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Republicans will ‘be punished harshly in November’ for ignoring Trump’s latest impeachable offense: columnist

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In a column for Bloomberg, longtime political observer Jonathan Bernstein said there is not much more Donald Trump could do as president that would be more impeachable than his commutation of associate Roger Stone’s sentence for lying for him — and that Republicans who are either staying silent or cheering on the president will face the wrath of voters in November.

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With only Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) taking the president to task for the commutation of the convicted felon’s sentence in a tweet, labeling it, “Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” Bernstein said other Republicans should expect to be judged by their silence on such flagrant corruption.

“Clemency for a crony  convicted of interfering with an investigation of presidential malfeasance is a flagrant abuse of power,” Bernstein wrote, adding, “Stone, Trump’s friend and a longtime Republican political operative, was sentenced to more than three years in prison for lying to congressional investigators and witness tampering in matters related to inquiries about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.”

Pointing out that Trump’s latest action comes after he has already faced articles of impeachment — only to have the Republican-dominated Senate let him walk — the columnist said there can be no doubt that the president has once again committed an impeachable offense.

“No more investigations are needed to establish that fact. Trump simply has given up on even the pretense of respecting the rule of law and honoring his oath of office,” he wrote before suggesting that it is up to Republicans to hold the president to account — then questioned whether they have the will to do so.

“The oddity of the situation is that the Stone clemency gives them a last chance that they don’t deserve. At this late date, with people starting to vote in the 2020 election in only a couple of months, the incentives for the party to stand behind their leader are extremely strong,” he explained. “But if Republicans wanted an escape hatch — and they should, given how he’s dragging down the party and is apparently unable to do much these days other than feel sorry for himself — now they have one.”

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Bernstein wrote that Republicans might improve their 2020 election chances with Trump out of the way and an “unblemished” President Mike Pence at the top of the ticket, before saying it would only work “if they’re all in it together.”

“But if only some of them speak out, then they will all suffer,” he predicted before warning, “A united Republican Party finally ending this lawless presidency would be the best thing for the nation and for the party. It isn’t going to happen, and chances are that the failure will be punished harshly in November.”

You can read more here (subscription required). 

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2020 Election

Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him

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Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.

It’s worth just quoting in full:

He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.

Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:

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2020 Election

Facebook removes network of fake accounts that posed as Trump supporters

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Facebook said Thursday it took down accounts running a deceptive campaign out of Romania pretending to be Americans supporting US President Donald Trump ahead of the coming election.

The leading online social network removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages, and 88 Instagram accounts as part of an ongoing fight against "coordinated inauthentic behavior," according to security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher.

"The people behind this network used fake accounts to pose as Americans, amplify and comment on their own content, and manage pages including some posing as President Trump fan pages," Gleicher said.

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2020 Election

Brace yourself for months of lawlessness — ‘Election Night’ likely will not end until 2021

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There’s nothing wrong with treating American politics like a sport as long as everyone involved in the competition is playing the same sport by the same rules. There’s nothing wrong as long as both sides agree the rules are legitimate, both commit to obeying them and both accept the consequences when they break them.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

But there is a problem with treating American politics like a sport when one side is playing soccer and the other is playing football while neither can agree to the rules, because one side won’t commit to obeying them. There is something wrong when one side not only refuses to accept the consequences of rule-breaking but sets out to undermine the idea of rules altogether. In that case, treating politics like a sport, as the Washington press corps habitually does, isn’t helpful. It’s harmful. Even dangerous.

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