Pence reacts to Pelosi's 'new low' at the State of the Union
Fox News
Vice President Mike Pence joins 'Fox & Friends' to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up her copy of President Trump's address and the upcoming final impeachment vote in the Senate

The impeachment trial of President Trump is in its final days.

President Trump on Friday at the White House. He will most likely be acquitted next week.

Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

CONGRESS

Schiff: Senators who fail to convict Trump will not be ‘off the hook’
“I still think it’s enormously important that the president was impeached.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
By SARAH CAMMARATA

https://www.politico.com/news/trump-impeachment
02/02/2020

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/02/schiff-senators-trump-impeachment-off-hook-110362
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said on Sunday senators voting to keep President Donald Trump in office will not be “off the hook,” as Democrats look ahead to the president's likely acquittal in the impeachment trial.
“I'm not letting the senators off the hook. We're still going to go into to the Senate this week and make the case why this president needs to be removed,” Schiff said on CBS’s “Face the Nation." “It will be up to the senators to make that final judgment, and the senators will be held accountable for it.”
Although the president will most likely remain in office, the lead House impeachment manager said, “I still think it’s enormously important that the president was impeached.”
“By exposing [the president’s] wrongdoing, we are helping to slow the momentum away from our democratic values until that progress away from democracy can
be arrested and we can return to some sense of normalcy and support for the founders' ideal,” the California Democrat continued.
Schiff also said calling the president’s actions “inappropriate” does not go far enough in what he calls misconduct that “undermined our national security, as well as that of our ally, and threatens the integrity of our elections.”

Vice President Mike Pence claps as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of President Donald Trump speech after he delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, Feb. 4, 2020.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Fred Guttenberg shared an image of himself alongside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who invited him as her guest, just before the event began.
Fred Guttenberg✔@fred_guttenberg

12:01 AM - Feb 5, 2020
"Thank you @SpeakerPelosi for inviting me to be your guest tonight at the State Of The Union," Guttenberg tweeted earlier on Tuesday. "I cannot thank you enough for your commitment to issues important to Americans and to the issue most important to me on dealing with gun violence."

Guttenberg's daughter, Jaime, was a freshman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a gunman opened fire on Feb. 14, 2018, killing her and 13 other students and three staff members. He and other students and parents from Parkland have made ending gun violence a leading political issue since the massacre.
"I just went up [to the vigil] and I just started letting it loose,” Fred Guttenberg told "Nightline” last year on the one-year anniversary of the shooting. "I remember saying that night, 'This time they messed with the wrong community and the wrong dad. This dad is not going away.'"
ABC News' Stephanie Wash and John Parkinson contributed to this report.

​​IMPEACHMENT
Why 4 key Republicans split — and the witness vote tanked
The moderate GOP senators who have shaped Trump's impeachment trial were divided on the most critical question yet. Trump is the benefactor.
By BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/alexander-murkowski-collins-romney-impeachment-trial-110138
01/31/2020 07:34 PM EST
When Lamar Alexander and Lisa Murkowski met privately in his third-floor Capitol hideaway on Thursday night, Alexander broke the news: He was going to vote against bringing in new witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
The Tennessee Republican explained the rationale to his Alaska colleague: That the House managers had proven their case against the president but that it still wasn’t impeachable conduct and therefore more information was unnecessary, according to a person familiar with the exchange. But Alexander did not lobby Murkowski to join him.
Alexander also forwarded his statement announcing his decision to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who would soon send her own press release in favor of hearing from witnesses, a position shared by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).
The four Republican senators have been the crucial swing votes to help shape Trump’s trial, and they’ve been in constant communication for weeks. They banded together to devise holding the vote on witnesses in the first place, a deal that helped seal unanimous GOP support for the rules of the impeachment trial. And they were texting and calling each other with increasing regularity as Trump’s trial began in earnest.

But on the biggest question of the impeachment trial, the group was going their separate ways. And their split decision will ensure Trump gets his speedy acquittal without the threat of new testimony that could upend GOP plans.
Still, in her meeting with Alexander, Murkowski kept her decision a secret.
“No,” Alexander said when asked if Murkowski tipped her hand. “She didn’t.”
The fast-moving events isolated Murkowski. Democrats’ hope of securing witnesses appeared doomed, but the optics of what was to follow still mattered. Now she was either going to give the Republicans a clear majority against witnesses or a tied vote that would fail unless Chief Justice John Roberts took the unlikely step of breaking the tie. She told reporters she would go home, put some eyedrops in and continue to pore over documents.

Murkowski had met with McConnell privately earlier in the week, in part to gather herself for the Senate’s question-and-answer period. During those marathon sessions, she aligned herself with different factions of the party, leaving Republicans and Democrats alike guessing as to her stance.
On Friday morning the interest in Murkowski was overwhelming. CNN fixed a camera on the hallways outside her office in case she would emerge and break the news. When Murkowski left her office, she dipped out the back, bumped into E&E reporter Geof Koss and gave him the news: She was a ‘no’ and Roberts would not have to break the tie.
The moment confirmed what GOP leaders had been projecting all week: The witness vote would fail, and Trump would be acquitted by a Senate that never heard from former national security adviser John Bolton, even as new revelations in a forthcoming book rattled Washington.
“I’ve always believed there would not be votes for witness,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Friday afternoon. “It never made sense to me. Why would we go do the House’s job? It’s their job, not our job.”
Collins and Murkowski continued to take notes during Rep. Adam Schiff’s closing remarks, despite having already decided where they’d be on the witness question. As Schiff finished up, Murkowski watched intently, gently rocking back and forth in her chair. When it came time for the vote, the Alaska Republican stood up and voted no, with little fanfare.
After the vote to bring in more witnesses fell short on a 49-51 vote, she spoke with Majority Whip John Thune one-on-one before exiting the Senate chamber.

The instant relief of Republicans could play far differently over the long arc of history — and perhaps even sooner.

The GOP’s move to dismiss relevant witness testimony will be cited for years to come and be wielded by Democrats in upcoming Senate races, warned Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who called the decision a “giant political nightmare for Republicans.”
“This is the most high-profile event of the presidency over the final two years. And I think it will have legs. I think it will have impact,” Murphy said on Friday. “We now have legitimate reason to contest the fairness of the trial and the acquittal of the president.”
But Murphy did not directly fault Alexander, even though he is widely regarded among both parties as the vote that got away from Democrats. That’s because in opposing witnesses, Alexander took great pains to fault Trump’s conduct.
“He at least was clear and forceful about how inappropriate, how wrong the president’s conduct was,” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). “But I have a hard time with him going with the step from that conclusion to saying we shouldn't remove him.”
Alexander reiterated in his Thursday night statement that it was wrong of Trump to solicit investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden. Alexander did not contest the facts presented by the House managers, and therefore, he said, he didn’t need to hear any more evidence that Trump held up aide and sought to sully a potential 2020 rival.
“It was inappropriate and wrong for the president to do what he did. I think it was proved. The question is whether you apply capital punishment to every offense,” Alexander said. “And in this case I think the answer is no.”
In making his argument against witnesses, Alexander had actually gone much farther in condemning Trump’s behavior than many of his GOP colleagues.
The reaction in his party was mixed. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) agreed Trump’s actions were “wrong and inappropriate” and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) put it this way: “Lamar speaks for lots and lots of us.”
Others were more restrained. “We all know that he is one of the most thoughtful, well respected” senators, said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.). “I don't agree with every detail of what he said.”
Yet even though some of his colleagues were worried until late Thursday evening about Alexander's vote, it was clear from his statement that it would have taken an earth-shattering moment to back Democrats’ call for witnesses.
McConnell has maintained tight control of the trial over the last two weeks, but he mostly let Alexander do his thing, trusting in where his longtime friend would come down.
“He doesn’t ever say very much. I just told him what I was going to do,” Alexander said. “Senator McConnell and I have known each other for 50 years and he knows better than to tell me how to vote.”
The break with Alexander came as Collins runs for reeelection under sustained attack from Democrats for not, in their view, pushing hard enough on witnesses. But the other Republicans up for reelection argued strongly against witnesses, as did McConnell.
Collins had only warm feelings for Alexander, a three-term senator and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee that Collins serves on.
“He was kind enough to send me his statement before he released it. So I knew a little bit in advance,” Collins said on Friday. “But I have a lot of respect for him.”
Romney argued internally that it made sense to hear more evidence given that Bolton had been in the room with the president, but the 2012 presidential nominee’s push did not move any of his colleagues.
Murkowski’s calculation became more difficult after Alexander told McConnell and colleagues how he would vote on Thursday evening. She has previously bucked her party in high-profile moments, acting as the lone Republican to vote against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and voting with Collins and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to tank Republicans’ effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Now in the trial of whether to remove the president from office, she would be either the deciding vote against witnesses or throw responsibility to Roberts and put an asterisk over a historic Senate moment.
During Thursday’s question-and-answer session, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) had effectively called out Roberts for overseeing a trial without new evidence by asking whether it might “contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution.”
A few hours later, the moderate Alaska Republican made clear Warren’s suggestion was still weighing on her.
“Some of my colleagues intend to further politicize this process, and drag the Supreme Court into the fray, while attacking the chief justice. I will not stand for nor support that effort,” Murkowski said.
Meanwhile, soon after dividing on the question of witnesses, the new moderate power center in the 53-member GOP caucus was back at it.
As Senate Republicans tried to figure out how to wind down Trump's trial Friday afternoon, McConnell privately met with a familiar foursome: Murkowski, Collins, Romney and Alexander.
Melanie Zanona contributed to this report.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/alexander-murkowski-collins-romney-impeachment-trial-110138

WATCH LIVE | 2020 Iowa caucuses: Live updates and results
Washington Post
On Feb. 3, voters will finally start the process of choosing a Democratic presidential nominee with the Iowa caucuses. The Washington Post’s Libby Casey hosts live coverage from Des Moines, with news and analysis from Post reporters in Iowa and Washington, D.C. The Post will bring you the latest results and put them in context as the nation heads into a very busy couple of weeks in the race for the White House. The caucus process is complicated, but the outcome has a big impact on the country’s political landscape. The victor and close runners-up get a significant boost heading into the rest of the primary season. However, winning Iowa doesn’t always translate to a candidate winning the party’s nomination. Instead of holding a straightforward primary vote like most states, Iowans hold caucuses to determine how many delegates to the national party conventions are allocated to each candidate. Here’s more on how the caucuses work: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politi... Heading into the caucuses, the top four Democratic contenders in Iowa are Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), former vice president Joe Biden, former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqK Follow us: Twitter: https://twitter.com/washingtonpost

malaysia-stained-minister-fingers-general-election

Malaysia’s former first lady, who allegedly bankrolled a luxurious lifestyle with kickbacks and stolen public money, went on trial

Nancy Pelosi rips up copy of State of the Union speech from US President Donald Trump

Halsey, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

President Donald Trump's  SOTU offered powerful contrast between two very different Americas

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Despite Democrats' unyielding hate and rage, President Trump delivered a powerful, optimistic and patriotic speech. #FoxNews
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Impeachment Briefing: Case Closed
The Trump Impeachment Briefing
New York Times 3rd February 2020
By Noah Weiland

Welcome back to the Impeachment Briefing.

As the political world turns its attention to Iowa, the impeachment trial is meandering toward the finish line.


What happened today

After more than four months of investigation and prosecution, House Democrats concluded their impeachment efforts this afternoon. Over four hours, which they split with President Trump’s legal team, the managers presented their case one final time, arguing that Mr. Trump had abused the power of his office and, if left unchecked, would do so again in the future.
Senators now have a chance to speak in the Senate chamber for the first time during the trial, with 10 minutes allotted to each of them to speechify. Over a dozen did so on Monday after closing arguments wrapped up. On Wednesday afternoon, they will take their final votes on the two articles of impeachment.
While Mr. Trump’s acquittal is a near certainty, there’s still some room for surprise: Moderate Democratic senators, some of whom are up for re-election, left the door open today to acquitting Mr. Trump. Doug Jones of Alabama and Joe Manchin of West Virginia both said they were still undecided, though Mr. Manchin said he believed there would be bipartisan support for a vote to censure the president.
Read five key takeaways from the day. And here are video highlights.

​5 Takeaways From Trump’s Impeachment Trial
The two sides made their final speeches to senators with an eye toward the 2020 election.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/us/politics/trump-news-today.html?te=1&nl=impeachment-briefing&emc=edit_ib_20200203&campaign_id=140&instance_id=15716&segment_id=20947&user_id=eeeb41ac0b2b0fd3a56a87fed573283b&regi_id=10089257520200203


How the two sides concluded their arguments
Today we (most likely) saw the last of the House managers and White House lawyers who spent two weeks arguing their cases in front of the Senate. Over four hours, the two sides delivered emotional closing arguments, a kind of greatest hits compilation. Here’s how they used their final day in the public spotlight.

THE HOUSE MANAGERS

Representative Adam Schiff, the lead manager, framed his closing remarks with this question: Can you trust the president? “The short, plain, sad, incontestable answer is no, you can’t,” he said. “You can’t trust this president to do the right thing, not for one minute, not for one election, not for the sake of our country. You just can’t. He will not change, and you know it.” Mr. Schiff said that “a man without character or ethical compass will never find his way.”
“Is there one among you who will say, ‘Enough’?” Mr. Schiff asked Republicans, who sat in front of him in silence. “Truth matters to you, and right matters to you,” he said. “You are decent. He is not who you are.”
Representative Hakeem Jeffries, another manager, said that Mr. Trump staying in office could potentially undermine our elections. “Absent conviction and removal, how can we be assured that this president will not do it again?” he asked. “If we are to rely on the next election to judge the president’s efforts to cheat in that election, how can we know that the election will be free and fair?”

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S LAWYERS
Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, told senators to “leave it to the voters.” He framed impeachment as “an effort to overturn the results of one election and to try to interfere in the coming election that begins today in Iowa.”
Patrick Philbin, a deputy counsel to the president, accused Democrats of “jumping straight to the ultimate nuclear weapon of the Constitution” in response to Mr. Trump’s efforts to block aides and documents from the House impeachment inquiry. To support the charge of obstruction, Mr. Philbin argued, would “fundamentally alter the balance between the different branches of government.”
Michael Purpura, a deputy White House counsel, denied a quid pro quo, but tailored his argument narrowly in light of revelations from John Bolton’s book manuscript, which offered firsthand evidence of one. “The president did not condition security assistance or a meeting on anything in the July 25 call,” Mr. Purpura said today, ignoring testimony and other evidence describing a much longer pressure campaign.

What did House Democrats get from impeachment?
Senate Republicans have spoken repeatedly during the trial — in interviews and through questions they asked to the House managers and White House lawyers — about the weak case they believe Democrats built against Mr. Trump.

But Democrats don’t see it that way. They gathered over a hundred hours of testimony and reams of documents, published several long reports, and argued their case for months on television in front of millions of Americans. They view impeachment as a resounding accomplishment, a public record of wrongdoing that will last.
“I think that we have pulled back a veil of behavior totally unacceptable to our founders, and that the public will see this with a clearer eye, an unblurred eye,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said today, in an interview with one of my colleagues. “Whatever happens, he has been impeached forever. And now these senators, though they don’t have the courage to assign the appropriate penalty, at least are recognizing that he did something wrong.”
I asked Julie Davis, our congressional editor, about whether Democrats could consider this impeachment a success.
Julie, how did House Democrats conceive of this case from the beginning?

Before last fall, they had all of this diffuse information about Mr. Trump that they found objectionable, or even potentially criminal — things that were generally inappropriate but might not reach the level of impeachable, in their minds. When the Ukraine revelations came to light, I think there was a feeling that it encapsulated the worst of what they believed the president was up to, that he had essentially been willing to cheat his way into power, then cheat on how he wielded it, and that he was now cheating to he keep it.
They thought of this impeachment as something they were obligated to do. And they felt like if they were going to have an effective message against Mr. Trump and why he was not fit to be president, this was the best way to organize it. I think there was a feeling that there was merit in explaining to people how democracy works and how fragile it really can be. The case that I think ultimately persuaded them to go forward was: There are some things you can’t let that slide, and the integrity of an election is one of them. They wanted to present themselves as guardians of that.
On various House committees — the Intelligence, Judiciary and Oversight panels, to be specific — Mr. Trump has been the target of pretty relentless general investigation since Democrats won back power in 2018. What took them so long to get to a case they believed was impeachment-worthy?

There was worry early on that the public would see House Democrats newly in power and think they were only out to get the president. But if you’re not seizing on the power to perform oversight, then you’re not doing a big part of the job. They didn’t want to be defined solely by impeachment, but they also didn’t want to turn away from it if that’s where their investigations led.
It’s worth pointing out that they spent all of last year working on other issues: gun control, prescription drugs and election reform among them. They had promised action on those issues to the voters. But they also promised that they would hold Mr. Trump accountable.

Considering what has happened in the trial, how successful were House Democrats?
On paper, they lost the witness vote, and they will lose when it comes to removing the president. But if you look at polling, you have overwhelming majorities in favor of hearing witnesses. You have more than half the country thinking he did something inappropriate and potentially impeachable. That doesn’t mean that the public overwhelmingly wants to see Mr. Trump removed. But it does indicate that people think it’s worthwhile to know whether he did something wrong.
People across the spectrum don’t like a cover-up, the idea that Congress and the White House aren’t being transparent. It’s human nature. They don’t like things being hidden from them. Democrats appear to have successfully made that case — “Don’t you want to know more and hear more?” The answer was clearly yes.

What else we’re following
We’re writing to you just hours before results start coming in from the Iowa caucuses. The apparent front-runner, Senator Bernie Sanders, was stuck in the Senate chamber today during closing arguments, as were Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, both of whom are running against Mr. Sanders in the Democratic primary. They were expected in Iowa this evening to follow the results. (Follow our live coverage om Iowa here.)
Joni Ernst, a Republican senator from Iowa, said in an interview with Bloomberg that if Joe Biden were elected president, Republicans could immediately begin impeachment proceedings against him for his involvement in Ukraine when he was vice president. (Here’s a fact check of their claims about Mr. Biden’s role in the country years ago.)
The State of the Union address is tomorrow, and a top Senate Republican had some advice for Mr. Trump on how to handle it while the impeachment trial is ongoing. “If I was him, I would avoid the subject,” s

id Roy Blunt of Missouri. “I think there’s plenty to talk about, and it’s an opportunity to move on.”

Trump’s Weird One-on-One with George Stephanopoulos | The Daily Show
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

President Trump gives George Stephanopoulos an in-depth tour of the Oval Office and reveals his continued distaste for negative polls and his intolerance of coughing.

Trump talks impeachment, 2020 Dems in exclusive Super Bowl interview
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President Trump discusses the Senate impeachment trial, Trump administration's accomplishments, State of the Union plans and Democratic presidential contenders with Sean Hannity.
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Trump Issues Threats Amid Bolton Impeachment Bombshell: A Closer Look
Late Night with Seth Meyers

Seth takes a closer look at the president and his goons threatening everyone from sitting congressmen to ambassadors as new evidence emerges in his impeachment trial. Subscribe to Late Night: http://bit.ly/LateNightSeth Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers Weeknights 12:35/11:35c on NBC.

Trump's State of the Union Address #FoxNews - Fox News
President Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. #FoxNews 

The New York Times Briefing on  The impeachment trial of President Trump
1st February 2020
The New York Times Briefing on  The impeachment trial of President Trump


The impeachment trial of President Trump is in its final days.
1. After a vote on Friday to block new witnesses and evidence, a final vote on whether to convict the president is scheduled for Wednesday, after the Iowa caucuses and the State of the Union address. Acquittal is all but assured.
Mr. Trump will take his victory and grievance to the campaign trail, no longer worried about congressional constraint, our chief White House correspondent writes in an analysis. He will be the first president in U.S. history to face voters after an impeachment.
With the impeachment trial winding down, Democratic presidential hopefuls are sounding a rallying cry ahead of Monday’s Iowa caucus: I can beat President Trump.
What began as a debate over policy and ideology has given way to a fixation on electability. Candidates are on the ground this weekend recalibrating their final appeals to make the case that they represent the party’s best chance in November.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/us/politics/trump-impeachment-trial.html
Republicans Block Impeachment Witnesses, Clearing Path for Trump Acquittal
The narrow vote came after Republican senators said they did not need to hear more evidence, and pressed toward acquitting President Trump next week.

WASHINGTON — The Senate brought President Trump to the brink of acquittal on Friday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress, as Republicans voted to block consideration of new witnesses and documents in his impeachment trial and shut down a final push by Democrats to bolster their case for the president’s removal.
In a nearly party-line vote after a bitter debate, Democrats failed to win support from the four Republicans they needed. With Mr. Trump’s acquittal virtually certain, the president’s allies rallied to his defense, though some conceded he was guilty of the central allegations against him.
The Democrats’ push for more witnesses and documents failed 49 to 51, with only two Republicans, Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine, joining Democrats in favor. A vote on the verdict is planned for Wednesday.
As they approached the final stage of the third presidential impeachment proceeding in United States history, Democrats condemned the witness vote and said it would render Mr. Trump’s trial illegitimate and his acquittal meaningless.
“America will remember this day, unfortunately, where the Senate did not live up to its responsibilities, when the Senate turned away from truth and went along with a sham trial,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader. “If the president is acquitted, with no witnesses, no documents, the acquittal will have no value because Americans will know that this trial was not a real trial.”
Even as they prepared to vote against removing him, several Republicans challenged Mr. Trump’s repeated assertions that he had done nothing wrong, saying they believed he had committed the main offense of which he was accused: withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.
Still, those Republicans said, they were unwilling to remove a president fewer than 10 months before he is to face voters.
“If you are persuaded that he did it, why do you need more witnesses?” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, a critical swing vote on the issue whose late decision to oppose considering new evidence all but sealed Mr. Trump’s swift acquittal. “The country is not going to accept being told that they can’t elect the president they want to elect in the week the election starts by a majority for a merely inappropriate telephone call or action.”
“You don’t apply capital punishment for every offense,” Mr. Alexander added.
The vote signaled the end of a saga that has consumed Washington and threatened Mr. Trump’s hold on the presidency for the past five months, since the emergence in September of an anonymous whistle-blower complaint accusing him of using the levers of government to push Ukraine to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election.
Senators recessed the trial for the weekend and will return Monday for closing arguments, with a vote on the verdict on Wednesday.
The timetable will rob Mr. Trump of the opportunity to use his State of the Union address scheduled for Tuesday night to boast about his acquittal, a prospect he has relished for several weeks. Instead, he will become the second president to deliver the speech during his own impeachment trial.
The senators adopted the plan by a partisan vote on Friday night, but only after Democrats tried once last time to subpoena four administration officials, including the former national security adviser John R. Bolton, and a collection of documents relevant to the case.

At the White House, Mr. Trump raged against a process he has dismissed from the start as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax,” preparing to make Democratic attempts to remove him a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

“No matter what you give to the Democrats, in the end, they will NEVER be satisfied,” the president wrote on Twitter. “In the House, they gave us NOTHING!”
The outcome of the final vote was not in doubt. It would take a two-thirds majority — 67 senators — to convict Mr. Trump and remove him from office.
The president has insisted that he did nothing wrong, calling a July telephone conversation in which he asked the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals “perfect” and the impeachment inquiry a “sham.” For months, he has demanded that his allies deliver nothing less than an absolute defense of his actions. But while they were poised to acquit him, several Republicans offered words of criticism, instead.
Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, said that “some of the president’s actions in this case — including asking a foreign country to investigate a potential political opponent and the delay of aid to Ukraine — were wrong and inappropriate.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who challenged Mr. Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, suggested that he did not necessarily consider the president innocent, either.
“Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a president from office,” he said. “I will not vote to remove the president because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation.”

Not every Republican senator thought Mr. Trump acted improperly. “For three-plus years, Democrats have been trying to parse every one of his words, add their traditional view and find themselves often perplexed,” said Senator Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. “Part of the problem is that most of America likes the straight talk and occasionally forgives if he doesn’t say exactly the right thing.”

Reflecting the depth of the country’s divisions, both sides were already looking past the trial to begin framing the fight over Mr. Trump’s conduct ahead of the November election. The first voting of the season is Monday in Iowa.
With the threat of conviction removed, Mr. Trump enters the election season as the first impeached president in modern history to face voters. But his expected acquittal is also likely to leave the president emboldened. He will argue that Democrats, unelected bureaucrats and the mainstream news media have targeted him because of their disdain for his supporters, and that his fight for political survival is theirs as well.
Democrats, too, planned to capitalize on the impeachment fight by urging voters to punish Republicans for refusing to demand a more thorough trial and for sticking with Mr. Trump despite evidence of his misdeeds. But they faced the risks of a potential backlash.
After resisting impeachment for months, Speaker Nancy Pelosi embraced it amid revelations of Mr. Trump’s actions toward Ukraine last fall. In doing so, she calculated that her party could not fail to act against a president whose actions it saw as clearly outrageous. But she confronted what she knew to be an unmovable reality in the Senate, where Democrats were certain to fall far short of removing him.
Senate Republicans made a wager of their own that it was better to withstand the short-term criticisms rather than to allow the proceeding to stretch on and risking damaging revelations. In doing so, they are strapping their political fate to that of a polarizing president who enjoys unparalleled loyalty among conservative voters.
The Republican victory was sealed on Friday just moments after the debate was gaveled open and Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, issued a statement saying that a vote for additional witnesses would only extend what she called a “partisan” impeachment. Still, she lamented that the Senate trial had not been fair and that Congress had failed its obligation to the country.
Ms. Murkowski did not indicate how she would vote on the final articles of impeachment, which she denounced as “rushed and flawed.” But she offered an unusually sharp rebuke of the institution in which she serves, appearing to cast blame on both parties and both chambers of Congress for letting excessive partisanship overtake a solemn responsibility.
“Given the partisan nature of this impeachment from the very beginning and throughout, I have come to the conclusion that there will be no fair trial in the Senate,” she said. “I don’t believe the continuation of this process will change anything.”
“It is sad for me to admit that, as an institution, the Congress has failed,” Ms. Murkowski added
Speaking from the well of the Senate before the vote, the Democratic House managers made a final, urgent appeal for additional witnesses during a two-hour presentation on Friday. They warned senators that a refusal to hear new evidence would ensure that Mr. Trump would never be held accountable and would undermine the nation’s democratic order and the public’s faith in the institutions of government.
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the lead House manager, seized on a New York Times report published in the hours before the vote to hammer home his point. The article revealed that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Bolton last May to assist in his pressure campaign on Ukraine.
The facts will come out in all of their horror, they will come out,” Mr. Schiff said. “The witnesses the president is concealing will tell their stories,” he added. “And we will be asked why we didn’t want to hear that information when we had the chance. What answer shall we give if we do not pursue the truth now?”
Mr. Trump’s defense team vigorously argued the opposite view, telling senators they had all the evidence they needed to dismiss the charges before them, and warning that calling new witnesses would set a dangerous precedent by validating a rushed and incomplete case presented by the House.
“The Senate is not here to do the investigatory work that the House didn’t do,” said Patrick Philbin, a deputy White House counsel.

Reporting was contributed by Carl Hulse, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Catie Edmondson, Emily Cochrane and Patricia Mazzei.

IMPEACHMENT
’No one seems to know how POTUS wants things to play out’
Trump aides are bracing for the impeachment trial to wrap around the time of the State of the Union address, a split-screen moment of a highly partisan trial against the president’s annual speech to Congress.
By NANCY COOK and GABBY ORR

01/31/2020
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/trump-impeachment-acquittal-timing-110135
President Donald Trump is eager to have the Senate trial over as quickly as possible, aides say.
President Donald Trump’s victory lap will have to wait.
The Senate impeachment trial continuing into the middle of next week means it will bump up against both the Iowa caucuses and the president’s third State of the Union address. And the collision is creating a messaging challenge for Trump, who is eager to milk the expected acquittal for everything he can.

Hannity: The American people elected a winner - Fox News
Trump administration succeeds amid Russia hoax, impeachment. #FoxNews

2020 ELECTIONS
Romney not welcome at CPAC after impeachment witness vote
The former party nominee and Sen. Susan Collins were the only Republicans to side with Democrats in voting to hear witnesses in the impeachment trial. mBy MATTHEW CHOI

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/romney-cpac-impeachment-110143
Sen. Mitt Romney.  01/31/2020 
Sen. Mitt Romney will not be invited to this year's CPAC, the conservative conference's host chair announced Friday in the aftermath of senators voting not to hear additional witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
"BREAKING: The "extreme conservative" and Junior Senator from the great state of Utah, @SenatorRomney is formally NOT invited to #CPAC2020," tweeted Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the conference.

The former party nominee and Sen. Susan Collins were the only Republicans to side with Democrats in voting to hear witnesses in the impeachment trial.
The vote failed, all but guaranteeing Trump's acquittal next week.
While CPAC has grown into a hotbed of Trumpian support, Romney has distanced himself from the president, garnering Trump's mockery and scorn.
Trump's antipathy toward Romney long predates his impeachment, and the president has run supercuts of Romney's defeat in the 2012 presidential election to mock the senator.
Romney called for more information as reports first circulated of Trump pushing Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.
"If the President asked or pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his political rival, either directly or through his personal attorney, it would be troubling in the extreme. Critical for the facts to come out," Romney tweeted in September.
Trump was charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after pushing Ukrainian officials to publicly launch a corruption investigation into the son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Mike Lee, Utah's Republican senior senator and a frequent CPAC attendee, tweeted a message of support shortly after Schlapp's announcement.
"Mitt Romney is a good friend and an excellent Senator. We have disagreed about a lot in this trial. But he has my respect for the thoughtfulness, integrity, and guts he has shown throughout this process," Lee wrote. "Utah and the Senate are lucky to have him."
Romney has previously spoken at the annual conservative conference including his first public speech since losing the 2012 election. He also spoke at CPAC in 2012 calling himself a "severely conservative governor" in an effort to shore up more support from the party's right as he sought the nomination.

CONGRESS
Joni Ernst: Trump’s learned his lesson on foreign interference
"He needs to go through the proper channels," the Iowa Republican said.
By SARAH CAMMARATA
02/02/2020
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/02/ernst-trump-learned-lesson-foreign-interference-110346
Sen. Joni Ernst said on Sunday she’s confident President Donald Trump will not solicit foreign interference in another U.S. election if he's acquitted as expected in the Senate impeachment trial.
“I think that he knows now that, if he is trying to do certain things, whether it’s ferreting out corruption there, in Afghanistan, whatever it is, he needs to go through the proper channels,” the Iowa Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
To root out corruption in Ukraine, she added, the president should have instead gone to the Justice Department and other international organizations for help, but instead “chose to go a different route.”
Later, Ernst said she intends to vote for Trump’s acquittal.
“Whether you like what the president has done or not, we can argue this up one side and down the other all day," she said. "Does it come to the point of removing a president from office? I don't believe this does.”

Joni Ernst: Trump’s learned his lesson on foreign interference

Gutfeld: That isn't the wind at Trump's back, it's a category 5 hurricane
As the Democratic impeachaholics self-destruct, President Trump keeps going.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump's s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo )

Judge Jeanine's message for Mitt Romney
Fox News
After voting to convict President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, it's time for the junior senator from Utah to pack his bags and take some time off. #FoxNews 

Trump’s Deal of the Century Won’t Bring Peace…That Was the Plan
by JONATHAN COOK-JANUARY 30, 2020

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/30/trumps-deal-of-the-century-wont-bring-peace-that-was-the-plan/


President_Trump_Unveils_a_Plan_for_a_Comprehensive_Peace_Agreement_Between_Israel_and_the_Palestinians


Much of Donald Trump’s long-trailed “deal of the century” came as no surprise. Over the past 18 months, Israeli officials had leaked many of its details.

The so-called “Vision for Peace” unveiled on Tuesday simply confirmed that the US government has publicly adopted the long-running consensus in Israel: that it is entitled to keep permanently the swaths of territory it seized illegally over the past half-century that deny the Palestinians any hope of a state.
The White House has discarded the traditional US pose as an “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian leaders were not invited to the ceremony, and would not have come had they been. This was a deal designed in Tel Aviv more than in Washington – and its point was to ensure there would be no Palestinian partner.

Importantly for Israel, it will get Washington’s permission to annex all of its illegal settlements, now littered across the West Bank, as well as the vast agricultural basin of the Jordan Valley. Israel will continue to have military control over the entire West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced his intention to bring just such an annexation plan before his cabinet as soon as possible. It will doubtless provide the central plank in his efforts to win a hotly contested general election due on March 2.

The Trump deal also approves Israel’s existing annexation of East Jerusalem. The Palestinians will be expected to pretend that a West Bank village outside the city is their capital of “Al Quds”. There are incendiary indications that Israel will be allowed to forcibly divide the Al Aqsa mosque compound to create a prayer space for extremist Jews, as has occurred in Hebron.

Further, the Trump administration appears to be considering giving a green light to the Israeli right’s long-held hopes of redrawing the current borders in such a way as to transfer potentially hundreds of thousands of Palestinians currently living in Israel as citizens into the West Bank. That would almost certainly amount to a war crime.

The plan envisages no right of return, and it seems the Arab world will be expected to foot the bill for compensating millions of Palestinian refugees.

A US map handed out on Tuesday showed Palestinian enclaves connected by a warren of bridges and tunnels, including one between the West Bank and Gaza. The only leavening accorded to the Palestinians are US pledges to strengthen their economy. Given the Palestinians’ parlous finances after decades of resource theft by Israel, that is not much of a promise.
All of this has been dressed up as a “realistic two-state solution”, offering the Palestinians nearly 70 per cent of the occupied territories – which in turn comprise 22 per cent of their original homeland. Put another way, the Palestinians are being required to accept a state on 15 per cent of historic Palestine after Israel has seized all the best agricultural land and the water sources.

Like all one-time deals, this patchwork “state” – lacking an army, and where Israel controls its security, borders, coastal waters and airspace – has an expiry date. It needs to be accepted within four years. Otherwise, Israel will have a free hand to start plundering yet more Palestinian territory. But the truth is that neither Israel nor the US expects or wants the Palestinians to play ball.
That is why the plan includes – as well as annexation of the settlements – a host of unrealisable preconditions before what remains of Palestine can be recognised: the Palestinian factions must disarm, with Hamas dismantled; the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas must strip the families of political prisoners of their stipends; and the Palestinian territories must be reinvented as the Middle East’s Switzerland, a flourishing democracy and open society, all while under Israel’s boot.

Instead, the Trump plan kills the charade that the 26-year-old Oslo process aimed for anything other than Palestinian capitulation. It fully aligns the US with Israeli efforts – pursued by all its main political parties over many decades – to lay the groundwork for permanent apartheid in the occupied territories.

Trump invited both Netanyahu, Israel’s caretaker prime minister, and his chief political rival, former general Benny Gantz, for the launch. Both were keen to express their unbridled support.
Between them, they represent four-fifths of Israel’s parliament. The chief battleground in the March election will be which one can claim to be better placed to implement the plan and thereby deal a death blow to Palestinian dreams of statehood.

On the Israeli right, there were voices of dissent. Settler groups described the plan as “far from perfect” – a view almost certainly shared privately by Netanyahu. Israel’s extreme right objects to any talk of Palestinian statehood, however illusory.
Nonetheless, Netanyahu and his right-wing coalition will happily seize the goodies offered by the Trump administration. Meanwhile the plan’s inevitable rejection by the Palestinian leadership will serve down the road as justification for Israel to grab yet more land.

There are other, more immediate bonuses from the “deal of the century”.
By allowing Israel to keep its ill-gotten gains from its 1967 conquest of Palestinian territories, Washington has officially endorsed one of the modern era’s great colonial aggressions. The US administration has thereby declared open war on the already feeble constraints imposed by international law.
Trump benefits personally, too. This will provide a distraction from his impeachment hearings as well as offering a potent bribe to his Israel-obsessed evangelical base and major funders such as US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson in the run-up to a presidential election.

And the US president is coming to the aid of a useful political ally. Netanyahu hopes this boost from the White House will propel his ultra-nationalist coalition into power in March, and cow the Israeli courts as they weigh criminal charges against him.

How he plans to extract personal gains from the Trump plan were evident on Tuesday. He scolded Israel’s attorney-general over the filing of the corruption indictments, claiming a “historic moment” for the state of Israel was being endangered.

Meanwhile, Abbas greeted the plan with “a thousand nos”. Trump has left him completely exposed. Either the PA abandons its security contractor role on behalf of Israel and dissolves itself, or it carries on as before but now explicitly deprived of the illusion that statehood is being pursued.
Abbas will try to cling on, hoping that Trump is ousted in this year’s election and a new US administration reverts to the pretence of advancing the long-expired Oslo peace process. But if Trump wins, the PA’s difficulties will rapidly mount.
No one, least of all the Trump administration, believes that this plan will lead to peace. A more realistic concern is how quickly it will pave the way to greater bloodshed.
Join the debate on Facebook
More articles by:JONATHAN COOK

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is 
http://www.jonathan-cook.net/

2020 ELECTIONS
Pardon Trump? Yang says he might
He wants America to be able to move past the Trump scandals.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/02/pardon-trump-andrew-yang-2020-110331

A President Andrew Yang might pardon President Donald Trump.
One of the entrepreneur's 2020 rivals, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has suggested she would appoint a task force to investigate Trump’s wrongdoing if she won the presidential election.
But Yang on Sunday said that would make moving forward difficult.
"You suggested ... that President Yang might pardon President Trump, why?" “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked the candidate.
Yang responded that he would listen to the guidance of his attorney general, but added, “You have to see what the facts are on the ground.”
“If you look at history around the world, it's a very, very nasty pattern that developing countries have fallen into, where a new president ends up throwing the president before them in jail,” Yang said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“That pattern unfortunately makes it very hard for any party to govern sustainably moving forward with a sense of unity among their people,” he continued. “And so to me, America should try to avoid that pattern if at all possible.”
In 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after he resigned amid the Watergate scandal. “It could go on and on and on, or someone must write the end to it. I have concluded that only I can do that, and if I can, I must,” Ford said in September 1974.
Yang has criticized the media and Democrats for being “obsessed over impeachment.” After the December PBS NewsHour/POLITICO debate, Yang said he didn’t remember any voters asking about impeachment on the campaign trail.
"Americans are not focused on this in the same way the networks are," he told CNN at the time.

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/02/pardon-trump-andrew-yang-2020-110331

Malaysia’s former first lady goes on trial for corruption
https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/malaysia-s-former-first-lady-goes-on-trial-for-corruption/story-FS2KHXgUHWrI26zpausJII.html

Rosmah Mansor, notorious for making overseas shopping trips and owning vast collections of handbags and jewellery, became a lightning rod for public anger as the government of prime minister Najib Razak was engulfed by corruption allegations.
WORLD: Feb 05, 2020

Home / World News / Malaysia’s former first lady goes on trial for corruption
Agence France-Presse
Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia’s former first lady, who allegedly bankrolled a luxurious lifestyle with kickbacks and stolen public money, went on trial Wednesday(Reuters)
Malaysia’s former first lady, who allegedly bankrolled a luxurious lifestyle with kickbacks and stolen public money, went on trial Wednesday for corruption for the first time since her husband lost power.

Rosmah Mansor, notorious for making overseas shopping trips and owning vast collections of handbags and jewellery, became a lightning rod for public anger as the government of prime minister Najib Razak was engulfed by corruption allegations.
Her husband’s long-ruling coalition suffered a shock election defeat in 2018 in large part due to claims he and his officials plundered billions of dollars from sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Both Najib and his wife have since been hit with multiple charges over the looting of the investment vehicle, but Rosmah’s first trial centres on allegations she received bribes linked to a government project.
Prosecutors allege she pocketed 6.5 million ringgit ($1.6 million) for helping a company secure the project to provide solar power generators to schools on the Malaysian part of Borneo island.

The 68-year-old is also accused of soliciting a further 187.5 million ringgit. Rosmah faces three counts of corruption for the offences, which allegedly took place in 2016 and 2017.
- ‘Overbearing nature’
Rosmah, known for her imperious manner and enormous mane of hair, denied all the charges as proceedings began at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
The former prime minister’s wife “occupied no official position. However, she wielded considerable influence by her own overbearing nature”, said prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram in his opening statement.
“She placed herself in a position where she was able to influence decisions in the public sector.”
The trial was supposed to start Monday but was delayed after Rosmah was admitted to hospital complaining of neck pain. On Wednesday she arrived in a car followed by an ambulance, and limped into the courtroom.
Najib, who is on trial at the High Court over the looting of 1MDB, made an appearance in the courtroom as the trial got underway.

The former leader and his wife’s lavish lifestyles came to symbolise the perceived rot in Malaysia’s ruling elite.

Following the 2018 election, police discovered valuables -- including cash, jewellery and luxury handbags -- worth up to $273 million in properties linked to the couple.

Scalise reacts to Pelosi ripping Trump's speech at State of the Union
Fox Business

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 Adam Schiff, D-Calif. House Intelligence Committee Chairman -

J. Scott Applewhite-AP Photo

Politico News on Trump Impeachment
Latest updates from Capitol Hill and the White House.

https://www.politico.com/news/trump-impeachment

Senator Lisa Murkowski, left, voted against witnesses, while Senator Susan Collins sided with Democrats

Credit...Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, on Friday in his office.

Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

DW DocumentaryLuxury for the super rich | DW Documentary

The largest private yacht in the world is the 180 meter-long Azzam, owned by the Emir of Abu Dhabi. Arab sheikhs, Russian oligarchs and American billionaires are battling to own the most luxurious and most expensive ship. The largest private yacht in the world cost around 600 million euros. The Azzam, which belongs to the Emir of Abu Dhabi, is a staggering 180 meters long. And it’s high maintenance — staff, diesel and servicing cost around ten million euros a year. These mega yachts are designed and furnished by top architects, like Philipp Starck. This film takes viewers onto some of the most expensive yachts in the world. Meet Norwegian ship designer Espen Oeino, who has inside knowledge of what this league of luxury really means. His clients’ requests have included a helicopter landing pad, and even a personal submarine on board. Along with destinations like Monaco, Miami and Dubai, yacht owners have recently also begun heading to more adventurous locations, like the Arctic Ocean. 

​DW Documentary gives you knowledge beyond the headlines. Watch high-class documentaries from German broadcasters and international production companies. Meet intriguing people, travel to distant lands, get a look behind the complexities of daily life and build a deeper understanding of current affairs and global events. Subscribe and explore the world around you with DW Documentary. 

Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Lamar Alexander- AP Photo

Nancy Pelosi rips up copy of State of the Union speech from Trump
Pelosi later called the address "a dirty speech."
By Ella Torres

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/nancy-pelosi-rips-copy-state-union-speech-trump/story?id=68766230
5 February 2020,

Pelosi shreds State of the Union speechCatch up on the developing stories making headlines.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

In a moment that bookended an already divided night at the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore in half a copy of the State of the Union address given to her by the president just as he finished speaking.

President Donald Trump didn't appear to notice as Pelosi, standing behind him in the gallery, ripped up the papers.

When asked after the event why she ripped up the speech, Pelosi told reporters it was "because it was a courteous thing to do considering the alternative. It was such a dirty speech."


The White House responded on Twitter, writing that Pelosi tearing up the pages was "her legacy."
The White House✔@WhiteHouse
Speaker Pelosi just ripped up:
One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen.
The survival of a child born at 21 weeks.
The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller.
A service member's reunion with his family.
That's her legacy.
3:46 AM - Feb 5, 2020


The address put America's divided politics on display, with Republicans offering up raucous support while Democrats mainly glared on and kept quiet.
One such moment was when Trump called California "a very terrible sanctuary," a comment not included among his prepared remarks.

"The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants -- a very terrible sanctuary -- with catastrophic results," Trump said.
Pelosi's jaw dropped at the comment. She represents California's 12th congressional district, which includes San Francisco.
Other House Democrats at time could be heard booing, while Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, and Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-N.J., walked out.

Vice President Mike Pence claps as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of President Donald Trump speech after he delivers the State of the Union address at the US... more

Vice President Mike Pence claps as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of President Donald Trump speech after he delivers the State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, Feb. 4, 2020.Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

IMPEACHING TRUMP
Impeachment Today Podcast: Case Closed

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/impeachmenttoday/impeachment-today-podcast-case-closed

In today's episode: Senators prepare for the final day of Donald Trump's impeachment trial.
Impeachment TodayBuzzFeed News
Posted on February 3, 2020, at 7:17 p.m. ET


It's Monday, February 3, day 12 of the impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Every morning, the Impeachment Today podcast helps you separate what’s real and groundbreaking from what’s just, well, bullshit.
You can listen to today's episode below, or check it out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
It's Monday, February 3rd, 2020. Day 12 of the impeachment trial of President Donald J. Trump. And this is Impeachment Today.
Good morning, I'm Hayes Brown, reporter and editor at BuzzFeed News. It's looking very much like this will be the last week of the impeachment trial, and the last week of this show. We can't dwell on that latter part right now though, because we have a lot to cover from the last few days. So let's get right into it.

Friday afternoon was subdued in the Senate, as the jurors gathered to hear four hours of debate, over whether to allow witnesses and documents to be subpoenaed in the trial. But thanks to Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee's announcement from the night before, it was all over, but the shouting. To quote, I don't know, somebody, I actually have no idea where that phrase comes from. Not even an absolute bombshell of news on Friday morning could rouse some members of the Senate from their seeming stupor.

We learned that former national security advisor, John Bolton's book, basically says, "Yes, President Donald Trump was using Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine, and knew all about it." The New York Times says that in his book, Bolton recalls a meeting in early May. In that meeting, President Trump instructed Bolton to call up then president Olek Zelensky of Ukraine, and tell him to work with Giuliani. Bolton says he never made the call. Giuliani, as we know, would spend the next few months working with other Trump officials, to secretly pressures Zelensky into announcing investigations, that would help Trump politically. We know this, because it was all in the House manager's case. Now, the president's defense has said that Giuliani was just a distraction. Here's what lawyer Jane Raskin, who we miss ID-ed as Jamie Raskin in an earlier episode, apologies to representative Jamie Raskin, talking about Rudy last Monday.

Jane Raskin:

Fact is, in the end, after a two years siege on the presidency, two inspector general reports, and a $32 million special counsel investigation, turns out Rudy was spot on. It seems to me if we're keeping score on who got it right on allegations of FISA abuse, egregious misconduct at the highest level of the FBI, alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and supposed obstruction of justice in connection with the special counsel investigation. The score is Mayor Giuliani, four, Mr. Schiff, zero. But in this trial, in this moment, Mr. Giuliani is just a minor player. That shiny object designed to distract you. Senators, I urge you most respectfully, do not be distracted.

Hayes Brown:
Which is very interesting, because according to Bolton, you know who else was in the Oval Office for that early May meeting? Acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, Giuliani himself, and wait for it, White House counsel, Pat Cipollone. Yes, the very same Pat Cipollone who has spent the last few weeks, leading the president's defense team. Sorry. I just, I can't, I cannot. The House managers offered one last plea to not let this trial end without the truth coming out.

Adam Schiff:

I want to walk through some of the arguments that you've just heard from the president's counsel. The first were arguments made by Mr. Philbin. Mr. Philbin began by saying, The house managers assert." That you can't have a trial without witnesses. And he said it's not that simple. Actually it is. It is pretty simple. In every courthouse in every state, in every county in the country, where they have trials, they have witnesses. And I think you heard Mr. Philbin tie himself into knots, as to why this should be the first trial in which witnesses are not necessary. But you know, some things are just as simple as they appear. A trial without witnesses, is simply not a trial. You can call it something else, but it's not a trial.

HB:
That was lead manager, Adam Schiff. He also added what in his view is at stake, if the trial does wrap up with a shrug.

Adam Schiff:

Now, you also heard Mr. Philbin argue ... And again, this is where we expected we'd be at the end of the proceeding, which is, essentially they proved their case. They proved their case. We pretty much all know what's gone on here. We all understand just what this president did. No one really disputes that anymore. So what? So what? It's a version of the Dershowitz defense. So what? The president can do no wrong. The president is the state. If the president believes that corrupt conduct would help him get reelected, if he believes shaking down an ally and withholding military aid, if he believes soliciting foreign interference in our election, whether it be from the Ukrainians, or the Russians, or the Israeli prime minister, or anyone else in any form that it may take, so what?

Adam Schiff:
He has a God given right to abuse his power, and there's nothing you can do about it. It's the Dershowitz principle of constitutional lawlessness. That's the end all argument for them. You don't need to hear witnesses who will prove the president's misconduct, because he has a right to be as corrupt as he chooses under our constitution. And there's nothing you can do about it. God help us if that argument succeeds.

HB:
But, it was to no avail. The debate ended and the vote came. The final result on the question of if witnesses will be allowed in the trial, surprising nobody at that point, was 49 to 51. All Republican senators saved two, voted against hearing witnesses, or forcing the administration to turn over more documents. We'll talk a little bit more about who voted how, and what that means in the next segment. After the vote, the Senate collectively looked at each other like ... Having realized that they'd not really accounted for just how the trial would wrap with the witness question decided. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, has been driving this train along the railroad tracks to acquittal junction this whole time. And to help seal the deal, the draft he prepared laying out the final days of the trial, made sure there'd be no more pesky witness talk.

The resolution resolve that once passed, "The record in this case shall be closed, and no motion to reopen it shall be an order for the duration of these proceedings." In human talk, we are fucking done here, and I don't care what you find, we're not going to hear it, so please save your breath. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer offered up for amendments, similar to those that he did on the first night of the trial. All four failed. Two, that would specifically subpoena John Bolton, got the same two Republican votes as the earlier vote on witnesses. And with that, by a vote of 53 in favor, and 47 opposed, a straight party line vote, the die was cast, and the schedule for the last few days of the trial set, no witnesses and a likely vote on the articles of impeachment on Wednesday.

All of which is absolutely baffling, especially considering what happened just hours later. In a midnight court filing, the department of justice said, that it happened to have just a few emails, only like 111 of them, about the hold on the aid to Ukraine that the administration will not release in full. And of those, according to the White House in that filing, 24 of them directly contain information about the president's thinking when he held the aid to Ukraine. That's 24 emails that the president's defense counsel refused to mention, or enter into the record to defend the president. That's 24 emails, which would potentially show a concrete motive, which the president's offense said, there's no way of knowing. And that is 24 emails that Senate Republican said unequivocally, that they absolutely cannot allow themselves to see. Cool. And now to quantify the current what the fuckery, we have today's reading from our newly repaired Nixometer.

On our scale is zero, normal day, normal White House, and 10 is President Richard Nixon resigning, and flying away in Marine One. This morning we're at a 5.8. Things are clearer than ever that the Senate GOP wants to get this done, without any further delay. And so the race is on to do so before anything else comes out, that could complicate matters further. We are less than 72 hours away now from when the clerk of the Senate calls the role, and the vote on removing, the president is locked into history. After the break, we're talking about the senators who say, Trump definitely F-ed up here, but is that really a problem? Be right back.

All right. After a lengthy break, it's time once again for This Fucking Guy. It's where we zoom in on a person, place or thing, that's shaping the impeachment. Today it's several guys. Those profiles encourage among the Senate GOP, who say the president did the thing he was accused of, but who still plan to vote not guilty later this week. Now, let's be clear. The odds of there being two thirds of the Senate who were willing to remove the president, were always low. But the House managers presented a case, that said the president held up nearly $400 million in money, that Congress provided to Ukraine to get them to influence the election in his favor. Two Republicans, Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, voted with Democrats in Friday's vote.

But in announcing their decision to reject having witnesses called, several Republican senators have all but said, well yeah, Trump did it, but is that really something we can remove a guy from office over? We start with Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Now, Rubio has been against impeachment from early on, so his vote against witnesses wasn't really a surprise. But in his statement about his decision, he went with saying that even if the House's arguments are true to remove Trump, is to let Putin win. I guess.

Marco Rubio:

And so even if everything that the House has alleged is accepted as true, number one, removing the president is not a last resort. We have an election in November, which is a far better and a lot less damaging remedy. Removal also does not have broad support or bipartisan support, and removing the president would, in my opinion, inflict extraordinary trauma on our nation, which is already deeply divided and polarized. Half the country would view his removal as nothing less than a coup d'etat. And I ask you, what scheme could Vladimir Putin come up with that would divide us more than that removal would? So I'm not going to vote in favor of tearing this country apart any further, or fueling a raging fire that already threatens our country.

HB:
Also, I swear to God, we did not put that music under Senator Rubio. That was how it was when he posted on his Twitter account. Next we turn to Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa. Last we heard from her on this show, she was just wondering aloud how the whole Biden corruption case that the president's offense was making on the Senate floor, was playing out in the democratic primaries. No reason. Just wondering. Well, speaking on CNN on Sunday, she explained that she was sure that moving forward, President Trump would know better than to try to get a foreign country to interfere in the election.

Joni Ernst:
The president has a lot of latitude to do what he wants to do. Again, not what I would have done, but certainly again, going after corruption, Jake-

Jake Tapper:
So you're saying it's not perfect, I get that. But if it's not something-

Joni Ernst:
Maybe not the perfect call.

Jake Tapper:
If it's not something you would have done, why wouldn't you have done it? Because it was wrong, because it was inappropriate?

Joni Ernst:
I think generally speaking, going after corruption would be the right thing to do-

Jake Tapper:
No, but going after the Bidens.

Joni Ernst:
He did it maybe in the wrong manner.

Jake Tapper:
In the wrong manner?

Joni Ernst:
But I think he could have done it through different channels. Now, this is the argument, is that he should have probably gone to the DOJ. He should have worked through those entities, but he chose to go a different route.

HB:
That comes pretty close to what Senator Lamar Alexander has been saying, when explaining his vote against witnesses. In a long statement of release Thursday night, Alexander forcefully stated that, yes, the Democrats had made their case. But that meant there was no need for further witnesses in his eyes, and that he would still vote not guilty. Which what? Here's how he explained himself on Meet The Press.

Speaker:

Does it wear on you though, that one of the ... One of the foundational reasons or ways that the framers wrote the constitution, was almost fear of foreign interference.

Lamar Alexander:

That's true.

Speaker:
And here it is.

Lamar Alexander:

Well, if you hooked up with Ukraine to wage war on the United States, as the first Senator from Tennessee did, you could be expelled. But this wasn't that. This was the kind of ... What the president should have done was, if he was upset about Joe Biden and his son, and what they were doing in Ukraine, he should've called the attorney general and told him that. And let the attorney general handle it the way they always handle cases that involve public….

Speaker:
And why do you think he didn't do that?

Lamar Alexander:
Maybe he didn't know to do it.

Speaker:
Okay. This has been a rationale that I've heard from a lot of Republicans. Well boy, he's still new to this.

Lamar Alexander:

Well, a lot of people come to-

Speaker:
At what point though, is he no longer new to this?

Lamar Alexander:
Well, the bottom line, it's not an excuse. He shouldn't have done it. And I said he shouldn't have done it. And now I think it's up to the American people to say, "Okay, good economy, lower taxes, conservative judges, behavior that I might not like. Call to Ukraine. Weigh that against Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and pick a president."

HB:
For the record, when Ambassador Bill Taylor tried to get Ukraine to use those official channels that Ernst and Alexander were describing, that never happened. Instead, Presidents Zelensky was days away from announcing the investigations the president wanted, when the aid was released. And the aid was only released, because Congress began investigating. Just pointing that out. Real quick, going back to Senator Ernst. Later on Sunday, in an interview with Bloomberg News, she had a warning for Democrats and their whole impeachment kick. "I think this door of impeachable whatever has been opened. Joe Biden should be very careful what he's asking for, because we can have a situation, where if it should ever be President Biden, then immediately people, right the day after he would be elected would be saying, well, we're going to impeach him. And the reason that might be given for such an impeachment, why turning his back on corruption in Ukraine of course."

And finally, we've Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski. For the longest time, she was seen as a near certain vote in favor of witnesses. Back in October, she even told reporters on The Hill that, "You don't hold up for an aid that we had previously appropriated for a political initiative, period." But in her announcement on Friday morning, she said that everyone was to blame for her decision not to vote for witnesses at the trial. In particular, she singled out her colleague, Elizabeth Warren, for her question to Chief Justice John Roberts, asking him if his participation in the Senate trial would affect people's view of the court. And there you have folks. These are the senators who believe that, yeah, Trump asking Ukraine to investigate his political rivals was bad. Holding up the aid was bad, removing the president, somehow worse. So good job guys, and heads up to all future presidents. Here's what you can get away with.

Okay, it's time for the latest edition of Trial Watch 2020. It's where we run down what's happening next in the Senate impeachment trial. Today is set to be a bit of an anticlimax, all things considered. According to the final rules resolution path last Friday, the House managers and the president's lawyers, will each have two hours to make their closing arguments. There's not really much left to say that hasn't already been said, without the new information that the House managers wanted to pull forward. But it'll still be interesting to see how they frame things, now that we're going to be ending the trial without a full account of just what happened last year. Given the report shown during the last debate over witnesses, I somehow doubt that the members of the world's greatest deliberative body, will be laser focused. At least we'll be watching and taking it in for the history of it.

Things kick off at 11:00 AM Eastern standard time, so be sure to tune in for what will likely be, the last time you hear from both sides during this extremely abbreviated trial. That concludes Trial Watch 2020.

Okay, that's it for today. Tomorrow we'll have a recap of the closing arguments for you, and whatever news breaks in the next 24 hours, that will surely throw everything into chaos. It has to happen at this point. What else can we expect? Thanks to all of you out there who have subscribed to the show. If you're listening for the first time, or just haven't gotten around to it, do subscribe to Impeachment Today on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you go to hear my disembodied voice. And please, maybe leave us a rating and a review. It helps us figure out what you liked about the show, and what you loved about the show. And you're going to want to stick around to catch these apparent final episodes, where we all figure out how this all ends together.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

 Sue Ogrocki-AP Photo

Trump's most awkward moments of 2018
Washington Post
President Trump's second year in office included some confusing and awkward moments. Here's a look back at the on-camera blunders he had in 2018. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2qiJ4dy

House impeachment managers file case brief against US President Donald Trump

Fox News Turns on John Bolton | The Daily Show
TheDailyShow

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Fox News once sang John Bolton’s praises, but now that he’s come out with evidence in support of Trump’s impeachment, the network has completely changed its tune. #TheDailyShow

GOP Senators Block Witnesses in Trump Impeachment Cover-Up: A Closer Look
Late Night with Seth Meyers

Seth takes a closer look at Senate Republicans all but completing their cover-up of the president’s crimes as they block witnesses and move to acquit him. Subscribe to Late Night: http://bit.ly/LateNightSeth Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers Weeknights 12:35/11:35c on NBC. Get more Late Night with Seth Meyers: http://www.nbc.com/late-night-with-se... 

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Eric Trump goes one-on-one with Laura Ingraham
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Eric Trump believes President Trump won re-election with his State of the Union address. #FoxNews

 Trump’s Impeachment Lawyers Argue He Can Do Whatever He Wants: A Closer Look
Late Night with Seth Meyers

Seth takes a closer look at the president and his lawyers going from arguing that there was no quid pro quo to arguing that the president can do literally whatever he wants.
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5 Takeaways From Trump’s Impeachment Trial
The two sides made their final speeches to senators with an eye toward the 2020 election.

By Eileen Sullivan

Feb. 3, 2020
Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Monday.

Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times [Eileen Sullivan]


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/03/us/politics/trump-news-today.html?te=1&nl=impeachment-briefing&emc=edit_ib_20200203&campaign_id=140&instance_id=15716&segment_id=20947&user_id=eeeb41ac0b2b0fd3a56a87fed573283b&regi_id=10089257520200203


House impeachment managers and President Trump’s defense team delivered their closing arguments on Monday with an eye toward history, but with little hope of changing any senator’s mind.

The arguments came on the same day that caucusgoers in Iowa will gather to narrow the Democratic field, and lawyers on both sides tried to appeal to 2020 voters in their arguments. The formal vote on whether to acquit Mr. Trump will take place on Wednesday. Here are the key takeaways from the closing arguments.

With a focus on history, House managers make their final arguments.
Invoking former President Abraham Lincoln, and the founding fathers Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, House impeachment managers delivered closing arguments written for the history books, and in some cases attempted to shame senators for not removing Mr. Trump from office.
“But all is not lost, even at this late hour. The Senate can still do the right thing,” one of the House impeachment managers, Representative Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat of New York, said on Monday. “America is watching. The world is watching. The eyes of history are watching. The Senate can still do the right thing.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the lead House impeachment manager, directly called out the partisan divide that has defined the impeachment trial.
“I hope and pray that we never have a president like Donald Trump in the Democratic Party,” Mr. Schiff said. “And I would hope to God that if we did we would impeach him, and Democrats would lead the way.”

He, like Mr. Jeffries, invoked the language of moral leadership and national values, asking senators to do the right thing.
“It is said that a single man or woman of courage makes a majority,” Mr. Schiff said. “Is there one among you who will say ‘enough’?”
“America believes in a thing called truth. She does not believe we are entitled to our own alternate facts. She recoils at those who spread pernicious falsehoods. To her, truth matters. There is nothing more corrosive to a democracy than the idea that there is no truth,” Mr. Schiff said. “America also believes there is a difference between right and wrong. And right matters here.”

The defense closes its case, insisting there was no quid pro quo.
Mr. Trump’s lawyers returned on Monday to Mr. Trump’s original defense of his July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, ignoring disclosures since the start of the trial about the president’s motivations for freezing nearly $400 million in military aid for the country.
Michael Purpura, a deputy White House counsel, said, “First, the president did not condition security assistance or a meeting on anything in the July 25 call.”
And, Mr. Purpura added, “none of the House witnesses ever testified that there was any linkage between security assistance and investigations.”

Both statements are strictly true and echo Mr. Trump’s own words last year when questions mounted about Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky. But the arguments do not take into account the larger context of the call or some witnesses’ testimony that they had concluded there was a link between security aid and investigations, even though they had no direct knowledge of one.

And the arguments do not address new details from Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, John R. Bolton, revealed recently in an unpublished manuscript. In the manuscript, Mr. Bolton said the president told him that he intended to withhold the military aid until Ukraine agreed to the investigations. After days of arguments, the Senate voted against calling witnesses, such as Mr. Bolton, to testify.

Voters were on the minds of House managers and the defense during closing arguments.
With little hope of changing any of the senators’ minds on whether to acquit Mr. Trump on Wednesday, House managers and Mr. Trump’s lawyers focused instead on the upcoming election.
“As we speak, the president continues his wrongdoing, unchecked and unashamed,” Mr. Jeffries said. “President Trump remains a clear and present danger to our national security area and to our credibility around the world.”

Mr. Jeffries also suggested that letting the voters decide is a flawed plan.
“If we are to rely on the next election to judge the president’s efforts to cheat in that election, how can we know that the election will be free and fair?” he asked.

Mr. Trump’s defense team similarly framed closing arguments around a free and independent election.
“At the end of the day, this is an effort to overturn the results of one election and to try to interfere in the coming election,” one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Pat Cipollone, said, referring to a widely debunked theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections to help Democrats, as opposed to Russia being behind the effort to help Mr. Trump.
“The only appropriate result here is to acquit the president and to leave it to the voters to choose their president,” Mr. Cipollone said.

The president’s defense says his actions were appropriate even as some Republican senators speak out.
Some Republican senators have begun defending their upcoming vote to acquit Mr. Trump with the argument that while what the president did may have been inappropriate, it is not an impeachable offense.
Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican who is retiring, offered this defense last week, when he announced his vote against hearing new witness testimony in the trial. The measure to block witnesses was long seen as a decision to acquit the president, and Democrats had hoped Mr. Alexander would vote with them.

After Mr. Alexander’s response, several Republicans followed suit.
“Long story short, @SenatorAlexander most likely expressed the sentiments of the country as a whole as well as any single Senator possibly could,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of Mr. Trump’s most frequent defenders in the Senate, wrote on Twitter. “Those who hate Trump and wish to take the voters choice away in an unfounded manner, Sen. Alexander rightly rejected their arguments.”
As the trial comes to a close, a final vote is still to come.
The senators began delivering their own versions of closing arguments in the lead-up to a final vote at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Under the trial rules, the senators have been quiet while in the chamber, listening to arguments from the House managers and the president’s lawyers.

With the trial now in recess, senators have up to 10 minutes to speak during floor sessions to make their own statements about why they intend to vote for or against Mr. Trump’s conviction. The sessions began Monday afternoon, and will continue Tuesday morning and Wednesday.
One highly watched moderate Republican used Monday evening’s session to end the suspense over her decision: Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said she would vote to acquit.
In the midst of this, Mr. Trump will deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday night without having been formally acquitted.


Zach Montague contributed reporting.
Eileen Sullivan is the morning breaking news correspondent based in Washington. She previously worked for The Associated Press for a decade, covering homeland security, counterterrorism and law enforcement. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2012.  @esullivannyt

Rudy Giuliani lays out the Biden's corruption in Ukraine
Fox News
Rudy Giuliani joins "Sunday Morning Futures" to discuss the Biden's actions in Ukraine. 

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, is ejected after shouting during U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020.

Tom Brenner/Reuters

The Trump Impeachment TRial on the Senate January 2020

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa. -J. Scott Applewhite-AP Photo

Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, on Friday at the Capitol. All but two Republicans voted to block witnesses.

Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

A Closer Look - Late Night with Seth Meyers- Late Night with Seth Meyers
Seth takes a closer look at the president reeling off a deranged tirade at the White House, where he celebrated his sham impeachment acquittal
Seth takes a closer look at the president reeling off a deranged tirade at the White House, where he celebrated his sham impeachment acquittal with his Republican co-conspirators. Subscribe to 

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

 J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Impeachment trial of President Trump | Jan. 31, 2020 (FULL LIVE STREAM)- Washington Post
A crucial vote is anticipated Jan. 31 on whether to call witnesses in the Trump impeachment trial, including former national security adviser John Bolton. In a manuscript of his new book, Bolton reportedly says that Trump directly tied the holdup of nearly $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine to investigations of the Bidens. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Impeachment does not mean that the president has been removed from office. In the next phase, the Senate must hold a trial to make that determination. A Senate impeachment trial has happened only two other times in American history and once in the modern era. At the center of the Democrats’ case is that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

Watch the debate on Jan. 21 on the rules of the trial: https://youtu.be/yz_J8sfZVEE

Watch the first day of opening arguments on Jan. 22: https://youtu.be/ttkY4rQqBPw 
Watch the second day of opening arguments on Jan. 23:
https://youtu.be/1PcqupKuKro 
Watch the third day of opening arguments on Jan. 24:
https://youtu.be/WpmUGeWzuOg 
Watch the first day of Trump’s legal team’s defense on Jan. 25:
https://youtu.be/WpmUGeWzuOg 
Watch the second day of Trump’s legal team’s defense on Jan. 27:
https://youtu.be/uyp7UvBPsjc 
Watch the third day of Trump’s legal team’s defense on Jan. 28:
https://youtu.be/u8Wf_9xDiSo 
Watch the first day of the question period on Jan. 29:
https://youtu.be/66yTwIDz3AM 
Watch the second day of the question period on Jan 30:
https://youtu.be/gv_kM8EiPGU 

Trump's entire 2020 State of the Union address
#CNN #News

President Trump delivered his third official State of the Union address to the nation from the US Capitol, the night before the Senate is scheduled to render its verdict on his impeachment trial. #CNN #News
Category: News & Politics

Trump reprises anti-immigration poem at rally
 Business Insider - TOM PORTER -  Feb 11th 2020


https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/02/11/trump-reprises-anti-immigration-poem-at-rally/23923486/

President Donald Trump held his first campaign rally since being acquitted by the Senate at his impeachment trial last Wednesday.
At the Monday rally in New Hampshire, Trump reprised a crowd favorite from his 2016 presidential campaign — reciting a 1963 poem titled "The Snake," which he used to push his anti-migrant message.
In the poem — which was written by an African-American civil rights activist — a woman takes in an injured snake that then bites her. In Trump's version, the snake symbolizes migrants entering the US.
The president also lavished praise on his supporters and family, particularly his daughter Ivanka,  whom he called "beautiful" and called on stage.
He also attacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and called his impeachment a "bipartisan hoax." As the crowd chanted "lock her up" — referring to Pelosi — Trump gave a thumbs-up sign.
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Seemingly emboldened by his impeachment acquittal, President Donald Trump held a wild campaign rally in New Hampshire on Monday, delighting supporters by reprising some of his 2016 campaign's greatest hits.
Among them was a 1963 poem called "The Snake," which Trump interpreted as a parable on the dangers of illegal migration. Many critics have repeatedly denounced Trump's version of the poem as racist scare-mongering.
"I used to do this a lot and people couldn't get enough of it. To be honest with you — and I haven't done it for a while — I thought I would do it tonight because you're on the eve of giving us an opponent and all of these people want open borders," Trump told supporters in Manchester.
He was referring to the New Hampshire Democratic primary, which began midnight Tuesday and will close between 7 and 8 p.m. EST throughout the state. (You can see live vote counts here.) Trump has also falsely claimed that the Democratic Party supports an end to US border controls for migrants.

After his preamble Trump read out the poem, which describes a woman who takes in an injured snake that ends up turning on her and biting her.
It was a crowd favorite during his 2016 presidential campaign, but the last time he recited it was a year ago at the CPAC conference in Washington, DC. 


Aaron Rupar✔@atrupar
Replying to @atrupar
You do know who's paying for the wall, don't you? Redemption from illegal aliens. The redemption money is paying for the wall" -- Trump is out here just making stuff up
Aaron Rupar✔@atrupar


As he did during his 2016 rallies, Trump reads "The Snake" to illustrate the purported danger of immigrants

"'Oh, shut up, silly woman!' said the reptile with a grin. 'You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in,' " said Trump, reading from the poem, as the audience cheered.

During the Monday rally, Trump falsely claimed that he was quoting from a song by soul legend Al Green, CNN reporter Daniel Dale tweeted.

The poem was recorded as a song by soul singer Al Wilson in 1968, but was written by Oscar Brown Jr., an African-American civil-rights activist, poet, and former Communist Party member.

Brown's daughters have previously told the president to stop distorting the meaning of their father's poem to push his anti-migrant message. 
"He's stealing and he's twisting Oscar's meaning to serve his own campaign and climate of intolerance and hate, which is the opposite of what the original author, Oscar Brown Jr., intended," Maggie Brown told MSNBC last year.

'Lock her up'

Trump also reiterated claims that his impeachment was a "partisan hoax," and focused his attacks on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one of the main Democrats that drove his impeachment. 
This prompted the crowd to reprise their chants of "lock her up"— another crowd favorite previously aimed at his 2016 Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Footage from the rally showed Trump did not join in the chants, but gave a thumbs-up sign and appeared to smile as they continued.

Aaron Rupar✔@atrupar
Replying to @atrupar
Trump has some trouble with the word "prosperity"
Aaron Rupar✔@atrupar

"It was very distracting. I'm speaking and a woman is mumbling" -- Trump mocks Nancy Pelosi for supposedly mumbling behind him during SOTU, prompting the crowd to chant "lock her up!"
He also lavished praise on his supporters and children, even calling his daughter Ivanka Trump on stage to join him.
He described her as "beautiful" to the crowd, adding: "I'm not allowed to say that because it's my daughter."
Trump has a long history of praising his daughter's physical appearance in a way that many people — including some who were present when he made the remarks — have found inappropriate.


Read More
Trump ripped into Romney as a 'Democrat secret asset' for voting to convict him of abuse of power in the impeachment trial

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-ripped-into-romney-for-voting-to-convict-impeachment-trial-2020-2?utm_source=referral&utm_medium=aol&r=US&IR=T
Mitt Romney caught the White House off guard by breaking from the GOP with his vote to convict Trump

https://www.businessinsider.com/romney-caught-white-house-off-guard-convict-trump-2020-2?utm_source=referral&utm_medium=aol&r=US&IR=T
Tension between Trump and Pelosi dominated the SOTU, beginning with a snubbed handshake and ending with a ripped-up speech

https://www.businessinsider.com/tension-and-anger-between-trump-and-pelosi-dominated-the-sotu-2020-2?utm_source=referral&utm_medium=aol&r=US&IR=T

 

Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address - watch live
Guardian News
US President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Category News & Politics

CONGRESS
Alexander: 'I'm going to vote to acquit'
"I'm very concerned about any action that we could take that would establish a perpetual impeachment in the House of Representatives."
By SARAH CAMMARATA
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/02/alexander-vote-to-acquit-impeachment-110321
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. 

Sen. Lamar Alexander said he plans to vote to acquit President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial, citing concerns over establishing a “perpetual impeachment” in the House and “immobilizing the presidency.”
“I'm going to vote to acquit. I'm very concerned about any action that we could take that would establish a perpetual impeachment in the House of Representatives whenever the House was a different party than the president. That would immobilize the Senate,” the 79-year-old Tennessee Republican said in an interview set to air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The retiring senator invoked the framers of the Constitution to express disdain over a situation “where a partisan majority in the House of either party can stop the government.”
A swing vote ahead of a key vote Friday on whether to bring new witnesses in the trial, Alexander voted against the move, in part because he contended it was too close to the November election in which voters can decide the president’s fate.

Sen. Mitt Romney and Sen. Lamar Alexander. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland shooting victim, escorted out of gallery during State of the Union
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited Guttenberg as her guest.
By Karma Allen
5 February 2020, 


Click here to see a video of Dad of teen killed in shooting: 'Hold your kids'Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Tom Brenner/Reuters
https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fred-guttenberg-father-parkland-shooting-victim-escorted-gallery/story?id=68765919?id=68765919?amp_js_v=0.1&cid=referral_taboola_feed


Dad of teen killed in shooting: 'Hold your kids'Trump asks Congress to pass Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act.

Fred Guttenberg, who lost his 14-year-old daughter in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, was escorted out of the gallery during President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

The dramatic moment unfolded as the president mentioned that he would protect gun rights. Guttenberg was heard shouting from the speaker's box as the president spoke and he was quickly removed from the audience by a plainclothes police officer.


A spokesperson for Guttenberg confirmed to ABC News that he was the man who was escorted out.

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, is ejected after shouting during U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020.Tom Brenner/Reuters


Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuelan’s opposition movement, at the State of the Union on Tuesday.

Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

WHITE HOUSE
Poll: Support for Trump's removal remains steady
The new poll released Saturday shows minimal change in public opinion about the trial.
By CAITLIN OPRYSKO

 President Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally at Drake University on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/01/trump-impeachment-poll-110137

02/01/2020 
As the Senate impeachment trial goes into its third week, support for removing President Donald Trump from office remains steady, with half of voters registering approval for his conviction despite his all-but-certain acquittal, according to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.
The new poll conducted Jan. 29-30 and released Saturday shows minimal change in public opinion about the trial. While 50 percent approval and 43 percent disapproval for a Senate conviction represent a slightly wider gap than the last POLITICO/Morning Consult survey, both numbers remain within the poll’s margin of error.
The Republican-led Senate is almost certain to acquit the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress next Wednesday, after defeating a motion on Friday to hear from new witnesses or admit new evidence and despite a stream of disclosures seemingly bolstering House Democrats’ case. Stabilized public opinion about voters’ preferred outcome for the trial comes despite what could have been a bombshell of a revelation going into the second week of the trial.
The New York Times reported Sunday that in the manuscript for a forthcoming book, former White House national security adviser John Bolton writes that Trump directly tied the release of frozen military aid for Ukraine to Kyiv’s willingness to commit to investigations of Trump’s political rivals. Those allegations are at the heart of the charges against the president.
While at first it seemed the news could produce new support among Republicans for subpoenaing Bolton to testify, the motion was narrowly defeated Friday in a victory for the White House and GOP leaders.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted online between Jan. 29-30 among a national sample of 1,992 registered voters. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

Impeachment trial of President Trump | Jan. 30, 2020 (FULL LIVE STREAM)
#trumpimpeachmenttrial

Washington Post
House impeachment managers and President Trump’s lawyers have concluded their opening arguments in the Senate. The impeachment trial is now in the question period for both sides, when senators submit questions in writing to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The chief justice will read questions out loud, alternating between the majority and minority for up to eight hours. Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Impeachment does not mean that the president has been removed from office. In the next phase, the Senate must hold a trial to make that determination. A Senate impeachment trial has happened only two other times in American history and once in the modern era. At the center of the Democrats’ case is that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son.

Watch State of the Union live: Trump gives 2020 address
CBS News
President Trump is delivering the final State of the Union address of his first term Tuesday, as the Senate is expected to acquit him of the two articles of impeachment passed by the House in December. Follow Live Updates:
CategoryNews & Politics

Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell after the senate voted 51-49 against calling witnesses in the impeachment trial. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

Senators Speak Before Holding Final Impeachment Vote | NBC News (Live Stream)
NBC News
Watch live coverage of the Senate floor as U.S. senators speak before the final impeachment vote today where President Donald Trump is likely to be acquitted. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News Digital is a collection of innovative and powerful news brands that deliver compelling, diverse and engaging news stories. NBC News Digital features NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, TODAY.com, Nightly News, Meet the Press, Dateline, and the existing apps and digital extensions of these respective properties. We deliver the best in breaking news, live video coverage, original journalism and segments from your favorite NBC News Shows. Connect with NBC News Online! NBC News App: https://apps.nbcnews.com/mobile

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Senators Speak Before Holding Final Impeachment Vote | NBC News (Live Stream)
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State of the Union President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address and the Democratic response (FULL LIVE STREAM) - Washington Post
President Trump will give the 2020 State of the Union address at 9 p.m. ET on Feb. 4, the final of his first term. Though he is expected to be acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial, his speech comes after a contentious battle between Democrats and Republicans in both chambers. The theme of Trump’s speech will be “the Great American Comeback.” It is the second time a president has delivered the address in the midst of an impeachment trial, the first was Bill Clinton’s State of the Union in 1999. The Democratic response to Trump’s address will be given by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Host Libby Casey and Washington Post reporters will provide live coverage and analysis from Capitol Hill of President Trump's 2020 State of the Union address and the Democratic response. #stateoftheunio

State of the Union Updates: Trump Adds Reality Show Flourishes to Address

On the eve of the final Senate votes in the impeachment trial, President Trump traded snubs with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and promoted a ‘Great American Comeback,’ pausing to award Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
By Peter Baker
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/04/us/politics/state-of-the-union-address.html
President Trump’s State of the Union Speech was marked by optimism and made-for-TV moments — but his tense relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also on display.CreditCredit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump delivering the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mr. Trump dispensed with ‘carnage’ in favor of ‘comeback’ as he argued that he has revitalized America.
Snubs: Trump declined to shake Pelosi’s hand. She omitted a ceremonial introduction and ripped up his speech.
Returning to his roots, Trump peppered the address with reality show flourishes
Awaiting acquittal, Mr. Trump planned a low-key address, saving his views on impeachment for another speech.
Mr. Trump sought to show support for Venezuela’s opposition by inviting Juan Guaidó to the speech.
Rush Limbaugh was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mr. Trump reveled in the Democratic dysfunction in Iowa, calling it ‘a fiasco that just plays right into us.’


On the eve of the final Senate votes in the impeachment trial, President Trump traded snubs with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and promoted a ‘Great American Comeback,’ pausing to award Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mr. Trump dispensed with ‘carnage’ in favor of ‘comeback’ as he argued that he has revitalized America.

With the November election just nine months away, President Trump used his speech to frame the choice as he sees it, claiming credit for what he called a “Great American Comeback” and revival of American spirit while defining the coming campaign against the Democrats as a battle to stop the rise of socialism in the United States.
Mr. Trump, who decried what he called “American carnage” when he was inaugurated in January 2017, described a different country on Tuesday night, saying the nation is one again making progress at home.
“In just three short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny. We have totally rejected the downsizing,” he said. “We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago and we are never going back.”

The cited his tax cuts, deregulation, renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and a partial trade agreement with China, while arguing against Democratic plans to expand access to health care.
“To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American health care,” he said.

As Mr. Trump was calling for measures to lower the cost of prescription drugs, Democrats jumped to their feet, held up three fingers and chanted, “H.R. 3! H.R. 3!” They were referring to a bill the House passed last year to lower the cost of prescription drugs, which has languished in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Picking up another favorite theme, Mr. Trump reaffirmed his campaign to restrict the flow of new people into the country, assailing California, New York and other jurisdictions he calls “sanctuary cities” that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities. He called for the enactment of legislation that would allow them to be sued by victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
“The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans, not criminal aliens,” he said, introducing a senior Border Patrol official and the brother of a man killed at a gas station.

Snubs: Trump declined to shake Pelosi’s hand. She omitted a ceremonial introduction and ripped up his speech.
It was a night of awkward encounters and pointed snubs. As he arrived at the rostrum, Mr. Trump turned to hand copies of his speech to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence but when Ms. Pelosi offered her hand to shake, he turned away without taking it. She shrugged.

Moments later, Ms. Pelosi announced Mr. Trump to the assembled lawmakers with the simple words, “Members of Congress, the president of the United States” — eschewing the more florid language that speakers, including her, have used in the past: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and the distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”
The snubbing continued right until Mr. Trump finished speaking, when Ms. Pelosi stood, an expression of vague disgust on her face, and tore up her copy of the speech — in full view of the television cameras, while Mr. Trump had his back turned.
Mr. Trump also came across another central figure in his impeachment drama on his way to the rostrum as he saw Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is presiding over the Senate impeachment trial. The president paused to speak to the chief justice, to which the chief justice appeared to say “thank you” even as he kept a studiously neutral face.
And among the official escorts assigned to bring Mr. Trump into the chamber was Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, one of the seven House Democrats prosecuting the president in the Senate trial.

Republicans, by contrast, greeted Mr. Trump enthusiastically, chanting, “Four more years! Four more years!” as he took the rostrum, as if it were a campaign rally.
Mr. Trump returned their warmth, at one point acknowledging Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate Republican leader who has ensured his acquittal in the impeachment trial. “Thank you, Mitch,” the president said.

Returning to his roots, Trump peppered the address with reality show flourishes

Ever the showman, Mr. Trump returned to his roots as a reality television star, peppering in flourishes and surprises meant to delight the viewing audience. Some of the moves seemed cribbed straight from daytime television: bringing home a soldier from Afghanistan and reuniting him with his family, awarding a nine-year-old girl with a scholarship, and awarding the conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom — complete with a ceremony in the First Lady’s box.
Mr. Trump appeared to relish his role as the ringmaster in House Democrats’ own turf, and the antics seemingly thrilled Republicans in the chamber, who cheered Mr. Limbaugh — who was recently diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer — with cries of “Rush! Rush! Rush!”
But some Democrats walked away in disgust.
“It’s like watching professional wrestling,” Representative Tim Ryan of Massachusetts wrote on Twitter. “It’s all fake.
— Catie Edmondson


Awaiting acquittal, Mr. Trump planned a low-key address, saving his views on impeachment for another speech.
Mr. Trump’s appearance in the same House chamber where he was impeached nearly seven weeks ago marked a surreal moment in Washington as he addresses many of the same lawmakers still trying to remove him from office. Despite the fireworks, Mr. Trump all but ignored the battle over the future of his presidency, at least out loud. He told network anchors earlier in the day that he plans to save his thoughts on the matter for a separate speech he wants to give after the final vote on Wednesday, when the Senate is poised to acquit him.
The unusual confluence of the president’s annual speech with an impeachment trial was not a first. President Bill Clinton likewise delivered his State of the Union address in 1999 in the midst of a Senate impeachment trial that later acquitted him. Mr. Clinton made no mention of the trial either.


Mr. Trump sought to show support for Venezuela’s opposition by inviting Juan Guaidó to the speech.
For weeks, the Trump administration has fought speculation that it was no longer backing Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuelan’s opposition movement, frustrated that he has yet to push President Nicolas Maduro from power. On Tuesday, the White House gave Mr. Guaidó its most visible show of support yet: a seat in Mr. Trump’s guest box for the State of the Union address.
“Please take this message back that all Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom,” Mr. Trump said, turning to face Mr. Guaidó as Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats joined Republicans in a standing ovation. “Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.”
Mr. Guaidó left Venezuela last month, defying a travel ban imposed by Mr. Maduro’s disputed government, to round up international support. More than a year ago, as president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Mr. Guaidó declared that because Mr. Maduro’s re-election in 2018 was under dispute, he could not claim power. Instead, under the Venezuelan constitution, Mr. Guaidó, declared himself the country’s interim leader.
More than 50 countries, including the United States, recognize Mr. Guaidó as the rightful president of Venezuela. The Trump administration has imposed dozens of economic sanctions against Mr. Maduro and his government to help Mr. Guaidó push him from office.

Rush Limbaugh was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Another surprise guest in the first lady’s box, seated next to Melania Trump, was Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk show host who announced on Monday that he has been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
Mr. Limbaugh has been a strong supporter of Mr. Trump, even appearing with him at a campaign rally during last year’s midterm election, and the president offered a tribute to him in his speech.
“Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country,” Mr. Trump said. “And Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and that you inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”
Mr. Limbaugh looked surprised and emotional, his mouth hanging open as he passed his hands across his face. In an unusual break from tradition, Melania Trump then stood and fastened the medal around his neck. Mr. Limbaugh mouthed “thank you” while he flashed a thumbs up toward the floor. Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats, who have been some of Mr. Limbaugh’s regular targets and fiercest critics, did not stand.

Mr. Limbaugh awarded the Medal of Freedom.
Also in the box were Carl and Marsha Mueller, who held up a picture of their daughter, Kayla, a humanitarian aid worker kidnapped, tortured and killed by the Islamic State. Sitting nearby were Kelli and Gage Hake, the wife and 13-year-old son of Staff Sgt. Chris Hake, a soldier killed in 2008 by a roadside bomb in Iraq blamed on Qassim Suleimani, the Iranian general killed by a drone strike ordered by Mr. Trump.
Present as well were Charles McGee, one of the last surviving of the Tuskegee airmen, along with his great-grandson, Iain Lanphier, who wants to join the Space Force that Mr. Trump has just created.

Mr. Trump reveled in the Democratic dysfunction in Iowa, calling it ‘a fiasco that just plays right into us.’
Even before heading in his motorcade to the Capitol for the big speech, Mr. Trump was enjoying the day, reveling in the dysfunction of the Iowa Democratic caucuses and relishing new polling that showed his public approval at the highest point of his presidency.
The long-delayed counting of the opening round of the Democratic presidential nomination race gave Mr. Trump ammunition for his efforts to sow dissension among Democrats by claiming, without proof, that the party establishment was trying to rig the race against Senator Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist he would like to face in the fall.

“It’s a fiasco that just plays right into us,” Mr. Trump told the network anchors, according to people in the room.

Mr. Trump said he did not know who would win the Democratic nomination but said that Mr. Sanders is “nastier and smarter” than the other candidates and expressed amazement that former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., was doing so well. Mr. Pence, a former governor of Indiana, then interjected that South Bend was a troubled city.
The president noted that he was looking forward to another Democrat-on-Democrat showdown, predicting that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first-term liberal firebrand from New York, would take on Senator Chuck Schumer, the party leader in the Senate, in a primary in 2022. “She will kick his ass,” Mr. Trump predicted.

After Trump finished, two Democrats responded, criticizing his policies and rhetoric about immigrants.
When Mr. Trump finished speaking, Democrats offered their rebuttal, featuring a midwestern governor from a state where the fall presidential contest will likely be waged most intensely and a Latina congresswoman who has taken him to task on immigration.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who won her office in 2018 with a convincing 10-point victory over Mr. Trump’s favored candidate in a state that he had won in 2016, represents what party leaders consider the archetype for a successful candidate in the Trump era, a “fix the damn roads” pragmatist, to use her own words, who can work with Republicans on bread-and-butter issues.

She took on Mr. Trump’s rosy view of the economy, saying: “It doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market. What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans or prescription drugs.”
To deliver the party’s Spanish-language response, Democratic leaders tapped Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas, who declined to join Mr. Trump when he visited El Paso last August after a mass shooting by a gunman warning of a “Hispanic invasion.”
In her own remarks, Ms. Escobar said the shooter parroted some of the rhetoric used by the president. “Just before he began his killing spree, he posted his views online and used hateful language like the very words used by President Trump to describe immigrants and Latinos,” she said.

Peter Baker is the chief White House correspondent and has covered the last four presidents for The Times and The Washington Post. He also is the author of five books, most recently “Impeachment: An American History.” @peterbakernyt • Facebook

Highlights (and Snubs) From Trump’s State of the Union Speech
President Trump’s State of the Union Speech was marked by optimism and made-for-TV moments — but his tense relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also on display.CreditCredit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump delivering the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Juan Guaidó, the leader of Venezuelan’s opposition movement, at the State of the Union on Tuesday.


TRANSCRIPT
Trump Awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom
During his State of the Union Speech, President Trump awarded the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. [applause] I will now ask the first lady of the United States to present you with the honor — please. Member of audience: “Thank you, Rush!”

Full Video: Democratic Response to Trump’s State of the Union Speech
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan delivered the Democratic response after President Trump’s State of the Union address.CreditCredit...Al Goldis/Associated Press


Trump Awards Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom
During his State of the Union Speech, President Trump awarded the conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.CreditCredit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

 President Donald Trump addresses supporters at a rally at Drake University on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

Trump’s War on the Environment Imperils Us All
by GEORGE OCHENSKI- JANUARY 30, 2020


https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/30/trumps-war-on-the-environment-imperils-us-all/

Halsey, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.


While the eyes of the nation are on the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, the industry lobbyists he put in charge of federal environmental regulatory agencies have been busily carrying out an underhanded war on the environment. Attacking long-standing regulations on pollution of air, land, water, and endangered species that have, in large part, served the nation well has been their mission from day one of the Trump administration. Now, adding to the rogue’s list of rollbacks, the EPA has decided to gut the Clean Water Act, imperiling us, our children, grandchildren, and generations yet to come.
This development, which will have very damaging and long-lasting consequences, may have surprised some because Trump had already repealed the Obama-era Waters of the United States rule. Suffice it to say his impression that the only way to benefit businesses is to let them run hog wild with environmental destruction and consumption of public resources is wildly off-base. Obviously, the Obama rule was not significantly detrimental to the booming economy Trump inherited. And clean water is one of our most precious public resources without which, regardless of political affiliation, we cannot survive.

The mechanism Trump’s administration used to roll back the regulations is via administrative rulemaking. While most people rightfully believe making laws is the job of Congress, the reality is that once Congress passes a bill and it’s signed into law, the agency responsible for implementing the law must promulgate the highly complex “rules” to fit the wide variety of situations virtually any law must cover.
Importantly, once administrative rules are adopted, they carry the force of law – in effect giving bureaucracies significant latitude to basically make their own laws. Legally, the administrative rules are supposed to be bound by the statutory language of the law they implement. Unfortunately, it often takes a lawsuit to overturn administrative rules that go beyond the laws they are intended to implement and they stay in effect until overturned.

So now we are faced with yet another attempt by the Trump administration to gut long-standing beneficial environmental laws via administrative rule-making. And like the gutting of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air Act, these rules will stand until the EPA is taken to court and the rules are overturned.

In this case, the last thing the Environmental Protection Agency is protecting is the environment. The Waters of the United States rule judiciously regulated the dumping of industrial pollutants, fertilizers, and pesticides into waterways. And since water runs downhill, wetlands and intermittent streams were protected for the very good reason that everyone lives downstream and the only way to ensure clean surface and groundwater is to protect the uphill sources from pollutants.

Moreover, wetlands are one of nature’s true miracle workers. A variety of aquatic plants very efficiently pull pollutants out of the water as it slowly seeps through. So allowing developers or farmers to fill in wetlands is one of the absolutely dumbest things anyone could do if protecting water quality is the goal.
If anyone needs a reminder of what unregulated water pollution looks like, they need only turn their eyes to Butte, Anaconda, and the Clark Fork River that comprise the nation’s largest Superfund site. We learned that lesson 50 years ago, when the Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress. But now, with a science-denying president and a corporate-controlled EPA, we are about to repeat the tragic and incredibly expensive mistakes of the past as Trump’s war on the environment increasingly imperils us all.

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More articles by:GEORGE OCHENSKI

George Ochenski is a columnist for the Missoulian, where this essay originally appeared.

Watch Live: State of the Union 2020 | WSJ
Wall Street Journal
Watch live as Donald Trump addresses the nation in the 2020 State of the Union.

The House impeachment managers, including Representatives Adam B. Schiff and Sylvia R. Garcia, on Friday in the Capitol. “The facts will come — out in all of their horror, they will come out,” Mr. Schiff said

Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Sen. Mitt Romney.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland school shooting victim Jaime Guttenberg, is ejected after shouting during U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020. Tom Brenner/Reuters

John Bolton and Lev Parnas Throw a Wrench in Trump’s Defense | The Daily Show
#TheDailyShow
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Just as Trump’s defense team begins laying out its arguments in the impeachment trial, more damning accounts from John Bolton and Lev Parnas come out about the president’s actions. 

Whoite House  Lawyers Have Already Closed the Case Defending the Impeachment of uS President Donald Trump

President Trump’s State of the Union Speech was marked by optimism and made-for-TV moments —

but his tense relationship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi was also on display.

CreditCredit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

State of the Union 2020: Highlights from Donald Trump’s speech
Global News
U.S. President Donald Trump touted America’s economic growth, praised the formation of the U.S. Space Force and promised the country would be the first to plant its flag on Mars as he delivered his third State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

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IMPEACHMENT
Next week in impeachment
Here are the details on when and where to watch.
By MATTHEW CHOI

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/senate-impeachment-vote-schedule-110145
Senators voted not to hear from additional witnesses Friday. | Senate Television via AP
01/31/2020 
President Donald Trump's impeachment trial is entering its third week Monday, and the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to acquit him by Wednesday.
After the Senate on Friday voted along party lines — with a couple of exceptions — to kill a motion to hear witnesses in the trial, the trial is all but certain to finish with Trump's acquittal.
Here are the details on when and where to watch.
Where to watch the Senate trial

A livestream of the trial will be available at politico.com.
How senators plan to vote on impeachment
Keep track of which senators support and are against ousting Trump from office with POLITICO's interactive.
This week's impeachment schedule
Monday
11 a.m.: Closing arguments will begin and last for four hours. Senators will have until Wednesday's vote to speak on the trial. The four senators running for president — Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet — will have the chance after closing arguments to travel to Iowa for the state's caucus.
Tuesday
9 p.m.: Trump will address the House and Senate for the State of the Union.
Wednesday
4 p.m.: The Senate will vote on Trump's articles of impeachment.

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi tore up Donald Trump’s state of the union speech
The Trump-Pelosi exchange will remain likely the most enduring impression of the 2020 State of the Union address, which was also Trump’s third.
WORLD Updated: Feb 05, 2020

https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/when-speaker-nancy-pelosi-tore-up-donald-trump-s-state-of-the-union-speech/story-GOzKc7XGoQYkNfz4aMhqON.html


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump's s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday. (AP Photo )

As President Donald Trump was finishing his state of the union address to US congress Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was behind him, rose to her feet and ripped up a copy of his remarks, in which the president had sought to move beyond the impeachment trial and make a case for his re-election.

The speech was a “manifesto of mistruths”, Pelosi told reporters when asked later why tore up the speech. She did not say more but Trump might have irked her when he ignored her hand held out for a handshake as he handed her and Vice-President Mike Pence, who co-chaired the joint address, folders containing copies of his prepared speech.
Pelosi did not wait long to respond to the slight, unless it was unintended and Trump did not see her outstretched arm. “Ladies and gentlemen, the president of the United States,” she announced the president, drily, dispensing with the more flowery phrases of the traditional version: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the president of the United States.”

The two leaders have not spoken directly for months, and exchanged harsh words through tweets and public remarks, specially after Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry against him last September. That led Trump’s impeachment in December making him only the third president ever impeached. The senate is expected to acquit him in a partisan vote Wednesday, blocking his removal from office.

The Trump-Pelosi exchange will remain likely the most enduring impression of the 2020 State of the Union address, which was also Trump’s third.

Second, touted by his aides as a “Great American Comeback” address, Trump’s speech , which was long at over 75 minutes, was tailored to highlight the achievements of his administration with an eye on the upcoming re-election bid in November. One of the longer parts of the speech was devoted to the economy. “I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been,” he said. He went on to cite job numbers, dipping unemployment among minorities, women and veteran.

Third, and for relevance to people outside the United States, he reiterated his intention to reform the immigration system and shift it from family-based to one based on merit. Indians have been beneficiaries of both systems “We are working on legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.,” Trump said, and went on to reiterate his commitment to strong measures to end illegal immigrations and spoke about the wall he has been building along the border with Mexico.

Fourth, on national security and foreign policy, Trump spoke about his “groundbreaking” peace plan for West Asia. “We must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people the chance to realize a better future,” he said. He spoke also of his intention to “finally” end the endless war in Afghanistan. Citing the killing of Islamic State found Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ’s Qassem Soleimani, the US president said, “Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice.”

Fifth, and last, trade remains a major concern, as India would note while its official work with American counterparts to wrap up a trade agreement in time for President Trump to sign when he visits India later this month. Trump said in his opening lines of the speech that “fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements” remains a priority, and that it was the single biggest reason he ran for president. He spoke of standing up to China and the recently signed phase-one of a trade deal by the two countries and a bill he signed into law last week to replace an earlier trade pact with Mexico and Canada.

BREAKING NEWS
President Trump fired a second prominent witness in the impeachment inquiry in just a matter of hours: Gordon Sondland, the E.U. ambassador

Trump Fires Impeachment Witnesses Gordon Sondland and Alexander Vindman in Post-Acquittal Purge
New York Times By Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, Danny Hakim and Michael S. Schmidt
Friday, February 7, 2020

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/07/us/politics/alexander-vindman-gordon-sondland-fired.html

WASHINGTON — President Trump wasted little time on Friday opening a campaign of retribution against those he blames for his impeachment, firing two of the most prominent witnesses in the House inquiry against him barely 48 hours after being acquitted by the Senate.
Emboldened by his victory and determined to strike back, Mr. Trump fired Mr. Sondland within hours of the White House dismissing Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a decorated Iraq war veteran who was a Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. Both officials testified to a House committee about the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine to help him against his domestic political rivals
Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a witness in the impeachment inquiry, was fired on Friday.Credit...Samuel Corum for The New York Times
President Trump fired a second prominent witness in the impeachment inquiry in just a matter of hours: Gordon Sondland, the E.U. ambassador

Senator Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, speaking to reporters in the Capitol on Monday.
Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times [Eileen Sullivan]

Trump on the US economy l State of the Union 2020 | ABC News
The president discusses the state of the U.S. economy in his State of the Union, saying the unemployment rate is the lowest in half a century. 

The Senators Speaking  Before Holding Final Impeachment Vote, and the Impeachment vote 

| NBC News (Live Streaming )​- Watch live coverage of the Senate floor as U.S. senators speak before the final impeachment vote today where President Donald Trump was  acquitted and other live streaming political news from NBC

Trump Forwards His Xenophobic Agenda | The Daily Show
NUMER #34 NA KARCIE NA CZASIE

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
President Trump plans to expand his infamous travel ban with the intention of cracking down on so-called “birth tourism.” #TheDailyShow

Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a witness in the impeachment inquiry, was fired on Friday.

Credit...Samuel Corum for The New York Times

President Trump Delivers 2020 State Of The Union Address | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)

NBC News
Watch President Trump's third State of the Union address live at the United States Capitol. The Democratic response will be delivered by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews NBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations. Connect with NBC News Online! Visit NBCNews.Com: http://nbcnews.to/ReadNBC Find NBC News on Facebook: http://nbcnews.to/LikeNBC Follow NBC News on Twitter: http://nbcnews.to/FollowNBC Follow NBC News on Instagram: http://nbcnews.to/InstaNBC
#SOTU #Trump #NBCNews President Trump Delivers 2020 State Of The Union Address | NBC News (Live Stream Recording)
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