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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The post Nancy Pelosi Interrupts CNN’s Christiane Amanpour To Claim Trump Was Never Acquitted In Impeachment Trial appeared first on The Political Insider.

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. 

Trump shows Collins a lesson he learned from impeachment: Don’t let anyone listen to your criming

Sen. Susan Collins has done her best to walk back her ridiculous statement that impeached president Donald Trump learned a lesson from the impeachment process, and to absolve herself of any responsibility for a now totally unfettered Trump. The thing is, though: She can't. Because Trump himself is yelling out the real lessons he learned every damn day. Like on Thursday, when he trashed another presidential norm meant to keep chief executives in check and to protect national security.

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In a radio interview with Geraldo Rivera, Trump talked about one of the lessons he’s learned: not to let officials listen in on his phone calls with world leaders. "Well, that's what they've done over the years," Trump said. "When you call a foreign leader, people listen. I may end the practice entirely. I may end it entirely." This came about in a discussion about Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who Trump was bitching about in the interview, calling him "insubordinate" for raising his concerns about Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "I'm not a fan of Vindman," Trump added. Surprise.

Given his cavalier attitude toward classified intelligence, this latest lesson learned by Trump has the national security community freaking out. "Right now, President Trump is a nightmare to every intel and [national-security] officer, and this is all stuff he's done with their knowledge," a former senior National Security Agency official told Business Insider. "Allowing him to conduct these calls in private would be catastrophic for us."

A former National Security Council senior director under President Barack Obama, Edward Price, told Business Insider that allowing intelligence and national security people to listen to calls "is indispensable to the coordination and implementation of sound foreign policy and national-security practices,. […] No president—but especially not this one—can or should be relied upon to backbrief senior advisers on details that can often be extraordinarily nuanced." Of course it has happened with this impeached president. And it wasn't just a phone call, but also face-to-face meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin: On several occasions, Trump has talked with Putin without U.S. staff present.

So the lesson he did learn from Collins and the rest of the Republicans who let him off the hook is that that's the way he should always conduct foreign policy, with no one around him who can alert the rest of the government—including Congress—about the crime-doing.

Susan Collins is so concerned about Trump that she’s going to make a sternly worded phone call

The White House better be prepared. It’s going to get a sternly worded phone call from Sen. Susan Collins over the impeached president’s interference in the sentencing of Donald Trump’s buddy Roger Stone after his conviction in federal court. She told reporters that Wednesday, saying that Trump should "play no role whatsoever when it comes to sentencing recommendations" and that he "should not have commented" and that she wished he "would not tweet." No word on whether she's also going to talk about the tweeting on the phone call. But boy, that's sure going to strike terror in Trump's heart.

She also has questions for Attorney General William Barr, she says, but she's not sure if there should be any hearings yet over Trump and Barr turning the Department of Justice into Trump's defense counsel. She wouldn't want to be hasty. Still, a sternly worded phone call might be happening. I'm sure she really wishes it would help. But don't worry, she says, about Trump being "emboldened" by being let off the hook by her and her Republican pals.

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He wasn't acting out because he knows now that there are no limits to his power, now that the Senate will let him do literally anything. It's just him acting like a toddler, she says. He "often acts in an impulsive manner," she explained in a USA Today interview. "I think the president was angered by impeachment and that is reflected in the personnel choices he made," she said. Because that makes it so much better, the fact that he's now a 4-year-old on speed, and it had absolutely nothing to do with her.

No, she's not responsible at all for his behavior now. She was doing her solemn duty and certainly, she told the Bangor Daily News, if the president had committed "treason or bribery," she would definitely have voted to impeach. The House, however, called Trump's treason and bribery in withholding aid to Ukraine in order to force that country to interfere in the presidential election on his behalf "maladministration." So they didn't meet her bar.

But boy, Trump, she better not catch you doing this again, or you'll be in big trouble.

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.

Susan Collins really doesn’t want to talk about what lessons Trump learned in impeachment anymore

Following the Tuesday Night Massacre, which happened after last week's revenge binge from impeached president Donald Trump, intrepid CNN reporter Manu Raju caught up with Sen. Susan Collins to see what she's thinking about it all. She clearly did not appreciate the fact that Raju remembered what she said last week. The part about "I believe that the president has learned from this case," which she downgraded to "hopes" after Trump point blank said there was no lesson to be learned because "it was a perfect call."

Fast forward a week, and she really wants to be done talking about it. Asked by Raju if, after the actions Trump has taken, she still thinks there's "any lessons he heard from being impeached," she snapped. "I don't know what actions you're referring to. I've made very clear that I don't think anyone should be retaliated against." Then she launched into lecturing Raju: "That has nothing to do with the basis by which I voted to acquit the president, as I made very clear to you, Manu, on numerous occasions because his conduct, while wrong, did not meet the high bar established in the constitution for the immediate ouster of a duly elected president." Which had absolutely nothing to do with the question at all.

Collins has chosen her side, and Maine knows it. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

Because she doesn't want to answer the question. She didn't want to answer it later, either, when she continued to insist that she bore no responsibility at all for Trump being totally unfettered now. Her vote against impeaching Trump, she told reporters, "wasn't based on predicting his future behavior." Which is a hell of a cop-out for the person who once said impeaching him would be enough to make him curb his future behavior.

Collins is completely abdicating responsibility for both her past and her future failures to do her goddamned most essential job of being a check on the president. What she does think is her job is not obvious (besides granting defense contracts to companies that in turn contribute tens of thousands of dollars to her reelection campaign).

Watch: 

catch that chyron: "GOP Sen. Collins Won't Say If Trump Learned Any Lessons After Acquittal." of course, last week she excused her vote by saying he did learn from impeachment & would be more cautious.....#mesen #mepolitics pic.twitter.com/QMTKd7g2TJ

— Lauren Passalacqua (@laurenvpass) February 12, 2020

MR: In light of the president's actions, do you think there's any lessons he heard from being impeached?

SC: I don't know what actions you're referring to. I've made very clear that I don't think anyone should be retaliated against. That has nothing to do with the basis by which I voted to acquit the president, as I made very clear to you, Manu, on numerous occasions because his conduct, while wrong, did not meet the high bar established in the constitution for the immediate ouster of a duly elected president. And that was the rationale for my vote to acquit him. That is the reason why….

MR: Do you think he learned any lessons?

SC: … In all the years that … since George Washington was inaugurated as our first president that we have never removed a duly elected president from office. It's because the conduct alleged should be so dangerous to our country and so egregious and proven by the House managers that the person should not remain in office one moment more. That was the standard established by the House managers. It was the standard that I used in acquitting President Clinton and that's the reason for my vote and I don't know why you're equating the two.

MR: Well you said the president learned his lesson. Do you think he learned any lessons?

[Collins’ office door slams shut.]

Republicans angle to put a stranglehold on ‘nuisance’ impeachments in the future

Barely past the sham GOP-led impeachment trial of Donald Trump, U.S. senators on both sides of the aisle are already bracing for what they expect to be a shorter time period between this removal proceeding and the next one. But naturally, the goals of Republican and Democratic lawmakers are quite different, according to The New York Times.

Republicans hope to enact rules that would limit both the House’s ability to impeach a president and the scope of information that would be considered in a Senate trial. One GOP official is advocating for a way to block consideration of what they called "nuisance" impeachments sent over from the House, as if Donald Trump's attempt to rig U.S. elections with foreign help was just a pesky dust-up. To that end, Florida Sen. Rick Scott is pushing to raise the House threshold for impeachment to require three-fifths support in the lower chamber rather than a simple majority. 

Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley also wants to thwart the House's control over when articles are officially transmitted by simply giving the Senate authority to initiate a trial within a certain period after the House impeaches. 

Democrats, on the other hand, want to expand Senate trials by mandating that new documentary evidence and testimony be considered. “I’d like to see witnesses and documents be required,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said of the proposal from Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley.

But at least some Republicans are pulling for a cooling-off period before any new rules are implemented. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt noted that about a dozen years passed between the anticipated Nixon-era trial that ultimately never materialized and impeachment rule changes made in 1986. “They waited a dozen years before they said, ‘OK, now that things have totally settled down, nobody has an ax to grind, half the Congress that was here in 1972 isn’t here anymore, let’s look at the rules,’” Blunt said.

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.