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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 66)

Independent Voters See Economy Improving, a Potential Boon to Trump

Westlake Legal Group 31survey2-facebookJumbo Independent Voters See Economy Improving, a Potential Boon to Trump Voting and Voters United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion Income Inequality Economic Conditions and Trends

Americans are feeling better about the economy, a trend that, if it continues, could bolster President Trump’s prospects for re-election in November.

Forty percent of Americans say they are better off financially than they were a year ago, and just 19 percent say they are worse off, according to a January survey conducted for The New York Times by the online research firm SurveyMonkey. That’s the most positive that respondents have been about the economy in the three years the survey has been conducted.

Other measures of consumer confidence have likewise shown a strong rebound in recent months after falling last summer amid headlines warning of a looming recession.

Views of the economy remain sharply divided along partisan lines, as they have throughout Mr. Trump’s presidency. That could dampen the impact of the economy on the election because many voters may view economic news through the lens of their existing political preferences.

But recent gains in confidence have been particularly strong among the voters most likely to be swayed by economic news: independents. True independents — those who say they do not lean toward either major party — had the biggest jump in confidence in the new Times survey.

In a recent survey from The Washington Post and ABC News, 60 percent of independents said Mr. Trump was doing a good job with the economy, up from 46 percent in September.

The increase in confidence among independents is a recent development and might not last. And some sources tell a different story: A long-running measure of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan showed on Friday that confidence rose over all in January but fell slightly among independents, although confidence is up sharply among all partisan groups since the fall.

The economy’s performance is swaying some voters. Samuel Knight did not vote for Mr. Trump in 2016 because he and his evangelical Christian family did not like his personal behavior. But he said that if the election were held today, he would pull the lever for Mr. Trump, largely because of the strong economy.

“It’s probably the No. 1 thing that influences my vote,” he said.

Mr. Knight, who runs a start-up in Dallas that makes software for the construction industry, said he was not sure how much credit Mr. Trump deserved for the strong economy. But he said his customers have benefited from the administration’s efforts to ease regulation, and he said he supported the president’s approach on trade, even though it had driven up some costs.

“I think we have the resources to outlast China, hands down,” he said. “I think it’s a smart move.”

Republicans are counting on voters like Mr. Knight to carry Mr. Trump to victory in November. The president routinely promotes strong economic data and the rising stock market in speeches and at rallies.

“Are you better off now than you were three years ago?” he asked on Twitter on Tuesday. “Almost everyone says YES!”

That argument ran into trouble over the summer when turmoil in financial markets and escalating trade tensions with China and other countries led to a surge in news coverage warning of a possible recession. Measures of consumer confidence fell in September and were slow to rebound.

Economic growth cooled last year, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, and forecasters expect momentum to slow further in 2020. Still, recession fears have ebbed in recent months, as the job market has remained strong and the Federal Reserve has taken steps to prevent damage from the trade war from spreading to the broader economy. Now confidence appears to be rebounding as well.

“There was this dark cloud hanging over us, but a lot of that has lifted,” said Joseph Song, an economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He noted that wage growth had been picking up among lower-income workers, which could further bolster their economic outlook.

Another factor could also be driving confidence: the stock market.

Mr. Trump frequently cites the rising market as evidence that his policies are working. Experts generally reject that argument: Most Americans own few stocks, and the relationship between stock prices and economic growth is erratic at best. But research has found that the performance of major stock indexes can have a powerful influence on consumers’ outlook.

“It’s something that is very public,” Mr. Song said. “It’s the one broad measure that everyone knows to follow.”

Still, it is not clear whether rising confidence will translate into more votes for Mr. Trump. Economic conditions have traditionally been among the best predictors of presidential elections. But Mr. Trump’s approval rating is significantly weaker than past presidents’ during similar periods of economic strength.

“The fact that we’re not seeing a corresponding uptick in presidential approval, that shows that the question of whether the economy will be less of a factor than in typical elections is still very much an open question,” said Peter K. Enns, who leads the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University.

Debi Mazur-Hofmann is an independent voter outside Allentown, Pa. — a part of the country that could prove pivotal in this fall’s election. She said the economy was “amazingly great,” at least based on the stock market and the unemployment rate, and she said Mr. Trump probably deserved some credit.

“He’s done a good job regarding what we see in front of our eyes,” she said. “He did a lot for the people who are working, possibly.”

But Ms. Mazur-Hofmann, 61, doubts the good times will last. She worries about the national debt and fears Mr. Trump will cut Social Security. And even if the economy remains strong, Ms. Mazur-Hofmann said, she will not vote for Mr. Trump in November because of how he treats people.

“I’ll never vote for Trump — never, never, never in a million years,” she said.

Democrats on the campaign trail have not shied away from talking about the economy, although they describe it in very different terms than Mr. Trump does. Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, in particular, have run on policies that they say would reduce inequality and make the economy fairer. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has pledged to rebuild the middle class.

Liberal groups are urging Democratic candidates to frame economic issues this year in a matter that could counter Mr. Trump’s appeals.

A national poll released this week by Navigator Research, which is overseen by leaders of several progressive organizations, tested voter agreement with various descriptions of the economy. It found that progressive messages scored best when they were phrased around disparities in how the economy was performing for the very rich compared with everyone else. For example: “The gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has never been bigger — we need big, bold changes in Washington to unrig the economic system so working people can get ahead.”

Democratic arguments are resonating with some voters. Rafael Corrales, 24, recently moved back home to Omaha, in part because rents in Seattle, where he had been living, climbed too high. An independent voter and the first member of his family to graduate from college, Mr. Corrales is now looking for work.

His parents, a construction worker and a teacher’s aide, have not seen a raise in years. Health insurance premiums keep going up. His friends are drowning in student debt.

“Many of my friends have thousands of dollars in loans, and they still don’t have a job in their field and they’re working in a grocery store,” he said. “Maybe for people who do have money in the stock market or have higher earnings, it has improved. But for the average American, I don’t think it has improved at all.”

About the survey: The data in this article came from an online survey of 2,969 adults conducted by the polling firm SurveyMonkey from Jan. 6 to 12. The company selected respondents at random from the nearly three million people who take surveys on its platform each day. Responses were weighted to match the demographic profile of the population of the United States. The survey has a modeled error estimate (similar to a margin of error in a standard telephone poll) of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, so differences of less than that amount are statistically insignificant.

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Nigerians in New York Worry Expanded Travel Ban Will Hurt Family Ties

Westlake Legal Group 31xp-banreax03-facebookJumbo Nigerians in New York Worry Expanded Travel Ban Will Hurt Family Ties visas United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Refugees and Displaced Persons Nigerian-Americans Immigration and Emigration Executive Orders and Memorandums

The Trump administration’s expansion of the nation’s contentious travel ban on Friday to include Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, and several other countries deeply rattled immigrants, leaving some Nigerians in New York worried that it would break family ties and have a negative effect on both countries.

“Africans have very strong family ties,” said Henry Ukazu, 35, of the Bronx, warning that not allowing people from Nigeria to come to the United States to live would result in negative consequences for both the United States and Nigeria.

Mr. Ukazu, who immigrated to the United States 10 years ago, predicted that the travel ban would bring about “a level of detachment from family members, and that is not a welcome development.”

“We are not wired to be an individual,” Mr. Ukazu said. “We are raised like a bond because we are like a broom, when we are mixed together, we perform very, very well.”

Nigerians have added a lot of value to the United States, Mr. Ukazu said, but the travel ban will affect the productivity of those immigrants, possibly causing strife within families who support relatives abroad and receive support from them in return.

The expanded ban, which was announced Friday, came amid Mr. Trump’s impeachment battle in the Senate and the 2020 presidential election. It increased the number of countries on the restricted travel list to 13 from seven.

Besides Nigeria and Myanmar, where refugees are fleeing genocide, other countries affected are Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, and Kyrgyzstan.

The policy bans immigrant visas, which are issued to those seeking to live in the United States, for people from Nigeria, Myanmar, Eritrea and Kyrgyzstan. It will also prevent immigrants from Sudan and Tanzania from moving to the United States through the diversity visa lottery.

Uchenna Ekwo, 53, of the Bronx, came to the United States from Nigeria about 20 years ago. A professor at Medgar Evers College, the City University of New York, he said he saw racist elements in the policy, voiced concerns that the ban could harm cultural exchange, and warned that a blanket ban would not stop corrupt, wealthy people from buying their way into the country.

Mr. Trump has denigrated African countries in the past and once complained that Nigerians entering the United States on visas would never “go back to their huts.”

“It’s just not right to just blanket ban a group of people,” he said, later adding that criminals are the only people who should be barred from entering the country.

He cautioned that the policy would affect only poor people as the rich are able to buy homes, cars and effectively green cards.

“If the president wants to help Nigeria,” Mr. Ekwo said, “he should help by fighting corruption.”

Stressing that the world is “one village,” he voiced concerns for the possible drop in information exchange between professionals of different countries

“We live in an interconnected world,” Mr. Ekwo said. “I consider it an ill-advised policy because it’s counterproductive, it’s not going to last.”

The Trump administration has argued that the travel ban, enacted in 2017, was necessary to ensure that countries satisfy security requirements for travel into the United States, or face restrictions until they do.

In a political win for the president, the Supreme Court narrowly upheld the ban in a 5-to-4 vote in 2018, arguing that the president had ample statutory authority to make national security judgments in the realm of immigration.

The leader of a national nonprofit civic engagement organization for Muslims said in statement on Friday that news of the expanded ban was “received with great sadness.”

“Already, the ban has ripped countless families apart, and has denied refuge to communities fleeing unimaginable persecution,” said Wa’el Alzayat, chief executive for the organization, Emgage. “It is horrific that this rejection of humanity is being expanded.”

Now is the time to “promote coalition-building and cross-community solidarity,” he said. “That is the only way we may work to defeat this unspeakably vitriolic banning of humanity, once and for all.”

Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting.

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Republicans Block Impeachment Witnesses, Clearing Path for Trump Acquittal

WASHINGTON — The Senate brought President Trump to the brink of acquittal on Friday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans voted to block consideration of new witnesses and documents in his impeachment trial and shut down a final push by Democrats to bolster their case for the president’s removal.

In a nearly party-line vote after a bitter debate, Democrats failed to win support from the four Republicans they needed. With Mr. Trump’s acquittal virtually certain, the president’s allies rallied to his defense, even as some conceded he was guilty of the central allegations against him.

The Democrats’ push for more witnesses and documents failed 49 to 51, with only two Republicans joining Democrats in favor. A vote on the verdict is planned for Wednesday.

As they approached the final stage of the third presidential impeachment proceeding in United States history, Democrats condemned the witness vote and said it would render Mr. Trump’s trial illegitimate and his acquittal meaningless.

“America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, when the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “If the president is acquitted, with no witnesses, no documents, the acquittal will have no value because Americans will know that this trial was not a real trial.”

Even as they prepared to vote against removing him, several Republicans broke with Mr. Trump’s repeated assertions that he had done nothing wrong, saying they believed he had committed the main offense of which he was accused: withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

Still, those Republicans said, they were unwilling to remove a president fewer than 10 months before he is to face voters.

“If you are persuaded that he did it, why do you need more witnesses?” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, a critical swing vote on the issue whose late decision to oppose considering new evidence all but sealed Mr. Trump’s swift acquittal. “The country is not going to accept being told that they can’t elect the president they want to elect in the week the election starts by a majority for a merely inappropriate telephone call or action.”

“You don’t apply capital punishment for every offense,” Mr. Alexander added.

The vote signaled the end of a saga that has consumed Washington and threatened Mr. Trump’s hold on the presidency for the past five months, since the emergence in September of an anonymous whistle-blower complaint accusing him of using the levers of government to push Ukraine to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election.

Senators laid the groundwork for rendering their verdict on Wednesday afternoon, with plans to recess the trial for the weekend and return Monday for closing arguments. The timetable will rob Mr. Trump of the opportunity to use his State of the Union address, scheduled for Tuesday night, to boast about his acquittal, a prospect he has relished for several weeks. Instead, he will become only the second president to deliver the speech, before a joint session of Congress, during his own impeachment trial.

At the White House, Mr. Trump raged against a process he has dismissed from the start as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax,” preparing to make his defiance in the face of Democrats’ attempts to remove him a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

“No matter what you give to the Democrats, in the end, they will NEVER be satisfied,” the president wrote Friday night on Twitter. “In the House, they gave us NOTHING!”

The outcome of the vote, however, was not in doubt. It would take a two-thirds majority — 67 senators — to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office.

The president has insisted that he did nothing wrong, calling his telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine “perfect” and the impeachment inquiry a “sham.” For months, he has demanded that his allies deliver nothing less than an absolute defense of his actions. But even as they were poised to acquit him, several Republicans said that was not so.

Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said that “some of the president’s actions in this case — including asking a foreign country to investigate a potential political opponent and the delay of aid to Ukraine — were wrong and inappropriate.”

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who challenged Mr. Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, suggested that he did not necessarily consider the president innocent, either.

“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office,” he said. “I will not vote to remove the president because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation.”

Video

transcript

Impeachment Trial Highlights: A Showdown Over Calling Witnesses

Senators rejected a call for additional witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, dealing a fatal blow to efforts by Democrats to bring about new evidence.

“Mr. Blunt?” “No.” “No.” “Mr. Booker?” “Yes.” “Aye.” “Mr. Boozman?” “No.” “No.” “Are there any senators in the chamber wishing to change his or her vote? If not, the yeas are 49, the nays are 51. The motion is not agreed to.” “This will set a new precedent. This will be cited in impeachment trials from this point to the end of history. The documents the president is hiding will come out. The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories. And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance.” “There is a way to decide right up front in some quick way whether there’s really a triable issue, whether you really need to go to all the trouble of calling in new witnesses and having more evidence in something like that.” “It’s not just about hearing from witnesses. You need documents. The documents don’t lie.” “The question here before this body is, what do you want your place in history to be? Do you want your place in history to be, let’s hear the truth? Or that we don’t want to hear it?” “You did hear evidence. You heard evidence from 13 different witnesses, 192 video clips, and as my colleague the deputy White House counsel said, over 28,000 pages of documents.”

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-mcconnell-videoSixteenByNine3000 Republicans Block Impeachment Witnesses, Clearing Path for Trump Acquittal United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Democratic Party Collins, Susan M Alexander, Lamar

Senators rejected a call for additional witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, dealing a fatal blow to efforts by Democrats to bring about new evidence.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Reflecting the depth of the country’s divisions, both sides were already looking past the trial to begin framing the fight over Mr. Trump’s conduct ahead of the November election, starting on Monday, when the Iowa caucuses will be held, marking the first voting in a contest that will deliver the final verdict on his fitness for office.

With the threat of conviction removed, Mr. Trump enters the election season as the first impeached president in modern history to face the voters for re-election, and damaged by the revelations about his conduct. But his expected acquittal is also likely to leave the president emboldened and more determined than ever to stoke voters’ anger and grievances, arguing that Democrats, unelected bureaucrats and the mainstream news media have targeted him because of their disdain for his core supporters, and that his fight for political survival is theirs as well.

“I don’t think he acted improperly,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. “For three-plus years, Democrats have been trying to parse every one of his words, add their traditional view and find themselves often perplexed. Part of the problem is that most of America likes the straight talk and occasionally forgives if he doesn’t say exactly the right thing.”

Democrats, too, planned to capitalize on the battle scars from the impeachment fight to target Republicans, appealing to voters to punish them for refusing to press for a more thorough trial and ultimately sticking with Mr. Trump despite evidence of his misdeeds. But they faced the risks of a potential backlash by voters to a process that highlighted deep partisan divisions.

After resisting impeachment for months, Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced it after the Ukraine allegations last fall. In doing so, she calculated that her party could not fail to act against a president whose actions they saw as clearly beyond the pale. But she confronted what she knew to be an unmovable reality in the Senate, where Democrats were certain to fall far short of removing him.

Republicans in the Senate made a wager of their own that it was better to withstand the short-term criticisms of Democrats and potentially constituents to quickly put the trial behind them than, rather than allow the proceeding to stretch on risking damaging new revelations. In doing so, they are strapping their political fate to that of a polarizing president who enjoys unparalleled loyalty among conservative voters.

The Republican victory was sealed just moments after the debate was gaveled open on Friday when Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, issued a statement saying that a vote for additional witnesses would only extend what she called a “partisan” impeachment, even as she lamented that the Senate trial had not been fair and Congress had failed its obligation to the country. Her announcement followed a similar one by Mr. Alexander.

Two Republicans senators — Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine — broke ranks with their party and voted with Democrats in their demand for additional testimony from witnesses.

Ms. Murkowski did not indicate how she would vote on the final articles of impeachment, which she denounced as “rushed and flawed” by the House. But she offered an unusually sharp rebuke of the institution in which she serves, appearing to cast blame on both parties and both chambers of Congress for letting excessive partisanship overtake a solemn responsibility, even as she sided with her own party.

“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she said in a statement Friday morning. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”

“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” she added

Speaking from the well of the Senate, the Democratic House managers made a final, urgent appeal for additional witnesses during their two-hour presentation on Friday, warning senators that a refusal to hear new evidence would ensure that Mr. Trump is never held accountable even as it undermines the nation’s democratic order and the public’s faith in the institutions of government.

Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, seized on a New York Times report published in the hours before the vote to hammer home his point. The story revealed that Mr. Trump had asked John R. Bolton, his former national security adviser, last may to assist in his pressure campaign on Ukraine.

“The facts will come — out in all of their horror, they will come out,” Mr. Schiff said. “The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories,” he said. “And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”

Mr. Trump’s defense team vigorously argued in the opposite direction, alternately telling senators they already had all the evidence they needed to dismiss thee charged before them and warning that calling new witnesses would set a dangerous precedent of its own by validating a rushed and incomplete case presented by the House.

“The Senate is not here to do the investigatory work that the House didn’t do,” said Patrick Philbin, the deputy White House counsel.

Reporting was contributed by Carl Hulse, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Catie Edmondson, Emily Cochrane and Patricia Mazzei.

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Once Skeptical, Senate Republicans Are All In on Trump

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-tot-1-facebookJumbo Once Skeptical, Senate Republicans Are All In on Trump Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Murkowski, Lisa McSally, Martha Graham, Lindsey Flake, Jeffrey L Elections, Senate Cruz, Ted Clinton, Bill Blackburn, Marsha

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s control of Senate Republicans is nearly complete.

In their almost unanimous vote on Friday to bar new impeachment trial witnesses, they once again raised one of the big questions in Washington over the past three years: Will Senate Republicans ever step in against the president and say enough?

Although many Senate Republicans have long expressed serious reservations about Mr. Trump’s character and conduct in office — and some went so far as to say the Democrats had successfully made their case against him — little daylight is visible now. In pressing inexorably toward their preordained vote of acquittal, Senate Republicans made it clear they see their fortunes and futures intertwined with the president’s, and are not willing to rock the 2020 boat.

“Their party is a cult of personality at this point,” said Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut.

Senators who normally are jealous guardians of their power over federal spending seemed to brush aside Mr. Trump’s attempt to hold up military aid that Congress had allocated to Ukraine, an ally fighting Russian aggression on its eastern border. Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign to leverage that aid in return for investigations of his political rivals is at the heart of the impeachment trial.

The transformation of the Senate can be seen in the way Trump-like tactics have seeped in over recent days. Senator Martha McSally, the Arizona Republican appointed to replace John McCain, called a CNN reporter a “liberal hack” after he posed a routine question — a break with civil press relations of the past. She then immediately started raising campaign money off it.

Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, the newest member of the Senate through her recent appointment, attacked Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, her fellow Republican, on Twitter for trying to “appease the left” by backing the idea of witnesses.

Her clear aim was to curry favor with Mr. Trump and she may well have scored a success. But it was hard to imagine a freshly minted senator of the past arriving in Washington and almost immediately questioning the motives and views of a more senior senator who was also the former presidential nominee of her own party — after making significant campaign contributions to him in the past.

It is worth noting that Ms. Loeffler was appointed to fill the seat of the ailing Johnny Isakson, a Republican known for his bipartisan approach in the Senate and his love and respect for the institution. And Ms. McSally represents a distinct contrast with Mr. McCain, a frequent subject of criticism from the president and a man who closed out his career by depriving Mr. Trump of his campaign promise to repeal the Obama administration’s new health care law.

The departures of Mr. McCain and Mr. Isakson are just part of the steady loss of members willing to go their own way when it comes to the president. Outgoing senators are often replaced by much more conservative successors who have attached themselves to the president. It was lost on no member of the Senate that Jeff Flake of Arizona was essentially driven out for his willingness to find public fault with the president.

Bob Corker of Tennessee, the former Republican senator who spoke up against Mr. Trump on occasion and drew the president’s ire, decided not to seek another term in 2018 and has been replaced by Senator Marsha Blackburn, a conservative former House member who has been biting in her criticism of the impeachment trial and the presentation by House Democrats.

“It’s time to end this impeachment farce and get back to work for the American people,” Ms. Blackburn said this week on Twitter.

The shift has not been lost on former senators of both parties who are watching with dismay as the impeachment trial unfolds with a marked partisanship at odds from the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999, when lawmakers found a way to work out their disagreements over the shape of the trial.

“Not long ago, senators of both major parties always worked to accommodate fellow colleagues with different points of view to arrive at outcomes that would best serve the nation’s interests,” John Warner, a former senator from Virginia, said in a statement. Mr. Warner, who saw himself as a protector of the institution, said he worried that a trial without witnesses would do “lasting damage to the Senate, and to our fragile national consensus.”

Over the years, senators saw themselves as power centers of their own, rising above the House and able to show more independence because of their six-year terms and wider statewide representation. Early on, that sensibility was reflected in their arms-length approach to Mr. Trump when he was still a candidate. Many senators had little to no previous relationship with him.

During the primary campaign, two prominent Republican senators challenging him — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas — frequently raised alarm over the prospect of Mr. Trump in the White House. Mr. Cruz even shied away from endorsing him at the party’s nominating convention. Both paid a price in Twitter abuse from the president, and both are now among his most ardent defenders.

After Mr. Trump’s election, other senators — in private and public settings — said they were concerned about the president’s fitness for office and his Twitter rants against his critics and rivals. Senators split on a few issues and did not show the same fierce loyalty of Republican House members.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, who has exhibited an independent streak, confronted the president in the White House in 2017 over his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying she was sent to Washington to represent her constituents and not toe the party line. She followed that up with a vote against Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

But on Friday, as Ms. Murkowski cast an important vote against calling witnesses, she sounded a few Trumpian notes in lashing into Democrats for what she saw as a partisan show.

“It has also become clear some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the chief justice,” she said, referring to repeated efforts by Democrats to have Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., rule in favor of witnesses and to a question from Senator Elizabeth Warren that was critical of the chief justice. “I will not stand for nor support that effort. We have already degraded this institution for partisan political benefit, and I will not enable those who wish to pull down another.”

Republicans in tough re-election fights — Ms. McSally, Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa, among others — are of the view that they need Mr. Trump, and his supporters in their states, to win.

Democrats say they now fear that Mr. Trump, emboldened by his expected Senate acquittal, will be even less restrained exerting his authority. They aren’t counting on Senate Republicans to do much about it.

Trump on Trial is a continuing series of articles offering reporting, analysis and impressions of the Senate impeachment proceedings.

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Diplomat at Center of Trump Impeachment Retires From State Department

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what they said:

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

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

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

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

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

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Giuliani Sought Help for Client in Meeting With Ukrainian Official

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it is clear that he tried.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But the signature never came.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3 Takeaways from Today’s Trump Impeachment Trial

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

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

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

Here are five key takeaways from the afternoon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump Hotel Patrons Relish Impeachment Finale

Westlake Legal Group merlin_164582592_5e2a5601-6dc8-4ec2-b4fd-6e9bf05000bf-facebookJumbo Trump Hotel Patrons Relish Impeachment Finale United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Trump Organization Trump National Doral Miami (Doral, Fla) Trump International Hotel (Washington, DC) Presidential Election of 2020 Parnas, Lev Mar-a-Lago (Palm Beach, Fla) Hyde, Robert F Giuliani, Rudolph W Conflicts of Interest

WASHINGTON — The big-screen televisions beamed constant impeachment updates into the sprawling lobby of the Trump International Hotel near the White House on Friday afternoon, with Fox News declaring “high stakes vote looms on impeachment witnesses.”

But among the guests at this venue, which played a key supporting role in the impeachment drama, there was little question how this chapter would soon be ending: an acquittal of the hotel owner and commander in chief.

“They knew they did not have a case,” said Robert F. Hyde, a long-shot Republican congressional candidate and Trump hotel regular, who was suspected of having put Marie L. Yovanovitch under surveillance while she was the United States ambassador to Ukraine.

He was sitting at the bar, eating a chopped wedge salad and sipping on both a Diet Coke and a cup of coffee. “There is no treason, no bribery,” he said. “No abuse of power.”

Business was brisk on Friday, with a collection of more than two dozen Marines and their families assembled in the lobby, as well as business executives in town to make pitches to the federal government, and an assortment of other fans of President Trump.

Spending at the hotel by political groups has continued uninterrupted during the impeachment proceedings, including by the Republican National Committee, which has paid more than $440,000 to the hotel since Mr. Trump was elected. America First Action, a super PAC that supports Mr. Trump’s causes, has spent another $505,000 at the hotel since 2017.

“NEVER SETTLE,” read the screen on the cash register, the slogan of the Trump Hotels brand, and in a way a motto for Mr. Trump himself throughout the impeachment saga.

The hotel was the regular gathering place for many of the key players in the tale.

Lev Parnas, who pressured officials in Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, called it “our BLT office on the second floor,” referring to the BLT Prime steakhouse on the mezzanine overlooking the hotel lobby, which Mr. Trump frequents for dinner.

“It was like a breeding ground at the Trump hotel,” Mr. Parnas told Rachel Maddow recently.

Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and the architect of the pressure campaign, dines so frequently at BLT Prime that he has a regular table with a nameplate reading, “Rudolph W. Giuliani, Private Office.” He was there Thursday night, chatting with a lobbyist for the medical marijuana industry.

One of Mr. Trump’s most ardent congressional supporters, Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, as well as Corey Lewandowski, the president’s former political aide, were spotted at the hotel lobby earlier this week.

Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, scheduled so many meetings at the Trump’s hotel with figures at the center of the impeachment inquiry — including Mr. Parnas and Andriy Yermak, a close adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky — that investigators asked why he picked the venue so frequently.

“Because I was guessing that’s where Rudy was going to be staying, so that would be the easiest thing to do,” Mr. Volker said.

Mr. Hyde had his own moment of fame at Trump International, after he suggested to Mr. Parnas here that he had Ms. Yovanovitch under surveillance, something he now says he made up.

Mr. Hyde, who says he is running for a House seat in Connecticut, still hangs at the hotel when he is in Washington, as it offers him an opportunity to network with key players in the Trump administration, or at least the circle of people trying to influence Mr. Trump.

He walked up the hotel manager, Mickael Damelincourt, on Friday to say hello and do a quick fist bump, and greeted one of the bartenders by her first name, before ordering his lunch.

Mr. Hyde was wearing a jersey from Trump National Doral in Miami, a hotel and golf resort where Mr. Hyde said he is a member, a status that also gets him into Mar-a-Lago, the Trump family private club in Palm Beach, Fla., where he can also network.

He was passing out stickers and buttons from his congressional campaign, which continues even though Republican Party leaders in Connecticut have urged him to drop out. Nearby, a waiter took out a small blow torch to ignite a piece of rosemary that hangs above a $22 candied-bacon bar snack.

Patrons at the bar glanced up occasionally at the continued impeachment debate on Friday afternoon. (CNN was on the television on the left, and Fox News on the right.) But there was supreme confidence that this chapter of the Trump era was drawing to a close.

“It needs to be over with — done,” said Melissa Butler, from Columbia, S.C., who said she voted for Mr. Trump and intends to support him again, as she nibbled on a plate of tuna tartar and sipped on a glass of white wine. “It is ridiculous that they brought this up in the first place.”

As the Senate prepared to vote on the question of witnesses will be called, the hotel bar was packed with dozens of patrons, drinks in hand.

“Need popcorn,” said a woman at the bar who declined to be named as the votes were being counted. “Waste of time and taxpayer money.”

The Trump family has announced that it may sell the Washington hotel, which opened in late 2016 and quickly became one of the top sources of revenue for the Trump Organization. A company executive did not respond on Friday when asked how the bidding process was going or if a sale was still being considered.

Litigation continues over several lawsuits claiming that Mr. Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause that prohibits payments to the president from foreign governments or domestic government entities.

But politically connected business has hardly slowed down.

Jonathan Lubecky said he still comes to peruse the lobby and look for people of influence he can grab to press his cause, medical marijuana. That is how he ended up on Thursday speaking with Mr. Giuliani, who he was sitting at his regular table.

“I just go in and I get a drink and see who is there in the lobby that is a target of opportunity to talk to,” Mr. Lubecky said.

Big moneymaking events also continued to be scheduled at the Trump hotel, including gatherings of Texas, Florida and Oklahoma bankers, Texas truckers, as well as pipeline contractors, two doctors’ groups and a Greek-American association, according to a list compiled by 1100 Pennsylvania, a newsletter that tracks activity at the hotel.

“The hotel continues — it is going to roll on — until the president no longer has the hotel or the hotel no longer has the presidency,” said Zach Everson, who runs the 1100 Pennsylvania site. “The end of the impeachment saga means nothing here.”

Mr. Trump, at least, will not likely be at his Washington hotel this weekend. He flew out Friday afternoon for Mar-a-Lago, giving reporters a thumbs up as he left the White House.

Kenneth P. Vogel contributed reporting.

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Lamar Alexander Says Convicting Trump Would ‘Pour Gasoline on Cultural Fires’

Westlake Legal Group 31dc-alexander1-facebookJumbo Lamar Alexander Says Convicting Trump Would ‘Pour Gasoline on Cultural Fires’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Schumer, Charles E Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Murkowski, Lisa impeachment Democratic Party Constitution (US) Alexander, Lamar

WASHINGTON — As he weighed the evidence against President Trump, Senator Lamar Alexander reached an unavoidable conclusion: Mr. Trump had done what he was accused of, pressuring a foreign power to investigate his political rival. But however inappropriate his conduct, another conviction overrode the first: Americans would not tolerate the Senate stepping in to substitute its own judgment for that of the voters fewer than 10 months before the next election.

“The Senate reflects the country, and the country is as divided as it has been for a long time,” Mr. Alexander said Friday during an interview in his Capitol office. “For the Senate to tear up the ballots in this election and say President Trump couldn’t be on it, the country probably wouldn’t accept that. It would just pour gasoline on cultural fires that are burning out there.”

With that logic, Mr. Alexander delivered a victory to Mr. Trump — and to Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, with whom Mr. Alexander has been friends for more than a half-century. In announcing he would vote to block witnesses at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial, he set Mr. Trump on a quick course to his inevitable acquittal.

Many Republicans appeared to be following Mr. Alexander’s lead on Friday, saying the Tennessee senator had echoed the feelings of their caucus — and the country.

“Long story short, @SenatorAlexander most likely expressed the sentiments of the country as a whole as well as any single Senator possibly could,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close ally of Mr. Trump’s, wrote on Twitter. “Those who hate Trump and wish to take the voters choice away in an unfounded manner, Sen. Alexander rightly rejected their arguments.”

Senator Ben Sasse, Republican of Nebraska, put it this way: “Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.”

Mr. Alexander could easily have gone the other way. He is retiring from the Senate and free to vote as he pleases without political consequences. And he said in the interview that Mr. Trump had done exactly what Democrats had accused him of doing: He withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to investigate his political rival — a move he could not condone.

“I think he did something that was clearly inappropriate,” Mr. Alexander said. “I think it is inappropriate for the president to ask the leader of a foreign nation to investigate a leading political rival, which the president says he did. I think it is inappropriate at least in part to withhold aid to encourage that investigation.”

“But that is not treason, that is not bribery, that is not a high crime and misdemeanor,” he added, listing the criteria enumerated in the Constitution for impeachable offenses.

It is hardly a surprise that Mr. Alexander is effectively coming down on both sides. Widely respected as a Senate “institutionalist” — a guardian of its traditions — he is a product of a bygone time in Republican politics: the pre-Trump era, when lawmakers worked across the political aisle to forge consensus on matters of national importance.

A former governor, university president and secretary of education, Mr. Alexander has modeled himself on Senator Howard R. Baker Jr., another Tennessee Republican, who turned against President Richard M. Nixon during Watergate. Mr. Baker, who died in 2014, introduced Mr. Alexander to Mr. McConnell in 1969, when Mr. Alexander was an aide in the Nixon White House and Mr. McConnell was a legislative assistant to a Kentucky senator.

Few friendships in the Capitol have been as enduring as theirs. Today Mr. McConnell calls Mr. Alexander “my best friend in the Senate.” But Mr. Alexander said he did not give Mr. McConnell — whom he described, aptly, as “a person of few words” — advance notice of his vote.

“I know what he thinks, and he knows that is not the way to influence my decisions,” Mr. Alexander said.

Yet Mr. McConnell did not really have to ask. Although Mr. Alexander was lumped in with three other Republicans — Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Mitt Romney of Utah — who had expressed openness to witnesses, it was clear early on that he was unlikely to vote to include them.

Those close to him say he does not relish shaking things up.

“I think that Lamar has been able to successfully navigate the ins and outs of the new administration because Lamar is very wise in how he shares, when he shares, any disagreement or policy difference he might have with the administration,” said Tom Griscom, a close friend of Mr. Alexander’s who worked as Mr. Baker’s press secretary. “He’s not looking to be out on the front edge of it.”

Another close friend, Tom Ingram, who ran Mr. Alexander’s Senate races and served as his chief of staff, said he was not surprised by Mr. Alexander’s decision. He said Mr. Alexander was troubled by what he regarded as a highly partisan impeachment process in the House, and wanted to assure that the Senate gave it thorough consideration, which was why he had expressed openness to witnesses.

“Knowing the reverence he holds for the presidency — the office, not the person — and for the Senate process and how seriously he takes impeachment, it was going to have to be very clear in his mind that the offense clearly fit the high bar set in the Constitution.”

With 47 Democratic votes (including those of two independents who caucus with them), Senate Democrats would need four Republicans to cross party lines in order to force the Senate to subpoena witnesses and fresh documents. In the end, it appears, they will fall short by two. Ms. Collins and Mr. Romney have said they will vote in favor of witnesses.

A little more than 12 hours after Mr. Alexander had declared his intentions, Ms. Murkowski said Friday that she, too, would vote against.

“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she said in a statement. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”

“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” Ms. Murkowski added.

Unlike Mr. Alexander, she did not pass judgment on Mr. Trump’s behavior. Mr. Alexander’s decision to do so gave Democrats a boost.

“He came to the wrong conclusions about hearing evidence in this trial, that’s clear,” Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, told reporters on Friday. “But Senator Alexander, a senior Senate Republican, a retiring member, said out loud what I think most Senate Republicans believe in private: That yes, the president did withhold military assistance to try to get Ukraine to help with his election.”

Even so, Mr. Alexander told NPR that he supported Mr. Trump’s re-election.

In the interview with The New York Times, he said voters should take the charges against Mr. Trump into account, but offered a pointed contrast between the president and his would-be Democratic challengers, specifically mentioning Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, an icon of the progressive left who is a leading contender in her party’s nominating contest.

“Whatever you think of his behavior,” Mr. Alexander said of Mr. Trump, “with the terrific economy, with conservative judges, with fewer regulations, you add in there an inappropriate call with the president of Ukraine, and you decide if your prefer him or Elizabeth Warren.”

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