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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 182)

Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote

WASHINGTON — After five months of hearings, investigations and cascading revelations about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, a divided United States Senate acquitted him on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election, bringing an acrimonious impeachment trial to its expected end.

In a pair of votes whose outcome was never in doubt, the Senate fell well short of the two-thirds margin that would have been needed to remove Mr. Trump, formally concluding the three-week-long trial of the 45th president that has roiled Washington and threatened the presidency. The verdicts came down almost entirely upon party lines, with every Democrat voting “guilty” on both charges and Republicans uniformly voting “not guilty” on the obstruction of Congress charge.

Only one Republican, Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, broke with his party to judge Mr. Trump guilty of abuse of power.

It was the third impeachment trial of a president and the third acquittal in American history, and it ended the way it began, with Republicans and Democrats at odds over Mr. Trump’s conduct and his fitness for office, even as some members of his own party conceded the basic allegations that undergirded the charges, that he sought to pressure Ukraine to smear his political rivals.

“Senators how say you?” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., the presiding officer, asked shortly after 4 p.m. from the Senate floor. “Is the respondent, Donald John Trump, president of the United States guilty or not guilty?”

Seated at their wooden desks, senators stood one by one to answer “guilty” or “not guilty” to each of the two articles of impeachment.

“It is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” declared Chief Justice Roberts, after the second article was defeated.

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-vote-results-promo-final-articleLarge Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Romney, Mitt Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

See how each senator will vote on whether to convict and remove President Trump from office.

But in a sign of the widening partisan divide testing the country and its institutions, the verdict did not promise finality. Democratic leaders immediately insisted the result was illegitimate, the product of a self-interested cover-up by Republicans, and promised to continue their investigations of Mr. Trump.

The president, vindicated in what he has long called a politically motivated hoax to take him down, prepared to campaign as an exonerated executive. And both parties conceded that voters, not the Senate, would deliver the final judgment on Mr. Trump when they cast ballots in just nine months.

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Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

In a pair of historic votes, 52 to 48 and 53 to 47, senators acquitted President Trump of two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

“Hear ye, hear ye. All persons are commanded to keep silence on pain of imprisonment while the Senate of the United States is sitting for the trial of the articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives against Donald John Trump, president of the United States.” “The clerk will now read the first article of impeachment.” “Article 1, abuse of power.” “Is the respondent, Donald John Trump, guilty or not guilty? A roll call vote is required. The clerk will call the roll.” “Mr. Alexander.” “Not guilty.” “Mr. Alexander, not guilty. Ms. Baldwin.” “Guilty.” “Ms. Baldwin, guilty. “Mr. Romney.” “Guilty.” “Mr. Romney, guilty.” This article of impeachment 48 senators have pronounced Donald John Trump president of the United States guilty as charged. 52 senators have pronounced him not guilty as charged. 2/3 of the senators present not having pronounced him guilty. The senate judges that the respondent Donald John Trump president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the first article of impeachment article 2 obstruction of Congress. Mr. inhofe not guilty. Mr. Johnson not guilty. Mr. Jones guilty Mr. Cain guilty on this article of impeachment 47 senators have pronounced Donald John Trump president of the United States guilty as charged. 53 senators have pronounced him not guilty as charged. 2/3 of the senators present not having pronounced him guilty. The senate judges that respondent Donald John Trump president of the United States, is not guilty as charged in the Second Article of Impeachment. The senate having tried Donald John Trump president of the United States upon two articles of impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Representatives, and 2/3 of the senators present not having found him guilty of the charges contained therein. It is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump b. And he is hereby acquitted of the charges and said articles.

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-impeach-video-videoSixteenByNine3000 Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Romney, Mitt Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

In a pair of historic votes, 52 to 48 and 53 to 47, senators acquitted President Trump of two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As expected, the tally in favor of conviction fell far below the 67-vote threshold necessary for removal on each article. The first charge was abuse of power, accusing Mr. Trump of a scheme to use the levers of government to coerce Ukraine to do his political bidding, did not even garner a majority vote, failing on a vote of 48 to 52, with Mr. Romney voting with the Democrats. The second article, charging Mr. Trump with obstructing Congress for an across-the-board blockade of House subpoenas and oversight requests, failed 47 to 53, strictly on party lines.

Like this one, the trials of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton also concluded in acquittal — a reflection of the Constitution’s high burden for removing a chief executive.

But in a stinging rebuke of the country’s leader aimed at history, Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, voted to convict Mr. Trump of abuse of power. He said that the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine was “the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.” Though he voted against the second article, Mr. Romney became emotional on the Senate floor in the hours before the verdict on Wednesday as he described why he deemed Mr. Trump guilty of abuse of power, calling it a matter of conscience. He was the first senator ever to vote to remove a president of his own party.

“I am sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters,” Mr. Romney said. “Does anyone seriously believe I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?”

Video

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Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

During a statement to his colleagues, Senator Mitt Romney said he would vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, becoming the first Republican to break party ranks.

In the last several weeks I’ve received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded in their words that I stand with the team. I can assure you that thought has been very much on my mind. You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I’ve voted with him 80 percent of the time. But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me, for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong. So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

Westlake Legal Group 05-video-romney-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Romney, Mitt Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

During a statement to his colleagues, Senator Mitt Romney said he would vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, becoming the first Republican to break party ranks.CreditCredit…Al Drago for The New York Times

Mr. Romney’s defection, which he announced a couple of hours before the final vote, was a stark reflection of the sweeping transformation of the Republican Party over the past eight years into one that is now dominated entirely by Mr. Trump. And it deprived the president of the monolithic Republican support he had eagerly anticipated.

At the White House, Mr. Trump was expected to accept the decision with characteristic bravado, and badly wanted to deliver a public statement immediately afterward to declare victory. But his advisers argued forcefully against the move, and shortly after the Senate vote, he wrote on Twitter that he would wait until noon Thursday to appear at the White House “to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax.”

The president has looked forward to the Senate’s verdict as an authoritative rejection of the House’s case that he committed high crimes and misdemeanors, even if many in his party ultimately broke from his absolute insistence that his actions were “perfect.” Still, Mr. Trump, too, was looking beyond it toward the long campaign season ahead, vowing retribution from the forces that he believes have tried to destroy him: the Democrats, the news media and a deep state of government bureaucrats.

Several Republican senators ultimately acknowledged the heart of the House case — that Mr. Trump undertook a concerted pressure campaign on Ukraine to secure politically beneficial investigations into his rivals, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., using nearly $400 million in military aid as leverage. Still, all but one voted to acquit and suggested it had not been a close call. Earlier, not a single House Republican had voted for impeachment, either, rendering Mr. Trump’s impeachment historically partisan.

Some Republican senators argued that the conduct was not sufficiently dangerous to warrant the Senate removing a president from office for the first time in history — and certainly not with an election so near. Others dismissed Democrats’ arguments altogether, insisting their case was merely one more attempt to dress up hatred for Mr. Trump and his policies as a constitutional case.

A few Republicans urged Mr. Trump to be more careful with his words in the future, particularly when speaking with foreign leaders, but there was no serious attempt to censure him as there was around the trial of Mr. Clinton.

Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, two Republican swing votes who have tilted against the president in the past, both voted against conviction and removal. And two Democrats from traditionally red states, Senators Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, voted to convict Mr. Trump, denying him a badly wanted bipartisan acquittal.

Democrats, who had lobbied hard to include witnesses and documents that Mr. Trump shielded from the House in the Senate proceeding, wasted little time in declaring the trial a sham. Senators had been offered evidence, including testimony by the former national security adviser John R. Bolton, that would have further clarified the president’s actions and motivations, they said. All but two Republicans refused, making the trial the first impeachment proceeding in American history to reach a verdict without calling witnesses.

As they closed their case this week, the seven Democratic House managers who prosecuted the case argued that Mr. Trump would emerge emboldened in his monarchical tendencies, and that those who appeased him would be judged harshly by history. Republicans, they said, had chosen to leave the president’s future up to voters in the very election in which they believe Mr. Trump is still trying to cheat.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, made a similar case in the minutes before the vote.

“The verdict of this kangaroo court will be meaningless,” Mr. Schumer said. “By refusing the facts — by refusing witnesses and documents — the Republican majority has placed a giant asterisk, the asterisk of a sham trial, next to the acquittal of President Trump, written in permanent ink.”

Seldom used in American history, impeachment is the Constitution’s most extreme mechanism for checking a corrupt or out of control office holder. In unsheathing it, even reluctantly, House Democrats took on political risk that could backfire in November on their presidential nominee or the House majority if voters conclude the effort was an overzealous partisan attack. Senate Republicans and Democrats up for re-election in swing states may face their own judgment for their stances on including witnesses in the trial or on Mr. Trump’s guilt.

At least one Democrat, Senator Doug Jones of Alabama, glancingly acknowledged that his vote to convict would most likely contribute to his loss this fall in deeply conservative Alabama.

“There will be so many who will simply look at what I am doing today and say it is a profile in courage,” Mr. Jones said before the vote. “It is not. It is simply a matter of right and wrong.”

For now, the impeachment of Mr. Trump appears to have evenly divided the nation. Public opinion polls suggest that as the proportion of Americans grew in recent weeks who agreed that the president most likely abused his office and acted improperly to deny Congress the ability to investigate, never meaningfully more than half of the country agreed he should be removed from office.

If Mr. Trump’s standing among the public has been hurt by the trial, it is not yet evident. To the contrary, the latest Gallup poll, released on Tuesday, showed that 49 percent of Americans approved of the job he was doing as president — the highest figure since he took office three years ago.

The possibility of impeachment has hung like a cloud over Mr. Trump’s presidency virtually since it began. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, had resisted when the special counsel released the findings of his investigation into Russian election interference in 2016 and possible collaboration with the Trump campaign. Impeachment was too divisive and unlikely to gain bipartisan support, she said then.

Her calculations changed in September, when the Trump administration was forced to give the House an anonymous C.I.A. whistle-blower that accused the president of marshaling the powers of government to press Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and a theory that Democrats had colluded with Ukraine in the 2016 election. Authorizing the third impeachment inquiry in modern times, Ms. Pelosi tasked the House Intelligence Committee to investigate the scheme and build a case for impeachment.

Mr. Trump issued a blanket directive to all government agencies not to comply with the inquiry — a fateful order that robbed investigators of key witnesses and facts that could have filled out their case but which ultimately gave rise to the obstruction of Congress charge.

Still, a dozen and a half American diplomats and White House officials came forward, offering testimony in private and then in scintillating public hearings, that confirmed nearly every aspect of the whistle-blower complaint. On Dec. 18, the House voted to impeach Mr. Trump on both counts, despite their earlier pledges not to pursue a partisan impeachment.

To protect his Senate majority as much as the presidency, Mr. McConnell promised a swift acquittal and he delivered it. From the time the articles of impeachment were first read on the Senate floor to Wednesday’s vote was just 20 days. By comparison, the 1999 Clinton trial lasted five weeks and in 1868, the Senate took the better part of three months to try Johnson.

With acquittal never really in doubt, the real fight of the trial over witnesses and Mr. McConnell used the full accumulated force of his position to ensure none were called. Mr. Trump’s lawyers used their time on the Senate floor to argue that none were needed not only because the president’s behavior toward Ukraine was a legitimate expression of his concern about corruption there, but because neither charge constituted high crimes and misdemeanors.

The final shift in defenses by all but the most conservative of Mr. Trump’s allies came just last week, when The New York Times reported the first in a series of stories revealing that Mr. Trump told Mr. Bolton in August that he would not release the military aid for Ukraine until the country helped out with the investigations into the Bidens and other Democrats.

Each of those decisions will loom large over history. Just as Mr. Trump’s impeachment was constantly measured against the precedents set in 1999 and 1974 and 1868, so any future one will be measured against the decisions made by House Democrats and Senate Republicans this time around.

Impeachment was seriously contemplated for a president only once in the first two centuries of the American republic; it now has been so three times since the 1970s, and two of the past four presidents have been impeached.

Reporting was contributed by Emily Cochrane, Catie Edmondson, Patricia Mazzei, Michael D. Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg.

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Bernie Madoff Says He’s Dying and Seeks Early Prison Release

Westlake Legal Group 05madof-facebookJumbo Bernie Madoff Says He’s Dying and Seeks Early Prison Release Ponzi and Pyramid Schemes Madoff, Bernard L Justice Department Crime and Criminals

Bernard L. Madoff, the mastermind of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, said in a court filing on Wednesday that he was dying and asked for an early release from prison.

A lawyer for Mr. Madoff said in the filing that he had less than 18 months to live.

Mr. Madoff, 81, admitted to running a scheme that bilked thousands of investors out of their cash. In 2009, he was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison.

“Madoff does not dispute the severity of his crimes nor does he seek to minimize the suffering of his victims,” his lawyer wrote in the filing. “Madoff humbly asks this Court for a modicum of compassion.”

Mr. Madoff has chronic kidney failure that has progressed to “end-stage renal disease,” the filing said. He was admitted to palliative care in July. He also suffers from cardiovascular disease, hypertension and a series of other ailments, from back pain to insomnia, according to the filing.

Last year, Mr. Madoff filed a petition for clemency with the Justice Department, seeking to have his sentence commuted by President Trump.

Mr. Madoff has been incarcerated at a federal prison in Butner, N.C., since July 2009, after he pleaded guilty to 11 counts of financial crimes, including fraud, money laundering, perjury and theft. He received the maximum possible sentence.

He was accused of using his investment firm to steal billions from his clients, cheating many of them out of their life savings. Rather than investing their money, Mr. Madoff spent it on family and friends. He then took in money from additional investors to pay earlier ones in an effort to cover up his fraud.

In 2008, Mr. Madoff told his sons, both of whom have since died, that his investment advisory firm, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, had committed enormous fraud. His family notified federal agents, who arrested him the next day.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Sheelagh McNeil contributed research.

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Full Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announcing Vote to Convict Trump

Westlake Legal Group 05romney-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Full Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announcing Vote to Convict Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Speeches and Statements Senate Romney, Mitt impeachment

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, announced on the Senate floor on Wednesday that he intended to vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power. He was the only Republican to break with his party and support removing Mr. Trump from office.

“The president’s purpose was personal and political,” Mr. Romney said of the president’s actions toward Ukraine. “Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

The following is a transcript of Mr. Romney’s speech, as transcribed by The New York Times.

SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, Republican of Utah: The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic’s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of our Congress these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House managers presented evidence supporting their case, and the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the president’s team presented three defenses, first that there could be no impeachment without a statutory crime, second that the Bidens’ conduct justified the president’s actions, and third, that the judgment of the president’s actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address those three defenses.

The historic meaning of the words “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the writings of the founders and my own reasoned judgment convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they’re not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove such a president defies reason.

The president’s counsel also notes that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian prosecutor general. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the vice president should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong. With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the president’s counsel that a crime had been committed, the president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president.

Hamilton explained that the founders’ decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to the voters was intended to minimize, to the extent possible, the partisan sentiments of the public at large. So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I’ve received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded, in their words, that I “stand with the team.” I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind: You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80 percent of the time.

But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton, not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he might say could raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I’m convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We’ve come to different conclusions fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president’s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate, but irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me.

I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on Earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen.

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.

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Gregg Jarrett: Trump acquittal in impeachment trial is a humiliating defeat for partisan Democrats

Westlake Legal Group image Gregg Jarrett: Trump acquittal in impeachment trial is a humiliating defeat for partisan Democrats Gregg Jarrett fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8cd3a4bd-0d97-5a7d-a060-b1593e6df31f

The Democratic scheme to evict President Trump from office, which collapsed Wednesday when a majority of the Senate voted to acquit him of impeachment charges, was an extravagant waste of time. Sadly, amid today’s feverish electoral polemics, rage has replaced reason.

Impeachment was always a fatuous and frivolous exercise initiated by House Democrats. Their constitutionally cited grounds were incurably weak and driven by a visceral hostility toward Trump.

Democrats who supported Trump’s impeachment and conviction were motivated by an irrational but overwhelming desire to avenge their loss of the presidency in the 2016 election, obscuring their reason and judgment. The politics of hate now predominates in Washington. Vilifying Trump is a blood sport.

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP ON ABUSE OF POWER, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS CHARGES

Not a single House Republican voted to impeach the president. Only one Senate Republican – Mitt Romney of Utah, who was a Trump antagonist during the impeachment proceedings – voted to convict the president on Article 1 (abuse of power), but acquit Trump on Article 2 (obstruction of Congress).

Romney has a complicated and contentious history with Trump. The senator’s vote was no surprise. Last October, before he had even seen much of the evidence, Romney said the president’s actions were “wrong and appalling.” Trump fired back by denouncing the senator and calling for Romney’s removal. The feud has not abated and will surely persist.

More from Opinion

Except for Romney, impeachment turned out to be exactly what it seemed – a partisan smear driven by political animus and personal disgust of everything Trump. Americans recognized it for what it was. On the eve of Trump’s acquittal, a Gallup poll showed that he had earned the highest approval rating of his presidency.

The Democratic dream of instigating a populist insurrection against Trump by damaging him politically was an embarrassing bust. Impeachment had the reverse effect, boosting the president’s approval ratings by 10 points. Americans are adept at spotting scams.

All of this was easily predictable.

The two articles of impeachment were conjured up by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nader, D-N.Y.

The impeachment articles were constitutionally anemic and bereft of any plausible evidence beyond assumptions, opinions and multiple hearsays. Even accepting the accusations as true, the articles did not rise to the elevated standard imposed by the framers of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

 Pelosi’s Blunders

Speaker Pelosi doomed her impeachment chances from the outset by commandeering authority she did not have and manipulating the process through a series of subversive maneuvers.

Pelosi launched the impeachment inquiry improperly – without approval from the full House and before she had even bothered to read a transcript of the July 25 telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Pelosi then sanctioned secret hearings in a basement bunker of the Capitol, excluding three-quarters of all House members.

Witnesses were threatened with prosecution if they did not appear and deprived of legal counsel. The president was denied the right to participate, have his lawyers present, cross-examine witnesses, and see or hear the evidence.

Republicans were prevented from calling their own witnesses or presenting evidence. Pelosi destroyed the fundamental principle of due process, which the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled applies to congressional hearings.

When public hearings were eventually convened, the same due process violations were repeated. The entire proceeding was anathema to the principle of fundamental fairness. It was nothing more than a carefully choreographed Democratic charade masquerading as an impeachment.

Realizing that her evidence against Trump was based on nothing more than rank speculation by witnesses who magically intuited the president’s motives as nefarious, Pelosi blitzed impeachment through the House with record speed.

The impeachment process had to be abbreviated, the speaker argued, because Trump was an imminent national security threat and a risk to democracy! She rushed to judgment and her fellow Democrats followed her like lemmings jumping off a political cliff.

Then Pelosi sat on the articles of impeachment for a month, completely undermining her rationale of “urgency.” Her attempt to extort the Senate into capitulating to her demands of how the trial must be conducted proved to be a spectacular failure. Exigency, it turns out, was just another transparent deception.

It was abundantly clear that Pelosi’s personal and political disdain for Trump was the motivating force. After insisting that impeachment was “sad, somber and heartbreaking,” she gleefully announced that “he’s been impeached forever.” She passed out souvenir impeachment pens like party favors and openly celebrated with a fist-bump on liberal Bill Maher’s HBO show.

When it was obvious that Trump would not be convicted by the Senate, Pelosi absurdly declared that “it will not be an acquittal” because “you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses.”

If there was any question about Pelosi’s enmity, she resolved it when she ripped up her copy of the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night like a petulant child, immediately after Trump delivered the speech in the House chamber.

The Schiff Show   

Pelosi’s biggest blunder was her decision to select Adam Schiff as the face of impeachment. After presiding over the majority of the House hearings with the aplomb of a snake oil salesman, Schiff was picked as the lead prosecutor for the Senate trial. Trump won the moment it happened.

It was foolhardy for Pelosi to think that Schiff – a person with a long track record of deceit and distortion – would ever be accepted by senators as remotely credible. Who could trust someone who, without conscience or regret, has peddled a multitude of exaggerations, misrepresentations and outright falsehoods?

It was Schiff who spent more than two years claiming to have “direct” and “ample” evidence that Trump and his campaign engaged in a collusion conspiracy with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election. Except that he didn’t.

It was Schiff who stated with absolute certainty that the FBI “did not ‘abuse’ the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) process.” Except that it did.

It was Schiff who argued that the warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page “met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis needed to meet the FISA’s probable cause requirements.” Except that they didn’t. The Justice Department admitted that at least two of the warrants were illegally obtained and without probable cause.

It was Schiff who insisted that Christopher Steele, the British ex-spy who authored the largely fictitious anti-Trump dossier, was “credible.” Except that he was not, according to the Justice Department inspector general’s report.

It was Schiff who said that the FBI did not rely heavily on the ier in seeking surveillance warrants against Page. Except that the bureau did. The document was “central and essential,” noted the inspector general.

It was Schiff who argued that Steele’s work had been corroborated by “multiple independent sources.” Except that it had not been corroborated.

When Schiff’s prodigious prevarications were eventually exposed, he never had the decency to apologize to the American people for misleading them in hundreds of televised appearances. Instead, Pelosi rewarded Schiff’s mendacity by appointing him to oversee the impeachment charade.

At the outset, Schiff delivered opening remarks that were a blatant lie – inventing significant portions of a conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. Schiff later dismissed his fictional account as a “parody,” as if his false portrayal was perfectly acceptable. It seems that when Schiff is determined to smear someone, the end justifies the means and truth become irrelevant.

Thereafter, Schiff lied about the contact and coordination that he and his staff had with the so-called “whistleblower.” This earned him “Four Pinocchios” from The Washington Post fact-checker, who called his statements “flat-out false.”

 Schiff’s Humiliating Defeat

A columnist for the Chicago Tribune described Schiff as “the Inspector Javert of the Trump impeachment theater.” It is an apt description.

Schiff’s unhinged obsession fed his countless embellishments of the president’s motives in asking Ukraine to examine former Vice President Joe Biden’s demand that Ukraine fire a prosecutor who was investigating the natural gas company that employed Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Incredibly, Hunter Biden was paid an exorbitant $1 million per year to serve on its board of directors of the Ukrainian company – even though Hunter had no experience or expertise involving either the energy industry or Ukraine.

Was Joe Biden using his high office to protect his son? 

Schiff conveniently ignored the Bidens’ behavior, even though it was obviously and objectively suspicious. By any reasonable standard, it merited the investigation that Trump requested.

Suspected corruption was a legitimate reason for President Trump to ask President Zelensky to look into the conduct of the Bidens. Even if there might be some ancillary electoral benefit of the investigation down the road, Trump’s request was justified and clearly did not constitute an impeachable offense.

In reality, there is a political calculation to nearly all presidential actions. This does not make them impeachable.

Of course, the liberal-leaning media fawned over Schiff. They called his opening statement “brilliant,” “masterful,” and “dazzling.” His closing argument was greeted with an equal measure of hyperbolic adoration.

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gushed on Twitter that Schiff’s argument was “one for the ages.” She ventured that it might be “taught someday as the seminal opposition speech from this era in presidential (and Republican party) history.”

Maddow’s tweet was met with skepticism and mockery. Many regarded Schiff’s argument as a nauseating blend of histrionics and hysteria. For the better part of an hour, he waxed about honesty and virtue – this from a man devoid of both.

Schiff repeatedly accused Trump of trying to “cheat” in our elections – past and future. He warned that “Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election” and that he would “sell out his country for a political favor.” 

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Schiff’s embroidery was more destructive than constructive. His failure to persuade even a majority of senators – much less the two-thirds supermajority required under the Constitution to remove a sitting president– was a humiliating defeat.

“History will not be kind to Donald Trump,” intoned Schiff. He is wrong. History will not be kind to Schiff and Pelosi. For purely political purposes, they abused the power entrusted in them and damaged future presidencies.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY GREGG JARRETT

Westlake Legal Group image Gregg Jarrett: Trump acquittal in impeachment trial is a humiliating defeat for partisan Democrats Gregg Jarrett fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8cd3a4bd-0d97-5a7d-a060-b1593e6df31f   Westlake Legal Group image Gregg Jarrett: Trump acquittal in impeachment trial is a humiliating defeat for partisan Democrats Gregg Jarrett fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/world fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8cd3a4bd-0d97-5a7d-a060-b1593e6df31f

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Sen. Susan Collins Regrets Saying She Believed Trump Has Learned Lesson

Westlake Legal Group 5e3b2d75220000c20b23e807 Sen. Susan Collins Regrets Saying She Believed Trump Has Learned Lesson

“We the People”

<strong>What it is:</strong>&nbsp;Created by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, <a href=”https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/we-the-people/id83213431?mt=2″ target=”_blank”>this podcast</a> uses the Constitution as a framework for insightful, nonpartisan discussions about major contemporary issues with politicians, historians, journalists, authors and more.<br><br><strong>Try this episode:&nbsp;</strong>”<a href=”https://www.acast.com/wethepeople/presidential-succession-and-the-25th-amendment-at-50″ target=”_blank”>Presidential succession and the 25th Amendment at 50</a>”

National Constitution Center

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Romney the only senator to defect from party in impeachment vote

Westlake Legal Group image Romney the only senator to defect from party in impeachment vote fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 5d93dc1e-d04c-55b5-a697-f605ef1ded45

Mitt Romney was the lone senator to break from either party’s position on Tuesday when the upper chamber of Congress voted to acquit President Trump of the two articles of impeachment brought against him by the House.

Romney, who made his intentions know during the debate on the articles of impeachment, voted in favor of finding Trump guilty of abuse of power. The Utah Republican, however, stuck with his party in voting not guilty on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress.

SENATE ACQUITS TRUMP ON ABUSE OF POWER, OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS CHARGES

“The president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust,” an emotional Romney said in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace before the impeachment vote. “What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values.”

Romney’s move to defy his party drew praise from Democrats across the aisle, while the Republican response was more muted.

“I think Sen. Romney’s speech will go down as one of the most important in the Senate,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, told Fox News. “There’s still honor in this place. There’s still individuals willing to put party aside when the country was on the line. I think a lot of people are going to read that speech for centuries.”‬

In the lead-up to Wednesday’s decision in the Senate, there was widespread speculation that Romney would not be the only lawmaker to buck his or her party.

On the Republican side, many were looking to see if Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine would side with Democrats and find Trump guilty of at least one of the articles of impeachment. Along with Romney, both senators are some of Trump’s fiercest critics in his own Republican Party.

But when it came to decision time, both Murkowski and Collins found Trump not guilty on both articles of impeachment.

In her floor speech on Monday, Murkowski said Trump’s “behavior was shameful and wrong” with Ukraine but argued against removing him from office, calling for voters to make a judgment in November’s election.

“The response to the president’s behavior is not to disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans and remove him from the ballot,” she said. “The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort.”

The Alaska senator added: “The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months and we must trust their judgment.”

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Among Democrats, there was concern that a number of senators in swing states would decide to find Trump not guilty – namely Doug Jones of Alabama, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

Manchin stirred up arguably the most concern among his fellow Democrats when he said during his floor speech that he was “struggling” over whether or not to convict Trump and that the Senate should vote to censure Trump instead.

“Never before in the history of our republic has there been a purely partisan impeachment vote of a president,” Manchin said. “Removing this president at this time would not only further divide our deeply divided nation, but also further poison our already toxic political atmosphere.”

He added: “I see no path to the 67 votes [requried to convict and remove] President Trump. However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump. … Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines.”

Manchin, along with Jones and Sinema, did not cross party lines on Wednesday when all three voted to find Trump guilty on both articles of impeachment.

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Romney the only senator to defect from party in impeachment vote fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 5d93dc1e-d04c-55b5-a697-f605ef1ded45   Westlake Legal Group image Romney the only senator to defect from party in impeachment vote fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 5d93dc1e-d04c-55b5-a697-f605ef1ded45

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A Broken System Acquitted Donald Trump

President Donald Trump was acquitted of impeachment charges on Wednesday. After Republican senators voted not to hear from a single witness ― the first time that’s happened in the impeachment trial of a U.S. president, of which there have now been three — it was clear to everyone that acquittal was guaranteed. But really it was guaranteed all along.

The Trump administration engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress. The brazen nature of that cover-up was made possible by the extreme polarization of our political system, which has rendered parts of our Constitution essentially unusable. And the Republican Party has shown it will take full advantage of that dysfunction in order to protect its president and maintain power as its base of support shrinks. The result is a presidency that quite literally can do no wrong. The conservative movement has finally destroyed the myth, rooted in the Watergate era, that the system can work to remove a corrupt president. And it has done so thanks to decades’ worth of efforts to loosen the reins placed on the executive branch.

Westlake Legal Group 5e3473d71f0000fd0a85aacb A Broken System Acquitted Donald Trump

Steve Helber/ASSOCIATED PRESS Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) walks to the Senate chamber before the start of the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Jan. 31, 2020.

An Unprecedented Stonewall

In a stark break from the precedent of other presidential impeachments, Trump withheld all documents and forbade all witnesses from testifying ― which itself led to an article of impeachment on obstruction of Congress.

The Senate, for the first time in its history of holding impeachment trials for presidents, federal judges and Cabinet officials, did not call a single witness to testify, nor did it request or review any new documents.

The basic outline of Trump’s wrongdoing is as clear today as it will be in the history books. Trump withheld $391 million in congressionally approved aid from Ukraine, and a head-of-state White House visit, in order to get newly elected President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The president of the United States sought to coerce a foreign country to help him win reelection.

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a key participant in the scheme, testified that he told the Ukrainian foreign minister that the country would have to announce an investigation into the Bidens in order to obtain the withheld aid money. He testified that he believed, and acted as though, there was a quid pro quo link between the military aid and White House visit and the announcement of an investigation into the Bidens.

While Trump insists the call where he asked Zelensky to “do us a favor” and investigate the Bidens was “perfect,” his defense lawyers offered a gamut of conflicting defenses, from claiming no quid pro quo existed to arguing that there was a quid pro quo but it was not impeachable.

In a dramatic speech, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he believed Trump committed “an appalling abuse of the public trust,” and his oath to do impartial justice required him to vote to remove the president from office. But throughout the trial, it was made clear that most other Republican senators had already decided to acquit Trump and did not want to bother to inform the public of the facts of the case.

“Unless there’s a witness that’s going to change the outcome, I can’t imagine why we’d want to stretch this out for weeks and months,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said.

The authors of the impeachment clause of the Constitution did not anticipate senators who would act to protect their political party instead of their branch of government.

“There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said in a statement declaring he would vote against hearing from new witnesses, even though he believes Trump did everything he is accused of doing.

“New witnesses that would testify to the truth of the allegations are not needed for my threshold analysis, which already assumed that all the allegations made are true,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement where he said Trump committed an impeachable offense, but still should not be removed from office.

More information could only mean more problems for the rest of the Republicans. And so they dismissed the facts of the case, refused to hear any new evidence and, ultimately, accepted a sweeping argument of executive immunity stating that the position of the presidency confers immunity to commit corrupt acts.

Firsthand witnesses to the president’s actions who’d refused to testify before the House’s impeachment inquiry were available. There were a lot of them, actually. The Senate could have brought in former national security adviser John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman, State Department Councillor T. Ulrich Brechbuhl or acting budget chief Russ Vought. But they didn’t.

Nor did they vote to obtain documents related to the Ukraine scheme that were withheld from Congress by the Office of Management and Budget, Department of State, Department of Defense and Department of Energy.

The Republicans who voted against hearing from firsthand witnesses to Trump’s actions, or seeing documents with relevant evidence, said they didn’t need to hear or see any more because the president’s acquittal was predetermined from the beginning.

“I’m not an impartial juror,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the trial began. And so he remained throughout.

How Did They Get Away With It?

Westlake Legal Group 5e34741b240000410d64ef36 A Broken System Acquitted Donald Trump

ASSOCIATED PRESS Alan Dershowitz, an attorney for Trump, argued that the president can abuse the power of his office in order to get reelected because he is the president.

Republicans were able to conduct a sham impeachment trial because the authors of the impeachment clause of the Constitution did not anticipate senators who would act to protect their political party instead of their branch of government.

The Constitution structures a balance of government branches to disperse power. It does not structure a balance of political parties. While early American politics had its factions and ideological partisans, it did not look at all like today’s hyper-polarized politics with two neatly cleaved parties.

The result is a political party arguing — not incorrectly — that simply nothing can be done if the president decides to abuse his power.

The president’s lawyers’ argument was that the president can only be impeached for breaking the law, and not for an abuse of power. Moreover, they said, the president can abuse his power if he wants, because he is the president.

These arguments range from the absurd to the dangerous. The first argument, that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense unless it includes some violation of the criminal code, does not bother to consider that the authors of the impeachment clause said the exact opposite.

The president may be impeached by committing “those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men,” or “the abuse or violation of some public trust,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in “Federalist No. 65.” These abuses of power, Hamilton wrote, “be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

James Madison similarly argued before the Virginia state constitutional ratifying convention that the president could be impeached for offenses not included in the criminal code. Were the president to exclude most states when ratifying a treaty or constitutional amendment, Madison argued, “a majority of the states would be affected by his misdemeanor,” and he could be impeached. Similarly, Madison argued impeachment could be used “if the president be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds to believe that he will shelter him.”

“No previous statute is necessary to authorize an impeachment for any official misconduct,” Justice Joseph Story wrote in his “Commentaries.”

Trump’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard Law School professor, took this debunked argument to its most absurd length. He argued that the president is allowed to abuse his power in pursuit of reelection, so long as he doesn’t violate a specific criminal statute, because the national interest is vested in his person because he occupies the office of the presidency.

“If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment,” Dershowitz said in response to a question on Jan. 29.

And why is that? “Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest,” Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz’s argument reverses the constitutional structure of the presidency by vesting its power and authority not in the office itself, but in the individual who holds it. 

It is an even more extreme version of Richard Nixon’s infamous quip to David Frost that “when the President does it, that means it is not illegal.”

The Visible Bridge

Westlake Legal Group 5e3474f41f0000bd0b85aacd A Broken System Acquitted Donald Trump

ASSOCIATED PRESS President Richard Nixon waves goodbye from the steps of his helicopter outside the White House after resigning from office for abusing his power.

There are some obvious parallels between Trump and Nixon, the only president to resign in disgrace. Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime political adviser, is a former Nixon aide with a tattoo of Nixon on his back. Both Trump and Nixon faced impeachment for corruptly abusing their office in pursuit of reelection.

But where the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s subsequent resignation in lieu of removal by impeachment have gone down in America’s national mythology as a moment where patriotism and the Constitution triumphed over venal partisanship, Trump’s impeachment trial represents the negation of that triumph.

Nixon’s removal from office occurred at an odd time in American history, during a period of low partisan polarization and in the middle of a recession. Still, Republicans would not have pushed Nixon to resign if not for the release of a White House tape revealing he personally suggested that the CIA pressure the FBI to shut down the investigation into the Watergate break-in.

Today’s politics are best characterized by both high polarization and asymmetric polarization. Both parties are sorting into ideological and geographically coherent blocs, but the Republican Party has moved farther to its ideological pole on the right as its share of voters shrinks. Ideological rigidity is increasingly necessary for Republican politicians as their base of support retreats into a smaller minority of the population. That retreat to minority status also necessitates rigid support for offices and governmental bodies that can be won and influenced with minority support ― like the presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court.

In a speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, in November, Attorney General William Barr bemoaned the “steady grinding down of the executive branch’s authority that accelerated after Watergate.”

“It is critical to our nation’s future that we restore and preserve in full vigor our founding principles,” Barr said. “Not the least of these is the framers’ vision of a strong, independent executive, chosen by the country as a whole.”

The system failed. The president can abuse his office in pursuit of reelection. No need to worry about what the authors of the Constitution said. At least until a Democrat is elected.

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Nancy Pelosi tore up the American Dream and spit on it: Tomi Lahren

Westlake Legal Group Tomi-Lahren-Nancy-Pelosi-Rip-FOX-Getty Nancy Pelosi tore up the American Dream and spit on it: Tomi Lahren Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 16cf018c-7941-55eb-a6b5-3018e91e2b0a

Fox Nation’s Tomi Lahren had some strong words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., after the Democratic leader made a show of ripping President Donald Trump’s third State of the Union address in half.

“Nancy quite literally ripped the achievements of this country in half,” said Lahren on her Fox Nation show “Final Thoughts” on Wednesday.

And it wasn’t just Pelosi, who appeared to be disregarding the recent achievements of the country under President Trump, said Lahren, fellow Democrats appeared to follow suit.

“The average unemployment rate under my administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country,” said the president in his address. He went on to cite historic low unemployment among women, minorities, disabled Americans and other groups.

Meanwhile, Democrats in the chamber remained in their seats, while Republicans stood and applauded.

“Excuse me?” asked Lahren. “The party of identity politics can’t so much as clap for historic unemployment rates for minority groups, women and the disabled.”

“You have let your egos, your b.s. pride and your disdain for those who don’t think like you do overtake your abilities to so much as function. You are the problem. You are the failures. Your one goal was to hunt, impeach and remove this president and you’ve failed,” she said.

Turning to Pelosi, Lahren did not hold back.

“What did she truly rip apart with that petty, disgraceful little stunt?”

“She ripped apart historic unemployment, high workforce participation, the promise to guard religious freedom, the promise of health, science and outer space exploration,” said Lahren, listing the accomplishments and goals cited by the president.

“She ripped apart the story of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, the mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller, a service member returning home to surprise his wife and kids. A fourth-grade girl from Philly who will now embark on a better education. A little girl who survived neonatal care at one pound,” Lahren continued, referencing the special guests that the president invited to be featured at the address.

SHOCKED: PANEL REACTS LIVE TO PELOSI TEARING UP TRUMP’S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

“She tore up tributes to law enforcement, border enforcement, national security. She destroyed the stories of service members and their families. And a tribute to a media legend suffering from stage 4 lung cancer,” she observed, pointing to the president’s surprise move to award conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“She tore up the American dream and spit on it,” Lahren concluded. “Democrats — that’s your den mother. That’s your party. That’s your message, your agenda, and your legacy. It’s also the bed you’ve made for yourselves. Now you can lie in it.”

To see Lahren’s full remarks and for more episodes of Tomi Lahren’s daily commentary join Fox Nation and watch “Final Thoughts” today.

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Westlake Legal Group Tomi-Lahren-Nancy-Pelosi-Rip-FOX-Getty Nancy Pelosi tore up the American Dream and spit on it: Tomi Lahren Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 16cf018c-7941-55eb-a6b5-3018e91e2b0a   Westlake Legal Group Tomi-Lahren-Nancy-Pelosi-Rip-FOX-Getty Nancy Pelosi tore up the American Dream and spit on it: Tomi Lahren Matt London fox-news/topic/fox-nation-opinion fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/state-of-the-union fox-news/fox-nation fox news fnc/media fnc article 16cf018c-7941-55eb-a6b5-3018e91e2b0a

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‘Today the Republican Party has died,’ former GOP candidate says

Westlake Legal Group UQD4TqxmObbmr-UqzLn9s7sgk1VSi2rkTBc08ywz2gM ‘Today the Republican Party has died,’ former GOP candidate says r/politics

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Senate Rips Up Articles Of Impeachment In Trump Trial

WASHINGTON ― Senators voted on Wednesday to acquit President Donald Trump of abuse of power ― without first hearing from witnesses or examining new documents in his impeachment trial, and even though some Republicans agreed the president had done exactly what he was accused of. 

The final vote on the first article of impeachment was 48-52, far short of the supermajority needed to convict.

Democrats remained unified in voting to convict. Only one Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, wanted to convict the president for abuse of power.

On the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, the Senate acquitted Trump by a vote of 47-53. (Romney voted to acquit this time.)

The two votes proceeded solemnly, with senators doing much less fidgeting than they’d displayed during the previous two weeks of the trial. As the clerk called their name, each senator rose, buttoned their jacket, and then said either “guilty” or “not guilty.”

In the end, Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate a political rival ahead of the 2020 election, blocked Congress in its efforts to investigate his actions and was still given the OK by the Senate. 

He becomes the third president in U.S. history to be acquitted after being impeached in the House. But Trump has his own distinction: He is the only president to go through a Senate impeachment trial that heard from no witnesses. 

Democrats have said that his acquittal will always have an asterisk: He is staying in office, but only because the process was rigged in his favor from the start.

The vote was not surprising. Most GOP senators had indicated before the trial even began that they planned to let Trump off the hook. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in December that he was “not an impartial juror.”

Ahead of the vote on Wednesday, McConnell said the impeachment case was “incoherent” and reduced it to a “conspiracy theory.” And he complained about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi questioning the legitimacy of the Senate trial due to its lack of witnesses.

“Perhaps she will tear up the verdict like she tore up the State of the Union address,” McConnell said.

By acquitting the president, the Senate would fulfill its constitutional obligation to serve as the more stable counterbalance to the House of Representatives, the majority leader argued. 

“The framers built the Senate to keep temporary rage from doing permanent damage to our republic,” McConnell said. 

Throughout the trial, which began in earnest on Jan. 21, Republicans shifted their messages. First, many said Trump hadn’t done what he was accused of: hold up congressionally approved security aid for Ukraine in order to push for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. But as the trial continued and new evidence of the president’s misconduct came to light in the media, Republican senators began to argue that Trump was right to pressure the Ukrainians to launch such an investigation ― that there was a quid pro quo, but it was justified.

The president, for his part, continued to insist he did nothing wrong. He plans to make a public statement at noon on Thursday to discuss, as he described it on Twitter, “our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the trial “ended in the full vindication and exoneration” of Trump and that only his opponents, including “one failed Republican presidential candidate,” voted to convict him on the articles of impeachment.

“In what has now become a consistent tradition for Democrats, this was yet another witch-hunt that deprived the President of his due process rights and was based on a series of lies,” Grisham said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group 5e347f1224000069090b77f6 Senate Rips Up Articles Of Impeachment In Trump Trial

Susan Walsh/Associated Press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said last year that he was “not an impartial juror” in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Ahead of arguments in the trial, Republicans blocked Democrats’ efforts to call witnesses and request documents ― and then complained that the House impeachment managers’ presentations contained nothing new. They immediately shot down a last-minute plea from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) for a censure vote against the president.

On Friday last week, after arguments from both sides and the answering of senators’ questions were over, the Senate refused again to hear from witnesses in a 51-49 vote. Two Republicans, Romney and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, joined Democrats in that losing effort. It was an unprecedented decision in a presidential impeachment trial ― senators heard from witnesses in the proceedings against Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. 

Democrats repeatedly urged their colleagues to call witnesses, arguing they could do so quickly so the Senate could get back to other work. They hoped to hear from people who may have firsthand accounts of Trump’s deeds but were barred by the White House from testifying before the House, such as former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton reportedly wrote in an upcoming book that he recalls Trump tying the withheld Ukraine aid to the launch of an investigation into the Bidens. 

Even without those new witnesses, House impeachment managers presented a slew of evidence that Trump did what they had alleged. They noted, for example, that Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, had testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he told the Ukrainian foreign minister that Ukraine would need to announce an investigation into the Bidens in order to receive the withheld aid. 

Plus, Trump himself admitted to it. He told reporters in October that he’d wanted Ukraine to “start a major investigation into the Bidens.” 

Some Republicans acknowledged that it was clear he did it. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who some hoped would break with his party to vote for witnesses, said last week that there was “no need for more evidence to prove” Trump demanded a Biden investigation, but that however inappropriate Trump’s actions, removing him from office was not the right approach. Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also decided to acquit Trump even though they said he behaved inappropriately.

Republicans also had another excuse: They argued that the impeachment resulted from blind partisanship and even hatred of the president. 

“Hate is a destructive sentiment and right now it seems that congressional Democrats are consumed with hatred for Donald Trump at the expense of everything else,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told HuffPost on Wednesday before the vote. “It in effect came to a culmination when Nancy Pelosi stood up and ripped the State of the Union speech into pieces.”

The president himself spent the morning tweeting criticism of the House speaker for tearing up the text of his remarks, which were full of anti-immigrant demagoguery, half-truths about his economic policies and outright lies about health care. 

What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat? I will tell you: 100%. Not 5, not 10, not 50, but 100%. Rep. Adam Schiff, lead impeachment manager

Many Republican senators said they were letting the voters decide what should happen next ― something Trump’s defense attorneys repeatedly suggested was the right approach. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone accused Democrats of trying “to perpetrate the most massive interference in an election in American history” and claimed that Trump’s ouster from office would mean removing him from the ballot in November as well. (This isn’t necessarily true. The Senate could have convicted the president and held a separate vote on whether he should be disqualified from the next election.)

Plus, the impeachment itself was over alleged attempts by Trump to push for interference into an election. 

“What are the odds if left in office that he will continue trying to cheat?” lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said during closing arguments on Monday. “I will tell you: 100%. Not 5, not 10, not 50, but 100%. If you have found him guilty and you do not remove him from office, he will continue trying to cheat in the election until he succeeds.”

Now that Senate Republicans have rubber-stamped Trump’s actions, Democrats warned that he’ll only feel more emboldened.

“I believe the precedent being set by acquittal will mean that presidents can operate above the law,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. 

It was unclear until shortly before the vote whether Democrats would stay united in voting for conviction. But all three of the Democrats considered possible votes for acquittal ― Sens. Manchin, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona ― voted to convict Trump on both articles of impeachment.  

Manchin said that his decision was not political and that he wanted to uphold his oath and to face his family and friends afterward.

“If I couldn’t explain it, I would be worried. If I did a political vote, I would be worried,” the West Virginia senator said.

In a speech just before the vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) lamented his Republican colleagues’ decision to side with the president. 

“The eyes of the nation are upon this Senate, and what they see would strike doubt in the heart of even the most ardent patriot,” Schumer said. “The House managers established that the president abused the great power of his office to try to cheat in an election, and the Senate majority is poised to look the other way.”

Matt Fuller and Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.

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