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Opinion Trump impeachment trial ushers in era of hyper-partisanship the Framers feared

21:17  16 january  2020
21:17  16 january  2020 Source:   foxnews.com

McConnell says he has enough Republican votes to begin Trump's trial without witnesses

  McConnell says he has enough Republican votes to begin Trump's trial without witnesses The process cannot get started until Nancy Pelosi sends the House-passed articles to the Senate."We have the votes once the impeachment trial has begun to pass a resolution — essentially the same as, very similar to, the 100-to-nothing vote in the Clinton trial," McConnell told reporters.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.” That is the reasoning of the Government Accounting Office, which has just concluded that President Trump’s budget office violated federal law in freezing U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Four key sections from the House Democrats’ 111-page impeachment brief

  Four key sections from the House Democrats’ 111-page impeachment brief House prosecutors in President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial filed a legal brief that outlines their arguments for his conviction and removal from office. Here are four sections that illuminate what to expect from the Democrats as the Senate trial begins in earnest on Tuesday. House prosecutors argue that Trump must be removed from the presidency — and barred from ever holding federal office againDuring the House impeachment process, individual lawmakers generally shied away from voicing an opinion on whether the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office.

It certainly would have been nice to hear this from the GAO when President Obama was imposing his own immigration policy priorities by executive edict and as a substitute for contrary priorities Congress had enacted into law.

In any event, the finding is in an eight-page report by which the reputedly non-partisan CBO has plunged itself headlong into the deeply partisan impeachment controversy just hours before the Senate impeachment trial is to commence (at least ceremonially; the substantive commencement of the trial will occur next Tuesday).

So … what is the upshot? Are Democrats preparing the ground for another article of impeachment? Obviously, the law that President Trump is said to have violated is not a criminal statute. And it is simply not true that the president never has the authority to countermand a congressional statute prescribing foreign aid; Article II of the Constitution gives the president nigh plenary power over the conduct of foreign relations; and other congressional statutes (such as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act) confer sweeping power on the president to regulate foreign commerce if the nation is under threat or in a state of emergency.

As Dems push for witnesses in Senate trial, Alan Dershowitz slams impeachment case

  As Dems push for witnesses in Senate trial, Alan Dershowitz slams impeachment case Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House impeachment manager, and Alan Dershowitz discuss impeachment in separate interviews on ABC's "This Week."It's an argument that he said was successfully argued in President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial.

No one could credibly argue that Ukraine presented an emergency situation, and I am inclined to believe that Congress’s statutory grant of defense aid to Ukraine had the force of law and should have been honored. But is an inconsequential flouting of a non-criminal law under circumstances where the aid was conferred with just a brief delay, with no harm done, a high crime and misdemeanor warranting impeachment?

I don’t think so, but I imagine House Democrats would beg to differ. That is certainly their right — the president, after all, is sworn to execute the laws faithfully.

But that is the point I was driving at in a column published on Wednesday night, arguing that the impeachment trial should be postponed until the House impeachment investigation is finished.

A trial cannot be fairly conducted if a defendant is still under active investigation for the same alleged corrupt transactions, particularly when prosecutors are publicizing new evidence and new findings. That patently prejudices the trial court’s consideration of the formal charges that have been transmitted to the court.

Dershowitz on impeachment reversal: 'I am much more correct right now'

  Dershowitz on impeachment reversal: 'I am much more correct right now' Constitutional lawyer and Trump impeachment legal team member Alan Dershowitz said Monday that he is "much more correct right now" in his current views on what qualifies a president for impeachment than his near-opposite views during the Clinton impeachment. Dershowitz, a recent addition to President Donald Trump's team, said Sunday that the framers of the Constitution intended for impeachable conduct to mean "criminal-like conduct" and that both of Trump's charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power do not meet the constitutional criteria for impeachment.

In just the last 48 hours, congressional Democrats have raised the specter that the president and his underlings (said to be acting with his knowledge and approval) conducted surveillance of a U.S. ambassador they believed to be an obstacle to their campaign to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens; and did not merely undermine U.S. policy but actually violated U.S. law by delaying congressional aid.

Simultaneously, House Democrats are coordinating with Senate Democrats to orchestrate calls to expand the Senate’s imminent impeachment trial to explore any new allegations and witnesses that arise out of continuing investigations of the president, even though these allegations are not covered by the two articles of impeachment voted last month.

The transparent objective is to convert the Senate impeachment trial into a continuing grand jury investigation of Trump. This is an abuse of the impeachment power which would corrupt the solemn purpose of a Senate impeachment trial — namely, to give fair consideration and render judgment on the actual articles of impeachment, which the House finally delivered on Wednesday with much pomp and circumstance.

Trump arrives in Davos hours before impeachment trial reopens

  Trump arrives in Davos hours before impeachment trial reopens US President Donald Trump arrived in Davos on Tuesday for the annual WEF forum, where he was to give a keynote speech just hours before his impeachment trial kicks into high gear in Washington. Meanwhile in Washington, Trump's impeachment enters a new phase in the Senate with legislators debating the format for the trial. Although Trump's Republican party holds a majority in the Senate and is almost sure to acquit him on charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress, the impeachment adds volatility to an already tense 2020 presidential election.Trump returns to the White House on Wednesday.

I’ll repeat the point I made in Wednesday night’s column: Legitimate trial courts do not allow themselves to be abused this way. The Senate should not put up with it.

It is very common for indictments to be filed in a trial court while investigations are still active. Many times in federal investigations, dangerous criminals have to be arrested before the charges against them are fully ripe — otherwise, they will flee or commit more crimes.

Speedy trial rules require that an indictment be filed within a short time after a defendant has been arrested, especially if bail is denied. But everyone knows the initial indictment filed is just a placeholder. The indictment will eventually be superseded by a final indictment that sets forth all of the allegations.

This is not controversial. Ethical prosecutors know they are not permitted to use the grand jury and their investigative powers to prejudice the trial. The trial court will give prosecutors a reasonable amount of time to complete the investigation and file the final set of charges. Only then does the trial take place. That respects the defendant’s constitutional right to notice of the allegations before the trial commences so that a defense can be prepared. It also respects the right of the defendant, the public, and the court to a trial proceeding that is not tainted by prosecutorial generation of negative publicity about the defendant — particularly, uncharged evidence of alleged misconduct.

Clearly, Democrats are trying to turn the Senate trial into something other than a trial. Ostensibly, it would be a continuing grand jury, convened to complete the work the House failed to complete at the impeachment inquiry stage.

In essence, it would be pursuit of the real agenda: the opposition party’s campaign to bruise President Trump with an unending stream of new impeachment allegations so that he is unelectable by November.

After over 230 years, we have entered the era of partisan impeachment that the Framers feared. This is what it looks like.

CNN cancels Democratic presidential town halls because of impeachment trial .
CNN has canceled the Democratic presidential town halls scheduled to take place next week ahead of the Iowa caucuses because of the ongoing impeachment trial, a CNN spokesperson said Thursday. The network is working on rescheduling the town halls, the spokesperson said. CNN was scheduled to host the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination at live, back-to-back town halls on January 28 and 29 from the campus of Drake University. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, businessman Andrew Yang and businessman Tom Steyer were scheduled to appear on Tuesday.

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