Showing posts with label Impeachment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Impeachment. Show all posts

August 24, 2018

IMPEACHMENT, What Does it Take? or How Many Misdeeds

No president of the United States has ever been removed from office by impeachment. But it's hard to watch the news these days without hearing the word.
So, what does it actually take to impeach a president?
In this Ron's Office Hours, NPR's Ron Elving explains the procedure by which the House of Representative and the U.S. Senate remove a sitting president.
He also looks at the history of impeachment proceedings, beginning with former President John Tyler in the 1840s and leading up to the House impeachment of former President Bill Clinton in 1998.
Ron breaks down how this relates to President Trump, who has already been the subject of two impeachment resolutions brought by House Democrats.

April 26, 2018

The Billionaire's Expedition to Impeach Trump

 Tom Steyer (Newsweek)

Narcissism was in the air in Washington. On a February night a few hundred yards from the White House, Tom Steyer, the hedge fund billionaire and political activist, had taken over three rooms at the National Press Club for a panel called Presidential Mental Health & Nuclear Weapons. On the dais, two psychiatrists, a psychologist, a Jungian author, and a warhead-security specialist were settling into blue chairs in front of a blue curtain. They were there to discuss the matter of Donald Trump’s ego. But Steyer, stepping to the lectern by their side, was unmistakably the star of the show. Applause broke out. He smiled and locked eyes with people around the room. Fans following the Facebook livestream sent thumbs-ups by the thousands as he and the five speakers set about explaining why Trump’s sadism, paranoia, unpredictability, and self-obsession make him ill-suited to nuclear weaponry.

Steyer has commanded the spotlight before. His fund, Farallon Capital Management, made him a finance kingpin, and he became a darling of environmentalists after quitting in 2012 to fight climate change full time. His third act began six months ago, when he paid for and starred in his first nationwide ad agitating for Trump’s impeachment. If you’ve watched cable news recently, you’ve probably seen him, 60 years old with a healthy tan and a look of grim concern, staring into your soul.

“I’m Tom Steyer, and like you, I’m a citizen who knows it’s up to us to do something,” he says in the first spot, his voice gravelly and grave. He’s sitting by a fireplace wearing a folksy-billionaire midnight-blue denim shirt. His name comes on screen above “American Citizen” in smaller letters. Strings murmur eerily as the camera closes in. “People in Congress and his own administration know that this president is a clear and present danger,” Steyer says. Within four months of the ad’s first airing, 5 million people had joined his campaign, Need to Impeach, providing names for an impeachment petition and email addresses for his budding list.

Steyer isn’t the first to claim there are grounds for booting Trump from office, but his enormous pools of wealth, outrage, and ambition mean he can do more than the members of Congress responsible for impeachment proceedings: He can spend the money required to stoke a fire and fan its flames until a real chance to burn down the administration presents itself. Thus far, he’s pledged about $40 million for Need to Impeach and an additional $30 million to get millennials into voting booths in November. He views himself as the leader of a movement to deliver America from evil—not one of those billionaires who cut checks merely to buy influence in Washington. Never mind that Steyer spent more on disclosed donations during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles than anyone else, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

His spending over the past year has bought him at least three kinds of opponents. The first are supporters of Trump, the celebrity-king who’s survived bedlam, bankruptcy, and scandal that would have wiped out, or at least embarrassed, mere mortals. To them, Steyer is a younger George Soros, pulling strings from the shadows. The second are fellow Democrats who think his fixation is distracting at best and harebrained at worst. They point out that no president has been removed via impeachment, that Democrats don’t have the congressional majority they would need to initiate the proceedings, and that polls show less than half the country wants them to try. Steyer’s third set of opponents are skeptics who see his vast resources as the symptom of a disease, not its cure. Does America, they ask, need one billionaire to save it from another?

At his event in Washington, Steyer toggled between his two dominant modes, apocalyptic and jubilant. Toward the end, he riffed on the motivational value of fear. “When you’re absolutely sure you’re right,” he said, “and you’re fighting for the things you think are most important, then there’s also great joy in being able, once you’re in it, to push as hard as you can.”

He stepped down from the dais and was mobbed. As aides tried to usher him out, Steyer hugged and high-fived. Only when a lawyer launched into a sales pitch for a project did Steyer start to extract himself—except, no, he couldn’t help but stick around to listen. When he finally moved on, an aide tried again to focus his attention, but Steyer swung around him to say something into a supporter’s ear. He leaned back to show he was listening as the man replied, then plunged back in, aiming his finger at the guy’s heart. He was still gabbing as he left, the long goodbye of a born candidate.

A chemical reaction seems to take place inside the brains of the megarich when their fortunes grow from extraordinarily big to inconceivably vast. It convinces some of them that they possess the power to solve a great challenge or crisis of the day. This might help explain why billionaires go on quests to colonize space (Jeff Bezos), slow the aging process (Larry Ellison), build flying cars (Larry Page), or bore holes into the Earth for transportation by tunnel (Elon Musk).

Steyer isn’t living out a sci-fi fantasy. A former prep school jock who says he crushes 300 crunches a day, he’s cast himself as the hero of a black-and-white Western, ever preparing for a showdown at high noon. He even wears cowboy boots these days, though he says it’s for the heel support. 

Before he can take down Trump, though, Steyer will have to claw past his own party’s sheriffs. Congressional minority leaders Nancy Pelosi of California and Chuck Schumer of New York are among those who’ve aired their displeasure with calls for impeachment, arguing that such talk is divisive and premature. David Axelrod, Barack Obama’s former senior adviser, has punched harder. “Steyer impeachment ads seem to me more of a vanity project,” he tweeted in November. “It is-at least [at] this point-an unhelpful message.” It took Steyer exactly one hour to slap back: “Unhelpful to whom, David?” He followed up a minute later with the less aristocratic “No fear.” The spat resumed a few months later. “Dems should NOT commit to impeachment,” Axelrod wrote on April 8. Steyer really didn’t like that. “Appeasing Mr. Trump and being polite is what’s wrong with the Establishment,” he replied. “Spare me,” Axelrod wrote back. “Don’t make the mistake of confusing your ad copy for a bill of impeachment.”

This kind of talk infuriates Steyer. A week before the Washington event, he was at a hotel bar in Las Vegas, banging his hand on a table. “There was no one in the United States who wanted to make a big deal out of impeachment!” he said. Some billionaires find Vegas irresistible for its bacchanalia, but Steyer was drinking seltzer with cranberry juice, light on the juice. He was in town to demand protections for young immigrants and to back an effort to make Nevada’s electricity greener.

Steyer’s most distinctive feature is a Roman nose, though it often cedes the stage to eyebrows that perform circus tricks when he gets excited. Trump gets them going. Steyer maintains that the president has disqualified himself from the land’s highest office by obstructing justice, conspiring with Russians, violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, undermining the free press, and simply being dangerously crazy. “We believe we have a gigantic threat to our democracy,” he said at the bar. “We believe this guy is very dangerous to the health and safety of American citizens.”

“When you’re absolutely sure you’re right and you’re fighting for the things you think are most important, then there’s also great joy in being able, once you’re in it, to push as hard as you can”
The “we” risked coming off as royal, but Steyer was reaching for the unifying vibe of a stump speech. Decades ago, he ran (successfully) for student body president at Phillips Exeter Academy, the New Hampshire school where Abraham Lincoln sent one of his sons. Steyer went from there to Yale, joining Morgan Stanley’s training program after graduation. He left, earned an MBA at Stanford, and in 1983 got a job at Goldman Sachs on Robert Rubin’s merger arbitrage team, which trained at least three future billionaires. Steyer quit a few years later for the only comparably glamorous job in finance: managing his own fund. While getting it up and running, he scored an intro to the investment firm Hellman & Friedman from Matthew Barger, a friend from Yale. “Tom’s possibly the only person I’ve ever met who I think could be president of the United States someday,” Barger told his colleagues at the time.

Hellman & Friedman helped Steyer set up the fund that would become Farallon, based in San Francisco and named for nearby islands that jut out of shark-infested waters. It made money every year for decades, buying up the junk bonds of distressed companies, betting on some stocks, shorting others, investing in real estate, and doing some private equity. Before 2008, when the financial crisis reached its nadir, Farallon’s main fund was returning an annual average of almost 15 percent, and the firm was overseeing more than $30 billion, making it one of the biggest hedge funds in the world.

It was also, to Steyer’s growing embarrassment, investing in oil, private prisons, subprime lending, and coal. By 2008 he’d grown alarmed about climate change; he was going to church more often and thinking seriously about politics. When a proposition to suspend some of California’s robust air pollution rules reached the state ballot in 2010, he donated $5 million to the campaign that ultimately defeated it. Two years later he left Farallon and went on to start NextGen Climate, a nonprofit with a super PAC arm, writing seven-digit checks that helped candidates willing to fight for the environment.

The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, to strip away long-standing limits on corporate money in politics had inaugurated an era of historic hospitality to politically motivated billionaires. Some of the cash they’ve spent has stayed hidden, but as far as disclosed donations go, Steyer reigns supreme. By that measure, he outspent even notable Republican kingmakers Charles and David Koch, Sheldon Adelson, and Robert Mercer during the 2014 and 2016 national campaigns. The $75 million Steyer spent in 2014 exceeded the total from the next three donors combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. (One of those three was Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, which publishes Bloomberg Businessweek.) Steyer spent even more in 2016, about $91 million.

Bankers love to talk about their return on investment, but his was mediocre. Half of the eight Democrats he backed in big races in 2016, including Hillary Clinton, lost. That was slightly better than in 2014, when three of his seven candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races won. Steyer had a better run backing California ballot propositions, helping kill the 2010 air pollution plan and, two years later, spending more than $29 million on a measure that changed corporate tax rules and funneled money to green jobs.

“Politics is understood by very few people in the United States of America, and if you want to understand it, then I think you’ve got to put in your 10,000 hours. I have, actually. Do the math”
He didn’t see Trump coming. But only a few hours after the election, he published a pledge that he’d stand up to the incoming president. In July, six months into Trump’s term, something new took shape. Steyer changed NextGen Climate’s name to NextGen America and said its mission would expand to include health care, equality, and immigration issues.

That wasn’t enough for him, though. He was also thinking about running for the U.S. Senate or for governor of California, his home since he left Goldman Sachs. (He and his wife, Kat, own a mansion overlooking San Francisco Bay, a place whose marketing brochure showed a ballroom, five bedrooms, and two fireplaces. They also have an 1,800-acre cattle ranch down the coast.) In September, Steyer met Democratic consultant Kevin Mack, a direct-mail specialist who’s worked for Planned Parenthood and the AFL-CIO. “I sat down with him to talk about a whole range of things: ‘This is what it might look like to run for office, this is what it might look like to start a movement,’ ” Mack said.

Within days, they’d landed on a crusade for Steyer—something national and big. The logic was that Steyer could spend, say, $150 million to try to win a Senate seat—or he could start “running a national movement right now to hold this president accountable,” Mack said. “You do that for a hell of a lot less.”

Steyer decided to launch this movement outside the auspices of NextGen America, choosing the name Need to Impeach. He shot the fireplace spot and bought time on cable, including enemy territory: Fox News. It took mere days to catch the attention of his target. On Oct. 27 at 6:58 a.m., before the sun rose over Washington, Trump tweeted that Steyer was “wacky & totally unhinged.” Fox pulled the ad not long after. In a statement, the channel’s co-president cited “the strong negative reaction to their ad by our viewers.”

With that, Steyer had earned his spurs, complete with a pair of shiners to exhibit to the resistance. Signatures soared. He filmed more ads, set on a ranch, in front of the White House, by the Liberty Bell, and in Times Square, where he also paid for jumbo impeachment billboards. By February, Need to Impeach had about 40 staffers and a headquarters in a San Francisco Beaux Arts building. The group set up a war room for opposition research, plus a media arm and a legislative outreach team, and sent Steyer on a 30-stop tour to press his case across the U.S. The plan for November is to compare the organization’s list of millions against voter files, register anyone who isn’t signed up, and turn out everyone on Election Day.

Mack likes to say that Steyer’s list is now bigger than the National Rifle Association’s. But there are reasons why old hands such as Axelrod see the campaign as a billionaire’s vanity project. As with the ads, almost every Need to Impeach press release places Steyer front and center, announcing plans to file Freedom of Information Act requests about Trump or to mail 5,100 impeachment guides to 2018 candidates.

Still, Steyer has fans inside the impeachment cottage industry who are grateful for an ally rich enough to turn their ideas into zeitgeist. Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law School professor who teaches a class on Trump and has a book about impeachment coming out in May, credits Steyer with pushing the topic into late-night talk shows and dinner-table conversations. “He’s encouraging people to take seriously something that might have been too much in the background,” Tribe said. “People need to be conditioned to think about it. And he’s certainly put it on the national agenda in a really important way.”

As Steyer’s eyebrows bounced across the airwaves late last year, talk about his political ambitions grew louder. In January he stepped before a row of American flags in Washington to announce that he wouldn’t run for office in California, at least not in 2018. Instead, he said, he would double his impeachment spending and focus on registering millennial voters.
Watching him, though, you sense that the itch hasn’t subsided. His teams at NextGen and Need to Impeach include flacks and Obama veterans, even a body man who keeps his Honest Tea at the ready. He’s been known to invoke Lincoln twice in an hour while espousing policies that position him as a billionaire Bernie Sanders: single-payer health insurance, higher taxes for the rich, and clean energy.

In the past year, a titillated press has played are-they-running with entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey (after she delivered a galvanizing speech at the Golden Globe Awards in January), Facebook Inc. co-founder Mark Zuckerberg (after he hired two top Obama campaign operatives), and Starbucks Corp. Chairman Howard Schultz (whose unofficial side job is calling for nationwide transformation). Each eventually offered the ritual not-I.
Although Steyer did the same for 2018, he’s been coy about 2020, refusing to say whether he’ll run for the White House. He nevertheless gets exercised when asked about one hypothetical billionaire rival. “The day that Howard Schultz gets up with me at 4:25 to walk in Palmdale, I’m going to start thinking differently about him,” Steyer said, invoking a recent NextGen door-knocking trip in California. Schultz didn’t respond to an email asking for comment about Steyer, but Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban, who’s said there’s a chance he’ll run, obliged. “Don’t know him. Never met him,” he wrote. Eight minutes later, Cuban sent a follow-up: “Don’t have any thoughts on him at all.”

Whether he’s thinking about a presidential run or not, Steyer is clearly enjoying himself. In Las Vegas he met with young immigrants at the University of Nevada, then headed out into the desert sun to ask students what they cared about. Afterward, sitting outside a campus cafe, he was practically glowing. He teased a reporter and laughed at his own zinger, then kept on laughing, clapping his hands and thumping the table before taking a breath and howling some more. Finally, 12 seconds on, he silenced himself with a final slam of the hand.

Moments later, talk of Trump flipped him to apocalyptic mode. But like a hero saddling up against formidable odds, he professed to be up to the task. “Politics is understood by very few people in the United States of America, and if you want to understand it, then I think you’ve got to put in your 10,000 hours,” he said. “I have, actually. Do the math.”

A week later, at a Presidents Day panel in Philadelphia, he was confronted by the possibility that five digits wouldn’t be enough. As Steyer sat on a stool in his jeans and cowboy boots, a man in the audience interrupted. “You’re talking about good and evil,” the man said, “and there are those of us who think that a billionaire who has $1.6 billion to throw around of his own money may be a threat to democracy.”

Steyer listened, hands on knees. “So you want me to address that?” he said.
“I think so,” the man replied.
Steyer’s mood seemed to dim. “OK, fine,” he said. “Let’s talk for a second about money in politics.”

“Let’s talk about you,” the man said. The room fell so quiet you could hear a throat clear. Before Steyer could address the expensive elephant in the room, a fan piped up: “Thank God you’re doing what you’re doing!” People clapped.

“Let me answer this question,” Steyer said, pointing at the heckler, forefinger wagging twice. “I think it is true that my ability to be heard is disproportionate based on the amount of money I have.” The man tried unsuccessfully to interrupt. “Look, I think we have a great system,” Steyer continued. “But we have very far from a perfect system.”

He was getting worked up. “If there was no money on the side of progressivism,” he said, “then, actually, we wouldn’t be able to organize against the people who are—”
He kept on speaking, but it was hard to hear him over the applause.

Bloomberg, LP

Max Abelson

November 2, 2017

Can Anybody Stop Trump from Nuclear Striking North Korea?

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testify before
 the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on Monday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Short Answer; 
Long answer:
 No one! This is the Presidents power to make war even though the constitution says only Congress can declare war. Then Why would the prsident do it?
Short Answer: 
He belongs to the same party that control all congress.
Long Answer: 
U.S. most be more discerning of the people they elect because it not only can cause them to save or pay a couple more dollars in taxes but it could cost the whole economy if not death or an early cancer do to low or high levels of radiation exposure.  The Constitution gave the power to amke war and the impeachment carrot and stick to make the President follow the Constitution.
"In testimony Monday, top Trump administration officials confirmed that if President Trump decided to strike North Korea, even with a nuclear weapon, there likely would be no way Congress or anyone else would be able to stop him. For at least some in Congress, that’s a matter of urgent concern."Reuters

October 17, 2017

Trump's Latest Approval and Impeachment Probabilities or Odds


September 20, 2017

Mile Pence Might be Quieter Than Trump But Not with Less Impeaching Conduct

First today's the Quieter one opens his mouth to the GOP Congress on killing ACA, again. We know he is full and Christian love because he is a Christian and closes his eyes when he prays, even at the dinner table, which I find impossible for me but then I don't go around saying how Christian I am.
I can't see how he want to leave most of the American Citizens, particularly the older and infirm*(*biblical word) to make his boss happy. He really believes Trump will last the full term and he is bucking to be asked for a second run. It's been fun for him! His lying and picking up the Boss's manures has been no problem what so ever with him. He is said more than once he worked with manure as a kid working in the far.

Vice President Mike Pence is throwing the Trump administration’s weight behind the latest Affordable Care Act repeal bill — and against a bipartisan effort to stabilize the marketplaces. In an interview on Air Force Two, Pence told me he’ll call on all Senate Republicans to support the bill by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy at a lunch meeting this afternoon, saying, "this is the moment. Now is the time.”

Now if we could just go back a couple of months to review what's been publicly out about Mike Pence:

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) could barely contain his frustration over the weekend. “[T]here is real evil in the epidemic rate of lying that is going on right now,” the Connecticut senator wrote, pointing to the latest comments from Vice President Mike Pence. “This is not normal.”

False denials from Mike Pence continue to stack up

We’ve unfortunately reached a point in contemporary politics where a quote like that, in isolation, needs some clarification – because Mike Pence says untrue things about a great many things.
The far-right vice president, for example, has been caught making all kinds of demonstrably false claims about Donald Trump and the Russia scandal, but the latest controversy surrounds Pence’s mendacious rhetoric on health care, starting with a speech to the National Governors Association. The Washington Post reported that Pence singled out Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), arguing that Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act in the Buckeye State has caused widespread problems.

“I know Governor Kasich isn’t with us, but I suspect that he’s very troubled to know that in Ohio alone, nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists, leaving them without the care they need for months or even years,” said Pence.

The waiting lists Pence referred to apply to Medicaid’s home and community-based services, and have not been affected by the program’s expansion under the ACA. States have long had waiting lists for these services, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s executive vice president, Diane Rowland, noted that waiting lists in non-expansion states are often longer than in expansion states, which currently receive a 95 percent federal match for their newly covered beneficiaries.

Kasich’s office explained that the vice president’s claims are “not accurate,” and are “the opposite of what actually happened.” The governor’s press secretary added, “That’s what we call #fakenews.”

Pence’s office said in response that he wasn’t trying to connect Medicaid expansion and the waiting lists, but that, too, wasn’t true.

But that’s not even the falsehood that rankled Chris Murphy. Rather, when the Democratic senator complained about the “epidemic rate of lying,” he was pointing to a separate Pence claim: “The Senate health-care bill strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society.”

Every independent analysis of the Senate proposal suggests the exact opposite is true: the Republican bill guts the Medicaid system, cutting hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, and leaving the most vulnerable Americans facing new peril.

These health care falsehoods, alas, aren’t isolated incidents. Pence has been making claims about health care for months that fall apart under modest scrutiny.

We’ve grown accustomed to the vice president making bogus claims about the Russia scandal, but let’s not forget his record in the health care debate is arguably worse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~More from the Maddow Blog:

Donald Trump was supposed to travel to Kentucky on Saturday to defend the Republican health care plan, which some have begun calling “Trumpcare,” but the president canceled without explanation. (Trump instead went golfing for the ninth time since Inauguration Day.)[This is July]

Kentuckians were not, however, left empty-handed. As the conservative Washington Times noted, the vice president went instead.
Traveling to the home state of a Republican critic of the administration-backed health care bill, Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that Obamacare is falling apart and must be replaced.

“Obamacare has failed the people of Kentucky,” Mr. Pence told an audience in Louisville. “It’s failed the people of America, and Obamacare must go.” […] Mr. Pence called Kentucky “a textbook example of Obamacare’s failures.”
Even by 2017 standards, this is bizarre. To the extent that reality still matters, Kentucky is actually a textbook example of the Affordable Care Act succeeding. As regular readers know, under Gov. Steve Beshear’s (D) leadership, the state’s success story has served as a national model, watching its uninsured rate drop from 20.4% to just 7.5%. In terms of state-by-state improvement, the Bluegrass State is tied for first as the greatest percentage improvement in the nation.

Pence pointed to increases in premiums, but (a) premium hikes were common before “Obamacare” became law; (b) the vast majority of consumers aren’t seeing sharp spikes; and (c) the Republican plan Pence was in Kentucky to promote will very likely push premiums even higher.

All of which suggests Pence was trying to deceive his audience with rhetoric he should’ve recognized as false. Have you noticed how common this is becoming with the vice president?

Usually, when we think about the Trump White House and dishonesty, we immediately think of Donald Trump, who lies with such unnerving frequency that some have questioned his mental stability. By comparison, Mike Pence may look like a Boy Scout.

But looking past the Trump comparison, Pence’s recent departures from the truth are starting to pile up. Pence’s claims about when he learned about Michael Flynn’s work as a foreign agent, for example, clearly aren’t true. This followed related claims from Pence about Flynn’s communications with Russia that have already proven to be false. (The vice president believes he was the victim in this case of someone else’s lies.)

Pence said no one from Team Trump spoke with Russian officials before Election Day, and that was untrue. The V.P. recently made claims about job creation that were also false.

Under the circumstances, if you’re looking at the White House’s motley crew and assuming that Mike Pence is the honest one of the bunch, you may be grading on an overly generous curve.
The Maddow Blog, Kentucky and Mike Pence

The media does not seem to be paying much attention to Mike Pence. They are all focus on where Trump is golfing next or where is going to give a speech to his supporters saying basically the same thing (the good stuff from Trump comes in tweets not audible words). Rachel Maddow is the only one who is following the smell and I hope she inspires others besides me to be on the look out because if trump deserves Impeachment, Pence has been behind him and sometimes side by side with him. They are a pair and the only difference is style and tone.

Jason Zengerle 
on GQ writes:
"And now, as each new day seems to bring with it a revelation, or a poll, or a tweet that feels as if it nudges the vice president—perhaps the most unexamined major political figure in modern America—ever closer to the Oval Office, the powerful and the plugged-in across Washington are beginning to form answers to a suddenly more urgent question: What happens when Mike Pence becomes president?"

Adam Gonzalez
Adamfoxie Blog

July 31, 2017

Pence Preparing for His Inauguration

'Priebus and Spicer will lead the transition' wrote Congresswoman Maxine Waters on Twitter
US Vice President Mike Pence is preparing for Donald Trump's impeachment, a congresswoman from their rival Democrat Party has claimed.

"Mike Pence is somewhere planning an inauguration", Maxine Waters wrote on Twitter.
"Priebus and Spicer will lead the transition" she added, referring to the two latest members of Trump's White House to resign.

Former chief of staff Reince Priebus stepped down and Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary both stepped down from their roles in recent weeks.
A long time critic of Mr Trump, Ms Waters was the first US politician to claim that the salacious sex acts alleged in the unverified "Russian blackmail dossier" against the US leader were "absolutely true".

The document, alleged the Russian state has compromising sexual and financial information on the President. 
She has also repeatedly called for his impeachment.
"He's someone that I'm committed to getting impeached!" Mrs Waters told a Washington bookshop audience in May. "He's a liar! He's a cheat! He's a con man! We've got to stop his ass."

Two Democrat congressmen, Al Green and Brad Sherman, filed the first impeachment articles against Mr Trump on 12 July.

They claimed Mr Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey during his investigation into Russian interference in the election.

But for an impeachment trial to go ahead, a majority in the House of Representatives and a two-thirds majority in the Senate must approve it.

With both the House and Senate under Republican control until at least the mid-term elections in November 2018, this is unlikely.

Mr Pence has distanced himself from the recent scandals rocking the White House, including revelations of Donald Trump Jr's meeting with a Russian lawyer during the election campaign. 
The Vice President is "not focused on stories about the campaign - especially those pertaining to the time before he joined the campaign" said Mr Pence's spokesman in a statement, shortly after they emerged.

"Donald Trump is someone that found his way to the presidency of the United States of America - I still don't know how."
It's not too early to discuss grounds for Donald Trump's impeachment 
More Americans want Trump impeached than wanted Nixon impeached 
Democrat files first articles of impeachment against Donald Trump 
Only two American presidents have been impeached, and in neither case did it lead to their removal from office. Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson were both exonerated by the Senate and completed their term in office.
Richard Nixon resigned following the Watergate scandal before Congress could impeach him.
Fourteen vice presidents have later become president - eight of those because of the death of the sitting president. Five became president during a following term and one following the resignation of the sitting president. 

The Independent

July 24, 2017

Interview with NY Sen.Gillibrand: on Trump, "I Would Fire Him"

America did not get its first female president in 2016, but that doesn’t mean women have stopped flexing their political muscle. High on that list of power politicos is U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who, talking with Katie Couric on Saturday, leaned into the discussion of the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump. If he fires special counsel Robert Mueller, that would “reach a whole other level of ridiculousness that I think stops everything,” the New York Democrat said, speaking before a home state crowd at OZY Fest in Central Park.

 Then again, the UCLA-trained lawyer already thinks there’s a case for obstruction of justice after Trump canned James Comey, in part for his handling of the Russian investigation. For that, “I’d fire him,” Gillibrand said of Trump, although she admitted it would be up to Mueller to prove obstruction of justice. That was just one of the points made in Couric’s wide-ranging interview with Gillibrand, who, coming from a town hall in the Bronx, said the concerns of her constituents were fresh in her mind. “Not surprisingly, they are really worried about this health care bill,” she said, adding that so-called Trumpcare has been delayed only because of grassroots pressure. “The message is: Don’t stop!” 
“We built Obamacare on the for-profit system. If you really want to get prices down, you need a single payer,” Gillibrand said when Couric asked how to improve the Affordable Care Act without scrapping it. “No,” she responded unequivocally when asked if Republicans in Congress would back off recent, unpopular proposals on such issues as health care and immigration without external pressure, adding that only constituents and advocates could “give them courage.” And when Couric noted that Emily’s List has counted at least 11,000 women who have expressed interest in running for elected office since Trump became president, Gillibrand said that women shouldn’t be afraid of being unqualified for the task. “I felt the same way — not smart enough, not tough enough, not experienced. It’s not about you. It’s about what you want to fix.”
That doesn’t mean it will be easy for women going forward. When Couric asked if misogyny still exists significantly on Capitol Hill, Gillibrand quipped: “Is the sky blue?” It was an issue Gillibrand tackled in her book, Off the Sidelines, in which she documented comments made to her about her weight and appearance while walking the halls of Congress.
In addition to leading the passage of a health care bill for 9/11 first responders and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policies, Gillibrand has been an ardent advocate of creating more accountability around sexual assaults in the armed forces — a cause that hasn’t gone far enough yet, she admits. She compared it to other attempts to reform what she calls “closed institutions,” such as the NFL dealing with athletes who engage in domestic abuse or the Catholic Church trying to weed out pedophile priests. “It takes all that much more effort to speak truth to power, get the stories out, but also create the consensus and move the mountain of actually getting laws changed,” she says. The rate of retaliation against women and men who report sexual assaults in the military is still 59 percent, Gillibrand said, while only 2 in 10 assaults are reported as crimes. The conviction rate in such cases is even more dismal. 
The question of the Democratic Party’s future hovered in the air, in part because many forecast Gillibrand as one of the party’s standard-bearers in 2020. While she refused to talk about a potential presidential run, she did push back against the idea that progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were steering the party in an untenable direction. “President Trump ran on the [platform that] the system is rigged, which is Liz Warren’s message, and no bad trade deals, which was Bernie Sanders’ message,” she argued.
Continuing the populist theme, Gillibrand talked about education reform. “Why shouldn’t all federal student loans be refinanced at 4 percent?” she asked. And while her mentor Hillary Clinton didn’t become Madam President in November, the losing candidate has inspired the next generation of politicians. “She’s put the fire in the belly in so many women to come after her, to run, to win,” Gillibrand said. “I feel like we are so poised to fight harder than we ever have before.”
  • Nick Fouriezos, OZY Author

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