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Maddow wonders if Trump is trying to get Mike Pence impeached — simply as an insurance policy

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The host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Tuesday explained the game theory that President Donald Trump is apparently thinking when it comes to the expendability of Vice President Mike Pence.

Maddow interviewed for U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade about how Pence figures into the scandal at the center of the impeachment inquiry into the administration’s solicitation of foreign election assistance.

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“Here’s what I wanted to talk to you about. The committees that are pursuing impeachment proceedings in the House have already said explicitly that in addition to investigating the president, they’re investigating Vice President Pence for what appears to be his role, too, in this scheme to get election help from Ukraine,” Maddow noted.

“In this court case that the court case — that the president basically lost yesterday related to his taxes — I went back and looked at the arguments the president’s lawyers’ made and I was surprised to find that the President Trump’s lawyer, William Consovoy, really seemed to go out of his way to say that the immunity he is arguing for, for President Trump, explicitly does not apply to Mr. Pence.”

“That sticks out for me like a beacon and I wanted to know what you make of that,” Maddow said. “Does it strike you as strange?”

“It does strike me as strange,” McQuade replied.

“It was kind of a gratuitous comment, no one was talking about the vice president, there’s no reason to talk about it,” she explained. “And you couple it with President Trump’s comments to Congress that you really ought to look at Mike Pence’s phone calls as well as my own, makes one wonder if he isn’t trying to throw Mike Pence under the bus.”

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“And why might he want to do that. The line of succession for presidency is the president, the vice president, and the speaker of the House,” she continued. “And so perhaps President Trump sees Mike Pence as expendable because if Nancy Pelosi is next in line, perhaps the Republican controlled Senate will say we don’t want to impeach President Trump because then we would have president Nancy Pelosi.”

“And that makes it an interesting gambit, if they are trying to get Mike Pence impeached as an insurance policy for Donald Trump,” Maddow noted.

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.

"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."

The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."

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