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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 106)

Steering Impeachment With an Iron Grip, Pelosi Forges a Legacy She Never Sought

Westlake Legal Group 18dc-pelosi1-sub-facebookJumbo Steering Impeachment With an Iron Grip, Pelosi Forges a Legacy She Never Sought United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — Hours before she announced the House would investigate whether to impeach him, Speaker Nancy Pelosi received a call from President Trump at her Washington home, ostensibly to talk about gun violence. But he quickly changed the topic to Ukraine.

“He kept saying, ‘The call was perfect. When you see the notes, you’ll see the call was perfect,’” Ms. Pelosi recalled in an interview, sharing for the first time how Mr. Trump previewed a reconstructed transcript showing he had asked Ukraine’s president to investigate a political rival.

“Frankly, I thought, ‘Either he does not know right from wrong, or he doesn’t care.’ ”

Now Mr. Trump is all but certain to become only the third American president to be impeached. But when the final vote is tallied Wednesday on charges the president abused his power and obstructed Congress, he will be one of two Washington figures to go down in the history books.

The other is Ms. Pelosi.

From the moment she ascended to the speakership in January, becoming the first woman to hold the office — not once, but twice — Ms. Pelosi has been the maestro of the unruly Democratic orchestra that built to its crescendo on Wednesday with an impeachment vote she sought mightily to avoid. Like a conductor, she has presided over the process with discipline and at times an iron first, knowing which notes to hit, when to go fast and when to slow down, and when to allow the musicians to play solo.

When Representative Rashida Tlaib, the liberal freshman firebrand from Michigan, used an expletive on her first day in office to describe how she wanted to impeach Mr. Trump, Ms. Pelosi pointedly did not criticize her. “I’m not in the censorship business,” she insisted.

But she also made very clear that House Democrats had no intention of doing any such thing, even as she instructed her top lieutenants to investigate Mr. Trump on numerous fronts, everything, including his communications with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and whether he had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by profiting from his real estate business as president.

When Robert S. Mueller III, the former special counsel, released his report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 election and 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump, a fresh wave of Democrats began pushing to open an inquiry. In private caucus conference calls and one-on-one meetings in her suite just off the Capitol Rotunda, she heard every one of them out — and patiently pushed back.

“I told her that we were struggling to justify why we were not moving forward,” said one of those Democrats, Representative Val B. Demings of Florida, recounting her own effort to get Ms. Pelosi to change her mind. The speaker, she said, delivered a firm response about “being strategic and arriving to the right place at the right time.”

When news of Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign broke, and Ms. Pelosi decided she could hold off no longer, she involved herself in every aspect of the impeachment inquiry. She met nearly every day — sometimes twice a day — with the leaders of the six committees that were already investigating Mr. Trump on an array of matters.

She insisted on signing off on which witnesses would testify before the House Intelligence Committee, and personally approved the wording of news releases, committee reports, and some of the high-profile statements her lieutenants would deliver in public. When Representative Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, showed her his opening statement for the panel’s first impeachment hearing, Ms. Pelosi changed a single word — “was” to “is” — arguing the present tense made for a stronger argument.

Committee chairs, ordinarily protective of their autonomy, knew not to make a move without her. When the debate in the House Judiciary Committee on the articles of impeachment dragged on late into the night, the chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York, wanted to delay the vote until the next morning. He checked with Ms. Pelosi first. And on Tuesday, the speaker was at the Capitol late, coordinating who would speak and for how long during Wednesday’s debate.

Ms. Pelosi reserved the first speaking slot for herself. She took the floor on Wednesday dressed in a dark suit, a nod to what she has long said would be a solemn day, and a carefully-chosen accessory: a gold brooch fashioned as the Mace of the Republic, also known as the speaker’s mace.

“Our founder’s vision of a Republic is under threat from actions from the White House,” she said somberly, adding, “If we do not act now we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”

After Ms. Pelosi opened the impeachment inquiry in September, Republicans demanded that she hold a formal vote authorizing the inquiry — a vote that would have been deeply uncomfortable for nervous moderates in Trump-friendly districts. Ms. Pelosi held off, and put the spotlight on other issues, like gun violence and legislation to reduce the cost of college. When members took a vote, she told them privately, it was going to mean something.

Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, said in an interview this week that Ms. Pelosi’s failure to take that vote was a “fatal flaw,” because it allowed Republicans to criticize her on the impeachment process.

In the interview, Ms. Pelosi cut off a question about Mr. McCarthy’s criticism as soon as she heard his name.

“I don’t care what he has to say,” she said.

Over the past week, as Ms. Pelosi has rolled out the final stages of the impeachment process, culminating with Wednesday’s vote, she has carefully sequenced each step alongside broadly popular, bipartisan legislative items such as a giant defense policy bill, a $1.4 trillion government spending measure, and the ultimate prize for Mr. Trump: a sweeping North American trade agreement known as U.S.M.C.A.

The result is that the most politically vulnerable Democrats — moderates who represent districts that Mr. Trump won in 2016 — can point to a list of legislative accomplishments as they leave Washington at year’s end, telling their constituents they did more with their time in Congress than just impeach the president. The strategy is typical of Ms. Pelosi, who excels at determining precisely what will be needed to win over holdouts in her ranks and then delivering it, generating remarkable party unity.

In this case, all but two Democrats have said they plan to support the articles of impeachment.

As the highest ranking woman in Washington and leader of her party for nearly two decades, Ms. Pelosi, 79, of California, made her mark as a leader with muscle and spine when Mr. Trump was still a reality television host. She says she wants to be remembered not for impeachment but for her legislative achievements, primarily a meticulous and politically complex push to pass the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s landmark health care law.

But for better or worse, people in both parties say, her legacy is now wrapped up with Mr. Trump.

“We don’t get to choose how history remembers us,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly, Democrat of Virginia, who compared Ms. Pelosi to Diogenes, the Greek philosopher who was said to have wandered Athens with a light, searching for an honest man. “Of course she’s going to be an inspiration because of this. Somebody had to be that person with the light — even if it was a lonely challenge.”

But if impeachment has made Ms. Pelosi an inspiration to her fellow Democrats, it has also cemented her status as a villain in the eyes of Republicans. In a long, rambling letter to her on Tuesday, Mr. Trump warned Ms. Pelosi that “history will judge you harshly” — a sentiment Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 House Republican, echoed in an interview.

“This will be a stain on Pelosi’s legacy,” he said. “She’ll be historic in many ways — the first female speaker, and that’s a great accomplishment. But in terms of abusing the power of Congress to settle a personal vendetta, I think that’s playing out before our eyes right now.”

Over the past year, Ms. Pelosi proved herself the only Democrat in Washington who could, and routinely does, go toe-to-toe with Trump. A photograph of her in sunglasses and swingy rust-colored coat, emerging from a White House meeting where she told Mr. Trump not to “characterize the strength that I bring to this meeting,” quickly went viral — before she became speaker.

When Mr. Trump wanted to deliver his State of the Union address during the government shutdown in January, Ms. Pelosi disinvited him — and left him fuming. When the White House released a photograph of her wagging her finger at the president, and he called her “Nervous Nancy,” progressives lapped it up on Twitter.

Impeachment is, for both Ms. Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, a politically perilous endeavor. In 2010, after Congress approved the Affordable Care Act, a climate bill and a Wall Street bailout aimed at mitigating the Great Recession, Democrats lost their majority and she lost her speakership.

But in the interview, she scoffed at the suggestion that history might repeat itself.

“Would I rather be speaker or would I rather 20 million people have health care?” she asked in the interview.

Nor is she concerned about polls showing public support for impeachment and her own approval ratings dropping.

“My numbers are better than Trump’s” she shot back. (In a poll published Tuesday, CNN found that Mr. Trump’s job approval rating was 43 percent, while Ms. Pelosi’s was 39 percent, though the margin of error was four percent, which means they are essentially tied. )

It is not Ms. Pelosi’s style to twist arms to keep her Democratic members in line, but her subtle tactics should not be mistaken for a laissez-faire attitude. She is exacting in her expectations, insists on and richly rewards loyalty, and is known to hold grudges against those who cross her.

She is not “whipping” the impeachment vote — congressional jargon for leaning on members to vote a certain way. But she didn’t have to. Ms. Pelosi knew she had the votes when she announced the inquiry; she would not have moved forward otherwise.

“She will keep the caucus together, not by twisting arms but by the example that she has set, or words that she has delivered,” Representative Lloyd Doggett, Democrat of Texas, said in an interview last week. “She’s leaving every decision to each of these individuals as she’s making the case in a restrained way that has appealed to some of the members who have very difficult districts.”

In many respects, Ms. Pelosi’s management of the impeachment process recalls the tactics and style she used to push through the Affordable Care Act, and to work her way into the speaker’s office for a second time. Her grasp on the speakership seemed tenuous after the 2018 midterm elections. A number of incoming freshmen Democrats, including many moderates, said they would not vote for her.

“I was one of them; I thought it was time for new leadership,” said one of those freshmen, Representative Dean Phillips of Minnesota. “And I’ve got to tell you, thank goodness. Thank goodness that we have Nancy Pelosi speaking for the House of Representatives, because I do not think there is a better, more qualified, more principled person for these circumstances.”

At the time, Ms. Pelosi promised her fellow Democrats that she would serve no more than four years as speaker. But Ms. Pelosi is not a woman to box herself in.

In the interview, she would not renew that commitment.

“I’ll make a judgment as I go along,” she said. “I’m on a mission. I’m not on a timetable.”

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

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Trump Impeachment Vote: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to open debate on articles of impeachment against President Trump, clearing a key procedural hurdle that moved Democrats a step closer to final votes to charge the president with committing high crimes and misdemeanors.

The vote paved the way for six hours of what promises to be fierce debate about whether Mr. Trump should be impeached on two articles accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It served as an early test vote that indicated the House would proceed as expected later Wednesday to approve the articles themselves, making Mr. Trump the third president in history to be impeached.

“If a president undermining our national security and using the federal government for his own selfish personal gain is not impeachable conduct, then, Madam Speaker, I don’t know what is,” said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Lawmakers voted 228 to 197 to move forward, with just two Democrats voting no, signaling that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has largely succeeded in unifying House Democrats behind the effort to remove the president. The articles of impeachment assert that Mr. Trump abused the power of his office by soliciting Ukraine’s help in discrediting his political rivals, seeking an advantage in the 2020 election, and then obstructed Congress by trying to block its inquiry.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166132443_3ccedfb4-99a2-4f1d-8886-f2dcc579f6eb-articleLarge Trump Impeachment Vote: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi arriving at her office ahead of the House vote on articles of impeachment against President Trump Wednesday on Capitol Hill.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The debate on the articles opened after Republicans attempted to derail the proceeding by forcing a pair of procedural votes to register their opposition to an impeachment process that Mr. Trump has branded a coup and that they have called grossly unfair.

Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the committee, said the Democrats were being partisan, using “cherry picked” evidence to fit their narrative. “If we’re really being honest,” he said, “Democrats have been searching for a reason to impeach President Trump since the day he was elected.”

The rule approved on Wednesday gave Republicans and Democrats each three hours to make their cases for or against impeaching Mr. Trump. Approval of the articles, scheduled for the evening, is expected to set the stage for a historic trial in the Senate early in the new year, which would unfold just 10 months before the president stands for re-election.

Westlake Legal Group trump-impeachment-house-vote-whip-count-promo-1576184833145-articleLarge-v39 Trump Impeachment Vote: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Full List: Where Every House Member Stands on Impeachment Against Trump

A majority of the House support the articles of impeachment against the president.

  • In the morning, the House debated the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday and then voted largely along party lines to approve them. This was the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump. The rules call for six hours of debate, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, on the articles.

  • Republicans opened the day with several parliamentary moves to register their opposition and slow the process, and may continue to do so throughout the proceedings, which could lead to multiple procedural votes throughout the day, like the motion to adjourn, that don’t amount to much. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening. House leaders anticipate two separate votes on the two articles to begin at 7:15 p.m. and wrap up about 20 minutes later.

  • The House may also vote to empower Ms. Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial that is to follow in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or to convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

As the momentous debate started shortly after 10 a.m., the House floor was hardly gripped by tension. Only a handful of Republican lawmakers sat in their seats as Mr. McGovern kicked off debate on the rules to guide consideration of the articles of impeachment. A few Democrats huddled in conversation behind him.

“This is democracy-defining moment,” Mr. McGovern, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, intoned to the mostly-empty chamber. About 120 members of the public sat quietly in the gallery, listening to the beginning of the debate.

The historic chamber had been boisterous earlier in the morning, with many members engaged in loud conversations on the floor as Republicans used procedural motions in an unsuccessful attempt to derail impeachment. But once the debate began, most members departed.

One who remained was Ms. Pelosi, who sat in the back row, reading notes and quietly listening to the discussion of the impeachment process that she set in motion months ago. Several members approached her for brief conversations while Representative Tom Cole, of Oklahoma, the senior Republican on the Rules panel, opened his side’s argument in opposition to the impeachment articles.

Ms. Pelosi chose Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, a veteran Democrat who had impressed her with a tough, skillful parliamentary hand, to preside over the historic debate on the articles of impeachment.

Ms. DeGette, first elected in 1996, was until this year the Democrats’ chief deputy whip — the member of leadership responsible for counting votes, known in congressional parlance as “whipping.” She has held the gavel more than a dozen times this year, rotating in and out of the chair as members customarily do.

On Wednesday, she will spend the entire day in the chair. Her skills managing unruly proceedings on the House floor were quickly put to the test when Republicans moved to shut down debate on the articles of impeachment even before it had begun.

A top aide to Ms. Pelosi said Ms. DeGette had impressed the speaker with her past performance in the presiding officer’s chair. But Ms. Pelosi herself will preside over the vote, the aide said.

— Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Mr. Trump may end his day as the third president in American history to be impeached, but he started it as the first president to live-tweet his own impeachment.

By noon, roughly three hours into the House proceedings, Mr. Trump had already posted or reposted 45 messages on Twitter, most of them condemning Democrats for seeking to charge him with high crimes and insisting he did nothing wrong.

In typical Trumpian fashion, he assailed Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Schiff and other Democrats in incendiary terms. “Will go down in history as worst Speaker,” he wrote about Ms. Pelosi at one point. “Already thrown out once!” he added, apparently a reference to the 2010 midterm elections when Republicans won the majority from Democrats before losing it to them again in 2018.

Coming a day after he sent Ms. Pelosi a six-page letter complaining about what he cast as the injustice of impeachment, Mr. Trump also insisted again that he did nothing wrong and tweaked Ms. Pelosi, who has said she was praying for the president.

“Can you believe that I will be impeached today by the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats, AND I DID NOTHING WRONG!” he wrote. “A terrible Thing. Read the Transcripts. This should never happen to another President again. Say a PRAYER!”

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment, and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

Assuming the House proceeds with impeachment as anticipated, the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency will soon be in the hands of the Senate, whose leaders are already quarreling over how to put on a fair trial in an era of deep divisions.

Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, the Republican and Democratic leaders, hardly waited for the House vote to debate how to proceed. On Tuesday, Mr. McConnell rejected Mr. Schumer’s proposal to call four witnesses who did not testify in the House inquiry, arguing that it was not the Senate’s job to complete a rushed and inadequate investigation by the House.

But even as Mr. McConnell and other Republicans assailed House Democrats for not hearing from key witnesses, they generally did not fault the White House for blocking those witnesses from testifying in the first place. Instead, they said the blame lay with Democrats for not going to court to challenge the White House refusal to cooperate, an approach that Democrats rejected because they concluded the judicial process would take too long.

Mr. McConnell was navigating a tricky position of balancing Mr. Trump’s desire for vindication through a trial and the positions of vulnerable Republican senators who are concerned that an abbreviated trial or one that seems tilted to Mr. Trump would make it look like they did not take the charges seriously.

The various sides will continue to try to formulate a plan for the trial on Wednesday even as the House formally decides whether one will be needed.

Video

transcript

How Does the Impeachment Process Work?

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

Westlake Legal Group xx-impeachment-explainer-vid-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Impeachment Vote: Live Updates Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd

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Trump Impeachment Vote Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Efforts to Block Debate on 2 Articles

Video

Westlake Legal Group 18dc-impeachbriefing-pelosi-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Trump Impeachment Vote Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Efforts to Block Debate on 2 Articles Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

The House rejected a move by Republicans to derail the debate on the articles of impeachment. Final votes on the charges are expected this evening.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

The House of Representatives turned back the first two of what may be a string of Republican efforts to block impeachment of President Trump in early tests of partisan solidarity on Wednesday, rejecting back-to-back motions on strictly party-line votes.

The House voted 226 to 188 to block a motion to adjourn without considering the articles of impeachment and then voted 226 to 191 to put aside a Republican resolution condemning the inquiry as an illegitimate and unfair violation of House rules.

The second resolution, introduced by Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, outlined a litany of complaints about the way the inquiry was run by Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California and Jerrold Nadler of New York, the Democratic chairmen of the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees.

Their “abuses of power,” as Mr. McCarthy’s resolution put it, echoing one of the charges against Mr. Trump, “willfully trampled on the rights of the minority” and “brought dishonor and discredit upon the House of Representatives.” Democrats moved to table the resolution, and the vote unfolded along party lines.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 18DC-IMPEACHBRIEFING-SCHIFF-articleLarge Trump Impeachment Vote Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Efforts to Block Debate on 2 Articles Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Representative Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, giving a television interview ahead of the House vote on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

“It’s going to be a lot of walking up these stairs today, I think,” Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat, said as he climbed the steps from his Capitol office to vote on the first of the procedural votes called by Republicans.

The House will spend much of the rest of the morning debating the rules for the debate itself before taking up the two articles of impeachment themselves around midday. Democrats assert that Mr. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors by pressuring Ukraine to tarnish Democratic rivals to aid his re-election campaign while Republicans argue that the majority was engaged in a partisan witch hunt against a president they fear they could not beat at the polls. The House plans to vote by the end of the day.

In a letter on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited all Democratic members to be present on the floor on Wednesday as the chamber convened to debate the articles at what she called a “very prayerful moment in our nation’s history.”

  • In the morning, the House is expected to debate the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday with a vote expected around noon. This will be the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump. The rules call for six hours of debate, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, on the articles.

  • Republicans opened the day with the first of what may be a series of parliamentary moves to register their opposition and slow the process, which could lead to multiple procedural votes that don’t amount to much like the one to adjourn. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening. House leaders anticipate two separate votes on the two articles to begin at 7:15 p.m. and wrap up about 20 minutes later.

  • The House may also vote to empower Ms. Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial that is to follow in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or to convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

Ms. Pelosi chose Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, a veteran Democrat who had impressed her with a tough, skillful parliamentary hand, to preside over the historic debate on the articles of impeachment. .

Ms. DeGette, first elected in 1996, was until this year the Democrats’ chief deputy whip — the member of leadership responsible for counting votes, known in congressional parlance as “whipping.” She has held the gavel more than a dozen times this year, rotating in and out of the chair as members customarily do.

On Wednesday, she will spend the entire day in the chair. Her skills managing unruly proceedings on the House floor were quickly put to the test when Republicans moved to shut down debate on the articles of impeachment even before it had begun.

A top aide to Ms. Pelosi said Ms. DeGette had impressed the speaker with her past performance in the presiding officer’s chair. But Ms. Pelosi herself will preside over the vote, the aide said.

— Sheryl Gay Stolberg

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment, and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

Assuming the House proceeds with impeachment as anticipated, the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency will soon be in the hands of the Senate, whose leaders are already quarreling over how to put on a fair trial in an era of deep divisions.

Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, the Republican and Democratic leaders, hardly waited for the House vote to debate how to proceed. On Tuesday, Mr. McConnell rejected Mr. Schumer’s proposal to call four witnesses who did not testify in the House inquiry, arguing that it was not the Senate’s job to complete a rushed and inadequate investigation by the House.

But even as Mr. McConnell and other Republicans assailed House Democrats for not hearing from key witnesses, they generally did not fault the White House for blocking those witnesses from testifying in the first place. Instead, they said the blame lay with Democrats for not going to court to challenge the White House refusal to cooperate, an approach that Democrats rejected because they concluded the judicial process would take too long.

Mr. McConnell was navigating a tricky position of balancing Mr. Trump’s desire for vindication through a trial and the positions of vulnerable Republican senators who are concerned that an abbreviated trial or one that seems tilted to Mr. Trump would make it look like they did not take the charges seriously.

The various sides will continue to try to formulate a plan for the trial on Wednesday even as the House formally decides whether one will be needed.

Video

transcript

How Does the Impeachment Process Work?

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

Westlake Legal Group xx-impeachment-explainer-vid-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Impeachment Vote Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Efforts to Block Debate on 2 Articles Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd

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

Trump Impeachment Vote Updates: House to Debate Two Articles

The House of Representatives plans to open debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach the president for the third time in American history as Democrats bring forward two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The debate will fall sharply along party lines, with Democrats asserting that Mr. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors by pressuring Ukraine to tarnish Democratic rivals to aid his re-election campaign while Republicans argue that the majority was engaged in a partisan witch hunt against a president they fear they could not beat at the polls. The House plans to vote by the end of the day.

Rough Rundown of the Day:

  • In the morning, the House is expected to vote to adopt the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday. This will be the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump.

  • Early in the day, expect a lot of parliamentary moves by the Republicans to register their opposition and slow the process, which could lead to multiple procedural votes that don’t amount to much. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening, most likely between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The House will hold a separate vote on each of the two articles.

  • The House may also vote to empower Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial to is to follow in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or to convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

When and Where: The morning proceedings are likely to start around 9 a.m. Eastern on the House floor.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the proceedings live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide updates and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting a few minutes before 9.

House Democrats head into the debate with the 216 votes they need (with four vacant seats) to pass the articles of impeachment already in their pocket, according to a survey of members by The New York Times.

The president on Wednesday called on his Twitter followers to “say a prayer” ahead of the House vote.

Mr. Trump set the tone on Tuesday with an aggrieved and hectoring six-page letter to Ms. Pelosi accusing her of “declaring open war on American Democracy” with “an illegal, partisan attempted coup” that he called a “perversion of justice and abuse of power.” He complained he was being railroaded: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

Even as the House has enough Democratic members to pass the impeachment articles, Democrats and Republican will most likely engage in hours of passionate and even angry debate before the roll is called.

Republicans will almost surely pick up many of his points on the floor on Wednesday, while Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump put his own political interests ahead of those of the country by withholding American security aid from Ukraine even as he pressed the country’s new president to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

If the House, as expected, approves both of the articles, Mr. Trump will find himself in the company of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were the other presidents impeached. President Richard M. Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment but before the full House could vote. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton went on to be acquitted in a Senate trial, and by all accounts, it looks as if Mr. Trump will follow that pattern as well.

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment, and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

Video

transcript

How Does the Impeachment Process Work?

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.

“Impeachment by its nature, it’s a political process.” “What people think is going to happen can turn out to be very different from what happens.” “Because it has to do with elected officials holding another elected official to account for their conduct.” When the framers of the Constitution created a process to remove a president from office, they were well … kind of vague. So to understand how it’s going to play out, the past is really our best guide. “I think we’re just all in for a really crazy ride.” Collectively, these New York Times reporters have covered U.S. politics for over 150 years. “I’m also a drummer in a band, so …” They’ve reported on past impeachment inquiries. “Yea, I’m lost in Senate wonderland.” And they say that the three we’ve had so far have been full of twists and turns. “The president of the United States is not guilty as charged.” In short, expect the unexpected. First, the process. Impeachment is technically only the initial stage. “Common misconceptions about impeachment are that impeachment by itself means removal from office. It doesn’t. The impeachment part of the process is only the indictment that sets up a trial.” The Constitution describes offenses that are grounds for removing the president from office as bribery, treason and — “They say high crimes and misdemeanors, which, really, is in the eye of the beholder.” “The framers didn’t give us a guidebook to it. They simply said, that the House had the responsibility for impeachment and the Senate had the responsibility for the trial.” One of the things missing from the Constitution? How an impeachment inquiry should start. And that has generally been a source of drama. Basically, anything goes. “In fact, in the Andrew Johnson case they voted to impeach him without even having drafted the articles of impeachment.” For Richard Nixon, his case started with several investigations that led to public hearings. That part of the process went on for two years, and yielded revelation after revelation, connecting Nixon to a politically-motivated burglary at D.N.C. headquarters — “… located in the Watergate office building.” — and its subsequent cover-up. “Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?” “I was aware of listening devices. Yes, sir.” “This was a shocker. Everybody in the White House recognized how damaging this could be.” As the House drafted articles of impeachment, Nixon lost the support of his party. “O.K., I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.” “I was asked to write the farewell piece that ran the morning after Nixon resigned. And this is what I wrote: The central question is how a man who won so much could have lost so much.” So for Nixon, it more or less ended after the investigations. But for Bill Clinton, that phase was just the beginning. “This is the information.” An independent counsel’s investigation into his business dealings unexpectedly turned into a very public inquiry about his personal life. “The idea that a president of the United States was having an affair with a White House intern and then a federal prosecutor was looking at that, it was just extraordinary.” That investigation led to public hearings in the House Judiciary Committee. “When the Starr Report was being delivered to Congress it was a little bit like the O.J. chase, only a political one. There were two black cars. They were being filmed live on CNN. They were heading towards the Capitol. We were watching it and a little bit agog.” Public opinion is key. And the media plays a huge part in the process. This was definitely true for Clinton. “You know it was just a crazy time. We worked in the Senate press gallery.” “All your colleagues are kind of piled on top of each other.” “We had crummy computers, the fax machine would always break. The printer would always break.” After committee hearings, the House brought formal impeachment charges. “It was very tense. I thought that the Saturday of the impeachment vote in the House was one of the most tense days I’d experienced in Washington.” And it turned out, also, full of surprises. “The day of impeachment arrived, everyone’s making very impassioned speeches about whether Bill Clinton should or should not be impeached and Livingston rises to give an argument for the House Republicans. He started to talk about how Clinton could resign.” “You, sir, may resign your post.” “And all of a sudden people start booing and saying, ‘Resign, resign’!” “So I must set the example.” “He announced he was resigning because he had had extramarital affairs and challenged President Clinton to do the only honorable thing, in his view —” “I hope President Clinton will follow.” “— to resign as well, so there was all this drama unfolding even in the midst of impeachment.” Then it went to the Senate for trial. The Constitution gets a little more specific about this part. “The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is supposed to preside over that trial.” “Rehnquist, he showed up in this robe he had made for himself, which had gold stripes on the sleeves because he liked Gilbert and Sullivan.” “The Senate is the actual jury.” “You will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws. So help you, God.” “This is a copy of the rules of the Senate for handling impeachment. They’re actually very specific.” “Meet six days a week.” “Convene at noon. The senators have to sit at their desks and remain quiet in their role as jurors. And not talk, which trust me, is going to be a problem for some of the senators who are used to talking all the time.” It’s just like a courtroom trial. There are prosecutors who present the case against the president. “That was perjury.” Only, they’re members of the House, and they’re called managers. Then the senators, or the jurors, vote. And things are still, unpredictable. “The options are guilty or not guilty. But there was one senator —” “Arlen Specter, a moderate Republican from Pennsylvania.” “Under Scottish law, there are three possible verdicts: guilty, not guilty and not proved.” “— which is not a thing.” “And everybody just looks, you know, how do you even record that vote?” In the end, there were not enough votes to oust Clinton. “What’s amazing about this whole thing to me wasn’t so much the constitutional process. It was that it felt to me like the beginning of really intense partisanship, the weaponization of partisanship.” And here’s the thing: An impeachment charge has never gotten the two-thirds majority it needs in the Senate to actually oust a president from office. “So you could end up having a situation where the president is impeached, acquitted and runs for re-election and wins re-election.” And that would be a first. “This is my ticket to the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. I don’t think you’ll find these on StubHub.”

Westlake Legal Group xx-impeachment-explainer-vid-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Impeachment Vote Updates: House to Debate Two Articles Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

Explosive testimony. News media frenzies. A trial in the Senate. Here is how impeachment works — and how it has played out in the past.CreditCredit…Photo illustration by Aaron Byrd

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically, including one of Mr. Biden. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump Impeachment Vote Updates: House to Debate Two Articles Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy House of Representatives Debates (Political)

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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

What to Watch For Before the Impeachment Vote

The House of Representatives plans to open debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach the president for the third time in American history as Democrats bring forward two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The debate will fall sharply along party lines, with Democrats asserting that Mr. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors by pressuring Ukraine to tarnish Democratic rivals to aid his re-election campaign while Republicans argue that the majority was engaged in a partisan witch hunt against a president they fear they could not beat at the polls. The House plans to vote by the end of the day.

Rough Rundown of the Day:

  • In the morning, the House is expected to vote to adopt the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday. This will be the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump.

  • Early in the day, expect a lot of parliamentary moves by the Republicans to register their opposition and slow the process, which could lead to multiple procedural votes that don’t amount to much. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening, most likely between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The House will hold a separate vote on each of the two articles.

  • The House may also vote to empower Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial to come in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

When and Where: The morning proceedings are likely to start around 9 a.m. Eastern on the House floor.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the testimony live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide updates and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting a few minutes before 9.

House Democrats head into the debate with the 218 votes they need to pass the articles of impeachment already in their pocket, according to a survey of members by The New York Times, but that will not stop members on both sides from engaging in hours of passionate and even angry debate before the roll is called.

Mr. Trump set the tone on Tuesday with an aggrieved and hectoring six-page letter to Ms. Pelosi accusing her of “declaring open war on American Democracy” with “an illegal, partisan attempted coup” that he called a “perversion of justice and abuse of power.” He complained he was being railroaded: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

Republicans will almost surely pick up many of his points on the floor on Wednesday, while Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump put his own political interests ahead of those of the country by withholding American security aid from Ukraine even as he pressed the country’s new president to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

If the House, as expected, approves both of the articles, Mr. Trump will find himself in the company of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were the other presidents impeached. President Richard M. Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment but before the full House could vote. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton went on to be acquitted in a Senate trial, and by all accounts, it looks as if Mr. Trump will follow that pattern as well.

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times’s survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically, including one of Mr. Biden. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 What to Watch For Before the Impeachment Vote Zelensky, Volodymyr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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

What to Watch For Before the Impeachment Vote

The House of Representatives plans to open debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach the president for the third time in American history as Democrats bring forward two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The debate will fall sharply along party lines, with Democrats asserting that Mr. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors by pressuring Ukraine to tarnish Democratic rivals to aid his re-election campaign while Republicans argue that the majority was engaged in a partisan witch hunt against a president they fear they could not beat at the polls. The House plans to vote by the end of the day.

Rough Rundown of the Day:

  • In the morning, the House is expected to vote to adopt the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday. This will be the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump.

  • Early in the day, expect a lot of parliamentary moves by the Republicans to register their opposition and slow the process, which could lead to multiple procedural votes that don’t amount to much. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening, most likely between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The House will hold a separate vote on each of the two articles.

  • The House may also vote to empower Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial to come in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

When and Where: The morning proceedings are likely to start around 9 a.m. Eastern on the House floor.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the testimony live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide updates and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting a few minutes before 9.

House Democrats head into the debate with the 218 votes they need to pass the articles of impeachment already in their pocket, according to a survey of members by The New York Times, but that will not stop members on both sides from engaging in hours of passionate and even angry debate before the roll is called.

Mr. Trump set the tone on Tuesday with an aggrieved and hectoring six-page letter to Ms. Pelosi accusing her of “declaring open war on American Democracy” with “an illegal, partisan attempted coup” that he called a “perversion of justice and abuse of power.” He complained he was being railroaded: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

Republicans will almost surely pick up many of his points on the floor on Wednesday, while Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump put his own political interests ahead of those of the country by withholding American security aid from Ukraine even as he pressed the country’s new president to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

If the House, as expected, approves both of the articles, Mr. Trump will find himself in the company of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were the other presidents impeached. President Richard M. Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment but before the full House could vote. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton went on to be acquitted in a Senate trial, and by all accounts, it looks as if Mr. Trump will follow that pattern as well.

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times’s survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically, including one of Mr. Biden. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 What to Watch For Before the Impeachment Vote Zelensky, Volodymyr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statue called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

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

Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statue called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

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

What to Watch Ahead of the Impeachment Vote

The House of Representatives plans to open debate on Wednesday over whether to impeach the president for the third time in American history as Democrats bring forward two articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The debate will fall sharply along party lines, with Democrats asserting that Mr. Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors by pressuring Ukraine to tarnish Democratic rivals to aid his re-election campaign while Republicans argue that the majority was engaged in a partisan witch hunt against a president they fear they could not beat at the polls. The House plans to vote by the end of the day.

Rough Rundown of the Day:

  • In the morning, the House is expected to vote to adopt the rules that the House Rules Committee hashed out on Tuesday. This will be the first procedural vote by the full chamber to lay the groundwork for formally impeaching Mr. Trump.

  • Early in the day, expect a lot of parliamentary moves by the Republicans to register their opposition and slow the process, which could lead to multiple procedural votes that don’t amount to much. The votes everyone is waiting for — on the two articles of impeachment — are expected in the evening, most likely between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The House will hold a separate vote on each of the two articles.

  • The House may also vote to empower Speaker Nancy Pelosi to name impeachment managers, whose identities are likely to become public in the coming days. The managers are House members who act much like prosecutors in the impeachment trial to come in the Senate, presenting the findings of the House inquiry to their colleagues across the Capitol. Senators decide whether to acquit the president or convict and remove him from office, which requires a two-thirds vote, or 67 senators if all are present.

When and Where: The morning proceedings are likely to start around 9 a.m. Eastern on the House floor.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the testimony live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide updates and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting a few minutes before 9.

House Democrats head into the debate with the 218 votes they need to pass the articles of impeachment already in their pocket, according to a survey of members by The New York Times, but that will not stop members on both sides from engaging in hours of passionate and even angry debate before the roll is called.

Mr. Trump set the tone on Tuesday with an aggrieved and hectoring six-page letter to Ms. Pelosi accusing her of “declaring open war on American Democracy” with “an illegal, partisan attempted coup” that he called a “perversion of justice and abuse of power.” He complained he was being railroaded: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

Republicans will almost surely pick up many of his points on the floor on Wednesday, while Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump put his own political interests ahead of those of the country by withholding American security aid from Ukraine even as he pressed the country’s new president to announce investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

If the House, as expected, approves both of the articles, Mr. Trump will find himself in the company of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, who were the other presidents impeached. President Richard M. Nixon resigned after the House Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment but before the full House could vote. Both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Clinton went on to be acquitted in a Senate trial, and by all accounts, it looks as if Mr. Trump will follow that pattern as well.

With the final outcome seemingly preordained, perhaps the only suspense about the vote on Wednesday will be how many Democrats break with the party and oppose impeachment.

Two House Democrats who registered their opposition to the inquiry by voting against its ground rules in October, Representatives Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, plan to vote against the articles as well — and Mr. Van Drew is expected to leave the party altogether to become a Republican.

Another 14 Democrats have said they were undecided or have not responded to The Times’s survey, but only one of them, Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin, represents a district won by Mr. Trump. The rest of the so-called front-line Democrats representing Republican areas announced their support for impeachment in recent days, suggesting that the party was rallying behind the effort.

No Republican has announced support for impeachment and while 30 have not said how they would vote, few expect any to break with the president.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically, including one of Mr. Biden. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

  • A C.I.A. officer who was once detailed to the White House filed a whistle-blower complaint on Mr. Trump’s interactions with Mr. Zelensky. Read the complaint.

Video

transcript

Who Are the Main Characters in the Whistle-Blower’s Complaint?

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.

Congressman: “Sir, let me repeat my question: Did you ever speak to the president about this complaint?” Congress is investigating allegations that President Trump pushed a foreign government to dig up dirt on his Democratic rivals. “It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again.” At the heart of an impeachment inquiry is a nine-page whistle-blower complaint that names over two dozen people. Not counting the president himself, these are the people that appear the most: First, Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani. According to documents and interviews, Giuliani has been involved in shadowy diplomacy on behalf of the president’s interests. He encouraged Ukrainian officials to investigate the Biden family’s activities in the country, plus other avenues that could benefit Trump like whether the Ukrainians intentionally helped the Democrats during the 2016 election. It was an agenda he also pushed on TV. “So you did ask Ukraine to look into Joe Biden.” “Of course I did!” A person Giuliani worked with, Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general. He pushed for investigations that would also benefit Giuliani and Trump. Lutsenko also discussed conspiracy theories about the Bidens in the U.S. media. But he later walked back his allegations, saying there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. This is where Hunter Biden comes in, the former vice president’s son. He served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company run by this guy, who’s had some issues with the law. While Biden was in office, he along with others, called for the dismissal of Lutsenko’s predecessor, a prosecutor named Viktor Shokin, whose office was overseeing investigations into the company that Hunter Biden was involved with. Shokin was later voted out by the Ukrainian government. Lutsenko replaced him, but was widely criticized for corruption himself. When a new president took office in May, Volodymyr Zelensky, Zelensky said that he’d replace Lutsenko. Giuliani and Trump? Not happy. They viewed Lutsenko as their ally. During a July 25 call between Trump and the new Ukrainian president, Trump defended him, saying, “I heard you had a prosecutor who is very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.” In that phone call, Trump also allegedly asked his counterpart to continue the investigation into Joe Biden, who is his main rival in the 2020 election. Zelensky has publicly denied feeling pressured by Trump. “In other words, no pressure.” And then finally, Attorney General William Barr, who also came up in the July 25 call. In the reconstructed transcript, Trump repeatedly suggested that Zelensky’s administration could work with Barr and Giuliani to investigate the Bidens and other matters of political interest to Trump. Since the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Democrats have criticized Barr for dismissing allegations that Trump had violated campaign finance laws during his call with Zelensky and not passing along the complaint to Congress. House Democrats have now subpoenaed several people mentioned in the complaint, as an impeachment inquiry into the president’s conduct continues.

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 What to Watch Ahead of the Impeachment Vote Zelensky, Volodymyr Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Pelosi, Nancy impeachment House of Representatives Ethics and Official Misconduct

President Trump’s personal lawyer. The prosecutor general of Ukraine. Joe Biden’s son. These are just some of the names mentioned in the whistle-blower’s complaint. What were their roles? We break it down.CreditCredit…Illustration by The New York Times

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

Trump Diatribe Belittles Impeachment as ‘Attempted Coup’ on Eve of Votes

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday angrily denounced the looming House votes to impeach him as a “Star Chamber of partisan persecution” by Democrats, describing the effort to remove him from office as an “attempted coup” that would come back to haunt them at the ballot box next year.

On the eve of the historic votes, Democrats reached a critical threshold, gathering majority support to impeach Mr. Trump, as the president raged against the proceedings. In an irate and rambling six-page letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Trump portrayed himself as the victim of enemies determined to destroy his presidency with false accusations.

“This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth,” Mr. Trump declared, describing a process enshrined in the Constitution as an attempted government overthrow.

“History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade,” he wrote.

In a missive full of unproven charges, hyperbole and long-simmering grievances against his own government — at one point, he referred to leaders of the F.B.I. as “totally incompetent and corrupt” — Mr. Trump angrily disputed both of the impeachment charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The letter ignored the extensive evidence uncovered during a two-month inquiry by the House Intelligence Committee, based in part on the testimony by members of his own administration. It found that Mr. Trump sought to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals while holding back nearly $400 million in military assistance the country badly needed and a White House meeting for its president.

The charges accuse Mr. Trump of engaging in a corrupt scheme to enlist a foreign power for his own political benefit in the 2020 election, followed by an effort to conceal his actions by blocking congressional investigations. On Wednesday, the House is all but certain to approve them on nearly party-line votes, making him the third president ever to be impeached.

Past presidents have offered contrition as they stared down looming House impeachment votes. President Bill Clinton issued a personal apology from the White House Rose Garden in 1998, biting his lip and saying he was “profoundly sorry” for his actions in the Monica Lewinsky affair days before the House voted to impeach him. President Richard M. Nixon resigned his office in 1974 rather than face the vote at all.

But Mr. Trump was defiant and unrepentant on Tuesday. He accused Ms. Pelosi and her party of fabricating lies, saying that the speaker and Democrats were possessed by “Impeachment Fever” and vowing that he and the Republican Party would emerge stronger after he was vindicated in a Senate trial.

“You are the ones interfering in America’s elections,” he wrote in the letter, on stationery embossed with the presidential seal. “You are the ones subverting America’s democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.”

The letter appeared to preview the grievance-filled narrative of Mr. Trump’s 2020 campaign, echoing the rants he delivers at arena-style rallies around the country as he campaigns for re-election.

The president wrote that he knew his letter would not change the outcome. But he said that the document was “for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.”

In her own message on Tuesday evening to Democratic lawmakers, Ms. Pelosi made no reference to the president’s letter, instead urging her colleagues to “proceed in a manner worthy of our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Westlake Legal Group trump-pelosi-letter-1576612247421-articleLarge-v2 Trump Diatribe Belittles Impeachment as ‘Attempted Coup’ on Eve of Votes Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Mulvaney, Mick McConnell, Mitch Bolton, John R

Read Trump’s Letter to Pelosi Protesting Impeachment

President Trump sent a letter on Tuesday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressing his “most powerful protest” against the impeachment process. The House is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi released their letters as Democrats began drafting rules for debate on the House floor. Meeting in a tiny hearing room just upstairs from the chamber, the House Rules Committee kicked off the broader House debate over the fate of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

“This scheme to corrupt an American presidential election subordinated the democratic sovereignty of the people to the private political ambitions of one man, the president himself,” said Representative Jamie Raskin, Democrat of Maryland and a member of the Judiciary Committee. “It immediately placed the national security interests of the United States of America at risk.”

Republicans responded with the same ferocity that has characterized their defense of Mr. Trump throughout the impeachment inquiry, insisting that the president had done nothing wrong and certainly nothing that warranted impeachment, and accusing Democrats of orchestrating an unfair and illegitimate process.

“No matter what happened and no matter where the investigations led, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives was pushing since the day they took over to impeach President Trump,” said Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the senior Republican on the Rules Committee.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of ignoring the rules in order to rush Mr. Trump’s impeachment. “What’s up is down and what’s down is up,” he said. “We’re more Alice in Wonderland than we are House of Representatives.”

None of them disputed the now-familiar facts surrounding the case against Mr. Trump, that he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading political rival, as he was holding back vital military assistance from the country.

The Rules Committee voted along party lines on Tuesday night to allow a total of six hours of debate over impeachment on the House floor on Wednesday, divided equally among Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

As House Democrats moved methodically toward the votes, the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate clashed over the procedures that would guide an impeachment trial that is likely to begin early next year.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, rejected demands by Democrats to call four White House officials as witnesses. He said there was no reason now for the Senate to agree to take testimony from officials who might bolster Democrats’ case against the president. Later, in a strikingly public rejection of the oath senators take during an impeachment trial to “do impartial justice,” Mr. McConnell insisted he had no obligation to be evenhanded in his handling of the proceeding.

“I’m not an impartial juror,” he told reporters. “This is a political process. I’m not impartial about this at all.”

Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the minority leader, had requested in a letter to Mr. McConnell that the Senate take testimony during trial from four key figures, including Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser.

After Mr. McConnell’s rebuff, Mr. Schumer said that holding a trial without witnesses “would be an aberration.” In an interview, he added that the move would shirk the responsibility the Senate has to get to the truth about what occurred, and that it “eats away at the foundation of the republic.”

“The bottom line is that a trial with no witnesses, a trial with no documents is not a trial,” he said, adding, “We are going to do everything we can to get these documents and get these witnesses.”

The bitter exchange between the Senate leaders came as the most politically vulnerable House Democrats continued to announce their support for the impeachment charges.

One centrist lawmaker, Representative Jared Golden, Democrat of Maine, announced Tuesday that he would support impeaching Mr. Trump for abuse of power, one of the two articles, but would vote against the article charging the president with obstruction of Congress.

“While I do not dispute that the White House has been provocative in its defiance and sweeping in its claims of executive privilege,” Mr. Golden said in a statement, “I also believe there are legitimate and unresolved constitutional questions about the limits of executive privilege.”

Others announced they would vote for both articles even though they were aware that the decision could cost them support in their conservative-leaning districts, and possibly even their seats.

Representative Anthony Brindisi, a freshman Democrat from upstate New York, said in a statement that he would vote for the articles of impeachment with “profound sadness.” But he said Mr. Trump needed to be held accountable.

“I will be voting not as Democrat or Republican but as an American who has been given this responsibility by the people I serve and the community I love,” Mr. Brindisi wrote in an early-morning series of posts on Twitter.

Like Mr. Golden, Mr. Brindisi is one of 23 freshman lawmakers who represent a district that voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

By evening, a majority of the House — all Democrats — had said they would vote in favor. The cascade of announcements from lawmakers who had been deeply skeptical of the drive to force Mr. Trump from office was a sign of Democratic unity on the eve of the House vote.

Mr. Brindisi said in a newspaper opinion article that he became convinced of the president’s wrongdoing after carefully reviewing the evidence collected by the House Intelligence Committee in nearly two months of testimony from national security officials and diplomats in Mr. Trump’s government.

“The fact that the president made a political request to a foreign leader of a troubled country with the intention for it to impact an American rival is beyond disappointing,” Mr. Brindisi wrote. “It is unconstitutional. I took an oath to defend the Constitution. What the President admitted to doing is not something I can pretend is normal behavior.”

In her own statement, Representative Chrissy Houlahan, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said she would vote to impeach the president in order to make sure Congress did not send the message that his behavior was appropriate.

“I grieve for our nation,” Ms. Houlahan said. “But I cannot let history mark the behavior of our president as anything other than an unacceptable violation of his oath of office. The future of our republic and of our values depend on that.”

Reporting was contributed by Catie Edmonson, Nicholas Fandos, Sheryl Stolberg and Emily Cochrane.

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