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Here’s how House Democrats can expose Trump and his children — even if they’re not willing to impeach

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Impeachment carries potential political peril for House Democrats — but one conservative writer argued they must somehow punish the “despicable behavior” by President Donald Trump that was uncovered by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Norm Ornstein, a contributing editor for National Journal and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said full-blown impeachment hearings may prove too risky for Democrats, but he showed in an essay for The Atlantic how they could publicize Mueller’s findings in another way.

“There is ample evidence of behavior on the part of the president that fits any reasonable definition of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Ornstein wrote, “and most likely there will be a lot more when the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and other jurisdictions of the Justice Department finish their work — at least if (Attorney General William) Barr does not stymie them. The House has a constitutional responsibility to follow up.”

He said a failure to take meaningful action against Trump would no doubt enrage the Democratic base, and he laid out a possible route lawmakers could take that stopped short of impeaching the president.

“What we need is for the Judiciary, Intelligence, and Homeland Security Committees to conduct a series of deep dives into the areas of communication and coordination between Trump and his campaign with Russians and their surrogates, such as WikiLeaks,” Ornstein wrote, “the multiple categories and areas of obstruction of justice that Robert Mueller outlined; the threats to our intelligence operations and our justice system from Trump and his operatives; and the moves by Russia to interfere in and influence our elections used by Trump and unchecked by Republicans.”

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Other committees should be prepared to do the same thing as new information about possible Russian money laundering emerges from the SDNY investigation and probes by New York’s attorney general.

Ornstein urged Democrats to coordinate the hearings so they don’t overwhelm the public with evidence, and he suggested that each committee use an experienced lawyer, such as former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, to lead the hearings.

He also proposed doing away with five-minute rounds of questioning, which disrupts hearing continuity, and give the counsel an hour to ask questions of witnesses, or perhaps give a small group of committee members 15 to 30 minutes to ask questions on a given topic.

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“This system might cause hard feelings among members who will not get their five minutes in the sun — and would reduce the public role for chairs — but it is better suited to accomplish the larger goal,” Ornstein wrote. “And that larger goal is to build a compelling record, through vivid testimony, of what Trump and his people, including his children, did and did not do, said and did not say truthfully, that is the core of Mueller’s report.”


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Jon Stewart blasts ‘abomination’ of Rand Paul trying to ‘balance the budget on the backs of’ 9/11 responders

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On Wednesday's edition of Fox News' "Special Report," comedian and activist Jon Stewart slammed Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for blocking unanimous consent for a bill to support health care for 9/11 first responders.

"Pardon me if I'm not impressed in any way by Rand Paul's fiscal responsibility virtue signaling," said Stewart to anchor Bret Baier, who appeared on the show with first responder and activist John Feal.

He added that Paul's complaint, that the bill was unfunded, rings hollow given that he "added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit" with the GOP tax cuts for billionaires. He castigated Paul for trying to "balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community."

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Republicans will never say that racism is ‘racism’ — basically because they’re racist

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Is there any expression of racism that Republicans will actually admit is racism? It's a question on a lot of progressive minds in the wake of Donald Trump demonizing female congresswomen of color with the "go back" canard that white nationalists and other assorted racists have long used to abuse anyone with heritage they dislike, whether that heritage is Jewish, Irish, Italian, African, Latin American or Muslim. Telling someone to "go back" is, in the ranks of racist statements, right up there with calling a person the N-word or some other rank slur. Yet, there still appears to be resistance among Republicans to admitting that is racism, which leads many on the left to wonder: If this doesn't count, then what could possibly count?

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This explains why Trump picked a fight with the four Congresswomen of color: analysis

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On one hand, President Donald Trump almost certainly chose to mark out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) because of his own deep-seated racism.

But there is likely another reason he is doing it, wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post's "The Fix" on Wednesday: because his core voters hate them as much as he does.

Blake cited a new The Economist/YouGov poll of 2016 Trump voters' opinions on several politicians. "As you peruse it, it becomes clear that the conventional wisdom about why Trump picked these targets is right: They were ripe for motivating the GOP base ... All of them are better known among Republicans than Democrats, which suggests that a steady stream of coverage in conservative media has elevated them as potential Democratic bogeywomen. Trump is tilling fertile soil. And in fact, they might already be his most effective foils."

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