Nancy Pelosi Interrupts CNN’s Christiane Amanpour To Claim Trump Was Never Acquitted In Impeachment Trial

By PoliZette Staff | February 17, 2020

During an interview with CNN host Christiane Amanpour on Saturday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) bizarrely claimed that President Donald Trump was never actually acquitted in his Senate trial earlier this month. Of course, this is a blatant lie, as Trump was indeed acquitted by the Senate in 52-48 and a 53-47 votes.

While taking part in the CNN interview, Pelosi desperately tried to argue that Trump had not been acquitted because the Senate never called for more documents and witnesses during the trial.

“What about, though, the fact that the president seems liberated, and this is about democratic politics so I’m not asking you to criticize here, but he was acquitted, his poll ratings are high—” Amanpour began, before Pelosi interrupted her.

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After awkwardly stammering for a few seconds, Pelosi said, “You can’t have an acquittal unless you have a trial, and you can’t have a trial unless you have witnesses and documents.

“So he can say he’s acquitted, and the headlines can say ‘acquitted,’ but he’s impeached forever, branded with that, and not vindicated,” she added, “and even the senators were saying, ‘Yes, it wasn’t right,’ but they didn’t have the courage to act upon that.”

If this is not fake news, I don’t know what is!

This is not the first time Pelosi has lied about Trump’s acquittal in this way. Before the trial ended, when it was clear an acquittal was coming, Pelosi said that the acquittal would not be valid unless Republicans senators called more witnesses, as Democrats had asked them to do.

“You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial,” Pelosi said, according to The Blaze. “And you don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation.”

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Given how Democrats behaved after Trump won the 2016 election, this new strategy of theirs when it comes to impeachment should come as a surprise to nobody. When an election or trial results in an outcome that Democrats do not like, they immediately refuse to accept it and argue that the entire process was never legitimate in the first place.

Regardless of what Pelosi says, the American people know that Trump was acquitted fair and square. The more she tries to say otherwise, the more likely it is that the majority of Americans will respond by voting to reelect Trump in November.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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For Republicans in Trump’s cover-up it wasn’t about ‘heads on pikes,’ it was all about the money

In the latest Daily Kos/Civiqs poll, fully 60% of Americans disapprove of how the U.S. Senate conducted Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. The behavior of Senate Republicans following that trial probably won't get many cheers, either. The three most closely watched Republicans during the trial, those who pretended to be open-minded and committed to doing their jobs, have all popped up in the last few days with slathering praise for the Trump administration which let loose all the money once the trial was done. It turns out the issue wasn’t the threat of heads on pikes at all. It was all about the bribes.

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Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander tweeted to thank Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Trump for the investment of "$9 million in Tennessee to provide and improve high-speed broadband infrastructure projects for 3,744 rural households, 31 businesses and 41 farms."

Sen. Lisa Murkowski had Transportation Secretary and Moscow Mitch spouse Elaine Chao to thank for "a $20M Port Infrastructure Development Program grant to the Port of Alaska to help offset the 1st phase costs of the Port’s desperately-needed modernization program, enabling safe, cost-effective, & reliable Port operations." That's a whole 1% of the estimated cost for the port. Was it worth a vote to keep the worst president ever to sit in the Oval Office?

You know, of course, who else is getting in on the action:

Great news! 19 Housing Authorities in Maine have been awarded more than $9.5 million to preserve & modernize affordable housing units that serve individuals with disabilities & low-income individuals and families.https://t.co/9FzNcL197P

— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) February 13, 2020

Could they be more blatant? No. The answer is no. 

Senate Republicans are not bothered one bit as Trump’s abuses of power escalate

Donald Trump is going to war with the very idea of equal administration of justice in the United States of America, and the Senate Republicans who voted last week to acquit him of abuse of power are just nodding along, barely even pausing to furrow a brow. Trump has intervened in the sentencing of his old buddy Roger Stone and publicly thanked Attorney General William Barr for doing his bidding. He’s attacked the judge and a juror in the case. These are not trifling matters in a democracy, but Republicans just don’t care.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it with a simple, “I do not have an opinion on that.” To Sen. John Cornyn, it’s “kind of immaterial” if Trump intervened to reduce a sentencing recommendation for a friend. “It doesn’t bother me at all, as long as the judge has the final decision,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley—of the judge Trump has been working to publicly intimidate. In translation: Trump’s escalating assaults on the rule of law change nothing for Republicans.

The list of Republican senators who just don’t give a damn goes on and on. Sen. Lindsey Graham is “comfortable the system is working,” even though he gave lip service to the principle that Trump shouldn’t be speaking out about specific cases in the courts. Sen. Lamar Alexander said that “politics should never play a part in law enforcement,” without mentioning Trump by name.

Another series of Republicans pretended not to know what the issue was, falling back on the old Paul Ryan favorite, “I don’t know the facts of the case; I haven’t been following it” (this time, that one came from Sen. Ted Cruz). 

The other thing that goes on and on is Trump’s abuse of power. The Washington Post reports that, according to a former senior administration official, when aides try to persuade Trump that he should stay out of legal cases, he says, “I have a right to say whatever I want.” According to that official, “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows that he has more power than anyone else in the government—and when he tweets, everyone has to listen to him.”

A Republican congressional aide told the Post, “It’s like bad weather. Nothing more, nothing less.” Yes, abuse of power and the destruction of democratic norms and institutions is just a little bad weather.

“We cannot give him a permanent license to turn the presidency and the executive branch into his own personal vengeance operation,” Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said Wednesday, addressing his Republican colleagues in a committee meeting. “If we say nothing—and I include everyone in this committee, including myself—it will get worse. His behavior will get worse.” 

Republicans are on board with that, is the problem.

Every day that goes by and every new abuse that Trump commits shows why it's so important to retake the Senate. Please dig deep to defeat vulnerable Republicans in 2020.

Swamp creature vs. Romney Republican: Georgia Republican Senate primary divides the party

Georgia has two U.S. Senate elections in November—and three serious Republican candidates, leading to some angst for their party. Sen. David Perdue is running for re-election, while appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Rep. Doug Collins will be facing off in a special election. The big concern for Republicans is that the special election won’t have primaries. All of the candidates will compete in November, and if no one gets more than 50% of the vote, the election will go to a runoff in January, with Republicans worried that Loeffler and Collins could provide an opening for Democrats by splitting the vote.

Collins was a major presence in the Republican fight against the House impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, but that isn’t preventing the Republican establishment from going all-out against him. “Collins is everything Georgians hate about Washington,” according to the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s executive director. “He is a swamp creature that claims to be conservative. ... Now, having made an emotional, ill-informed and selfish decision, he finds himself at a crossroads. Republicans who are working to reelect President Trump and retain the Senate majority hope he has a moment of clarity, does the right thing and walks away from this poor decision. Otherwise, voters will make it for him.”

With the NRSC—and the Trump campaign—pressuring consultants and vendors not to work for Collins, his spokesman said, “we are forming a group of grizzled freedom fighters taking on the establishment.” The Collins campaign also accused Loeffler of being a “Romney Republican,” which is actually fair, since part of how she bought her way onto the list of people who might be appointed to a Senate seat was by giving a lot of money to a Romney-backing super PAC in 2012.

So Collins and Loeffler will be duking it out over who is the true conservative, while Loeffler’s establishment supporters work to strategically erase all of the question marks the far right might have about her, like that past Romney support. Perdue and his allies, meanwhile, are worried that the Loeffler-Collins fight might divide Republicans enough to weaken Perdue himself. We can hope …

Georgia is going to be lit this year, with these Senate races, several competitive House races, and the Democrat presidential nominee likely making a play for the state.

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U.S. is ‘not a banana republic,’ Trump official says, but his boss is determined to show that it is

Donald Trump isn’t stopping at getting Attorney General William Barr to reduce the Justice Department’s sentencing request for Trump buddy Roger Stone. He’s sending more messages to more parts of the government about how to show personal loyalty to Donald Trump rather than loyalty to the rule of law. Trump claimed to reporters that whether to discipline Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is “going to be up to the military.” But then he kept talking. “But if you look at what happened,” he said, “I mean they’re going to, certainly, I would imagine, take a look at that.” And “that” is Vindman testifying to the House, under subpoena.

“We’re not a banana republic where lieutenant colonels get together and decide what the policy is,” said national security adviser Robert O’Brien, justifying the firing of Vindman and his brother Yevgeny, who did not testify in the impeachment inquiry. No, we’re a banana republic where someone can be fired for testifying under subpoena to a duly elected House of Representatives working within its constitutional authority, by a president who came into office despite more people voting for his opponent and felt freed to persecute people who testified against him—along with their family members—because he was acquitted by 52 senators who represent fewer people than the 48 senators voting for his conviction.

The Vindman brothers did not try to “get together and decide what the policy is.” One of them testified before Congress, under subpoena. That’s it. But while some Senate Republicans are very concerned about the firing of Gordon Sondland from the post as ambassador to the European Union that he bought with $1 million in inauguration contributions, their concern is partly because he might be smeared by the association of having been fired on the same day as Vindman. 

“I agreed with the decision on Vindman,” Sen. Thom Tillis said. “I just felt like having the two have some distance would have been appropriate.” Heaven forbid a major Republican donor should be treated in a similar way to some immigrant Army officer with subject matter expertise rather than millions of dollars.

Trump’s escalating war with the imaginary deep state has also led to him withdrawing one nomination to an administration post and planning to withdraw another because he decided that the people he’d previously nominated had been unacceptably disloyal, with one questioning his illegal hold on Ukraine aid as he tried to coerce Ukraine into investigating his political opponents and another being involved in prosecuting Trump associates like Stone and Paul Manafort.

And even beyond the things they think are fine and dandy, like firing Vindman, Senate Republicans (minus Mitt Romney) are complicit in every single thing Trump does. They signed off on his abuse of power to cheat in this year’s elections, and in so doing sent him the message that they will protect him no matter what.

The Constitution of the United States, and the nation’s future as a democracy, have a Donald Trump problem. But they equally have a Republican Party problem.

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Mitt Romney Hit With New Republican Resolution That Would Force Him To Support Trump Or Give Up His Seat

By PoliZette Staff | February 11, 2020

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) betrayed the entire Republican Party when he voted to impeach Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Now, this has come back to bite him in a big way, as the GOP in his home state has drawn up a resolution that will force him to either support Trump or step down.

The resolution, which was submitted by Utah GOP State Central Committee member Brandon Beckham, will be considered at the Republican Party state central committee meeting on February 29, according to The Blaze.

The motion expresses the Utah GOP’s “severe disapproval” for Romney’s impeachment vote.

“A lot of us feel that it’s sort of an embarrassment to our party,” Beckham told the Salt Lake Tribune. He went on to explain that Republicans in the state had already passed a resolution in which they expressed full support of the president and called on members of the GOP to defend him. Despite knowing this, Romney voted to convict President Trump anyway.

Though Romney has yet to comment on the resolution, he has admitted that he will face consequences for his vote.

“No question the consequence will be enormous,” Romney said. “The consequence of violating my conscience and my oath of office to God would be even greater.”

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Romney may claim he voted his conscience, but many conservatives are not buying it. Rick Gorka, who was a spokesman for Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, tweeted that the senator’s vote was motivated by “bitterness” and “jealousy.”

As a representative of the people of Utah, Romney knew full well that the majority of his constituents wanted to see Trump remain in office, yet he switched sides and went with Democrats anyway. Clearly, his own vendettas against the president are more important to him than adequately representing the people of Utah, who deserve better than this.

We can only hope that this resolution is approved, and that Romney has to face the music for his turncoat vote.

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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The post Mitt Romney Hit With New Republican Resolution That Would Force Him To Support Trump Or Give Up His Seat appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trump cover-up achieved, Moscow Mitch returns Senate to acting as Trump’s conveyor belt for judges

This is some truly hilarious spin from Senate Republicans, pretending that they exist to do stuff for the nation post-impeachment. "Hopefully the better angels of people will begin to emerge, and we’ll see a willingness to focus on a common agenda. […] I think both sides have things they need to get done." That's Sen. John Thune, Moscow Mitch McConnell's No. 2, talking about all the bipartisan bills they're going to do now.

Of course that's not what is going to happen. "My preference I guess would be […] we start working on things that unite us," said Sen. Kevin Cramer, Republican of North Dakota. "Not just as Republicans, but as a Senate, as a Congress, as Americans." Yeah, that's not happening either. Here's what's happening: According to The Hill"McConnell tees up five Trump judges after impeachment trial wraps." One of those judicial nominees is Andrew Brasher, nominated to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court for Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, where he would be the sixth Trump nominee on the 12-member court. Yes, Trump will have half of this bench. Brasher is 38 years old.

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Brasher is opposed by leading national, state, and local racial justice organizations. A coalition of 29 advocacy groups called for a halt to his nomination pending Trump’s impeachment, and remain opposed to him now. "In his short career as a lawyer," the Alliance for Justice says, "Brasher fought against voting rights, rights for women, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community and zealously worked to dismantle consumer, worker, and environmental protections."

Par for the course for Trump and McConnell, in other words. And of course he's a Federalist Society member. But his presence on this court would be particularly scary looking ahead to the 2020 election. Georgia will have two Senate races, and Florida is always a presidential battleground. Republicans will try every voter suppression tactic in the book in those states, and now there'll be a federal court overseeing those states that will rubber-stamp them. That's McConnell—he'll never stop cheating now. But he won't be able to overcome a nation united against him and a vote swarm to take back the Senate.

GOP senators alarmed by firing of Sondland, a Republican donor—but not by the rest of Trump’s purge

We now know that a handful of Republican senators were, in fact, alarmed by Donald Trump's Friday firings of government officials who testified to House impeachment investigators about Trump's Ukrainian extortion scheme. More accurately, we now know that a bare handful of Republican senators were concerned only about the firing of U.S Ambassador Gordon Sondland, while remaining unconcerned by Trump's removal of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, who did not testify.

The likely reason? Gordon Sondland, unlike the others, was a big-money Republican campaign donor.

The New York Times is reporting that Republican Sens. Susan Collins (yes, Susan Collins), Thom Tillis, Martha McSally and Ron Johnson contacted the White House to try to halt Sondland's firing. Sondland, who was made a U.S. ambassador after giving $1 million to Trump’s own inaugural fund, was signaling he was planning to resign; the Republican senators wanted Sondland to be given a graceful exit. That was not to be: a vengeful, frothing Trump was insistent on making a public example of him.

Why were the senators concerned about Sondland but not the others? Sondland, reports the Times, was "a donor to Mr. Tillis and other Republicans."

So there you go. We now know the one, the only thing that would get the slightest pushback from the now-fascist Republican Party: Trump humiliating a top-dollar donor. The rest of it they're fine with.

That's not hyperbole. Sen. Susan Collins, in particular, made a special point of telling the Times that her prior "hope" that perhaps Trump would learn a "lesson" from impeachment was excruciatingly narrow. It didn't apply, she explained, to Trump's purge of the witnesses who spoke out to confirm the Trump-Giuliani Ukrainian plot.

“The lesson that I hoped the president had learned was that he should not enlist the help of a foreign government in investigating a political rival,” she told the Times. “It had absolutely nothing to do with whether or not he should fire people who testified in a way that he perceived as harmful to him.”

So yes, Susan Collins is fine with Trump retaliating against those who testified to his "perfect" actions. It was just the Republican donor whose plight roused her enough to make a simple phone call.

Her new statement is, yet again and of course, another reversal of a prior Susan Collins statement of supposed principles. On Friday she told a Maine crowd that "I obviously am not in favor of any kind of retribution against anyone who came forward with evidence." This new statement clarifies that she is not specifically against such retribution either.

In a non-authoritarian, non-fascist movement, Dear Leader retaliating against those who testified under oath about his own actions would be astonishingly corrupt. It would be close to the very definition of corrupt, in fact. It is now considered an acceptable act, by Republicans, subject to mild private pushback only if the purge happens to touch on one of their own campaign donors. And even the most "moderate" of Republicans, Susan Collins, is now releasing statements clarifying that she is in fact not expressing any concerns about that.

Fascism: Graham says Barr has ‘process’ for Biden probe, Russian investigators ‘going to jail’

Top sycophant Sen. Lindsey Graham took to the Sunday shows, of course, to bask in the Senate's nullification of Donald Trump's impeachment for using the tools of his power to extort the Ukrainian government into providing him "dirt" on a Democratic election opponent. It is not just Trump that appears to feel unleashed; Graham, too, was eager to describe the next steps of the administration-led descent into American fascism.

A first step: The Trump "private lawyer" Rudy Giuliani's smear campaign against the Bidens is now moving into Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department. Whatever Barr’s prior pretenses may have been, Barr is now explicitly establishing the means by which Rudy’s propaganda can be filtered into official “investigations” of Trump’s targeted enemies.

Throughout the House and press investigations into the Ukraine scandal, Trump Attorney General Barr either refused comment or denied that he was involved with the Giuliani efforts, despite Trump specifically naming both Barr and Giuliani as contacts for the Ukrainian president in the "transcript" of Trump's now-infamous phone call. Whether this was a lie or not—and it is almost certainly a direct lie by a complicit Barr—such pretenses have now vanished.

On CBS's Face the Nation, Graham said that the Department of Justice is now "receiving information coming out of the Ukraine, from Rudy." Barr's Justice Department, says Graham, has "created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified."

This means that the president's self-identified "personal lawyer", acting on behalf of known-corrupt pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs and ex-officials and in concert with two now-indicted launderers of Russian cash, is now directly channeling conspiracy claims against Trump's election opponent to the U.S. Attorney General's office. There is no longer any pretense of Giuliani's efforts not being state policy.

And this, in turn, means the claims of Russian organized crime-tied Dmytro Firtash, seeking to exchange "dirt" on Biden in exchange for the U.S. Department of Justice dropping his indictments in this country, are now being funneled through Giuliani directly into a Barr-led Justice Department that seems more then agreeable to making such a trade.

That was not the only assertion from Graham that Republicans and the Trump administration would be adopting new fascist policies of targeting and retaliating against Dear Leader's critics and enemies. Just after Trump removed multiple U.S. government officials (and a family member) who testified to the House impeachment committee despite Trump and Barr's standing orders to refuse House subpoenas, Graham indicated that many of those who investigated Trump will be heading to prison.

"We're not going to live in a world where as a Republican you get investigated from the day you're sworn in, three years later they're still coming after you," said Graham, erasing both Whitewater and the Benghazi "investigations" from the nation's history.

"Here's what amazes me. The Russian investigation, what happened? Half the people behind the Russia investigation are going to go to jail," the Republican told his Fox News host. "And Trump was cleared."

"When? Hopefully," host Maria Bartiromo mugged.

"Well, just hang tight," Graham responded.

We are now well into fascism, and it is the Republican Senate that is not merely looking the other way, but aggressively assisting Trump's team in its implementation. Those that testified against Trump are being removed, despite laws seemingly barring such retaliation. The propaganda efforts against Trump's targeted political foe spearheaded by Rudy Giuliani (financed, it should be noted, from Russia, as previous Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was financed for his own role in manipulating Ukraine towards Russian interests while creating schisms between that country and the west) are now being pipelined directly into Barr's Department of Justice.

Barr, whose department attempted to stifle the Ukrainian whistleblower complaint and worked to sabotage all investigation of Trump, has issued orders that he must be informed of and approve of any new investigations that touch on a 2020 campaign or candidate—both giving him direct access to any information potentially damaging to Trump's foes while maintaining absolute power to block probes of Trump himself.

It is in this environment that Lindsay Graham, who has been one of the prime advocates of Trump's new, law-bending authoritarian powers, has confidence that Trump's prior investigators will be jailed. "Just hang tight," he tells his propagandizing state media host.

It is not likely that John Bolton's book will see the light of day, not with the White House insisting it contains "classified" information that will take an unspecified amount of time to review. It is not likely that the Republican Senate will take any action, even the most minor, to restrain the Trump team in retaliating against witnesses or to block Barr from turning the nation's Justice Department into a tool for smearing, and possibly jailing, Trump's adversaries.

Travel restrictions imposed against the non-compliant. The stifling of official information contrary to Trump's scattershot, often-delusional proclamations. Invented state propaganda. The celebration of pro-state conspiracy and white nationalism promoters. Escalating threats of far-right domestic terrorism.

The only path out, now that Republicans have morphed from a conservative movement to a fascist one, is election turnout so overwhelming as to swamp even these new, myriad election-rigging efforts. And even that may not be enough.

Here's Lindsey Graham telling CBS that Attorney General Barr has "created a process" where Rudy Giuliani can feed Biden dirt from Ukrainian sources directly to the DOJ, and the DOJ will then check it out pic.twitter.com/A6N8YV6tS9

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 9, 2020

Lindsey Graham: Half the people behind the Russia investigation are going to go to jail pic.twitter.com/Xi9LQV6J9M

— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) February 9, 2020