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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 78)

Lawmakers Clash Over Shape of Impeachment Trial as Rules Vote Looms

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-impeach-facebookJumbo Lawmakers Clash Over Shape of Impeachment Trial as Rules Vote Looms United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Schumer, Charles E Schiff, Adam B McConnell, Mitch impeachment

WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats wrangled publicly on Sunday over the shape, scope and length of the Senate impeachment trial set to reconvene on Tuesday, clashing repeatedly over the time each side will have to present its case and whether additional witnesses should be called to testify.

Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, lashed out at Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, his Republican counterpart, on Sunday night in a news conference, accusing him of planning to conduct an abbreviated, unfair trial.

“Whether it’s because McConnell knows the trial is a cover-up and wants to whip through it as quickly as possible, or because he’s afraid even more evidence will come out, he’s trying to rush it through,” Mr. Schumer said. “That is wrong. And it is so wrong that no one even knows what his plan is a day and a half before one of the most momentous decisions any senator will ever make.”

Mr. McConnell has so far refused to reveal details about the resolution he will seek to pass on Tuesday setting up the rules of the trial. But Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, said on Sunday that Mr. McConnell was considering a plan that would give each side 24 hours to present arguments on the floor of the Senate, but with the requirement that they do so over the course of two days.

“Twenty-four hours of presentation by the House managers over two days, then 24 hours of presentation by the president’s team over two days and then 16 hours of questions submitted by the members in writing to the chief justice,” Mr. Perdue said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding, “That’s our proposal.”

Democrats reacted with alarm to that idea on Sunday. One aide working on the impeachment trial noted that it was scheduled to start each day at 1 p.m. and said that forcing the House managers to deliver 12 hours of arguments in a single day could push the trial into the early hours of the next morning, when few people would be watching.

In his news conference, Mr. Schumer said the president and his Republican allies were eager for a short trial because they did not want the president’s actions to be put on display for everyone to see.

“He’s afraid of what the American people might hear,” Mr. Schumer said of Mr. McConnell.

The House managers, who will serve as prosecutors in the trial, met for several hours on Sunday to strategize and refine their presentations, according to congressional aides working on the trial. Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and one of the managers, said Sunday that the Senate must seek testimony from additional witnesses.

“It’s not negotiable whether you have witnesses,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “And this whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is really a question of, does the Senate want to have a fair trial, or are they part of the cover-up of the president?”

But several Republican senators on Sunday dismissed the idea of calling additional witnesses, saying it was up to the House to conduct those interviews before approving the articles of impeachment and sending them to the Senate.

“If the House isn’t prepared to go forward with the evidence that they produced in the impeachment inquiry, maybe they ought to withdraw the articles of impeachment and start over again,” Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, said on “Face the Nation,” adding that it was not the Senate’s responsibility to do work that the House failed to do before voting to impeach Mr. Trump.

“This, to me, seems to undermine or indicate that they’re getting cold feet or have a lack of confidence in what they’ve done so far,” he said.

Senator Richard C. Shelby, Republican of Alabama, said his early assessment of the case against the president was that the House had not proved Mr. Trump was guilty of abuse of power or obstruction of Congress. He said senators should hear the arguments from both sides before making a decision on witnesses.

“If the case looks so flimsy, as some people say, if it’s nothing to it, it doesn’t rise to impeachable offenses, like a court of law, the court disposes of it,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Some Democrats have suggested that the Senate should hear from Lev Parnas, an associate of the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Mr. Parnas, who is under indictment on criminal campaign finance charges, was involved with Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to pressure Ukraine on Mr. Trump’s behalf and has provided texts, emails and other documents to House investigators.

Mr. Perdue dismissed Mr. Parnas, calling him a “distraction” and insisting that he had only secondhand information about the president’s actions.

“This is a person that’s been indicted right now. He’s out on bail,” Mr. Perdue said. “He’s been meeting with the House Intel Committee — if the House felt like this information was pertinent, I would think they would have included him in this, and his testimony in this.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is the lead manager in the impeachment trial, said the idea of refusing to call witnesses would be like a judge in a criminal case working with the defendant to make sure the prosecution could not call witnesses.

“No juror has ever heard that kind of thing from a judge because it would be absurd,” Mr. Schiff said on “This Week.” “It would be a mockery of a trial, not a trial, but that is what Senator McConnell to date is proposing.”

If the senators agree to seek the testimony of additional witnesses, that would most likely extend the trial for at least several weeks. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of the president’s closest Republican allies, said Mr. Trump was confident about the outcome of the trial but eager to have it over as quickly as possible — if possible before he delivers his State of the Union address, scheduled for Feb. 4.

“His mood is to go to the State of the Union with this behind him and talk about what he wants to do for the next — rest of 2020 and what he wants to do for the next four years,” Mr. Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He is very much comfortable with the idea this is going to turn out well for him. He believes politically this has helped him.”

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Struggle Between N.S.A. and Congress Over Ukraine Records Breaks Into Open

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-intel1-facebookJumbo Struggle Between N.S.A. and Congress Over Ukraine Records Breaks Into Open United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B National Security Agency Nakasone, Paul M House Committee on Intelligence Espionage and Intelligence Services central intelligence agency

A long-simmering conflict between the National Security Agency and the House Intelligence Committee broke into the open on Sunday when the committee’s chairman, Representative Adam B. Schiff, accused the agency of withholding critical intelligence from his panel, including some that might be useful in the impeachment trial of President Trump.

Since last fall, the committee has been quietly seeking documents and intercepts that the National Security Agency gathered in Ukraine. But Mr. Schiff, a California Democrat and former prosecutor who is one of the managers of the impeachment trial, took the fight public, saying that “the intelligence community is beginning to withhold documents from Congress on the issue of Ukraine.”

“The N.S.A. in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “That is deeply concerning. And there are signs that the C.I.A. may be on the same tragic course.”

Administration officials disputed Mr. Schiff’s accusations, saying the intelligence agencies were nonpartisan and were providing information to their congressional overseers. But a statement they issued avoided mentioning specifics.

“The intelligence community is committed to providing Congress with the information and intelligence it needs to carry out its critical oversight role,” Amanda J. Schoch, the assistant director of national intelligence for strategic communications, said in the statement. It “is working in good faith” with the committee, she continued, to respond “to requests on a broad range of topics and will continue to do so.”

A committee official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Schiff was angered because the National Security Agency was reneging on an earlier agreement on what documents would be produced. But administration officials said the document production was simply going slowly, and had not been blocked.

Disputes between intelligence agencies and oversight committees are not unusual. The agencies are frequently reluctant to share direct intercepts of conversations or to allow their individual officers or analysts to provide information directly to the committees. Instead, they prefer to turn over analytical reports that have been reviewed by agency leadership. The committees often press for more raw forms of intelligence.

Mr. Schiff and the agency had appeared to reach an accord several months ago about what kind of intelligence about Ukraine it was prepared to share with the committee. Since then, the committee had kept its struggle to obtain American intelligence on Ukraine largely behind closed doors under the secrecy rules that guide its oversight of what, by some measures, is the largest and most powerful of the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies.

Mr. Schiff did not specify what documents were in dispute. But even before Ukraine became a central battleground with its ground war and cyberwar with Russia, the agency had made Ukraine “one of the central points of focus in superpower competition,” a senior intelligence official said several months ago.

By law, the agency could not intercept Mr. Trump’s conversations with President Volodymyr Zelensky, or his predecessor Petro O. Poroshenko. And it would require special court approval to intercept conversations involving Americans communicating with Ukraine, including the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani and his key aides.

But the National Security Agency would be free to record Ukrainian officials, including Mr. Zelensky, talking among themselves about those conversations, and those intercepts could reveal how much they knew, and when, about Mr. Trump’s demand to withhold aid from Ukraine in its fight against Russian incursions, and the conditions it would have to meet to get it turned back on.

For intelligence officials who have often found themselves on the receiving end of Mr. Trump’s wrath, charged with disloyalty or told by Mr. Trump they had to “go back to school” because he did not like their assessments of North Korea and Iran, there is nothing more politically delicate than what they collected in Ukraine.

The director of the National Security Agency, Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, was appointed to his post two years ago by Mr. Trump after a long and storied military career at the forefront of American cyberoperations. Until now, he has largely stayed out of the line of fire — and has never been mentioned on the president’s Twitter feed — while he has built an aggressive cyberability, much of it directed at President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia.

Mr. Trump did not interfere as Mr. Nakasone, during the 2018 midterm elections, ordered a shutdown of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll factory that conducted much of the social media campaign that aided Mr. Trump in the last presidential election. Nor did the president get in the way of the implanting of software in the Russian electric power grid.

But the dispute with the committee over Ukraine, and the impeachment proceedings, places General Nakasone, 56, directly in the cross-hairs of the White House.

No matter what his agency’s intelligence assessments or raw intercepts may or may not reveal about how Ukrainian officials reacted to Mr. Trump’s demands for an investigation into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., or into a discredited theory that Ukraine was responsible for a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, the president could consider any cooperation with Mr. Schiff highly suspect.

The degree of sensitivity was evident this week in reports, first broadcast on CNN, that all of the nation’s intelligence chiefs were trying to avoid public testimony about the annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” Last year the director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, angered Mr. Trump by contradicting his public statements on Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State. He and other intelligence chiefs were summoned to the White House the next day for a public dressing-down.

Intelligence officials say they fear a public hearing this year could be worse: General Nakasone and the director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, would undoubtedly be asked for their assessment of whether the cutoff of aid to Ukraine would have benefited Mr. Putin and advantaged Russia as it seeks to undermine the Ukrainian government. (They would most likely also be asked about evidence that North Korea has sped forward with its nuclear and missile programs in the 19 months since Mr. Trump first met Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in Singapore.)

Mr. Schiff confirmed on Sunday that intelligence agencies had sought to avoid a public hearing, preferring instead to simply offer their written assessment of global threats. “The intelligence community is reluctant to have an open hearing,” he said, “something that we had done every year prior to the Trump administration, because they’re worried about angering the president.”

“We are counting on the intelligence community not only to speak truth to power, but to resist pressure from the administration to withhold information from Congress,” Mr. Schiff continued, “because the administration fears that they incriminate them.”

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Democrats Seek More Testimony and Evidence for Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 19dc-questions01-facebookJumbo Democrats Seek More Testimony and Evidence for Impeachment Trial Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parnas, Lev National Security Agency Mulvaney, Mick Hill, Fiona (1965- ) Giuliani, Rudolph W Cipollone, Pat A central intelligence agency Burisma Holdings Ltd Bolton, John R Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — With President Trump’s impeachment trial getting underway, Democrats are intensifying their demands for more testimony and documents that could add to the already voluminous evidence against him and bolster their case by shedding new light on several key questions.

Despite the White House strategy of blocking testimony from top officials and rejecting demands for documents, the Senate will have in front of it considerable evidence that Mr. Trump eagerly sought to persuade Ukraine’s new president to pursue investigations into two matters that could benefit him in his re-election campaign. Those matters are dealings in Ukraine involving former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, and purported Ukrainian meddling in the American 2016 presidential election.

But in part because of the White House’s decision not to cooperate, the record of actions by Mr. Trump and his underlings is riddled with gaps — and new evidence has been surfacing at the 11th hour.

On Sunday, Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the lead House impeachment manager, said he was concerned that the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency were withholding information about Ukraine out of fear of angering the president.

“The N.S.A. in particular is withholding what are potentially relevant documents to our oversight responsibilities on Ukraine, but also withholding documents potentially relevant that the senators might want to see during the trial,” Mr. Schiff, Democrat of California, said on ABC’s “This Week,” referring to the National Security Agency.

Republicans called those complaints proof that the case against Mr. Trump was so weak that Democrats were scrambling to bolster it. “But this, to me, seems to undermine or indicate that they’re getting cold feet or have a lack of confidence in what they’ve done so far,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

Even before new information emerged in recent days — including material from Lev Parnas, who worked closely with the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to seek damaging information about the Bidens and to impugn the United States’ ambassador in Kyiv — the Senate’s 100 jurors faced unanswered questions that go to the heart of the matter.

What exactly did John R. Bolton, then the White House’s national security adviser, see and hear last year that convinced him a group of diplomats and aides were cooking up a geopolitical “drug deal” involving Ukraine?

How often and how thoroughly did Mr. Giuliani, the chief engineer of the pressure campaign, brief the president on what he was up to? What has Mr. Trump said behind closed doors about his order to freeze military aid to Ukraine?

Democrats in the Senate want to call Mr. Bolton to the stand, compel the testimony of three other top Trump aides, including the acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, and obtain the records that the administration has withheld. But they would need the support of at least four Republican senators to do so.

“A fair trial, everyone understands, involves evidence,” Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Evidence would be documents and witnesses. We know the president has refused to provide documentation beyond the July 25 telephone memo. And he’s refused to provide basic witnesses who actually heard what happened on that conversation and saw what happened afterwards.”

Here are some of the key questions that more witness testimony or additional documents could address:

Some Trump allies have tried to suggest that Mr. Giuliani was a rogue actor pursuing his own interests in Ukraine. But Mr. Giuliani said last spring, as he planned a trip to Ukraine to press for investigations into the Bidens, that his efforts had Mr. Trump’s full support and that the president “basically knows what I’m doing.”

Mr. Trump has called Mr. Giuliani a “crime fighter” who was “seeking out corruption” because he was “very, very incensed at the horrible things that he saw.” He also said Mr. Giuliani had the right to look into whether the Ukrainians helped sow the seeds for the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Mr. Giuliani has insisted that his conversations with Mr. Trump are protected by attorney-client privilege. He has pointed out that Kurt D. Volker, then Mr. Trump’s special envoy to Ukraine, put him in touch with a top Ukrainian aide whom he met in August in Madrid.

Unquestionably, Mr. Trump sought to vest Mr. Giuliani with at least some informal authority to operate on his behalf. He urged President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, during a phone call on July 25, to consult Mr. Giuliani about the investigations he wanted. And he urged his own diplomats and aides involved with Ukraine to consult with Mr. Giuliani after they returned from Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration in May.

Among them was Gordon D. Sondland, the American ambassador to the European Union, who testified that Mr. Trump instructed him to “talk to Rudy” about Ukraine, and said that Mr. Giuliani had made it clear to him that he spoke for the president.

In a letter in May from Mr. Giuliani that Mr. Parnas turned over last week to House investigators, the president’s lawyer told Mr. Zelensky that he was acting with Mr. Trump’s “knowledge and consent.” Mr. Parnas, who faces felony charges involving campaign finance violations, said in interviews that Ukrainian officials met with him because Mr. Giuliani assured them that he represented both him and Mr. Trump.

But virtually nothing is known about the substance of communications between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump, although they appear to have spoken regularly. Mr. Mulvaney told associates that he would leave the room whenever the men would talk in order to preserve attorney-client privilege.

Whether the president decided to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine for his own political gain, at the expense of the nation’s strategic foreign policy interests, is at the crux of the case against him. His decision thwarted the will of Congress, undercut an American ally enmeshed in a war with Russia and, according to a report last week by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, violated American law.

During the House inquiry, Mr. Sondland testified that he had informed Ukraine that it would most likely not receive the aid unless it was willing to commit to carrying out the investigations Mr. Trump wanted. But he also testified that Mr. Trump insisted to him there was no “quid pro quo” — although only after the aid freeze had become public and the president had been told about the whistle-blower complaint setting out details of the pressure campaign.

Democrats in the Senate are seeking testimony from four other witnesses who played key roles in White House deliberations about the suspension in aid: Mr. Bolton; Mr. Mulvaney; Robert B. Blair, a senior adviser to Mr. Mulvaney, and Michael Duffey, the associate director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The New York Times reported last month that many administration officials involved in carrying out the aid freeze were kept in the dark about the president’s motivations.

Mr. Mulvaney said at a news conference in October that the aid had been withheld in part because Mr. Trump wanted an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had interfered in the 2016 election. Mr. Mulvaney later said that was not true, and that the aid was withheld only because of concerns about Ukraine’s willingness to battle corruption and about whether other nations were providing their fair share of aid to Ukraine.

In mid-August, Mr. Bolton unsuccessfully tried to persuade Mr. Trump to lift the freeze. In an Oval Office meeting later that month, Mr. Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper asked the president to release the funds but were rebuffed.

Mr. Duffey, a political appointee, enforced the hold on the aid after taking control of the funds from a career budget officer, Mark Sandy — a highly unusual move.

On July 25, after days of exchanges about the topic but also just 90 minutes after Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky held their fateful telephone conversation, Mr. Duffey reiterated to Defense Department officials in an email that no funds should be disbursed — instructions he said should be “closely held” because of “the sensitive nature of the request.”

“Everyone was in the loop.”

That was Mr. Sondland’s characterization of who knew what about the push to win a commitment from the Ukrainians to announce the investigations. He testified that several top officials, including Mr. Pompeo and Mr. Mulvaney, knew that Mr. Trump would extend an Oval Office invitation to Mr. Zelensky only if Ukraine publicly announced the investigations.

Fiona Hill, at the time the top Russia specialist on the National Security Council, testified that at a White House meeting on July 10, Mr. Sondland said that he had a deal with Mr. Mulvaney: an Oval Office invitation for Mr. Zelensky in exchange for a public statement that the inquiries were underway.

Although the State Department refused Mr. Sondland’s request for documents to support his testimony, he produced several emails to back up his assertions. On July 18, he wrote a group of officials — including Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Pompeo, Mr. Bolton and Rick Perry, then the energy secretary — that Mr. Zelensky was ready to promise the president in their upcoming phone call that his prosecutors would “turn over every stone.”

Mr. Pompeo was among the officials who listened the July 25 phone call, in which Mr. Trump raised with Mr. Zelensky the need to investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election and Mr. Zelensky seemed to agree.

In August, Mr. Sondland wrote Mr. Pompeo that Mr. Zelensky would deliver a public statement that “will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation” because it would include “specifics.” That meant, he testified, that Mr. Zelensky would name Burisma, a Ukrainian company that had hired Hunter Biden, as an investigative target, along with the 2016 election.

A number of State Department witnesses blamed Mr. Giuliani for Mr. Trump’s animus toward Ukraine, saying they struggled mightily to counteract his influence. But there are indications that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary helped solidify Mr. Trump’s views.

Mr. Volker, the envoy to Ukraine, testified that the president’s negative opinion of Ukraine was “very deeply rooted” and evident as far back as September 2017, when Mr. Trump met Mr. Zelensky’s predecessor Petro O. Poroshenko in the Oval Office.

One explanation is that Mr. Trump blamed the Ukrainians for helping to expose the financial misdeeds of Paul Manafort, who was forced to resign as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman in August 2016 and is now in prison for his crimes. In an Oval Office meeting on May 23, Mr. Trump insisted to his aides that Ukrainians were “terrible people” who “tried to take me down.”

But George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified that Mr. Trump’s view of Mr. Zelensky and Ukraine had darkened in the interval between that meeting and his first phone call with the Ukraine leader a month earlier, in which he congratulated him on his victory.

In the interim, Mr. Putin reportedly disparaged Mr. Zelensky to Mr. Trump in a phone call on May 3. And Mr. Trump held an Oval Office meeting with Mr. Orban, who is antagonistic toward Mr. Zelensky. No transcripts of those conversations have been released. Mr. Kent attributed the shift in Mr. Trump’s attitude to the combined influence of those two foreign leaders and Mr. Giuliani.

A group of government lawyers is charged with monitoring White House and National Security Council decisions for unethical or illegal behavior. The top-ranking lawyers involved in the Ukraine affair were John A. Eisenberg at the National Security Council and Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel.

Two security council staff members — Ms. Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman — told Mr. Eisenberg they feared that Mr. Sondland was improperly pressuring Ukraine to benefit Mr. Trump politically. Ms. Hill testified that Mr. Bolton had ordered her to tell Mr. Eisenberg that he did not want any part of “whatever drug deal” that Mr. Sondland and Mr. Mulvaney were cooking up.

According to people familiar with the situation, Mr. Eisenberg shared those concerns with Mr. Cipollone, his superior, but rejected Mr. Cipollone’s advice that he bring them up with the president.

Colonel Vindman also reported concerns about the president’s July 25 phone call. Mr. Eisenberg warned him not to discuss the call with others and ordered that access be restricted to the reconstructed transcript. A person briefed on his actions said officials misinterpreted that directive as an order to put the transcript on the White House’s most secure computer.

Mr. Eisenberg eventually alerted the Justice Department to the July 25 call, but only weeks later, after the C.I.A.’s top lawyer informed him that a C.I.A. officer had filed an anonymous complaint about it.

Ben Protess contributed reporting from New York. Kitty Bennett contributed research.

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Where Is Cory Gardner?

Westlake Legal Group merlin_145161267_fab6f769-8a6f-4a02-8707-2514718e62df-facebookJumbo Where Is Cory Gardner? Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Hickenlooper, John W Gardner, Cory S Elections, Senate Colorado

DENVER — They keep expecting to see Senator Cory Gardner everywhere — on the local Fox affiliates in Colorado, on Facebook, on literature crammed inside their mailboxes. They are voters who wear tasteful crepe blouses and carry structured Kate Spade totes, who like how their 401(k)’s are performing but say they could do without President Trump’s “temperament.”

They are members of one of the most coveted groups in electoral politics: suburban women. But in their field of vision, Mr. Gardner, Colorado’s top Republican officeholder, is almost nowhere to be found.

“I don’t hear him speaking out on things,” said Jennifer Gremmert, 50, the executive director of an energy nonprofit. She is the kind of voter who could help Mr. Gardner win re-election in November, a registered Democrat who considers herself “nonpartisan,” “not that enthusiastic” about her party’s Senate candidates, and “totally” open to Mr. Gardner. But when it comes to the bipartisan stands that Ms. Gremmert said she prized in a candidate, “I don’t see him.”

On one level, this is strange: Many of these voters were crucial to Mr. Gardner’s narrow Senate victory in 2014, when he carried the suburban vote and was ahead among independents, according to exit polls. And they may be even more essential to him now — he is widely considered to be one of the most at-risk G.O.P. senators seeking re-election this year.

But Mr. Gardner’s invisibility — he hasn’t held a town hall-style meeting in two years — is also pragmatic, a means of avoiding questions about his ties to the divisive president, especially as the Senate impeachment trial nears. If Mr. Gardner ends up vocally supporting the president, or votes to acquit him in the trial, it will complicate and perhaps even endanger his race to hold onto his seat.

Unlike most Republican senators, Mr. Gardner has been largely mum on the articles of impeachment against the president and the Senate trial starting Tuesday. Early in the process, he called the impeachment inquiry a “total circus,” but notably refused to answer questions about whether the president’s conduct with Ukraine had been appropriate.

Mr. Gardner hasn’t indicated one way or the other whether he’d vote to subpoena witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial, even as some other senators facing tough re-election fights, like Senator Susan Collins of Maine, have expressed an openness to doing so. Last week on Capitol Hill, he evaded reporters eager to pin down his thoughts, his handler hurrying him into the nearest elevator. On Thursday evening, when a local Colorado reporter caught him at the Denver airport, a smiling Mr. Gardner offered still no clarity. “We have a trial,” he said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”

While Ms. Collins and some other senators open to calling witnesses have been critical of the president at times, Mr. Gardner is far more circumspect about Mr. Trump, and relies heavily on Republicans and conservatives for votes — people who are intensely loyal to the president.

But if Mr. Gardner is going to win in 2020, in a state that votes Democratic in presidential elections, he is also going to need voters like the women who joined Ms. Gremmert for lunch on a recent Friday in Denver’s Greenwood Village. They consider themselves moderate Republicans and likely to support Mr. Gardner, but want to hear him make a case for himself and his record.

“I think his presence is being overshadowed by Donald Trump,” lamented Sandra Hagen Solin, a 51-year-old Republican who runs her own lobbying firm. “He needs to get his message out.”

That message, many Republicans insist, is a strong one. Mr. Gardner’s supporters often note how in the last four years, he has had more legislation signed into law than the rest of Colorado’s congressional delegation combined. But such is the trade-off, perhaps, of Mr. Gardner’s disappearing act: While it allows him to sidestep uncomfortable questions about the president, it also prevents him from aggressively promoting the record that Republican strategists believe he can win on.

Dick Wadhams, a veteran Colorado Republican operative, was not bashful about calling out Mr. Gardner’s fear of public exposure. “If I had one criticism of him,” Mr. Wadhams said, “it’s that his team keeps him locked up in a fortress.” (Mr. Gardner and his aides did not return multiple requests for comment.)

Impeachment has served only to highlight Mr. Gardner’s silence, whether on his own record or the national issues du jour, according to other Colorado Republicans. His caginess has frustrated some Trump supporters in Colorado, whose votes Mr. Gardner will almost certainly need to prevail in November, when Democrats are likely to come out in force in the presidential election.

“I think he wants to please everybody, but he needs to be more transparent,” Angela Carr, a 44-year-old flight attendant, said at the Denver Republican Party’s recent monthly breakfast.

Ms. Carr, who said she became a Republican “because of Trump,” recalled the October day that Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina introduced a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry. “We’re watching all the other Republican senators sign on it, and we’re like, ‘O.K., Cory …’” she said. “And he finally did toward the end, but you kind of want to see your guy or gal more out there.”

She and others at the Denver breakfast acknowledged the political considerations that prevent Mr. Gardner from mirroring the approach of a Southern lawmaker like Mr. Graham on impeachment. In 2016, Mr. Trump lost Colorado to Hillary Clinton by just under five percentage points. In 2018, Democrats swept every statewide office in Colorado in what was largely seen as a rebuke to Mr. Trump’s administration. And now, Mr. Gardner, according to Morning Consult, has an approval rating of just 36 percent.

But many Republicans were quick to point out that Mr. Gardner is no stranger to long-shot races and the complicated political dynamics that come with them.

In 2014, Mr. Gardner, then a congressman, challenged Senator Mark Udall in a race where “Cory was seen as a dead man walking,” according to Tyler Sandberg, a Colorado Republican operative. The reason: Just two years earlier, President Barack Obama had beaten Mitt Romney in the state by more than five points.

But Mr. Gardner won his seat in 2014 by 2.5 percentage points, or about 50,000 votes, in a year when Republicans flipped nine Democratic-held seats nationwide and took control of the Senate. He was able to do so in large part, Mr. Sandberg said, “because he refused to let himself be pigeonholed into something he wasn’t.”

In his campaign, Mr. Udall sought to characterize Mr. Gardner as an extreme social conservative, which Mr. Gardner — in a steady stream of television ads, digital media and public appearances — consistently pushed back on.

It’s an approach that Republican strategists believe would work well in this environment, too, as some Democrats try to portray him as too pro-Trump and some conservatives say he is not pro-Trump enough.

“I’m confused as to why he’s not out on the stump more, because that’s what he was so good at in 2014,” Mr. Sandberg said.

In addition to not holding a town hall event since August 2017, Mr. Gardner has no upcoming events listed on his Facebook page. In an August 2019 editorial, The Greeley Tribune, which serves Mr. Gardner’s former congressional district, criticized the senator for his dearth of public events. “Gardner has been largely absent during the past five years when it comes to being available for his constituents, to whom he needs to be accountable,” the editorial board wrote.

And on impeachment, he has rankled even local talk radio hosts for dodging interviews. In late November, Steffan Tubbs, who hosts a Denver station owned by the conservative broadcast company Salem Media, told his viewers that Mr. Gardner’s team had declined a request to interview the senator about “the impeachment inquiry, campaign, and Thanksgiving plans.” Mr. Tubbs, who called Mr. Gardner “a friend,” criticized the senator for his “crickets” during “a very critical time in this administration.”

Some Republican voters sympathize with Mr. Gardner’s predicament. In his last town hall event, which was his first in a year, Mr. Gardner was all but shouted offstage by liberal protesters as he tried to explain his efforts to repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act.

“I don’t blame a senator or congressman for trying to find another way to engage that’s actually productive and collaborative,” said Debbie Brown, the president of the Colorado Business Roundtable, who considers herself a moderate Republican.

But other observers think he missed an opportunity, if only to make a point about liberals like those who shouted him down. “I thought Cory should have held one town hall after another right away, then stopped them on the grounds the left was so asinine,” said Lynn Bartels, a former longtime political reporter in Colorado.

Mr. Gardner’s supporters are optimistic that once voters hear the extent of his record “separate from Trump,” as Ms. Solin put it, his stance on the president will matter less. His supporters point to his yearslong effort to relocate the Bureau of Land Management from Washington, D.C., to Colorado, which the administration has announced as officially underway. They also promote his work with Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren to allow cannabis businesses access to the banking industry in states like Colorado, where marijuana is legal.

Mr. Gardner is likely to end up facing John Hickenlooper, the former Democratic governor now running for Senate, in the general election, and he will probably maintain many Republican votes — even if cast grudgingly.

At the recent Denver G.O.P. breakfast, where some people wore “Make America Great Again” and “Keep America Great” hats, but where Mr. Gardner’s campaign was limited to a leaflet, Herb Glasser, a 54-year-old public accountant, said he planned to support Mr. Gardner despite resigning himself to being “unhappy” with the senator a long time ago.

“We have no choice,” said Mr. Glasser, who described himself as a “true conservative.”

According to Mr. Sandberg, the G.O.P. operative, it’s now up to Mr. Gardner’s campaign to reach those Coloradans who, despite their disdain for the president, might still be persuaded to give his party a chance.

Voters, perhaps, like Amy Conklin. Ms. Conklin, a former Littleton City Council member, is a registered Democrat, but says she has long “put out yard signs for both sides.” She was a legislative aide when Mr. Gardner was a member of the state House, and remembers him as “a really good legislator,” someone who “would reach across the aisle.”

Her feelings since have changed. “I’ve been intensely disappointed in his behavior since he’s gone to Washington,” she said.

Ms. Conklin conceded that Mr. Gardner had done some good work in the Senate. But what looms largest in her mind, what she says she’d be hardest pressed to forget, are a handful of photographs she’s seen of Mr. Gardner, including one from last winter, in which she described him as “smiling and waving, following Trump out of Air Force One.”

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The Trial That Would Be a Template

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WASHINGTON — The senator was livid. The president of his own party had gotten himself in so much trouble that he was now facing impeachment. And so when the phone rang one night after dinner and the senator picked up to find the White House on the line, he cursed the commander in chief.

“You’re a fool!” the senator told the president. “You’re a damn, damn, damn fool!”

The senator’s wife was aghast. “That’s the president!” she whispered in horror.

That was 21 years ago. The president was Bill Clinton, and the senator was Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, who like other Democrats was furious at the position the leader of his party had put them in. Within a few months, Mr. Clinton would become the defendant in the first Senate impeachment trial in more than 130 years and Mr. Leahy one of the quasi-jurors charged with deciding whether he should be removed from office.

That trial on allegations of perjury and obstruction of justice stemming from a sexual harassment lawsuit has taken on new meaning in recent days as the Senate once again gathers to consider charges of high crimes and misdemeanors against a president. The Clinton trial, the only time in anyone’s lifetime until now that an occupant of the White House has been judged by the Senate, serves as the template for how President Trump will be judged on accusations of abusing his office for political gain and obstructing Congress.

Much of what is heard now in the halls of the Capitol sounds familiar — invocations of constitutional duty, encomiums to the rule of law and complaints about witch hunts and partisan coups. Even many of the players are the same. Two of the House managers prosecuting Mr. Trump, Jerrold Nadler of New York and Zoe Lofgren of California, were among Mr. Clinton’s Democratic defenders on the House Judiciary Committee. At Mr. Trump’s defense table will sit Ken Starr, the independent counsel whose investigation prompted the Clinton impeachment.

But there were differences as well, and not just the nature and substance of the charges, which are significantly disparate. While Mr. Clinton opened his trial reasonably confident that he would not be convicted, much as Mr. Trump is today, he could not be quite as sure. He did not command his party the way Mr. Trump does today. Democrats were angry at Mr. Clinton and unafraid to express it out loud in a way that Republicans do not publicly admit to feeling about Mr. Trump.

As the trial opened in January 1999, Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Democratic minority leader, thought five or six of the 45 Democrats might vote to convict Mr. Clinton, not enough to give Republicans the two-thirds majority needed for removal but potentially enough to change momentum or even to raise pressure on the president to resign. In a worst-case scenario, Mr. Daschle counted up to 20 Democrats who could go against Clinton — highly unlikely, but not impossible.

During closed-door meetings, seven or eight Senate Democrats got up and suggested they would have been better off if Mr. Clinton had stepped down. “Clinton should have resigned,” Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina declared in one of those sessions. “If he had an ounce of honor, he would have done it a long time ago.”

Moreover, hanging over the trial was an X-factor never formally acknowledged during the proceedings. Juanita Broaddrick, an Arkansas nursing home operator, had given an interview to Lisa Myers of NBC News accusing Mr. Clinton of raping her 20 years earlier.

Nervous about airing an allegation it could not definitively verify, NBC held the interview until after the trial. But it was enough of an open secret that Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, wore a “Free Lisa Myers” button on the Senate floor during the trial.

All of which is why the White House was furious when Mr. Daschle cut a deal with Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Republican majority leader, on rules for the trial that ultimately passed 100 to 0. Mr. Clinton knew that Republicans would never be able to force him from office, but Democrats could and so it was in his interest to keep the proceedings as partisan as possible so that his party would stick with him.

A unanimous bipartisan vote to start the trial meant that the White House could not complain that the proceeding was rigged against the president. Mr. Clinton called several Democratic senators and railed about the agreement. John D. Podesta, the White House chief of staff, called Mr. Daschle’s aides to deliver his own profanity-laden complaint, mocking the senators for “preening their little unity dance.”

But Mr. Lott and Mr. Daschle had their own interests, and they were not the same as the president’s. The two shared a mutual revulsion at what they saw as the highly partisan food fight in the House and, unlike today’s Senate leaders, vowed to work together to preserve the dignity and decorum of the Senate without an ugly meltdown. In a telephone call with Mr. Lott after the House vote, Mr. Daschle agreed to help “co-pilot the plane” to a safe landing.

The two were so determined to keep control of the trial that their staffs made clear to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who in keeping with the Constitution would preside, that they considered his role quite limited and that it would be up to the Senate to decide key questions such as whether to have witnesses.

In case the message was not clear, the chief justice got a pointed reminder during a tour of the chamber before the trial opened.

“How do I activate the microphone?” he asked.

“You don’t,” answered the sergeant-at-arms. The Senate staff would control that.

Indeed, during periods when senators negotiated how to proceed, the chief justice idled in a back room reading briefs or, at least once, playing poker with aides — until the sergeant-at-arms caught him and gently reminded him that he was breaking Senate rules.

Mr. Daschle’s collaboration with Mr. Lott would not keep him from ultimately saving Mr. Clinton’s presidency. While Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, today’s Republican leader, has pledged “total coordination” with the White House to manage the trial, Mr. Daschle considered direct communication with Mr. Clinton to be inappropriate. But their staffs were in touch and at times worked in tandem.

During the question-and-answer period of the trial, for instance, the White House counsel Charles F.C. Ruff worked out a secret signal with Mr. Daschle’s Democratic staff whenever he needed an opportunity to speak.

When Mr. Ruff laid his pen down on the table in front of him, the Democratic staff members submitted an open-ended question on a notecard for Chief Justice Rehnquist to read asking if the White House legal team wanted to respond to anything the House managers had said. Even Mr. Ruff’s fellow White House lawyers did not know what the secret signal was.

While the House managers wanted to call as many as 16 witnesses, they ran into a bipartisan wall in the Senate. Mr. Lott was no more interested in dragging out the trial than Mr. Daschle, and few if any senators in either party were excited about the idea of Monica S. Lewinsky being interrogated on the Senate floor about her sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton.

In the end, while Democrats opposed witnesses, Senate Republicans agreed to let the House managers call three: Ms. Lewinsky; Vernon E. Jordan Jr., the president’s friend; and Sidney Blumenthal, a White House aide. They were not brought to the Senate floor, but interviewed elsewhere in videotaped depositions. Clips were then shown to the senators by each side.

The depositions changed no minds. After a month of arguments, the Democrats stuck with Mr. Clinton after all and he was acquitted handily on Feb. 12, 1999, with five Republicans voting to acquit him on one of the articles of impeachment and 10 on the other. The managers mustered no better than a 50-to-50 vote, not even a simple majority, much less the two-thirds threshold required by the Constitution.

For Mr. Lott and Mr. Daschle, though, the most important verdict was the one rendered about the Senate itself. The explosion they had feared had been averted. The two leaders met in the middle of the aisle to shake hands.

“We did it,” Mr. Lott said.

“Yes, we did,” Mr. Daschle answered.

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Ukraine’s President Said He’d Fight Corruption. Resistance Is Fierce.

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KYIV, Ukraine — Kateryna Rozhkova, the first deputy governor of Ukraine’s central bank, had just about learned to live with the hundreds of protesters banging metal rods and drums outside her office when they started gathering every morning outside her house.

If that wasn’t enough, just before Christmas, a brass ensemble showed up at her home blaring funeral music in accompaniment of a horse-drawn hearse and men dressed like the grim reaper.

The protesters presented themselves as part of a grass roots effort opposing official corruption, but Ms. Rozhkova says they were anything but. She says they were sent by a billionaire accused of defrauding the government of $5 billion and who is now locked in a fierce battle with the Ukrainian central bank.

“If there is this kind of reaction,” Ms. Rozhkova said of the lawlessness she says Ukraine’s anti-corruption forces are up against, “it means that there is a fight.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian, sitcom star and political neophyte, catapulted to the presidency of Ukraine last spring on a promise of sweeping away the country’s shadowy web of money and influence.

Now, as Mr. Zelensky faces pressure to deliver on his promises, he is finding that actually bringing the corrupt officials and oligarchs to heel is a lot harder than satirizing them on his former TV show, “Servant of the People.”

Previous Ukrainian presidents came to power pledging to tackle corruption, but usually with the intent of using that pose as cover for their own corrupt deals, activists say. Whether Mr. Zelensky can show that he is different from past leaders will be a decisive litmus test for his presidency — and for Ukraine’s viability as a country moving closer to the West.

Further complicating an already daunting task, Mr. Zelensky has been forced to deal with the fallout from the Trump administration’s pressure campaign in Ukraine and the impeachment trial in Washington that sprang from it.

In the past, Ukraine enjoyed the steadfast support of the United States in fighting both corruption and a war against Russian-backed separatists. Now, Ukrainians say Washington’s message has grown muddled, in part because Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and his Ukrainian allies see the Western-backed camp of Ukrainian anticorruption reformers as their enemies.

“Giuliani flying in — rather than fighting corruption, he was supporting and meeting with all of the past corrupt people,” said Valeria Gontareva, the former head of Ukraine’s central bank. “As a result, it’s very hard to say what the message is that we now hear from America.”

Nevertheless, anticorruption activists say they see signs of progress.

Mr. Zelensky’s new prosecutor general is modernizing his corruption-plagued office and firing hundreds of prosecutors. A flurry of laws passed by Mr. Zelensky’s months-old parliamentary majority seeks to overhaul the justice system and criminalize illicit enrichment by public officials. The president has even signed legislation establishing a procedure for his own impeachment.

When it comes to enforcing the law, however, Mr. Zelensky’s tests are just beginning. Ukraine’s mafia, for example, is trying to bribe and threaten members of Mr. Zelensky’s ruling bloc in Parliament to derail legislation to crack down on organized crime, said a senior lawmaker, David Arakhamia.

“They meet them by their house and say, ‘We know where your parents live,’” said Mr. Arakhamia, the floor leader of Mr. Zelensky’s party in Parliament.

And just this week Mr. Zelensky’s handpicked prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, offered his resignation after the leak of what he said was a doctored recording on which he is heard to say the president has a “primitive” understanding of economics. Mr. Honcharuk blamed the leak on forces trying to undermine the anticorruption drive. Mr. Zelensky refused his resignation.

Perhaps Mr. Zelensky’s biggest challenge lies with his erstwhile patron, Ihor Kolomoisky, one of the oligarchs that Mr. Giuliani and his associates courted and the man Ms. Rozhkova believes is responsible for trying to intimidate her and her colleagues.

Mr. Kolomoisky advanced Mr. Zelensky’s career by putting “Servant of the People” on his TV channel. Now, having returned from self-imposed exile in Israel and Switzerland, he is hoping to regain control of a bank that the government seized from him, alleging that he and his business partner siphoned billions of dollars out of it.

“Even more than getting it back, I want to punish the guilty” responsible for seizing the bank, Mr. Kolomoisky told The New York Times in November. “The guilty must be put on the spike and the death penalty brought back for them.”

In a recent phone interview, Mr. Kolomoisky denied having anything to do with the protests against the central bank, which have been covered extensively on the television channel he owns and populated by people transported in buses bearing the logo of one of his businesses. He called Mr. Giuliani an “honorable person.”

Ms. Gontareva, who nationalized Mr. Kolomoisky’s bank, PrivatBank, in 2016, says she got a sample of the oligarch’s methods last year. First, she was hit by a car while in London, where she was living at the time. Then her house in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, and her son’s car were hit by arson attacks. She decided to remain in London in self-imposed exile.

Mr. Kolomoisky dismissed Ms. Gontareva’s allegations, saying she “has to be sent to the insane asylum.”

Mr. Zelensky needs to demonstrate to Ukraine’s Western creditors that he is serious about prosecuting large-scale fraud in order to secure billions of dollars in sorely needed loans from the International Monetary Fund.

In the impeachment proceedings in Washington, Ukraine has been tarnished by corruption accusations by Republicans and Democrats alike — feeding worries that Kyiv now faces a long-term challenge in winning bipartisan support even as its conflict with neighboring Russia continues.

In America, “politicians are an extension of the electorate, and the electorate has already concluded that Ukraine is a corrupt country,” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, who resigned as Mr. Zelensky’s national security adviser in September. “In practice, I expect the support of the United States to be minimal in the next year.”

The new prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, this fall allowed a longstanding case to proceed against a different business tycoon, Oleg Bakhmatyuk, who is also accused of siphoning money from his bank. But the Ukrainian authorities have not brought such charges against Mr. Kolomoisky.

That has led to accusations that Mr. Zelensky is giving his media ally and former business partner special treatment — charges that both men deny.

But high-profile corruption cases “won’t be credible until there’s action taken against Kolomoisky,” said Mr. Danylyuk, the former Zelensky adviser. “Bakhmatyuk won’t cut it.”

Mr. Kolomoisky denies any wrongdoing in the PrivatBank matter. Mr. Bakhmatyuk also denies wrongdoing.

Ukraine’s problems extend beyond Mr. Kolomoisky, however. The powerful S.B.U. intelligence agency remains in dire need of changes to stop it from intervening “in all areas of social life and business,” says the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a watchdog group. Rather than functioning as a Western intelligence service, the S.B.U. is able to take advantage of its wide-ranging powers to extract bribes and exert undue influence across Ukraine, its critics say.

“Right now, corrupt elites from various agencies are trying to understand how to operate under the new political realities in Ukraine,” said the center’s executive director, Daria Kaleniuk. “They’re looking for whom to bribe, who to negotiate with.”

A representative of Andriy Bohdan, Mr. Zelensky’s chief of staff whom Mr. Bakhmatyuk blamed for his plight, did not respond to a request for comment.

Dmytro Sologub, a deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, said post-Soviet Ukraine was particularly vulnerable to corruption even compared to some other post-Communist European countries. Caught between warring European powers for centuries, the country has little legacy of its own trusted institutions.

“The system we’re trying to change now was created and modified in the course of 25 years,” Mr. Sologub said. “That raises the question of how much time will be necessary to change it.”

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Trump’s Defense Team Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen’ as Democrats Make Legal Case

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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s legal defense team strenuously denied on Saturday that he had committed impeachable acts, denouncing the charges against him as a “brazen and unlawful” attempt to cost him re-election as House Democrats laid out in meticulous detail their case that he should be removed from office.

In the first legal filings for the Senate impeachment trial that opens in earnest on Tuesday, the dueling arguments from the White House and the House impeachment managers previewed a politically charged fight over Mr. Trump’s fate, unfolding against the backdrop of the presidential election campaign.

They presented the legal strategies both sides are likely to employ during the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. They also vividly illustrated how the proceeding is almost certain to rekindle feuding over the 2016 election that has barely subsided during Mr. Trump’s tenure, and reverberate — whether he is convicted or acquitted — in an even more brutal electoral fight in November.

In a 46-page trial memorandum, and additional 60-page statement of facts, the House impeachment managers asserted that beginning in the spring, Mr. Trump undertook a corrupt campaign to enlist a foreign government to help him win the 2020 election. He did so, the Democrats argued, by pressuring Ukraine to publicly announce investigations of his political rivals, withholding as leverage vital military aid and a White House meeting for the country’s president.

The president then sought to conceal those actions from Congress, they said, posing “a serious danger to our constitutional checks and balances” by ordering administration officials not to testify or turn over documents requested by a House impeachment inquiry.

“President Trump’s conduct is the framers’ worst nightmare,” wrote the seven Democratic managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.

In a six-page filing formally responding to the House impeachment charges submitted shortly after and filled with partisan barbs against House Democrats, Mr. Trump’s lawyers denounced the case as constitutionally and legally invalid, and driven purely by a desire to hurt Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.

“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” they said in the response, which was Mr. Trump’s first legal submission in the impeachment proceeding, ahead of a fuller brief that is due on Monday. “This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away.”

The president’s lawyers did not deny any of the core facts underlying Democrats’ charges, conceding what considerable evidence and testimony in the House has shown: that he withheld $391 million in aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

But they said Mr. Trump broke no laws and was acting entirely appropriately and within his powers when he did so, echoing his repeated protestations of his own innocence. They argued that he was not seeking political advantage, but working to root out corruption in Ukraine.

“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment,” wrote Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.

The managers’ filing repeated many of the same arguments they laid out last fall in a report on the findings of their two-month impeachment inquiry. But it also indicated that they intended to make use of information that has come to light since the House’s impeachment vote in December.

They cited new documentary records handed over by Lev Parnas, an associate of the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, about the pressure campaign on Ukraine, and a Government Accountability Office report released this week that found that Mr. Trump violated the law when he withheld the military aid.

And though the House ultimately declined to bring charges based on the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Saturday’s filing indicates the managers are also poised to reprise its findings as they argue that Mr. Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine fits a pattern that poses a continuing threat to American elections. They argued that, just as Mr. Trump welcomed interference on his behalf from Russia in the 2016 election and then sought to thwart a federal investigation into the matter, he solicited Ukrainian assistance in the 2020 contest and then obstructed Congress’s ability to investigate.

The nation’s founders, the House Democrats said in their brief, “designed impeachment as the remedy for such misconduct because a president who manipulates U.S. elections to his advantage can avoid being held accountable by the voters through those same elections.”

They called Mr. Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to discredit his political adversaries “part of an ongoing pattern of misconduct for which the president is unrepentant.”

The president, who spent Saturday at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., has made no secret of his disdain for the House’s charges and its inquiry. He has repeatedly professed his total innocence in general terms, and specifically insisted that a July phone call in which he pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and other Democrats was “perfect.”

But when invited to take part in the proceedings or mount a defense before the House Judiciary Committee, he refused. The closest the president’s lawyers had come to weighing in on the case was an eight-page letter to House Democrats in October in which they unequivocally refused to furnish any documents or allow any witnesses to testify.

Like that letter, Mr. Trump’s answer to the Senate on Saturday was heavy with political messaging even as it asserted broad constitutional principles and general legal arguments to proclaim the president’s innocence.

In a statement later in the evening, the House managers criticized the claim by the president’s legal team that the pressure on Ukraine was just Mr. Trump’s way of fighting corruption.

“It is not,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. “Rather it is corruption itself, naked, unapologetic and insidious.”

The defense filing was far shorter than the House managers’ memorandum, but White House lawyers have until noon on Monday to produce a more comprehensive legal brief laying out the case they will make on the floor of the Senate.

The House can then submit a written rebuttal by Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, the managers will begin live presentations in the Senate on Wednesday, and under an expedited schedule being contemplated by Senate Republicans, the president’s team could begin its presentation on Friday.

The defense filing on Saturday argued that Mr. Trump “has not in any way abused the powers of the presidency,” and that the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine was “perfectly legal, entirely appropriate, and taken in furtherance of our national interest.”

The arguments by Mr. Trump’s lawyers tracked closely with those presented throughout the House inquiry by Republicans in that chamber, like Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who did not dispute what had occurred so much as the idea that the president had been acting on some corrupt scheme.

The document appeared intended to appeal to Mr. Trump’s sensibilities. It accused Mr. Schiff of “creating a fraudulent version” of the July 25 call when he jokingly offered a hypothetical conversation during a congressional hearing, something that Mr. Trump has repeatedly mocked Mr. Schiff for doing.

As they have said for weeks, the president’s lawyers asserted that the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump are “invalid on their face” because they do not accuse the president of breaking any law.

But the Democrats argued in their memorandum that impeachable actions “need not be indictable offenses,” a theory that has been espoused by many legal scholars. The framers of the Constitution, they argued, intended the remedy for “acts committed by public officials that inflict severe harm on the constitutional order.”

The president’s legal team also rejected the charge that Mr. Trump is guilty of obstruction of Congress. They argued that Mr. Trump’s attempts to prevent witnesses from testifying in what the president has called a “sham” impeachment inquiry is a legitimate exercise of executive privilege that is essential to guard the authority and prerogatives of the presidency.

The House concluded that Mr. Trump’s claims of “absolute immunity” or other privileges on behalf of 12 officials and his decision to block the delivery of documents amounted to flagrant obstruction. The president’s lawyers made clear that they disagreed, saying that “asserting valid constitutional privileges and immunities cannot be an impeachable offense.”

The president’s lawyers also accused Congress of denying Mr. Trump due process during the impeachment proceedings, including “the right to have counsel present, the right to cross-examine witnesses and the right to present evidence.”

While the president’s lawyers were not allowed to attend closed-door depositions of some witnesses, Republican allies of the president attended every interview and asked questions, according to transcripts of the sessions.

The president rejected Democratic offers to present evidence, question witnesses or otherwise mount a defense during hearings before the House Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow will lead the president’s defense at trial. The White House announced Friday that the team would also include Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, Robert W. Ray, who succeeded Mr. Starr, and Alan Dershowitz, a celebrity defense lawyer.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.

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Trump’s Defense Team Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen’ as Democrats Make Legal Case

Westlake Legal Group merlin_167294235_063a1fbd-5e56-4cba-9778-8a189a9ea1c4-facebookJumbo Trump’s Defense Team Calls Impeachment Charges ‘Brazen’ as Democrats Make Legal Case United States Politics and Government Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Democratic Party Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s legal defense team strenuously denied on Saturday that he had committed impeachable acts, denouncing the charges against him as a “brazen and unlawful” attempt to cost him re-election as House Democrats laid out in meticulous detail their case that he should be removed from office.

In the first legal filings for the Senate impeachment trial that opens in earnest on Tuesday, the dueling arguments from the White House and the House impeachment managers previewed a politically charged fight over Mr. Trump’s fate, unfolding against the backdrop of the presidential election campaign.

They presented the legal strategies both sides are likely to employ during the third presidential impeachment trial in American history. They also vividly illustrated how the proceeding is almost certain to rekindle feuding over the 2016 election that has barely subsided during Mr. Trump’s tenure, and reverberate — whether he is convicted or acquitted — in an even more brutal electoral fight in November.

In a 46-page trial memorandum, and additional 60-page statement of facts, the House impeachment managers asserted that beginning in the spring, Mr. Trump undertook a corrupt campaign to enlist a foreign government to help him win the 2020 election. He did so, the Democrats argued, by pressuring Ukraine to publicly announce investigations of his political rivals, withholding as leverage vital military aid and a White House meeting for the country’s president.

The president then sought to conceal those actions from Congress, they said, posing “a serious danger to our constitutional checks and balances” by ordering administration officials not to testify or turn over documents requested by a House impeachment inquiry.

“President Trump’s conduct is the framers’ worst nightmare,” wrote the seven Democratic managers, led by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California.

In a six-page filing formally responding to the House impeachment charges submitted shortly after and filled with partisan barbs against House Democrats, Mr. Trump’s lawyers denounced the case as constitutionally and legally invalid, and driven purely by a desire to hurt Mr. Trump in the 2020 election.

“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” they said in the response, which was Mr. Trump’s first legal submission in the impeachment proceeding, ahead of a fuller brief that is due on Monday. “This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away.”

The president’s lawyers did not deny any of the core facts underlying Democrats’ charges, conceding what considerable evidence and testimony in the House has shown: that he withheld $391 million in aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden.

But they said Mr. Trump broke no laws and was acting entirely appropriately and within his powers when he did so, echoing his repeated protestations of his own innocence. They argued that he was not seeking political advantage, but working to root out corruption in Ukraine.

“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment,” wrote Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.

The managers’ filing repeated many of the same arguments they laid out last fall in a report on the findings of their two-month impeachment inquiry. But it also indicated that they intended to make use of information that has come to light since the House’s impeachment vote in December.

They cited new documentary records handed over by Lev Parnas, an associate of the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, about the pressure campaign on Ukraine, and a Government Accountability Office report released this week that found that Mr. Trump violated the law when he withheld the military aid.

And though the House ultimately declined to bring charges based on the special counsel’s Russia investigation, Saturday’s filing indicates the managers are also poised to reprise its findings as they argue that Mr. Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine fits a pattern that poses a continuing threat to American elections. They argued that, just as Mr. Trump welcomed interference on his behalf from Russia in the 2016 election and then sought to thwart a federal investigation into the matter, he solicited Ukrainian assistance in the 2020 contest and then obstructed Congress’s ability to investigate.

The nation’s founders, the House Democrats said in their brief, “designed impeachment as the remedy for such misconduct because a president who manipulates U.S. elections to his advantage can avoid being held accountable by the voters through those same elections.”

They called Mr. Trump’s attempt to get Ukraine to discredit his political adversaries “part of an ongoing pattern of misconduct for which the president is unrepentant.”

The president, who spent Saturday at his golf course in West Palm Beach, Fla., has made no secret of his disdain for the House’s charges and its inquiry. He has repeatedly professed his total innocence in general terms, and specifically insisted that a July phone call in which he pressed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and other Democrats was “perfect.”

But when invited to take part in the proceedings or mount a defense before the House Judiciary Committee, he refused. The closest the president’s lawyers had come to weighing in on the case was an eight-page letter to House Democrats in October in which they unequivocally refused to furnish any documents or allow any witnesses to testify.

Like that letter, Mr. Trump’s answer to the Senate on Saturday was heavy with political messaging even as it asserted broad constitutional principles and general legal arguments to proclaim the president’s innocence.

In a statement later in the evening, the House managers criticized the claim by the president’s legal team that the pressure on Ukraine was just Mr. Trump’s way of fighting corruption.

“It is not,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote. “Rather it is corruption itself, naked, unapologetic and insidious.”

The defense filing was far shorter than the House managers’ memorandum, but White House lawyers have until noon on Monday to produce a more comprehensive legal brief laying out the case they will make on the floor of the Senate.

The House can then submit a written rebuttal by Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, the managers will begin live presentations in the Senate on Wednesday, and under an expedited schedule being contemplated by Senate Republicans, the president’s team could begin its presentation on Friday.

The defense filing on Saturday argued that Mr. Trump “has not in any way abused the powers of the presidency,” and that the July 25 call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine was “perfectly legal, entirely appropriate, and taken in furtherance of our national interest.”

The arguments by Mr. Trump’s lawyers tracked closely with those presented throughout the House inquiry by Republicans in that chamber, like Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who did not dispute what had occurred so much as the idea that the president had been acting on some corrupt scheme.

The document appeared intended to appeal to Mr. Trump’s sensibilities. It accused Mr. Schiff of “creating a fraudulent version” of the July 25 call when he jokingly offered a hypothetical conversation during a congressional hearing, something that Mr. Trump has repeatedly mocked Mr. Schiff for doing.

As they have said for weeks, the president’s lawyers asserted that the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump are “invalid on their face” because they do not accuse the president of breaking any law.

But the Democrats argued in their memorandum that impeachable actions “need not be indictable offenses,” a theory that has been espoused by many legal scholars. The framers of the Constitution, they argued, intended the remedy for “acts committed by public officials that inflict severe harm on the constitutional order.”

The president’s legal team also rejected the charge that Mr. Trump is guilty of obstruction of Congress. They argued that Mr. Trump’s attempts to prevent witnesses from testifying in what the president has called a “sham” impeachment inquiry is a legitimate exercise of executive privilege that is essential to guard the authority and prerogatives of the presidency.

The House concluded that Mr. Trump’s claims of “absolute immunity” or other privileges on behalf of 12 officials and his decision to block the delivery of documents amounted to flagrant obstruction. The president’s lawyers made clear that they disagreed, saying that “asserting valid constitutional privileges and immunities cannot be an impeachable offense.”

The president’s lawyers also accused Congress of denying Mr. Trump due process during the impeachment proceedings, including “the right to have counsel present, the right to cross-examine witnesses and the right to present evidence.”

While the president’s lawyers were not allowed to attend closed-door depositions of some witnesses, Republican allies of the president attended every interview and asked questions, according to transcripts of the sessions.

The president rejected Democratic offers to present evidence, question witnesses or otherwise mount a defense during hearings before the House Judiciary Committee.

Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow will lead the president’s defense at trial. The White House announced Friday that the team would also include Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, Robert W. Ray, who succeeded Mr. Starr, and Alan Dershowitz, a celebrity defense lawyer.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York.

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Trump Legal Team Denies Impeachment Charges in First Official Response

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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s legal defense team forcefully denied on Saturday that he abused his power by pressuring a foreign government to investigate his political rivals, calling the two impeachment charges against him a “brazen and unlawful” attempt to hurt his chances of re-election.

The defiant rejection of the accusations came in response to an official summons issued last week by the Senate, notifying Mr. Trump that he faces removal from office if he is convicted. In a six-page letter, Mr. Trump’s first formal response to the charges against him, his lawyers denounced the impeachment case brought by House Democrats as constitutionally and legally invalid, and driven by malice toward him.

“The articles of impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president,” the document says. “This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away.”

The president’s lawyers did not deny any of the core facts underlying Democrats’ charges, conceding what ample evidence has shown, that he withheld $391 million in aid from Ukraine and asked the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter. But they said Mr. Trump broke no laws and was acting entirely appropriately and within his powers when he did so, echoing the president’s repeated protestations of his own innocence. They argued that Mr. Trump was not seeking political advantage, but working to root out corruption in Ukraine.

“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment,” Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and Jay Sekulow, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, wrote.

Mr. Trump’s response came shortly after the House impeachment managers formally outlined their case for Mr. Trump’s removal from office, arguing in a lengthy legal filing that the Senate should convict him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

In the 46-page trial memorandum, the House impeachment managers asserted that beginning in the spring, Mr. Trump undertook a corrupt campaign to push Ukraine to publicly announce investigations of his political rivals, withholding as leverage nearly $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting. He then sought to conceal those actions from Congress, they said, refusing to cooperate with a House impeachment inquiry and ordering administration officials not to testify or turn over documents requested by investigators.

“President Trump’s conduct is the framers’ worst nightmare,” the managers wrote, framing their argument in constitutional terms.

The legal back-and-forth on Saturday offered a preview of the strategies both sides will employ starting next week, when the Senate opens oral arguments in only the third impeachment trial of a president in the nation’s history.

Addressing head-on the political dynamics of the Senate, where majority Republicans have denounced the impeachment inquiry, the House managers warned that voters and future generations would sit in judgment of their actions.

“History will judge each senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly, and defend the Constitution,” they wrote. “The outcome of these proceedings will determine whether generations to come will enjoy a safe and secure democracy in which the president is not a king.”

The filing from the House Democrats repeated many of the same arguments they laid out last fall in a report on the findings of their impeachment inquiry. But the managers’ brief provided a glimpse of their strategy for the high-stakes legal and political fight ahead.

The heavily footnoted document, formatted in the style of a courtroom filing, was headlined “In re Impeachment of President Donald J. Trump,” and addressed to the Senate, “sitting as a court of impeachment.” The memorandum laid out the evidence and legal arguments the managers intend to present in oral arguments on the floor of the Senate, likely beginning on Wednesday. The filing also included an additional 60 pages of facts the managers deemed material to their case.

As they have said for weeks, the president’s lawyers asserted in Saturday’s short filing that the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump are “invalid on their face” because they do not accuse the president of breaking the law.

In Saturday’s document, the president’s legal team also rejected the charge that Mr. Trump is guilty of obstruction of Congress. They argued that Mr. Trump’s attempts to prevent witnesses from testifying in what the president has called a “sham” impeachment inquiry is a legitimate exercise of executive privilege that is essential to guard the authority and prerogatives of the presidency.

And they once again attacked the process by which House Democrats impeached Mr. Trump, accusing them of denying the president his due process rights.

The president’s legal team faces a deadline of noon on Monday to produce a more comprehensive legal brief laying out the defense case they will make on the floor of the Senate.

Mr. Cipollone and Mr. Sekulow will lead the president’s defense at trial. The White House announced Friday that the team will also include Ken Starr, the former independent counsel whose investigation of President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment, Robert W. Ray, who succeeded Mr. Starr, and Alan Dershowitz, a celebrity defense lawyer.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

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Impeachment Trial Puts Susan Collins, Stung by Kavanaugh Backlash, Under Scrutiny

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WASHINGTON — A few days after Senator Susan Collins cast her votes to acquit President Bill Clinton, as she was greeted with icy stares at a Lincoln Day dinner in rural Maine, a fellow Republican approached her, irate.

“I can’t believe you let him off the hook,” he told Ms. Collins. “I am never, ever voting for you again.”

Twenty-one years later, she faces another presidential impeachment vote with heavy consequences for the nation and her own political survival. Ms. Collins, one of a handful of moderate Republicans whose votes could alter the trajectory of the trial, said she does not regret her votes to acquit then.

She said she would use the same logic behind that decision when she weighs the impeachment charges against President Trump in a Senate trial that begins in earnest next week.

“I, too, was furious at President Clinton and felt that he had lied under oath, but it didn’t reach the constitutional test of high crimes and misdemeanors, and was not sufficient to overturn an election and throw him out of office,” she said in an interview on Thursday in her Capitol Hill office.

In the case of Mr. Trump, she said, she would be “applying that same standard.”

Ms. Collins’s position as a centrist gives her outsize influence over the shape of Mr. Trump’s trial, including whether new witnesses and evidence will be heard, just as it has in some of the most important and impassioned debates during her four terms in the Senate. But that middle ground is shrinking in the Trump era, leaving her open to bitter attack from both political parties.

She was among three Republicans who sank Mr. Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and she helped lead an unsuccessful effort to prevent him from taking unallocated money for his border wall. But she also voted for a tax bill that was the centerpiece of the Republican agenda. And the move that overshadowed all that was her deciding vote to confirm Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.

Ms. Collins’s health care vote in 2017 fueled hopes on the left and anger on the right over whether she might stray from party orthodoxy. But the Kavanaugh vote and the tax vote reinforced her lifelong party affiliation despite her aversion to parts of Mr. Trump’s agenda.

That confirmation vote — and her impassioned speech defending it on the Senate floor — generated millions of dollars in donations to be used against her, and a lengthy period of harassment and intimidation by critics, including numerous death threats. There were so many hostile calls targeting her that a 25-year-old employee in one of her Maine offices quit. One day, her husband texted Ms. Collins a photo of himself in a hazmat suit; someone had sent a threatening letter to their Maine home — where protesters gathered eight Sundays in a row — that claimed to contain ricin.

In Washington, a man waited for Ms. Collins in the dark as she parked her car one evening in the pouring rain, then followed her several blocks to her townhouse. A neighbor lamented to her that he hated living next to “a rape apologist.”

“It just made the whole time very unpleasant,” said Ms. Collins, who faces a steep re-election challenge in November, when she will seek a fifth term. “But anyone who thinks that they can intimidate me doesn’t know me.”

Ms. Collins’s history, and her competitive race to keep her seat, puts her at the top of the list of senators under scrutiny in the impeachment debate. Reporters on Capitol Hill toil to divine her intentions; as the articles of impeachment were read Thursday on the Senate floor, Ms. Collins, who was suffering a bad cold, coughed and dabbed at her eyes, causing several reporters to call her office to ask why she was crying.

Her vote at the conclusion of Mr. Trump’s trial almost certainly will not determine whether he becomes the first president to be removed from office by the Senate — the 67 votes required, at this point, are not there. But Ms. Collins will be pivotal to resolving procedural questions, including a battle between Republicans and Democrats over calling witnesses and admitting new documents as part of the Senate trial. And Ms. Collins has signaled that she will buck her party and support both moves.

“I would anticipate that it is likely that I would vote to have more information brought forward, whether witnesses or documents or both,” she said Thursday.

Ms. Collins convened several meetings in her office with the Republican senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to cobble together a provision ensuring a vote on the matter after opening arguments by both sides and questions from senators. If the four hang together on the issue, their votes would be enough — along with the 47 that Democrats control — to demand more information come out in the trial.

And her eventual vote on whether to remove the president will be politically significant as well, both to Mr. Trump and to Ms. Collins. Since he was impeached last month, the president has leaned on his party’s unified opposition to dismiss the whole effort as a partisan “hoax,” and he has made it clear he looks forward to an exoneration by the Republican-led chamber. Even a single Republican vote in favor of removing him would undermine that.

In Maine, Ms. Collins’s choice could prove even more consequential to voters, and perhaps play a critical role in her legacy.

“There is no doubt that there are going to be Mainers unhappy with me no matter what conclusion I reach,” said Ms. Collins, who said she has been powering through an enormous white binder detailing the trial’s substance.

The Kavanaugh confirmation, among the most bitter Senate fights of the Trump administration, may have shored up support among a Republican base smarting from some of Ms. Collins’s other votes, but it enraged many of the independent and Democratic voters who have helped keep Ms. Collins comfortably in office for years. It also set the stage and tone for the impeachment fight.

What appears to rankle Ms. Collins is the suggestion that her votes are mere political calculations. She often says she consults a bevy of experts, reams of transcripts and scores of interviews with people who have a personal stake in a policy outcome.

To prepare for Mr. Trump’s trial, she met with specialists from the legal division at the Congressional Research Service and had her staff put together a huge notebook about the 1999 trial procedures. She has read myriad transcripts of the House hearings and reports on the Ukraine matter and Mr. Trump, she said.

“I felt that the process that we followed in 1999 worked really well and produced a fair outcome,” she said, including the decision to call witnesses and examine additional evidence, which most Republicans are resisting this time around.

In voting for witnesses but rejecting one or both charges against Mr. Trump, Ms. Collins might anticipate she can satisfy both Maine Republicans, many of whom are very loyal to the president, and the many Democrats and independents she has always relied on for her victories.

But that is far from clear in such a hyperpartisan environment. And she will be running for re-election against several opponents in November, including Sara Gideon, the Democratic speaker of Maine’s House.

“I am definitely expecting this to be an all-out brawl from both left and right groups, along with the candidate and party spending,” said Michael M. Franz, a co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks political advertising spending.

Maine’s race already surpassed all other Senate races in terms of campaign spending for 2019, Mr. Franz said. “All told, I don’t expect either side to be dramatically outspent, since pro-Democrat groups see this election as one of their likeliest prospects,” he said.

Compromise legislation of the sort that used to help lawmakers in Maine, where voters love independence, is increasingly rare in Congress these days. (A notable exception is the recent North American trade agreement.)

Polls show approval ratings for Ms. Collins, long one of the nation’s most popular senators, dipping.

“Maine has a kind of model of what they want a political figure to look like, which has elements of being respected nationally, civility and a certain degree of bipartisanship and independence,” said Amy Fried, the chairwoman of the department of political science at the University of Maine. “However in today’s politics she has been pushed out of that.”

For example, Ms. Fried said, although Ms. Collins is seen as supportive of abortion rights and pro-environment, political advocacy groups that press for those issues are not likely to support her this year.

“Senator Collins is now the most unpopular Senator in the country because she’s shown over and over again that she will put the needs of corporate special interests and Mitch McConnell ahead of Mainers,” said Kathleen Marra, the chairwoman of the Maine Democratic Party, who says there has been a tremendous surge in enthusiasm and volunteer engagement in her state.

Yet incumbency can be a powerful force. Ms. Collins is known as a shrewd politician who has built ties to every part of the state and labors to scrape together benefits for its shipyards, lobstermen and large elderly population and to promote them when at home.

Impeachment could be a wild card.

“I feel confident she is beatable, but don’t feel confident she will definitely lose yet,” said Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice, one of the many groups spending millions of dollars to highlight Ms. Collins’s Kavanaugh vote. “It is still going to take a lot of work.”

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