incumbent.

“He is who I believe is the one sure bet to beat Donald Trump,” Ms. Axne said in an interview, describing Mr. Biden as “a person who can bridge the divisiveness in this country.”

Ms. Axne hails from the kind of swing district that was key to the party’s takeover of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, and will be crucial to its continued control of the chamber.

Ms. Axne appeared with Mr. Biden on Saturday night at an event in her district in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines.

“It’s not just that Joe’s been there, and he’s been in the Situation Room,” she told the crowd in Ankeny. “We also need somebody who’s running on a message of hope, a message of unification of this country.”

Mr. Biden has now been endorsed by two of Iowa’s three Democrats in Congress. Representative Abby Finkenauer, another freshman who flipped a Republican-held seat in 2018, endorsed him in early January. The state’s other House Democrat, Representative Dave Loebsack, has endorsed Mr. Buttigieg.

Ms. Axne’s district includes Iowa’s most populous city, Des Moines, and covers the southwestern corner of the state. President Barack Obama won the district in 2012, but Mr. Trump carried it in 2016. Two years later, in the midterm elections, Ms. Axne unseated a two-term Republican, David Young.

Ms. Axne said she believed that Mr. Biden would drive turnout in districts like hers, and emphasized the importance of protecting the Democratic majority in the House.

She also nodded to what she suggested was Mr. Biden’s broad appeal. “I truly believe that there are Iowans that would have some difficulty with some of the positions by other people running in this party,” she said.

Sydney Ember reported from Marshalltown, and Thomas Kaplan from Salem, N.H. Shane Goldmacher contributed reporting from Muscatine, Iowa; Reid J. Epstein from Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Maggie Astor from Ankeny, Iowa.

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Cindy Axne, Congresswoman From Iowa Swing District, Endorses Joe Biden

Westlake Legal Group 25dems-facebookJumbo Cindy Axne, Congresswoman From Iowa Swing District, Endorses Joe Biden United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Midterm Elections (2018) Endorsements Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr Axne, Cindy

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Representative Cindy Axne of Iowa is endorsing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., giving him another prominent backer with just over a week until the state’s caucuses.

Ms. Axne, a freshman Democrat who unseated a Republican incumbent, hails from the kind of swing district that was key to the party’s takeover of the House in the 2018 midterm elections, and will be crucial to its continued control of the chamber.

“He is who I believe is the one sure bet to beat Donald Trump,” Ms. Axne said in an interview, describing him as “a person who can bridge the divisiveness in this country.”

Mr. Biden has now been endorsed by two of Iowa’s three Democrats in Congress. Representative Abby Finkenauer, another freshman who also flipped a Republican-held seat in 2018, endorsed him in early January. The state’s other House Democrat, Representative Dave Loebsack, has endorsed former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

The endorsement comes as campaigning in the presidential primary resumes in force, after a week in which the senators who are running were confined to Washington for the impeachment trial of President Trump. After an abbreviated impeachment session on Saturday, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar were scheduled to fly to Iowa to resume their courting of the state’s Democrats, who will start the nominating process on Feb. 3 with caucuses across the state.

Ms. Axne is set to appear with Mr. Biden on Saturday night when he holds a campaign event in her district in Ankeny, a suburb of Des Moines. Earlier Saturday, Mr. Biden was scheduled to hold an event in Salem, N.H., before flying to Iowa.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Biden stresses the importance of choosing a Democratic presidential nominee who will help candidates down the ballot, and he frequently cites his efforts campaigning for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections, when the party won control of the House.

“Who do they most want to run with?” Mr. Biden said in Claremont, N.H., on Friday, noting the importance of keeping control of the House. “Who will most help them from the top of the ticket? That’s for you to decide. Obviously, I think I’m the guy.”

Ms. Axne’s district includes Iowa’s most populous city, Des Moines, and covers the southwestern corner of the state. President Barack Obama won the district in 2012, but Mr. Trump carried it in 2016. Two years later, in the midterm elections, Ms. Axne unseated Representative David Young, a two-term Republican.

Ms. Axne said she believed that Mr. Biden would drive turnout in districts like hers, and emphasized the importance of protecting the Democratic majority in the House.

“Any message that doesn’t focus on hope and bringing this country together, that doesn’t have solid pragmatic solutions to solve the issues that we’re seeing today, if we don’t have somebody who has that type of message, I do believe it could hurt folks like us,” she said.

She also nodded to what she suggested was Mr. Biden’s broad appeal. “I truly believe that there are Iowans that would have some difficulty with some of the positions by other people running in this party,” she said.

Mr. Biden campaigned in Iowa this past week with another House member from a swing district, Representative Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania. This weekend, Ms. Finkenauer, Representative Colin Allred of Texas and Representative Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania are scheduled to campaign for Mr. Biden in the state in what his campaign is billing as a “We Know Joe” tour.

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A Major Fear for Democrats: Will the Party Come Together by November?

FORT DODGE, Iowa — Democrats have always represented a cacophonous array of individuals and interests, but the so-called big tent is now stretching over a constituency so unwieldy that it’s easy to understand why voters remain torn this close to Iowa, where no clear front-runner has emerged.

The party’s voters are splintered across generational, racial and ideological lines, prompting some liberals to express reluctance about rallying behind a moderate presidential nominee, and those closer to the political middle to voice unease with a progressive standard-bearer.

The lack of a united front has many party leaders anxious — and for good reason. In over 50 interviews across three early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — a number of Democratic primary voters expressed grave reservations about the current field of candidates, and in some cases a clear reluctance to vote for a nominee who was too liberal or too centrist for their tastes.

As she walked out of a campaign event for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in Fort Dodge this week, Barbara Birkett said she was leaning toward caucusing for Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and dismissed the notion of even considering the two progressives in the race, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“No, I’m more of a Republican and that’s just a little bit too far to the left for me,” Ms. Birkett, a retiree. She said that she’d like to support a Democrat this November because of her disdain for Mr. Trump but that Mr. Sanders would “be a hard one.”

Elsewhere on the increasingly broad Democratic spectrum, Pete Doyle, who attended a Sanders rally in Manchester, N.H., last weekend, had a ready answer when asked about voting for Mr. Biden: “Never in a million years.” He said that if Mr. Biden won the nomination, he would either vote for a third-party nominee or sit out the general election.

Westlake Legal Group primary-election-guide-promostill-articleLarge A Major Fear for Democrats: Will the Party Come Together by November? Warren, Elizabeth Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Biden, Joseph R Jr

Ready, Set, Vote: Here’s Everything You Need to Know for the 2020 Primaries

The Iowa caucuses are around the corner. As you get ready for primary season, take a look at our cheat sheet on the race.

The uncertainty about party unity has been exacerbated in recent days by clashes among the Democratic candidates, as well as one involving a prominent party leader.

Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have accused one another of lying about a private conversation in 2018 over whether a woman could become president; Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden have attacked each other over Social Security and corruption; and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, has come off the sidelines to stoke her rivalry with Mr. Sanders, declaring that “nobody likes him.”

The lack of consensus among Democratic voters, 10 days before the presidential nominating primary begins with Iowa caucuses, has led some party leaders to make unusually fervent and early pleas for unity. On Monday alone, a pair of influential Democratic congressmen issued strikingly similar warnings to very different audiences in very different states.

“We get down to November, there’s only going to be one nominee,” Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking House Democrat, said at a ceremony for Martin Luther King’s Birthday at the State House in Columbia. “Nobody can afford to get so angry because your first choice did not win. If you stay home in November, you are going to get Trump back.”

“No matter who our nominee is, we can’t make the mistake that we made in ’16,” Representative Dave Loebsack of Iowa said that night in Cedar Rapids as he introduced his preferred 2020 candidate, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., at a town hall meeting. “We all got to get behind that person so we can get Donald Trump out of office,” Mr. Loebsack added.

In interviews, Democratic leaders say they believe the party’s fights over such politically fraught issues as treasured entitlement programs, personal integrity, and gender and electability could hand Mr. Trump and foreign actors ammunition with which to depress turnout for their standard-bearer.

“I am concerned about facing another disinformation campaign from the other side,” said Representative Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, a Biden supporter who was uneasy enough that he recently sought out high-profile congressional backers of some of the other contenders to discuss an eventual détente. “For those of us who are elected officials, we need to exercise real leadership to make sure all of the camps are immediately united after all this is over.”

Most Democrats believe that the deep revulsion their party’s voters and activists share for Mr. Trump will ultimately help heal primary season wounds and rally support behind whoever emerges as the nominee. “If it means getting rid of Donald Trump, they would swallow Attila the Hun,” State Representative Todd Rutherford, the Democratic leader of the South Carolina House, said of his party’s rank-and-file.

And some leading Democrats were less worried about recovering from the cut-and-thrust of the primary fights than figuring out how to address the deep fissures within their coalition that this race has exposed.

“The Democrats cover everybody from Bernie to Bloomberg and that does present a real problem in terms of making a decision,” said former Gov. Jerry Brown of California, himself a former presidential hopeful, referring to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York. “It’s not blendable at this point. And if the division continues you’re not going to get a first-ballot candidate.”

The political and cultural distance between the two leading Democratic candidates, Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders, is easy enough to grasp from their events.

A rally for Mr. Sanders in Exeter, N.H., last weekend featured the actor John Cusack, who introduced his candidate by invoking left-wing writers like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn and denouncing neoliberalism and imperialism.

The event had few of the trappings of Mr. Biden’s events, like the Pledge of Allegiance and a call for blessings upon the American military and the restoration of consensus and comity in Washington. The former vice president does not ask his audiences to raise their hands if they know anyone arrested for marijuana possession, as Mr. Sanders usually does.

Vivid as the surface differences are between Mr. Sanders and Mr. Biden, what’s even more revealing are the views that emerge in polling and conversations with their supporters.

A new CNN survey showed that about as many Democrats under 50 would be upset or dissatisfied with Mr. Biden as the nominee as they would be enthusiastic. And among those older than 65, views were even starker about Mr. Sanders: just 23 percent said they’d be enthusiastic about him while 33 percent said they’d be upset or dissatisfied.

Mr. Sanders has tried to bolster his standing with older voters, and lessen their ardor for Mr. Biden, by trumpeting his support for Social Security and highlighting the former vice president’s past willingness to consider cuts to the program — a contrast Sanders supporters believe is vital given Mr. Trump’s suggestion this week that he’d pursue entitlement trims.

Interviews with Sanders supporters at his events in New Hampshire and at the King Day gathering in South Carolina revealed a group of progressive activists who were as dedicated to him as they were in 2016 — and who were uneasy about his rivals, especially Mr. Biden. That was borne out in a new poll of New Hampshire primary voters this week from Suffolk University, which indicated that nearly a quarter of the Vermont senator’s supporters would not commit to backing the party’s nominee if it was not Mr. Sanders.

That number could drop by November if Mr. Sanders does not win the nomination: research shows that most of Mr. Sanders’s supporters eventually rallied to Mrs. Clinton against Mr. Trump. Yet it would not necessarily happen easily, especially if Mr. Sanders’s supporters believe he’s been treated unfairly by the party.

Many Sanders supporters who said they would grudgingly support one of his rivals against Mr. Trump quickly added that that’s all they’d do, ruling out doing the volunteer work that is the lifeblood of all campaigns.

“I just couldn’t morally,” Laura Satkowski said, explaining why she would not canvass or make phone calls on behalf of Mr. Biden. “I don’t like his policies.”

Some pro-Sanders households are mixed.

Michelle McKay and her partner, Bill Davis, came to the South Carolina State House from their home in Raleigh, N.C., she wearing a vest festooned with Sanders buttons, to show their support for their candidate.

“Hell no,” Ms. McKay said about the prospect of backing Mr. Biden. Reminded that North Carolina could be a pivotal state in the general election, she said: “I don’t care. My vote is not going to an establishment Democrat.”

Mr. Davis, though, said that while he didn’t want to vote for anybody besides Mr. Sanders, he’d cast a ballot for any Democrat against Mr. Trump. “I think the party will come together,” he said, as Ms. McKay looked on unconvinced.

For many Democratic leaders, the hope for party unity rests on shared loathing of Mr. Trump. His divisive record and conduct in office helped propel Democrats to a new House majority in 2018 and a number of governorships in the last three years.

Yet while his astonishing election and often demagogic politics have accelerated the rise of the left, energizing a new generation of progressives and socialists, Mr. Trump’s presidency has also enlarged the moderate wing of the party, creating a slice of de facto Democrats among the Republicans and right-leaning independents who cannot abide him.

Phil Richardson, a farmer who came to the Biden event in Fort Dodge with his wife, Christy, said he’d be happy to vote for Mr. Sanders.

But Mr. Richardson said his worry is that others in his community would find it harder to support somebody so liberal.

“I’ve had some of my farmer friends tell me they could probably live with Biden but he couldn’t go for Bernie,” he said.

Over in Dubuque, Iowa, Ron Davis said flatly that he’d support Mr. Trump if Mr. Sanders was the nominee.

An Ames, Iowa, native who now lives in suburban Detroit, Mr. Davis and his wife, Barbara Rom, are retirees traversing Iowa as political tourists this week — “candidate groupies,” he called them — and trying to decide who to support in Michigan’s primary in March.

On Wednesday they came to the University of Dubuque to see Mr. Buttigieg, who impressed Mr. Davis. Mr. Sanders, however, would be “too radical a change,” he said. Ms. Rom said she’d back Mr. Sanders if it meant defeating Mr. Trump.

If it all seems messy, and the party hopelessly fragmented, that’s for good reason, said Kathleen Sebelius, the former Kansas governor and health and human services secretary who grew up in Democratic politics as the daughter of a former Ohio governor.

“This primary is a reflection of the politics of the country at large,” Ms. Sebelius said. “There are clearly differences among people who still feel incremental change is the best way of getting things done, and folks who say we need more to pursue more radical change.”

She said she’d be more worried if Democrats didn’t have Mr. Trump as “a rallying cry,” but conceded there was no candidate on the horizon who could fully unify the party’s factions.

“There is no savior who’s going to rescue us from the current state of affairs,” she said. “We’re all going to need to save each other.”

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Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — House Democrats sought on Thursday to pre-emptively dismantle President Trump’s core defenses in his impeachment trial, invoking his own words to argue that his pressure campaign on Ukraine was an abuse of power that warranted his removal.

On the second day of arguments in the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, Democrats sought to make the case that Mr. Trump’s actions were an affront to the Constitution. And they worked to disprove his lawyers’ claims that he was acting only in the nation’s interests when he sought to enlist Ukraine to investigate political rivals.

In doing so, they took a calculated risk in talking at length about Mr. Trump’s targets — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden — and underscored the political backdrop of a trial that is unfolding only 10 months before the election and is likely to reverberate long after the verdict.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, said in an impassioned appeal as the clock ticked past 10 p.m. “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

The team of seven Democratic impeachment managers repeatedly attacked the idea that when the president withheld military aid from Ukraine and sought to secure a promise to investigate Joseph Biden, he was merely making a foreign policy decision to root out corruption in Ukraine.

Mr. Trump has consistently suggested, without any evidence, that Mr. Biden pushed to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a long history of corruption that employed Hunter Biden on its board. Representative Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat of Texas, spent nearly an hour debunking the claim, and said that, in fact, the opposite was true.

The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was “widely perceived as corrupt,” she said, and Mr. Biden was acting in accordance with official American policy, as well as the policy of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations in calling for his removal.

Moreover, Mr. Shokin had already let the Burisma investigation “go dormant,” Ms. Garcia said, so his ouster “would only increase the chance that Burisma would be investigated for possible corruption.” She asserted that neither the elder Mr. Biden nor his son had done anything wrong, and that American officials — and Mr. Trump — knew it.

“Every single witness who was asked about the allegations again said that Biden had nothing to do with it and it was false; they testified that he acted properly,” Ms. Garcia said, adding, “There is simply no evidence, nothing, nada in the record to support this baseless allegation.”

It was, in effect, a defense of one of the Democrats’ leading 2020 presidential candidates and a potential challenger to the president. Mr. Schiff later volunteered that neither he nor his colleagues had a position on the Democratic presidential primary.

Mr. Schiff also brought Mr. Trump into the chamber — at least on video — to use the president’s own words against him, with a clip in which the president called both Bidens “corrupt” and called for Ukraine to start a “major investigation” into them.

“The president has confirmed what he wanted in his own words,” Mr. Schiff said. “He has made it clear he didn’t care about corruption, he cared only about himself. Now it is up to us to do something about it, to make sure that a president, that this president, cannot pursue an objective that places himself above our country.”

But in focusing on the Bidens, Democrats took a strategic risk. Some Republicans have already threatened to call the Bidens as witnesses, even suggesting that they would insist on hearing from them as a condition of agreeing to subpoena John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser.

Democrats have refused to consider the idea, and Mr. Biden has said he would not take part in any such swap. And on Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he would not “give in to that pressure” from some of his colleagues to do so.

But Mr. Trump’s legal team said the Bidens were now fair game in the trial.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said the Democrats’ arguments had made testimony from the Bidens vital.

“If we’re going to call witnesses,” he said, “it’s now clear we absolutely must call Hunter Biden, and we probably need to call Joe Biden.”

Mr. Trump seemed to be paying attention. At a Republican National Committee event on Thursday evening at the president’s club in Doral, Fla., he told 400 people that the proceedings were “impeachment lite” compared with the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and the case against President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s.

In laying out their case against Mr. Trump, the Democrats focused tightly on the first of two charges against him: that he abused his power by trying to compel a foreign power to help him win re-election in 2020 and withheld two official acts — the provision of $391 million in military aid and a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president — in an effort to advance his illicit scheme.

Video

transcript

House Impeachment Managers Press Case to Convict Trump

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“He has made it clear: He didn’t care about corruption. He cared only about himself.” “If he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.” “There is evidence of President Trump himself demanding that Ukraine conduct the investigations. But President Trump also delegated his authority to his political agent Rudy Giuliani to oversee and direct this scheme.” “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy. Abuse, betrayal, corruption. Here are each of the core offenses the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest and his corruption of our elections plainly qualify as great and dangerous offenses.” “Common sense would tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false and that there was no legitimate basis for any investigation. But there are several other reasons you know that the only reason President Trump wanted Ukraine to announce the investigation into Biden that was solely for his very own personal benefit.” “No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. And you know — you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election, if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” “I will assure you this. We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both fact and rebutting what they’ve said. Our job here is to defend both the president, the office of the presidency, and the Constitution. We’re going to do that. I see nothing that has changed.”

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“President Trump exploited our ally, Ukraine, for his own political benefit to the detriment of American national security,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “Is that conduct impeachable? The answer is categorically yes. The Senate must hold this president accountable for his abuse-of-power crimes against our Constitution.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: “Impeachment is not punishment for a crime. Impeachment exists to address threats to the political system.”

“Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself for a king,” he added.

Democrats expect to wrap up their case on Friday with presentations aimed at proving the second charge: that Mr. Trump obstructed Congress by withholding documents and witnesses and otherwise working to conceal his behavior. On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s defense team is expected to lay out its case.

On Thursday, Mr. Nadler drew on quotes from Alexander Hamilton; from George Washington’s farewell address; and from a 1792 letter to Thomas Jefferson from John Adams that warned of “foreign intrigue and influence” in arguing that Mr. Trump warranted impeachment and removal from office — regardless of whether he committed a crime.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Mr. Nadler said, adding, “It puts even President Nixon to shame.”

Mr. Nadler also turned to Trump allies — including Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who is assisting in the president’s defense, and Mr. Graham — to make his case, using video clips of their comments from the Clinton impeachment trial to undercut Mr. Trump’s defense.

In one clip, Mr. Graham, an impeachment manager during the Clinton trial, explained why a “high crime” — one of the criteria the Constitution sets forth for the impeachment and removal of a president — does not necessarily require breaking a law.

“When you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” Mr. Graham said.

Even before Thursday’s session got underway, it was clear that Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nadler and the other managers had not changed the minds of many Republicans. Senate Democrats were privately expressing concern that they may not get the four Republican votes they would need to bring witnesses and documents into the trial.

If they do not, the case could be over by the end of next week. Publicly, though, Democrats were putting on a good face.

“I am more hopeful than ever that four conscientious, brave Republicans will come forward and tell Mitch McConnell you can’t shut this down without witnesses, you can’t shut this down without documents,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, referring to his Republican counterpart.

The rules of the trial require senators to “keep silent, on pain of imprisonment,” and after two lengthy days of first voting on motions on Tuesday and hearing oral arguments on Wednesday, Republicans were growing weary.

Some complained that Democrats were simply reciting the same facts time and time again, more for the television viewing audience than for the audience in the chamber. Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, handed out fidget spinner toys to his colleagues, ostensibly to ease the boredom — and to deliver a not-too-subtle dig at Democrats.

“They spent a lot of time, they’re well prepared — I just don’t think they have much to work with,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “They’ve got about a one-hour presentation that they gave six hours on Tuesday and eight hours yesterday.”

But Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said the Democrats had good reason to be repetitive: Many senators — not to mention the public — did not pay close attention to the House inquiry. One Republican, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, told reporters as much on Wednesday.

“Senators didn’t know the case,” he said. “They really didn’t. We didn’t stay glued to the television. We haven’t read the transcripts.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos, Peter Baker and Catie Edmondson from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON — House Democrats sought on Thursday to pre-emptively dismantle President Trump’s core defenses in his impeachment trial, invoking his own words to argue that his pressure campaign on Ukraine was an abuse of power that warranted his removal.

On the second day of arguments in the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, Democrats sought to make the case that Mr. Trump’s actions were an affront to the Constitution. And they worked to disprove his lawyers’ claims that he was acting only in the nation’s interests when he sought to enlist Ukraine to investigate political rivals.

In doing so, they took a calculated risk in talking at length about Mr. Trump’s targets — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden — and underscored the political backdrop of a trial that is unfolding only 10 months before the election and is likely to reverberate long after the verdict.

“You know you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country — you can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, said in an impassioned appeal as the clock ticked past 10 p.m. “This is why if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Right matters and the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.”

The team of seven Democratic impeachment managers repeatedly attacked the idea that when the president withheld military aid from Ukraine and sought to secure a promise to investigate Joseph Biden, he was merely making a foreign policy decision to root out corruption in Ukraine.

Mr. Trump has consistently suggested, without any evidence, that Mr. Biden pushed to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company with a long history of corruption that employed Hunter Biden on its board. Representative Sylvia R. Garcia, Democrat of Texas, spent nearly an hour debunking the claim, and said that, in fact, the opposite was true.

The prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was “widely perceived as corrupt,” she said, and Mr. Biden was acting in accordance with official American policy, as well as the policy of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations in calling for his removal.

Moreover, Mr. Shokin had already let the Burisma investigation “go dormant,” Ms. Garcia said, so his ouster “would only increase the chance that Burisma would be investigated for possible corruption.” She asserted that neither the elder Mr. Biden nor his son had done anything wrong, and that American officials — and Mr. Trump — knew it.

“Every single witness who was asked about the allegations again said that Biden had nothing to do with it and it was false; they testified that he acted properly,” Ms. Garcia said, adding, “There is simply no evidence, nothing, nada in the record to support this baseless allegation.”

It was, in effect, a defense of one of the Democrats’ leading 2020 presidential candidates and a potential challenger to the president. Mr. Schiff later volunteered that neither he nor his colleagues had a position on the Democratic presidential primary.

Mr. Schiff also brought Mr. Trump into the chamber — at least on video — to use the president’s own words against him, with a clip in which the president called both Bidens “corrupt” and called for Ukraine to start a “major investigation” into them.

“The president has confirmed what he wanted in his own words,” Mr. Schiff said. “He has made it clear he didn’t care about corruption, he cared only about himself. Now it is up to us to do something about it, to make sure that a president, that this president, cannot pursue an objective that places himself above our country.”

But in focusing on the Bidens, Democrats took a strategic risk. Some Republicans have already threatened to call the Bidens as witnesses, even suggesting that they would insist on hearing from them as a condition of agreeing to subpoena John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser.

Democrats have refused to consider the idea, and Mr. Biden has said he would not take part in any such swap. And on Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said he would not “give in to that pressure” from some of his colleagues to do so.

But Mr. Trump’s legal team said the Bidens were now fair game in the trial.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said the Democrats’ arguments had made testimony from the Bidens vital.

“If we’re going to call witnesses,” he said, “it’s now clear we absolutely must call Hunter Biden, and we probably need to call Joe Biden.”

Mr. Trump seemed to be paying attention. At a Republican National Committee event on Thursday evening at the president’s club in Doral, Fla., he told 400 people that the proceedings were “impeachment lite” compared with the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999 and the case against President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s.

In laying out their case against Mr. Trump, the Democrats focused tightly on the first of two charges against him: that he abused his power by trying to compel a foreign power to help him win re-election in 2020 and withheld two official acts — the provision of $391 million in military aid and a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president — in an effort to advance his illicit scheme.

Video

transcript

House Impeachment Managers Press Case to Convict Trump

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“He has made it clear: He didn’t care about corruption. He cared only about himself.” “If he is willing to listen to his personal lawyer over his own intelligence agencies, his own advisers, then you can imagine what a danger that presents to this country.” “There is evidence of President Trump himself demanding that Ukraine conduct the investigations. But President Trump also delegated his authority to his political agent Rudy Giuliani to oversee and direct this scheme.” “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy. Abuse, betrayal, corruption. Here are each of the core offenses the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest and his corruption of our elections plainly qualify as great and dangerous offenses.” “Common sense would tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false and that there was no legitimate basis for any investigation. But there are several other reasons you know that the only reason President Trump wanted Ukraine to announce the investigation into Biden that was solely for his very own personal benefit.” “No Constitution can protect us if right doesn’t matter anymore. And you know — you can’t trust this president to do what’s right for this country. You can trust he will do what’s right for Donald Trump. He’ll do it now. He’s done it before. He’ll do it for the next several months. He’ll do it in the election, if he’s allowed to. This is why, if you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters. Because right matters. And the truth matters. Otherwise we are lost.” “I will assure you this. We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both fact and rebutting what they’ve said. Our job here is to defend both the president, the office of the presidency, and the Constitution. We’re going to do that. I see nothing that has changed.”

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-liveblog-managers-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Democrats Seek to Pre-empt Trump’s Defense in Impeachment Trial United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 House of Representatives Democratic Party Constitution (US) Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

“If you find him guilty, you must find that he should be removed”: Representative Adam Schiff and the other House managers continued making their opening arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial, as his lawyers prepared their defense.

“President Trump exploited our ally, Ukraine, for his own political benefit to the detriment of American national security,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York. “Is that conduct impeachable? The answer is categorically yes. The Senate must hold this president accountable for his abuse-of-power crimes against our Constitution.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said: “Impeachment is not punishment for a crime. Impeachment exists to address threats to the political system.”

“Impeachment is the Constitution’s final answer to a president who mistakes himself for a king,” he added.

Democrats expect to wrap up their case on Friday with presentations aimed at proving the second charge: that Mr. Trump obstructed Congress by withholding documents and witnesses and otherwise working to conceal his behavior. On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s defense team is expected to lay out its case.

On Thursday, Mr. Nadler drew on quotes from Alexander Hamilton; from George Washington’s farewell address; and from a 1792 letter to Thomas Jefferson from John Adams that warned of “foreign intrigue and influence” in arguing that Mr. Trump warranted impeachment and removal from office — regardless of whether he committed a crime.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Mr. Nadler said, adding, “It puts even President Nixon to shame.”

Mr. Nadler also turned to Trump allies — including Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law professor who is assisting in the president’s defense, and Mr. Graham — to make his case, using video clips of their comments from the Clinton impeachment trial to undercut Mr. Trump’s defense.

In one clip, Mr. Graham, an impeachment manager during the Clinton trial, explained why a “high crime” — one of the criteria the Constitution sets forth for the impeachment and removal of a president — does not necessarily require breaking a law.

“When you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” Mr. Graham said.

Even before Thursday’s session got underway, it was clear that Mr. Schiff, Mr. Nadler and the other managers had not changed the minds of many Republicans. Senate Democrats were privately expressing concern that they may not get the four Republican votes they would need to bring witnesses and documents into the trial.

If they do not, the case could be over by the end of next week. Publicly, though, Democrats were putting on a good face.

“I am more hopeful than ever that four conscientious, brave Republicans will come forward and tell Mitch McConnell you can’t shut this down without witnesses, you can’t shut this down without documents,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, referring to his Republican counterpart.

The rules of the trial require senators to “keep silent, on pain of imprisonment,” and after two lengthy days of first voting on motions on Tuesday and hearing oral arguments on Wednesday, Republicans were growing weary.

Some complained that Democrats were simply reciting the same facts time and time again, more for the television viewing audience than for the audience in the chamber. Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, handed out fidget spinner toys to his colleagues, ostensibly to ease the boredom — and to deliver a not-too-subtle dig at Democrats.

“They spent a lot of time, they’re well prepared — I just don’t think they have much to work with,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. “They’ve got about a one-hour presentation that they gave six hours on Tuesday and eight hours yesterday.”

But Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said the Democrats had good reason to be repetitive: Many senators — not to mention the public — did not pay close attention to the House inquiry. One Republican, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, told reporters as much on Wednesday.

“Senators didn’t know the case,” he said. “They really didn’t. We didn’t stay glued to the television. We haven’t read the transcripts.”

Reporting was contributed by Michael D. Shear, Emily Cochrane, Nicholas Fandos, Peter Baker and Catie Edmondson from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com