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Westlake Legal Group > House of Representatives

Impeachment Inquiry or Just Plain Oversight? It Depends on Who You Ask

Westlake Legal Group 13dc-impeach-facebookJumbo Impeachment Inquiry or Just Plain Oversight? It Depends on Who You Ask United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — An impeachment investigation to potentially try to remove the president of the United States for high crimes and misdemeanors would seem to be fairly clear-cut.

But as the House Judiciary Committee pushed ahead this week with a wide-ranging investigation it said was designed to determine whether to recommend impeaching President Trump, Democrats found themselves tripped up again and again by a seemingly straightforward question: Is what they are doing an impeachment inquiry, or not?

The Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee, where impeachment cases are typically built, insisted it is, and hastened on Thursday to add that he sees no more room for debate. But his Republican counterpart is just as adamant that it is not. And the Justice Department is trying to capitalize on the confusion to argue the panel has no right to any secret evidence the department has that’s relevant to its case.

Those looking on, including some Democrats, have been left scratching their heads.

Which answer is right could matter a great deal for the Democrats and President Trump, though maybe not for the reasons one might think.

Here’s what you need to know about the history of impeachment and the arguments both sides are making.

Democrats are deviating in key ways from the way the House launched the two presidential impeachment inquiries of the modern era.

When the Judiciary Committee was investigating whether to impeach President Richard M. Nixon in the 1970s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s, it ultimately sought and received explicit authority to conduct each of those inquiries by a vote of the full House.

In this case, the Judiciary Committee led by Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, has neither asked for nor received such a vote.

Instead, Democrats used a court filing and news conference in July, on the day they were leaving Washington for a six-week summer recess, to declare that an investigation that had been going on for months should now be considered primarily one “investigating whether to recommend articles of impeachment” against Mr. Trump.

The panel did cast its first impeachment-related vote on Thursday, but while that action may have drawn attention to their work, it did not change the nature of the probe. The action merely adopted formal procedures to govern the inquiry that was already underway.

Mr. Nadler laid out the committee’s views at the outset of Thursday’s vote on investigative procedures, but only after swatting away some of the questions about its work.

“Some have said that, absent some grand moment in which we pass dramatically from ‘concerned about the President’s conduct’ to ‘actively considering articles of impeachment,’ it is hard to know exactly what the committee is doing here. Others have argued that we can do none of this work without first having an authorizing vote on the House floor.”

Not so, he continued. Nothing in House rules or the Constitution, he said, requires any such action. As long as it is considering articles of impeachment, Mr. Nadler contended, the committee has all the authority it needs to designate that work an impeachment investigation or inquiry.

In the Nixon and Clinton cases, Democrats argue, a House vote was necessary to grant the committee special powers it did not already possess during those periods under the standing rules of the House, like the ability to issue subpoenas and conduct depositions. Under the current House rules, the committee already has all of those authorities.

Mr. Nadler and the lawyers have also pointed to past examples of the House Judiciary Committee acting on its own authority to open inquiries and recommend articles of impeachment against judges and other officials and not drawing any complaints.

Under normal circumstances, the distinction might not matter. It does this time because Democrats have asked for the help of the federal courts to obtain grand jury material related to the special counsel’s Russia investigation and speedily secure the cooperation of witnesses. To get it, they have to convince a judge in the coming weeks that they have met the criteria for an impeachment inquiry.

The list of former Trump administration officials whose testimony the committee is seeking seems to grow by the day; on Friday, an aide confirmed that lawyers have initiated negotiations to get Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general, to appear. Those talks were first reported by The Washington Post.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, argued over and over at Thursday’s committee hearing that without a House vote authorizing it, the inquiry is merely regular oversight work dressed up to look more menacing than it is. Democrats were choosing to not formalize their inquiry because they do not have the votes they need to do so, he said.

“The ambiguity — the confusion — is a product of my colleagues’ own making, because there is an easy way to know exactly whether this committee is in impeachment proceedings,” Mr. Collins said. “It’s called a vote — a vote of the full House of Representatives.”

The Republicans argue that the Judiciary Committee does not inherently have the authority to conduct a presidential impeachment investigation on its own. The standing rules of the House explicitly outline the panel’s jurisdiction, including the impeachment of judges, but they do not mention presidential impeachments, proving that the two are different, Republicans aides say.

The Justice Department echoed some of those arguments on Friday as it sought to thwart the panel in court. Citing Democrats’ conflicting statements about the nature of the inquiry, the department argued to a federal judge that the Judiciary Committee’s request for grand jury information should be rejected.

The Constitution gives little guidance on impeachment aside from the most basic facts: the House can vote to charge presidents or other officials, and the Senate holds a trial to determine whether to remove the officeholder. It does not dictate what impeachment proceedings should look like, and is completely silent on what, if any, preliminary investigative steps must be taken.

Historians of impeachment and lawyers who have worked for the House or studied its rules have taken that to mean that the chamber is free to decide how to handle the investigative work related to an impeachment inquiry as it sees fit.

“Whatever procedure the House adopts for this impeachment or any other is really up to it,” said Michael J. Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor and an impeachment scholar at the University of North Carolina. “There is no formula.”

Raymond W. Smock, the House’s official historian in the 1980s and 1990s, agreed, noting that there was a long history of rewriting the rule book around impeachment.

But Democrats’ strategy is not without risk. House parliamentarians, nonpartisan aides who help interpret and enforce the rules of the House, would likely make a more conservative recommendation, people who work with them said. If lawmakers want to ensure that a judge will recognize what they are doing as impeachment, it would be better to follow the most well-worn path.

“They can say they are doing it, but what will a judge think, given the precedent in the past?” said Michael Conway, who served as a Judiciary Committee lawyer in 1974 during the Nixon impeachment.

House Democrats have good reasons to avoid a House vote that might land them on firmer legal ground. Unlike in the Nixon or Clinton cases, when the House voted overwhelmingly and on a bipartisan basis to authorize investigations, a vote now would almost certainly be strictly partisan, potentially sapping the investigation of momentum. It could also deepen rifts among Democrats, given that many moderates in conservative-leaning districts have been reluctant to embrace the idea of impeachment, and there is no guarantee Democrats could secure a majority on the House floor.

Republicans argue that Democrats are moving forward with a not-quite-legitimate impeachment simply to spare their moderates from taking a potentially difficult vote.

“You can have your impeachment and deny it too,” Representative Tom McClintock, Republican of California, needled on Thursday.

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

Trump Inspires California Lawmakers to Go on Offense

When President Trump flies into San Francisco next week for his first visit to the Bay Area as president he will set down in a state that has never fully welcomed him.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, a member of the Republican National Committee and a host of a fund-raising luncheon on Tuesday where seats for a couple at the president’s table go for $100,000, likened his visit to a trip “behind enemy lines.”

Behind those lines, Mr. Trump’s detractors have been remarkably active, as Democrats have been energized by anger against the president to enact a sweeping liberal agenda that in almost every way offers a counternarrative to the deregulation, anti-immigrant stance and conservative policies of the Trump administration.

Just in recent days, California has approved statewide rent control and moved to reshape the gig economy by forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, setting new labor standards that could give momentum to similar efforts in other states.

Almost three years into his presidency, Mr. Trump has catalyzed California into moving more aggressively to the left, providing an alternative vision, although with mixed results, to almost everything the Trump presidency has stood for.

“Donald Trump has been the impetus for putting everything on warp speed,” said Garry South, a Democratic political strategist in California. “It has pushed Democrats in California to take actions that might otherwise have been viewed as a little less urgent if we had a Democrat in the White House.”

On perhaps the two biggest issues animating political life in America today — immigration and climate — the two sides are pushing in opposite directions. While Mr. Trump champions his border wall and imposes new restrictions on asylum seekers, California is expanding medical care for undocumented immigrants and recently passed a new law outlawing private prisons, including detention facilities run by federal immigration authorities. And when California negotiated its own deal with four major automakers to set emissions standards and combat climate change, the Justice Department opened an antitrust inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160646310_d67bccad-c559-4009-97dd-f5b28e98de9d-articleLarge Trump Inspires California Lawmakers to Go on Offense Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) House of Representatives California

Vendors in the MacArthur Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, which is predominantly Latino. CreditJessica Pons for The New York Times

During the first two years of the Trump presidency, Democrats in California coalesced around their role as leaders of the resistance, an idea that quickly became a bumper sticker and social media rallying cry. But more recently, lawmakers have channeled that energy into legislation, making California a showcase of what progressive governance looks like in the era of Trump.

At the same time, Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, has filed 59 lawsuits against the Trump administration, on issues ranging from immigration to health care to environment policy.

With a Democratic supermajority in both legislative houses in Sacramento, and a new governor, Gavin Newsom, determined to push a liberal agenda buoyed by a nearly $21 billion budget surplus, California, more than ever, feels like a place unto its own.

But in at least one way, California and Mr. Trump are bound together: with both of their futures resting on the economy. A recession would wipe out the budget surplus that has propelled new spending on social services in California, and threaten Mr. Trump’s re-election bid in 2020.

For his part, Mr. Trump has seen California as a perfect foil, a liberal haven rife with problems — homelessness, income inequality, gun violence — he can use to taunt his opponents and energize his base. The problems Mr. Trump cites are real: For all of California’s liberal politics and its rhetoric of tolerance and diversity, the state has the highest poverty rate in the nation and there are more homeless people in California than anywhere else in the country.

When Mr. Trump was in Japan over the summer for the G20 summit, he drew a contrast between the cleanliness of Japanese cities and the filth and the number of homeless people on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, saying it was a problem that started two years ago even though it has been an issue that has confounded generations of California leaders.

This week, a delegation of White House aides visited Los Angeles to see the homeless problem up close, and an article in The Washington Post suggested the administration might try to clear the streets of the homeless and move them to federal facilities.

There are more homeless people in California than anywhere else in the country.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

At a swanky event in Downtown Los Angeles, Mayor Eric M. Garcetti said he was dumbfounded when he saw the story. He said he began texting other mayors across the state, as well as Mr. Newsom. “Sweep people up?” Mr. Garcetti told an audience on Tuesday at the California Club. “What does that even mean?”

Mr. Garcetti was there to discuss the 2020 census, another front in the battle between California and the Trump administration. Much of the discussion centered on how California could push back against efforts officials see here as designed to lower participation in the count, like a failed bid by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question. The efforts could lead to an undercount of the number of immigrants, and thus affect California’s representation in Congress and its share of federal funds. California has appropriated nearly $200 million to bolster outreach efforts in the state, and ensure that undocumented immigrants participate in the census.

“There’s nothing Trump would like to see more than a diminished voice in California,” said Alex Padilla, California’s secretary of state, at the event.

As California has become more liberal, the state Republican Party has been deeply diminished. Hillary Clinton beat Mr. Trump in California by more than four million votes, and there are now more Californians who identify as independents than Republicans. Last year, the Democratic Party flipped seven congressional seats, including several in historically conservative Orange County, helping the party retake a majority in the House of Representatives.

But Mr. Trump does have powerful allies in the state, and pockets of California, including in the Central Valley, are deeply conservative and supportive of the president. Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from the Central Valley and the House minority leader, has been a consistent defender of the president in the face of his critics, including most recently when Mr. McCarthy said he saw no concerns with government and military officials staying at Trump hotels.

While Mr. Trump, who sold his Beverly Hills mansion earlier this year, won’t find much electoral support in California, he still raises money here. According to an analysis by Cal Matters, an independent news outlet, the president has raised more than $3 million in California this year, more than most Democratic presidential candidates.

California has moved to reshape the gig economy by forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to classify their drivers as employees, setting new labor standards that could give momentum to similar efforts in other states.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

At the Republican Party’s recent state convention near Palm Springs, Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said, “the Trumps will be a dynasty that will last for decades.” But the cloud of Mr. Trump’s unpopularity in California hung over the convention, and a successful resolution pushed by Chad Mayes, a Republican lawmaker and critic of the president, that called on the party to condemn racism and xenophobia was seen as a rebuke of the president.

Mr. Trump himself has a checkered history with California. Hollywood never warmed to him as an entertainer, and in the 1990s he failed to build what he promised would be the world’s tallest building in Los Angeles. After becoming president, a flash mob of protesters descended on his golf resort in Palos Verdes, spelling the word “resist.” And during several campaign stops in April and June 2016, before the Republican primary, he drew thousands of supporters to rallies — and also hundreds of protesters.

In April of that year, protesters temporarily blocked Mr. Trump from entering the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Burlingame, Calif., where he was scheduled to speak at the state Republican convention. He was forced to exit his motorcade and make his way off Highway 101 by foot. “That was not the easiest entrance I’ve ever made,” he told the audience. “I felt like I was crossing the border.”

But when he came to visit after the wildfires last year, he was welcomed to Paradise, Calif., by former Gov. Jerry Brown, Mr. Newsom and local officials.

Last year, Manuel Pastor, a sociologist and professor at the University of Southern California, wrote a book about the conflict between Mr. Trump and California, called “State of Resistance.”

Asked how he would update his book now, he said, “the conflict between the federal government, the Trump administration, has deepened. And California has gotten increasingly better at being able to defend itself and resist. And the Trump administration has gotten increasingly creative about ways that it could shortchange California.”

A mural by Lucía Gonzalez Ippolito titled “Women of the Resistance” in San Francisco.CreditJason Henry for The New York Times

In his work, Mr. Pastor has drawn parallels between the political polarization of America today and 1990s California, when demographics were changing to become more Latino and when the state enacted harsh measures against immigrants.

Although California is today perceived as an inveterate, deep-blue state, the overwhelming control that Democrats currently have over both the legislative and executive branches is a historical anomaly. Since 1900, there have been nearly three times as many Republican governors in California as Democrats. And when Mr. Newsom succeeded Jerry Brown as governor in January it was the first time a Democrat had followed a fellow Democrat since 1887.

Now, however, momentum is clearly with the Democrats, as anger over Mr. Trump’s presidency has unleashed a legislative fervor.

Chris Lehane, a former political adviser to President Bill Clinton, said progressives in California were in the midst of a “renaissance in a belief in government.” He described Mr. Trump’s election as being the action that helped spur a liberal reaction — he called it “political physics.” Mr. Lehane said he was struck not only by the number of progressive laws coming out of Sacramento this session but by their breadth and ambition. “I think the tempo is really at a different level,” he said. “Now you see California playing offense.”

But he cautioned that the Democrats’ success, and their renewed faith in government, was predicated on government being able to solve the state’s many social ills — its lagging educational system and housing crisis, among them. “We live in a world where technology is moving so fast it’s really so difficult for society to adapt,” he said. “Is government able to move fast enough to be able to address these issues? And ultimately if government can’t, then who does?”

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

Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier

WASHINGTON — After becoming the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, Representative Liz Cheney, the sharp-tongued lawmaker from Wyoming, wasted little time establishing her reputation as one of her party’s most combative partisan brawlers.

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, routinely lashes out at Democrats and detractors of President Trump. She branded Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of two Muslim women in Congress, “an anti-Semitic socialist who slanders US troops.” She said anti-Trump texts sent by F.B.I. agents “could well be treason.” She asked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”

Now, the tough-talking congresswoman, who is pondering a run for Senate, has laced into a fellow Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a nasty and deeply personal clash — with multigenerational undertones — over Afghanistan policy and the firing of John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser. The feud, which began on Twitter and has continued on television, has cemented Ms. Cheney’s reputation as the most combative Cheney in Washington.

At a time when the president’s hold on the Republican Party is as strong as ever, it comes down to a contest between Ms. Cheney and Mr. Paul over who is Trumpier.

Ms. Cheney, an unapologetic proponent of using the United States’ military might around the globe, is a backer of Mr. Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration with her father. Mr. Paul, a libertarian whose own father, former Representative Ron Paul, has called the Bush-Cheney approach a “crazed neocon foreign policy,” is among the most vocal opponents in Congress of armed foreign intervention.

Their back-and-forth has gotten downright nasty.

Ms. Cheney has invoked Mr. Paul’s 2016 Republican presidential primary loss to Mr. Trump, calling the senator “a big loser (then & now),” and resurfaced a four-year-old Trump tweet likening Mr. Paul to “a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.” Mr. Paul shot back, suggesting that Ms. Cheney “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”

On Friday, at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, Ms. Cheney took a victory lap.

“I enjoyed it,” she said wryly. “I thought it was an enlightening exchange. Here I had been thinking the Senate was dull.”

A lawyer, former State Department official, onetime Fox News pundit and mother of five, Ms. Cheney, 53, has had a stunning ascent in Washington. Some view her as a possible House speaker, though she may be setting her sights across the Capitol. She is weighing a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Michael B. Enzi, a Republican whom she briefly sought to oust in 2014 in a campaign that ended in disaster for her.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158699361_25d9f14f-c9d8-440f-bfe1-f607679a4b39-articleLarge Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier Wyoming United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Paul, Ron Paul, Rand Midterm Elections (2018) House of Representatives Conservatism (US Politics) Cheney, Liz Cheney, Dick

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, shot back at Ms. Cheney, suggesting that she “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We have a problem in our conference where a lot of our members fear engagement with the media because of the media bias that we all believe to exist,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida. “Liz seems to understand the importance of doing a lot of media and also doing hostile media.”

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, said Ms. Cheney “hasn’t been afraid to call out some of the most radical members of the socialist Democrats.” But her tendency to name-check her opponents makes at least some colleagues uncomfortable.

“I think we have to get away from personalities,” said Representative Tom Emmer, Republican of Minnesota and the chairman the party’s campaign arm, in June, long before Ms. Cheney’s spat with Mr. Paul. “From a messaging standpoint, I think it’s a mistake — you don’t use names. This is not about the people — this is about their ideas. We need to have a battle of ideas in this country.”

Ms. Cheney’s meteoric rise has injected the politics of the personal into the highest levels of congressional leadership in a way not seen since Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker whose political action committee instructed Republicans to “learn to speak like Newt” by describing Democrats using words like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame.

“I think that she’s been very effective when she’s been on TV,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview. “I think she is personable, knowledgeable and assertive without being hostile.”

And in a party where 90 percent of House Republicans are white men, Mr. Gingrich said, Ms. Cheney is a huge asset in Republicans’ efforts to demonize three liberal freshman Democrats — Representative Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota, Ms. Omar and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who have become lightning rods on the right, fueling Republican fund-raising.

“You need a woman member to do that,” he said.

Ms. Cheney’s supporters say she pushes back hard at Democrats because she is deeply concerned about the direction in which the party, particularly the progressive left, would take the country. And they say she has drawn a sharp line against hateful speech, no matter where it comes from. When Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, seemed to embrace white supremacy, Ms. Cheney was among the first to condemn him.

But she also knows that tough talk wins elections. After Republicans took a drubbing in the 2018 midterms, losing control of the House, she complained the party had been too tame.

“We’ve got to change the way that we operate and really, in some ways, be more aggressive, have more of a rapid response,” she told The Associated Press at the time.

Ms. Cheney grew up around politics, handing out fliers and politicking for her father, who was elected to the House in 1978, when she was still a teenager. He once was the No. 3 House Republican; when Ms. Cheney’s colleagues voted her into the same post last year, the former vice president sat in the front row, wearing a silent smile, those in attendance said.

Ms. Cheney with her father, Dick Cheney, as he was sworn in as vice president in 2001.CreditGetty Images

“The vice president has a great line: He says, ‘I’m conservative and I’m not mad about it,’” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “I think that’s the attitude Liz has had. She’s defending conservative Republican principles, she’s doing it with a smile on her face, and she’s doing it in an aggressive fashion.”

In 2013, after moving from suburban Washington to Wyoming, Ms. Cheney announced she would challenge Mr. Enzi, a genial and well-liked incumbent, in a Republican primary race.

It was an audacious move, and the campaign did not go well. Ms. Cheney was branded a carpetbagger; “Cheney for Virginia” bumper stickers sprung up around the state. Her ambitions divided the Wyoming Republican Party, splitting old alliances and friendships. It also created a rift within the Cheney family. Ms. Cheney came out in opposition of same-sex marriage, angering her sister, Mary Cheney, and Mary’s wife, Heather Poe.

She withdrew from the race in January 2014, citing “serious health issues” in her family. But in 2016, when Representative Cynthia Lummis announced her retirement, Ms. Cheney sought her seat and won. Now Ms. Lummis has announced her candidacy for Mr. Enzi’s seat, promising a “barn burner” of a race if Ms. Cheney challenges her.

A Lummis-Cheney matchup would be “very difficult to handicap,” said Tucker Fagan, a former aide to Ms. Lummis. Mr. Fagan said Ms. Cheney’s high profile in Washington and her combative style are assets.

“Here our representative is being interviewed on national television,” he said. “So we’re not just the flyover state. We’re somebody to contend with.”

In the House, Ms. Cheney’s policies are as bellicose as her messaging. She has led an unsuccessful charge against a resolution, sponsored by Mr. Gaetz and Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, barring federal money from being used for war with Iran. She has also argued forcefully against a withdrawal of troops from Syria.

That is the root of her disagreement with Mr. Paul, which seems to have begun Sunday after Mr. Trump disclosed that he had canceled peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David to end the war in Afghanistan. Ms. Cheney tweeted that he was right to do so.

That prompted Mr. Paul to tweet a Washington Examiner op-ed article from Wyoming legislators upbraiding Ms. Cheney for opposing the president’s push to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The tit-for-tat escalated, with the senator blasting the #NeverTrumpCheneys — a double swipe at the congresswoman and her father — and accusing Ms. Cheney of “pro-Bolton blather.”

On Friday, she seemed determined to have the last word.

“They’re issues that surround whether or not you put America first, as President Trump does,” Ms. Cheney told reporters, referring to her foreign policy disagreements with Mr. Paul, “or blame America first, as Rand Paul does and has for years.”

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

Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier

WASHINGTON — After becoming the highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress, Representative Liz Cheney, the sharp-tongued lawmaker from Wyoming, wasted little time establishing her reputation as one of her party’s most combative partisan brawlers.

Ms. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, routinely lashes out at Democrats and detractors of President Trump. She branded Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of two Muslim women in Congress, “an anti-Semitic socialist who slanders US troops.” She said anti-Trump texts sent by F.B.I. agents “could well be treason.” She asked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York to “do us all a favor and spend just a few minutes learning some actual history.”

Now, the tough-talking congresswoman, who is pondering a run for Senate, has laced into a fellow Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in a nasty and deeply personal clash — with multigenerational undertones — over Afghanistan policy and the firing of John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s hawkish national security adviser. The feud, which began on Twitter and has continued on television, has cemented Ms. Cheney’s reputation as the most combative Cheney in Washington.

At a time when the president’s hold on the Republican Party is as strong as ever, it comes down to a contest between Ms. Cheney and Mr. Paul over who is Trumpier.

Ms. Cheney, an unapologetic proponent of using the United States’ military might around the globe, is a backer of Mr. Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration with her father. Mr. Paul, a libertarian whose own father, former Representative Ron Paul, has called the Bush-Cheney approach a “crazed neocon foreign policy,” is among the most vocal opponents in Congress of armed foreign intervention.

Their back-and-forth has gotten downright nasty.

Ms. Cheney has invoked Mr. Paul’s 2016 Republican presidential primary loss to Mr. Trump, calling the senator “a big loser (then & now),” and resurfaced a four-year-old Trump tweet likening Mr. Paul to “a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain.” Mr. Paul shot back, suggesting that Ms. Cheney “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”

On Friday, at the House Republican retreat in Baltimore, Ms. Cheney took a victory lap.

“I enjoyed it,” she said wryly. “I thought it was an enlightening exchange. Here I had been thinking the Senate was dull.”

A lawyer, former State Department official, onetime Fox News pundit and mother of five, Ms. Cheney, 53, has had a stunning ascent in Washington. Some view her as a possible House speaker, though she may be setting her sights across the Capitol. She is weighing a run for the Senate seat being vacated by Michael B. Enzi, a Republican whom she briefly sought to oust in 2014 in a campaign that ended in disaster for her.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158699361_25d9f14f-c9d8-440f-bfe1-f607679a4b39-articleLarge Liz Cheney, Tart-Tongued Fighter, Is Warring With Rand Paul Over Who’s Trumpier Wyoming United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Paul, Ron Paul, Rand Midterm Elections (2018) House of Representatives Conservatism (US Politics) Cheney, Liz Cheney, Dick

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, shot back at Ms. Cheney, suggesting that she “might just be mad still about when Candidate Trump shredded your Dad’s failed foreign policy and endless wars.”CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We have a problem in our conference where a lot of our members fear engagement with the media because of the media bias that we all believe to exist,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida. “Liz seems to understand the importance of doing a lot of media and also doing hostile media.”

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, said Ms. Cheney “hasn’t been afraid to call out some of the most radical members of the socialist Democrats.” But her tendency to name-check her opponents makes at least some colleagues uncomfortable.

“I think we have to get away from personalities,” said Representative Tom Emmer, Republican of Minnesota and the chairman the party’s campaign arm, in June, long before Ms. Cheney’s spat with Mr. Paul. “From a messaging standpoint, I think it’s a mistake — you don’t use names. This is not about the people — this is about their ideas. We need to have a battle of ideas in this country.”

Ms. Cheney’s meteoric rise has injected the politics of the personal into the highest levels of congressional leadership in a way not seen since Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker whose political action committee instructed Republicans to “learn to speak like Newt” by describing Democrats using words like decay, traitors, radical, sick, destroy, pathetic, corrupt and shame.

“I think that she’s been very effective when she’s been on TV,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview. “I think she is personable, knowledgeable and assertive without being hostile.”

And in a party where 90 percent of House Republicans are white men, Mr. Gingrich said, Ms. Cheney is a huge asset in Republicans’ efforts to demonize three liberal freshman Democrats — Representative Rashida Tlaib of Minnesota, Ms. Omar and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez — who have become lightning rods on the right, fueling Republican fund-raising.

“You need a woman member to do that,” he said.

Ms. Cheney’s supporters say she pushes back hard at Democrats because she is deeply concerned about the direction in which the party, particularly the progressive left, would take the country. And they say she has drawn a sharp line against hateful speech, no matter where it comes from. When Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, seemed to embrace white supremacy, Ms. Cheney was among the first to condemn him.

But she also knows that tough talk wins elections. After Republicans took a drubbing in the 2018 midterms, losing control of the House, she complained the party had been too tame.

“We’ve got to change the way that we operate and really, in some ways, be more aggressive, have more of a rapid response,” she told The Associated Press at the time.

Ms. Cheney grew up around politics, handing out fliers and politicking for her father, who was elected to the House in 1978, when she was still a teenager. He once was the No. 3 House Republican; when Ms. Cheney’s colleagues voted her into the same post last year, the former vice president sat in the front row, wearing a silent smile, those in attendance said.

Ms. Cheney with her father, Dick Cheney, as he was sworn in as vice president in 2001.CreditGetty Images

“The vice president has a great line: He says, ‘I’m conservative and I’m not mad about it,’” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “I think that’s the attitude Liz has had. She’s defending conservative Republican principles, she’s doing it with a smile on her face, and she’s doing it in an aggressive fashion.”

In 2013, after moving from suburban Washington to Wyoming, Ms. Cheney announced she would challenge Mr. Enzi, a genial and well-liked incumbent, in a Republican primary race.

It was an audacious move, and the campaign did not go well. Ms. Cheney was branded a carpetbagger; “Cheney for Virginia” bumper stickers sprung up around the state. Her ambitions divided the Wyoming Republican Party, splitting old alliances and friendships. It also created a rift within the Cheney family. Ms. Cheney came out in opposition of same-sex marriage, angering her sister, Mary Cheney, and Mary’s wife, Heather Poe.

She withdrew from the race in January 2014, citing “serious health issues” in her family. But in 2016, when Representative Cynthia Lummis announced her retirement, Ms. Cheney sought her seat and won. Now Ms. Lummis has announced her candidacy for Mr. Enzi’s seat, promising a “barn burner” of a race if Ms. Cheney challenges her.

A Lummis-Cheney matchup would be “very difficult to handicap,” said Tucker Fagan, a former aide to Ms. Lummis. Mr. Fagan said Ms. Cheney’s high profile in Washington and her combative style are assets.

“Here our representative is being interviewed on national television,” he said. “So we’re not just the flyover state. We’re somebody to contend with.”

In the House, Ms. Cheney’s policies are as bellicose as her messaging. She has led an unsuccessful charge against a resolution, sponsored by Mr. Gaetz and Representative Ro Khanna, Democrat of California, barring federal money from being used for war with Iran. She has also argued forcefully against a withdrawal of troops from Syria.

That is the root of her disagreement with Mr. Paul, which seems to have begun Sunday after Mr. Trump disclosed that he had canceled peace talks with the Taliban at Camp David to end the war in Afghanistan. Ms. Cheney tweeted that he was right to do so.

That prompted Mr. Paul to tweet a Washington Examiner op-ed article from Wyoming legislators upbraiding Ms. Cheney for opposing the president’s push to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. The tit-for-tat escalated, with the senator blasting the #NeverTrumpCheneys — a double swipe at the congresswoman and her father — and accusing Ms. Cheney of “pro-Bolton blather.”

On Friday, she seemed determined to have the last word.

“They’re issues that surround whether or not you put America first, as President Trump does,” Ms. Cheney told reporters, referring to her foreign policy disagreements with Mr. Paul, “or blame America first, as Rand Paul does and has for years.”

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House Antitrust Panel Seeks Documents From 4 Big Tech Firms

Congress showed the breadth of its investigation into the big tech companies on Friday, making a public demand for scores of documents, including the personal emails and other communications from dozens of top executives.

Members of the House committee, Republicans and Democrats alike, who are investigating the market power and behavior of the companies, sent letters directly to Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google.

The requests called for all communications to and from executives at those companies, including eight at Amazon, 14 at Apple, 15 at Facebook, and 14 at Google.

With the request, which was posted on the committee’s website, the lawmakers sent a not-so-subtle message that executives would be held responsible for the replies, and that the investigation would continue to play out publicly. That has the potential of damaging the brands’ reputation. They are already dealing with questions about spreading disinformation, failing to respect users’ privacy and maneuvering to minimize their taxes.

The requests come as similar inquiries are underway at the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and by the attorneys general of dozens of states. The investigations are just beginning in earnest. How far the inquiries will go, what they will uncover and if any allegations will stand up in court are all uncertain.

But the investigations show the growing angst about the tech companies’ power. For decades, the industry has been held up as a beacon of American ingenuity and business acumen, and it faced little regulation. Now, though, Silicon Valley’s influence on everything from how we vote to how we shop is readily apparent — and yet the technology driving it remains largely mysterious.

“There is this great and growing dependence on technology that we don’t really understand,” said A. Douglas Melamed, a former antitrust official in Justice Department. “And that frightens people.”

House lawmakers were expected to demand internal corporate documents and communications as part of their antitrust investigations. But those demands are often made to a company’s top lawyer. And the committee asked for all communications related to a long list of corporate actions, from companies acquired to the treatment of potential rivals.

By releasing its requests, the House committee offered a glimpse of the depth of the scrutiny that the companies will face and laid out the lines of investigation being pursued. The information it collects can also feed the other investigations, and help lawmakers more sharply question witnesses under oath in hearings, said William Kovacic, a law professor at George Washington University.

“Those interrogations take on an entirely different tone,” said Mr. Kovacic, a former chairman of the F.T.C. “This is a significant escalation of the process.”

The inquiries into individual companies are complex; the tech giants span a range of digital markets including internet search, advertising, e-commerce and social media. And the companies are likely to resist some of the requests, contending they could reveal trade secrets.

The companies will almost certainly try to narrow the scope and reduce the volume of the documents they deliver. But the House investigators have leverage. These are document “requests” but backed by the threat of subpoenas if the companies do not comply.

The communications habits of the individual companies will also play a role in determining how much evidence there is and in what form.

At Amazon, for example, Mr. Bezos writes brief emails to make announcements or delegate, but largely gives feedback and discusses issues in person. He is well known internally for forwarding customer complaints to staffers with just a “?,” leaving teams scrambling to resolve the issue.

Westlake Legal Group tech-investigation-sept9-articleLarge House Antitrust Panel Seeks Documents From 4 Big Tech Firms United States Politics and Government States (US) Justice Department House of Representatives Google Inc Federal Trade Commission Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Collins, Douglas A (1966- ) Cicilline, David N Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc Alphabet Inc

16 Ways Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Are in Government Cross Hairs

Investigations could eventually lead to the breakup of some companies, and to new laws that might alter the balance of corporate power.

He has developed a rigid process for making decisions at Amazon that heavily relies on paper documents — called six-pagers for their length — that lay out the plan and reasoning for a proposed strategy. They often include hefty appendices and are presented to executives in long meetings where they are read and discussed.

In response to the committee’s requests, representatives of the companies mainly pointed to their previous statements: They have consistently said that they would cooperate with the federal and state investigations, and would seek to demonstrate that they operate in dynamic, highly competitive markets.

In a statement, Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, who leads the subcommittee on antitrust, which is conducting the House investigation, called the document requests “an important milestone” in the fact-gathering stage.

Mr. Cicilline also emphasized the effort’s bipartisan nature. The letters to chief executives are signed by Mr. Cicilline, and Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and also the ranking Republican members of the Judiciary Committee and the antitrust subcommittee, Doug Collins of Georgia and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.

The formal requests for information begin with cover letters to the chief executives, saying the investigators are examining competition in online markets and “whether dominant firms are engaging in anticompetitive conduct.” The letters are accompanied by detailed lists of the requested documents and communications.

It is unclear how much of the investigative work will become public as inquiries progress. At later stages, when investigators are trying to lay the groundwork for a suit, they won’t want to show their hand to a potential corporate defendant.

Such work — collecting more documents, taking depositions, assembling evidence and building the narrative of corporate misbehavior — is best done in secrecy. Major antitrust investigations typically last many months or years.

Sometimes, companies themselves make disclosures about an investigation. Google, for example, said last Friday that its parent company, Alphabet, had received a mandatory request for information from the Justice Department about previous antitrust investigations.

The House document requests indicate that its staff has closely studied the companies.

The request sent to Google, for example, seeks communications to or from senior executives on a series of company moves including Google’s purchase of DoubleClick in 2008 and AdMob in 2011. Those acquisitions helped build up Google’s huge and lucrative ad business.

House investigators also want to see the executives’ communications on Google practices: One request is for communications on its policy on “whether non-Google companies can provide competing ad networks” and other services.

That part of the House inquiry echoes that of the states’ investigation of Google. The Texas State Attorney General’s Office, which is leading that effort, this week sent Google a lengthy demand for information on its ad business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

But the House investigation is broader. Its request touches other businesses including smartphone software, seeking information on Google’s purchase of Android in 2005.

The House requests for the other companies are similarly detailed. The document sent to Facebook, for example, asks for extensive internal information about its acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, which were potentially emerging competitors until they were bought.

The House committee asks for company documents related to the “strategic value” and “any antitrust risks associated with acquiring” those companies.

The House document also requests information on any Facebook decisions that limit third-party apps’ access, including a version of its “platform policy,” which the company withdrew last year and could be read as a policy intended to keep competing technology off Facebook.

According to the House document, the policy said apps should, “Add something unique to the community. Don’t replicate core functionality that Facebook already provides.”

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House Antitrust Panel Demands Big Tech C.E.O.’s Emails

The government’s pursuit of big tech companies turned more personal and political on Friday, as federal lawmakers demanded documents, emails and other communications from dozens of top executives.

Members of the House committee investigating the market power and behavior of the companies sent letters directly to Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Larry Page of Google.

The requests called for all communications to and from executives at those companies, including eight at Amazon, 14 at Apple, 15 at Facebook, and 14 at Google.

With the request, which was posted online, the lawmakers sent a not-so-subtle point that executives would be held responsible for the replies, and that the investigation would continue to play out publicly. That has the potential of damaging the brands’ reputation in the eyes of their customers.

The lawmakers were expected to demand internal corporate documents and communications as part of their antitrust investigations. But those demands are often made to a company’s top lawyer. And the committee asked for all communications related to a long list of corporate actions, from companies bought to treatment of potential rivals. That suggests the Congressional staff has done its homework.

Similar inquiries are being conducted by the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of dozens of states.

The House investigation, like the ones by the federal agencies and states, is really just beginning in earnest. How far they will go, just what they will uncover, and, if it comes to that, whether allegations will stand up in court are all uncertain.

The inquiries into individual companies are complex, as the tech giants span a range of digital markets including internet search, advertising, e-commerce and social media. And the companies will most likely resist some of the inquiries by the House committee and other government investigators, contending that to comply would mean handing over corporate trade secrets.

By releasing its information requests, the House committee offered a glimpse of the depth of the scrutiny that the companies will face and laid out the lines of investigation being pursued. And the evidence it collects can also feed the other investigations.

In response to the House committee’s information requests, representatives of the companies mainly pointed to past statements they have already made. The companies have consistently said they would cooperate with the federal and state investigations, and that they would seek to demonstrate that they operate in dynamic, highly competitive markets.

Westlake Legal Group tech-investigation-sept9-articleLarge House Antitrust Panel Demands Big Tech C.E.O.’s Emails United States Politics and Government States (US) Justice Department House of Representatives Google Inc Federal Trade Commission Facebook Inc Computers and the Internet Collins, Douglas A (1966- ) Cicilline, David N Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc Alphabet Inc

16 Ways Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon Are in Government Cross Hairs

Investigations could eventually lead to the breakup of some companies, and to new laws that might alter the balance of corporate power.

In a statement, Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island, who leads the subcommittee on antitrust, which is conducting the House investigation, called the document requests “an important milestone” in the fact-gathering stage of its investigation.

Mr. Cicilline also emphasized the bipartisan nature of the House effort. The letters to chief executives are signed by Mr. Cicilline, and Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat and the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, but also the ranking Republican members of the Judiciary Committee and the antitrust subcommittee, Doug Collins of Georgia and James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin.

The formal requests for information begin with cover letters to the chief executives, saying the investigators are examining competition in online markets and “whether dominant firms are engaging in anticompetitive conduct.” The letters are accompanied by detailed lists of the documents and communications sought from the named executives.

Just how much of the investigative work will become public as inquiries progress is unclear. Information requests and public declarations are one thing. But that is very different from later stages, when investigators are trying to lay the groundwork for a suit — and won’t want to their hand to a potential corporate defendant.

Such work, collecting more documents, taking depositions and assembling the evidence and building the narrative of corporate misbehavior, is best done in private. Major antitrust investigations typically last many months or years.

Sometimes, the companies themselves make disclosures about an investigation. Google, for example, said last Friday that its parent company, Alphabet, had received a mandatory request for information from the Justice Department concerning the company’s previous antitrust investigations.

The House document requests show that its staff has closely studied the companies.

The request sent to Google, for example, seeks communications to or from senior executives on a series of company moves including Google’s purchase of DoubleClick in 2008 and AdMob in 2011. Those acquisitions helped build up Google’s huge and lucrative ad business.

But House investigators want to see the executives’ communications on Google practices: One request is for communications on its policy on “whether non-Google companies can provide competing ad networks” and other services.

That part of the House inquiry echoes that of the states’ investigation of Google. The Texas state attorney general’s office, which is leading the states’ pursuit of the company, sent Google this week a lengthy demand for information on its ad business, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

But the House investigation is broader. Its request also touches other businesses including smartphone software, seeking information on Google’s purchase of Android in 2005.

The House requests are similarly detailed for the other companies. The Facebook document asks for extensive internal information about its acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, which were potentially emerging competitors until they were bought.

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

North Carolina Election Shows How Political Lines Are Drawn. And They Are Fixed.

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. — The red is getting redder and the blue is getting bluer.

The special congressional election in North Carolina may have involved just about 190,000 voters, but it showed that the class, racial and regional divides among voters have only hardened since that demographic chasm helped drive President Trump’s election in 2016 and the Democratic rebound in the House in 2018.

Dan Bishop, a Republican state lawmaker, eked out a two-point victory in a historically conservative seat because he improved on his party’s performance with working-class whites in more lightly populated parts of the district. And even though Democrats nominated a Marine veteran, Dan McCready, who highlighted his baptism while serving in Iraq, his gains in Charlotte, the state’s biggest city, were not enough to offset the drop-off he suffered across several hundred miles of sprawling farms and small towns.

The bracing takeaway for Republicans is that their tightening embrace of Mr. Trump and his often demagogic politics is further alienating the upper middle-class voters — many in cities and their suburbs— who once were central to their base. At the same time, the Democrats are continuing to struggle with the working-class whites who once represented a pillar of their own coalition.

The results here in a district stretching from Charlotte to Fayetteville presage a brutal, national campaign that seems destined to become the political equivalent of trench warfare, with the two parties rallying their supporters but clashing over a vanishingly small slice of contested electoral terrain.

Such a contest could prove difficult for Mr. Trump, who helped deliver Mr. Bishop a victory by mobilizing their shared base of working-class whites at an election-eve rally, because his core support could well be insufficient to win him a second term without improving his standing with the suburbanites and women who reluctantly backed him in 2016.

Even as the president and his top aides crowed over their role in securing Mr. Bishop a two-point win in a seat Mr. Trump carried by 12 points, their next-day glow was jarred by a new Washington Post-ABC poll that delivered grim tidings. Mr. Trump would lose to a handful of the Democratic candidates, the survey indicated, and a trial heat between the president and Joseph R. Biden Jr. showed Mr. Biden thrashing Mr. Trump 55-40 among registered voters.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160520535_e23f50ea-e8f6-4c7a-8384-72e7dddf8b33-articleLarge North Carolina Election Shows How Political Lines Are Drawn. And They Are Fixed. Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan

Dan Bishop, right, won the election by two points in a district President Trump carried by 12 points in 2016.CreditJim Watson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

But Republicans note that the election will not be held this week and they believe Mr. Trump can pull out another Electoral College victory if the Democrats veer out of the political mainstream next year and send just enough of those political moderates scrambling back to the G.O.P.

“Their run to the left is the great opportunity for us to get back the majority and for the president to get re-elected,” said Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, pointing to how many more House seats are now held by Democrats in districts won by Mr. Trump than by Republicans in seats Hillary Clinton carried.

More striking than Mr. McHenry’s rosy assessment is what he and other political veterans from both parties are now willing to acknowledge: that new lines of demarcation are making Democrats out of college-educated voters tooling around Charlotte in BMWs and Republicans out of blue-collar workers further out on Tobacco Road. And those lines are now fixed.

“We are living in, to take an old John Edwards term, Two Americas,” Mr. McHenry said, alluding to the former North Carolina senator. He added that “the view of the president is cemented in voters’ minds” and conceded that Mr. Trump can only improve his standing in the suburbs “along the margins.”

The gains Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate, made in Charlotte were not enough to offset the drop-off he suffered across sprawling farms and small towns of rural North Carolina.CreditLogan R. Cyrus for The New York Times

Former Representative Brad Miller, a longtime North Carolina Democrat with ancestral roots in this district, was just as blunt.

“It does grieve me greatly that the areas where my family was from have gone so Republican,” said Mr. Miller, noting that many of the voters who cast Republican ballots Tuesday “probably had grandparents with pictures of F.D.R. up in their living room.”

But Mr. Miller said the implications from Tuesday’s special election and last year’s midterms were undeniable if demoralizing in some ways.

“Democrats have a clear advantage in 2020, but there is no way to break into a lot of the folks who are for Trump. They’re just not going to vote for a Democrat, doesn’t matter who it is,” he said. “So Democrats can still win and probably will win but we’re going to be a very divided nation.”

Those divisions were easy to detect Wednesday in Rockingham, a county seat community well east of Charlotte best known for its famed Nascar track. Mr. McCready won the surrounding county by 2.5 percent last year but on Tuesday Mr. Bishop carried it by 5 percent.

Standing behind the counter at Iconic Wellness CBD, and surrounded by tasteful posters extolling the benefits of legal cannabis products, Pam Mizzell said she voted for Mr. Bishop in part because he had the strong backing of Mr. Trump.

Ms. Mizzell, who is white, said she wanted more Republicans in Washington supporting the president’s agenda. She accused former President Barack Obama of pitting “one race against the other race” (she did not cite any examples) and said she hoped that the Trump administration would help bring about an era of racial healing.

Diane McDonald, a school cafeteria worker who is African-American, offered a markedly different viewpoint, saying she was worried that Mr. Trump is promoting racism. “And they’re letting him get away with it,” Ms. McDonald said of Washington Republicans. “I thought McCready would make a difference.”

In Charlotte, it was not difficult to find white, Republican-leaning voters who also backed Mr. McCready.

Chris Daleus, a salesman, said he backed the Democrat Tuesday even though he supported Mr. Trump three years ago. “He seems to have embarrassed us in a lot of ways,” Mr. Daleus said of the president.

National Democrats took heart in such sentiments, believing their narrow defeat in a district they have not held since the 1960s foreshadows how a Trumpified Republican Party will run into the same suburban wall in 2020 as they did last year.

“There are 34 seats held by Republicans that are better pick-up opportunities for Democrats than this seat,” said Lucinda Guinn, a Democratic strategist. “Democrats can grow their majority.”

The more pressing matter for Democrats, though, may be whether they can improve their performance with working-class whites to reclaim the Senate and presidency in 2020, a question that will turn in part on whether they can defeat the North Carolina Republican Senator Thom Tillis and reclaim this state from Mr. Trump, who won here by 3.6 points in 2016.

“Back in the 80s and 90s, North Carolina Democrats who bucked party affiliation were called Jessecrats,” said Doug Heye, a North Carolina-reared Republican consultant, referring to the late Senator Jesse Helms. “Now we may have to called them Trumpocrats. And if Democrats want North Carolina to truly be in play, they have to figure out how to appeal to these voters.”

Mr. Bishop’s campaign correctly determined that these mostly rural Democrats would hold the key to their success, even though their candidate’s state senate district includes parts of Charlotte. Jim Blaine, one of Mr. Bishop’s top aides, said that 75 to 80 percent of their paid advertising was directed toward the eastern, and more sparsely-populated, part of the district.

“It was focused on the core, long-standing, working-class Democratic constituency that makes up a huge piece of the population in those counties,” said Mr. Blaine, adding: “We had to persuade them not that Dan Bishop is the Republican, but the guy who would look out for them.”

He said their job was made easier in part because of the national Democratic Party’s drift left, but also because Mr. McCready did not make any major break from party orthodoxy that would have allowed him to present himself as a different sort of Democrat.

Mr. Trump’s high command, not surprisingly, had their own theory of why Republicans won here: Mr. Trump.

Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that the president’s election eve rally in Fayetteville was pivotal to Mr. Bishop’s success in energizing Election Day voters, after the Democrats mobilized many of their supporters to cast early ballots.

“There’s no question that he is the congressman-elect this morning because of the personal efforts of President Trump,” Mr. Parscale said of Mr. Bishop.

More Coverage of the Special Election
Dan Bishop, North Carolina Republican, Wins Special Election

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North Carolina Special Election Results: Ninth House District

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Westlake Legal Group results-north-carolina-house-district-9-special-general-election-1568140508937-threeByTwoSmallAt2X North Carolina Election Shows How Political Lines Are Drawn. And They Are Fixed. Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan
With the Faithful at Trump’s North Carolina Rally: ‘He Speaks Like Me’

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Westlake Legal Group merlin_160520076_b90154dd-663a-4e83-b77c-df30cc81e5b0-threeByTwoSmallAt2X North Carolina Election Shows How Political Lines Are Drawn. And They Are Fixed. Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan
North Carolina’s ‘Guru of Elections’: Can-Do Operator Who May Have Done Too Much

Dec. 8, 2018

Westlake Legal Group 09carolina1-threeByTwoSmallAt2X North Carolina Election Shows How Political Lines Are Drawn. And They Are Fixed. Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan

Richard Fausset reported from Charlotte, and Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman from Washington.

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With Trump Hungry for Credit, Advisers Brag About North Carolina Win

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Trump’s top advisers claimed credit Wednesday for a Republican’s narrow victory in a special House election in North Carolina the night before, even as Democratic and Republican officials alike said Dan Bishop’s two-point win in a district Mr. Trump easily carried only underscored how the widening urban-rural divide is complicating 2020 for both parties.

Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, told reporters on a conference call that the president’s Monday night rally in Fayetteville, N.C., was pivotal to Mr. Bishop’s success in energizing Election Day voters after the Democrats mobilized many of their supporters to cast early ballots.

“There’s no question that he is the congressman-elect this morning because of the personal efforts of President Trump,” Mr. Parscale said of Mr. Bishop.

Mr. Parscale’s victory lap was conducted on behalf of a president who privately grumbled to several aides on Tuesday that he was not getting the credit he deserved for delivering a Republican victory in the closely watched special election.

And it came with a dose of ribbing for Democrats, who believed their nominee, Dan McCready, a Marine veteran, could eke out a win in a district Mr. Trump carried by 12 percentage points in 2016. Bill Stepien, one of Mr. Trump’s top political advisers, sarcastically congratulated Democrats for a “moral victory” before saying his party would gladly take the “actual victory.”

[Make sense of the people, issues and ideas shaping American politics with our newsletter.]

Yet what was effectively the final contest of the 2018 election — state officials ordered a redo of the race after Republicans were discovered to have funded an illegal vote-harvesting scheme in a rural county — was most revealing for demonstrating that the demographic divisions that shaped the midterms are only growing.

Mr. Bishop, who was not on the ballot in 2018, won in large part because he improved on the Republican performance in the more lightly populated parts of the sprawling, Fayetteville-to-Charlotte district. And Mr. McCready, who was the Democratic nominee in 2018 and ran again in the special election, performed even better in the upscale Charlotte suburbs on Tuesday than he did last November, even as he lost by a larger overall margin.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160593990_56e6e049-feda-492e-b738-c8b7739c8de1-articleLarge With Trump Hungry for Credit, Advisers Brag About North Carolina Win Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan

Dan McCready and his wife, Laura, after he conceded to Mr. Bishop on Tuesday night.CreditLogan R. Cyrus for The New York Times

“The national pattern seems to have played out,” said Michael Bitzer, a professor of political science at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., adding of the county that includes Charlotte: “I think certainly the collapse of the Republicans in Mecklenburg is continuing.”

More Coverage of the Special Election
Dan Bishop, North Carolina Republican, Wins Special Election

Sept. 10, 2019

North Carolina Special Election Results: Ninth House District

Sept. 10, 2019

These seemingly inexorable trends — the red growing redder while the blue gets bluer — underscore how difficult it will be for Republicans to reclaim the sort of metropolitan seats they need to win back the House majority next year. But the same pattern also illustrates why it will be difficult for Democrats to retake the Senate in 2020 unless they can improve their performance with rural voters.

For Mr. Trump, the North Carolina results amounted to proof that he enjoys rock-solid support with his base of working-class white voters — but that such devotion may not be sufficient for him to win a second term if he cannot improve his standing with suburbanites, particularly women.

Even as he and his high command were crowing about their success on Wednesday, their morning-after glow was jarred by a new ABC News/Washington Post national poll. The survey showed Mr. Trump with lackluster approval ratings and indicated that, if the election were held today, he would lose to a handful of his potential Democratic rivals. Most striking was the test heat between the president and Joseph R. Biden Jr.: Mr. Biden was leading Mr. Trump by 55 percent to 40 percent among registered voters, according to the poll.

But it is far from settled whom Democrats will ultimately nominate, and whether they will rally behind a candidate who aims an appeal at moderate voters or someone further left who can motivate progressives in a way Hillary Clinton failed to in 2016.

Many leading officials in the party are fretting about what many Republicans are counting on: that Democrats will put forward a candidate Mr. Trump can portray as out of the political mainstream.

If that happens, there could be a repeat in some states of what took place Tuesday in and around Lumberton, N.C., at the eastern edge of the district.

Mr. McCready won the surrounding county, Robeson, by more than 15 percentage points in 2018 against Mark Harris, his previous Republican opponent. On Tuesday, Mr. McCready won the county by only 1.1 percent.

Phillip M. Stephens, chairman of the Robeson County Republican Party, said the county remained majority Democratic but also very conservative. “Robeson County is a county with some of the last Blue Dog Democrats on the face of this earth,” he said.

Mr. Stephens said he believed that Mr. Bishop outperformed Mr. Harris in the county because of his relentless and focused messaging that reminded voters that Mr. McCready supported abortion rights and was aligned with a party that had drifted too far left.

“That doesn’t play well with these unaffiliateds and these conservative Democrats,” Mr. Stephens said. “It plays very well within the Democratic Party, but it does not play very well with Robeson County.”

North Carolina Politics
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North Carolina Special Election Results: Ninth House District

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Westlake Legal Group results-north-carolina-house-district-9-special-general-election-1568140508937-threeByTwoSmallAt2X With Trump Hungry for Credit, Advisers Brag About North Carolina Win Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan
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Westlake Legal Group merlin_160520076_b90154dd-663a-4e83-b77c-df30cc81e5b0-threeByTwoSmallAt2X With Trump Hungry for Credit, Advisers Brag About North Carolina Win Trump, Donald J Robeson County (NC) Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Parscale, Brad (1976- ) North Carolina Midterm Elections (2018) McCready, Dan Lumberton (NC) House of Representatives Fayetteville (NC) Elections, House of Representatives Democratic Party Bishop, Dan
North Carolina’s ‘Guru of Elections’: Can-Do Operator Who May Have Done Too Much

Dec. 8, 2018

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Richard Fausset reported from Charlotte, and Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman from Washington.

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Staring Down a 3-Week Deadline, Congress Braces for Another Brutal Funding Fight

WASHINGTON — Congress is bracing this month for another round of bitter spending battles over President Trump’s promised border wall and his immigration agenda, with only three weeks remaining before the government runs out of money.

With the memory of the nation’s longest government shutdown still fresh in their minds, White House officials and congressional leaders are pushing for a temporary agreement in the coming weeks to hold off a funding breach and allow more time to resolve the thorniest issues. But with senators set to convene on Tuesday for only the second time this year to debate the entire federal spending picture, the race to reconcile at least a fraction of the 12 necessary bills is particularly charged, even by the usual standards of the divided Congress.

“If both parties want to reach an agreement, we will reach an agreement,” Representative Nita M. Lowey, Democrat of New York and the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in an interview this month. “We have to see what the Senate actually delivers.”

There is some optimism that a portion of the government could be funded before the deadline.

“I’m confident we can make significant progress on regular appropriations this month,” said Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, in his first floor remarks after the summer recess. “We have the parameters in place,” he added. “Now it is time for the rubber to meet the road.”

Lawmakers in both chambers say they expect Congress to approve a short-term spending bill to extend the deadline into late November or December. But cementing even that brief reprieve could be arduous: The administration has already asked for any such measure to include money for additional border barrier construction, and Democrats have said they would flatly refuse.

That leaves a deep sense of uncertainty on Capitol Hill about the prospect of resolving dozens of thorny spending issues that also have major political implications. Mr. Trump himself is yet another wild card, given his track record of upending bipartisan funding agreements at the last moment.

“The worst of all worlds, however, would be a government shutdown,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I don’t know of anyone who thinks that is a good idea.”

Lawmakers on the two Appropriations Committees, with reputations as some of the most bipartisan voices on Capitol Hill, have long agreed that left to their own devices, they could easily seal a deal well before the Oct. 1 deadline. But the extended window also widens the possibility that external factors — the administration’s efforts to build the wall along the southwestern border, or the fiscal hawks in Mr. Trump’s inner circle — could further complicate negotiations.

The fevered push to produce a legislative response to the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, for example, will most likely intensify pressure from House Democrats to ensure that government funding for gun violence research remains in the final legislation. And while the Pentagon’s redirection of military construction funds to pay for the border wall prompted a bipartisan outcry, there is little agreement over whether Congress should replace money it has explicitly denied Mr. Trump.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158699304_c9c967c5-6f19-4d29-9de3-b0e10a0a85f0-articleLarge Staring Down a 3-Week Deadline, Congress Braces for Another Brutal Funding Fight United States Politics and Government Shutdowns (Institutional) Senate Committee on Appropriations Senate McConnell, Mitch Law and Legislation House of Representatives House Committee on Appropriations Homeland Security Department Customs and Border Protection (US) Border Patrol (US)

“The worst of all worlds, however, would be a government shutdown,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I don’t know of anyone who thinks that is a good idea.”CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

“We will strongly oppose any request by this administration to provide additional money for the projects it has decided to defund,” Senators Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, all Democrats on the Appropriations Committee, said this month in a statement. “The funds already appropriated should be used as Congress intended.”

Lawmakers will also have to confront the same debates that allowed the nation’s longest government shutdown to drag into the first few weeks of the 116th Congress: how much money to allocate to Mr. Trump’s border wall, and how much money to devote to agencies tasked with carrying out the administration’s hard-line immigration policies.

House Democrats, in particular, are eager to use the spending process to protest and rein in the administration’s immigration agenda, especially after efforts to append tougher humanitarian standards to a $4.6 billion supplemental bill failed this year. Reports of continuing squalor and overcrowding inside immigrant detention facilities and the refusal by the Republican-controlled Senate to take up a House-passed immigration overhaul have intensified pressure on Democratic leaders to cut off funding for immigration agencies.

Liberal activists have long called for withholding funds from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that carries out deportations, and Customs and Border Protection. But those efforts are all but certain to fall flat in the Senate and are unacceptable to Mr. Trump.

They are also likely to reignite divisions inside Democratic ranks, where progressives eager to undercut Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda are at odds with centrists in Republican-leaning districts who are reluctant to embrace any reduction in funding for law enforcement.

“You have to be a realist,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Republican of West Virginia, who oversees the appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Homeland Security.

“I can understand some of their frustrations, too, because of the acrimony over those three things: the wall, the Border Patrol and ICE,” Ms. Capito said in a phone call after returning from a tour of the southwestern border. “I don’t agree with them, but I see them.”

Congressional leaders agreed this year to remove any provisions deemed so-called poison pills — hot-button policy items that would prompt a partisan fight — as part of the budget agreement that set funding levels for the year and postponed the threat of the government capitulating on the nation’s debt.

Yet it is unclear how broadly each side chooses to define “poison pill,” which could complicate any negotiation.

“Do people want a deal or do they want a fight?” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma and a member of the House Appropriations Committee. “There’s going to be plenty of yelling and screaming on our side of the aisle, too.”

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Déjà Vu? Why Have 15 House Republicans Announced Their Retirements?

Westlake Legal Group house-of-representatives Déjà Vu? Why Have 15 House Republicans Announced Their Retirements? Rush Limbaugh republicans President Trump House of Representatives House Majority 2020 Front Page Stories Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Congress Campaigns Allow Media Exception 2020

Over the August recess, eight House Republicans announced their retirements bringing the total number of Republican incumbents choosing not to seek reelection to 15. This group includes GOP Reps. Bill Flores (TX),  Susan Brooks (IN), Jim Sensenbrenner (WI), Will Hurd (R-TX), Kenny Marchant (TX), Sean Duffy (WI) and John Shimkus (IL), Rob Bishop (UT), Martha Roby (AL), Paul Mitchell (MI), Pete Olson (TX), Bradley Byrne (AL), Greg Gianforte (MT), Rob Woodall (GA) and Mike Conaway (TX). (Two are seeking higher office.)

To put this into perspective, only four Democratic incumbents have announced they will not run in 2020.

Five of the fifteen retirees are from Texas, which have some calling the trend “Texodus.”

This is shaping up to be frighteningly similar to the situation in 2018 when 34 House Republicans chose not to run for reelection compared to only eight Democrats. The result was that ten of these seats flipped from Republican to Democrat while only three seats flipped from Democrat to Republican.

Republican concern over this alarming trend is not misplaced as it depresses GOP hopes of winning back the House majority. What’s causing so many Republicans to run for the exit?

There are a few who may be looking at a tough fight in 2020, and have chosen to retire instead. That may be the case for Rep. Hurd and several others.

However, most of them occupy safe, conservative seats.

As members of the minority party, there’s no doubt they feel frustrated and irrelevant. And if they believe Democrats will retain power in 2020, they’ve simply chosen to avoid another two years of the same.

Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who lost his bid for reelection in 2018, believes that is the case for some of these lawmakers. He told The Hill, “The most likely outcome is a status-quo election for the House. And that certainly influences people’s decision [to retire], whether they think they can regain the majority or not. For sure, some of those members who retired, [staying in the minority] was a factor in their thinking.”

Julian Zelizer, an expert in congressional history at Princeton University, spoke to The Hill as well. “I don’t think Republicans envision flipping the House in the near future and being in the minority is not fun. Some are also tired of having to defend the party, not just in the era of Trump but in the era of the Tea Party. So the incentives increase to do something else.”

Another former House Republican, Tom Davis (R-VA), said that is one factor, but hardly the only one. He told The Hill that “the GOP base has shifted, creating new power centers that are forcing once-comfortable lawmakers to have to hustle a little bit.”

He added that because lawmakers have not received a pay raise in over ten years, it may be a question of finances. Should I stay here and earn $174,000 or go into the private sector and command a far more lucrative income?

But what Davis sees as the most significant factor are the “changing electoral patterns” brought on by the rise of the populist movement that propelled Trump to the White House…The overall atmosphere in Washington is not very pleasant. This is a global phenomenon caused by the rapidity of change, the instant communications, the rising expectations of those people who are unhappy with the change, who don’t see [government] helping fast enough and who feel their status threatened.”

Other pundits speculate that Republicans are tired of defending Trump. Is Trump himself the reason for the large number of departures?

Curbelo believes Trump was a big part of why he lost. He said, “Trump is a big part of it. Something Trump has done is take away Republicans’ ability to have their own identity, so you’re asked to compete every two years, and your record and your work have little to do with how people are going to vote. That has frustrated a lot of members as well. My work, my record was not really a relevant factor in 2018.”

I don’t buy Curbelo’s argument. There is such a thing as personal responsibility.

Neither does Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) who recently announced he won’t seek reelection. Flores, 65, said he never intended to have a long career in Congress. He said, “I’m optimistic about opportunities for [the GOP] in 2020. When you boil down all the noise, you come up with a couple of key issues: Are people better off than they were four years ago? Most people would say yes. And do we want to go socialist? Most people would say no.”

Rush Limbaugh discussed possible reasons for the high number of House retirements on his radio show last week.

Pundits have told him the reason is that these lawmakers are being “term limited out of their committee chairmanships, and they don’t want to go back to just being regular members of the House. Once you become a committee chairman, you can’t go back to being a regular bencher.” I would argue that the same is true for Democrats.

He disagrees with those who blame the exodus on Trump as well.

Limbaugh brought up a theory that I disagree with, although I’ve been wrong before. Up front, he told his listeners that he has no evidence for this, “because this is just a supposition,” but thinks it’s possible “based on how I have seen Democrats and their operatives act.” He told his audience:

Nobody, no human being is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow.

We’ve all got something in our closets. We’ve all done something that we don’t want people to know about. I think the Democrats are finding dirt, and they’re going to these Republicans, and they’re saying, “Do you want people to know about this? We are glad to publicize this about you.” “Oh, no, no. No, no! Please don’t.” “Well, okay. Then you gotta retire.” Now, I can’t prove it, but some of this stuff — and some of it may be legitimate. I mean, people retiring after ten years, they may think it’s enough. It’s five terms.

But it’s a lot of power to be giving up. But it just seems to be that these retirements are predominantly Republican, and it’s all happening under the radar. You hear about another retirement here, retirement there. They never add up in your mind. They’re all indiscriminate, little isolated stories — and what’s odd? Nothing’s odd about somebody retiring from Congress. But it seems there’s an exorbitant number of Republicans doing so, and I just have my suspicions about it. That’s all.

He also believes that Democrats have been making inroads at “super-local levels.” He points to Democrats transforming North Carolina and Texas starting at the local level. There’s no denying that these states are no longer solid red.

A caller spoke about the recent scandal involving the Republican Speaker of the Texas State House, Dennis Bonnen, who many consider to be a RINO. Bonnen is said to be a powerful politician in Texas. The story begins with a meeting between Bonnen and one of his top lieutenants, and a conservative activist named Michael Quinn Sullivan in early June. According to the Dallas News:

Sullivan alleges, Bonnen offered writers for his website, Texas Scorecard, media credentials in exchange for refraining from criticizing the legislative session and targeting a group of 10 Republican incumbents. That allegation, which Bonnen denies, has led to political turmoil, a Texas Rangers investigation and a lawsuit.

The caller said, “He [Bonnen] didn’t want ’em back in office because they were attacking him, or they were calling him out as a RINO. Well, there were several other Republicans that knew about it and were going along with this. This has been a huge issue down here. Huge.”

Rush replied that type of thing is going on in other places too, then shifted back to his original argument.

What I really think is going is that a lot of this is being done as opposition research, dirty tricks, what have you, by Democrats, who are hell-bent on taking back Texas or converting Texas to their column. And, you know, the Democrats… Keep one thing in mind. After Obama was elected… People forget this. Barack Obama was a Death Star for the Democrat Party. After his two presidential elections, the Democrat Party lost over 1,000 seats total. Not just in the Congress, of course, but we’re talking statehouse, state senate, governorship, any number of offices. He was just horrible.

Of course, the Drive-Bys didn’t talk about any of this. I remember James Carville. After Trump won in 2016, James Carville was running around complaining that the Democrat Party had never, ever in his lifetime had so little electoral power. Well, my contention is that they’re doing what they can to bring it back at this super local level where they lost it with the election of Obama. Look, the Republicans can play the game, too, and they may well be. I just don’t know. You just don’t hear about a lot of Democrat retirements. But we will keep a sharp eye on this.

Whatever the reason for the high number of Republican retirements, the GOP would be wise to direct their attention to it immediately. Although retirements don’t necessarily mean losing the seats, it’s certainly a sign that Republicans need to work a little harder in the next year if they hope to win back the House majority. It’s an uphill battle and victory will require a large commitment of money and time. But there are fourteen months between now and the election. It will be challenging, but hardly impossible.

Additionally, their task may become far easier once DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Prosecutor John Durham release their reports.

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