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THE LATEST

IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

What to know ahead of Thursday’s procedural vote in the U.S. House of Representatives as we inch toward an impeachment outcome.

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IMPEACHMENT 101

  • An impeachment proceeding looks like a criminal trial, but isn’t.
  • First, the House Judiciary Cmte. drafts “articles of impeachment” (charges); a simple majority is needed to impeach in the House.
  • Next, the Senate holds trial. A 2/3 supermajority is required for conviction (removal from office).
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BACKGROUND

  • The House opened the inquiry after accusing Pres. Trump of violating campaign finance laws during a July call with Ukraine’s president by urging Ukraine to investigate fmr. VP Joe Biden while also withholding military aid.
  • Pres. Trump has denied the quid pro quo allegations, saying that he is obligated to investigate potential corruption.
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WHO (LEADS INQUIRY)?

  • Led by U.S. House Intelligence Cmte Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA).
  • Involves six House cmtes (Financial Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight, and Ways & Means).
  • Unlike the impeachment investigations into Pres. Clinton and Nixon, no independent prosecutor has been named by the AG to lead the inquiry (yet).
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WHAT (HAS HAPPENED)?

Three House cmtes, with Democrats & Republicans, have heard from many witnesses including:

  • Fmr. White House aides
  • Career U.S. diplomats (including top Ambassador in Ukraine)
  • State Dept & Nat’l Security Council officials
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WHERE (IT HAPPENS)

  • The impeachment inquiry has existed mostly in a secure room (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or “SCIF”) at the U.S. Capitol.
  • A SCIF has secure walls, built to handle classified information. Those in the SCIF need a certain security clearance and cannot bring unauthorized cell phones or laptops.
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“Democrats go 4+ weeks with a secretive, free for all, no rules impeachment process—and now try to save face with a short on substance resolution that only pretends to give the minority rights and blows up precedent.”

Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) on the impeachment inquiry process.
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“This week, we’re voting to establish the format for open hearings that will be conducted as part of the impeachment inquiry. The American people will hear firsthand about the President’s misconduct.”

House Intel Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) on a House vote to set the parameters of the impeachment inquiry, which will include public hearings.
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BIGGER PICTURE

  • Thursday’s vote is about procedures going forward (public hearings, release of closed-door depositions transcripts, etc).
  • No word on when the House will hold a formal impeachment vote.
  • BOTTOM LINE: Even if the House (which has a Dem majority) votes for impeachment, it’s unlikely the Senate (which has a GOP majority) will vote for removal.
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According to recent polling averages, 48% of Americans support impeachment and 43% do not.

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IMPEACHMENT 101

Here’s what you need to know about a word often used and a history few know.

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“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. The founders purposely left 'high crimes" open-ended for Congress to decide. Consequently, the power of removing the U.S. President falls to the people's representatives.
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Impeachment 101

  • House of Reps. votes for impeachment; only Senate can convict (remove from office).
  • House Judiciary Cmte. drafts “articles of impeachment” (charges); simple majority is req’d to impeach in House (218 of 435).
  • Senate holds impeachment proceeding (trial). Conviction (removal from office) requires a 2/3 supermajority (67 of 100).
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Did You Know?

  • No U.S. president has EVER been impeached AND removed from office; 2 have been impeached by the House.
  • Pres. Bill Clinton (1998) impeached for obstruction of justice & lying under oath; 22 votes shy of Senate conviction.
  • Pres. Andrew Johnson (1868) impeached on 11 charges; 1 vote short of conviction by Senate.
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Politics & Precedent

  • Pres. Richard Nixon was not impeached. The House Judiciary Committee passed articles of impeachment, but he resigned before the full House voted.
  • Pres. Bill Clinton served for more than two years after he was impeached by the House. Republicans lost public support & seats in the House during the impeachment process.
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House Speaker Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry into Pres. Trump for allegedly abusing his position, asking a foreign power (Ukraine) to investigate a political opponent (Former VP Joe Biden). Impeachment is not limited to the Executive Office. Read more.

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BREXIT

Does Britain finally have an exit plan from the European Union?

What it means & why it matters.

Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do
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Not Just Britain

We call it “Brexit” but this plan covers the whole UK exiting the EU.

  • UK: Consists of Wales, England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland – not the Republic of Ireland.
  • Great Britain (aka Britain) is a geographic term that refers to the UK minus Northern Ireland.
  • UK gov’t is headed by Prime Minister Theresa May in London.
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TIMELINE

  • 1951 – 2013: EU grows from 6 to 28 countries via numerous treaties
  • 2016: Nearly 52% of the UK voted to exit the EU (most of Wales & England voted to leave; most of Northern Ireland & Scotland voted to stay) citing economic (trade) & immigration (border) concerns.
  • 2017: The UK starts exit process.
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NOW WHAT?

  • The UK is slated to leave the EU in March 2019, but, there are NO significant political or economic changes until late 2020 / 2021.
  • On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May said her cabinet approved a draft Brexit deal governing the main aspects (trade, travel, and security).
  • A final deal must be approved by both the British & EU parliaments.
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“We can choose to leave with no deal. We can risk no Brexit at all. Or we can choose to unite and support the best deal that can be negotiated — this deal.”

UK Prime Minister Theresa May after her cabinet approved a draft deal on Wednesday. By Thursday, May was hit with numerous high-level resignations from leaders refusing to support the draft deal approved her cabinet.
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Why It Matters?

“A more unified Europe is a powerful counterbalance to people like Vladimir Putin.”

Brian Klaas, London School of Economics, described Brexit in 2016 as "akin to California and Florida being lopped off the U.S. economy.” Klass said economically and politically a less unified Europe will weaken the continent for foes and friends alike. Unless and until all the fine details are ironed out, the road ahead is uncertain.
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IF no deal is reached between the UK & EU in the next 5 months, deadlines to reach a deal may be extended, but only if all 28 EU member countries agree to do so. Some British officials resigned Thursday over the draft proposal, increasing doubt on the deal.

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America’s Leaders on America’s Maverick

As we hear from our leaders on Sen. John McCain’s death, a look back at their words during his life.

“He loves his country. And if he has to stand up to his party for his country, so be it. He would die for this country.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), March 2017
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“John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I’ve ever known.”

Former President Barack Obama, July 2017
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“John McCain’s life is a story of service above self…. John is an independent man who thinks for himself. He’s not afraid to tell you when he disagrees. Believe me, I know. No matter what the issue, this man is honest and speaks straight from the heart.”

Former President George W. Bush, September 2008
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“I know if I picked up the phone tonight and called John McCain and said, ‘John, I’m at 2nd and Vine in Oshkosh and I need your help. Come,’ he’d get on a plane and come. And I would for him, too.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden on 'The View,' December 2017
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“In my lifetime, he’s one of the most remarkable patriots our country’s ever produced. I love the guy.”

Former President Bill Clinton, May 2018
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“I know this: As soon as my boys are of age, I’ll tell them stories about the quality of the man I’ve gotten to know. I’ll tell them: Senator John McCain will be revered and respected for as long as the United States of America has a place in this world, and his legacy will outlive us all.”

Larry Fitzgerald, AZ Cardinals wide receiver, in a December 2017 op-ed
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It’s The Economy, Stupid.

…Or Is It?

What the primary elections before the November midterms tell us about the state of politics in America. Or don’t.

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The BIG Picture

  • AP analysis: Important counties in swing states have not seen job losses; areas that backed Clinton in 2016 have better job growth than areas that voted for Pres. Trump.
  • Pew Research poll raises question about whether or not jobs are the TOP priority for voters during this particular midterm election.
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“Trump is a bigger factor in midterm voting preferences – positive or negative – than any president in more than three decades. “

Pew Research, June 20th 2018. Polling also showed voters want to hear most from candidates about immigration, followed by health care, education, & gun laws.
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What To Watch: Aug 7

  • Ohio: Important swing state. President Trump held rally in Ohio on Saturday.
  • In Focus: A special election for Congress. Polls show a traditionally Republican district with a very tight race.
  • Democrats need to flip 24 seats from R to D. Will this be one for them?
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A Bipartisan Challenge

Winning control of the House and Senate means Democrats have to fight on Republican turf, and that means talking to Romney-Clinton and Obama-Trump voters. How well they can talk to both at the same time — and how well Republicans do among the same groups — will determine whether we see a blue wave or another case of Democratic despair.” (NYT)

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AP Analysis re: midterm elections: "The proportion of people who said the economy was their top priority fell to its lowest level in more than eight years." SmartHER Reminder: Most polls were off in 2016. Let's see what 2018 brings.

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Mirror Mirror On The Wall…

 

 

Primary elections expose battles within major political parties, as each seeks to be the fairest of the land.

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Who’s The Most Progressive?

New York primary exposes divide in Democrat party.

  • More progressive candidate unseats 10-term Congressman in blue district.
  • Likely *new* congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 28-year-old socialist, with little funding or name recognition.
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Who’s The *Best* Conservative?

Small Gov’t vs. Big Gov’t

  • In focus: South Carolina primary race for Trey Gowdy’s seat.
  • Candidate, state Sen. William Timmons, supported by current Congressional leadership, beat out a candidate supported by a low tax, small gov’t GOP group.
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The Trump Effect

The President’s Political Capital

  • In South Carolina, the President’s choice for Governor cruised to victory despite a close previous vote that led to a runoff.
  • In New York, the President’s pick for congressional candidate defeated a well-known, though controversial, challenger.
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Despite sparring with Pres. Trump, former Gov. & presidential candidate Mitt Romney won his election in Utah making it a likely scenario that he will become the state's next Senator. Read more on what these elections mean for 2020.

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