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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 243)

Amy Klobuchar reacts to vote against witnesses in Senate impeachment trial

Westlake Legal Group BaierKlobuchar Amy Klobuchar reacts to vote against witnesses in Senate impeachment trial Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5371f73f-d377-5190-ae28-81589537db62

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared on “Special Report with Bret Baier” Friday to react to the 51-49 vote against calling witnesses during the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump.

“I really thought we should have witnesses, and you could see [Sen.] Mitt Romney [R-Utah] has been outspoken about this for quite a while,” Klobuchar said. “I think the reason is this: the truth is going to come out and people could vote the way they want on impeachment.”

DEMS WORK TO DRAW OUT IMPEACHMENT FINALE, POTENTIALLY PUSHING FINAL VOTE INTO NEXT WEEK

“And I really believe with the [John] Bolton revelations that have come out, it’s not going to be five years from now that we know what happened in those rooms,” Klobuchar added. “It’s going to probably be five days from now or five weeks from now. And I think it is better to get testimony under oath and then people can make decisions.”

Hours after Klobuchar spoke to Fox News, the Senate voted to approve a framework laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., that set closing arguments in the case for Monday and a vote on the final verdict for Wednesday.

“I would like to do whatever… it takes to get a fair trial for the people of America,” Klobuchar said. “And we are just awaiting word on what we work out here.”

Baier asked Klobuchar whether she and the other senators running for president who have been stuck in Washington during the impeachment trial had the urge to rejoin the campaign trail, a question Klobuchar dismissed.

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“That just can’t be my motivating force, Bret. I’ve got to bet that the people in Iowa understand that I’m doing my job. I’m in the arena,” Klobuchar said. “You know, other people can say, I don’t want to look at what’s going on there. I’ve got to do my job and get to the truth.”

“I just don’t think that people are going to hold that against me,” Klobuchar added. “I think my experience passing over a hundred bills by working across the aisle more than anyone in the Senate running for president, I think that’s going to matter.”

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group BaierKlobuchar Amy Klobuchar reacts to vote against witnesses in Senate impeachment trial Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5371f73f-d377-5190-ae28-81589537db62   Westlake Legal Group BaierKlobuchar Amy Klobuchar reacts to vote against witnesses in Senate impeachment trial Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/amy-klobuchar fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5371f73f-d377-5190-ae28-81589537db62

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Senate Sets The Stage For Trump’s Acquittal Next Week

Westlake Legal Group 5e34cbd0220000520023d630 Senate Sets The Stage For Trump’s Acquittal Next Week

WASHINGTON ― The Senate will continue the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump into next week even though the final result is all but certain. The president, in spite of members of both parties saying he improperly pressured a foreign government to investigate a political rival, is set to be acquitted Wednesday.

Republicans hoped to move to a quick acquittal after successfully blocking witnesses and other evidence from his trial on Friday. In that vote, nearly every Republican opposed allowing witness testimony, making it the first U.S. presidential impeachment trial to include no witnesses.

But Democrats pushed to prolong the trial in order to allow time for both the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team to give closing arguments, as was the case in Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial, and to allow all senators an opportunity to speak on the floor. That phase of the trial will begin Monday morning and end by 4 p.m. EST Wednesday, when the Senate will vote on whether to remove Trump from office and adjourn as a court of impeachment.

The terms of the deal mean that Trump will deliver his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, before he is likely acquitted. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reportedly called Trump before he signed off on the agreement, according to CNN

Meanwhile, the senators running for the Democratic presidential nomination ― Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Michael Bennet of Colorado ― will get a reprieve and be able to return to the campaign trail in Iowa ahead of the state’s crucial caucuses that begin on Monday.

Before the Senate adjourned on Friday, however, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) succeeded in forcing Republicans to vote on amendments to include witnesses and documents one last time, including the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton essentially confirmed the House case against Trump ― that the president withheld aid to Ukraine in order to pressure its government to open investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

Only two Republicans defected on the vote to subpoena Bolton: Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah. 

Schumer also got a final answer on a matter that observers have been wondering about for months: Should there be a 50-50 vote on witnesses, would Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is presiding over the Senate trial, break it? The answer was no.

“I think it would be inappropriate for me, an unelected official from a different branch of government, to assert the power to change that result so that the motion would succeed,” Roberts said in response to a question from Schumer. 

A vote by Roberts would not have been unprecedented: The chief justice in the 1868 trial of President Andrew Johnson was allowed to cast a tie-breaking vote on two procedural motions. But Roberts said he disagreed that he was bound by that precedent.

“I do not regard those isolated episodes 150 years ago as sufficient to support a general authority to break ties,” Roberts said. 

The biggest remaining question in Trump’s impeachment trial remains the matter of how each senator intends to vote on the two impeachment articles against him: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The potential swing votes on the Republican side include Collins, Romney and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. 

Among Democrats, red-state Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Doug Jones of Alabama and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are seen as possible votes to acquit.

“I take my oath seriously about impartiality. I have not made a decision yet,” Manchin said earlier this week when asked if he had decided to acquit or convict the president on either charge against him.

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Pelosi calls senators who voted against trial witnesses ‘accomplices to the President’s cover-up’

Westlake Legal Group NJMd5ydjJDBWTqe22xVP8r3oljbrg7G7B1UWBkBgqEU Pelosi calls senators who voted against trial witnesses 'accomplices to the President's cover-up' r/politics

All Republicans need to be voted OUT.

Honestly it’s come to that point, and Dems would be smart to start actively moving the Overton window in that direction. Once Republicans are rightfully slammed by blue wave after blue wave, and as demographics continue to evolve, we may get to the point where Repubs they basically can’t get into office anymore and the party is effectively placed on life support.

Then once Dems have been in power for a while and we have universal healthcare, automatic voter registration, anti-gerrymandering laws, ranked choice voting, paper ballots, and an improved education system – the kinds of policies that provide a solid foundation for an engaged, informed, fully empowered citizenry – we can start splitting up into new parties with various focuses and philosophies. Biden and AOC being in the same party is nuts.

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CNN analyst raises eyebrows for urging Twitter followers to ‘help ensure Trump is defeated’ in November

Westlake Legal Group Susan-Hennessey-CNN-Logo CNN analyst raises eyebrows for urging Twitter followers to 'help ensure Trump is defeated' in November Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d58bd1ae-fe4c-526d-a774-6c61d4cbb1e3 article

A CNN national security and legal analyst urged her Twitter followers to consider taking “concrete steps” to ensure President Trump‘s defeat in the 2020 election.

Lawfare executive editor Susan Hennessey took to social media on Friday ahead of the crucial Senate vote that derailed efforts to seek additional witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.

“What is a concrete step you will take today to help ensure Trump is defeated in November?” Hennessey began.

Hennessey then guided her followers who “want to do something but aren’t sure what” to a website called “Swing Left,” which informs subscribers about important local and state elections, gerrymandering efforts and opportunities to volunteer for Democrats, as well as another group called “Indivisible,” another Democratic volunteering hub, and “We the Action,” which is geared towards liberal lawyers.

CNN ANALYST BLAMES ‘CROSSFIRE’ ON IRAN SHOOTING DOWN AIRPLANE, GETS PUMMELLED  ON TWITTER

“If you have time to give, give time. If you have money to give, give money. Gun safety, ballot access, individual candidates, voter registration; find whatever moves you. The only wrong answer is doing nothing or putting it off for another day,” Hennessey pleaded to her Twitter followers.

Her advocacy caught the attention of critics on social media.

“This person is NOT presented on CNN as a #LiberalHack,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck reacted.

Others also stressed her titles as a CNN analyst and Lawfare executive editor.

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Hennessey also drew criticism when she claimed that “crossfire of reckless escalation” resulted in Iran firing a missile at an airplane, leading to the death of 176 people, in early January.

The Ukrainian passenger plane that crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran’s international airport Wednesday was shot down by mistake by an Iranian anti-aircraft missile, Pentagon officials told Fox News

Hennessey, however, appeared to spread the blame between the U.S. and the regime.

“176 completely innocent lives, killed in the crossfire of reckless escalation. Just an unbelievable tragedy,” Hennessey tweeted.

Westlake Legal Group Susan-Hennessey-CNN-Logo CNN analyst raises eyebrows for urging Twitter followers to 'help ensure Trump is defeated' in November Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d58bd1ae-fe4c-526d-a774-6c61d4cbb1e3 article   Westlake Legal Group Susan-Hennessey-CNN-Logo CNN analyst raises eyebrows for urging Twitter followers to 'help ensure Trump is defeated' in November Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d58bd1ae-fe4c-526d-a774-6c61d4cbb1e3 article

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Diplomat at Center of Trump Impeachment Retires From State Department

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-ambassador-facebookJumbo Diplomat at Center of Trump Impeachment Retires From State Department Yovanovitch, Marie L Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pompeo, Mike Giuliani, Rudolph W Foreign Service (US) Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — The American ambassador whose abrupt recall from Ukraine helped lead to President Trump’s impeachment has retired from the State Department, a person familiar with her plans confirmed on Friday.

Marie L. Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, had been expected to leave the Foreign Service after she was ordered back to Washington from Kyiv, Ukraine, ahead of schedule last spring, accused of being disloyal to Mr. Trump.

But documents and testimony later showed that she was the target of a smear campaign for, in part, refusing to grant visas to former Ukrainian officials who were investigating Mr. Trump’s political rivals.

On a July 25 telephone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, Mr. Trump described Ms. Yovanovitch as “bad news” and said, ominously, “She’s going to go through some things.”

She possibly already had: Text messages between Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and his associates that were released publicly earlier this month indicated that Ms. Yovanovitch was under surveillance while still in Kyiv — a claim that the State Department and Ukraine security officials are investigating.

State Department officials have suggested that Ms. Yovanovitch was pulled from Kyiv because of concerns about her security. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to publicly support her, or clarify why she was recalled to the United States, setting off an internal revolt of diplomats who have rallied to her defense.

Ms. Yovanovitch was a star witness for House Democrats in their impeachment inquiry. She described being “shocked, appalled, devastated” upon learning of what the president said about her to Mr. Zelensky.

The Senate is all but assured to acquit Mr. Trump in a vote scheduled for Wednesday that will end his impeachment trial.

At its heart was whether Mr. Trump could be held liable for appearing to withhold $391 million in security aid from Ukraine — money that Congress had already approved — until Mr. Zelensky announced an investigation into a company that had employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Mr. Trump.

Ms. Yovanovitch’s retirement from the State Department, after 33 years of service, was first reported on Friday by NPR. She could not be immediately reached for comment, and the State Department did not return calls and messages seeking comment Friday night.

Since returning to Washington last spring, Ms. Yovanovitch has been assigned to a fellowship at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and she is scheduled to receive an award in February from the university’s School of Foreign Service for “Excellence in the Conduct of Diplomacy.”

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Despite Evidence, Republicans Rallied Behind Trump. This Was Their Reasoning.

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168179412_43c02278-dc61-4c34-9405-e9f4cd7c1178-facebookJumbo Despite Evidence, Republicans Rallied Behind Trump. This Was Their Reasoning. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Sasse, Benjamin E Rubio, Marco Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Portman, Rob Murkowski, Lisa House of Representatives Alexander, Lamar

The Senate voted on Friday nearly along party lines to block additional witnesses and evidence in President Trump’s impeachment trial, effectively accelerating the proceedings toward a final vote, which is expected to be held Wednesday.

But even before votes were cast Friday, a number of top Republicans came forward with statements rejecting the notion that the president should be convicted and removed, despite the evidence laid out in recent weeks by House impeachment managers.

While some lamented the partisan tenor of the proceeding, which they said threw the fairness of the trial into doubt, others said their decisions were based on a stronger conviction: Even if the president did everything the House managers described, his actions and alleged wrongdoing still did not justify his removal from office.

This is what they said:

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee: “The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska: “Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate. I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything. It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed.”

Senator Rob Portman of Ohio: “I have said consistently for the past four months, since the Zelensky transcript was first released, that I believe that some of the president’s actions in this case — including asking a foreign country to investigate a potential political opponent and the delay of aid to Ukraine — were wrong and inappropriate. But I do not believe that the president’s actions rise to the level of removing a duly-elected president from office and taking him off the ballot in the middle of an election.”

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida: “For me, the question would not just be whether the President’s actions were wrong, but ultimately whether what he did was removable. The two are not the same. Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.”

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska: “Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.”

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Marie Yovanovitch, former Ukraine ambassador recalled by Trump, is retiring from State Department

Westlake Legal Group UkraineDiplomat101119 Marie Yovanovitch, former Ukraine ambassador recalled by Trump, is retiring from State Department Nick Givas fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ccdde68a-0c6f-5d04-a7fa-9297926cf178 article

Marie Yovanovitch, who testified during House impeachment hearings against President Trump, will be retiring from the U.S. foreign service less than a year after her removal as ambassador to Ukraine.

A source familiar with the situation confirmed Yovanovitch’s exit on Friday.

A senior State Department official told Fox News that after filing for retirement, Yovanovitch could remain on the payroll for months, especially if she finishes her department assignment at Georgetown.

As of Friday evening, the State Department email system still directs to her Georgetown address.

Yovanovitch, who worked for the State Department for 30 years, was thrust into the public spotlight after she testified at Trump’s impeachment hearings in November 2019.

Trump recalled her from her post as ambassador to Ukraine in May 2019. Despite the president’s recall, she remained a State Department employee until now.

TRUMP ATTACKS MARIE YOVANOVITCH DURING IMPEACHMENT HEARING, SAYS EVERYWHERE SHE WENT ‘TURNED BAD’

In a video released by Fox News on Saturday, Trump can be heard calling for her removal as early as April 2018, after speaking with Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman — former Rudy Giuliani associates who have since been indicted.

Parnas and Fruman met with the commander in chief and claimed that Yovanovitch had allegedly been speaking negatively about the president.

“Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it,” Trump can be heard saying on the tape.

Trump defended his decision by saying that, as president, “I have a right to hire and fire ambassadors.”

FUL VIDEO RELEASED OF TRUMP DISCUSSING UKRAINE AMBASSADOR’S OUSTER: WATCH THE TAPE

When Yovanovitch testified in November 2019 about being recalled by Trump, she said she believes Giuliani played a key role in telling people she was not supportive of the president.

“I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,” Yovanovitch said.

She also claimed the efforts against her by presidential allies obstructed her work.

“If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States,” Yovanovitch said.

Trump fired back in a tweet that same day and said ambassadors serve the executive branch and can be removed or replaced.

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“It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors,” he wrote in the tweet. “They call it serving at the pleasure of the president.”

Fox News’ Rich Edson, Adam Shaw and John Roberts contributed to this report 

Westlake Legal Group UkraineDiplomat101119 Marie Yovanovitch, former Ukraine ambassador recalled by Trump, is retiring from State Department Nick Givas fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ccdde68a-0c6f-5d04-a7fa-9297926cf178 article   Westlake Legal Group UkraineDiplomat101119 Marie Yovanovitch, former Ukraine ambassador recalled by Trump, is retiring from State Department Nick Givas fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ccdde68a-0c6f-5d04-a7fa-9297926cf178 article

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Giuliani Sought Help for Client in Meeting With Ukrainian Official

Westlake Legal Group 31Klitschko-facebookJumbo Giuliani Sought Help for Client in Meeting With Ukrainian Official Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces United States Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Poroshenko, Petro Olekseyevich KIEV, Ukraine impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Foreign Aid Corruption (Institutional)

KYIV, Ukraine — When Rudolph W. Giuliani met with a top aide to Ukraine’s president last summer, he discussed the prospect of a coveted White House meeting for the president while seeking Ukraine’s commitment to certain investigations that could benefit President Trump politically.

Mr. Giuliani also threw in a request of his own: help the mayor of Kyiv keep his job.

The mayor, Vitaliy Klitschko, a professional boxer turned politician and longtime friend and former client of Mr. Giuliani’s, was on the verge of being fired from his duties overseeing Kyiv’s $2 billion budget.

Firing Mr. Klitschko would have fit with President Volodymyr Zelensky’s campaign promise to fight Ukraine’s entrenched interests and allowed him to replace a political adversary with a loyalist in one of the country’s most important posts.

But despite the fact that Mr. Zelensky’s cabinet approved Mr. Klitschko’s removal, he remains there today, leaving his adversaries in the murky and lucrative world of Ukrainian municipal politics to wonder whether Mr. Trump’s personal attorney may have tipped the scales in his favor.

“The coincidence in timing between Klitschko’s meeting with Giuliani and the developments in the governance of Kyiv was striking,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament whom Mr. Zelensky had been expected to nominate as Mr. Klitschko’s replacement.

Mr. Giuliani’s effort to help his friend and former client, first reported in The Washington Post, shed fresh light on the former New York mayor’s mingling of personal, business and political interests with his role as personal attorney to the president of the United States.

In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani acknowledged discussing Mr. Klitschko’s position in a meeting with a senior aide to Mr. Zelensky, Andriy Yermak, in Madrid on Aug. 2.

“I said, ‘I don’t know, I’m from the outside, but he seems like one of the good guys,’” Mr. Giuliani said, recalling the conversation. “‘And I’m speaking, speaking, speaking as a personal friend, not as a representative of the government or anything else.’”

In the same meeting, Mr. Giuliani discussed a possible Oval Office visit by Mr. Zelensky that the Ukrainian president had been seeking, and asked for a commitment by his government to pursue investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son, and Ukrainians who disseminated damaging information about Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The meeting took place at a time when Ukraine’s new president was looking to cement support from the United States, his country’s most powerful ally in the conflict against Russia, and to build a relationship with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Giuliani said that he made it clear that he was relating his personal view of Mr. Klitschko, not that of the administration. “I gave it as my opinion — not the government — and based on our personal relationships,” he said.

Mr. Yermak also acknowledged that the two discussed Mr. Klitschko’s fate.

“Giuliani asked for my opinion about Vitaliy Klitschko as a mayor,” Mr. Yermak said in a statement in response to an inquiry from The Times. “He immediately issued the disclaimer that I should not see his question as an attempt to influence me.”

Mr. Yermak said he told Mr. Giuliani that he had long known Mr. Klitschko and that he had the support of Kyiv’s citizens.

“That was the end of our conversation about Klitschko,” Mr. Yermak said. “As a result I reject any speculation that Mr. Giuliani in any way sought to influence my opinion or to make me accept some narrative regarding Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko.”

Given the complex and opaque nature of Ukrainian politics, it is not clear whether Mr. Giuliani’s intervention was the decisive force allowing the mayor to keep his job.

But it is clear that he tried.

Mr. Klitschko, a former heavyweight world boxing champion, first hired Mr. Giuliani as a consultant for his unsuccessful run for mayor of Kyiv in 2008.

Since 2014, Mr. Klitschko has held dual roles: both the largely ceremonial, elected position of Kyiv mayor and the powerful position of head of Kyiv’s city-state administration, an appointment made by the Ukrainian president. The latter position gives him oversight of matters such as the city budget, building permits and transportation funds, making him one of the most powerful people in the country.

Mr. Klitschko supported Mr. Zelensky’s opponent, the incumbent Petro O. Poroshenko, in last spring’s presidential election in Ukraine. Mr. Zelensky’s landslide victory appeared to augur Mr. Klitschko’s political demise.

Mr. Zelensky, a comedian, had frequently lampooned Mr. Klitschko on his Saturday Night Live-style variety show, portraying him as a dunderheaded member of Ukraine’s shadowy, corrupt elite. In one skit, Mr. Zelensky played a translator to a boxing-belt-wearing Mr. Klitschko, who is unable to string together an intelligible sentence.

After taking power in May, Mr. Zelensky had no way to remove Mr. Klitschko as mayor but could strip him of the more influential post as head of the Kyiv administration. Ukrainian politicians and analysts expected him to do so.

A confidante of Mr. Klitschko’s, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was concerned about harm to his business if he spoke publicly, said that by the end of July, “it was clear that only outside interference, say the president of the United States or anyone on his behalf,” could save Mr. Klitschko from dismissal. As the power struggle escalated, Mr. Klitschko flew to New York to meet with Mr. Giuliani.

On July 30, in an apparent prelude to the dismissal, Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Bohdan, called a news conference and accused Mr. Klitschko of allowing corruption to flourish in Kyiv. Without offering evidence, Mr. Bohdan said he had been offered a $20 million bribe for Mr. Klitschko to remain head of the Kyiv administration.

The next day, Mr. Klitschko posted photographs on Facebook of his meeting with Mr. Giuliani, his “old friend and one of the most authoritative mayors in the world.” The two discussed “the situation in Ukraine,” he said, “future cooperation between the United States and Ukraine,” and the topic of “local self-rule” — an apparent reference to Mr. Klitschko’s battle to hold on to power at home.

Upon returning to Kyiv, Mr. Klitschko told his aides that his American allies would help him keep his job, according to several people who heard him make the comments in staff meetings and who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are still involved in municipal politics and were afraid to be identified when discussing issues related to Mr. Klitschko.

“That’s ridiculous,” Mr. Klitschko said in a statement on Friday. Asked about the meeting with Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Klitschko said, “I did not ask anyone for any assistance.”

Mr. Klitschko said he had never had a business relationship with Mr. Giuliani, a claim contradicted by Mr. Giuliani, who consulted for the former boxer’s 2008 campaign. Mr. Giuliani said that he had not formally represented Mr. Klitschko in years, “even though I still advise him.”

But two days later, Mr. Giuliani was speaking about Mr. Klitschko to Mr. Yermak in Madrid.

On Sept. 4, Mr. Zelensky’s cabinet approved the dismissal of Mr. Klitschko as head of the Kyiv administration.

But on Sept. 6, Mr. Giuliani fired off a tweet: “Reducing the power of Mayor Klitschko of Kiev was a very bad sign particularly based on the advice of an aide to the President of Ukraine who has the reputation of being a fixer. The former champion is very much admired and respected in the US.”

The tweet came as Mr. Zelensky was scrambling to stabilize his relationship with Mr. Trump after finding out that American military aid to Kyiv had been halted for unexplained reasons.

The last step needed to make the dismissal official was Mr. Zelensky’s signature on the dismissal — a formality, it seemed, since it was Mr. Zelensky’s office that had sought approval for the firing in the first place.

But the signature never came.

Asked by reporters in October, Mr. Zelensky said that he was still thinking about whether or not to sign.

“When a controversial issue arises, he tries to balance various interests,” a Kyiv political analyst, Volodymyr Fesenko, said of Mr. Zelensky’s unexpected reprieve. “He decided not to make a sudden move.”

Aside from any influence Mr. Giuliani may have had, Mr. Fesenko points to a power struggle within different factions in Mr. Zelensky’s administration as another factor, along with Mr. Zelensky’s own dwindling political capital amid intense criticism from domestic political opponents that he was too soft on Russia.

Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Klitschko declined to comment on the Madrid meeting between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Yermak, or on why Mr. Zelensky decided to keep him in office. He described Mr. Giuliani as “a big friend of Ukraine and one of the most successful mayors of the world.”

Mr. Giuliani himself became a fraught figure in Ukraine as the impeachment investigation unfolded on Capitol Hill.

“Starting in late September, the Giuliani issue became very toxic,” Mr. Fesenko said. “It seemed Klitschko’s team stopped pushing the relationship with Giuliani.”

Ronen Bergman and Anton Troianovski reported from Kyiv, and Kenneth P. Vogel from Washington.

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3 Takeaways from Today’s Trump Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-takeaways-facebookJumbo 3 Takeaways from Today's Trump Impeachment Trial Zelensky, Volodymyr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schiff, Adam B Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Rubio, Marco Republican Party Putin, Vladimir V Presidential Election of 2020 Portman, Rob Murkowski, Lisa Kelly, John F (1950- ) impeachment House of Representatives Giuliani, Rudolph W Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — After 10 days of arguments and deliberations, the Senate voted against hearing from new witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, signaling a vote to acquit him would likely come in the coming days.

House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense team made their final arguments for and against hearing from new witnesses as the Senate trial entered its final stages on Friday before the evening vote. Not long before the session started, Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, announced that she would vote against a measure to hear new witnesses erasing any doubt that the Republicans would have the support to end the trial without considering new material.

Here are five key takeaways from the afternoon.

In a nearly party-line vote, the Senate decided not to hear testimony from witnesses or review evidence before it moves to vote on whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office.

The 51-49 outcome was not surprising and paved the way for the Senate to acquit Mr. Trump. Senate leaders are negotiating over the next steps to end the trial.

Many of the arguments from the House managers over the past two weeks have been centered on the importance of hearing from witnesses, like Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, who has firsthand accounts of Mr. Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah, voted in favor of hearing witnesses, as they had signaled ahead of the trial.

Democrats have said that a trial without witnesses and documents is not a fair one. Republicans said that they did not need to hear any additional information and that the Democrats brought a weak case.

The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York, said the trial was a sham and a tragedy.

“To not allow a witness, a document — no witnesses, no documents — in an impeachment trial is a perfidy,” Mr. Schumer said after the vote. “America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities.”

In the hours before the vote, House impeachment managers made their final plea, citing a New York Times report that published about an hour before the trial started.

The report, which draws from new details from an upcoming book by Mr. Bolton, shows that Mr. Trump had a direct role in the Ukraine pressure campaign earlier than previously known, and senior White House advisers were aware of it.

“Yet another reason why we want to hear from witnesses,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead manager.

In the book, Mr. Bolton describes a meeting in early May at which Mr. Trump instructed him to call President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to press him to meet with Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani. According to the book, one of Mr. Trump’s defense lawyers for the impeachment trial, Pat Cipollone, was also in the meeting, which took place months before Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky spoke by phone on July 25. That conversation ultimately set the impeachment proceedings in motion.

The fight over witnesses had largely been an argument about hearing testimony from Mr. Bolton, particularly as details about what he knows of Mr. Trump’s motives and his efforts to pressure Ukraine emerged in the past week.

Mr. Trump blocked Mr. Bolton from testifying in the House impeachment inquiry, but Mr. Bolton has said he would comply with a subpoena to testify during the Senate trial.

Even before the Senate trial resumed on Friday, some Republican senators announced their plans to vote to acquit Mr. Trump, and there was noticeably less note-taking in the Senate chamber compared with previous days of the trial.

“Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état?” Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, wrote in a statement on Friday.

His decision, he said, was made out of concern of further dividing the country.

Mr. Rubio added that if the president was removed from office, it would be a victory for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

“It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would,” he wrote.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said that he did find some of Mr. Trump’s actions “wrong and inappropriate,” but he wanted to leave it to voters decide on a verdict in November.

“Our country is already too deeply divided and we should be working to heal wounds, not create new ones,” Mr. Portman said in a statement.

“It seems it was half a trial,” said John F. Kelly, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, hours before the Senate officially voted.

“If I was advising the United States Senate, I would say, ‘If you don’t respond to 75 percent of the American voters and have witnesses, it’s a job only half-done,’” Mr. Kelly said, ahead of delivering a speech in New Jersey on Friday. “You open yourself up forever as a Senate that shirks its responsibilities.”

Mr. Kelly appeared to be referring to a recent national poll from Quinnipiac University, which found that 75 percent of independents think witnesses should testify. The independent vote is expected to be a critical one in November.

A retired four-star Marine general, Mr. Kelly was well-liked in the Senate — he was confirmed with bipartisan support to be Mr. Trump’s first homeland security secretary — which made his criticism on Friday even more pointed. He was later drafted to be the president’s chief of staff with the hope he would bring order to a White House defined by chaos.

Earlier this week, Mr. Kelly said he believed Mr. Bolton’s account of the president’s dealings with Ukraine, which the president has denied.

“If John Bolton says that in the book, I believe John Bolton,” he said on Tuesday.

Mr. Kelly and Mr. Bolton overlapped at the White House for much of 2018 but were not always in lock step. On Friday, Mr. Kelly described Mr. Bolton as “an honest and an honorable guy,” and “a copious note-taker.”

Senators will vote at 4 p.m. on Wednesday to render a verdict in President Trump’s impeachment trial. But before then, they will vote on procedural motions on Friday and return at 11 a.m. on Monday to give closing arguments, senators said. They will also have a chance to give floor speeches on Tuesday before the Wednesday vote.

“I’d rather conclude it right away,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. But the rules allowed for more time, and Democrats insisted, he added.

“It gives everybody the flexibility if they need to go somewhere over the weekend,” said Senator Mike Braun, Republican of Indiana.

The schedule means Mr. Trump would deliver the State of the Union address Tuesday night with his all but certain acquittal pending.

For the four senators running for the Democratic nomination to face Mr. Trump in November, it will be a busy few days as they rush to Iowa ahead of the caucuses there on Monday before needing to return to Washington for the closing phase of the trial.

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

AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC

Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more than $1 million in January for her re-election campaign, making it her best fundraising month ever, according to her campaign.

The progressive firebrand crushed her monthly goal after Fox News reported Jan. 10 Ocasio-Cortez refused to pay her $250,000 in “dues” to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, upsetting her liberal colleagues who bashed her for trying to undermine their party.

AOC RILES DEMS BY REFUSING TO PAY PARTY DUES, BANKROLLING COLLEAGUES’ OPPONENTS

Ocasio-Cortez successfully fundraised off her renegade stance against the establishment and even launched a new leadership PAC to build up her arsenal to take on the DCCC.

“We set a $1,000,000 goal at the beginning of the month, and our incredible supporters absolutely crushed it — a full 24 hours before the deadline,” Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign said in an email to supporters. “Our team is floored. The energy of this movement is at an all-time high, and that foreshadows a lot of great things for our future.”

The New York Democrat also posted impressive 2019 numbers on Friday. Ocasio-Cortez ended the year raising $5.5 million, including $1.98 million just in the final quarter of the year. She ends the year with $2.9 million in the cash on hand, new campaign finance records posted with the Federal Election Commission show.

Her fundraising haul rivals the top House Democrat, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who posted $5.9 million in total receipts for the year and $2 million for the final quarter, records show.

Pelosi had less money in the bank at the end of the year at $2.6 million. AOC, as she’s known, would have surpassed Pelosi in total 2019 fundraising if the speaker hadn’t transferred $1.4 million into her account from the “Nancy Pelosi Victory Fund,” a joint fundraising account with her leadership PAC and the DCCC.

Those transfer donations include checks from high-dollar backers like George Soros, Alexander Soros, Pat Stryker, Steven Spielberg, Kate Spielberg, Larry Silverstein, Jill Glazer and Peter Chernin.

Ocasio-Cortez owned her decision to refuse paying dues to the DCCC, bashing its policy to “blacklist” venders that help progressive primary challengers. She pledged to continue to support primary challengers to certain incumbents, a move that has angered her fellow Democratic members of Congress.

OCASIO-CORTEZ SAYS SHE’S A ‘PROUD’ DEMOCRAT, EVEN THOUGH SHE WON’T PAY PARTY ‘DUES’

“I don’t see the sense in giving a quarter-million dollars to an organization that has clearly told people like me that we’re not welcome,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

She’s raised money directly for certain swing-district members of Congress but has bucked the party establishment by also endorsing primary challengers for her Democratic colleagues.

In launching her new leadership PAC, on Jan. 11, AOC said the effort will allow her to campaign to help her hand-picked candidates who may be shunned by the DCCC.

And again on Friday, her campaign took another dig at the DCCC.

“The DCCC is actively putting their hand on the scales in competitive primaries. They’re blacklisting consultants and vendors who work with progressive primary challengers, no matter who they’re primarying,” the note said. “That means the DCCC is siding with pro-life, pro-Trump, pro-corporate Democrats over human rights lawyers, middle school teachers, and other progressive community leaders who will fight for working-class folks.”

Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f   Westlake Legal Group AOC-1 AOC breaks her fundraising record in crusade to take on DCCC Marisa Schultz fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc article a2166541-ad9b-5027-b8b9-9bc7cefc199f

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