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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 381)

House managers use Trump’s words as evidence.

Westlake Legal Group 23dc-live-trump-facebookJumbo House managers use Trump’s words as evidence. United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Presidential Election of 2020

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President Trump on Thursday at the White House.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

President Trump is nowhere near the Capitol, but the House managers are still using his words against him.

At several points on Thursday, the House members prosecuting the articles of impeachment have used video clips of Mr. Trump as evidence of his motives in pressuring Ukraine for investigations into the Bidens.

Building his case that Mr. Trump wanted Ukrainian investigations that benefited him politically, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead House manager, showed several clips, including one in which Mr. Trump referred to the conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered with his campaign in 2016.

“There was a lot of corruption having to do with the 2016 election against us, and we want to get to the bottom it and it’s very important that we do,” Mr. Trump said in the clip, his voice echoing through the chamber.

Mr. Schiff quickly made his point: “He’s not concerned about actual corruption cases, only matters that affect him personally.”

Later, as Mr. Schiff argued that Mr. Trump only cared about investigations into the Bidens, he used a video clip of the president’s own words, as he discussed his interest in working with Ukraine on corruption.

“And let me tell you something, Biden’s son is corrupt. And Biden is corrupt,” the president said in the clip.

The House managers made a strategic decision on Thursday to focus extensive attention on the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

The lengthy presentation — by Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of Texas, one of the House managers — was aimed at proving that there was no basis to President Trump’s assertions that the former vice president and his son did improper things in Ukraine.

“Common sense will tell us that this allegation against Joe Biden is false,” Ms. Garcia told the senators.

But allies of Mr. Trump quickly pounced on the extended discussion about the Bidens to insist that the impeachment trial should include scrutiny of their actions, and potentially a move to call them as witnesses.

Mr. Trump’s Republican defenders have long argued that the president’s demand that Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens was not improper because he was merely interested in rooting out corruption in that country.

At least one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers suggested the Democrats made a mistake in focusing on the former vice president and his son.

“They have opened the door,” said Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer for Mr. Trump and a member of his impeachment legal defense team. “It’s now relevant.”

Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri and a staunch ally of the president, made the same point in a tweet during a break after the presentation.

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Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for President Trump, arriving Thursday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Jay Sekulow, the president’s lawyer and one of the leaders of his defense team, declared that “nothing has changed in the last day and a half of their two and a half days.”

He declined to say whether the White House defense would request any changes to the schedule on Saturday, saying that they would do what “our legal team thinks is appropriate to present our case.”

During a break in the trial, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, applauded the House managers for “pre-empting” arguments from the president’s defense team.

Mr. Sekulow was undeterred. “I am confident that whether it is Saturday, or Monday or Tuesday that the case will be made defending the president,” he said. “I have no doubt.”

The rules of the Senate trial say the senators are supposed to be sitting in their seats throughout the presentation. In President Trump’s trial, they are treating that rule rather liberally.

At one point Thursday morning, when Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York finished his presentation, 19 seats on the Senate floor belonging to a mix of Republicans and Democrats were empty, according to Peter Baker, The New York Times’s chief White House correspondent, who was sitting in the press gallery.

Most were only vacant for a few minutes. It appeared, Mr. Baker said, that several senators were treating the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation — which was followed immediately by one from a fellow House manager, Representative Sylvia R. Garcia of New York — as an unofficial break.

Ten minutes after the end of Mr. Nadler’s presentation, 10 seats were still empty. Five minutes after that, most of the senators had wandered back in, and only four seats were empty.

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, a Democratic presidential candidate, was one of the senators who left, at 1:59 p.m. She returned 15 minutes later, taking her seat again at 2:14 p.m.

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Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a white legal notepad in front of him as Thursday’s impeachment trial began — and he was busy doodling.

On the top page, Mr. Paul had created an extensive, and impressive, doodle of the United States Capitol. Drawn with a blue ballpoint pen, the drawing covered the entire bottom third of the paper.

At one point, Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas, a House manager, showed a video clip of George P. Kent, a State Department official, being asked whether some Republicans, like Mr. Paul, believed that what President Trump did in Ukraine was the same as what former Vice President Joseph R. Biden did when he tried to get a corrupt prosecutor fired.

Looking up from his doodle, Mr. Paul smiled and raised a fist with his index finger extended, as if to say, “Yes!” Then, when Mr. Kent answered by saying that what Mr. Biden did was very different than what Mr. Trump did, Mr. Paul lowered his arm.

And he went back to his doodle.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, gave the Senate a lecture on the constitutional history of impeachment.Image by Senate Television, via Associated Press

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, began the House presentation on Thursday with an hourlong lecture on the constitutional history of impeachment.

He insisted that the history of the Constitution makes it clear that a criminal violation is not necessary to impeach the president. In making the argument, he cited words from some of President Trump’s key allies in his impeachment defense: Alan Dershowitz, a member of the president’s impeachment team; William P. Barr, the attorney general; and Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina.

He concluded his presentation with a forceful assertion to the senators: “Impeachment is aimed at presidents who act as if they are above the law, at presidents who believe their own interests are more important than those of the nation, and thus at president who ignore right and wrong in pursuit of their own gain.”

“Abuse. Betrayal. Corruption,” he said. “Here are the core offenses, the framers feared most. The president’s abuse of power, his betrayal of the national interest, and his corruption of our elections plainly qualified as great and dangerous offenses.”

Drawing on legal scholars and liberally quoting historical figures, Mr. Nadler argued that the founders of the nation envisioned that impeachment would be required for presidential abuses of power like the misconduct the House alleged when it passed two articles of impeachment.

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Reporters waiting near the Senate chamber as the trial continues.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

As senators settled in for another long day of arguments from the House managers, there was already talk among lawmakers and their aides of a potentially abbreviated weekend trial schedule.

Under one proposal being discussed, the Senate could convene as a court of impeachment early on Saturday, around 10 a.m. and meet for a far shorter session than usual. That would theoretically allow senators who wanted to travel home — or for Democrats running for president, to campaign in early voting states — for 36 hours before the trial resumes on Monday.

The Senate’s impeachment rules normally require the trial to meet every Monday to Saturday at 1 p.m. until a verdict is reached. That late daily start time is meant to accommodate Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who maintains a morning case schedule at the Supreme Court before presiding over the trial. But Chief Justice Roberts does not have court business on Saturdays.

The decision may also depend on the president’s lawyers, who are scheduled to begin their defense against the House charges on Saturday. If they want to move the trial along as quickly as possible, they could ask for an early start on Saturday but also that the session be allowed to run into the evening. Or they could simply shorten their arguments.

“I suspect we’ll start on Saturday, and then we’ll go, probably another day or two, but who knows,” Jay Sekulow, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers said Wednesday night. “I mean we’ve got to make that determination, with our team.”

Any change would require consent from both Democrats and Republicans.

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Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of the impeachment managers in 1999, left the Senate chamber just minutes before House Democrats played a video of him speaking during President Bill Clinton’s trial.

In the clip, Mr. Graham gave a broad definition of a “high crime”: “It’s just when you’re using your office in a way that hurts people, you’ve committed a high crime,” he said.

One of the Republicans’ talking points is that there was no crime underlying President Trump’s conduct, therefore it was not impeachable. That argument is widely disputed.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, who sits next to Mr. Graham on the Senate floor, briefly patted the South Carolina Republican’s empty seat as the video began to play.

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Vice President Mike Pence, right, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in Jerusalem on Thursday.Credit…Ammar Awad/Reuters

As Democrats spoke in the Senate, Vice President Mike Pence announced that President Trump had asked him to invite to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to Washington next week to discuss “regional issues, as well as the prospect of peace here in the Holy Land.”

Mr. Pence, who is visiting Jerusalem, said at Mr. Netanyahu’s request he had also invited Benny Gantz, an opposition leader in Israel. Mr. Netanyahu said he would “gladly accept.”

It is another instance of the administration moving forward with legislative and diplomatic work while the impeachment trial is going on in the Senate.

On Wednesday, Republican senators held a ceremonial event to formally send Mr. Trump’s revised North American trade pact to his desk for his signature.

Just as Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, a House manager, started his presentation about “high crimes and misdemeanors,” President Trump started tweeting, accusing Democrats of not wanting to agree to a trade in which the Senate would subpoena several administration officials in exchange for people Mr. Trump’s allies have said they want. Two people Republicans have sought to interview are Hunter Biden, the son of the former vice president, and the anonymous whistle-blower who first expressed concerns about Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine.

Democrats have urged the Senate to subpoena John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. But they have said they will not consider a deal that would include what they call irrelevant witnesses like Mr. Biden.

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Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, speaking with other House impeachment managers ahead of the trial on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, opened the day by observing how rare it was for House lawmakers to have the opportunity to speak on the Senate floor, before silent senators. (Senators have begun flouting the rules of decorum during an impeachment trial, with some going so far as to leave the floor for short bursts of time during the day.)

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the House impeachment managers have 16 hours and 42 minutes remaining to make their case.

A Democratic official working on the inquiry said that the seven managers planned to spend the day going through the firrst article of impeachment, abuse of power, and applying the law and the Constitution to their case. On Friday, the lawmakers plan to do the same with the second article of impeachment.

Moments before the Senate convened, pages could be seen placing packets of paper on desks across the chamber. Senators, ahead of the trial, dropped off binders and bags before stealing a final moment off the chamber floor.

Representative Mary Gay Scanlon, Democrat of Pennsylvania and vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, could be seen on the Senate floor, observing the proceedings.

Senators must sit quietly to listen to the arguments; even during the 16 hours they will have devoted to their questions, those questions will be submitted in writing.

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Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, during an impeachment inquiry hearing in November.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The White House named eight House Republicans as part of the public face of the president’s defense on Capitol Hill, and on Thursday some of those lawmakers arrived again in the Senate basement to hold court with reporters and deliver a full-throated defense of the president.

“We’re just making sure that we are paying close attention to the testimony,” said Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, “and making sure that our points are getting out there to the American people.”

The group, she said, was working closely with the White House lawyers. But since they are not part of the official legal team, they will not be able to speak in the Senate chamber.

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Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, said he still has “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.Image by Calla Kessler/The New York Times

The top Democrat in the Senate said he still had “hope” that Republicans would agree to new witnesses and evidence in President Trump’s impeachment trial, but he stopped short of saying he was optimistic that it would happen.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, said there are “lots of conversations going on,” but he denied reports that there had been discussions with Republicans about a deal allowing Republican witnesses in exchange for the witnesses whom House managers want to call.

Democrats have urged the Senate to call John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and two other administration officials. Several moderate Republicans have said they might be open to witnesses after oral arguments and questions from senators.

“Not a single Republican has approached me and said ‘What about this? What about that?’ It’s not happening,” Mr. Schumer told reporters at the Capitol ahead of the second day of oral arguments from the managers.

Mr. Schumer said he hoped the “weight of history” would help persuade those Republicans. But when asked whether he thought the Democrats would win the argument, he started to say he had optimism, then stopped.

“I have hope, that’s a better way to put it,” he said, “that we might get the witnesses at the end of the day. And we’re going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting.”

The president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, again promised on Thursday to release more evidence of the widely debunked conspiracy theory implicating one of the president’s top political rivals, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, in wrongdoing.

Mr. Biden is vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, and the narrative Mr. Giuliani has been promoting is at the center of the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump.

While he’s not on Mr. Trump’s defense team for the Senate trial, Mr. Giuliani is deeply entwined in the pressure campaign on Ukraine that led to the president’s impeachment. And he is among the witnesses who refused to testify during House impeachment inquiry. Mr. Giuliani has said that his work in Ukraine had Mr. Trump’s support.

For the first time since the Senate began hearing arguments against him, President Trump is back in Washington and on Twitter. He tweeted a number of criticisms toward Democrats and their arguments, rehashing favorite insults against his opponents and quoting Fox News personalities.

After returning from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday evening, the president is scheduled to travel to Florida on Thursday afternoon just as House managers will begin their second day of arguments.

It is not clear how much of the trial the president has watched live.

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Representative Sylvia Garcia, one of the House impeachment managers, Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The managers will continue to present their case to the Senate on Thursday.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House impeachment managers are set to begin their second day of arguments on Thursday, building on about eight hours already spent arguing that President Trump’s conduct warranted his removal on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead impeachment manager, told senators that they would spend Thursday “go through the law, the Constitution and the facts as they apply to article one” of impeachment.

“We’ve introduced the case, we’ve gone through the chronology and tomorrow we will apply the facts to the law as it pertains to the president’s abuse of power,” Mr. Schiff said as he concluded Wednesday’s arguments.

The impeachment managers have until Friday evening to use their remaining hours of argument time to present before a rancorous Senate. Lawmakers, despite rules threatening imprisonment for talking, have grown increasingly restless while cooped up in the chamber — and few minds appear to be changed.

On Wednesday, the seven lawmakers tasked with presenting the case for Mr. Trump’s conviction took turns outlining the charges that the president attempted to pressure Ukraine for assistance in his re-election campaign by withholding critical military assistance and a White House visit for the country’s leader.

Several Senate Republicans emerged late Wednesday to inform reporters that they had not learned anything new after hours of presentation from the House.

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Amazon patent shows roving robots that could drop off items on sidewalks

Amazon is testing robots that can store packages and make multiple deliveries along their routes, according to a new patent filing.

According to the patent application published Tuesday, the tech giant’s proposed storage compartment vehicles (SCV) could also pick up items for return.

The Seattle-based company, which already deploys robots in many of its fulfillment centers worldwide, is looking for ways to address the troublesome “last mile” of delivery with this method, which would have customers come outside on the sidewalk, tap a security code on their phones and open the correct door to get their packages.

Westlake Legal Group amazon-patent-illustration Amazon patent shows roving robots that could drop off items on sidewalks fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article ae0fec12-4c16-51ce-8acf-c0eafeb4c8a0

Alternate designs for Amazon’s storage compartment vehicle are adapted for aerial (left) or water-based (right) transportation. (Amazon Illustration via USPTO) (Amazon Illustration via USPTO)

However, Amazon has often said its patent applications are meant to explore possibilities, but many inventions are not turned into products or services as described in patent applications.

In certain parts of Seattle, Amazon has already been testing Amazon Scout delivery robots.

According to GeekWire, the patent application points out that the SCVs could position themselves in predetermined areas and that they could be outfitted with cameras, microphones, GPS devices, biometric scanners and more — to make sure no one messes with the robots and that deliveries arrive on time.

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There’s also reportedly a water-based model that comes equipped with floats for marine delivery applications.

Westlake Legal Group Amazon Amazon patent shows roving robots that could drop off items on sidewalks fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article ae0fec12-4c16-51ce-8acf-c0eafeb4c8a0   Westlake Legal Group Amazon Amazon patent shows roving robots that could drop off items on sidewalks fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/technologies/robots fox-news/tech/companies/amazon fox-news/tech fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone article ae0fec12-4c16-51ce-8acf-c0eafeb4c8a0

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Don Lemon’s assault accuser says CNN anchor a ‘liar and hypocrite’ with #MeToo coverage

The man suing CNN host Don Lemon for assault says his claim isn’t being taken seriously because it doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s #MeToo movement narrative.

Dustin Hice filed an explosive lawsuit against Lemon – who is openly gay — last year, accusing the “CNN Tonight” host of a sexually charged assault.

Hice told Fox News the alleged “vile, disgusting, lewd and inhumane” attack would be treated much differently if he were a woman.

MAN SAYS HE WITNESSED CNN HOST DON LEMON’S ALLEGED ASSAULT: ‘I WAS KIND OF MAKING FUN, I FEEL BAD NOW’

“[Lemon] put his hand down the front of his own shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers into Plaintiff’s mustache and under Plaintiff’s nose,” according to the lawsuit, filed Aug. 11, 2019 in Suffolk County Court.

Lemon offered a six-figure settlement before talks broke down and the formal complaint was filed, according to Hice.

“I’m not doing this for notoriety or fame, I’m doing this because I’m standing up for myself and what I believe in,” Hice told Fox News. “I’ve grown a new respect for people dealing with mental health issues because stress, depression, anxiety, those are all very serious things. It consumed my life.”

Westlake Legal Group Dustin-Hice-Don-Lemon Don Lemon's assault accuser says CNN anchor a 'liar and hypocrite' with #MeToo coverage fox-news/us/crime fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 22b70ff5-f324-56e1-9232-282c3146fa81

Dustin Hice says CNN host Don Lemon assaulted him during the summer of 2018. (File)

CNN did not respond to a series of questions from Fox News, including a request for comment regarding Hice’s claim that Lemon offered him a six-figure settlement.

Lemon was served with the complaint Wednesday. The case was moving to discovery, according to a source close to Hice’s legal team.

CNN did not immediately respond with a comment regarding the complaint being served.

TRUMP MOCKS CNN’S CHRIS CUOMO OVER VIRAL VIDEO: ‘I THOUGHT CHRIS WAS FREDO ALSO’

Lemon, through CNN, previously vehemently denied Hice’s allegations, and has continued to host “CNN Tonight.”

“I’ve grown a little skeptical of the news after what’s happened to me, nobody acknowledges it anymore,” Hice said. “The hypocrisy, he is a black, gay, liberal and supposed #MeToo advocate but when it doesn’t fit their narrative, or it’s one of their own, they don’t even address it.”

Lemon allegedly asked a crude question about Hice’s sexual preference during the physical confrontation, leaving him “shocked and humiliated,” according to the suit. The alleged incident occurred at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, in the prestigious Hamptons area east of New York City in July 2018.

JOHN HARWOOD JOINS CNN AS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER, HAS HISTORY OF BASHING TRUMP, GOP

CNN initially denied Hice’s account and said Hice seemed to bear animosity toward the cable news network. But, Hice said he didn’t watch much CNN, with the exception of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” before the alleged incident and had no reason to trash the network.

Last year, the New York Post cited a “source close to Lemon” who said Hice asked for $1.5 million in exchange for not filing the lawsuit. Hice admitted that $1.5 million was a figure discussed during settlement talks but said it’s only part of the story.

Westlake Legal Group 4c793887-Don-Lemon-cnn Don Lemon's assault accuser says CNN anchor a 'liar and hypocrite' with #MeToo coverage fox-news/us/crime fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 22b70ff5-f324-56e1-9232-282c3146fa81

CNN anchor Don Lemon has been accused in a lawsuit of assaulting a man in 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images, Montage)

“They painted me as trying to extort $1.5 million from him but they never mentioned that he offered many times over six figures to settle. He tried to make payments on that and I said, ‘No thank you,’” Hice said. “I think that when he went to CNN and [denied the accusations], he probably failed to mention that he offered me well over six figures in the settlement process.”

While Hice wasn’t particularly opinionated about CNN before the alleged incident, he has since paid close attention to Lemon’s show.

CNN’S BRIAN STELTER LAMPOONED AFTER SAYING ‘JOURNALISTS SHOULDN’T ADVOCATE’ FOR IMPEACHMENT OUTCOME

“I don’t want to see his face on the news anymore because he’s a blatant liar and hypocrite,” Hice said, pointing to a Sept. 2018 segment when Lemon discussed the various ways victims of sexual harassment dealt with the aftermath and trauma.

“It was only two months after he assaulted me,” Hice said. “This is something that I’m going to be healing from and recovering from for the rest of my life.”

Hice said he didn’t want to take the spotlight away from female victims of abuse and said he developed a strong sympathy for anyone going through similar struggles.

“The media has labeled me as an ‘accuser,’ as opposed to a ‘victim,’ just because I’m a male,” he said. “I’ve been struggling, but there is a lot of people that have gone through a lot worse things than somebody rubbing their genitals and putting it in your face, as disgusting and vile as that is. There are people that have been raped and worse.”

CNN’S DON LEMON ACCUSED OF ASSAULT IN SEXUALLY-CHARGED ENCOUNTER AT NEW YORK BAR

Hice said he took a polygraph test with a former FBI profiler to prove to people close to him that he’s telling the truth.

“I passed with flying colors, this guy hooked me up to this whole machine, it was nerve-wracking but I just wanted to prove that I’m not lying,” Hice said. “Witnesses saw this happen. The whole town of Sag Harbor knew.”

Last year, when the suit initially was filed, Fox News spoke with George Gounelas, one of the witnesses named in the suit who was Hice’s boss at the time of the alleged incident.

Hice approached Lemon to strike up a conversation but the newsman declined, according to Gounelas, who said he and Hice then offered to buy Lemon a drink, which the CNN host also declined.

Hice told Fox News he simply wanted to be able to share a story of taking a shot with the CNN host and was not hostile, confrontational or looking for trouble.

“He took offense to it, or took it as me flirting, and that’s when he decided he’s above the law and can do whatever the hell he wanted,” Hice said.

CNN’S DON LEMON VOWS TO ‘LEAN IN HARDER’ ON NEWS COVERAGE IN 2020: ‘I’M READY TO FIGHT’

Gounelas said that a few moments later, Lemon came up to them.

“Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us. There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them,” Gounelas said. “He’s saying, ‘So, you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?’”

Gounelas told Fox News he couldn’t recall what Lemon said verbatim, but it was “along the lines of, ‘Do you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me, because you wanna f— me?’”

Gounelas said Lemon appeared “pretty drunk” when he confronted the duo.

“He put his hands down his pants, inside his board shorts, grabbed his [genitals], and then came out with two fingers and, like, clipped Dustin’s nose up and down with two fingers asking ‘do you like p—- or d—?’” Gounelas said.

Gounelas also said he laughed during the alleged incident and immediately mocked Hice as “gross” because of Lemon’s alleged actions – but Hice didn’t think it was a laughing matter.

“Dustin was in this shock mode, saying, ‘Bro, did that just happen? That was disgusting,’” Gounelas said, noting that the story followed Hice. “Every time we went out, every bartender offered him a lemon drop shot, making fun of him. He got some sh– for it.”

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“The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts,” a CNN spokesperson told Fox News in a statement when the suit was first filed last year. “This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.”

“Don categorically denies these claims and this matter does not merit any further comment at this time,” the CNN spokesperson added last year.

Westlake Legal Group Dustin-Hice-Don-Lemon Don Lemon's assault accuser says CNN anchor a 'liar and hypocrite' with #MeToo coverage fox-news/us/crime fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 22b70ff5-f324-56e1-9232-282c3146fa81   Westlake Legal Group Dustin-Hice-Don-Lemon Don Lemon's assault accuser says CNN anchor a 'liar and hypocrite' with #MeToo coverage fox-news/us/crime fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc Brian Flood article 22b70ff5-f324-56e1-9232-282c3146fa81

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Hallmark Channel CEO steps down following same-sex wedding ad controversy

Westlake Legal Group Bill-Abbott-Hallmark-Channel-Logo-Getty Hallmark Channel CEO steps down following same-sex wedding ad controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv/hallmark-channel fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 2dba14b6-b2ac-5496-956a-f4eaa6d38923

The Hallmark Channel’s chief executive is exiting the company following the uproar over a commercial featuring a same-sex wedding that aired on the network.

It was announced Wednesday that Bill Abbott — who for 11 years oversaw Crown Media Family Networks, including the Hallmark Channel — would be stepping down as CEO, as confirmed by Hallmark Cards Inc. CEO Mike Perry.

“I have tremendous confidence in the Crown Media management team and, with this team in place, I will begin a search for Bill’s replacement,” Perry said in a statement.

CRITICS KNOCK NETFLIX FOR CHANGING DEFINITION OF ‘VIEWS’ TO BOOST OWN NUMBERS

Abbott’s departure follows backlash Hallmark received for airing a Zola commercial featuring a same-sex wedding. The network then received further criticism after it pulled the ad, fueling two-sided anger and a boycott on social media.

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The ad was ultimately reinstated.

“The Crown Media team has been agonizing over this decision, as we’ve seen the hurt it has unintentionally caused. Said simply, they believe this was the wrong decision,” Perry said in a statement at the time. “We are truly sorry for the hurt and disappointment this has caused.”

Westlake Legal Group Bill-Abbott-Hallmark-Channel-Logo-Getty Hallmark Channel CEO steps down following same-sex wedding ad controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv/hallmark-channel fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 2dba14b6-b2ac-5496-956a-f4eaa6d38923   Westlake Legal Group Bill-Abbott-Hallmark-Channel-Logo-Getty Hallmark Channel CEO steps down following same-sex wedding ad controversy Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/tv/hallmark-channel fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/media fnc article 2dba14b6-b2ac-5496-956a-f4eaa6d38923

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Americans under the age of 30 support removing Trump from office by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio

Westlake Legal Group ZYpA1MstugnIi4oig60LH78hfSw7Kg2R-co75nJAubY Americans under the age of 30 support removing Trump from office by a nearly 3-to-1 ratio r/politics

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MAP: Confirmed Cases Of Wuhan Coronavirus

Westlake Legal Group seamus-china-wuhan_wide-3e17c53b523f45a9c26a0b2efa97f52cb15a477f MAP: Confirmed Cases Of Wuhan Coronavirus

Since the Wuhan coronavirus was first reported in December 2019, the bulk of the confirmed cases have been in China but there have been cases also reported in nearby countries like Japan and Singapore and the U.S. — typically in an individual who had recently been in Wuhan, where the virus was first identified.

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Home to 11 million people, the central Chinese city of Wuhan is a major rail and road hub. Its international airport has direct flights to airports in many countries, including three in the United States: JFK in New York and SFO in San Francisco.

Wuhan also has the country’s largest inland port on the Yangtze River.

The virus is marked by symptoms such as fever and pneumonia. There are now more than 600 confirmed cases and at least 17 deaths as of Jan. 23, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health of Hong Kong.

On Thursday, Chinese officials announced the suspension of public transportation within and departing from Wuhan. According to Chinese state media, the shutdown is temporary. To leave the city a traveler will have to present what authorities are characterizing as “special reason.”

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Democrats Lay Out Legal Basis For Removing Trump From Office

WASHINGTON ― Democrats laid out their case before the Senate on Thursday as to why President Donald Trump should be removed from office for abusing his power by pressuring the government of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election for his own benefit.

And they used the words of Trump’s own allies ― including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the senators who will decide Trump’s fate ― to make their point.

Thursday was the second day of House Democratic arguments before the Senate, and lawmakers serving as prosecutors focused on the first article of impeachment against Trump: abuse of power.

Trump’s lawyers have argued that the president hasn’t been accused of a specific crime, so the allegations in articles of impeachment against him can’t be “high crimes and misdemeanors” meriting impeachment and removal from office. But the managers played video footage of some of the president’s biggest defenders contradicting that idea in the past.

“What is a high crime? I think it’s truth. I think that’s what they meant by high crimes. Doesn’t have to be a crime. It’s just when you start using your office and you’re acting in a way that hurts people, you committed a high crime,” Graham said in 1999 when he served as a congressman and an impeachment manager in the Senate trial of then-President Bill Clinton.

But when House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) played the clip of Graham on Thursday, the South Carolina Republican was not present in the upper chamber. He had stepped out moments before. 

Nadler also highlighted past statements by Attorney General William Barr and attorney Alan Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s own impeachment defense team, that are inconsistent with their current defense of Trump. 

Trump’s lawyers have argued that even if Trump abused his power in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to open investigations into his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, it would not matter because the House never accused him of committing an ordinary crime.

The argument is widely disputed, however. (Past impeachment articles have highlighted statutory crimes like obstruction of justice as well as non-statutory offenses such as abuse of power.)

“Impeachment is not a punishment for crimes,” Nadler said. “The Constitution is not a suicide pact. It does not leave us stuck with presidents who abuse their power in unforeseen ways that threaten our security and democracy.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e29fa0d240000b403c97404 Democrats Lay Out Legal Basis For Removing Trump From Office

Photo by Senate Television via Getty Images House impeachment manager Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) speaks during impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump in the Senate on Jan. 21, 2020.

Nadler, one of the impeachment managers, opened Thursday’s session by citing law, history and congressional intent behind the power to remove a sitting president from office. He then argued that Trump’s dealings with Ukraine ― in which he urged the Ukrainian government to investigate a political opponent ― fit the bill and merited Trump’s ouster.

“The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous,” Nadler said Thursday. “It puts even President Nixon to shame.”

“The act of solicitation itself, just the ask, constitutes an abuse of power. No president has abused his power in this way,” Nadler added. 

Impeachment manager Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) spent more than half an hour debunking Republican claims that Trump had legitimate reasons for wanting Ukraine to announce an investigation into Biden, who happens to be the president’s highest-polling electoral opponent. 

Trump and his allies have claimed that as vice president in 2015, Biden improperly sought the firing of a Ukranian prosecutor who might have looked into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that employed Biden’s son Hunter as a board member. 

Garcia repeated what several diplomats told the House Intelligence Committee last year ― that the prosecutor’s investigation into Burisma had been dormant. Garcia said, “Vice President Biden called for the firing of this prosecutor at the direction of U.S. policy” ― in other words, he hadn’t done it for himself. Garcia also noted that Trump’s interest in Biden’s role didn’t develop until this year. 

“It wasn’t until Biden began beating him in the polls that he called for the investigation,” Garcia said.

Following Garcia’s presentation on Thursday, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said the president’s defense team would discuss Biden during their arguments later this week because Democrats had gone there. (They likely would have gone there anyway.)

“They’ve opened the door,” Sekulow told HuffPost. “They open the door, it’s now running.”

Thursday’s arguments in the Senate follow evidentiary presentations by the House managers. On Wednesday, the Democrats laid out an impressive chronological narrative of Trump’s dealings in Ukraine, which began in March of last year and involved several senior members of Trump’s administration, as well as outside proxies like Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“Everyone was in the loop,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead impeachment manager.

But Republicans said they weren’t convinced on Thursday, panning the case as nothing new even though they’d voted on Monday to block any new witnesses or material from inclusion.

“We shouldn’t even be in an impeachment trial. There shouldn’t even have been an impeachment inquiry,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told reporters before the day’s arguments, maintaining that he believed Trump when he said he was only concerned by general corruption in Ukraine.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) cast doubt on the notion that including additional witnesses and evidence in the trial would matter much because many of his colleagues remain skeptical of the case, and the bar for Trump’s removal ― 67 senators ― is very high. 

“Would a witness change the result?” Blunt asked. “Not would the witness … tell us something we might not know because we’d just like to know, and is it worth continuing to reward the bad performance in the House to stretch this out with no change in outcome?” 

Ryan J. Reilly contributed reporting.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Trey Gowdy: If Biden wasn’t a candidate, would charges against Trump be impeachable offenses?

Westlake Legal Group TREY Trey Gowdy: If Biden wasn't a candidate, would charges against Trump be impeachable offenses? Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1ebaaa1f-52f2-599f-b65a-7b7bee3d351c

Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., suggested Thursday that the accusations against President Trump have been elevated to the level of impeachment because former Vice President Joe Biden is running for president.

“What is the threshold for an investigation?”Gowdy asked shortly before the House managers resumed their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial. “I mean, we learned with [the] Russia [investigation] that it can be a conversation at a bar, that’s all it takes to launch an investigation.”

INSIDE THE CHAMBER, RESTLESS LAWMAKERS STRUGGLE TO PAY ATTENTION AS SENATE TRIAL DRAGS ON

Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not find sufficient evidence that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election and said the evidence was not sufficient to charge the president with obstruction of justice.

“I think the ancillary question that I hope someone asks the House Democrats [is] ‘If Joe Biden were not a candidate for the Democrat nomination would this be an impeachable offense?'” Gowdy added.

“If he [Biden] was just an ordinary American that said what he said about withholding the loan assistance, who had a son with no qualifications, big on the board in a country with pervasive corruption, would this be an impeachable offense?” asked Gowdy. “Or is it only because he’s in that status of potential candidate that this somehow is elevated to something for which he [Trump] should be removed from office.”

The inquiry is focused on Trump’s effort during a July 25 phone call to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch investigations concerning Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election.

Gowdy also criticized House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s insistence Wednesday that removing Trump from office was urgent and necessary because the integrity of the 2020 election could not be “assured.”

“Adam’s ordinarily not that stupid but when you tell the jury, the Senate, on day one that they’re corrupt and then you tell the American people they cannot be trusted to pick the commander in chief, that’s just a wildly stupid trial strategy,” said Gowdy, who added that then-candidate Trump was widely criticized in 2016 when he questioned the reliability of the vote and made “allusions to potential voter fraud.”

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“Adam Schiff has done the exact same thing,” Gowdy said. “’American people, we don’t trust you to factor this in in November so we need 100 senators to decide that.’ It is a wildly stupid trial strategy only surpassed by [House Judiciary Committee Chairman] Jerry Nadler’s insulting of the jury two days ago.”

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group TREY Trey Gowdy: If Biden wasn't a candidate, would charges against Trump be impeachable offenses? Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1ebaaa1f-52f2-599f-b65a-7b7bee3d351c   Westlake Legal Group TREY Trey Gowdy: If Biden wasn't a candidate, would charges against Trump be impeachable offenses? Talia Kaplan fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 1ebaaa1f-52f2-599f-b65a-7b7bee3d351c

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Democrats, in impeachment trial arguments, charge that Trump’s conduct was worse than Nixon’s

Westlake Legal Group Jerrold-Nadler-AP Democrats, in impeachment trial arguments, charge that Trump's conduct was worse than Nixon's Marisa Schultz fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc fb49d462-b715-57a5-82a0-afe1f65ffdfc article

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler Thursday accused President Trump of putting his own personal interests above national security and American democracy and charged that Trump is the only president in history to violate his oath of office so flagrantly.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections — prior presidents would be shocked to the core by such conduct and rightly so,” Rep. Nadler, D-N.Y., said in kicking off day two of the House impeachment managers’ opening statements.

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“This conduct is not America First,” Nadler said, borrowing Trump’s campaign slogan. “It is Donald Trump first.”

Once Trump was caught pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election by seeking investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden, he launched an unprecedented effort to stonewall Congress’ inquiry by denying documents and witnesses, Nadler charged.

“It puts even President Nixon to shame,” Nadler said.

Nadler’s tough talk set the scene for the second of three days of the House managers’ opening arguments against Trump, with a deep dive on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power.

On the first day of the opening arguments, Rep. Adam Schiff and his team used more than seven hours to make their case. That left 16 hours and 42 minutes on the opening statement clock between Thursday and Friday for the House Democrats. Then on Saturday, Trump’s lawyers take the floor.

As the public case continued before the camera, another political campaign was underway behind the scenes over the issue of calling new witnesses. Democrats are seeking four GOP senators to join them in demanding new evidence in the trial, but Republicans are actively trying to avoid any GOP defections. No new witnesses would mean a speedy trial and a quicker vote to acquit the president.

Democrats are demanding the Trump administration cough up documents they’ve withheld related to Ukraine dealings and allow testimony from new witnesses who failed to show in the House inquiry, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

They were especially galled that Trump was in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this week and “gloat[ing]” that he as “all the material” and the Democrats don’t, while warning that calling Bolton would be a national security risk.

“It is beyond belief — beyond belief — that the president of United States would even go to Davos in the middle of an impeachment trial, and then make statements like that to intimidate the jury, and to gloat over the fact that he has not turned documents over,” Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said Thursday.

Some GOP senators have promoted witness reciprocity and called for Hunter Biden to testify about what he was doing on the board of the Ukraine energy company Burisma.

“Hunter Biden is a material witness, and if we’re going to call witnesses, I want to see him on the stand and those questions need to be asked,” Sen. Joshua Hawley, R-Mo., said Thursday.

After opening statements from both sides, there will be another vote on whether to allow for new witnesses and documents in the coming days.

Hawley wouldn’t predict whether there would be GOP defections but said the caucus is in regular talks to keep tabs on where senators stand.

“There’s an ongoing conversation, informal, on what people are thinking. We are spending a lot of time together,” Hawley said of the marathon trial sessions.

Nadler will have to tread carefully Thursday. Chief Justice John Roberts admonished both sides Tuesday night after Nadler and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone tussled on the Senate floor.

Nadler accused Republican senators of engaging in a “cover-up” if they deny witnesses saying it’s “an absolutely indefensible” and “treacherous” vote.

IMPEACHMENT BACKFIRE? KEY GOP SENATOR ‘OFFENDED’ BY NADLER CHARGE, AS TRIAL TESTS PATIENCE AND STAMINA

His statements offended a key swing senator, Rep. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. Hawley, who used to clerk for Roberts, said the admonishment was “extraordinary, especially for him.”

“He’s very understated. He’s very careful. … I was very surprised,” Hawley said of Roberts. “That was a pretty big slap, I thought, and it was deserved.”

The Senate GOP leadership is working to avoid going down the witness path with Democrats, according to a Senate leadership source. Leadership is actively reaching out to potential defectors: Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah.

The four were “instrumental” in changing McConnell’s organizing resolution on the fly to allow more days for opening statements and avoiding middle-of-the-night arguments. There is a strategic effort to keep these four involved in the process, the aide told Fox News.

A speedy trial and acquittal without witnesses and documents would benefit the White House and GOP leaders are trying to avoid a witness reciprocity showdown where Bolton would testify in exchange for, say, Hunter Biden.

“There’s a bunch of people on my side that want to call Joe Biden and Hunter Biden,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “I want to end this thing sooner rather than later. I don’t want to turn it into a circus.”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said it’s too early to tell whether the GOP will stay united on the matter of witnesses. So far, he found the House Democrats’ arguments repetitive and “not necessarily effective.”

“Everybody wants all the things to stay together, but in the end it’s not really something we should comment on. We should just wait and see what happens,” Scott said.

As Murkowski was darting to get the impeachment trial opening Thursday, she was asked if she was feeling any pressure. “Only to get upstairs,” she quipped before the elevator door closed.

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Inside the chamber, Democrats took pains on Thursday to debunk any allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for any wrongdoing. The White House said Trump was seeking the investigation from Ukraine to root out corruption, while Democrats said it was purely for political gain.

During her turn for arguments, Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, accused Trump of cooking up the idea for an investigation after he saw Fox News polling that Biden was beating him a 2020 matchup.

“There was no basis for the investigation that the president was pursuing and pushing. None. He was doing it only for his political benefit,” Garcia said.

Democratic held out some hope the House impeachment managers’ arguments would shake loose some GOP support for witnesses and documents.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, says he’s doing personal outreach to Republicans. Privately Republicans groan about the president’s conduct, but they are too scared of Trump to speak up, Brown said.

“I hear a number of Republicans telling me they know what the president did was wrong,” Brown said. “Some of them say they know it’s really risen to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors … but they just simply aren’t willing to vote that way because they’re afraid of this president. They’re afraid that president will call them names, will come to their state and campaign against them. And unfortunately fear does the business.”

Fox News’ Mike Emanuel, Adam Shaw and Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Jerrold-Nadler-AP Democrats, in impeachment trial arguments, charge that Trump's conduct was worse than Nixon's Marisa Schultz fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc fb49d462-b715-57a5-82a0-afe1f65ffdfc article   Westlake Legal Group Jerrold-Nadler-AP Democrats, in impeachment trial arguments, charge that Trump's conduct was worse than Nixon's Marisa Schultz fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/jerrold-nadler fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc fb49d462-b715-57a5-82a0-afe1f65ffdfc article

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Wells Fargo’s Ex-Chief Fined $17.5 Million Over Fake Accounts

Westlake Legal Group 23wells-facebookJumbo Wells Fargo’s Ex-Chief Fined $17.5 Million Over Fake Accounts Wells Fargo&Company Stumpf, John G Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Frauds and Swindling Fines (Penalties) Banking and Financial Institutions

In a rare example of personal accountability for corporate wrongdoing, Wells Fargo’s former chief executive, John G. Stumpf, was fined $17.5 million on Thursday by the bank’s main federal regulator, which also took punitive action against seven other executives for the bank’s toxic sales culture and illegal acts.

In a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Mr. Stumpf also agreed to a lifetime ban from the banking industry for his role in the company’s misdeeds, which included foisting unwanted products and sham bank accounts on millions of customers. Two other former senior executives agreed to lesser fines and restrictions on their work in the industry, and the regulator said it was taking enforcement action against five others.

Regulators sharply rebuked the former leaders for favoring profits and other market rewards over protecting their customers.

“The bank had better tools and systems to detect employees who did not meet unreasonable sales goals than it did to catch employees who engaged in sales practices misconduct,” the office said.

All told, the regulator was seeking tens of millions of dollars in personal fines from the executives, who could face even more serious consequences: A Justice Department investigation into the actions of Wells Fargo and its leaders remains open.

While it is not unusual for companies to face regulatory or even criminal charges, senior executives — particularly chief executives — usually avoid personal repercussions. The largest American banks, for example, have all paid many billions of dollars to settle civil cases stemming from their mortgage securitization activities in the lead-up to the 2008 financial crisis, but their chief executives have not given up a penny to regulators.

The fine against Mr. Stumpf was the largest against an individual in the O.C.C.’s history, according to a spokesman for the office. But the regulator sought a larger penalty — a $25 million fine — from Carrie L. Tolstedt, the bank’s former retail banking leader, who is fighting the agency’s civil charges against her.

Ms. Tolstedt, who left the bank in 2016, “acted with the utmost integrity” and will be vindicated by “a full and fair examination of the facts,” her lawyer, Enu Mainigi, said in a statement.

Mr. Stumpf, in a sworn statement to the O.C.C., blamed Ms. Tolstedt and others for what he acknowledged was “systemic” misconduct throughout the bank.

Wells Fargo’s problems erupted into public view in late 2016, setting off a crisis that continues to reverberate more than three years later. Mr. Stumpf, the chief executive at the time, was quickly ousted. His successor, Timothy J. Sloan, resigned last year after failing to quell the bank’s turmoil.

The eight executives charged on Thursday “failed to adequately perform their duties and responsibilities” and contributed to problems that stretched back more than a decade, the regulator said.

Wells Fargo’s new chief executive, Charles W. Scharf, said in a memo to employees on Thursday that the bank would stop all payments to the former executives, if any were pending.

“This was inexcusable. Our customers and you all deserved more from the leadership of this company,” wrote Mr. Scharf, who joined Wells Fargo in October.

“We are reviewing today’s filings and will determine what, if any, further action by the company is appropriate with respect to any of the named individuals,” he added. “Wells Fargo will not make any remaining compensation payments that may be owed to these individuals while we review the filings.”

Wells Fargo has been operating since early 2018 under a set of growth restrictions imposed by the Federal Reserve, a rare move that has hobbled the bank’s turnaround efforts. It is one of a dozen enforcement actions that Wells Fargo is working to resolve, Mr. Scharf has said.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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