Friday, July 1, 2022

How Are Republicans Responding To Impeachment

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House Prosecutor Cites Former Republican Expert Witness In Pro

IMPEACHMENT RESPONSE: House Republicans Respond To Democrats Impeachment Hopes

A House impeachment manager cited professor Jonathan Turley, who had appeared as a Republican witness during Trump’s first impeachment battle, as part of the prosecution’s argument in favor of holding the former president on trial.

Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., quoted Turley’s assertion in a past study on the executive branch that “resignation from office does not prevent trial on articles of impeachment.”

Neguse also quoted Turley’s writing in a 1999 article on impeachment, where the professor approvingly quoted 18th century statesman Edmund Burke’s declaration that “no man in no circumstance, can escape the account, which he owes to the laws of his country.”

Turley in recent weeks, however, has argued that“the planned;impeachment trial;is at odds with the language of the Constitution, which expressly states that removal of a president is the primary purpose of such a trial.”


Turley had appeared before the House as Republicans’ expert witness in 2019, as part of the proceedings related to Trump’s first impeachment. Kevin Breuninger

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From a technical standpoint, the first time that Donald Trump faced an impeachment effort came in May 2017. Then, Rep. Al Green demanded that the House of Representatives charge Trump with obstruction of justice related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The immediate predicate for Greens call was the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey early that month. But over the course of the year, the impeachment articles expanded to include a broad range of actions by the then-president, constituting a set of high misdemeanors.

That December, the House voted on Greens aggregated charges. It was tabled by a 364-to-58 vote. More than twice as many Democrats voted against the measure as voted for it. But it was doomed anyway; Republicans had control of the chamber, and they werent likely to acquiesce to an impeachment effort, no matter how robust. When Green tried again in 2018, the outcome was the same.

The impeachment effort, many claimed, was just a continuation of the Russia investigation itself, an attempt to undo what the electoral college made possible: a Trump presidency.

The two-thirds requirement in the Senate for convicting Trump meant that there was little chance he would actually be removed from office, and he wasnt. But there was a warning that accompanied the Republican response to the impeachment: Do it to us, and well do it to you.


Impeach Biden and all that, one owner said. You know, kind of turn the tables.

If Trump Goes Unpunished Well Have No One To Blame But Ourselves

Representative Jamie Raskin argued that Trumps actions on January 6, were a culmination of the presidents actions, not an aberration from them. He described how Trump encouraged violence against his political enemies for years, and even continued attacking Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer following a foiled plot to kidnap her in the weeks before the 2020 election.

My dear colleagues, is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way? Raskin asked. Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?

Raskin noted that even after the January 6 attack, Trump declared his conduct totally appropriate.

So, if he gets back into office and it happens again, well have no one to blame but ourselves, he said.


Rep. Jamie Raskin asks senators if they believe Donald Trump would stop inciting violence if he was allowed back into the Oval Office:Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?

The Recount

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Trump’s Attorneys Close Out Their Case

As he started out his closing statement, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said the former president’s team does not stipulate the truthfulness of the statement from Jaime Herrea Beutler.;

Van der Veen then resorted to attacking the House impeachment managers, falsely claiming they never mentioned the Constitution and distorted evidence.;

Van der Veen insisted that no one could have interpreted Mr. Trump’s January 6 speech as anything other than peaceful. He also suggested that some of the people who attacked the Capitol were already at the Capitol when Mr. Trump was speaking.;

He claimed the protesters “hijacked” the event for their own purposes, even though those who stormed the Capitol have identified themselves as Trump supporters.;


Van der Veen said the entire impeachment has been a “charade” from beginning to end.

“You do not have to indulge the impeachment lust, the dishonesty and the hypocrisy,” van der Veen said.;

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Republicans Respond To The Impeachment Inquiry

Coons said he favors a Sept. 11-style commission to probe further into Trump’s actions leading up to and on the day of the Capitol attack.

“There’s still more evidence that the American people need and deserve to hear,” he said. “The 9/11 Commission is a way to make sure that we secure the Capitol going forward, and that we lay bare the record of just how responsible and how abjectly and violating of his constitutional oath President Trump really was.”

Trump’s role in the party


The Senate vote raises further questions about Trump’s role in the Republican Party going forward.

In a statement after the verdict, Trump said: “Our historic, patriotic and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., an ally of the former president, told Fox News Sunday that he had spoken with Trump, and that he’s eager to help the GOP win the House and Senate back in 2022.

But Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, who was one of seven Republicans who broke ranks with their party in voting to convict the former president, told ABC’s This Week that Trump’s “force wanes” in the GOP.

Cassidy is facing backlash in Louisiana over his vote, including the state GOP voting to unanimously censure him. But he says people want to hold their leaders accountable and that’s what his vote to convict was based on.


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Biden On Trump Acquittal: ‘the Substance Of The Charge Is Not In Dispute’

“We had no need to call any witnesses at the end of the trial because, as all Americans believed at that moment, the evidence was overwhelming,” she said in an interview Sunday with NPR’s Weekend Edition.

The Senate voted 57-43, which included seven Republicans, to hold Trump guilty on the impeachment charge of inciting an insurrection. But that was short of the two-thirds, or 67 votes, needed to convict him.

“I know that people have a lot of angst and they can’t believe that the Senate did what they did. But what we needed were senators, more senators with spines, not more witnesses,” Plaskett said.


She said the House managers wanted to enter into the record the statement of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., about a conversation Beutler had with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., regarding a call he had with Trump on Jan. 6.

After an agreement was reached to read Herrera Beutler’s statement into the record, Plaskett says, there was no need to call her as a witness.

“Individuals do not come to the Senate floor, raise their hand and testify. Individuals are depositioned, videotaped, and that tape is then played before the Senate,” Plaskett said.

“We wanted the testimony and the statement of our colleague Jaime Herrera Beutler, who is a tremendous patriot to put herself out there. And we were able to get that,” she said.

Plaskett denied that she and other House managers were pressured by Senate Democrats not to call witnesses.


Trumps Failure To Discourage Election Violence

ED KILGORE: Again and again, the House impeachment managers are stressing that Trump had an affirmative obligation under his oath of office to stop threats of violence related to his efforts to reverse the election returns. Obviously he failed to do that on more occasions than you can count, whether or not you accept the evidence showing he actively encouraged the Capitol attacks. He knew the attacks were imminent or likely, and that these were people who regarded themselves as his cavalry. So why did he never say a discouraging word? Its a hard question for Trumps attorneys to answer.

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How The Seven Republicans Who Voted To Convict Trump Later Explained Their Decisions

The evidence is compelling that President Trump is guilty of inciting an insurrection against a coequal branch of government and that the charge rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, said Senator Richard Burr, who is retiring at the end of his term in 2022.

Senator Bill Cassidy said he voted guilty because thats what Trump was, and that Our Constitution and our country is more important than any one person.

Instead of preventing a dangerous situation, President Trump created one, explained Senator Susan Collins, referencing how primed the January 6 crowd of Trump supporters was for violence. And rather than defend the Constitutional transfer of power, he incited an insurrection with the purpose of preventing that transfer of power from occurring.


Explained Senator Lisa Murkowski: If I cant say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?

Senator Mitt Romney said the House managers proved their case, adding that Trump incited an insurrection despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the vice president, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.

Previously Unheard Audio Introduced

House Republicans respond to articles of impeachment l ABC News

ED KILGORE: Plaskett just played previously unreleased audio of Capitol Hill police in full panic as the mob broke down the security perimeter and injured officers, and then video of hand-to-hand combat between police and rioters. Shes using a model of the Capitol to show the mobs progress towards the House and Senate chambers where Congress was reviewing electoral vote objections by Trump allies.

Using new security footage, Plaskett shows the mob breaking through the windows from inside the Capitol, noting some of the first rioters through the breech were in full tactical armors and/or riot shields. She then pauses in the video evidence to draw a parallel between the attacks and September 11. I would note myself that on 9/11 I was standing on Pennsylvania Avenue SE and watched members of Congress walk away from the Capitol in scenes echoed by the January 6 evacuation.

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Republican Search For Response

Many Republicans appear to have made up their minds that they won’t vote to convict Trump, but they have struggled to find a consistent way to respond to the Democrats’ emotional case.

Many Republican senators weren’t at their desks for parts of the day’s presentation, and a pool reporter spotted Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., at his desk appearing to write in the names of countries on a blank map of Asia.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said the Democrats’ presentation Thursday wasn’t compelling. “Today was not connecting the dots,” he said.

Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said, “Very political today.”

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Trump attorney David Schoen stepped out for a time to do an interview with Fox News. He said he felt confident that he wasn’t missing anything.

“It’s more of the same thing. They’re showing the same repetitive videos,” Schoen said.

Schoen called the managers’ use of videos of the attack “offensive,” a charge Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., had made on Wednesday night.

“I think they’re making a movie, you know. They haven’t in any way tied it to Donald Trump. I think its offensive, quite frankly. It’s an antithesis the healing process to continue to show the tragedy that happened here that Donald Trump has condemned, and I think it tears at the American people, quite frankly,” Schoen said.

Schoen said they discussed “procedure.”

House Managers Rest Their Case

Representative Jamie Raskin wrapped up House Democrats case against Trump, saying the evidence clearly shows that he laid the groundwork for the Capitol riot throughout his presidency, instigated the attack in the days leading up to January 6, and then showed no remorse once it happened.

Raskin quoted from Thomas Paine, urging senators to use common sense when deciding whether to convict.

Senators, America, we need to exercise our common sense about what happened, he said. Lets not get caught up in a lot of outlandish lawyers theories here. Exercise your common sense about what just took place in our country.

Raskin concluded: Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, but we have this saving consolation: The more difficult the struggle, the more glorious in the end will be our victory. Good luck in your deliberations.

Raskin closes with this Thomas Paine quote: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered, yet we have this consolation with us: that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Aaron Rupar

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After Raskin Says He Wants To Call Rep Herrera Beutler Senate Votes 55

The impeachment trial took a dramatic turn on Saturday. Lead House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin opened the days proceedings by referencing Friday nights news reports that Trump and House minority leader Kevin McCarthy got into a shouting match on the phone while the Capitol riot was underway, and that during that conversation, Trump had not just refused to call off the rioters, but tried to leverage the riot to his benefit. In light of that news, Raskin said House managers wanted to call Washington State Representative Herrera Beutler the impeachment-supporting GOP congresswoman who had confirmed the call happened and said she had contemporaneous notes recording the details as a witness.

Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen opposed the request, and threatened to call for countless witnesses himself and drag out the trial as much as possible:

van der Veen explains that if House managers want witnesses, then “I’m going to need at least, over 100 depositions””Do not handcuff me by limiting the number of witnesses I can have,” he angrily says. “We should close this case out today.”

Aaron Rupar

It also led to this embarrassing moment:

“That’s the way it works, folks … I don’t know why you’re laughing … there’s nothing laughable here” — the Senate chamber breaks out in laughter after van der Veen threatens to depose Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris not by Zoom, but in his office in Philadelphia

Aaron Rupar

Regardless, Senator Lindsey Graham made the same threat:

Gop Officials Were Moved By Democrats’ Arguments But Have Not Disclosed Whether They Will Convict Former President

PolitiFact

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Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, among six GOP senators who broke from the party to vote to proceed with Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial, said video footage from the Capitol insurrection showed “insurrectionists that tried to object to the peaceful transfer of power”.

“That should give anyone who loves our republic great pause,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

House impeachment managers on the second day of the former president’s impeachment trial included a comprehensive video timeline, aided by previously unreleased surveillance footage and police audio, revealing the scale of the assault on the Capitol on 6 January, and how close lawmakers and their staff came to violence.

Impeachment managers linked the former president’s months-long attempt to undermine election results as he courted violence from his supporters, exploding into a deadly insurrection fuelled by his false claims of voter fraud and conspiracy theories.

The footage “reinforces my belief that it was a terrible day for our country, and that there’s no doubt that it was an attempt to disrupt the counting of the electoral votes”, said Senator Susan Collins, among Republicans who are expected to vote to convict the former president for inciting the insurrection during a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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Rep Neguse Takes Over

ED KILGORE: The second impeachment manager to appear, Joe Neguse of Colorado, is going into the precedents supporting the constitutionality of an impeachment trial after its target has left office. The most important is the trial of former Secretary of War William Belknap, impeached for corruption in 1876. Belknap resigned in order to avoid an impeachment and a trial, the House impeached him and the Senate went ahead with a full trial .

The Trump Team Unveils Their Own Video

ED KILGORE: Schoen attempted to offer an equivalent to the House managers videos of January 6: a cavalcade of images of Democratic pols calling for Trumps impeachment prior to his actual impeachment in 2019.;The overwhelming majority of these images were of non-white Democrats, which probably had some Trump fans watching at home saying Uh Huh,

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didnt want to cut him off. He made a Faustian bargain with them. And thats whats coming to the Republican party, Emanuel added. 1932 … was the last time a party that is the Republicans lost the presidency, the Senate and the House. Thats how far back you go for this moment in time to have a corresponding point in history.

The Gop Senators Likely To Vote For Trump’s Conviction

Republican response to Trump impeachment articles

Senators say as many as a half-dozen GOP lawmakers could vote with Democrats to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpWalensky says ‘now is the time’ to tackle gun violence: reportBanks fights Jan. 6 committee effort to seek lawmaker recordsBiden to raise pay for federal employees effective Jan. 1.MORE for inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6 after the powerful presentations by impeachment managers, including chilling footage of the attack on the Capitol.

That would not be enough to secure a conviction of Trump, something that would require at least 17 Republican votes assuming every Democrat in the chamber votes to impeach. But it would be the largest bipartisan Senate majority in history for a presidential impeachment vote.

Heres a look at the six GOP votes seen as being in play.

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Romney is viewed as a lock to vote for Trumps conviction after he was the only Republican senator to vote to remove Trump from office after his first impeachment trial last year.

Previously unreleased security footage played on the second day of the trial showed Romney narrowly missed walking into a crowd of angry rioters thanks to the quick thinking of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who redirected Romney away from the violent crowd as it marched toward the chamber.

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