U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, just announced he will vote against allowing the Senate to call witnesses. His decision likely means President Donald Trump will be acquitted on Friday.
“There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens,” Alexander says.
He adds there’s “no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.”
Read Senator Alexander’s full statement below.
United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on his vote regarding additional evidence in the impeachment proceedings:
“I worked with other senators to make sure that we have the right to ask for more documents and witnesses, but there is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven and that does not meet the United States Constitution’s high bar for an impeachable offense.
“There is no need for more evidence to prove that the president asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter; he said this on television on October 3, 2019, and during his July 25, 2019, telephone call with the president of Ukraine. There is no need for more evidence to conclude that the president withheld United States aid, at least in part, to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens; the House managers have proved this with what they call a ‘mountain of overwhelming evidence.’ There is no need to consider further the frivolous second article of impeachment that would remove the president for asserting his constitutional prerogative to protect confidential conversations with his close advisers.
“It was inappropriate for the president to ask a foreign leader to investigate his political opponent and to withhold United States aid to encourage that investigation. When elected officials inappropriately interfere with such investigations, it undermines the principle of equal justice under the law. But the Constitution does not give the Senate the power to remove the president from office and ban him from this year’s ballot simply for actions that are inappropriate.
“The question then is not whether the president did it, but whether the United States Senate or the American people should decide what to do about what he did. I believe that the Constitution provides that the people should make that decision in the presidential election that begins in Iowa on Monday.
“The Senate has spent nine long days considering this ‘mountain’ of evidence, the arguments of the House managers and the president’s lawyers, their answers to senators’ questions and the House record. Even if the House charges were true, they do not meet the Constitution’s ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ standard for an impeachable offense.
“The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles. If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist. It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.
“Our founding documents provide for duly elected presidents who serve with ‘the consent of the governed,’ not at the pleasure of the United States Congress. Let the people decide.”
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Trump Says He Will Ban TikTok as Soon as Saturday – Experts Say He Can’t
President Donald Trump says he will issue an executive order as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, the Beijing-based social media and video-sharing platform.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump told the press pool traveling with him to Florida on Air Force One late Friday night.
Microsoft had expressed interest in purchasing TikTok’s U.S. operations, but the pool report says the president “made clear he was not in favor of a deal to let a U.S. company buy TikTok’s American operations.”
TikTok has been accused of posing a national security threat.
Friday evening Vox’s tech site Recode noted “for established US social media giants Facebook and Google, the decision [to force a sale of TikTok] could significantly weaken their fiercest new competitor.”
Meanwhile, experts say he cannot “ban” TikTok.
Newsweek’s White House Correspondent Andrew Feinberg:
Everyone please stop just stenographically repeating @realDonaldTrump's claim that he's going to "ban TikTok."
He can't just "ban" it.
Stop being so credulous and think for a second.
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) August 1, 2020
Top national security attorney Bradley Moss also says Trump cannot ban the company:
No, Trump will not actually be able to “ban” TikTok as a functional matter, even if he can find some legal authority to do it. Get real.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) August 1, 2020
Noted attorney and political commentator:
The pool report — I don’t know where in Article II or federal law he would find this authority, antiquated as it may seem to ponder such questions. pic.twitter.com/yPJaKHrAlU
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) August 1, 2020
Dave Jorgenson, “The Washington Post’s TikTok guy”:
I do appreciate all of the tweets, they’re hilarious.
But 1) there are so many legal issues and obstacles that will make it very hard for the President to just “ban” tiktok
2) it’s so clearly a distraction
And 3) I care so much more about people dying every day than TikTok
— Washington Post TikTok Guy (@davejorgenson) August 1, 2020
Another tech site, The Verge, in early July published an article detailing “How the Trump administration could ‘ban’ TikTok.”
This is a breaking news and developing story. This story has been updated.
Trump’s Ridiculous Phone Call With a Republican Senator Was Recorded — and Given to the NYT
Snowball-loving Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) promised President Donald Trump that he would kill any bill that would change the names of military bases currently named after Confederate generals.
According to the New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman, Trump called Inhofe while he was sitting in a Washington Italian restaurant Wednesday evening. Trump was so loud that the entire conversation was recorded by someone nearby.
“The conversation, overheard and recorded by someone in the room, ranged from a discussion about Anthony Tata, the retired Army brigadier general whose nomination for a top Pentagon policy position has become complicated, to Mr. Trump’s desire to preserve the name of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, on a military base,” said the report.
“We’re gonna keep the name of Robert E. Lee?” Trump asked Inhofe.
“Just trust me, I’ll make it happen,” Inhofe said.
“I had about 95,000 positive retweets on that. That’s a lot,” said Trump, citing a Tweet he posted last Friday. Inhofe promised he wouldn’t change the names of “military forts and bases” and that the senator “is not a believer in ‘Cancel Culture.’”
The Senate already passed a defense reauthorization that had in the bill that the base names would be changed. The vote was 86-14, which Trump has threatened to veto. But with such a margin, Trump’s veto could be overridden.
Trump then went off about “cancel culture” and told Inhofe that people “want to be able to go back to life.” Trump dismissed the shift taking place as Americans grow increasingly opposed to overt expressions of racism.
They also discussed the potential of someone “resigning” and how to put them in another appointment, which then evolved into a conversation about Gen. Tata, whose nomination to a Pentagon post was stalled after attacks he made on Twitter about Muslims and calling former President Barack Obama a “terrorist leader.”
‘Damn, I Miss Him’: Americans Watching Obama Eulogize John Lewis Are Also Mourning Having a ‘Real President’
As Americans across the country watched the funeral of John Lewis, a beloved Democratic Congressman from Georgia, they were mourning not only the late civil rights leader, but near the end found themselves mourning having a “real president,” as some are expressing on social media.
Former President Barack Obama delivered a loving and celebratory eulogy, but also found a means to attack President Donald Trump for his attacks on the good citizens of Portland and other cities under the occupation of federal “police” forces, SWAT teams, and border agents who are kidnapping Black Lives Matter protestors off the streets and into unmarked vehicles.
And in honor of Congressman Lewis, Obama also saw fit to criticize Trump’s voter intimidation tactics, and his attacks on voting rights and free and fair elections.
By the end, some said they were in tears.
Obama’s eulogy of Congressman Lewis is taking my breath away and leaving me in tears! I miss him and having a caring, dedicated, honorable president!
— Barbara @ 🏡 (@bamart8) July 30, 2020
Just the sound of Obama’s voice – lump in my throat and tears down my face.
— Shannon Resists 🌊 (@richones1) July 30, 2020
I watched Obama just now through some tears. Not just because of his words about John Lewis, but because he reminds me how we once had a president who wasn't a stone-cold racist dirtbag.
— ROBERT MANN (@RTMannJr) July 30, 2020
Many others just expressed how kmuch they miss President Obama.
I criticized and disagreed with Obama plenty. But watching this eulogy…damn, I miss him. I miss a President who can show emotion and lift our spirits, call to our better angels and remind us of what unites us as Americans. I miss a President who speaks in complete sentences.
— Ana Navarro-Cárdenas (@ananavarro) July 30, 2020
As soon as President Obama started speaking, I instantly felt hope, I felt a great sadness, a wave of energy rushed through me, and a sense of calm blanketed me. Damn I miss him. I miss having a leader. I miss class. I miss intelligence. I miss integrity. I miss crime free. 🇺🇸
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) July 30, 2020
Damn I miss President Obama.
— Sadie Weiner (@sadieweiner) July 30, 2020
To hear a real President speak in the midst of such human misery. To observe how far we’ve fallen. It’s unbearable…#ObamaWasBetterAtEverything
— Kate Kendell (@KateKendell) July 30, 2020
President Obama eulogizing John Lewis is the salve my spirit needed today. I so miss having a president.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) July 30, 2020
Watching John Lewis’s Memorial. President Bush, President Clinton and President Obama are in attendance. This is what’s missing with the present administration. I miss decency, civility, decorum and the sense of service to humanity.
— mikell (@mikell12844784) July 30, 2020
Did anyone else feel relaxed for the first time in 3 1/2 years. And now I’m back to reality. I miss my president. #ObamaWasBetterAtEverything #obama #PresidentObama @realDonaldTrump @BarackObama pic.twitter.com/EhQAcIHpak
— DanteTheComic (@Dantethecomic) July 30, 2020
Just listening to Obama has brought tears to my eyes n🥺. My Gosh I miss him so
— Diana from Alabama#Voting BLUE like I always do! (@Dianaisretired) July 30, 2020
President Obama at #JohnLewisMemorial.
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) July 30, 2020
And some decided to share their feelings with the current occupant of the Oval Office.
Did you get a chance to see President Obama's speech at the John Lewis funeral?
Everyone on Twitter was saying how refreshing it was to hear a real president speak. And it truly was.
We all miss him. Dearly.
— 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝘆𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹 (@blaylocker) July 30, 2020
Everyone LOVES Obama and Biden and Fauci. No one likes you. No one. You really are not liked at all. People are laughing at you all the time because you are so dumb. I mean really dumb. The dumbest ever. That is something you do well–being dumb. https://t.co/juHk2K9cWG
— Marsha (@MvonS60) July 30, 2020
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