GOP PAC ‘WinRed’ sees a 300% jump in anti-impeachment related donations

President Donald Trump arrives at W.K. Kellogg Airport to attend a campaign rally, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Battle Creek, Mich., on the same day the House of Representatives voted to impeach him. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

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UPDATED 1:45 PM PT — Monday, January 6, 2020

Voters against impeachment are dishing out cash to voice their support for President Trump. In a series of tweets Monday, GOP PAC ‘WinRed‘ announced it raised $101 million in the second half of 2019, including nearly $35 million raised after the House’s October 31st vote to begin impeachment proceedings.

The group claims anti-impeachment-related fundraising efforts garnered 300 percent more donations when compared to its non-impeachment related fundraisers. As a result, the group said their average donation amount jumped 176 percent before the end of 2019.

The numbers come as a welcome mark of success for the newly launched PAC, which opened in late June of last year. The Republican National Committee and White House’s grassroots fundraising platform is advertised to be the end-all-be-all for Republican lawmakers and causes.

The group said the ongoing impeachment process kick-started an amazing outpouring of support and momentum for the PAC. In comparison to its Democrat rival ‘ActBlue,’ WinRed‘ raised more money in its first quarter than ‘ActBlue‘ in its first three and a half years of operation.

In that time, ‘WinRed‘ reported it received $30 million in donations with an average contribution of $46 versus ‘ActBlue‘s’ reported $29.9 million earned between 2004 and 2008. ‘WinRed‘s’ funds will be used to support President Trump reelection bid as well as other GOP 2020 campaigns.

RELATED: Tulsi Gabbard Says Democrat Impeachment Vote Will Help Republicans In 2020 Election

Original Article

Trump says Stone and Flynn faced ‘very unfair’ treatment, amid pardon speculation

closePresident Trump on North Korea, Roger Stone, impeachment impasse on Capitol HillVideo

President Trump on North Korea, Roger Stone, impeachment impasse on Capitol Hill

Trump takes questions from reporters in Florida.

President Trump expressed sympathy Tuesday toward former associates Roger Stone and Michael Flynn over what he called their "very unfair" treatment as they await sentencing in their criminal cases — amid speculation over whether he might consider pardons in connection with the Russia investigation he calls a "witch hunt."

Stone's sentencing for crimes including witness tampering, obstruction and providing false statements to Congress is currently set for Feb. 20, 2020. He faces up to 50 years in prison. When asked about getting involved, Trump was noncommittal.

HOUSE DEMS RAISE PROSPECT OF NEW IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES IN COURT BATTLE OVER MCGAHN TESTIMONY

"Am I going to pardon him? Well, I hadn't thought of it," Trump told reporters Tuesday morning in Florida after a Christmas Eve call with troops stationed around the world. "I think it's very tough what they did to Roger Stone compared to what they do to other people on their side."

Trump went on to distance his campaign from Stone, whose conviction stems from communications related to WikiLeaks and their release of Democratic emails that were hacked by Russia.

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone found guilty on all countsVideo

"You know Roger Stone was not involved in my campaign in any way, other than the very, very beginning before I think … long before I announced," Trump said. Stone left the campaign in the summer of 2015, although former senior Trump campaign member Rick Gates testified at Stone's trial that he overheard a phone conversation between Stone and Trump in July 2016.

"He’s a good person, and what they did to him was very unfair, in my opinion, and what they did to General Flynn is very unfair in my opinion," Trump went on, referring to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is awaiting a Jan. 28, 2020 sentencing for lying to investigators. Flynn reached a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty and cooperating with authorities in cases related to the Russia probe. But his sentencing has been repeatedly delayed, his defenders say he was mistreated by the FBI and his lawyer has been fighting back in court.

Another Trump associate, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, is also the subject of pardon speculation after a state case against him in New York was dismissed on double jeopardy grounds. Presidential pardon power does not extend to state cases, but with that no longer hanging over Manafort's head for now, Trump could theoretically pardon him for his federal convictions for financial crimes related to work done in Ukraine.

The president was quick to remind reporters Tuesday that the Flynn and Stone cases spun out of the Russia investigation, which was recently revealed in a Justice Department Inspector General's report to have had significant evidentiary errors and omissions related to the FBI's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Flynn hearing canceled after brief allegedly reveals FBI manipulated interview recordsVideo

Trump referred to the FBI officials involved in the controversy as "dirty cops," and expressed a strong desire to fight back against them.

“These were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people and I hope that some day I’m going to consider it my greatest or one of my greatest achievements, getting rid of them. Because we have no place in our country for people like that," Trump said.

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House Democrats indicated in court filings Monday that they may still use information related to the Russia investigation to add new articles of impeachment, if they can secure the testimony of former White House Counsel Don McGahn and the release of grand jury information from Mueller's probe. In the meantime, the two articles of impeachment already approved by the House remain in limbo as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to deliver them to the Senate. Both she and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., claim they are waiting for the other to take action so the process can move forward, with McConnell stating they are at an "impasse."

Trump said of Pelosi on Tuesday: "She hates the Republican Party. She hates all of the people that voted for me and the Republican Party."

Also during his discussion with reporters, Trump addressed the looming threat of what officials have called a possible "Christmas gift" from North Korea.

When asked if he is concerned about whether this may be a long-range missile test by Kim Jong Un's regime, Trump said, "We'll see what happens. Let's see. Maybe it's a nice present, maybe it's a present where he sends me a beautiful vase as opposed to a missile test … you never know."

Original Article

AOC rips Trump, defends socialism in Spanish-language interview: ‘If president thinks I’m crazy, that’s a good thing’

closeFox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 24Video

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 24

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 24 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com

If President Trump thinks she's crazy, "I think that's a good thing," U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said Sunday in an interview for Spanish-language television.

Speaking with "Noticias Telemundo” in Las Vegas, where the freshman congresswoman hosted a Spanish-language town hall for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez also claimed Trump is "afraid of women" — most notably "strong" and "Latina" women.

“If the president thinks that I’m crazy, I think that’s a good thing because I think it would be a problem if he said he agrees with my ideas because he has many problems,” Ocasio-Cortez told Noticias Telemundo’s Correspondent Guadalupe Venegas. “He’s racist, he’s anti-immigrant, but more than just that — his administration is corrupt. I think he’s afraid of women – of strong women, of Latina women. The values of the president are very backward.”

“If the president thinks that I’m crazy, I think that’s a good thing because I think it would be a problem if he said he agrees with my ideas because he has many problems.”

— U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

AOC RAILS AGAINST BUTTIGIEG FOR BEING 'FUNDED BY BILLIONAIRES' AFTER ACCEPTING CAMPAIGN DONATION FROM TOM STEYER

In October, Trump called Ocasio-Cortez a “Wack Job” on Twitter, to which she retorted "Better than being a criminal who betrays our country.” The social media spat came as the White House refused to comply with the impeachment inquiry by the Democrat-led House.

Ocasio-Cortez admitted Trump never explicitly told her he fears Latina women, but she claimed he’s demonstrated his fears in Twitter messages and in his State of the Union address back in February.

When asked about concerns that she and Sanders endorse socialism, Ocasio-Cortez sought to make a distinction between what’s viewed as socialism in the United States and in other countries. Venegas referenced Venezuela – where socialist policies, implemented by dictators Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, have forced more than 4 million people to flee an economic and humanitarian crisis in the country since the end of 2015, according to figures released by the UN Refugee Agency.

“When the president or other people want to say this, the first I say is look at the politics, the proposals because we’re not advocating for complete control of the economy. We’re talking about basic human economic rights – education, health care, a worthy salary,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Here in the United States, those values are called 'socialism.' And for me, that’s a commentary on the present moment in the United States. Things that are human rights are called socialism. It’s very different what we’re seeing here and in other countries.”

Ocasio-Cortez said she supports Sanders because “he understands that this isn’t a campaign about a person. It’s a campaign about our movement for working families in the United States.” She said she’ll ultimately support whichever candidate receives the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination because “we have to get this president out of office.”

“It’s not good for a country as diverse as the United States to have such an intolerant president,” she added.

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Ocasio-Cortez hosted an event in Las Vegas called “Unidos Con Bernie Reunión Política con Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” on Sunday. Nevada will host the third Democratic nominating contest in February following a primary in New Hampshire and a caucus in Iowa early next year. Sanders is dispatching Ocasio-Cortez, who endorsed him for the White House in October, to appeal to Nevada’s large Latino electorate and position himself ahead of his progressive rival, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Original Article

Trump has ‘respect’ for Tulsi Gabbard voting ‘present’ on impeachment

close2020 hopeful Tulsi Gabbard bashes Democratic party in AtlantaVideo

2020 hopeful Tulsi Gabbard bashes Democratic party in Atlanta

GOP strategist Holly Turner and Democratic strategist Kevin Chavous react to Democratic debate.

President Trump lauded Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for voting “present” on the two articles of impeachment approved last week in the Democratic-controlled House.

“I give her respect. She didn’t vote the other day. I give her a lot of respect. Because she knew it was wrong. She took a pass,” Trump said during a speech Saturday to the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Fla.

TULSI GABBARD VOTES PRESENT ON TRUMP IMPEACHMENT

Gabbard, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said she voted against impeachment because it did not have bipartisan support.

“Trump is guilty of wrongdoing,” the Hawaii Democrat said in a statement after the vote. “I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”

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Original Article

Trump accuses Pelosi of ‘crying for fairness’ in Senate trial after ‘unfair’ House impeachment

closeSen. Mitch McConnell calls Nancy Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachment an 'absurd position'Video

Sen. Mitch McConnell calls Nancy Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachment an 'absurd position'

Speaker Pelosi seems to think she can dictate the rules of a Senate impeachment trial, says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

President Trump slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday for making demands of the Senate regarding his upcoming trial as she sits on two impeachment articles, accusing her of "crying for fairness" after leading an "unfair" process in the House.

Throughout the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, Trump and fellow Republicans criticized elements of the process — including the initial closed-door sessions with witnesses, an invitation for him to participate in a hearing while he was overseas, and the decision to cite the president's assertion of executive privilege as evidence of obstruction as opposed to battling it out in court.

MCCONNELL RIPS PELOSI FOR IMPEACHMENT DELAY, SAYS DEMS 'AFRAID' TO TRANSMIT 'SHODDY' ARTICLES

"Pelosi gives us the most unfair trial in the history of the U.S. Congress, and now she is crying for fairness in the Senate, and breaking all rules while doing so," Trump tweeted Monday morning. "She lost Congress once, she will do it again!"

Both chambers of Congress are engaged in an unusual battle over the next steps in the historic process after the House accused Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for his actions concerning Ukraine, in the third-ever impeachment of an American president.

Pelosi is now indicating she will not turn over the articles of impeachment to the Senate or name impeachment managers until the upper chamber announces the process of how the trial will be conducted.

Coinciding with that position, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has demanded that the Senate be allowed to subpoena documents and witnesses who did not appear before the House. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., responded by saying that the Senate's role is not to do what the House failed to do during what he has called "the most rushed, least thorough, and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history."

PELOSI STANDS BY DELAY IN SENDING IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES TO SENATE, CALLS MCCONNELL A 'ROGUE LEADER'

Pelosi fired back Monday morning, tweeting: "The House cannot choose our impeachment managers until we know what sort of trial the Senate will conduct. President Trump blocked his own witnesses and documents from the House, and from the American people, on phony complaints about the House process. What is his excuse now?"

Pelosi has also faced criticism for pushing House Democrats to pursue articles of impeachment on a tight timetable, only to drop that sense of urgency after the final vote. McConnell has accused her and fellow Democrats of getting "cold feet."

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., defended Pelosi on "Fox News Sunday," noting that President Bill Clinton was impeached in mid-December and managers were not appointed until Jan. 6 of the following year after the House returned from the holiday break. She suggested that the current process would not move any faster, even if Pelosi took swift action.

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Earlier on the show, Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Pence, claimed that Pelosi would ultimately move forward and allow the Senate to conduct a trial.

"She will yield, there's no way she can hold this position," he predicted.

Original Article

Chief Justice Roberts poised for starring role in a Trump impeachment trial

closeExamining the role of Chief Justice John Roberts in a Senate impeachment trialVideo

Examining the role of Chief Justice John Roberts in a Senate impeachment trial

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts would fill the unique role of presiding over a Senate impeachment trial of President Trump; David Spunt reports.

Just hours after House Democrats began their impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Chief Justice John Roberts seemed to anticipate the partisan storm headed his way.

"When you live in a polarized political environment, people tend to see everything in those terms," Roberts said in September. "That’s not how we at the court function and the results in our cases do not suggest otherwise."

MCCARTHY SUGGESTS JORDAN, COLLINS AND RATCLIFFE REPRESENT TRUMP DURING SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

Now, with a Senate trial of the president possibly set to launch next month – depending on if and when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi transmits the articles – the man at the center of the highest court, both ideologically and figuratively, is poised to preside over proceedings.

President Trump accepts invite from Speaker Pelosi to deliver State of the Union addressVideo

The unique assignment is dictated by the Constitution. With Roberts at the helm, it would mark one of the few times the highest levels of the three branches collide in a political fight – one that may last only weeks, but whose effects can ripple for decades.

And given simmering tensions between Trump and Roberts, the chief justice's conduct in this role would be closely watched by both parties.

Sources say Roberts will be ready, having quietly reached out to associates in recent weeks over the role he would play in managing the trial. He may rely on the Rehnquist Model: how former Chief Justice William Rehnquist deftly handled the 1999 impeachment trial of President Clinton.

"Chief Justice Rehnquist did bring a sort of solemnity to the occasion or a seriousness that tried to sort of tamp down maybe on politics and really focus on the facts of the case," said Robert Schaffer, who was a Rehnquist law clerk during that momentous court term.

Despite voting as a member of the high court a year earlier to allow a sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton to proceed — which set the subsequent impeachment process in motion — there was no real objection to having Rehnquist preside. The Paula Jones case led to Clinton being tried over perjury and obstruction of justice, for his later statements made under oath where he denied an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Senate poised to hold only its third impeachment trialVideo

But like the Clinton proceedings, the script of the Trump trial may already be set before Roberts ever gavels the spectacle to order.

Senate leaders — both Republicans and Democrats — are working to finalize the trial length, testimony and exact role of the president's counsel. And it will be lawmakers — the "jury," in effect — who would establish the exact rules of trial, not the judge.

"[Rehnquist] was content to allow the Senate to control its own procedures," said Schaffer. "And really, he viewed himself as a guest of the Senate during the impeachment trial."

But that does not mean Roberts would be marginalized. Rehnquist issued important rulings guiding senators on impeachment procedures.

And he spoke from experience, writing a 1992 history book on the 1868 impeachment of Andrew Johnson, "Grand Inquests."

"The importance of the acquittal [of President Andrew Johnson] can hardly be overstated," Rehnquist wrote, something Trump today might approve. "With respect to the Chief Executive, it has meant that as to the policies he sought to pursue, he would be answerable only to the country as a whole in the quadrennial Presidential elections, and not to Congress through the process of impeachment.”

When it was done, Rehnquist described his role, by using a line from a favorite Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, "I did nothing in particular, and I did it very well."

Roberts Rules

Now Roberts, who was once a law clerk to Rehnquist, gets his turn at history.

A hybrid between a courtroom trial and a legislative debate, Senate impeachment trials mix ceremony and substance.

The chief justice of the United States would be sworn in first, then the senators. He would wear his judicial robes at every public session, from the seat normally reserved for the presiding officer. And he would be tasked with maintaining order with the chamber's traditional handle-less ivory gavel.

Roberts' main role would be to make any rulings on procedure raised by senators, the House impeachment managers or the president's counsel. But while he could decide on evidentiary questions or objections, the chief could choose to have senators instead vote on those matters. Or the lawmakers could override any Roberts rulings with a majority vote.

And since the senators are not allowed to speak, any questions they submit in writing would be read aloud by the judge.

The chief's main power may be in breaking any tie votes. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase made two such votes during the Johnson trial.

Republicans slam Nancy Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachment as sign of weaknessVideo

Roberts would also be multi-tasking, conducting a trial at the same time maintaining his regular caseload. The court's counselor Jeffrey Minear would likely be by the chief's side the entire time, along with a rotating pair of law clerks.

SEN. TED CRUZ: NANCY PELOSI HOLDING IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES FROM SENATE IS 'SIGN OF WEAKNESS'

When in the Capitol, they will all likely work from the ceremonial President's Room, located just off the Senate floor.

"We continued to do all the work of the court," said Schaffer of his experiences. "So there were times when we would bring opinions over to the to the Senate for the chief justice to read, to review and to vote on."

Face of Justice

As the "face" of the third branch, Roberts has been a stout defender of the 870 active federal judges, knowing that many of the public views them as "politicians in robes."

The "chief," as he is informally known around the court, has publicly stated his long-term efforts to forge consensus with his colleagues whenever possible, show respect for precedent and preserve the court's reputation.

"If we uphold a particular political decision, that remains the decision of the political branches, and the fact that it may lead to criticism of us is often a mistake," he said in 2016. "We do have to be above or apart from the criticism because we, of course, make unpopular decisions — very unpopular decisions."

But Trump has been more blunt, taking a results-oriented consistency when judging the judges.

In particular, Roberts' dramatic 2012 deciding vote upholding the key funding provision of the Affordable Care Act triggered conservative criticism that it was a calculated act of betrayal, a narrative Trump was all too eager to exploit on the campaign trail.

TRUMP BLASTS HOUSE DEMOCRATS OVER IMPEACHMENT: 'THEY HAD NOTHING, THERE'S NO CRIME'

"Justice Roberts really let us down," Trump said at a campaign rally in December 2015. "What he did with ObamaCare was disgraceful, and I think he did that because he wanted to be popular inside the Beltway."

In a rare public rebuke, Roberts responded a year ago when Trump criticized a legal setback over his immigration policy as the work of an "Obama judge."

The chief justice responded, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."

Roberts has voted with his more liberal colleagues to put some of the president's policies on hold. And just weeks after any Senate trial, he would preside over oral arguments concerning Trump's refusal to turn over his banking and financial records, in the face of subpoenas from House committees and a state grand jury.

It comes as the public still holds the Supreme Court in high regard. A Fox News Poll from early October found 68 percent of those surveyed have confidence in the institution, far greater than the president or Congress. But just two years ago, confidence in the Supreme Court was 83 percent.

The chief justice, for the most part, has maintained his steady, low-key leadership under both Republican and Democratic presidents, and the 64-year-old Roberts is unlikely to care much what is said about him personally. Life tenure on the bench gives him such security.

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But he knows maintaining his — and the court's reputation — during a hyper-partisan impeachment drama will test his leadership skills. Colleagues say he is fully prepared for the challenge.

"He has a history of being a very impartial, fair, almost umpire-like justice, who calls them as he sees them," said Schaffer. "I don't think he'll treat this trial any differently."

Fox News’ David Spunt contributed to this report.

Original Article

John Bolton criticizes Trump’s approach to North Korea amid heightened tension

closeUS monitoring North Korea for possible 'Christmas present' missileVideo

US monitoring North Korea for possible 'Christmas present' missile

Officials are on the alert as North Korea's ultimatum for the US to ease sanctions or face consequences nears the December 31 deadline.

John Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, criticized his old boss over the administration's misguided "rhetorical policy" toward North Korea along with its failure to exert "maximum pressure" during the high-stakes nuclear talks.

Bolton’s comments, which were published late Sunday on Axios, come at a precarious time between Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un. What once showed glimpses of an unlikely and historic foreign policy victory for Trump, now appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse.

Bolton said he doesn't believe the administration "really means it" when they talk about stopping North Korea's nuclear ambition. He said if they did they would "pursue a different course."

JAMES CARAFANO: NORTH KOREA-US HAVE CHANCE TO BREAK LOG JAM

U.S. officials on Sunday were on high alert due to a possible North Korean missile launch that has been menacingly referred to by Pyongyang as a "Christmas gift." Bolton said in the interview that if Kim makes good on the threat and launches a missile the White House should do something "that would be very unusual" and admit that they were wrong.

Bolton said– in the event of a missile launch– he hopes the White House can admit to the failure and then works with allies to "demonstrate we will not accept it." Bolton is seen as a hardliner towards North Korea and has said in the past that as it stands Kim "will never give up the nuclear weapons voluntarily."

Trump fired Bolton in September amid policy disagreements over North Korea and other issues. Trump said at the time that Bolton's view set the United States back "very badly" in talks with the North and added that "maybe a new method would be very good."

The relationship between Trump and Kim has been rocky at best and despite high-profile meetings and positive descriptions from Trump about their relationship, experts have raised concerns about Pyongyang becoming more of a threat.

Anthony Wier, a former State Department official who tracks nuclear disarmament for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, said Pyongyang has “been building new capabilities.”

"As long as that continues, they gain new capabilities to try new missiles to threaten us and our allies in new ways," he said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters earlier this week that the U.S. has heard all the talk of a possible upcoming test around Christmas.

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"I've been watching the Korean Peninsula for a quarter-century now. I'm familiar with their tactics, with their bluster," he said. "We need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the peninsula. That is the best way forward and arguably the only way forward if we're going to do something constructive."

Fox News' Bradford Betz contributed to this report

Original Article

Christianity Today editor defends editorial calling for Trump’s removal

closeTrump blasts evangelical magazine calling for his removal from officeVideo

Trump blasts evangelical magazine calling for his removal from office

Reaction from Family Research Council president Tony Perkins.

A top evangelical Christian writer defended on Sunday a recent scathing editorial he wrote that called for President Trump to be removed from office.

Mark Galli, the editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, said in an interview with CBS’ “Face The Nation” that Trump’s support of causes important to the evangelical community can no longer excuse his actions in other areas and said the president is “morally unfit” to occupy the Oval Office.

“I am making a moral judgment that he is morally unfit or, even more precisely, it's his public morality that makes him unfit," Galli said.

HOUSE DEM BLASTS TRUMP AFTER ATTACK ON JOHN DINGELL: 'HELL WILL BE TOO GOOD FOR HIM'

While Galli admitted that “none of us are perfect,” he added that the president "has certain responsibilities as a public figure to display a certain level of public character and public morality."

“He gives us what we need on 'pro-life' but you've got this bad character,” Galli said. “And the fundamental argument I'm making is we crossed a line somewhere in the impeachment hearings, at least in my mind, that that balance no longer works."

Can President Trump continue to count on support from evangelicals?Video

Galli has drawn criticism for the editorial he published last Thursday, but has refused to back from his criticism of Trump.

In his piece, which was published one day after the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, argued that while Democrats “have had it out for [Trump] from Day One" the facts against Trump are “unambiguous.”

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“The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” Galli wrote. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Friday Lightning Round: Evangelical magazine calls for Trump's removal from officeVideo

He added: "The reason many are not shocked about this is that this president has dumbed down the idea of morality in his administration. He has hired and fired a number of people who are now convicted criminals. He himself has admitted to immoral actions in business and his relationship with women, about which he remains proud. His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies and slanders — is a near-perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused."

Despite Galli's criticism, Trump still enjoys solid support among white envangelical voters, with a recent Fox News poll finding that 67 percent of them still approve of his job performance, compared to the overall 53 percent of Americans who disapprove of the president. The poll also found that while 50 percent of voters believe the president should be impeached and removed from office, 67 percent of white evangelicals believe Trump should not even have been impeached.

Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump heads into 2020 with ‘historic’ judicial appointments

close50th appellate court judge confirmed under President TrumpVideo

50th appellate court judge confirmed under President Trump

Carrie Severino breaks down the president's 'incredible accomplishment' that's rattling the left.

President Trump is closing the year by increasing his already transformative impact on the federal judiciary, with 13 of his district court nominees receiving confirmation this month.

That brings Trump’s total to 102 federal judges confirmed in 2019. Over the course of his administration, that total jumps to 187, including 50 to circuit courts of appeal and two Supreme Court justices.

ON CUSP OF IMPEACHMENT, TRUMP ENDS YEAR WITH SPREE OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

"In terms of quality and quantity, we are going to be just about No. 1 by the time we finish — No. 1 of any president, any administration," Trump said in early November, noting that George Washington may have technically appointed more judges. At the time, he was celebrating his 150th federal judge.

The 9th Circuit in particular, which Trump has railed against as a “big thorn in our side” in the past due to its liberal bent, has seen a dramatic change in its makeup over the past three years, with 10 of its 29 active seats now being held by Trump appointees, and nearly half being held by appointees of Republican administrations.

Much of this is thanks to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has helped push nominees through the Senate, even while combatting House Democrats as they impeach the president.

“My motto for the remainder of this Congress is ‘leave no vacancy behind,’” McConnell told Hugh Hewitt in a Wednesday radio interview.

TRUMP NEARS NEW MILESTONE WITH JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS

The relentless pace means that more than a quarter of all federal appeals court judges were nominated by Trump and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats are “doing everything we can” to slow down the judicial train, “but they changed the rules,″ referring to McConnell reducing the amount of debate time for a nominee from 30 hours to just two.

“While all eyes were understandably on impeachment, Mitch McConnell’s conveyor belt churned out a shocking number of judges this week in what remains the most underrated story of the Trump era,″ said Christopher Kang, chief counsel at liberal advocacy group Demand Justice.

Schumer blasted Trump's picks, telling The Associated Press that they are “are just so bad for the average American in so many ways,” due to their “hard right” stance. McConnell, however, said that judges who follow a strict interpretation of the law instead of taking an activist approach are good for everyone.

“It is not one party or the other that benefits when our federal courts consist of men and women who understand that a judge’s job is to follow the law, not to make the law,″ he said on the Senate floor last week. “The entire country benefits from that. Our constitutional system benefits from that.

Carrie Severino, policy director for the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, described Trump’s selections as “the kind of judge America wants,” claiming that the ability to select judges for lifetime positions is a significant part of why Trump was elected in 2016.

As Trump faces impeachment and a reelection bid in 2020, the impact of his judicial selections will be felt long after his presidency ends, regardless of whether he serves one term or two.

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote in a Fox News opinion piece last month that Trump’s achievement in this area was “historic,” referencing Texans confirmed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

“Few legacies will be longer lasting than this judicial one,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

McCarthy suggests Jordan, Collins and Ratcliffe represent Trump during Senate impeachment trial

closeRep. McCarthy calls FISA report fallout a 'modern day Watergate'Video

Rep. McCarthy calls FISA report fallout a 'modern day Watergate'

House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy reacts to the FISA court's rebuke of the FBI in the Russia investigation and the latest on impeachment on 'Sunday Morning Futures.'

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested on Sunday that he would choose Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Doug Collins of Georgia and John Ratcliffe of Texas to represent President Trump in his looming Senate impeachment trial.

“These are individuals I would actually pull in at the White House,” McCarthy said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “You want people that have been through this, understand it, been in the hearings even when they were in the basement.”

“The basement” is a reference to the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, where House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., held the initial closed-door testimonies in the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

TRUMP TELLS PELOSI IN BLISTERING LETTER THAT DEMS ARE 'DECLARING OPEN WAR ON AMERICAN DEMOCRACY'

Jordan, Collins and Ratcliffe – all staunch Trump allies in the House – played vocal roles in the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees’ inquiries into the president. Jordan was temporarily assigned by McCarthy to the Intelligence Committee to defend Trump and lambaste Democrats, while Collins is the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee and spent hours in the House floor criticizing the impeachment vote.

Sen. Graham: Pelosi 'taking a wrecking ball' to the ConstitutionVideo

It is currently unclear when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate.

The House voted last week to impeach Trump, who became only the third president in U.S. history to be formally charged with “high crimes and misdemeanors." Pelosi has declined to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until Republicans provide details on witnesses and testimony.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. D-N.Y., have been at an impasse over the issue, leaving open the possibility of a protracted delay until the articles are delivered.

Marc Short on impasse over impeachment on Capitol HillVideo

McConnell has all but promised an easy acquittal of the president. McConnell appears to have united Republicans behind an approach that would begin the trial with presentations and arguments, lasting perhaps two weeks, before he tries drawing the proceedings to a close.

That has sparked a fight with Pelosi and Schumer, who are demanding trial witnesses who refused to appear during House committee hearings, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Van Drew defends switch to GOP, calls impeachment of Trump ‘weak, thin’

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Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks out for first time since switching parties

Republican Rep. Jeff Van Drew speaks exclusively to 'Sunday Morning Futures' after leaving the Democrat Party.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., defended on Sunday his exit from the Democratic Party after he voted against both articles of impeachment – calling the Democrats' arguments for impeaching President Trump “weak” and "thin.”

Van Drew, who last week met with Trump following the congressman's announcement that he was joining the Republican Party, said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he has been mulling over a switch to the GOP for a while, but impeachment was the tipping point for the former Democrat.

"There has always been something in my career that let me know it’s time for a change,” Van Drew said. “I feel good…I feel I did the honorable thing.”

REP. VAN DREW, AHEAD OF EXPECTED PARTY SWITCH, COMPARES IMPEACHMENT TO HOW 'THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES OPERATE

Rumblings of a possible party switch in the midst of Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump caused members of Van Drew's caucus to accuse him of clamoring to cross the aisle in an attempt to save his bid for reelection and led to the resignations of five aides from his office.

A recent internal poll conducted for the Democrats found that 58 percent of primary voters in Van Drew's 2nd Congressional District wanted to nominate another candidate, while only 28 percent said he should be renominated.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew announces he's switched from Democrat to Republican during Oval Office meeting with TrumpVideo

"The final sign for me was, oddly enough, when one of the county chairmen said ‘you have to vote for impeachment,’” Van Drew said. “And that ‘If you don’t, you won’t be able to run in my county.’ It’s not his county, it’s everybody’s county.”

Van Drew went on to call charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress that were leveled against Trump “weak” and “thin” and lambasted his former fellow Democrats for bringing them against the president.

“This impeachment is a weak, thin impeachment,” he said. “It’s been a long, dark shadow on our country.”

“We are supposed to be there for the American people and not for political bickering,” Van Drew said. “It harms our country and it fractures us more.”

RNC to Rep. Jeff Van Drew: Welcome to the party that's getting results for the American peopleVideo

It remains to be seen how Van Drew will vote on legislation now that he is officially a Republican. Out of 659 votes in the 116th Congress, Van Drew and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., have agreed only 300 times.

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As a Democrat, Van Drew voted to override Trump's veto of a bill that overturned his emergency declaration for border wall funding and voted to block Trump from withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Accord.

He has also voted to block the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and disapproved of the Trump administration's plan to lift sanctions on three Russian companies.

In addition, Van Drew has condemned comments Trump made about four congresswomen that the president dubbed "The Squad," calling the remarks racist and has pushed back on Trump's attempts to direct courts to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.

“I want to bring people together,” Van Drew said. “I always push for what I believe is right and what is best.”

Fox News Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.

Original Article

Rep. Dingell says Trump’s remark about late husband ‘crossed a line’, hopes for more ‘civility’ in politics

closeRep. Dingell on Trump's comments about her late husband, Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachmentVideo

Rep. Dingell on Trump's comments about her late husband, Pelosi's decision to withhold articles of impeachment

Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, joins Chris Wallace on 'Fox News Sunday.'

Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., responded to President Trump's recent remark about her late husband Rep. John Dingell, citing it as an example of an increasingly toxic political culture.

Trump, who honored the late congressman when he died in February, implied that he may be in hell when he said at a Michigan campaign rally, "maybe he's looking up" — instead of down from heaven. Members of both parties criticized the president's comment, which came after Dingell voted to impeach him.

HOUSE DEM BLASTS TRUMP AFTER ATTACK ON JOHN DINGELL: 'HELL WILL BE TOO GOOD FOR HIM'

"We have to learn in our country that you can disagree agreeably," Dingell told "Fox News Sunday," recognizing where the president may have been coming from. "I understand that this impeachment was a very personal issue to him, but I think there are lines that you don't cross, and I think he crossed a line there."

Neither Trump nor any White House representatives have apologized for his comment, but Dingell said she is not interested in an apology.

"What I do want is people to take a deep breath and think, going forward, that their words have consequences, that they can hurt, and how do we bring more civility back to our political environment," she said.

Immediately prior to his crack about the late congressman, Trump said that Mrs. Dingell had called him to thank him for honoring her husband. Sunday, she noted that she was not the one who made the call but acknowledged her gratitude.

"He called me to tell me he was lowering the flags, and to this day, to this minute, I'm grateful that he did it," she said. "I was grateful for the call, he was kind and empathetic, and it meant a lot to somebody who was hurting and loved her husband."

Dingell then read words her husband wrote after the death of President George H.W. Bush, which were in line with her message.

"We both shared deep concern about the hateful taunts, the despicable actions and language that plague our political culture," she quoted.

"He was worried about this country," she said. "And he wanted us to know that we all have responsibility for it."

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Dingell ended the segment on a positive note, expressing a desire to spread goodness.

"I would like to tell the president and everybody else to just be a little kinder," she said, noting that "random acts of kindness can make somebody's day a whole lot better."

Original Article

Sen. Doug Jones downplays political implications of a vote to remove Trump from office

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Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., brushed off concerns on Sunday that a vote to remove President Trump from office would doom his chances of reelection in 2020 in his deeply conservative Southern state.

Jones, who became the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the Senate since 1997 after winning a special election in 2017, argued that the looming trial in the Senate following Trump’s impeachment is more important than electoral politics.

“Everyone wants to talk about this in the political terms and the political consequences term,” Jones said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.” “This is a much more serious matter than that.”

TRUMP BLASTS HOUSE DEMOCRATS OVER IMPEACHMENT: 'THEY HAD NOTHING, THERE'S NO CRIME'

Jones added: “This has to do with the future of the presidency and how we want our presidents to conduct themselves. It has all to do with the future of the Senate and how the Senate should handle impeachment and articles of impeachment that come over. That’s how I’m looking at this.”

Pelosi signals she may not send articles of impeachment to the Senate without reassurances on processVideo

Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore in a 2017 special election to fill the Senate vacancy created when Jeff Sessions became President Trump’s first U.S. attorney general. Now considered the Senate’s most endangered Democrat, Jones is seeking a full term in office in the usually reliably red state.

His 2017 victory was aided by scandal when Moore, already a divisive figure among state voters, was accused of sexual misconduct. Several women said Moore pursued romantic and sexual relationships with them when they were teens and he was a prosecutor in his 30s.

David Hughes, a political scientist at Auburn University at Montgomery, said Jones will face an “extremely uphill battle.”

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Jones is running in a year when Trump, who is intensely popular in the state, will be on the ballot, driving GOP turnout, Hughes said. He also will be running again against Moore as well as Sessions, who is seeking to take back his seat.

Sen. Mitch McConnell says Senate remains at an impasse over impeachment logisticsVideo

Jones played down speculation by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that he will defect from the Democrats in a vote to acquit the president.

“I have no idea what Mitch McConnell’s talking about these days,” Jones said, adding that he needs a “full and complete picture” to make his decision on removing Trump from office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Trump blasts House Democrats over impeachment: ‘They had nothing, there’s no crime’

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President Trump mocked House Democrats on Saturday during a Turning Point USA event in West Palm Beach, Fla., for voting to impeach him without providing any evidence of a crime.

“They had nothing. There’s no crime. There’s no nothing," Trump said. "How do you impeach? You had no crime. Even their people said there was no crime. In fact, there’s no impeachment. Their own lawyer said there’s no impeachment. What are we doing here?”

Trump then briefly turned his focus to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and called her "crazy Nancy" before criticizing her for delaying the process by withholding the articles of impeachment from the GOP-controlled Senate.

"The world is watching," Trump said. "Crazy Nancy. She’s crazy. So now she says she has no case. She has no case, so let’s not submit it. That’s good, right? That’s good, but you know what? So unfair. It’s so unfair. She has no case."

JEFF FLAKE CLAIMS SENATE REPUBLICANS, NOT JUST TRUMP, ARE ON TRIAL

The commander in chief accused Democrats of violating the Constitution and claimed his poll numbers have benefited from their divisive rhetoric.

"They are violating the Constitution, totally. Totally. They’re violating the Constitution. In the meantime, our polls have gone through the roof," Trump said.

Later in the speech, the president questioned the patriotism of congressional Democrats and accused them of not believing in democracy.

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"When all else fails, they pursue an illegal, unconstitutional and hyperpartisan impeachment," he said. "They go with the impeachment thing. Some of these extremists may call themselves Democrats, but they really don't believe in democracy. They can't. They can't believe in democracy."

He added, "Generations of patriots before us did not work, fight and sacrifice so that we could surrender our country to a raging, left-wing mob. And that's what's happening. While they want to punish America, we will fight to preserve America… Together we will stand up to socialists, we will defend our nation — the greatest and most glorious republic in the history of this world."

"And you know what? The best is yet to come," he added.

Original Article

Jeff Flake claims Senate Republicans, not just Trump, are on trial

closePresident Trump takes aim at House Speaker Pelosi for not sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

President Trump takes aim at House Speaker Pelosi for not sending articles of impeachment to the Senate

Trump accuses Nancy Pelosi of 'playing games' with impeachment; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

Former Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is warning his former colleagues in the Senate that they, along with President Trump, will be on trial when the articles of impeachment eventually move from the House to the upper chamber.

“President Trump is on trial. But in a very real sense, so are you. And so is the political party to which we belong,” Flake writes in an op-ed for The Washington Post Friday.

JEFF FLAKE SAYS 'AT LEAST 35' REPUBLICAN SENATORS WOULD PRIVATELY VOTE TO IMPEACH TRUMP

Flake, who left the Senate this year after having staked out a vocally anti-Trump stance, wrote after the House voted for two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The articles are expected to soon go to the Senate for a trial, although there are indications House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., may delay the articles being transmitted. In the Senate, Trump is almost certain of acquittal unless there is a sudden and dramatic shift of Republicans in favor of impeachment.

Flake urges Republicans to consider the evidence, but at the same time not to repeat House Republican assertions the president hasn’t done anything wrong: “He has.”

“The willingness of House Republicans to bend to the president’s will by attempting to shift blame with the promotion of bizarre and debunked conspiracy theories has been an appalling spectacle,” Flake argues. “It will have long-term ramifications for the country and the party, to say nothing of individual reputations.”

TOP DEMS IN CONTENTION TO PROSECUTE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT CASE — IF IT GOES TO TRIAL

He asks what Republicans would have done if President Barack Obama had engaged in the same behavior, in regards to Ukraine.

Breaking down media coverage of impeachment voteVideo

“I know the answer to that question with certainty, and so do you. You would have understood with striking clarity the threat it posed, and you would have known exactly what to do,” he says.

While Flake says he does not envy Republican senators’ task, he urges them to avoid “an alternate reality that would have us believe in things that obviously are not true, in the service of executive behavior that we never would have encouraged and a theory of executive power that we have always found abhorrent.”

“If there ever was a time to put country over party, it is now,” he writes. “And by putting country over party, you might just save the Grand Old Party before it’s too late.”

There have been no public signs so far of any mass defection against Trump by GOP senators. Despite rumors that a number of Republicans in the House may break off, no GOP members in the lower chamber voted for impeachment — while a few Democrats voted against.

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It isn’t the first time Flake has indicated he believes that a Senate conviction of Trump is in the realm of possibility. He claimed in September that close to three dozen Republican senators would back ousting the president if the vote was held in private.

"I heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes. That's not true," Flake said on Slate's "What Next" podcast. "There would be at least 35."

Fox News’ Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

Original Article

Maxine Waters says Trump will invite Putin to the White House if the Senate doesn’t remove him

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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., warned Friday that President Trump will invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House if the Senate doesn’t remove him.

Waters made the remarks on Twitter after a contentious week in D.C.

TRUMP SIGNS SPENDING BILL THAT EARMARKS FUNDS FOR NEW SPACE FORCE

“Revelation by former WH officials proves what we've known all along: Trump is #PutinsPuppet,” Waters tweeted. “Trump repeated Putin's talking point that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the ‘16 election. Mark my words. If the Senate doesn't remove him, Trump will invite Putin to the WH next yr.”

WHAT DOES PELOSI WITHHOLDING ARTICLES FROM SENATE MEAN FOR THE IMPEACHMENT PROCESS?

Waters, a frequent Trump critic, was apparently referring to a Washington Post article that cited multiple former White House officials who claimed on condition of anonymity that Trump seized on the theory that Ukraine, not Russia interfered in the 2016 election because Putin suggested it to him.

One aide told The Post Trump said he believed Ukraine interfered because “Putin told me.”

Waters was one of the more than 200 Democrats and one Independent who voted to impeach the president on Wednesday on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress charges.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the impeachment articles to the Senate where a trial would take place and is considering withholding them until Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agrees to bring in witnesses the Democrats want to hear from.

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Waters has been calling for Trump’s impeachment since 2017.

Original Article

Trump signs $1.4T spending bill that includes Space Force, avoids shutdown

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President Trump late Friday signed a $1.4 trillion spending package that included the launch of the Space Force, the first new military service since 1947.

The signing of the National Defense Authorization Act also avoided a government shutdown that would have started at midnight.

Last December, a record 35-day partial government shutdown ensued over a stalemate on border wall funding when Trump asked Congress for $6 billion. This year, Trump appeared focused on preparing for the potential of a new front in defense.

“Space is the world's new war-fighting domain,” Trump said Friday during the signing ceremony at Joint Base Andrews. “Among grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough, and very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot."

SPACE COMMAND TO LAUNCH AUG. 29 AS TRUMP’S 'SPACE FORCE' TAKES SHAPE

President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said, "Our reliance on space-based capabilities has grown dramatically, and today outer space has evolved into a warfighting domain of its own.”

The spending bill also includes funding for the border wall, election security grants and pay raises for military and civilian federal workers.

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Trump signed the bill that funds the government through September while flying to Mar-a-Lago on Air Force One for the Christmas holiday.

Original Article

Top Dems in contention to prosecute Trump impeachment case – if it goes to trial

closeCongress leaves for Christmas break without sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

Congress leaves for Christmas break without sending articles of impeachment to the Senate

Pelosi thanks Democrats for 'moral courage.' Fox News correspondent Todd Piro reports.

It’s the other 2020 horse race — who will make it on House Democrats' star legal team to prosecute the case against President Trump, presuming the newly adopted articles of impeachment go to a Senate trial?

The timetable for all of this remains up in the air, with Congress on recess and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sitting on the two articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a controversial bid to extract favorable terms from the Senate.

But bipartisan sources told Fox News this week that several names have been floated to be Democrats' impeachment "managers" if and when the two chambers can resolve what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now calls an impasse.

Rep. Adam Schiff lays out House Democrats' case for impeachment of President TrumpVideo

DEMS' OWN WITNESS SAYS TRUMP NOT TRULY IMPEACHED UNLESS ARTICLES GO TO SENATE

Likely candidates include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who led much of the impeachment inquiry out of his committee with dramatic hearings to develop the case against the president; House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose panel drafted the articles of impeachment; House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; and Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a constitutional lawyer.

GOP erupts over Nadler delaying impeachment voteVideo

Other possible candidates include Democrats who were more outspoken during the impeachment hearings like Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. Sources told Fox News that other names being floated include Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; Val Demings, D-Fla., who served as the first female police chief in Orlando; and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., who was involved in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton and was a staffer during the congressional investigation into former President Richard Nixon.

During Clinton’s impeachment in 1999, there were 13 House impeachment managers. A source familiar with the planning told Fox News that Pelosi is expected to appoint fewer than that.

Meanwhile, it is unclear who could serve on President Trump’s defense team. According to a White House official familiar with impeachment planning, there has not yet been a decision on whether White House Counsel Pat Cipollone would run the defense of the president. Congressional sources have also suggested that top House Republicans could aid in the president’s defense.

But Pelosi, D-Calif., has not yet transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate, indicating she wants reassurances that the Senate would hold a fair trial, likely involving certain Democrat-sought witnesses, before sending over the charges.

MCCONNELL: 'IMPASSE' OVER IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, AS DEMS PART FROM PRECEDENT

McConnell, R-Ky., speaking on the floor Thursday, seemed baffled at Pelosi’s move to withhold the articles, arguing that the House speaker doesn’t have the leverage she thinks she does.

“Some House Democrats imply they are withholding the articles for some kind of leverage,” McConnell said. “I admit, I’m not sure what leverage there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want. Alas, if they can figure that out, they can explain.”

He added: “Following weeks of pronouncements about the urgency of the situation, urgent situation, the prosecutors appear to have developed cold feet. Democrat prosecution seems to have gotten cold feet and be unsure about whether they want to proceed to the trial. Like I said, a very unusual spectacle, and in my view, certainly not one that reflects well on the House.”

Despite McConnell saying the Senate doesn’t actually “want” to receive the articles, President Trump has called for an immediate trial and is evidently looking for his day in court to be acquitted for the alleged crimes surrounding his efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch politically advantageous investigations. The request came after the administration had withheld millions in military aid to Ukraine, though Trump has denied any quid pro quo was at play.

“I got Impeached last night without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s the Senate’s call!”

Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.

Original Article

Pelosi, days after impeaching president, invites Trump to deliver State of the Union address

closeImpeachment stalls as Nancy Pelosi pushes proceedings into the new yearVideo

Impeachment stalls as Nancy Pelosi pushes proceedings into the new year

Sen. Chuck Schumer says he and Nancy Pelosi are on the same page as the two top Democrats in Congress try to put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel reports from Capitol Hill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelsoi Friday formally invited President Trump to give his 2020 State of the Union address before the U.S. House, just two days after the majority of Congress voted to impeach him.

In a letter to Trump, Pelosi cited the constitutional obligation to invite the president to speak “from time to time.”

“In the spirit of respecting our Constitution, I invite you to deliver your State of the Union address before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives," Pelosi wrote.

MCCONNELL: 'IMPASSE' OVER TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, AS DEMS DEPART FROM PRECEDENT

The White House on Friday released a statement saying, "President Donald J. Trump has accepted the Speaker’s invitation to deliver the State of the Union Address on February 4, 2020."

The Feb. 4 address could come in the midst of a Senate trial if Pelosi sends over the two articles of impeachment House Democrats approved Wednesday. And Trump’s speech would happen at the height of the 2020 election campaign, with the Iowa caucuses scheduled a day prior.

During the 1999 State of the Union address given by then-President Bill Clinton, he did not mention the then-occurring impeachment trial in the Senate. Several Republican House members boycotted the 77-minute speech to show their displeasure with Clinton. Some Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, joined Republicans in urging Clinton to delay the address.

It wasn’t impeachment, but there was high-drama for Trump's last State of the Union. His planned January address before the newly-elected Democratic House majority was delayed because a record-long government shutdown that had Trump and Pelosi in a political standoff.

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Once the government reopened, Trump gave his speech on Feb. 5, 2019, at Pelosi's invitation.

Fox News' Jon Decker contributed to this report.

Original Article

Pelosi’s problem: Dems’ own witness says Trump not truly impeached unless articles go to Senate

closeCongress leaves for Christmas break without sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

Congress leaves for Christmas break without sending articles of impeachment to the Senate

Pelosi thanks Democrats for 'moral courage.' Fox News correspondent Todd Piro reports.

Consider it a twist on the old question about a tree falling in the forest with no one to hear it: If the House adopts articles of impeachment but never sends them to the Senate, is a president truly impeached?

A Harvard law professor, who also served as a Democrat-called impeachment witness, answered with a resounding “no” in a column that speaks to the deep dilemma House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces as she sits on two articles of impeachment against President Trump.

MCCONNELL: 'IMPASSE' OVER TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, AS DEMS DEPART FROM PRECEDENT

Pelosi, D-Calif., is apparently using the delay as leverage to extract favorable terms for a Senate trial. But Noah Feldman wrote for Bloomberg that an “indefinite delay” would pose a “serious problem”—as impeachment only technically happens when the articles are transmitted to the Senate.

“Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial,” Feldman wrote.

“If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president,” he continued. “If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say he wasn’t truly impeached at all.”

Pelosi signaled late Wednesday after the House passed articles of impeachment—on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—that she wanted reassurances that the Senate would hold a fair trial, likely involving certain Democrat-sought witnesses, before sending over the articles.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on the floor Thursday seemed baffled at Pelosi’s move to withhold the articles, arguing that the House speaker doesn’t have the leverage she thinks she does.

“Some House Democrats imply they are withholding the articles for some kind of leverage,” McConnell said. “I admit, I’m not sure what leverage there is in refraining from sending us something we do not want. Alas, if they can figure that out, they can explain.”

He added: “Following weeks of pronouncements about the urgency of the situation, urgent situation, the prosecutors appear to have developed cold feet. Democrat prosecution seems to have gotten cold feet and be unsure about whether they want to proceed to the trial. Like I said, a very unusual spectacle, and in my view, certainly not one that reflects well on the House.”

President Trump takes aim at House Speaker Pelosi for not sending articles of impeachment to the SenateVideo

“So, we’ll see whether House Democrats ever want to work up the courage to actually take their accusation to trial,” McConnell said.

Despite McConnell saying the Senate doesn’t actually “want” to receive the articles, President Trump has called for an immediate trial and is evidently looking for his day in court to be acquitted for the alleged crimes surrounding his efforts to pressure Ukraine to launch politically advantageous investigations. The request came after the administration had withheld millions in military aid to Ukraine, though Trump has denied any quid pro quo was at play.

“I got Impeached last night without one Republican vote being cast with the Do Nothing Dems on their continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Now the Do Nothing Party want to Do Nothing with the Articles & not deliver them to the Senate, but it’s the Senate’s call!”

Meanwhile, another Harvard law professor, Laurence Tribe, has defended Pelosi.

"Senate rules requiring the House to 'immediately' present its articles of impeachment to the Senate clearly violate the constitutional clause in Article I giving each house the sole power to make its own rules," Tribe tweeted on Wednesday.

"It’s up to the House when and how to prosecute its case in the Senate," he added, just hours before House Democrats voted to approve the two articles of impeachment.

Before Wednesday's vote, Tribe penned a Washington Post op-ed calling on the House not to let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hold a "Potemkin trial."

"This option needs to be taken seriously now that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has announced his intention to conduct not a real trial but a whitewash, letting the president and his legal team call the shots," Tribe wrote.

HARVARD LAW PROFESSOR BACKS PELOSI MOVE TO KEEP ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FROM SENATE

Tribe's op-ed added that the House didn't need a constitutional provision allowing it to withhold the articles from the Senate.

Pelosi, for her part, made clear earlier this week that she's concerned with how McConnell would arrange a trial in the GOP-led Senate.

"Let me tell you what I don't consider a fair trial," she told reporters. "This is what I don't consider a fair trial — that Leader McConnell has stated that he's not an impartial juror, that he's going to take his cues, in quotes, from the White House, and he is working in total coordination with the White House counsel's office."

But with the trial schedule thrown into doubt as Congress breaks for the holidays absent an agreement, Feldman's op-ed suggests that time is not on Pelosi's side.

"[I]f the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached. And that’s probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send," he wrote.

Fox News’ Sam Dorman and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Original Article