Posts tagged with "Donald Trump"

House impeaches Trump for instigating mob attack on Capitol

January 15, 2021

One more time with feeling: House Democrats in their second impeachment of President Donald Trump accomplished what they couldn’t in their first: They kept their party unified and brought some Republicans on board, Roll Call reports.

The chamber on Wednesday voted 232-197 to approve a single article of impeachment charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” for encouraging his supporters who attacked the Capitol last week.

The article outlines Trump’s impeachable conduct, describing how for months leading up to the January 6 joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College votes, he “repeatedly issued false statements” alleging widespread fraud and saying state and federal officials should not certify the results.

Trump reiterated those false claims in a January 6 speech at a rally for his supporters outside the White House in which he also “willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged— and foreseeably resulted in—lawless action at the Capitol, such as: ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore,’” the resolution says. 

“Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts,” the resolution reads.

The impeachment article also cites Trump’s “prior efforts to subvert and obstruct the certification,” like his January 2 phone call threatening Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to overturn the state’s results, as it notes he “threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power,” Roll Call notes.

Wednesday’s vote makes Trump the first president in history to be impeached twice. The House first impeached him on December 18, 2019, on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for pressuring Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. The Senate acquitted Trump of both charges on February 5, 2020.

Trump has seven days left in office, and a Senate trial won’t occur in time to remove him any earlier.

But Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump “must be convicted by the Senate, a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent a note to his conference Wednesday refuting media press reports that have suggested he plans to support impeachment, but the Kentucky Republican left open the possibility he may reach that conclusion.

“I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” McConnell saidm, according to the Roll Call report. 

Ten Republicans, including the No. 3 in House GOP leadership, Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, voted to impeach Trump.

All 222 Democrats supported the impeachment resolution as well.

Republicans besides Cheney who voted to impeach Trump include Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse of Washington, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton and Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina and David Valadao of California.

The bipartisan support is different from the first time the House impeached Trump, when no Republican supported either article.

The impeachment vote split the GOP leadership team, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise voting against the article and Cheney voting for it.

McCarthy in a floor speech said Trump “bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol,” but he argued against impeachment, saying it would “further fan the flames of partisan division.”


Pelosi declined Wednesday morning to tell reporters when she planned to transfer the impeachment article to the Senate, which will determine how quickly the chamber can begin a trial.

The Senate is out of session until Jan. 19. McConnell on Wednesday rejected Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s request to use a 2004 emergency convening authority to bring the Senate back early, McConnell’s spokesman confirmed.

Whether or not the trial is held while Trump is still in office, lawmakers have said they intend to invoke Amendment 14 of the U.S. Constitution, which, under Section 3, would bar Trump from holding public office ever again.

Section 3 reads: “No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Research contact: @rollcall

Hillary Clinton trashes Trump over tweeted voter conspiracy theory

August 21, 2019

Hillary Clinton recently said that she “lives rent-free” in President Donald Trump’s mind. Indeed, the POTUS continues to contest the fact that she won the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election—by nearly 2.9 million votes.

What’s more, Trump has asked the DOJ to investigate the former Secretary of State’s emails, her server, her business deals, and her husband.

But this week he returned to his familiar “ballot box” theme, according to a report by Politico—forcing Clinton yet again to rebut his conspiracy agenda.

“Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!” Trump tweeted on Monday. “This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought!”

While Trump did not cite the source of his claim, according to Politico, it came minutes after a segment on Fox Business Network referred to congressional testimony in July from behavioral psychologist Robert Epstein.

In testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Epstein claimed that, based on his research, “biased search results generated by Google’s search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton.”

Epstein appears to have been citing a study based on a collection of tens of thousands of search engine results collected in the run-up to the 2016 election. The study analyzed a relatively small sample size: The results of 95 different voters, just 21 of whom he says were undecided. He based the results on a phenomenon he calls “Search Engine Manipulation Effect.”

Google has denied Epstein’s claims. Company Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in December that Google had investigated Epstein’s findings and found his methodology flawed

According to the Politico report, Epstein also claimed in his congressional testimony that Big Tech, if left unchecked, could shift as many as 15 million votes toward a particular candidate in the 2020 election. Trump appeared to have nudged that number higher in his tweet Monday.

But Hillary clapped back, tweeting, “The debunked study you’re referring to was based on 21 undecided voters. For context that’s about half the number of people associated with your campaign who have been indicted.”

Research contact: @politico

Alone at last! Putin and Trump to meet in Helsinki

June 29, 2018

The Finnish are said to be the happiest people in the world, based on results of the annual World Happiness Report—but they may be rivaled in glee by the two world leaders scheduled to meet in Helsinki on July 16. Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold one-on-one talks with President Donald Trump on that date, the White House announced on June 28.

The summit is characterized by The New York Times as “politically delicate”—and the optics are sure to be controversial, as the two “alter egos” reconvene, even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

It will be the first formal summit meeting for Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin, who have spoken together twice on the sidelines of annual gatherings of world leaders,—and often by phone, the Kremlin has claimed— and it will come at a particularly critical moment, with midterm elections looming in the United States.

“The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia, and a range of national security issues,” the White House said in a statement.

In preparation, this week, President Trump sent National Security Advisor John Bolton to Moscow, where he met on June 27 with Putin, himself. Afterward, The Times reported, an aide to Putin, Yuri Ushakov, reiterated Moscow’s denial that it had tried to influence the U.S. presidential election in 2016— comments that Trump cited in a Twitter post before the meeting was announced.:  “Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” the POTUS tweeted.

The meeting will come just after NATO members meeting in Brussels on July 11 and 12. They are sure to be unhappy that Trump appears closer to Putin than he does to his allies.

In fact, findings of a Monmouth University poll released on June 15 indicate that 27% of Americans think that Trump’s best relationship worldwide is with the Russian president—far more than any other leader listed in the poll.

There was a notable split among party lines with 43% of Democrats and 28% of independent voters saying Putin was likely Trump’s closest personal relationship among world leaders, while only 8% of Republicans said the same.

GOP voters were more likely to say Trump had a closer bond with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (12%) or the British Prime Minister Theresa May (11%).

When asked more broadly whether Trump has a positive relationship with Putin, 60% of voters agreed, as opposed to the 25% who said the president does not have a good relationship with Russia’s president.

Research contact: pdmurrary@monmouth.edu

Chances look slimmer for Singapore summit

May 23, 2018

The budding détente between North Korea and the United States hung in the balance on May 22, as the Trump administration continued pushing Pyongyang to denuclearize as a condition of the scheduled meeting in Singapore on June 12 with the hermit kingdom’s Leader Kim Jong Un.

Meanwhile, according to a report by CNN, North Korea has released three strongly worded statements—slamming Seoul and Washington for their joint military maneuvers earlier in the month and demanding that South Korea take action against defectors it claimed were sending anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets across the border.

As tempers on both continents continued to flare, South Korean President Moon Jae In flew into Washington, DC, to meet with President Trump in an effort to salvage the summit.

But should the diplomatic deliberations even be saved?

Those in the know say the White House staff is balking—both because North Korea seems to already have taken denuclearization off the table; and because Trump has not taken the time or trouble to learn about the nuclear program, something necessary to have a substantive conversation.

South Koreans, however, blame Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton for the problems with the summit, according to The Washington Post.

Bolton has said that his goal is for the North Korean denuclearization process to go like the one that took place in Libya in 2003, when Colonel Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his country’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. That didn’t end well for the Libyan leader, who eventually found himself in the midst of a coup that led to his capture and execution.

While Trump continues to hold firm on the denuclearization demands, about three-quarters of Americans (77%) approve of his original decision to meet with Kim Jong Un, according to a CNN poll conducted by SSRS and released on May 10.  Trump’s approval rating for handling the situation with North Korea has jumped ten points since late March.

At press time, there were no reports coming out of the POTUS’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae.

Research contact: @jgriffiths

Men favor Trump more after seeing Stormy Daniels on ’60 Minutes’

April 4, 2018

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has gone up three points—from 50% to 53%—among male voters in the wake of the Stormy Daniels controversy, based on findings of a Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll of 1,340 U.S. adults released on April 2.

Among women, not so much: Their support fell from 41% to 35%, in what the poll’s co-director Mark Penn labeled as the “Stormy Effect.”

Specifically, the president’s approval rating rose following allegations by the adult film star—on 60 Minutes on March 25—that she spanked Trump and had unprotected sex with him shortly after his wife Melania gave birth to the couple’s son, Barron, in 2006.

While Trump has denied the allegations made by the adult film star, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, she insisted that the pair had an affair and that she had been silenced via a non-disclosure agreement and threatened by the billionaire’s team prior to his election.

Daniels has filed a lawsuit to get out of a non-disclosure agreement, claiming that it is not valid because the document was not signed by Trump.

According to Newsweek report, she also has offered to give back $130,000 in “hush money” that she was paid by Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen as part of the non-disclosure agreement.

The case has now been moved to closed arbitration, although Daniel’s lawyer has opposed the move—saying that the suit should be decided “in an open court of law owned by the people.”

Research contact: @MarkPenn

Americans don’t want weaponized classrooms

March 12, 2018

A majority of Americans (56%) don’t want guns in the classroom, according to findings of an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll of 2,857 adults nationwide released on March 8.

In the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 17 victims at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month, President Donald Trump proposed that arming some of America’s teachers with concealed weapons and training them to “immediately fire back” at a “sicko” gunman would end school shootings once and for all.

However, students, school administrators, teachers, parents—and even gun violence experts—do not agree, for the most part. Across the board, 44% strongly disagree with the POTUS’s idea; 12% disagree, 17% somewhat agree, and 25% agree. Among Republicans, 50% agree; and among Democrats 75% disagree. Nearly half of self-identified Independent voters (46%) also disagree.

It also is little surprise that Republicans are more enthusiastic about how Trump has handled gun control than with how Congress has handled the issue, with 78% of Republican respondents indicating that they are enthusiastic or satisfied with how Trump has approached gun control so far. Only 43% of Republicans feel the same about Congress.

Majorities of Independents — 72 percent — say they are dissatisfied or angry about the way Trump has handled gun control, and 84 percent feel that way about Congress. A whopping 90% of Democrats are dissatisfied or downright angry at both Congress and Trump when it comes to gun control. Despite increased public pressure since the Parkland shooting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) has given no indication of when — or if — he would bring up any form of gun-related legislation.

A narrow bipartisan proposal that would attempt to shore up the National Instant Background Check System has at least 50 co-sponsors, but it has not been brought to the floor — and GOP lawmakers have been unable to reach a consensus on what they support.

Still, a majority of Americans ( 61%) believe that  government and society can take action that will be effective in preventing mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida. Thirty-six percent think school shootings like Parkland will happen again regardless of what action is taken by government and society.

Research contact: Andrew.Arenge@nbcuni.com

Rich man, poor man: Fed legislators are worth 10X more than voters

March 5, 2018

The median net worth of an adult American is $44,900 , based on findings of a Business Insider study released in June 2017. That’s less than one-tenth of median net worth of a federal legislator, according to a study by Roll Call released on February 27.

The people’s representatives just keep getting richer, and doing so faster than the people they represent. Indeed, according to Roll Call’s data, the median minimum net worth (meaning half are worth more; half less) of today’s Senators and House members was $511,000 at the start of this Congress, an upward push of 16% over just the past two years. The total wealth of all current members was at least $2.43 billion when the 115th Congress began.

The political news source noted, “The disparity becomes clear after examining the most recent financial disclosures of virtually every current lawmaker. The news is not likely to do them any good during a midterm campaign year when disapproval of Capitol Hill remains in record territory and sentiment remains strong that politicians in Washington are far too disconnected from the lives of their constituents.”

For every 13 members of the U.S. Congress, Roll Call found, one may fairly be dubbed a “1 percenter,” the term of derision imposed by liberal groups on the richest 1% of Americans. Data from the Federal Reserve pegged the net worth threshold for these people at $10.4 million in 2016, a mark exceeded by 26 Republicans and 17 Democrats during this session of Congress.

Specifically, more than half of the collective worth of Congress is held by 12 members, Roll Call documented. Among the 10 richest member of the current U.S. Congress are the following:

  1. Darrell Issa (R-California): $283M
  2. Greg Guianforte (R-Montana): $136M
  3. Jared Polis (D-Colorado): $123M
  4. Dave Trott (R-Michigan) $119M
  5. Michael McCaul (R-Rexas): $113M
  6. John Delaney (D-Maryland) $93M
  7. Mark Warner (D-Virginia): $93M
  8. Vern Buchanan (R-Florida) $74M
  9. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut): $70M
  10. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) $58M
  11. Tom Rooney (R-Florida): $55M
  12. Trey Hollingsworth (R-Indiana): $50M

Below this rung of the phenomenally prosperous is a thicker belt of the merely flush— the 153 House members (13 more than in the previous Congress) and 50 senators who are millionaires, at least on paper. This stands in contrast to the 7.4% of U.S. households that had amassed a net worth above $1 million in 2016, their home values included, according to the Spectrum Group investment research firm.

By coincidence, 38% of the women in Congress are millionaires—identical to the share of millionaires in the total membership.

The congressional millionaire ranks skew old, “reinforcing how many people enter politics only after they’ve assured themselves of a solid financial footing.” Roll Call said. A little more than half of the five dozen lawmakers born before the end of World War II are worth more than $1 million, as are 43% of the Hill’s Baby Boomers (or the five out of eight members born between 1946 and 1964). But among the quarter of the membership from Generation X and the handful of Millennials, only 20% are millionaire.

At the other end of the spectrum are nearly one-quarter of the members (123),  whose financial disclosures reflect a negative net worth. For many this is true only on paper, because they owe plenty on their home mortgages, which must be reported while the value of their real estate is not. (Neither is their annual $174,000 government salary.)

And in the middle are the “typical” members, with senators boasting a significantly better median net worth ($1.4 million for Republicans, $946,000 for Democrats) than House members, where the median figure for both caucuses is just north of $400,000.

A very similar figure, $397,000, is the minimum net worth disclosed on the essentially identical form for 2016 filled out by Vice President Mike Pence, who spent a dozen years as a federal legislator from Indiana.

President Donald Trump’s most recent form, however, describes a chief executive far richer than anyone in the legislative branch-—worth at least $1.1 billion at the time of his election.

Research contact: davidhawkings@cqrollcall.com

Tried and true: Biden and Sanders lead Democratic field for 2020

February 26, 2018

Two years ahead of the 2020 New Hampshire presidential primary, most Democrats still are trying to decide whom to support—but Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren remain the early frontrunners, based on findings of The Granite State Poll, conducted among 523 likely voters by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, and released on February 15.

Interest in the 2020 primary has increased since the last poll was conducted in October 2017—and is considerably greater than it was at this point in the last two electoral cycles, the researchers said. More than half of New Hampshire voters (55%) say they are “extremely interested” in the primary; while just under one-quarter (25%) are “very interested,” 13% are “somewhat interested,” and 7% are”not interested” at all.

Most Democrats (81%) and Republicans (87%) say they definitely will vote in the primary, but only 58% of Independents say they will, without fail, cast a primary ballot.

After receiving the second-highest number of potential votes from respondents last October, Biden now has taken the lead over Sanders—with 35% of the vote versus 24%, respectively. Coming in third, with 15% is Elizabeth Warren; followed by Cory Booker (3%), Kirsten Gillibrand (2%), Kama Harris (1%), and Martin O’Malley (1%). At this point, 4% of prospective voters are looking for another candidate to support and 15% are undecided.

On the Republican side, six in ten voters (60%) say they will support Trump in the primary—an increase since October and comparable to the proportion of Democrats who said they planned on voting for Barack Obama (56%) in February 2010.

Research contact: andrew.smith@unh.edu

TrumpTally

POTUS Approval Ratings
(Approval/disapproval of President Trump by U.S. adults, as established by key nationwide polling organizations)

February 2018

Feb. 5-9 Feb. 12-16 Feb. 19-23 Feb 26-28

Polling Organization

Gallup 40/57 38/57 37/59 39/56
Economist/You.Gov 45/53 45/50 44/51 40/51
Rasmussen 48/50 47/52 48/51 49/50
Reuters/Ipsos 40/54 39/56 39/55 21/40

View Past Months

Public doesn’t fully support protectionist tariffs

February 6, 2018

Many Americans are not convinced that tariffs on imported goods protect American jobs, based on findings of an Economist/YouGov poll released on February 2. Overall, 31% think they do protect jobs; 26% think they don’t; and 42 percent don’t know for sure.

However, the pollsters say, findings are split along political lines: While 55% of Republicans are “bullish” on tariffs; only 28% of Independents agree—as well as a mere 18% of Democrats.

Specifically, Republicans are more likely than others to favor imposing tariffs in order to protect US businesses and workers from unfair foreign trade and labor practices, while Democrats are more likely than others to support tariffs to protect the environment and to stop human rights abuses of foreign workers. Republicans also are more likely to accept tariffs as punishments against countries that impose tariffs on US goods.
So when it comes to a possible tariff related trade-off between protecting jobs and keeping prices low, Americans come down—narrowly—on the side of jobs; with 37% favoring such a policy, and 32% opposing it. Just under  one-third aren’t sure. Republicans favor tariffs—even if it means higher prices by—nearly three to one.

The President’s position is clear: In his State of the Union address on January 30, Trump referred to “decades of unfair trade deals” and declared “the era of economic surrender is over.”

Republicans favor the two tariffs President Trump has just imposed on washing machines and on solar panels, although skepticism is high among the public in general. Just 24% nationally think the tariff on foreign-made solar panels will increase American jobs, and 26% think the tariff on foreign-made washing machines will increase jobs. More think American jobs installing solar panels will decrease than increase. Americans as a group expect prices for washing machines will rise—and more think all washing machine prices will go up than think it will only be prices on foreign-made products.

In declaring his “America first” policy, the President has spoken and tweeted about respect for the United States in the world, noting that he believes the country is becoming more respected. Americans are not yet sure that has happened, or that it will happen by the end of the President’s first term in office. A majority say that the country is less respected now than it has been in the past, including just under a third of Republicans.

Research contact: kfrankovic@yahoo.com