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    The impending impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump is a fait accompli, according to some Republicans.

    One even closed out a round of hearings this week saying Trump will likely be the third president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

    "Impeachment is almost inevitable," Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah said Thursday.

    "Everyone knows what [Democrats are] going to do next. They're going to impeach the president. They're going to send it on to the Senate."

    Then what?

    There is not even a subatomic particle of evidence that Senate Republicans are inclined to remove Trump from office — it would take about 20 votes in the upper chamber and there are zero Republicans on the record as favouring it.

    That would leave things split down the middle, just like the United States — divided, riven by partisan acrimony and stuck in a political stalemate.

    Democrats who control the House are being egged on by their supporters to impeach; Republicans who control the Senate are consistently warned by their voters they'd better not dare consider it.

    Meanwhile, support for impeachment hasn't really budged. It still enjoys slight plurality support but, at best, it's stalled. Arguably it's dipped slightly.

    Trump supporters have proven impermeable to the evidence so far — whether it's a transcript of him speaking about a "favour"; or his ally describing a quid pro quo; or an allegation that U.S. interests take a backseat to nailing Joe Biden's family.

    Has any president in history ever had such immovable poll numbers?

    No, says pollster and presidential historian Terry Madonna, since the advent of modern polling techniques, about six decades ago there's been no president like Trump.

    It's not that he's popular — he's not, really. Only two polls out of 63 conducted between Sept. 21 and Nov. 21 showed Trump's approval rating in positive territory.

    What makes Trump unique is his numbers don't budge; they haven't substantively moved in 18 months.



    There's no evidence Senate Republicans are inclined to remove Trump from office — none say they favour it. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

    "If he has a great week, he goes up two points. If he has a terrible week, he goes down two points," said Madonna. "Regardless of what happens, it doesn't move the needle."

    What about impeachment — might it have an effect?

    Madonna says no, but adds it's probably too early to say for sure.

    The basic story of Trump, he says, is one of intense passion: those who love him, or hate him, love him or hate him a lot. Impeachment just energizes everyone on both sides.

    As for Independent voters, they're split too — not keen on Trump, not keen on impeaching him.

    CBC News spoke to several of them in New Jersey's 11th congressional district — a so-called purple district which has tended to follow the national mood. It elected a Republican to the House in 2016, a Democrat in 2018, and gave Hillary Clinton a minuscule edge over Trump in the 2016 popular vote, by less than one percentage point.



    Trump supporters have so far proven impermeable to the evidence against him, and his poll numbers have barely budged. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

    Independents there expressed no love for Trump, even outright disdain, but wavered on whether impeachment hearings were a good idea.

    Richard DeLuca called Trump a "narcissist" — then caught himself, and added "ultimate narcissist" for emphasis. He said Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony was damaging, but concluded the process is pointless.

    "He'll be acquitted by Republicans [in the Senate]," said DeLuca, 89, who used to be a Republican until the Nixon presidency, and now oscillates between the parties.

    "Then what have we got? More stalemate, nothing being done … When I think of all the necessary legislation that's been sitting on shelves, I almost get sick."

    Sue Davies, another New Jersey Independent who dislikes Trump, said Democrats are just doing this to weaken him before the presidential election.

    "They can't pass a bill," she said scornfully of both parties. "They can't solve the problems we're facing."

    Slap on the wrist?
    So if Trump gets through this, what does that mean?

    Will it become accepted practice for presidents to press foreign countries to investigate election opponents?

    Perhaps not. Some analysts think the Senate might find a way to lay down a marker for future presidents, while giving this one a pass.



    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the idea of the Senate delivering the two-thirds majority to remove Trump seems 'inconceivable' to him. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

    In a recent Wall Street Journal column former Ronald Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan said Republicans could deliver a symbolic wrist-slap by censuring Trump for abuse of power — though that hasn't happened in nearly two centuries.

    Noonan said it makes sense, in a divided country, to keep Trump in office and let voters decide his fate in next year's election.

    Presidential historian Jeffrey Engel says he also expects Republican senators to try splitting the difference following a House impeachment.

    "I suspect this will end up with GOP senators arguing, 'Yes he did it, but it's not a high crime,'" said Engel, co-author of the book Impeachment: An American History.

    Ugly trial
    Twice in U.S. history, a president has been impeached by the House only to have the Senate not vote to remove him.

    The way Republicans are talking, Trump would be the third.

    And that's precisely what Stewart, the Utah Republican, predicts will happen next — after a Senate trial that could get ugly for Democrats.

    "The warm-up band is over," he said of the House proceedings. "Now we're going to go on to the main event."

    Stewart said the Senate trial will see Republicans turn the heat on Democrats, calling new witnesses, and asking questions like what, exactly, Joe Biden's son did to earn his generous retainer from the Ukrainian energy company at the centre of the scandal.

    Senate Republicans have hinted they might also torture Democrats by dragging out a trial into next year, keeping rival senators glued to Washington — including those half-dozen running for president and hoping to spend the winter months campaigning.

    "I'm sure they're going to be excited to be here in their [Senate] chairs," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said last week.

    He added that the idea of the Senate delivering the two-thirds majority to remove Trump seems "inconceivable" to him.

    That said, both parties are still reportedly refining their strategies.

    The Republicans have not yet settled on plans for a trial. Democrats have not yet declared when the House intelligence committee will complete its report and move onto the next phase: deliberations by the judiciary committee.

    It's unclear if Democrats will wait much longer to hear from new witnesses — including key ones, like former White House official John Bolton.

    After all, the Democrat leading the hearings so far sounded like his mind was already made up on impeachment.

    As he closed out the first batch of public proceedings, Adam Schiff, head of the intelligence committee, called the Ukraine affair worse than the 1972 Watergate break-in that led to Richard Nixon's downfall.

    "What we have seen here is far more serious than a third-rate burglary," Schiff said.

    "[This] is beyond anything Nixon did. The difference between then and now is not the difference between Nixon and Trump, it is the difference between that Congress and this one."

    He then cast a parting shot at his Republican colleagues, comparing them unfavourably to the Republicans of the Watergate era.

    "Where is Howard Baker?" he said, alluding to the top Republican during Watergate hearings. "Where are the people who are willing to go beyond their party to look to their duty?"
     

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    WASHINGTON – The way Ambassador Gordon Sondland tells it – under oath, no less – he and President Donald Trump are on such friendly terms that they communicate using colorful language and lots of naughty, four-letter words.

    But Sondland hadn’t even finished his bombshell testimony during Wednesday’s impeachment hearing when Trump issued what has become his standard rebuttal.

    “I don’t know him very well,” Trump said of the Oregon hotel owner who donated $1 million to his inauguration and was rewarded with the U.S. ambassadorship to the European Union.

    Trump often argues he's not familiar with certain people who run afoul of the law or whose words or actions cast him in a negative light.



    President Donald Trump is joined by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

    Anthony Scaramucci, who lasted barely more than a week as White House communications director? “I barely knew him until his 11 days of gross incompetence,” Trump said.

    Stormy Daniels? “I had nothing to do with her,” Trump said of the adult film star whom he paid $130,000 in hush money after she claimed the two had a sexual encounter.

    Here are 11 people Trump has claimed he doesn’t know or never met – despite, at times, evidence to the contrary.

    Gordon Sondland


    Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, testifies at the impeachment hearing on Nov. 20, 2019. (Photo: Jack Gruber/USA TODAY)

    The E.U. ambassador, Trump’s go-to guy on Ukraine and a star witness in the House impeachment inquiry, testified that Trump directed him and others to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to pressure Ukraine to publicly announce supposed anti-corruption investigations that Trump was seeking.

    Under oath, Sondland confirmed the existence of a “quid pro quo” in which Ukraine was urged to announce an investigation into Joe Biden, one of Trump’s political rivals. In exchange, Ukraine would get the U.S. military aid it desperately wanted, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would get a White House meeting.

    Asked if he used a vulgarity when telling Trump about Zelensky's desire to cooperate with the United States, Sondland said that sounded like something he would say.

    "That's how President Trump and I communicate – a lot of four-letter words," he said.

    Trump's retort: “I have not spoken to him much,” he told reporters on the White House South Lawn. “This is not a man I know well.”

    Anthony Scaramucci

    Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)

    Scaramucci – aka, “the Mooch” – was a financier and one of Trump’s most vocal supporters when Trump named him White House communications director on July 21, 2017.

    It didn’t last.

    Trump fired Scaramucci less than two weeks later when the New Yorker called a reporter and trash-talked what he perceived to be the president’s enemies, including some members of Trump’s administration.

    Trump’s take: “Anthony Scaramucci is a highly unstable ‘nut job’…,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “I barely knew him.”

    upload_2019-11-23_22-17-40.png


    George Papadopoulos


    George Papadopoulos, a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, pleaded guilty to making a "materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement" to investigators during FBI's probe of Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. (Photo: ALEX WROBLEWSKI, Getty Images)

    Papadopoulos, a young aide, was tapped by Trump to serve on his foreign policy team during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Trump lauded Papadopoulos as “an excellent guy” during a meeting with The Washington Post’s editorial board on March 21, 2016. Later that month, Trump tweeted a photo of him seated at a table with Papadopoulos during a national security meeting.

    But Trump’s lofty praise cooled quickly when Papadopoulos was sentenced to two weeks in prison for lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russian contacts.

    “Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

    And that photo of him seated next to Papadopoulos? “I never even talked to the guy,” Trump told Fox News. “I didn’t know who he was.”

    upload_2019-11-23_22-18-34.png


    Paul Manafort


    Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort departs the federal court house after a status hearing in Washington, DC, earlier this year. (Photo: SHAWN THEW, EPA-EFE)

    Manafort, who served as Trump's campaign chairman for five months, quickly fell out of his favor after he was convicted and sentenced to nearly four years in prison over financial fraud crimes related to former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    "I didn't know Manafort well," Trump told Fox News. "He wasn't with the campaign long."

    upload_2019-11-23_22-20-58.png



    Matthew Whitaker

    Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 8, 2019 in Washington. (Photo: Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)

    Trump loyalist Whitaker served a year as chief of staff to Trump’s first attorney general, Jeff Sessions. But Trump had a frosty relationship with Sessions and fired him last November. He then named Whitaker as acting attorney general.

    “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” Trump said just two days after handing Whitaker the promotion. He did, however, know Whitaker’s reputation, he said.

    Whitaker lasted in the job just three months and was replaced in February by William Barr, who remains attorney general.

    upload_2019-11-23_22-23-2.png


    Jeffrey Epstein

    Jeffrey Epstein

    Trump called Epstein a “terrific guy” in a New York Magazine interview in 2002 and said he’d known the multi-millionaire for 15 years.

    “He's a lot of fun to be with,” Trump said. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”

    But Trump distanced himself from the “terrific guy” in July after Epstein was arrested on charges of sex-trafficking girls as young as 14. Prosecutors said Epstein "sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes" in New York City and Palm Beach, Florida.

    The "terrific guy" was suddenly not so terrific anymore.

    “I knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him," Trump told reporters at the White House. "...He was a fixture in Palm Beach. I had a falling out with him a long time ago. I don’t think I have spoken with him for 15 years. I was not a fan."

    Epstein died in his New York jail cell in August. The New York medical examiner ruled his death as suicide by hanging.

    Stormy Daniels

    Stormy Daniels (Photo: Dan MacMedan, USA TODAY)

    Stephanie Clifford, an adult film star who performs under the name Stormy Daniels, says she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.

    Not true, Trump said.

    “I had nothing to do with her,” he told The Associated Press on Oct. 16, 2018. “So she can lie and she can do whatever she wants to do.”

    Trump initially denied knowing about the hush-money paid to Daniels but later acknowledged repaying his former lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment to her that was made as part of a hush agreement.

    After a federal judge in California threw out Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump last year, he celebrated on Twitter.

    “Horseface,” Trump mocked Daniels, adding: “She knows nothing about me."

    E. Jean Carroll

    E. Jean Carroll says President Donald Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s. Trump says it never happened and denies even knowing Carroll. (Photo: Craig Ruttle, AP)

    The longtime advice columnist accused Trump of raping her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City in the mid-1990s.

    Carroll went public with the allegation against Trump in June before the release of her book, “What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal," which contains a description of the alleged assault.

    “She’s not my type,” Trump shot back, denying they’d ever met.

    But a photo shows them speaking at a party in the 1980s.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/11/23/impeachment-hearings-times-trump-said-he-didnt-know-acquaintances/4253186002/
     

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    Congress has invited US President Donald Trump to its first impeachment hearing on 4 December.

    Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Mr Trump could either attend or "stop complaining about the process".

    If he does attend, the president would be able to question witnesses.

    It would mark the next stage in the impeachment inquiry, which centres on a July phone call between Mr Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    In that call, President Trump asked Mr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, currently the front runner to be the Democratic candidate in next year's presidential election, and his son Hunter Biden, who had previously worked for Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

    The probe is looking into whether Mr Trump used the threat of withholding US military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens. The president has denied any wrongdoing and has called the inquiry a "witch hunt".

    Last week, the House Intelligence Committee wrapped up two weeks of public hearings, which followed several weeks of closed-door witness interviews.

    Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said the committees leading the probe - Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs - are now working on their report, which will be issued on 3 December.

    What did Jerrold Nadler say?
    Mr Nadler said in a statement that he had written to Mr Trump inviting him to the hearing next month.

    "At base, the president has a choice to make," Mr Nadler said. "He can take this opportunity to be represented in the impeachment hearings, or he can stop complaining about the process.

    "I hope that he chooses to participate in the inquiry, directly or through counsel, as other presidents have done before him."


    Jerrold Nadler said Mr Trump should either attend the hearing or "stop complaining"

    In his letter to the president, Mr Nadler said the hearing would be an opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis for impeachment.

    "We will also discuss whether your alleged actions warrant the House's exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment," he added.

    He has given Mr Trump until 18:00 EST (23:00 GMT) on 1 December to confirm whether or not he will be at the hearing, and if so, to let the committee know who his counsel will be.

    What next with the impeachment inquiry?
    The Judiciary Committee is expected to begin drafting articles of impeachment - which are the charges of wrongdoing against the president - in early December.

    After a vote in the Democratic-controlled House, a trial would be held in the Republican-run Senate.

    If Mr Trump was convicted by a two-thirds majority - an outcome deemed highly unlikely - he would become the first US president to be removed from office through impeachment.

    The White House and some Republicans want the trial to be limited to two weeks.



     

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    The U.S. House of Representatives is plunging into a landmark impeachment week, with Democrats who once hoped to sway Republicans now facing the prospect of an ever-hardening partisan split over the historic question of removing President Donald Trump from office.

    Lawmakers were getting their first look Monday night — behind closed doors — at the impeachment report from the House intelligence committee. The report, to be released Tuesday, is expected to forcefully make the Democrats' case that Trump engaged in what chairman Adam Schiff calls impeachable "wrongdoing and misconduct" in withholding military aid while pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democrats and Joe Biden while.

    For Republicans, the proceedings are simply a "hoax," with Trump insisting he did nothing wrong and his party allies in line behind him. Late Monday, he tweeted his daily complaints about it all and then added a suggestive question: "Can we go to Supreme Court to stop?"

    He didn't elaborate.

    It's all boiling down to a historic test of political judgment in a case that is dividing Congress and the country.

    Departing Monday for a NATO meeting in London, Trump criticized the timing of the impeachment inquiry hearing, which will occur while he is out of the country.

    Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said the NATO trip is "one of the most important journeys we make as president" and the summit date was established a year ago.

    He said Republicans are united in opposing impeachment and the inquiry is backfiring on Democrats, adding, "I think it is going to be a tremendous boost for the Republicans."

    For the Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a critical test of her leadership as she steers the process ahead after resisting the impeachment inquiry through the summer, warning it was too divisive for the country and required bipartisan support.

    Speaking to reporters at the international climate conference in Madrid, Pelosi declined to engage with impeachment questions. "When we travel abroad, we don't talk about the president in a negative way," she said. "We save that for home."

    Hearings set for Wednesday
    Possible articles of impeachment are focused on whether Trump abused his office as he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a July 25 phone call to launch investigations into Trump's political rivals. At the time, Trump was withholding $400 million US in military aid, jeopardizing key support as Ukraine faced an aggressive Russia at its border.

    The report from the intelligence panel also was expected to include material the Democrats say suggests obstruction of Congress, based on Trump's instructions for his administration to defy subpoenas for documents and testimony.

    The next step comes Wednesday, when the judiciary committee gavels its own hearings open ahead of a possible impeachment vote by the full House by Christmas. That would presumably send the issue to the Senate for a trial in January.

    The Democratic majority on the intelligence committee says its report, compiled after weeks of testimony from current and former diplomats and administration officials, will speak for itself in laying out the president's actions toward Ukraine.

    Republican rebuttal
    Ahead of the report's public release, Republicans pre-empted with their own 123-page rebuttal.

    In it, they claim there's no evidence Trump pressured Zelensky. Instead, they say Democrats just want to undo the 2016 election. Republicans dismiss witness testimony of a shadow diplomacy being run by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and they rely on the president's insistence that he was merely concerned about "corruption" in Ukraine — though the White House transcript of Trump's phone call with Zelensky never mentions the word.

    "They are trying to impeach President Trump because some unelected bureaucrats chafed at an elected president's 'outside the beltway' approach to diplomacy," according to the report from Republicans Devin Nunes of California, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Michael McCaul of Texas.

    Trump on Monday pointed to Zelensky's recent comments as proof he did nothing wrong. The Ukrainian president said in an interview he never talked to Trump "from the position of a quid pro quo," but he didn't say Trump did nothing wrong. In fact, he had strong criticism for Trump's actions in the Time magazine interview.

    With Ukraine at war with Russia, he said, its partners "can't go blocking anything for us."

    Swift timeline
    The finished intelligence committee report sets up the week's cascading actions. The panel is expected to vote to send the findings to the judiciary committee, which will take the lead on considering articles of impeachment.

    As the process intensifies, judiciary on Wednesday will convene legal experts whose testimony, alongside the report, will begin to lay the groundwork for possible charges.

    Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president in a matter of days, with voting in the judiciary committee next week.

    Republicans on the committee, led by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, plan to rely on procedural moves to stall the process and portray the inquiry as a sham.

    The White House declined an invitation to participate, with counsel Pat Cipollone denouncing the proceedings as a "baseless and highly partisan inquiry" in a letter to judiciary chairman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat from New York.

    Trump had previously suggested that he might be willing to offer written testimony under certain conditions, though aides suggested they did not anticipate Democrats would ever agree to them.

    Cipollone's letter of nonparticipation applied only to the Wednesday hearing, and he demanded more information from Democrats on how they intended to conduct further hearings before Trump would decide whether to participate.

    Nadler said Monday if the president really thought his call with Ukraine was "perfect," as he repeatedly says, he would "provide exculpatory information that refutes the overwhelming evidence of his abuse of power." House rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own.

    Asked why not have his lawyers participate, Trump said Monday: "Because the whole thing is a hoax. Everybody knows it."

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-impeachment-report-unveiled-monday-1.5380943
     

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    The US House Intelligence Committee passes impeachment report
    The committee voted 13-9 along party lines to adopt the report.
     

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    Trudeau“疑似”背后gossip Trump,这回美国又要给加拿大加关税了。。。

     

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    191204171024-princess-anne-nato-trump-exlarge-169.jpg


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    heureux

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    看来他的好朋友只有一个。
     
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