The latest on President Trump's impeachment
At a campaign rally in Ohio, President Trump praised the unity of the Republicans on impeachment saying, they "won 196 to nothing in the House."
Facts First: This claim is absurd. Trump did not win any vote related to impeachment, let alone win “196 to nothing.” In fact, he had decisively lost a key process vote and then the two votes to actually impeach him. He appeared to be referring to the fact that no Republican voted against him on these three occasions, but he wasn’t clear at all that this is what he meant.
The Democratic-controlled House voted 232-196 in October in favor of the Democrats’ proposed rules for the impeachment inquiry. (That is possibly the basis of Trump’s “196” figure in this quote, but the claim that “we won 196 to nothing” remains nonsensical.) The House voted 230-197 and 229-198 in December on the two articles of impeachment.
A handful of protesters interrupted President Trump at the beginning of his Ohio rally tonight.
“Go home to Mommy!” Trump said to the crowd as the protesters were taken out. “Thank you security. Do we love law enforcement by the way?
After a protester was loudly booed out of the audience, Trump resumed talking about the military. He repeated one of his most frequent claims, that he has "taken care of our vets with choice."
Facts First: The Veterans Choice bill, a bipartisan initiative led by Sen. Bernie Sanders and the late John McCain, was signed into law by former President Barack Obama in 2014. In 2018, Trump signed the VA Mission Act, which expanded and changed the program.
Trump also made two false claims on the environment at his rally tonight.
He said, "the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world."
Facts First: The US has not just “now” become the world’s top energy producer: it took the top spot in 2012, according to the US government’s Energy Information Administration – under the very Obama administration Trump is accusing of perpetrating a “war” on the industry.
The US became the top producer of crude oil in particular during Trump’s tenure. “The United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, when US natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and it has been the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when its production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s,” the Energy Information Administration said.
Trump said that "our air and our water right now is cleaner than it's been in 40 years."
Facts First: By several measures, US air was cleaner under Obama than it has been under Trump.
There were more “unhealthy air days” for sensitive groups in 2018 than in 2016. Additionally, the lowest amount of unhealthy air days – 598 – occurred in 2014 under Obama. You can read more here.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s demand that he must first unveil the resolution detailing President Trump’s trial procedures before she sends over the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“No, we aren’t going to do that,” he told CNN.
McConnell added he’s at a loss when the Senate trial will start. “Haven’t heard a thing,” he said, adding that speculation that the trial could start next week is based on the “same thing you’ve been hearing.”
His statement is the latest indication that the ball remains in Pelosi’s court about when she’ll appoint her impeachment managers and send over the articles, which will start the trial.
As she’s criticized the process outlined by McConnell, Pelosi continues to be vague in public and private about her exact plans — but said the articles would be sent sometime “soon.”
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CNN that his committee has no plans to hear testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton before President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate, arguing there's "little to be gained" by going that route.
Schiff said they have not had discussions with Bolton or his team since the former White House aide announced that he'd be willing to testify before the Senate if subpoenaed.
With GOP senators resisting calls to bring him in before their chamber, some have suggested that House Democrats should instead compel testimony from Bolton, who previously warned the House Intelligence Committee he'd fight any subpoena in court.
But Schiff said Thursday that Bolton should testify before the Senate — not the House.
"We haven't taken anything off the table," Schiff said, leaving a meeting in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. "But if we are proceeding in a rational way where we are trying to be fair to the President and fair to the American people, he should testify before the triers of fact, which are the senators."
Schiff added: "There's little to be gained by having him testify separately and then have the Senate get the stale records. If we're doing this rationally and we're trying to achieve a fair trial, he should testify before the Senate."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signed onto a resolution from Republican Sen. Josh Hawley to allow for articles of impeachment to be dismissed because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still has not transmitted them to the Senate.
Hawley introduced to resolution earlier this week on Monday. However, Republicans don't have the votes to dismiss the articles.
Where things stand: Republicans are now anticipating that Pelosi will in fact send over articles soon.
Sen. John Cornyn said today that Republicans believe the impeachment trial will begin next week. He said articles of impeachment would likely come by the end of the week.
Republican Sen. John Cornyn said today that Republicans believe the impeachment trial will begin next week.
He also speculated that the articles of impeachment would likely come by the end of the week.
“The speculation at lunch was that it will be this week," Cornyn said following a weekly lunch for GOP senators. "It will come over at the end of this week. Today or tomorrow. "We’re only speculating.”
Two sources say at a closed meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, she did not tip her hand to her six chairmen — who are investigating President Trump — about her timeline on sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
“The articles will be sent when they’ll be sent,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said, declining further comment.
At a separate meeting with her top messengers on impeachment, sources indicated that Pelosi was still insistent on seeing the details of the Senate procedures before sending the articles over.
CNN's Dana Bash reports they discussed polling on the public backing a fair trial in the Senate.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is telling people privately that they should to stay close, signaling, without saying, that she is hoping and planning to move on impeachment articles soon — like in the next 24 hours.
Pelosi understands that vulnerable members in her caucus especially will have a hard time going home again without having sent the articles to the Senate.
Her hope is that this is made easier by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell actually sending her the outlines of the trial plans, as he said publicly he would.
As she was leaving Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski told reporters that it is “frustrating” the articles of impeachment have not been sent over to the Senate.
What we know: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to formally introduce the articles to the Senate. Asked about the articles today, the California Democrat said, "I'll send them over when I'm ready. And that will probably be soon."