House Dems raise prospect of new impeachment articles, in court battle over McGahn testimony

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Can President Trump continue to count on support from evangelicals?

Christianity Today calls for Trump's removal following impeachment; reaction from Kayleigh McEnany, national press secretary for President Trump's re-election campaign, and Scott Bolden, former chair of the D.C. Democratic Party.

The lawyer for House Judiciary Committee Democrats revealed in a Monday court filing that there is a possibility lawmakers could pursue even more articles of impeachment against President Trump — despite having already adopted two of them last week following a grueling, historic and bitterly partisan debate.

The prospect of additional articles — while perhaps unlikely — was floated as part of a court battle over Democrats' bid to compel testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn.

Shortly before a 4 p.m. deadline imposed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the committee counsel filed a brief making their case for why they still want to hear from McGahn, despite having already voted for impeachment.

Democrats originally sought McGahn's testimony in connection with his claims to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Trump wanted him to have Mueller fired. Trump’s critics claimed this request constituted obstruction of justice.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS POISED FOR STARRING ROLE IN A TRUMP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

While the Mueller probe never factored into the impeachment articles that were adopted, House Democrats' counsel Douglas Letter argued that McGahn's testimony is still vital — and could even be relevant to "consideration of whether to recommend additional articles of impeachment" against Trump.

“If McGahn’s testimony produces new evidence supporting the conclusion that President Trump committed impeachable offenses that are not covered by the Articles approved by the House, the Committee will proceed accordingly—including, if necessary, by considering whether to recommend new articles of impeachment,” the brief stated, noting that they still have “ongoing impeachment investigations.”

The filing did not detail what potential additional articles could be considered, beyond the already-adopted articles alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Regardless, the brief stated that even if McGahn’s testimony does not lead to new articles of impeachment, it could be used in an upcoming Senate trial — which is on hold pending Speaker Nancy Pelosi transmitting the articles to the chamber — in relation to the obstruction of Congress allegations that Trump is currently facing.

The White House has asserted longstanding executive privilege to bar McGahn from supplying documents and testimony to House investigators back when they were probing the Russia issue, saying internal White House deliberations must remain protected. The case was later tied into impeachment as the House Judiciary Committee, led by Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., refocused on that inquiry.

Eric Shawn: The president vs. Congress with Don McGahn in the middleVideo

In an opposing court filing, the Justice Department claimed Monday that the McGahn case should be dismissed precisely because of its connection to the impeachment process.

"[T]he article of impeachment addressing purported obstruction of Congress relies in part on the judicial proceedings in this very case," the DOJ said in a brief submitted earlier Monday morning.

"Indeed, if this Court now were to resolve the merits question in this case, it would appear to be weighing in on a contested issue in any impeachment trial," the DOJ argued, before concluding that the court "should decline the Committee's request that it enter the fray and instead should dismiss this fraught suit between the political branches for lack of jurisdiction."

Alternatively, the DOJ argued that impeachment eliminates the committee's need for expedited consideration. The committee had previously claimed that "speedy judicial action is needed to avoid hampering the House's impeachment investigation," but the DOJ says this "justification no longer applies," so there is no need for anything to take place prior to the already scheduled Jan. 3 oral arguments.

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The committee disagreed, citing the upcoming Senate trial and “ongoing impeachment investigations,” as well as the public’s “significant interest ‘in immediately removing a sitting president whose continuation in office poses a threat to the Nation’s welfare.’”

Both sides also faced late-afternoon deadlines in a separate case where the House Judiciary Committee is seeking the secret grand jury material from Mueller’s investigation. Such material is generally secret, according to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which specify certain exceptions including judicial proceedings.

In that case, DOJ lawyers told the court Monday that the House committee request for Mueller grand jury materials is no longer relevant, as the impeachment articles did not involve the Russia probe.

“Neither article of impeachment adopted by the House, however, alleges high crimes or misdemeanors stemming from the events described in the Mueller Report. Accordingly, nothing appears to remain of the Committee’s alleged need for the grand-jury materials in the Mueller Report,” their filing said.

Fox News' Bill Mears and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Original Article

Republican Party sets fundraising record amid impeachment battle

closeRNC Chairwoman: Dems losing ground with impeachmentVideo

RNC Chairwoman: Dems losing ground with impeachment

Ronna McDaniel, RNC Chairwoman, discusses if the Democrats impeachment push could result in losing seats in November

EXCLUSIVE: The Republican National Committee has announced record fundraising numbers amid the impeachment drive against President Trump, hauling in a whopping $20.6 million in November, according to Federal Election Commission data obtained by Fox News.

The RNC told Fox News that this is the best November on record in party history.

MCCONNELL: 'WE'VE HEARD ENOUGH' ON IMPEACHMENT, PROLONGED SENATE TRIAL COULD BE 'EMBARRASSING SCENE'

The party currently has $63.2 million in cash — marking the most cash-on-hand it has had since before the 2012 presidential election.

“Democrats’ baseless impeachment charade has only served to bolster our base and attract more voters to our cause and the result is another record-breaking fundraising month,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News. “President Trump’s policies made historic progress this month as well, with USMCA clearing another legislative hurdle, paid-family leave secured for federal employees, and 266,000 jobs added to the economy — all while Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment sham droned on.”

She added: “Voters will make their voices heard by re-electing President Trump and voting for Republicans up and down the ballot in 2020.”

RNC LAUNCHES 'STOP THE MADNESS' CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT IMPEACHMENT PUSH

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Trump, adopting two articles of impeachment alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The case now heads to the Senate for trial.

The GOP fundraising underscores how Republicans have sought to turn the impeachment fight to their advantage, tapping into an outraged base to fuel not only the president's 2020 re-election effort but also a political offensive against congressional Democrats. Republicans are specifically using their November success to bolster their “Stop the Madness” campaign, a national counter-impeachment push targeting House Democrats that was launched in September.

Earlier this month, the RNC spent an additional $350,000 for another paid push targeting 29 Democrats in Trump-won congressional districts. Since the campaign’s launch, the RNC has held more than 140 “Stop the Madness” events from Maine to California aimed at those Democrats — ranging from protests to trainings for volunteers. Those trainings have brought in nearly 100,000 new volunteers, the party says.

Fox News has also learned that the Trump re-election campaign and the RNC have spent nearly $11 million in ads as part of the nationwide push against vulnerable Democrats, many of whom campaigned in 2018 on reaching across the aisle to work with Trump.

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The new fundraising numbers come amid the heated impeachment battle in Washington.

At the center of the inquiry is Trump’s efforts to press Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch politically related investigations — regarding former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine, as well as issues related to the 2016 presidential election.

The president’s request came after millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been frozen, which Democrats argue shows a “quid pro quo” arrangement. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.

Original Article

With Trump impeachment vote imminent, president traveling to Battle Creek, Mich., to rally the faithful

closeTrump sends six-page letter to Pelosi condemning impeachment inquiryVideo

Trump sends six-page letter to Pelosi condemning impeachment inquiry

Democrats take final step toward impeachment; former independent counsel Ken Starr weighs in.

President Trump on Wednesday will be far away from Capitol Hill — and the Washington establishment he has long criticized as an iredeemable "swamp" — as the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives prepares to impeach him in a likely party-line vote on charges of obstruction of Congress and abuse of power.

Instead, the president will be on friendly turf in downtown Battle Creek, Mich., hosting a rally that may rank among his most defiant — a marked contrast from the approach of former President Bill Clinton, who mostly stayed under the radar during his own impeachment proceedings in 1998.

There will be unusually tight security near the Capitol building in Washington on Wednesday, Fox News was told, and some of those measures were visible Tuesday night. House Democrats will convene to adopt the rules for the impeachment debate shortly after 9 a.m. ET, followed by six hours of debate evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Some members will be afforded only one minute to speak, and no amendments to the impeachment resolutions will be permitted.

HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE ADOPTS RULES FOR HISTORIC IMPEACHMENT VOTE, AFTER CONTENTIOUS MARATHON SESSION

The final vote sequence will likely begin well into the evening hours, with one vote held on each article of impeachment, Fox News was told.

Stage is set

The stage was set late Tuesday night by the House Rules Committee, which approved the procedures for Wednesday's impeachment proceedings in a 9-4 party-line vote after a marathon day of contentious hearings.

Wednesday "promises to be a long day," Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., told reporters.

It will likely end with Trump becoming just the third U.S. president ever to be impeached — a history-making development that Trump has said reflects far worse on congressional Democrats than it does on him.

Rep. McClintock says Pelosi is taking Red Queen's approach to impeachment: Sentence first, verdict afterwardVideo

In a blistering, no-holds-barred six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Trump lambasted the Democrats' impeachment inquiry as an "open war on American Democracy," writing that Pelosi has violated her oath of office and "cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!"

"Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening," Trump said. "Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!"

Conceding the House vote, Trump said he wanted to set his words down “for the purpose of history.”

"You are the ones interfering in America's elections," Trump wrote. "You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain."

READ IT: TRUMP LETTER SAYS DEMOCRATS WANTED IMPEACHMENT FOR YEARS, CAN'T HANDLE 2016 ELECTION LOSS

A letter from President Trump to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Washington. (Associated Press)

A letter from President Trump to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seen Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Washington. (Associated Press)

Trump specifically hammered Pelosi for daring "to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme," and "even worse," for "offending Americans of faith by continually saying 'I pray for the President,' when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense."

'A terrible thing'

"It is a terrible thing you are doing," Trump added, "but you will have to live with it, not I!"

Concerning the obstruction-of-Congress impeachment count, Trump attacked Democrats for "trying to impeach the duly elected President of the United States for asserting Constitutionally based privileges that have been asserted on a bipartisan basis by administrations of both political parties throughout our nation's history."

TRUMP ASSERTS THAT PELOSI'S FALSE TEETH WERE 'FALLING OUT' MID-PRESS CONFERENCE

And, regarding the abuse-of-power charge, Trump noted that it was former Vice President Joe Biden who had "bragged" on video about having Ukraine's allegedly corrupt prosecutor fired by threatening to withhold $1 billion in critical U.S. aid. But, House Republicans have been barred by Democrats from calling witnesses that would help them make the case that Trump's concerns about Ukraine corruption were legitimate.

"More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch trials," Trump wrote, observing that even Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly said at the United Nations that he felt no pressure from the White House to conduct political investigations in exchange for military aid.

"More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch trials."

— President Trump, to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

The president argued that Democrats were trying to distract Americans from the strong economy and historically low unemployment numbers, and pointed out that Democrats have openly called for impeachment since the day he took office.

Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Trump noted, announced that "We're going to impeach the motherf—er" all the way back in January — long before Trump's mentioned Biden's possible corruption in a phone call with Zelensky.

Democrats' persistent but unsubstantiated allegations that the Trump campaign had conspired with Russians to influence the 2016 election, the president observed, ultimately "dissolved into dust," but not before the nation had to endure years of "turmoil and torment." (Also on Tuesday, in a highly unusual public statement, the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI for its misleading warrant applications to surveil a former Trump aide during the Russia probe, and demanded immediate corrective action.)

But Pelosi, who warned earlier this year that impeachment would need to be bipartisan, called Trump's letter "ridiculous." She reaffirmed that Democrats would go ahead with impeachment, even though they lack any Republican support in the House.

“Very sadly, the facts have made clear that the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit and that he obstructed Congress,” Pelosi wrote to colleagues. “In America, no one is above the law.”

One by one this week, centrist Democratic lawmakers, including many first-term freshmen who built the House majority and could risk their reelection in districts where the president is popular, announced they would follow Pelosi's lead and vote to impeach.

DEMS FACE ROWDY RECEPTION IN HOME-STATE TOWN HALLS AS IMPEACHMENT SUPPORT PLUMMETS

Polls have shown that Trump is now leading his top Democratic rivals, and that impeachment is actually helping Trump in key battleground states that might decide the 2020 election.

Nationally, a Fox News poll this week found that 50 percent of respondents want Trump impeached and removed from office, even as Trump's job approval ticked up.

Voters' frustrations

Voters in swing districts have increasingly voiced their frustrations at heated town halls as their representatives have said they will support impeachment. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., who represents a district Trump won in 2016, pointedly ignored protesters as she backed impeachment at an event this week.

For her part, Rep. Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, referred to the oath she took in January as she was sworn into office as guiding her decision. She announced support for both articles of impeachment to “honor my duty to defend our Constitution and democracy from abuse of power at the highest levels.”

One new Democratic congressman, Jared Golden of Maine, said he would vote to impeach on abuse of power but not obstruction, in an apparent effort to appease both sides on the issue.

And a freshman Democrat, Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, is indicating he will switch parties to become a Republican after opposing impeachment. Earlier this year, Michigan conservative Rep. Justin Amash left the GOP when he favored impeachment. Amash is now an independent.

A crowd gathers on Federal Plaza for a protest against President Trump on the eve of a scheduled vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on the two articles of impeachment against the president, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Chicago. (Associated Press)

A crowd gathers on Federal Plaza for a protest against President Trump on the eve of a scheduled vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on the two articles of impeachment against the president, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Chicago. (Associated Press)

After Trump's likely impeachment by a majority vote in the House, attention will soon shift to the Senate, which, under the Constitution, is required to hold a trial on the charges. That trial is expected to begin in January, and a two-thirds vote would be needed to convict Trump and remove him from office.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has embraced the partisan nature of impeachment, dropping pretenses of fairness — such as those adopted by Democrats, which he has characterized as superficial and transparently phony, even as they refused GOP witness requests, called numerous hearsay witnesses, and introduced articles of impeachment that do not track any criminal statute.

“I'm not an impartial juror,” McConnell declared, saying that Democrats' procedures in the House were exclusively one-sided. The Republican-majority chamber is all but sure to acquit the president.

WATCH: INDEPENDENT VOTER SAYS PELOSI IS INSULTING OUR INTELLIGENCE

'A political decision'

“Impeachment is a political decision,” McConnell said. "The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I’m not impartial about this at all.''

McConnell struck back Tuesday at his Democratic counterpart's calls for an in-depth impeachment trial featuring multiple new witnesses, dismissing the push as a "fishing expedition" that would set a "nightmarish precedent."

"The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it,” he said on the Senate floor.

"The Senate is meant to act as judge and jury, to hear a trial, not to re-run the entire fact-finding investigation because angry partisans rushed sloppily through it.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, dismisses the impeachment process against President Trump, saying, "I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process," as he meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Associated Press)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., left, and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, dismisses the impeachment process against President Trump, saying, "I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process," as he meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. (Associated Press)

In a Sunday letter, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer had called for the chamber to subpoena new documents and call witnesses who had been blocked by the White House during the impeachment inquiry on the House side.

McConnell claimed that such investigative steps, though, were part of the House role — not a mission for the Senate. He warned that entertaining Schumer’s proposal to do House lawmakers’ “homework” could invite a string of future “dubious” and “frivolous” impeachment inquiries.

He stressed the fact-finding mission should have been completed during the impeachment inquiry led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. McConnell accused the House of doing a rush job, and said Schumer is now looking "to make Chairman Schiff's sloppy work more persuasive."

Even after voting to impeach Trump, the House still would need to vote formally to send the impeachment articles to the Senate. In 1998, the House approved the resolution to send the articles to the Senate about 10 minutes after the House voted to impeach then-President Bill Clinton. But, Democrats might delay sending the articles to the GOP-held Senate this time around, in a bid to influence the proceedings there.

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Such an unprecedented move, however, would likely only further inflame Republicans and moderates who have already looked with skepticism on the impeachment proceedings.

"The allegations against the President are incredibly, incredibly serious," Virginia Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger, who flipped a GOP seat in 2018, told constituents this week.

A constituent quickly retorted: "They're incredible bulls–t."

Fox News' Chad Pergram, Adam Shaw, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Warren slips as Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders battle for lead in latest New Hampshire poll

closePundits say Warren slippingVideo

Pundits say Warren slipping

Medicare plan finally draws spotlight.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – A new poll in New Hampshire — the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House — indicates an airtight contest among South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

And the MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR released Wednesday also points to a deterioration of support for another top-tier contender for the Democratic presidential nomination – Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

WARREN SHAKES UP CAMPAIGN ROUTINE AS POLL NUMBERS DECLINE

Buttigieg, a one-time longshot who’s soared in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire this autumn, stands at 18 percent among those likely to vote in the Granite State’s Feb. 11 Democratic presidential primary, with Biden at 17 percent and Sanders at 15 percent. Taking into account the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points, the three candidates are basically all tied up for the top spot.

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with voters after filing to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot, in Concord, NH on Oct. 30, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with voters after filing to place his name on New Hampshire's primary ballot, in Concord, NH on Oct. 30, 2019

"What's remarkable about this is how close it remains," MassINC president Steve Koczela noted. “We've got three candidates, all within three points of each other — and Elizabeth Warren not that far behind, right there in that top tier.”

Koczela emphasized that the race for the New Hampshire primary “could go in any direction."

Warren – who like Sanders hails from a neighboring state to New Hampshire – stands at 12 percent in the poll. Since this is the first time the pollsters put out a survey this cycle in the New Hampshire presidential primary, no direct comparisons can be made. But her standing in the new poll is in line with her support in other surveys the past month in the New Hampshire primary. Warren registered from the upper teens to around 30 percent in most Granite State polling conducted from September through early November.

Warren has also seen her standing in the polls in Iowa and nationally deteriorate over the past month. The drop came after increased scrutiny of Warren's plans to pay for and implement a government-run, "Medicare-for-all." The populist senator continued to swear off raising middle-class taxes to pay for the high price tag attached to the single-payer health care system (roughly $20 trillion in new spending over a decade). And she broke with fellow progressive champion and 2020 rival Sanders — who wrote the "Medicare-for-all" bill in the Senate — over implementation. Warren's transition play would delay the immediate end of privately held insurance.

THE LATEST FROM FOX NEWS ON THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang – who’ve both spent a lot of time meeting voters in New Hampshire – each register at 5 percent in the poll.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and billionaire environmental and progressive activist Tom Steyer each stand at 3 percent, with former New York City mayor and multi-billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg at 2 percent. Bloomberg – who jumped into the race late last month – is skipping Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, the first four states to hold contests in the presidential nominating calendar. Instead, he’s campaigning in the delegate-rich states that vote on Super Tuesday in early March, and beyond.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson are each at 1 percent in the survey, with everyone else in the still large field of Democratic White House hopefuls registering less than 1 percent. That includes former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who last month declared his candidacy.

The poll also indicates that President Trump remains the overwhelming favorite to win New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary. Trump grabs the backing of 74 percent of those saying they’re likely to vote in the state’s GOP primary. Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – who’s been campaigning in New Hampshire nearly every week since launching his long-shot primary challenge to Trump in April, stands at 9 percent. Former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois – a very vocal Trump critic – registers at 4 percent.

The MassINC Polling Group survey for WBUR was conducted Dec. 3-8, with 442 likely Democratic presidential primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators.

Original Article