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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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AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst

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Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.

John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."

"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.

"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.

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Trump welcomed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to the White House — to humiliate us all

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Despite the fact that President Donald Trump still refuses to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington for an officials meeting — a topic at the center of the scandal driving Trump’s impeachment — the White House hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

And while Lavrov was honored with his second private Oval Office meeting (the first one was a cataclysmic disaster) and a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister took his opportunity here to repeatedly humiliate the United States.

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United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

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