Pelosi not ready to send Trump impeachment articles to Senate
UNTV News • January 10, 2020 • 427
Washington – Speaker Nancy Pelosi declined Thursday to say when she will formally submit to the US Senate the two articles of impeachment the US House of Representatives approved against President Donald Trump.
“No, I’m not holding them indefinitely. I will turn them over when I’m ready, and that will probably be soon,” the leader of the Democratic-controlled House said during a press conference at the Capitol.
Under the Constitution, the approval of articles of impeachment in the House is to be followed by a trial in the Senate, where it takes a two-thirds majority to remove the president from office.
Trump’s fellow Republicans hold 53 of the 100 seats in the upper chamber, making a conviction in the Senate highly unlikely.
Minutes after the House approved the articles of impeachment on Dec. 18, Pelosi said she would not relay them to the Senate without assurances from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the trial would be “fair.”
The House speaker justified her position by pointing to statements from the Kentucky Republican indicating that he wanted a brief, expedited trial with no witnesses.
McConnell has since proposed a procedure modeled on the one the Senate followed in 1998 during the impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton.
On that occasion, senators listened to presentations from the prosecution and the defense before holding a vote on whether to call witnesses.
Senate Republicans have the votes to approve McConnell’s plan and conduct the trial on that basis.
While Trump and other Republicans have been critical from the start of Pelosi’s decision to withhold the articles of impeachment, recent days have seen Democrats express doubts about the speaker’s approach.
“The longer it goes on the less urgent it becomes,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Wednesday. “So if it’s serious and urgent, send them over. If it isn’t, don’t send it over.”
By Thursday, however, Feinstein had softened her tone, telling NBC News: “I mean, we have plenty to do, and the speaker will send them (the impeachment articles) over when she’s ready to send them over.”
McConnell took the opportunity to gloat about signs of dissent in the Democratic ranks.
“This is a challenging time to create bipartisan agreement,” the Senate majority leader said on Twitter. “But Speaker Pelosi has managed to do the impossible. She has created growing bipartisan unity – in opposition to her own reckless games with impeachment.”
The House voted to impeach Trump on two accusations: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
The abuse of power charge stems from an allegation that Trump sought personal political gain by improperly pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to publicly announce a corruption investigation into US former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son Hunter.
Representatives also approved a charge that Trump obstructed the House impeachment inquiry by blocking officials from testifying and preventing the sharing of documents with Congress.
Trump is only the third US president to be impeached.
Both Andrew Johnson – in 1868 – and Clinton were acquitted in the Senate, while Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before the lower house could vote on his impeachment. EFE
U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday (August 2).
U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday (July 31) he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft.
But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept. 15.
It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft.
The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached. (Reuters)
President Donald Trump warned Americans on Tuesday (July 21) that the toll from the novel coronavirus would get worse before it got better, and encouraged Americans to wear a mask if they cannot maintain social distance from people around them.
In his first briefing in months focused on the pandemic, Trump told reporters at the White House that the virus would probably get worse before it gets better, in one of his first recent acknowledgments of how bad the problem has become.
“Some areas of our country are doing very well. Others are doing less well. It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better – something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
In a shift in rhetoric, Trump encouraged Americans to wear masks, and pulled a mask out of his pocket, saying he carries it around.
“I mean I carry the mask,” he said, before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a blue face mask. “And I will use it gladly, no problem with it, and I’ve said that. And I say, if you can, use the mask. When you can, use the mask. If you’re close to each other, if you’re in a group, I would put it on when I’m in a group.”
Trump, who downplayed the virus in its early stages and has been focused on reopening the economy in recent months despite an increase in cases, has been reluctant to wear a mask himself in public. He wore one for the first time in public during a recent visit to a military hospital but has otherwise eschewed putting one on in front of the press.
Mask-wearing has become a partisan issue, with some Trump supporters saying being required to do infringes on their liberties.
As coronavirus cases skyrocket across the country, including in politically important states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, the president is shifting his tone to try to get the number of cases under control as he fights for re-election against Democrat Joe Biden, who leads in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
He urged young Americans to avoid crowded bars where the virus could spread.
“We are imploring young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings. Be safe and be smart,” he said.
Trump again argued that the virus would disappear at some point, but most of his comments on Tuesday were largely a sober recognition of how bad the problem has become.
Trump sought to leave some optimism about scientific developments in vaccines and treatments even as he acknowledged the grim statistics at present.
When asked if the U.S. would cooperate with China on a vaccine, Trump, who several times called the virus “the China virus” during the news conference, said Washington would.
“Yeah, we’re willing to work with anybody that’s going to get us a good result. We’re very close to the vaccine. I think we’re going to have some very good results,” he said.
Nearly 142,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump demoted his longtime campaign manager on Wednesday (July 15), a move aimed at shoring up his re-election bid as he trails Democratic candidate Joe Biden in opinion polls less than four months before the November 3 vote.
Trump said campaign manager Brad Parscale would be replaced by Bill Stepien, who has been the deputy campaign manager. Parscale will shift to a role focused on digital and data strategy, the president said.
A leadership shakeup had long been rumored. Parscale was blamed internally for a botched Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally last month that drew a much smaller crowd than he predicted. A subsequent coronavirus outbreak forced Parscale and other campaign officials who attended to self-quarantine for two weeks.
A source close to the campaign said Trump has been anxious about the polls “and struck at the most visible target he could,” adding that Parscale has been “a straight-shooter about the president’s challenges.”
Stepien, a longtime Republican strategist, is well known to both Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been playing a more active role in the campaign. Stepien was political director at the White House before moving to the campaign.
In his statement, Trump credited both Parscale and Stepien for their involvement in his 2016 victory in the U.S. presidential election and predicted that he would glide to a second term in office. (Reuters)
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