After a day of courting Senate Republican ‘jurors,’ Trump says he’s fine with impeachment trial

Donald Trump, in his endless Fox & Friends rant Friday morning, told his "Friends" he welcomes a full Senate impeachment trial. "I want a trial," he told them, and said that he wants House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Joe Biden’s son Hunter to testify. Because of course he does.

After spending a good part of his day Thursday meeting with the Senate Republicans who would act as "jurors" in that trial, it's not surprising that he welcomes it. He had lunch with a group of Republican senators that included Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, the two who for some reason conventional wisdom says would be most likely to resist him. Conventional wisdom tends not to be well-informed.

While he was doing that, his closest advisers and family members were meeting with another group of Republican jurors to work out how the trial would proceed. They decided that two weeks would be the best time frame for it, because "they believe it would be long enough to have credence without dragging on too long." It would look like they were taking it seriously if it went for two weeks, would look like they're doing their constitutional duty, on their way to what they've already determined they're going to do: acquit.

So of course Trump welcomes a Senate trial. Has nothing to fear from it. Moscow Mitch McConnell has made sure of that.

Senate Republican ‘jurors’ plot with defendant Trump to limit trial

The House should definitely not be in any hurry to wrap its impeachment inquiry. Not without delving into every dark, stinky corner of Donald Trump's plots to both obtain and keep political office. Not without racking up every possible instance of obstruction by his administration. Because they'll need to go to the Senate with such an overwhelming mountain of evidence that Republicans will have to expose themselves to the American people as the total unprincipled partisans they are. The kind of people who would plot with the White House to limit Trump's impeachment trial.

A group of Republican senators—Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana), Lindsey O. Graham (South Carolina), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Arkansas)—met with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. Just to be clear, these are the potential jurors in the forthcoming trial. They met on Thursday to "map out a strategy" or the impeachment, "including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks, according to multiple officials familiar with the talks." This is while Trump himself was wining and dining Mitt Romney and Susan Collins and other Republican soon-to-be jurors.

The Republicans have settled on a two-week trial because "they believe it would be long enough to have credence without dragging on too long." They'll pretend like they're doing their duty, but make absolutely no mistake: The fix is in. They've fixed it with Trump—right there in broad daylight. On the same day that testimony from former National Security Council Russia expert Dr. Fiona Hill and foreign service officer David Holmes in the House Intelligence Committee damns Trump's efforts to undermine U.S. foreign policy and national security.

This is something, by the way, that should be handled between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They should be negotiating and determining the conduct and scope of the impeachment trial. Once again, McConnell has outsourced his job to Trump and team.

That's why the House has to send the strongest case possible to them. Not because it will convince them of Trump's guilt and bring enlightenment to them that they must remove him, but because it will expose them for what they are.

Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Impeachment witness Lt. Col. Vindman demands Fox News retract violence-stoking claims against him

The Donald Trump Screaming Monkey Carnival of Daily Grievances, aka Fox News, has followed Trump's own strategy of attacking and belittling each impeachment witness as news of their testimony is published or leaks out. This is because the executives and hosts of Fox News are (extremely rich) garbage. As usual, the Fox talking heads feel no apparent need to pull back their attacks even as their targets are, predictably, subjected to death threats and other threats of violence; this has been true since the days of Bill O'Reilly and his attacks on a single, specific Kansas doctor who would soon afterward be executed by a far-right gunman.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified on Tuesday that he was so concerned about the Trump team's actions towards Ukraine that he reported them to National Security Council officials, was attacked by the network after his private testimony in October. Host Laura Ingraham claimed during her program that Vindman was "advising Ukraine, while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interest." Bush-era legal enabler of war crimes John Yoo (remember: garbage) escalated further, saying "Some people might call that espionage."

At least one of the human trash cans in question soon realized they had oozed over a line of discourse they should not have, leading actual war criminal Yoo to hastily pen an op-ed days later insisting he did not call Vindman a spy, he was merely suggesting that Ukraine were engaged in "espionage" against us in their conversations with him.

But Fox itself never bothered to correct the record, and as the military now contemplates steps to keep Lt. Col. Vindman and his family safe from violence instigated by the widely-broadcast Trump and conservative attacks, Vindman's lawyers are now demanding Fox News issue a retraction for Ingraham's segment. The letter also notes other instances of the network attacking Vindman, and that Donald Trump and offspring Uday both used Fox to amplify their attacks.

It is not likely that Fox News will grant Vindman that retraction, because everyone in the Murdoch family is garbage, everyone they have ever hired is garbage, and Laura Ingraham is one of their most cherished of odiferous piles, willing to use her network post to attack each of Trump's declared enemies based on nothing more than one of his public tweet-burps against them. Vindman's lawyer David Pressman is at the least, however, putting the network on notice that they consider Fox News to be in large part responsible for the physical threats Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman now faces.

If Fox wants to refuse to correct the record—insulting someone is, after all, constitutionally protected speech, something even fossilized bag of Hitler-loving whale pus Laura Ingraham and top national child torture fetishist John Yoo are aware of—that is fine. But the Murdoch family, sitting very compostly on the fruits of decade of their own garbageness, has an absolute mountain of money and could easily pay for whatever security measures the military and Lt. Col. Vindman feel his family now need.

So step up, trashbags.

Pompeo reportedly told Republicans he plans to resign to protect his reputation. Ship sailed, buddy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been very quiet as witnesses in the House impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump tie him directly to the extortion scheme carried out by the administration and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Now a new report indicates that Pompeo has reportedly told three prominent Republicans that he intends to resign.

But Pompeo isn't resigning for reasons of principle or because he has been implicated in an impeachable crime. Instead, he "is now concerned that his connection to Mr. Trump" is hurting his reputation. And he wants out of Dodge to run as a Republican candidate for Senate in Kansas.

That a man in significant danger of being himself impeached, if not indicted, would consider himself to still be a top Republican political candidate is remarkable, but that's exactly what's happening. He continues to be heavily recruited by national Republicans, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to enter the race in Kansas.

Does Mike Pompeo, tea party-linked ex-House Republican, honestly believe that he has a reputation left to save? Really? That leaving the State Department even after standing by—or assisting—as Trump committed acts of extortion against a U.S. ally will somehow redeem him in the eyes of nonradical voters?

He might, because the entire Republican Party is so staggeringly crooked, as we can see from the performance of House Republicans during the impeachment process, that he and other Republican leaders might see Pompeo's involvement in criminal acts as not disqualifying, but proof of his commitment to his party and to Dear Leader. But it's still hard to grasp.

Pompeo has scheduled a press conference for 2:20 p.m. ET Wednesday. He has in the past denied reports that he intended to resign, and may do so again: The afternoon after being tied directly to a criminal conspiracy seems a poor time to announce a new Senate run.

House passes stopgap funding until Dec. 20 to avert shutdown. Next up: Senate and White House

The House passed a continuing resolution Tuesday, 231-192, to keep government funded until Dec. 20, in hopes that by that time negotiators among the House, Senate, and White House will be able to come to an agreement on spending in all 12 appropriations bills that will fund the government fully for fiscal year 2020. Which started two months ago.

The White House said of this short-term agreement after it was released Monday afternoon, "We need to review all the details of the CR, but are heartened that at first blush it does not appear to contain provisions which impede the President’s ability to pursue his policies, or other items which could impair the ability of the President to sign it by Thursday night." At this point, Trump seems to be onboard.

The short-term bill contains some add-ons beyond just a continuation of current funding levels. It has $7.3 billion in spending authority for the Census Bureau to gear up for next year's count. It also increases military pay by 3.1%, and temporarily extends three Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provisions set to expire Dec. 15 through March 20, 2020. It also renews a number of expiring health care programs that have to keep being temporarily revived, including funding for community health centers and teaching hospitals. It also blocks a looming $7.6 billion rescission of highway funding scheduled to happen next July.  

The Senate has until midnight Thursday to pass it and get Trump to sign it. Then we do this all again in a month—when they can't put off fighting over the border wall anymore, and impeachment will still have Trump raging.

McConnell reportedly told Pelosi ‘I’m not going to do anything Trump doesn’t want me to do’

This secondhand anecdote from Capitol Hill has a resounding ring of truth:


Of course Moscow Mitch has said that in private. He says a variation of that in public all the time. He’s taken that line repeatedly when it comes to gun safety legislation—he won’t have anything come to the floor if he doesn’t have Trump’s approval. If it can’t get Trump’s signature, the Senate won’t act. Because that whole “coequal branches of government” thing the founders came up with doesn’t count when the White House is held by Republicans.

Whether it’s gun safety bills, election protection assistance to the states, oversight of the executive branch, or, finally, impeachment, McConnell isn’t going to do anything Trump won’t allow.

Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Moscow Mitch ‘can’t imagine a scenario’ in which he abandons Trump

Never mind the damning and damaging last week Donald Trump had during the first public round of impeachment hearings: Soon-to-be juror Moscow Mitch McConnell is guaranteeing an acquittal.

"I can't imagine a scenario under which President Trump would be removed from office with 67 votes in the Senate," he said Monday, doubling down on his statement from two weeks ago, when he said, "I'm pretty sure how it's likely to end: If it were today I don't think there's any question it would not lead to a removal." Now he's even more sure—he can't imagine anything that Trump could have done that will lead Senate Republicans to convict him and remove him from office.

Not a single scenario. Maybe he's a Russian asset? Well, Moscow Mitch knows how handy being in Putin's pocket can be around election time. Trump endangers national security in every conceivable way with his huge, loud mouth on unsecured phone lines? Well, it cuts out the middle man, makes it easier for Putin to know what's going on.

Trump shoots someone on Fifth Avenue? Fine by Mitch.

Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as Senate majority leader.

Trump’s failure at extorting Ukraine means he did nothing wrong, say Republicans

Republicans are shifting their anti-impeachment arguments ever more toward the Sideshow Bob defense: Wrongdoing doesn’t count if you didn’t succeed. In this version of the cartoon clown defense, Donald Trump’s attempts to extort Ukraine didn’t happen because the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid he was withholding was released without President Volodymyr Zelensky going on television and announcing investigations against Trump’s political opponents.

Never mind that the aid was only released after the whistleblower’s report about the July 25 call in which Trump pressured Zelensky and after House Democrats started to investigate. Never mind that Zelensky was apparently poised to make an announcement of exactly what Trump wanted. It all fell apart at the last minute, so no harm, no foul.

“The Ukrainians did nothing to—as far as investigations goes—to get the aid released,” Rep. Jim Jordan said on CBS’ Face the Nation. “So there was never this quid pro quo that the Democrats all promise existed.”

”The president’s defense is that those things didn’t happen,” Rep. Steve Scalise, the number two House Republican said on Fox News. “The real bottom line is he got the money. Ukraine got the money.” 

This is a defense Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee have put forward repeatedly during questioning of witnesses, and based on the Sunday talk shows, it’s what they’re going with. But, of course, Trump did withhold the aid, even if it eventually went through after attention focused on the issue. Trump did tell Zelensky “I would like you to do us a favor, though.” Trump’s flunkies did repeatedly press Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials to announce investigations into the Bidens and CrowdStrike. The failure to competently execute the plan doesn’t mean there was nothing wrong with the attempt.

As Sideshow Bob put it, “Convicted of a crime I didn’t even commit. Hah! Attempted murder? Now honestly, what is that? Do they give a Nobel Prize for attempted chemistry? Do they?”

House GOP group spending millions to beat up Democrats on impeachment

With Donald Trump's impeachment and removal gaining support with the voting public, what can Republicans do but throw money into attack ads against Democrats?

Politico reports that the American Action Network, which it calls "part of a cluster of center-right groups," is set to spend $7 million on an ad to run in 37 House districts held by Democrats. The ad features, of course, a clip of New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying that the impeachment process is "preventing a potentially disastrous outcome from occurring next year" and bashes Democrats for pursuing impeachment instead of a legislative agenda, never mind the fact that the House has passed literally hundreds of pieces of legislation that Mitch McConnell's Republican Senate is simply refusing to advance.

Because that's exactly what a "center-right" group of conservatives does, right? Elect more Republicans willing to defend Trump, the guy who is accelerating the takeover of their party by far-right white supremacists.

Just the stupid makes it worth trying to get even more seats from Trump. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these House races!

Bill Clinton’s Advice to Trump On Impeachment – Just Keep Working For America

Former President Bill Clinton offered unsolicited advice to Donald Trump on how to handle the ongoing Democrat impeachment inquiry.

Clinton, during a phone interview with CNN’s Jacob Tapper, suggested the President needs to leave legal matters to the people he’s hired to handle them and focus on his administration’s agenda.

“My message would be, look, you got hired to do a job,” he said. “You don’t get the days back you blow off. Every day is an opportunity to make something good happen.”

Clinton went on to suggest Trump pivot his attention to the American people.

“And I would say, ‘I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry, and they should just have at it,'” he continued. “Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people. That’s what I would do.”

RELATED: FLASHBACK: That Time Democrats Cheered Accused Rapist Bill Clinton After Impeachment

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Working With Democrats

Working for the American people, of course, means working with Democrats on passing gun control legislation. Not implementing your own agenda, Mr. President.

At least in Clinton’s mind, where living the mantra of ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ looms large.

The Democrat suggested working on gun control legislation by capitalizing on this week’s school shooting in California.

“If you’re just worried about the naked politics, it’s at least a wash,” Clinton said regarding an assault weapons ban. “People should instead do what’s right for the children.”

Trump has consistently said that the perpetual impeachment hoaxes being pushed by Democrats in Congress have prevented him from working on bipartisan legislation for the American people.

Attorney General William Barr admitted that gun legislation has been “sidetracked because of the impeachment process on the Hill.”

“That’s just an excuse,” responded Clinton.

RELATED: Juanita Broaddrick: ABC’s Amy Robach Needs to Release Epstein Report and Help Bill Clinton’s ‘Victims’


Impeachment Advice

There really is no better source of advice on impeachment than Bill Clinton. He was, after all, impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in 1998.

Nearly every Democrat player in today’s impeachment inquiry stood steadfastly behind Clinton during the process, calling the Republican effort a witch hunt, despite his very provable crimes.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued at the time that her Republican colleagues were pushing impeachment because they “are paralyzed with hatred of President Clinton.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler suggested that impeachment is an “undoing of a national election” designed to tell American voters that their choice for President “must be set aside.”

Now they’re doing exactly what they accused Republicans of doing years ago.

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