•   
  •   
  •   

Politics The Breach Widens as Congress Nears a Partisan Impeachment

03:45  14 december  2019
03:45  14 december  2019 Source:   nytimes.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.

WASHINGTON — It was the rarest of moments in the nation’s capital, a seemingly sincere attempt at persuasion across the partisan breach by the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on the eve of the panel’s vote to impeach President Trump.

WASHINGTON — It was a powerful congressional weapon deployed in only the most extreme cases, so explosive that lawmakers feared the wider damage it could do if used for the wrong reasons. Today, the filibuster is an everyday part of Senate business

WASHINGTON — It was the rarest of moments in the nation’s capital, a seemingly sincere attempt at persuasion across the partisan breach by the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on the eve of the panel’s vote to impeach President Trump.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, spoke to reporters after the committee voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump.© Samuel Corum for The New York Times Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, spoke to reporters after the committee voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Trump.

“I know this moment must be difficult, but you still have a choice,” Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York told his Republican colleagues at the start of more than 17 hours of debate on whether to remove Mr. Trump from office. “I hope that we are able to work together to hold this president — or any president — accountable for breaking his most basic obligations to the country and to its citizens.”

House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment

  House Democrat says he plans to vote against all articles of impeachment Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before."Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, one of two Democrats to vote against formalizing the impeachment inquiry, said he plans to vote against all the articles of impeachment "unless there's something that I haven't seen, haven't heard before.

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

WASHINGTON — A fiercely divided House Judiciary Committee pushed President Trump to the brink of impeachment on Friday, voting along party lines to approve charges that he abused the power of his office and obstructed Congress .

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

A short time later, the former Republican chairman of the committee responded with a plea to Democrats to abandon impeachment: “Put aside your partisan politics,” Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin implored, “because the future of our country and the viability of our Constitution as the framers decided it, are at stake.”

But the appeals to rise above the tribalism of the moment from the two veteran lawmakers fell on deaf ears. They persuaded no one, and only served to contrast with the rancorous, sometimes personally vindictive debate that unfolded over the next two days in the Ways and Means Committee Room not far from the Capitol.

Trump's approval dips among independent voters amid impeachment

  Trump's approval dips among independent voters amid impeachment President Trump’s approval rating dipped among independent voters as Democrats move forward on impeachment, according to the latest Hill-HarrisX poll released Tuesday. © Greg Nash Trump's approval dips among independent voters amid impeachment The survey shows 39 percent of independent voters approve of Trump's job performance, while 56 percent said they disapprove.© Provided by The Hill The new approval rating among independent voters is down from 44 percent in early November.Trump's job approval rating also saw a dip among Republican voters, dropping 3 points to 85 percent compared to the previous poll.

"Today we begin consideration of two articles of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump," he said. "Taken together, the two articles charge President Trump with "If the president can first abuse his power and then stonewall all congressional requests for information, Congress cannot fulfill its

Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office

This was the very divisive impeachment debate that Democrats had always hoped to avoid.

In March, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her new Democratic majority that barring “something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should” try to impeach Mr. Trump. “It divides the country,” she said then. “And he’s just not worth it.”

But now, less than three months after the allegations in a whistle-blower complaint catapulted Democrats into an investigation of whether the president pressured Ukraine for political gain, the country is exactly where Ms. Pelosi worried it would be — on the brink of an intensely partisan impeachment with deep consequences for both parties and the country.

Slideshow by photo services

Americans steadfastly divided over impeachment as vote nears

  Americans steadfastly divided over impeachment as vote nears WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to take a historic vote on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, the American public is following along, steadfast in its views. Many polls since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the start of an impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24 show that Americans are closely divided over whether Trump should be removed from office. Heated public hearings on network television that reached millions of Americans alongside a White House on the defensive have done little to move public opinion on the issue.

There were Republicans in Congress who wanted to impeach Clinton long before anyone knew who Monica Lewinsky was, but it didn’t happen until that scandal broke. (Let’s set aside whether they were justified in that impeachment ; either way, it didn’t happen until the whole party signed on.)

The impeachment hearing enters another week. Four impeachment inquiry witnesses — Jennifer Williams, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison — will testify publicly. Follow here for the latest.

When she gave the green light for impeachment articles to be drafted this month, Ms. Pelosi said, “the president leaves us no choice but to act,” arguing that to do nothing in the face of Mr. Trump’s transgressions would invite lasting damage to the Constitution and the institutions of government.

But by Friday morning, as the committee formally paved the way for the House to impeach Mr. Trump next week, both sides seemed to sense that political vandalism had already taken place. Representative Mike Johnson, Republican of Louisiana, predicted “irreparable damage to our country” and closed his final argument with a lament: “God help us.”

It wasn’t just that the committee eventually voted to approve two articles of impeachment, charging Mr. Trump with abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress. Throughout the committee’s debate, the lawmakers from the two parties couldn’t even agree on a basic set of facts in front of them.

They called each other liars and demagogues and accused each other of being desperate and unfair. At one point, Republicans all but abandoned their pursuit of trying to persuade their Democratic colleagues, instead making a motion to strike the most critical lines out of the articles — essentially taking the “impeach” out of impeachment.

“It is silly,” Mr. Nadler complained about the proposed amendment not long before his Democratic majority rejected it on a 23-17 vote, the same party-line margin that emerged throughout the day, time after time, no matter the argument or the issue.

‘It's really sick’: Pelosi rips Trump’s impeachment letter

  ‘It's really sick’: Pelosi rips Trump’s impeachment letter Speaker Nancy Pelosi trashed President Trump’s six-page letter criticizing her leadership on impeachment the day before the House is slated to vote on the two articles. © Provided by Washington ExaminerIn the letter sent to Pelosi on Tuesday afternoon, Trump blasted House Democrats for their “partisan impeachment crusade,” accusing them of showing "unfettered contempt" for the system of government installed by the Founding Fathers.

“ Impeachment should not be partisan ,” the veteran congressman said at a Crain’s breakfast forum in New York. “You have to be in a situation to Zero Republicans in Congress have indicated they will vote to impeach the president, while moderate Democrats in the House have waffled on the issue.

Partisan impeachment - in which one branch of government attacks another - played a central role in three of the For example, the procedural safeguards observed by the House Judiciary Committee and the special prosecutors to prevent partisanship in the impeachment of President Nixon were ignored

Lawmakers in both parties appeared to feel the weight of history as they delivered impassioned arguments over and over again, in five-minute chunks, alternating between Democrats and Republicans well into the night on Wednesday, and again on Thursday.

But if the passion was similar, the substance was not. Even for members of a profession who are used to talking past each other, it was striking how unwilling both Republicans and Democrats on the committee were to concede even an inch to the other side.

Steve Chabot, Jerrold Nadler, Louie Gohmert standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Republicans on the committee sat in front of signs opposing impeachment.© Erin Schaff/The New York Times Republicans on the committee sat in front of signs opposing impeachment. Mike Johnson, Doug Collins around each other: Representative Doug Collins, Republican of Georgia and the ranking member on the committee, speaking with reporters after the votes were postponed Thursday night.© Pete Marovich for The New York Times Representative Doug Collins, Republican of Georgia and the ranking member on the committee, speaking with reporters after the votes were postponed Thursday night.

“Ukraine was not aware of the aid,” Mr. Johnson insisted Thursday, referring to the $391 million in security assistance that Mr. Trump had ordered withheld. If they didn’t know the money had been frozen, he explained, Ukraine couldn’t have been on the receiving end of a pressure campaign by the president.

When it was his turn, Representative Steve Cohen, Democrat of Tennessee, asserted exactly the opposite, alluding to email evidence and testimony that disproved Mr. Johnson’s argument. “They knew it on July the 25th,” Mr. Cohen said of the Ukranians. “There were communications from the embassy that have been released that they knew the aid was being held up. They knew it was being held up.”

It was an example of the different impeachment realities that the two parties are living in. But it was hardly the only one.

Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia, described Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine one way, saying it “shows that the president tried to get President Zelensky to interfere in the upcoming presidential election.” His Republican colleague, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, saw it differently: “We saw the call transcript, and there is no conditionality.”

Trump impeachment a symptom of decades of deepening divisions

  Trump impeachment a symptom of decades of deepening divisions America is a deeply divided nation. Division has been on the rise for nearly three decades and it first burst into flames with the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Today that rising division – not the truth – lies at the heart of the impeachment of President Trump. There was a time, not that very long ago, when America was less divided. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In 1984, Republican President Ronald Reagan won the last true landslide in American presidential elections.

Inevitably, the least likable person isn’t the target of impeachment but those who lead the effort. After slogging through the vile details of Bill Clinton’s affairs The president is smart enough, however, to flip this impeachment against the Democrats as yet another witch hunt by a bunch of scoundrels, liars

And after Representative Andy Biggs, Republican of Arizona, said it was “clear” that Mr. Trump cared about rooting out corruption in Ukraine, Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat of California, scoffed: “The president never brings up corruption.”

As the skies darkened outside and the clock ticked toward midnight on Thursday, both sides appeared to grow weary of the verbal combat.

“Republican colleagues are working overtime to try to convince us that we didn’t see what we saw with our own eyes and we didn’t hear what we heard with our own ears,” complained Representative Veronica Escobar, Democrat of Texas.

Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel, had a more colorful way of expressing his frustration after being accused of trying to “muddy the waters” with fuzzy facts and questionable interpretations.

“If this was a muddying the waters, y’all are an E.P.A. hazardous waste site at this point,” Mr. Collins snapped back.

After three-and-a-half hours of opening statements on Wednesday, a marathon session on Thursday seemed like it would never finish as both sides engaged in a kind of mutually assured destruction — refusing to be the ones to call it quits first.

Determined to avoid the accusation that they shut down debate prematurely, Mr. Nadler gave every member who wanted it a chance to speak. Republicans, grumpy about a rumor circulating that their members wanted to leave early to attend the Congressional Ball at the White House that evening, refused to give Democrats the satisfaction of ending their speeches either.

The night finally ended with predictable rancor when Mr. Nadler abruptly called a recess right before taking a final vote, saying he wanted “the members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days and to search their consciences.”

Instead, his decision — made without any warning and without the kind of bipartisan consultation that is common on the Judiciary Committee — added to the sense of mounting tension inside the grand room, where nerves were already frayed.

It was clear that despite Mr. Nadler’s advice, nothing had changed by 10 the next morning, when the weary committee members returned for a rare Friday session to take the party-line vote that had been a certainty all along.

Mr. Nadler moved swiftly to call for the final votes on the two articles of impeachment, and both passed with all 23 Democrats in favor of impeaching Mr. Trump and all 17 Republicans opposed.

In just 7 minutes, the work was over, and Mr. Nadler banged his gavel.

“Without objection,” he said, as some Republicans in the room scowled, “this meeting is adjourned.”

Trump impeachment a symptom of decades of deepening divisions .
America is a deeply divided nation. Division has been on the rise for nearly three decades and it first burst into flames with the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Today that rising division – not the truth – lies at the heart of the impeachment of President Trump. There was a time, not that very long ago, when America was less divided. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); In 1984, Republican President Ronald Reagan won the last true landslide in American presidential elections.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!