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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 90)

U.S. Settles on Outline of Elusive Phase One Trade Deal

Westlake Legal Group 12DC-CHINA-01-facebookJumbo U.S. Settles on Outline of Elusive Phase One Trade Deal United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff)

The United States and China have settled on final terms of a phase one trade deal, moving both countries closer to signing a pact that President Trump originally announced in October, four people familiar with the negotiations said.

Mr. Trump met with his top economic advisers at the White House Thursday afternoon to discuss an arrangement that would slash the overall rate on the tariffs he has placed on $360 billion of goods by half, in return for Chinese commitments to purchase American agriculture and other concessions, the people said.

The president was widely expected to announce that he would delay or cancel new tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on $160 billion of consumer products from China as of Sunday. On Thursday morning, he tweeted that the United States was closing in on a trade deal with China.

“Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!,” the president wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning.

Mr. Trump has yet to make an official announcement, and some advisers have cautioned that the president is the final arbiter of whether there will be a deal. Both sides have said they were on the verge of a deal before, only to see those agreements collapse.

The Chinese embassy in Washington directed inquiries to the Ministry of Commerce in Beijing.

Stocks rose to a record on Thursday, with the S&P 500 gaining nearly 0.9 percent, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched 1.91 percent, the highest level in almost a month.

The benchmark has been trading in record territory as investors anticipated a de-escalation of the trade war, and amid signs that the domestic economy is holding up.

“We’re encouraged that China and the United States seem on the verge of a breakthrough on the phase one negotiations,” said Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “If accurate, it would be a positive first step in improving our commercial relationship at a time of great uncertainty.”

Mr. Trump announced in October that the United States and China had reached an agreement in principle on the first phase of a trade deal. But in the weeks since, a concrete agreement had proved elusive as the two countries continued to grapple over its precise terms.

Chinese negotiators pushed their American counterparts to remove as many of the existing tariffs as possible, while the Trump administration pushed China to make more purchases of soybeans, poultry and other goods to help relieve the pressure the trade war has put on American farmers.

To ensure that China keeps its commitments, the Trump administration has insisted on quarterly reviews, as well as an agreement that China’s agricultural purchases would not drop below a certain amount. If China violates the terms of the agreement, tariffs that the Trump administration had removed would snap back into place.

China has been willing to discuss purchases of American agriculture, especially since a disease has devastated its swine population and led to spiraling pork prices. But in previous discussions, Chinese negotiators had pushed back against promising set purchase amounts far-off into the future, saying such an arrangement could anger its trading partners and violate its commitments to the World Trade Organization to treat all members equally.

Some of Mr. Trump’s advisers have argued that the president does not need China to commit to the full $40-50 billion of agricultural purchases that he said he had secured earlier this year. Instead, they say, Mr. Trump should focus on getting China to purchase more than the record of $26 billion of agricultural goods it bought in 2012, which would allow him to claim on the campaign trail that he had secured the biggest trade deal with China ever. The deal would also require China to strengthen its protections for American intellectual property and open its financial markets to foreign firms, among other changes.

In recent months, American and Chinese officials have been locked in a contentious discussion of what proportion of American concerns about Chinese economic practices are being addressed in the Phase 1 deal, and whether a corresponding proportion of Mr. Trump’s tariffs should be rolled back. The Chinese had enumerated the American requests into a list of more than 100 items, and have argued that if they resolve half of them, then half of Mr. Trump’s existing tariffs should be removed.

Some American analysts have criticized the approach, saying a significant reduction could leave the United States with less leverage for the second- and third-phase discussions that are planned in the future, in which even more difficult subjects like Chinese subsidies would be included. They also point to the depreciation in China’s currency, the renminbi, this year, saying that drop would almost offset the impact of the tariffs.

But others say an across-the-board reduction in the rate of all existing tariffs does offer the Americans some advantages, including not having to pick and choose between industries that would receive tariff relief.

The last tranche of tariffs, which is scheduled to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 15, would extend levies to cover nearly every shoe, laptop and toy that the United States imports from China — a total of $539.5 billion of merchandise last year. Companies have been eagerly watching to see whether the administration would issue the official announcement that will stop those levies from going into effect.

Many of Mr. Trump’s advisers have been wary of increasing tariffs on China at a moment when negotiators from both sides are trying to reach agreement on the first phase of a trade deal. Still, the urge to delay the tariffs — or to reach a deal — has not been unanimous. Peter Navarro, Mr. Trump’s hawkish trade adviser, circulated a memo this week that makes the case for forging ahead with additional tariffs and delaying any deal until after the 2020 election.

Matt Phillips contributed reporting from New York.

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Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Shift Focus to Hunter Biden During Debate on Trump Charges

Video

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeachvid-sub2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Shift Focus to Hunter Biden During Debate on Trump Charges Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee is formally considering articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165850710_7fa59fe5-829d-478a-a2be-444868eb8e59-articleLarge Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Shift Focus to Hunter Biden During Debate on Trump Charges Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, questioned Hunter Biden’s experience.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

The House Judiciary Committee debate on articles of impeachment turned bitterly personal on Thursday after Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, offered a proposal designed to justify President Trump’s conduct and cast aspersions on Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Mr. Gaetz sought to remove the reference to the elder Mr. Biden, and the description of him as “a political opponent,” from the article charging Mr. Trump with abuse of power for pressing Ukraine for investigations. Instead, the Florida Republican proposed inserting Hunter Biden’s name, and a mention of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that employed him on its board while his father was vice president.

The proposal was an attempt to argue that Mr. Trump was acting out of a concern for corruption, not political self-interest, when he asked President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. The president and his Republican allies have maintained that it was inappropriate for Hunter Biden, who had no experience on energy issues, to serve on Burisma’s board, and accused the former vice president of trying to protect his son and the company from being investigated for corruption.

In arguing in favor of his proposal, Mr. Gaetz read into the Congressional Record a graphic news article describing the younger Mr. Biden’s substance abuse, including cocaine.

“I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues,” Mr. Gaetz said, adding that “it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”

Democrats quickly, if obliquely, cried hypocrisy, making veiled references to Mr. Gaetz’s own past arrest for driving under the influence.

“The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do,” Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, shot back, looking toward the Republican side of the dais. Nervous laughter filled the hearing room.

“I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted in D.U.I.,” Mr. Johnson continued. “I don’t know, but if I did, I wouldn’t raise it against anyone on this committee. I don’t think it’s proper.”

Democrats handily defeated an amendment by Republicans to kill one of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump, that he abused his power by inviting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

The committee voted, 23-17 along party lines, to reject the amendment after lawmakers engaged in two hours of heated back-and-forth debate, which Republicans used as a chance to denounce the impeachment process and to try to undermine the Democratic case against the president.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who offered the amendment, said his proposal “strikes Article I, because Article I ignores the truth.”

“It’s obvious to all of the American public that this is a railroad job,” Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, among the most senior Republicans on the panel, said as he argued on behalf of Mr. Jordan’s amendment. “The facts speak for themselves. There was no impeachable offense here.”

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, urged her colleagues to turn back the Republican effort, arguing that “the president abused his power and is a continuing threat, not only to democracy but also to our security.”

Other amendments that Republicans plan to offer are all but certain to be rejected on party-line votes by the committee. But the efforts to make changes are intended to show Mr. Trump — who has watched hours of the impeachment hearings — and voters that Republicans are fighting back. The vote to impeach Mr. Trump is expected in the House next week.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, objected to consideration of the articles, arguing that Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the committee, and other Democrats had violated the committee’s rules by refusing to allow a public hearing for witnesses requested by the minority.

But the chairman ruled against his motion, quickly gaveling it down, and the panel voted along party lines to put it aside.

The president took to Twitter to accuse two Democratic lawmakers of lying during Thursday’s debate, making it clear that he is watching closely as the Judiciary Committee considers whether to approve articles of impeachment against him.

In a tweet, he lashed out at Representatives Veronica Escobar and Ms. Jackson Lee, both of Texas, claiming they had misquoted his July 25 call with the president of Ukraine. A rough transcript of the call showed Mr. Trump told Mr. Zelensky, “I want you to do us a favor, though” after the Ukrainian leader asked about purchasing military equipment.

In her comments, Ms. Jackson Lee quoted Mr. Trump almost verbatim, saying “I would like you to do a favor, though.” Ms. Escobar compared the president’s actions to those of a hypothetical governor who has held up aid for a community hit by a natural disaster and then told the mayor in need of the funding, “I want you to do me a favor, though.”

Mr. Trump spent several hours Thursday morning retweeting Republican allies defending him against the impeachment charges. He retweeted Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, who wrote that “despite the swamp media lying constantly, 51% of Americans reject this attempted coup.”

He also recirculated an attack he made Tuesday on Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, appending the comment “very dishonest pols!” to his tweet.

Mr. Nadler officially began consideration of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump by having the panel’s clerk read them into the record. He then offered up a new and slightly different draft, a parliamentary tactic that will allow him to control today’s meeting, known as a markup.

Committees usually skip the reading of legislative text, and one Republican on the panel asked to dispense with the step. But Mr. Nadler dismissed the request, saying that the importance of the historic moment at hand called for the nine-page resolution to be read out loud.

“In his conduct of the office of president of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the presidency,” the clerk read.

By offering up a new draft of the article with a minor change — instead of referring to the president as “Donald J. Trump,” as the original articles of impeachment did, it uses his full middle name, John — Mr. Nadler ensured that he will have maximum control over any further changes that may be proposed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not asking Democrats to vote to impeach Mr. Trump, and will allow them to follow their conscience when articles of impeachment come to the House floor.

“I have no message to them,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters, when asked about what she is telling moderate Democrats who might be wavering.

Using congressional slang for vote-counting, she added, “We are not whipping this legislation, nor would we ever whip something like this. People have to come to their own conclusions.”

A small number of moderate Democrats from conservative-leaning districts are still on the fence about impeaching Mr. Trump. Only two Democrats — Representatives Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson, both representing Trump-friendly districts — voted against moving forward with the impeachment inquiry.

But a small number of other Democrats, including some of the so-called “frontliners” who flipped Republican districts last year, briefly explored the idea of avoiding an impeachment vote by censuring Mr. Trump instead. The idea was quickly dropped earlier this week when it became apparent it would not gain traction in the House.

As impeachment marches forward, Mr. Trump’s lawyers are discussing hiring Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and high-profile lawyer who has frequently defended the president on television, to help with his defense during a trial in the Senate, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Several advisers to the president support making Mr. Dershowitz part of the team of outside lawyers to advise the White House on constitutional issues, they said. But no formal offer has been made to Mr. Dershowitz. Mr. Dershowitz declined to comment.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Shift Focus to Hunter Biden During Debate on Trump Charges Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

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

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House Panel Grinds Through G.O.P. Objections to Impeachment Articles

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo House Panel Grinds Through G.O.P. Objections to Impeachment Articles United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee trudged toward a historic vote on Thursday to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, turning back Republican attempts to kill the articles of impeachment in a fractious debate on Democrats’ charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Amid Republicans’ cries of outrage, Democrats were poised to approve, starkly along party lines, a charge that Mr. Trump abused the powers of his office by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals, seeking advantage for his 2020 re-election campaign, and by using official acts as leverage. They were also on track to adopt a second charge against Mr. Trump for obstructing Congress, based on his across-the-board defiance of their subpoenas, which Democrats branded an attempt to conceal the Ukraine scheme.

Gathered in the stately Ways and Means Committee room for the second consecutive day, lawmakers feuded for hours over the two articles of impeachment, their tempers flaring and patience wearing thin as they debated amendments proposed by the Republicans to gut the articles or embarrass Democrats. As their efforts failed on lopsided votes, the only question was when the president’s defenders would sheath their swords for the day to allow the final roll-call vote to recommend the articles to the full House to go forward.

“There is overwhelming evidence of the existence of a scheme led by the president, led by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to corrupt the American elections, to continue to withhold military aid until such time as a public announcement was made that would smear the president’s chief political rival,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island.

The Judiciary Committee vote would make Mr. Trump, whose unorthodox and polarizing presidency has preoccupied the nation like few of his modern predecessors, only the fourth president in American history to face impeachment by the House for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The full House is expected to debate and vote on the articles next week, just days before Congress is scheduled to leave town for Christmas. A Senate trial is expected in early 2020, 10 months before the next election.

While the Judiciary Committee debated, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would refrain from pressing Democrats to support the articles, instead encouraging them to follow their consciences on a vote heavy with historic and political weight.

“People have to come to their own conclusions,” she said. Republican leaders, however, began an all-out effort to keep their members in line to vote “no.”

Democratic leaders anticipate that a handful of their members — particularly more moderate lawmakers from districts Mr. Trump won in 2016 — may join Republicans in opposing one or both of the articles. But they expect the defections to be narrow.

Far from expressing remorse for the charges against him, the president once again declared his total innocence and raged against the Democrats leading the charge to impeach him. He turned to Twitter, his favored platform, to retweet dozens of allies who were defending his conduct and slamming the Democrats.

Mr. Trump himself made clear he was watching the proceedings, accusing two representatives of misquoting from a July phone call he had with Ukraine’s president in which Mr. Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to “do us a favor though” with regard to the investigations.

Determined not to lend the proceedings legitimacy, Mr. Trump never mounted a defense in the House, declining repeated invitations from Democrats to take part in the process. He would be given a fairer chance in the Senate, the president and his team concluded, and they spent Thursday making further preparations for that stage of the drama.

The vote expected on Thursday evening would cap two days of intense debate in the Judiciary Committee, a body known for attracting some of the House’s most progressive and conservative members. Lawmakers stayed late into Wednesday night offering, one by one, statements of fact and principle about the presidency, the Constitution, the country and Mr. Trump himself. Members on both sides of the dais lamented that their opposites would not reconsider, though none of the pleaders really expected any change.

Thursday’s proceeding was rawer, airing out all the pent-up bitterness of years of near existential political warfare. Republicans argued that Democrats were merely impeaching the president because they abhorred his unorthodox style and his conservative policies, citing years’ worth of strident cries from the most liberal members of their party championing Mr. Trump’s removal.

“This impeachment is going to fail,” said Representative Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana. “The Democrats are going to pay a heavy political price for it, but the Pandora’s box they have opened today will do irreparable injury to our country in years ahead.”

Democrats accused Republicans of turning a blind eye to misconduct by Mr. Trump out of reflexive loyalty to their party.

“This is about conscience, the conscience of the nation, the conscience of my friends on the other side of the aisle,” said Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia. “Do you believe that we should allow this to go unaddressed, what the president did? Because we are a country of precedent, we are a country of rule of law, we are a country of norms and traditions.”

The debate traces back months, through a lengthy Intelligence Committee investigation, to the submission of an anonymous C.I.A. whistle-blower complaint alleging a systematic campaign by Mr. Trump to solicit Ukraine’s help in the 2020 election, by asking its president to investigate his political rivals.

Unlike past impeachment cases, there was no special prosecutor or independent counsel to look into the Ukraine matter. Beginning in late September, the House Intelligence Committee did so itself, calling more than a dozen American diplomats and administration officials to testify, first in private, then in public. Over the course of the fall, they confirmed and expanded on the facts in the whistle-blower’s complaint, uncovering a broad scheme by Mr. Trump and allies inside and outside the government to supplant long-held American policy toward Ukraine in line with the president’s personal political interests.

In a report released last week, the Intelligence Committee’s Democrats concluded based on that testimony that Mr. Trump had used the levers of government to pressure the former Soviet republic into investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his leading campaign rival, and a theory that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election. The president, they asserted, conditioned nearly $400 million in security assistance for the country and a White House meeting for its leader on the public announcement of the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

Wednesday’s debate touched on the finer points of criminal law and constitutional standards for impeachment as lawmakers dug into the details of the case, tussling over whether Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” actually met the threshold for his removal. Republicans said they needed to be statutory crimes to warrant impeachment, and accused Democrats of putting forth a vague charge of abuse of power because they had a flimsy factual record to back up their case. They moved to strike the article charging him with abuse of power, but a vote failed on party lines.

“The entire argument for impeachment in this case is based on a charge that is not a crime, much less a high crime, and that has never been approved by the House of Representatives in a presidential impeachment before, ever in history,” said Representative Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio and one of the managers of the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton in 1998. “If that is the best you’ve got, you wasted a whole lot of time and taxpayer dollars because so many of you, Mr. Chairman, hate this president.”

Democrats rejected that theory, arguing that Mr. Trump’s actions were clearly high crimes because they were offenses against the Constitution itself, but could also be construed as criminal violations of the law. Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, posited that Mr. Trump could be charged with criminal bribery and honest services fraud.

In seeking to clear Mr. Trump, Republicans returned again and again to statements by the president and Ukrainian leaders since the inquiry began that there was no pressure applied by Mr. Trump or felt in Kyiv. They pointed out that Ukraine did not announce the investigations Mr. Trump wanted and that the $391 million in military aid the president had blocked for months was eventually released and a meeting between the presidents occurred.

“Show me the Ukrainian that was pressured,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida and a loquacious defender of Mr. Trump. “Show me the Ukrainian that knew that any of this was tied to any conditionality.”

But Democrats said that, too, was fallacious, noting that Mr. Trump allowed the aid to be delivered only after he had been briefed about the whistle-blower complaint. The security assistance funds were released “because the president got caught,” said Representative Val Demings, Democrat of Florida. And she insisted that lawmakers ought not to be persuaded by the fact that Mr. Trump never explicitly said he was tying official acts to political favors.

“I can tell you this,” said Ms. Demings, a former police chief, “when a robber points a gun at you to take their money, they usually don’t walk up and say. ‘I’m robbing you.’”

Very little about Thursday’s debate was a surprise. Since Ms. Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry in September, it has moved not just with remarkable speed — 79 days as of Thursday — but with uncanny predictability.

Though several House Republicans flirted with openly criticizing Mr. Trump after the transcript of a July phone call between Mr. Trump and Ukraine’s president became public, they quickly fell into line as the president and his most vocal allies on Capitol Hill systematically attacked the Democratic inquiry.

By Halloween, when Democrats sought a vote to move the inquiry forward on the House floor, tribal politics had prevailed: Not a single Republican joined the Democrats to endorse the process moving forward.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

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House Panel Grinds Through G.O.P. Objections to Impeachment Articles

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeach1-facebookJumbo House Panel Grinds Through G.O.P. Objections to Impeachment Articles United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment Constitution (US)

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee trudged toward a historic vote on Thursday to push President Trump to the brink of impeachment, turning back Republican attempts to kill the articles of impeachment in a fractious debate on Democrats’ charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Amid Republicans’ cries of outrage, Democrats were poised to approve, starkly along party lines, a charge that Mr. Trump abused the powers of his office by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals, seeking advantage for his 2020 re-election campaign, and by using official acts as leverage. They were also on track to adopt a second charge against Mr. Trump for obstructing Congress, based on his across-the-board defiance of their subpoenas, which Democrats branded an attempt to conceal the Ukraine scheme.

Gathered in the stately Ways and Means Committee room for the second consecutive day, lawmakers feuded for hours over the two articles of impeachment, their tempers flaring and patience wearing thin as they debated amendments proposed by the Republicans to gut the articles or embarrass Democrats. As their efforts failed on lopsided votes, the only question was when the president’s defenders would sheath their swords for the day to allow the final roll-call vote to recommend the articles to the full House to go forward.

“There is overwhelming evidence of the existence of a scheme led by the president, led by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to corrupt the American elections, to continue to withhold military aid until such time as a public announcement was made that would smear the president’s chief political rival,” said Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island.

The Judiciary Committee vote would make Mr. Trump, whose unorthodox and polarizing presidency has preoccupied the nation like few of his modern predecessors, only the fourth president in American history to face impeachment by the House for “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

The full House is expected to debate and vote on the articles next week, just days before Congress is scheduled to leave town for Christmas. A Senate trial is expected in early 2020, 10 months before the next election.

While the Judiciary Committee debated, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would refrain from pressing Democrats to support the articles, instead encouraging them to follow their consciences on a vote heavy with historic and political weight.

“People have to come to their own conclusions,” she said. Republican leaders, however, began an all-out effort to keep their members in line to vote “no.”

Democratic leaders anticipate that a handful of their members — particularly more moderate lawmakers from districts Mr. Trump won in 2016 — may join Republicans in opposing one or both of the articles. But they expect the defections to be narrow.

Far from expressing remorse for the charges against him, the president once again declared his total innocence and raged against the Democrats leading the charge to impeach him. He turned to Twitter, his favored platform, to retweet dozens of allies who were defending his conduct and slamming the Democrats.

Mr. Trump himself made clear he was watching the proceedings, accusing two representatives of misquoting from a July phone call he had with Ukraine’s president in which Mr. Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to “do us a favor though” with regard to the investigations.

Determined not to lend the proceedings legitimacy, Mr. Trump never mounted a defense in the House, declining repeated invitations from Democrats to take part in the process. He would be given a fairer chance in the Senate, the president and his team concluded, and they spent Thursday making further preparations for that stage of the drama.

The vote expected on Thursday evening would cap two days of intense debate in the Judiciary Committee, a body known for attracting some of the House’s most progressive and conservative members. Lawmakers stayed late into Wednesday night offering, one by one, statements of fact and principle about the presidency, the Constitution, the country and Mr. Trump himself. Members on both sides of the dais lamented that their opposites would not reconsider, though none of the pleaders really expected any change.

Thursday’s proceeding was rawer, airing out all the pent-up bitterness of years of near existential political warfare. Republicans argued that Democrats were merely impeaching the president because they abhorred his unorthodox style and his conservative policies, citing years’ worth of strident cries from the most liberal members of their party championing Mr. Trump’s removal.

“This impeachment is going to fail,” said Representative Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana. “The Democrats are going to pay a heavy political price for it, but the Pandora’s box they have opened today will do irreparable injury to our country in years ahead.”

Democrats accused Republicans of turning a blind eye to misconduct by Mr. Trump out of reflexive loyalty to their party.

“This is about conscience, the conscience of the nation, the conscience of my friends on the other side of the aisle,” said Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia. “Do you believe that we should allow this to go unaddressed, what the president did? Because we are a country of precedent, we are a country of rule of law, we are a country of norms and traditions.”

The debate traces back months, through a lengthy Intelligence Committee investigation, to the submission of an anonymous C.I.A. whistle-blower complaint alleging a systematic campaign by Mr. Trump to solicit Ukraine’s help in the 2020 election, by asking its president to investigate his political rivals.

Unlike past impeachment cases, there was no special prosecutor or independent counsel to look into the Ukraine matter. Beginning in late September, the House Intelligence Committee did so itself, calling more than a dozen American diplomats and administration officials to testify, first in private, then in public. Over the course of the fall, they confirmed and expanded on the facts in the whistle-blower’s complaint, uncovering a broad scheme by Mr. Trump and allies inside and outside the government to supplant long-held American policy toward Ukraine in line with the president’s personal political interests.

In a report released last week, the Intelligence Committee’s Democrats concluded based on that testimony that Mr. Trump had used the levers of government to pressure the former Soviet republic into investigating former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his leading campaign rival, and a theory that Democrats conspired with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election. The president, they asserted, conditioned nearly $400 million in security assistance for the country and a White House meeting for its leader on the public announcement of the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

Wednesday’s debate touched on the finer points of criminal law and constitutional standards for impeachment as lawmakers dug into the details of the case, tussling over whether Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” actually met the threshold for his removal. Republicans said they needed to be statutory crimes to warrant impeachment, and accused Democrats of putting forth a vague charge of abuse of power because they had a flimsy factual record to back up their case. They moved to strike the article charging him with abuse of power, but a vote failed on party lines.

“The entire argument for impeachment in this case is based on a charge that is not a crime, much less a high crime, and that has never been approved by the House of Representatives in a presidential impeachment before, ever in history,” said Representative Steve Chabot, Republican of Ohio and one of the managers of the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton in 1998. “If that is the best you’ve got, you wasted a whole lot of time and taxpayer dollars because so many of you, Mr. Chairman, hate this president.”

Democrats rejected that theory, arguing that Mr. Trump’s actions were clearly high crimes because they were offenses against the Constitution itself, but could also be construed as criminal violations of the law. Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, posited that Mr. Trump could be charged with criminal bribery and honest services fraud.

In seeking to clear Mr. Trump, Republicans returned again and again to statements by the president and Ukrainian leaders since the inquiry began that there was no pressure applied by Mr. Trump or felt in Kyiv. They pointed out that Ukraine did not announce the investigations Mr. Trump wanted and that the $391 million in military aid the president had blocked for months was eventually released and a meeting between the presidents occurred.

“Show me the Ukrainian that was pressured,” said Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida and a loquacious defender of Mr. Trump. “Show me the Ukrainian that knew that any of this was tied to any conditionality.”

But Democrats said that, too, was fallacious, noting that Mr. Trump allowed the aid to be delivered only after he had been briefed about the whistle-blower complaint. The security assistance funds were released “because the president got caught,” said Representative Val Demings, Democrat of Florida. And she insisted that lawmakers ought not to be persuaded by the fact that Mr. Trump never explicitly said he was tying official acts to political favors.

“I can tell you this,” said Ms. Demings, a former police chief, “when a robber points a gun at you to take their money, they usually don’t walk up and say. ‘I’m robbing you.’”

Very little about Thursday’s debate was a surprise. Since Ms. Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry in September, it has moved not just with remarkable speed — 79 days as of Thursday — but with uncanny predictability.

Though several House Republicans flirted with openly criticizing Mr. Trump after the transcript of a July phone call between Mr. Trump and Ukraine’s president became public, they quickly fell into line as the president and his most vocal allies on Capitol Hill systematically attacked the Democratic inquiry.

By Halloween, when Democrats sought a vote to move the inquiry forward on the House floor, tribal politics had prevailed: Not a single Republican joined the Democrats to endorse the process moving forward.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

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Impeachment Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Bid to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump

Video

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeachvid-sub2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Impeachment Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Bid to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee is formally considering articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165844890_fe68027b-44d5-4516-b8f0-7af87264b3e4-articleLarge Impeachment Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Bid to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Republicans preparing before the markup. Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Democrats handily defeated an amendment by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to kill one of the articles of impeachment against President Trump after a two-hour debate in which lawmakers fiercely debated the accusation that the president abused his power by inviting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

The committee voted, 23-17 along party lines, to reject the amendment after lawmakers engaged in heated back-and-forth, which Republicans used as a chance to denounce the impeachment process and to try to undermine the Democratic case against the president.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who offered the amendment, said his proposal “strikes Article I, because Article I ignores the truth.”

“It’s obvious to all of the American public that this is a railroad job,” said Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, one of the most senior Republicans on the panel, as he argued on behalf of Mr. Jordan’s amendment. “The facts speak for themselves. There was no impeachable offense here.”

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, urged her colleagues to turn back the Republican effort, insisting that “the president abused his power and is a continuing threat, not only to democracy but also to our security.”

Other amendments that Republicans plan to offer are all but certain to be rejected on party-line votes by the committee. But the efforts to make changes are intended to show Mr. Trump — who has watched hours of the impeachment hearings — and voters that Republicans are fighting back against attempts to impeach the president next week.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, objected to consideration of the articles, arguing that Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the committee, and other Democrats had violated the committee’s rules by refusing to allow a public hearing for witnesses requested by the minority.

But the chairman ruled against his motion, quickly gaveling it down, and the panel voted along party lines to put it aside.

The president took to Twitter to accuse two Democratic lawmakers of lying during Thursday’s debate, making it clear that he is watching closely as the Judiciary Committee considers whether to approve articles of impeachment against him.

In a tweet, he lashed out at Representatives Veronica Escobar and Sheila Jackson Lee, both of Texas, claiming they had misquoted his July 25 call with the president of Ukraine. A rough transcript of the call showed Mr. Trump told President Volodymyr Zelensky, “I want you to do us a favor, though” after the Ukrainian leader asked about purchasing military equipment.

In her comments, Ms. Jackson Lee quoted Mr. Trump almost verbatim, saying “I would like you to do a favor, though.” Ms. Escobar compared the president’s actions to those of a hypothetical governor who has held up aid for a community hit by a natural disaster and then told the mayor in need of the funding, “I want you to do me a favor, though.”

Mr. Trump spent several hours Thursday morning retweeting Republican allies defending him against the impeachment charges. He retweeted Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, who wrote that “despite the swamp media lying constantly, 51% of Americans reject this attempted coup.”

He also recirculated an attack he made Tuesday on Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, appending the comment “very dishonest pols!” to his tweet.

Mr. Nadler officially began consideration of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump by having the panel’s clerk read them into the record. He then offered up a new and slightly different draft, a parliamentary tactic that will allow him to control today’s meeting, known as a markup.

Committees usually skip the reading of legislative text, and one Republican on the panel asked to dispense with the step. But Mr. Nadler dismissed the request, saying that the importance of the historic moment at hand called for the nine-page resolution to be read out loud.

“In his conduct of the office of president of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the presidency,” the clerk read.

By offering up a new draft of the article with a minor change — instead of referring to the president as “Donald J. Trump,” as the original articles of impeachment did, it uses his full middle name, John — Mr. Nadler ensured that he will have maximum control over any further changes that may be proposed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not asking Democrats to vote to impeach Mr. Trump, and will allow them to follow their conscience when articles of impeachment come to the House floor.

“I have no message to them,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters, when asked about what she is telling moderate Democrats who might be wavering.

Using congressional slang for vote-counting, she added, “We are not whipping this legislation, nor would we ever whip something like this. People have to come to their own conclusions.”

A small number of moderate Democrats from conservative-leaning districts are still on the fence about impeaching Mr. Trump. Only two Democrats — Representatives Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson, both representing Trump-friendly districts — voted against moving forward with the impeachment inquiry.

But a small number of other Democrats, including some of the so-called “frontliners” who flipped Republican districts last year, briefly explored the idea of avoiding an impeachment vote by censuring Mr. Trump instead. The idea was quickly dropped earlier this week when it became apparent it would not gain traction in the House.

As impeachment marches forward, Mr. Trump’s lawyers are discussing hiring Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and high-profile lawyer who has frequently defended the president on television, to help with his defense during a trial in the Senate, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Several advisers to the president support making Mr. Dershowitz part of the team of outside lawyers to advise the White House on constitutional issues, they said. But no formal offer has been made to Mr. Dershowitz. Mr. Dershowitz declined to comment.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Live Updates: Democrats Defeat Republican Bid to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

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

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Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Insert Hunter Biden and Burisma Into the Articles vs. Trump

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Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeachvid-sub2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Insert Hunter Biden and Burisma Into the Articles vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee is formally considering articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165850710_7fa59fe5-829d-478a-a2be-444868eb8e59-articleLarge Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Insert Hunter Biden and Burisma Into the Articles vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida, questioned Hunter Biden’s experience.Credit…Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida offered an amendment seeking to remove a reference to the accusation that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his political rival, and instead mention Mr. Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

The proposal was an attempt by Republicans to focus attention on Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and unproven claims by Mr. Trump and his Republican allies that the former vice president had tried to protect his son and the company from being investigated for corruption.

Republicans have criticized Hunter Biden, who has acknowledged having little experience in the energy sector, for being paid to serve on the board at Burisma, and have questioned his character.

What was already a raw proceeding took an unlikely turn toward the personal as Mr. Gaetz read into the Congressional Record a graphic news article describing the younger Mr. Biden’s substance abuse, including cocaine.

“I don’t want to make light of anybody’s substance abuse issues,” Mr. Gaetz said, adding that “it’s a little hard to believe that Burisma hired Hunter Biden to resolve their international disputes when he could not resolve his own dispute with Hertz rental car over leaving cocaine and a crack pipe in the car.”

Democrats quickly, if obliquely, cried hypocrisy, making veiled references to Mr. Gaetz’s own past D.U.I. arrest.

“The pot calling the kettle black is not something we should do,” Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, shot back, looking toward the Republican side of the dais. Nervous laughter filled the hearing room.

“I don’t know what members, if any, have had any problems with substance abuse, been busted in D.U.I.,” Mr. Johnson continued. “I don’t know, but if I did, I wouldn’t raise it against anyone on this committee. I don’t think it’s proper.”

Democrats handily defeated an amendment by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee to kill one of the articles of impeachment against President Trump, that he abused his power by inviting foreign interference in the 2020 election.

The committee voted, 23-17 along party lines, to reject the amendment after lawmakers engaged in two hours of heated back-and-forth debate, which Republicans used as a chance to denounce the impeachment process and to try to undermine the Democratic case against the president.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who offered the amendment, said his proposal “strikes Article I, because Article I ignores the truth.”

“It’s obvious to all of the American public that this is a railroad job,” Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, among the most senior Republicans on the panel, said as he argued on behalf of Mr. Jordan’s amendment. “The facts speak for themselves. There was no impeachable offense here.”

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, Democrat of Texas, urged her colleagues to turn back the Republican effort, arguing that “the president abused his power and is a continuing threat, not only to democracy but also to our security.”

Other amendments that Republicans plan to offer are all but certain to be rejected on party-line votes by the committee. But the efforts to make changes are intended to show Mr. Trump — who has watched hours of the impeachment hearings — and voters that Republicans are fighting back. The vote to impeach Mr. Trump is expected in the House next week.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, objected to consideration of the articles, arguing that Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the committee, and other Democrats had violated the committee’s rules by refusing to allow a public hearing for witnesses requested by the minority.

But the chairman ruled against his motion, quickly gaveling it down, and the panel voted along party lines to put it aside.

The president took to Twitter to accuse two Democratic lawmakers of lying during Thursday’s debate, making it clear that he is watching closely as the Judiciary Committee considers whether to approve articles of impeachment against him.

In a tweet, he lashed out at Representatives Veronica Escobar and Sheila Jackson Lee, both of Texas, claiming they had misquoted his July 25 call with the president of Ukraine. A rough transcript of the call showed Mr. Trump told President Volodymyr Zelensky, “I want you to do us a favor, though” after the Ukrainian leader asked about purchasing military equipment.

In her comments, Ms. Jackson Lee quoted Mr. Trump almost verbatim, saying “I would like you to do a favor, though.” Ms. Escobar compared the president’s actions to those of a hypothetical governor who has held up aid for a community hit by a natural disaster and then told the mayor in need of the funding, “I want you to do me a favor, though.”

Mr. Trump spent several hours Thursday morning retweeting Republican allies defending him against the impeachment charges. He retweeted Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, who wrote that “despite the swamp media lying constantly, 51% of Americans reject this attempted coup.”

He also recirculated an attack he made Tuesday on Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, appending the comment “very dishonest pols!” to his tweet.

Mr. Nadler officially began consideration of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump by having the panel’s clerk read them into the record. He then offered up a new and slightly different draft, a parliamentary tactic that will allow him to control today’s meeting, known as a markup.

Committees usually skip the reading of legislative text, and one Republican on the panel asked to dispense with the step. But Mr. Nadler dismissed the request, saying that the importance of the historic moment at hand called for the nine-page resolution to be read out loud.

“In his conduct of the office of president of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the presidency,” the clerk read.

By offering up a new draft of the article with a minor change — instead of referring to the president as “Donald J. Trump,” as the original articles of impeachment did, it uses his full middle name, John — Mr. Nadler ensured that he will have maximum control over any further changes that may be proposed.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is not asking Democrats to vote to impeach Mr. Trump, and will allow them to follow their conscience when articles of impeachment come to the House floor.

“I have no message to them,” Ms. Pelosi told reporters, when asked about what she is telling moderate Democrats who might be wavering.

Using congressional slang for vote-counting, she added, “We are not whipping this legislation, nor would we ever whip something like this. People have to come to their own conclusions.”

A small number of moderate Democrats from conservative-leaning districts are still on the fence about impeaching Mr. Trump. Only two Democrats — Representatives Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey and Collin Peterson, both representing Trump-friendly districts — voted against moving forward with the impeachment inquiry.

But a small number of other Democrats, including some of the so-called “frontliners” who flipped Republican districts last year, briefly explored the idea of avoiding an impeachment vote by censuring Mr. Trump instead. The idea was quickly dropped earlier this week when it became apparent it would not gain traction in the House.

As impeachment marches forward, Mr. Trump’s lawyers are discussing hiring Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and high-profile lawyer who has frequently defended the president on television, to help with his defense during a trial in the Senate, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Several advisers to the president support making Mr. Dershowitz part of the team of outside lawyers to advise the White House on constitutional issues, they said. But no formal offer has been made to Mr. Dershowitz. Mr. Dershowitz declined to comment.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Live Updates: Republicans Try to Insert Hunter Biden and Burisma Into the Articles vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

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

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

Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Republicans Seek to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump

Video

Westlake Legal Group 12dc-impeachvid-sub2-videoSixteenByNine3000 Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Republicans Seek to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

The House Judiciary Committee is formally considering articles of impeachment against President Trump.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165844890_fe68027b-44d5-4516-b8f0-7af87264b3e4-articleLarge Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Republicans Seek to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

Republicans preparing before the markup. Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee moved quickly to try to kill the articles of impeachment against President Trump as the markup got underway, condemning the process as unfair to the president.

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, offered the first amendment of the day, seeking to strike Article I, which accuses the president of abuse of power. Mr. Jordan said his amendment “strikes Article I, because Article I ignores the truth.”

Lawmakers engaged in heated debate, which Republicans used as a chance to denounce the process and to try to undermine the Democratic case against the president.

Mr. Jordan’s amendment, and others that Republicans plan to offer, are all but certain to be rejected on party-line votes by the committee, which is heavily skewed in favor of Democrats. But such changes are intended to show Mr. Trump — who has watched hours of the impeachment hearings — and Republican voters that they are fighting back against attempts to impeach the president next week.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, pushed to end consideration of the articles entirely, arguing that Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the committee, and other Democrats had violated the committee’s rules by refusing to allow a public hearing for witnesses requested by the minority. But the chairman ruled against his motion, quickly gaveling it down.

Mr. Nadler officially began consideration of the articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump by having the panel’s clerk read them into the record. He then offered up a new and slightly different draft, a parliamentary tactic that will allow him to control the markup process throughout the day.

Committees usually skip the reading of legislative text, and one Republican on the panel asked to dispense with the step. But Mr. Nadler dismissed the request, saying that the importance of the historic moment at hand called for the nine-page resolution to be read out loud.

“In his conduct of the office of president of the United States — and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of president of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed — Donald J. Trump has abused the powers of the presidency,” the clerk read.

By offering up a new draft of the article with a minor change — instead of referring to the president as “Donald J. Trump,” as the original articles of impeachment did, it uses his full middle name, John — Mr. Nadler ensured that he will have maximum control over any further changes that may be proposed.

For only the third time in modern history, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee are formally considering articles of impeachment against a sitting president in a debate that underscores the deep divisions in the country.

The process began on Wednesday night, with lawmakers delivering impassioned statements for or against impeaching the president.

On Thursday, Democrats are putting the last touches on articles accusing Mr. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, finalizing charges stemming from their two-and-a-half-month inquiry into what they say was a scheme by the president to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals.

For Republicans, Thursday’s meeting — called a “markup” because it gives members the opportunity to offer amendments and edits to the articles — is their last chance to try to derail the impeachment before the articles are expected to come to the House floor early next week.

That is unlikely to happen in the committee, which is firmly under the control of Democrats and led by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. Both sides expect the committee to vote along party lines by Thursday afternoon to send the articles to the full House.

But the committee debate is certain to be intense as Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump “ignored and injured the interests of the nation” and Republicans angrily accuse the president’s adversaries of waging an unfair assault on the presidency based on insufficient evidence.

The Judiciary Committee’s debate on Thursday is an important test of the party discipline that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sought to maintain since late September, when she announced that the House would begin an impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump related to the Ukraine matter.

Only two House Democrats voted against formalizing Ms. Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry in a House vote about a month later. It was a demonstration of remarkable unity within the caucus about using one of the gravest remedies in the Constitution to hold the president accountable for his actions.

But some moderate Democrats whose conservative-leaning districts voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 have in the past expressed concerns about impeaching the president.

There is no indication that any of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee intend to break with Ms. Pelosi by voting against sending the articles to the full House. While the markup process allows them to offer amendments, few if any are expected to do anything to substantively change the charges.

As impeachment marches forward, Mr. Trump’s lawyers are discussing hiring Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School and high-profile lawyer who has frequently defended the president on television, to help with his defense during a trial in the Senate, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Several advisers to the president support making Mr. Dershowitz part of the team of outside lawyers to advise the White House on constitutional issues, they said. But no formal offer has been made to Mr. Dershowitz. Mr. Dershowitz declined to comment.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Hearing Live Updates: Republicans Seek to Kill the Abuse of Power Charge vs. Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

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

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Impeachment Updates: Judiciary Committee to Debate Articles Against Trump

Here’s what you need to know:

Who: The 41 members of the House Judiciary Committee will debate two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

What: The committee members will consider any amendments to the two draft articles that House Democrats unveiled Tuesday. The panel will then vote on whether to recommend that the full House approve the articles.

When and Where: 9 a.m. Thursday in the Ways and Means Committee Room near the Capitol.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the committee debate live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide real-time context and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting just before 9.

For only the third time in modern history, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee will formally consider articles of impeachment against a sitting president. The debate will underscore the deep divisions between Democrats and Mr. Trump’s Republican allies.

The process began on Wednesday night, with lawmakers delivering statements for or against impeaching the president.

On Thursday, Democrats will put the last touches on articles accusing Mr. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, finalizing charges stemming from their two-and-a-half-month inquiry into the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals.

For Republicans, the meeting — called a “markup” because it gives members the opportunity to offer amendments and edits to the articles — is their last chance to try to derail the impeachment before the articles are expected to come to the House floor early next week.

That is unlikely to happen in the committee, which is firmly under the control of Democrats and led by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. Both sides expect the committee to vote along party lines by Thursday afternoon to send the articles to the full House.

But the committee debate is certain to be intense as Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump “ignored and injured the interests of the nation” and Republicans angrily accuse the president’s adversaries of waging an unfair assault on the presidency based on insufficient evidence.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Impeachment Updates: Judiciary Committee to Debate Articles Against Trump Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary Democratic Party

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

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

What to Watch For as the House Judiciary Committee Marks Up the Articles of Impeachment

The House Judiciary Committee will convene Thursday morning to debate two articles of impeachment against President Trump, the final step before Democrats bring them to the House floor for an expected vote next week to charge the president with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Who: The 41 members of the Judiciary Committee.

What: The committee members will consider any amendments to the two draft articles that House Democrats unveiled Tuesday. The panel will then vote on whether to recommend that the full House approve the articles.

When and Where: 9 a.m. Thursday in the Ways and Means Committee Room near the Capitol.

How to Watch: The New York Times will stream the committee debate live, and a team of reporters in Washington will provide real-time context and analysis of the events on Capitol Hill. Follow along at nytimes.com, starting just before 9.

For only the third time in modern history, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee will formally consider articles of impeachment against a sitting president. In a daylong session, their debate will underscore the deep divisions between Democrats and Mr. Trump’s Republican allies.

Democrats plan to use the session to put the last touches on articles accusing Mr. Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, finalizing charges stemming from their two-and-a-half month inquiry into the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals.

For Republicans, the meeting — called a “markup” because it gives members the opportunity to offer amendments and edits to the articles — is their last chance to try to derail the impeachment before the articles are expected to go to the House floor early next week.

That is unlikely to happen in the committee, which is firmly under the control of Democrats and led by Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. Both sides expect the panel to vote along party lines by Thursday afternoon to send the articles to the full House.

But the committee debate is certain to be intense as Democrats make their case that Mr. Trump “ignored and injured the interests of the nation” and as Republicans angrily accuse the president’s adversaries of waging an unfair assault on the presidency based on insufficient evidence.

  • Mr. Trump and his advisers repeatedly pressured President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate people and issues of political concern to Mr. Trump, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Here’s a timeline of events since January.

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

Westlake Legal Group vidxx-trump-ukraine-1-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 What to Watch For as the House Judiciary Committee Marks Up the Articles of Impeachment Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry impeachment House Committee on the Judiciary

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

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

Late Into the Night on Capitol Hill: A Debate of Impeachment Articles Begins at 7 P.M.

Westlake Legal Group 11dc-scene-1-facebookJumbo Late Into the Night on Capitol Hill: A Debate of Impeachment Articles Begins at 7 P.M. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Republican Party Nadler, Jerrold impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party Collins, Douglas A (1966- )

WASHINGTON — They might as well have been speaking different languages, from alternate realities. They spoke mostly past each other, late into the cable night and into history.

“With a heavy heart but clear in my duty to our country, I support these articles of impeachment,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the Judiciary Committee chairman, leading off the committee’s debate of two articles of impeachment against President Trump. “I urge my colleagues to support them, as well.”

Mr. Nadler convened this rhetorical death march at precisely 7 p.m. Wednesday. The unusual timing was to advance the Democrats’ impeachment articles to the House floor in time for a full vote as quickly as possible, possibly by next Tuesday.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, responded a few minutes later with incredulity. Spare him the heavy heart. “We have been on this path since November 2016,” Mr. Collins said, also claiming that Democrats have been intent on trying to oust Mr. Trump since they won the House majority last year.

The late hour lent a charged vibe of prime-time urgency to the spectacle. But the mood quickly reverted to the same themes and boilerplates familiar to anyone who has been paying attention over the past five weeks.

Democrats said they had a clear-cut case against Mr. Trump and were determined to hold him to account for his actions. Republicans accused Democrats of trying to “overturn the results of an election,” of being blinded by their hatred of the president and, yes, of his supporters and their “way of life.”

The committee’s debate was actually the start of a “markup,” lawmaking parlance for the process House and Senate committees use to amend and hash out whatever legislative action they plan to advance to the floor for a full House vote. Ideally, this would be a collaborative process, marked by good faith, willingness to compromise and trust between the parties.

Ideally.

And then there was Wednesday night. Over three and a half hours, committee members took turns talking about how somber and solemn and prayerful this occasion was.

“A sad day in U.S. history,” said Representative Karen Bass, Democrat of California.

“I agree with everybody that tonight is a very solemn night,” said Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin.

“This is truly a sad day for America — it’s a sad week for America,” said Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, his voice choking with emotion when he invoked the president. “He has hung in there, it’s amazing,” he said of Mr. Trump. Mr. Gohmert called for Democrats to apologize to the president for the ordeal they have put him through.

No apology was forthcoming.

If nothing else, these past few weeks have provided a lesson in Capitol Hill expectation-setting. Despite charged testimony, compelling witnesses and some significant revelations, no major players of either party have shown any sign of budging from their partisan bunkers. The proverbial needle, it would appear, has not moved.

No one was expecting any epic acts of statesmanship to break out in the Ways and Means Committee Room on Wednesday night. There was nothing on par with, say, Representative Barbara Jordan, the Texas Democrat who in a Judiciary Committee hearing during the Watergate scandal delivered a memorable homage to the Constitution and a denunciation of President Richard M. Nixon, a defining moment of those proceedings.

Nor were there any surprise breaks from either ranks, as when Representative Lawrence Hogan, the Maryland Republican who had supported Nixon, stunned the White House by announcing he would vote for impeachment, citing the president’s lies, deceptions and “immoral attitudes.”

On Wednesday night, a few Democrats brought up Mr. Hogan, the father of the current Republican governor of Maryland. They said they wished that today’s Republicans would heed his example, assert their independence and stun the prime-time audience with a switch of positions.

It was more rhetorical wish than viable possibility. The five-minute speeches continued, one after another. By 10 p.m., the panel took on a decidedly low-energy posture. Members stared off as the last speakers closed out the evening. There were few interruptions, no surprises and a steady march to the exits.

At 10:20 p.m., after nearly three and a half hours and a few minutes before adjourning the panel for the night, Mr. Nadler and Mr. Collins appeared to share a smile. Maybe one of them cracked a joke. Either way, it was a flash of bipartisan lightness to end things, a tiny surprise, if not a breakthrough.

Still, not a lot was likely to change, so let us get on with it. The debate was to start up again at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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