Clinton warns on Russian hacking
The former US secretary of state and presidential candidate memorably and, to the shock of many, beaten by Donald Trump in 2016 in an election that was tarnished by Russian interference, has just taken to Twitter.
She’s reacting to a New York Times story that Russian operatives have hacked into Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment inquiry, potentially seeking damaging information about Hunter Biden’s stint as a director of that company, which could damage his father, Joe Biden.
Democratic 2020 candidate and former vice-president Joe Biden is Trump’s main competition, currently, for the White House in this November’s US presidential election.
“Russians appear to be re-running their 2016 hacking playbook, once again to benefit Donald Trump. Will the media play along again? Will the GOP open the door again?” Clinton just pondered.
The other billionaire in the Democratic race, Tom Steyer, released today an ad that takes a direct hit at Trump where it hurts the most.
“When he calls himself a billionaire businessman who’s good for the economy, I’ll remind him I’m an actual billionaire with a ‘B’, and he’s a fake billionaire with a capitol ‘C’, for ‘con man’, ‘crook’ and ‘criminal’.”
The president and his net worth is a sensitive subject for the president. Trump and his lawyers have been fighting the release of his tax returns for years, the case for which was agreed to be heard by the Supreme Court.
Trump has repeatedly thrown hits at Steyer, tweeting in April that “weirdo Tom Steyer… didn’t have the ‘gut’ or money to run for president” months before Steyer launched his presidential campaign.
Steyer and fellow billionaire candidate Michael Bloomberg have spent $106m and $211m in advertising for their campaigns, respectively. While Bloomberg has not qualified for tonight’s debate, Steyer narrowly qualified after polls in early voting states Nevada and South Carolina showed a surge of support.
Though he won’t be on the debate stage in Iowa tonight, billionaire and presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has over 1,000 staffers across the country. Over 700 are based in 33 states while hundreds more work out of Bloomberg’s campaign headquarters in Manhattan, Politico reported this morning.
Since his late entry into the Democratic pool in November, Bloomberg is running an unconventional campaign that focuses on the states whose primaries fall on Super Tuesday, March 3.
To attract staffers to his campaign, Bloomberg has been offering salaries that “far exceed typical wages paid by his opponents,” Politico reported. The campaign has also agreed to pay the staffers through the November election, regardless of whether he wins the primary.
As the House Democrats move to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, a reckoning in the Republican party is slowly taking place.
Moderate Republicans have been indicating they would be open to letting witnesses testify in a trial, rather than speedily dismissing the articles of impeachment, as Trump has indicated he would like to see.
Roy Blunt, a Republican senator from Missouri, told the Washington Post “certainly, there aren’t 51 votes for a motion to dismiss” the articles of impeachment without a trial. Other moderate Republicans like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have also indicated they are inclined to see if they would need more information that would merit a trial.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has proved himself an ally rather than foe of Trump during the impeachment process, will have to parse out how quickly he can dismiss the articles of impeachment while getting enough votes to do so.
“If the existing case is strong, there’s no need for the judge and the jury to reopen the investigation. If the existing case is weak, House Democrats should not have impeached,” McConnell told reporters this morning.
Here’s a bit more on how those impeachment managers will be selected. These managers will be the ones to present the Senate with the case to remove Donald Trump from office.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has not said when she will announce who the managers are. “I’ll let you know,” Pelosi told CNN earlier today. “I’ll announce them when I do.”
(This is a joke, by the way.)
And the debate tomorrow on whether to send the articles to the Senate will likely be short since House Democrats have the majority on their side of Congress.
(This is not a joke.)
Pelosi says House will vote tomorrow to send articles of impeachment to Senate
Multiple reporters on Capitol Hill are reporting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will be voting tomorrow to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate tomorrow. Though the House will be deciding whether to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, the timing of when the articles of impeachment will be sent is still unclear.
Though she was expected to do so today, Pelosi did not name the impeachment managers, the House Democrats who would serve as prosecutors for the caucus in making the case to the Senate to remove President Donald Trump from office.
House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler just told CNN that he “would expect” to be named as one of the impeachment managers, but said he doesn’t know who Speaker Nancy Pelosi will name.
Happy Tuesday and welcome to the politics live blog! This morning is the calm before the storm for what’s gearing up to be the next stage in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump.
House Democrats are holding a meeting this morning where they are expected to discuss sending over the articles of impeachment to the Senate. The caucus is expected to vote on impeachment managers, the lawmakers who will serve as prosecutors for the House Democrats as they make the case to the Senate for why Trump should be removed from office. House majority leader Steny Hoyer said a House vote on these managers could happen as early as Wednesday.
Here’s what else is happening today:
- Attorney general William Barr has escalated pressure on Apple to help the justice department unlock a pair of iPhones the gunman in the December shooting of the Florida Navy base, who killed three people, used to provide more information on the shooting. Yesterday, Barr said that the attack was an act of terrorism.
- Trump is preparing to divert an additional $7.2bn of defense funding to support his border wall construction, the Washington Post reported last night. The Pentagon funding would be taken from military construction projects and counternarcotics funding and would help construct 885 miles of the wall by 2022.
- Tonight is anticipated to be the biggest night of the 2020 presidential campaign so far. Six candidates will be on the debate stage in Iowa tonight: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren. We’ll be covering all that’s happening in the land of 2020 all day – stay tuned!