Students and faculty react to Biden’s first week in office Thursday, Jan 28 2021 

By Riley Vance–

After less than one full week in office, the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden has made numerous changes, including 33 executive actions.  

When asked about Biden’s swift actions during his short time in office, students and instructors on the University of Louisville’s campus had differing opinions. 

U of L College Republicans Chairman Isaac Oettle voiced some concern about the policies Biden has enacted. 

“I was encouraged by President Biden’s call for unity in his inaugural address at noon,” said Oettle recalling Biden’s inauguration. “Although the words began to ring hollow by 3 p.m. when he cancelled production of the Keystone XL pipeline and the media reported that he intends to send an immigration bill to Congress that would provide blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants without even an offer for increased border security in exchange. President Biden’s administration also placed a moratorium on new oil and gas drilling, breaking his campaign pledge to not ban fracking.”

Among Biden’s executive actions are those that relate to the topic of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as increased manufacturing and quicker delivery of COVID-19 vaccinations, tests, and Personal Protective Equipment as well as a mask mandate on federal property. 

Biden has also made strides to mend environmental issues by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Although the economy is typically not the main priority of many Democrats, after only a few days in office Biden has posted on Instagram claiming to extend a moratorium on evictions and student loan relief.

U of L Young Democrats Treasurer Julia Mattingly supports Biden, but she also expresses her concern about his use of executive orders.

“As much as I support the vast majority of President Biden’s executive orders, such as re-committing the U.S. to the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate accord, and reversing the Muslim travel ban, I also believe it is wrong for him to legislate simply by pen and paper,” said Mattingly.

“If he plans to hold true to the promises he made on the campaign trail and genuinely unite this country, he must work with both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to ensure his legislative priorities. It is important that we as Democrats hold President Biden accountable in the same way we did the former President Trump, and discourage President Biden from being overly reliant on executive action.”

Biden has also made it clear that he cares about fixing racial and gender inequalities in America. 

Since he has taken office, Biden has repealed the transgender military ban allowing transgender men and women to serve in the U.S. military. He has also reversed former President Trump’s policy that did not allow transgender athletes to participate in sports as their identified gender. Biden appointed Rachel Levine to be his assistant secretary of health—the first openly transgender federal official. 

Additionally, he has launched a federal initiative to advance racial equity nationwide by reallocating resources. 

U of L Political Communications professor Bill Brantley thinks Biden’s transition will come with many obstacles. 

“President Biden needs to reframe the policy debates with the new unity perspective,” said Brantley. 

“President Trump framed his policies in an “us versus them” perspective because he didn’t see the need to reach out to the Congressional Democrats. Establishing a new framing perspective is always difficult against an entrenched narrative frame.” 

There is no denying that President Biden is ready to start taking action on promises he made during his campaign, however, it seems that most believe his largest obstacle is uniting the country after a messy election. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L Provost hosts panel to discuss presidential succession Wednesday, Jan 20 2021 

By Eli Hughes–

University of Louisville Provost Beth Boehm hosted a forum on Jan. 12 that was focused on the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election and what to expect going forward.

The conversation was held virtually and moderated by Brandeis School of Law Dean Colin Crawford. The panelists included Vice President for University Advancement Jasmine Farrier, visiting professor at the Brandeis School of Law Eugene Mazo, and political science chair and professor Jason Gainous.

The forum began with a chance for each of the panelists to give an opening statement. Farrier started her statement with a glimpse into her scholarly perspective on political theory. “When I was in college, as an undergraduate, I found political theory to be fascinating because political theory asks everyone to think about what humans are made of,” Farrier said.

“When humans form community, we get the good and the bad. We get power, we get strength, we also get victimized,” she said. “We also have to realize that society can only survive if you treat the losers with dignity and with fairness.”

She continued her statement by discussing the constitution and what it means to apply this very old document to modern life. She also discussed her particular area of interest, separation of power and how that topic related to the current political moment in terms of the limitations on a president and the limitations on Congress.

Mazo began by discussing his background and how it led to his interest in democracy.

“I am a scholar of the law of democracy. This comes out of my personal heritage. My parents were refugees who moved here from an authoritarian country and so I have never taken our democracy for granted and I’ve spent my professional career studying it,” Mazo said. “I’m interested in what it means to have a democracy. I’m interested in how democracies are created, how they function, and how democratic disputes are resolved, in this country at least, by the courts, and what tools the courts use to resolve those disputes.”

He went on to discuss the factors that made the 2020 presidential elections different from any other. Mazo said that the pandemic had a tremendous impact on the way elections were conducted this year and brought up numerous challenges related to the voting system that states had to resolve.

He also pointed out that this presidential election was unlike any other in the recent history of the United States because one of the candidates refused to concede the election and now a large amount of Americans feel like the election was stolen. Mazo concluded his introductory statement by posing the question: “What should we do as a society to move forward and to begin to heal after the events of last week, or should we say, after the events of last year?”

The last panelist to give an opening statement was Gainous, who began his statement by discussing how his area of interest fits into the focus of the forum.

“What is fascinating in studying information effects across time is that we started off as scholars of information technology believing that the internet was going to be a democratizing force,” Gainous said. “It was going to open up avenues for communication between citizens and legislators, it was going to break the chains of censorship in autocratic contexts. We thought all of this to be true, and what we found, across time is that we were wrong.”

Gainous continued to say that the current environment of the internet makes it possible for people to keep themselves in their own little bubbles and leads them to surrounding themselves with information that reinforces whatever they want to believe. He then went on to make the case that storming the capitol would have made sense if the people involved were correct in their beliefs.

“I believe that the storming of the capitol, in many ways, is a completely rational behavior. It seems completely crazy and irrational to us, but when I say rational, if indeed the things that these people believe have happened, then that seems like the American thing to do. We’ve done that across the course of our history. The problem is that the things that they believe are not true,” Gainous said.

The panelists then moved on to the questions and answers section of the discussion where they discussed numerous legal options available to Congress and the president in the remaining days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

The moderator began this discussion by asking Farrier about the possibility of the president issuing a self-pardon. Farrier responded that it wasn’t clear if the pardon could be used this way, and even if it can, this would only clear the president of federal crimes he may have committed and not prevent him from being charged in any particular state.

Mazo was then asked if he believed the lawsuits the president’s administration brought up related to the election were frivolous and what purpose they serve, if any. He replied by saying that he believed many of the lawsuits to be frivolous, but some of them were founded on reasonable legal theory, they just weren’t filed in the correct way.

Farrier was then asked if the fact that Trump appointed judges refused to hear his case was surprising. She replied that it wasn’t surprising because judges tend to be careful about keeping their legitimacy instead of leaning in an overtly partisan way.

Gainous also went on to argue that if the point of filing the lawsuits was to get people to believe the election was fraudulent, then they were successful. He said that just the filing of the lawsuits, even though nothing came of them, was enough to convince many Trump supporters that the election was fraudulent.

The panel went onto discuss impeachment, censure, expulsion, and eliminating eligibility from office. The day after this panel took place, Trump became the first president to be impeached twice.

The full forum can be found on the U of L Alumni Facebook page.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Storming of the Capitol exposes biases of federal government Tuesday, Jan 19 2021 

Catherine Brown–

The riots at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 are inexcusable. But the government needs to answer for its own hypocrisy when hundreds of white protestors can storm their way into a federal building trashing political offices, looting and even killing 5 people, while peaceful Black Lives Matter protests were constantly victim blamed, shot at and even killed for standing up for their right to live.

Sadly, I agree that white supremacists who staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol based on unfounded conspiracy theories were being treated differently than Black Lives Matter protesters in Washington this past summer,” said University of Louisville political science professor Dewey Clayton.

“It should not matter whether they were Trump supporters or not,” Clayton said. “They were engaged in lawless activity — a mob going after anyone not supporting their attempt to overturn a lawful election.  This country has a history of treating Black and White protesters differently even when the Black protesters are engaged in lawful peaceful protest and the White protesters are engaged in lawlessness.”

It’s clear that there is privilege afforded to the protestors who participated in the recent riot. 

On what he thought of the news when he first heard about it, Clayton said that he was shocked, but not surprised. “President Trump has released racial hatred since he became president and this was predictable as we saw his behavior and that of his supporters at his rallies.”  

“The band of insurgents carried Confederate flags into the U.S. Capitol, Tea Party flags, Trump flags and American flags as they threatened the safety and lives of our elected members of Congress and attacked Capitol Police,” Clayton said. “One of the greatest threats to our democracy today is not from foreign invasion but from domestic terrorism from white supremacists within this country.  Too many in the administration have remained quiet for too long — some have now resigned, though too late.”

Clayton said it is unlikely that Vice President Mike Pence will invoke the 25th amendment, which members of the House across party lines have called for.  And as Clayton predicted, Vice President Mike Pence did not invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump. 

Despite this, President Trump was not let off the hook for the incident on Capitol Hill. As the House moves forward with a second impeachment trial, several media corporations, including Twitter, Facebook, and Google have already suspended or banned Trump from their platforms. “Our democracy is shaken but it will hold,” Clayton said.

This incident will be yet another example of how we continue to fail Black Americans and stifle Black voices. We shouldn’t tolerate this racial bias because it could lead to even more casualties in the future. Don’t accept this incident as yet another American tragedy because of this country’s history in discrimination. 

Use it to make your voice heard against the injustices that prevail.

Photo Courtesy of Tyler Merbler 

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Biden elected 46th U.S. President, U of L students react Tuesday, Nov 10 2020 

By Catherine Brown-

After several days of counting votes, Joe Biden will become the 46th President of the United States. As expected, student voters at U of L have mixed reactions about the results.

For four days, voters anticipated election results from swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada that managed to put Biden in the lead.

Once all the ballots were counted, including those sent by mail, the remaining states, including Pennsylvania and Nevada, were finally called in Biden’s favor. As of Nov. 10, Biden holds 290 electoral votes, while Trump has 214. 

North Carolina, Georgia and Alaska have yet to be called, but it’s impossible for Trump to make up the missing electoral votes.

“I’m ecstatic that Biden has won the election. I can not wait to protest against him the second he’s inaugurated,” Lorenzo Rowan, a sophomore who voted for Biden said. “I plan to hold him to account on every policy he has proposed to help improve the lives of working people.”

Ian McCall, a sophomore, voted for Trump. 

“I’m not surprised by the outcome in the presidential race,” McCall said. “Trump won his first term because he appealed to people’s worries about the economy.”

McCall said that in the case of a divided Congress, “The government can get back to doing what it does best. Nothing.”

Christopher Borick, a professor of political science and director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion, found that supporters for Biden were less enthusiastic about his candidacy than supporters for Trump, with only 49% of Biden voters showing enthusiastic support compared to 82% for Trump.

“Joe Biden is not the darling of voters,” Borick said. “In the end, there was enough enthusiasm against Trump that even if people weren’t in love with Joe Biden, they certainly were able to vote for him.”

According to a telephone interview of 419 likely voters in Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates for Congress are preferred over their Republican opponents. 

The same interview, conducted by researchers at Muhlenberg College, found that top issues concerning voters in Pennsylvania were the economy, healthcare and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hilary Beaumont, a writer for Aljazeera, attributes Biden’s win to a combination of factors including Biden’s appeal to the white working-class voters who were disappointed by Trump. Beaumont claims that Biden managed to appeal to suburban voters in Pennsylvania districts previously upset by Hillary Clinton in 2016.  

Additionally, Biden has roots in Scranton, Pennsylvania, which helped him lead in Lackawanna County.

The Trump administration announced that it would file lawsuits in states with a slim Democratic lead, such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. The lawsuits were sent to state and federal courts in these states to either stop counting mail-in ballots or recount the ballots.

Law officials say a recount is unlikely to change the results of the states involved.

Let’s see what the next four years have to offer.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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Make your vote count in the presidential elections Wednesday, Oct 28 2020 

By Catherine Brown–

Presidential elections are less than one month away. Get out and vote like your future depends on it—because it does.

This election cycle has been called “the most important election of our lifetimes” by various politicians including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

The importance of this election comes from the political polarization in this country. Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, voters seem to fall primarily along two party lines–either Democrat or Republican. Of course, many Americans still fall within a third party. But we’re taught to see our political party as right, and all others as wrong. 

That’s why it can be frustrating to not see a candidate whom you feel aligns with your views. In this election, we see the conservative Republican incumbent versus the liberal Democratic former vice president. Both have the political experience necessary to take on the role as president for the next four years. But many voters were dependent on the presidential debates to determine where they would cast their vote. 

And the first presidential debate certainly didn’t hit swing voters with as much impact as we would hope.

“Focus groups and polling suggest that the first presidential debate did little to convince swing voters to vote for one candidate over the other,” said Jennifer Anderson, a political science professor at U of L specializing in campaigns and elections.

In fact, it seems like the first debate might’ve had the opposite effect.

“Some focus group evidence from the NY Times, NPR and others suggest the debate pushed some undecided voters more toward opting out of voting rather than voting for one candidate over the other,” Anderson said.

But sooner or later, voters need to make a choice.

Anderson analyzed the overall effectiveness of the two campaigns, as well as ways in which each candidate could improve.


Trump

Trump continues to do well with his base. His nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is sitting well with most Republicans, and the nomination serves as a reminder to Republicans that there are lasting implications for voting for a president of one’s own party, even for those who aren’t Trump fans,” Anderson said.

She said his handling of the COVID-19 outbreak is a low point in his campaign. It certainly doesn’t help Trump having such a massive global pandemic so close to Election Day. 

Anderson also said Trump is inconsistent with the messaging in his campaign.

Ian McCall, a sophomore, plans to vote for Trump.

“I’m voting for Trump because this election is more than just a battle of policy. Our country is more divided than it has ever been. This election has become a battle of culture, and I as many conservatives feel that all our institutions and our very way of life is under threat,” McCall said.

“Biden will take the country in a direction that seems decidedly un-American to me. My concern is doing what is best for the people in my life and that, to me, is voting for Trump,” he said. “I understand some feel that voting for Biden is what is best for the country and in truth I don’t believe there is an objectively right or wrong way to run the country.”

 

Biden

Anderson said that analysts predicted that Biden would make “costly gaffes in his campaign,” but that he has largely avoided mistakes. She said Biden could improve through changing the “finding a way to change the narrative around his older age and perceived frailty.”

Joe Biden has been criticized by Trump and his supporters for his slurred speech and forgetfulness, so much so, that Trump has given Biden the nickname “Sleepy Joe.” 

Lorenzo Rowan, a sophomore, will be voting for Biden.

“I believe that Biden is the easier candidate to bully into making substantive changes for POC and LGBTQ with nationwide intersectional protests against his administration,” Rowan said.

Another reason Rowan said he’s voting for Biden is because of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his climate change policies.

“Over 200k Americans are dead from COVID-19 because of Trump’s ineptitude, stupidity and narcissism. Trump’s lack of belief in the existence of human-caused climate changed had cost us precious time to address that existential crisis. Biden has proposed a $2 trillion dollar plan to help with climate change.”


This year, Election Day looks a little different for much of America. While in person polling places will still be around, our democracy is also relying on mail-in votes being cast.

Unfortunately, voting fraud is already happening.

Unauthorized ballot boxes were set up by the California Republican Party to count unofficial votes in the state. This is an act of voter suppression, intended to take away the voice and democratic power of those who might threaten the chances of certain candidates being elected. It is also against state law.

Other polling locations are facing long lines with several hours of waiting just to receive a ballot.

Don’t let this be a deterrent in exercising the right to vote. Despite concerns around fraudulent behavior in regards to mail-in voting, voter fraud is actually rare.

In this pandemic, millions of Americans are given the opportunity to avoid possibly catching or spreading COVID-19. By mail-in voting, you can show that you value both voting and being safe around others. Even if you decide to vote in person, you’ll have your vote counted and it will impact our country’s future.

Louisville voters can access one of many drop-box locations around the city. 

Everybody that is eligible to vote needs to get out and do their part for our democracy.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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‘False Hope’ Or Four More Years? Ohio Valley Stakeholders Reflect On Trump Energy Policy  Monday, Aug 31 2020 

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In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump was all-in on the fossil fuel industry. In a 2016 rally in Charleston, West Virginia, the candidate proudly accepted an endorsement from that state’s coal association, donning a hardhat while he mimed digging coal. To thundering applause, he promised to bring back coal jobs to the struggling Appalachian coalfields. 

Four years later, there are fewer jobs in coal than ever, and that enthusiasm was largely absent from the energy pitch the Republican Party made to the American people in its four-night-long convention last week. That’s left stakeholders in Ohio Valley coal regions reading the tea leaves on what another four years of a Trump Administration might look like. 

This story is the first in a series revisiting themes, places and people in the new Ohio Valley ReSource book, “Appalachian Fall.”


CLICK ON TITLE TO READ FULL ARTICLE.
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Vote for a better future, not the candidate Saturday, Apr 18 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

Bernie Sanders brought the 2020 presidential election back to the forefront of Americans’ minds after he announced the termination of his presidential campaign April 8. This paves the way for the democratic nomination for Joe Biden and almost guarantees we will see a Biden versus Trump battle for the presidency.

Sanders spoke to many of the underlying issues in society today that affect a vast amount of people, and built a strong base of young, diverse supporters, especially college-age voters in the process. Many Democrats are devastated by his resignation, seeing their two choices return to the norm for American politics: old, rich, white men.

This disappointment is leading many of Sanders’ supporters to either vote third party in the presidential election or not vote at all. While this frustration with the current political system and democratic party is valid, voting third party or restraining from voting will only further the systematic struggles that Sanders’ fought so hard to combat. 

Let’s be honest, a third-party candidate will not win any election in the current political scene, especially the most important presidential election in recent history. The two-party dominant political system is not the best system by any means, and third parties allow for vaster representation in politics, but this is not the election to protest this system. 

While it is easy to look at the two major-party candidates for this election and find issues with them both, this election is about more than just the candidates. 

For starters, it is likely that at least one or two Supreme Court seats will open up within the next four years. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 87, a Supreme Court Justice known to lean democratic in her decisions, has faced multiple health complications throughout this year. Along with fellow Justice Stephen Breyer, also over 80 years old, are likely to resign in the next coming years.

This means that whatever party is in charge could change the balance of the Supreme Court for years to come. 

Another issue to consider is the rapidly decreasing health of our planet.

In October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report that said if the global temperature does not decrease by 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2040, the Earth will reach past the point of return, leading to a state of inhabitability.

The current administration has not made saving the environment a priority, enacting or removing laws in order to benefit businesses over sustainability.

The next administration to take office will set the tone for how this country acts towards environmental justice and will either start to make progress that will keep this planet livable or worsen the situation and decrease the time until Earth is no longer habitable. 

2040 may seem far away, but it is much closer than it feels. Children who started kindergarten last fall will be seniors in high school in 2032, only eight years until the point of no return.

This is an extremely pressing issue, and this election will decide the fate of the planet, and the fate of future generations.

Despite all of this, many supporters of past democratic candidates cannot bring themselves to vote for Biden, because they see the similarities between him and Trump. While voters should not condone his past behavior by any means, they also should not let the disappointing choices of candidates deter them from what this election is truly about. 

This election is not about one candidate or the other. It is about which party gets control over the Supreme Court for upwards of 25 years to come, altering decisions like reproductive justice, LGBTQIA+ equality, transgender rights and racial justice to name a few.

It is about making a larger effort to save the environment before it is too late. It is about making a greater life for the upcoming generations.

Even if neither of the two dominant candidates represents voters’ beliefs entirely, people should vote for the candidate who will pass the most policies that they agree with.

Biden is definitely a step back into traditional politics, but if Sanders supporters want even a speck of what Bernie stood for to become a reality in the next four years, they should put their personal pride aside and vote for the democratic candidate. 

Baby steps will still move us forward. 

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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U.S. Congressmen visit campus Wednesday, Mar 4 2020 

By Maggie Vancampen — 

Two Kentucky congressmen visited the Brandeis School of Law Feb. 20 to talk privately about life as a Kentucky representative in Washington. The Cardinal was allowed to attend the off-the-record event.

In an interview afterward, Congressman James Comer (R-KY) said his favorite memory of Congress so far is riding in Air Force One with President Donald Trump from the veterans rally Aug. 21, 2019.

“He invited me to ride in his private office on our way back,” Comer said. “Senator McConnell and I and Trump were alone for over an hour.”

Once they had landed at Andrews Air Force Base, Trump offered Comer a seat on the marine helicopter Trump planned to use to fly back to Washington D.C.

When asked about student debt, Comer thinks it is immoral, but taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for eliminating the debt.

“There are a lot of people that, in my generation, and people that I’m friends with that have put their kids through school that worked hard and did without and paid for their tuition,” Comer said. ” Its a terrible issue, it’s terrible what I see kids graduating from colleges with respect to student loan debt.”

Comer said if students are going to carry all this student debt, they need to be graduating with a valuable degree.

“A lot of people that are graduating from college with excessive amounts of student loan debt have worthless degrees,” Comer said.

“The easier it has become for students to get student loans, the more the universities have jacked tuition rates up,” Comer said. He said universities should be held accountable for the student loan debt issue.

Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said one of his favorite memories in Congress is playing golf with former President Barack Obama and winning three dollars. The dollars and score card are currently hanging in his office.

Yarmuth said he favors cutting the graduate student loan interest rate from 6.8 percent to three percent.

“The government shouldn’t be profiting off student loans,” Yarmuth said. “We can easily cut the interest rate to three, three and a half percent, and government would still make money. But it would be a big relief I think to student loan debt.”

Yarmuth said this is a difficult issue because of the question of equity and satisfying people who have already paid off their loans.

Photo credit by Tom Fougerousse//University of Louisville

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House Democrats Unveil 2 Articles Of Impeachment Against Trump Tuesday, Dec 10 2019 

Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning, charging him with abuse of power in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress.

The announcement came 77 days after the House launched a formal inquiry into Trump’s freezing of assistance to Ukraine and request to investigate his political rival. It marked only the fourth time in U.S. history that articles of impeachment have been introduced against a president.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said Trump “consistently puts himself above the country” and the president’s actions in the Ukraine affair left the House with no choice but to resort to the remedy prescribed in the Constitution for the most egregious wrongdoing by a president.

“We must be clear: No one — not even the president — is above the law,” he said.

Watch Nadler’s remarks.

After it completes work on the articles, the Judiciary Committee is expected to send them to the full House for a vote on whether to impeach the president. Democrats control the majority.

If the chamber votes to impeach Trump, that would trigger a trial in the Senate — which is controlled by Trump’s allies. Republicans in the upper chamber are expected to acquit Trump and permit him to keep his office.

The president wrote on Twitter that he rejected the premise of Democrats’ case — he did not “pressure” his Ukrainian counterpart, Trump argued.

Trump’s campaign said separately on Tuesday that impeachment represented a craven attempt by Democrats to sabotage the election because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her members are worried that none of their presidential candidates can defeat Trump in the election next year.

Dems: We can’t wait

In announcing the articles, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Trump’s actions have imperiled the integrity of the 2020 election and Trump’s continued tenure in the White House continues to do so.

In view of Congress’ need to ensure that the election can run fairly and the legislature’s need to preserve its status as a coequal branch of government, the House must impeach Trump, Schiff said.

He rejected the idea that Congress should wait for Election Day to let voters decide whether to reelect or remove Trump.

“‘Why don’t you let him cheat in one more election?'” Schiff asked rhetorically. “That is what that argument amounts to.”

In announcing the articles Tuesday, Democratic leaders emphasized that they were not taking the matter lightly. Pelosi and her lieutenants did not take questions from reporters.

Articles of impeachment were previously introduced against Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Johnson and Clinton were impeached but acquitted by the Senate. Nixon resigned before he was impeached by the House.

Watch the full 13-minute presser.

The Ukraine affair

The drafting of articles of impeachment followed lengthy testimony before the House Intelligence Committee — first behind closed doors, then in public — from current and former government officials.

In its 300-page report released last week, the committee argued that Trump abused his office and pressured Ukraine to open investigations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter for Trump’s own political benefit.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing Monday, lawyers for House Democrats presented evidence they say shows the president has abused his power, obstructed Congress and should be removed from office.

“President Trump’s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security,” committee lawyer Daniel Goldman said.

Meanwhile, House Republicans have dismissed the inquiry as purely partisan and criticized its process.

“At the end of the day, all this is about is a clock and a calendar,” said Rep. Doug Collins, the lead Republican on the panel, “and they can’t get over the fact that Donald J. Trump is president of the United States, and they don’t think they have a candidate who can beat him.”

The White House has rejected offers from Democrats to participate in the inquiry, blocked some officials from testifying and refused to turn over documents.

The dispute over testimony from key administration figures — including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — is the basis for Democrats’ allegation that Trump has obstructed Congress and violated the Constitution’s requirement that the legislature provide a check and balance on the executive.

But White House lawyer Pat Cipollone has called the inquiry “completely baseless” and unfair and not a process the administration is bound to respect.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Impeachment Hearing FAQ: Who Will Testify And How The Questioning Will Work Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

Public impeachment hearings begin Wednesday, and the first round of witnesses includes three career public servants who have testified behind closed doors that President Trump did link military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine with a promise to investigate one of the president’s domestic political opponents.

“The American people will hear firsthand about the president’s misconduct,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said of the open hearings.

Congressional Republicans continue to back the president and denounce the impeachment inquiry as an effort to undo the results of the 2016 election. They have largely focused their complaints on the process, but some have also sought to discredit key witnesses, and others have argued that the allegations against Trump do not merit impeachment. The president continues to insist that the July call with Ukraine that set off the inquiry was “perfect.”

Here is what to expect from the hearings this week and what will follow:

When are the hearings and how do I follow along?

The first hearing is on Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The second hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on Friday. You can watch live on NPR.org and listen to special coverage on many local public radio stations.

Who is testifying?

Schiff is using this week’s hearings to focus on the testimony from officials who handled U.S. policy in Ukraine. All three have already appeared in closed-door interviews and backed up the complaint filed by an anonymous whistleblower that set off the impeachment inquiry. Transcripts of those interviews have already been released.

The three witnesses who will appear:

William Taylor, the top diplomat in Ukraine, told investigators that he learned shortly after he was tapped for his post that there was a parallel foreign policy channel set up that he believed undermined U.S. national security interests.

George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, described how Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, went against the traditional bipartisan approach regarding U.S. support for Ukraine in an effort to push for political investigations.

Marie Yovanovitch was ousted from her post as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May after a campaign led by Giuliani to criticize her performance and alleged lack of support for the president’s policies. She recounted in her closed-door testimony that she was told by Ukrainians to “watch my back” because Giuliani’s associates were pushing their business interests and viewed her as an obstacle.

How will questioning work during the hearing?

A resolution approved by the House lays out the impeachment inquiry process, including the format for public hearings. Usually, lawmakers get five minutes of questions each. In these hearings, though, Chairman Schiff and ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., will have opportunities for expanded questioning of equal time, up to 45 minutes each. They can also yield that time to a designated committee staff lawyer. After the longer period of questioning, the committee will go back to the shorter rounds with other members.

Will Republicans get any of their own witnesses?

Information about additional witnesses is expected soon. Nunes sent a list of people whom Republicans wanted to be added to open hearings, including Hunter Biden and the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the inquiry. But the House resolution dictates that the Democrats need to sign off on any additions, and it’s unclear whether Republicans will get many — if any — on their list.

As the House investigates whether Trump inappropriately pressured Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the president and his allies claim it was the Bidens who should have been scrutinized. But evidence contradicts those allegations of corruption on the part of the Bidens.

Trump’s supporters have also tried to cast the whistleblower as partisan and dismiss the inquiry overall as a “sham.” Hours of testimony have largely corroborated the whistleblower’s account, though.

Nunes said the anonymous whistleblower should testify “because President Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers.”

What happens after the Intelligence Committee hearings wrap up?

The Intelligence Committee will likely hold more public hearings next week, but top Democratic leaders have expressed interest in wrapping up the House impeachment process by the end of this year.

The House resolution directs the Intelligence Committee to prepare a report and recommendations and send it to the House Judiciary Committee, the panel tasked with drafting any possible articles of impeachment. That report will also be released publicly.

Will the Judiciary Committee also hold hearings?

Yes. The House Judiciary Committee released its own procedures for the impeachment inquiry, which provide for the president and his counsel to attend any hearings, respond to any evidence presented and to question any potential witnesses.

The Judiciary Committee will review the report from the Intelligence Committee as well as input from other panels that have conducted investigations into the Trump administration. It will determine what evidence lawmakers have to back up any articles of impeachment.

Schiff and Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., have already publicly argued that the White House’s decision to ignore subpoenas for testimony and documents is building a case for one article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress.

Once the panel agrees on any language for possible articles, it would vote on them and present them to the full House. A full House vote would likely happen quickly after any judiciary action — there are very few legislative days left on the calendar this year. Nadler and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., however, have been careful not to put any hard deadline on a House vote on articles of impeachment.

If the House impeaches the president, what happens in the Senate?

If the House approves articles of impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will move to a trial. McConnell points to the 1999 impeachment trial of then-President Bill Clinton as the model for how a trial would work. He would need to negotiate the procedures with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., but any trial is expected to last several weeks.

Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts would preside over the trial and make any rulings on issues that would arise during the debate. All other Senate business would be put on hold, and all senators — including those running for president in 2020 — would be required to be present and listen to the evidence.

Impeachment managers designated by House leaders would lay out the case on the articles of impeachment, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone is preparing to present the defense.

Will the president be removed from office?

Republicans control the Senate and remain strongly opposed to impeachment and have the votes to acquit him. In order to remove the president, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to convict and remove him from office — that would require 20 GOP senators to join with Democrats.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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