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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 64)

Kristin Chenoweth on being Christian in Hollywood: ‘It’s been an interesting journey’

Westlake Legal Group Kristin-Chenoweth640 Kristin Chenoweth on being Christian in Hollywood: 'It's been an interesting journey' Nate Day fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/faith fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/columns/faith-and-fame fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46eb7877-c5a5-5fd3-90ee-491df7d353d2

Kristin Chenoweth is sharing her experience as a Christian in Hollywood.

The actress sat down with “Fox & Friends” on Monday to discuss her upcoming Christmas special and also opened up about her faith.

“I’m a Christian person and I never thought that was different or interesting at all until I moved to New York and started understanding that there are a lot of people with a lot of faiths,” said Chenoweth, 51.

DARLENE LOVE TO APPEAR ON ‘THE VIEW’ AFTER NBC SPAT, TELLS FANS TO WATCH AND ‘PUT ASIDE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS’

“It’s been an interesting journey being in show business and being a Christian,” the Broadway star admitted. “I’m an LGBTQ activist and sometimes that doesn’t always go together, you know? But, I just keep trying to say, ‘What would Jesus do?’ and that’s the way I live my life.”

Chenoweth is perhaps best known best for her performance as Glinda in Broadway’s “Wicked,” but she’s also made waves in Hollywood, earning Emmy nominations for her work in “Pushing Daisies” and “Glee.”

“I’m not perfect, I mess up a lot,” said Chenoweth. “But, I’m certainly glad I have my faith.”

JOHN LEGEND DEFENDS HIS RENDITION OF ‘BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE’: ‘IT WASN’T SUPPOSED TO BE PREACHY AT ALL’

Chenoweth’s Christmas special, which is slated to air Dec. 16, is the 16th annual “Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir,” where she’ll perform holiday classics.

“I think (performing with the Tabernacle Choir) is kind of a right of passage for a lot of artists,” Chenoweth said. “I look at the people who have come before me and done it and I’m like, ‘I want to… do it.”

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“It’s 200 singers behind me and 175 orchestra members and the musicianship at the Tabernacle is at the highest level and some of the best music that I’ve been a part of,” she said of the upcoming special. “I’m very, very proud of it. And, you know, just because we don’t exactly believe everything the same, the Mormons and I, I feel like music is such a unification thing and we move forward through the music.”

Chenoweth also could be seen in her new Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, “A Christmas Love Story,” airing on the network throughout the season.

Westlake Legal Group Kristin-Chenoweth640 Kristin Chenoweth on being Christian in Hollywood: 'It's been an interesting journey' Nate Day fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/faith fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/columns/faith-and-fame fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46eb7877-c5a5-5fd3-90ee-491df7d353d2   Westlake Legal Group Kristin-Chenoweth640 Kristin Chenoweth on being Christian in Hollywood: 'It's been an interesting journey' Nate Day fox-news/us/religion/christianity fox-news/special/occasions/holiday fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/faith fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/columns/faith-and-fame fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 46eb7877-c5a5-5fd3-90ee-491df7d353d2

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

Putin, Zelensky, in first sitdown, agree to exchange all prisoners, revive peace process

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, agreed Monday to revive peace talks in order to de-escalate tensions between the two nations amid the five-year separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine that has reshaped geopolitics in the region.

Both leaders agreed to exchange all prisoners and implement a cease-fire by the end of the year in the first face-to-face meeting between the pair since Zelensky, a comedian-turned-politician, was elected in April, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“We unblocked dialogue with Russia, a positive step… Unfortunately, we couldn’t settle all issues today,” Zelensky said at a joint news conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who mediated the talks.

Westlake Legal Group AP19343833357294 Putin, Zelensky, in first sitdown, agree to exchange all prisoners, revive peace process Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/personalities/vladimir-putin fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox news fnc/world fnc b2885fdf-3b92-5dbb-be9a-3520906a4861 article

(Left to right) Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the joint news conference Monday in Paris. (Ludovic Marin/Pool via AP)

SEN. KENNEDY CLAIMS FORMER UKRAINE LEADER ‘ACTIVELY’ WORKED WITH HILLARY CLINTON IN 2016

Putin and Zelensky also held a separate one-on-one meeting.

The issues concerning local elections and who controlled borders in rebel-held areas of eastern Ukraine remained unsolved. Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed separatists have exchanged fire multiple times across the front lines in the region.

“I would like to emphasize the importance for Ukraine of restoring its full control over its border,” Zelensky said, noting the world leaders would return to the issue at a summit in four months.

Around 14,000 people have been killed in the ongoing fighting over Russian intervention in Ukraine. The United States has backed Ukraine and, along with other nations, has imposed sanctions against Moscow for its takeover of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

The meeting came as President Trump has been grappling with an impeachment inquiry into his dealings with Kiev. He froze much-needed military aid to the country, which has been largely out-gunned by Moscow, earlier this year before ultimately releasing the funds.

Ukraine has relied on U.S. military aid and political support, to keep Moscow at arm’s length and from expanding its influence within its borders. Russia recently issued passports to 125,000 residents in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, the newspaper reported.

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Both nations have accused each other of not abiding by a 2015 peace deal. That agreement outlined the return of the previous border with Russia to Ukrainian control, elections in separatist-controlled regions and greater autonomy to areas in eastern Ukraine held by rebels.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19343833357294 Putin, Zelensky, in first sitdown, agree to exchange all prisoners, revive peace process Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/personalities/vladimir-putin fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox news fnc/world fnc b2885fdf-3b92-5dbb-be9a-3520906a4861 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19343833357294 Putin, Zelensky, in first sitdown, agree to exchange all prisoners, revive peace process Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/personalities/vladimir-putin fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox news fnc/world fnc b2885fdf-3b92-5dbb-be9a-3520906a4861 article

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

Popeyes selling $120G Chicken Sandwich duct-taped to a canvas

Art is getting really weird…and delicious!

While a banana might be stealing the spotlight at the Art Basel Miami festival, Popeyes is hoping to join in. Now, the year’s most popular chicken sandwich is hoping to be considered art.

A spokesperson for Popeyes confirmed to Fox News that the Chicken Sandwich was included as a piece in the famous art festival. Like the infamous banana, the popular sandwich was duct-taped to a canvas.

The piece, officially named “The Sandwich,” is listed at $120,003.99 and is being described as “a mixed media work of art consisting of a toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo and duct tape over a canvas.”

Westlake Legal Group Popeyes-art-basel-2 Popeyes selling $120G Chicken Sandwich duct-taped to a canvas Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 24c921a1-d203-5ee0-b012-766c10ec33e0

The piece, officially named “The Sandwich,” is listed at $120,003.99 and is being described as “a mixed media work of art consisting of a toasted brioche bun, two pickles, fried chicken, mayo and duct tape over a canvas.” (iStock)

POPEYES’ CHICKEN SANDWICH IS SURPRISE HIT: ‘WE DIDN’T EXPECT THIS TYPE OF REACTION’

It was featured at the San Paul Gallery Urban Art display.

This isn’t just art for art’s sake, however. This sandwich was duct-taped for a good cause. Profits from the sale will go directly to the Popeyes Foundation, a “non-profit organization that helps communities with food and support in times of need.”

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The sandwich debuted in August and quickly became one of the most popular fast-food items of the year. It quickly sold out and was briefly unavailable nationwide as Popeyes attempted to keep up with the demand.

Popeyes restaurants were often the scene of long lines and, sometimes, chaos. Various fights and other acts of violence broke out as customers lined up for the hard-to-get sandwich.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Fortunately, for anyone hoping to buy the art-version of the sandwich, it seems like demand will be slightly lower. Popeyes did confirm that at least one fan has shown interest in buying the piece.

Westlake Legal Group Popeyes-art-basel Popeyes selling $120G Chicken Sandwich duct-taped to a canvas Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 24c921a1-d203-5ee0-b012-766c10ec33e0   Westlake Legal Group Popeyes-art-basel Popeyes selling $120G Chicken Sandwich duct-taped to a canvas Michael Hollan fox-news/food-drink/food/fast-food fox news fnc/food-drink fnc article 24c921a1-d203-5ee0-b012-766c10ec33e0

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

Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process

Video

transcript

Impeachment Hearing Highlights

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“No public official, including and especially the president of the United States, should use his public office for private gain. And we agree that no president may put himself before the country.” “It’s amazing that they start with impeachment, and then they spent two years trying to figure out what do we impeach him on?” “Mr. Chairman, if this were a court of law you’d be facing sanctions right now by the Bar Association —” “The gentleman will state his point of order and not make a speech —” “Mr. Chairman, how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees?” “The gentlemen — that is not a point of order. That is not a point of order.” “Where’s Adam? Where’s Adam? It’s his report. His name. Mr. Goldman, you’re a great attorney but you’re not Adam Schiff and you don’t wear a pin.” “The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressure — by pressuring Ukraine and its new president to investigate a political opponent. The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure, by conditioning a wanted White House meeting and a needed military aid that had been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival.” “Much has also been made about President Trump’s reference on the July 25 call to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, and the actions of certain Ukrainian officials in the run-up to the 2016 election. Democrats dismiss these conspiracy theories to suggest that the president has no legitimate reason other than his own political interests to raise these issues with President Zelensky. The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.” “My question is, why did you misquote Ms. Williams in terms of —” “I didn’t misquote her.” “Why did you do it?” “We certainly misquote her.” “So you stand — so from the standard that you apply to your fact-finding in your report, you believe that it was entirely proper to say that Ms. Williams found the call to be unusual when in fact, she found the call to be unusual, and inappropriate and of a political nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. Is that your testimony sir?” “I mean, we described what Ms. Williams said.” “Sir, is that your — no you didn’t.” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, if either, you can ask —” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, I’m not — he can either ask or answer, he can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “You can ask or answer, you can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman is not recognized.” “Point of order that he’s badgering the witness.” “He is not — the gentleman will continue.”

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-impeach1-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Democrats and Republicans who squared off at Monday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee had one remarkable point of agreement: Both said that there are four key facts at the heart of the debate about whether President Trump should be impeached by the House and removed from office.

They just offered two completely different sets of facts.

Daniel S. Goldman, the chief investigator for the House Intelligence Committee, said during his presentation to the Judiciary Committee members that the Democratic case against the president can be “boiled down to four key takeaways.”

He said that Mr. Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations”; that he used his office to withhold “an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure Ukraine”; that “everyone was in the loop”; and that “despite the public discovery of this scheme, which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up.”

When Republicans had the microphone, several offered their own four-part assessment of how best to understand what they viewed as the failure of Democrats to make the case.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, offered them in his usual, rapid-fire fashion: He asserted that Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine did not show evidence of pressure or a quid pro quo; that Mr. Zelensky has repeatedly denied feeling pressured; that Ukraine did not know the security aid was held up; and that the aid was eventually released without any announcement of an investigation that Mr. Trump wanted.

Democrats take issue with those four points, asserting that they are factually wrong or a questionable interpretation, just as Republicans challenge the four Democratic points. Together, they underscore how far apart both sides are in terms of agreeing on a common set of facts in the impeachment inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165692631_d26fde44-a3d4-4788-b9de-3fc8ae8f562a-articleLarge Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, during the hearing on Monday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, denied requests for Republican witnesses, including the appearance of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint focused on the president’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

“The committee has previously tabled motions with regard to these matters at its December 4, 2019, hearing, and I see no reason to reconsider those requests,” Mr. Nadler wrote in a letter to Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have repeatedly demanded a hearing to feature their own witnesses, including the whistle-blower, Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; and Mr. Schiff, who they accuse of running an unfair impeachment investigation. Mr. Nadler has said for days that he would respond to their request.

In the letter, Mr. Nadler noted that Republicans had previously asked for the same witnesses to appear during hearings of the Intelligence Committee. “I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests outside of the parameters of the impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Nadler wrote.

Under the rules of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have the right to request a meeting of the Judiciary Committee to consider an appeal of Mr. Nadler’s decision, though because Democrats control the committee, it’s all but certain that the committee would support the chairman’s decision. In the letter, Mr. Nadler said he was willing to call such a meeting if the Republicans request it.

House Democrats are likely to use the testimony in Monday’s hearing as they begin drafting later this week the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump amid an intense debate about how expansive the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors should be.

Democrats appear poised to accuse Mr. Trump of abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to help him incriminate Democratic rivals while withholding American security aid. They are also expect to charge him with obstructing the congressional investigation by defying subpoenas, blocking witnesses from testifying and denying documents.

It is less clear whether Democrats will include charges of obstruction of justice for trying to impede the Russia investigation by Mr. Mueller, whose report last spring included evidence of 10 instances of possible obstruction.

Republicans seized on a new talking point on Monday, accusing Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of improperly revealing phone records.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia angrily demanded that Mr. Goldman tell lawmakers who made the decision to reveal the names of journalists and lawmakers in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report after their numbers were identified as part of subpoenas of phone company records.

“Who ordered it? You or Mr. Schiff?” Mr. Collins asked Mr. Goldman, referring to Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Mr. Goldman declined answer but tried to explain that such identifications occur in the normal course of the examination of phone records.

The telephone numbers of the journalists and lawmakers — including Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the committee — were included because they had been talking to the people being investigated as part of the impeachment inquiry.

But Republicans said the decision amounted to an “abuse of power” by the Democrats.

“Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker,” said Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a Republican and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “This is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control.”

Monday’s hearing began with both sides presenting their cases largely undisturbed. But once questioning began, Barry H. Berke, the Democratic lawyer, took aim at Stephen Castor, the Republican lawyer from the committee, grilling him aggressively.

In one testy exchange, Mr. Berke accused Mr. Castor of mischaracterizing the testimony of Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, by writing in a report that she found a July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine merely “unusual.” Mr. Berke noted that she actually called it “unusual and inappropriate.” Mr. Castor denied misquoting her, saying it “wasn’t a block quote.”

The back-and-forth between the two lawyers caused Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a former Republican chairman of the committee to accuse Mr. Berke of “badgering the witness.” Mr. Nadler slammed his gavel. “He’s not,” Mr. Nadler said.

The headline from Democrats at Monday’s hearing was from the opening statement by Barry H. Berke, the top lawyer for Judiciary Democrats, who told the committee that Mr. Trump’s actions were “so brazen” that there was no question that he had abused his power to advance his own political interests.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Mr. Berke said, repeating the phrase to counter Republican arguments that the impeachment inquiry had been rushed and inadequate. He said the facts were “uncontradicted” and “cannot be disputed.”

Mr. Goldman later said that the president had tried to distort next year’s election with false allegations, pointing to his weekend statements to reporters that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, would make a report to the Justice Department about Democrats.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Mr. Goldman said.

Mr. Berke placed the president’s actions with Ukraine in the context of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as investigated by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Berke played a video clip of Mr. Trump that year publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, and another of him as president telling reporters he wanted Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Rather than leave the matter to voters next fall, as some Republicans have argued, Mr. Berke said the House had to act now because Mr. Trump was trying to corrupt the 2020 election.

During Monday’s hearing, Republicans focused more on the actions of the Democrats than Mr. Trump’s, arguing that the president has been the target of an illegitimate, partisan witch hunt.

Mr. Castor devoted the majority of his prepared testimony to how the Democrats have conducted their inquiry and, in his view, distorted the facts.

“The Democrats went searching for a set of facts on which to impeach the president — the emoluments clause, the president’s business and financial records, the Mueller report and allegations of obstruction there — before settling on Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Castor maintained that Mr. Trump was not pursuing his own interests, but was only concerned about corruption in Ukraine. And he noted that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said he did not feel pressured, saying that “if President Trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden, one would think that Ukraine would have felt some pressure.”

A central theme pushed by Republicans during Monday’s hearing was the blame-Ukraine defense, in which they contended that Mr. Trump was justified in asking Ukraine for investigations because had genuine concerns about corruption there.

“Democrats dismiss these as conspiracy theories to suggest that President Trump has no legitimate reason — other than his own political interests — to raise these issues with President Zelensky,” Mr. Castor said. “The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.”

Mr. Castor did not explain, however, why Mr. Trump never mentioned the word “corruption” in either of his phone calls with Mr. Zelensky if that was his concern. Intelligence agencies and former advisers to Mr. Trump have warned against advancing such claims, attributing them to an effort by Russia to shift responsibility after its operation to tilt the 2016 election.

“I am not saying that it was Ukraine and not Russia,” Mr. Castor said. “I am saying that both countries can work to influence an election.”

Monday’s hearing provided another venue for Republicans to lodge repeated complaints about the way Mr. Nadler is running the impeachment process, raising parliamentary points and forcing party-line votes.

Republicans pressed Mr. Nadler to schedule a hearing day that they would be allowed to organize, including calling witnesses of their choice. Later in the day, Mr. Nadler denied the request.

They objected to the content of Mr. Berke’s presentation, arguing that it violated the committee’s rules of decorum against making disparaging remarks about the president. Mr. Nadler shut down the criticisms.

Republicans also complained that the lawyers making the opening presentations had not been sworn in under oath and that committee Republicans had not received until last weekend 8,000 pages of information from the House investigation.

They also used the moment to jab at Mr. Schiff, for not presenting the evidence his panel gathered himself, prompting Mr. Collins to say: “Instead he is sending his staff to do his job for him. I guess that’s what you get when you’re making up impeachment as you go.”

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

Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process

Video

transcript

Impeachment Hearing Highlights

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“No public official, including and especially the president of the United States, should use his public office for private gain. And we agree that no president may put himself before the country.” “It’s amazing that they start with impeachment, and then they spent two years trying to figure out what do we impeach him on?” “Mr. Chairman, if this were a court of law you’d be facing sanctions right now by the Bar Association —” “The gentleman will state his point of order and not make a speech —” “Mr. Chairman, how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees?” “The gentlemen — that is not a point of order. That is not a point of order.” “Where’s Adam? Where’s Adam? It’s his report. His name. Mr. Goldman, you’re a great attorney but you’re not Adam Schiff and you don’t wear a pin.” “The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressure — by pressuring Ukraine and its new president to investigate a political opponent. The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure, by conditioning a wanted White House meeting and a needed military aid that had been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival.” “Much has also been made about President Trump’s reference on the July 25 call to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, and the actions of certain Ukrainian officials in the run-up to the 2016 election. Democrats dismiss these conspiracy theories to suggest that the president has no legitimate reason other than his own political interests to raise these issues with President Zelensky. The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.” “My question is, why did you misquote Ms. Williams in terms of —” “I didn’t misquote her.” “Why did you do it?” “We certainly misquote her.” “So you stand — so from the standard that you apply to your fact-finding in your report, you believe that it was entirely proper to say that Ms. Williams found the call to be unusual when in fact, she found the call to be unusual, and inappropriate and of a political nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. Is that your testimony sir?” “I mean, we described what Ms. Williams said.” “Sir, is that your — no you didn’t.” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, if either, you can ask —” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, I’m not — he can either ask or answer, he can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “You can ask or answer, you can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman is not recognized.” “Point of order that he’s badgering the witness.” “He is not — the gentleman will continue.”

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-impeach1-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Democrats and Republicans who squared off at Monday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee had one remarkable point of agreement: Both said that there are four key facts at the heart of the debate about whether President Trump should be impeached by the House and removed from office.

They just offered two completely different sets of facts.

Daniel S. Goldman, the chief investigator for the House Intelligence Committee, said during his presentation to the Judiciary Committee members that the Democratic case against the president can be “boiled down to four key takeaways.”

He said that Mr. Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations”; that he used his office to withhold “an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure Ukraine”; that “everyone was in the loop”; and that “despite the public discovery of this scheme, which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up.”

When Republicans had the microphone, several offered their own four-part assessment of how best to understand what they viewed as the failure of Democrats to make the case.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, offered them in his usual, rapid-fire fashion: He asserted that Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine did not show evidence of pressure or a quid pro quo; that Mr. Zelensky has repeatedly denied feeling pressured; that Ukraine did not know the security aid was held up; and that the aid was eventually released without any announcement of an investigation that Mr. Trump wanted.

Democrats take issue with those four points, asserting that they are factually wrong or a questionable interpretation, just as Republicans challenge the four Democratic points. Together, they underscore how far apart both sides are in terms of agreeing on a common set of facts in the impeachment inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165692631_d26fde44-a3d4-4788-b9de-3fc8ae8f562a-articleLarge Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, during the hearing on Monday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, denied requests for Republican witnesses, including the appearance of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint focused on the president’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

“The committee has previously tabled motions with regard to these matters at its December 4, 2019, hearing, and I see no reason to reconsider those requests,” Mr. Nadler wrote in a letter to Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have repeatedly demanded a hearing to feature their own witnesses, including the whistle-blower, Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; and Mr. Schiff, who they accuse of running an unfair impeachment investigation. Mr. Nadler has said for days that he would respond to their request.

In the letter, Mr. Nadler noted that Republicans had previously asked for the same witnesses to appear during hearings of the Intelligence Committee. “I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests outside of the parameters of the impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Nadler wrote.

Under the rules of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have the right to request a meeting of the Judiciary Committee to consider an appeal of Mr. Nadler’s decision, though because Democrats control the committee, it’s all but certain that the committee would support the chairman’s decision. In the letter, Mr. Nadler said he was willing to call such a meeting if the Republicans request it.

House Democrats are likely to use the testimony in Monday’s hearing as they begin drafting later this week the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump amid an intense debate about how expansive the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors should be.

Democrats appear poised to accuse Mr. Trump of abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to help him incriminate Democratic rivals while withholding American security aid. They are also expect to charge him with obstructing the congressional investigation by defying subpoenas, blocking witnesses from testifying and denying documents.

It is less clear whether Democrats will include charges of obstruction of justice for trying to impede the Russia investigation by Mr. Mueller, whose report last spring included evidence of 10 instances of possible obstruction.

Republicans seized on a new talking point on Monday, accusing Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of improperly revealing phone records.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia angrily demanded that Mr. Goldman tell lawmakers who made the decision to reveal the names of journalists and lawmakers in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report after their numbers were identified as part of subpoenas of phone company records.

“Who ordered it? You or Mr. Schiff?” Mr. Collins asked Mr. Goldman, referring to Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Mr. Goldman declined answer but tried to explain that such identifications occur in the normal course of the examination of phone records.

The telephone numbers of the journalists and lawmakers — including Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the committee — were included because they had been talking to the people being investigated as part of the impeachment inquiry.

But Republicans said the decision amounted to an “abuse of power” by the Democrats.

“Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker,” said Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a Republican and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “This is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control.”

Monday’s hearing began with both sides presenting their cases largely undisturbed. But once questioning began, Barry H. Berke, the Democratic lawyer, took aim at Stephen Castor, the Republican lawyer from the committee, grilling him aggressively.

In one testy exchange, Mr. Berke accused Mr. Castor of mischaracterizing the testimony of Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, by writing in a report that she found a July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine merely “unusual.” Mr. Berke noted that she actually called it “unusual and inappropriate.” Mr. Castor denied misquoting her, saying it “wasn’t a block quote.”

The back-and-forth between the two lawyers caused Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a former Republican chairman of the committee to accuse Mr. Berke of “badgering the witness.” Mr. Nadler slammed his gavel. “He’s not,” Mr. Nadler said.

The headline from Democrats at Monday’s hearing was from the opening statement by Barry H. Berke, the top lawyer for Judiciary Democrats, who told the committee that Mr. Trump’s actions were “so brazen” that there was no question that he had abused his power to advance his own political interests.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Mr. Berke said, repeating the phrase to counter Republican arguments that the impeachment inquiry had been rushed and inadequate. He said the facts were “uncontradicted” and “cannot be disputed.”

Mr. Goldman later said that the president had tried to distort next year’s election with false allegations, pointing to his weekend statements to reporters that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, would make a report to the Justice Department about Democrats.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Mr. Goldman said.

Mr. Berke placed the president’s actions with Ukraine in the context of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as investigated by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Berke played a video clip of Mr. Trump that year publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, and another of him as president telling reporters he wanted Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Rather than leave the matter to voters next fall, as some Republicans have argued, Mr. Berke said the House had to act now because Mr. Trump was trying to corrupt the 2020 election.

During Monday’s hearing, Republicans focused more on the actions of the Democrats than Mr. Trump’s, arguing that the president has been the target of an illegitimate, partisan witch hunt.

Mr. Castor devoted the majority of his prepared testimony to how the Democrats have conducted their inquiry and, in his view, distorted the facts.

“The Democrats went searching for a set of facts on which to impeach the president — the emoluments clause, the president’s business and financial records, the Mueller report and allegations of obstruction there — before settling on Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Castor maintained that Mr. Trump was not pursuing his own interests, but was only concerned about corruption in Ukraine. And he noted that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said he did not feel pressured, saying that “if President Trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden, one would think that Ukraine would have felt some pressure.”

A central theme pushed by Republicans during Monday’s hearing was the blame-Ukraine defense, in which they contended that Mr. Trump was justified in asking Ukraine for investigations because had genuine concerns about corruption there.

“Democrats dismiss these as conspiracy theories to suggest that President Trump has no legitimate reason — other than his own political interests — to raise these issues with President Zelensky,” Mr. Castor said. “The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.”

Mr. Castor did not explain, however, why Mr. Trump never mentioned the word “corruption” in either of his phone calls with Mr. Zelensky if that was his concern. Intelligence agencies and former advisers to Mr. Trump have warned against advancing such claims, attributing them to an effort by Russia to shift responsibility after its operation to tilt the 2016 election.

“I am not saying that it was Ukraine and not Russia,” Mr. Castor said. “I am saying that both countries can work to influence an election.”

Monday’s hearing provided another venue for Republicans to lodge repeated complaints about the way Mr. Nadler is running the impeachment process, raising parliamentary points and forcing party-line votes.

Republicans pressed Mr. Nadler to schedule a hearing day that they would be allowed to organize, including calling witnesses of their choice. Later in the day, Mr. Nadler denied the request.

They objected to the content of Mr. Berke’s presentation, arguing that it violated the committee’s rules of decorum against making disparaging remarks about the president. Mr. Nadler shut down the criticisms.

Republicans also complained that the lawyers making the opening presentations had not been sworn in under oath and that committee Republicans had not received until last weekend 8,000 pages of information from the House investigation.

They also used the moment to jab at Mr. Schiff, for not presenting the evidence his panel gathered himself, prompting Mr. Collins to say: “Instead he is sending his staff to do his job for him. I guess that’s what you get when you’re making up impeachment as you go.”

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Varney slams Warren after financial records released: You ‘want to abolish the system that made you rich’

Fox Business host Stuart Varney went after Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Monday after recently released financial records revealed she made $1.9 million from private legal work stretching back three decades.

Senator Warren is the scourge of capitalism, but made a small fortune working in the capitalist system,” Varney said on Fox Nation’s “My Take.”

“There’s something just not quite right when a candidate rants about the evils of business and then turns around and admits to making a couple of million dollars as a business consultant. Strange, isn’t it, to want to abolish the system that made you rich?” he added.

Warren has largely campaigned in support of a “wealth tax” on American families who’ve earned over $50 million.

VARNEY: WARREN IS LIVING IN ‘FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL FANTASY’

“We need structural change. That’s why I’m proposing something brand new – an annual tax on the wealth of the richest Americans. I’m calling it the ‘Ultra-Millionaire Tax’ & it applies to that tippy-top 0.1% – those with a net worth of over $50M,” Warren wrote in a January tweet.

Westlake Legal Group varney-warren Varney slams Warren after financial records released: You 'want to abolish the system that made you rich' Yael Halon fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 5af6a23f-3438-5742-a01b-46d9c6ce8d4c

WARREN REVEALS SHE MADE $1.9 MILLION FROM PRIVATE LEGAL WORK

Last month, Warren further doubled down on the wealthy, outlining a plan costing $52 trillion over the next decade, including $20 trillion in new spending — covered largely by an array of taxes on corporations, the wealthy and employers in general — while insisting the middle class would be spared.

Accusing the senator of hypocrisy, Varney outlined the findings of her financial records, which revealed she was paid $80,000 for representing Enron’s creditors, $212,000 from the Travelers Indemnity Company and $190,000 from a department store among other payments, he explained.

WARREN CALLS FOR WEALTH TAX ON RICHEST AMERICANS

“They’ve made their pile already and now want to stop up-and-comers from making their own. Remember how Bernie Sanders used to rant against the millionaires and billionaires? Well, these days he only rants against billionaires because he became a millionaire himself,” the Fox Business host said, referencing Warren’s fellow 2020 presidential candidate, a Vermont senator.

“For heaven’s sake,” he continued, “Senator Warren has repeatedly said this economy isn’t working for everyone. She proposes massive tax increases for individuals and businesses and a wealth tax to literally confiscate the money of the very rich. Well, the economy has suddenly worked very well for her, hasn’t it?” Varney added, “If her tax policies are put in place, the economy won’t be working very well for anyone.”

To see Stuart Varney’s full remarks on  “My Take”, and for more episodes of his daily commentary, visit Fox Nation and join today.

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Westlake Legal Group varney-warren Varney slams Warren after financial records released: You 'want to abolish the system that made you rich' Yael Halon fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 5af6a23f-3438-5742-a01b-46d9c6ce8d4c   Westlake Legal Group varney-warren Varney slams Warren after financial records released: You 'want to abolish the system that made you rich' Yael Halon fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 5af6a23f-3438-5742-a01b-46d9c6ce8d4c

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Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process

Video

transcript

Impeachment Hearing Highlights

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“No public official, including and especially the president of the United States, should use his public office for private gain. And we agree that no president may put himself before the country.” “It’s amazing that they start with impeachment, and then they spent two years trying to figure out what do we impeach him on?” “Mr. Chairman, if this were a court of law you’d be facing sanctions right now by the Bar Association —” “The gentleman will state his point of order and not make a speech —” “Mr. Chairman, how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees?” “The gentlemen — that is not a point of order. That is not a point of order.” “Where’s Adam? Where’s Adam? It’s his report. His name. Mr. Goldman, you’re a great attorney but you’re not Adam Schiff and you don’t wear a pin.” “The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressure — by pressuring Ukraine and its new president to investigate a political opponent. The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure, by conditioning a wanted White House meeting and a needed military aid that had been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival.” “Much has also been made about President Trump’s reference on the July 25 call to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, and the actions of certain Ukrainian officials in the run-up to the 2016 election. Democrats dismiss these conspiracy theories to suggest that the president has no legitimate reason other than his own political interests to raise these issues with President Zelensky. The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.” “My question is, why did you misquote Ms. Williams in terms of —” “I didn’t misquote her.” “Why did you do it?” “We certainly misquote her.” “So you stand — so from the standard that you apply to your fact-finding in your report, you believe that it was entirely proper to say that Ms. Williams found the call to be unusual when in fact, she found the call to be unusual, and inappropriate and of a political nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. Is that your testimony sir?” “I mean, we described what Ms. Williams said.” “Sir, is that your — no you didn’t.” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, if either, you can ask —” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, I’m not — he can either ask or answer, he can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “You can ask or answer, you can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman is not recognized.” “Point of order that he’s badgering the witness.” “He is not — the gentleman will continue.”

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-impeach1-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Democrats and Republicans who squared off at Monday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee had one remarkable point of agreement: Both said that there are four key facts at the heart of the debate about whether President Trump should be impeached by the House and removed from office.

They just offered two completely different sets of facts.

Daniel S. Goldman, the chief investigator for the House Intelligence Committee, said during his presentation to the Judiciary Committee members that the Democratic case against the president can be “boiled down to four key takeaways.”

He said that Mr. Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations”; that he used his office to withhold “an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure Ukraine”; that “everyone was in the loop”; and that “despite the public discovery of this scheme, which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up.”

When Republicans had the microphone, several offered their own four-part assessment of how best to understand what they viewed as the failure of Democrats to make the case.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, offered them in his usual, rapid-fire fashion: He asserted that Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine did not show evidence of pressure or a quid pro quo; that Mr. Zelensky has repeatedly denied feeling pressured; that Ukraine did not know the security aid was held up; and that the aid was eventually released without any announcement of an investigation that Mr. Trump wanted.

Democrats take issue with those four points, asserting that they are factually wrong or a questionable interpretation, just as Republicans challenge the four Democratic points. Together, they underscore how far apart both sides are in terms of agreeing on a common set of facts in the impeachment inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165692631_d26fde44-a3d4-4788-b9de-3fc8ae8f562a-articleLarge Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, during the hearing on Monday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, denied requests for Republican witnesses, including the appearance of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint focused on the president’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

“The committee has previously tabled motions with regard to these matters at its December 4, 2019, hearing, and I see no reason to reconsider those requests,” Mr. Nadler wrote in a letter to Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have repeatedly demanded a hearing to feature their own witnesses, including the whistle-blower, Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; and Mr. Schiff, who they accuse of running an unfair impeachment investigation. Mr. Nadler has said for days that he would respond to their request.

In the letter, Mr. Nadler noted that Republicans had previously asked for the same witnesses to appear during hearings of the Intelligence Committee. “I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests outside of the parameters of the impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Nadler wrote.

Under the rules of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have the right to request a meeting of the Judiciary Committee to consider an appeal of Mr. Nadler’s decision, though because Democrats control the committee, it’s all but certain that the committee would support the chairman’s decision. In the letter, Mr. Nadler said he was willing to call such a meeting if the Republicans request it.

House Democrats are likely to use the testimony in Monday’s hearing as they begin drafting later this week the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump amid an intense debate about how expansive the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors should be.

Democrats appear poised to accuse Mr. Trump of abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to help him incriminate Democratic rivals while withholding American security aid. They are also expect to charge him with obstructing the congressional investigation by defying subpoenas, blocking witnesses from testifying and denying documents.

It is less clear whether Democrats will include charges of obstruction of justice for trying to impede the Russia investigation by Mr. Mueller, whose report last spring included evidence of 10 instances of possible obstruction.

Republicans seized on a new talking point on Monday, accusing Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of improperly revealing phone records.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia angrily demanded that Mr. Goldman tell lawmakers who made the decision to reveal the names of journalists and lawmakers in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report after their numbers were identified as part of subpoenas of phone company records.

“Who ordered it? You or Mr. Schiff?” Mr. Collins asked Mr. Goldman, referring to Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Mr. Goldman declined answer but tried to explain that such identifications occur in the normal course of the examination of phone records.

The telephone numbers of the journalists and lawmakers — including Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the committee — were included because they had been talking to the people being investigated as part of the impeachment inquiry.

But Republicans said the decision amounted to an “abuse of power” by the Democrats.

“Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker,” said Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a Republican and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “This is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control.”

Monday’s hearing began with both sides presenting their cases largely undisturbed. But once questioning began, Barry H. Berke, the Democratic lawyer, took aim at Stephen Castor, the Republican lawyer from the committee, grilling him aggressively.

In one testy exchange, Mr. Berke accused Mr. Castor of mischaracterizing the testimony of Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, by writing in a report that she found a July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine merely “unusual.” Mr. Berke noted that she actually called it “unusual and inappropriate.” Mr. Castor denied misquoting her, saying it “wasn’t a block quote.”

The back-and-forth between the two lawyers caused Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a former Republican chairman of the committee to accuse Mr. Berke of “badgering the witness.” Mr. Nadler slammed his gavel. “He’s not,” Mr. Nadler said.

The headline from Democrats at Monday’s hearing was from the opening statement by Barry H. Berke, the top lawyer for Judiciary Democrats, who told the committee that Mr. Trump’s actions were “so brazen” that there was no question that he had abused his power to advance his own political interests.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Mr. Berke said, repeating the phrase to counter Republican arguments that the impeachment inquiry had been rushed and inadequate. He said the facts were “uncontradicted” and “cannot be disputed.”

Mr. Goldman later said that the president had tried to distort next year’s election with false allegations, pointing to his weekend statements to reporters that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, would make a report to the Justice Department about Democrats.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Mr. Goldman said.

Mr. Berke placed the president’s actions with Ukraine in the context of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as investigated by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Berke played a video clip of Mr. Trump that year publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, and another of him as president telling reporters he wanted Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Rather than leave the matter to voters next fall, as some Republicans have argued, Mr. Berke said the House had to act now because Mr. Trump was trying to corrupt the 2020 election.

During Monday’s hearing, Republicans focused more on the actions of the Democrats than Mr. Trump’s, arguing that the president has been the target of an illegitimate, partisan witch hunt.

Mr. Castor devoted the majority of his prepared testimony to how the Democrats have conducted their inquiry and, in his view, distorted the facts.

“The Democrats went searching for a set of facts on which to impeach the president — the emoluments clause, the president’s business and financial records, the Mueller report and allegations of obstruction there — before settling on Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Castor maintained that Mr. Trump was not pursuing his own interests, but was only concerned about corruption in Ukraine. And he noted that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said he did not feel pressured, saying that “if President Trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden, one would think that Ukraine would have felt some pressure.”

A central theme pushed by Republicans during Monday’s hearing was the blame-Ukraine defense, in which they contended that Mr. Trump was justified in asking Ukraine for investigations because had genuine concerns about corruption there.

“Democrats dismiss these as conspiracy theories to suggest that President Trump has no legitimate reason — other than his own political interests — to raise these issues with President Zelensky,” Mr. Castor said. “The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.”

Mr. Castor did not explain, however, why Mr. Trump never mentioned the word “corruption” in either of his phone calls with Mr. Zelensky if that was his concern. Intelligence agencies and former advisers to Mr. Trump have warned against advancing such claims, attributing them to an effort by Russia to shift responsibility after its operation to tilt the 2016 election.

“I am not saying that it was Ukraine and not Russia,” Mr. Castor said. “I am saying that both countries can work to influence an election.”

Monday’s hearing provided another venue for Republicans to lodge repeated complaints about the way Mr. Nadler is running the impeachment process, raising parliamentary points and forcing party-line votes.

Republicans pressed Mr. Nadler to schedule a hearing day that they would be allowed to organize, including calling witnesses of their choice. Later in the day, Mr. Nadler denied the request.

They objected to the content of Mr. Berke’s presentation, arguing that it violated the committee’s rules of decorum against making disparaging remarks about the president. Mr. Nadler shut down the criticisms.

Republicans also complained that the lawyers making the opening presentations had not been sworn in under oath and that committee Republicans had not received until last weekend 8,000 pages of information from the House investigation.

They also used the moment to jab at Mr. Schiff, for not presenting the evidence his panel gathered himself, prompting Mr. Collins to say: “Instead he is sending his staff to do his job for him. I guess that’s what you get when you’re making up impeachment as you go.”

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Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process

Video

transcript

Impeachment Hearing Highlights

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“No public official, including and especially the president of the United States, should use his public office for private gain. And we agree that no president may put himself before the country.” “It’s amazing that they start with impeachment, and then they spent two years trying to figure out what do we impeach him on?” “Mr. Chairman, if this were a court of law you’d be facing sanctions right now by the Bar Association —” “The gentleman will state his point of order and not make a speech —” “Mr. Chairman, how are we supposed to process over 8,000 pages of documents that came from various committees?” “The gentlemen — that is not a point of order. That is not a point of order.” “Where’s Adam? Where’s Adam? It’s his report. His name. Mr. Goldman, you’re a great attorney but you’re not Adam Schiff and you don’t wear a pin.” “The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by pressure — by pressuring Ukraine and its new president to investigate a political opponent. The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power by ramping up that pressure, by conditioning a wanted White House meeting and a needed military aid that had been approved in order to get that president to investigate a political rival.” “Much has also been made about President Trump’s reference on the July 25 call to Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma, a corrupt Ukrainian energy company, and the actions of certain Ukrainian officials in the run-up to the 2016 election. Democrats dismiss these conspiracy theories to suggest that the president has no legitimate reason other than his own political interests to raise these issues with President Zelensky. The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.” “My question is, why did you misquote Ms. Williams in terms of —” “I didn’t misquote her.” “Why did you do it?” “We certainly misquote her.” “So you stand — so from the standard that you apply to your fact-finding in your report, you believe that it was entirely proper to say that Ms. Williams found the call to be unusual when in fact, she found the call to be unusual, and inappropriate and of a political nature given that the former vice president is a political opponent of the president. Is that your testimony sir?” “I mean, we described what Ms. Williams said.” “Sir, is that your — no you didn’t.” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, if either, you can ask —” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “Mr. Chairman, I’m not — he can either ask or answer, he can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman —” Rep. Collins: “You can ask or answer, you can’t do both.” Rep. Nadler: “The gentleman is not recognized.” “Point of order that he’s badgering the witness.” “He is not — the gentleman will continue.”

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-impeach1-sub-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee heard evidence presented by Democratic and Republican lawyers as it considers articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Democrats and Republicans who squared off at Monday’s impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary Committee had one remarkable point of agreement: Both said that there are four key facts at the heart of the debate about whether President Trump should be impeached by the House and removed from office.

They just offered two completely different sets of facts.

Daniel S. Goldman, the chief investigator for the House Intelligence Committee, said during his presentation to the Judiciary Committee members that the Democratic case against the president can be “boiled down to four key takeaways.”

He said that Mr. Trump “directed a scheme to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations”; that he used his office to withhold “an Oval Office meeting and $391 million in security assistance to pressure Ukraine”; that “everyone was in the loop”; and that “despite the public discovery of this scheme, which prompted the president to release the aid, he has not given up.”

When Republicans had the microphone, several offered their own four-part assessment of how best to understand what they viewed as the failure of Democrats to make the case.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, offered them in his usual, rapid-fire fashion: He asserted that Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine did not show evidence of pressure or a quid pro quo; that Mr. Zelensky has repeatedly denied feeling pressured; that Ukraine did not know the security aid was held up; and that the aid was eventually released without any announcement of an investigation that Mr. Trump wanted.

Democrats take issue with those four points, asserting that they are factually wrong or a questionable interpretation, just as Republicans challenge the four Democratic points. Together, they underscore how far apart both sides are in terms of agreeing on a common set of facts in the impeachment inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165692631_d26fde44-a3d4-4788-b9de-3fc8ae8f562a-articleLarge Impeachment Hearing Takeaways: Democrats Allege ‘Brazen’ Trump Scheme While Republicans Lament ‘Unfair’ Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, during the hearing on Monday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, denied requests for Republican witnesses, including the appearance of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, or the anonymous whistle-blower whose complaint focused on the president’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

“The committee has previously tabled motions with regard to these matters at its December 4, 2019, hearing, and I see no reason to reconsider those requests,” Mr. Nadler wrote in a letter to Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Republicans have repeatedly demanded a hearing to feature their own witnesses, including the whistle-blower, Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.; and Mr. Schiff, who they accuse of running an unfair impeachment investigation. Mr. Nadler has said for days that he would respond to their request.

In the letter, Mr. Nadler noted that Republicans had previously asked for the same witnesses to appear during hearings of the Intelligence Committee. “I concur in Chairman Schiff’s assessment and also find that these requests outside of the parameters of the impeachment inquiry,” Mr. Nadler wrote.

Under the rules of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans have the right to request a meeting of the Judiciary Committee to consider an appeal of Mr. Nadler’s decision, though because Democrats control the committee, it’s all but certain that the committee would support the chairman’s decision. In the letter, Mr. Nadler said he was willing to call such a meeting if the Republicans request it.

House Democrats are likely to use the testimony in Monday’s hearing as they begin drafting later this week the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump amid an intense debate about how expansive the charges of high crimes and misdemeanors should be.

Democrats appear poised to accuse Mr. Trump of abuse of power for pressuring Ukraine to help him incriminate Democratic rivals while withholding American security aid. They are also expect to charge him with obstructing the congressional investigation by defying subpoenas, blocking witnesses from testifying and denying documents.

It is less clear whether Democrats will include charges of obstruction of justice for trying to impede the Russia investigation by Mr. Mueller, whose report last spring included evidence of 10 instances of possible obstruction.

Republicans seized on a new talking point on Monday, accusing Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee of improperly revealing phone records.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia angrily demanded that Mr. Goldman tell lawmakers who made the decision to reveal the names of journalists and lawmakers in the Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report after their numbers were identified as part of subpoenas of phone company records.

“Who ordered it? You or Mr. Schiff?” Mr. Collins asked Mr. Goldman, referring to Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Mr. Goldman declined answer but tried to explain that such identifications occur in the normal course of the examination of phone records.

The telephone numbers of the journalists and lawmakers — including Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the committee — were included because they had been talking to the people being investigated as part of the impeachment inquiry.

But Republicans said the decision amounted to an “abuse of power” by the Democrats.

“Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker,” said Representative James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a Republican and former chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “This is a major step in the surveillance state getting out of control.”

Monday’s hearing began with both sides presenting their cases largely undisturbed. But once questioning began, Barry H. Berke, the Democratic lawyer, took aim at Stephen Castor, the Republican lawyer from the committee, grilling him aggressively.

In one testy exchange, Mr. Berke accused Mr. Castor of mischaracterizing the testimony of Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, by writing in a report that she found a July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine merely “unusual.” Mr. Berke noted that she actually called it “unusual and inappropriate.” Mr. Castor denied misquoting her, saying it “wasn’t a block quote.”

The back-and-forth between the two lawyers caused Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a former Republican chairman of the committee to accuse Mr. Berke of “badgering the witness.” Mr. Nadler slammed his gavel. “He’s not,” Mr. Nadler said.

The headline from Democrats at Monday’s hearing was from the opening statement by Barry H. Berke, the top lawyer for Judiciary Democrats, who told the committee that Mr. Trump’s actions were “so brazen” that there was no question that he had abused his power to advance his own political interests.

“The evidence is overwhelming,” Mr. Berke said, repeating the phrase to counter Republican arguments that the impeachment inquiry had been rushed and inadequate. He said the facts were “uncontradicted” and “cannot be disputed.”

Mr. Goldman later said that the president had tried to distort next year’s election with false allegations, pointing to his weekend statements to reporters that Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, would make a report to the Justice Department about Democrats.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” Mr. Goldman said.

Mr. Berke placed the president’s actions with Ukraine in the context of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as investigated by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Berke played a video clip of Mr. Trump that year publicly calling on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, and another of him as president telling reporters he wanted Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Rather than leave the matter to voters next fall, as some Republicans have argued, Mr. Berke said the House had to act now because Mr. Trump was trying to corrupt the 2020 election.

During Monday’s hearing, Republicans focused more on the actions of the Democrats than Mr. Trump’s, arguing that the president has been the target of an illegitimate, partisan witch hunt.

Mr. Castor devoted the majority of his prepared testimony to how the Democrats have conducted their inquiry and, in his view, distorted the facts.

“The Democrats went searching for a set of facts on which to impeach the president — the emoluments clause, the president’s business and financial records, the Mueller report and allegations of obstruction there — before settling on Ukraine,” he said.

Mr. Castor maintained that Mr. Trump was not pursuing his own interests, but was only concerned about corruption in Ukraine. And he noted that President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said he did not feel pressured, saying that “if President Trump was truly orchestrating a pressure campaign to force Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden, one would think that Ukraine would have felt some pressure.”

A central theme pushed by Republicans during Monday’s hearing was the blame-Ukraine defense, in which they contended that Mr. Trump was justified in asking Ukraine for investigations because had genuine concerns about corruption there.

“Democrats dismiss these as conspiracy theories to suggest that President Trump has no legitimate reason — other than his own political interests — to raise these issues with President Zelensky,” Mr. Castor said. “The evidence, however, shows that there are legitimate questions about both issues.”

Mr. Castor did not explain, however, why Mr. Trump never mentioned the word “corruption” in either of his phone calls with Mr. Zelensky if that was his concern. Intelligence agencies and former advisers to Mr. Trump have warned against advancing such claims, attributing them to an effort by Russia to shift responsibility after its operation to tilt the 2016 election.

“I am not saying that it was Ukraine and not Russia,” Mr. Castor said. “I am saying that both countries can work to influence an election.”

Monday’s hearing provided another venue for Republicans to lodge repeated complaints about the way Mr. Nadler is running the impeachment process, raising parliamentary points and forcing party-line votes.

Republicans pressed Mr. Nadler to schedule a hearing day that they would be allowed to organize, including calling witnesses of their choice. Later in the day, Mr. Nadler denied the request.

They objected to the content of Mr. Berke’s presentation, arguing that it violated the committee’s rules of decorum against making disparaging remarks about the president. Mr. Nadler shut down the criticisms.

Republicans also complained that the lawyers making the opening presentations had not been sworn in under oath and that committee Republicans had not received until last weekend 8,000 pages of information from the House investigation.

They also used the moment to jab at Mr. Schiff, for not presenting the evidence his panel gathered himself, prompting Mr. Collins to say: “Instead he is sending his staff to do his job for him. I guess that’s what you get when you’re making up impeachment as you go.”

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Oops: Ivanka Trump has been “personal friends” with Christopher Steele for years.

Westlake Legal Group 7gZFNvQCrcq7yYAxSjmgvOwqWH9nRARowPdhiEzWLew Oops: Ivanka Trump has been "personal friends" with Christopher Steele for years. r/politics

Trump: “The Russia investigation is a total sham and has been a witch hunt from the start! I’m going to launch my own investigation into the investigation to prove that you’re all committing treason!”

Investigation: Reveals the exact opposite of what Trump claimed

Trump: “THIS COMPLETELY FAKE INVESTIGATION INTO THE TOTALLY FAKE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION WHICH ALSO TOTALLY EXONERATES ME (NO YOU CAN’T SEE THE REPORT THAT’S TREASON GO AWAY BACK OFF NOTHING TO SEE HERE) TURNED OUT TO BE A WITCH HUNT AFTER IT WAS TAKEN OVER BY THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS I ACCIDENTALLY APPOINTED BACK OFF!”


Trump: “I’ll release my tax returns if I’m elected president!”

Democrats: “Now that you’re the president, will you release your tax returns to us?”

Trump: “NO STAY BACK YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE THOSE ANY REPORTS OF ME SAYING THAT I WOULD RELEASE MY TAX RETURNS ARE ALL FAKE NEWS ITS ALL FAKE NOTHING TO SEE HERE SUPREME COURT HELP!”


Republicans: “This is a total witch hunt, you aren’t even interviewing people who matter!”

Democrats: “Alright, we’re going to subpoena the people you want us to talk to!”

Republicans: “WHAT NO STAY BACK YOU CANT TALK TO THEM THEY WEREN’T INVOLVED NOTHING TO SEE HERE THIS IS UNFAIR!”


Trump: “I’m not even being allowed to cooperate in this treasonous coup witch hunt investigation, they won’t even let me testify!”

Democrats: “Hey Trump, you’re welcome here any time day or night. We would love nothing more than to have you testify!”

Trump: “WHAT NO GO AWAY I DIDN’T MEAN IT I’M NOT PARTICIPATING IN THIS FAKE NEWS WITCH HUNT ITS ALL FAKE GO AWAY!”


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Trump joins Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thunberg, whistleblower as Time ‘Person of the Year’ finalists

President Trump was revealed as one of the finalists for Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year,” appearing Monday on a shortlist that includes several prominent critics of his, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Women’s World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe and the anonymous whistleblower who helped ignite the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Ten contenders were on the shortlist. President Trump, who was named “Person of the Year” in 2016, also had been on the shortlist in 2015, 2017 and 2018. His personal attorney and the 2001 “Person of the Year” Rudy Giuliani appeared on the 2019 shortlist as well.

However, other figures from the impeachment inquiry also were in the running, including Pelosi, who formally gave the green light for House Democrats last week to draft articles of impeachment. Also competing against her: the unknown figure from within the intelligence community who first raised concerns about Trump’s phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

MSNBC’S JOE SCARBOROUGH DEFENDS RUDY GIULIANI AFTER PANELIST CLAIMS FORMER  MAYOR ‘EXPLOITED 9/11’

Outspoken anti-Trump critic Megan Rapinoe scored a spot on the shortlist after winning the international soccer tournament as the captain of the U.S. women’s team and refusing to visit the White House on the team’s victory tour.

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has been at the center of an intense national debate over his platform’s decision not to crack down on political ads sharing false information, was in the running after being “Person of the Year” in 2010.

Westlake Legal Group Person-of-the-Year Trump joins Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thunberg, whistleblower as Time 'Person of the Year' finalists Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/megan-rapinoe fox-news/person/mark-zuckerberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 63d83f32-723b-531f-9996-9a0072a149bc

“Person of the Year” candidates included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Trump, Megan Rapinoe and Greta Thunberg. (File)

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The search for the next “Person of the Year” also went global. Sweden-born teen activist Greta Thunberg was aiming for the title after raising awareness of climate change by sailing across the Atlantic from England to New York and speaking at the United Nations. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern received worldwide attention for pushing gun control following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that killed 51 people.

Also on the shortlist: Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has been facing off against Trump in a bitter trade war, as well as the Hong Kong protesters who have resisted China’s proposed amendments to strengthen extradition powers over Hong Kong citizens.

Westlake Legal Group Person-of-the-Year Trump joins Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thunberg, whistleblower as Time 'Person of the Year' finalists Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/megan-rapinoe fox-news/person/mark-zuckerberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 63d83f32-723b-531f-9996-9a0072a149bc   Westlake Legal Group Person-of-the-Year Trump joins Nancy Pelosi, Greta Thunberg, whistleblower as Time 'Person of the Year' finalists Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/megan-rapinoe fox-news/person/mark-zuckerberg fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 63d83f32-723b-531f-9996-9a0072a149bc

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