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Trump’s ‘shakedown scheme’ against Ukraine requires impeachment and removal: Foreign policy expert

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President Donald Trump has abused the public trust, according to a foreign policy expert, and must be impeached and removed from office.

Americans can no longer trust the president after a whistleblower complaint revealed that he tried to extract a “favor” from the Ukrainian government in exchange for congressionally approved military aid, argued Harvard University professor Stephen Walt in a column for Foreign Policy.

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“Whether you are a Democrat, a Republican, or an independent, you cannot trust Donald Trump to place the interests of the nation ahead of his own, or to conduct a foreign policy that would faithfully advance the national interest,” argued Walt, an international relations professor. “In the realist world in which we live, a world where even the mighty United States sometimes faces genuine dangers, that is not a risk any of us should be forced to run. That is why Trump should be impeached and eventually removed from the presidency.”

Walt concedes that presidents deserve confidentiality in their private communications with foreign leaders, but he said that trust depends on a minimal level of integrity — which he argues Trump clearly does not demonstrate.

“Foreign governments seeking to curry favor with the president have spent millions of dollars at Trump properties since his inauguration, while his sons Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. burn up more money on Secret Service protection while they fly around doing Trump Organization business,” Walt wrote.

Foreign leaders — as demonstrated by the summary of Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky — understand this, and spend money at Trump-owned properties or agree to go along with his illegal schemes.

“The conversation makes clear that Trump wasn’t interested (or even all that well informed) about Ukraine’s internal politics, its conflict with Russia, its prospects for economic development, or any of the normal things a U.S. president might address,” Walt wrote. “What Trump wanted—and what his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had been pursuing for some time — was some dirt he could use in case he faced Joe Biden in the 2020 election, even though the Ukrainian government had already determined that no such dirt existed.”

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“To put it bluntly,” Walt wrote, “he wanted a foreign government to help him get re-elected.”

Trump’s scheme, and his behavior toward a U.S. ally like Ukraine, clearly violates the Constitution’s standard for impeachment, the professor argued.

“Reasonable people can disagree about what U.S. policy toward Ukraine should be, but what it shouldn’t be is a shakedown scheme in which a sitting U.S. president tries to get a foreign power to invent a scandal that might help that president’s reelection chances,” Walt wrote. “Any president who would do that (and whose appointees would go along with it) has forfeited any claim to public trust.”

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Trump made a ‘huge mistake’ talking to reporters about impeachment: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann

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One of former special counsel Robert Mueller's top prosecutors explained on MSNBC how President Donald Trump made a "huge mistake" on Wednesday.

Andrew Weissmann, who is now an MSNBC legal analyst, was interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press Daily."

The former federal prosecutor says Trump committed a blunder by denying a call with a Gordon Sondland staffer.

"Why is that?" Todd asked.

"Because he now can’t rebut it," Weissman replied.

"He has now said I don’t remember that phone call. So you’re going to have Sondland testifying to it. You’re going to have a staffer testifying to it," he explained. "If [Trump] doesn’t like their testimony, he’s going to have to say, 'Oh, now I remember that I didn’t say that.'"

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Republicans want Americans to believe Trump cared deeply — about something he never mentioned

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One of the main points made by Republicans during the House hearings on the impeachment claimed that President Donald Trump cared so deeply about corruption in Ukraine that he was holding back the funding. It wasn't bribery because it was all about legitimate foreign policy, according to Trump and the Republicans in Congress.

Their greatest problem is that Trump has never held back speaking out about something he cared for. As the Washington Post noted, the argument doesn't stand up.

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‘He can’t understand why what he did is wrong’: George Conway says Trump is incapable of being president

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Prominent Republican attorney George Conway ripped President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, spent his day with MSNBC to provide live analysis on the first day of televised impeachment hearings.

"It’s also striking, George, that every defense falls apart almost before the end of a single news cycle," anchor Nicolle Wallace reported. "Everything that people have said in an effort to defend him has collapsed under the weight of the president’s conduct."

"What we just heard the president say is delusional," Conway replied. "And it’s debilitating."

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