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Westlake Legal Group > News and News Media (Page 78)

Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland

Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56

Rep. Adam Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the leftists who are attacking President Trump – and by extension everyone who voted for and supports him – have managed to sink to a new low. On the scale of credibility, they are a minus-10. If they yelled fire, you would stay seated.

These Democrats are so relentlessly unfair that the Trump administration has absolutely no incentive to cooperate with them.

Schiff, D-Calif., is holding his impeachment witch hunt behind closed doors. He has dissembled about whether he or his staff met with the whistleblower leaker before an official complaint was filed. He is not following the rules of the House. He has excluded some members of the House from sitting in on the proceedings, and he now has said that the whistleblower will not be called to testify.

135 HOUSE REPUBLICANS CO-SPONSOR RESOLUTION TO CENSURE SCHIFF OVER ‘PARODY’ READING OF TRUMP-ZELENSKY CALL

Schiff excuses his misconduct, claiming Republicans will attempt to manipulate the narrative if his impeachment inquiry hearings were public.

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That’s lame and disingenuous. If the hearings are public, the whole world can watch and determine what and whom they believe. Everyone can construct a narrative to lead the public in one direction or another, but those watching an open hearing can decide what they believe to be the truth.

Schiff’s secrecy allows him to conjure up the story he wants to tell the media with little accountability. Isn’t that the more likely reason Schiff doesn’t want the public to know what’s going on in the hearings?

Further, by classifying information in the hearings, we will only hear what was said as conveyed by leakers. That is antithetical to the American system of due process.

Nothing Schiff says or does should surprise anyone. He told us for years that there was clear evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians. And when even the anti-Trump team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded no collusion, no cooperation, and no coordination between Trump or his campaign and Russia, Schiff still insisted that there was evidence of collusion.

In what universe does anyone think Schiff can be an honest and true arbiter? Only down the rabbit hole and into the world of a Democratic dreamland. In that upside-down world, an obsession to impeach President Trump turns a reckless series of hearings that operate outside House precedents and standard House rules into a “formal impeachment inquiry” on the simple declaration of Speaker Pelosi.

In this shifting fantasyland, Schiff wants us to believe that facts are whatever he says they are. He wants us to believe that transparency requires closed-door interviews of witnesses. And key witnesses (such as the whistleblower-leaker) don’t testify because Schiff doesn’t think it is necessary.

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If the Democrats have any sense of shame, they will hold a formal vote on whether to pursue an impeachment investigation. They will remove the dissembling Schiff from leading this impeachment scam. And they will follow the pattern of the House by allowing Republicans to participate by subpoenaing witnesses and cross-examining Schiff’s witnesses.

Attorneys representing President Trump should also be allowed to ask questions and introduce evidence. And there should be open and transparent hearings.

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For now, though, Democrats are happy enough to hide what they are doing. And the leftists in the media are equally happy to join in the attack on President Trump.

Until the Democrats correct their ways, my advice to the Trump administration is to stay away from Schiff’s Star Chamber.

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Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56   Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56

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Democratic Candidates Turn Fire On New Front-Runner Elizabeth Warren

Westlake Legal Group 5da673522100004c0fad207e Democratic Candidates Turn Fire On New Front-Runner Elizabeth Warren

WESTERVILLE, Ohio ― Public polls are mixed about whether Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is now the leading candidate in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field. But the behavior of the other candidates on the stage at the fourth Democratic debate on Tuesday night indicated she is.

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas all took shots at Warren in the first hour of the debate at Otterbein University in this suburb of Columbus. 

Buttigieg and Klobuchar both attacked Warren for her support of a “Medicare for All” plan, arguing she was lying to voters about whether middle-class taxes would go up. 

“Your signature is to have a plan for everything, except this,” Buttigieg said. “No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Sen. Warren is putting forward is supposed to get filled in.”

Warren responded by repeating her standard answer when challenged on this point and pledging she wouldn’t support a plan that raised overall costs on middle-class families. She also attacked Buttigieg’s health care plan as insufficient to cover all Americans.

“Let’s be clear, whenever someone hears the term ‘Medicare for all who want it,’ understand what that really means: It’s Medicare for all who can afford it,” she responded. “Medicare for All is the gold standard. It’s the way we get health care coverage for every single American.”

Klobuchar made perhaps the most sustained attack on Warren, trying to challenge her on specific issues and on the very essence of her candidacy. 

“The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something that you can actually get done,” Klobuchar said.

O’Rourke made perhaps the most unexpected attack on Warren, arguing she hasn’t made it clear if her plans would increase taxes on the middle class and “is more focused on being punitive or pitting one part of the country against the other instead of lifting people up.” (Warren has proposed a 2% wealth tax on the richest Americans.)

“I’m really shocked that anyone thinks I’m punitive. I don’t have a beef with billionaires,” Warren responded, again repeating she wouldn’t raise taxes on middle-class families.

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‘Unbelievable’ loss: Atatiana Jefferson’s family remembers the life of Fort Worth shooting victim

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'Unbelievable' loss: Atatiana Jefferson's family remembers the life of Fort Worth shooting victim

Fort Worth’s police chief pleaded with the city to not allow the killing of a black woman by a white police officer reflect badly on the entire department. (Oct. 15) AP, AP

FORT WORTH, Texas – Growing up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Atatiana Jefferson had two loves: helping people and playing video games.

She would help her dad, Marquis Jefferson, with his treatment as he wheezed through a chronic pulmonary disease, promising him she would one day study medicine and eliminate asthma. She would also spend hours at her mother’s house playing marathon video games on her Sega Genesis. 

That urge to help propelled Atatiana through a biology/pre-med degree at Xavier University of Louisiana and spurred her to spend the summer at her mother’s Fort Worth home while her mother went through heart surgery. Atatiana was in that home with her 8-year-old nephew, Zion, early Saturday when a Fort Worth officer shot and killed her through a bedroom window, police said. The two were playing video games at the time.

“This loss is one of the most unbelievable things you can ever imagine – to know that your sister was doing what she normally does and got killed for it,” older sister Ashley Carr said in an interview with USA TODAY. “It’s hard to keep on going. Right now, it’s just really hard.”

Aaron Dean was arrested on a murder charge Monday, hours after resigning from the force, and police on Tuesday released an arrest warrant quoting Zion, the nephew, as saying Atatiana had pulled a gun from her purse after hearing someone creeping around her house.

Body camera video released by Fort Worth police show Dean quietly making his way around the house, past the open front door and into the darkened backyard before shouting at Atatiana to show her hands and, a split second later, firing into the window.

Tarnished brass: Hundreds of police officers have been labeled liars. Some still help send people to prison.

S. Lee Merritt, an attorney for family, said Dean’s arrest was a good first step but a slew of unanswered questions remain, including if there are more body camera videos of the scene and whether senior officers were present at the time of the shooting.

“This one officer obviously did something terrible and tragic,” he said, “but this was a breakdown from the top to the bottom.”

Adarius Carr, Atatiana’s brother, said the case needs to go beyond Dean’s prosecution. “The system failed him. Whoever sent him out failed him. … The training failed him,” he said. “There’s a lot that needs to be fixed.”

The younger Atatiana Jefferson

Family members still reeled from the news of Atatiana’s death but also reveled in memories of their youngest sibling. The youngest of four, Atatiana was known as a “tomboy in skirts,” climbing trees, joining in flag-football games and, once, shimmying a tree to climb atop of the roof of the house, Ashley Carr said.

She read constantly and became enamored with science, she said, dissecting small animals at home or watching her favorite TV show, “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” She would get straight-As on her report card and help her older siblings with their homework.

‘No forgiveness for this one’: Texas police face backlash after shooting, killing Atatiana Jefferson in her home

“She was always inquisitive, always trying to learn more, always doing more,” Ashley Carr said.

In high school, Atatiana played clarinet in band and earned a reputation for being nice to outcast students. “There were people who didn’t fit in and she was always very kind to them,” said Cheryl Calhoun, who attended Lake Highlands High School in northeast Dallas with Atatiana.

A ‘second mom’ to her nephew

After graduating from Xavier, Atatiana was paying down her debt and saving to go to medical school – either at Meharry Medical College in Nashville or in Houston with a friend.

She also indulged in her other love: her nephew, Zion, often taking him on overnights or sharing her love of video games with him. “Zion and Atatiana were best friends,” Amber Carr, Zion’s mother, said. “She was like his second mom. When you see her, you see him. Most people thought he was hers.”

Lapaca Jefferson, 57, Atatiana’s uncle, said the family was stunned by the shooting. He was in Houston attending an anti-violence meetup over the weekend when he heard the news.

“The Jefferson family’s dreams have been shattered,” he said. “It’s a great shock.”

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WeWork says at least 1,600 phone booths in US, Canada offices contaminated with formaldehyde

Westlake Legal Group AP19287579689012 WeWork says at least 1,600 phone booths in US, Canada offices contaminated with formaldehyde Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc c7868b72-a3c7-54fc-910b-b60011051622 article

WeWork, the office space sharing startup, told employees Monday that they would be closing 2,300 phone booths that are or might be contaminated with formaldehyde in offices across the U.S. and Canada.

WeWork told employees in an internal email obtained by Fox News that it had hired an outside consultant to conduct analysis and tests on a sampling of phone booths across their workspaces after a member complained of “odor and eye irritation.”

SOFTBANK SEEKING TO TAKE CONTROL OF WEWORK THROUGH FINANCING PACKAGE

The testing determined that approximately 1,600 phone booths in offices contained elevated levels of formaldehyde “caused by the manufacturer.”

Although WeWork refused to identify the manufacturer at fault, they added that “out of an abundance of caution, we are also taking approximately 700 additional phone booths out of service while we conduct more testing.”

“We are working to remove all potentially impacted phone booths as quickly as possible, and we will share updates about this situation as soon as we’re able,” the email sent to employees said.

The phone booths are used by employees and members to provide a quiet space to make phone calls and spend downtime.

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Formaldehyde is a common chemical used in various building materials. Short-term exposure to elevated levels of the chemical may cause temporary nose, throat, and respiratory system irritation according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Long-term exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to certain types of cancers.

WeWork has faced a cash crunch in recent weeks after abandoning its initial public offering last month amid tepid interest from investors worried about WeWork’s massive losses and corporate governance problems. Co-founder Adam Neumann resigned as CEO as a result of the botched IPO, but still wields influence over the company because his shares carry higher voting power.

WeWork had hoped to raise $3 billion in the IPO, which would have unlocked $6 billion in financing raised by a group of banks to fund its aggressive growth strategy.

Westlake Legal Group AP19287579689012 WeWork says at least 1,600 phone booths in US, Canada offices contaminated with formaldehyde Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc c7868b72-a3c7-54fc-910b-b60011051622 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19287579689012 WeWork says at least 1,600 phone booths in US, Canada offices contaminated with formaldehyde Vandana Rambaran fox-news/world/world-regions/canada fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc c7868b72-a3c7-54fc-910b-b60011051622 article

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Warren Comes Under Fire on Funding for Health Care Plan

WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, an emerging front-runner in the Democratic presidential race, battled sustained criticism from her Democratic rivals over her position on health care in a debate on Tuesday night, squeezed by a combination of moderate and progressive opponents who pressed her to describe in plain terms how she would fund a “Medicare for all”-style system.

Ms. Warren, who has endorsed a proposal by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont for single-payer care, has consistently refused to say that she would embrace middle-class tax increases to finance the plan. She maintained that practiced position on the stage in Ohio, vowing that she would lower health care costs for all but the wealthy yet repeatedly sidestepping the question of whether she would enact a broad-based tax increase.

“I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle-class families,” Ms. Warren said, declining to go into detail. But the answer failed to keep her foes at bay, and for the first time in the race Ms. Warren found herself assailed from multiple sides over an extended period in the debate. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., accused her of evading “a yes-or-no question,” while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota called the single-payer proposal backed by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders a “pipe dream.”

Ms. Klobuchar reserved her sharpest words, however, for only one of those two progressives. “At least Bernie’s being honest here,” Ms. Klobuchar said, challenging Ms. Warren to tell voters “where we’re going to send the invoice” for single-payer care.

Ms. Warren was not alone in facing scrutiny early in the debate: Joseph R. Biden Jr. was quickly pressed on the issue of his son Hunter and his work for a Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president. Mr. Biden responded to a question about his son’s overseas work in narrow and repetitive terms, saying several times that he and his son had done “nothing wrong.”

The drawn-out argument over health care captured one of the defining themes in the Democratic race: the ideological divide over the best way to provide universal coverage, and over the proper scale and cost of government-backed social programs. Up to this point, the Democrats’ policy debate has largely been defined by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, with their promises to restructure huge parts of the American economy. The debate in Ohio represented the most assertive effort so far by candidates skeptical of their policies to put up resistance to those ideas.

The fierce exchange also signaled that the race had entered a new phase, defined by Ms. Warren’s apparent status as a leader of the Democratic pack and a new mood of urgency among other candidates eager to challenge that status.

Mr. Sanders, who has observed a kind of informal nonaggression pact with Ms. Warren so far, did not exactly break from that approach on Tuesday night. But he called it “appropriate” for candidates to explain the fiscal trade-offs involved in a “Medicare for all” system: Mr. Sanders said that voters would see their taxes go up, but that they would save money overall because of the way health care would be restructured.

“Premiums are gone, co-payments are gone, deductibles are gone, all out-of-pocket expenses are gone,” Mr. Sanders said, adding, “The tax increase they pay will be substantially less, substantially less than what they were paying for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.”

But Mr. Sanders more forcefully scolded the candidates onstage who opposed single-payer care and whom he described as “defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel.”

The Democratic field appeared far more eager to attack Ms. Warren for her health care policies than to critique Mr. Biden who remains a top candidate in the race, for the family business entanglements that have defined a weekslong clash between Mr. Biden and President Trump.

Mr. Biden has tried to put to rest criticism of his son’s financial dealings in Ukraine and China. Over the weekend, he said he would not allow members of his family to do business overseas during a potential Biden presidency, and Hunter Biden stepped down from his role at an investment fund linked to China.

Prompted by a moderator to explain why his family had not observed similar restrictions while he was vice president, Mr. Biden avoided answering directly and repeatedly defended his son. He pointed to an interview Hunter Biden gave to ABC News, in which he described his decision to work in Ukraine as an error of judgment but said he had not done anything wrong ethically.

“I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine,” Mr. Biden said, adding, “My son’s statement speaks for itself.”

The other Democrats onstage did not appear eager to press the issue, in part because they believe there is no appetite among primary voters for criticism of Mr. Biden’s family. There is also a feeling among some Democrats that Mr. Biden is on the downswing in the race and that it makes little sense to attack him in ways that might antagonize his supporters. Neither Ms. Warren nor Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden’s two most formidable rivals, took up the line of attack on Ukraine.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who in previous debates took on Mr. Biden in pointed terms, instead scolded the moderators for even asking Mr. Biden about his son’s work in Ukraine.

“The only person sitting at home enjoying that was Donald Trump,” said Mr. Booker, lamenting what he called ‘‘elevating a lie and attacking a statesman.”

With a dozen candidates onstage and impeachment in the air, it was unclear heading into Tuesday’s debate whether it would prove to be a turning point in the race. With Mr. Trump’s struggle to stabilize his presidency dominating the news, along with a national security and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria, the trading of rhetorical blows on a stage in suburban Ohio may or may not captivate the attention of primary voters across the country this week.

Still, the debate promised to test Mr. Biden and Ms. Warren’s competing claims to the status of Democratic front-runner: The two candidates have been closely matched in recent polling, nationally and in the early primary states, with Ms. Warren assembling an increasingly formidable coalition on the left and Mr. Biden remaining the favorite among more moderate Democrats. In recent weeks, the former vice president has been increasingly critical of Ms. Warren’s vows to overhaul the American economy, and he has spoken dismissively about the idea of electing a “planner” to the presidency — an allusion to Ms. Warren’s swollen sheaf of policy proposals.

They entered the debate battling different vulnerabilities. Mr. Biden has been mired in a nearly monthlong battle with Mr. Trump over the work Mr. Biden’s son Hunter did in foreign countries while Mr. Biden was vice president. Mr. Trump’s attacks have veered into personal smears and even potentially impeachable behavior, with entreaties to Ukraine and China to investigate the Bidens, but they have left Mr. Biden off balance at a perilous moment in his candidacy.

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Westlake Legal Group opt01_UPDATE_00012-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Warren Comes Under Fire on Funding for Health Care Plan Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Sanders, Bernard Polls and Public Opinion Ohio Klobuchar, Amy Health Insurance and Managed Care Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

Over the years, televised debates have yielded turning points for presidential contenders. We look at some pivotal moments from past debates and explain how they shaped the race.

Even before Mr. Trump’s onslaught, Mr. Biden was struggling to excite the Democratic base. While some in his party are content with what they see as a play-it-safe candidacy, others want him to offer a message beyond nostalgic tributes to the Obama years and vows to restore comity in Washington. As Ms. Warren now threatens to overtake him as the clear leader in the race, Mr. Biden’s allies believe he must both dispense forcefully with the criticism of his family and also articulate more clearly what he would aim to achieve as president.

At the same time, Ms. Warren has been confronting a new level of criticism from her Democratic rivals as she has risen in the polls. And before she can cement a commanding position in the race, Ms. Warren may have to put to rest a few persistent questions about her candidacy — how she would appeal to moderate voters in the general election, for instance, and black voters, and how she would make good on her proposal to create a system of single-payer health insurance.

It is on that last front that her rivals have been most comfortable criticizing her, and it was quick to rise to the forefront Tuesday night, Ms. Warren was pressed on how she would fund a “Medicare for all”-style health insurance system, goading her to say in plain language whether she would raise taxes on the middle class.

Up to this point, Ms. Warren has been careful not to allow any daylight to emerge on the health care issue between her and Mr. Sanders, her most formidable populist rival, who has made “Medicare for all” the defining cause of his campaign. But there may now be more pressure on Ms. Warren to revise her stance in a way that might reassure voters on the center-left than there is on her to protect her left flank from Mr. Sanders, who has been fading in the polls and grappling with the aftermath of a heart attack.

Mr. Sanders has been off the campaign trail for nearly all of October, since he was hospitalized in Las Vegas and had two stents placed in an artery. He has been recovering at his home in Burlington, Vt., and announced plans for a comeback tour starting in New York this weekend. But with his advanced age in the spotlight and his poll numbers slowly declining, Mr. Sanders may face a steep climb to overtake either Mr. Biden or Ms. Warren, with whom he has had something of a nonaggression pact.

At least for a moment, Mr. Sanders showed an unaccustomed willingness to highlight his differences with Ms. Warren last weekend, explaining in a television interview that a crucial distinction between them was that Ms. Warren is a “capitalist through her bones” and he is not.

More eager for conflict might be the candidates in the middle and the back of the Democratic pack — figures like Mr. Buttigieg, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Booker, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Senator Kamala Harris of California. Mr. Buttigieg, whose campaign is stocked with cash but struggling to move up in the polls, has been taking a notably sharper tone with his Democratic opponents. He has chided Ms. Warren for certain aspects of her agenda and more bluntly criticized Mr. O’Rourke for his left-wing proposals to examine the tax-exempt status of religious institutions and to require gun owners to surrender some types of firearms.

Some of Mr. Buttigieg’s rivals have responded in kind, with Mr. O’Rourke branding him as a carefully poll-tested candidate and Ms. Harris suggesting on Twitter that Mr. Buttigieg’s gun policies amounted to little more than a “Band-Aid” on a serious problem.

Lending a fresh layer of unpredictability to the evening were Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, an idiosyncratic lawmaker who is running as a peace candidate, and Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund investor who has spent lavishly from his personal fortune to buy himself a place on the debate stage. Ms. Gabbard has lashed out in surprising directions in the past, delivering a searing attack on Ms. Harris in a July debate, while Mr. Steyer, appearing in a debate for the first time, has tried to strike a combative pose as a populist critic of Washington.

Several candidates were fighting not only for attention but also for survival, as they strain to meet the stricter qualification standards for the next debate in November. Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, was in that cluster, along with Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. O’Rourke and Ms. Gabbard. Together, they make up an ideologically varied group joined by a common challenge: winning sustained interest from voters in a race dominated by a few exceedingly well-known candidates who have topped the polls for months.

One Democrat not at risk of being sidelined was Andrew Yang, the former technology entrepreneur who has built a powerful niche following with his stern warnings about the automation of work and his proposal to give every American a $12,000-a-year stipend paid from government funds. He raised more money than all but a few candidates in the last quarter, and in the polls he is now even with or leading a number of candidates with far more extensive qualifications for the presidency.

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Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland

Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56

Rep. Adam Schiff, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the leftists who are attacking President Trump – and by extension everyone who voted for and supports him – have managed to sink to a new low. On the scale of credibility, they are a minus-10. If they yelled fire, you would stay seated.

These Democrats are so relentlessly unfair that the Trump administration has absolutely no incentive to cooperate with them.

Schiff, D-Calif., is holding his impeachment witch hunt behind closed doors. He has dissembled about whether he or his staff met with the whistleblower leaker before an official complaint was filed. He is not following the rules of the House. He has excluded some members of the House from sitting in on the proceedings, and he now has said that the whistleblower will not be called to testify.

135 HOUSE REPUBLICANS CO-SPONSOR RESOLUTION TO CENSURE SCHIFF OVER ‘PARODY’ READING OF TRUMP-ZELENSKY CALL

Schiff excuses his misconduct, claiming Republicans will attempt to manipulate the narrative if his impeachment inquiry hearings were public.

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That’s lame and disingenuous. If the hearings are public, the whole world can watch and determine what and whom they believe. Everyone can construct a narrative to lead the public in one direction or another, but those watching an open hearing can decide what they believe to be the truth.

Schiff’s secrecy allows him to conjure up the story he wants to tell the media with little accountability. Isn’t that the more likely reason Schiff doesn’t want the public to know what’s going on in the hearings?

Further, by classifying information in the hearings, we will only hear what was said as conveyed by leakers. That is antithetical to the American system of due process.

Nothing Schiff says or does should surprise anyone. He told us for years that there was clear evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians. And when even the anti-Trump team of Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded no collusion, no cooperation, and no coordination between Trump or his campaign and Russia, Schiff still insisted that there was evidence of collusion.

In what universe does anyone think Schiff can be an honest and true arbiter? Only down the rabbit hole and into the world of a Democratic dreamland. In that upside-down world, an obsession to impeach President Trump turns a reckless series of hearings that operate outside House precedents and standard House rules into a “formal impeachment inquiry” on the simple declaration of Speaker Pelosi.

In this shifting fantasyland, Schiff wants us to believe that facts are whatever he says they are. He wants us to believe that transparency requires closed-door interviews of witnesses. And key witnesses (such as the whistleblower-leaker) don’t testify because Schiff doesn’t think it is necessary.

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If the Democrats have any sense of shame, they will hold a formal vote on whether to pursue an impeachment investigation. They will remove the dissembling Schiff from leading this impeachment scam. And they will follow the pattern of the House by allowing Republicans to participate by subpoenaing witnesses and cross-examining Schiff’s witnesses.

Attorneys representing President Trump should also be allowed to ask questions and introduce evidence. And there should be open and transparent hearings.

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For now, though, Democrats are happy enough to hide what they are doing. And the leftists in the media are equally happy to join in the attack on President Trump.

Until the Democrats correct their ways, my advice to the Trump administration is to stay away from Schiff’s Star Chamber.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY ANDY BIGGS

Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56   Westlake Legal Group biggs-schiff Rep. Andy Biggs: Anti-Trump Rep. Schiff’s secret impeachment hearings are a witch hunt in a fantasyland Rep. Andy Biggs fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 46307dc1-7ec9-5ee3-b0f0-f878ec3ecf56

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Watch the Debate Live: Democrats Take Shots at Warren, Not Biden

Here’s what you need to know:

Joe Biden tried once again to present himself as the person onstage with the most direct foreign policy experience.

“I may be the only person who has spent extensive time alone with Putin and Erdogan,” he said, referring to the Russian and Turkish leaders.

During two opportunities to discuss the current situation in Syrian, Mr. Biden didn’t exactly say whether he’d send additional American troops to quell the fighting along the Syria-Turkey border, but blamed Mr. Trump for inflaming a tense situation.

“We have an erratic, crazy president who knows not a damn thing about foreign policy and operates under his own fear for re-election,” he said.

Democrat after Democrat piled onto Mr. Trump on international affairs.

“This president is turning the moral leadership of this country into a dumpster fire,” Senator Cory Booker said.

“This president is caging kids on the border and letting ISIS prisoners run free,” added Julián Castro.

Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar, three candidates who sorely need to boost themselves in the polls, have adopted the same strategy tonight: Go after Elizabeth Warren.

All three sought to contrast themselves and their plans with Ms. Warren, with Mr. O’Rourke arguing the Massachusetts senator is “more interested in being punitive” than offering a positive vision. Ms. Klobuchar has twice offered “a reality check to Elizabeth.” And Mr. Buttigieg scolded her for not saying whether her health care plan will raise middle class taxes.

Ms. Warren, a polling co-leader with Mr. Biden, serves a useful foil for the three aiming to occupy the party’s moderate lane. Ms. Klobuchar and Mr. O’Rourke are in danger of missing next month’s debate, while Mr. Buttigieg is trying to lift himself into the field of front-runners.

By contrast, there were few attacks on Mr. Biden, who took much of the incoming fire from rivals in the past debates. Going after Ms. Warren lets the would-be moderate standard-bearers avoid a contrast with Mr. Biden, particularly on the Ukraine issue where he has become vulnerable. Attacking Ms. Warren serves as a rehearsal for the party’s moderate voters of how the candidates would fare against her in a presumed one-on-one matchup much later in the primary process.

It also shows which of the liberal candidate is feared most by the moderates. It’s no longer Bernie Sanders, it is only Ms. Warren.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_162774933_c867c030-4326-461e-bcb8-2ce87d98a038-articleLarge Watch the Debate Live: Democrats Take Shots at Warren, Not Biden Presidential Election of 2020 Debates (Political)

Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris speak on women’s healthcare.CreditTamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Mr. Booker and Ms. Harris both came into the debate struggling for support and attention. And it was apparent by the end of the first hour that they had adopted a similar game plan: seeking to rise about the fray and food fight unfolding around them.

“Tearing each other down because we have a different plan is unacceptable,” Mr. Booker said at one point, saying Democratic infighting would be “a disaster for us.”

Earlier, Mr. Booker had been the first candidate to castigate the media for asking Mr. Biden questions about his son’s work in Ukraine.

“I feel like I’m having déjà vu up here,” Mr. Booker said, lashing Mr. Trump for circulating false allegations.

At one point, Ms. Harris aired a complaint that women’s advocates have pressed for months: the lack of questions about abortion.

“This is the sixth debate we have had in this presidential cycle. Not one word with all of these discussions about health care, on women’s access to health care. It’s outrageous,” Ms. Harris said to cheers.

Tulsi Gabbard attacked The New York Times, CNN, the “mainstream media” and others who have written about how Russians are praising her and encouraging her presidential campaign.

“Just two days ago The New York Times put out an article saying that I’m a Russian asset and an Assad apologist and all these different smears,” Ms. Gabbard said. “This morning a CNN commentator said on national television that I’m an asset of Russia. Completely despicable.”

The Times article did not describe Ms. Gabbard in these ways. It noted that she has drawn support from Russian state news media sources and others in that country, as well as white nationalist and members of the alt-right.

Her broadside came in response to a question about whether additional U.S. troops should be sent to protect Kurdish communities in Syria, who are under attack by Turkish troops following Mr. Trump pulling U.S. forces out of the country.

Ms. Gabbard repeatedly invoked the phrase “regime change war” to describe American policy abroad and in the Middle East in particular.

“As president I will end these regime change wars by doing two things — ending the draconian sanctions that are really a modern day siege, the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen that have caused tens of thousands of Syrian civilians to die and to starve,” she said. “And I would make sure we stop supporting terrorists like Al Qaeda in Syria who’ve been the ground force in this ongoing regime change war.”

Mr. Buttigieg, who like Ms. Gabbard is a military veteran, sharply disagreed.

“Well, respectfully, congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence, it’s a consequence of a withdrawal and a betrayal by this president, of American allies and American values,” he said.

Bernie Sanders got a question right in his wheelhouse: Should billionaires exist? He didn’t quite say yes but did launch into his regular tirade against the ultra-wealthy, saying it is “a moral and economic outrage” that the three richest Americans control as much wealth as half the country.

Mr. Steyer, himself a billionaire, went next. He denounced corporate power and blamed Republicans for passing legislation cutting taxes for the wealthy.

“The results are as shameful as Senator Sanders said,” he said. “It’s absolutely wrong, undemocratic and unfair.”

Ms. Warren then weighed in: “My question is not why do Bernie and I support a wealth tax, it’s why doesn’t — does everyone else on this stage — think it’s more important to protect billionaires than it is to invest in an entire generation.”

Mr. Biden then remarked, “No one is supporting billionaires.”

Ms. Warren didn’t quite roll her eyes, but she threw him a side eye.

Ms. Klobuchar weighed in soon after: “I want to give a reality check here to Elizabeth. No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires. Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires. We have different approaches. Your idea is not the only idea.”

The Democrats onstage mostly agree on economic policy but they disagreed over how to address the growing issue of automation replacing jobs, and the severity of threat that automation poses.

Ms. Warren said that automation was not a central issue, saying economic data suggested trade was a bigger issue.

“The principle reason has been bad trade policy,” Ms. Warren said of job losses.

Mr. Yang, who has made addressing automation a central issue, disagreed, saying Americans can see the issue playing out in front of them. “They see a self-serve kiosk in every McDonald’s,” he said, as millions of truckers worry about self-driving cars.

Mr. Yang said downplaying automation was “Ignoring the realities that Americans see around them every single day.”

Mr. Sanders, meanwhile, pledged a job for everyone who loses one through automation.

“Damn right we will,” Mr. Sanders said.

The health care discussion showed the greater schism in the Democratic Party. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are on the side of eliminating private health insurance and installing a Medicare for all system, while Joseph R. Biden Jr., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar are on the other, castigating Medicare for all as a “pipe dream,” as the Minnesotan called it.

It is the broader debate rippling throughout the 2020 Democratic campaign trail. Polls show the party’s voters tend to favor the Warren-Sanders proposals, but are nagged by whether a candidate running on eliminating private health insurance can win a general election. This is the crux of the Democratic debate: a pull between early-state voters’ hearts and heads, with each of them becoming prognosticators guessing about what swing voters in key swing states might prefer.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, as she has done for weeks on the campaign trail, refused to entertain the question of whether “Medicare for all” will require a middle-class tax increase.

Instead she aimed to turn the question to overall costs.

“Let me be clear on this,” she said. “I will not sign a bill into law that does not lower costs for middle class families.”

She repeatedly refused to say.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg immediately pounced.

“A yes or no question that did not get a yes or no answer,” he said, saying it sounded like the type of things Americans hate about Washington. He added, “Your signature senator is to have a plan for everything: Except this.”

Mr. Buttigieg then pitched his “Medicare for all who want it.” When Ms. Warren’s turn came, she said that Mr. Buttigieg’s vision amounts to “Medicare for all who can afford it.”

Mr. Buttigieg came back and said Ms. Warren would “obliterate” the private health insurance of 150 million Americans. “It’s just better than Medicare for all whether you want it or not,” Mr. Buttigieg said, rebranding Ms. Warren’s plan in a more negative light.

Senator Amy Klobuchar followed up with her own hit on Ms. Warren.

“At least Bernie’s being honest here,” Ms. Klobuchar interrupted, addressing Ms. Warren as “Elizabeth,” saying Americans deserved to know where the “invoice” was going.

Ms. Klobuchar continued, dismissing Ms. Warren’s ideas as unrealistic, declaring there is a “difference between a plan and pipe dream.”

It fell to Mr. Sanders to explain exactly what Medicare for all would require.

“Taxes will go up,” he said, before explaining that costs will go down because, under his plan, medical insurance premiums and co-pays would be eliminated.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. largely dodged a question about whether it was proper for his son, Hunter, to work for a Ukrainian energy company, aiming to turn the question back onto President Trump’s conduct.

“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. I carried out the policy of the United States government in rooting out corruption in Ukraine,” Mr. Biden said.

Invoking George Washington’s warning about foreign interference in American affairs, Mr. Biden said Mr. Trump has directed his aides to investigate Mr. Biden and his son because he doesn’t want him as a general election opponent.

“Rudy Giuliani, the president and his thugs have already proven they are flat lying,” Mr. Biden said. “He doesn’t want me to be the candidate.”

Pressed again on the question, Mr. Biden said: “My son’s statement speaks for itself. I did my job. I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have.”

Senator Bernie Sanders followed Mr. Biden but notably choose not to defend Mr. Biden or his son’s work in Ukraine, pivoting to his own message about fighting for the middle class.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper directed the first question to Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has surged in the polls in recent months, about impeachment, asking her why Mr. Trump should be impeached and removed from office with only a year until the election.

“Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics,” she began. “No one is above the law.”

“This is about Donald Trump but understand this is about the next president and the next president and the next president,” she said. “The impeachment must go forward.”

Mr. Sanders added that Mr. Trump the “most corrupt” president in American history.

Mr. Biden agreed that Mr. Trump was the “most corrupt,” and hit Mr. Trump for failing to cooperate. “They have no choice but to move,” Mr. Biden said of Congress.

“He’s been selling out our democracy,” Senator Kamala Harris said when her turn came around, adding “He has given us the evidence and tried to cover it up.”

By opening the debate with impeachment questions, the moderators are throwing softballs to the candidates onstage. So far they’ve allowed Ms. Warren, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris to recite their stump speech remarks on impeachment without any contrast with each other.

“Our framers imagined this moment,” Ms. Harris said. “A moment when we would have a corrupt president.”

It’s a far cry from the first three debates, which each opened with taut exchanges about health care policy. Allowing them each a direct contrast with Mr. Trump falls square in the wheelhouse of each of the Democrats running to replace him.

The challenge for the candidates who have to go later in what are effectively opening statements on impeachment is saying something that viewers didn’t just already hear.

Asked about the possibility of impeachment distracting her party and Congress, Ms. Klobuchar said, “We can do two things at once.” She added a quick reference to farmers in Iowa, where she is staking her campaign.

“I’d like to hear from him about how coddling up to Vladimir Putin makes America great again,” Ms. Klobuchar said.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Republicans for opposing impeachment.

“A president 10 years or 100 years from now will look back at this moment and either draw the conclusion that no one is above the law or that a president can get away with anything,” he said, echoing a line that Ms. Warren said a few minutes earlier.

Mr. Buttigieg, as he has in past debates, invoked the morals of not just Mr. Trump but congressional Republicans, who he said should also be supporting impeachment.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, the lone House member onstage, struck a different tone, expressing concern about the division an impeachment would cause and echoed a talking point that Mr. Trump’s allies have used: that Democrats have wanted to impeach Mr. Trump from the start.

“He won that election in 2016,” Ms. Gabbard said.

The 12 Democratic candidates are now taking the stage, shaking hands and smiling and waving to the audience. Mr. Biden was first, followed by Ms. Warren, who shook his hand and said, “Hi Joe.” Mr. Sanders was next, waving to the hall and shaking the hands of his two top rivals. Ms. Harris took the stage and gave Mr. Sanders a gentle pat on the back. When former Representative Beto O’Rourke entered he shook the hands of everyone onstage. Seven other candidates filed in, waving to the audience one after another.

Even more than in past debates, there are a lot of eyes on Mr. Sanders, who had a heart attack exactly two weeks ago, and who is returning to the campaign trail with tonight’s debate. Many Democrats are also watching Mr. Biden closely to see how he handles any questions about his son Hunter Biden’s work for overseas companies.

Each of the 12 candidates onstage tonight will be looking for standout moments. But if history is a guide, avoiding the wrong kind of standout moment may be even more important. However superficial it may be, a gaffe at a debate can destroy a campaign, as New York Times political reporters explored in a video today. Just look at Rick Perry’s “oops” moment in 2011, when he forgot the name of the third government agency he promised to eliminate as president, or Gerald Ford misspeaking in 1976 and saying Russia did not have influence in Eastern Europe. That moment was especially devastating for Ford because it played directly into an image many voters already had of him.

Occasionally, candidates can give themselves a boost or take out an opponent in one fell swoop. But more often, even the most well-placed attack will hurt the target more than it helps the attacker. Take Chris Christie, who went after Marco Rubio in 2016 for using canned lines. Mr. Rubio was badly wounded, but the Christie campaign went nowhere. It’s one more piece of evidence that when the points are tallied at the end of the night, voters may be swayed more by who lost than who won.

Much of the discussion here in Ohio Tuesday has been about the interview that ABC broadcast this morning of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son, Hunter Biden. The younger Biden acknowledged “poor judgment” in working for a Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president, but said he had done nothing wrong.

The interview drew predictable wrath from Republicans aligned with President Trump — many of whom are the children of powerful officials even though they denigrated the Bidens with charges of nepotism. But so far Mr. Biden’s fellow Democrats have steered clear of the issue.

When the topic comes up during tonight’s debate, expect Mr. Biden’s onstage rivals to jump to his defense. Mr. Buttigieg did so Sunday, saying Hunter Biden was being held to “different standards” than the Trump children, who are engaged in their own international business dealings. Mr. Biden responded by calling Mr. Buttigieg “a good man.”

There will likely be more of that sentiment tonight. Democratic voters have shown little tolerance for their candidates echoing Mr. Trump’s attacks — nobody running has questioned Ms. Warren’s claims of Native American heritage. So when the inevitable moderator question about Mr. Biden’s son happens tonight, it may serve as a kumbaya moment.

Dozens of Ohio’s Democratic leaders have gathered in and around the state capital in advance of the debate, and they are thinking well past tonight: Can the party’s eventual presidential nominee carry the state next year?

This is a state that has long prized its status as one of the premier presidential battlegrounds: Every winning candidate since 1960, has carried Ohio. But the truth is, Ohio has long been slightly more conservative than what approximates the national median. And as the two parties increasingly realign along educational lines, this heavily working-class state has become even more red.

For evidence, look no further than President Trump’s eight-point victory over Hillary Clinton in Ohio in 2016 — a margin that was higher than in some states where Mrs. Clinton did not stump in the final weekend of the election, as she did in Ohio. Publicly, of course, Ohio’s leading Democrats insist that they can put the state back in their column in 2020. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who considered seeking the nomination, emailed a memo to the media this week extolling the state’s “crucial role on the national stage,” reciting the state’s history as a bellwether with the not-so-subtle header: “As Goes Ohio.”

Yet in private conversations, Ohio Democrats are less confident about their prospects next year. They acknowledge other states will be more competitive and important to their nominee. However, these same Democrats are quick to add that they may reclaim the state if — and it’s a big if — they have the right nominee.

It is, in other words, the same debate Democrats are having nationally. Except here, in a state that has produced seven presidents and claims paternity over electing even more, it’s personal.

While there are a handful of candidates for whom October is likely their last appearance at a national debate, given the Democratic National Committee’s higher polling requirements in November and beyond, one man will be making his national debut: Tom Steyer.

Mr. Steyer, the billionaire businessman who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, is nonetheless a familiar face to millions of Americans because of his self-funded advertising campaigns: first his blitz calling for the impeachment of Mr. Trump and, more recently, his aggressive campaigning in the early-voting states, where he is by far the largest television advertiser.

Mr. Steyer could surprise some viewers. While he comes from the wealthy class that Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren have staked their campaigns railing against, Mr. Steyer actually aligns with those two leading liberals on many issues, including support for a “wealth tax” on the assets of the superrich. He is running as an outsider and is passionate in particular about climate change, a space less filled since Gov. Jay Inslee dropped out of the race.

One particular thing to watch for: Mr. Steyer has a favorite red plaid tie that has made even his friends and allies groan about occasionally. The Christmas-like color scheme could make a distinct first impression in October.

Maggie Astor, Thomas Kaplan, Jonathan Martin, Sydney Ember, Katie Glueck and Kevin McKenna contributed reporting.

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WATCH: Elizabeth Warren clashes with 2020 rivals during debate over her controversial health care plan

Westlake Legal Group Klobuchar-Warren WATCH: Elizabeth Warren clashes with 2020 rivals during debate over her controversial health care plan Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/media fnc article 795f562c-3a3e-5bce-aeb5-e5c8a9a5ddb7

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., attempted to turn one of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s criticisms back on her during Tuesday’s Democratic debate, arguing that she was helping Republicans by being vague about her health care plan.

“I’m tired of hearing — whenever I say these things — ‘oh, it’s Republican talking points.’ You are making Republican talking points right now in this room,” Klobuchar said. She appeared to be referring to Warren’s comments during a previous debate in which she accused the moderators of parroting Republican talking points by raising concerns about “Medicare-for-all.”

Warren, D-Mass., has repeatedly refused to say whether she will raise taxes on the middle class. During Tuesday’s debate, she maintained that she would lower costs for everyone except the wealthy and large corporations. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has similarly pledged to lower costs but disclosed that his plan would entail raising taxes.

PETE BUTTIGIEG RELEASES AD CRITICAL OF SANDERS’ AND WARREN’S ‘MEDICARE-FOR-ALL’ HEALTH PLANS

Both Warren and Sanders have been at the forefront of pushing “Medicare-for-all,” a controversial and sweeping proposal that would effectively limit private health insurance. But Klobuchar suggested that Warren’s plan was a “pipe dream” without naming specifics like tax increases.

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg specifically called out Warren over this issue, arguing that she was taking away Americans’ choice with her plan. Both he and Klobuchar instead pushed a public option.

Warren responded by arguing that Buttigieg’s plan — “Medicare for all who want it” — would actually limit coverage to people who could afford it. She also shared several stories from the campaign trail of voters who went bankrupt because of medical costs.

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Buttigieg previously criticized Warren for refusing to answer whether she will raise middle-class taxes. “Senator Warren is known for being straightforward and was extremely evasive when asked that question and we’ve seen that repeatedly,” he said.

Westlake Legal Group Klobuchar-Warren WATCH: Elizabeth Warren clashes with 2020 rivals during debate over her controversial health care plan Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/media fnc article 795f562c-3a3e-5bce-aeb5-e5c8a9a5ddb7   Westlake Legal Group Klobuchar-Warren WATCH: Elizabeth Warren clashes with 2020 rivals during debate over her controversial health care plan Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/executive/health-care fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/pete-buttigieg fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox news fnc/media fnc article 795f562c-3a3e-5bce-aeb5-e5c8a9a5ddb7

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What 2020 Candidates Said About Impeachment at the Democratic Debate

Westlake Legal Group 15breakout-impeachment-vid-facebookJumbo-v2 What 2020 Candidates Said About Impeachment at the Democratic Debate Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Democratic Party Debates (Political)

Since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced last month that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, the topic has dominated the news. At Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, moderators asked the candidates about their views in an attempt to find daylight between them.

All 19 candidates in the field, including the 12 on the stage on Tuesday, have come out in support of the impeachment inquiry, though Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii had long opposed the idea.

The candidates are not perfectly aligned, however.

Some have spoken in favor of impeachment more forcefully than others. For instance, Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, has repeatedly called for impeachment proceedings to begin and for Mr. Trump to be impeached. Senator Elizabeth Warren has similarly called on the House “to vote on articles of impeachment” and promised to “do what the Constitution requires” if the matter comes before the Senate.

After months of restraint, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. toughened his position and called for Mr. Trump’s impeachment for the first time last week. (Mr. Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry in the first place because of his request to the Ukrainian government that it look into what Mr. Biden did with the country’s officials when his son, Hunter Biden, was working for a gas company there.)

At the same time, others like Ms. Gabbard, have been careful to endorse only the impeachment inquiry and not necessarily impeachment itself.

Below is a partial transcript of the exchange on impeachment at Tuesday night’s Democratic debate:

WARREN: Sometimes there are issues that are bigger than politics. I think that’s the case with this impeachment inquiry. When I made the decision to run for president, I certainly didn’t think it was going to be about impeachment. But when the Mueller report came out, I read it, all 442 pages. And when I got to the end, I realized that Mueller had shown … that this president had obstructed justice and done it repeatedly. And so at that moment, I called for opening an impeachment inquiry. Now, that didn’t happen and look what happened as a result. Donald Trump broke the law again in the summer, broke it again this fall.

You know, we took a constitutional oath, and that is that no one is above the law, and that includes the President of the United States. Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences. This is about Donald Trump. But understand, it’s about the next president and the next president and the next president and the future of this country. The impeachment must go forward.

ANDERSON COOPER: Thank you, Senator Warren. You’re all going to get in on this, by the way. Senator Sanders, do Democrats have any choice but to impeach? Please respond.

SANDERS: No, they don’t. In my judgment, Trump is the most corrupt president in the history of this country. It’s not just that he obstructed justice with the Muller report. I think that the House will find him guilty of — worthy of impeachment because of the emoluments clause. This is a president who is enriching himself while using the Oval Office to do that and that is outrageous. And I think in terms of the Ukrainian incident, the idea that we have a president of the United States who is prepared to hold back national security money to one of our allies to get dirt on a presidential candidate is beyond comprehension. So I look forward, by the way not only to a speedy expeditious impeachment process, but Mitch McConnell has got to do the right thing and allow a free and fair trial in the Senate.

COOPER: Vice President Biden, during the Clinton impeachment proceedings, you said, “The American people don’t think that they have made a mistake by electing Bill Clinton and we in Congress had better be careful before we upset their decision.” With the country split, have Democrats been careful enough in pursuing the impeachment of President Trump?

BIDEN: Yes, they have. I said from the beginning that if in fact Trump continued to stonewall what the Congress is entitled to know about his background, what he did, all the accusations in the Mueller report, if they did that they would have no choice — no choice but to begin an impeachment proceeding which gives them more power to seek more information. This president — and I agree with Bernie, Senator Sanders — is the most corrupt in modern history and I think all of our history. The fact is that this president of the United States has gone so far as to say since this latest event, that in fact he will not cooperate in any way at all, will not list any witnesses, will not provide information, will not do anything to cooperate with the impeachment. They have no choice but to move.

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Biden Defends Son Hunter at Debate, Saying Focus Should Be on Trump

Westlake Legal Group 15biden-hunter-facebookJumbo-v2 Biden Defends Son Hunter at Debate, Saying Focus Should Be on Trump Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 Politics and Government Democratic Party Debates (Political) Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

[Watch the debate and follow our live analysis here.]

Joseph R. Biden Jr. pushed back against President Trump’s attack on his son’s business dealings, saying that the attention should instead be on Mr. Trump’s actions of inviting a foreign power into the election and not on the controversy sparked by unfounded conspiracies about the overseas business dealings of his son Hunter.

But the former vice president at first did not address part of a question at the Democratic presidential debate from Anderson Cooper, who asked whether it was appropriate for his son to have business dealings in Ukraine while Mr. Biden was vice president. Mr. Biden instead pivoted to Mr. Trump, and invoked the founding fathers.

“My son did nothing wrong,” Mr. Biden said. “I did nothing wrong.”

He continued:

“Look, the fact that George Washington on the first time he spoke after being elected, that we had to worry about is foreign interference in our elections, it was the greatest threat to America. This president on three occasions, three occasions, has invited foreign governments and heads of government to get engaged in trying to alter our elections. The fact is that it is outrageous. Rudy Giuliani, the president and his thugs have already proven that they, in fact, are flat lying. What we have to do now is focus on Donald Trump. He doesn’t want me to be the candidate. He is going after me because he knows if I get the nomination, I will beat him like a drum.”

When pressed by Mr. Cooper in a follow-up question on whether his son should have had foreign business dealings during the Obama administration, Mr. Biden again said they had done nothing wrong.

“I did my job,” he said. “I never discussed a single thing with my son about anything having to do with Ukraine. No one has indicated I have. We’ve always kept everything separate, even when my son was the attorney general of the state of Delaware. We never discussed anything. There would be no potential conflict.”

Over the past week, the Biden campaign and allies have taken numerous steps to mitigate any distraction posed by the younger Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. On Sunday, Hunter Biden announced through his lawyer that he intended to step down from the board of a Chinese company, BHR, by the end of the month. His lawyer also said that should the elder Mr. Biden be elected president, Hunter Biden would “agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies.”

In an interview with ABC News on Tuesday morning, Hunter Biden denied any wrongdoing, saying his only mistake was creating a situation for President Trump and his allies to attempt to exploit.

“I gave a hook to some very unethical people to act in illegal ways to try to do some harm to my father,” he said in the interview. “That’s where I made the mistake. So I take full responsibility for that. Did I do anything improper? No, not in any way. Not in any way whatsoever.”

The elder Mr. Biden, in a brief news conference on Sunday after his son’s announcement that he would step down from the BHR board, echoed those sentiments, contending repeatedly that “no one has asserted my son did a single thing wrong” and accusing the president of sowing misinformation.

“No one,” he said, “has asserted that I have done anything wrong except the lying president. That’s the only thing. That’s the focus.”

The former vice president added that he learned of his son’s decision through the public announcement and that he never consulted with his son. He said his son’s choice “represents the kind of man of integrity he is.”

For weeks, Mr. Trump and his allies have attacked Hunter Biden’s business entanglements in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president, with unfounded and baseless accusations that the elder Mr. Biden used his office to help his son. There is no evidence to support their claims.

Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, have asked Ukraine’s government to investigate the Bidens, including in a conversation between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine. The effort helped to trigger an impeachment inquiry in the House.

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