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If Trump scandal doesn’t meet ‘Framers’ conception of bribery, what does?’: constitutional expert scolds GOP

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Longtime columnist Ruth Marcus on Sunday dared Republican lawmakers to argue that President Donald Trump did not “bribe” Ukraine as the term was defined by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution.

Marcus was joined on CBS’s Face the Nation by veteran reporters and presidential historians.

Host John Dickerson noted that the impeachment debate touched on “bedrock American values.”

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Historian Jon Meachum explained that the Framers of the Constitution expected future Americans to “screw everything up.”

“And we’ve done everything we can since then to prove them right,” he said. “Therefore, sovereignty had to be divided. Power cannot be given to one person in the republican — lowercase ‘r’ — contract. Impeachment was a very important element there.”

According to Meachum, the central question is whether House lawmakers “are going to follow the facts or are they… going to reflexively be partisan and interpret reality, not as they see it, but as they wish to see it.”

Dickerson noted that Marcus is an expert on so-called originalism, the idea that the Constitution’s meaning does not change with the culture. It is an idea that is popular with many conservatives.

“It is really a political question that is up to the political branch,” she remarked. “But, yes, the Framers were entirely worried about precisely the kind of event we’re talking about here, foreign influence, the misuse of presidential power for public gain and political advantage — rather than for the public good.”

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“The question I would have for Republicans,” Marcus continued, “if this doesn’t not rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor or look a lot like the Framers’ conception of bribery, what does?”

Marcus argued that House Democrats were “constitutional obliged” to open an impeachment investigation because the facts demanded it.

Watch the video below from CBS.

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California confirms third case of China virus in US

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A patient in California's Orange County was Saturday confirmed as the third person on US soil infected with the new deadly virus that originated in China, health officials said.

The infected person was a traveler from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the epicenter of the outbreak, the Orange County Health Care Agency said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the patient had tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus, it said.

The individual was in isolation in a local hospital and was in good condition.

"There is no evidence that person-to-person transmission has occurred in Orange County. The current risk of local transmission remains low," the health care agency said.

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Japan will evacuate nationals from China virus city: Prime Minister Abe

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Japan will evacuate all its nationals from China's quarantined city of Wuhan, the epicentre of a deadly virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Sunday.

"We have decided to send back all (Japanese citizens in Wuhan) to Japan if they wish so, by every means including a chartered flight," Abe told reporters.

"We are coordinating with the Chinese government at various levels, and we will accelerate the process to realise a swift implementation" of the evacuation from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, Abe said.

Earlier, a foreign ministry official told AFP that 430 Japanese were in Hubei province.

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Netanyahu hopes to ‘make history’ at talks on Trump peace plan

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced hope Sunday that he can "make history" in Washington this week during talks on US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East.

Netanyahu has been invited to meet Trump at the White House on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the project, which has already been dismissed by the Palestinians.

"We are in the midst of very dramatic diplomatic developments, but the climax is still ahead of us," Netanyahu told reporters ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting.

"In a short while, I'll leave for Washington to meet my friend, the President of the United States Donald Trump, who will present his deal of the century... I'm full of hope that we can make history," he added.

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