WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday came out swinging against the “witch hunt” being carried out against him and said that if a Democrat were in the White House, those waging the political war against him would already be in prison for “treason.”
“A lot of very good people were taken down by a small group of Dirty (Filthy) Cops, politicians, government officials, and an investigation that was illegally started & that SPIED on my campaign. The Witch Hunt is sputtering badly, but still going on (Ukraine Hoax!),” the president wrote on Twitter.
“If this had happened to a Presidential candidate, or President, who was a Democrat, everybody involved would long ago be in jail for treason (and more), and it would be considered the CRIME OF THE CENTURY, far bigger and more sinister than Watergate!” he added in a second tweet.
The president’s claim that the investigation of his 2016 campaign was “illegally started” has been a center point of his defense since Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report on the subject in 2019.
Trump officials claim corrupt individuals within the DOJ and the FBI were responsible for the convictions of his associates Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Michael Cohen and, more recently, Roger Stone – who were sentenced to jail time as a result of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian interference probe.
NEW YORK — A majority of voters in 6 key battleground states oppose impeaching President Donald Trump and removing him from office according to a recent New York Times report.
In a poll conducted by the publication, just forty-three percent of voters in the swing states of Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Wisconsin support impeachment and removal of the president. Fifty-seven percent oppose.
According to the poll, those who oppose and support impeachment fall straight down party lines with 92% of Republicans opposing impeachment and removal and 84% of Democrats supporting it.
President Trump praised the poll Tuesday morning in a tweet in which he quoted Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends” who had earlier discussed the survey’s findings on air.
“”I thought a very revealing poll was done by The New York Times. By about a 10 point margin, those in battleground states polled are against impeaching the President, and if Nancy Pelosi doesn’t take note of that, maybe she is a third rate politician.’ @kilmeade @foxandfriends” the president wrote.
The poll, conducted between Oct. 13-20 in the battleground states, surveyed 1,934 registered voters. The margin of error was stated as plus or minus 2.8%.
WASHINGTON — Former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani has been subpoenaed by the House Intelligence Committee to turn over documents relating to the impeachment efforts against Donald Trump.
Giuliani received a letter on Monday from Reps. Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, and Eliot Engel demanding he surrender any and all documents relating to efforts he and President Trump may have taken to persuade the government of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or any members of his family.
“Pursuant to the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry, we are hereby transmitting a subpoena that compels you to produce the documents set forth in the accompanying schedule by October 15, 2019,” the letter states.
The letter then goes on to call out several recent interviews in which Giuliani said he’d asked a Ukrainian prosecutor for information about former Vice President Joe Biden.
“In addition to this stark admission, you stated more recently that you are in possession of evidence—in the form of text messages, phone records, and other communications—indicating that you were not acting alone and that other Trump Administration officials may have been involved in this scheme,” the letter continues.
“Our inquiry includes an investigation of credible allegations that you acted as an agent of the President in a scheme to advance his personal political interests by abusing the power of the Office of the President. A growing public record, including your own statements, indicates that the President, you, and others appear to have pressed the Ukrainian government to pursue two politically motivated investigations,” the letter goes on.
“Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the President or the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President,” it concludes.
The document states Giuliani has until Oct. 15 to produce evidence in the form of text messages, telephone records and other documentation that shows he was not acting alone, and that other Trump administration officials may have been involved.
WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered released the transcript of a July phone call with the Ukrainian president over allegations he sought foreign assistance to smear Democratic rival, Joe Biden.
“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine,” Trump said in a released statement. “You will see it was a very friendly and totally appropriate call. No pressure and, unlike Joe Biden and his son, NO quid pro quo! This is nothing more than a continuation of the Greatest and most Destructive Witch Hunt of all time!”
The president’s decision to release the transcript comes after an unidentified “whistle-blower” who complained to authorities about the call asked to testify before Congress on the matter.
The move is seen by many political analysts as a move by Trump to disprove the growing allegations that he colluded with foreign agents to obtain dirt on Biden. The scandal has led to increased calls from House Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings.
Also Tuesday, Trump confirmed that he withheld military aid from Ukraine, but said he did so over his concerns that the United States was contributing more to Ukraine than European countries were and that it had nothing to do with any sort of bribery in exchange for dirt on Biden.
“My complaint has always been, and I’d withhold again and I’ll continue to withhold until such time as Europe and other nations contribute to Ukraine because they’re not doing it,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly.
Biden is scheduled to address media on the matter Tuesday. A spokesperson for Biden’s presidential campaign said that he would back impeaching Trump if the White House refuses to comply with congressional demands for information surrounding his interactions with Zelensky.
The full, unredacted transcript is expected to be released by end of day Wednesday.
WASHINGTON– House Republican Tom McClintock of California on Thursday urged Democrats to move forward in their efforts to impeach President Donald Trump.
Speaking to Democrats on the Judiciary Committee Thursday, McClintock mocked the Democrats threats to impeach the president and issued a “double-dog dare” to them to proceed.
McClintock’s comments came in response to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, (D)-New York’s, opening statement in which he called for a vote to impeach.
“The resolution before us represents the necessary next step in our investigation of corruption, obstruction, and abuse of power,” said Nadler.
“If the majority wants to exercise the House’s power of impeachment, all you got to do is ask the House to do so,” McClintock responded. “All you have to do is ask the House that it direct and authorize this committee to conduct an impeachment inquiry. That’s all you have to do.”
“Resolve that the House authorizes the Judiciary Committee to conduct an inquiry into the impeachment of the president. It’s that simple,” McClintock continued. “I dare you to do it. In fact, I double-dog dare you to do it. Have the House vote on those 18 words and then go at it. Why won’t you do that?”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D)-Calif, who has been previously shied away from calls for impeachment told Fox News Thursday that she now supports Nadler’s efforts.
“Yes, I do,” said Pelosi. “I think you should characterize it for what it is, it’s a continuation of what we have been doing,” she said. “You know we all work together on these things.”
However, Pelosi did admit she worries that calls to impeach Trump may not fare well with middle of the road voters. “I think this is bad politics for Democrats,” she said, adding she feels that many Americans have a “general fatigue” with demands for impeachment.
WASHINGTON — Despite a wealth of calls for impeachment from Democrats in the wake of the Mueller report, President Donald Trump is not worried about impeachment “at all” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday.
“I was standing right next to him actually, [Monday] at the Easter Egg Roll,” Gidley said Tuesday morning during an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “A question was shouted out about impeachment and he said he wasn’t worried at all, not in the least, because there’s nothing to worry about when you’ve done nothing wrong.”
Primarily, said Gidley, because the president has committed “no crime.”
“The president hasn’t done anything criminally wrong, and they are still trying to attack this president,” Gidley said. “They don’t want to get to the truth. They want to get to the president, and he has done nothing wrong.”
Proof, said Gidley, is presented in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report itself. “We now know there is no collusion with a foreign power. We know there is no obstruction. He wasn’t prosecuted for anything,” he insisted.
Despite the best efforts by Democrats, Gidley pointed out, the Mueller report led to zero indictments.
“Despite Democrats saying for two years that this president committed treason without proof or evidence and they’re continuing to double down,” he said. (If Democrats backed down now) “they would be admitting the last two years of their life was a complete and total waste of time.”
“Democrats need to get over it.”
Washington, D.C. (AP) — Facing critical decisions in the Russia investigation, President Donald Trump has hired Emmet Flood, a veteran attorney who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment process.
The White House announced the hiring not long after announcing the retirement of lawyer Ty Cobb, who has been the administration’s point person dealing with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. It’s the latest shakeup for the legal team grappling with unresolved questions on how to protect the president from legal and political jeopardy.
Cobb informed White House chief of staff John Kelly last week that he would retire at the end of May. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Cobb had been discussing the decision for “several weeks.”
She said later that Flood would be joining the White House staff to “represent the president and the administration against the Russia witch hunt.”
The law firm of Williams & Connolly confirmed that Flood was leaving to join the White House staff.
Cobb did not personally represent the president, but he was a critical adviser, coordinating dealings with Mueller, functioning as a point person for document and interview requests and working closely with Trump’s personal lawyers.
His retirement comes as the president’s personal legal team has been negotiating the terms of a possible sit-down between Trump and prosecutors. Cobb had advocated cooperation with Mueller, including a presidential interview, in hopes of bringing the investigation to an end. Trump initially said he was eager to be interviewed, but his perspective on Mueller soured a raid last month targeting his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in a separate investigation.
Cobb’s departure was not unexpected given that he had largely wrapped up his duties of providing documents to Mueller and shepherding aides through voluntary interviews with the special counsel’s team.
Still, his retirement is the latest evolution for a legal team marked by turnover. His lead personal lawyer, John Dowd, left in March. Another attorney who Trump tried to bring on ultimately passed because of conflicts, and the president two weeks ago added former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a pair of former prosecutors, Martin and Jane Raskin, to work alongside mainstay lawyer Jay Sekulow.
But critical decisions lie ahead. The president’s legal team has not committed to an interview with Mueller, who has dozens of questions on a broad array of topics he’d like to ask Trump.
Those negotiations are hugely consequential, especially since one of Trump’s former personal attorneys, John Dowd, confirmed to The Associated Press this week that Mueller’s team in March raised the prospect of issuing a grand jury subpoena for Trump, an extraordinary idea that would seek to force a sitting president to testify under oath.
It was not immediately clear in what context the possibility of a subpoena was raised or how serious Mueller’s prosecutors were about such a move. Mueller is probing not only Russian election interference and possible coordination with Trump associates but possible obstruction of justice by Trump.
Even if Mueller’s team decided to subpoena Trump as part of the investigation, the president could still fight it in court or refuse to answer questions by invoking his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
Trump lashed out against the investigation in a familiar fashion Wednesday, saying on Twitter: “There was no Collusion (it is a Hoax) and there is no Obstruction of Justice (that is a setup & trap).”
Also Wednesday, Trump echoed the concerns of a small group of House conservatives who have been criticizing the Justice Department for not turning over certain investigatory documents.
“A Rigged System – They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress,” Trump tweeted. “What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal “justice?” At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!”
It was unclear what Trump meant by “get involved.”
Several Republican House committee chairmen have recently negotiated deals with the Justice Department to turn over documents related to Russia investigations into Trump and also the 2016 investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. The Justice Department says that “dozens of members and staff from both parties” have viewed thousands of classified documents and House staff even have temporary office space in the department to review additional materials.
But some lawmakers who sit on those committees remain unsatisfied, particularly members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Some of those lawmakers have asked for an unredacted version of a Justice Department document from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that sets out the scope for Mueller’s probe, a request that the department immediately denied because it pertains to an ongoing investigation.
Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Darlene Superville contributed to this report.