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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 112)

Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process

WASHINGTON — Breathtaking in scope, defiant in tone, the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry amounts to an unabashed challenge to America’s longstanding constitutional order.

In effect, President Trump is making the sweeping assertion that he can ignore Congress as it weighs his fate because he considers the impeachment effort unfair and the Democrats who initiated it biased against him, an argument that channeled his anger even as it failed to pass muster with many scholars on Wednesday.

But the White House case, outlined in an extraordinary letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, is more a political argument than a legal one, aimed less at convincing a judge than convincing the public, or at least a portion of it. At its core, it is born out of the cold calculation that Mr. Trump probably cannot stop the Democrat-led House from impeaching him, so the real goal is to delegitimize the process.

Just last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Democrats appeared to have enough votes to impeach him in the House and that he was counting on the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him. By presenting the inquiry as the work of an unholy alliance of deep-state saboteurs and Democratic hatchet men, he hopes to undermine its credibility, forestall Republican defections and energize his voters heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

“As a general matter, painting the process as highly partisan should rally the G.O.P. and Trump base, as those groups will see the current inquiry as merely a continuation of the past three years,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington research organization, and a student of conservative thought.

But it may also harden opposition to Mr. Trump, bolstering the impression that he considers himself above the law. That could build support for an article of impeachment that charges him with obstructing Congress in addition to any related to his effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about his Democratic adversaries.

The eight-page letter signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats outlined a bevy of grievances about the House inquiry, some procedural and others political.

It argued that “this purported ‘impeachment inquiry’” was not valid because the House did not vote to authorize it, as it did in the cases of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, with Ms. Pelosi taking it upon herself instead to declare the existence of an impeachment process by fiat. It complained that Republicans have not been granted subpoena power of their own and that the president’s lawyers have not been allowed to attend closed-door interviews, cross-examine witnesses or call their own witnesses to testify.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-letter-impeachment-promo-1570570699708-articleLarge Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

Read the White House Letter in Response to the Impeachment Inquiry

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate.

But it also threw in a hodgepodge of Mr. Trump’s favorite objections, essentially memorializing some of his many Twitter blasts at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is leading the inquiry and has become the president’s chief target.

“You look at all the irregularities, you can come to the conclusion that this is an illicit hearing,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said in an interview. “This is the first time that a president hasn’t had the ability to have his party to call witnesses in the preliminary phase. It sounds like they’re singling him out for unfair treatment.”

Constitutional scholars, though, were not impressed. “It looks like a pathetic attempt to make a legal argument when the president is really expressing rage at the Congress for trying to stop him,” said Corey Brettschneider, an impeachment expert at Brown University. “What’s sad about it is it’s so poorly drafted and the legal arguments are so nonexistent that you wonder who’s advising the president.”

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s position was more political than constitutional.

“The White House letter’s legal objections don’t have merit,” he said. “The letter, like the ‘official impeachment inquiry’ itself, is a hardball tactic designed to achieve maximum political advantage” before the public.

Indeed, it could ultimately end up being a negotiating position. Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday denounced the “kangaroo court,” told reporters on Wednesday that he could change his mind and cooperate if the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry. “Yeah, that sounds O.K.,” he said. “We would if they give us our rights. It depends.”

As a matter of historical precedent, Mr. Cipollone was correct in saying that Mr. Clinton and his lawyers and Democratic allies were eventually granted more rights during his impeachment in 1998 than Mr. Trump has been, at least so far. Mr. Clinton’s lawyer, for instance, was given the opportunity to cross-examine his main accuser, the independent counsel Ken Starr, during an open House Judiciary Committee hearing.

But the Constitution makes no guarantees of such rights for a president facing impeachment, simply saying that the House “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Indeed, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868 without even drawing up articles of impeachment until after the vote. Legal experts said nothing in the White House letter justified a president or his administration unilaterally defying congressional subpoenas.

In fact, such resistance has been used against presidents in past impeachment efforts. One of three articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Nixon before he resigned in 1974 charged that he “willfully disobeyed” congressional subpoenas, thereby “substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

In his report to Congress in 1998, Mr. Starr argued that among the grounds for impeachment was what the prosecutor considered Mr. Clinton’s “frivolous” and “patently groundless” assertions of executive and other privileges to thwart a perjury and obstruction of justice investigation stemming from the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In that case, though, the House opted against including such a charge in the articles of impeachment passed against Mr. Clinton.

In some ways, Mr. Trump is employing a version of Mr. Clinton’s strategy, albeit on steroids. During Mr. Starr’s investigation, Mr. Clinton repeatedly sought to block testimony or documents, only to be overruled by the courts, just as Mr. Nixon was in the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking and unanimous U.S. v. Nixon decision. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Clinton finally agreed to testify under oath, although only after refusing six times and eventually being subpoenaed by Mr. Starr.

When the Republican-led House took up the matter, it did little original investigating of its own, relying primarily on Mr. Starr’s findings, so there were not the sort of subpoenas to resist the way Mr. Trump is doing now. But Mr. Clinton likewise felt outrage about the effort to impeach him, convinced that it was a partisan witch hunt, and he set about discrediting it with the public.

House Republicans rejected protections and limits sought by Mr. Clinton’s team, and his Democratic allies attacked the process, accused the other side of railroading the president and made it an us-versus-them fight to keep wavering Democrats on Mr. Clinton’s side. House Democrats privately called their strategy “win by losing,” reasoning that the more process motions they lost on partisan votes, the more illegitimate the effort would seem.

In the end, the House voted almost entirely on party lines to impeach Mr. Clinton and, with Democrats sticking by him, the Senate voted to acquit him after a trial — the scenario that, flipping the parties, looks most likely to repeat itself with Mr. Trump.

“In one respect, President Trump seems to be borrowing from the Clinton White House playbook,” said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue” about Mr. Clinton’s battle with Mr. Starr. “He is attempting to throw gasoline over the entire impeachment process in the House and light a match in order to cause a conflagration and treat the entire process as illegitimate from the start.”

But, Mr. Gormley added, Mr. Trump is taking Mr. Clinton’s strategy even further by refusing any cooperation at all and advancing the theory that the impeachment is an unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 presidential election and therefore he can ignore it.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to this new threat that presents itself to his presidency, just has he has done, often with great success, when previous threats have presented themselves,” added Mr. Gormley, the president of Duquesne University.

While Democrats ponder going to court, Mr. Trump will take his case to the court of public opinion, or at least his base. He has scheduled three campaign rallies in the next week, starting Thursday in Minnesota, then Friday in Louisiana and then next Thursday in Texas.

It seems safe to assume that he will have something to say about impeachment.

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Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He’s ‘a war criminal’

Mark Ruffalo is green with rage following Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush.

DeGeneres stood up for her friendship with the former president on her show Tuesday after catching heat for sitting next to him during Sunday’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. 

“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK,” she said. “When I say ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.”

More: George W. Bush ‘appreciated’ Ellen DeGeneres going to bat for friendship 

Westlake Legal Group  Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He's 'a war criminal'

DeGeneres’ plea for tolerance drew praise from some famous faces, including Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Bell and Blake Shelton, but Ruffalo said Bush isn’t off the hook.

“Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars–emotional & otherwise–inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness,” tweeted “The Avengers” star Wednesday.

More:Ellen DeGeneres’ witty reply to George Bush photo and 5 more times she’s hit back at critics

He wasn’t the only celebrity upset with DeGeneres for trying to find middle ground with Bush following his polarizing political past. “Dead Man Walking” star Susan Sarandon also took issue. 

The outspoken liberal shared a quote from Out Magazine, saying, “Missing the point entirely, DeGeneres framed the issue as simply a matter of her hanging out with someone with different opinions, not a man repeatedly accused of being a war criminal.”

2018’s explosive celeb feuds: Debra Messing versus Susan Sarandon

On the other hand, Bell shared side-by-side pictures of DeGeneres and Bush on her Instagram account. “The Good Place” actress wrote: “Shes my (queen).” Witherspoon tweeted, “Thank you for this important reminder, Ellen!”

Both actresses received backlash for their support, leading Witherspoon to delete her tweet entirely. Bell’s post remains on Instagram. 

“This post would automatically get you sent to the Bad Place,” an Instagram user responded to Bell, while a Twitter user told Witherspoon, “This reeks of privilege.”

Shelton tweeted, “Amen @TheEllenShow… Thank you for saying this.” One of his followers responded, “Please stay out of this, Blake.”

See our full coverage of entertainment news

Westlake Legal Group  Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He's 'a war criminal'

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Apple Removes Police-Tracking App Used In Hong Kong Protests From Its App Store

Westlake Legal Group 5d9ea79b20000058074ff283 Apple Removes Police-Tracking App Used In Hong Kong Protests From Its App Store

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday removed an app that protestors in Hong Kong have used to track police movements, saying the app violated its rules because it was used to ambush police and by criminals who used it to victimize residents in areas with no law enforcement.

Apple rejected the crowdsourcing app, HKmap.live, earlier this month but then reversed course last week, allowing the app to appear on its App Store. The approval drew a sharply worded commentary criticizing Apple in the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily.

Apple said in a statement that “many concerned customers in Hong Kong” contacted the company about the mapping app. Apple said it immediately began investigating the app’s use and found it “has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong.”

“The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” the statement said.

Under Apple’s rules and policies, apps that meet its standards to appear in the App Store have sometimes been removed after their release if they were found to facilitate illegal activity or threaten public safety.

In 2011, Apple modified its app store to remove apps that listed locations for drunken driving checkpoints not previously published by law enforcement officials.

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Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b

We’ve all been there.

Who hasn’t found themselves living in Brussels, serving as America’s top diplomat to the European Union – only to be summoned to Washington for a closed-door, transcribed interview before the House Intelligence Committee?

We board a long flight to Dulles International outside Washington. Prepare what we’re going to tell congressional investigators. And then, in the middle of the night, just hours before heading to Capitol Hill, the administration puts the kibosh on your appearance.

Don’t you remember when that happened to you?

The Trump administration blocked U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from appearing before lawmakers to tell his side of the Ukraine story on Tuesday. A few hours later, the White House wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to declare her impeachment inquest “invalid.” As a result, the administration won’t permit any witnesses to testify and it won’t fork over any documents related to the probe.

EVER SINCE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY WAS ANNOUNCED, IT’S BEEN GETTING CRAZIER OUT THERE

The House is on a recess this week. Some lawmakers who flew in just for the Sondland interview fumed about the cancellation early Tuesday morning.

“They told us it was going to happen an hour ago,” vented one House member, expecting to attend the interview early Tuesday morning. “I canceled all sorts of district and constituent events for this.”

In the TV news business, we often toss in a throwaway line during a live shot. We declare we “don’t know what will happen next,” or some other bromide. But in this impeachment process, we truly don’t know how this will unfold. We’re in such new territory here.

But one thing is clear: The decision by the Trump administration to bar any cooperation with Congress simply hastened the impeachment timetable.

When Pelosi formally threw her support behind the impeachment probe last month, she was vague about a concrete deadline to resolve the matter. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., noted, “We don’t want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.”

“We don’t want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.”

— U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

It was thought as recently as last weekend that the House could burn a couple of months investigating the Ukraine issue — and then turn to crafting articles of impeachment. But the lack of compliance poured accelerant on the entire process. If House Democrats don’t get the materials they want soon, it’s not outside the question the House could expedite articles of impeachment late this month or early November.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: HOW A SENATE TRIAL OF TRUMP MIGHT PROCEED

Next Tuesday is the deadline for most of the House’s requests. That coincides with the day the House returns to session. Pelosi will take the temperature of her caucus when lawmakers return.

But in some respects, Pelosi already knows the temperature. Democrats are seething over the administration failing to meet congressional demands. They think they have a robust case against the president when it comes to obstruction of Congress.

Pelosi could grant the administration more time to comply. That would let the issue marinate in public for a bit – and demonstrate that Democrats aren’t hasty to impeach. But after that, the House Judiciary Committee could begin drafting articles of impeachment.

Pelosi doesn’t travel roads like this unless she already knows the outcome. She doesn’t lose votes on the floor – especially something of this magnitude.

Yes, there may be some Democrats who lose their seats over this. But to Pelosi, this isn’t about politics. If it was, she wouldn’t push to impeach. Pelosi thinks President Trump crossed a constitutional line and it’s up to the House to rebuke him – electoral consequences be damned.

In the House, one party or the other doesn’t win a sizable majority only to sit on it. They get these majorities to do big things. Look at what Democrats did in passing ObamaCare. Sure, it cost them seats. But ObamaCare remains the law of the land.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: PELOSI’S THINKING IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY EXPLAINED

Granted, in Pelosi’s heart of hearts, she doesn’t like the idea of impeachment. She described this as a “sad time.” But the speaker also views this as something Democrats must pursue to check the presidency and preserve the Constitution. To Pelosi, this is way bigger than ObamaCare.

Meantime, Republicans are crowing about “process” and the House not taking a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry. Republicans want to squeeze vulnerable Democrats by voting to initiate an impeachment inquiry.

But, one wonders if that tactic could backfire. Would Republicans on shaky turf either A) vote to launch a probe, or, B) face the wrath of voters if they oppose the inquest?

The “lack of a vote to start an impeachment investigation” is a process debate. It is said on Capitol Hill that once you start arguing about “process” to the public, you’ve already lost the fight.

It’s kind of like working the refs in basketball. You can’t beat the team on the court — so it must be the fault of the officials.

“What we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court,” thundered one of President Trump’s most vocal defenders, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “Adam Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.”

“What we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court. Adam Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.”

— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

This may be the first time that a children’s television icon was roped into a debate over impeaching the president of the United States. What’s next? Mister Rogers on North Korea’s weapons program? Bert and Ernie tackling Brexit? Maybe someone could enlist Mr. Moose to tell a knock-knock joke and drop a stockpile of ping-pong balls on everyone’s head.

Some Republicans like Gaetz are more than happy to form a rear-guard for the president. Others aren’t so sure.

“Once you light that fuse,” said one seasoned GOP source of impeachment, “anything can happen.”

It may depend how long the fuse runs.

Most congressional Republicans back Trump – at least for now. But remember: This was a marriage of convenience. Few GOPers ardently supported the president during the 2016 campaign. But they quickly switched their allegiances after the election.

Some people marry for money, others for prestige. Congressional Republicans married Donald Trump for tax reform and to repeal and replace ObamaCare. They’ve achieved half of that.

Could Republicans abandon the president if impeachment gets too hot?

Impeachment shouldn’t have anything to do with U.S. policy toward Syria. But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle howled when Trump abruptly decided to yank U.S. forces out of northeast Syria. This exposed the Syrian Kurds to an assault from Turkey. Lawmakers were apoplectic, condemning the president’s rash tactic. There are concerns that Trump’s decision could fuel ISIS and diminish global security.

Again, impeachment has nothing to do with Syria. But it does. If some Republicans are willing to break with the president on that issue, their support could erode on others. This doesn’t mean there will be a Republican jailbreak.

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But GOP frustration over the Syria policy could quickly morph into other areas. After all, what will Republicans campaign on next year? Sure, some can beat up impeachment and talk about “The Squad.” But Republicans privately concede their cupboard is bare when campaigning on a policy agenda. They can’t roll out “repeal and replace ObamaCare” for the umpteenth time.

And so the fuse is lit. Impeachment may come sooner rather than later. Gordon Sondland is accruing frequent-flyer miles.

Maybe it’s time for Mr. Moose to drop some ping-pong balls on someone.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b

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Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria

Westlake Legal Group _pAAMTvGt4fDTuTqDLCEwfq0UL6PIIENKxJ3YCpHBvA Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria r/politics

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GOP Taking Impeachment Fight From Washington To The States

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) — While President Donald Trump plays defense on impeachment in Washington, Republicans are taking the fight to Democrats in the states.

Dozens of shouting and flag-waving Trump supporters gathered Tuesday at the Casa Grande field office of Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who has signaled support for an impeachment inquiry, to protest Democratic efforts to remove the president from office.

Nancy Pelosi is pursuing a hyperpartisan witch hunt,” Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said, shouting over the chants and whistles of a handful of Democrats launching a counterprotest. Democrats can’t win at the ballot box so they’re fixated on beating Trump through impeachment, she said.

Behind her, Democrats chanted, “Dump Trump! Dump Trump!” as Republicans shouted back, “USA! USA!”

The Arizona desert town of 55,000 is the latest front in the political war over the effort to try to remove the president from office. As Democrats’ subpoenas fly, the Republican effort to exact political pain on those pushing the impeachment probe is just getting started.

“We are making hurt from Maine to California for these Democrats that want to impeach the president,” said Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign.

Westlake Legal Group 5d9e993920000058074ff270 GOP Taking Impeachment Fight From Washington To The States

ASSOCIATED PRESS Arizona Republican Party Chairman Kelli Ward speaks to a crowd outside a field office for Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., as GOP spokesman Zachery Henry holds the bullhorn on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Casa Grande, Ariz. 

The national party has drawn up a list of more than 60 target races for the House, Senate and governor where Democrats are running in districts or states carried by Trump, aiming to make impeachment a central theme in those races. The effort highlights how impeachment, while perilous to the president, can be a political boon to the GOP, whose voters remain largely steadfast in support of Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initially resisted efforts to begin impeachment proceedings because of middling public support for trying to remove Trump and a belief it could put moderate Democrats in a tough spot. Republicans contend that despite some movement in national surveys toward support for impeachment, there are dozens of Democrats who have been made more vulnerable by the impeachment inquiry.

Already, the RNC has devoted more than $2 million to an ad buy accusing moderate House Democrats of voting “with the radicals for endless investigations of President Trump,” and it’s promising millions more will follow. Phase one of the counter-impeachment campaign, Gorka said, has been focused on the two-week congressional recess, with a more sustained effort coming to “make sure that pressure stays on them in D.C. and when they’re home on weekends.”

“Until they end this impeachment madness, they are going to be hearing and feeling the pressure from us,” he added.

That’s where the local press conferences come in. The retail-style events are designed to energize the president’s core of supporters and draw attention to lawmakers’ stances on impeachment. Similar rallies are being scheduled across the country.

“Stop the impeachment!” more than a dozen Trump supporters chanted Tuesday outside Jared Golden’s district office in Lewiston, Maine. And hundreds of Trump backers demonstrated against Pelosi on Friday as she attended a fundraising event in Greenville, South Carolina.

The local events are planned by the RNC, state parties and the GOP’s House and Senate arms, while the White House and the Trump campaign train most of their fire on Trump’s would-be Democratic opponents.

“Democrats know they can’t beat President Trump at the ballot box, so they want to deny Americans the opportunity to vote to reelect him,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director. “In fighting against that, the campaign follows the lead of the president and the White House. The RNC is also an excellent partner and we all are working well in concert together.”

David Bergstein, the Democratic National Committee’s director of battleground state communications, said Democrats want to make sure voters are well informed of Trump’s “record of broken promises” ahead of the 2020 election.

“A distraction campaign won’t erase Trump’s record: he’s spiked health care costs, his tax scam will raise taxes on tens of millions of working families in order to give his rich friends another handout — and he’s been caught asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections, which is un-American,” Bergstein said in a statement.

O’Halleran is a former Republican legislator who switched parties and was elected in Arizona’s sprawling and mostly rural 1st Congressional District, the most competitive in the state. He’s being aggressively targeted by Republicans who see Trump’s popularity with rural voters as a liability for him. Trump narrowly won the district in 2016.

O’Halleran has offered tepid support for the House impeachment probe, saying after the release of a whistleblower’s complaint that “we must pursue this official inquiry and promptly complete the investigation so that Congress has all of the facts.” He said he would decide how he’d vote on impeachment after seeing the results of the inquiry.

The GOP is glossing over any nuance in his position.

“Stop the madness that we have seen from the Democrat Party again and again and again,” Ward said. “Ever since November 2016, they have gone crazy.”

Trump supporters in the crowd said the real misconduct was committed by Democrats.

“The whole impeachment thing is a huge smokescreen covering for the sins they committed in the past,” said Tony Gregorio, a 72-year-old retiree from nearby Maricopa.

Miller reported from Washington.

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‘Sesame Street’ character reveals mother battling opioid addiction

Creators of the iconic children’s television show “Sesame Street” will tackle the opioid crisis in an online-only segment by delving into the backstory of one of its newest characters — whose mother is battling addiction.

Karli, the green and yellow-haired Muppet introduced earlier this year who lives with foster parents, Dalia and Clem, will tell her story as part of the Sesame Street in Communities initiative. The episode will refer children to free online bilingual resources.

The segment will feature Salia Woodbury, a 10-year-old California girl whose parents have been in recovery for eight years.

In the segment, viewed over the summer by The Associated Press in Manhattan, Karli and Salia drew pictures of flowers with petals representing feelings such as anger and happiness.

‘SESAME STREET’ CONFIRMS BERT AND ERNIE’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION AFTER FORMER WRITER’S COMMENTS

“Hi, it’s me, Karli. I’m here with my friend Salia. Both of our parents have had the same problem — addiction,” Karli said.

Westlake Legal Group AP19275691317083 'Sesame Street' character reveals mother battling opioid addiction Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a3132ed7-b11a-5ea4-b9f3-2e08dab475f6

Salia Woodbury, 10, whose parents are in recovery, joined “Sesame Street” character Karli in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

“My mom and dad told me that addiction is a sickness,” Salia said.

“Yeah, a sickness that makes people feel like they have to take drugs or drink alcohol to feel OK,” the Muppet said. “My mom was having a hard time with addiction and I felt like my family was the only one going through it. But now I’ve met so many other kids like us. It makes me feel like we’re not alone.”

“Right, we’re not alone,” Salia responded. “And it’s OK to open up to people about our feelings.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19275691380980 'Sesame Street' character reveals mother battling opioid addiction Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a3132ed7-b11a-5ea4-b9f3-2e08dab475f6

Jaana (top left) and Sam Woodbury, from Irvine, Cali., and their daughters Salia, 10 (seated right), and Kya, 6, with “Sesame Street” Muppet Karli and puppeteer Haley Jenkins in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

In another segment, Karli told Elmo how she used to feel like her mother’s addiction was her fault.

Show creators wanted to address addiction because there are 5.7 million children under the age of 7 who live in households with a parent battling substance abuse, they said.

“There’s nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective,” said Kama Einhorn, a senior content manager with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization that produces several educational children’s programs.

“[If] even a parent at their most vulnerable — at the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group AP19275691318183 'Sesame Street' character reveals mother battling opioid addiction Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a3132ed7-b11a-5ea4-b9f3-2e08dab475f6

Salia Woodbury (left), 10, on the set with “Sesame Street” Muppet Karli and Muppeteer Haley Jenkins during a taping about parental addiction in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Salia’s parents, Sam and Jaana Woodbury, are raising four girls in Orange County, Calif. They said they welcomed the show taking on the topic of addiction.

“When I was going through addiction, I felt extremely alone and isolated. I didn’t have any connection to the outside world,” Jaana Woodbury said. “I think it’s amazing that ‘Sesame Street’ is using their platform to share resources to help other women and fathers.”

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“Sesame Street,” which first aired in 1969, is no stranger to presenting tough topics to their young audience. The show has addressed HIV, homelessness, poverty, autism and women’s rights over the years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19275691317083 'Sesame Street' character reveals mother battling opioid addiction Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a3132ed7-b11a-5ea4-b9f3-2e08dab475f6   Westlake Legal Group AP19275691317083 'Sesame Street' character reveals mother battling opioid addiction Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a3132ed7-b11a-5ea4-b9f3-2e08dab475f6

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Colbert Exposes Trump’s ‘Greatest Weakness’ In Epic New Takedown

Westlake Legal Group 5d8ac59c1e0000580070c2a9 Colbert Exposes Trump’s ‘Greatest Weakness’ In Epic New Takedown

“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is facing a rival far greater than his many political opponents. 

The House has launched an impeachment inquiry based on a phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

“In the end, Trump may be defeated by his greatest weakness,” Colbert cracked. “His Achilles’ mouth.” 

Then he shared a couple of “epic” titles related to the president: 

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GOP Taking Impeachment Fight From Washington To The States

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) — While President Donald Trump plays defense on impeachment in Washington, Republicans are taking the fight to Democrats in the states.

Dozens of shouting and flag-waving Trump supporters gathered Tuesday at the Casa Grande field office of Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran, who has signaled support for an impeachment inquiry, to protest Democratic efforts to remove the president from office.

Nancy Pelosi is pursuing a hyperpartisan witch hunt,” Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward said, shouting over the chants and whistles of a handful of Democrats launching a counterprotest. Democrats can’t win at the ballot box so they’re fixated on beating Trump through impeachment, she said.

Behind her, Democrats chanted, “Dump Trump! Dump Trump!” as Republicans shouted back, “USA! USA!”

The Arizona desert town of 55,000 is the latest front in the political war over the effort to try to remove the president from office. As Democrats’ subpoenas fly, the Republican effort to exact political pain on those pushing the impeachment probe is just getting started.

“We are making hurt from Maine to California for these Democrats that want to impeach the president,” said Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign.

Westlake Legal Group 5d9e993920000058074ff270 GOP Taking Impeachment Fight From Washington To The States

ASSOCIATED PRESS Arizona Republican Party Chairman Kelli Ward speaks to a crowd outside a field office for Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Ariz., as GOP spokesman Zachery Henry holds the bullhorn on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Casa Grande, Ariz. 

The national party has drawn up a list of more than 60 target races for the House, Senate and governor where Democrats are running in districts or states carried by Trump, aiming to make impeachment a central theme in those races. The effort highlights how impeachment, while perilous to the president, can be a political boon to the GOP, whose voters remain largely steadfast in support of Trump.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi initially resisted efforts to begin impeachment proceedings because of middling public support for trying to remove Trump and a belief it could put moderate Democrats in a tough spot. Republicans contend that despite some movement in national surveys toward support for impeachment, there are dozens of Democrats who have been made more vulnerable by the impeachment inquiry.

Already, the RNC has devoted more than $2 million to an ad buy accusing moderate House Democrats of voting “with the radicals for endless investigations of President Trump,” and it’s promising millions more will follow. Phase one of the counter-impeachment campaign, Gorka said, has been focused on the two-week congressional recess, with a more sustained effort coming to “make sure that pressure stays on them in D.C. and when they’re home on weekends.”

“Until they end this impeachment madness, they are going to be hearing and feeling the pressure from us,” he added.

That’s where the local press conferences come in. The retail-style events are designed to energize the president’s core of supporters and draw attention to lawmakers’ stances on impeachment. Similar rallies are being scheduled across the country.

“Stop the impeachment!” more than a dozen Trump supporters chanted Tuesday outside Jared Golden’s district office in Lewiston, Maine. And hundreds of Trump backers demonstrated against Pelosi on Friday as she attended a fundraising event in Greenville, South Carolina.

The local events are planned by the RNC, state parties and the GOP’s House and Senate arms, while the White House and the Trump campaign train most of their fire on Trump’s would-be Democratic opponents.

“Democrats know they can’t beat President Trump at the ballot box, so they want to deny Americans the opportunity to vote to reelect him,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign communications director. “In fighting against that, the campaign follows the lead of the president and the White House. The RNC is also an excellent partner and we all are working well in concert together.”

David Bergstein, the Democratic National Committee’s director of battleground state communications, said Democrats want to make sure voters are well informed of Trump’s “record of broken promises” ahead of the 2020 election.

“A distraction campaign won’t erase Trump’s record: he’s spiked health care costs, his tax scam will raise taxes on tens of millions of working families in order to give his rich friends another handout — and he’s been caught asking foreign governments to interfere in our elections, which is un-American,” Bergstein said in a statement.

O’Halleran is a former Republican legislator who switched parties and was elected in Arizona’s sprawling and mostly rural 1st Congressional District, the most competitive in the state. He’s being aggressively targeted by Republicans who see Trump’s popularity with rural voters as a liability for him. Trump narrowly won the district in 2016.

O’Halleran has offered tepid support for the House impeachment probe, saying after the release of a whistleblower’s complaint that “we must pursue this official inquiry and promptly complete the investigation so that Congress has all of the facts.” He said he would decide how he’d vote on impeachment after seeing the results of the inquiry.

The GOP is glossing over any nuance in his position.

“Stop the madness that we have seen from the Democrat Party again and again and again,” Ward said. “Ever since November 2016, they have gone crazy.”

Trump supporters in the crowd said the real misconduct was committed by Democrats.

“The whole impeachment thing is a huge smokescreen covering for the sins they committed in the past,” said Tony Gregorio, a 72-year-old retiree from nearby Maricopa.

Miller reported from Washington.

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Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria

Westlake Legal Group _pAAMTvGt4fDTuTqDLCEwfq0UL6PIIENKxJ3YCpHBvA Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria r/politics

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