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‘The president is the smoking gun’: Democratic lawmaker unloads on Trump’s Ukraine scheme

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At Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) laid out the case against President Donald Trump — and reminded the Republicans in the committee room that Trump himself provided the incriminating evidence.

“The facts are clear,” said Jayapal. “Donald Trump abused the power of the office of the presidency to pursue his own personal political gain, and leveraged critically needed, congressionally approved military aid to coerce a fragile foreign ally to interfere in our elections. This is not hearsay. The president was the first and best witness in this case. The president admitted to his wrongdoing and corrupt intent on national television. The president is the smoking gun. His obstruction of Congress and blanket directive to deny us even a single witness, a single document, is unprecedented, and yet, in spite of that obstruction, multiple patriots came forward and provided damning corroborating testimony.”

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“Understand the seriousness of what this means,” continued Jayapal. “President Trump has solicited foreign interference before, he is doing it now, and he will do it again. The smoking gun is already reloaded. And whether or not it gets fired, that’s up to us.”

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Legal analyst rips senators for ‘getting the vapers’ and using Schiff ‘being mean’ as an excuse to vote against witnesses

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Senators are already trying to come up with an excuse not to support calling witnesses for the impeachment trial and CNN legal analyst Jeff Toobin thinks they found it.

According to CNN's Manu Raju, Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Jim Risch (R-ID) freaked out about a CBS News report cited by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) that a Trump confidant said if the Republicans vote against Trump their "head will be in a pike."

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CNN

Susan Collins denies CBS report that a Trump friend threatened Republicans’ heads ‘will be on a pike’

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CBS News reported this week that a friend of the president's threatened U.S. senators if they were thinking of voting in support of witnesses.

“Vote against the president and your head will be on a pike," the Trump confidant said.

https://twitter.com/CBSEveningNews/status/1220491412854185984

According to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), however, it was a lie and no one ever said it.

CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Collins audibly disputed Schiff's quote of the story during the trial.

"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.

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Here’s why Trump and McConnell can’t hold up impeachment witnesses during the Senate trial: Ex-special counsel

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has been threatening senators that if they voted for witnesses to appear and be questioned, then it would turn the impeachment into an overwhelmingly long and drawn-out process. It's an argument that President Donald Trump's legal team has also argued. The problem is that it is legally incorrect, according to a former special counsel to the Defense Department.

In a panel discussion with CNN, Ryan Goodman said that there's no legal basis for this claim.

"In fact, the Senate can decide the matter and it wouldn't be litigated," Goodman explained. "If the Senate decided to issue the subpoenas and the Chief Justice, in fact, sent those subpoenas, it would be the final word. There's a Supreme Court case about this, Nixon v. United States, Judge Nixon, which said the Senate sets the rules and the courts review it. So, it's not like it will be litigated in a way. They are the final word."

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