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‘Screaming the quiet part into a bullhorn’: Sen. Joni Ernst admits GOP using impeachment trial to damage Biden in 2020

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“Trump is trying to use the trial to do what Ukraine wouldn’t—destroy his political rivals.”

After President Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday completed the second day of their impeachment defense—which largely consisted of attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter—Republican Sen. Joni Ernst told reporters that she is “really interested to see” how team Trump’s performance at the Senate trial “informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus-goers.”

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Ernst’s remarks, which came just a week before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses, were widely viewed as an open admission that Trump’s attorneys and the Republican Party are using the Senate impeachment trial as an opportunity to damage Biden at the polls.

“This is saying the quiet part out loud,” tweeted MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake, a sentiment that was echoed by others.

“Here is Joni Ernst screaming the quiet part into a bullhorn,” said Kaili Joy Gray, executive editor of The American Independent, said in response to the Iowa Republican’s comments.

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Ernst’s comments run counter to the longstanding White House and Republican narrative that Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations—for which he was impeached by the House of Representatives last month—was a genuine attempt to root out corruption, not a politically motivated ploy to harm Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

Like Ernst, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) also invoked the presidential election following hours of arguments by Trump’s defense team, which includes Pam Bondi, Eric Herschmann, Alan Dershowitz, and Ken Starr.

“I was watching Elizabeth [Warren] and Bernie [Sanders] and Michael [Bennet] and Amy [Klobuchar] and they were really eyes wide open during that part of it,” Barrasso told reporters, referring to Trump attorney Pam Bondi’s presentation, which heavily focused on Biden an his son.

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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said as he watched “Bondi and the other Trump lawyers spend most of the day savaging the Bidens (as expected)… it become crystal clear to me: Trump is trying to use the trial to do what Ukraine wouldn’t—destroy his political rivals.”

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2020 Election

Conservative Supreme Court justices’ tortured reasoning in the disastrous Wisconsin case is a thin excuse for their true purpose

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In the disastrous ruling handed down Monday night from the conservative justices, the Supreme Court said its move to sharply limit voting access for Tuesday’s Wisconsin election was based on the details of a “narrow, technical question.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. The unsigned opinion contained such a thinly reasoned and transparently frivolous defense of the court’s decision that there’s little doubt that the outcome, not the legal arguments, was all that mattered.

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2020 Election

Trump’s ‘rally around the flag’ press conferences are not slowing his slide in the polls: columnist

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According to a column from the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, Donald Trump cannot be happy with his polling numbers that are continuing to slide just months before the November election and that his re-election is now imperiled.

According to the conservative columnist who is one of the president's harshest critics, his daily "rally around the flag" press conferences don't seem to be working on a public seeking assurances that he is the person to lead the country through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as save a collapsing economy.

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2020 Election

Wisconsin proves GOP’s ongoing war on voting is about ending democracy — and not just winning

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The Wisconsin Republican Party has been at the cutting edge of the efforts to make sure few, if any, Democratic voters ever make it to the polls again. Under the guidance of former Republican governor Scott Walker, a stalwart opponent of food having flavor, the state enacted a dizzying program of voter suppression, requiring people to have updated government-issued IDs while simultaneously making those IDs much harder to get, especially for people of color. They also suppressed the college student vote by banning most student IDs as a legitimate form of identification.
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