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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 275)

Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And ‘Spartacus’ Superstar, Dies At 103

Kirk Douglas, the self-described “ragman’s son” who became a global Hollywood superstar in the 1950s and ’60s, died on Wednesday. He was 103. Douglas was often cast as a troubled tough guy in films, most famously as a rebellious Roman slave named Spartacus. Off-screen, he was devoted to family and to humanitarian causes.

His son Michael Douglas announced the actor’s death: “To the world he was a legend. … But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad.”

“Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet,” Michael Douglas wrote.

Kirk Douglas was a classic Hollywood alpha male, with his cleft chin, gritty voice and a set to his jaw that made him seem to be talking through clenched teeth. He made a conscious choice to go his own way by playing men who went theirs. In Stanley Kubrick’s World War I epic Paths of Glory, Douglas played the principled Colonel Dax, stepping into an iconic role of the good man fighting the establishment.

But Douglas seemed almost more comfortable playing what he liked to call “tough sons of bitches,” or flawed men who were, one way or another, gaming the system. Two of his earliest title roles, as the backstabbing boxer in Champion and the self-destructive cornetist in Young Man With a Horn, portrayed stars who turn into heels just as the public embraces them.

Before long, Douglas had developed that reputation himself. Looking back in his memoirs, Douglas describes his younger self as “egotistical and ambitious” and claims not to like him very much. But his best performances, such as his portrayal of an abrasive but driven Vincent van Gogh in Lust for Life, were memorably electric.

For more than two decades in Hollywood, Douglas “cast a giant shadow,” as one of his titles proclaimed, playing two or even three starring roles each year. When he was not cast for Ben-Hur, losing the role to Charlton Heston, Douglas countered the loss months later with his own Roman epic, Spartacus. Douglas produced the film and starred as the title character who famously revolted against his Roman captors.

Westlake Legal Group ap473792375813_custom-acb72078992cab7aae298f6b9f83f9f6519193cc-s1100-c15 Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And 'Spartacus' Superstar, Dies At 103

Douglas poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif., in December 2014. Matt Sayles/Invision/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And 'Spartacus' Superstar, Dies At 103

Douglas poses for a portrait in Beverly Hills, Calif., in December 2014.

Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

Off-screen, Douglas also led an open revolt, against Hollywood’s blacklist. The communist witch hunts of the 1950s had destroyed many careers, including that of Spartacus screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who had written for years under an alias. Douglas was disgusted by this hypocrisy and saying “To hell with it,” put Trumbo’s real name in the film credits.

When Spartacus became a hit, the blacklist was effectively finished. More than three decades later, speaking with NPR’s Susan Stamberg, Douglas reflected upon this impulsive but life-defining decision: “Sometimes I often think that if I were much older, would I still have done it? Anyhow, I did it. It was an impulsive thing. I’m proud of it. I think it’s one of the good things that I’ve done in life.”

Douglas the bold blacklist-breaker had come a long way, and from very humble beginnings. Born Issur Danielovitch in New York to illiterate, desperately poor Russian Jewish parents, he was the only boy among seven siblings. He would later tell his own children that they didn’t have his “advantage of being born into abject poverty.”

From an early age, that “advantage” forced Douglas to put himself out there with the public, and he worked odd jobs, scrounged for food and talked his way into college and loans. Acting school and a stint in the Navy followed college, as well as minor success on Broadway using the new stage name that he would keep for the rest of his career. Then Hollywood beckoned, and within four years, Douglas had made eight films, had established his persona as a tough guy and had earned the first of his three Oscar nominations as a barrel-chested prizefighter in Champion.

True to the roles he liked to play, success did not make Douglas a “nice guy.” Though married, he had affairs with actresses Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and Ava Gardner. He was mostly an absentee father to his first two sons; frequently he broke studio contracts and feuded with directors. In 1964, he said, “I am probably the most disliked actor in Hollywood, and I feel pretty good about it, because that’s me.”

Westlake Legal Group 1858205_custom-499444bd3d8040fa62af69a2bd43d92723d2e7ad-s800-c15 Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And 'Spartacus' Superstar, Dies At 103

Douglas, with his eldest sons Joel (center) and Michael, circa 1956. Arnold M. Johnson/Hulton Archives/Getty Images hide caption

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Arnold M. Johnson/Hulton Archives/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Kirk Douglas, Hollywood Tough Guy And 'Spartacus' Superstar, Dies At 103

Douglas, with his eldest sons Joel (center) and Michael, circa 1956.

Arnold M. Johnson/Hulton Archives/Getty Images

The 1960s were his glory days as he starred in hit after hit. Douglas battled a presidential overthrow in Seven Days in May and was torn between Faye Dunaway and Deborah Kerr in The Arrangement. He played gunslingers, lawyers, admirals, doctors and con men, and he worked steadily through the next two decades.

When the tough guy schtick got old, Douglas turned to comedy and mocked it in a film called Tough Guys, in which he starred with his friend and frequent co-star Burt Lancaster. Not even a helicopter crash in 1991, when he was 74, slowed Douglas down — though the fact that a pilot and another passenger had died, he told NPR, did change his worldview. “It makes you think about other people,” Douglas said. “I think that you have to — as you get old in life and as you mature — you have to be aware more of the outside world and other people.”

Just a year after that 1994 interview, a stroke left him almost entirely unable to speak. He had thoughts of suicide. He wrote: “What does an actor do who can’t talk? … Wait for silent pictures to come back?”

Douglas’ book My Stroke of Luck describes how he recovered by reaching out to others and by rediscovering the Judaism he’d been neglecting for 60 years.

Douglas and his wife Anne would spend the next decade and millions of dollars fixing up playgrounds in California — more than 400 altogether. Every time he reopened one, he slid down its slide, joking after one such slide at age 92: “Every dedication I risk my life.”

In between the odd acting jobs that came his way, Douglas found time to write memoirs, novels and children’s books. He also became one of the world’s oldest bloggers at 92. And at 94, he returned to the stage, delighting audiences at Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre with an autobiographical solo show called Before I Forget.

Douglas was the last great movie star of his generation. He outlived the likes of John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston and his buddy Burt Lancaster — and younger audiences probably know him better as Michael Douglas’ father than as a star in his own right. But he was a star and, for a long time, among the brightest in the Hollywood firmament.

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

Pete Buttigieg Adviser’s Tweet Sure Looks Like A Coordinating Message To Outside Groups

Westlake Legal Group 5e3b4b7c210000d302e1c95d Pete Buttigieg Adviser’s Tweet Sure Looks Like A Coordinating Message To Outside Groups

A Pete Buttigieg adviser tweeted Wednesday the importance of getting the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor’s record in the military out to the people of Nevada, and the message looked an awful lot like he was trying to get around federal anti-coordination rules that prevent campaigns from sharing strategy and messaging with outside groups.

Michael Halle, who is a strategist for Buttigieg’s Democratic presidential campaign, tweeted publicly that it was “critical” Buttigieg’s military experience is seen in Nevada “on the air through the caucus,” which is Feb. 22. 

To be clear, this tweet does not break the law. Though campaign finance rules prohibit coordination between campaigns and outside groups, there’s an exception: “if the information material to the creation, production, or distribution of the communication was obtained from a publicly available source,” the Federal Election Commission states. 

In other words, it’s perfectly legal to put an idea out in the open, like on Twitter, and hope the group you want to act on it runs with the idea. Democrats and Republicans have been doing this for years. Halle and the Buttigieg campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the intentions of the tweet.

But Halle’s message goes to show just how blurry some of campaign finance rules can be.

Competing presidential campaigns have already reacted to the message. Roger Lau, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign manager, asked whether Halle meant to send the tweet over a private message to an outside group (that would be illegal). 

“It’s a slap in the face of campaign finance law to so brazenly and unethically direct a Super PAC how to spend on his behalf — all while leaving New Hampshire to do big-money New York fundraisers,” Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which is associated with the Warren campaign, said in a statement. “Donald Trump would call him part of the corrupt swamp if he were ever the nominee.”  

Businessman Andrew Yang’s campaign manager simply responded with “Yikes.”

This practice isn’t new. Democratic and Republican party committees have set up Twitter accounts in the past to release polling data and share information about advertising buys. In 2016, The Washington Post reported how Sen. Marco Rubio’s Republican presidential campaign would put out messages online that would then be picked up by his super PAC.

And it’s been acknowledged by even those on the FEC. In 2014, Ann Ravel, then a FEC commissioner, admitted that technology made the rules “murky.”

Buttgieg’s campaign dissolved his super PAC, Hitting Home PAC, in May, as he joined his Democratic rivals in eschewing dark money in politics. 

But one group — VoteVets.org, a political action committee dedicated to veterans — has already spent $610,441 as an independent expenditure. Ironically, Buttigieg’s campaign sent out an email to supporters hitting the Bernie Sanders campaign for embracing support from outside groups after a coalition of progressive groups formed an independent expenditure in support of the Vermont senator.

Buttigieg has had to defend his campaign’s financial strategy repeatedly on the national stage after Warren attacked him at a debate for fundraising with millionaires in Napa Valley “wine caves.” He argued that big money in politics isn’t necessarily corrupting.

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Gutfeld on the acquittal

Westlake Legal Group image Gutfeld on the acquittal Greg Gutfeld fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/person/aaron-donald fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 42492e08-d539-5ca7-be5d-3c42438731d2

Impeachment is over, at least for now.

You’ve heard the definition of crazy before. It’s doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Well, Democrats invented a new kind of crazy: knowing the outcome of an event well in advance, and still expecting a different result.

That was impeachment, the worst-planned adventure since the Donner party. Democrats blew all their energy on a loser’s bet, one that made the Iowa mess possible. Instead of wowing America, they fell flat on their faces because they were distracted.

GREGG JARRETT: TRUMP ACQUITTAL IN IMPEACHMENT TRIAL IS A HUMILIATING DEFEAT FOR PARTISAN DEMOCRATS

I return to Greg’s Rule: Republicans run things. Democrats ruin them. The difference is one letter. It stands for “impeachment.”

So once again, the losers return to their hallucinations. The snakes on the wall? They’re real – if you’re Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Now, Schiff says, President Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians “in exchange for support in the next election.” Alternatively, Schiff said, Trump “could decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and let Jared Kushner run the country.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

So why cling to these crazy predictions? Because they don’t exist. That means you can’t disprove them. The response will always be, “You just wait.” They’re like imaginary mice, and Schiff’s the crazy coot on the table screaming.

Those mad ravings had us waiting for a stock market crash, tyranny and world war under Trump. They were all paranoid nightmares that never came. Instead, all we got were stock market highs, trade deals, dead terrorists and jobs.

Since those successes were under Trump, the delusions only deepen. Without a real vision beyond anger, the Democrats cling to these mental phantoms.

Early on, we told Democrats impeachment was a dead fish. We said:  Don’t follow Adam! He’s selling you drugs that only end in bad trips.

But did they listen? Nope. To them, bad drugs are better than no drugs. That’s why they’ll be back in the lab coming up with a new paranoia pill.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

But we know not to gulp them. Let Democrats have them all.

We saw it coming. But they had it coming.

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on Feb. 5, 2020.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY GREG GUTFELD

Westlake Legal Group image Gutfeld on the acquittal Greg Gutfeld fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/person/aaron-donald fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 42492e08-d539-5ca7-be5d-3c42438731d2   Westlake Legal Group image Gutfeld on the acquittal Greg Gutfeld fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/person/aaron-donald fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 42492e08-d539-5ca7-be5d-3c42438731d2

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Gavel to Gavel

It took almost three weeks for the third presidential impeachment trial in the nation’s history to snake through the Senate, arriving at the final day of votes that brought a conclusion that from the beginning seemed foregone.

“Impeachment,” Ken Starr, one of the president’s defenders, had intoned during the trial, “is hell.”

A weary Senate appeared to agree and on Wednesday rendered its verdict, voting to acquit President Trump. Here’s a look at how we got here.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167197215_0d8d535a-7146-4357-b488-b0d0be1cd68d-articleLarge Gavel to Gavel Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

The House impeachment managers first passing through Statuary Hall.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Ushering in the trial with the pomp and circumstance afforded only to what Alexander Hamilton called a “national inquest into the conduct of public men,” the Democratic impeachment managers marched in a choreographed procession from the House to the Senate to deliver the articles of impeachment.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. trekked across the street from the Supreme Court to the Capitol to preside over the trial as the White House defense team descended on the Senate, ready to argue its case.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking to reporters in the Capitol.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, offered several amendments to the impeachment rules.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Transforming from a legislative body to a court of impeachment required senators, aides and journalists to adapt to a new status quo, with new hours — usually beginning at 1 p.m. and stretching as late as 2 a.m. — and new rules.

For senators, that meant being stranded without their phones and in sitting silence for hours at a time on the Senate floor, an endeavor they struggled against by doodling, fidget-spinning and whispering or surrendered to sleepily. For journalists, it meant cramming into crowded pens instead of enjoying the usual free-roaming access to lawmakers.

Television cameras and photographers were not allowed inside the chamber, save for one operated by the government, limiting what the public could see and hear.

Among those most inconvenienced by the trial, however, were the Senate Democrats running for president, who found themselves wondering when they would be able to return to Iowa before the nation’s crucial first nominating contest. While Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont made his annoyance clear, most tried to take it in stride.

“I don’t know how many days this is going to last,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said. “I just know that I have a constitutional duty to do my job.”

Reporters broadcast from the Capitol during the trial.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times Staff members waited in cars for the conclusion of the first night of the impeachment trial.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Before the opening arguments began, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, laid an early test for Republicans. Would they vote to hear from additional witnesses and gather more evidence?

In an early sign of where the trial might be heading, Republicans roundly declined — and were left voting down measure after measure introduced by Mr. Schumer to hear more, a vote-a-rama that crawled into the bleary-eyed hours of the next morning.

Beginning the trial in earnest, the impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, laid out the House’s case against Mr. Trump, casting him as a man “who would be a king.”

“President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office by seeking help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home,” Mr. Schiff said. “And when he was caught, he used the powers of that office to obstruct the investigation into his own misconduct.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota finishing a television interview.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Reporters checking their phones as the trial commenced.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Taking to the well of the Senate, Mr. Trump’s defense team furiously rebutted Mr. Schiff’s assertion, denouncing the case against the president as an “unlawful” attempt to deprive him of re-election.

“They’ve come here today and they’ve basically said, ‘Let’s cancel an election over a meeting with the Ukraine,’” said Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. “It would be a completely irresponsible abuse of power to do what they’re asking you to do: to stop an election, to interfere in an election and to remove the president of the United States from the ballot.”

Mr. Schumer knew the Senate was unlikely to convict Mr. Trump.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican senator vocally calling for witnesses in the impeachment trial.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Then, one day before the White House team was set to conclude their opening arguments, a bombshell roiled the trial: John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, wrote in his unpublished manuscript that Mr. Trump told him directly that he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats — exactly what the articles of impeachment accused the president of doing.

The account, first reported by The New York Times, suddenly created a question: Would the new disclosure prompt a critical mass of Republicans to demand to hear from Mr. Bolton or other witnesses?

After being held hostage for days to the rhetorical whims of the impeachment managers and the president’s defense team, senators seized on the opportunity to pepper each side with questions.

Parsing each question for subtext, an eager press corps eyed each question carefully searching for hidden meaning that might convey what tight-lipped senators might be thinking.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a question rejected by Chief Justice Roberts. In it, he named a person widely believed to be the whistle-blower whose anonymous complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times Senators submitted their questions for the House managers and the president’s defense team on special cards.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Senator Roger Wicker Mississippi upending a bag of chips during a break of the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times An aide rests during a session of the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As the trial crescendoed, inching closer to a vote to hear from witnesses like Mr. Bolton, the pressure on a handful of moderate Republican senators, like Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is not running for re-election in 2020, reached a fever pitch. Facing pressure from both their own party to hold the line, and from Democrats who found hope in each vague statement the lawmakers issued, they remained stone-faced.

Senate Republicans leaving the Strom Thurmond room after a meeting to discuss the next steps in the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Reporters taking note during a news conference.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

But by last Friday night, the outcome had become clear: Senate Republicans would hold together to turn back a plea to hear from Mr. Bolton and other witnesses. With those votes cast, the end of the trial began to neatly fall into place, cemented by a victorious thumbs-up from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced she would vote to acquit in both articles of impeachment before attending the State of the Union.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times At the end of Mr. Trump’s speech, Ms. Pelosi ripped the pages of the State of the Union address and called it a “manifesto of mistruths.”Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Taking a victory lap in the chamber where it began, Mr. Trump delivered a confident State of the Union address Tuesday night from the House floor, basking in the applause of Republicans — and prompting Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rip up his remarks in a display of defiance.

On Wednesday, Mr. McConnell delivered the president his acquittal, and after three weeks, the trial was over.

Produced by Lance Booth.

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Kirk Douglas, actor and Hollywood legend, dead at 103, family says

Kirk Douglas, one of the most famous American leading men of the mid-20th century remembered for his dimpled chin, chiseled features, and virile Hollywood roles, has died at the age of 103, his family said Wednesday.

“It is with tremendous sadness that my brothers and I announce that Kirk Douglas left us today at the age of 103,” Kirk’s son, Michael Douglas, said in a statement obtained by People magazine. “To the world, he was a legend, an actor from the golden age of movies who lived well into his golden years, a humanitarian whose commitment to justice and the causes he believed in set a standard for all of us to aspire to.

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-57633079 Kirk Douglas, actor and Hollywood legend, dead at 103, family says Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eb288743-ff17-5b0f-8498-9acb44962ef9 article

Kirk Douglas, seen here in the 1950s, has died. (Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, File)

The actor continued: “But to me and my brothers Joel and Peter he was simply Dad, to Catherine, a wonderful father-in-law, to his grandchildren and great grandchild their loving grandfather, and to his wife Anne, a wonderful husband.

“Kirk’s life was well lived, and he leaves a legacy in film that will endure for generations to come, and a history as a renowned philanthropist who worked to aid the public and bring peace to the planet. Let me end with the words I told him on his last birthday and which will always remain true. Dad- I love you so much and I am so proud to be your son,” he added.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back here for updates. 

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-57633079 Kirk Douglas, actor and Hollywood legend, dead at 103, family says Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eb288743-ff17-5b0f-8498-9acb44962ef9 article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-57633079 Kirk Douglas, actor and Hollywood legend, dead at 103, family says Mariah Haas fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/events/departed fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eb288743-ff17-5b0f-8498-9acb44962ef9 article

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Gavel to Gavel

It took almost three weeks for the third presidential impeachment trial in the nation’s history to snake through the Senate, arriving at the final day of votes that brought a conclusion that from the beginning seemed foregone.

“Impeachment,” Ken Starr, one of the president’s defenders, had intoned during the trial, “is hell.”

A weary Senate appeared to agree and on Wednesday rendered its verdict, voting to acquit President Trump. Here’s a look at how we got here.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_167197215_0d8d535a-7146-4357-b488-b0d0be1cd68d-articleLarge Gavel to Gavel Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

The House impeachment managers first passing through Statuary Hall.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Ushering in the trial with the pomp and circumstance afforded only to what Alexander Hamilton called a “national inquest into the conduct of public men,” the Democratic impeachment managers marched in a choreographed procession from the House to the Senate to deliver the articles of impeachment.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. trekked across the street from the Supreme Court to the Capitol to preside over the trial as the White House defense team descended on the Senate, ready to argue its case.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking to reporters in the Capitol.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, offered several amendments to the impeachment rules.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

Transforming from a legislative body to a court of impeachment required senators, aides and journalists to adapt to a new status quo, with new hours — usually beginning at 1 p.m. and stretching as late as 2 a.m. — and new rules.

For senators, that meant being stranded without their phones and in sitting silence for hours at a time on the Senate floor, an endeavor they struggled against by doodling, fidget-spinning and whispering or surrendered to sleepily. For journalists, it meant cramming into crowded pens instead of enjoying the usual free-roaming access to lawmakers.

Television cameras and photographers were not allowed inside the chamber, save for one operated by the government, limiting what the public could see and hear.

Among those most inconvenienced by the trial, however, were the Senate Democrats running for president, who found themselves wondering when they would be able to return to Iowa before the nation’s crucial first nominating contest. While Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont made his annoyance clear, most tried to take it in stride.

“I don’t know how many days this is going to last,” Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said. “I just know that I have a constitutional duty to do my job.”

Reporters broadcast from the Capitol during the trial.Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times Staff members waited in cars for the conclusion of the first night of the impeachment trial.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Before the opening arguments began, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, laid an early test for Republicans. Would they vote to hear from additional witnesses and gather more evidence?

In an early sign of where the trial might be heading, Republicans roundly declined — and were left voting down measure after measure introduced by Mr. Schumer to hear more, a vote-a-rama that crawled into the bleary-eyed hours of the next morning.

Beginning the trial in earnest, the impeachment managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, laid out the House’s case against Mr. Trump, casting him as a man “who would be a king.”

“President Trump solicited foreign interference in our democratic elections, abusing the power of his office by seeking help from abroad to improve his re-election prospects at home,” Mr. Schiff said. “And when he was caught, he used the powers of that office to obstruct the investigation into his own misconduct.”

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota finishing a television interview.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Reporters checking their phones as the trial commenced.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Taking to the well of the Senate, Mr. Trump’s defense team furiously rebutted Mr. Schiff’s assertion, denouncing the case against the president as an “unlawful” attempt to deprive him of re-election.

“They’ve come here today and they’ve basically said, ‘Let’s cancel an election over a meeting with the Ukraine,’” said Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel. “It would be a completely irresponsible abuse of power to do what they’re asking you to do: to stop an election, to interfere in an election and to remove the president of the United States from the ballot.”

Mr. Schumer knew the Senate was unlikely to convict Mr. Trump.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times Senator Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican senator vocally calling for witnesses in the impeachment trial.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Then, one day before the White House team was set to conclude their opening arguments, a bombshell roiled the trial: John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, wrote in his unpublished manuscript that Mr. Trump told him directly that he wanted to continue freezing military aid to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats — exactly what the articles of impeachment accused the president of doing.

The account, first reported by The New York Times, suddenly created a question: Would the new disclosure prompt a critical mass of Republicans to demand to hear from Mr. Bolton or other witnesses?

After being held hostage for days to the rhetorical whims of the impeachment managers and the president’s defense team, senators seized on the opportunity to pepper each side with questions.

Parsing each question for subtext, an eager press corps eyed each question carefully searching for hidden meaning that might convey what tight-lipped senators might be thinking.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky had a question rejected by Chief Justice Roberts. In it, he named a person widely believed to be the whistle-blower whose anonymous complaint sparked the impeachment inquiry.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times Senators submitted their questions for the House managers and the president’s defense team on special cards.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times
Senator Roger Wicker Mississippi upending a bag of chips during a break of the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times An aide rests during a session of the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

As the trial crescendoed, inching closer to a vote to hear from witnesses like Mr. Bolton, the pressure on a handful of moderate Republican senators, like Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is not running for re-election in 2020, reached a fever pitch. Facing pressure from both their own party to hold the line, and from Democrats who found hope in each vague statement the lawmakers issued, they remained stone-faced.

Senate Republicans leaving the Strom Thurmond room after a meeting to discuss the next steps in the trial.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times Reporters taking note during a news conference.Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

But by last Friday night, the outcome had become clear: Senate Republicans would hold together to turn back a plea to hear from Mr. Bolton and other witnesses. With those votes cast, the end of the trial began to neatly fall into place, cemented by a victorious thumbs-up from Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader.

Senator Susan Collins of Maine announced she would vote to acquit in both articles of impeachment before attending the State of the Union.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times At the end of Mr. Trump’s speech, Ms. Pelosi ripped the pages of the State of the Union address and called it a “manifesto of mistruths.”Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Taking a victory lap in the chamber where it began, Mr. Trump delivered a confident State of the Union address Tuesday night from the House floor, basking in the applause of Republicans — and prompting Speaker Nancy Pelosi to rip up his remarks in a display of defiance.

On Wednesday, Mr. McConnell delivered the president his acquittal, and after three weeks, the trial was over.

Produced by Lance Booth.

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Juan Williams: Trump impeachment shows Americans ‘we have a corrupt president’ who ‘got away with it’

Westlake Legal Group image-5 Juan Williams: Trump impeachment shows Americans 'we have a corrupt president' who 'got away with it' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 710d7c4b-20c1-5537-9e92-598625f3b26d

Juan Williams reacted to the acquittal of President Trump by the Senate Wednesday, saying that Trump has been revealed to be a corrupt head of state who “got away with” the act of which he was accused.

Williams said on “The Five” that impeachment did not “backfire” on Democrats as co-host Jesse Watters had posited.

Watters had said that instead of removing Trump from office, all Democrats succeeded with was damaging former Vice President Joe Biden, likely keeping the Senate out of their reach in 2020, and spiking the president’s approval rating.

ROMNEY THE ONLY SENATOR TO DEFECT FROM PARTY IN IMPEACHMENT VOTE

Williams disagreed.

“Impeachment led most of the American people now to understand that this is a corrupt president,” he said. “But they said, in essence, and this was the Republican line, ‘Even if he did it, we don’t think it is quite impeachable.’ Wait until the election — as if the Forefathers [Founding Fathers] didn’t think about elections.”

“[T]he man basically got away with it,” Williams added. “This is the man [who said he could be] on Fifth Avenue shooting someone, as he’s bragged, and his followers say nothing.” In 2016, then-candidate Trump claimed during a rally that he could “stand in the middle” of the famous thoroughfare and “shoot someone and not lose any voters.”

Williams said that several Republican senators had criticized the impeachment process, noting claims that the White House was potentially holding back documents and witnesses.

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Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — the last of whom voted to convict Trump on one of the two articles — had been vocal in their assertion that the president did something “wrong, embarrassing [or] inappropriate,” Williams said.

Of Romney, Williams said the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is a “man of principle” because he acted in a way that he knew will bring political blowback and harsh messaging from the president’s Twitter feed.

“To me, what you get here is this is what Republicans in the Senate say, they just say, ‘You know what, boy, we don’t want Donald Trump saying nasty things about us.'”

Westlake Legal Group image-5 Juan Williams: Trump impeachment shows Americans 'we have a corrupt president' who 'got away with it' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 710d7c4b-20c1-5537-9e92-598625f3b26d   Westlake Legal Group image-5 Juan Williams: Trump impeachment shows Americans 'we have a corrupt president' who 'got away with it' fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 710d7c4b-20c1-5537-9e92-598625f3b26d

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Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial

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transcript

Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-impeach-video-videoSixteenByNine3000 Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

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

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_168445815_a5cd949b-d00e-4c5f-87ad-c5b234e8d057-articleLarge Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

The tally for conviction fell far below the 67-vote threshold necessary for removal and neither article of impeachment garnered even a simple majority.Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

The Senate acquitted President Trump on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans turned back an election-year attempt by House Democrats to remove him from office for pressuring a foreign power to incriminate his political rivals.

The tally for conviction fell far below the 67-vote threshold necessary for removal and neither article of impeachment garnered even a simple majority. The first article, abuse of power, was rejected 48 to 52, and the second, obstruction of Congress, was defeated 47 to 53. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, was the only member to break with his party, voting to remove Mr. Trump from office.

The votes, ending the third presidential impeachment trial in American history, were a resounding victory for Mr. Trump after five months of blaring scandal over Ukraine that embroiled Washington and threatened his presidency. But both sides agreed that the final judgment on Mr. Trump will be rendered by voters when they cast ballots in just nine months.

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-vote-results-promo-1580858852030-articleLarge Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

Mr. Trump remained out of sight even as he was cleared by the Senate, forgoing an immediate victory lap, but announced on Twitter that he would make a statement on Thursday at noon from the White House “to discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”

The president abruptly canceled his only scheduled public appearance of the day without explanation when the White House scrubbed a joint statement with Juan Guaidó, the Venezuelan opposition leader recognized by the United States as the legitimate leader of his country.

The president’s only immediate comment came in the form of a video that he posted on Twitter minutes after the Senate votes, needling opponents who hoped to evict him from office by showing him on a Time magazine cover with campaign placards that say, “Trump 2024,” “Trump 2028,” “Trump 2032,” and so on until ending with “Trump 4EVA.”

Mr. Trump told television anchors at a lunch on Tuesday that he hoped to give a speech after the Senate vote, and aides said the president would like to hold a news conference or give a short statement. But many of his advisers urged him against it, wanting to ease pressure on senators for whom the vote was politically difficult.

The White House and Mr. Trump’s campaign wasted little time declaring victory, though, each issuing a statement saying that the president had been vindicated.

“Today, the sham impeachment attempt concocted by the Democrats ended in the full vindication and exoneration of President Donald J. Trump,” Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said in a statement. “As we have said all along, he is not guilty.” She went on to describe the articles of impeachment as “yet another witch-hunt” that “was based on a series of lies.”

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Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

Westlake Legal Group 05-video-romney-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry

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

Senator Mitt Romney of Utah voted to convict President Trump on one of the two impeachment charges, making him the only Republican to support removing Mr. Trump from office.

Mr. Romney said in an interview that he would vote against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence.

But he said that Democrats had proven their first charge, that the president had misused his office in a bid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. for political reasons.

Speaking slowly and at times haltingly from the Senate floor before the vote, Mr. Romney, who appeared to choke up at the beginning of his speech, said that his decision was made out of an “inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it.” He said Mr. Trump was “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Romney’s position, the Senate acquitted Mr. Trump of both impeachment charges. But the defection of Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is a dramatic capstone on the evolution of a party that has thoroughly succumbed to the vise-grip of Mr. Trump.

Mr. Romney, who has been critical of Mr. Trump at various points since 2016, said he was acutely aware that he would suffer serious political ramifications for his decision, particularly in light of the strict loyalty the president has come to expect from elected officials of his own party. No House Republican voted to impeach Mr. Trump in December. (Representative Justin Amash, a former Republican of Michigan who fled the party over his differences with Mr. Trump, voted in favor of both articles.)

“I recognize there is going to be enormous consequences for having reached this conclusion,” Mr. Romney said. “Unimaginable” is how he described what might be in store for him.

The pushback from Mr. Trump’s camp started quickly. “Mitt Romney is forever bitter that he will never be POTUS. He was too weak to beat the Democrats then so he’s joining them now. He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled from the @GOP,” Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, wrote on Twitter.

In her statement after the vote, Ms. Grisham referred to Mr. Romney only as a “failed Republican presidential candidate.”
Mark Leibovich

Three Senate Democrats from conservative-leaning states who had been targeted by the White House as possible defectors voted to convict Mr. Trump, depriving the president of the chance to claim a bipartisan exoneration despite the political risk.

Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Doug Jones of Alabama all announced their decisions in the final hours before the vote ending the Senate impeachment trial, ensuring that all 47 Democrats would stick together in supporting the removal of Mr. Trump from office.

“After many sleepless nights, I have reluctantly concluded that the evidence is sufficient to convict the president for both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress,” Mr. Jones, who is facing re-election in a state that Mr. Trump won in 2016 by nearly 28 percentage points, said in a statement.

Mr. Manchin, whose state went for Mr. Trump with 70 percent three years ago, had urged a nonbinding, bipartisan censure, only to be ignored, and told reporters that he struggled deeply over his decision. “It’s a tough one guys,” he said before announcing his decision. “It’s a tough one.”

Ms. Sinema, a freshman who was one of the few Democrats to enthusiastically jump to her feet to applaud Mr. Trump at points during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, said that in the end she could not condone Mr. Trump’s use of his office to leverage domestic political assistance from a foreign power.

“While White House attorneys claim this behavior is not serious,” she said in a statement, “it is dangerous to the fundamental principles of American democracy to use the power of the federal government for personal or political gain.”
— Emily Cochrane and Michael D. Shear

Just because it is over does not mean it is actually over. Hours before the Senate ended President Trump’s trial, a senior House Democrat indicated that he would continue the investigation on his side of the Capitol, starting with a subpoena for John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser.

Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told reporters that he would “likely” subpoena Mr. Bolton, who has confirmed in an unpublished book that Mr. Trump conditioned security aid on Ukraine’s willingness to investigate the president’s Democratic rivals, the central allegation in the trial.

“I think it’s likely, yes,” said Mr. Nadler, one of the seven House managers prosecuting the charges against Mr. Trump. “When you have a lawless president, you have to bring that to the fore, you have to spotlight that, you have to protect the Constitution despite the political consequences.”

The House asked Mr. Bolton to testify before the December impeachment vote, but he did not agree and Democrats opted not to subpoena him because it could result in a lengthy court fight. When the articles of impeachment reached the Senate, however, Mr. Bolton publicly said he would comply with a Senate subpoena and testify if called. But Senate Republicans rushed to block any new evidence from being considered, and succeeded last week in holding together enough votes to beat back a bid by Democrats to seek new testimony and documents.

It was not clear whether Mr. Bolton would be willing to comply with a subpoena without a court fight if issued by the House outside the context of an impeachment trial. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bolton had no comment on Wednesday. Even if he did, Mr. Trump could assert executive privilege to try to block his testimony, provoking the legal battle Democrats hoped to avoid.

Normally a staid body, the Senate for the past two weeks has been roiled day after day by the impeachment trial, leaving several senators dejected and dug into their partisan corners.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said in a speech on the Senate floor that the chamber “should be ashamed by the rank partisanship that has been on display here,” adding later: “It’s my hope that we’ve finally found bottom here.” She voted to acquit Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump’s acquittal has also left Democrats embittered about the future of the institution in which they serve. Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, said that while he wasn’t surprised by Mr. Trump’s abuse of power, he was surprised by the Senate’s “capitulation” to the president.

“Unchallenged evil spreads like a virus,” Mr. Kaine said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “We have allowed a toxic President to infect the Senate and warp its behavior.”

So where does that leave the Senate? Other senators sounded a more optimistic note.

“I think we heal in part by surprising the people and coming out from our partisan corners and getting stuff done,” Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said, citing addressing the opioid crisis and crumbling infrastructure as examples. “Stuff that they care about that affects the families we were sent here to represent.”
— Catie Edmondson

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Kristin Smart disappearance: Search warrants issued in hunt for California student who vanished in 1996

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office served four search warrants and detained the primary suspect Wednesday in the case of the disappearance of California Polytechnic student Kristin Smart, who vanished more than 20 years ago.

Police served four search warrants in two locations in San Luis Obispo County, one in Los Angeles County and one in Washington state, respectively, according to a press release.

Kristin Smart was a 19-year-old freshman at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo when she disappeared May 25, 1996. The prime suspect in the case, Paul Flores, has maintained his innocence but reportedly refused to cooperate with police.

On Wednesday morning, members of the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI were seen outside of the home of Flores’ mother in Arroyo Grande, and caution tape was posted to keep onlookers out, according to The SLO Tribune.

Another location was a home in a neighborhood where Flores himself has lived since 2010. Flores was detained during the duration of the search and then released, The Tribune reported.

Westlake Legal Group 0909-kristin-smart Kristin Smart disappearance: Search warrants issued in hunt for California student who vanished in 1996 Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b9ee-cfac-5f19-b403-2cf32f869c43

Sept. 7, 2016: A sign outside the James R. Murphy, Jr. law office in Arroyo Grande, Calif., offers a reward for information in the 1996 disappearance of Kristin Smart. (AP)

Last Wednesday, the sheriff’s office announced that it detained two trucks in evidence that belonged to the Flores family in 1996.

KRISTIN SMART INVESTIGATION: CALIFORNIA POLICE SEIZE TWO VANS BELONGING TO FAMILY OF PRIMARY SUSPECT 

Flores was the last person to see Smart after she left a party to return to her dorm. Flores claimed he dropped Smart off at her dorm room that night, but her roommate reported her missing two days later. Smart was never seen again, and a judge declared her legally dead in 2012, though her body was never found.

Since 2011, officials have recovered 140 new items of evidence, conducted 91 in-person interviews and submitted 37 items of evidence for modern DNA testing, last week’s press release said.

FAMILY OF KRISTIN SMART, WHO VANISHED 23 YEARS AGO, TOLD BY EX-FBI AGENT TO BE PREPARED FOR NEWS

The office also executed 18 search warrants, conducting physical evidence searches at nine separate locations, and carried out “a complete re-examination of every item of physical evidence seized by all agencies involved in this case.”

Interest in the case was reinvigorated after Kristin’s mother, Denise Smart, told the Stockton Record that an FBI agent contacted her and told her to be ready for “a major development.” It was later revealed that Denise Smart spoke to a former FBI agent not currently working on the case.

Former San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ed Williams previously said “there are no other suspects” than Paul Flores in Kristin Smart’s disappearance.

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In September 2016, the sheriff’s office and the FBI conducted a joint excavation of a hillside on the Cal Poly campus after announcing they’d found new information that suggested Smart’s remains could have been buried there. The agencies took away bones and other “items of interest” to a facility out of the county for analysis.

Westlake Legal Group 0909-kristin-smart Kristin Smart disappearance: Search warrants issued in hunt for California student who vanished in 1996 Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b9ee-cfac-5f19-b403-2cf32f869c43   Westlake Legal Group 0909-kristin-smart Kristin Smart disappearance: Search warrants issued in hunt for California student who vanished in 1996 Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 5280b9ee-cfac-5f19-b403-2cf32f869c43

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-vote-results-promo-1580858852030-articleLarge Trump Acquitted of Two Impeachment Charges in Near Party-Line Vote United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Romney, Mitt Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 McConnell, Mitch impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

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

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

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Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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