•   
  •   
  •   

Politics For the Senators Who Will Judge Trump, an Incomplete Story to Consider

05:06  17 january  2020
05:06  17 january  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

Senators introduce resolution warning Congress has not authorized Iran war

  Senators introduce resolution warning Congress has not authorized Iran war Senators introduced a resolution on Wednesday stressing that neither a 2001 or 2002 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) covers a potential war with Iran. The resolution, spearheaded by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), comes after days of escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran in the wake of a U.S. airstrike that killed Qassem Soleimani."The American people do not want another endless war in the Middle East-yet what we've seen in recent days is a president willing to make significant military decisions bringing us closer to war without consulting Congress or recognizing that our Constitution gives war making power to Congress, no

The quasi-jurors who swore an oath on Thursday to do “impartial justice” for the most part have already signaled their partiality. Yet there are still so many loose threads to be pulled that the story feels incomplete . Did Mr. Trump know “everything that was going on,” as Mr. Parnas put it in an interview

Trump was impeached last month by the Democrat-led House for withholding critical military aide to Ukraine, in an effort to push the country to announce an investigation into former vice As the articles are sent to the Senate, the debate will move to whether senators should call witnesses to the trial.

WASHINGTON — By the time the Senate opened impeachment trials for Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, its members pretty well knew the facts of the accusations against the presidents. None of them needed to turn on “The Rachel Maddow Show” to learn things they did not already know.

a group of people looking at a computer: The Senate press gallery on Thursday as senators are being sworn in for the impeachment trial of President Trump.© Erin Schaff/The New York Times The Senate press gallery on Thursday as senators are being sworn in for the impeachment trial of President Trump.

But as senators formally convened on Thursday as a court of impeachment in the case of Donald John Trump, new revelations were still emerging and important questions remained unanswered. The latest interviews by Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born associate of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, as well as documents released by House investigators, only reinforced the reality that there is more still to be learned.

Senate War Powers Resolution Has 51 Votes, Democrat Kaine Says

  Senate War Powers Resolution Has 51 Votes, Democrat Kaine Says Democratic Senator Tim Kaine says he has enough votes to pass a resolution that would limit President Donald Trump’s ability to carry out a military attack against Iran without congressional authorization. © Bloomberg The U.S. Capitol stands past metal fencing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a stare-down over the terms of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, which carries political risks for both sides if it continues deeper into January.

Mr Trump has been touting unsubstantiated corruption claims about Mr Biden and his son, Hunter, who accepted a lucrative board position with a Ukrainian energy firm while his father handled American-Ukraine relations as US vice-president. Mr Biden is one of a dozen candidates campaigning for the

He will then ask senators to raise their hands and to make the same pledge. That scripted exchange will set the tone for the chief justice’s role the But former Representative Thomas Campbell, who was a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Clinton impeachment and is

Sign Up For the Morning Briefing Newsletter

None of it may matter to the outcome even if more information does present itself in the weeks to come. The quasi-jurors who swore an oath on Thursday to do “impartial justice” for the most part have already signaled their partiality. And what has been documented so far gives a pretty clear picture of Mr. Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for incriminating information about his political rivals, whether it is cause for removing him from office or not.

Yet there are still so many loose threads to be pulled that the story feels incomplete. Did Mr. Trump know “everything that was going on,” as Mr. Parnas put it in an interview with The New York Times on the same day he appeared on Ms. Maddow’s MSNBC show? Was an American ambassador who had been targeted by Mr. Trump really put under surveillance by an unstable associate of Mr. Parnas, as text messages indicated?

No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial

  No tweeting: Senators have to keep quiet, stay off iPhones, and remain seated during Trump's impeachment trial Senators cannot take electronic devices into the chamber during the trial, which means they will not be live-tweeting the proceedings.They are not allowed to use their iPhones, they have to keep quiet, and they must remain seated during the process.

Donald Trump is the third US president ever to be impeached, but the previous two were not removed from office. He is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and brands the case against him as a politically motivated "hoax". Speaking at her weekly press conference on Thursday, Mrs

“Any trial judge in this country would rule such a witness as irrelevant and inadmissible,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler “We think that this case is overwhelming for the president, and the Senate’s not going to be having any need to be taking that amount of time on this

Underscoring the fluidity of the story was the release on Thursday of a damning new report by the independent Government Accountability Office, or G.A.O. The report concluded that the federal budget office, acting on Mr. Trump’s orders, violated federal law by suspending security aid to Ukraine even as the president and his associates were pushing the former Soviet republic for help against Democrats. The accountability office’s finding would presumably be relevant in a trial turning in part on the suspended aid.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Democrats say that revelations by Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born associate of the president’s personal lawyer, help bolster their argument for calling Senate witnesses.© Mark Lennihan/Associated Press Democrats say that revelations by Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born associate of the president’s personal lawyer, help bolster their argument for calling Senate witnesses.

And the offer to testify by John R. Bolton, the president’s former national security adviser who privately denounced the geopolitical “drug deal” orchestrated by Mr. Trump’s other advisers, only underlines that many of the key players in the tale of intrigue have yet to publicly disclose what they know.

Opinions | Susan Collins’s willful blindness already looks awful

  Opinions | Susan Collins’s willful blindness already looks awful Will the senator from Maine read from the White House script or uphold her oath?Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) replied yesterday to a reporter’s question about the blockbuster Lev Parnas documents handed over to the House on Tuesday. “I wonder why the House did not put that into the record and it’s only now being revealed,” she said. When told the House had just received them, she retorted, “Doesn’t that suggest that the House did an incomplete job, then?” No, and her reply should deeply concern the voters of Maine and anyone who wants a full and fair impeachment trial.

Trump Impeachment: What to Watch For Today. The House impeachment managers will read the charges against President Trump in the Senate, and When we’re likely to see it: The managers are expected to arrive for the reading at noon, and Chief Justice Roberts is expected around 2 p.m. The

Continue reading the main story . Trump Impeachment: What to Watch For TodayTrump The House impeachment managers will read the charges against President Trump in the Senate, and By Senate rules, once Chief Justice Roberts is sworn in, a summons is to be issued to the president, who will

The missing information, like almost everything else in Washington these days, is seen through drastically different lenses depending on the viewer’s political perspective.

To Democrats, Mr. Parnas’s revelations and Mr. Bolton’s offer of testimony only bolster their argument for calling witnesses during the Senate trial, which will get underway in earnest on Tuesday. If the Republican majority led by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky refuses, Democrats say, it will be perpetuating a cover-up on behalf of a corrupt president.

“Both the revelations about Mr. Parnas and the G.A.O. opinion strengthen our push for witnesses and documents in the trial,” Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, told reporters. “The G.A.O. opinion, especially, makes clear that the documents we requested in our letter to Leader McConnell are even more needed now than when we requested it last month. Because President Trump, simply put, broke the law.”

To Republicans, the latest claims and disclosures are evidence that House Democrats put together a slapdash investigation that did not cover enough bases before they rushed to an ultimately partisan vote on the House floor. It is not the Senate’s job, Republicans say, to do what the House failed to do.

Rand Paul on Senate trial: 'I don’t think any Republicans are going to vote for impeachment'

  Rand Paul on Senate trial: 'I don’t think any Republicans are going to vote for impeachment' Sen. Rand Paul said Republican senators would effectively be ending their careers if they vote to convict and remove President Donald Trump.   Speaking to The Hill in an interview, the Kentucky senator said, “I really think the verdict has already been decided as well. I don’t think any Republicans are going to vote for impeachment.” The House voted last month to impeach Trump. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

WASHINGTON — As Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s dramatic confirmation process lurches forward, all eyes are on five moderate, and as yet undecided, senators who will either send him to the nation’s highest court or deal a stunning defeat to President Trump and the Republican Party by derailing his

The Trump judge -confirming machine has arguably been run better than anything else in his administration – perhaps because he has had relatively little to do with it. Republican senator Tim Scott opposed the nomination of Thomas Farr, who defended a North Carolina voter ID law that a

“Makes them look sloppy as hell,” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a deputy independent counsel during the Starr investigation. “I think they should have gotten their act together a little better.”

Slideshow by photo services

Mr. Wisenberg said the House Democrats should have authorized an impeachment inquiry and issued subpoenas to Mr. Bolton and anyone else they wanted to question. “They wouldn’t be in this hot mess,” he said.

One way or the other, it is clear the Senate is opening a trial in a far different position than it did in 1868 when it determined Johnson’s fate or in 1999 when it considered charges against Mr. Clinton, both of whom were ultimately acquitted.

The Johnson case turned largely on two allegations — that he improperly fired the secretary of war and that he maligned Congress in a series of speeches. In neither instance were the facts seriously in question.

With Mr. Clinton, every significant possible witness had been interviewed by the investigators of the independent counsel Ken Starr before Congress took up the issue, and the question before the Senate was really about interpreting the facts and deciding whether they added up to high crimes worthy of removal from office.

With Mr. Trump, there was no special prosecutor investigating the Ukraine matter and it was left to the House itself to unearth the details of what happened. But the president refused to turn over documents and tried to block testimony by current and former advisers. That led Democrats to make the strategic decision not to wait for a prolonged court fight to force key witnesses like Mr. Bolton to testify, reasoning that the evidence they had already turned up was enough to justify articles of impeachment.

But they said that decision should not stop the Senate from trying to get to the truth.

In the Clinton case, the fight over witnesses focused only on those who had already testified during Mr. Starr’s grand jury and they had no new information to provide during the Senate trial. Refusing to hear from Mr. Bolton or others who have never testified like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, means senators would decide guilt or innocence without access to the fullest version of the facts.

After complaining in the House that the witnesses who testified generally offered secondhand or hearsay accounts, Republicans would now be in the position of turning down testimony from advisers who have firsthand information.

“It seems evident the Senate will have to call witnesses if they are going to uncover the rest of the story,” said Byron L. Dorgan, a Democrat from North Dakota who was a senator during the Clinton trial.

Still, there is risk involved for Democrats prosecuting the president. Mr. Parnas in some ways mainly amplifies what is already known from other evidence and to the extent that he adds to the case against Mr. Trump, his credibility could be attacked given that he has been charged with campaign finance crimes unrelated to the Ukraine matter.

As for Mr. Bolton, no one knows for sure what he would say if he did testify. While he was described as critical of the Ukraine pressure campaign by other officials, it is not known whether he would implicate or exonerate the president himself. He left the White House on acrimonious terms and has criticized some of the president’s foreign policy decisions, but he has not become a Never Trumper-style critic and some Democrats are privately nervous about his potential testimony.

Democrats argue that the latest revelations from Mr. Parnas and the G.A.O. report indicate that the House charges were on track.

“Everything we’re hearing now demonstrates that the House did get it right,” said Robert F. Bauer, a New York University law professor who was the chief lawyer for Senate Democrats during the Clinton trial. “Contrary to the allegations the Senate has made what emerges here is confirmation that the House articles are well founded.”

Still, it may not make much of a difference in the end anyway. Most of the senators and most of the public seem to have made up their minds about Mr. Trump’s actions; from the time the House hearings started, polls showed Americans almost evenly divided and their views did not shift depending on the testimony one way or the other.

Some Republicans said more information would not affect the bottom line, which is that in their view the articles of impeachment simply do not add up to high crimes and misdemeanors. More text messages from Mr. Parnas or legal complaints about the process used to suspend the aid, they said, would not change that.

“My view is that whatever the facts, these two articles are so subject to future abuse that the Senate should dismiss them on their face,” said John C. Danforth, a moderate Republican from Missouri who served in the Senate. “This comes from a Republican who has been openly critical of Trump.”

‘Not True’: GOP Senators Audibly Reacted When Schiff Brought Up ‘Head on a Pike’ Report During Trial .
There's reporting tonight that a comment Congressman Adam Schiff made in his closing arguments during the impeachment trial got a very noticeable reaction from Republican senators in the room. © Provided by MediaiteCBS News reported today that, per a Trump confidant, Republican senators were warned “Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.”Schiff references CBS News report that GOP senators were warned that if they vote against Trump, "your head will be on a pike" https://t.co/loj1yQpaewpic.twitter.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 5
This is interesting!