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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Ukraine"

Uniting Trumpers, Never Trumpers and Democrats With a New Deputy at the State Dept.

Westlake Legal Group 00dc-biegun1-facebookJumbo Uniting Trumpers, Never Trumpers and Democrats With a New Deputy at the State Dept. United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty State Department Russia North Korea Embargoes and Sanctions Biegun, Stephen E Arms Control and Limitation and Disarmament

WASHINGTON — When Stephen E. Biegun was sworn in as deputy secretary of state, it was in front of an unusual crowd at the State Department — one that included loyalists to President Trump, but also a mix of Never Trumpers and Democrats.

Denis R. McDonough, President Barack Obama’s White House chief of staff and deputy national security adviser, was there that day in December. So was John D. Negroponte, a former director of national intelligence under President George W. Bush who in 2016 refused to vote for Mr. Trump. There were career diplomats, congressional officials and national security experts from both parties who had worked with Mr. Biegun in his various roles in the Senate, the National Security Council and Ford Motor.

Which gave rise to some crucial questions: How had Mr. Biegun navigated Trump world to land such a senior position, No. 2 at the State Department? Could he calm a simmering revolt among career State Department employees who have accused Mr. Biegun’s immediate boss, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, of abandoning veteran diplomats and letting the president’s personal political agenda infect foreign policy?

More to the point, would he even survive?

The job is a risk — Washington is full of people who have catapulted from the Trump administration with reputations diminished — but friends say they are betting on Mr. Biegun.

“If anyone can figure out how to navigate it, I think it can be Steve,” said Stephen J. Hadley, Mr. Bush’s second national security adviser.

It helps, friends say, that Mr. Biegun has the even temperament of a man who thrives in the background. Never one to upstage the boss, be it the president or secretary of state, Mr. Biegun is mild-mannered and deferential, the anti-Pompeo.

While Mr. Pompeo is prone to profanity-laced rants, Mr. Biegun is a Republican of another era who projects calm. “He listens,” said Mr. McDonough, who was Mr. Biegun’s Democratic counterpart when the two men served as the chief foreign policy advisers to their parties’ Senate leaders in the mid-2000s.

While Mr. Pompeo has sought to bring back “swagger” to diplomacy, Mr. Biegun is described as a careful negotiator. And while Mr. Pompeo allowed a shadow foreign policy campaign to undermine the United States Embassy in Ukraine, Mr. Biegun has insisted that, in diplomacy, “politics best stop at the water’s edge.”

John R. Beyrle, who was one of Mr. Obama’s ambassadors to Moscow, said that Mr. Pompeo most likely viewed Mr. Biegun as “somebody who could help ameliorate that almost toxic situation” at the State Department.

“So if there is that vacuum or deficit of trust, which I think there is, Steve is well placed to fill it,” said Mr. Beyrle, who worked with Mr. Biegun on the board of the U.S.-Russia Foundation, which promotes entrepreneurship and education with Moscow.

Notably, Mr. Biegun has described Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador in Kyiv who was ordered back to Washington and accused of being disloyal to Mr. Trump, as “a very capable foreign service officer.”

Since first meeting Ms. Yovanovitch years ago, when they were both working on Russia policy, “my esteem has done nothing but grown for her,” Mr. Biegun told senators at his confirmation hearing in November.

Colleagues say the secret to Mr. Biegun’s success, so far, is that he gained the trust of Mr. Trump by enabling the president’s bromance with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. Officials said the president twice considered appointing Mr. Biegun as national security adviser, but made him the chief envoy to North Korea instead. In that job Mr. Biegun has tried to move talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim forward when other administration officials wanted to shut them down.

Mr. Biegun also declined to join the so-called Never Trumper movement in 2016, putting him among a relatively small number of Republicans with high-level foreign policy experience who were not blacklisted by the White House after Mr. Trump won the presidential election.

“He’s friends with Republicans and Democrats, he treats people well, he knows how to operate in Washington, he knows the think tanks, he knows the press, he knows the diplomatic community,” said John B. Bellinger III, the State Department’s former top lawyer who worked with Mr. Biegun on Mr. Bush’s National Security Council.

Born in Detroit to a large family — more than 30 relatives attended his December swearing-in ceremony — Mr. Biegun was in high school in Pontiac, Mich., when a history teacher wrote the word “czar” on the chalkboard in the Cyrillic alphabet. He was immediately fascinated and went on to study Russian at the University of Michigan.

Mr. Biegun lived in Moscow in the early 1990s, when he worked for the International Republican Institute, which promotes democracy with some funding from the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development. But he mostly developed his national security credentials on Capitol Hill — first as a top Republican staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later to Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, then the majority leader — and at the White House as a top aide to Condoleezza Rice, who was the first national security adviser in the Bush administration.

He traveled to Russia as a vice president at Ford, negotiating new business ventures, but also took time off to briefly advise Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008. That position, according to colleagues, revealed his ability to maintain patience under pressure and to avoid a condescending tone — even when having to explain the most basic foreign policy axioms to his boss.

In his new job, Mr. Biegun will also remain the lead negotiator with North Korea — a dual role, he has said, that elevates “the priority on North Korea to the deputy secretary position, and I think that’s very important.”

But the diplomacy has fizzled since Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim abruptly left a summit meeting in Vietnam a year ago, unable to agree on a path for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. Critics say the Trump administration was too willing to keep the talks going — and the president too eager to meet with Mr. Kim — even as North Korea was busily building up its arsenal.

Mr. Biegun was not only trying to negotiate with the North Koreans, but he was also engaged in a behind-the-scenes fight with Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton, who believed Mr. Biegun was pursuing a useless mission.

“This idea that they can be coaxed into giving up” their nuclear program “was flawed from the start,” Mr. Bolton said on Monday in remarks at Duke University.

Still, Joseph Y. Yun, a career diplomat who negotiated with North Korean officials until he retired in March 2018, said Mr. Biegun’s new status could convince Pyongyang that the United States was serious enough about restarting the discussions that it had promoted one of its most senior officials to devote to the details.

“It’s a very good signal to North Korea,’’ said Mr. Yun, who retired in part out of frustration with the State Department’s diminished role in the talks. “This will elevate the negotiations.”

Mr. Biegun’s greatest challenge, however, is the diplomatic morass of Russia and Ukraine.

No one senior official has run the policy since Mr. Bolton left the White House as national security adviser in September, and few have been eager to embrace the portfolio.

But Mr. Biegun has told colleagues he is eager to try to resolve Russia’s undeclared war in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. The conflict has killed more than 13,000 Ukrainian troops and civilians and threatened Kyiv’s sovereignty since it began in 2014, the same year that Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

Ukrainian officials have anxiously looked to Washington for more help as Kyiv broadens talks with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to ratchet back tensions. Mr. Pompeo visited Kyiv last month to signal continued American commitment to Ukraine. But the country’s leaders have not yet been invited to meet with Mr. Trump at the White House, even though the president has been acquitted of impeachment charges that he demanded that Ukraine announce an investigation into his political rivals before releasing security aid for Donbas.

Eric Rubin, a former ambassador to Bulgaria who is now president of the union that represents career diplomats, noted that during his Senate confirmation hearing, Mr. Biegun committed to work “to bridge whatever divides may exist” at the State Department.

“This is not an easy time for our country or our profession,” Mr. Rubin said. “We wish him well.”

Mr. Biegun faces another source of tension with the 2011 New START arms control treaty with Russia, which drove American and Russian nuclear arsenals to their lowest levels in nearly 60 years. The treaty is set to expire in February 2021, and people who have spoken to Mr. Biegun believe he wants to extend it. But Mr. Trump and his aides have signaled repeatedly that they intend to let the treaty expire unless it can be broadened to include other nations with strategic weapons, chiefly China — and the Chinese are not interested.

In his confirmation hearing, Mr. Biegun summed up his approach in a single line that somehow conveyed both optimism for diplomacy and cleareyed realism about the Trump administration’s view of the world, given its “Make America Great Again” mantra.

“I’ve long thought America was great,” Mr. Biegun said.

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Trump Hails Acquittal and Lashes Out at His ‘Evil’ and ‘Corrupt’ Opponents

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-trumpspeechpromo-facebookJumbo-v7 Trump Hails Acquittal and Lashes Out at His ‘Evil’ and ‘Corrupt’ Opponents Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump and his Republican allies focused on exacting payback against his political opponents on Thursday after his acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial, signaling that the conflict that has consumed Washington for months may only escalate rather than recede.

Choosing retaliation over reconciliation, Mr. Trump lashed out at Democrats and the one Republican senator who voted for conviction. He turned a prayer breakfast into a launching pad for political attacks and then staged a long, rambling venting session at the White House where he denounced “evil” and “crooked” lawmakers and the “top scum” at the F.B.I. for trying to take him down.

Mr. Trump’s team indicated that his desire to turn the tables on his foes may go beyond just tough language. The White House press secretary declared that Democrats “should pay for” impeaching the president, and the Trump administration worked to facilitate a Senate Republican investigation of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the goal of Mr. Trump that was at the heart of his impeachment.

“It was evil,” Mr. Trump said of the investigations that led to his Senate trial in an hourlong stream-of-consciousness address to supporters in the East Room of the White House, tossing aside the more calibrated text prepared by his staff. “It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars, and this should never ever happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it.”

Democrats showed little sign of backing down either. House Democrats have already said they are likely to resume their investigation into Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to incriminate the Bidens, while a Senate Democrat on Thursday called for an inquiry into whether the administration covered up related information by improperly classifying it.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who sat just feet from Mr. Trump as he questioned her faith during the annual National Prayer Breakfast, later pushed back against his implication that she was disingenuous for saying she prayed for him. Some of his remarks, she said, were “particularly without class” and “so inappropriate at a prayer breakfast.”

She also suggested that Mr. Trump appeared to be on medication during his State of the Union address on Tuesday. “He looked to me like he was a little sedated,” she told reporters. “Looked that way last year, too.”

Mr. Trump’s vituperative performance on Thursday was the diametrical opposite of how President Bill Clinton responded to his own acquittal after a Senate impeachment trial in 1999. On the day he was cleared of charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, Mr. Clinton appeared alone in the Rose Garden, said he was “profoundly sorry” and called for “reconciliation and renewal.”

His Republican opponents at the time were just as eager to move on, feeling burned after losing seats in midterm elections and watching not one but two of their House speakers step down. One important difference is that Mr. Clinton was in his second term, while Mr. Trump is seeking re-election in a campaign framed in part by the impeachment debate.

For Mr. Trump, the Senate’s rejection of the two articles of impeachment against him on Wednesday was marred by the fact that Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, was the only senator to break rank, joining every Democrat in voting to convict Mr. Trump for abuse of power.

Angry at Mr. Romney’s defection, Mr. Trump waited a day to appear in person with supporters in the East Room in a ceremony that veered between celebration and confrontation.

Mr. Trump held up a copy of The Washington Post to show its banner headline, “Trump Acquitted,” then reviewed the long litany of investigations against him over the last three years, dismissing them as partisan efforts to stop him from serving as president.

“We first went through Russia, Russia, Russia,” he said, mocking the investigations into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 presidential election on his behalf and ties between his campaign and Moscow. “It was all bullshit,” he said, the first time he or any president has been known to use that profanity in a formal event on camera in the East Room, according to Factba.se, a research service.

The talk included a greatest-hits string of attacks on some of Mr. Trump’s top villains, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey (“that sleazebag”), his onetime deputy Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok (“two lowlifes”), the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, as well as Hunter Biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

He called Ms. Pelosi “a horrible person,” Mr. Romney “a failed presidential candidate” who used “religion as a crutch” and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead House manager, a “corrupt politician.”

The president thanked his lawyers and congressional Republicans, praising them one by one for their support. In particular, he highlighted Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader and his most important defender in the Senate. “You did a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump told him.

He called out more than a dozen other Republican defenders, including Representatives Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader; Jim Jordan of Ohio; Mark Meadows of North Carolina; and Elise Stefanik of New York. Noticeably absent, and unmentioned by the president, were Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer at the center of the Ukraine pressure campaign, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of his most outspoken allies.

“This is sort of a day of celebration, because we went through hell,” Mr. Trump said. “But I’m sure they’ll try and cook up other things,” he added of the Democrats, “because instead of wanting to heal our country and fix our country, all they want to do — in my opinion, it’s almost like they want to destroy our country. We can’t let it happen.”

In the wake of Mr. Trump’s acquittal, Republican senators pressed their inquiries into Hunter Biden’s finances, seeking to prove that the president was right to insist that Ukraine investigate him and the former vice president.

A spokeswoman for Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the Treasury Department had readily complied with a request by the Republican majority for documents related to Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, contrasted with the administration’s refusal to provide papers for the House impeachment inquiry.

For their part, Democrats were still seeking investigations, too. Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut asked the Government Accountability Office to review whether the Trump administration misused classification power to hide information about the president’s Ukraine pressure campaign. And House Democrats have already said they will probably subpoena John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, to ask about Ukraine.

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said Democrats should be made to answer for what she called a dishonest attack on Mr. Trump. “Maybe people should pay for that,” she said on Fox News. Asked to elaborate, she equated Mr. Trump with the United States. “People should be held accountable for anything they do to hurt this country and this president,” she said.

Mr. Trump’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast was as overtly political as any president has delivered at the annual event, traditionally a bipartisan affair marked by talk of faith and common ground. He triumphantly held up newspapers reporting his acquittal, cited rising stock markets, boasted about his approval rating and urged the audience to vote in the fall.

Mr. Trump’s speech followed a keynote address by Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor and prominent conservative thinker, who called on Americans to “love your enemies.” At one point, Mr. Brooks asked the audience, “How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?” Hands around the room shot up. “I’m going to round that off to 100 percent,” he said. But Mr. Trump did not raise his hand.

“Contempt is ripping our country apart,” Mr. Brooks continued. “We’re like a couple on the rocks in this country.” Without directly mentioning Mr. Trump, Mr. Brooks added: “Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes when it’s too hard, ask God to help you fake it.”

Mr. Trump made no effort to fake it. “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you,” he said when he took the microphone. “I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.”

He then launched into his grievances. “As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” he said.

Without naming them, Mr. Trump singled out Mr. Romney and Ms. Pelosi. “I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Romney. Then, referring to Ms. Pelosi, he said, “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”

It was the first time the speaker and the president had appeared together since the State of the Union address, when Mr. Trump refused to shake Ms. Pelosi’s hand before his speech and she ripped up her copy of his speech after he gave it. When Ms. Pelosi gave a short talk at Thursday’s breakfast about the poor and persecuted, Mr. Trump refused to look at her, glowering with undisguised antipathy.

By the end of his own speech at the prayer breakfast, Mr. Trump recognized that his message did not fit the love-your-enemies theme. “I apologize. I’m trying to learn,” he said. “It’s not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them? It’s not easy, folks. I do my best.”

At a news conference later at the Capitol, Ms. Pelosi dismissed Mr. Trump’s comments. “I don’t know if the president understands about prayer,” she told reporters, but said she prays “hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values.”

“He really needs our prayers,” she added. “He can say whatever he wants. But I do pray for him.”

Reporting was contributed by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Alan Rappeport, Michael Crowley and Maggie Haberman.

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Trump Hails Acquittal and Lashes Out at ‘Evil’ and ‘Corrupt’ Opponents

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-trumpspeechpromo-facebookJumbo-v7 Trump Hails Acquittal and Lashes Out at ‘Evil’ and ‘Corrupt’ Opponents Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Thursday denounced the “evil” and “corrupt” Democrats who impeached him as he claimed vindication following his acquittal in a Senate trial and expressed deep resentment at the investigations that have marked his presidency.

At a jampacked ceremony in the East Room of the White House that veered back and forth between celebration and condemnation, the president complained about the “crooked politics” that had resulted in his impeachment and trial on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. In addition to Democrats and other favorite targets, he singled out Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, the only Republican to vote for conviction.

“It was evil,” Mr. Trump told the roomful of supporters from Congress and his administration in a long, rambling, stream-of-consciousness talk, tossing aside the text that had been so carefully prepared for him by his staff. “It was corrupt. It was dirty cops. It was leakers and liars and this should never ever happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it.”

He reviewed the long litany of investigations against him over the last three years, dismissing them all as nothing more than partisan efforts to take him down and suggesting that the “top scum” at the F.B.I. had plotted to stop him from serving as president.

“We went through Russia, Russia, Russia,” he said, mocking the investigations into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 presidential election on his behalf and ties between his campaign and Moscow. “It was all bullshit,” he said, a rare presidential use of profanity on camera in the East Room.

Mr. Trump held up a copy of The Washington Post to show its banner headline, “Trump Acquitted,” to applause in the audience, then picked up the theme he started earlier in the day at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lashed out at his opponents.

He assailed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam B. Schiff, both Democrats from California. “They’re vicious and mean,” Mr. Trump said. “Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.”

He ridiculed Ms. Pelosi for saying that she has prayed for the president even while opposing him. “She may pray but she prays for the opposite,” Mr. Trump said. “But I doubt she prays at all.”

Mr. Trump also denounced Mr. Romney, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2012, as “a failed presidential candidate” who used “religion as a crutch” when announcing his vote to remove the president from office.

The talk included a greatest-hits string of attacks on some of his top villains, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey (“that sleazebag”), his onetime deputy Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok (“two lowlifes”), the former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele as well as Hunter Biden, Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

But he thanked his lawyers and a series of congressional Republicans, praising them one by one for their support during the impeachment battle. In particular, he thanked Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader who was the president’s most important defender in the Senate. “You did a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump told Mr. McConnell.

The president’s angry performance was the diametrical opposite of how President Bill Clinton reacted to his own acquittal after a Senate impeachment trial in 1999. On the day he was cleared of charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, Mr. Clinton appeared alone in the Rose Garden, avoided any gloating, apologized for his part in leading to the conflict and called for reconciliation.

Mr. Trump insisted again that he did nothing wrong although even some of the Republicans who voted against conviction said that his efforts to coerce Ukraine into helping him tarnish his domestic political rivals were inappropriate. Instead, he has presented himself as the victim of a partisan witch hunt and his aides and allies over the last day have expressed a desire to exact payback.

The Senate rejected both articles almost entirely along party lines, with Mr. Romney the only member of the upper chamber to break party ranks. Mr. Romney voted for conviction and removal from office on the article charging abuse of power, calling the president’s actions a blatant violation of the public trust, but voted against the obstruction of Congress article, arguing that the House should have pursued court options to obtain information blocked by the White House.

The first article thus fell 48 to 52, far short of the 67 required by the Constitution for conviction and the second article was rejected 47 to 53.

The battle is hardly over, though. House Democrats indicated they will continue their investigation and subpoena John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser, while Senate Republicans moved to investigate Hunter Biden for his business dealings in Ukraine while his father, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., was in office.

Michael Crowley contributed reporting.

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Trump, at National Prayer Breakfast, Lashes Out at Impeachment Foes

WASHINGTON — President Trump, a day after being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, used a National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday to lash out at his political opponents, accusing them of being “very dishonest and corrupt people” who are trying to destroy him and the country.

Explicitly rejecting the message of tolerance offered at the National Prayer Breakfast just moments before he took the lectern, Mr. Trump — without naming them — singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting just a few feet away at the head table, and Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah who voted to convict him, accusing them of hypocrisy for citing their faith while supporting his impeachment.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Mr. Trump said.

He then seemed to target Mr. Romney, who cited his faith in announcing his decision to vote for conviction.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Mr. Trump said. Then, in a clear reference to Ms. Pelosi, who has said she prays for Mr. Trump, the president said, “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”

Video

transcript

Pelosi Rebukes Trump for Prayer Breakfast Remarks

Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized President Trump for his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast and the tone of his State of the Union address.

This morning, the president said when people use faith as an excuse to do — I don’t know if he said “bad things” — but whatever he said was just so completely inappropriate, especially at a prayer breakfast. I don’t know if the president understands about prayer or people who do pray. But we do pray for the United States of America, I pray for him. I pray for President Bush still, President Obama — because it’s a heavy responsibility. And I pray hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values. That was not a State of the Union. That was a state — his state of mind — we wanted a state of the union. Where are we? Where are we going?

Westlake Legal Group 06vid-pelosi-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 Trump, at National Prayer Breakfast, Lashes Out at Impeachment Foes Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Romney, Mitt Pelosi, Nancy National Prayer Breakfast impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized President Trump for his comments at the National Prayer Breakfast and the tone of his State of the Union address.CreditCredit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Hours later at the Capitol, Ms. Pelosi responded that Mr. Trump’s remarks about Mr. Romney were “particularly without class” and “so inappropriate at a prayer breakfast.”

As for his remarks about her, she said, “I don’t know if the president understands about prayer,” but that she prays “hard for him because he’s so off the track of our Constitution, our values.”

“He really needs our prayers,” she added, “He can say whatever he wants. But I do pray for him.”

The back-and-forth came two days after the president’s State of the Union address, when Mr. Trump refused to shake Ms. Pelosi’s hand and she ripped up her copy of his speech.

“That was not a State of the Union,” Ms. Pelosi said Thursday. “That was his state of mind.” She also said the president “looked to me like he was a little sedated,” at the State of the Union, adding, “he looked that way last year too.”

Mr. Trump’s speech on Thursday morning was as overtly a political talk as any president has made at the National Prayer Breakfast, traditionally a bipartisan affair where members of both parties put aside their disagreements for an hour or two to focus on their shared beliefs. When he arrived, he held up two newspapers with banner headlines that said, “Acquitted” and “Trump Acquitted.” In addition to his outburst on impeachment, Mr. Trump cited rising stock markets, boasted about his approval rating in the latest Gallup poll and urged the audience to vote in the fall.

Mr. Trump’s remarks came hours before he plans to make a statement about the outcome of the impeachment trial at the White House at noon.

While Ms. Pelosi gave a short speech at the breakfast on behalf of the poor and persecuted, Mr. Trump seemed to glower and stared straight ahead, not looking at her. When it came time for him to speak, Mr. Trump immediately followed a keynote address by Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor and prominent conservative thinker, who delivered a passionate plea to Americans to put aside hatred in national life and “love your enemies.”

At one point, Mr. Brooks asked the audience, “How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?” Hands around the room shot up. “I’m going to round that off to 100 percent,” he said. But what he did not seem to notice was that Mr. Trump was among those who did not raise his hand.

“Contempt is ripping our country apart,” Mr. Brooks went on. “We’re like a couple on the rocks in this country.” Without mentioning Mr. Trump specifically, Mr. Brooks added: “Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes when it’s too hard, ask God to help you fake it.”

Mr. Trump made no effort to fake it. While the rest of the room gave Mr. Brooks a standing ovation, he clapped politely but remained seated until finally rising at the end. “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you,” Mr. Trump said when he took the microphone. “I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.”

He then launched into his grievances about impeachment. By the end of his speech, which included many of the lines from his campaign events about his policies in addition to comments more specifically about religious freedom, Mr. Trump seemed to acknowledge that his message was not in keeping with the love-your-enemies theme.

“I apologize, I’m trying to learn,” he said. “It’s not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them? It’s not easy, folks. I do my best.”

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.

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At National Prayer Breakfast, Trump Lashes Out at Impeachment Foes

Westlake Legal Group 06dc-trump-facebookJumbo At National Prayer Breakfast, Trump Lashes Out at Impeachment Foes Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Romney, Mitt Pelosi, Nancy impeachment

WASHINGTON — President Trump, a day after being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, used a national prayer breakfast on Thursday to lash out at his political opponents, accusing them of being “very dishonest and corrupt people” who are trying to destroy him and the country.

Explicitly rejecting the message of tolerance offered at the National Prayer Breakfast just moments before he took the lectern, Mr. Trump — without naming them — singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting just a few feet away at the head table, and Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah who voted to convict him, accusing them of hypocrisy for citing their faith while supporting his impeachment.

“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people they have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing very badly hurt our nation,” Mr. Trump told an audience of religious leaders and followers. “They know what they are doing is wrong, but they put themselves far ahead of our great country.”

He praised “courageous Republican politicians and leaders” who “had the wisdom, fortitude and strength” to vote against the two articles of impeachment charging him with abuse of office and obstruction of Congress. He then seemed to target Mr. Romney, who cited his faith in announcing his decision to vote for conviction.

“I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong,” Mr. Trump said. Then, in a clear reference to Ms. Pelosi, who has said she prays for Mr. Trump, the president said, “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”

Mr. Trump’s speech was as overtly a political talk as any president has made at the National Prayer Breakfast, traditionally a bipartisan affair where members of both parties put aside their disagreements for an hour or two to focus on their shared beliefs. When he arrived, he held up two newspapers with banner headlines that said, “Acquitted” and “Trump Acquitted.” In addition to his outburst on impeachment, Mr. Trump cited rising stock markets, boasted about his approval rating in the latest Gallup poll and urged the audience to vote in the fall.

Mr. Trump’s remarks came hours before he plans to make a statement about the outcome of the impeachment trial at the White House at noon. The prayer breakfast was the first time that he and Ms. Pelosi were in the same room since the State of the Union address on Tuesday night when he refused to shake her hand and she ripped up her copy of his speech.

While Ms. Pelosi gave a short speech at the breakfast on behalf of the poor and persecuted, Mr. Trump seemed to glower and stared straight ahead, not looking at her. When it came time for him to speak, Mr. Trump immediately followed a keynote address by Arthur Brooks, a Harvard professor and prominent conservative thinker, who delivered a passionate plea to Americans to put aside hatred in national life and “love your enemies.”

At one point, Mr. Brooks asked the audience, “How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?” Hands around the room shot up. “I’m going to round that off to 100 percent,” he said. But what he did not seem to notice was that Mr. Trump was among those who did not raise his hand.

“Contempt is ripping our country apart,” Mr. Brooks went on. “We’re like a couple on the rocks in this country.” Without mentioning Mr. Trump specifically, Mr. Brooks added: “Ask God to take political contempt from your heart. And sometimes when it’s too hard, ask God to help you fake it.”

Mr. Trump made no effort to fake it. While the rest of the room gave Mr. Brooks a standing ovation, he clapped politely but remained seated until finally rising at the end. “Arthur, I don’t know if I agree with you,” Mr. Trump said when he took the microphone. “I don’t know if Arthur is going to like what I’m going to say.”

He then launched into his grievances about impeachment. By the end of his speech, which included many of the lines from his campaign events about his policies in addition to comments more specifically about religious freedom, Mr. Trump seemed to acknowledge that his message was not in keeping with the love-your-enemies theme.

“I apologize, I’m trying to learn,” he said. “It’s not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, then you’re supposed to like them? It’s not easy, folks. I do my best.”

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Beyond the Partisan Fight, a Wealth of Evidence About Trump and Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 04dc-evidence1-facebookJumbo Beyond the Partisan Fight, a Wealth of Evidence About Trump and Ukraine Zelensky, Volodymyr Yovanovitch, Marie L United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Shokin, Viktor Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Presidential Election of 2020 Presidential Election of 2016 Parnas, Lev impeachment Giuliani, Rudolph W Fruman, Igor Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — When all the partisan posturing, parliamentary wrangling and legalistic arguing are stripped away, the impeachment process that dominated Washington for months produced a set of facts that is largely beyond dispute: The president of the United States pressured a foreign government to take actions aimed at his political opponents.

As the Senate moved toward acquitting President Trump on Wednesday, even some Republicans stopped trying to defend his actions or dispute the evidence, focusing instead on the idea that his conduct did not deserve removal from office, especially in an election year.

Mr. Trump’s “behavior was shameful and wrong,” and “his personal interests do not take precedence over those of this great nation,” Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said on Monday. She went on to declare that she would nonetheless vote to acquit.

Mr. Trump’s public statements, plus testimony and documents introduced during the impeachment process and revelations independent from the congressional inquiry, establish a narrative of the president’s involvement in the effort led by Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer, to persuade Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating two topics.

One centered on purported efforts by Ukrainians to undercut Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The other was the overlap between former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine and his son Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company widely associated with accusations of corruption.

There are still unanswered questions about the details of Mr. Trump’s involvement, and additional information could emerge later.

But a review of thousands of documents and dozens of interviews reveals how Mr. Trump developed a bitter grudge against Ukraine and then became personally involved in pressuring its leaders. Evidence of Mr. Trump’s role comes from a variety of sources.

Some of the clearest evidence comes from Mr. Trump’s own statements, both in his phone conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine on July 25 and in public remarks he later made.

A reconstructed transcript of the call, made public by the White House in October, makes clear that Mr. Trump asked the Ukrainian president to pursue investigations into the Bidens and into one element of his belief that Ukraine worked against his election in 2016: a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine rather than Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and that Ukraine had possession of a server that would shed light on the theory.

I would like you to do us a favor though,” Mr. Trump said, asking Mr. Zelensky’s government to work with Attorney General William P. Barr and Mr. Giuliani to pursue the investigations.

“I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike,” Mr. Trump said, referring to an American cybersecurity firm and the debunked theory about Ukraine’s involvement in the hack of the Democratic Party. “The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

He went on to bring up the Bidens.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great,” Mr. Trump said, according to the reconstructed transcript. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it.”

What Mr. Trump first said in private to Mr. Zelensky, he later said in public. In early October, answering questions from reporters outside the White House, Mr. Trump repeated and expanded on his calls for foreign help in investigating the Bidens.

“I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation into the Bidens,” Mr. Trump said. “Because nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked.”

He also suggested that Ukraine was not the only country that should dig into Hunter Biden’s international business dealings.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump has defended himself by saying that there was nothing wrong with asking another government for help in fighting corruption.

Mr. Trump removed a United States diplomat from her post after Mr. Giuliani and his associates accused her of opposing him politically and impeding their push for the investigations. And the president directed other government officials to work with Mr. Giuliani as he sought a public commitment from Mr. Zelensky to pursue those investigations.

In conversations with Mr. Trump in early 2019, Mr. Giuliani claimed that the United States ambassador to Kyiv, Marie L. Yovanovitch, a widely respected 33-year career diplomat, was hindering efforts to gather evidence from Ukrainians to defend the president and to target his rivals.

Mr. Trump connected Mr. Giuliani with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in late March to discuss the allegations, according to an interview with Mr. Giuliani and emails showing at least two telephone calls between the men, including one arranged with guidance from Mr. Trump’s personal assistant.

Mr. Trump ordered the recall of Ms. Yovanovitch in late April. Later, during the July phone call with Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Trump called her “bad news” and said, “she’s going to go through some things.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo “relied on” Mr. Giuliani’s claims in their decision to oust Ms. Yovanovitch, Mr. Giuliani said.

In early May, Mr. Trump asked John R. Bolton, his national security adviser at the time, to call Mr. Zelensky to ensure he would meet with Mr. Giuliani, according to Mr. Bolton’s unpublished book manuscript. Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani denied Mr. Bolton’s account.

When Mr. Giuliani failed in his efforts to meet with Mr. Zelensky to press for the investigations, Mr. Trump enlisted an ad hoc team to work with Mr. Giuliani. The team included Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union; Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine; and Rick Perry, then the energy secretary.

When the three government officials sought to convince Mr. Trump that Mr. Zelensky deserved the full support of the United States, the president responded with anger toward the Ukrainians during a late May meeting. “They’re terrible people,” Mr. Trump said, according to Mr. Volker’s testimony. “They’re all corrupt, and they tried to take me down.”

If they wanted to engage further with Ukraine, Mr. Trump told them, they would need to coordinate with Mr. Giuliani. “He just kept saying: ‘Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy,’” Mr. Sondland later testified.

Over the next few months, according to extensive evidence introduced in the House impeachment inquiry, Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker would work to convince the Ukrainians that in order for Mr. Zelensky to be granted a key request — a high-profile Oval Office meeting signaling United States support for his government in its conflict with Russia — he would have to commit to the investigations sought by Mr. Trump.

The White House meeting was not the only leverage used by Mr. Trump’s team in pressuring the Ukrainians.

In late June, Mr. Trump told top aides to look into the military assistance the United States provides to Ukraine, setting in motion a process that led him to order the withholding of $391 million in congressionally approved aid that Ukraine needed for its grinding war against Russian-backed separatists.

Mr. Trump’s order distressed officials in the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department, and eventually Kyiv, where at least some officials were aware of the aid freeze as early as July 25, according to officials in Ukraine and the United States. The freeze was not made public until the end of August.

The senior members of Mr. Trump’s national security team tried in August to persuade him to release the aid, but he refused.

Mr. Sondland eventually told Ukrainian officials that the release of the assistance would be dependent on Mr. Zelensky publicly committing to an investigation of Burisma, according to testimony in impeachment proceedings from Mr. Sondland and William B. Taylor Jr., who served as the top American diplomat in Kyiv after Ms. Yovanovitch’s recall.

The aid was released in September, after the freeze was made public and congressional Republicans lobbied Mr. Trump to release the money — and after Mr. Trump became aware of a whistle-blower complaint detailing key elements of the pressure campaign. Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, later told a news briefing that the aid had been withheld as part of the pressure campaign — and then tried to walk back his comments.

Mr. Trump’s defense has been that he wanted to make sure the aid would not be squandered by corruption in Ukraine, and that the money was released without Mr. Zelensky agreeing to the investigations.

Mr. Trump’s grievances with Ukraine date from his 2016 campaign but were channeled into action by Mr. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who in April 2018 became part of the legal team defending the president against the special counsel’s investigation. Mr. Giuliani has repeatedly cited attorney-client privilege in refusing to divulge details of their conversations about Ukraine.

But in interviews, public statements and material gathered by House impeachment investigators, Mr. Giuliani has acknowledged that his Ukraine-related efforts were initiated and pursued with Mr. Trump’s knowledge and consent.

That was something he made explicit in a letter that he sent Mr. Zelensky in May 2019. In the letter, Mr. Giuliani sought a meeting with Mr. Zelensky during a planned trip to Kyiv, where, he told The New York Times at the time, he intended to press the Ukrainians to carry out the investigations sought by Mr. Trump. Mr. Giuliani canceled the trip, and the meeting with Mr. Zelensky never happened.

Mr. Giuliani’s initial interest was in undermining the special counsel’s investigation by raising questions about some of the events on its periphery. He sought to cast doubt on the authenticity of a ledger showing off-the-books payments from a Russia-aligned Ukrainian party earmarked for Paul Manafort, who served as Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman in 2016. Mr. Giuliani also questioned the motivations of the Ukrainians who disseminated it and their relationships with officials at the United States Embassy in Kyiv, who, he argued, were aligned with Hillary Clinton and out to get Mr. Trump.

Mr. Giuliani enlisted two Soviet-born American businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, to help him connect early last year with Ukrainian prosecutors who could be of assistance. Those prosecutors made unsubstantiated claims about the Bidens’ work in Ukraine that Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani would embrace in subsequent months, as the president ramped up his re-election campaign and the former vice president made clear he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge him.

Even after Democrats began impeachment proceedings, Mr. Giuliani continued trying to collect information from Ukrainians who he argued would prove that Mr. Trump was justified in calling for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens and the ledger.

In December, Mr. Giuliani told an associate that he briefed Mr. Trump before traveling to Budapest and Kyiv to film interviews with former Ukrainian officials. As soon as Mr. Giuliani returned from the trip, Mr. Trump reportedly asked him what he had collected. “More than you can imagine,” he replied.

Mr. Giuliani has told his associates that he played the videos of his interviews for an appreciative Mr. Trump.

Ben Protess contributed reporting from New York.

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While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168174624_765d81d7-fc4b-4b75-8d0c-a04f04985659-facebookJumbo While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy impeachment

WASHINGTON — Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. “When you strike at a king,” Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.”

Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down.

With the end of the impeachment trial now in sight and acquittal assured, a triumphant Mr. Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.

The president’s Democratic adversaries rolled out the biggest constitutional weapon they had and failed to defeat him, or even to force a full trial with witnesses testifying to the allegations against him. Now Mr. Trump, who has said that the Constitution “allows me to do whatever I want” and pushed so many boundaries that curtailed past presidents, has little reason to fear the legislative branch nor any inclination to reach out in conciliation.

“I don’t think in any way Trump is willing to move on,” said Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman who teaches at Princeton University. “I think he will just have been given a green light and he will claim not just acquittal but vindication and he can do those things and they can’t impeach him again. I think this is going to empower him to be much bolder. I would expect to see him even more let loose.”

Impeachment will always be a stain on Mr. Trump’s historical record, a reality that has stung him in private, according to some close to him. But he will be the first president in American history to face voters after an impeachment trial and that will give him the chance to argue for the next nine months that his enemies have spent his entire presidency plotting against him to undo the 2016 election.

“This was clearly a political coup d’état carried out by a group of people who were amazingly, openly dishonest and I think it’s going to be repudiated,” said former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a strong ally of the president’s. “He’s been beaten up for three solid years and he’s still standing. That’s an amazing achievement if you think about it.”

Even before a final vote on the impeachment charges on Wednesday, Mr. Trump has several high-profile opportunities in the next few days to begin framing the new post-trial environment to his advantage.

On Sunday, he will be interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News during the pregame of the Super Bowl, one of the most watched television events of the year. Then on Tuesday, he will deliver his State of the Union address from the dais in the House chamber where he was impeached in December.

A senior administration official briefing reporters on Friday said the president will use his State of the Union address to celebrate “the great American comeback” and present “a vision of relentless optimism” encouraging Congress to work with him. Mr. Trump plans to pursue an agenda of cutting taxes again, bringing down prescription drug prices, completing his trade negotiations with China and further restricting immigration.

From there, Mr. Trump will head back to the campaign trail, starting with a rally in New Hampshire on Feb. 10, the night before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary race, an effort to upstage the Democrats as they try to pick a nominee to face him in the fall.

Democrats insist that Mr. Trump has been damaged by the evidence presented to the public that he sought to use the power of his office to illicitly benefit his own re-election chances. Even as they line up to acquit him, some Senate Republicans have acknowledged that the House managers prosecuting the case proved that Mr. Trump withheld $391 million in security aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure it to announce political investigations into his domestic rivals.

But the public comes out of the impeachment trial pretty close to where it was when it started, divided starkly down the middle with somewhat more Americans against Mr. Trump than for him.

When the House impeached him in December, 47.4 percent supported the move and 46.5 percent opposed it, according to an analysis of multiple surveys by the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight. Now as the trial wraps up, 49.5 percent favor impeachment versus 46.4 percent who do not.

Those numbers are strikingly close to the popular vote results from 2016, when Mr. Trump trailed Hillary Clinton 46 percent to 48 percent even as he prevailed in the Electoral College. That means that the public today is roughly where it was three years ago; few seem to have changed their minds. And the president has done nothing to expand his base and by traditional measures is a weak candidate for a second term, forcing him to try to pull the same Electoral College inside straight he did last time.

Mr. Trump is the only president in the history of Gallup polling who has never had the support of a majority of Americans for even a single day, a troubling indicator for re-election. Nine months is an eternity in American politics these days and, given his history, Mr. Trump could easily create another furor that will change the campaign dynamics, the economy could become an issue, and with all the accumulated allegations some analysts anticipate at a certain scandal fatigue could weigh him down.

But Mr. Trump is gambling that he can rally his most fervent supporters by making the case that he was the victim and not the villain of impeachment while keeping disenchanted supporters on board with steady economic growth, rising military spending and conservative judicial appointments. He has made clear he will paint former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as corrupt if he faces him in the fall and will assail other possible Democratic challengers as socialists.

If Mr. Trump does win a second term, it would be the first time an impeached president had the opportunity to serve five years after his trial and Mr. Trump’s critics worry that he would feel unbound. He has already used his power in ways that presidents since Richard M. Nixon considered out of line, like firing an F.B.I. director who was investigating him and browbeating the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.

While in theory nothing in the Constitution would prevent the House from impeaching him again, as a political matter that seems implausible given that he has demonstrated his complete command over congressional Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leaving the president less to fear from a Democratic House. Some House managers warned that acquittal would lower the bar for presidential misconduct, meaning that Mr. Trump would feel even freer to use his power for his own benefit because he got away with it.

“He is going to ratchet it up to another level now,” said Anthony Scaramucci, the onetime White House communications director who has broken with Mr. Trump. “He’s going to Trump to the third power now. He’s not going to be exponential Trump because that’s not enough Trump. It’s going to be Trump to the third power.”

But in that, Mr. Scaramucci said, are the seeds of Mr. Trump’s own downfall because he could go so far that he finally alienates enough of the public to lose. “The one person who absolutely can beat Trump is Trump,” he said.

No other impeached president had the opportunity or challenge that Mr. Trump does. President Andrew Johnson, who was acquitted in 1868, was a man without a party, a Democrat who had joined the Republican Abraham Lincoln’s ticket, and was so disliked that both parties nominated other candidates shortly after his Senate trial, leaving him to finish his last 10 months in office a lame duck.

Indeed, while Johnson was not removed from office, impeachment reduced him to a shadow president, said Brenda Wineapple, author of “The Impeachers,” an account of his trial.

“The Republicans still had a majority in Congress so they could reject some of his appointments, which they did, and override his vetoes of their legislation — and they could allow the states that conformed to the Reconstruction Acts to re-enter the Union,” she said. “So in that sense, Johnson was hamstrung, if not powerless.”

Mr. Clinton was in his second term when he was impeached and acquitted, never to be on a ballot again. With nearly two years left in office, he tried to move on from his impeachment, all but pretending it had not happened. On the day of his acquittal in 1999, he appeared in the Rose Garden alone and expressed regret rather than vindication.

“I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people,” Mr. Clinton said, calling for “a time of reconciliation and renewal.”

As he turned to leave, a reporter called after him. “In your heart, sir, can you forgive and forget?”

Mr. Clinton paused as if deciding whether to take the bait, then turned and answered, “I believe any person who asks for forgiveness has to be prepared to give it.”

Mr. Clinton, who unlike Mr. Trump admitted wrongdoing without agreeing that he committed felonies, never truly forgave his opponents, or reconciled with them, but for the most part he avoided expressing those feelings publicly.

“Clinton saw the acquittal as a humbling end to that chapter and I think Trump sees it as a way to start his re-elect,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who was a top aide to Mr. Clinton. “He just wanted to shut the door on that and move on and have a fresh start. And Trump sees it as a jump start — ‘this is what I’m going to run on.’”

Mr. Clinton had some help in that Republicans themselves emerged from his trial feeling bruised by their failure to remove him and the clear public repudiation of the impeachment in polls and the midterm elections. Unlike Mr. Trump, whose approval ratings remain mired in the mid-40s, Mr. Clinton’s popularity reached its highest level during impeachment, with 73 percent of the public backing him just days after the House charged him with high crimes.

“I don’t think Clinton was emboldened. I think he was embarrassed about the mess he caused and he wanted to somehow move on and fix his own reputation,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist who was a top adviser to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert at the time.

And so did the Republicans. “I think both the president and the speaker had a vested interest in moving past impeachment to getting things done,” he said. “We were very conscious about how polarizing impeachment was and we were dedicated to healing the country and repairing the G.O.P. brand.”

That does not seem like the likeliest path forward for Mr. Trump, more of a pugilist than a peacemaker. “He’s obviously legitimately pretty angry,” said Mr. Gingrich, who was forced out as speaker after Republicans lost the midterm elections during the drive to impeach Mr. Clinton. “Given that he’s a natural counterpuncher, he may decide to go after them.”

“That’s not his best strategy,” Mr. Gingrich said. “His best strategy is to assume that the Democrats are totally out of control, that they will not be able to keep fighting. If he appears conciliatory, they’re going to very badly damage themselves with average voters who are going to say these guys are pathological.”

“He has that option,” he added. “I’m not saying he’s going to take it.”

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While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168174624_765d81d7-fc4b-4b75-8d0c-a04f04985659-facebookJumbo While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy impeachment

WASHINGTON — Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. “When you strike at a king,” Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.”

Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down.

With the end of the impeachment trial now in sight and acquittal assured, a triumphant Mr. Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.

The president’s Democratic adversaries rolled out the biggest constitutional weapon they had and failed to defeat him, or even to force a full trial with witnesses testifying to the allegations against him. Now Mr. Trump, who has said that the Constitution “allows me to do whatever I want” and pushed so many boundaries that curtailed past presidents, has little reason to fear the legislative branch nor any inclination to reach out in conciliation.

“I don’t think in any way Trump is willing to move on,” said Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman who teaches at Princeton University. “I think he will just have been given a green light and he will claim not just acquittal but vindication and he can do those things and they can’t impeach him again. I think this is going to empower him to be much bolder. I would expect to see him even more let loose.”

Impeachment will always be a stain on Mr. Trump’s historical record, a reality that has stung him in private, according to some close to him. But he will be the first president in American history to face voters after an impeachment trial and that will give him the chance to argue for the next nine months that his enemies have spent his entire presidency plotting against him to undo the 2016 election.

“This was clearly a political coup d’état carried out by a group of people who were amazingly, openly dishonest and I think it’s going to be repudiated,” said former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a strong ally of the president’s. “He’s been beaten up for three solid years and he’s still standing. That’s an amazing achievement if you think about it.”

Even before a final vote on the impeachment charges on Wednesday, Mr. Trump has several high-profile opportunities in the next few days to begin framing the new post-trial environment to his advantage.

On Sunday, he will be interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News during the pregame of the Super Bowl, one of the most watched television events of the year. Then on Tuesday, he will deliver his State of the Union address from the dais in the House chamber where he was impeached in December.

A senior administration official briefing reporters on Friday said the president will use his State of the Union address to celebrate “the great American comeback” and present “a vision of relentless optimism” encouraging Congress to work with him. Mr. Trump plans to pursue an agenda of cutting taxes again, bringing down prescription drug prices, completing his trade negotiations with China and further restricting immigration.

From there, Mr. Trump will head back to the campaign trail, starting with a rally in New Hampshire on Feb. 10, the night before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary race, an effort to upstage the Democrats as they try to pick a nominee to face him in the fall.

Democrats insist that Mr. Trump has been damaged by the evidence presented to the public that he sought to use the power of his office to illicitly benefit his own re-election chances. Even as they line up to acquit him, some Senate Republicans have acknowledged that the House managers prosecuting the case proved that Mr. Trump withheld $391 million in security aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure it to announce political investigations into his domestic rivals.

But the public comes out of the impeachment trial pretty close to where it was when it started, divided starkly down the middle with somewhat more Americans against Mr. Trump than for him.

When the House impeached him in December, 47.4 percent supported the move and 46.5 percent opposed it, according to an analysis of multiple surveys by the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight. Now as the trial wraps up, 49.5 percent favor impeachment versus 46.4 percent who do not.

Those numbers are strikingly close to the popular vote results from 2016, when Mr. Trump trailed Hillary Clinton 46 percent to 48 percent even as he prevailed in the Electoral College. That means that the public today is roughly where it was three years ago; few seem to have changed their minds. And the president has done nothing to expand his base and by traditional measures is a weak candidate for a second term, forcing him to try to pull the same Electoral College inside straight he did last time.

Mr. Trump is the only president in the history of Gallup polling who has never had the support of a majority of Americans for even a single day, a troubling indicator for re-election. Nine months is an eternity in American politics these days and, given his history, Mr. Trump could easily create another furor that will change the campaign dynamics, the economy could become an issue, and with all the accumulated allegations some analysts anticipate at a certain scandal fatigue could weigh him down.

But Mr. Trump is gambling that he can rally his most fervent supporters by making the case that he was the victim and not the villain of impeachment while keeping disenchanted supporters on board with steady economic growth, rising military spending and conservative judicial appointments. He has made clear he will paint former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as corrupt if he faces him in the fall and will assail other possible Democratic challengers as socialists.

If Mr. Trump does win a second term, it would be the first time an impeached president had the opportunity to serve five years after his trial and Mr. Trump’s critics worry that he would feel unbound. He has already used his power in ways that presidents since Richard M. Nixon considered out of line, like firing an F.B.I. director who was investigating him and browbeating the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.

While in theory nothing in the Constitution would prevent the House from impeaching him again, as a political matter that seems implausible given that he has demonstrated his complete command over congressional Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leaving the president less to fear from a Democratic House. Some House managers warned that acquittal would lower the bar for presidential misconduct, meaning that Mr. Trump would feel even freer to use his power for his own benefit because he got away with it.

“He is going to ratchet it up to another level now,” said Anthony Scaramucci, the onetime White House communications director who has broken with Mr. Trump. “He’s going to Trump to the third power now. He’s not going to be exponential Trump because that’s not enough Trump. It’s going to be Trump to the third power.”

But in that, Mr. Scaramucci said, are the seeds of Mr. Trump’s own downfall because he could go so far that he finally alienates enough of the public to lose. “The one person who absolutely can beat Trump is Trump,” he said.

No other impeached president had the opportunity or challenge that Mr. Trump does. President Andrew Johnson, who was acquitted in 1868, was a man without a party, a Democrat who had joined the Republican Abraham Lincoln’s ticket, and was so disliked that both parties nominated other candidates shortly after his Senate trial, leaving him to finish his last 10 months in office a lame duck.

Indeed, while Johnson was not removed from office, impeachment reduced him to a shadow president, said Brenda Wineapple, author of “The Impeachers,” an account of his trial.

“The Republicans still had a majority in Congress so they could reject some of his appointments, which they did, and override his vetoes of their legislation — and they could allow the states that conformed to the Reconstruction Acts to re-enter the Union,” she said. “So in that sense, Johnson was hamstrung, if not powerless.”

Mr. Clinton was in his second term when he was impeached and acquitted, never to be on a ballot again. With nearly two years left in office, he tried to move on from his impeachment, all but pretending it had not happened. On the day of his acquittal in 1999, he appeared in the Rose Garden alone and expressed regret rather than vindication.

“I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people,” Mr. Clinton said, calling for “a time of reconciliation and renewal.”

As he turned to leave, a reporter called after him. “In your heart, sir, can you forgive and forget?”

Mr. Clinton paused as if deciding whether to take the bait, then turned and answered, “I believe any person who asks for forgiveness has to be prepared to give it.”

Mr. Clinton, who unlike Mr. Trump admitted wrongdoing without agreeing that he committed felonies, never truly forgave his opponents, or reconciled with them, but for the most part he avoided expressing those feelings publicly.

“Clinton saw the acquittal as a humbling end to that chapter and I think Trump sees it as a way to start his re-elect,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who was a top aide to Mr. Clinton. “He just wanted to shut the door on that and move on and have a fresh start. And Trump sees it as a jump start — ‘this is what I’m going to run on.’”

Mr. Clinton had some help in that Republicans themselves emerged from his trial feeling bruised by their failure to remove him and the clear public repudiation of the impeachment in polls and the midterm elections. Unlike Mr. Trump, whose approval ratings remain mired in the mid-40s, Mr. Clinton’s popularity reached its highest level during impeachment, with 73 percent of the public backing him just days after the House charged him with high crimes.

“I don’t think Clinton was emboldened. I think he was embarrassed about the mess he caused and he wanted to somehow move on and fix his own reputation,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist who was a top adviser to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert at the time.

And so did the Republicans. “I think both the president and the speaker had a vested interest in moving past impeachment to getting things done,” he said. “We were very conscious about how polarizing impeachment was and we were dedicated to healing the country and repairing the G.O.P. brand.”

That does not seem like the likeliest path forward for Mr. Trump, more of a pugilist than a peacemaker. “He’s obviously legitimately pretty angry,” said Mr. Gingrich, who was forced out as speaker after Republicans lost the midterm elections during the drive to impeach Mr. Clinton. “Given that he’s a natural counterpuncher, he may decide to go after them.”

“That’s not his best strategy,” Mr. Gingrich said. “His best strategy is to assume that the Democrats are totally out of control, that they will not be able to keep fighting. If he appears conciliatory, they’re going to very badly damage themselves with average voters who are going to say these guys are pathological.”

“He has that option,” he added. “I’m not saying he’s going to take it.”

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While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled

Westlake Legal Group merlin_168174624_765d81d7-fc4b-4b75-8d0c-a04f04985659-facebookJumbo While Stained in History, Trump Will Emerge From Trial Triumphant and Unshackled Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate Pelosi, Nancy impeachment

WASHINGTON — Ralph Waldo Emerson seemed to foresee the lesson of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump. “When you strike at a king,” Emerson famously said, “you must kill him.”

Mr. Trump’s foes struck at him but did not take him down.

With the end of the impeachment trial now in sight and acquittal assured, a triumphant Mr. Trump emerges from the biggest test of his presidency emboldened, ready to claim exoneration and take his case of grievance, persecution and resentment to the campaign trail.

The president’s Democratic adversaries rolled out the biggest constitutional weapon they had and failed to defeat him, or even to force a full trial with witnesses testifying to the allegations against him. Now Mr. Trump, who has said that the Constitution “allows me to do whatever I want” and pushed so many boundaries that curtailed past presidents, has little reason to fear the legislative branch nor any inclination to reach out in conciliation.

“I don’t think in any way Trump is willing to move on,” said Mickey Edwards, a former Republican congressman who teaches at Princeton University. “I think he will just have been given a green light and he will claim not just acquittal but vindication and he can do those things and they can’t impeach him again. I think this is going to empower him to be much bolder. I would expect to see him even more let loose.”

Impeachment will always be a stain on Mr. Trump’s historical record, a reality that has stung him in private, according to some close to him. But he will be the first president in American history to face voters after an impeachment trial and that will give him the chance to argue for the next nine months that his enemies have spent his entire presidency plotting against him to undo the 2016 election.

“This was clearly a political coup d’état carried out by a group of people who were amazingly, openly dishonest and I think it’s going to be repudiated,” said former Speaker Newt Gingrich, a strong ally of the president’s. “He’s been beaten up for three solid years and he’s still standing. That’s an amazing achievement if you think about it.”

Even before a final vote on the impeachment charges on Wednesday, Mr. Trump has several high-profile opportunities in the next few days to begin framing the new post-trial environment to his advantage.

On Sunday, he will be interviewed by Sean Hannity of Fox News during the pregame of the Super Bowl, one of the most watched television events of the year. Then on Tuesday, he will deliver his State of the Union address from the dais in the House chamber where he was impeached in December.

A senior administration official briefing reporters on Friday said the president will use his State of the Union address to celebrate “the great American comeback” and present “a vision of relentless optimism” encouraging Congress to work with him. Mr. Trump plans to pursue an agenda of cutting taxes again, bringing down prescription drug prices, completing his trade negotiations with China and further restricting immigration.

From there, Mr. Trump will head back to the campaign trail, starting with a rally in New Hampshire on Feb. 10, the night before the state’s first-in-the-nation primary race, an effort to upstage the Democrats as they try to pick a nominee to face him in the fall.

Democrats insist that Mr. Trump has been damaged by the evidence presented to the public that he sought to use the power of his office to illicitly benefit his own re-election chances. Even as they line up to acquit him, some Senate Republicans have acknowledged that the House managers prosecuting the case proved that Mr. Trump withheld $391 million in security aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure it to announce political investigations into his domestic rivals.

But the public comes out of the impeachment trial pretty close to where it was when it started, divided starkly down the middle with somewhat more Americans against Mr. Trump than for him.

When the House impeached him in December, 47.4 percent supported the move and 46.5 percent opposed it, according to an analysis of multiple surveys by the polling analysis site FiveThirtyEight. Now as the trial wraps up, 49.5 percent favor impeachment versus 46.4 percent who do not.

Those numbers are strikingly close to the popular vote results from 2016, when Mr. Trump trailed Hillary Clinton 46 percent to 48 percent even as he prevailed in the Electoral College. That means that the public today is roughly where it was three years ago; few seem to have changed their minds. And the president has done nothing to expand his base and by traditional measures is a weak candidate for a second term, forcing him to try to pull the same Electoral College inside straight he did last time.

Mr. Trump is the only president in the history of Gallup polling who has never had the support of a majority of Americans for even a single day, a troubling indicator for re-election. Nine months is an eternity in American politics these days and, given his history, Mr. Trump could easily create another furor that will change the campaign dynamics, the economy could become an issue, and with all the accumulated allegations some analysts anticipate at a certain scandal fatigue could weigh him down.

But Mr. Trump is gambling that he can rally his most fervent supporters by making the case that he was the victim and not the villain of impeachment while keeping disenchanted supporters on board with steady economic growth, rising military spending and conservative judicial appointments. He has made clear he will paint former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as corrupt if he faces him in the fall and will assail other possible Democratic challengers as socialists.

If Mr. Trump does win a second term, it would be the first time an impeached president had the opportunity to serve five years after his trial and Mr. Trump’s critics worry that he would feel unbound. He has already used his power in ways that presidents since Richard M. Nixon considered out of line, like firing an F.B.I. director who was investigating him and browbeating the Justice Department to investigate his political foes.

While in theory nothing in the Constitution would prevent the House from impeaching him again, as a political matter that seems implausible given that he has demonstrated his complete command over congressional Republicans led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, leaving the president less to fear from a Democratic House. Some House managers warned that acquittal would lower the bar for presidential misconduct, meaning that Mr. Trump would feel even freer to use his power for his own benefit because he got away with it.

“He is going to ratchet it up to another level now,” said Anthony Scaramucci, the onetime White House communications director who has broken with Mr. Trump. “He’s going to Trump to the third power now. He’s not going to be exponential Trump because that’s not enough Trump. It’s going to be Trump to the third power.”

But in that, Mr. Scaramucci said, are the seeds of Mr. Trump’s own downfall because he could go so far that he finally alienates enough of the public to lose. “The one person who absolutely can beat Trump is Trump,” he said.

No other impeached president had the opportunity or challenge that Mr. Trump does. President Andrew Johnson, who was acquitted in 1868, was a man without a party, a Democrat who had joined the Republican Abraham Lincoln’s ticket, and was so disliked that both parties nominated other candidates shortly after his Senate trial, leaving him to finish his last 10 months in office a lame duck.

Indeed, while Johnson was not removed from office, impeachment reduced him to a shadow president, said Brenda Wineapple, author of “The Impeachers,” an account of his trial.

“The Republicans still had a majority in Congress so they could reject some of his appointments, which they did, and override his vetoes of their legislation — and they could allow the states that conformed to the Reconstruction Acts to re-enter the Union,” she said. “So in that sense, Johnson was hamstrung, if not powerless.”

Mr. Clinton was in his second term when he was impeached and acquitted, never to be on a ballot again. With nearly two years left in office, he tried to move on from his impeachment, all but pretending it had not happened. On the day of his acquittal in 1999, he appeared in the Rose Garden alone and expressed regret rather than vindication.

“I want to say again to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for what I said and did to trigger these events and the great burden they have imposed on the Congress and on the American people,” Mr. Clinton said, calling for “a time of reconciliation and renewal.”

As he turned to leave, a reporter called after him. “In your heart, sir, can you forgive and forget?”

Mr. Clinton paused as if deciding whether to take the bait, then turned and answered, “I believe any person who asks for forgiveness has to be prepared to give it.”

Mr. Clinton, who unlike Mr. Trump admitted wrongdoing without agreeing that he committed felonies, never truly forgave his opponents, or reconciled with them, but for the most part he avoided expressing those feelings publicly.

“Clinton saw the acquittal as a humbling end to that chapter and I think Trump sees it as a way to start his re-elect,” said Jennifer Palmieri, who was a top aide to Mr. Clinton. “He just wanted to shut the door on that and move on and have a fresh start. And Trump sees it as a jump start — ‘this is what I’m going to run on.’”

Mr. Clinton had some help in that Republicans themselves emerged from his trial feeling bruised by their failure to remove him and the clear public repudiation of the impeachment in polls and the midterm elections. Unlike Mr. Trump, whose approval ratings remain mired in the mid-40s, Mr. Clinton’s popularity reached its highest level during impeachment, with 73 percent of the public backing him just days after the House charged him with high crimes.

“I don’t think Clinton was emboldened. I think he was embarrassed about the mess he caused and he wanted to somehow move on and fix his own reputation,” said John Feehery, a Republican strategist who was a top adviser to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert at the time.

And so did the Republicans. “I think both the president and the speaker had a vested interest in moving past impeachment to getting things done,” he said. “We were very conscious about how polarizing impeachment was and we were dedicated to healing the country and repairing the G.O.P. brand.”

That does not seem like the likeliest path forward for Mr. Trump, more of a pugilist than a peacemaker. “He’s obviously legitimately pretty angry,” said Mr. Gingrich, who was forced out as speaker after Republicans lost the midterm elections during the drive to impeach Mr. Clinton. “Given that he’s a natural counterpuncher, he may decide to go after them.”

“That’s not his best strategy,” Mr. Gingrich said. “His best strategy is to assume that the Democrats are totally out of control, that they will not be able to keep fighting. If he appears conciliatory, they’re going to very badly damage themselves with average voters who are going to say these guys are pathological.”

“He has that option,” he added. “I’m not saying he’s going to take it.”

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Diplomat at Center of Trump Impeachment Retires From State Department

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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