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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

House Impeachment Managers Urge Senators to REJECT McConnell’s Rules

Jerrold Nadler, (right) Adam Schiff (center) and the House impeachment managers
Jerrold Nadler (right), Adam Schiff (center) and the House impeachment managers. AP

Mark Moore

The Democratic lawmakers who will prosecute the House’s case against President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial on Tuesday blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s proposed rules and urged senators to vote against them.
“A White House-driven and rigged process, with a truncated schedule designed to go late into the night and further conceal the President’s misconduct, is not what the American people expect or deserve,” the House team, which is led by Rep. Adam Schiff, wrote in a statement.
“The McConnell Resolution goes so far as to suggest it may not even allow the evidence gathered by the House to be admitted,” the statement continued. “That is not a fair trial. In fact, it is no trial at all.”
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, released the proposed rules Monday evening that will be debated when the impeachment trial gets underway later Tuesday.
They would give Democrats 24 hours over two days to make their case against Trump on the two articles of impeachment the House passed on Dec. 18.
“There should be a fair trial — fair to the President, yes, but equally important, fair to the American people. Any Senator who wants the same, should reject the McConnell Resolution,” the managers said.
They also said McConnell failed to follow the model set during President Bill Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial in 1999.
“His resolution deviates sharply from the Clinton precedent — and common sense — in an effort to prevent the full truth of the President’s misconduct from coming to light,” the Democrats said in the statement. “In the Clinton case, the President provided all of the documents — more than 90,000 pages of them — before the trial took place. McConnell’s resolution rejects that basic necessity.”
In Clinton’s impeachment, those making opening arguments were given 24 hours to make their cases but over a three-day period.
Democrats would need four GOP senators to reach the 51-vote threshold needed to change the rules.
Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.
Opening arguments are slated for Wednesday.

Why CRIMINAL Prosecution Might Be The Least Of Ilhan Omar’s Legal Concerns

Rep. Ilhan Omar needs competent immigration counsel to ensure that there is no threat of her losing her citizenship, or, worse, deportation.

Matthew Kolken

The Department of Justice has reportedly assigned an FBI special agent to work with Immigration and Customs and Enforcement and the Department of Education Inspector General Charge to investigate Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for alleged criminal violations relating to perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, state and federal tax fraud, federal student loan fraud, and bigamy.

As an immigration lawyer, the very first question that came to mind when I read these reports was what immigration consequences, if any, could attach in the event that any of the above allegations are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. My analysis, unfortunately, has resulted in more unanswerable questions than definitive answers.

My analysis started with the fact that it is widely known Omar was born in Somalia, and immigrated to the United States as a Somalian refugee. At some point after her admission to the country, she obtained U.S. citizenship. The Associated Press reported on November 5, 2009, that Omar fled Somalia to a refugee camp in Kenya with her family in 1991. She ultimately immigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1995.

If this report is correct, the analysis is fairly straightforward. Generally speaking, U.S. immigration law permits refugees to apply for permanent residence, commonly known as a “green card,” one-year after arrival. Five years after holding a green card, refugees may then apply to become a citizen through a process called naturalization.

Naturalization applicants must show they meet residency requirements, and have good moral character. It was reported that Omar became a citizen in 2000, five years after her arrival, at the age of 17.

This last detail is important, and is where things start to get murky. If Omar became a U.S. citizen at the age of 17, she must have obtained it through automatic acquisition after the naturalization of at least one of her parents. Omar would not have been able to apply for citizenship on her own because individuals are ineligible to apply for naturalization until age 18.

Here is where it gets really complicated. The requirements for automatic acquisition have changed several times throughout the last century. The marital status of Omar’s parents would determine whether she could have acquired citizenship. I have no details about their marital status to be able to determine if these legal requirements were fulfilled.

However, if Omar did not have to apply for naturalization, it could eliminate one possible crime that she could be charged with: knowingly giving false information in furtherance of an application for citizenship. A conviction for this crime would lead to her denaturalization, resulting in the loss of citizenship, and the institution of removal proceedings to deport her.

But the analysis doesn’t stop there. For Omar to have automatically acquired citizenship, she must also have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, and there are reports questioning the legality of her admission as a refugee.

David Steinberg has covered the Omar saga for several years and has openly questioned whether she is who she says she is. Steinberg has alleged that Omar assumed her name from an unrelated family that was being granted refugee status. Although I have no way to independently assess the veracity of this report, there is circumstantial evidence that this type of immigration fraud was rampant in the circumstances under which Omar was admitted to the United States.

Specifically, in 2009 the Obama administration assessed the viability of re-employing a Bush-era pilot program that unearthed widespread immigration fraud. It found that as many as 87 percent of applications claiming familial relationship were fraudulent. If the reports are ultimately found true, the immigration consequences would be severe, including loss of citizenship and the institution of removal proceedings. Moreover, there may be no defenses to removal in an immigration court setting to stop her deportation.

Assuming arguendo that it is determined that Omar is not a citizen of the United States, and if she is convicted for any of the crimes she is allegedly being investigated for, there would be bars from most forms of relief from removal. Most crimes relating to fraud constitute a crime involving moral turpitude, which would preclude Omar from applying for cancellation of removal as an immigrant who holds no status in the United States.

If she is convicted for tax evasion where loss to the government exceeds $10,000, she will be removable for having an aggravated felony conviction, which also precludes her from applying for asylum. If she is convicted for marriage fraud, she would be ineligible to be sponsored if she were to marry a U.S. citizen. Needless to say, the worst-case scenario is very bleak.

That said, I have more questions than answers, but my preliminary analysis is that Omar is in need of competent immigration counsel to ensure that there is no threat of her losing her citizenship, or, worse, the prospect of deportation back to a country she fled as a child.


Monday, January 20, 2020

NYC's Homeless are SUFFERING Amid de Blasio MISMANAGEMENT, Critics Say

Image result for NYC's homeless are suffering amid de Blasio mismanagement, critics say"

 Emily DeCiccio

New York City’s homeless shelters are overloaded as an estimated 80,000 people sleep in shelters or on the streets, but Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has failed in its attempts to solve the problem -- and other cities are suffering from the Democrat’s policy, according to critics.

In 2017, the city’s Human Resources Administration implemented the Special One-Time Assistance (SOTA) program in attempts to take a bite out of the Big Apple’s homelessness crisis. Kathryn Kliff, an attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project, told Fox News that SOTA was meant to be used as one of many tools for New York City to help homeless people and families get out of shelters and find permanent housing -- often outside the city.
“SOTA is a program that gives families that have a future ability to pay rent, a year's worth of rent upfront to help them get settled,” Kliff said. “It was created with the idea that once the program ends, they'll take over the rental payments because they have some designated source of income.”
Arianna Fishman, a spokesperson for New York City’s Department of Homelessness (DHS), explained to Fox News that SOTA “provides the extra help needed to get back on the path to permanency and stability through one-time assistance for those households with income that have identified housing, both within and beyond the five boroughs of New York City.”
Kliff added that SOTA has been used for families who may not qualify for other housing vouchers, and is meant to help them move out of shelters because housing in New York City has been so expensive.
Click Photo For VIDEO
The cost of living in Manhattan reportedly was 148 percent higher than the average cost for major U.S. cities in 2019. The average rent in Manhattan for the month of December 2019 increased by 0.29 percent, from $4,108.24 in November to $4,120.20, according to M.N.S. Real Estate NYC.
David Salvatore, a member of the Providence City Council in Rhode Island, explained that while the concept of SOTA was positive, the implementation was lacking.
I heard about it through various news outlets,” Salvatore, a Democrat, said. “It was news to many of us that new residents would be moving in who received a one-year rent subsidy from New York City.”
Fishman noted that the de Blasio administration was in contact with other jurisdictions, but did not indicate whether local governments previously had received a heads-up regarding SOTA.
“The de Blasio administration remains committed to open, ongoing engagement—and we are in direct and active conversations with localities that have sought to learn more about this program and the resources that NYC makes available to New Yorkers in need,” Fishman said. “Any locality that would similarly like to learn more about this program—or any of the other ways our city is aggressively addressing this challenge decades in the making—can reach out.”
Salvatore noted that poverty already has been concentrated in Providence. When speaking to Fox News, he pointed out that of Providence’s 25 neighborhoods, five of them bore the brunt of accepting Section 8 housing vouchers.
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The office of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, a Democrat, directed Fox News to a previous statement it had given on NYC’s SOTA program. It said, in part:
It is deeply concerning that the City of New York is relocating members of their community to ours and many others without informing us. To send these families to other cities and towns with no communication or support structure is irresponsible.
We will continue to do everything we can to assist our residents, especially those experiencing homelessness, despite having limited resources. This irresponsible approach is taking away the resources that we as individual communities and the State of Rhode Island have.
Salvatore echoed Elorza’s sentiments and explained that inventory levels in Providence were already low for people living in the state. “Ninety-four percent of the residents receiving housing vouchers are have found homes, but I think that speaks to the lack of inventory that's available not only here in Providence, but across our state.”
Kliff acknowledged New York City’s housing issues contributing to homelessness in New York. “Frankly, if we had a statewide rental subsidy, we might not need something like SOTA, but in the moment, for families who are just trying to get back on their feet, SOTA can be a very valuable tool.”
She explained problems that arose among her SOTA clients such as apartments without running water or heat during the winter.
“A lot of the calls we got came from New Jersey, and our clients would say that their apartment wasn’t safe, didn’t have running water, or heat,” Kliff said. “At that point in time, the city hadn't created any type of resource for these families on what they're supposed to do once that happens.”
Kliff explained that Legal Aid had written to the city and many of the problems had been addressed when it came to apartment inspections and living conditions. She noted, however, that Legal Aid had some clients who wanted to use SOTA and lived in New Jersey -- but it wasn’t possible. In fact, a federal lawsuit filed by multiple New Jersey mayors was challenging de Blasio’s SOTA program.
She argued the action came at the expense of her clients.
“Our clients are really frustrated because it's actually a better fit for them to be in New Jersey,” Kliff said. “It's closer to their work. They're able to work longer hours and commute easier.”
Both Salvatore and Kliff have been fighting for the interests of their clients and constituents, and wanted to give their homeless populations the best chances at success.
“We’re facing a nationwide crisis on homelessness and housing,” Salvatore said. “There are creative policies that are going in the right direction, but there needs to be coordination that doesn’t lead to careless implementation.”
“These are families that, but for the fact New York City is so expensive to live in, they probably could have already moved out and gone back to the community after whatever hardship led them to become homeless,” Kliff said. “These are people that you probably pass every day on the subway or interact with on a daily basis, and you would have no idea that what they're going through. They deserve respect and dignity.”

Virginia's Capitol Flooded with GUN RIGHTS Activists for Second Amendment Rally


Gun-rights advocates swarm Virginia’s Capitol for Second Amendment rally

 Barnini Chakraborty, Greg Norman

RICHMOND, Va. — Thousands of Second Amendment supporters carrying long firearms and wearing stickers reading “Guns Save Lives" descended upon Virginia's Capitol in Richmond Monday for a widely publicized rally to protest a recent push by state Democrats for comprehensive gun control.
The rally comes as the city has been on high alert for days following threats of violence, leading to road closures as well as a ban on firearms in the Capitol and on its grounds. Yet as of midday Monday, the demonstrations were peaceful.
"If they can come for your guns in Virginia, they can come for them in West Virginia,” demonstrator Annette Parker told Fox News, noting that she drove six hours to get to the event.
Demonstrators are seen during a pro-gun rally, Monday in Richmond, Va. (AP)
Demonstrators are seen during a pro-gun rally, Monday in Richmond, Va. (AP)
The throngs who gathered in Richmond Monday were heard in large groups reciting the Second Amendment in unison, while others broke out in chants of "we will not comply!"
When one speaker asked the crowd if they were ready for gun control, the crowd yelled back, ”No!”
Other speakers, like Republican Delegate John McGuire III, used the event to drum up support for President Trump, who tweeted days ago, "Your 2nd Amendment is under very serious attack in the Great Commonwealth of Virginia."
“Let me hear if you’re sick and tired of Republicans who do not support President Trump," McGuire said, revving up those in attendance.
Virginia State troopers stand near a security checkpoint at the Capitol grounds in Richmond. (AP)
Virginia State troopers stand near a security checkpoint at the Capitol grounds in Richmond. (AP)
The president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League – the nonprofit organizer of the rally – told Fox News that it wasn't the pro-gun groups who had been stoking fear of potential violence at the event.
"It's the Democrats," Philip Van Cleave said. "It's almost like they want something to happen. It sounds crazy, but they keep doing it and you have to start wondering if that's intentional."
Stacks of chain-link fencing, white tents and rows of metal detectors were in place early Monday morning as some demonstrators began making their way inside the Capitol grounds. But many instead decided to stand outside the security perimeter with their guns.
Others were seen carrying American and Gadsden flags, while some were passing around petitions demanding the ouster of Gov. Ralph Northam, the state’s Democrat leader.
Members associated with the Light Foot Militia, some of whom were banned from Charlottesville, Va., following the deadly 2017 "Unite the Right" rally, were expected to attend Monday's protest. Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist, has indicated he might make an appearance.
Last week, three gun control-related bills advanced in Virginia’s General Assembly, setting the stage for a contentious showdown between gun rights advocates and the Democratic lawmakers, who campaigned on bringing changes to the state following last year's mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal complex.
The bills that sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee propose to require background checks on all firearms purchases; allow law enforcement to temporarily remove guns from people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others; limit handgun purchases to one a month; and let localities decide on whether to ban weapons from certain events. To become law, the bills would have to pass the full Senate and the House of Delegates before going to the governor for his signature.
Demonstrators stand outside a security zone before a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Va.
Demonstrators stand outside a security zone before a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Va.
In a symbolic sign of defiance, more than 100 municipalities in Virginia have designated themselves as a safe haven or sanctuary for the Second Amendment. Lawmakers and authorities in those areas have said they will refuse to enforce new gun control laws the Virginia Legislature passes.
The state’s only self-proclaimed socialist Democrat, Lee Carter, has said he will be heading to an “undisclosed location” to work Monday instead of the Capitol.
“People were threatening to murder me and murder my family over something I’m not even doing,” Carter told multiple media outlets ahead of today's rally.  “These threats are more hateful and more numerous than anything I’ve seen before. I mean, I’m the only socialist elected to a legislature in the South, so I do occasionally get waves of death threats -- about every two three months it’ll happen -- but this one is far larger and far more serious than anything I’ve seen before by orders of magnitude.”
Carter said he has reported the threats to the Virginia Capitol Police.
Second Amendment supporters gather on Bank Street outside the Virginia state capitol on Monday. (AP/The Virginian-Pilot)
Second Amendment supporters gather on Bank Street outside the Virginia state capitol on Monday. (AP/The Virginian-Pilot)
But some demonstrators in Richmond tell Fox News he should make an appearance.
"I think it's ridiculous a former Marine would stay at home,” said Angela Darton of Fairfax County. “If he's so anti-Second Amendment, you'd think he'd make an effort to be here."
Monday's rally is part of Lobby Day, an annual event in Virginia where advocates of a variety of causes descend on Richmond's Capitol Square to plead their cases to legislators. Gun rights advocates have shown up in past years but the turnout Monday has grown astronomically.
The rally Monday also comes about two and a half years after a deadly incident in Charlottesville, in which hundreds of white nationalists and their supporters gathered about 70 miles from Richmond to demonstrate over plans to remove a Confederate statute. They were met by counterprotesters and violence quickly erupted. At one point, a vehicle drove into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others.

How America’s WOMAN-DOMINANT Sexual Dynamic Is DESTROYING Marriages And Families

That’s the missing element in the push for the so-called equal marriage. By suggesting men and women are essentially the same, we set them up to fail.
How America’s Woman-Dominant Sexual Dynamic Is Destroying Marriages And Families

Suzanne Venker

Susan Forray is a 44-year-old divorced actuary who wrote in The New York Times about her relationship with a man unlike all the others she dated in the past, in that he believed in traditional gender roles. This gentleman told Forray flat-out one day, “I’m the man. I should be in charge of the money.”

Forray felt a “jolt of anxiety.” Here she was, an actuary—someone who analyzes statistics and uses them to calculate insurance risks and premiums—and the man she’s dating tells her managing money is his job, not hers.

“I found his bluntness surprising but also alluring. He was confident in his desires…I craved a man who sought to take financial responsibility for his family, even if I didn’t need it,” she writes. “The men I’d previously dated thought of themselves as staunch feminists—in hindsight, frustratingly so, at least in the sense that they were too inclined to defer to me (under the guise of respecting me) to ever take charge, either financially or sexually.”

This sexual dynamic Forray describes is not an anomaly—it is the norm. I’ve heard countless stories of strong and successful women who are dating or married to a man who, in an effort to appear liberated, has either curbed his ambitions or simply follows rather than leads. Just the other day I had yet another conversation with a mother whose 20-something daughter is moving in with a man who lacks the direction and ambition she has, and the daughter told her mother she’s worried he will come to resent her.

She’s right to be worried. That will happen.

I’m not alone in recognizing the seismic shift that has occurred since I was on the dating market, but my experience with this phenomenon isn’t relegated to conversations with friends. As an author, speaker, and relationship coach, I deal with this new reality every day. The vast majority of my clients are individuals and couples who are grappling with a new sexual dynamic: one in which the woman, not the man, is the dominant partner. You might think this would make women happy. In fact, it makes them miserable.

How Men Lost Their Mojo

It makes men miserable, too. But 40 years of feminism has eroded male power to such a degree men no longer recognize their disempowerment, which starts in their very own homes.

Today, almost a quarter of U.S. children live in single-parent homes. In the vast majority of those homes, the single parent is the mother. This is detrimental to both sons and daughters, but it is particularly devastating for boys.

After all, girls still have their same-sex parent as a model for womanhood; but boys have no such model for manhood. Instead, they’re raised primarily by women—not just at home but at school, where the majority of their teachers are women.

This dearth of fathers and of male leadership, combined with a relentless war on men and masculinity, has emasculated our men. They have dispensed with their masculine attributes (or never developed them) and are now feminized.

Naturally, this radically alters the sexual dynamic between women and men. Rather than being bold, confident, strong, and ambitious, men are tentative and accommodating. They look to women for answers and await their instructions. And far too many have stopped making something of themselves.

The Significance of Sex Roles

As a result, women don’t want them, and men don’t understand why. After all, they’ve become the liberated men they were asked to become. But in doing so, something was lost.

It’s one thing to encourage people to be flexible with sex roles and another to suggest biology is bogus. Men and women are not interchangeable. Ergo, the idea that they can seamlessly reverse roles is wishful thinking.

Men’s and women’s bodies are literally made to fit together like a puzzle piece. A relationship that honors these sex differences, not just physically but psychologically, will flourish. A relationship that doesn’t will die.

It is true the average marriage today, my own included, is more egalitarian than were our parents’ and grandparents’ marriages. Birth control, technological advances, remote work spaces, and a shocking array of household conveniences made this inevitable.

But when couples become parents something happens: they begin to divvy up tasks according to their biological proclivities. Indeed, a mere 32 percent of married women prefer to work full-time when they have kids—the rest want to work part time or not at all. This is not the case for men, who view breadwinning very differently than women do.

Take a moment to consider the most significant difference between the sexes. It is women whose bodies have the ability to do the most important and powerful task in the world: carry life, give life, and nourish life. Women are even designed to nurture their babies in a unique and primal way. A woman’s value to society, in other words, is immeasurable, even if she never earns a dime in the workforce. 

That is not the case for men.

A woman’s identity is linked to her desire to “nest.” That this is not true of every woman does not make it any less true for most. Any gynecologist can tell you that most women, if they haven’t had children by their mid-thirties, become anxious. No matter how committed they may be to their jobs, that desire is there. When it’s met, a woman’s nurturing gene kicks in. Providing for that child emotionally, not financially, will be her first instinct.

A man’s first instinct is to make money. That’s his unparalleled accomplishment in the same way giving birth is to a woman. Ergo, when a man isn’t providing for his family in a manner he deems necessary, he will not be happy.

Neither, apparently, will she. As Forray observed, women “crave” a man who takes financial responsibility for his family, even if they don’t technically need him to. Sexual attraction depends on a woman’s ability to rely on a man, even if she’s capable of relying on herself. It’s not about what a woman can do but what she wants to do. It’s about desire.

That’s the missing element in the push for the so-called equal marriage. By suggesting men and women are essentially the same, we set them up to fail. We ignore biological reality at our own peril.

When She Makes More

Relationships are especially fragile when the woman earns more than the man. When that happens, the relationship feels parental rather than sexual. “According to psychologists (and divorce lawyers) who see couples struggling with such changes,” writes Ralph Gardner, Jr. in New York Magazine, “many relationships follow the same pattern. First, the wife starts to lose respect for her husband, then he begins to feel emasculated, and then sex dwindles to a full stop.”

Now you might be thinking you know plenty of couples who have no problem with this arrangement, and that may be. Many couples don’t anticipate in advance how it can backfire. But studies have shown, and psychologists can attest, that when the wife earns more, marriages on average are far less stable. This is especially true if the husband is not employed at all.

Husbands may lament their long hours at work and want to spend more time at home, but they will not be burdened by it because it’s in their nature to provide. It’s their fuel.

For women, employment is more about autonomy or personal achievement or simply having added income. If and when her job becomes necessary for the family to survive—or worse, if her husband becomes her dependent—things fall apart. That’s why we hear so much from working mothers (and not from working fathers) about guilt and stress.

This is what happened to a couple I’ll call Jane and Bill, who’ve been married 21 years. Jane is a physician who makes $350,000 per year, and Bill (who has an MBA, so is clearly Jane’s professional equal) has been home with their four children since they were born. Neither is happy.

“This role reversal has caused enormous conflict,” Jane says. “I am jealous of the fact that he gets to stay at home, and he is jealous of the fact that I get to go to work. I lack respect for him because I’m bringing home all the money. I regret that I’m not an at-home mom and wife, supporting my family instead of leading them.”

The Way Forward

For decades women have been groomed to be like men, and men have responded by becoming more like women. This role reversal may get women ahead in the marketplace, but in love it’s a complete disaster.

Successful relationships depend on men being men and on women being women. Every fiber of a woman’s being calls out for a man with whom she can feel physically and emotionally safe, and money is part of that equation. Yes, women now earn their own money, and that is not going to change. But what can change is our attitude and approach to love.

What men and women look for in a relationship and what they need from each other within that relationship is not the same. Being malleable with gender roles is great, but ignoring biology is not. After all these years, women still want security, and men still want to provide that security. The more a relationship moves away from this reality, the more it will struggle. The more a relationship moves toward it, the more successful it will be.


'No CAUSE, Case CLOSED': Alan Dershowitz Lays Out a Defense of Trump

In this Dec. 2, 2019, file photo, Attorney Alan Dershowitz leaves federal court, in New York. President Donald Trump's legal team will include former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who led the Whitewater investigation into President Bill Clinton, according to a person familiar with the matter. The team will also include Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Photo by: Richard Drew

Valerie Richardson

The Senate impeachment trial of President Trump could be exceedingly brief if legal scholar Alan Dershowitz has his way.
Mr. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law School professor emeritus serving on the Trump legal team, plans to kick off the Trump administration’s defense by arguing that neither of the two articles passed by the House constitutes an impeachable offense.
“I’m making what could be the most important argument on the floor of the Senate: namely, that even if everything that is alleged by the House managers is proven or taken as true, they would not rise to the level of an impeachable offense,” Mr. Dershowitz said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Democrats promptly rejected Mr. Dershowitz’s gambit. They argued that “abuse of power is at the center of what the framers intended an impeachable offense to be,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the 10 House impeachment managers.
“The logic of that absurdist position that’s being now adopted by the president is he could give away the state of Alaska, he could withhold execution of sanctions on Russia for interfering in the last election, to induce or coerce Russia to interfere in the next one,” Mr. Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The White House and Democrats, trading charges before the Senate begins the trial Tuesday, are trying to win legal style points from an electorate in an impeachment proceeding whose outcome is all but assured before it begins.
House Democrats issued a 60-page legal brief Saturday calling Mr. Trump’s conduct “the Framers’ worst nightmare.” They said the president sought to squeeze a foreign government for political gain with his July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president.
The White House countered the same day by blasting the “brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election, now just months away.”
“This highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the president began even before his election and continues to this day,” said the White House brief. “President Trump categorically and unequivocally denies each and every allegation in both articles of impeachment.”
Mr. Dershowitz countered by citing an argument by Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis during the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868.
“[Curtis] argued, very successfully, winning the case, that you needed proof of an actual crime,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “It needn’t be a statutory crime, but it has to be criminal behavior, criminal in nature. And the allegations in the Johnson case were much akin to the allegations here — abusive conduct, obstructive conduct — and that lost.”
Former prosecutor Robert Ray, who recently joined Mr. Trump’s legal team, said abuse of power allegations “have been tried on for size before, but they have not fared well.”
“The core of the impeachment parameters allege that crimes have been committed, treason, bribery and things like that — in other words, other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Mr. Ray said on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
If that argument prevails, it essentially becomes “an argument against witnesses,” said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, which would render moot the question of whether Democrats, Republicans or both should be able to introduce additional testimony during the Senate trial.
House Democrats have sought to introduce new testimony and documents. Senate Republicans have balked, with the stipulation that if the Democrats somehow force the calling of new witnesses, then Republicans should be able to call such witnesses, too.
For Democrats, the problem is that the Republicans would undoubtedly seek to call Hunter Biden. The son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden received a high-paying post on a Ukrainian energy company’s board, despite having no experience in the industry, while his father was the point man on Ukraine policy in the Obama administration.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, said Sunday he would be “fine” with that.
“We take the position that we want to hear from witnesses. I don’t know what Hunter Biden has to do with the phone call that was made,” Mr. Brown said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Strongly in favor of testimony from Hunter Biden was Donald Trump Jr., who said he hoped Senate Republicans would press for testimony from both Bidens. The former vice president is a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination this year.
“I’d like to personally hear from everyone, hear from Hunter Biden. I’d like to hear from Joe Biden because, frankly, these are the reasons we’re even having these discussions right now,” Donald Trump Jr. said.
At the same time, he said, he worried that “weaker Republicans” would attempt to squelch the effort.
“If some of those guys don’t want to hear from the witnesses that we’d want to hear from but will hear from the others, I want to know about it because they don’t deserve to be in office,” Mr. Trump said. “Hearing from everyone is totally fair.”
At the top of the Democratic witness wish list would be former National Security Adviser John R. Bolton.
Would Democrats accept a Bolton-for-Biden testimony deal? Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries, a New York Democrat and House impeachment manager, said it would be up to the Senate, but he clearly wasn’t thrilled with the idea.
“The standard that should apply is relevance as it relates to the central allegation in this case of the president pressuring the Ukrainian government for his own personal political gain,” Mr. Jeffries said on “Fox News Sunday.”
• Dave Boyer, S.A. Miller and Alex Swoyer contributed to this report.