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Politics Five questions — and answers — about Trump, Ukraine and impeachment

03:15  14 december  2019
03:15  14 december  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Trump says impeachment report is "a joke"

  Trump says impeachment report is Trump says impeachment report is "a joke"LONDON — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the Democrats' impeachment report was a joke with no merit and complained that a hearing had been scheduled while he was out of the country.

President Trump is expected to be impeached by the House next week over claims he abused his power and obstructed Congress when it tried to investigate. How did we get here? The story is complicated, but the questions at the heart of the impeachment matter are simple.

From impeachment proceedings to who listens in on a president's calls - your questions answered . US Democrats have opened a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump in the wake of new revelations about the president's contacts with Ukraine from an internal

President Trump is expected to be impeached by the House next week over claims he abused his power and obstructed Congress when it tried to investigate.

Jerrold Nadler, Doug Collins are posing for a picture: Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.), right, votes against the second of two articles of impeachment against President Trump during the final moments of a hearing in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Friday.© Chip Somodevilla/AP Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.), right, votes against the second of two articles of impeachment against President Trump during the final moments of a hearing in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Friday.

How did we get here?

The story is complicated, but the questions at the heart of the impeachment matter are simple.

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Did the president dial back support for a U.S. ally as a way of extracting a political favor from the country’s leader? And was the request for a political favor inappropriate in the first place?

Adam Schiff: President Trump ‘Doesn’t Give a Sh*t’ About What’s Good for America

  Adam Schiff: President Trump ‘Doesn’t Give a Sh*t’ About What’s Good for America The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee spoke out in a New Yorker interview.The New Yorker on Friday published an interview with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). He spoke about the impeachment inquiry hearings he presided over, his Committee’s subsequent report, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urging the Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Mr Trump is accused of trying to force Ukraine to launch a corruption investigation into his political rival Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential contender, and Democrats stepped back from including in the impeachment charges findings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that Mr Trump might have

The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is continuing in the House with another round of hearings. Chris Cillizza answers all your

These are the issues confronting lawmakers as they decide whether to vote yes or no on two articles of impeachment next week.

Here are five simple questions that explain what happened, where the parties disagree and what comes next.

1. What did Trump do?

For the past three months, Washington has been consumed by the following drama.

A U.S. president pressures the leader of a small country to announce a corruption investigation. The target would be a former vice president who is running to beat the president in the next election.

The request for a political favor is unusual and hangs over the foreign leader. His country is at war with another world power, and he does not want to alienate the United States, which has taken his side.

The leader’s position soon becomes more difficult. It emerges that the White House has stopped the flow of U.S. funds to his country’s military. The president is also holding back a gesture that would cement the alliance in the eyes of the world — a meeting between the two in the Oval Office.

Trump: Giuliani 'wants to go before Congress' about Ukraine trip

  Trump: Giuliani 'wants to go before Congress' about Ukraine trip Trump added that Giuliani will “make a report” of his findings to submit to Attorney General William Barr and Congress. “He has a lot of good information,” Trump said. “I have not spoken to him about that information yet.” © Alex Brandon/AP Photo President Donald Trump. Giuliani, who is reported to have traveled to Ukraine this week to continue his quest to dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, has come under fire during the impeachment hearings for carrying out a shadow diplomacy to aid Trump's re-election.

Read more: Donald Trump impeachment inquiry has Ukraine , Zelenskiy in a bind. Pelosi asks House to draft Trump impeachment articles. The impeachment proceedings hinge on allegations that Trump abused his power as president by pressuring Ukraine to announce an investigation into

The debate will underscore partisan divisions on impeaching the president. For only the third time in modern history, lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee will formally consider articles of impeachment against a sitting president.

This is what took place between Trump, the president, and Ukraine, the smaller country. But what it means is up for debate.

In a phone call on July 25, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “do us a favor.” He suggested that former vice president Joe Biden had engaged in corruption on behalf of his son Hunter, who had served on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“If you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me,” Trump said.

The phone call alarmed several U.S. officials, prompting an investigation in Congress that turned into the impeachment inquiry. Testimony from witnesses revealed the broader story, including the withholding of military aid and an Oval Office meeting for Zelensky.

The investigation was led by Democrats, who hold a majority of seats in the House. Trump, who says he did nothing wrong, refused to cooperate, and ordered the executive branch to ignore subpoenas for documents and testimony from witnesses.

Democrats plot week ahead for impeachment proceedings

  Democrats plot week ahead for impeachment proceedings About two dozen Democrats gathered with a law professor on Saturday to discuss impeachment proceedings.Working over pizza with Democratic lawyers and aides, they prepared for Monday's hearing with majority and minority lawyers who will argue for and against impeachment, using the evidence gathered by the committees.

Trump campaign dismisses impeachment votes as ‘political theater’. Dems had no answers and wanted out!” In another tweet, Trump claimed that poll numbers “have gone through the Forty- five percent of Americans say that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 50

Donald Trump is facing impeachment over allegations that he improperly sought help from Ukraine to boost his chances of re-election. Mr Trump pressing a foreign leader to investigate the discredited allegations against Mr Biden is significant. Mr Biden is a candidate for the Democratic nomination and

2. What do Democrats say?

Democrats argue that Trump violated two broad standards that provide grounds for impeachment. As a result, the House will vote on two articles of impeachment.

The first accuses Trump of abuse of power.

Democrats say that by asking Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens, Trump “solicited the interference of a foreign government” in the 2020 presidential election. They say Trump pursued this goal by withholding military aid and an Oval Office meeting. In other words, he conditioned “acts of significance” by the U.S. government on Ukraine’s cooperation with his wishes, they say. (The nearly $400 million in congressionally appropriated aid was eventually released, after Democrats announced an investigation.)

Trump’s actions “compromised the national security of the United States” and “undermined the integrity of the United States democratic process,” the first article of impeachment states.

The second article accuses Trump of obstruction of Congress.

Democrats say that the president’s effort to thwart the impeachment inquiry violated the Constitution and undermined the balance of power that defines the U.S. government.

'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture

  'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's top allies, said the recent trip by the president's attorney to Ukraine was "weird" and "odd."However, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told ABC's "This Week" it was promising to hear that Trump said Giuliani wants to speak to Congress about his latest trip to Ukraine.

The questions presented by this impeachment inquiry are whether President Trump sought to exploit that ally’s vulnerability and invite Ukraine ’s The matter is as simple and as terrible as that. Our answer to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the

Headed for trialThe politics and history behind Donald Trump ’s impeachment . Ambassador Sondland replied yes, he was in Ukraine and went on to state that President [Volodymyr] Zelensky The paucity of impeachments does not mean administrations have been generally well-behaved.

Specifically, they say that by ordering the executive branch not to cooperate with the investigation, Trump took away powers that properly belong to the House. This strategy allowed him to “seize and control” the impeachment function, they say.

“In the history of the Republic, no President has ever ordered the complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry,” the articles state. “. . . This abuse of office served to cover up the President’s own repeated misconduct.”

3. What do Republicans say?

Nearly all Republican members of Congress are standing by Trump, arguing that Democrats have misinterpreted his actions in a sinister light because they dislike him.

These Republicans argue that Trump was acting on valid concerns about corruption when he asked Zelensky to investigate the Bidens. They say that Joe Biden’s status as a possible 2020 opponent was not a factor, and that Trump was not trying to undercut him politically.

The idea that Trump’s only motivation in dealing with Ukraine was fighting corruption informs almost all Republican arguments against impeachment. If this was the case, then Trump was within his rights to pressure Zelensky and to withhold military aid until he saw action, they say.

Most of all, Republicans have decried the impeachment inquiry itself, calling it unfair to Trump and to their party — including the investigation, the public hearings and the committee votes. They argue that Trump was justified in refusing to cooperate with a “sham” process. They also say that the evidence gathered by Democrats is incomplete and indirect — not enough to prove that Trump committed wrongdoing.

4. What happens next week?

The articles of impeachment passed the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. They will move to the Rules Committee on Tuesday and to the House floor on Wednesday. A final vote is expected to take place that day, mostly along party lines, leading to Trump’s impeachment.

It’s a common misconception that impeachment by the House forces a president from office. In fact, the task of deciding whether to remove a president falls to the Senate.

5. What happens next year?

If the House approves the articles of impeachment, the Senate will be required to have a trial, where the president will either be convicted or acquitted based on the charges laid out in the articles. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has said that a trial will be short and will begin in early January.

Because Republicans hold a majority of Senate seats, Trump is expected to be acquitted, which means he would remain in office.

elise.viebeck@washpost.com

Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to Judiciary panel to discuss recent Ukraine visit .
"Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I'll be glad to talk to you,” Lindsey Graham says.In an interview airing on Face the Nation Sunday, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman said that Giuliani, who is serving as the president’s personal attorney, could appear before his committee separately from the impending Senate impeachment trial.

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