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Democrats have nothing to lose and everything to gain from Trump impeachment: ex-Watergate prosecutor

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One of the abiding fears of many House Democrats who are resistant to opening impeachment proceedings into President Donald Trump is that the public will turn on them, and that the ensuing backlash will carry Trump to a second term in office. They point to the example of President Bill Clinton, who became the subject of an impeachment hearing and became the only president in modern political history to gain seats for his party in the House during his second midterm.

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But as former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks writes for Just Security, this need not be a fear for Democrats. In fact, data from former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal show that political harm to them is unlikely.

“His data decimate the major impediment to holding Trump accountable – the fear that this president would be strengthened by a House vote for impeachment with no conviction by the Senate,” writes Wine-Banks. “Contrary to popular belief, Blumenthal lays out a clear case that President Clinton did not benefit from impeachment and that comparisons to Clinton are highly misplaced. Clinton was at 66% approval before and after impeachment. Impeachment neither improved nor diminished his standing.”

“He was popular before impeachment and just as popular afterward, whereas Trump’s approval ratings are at a stunningly low 39 percent and dropping,” Wine-Banks continues. “Indeed, Trump has never achieved even a 50 percent approval. This means that fears of holding Trump accountable via an impeachment inquiry are unfounded, leaving just the question of whether the evidence supports proceeding. The answer to that is a resounding, almost deafening, yes.”

The instructive case of impeachment, Wine-Banks says, is thus not Trump, but Nixon. “In fact,” she writes, “the case for impeachment of Trump is stronger because he has engaged in a broader stonewalling than Nixon ever did,” obstructing special counsel Robert Mueller, disputing the findings on Russia from every intelligence agency, barring his aides from testifying to Congress, and suing to block the release of his financial records, among much else. “This systematic contempt of Congress combined with the well-established election interference of the Russians and Trump’s failure to take action to prevent its recurrence – or even to acknowledge it happened – is a deadly combination that threatens the role of the first branch of government as a foundational part of our democracy.”

What impeachment hearings could accomplish, Wine-Banks adds, is broadcasting to all Americans a common set of facts that would penetrate partisan echo chambers.

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“With the testimony of witnesses who can be evaluated by all Americans, I fully anticipate Trump’s support will further erode. Public hearings made a difference in the case of Nixon,” she says. “As Blumenthal says, ‘the more the public knew of Nixon’s crimes through public televised hearings, the more rapidly Nixon’s poll numbers crumbled.’ And, I’d add, the more bipartisan support for impeachment grew.”

“Not only will impeachment of Trump not hurt Democrats in 2020, it is essential to preserving Congress as a co-equal branch of government as our Founders intended and is essential to Congress fulfilling its constitutional and moral obligations,” Wine-Banks concludes.

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WATCH: Saturday Night Live airs Christmas special — that’s just one giant dig at the Electoral College

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NBC's "Saturday Night Live" aired an opening skit that was just one giant attack on the electoral college.

A snowman introduced the segment, saying that we could look in on the holiday table conversation thanks to hacked Nest cams.

The skit featured a house in San Francisco, California, a second in Charleston, South Carolina and a third in Atlanta, Georgia.

Each dinner table debated impeachment, and the differences between President Donald Trump and his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

But then the snowman said that none of their votes matter.

"They'll debate the issues all year long, but then it all comes down to 1,000 people in Wisconsin who won't even think about the election until the morning of," the snowman said. "And that's the magic of the Electoral College."

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Georgia mayor being recalled for racism resigns from office: report

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Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly resigned in a special city council meeting held on Saturday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Saturday.

"The resignation came just days after Councilman Jim Cleveland resigned saying he‘d rather leave office on his own terms than face voters in a recall election next month," the newspaper reported. "Both resignations follow an AJC investigation launched seven months ago into claims that an African American candidate for city administrator was sidetracked by Mayor Theresa Kenerly because of his race."

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Nine 2020 Democrats unite to demand DNC Chair Tom Perez scrap debate rules: report

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The Democratic National Committee is facing a revolt for the party's 2020 presidential candidates for its restrictive debate rules.

"Nine Democratic presidential candidates, including the party's front-runners, are urging the Democratic National Committee to toss out the current polling and fundraising rules used to determine who appears in televised debates and reopen the exchanges to better reflect the historic diversity of the current field. The candidates say the rules exclude diverse candidates in the field from participating," CBS News reported Saturday evening.

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