Yearly Archives: 2019

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives announced formal charges against President Donald Trump on Tuesday that accuse him of abusing power and obstructing Congress, making him only the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment.

    The full Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote on the charges, or articles of impeachment, next week. It is almost certain to vote to impeach the Republican president, setting the stage for a dramatic trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, likely to begin in January.

    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters that Democrats had to take action because Trump had endangered the U.S. Constitution, undermined the integrity of the 2020 election and jeopardized national security.

    “No one, not even the president, is above the law,” Nadler said at a news conference that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders of committees involved in the impeachment probe.

    “Our elections are a cornerstone of democracy … the integrity of our next election is at risk from a president who has already sought foreign interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections,” Nadler said.

    Trump has denied wrongdoing and calls the inquiry a hoax. The White House has refused to participate in the hearings in the House because it says the process is unfair.

    Trump attacked the impeachment effort in a Twitter post early on Tuesday, saying to impeach a president when the country has such a strong economy “and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!”

    Democrats have moved rapidly in their impeachment inquiry since launching an investigation on Sept. 24 into allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a Democratic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the 2020 elections.

    They accuse Trump of abusing power by withholding aid to Ukraine, a vulnerable U.S. ally facing Russian aggression, as well as dangling a possible White House meeting to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch the investigation.

    Republicans say Democrats are seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election with a “witch hunt” against Trump, who denies he did anything wrong.

    “Americans don’t agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it,” Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign manager, said in a statement.

    WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT

    Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate, given it is controlled by his party, but his impeachment may yet have an impact on the campaign trail as Democrats seek to retake control of the White House.

    The House Judiciary panel could vote this week on whether to send the formal charges to the full House.

    Pelosi launched the impeachment probe after a whistleblower reported concerns over a July 25 telephone call in which Trump sought help from Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading contender in the Democratic race to challenge Trump in next November’s election.

    That led to weeks of investigation and hearings in the House. Committee leaders met with Pelosi following the last scheduled impeachment hearing on Monday evening.

    Democrats say their investigation shows Trump withheld $391 million in military aid and the White House meeting to get Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

    Republicans argue Trump did nothing improper in his call with Zelenskiy and say there is no direct evidence he withheld aid or a White House meeting in exchange for a favor.

    The Judiciary Committee would need to give 24 hours’ notice before meeting to vote on whether to forward the articles to the full House for a final impeachment vote by the chamber.

    Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, David Morgan and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Paul Simao; Editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis

     

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump berated FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday after a U.S. government investigation found no evidence of political bias when the FBI began investigating contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia in 2016.

      Trump’s allies and his detractors both found support in Monday’s report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, which found 17 FBI missteps. The findings are unlikely to end debate over the legitimacy of the probes that have overshadowed his presidency.

      Asked if he thought the FBI unfairly targeted the Trump campaign, Wray, who was appointed by Trump, told ABC News in an interview on Monday: “I do not.

      Trump responded on Twitter early on Tuesday: “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me.

      “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

      Representatives for the FBI and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Trump’s tweet.

      In Monday’s interview, Wray said he took the errors seriously but noted the watchdog had found the probe “was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.”

      He also pushed back against the notion – advanced largely by Trump and his backers – that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is part of a “deep state” bureaucratic network aimed at undermining Trump.

      “That’s the kind of label that’s a disservice to the men and women who work at the FBI who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity, with courage,” Wray told ABC, calling the term “an affront to them.”

      Reporting by Susan Heavey; additional reporting by Sarah Lynch; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Howard Goller

       

      Job Announcements for December

       

      Blue Cross Blue Shield Hiring Customer Service Reps $19.47 at the BETC Tuesday December 10th from 10am to 12pm

      The exam unit is pleased to advise you that it is posting the up-coming  NYS Court Officer-Trainee 45-815 examination filing and administration periods.

       

      its dedicated NYS COT 45-815 webpage:  http://ww2.nycourts.gov/careers/COT-2020.shtml .  All details, including the exam announcement, frequently asked questions, and related links, can also be found on this webpage.

      Please note that open-filing begins January 22, 2020 and ends February 26, 2020.  Examination will be computer-based and will be administered from April 15, 2020 toJune 10, 2020.

       

      PLEASE READ THE EXAM ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE FILING and follow all application instructions carefully. The filing fee ($30) is NON-REFUNDABLE.

      New York State Court Officer-Trainees, at time of appointment**, must be:

      • at least 20.5 years old
      • a high school graduate or equivalent
      • A United States Citizen
      • A resident of New York State
      • Valid New York State Driver’s License
      • Legally eligible to carry firearms

      For additional info about physical, medical and psychological standards and screening:   http://ww2.nycourts.gov/careers/cot/screening.shtml

      cid:image008.jpg@01D5599D.53D78B30

      Buffalo Employment and Training Center

      77 Goodell St., Buffalo, NY 14203

      716-856-5627 / 716-856-5670– Fax  www.workforcebuffalo.org

      Orientation Times: Monday – Thursday, 10 am or 2 pm.

      Our job announcements, news and other info are also available on Facebook, LinkedIn, 

      Twitter @BETC updates and Instagram @BETC716

      Mayor: Byron W. Brown   County Executive: Mark C. Poloncarz Exec. Director, BETC:  Demone Smith

      Jody Starr
      Career Advisor-Replacement/Retention Specialist
      (Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth)
      Buffalo Employment and Training Center
      77 Goodell Street
      Buffalo New York 14203
      856-8139×3172
      jstarr@wdcinc.org
      http://www.workforcebuffalo.org/

        En las próximas cuatro década

        KEY WEST, Florida, EE.UU. (AP) — Nuevos pronósticos científicos publicados el miércoles visualizan que el nivel del mar aumentará aún más rápido de lo previsto en las próximas cuatro décadas en la zona de baja altitud del sureste de Florida, que ya es propensa a inundaciones frecuentes incluso en días soleados.

        Comparado con los cálculos efectuados en 2015, el nuevo pronóstico es de unos 12 centímetros (5 pulgadas) adicionales de incremento en el nivel del mar según una perspectiva moderada para 2060. El documento fue dado a conocer dentro de la Cumbre de Liderazgo Climático del Sureste de Florida, que abarca los condados densamente poblados de Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach y Monroe.

        El nivel del mar en la región ha aumentado alrededor de 7 centímetros (3 pulgadas) entre 1992 y 2019, de acuerdo con el nuevo estudio. Se ha vuelto común que las mareas altas _en especial las excepcionalmente altas_ inunden carreteras, parques, jardines y estructuras mientras el agua sigue desplazándose poco a poco hacia arriba. A veces sube a través de los sistemas para el manejo de aguas pluviales en tierra firme.

        “Esto es lo que tiene a la gente asustada”, comentó Gus Zambrano, subadministrador de la ciudad de Hollywood. “Es una llamada de atención”.

        La estimación anterior para los niveles del mar que afectaban a la región indicaba un aumento de 60 centímetros (2 pies) para 2060 de los niveles que se tenían en el 2000. Ahora, la previsión señala que habrá un incremento de 72 centímetros (casi 2,5 pies) en el mismo periodo.

        Jayantha Obeysekera, director del Centro para Soluciones del Nivel del Mar en la Universidad Internacional de Florida y científico que estuvo involucrado en las nuevas proyecciones, dijo que la variable clave será si un planeta cada vez más cálido y que padece un cambio climático causará que las capas de hielo en Groenlandia y la Antártida se derritan más rápido de lo que se había pensado. Otros factores son las crecientes temperaturas de los océanos y los cambios en las corrientes, tales como la desaceleración en la del Golfo.

        “Está es la información científica mejor y más reciente disponible”, dijo Obeysekera durante una entrevista en la cumbre en Key West. “Tenemos múltiples escenarios basados en el derretimiento del hielo”.

        El pronóstico incluye la aportación de una decena de científicos, expertos de gobiernos locales y funcionarios de la Oficina Nacional de Administración Oceánica y Atmosférica (NOAA, por sus siglas en inglés).

         

        (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia and Russia won backing for deeper output cuts from OPEC and allied oil producers on Friday as they look to head off global oversupply in 2020 and raise prices

        The group of more than 20 producers agreed to an extra 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in cuts for the first quarter of 2020, sources told Reuters, taking the total to 1.7 million bpd, or 1.7% of global demand.

        OPEC and allied producers, the so-called OPEC+, pump more than 40% of the world’s oil. They began a closed-door meeting at around 1130 GMT to thrash out how the additional cuts will be distributed.

        OPEC is likely to shoulder approximately 340,000 bpd in fresh cuts and non-OPEC producers an extra 160,000 bpd, one source said on Friday.

        Benchmark Brent oil prices were steady on Friday near $63 per barrel.

        “Despite the deeper potential cuts, we view most headlines so far as falling short of consensus expectations,” Goldman Sachs said in a note citing factors including the short duration of the deal.

        OPEC+ will deepen cuts for the first three months of 2020, shorter than the six- or 12-month scenarios some OPEC members wanted.

        The cuts offset an expected increase from countries that are not part of OPEC+, including top producer the United States.

        OPEC met on Thursday in Vienna, deliberating policy for more than five hours. The length of the meeting prompted the cancellation of a news conference and a gala dinner for delegates aboard a boat on the Danube.

        Eleven of OPEC’s 14 member states are participating in the supply curbs. Iran, Libya and Venezuela are exempt.

        OPEC+ adds Russia and nine others – Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, South Sudan and Sudan.

        One sticking point has been compliance, with Saudi Arabia cutting more than required in order to offset overproduction from Iraq and Nigeria.

        “A scenario where the Saudis ‘absorb’ the majority of a 500,000 bpd cut and formalize their target at current output levels would not be impactful to the market – unless Iraq and Nigeria come into compliance with their targets,” said analysts from Jefferies.

        ING bank analysts said the key question was whether the new cuts were real or just a matter of Saudi Arabia formalizing its current over-compliance.

        “Obviously, if it is the latter, the market will be disappointed, as this will do little to eat into the surplus over the first quarter,” ING said.

        Saudi Arabia needs prices of at least $80 per barrel to balance its budget, much higher than most other producers, and also needs to support the share flotation of its national oil company Saudi Aramco.

        Shares in Aramco are expected to begin trading this month following pricing on Thursday that made it the world’s biggest IPO.

        Reporting by Rania El Gamal, Alex Lawler and Ahmad Ghaddar; writing by Jason Neely; editing by Dmitry Zhdannikov

         

        Laborer I

        The Buffalo Sewer Authority is hiring for entry level laborers. Must have ability to learn the practices and procedures involved in the areas of unskilled labor such as, grounds, streets, bridges, manholes and assist with general maintenance and cleaning. Possession of a current NYS Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) is required. Qualified candidates must be a resident of the City of Buffalo.

        Please Send Resume to:

        Buffalo Sewer Authority, 65 Niagara Square/Room 1038, Buffalo, NY 14202 Attn: Director of Employee Relations; email gjames@buffalosewer.org or Fax to (716) 247-5304

        Introducing Elim TownHomes

        205 Holden St. Buffalo, NY.

         

        Attractive and Affordable: 13 2 BRs – 13 3 BRs and 13 4 BRs.

         

        Apartments for individual, Families and Persons with Disabilities.

         

        Eligibility based on income and Section 8 Vouchers Welcome.

         

        Building Features and Amenities:

        Handicapped accessible, Security System, Laundry Facilities, Community Room, Computer Room, TV Lounge, Outdoor Patio, Range and Refrigerator, Well lit off street parking. 24/7 emergency maintenance, Private Entrance.

         

        The application deadline to be in lottery is 1/7/20. The lottery will be held on 1/7/20 at 1pm at (Belmont Housing) Project information is posted on NYHousingSearch.gov

          SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments on military force and the North’s leader, Kim Jong Un, would represent “a very dangerous challenge” if they were intended to provoke Pyongyang, a top North Korean diplomat said on Thursday

          Trump’s comments threaten to return the two countries to the tensions of two years ago, Choe Son Hui, first vice-minister of Foreign Affairs for North Korea, said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

          In 2017 the two leaders famously engaged in a war of words, with Trump calling Kim “Rocket Man” and North Korea slamming the U.S. president, now 73, as a “dotard”.

          Since then Trump and Kim have met three times, but negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenal have stalled amid disagreements and rising tensions.

          This year saw a number of short-range ballistic missile launches by North Korea, and Kim has warned that the United States has until the end of the year to change its stance or he could take an unspecified “new path.”

          On Tuesday Trump once again called Kim “Rocket Man” and said the United States reserved the right to use military force against North Korea.

          “If this is meant to make expressions, reminiscent of those days just two years ago when a war of words was fought across the ocean, surface again on purpose, it will be a very dangerous challenge,” Choe said, arguing that the comments aroused concern and undermined the dignity of North Korea’s leader.

          The lack of courtesy shown to Kim had “prompted the waves of hatred of our people against the U.S. and the Americans and they are getting higher and higher”, Choe said.

          “It would be fortunate” if Trump’s remarks were simply “an instantaneous verbal lapse, but the matter becomes different if they were a planned provocation that deliberately targeted us”, she said.

          North Korea would watch closely to see if Trump repeated the comments, Choe said.

          “If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again on purpose at a crucial moment as now, that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,” she concluded.

          Trump said on Tuesday he still had confidence in the North Korean leader but noted that Kim “likes sending rockets up”.

          “…That’s why I call him Rocket Man,” Trump told reporters at a NATO meeting in London.

          Trump added that Washington could use military force. “If we have to, we’ll do it.”

          On Wednesday, North Korea’s army chief said he was disappointed by Trump’s suggestion of using military force against Pyongyang, and warned that any strike would meet “prompt corresponding actions”.

          Reporting by Josh Smith, Ju-min Park and Jack Kim; Editing by Giles Elgood

           

            U.S. President Donald Trump, center, walks by French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, prior to a group photo of NATO leaders during a NATO leaders meeting at The Grove hotel and resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg rejected Wednesday French criticism that the military alliance is suffering from brain death, and insisted that the organization is adapting to modern challenges. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

            The leaders of Britain, Canada, France and the Netherlands have  been caught on camera at a Buckingham Palace reception mocking US President Donald Trump’s lengthy media appearances ahead of Wedensday’s NATO summit.

            The footage, shot by the British host’s camera pool on Tuesday evening and spotted and subtitled by Canada’s CBC, set the tone for the allies’ summit in Watford, just outside London.

            British Prime Minister Boris Johnson can be heard asking France’s President Emmanuel Macron: “Is that why you were late?

            Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau interjects: “He was late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top.”

            Earlier Tuesday, Macron’s one-on-one pre-summit meeting with Trump had been proceeded by a lengthy question and answer session with the media, as the leaders publicly disagreed about NATO strategy and trade.

            In the video, Macron appears to tell an anecdote about the encounter as Britain’s Princess Anne and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte look on, but the French leader’s back is to camera and he is inaudible amid the hubbub.

            “Oh, yeah, yeah, he announced…” an amused Trudeau declares, adding: “You just watched his team’s jaw drop to the floor.”

            As he did at last year’s NATO meeting, Trump has thrown out normal summit protocol and used his appearances with allied leaders to field dozens of questions from the world’s media.

            He has condemned as “nasty” Macron’s criticism of brain dead NATO, branded European countries that have failed to meet military spending targets “delinquent” and railed against moves in Washington to impeach him.

            Trump is due to give another news conference, this time on his own, later Wednesday after the 29 NATO leaders hold a full three-hour closed-door summit session and issue a statement to celebrate their unity.

             

             

              Washington, 4 dic (EFE).- Los tres juristas citados por el congreso y el que fue llamado a testificar por los republicanos no consiguieron este miércoles ponerse de acuerdo en si el presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, ha cometido o no algún delito que pueda derivar en su destitución, en el inicio de la segunda fase de la investigación para un eventual juicio político contra él.

              Los expertos en la Constitución de EE.UU. que fueron llamados por los demócratas sí coincidieron en subrayar que el Congreso debe celebrar un juicio político contra Trump, de que consideraron que abusó de su poder al pedir a Ucrania que investigase al ex vicepresidente Joe Biden y a su hijo por posible corrupción en ese país.

              ‘Basándome en los testimonios y las pruebas presentadas ante la Cámara Baja, el presidente Trump ha cometido delitos que pueden usarse para su destitución, al abusar corruptamente de la Presidencia’, señaló el profesor de Derecho de la Universidad de Harvard, Noah Feldman.

              ‘SOBORNO, ABUSO DE PODER Y OBSTRUCCIÓN’

              De los otros dos participantes citados por los liberales en la audiencia, tanto la profesora Pamela Karlan, de la Universidad de Standford, como el profesor Michael Gerhardt, de la Universidad de Carolina del Norte, coincidieron con Feldman al subrayar que Trump ‘golpeó a la democracia’ estadounidense al pedir a un Gobierno extranjero que interfiriese en las próximas elecciones.

              En su declaración, Gerhardt fue un paso más allá y aseveró que Trump ha cometido ‘varias ofensas’ que merecen su destitución: soborno, abuso de poder y obstrucción al Congreso.

              ‘Si el Congreso no actúa en este caso, entonces el proceso de destitución ha perdido todo significado y, junto con eso, las garantías cuidadosamente elaboradas en nuestra Constitución contra el establecimiento de un rey en suelo estadounidense’, apuntó.

              ‘Nadie, ni siquiera el presidente, está por encima de nuestra Constitución y nuestras leyes’, agregó.

              Después de escuchar estas comparecencias, la portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Stephanie Grisham, denunció que los tres juristas que se mostraron a favor del juicio político tienen ‘prejuicios’ contra Trump.

              ‘Tres de los cuatro ‘expertos’ en esta audiencia simulada han tenido prejuicios contra Trump. El presidente no tiene derechos en este proceso y los ‘testigos’ de los demócratas se decidieron mucho antes de estas audiencias’, consideró Grisham en su cuenta de Twitter.

              PRECEDENTE PELIGROSO

              Por otro lado, el experto en la Constitución de EE.UU. llamado por los republicanos consideró que destituir a Trump por este motivo crearía un ‘precedente peligroso’ para los próximos inquilinos de la Casa Blanca.

              ‘Me preocupa rebajar los estándares de juicio político para que se ajusten a una escasez de pruebas y una gran cantidad de ira. (…) La destitución de Trump crearía un precedente peligroso por la falta de procedimientos’, analizó Jonathan Turley, también profesor de Derecho, en este caso de la también prestigiosa Universidad George Washington.

              La audiencia, que se celebró en el Edificio Longworth, en las proximidades del Capitolio, estuvo marcada por las interrupciones procedimentales de los republicanos y por el elevado tono de su líder en el comité, Doug Collins.

              ‘El miedo de los demócratas a las elecciones de 2020 es lo que está dirigiendo el proceso de juicio político’, defendió gritando Collins, que usó un tono más similar a un mitin de campaña que a una audiencia legislativa.

              Ante las numerosas interrupciones, el presidente del Comité Judicial, el demócrata Jerry Nadler, amenazó con expulsar a algunos de los miembros republicanos, aunque no lo llevó a cabo.

              ¿SUFICIENTE PARA REDACTAR LOS ARTÍCULOS DE JUICIO POLÍTICO?

              Estas comparecencias forman parte de la segunda fase de la investigación de la Cámara Baja de EE.UU. para abrir un posible juicio político contra Trump, en la que se analiza el marco legal del hipotético proceso de destitución.

              Después de dos semanas de audiencias públicas dirigidas por el Comité de Inteligencia de la Cámara de Representantes, encargado de hallar pruebas en el comportamiento de Trump para iniciar un juicio político contra él, ahora es el turno del Comité Judicial, para definir si esas ofensas son suficientes o no para continuar con el proceso.

              Pese a que el objetivo es determinar si hay pruebas suficientes para el ‘impeachment’ contra Trump a través de expertos, la realidad de hoy confirmó que los testigos citados por demócratas y republicanos defendieron también las ideas de quienes los convocaron. EFE

               

               

               

               

              WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three constitutional law experts called by Congress testified Trump’s actions concerning Ukraine represented impeachable offenses as the House Judiciary Committee began proceedings expected to end in charges against the president.

              President Donald Trump’s actions to prod Ukraine to pursue investigations that could benefit him politically represent impeachable offenses, constitutional law experts called by Democrats testified to the U.S. Congress on Wednesday as lawmakers laid the groundwork for formal charges against Trump.

              At a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing featuring political theatrics, three law professors chosen by the Democrats made clear that they believed Trump’s actions constituted impeachable offenses including abuse of power, bribery, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice.

              A law professor selected by Trump’s fellow Republicans disagreed, saying the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry was “slipshod” and “rushed” and lacked testimony from people with direct knowledge of the relevant events, adding that current evidence does not show Trump committed “a clear criminal act.”

              As Trump headed toward possible impeachment in the Democratic-controlled House within weeks, Republican lawmakers repeatedly tried to interrupt the hearing by raising objections and points of order.

              The impeachment inquiry, launched in September, focuses on Trump’s request on Ukraine to conduct investigations that could harm Democratic political rival Joe Biden. Collins said the impeachment drive – or as he called it a “railroad job” – was motivated by the deep-seated hatred Democrats feel toward Trump since he won the 2016 election.

              The hearing was the committee’s first to examine whether Trump’s actions qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors” punishable by impeachment under the U.S. Constitution. The panel would draft any articles of impeachment – formal charges – against Trump. If the House approves such charges, the Senate then would hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office.

              Trump has denied wrongdoing.

              In London for a NATO meeting, Trump called a report by House Democrats released on Tuesday that laid out possible grounds for impeachment a “joke” and appeared to question the patriotism of the Democrats, asking, “Do they in fact love our country?”

              The inquiry’s focus is a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter Biden and into a discredited theory promoted by Trump’s allies that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

              Hunter Biden had joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was U.S. vice president. Trump has accused the Bidens of corruption without offering evidence. They have denied wrongdoing.

              Harvard University law professor Noah Feldman, called by the Democrats, testified that Trump’s conduct embodies the concern expressed by the Constitution’s 18th century authors “that a sitting president would corruptly abuse the powers of office to distort the outcome of a presidential election in his favor.”

              “If we cannot impeach a president who abuses his office for personal advantage, we no longer live in a democracy. We live in a monarchy or we live under a dictatorship,” Feldman added.

              Stanford University law school professor Pamela Karlan said Trump abused his power by demanding foreign involvement in a U.S. election, adding that his actions “struck at the very heart of what makes this country the republic to which we pledge allegiance.”

              “While the president can name his son Barron, he can’t make him a baron,” Karlan added, prompting a Twitter post by White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham calling the professor “classless” for using the president’s son as a “punchline.”

              Karlan said Trump’s actions constitute bribery as understood by the Constitution’s framers. Asked whether Trump’s demands on Ukraine established the high crime of bribery, Karlan said, “Yes they do.”

              ‘A KING ON AMERICAN SOIL’

              George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley – the only witness chosen by the Republicans, though he said he voted against Trump in 2016 – disagreed that the president’s actions constituted bribery and said the evidence does not adequately support the Democrats’ allegations.

              Turley admonished Trump over the Zelenskiy call – disagreeing with the president that it was “perfect” – and said leveraging U.S. military aid to investigate a political opponent “if proven, can be an impeachable offense.”

              University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt appeared to criticize Republicans for “leaving unchecked a president’s assaults on our Constitution.”

              “If Congress fails to impeach here, then the impeachment process has lost all meaning, and, along with that, our Constitution’s carefully crafted safeguards against the establishment of a king on American soil. No one, not even the president, is beyond the reach of our Constitution and our laws,” Gerhardt said.

              Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his power by withholding $391 million in security aid to Ukraine – a U.S. ally facing Russian aggression – as leverage to pressure Kiev into conducting the two investigations politically beneficial to Trump and for granting Zelenskiy a coveted White House visit.

              The money, approved by Congress, was provided to Ukraine in September only after the controversy had spilled into public view.

              Republicans complained that the inquiry lacked testimony from people with direct knowledge of the events. Trump has instructed current and former members of his administration not to testify or produce documents, leading senior officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to defy House subpoenas.

              No president has ever been removed from office through impeachment, though Republican Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 after the House began the impeachment process in the Watergate corruption scandal. Two other presidents were impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

              The committee could soon recommend articles of impeachment against Trump, setting up a possible vote by the full House before Christmas, followed by a Senate trial in January. Republicans, who control the Senate, have shown little appetite for removing Trump.

              Reporting by David Morgan and Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Richard Cowan, Lisa Lambert and Susan Cornwell in Washington and Steve Holland in London; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Ross Colvin and Will Dunham

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