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If Trump is acquitted and re-elected, ‘the freedoms we enjoy all become obsolete’: Steve Schmidt

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On Thursday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” former GOP presidential strategist Steve Schmidt laid out his worst fear of the political and legal reality America would face if President Donald Trump survives impeachment to be re-elected.

“What this will be … is a test,” said Schmidt. “And each generation of Americans has met the test. When the country’s been threatened. When the oath is taken, it — the member, the military officer promises to protect against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Abraham Lincoln worried that the country would unwind through a threat from the inside. Not from an external threat. And so here we are. Right? At this — at this moment. And as this process plays out, a factual process, and we get to the heart and we’ll know everything, I believe, about what he did.”

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“It’s going to meet the threshold for high crimes and misdemeanors as articulated in the Constitution, or it will not,” said Schmidt. “But if it doesn’t, I think the American people who like generally living in a democracy get, that the conduct that we read about so far is over that line. You can’t do that. I mean, if he is—”

“I guess, can I just push back a little bit?” asked anchor Nicolle Wallace. “I mean, grabbing women in the bleep is over that line. Being an unindicted co-conspirator in the Southern District of New York in an illegal campaign finance scheme is over the line. Being named for 150 contacts with Russia is over the line. And ten acts of criminal obstruction of justice are over the line. What feels different to you that you have all this sort of sense of history and optimism?”

“I don’t know that I have optimism,” said Schmidt. “I’ll tell you what I — what — what terrifies me is impeachment, acquittal, and re-election … The conduct is abhorrent. The question here is an American president abusing his power to ask a foreign head of state to use the powers of that government to investigate an American citizen, a political opponent. And if the Congress says that’s okay, there is no break on a president from using the IRS, using investigatory powers of law enforcement agencies to target people. The freedom of speech, freedom of — the freedoms that we enjoy then all become obsolete because if you can’t speak freely without being investigated, you don’t live in a free country anymore. That’s what’s at stake in this.”

Watch below:

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Second official confirms Trump’s call with Gordon Sondland as evidence for latest bombshell grows: report

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According to the Associated Press, a source is saying that a second US embassy official overheard President Trump’s call with Sondland regarding Ukraine moving forward with investigating Trump's political rivals.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.

Bill Taylor, the president's top diplomat in Ukraine, testified Wednesday that he learned last week from a staffer, after he was deposed in a closed-door hearing, about an incident that took place a day after Trump's call to his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

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Pelosi smacks down Fox News reporter’s question — and hilariously explains to Trump what ‘exculpatory’ means

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday smacked down Fox News reporter Chad Pergram after he insinuated that House Democrats seemed "excited" about the prospect of impeaching President Donald Trump.

During a press conference, Pergram asked Pelosi, "Why would the public not think that the House is dead set on a course to impeach the president when all of this milieu was going on?"

"All this milieu is a seeking of the truth," she replied. "It's called an inquiry."

Pelosi at this point turned to the camera and seemed to address Trump directly.

"And if the president has something that is exculpatory -- Mr. President, that means if you have anything that shows your innocence -- then he should make that known," she said. "And that's part of the inquiry. So far we haven't seen that."

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‘That’s bribery’: Nancy Pelosi explains why Trump is in deeper water than he thinks

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Thursday explained why President Donald Trump could be guilty of attempted bribery.

At a press conference, Pelosi pointed out that bribery is named in the U.S. Constitution as an impeachable offense.

"What is the bribe?" the Speaker was asked.

"The bribe is to grant or withhold military assistance [from Ukraine] in return for a public statement of a fake investigation into the elections. That is bribery," she explained.

Watch the video from Fox News.

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