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‘Fear and laziness’: CNN’s Avlon exposes Republican motives for blocking Trump impeachment witnesses

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On CNN Saturday, fact-checker John Avlon broke down all the reasons Senate Republicans still appear to be firmly in President Donald Trump’s camp in the impeachment trial.

“This is a jump ball moment in American history,” said Avlon. “Democrats have finished laying out all the evidence, and today the president’s team will begin making its case. But there’s a debate going on behind the scenes in the Senate that’s just as important as what’s in front of the camera. It’s whether the Senate will agree that facts and evidence matter, or whether this will be the first Senate impeachment trial in history to never have witnesses. Now, the vast majority of Americans believe there should be witnesses, but this is a Senate that has a habit of putting party over country. Now, we’re already hearing three arguments designed to convince Republican swing state senators to become supine.”

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“The first is the hassle factor,” said Avlon. “It’s a slacker’s argument, that sitting and listening to an impeachment trial is just too hard … it may be hard to listen to things you don’t want to hear, but grow up. Do your job. This is a constitutionally mandated responsibility, and I’m sorry if it impinges on your sleep schedule or social life. Another one that we’re hearing, though, is that it may be just too boring,” said Avlon, playing a Jimmy Kimmel montage of several GOP lawmakers and pundits referring to the trial as “boring,” “monotonous,” and “dull.”

“Up next, circular firing squad logic,” said Avlon. “Look, we all heard Republicans argue that Democrats don’t get first-hand witnesses, that’s because the Republicans blocked the witnesses. Since then, some key people have come forward saying they would testify, including John Bolton, Lev Parnas. So now, Republican senators are arguing that if additional witnesses were called, the White House would block them, dragging it through the courts, which is exactly why Democrats didn’t pursue witnesses being blocked in the first place, because the court battles could have dragged on until even after the election. So this is self-serving, circular logic that leaves all reasonable options closed.” Avlon further pointed out many Republicans who complained there is no new information voted against allowing new witnesses.

“Finally, fear,” said Avlon. “Fear is what President Trump told Bob Woodruff was ‘real power.’ This White House routinely threatens and bullies, extravagantly praising those who do the president’s bidding, publicly attacking anyone who breaks ranks … but even with fear being a constant corralling technique, a CBS report still stunned, saying that Republican senators have been warned, ‘vote against the president and your head will be on a pike.’ That comes from an anonymous source, but it was cited by Adam Schiff in his closing arguments, and there was a lot of pearl-clutching in response. This is ‘Game of Thrones’ stuff. It’s a language of violence designed to intimidate.”

“The great presidential historian Robert Caro once said, ‘power doesn’t corrupt, power reveals,'” concluded Avlon. “And what power has revealed in the Trump presidency is how quickly some adults can be bullied into abandoning their principles out of fear, laziness or partisan groupthink.”

Watch below:

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‘This is mind control’: Ex-CIA agent nails Trump’s new loyalty oath for government staffers

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CNN's Phil Mudd

The White House and Republicans were supposed to be putting together a plan to protect Americans against Russia hacking yet another election, former CIA officer Phil Mudd pointed out on CNN Monday. Instead, they've failed Americans, opting instead for their own crusade to protect the president from anyone who disagrees with him.

"In a typical president, the National Security Council would say to the president, 'here are the options,' but they won't do that," said Mudd.

Retired Rear Adm. John Kirby agreed, saying that in wake of the president's acquittal from the Republican Senate, he feels empowered to do whatever he wants.

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Trump leveled by Dem lawmaker for purging ‘disloyal’ officials so he can surround himself with a ‘team of sycophants’

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Appearing on CNN's 'New Day," with host Alisyn Camerota, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) hammered President Donald Trump for ordering the purge of government employees and appointees deemed disloyal to his administration -- saying the president wants to surround himself with a collection of yes men and women.

Reacting to a report from Axios that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has compiled a list of Trump-supporting fringe characters like former Sheriff David Clarke and Fox News personality Dan Bongino for high-profile administration positions, the Democrat expressed his disgust.

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Trump’s new Federal Reserve appointee called the US a ‘behemoth’ that couldn’t be trusted to oversee the US dollar

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President Donald Trump hasn't had much luck with appointing people to the United States Federal Reserve.

In 2019, Trump tried to appoint Herman Cain and Stephen Moore to the high financial office. Both ultimately were forced to drop out of the running after being completely humiliated on the national stage. Now, according to CNN, Trump is trying again, though his recent appointee, Judy Shelton, doesn't look to be working out either.

"Our government is promising so much to so many and at the same time we let the government control the value of our money and all of that would really go against the grain with our Founders -- who did not see it as the government's task to supply everything to everybody," said Trump's appointee Shelton.

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