also can Trump really be impeached? It seems like it's becoming more and more an actual possibility right?
Impeachment only takes 1/2 of a quorum in the House. I think that's almost certain to happen. The issue is conviction takes 2/3 of a quorum in the Senate and that's an extremely high bar especially when Republicans are the majority there unlike the House and while Trump has 80-90% support job approval in the Republican party.
a) Open ballot - All Democrats/Independents (47) plus 20 Republicans or other combination
b) Secret ballot for political cover - this would be highly controversial in its own way if not actually viable
c) Some Republicans boycott the vote, lowering the quorum below 100, lowering the total votes needed for conviction to less than 67.
A video depicting a macabre scene of a fake President Trump shooting, stabbing and brutally assaulting members of the news media and his political opponents was shown at a conference for his supporters at his Miami resort last week, according to footage obtained by The New York Times.
Fiona Hill, the White House’s former top Russia adviser, told impeachment investigators on Monday that Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, ran a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvented U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President Trump, according to people familiar with her testimony.
In her testimony, she detailed a July 10 meeting she attended with senior Ukrainian officials, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, and other U.S. officials in which the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, raised the issue of the investigations, the people said.
People in the room took the comments to refer to an investigation that could implicate Mr. Biden and his son, the people said. Both Ms. Hill and Mr. Bolton left the meeting with concerns about what had transpired, and Ms. Hill said Mr. Bolton instructed her to talk to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg, the people said. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bolton didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday.
Mr. Bolton got into a tense exchange on July 10 with Gordon D. Sondland, the Trump donor turned ambassador to the European Union, who was working with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, to press Ukraine to investigate Democrats, according to three people who heard the testimony.
The aide, Fiona Hill, testified that Mr. Bolton told her to notify the chief lawyer for the National Security Council about a rogue effort by Mr. Sondland, Mr. Giuliani and Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, according to the people familiar with the testimony.
“I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” Mr. Bolton, a Yale-trained lawyer, told Ms. Hill to tell White House lawyers, according to two people at the deposition. (Another person in the room initially said Mr. Bolton referred to Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Mulvaney, but two others said he cited Mr. Sondland.)
It was not the first time Mr. Bolton expressed grave concerns to Ms. Hill about the campaign being run by Mr. Giuliani. “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up,” Ms. Hill quoted Mr. Bolton as saying during an earlier conversation.
Michael McKinley, the former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo until his sudden resignation last week, will tell House impeachment investigators Wednesday that career diplomats were mistreated during his tenure and some had their careers derailed for political reasons, according to a person familiar with his testimony.
McKinley will outline how his concerns culminated with the recall of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, a punitive action he and many other rank-and-file diplomats viewed as wholly unjustified.
“The unwillingness of State Department leadership to defend Yovanovitch or interfere with an obviously partisan effort to intervene in our relationship with Ukraine for the political benefit of the president was too much for him,” said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid.
Lawmakers plan to grill Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on Thursday about a private discussion he had with top Ukrainian officials in the White House in which he explicitly mentioned the Ukrainian gas company linked to Hunter Biden, amid negotiations over granting Ukraine’s new president an audience with President Donald Trump, NBC News has learned.
Sondland’s meeting with the Ukrainians just steps away from the White House Situation Room came minutes after a larger West Wing meeting that included then-National Security Adviser John Bolton, who had been noncommittal about scheduling a meeting between Trump and new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Sondland directly contradicted Bolton by telling the Ukrainians that in fact, Trump was committed to meeting with Zelenskiy on the condition he open a corruption investigation, two people told about the matter tell NBC News.
Bolton abruptly ended the meeting.
But, the individuals say, Sondland then invited the Ukrainian officials to continue the conversation separately, escorting them to a private room in the White House basement, the individuals said. That’s when Sondland was overheard discussing Burisma Holdings, whose board of directors former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden joined in 2014.
[U.S. Speaker of the House] Pelosi told reporters Tuesday that the investigation is raising new questions about Trump’s relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. She says that with Trump, “all roads seem to lead to Putin.”
NBC News - Sondland to testify that Trump directed Giuliani to push Ukraine scheme "My understanding was that the president directed Mr. Giuliani’s participation, that Mr. Giuliani was expressing the concerns of the president," he'll say, according to prepared testimony obtained by NBC News.
The Trump administration has sought repeatedly to cut foreign aid programs tasked with combating corruption in Ukraine and elsewhere overseas, White House budget documents show, despite recent claims from President Trump and his administration that they have been singularly concerned with fighting corruption in Ukraine.'
More than two months before the phone call that launched the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Ukraine’s newly elected leader was already worried about pressure from the U.S. president to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.