EXCLUSIVE: Pence Blasts Democrats Failed Impeachment Attempt

Vice President Mike Pence blasted Democrats on Wednesday for their failed attempt to impeach President Donald Trump in a sit-down interview with the Daily Caller.

Pence sat down with the Caller as the Senate was voting to acquit the president, and was not at all worried about the outcome, saying, “well, we’ve you know, we have supported this administration and supported the president every step of the way. And the truth is, I think the American people have seen this for what it is, it’s nothing more than a sham investigation where the president was given no due process at all, followed by a partisan impeachment, which today will result in the president of the United States being acquitted by the United States Senate,” Pence told the Daily Caller.

“We simply sought to continue to support the president. Look, the American people have the facts. I mean, we started out with a whistleblower complaint. We never hear about the whistleblower anymore because the American people can read the transcript. They could see there was no quid pro quo President Zelensky said there was no pressure. The president did nothing wrong. And Ukraine received all of the military aid that was approved by the Congress,” Pence said.

“His acquittal today will be a confirmation of all of that. And I hope also it’s it gives us an opportunity to move on,” Pence concluded.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column with video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

PODCAST: The Impeachment Charade is Finally Over

The impeachment trial is finally over and, as expected, President Trump was acquitted. Anyone really surprised? Democrats will claim this was a cover-up by the Senate, but the reality is this represents another win for the president. Despite this, I am glad it is over as I found it rather boring and predictable in terms of finger pointing and jurisprudence. This desperate act also represents another chapter of how the Democrats have wasted an enormous amount of taxpayer money and time to do whatever they could to resist the president; for example:

  • They radically slowed the process of selecting members of the president’s cabinet, ambassadors, judges and other presidential appointees.
  • Turned the Brett Kavanaugh Hearing into a three ring circus by intentionally smearing his name to make the president look bad.
  • By insisting on the Mueller Witch Hunt, the Democrats failed to reach anything conclusive in terms of establishing a relationship between the president and the Russians. The investigation, lasted two years, and cost taxpayers millions.
  • Triggered by the Democrats refusing to pay for border security, the Government Shutdown of 2018-2019 cost the government $5 billion. In the end, President Trump still moved forward on building the southern wall.
  • The Impeachment Hoax was designed by the Democrats to besmirch the character of the president and keep him off the ballot in November. The case was easily defeated and the president gained political strength simply because the public grew weary of the histrionics of the Left.

Let us also not forget the findings of the FISA Investigation, the problems associated with Sanctuary Cities, and the “Do-Nothing” House which basically threw the government into gridlock. All of this was supported by the “Fake News” of the main stream media who fanned the flames of hate in the country.

All of these attempts were designed to not only vilify the president, but to distract the public from his accomplishments, such as:

  • Successfully installed a substantial number of federal judges at many levels, including two Supreme Court justices.
  • Built and opened the American embassy in Jerusalem. While other presidents in the past claimed they would do it, it was President Trump who saw it through to completion, even in spite of resistance from Democrats. More recently, the president revealed his plan for peace between Israel and Palestine, using a two-state approach, something that has never been offered before.
  • Cut bureaucratic red tape to lift the burden of government off the shoulders of businesses thereby allowing them to move forward.
  • Crushed ISIS and is slowly pulling us out of the Middle East.
  • Curbed illegal immigration.
  • Moved us to energy independence.
  • Reinvigorated our military and cleaned up the VA.
  • Caused new and stronger trade deals, particularly with USMCA, China, and many more on the way.
  • Created a robust economy which is now the envy of the world. The Democrats fear this the most, which is why I refer to it as the “Big White Elephant in the Room.”

President Trump has become politically stronger following the impeachment acquittal. His base is energized, and independents are leaning his way. In contrast, the Democrats have branded themselves as untrustworthy stewards of the House, a stigma which will haunt them until election day. The Americans want results, not soap opera.

You have to pity the Democrats going into the 2020 election as they are about to be mutilated politically. Their resistance has left them with an image of being an impediment to progress and are now portrayed as spiteful people only concerned with political control and not the best interests of the country overall. Then again, it was their own doing. Their strategy to vilify the president was an enormous gamble which backfired on them. When you couple this with the far-left leanings of the Democrat presidential candidates, you have the perfect storm which will lead to their demise.

One thing I have observed about the Democrats during President Trump’s first term, they do not accept defeat graciously. It is time for an overhaul within the party or split it into moderate and far-left factions.

BEFORE YOU VOTE, REMEMBER…

The Brett Kavanaugh Hearing.
The Mueller Witch Hunt.
The Government Shutdown.
The Impeachment Hoax.
The FISA Investigation.
Sanctuary Cities.
The Do-Nothing House.
Fake News.
The Jerusalem Embassy.
The crushing of ISIS.
Energy independence.
Our reinvigorated military.
New and stronger trade deals.
Our robust economy.

VOTE AS AN AMERICAN, NOT AS A DEMOCRAT.

Keep the Faith!

P.S. – Don’t forget my new book, “Tim’s Senior Moments” now available in Printed and eBook form.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Bryce is Right column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved. All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Senator Rand Paul: Impeachment Trial question [Video]

EDITORS NOTE: This Vlad Tepes Blog video posted by is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

President Donald J. Trump’s Historic State of the Union Address — February 4th, 2020

President Donald J. Trump gave his third and most uplifting and visionary State of the Union address to the American people on February 4th, 2020. He had many special guests in the gallery and made note of each of their hopes, dreams, lives and sacrifices for America.

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TRANSCRIPT

Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow citizens:

Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again! America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright.

The years of economic decay are over. The days of our country being used, taken advantage of, and even scorned by other nations are long behind us. Gone too are the broken promises, jobless recoveries, tired platitudes, and constant excuses for the depletion of American wealth, power, and prestige.

In just 3 short years, we have shattered the mentality of American decline, and we have rejected the downsizing of America’s destiny. We are moving forward at a pace that was unimaginable just a short time ago, and we are never going back!

I am thrilled to report to you tonight that our economy is the best it has ever been. Our military is completely rebuilt, with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world — and it is not even close. Our borders are secure. Our families are flourishing. Our values are renewed. Our pride is restored. And for all these reasons, I say to the people of our great country, and to the Members of Congress before me: The State of our Union is stronger than ever before!

The vision I will lay out this evening demonstrates how we are building the world’s most prosperous and inclusive society — one where every citizen can join in America’s unparalleled success, and where every community can take part in America’s extraordinary rise.

From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy — slashing a record number of job-killing regulations, enacting historic and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and reciprocal trade agreements. Our agenda is relentlessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and, most of all, pro-American. We are advancing with unbridled optimism and lifting high our citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

Since my election, we have created 7 million new jobs — 5 million more than Government experts projected during the previous administration.

The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century.

Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my Administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country. If we had not reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witness to America’s great economic success.

The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.

African-American poverty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded.

The unemployment rate for women reached the lowest level in almost 70 years — and last year, women filled 72 percent of all new jobs added.

The veterans’ unemployment rate dropped to a record low.

The unemployment rate for disabled Americans has reached an all-time low.

Workers without a high school diploma have achieved the lowest unemployment rate recorded in United States history.

A record number of young Americans are now employed.

Under the last administration, more than 10 million people were added to the food stamp rolls. Under my Administration, 7 million Americans have come off of food stamps, and 10 million people have been lifted off of welfare.

In 8 years under the last administration, over 300,000 working-age people dropped out of the workforce. In just 3 years of my Administration, 3.5 million working-age people have joined the workforce.

Since my election, the net worth of the bottom half of wage-earners has increased by 47 percent — 3 times faster than the increase for the top 1 percent. After decades of flat and falling incomes, wages are rising fast — and, wonderfully, they are rising fastest for low-income workers, who have seen a 16 percent pay-increase since my election. This is a blue collar boom.

Real median household income is now at the highest level ever recorded!

Since my election, United States stock markets have soared 70 percent, adding more than $12 trillion to our Nation’s wealth, transcending anything anyone believed was possible — this, as other countries are not doing well. Consumer confidence has reached amazing new heights.

All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90, and even 100 percent.

Jobs and investment are pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones, a plan spearheaded by Senator Tim Scott as part of our great Republican tax cuts. In other words, wealthy people and companies are pouring money into poor neighborhoods or areas that have not seen investment in many decades, creating jobs, energy, and excitement. This is the first time that these deserving communities have seen anything like this. It is all working!

Opportunity Zones are helping Americans like Army Veteran Tony Rankins from Cincinnati, Ohio. After struggling with drug addiction, Tony lost his job, his house, and his family — he was homeless. But then Tony found a construction company that invests in Opportunity Zones. He is now a top tradesman, drug-free, reunited with his family, and he is here tonight. Tony: Keep up the great work.

Our roaring economy has, for the first time ever, given many former prisoners the ability to get a great job and a fresh start. This second chance at life is made possible because we passed landmark Criminal Justice Reform into law. Everybody said that Criminal Justice Reform could not be done, but I got it done, and the people in this room got it done.

Thanks to our bold regulatory reduction campaign, the United States has become the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, by far. With the tremendous progress we have made over the past 3 years, America is now energy independent, and energy jobs, like so many elements of our country, are at a record high. We are doing numbers that no one would have thought possible just 3 years ago.

Likewise, we are restoring our Nation’s manufacturing might, even though predictions were that this could never be done. After losing 60,000 factories under the previous two administrations, America has now gained 12,000 new factories under my Administration with thousands upon thousands of plants and factories being planned or built. We have created over half a million new manufacturing jobs. Companies are not leaving; they are coming back. Everybody wants to be where the action is, and the United States of America is, indeed, where the action is.

One of the single biggest promises I made to the American people was to replace the disastrous NAFTA trade deal. In fact, unfair trade is perhaps the single biggest reason that I decided to run for President. Following NAFTA’s adoption, our Nation lost one in four manufacturing jobs. Many politicians came and went, pledging to change or replace NAFTA — only to do absolutely nothing. But unlike so many who came before me, I keep my promises. Six days ago, I replaced NAFTA and signed the brand new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) into law.

The USMCA will create nearly 100,000 new high-paying American auto jobs, and massively boost exports for our farmers, ranchers, and factory workers. It will also bring trade with Mexico and Canada to a much higher degree, but also to a much greater level of fairness and reciprocity. This is the first major trade deal in many years to earn the strong backing of America’s labor unions.

I also promised our citizens that I would impose tariffs to confront China’s massive theft of American jobs. Our strategy worked. Days ago, we signed the groundbreaking new agreement with China that will defend our workers, protect our intellectual property, bring billions of dollars into our treasury, and open vast new markets for products made and grown right here in the United States of America. For decades, China has taken advantage of the United States, now we have changed that but, at the same time, we have perhaps the best relationship we have ever had with China, including with President Xi. They respect what we have done because, quite frankly, they could never believe what they were able to get away with year after year, decade after decade, without someone in our country stepping up and saying: Enough. Now, we want to rebuild our country, and that is what we are doing.

As we restore American leadership throughout the world, we are once again standing up for freedom in our hemisphere. That is why my Administration reversed the failing policies of the previous administration on Cuba. We are supporting the hopes of Cubans, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans to restore democracy. The United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro. Maduro is an illegitimate ruler, a tyrant who brutalizes his people. But Maduro’s grip of tyranny will be smashed and broken. Here this evening is a man who carries with him the hopes, dreams, and aspirations of all Venezuelans. Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate President of Venezuela, Juan Guaidó. Mr. President, please take this message back to your homeland. All Americans are united with the Venezuelan people in their righteous struggle for freedom! Socialism destroys nations. But always remember, freedom unifies the soul.

To safeguard American Liberty, we have invested a record-breaking $2.2 trillion in the United States Military. We have purchased the finest planes, missiles, rockets, ships, and every other form of military equipment — all made in the United States of America. We are also finally getting our allies to help pay their fair share. I have raised contributions from the other NATO members by more than $400 billion, and the number of allies meeting their minimum obligations has more than doubled.

And just weeks ago, for the first time since President Truman established the Air Force more than 70 years earlier, we created a new branch of the United States Armed Forces, the Space Force.

In the gallery tonight, we have one of the Space Force’s youngest potential recruits: 13-year-old Iain Lanphier, an eighth grader from Arizona. Iain has always dreamed of going to space. He was first in his class and among the youngest at an aviation academy. He aspires to go to the Air Force Academy, and then, he has his eye on the Space Force. As Iain says, “most people look up at space, I want to look down on the world.”

Sitting beside Iain tonight is his great hero. Charles McGee was born in Cleveland, Ohio, one century ago. Charles is one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen — the first black fighter pilots — and he also happens to be Iain’s great-grandfather. After more than 130 combat missions in World War II, he came back to a country still struggling for Civil Rights and went on to serve America in Korea and Vietnam. On December 7th, Charles celebrated his 100th birthday. A few weeks ago, I signed a bill promoting Charles McGee to Brigadier General. And earlier today, I pinned the stars on his shoulders in the Oval Office. General McGee: Our Nation salutes you.

From the pilgrims to our Founders, from the soldiers at Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President Lincoln to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Americans have always rejected limits on our children’s future.

Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people. The people are the heart of our country, their dreams are the soul of our country, and their love is what powers and sustains our country. We must always remember that our job is to put America first!

The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Yet, for too long, countless American children have been trapped in failing government schools. To rescue these students, 18 States have created school choice in the form of Opportunity Scholarships. The programs are so popular, that tens of thousands of students remain on waiting lists. One of those students is Janiyah Davis, a fourth grader from Philadelphia. Janiyah’s mom Stephanie is a single parent. She would do anything to give her daughter a better future. But last year, that future was put further out of reach when Pennsylvania’s Governor vetoed legislation to expand school choice for 50,000 children.

Janiyah and Stephanie are in the gallery this evening. But there is more to their story. Janiyah, I am pleased to inform you that your long wait is over. I can proudly announce tonight that an Opportunity Scholarship has become available, it is going to you, and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice!

Now, I call on the Congress to give 1 million American children the same opportunity Janiyah has just received. Pass the Education Freedom Scholarships and Opportunity Act — because no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school.

Every young person should have a safe and secure environment in which to learn and grow. For this reason, our magnificent First Lady has launched the “Be Best” initiative — to advance a safe, healthy, supportive, and drug-free life for the next generation, online, in school, and in our communities. Thank you, Melania, for your extraordinary love and profound care for America’s children.

My Administration is determined to give our citizens the opportunities they need regardless of age or background. Through our Pledge to American Workers, over 400 companies will also provide new jobs and education opportunities to almost 15 million Americans.

My Budget also contains an exciting vision for our Nation’s high schools. Tonight, I ask the Congress to support our students and back my plan to offer vocational and technical education in every single high school in America.

To expand equal opportunity, I am also proud that we achieved record and permanent funding for our Nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A good life for American families also requires the most affordable, innovative, and high-quality healthcare system on Earth. Before I took office, health insurance premiums had more than doubled in just 5 years. I moved quickly to provide affordable alternatives. Our new plans are up to 60 percent less expensive. I have also made an ironclad pledge to American families: We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions — that is a guarantee. And we will always protect your Medicare and your Social Security.

The American patient should never be blindsided by medical bills. That is why I signed an Executive Order requiring price transparency. Many experts believe that transparency, which will go into full effect at the beginning of next year, will be even bigger than healthcare reform. It will save families massive amounts of money for substantially better care.

But as we work to improve Americans’ healthcare, there are those who want to take away your healthcare, take away your doctor, and abolish private insurance entirely. One hundred thirty-two lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our healthcare system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million Americans. To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know: We will never let socialism destroy American healthcare!

Over 130 legislators in this chamber have endorsed legislation that would bankrupt our Nation by providing free taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens, forcing taxpayers to subsidize free care for anyone in the world who unlawfully crosses our borders. These proposals would raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration. This is what is happening in California and other States — their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money. If forcing American taxpayers to provide unlimited free healthcare to illegal aliens sounds fair to you, then stand with the radical left. But if you believe that we should defend American patients and American seniors, then stand with me and pass legislation to prohibit free Government healthcare for illegal aliens!

This will be a tremendous boon to our already very-strongly guarded southern border where, as we speak, a long, tall, and very powerful wall is being built. We have now completed over 100 miles and will have over 500 miles fully completed by early next year.

My Administration is also taking on the big pharmaceutical companies. We have approved a record number of affordable generic drugs, and medicines are being approved by the FDA at a faster clip than ever before. I was pleased to announce last year that, for the first time in 51 years, the cost of prescription drugs actually went down.

And working together, the Congress can reduce drug prices substantially from current levels. I have been speaking to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done properly. I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices. Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.

With unyielding commitment, we are curbing the opioid epidemic — drug overdose deaths declined for the first time in nearly 30 years. Among the States hardest hit, Ohio is down 22 percent, Pennsylvania is down 18 percent, Wisconsin is down 10 percent — and we will not quit until we have beaten the opioid epidemic once and for all.

Protecting Americans’ health also means fighting infectious diseases. We are coordinating with the Chinese government and working closely together on the Coronavirus outbreak in China. My Administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.

We have launched ambitious new initiatives to substantially improve care for Americans with kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, and those struggling with mental health challenges. And because the Congress funded my request, we are pursuing new cures for childhood cancer, and we will eradicate the AIDS epidemic in America by the end of the decade.

Almost every American family knows the pain when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious illness. Here tonight is a special man, someone beloved by millions of Americans who just received a Stage 4 advanced cancer diagnosis. This is not good news, but what is good news is that he is the greatest fighter and winner that you will ever meet. Rush Limbaugh: Thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our Nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire, and all of the incredible work that you have done for charity, I am proud to announce tonight that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I will now ask the First Lady of the United States to please stand and present you with the honor. Rush, Kathryn, congratulations!

As we pray for all who are sick, we know that America is constantly achieving new medical breakthroughs. In 2017, doctors at St. Luke’s hospital in Kansas City delivered one of the earliest premature babies ever to survive. Born at just 21 weeks and 6 days, and weighing less than a pound, Ellie Schneider was born a fighter. Through the skill of her doctors — and the prayers of her parents — little Ellie kept on winning the battle for life. Today, Ellie is a strong, healthy 2-year-old girl sitting with her amazing mother Robin in the gallery. Ellie and Robin: We are so glad you are here.

Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life. Thanks to modern medical wonders, 50 percent of very premature babies delivered at the hospital where Ellie was born now survive. Our goal should be to ensure that every baby has the best chance to thrive and grow just like Ellie. That is why I am asking the Congress to provide an additional $50 million to fund neo-natal research for America’s youngest patients. That is also why I am calling upon the Members of Congress here tonight to pass legislation finally banning the late-term abortion of babies.

Whether we are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, surely we must all agree that every human life is a sacred gift from God!

As we support America’s moms and dads, I was recently proud to sign the law providing new parents in the Federal workforce paid family leave, serving as a model for the rest of the country. Now, I call on the Congress to pass the bipartisan Advancing Support for Working Families Act, extending family leave to mothers and fathers all across the Nation.

Forty million American families have an average $2,200 extra thanks to our child tax credit. I have also overseen historic funding increases for high-quality child care, enabling 17 States to serve more children, many of which have reduced or eliminated their waitlists altogether. And I sent the Congress a plan with a vision to further expand access to high-quality childcare and urge you to act immediately.

To protect the environment, days ago, I announced that the United States will join the One Trillion Trees Initiative, an ambitious effort to bring together Government and the private sector to plant new trees in America and around the world.

We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure. I ask you to pass Senator Barrasso’s highway bill — to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels across our land.

I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including rural America.

A better tomorrow for all Americans also requires us to keep America safe. That means supporting the men and women of law enforcement at every level, including our Nation’s heroic ICE officers.

Last year, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 120,000 criminal aliens charged with nearly 10,000 burglaries, 5,000 sexual assaults, 45,000 violent assaults, and 2,000 murders.

Tragically, there are many cities in America where radical politicians have chosen to provide sanctuary for these criminal illegal aliens. In Sanctuary Cities, local officials order police to release dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public, instead of handing them over to ICE to be safely removed.

Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the Sanctuary City of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman. The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.

The State of California passed an outrageous law declaring their whole State to be a sanctuary for criminal illegal immigrants — with catastrophic results.

Here is just one tragic example. In December 2018, California police detained an illegal alien with five prior arrests, including convictions for robbery and assault. But as required by California’s Sanctuary Law, local authorities released him.

Days later, the criminal alien went on a gruesome spree of deadly violence. He viciously shot one man going about his daily work; he approached a woman sitting in her car and shot her in the arm and the chest. He walked into a convenience store and wildly fired his weapon. He hijacked a truck and smashed into vehicles, critically injuring innocent victims. One of the victims of his bloody rampage was a 51-year-old American named Rocky Jones. Rocky was at a gas station when this vile criminal fired eight bullets at him from close range, murdering him in cold blood. Rocky left behind a devoted family, including his brothers who loved him more than anything. One of his grieving brothers is here with us tonight. Jody, would you please stand? Jody, our hearts weep for your loss — and we will not rest until you have justice.

Senator Thom Tillis has introduced legislation to allow Americans like Jody to sue Sanctuary Cities and States when a loved one is hurt or killed as a result of these deadly policies. I ask the Congress to pass the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act immediately. The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law-abiding Americans — not criminal aliens!

In the last 3 years, ICE has arrested over 5,000 wicked human traffickers — and I have signed 9 pieces of legislation to stamp out the menace of human trafficking, domestically and around the globe.

My Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the United States.

Before I came into office, if you showed up illegally on our southern border and were arrested, you were simply released and allowed into our country, never to be seen again. My Administration has ended Catch-and-Release. If you come illegally, you will now be promptly removed. We entered into historic cooperation agreements with the Governments of Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. As a result of our unprecedented efforts, illegal crossings are down 75 percent since May — dropping 8 straight months in a row. And as the wall goes up, drug seizures rise, and border crossings go down.

Last year, I traveled to the border in Texas and met Chief Patrol Agent Raul Ortiz. Over the last 24 months, Agent Ortiz and his team have seized more than 200,000 pounds of poisonous narcotics, arrested more than 3,000 human smugglers, and rescued more than 2,000 migrants. Days ago, Agent Ortiz was promoted to Deputy Chief of Border Patrol — and he joins us tonight. Chief Ortiz: Please stand — a grateful Nation thanks you and all the heroes of Border Patrol.

To build on these historic gains, we are working on legislation to replace our outdated and randomized immigration system with one based on merit, welcoming those who follow the rules, contribute to our economy, support themselves financially, and uphold our values.

With every action, my Administration is restoring the rule of law and re-asserting the culture of American freedom. Working with Senate Majority Leader McConnell and his colleagues in the Senate, we have confirmed a record number of 187 new Federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written. This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court Justices, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.

My Administration is also defending religious liberty, and that includes the Constitutional right to pray in public schools. In America, we do not punish prayer. We do not tear down crosses. We do not ban symbols of faith. We do not muzzle preachers and pastors. In America, we celebrate faith. We cherish religion. We lift our voices in prayer, and we raise our sights to the Glory of God!

Just as we believe in the First Amendment, we also believe in another Constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. So long as I am President I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

In reaffirming our heritage as a free Nation, we must remember that America has always been a frontier nation. Now we must embrace the next frontier, America’s manifest destiny in the stars. I am asking the Congress to fully fund the Artemis program to ensure that the next man and the first woman on the moon will be American astronauts — using this as a launching pad to ensure that America is the first nation to plant its flag on Mars.

My Administration is also strongly defending our national security and combating radical Islamic terrorism. Last week, I announced a groundbreaking plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Recognizing that all past attempts have failed, we must be determined and creative in order to stabilize the region and give millions of young people the change to realize a better future.

Three years ago, the barbarians of ISIS held over 20,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria. Today, the ISIS territorial caliphate has been 100 percent destroyed, and the founder and leader of ISIS — the bloodthirsty killer Al‑Baghdadi — is dead!

We are joined this evening by Carl and Marsha Mueller. After graduating from college, their beautiful daughter Kayla became a humanitarian aid worker. Kayla once wrote, “Some people find God in church. Some people find God in nature. Some people find God in love; I find God in suffering. I’ve known for some time what my life’s work is, using my hands as tools to relieve suffering.” In 2013, while caring for suffering civilians in Syria, Kayla was kidnapped, tortured, and enslaved by ISIS, and kept as a prisoner of Al-Baghdadi himself. After more than 500 horrifying days of captivity, Al-Baghdadi murdered young Kayla. She was just 26 years old.

On the night that United States Special Forces Operators ended Al‑Baghdadi’s miserable life, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, received a call in the Situation Room. He was told that the brave men of the elite Special Forces team, that so perfectly carried out the operation, had given their mission a name — “Task Force 8-14.” It was a reference to a special day: August 14th — Kayla’s birthday. Carl and Marsha, America’s warriors never forgot Kayla — and neither will we.

Every day, America’s men and women in uniform demonstrate the infinite depths of love that dwells in the human heart.

One of these American heroes was Army Staff Sergeant Christopher Hake. On his second deployment to Iraq in 2008, Sergeant Hake wrote a letter to his 1-year-old son, Gage: “I will be with you again,” he wrote to Gage. “I will teach you to ride your first bike, build your first sand box, watch you play sports and see you have kids also. I love you son, take care of your mother. I am always with you. Dad.” On Easter Sunday of 2008, Chris was out on patrol in Baghdad when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb. That night, he made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Sergeant Hake now rests in eternal glory in Arlington, and his wife Kelli is in the gallery tonight, joined by their son, who is now 13 years old. To Kelli and Gage: Chris will live in our hearts forever.

The terrorist responsible for killing Sergeant Hake was Qasem Soleimani, who provided the deadly roadside bomb that took Chris’s life. Soleimani was the Iranian Regime’s most ruthless butcher, a monster who murdered or wounded thousands of American service members in Iraq. As the world’s top terrorist, Soleimani orchestrated the deaths of countless men, women, and children. He directed the December assault on United States Forces in Iraq, and was actively planning new attacks. That is why, last month, at my direction, the United States Military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Soleimani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever.

Our message to the terrorists is clear: You will never escape American justice. If you attack our citizens, you forfeit your life!

In recent months, we have seen proud Iranians raise their voices against their oppressive rulers. The Iranian regime must abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons, stop spreading terror, death, and destruction, and start working for the good of its own people. Because of our powerful sanctions, the Iranian economy is doing very poorly. We can help them make it very good in a short period of time, but perhaps they are too proud or too foolish to ask for that help. We are here. Let’s see which road they choose. It is totally up to them.

As we defend American lives, we are working to end America’s wars in the Middle East.

In Afghanistan, the determination and valor of our warfighters has allowed us to make tremendous progress, and peace talks are underway. I am not looking to kill hundreds of thousands of people in Afghanistan, many of them innocent. It is also not our function to serve other nations as a law enforcement agency. These are warfighters, the best in the world, and they either want to fight to win or not fight at all. We are working to finally end America’s longest war and bring our troops back home!

War places a heavy burden on our Nation’s extraordinary military families, especially spouses like Amy Williams from Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and her 2 children — 6-year-old Elliana and 3-year-old Rowan. Amy works full time, and volunteers countless hours helping other military families. For the past 7 months, she has done it all while her husband, Sergeant First Class Townsend Williams, is in Afghanistan on his fourth deployment to the Middle East. Amy’s kids have not seen their father’s face in many months. Amy, your family’s sacrifice makes it possible for all of our families to live in safety and peace — we thank you.

As the world bears witness tonight, America is a land of heroes. This is the place where greatness is born, where destinies are forged, and where legends come to life. This is the home of Thomas Edison and Teddy Roosevelt, of many great Generals, including Washington, Pershing, Patton, and MacArthur. This is the home of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Tubman, the Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, and so many more. This is the country where children learn names like Wyatt Earp, Davy Crockett, and Annie Oakley. This is the place where the pilgrims landed at Plymouth and where Texas patriots made their last stand at the Alamo.

The American Nation was carved out of the vast frontier by the toughest, strongest, fiercest, and most determined men and women ever to walk the face of the Earth. Our ancestors braved the unknown; tamed the wilderness; settled the Wild West; lifted millions from poverty, disease, and hunger; vanquished tyranny and fascism; ushered the world to new heights of science and medicine; laid down the railroads, dug out canals, raised up the skyscrapers — and, ladies and gentlemen, our ancestors built the most exceptional Republic ever to exist in all of human history. And we are making it greater than ever before!

This is our glorious and magnificent inheritance.

We are Americans. We are the pioneers. We are the pathfinders. We settled the new world, we built the modern world, and we changed history forever by embracing the eternal truth that everyone is made equal by the hand of Almighty God.

America is the place where anything can happen! America is the place where anyone can rise. And here, on this land, on this soil, on this continent, the most incredible dreams come true!

This Nation is our canvas, and this country is our masterpiece. We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored. Our brightest discoveries are not yet known. Our most thrilling stories are not yet told. Our grandest journeys are not yet made. The American Age, the American Epic, the American Adventure, has only just begun!

Our spirit is still young; the sun is still rising; God’s grace is still shining; and my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come!

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless America.

© All rights reserved.

8 Highlights of Closing Arguments Before the Final Impeachment Vote

House Democrats’ impeachment managers and President Donald Trump’s lawyers made their closing cases Monday to the Senate, two days before the 100 lawmakers are scheduled to vote on whether to remove the president from office.

The day included a proposal from one Senate Democrat to censure the president rather than remove him, and the lead House prosecutor’s dire warning that Trump could give Alaska to the Russians and place his son-in-law in charge of the country.

After the House prosecutors and defense lawyers wrapped up, senators spoke from the floor. They are expected to continue doing so Wednesday after a break Tuesday in the runup to Trump’s delivery of his third State of the Union address.

Here are eight of Monday’s highlights:


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


1. ‘Censure Would Allow This Body to Unite’

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a centrist Democrat, said he is undecided but urged fellow senators to support a bipartisan resolution censuring Trump for his actions toward Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

“It was not a ‘perfect call.’ A newly elected president, Zelenskyy, with no experience in international politics, gets a call from the leader of the free world asking for a favor relating to U.S. domestic political affairs,” Manchin said.

“No one, no one, regardless of political party, should think what he did was right,” Manchin said. “It was just simply wrong.”

Manchin pressed censure, an idea that has surfaced before, as the only reasonable path, given that the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate, or 67 votes, to convict and remove a president.

“I see no path to the 67 votes,” Manchin said. “However, I do believe a bipartisan majority of this body would vote to censure President Trump for his actions in this matter. Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines.”

A bipartisan censure could ease the polarization in the country, he said.

“Never before in the history of our republic has there been a purely partisan impeachment vote [against] a president,” Manchin said. “Removing this president at this time would not only further divide our deeply divided nation, but also further poison our already-toxic political atmosphere.”

2. ‘Rush to Judgment’

One of the president’s lawyers, Ken Starr, invoked Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. in making an argument for justice on behalf of Trump’s acquittal.

“Dr. King spoke not only about freedom, freedom standing alone. He spoke frequently about freedom and justice,” Starr told senators.

Starr went on to criticize the impeachment process followed in the House.

“Did the [House] Judiciary Committee rush to judgment in fashioning the articles of impeachment?” he asked. “Did it carefully gather the facts [and] assess the facts before it concluded we need nothing more than a panel of very distinguished professors and the splendid presentations by both the majority counsel and the minority counsel?”

Starr then spoke as if he were the House’s Democratic majority.

“We asked some questions. The Republicans asked some questions. We heard their answers. We’re ready to vote,” he said, framing the Democrats’ actions. “We are ready to try this case in the high court of impeachment.”

“What was being said in the sounds of silence was this: We don’t have time to follow the rules.”

In House impeachment inquiries targeting Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, lawyers for those presidents had the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and the minority party was able to call witnesses—both part of House impeachment rules.

“Oh, yes, that is expressly provided for in the rules. We’ll break those rules,” Starr said, mimicking Democrats.

He added: “That’s not liberty and justice for all.”

Starr, who as independent counsel played a key role in the unpopular impeachment of Clinton in 1998, talked about the completely partisan aspect of the current impeachment:

In the fast-track impeachment process in the House of Representatives, did the House majority persuade the American people? Not just partisans?

Rather, did the House’s case win over the overwhelming consensus of the American people? The question fairly to be asked: Will I cast my vote to convict and remove the president of the United States when not a single member of the president’s party—the party of Lincoln—was persuaded at any time in the process?

In contrast, when I was here last week, I noted for the record of these proceedings that in the Nixon impeachment, the House vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry was 410-4. And the Clinton impeachment, divisive, controversial, 31 Democrats voted in favor of the impeachment inquiry. Here, of course, [in] a sharp contrast, the answer is none [from the other party].

Moreover, Starr contended, Democrats’ push to remove Trump undermined the rights of voters.

“Your vote in the last election is hereby declared null and void, and by the way, we are not going to allow you—the American people—to sit in judgment on this president and his record in November,” Starr said. “That is neither freedom nor is it justice. It certainly is not consistent with our most basic freedom of ‘We the People’ and the freedom to vote.”

3. ‘Trump Could Offer Alaska to the Russians’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who has led the House managers in their prosecution, scoffed at defense arguments that a crime is required for impeachment.

During the impeachment process, Schiff became known for what he defended as a parody in mischaracterizing the July 25 phone call and for offering scenarios such as former President Barack Obama seeking Russian dirt on his 2012 opponent Mitt Romney, now a Utah senator.

During the closing argument, he presented another couple of far-fetched scenarios that could occur if Trump isn’t removed from office.

“If abuse of power is not impeachable, even though it’s clear the Founders considered it the highest of all high crimes and misdemeanors, but if it were not impeachable, then a whole range of utterly unacceptable conduct in a president would now be beyond reach,” Schiff said, adding:

Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election or decided to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and let [son-in-law] Jared Kushner run the country, delegating to him the decision about whether to go to war.

Because those things are not necessarily criminal, this argument would allow that he could not be impeached for such abuses of power. Of course this would be absurd. More than absurd, it would be dangerous.

4. ‘Enough to Prove Extortion’

Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., a former Orlando police chief, said Trump was clearly guilty of extortion.

The House’s two articles of impeachment against the president do not allege a crime, or any specific violation of the law, which extortion would be.

House Democrats voted Dec. 18, without a single Republican vote, to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They based the two articles of impeachment on Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukraine’s Zelenskyy and the president’s refusal to allow certain executive branch witnesses or provide certain documents for House hearings.

According to a White House transcript of the Trump-Zelenskyy call, released by the president, the two leaders briefly talked about Trump’s interest in Ukraine’s investigating former Vice President Joe Biden’s dealings there and the role of his son, Hunter Biden, on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

Trump also asked Zelenskyy to look into whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

Zelenskyy apparently did not know at the time that Trump had put a hold on $391 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine to help it counter Russia’s invasion. Trump would release the funds in September.

House Democrats allege that Trump withheld the military aid to pressure Zelenskyy into initiating politically motivated investigations.

Demings said she was skeptical of the Trump defense team’s assertion that Ukraine’s government did not know the president had put a hold on U.S. military aid until it was publicly reported Aug. 28 by Politico.

Nevertheless, she noted, the Ukrainian government was aware before a United Nations General Assembly meeting in September, when Zelenskyy was expected to use a CNN interview to announce investigations of the Bidens’ connections with Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in a U.S. election.

“No one can dispute, even after the hold became public … on Aug. 28, President Trump’s representatives continued their efforts to secure Ukraine’s announcement of the investigations,” Demings said. “This is enough to prove extortion in court. It is certainly enough to prove it here.”

During the course of the Senate trial, House Democrats also have raised the issue of Trump’s attempting to violate campaign finance laws if the investigations are seen as things of value, as well as a Government Accountability Office report finding that Trump violated a specific federal law in holding the aid to Ukraine.

Neither was included in the two articles of impeachment.

Demings said that reported allegations in a forthcoming book by Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, that Trump pushed him to work on Ukraine with the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was further evidence of a crime.

“Reports about Ambassador Bolton’s account, soon to be available if not to this body, then to bookstores near you, [say] the president also unsuccessfully tried to get Bolton to call the new Ukrainian president to ensure he would meet with Giuliani,” Demings said, adding:

The desire for Ukraine to announce these phony investigations was for a clear and corrupt reason because President Trump wanted the political benefit of a foreign country announcing it would investigate his rival. That is how we know without a doubt that the object of the president’s scheme was to benefit his reelection campaign. In other words, to cheat in the next election.

What Demings called “phony investigations” were of matters widely reported before Giuliani got involved in inquiries on Trump’s behalf.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and other news outlets published stories well in advance of Giuliani’s inquiries about a potential conflict of interest regarding Hunter Biden’s role on the board of Ukraine energy company Burisma from 2014 to 2019, which reportedly paid him $83,000 per month.

Politico reported in 2017 about efforts by Ukrainian officials to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic rival.

5. Invoking Barry Goldwater

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., one of the seven House impeachment managers, talked about the effort by then-Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., to persuade Nixon to resign over the Watergate scandal.

“In May of 1974, Barry Goldwater and other Republican congressional leaders went to the White House to tell President Nixon it was time for him to resign, that they could no longer hold back the tide of impeachment over Watergate,” Crow said.

Nixon, who was more liberal than Goldwater, resigned that August, months after the Arizona Republican pressed him to do so.

“Contrary to popular belief, the Republican Party did not abandon Nixon as the Watergate scandal came to light. It took years of disclosures and crisis and court battles,” said Crow, a former Army Ranger. “The party stood with Nixon through Watergate because he was a popular conservative president and his base was with him. So, they were too. But ultimately, as Goldwater would tell Nixon: ‘There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many.’”

In fact, that quote is attributed to Goldwater in discussions with other Senate Republicans, not in a meeting with Nixon.

6. ‘Cheapened Awesome Power of Impeachment’

Trump personal lawyer Jay Sekulow played a video of just over one minute showing numerous Democrats, going back to Jan. 15, 2017—five days before Trump was inaugurated—giving speeches and interviews calling for his impeachment.

They included Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who said “I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected,” and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who said, “We’re going to impeach the motherf—–.”

“One of the members of the House of Representatives said we’re bringing these articles of impeachment so he doesn’t get elected again. Here we are 10 months before an election doing exactly what they predicted,” Sekulow said, adding:

The whistleblower’s lawyer, Mr. [Mark] Zaid, sent out a tweet on Jan. 30, 2017—let me put that up on the screen: ‘The coup has started. First of many steps. Rebellion. Impeachment will follow ultimately.’ And here we are.

What the House managers have forced upon this great body is unprecedented and unacceptable. This is exactly and precisely what the Founders feared. This is the first totally partisan presidential impeachment in our nation’s history, and it should be our last. What the House Democrats have done to this nation, to the Constitution, to the office of the president, to the president himself, and to this body is outrageous. They have cheapened the awesome power of impeachment. Unfortunately, the country is not better for that.

7. ‘Lives Have Been Put at Risk’

Schiff said his staffers have faced death threats for their work on the case.

“I want to say something about the staff who have worked tirelessly on the impeachment inquiry for months now,” Schiff said. “There is a small army of public servants down the hall from this chamber in offices throughout the House and, yes, in that windowless bunker in the Capitol, who have committed their lives to this effort, because they, like the managers and the American people, believe that a president free of accountability is a danger to the beating heart of our democracy.”

Schiff named more than 20 staffers, including Sean Misko, who reportedly was closely associated with the anonymous whistleblower who complained about the Trump-Zelenskyy phone call.

“Some of those staff, including some singled out in this chamber, have been made to endure the most vicious, false attacks to the point where they fear their lives have been put at risk,” Schiff said.

The California Democrat called for senators to vote to remove Trump from office, which under the Constitution requires the votes of 67 of the 100 senators.

“He has betrayed our national security and he will do so again. He has compromised our elections and he will do so again,” Schiff said, adding: “Truth matters little to him. What’s right matters even less, and decency matters not at all.”

8. ‘Overturn’ and ‘Interfere‘

White House counsel Pat Cipollone opened the defense’s closing argument, stating that the Democrats were attempting to undermine two presidential elections, one in 2016 and one in 2020.

“The key conclusion, we believe the only conclusion, based on the articles of impeachment themselves, and the Constitution, is that you must vote to acquit the president,” Cipollone told senators. “At the end of the day, this is an effort to overturn the results of one election and to try to interfere in the coming election that begins today in Iowa.”

Cipollone stressed an important standard for impeachment.

“We believe that the only proper result—if we are applying the golden rule of impeachment, if we are applying the rules of impeachment that were so eloquently [described] by members of the Democratic Party the last time we were here—the only appropropriate result here is to acquit the president and to leave it to the voters to choose their president,” he said.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

RELATED ARTICLE: What to Expect in Trump’s State of the Union Address

Other coverage of the impeachment trial for The Daily Signal by White House correspondent Fred Lucas includes:

4 Big Moments Before the Senate’s Vote Against New Impeachment Witnesses

7 Questions and Answers From Day 9 of Trump Impeachment Trial

6 Scenes From Day 8 of Trump Impeachment Trial

‘Danger, Danger, Danger’: 4 Highlights From Final Day of Defense Arguments in Impeachment Trial

Under Bolton Shadow, 6 Big Moments From Day 6 of Trump Impeachment Trial

5 Big Points by Trump’s Lawyers as Defense Opens in Impeachment Trial

7 Big Moments in Democrats’ Final Arguments to Remove Trump

7 Highlights From Day 3 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

5 Flash Points From Impeachment Trial’s Opening Arguments

What to Know About Democrats’ 7 Impeachment Managers


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEOS: President Trump’s Super Bowl Interview plus 2 Trump 2020 Superbowl Ads

The following videos are of the full interview of President Donald J. Trump during the Super Bowl followed by the Trump 2020 ads.

Trump Super Bowl Interview with Sean Hannity

Trump Super Bowl Ad – 1

Trump Super Bowl Ad – 2

© All rights reserved.

Harvard professor’s arrest shows Chinese spying via U.S. universities

Espionage against America’s universities surfaced again when the FBI arrested a prominent Harvard professor as an alleged part of a Communist Chinese spy operation.

The recent arrests of Harvard Professor Charles Lieber, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army officer, and a second Chinese national in Boston, show that Beijing – among others – uses American academic institutions to steal technology and more.

Some professors seem perfectly willing to collaborate with the Chinese Communist Party.

The FBI arrested Lieber, hairman of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department and prosecutors charged “two Chinese nationals” with being “in connection with aiding the People’s Republic of China,” according to the Justice Department.

Lieber was initially “charged by criminal complaint with one count of making a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement.” Such a charge is usually a placeholder while prosecutors prepare far more serious national security charges.

Lieber is a prominent nanoscientist who received more than $15,000,000 in Pentagon and National Institutes of Health contracts. Harvard said Lieber had an academic rank “bestowed on only the most eminent scholars.”

Professor Lieber allegedly had a secret arrangement with a Communist Chinese institution designed to recruit top Western science and technology talent, and was part of a research program in Wuhan, China, site of the recent outbreak of Wuhan corona virus.

Two Chinese alleged spies at Boston University & Harvard-affiiated hospital

Federal prosecutors charged Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officer Yanqing Ye, and Chinese national Zaosong Zheng, the same day.

Ye, who escaped to China, is a Chinese Communist Party member who studied at Boston University’s Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biomedical Engineering from 2017 to 2019, “completing numerous assignments from PLA officers” and “sending US documents and information to China,” according to the Justice Department.

Ye’s electronic devices revealed that the officer was associated with China’s National University of Defense Technology and was being run in Boston by an un-named PLA colonel.

Under the direction of that colonel, “Ye had accessed US military websites, researched US military projects and compiled information for the PLA on two US scientists with expertise in robotics and computer science,” the Justice Department said.

The third suspected spy, Zheng, had been a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, from 2018-19. He was arrested in December at Logan Airport and “charged by criminal complaint with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research to China.”

Federal allegations against the Harvard professor include secret work with Wuhan facility

Communist China has targeted the American biotech research sector since the 1990s, the US China Economic and Security Review Commission reported last year.

Professor Lieber appears to have been part of that intelligence operation. The Justice Department laid out its case against the Harvard professor (emphasis added):

“According to court documents, since 2008, Dr. Lieber who has served as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University, which specialized in the area of nanoscience, has received more than $15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD).  These grants require the disclosure of significant foreign financial conflicts of interest, including financial support from foreign governments or foreign entities.

Unbeknownst to Harvard University beginning in 2011, Lieber became a ‘Strategic Scientist’ at Wuhan University of Technology (WUT) in China and was a contractual participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan from in or about 2012 to 2017.  China’s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese Talent recruit plans that are designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity and national security.

“These talent programs seek to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China and reward individuals for stealing proprietary information.

“Under the terms of Lieber’s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT paid Lieber $50,000 USD per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately $158,000 USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT.  In return, Lieber was obligated to work for WUT ‘not less than nine months a year’ by ‘declaring international cooperation projects, cultivating young teachers and Ph.D. students, organizing international conference[s], applying for patents and publishing articles in the name of’ WUT.

“The complaint alleges that in 2018 and 2019, Lieber lied about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Plan and affiliation with WUT.  On or about, April 24, 2018, during an interview with investigators, Lieber stated that he was never asked to participate in the Thousand Talents Program, but he “wasn’t sure” how China categorized him.  In November 2018, NIH inquired of Harvard whether Lieber had failed to disclose his then-suspected relationship with WUT and China’s Thousand Talents Plan.  Lieber caused Harvard to falsely tell NIH that Lieber ‘had no formal association with WUT’ after 2012, that ‘WUT continued to falsely exaggerate’ his involvement with WUT in subsequent years, and that Lieber ‘is not and has never been a participant in’ China’s Thousand Talents Plan.”

Critics imply FBI targeting of Chinese spies is racist

The Chinese government has been exploiting Western supersensitivities about racism to its espionage advantage through its “overseas ‘united front’ work,” while careless language on the part of non-ethnic Chinese about “Chinese spies” can sow defensiveness and divisiveness that Beijing can exploit again. The US China Economic and Security Review Commission warned about Communist China’s manipulation of real and imagined “racist” sensitivities in a 2018 report.

Some American news organizations echoed Beijing’s active measures theme. “The US is Purging Chinese Cancer Researchers From Top Institutions,” a Bloomberg Businessweek headline screamed in June, 2019.

Harvard and other colleges like having students from Mainland China, as the parents or proxies usually pay full tuition in cash. Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s daughter, Xi Mingze, reportedly graduated from Harvard and returned in 2019 to resume her studies there.

Harvard’s JFK school offered fellowship to espionage convict

Harvard has shown a permissive attitude toward spies and those who release classified information.

The Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government – the nation’s most prestigious graduate school for future diplomats, intelligence officers, and other public officials – extended convicted spy Bradley “Chelsea” Manning a visiting fellowship in 2017. Manning, who was convicted of six counts of espionage for releasing 700,000 classified defense and intelligence documents, received a pardon from president Barack Obama.

Harvard withdrew its offer to Manning only after former CIA director Michael Morell, a senior fellow at the JFK School, resigned in protest.

“Unfortunately, I cannot be part of an organization — the Kennedy School — that honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information, Ms. Chelsea Manning, by inviting her to be a Visiting Fellow at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics,” Morell said in a letter to the Harvard dean.

“Ms. Manning was found guilty of 17 serious crimes, including six counts of espionage, for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, an entity that CIA Director Mike Pompeo says operates like an adversarial foreign intelligence service,” Morell told Harvard.

After Morell’s public resignation, Harvard withdrew its invitation to Manning and called the offer a “mistake.”

However, JFK School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorff publicly apologized to Manning, and invited the convicted spy to visit Harvard for a day to speak at the school’s prestigious John F. Kennedy, Jr. Forum.

“I apologize to [Manning] and to the many concerned people from whom I have heard today for not recognizing upfront the full implications of our original invitation,” Elmendorf told the Washington Post.

About J Michael Waller

J. Michael Waller is Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center for Security Policy. His areas of concentration are propaganda, political warfare, psychological warfare, and subversion.

Dr. Waller is the former Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor of International Communication at the Institute of World Politics, a graduate school in Washington, DC.

A former instructor with the Naval Postgraduate School, he is an instructor/lecturer at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.

He is a founding editorial board member of NATO’s  Defence Strategic Communications journal.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the George Washington University, was the first John M. Olin Fellow at the Center for Defense Journalism at Boston University, where he received his Master’s in international relations and communication; and holds a PhD in international security affairs from Boston University, where he was an Earhart Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy under Professor Uri Ra’anan.

An adaptation of his doctoral dissertation was published as Secret Empire: The KGB In Russia Today (Westview, 1994), in which he warned of the rise of a KGB-gangster state in Russia and predicted the rise of a KGB officer to control Russia.

View all posts by J Michael Waller

RELATED ARTICLES:

Understanding the deal of the century from a Muslim perspective

Fleitz to Newsmax TV: You can’t impeach on ‘thought crime’

Did Wuhan coronavirus escape from a lab in China?

The “Deal of the Century”: The first viable peace plan

Fleitz: Ambassador Bolton, withdraw your book

EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

TENNESSEE: Lawmaker Floats Resolution Branding CNN, Washington Post ‘FAKE NEWS’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Tennessee’s Republican State Rep. Micah Van Huss proposed legislation to recognize CNN and The Washington Post as “fake news.”

His resolution calls both CNN and The Washington Post “part of the media wing of the Democratic Party.” The text also “condemns” the media outlets for “denigrating our citizens and implying that they are weak-minded followers instead of people exercising their rights that our veterans paid for with their blood.”

“I’ve filed HJR 779 on behalf of a constituency that’s tired of fake news and Republicans who don’t fight,” Rep. Van Huss explained on his Facebook page.

The resolution recalls incidents at both news outlets where a host or editor referred to supporters of President Donald Trump as “belonging to a cult” or “cult-like.”

“To describe the entire Republican Party as a cult led by President Trump is problematic,” reads a portion of the resolution. “If journalists are going to refer to the party as a cult and its supporters as cultists, they must define what ‘cult’ means; otherwise, they are assuming that a cult is some obvious phenomenon and everyone knows what the word means.”

The segment generated a flood of responses on social media. Van Huss’ bill falls on the heels of a recent CNN segment, during which anchor Don Lemon, author Wajahat Ali and Republican political strategist Rick Wilson mocked President Trump — suggesting he is unable to find Ukraine on a map — and describing Trump supporters as “the credulous Boomer rube demo.”

President Trump fired back, tweeting: “Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!)”

Author and columnist Mark Steyn blasted CNN for mocking Trump supporters saying the CNN panel should relabel themselves “Trump’s re-election committee,” adding, “If you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump.”

“Calling 63 million voters illiterate rubes” represents the height of “bipartisan establishment condescension,” Steyn added.

Examples of CNN’s and The Washington Post’s demonstrably false reporting are legion.

In 2017, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju falsely reported that Donald Trump Jr. was offered advanced access to the WikiLeaks e-mail archive.

CNN falsely reported in 2017 that fired White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was under federal investigation for meeting with a Russian banker prior to President Trump’s inauguration. CNN eventually apologized for its false story after Scaramucci vehemently denied its contents.

When I was a kid, you’d turn on the news to see what was going on, and now, of course, we’ve gotten into premium politics.Tweet

In 2018, CNN also reported that President Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, was prepared to tell then-special counsel Robert Mueller that the president had advance knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, and others.

The Washington Post ran a nearly 2,000-word story in 2018 alleging the Trump administration was systematically denying passports to Latin-Americans along the border, accusing them of using fraudulent birth certificates.

CNN and The Washington Post later amended the stories but not until after damage had been done and confusion created.

“News organizations used to report the news,” Rep. Van Huss said. “I remember when I was a kid, you’d turn on the news to see what was going on, and now, of course, we’ve gotten into premium politics.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Child sex trafficking prevention is being undercut by ‘the squad’, elements of the Democrat Party [and some anti-Trump Republicans]

We received the following comments and video below in an email from one of our readers:

Please watch this video and then send it  to your Church leaders, including my comment that this  greatly enhanced prevention activity is another effort by Donald Trump that  does not get any recognition from the Democrats nor from MITT  ROMNEY.

Romney’s actions in fact,  have undercut the activities of these US  enforcement organizations. The whole pandemonium over separating children from their families was generated by the efforts  of ICE,  Homeland Security, etc. to rescue kidnapped children who were being introduced into the sex trade. The pictures, widely distributed by the Democrats  and the left-wing media, of children in “cages” were taken during the Obama administration and  deceptively used in order to attack the Donald Trump administration.

Many of these child sex activists receive an active defense from George Soros funded organizations. Further, many George Soros organizations are very active in Ukraine under the guise of “good government” and of “reform”.   Unfortunately, former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, allied herself with, and partially financed some of these Soros  operations  before she was told by her State Department superiors to  stop utilizing US federal resources for these activities. Whether Yovanovitch, did this innocently or with guilty knowledge would have been established  had the Republicans and/or the presidents legal staff been  permitted by Adam Schiff to cross-examine her. Since Adam Schiff has  a significant amount of  George Soros  funding  in his history,  this might have been the reason that Adam Schiff would not permit any questioning of his selected hearsay “witnesses”

© All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: New Documentary Highlights The Direct Link Between Abortion And Human Trafficking

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ARIZONA: Al-Qaeda jihadi accused of killing Iraqi police found living in Phoenix

Remember, anyone who calls for immigration reform or who points out that immigration is a national security issue is a racist, bigoted “Islamophobe.”

“Alleged Al-Qaeda Leader Accused of Killing Iraqi Police Found Living in Phoenix, Arizona,” by Jeffery Martin, Newsweek, January 31, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Law enforcement officials in Phoenix, Arizona arrested a man on Thursday who was alleged to be the former leader of an Al-Qaeda terrorist group in Iraq. Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri is accused of murdering two Iraqi police officers in 2006 in the Iraqi city of Fallujah.

Al-Nouri allegedly participated in the killing of two officers in the Fallujah Police Directorate as part of a division of Al-Qaeda that focused on killing Iraqi police.

After an Iraqi judge issued a warrant for Al-Nouri’s arrest, the government of Iraq requested Al-Nouri’s extradition.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Al-Nouri’s arrest was carried out by the FBI Phoenix Field Office and the U.S. Marshals Service.

“If Ahmed’s extradition is certified by the court,” the release said, “the decision of whether to surrender him to Iraq will be made by the U.S. Secretary of State.”

Newsweek reached out to the Department of Justice for further comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Authorities arrested a man believed to have been the leader of an Al-Qaeda group in Phoenix, Arizona Friday….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Abortion: The Ultimate Sin Against Humanity

Last week’s national March for Life was amazing. Tens of thousands of people – if you believe the mainstream media’s downplaying of the nation’s largest annual civil rights gathering – came to Washington, D.C. to create a culture of life. In Chicago, San Francisco, and elsewhere, pro-life advocates showed their support for the unborn killed by abortion and the families ruined by this ultimate sin.

We wrote last week about the pernicious racism associated with abortion. This alone should scare corporations from sending tens of millions of dollars to support it. However, there are many other reasons to oppose abortion and its leading promoter, Planned Parenthood:

  • Abortion is sexist. It targets boys and girls in the womb but denies only women the right to have their bodies be used as God designed them. And it is Planned Parenthood which apparently thinks that white women only oppose abortion because men force them to.
  • Abortion, sometimes, takes place to hide sexual assault. On a practical level, this means Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups put money ahead of protecting women from predators. It also gives predators a “get out of jail free” card by preventing them from being responsible for the children they created.
  • Planned Parenthood breaks the law. In addition to not reporting sexual assault, the group was busted for committing illegal abortions to make illegal profits off of baby body parts.

Every day, corporations enable Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry. They use your money to hurt women and children. They deny millions of people their rights to life and liberty.

Last week, you marched and walked for life. Thank you. Now let’s take our 2ndVote passion into the next level of action and demand that Bank of America, United Way chapters, and other Planned Parenthood enablers put their money where your mouth is – into acting as politically neutral organizations providing products and services, not leftist partisans.

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EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Senator Marco Rubio’s statement on ‘why I will not vote to remove the President’

Florida Senator Marco Rubio released the following in an email:

On Friday, I released a statement on the ongoing impeachment trial explaining why I will not vote to remove the President — because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation. Read my full statement here and watch my video message here.

My Statement on the President’s Impeachment Trial

Voting to find the President guilty would not just be a condemnation of his action. If I vote guilty, I will be voting to remove a President from office for the first time in the 243-year history of our Republic.

When they decided to include impeachment in the Constitution, the Framers understood how disruptive and traumatic it would be. As Alexander Hamilton warned, impeachment will “agitate the passions of the whole community.”

This is why they decided to require the support of two thirds of the Senate to remove a President — we serve as a guardrail against partisan impeachment and against removal of a President without broad public support.

Leaders in both parties previously recognized that impeachment must be bipartisan and must enjoy broad public support. In fact, as recently as March of last year, Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) said there would be “little to be gained by putting the country through” the “wrenching experience” of a partisan impeachment.

And yet, only a few months later, a partisan impeachment is exactly what the House produced.

This meant two Articles of Impeachment whose true purpose was not to protect the nation but rather to, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, stain the President’s record because “he has been impeached forever” and “they can never erase that.”

It now falls upon this Senate to take up what the House produced and faithfully execute our duties under the Constitution of the United States.

Why does impeachment exist?

As Manager Jerry Nadler (D-NY) reminded us Wednesday night, removal is not a punishment for a crime. Nor is removal supposed to be a way to hold Presidents accountable; that is what elections are for.

The sole purpose of this extraordinary power to remove the one person entrusted with all of the powers of an entire branch of government is to provide a last-resort remedy to protect the country. That is why Hamilton wrote that in these trials our decisions should be pursuing “the public good.”

That is why six weeks ago I announced that, for me, the question would not just be whether the President’s actions were wrong, but ultimately whether what he did was removable.

The two are not the same. Just because actions meet a standard of impeachment does not mean it is in the best interest of the country to remove a President from office.

To answer this question, the first step was to ask whether it would serve the public good to remove the President, even if I assumed the President did everything the House alleges.

It was not difficult to answer that question on the charge of “Obstruction of Congress.” The President availed himself of legal defenses and constitutional privileges on the advice of his legal counsel. That is not an impeachable offense, much less a removable one.

Negotiations with Congress and enforcement in the courts, not impeachment, should be the front-line recourse when Congress and the President disagree on the separation of powers. But here, the House failed to go to court because, as Manager Schiff admitted, they did not want to go through a yearlong exercise to get the information they wanted. Ironically, they now demand that the Senate go through this very long exercise they themselves decided to avoid.

On the first Article of Impeachment, I reject the argument that “Abuse of Power” can never constitute grounds for removal unless a crime or a crime-like action is alleged.

However, for purposes of answering my threshold question I assumed what is alleged is true. And then I sought to answer the question of whether under these assumptions it would be in the interest of the nation to remove the President.

Determining which outcome is in the best interests requires a political judgment — one that takes into account both the severity of the wrongdoing alleged but also the impact removal would have on the nation.

I disagree with the House Managers’ argument that, if we find the allegations they have made are true, failing to remove the President leaves us with no remedy to constrain this or future Presidents. Congress and the courts have multiple ways by which to constrain the power of the executive. And ultimately, voters themselves can hold the President accountable in an election, including the one just nine months from now.

I also considered removal in the context of the bitter divisions and deep polarization our country currently faces. The removal of the President — especially one based on a narrowly voted impeachment, supported by one political party and opposed by another, and without broad public support — would, as Manager Nadler warned over two decades ago, “produce divisiveness and bitterness” that will threaten our nation for decades.

Can anyone doubt that at least half of the country would view his removal as illegitimate — as nothing short of a coup d’état? It is difficult to conceive of any scheme Putin could undertake that would undermine confidence in our democracy more than removal would.

I also reject the argument that unless we call new witnesses this is not a fair trial. They cannot argue that fairness demands we seek witnesses they did little to pursue.

Nevertheless, new witnesses that would testify to the truth of the allegations are not needed for my threshold analysis, which already assumed that all the allegations made are true.

This high bar I have set is not new for me. In 2014, I rejected calls to pursue impeachment of President Obama, noting that he “has two years left in his term,” and, instead of pursuing impeachment, we should use existing tools at our disposal to “limit the amount of damage he’s doing to our economy and our national security.”

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the President Pro Tempore Emeritus, once warned, “[A] partisan impeachment cannot command the respect of the American people. It is no more valid than a stolen election.”

His words are more true today than when he said them two decades ago. We should heed his advice. I will not vote to remove the President because doing so would inflict extraordinary and potentially irreparable damage to our already divided nation.

© All rights reserved.

FLORIDA: FBI identifies motive for Pensacola shooting as “jihad”

It is astounding that seventeen years after 9/11 that it would be newsworthy that the FBI called a jihad attack “jihad,” but the denial and willful ignorance have been pandemic, and made into official U.S. policy during the Obama administration. This is a small step back to sanity for the still largely clueless and corrupt FBI. Much more is needed.

“FBI continues investigation into deadly NAS Pensacola shooting, calls motive ‘jihad,’” by Michael Warrick, WALA, January 30, 2020:

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) – Nearly two months after a Saudi national killed three young sailors aboard NAS Pensacola, the FBI says its investigation is “ongoing,” stopping short of disclosing what the shooter was doing in the hours leading up to the tragedy.

The FBI and base commander spoke to reporters Thursday, but declined to answer how Mohammed Alshamrani, got a gun onto the base prior to the shooting. The FBI is working with Apple to look at two phones that were in Alshamrani’s possession.

“We have no evidence that there were any co-conspirators,” FBI Special Agent in Charge, Rachel Rojas said. “However we are still seeking the cooperation of Apple so we can look through the two I-Phones.”…

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What appears to be a religious Muslim describes Jesus and Mary in highly offensive terms

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Amicus Curiae Brief: ‘The House action against Trump was illegal attainder not valid impeachment.’

ARLINGTON, Va.Jan. 31, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — In a historic first amicus curiae brief (“friend of the court brief”) ever filed with the Impeachment Court, Professor Victor Williams successfully set the Senate record straight:

“The House action against Trump was illegal attainder not valid impeachment.”  

“An immediate Trump acquittal, without calling witnesses, is a formal and final nullification of the 116th House’s attempted illegal attainder,” said Williams in a statement released today. Trump was never impeached.

Williams’ amicus curiae brief, filed in full support of Donald Trump’s own trial brief, detailed how House Democrats conspired with deep-state bureaucrats and establishment “resistors” in an attempted attainder against Trump.

The brief was formally lodged with the Chief Justice as Presiding Officer at both the SCOTUS Clerk’s Office at the Supreme Court and at the Office of the Secretary of the Senate.

In a belt-and-suspenders “skeptical” procedure for the first-ever argument, Williams also had electronic and even print copies of the brief delivered directly to U.S. Senate offices.

Williams explained that his skepticism of the neutrality of the Chief Justice was sadly proven correct when John Roberts’ refused to read Senator Rand Paul’s question regarding the collusion of Adam Shift’s Intelligence Committee staff with deep-state treacherous operatives.

“So much for Chief Justice John Roberts acting as a ‘neutral umpire’ when deep state actors and media elites enter the high-stakes game,” said Williams today.

Williams is Chair of “Law Professors for Trump”  (goplawyers.com) and is also a 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate in Virginia against anti-Trump incumbent Mark Warner.  (“Victor Williams 4 Virginia – vw4v.com).

The brief began (excepts with footnotes omitted):

This amicus curiae brief argues alternatively that the House action against Trump should be analyzed by this Court as an unconstitutional attainder meant to taint and stain Trump. 

Amicus relies heavily on Professor Charles Black’s Impeachment: A Handbook to draw the Court’s attention to how the Constitution’s attainder ban restricts impeachment processes and further circumscribes its “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” impeachment standard. 

This brief explains that our Constitution’s Framers explicitly rejected the abusive English legislative practice of using of attainders for the removal of public officers.

This brief presents the establishment of our uniquely American attainder ban as one of Alexander Hamilton’s great causes.

Amicus summarizes Supreme Court attainder jurisprudence on the protection of public officials from legislative removal and separation of powers norms.

Without such a prophylactic treatment of the House impeachment articles formally reflected in this Court’s record and certain acquittal verdict, amicus respectfully counsels that Senators may wish to adjust their 2020 schedules for an additional impeachment trial.

House lawyers confirmed plans for additional House impeachment hearings that are to likely lead to a second House impeachment of Trump during recent arguments before different panels of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The brief concluded:

The constitutional proscription against legislative punishment is a solid shield of individual liberty for all Americans including those individuals whose ideology is the subject of intense, passionate hatred.

In the context of this House action – an attainder wrapped in impeachment cloth — only the Senate transmuted into our nation’s High Court of Impeachment has authority and opportunity to take up Colonel Alexander Hamilton’s cause to insure that defamatory legislative attainders will never be allowed in America.

While campaigning since July 4, 2019, Senate candidate Williams has frequently condemned Mark Warner and other congressional Democrats’ abuse of Trump.

SOURCE Professor Victor Williams

© All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Alan Dershowitz – When Trump Is Acquitted He Will No Longer Be Impeached – The Impeachment Disappears

4 Big Moments Before the Senate’s Vote Against New Impeachment Witnesses

In the lead-up to the Senate vote not to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, another John Bolton bombshell dropped, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska rendered the debate moot, and the Senate chaplain almost stole the show.

About 5:40 p.m. Friday, the Senate voted 51-49 against calling witnesses, meaning the inevitable vote to acquit Trump on two articles of impeachment will come soon. How soon is uncertain, but the final vote likely will be Wednesday.

Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, joined all Democrats and two Independents in voting for new witnesses as Democrats sought to convict and remove Trump from office nine months before the presidential election.

The House impeached Trump on Dec. 18, alleging abuse of power and obstruction of Congress and accusing Trump of tying military assistance to Ukraine to its agreement to investigate interference by the former Soviet republic in the 2016 U.S. election and the dealings there of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


After the vote against calling new witnesses, senators went on to confer about finishing the Senate trial by Wednesday, which would be after Trump delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., noted the House had numerous witnesses and 28,000-plus pages of documents already in evidence, which he said is enough for a Senate trial.

“There is no need for the Senate to reopen the investigation, which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the [House impeachment] managers themselves continue to describe as ‘overwhelming and ‘beyond any doubt,’” McConnell said in a formal statement.

“Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation,” McConnell said. “We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue.”

Here are highlights from the day on which the Senate heard arguments over calling witnesses.

1. Murkowski Decides

Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, was among four Republicans considering voting to call witnesses, particularly after The New York Times reported Sunday that a forthcoming book by Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, says Trump told Bolton that he sought to have the Ukraine government get information on Democrats.

To call new witnesses in addition to the 17 who testified in the House impeachment proceedings, it would have taken four Republicans to join the 47 senators in the Democrats’ caucus.

Romney announced that he would vote to hear new witnesses, after Collins already had done so.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., had announced late Thursday that he would vote against calling witnesses, saying: “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.”

Alexander’s announcement signaled that Democrats would not be able to gain a majority for witnesses.

However, House Democrat managers argued that Chief Justice John Roberts could break a tie, based on precedent from the 1868 Senate trial of President Andrew Johnson.

Just before 2 p.m., ending speculation about a tie, Murkowski announced on Twitter and in a formal statement that she would not vote for witnesses. She explained her reasons in a thread of five tweets in which she concluded that “the Congress has failed.”

2. Flap Over Chaplain’s Prayer

The Senate chaplain, Barry Black, who has opened each day of the trial with a prayer, made news with a prayer Friday that spurred media and social media speculation that Black was pushing senators for witnesses or a specific outcome.

“Remind our senators that they alone are accountable to you for their conduct,” Black said in the prayer. “Lord, help them to remember that they can’t ignore you and get away with it. For we always reap what we sow.”

Black, a retired Navy rear admiral, became the 62nd Senate chaplain in 2003.

The Baltimore native was commissioned as a Navy chaplain in 1976. His first duty station was the Fleet Religious Support Activity in Norfolk, Virginia.

 3. New Bolton Revelations

Before the Senate debate on witnesses, The New York Times dropped another big story about Bolton, who Democrats wanted to call as a witness. Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador who resigned last year as Trump’s national security adviser, has a book coming out in March.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., leader of the seven House impeachment managers, read parts of the Times article on the Senate floor. Later, excerpts were shown on a large screen.

“Today,” Schiff said, “we were greeted to yet another development in the case when The New York Times reported with a headline that says,  ‘Trump told Bolton to help his Ukraine pressure campaign, book says.’”

“According to The New York Times, more than two months before he asked Ukraine’s president to investigate, President Trump directed John R. Bolton, then his national security adviser, to help with his pressure campaign to extract damaging information on Democrats from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Bolton.,” Schiff said, reading from the Times.

The Times reported that the meeting included Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

Cipollone leads the president’s defense team at the Senate trial.

“You will recall Mr. Cipollone suggesting that the House managers were concealing facts from this body. He said all the facts should come out,” Schiff said. “Well, there is a new fact, which indicates that Mr. Cipollone was among those in the loop. Yet another reason why we ought to hear from witnesses.”

House manager Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., warned senators about the judgment of history, since all the facts will come out sooner or later.

“The truth continues to come out, again in an article today, more information,” Crow said. “The truth will come out—and it’s continuing to. The question here, before this body, is what do you want your place in history to be? Do you want your place in history to be let’s hear the truth, or that we don’t want to hear it?”

4. Trump Should ‘Prove’ Innocence

Rep. Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas, argued that if Trump really is innocent, he would want witnesses:

If the president is telling the truth, and he did nothing wrong, and the evidence would prove that, then we all know he would be an enthusiastic supporter for subpoenas. He would be here probably himself if he could, urging you to do subpoenas if he had information proving he was totally not in the wrong. If he is innocent, he should have nothing to hide.

Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow later countered that the House prosecution team seems to suggest the president must prove his innocence, which is not how the system works.

“You’re not going to have a witness wand here, where we say, OK, you’ve got a week to do this and get it done,” Sekulow said. “There is no way that would be proper under due process.”

Sekulow noted that the House had 17 witnesses, 13 of whom testified in public. Further, he said, 192 video clips were shown from that public witness testimony during the course of the Senate trial.

Only the House took testimony. Sekulow said that for a fair trial, the president’s legal team would have the right to cross-examine each witness:

Due process is supposed to be for the person accused and they are turning it on its head. They brought the articles [of impeachment] before you. They are the ones who rushed the case up and then held it before you could actually start the proceedings. They are the ones who passed the articles before Christmas.

Sekulow added that the House Intelligence Committee, which Schiff chairs, opted not to subpoena Bolton, fearing it would delay a House impeachment vote into the new year.

Sekulow appealed to the Senate, saying it wasn’t their job to clean up after the House’s lack of a thorough investigation.

“How many constitutional challenges will we have in this body because they placed a burden on you that they wouldn’t take themselves in putting their case forward?” Sekulow said.

“We look at our constitutional framework and our constitutional structure. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work,” he said.

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

Other coverage of the impeachment trial for The Daily Signal by White House correspondent Fred Lucas includes:

7 Questions and Answers From Day 9 of Trump Impeachment Trial

6 Scenes From Day 8 of Trump Impeachment Trial

‘Danger, Danger, Danger’: 4 Highlights From Final Day of Defense Arguments in Impeachment Trial

Under Bolton Shadow, 6 Big Moments From Day 6 of Trump Impeachment Trial

5 Big Points by Trump’s Lawyers as Defense Opens in Impeachment Trial

7 Big Moments in Democrats’ Final Arguments to Remove Trump

7 Highlights From Day 3 of the Trump Impeachment Trial

5 Flash Points From Impeachment Trial’s Opening Arguments

What to Know About Democrats’ 7 Impeachment Managers

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Stomp Them Out: Senate Republicans Block Democratic Push For New Trump Impeachment Witnesses

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RELATED VIDEO: Pro-Impeachment Protesters Have a Meltdown After They Find Out Senate Votes Against Witnesses


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.