Politics Trump's Impeachment Rebuke Bookended by Policy Victories

01:00  15 december  2019
01:00  15 december  2019 Source:   online.wsj.com

U.S. House Judiciary chair rejects Republicans' bid for impeachment witnesses

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President Trump wrapped up a dizzying week of wins and a historic rebuke as he clinched support for his USMCA trade pact and reached a limited deal As the articles of impeachment move to the full House for a vote, WSJ’ s Gerald F. Seib has three takeaways from the impeachment process thus far.

By Catherine Lucey. WASHINGTON -- Political whiplash, anyone? President Trump wrapped up a dizzying week of major wins and a historic rebuke . In the victory column, the president clinched congressional Democratic support for his North American trade deal

a group of people sitting at a table in a suit and tie© Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—Even for a presidency defined by stark contrasts, President Trump’s week was one of political whiplash, bouncing from legislative successes to a historic rebuke.

The president clinched congressional Democratic support for his new North American trade deal, won backing for the creation of the U.S. Space Force and reached a limited trade deal with China.

But he also watched as Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee voted Friday to move ahead with their push to make him just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached, an effort that could energize voters in both parties, though odds are strong that Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Senate.

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  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.

Mr. Trump ’ s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, tried to turn the political spotlight onto Mr. Biden, as the campaign launched a new fund-raising plea for an “Official Impeachment Defense Task Force.” “Democrats can’t beat President Trump on his policies or his stellar record of accomplishment, so

BRUSSELS—Boris Johnson’s general election victory , and the likely departure of Britain from the European Union next month, will bring relief to most European governments: Now they can focus on other pressing issues facing the Trump ’ s Impeachment Rebuke Bookended by Policy Victories .

There was little precedent in Mr. Trump’s tenure for the swings in recent days. The president emerged with achievements to talk up on the 2020 campaign trail, even if it was tempered by the push to remove him from office in the wake of his pressing Ukraine to investigate a possible Democratic presidential opponent.

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“We’re having a very exciting month in Washington, D.C. There haven’t been too many like it,” Mr. Trump told lawmakers gathered in the festively decorated White House on Thursday night for the annual Congressional Ball.

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Trump needs to be rebuked to demonstrate to the country that the rich and power are not completely immune to the whims of justice. There are so many men and women who spend years or even decades wasting away in prisons — sometimes on death row — for crimes that they didn’t commit.

WASHINGTON — A fiercely divided House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Friday, setting up a historic vote before the full House that would make him only the third president to be impeached .

For Mr. Trump, there were clear incentives for reaching agreements on trade and spending, giving him achievements as well as evidence he can work amid impeachment. Congressional Democrats have some similar goals, with those representing swing districts eager to show they can legislate and impeach at the same time. And both the U.S. and China have been working to reach a limited trade deal before a new round of tariffs kicks in.

A senior administration official described Mr. Trump as “upbeat” about the events of the week, saying he is “feeling very confident about how things are going.” The official also cited the strong jobs numbers that came out last week, as well as the recent raid that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as other items the White House sees in the positive column.

“The White House and President Trump’s allies are ecstatic about how this past week has gone,” said former Trump campaign aide Jason Miller. On the day Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment, he said, “the president had a rally that filled up a stadium beyond capacity.”

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Related Topics. Trump impeachment inquiry. Image copyright Reuters. Image caption Donald Trump is likely to become the third president to be impeached . A full vote by the Democratic-run House would then follow next week, with Mr Trump likely to become the third US president to be impeached .

Trump made his own argument in a tweet early Monday, insisting he cannot be removed from office because he has not been charged with a crime. Trump ’ s legal analysis aside, it does appear unlikely that Democrats would move anytime soon to launch impeachment proceedings.

Mr. Miller was referring to Mr. Trump’s campaign rally in Hershey, Pa., on Tuesday night, just hours after congressional Democrats said they would support his long-sought trade deal with Mexico and Canada, and also announced two articles of impeachment.

“To me, impeachment is a very ugly word,” Mr. Trump said at the rally. “It’s a word I associate with some very bad times in our country. The good news is we’re having the best times in history.”

While Mr. Trump and his aides struck a positive tone, impeachment clearly still rankled the president, who fired off an avalanche of tweets throughout the week, mostly venting about impeachment or retweeting supporters. He sent over 100 tweets and retweets Thursday alone, starting just before 7 a.m.

“I did nothing wrong. This will be the first Impeachment ever where there was no crime,” Mr. Trump tweeted early that day.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) disagreed, calling the articles of impeachment “very strong” on Thursday, and a “continuation of a pattern of misbehavior on the part of the president.”

Mr. Trump is accused by Democrats of abusing his power by pressing Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and conditioning U.S. aid to Kyiv and a White House meeting on the probe. Democrats also allege Mr. Trump obstructed Congress by preventing at least nine officials from testifying and by blocking records from across the federal government from being shared with lawmakers.

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Mr Trump , it says, “directed the unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance of The House seems very likely to vote in favour of these articles of impeachment within days. The House investigation shows that Mr Trump bent American foreign policy to improve his electoral chances.

Mr. Trump denies any wrongdoing, and the White House has said it is protecting executive branch authority by not allowing officials to testify.

“Our president holds the ultimate public trust. When he betrays that trust, and puts himself before country, he endangers the Constitution, he endangers our democracy, and he endangers our national security,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.) said Tuesday as he announced the articles of impeachment.

The week also included a last-minute spending deal between Congress and the White House to avoid a government shutdown, and saw Mr. Trump meeting with a senior Russian official in the Oval Office. And there was a politically contentious new report on the FBI probe into possible links between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia, which found that the bureau committed “serious performance failures,” but also that the origin of the investigation was justified.

That offered ammunition for both sides in a controversy that has stretched through Mr. Trump’s presidency and looks set to continue: A Justice Department investigator appointed by Attorney General William Barr is examining the same issues, and both Mr. Barr and the investigator expressed skepticism over some of the findings in the Justice Department’s inspector general’s report.

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Trump ’ s Impeachment Rebuke Bookended by Policy Victories . House Panel Approves Trump Impeachment Articles. Impeachment Moves Forward, but Debate Is Locked in an Impasse. Opinion: How the Steele Dossier Drove the FBI's Fusion Fiasco.

Cartoon Carousel. POLICY . Agriculture. Trump tells supporters Democrats are 'embarrassed' by impeachment . At a rally in Pennsylvania, the president tried to spin his woes as more detrimental to President Donald Trump had a challenge for Democrats on Tuesday: Impeach me at your own risk.

At the same time, Democrats claimed the legislative deals as wins for their members. As congressional Democrats announced support for the North American trade deal Tuesday, Mrs. Pelosi said the agreement was “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”

Mrs. Pelosi touted the number of bills passed out of the House with bipartisan support and specifically praised the spending deal, noting that “there’s a great deal in the bill for people on both sides of the aisle to take home” to their districts. Both Democrats and the White House also took credit for a defense policy bill that includes a new provision for parental leave for federal workers.

The landslide of December agreements—after months of partisan stalemate—was the product of a series of complex negotiations and political calculations, as well as a number of looming deadlines.

“Let’s consider that we’re in the middle of December and if things are going to get settled, they’re going to get settled now,” said William Galston, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and former domestic policy adviser to President Clinton.

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway framed the list of achievements as evidence Mr. Trump could work despite the impeachment process. “These are real results,” she said. “These are matters of consequence that cannot be denied or impeached.”

Mr. Trump and his allies say they have seen political benefits to the impeachment process. “I’ve always said I would rather not have the president impeached,” said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale at a campaign briefing for reporters on Thursday. But “this lit up our base, lit up the people that are the supporters of the president,” he said, citing an increase in donations, volunteers and rally attendance.

Write to Catherine Lucey at catherine.lucey@wsj.com

McCarthy suggests Jordan, Collins and Ratcliffe represent Trump during Senate impeachment trial .
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested on Sunday that he would choose Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Doug Collins of Georgia, and John Ratcliffe of Texas to represent President Trump in his looming Senate impeachment trial. © Provided by FOX News“These are individuals I would actually pull in at the White House,” McCarthy said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “You want people that have been through this, understand it, been in the hearings even when they were in the basement.

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