web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 53)

Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitt Romney of Utah never became president, but he earned a new distinction on Wednesday: He will be remembered as the first senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his own party from office.

Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, said he expected swift and extreme recrimination from his party for his solitary act of defiance. He was not incorrect.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, tweeted that Mr. Romney “is forever bitter” about losing the presidency and called for him to be “expelled” from the Republican Party. Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Romney’s niece and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said that the president had done nothing wrong, the party was “more united than ever behind him” — and that this was not the first time she had disagreed with “Mitt.” And President Trump himself tweeted a video attacking Mr. Romney as a “Democrat secret asset.”

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Romney voted to convict Mr. Trump of abuse of power for his pressure campaign on Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Mr. Romney said in an interview in his Senate office on Wednesday morning, ahead of the vote and an afternoon floor speech in which he choked up as he explained his decision.

He declared Mr. Trump “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Mr. Romney did vote with his party against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence they had sought.

Although the final result of the Senate vote had never been in question, the defection of Mr. Romney was a rare cliffhanger in the impeachment proceedings and also a kind of moral sideshow.

His vote cast into relief the rapid evolution of the Republican Party into an entity that has wholly succumbed to the vise grip of Mr. Trump. It deprives the president of the monolithic Republican support he had craved at the end of an impeachment case that he has been eager to dismiss as a partisan “hoax” perpetrated by Democrats.

On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Mr. Romney placed his decision in the context of his faith, his family and how history would remember it.

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

Westlake Legal Group 05-video-romney-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Speeches and Statements Senate Romney, Mitt Republican Party impeachment Ethics and Official Misconduct

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

“I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial,” Mr. Romney said. “They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”

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

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

Mr. Romney had served as governor of Massachusetts before his unsuccessful run against President Barack Obama in 2012. He then moved to Utah and eventually ran for the Senate. He said he had come under enormous pressure in recent weeks from rank-and-file members of a party whose support for Mr. Trump has become nearly unanimous.

“I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party, and I don’t want the disdain of Republicans across the country,” Mr. Romney said in the interview.

He already has endured a great deal of it, namely from Mr. Trump himself, who recently derided Mr. Romney as “a pompous ass.” At a grocery store in Florida last weekend, after Mr. Romney voted in favor of calling witnesses to testify in the Senate trial — another break with Republicans — he said a man called him a “traitor,” while another shouted, “Stick with the team!”

As of late Wednesday morning, Mr. Romney said he had not yet informed Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, of how he would vote. He added that he made his final decision late last week, after the final round of questions between the senators and the respective sides in the impeachment trial. The magnitude of the matter weighed heavily on him.

“There’s not been a morning that I’ve gotten up after 4 a.m., just obviously thinking about how important this is, what the consequence is,” Mr. Romney said.

Looking back over his political career, Mr. Romney recalled times in which his decisions had been influenced “in some cases by political benefit.”

“And I regret that,” he added, without specifying the particular decisions. He became increasingly reflective as the interview wore on.

“I have found, in business in particular but also in politics, that when something is in your personal best interests, the ability of the mind to rationalize that that’s the right thing is really quite extraordinary,” Mr. Romney said. “I have seen it in others, and I have seen it in myself.”

As Mr. Romney revealed on the Senate floor how he would cast his votes, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, dabbed at his eyes.

“I had an instinct,” he said afterward, “that this might be a moment.”

“He’s been grappling with it,” added Senator Mike Braun, Republican of Indiana, who sits next to Mr. Romney on the Senate floor. He said he respected Mr. Romney’s decision.

In his remarks, Mr. Romney called the actions in Ukraine of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, “unsavory but also not a crime.” (Hunter Biden held a seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company at a time when his father was vice president and handling diplomacy with the country.) Mr. Romney added that Mr. Trump’s lawyers provided no evidence that a crime was committed by either of the Bidens.

“The president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit,” Mr. Romney said. “There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.”

As the vote arrived, Mr. Romney sat staring straight ahead, talking to no one, his hands clasped in his lap. When he stood up and declared “guilty,” he did so quickly and sat right back down.

Moments after the court was adjourned and senators stood up, Mr. Romney shook hands with Mr. Braun, smiled and rushed to the door just feet from his back-row desk, becoming the first senator to leave the chamber.

When asked Wednesday morning if he had any special flourishes planned for his speech, Mr. Romney just shrugged. “I’m planning on tearing it up when I’m finished,” he quipped, a reference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Emily Cochrane and Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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

Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitt Romney of Utah never became president, but he earned a new distinction on Wednesday: He will be remembered as the first senator in American history to vote to remove a president of his own party from office.

Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president, said he expected swift and extreme recrimination from his party for his solitary act of defiance. He was not incorrect.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son, tweeted that Mr. Romney “is forever bitter” about losing the presidency and called for him to be “expelled” from the Republican Party. Ronna McDaniel, Mr. Romney’s niece and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said that the president had done nothing wrong, the party was “more united than ever behind him” — and that this was not the first time she had disagreed with “Mitt.” And President Trump himself tweeted a video attacking Mr. Romney as a “Democrat secret asset.”

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Mr. Romney voted to convict Mr. Trump of abuse of power for his pressure campaign on Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

“Attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Mr. Romney said in an interview in his Senate office on Wednesday morning, ahead of the vote and an afternoon floor speech in which he choked up as he explained his decision.

He declared Mr. Trump “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Mr. Romney did vote with his party against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence they had sought.

Although the final result of the Senate vote had never been in question, the defection of Mr. Romney was a rare cliffhanger in the impeachment proceedings and also a kind of moral sideshow.

His vote cast into relief the rapid evolution of the Republican Party into an entity that has wholly succumbed to the vise grip of Mr. Trump. It deprives the president of the monolithic Republican support he had craved at the end of an impeachment case that he has been eager to dismiss as a partisan “hoax” perpetrated by Democrats.

On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Mr. Romney placed his decision in the context of his faith, his family and how history would remember it.

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

Westlake Legal Group 05-video-romney-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Speeches and Statements Senate Romney, Mitt Republican Party impeachment Ethics and Official Misconduct

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

“I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial,” Mr. Romney said. “They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”

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

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

Mr. Romney had served as governor of Massachusetts before his unsuccessful run against President Barack Obama in 2012. He then moved to Utah and eventually ran for the Senate. He said he had come under enormous pressure in recent weeks from rank-and-file members of a party whose support for Mr. Trump has become nearly unanimous.

“I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party, and I don’t want the disdain of Republicans across the country,” Mr. Romney said in the interview.

He already has endured a great deal of it, namely from Mr. Trump himself, who recently derided Mr. Romney as “a pompous ass.” At a grocery store in Florida last weekend, after Mr. Romney voted in favor of calling witnesses to testify in the Senate trial — another break with Republicans — he said a man called him a “traitor,” while another shouted, “Stick with the team!”

As of late Wednesday morning, Mr. Romney said he had not yet informed Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, of how he would vote. He added that he made his final decision late last week, after the final round of questions between the senators and the respective sides in the impeachment trial. The magnitude of the matter weighed heavily on him.

“There’s not been a morning that I’ve gotten up after 4 a.m., just obviously thinking about how important this is, what the consequence is,” Mr. Romney said.

Looking back over his political career, Mr. Romney recalled times in which his decisions had been influenced “in some cases by political benefit.”

“And I regret that,” he added, without specifying the particular decisions. He became increasingly reflective as the interview wore on.

“I have found, in business in particular but also in politics, that when something is in your personal best interests, the ability of the mind to rationalize that that’s the right thing is really quite extraordinary,” Mr. Romney said. “I have seen it in others, and I have seen it in myself.”

As Mr. Romney revealed on the Senate floor how he would cast his votes, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, dabbed at his eyes.

“I had an instinct,” he said afterward, “that this might be a moment.”

“He’s been grappling with it,” added Senator Mike Braun, Republican of Indiana, who sits next to Mr. Romney on the Senate floor. He said he respected Mr. Romney’s decision.

In his remarks, Mr. Romney called the actions in Ukraine of Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, “unsavory but also not a crime.” (Hunter Biden held a seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company at a time when his father was vice president and handling diplomacy with the country.) Mr. Romney added that Mr. Trump’s lawyers provided no evidence that a crime was committed by either of the Bidens.

“The president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit,” Mr. Romney said. “There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.”

As the vote arrived, Mr. Romney sat staring straight ahead, talking to no one, his hands clasped in his lap. When he stood up and declared “guilty,” he did so quickly and sat right back down.

Moments after the court was adjourned and senators stood up, Mr. Romney shook hands with Mr. Braun, smiled and rushed to the door just feet from his back-row desk, becoming the first senator to leave the chamber.

When asked Wednesday morning if he had any special flourishes planned for his speech, Mr. Romney just shrugged. “I’m planning on tearing it up when I’m finished,” he quipped, a reference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Emily Cochrane and Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

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

Senate Acquits Trump, Ending Historic Trial

Video

transcript

Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

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

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

Here’s what you need to know:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Impeachment Results: How Democrats and Republicans Voted

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Senate Votes to Acquit President Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

Romney Says He Will Vote to Convict Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announcing Vote to Convict Trump

Westlake Legal Group 05romney-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 Full Transcript: Mitt Romney’s Speech Announcing Vote to Convict Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Speeches and Statements Senate Romney, Mitt impeachment

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, announced on the Senate floor on Wednesday that he intended to vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power. He was the only Republican to break with his party and support removing Mr. Trump from office.

“The president’s purpose was personal and political,” Mr. Romney said of the president’s actions toward Ukraine. “Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

The following is a transcript of Mr. Romney’s speech, as transcribed by The New York Times.

SENATOR MITT ROMNEY, Republican of Utah: The Constitution is at the foundation of our Republic’s success, and we each strive not to lose sight of our promise to defend it. The Constitution established the vehicle of impeachment that has occupied both houses of our Congress these many days. We have labored to faithfully execute our responsibilities to it. We have arrived at different judgments, but I hope we respect each other’s good faith.

The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator-juror, I swore an oath before God to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before God as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party, would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced. I was not wrong.

The House managers presented evidence supporting their case, and the White House counsel disputed that case. In addition, the president’s team presented three defenses, first that there could be no impeachment without a statutory crime, second that the Bidens’ conduct justified the president’s actions, and third, that the judgment of the president’s actions should be left to the voters. Let me first address those three defenses.

The historic meaning of the words “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the writings of the founders and my own reasoned judgment convince me that a president can indeed commit acts against the public trust that are so egregious that while they’re not statutory crimes, they would demand removal from office. To maintain that the lack of a codified and comprehensive list of all the outrageous acts that a president might conceivably commit renders Congress powerless to remove such a president defies reason.

The president’s counsel also notes that Vice President Biden appeared to have a conflict of interest when he undertook an effort to remove the Ukrainian prosecutor general. If he knew of the exorbitant compensation his son was receiving from a company actually under investigation, the vice president should have recused himself. While ignoring a conflict of interest is not a crime, it is surely very wrong. With regards to Hunter Biden, taking excessive advantage of his father’s name is unsavory, but also not a crime. Given that in neither the case of the father nor the son was any evidence presented by the president’s counsel that a crime had been committed, the president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit. There’s no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.

The defense argues that the Senate should leave the impeachment decision to the voters. While that logic is appealing to our democratic instincts, it is inconsistent with the Constitution’s requirement that the Senate, not the voters, try the president.

Hamilton explained that the founders’ decision to invest senators with this obligation rather than leave it to the voters was intended to minimize, to the extent possible, the partisan sentiments of the public at large. So the verdict is ours to render under our Constitution. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfill our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasked senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

The president asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival. The president withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so. The president delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders. The president’s purpose was personal and political. Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.

What he did was not perfect. No, it was a flagrant assault on our electoral rights, our national security and our fundamental values. Corrupting an election to keep oneself in office is perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of one’s oath of office that I can imagine.

In the last several weeks, I’ve received numerous calls and texts. Many demanded, in their words, that I “stand with the team.” I can assure you that that thought has been very much on my mind: You see, I support a great deal of what the president has done. I voted with him 80 percent of the time.

But my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside. Were I to ignore the evidence that has been presented and disregard what I believe my oath and the Constitution demands of me for the sake of a partisan end, it would, I fear, expose my character to history’s rebuke and the censure of my own conscience.

I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before God demanded it of me?

I sought to hear testimony from John Bolton, not only because I believed he could add context to the charges, but also because I hoped that what he might say could raise reasonable doubt and thus remove from me the awful obligation to vote for impeachment.

Like each member of this deliberative body, I love our country. I believe that our Constitution was inspired by Providence. I’m convinced that freedom itself is dependent on the strength and vitality of our national character. As it is with each senator, my vote is an act of conviction. We’ve come to different conclusions fellow senators, but I trust we have all followed the dictates of our conscience.

I acknowledge that my verdict will not remove the president from office. The results of this Senate court will, in fact, be appealed to a higher court, the judgment of the American people. Voters will make the final decision, just as the president’s lawyers have implored. My vote will likely be in the minority in the Senate, but irrespective of these things, with my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability believing that my country expected it of me.

I will only be one name among many, no more, no less, to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial. They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong. We are all footnotes at best in the annals of history, but in the most powerful nation on Earth, the nation conceived in liberty and justice, that distinction is enough for any citizen.

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.

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

The Super Bowl’s Real Winner Was … Bill Murray?

Westlake Legal Group 05superbowl-ads-01-facebookJumbo The Super Bowl’s Real Winner Was … Bill Murray? Trump, Donald J Television Super Bowl Pepsico Inc Murray, Bill Google Inc DeGeneres, Ellen Anheuser-Busch InBev NV Advertising

Who won the Super Bowl?

Technically, the Kansas City Chiefs. But to the brands that shelled out millions to place commercials on the broadcast, the big question is, which ad took the top spot?

Was it Bill Murray, playing a jovial version of his jaded TV weatherman character in a Jeep commercial that was a takeoff to the 1993 comedy “Groundhog Day”? Or was it Google, with its tear-jerking tale of an old-timer trying to recall his longtime love?

Maybe Hyundai’s Boston-besotted “Smaht Pahk” commercial hit home with viewers beyond the paht of the country where the “r” sound is often dropped? And what about the Western dance-off duel between Sam Elliott and Lil Nas X?

Take your pick.

More than a dozen rankings emerged after Pat Mahomes led the heartland team over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. And each one claims to have identified the most successful ad that ran during the broadcast, which brought Fox an audience of 99.9 million.

The rankings help extend the promotional spectacle of the Super Bowl, which includes the fanfare around the halftime entertainment and the weekslong process of teasing game-time commercials.

Commercials from Jeep, Google, Hyundai and Doritos were the ones that popped up the most — but the lists did not agree on which of the four deserved the top spot.

Using an array of differing metrics, companies tried to judge a fundamentally subjective contest — finding the best ad among more than 80 big-budget commercials.

Ad Meter, which counts public votes from a website hosted by USA Today, gave the crown to the Jeep commercial with Mr. Murray. YouTube announced that the top ad, as measured by worldwide views through 10 p.m. eastern on Sunday, was the Amazon commercial featuring the ubiquitous pitchwoman Ellen DeGeneres and her wife, Portia de Rossi, pondering what life was like in the time before Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

Twitter’s Brand Bowl measure concluded that Google was the fan favorite for driving “the highest overall positivity.”

Salesforce analyzed comments and images on social media and found that President Trump’s campaign ad about criminal justice reform generated the most mentions around the world, with 75.6 percent expressing positive sentiment (the same ad was ranked last by Ad Meter voters).

At the New York office of the McCann agency, a panel of more than a dozen advertising executives gathered Monday morning to make their own determination.

Considering factors such as the creative bravery of the ads and the likely difficulty of production, the group deemed the winner of the sixth annual Super Clio award — an offshoot of the industry’s coveted Clio Awards — to be a Snickers commercial that showed a giant candy bar being dropped into a gaping hole as a crowd of people sang.

Other companies tried to measure the emotional effect.

Ipsos, a research company, invited 40 people to a Super Bowl screening in New York and fitted their wrists and fingers with various gizmos to “passively capture galvanic skin response.” By this scheme, the Doritos commercial with Lil Nas X and Mr. Elliott was the best of the broadcast.

A similar measurement, by the video ad technology company Unruly, declared Google’s tear-jerker about loss the “most effective” commercial of the game. Among the factors the company considered was “emotional intensity.”

“At best,” such rankings “tell only part of the story,” said Alixandra Barasch, an assistant marketing professor at the New York University Stern School of Business.

“Everyone wants certain answers about ad effectiveness, and almost no one has them,” she said in an email. “But with so little agreement over how to measure effectiveness and impact, everyone can find some way to claim success and advance their own interests.”

Long after the current crop of commercials has been forgotten, the companies that come up with the lists of top ads often use the rankings to promote their proprietary metrics. The rankings also give ad agencies and their clients bragging rights.

“The lack of true accountability presents a lot of opportunities,” Ms. Barasch said.

Companies spent an estimated $435 million on the 2020 Super Bowl ads, a record, according to the research firm Kantar. Anheuser Busch likely spent $41 million, while PepsiCo spent $31 million. Some companies invested as much as $5.6 million on 30 seconds of airtime, more than double the cost of an equivalent ad during the Oscars broadcast.

Researchers have waffled on whether the commercials are worth the cost. Jay Pattisall, a Forrester analyst, wrote in a recent blog post that the price of a Super Bowl ad was disproportionate to its returns.

The Harvard Business Review once claimed that a Super Bowl ad “is the equivalent of lighting money on fire.” Researchers from Google and Microsoft said in 2013 that companies would always struggle to justify an investment in a game-time ad, citing what they called the “Super Bowl Impossibility Theorem.”

And with so many ways to measure success, how can a company prove that an ad is serving its purpose?

“That may not be truly measurable for weeks or even months,” said Mark Taylor, the chief creative officer of the Mering ad agency in California.

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

We Went to the National Mall to Ask Americans About Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 00IMPEACH-QUIZ-promo-facebookJumbo-v2 We Went to the National Mall to Ask Americans About Impeachment United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 National Mall (Washington, DC) impeachment Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — The impeachment of President Trump has played out like a searing snapshot of the partisan divide, the two parties mostly inhabiting turf so different they might as well be on different planets.

We asked Americans visiting the National Mall last weekend to share their thoughts on impeachment. The goal was to see if people’s statements broke down as neatly and predictably on partisan lines as the vast majority of the views expressed in Congress.

One thing was clear: Almost everyone agreed that impeachment has been a fraught process that has further divided Americans and made them reconsider where we are as a nation. Alas, that may be all we agree on.

Ms. Morasch is a retired social worker from Fairfax City, Va. Though she voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, she is not registered with a party. She came to Washington to protest how the Senate was conducting the impeachment trial.

The way everything gets twisted, you know, whatever your belief is, you can make that the truth. So I don’t have a lot of hope. And it’s sad. That’s the frightening thing. I’m 71 and it’s sad not to have hope at this age.

You know, I was thinking about the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem when we go to the ballgames. And the last line, America, “The land of the free and the home of the brave.” And I thought, what happened?

And I do think he’s going to be re-elected. I’m just afraid for my grandchildren.

Mr. Mullis is a retired sports administration official from Houston. He is a Republican.

I don’t think he did anything wrong. If you scrutinized every president and every president’s tight-knit circle, could you say something regarding something that happened? There’d be a lot of presidents that would be scrutinized under that. Ultimately, the Democrats are not going to benefit at all.

I have always felt good about the country. I think sometimes politics gets in the way of everything that really needs to be done. All the representatives are supposed to represent their constituents, and they really haven’t done that, in order to get new legislation done since Trump’s been elected. Actually, the citizens of the United States are the ones who have been hurt by this.

Mr. Williams is an entrepreneur who was visiting Washington from Philadelphia. He said he was “not a fan of Trump.”

I just felt over all it’s kind of sketchy. It doesn’t give the American people, or people globally, confidence about where America is headed.

I don’t think they’re giving the trial a chance to play out if they’re not bringing witnesses. If you’re not bringing witnesses, you have something to hide. So it’s very suspicious why they don’t want to bring witnesses. Him not bringing witnesses forward is like saying you can hit somebody with your car but get away with it at the same time.

Ms. Fletcher is a sophomore at Belmont University, in Nashville, who is studying music business. She is from Tulsa, Okla., and a registered Republican who said that if the election were today, she would “vote for Trump.”

I don’t think there’s enough to convict him for. If it’s a question of character, I don’t think it’s enough for impeachment. I think the Senate’s so polarized right now. I don’t think the Republicans are going to be willing to impeach him.

I feel like, if anything, less hopeful, not more hopeful. It’s just upsetting that we’re at that place right now where we have to go through a trial in the first place. The fact that we have to go through this as a country isn’t a positive thing.

Mr. Hadden is a veteran of the Vietnam War from North Augusta, S.C., and was in Washington for a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Politically, he leans Republican. He voted for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Look at the economy, everything is great. I think it’s been a sham. It was a basic phone call. We give too much money to foreign countries anyway. He was right to hold it for corruption. I think he’s done the right thing. I don’t think what he did was corrupt. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer were just wasting time.

Ms. Hadden also voted for Mr. Trump and said she planned to do so again in November.

I think that impeachment has hurt the country because if you can impeach him, I just think it’s wrong. We’re just glad it’s over. We’re America. We need everybody to get along. Why can’t they?

Ms. Williams was visiting Washington for the weekend from Columbus, Ohio, where she works in information technology. She is an independent who voted for Mrs. Clinton in 2016.

I think the G.O.P., they have a lot to lose, and they don’t really want to spend the time to invest in a new candidate. I think it will probably hurt Democrats, which is unfortunate to say. I think at this point people just feel like it’s a waste of time and a waste of money, and they feel like he’s gotten away with so much anyway.

At this point I just feel like it’s created more division in the country. At this point, the Democrats just need to put their energy behind getting really strong candidates for the 2020 election.

Mr. Gately is a project manager in HVAC sales in Raleigh, N.C. He said he tended to view himself as a “little bit of a moderate.”

I don’t think President Trump did anything wrong. I think he was looking after the taxpayers’ dollars on the way they would be spent; he wanted to make sure to spend appropriately. He wanted to make sure it wasn’t wasted and involved in any corruption.

It’s not about the American people anymore. I think the Democrats are just making it all politics. I just want to see more for the American people.

Ms. Akins is from Norman, Okla., and is an account manager at a software company. She is a Democrat who was in Washington to tour the United States Capitol and witness the impeachment trial.

I think that any president and actually any political appointee who uses their office to gain personal benefit and uses resources outside of the government to try to coerce and bribe a foreign government to benefit him and or his election should be removed, and actually never allowed to serve again, in any public capacity.

We actually were touring the U.S. Capitol today. We were going to go into the Senate impeachment trial to watch, and I was standing in line. So where have we come to in politics? President Trump and all of the elected officials — who typically are Republicans — who support and turn a blind eye to his behavior, his character, the way that he bullies people, it’s just we’re losing our democracy based on corruption, on bullying from the highest places in office. It’s just really sad to me, and I actually was tearing up in the line. I had to leave because I didn’t want to witness it. It’s just disgusting.

Mr. Riddle is an equipment company manager based in Charleston, W.Va., who identifies as a Republican.

It appears it’s completely partisan, mostly hearsay. And what evidence has been available to the general public has not been convincing me at all. I believe that all of the efforts that have been spent on this could have been much better spent on a lot of other issues this country has going on right now, such as the economy, the China trade deals, things President Trump’s trying to work on.

I think it’s been a distraction. I feel like if we all got together and made some compromises and quit building walls between each other, we could probably get a lot more done in this country. It seems harder to do that today than it’s ever been. And that part is troubling.

Ms. Peebles is a cabinetmaker from Prineville, Ore., and identifies as a Republican. She said the impeachment against Mr. Trump — and overall partisan politics — had left her worried about the country’s future.

I don’t really think there was anything to impeach him on. No crime. Politics, but no crime. I think it was purely political. And I don’t think I’m really right-wing, but I just don’t think they proved it. I do think that political favoring is wrong, but I think everybody does that. But I don’t think it raised the bar of coercion or bribery. But you’re not going to tell me every other president hasn’t said, “Hey, you do this for me,” you know, the idea?

It scares me if we get, let’s say, a Democratic president, House and Senate, or something, it just scares me what could happen. I think we’re so political now. It worries me that there’s not enough reasonable people to compromise. It’s your way or the highway lately.

Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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

Romney, Breaking With Republicans, Will Vote to Convict Trump of Abuse of Power

Westlake Legal Group 05-video-romney-facebookJumbo-v2 Romney, Breaking With Republicans, Will Vote to Convict Trump of Abuse of Power United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Speeches and Statements Senate Romney, Mitt Republican Party impeachment Ethics and Official Misconduct

WASHINGTON — Senator Mitt Romney of Utah announced on Wednesday that he would vote to convict President Trump of abuse of power, making him the first Republican to support removing Mr. Trump for his bid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

“I think the case was made,” Mr. Romney said in an interview in his Senate office on Wednesday morning, ahead of an afternoon floor speech in which he grew emotional as he explained his decision. He declared Mr. Trump “guilty of an appalling abuse of public trust.”

Mr. Romney said he would vote against the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, arguing that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence they had sought. But the first-term senator said that Democrats had proved their first charge, that the president had misused his office for his own personal gain.

“I believe that attempting to corrupt an election to maintain power is about as egregious an assault on the Constitution as can be made,” Mr. Romney said during the interview, appearing by turns relieved and nervous — but also determined — as he laid out his thinking. “And for that reason, it is a high crime and misdemeanor, and I have no choice under the oath that I took but to express that conclusion.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Romney’s position, the Senate is expected to acquit Mr. Trump of both impeachment charges in a vote later Wednesday afternoon. But the defection of Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is a dramatic capstone on the evolution of a party that has thoroughly succumbed to the vice grip of Mr. Trump. And it deprives the president of the monolithic Republican support he had eagerly anticipated at the end of an impeachment saga that he has been eager to dismiss as a politically motivated effort carried out exclusively by Democrats.

On the Senate floor on Wednesday, Mr. Romney placed his decision in the context of his faith, his family and how history would remember it.

“I will only be one name among many, no more, no less to future generations of Americans who look at the record of this trial,” Mr. Romney said. “They will note merely that I was among the senators who determined that what the president did was wrong, grievously wrong.”

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

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

Mr. Romney served as governor of Massachusetts before his unsuccessful run against President Barack Obama in 2012, after which he moved to Utah and eventually ran for the Senate. He said he had come under enormous pressure in recent weeks from rank-and-file members of a party whose support for Mr. Trump has become nearly unanimous.

“I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party and I don’t want the disdain of Republicans across the country,” Mr. Romney said in the interview.

He already has endured a great deal of it, namely from Mr. Trump himself, who recently derided Mr. Romney as “a pompous ass.” At a grocery store in Florida last weekend, after he voted in favor of calling witnesses to testify in the Senate trial — another break with Republicans — Mr. Romney said a man called him a “traitor,” while another shouted, “Stick with the team!

As of late Wednesday morning, Mr. Romney said he had not yet informed Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, on how he would vote. He added that he made his final decision late last week, after the final round of questions between the Senators and the respective sides in the impeachment trial. The magnitude of the matter weighed heavily on him.

“There’s not been a morning that I’ve gotten up after 4 a.m., just obviously thinking about how important this is, what the consequence is,” Mr. Romney said.

Looking back over his political career, Mr. Romney recalled times in which his decisions had been influenced “in some cases by political benefit.”

“And I regret that,” he added, without specifying the particular decisions on his mind. He became increasingly reflective as the interview wore on.

“I have found, in business in particular but also in politics, that when something is in your personal best interests, the ability of the mind to rationalize that that’s the right thing is really quite extraordinary,” Mr. Romney said. “I have seen it in others and I have seen it in myself.”

As Mr. Romney revealed on the Senate floor how he would cast his votes, Senator Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, dabbed at his eyes.

“I had an instinct,” he said afterward, “that this might be a moment.”

“He’s been grappling with it,” added Senator Mike Braun, Republican of Indiana, who sits next to Mr. Romney on the Senate floor. He said that he respects Mr. Romney’s decision.

The lead-up to Mr. Romney’s announcement was a rare cliffhanger in a process whose ultimate conclusion — the president’s acquittal — was never seriously in doubt.

Mr. Romney’s address, a copy of which his office provided Wednesday afternoon on an embargoed basis, called the actions of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., “unsavory but also not a crime.” He added that Mr. Trump’s lawyers provided no evidence that a crime was committed by either of the Bidens.

“The president’s insistence that they be investigated by the Ukrainians is hard to explain other than as a political pursuit,” Mr. Romney said. “There is no question in my mind that were their names not Biden, the president would never have done what he did.”

When asked Wednesday morning if he had any special flourishes planned for his speech, Mr. Romney just shrugged. “I’m planning on tearing it up when I’m finished,” he quipped, a reference to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to the President’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Emily Cochrane contributed reporting.

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