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Ohio county GOP chair doubles down on Facebook post calling wildfires ‘God’s punishment to liberal California’

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David Johnson, chairman of the Columbiana County Republican Party in Ohio, came under fire on Monday after he said that the deadly wildfires in California are “God’s punishment” to liberals.

Johnson posted an image of the fires on Facebook with text that read: “God’s Punishment to Liberal California.”

“Hell on Earth: brought to you by the Liberals in California!” another image said.

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David Johnson’s Facebook post blames liberals for California wildfires (screen grab)

Democrats responded with outrage, according to WFMJ.

“As we pray for our fellow Americans who have lost everything including their loved ones, this is the disgusting response to the climate-change denying leader of the Columbiana County GOP,” one reply to Johnson said.

Johnson eventually removed the messages from his Facebook page, but Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras called for the GOP chair to resign.

“Hundreds of firefighters, other First Responders, and volunteers put their lives at risk in an attempt to rescue victims,” Betras wrote. “I’ve been asking myself why anyone would politicize or make light of this very real human tragedy.”

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In a statement to WFMJ, Johnson defended the messages he posted on Facebook.

“California has been overtaken by liberals who have taxed and over-regulated the state,” Johnson opined. “There are changes that could have been made which would have helped prevent the deadly fires had there been proper management of forests, but the timber industry is not allowed. The firefighters and people’s lives should never have been put in jeopardy. They did not have to die and people did not have to lose their lives, homes, and everything they own.”

“The point of the meme is that the people and firefighters lives could have been spared if not for the liberal policies in California,” he added. “The point of the meme is being exploited by Mahoning Democratic Party Chairman David Betras to cover his miserable performance in the last election and if anyone should resign Betras should resign.”

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GOP ex-congressman calls on Justice Roberts to override Republican effort to block witnesses

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In a column for the New York Times, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and Georgetown law professor Joshua A. Geltzer urged Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to intercede and demand Senate Republicans allow witnesses in light of the latest John Bolton bombshell.

Following a New Times report that stated "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House," the three took to the Times editorial page to implore Roberts to step in.

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Senate GOP will be accessories to obstruction if they shoot down a move by Justice Roberts to call witnesses: Ex-prosecutor

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On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) must motion for Chief Justice John Roberts to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial — and that if Senate Republicans vote down this decision, they will be "accessories" to obstruction of justice.

Schiff must make a motion to CJ Roberts for witnesses. As I’ve been saying all along, if Roberts grants the motion for witnesses (he will) & the Rs vote to overrule him (they might) that will (de facto) be obstruction of justice & accessory after the fact. https://t.co/yQfUTga7gd

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Trump already planning his victory lap for impeachment acquittal: report

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President Donald Trump is already planning his victory lap for his presumed acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

The president and his aides haven't agreed on a plan yet, and it's not clear that new revelations from John Bolton's upcoming book will force Republican senators to agree to witness testimony, but they're discussing how he should celebrate once the trial ends, reported Politico.

“The president is giving a lot of thought to where he goes when he is acquitted and vindicated,” a senior administration official told the website. “This isn’t a one-and-done moment. This will be a sustained exit from a long dreary impeachment process and a great reset to 2020 — not just the 2020 reelection but the 2020 domestic and international arena.”

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