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Donald J. Trump Senate Impeachment Trial Page 6
ABC News

By Meg Wagner, Veronica Rocha and Mike Hayes, CNN
In an extraordinary back-and-forth between a president and a congressman, President Trump warned that Representative Adam Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, “has not paid the price, yet.”
By Sheryl Gay Stolberg

WASHINGTON — Representative Adam B. Schiff, the House’s lead impeachment manager, accused President Trump of trying to threaten him on Twitter and urged Republican senators to find the “moral courage to stand up” to a “wrathful and vindictive president.” Mr. Trump, writing on Twitter Sunday morning, attacked Mr. Schiff as “a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man,” warning, “He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” It was an extraordinary back-and-forth between a member of Congress and a sitting president, coming at a turning point in Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — the third presidential impeachment trial in American history.

“Look at the president’s tweets about me today saying that I should pay a price,” Mr. Schiff said on the NBC program “Meet the Press.” “Do you take that as a threat?” asked Chuck Todd, the show’s host. “I think it’s intended to be,” the congressman replied. Mr. Schiff has been under fire from Republicans for mentioning a news report during the trial that alleges that the White House had threatened to put their heads “on a pike” if they voted to convict, and he doubled down on that claim Sunday, saying that he merely meant it would require fearlessness on the part of the senators.

Republicans appeared unmoved by Democrats’ arguments for Trump’s removal and reiterated that the Senate shouldn’t seek new evidence.

Senate Republicans on Sunday defended President Donald Trump and panned calls for witnesses in addition to those who testified during the House impeachment inquiry, ahead of the start of the second week of the impeachment trial. In interviews on major networks, Republicans appeared unmoved by House Democrats’ opening arguments for Trump’s removal and reiterated that the Senate should not seek new evidence.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a strong Trump ally, warned on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo” that calling in witnesses would create only more havoc. “What do we do?” Graham said. “Delay the trial so the president can go to court? Or do we as the Senate destroy the president’s ability to go to court — a bad spot to be in in the Senate ... If we seek witnesses, then we’re going to throw the country into chaos.”

House impeachment managers and Senate Democrats have made repeated calls for the chamber to subpoena witnesses, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton, as well as documents related to the administration’s hold on aid to Ukraine. The White House has repeatedly blocked witnesses from testifying. But most Senate Republicans argue that they should have to evaluate only the evidence the House used to draft articles of impeachment against Trump.

"If we seek witnesses, then we’re going to throw the country into chaos."

- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

By Asher Stockler

The sole expert witness for House Republicans during the Judiciary Committee's impeachment inquiry called Alan Dershowitz's belief that impeachment requires an underlying crime or criminal-like behavior "erroneous." In an op-ed for The Hill, Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law scholar at George Washington University, wrote that advancing such an argument could have a "damaging impact" on the impeachment process. "For my testimony before Congress during the impeachment hearings of both President Clinton and Trump, I took the opposing view that a president can be impeached for a noncriminal act," he said.

Dershowitz, who is part of the president's defense team in the Senate, has indicated multiple times that he believes impeachment requires the commission of a crime or an act analogous to a crime. He told Newsweek that he plans to respond to Turley's article on Monday. President Donald Trump is not charged in either of the articles of impeachment with violating a criminal statute specifically, although he is accused of otherwise unlawful conduct. As Turley noted, the standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors" is borrowed directly from the British Parliament, which developed a process of impeachment over centuries through which that phrase was born. In England, it was frequently used to remove officials for non-criminal conduct.


CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Lev Parnas' attorney, Joseph Bondy, about the recently released recording of President Donald Trump at a 2018 dinner with Parnas and Igor Fruman.

By Zack Budryk

Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Trump's legal team for his impeachment trial, on Sunday fielded questions about whether his defense of the president is at odds with his position during the impeachment trial of former President Clinton. Fox News's Chris Wallace asked Dershowitz, who has frequently argued that Trump cannot be removed because he did not commit a crime, about his comments in 1998 that impeachment does not require a crime be committed. "It certainly doesn't have to be a crime. If you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty, you don't need a technical crime," Dershowitz told Larry King in the 1998 clip played by Wallace on "Fox News Sunday."

Dershowitz argued his legal understanding of impeachment had evolved since 1998, telling Wallace, "I've been immersing myself in dusty old books, and I’ve concluded that, no, it has to be a crime." Wallace countered that Dershowitz has frequently defended Trump by invoking an argument written by former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis in defense of former President Andrew Johnson that evidence of criminal conduct is necessary to impeach and remove a president.

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN) Sen. Mitt Romney said Saturday that it's "very likely" that he'll be in favor of calling witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but won't decide until after opening arguments. "I think it's very likely I'll be in favor of witnesses, but I haven't made a decision finally yet and I won't until the testimony is completed," the Utah Republican said, following the first day of the Trump team's opening arguments. Asked if he thought the defense team was effective, Romney replied, "I just don't have any comments on the process or the evidence until the trial is over." Romney, a conservative who has before expressed frustration with Trump, previously indicated that he would be interested in hearing testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton. He said earlier this month, "I would like to hear from John Bolton and other witnesses, but at the same time I'm comfortable with the Clinton impeachment model when we have opening arguments first and then we have a vote on whether to have witnesses."

By Tara Subramaniam, Marshall Cohen, Holmes Lybrand, Daniel Dale and Kevin Liptak, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump's legal team kicked off their opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial Saturday morning. In defending the President, Deputy White House Counsel Mike Purpura said the case is based on "six key facts that have not and will not change." Here's a break-down of these six "facts" and other claims made by Trump's legal team Saturday.

The transcript doesn't show a quid pro quo
Purpura said "the transcript shows that the President did not condition either security assistance or a meeting on anything. The paused security assistance funds aren't even mentioned on the call."

Facts First: While no specific conditions for a quid pro quo were mentioned on the call, the exchange Trump had with Zelenksy raised eyebrows among some officials who listened to the phone conversation -- because the US was withholding military aid from Ukraine at the time. In the memo of the call, Trump discusses US aid to Ukraine and how the relationship between the two countries was "not reciprocal necessarily because things are happening that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine." He then says he would like Zelensky "to do us a favor though." Trump goes on to discusses a conspiracy theory related to the 2016 election and later, a potential Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens.

The billionaire oligarch is “at the dead center of the greatest corruption operation in Ukraine’s history,” said a former senior U.S. diplomat.
By Tom Winter, Ken Dilanian and Dan De Luce

In September, one month before Lev Parnas was indicted on campaign finance charges, his wife received wire transfers from a bank account in Russia. The sum was $1 million, and the source was a lawyer for Dmytro Firtash, according to a court filing by U.S. prosecutors. Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who made a fortune in the natural gas trade, is perhaps the most enigmatic figure in the scandal that has played a key role in President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

A billionaire with alleged ties to the Russian mob, Firtash is facing bribery-related charges in the U.S. and fighting extradition from Vienna. He once attempted to buy and redevelop the famous Drake Hotel in New York with the now-incarcerated Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman. And he’s seen by Ukrainian anti-corruption activists and Western governments as a corrupt instrument of Russia.

Exactly why the money was sent to the wife of Parnas — the former Trump donor and Rudy Giuliani associate who has since turned on the president — is unclear. But Firtash provided key documents that Giuliani used to further his discredited claim that former Vice President Joe Biden engaged in wrongdoing in Ukraine.

Fidget spinners and spinning Republicans make the best of a bad case for Donald John Trump.
By Maureen Dowd

Republicans know very well who they are. That’s why it was such a juicy moment when Hakeem Jeffries, the congressman from Brooklyn and Democratic impeachment manager, quoted a lyric by fellow B-town native son Biggie Smalls to rebut Jay Sekulow when the president’s lawyer disingenuously wondered, “Why are we here?” Referring to the Democrats’ crystal-clear case that Donald Trump abused his power and corrupted the highest office in the land, Jeffries proclaimed, “And if you don’t know, now you know.”

I went to the press gallery one afternoon to check out the tableau vivant. The visitors’ gallery was only half full, and there was none of the passion and titillation that infused the Clinton impeachment, which also, oddly enough, revolved around a power disparity between two people. One Democratic Senate staffer mourned the apathy. “Our phones aren’t ringing,” he told me. “Nobody cares. It’s the saddest thing ever.” One side of the room seemed to be smirking.

By Mike DeBonis

Rep. Adam B. Schiff spoke for nearly an hour closing the House’s case for the removal of President Trump, advancing and rebutting scores of arguments, but many Republican senators left the chamber talking about only one line: His reference to a news report that GOP senators were warned that if they vote against the president, their “head will be on a pike.” “Not true!” an indignant Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) bristled afterward, saying senators were “visibly upset” by the comment. “Nothing like going through three days of frustration and then cap it with an insult on everybody.”

The reference came from a CBS News report that had gone viral earlier Friday, quoting an anonymous Trump confidant claiming that senators were warned that “your head will be on a pike” if they vote against the president on impeachment. The report did not say who had delivered the threat or which senators had been so warned. “I don’t know if that’s true,” Schiff (D-Calif.) said. “I hope it’s not true. But I’m struck by the irony of the idea, when we’re talking about a president who would make himself a monarch, that whoever that was would use the terminology of a penalty that was imposed by a monarch — a head on a pike.”

And Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) suggested in a tweet that Republicans were feigning outrage to distract from the rest of Schiff’s detailed argument for Trump’s removal. “I’m gonna let you in on a secret,” he wrote. “Republicans who don’t want to defend Trump’s corruption on the merits are instead going to complain about how mean the House managers are.” - Why the fake outrage from Republican Senators all Americans know comrade Don the Con threatens Republicans when they don’t do what he wants or say something he does not like. Republicans are mad at Schiff for what Don the Con said that is BS, they are using any excuse they can to protect Don the Con. History will not be kind to Moscow Mitch and the Republican Senators who give Don the Con a pass to f*ck over our constitution, our laws and the American people.

The fauxtrage over Adam Schiff's "head on a pike" reference is meant to obscure the simple fact they're terrified to cross the president.
By Charles P. Pierce

WASHINGTON—Not long after Congressman Adam Schiff had wrapped up the prosecution’s case, and pretty much wrapped the administration* in heavy chains and barbed wire, Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, stepped up to a bank of microphones in the basement of the Capitol to announce that he was not afraid of the president*. Oh, no. Not him. Not Senator James Lankford.

One of the most remarkable moments of the night was when Adam Schiff said that Republicans were told that their head would be on a pike by the president if they vote against him. That is completely, totally false. All of us were shaking our heads saying, “Where in the world did that story come from?”

By Andy Borowitz

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Delivering an ominous threat to members of his own party, Donald J. Trump warned congressional Republicans on Monday that if they vote for impeachment he would come to their states and campaign for their reëlection. In a series of intimidating, early-morning tweets, Trump made it clear that if Republicans wobble on impeachment, “I will hold rallies in your state and support you with everything I’ve got.”

By Alexander Burns, Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman

The Republican Party was at the brink of civil war on Sunday as Donald J. Trump signaled he would retaliate against lawmakers who withdraw their support from his campaign, and senior party leaders privately acknowledged that they now feared losing control of both houses of Congress.

Even before Mr. Trump’s second debate against Hillary Clinton, the party faced an internal rift unseen in modern times. A wave of defections from Mr. Trump’s candidacy, prompted by the revelation of a recording that showed him bragging about sexual assault, was met with boastful defiance by the Republican presidential nominee.

On Twitter, Mr. Trump attacked the Republicans fleeing his campaign as “self-righteous hypocrites” and predicted their defeat at the ballot box. In a set of talking points sent to his supporters Sunday morning, Mr. Trump’s campaign urged them to attack turncoat Republicans as “more concerned with their political future than they are about the country.”

Republicans used to know that patriotism isn't about words, it's what you do. But today's congressional Republicans have lost sight of that.
By Sophia A. Nelson Opinion contributor

Something is really bothering me. I was struck by what the Senate chaplain, retired Rear Admiral Barry Black, said in his prayer on Wednesday afternoon at the beginning of the first day of arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. He prayed, in part: "Help them remember that patriots reside on both sides of the aisle." The “them” he was referring to, of course, was the Senators, House managers and president’s counsel gathered in the chamber. His words stirred my soul and they have pulsed throughout my disrupted spirit ever since. His words have made me restless, troubled me, and challenged me as a devout Christian and lifelong Republican to face a harsh reality: that the vast majority of people in my political party of more than 30 years are not acting like patriots.

Patriotism, I'm afraid, has left the building. Patriotism is not about words. Patriotism is about what we do. Patriotism is about what we stand for, who we stand up to and what we are willing to put on the line. Patriotism is about truth, honor, liberty, equality and freedom. The Republican-held Senate voted down all 11 amendments introduced by the minority party. Worse, Sen. Marsha Blackburn attacked decorated Iraq War veteran Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman on Twitter Thursday, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted about a "drinking game" when the word "drug deal" or "get over it" is used by House Managers.

By Morgan Gstalter

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano on Thursday penned an op-ed arguing that the articles of impeachment and the House managers' case against President Trump provide “ample and uncontradicted” evidence to support the Senate removing him from office. “What is required for removal of the president? A demonstration of presidential commission of high crimes and misdemeanors, of which in Trump's case the evidence is ample and uncontradicted,” he wrote. The piece from Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey and frequent critic of the president, came as the Senate began day two of opening arguments in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.

Napolitano wrote that the Constitution describes justification for impeachment as treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors. “However, this use of the word ‘crimes’ does not refer to violations of federal criminal statutes. It refers to behavior that is so destructive of the constitutional order that it is the moral equivalent of statutory crimes,” the judge wrote. Napolitano declared that there are “valid, lawful, constitutional arguments for Trump’s impeachment that he ought to take seriously.”

By Christina Zhao

"Marsha" began trending on Twitter across America on Thursday afternoon after Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee questioned Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's patriotism and said she's reading a book during the third day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

As Democrats made their case for why Trump should be removed from office today, Washington Post conservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, took to Twitter to call Blackburn "shameful." Her remarks came after an MSNBC correspondent shared a tweet noting that Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina "has a fidget spinner," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) "had quite the sketch of the Capitol going" and Blackburn is "reading a book" during the trial.

Blackburn quickly responded to Rubin's remarks by confirming that she is not paying attention to the impeachment proceedings, which Trump and some Republicans have claimed is a "sham." "First – I'm reading Resistance (At All Costs) by Kim Strassel. Read the chapter on obstruction. It provides good insights into today's proceedings," the senator wrote. "Second – busy mamas are the best at multi-tasking. Try it."

Yes, say Senate Republicans, we know there's evidence that makes Trump’s guilt even clearer. But we will sit as judges to disallow it before we sit as jurors to “exonerate” him.
By Michael Tomasky

Adam Schiff’s closing remarks Thursday night will go down in history. He laid out, with a plain-spoken eloquence, everything that’s at stake here. He’s been impressive the whole way through—I was especially struck on day two by the way he batted down one particular defense of Donald Trump that’s been driving me nuts, the fact that Volodymyr Zelensky said he never felt any pressure from Trump. Well, duh, Schiff said—like the president of a small country wants to antagonize the president of the United States?

But day three, in closing, he was even better. Watch it if you haven’t. He looked to his left—right at Senate Republicans—as he said, “Do we really have any doubt about the facts here? Does anybody really question whether the president is capable of what he’s charged with? No one is really making the argument—Donald Trump would never do such a thing—because of course we know that he would, and of course we know that he did.”

By Elliot Hannon

If you needed a reminder of what’s at stake in President Trump’s impeachment trial currently underway in the Senate, the danger Trump’s pattern of behavior poses for all of us for as long as he is president, Rep. Adam Schiff cut through the moral clutter Thursday during his closing statement. It’s been a long three years, and even if you know Trump committed a crime or simply violated the oath of his office, it’s easy to be lulled into the GOP-induced nihilism that maybe this isn’t such a big deal, maybe it’s normal, and finally maybe it’s too much, too far to remove a president, even Donald Trump, from office for it. To this ethical fog, created by Republican relativism, Schiff provides a succinct and often stirring rebuttal, reminding reasonable, likeminded Americans, first, to trust themselves. Schiff then makes the case for why Trump is dangerous to America’s national interest and thereby dangerous to Americans themselves.

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) More than two months after announcing a review of his work, The Hill newspaper has yet to complete its promised evaluation of columns written by John Solomon, a former executive at the outlet who during his time at the publication pushed conspiracy theories about Ukraine into the public conversation.  It's unusual for a newsroom to take so long to review stories that have been so fiercely disputed by individuals with first-hand knowledge of relevant events. But in a statement issued on Thursday, The Hill Editor-In-Chief Bob Cusack told CNN Business, "I appreciate you checking in regularly and I understand your need to follow up on this. Our review continues with a collective intensity and thoroughness which is needed and expected on a subject of  importance." "We cannot put an exact timetable to something this significant," Cusack added. "But we are confident it will be completed in the near future. Rest assured we'll be sharing it with you when it has been properly completed." Cusack first announced the review of work done by Solomon, who is currently a Fox News contributor, on November 18, 2019.

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