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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 97)

What to Watch For Before the Impeachment Vote

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

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

Rough Rundown of the Day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What to Watch Ahead of the Impeachment Vote

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

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

Rough Rundown of the Day:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video

transcript

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Trump’s Letter to Pelosi Protesting Impeachment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trump Denounces ‘Partisan Attempted Coup’ on Eve of House Vote

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read Trump’s Letter to Pelosi Protesting Impeachment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Republicans Attack House Democrats on Impeachment, and Democrats Change the Subject

Westlake Legal Group 17impeachmentads1-facebookJumbo Republicans Attack House Democrats on Impeachment, and Democrats Change the Subject United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Spanberger, Abigail Slotkin, Elissa Presidential Election of 2020 Political Advertising impeachment

For the past two months, television ads across central Virginia have sounded a lot like President Trump’s Twitter feed.

“A rigged process. A sham impeachment. No quid pro quo. But Pelosi’s witch hunt continues,” an ad from the Republican super PAC America First Policies cried, as images of Abigail Spanberger, who represents the region in Congress, flickered onscreen.

Like many of her fellow freshmen Democratic colleagues, Ms. Spanberger has faced a barrage of attack ads from the Republican National Committee and super PACs aligned with President Trump. During the roughly two months that the impeachment inquiry has been underway, Mr. Trump and his Republican allies have flooded the airwaves, spending more than $16.7 million on ads critical of the impeachment effort. A vast majority of those ads attack House Democrats rather than defend the president, according to Advertising Analytics, an ad tracking firm.

Democratic groups are not fighting back directly. They are spending just $5.4 million on television ads specific to impeachment. Instead, the most prominent Democratically-funded message on television at this moment is this: “Mike Bloomberg for President.”

The former New York mayor is spending more than $109 million, primarily on biographical TV ads across the country and an additional fraction of that on Facebook and Google ads, all without mention of the drama unfolding in Washington this week.

He is investing some resources in impeachment: Mr. Bloomberg pledged a week ago to donate $10 million to the House Majority PAC to help defend House Democrats, which is nearly twice what Democrats have spent already.

Online, the Trump campaign has been dominating the impeachment discussion, with $2.3 million on Facebook alone ranking as the most money invested in digital impeachment advertising, though a coalition of Democratic groups, led largely by Tom Steyer’s campaign, have come close to matching Mr. Trump online, according to data analysis from Bully Pulpit Interactive, a Democratic consulting firm. Some have gotten creative, however. Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign, for instance, began advertising off Google searches of the word “impeachment” this week. The top result on Google was a link to Mr. Bloomberg’s website.

The disparity in ad spending reflects the political dilemma facing so many Democrats. Loath to make impeachment appear at all political, Democrats are hesitant to use aggressive persuasion tactics to make their case for supporting impeachment. Aside from Mr. Steyer, the deepest pocketed Democrats right now — presidential candidates — have barely run any advertisements around impeachment. The Biden campaign announced a new ad on Tuesday to run ahead of impeachment proceedings, but makes no mention of impeachment.

If the Democrats are mostly ignoring impeachment to focus on the election, the Republican strategy appears to be the opposite. The bulk of Republican ads avoid 2020 entirely. They are aimed more at pressuring the members themselves to vote against impeachment, and not at furthering an anti-impeachment narrative in key swing states.

For most House Democrats, not even a year removed from expensive midterm campaigns, dipping into their cash reserves this early is a risky move. Running in 2020, during a presidential election, is likely to drive up advertising costs. So they are left without a robust defense against a well-funded coalition of Republican super PACs and the Trump campaign.

“For Republicans, you want to get on offense against Democrats, you want to press their issues and define them early,” said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist and former communications director at the National Republican Congressional Committee. He noted that for House races, the ability to attack early can be key in a presidential year. “The airwaves get cluttered, put your message in now.”

National polling on impeachment has remained largely unchanged in recent weeks, reflecting the deep polarization in the national political arena. Only two Democrats have publicly announced their opposition to impeachment so far (and one, Representative Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, is planning on switching parties after doing so). So the impact of tens of millions in negative advertising can be difficult to gauge.

“There is no evidence at this point that the Republican spending is working,” said Meredith Kelly, a Democratic strategist and former senior adviser at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “There really has not been significant movement in support for the impeachment inquiry nationally and within the battlefield, everyone appears to be holding steady in their corners.”

The torrent of negative advertising on Democrats breaks down along two key lines of attack: that the impeachment is driven by a far-left conspiracy against the president, and that the new Democrats in Washington traded in their 2018 midterm promises to fight for health care and better jobs for a singular focus on impeachment.

Progressive icons like Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are often front and center in the negative ads, despite not playing central roles in the impeachment process. The favorite foils of Mr. Trump and the modern Republican Party are depicted, often falsely, as describing the impeachment effort as a means of preventing Mr. Trump’s re-election.

For example, 18 different ads from the American Action Network, a Republican super PAC that has spent $5.4 million on TV ads so far, all begin with an appearance of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez on CNN where she warns of foreign interference in the 2020 election, and hopes for “preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year.”

But the ads clip her words, making it sound like the “potentially disastrous outcome” is referring to Mr. Trump’s re-election, as a narrator intones “now it’s crystal clear, their partisan impeachment is a politically motivated charade.”

The Republican National Committee, which has spent $2.3 million on impeachment ads targeting 14 different House Democrats, has decried the impeachment as “broken promises” by Democrats, who “instead of fixing health care and lowering drug prices” have abandoned their platform to focus solely on going after Mr. Trump.

It’s a message that Republicans were using in the midterm elections, long before impeachment became a reality.

Mr. Gorman, the former Republican congressional committee strategist, said that the strongest performing advertisements in 2018 — aside from individual opposition research — were about removing the president.

“The best uniform hit against Democrats was that they were going to go to Washington and just impeach the president,” he said.

Even ads from the Trump campaign have focused more heavily on negative attacks against Democrats than offering a defense of Mr. Trump’s record. More than 70 percent of his $5.6 million on television advertisements have attacked Mr. Biden, according to Advertising Analytics.

The central Democratic response, led by $3.6 million from House Majority Forward, the Democratic super PAC that Mr. Bloomberg donated to, has been to rebut those claims, running positive ads about the targeted Democrats and their efforts on health care, drug prices and increasing jobs. None of the ads from House Majority Forward are negative attacks against Republicans.

“What if you knew the cost of medication before you left the doctor’s office?” one ad from House Majority Forward asks. “Elissa Slotkin wrote the bill to do just that,” defending the Central Michigan representative who has been a primary target for Republicans.

Ms. Kelly noted that reminding voters of winning topics from 2018 was precisely the message Democrats should use to defend themselves, and that the Republican advertising efforts didn’t appear to be persuading any Democrats to change their mind.

“They are all able to say that while they may be recognizing that no one is above the law and pushing forward this impeachment inquiry and ultimately voting to impeach, it’s not stopping them from working on legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs, or working with President Trump to sign the trade deal,” Ms. Kelly said.

One of the biggest Democratic super PACs, Priorities USA, has also chosen to focus its advertising on issues such as health care and drug pricing and not on impeachment. And last week the House delivered on drug pricing, passing ambitious legislation to lower the rising cost of prescription drugs by empowering the federal government to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

A few Democratic groups are focusing on the drama in Washington this week. Need to Impeach, the Democratic super PAC founded by Steyer before he announced his candidacy for president, has spent just under $1 million on television ads targeting Republican Senators Joni Ernst, Susan Collins and Martha McSally. The message, from a Democrat: “Put country over party” and follow through on impeachment.

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Trump’s Trade Deals Raise, Rather Than Remove, Economic Barriers

Westlake Legal Group 17dc-chinatrade-01-facebookJumbo Trump’s Trade Deals Raise, Rather Than Remove, Economic Barriers World Trade Organization United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy United States Trump, Donald J North America Mexico Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Factories and Manufacturing Customs (Tariff) China Agriculture and Farming

WASHINGTON — For years, America’s trade agreements have tried to break down economic barriers between nations by removing tariffs and other impediments to cross-border commerce. President Trump’s trade deals have turned that approach on its head.

Mr. Trump’s new trade deal with China promises to lower some of the walls Beijing has erected for foreign companies — including opening its financial markets, streamlining imports of American agriculture and offering greater protection for intellectual property.

But it leaves in place tariffs on the bulk of Chinese imports — more than $360 billion worth of goods. And it requires voluminous Chinese purchases of American products — $200 billion of additional sales over the next two years, according to the Trump administration — a significant shift that experts say moves trade policy away from promoting free markets and back toward an earlier era of managed trade.

Mr. Trump’s newly revised North American trade deal similarly contains provisions that open up markets for dairy, digital services and other industries. But its most transformative changes are to tighten the rules for North American automotive manufacturing to try to spur more production within the continent, a move some Republican lawmakers say will weigh on trade.

The agreements are the product of Mr. Trump’s transactional trade approach, one that aims to wield America’s economic power to force other nations to buy more American products. His “America First” philosophy looks upon global supply chains and the free trade deals they were built on with suspicion, and seeks to force sprawling multinational companies to move operations to the United States, in an effort to bolster American growth and lower the trade deficit.

His administration also sees little use for the type of multilateral organizations that have tried to lift economic growth around the world by promoting free trade. Last week, the administration effectively crippled the World Trade Organization’s ability to resolve trade disputes after a sustained campaign against a critical part of the body.

Mr. Trump promoted his approach in a round table with governors at the White House on Monday, saying that past trade rules set by “globalists” had allowed factories and wealth to flow out of the United States.

“I would watch as they close plants, everybody gets fired. They move to Mexico or some other place, including China,” the president said. “And some people are happy. But no, not me.”

He praised his China deal for increasing sales of American products and said his revised North American trade deal had built strong barriers to keep companies from leaving the United States.

“It’s very hard to move,” the president said. “Economically, it makes it really prohibitive to get out. And it was very important to me.”

Doug Irwin, a trade historian at Dartmouth College, said the pacts were a substantial departure from those enacted under Mr. Trump’s recent predecessors — both Republicans and Democrats — who worked to lower global tariffs and build an international system that enshrined freer trade. “Most trade agreements that we’ve seen in history are agreements to liberalize markets, to get government out of trade in some sense,” he said.

But Mr. Trump and his advisers display little ideological commitment to free trade, which has animated the Republican Party for decades. They argue that political paeons to free trade have largely been cover for multinational companies — and their lobbyists — to outsource production, with devastating results for American workers.

In an interview with the Fox Business Network on Tuesday, Robert Lighthizer, Mr. Trump’s top trade negotiator, acknowledged that the agreements were not likely to please those who prioritized free markets.

“I understand the people that believe in just protecting investors and pure market efficiency,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “They’re not going to be happy because we are making it more expensive to operate in some other areas and less expensive in the United States.”

“The president’s objective is to help manufacturing workers in this country. It’s to help farmers in this country,” Mr. Lighthizer added. “Global efficiency is a nice objective, but he always says he got elected president of the United States, not president of the world.”

Mr. Trump’s aggressive approach to reworking the global trading system has been praised by some parts of industry as an attempt to fix a situation they say has been disastrous for American workers.

“Trump and team have what appears to be a strong deal,” Daniel DiMicco, a former steel industry executive who leads the Coalition for a Prosperous America, said of the China trade pact. “The cost of maintaining the status quo is infinitely greater.”

Yet many economists and trade experts fear the approach could backfire on the United States, by degrading the international trading system and raising the cost of manufacturing, resulting in lower productivity and economic growth.

In an analysis published Tuesday, Mary E. Lovely and Jeffrey J. Schott, two economists at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, projected that the provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement would hurt American industry, by driving up the cost of making cars and weighing on growth.

Analysts at Fitch Ratings said Tuesday that the China deal had raised their estimates for global growth, but done less to lower trade barriers than anticipated. The trade truce leaves the effective American tariff rate on Chinese products at 16 percent, below the 25 percent level that Mr. Trump had threatened to raise it to, but up from roughly 3 percent before the trade war, they said.

The North American and China pacts, which together cover countries responsible for more than half of America’s trade, are the first translation of Mr. Trump’s trade ideals into policy.

But they also bear the imprint of Mr. Lighthizer, who has a long history of favoring a managed trade approach. As a trade negotiator for the Reagan administration in the early 1980s, Mr. Lighthizer made a mark negotiating agreements with Japan to limit the amount of products it exported to the United States. The World Trade Organization later banned agreements that seek to restrain a country’s exports.

Mr. Lighthizer left government in 1985, but the Reagan administration continued with a managed trade approach, pushing Japan and South Korea to agree to import a certain amount of products. The Clinton administration also considered the tactic, but faced criticism that it would encourage state interventionism as the United States was pushing Japan to adopt a freer market, said Mr. Irwin, the historian.

That history has direct parallels to China, where American officials have been urging the government for decades to reduce its role in the economy. Trump administration officials, including Mr. Lighthizer, have also criticized Beijing for using preferential policies, subsidies and central planning to give its businesses an advantage over American ones.

But the trade deal announced Friday appears to make little progress on those issues. Instead, its largest feature appears to be purchases that are likely to be beneficial for American businesses but may wind up further strengthening the hand of the Chinese state.

Some of the purchases, which Mr. Lighthizer has projected will roughly double American exports to China by 2021, are expected to happen naturally, as China lowers trade barriers to American goods. But others, including in agriculture, energy and aviation, would most likely be done by fiat, through China’s state-controlled entities.

Critics say this approach could end up giving the Chinese state even greater discretion over certain markets. Some agricultural producers have expressed concern that the trade deal’s firm targets could undercut their ability to negotiate with Chinese customers.

Nicholas R. Lardy, a China expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the purchasing agreement “could go against longer-term U.S. goals” to encourage China to adopt a market-oriented system, “but we have to see what the exact language is.”

“If it’s an ironclad commitment, then I think it’s a move in the wrong direction,” he said.

Mr. Lighthizer and some supporters say the targets are an effective way to deal with a country like China that does not play by market rules.

Clyde Prestowitz, the president of the Economic Strategy Institute and a former Reagan official, said purchasing commitments are “anathema to dyed-in-the-wool free traders and contrary to mathematical free trade models.” However, he said, they offer “a buffer between truly open, competitive free markets and markets that are wholly or partially government managed.”

When it comes to China, he said, “to imagine that foreign players can just move in and compete as they do in the U.S. or the E.U. is to be dreaming.”

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