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Lindsey Graham slams critics calling for Barr resignation: ‘We know your agenda’

Westlake Legal Group Video-36 Lindsey Graham slams critics calling for Barr resignation: 'We know your agenda' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f3bb010c-ae40-586e-94f6-f3f11880f265 Charles Creitz article

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Monday that critics who calling for Attorney General William Barr to resign have a political agenda separate from upholding the rule of law they claim to cherish.

Graham, R-S.C., told “Hannity” that Barr was doing his job when his office stepped in to soften a sentencing recommendation from four now-resigned federal prosecutors in the case of Republican consultant Roger Stone.

Stone has been convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress in relation to the Russia investigation. The prosecutors recommended up to nine years in prison — but Barr balked at the suggestion.

“Bill Barr stepped in and stopped what I thought was an unjust sentence enhancement – and to the people who want Barr to resign, we know your agenda,” he said.

BARR UNDER FIRE AS DEMS VOW TO INVESTIGATE AG, CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT

“You are not trying to uphold the rule of law. You’re trying to take a good man down because you hate” President Trump.

Graham added that the counterintelligence investigation into potential links between Trump campaign figures and Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — was a “danger to democracy.”

“I think it should never happen again. I think it was set up to destroy the Trump campaign, not protect it from Russian influence,” he said.

“I think [former Mueller team prosecutor] Andrew Weissmann needs to tell the country why it took two years to do the Mueller investigation when he should’ve figured it out in the first week there was nothing there.”

Regarding Barr’s action, which came around the same time as a tweet from President Trump slamming the initial Stone recommendation, several Democrats had expressed outrage.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said Barr “ought to be ashamed and embarrassed and resign as a result of this action directly interfering in the independent prosecution of Roger Stone.” He also said the controversy served as yet another example of “political interference by the president to alter the independent decisions of the Department of Justice.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., didn’t answer a question on whether Barr should resign, but said: “I think the behavior is extremely egregious.”

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Barr, speaking to ABC News last Thursday, pushed back on Trump’s tweet while also defending his handling of the Stone case.

“I’m gonna do what I think is right,” he said, “and you know, I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.”

Westlake Legal Group Video-36 Lindsey Graham slams critics calling for Barr resignation: 'We know your agenda' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f3bb010c-ae40-586e-94f6-f3f11880f265 Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group Video-36 Lindsey Graham slams critics calling for Barr resignation: 'We know your agenda' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/person/lindsey-graham fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f3bb010c-ae40-586e-94f6-f3f11880f265 Charles Creitz article

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Sasse mocks ‘noted scumbag’ Avenatti after guilty verdict: ‘Hard to get airtime from the slammer’

Westlake Legal Group Avenatti-Sasse-AP Sasse mocks 'noted scumbag' Avenatti after guilty verdict: 'Hard to get airtime from the slammer' fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 49038fc4-cb65-55c3-9531-6536627889ed

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., was apparently in no mood to take the high road Friday after celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti was convicted by a federal jury of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike.

The senator’s office put out a statement following the verdict that referred to Avenatti as a “noted scumbag” and “left-wing media darling who orchestrated attacks on Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“Michael Avenatti is a D-list attorney but a Grade-A scumbag,” Sasse began. “It’s hard to get airtime from the slammer, so Nike’s win is cable television’s loss. In the end, Michael Avenatti wasn’t a real attorney, he just played one on TV.”

FLASHBACK: AVENATTI RELEASES GRAPHIC KAVANAUGH ALLEGATIONS

Avenatti became incensed in 2018 after Sasse jabbed at him during a Senate floor speech in which the senator discussed the pain and trouble the contentious confirmation process had brought to the families of both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accused the then-D.C. federal court judge of attempted sexual assault while they were in high school.

“Two families: the Ford family and the Kavanaugh family, both of them homes with children, have been the recipients of constant death threats, and for what? For one seat on the Supreme Court? We know this isn’t about that when people are threatening death. This is about tribe,” Sasse — who voted to confirm Kavanaugh — said at the time.

Referencing Avenatti’s representation of subsequent accuser Julie Swetnick — who had claimed Kavanaugh was “present” during alleged “gang” rapes at high school parties — Sasse said on the Senate floor that the American “body politic” will not improve “by giving more oxygen to the one-man clown show that is Michael Avenatti.”

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Avenatti responded to the critique by calling Sasse a “one man moron who knows nothing about the law or the [Supreme Court].”

The statement from Sasse’s office concluded by noting that Avenatti “faces up to 42 years in prison for his genius legal theories.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Avenatti-Sasse-AP Sasse mocks 'noted scumbag' Avenatti after guilty verdict: 'Hard to get airtime from the slammer' fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 49038fc4-cb65-55c3-9531-6536627889ed   Westlake Legal Group Avenatti-Sasse-AP Sasse mocks 'noted scumbag' Avenatti after guilty verdict: 'Hard to get airtime from the slammer' fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox-news/politics/judiciary/federal-courts fox-news/politics/judiciary/confirmation-of-judge-kavanaugh fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/politics fnc Charles Creitz article 49038fc4-cb65-55c3-9531-6536627889ed

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Bret Baier: Trump speech celebrating Senate acquittal ‘unlike anything we’ve ever seen’

Westlake Legal Group BRET-BAIER Bret Baier: Trump speech celebrating Senate acquittal 'unlike anything we've ever seen' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7819d9ed-0b66-5e6c-b7b9-8f3223691631

President Trump’s speech reacting to his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial was “unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” “Special Report” host Bret Baier said Thursday.

Baier told “Outnumbered: Overtime” host Harris Faulkner that the president’s address in the East Room of the White House was “clearly not a teleprompter speech.”

“This was the president pretty much stream-of-consciousness reacting as he saw it to how this all went down,” mused Baier, referring to the impeachment inquiry.

TRUMP CONDEMNS ‘EVIL’ IMPEACHMENT AFTER SENATE ACQUITTAL: ‘IT WAS A DISGRACE’

In his remarks, the president celebrated the end of the “hell” he was put through by congressional Democrats after doing “nothing wrong.”

After Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi traded shots in deeply personal terms, the president turned his rhetorical fire on those who prosecuted the impeachment case and other investigations against him. He called Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “horrible” and “vicious” people.

“It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars. This should never, ever happen to another president, ever,” Trump said. “It was a disgrace.”

“Now we have that gorgeous word, I never thought I’d hear it,” the president added. “Its called total acquittal.”

Baier noted that, as the president thanked people in the room, his legal team and Republican senators received a standing ovation.

“I was struck by, first of all, how perhaps [Sen.] Susan Collins, [R-Me.,] [felt] when she said that the president has learned from this. He’s learned something but it probably wasn’t that he was wrong,” he said. “That’s not what he takes away from it.”

Baier told Faulkner that the remarks sounded a lot like a stump speech or a Trump 2020 campaign rally, as the president labeled his impeachment “bulls—” and “evil.”

“[It was] kind of a victory lap in this moment,” Baier added. “He clearly wanted to get those thoughts out, one-by-one, about why he thinks this was all made up.”

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Baier also marked the difference in tone and delivery between this speech and remarks by President Bill Clinton after his acquittal in 1999,

“This was President Trump being Trump,” he summarized. “For the people who love him, this will continue to rise him in the polls within his supporters. For the people who don’t like him, this will throw them really off and they will continue to say that this shouldn’t be happening inside the White House.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Marisa Schultz, and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group BRET-BAIER Bret Baier: Trump speech celebrating Senate acquittal 'unlike anything we've ever seen' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7819d9ed-0b66-5e6c-b7b9-8f3223691631   Westlake Legal Group BRET-BAIER Bret Baier: Trump speech celebrating Senate acquittal 'unlike anything we've ever seen' Julia Musto fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning/trump-2020-campaign fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7819d9ed-0b66-5e6c-b7b9-8f3223691631

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Despite his impeachment trial acquittal, Trump clearly guilty of a high crime

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6128244045001_6128244336001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Despite his impeachment trial acquittal, Trump clearly guilty of a high crime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano 40137080-19fb-52c2-8b18-dddbc3472892

 “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” – George Orwell, “1984”

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump ended not with a bang but a whimper. What different outcome could one expect from a trial without so much as a single witness, a single document, any cross-examination or a defendant respectful enough to show up?

Law students are taught early on that a trial is not a grudge match or an ordeal; it is a search for the truth. Trial lawyers know that cross-examination is the most effective truth-testing tool available to them.

But the search for the truth requires witnesses, and when the command from Senate Republican leaders came down that there shall be no witnesses, the truth-telling mission of Trump’s trial was radically transformed into a steamroller of political power.

GREGG JARRETT: TRUMP ACQUITTAL IN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IS A HUMILIATING DEFEAT FOR PARTISAN DEMOCRATS

And in its wake is a Congress ceding power to the presidency, almost as if the states had ratified a constitutional amendment redefining the impeachment language to permit a president to engage in high crimes and misdemeanors so long as he believes that they are in the national interest and so long as his party has an iron-clad grip on the Senate.

How could presidential crimes be in the national interest? Here is the backstory.

When the House of Representatives voted in favor of two articles of impeachment against Trump, it characterized his lawlessness as contempt of Congress and an abuse of power.

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The contempt of Congress consisted of Trump’s orders to subordinates to disregard congressional subpoenas. Both Republican- and Democratic-controlled Houses of Representatives have deemed such presidential instructions in an impeachment inquiry as impeachable per se.

The abuse allegations address Trump’s solicitation of assistance for his reelection campaign from a foreign government by holding up the release of $391 million in military aid to the same foreign government. These funds were congressionally appropriated and ordered to be paid by legislation that Trump had signed into law.

Federal law prohibits such solicitation as criminal and prohibits government officials from seeking personal favors in return for performing their governmental duties. The latter is bribery.

Because the solicitation that Trump committed was a crime against the government, it is among those referred to when the Constitution was written as a “high” crime. High crimes are a constitutional basis for impeachment, along with bribery and treason.

The evidence that Trump did this is overwhelming and beyond a reasonable doubt, and no one with firsthand knowledge denied it. Numerous government officials recounted that the presidential leverage of $391 million in U.S. assistance for a personal political favor did occur and the government’s own watchdog concluded that it was indisputably unlawful.

The favor Trump sought was an announcement by the Ukrainian government of the commencement of an investigation of Trump’s potential presidential foe, former Vice President Joe Biden.

While the Senate was hearing House prosecution managers argue their case, and Trump’s lawyers challenged those arguments, The New York Times revealed that John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, had authored an as yet unpublished book demonstrating that the House case against Trump was true.

True because, unlike the senators who shut their eyes and ears at Trump’s trial, Bolton saw for himself the presidential tit-for-tat machinations that the House had alleged and, if proven, were criminal and impeachable.

The Times also revealed the existence of 24 emails sent by Trump aides manifesting indisputably his lawless behavior. But the emails are secret.

At the same time, two signal events occurred in the impeachment trial. The first was an argument by Trump’s lawyers that every president seeking reelection believes his victory will be in the national interest and thus all presidential efforts toward that victory are constitutional and lawful.

This morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest argument – which effectively resuscitates from history’s graveyard President Richard Nixon’s logic that “when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal” because the president is above the law – must have resonated with Senate Republican leaders.

The leaders coerced their Senate Republican colleagues into embracing the view that – since the president did not want Bolton to testify or White House emails to be revealed – they must bar all witnesses and documents.

The second signal event was shameful. It was the 51 to 49 Senate vote to bar witnesses and documents from the trial.

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Isn’t it odd that a president who clamors for exoneration, who claimed loud and long that he committed no crime and did no wrong, who insisted that his request to the Ukrainian president to seek dirt on Biden in return for American financial assistance was “perfect,” would command the members of his own party to block testimony adverse to him – rather than hear it, cross-examine it, challenge it and thereby obtain the exoneration on the merits that he seeks?

Do innocent people behave this way?

If Trump really believes he did not commit any crimes and any impeachable offenses, why would he orchestrate blocking evidence? And who – having taken an oath to do “impartial justice” – would close their eyes to the truth? How could such a marathon of speeches possibly be considered a trial?

Trump will luxuriate in his victory. But the personal victory for him is a legal assault on the Constitution. The president has taken an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Instead, he has trashed it.

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How? By manipulating Senate Republicans to bar firsthand evidence and keep it from senatorial and public scrutiny, Trump and his Senate collaborators have insulated him and future presidents from the moral and constitutional truism that no president is above the law.

Somewhere, Richard Nixon is smiling.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6128244045001_6128244336001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Despite his impeachment trial acquittal, Trump clearly guilty of a high crime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano 40137080-19fb-52c2-8b18-dddbc3472892   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6128244045001_6128244336001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Despite his impeachment trial acquittal, Trump clearly guilty of a high crime fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano 40137080-19fb-52c2-8b18-dddbc3472892

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McConnell: Trump’s impeachment was a ‘colossal political mistake’ by Democrats

Westlake Legal Group Video-16 McConnell: Trump's impeachment was a 'colossal political mistake' by Democrats fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0176183e-2383-53e1-9995-ef57a28cdecf

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told Fox News Wednesday that Democrats’ impeachment of President Trump had backfired and instead united the Republican Party behind the commander-in-chief.

McConnell told “Hannity” that pursuing impeachment was a “colossal political mistake” that will hurt Democrats in the short term and may cost them in this November’s elections.

“This was a thoroughly political maneuver,” McConnell said. ” … It was stupid. It backfired. The president has got the best numbers he has had since he has been in office.

“So, if this was all about the November election, it seems to me we can conclude, at least in the short term here, this was a colossal political mistake.”

ROMNEY THE ONLY SENATOR TO DEFECT FROM PARTY IN IMPEACHMENT VOTE

McConnell also called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s public shredding of her copy of Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday as a childish and petty maneuver.

“What kind of example does that set for the American people about how we ought to conduct ourselves? Have we forgotten how to be civil to each other?” he asked.

He said there has historically been an understanding that lawmakers put aside heated political differences when in session and when at joint events like the State of the Union.

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Turning to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, McConnell said the lawmaker who became the sole Republican to vote to remove Trump from office has often been a strong supporter of the GOP caucus’ goals.

“We have a lot more votes to cast between now and November,” McConnell remarked, “and I’m going to need his support on a whole variety of things that are important to the president and to the country.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Video-16 McConnell: Trump's impeachment was a 'colossal political mistake' by Democrats fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0176183e-2383-53e1-9995-ef57a28cdecf   Westlake Legal Group Video-16 McConnell: Trump's impeachment was a 'colossal political mistake' by Democrats fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 0176183e-2383-53e1-9995-ef57a28cdecf

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Sen. John Thune: Democrats are learning same lesson from impeachment as GOP in 1999

Westlake Legal Group HemmerThune Sen. John Thune: Democrats are learning same lesson from impeachment as GOP in 1999 fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/democratic-party fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 35d06119-8368-5343-9734-e3643d9402fa

Senate Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., said Tuesday that Democrats are learning the same lesson the GOP did in 1999: Impeachment proceedings can actually be a boon to the sitting president.

Thune, who was the state’s lone congressman during President Clinton’s impeachment, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., likely knew an impeachment inquiry could hurt her party going forward but was “pushed into” starting one by far-left members of the Democratic Party.

REPUBLICAN SUSAN COLLINS ANNOUNCES SHE WILL VOTE TO ACQUIT TRUMP

“And I think the American people are paying the price for that,” Thune added. “But honestly, the president politically — and I think Republicans politically — are finding out the same thing we found out in 1999 with Bill Clinton — that his numbers went up and ours went down. And I think the president’s numbers are going up, and I think the Democrats numbers are going down.”

Regarding Wednesday’s final vote to convict or acquit President Trump on the two impeachment articles, Thune told host Bill Hemmer that there is only a “small universe” of Democrats who could side with the GOP.

“I think that there are some of them are going to be in a very tough spot if they vote to convict the president in the kind of states that they represent,” he said.  “I think that there are perhaps a few that are gettable. We will see. We will not know until tomorrow.”

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Political observers have cited Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Doug Jones of Alabama as Democrats who could vote to acquit the president.

Shortly after Thune spoke to Hemmer, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, announced she would vote to acquit Trump on both articles of impeachment. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, is the only GOP member whose vote is in play.

Westlake Legal Group HemmerThune Sen. John Thune: Democrats are learning same lesson from impeachment as GOP in 1999 fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/democratic-party fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 35d06119-8368-5343-9734-e3643d9402fa   Westlake Legal Group HemmerThune Sen. John Thune: Democrats are learning same lesson from impeachment as GOP in 1999 fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/south-dakota fox-news/us/democratic-party fox-news/shows/bill-hemmer-reports fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 35d06119-8368-5343-9734-e3643d9402fa

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Mary Anne Marsh: Brexit and impeachment outcome make for a very good day – for Putin

Westlake Legal Group AP-Brexit-Day-3 Mary Anne Marsh: Brexit and impeachment outcome make for a very good day – for Putin Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9525d88c-3df3-5fe9-bad3-2e51036df19f

Vladimir Putin had his best day ever last Friday when he achieved two of his longest-held goals: a divided Europe and a divided United States. Putin succeeded without any shots fired or missiles launched.

After 47 years, Britain left the European Union following a 2016 referendum that passed with a slim four-point margin and a fractious debate over the last three years. The choice pitted urban vs. rural, young vs. old, white people vs. people of color, and Tories vs. Labour. The election itself was called into question with reports of Russian interference that sowed doubt about the results.

With Brexit now official, it will likely harm Britain’s economy. In fact, the referendum alone did just that, as well as reduce the country’s per capita income. As a result, Britain is weaker politically and economically.

JESSICA TARLOV: IOWA CAUCUSES EXCITING, UNPREDICTABLE – DON’T COUNT THESE CANDIDATES OUT JUST YET

Also on Friday, 51 GOP senators voted against allowing witnesses to testify before the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, even though 72 percent of all Americans wanted witnesses, including 67 percent of Republicans. It is the first time in American history that an impeachment trial didn’t have witnesses.

As a result, Trump is likely to be acquitted later this week, even though some GOP senators are saying that his actions – withholding military aid in an effort to have Ukraine investigate a political rival – were wrong. But the senators didn’t think the actions constituted an impeachable offense, even though it is a crime to solicit foreign aid for a U.S. election. So the senators voted against calling witnesses, effectively ending the trial.

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Many Americans disagree with these Republican senators. In the latest Fox News poll, 50 percent of Americans think Trump should be removed from office. But it seems unlikely he will be when the Senate votes on Wednesday. As a result, the country is roiled by political divisions created by a president that hasn’t been seen since Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

All that makes Putin very happy.

Remember his two major goals to divide the West.

First, he hopes to increase his own power by dividing Europe, and Brexit certainly helps him in that effort. Of course, he would also love to end NATO, and many experts have pointed to  Trump’s derogatory comments about the alliance as detrimental to its unity. Withdrawal from NATO by the United States would certainly make Putin happy by further weakening Europe.

It is time to ask some hard questions of every House and Senate Republican, on the record, about their support of Trump’s conduct that led to his impeachment.

Second, Putin hopes to exacerbate divisions in the U.S. That is happening now with impeachment proceedings that will likely see Putin’s friend and ally Trump stay in office. As that process unfolds, Putin openly continues to sow discord in the 2020 election online and in our election systems, assisted by Senate Republican accomplices who refuse to pass legislation to protect our upcoming election. This is the best of all worlds for Putin.

So now what?

It is time to ask some hard questions of every House and Senate Republican, on the record, about their support of Trump’s conduct that led to his impeachment. The following questions go to the heart of the allegations against Trump, and the answers will reveal Republicans’ intentions in support of this wrongdoing:

  • Have you ever solicited, accepted or received anything of value, including donations, from a foreign government for your election?  
  • What are you doing to restore the Federal Election Commission so it can enforce campaign finance laws? 
  • Do you support security reforms to protect our elections, including 2020, from foreign interference similar to Russia’s in 2016? 
  • What are you doing to bring election security legislation passed by the House last year to a vote in the Senate? 

The answers to these questions will provide the true motivation behind Republicans’ support of Trump as well as demonstrate where their loyalties lie. Every American should want to know where each of them stands.

To understand the full import of the Senate vote last Friday consider historian Jon Meacham’s view of it:

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Donald Trump, he said, “has such a standing with his political base that senior United States senators have decided that though he is guilty, they are not going to risk the wrath of the people in order to follow through on what is clearly spelled out in the Constitution.”

Meacham continued, “President Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. If the king does it, it’s okay. That’s what we’re seeing unfold in Washington right now.  And I think all Americans, whether you support the president or you don’t should pause significantly and think about the long-term implications of having a president who is above the law.”

Britain still has a monarchy but its future is in doubt.

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The United States is barely hanging on as a republic and its future is in doubt, too.

That makes Friday one of the best days for Putin so far. And he is very happy indeed.

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Westlake Legal Group AP-Brexit-Day-3 Mary Anne Marsh: Brexit and impeachment outcome make for a very good day – for Putin Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9525d88c-3df3-5fe9-bad3-2e51036df19f   Westlake Legal Group AP-Brexit-Day-3 Mary Anne Marsh: Brexit and impeachment outcome make for a very good day – for Putin Mary Anne Marsh fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 9525d88c-3df3-5fe9-bad3-2e51036df19f

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CPAC declares Mitt Romney ‘NOT invited’ after Senate impeachment witness vote

Westlake Legal Group AP19254724549072 CPAC declares Mitt Romney 'NOT invited' after Senate impeachment witness vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/news-events/cpac fox news fnc/politics fnc article 36d42170-54d0-5832-a153-14848e30dd2c

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) made clear on Friday that Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who formerly won the event’s straw poll in 2012, would not be welcome at the conference in February — an apparent response to the senator’s refusal to follow his party in the ongoing Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

“The ‘extreme conservative’ and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020,” tweeted Matt Schlapp, who leads the organization behind CPAC.

Romney has angered some conservatives as one of the few Republicans who is openly critical of President Trump. The backlash seemed to intensify as Romney split from other Senate Republicans in calling for additional witnesses and evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial.

Neither Schlapp nor Romney’s office immediately responded to Fox News’ requests for comment.

SWIPE AT ROMNEY? UTAH LAWMAKER INTRODUCES BILL TO RECALL US SENATORS

It’s unclear whether the Utah senator intended to speak at or visit CPAC, which serves as an annual gathering for conservative leaders and activists. Romney previously spoke at CPAC and served as the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee. Since Trump’s election, he’s become a symbol of the intraparty divide over Trump and the direction he’s taking the party.

Before the House voted to impeach Trump, Romney derided the president’s “brazen” requests for foreign nations to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. “By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling,” he said.

As senators deliberated impeachment, Romney said that he’d like to hear from former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who reportedly claimed that Trump explicitly conditioned Ukrainian aid on the nation’s willingess to investigate the Bidens. On Friday, the Utah senator joined just one other Republican — Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine — in favoring a motion to consider new witnesses and evidence. The final vote was 51-49 against the motion.

MITT ROMNEY BLASTS TRUMP’S ‘BRAZEN’ REQUEST FOR FOREIGN PROBES INTO BIDEN FAMILY

Romney’s position drew mixed reactions from Republican leaders. Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, who previously served as a top adviser during Romney’s 2012 run, panned Romney earlier this week.

“It’s disappointing because I think Mitt Romney is clearly letting his personal dislike of the president influence him more than trying to deal with [what] this country needs,” Sununu told “America’s Newsroom.” While appearing on “Cavuto Live” Saturday, former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy seemed less critical. While Gowdy said he was “disappointed” in Romney, he would give Romney an opportunity to explain his decision.

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Gowdy also praised Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, for defending Romney amid intense criticism of his colleague. “Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial,” Lee tweeted on Friday.

“But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process. Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him.”

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19254724549072 CPAC declares Mitt Romney 'NOT invited' after Senate impeachment witness vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/news-events/cpac fox news fnc/politics fnc article 36d42170-54d0-5832-a153-14848e30dd2c   Westlake Legal Group AP19254724549072 CPAC declares Mitt Romney 'NOT invited' after Senate impeachment witness vote Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/news-events/cpac fox news fnc/politics fnc article 36d42170-54d0-5832-a153-14848e30dd2c

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Mike Lee on Senate vote against witnesses: We dealt with ‘articles of impeachment as they sent them to us’

Westlake Legal Group McCallumLee Mike Lee on Senate vote against witnesses: We dealt with 'articles of impeachment as they sent them to us' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f2d95550-d5cf-5071-b901-87d1bc13b07f article

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, appeared on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” Friday to react to the Senate impeachment trial vote against hearing new witnesses and defend the decision by many Republicans to move the trial along.

“It’s not as if they’re going to go away one way or another as a result of this. Nor is it the case that they wouldn’t be able to bring official charges if they wanted to and then perhaps secure a 33-day delay after passing subsequent articles of impeachment,” Lee said of the Democrats. “We’ve got to deal, however, with the articles of impeachment as they sent them to us, in addition to having some inadequacies in and of themselves. There is no genuine issue of material fact as to the evidence in this case, there’s no reason to call additional witnesses.”

DEMS WORK TO DRAW OUT IMPEACHMENT FINALE, POTENTIALLY PUSHING FINAL VOTE INTO NEXT WEEK

Republicans in the Senate secured enough votes Friday evening to reject Democratic efforts to extend the trial, paving the way for the widely expected acquittal of President Trump next week on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine.

Later on Friday evening, Senate Republicans voted down four amendments offered by Democrats to call former National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, among others.

The final vote will come Wednesday, two days after the Iowa caucuses and the day after Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the House chamber.

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MacCallum asked Lee about the claim from the Trump administration that it had found classified information while reviewing the manuscript of Bolton’s forthcoming book, a claim denied by Bolton’s attorney.

“If there’s classified information in the book — which we have every reason to believe might well be the case because of the fact that it’s under review — and if they have disclosed that to a third party, there could be some very significant implications for whoever leaked it,” Lee said. “That would be a problem. Now, I don’t know whether that would be John Bolton himself, whether it would be somebody connected to his author. I really have no idea. But if there’s classified material in there, particularly if it’s classified at the top-secret level, that would be a problem.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Tyler Olson contributed to this article.

Westlake Legal Group McCallumLee Mike Lee on Senate vote against witnesses: We dealt with 'articles of impeachment as they sent them to us' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f2d95550-d5cf-5071-b901-87d1bc13b07f article   Westlake Legal Group McCallumLee Mike Lee on Senate vote against witnesses: We dealt with 'articles of impeachment as they sent them to us' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc f2d95550-d5cf-5071-b901-87d1bc13b07f article

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CNN/Playboy’s Brian Karem blasted for asking GOP senators if they’ve become ‘shills’ for Trump

Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty CNN/Playboy's Brian Karem blasted for asking GOP senators if they've become 'shills' for Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ec83bf53-cdf3-5484-a23a-034e287f6a26 article

Playboy White House correspondent and CNN political analyst Brian Karem was slammed for his line of questioning to Republican senators amid the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Karem, who is known for his clashes a White House, uploaded videos asking multiple GOP lawmakers, “What do you say to the criticism that you have all abandoned independence to be a shill for the president?”

He knocked Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., for “refusing” to answer his question as he walked away from the pool of reporters.

SANDERS SURROGATE REVIVES BIDEN’S PLAGIARISM SCANDAL DAYS BEFORE IOWA CAUCUSES 

Shortly after, he was able to ask another group of lawmakers, including Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., a similar line of questioning: “What do you say to the critics who say that the Republicans have abandoned any pretense of being independent jurists and are merely really shilling for the president?'”

“Hogwash is what I would say,” Scott responded. “At the end of the day, I think we’re being as objective as either side. Bottom line is no one walked into the hearing without having heard was brought from the House when we’ve had 192 video clips of witnesses testifying in the House, so we’re either having our opinions reinforced or we’re rejecting those opinions and asking questions based on the premise brought from the House.”

Karem then battled Scott over whether or not the House subpoenaed former National Security Adviser John Bolton, which the CNN analyst conceded that House Democrats failed to subpoena the top Trump aide.

“But you don’t want to hear from him in a trial?” Karem attempted to ask.

The liberal journalist was panned on social media for his “activism.”

“This isn’t reporting, this is activism,” congressional staffer Natalie Johnson reacted.

“Also he didn’t refuse to do anything he was walking away when you shouted your ridiculous question,” chief strategist for Sen. Rand Paul Doug Stafford added about Sen. Cruz.

“So proud of you,” conservative commentator Stephen Miller quipped.

“This is just so utterly unserious. Terrible look for any media organization,” National Republican Senate Committee senior advisor Matt Whitlock said.

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Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty CNN/Playboy's Brian Karem blasted for asking GOP senators if they've become 'shills' for Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ec83bf53-cdf3-5484-a23a-034e287f6a26 article   Westlake Legal Group Brian-Karem-Getty CNN/Playboy's Brian Karem blasted for asking GOP senators if they've become 'shills' for Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/ted-cruz fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ec83bf53-cdf3-5484-a23a-034e287f6a26 article

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