Tag Archives: impeachment

Infectious diseases bill: Gbajabiamila faces impeachment threat. [Nigeria]



As controversy continues to trail the Infectious Disease Control Bill before the House of Representatives, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s seat seems to be hanging in the balance as forces not comfortable with his recent style of leadership are said to be moving against him.

NobleReporters gathered that the recent face-off between the leadership of the House led by Gbajabiamila, the state governors and former Speaker of the House and now governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal may cause Gbajabiamila his seat if not properly handled.

According to the source, the governors who are allegedly not happy with the way the House of Representatives responded to their advice that the Infectious Disease Control Bill be “stepped down” until proper consultations are made, are mobilising against the Speaker who is the lead sponsor of the Bill.

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The source further disclosed that the governors at a recent meeting in Abuja had “secretly” agreed to push for the Speaker’s impeachment through their various representatives at the green chamber.

He said some of the governors openly accused the Speaker of being “arrogant” in his approach to “national issues” a development they said should be checked to maintain the cordial relationship between the Legislature and the Executive.

Speaking further, the source stated the governor of Sokoto state, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal’s loyalists who felt slighted that the governor was accused of misleading and misguiding other members of the Governors Forum are also “spoiling for war”.

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He said some members of the House already have grudges against the Speaker over allegation of overbearing especially in handling the donation to the fight against the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

It was also alleged that the Speaker has been making frantic efforts to get his political godfather to rally the governors to shelve their plans and create an avenue for dialogue.

It would be recalled that the governors operating under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF had recently urged the National Assembly to step down the proposed Infectious Disease Control Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives until an appropriate consultative process is held.

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Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who is also the Governor of Ekiti state had in Communiqué at the end of the Forum’s eight teleconference meeting added that the consultation must include a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns on the proposed Bill.

However, responding to the advice by the Governor’s Forum, the House of Representatives said it does not legislate for the states and therefore should not be “cowed” from doing its Constitutional responsibility.

The spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu in a statement regretted that Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who is a former Speaker of the House stood a better position to rightly inform the Governors Forum but failed to do so.

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Hon. Kalu went ahead to call for the disqualification of Tambuwal who is also the Governor of Sokoto state from a proposed consultative meeting with the Nigeria Governors Forum accusing him of being biased towards the Infectious Disease Control Bill insisting that Tambuwal misled and misguided the Forum into asking the House to step down the Bill.

“We assume that his position was informed by his well-known personal and partisan opposition to the emergence of the current leadership of House led by Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila considering his obvious stance in 2015 and 2019,” he stated.

He said that the House of Representatives would proceed with the legislative work on the controversial Infectious Disease Control Bill because according to him, the House of Representatives and National Assembly in general are not under the control of any state governor.

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Also the House of Representatives has insisted on the consideration of the contentious Control of Infectious Diseases Bill explaining that it has not been stopped by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a statement yesterday, he House regretted that a section of the media had erroneously reported that the Federal High Court in its ruling on suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/463/2020 last week had stopped the further consideration of the bill.

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The House spokesman explained that though the applicant, through a motion ex parts, had sought an order of the court suspending the consideration of the bill, the court declined to grant the reliefs sought by the applicant so as to allow the respondent to appear before it and enter a defence.

When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Mr. Lanre Lasisi asked for time to comment on the matter but never did at the time of going to press. Also the spokesperson of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulrazaq Barkindo could not be reached.


#Newsworthy…

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High Court declares removal of Achuba illegal


A State High Court in Lokoja has declared the removal of Simon Achuba, former Kogi deputy governor by the State House of Assembly as null and void.


The presiding judge, Justice John Olorunfemi while delivering the judgment on Thursday said Achuba’s removal from office by the Assembly is a violation of the constitution and the subsequent nomination of Edward Onoja as the deputy governor, did not follow due process

Justice Olorunfemi described the action of the Kogi State House of Assembly as a constitutional coup, hatched and executed in a democracy explaining further that the action is contrary to Section 188 subsection 8, a section that stopped the Assembly from further action having discovered that the former deputy governor was not found wanting by the panel.


The Judge said the onus to produce the remaining volumes of the report purported to have indicted the former deputy governor rest with the defendants which they failed to do.

He pointed out that the 29th defendants also did not file a counter-notice, describing the process of removing the former deputy governor as not following due process.


Achuba had earlier challenged his impeachment by the Kogi State Assembly and sought for relief of the court to declare his impeachment as illegal and to be reinstated as the rightful deputy governor of the state.

In their submission, counsel to the impeached deputy governor, Jibrin Okutachi (SAN), in a 13-page counter-affidavit, submitted that the court should discountenance the application by the Clerk, describing it as a breach of court order 11, rule 2, subsection 4, and section 115 subsection 4 of the evidence act.

Achuba was impeached in October 2019 by members of the Kogi State House of Assembly.

His impeachment followed the submission of a report of the committee set up by the State Chief Judge, Justice Nasir Ajana, to investigate an allegation of gross misconduct against the former deputy governor.


#Newsworthy. .

Impeachment trial: Witness reported my ‘Perfect’ calls wrongly – Trump


President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire an army officer who gave damning evidence against him during the impeachment probe.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted Friday out of the White House, where he worked on the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine. His lawyer called the move an act of revenge by the president, two days after he was acquitted by the Senate.


“Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to news outlet MSNBC.

“Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly.”


“In other words, ‘OUT’.”

Vindman was present during a now-famous July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.


House Democrats who impeached Trump on allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress argued that the call was part of a concerted effort to coerce a weak foreign ally at war with Russia into helping him cheat in November’s presidential election.

Subpoenaed by Congress to testify at the House impeachment hearings, the Ukrainian-born Vindman, who received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Iraq, said Trump’s actions were “improper.”


That testimony helped build the case leading to Trump becoming only the third president ever impeached by Congress.

Vindman’s lawyer David Pressman on Saturday called Trump’s tweet “a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.”


“They conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the President is well aware,” he said in a statement to US media.

“While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”


On Friday, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and who also testified against Trump, said he was being recalled immediately.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, on Saturday slammed Trump’s “personal insecurities and vindictiveness.”

U.S President, Donald Trump


“By firing Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ambassador Sondland like this, the Trump Administration signaled it won’t tolerate people who tell the truth,” he said in a statement.

“This is a dangerous moment for our democracy and the non-partisan institutions charged with defending it and upholding the law.”


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment trial: Donald Trump discharged and acquitted by U.S Senate


US president Donald Trump has been discharged and acquitted by the US senate over the charges of obstruction of congress and abuse of power leveled against him by the House of Reps.

On Wednesday, the Republican majority senate voted against impeaching the president, bringing the impeachment trial to an end.

’48 senators have pronounced Donald John Trump, president of the United States, guilty as charged. 52 senators have announced him not guilty as charged. 2/3 of the senators present not finding him guilty, the Senate judges Donald John Trump – the president of the United States – is not guilty as charged in the first article of impeachment,’ Chief Justice Roberts announced after the vote.


But in a remarkable move, Republican Mitt Romney, who has been critical of the president in the past, voted against the president in the charge of ‘abuse of power’

He was the only Republican to do so in a move that stunned Capitol Hill.


‘The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor,’ Romney said ahead of the vote. ‘Yes, he did.’

He voted to acquit on the obstruction of Congress charge.


Mitt Romney, a deeply-religious Mormon, said his faith as the reason behind his decision.

‘The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before god to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before god as enormously consequential.

I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced,’ he said in his remarks on the Senate floor.

Romney said he was convinced President Trump abused his power as because it involved Joe and Hunter Biden, Trump’s political rivals.


‘There’s no question in my mind that were there names not Biden the president would never have done what he did,’ Romney said.

Romney acknowledged in a pre-taped interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace that aired just immediately after he voted against the president, that he could lose his next election campaign for not supporting Trump and that his life in Washington D.C. was about to get ‘lonely.’

‘It’s going to get very lonely. The consequences are significant. They are enough that it made it very difficult process for me. There’s not been a morning since this process began that I slept beyond 4:00 a.m.,’ he said.

The impeachment process initiated by House speaker Nancy Pelosi started on the 24th of September after a whistle blower complaint alleged that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in exchange for launching investigations into his political rival, Joe Biden.


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment Trial: Republicans Slam Trump

…Back Him For Senate Acquittal


Leading Republicans took to the talk show circuit Sunday to defend their expected acquittal of US President Donald Trump at his Senate trial next week — despite offering sharp criticism of his role in the Ukraine scandal.


The president was impeached in December for abuse of power over-pressuring ally Kiev to announce investigations that would have helped him politically, including into Joe Biden, a leading challenger in this year’s presidential ballot.

A day ahead of the Iowa Democratic caucuses — the official start of the election season — key Republican senators including Lamar Alexander and Joni Ernst said Trump’s behaviour was troubling but did not warrant removal.


“Hopefully, he’ll look at this and say, ‘Okay, that was a mistake. I shouldn’t have done that, shouldn’t have done it that way,” Alexander told NBC.

The Tennessee senator suggested Trump had been naive in asking a foreign ally to look into Biden and his son Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine, which Republicans have claimed without evidence were corrupt.


But he added: “The bottom line: it’s not an excuse. He shouldn’t have done it.”

Trump is all but assured of being acquitted at only the third impeachment trial of a US president, with Republicans holding 53 seats in the Senate to 47 for the Democrats. A two-thirds majority, or 67 senators, is needed to remove him from office.


‘The wrong manner’
Ernst said it was “up to the American people” to decide on Trump’s behaviour, adding that she would vote Wednesday to acquit the president, who is also accused of obstruction of Congress.

“I think, generally speaking, going after corruption is the right thing to do, but he did it in the wrong manner… I think that he could have done it in different channels,” she told CNN.


A narrow majority of Americans believe Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress by withholding documents and testimony during the impeachment inquiry, according to a new NBC/WSJ poll.

But they remain divided on whether he should be kicked from office, with 46 per cent hoping to see him removed and 49 per cent saying he should keep his job.


Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher suggested Trump’s conduct had forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand when she would rather not have started impeachment proceedings.

“Nine million more people voted for Democrats last time around than Republicans. We have winning messages without impeachment,” he told NBC.


On Friday, Democrats failed to muster the four Republican votes needed to allow witness testimony — a departure from every other impeachment trial in US history.

They had been eager to hear from Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and other key administration figures caught up in the scandal.


Bolton reportedly says in a forthcoming book Trump told him military aid to Ukraine was tied to Kiev’s investigating Biden — corroborating the central claim against the president.

Alexander said however there was no need for more evidence and, with Washington awaiting the results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses, it was better to let the American public decide who should be the next president.


The first vote in the US primary process will be closely watched as a sign as to which of 11 Democratic candidates are gaining early momentum to challenge Trump in November’s election.

‘We are the jury’
“As upsetting as what’s going on in the Senate is, the thing that I’m always reminding voters of — especially in these closing days of the Iowa caucuses — is that, yes, the Senate is the jury today but we are the jury tomorrow,” Pete Buttigieg, who is running third in the Hawkeye State, told CNN.


“And we get to send a message at the ballot box that cheating, lying, involving a foreign country in our own domestic politics, not to mention abuse of power more broadly and bad administration, that that’s not okay, that we can do better.”

The Senate resumes as a court of impeachment on Monday to hear final arguments, before voting on Wednesday on the two articles of impeachment passed last month in the House.


Adam Schiff, the leader of the House impeachment managers, told CBS Sunday that it was “pretty remarkable” that senators on both sides had acknowledged that Democrats had proved their case against the president.

“But I’m not letting the senators off the hook. We’re still going to go into the Senate this week and make the case why this president needs to be removed. It will be up to the senators to make that final judgment, and the senators will be held accountable for it.”

Four contenders for the Democratic nomination — Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet — were required to be present at the impeachment trial.

Monday’s Iowa vote is headed to a photo finish, with leftist Bernie Sanders holding a narrow polling lead over Biden.


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment trial: Trump discredit witness, John Bolton ..


President Donald Trump has gone ballistic over his former national security adviser John Bolton, as the likelihood of his being subpoenaed to give evidence in his impeachment trial increases.

In two tweets on Wednesday, Trump painted a grovelling image of Bolton, who begged him for a job.

Trump tweeted: “For a guy who couldn’t get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn’t get approved for anything since, ‘begged’ me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying ‘Don’t do it, sir,’ takes the job, mistakenly says ‘Libyan Model’ on T.V. and many more mistakes of judgement, gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?”


In other tweets, Trump tried to appeal to his Republican senators not to allow themselves to be swayed by the Democrats, by allowing new witnesses in his trial.

“No matter how many witnesses you give the Democrats, no matter how much information is given, like the quickly produced Transcripts, it will NEVER be enough for them. They will always scream UNFAIR. The Impeachment Hoax is just another political CON JOB!”, he wrote.


Then added: “Remember Republicans, the Democrats already had 17 witnesses, we were given NONE! Witnesses are up to the House, not up to the Senate. Don’t let the Dems play you!”.

But he did not add that he was the one that blocked the witnesses from the executive.


Trump’s tirade against Bolton may have been informed by reports that some Republican Senators have decided to join Democrats to ask for witnesses to have a fair trial.

Besides, opinion polls indicated that more than 75 per cent of American voters want the Senate to call witnesses to know the truth about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

One of those witnesses waiting to give testimony is former National Security Adviser John Bolton.

He revealed in his forthcoming book that Trump explicitly tied Ukraine aid to an investigation of Joe Biden.


#Newsworthy…

Abuse of power, not crime – Trump’s lawyer ..


The defense team on Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday night argued that charges leveled upon the president by the House of Representatives – Abuse of power, and Obstruction of congress- were not impeachable offenses and that the US president should be cleared of all charges immediately.


Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and former O.J. Simpson attorney, one of Trump’s star lawyers, made the well-crafted plea at Trump’s impeachment trial on Monday night, appearing after other defense lawyers at the second day of Trump’s defense.

President of the United States of America, Donald Trump is being tried in the Senate over allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of congress after he allegedly withdrew military aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into his political rival – Joe Biden in a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s president Zelensky.


Trump has since denied being involved in a quid pro quo and said the attempts to impeach him by Democrats started immediately he became president, first with the Russia collusion reports and now with Ukraine.

Dershowitz had to make the controversial argument that ‘Abuse of Power’ does not constitute an impeachable offense, telling senators that the Founders of the constitution specifically rejected such vague terms when creating the Constitution in Philadelphia.


He said though he voted for Clinton, and he is not a fan of some of the president’s policies and actions, however from a legal standpoint, impeachment is only meant for presidents who commit high crimes and misdemeanors not obstruction of congress and abuse of power.

“Nothing in the Bolton revelations, even if true, would rise to the level of an abuse of power or an impeachable offense,’ said Dershowitz.’ If a president, any president, were to have done what the [New York] Times reported about the contact of the Bolton manuscript, that would not constitute an impeachable offense,’ Dershowitz continued.

‘It is inconceivable that the framers would have intended so politically loaded and promiscuously deployed a term as abuse of power to be weaponized as a tool of impeachment,’ he said.

At one point he turned to opposing Democratic lawyers and said: ‘I’m sorry, house managers, you just picked the wrong criteria. You picked the most dangerous possible criteria to serve as a precedent for with you we supervise future presidents,’


#Newsworthy…

GOP so terrified on impeaching Trump – Hilary Clinton..


Former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton accused the Republican party of being too scared to remove President Donald Trump from office over his impeachment.

Clinton said GOP is unwilling to “entertain the seriousness and implications” of the charges against Trump and is “basically deriding” the case, including through some senators’ refusal to call witnesses, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


The former first lady, senator, and secretary of state, who lost to Trump in the 2016 election, was taking part in an audience Q&A on Saturday at the Sundance Festival, where her Hulu docu-series Hillary premiered.

Clinton praised the House managers for their “compelling, excellent” presentation of the evidence to the Senate trial, which began this week.


She said the managers weaved the evidence into a narrative that set the president’s alleged behavior into the context of why the Founders had included impeachment in the constitution.

“I’m obviously realistic enough to understand that the House Republicans and the Senate Republicans don’t want to hear this,” Clinton said, “don’t want to think hard about it, don’t want to make a decision, and are going to probably default to basically deriding the case—they started that today—and then trying to move as quickly as possible without any more evidence being presented or witnesses called. I hope this will haunt them not only politically, but historically.”


The president is accused of abusing his power by soliciting Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election to benefit his re-election campaign and obstructing Congress in its efforts to investigate.

According to the House case against Trump, the president conditioned a White House visit for Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskiy and $391 million of military aid on Kyiv announcing an unfounded investigation into former vice president Joe Biden.


Trump denies any wrongdoing.

A two-thirds Senate majority is required to convict an impeached president. The Senate is currently controlled by a Republican majority and it is unlikely Trump will be removed from office.

When asked what her views on the impeachment hearings are, Clinton joked “do we have 35 hours?”


Clinton said impeachment proceedings could have been launched earlier against Trump, adding that she has “more than a passing familiarity professionally and personally” on such matters.

But Clinton praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for waiting to launch an impeachment inquiry despite criticism for doing so and pressure to move sooner.


“When Nancy repeatedly held the line, she was absolutely right because we had to build a case and we had to demonstrate as clearly as you could that the behavior threatened the security, the sovereignty, the integrity of our country and most particularly, our elections,” Clinton said.

“So [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff’s point that everybody should emphasize is that when you have a pattern of behavior that we saw in 2016 elections, once again being engaged in this election, it’s not a retrospective.

Former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton


“This is about what could happen in 2020, and I thought the House did a very professional, very careful job with it, and I’ve served with some of the Republicans who are still there in the Senate, and I find it absolutely beyond my understanding why they’re so cowed, so terrified to do what most of them know they should do.”

The GOP has been contacted for comment.


#Newsworthy…

Presidency did nothing wrong – Donald Trump’s Lawyer


President Donald Trump’s lawyers opened their impeachment trial defense on Saturday by asserting that he “did absolutely nothing wrong” when he asked Ukraine to investigate a political rival, Joe Biden. They accused Democratic prosecutors of omitting key evidence when they presented their case.


The president’s lawyers are pressing the Republican-led chamber to acquit Trump of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Trump’s legal team planned an aggressive, wide-ranging defense asserting an expansive view of presidential powers and portraying him as besieged by political opponents determined to undo the results of the 2016 election and ensure he won’t be reelected this November. The lawyers also aim to put Democrat Joe Biden on the defensive as he campaigns for the leadoff Iowa caucuses next month.


“They’re asking you not only to overturn the results of the last election, but as I’ve said before, they’re asking you to remove President Trump from an election that’s occurring in approximately nine months,” said White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. “They’re asking you to tear up all the ballots across this country on their own initiative.

The opening of the defense’s case comes after a three-day presentation by House Democrats. As they wrapped up on Friday, they asserted that Trump will persist in abusing his power and endangering American democracy unless Congress intervenes to remove him before the 2020 election. They also implored Republicans to allow new testimony to be heard before senators render a final verdict.


“Give America a fair trial,” said California Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead Democratic impeachment manager. “She’s worth it.”

Schiff closed Democrats’ case after methodical and impassioned arguments detailing charges that Trump abused power by asking Ukraine for politically motivated probes of political rivals, then obstructed Congress’ investigation into the matter. Trump’s lawyers contend Trump was within his rights as president when he asked Ukraine for the investigation.


House managers made the procession across the Capitol before the trial resumed Saturday to deliver the 28,578-page record of their impeachment case to the Senate.

The seven Democratic prosecutors peppered their arguments with video clips, email correspondence and lessons in American history. Republicans who found the presentation tedious and redundant can expect differences in tone and style from Trump’s lawyers, who planned to attack the impeachment as much on political as legal grounds.


“It’s really trying to remove the president from the ballot in 2020. They don’t trust the American people to make a decision,” attorney Jay Sekulow said.

Defense lawyers were expected to press the argument that Trump was a victim not only of Democratic outrage but also of overzealous agents and prosecutors. The lawyers probably will cite mistakes made by the FBI in its surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide in the now-concluded Russia investigation. In response to allegations that he invited foreign interference, they already have argued that it was no different from Hillary Clinton’s campaign’s use of a former British spy to gather opposition research on Trump in 2016.


Acquittal was likely, given that Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and a two-thirds vote would be required for conviction.

Trump, with his eyes on the audience beyond the Senate chamber, bemoaned the trial schedule in a tweet, saying it “looks like my lawyers will be forced to start on Saturday, which is called Death Valley in T.V.”


Arguments were scheduled for just a few hours Saturday in what defense lawyers called a sneak preview. They’ll continue Monday.

The president is being tried in the Senate after the House impeached him last month on charges he abused his office by asking Ukraine for the probes at the same time the administration withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. The second article of impeachment against Trump accuses him of obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe.


The Senate is heading next week toward a pivotal vote on Democratic demands for testimony from top Trump aides, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton, who refused to appear before the House. It would take four Republican senators to join the Democratic minority to seek witnesses, and so far the numbers appear lacking.

“This needs to end,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump confidant. He said he doesn’t want to hear from Bolton or from Joe Biden or his son Hunter. The younger Biden who served on a Ukraine gas company’s board.


Democrats on Friday tried to preempt anticipated arguments from Trump’s lawyers, attacking lines of defense as “laughable.”

Those include that Trump had a legitimate basis to be concerned about potential corruption in Ukraine and to pause military aid to the country. One of the president’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, was expected to argue that an impeachable offense requires criminal-like conduct, even though many legal scholars say that’s not true.


With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, the final day of the Democratic arguments opened with Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado, a former Army ranger, saying the only reason Trump eventually released his hold on the aid Ukraine desperately relied on to counter Russian aggression was because he had “gotten caught.”

“The scheme was unraveling,” Crow said. The money for Ukraine was put on hold after Trump’s July 25 call to Ukraine that launched the impeachment probe, and released Sept. 11 once Congress intervened.


Throughout the three days, Democrats balanced the legal and history lessons with plainspoken language about what they see as at stake: the security of U.S. elections, America’s place in the world and checks on presidential power. The Democrats argued that Trump’s motives were apparent, that he abused power like no other president in history, swept up by a “completely bogus” Ukraine theory pushed by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

“Let me tell you something. If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is,” Schiff said in an emotional plea to a pin-drop-quiet room. “If you find him guilty you must find that he should be removed. Because right matters.”


They argued that Trump’s abuse was for his own personal political benefit ahead of the 2020 election, even as administration officials were warning off the theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.

The Democrats’ challenge was clear as they tried to convince not just senators but an American public divided over the Republican president in an election year.


A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

One issue with wide agreement: Trump should allow top aides to appear as witnesses at the trial. About 7 in 10 respondents said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

After both sides have concluded their arguments next week, senators will face the question of whether to call witnesses to testify. But that issue seems all but settled. Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to get Trump aides, including Bolton and Mulvaney, to testify in back-to-back votes earlier this week.

As for the Ukraine connections, evidence has shown that Trump, with Giuliani, pursued investigations of the Bidens and sought the investigation of the debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.


#Newsworthy…

Climates change impossible under Trump’s watch – Barrack Obama


Barrack Obama expressed disappointment that fuel standards introduced under his tenure are being rolled back, telling audiences: “I instituted higher fuel-efficiency standards on cars, and the subsequent administration has now tried to actively reverse them.”


Obama made these comments on January 23 at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada, where he spoke at an event held by the Economic Club of Canada and the Global Institute for Conscious Economics. It is the first in a four-part series discussing new ways of thinking about the future of work.

As the Canadian press first reported, Obama revealed his frustration at seeing environmental policies introduced during his time at the White House be reversed by the current administration. The most recent example being the replacement of a 2015 rule redefining the “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), announced yesterday.


Referring to the Trump Administration’s roll-backs of fuel standards introduced when he was president, Obama said: “If we can’t even do that, where we’re going to say, ‘We’re not going to drive gas guzzlers’ when other countries don’t even have cars, then it’s going to be almost impossible to solve the problem.”

When it came to the discussing the climate crisis, Obama said a “surge of energy” is needed from citizens to place pressure on industry to take control of greenhouse gas emissions. He highlighted the part taken by the younger generation, who are taking up the environmental mantle of through student strikes and other forms of climate activism.


Greta Thunberg got a call-out, with Obama praising her ability to speak for a generation.

“Which is why you have somebody like a Greta Thunberg who gets so much traction,” he said. “Because she speaks for a generation that is going to have to deal with this mess in a way that somebody like me, who’s 58, is not going to have to deal with it.”


Obama previously praised Thunberg in a series of tweets celebrating “the courageous, committed young leaders” stepping up to save the planet on Earth Day.

“They’re people like 16-year-old @GretaThunberg, whose protests at Swedish parliament sparked a movement,” the former president said at the time. “Inspired by Greta’s action, Fridays for Future brought together more than a million strikers on every continent last month to demand action on climate.”


Obama also emphasized the role industrial countries have to play in helping developing countries so that they can “leapfrog our development models” and achieve a good living standard without harming the Earth.

“We have to figure out how do we give them the opportunity to enjoy a reasonable standard of living while still preserving the environment,” he said

He argued it was unreasonable to simply tell developing nations to stop emitting greenhouse gases after industrialized countries like the U.S. and Canada spent so long emitting their own.

At other points during the event, Obama touched on mental health and the skills needed to navigate the future economy—according to the former president, those include imagination, empathy and creativity. Newsweek has contacted the Economic Club of Canada for further details about Obama’s remarks

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#Newsworthy…

Donald Trump’s impeachment: House Managers file case


House impeachment managers will continue arguing their case for impeaching President Donald Trump on Thursday.

The seven Democrats serving as House impeachment managers, or prosecutors, started delivering their argument on Wednesday. Lead prosecutor Rep. Adam Schiff led the opening arguments, laying out the case he and other House Democrats built during the impeachment inquiry hearings late last year.


The prosecutors spoke for about eight hours combined on Wednesday. They get a total of 24 hours over the course of three days to present their case before President Trump’s legal team gets to present its case against impeachment. The defense is expected to start delivering arguments on Saturday.

Wednesday’s arguments started at 1 p.m. ET, less than 12 hours after a marathon day of debate on Tuesday over the rules and procedures for the trial. Senate convened at 12:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday to begin its debate and didn’t end up voting on the rules until nearly 2 a.m. Wednesday.

During that marathon debate, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed 11 amendments to the resolution introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The amendments proposed subpoenas for documents and testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. All 11 amendments were voted down along party lines.

Nexstar is bringing you complete coverage of the impeachment trial. Our coverage continues on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. ET with 8 On Your Side investigator and former New York City prosecutor Mahsa Saeidi and DC Correspondent Jessi Turnure


#Newsworthy…

Trump’s Impeachment trial: Democrats argue


Democratic House prosecutors made an expansive case Thursday at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial that he abused power like no other president in history, swept up by a “completely bogus” Ukraine theory pushed by attorney Rudy Giuliani.

On Friday, the Democrats will press their final day of arguments before skeptical Republican senators, focusing on the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress’ investigation.

As the audience of Senate jurors sat through another long day, and night, the prosecutors outlined the charge. They argued that Trump abused power for his own personal political benefit ahead of the 2020 election, even as the nation’s top FBI and national security officials were publicly warning off the theory that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election.


“That’s what Donald Trump wanted investigated or announced — this completely bogus Kremlin-pushed conspiracy theory,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who is leading the prosecution, during Thursday’s session.

At the close of the evening, Schiff made an emotional plea to senators to consider what was at stake as Trump is accused of seeking Ukrainian probes of political foe Joe Biden and Biden’s son while holding back congressionally approved military aid as leverage.


“Right matters,” he said, quoting Army officer Lt. Col. Alex Vindman who had testified in the House. “Otherwise we are lost.”

The president is facing trial in the Senate after the House impeached him last month, accusing Trump of abusing his office by asking Ukraine for the investigations while withholding the aid from a U.S. ally at war with bordering Russia. The second article of impeachment accuses him of obstructing Congress by refusing to turn over documents or allow officials to testify in the House probe.


Republicans, growing tired of the long hours of proceedings, have defended Trump’s actions as appropriate and cast the process as a politically motivated effort to weaken him in the midst of his reelection campaign. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, and acquittal is considered likely.

The Democrats’ challenge is clear as they try to convince not just fidgety senators but an American public divided over the Republican president in an election year.


With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, Democrats argued on Thursday that Trump’s motives were apparent.

“No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told the senators. He said the nation’s founders would be shocked. “The president’s conduct is wrong. It is illegal. It is dangerous.”


Democrats scoffed at Trump’s claim he had good reasons for pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Biden or other political foes.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia of Texas, herself a former judge, aid there is “no evidence, nothing, nada” to suggest that Biden did anything improper in dealings with Ukraine.


Trump, with Giuliani, pursued investigations of Biden and his son, Hunter, who served on a Ukrainian gas company’s board, and sought the probe of debunked theories of what nation was guilty of interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

On dual tracks, Democrats prosecuted their case while answering in advance the arguments expected from the president’s attorneys in the days ahead.


At one point, they showed video of a younger Lindsey Graham, then a South Carolina congressman and now a GOP senator allied with Trump, arguing during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment that no crime was needed for impeaching a president. Trump’s defense team is now arguing that the impeachment articles against him are invalid because they do not allege he committed a specific crime.

The president’s defenders’ turn will come Saturday.


“We will be putting on a vigorous defense of both facts, rebutting what they said,” and the Constitution, said attorney Jay Sekulow.

Ahead of the day’s proceedings, Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said the Democrats were putting forward “admirable presentations.” But he said, “There’s just not much new here.”


During the dinner break, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said it seemed like “Groundhog Day in the Senate.”

The top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, acknowledged that many senators “really don’t want to be here.”


But Schumer said Schiff has been outlining a compelling case that many Republicans are hearing it for only the first time. He contended they can’t help but be “glued” to his testimony.

Once reluctant to take on impeachment during an election year, Democrats are now marching toward a decision by the Senate that the American public also will judge.


Trump blasted the proceedings in a Thursday tweet, declaring them the “Most unfair & corrupt hearing in Congressional history!”

After the House prosecutors finish, the president’s lawyers will have as long as 24 hours. It’s unclear how much time they will actually take, but Trump’s team is not expected to finish Saturday, according to a person unauthorized to discuss the planning and granted anonymity. The Senate is expected to take only Sunday off and push into next week.


After that senators will face the question of whether they do, or do not, want to call witnesses to testify.

Senators were permitted Thursday to review supplemental testimony submitted by an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, Jennifer Williams, who was among those who had concerns about Trump’s actions. Democrats said the testimony, which is classified, bolsters their impeachment case. A lawyer for Williams declined to comment.


Holding the room’s attention has been difficult for the Democrats, but senators seemed to pay closer mind to Schiff’s testimony that grew dramatic.

Most senators, even Republicans, sat at their desks throughout the afternoon session, as the rules stipulate, and not as many of them were yawning or standing to stretch as during the previous long nights.


To help senators pass the time, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr of North Carolina, passed out lunch favors of fidget spinners, stress balls and other toys.

Democrats thanked the senators for their time and patience, acknowledging the repetition of some of their presentations.


The impeachment trial is set against the backdrop of the 2020 election. Four senators who are Democratic presidential candidates are off the campaign trail, seated as jurors.

A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research showed the public slightly more likely to say the Senate should convict and remove Trump from office than to say it should not, 45% to 40%. But a sizable percentage, 14%, said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion.

One issue with wide agreement: Trump should allow top aides to appear as witnesses at the trial. About 7 in 10 said so, including majorities of Republicans and Democrats, according to the poll.

The strategy of more witnesses, though, seemed all but settled. Republicans rejected Democratic efforts to get Trump aides including former national security adviser John Bolton and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to testify in back-to-back votes earlier this week.

Senators were likely to repeat that rejection next week.


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment trial: Opening arguments expected after 12 hours of debate


The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Tuesday to reject proposals to subpoena new witnesses and documents for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

Now that the rules and procedures have been approved, the trial will begin in earnest with opening arguments expected Wednesday afternoon.


The Senate spent more than 12 hours debating the rules and procedures of the impeachment trial. The debate started Tuesday afternoon but bled into the early-morning hours of Wednesday with a vote to approve the proposed resolution not happening until about 2 a.m. ET.

The resolution filed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell states that the seven House managers will have 24 hours to present its case over the course of three days. The president’s legal team will then have 24 hours over the course of three to present the defense.

U.S President, Donald Trump


The majority of the hours in the court on Tuesday were spent debating amendments to the resolution that were proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. A total of 11 amendments were proposed to subpoena new documents and witnesses to get more information on a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. All of the proposed amendments were voted down along party lines.

Nexstar is bringing you complete coverage of the impeachment trial. Our coverage continues on Wednesday at 12:50 p.m. ET with Digital Anchor JB Biunno, Political Reporter Evan Donovan and DC Correspondent Jessi Turnure.


#Newsworthy…

Trump’s Impeachment trial: US Senate adopt ground rules


The US Senate has adopted ground rules for President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, after nearly 13 hours of rancorous debate on day one.

Democratic prosecutors clashed with Mr Trump’s lawyers over the process, while Republicans rejected Democratic demands for more witnesses to be called.


The trial will resume on Wednesday with arguments by the prosecution, to be followed by the defence and questions.

Mr Trump is the third US president to face an impeachment trial.


He is charged with abuse of power and obstructing the congressional impeachment inquiry. He has denied wrongdoing and accused Democrats of trying to unseat him for political reasons.

“I’d love to go and sit in the front row and stare at their corrupt faces,” he told reporters at a hastily arranged press conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday. But he said his lawyers might have a problem with that.


‘No crime, no impeachment’ – is that true?
Trump impeachment trial: All you need to know
Mr Trump is on trial after he was impeached last month by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. But the Senate, which is controlled by his fellow Republicans, is not expected to convict and remove him from office.


The president is attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he again dismissed the accusations against him as “a total hoax”.

On the question of whether new witnesses would be called to the trial, he said he would leave that to senators to decide, but the White House has actively worked to block the appearance of certain officials.


Democrats have made it clear they wish to hear testimony from the former National Security Adviser, John Bolton. The Trump administration has said evidence from Mr Bolton would pose a national security threat – a claim dismissed by Democrats as a smokescreen.

What happens now?
Senators have taken oaths to act as impartial jurors in a trial presided over by US Chief Justice John Roberts. House Democrats known as “impeachment managers” act as the prosecution, while Mr Trump’s legal team acts as the defence.


Media captionTrump impeachment trial: Five possible twists ahead
Under the rules approved by the Republican majority after a first day of proceedings that finished close to 02:00 local time (07:00 GMT), each side will be given up to 24 hours to lay out their case in opening arguments, over three days.

Senators are barred from live tweeting and from speaking to those sitting near them while the case is being heard. No outside reading materials are allowed to be brought in.


Opening arguments will begin on Wednesday afternoon. After this finishes, probably early next week, senators will have a chance to ask questions. They have been given 16 hours. Then attention will return again to the key issue of new witnesses and evidence.

Democrats want to hear from key White House aides who worked closely with Mr Trump, including acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Mr Bolton. Republicans have so far blocked their attempts.


How were Democrats blocked on Tuesday?
By party-line votes of 53-47, the Senate rejected a series of Democratic bids to obtain documents and evidence in the impeachment trial. Senators blocked a motion from Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to subpoena White House files related to Mr Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

They also rejected follow-up motions demanding a subpoena of records and documents from the state department and White House budget office. Republican Senators turned back an effort by Democrats to subpoena Mr Bolton, who has said he would comply with any such order.


Media captionA beginner’s guide to impeachment and Trump
In his opening statement, Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment case, said most Americans “do not believe there will be a fair trial”.

“They don’t believe the Senate will be impartial,” he said. “They believe the result is pre-cooked.”


The president’s legal team had earlier demanded he be immediately acquitted, calling the trial “a dangerous perversion of the constitution”.

At one point during bitter arguments, Justice Roberts admonished both the House prosecutors and the Trump legal team, asking them to remember that they were “addressing the world’s greatest deliberative body”.


How did Mitch McConnell come under pressure?
Backed by the president’s lawyers, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had initially planned to condense the opening arguments from three days to two. Democrats said this would have been no less than a cover-up.

But after a meeting with senators, including some Republicans, Mr McConnell agreed on Tuesday to three days for opening arguments.


The Trump impeachment story explained
Trump impeachment – your questions answered
The senators had expressed concern about how middle-of-the-night sessions would look to US voters. But White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer, had called the plan “a fair process”. Several more days of procedural tangles are expected.

What are the charges?
First, the president is accused of seeking help from Ukraine’s government to help himself get re-elected in November.

U.S President, Donald Trump


It is claimed that, during a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he held back military aid as he sought an anti-corruption investigation into Democratic White House candidate Joe Biden, whose son, Hunter, held a board position with a Ukrainian energy firm, Burisma.

Media captionWhat’s Ukraine got to do with the Trump impeachment?
The second allegation is that, by refusing to allow White House staff to testify at the impeachment hearings last year, Mr Trump obstructed Congress. The Senate is hearing the case as the Democratic-led House voted to impeach Mr Trump on 18 December.


#Newsworthy…

Donald Trump’s impeachment trial begin today

...as he visit davos

.. presidency confident


An apparently confident US President Donald Trump left Washington Monday for the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland as his historic impeachment trial begins in earnest today in the Senate.

The Democrats are calling for his removal from office, while Republican senators are determined to acquit him — and quickly, if possible.


Four months after the Ukraine scandal exploded and went on to overshadow the end of Trump’s term, and 10 months before Americans go to the polls to decide whether to re-elect him, the 100 members of the Senate will gather at 1 PM (1800 GMT) with chief justice John Roberts presiding over the trial.

The job of these lawmakers, sworn in last week as jurors, is to decide if Trump abused his office and obstructed Congress as charged in two articles of impeachment approved last month by the House of Representatives.


They state that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 US election to help him win, and then tried to thwart a congressional probe of his behavior.

It will be only the third time a president has endured an impeachment trial, after Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999.


Part of the scandal centres on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump’s potential opponent in the November vote.

Democrats, who control the House of Representatives and led the investigation, accuse Trump of manipulating Ukraine by withholding nearly $400 million in military aid for its war against Russian-backed separatists and a White House meeting for Zelensky until the latter announced a Biden probe.


“The president did nothing wrong,” Trump’s lawyers responded in a 110-page brief submitted to the Senate on Monday.

This echoes the repeated assertions of the 73-year-old real estate magnate that the saga is a political witch hunt and a hoax, and that his phone call with the Ukrainian leader was “perfect.”


In the president’s brief, his 12-man legal team contested the very idea of his impeachment.

They called the two articles of impeachment — approved largely along party lines in the Democratic-controlled House — the product of “a rigged process” and “constitutionally deficient on their face” because they involved no violation of established law.


That team, which has recruited high profile lawyers such as Kenneth Starr, who tried to bring down Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky, said in the brief, “The Senate should reject the Articles of Impeachment and acquit the president immediately.”

“President Trump abused the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal political gain, thereby jeopardising our national security, the integrity of our elections, and our democracy,” the House managers said Saturday in a memorandum.


They said the president’s behaviour “is the Framers’ worst nightmare,” referring to the authors of the US Constitution, and that Trump deserves to be removed from office.

But Trump looks almost certain to be acquitted because of the 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate.

US President Donald Trump


The first order of business Tuesday will be to set the rules, such as how long they will hear the arguments of the House managers, or prosecutors; how long they will hear the defense; the time allotted for questions, submitted by the senators but read by Roberts; and whether they will call witnesses or seek other evidence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell late Monday proposed rules calling for each side to have 24 hours over two days to present their arguments. That makes for long trial days stretching late into the night but is a significantly quicker pace than in Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999. The chamber will debate and vote on the proposed rules Tuesday.


#Newsworthy…

Lawyers present defense for Donald Trump’s impeachment


President Donald Trump’s legal team presented Saturday its line of defense for his upcoming impeachment trial, a process they dismissed as unconstitutional and “dangerous.”

It was the first time the team presented its arguments, modeled on those put forward since December by Trump and his fellow Republicans.


White House counsel Pat Cipollone will be lead lawyer, backed by Trump’s personal attorney Jay Sekulow. They will be joined by Ken Starr, who was at the center of Bill Clinton’s impeachment in the 1990s, and celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

In an initial response to the president being charged, written by Cipollone and Sekulow, the defense said that the articles of impeachment — passed by the majority-Democrat House of Representatives — “are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president.”


“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election,” the team said in a statement.

Trump has been impeached on charges that he abused his office to try and force Ukraine into digging up dirt on leading Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden by withholding $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky.


He was also impeached for allegedly obstructing Congress.

“The articles of impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever,” the defense team said.


In a call with reporters earlier Saturday, a source close to Trump’s legal team said the articles violate the Constitution because they are “the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the president any due process rights.”

The impeachment process risks doing “lasting damage to our structure of government,” the source said.


The sources added that Trump had met with Zelensky at the UN in September and that the military aid had been released, proving there was no quid pro quo with Kiev — although by that point, a whistle-blower within the administration had already triggered the impeachment proceedings.

The House managers, or prosecutors in the impeachment trial, filed their official brief on Saturday, in which they said that Trump’s conduct “is the Framers’ worst nightmare,” referring to the authors of the US Constitution.

President Donald Trump


“The case against the President of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming,” the managers said in a joint statement after filing the brief.

“President Trump abused the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal political gain, thereby jeopardizing our national security, the integrity of our elections, and our democracy.”


#Newsworthy…

Democrats submit Donald Trump’s impeachment 60-pages file


The Democratic U.S. lawmakers leading the impeachment case against Republican President Donald Trump said on Saturday the president must be removed from office to protect national security and preserve the country’s system of government.

In a 60-page brief filed ahead of a Saturday deadline, the lawmakers laid out their arguments supporting charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president.

“The Senate should convict and remove President Trump to avoid serious and long term damage to our democratic values and the nation’s security,” the lawmakers said, for the first time formally calling for the Senate to convict the president and remove him from office.


“The case against the president of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming,” they said.

Trump’s legal team issued a resounding rejection of the House of Representatives’ impeachment, calling the charges a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president.”


“This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election — now just months away,” they argued in a six-page document released on Saturday.

It was the first time Trump had formally addressed the merits of the two articles of impeachment – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – that the Democratic-led House approved late last year.


The two articles, aimed at ousting Trump from office, form the basis of a trial that will begin in earnest on Tuesday in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Trump and Democratic lawmakers offered duelling arguments about the politically polarizing impeachment case involving Trump’s attempt to persuade Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden last year.


“President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment,” the Trump lawyers’ document said. (For full document see here)

As well as the charge of abuse of office for pressuring Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, Trump is also accused of obstructing Congress in its investigation into his conduct.


“An acquittal would also provide license to President Trump and his successors to use taxpayer dollars for personal political ends,” the Democratic lawmakers’ brief said.

Trump has denied wrongdoing and has accused Democrats of a partisan-driven effort to undo his 2016 election victory.

The Senate trial is unlikely to lead to Trump’s ouster, as no Republican senators have voiced support for doing so.

Republican President Donald Trump


The Trump lawyers, in their document, argued that Trump acted at all times with full constitutional legal authority, said one of three sources close to Trump’s legal team who briefed reporters on a conference call on Saturday.

“We will take the facts head on and we believe that the facts will prove, and have proven, that the president did absolutely nothing wrong,” the source said.


#Newsworthy…

Consensus shifting over Donald Trump’s impeachment trial


Consensus is shifting away from Republican dominated US Senate on how to handle the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the third of such trial in US history.

The latest crack was punched by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who said on Thursday that it’s “likely” she will support calling witnesses after the initial phase of the impeachment trial.

She however said she has not yet made a decision on any particular individual, unlike Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who had said that he wants to hear from former national security adviser, John Bolton.


“While I need to hear the case argued and the questions answered, I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999,” Collins said in a statement.

Collins is viewed as a crucial swing vote in the Senate impeachment trial, particularly on the procedural fights over whether or not additional witnesses should be called or documents handed over, NobleReporters learnt

The rules resolution, which has not yet been unveiled, is expected to include a built-in vote after opening arguments and questions from senators on whether or not additional evidence is needed. Collins, who is up for reelection in 2020, worked to get that language included in the resolution.

Democrats need four Republicans to support their request for witnesses.


#Newsworthy…

Senate announces impeachment trial date for Donald Trump


The impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump in the Senate is likely to begin next week Tuesday with key players sworn in later this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.

McConnell said he expected the House of Representatives to deliver the articles of impeachment against Trump to the upper chamber today.


“We believe that if that happens — in all likelihood — we’ll go through preliminary steps here this week which could well include the chief justice coming over and swearing in members of the Senate and some other kinds of housekeeping measures,” McConnell told reporters.

“We hope to achieve that by consent which would set us up to begin the actual trial next Tuesday.”


Trump faces charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, and the 100 senators will be his judge.

On Thursday or Friday this week, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to be sworn in to preside over the trial, which should last at least two weeks, and could run through mid-February.


Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, called for a fair trial and demanded the Senate subpoena witnesses and documents from the White House that will be crucial in the trial.

“The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial… The president and the senators will be held accountable,” she added.


Trump will become only the third president in US history to go on trial, risking his removal from office.

But his conviction is highly unlikely, given Republicans’ 53-47 control of the Senate, and the high two-thirds vote threshold required to find him guilty.


But both parties were girding for tense weeks of hearings that could lay bare the US leader’s alleged wrongdoing to the American public on live television.

Pelosi attacked suggestions by Trump and some of his supporters that the Senate, as soon as the trial opens, vote to dismiss the charges. That would only require a majority vote.


“A dismissal is a cover-up,” she charged.

McConnell, however, pushed back against suggestions that he would try to prevent the trial from going ahead.


“There’s little or no sentiment for a motion to dismiss. Our members feel that we have an obligation to listen the arguments,” he said.

Trump was impeached on December 18 when the House voted to formally charge him with abusing his power by illicitly seeking help from Ukraine for his reelection campaign.

He is accused of holding up aid to Ukraine to pressure Kiev to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Trump is also charged with obstruction for holding back witnesses and documents from the House impeachment investigation in defiance of Congressional subpoenas.


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment: Donald Trump goes after democrats


U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrats on Saturday over his impeachment by the House and a delayed trial in the Senate.

In a string of tweets, Trump called the impeachment a partisan “hoax,” while claiming his innocence and criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who initiated an inquiry in September 2019 that led to his impeachment.


“New polling shows that the totally partisan Impeachment Hoax is going nowhere. A vast majority want the Do Nothing Democrats to move on to other things now!” Trump wrote.

Trump made the remarks a day after Pelosi, who has withheld articles of Trump’s impeachment, announced a plan on Friday to deliver them to the Senate, a key step for the trial to kick off.


“I will be consulting with you at our Tuesday House Democratic Caucus meeting on how we proceed further,” Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in a letter.

Pressure is building up on Pelosi, who is trying to give Democrats more leverage in setting rules for the trial in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow majority.


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has so far rejected Democrats’ proposals, as he has garnered enough votes to move forward with the trial.

The Democrat-led House impeached Trump last month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, charges the White House has refuted.


In an anonymous complaint last summer, a whistle-blower raised concerns about the White House’s interactions with Ukraine, resulting in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against Trump.

The president was alleged to have pressed his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, into launching investigations that could politically benefit him. Furthermore, the White House allegedly tried to cover it up.


According to the nation’s Constitution, the House shall have the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.

Conviction can only happen in the Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favor after a trial. Currently, the Senate has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents.

The timeline for the Senate trial mostly depends on the House’s actions next week.

Senators could be sworn in as soon as Thursday for the impeachment trial, according to CNN, citing Senate aides.

But the trial, with arguments on the floor, probably won’t begin until days after that.


#Newsworthy…

File Trump’s Impeachment Articles Now Or You Will Be Scrapped Of Powers – Senate tells Nancy Pelosi


Following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to withhold sending Articles of impeachment to the senate since Donald Trump’s infamous impeachment by the House in December 2019, Senate Judiciary committee leader and staunch Trump ally, Lindsey Graham has warned Pelosi to submit the articles of impeachment to the senate this week or the senate will create new rules that will absolve her of any powers in the impeachment process.

Senate Judiciary leader tells Nancy Pelosi to submit impeachment articles this week, or new laws will be created to remove her powers in impeachment process


Trump was impeached by the US House following votes along party lines last month, but Pelosi has refused sending the articles to the senate for a trial, saying she will only send it when she is assured of a ‘fair’ trial by the Senate, meaning technically Trump is not impeached, because articles of impeachment must be sent to the senate, before a President is said to be impeached.

Graham accused Pelosi of playing political games by exerting control over the Senate trial by keeping it from starting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recognized Friday on the Senate floor the chamber’s rules prevented him from doing anything until Pelosi does her part.


“What I would do, if she continues to refuse to send the articles as required by the Constitution, I would work with Senator McConnell to change the rules of the Senate so we could start the trial without her, if necessary,” Graham proposed on Fox News.

When asked how long he would wait before taking this step, Graham replied, “Days, not weeks.”


“Well, we’re not going to let Nancy Pelosi use the rules of the Senate to her advantage. This is dangerous to the presidency as an institution,” Graham said. “They impeached the president, but the speaker of the House is holding the articles back, trying to extort from the majority leader of the Senate a trial to her liking. They’re trying to hold these articles over the head of the president.”

“We’ll use the Clinton model, where you take the record established in the House, let the House managers appointed by Pelosi make the argument, let the president make his argument why the two articles are flawed, and then we’ll decide whether we want witnesses. But this should be done in a couple of weeks,” he said.

Graham said he hoped that the impeachment trial ends before the end of January, even if it means the senate pushing Pelosi out of the equation.

“If we don’t get the articles this week, then we need to take matters in our own hands and change the rules, deem them to be delivered to the Senate so we can start the trial, invite the House over to participate if they would like,” he said. ‘If they don’t come, dismiss the case and get on with governing the country.”


#Newsworthy…