Ukraine fears Trump hold on aid exposed vulnerability in war with Russia
This summer's delay in releasing nearly $400 million in U.S. aid to Ukraine — allegations at the center of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump— may have been temporary, but the incident is not far from the minds of those training on a wintry base in the west of the country.
Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden has also exposed the cracks in the West’s response to an emboldened Russia, inflicted permanent damage on Ukraine and heightened the risk of Moscow extending its influence in the country, according to democracy advocates and military experts.
U.S. support, in particular, is seen as essential in keeping what is widely seen as a bully in the East at bay.
“Just the presence of the American army on the territory of Ukraine, in my opinion, already scares the enemy — even without any other aid,” said Ukraine Ground Forces Sgt. Maj. Yevhen Mokhtan, who works in this multinational training facility in western Ukraine.
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Biden clarifies impeachment subpoena stance after saying he would defy one to keep focus on Trump
Former Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter on Saturday to clarify whether he would comply with a Senate subpoena throughout the impeachment trial after previously skirting around the question.
Biden said earlier this month that he would not comply, claiming his appearance would serve as a distraction against the focus of the impeachment inquiry, President Donald Trump. Biden also did not directly answer the question posed by the Des Moines Register editorial board Friday.
He later told reporters that he did not believe him defying a subpoena would set a precedent for future presidential nominees to do the same.
The Democratic presidential candidate suggested on Saturday that he would comply given his history of cooperating “with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”
Jamal Brown, a campaign spokesman, told NBC News Biden would appear before Congress if ordered.
The campaign said that even though Biden would comply, he does not see the legal grounds for him to be issued a subpoena since he’s not the subject of the investigation. Instead, he calls for White House officials to be called forward.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has said that he would not call Biden or his son Hunter before the committee during the impeachment trial, which is set to start next month.
OPINION: Trump claims Pelosi and impeachment offend all Americans of faith. He's wrong.
On the eve of his impeachment in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump released a six-page screed attacking the entire process and everyone who has led it. Though his fate as the third president in U.S. history to be impeached was all but sealed, he wanted to make clear that he considers it an insult — particularly against Christian nationalists who believe he is doing God’s work in the White House.
“You are offending Americans of faith, saying ‘I pray for the President,’ when you know this is not true,” Trump wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In an appeal to the offended, he tweeted “say a PRAYER” before the House convened Wednesday morning.
If the president seems especially concerned about religion as he faces impeachment, the reason is clear: Without the support of religious nationalists who have rallied behind him through (nearly) every controversy, he doesn’t have a prayer.
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Trump revives attacks on Pelosi amid impeachment standoff
Congressman: Trump 'trying to create a chilling effect' on witnesses
Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC on Friday that he thinks Trump is trying to create a chilling effect on people who might come forward with evidence of wrongdoing relevant to his impeachment.
He said he is "concerned" about the backlash that some impeachment witnesses have received.
"I personally believe that the testimony that people like Lt. Col. Vindman or Fiona Hill or others offer is all the more compelling because testifying does nothing to further their career interests," he said. "It actually harms their potential careers in government. And so kudos to them. They are to be commended. They are true patriots for coming forward, and, quite frankly, telling us the truth."
Dem Rep. says McConnell 'breaking the rules' on impeachment
Wisconsin Rep. Mark Pocan, Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, discussed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impeachment strategy during a Friday morning appearance on CNN.
"She is relentless in trying to get to the bottom of this, get the truth out about this," he said. "And every time Donald Trump refused to have witnesses come to the House, we still were able to find all this information so that we could get to point of having the impeachment happen in the House."
Pocan added, “Mitch McConnell already said that he's working hand in hand with the White House on this. He's not impartial juror, that's again breaking the rules that exist. She is simply trying to get the Senate to follow the rules so that the American people can really see the truth front and center and that means allowing some of those key people from the administration to be able to testify."
Kennedy: Senators 'ought to send' Pelosi a 'fruit basket' for impeachment delay
Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy spoke to reporters on Thursday about impeachment, saying that "we probably ought to send her a fruit basket for not sending us something that we don’t want to deal with, and get back to work."
On witnesses, Kennedy said Schumer "better be careful what he asks for because if he gets his witnesses, I’m sure that the president is going to want his witnesses, and the president’s witnesses won’t be subject to a claim of executive privilege and Chuck’s might.” Kennedy says he’d be “surprised if the President didn’t certainly claim executive privilege” on witnesses.
He also said that “I don’t know” if Schumer and McConnell will ever reach an agreement but “that’s why God made a majority vote. 51 votes in the Senate will decide how we proceed. But we don’t have the case, I don’t know if the Speaker will actually ever give us the case.” Kennedy said that he’d like “both sides to be treated equally,” adding “within reason I want to allow each side to try its own case.”