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Blumenthal, Murphy Battle Rules As Trump Impeachment Trial Begins

4 hours ago
CSpan

The Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began Tuesday with warring views of the proceedings.

Democrats, including Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, slammed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules for conducting the trial, calling them corrupt and  “rigged” to result in Trump’s acquittal before the president gives his State of the Union speech on Feb. 4.

“The rules that were presented last night do not allow a fair process to occur,” Murphy said.

Connecticut Public

Slate's Stephen Metcalf thinks President Trump is a hostage to 1979.

Why else would he overreact by killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani for inciting protesters to storm the U.S. Embassy in Iraq?

Updated Jan. 21 at 2:26 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made last-minute, handwritten changes Tuesday to the parameters for how President Trump's impeachment trial process will play out. Departing from a draft resolution he released Monday night, the resolution now allows impeachment managers and the president's defense to have 24 hours to make arguments over three session days. The draft had stipulated 24 hours over two days. McConnell also altered the rules for admitting the House evidence into the record.

Connecticut Public

Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey argue that President Trump has changed the function of the presidency from one of public service to one that serves his personal interests.

The President was impeached for withholding aid to Ukraine in exchange for a political investigation into his political rival and obstructing the House investigation into his behavior.

The President will likely be acquitted in the Senate. It may be up to voters in November to decide whether to ratify or reject Trump's vision of the presidency.

President Trump fretted this week that White House lawyer Pat Cippolone and personal lawyer Jay Sekulow lacked experience on television. So he added a few TV-ready lawyers to the mix, each with scripted roles to play.

This week, Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey argue that President Trump has changed the presidency from one of public service to one that serves his personal interests. Will we ratify his vision or reject it? It may be up to voters to decide.

Also this hour: Slate's Stephen Metcalf thinks Trump is a hostage to 1979. Why else would he be obsessed with U.S. embassies and Jimmy Carter?

And singer/songwriter Lara Herscovitch proves music is the antidote to our troubled times.

Hyde Campaign

Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, said he dismissed information given to him by Robert Hyde, a Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut's 5th District. 

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Amid much pomp and circumstance, the Senate took some of its first steps on Thursday to prepare for next week's impeachment trial of President Trump, just the third such trial in Senate history.

Chief Justice John Roberts, having crossed First Street from the Supreme Court building over to the Capitol, joined senators in the chamber and then was sworn in by Senate President pro tempore Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Roberts will preside over the trial.

Connecticut Congressional Candidate Involved In Ukraine Scandal

Jan 15, 2020
Hyde Campaign

Robert F. Hyde, a Simsbury construction company owner, Trump donor and a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, is now a figure in the presidential impeachment inquiry after documents suggest he spied on the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives has delivered articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate, which is expected to begin a trial next week.

Earlier in the day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named seven Democratic members of Congress as the managers who will argue the case for impeachment.

Those managers brought the articles to the Senate on Wednesday evening.

This hour, we air an updated version of the most recent episode of our weekly impeachment show, Pardon Me, which normally airs Saturdays at noon.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on the show this week.

Law professor Bruce Ackerman argues that President Trump's order to kill Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani is a far graver offense than his efforts to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden. Think about it: He's bragging about his decision to kill a high-ranking official of another country. Will Chief Justice John Roberts save us?

And that's the positive view on our show this week.

Sarah Kendzior studies autocratic governments. She thinks we'd be foolish to believe there are limits to what the Trump administration would do -- whether jailing witnesses and whistleblowers, threatening protesters, or using nuclear weapons.

Last month, we launched a whole other show. It's a weekly show airing on Saturdays at noon and hitting your podcast feeds on Fridays most weeks hopefully. It's called Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?). It's about all the latest trends and tech in the world of industrial welding. Wait, no. That's not right. It's about the impeachment, silly.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s two U.S. senators believe that the release of a previously redacted email strengthens the impeachment case against Donald Trump.

Professor Michael Gerhardt argues that the impeachment process is legitimate, despite efforts by President Trump and his defenders to deny it. It is the president's conduct that is not normal.

Gerhardt was one of four law professors summoned by the House Judiciary Committee in December, to share their legal expertise on whether President Trump's conduct met the legal threshold for impeachment. Three out of four of them believe it did.

Also this hour: State Department witness George Kent's bow tie and Rep. Jim Jordan's jacket have their own Twitter accounts. Nancy Pelosi's dagger-like gold pin turned heads on the day she opened up House debate on the president's impeachment. We talk about the fashion semiotics of impeachment.

As President Trump's impeachment trial approaches, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is under close scrutiny from Democrats and her fellow Republicans ahead of a vote that could once again test her reputation for centrism and independence.

The spotlight on Collins has come a bit earlier than expected.

In the narrowly divided Senate, just four Republicans could force Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reconsider his vow for a speedy acquittal and "total coordination" with the Trump White House.

Peter Sokolowski, lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, fears we're currently having a crisis of meaning in our cultural understanding and use of words.

How do we understand phrases like "fake news"? Does it mean news that has no relationship to reality or is it how President Trump refers to truth-based news he doesn't like? What is an "alternative fact"?

There's a good chance that President Trump knows that the stain of impeachment will be part of his legacy. And as damning details about the president's behavior trickle out, we're realizing how much we still don't know. This may explain why impeachment may be more popular than we realize.

It wasn't that long ago that House Democrats didn't know who would lead them.

They were warring over the speaker's post just days after the 2018 midterm elections handed them back the majority.

But Nancy Pelosi was certain of her fate.

"I intend to win the speakership with Democratic votes," Pelosi told reporters soon after the November elections. "I happen to think at this point, I'm the best person for that."

There's actually some question whether President Trump has officially been impeached, it turns out.

In any case, on Wednesday, December 18, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two Articles of Impeachment charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of congress.

On our third full episode, we talk to the founder of Politico about the huge difference a tiny bit of self-control would make to the Trump presidency and a Yale historian about what those crazy founders were thinking when they put impeachment in the Constitution in the first place.

Plus: Our first AccuFrankie report from the Target parking lot in New Britain, Conn., and a song performed live in our studios by Nekita Waller, "Big Al" Anderson, Jim Chapdelaine, and The Shinolas.

Updated at 9:27 p.m. ET

House lawmakers voted to impeach President Trump on Wednesday in only the third such rebuke in American history.

The move triggers a trial for Trump in the Senate, expected in January — one in which majority Republicans are likely to permit him to retain his office.

The vote was 230 to 197 on the first of two articles of impeachment — abuse of power — with one member voting present. The House then passed the second article — obstruction of Congress — with a vote of 229 to 198, with one member voting present.

House Television via AP

All five of Connecticut’s representatives in the U.S. House voted to impeach Donald Trump in an historic session Wednesday. Only one, the 4th District’s Jim Himes, gave remarks on the floor before the vote.

Himes, who has been closely involved in the impeachment process as a key member of the House Intelligence Committee, said it is time to hold the president to account.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

The House of Representatives debates and votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Updated at 8:56 p.m. ET

President Trump is now just the third president in American history to be impeached.

Lawmakers passed two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first article, which charges Trump with abuse of power, was approved largely along a party-line vote, 230-197-1. The second article, on obstructing Congress, passed 229-198-1.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., dismissed the impeachment process against President Trump as a political proceeding rather than a judicial one.

"I'm not an impartial juror. This is a political process. There's not anything judicial about it," McConnell told reporters on Tuesday. "The House made a partisan political decision to impeach. I would anticipate we will have a largely partisan outcome in the Senate. I'm not impartial about this at all."

Updated at 10:01 a.m. ET

The House is poised to impeach President Trump — thus making him the third president to go down in the history books with a majority of representatives voting that he is guilty of "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" as set out in the Constitution.

On Friday, December 13, the House Committee on the Judiciary voted 23 to 17 to send two Articles of Impeachment to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

On Episode 2 of Pardon Me, Yale Law School's Emily Bazelon joins us to look at the legal ins and outs of the articles, the House vote, and a future Senate trial; The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik tells us to "Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political"; and our friends from Sea Tea Improv in Hartford stop by to perform a holiday-themed, Scrooge/Trump mashup sketch.

We're preempted (again) today as the House Judiciary Committee debates its Articles of Impeachment. So, in lieu of a new episode of The Colin McEnroe Show, we thought you might enjoy this interview we did with Dave Eggers for our new, other show, Pardon Me (Another Damn Impeachment Show?). Pardon Me airs on Saturdays at noon on Connecticut Public Radio, and it's available wherever you get your podcasts.

Updated at 11:38 p.m. ET

Planned votes on two articles of impeachment against President Trump were delayed late Thursday night by Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He asked members to consider how they want to vote and to reconvene at 10 a.m. Friday.

Ranking minority member Rep. Doug Collins and others protested that Nadler had upset the committee's plans without consulting them.

The Judiciary Committee had sparred for more than 12 hours Thursday ahead of expected votes.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

The House Judiciary Committee is extending markup on the Articles of Impeachment into an additional day on December 13, 2019. Watch the session live.

Adam Gopnik is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism. We talked to Gopnik late last week about his New Yorker piece on the impeachment called, "Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political."

This interview will run, likely in a form very similar to this one, in this week's Episode 2 of Pardon Me. But we're making it available to you now because... well, because why not, really.

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