Things That Matter

Democrats End Months Of Caution, Announce Formal Impeachment Inquiry Of President Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has officially announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The announcement comes after a whistleblower filed a complaint about Trump asking the Ukranian government to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son. Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukraine’s largest private gas company Burisma. The Obama administration supported an investigation into Hunter to confirm no conflicting interest with the vice president’s official business in the country. Now, Trump asked the Ukranian government to launch an investigation into the businesses dealings and it has been alleged that Trump threatened to withhold funds from Ukraine if they did not. Trump has denied the allegations but it was enough for Speaker Pelosi to announce an official investigation. Here’s what we know so far.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry for Trump today.

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The startling news comes in the wake of his admission that Trump spoke to the president of Ukraine to get information on Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and his son and their dealings with Ukraine. President Trump also admitted to withholding military funds before the call was made.

“The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable facts of the president’s betrayal of his oath of office, betrayal of our national security, and betrayal of the integrity of our elections,” Rep. Pelosi told the press, according to The New York Times.

While some Democrats and Trump opposers have been calling for Trump’s impeachment for quite some time, Democratic presidential candidates have been more vocal about it in the past couple of months. It seemed like Rep. Pelosi was waiting for the right time to move forward.

Rep. Pelosi’s announcement today is a departure from the cautious tone the leading Democrat has publicly held.

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In March, Rep. Pelosi told The Washington Post the wasn’t “for impeachment. Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it. No. I don’t think he is. I mean, ethically unfit. Intellectually unfit. Curiosity wise unfit. No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States.” She then scolded herself for “coming across too negatively.”

All along, the House Judiciary Committee has collected articles of impeachment on President Trump. The only way to impeach a president is to have the proper articles of impeachment — which is the evidence that shows the president has engaged in wrongdoings that go above executive privilege. The steps now would be to collect the articles of impeachment and bring them to a vote before the House of Representatives. A committee can be set up to vet the articles, however, that is not necessary. If the House votes in a majority on one article, that is essentially an indictment that the president has committed an impeachable offense. 

The Trump Administration is, so far, playing it cool by saying this latest call for impeachment is “nothing new.”

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“The Democrats continue to weaponize politics when they should be working on behalf of their constituents, which is nothing new,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, according to CNN. “President Trump is working hard on behalf of our country here in NYC while they continue to scream the word impeachment. Nothing new here.” 

The complaint filed by the whistleblower about Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s president is a very important revelation in these proceedings.

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Initially, when news first broke about a whistleblower having first-hand knowledge that President Trump spoke to Ukraine about wanting knowledge against Biden for the purpose of his presidential election, it wasn’t a big deal. 

We’ve heard a myriad of things against Trump, but without proof, it doesn’t lead to much. So, when the whistleblower said there was a call, and then Trump admitted to it, that changed everything. Trump tweets scandalous things all the time. He says outrages things all the time, but saying and doing is two different things. Having proof is also important. Now that the public knows there’s a recording, and that Trump admitted to the call, those on Capitol Hill have demanded the transcript of the call and Trump is apparently going to release it soon. 

If there’s proof that Trump asked a foreign government to interfere in the next presidential election, he will be impeached. That would be the best-case scenario. There’s still an impeachment process, and Republicans hold the key because they’re the majority in the Senate.

While the transcripts could be important in these proceedings, what should be released sooner is the formal complaint by the whistleblower. There is skepticism that the Trump administration would release an undoctored version of the transcript. Releasing the whistleblower’s full complaint would offer a more honest and transparent account of the call.

So now what? Now we wait. The first hurdle is getting 235 Democrats in the House to support the inquiry. That is likely to happen. 

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After that, here’s how the process will move along, according to the New York Times

“When the full House votes on articles of impeachment, if at least one gets a majority vote, the president is impeached — which is essentially the equivalent of being indicted.”

“Next, the proceedings move to the Senate, which is to hold a trial overseen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.”

“A team of lawmakers from the House, known as managers, play the role of prosecutors. The president has defense lawyers, and the Senate serves as the jury.”

“If at least two-thirds of the senators find the president guilty, he is removed, and the vice president takes over as president.”

What many political pundits and critics are concerned of is the willingness of the Senate to move forward if an article for impeachment is approved by the House. While the Constitution states that after the House passes an article that the Senate will hold a trial to finalize the impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has stonewalled any legislation passed by the House. Notably, Sen. McConnell blocked President Obama from filling a Supreme Court vacancy and he would be able to block an impeachment, which many expect him to do. Only time will tell if the Senate will follow through with their obligation to uphold the constitution and protect our democracy.

READ: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls For Donald Trump’s Impeachment After Mueller’s First Public Remarks

Ivanka Trump Whose Father Allegedly Cheated His Way Into College Tells Out-Of-Work Americans To Pass On College And ‘Find Something New’

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Ivanka Trump Whose Father Allegedly Cheated His Way Into College Tells Out-Of-Work Americans To Pass On College And ‘Find Something New’

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When Donald Trump ran in 2016, many of his supporters were banking on the real estate mogul’s successful empire to help them transform their own pennies into mountains of gold. Now, with a pandemic and unemployment rates skyrocketing, that potential is being put to the test and proving to be failing. As of July, the United States is being gravely incapacitated by an economic collapse caused by a national stay at home orders and the shut down of non-essential businesses. In April, a record number of 20.5 million people lost their jobs, a decline reported as being the most sudden on record.

Still, Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump wants Americans to pull themselves up by their own britches and “find something new.”

In a new ad campaign called “Find Something New,” Ivanka Trump is attempting to encourage unemployed Americans to find new careers.

The adviser to her father launched a new initiative on Tuesday urging Americans that are unemployed to find new careers during virtual roundtable which took place amongst other business leaders. Apple CEO Tim Cook was also involved in the discussion which featured a handful of Americans opening up about their own employment stories.

“Now, as a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases learn a completely new skill,” Trump urged during the campaign’s launch. “But that is also an opportunity to be put on for a new trajectory for themselves and their lives and we want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible.”

Users on Twitter were quick to lambast the “Find Something New” campaign in part for its title. After all, the suggestion to many Americans who have forged careers through years of work and financial commitments to their education is as CNN puts it, “too simplistic a catchphrase to describe the unemployment meltdown happening for millions of Americans as a global pandemic continues to ravage physical and financial health.”

In response to critics, Ivanka Trump defended herself on Twitter.

“I suggest that you visit http://FindSomethingNew.org,” Trump wrote. “This initiative is about challenging the idea the traditional 2 and 4 yr college is the only option to acquire the skills needed to secure a job. This work has never been more urgent.”

Born out of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, Trump’s “Find Something New” campaign has a website that directs users towards other work opportunities. Trump, a graduate of Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, whose niece recently claimed he cheated to get into, has recently called his supporters to overlook college and university job programs in favor of vocational and technical schools. His daughter, Ivanka Trump herself is also a graduate of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and while she has proven to be a jack of various trades in terms of career (besides being an advisor to her father, she is a reality star and designer) can undoubtedly chalk all of that up to the success of her own father.

Trump Allegedly Asked If He Could Sell Puerto Rico Instead Of Investing In The Island’s Future

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Trump Allegedly Asked If He Could Sell Puerto Rico Instead Of Investing In The Island’s Future

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It’s no surprise that the Trump administration has been full of surprises. Over the last 3 1/2 years, headline after headline have left many of us wondering what the actual f*** is going on inside the White House?

Over the last few weeks, a steady stream of people closely connected to the president – from family members to former cabinet members – have released books, given interviews, and spoken out about the commander-in-chief and many of the revelations are outright terrifying.

Donald Trump considered the idea of selling Puerto Rico in 2017 after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Ever since Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico in 2017, President Trump has expressed displeasure with the U.S. territory. After trying to limit recovery funds provided to the island last year, he finally signed a long-overdue disaster aid bill before taking to Twitter to declare himself the “best thing that ever happened” to Puerto Rico.

However, according to a New York Times story, Trump floated the idea of selling Puerto Rico so he wouldn’t have to deal with the issue any further. Elaine Duke, a Republican who served as acting head of Homeland Security from July to December 2017, told the Times in an interview, “The president’s initial ideas were more of as a businessman, you know: Can we outsource the electricity? Can we sell the island? You know, or divest of that asset?”

The latest revelation is just the latest in a string of attacks and disdain for the island territory from the Trump administration.

Hurricane Maria devastated the island – three years later it’s still struggling to rebound.

The 2017 hurricane season was one for the record books. And Puerto Rico was front and center in a particularly destructive season. Hurricane Maria struck the island and caused $43 billion to $159 billion in damage to the island and left nearly 3,000 people dead. The island continues to rebuild and that’s in no small part to the incompetence of both local leaders and the Trump administration.

In the wake of Maria, Trump and Puerto Rican officials blamed each other amid the island’s recovery, with the president faulting local officials for their management of relief funds. San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz criticized the administration for the delay in federal response to hurricane recovery, prompting the president to target Cruz in several tweets, and call her “incompetent.”

Things got so heated that White House officials told congressional leaders and appropriators not to give any more money to Puerto Rico in November 2018, CNN noted. However, the Washington Post reported a relief fund of $17 billion was released in January with tough restrictions. Administration officials attributed the delay to corruption concerns, but critics said the postponement was political.

Trump has consistently denied any fault for his administration in the aftermath of the storm. The President has instead sought praise for his handling of Hurricane Maria, calling it “an incredible, unsung success” last year.

As shocking as the suggestion is, it’s not the first time Trump has floated similar ideas.

The idea of selling Puerto Rico – just to avoid having to put in any work – is so Trumpian that the allegation sounds extremely likely true. And the incident is hardly the first in which Trump has worn his “businessman” hat in the Oval Office.

Last August, the Wall Street Journal reported that the president, in conversation with top aides “with varying degrees of seriousness,” floated the idea of purchasing Greenland. The gigantic Arctic island, which is rapidly melting thanks to climate change, is a self-ruling part of Denmark and is definitely not for sale. Trump nevertheless apparently believed that Greenland could somehow be purchased. In fact, a 2019 New York Times article reported that a former official heard the president joke that he would be happy to trade Puerto Rico for Greenland.

For Dukes part, she believes that the whole point of Trump’s plan one to be mean. She tells the Times, that “There is a singular view that strength is mean, that any kind of ability to collaborate, or not be angry is a weakness.” She said Trump embraces “hate-filled, angry and divisive” language that distracts from the real issues. 

Duke is the latest former top White House security official to denounce Trump’s handling of the job, joining Kelly, former Secretary of Defense James Mattis and former national security adviser John Bolton.