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White House Secretly Meeting With Republicans to Limit Impeachment Trial as President Courts GOP Senators

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The Trump White House is in secret  talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.

“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks,” The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.

Among the Republican Senators who clandestinely met with top Trump White House advisors are: Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Neely Kennedy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). The six strong Trump supporters met, according to the Post, “with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.”

Earlier Thursday Politico reported “Trump cozies up to GOP during impeachment,”noting the President has been “aggressively courting Senate Republicans” including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, both seen as potentially dangerous to Trump should the Senate hold an impeachment trial.

In a separate Politico article Politico suggests the White House attempted to convince the majority-Republican Senate to immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment and hold no trial.

Senators “informed the White House that there simply aren’t the votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial; it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor.”

The Washington Post echoed that reporting, explaining that “even a two-week trial could run counter to what Trump has expressed privately. The president is ‘miserable’ about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away.”

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YOU CAN'T DO THAT

DeSantis Administration Blows Off Court Ruling – Strips Funding From Schools Defying Unlawful Mask Mandate Ban

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The administration of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is going ahead with plans to financially punish schools that defy his ban on mask mandates for students.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran withheld funds from the Alachua and Broward county school districts that are equivalent to the salaries paid to school board members’ salaries.

Both counties had defied DeSantis by implementing mask mandates and refused to back down in the face of the governor’s threats.

However, there is some question of whether the decision to withhold the funding from the schools will hold up in court.

“Corcoran’s announcement Monday came after Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper on Friday ruled that DeSantis’ overstepped his constitutional authority in issuing the executive order,” reports the Tampa Bay Times. “Cooper issued an injunction barring Corcoran, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education from enforcing DeSantis’ order. It was not clear Monday evening whether the announcement about withholding funds from the Alachua and Broward districts conflicts with Cooper’s ruling.”

Despite this, the Florida Department of Education released a statement Monday saying that “the withholding of funds will continue monthly until each school board complies with state law and rule.”

RELATED –
Florida Judge Shreds Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Executive Order Banning Mask Mandates: CDC Is ‘Gold Standard’

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Madison Cawthorn Attacks Dr. Fauci: ‘We Want to Prosecute This Guy to the Full Ability of the Law’

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, saying House Republicans will “prosecute” the esteemed immunologist and director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), as a “pawn of the Chinese Communist Party” and for lying to Congress.

There is no evidence either of those claims are true.

Speaking to former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, the host of “Just the Truth” on the Real America’s Voice website, Cawthorn falsely claimed Dr. Fauci has “directly lied to Congress,” echoing a claim made by Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday. Ellis, who claims to be a “constitutional law attorney,” did not mention to Cawthorn that the House of Representatives does not have the power to criminally prosecute.

“I’ll tell you when we take the majority back in 2022, I’ll make sure consequences are doled out,” Cawthorn promised. “But we want to prosecute this guy to the full ability of the law because I’ll tell you to lie to the American people just to get your name in the news just to see your face on the cover of books just to get fame or fortune, I’ll tell you, Dr. Anthony Fauci does not deserve either fame or fortune.”

On Wednesday Cawthorn told Newsmax, “I think we should indict Jill Biden.”

Watch:

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Guns for Hire?: GOP Governor Accused of ‘Renting’ Out South Dakota’s National Guard Troops as For-Profit ‘Mercenaries’

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It may be called South Dakota but the “Mount Rushmore State” is pretty far up in the northern United States. And yet Governor Kristi Noem, a Trump-loving far right Republican, is sending her National Guard troops to patrol the border: the Southern Border, in Texas.

The capitol of South Dakota, Pierre, is over 1100 miles from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s capital city of Austin, about a 17 hour drive according to Google, if you don’t stop to eat or sleep.

Gov. Noem is sending her National Guard troops down to the Lone Star State to help out Gov. Abbott with the “ongoing violations of state and federal law by illegal aliens crossing the unsecured border,” she has just announced.

Who’s paying for these soldiers?

In a statement Noem says “private donations,” the source of which she does not disclose. Nor does she say where the funds are going.

“The Biden Administration has failed in the most basic duty of the federal government: keeping the American people safe,” Governor Noem’s statement reads.. “The border is a national security crisis that requires the kind of sustained response only the National Guard can provide.  We should not be making our own communities less safe by sending our police or Highway Patrol to fix a long-term problem President Biden’s Administration seems unable or unwilling to solve.  My message to Texas is this: help is on the way.”

“The deployment will be paid for by a private donation.”

Many are furious that the governor has turned U.S. troops into “a mercenary force.”


Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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