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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 43)

Could Trump Muzzle John Bolton? The Limits of Executive Privilege, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_136614993_a42ae662-fc3d-47b8-bf4a-e37252b17dc7-facebookJumbo Could Trump Muzzle John Bolton? The Limits of Executive Privilege, Explained United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Suits and Litigation (Civil) subpoenas Senate Mulvaney, Mick Law and Legislation Justice Department House of Representatives Freedom of Speech and Expression Executive Privilege, Doctrine of Constitution (US) Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — Republican senators allied with President Trump are increasingly arguing that the Senate should not call witnesses or subpoena documents for his impeachment trial because Mr. Trump has threatened to invoke executive privilege, and a legal fight would take too long to resolve.

But it is far from clear that Mr. Trump has the power to gag or delay a witness who is willing to comply with a subpoena and tell the Senate what he knows about the president’s interactions with Ukraine anyway — as Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton has said he would do.

Here is an explanation of executive privilege legal issues.

It is a power that presidents can sometimes use to keep information secret.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution implicitly gives presidents the authority to keep internal communications, especially those involving their close White House aides, secret under certain circumstances. The idea is that if officials fear that Congress might someday gain access to their private communications, it would chill the candor of the advice presidents receive and inhibit their ability to carry out their constitutionally assigned duties.

Not by itself.

The privilege has traditionally been wielded as a shield, not a sword. It has no built-in enforcement mechanism to prevent a former official from complying with a subpoena in defiance of a president’s orders, or to punish one afterward for having done so.

Mr. Bolton, one of the four current and former officials whom Democrats want to call as a witness, has said that he will show up to testify if the Senate subpoenas him for the impeachment trial, even though the White House has told him not to disclose what he knows about Mr. Trump’s private statements and actions toward Ukraine.

A valid assertion of the privilege would protect a current or former official who chooses not to comply with a subpoena.

Three other officials Democrats want to call as witnesses — Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney; a top national-security aide to Mr. Mulvaney, Robert Blair; and Michael Duffey, an official in the White House budget office who handled the military aid to Ukraine — are expected to resist appearing if subpoenaed.

Normally it is a crime to defy a subpoena, but the Justice Department will decline to prosecute a recalcitrant official if the president invokes the privilege. Congress can also sue that official seeking a court order, but the department, defending that official, will cite the privilege to argue that case should be dismissed — and as grounds to appeal any ruling that the subpoena is nevertheless valid, keeping the case going.

The Trump administration has broadly pursued a strategy of fighting House oversight and impeachment subpoenas, resulting in a string of lower-court losses that have nevertheless succeeded in running down the clock. Senate Republicans have argued that any effort to enforce impeachment subpoenas could result in a long and drawn-out judicial battle as a reason for the moderate members of their caucus not to break ranks and join Democrats in voting to subpoena witnesses and documents.

Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is leading the House impeachment managers, has proposed that the Supreme Court Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the trial, could swiftly rule on the validity of any executive privilege claim. The trial has “a perfectly good judge sitting behind me,” Mr. Schiff said.

But Chief Justice Roberts does not embody and is not functioning as the Supreme Court. Several legal experts said that even if he were to rule that any invocation of the privilege is not valid, a subpoena recipient could ignore him and continue to defer to the president.

Then the Senate would likely still have to go through the normal court process to seek a judicial order to hear from the witness.

The administration could try, but it would face serious hurdles.

In theory, the Justice Department could file a lawsuit and ask a judge to issue a restraining order barring Mr. Bolton from testifying on the grounds that he might divulge information that is subject to executive privilege. But the government has never tried to do that.

Even if a judge agreed that the information the Senate would be seeking is covered by a valid claim of executive privilege, it is not clear that any judge or higher court would issue a restraining order. Under a constitutional doctrine called prior restraint, the First Amendment severely limits the ability of the government to gag speech before its expression.

“A restraining order is unlikely because it would be unprecedented, a threat to First Amendment values, and — in this context — a threat to fundamental checks and balances,” said Peter Shane, an Ohio State University professor and the co-author of a casebook on separation-of-powers law.

It’s fuzzy. The scope and limits of the president’s power to keep internal executive branch information secret are ill-defined because in practice, administration officials and lawmakers have typically resolved executive privilege disputes through deals to accommodate investigators’ needs to avoid definitive judicial rulings.

In a 1974 Supreme Court case about whether President Richard M. Nixon had to turn over tapes of his Oval Office conversations to the Watergate prosecutor, the court ruled that executive privilege can be overcome if the information is needed for a criminal case. Nixon resigned 16 days later.

The Supreme Court in the Nixon case noted several times that the information sought did not involve presidential discussions about diplomatic or military matters, so the Justice Department might argue that the Watergate precedent does not cover Mr. Trump’s internal communications about military aid to Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the courts would most likely use a balancing test, weighing the presidency’s need for private internal deliberations against Congress’s need for the specific information to investigate possible high-level wrongdoing, said Mark J. Rozell, a George Mason University professor who has written books about executive privilege.

Noting the Nixon-era precedent, he said he doubted that a claim of executive privilege would be upheld in the context of impeachment because “the courts don’t give all that much deference to claims of presidential secrecy in cases of alleged wrongdoing.”

No.

In a related legal dispute, the Trump administration has argued that White House officials are “absolutely immune” from being compelled to respond to a subpoena when Congress is seeking information about their official duties.

If that were true, it would mean they did not even have to show up, separate and apart from whether they can lawfully decline to answer a particular question in deference to a president’s claim that the answer is covered by executive privilege.

Late last year, a Federal District Court judge rejected that theory in a case involving a congressional subpoena to Mr. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II. But Mr. McGahn does not want to cooperate and has permitted the Justice Department to file an appeal on his behalf, and the litigation is continuing.

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This is the success story Dana Perino just had to tell

Westlake Legal Group EOu69H6WAAAIiWL This is the success story Dana Perino just had to tell Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/newsedge/business fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/food-drink/food fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 98c6a2f3-0021-5148-9c15-7770b19eefa2

Entering the workforce as a teenager, Roy Castro was never taught how to tie his tie. After a troubling past on the streets of New York and over ten years of his life spent in federal prison, Castro now runs an ice cream company worth millions of dollars. He credits his success to the STRIVE program.

Appearing on “The Fox News Rundown” podcast Saturday with “The Daily Briefing” host Dana Perino, Castro said the leadership of STRIVE, including President and CEO Philip Weinberg and his mentor Goldman Sachs partner Dina Powell McCormick, changed his life.

Founded in 1984, STRIVE’s mission is to help people in low-income communities learn the skills necessary for good careers. The program has served 75,000 people over the last 35 years and it operates in 12 cities nationwide.

Castro’s mother was a single parent and a drug addict. At age 13, Castro started selling crack cocaine. At age 16, he found himself incarcerated at Rikers Island Prison.

After serving multiple stints, Castro had an extremely hard time getting a job; he was rejected 50 times.

“I was at my wit’s end,” he told Perino.

Before almost deciding to return to his former life, a mother of a friend pointed him in the direction of a STRIVE orientation class where he heard co-founder Rob Carmona speak.

“You know, it was like he was preaching the Gospel to me, man. Like, he was talking my language. He was rough and he was saying it. But, it was what I needed to hear,” Castro remembered.

“And I realized, you know what? Before coming out of jail my whole…my whole wish, my whole vision, is to come home and do the right thing. You don’t come home saying I want to go back, right? You want to come home…you’re inspired to do the right thing,” he said. “And, it fulfilled and gave me that passion back that I had lost while I was being denied…from employment.”

It was there that McCormick heard Castro speak for the first time and was “so inspired” by his story. She gave him her card.

He eventually got a job cleaning up the back of ice cream trucks and ice cream freezers – and he worked his way up.

“I had a vision,” he said, noting that his talents started being recognized through higher management and his eagerness to work his way up the chain of command.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Once Castro finally owned his own small business, he was scared to lose what he had built.

That’s when his wife remembered McCormick’s card. After six years, he emailed her and she responded immediately.

“Once I was there…[STRIVE] taught me how to keep a job,” he said. “Today, I am an excellent tie tier.”

In November, Castro was honored at STRIVE’s 35th-anniversary gala where Perino first heard his story – and it was one she need to share.

Westlake Legal Group EOu69H6WAAAIiWL This is the success story Dana Perino just had to tell Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/newsedge/business fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/food-drink/food fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 98c6a2f3-0021-5148-9c15-7770b19eefa2   Westlake Legal Group EOu69H6WAAAIiWL This is the success story Dana Perino just had to tell Julia Musto fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/economy/jobs fox-news/us/crime/drugs fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/fox-news-radio fox-news/shows/the-daily-briefing-dana-perino fox-news/newsedge/business fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/food-drink/food fox-news/faith-values fox news fnc/media fnc article 98c6a2f3-0021-5148-9c15-7770b19eefa2

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Could Trump Muzzle John Bolton? The Limits of Executive Privilege, Explained

Westlake Legal Group merlin_136614993_a42ae662-fc3d-47b8-bf4a-e37252b17dc7-facebookJumbo Could Trump Muzzle John Bolton? The Limits of Executive Privilege, Explained United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Suits and Litigation (Civil) subpoenas Senate Mulvaney, Mick Law and Legislation Justice Department House of Representatives Freedom of Speech and Expression Executive Privilege, Doctrine of Constitution (US) Bolton, John R

WASHINGTON — Republican senators allied with President Trump are increasingly arguing that the Senate should not call witnesses or subpoena documents for his impeachment trial because Mr. Trump has threatened to invoke executive privilege, and a legal fight would take too long to resolve.

But it is far from clear that Mr. Trump has the power to gag or delay a witness who is willing to comply with a subpoena and tell the Senate what he knows about the president’s interactions with Ukraine anyway — as Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton has said he would do.

Here is an explanation of executive privilege legal issues.

It is a power that presidents can sometimes use to keep information secret.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution implicitly gives presidents the authority to keep internal communications, especially those involving their close White House aides, secret under certain circumstances. The idea is that if officials fear that Congress might someday gain access to their private communications, it would chill the candor of the advice presidents receive and inhibit their ability to carry out their constitutionally assigned duties.

Not by itself.

The privilege has traditionally been wielded as a shield, not a sword. It has no built-in enforcement mechanism to prevent a former official from complying with a subpoena in defiance of a president’s orders, or to punish one afterward for having done so.

Mr. Bolton, one of the four current and former officials whom Democrats want to call as a witness, has said that he will show up to testify if the Senate subpoenas him for the impeachment trial, even though the White House has told him not to disclose what he knows about Mr. Trump’s private statements and actions toward Ukraine.

A valid assertion of the privilege would protect a current or former official who chooses not to comply with a subpoena.

Three other officials Democrats want to call as witnesses — Mr. Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney; a top national-security aide to Mr. Mulvaney, Robert Blair; and Michael Duffey, an official in the White House budget office who handled the military aid to Ukraine — are expected to resist appearing if subpoenaed.

Normally it is a crime to defy a subpoena, but the Justice Department will decline to prosecute a recalcitrant official if the president invokes the privilege. Congress can also sue that official seeking a court order, but the department, defending that official, will cite the privilege to argue that case should be dismissed — and as grounds to appeal any ruling that the subpoena is nevertheless valid, keeping the case going.

The Trump administration has broadly pursued a strategy of fighting House oversight and impeachment subpoenas, resulting in a string of lower-court losses that have nevertheless succeeded in running down the clock. Senate Republicans have argued that any effort to enforce impeachment subpoenas could result in a long and drawn-out judicial battle as a reason for the moderate members of their caucus not to break ranks and join Democrats in voting to subpoena witnesses and documents.

Representative Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who is leading the House impeachment managers, has proposed that the Supreme Court Chief Justice, John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the trial, could swiftly rule on the validity of any executive privilege claim. The trial has “a perfectly good judge sitting behind me,” Mr. Schiff said.

But Chief Justice Roberts does not embody and is not functioning as the Supreme Court. Several legal experts said that even if he were to rule that any invocation of the privilege is not valid, a subpoena recipient could ignore him and continue to defer to the president.

Then the Senate would likely still have to go through the normal court process to seek a judicial order to hear from the witness.

The administration could try, but it would face serious hurdles.

In theory, the Justice Department could file a lawsuit and ask a judge to issue a restraining order barring Mr. Bolton from testifying on the grounds that he might divulge information that is subject to executive privilege. But the government has never tried to do that.

Even if a judge agreed that the information the Senate would be seeking is covered by a valid claim of executive privilege, it is not clear that any judge or higher court would issue a restraining order. Under a constitutional doctrine called prior restraint, the First Amendment severely limits the ability of the government to gag speech before its expression.

“A restraining order is unlikely because it would be unprecedented, a threat to First Amendment values, and — in this context — a threat to fundamental checks and balances,” said Peter Shane, an Ohio State University professor and the co-author of a casebook on separation-of-powers law.

It’s fuzzy. The scope and limits of the president’s power to keep internal executive branch information secret are ill-defined because in practice, administration officials and lawmakers have typically resolved executive privilege disputes through deals to accommodate investigators’ needs to avoid definitive judicial rulings.

In a 1974 Supreme Court case about whether President Richard M. Nixon had to turn over tapes of his Oval Office conversations to the Watergate prosecutor, the court ruled that executive privilege can be overcome if the information is needed for a criminal case. Nixon resigned 16 days later.

The Supreme Court in the Nixon case noted several times that the information sought did not involve presidential discussions about diplomatic or military matters, so the Justice Department might argue that the Watergate precedent does not cover Mr. Trump’s internal communications about military aid to Ukraine.

Nevertheless, the courts would most likely use a balancing test, weighing the presidency’s need for private internal deliberations against Congress’s need for the specific information to investigate possible high-level wrongdoing, said Mark J. Rozell, a George Mason University professor who has written books about executive privilege.

Noting the Nixon-era precedent, he said he doubted that a claim of executive privilege would be upheld in the context of impeachment because “the courts don’t give all that much deference to claims of presidential secrecy in cases of alleged wrongdoing.”

No.

In a related legal dispute, the Trump administration has argued that White House officials are “absolutely immune” from being compelled to respond to a subpoena when Congress is seeking information about their official duties.

If that were true, it would mean they did not even have to show up, separate and apart from whether they can lawfully decline to answer a particular question in deference to a president’s claim that the answer is covered by executive privilege.

Late last year, a Federal District Court judge rejected that theory in a case involving a congressional subpoena to Mr. Trump’s former White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II. But Mr. McGahn does not want to cooperate and has permitted the Justice Department to file an appeal on his behalf, and the litigation is continuing.

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

Tucker Carlson: Goldman Sachs specializes in hypocrisy

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126394362001_6126396999001-vs Tucker Carlson: Goldman Sachs specializes in hypocrisy Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/finance/banking fox-news/politics/finance fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6c81fca1-f680-5a1d-8f90-74315c3127c1

Goldman Sachs is one of the largest investment banks in the world. It’s also America’s largest underwriter of initial public offerings, the often lucrative moment when a private company goes public

Goldman Sachs has always chosen its IPOs based on financial criteria and what was the best possible business decision. But not anymore. Goldman has decided to join the revolution. The company has announced it will no longer underwrite IPOs for companies whose boards contain too many white men, because white men are bad.

Except, apparently, for the white men who run Goldman Sachs. They’re the exception. They’re great.

CAROL ROTH: GOLDMAN SACHS WANTS A BOARD DIVERSITY QUOTA — HERE’S WHY IT’S A GOOD IDEA WITH A BAD TACTIC

Confused? Well, it gets even more muddled. Goldman Sachs has also announced that its new diversity policy will not apply to Asia. The leadership of Chinese companies tends to be utterly and completely homogenous. Diversity is definitely not their strength. And that’s fine with Goldman Sachs. In other words, homogenous boards are a sin when they happen here in America, but in China, they’re totally fine, not to mention highly lucrative.

Well, if all of this seems inconsistent, even hypocritical, don’t be surprised. Goldman specializes in that. The company’s website, for example, contains this preachy little sermon on gender diversity: “Goldman Sachs believes that when women lead, everything changes. In today’s world, gender equality is an economic imperative and supporting women’s economic empowerment and leadership opportunities will drive growth for our clients, our communities, our people and our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

Great, but they don’t mean it. How do we know? Well, Goldman’s Board doesn’t have parity between men and women. When the company’s previous CEO, Lloyd Blankfein stepped down in 2018, they didn’t pick a woman to replace him. No, they picked David Solomon, who looks very much like Lloyd Blankfein.

Solomon didn’t have to take the job. He could have stood aside and let a woman run Goldman Sachs for the first time in 150 years. Or even better, he could have stepped down from his job. He could do it tonight, and then he should demand that a non-binary person replace him immediately and donate his severance to Black Lives Matter.

Needless to say, he won’t do that. Diversity for thee, but not for me. That’s the real motto at Goldman Sachs.

The irony is that Goldman Sachs was founded by a man named Marcus Goldman, who fled precisely this type of dehumanizing dystopian politics, the kind that obsesses over which people or which race or gender or ethnicity are doing too well and need to be pulled down by force.

America, unfortunately, has not been immune to that kind of hatred. But for most of our history, we’ve avoided its worst excesses. Now Goldman Sachs seems determined to stoke the hate, and the goal is pretty obvious. Outsourcing and financialization have made most Americans far worse off over the last 30 years, while at the same time, Goldman Sachs and its employees have grown spectacularly rich.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

So far, they’ve bought off Washington’s lawmakers and its think tanks to ensure that status quo doesn’t change. Now, they’re peddling race hatred to make sure that when, for example, Bernie Sanders tells them to pay more in taxes, they can plead “wokeness” and ask for a pass.

To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Goldman Sachs is feeding the mob in hopes it will eat them last. It won’t work. It never does. But in the meantime, it will hurt America and it will help China, just like so many things Goldman Sachs has done over the past 30 years.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson’s monologue from “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Jan. 24, 2020.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM TUCKER CARLSON

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126394362001_6126396999001-vs Tucker Carlson: Goldman Sachs specializes in hypocrisy Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/finance/banking fox-news/politics/finance fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6c81fca1-f680-5a1d-8f90-74315c3127c1   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6126394362001_6126396999001-vs Tucker Carlson: Goldman Sachs specializes in hypocrisy Tucker Carlson fox-news/us/economy fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight/transcript/tuckers-monologue fox-news/politics/finance/banking fox-news/politics/finance fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/business fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 6c81fca1-f680-5a1d-8f90-74315c3127c1

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Largest Veterans organization demands apology after Trump said traumatic brain injuries from Iranian attack are ‘not very serious’

Westlake Legal Group vy4S12-DuQxuyYpcpi2h4Nu19-MctNRR2UAl9YSrz10 Largest Veterans organization demands apology after Trump said traumatic brain injuries from Iranian attack are 'not very serious' r/politics

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MSNBC’s Ari Melber says Dems didn’t ‘provide enough evidence’ to prove Trump obstructed Congress

Westlake Legal Group Ari-Melber-Getty MSNBC's Ari Melber says Dems didn't 'provide enough evidence' to prove Trump obstructed Congress Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 20b1f0ea-5a86-57d5-a08e-585e9234005e

Very little criticism has been heard on MSNBC of the Democratic House managers during their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump, but anchor Ari Melber argued Friday that the managers didn’t make the case for one of the two articles of impeachment.

Much of the focus on the third day of opening arguments from the House managers was on the article accusing Trump of obstructing Congress.

During a panel discussion, Melber, an attorney, said Democrats made a strong argument for Trump’s abuse of power, but a weak one on obstruction.

CNN’S JEFFREY TOOBIN FAWNS OVER SCHIFF’S ‘DAZZLING’ PERFORMANCE DURING SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

“I saw overwhelming, factual evidence and first-person accounts to support constitutional abuse of power by the president to potentially cheat in the election, undermining democracy itself — very strong,” Melber said. “As we are now here… I do not see an overwhelming case and overwhelming evidence by these Democrats to support convicting on obstructing Congress.”

Melber said that “in every other case, including (President Richard) Nixon, we know the rule has been the president is allowed to fight within the law, is allowed to deny, and, yes, ‘defy,’ all the way up until the Supreme Court, which takes often more than a year.

“So is there enough evidence to support the immediate removal of a president — three months and you’re gone as a precedent ? I haven’t seen them land that,” the host of “The Beat” said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

After getting pushback by a panelist, Melber doubled down, saying that while it is “bad for democracy” for Trump to defy Congress, it’s “not a removable high crime” based on what Democrats presented at the Senate trial.

Westlake Legal Group Ari-Melber-Getty MSNBC's Ari Melber says Dems didn't 'provide enough evidence' to prove Trump obstructed Congress Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 20b1f0ea-5a86-57d5-a08e-585e9234005e   Westlake Legal Group Ari-Melber-Getty MSNBC's Ari Melber says Dems didn't 'provide enough evidence' to prove Trump obstructed Congress Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 20b1f0ea-5a86-57d5-a08e-585e9234005e

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WATCH LIVE: Trump Defense Lawyers Begin Their Case For Acquittal On Senate Floor

Westlake Legal Group 5e2c5a4521000017030003bc WATCH LIVE: Trump Defense Lawyers Begin Their Case For Acquittal On Senate Floor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The floor of the U.S. Senate now belongs to President Donald Trump’s lawyers as they push the Republican-led chamber for an acquittal on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

The president’s attorneys will begin their arguments Saturday in the impeachment trial and are expected to insist the president did nothing wrong when he asked Ukraine’s leader to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

The attorneys have foreshadowed an aggressive, wide-ranging defense that will assert an expansive view of presidential powers and paint Trump as besieged by political opponents determined to undo the results of the last election and ensure his defeat in the next one. They are also expected to try to put Biden on the defensive as he campaigns for a first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses next month.

“They put their case forward. It’s our time next,” said Trump attorney Jay Sekulow.

The opening of the defense’s case comes after a three-day presentation by House Democrats, who as they wrapped up Friday warned that the president will persist in abusing his power and endangering American democracy unless Congress intervenes to remove him before the 2020 election. They implored Republicans to allow new testimony to be heard before they render a final verdict.

“Give America a fair trial,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead Democratic impeachment manager. “She’s worth it.”

Schiff closed Democrats’ case after three days of methodical and impassioned arguments detailing charges that Trump abused power by asking Ukraine for politically motivated probes of political rivals, then obstructed Congress’ investigation into the matter. Trump’s lawyers get their first chance to defend him Saturday, and are expected to argue that he was within his rights as president when he asked Ukraine for the investigation.

In making their case that Trump invited Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election, the seven Democratic prosecutors peppered their arguments with video clips, email correspondence and lessons in American history. Republicans who found the presentation tedious and redundant can expect differences in tone and style from Trump’s lawyers, who plan to attack the impeachment as much on political as legal grounds.

“It’s really trying to remove the president from the ballot in 2020. They don’t trust the American people to make a decision,” Sekulow said.

Defense lawyers have signaled that they’ll cast Trump as a victim not only of Democratic outrage but also of overzealous agents and prosecutors. They’ll likely invoke mistakes made by the FBI in its surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide in the now-concluded Russia probe. In response to allegations that he invited foreign interference, they’ve already argued that it’s no different than Hillary Clinton’s campaign’s use of a former British spy to gather opposition research on Trump in 2016.

With acquittal likely — Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and a two-thirds vote would be required for conviction — the defense team is also arguing to an American public that heads to the polls in 10 months. Trump, eyes on the audience beyond the Senate chamber, bemoaned the schedule in a tweet, saying it “looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”

Arguments are scheduled for just a few hours Saturday in what defense lawyers called a sneak preview. They’ll continue Monday.

The president is being tried in the Senate after the House impeached him last month on charges he abused his office by asking Ukraine for the probes at the same time the administration withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. The second article of impeachment against Trump accuses him of obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe.

The Senate is heading next week toward a pivotal vote on Democratic demands for testimony from top Trump aides, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton, who refused to appear before the House. It would take four Republican senators to join the Democratic minority to seek witnesses, and so far the numbers appear lacking.

“This needs to end,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump confidant. He said he doesn’t want to hear from Bolton or the Bidens.

Like a prosecutor speaking to jurors for the final time before deliberations, Democrats moved Friday to preempt anticipated arguments from Trump’s lawyers, attacking lines of defense as “laughable.”

Those include that he had a legitimate basis to be concerned about potential corruption in Ukraine and to pause military aid to the country. One of the president’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, is expected to argue that an impeachable offense requires criminal-like conduct, even though many legal scholars say that’s not true.

With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, the final day of the Democratic arguments opened with Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, a former Army ranger, saying the only reason Trump eventually released his hold on the aid Ukraine desperately relied on to counter Russian aggression was because he had “gotten caught.”

“The scheme was unraveling,” Crow said. The money for Ukraine was put on hold after Trump’s July 25 call to Ukraine that launched the impeachment probe, and released Sept. 11 once Congress intervened.

Throughout the three days, Democrats balanced the legal and history lessons with plainspoken language about what they see as at stake: the security of U.S. elections, America’s place in the world and checks on presidential power. The Democrats argued that Trump’s motives were apparent, that he abused power like no other president in history, swept up by a “completely bogus” Ukraine theory pushed by attorney Rudy Giuliani.

“Let me tell you something. If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is,” Schiff said in an emotional plea to a pin-drop-quiet room. “If you find him guilty you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters.”

They argued that Trump’s abuse was for his own personal political benefit ahead of the 2020 election, even as administration officials were warning off the theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

The Democrats’ challenge was clear as they tried to convince not just fidgety senators but an American public divided over the Republican president in an election year.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

One issue with wide agreement: Trump should allow top aides to appear as witnesses at the trial. About 7 in 10 respondents said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

After both sides have concluded their arguments next week, senators will face the question of whether to call witnesses to testify. But that issue seems all but settled. Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to get Trump aides, including Bolton and Mulvaney, to testify in back-to-back votes earlier this week.

As for the Ukraine connections, evidence has shown that Trump, with Giuliani, pursued investigations of Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on a Ukrainian gas company’s board, and sought the probe of the debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

It’s a story line many in the president’s camp are still pushing. Giuliani, in an appearance Friday on “Fox & Friends,” insisted he would present evidence on his new podcast of “collusion going on in Ukraine to fix the 2016 election in favor of Hillary” Clinton.

Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick, Alan Fram, Andrew Taylor, Laurie Kellman, Matthew Daly and Padmananda Rama contributed to this report.

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Discussion Thread: Senate Impeachment Trial – Day 6: Opening Arguments Continue | 01/25/2020 – Live, 10am EST

Today the Senate Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump continues with Session 1 of President Trump’s defense counsel’s opening arguments. The Senate session is scheduled to begin at 10am EST.

Prosecuting the House’s case will be a team of seven Democratic House Managers, named last week by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, are expected to take the lead in arguing the President’s case. Kenneth Star and Alan Dershowitz are expected to fill supporting roles.

The Senate Impeachment Trial is following the Rules Resolution that was voted on, and passed, on Monday. It provides the guideline for how the trial is handled. All proposed amendments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were voted down.

The adopted Resolution will:

  • Give the House Impeachment Managers 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Give President Trump’s legal team 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Allow a period of 16 hours for Senator questions, to be addressed through Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

  • Allow for a vote on a motion to consider the subpoena of witnesses or documents once opening arguments and questions are complete.


The Articles of Impeachment brought against President Donald Trump are:


You can watch or listen to the proceedings live, via the links below:

You can also listen online via:


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

Discussion Thread: Senate Impeachment Trial – Day 6: Opening Arguments Continue | 01/25/2020 – Live, 10am EST

Today the Senate Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump continues with Session 1 of President Trump’s defense counsel’s opening arguments. The Senate session is scheduled to begin at 10am EST.

Prosecuting the House’s case will be a team of seven Democratic House Managers, named last week by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff of California. White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump’s personal lawyer, Jay Sekulow, are expected to take the lead in arguing the President’s case. Kenneth Star and Alan Dershowitz are expected to fill supporting roles.

The Senate Impeachment Trial is following the Rules Resolution that was voted on, and passed, on Monday. It provides the guideline for how the trial is handled. All proposed amendments from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were voted down.

The adopted Resolution will:

  • Give the House Impeachment Managers 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Give President Trump’s legal team 24 hours, over a 3 day period, to present opening arguments.

  • Allow a period of 16 hours for Senator questions, to be addressed through Supreme Court Justice John Roberts.

  • Allow for a vote on a motion to consider the subpoena of witnesses or documents once opening arguments and questions are complete.


The Articles of Impeachment brought against President Donald Trump are:


You can watch or listen to the proceedings live, via the links below:

You can also listen online via:


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

Trump’s appearance at March for Life meant ‘everything’ to marchers, Rachel Campos-Duffy says

President Trump’s decision to attend the 47th-annual March for Life in Washington D.C. on Friday “bodes well for him in 2020” with pro-life voters, Fox Nation host Rachel Campos-Duffy said Saturday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends: Weekend” with hosts Griff Jenkins, Lisa Boothe, and Pete Hegseth, Campos-Duffy said the president’s appearance meant “everything” to the pro-life marchers.

“They have been so ignored for so long on that march and here comes the president, really edifying them,” she said.

PRESIDENT TRUMP ON WHY HE ATTENDED MARCH FOR LIFE RALLY: ‘RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IS UNDER SIEGE’

Trump became the first sitting president to both attend and address the march. In 2018, he spoke to the crowd of 100,000 over a video message.

The president, who for years was pro-choice, has since embraced a pro-life position and made clear on Friday that he plans to continue that agenda as he seeks reelection in November.

Westlake Legal Group March-for-Life-AP-1 Trump's appearance at March for Life meant 'everything' to marchers, Rachel Campos-Duffy says Julia Musto fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7ae94334-994b-5fe3-ab96-d54be1d306fa

President Donald Trump speaks at the “March for Life” rally, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In an interview backstage on Friday, he told Campos-Duffy that he recognized that the pro-life movement has been “under siege” for a long time.

“And, I said, ‘You know, I’m in Washington. Maybe I will just — instead of making a tape, I will go over,'” he said. “Now I didn’t know this was going to be this big of a deal, but they have a lot of people out there. And, it turned out to be very successful. The most successful one by far.”

“We want to do what we feel is right,” said Trump.

‘The fact that President Trump came here sent an incredibly strong message that he has not only been a great president, [but] maybe the most pro-life president ever in policy…the fact that he is standing here side-by-side with these tens of thousands of people…” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., remarked backstage on Friday.

During his address, the president told an uproarious crowd that unborn children have “never had a stronger defender in the White House.”

“Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting,” he added.

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The president also panned Democrats’ stances on abortion as “extreme,” accusing many of supporting “taxpayer-funded abortion all the way up until the moment of birth.”

“I think the most important he says in that speech was he said ‘they are coming after me because I’m fighting for you,'” Campos-Duffy remarked, noting that it was likely a reference to the impeachment trial in the Senate.

” I think he completely has their love and gratitude and joy [and] has their vote,” she said. “When I looked at that crowd, I also realized he recruited an army of volunteers because — again — they felt so grateful that he acknowledged them in such a  bold move.”

“It’s never been done before,” Campos-Duffy concluded

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132244257860140000 Trump's appearance at March for Life meant 'everything' to marchers, Rachel Campos-Duffy says Julia Musto fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7ae94334-994b-5fe3-ab96-d54be1d306fa   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132244257860140000 Trump's appearance at March for Life meant 'everything' to marchers, Rachel Campos-Duffy says Julia Musto fox-news/shows/fox-friends-weekend fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/steve-scalise fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 7ae94334-994b-5fe3-ab96-d54be1d306fa

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