Tuesday December 11, 2018
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Carson catches up with Trump, Clinton lead eroding

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By Arun Kumar

Washington: A day before the second Republican presidential debate, two new polls found neurosurgeon Ben Carson catching up with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s national lead narrowing with a rapid erosion of Democratic women’s support.

Amassing considerable new support from Republican voters, Carson at 23 percent is just four points behind real estate mogul Trump as their pick for the party’s presidential nomination, according to a new New York Times/CBS News poll.

“Far more than other Republican contenders, Carson has capitalised on his outsider message – a mix of anti-establishment views, delivered in a calmer tone than Trump’s, and socially conservative positions – to draw voters away from rivals and leap ahead in the poll,” the Times said.

images (2)While the proportion of Republican voters favouring Carson rose to 23 percent from 6 percent in the previous CBS News poll, taken just before the first televised Republican debate in early August, Trump made modest gains, rising to 27 percent from 24 percent.

Establishment favourite Jeb Bush fell in the poll, to 6 percent, from 13 percent, and Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin tumbled to 2 percent from 10 percent, according to the poll.

The only other significant gain was made by the third outsider in the Republican field, Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, who drew support from 4 percent of voters, compared with a minimal percentage in midsummer.

Meanwhile a Washington Post-ABC News poll saw Clinton suffering a rapid erosion of support among “Democratic women” – the voters long presumed to be the bedrock in her bid to become the nation’s first female president.

Where 71 percent of Democratic-leaning female voters said in July that they expected to vote for Clinton, only 42 percent do now, a drop of 29 points in eight weeks.

Clinton’s erosion of support is largely attributed to the controversy surrounding her use of a private server when she was secretary of state and her response to it amid reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into the security of her e-mails.

As a result, Clinton’s once-commanding national lead over Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running to her left, and Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering joining the race, has been cut by two-thirds, the Post said.

Both men are now polling in the low 20’s against her.

“The poll suggests that the historic significance of Clinton’s campaign is being overtaken by other forces,” the Post said.

Clinton, according to the Post, did not dispute the drop in support when asked about it Monday at a news conference in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

“I’ve been in and around enough campaigns to know that there’s an ebb and flow,” she said. “Polls go up and down.”

(IANS)

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U.N. Donald Trump’s Impeachment may be Possible: Key Lawmaker

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump's campaign.

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U.S.A., Trump
House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., arrives for a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Dec. 7, 2017, on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. VOA

A key U.S. lawmaker said Sunday that Democrats in the House of Representatives could pursue impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. leader had “surrounded himself with crooks” and was part of a broad “conspiracy against the American people” to win the 2016 election.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat set to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber next month, told CNN that lawmakers have to decide “how important” allegations are against Trump, but should pursue impeachment charges “only for serious offenses.”

U.S.A., Trump
In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Nadler offered his thoughts two days after federal prosecutors accused former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump, of orchestrating $280,000 in hush money payments shortly before the 2016 election to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump so they would stay silent before Election Day.

Nadler said that if proven, the allegations against Trump were “certainly impeachable offenses.” That could lead to his removal from office, if the Senate were to convict him by at least a two-thirds vote, a doubtful proposition with Republican control of the Senate continuing in the Congress that takes office in January.

Nadler said lawmakers will have “to look at all this,” along with weighing what special counsel Robert Mueller concludes about allegations that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to help him win and that, as president, Trump obstructed justice by trying to thwart the ongoing 19-month probe.

The U.S. Justice Department has a standing guideline against indicting sitting presidents, although they can be charged after leaving office. Nadler said, however, “There’s nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the president from being indicted. Nobody should be above the law.”

U.S.A., Trump
Stormy Daniels speaks during a ceremony for her in West Hollywood, Calif.. VOA

Trump has dismissed the latest allegations against him in connection with the payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal and allegations of Trump campaign contacts with Russia to help him win the election.

He used Twitter on Monday to repeat his frequent statement of “NO COLLUSION” between his campaign and Russia.

“So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,” Trump said. He went on to say “it was done correctly and there would not even be a fine,” further adding that if there were any problems then Cohen would be the one who was liable.

“Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced,” Trump said.

Trump has called for the end to the Mueller probe, but a Republican lawmaker, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, told ABC News, “I’ve always supported the Mueller investigation and continue to do so because I think it’s in the best interest of everyone involved, including, by the way, the president.”

U.S.A., Trump
Seven-page government sentencing document for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer. VOA

Aside from Cohen, who is set to be sentenced Wednesday and faces several years of imprisonment, Mueller so far has secured guilty pleas or won convictions of Trump’s first national security adviser, his former campaign manager, his former deputy campaign manager, a foreign policy adviser and other lesser figures.

On Sunday, Trump assailed former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, whom Trump fired while he was heading the Russia investigation before Mueller was named to lead the probe.

U.S.A. Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey, with his attorney, David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters after a day of testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Comey testified to a House panel on Friday about his role in 2016 election-related investigations of Trump’s campaign and that of his challenger, Democrat Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state.

Also Read: SpaceX Drops Plan To Make its Falcon 9 Even More Reusable

“On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked,” Trump claimed on Twitter.

“Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!” (VOA)