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House Republicans have a plan to defend Trump during impeachment hearings – it’s all about his ‘state of mind’

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Rather than act as impartial investigators, dedicated to ascertaining the facts of the President’s actions, and whether or not those actions were legal, or are impeachable, House Republicans will stick to a plan that focuses on his “state of mind” and other intangible arguments.

“Confronted with a mountain of damaging facts heading into tomorrow’s opening of the public phase of impeachment, House Republicans plan to argue that ‘the President’s state of mind’ was exculpatory,” Axios reports, noting it has obtained an 18-page GOP memo that was sent out to House Intelligence Committee members Monday night.

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“To appropriately understand the events in question — and most importantly, assess the President’s state of mind during his interaction with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky — context is necessary,” the memo reads. “The evidence gathered does not establish an impeachable offense,” it insists, wrongly.

Also wrong, or immaterial, are these four critical points the memo directs Republicans to make during the hearings.

“The July 25 call summary — the best evidence of the conversation — shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.” (False.)

“President Zelensky and President Trump have both said there was no pressure on the call.” (True, but immaterial.)

“The Ukrainian government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call.” (False.)

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“President Trump met with President Zelensky and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating President Trump’s political rivals.” (Immaterial. Doesn’t matter. Attempts to commit crimes are still crimes.)

You can read the full memo here.

The impeachment inquiry hearings with live, televised witness testimony, begin Wednesday.

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‘How many more nurses have to die?’: Coalition of nursing unions demand life-saving supplies and equipment in battle with coronavirus

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"We now bear the full brunt of a healthcare system rendered dysfunctional after years of relentless funding cuts for public health, while generating obscene profits for corporate interests."

A coalition of nurses' unions on Monday demanded their members be protected in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak threatening to overwhelm the U.S. healthcare system, describing a dysfunctional approach to the pandemic that is putting frontline healthcare workers' lives in danger.

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Wells Fargo has already hit stimulus cap as small businesses worry loans are running out: report

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On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Wells Fargo, one of the nation's largest banks, is already cutting off new applications for the government's small-business stimulus relief program.

"Wells Fargo didn’t begin taking applications until Saturday and by Monday morning said it reached the $10 billion cap it had set for loans under the program," wrote Renae Merle. "Small businesses, which employ nearly half of the United States’ private-sector workers, say they are facing long waits and rejection as they scramble to secure loans through the fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Many banks are accepting applications only from existing customers or businesses of a certain size."

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Dominic Raab: Boris Johnson’s de facto deputy

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When Boris Johnson announced he had tested positive for coronavirus, Downing Street said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would deputise if the British prime minister was incapacitated.

Few expected him to do so, as Johnson and his office repeatedly maintained the prime minister's symptoms were mild.

But after Johnson was taken to hospital on Sunday night, and transferred to intensive care just 24 hours later, Raab now looks set to be in charge for the foreseeable future.

Raab was one of the most prominent figures in Britain's protracted and divisive process to leave the European Union, serving as Brexit minister under former premier Theresa May.

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