web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Democratic Party

With White House Absent, Impeachment Devolves Into Partisan Brawl

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo-v2 With White House Absent, Impeachment Devolves Into Partisan Brawl United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — Almost from the moment that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants decided this fall to pursue the impeachment of President Trump, they made a fateful judgment: If the president intended to do nothing but stonewall and subvert their inquiry, they were not going to be the ones politely sticking to lofty traditions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have made a similarly cold calculation. After a year of defying without consequence Congress’s attempts to investigate the president’s conduct, they have no intention of taking part in what they view as an illegitimate impeachment, initially conducted without a formal House vote in a break with recent precedent.

The clash comes to a head on Monday with a hearing in the Judiciary Committee where Democratic lawyers plan to present the case for impeaching Mr. Trump while the White House sits out the process. That will set in motion a rapid-fire set of actions likely to produce official charges against the president by week’s end and a nearly party-line vote in the full House before Christmas to impeach him.

It is an indication of how, in a deeply polarized nation where party rules above all else, a process enshrined in the Constitution as the most consequential way to address a president’s wrongdoing has devolved into another raucous partisan brawl.

“That is a tragedy,” said Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia University law professor and a leading expert on the history of impeachment. The framers of the Constitution were careful to design a process for removing a president from office that they hoped would rise above the nation’s petty political squabbles, he said.

“They did everything possible to prevent that from happening, and we are plunging headlong into it,” Mr. Bobbitt said.

Determined not to let Mr. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress derail their efforts with legal delays or time-consuming diversions, Democrats have decided it is not worth waiting for cooperation they are all but certain not to receive as they press forward to charge the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Democrats argue that they have gone out of their way to treat Mr. Trump fairly but been refused at every turn. As recently as last week, lawyers for the Judiciary Committee privately called the White House counsel’s office, urging the president’s legal team to participate in their hearings and seeking to arrange the logistics, according to Democratic officials familiar with the calls.

Lawmakers are set to begin debating articles of impeachment this week — with House Judiciary Committee members bracing for the possibility of late-night sessions in an office building near the Capitol — as they race to complete a streamlined proceeding based on their conclusion that Mr. Trump abused his power by trying to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 re-election.

Upset by the rapid pace of the inquiry and frustrated by Democratic rules he says are unfair — including the lack of subpoena power for the White House — Mr. Trump is simply refusing to engage. In a significant departure from previous impeachments, Mr. Trump’s lawyer signaled in a letter on Friday that the president would not take part in the House proceedings.

While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office.

That proceeding, however, is also full of unknowns. At a meeting with senior White House officials and senators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House almost three weeks ago, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, made clear that there are not enough Senate votes to approve some of the edgier witnesses that Democrats and Republicans want to call. While he mentioned no names, it was interpreted by those in the room to refer to people like Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, whom Mr. Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate.

In the House, though, the president is eager to see Republicans and his lawyers mount a robust assault on what he calls a “hoax” and a “scam” led by “crazy” and “dishonest” Democrats.

“What they are doing here is discrediting a system,” Mr. Bobbitt said of the White House impeachment strategy. “If the system is discredited, it cannot discredit me. It is brilliant in its way, but totally cynical and completely destructive of our values.”

Politics have always been a powerful factor in presidential impeachment inquiries, which have roiled the nation twice in the last 50 years.

But impeachment has occupied a special place in the American consciousness. Veterans of the process said there had been an understanding, even amid bouts of intense political combat, that both sides had an obligation to the Constitution that should be honored, regardless of partisan affiliation.

“No one was looking at the other side with the kind of contempt that both sides look at each other now,” said Julian Epstein, who served as the chief Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans tried to force Mr. Clinton from office.

Mr. Epstein fought fiercely to defend Mr. Clinton, but also worked closely on the process with his adversaries, including Paul J. McNulty, the chief counsel and spokesman for the committee Republicans. Mr. McNulty, now a college president, said the fight over impeachment had gone from “partisan but constructive” in 1998 to “partisan and destructive” now.

Both men said the biggest risk was that the process would get so damaged, and the personal attacks so severe, that impeachment would be seen in the future as just another partisan weapon to be deployed against every president.

“It becomes a quadrennial tool of political combat,” Mr. Epstein lamented, comparing the future of impeachment to the series of English civil wars for control of the throne in the 15th century. “Each side will try to find something on the other, and it will never end. It’s like a ‘War of the Roses’ that goes on forever.”

The dynamic was different in the summer of 1974, when a bipartisan majority of lawmakers in the House prepared to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for the Watergate burglary and its cover-up. Mr. Nixon resigned before the vote, but there was broad consensus in the House, and in the country, about what needed to happen. By the time Mr. Nixon left, just 24 percent of the country approved of the job he was doing.

Twenty-four years later, as lawmakers grappled with whether to impeach Mr. Clinton, the rancor in Washington had deepened. Led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republicans seized on impeachment to bludgeon the popular Democratic president. Democrats accused Ken Starr, the independent counsel, of a witch hunt and insisted that the president’s decision to lie about his affair with an intern was not impeachable.

But partisanship — however raw and ugly — had not yet entirely consumed the process. There were Democrats who parted ways with Mr. Clinton and supported that inquiry. By contrast, when the House voted this October to lay out rules for Mr. Trump’s impeachment inquiry, not a single Republican supported it.

“While we never thought that the Democrats would support impeaching Clinton, we bent over backward to be procedurally fair,” said Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and a member of the Judiciary Committee, who was one of the impeachment managers presenting the case against Mr. Clinton in the Senate in 1999. “That’s not happening this time.”

Democrats are unapologetic, vowing not to relent in their march toward impeachment and dismissing Republicans’ complaints about fairness as hypocritical, given that Mr. Trump has blocked witnesses and documents at every turn.

“You have to give them credit for nerve, if nothing else,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats leading the inquiry note that they have repeatedly invited Mr. Trump to produce exculpatory evidence or present a defense, and he has done neither. Republicans, they argue, are trying to pervert the concept of fairness to disrupt and delay the inquiry, not to meaningfully participate in the process.

The speaker could walk on water to be fair, and Republicans would still “criticize her for not being able to swim,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus and an ally of Ms. Pelosi.

Angry that no one is defending his actions the way he believes they should, Mr. Trump periodically asks aides whether he should send witnesses to comply with congressional subpoenas. But that impulse then fades, as the president becomes convinced that such a move would not end the inquiry.

Mr. Trump and his close circle of advisers are convinced that the Ukraine inquiry is merely an extension of the investigation into Russian election meddling and the continuation of a three-year assault on his presidency that began the day he was inaugurated with the launch of an activist’s website, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.

His response has been an all-out attack on the process itself. He has ordered administration officials not to testify or hand over documents. And he is urging Republicans not to cooperate with their counterparts the way they did during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.

Mr. McNulty said that dynamic had the potential to damage the nation’s politics for years, and could permanently alter the intent of the authors of the Constitution.

“It’s going to break everything in half,” Mr. McNulty said. “My hope would be, as a citizen, that when this is over, somehow, some way, we could stop and think about what impeachment was meant to be for.”

Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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

Deepening Divide Turns Impeachment Into Another Partisan Brawl

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo-v2 Deepening Divide Turns Impeachment Into Another Partisan Brawl United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — Almost from the moment that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants decided this fall to pursue the impeachment of President Trump, they made a fateful judgment: If the president intended to do nothing but stonewall and subvert their inquiry, they were not going to be the ones politely sticking to lofty traditions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have made a similarly cold calculation. After a year of defying without consequence Congress’s attempts to investigate the president’s conduct, they have no intention of taking part in what they view as an illegitimate impeachment, initially conducted without a formal House vote in a break with recent precedent.

The clash comes to a head on Monday with a hearing in the Judiciary Committee where Democratic lawyers plan to present the case for impeaching Mr. Trump while the White House sits out the process. That will set in motion a rapid-fire set of actions likely to produce official charges against the president by week’s end and a nearly party-line vote in the full House before Christmas to impeach him.

It is an indication of how, in a deeply polarized nation where party rules above all else, a process enshrined in the Constitution as the most consequential way to address a president’s wrongdoing has devolved into another raucous partisan brawl.

“That is a tragedy,” said Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia University law professor and a leading expert on the history of impeachment. The framers of the Constitution were careful to design a process for removing a president from office that they hoped would rise above the nation’s petty political squabbles, he said.

“They did everything possible to prevent that from happening, and we are plunging headlong into it,” Mr. Bobbitt said.

Determined not to let Mr. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress derail their efforts with legal delays or time-consuming diversions, Democrats have abandoned all but a semblance of comity as they press forward quickly to charge the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.

They are set to begin debating articles of impeachment this week — with House Judiciary Committee members bracing for the possibility of late-night sessions in an office building near the Capitol — as they race to complete a streamlined proceeding based on their conclusion that Mr. Trump abused his power by trying to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 re-election.

Upset by the rapid pace of the inquiry and frustrated by Democratic rules he says are unfair — including the lack of subpoena power for the White House — Mr. Trump is simply refusing to engage. In a significant departure from previous impeachments, Mr. Trump’s lawyer signaled in a letter on Friday that the president would not take part in the House proceedings.

While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office.

That proceeding, however, is also full of unknowns. At a meeting with senior White House officials and senators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House almost three weeks ago, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, made clear that there are not enough Senate votes to approve some of the edgier witnesses that Democrats and Republicans want to call. While he mentioned no names, it was interpreted by those in the room to refer to people like Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, whom Mr. Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate.

In the House, though, the president is eager to see Republicans and his lawyers mount a robust assault on what he calls a “hoax” and a “scam” led by “crazy” and “dishonest” Democrats.

“What they are doing here is discrediting a system,” Mr. Bobbitt said of the White House impeachment strategy. “If the system is discredited, it cannot discredit me. It is brilliant in its way, but totally cynical and completely destructive of our values.”

Politics have always been a powerful factor in presidential impeachment inquiries, which have roiled the nation twice in the last 50 years.

But impeachment has occupied a special place in the American consciousness. Veterans of the process said there had been an understanding, even amid bouts of intense political combat, that both sides had an obligation to the Constitution that should be honored, regardless of partisan affiliation.

“No one was looking at the other side with the kind of contempt that both sides look at each other now,” said Julian Epstein, who served as the chief Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans tried to force Mr. Clinton from office.

Mr. Epstein fought fiercely to defend Mr. Clinton, but also worked closely on the process with his adversaries, including Paul J. McNulty, the chief counsel and spokesman for the committee Republicans. Mr. McNulty, now a college president, said the fight over impeachment had gone from “partisan but constructive” in 1998 to “partisan and destructive” now.

Both men said the biggest risk was that the process would get so damaged, and the personal attacks so severe, that impeachment would be seen in the future as just another partisan weapon to be deployed against every president.

“It becomes a quadrennial tool of political combat,” Mr. Epstein lamented, comparing the future of impeachment to the series of English civil wars for control of the throne in the 15th century. “Each side will try to find something on the other, and it will never end. It’s like a ‘War of the Roses’ that goes on forever.”

The dynamic was different in the summer of 1974, when a bipartisan majority of lawmakers in the House prepared to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for the Watergate burglary and its cover-up. Mr. Nixon resigned before the vote, but there was broad consensus in the House, and in the country, about what needed to happen. By the time Mr. Nixon left, just 24 percent of the country approved of the job he was doing.

Twenty-four years later, as lawmakers grappled with whether to impeach Mr. Clinton, the rancor in Washington had deepened. Led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republicans seized on impeachment to bludgeon the popular Democratic president. Democrats accused Ken Starr, the independent counsel, of a witch hunt and insisted that the president’s decision to lie about his affair with an intern was not impeachable.

But partisanship — however raw and ugly — had not yet entirely consumed the process. There were Democrats who parted ways with Mr. Clinton and supported that inquiry. By contrast, when the House voted this October to lay out rules for Mr. Trump’s impeachment inquiry, not a single Republican supported it.

“While we never thought that the Democrats would support impeaching Clinton, we bent over backward to be procedurally fair,” said Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and a member of the Judiciary Committee, who was one of the impeachment managers presenting the case against Mr. Clinton in the Senate in 1999. “That’s not happening this time.”

Democrats are unapologetic, vowing not to relent in their march toward impeachment and dismissing Republicans’ complaints about fairness as hypocritical, given that Mr. Trump has blocked witnesses and documents at every turn.

“You have to give them credit for nerve, if nothing else,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats leading the inquiry note that they have repeatedly invited Mr. Trump to produce exculpatory evidence or present a defense, and he has done neither. Republicans, they argue, are trying to pervert the concept of fairness to disrupt and delay the inquiry, not to meaningfully participate in the process.

The speaker could walk on water to be fair, and Republicans would still “criticize her for not being able to swim,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus and an ally of Ms. Pelosi.

Angry that no one is defending his actions the way he believes they should, Mr. Trump periodically asks aides whether he should send witnesses to comply with congressional subpoenas. But that impulse then fades, as the president becomes convinced that such a move would not end the inquiry.

Mr. Trump and his close circle of advisers are convinced that the Ukraine inquiry is merely an extension of the investigation into Russian election meddling and the continuation of a three-year assault on his presidency that began the day he was inaugurated with the launch of an activist’s website, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.

His response has been an all-out attack on the process itself. He has ordered administration officials not to testify or hand over documents. And he is urging Republicans not to cooperate with their counterparts the way they did during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.

Mr. McNulty said that dynamic had the potential to damage the nation’s politics for years, and could permanently alter the intent of the authors of the Constitution.

“It’s going to break everything in half,” Mr. McNulty said. “My hope would be, as a citizen, that when this is over, somehow, some way, we could stop and think about what impeachment was meant to be for.”

Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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

Deepening Divide Turns Impeachment Into Another Partisan Brawl

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo-v2 Deepening Divide Turns Impeachment Into Another Partisan Brawl United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — Almost from the moment that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants decided this fall to pursue the impeachment of President Trump, they made a fateful judgment: If the president intended to do nothing but stonewall and subvert their inquiry, they were not going to be the ones politely sticking to lofty traditions.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers have made a similarly cold calculation. After a year of defying without consequence Congress’s attempts to investigate the president’s conduct, they have no intention of taking part in what they view as an illegitimate impeachment, initially conducted without a formal House vote in a break with recent precedent.

The clash comes to a head on Monday with a hearing in the Judiciary Committee where Democratic lawyers plan to present the case for impeaching Mr. Trump while the White House sits out the process. That will set in motion a rapid-fire set of actions likely to produce official charges against the president by week’s end and a nearly party-line vote in the full House before Christmas to impeach him.

It is an indication of how, in a deeply polarized nation where party rules above all else, a process enshrined in the Constitution as the most consequential way to address a president’s wrongdoing has devolved into another raucous partisan brawl.

“That is a tragedy,” said Philip Bobbitt, a Columbia University law professor and a leading expert on the history of impeachment. The framers of the Constitution were careful to design a process for removing a president from office that they hoped would rise above the nation’s petty political squabbles, he said.

“They did everything possible to prevent that from happening, and we are plunging headlong into it,” Mr. Bobbitt said.

Determined not to let Mr. Trump and his Republican allies in Congress derail their efforts with legal delays or time-consuming diversions, Democrats have abandoned all but a semblance of comity as they press forward quickly to charge the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.

They are set to begin debating articles of impeachment this week — with House Judiciary Committee members bracing for the possibility of late-night sessions in an office building near the Capitol — as they race to complete a streamlined proceeding based on their conclusion that Mr. Trump abused his power by trying to solicit help from Ukraine in the 2020 re-election.

Upset by the rapid pace of the inquiry and frustrated by Democratic rules he says are unfair — including the lack of subpoena power for the White House — Mr. Trump is simply refusing to engage. In a significant departure from previous impeachments, Mr. Trump’s lawyer signaled in a letter on Friday that the president would not take part in the House proceedings.

While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office.

That proceeding, however, is also full of unknowns. At a meeting with senior White House officials and senators in the Roosevelt Room of the White House almost three weeks ago, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, made clear that there are not enough Senate votes to approve some of the edgier witnesses that Democrats and Republicans want to call. While he mentioned no names, it was interpreted by those in the room to refer to people like Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, whom Mr. Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate.

In the House, though, the president is eager to see Republicans and his lawyers mount a robust assault on what he calls a “hoax” and a “scam” led by “crazy” and “dishonest” Democrats.

“What they are doing here is discrediting a system,” Mr. Bobbitt said of the White House impeachment strategy. “If the system is discredited, it cannot discredit me. It is brilliant in its way, but totally cynical and completely destructive of our values.”

Politics have always been a powerful factor in presidential impeachment inquiries, which have roiled the nation twice in the last 50 years.

But impeachment has occupied a special place in the American consciousness. Veterans of the process said there had been an understanding, even amid bouts of intense political combat, that both sides had an obligation to the Constitution that should be honored, regardless of partisan affiliation.

“No one was looking at the other side with the kind of contempt that both sides look at each other now,” said Julian Epstein, who served as the chief Democratic counsel to the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans tried to force Mr. Clinton from office.

Mr. Epstein fought fiercely to defend Mr. Clinton, but also worked closely on the process with his adversaries, including Paul J. McNulty, the chief counsel and spokesman for the committee Republicans. Mr. McNulty, now a college president, said the fight over impeachment had gone from “partisan but constructive” in 1998 to “partisan and destructive” now.

Both men said the biggest risk was that the process would get so damaged, and the personal attacks so severe, that impeachment would be seen in the future as just another partisan weapon to be deployed against every president.

“It becomes a quadrennial tool of political combat,” Mr. Epstein lamented, comparing the future of impeachment to the series of English civil wars for control of the throne in the 15th century. “Each side will try to find something on the other, and it will never end. It’s like a ‘War of the Roses’ that goes on forever.”

The dynamic was different in the summer of 1974, when a bipartisan majority of lawmakers in the House prepared to impeach President Richard M. Nixon for the Watergate burglary and its cover-up. Mr. Nixon resigned before the vote, but there was broad consensus in the House, and in the country, about what needed to happen. By the time Mr. Nixon left, just 24 percent of the country approved of the job he was doing.

Twenty-four years later, as lawmakers grappled with whether to impeach Mr. Clinton, the rancor in Washington had deepened. Led by Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republicans seized on impeachment to bludgeon the popular Democratic president. Democrats accused Ken Starr, the independent counsel, of a witch hunt and insisted that the president’s decision to lie about his affair with an intern was not impeachable.

But partisanship — however raw and ugly — had not yet entirely consumed the process. There were Democrats who parted ways with Mr. Clinton and supported that inquiry. By contrast, when the House voted this October to lay out rules for Mr. Trump’s impeachment inquiry, not a single Republican supported it.

“While we never thought that the Democrats would support impeaching Clinton, we bent over backward to be procedurally fair,” said Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and a member of the Judiciary Committee, who was one of the impeachment managers presenting the case against Mr. Clinton in the Senate in 1999. “That’s not happening this time.”

Democrats are unapologetic, vowing not to relent in their march toward impeachment and dismissing Republicans’ complaints about fairness as hypocritical, given that Mr. Trump has blocked witnesses and documents at every turn.

“You have to give them credit for nerve, if nothing else,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats leading the inquiry note that they have repeatedly invited Mr. Trump to produce exculpatory evidence or present a defense, and he has done neither. Republicans, they argue, are trying to pervert the concept of fairness to disrupt and delay the inquiry, not to meaningfully participate in the process.

The speaker could walk on water to be fair, and Republicans would still “criticize her for not being able to swim,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Caucus and an ally of Ms. Pelosi.

Angry that no one is defending his actions the way he believes they should, Mr. Trump periodically asks aides whether he should send witnesses to comply with congressional subpoenas. But that impulse then fades, as the president becomes convinced that such a move would not end the inquiry.

Mr. Trump and his close circle of advisers are convinced that the Ukraine inquiry is merely an extension of the investigation into Russian election meddling and the continuation of a three-year assault on his presidency that began the day he was inaugurated with the launch of an activist’s website, ImpeachDonaldTrumpNow.org.

His response has been an all-out attack on the process itself. He has ordered administration officials not to testify or hand over documents. And he is urging Republicans not to cooperate with their counterparts the way they did during Mr. Clinton’s impeachment.

Mr. McNulty said that dynamic had the potential to damage the nation’s politics for years, and could permanently alter the intent of the authors of the Constitution.

“It’s going to break everything in half,” Mr. McNulty said. “My hope would be, as a citizen, that when this is over, somehow, some way, we could stop and think about what impeachment was meant to be for.”

Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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

Buttigieg Struggles to Square Transparency With Nondisclosure Agreement

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165551226_c1ecc24c-4d71-4251-989f-e5a969a392ea-articleLarge Buttigieg Struggles to Square Transparency With Nondisclosure Agreement Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Presidential Election of 2020 Nondisclosure Agreements Iowa Democratic Party Buttigieg, Pete (1982- )

Pete Buttigieg after participating in a presidential forum in Waterloo, Iowa, on Friday.Credit…Jordan Gale for The New York Times

MT. VERNON, Iowa — Pete Buttigieg rose from small-city obscurity to the top of Iowa’s presidential polls by saying yes to every interview and presenting himself as an aggressively transparent candidate poised to take on President Trump and his array of known and unknown conflicts.

Yet the South Bend, Ind., mayor now faces cascading questions he has been unable to answer about his work at McKinsey & Company, the management consulting firm that accounts for the entirety of his private-sector career. He hasn’t revealed his clients, citing a nondisclosure agreement he signed at the outset of his employment.

The three years Mr. Buttigieg spent at McKinsey represent one-fifth of his professional resume. His campaign on Friday night for the first time disclosed broad strokes beyond the most elemental details of his work, some of which he also discussed in his memoir, which was published in February.

The pressure to disclose more about his work at McKinsey comes as the 37-year-old mayor also faces increased scrutiny about his lack of appeal to African-American voters, and amid increasing calls from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who does not hold closed-door fund-raising events, to reveal details about his campaign’s fund-raising operation — including the names of his bundlers.

“This is about the conflicts that he is creating every single day right now,” Ms. Warren told reporters Saturday in New Hampshire.

For his part, Mr. Buttigieg has called on Ms. Warren to release more than the 11 years of personal tax returns she has already disclosed. Ms. Warren released a list of more than 50 legal clients in May.

Which Democrats are leading the 2020 presidential race?

All of this comes as Mr. Buttigieg has established himself as the front-runner in Iowa, where Democrats hold the first-in-the-nation nominating caucuses Feb. 3. Democrats here are increasingly focused on selecting a candidate who will be the strongest in a general election against President Trump, who has refused to release any of his tax returns and did not divest himself from businesses that profit from his administration and campaign.

The pressure on Mr. Buttigieg to reveal more about his work at McKinsey is coming not only from his 2020 rivals like Ms. Warren, who in recent days has become far more aggressive in her attacks on him, but also from other Democratic politicians.

On Friday night in Waterloo, Iowa, Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago, who had spoken favorably of Mr. Buttigieg just weeks earlier, told Mr. Buttigieg during an onstage interview that he should reveal for whom he did work at McKinsey.

“You said you can’t talk about your work at McKinsey because of a nondisclosure agreement, and I think you said today you’ve got to honor your commitment to McKinsey,” said Ms. Lightfoot, a corporate lawyer herself. “I’m asking you, should you break that N.D.A. so you have the moral authority and the high ground against somebody like Trump, who hides behind the lack of transparency to justify everything that he’s doing?”

Mr. Buttigieg first tried to dodge the question from Ms. Lightfoot, quipping that it was his first job out of school and it was “not like I was the C.E.O.”

Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation.

He added: “I pushed as much information as I can, without breaking the promise that I made in writing. And I am asking my former employer to do the right thing, to not make me choose between claiming the moral high ground and going back on my word.”

Mr. Buttigieg told reporters later that he would not unilaterally break the nondisclosure agreement with his former employer.

“It’s important to me to keep my word, and it’s also very important to me to offer as much transparency as possible,” he said. “I’m squaring that circle the best I can by pushing out the information that we did.”

The McKinsey question has hung over Mr. Buttigieg as he has grown into a more formidable presidential candidate. In June his campaign first asked McKinsey which details of his work there could be revealed. In September he told reporters aboard his campaign bus that his McKinsey tenure wasn’t “something that I think is essential in my story,” though when he ran for office in Indiana in 2010 he used his McKinsey experience as evidence of his grasp on private-sector economics.

In recent days, as scrutiny of his work with the firm reached new heights following revelations McKinsey helped the Trump administration carry out its immigration policies, Mr. Buttigieg himself publicly requested to be released from his nondisclosure agreement.

And on Friday night the campaign released its most detailed timeline yet of his work for the firm, laying out details of the type of work he performed but not revealing the names of his clients.

While Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals spent Friday and Saturday salivating online over his McKinsey ties, there was little evidence the story had broken through yet in Iowa.

“It’s the first I heard of it and I just don’t see the importance of it right now,” said Lon Gingerich Feil, who came to see Mr. Buttigieg Saturday in Mt. Vernon. She added: “I don’t believe that anybody’s completely blameless in anything as far as politics goes.”

Mr. Buttigieg’s political allies insist that anger over his McKinsey tenure is manufactured by his political opponents and is not widely shared among early-state Democrats.

“He answers the questions about it with the fact it was a first-time job,” said Laura Hubka, the Democratic Party chairwoman in Howard County, Iowa, who has endorsed Mr. Buttigieg. “Every attack on Pete is making him look more attractive to middle-of-the-road voters.”

And the Buttigieg campaign has not shifted into crisis mode over the McKinsey story. Representative Don Beyer of Virginia, the first member of Congress to endorse Mr. Buttigieg, said the campaign had not circulated any talking points about the mayor’s McKinsey tenure.

“I think he’s got a perfectly clear explanation, which is that he signed a nondisclosure agreement and McKinsey is famously secretive,” Mr. Beyer said Saturday.

Yet Mr. Buttigieg’s handling of calls to name his McKinsey clients echoes the most politically damaging episode of his years as mayor: the city’s withholding of secret recordings of police officers that led Mr. Buttigieg to demote a black police chief.

The mayor removed the chief in 2012, he has long said, after learning that the F.B.I. was investigating the chief for violating wiretap laws. But Mr. Buttigieg declined to release the tapes, citing federal privacy laws as he fought a subpoena for the tapes from the City Council. In South Bend, reports and rumors have circulated for years that the tapes include white officers using racist language and describing illegal activity.

Mr. Buttigieg has admitted that his initial response to the crisis was overly legalistic. He failed to understand that his actions sent a broader message that reinforced black residents’ distrust of the police.

(Today, the mayor himself calls for the tapes’ release, though their fate is tied up in court, with the police officers heard on the recordings fighting disclosure.)

In the case of Mr. Buttigieg’s McKinsey clients, he may be similarly at risk of offering an overly legalistic defense of nondisclosure, while misjudging the deep suspicions that liberal voters harbor for corporate influence on politics.

Mr. Buttigieg’s appeal to many voters is his rejection of a lucrative private-sector career to enter public service; part of his good government credo has long been greater transparency in the city he runs. He first ran for municipal office in 2011 promising a breakthrough in the city’s transparency. In many ways he delivered. The city now uploads online data on police use of force and complaints against officers, vacant and abandoned properties, and many details of city spending. In 2017 the mayor and his staff celebrated fulfilling 10,000 requests under Indiana’s open records law.

Another transparency effort, a $1.5 million purchase of body cameras for police officers, ended up at the center of a political crisis for the mayor this summer. A white officer failed to activate his camera during an encounter in which he fatally shot a black man in downtown South Bend, sending the city, and Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign, into turmoil. Mr. Buttigieg suspended campaigning to face angry and anguished residents. The narrative of distrust of the police was projected on the national stage.

Mr. Buttigieg has emerged as perhaps the most polarizing figure among Democratic insiders.

He is the subject of the most open contempt among his rivals, a feeling that often extends to their supporters.

Kim Miller, a Warren backer who works for the teachers union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, said Monday after a Warren event at the University of Iowa that Mr. Buttigieg’s resume — Harvard, McKinsey, Navy veteran, small-town mayor — was not sufficient to make him the Democratic standard-bearer.

“What qualifies him to even run? It’s pretty presumptuous,” Mr. Miller said. “It’s amazing that he’s taken off. Iowans are weird.”

Sydney Ember reported from Mt. Vernon; Reid J. Epstein reported from Washington; Trip Gabriel reported from South Bend, Ind. Jonathan Martin contributed reporting from Iowa City.

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

As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon

Westlake Legal Group 07dems2020-1-facebookJumbo As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J south carolina Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising New Hampshire Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks Biden, Joseph R Jr

MASON CITY, Iowa — With just under two months until the Iowa caucuses, the already-volatile Democratic presidential race has grown even more unsettled, setting the stage for a marathon nominating contest between the party’s moderate and liberal factions.

Pete Buttigieg’s surge, Bernie Sanders’s revival, Elizabeth Warren’s struggles and the exit of Kamala Harris have upended the primary and, along with Joseph R. Biden’s Jr. enduring strength with nonwhite voters, increased the possibility of a split decision after the early nominating states.

That’s when Michael R. Bloomberg aims to burst into the contest — after saturating the airwaves of the Super Tuesday states with tens of millions of dollars of television ads.

With no true front-runner and three other candidates besides Mr. Bloomberg armed with war chests of over $20 million, Democrats are confronting the prospect of a drawn-out primary reminiscent of the epic Clinton-Obama contest in 2008.

“There’s a real possibility Pete wins here, Warren takes New Hampshire, Biden South Carolina and who knows about Nevada,” said Sue Dvorsky, a former Iowa Democratic chair. “Then you go into Super Tuesday with Bloomberg throwing $30 million out of his couch cushions and this is going to go for a while.”

That’s a worrisome prospect for a party already debating whether it has a candidate strong enough to defeat President Trump next November. The contenders have recently begun to attack one another more forcefully — Ms. Warren, a nonaggressor for most of the campaign, took on Mr. Buttigieg on Thursday night — and the sparring could get uglier the longer the primary continues.

A monthslong delegate battle would also feature a lengthy public airing of the party’s ideological fissures and focus more attention on contentious policies like single-payer health care while allowing Mr. Trump to unleash millions of dollars in attack ads portraying Democrats as extreme.

The candidates are already planning for a long race, hiring staff members for contests well past the initial early states. But at the moment they are also grappling with a primary that has evolved into something of a three-dimensional chess match, in which moves that may seem puzzling are taken with an eye toward a future payoff.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, for example, are blocking each other from consolidating much of the left, but instead of attacking each other the two senators are training their fire on Mr. Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor. He has taken a lead in Iowa polls yet spent much of the past week courting black voters in the South.

And Mr. Biden is concluding an eight-day bus tour across Iowa, during which he has said his goal is to win the caucuses, but his supporters privately say they would also be satisfied if Mr. Buttigieg won and denied Ms. Warren a victory.

It may seem a little confusing, but there’s a strategy behind the moves.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Warren each covet the other’s progressive supporters but are wary about angering them by attacking each other. So Ms. Warren has begun drawing an implicit contrast by emphasizing her gender — a path more available now with Ms. Harris’s exit — and they are both targeting a shared opponent whom many of their fiercest backers disdain: Mr. Buttigieg.

The mayor has soared in heavily white Iowa, but has virtually no support among voters of color. So he started airing commercials in South Carolina spotlighting his faith and took his campaign there and into Alabama this past week — an acknowledgment that Iowans may be uneasy about him if he can’t demonstrate appeal with more diverse voters.

As for Mr. Biden, his supporters think he would effectively end the primary by winning Iowa. But they believe the next best outcome would be if Mr. Buttigieg fends off Ms. Warren there to keep her from sweeping both Iowa and New Hampshire and gaining too much momentum. They are convinced she’s far more of a threat than Mr. Buttigieg to build a multiracial coalition and breach the former vice president’s firewall in Nevada and South Carolina.

Meanwhile, no other hopeful is drawing more chatter in Iowa as a compromise choice among moderates than Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has spent more time in the state than any of the top candidates.

Taken together, the shadowboxing, bank shots and sheer uncertainty of it all reflect what a muddle this race has become. Besides the party’s unifying hunger to defeat Mr. Trump, the only clarity is the rigid divide among voters along generational, ideological and racial lines.

These fractures could ensure different outcomes in the first four nominating states — mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire and more diverse Nevada and South Carolina — going into Super Tuesday on March 3.

That’s the day on which Mr. Bloomberg is staking his candidacy, when 14 states are up for grabs. The former New York mayor, a political centrist, is skipping the early states and pouring tens of millions of his money into Super Tuesday in hopes that the field remains split by then or that one of the progressives is pulling away.

If he gains traction, that could augur a primary that may not be over by the time the party gathers in Milwaukee next summer for its convention.

Of course, it’s hardly a forgone conclusion that the Democratic contest will drag on. The front-loaded calendar means that if one candidate does rattle off early victories, he or she will be able to amass a fearsome delegate advantage.

The last time the party confronted such an uncertain primary, in 2004, John Kerry revived his campaign shortly before voting began and captured Iowa and New Hampshire, allowing him to quickly secure the nomination.

Yet no candidate today may prove capable of extinguishing the embers of the primary the way Mr. Kerry did. Four candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Bloomberg — are well funded or enjoy reliable streams of money.

Perhaps more significantly, the divisions in the party are now wider than they were in the previous decade, with opposing ideological factions far less willing to settle.

Nowhere is the Democratic race more fluid than in Iowa, where 70 percent of caucusgoers said in a Des Moines Register-CNN poll last month that their minds were not made up.

Mr. Buttigieg emerged atop the field in the survey, but he is now under attack on multiple fronts.

Ms. Warren is assailing him for not being more transparent about his donors, Mr. Sanders is targeting him for not offering a more expansive free college proposal, and a super PAC supporting Senator Cory Booker is on the air in Iowa favorably contrasting Mr. Booker to Mr. Buttigieg.

And Iowa allies of his rivals are taking on Mr. Buttigieg even more aggressively.

“Mayor Pete is vanilla ice cream,” said Claire Celsi, an Iowa state senator supporting Ms. Warren. “He’s just somebody that people can agree on, but the problem is that we live in a way more complicated world than that.”

The former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, who is backing Mr. Biden, likened Mr. Buttigieg to a Democrat many in the party would just as soon forget.

“He reminds me of, not in terms of character, but in terms of people reacting to him, as John Edwards in 2004,” Mr. Vilsack said. “He’s something new, he’s a comer.”

Lis Smith, an adviser to Mr. Buttigieg, said the attacks were a result of voters “gravitating toward his campaign.”

“They can attack Pete all they want, he’s going to be laser focused on talking about why he’s the best person to bring this country together on Day 1 of a post-Trump presidency,” she said.

But Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign recognizes how urgently he must broaden his coalition — and prominent Democrats have nudged the campaign to focus less on the details of his plans for black voters and do more to emphasize his Christianity and military service. He is now up on television in South Carolina quoting scripture and in Iowa with a spot that features an African-American veteran recalling their service.

Mr. Biden is counting on these efforts to fall short and for Mr. Buttigieg to meet the same fate of previous Democratic hopefuls who lost because they could not expand their support beyond upscale white voters.

“There is no one else who is in a position to all of a sudden to do what Barack was able to do,” Mr. Biden told reporters this past week, suggesting that Mr. Buttigieg would not gain support with black voters by winning Iowa, as Mr. Obama did in 2008.

Ms. Warren is less inclined to discuss tactical matters, but her recent moves reflect a candidate very much concerned about the direction of the race.

She has drastically cut her stump speech, leaving more time for questions from voters, and after saying for months that she does not want to criticize her fellow Democrats she is now confronting Mr. Buttigieg over his high-dollar fund-raising.

Just as striking, she is taking more overt steps to highlight her history-making potential. After Ms. Harris dropped out, Ms. Warren sent a fund-raising email noting that “two women senators,” Ms. Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, “have been forced out of this race while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in.”

Addressing voters in Iowa City, Ms. Warren announced to booming applause that she planned to wear a pink Planned Parenthood scarf at her presidential inauguration and in a discussion about her plans won cheers for another reference to her gender.

“I will do everything that, oh, I love saying this, a president can do all by herself,” Ms. Warren said.

What has been puzzling to her rivals, though, is what she has not done as a candidate: namely, spend more money on advertising in Iowa.

She ceded the airwaves here to rivals like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg for all of October, and her spending in November was less than half of theirs, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Ms. Klobuchar has also not had much of an advertising footprint, but many Iowa Democrats believe she is the most likely candidate to make that late push.

Strolling into a Des Moines coffee shop recently, Connie Boesen, a city councilor, pronounced that she was leaning in Ms. Klobuchar’s direction because “she’s realistic,” a reference to the senator’s moderate politics.

For many Democrats, especially those in Northern Iowa, the Minnesota senator is a familiar figure who has more experience than Mr. Buttigieg but is not as old as Mr. Biden.

Asked who they were considering after a Biden town hall meeting this past week, three voters from outside Mason City all cited Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — but also added a third name: Ms. Klobuchar.

Sydney Ember contributed reporting from Des Moines and Reid Epstein from Washington.

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

As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon

Westlake Legal Group 07dems2020-1-facebookJumbo As Candidates Jostle for Position, a Long Race May Become a Marathon Warren, Elizabeth Trump, Donald J south carolina Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising New Hampshire Klobuchar, Amy Iowa Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Campaign Finance Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Bloomberg, Michael R Blacks Biden, Joseph R Jr

MASON CITY, Iowa — With just under two months until the Iowa caucuses, the already-volatile Democratic presidential race has grown even more unsettled, setting the stage for a marathon nominating contest between the party’s moderate and liberal factions.

Pete Buttigieg’s surge, Bernie Sanders’s revival, Elizabeth Warren’s struggles and the exit of Kamala Harris have upended the primary and, along with Joseph R. Biden’s Jr. enduring strength with nonwhite voters, increased the possibility of a split decision after the early nominating states.

That’s when Michael R. Bloomberg aims to burst into the contest — after saturating the airwaves of the Super Tuesday states with tens of millions of dollars of television ads.

With no true front-runner and three other candidates besides Mr. Bloomberg armed with war chests of over $20 million, Democrats are confronting the prospect of a drawn-out primary reminiscent of the epic Clinton-Obama contest in 2008.

“There’s a real possibility Pete wins here, Warren takes New Hampshire, Biden South Carolina and who knows about Nevada,” said Sue Dvorsky, a former Iowa Democratic chair. “Then you go into Super Tuesday with Bloomberg throwing $30 million out of his couch cushions and this is going to go for a while.”

That’s a worrisome prospect for a party already debating whether it has a candidate strong enough to defeat President Trump next November. The contenders have recently begun to attack one another more forcefully — Ms. Warren, a nonaggressor for most of the campaign, took on Mr. Buttigieg on Thursday night — and the sparring could get uglier the longer the primary continues.

A monthslong delegate battle would also feature a lengthy public airing of the party’s ideological fissures and focus more attention on contentious policies like single-payer health care while allowing Mr. Trump to unleash millions of dollars in attack ads portraying Democrats as extreme.

The candidates are already planning for a long race, hiring staff members for contests well past the initial early states. But at the moment they are also grappling with a primary that has evolved into something of a three-dimensional chess match, in which moves that may seem puzzling are taken with an eye toward a future payoff.

Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, for example, are blocking each other from consolidating much of the left, but instead of attacking each other the two senators are training their fire on Mr. Buttigieg, the South Bend, Ind., mayor. He has taken a lead in Iowa polls yet spent much of the past week courting black voters in the South.

And Mr. Biden is concluding an eight-day bus tour across Iowa, during which he has said his goal is to win the caucuses, but his supporters privately say they would also be satisfied if Mr. Buttigieg won and denied Ms. Warren a victory.

It may seem a little confusing, but there’s a strategy behind the moves.

Mr. Sanders and Mr. Warren each covet the other’s progressive supporters but are wary about angering them by attacking each other. So Ms. Warren has begun drawing an implicit contrast by emphasizing her gender — a path more available now with Ms. Harris’s exit — and they are both targeting a shared opponent whom many of their fiercest backers disdain: Mr. Buttigieg.

The mayor has soared in heavily white Iowa, but has virtually no support among voters of color. So he started airing commercials in South Carolina spotlighting his faith and took his campaign there and into Alabama this past week — an acknowledgment that Iowans may be uneasy about him if he can’t demonstrate appeal with more diverse voters.

As for Mr. Biden, his supporters think he would effectively end the primary by winning Iowa. But they believe the next best outcome would be if Mr. Buttigieg fends off Ms. Warren there to keep her from sweeping both Iowa and New Hampshire and gaining too much momentum. They are convinced she’s far more of a threat than Mr. Buttigieg to build a multiracial coalition and breach the former vice president’s firewall in Nevada and South Carolina.

Meanwhile, no other hopeful is drawing more chatter in Iowa as a compromise choice among moderates than Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has spent more time in the state than any of the top candidates.

Taken together, the shadowboxing, bank shots and sheer uncertainty of it all reflect what a muddle this race has become. Besides the party’s unifying hunger to defeat Mr. Trump, the only clarity is the rigid divide among voters along generational, ideological and racial lines.

These fractures could ensure different outcomes in the first four nominating states — mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire and more diverse Nevada and South Carolina — going into Super Tuesday on March 3.

That’s the day on which Mr. Bloomberg is staking his candidacy, when 14 states are up for grabs. The former New York mayor, a political centrist, is skipping the early states and pouring tens of millions of his money into Super Tuesday in hopes that the field remains split by then or that one of the progressives is pulling away.

If he gains traction, that could augur a primary that may not be over by the time the party gathers in Milwaukee next summer for its convention.

Of course, it’s hardly a forgone conclusion that the Democratic contest will drag on. The front-loaded calendar means that if one candidate does rattle off early victories, he or she will be able to amass a fearsome delegate advantage.

The last time the party confronted such an uncertain primary, in 2004, John Kerry revived his campaign shortly before voting began and captured Iowa and New Hampshire, allowing him to quickly secure the nomination.

Yet no candidate today may prove capable of extinguishing the embers of the primary the way Mr. Kerry did. Four candidates — Mr. Sanders, Ms. Warren, Mr. Buttigieg and Mr. Bloomberg — are well funded or enjoy reliable streams of money.

Perhaps more significantly, the divisions in the party are now wider than they were in the previous decade, with opposing ideological factions far less willing to settle.

Nowhere is the Democratic race more fluid than in Iowa, where 70 percent of caucusgoers said in a Des Moines Register-CNN poll last month that their minds were not made up.

Mr. Buttigieg emerged atop the field in the survey, but he is now under attack on multiple fronts.

Ms. Warren is assailing him for not being more transparent about his donors, Mr. Sanders is targeting him for not offering a more expansive free college proposal, and a super PAC supporting Senator Cory Booker is on the air in Iowa favorably contrasting Mr. Booker to Mr. Buttigieg.

And Iowa allies of his rivals are taking on Mr. Buttigieg even more aggressively.

“Mayor Pete is vanilla ice cream,” said Claire Celsi, an Iowa state senator supporting Ms. Warren. “He’s just somebody that people can agree on, but the problem is that we live in a way more complicated world than that.”

The former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, who is backing Mr. Biden, likened Mr. Buttigieg to a Democrat many in the party would just as soon forget.

“He reminds me of, not in terms of character, but in terms of people reacting to him, as John Edwards in 2004,” Mr. Vilsack said. “He’s something new, he’s a comer.”

Lis Smith, an adviser to Mr. Buttigieg, said the attacks were a result of voters “gravitating toward his campaign.”

“They can attack Pete all they want, he’s going to be laser focused on talking about why he’s the best person to bring this country together on Day 1 of a post-Trump presidency,” she said.

But Mr. Buttigieg’s campaign recognizes how urgently he must broaden his coalition — and prominent Democrats have nudged the campaign to focus less on the details of his plans for black voters and do more to emphasize his Christianity and military service. He is now up on television in South Carolina quoting scripture and in Iowa with a spot that features an African-American veteran recalling their service.

Mr. Biden is counting on these efforts to fall short and for Mr. Buttigieg to meet the same fate of previous Democratic hopefuls who lost because they could not expand their support beyond upscale white voters.

“There is no one else who is in a position to all of a sudden to do what Barack was able to do,” Mr. Biden told reporters this past week, suggesting that Mr. Buttigieg would not gain support with black voters by winning Iowa, as Mr. Obama did in 2008.

Ms. Warren is less inclined to discuss tactical matters, but her recent moves reflect a candidate very much concerned about the direction of the race.

She has drastically cut her stump speech, leaving more time for questions from voters, and after saying for months that she does not want to criticize her fellow Democrats she is now confronting Mr. Buttigieg over his high-dollar fund-raising.

Just as striking, she is taking more overt steps to highlight her history-making potential. After Ms. Harris dropped out, Ms. Warren sent a fund-raising email noting that “two women senators,” Ms. Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand, “have been forced out of this race while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in.”

Addressing voters in Iowa City, Ms. Warren announced to booming applause that she planned to wear a pink Planned Parenthood scarf at her presidential inauguration and in a discussion about her plans won cheers for another reference to her gender.

“I will do everything that, oh, I love saying this, a president can do all by herself,” Ms. Warren said.

What has been puzzling to her rivals, though, is what she has not done as a candidate: namely, spend more money on advertising in Iowa.

She ceded the airwaves here to rivals like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Buttigieg for all of October, and her spending in November was less than half of theirs, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Ms. Klobuchar has also not had much of an advertising footprint, but many Iowa Democrats believe she is the most likely candidate to make that late push.

Strolling into a Des Moines coffee shop recently, Connie Boesen, a city councilor, pronounced that she was leaning in Ms. Klobuchar’s direction because “she’s realistic,” a reference to the senator’s moderate politics.

For many Democrats, especially those in Northern Iowa, the Minnesota senator is a familiar figure who has more experience than Mr. Buttigieg but is not as old as Mr. Biden.

Asked who they were considering after a Biden town hall meeting this past week, three voters from outside Mason City all cited Mr. Biden and Mr. Buttigieg — but also added a third name: Ms. Klobuchar.

Sydney Ember contributed reporting from Des Moines and Reid Epstein from Washington.

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

White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach1-sub-facebookJumbo White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

The White House signaled on Friday that it did not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment proceedings, in a sharply worded letter to Democrats calling the process “completely baseless” and urging lawmakers to get it over with quickly.

“You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings,” the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, wrote in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York.

“Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation’s history,” he added.

The letter did not explicitly say what Mr. Trump’s legal team planned to do, but it ended by quoting the president saying that the House should vote quickly on impeachment so a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where White House officials believe Mr. Trump will have a better chance to mount a defense, can commence.

“House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” Mr. Cipollone wrote.

The missive came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she was directing senior Democrats to begin drafting impeachment articles against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Nadler had set a deadline of Friday evening for the White House to state whether it intended to mount a defense before the panel.

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

White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach1-sub-facebookJumbo White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

The White House signaled on Friday that it did not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment proceedings, in a sharply worded letter to Democrats calling the process “completely baseless” and urging lawmakers to get it over with quickly.

“You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings,” the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, wrote in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York.

“Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation’s history,” he added.

The letter did not explicitly say what Mr. Trump’s legal team planned to do, but it ended by quoting the president saying that the House should vote quickly on impeachment so a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where White House officials believe Mr. Trump will have a better chance to mount a defense, can commence.

“House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” Mr. Cipollone wrote.

The missive came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she was directing senior Democrats to begin drafting impeachment articles against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Nadler had set a deadline of Friday evening for the White House to state whether it intended to mount a defense before the panel.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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

White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-impeach1-sub-facebookJumbo White House Signals Trump Won’t Mount House Impeachment Defense United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A

The White House signaled on Friday that it did not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment proceedings, in a sharply worded letter to Democrats calling the process “completely baseless” and urging lawmakers to get it over with quickly.

“You should end this inquiry now and not waste even more time with additional hearings,” the White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, wrote in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York.

“Adopting articles of impeachment would be a reckless abuse of power by House Democrats and would constitute the most unjust, highly partisan and unconstitutional attempt at impeachment in our nation’s history,” he added.

The letter did not explicitly say what Mr. Trump’s legal team planned to do, but it ended by quoting the president saying that the House should vote quickly on impeachment so a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, where White House officials believe Mr. Trump will have a better chance to mount a defense, can commence.

“House Democrats have wasted enough of America’s time with this charade,” Mr. Cipollone wrote.

The missive came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she was directing senior Democrats to begin drafting impeachment articles against Mr. Trump.

Mr. Nadler had set a deadline of Friday evening for the White House to state whether it intended to mount a defense before the panel.

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

Do Democrats Really Want an All-White Field in 2020? Cory Booker Hopes Not.

DES MOINES — Senator Cory Booker came to Iowa on Thursday with a question, one that voters, activists and disgruntled members of the Democratic National Committee are also asking in the wake of Senator Kamala Harris’s sudden departure from the 2020 race.

In a year that began with the inauguration of the most diverse class of House Democrats in history, and quickly built to the most diverse field of presidential candidates in history, do Democrats want an all-white slate of top-tier candidates to be the face of their party in 2020?

“What message is that sending that we heralded the most diverse field in our history and now we’re seeing people like her dropping out of this campaign?” Mr. Booker asked a crowd here Thursday morning. He added that Ms. Harris left the race “not because Iowa voters had the voice. Voters did not determine her destiny.”

With Ms. Harris out and Mr. Booker, the former housing secretary Julián Castro, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and the businessman Andrew Yang yet to qualify for the December debate, the Democratic primary is facing a reckoning over diversity, fairness and representation in the primary process. Two weeks before the December debate, which is likely to feature an entirely white roster, the criticism has centered on the qualification rules, which are tied to numbers of individual donors and poll results.

Mr. Booker, who represents New Jersey, focused on these issues in his speech here, and has been addressing them with renewed frequency all week.

Both he and Mr. Castro have seen an increase in fund-raising in the days since Ms. Harris left the race. The Booker campaign said that Wednesday was its biggest online fund-raising day of the race, with 11,000 new donors. Mr. Castro had his best fund-raising day in four months on Tuesday, pulling in roughly $200,000 in online donations.

Still, given the polling requirements, it is extremely unlikely that either man will make the December debate stage. Inside Democratic circles, there is a growing sense of unease that those rules, set by Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, have disproportionally impacted candidates of color.

“We have a system designed by our own Democratic National Committee that is not in any way intended to elevate the most qualified candidate but designed to elect the person with the most money or most access to it,” said Representative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio, who was a supporter of Ms. Harris. “That’s why you’re going to see an all-white debate stage.”

Underpinning Democrats’ apprehension in the wake of Ms. Harris’s exit is the growing schism in the party between those who prefer a moderate status quo candidate and an activist energy for a new order that features diverse leadership. Yet the current standard bearers for both factions are white candidates.

Some Democrats fear that an all-white debate stage later this month, or worse, an all-white final tier of candidates battling it out through months of primary contests, could undercut the party’s much-touted image as a bastion of diversity in the Trump era.

Westlake Legal Group 2020-presidential-candidates-promo-1548014688187-articleLarge-v50 Do Democrats Really Want an All-White Field in 2020? Cory Booker Hopes Not. United States Politics and Government Race and Ethnicity Primaries and Caucuses Presidential Election of 2020 DES MOINES, Iowa Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Castro, Julian Booker, Cory A

Who’s Running for President in 2020?

Who’s in, who’s out and who’s still thinking.

For a Democratic electorate wrought with anxiety about defeating President Trump in November, the possibility of fracturing support among key minority voting groups who powered the gains in 2018 looms as an existential threat — though some prominent Democrats note that the candidates of color in the 2020 field have so far failed to cultivate significant support from black and Latino voters.

On Thursday, Mr. Booker focused mostly on the threat he believes the party faces if the demographics of its candidates do not reflect its voters.

“This is not about one candidate,” Mr. Booker said in his speech Thursday. “It is about the diverse coalition that is necessary to beat Donald Trump.”

Mr. Castro has been similarly critical this week.

“By not having anyone of color onstage, the party loses a lot,” he told reporters after a fund-raiser in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “The party also loses partly the ability to inspire and excite constituencies that we need to win in November 2020 against Donald Trump. And, you know, the D.N.C. ought to do some soul searching on these thresholds. ”

The grievances about who will or won’t qualify for upcoming debate stages center on the result rather than the process that led to it. Mr. Perez announced the summer debate qualification thresholds in February. Party officials informed the campaigns weeks later that debate qualification thresholds would rise as the campaign progressed.

“Our process has resulted in more women and candidates of color participating in our primary debates than billionaires,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, a committee spokeswoman. “No one who has failed to reach 4 percent at this point in the race has ever gone on to be the nominee. Our debate criteria reflects this.”

Leah D. Daughtry, a longtime Democratic National Committee member who sits on the party’s rules committee, said she’s had a number of conversations in recent days with other members about how to change the system to include more candidates of color. No one has come up with a workable solution.

“I don’t know how you fix it now without upsetting the apple cart,” she said. “But it’s a problem. It’s a real problem.”

Some prominent Democrats say the party cannot be blamed for the failure of candidates of color to make the stage, placing responsibility on their inability to build momentum for their efforts — particularly among black and Latino voters.

A growing number of voters, especially younger black voters, have rejected the notion that mere representation equals the kind of change the Democratic base is hungry for. Polls have consistently shown the former vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading among African-American voters, while Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is widely popular among Latinos.

“When people make the case that the standards and requirements should be lowered so that candidates of color can make the debate, as a Latina, I find that insulting,” said Maria Cardona, a former D.N.C. official. “The reason why the candidates right now are the ones at the top of the polls are because these are the candidates who are getting the majority of support from, guess who, voters of color.”

Some party officials see the discussion about minority representation in the debates as inherently self-serving. Ms. Harris had qualified for the December debate but chose instead to drop out, they said.

“The D.N.C. announced their rules months ago. And I think anyone who decided to run understood that the party had rules,” said Donna Brazile, the former interim head of the committee. “I don’t know how you can blame the party for that.”

That is not how Mr. Booker and Mr. Castro see it.

Indeed, within hours of Ms. Harris’s announcement on Tuesday that she was suspending her campaign, Mr. Booker went on MSNBC, saying he was “a little angry, I have to say.”

“The way this is shaping up, especially with the rules of the D.N.C., it is preferencing millionaires and billionaires and a lot of other things that do not ever translate into viability in Iowa,” Mr. Booker said on Tuesday night.

Following Ms. Harris’s exit, prominent Democrats joined the growing chorus of support for Mr. Booker and Mr. Castro, not in outright endorsements of their candidacy, but for the need to continue to hear from a diverse set of candidates in the debates.

“Many good candidates have qualified,” Andrew Gillum, the former Democratic candidate for governor in Florida and a rising star in Democratic politics, wrote on Twitter. “But our diversity is our strength & our debates must reflect that fully.”

Mr. Gillum included links to donate to both Mr. Castro and Mr. Booker’s campaigns. Several other high profile Democrats made similar pleas on social media, leading to some surge of small-dollar support for both candidates.

Ms. Harris’s decision to drop out ignited long-simmering complaints about the primary process. But for months, some candidates and activists have been critical of a system that, they said, is heavily tilted toward predominantly white populations and was stifling the party’s historically diverse field of candidates.

A frustrated Mr. Castro, after missing the polling threshold for the November debate, decried the outsize roles of Iowa and New Hampshire, with their primarily white electorate.

Mr. Booker, who is set to barnstorm Iowa for the next four days, instead praised the state on Tuesday as the one who selected Barack Obama and set the path for the first black president.

It’s a note that has become central to Mr. Booker’s push to make the debate stage, and win the Democratic nomination.

In Des Moines, he directed these future Iowa caucusgoers to ignore the outside forces shaping the primary field.

“I want you to know that we are a nation right now that has an election to decide,” Mr. Booker said. “And Iowa, do not let anybody else decide it for you.”

He continued: “When you hear people say it’s the most important election of our lifetimes, turn around and tell them: ‘Act like it.’”

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting from Washington.

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