Tuesday June 25, 2019
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Sen. Graham: If Democrats Pursue Trump’s Impeachment, They Will Face Political Peril

Attorney General William Barr and then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided criminal charges were not warranted against Trump

Sen. Graham, Democrats, Trump
FILE - Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks to the media after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion between U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, March 25, 2019. VOA

A top U.S. Republican lawmaker predicted Sunday that if opposition Democrats in the House of Representatives try to impeach President Donald Trump, the president will be re-elected next year and Republicans will retake control of the House.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, an ally of Trump’s, told “Fox News Sunday” that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the Democratic-controlled lower chamber, permits an impeachment inquiry to start, “it would be suicide for the Democratic Party.”

Graham said Pelosi’s “job is very much on the line,” depending on whether she eventually relents on allowing an impeachment hearing to open.

About three dozen Democrats and a lone Republican in the 435-member House have called for impeachment hearings to start against Trump, to consider whether he obstructed justice by trying to thwart special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian intrusion in the 2016 U.S. presidential election that Trump won. Even if the House were to impeach Trump, the Republican-controlled Senate is highly unlikely to remove him from office.

Sen. Graham, Democrats, Trump
About three dozen Democrats and a lone Republican in the 435-member House have called for impeachment hearings to start against Trump. Pixabay

So far, Pelosi has resisted calls to start an impeachment inquiry, instead opting to continue several House committee investigations of Trump’s finances, taxes and actions he took during his 28-month presidency to try to end the Mueller probe or curb its scope. But she said last week that Trump has been engaging “in a cover-up” by refusing to cooperate with the Democratic-led investigations.

She said the House investigations “may take us to impeachment,” but that currently “we are not at that place.”

Trump pointedly rejected her “cover-up” claim, saying, “I don’t do cover-ups.” At a brief White House meeting, Trump refused to negotiate with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer over policy issues while the House investigations continue.

“You can’t do it under these circumstances,” he said. “What they’ve done is abuse. Let them play their games.”

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Mueller concluded that Trump did not collude with Russia to help him win, but outlined 11 possible times he engaged in obstructive behavior, while not reaching a conclusion whether he should face criminal charges. Subsequently, Attorney General William Barr and then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided criminal charges were not warranted against Trump.

Trump has encouraged a counter-investigation by Barr, his appointee as the country’s top law enforcement officer, as he has started a probe into the origins of the Russia probe. Trump gave Barr full authority to declassify intelligence information that led to the start of the investigation of Russian meddling in the election and eventually the Mueller probe.

Before leaving Washington for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said, “They will be able to see… how the hoax or witch hunt started and why it started. It was an attempted coup or an attempted takedown of the president of the United States.”

He claimed, “There’s word and rumor that the FBI and others were involved, CIA were involved with the [United Kingdom], having to do with the Russian hoax. We’re exposing everything.”

Sen. Graham, Democrats, Trump
Trump refused to negotiate with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer over policy issues. Pixabay

Several Democratic lawmakers and former intelligence community officials have attacked Trump for telling Barr he is free to release whatever information he decides to.

But Graham said that does not worry him. “I support Attorney General Barr to make this as transparent as possible,” he said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, from Tokyo on Trump’s visit, told NBC, “We already know there was an outrageous amount of corruption at the Justice Department.”

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She said Trump wants “to get to the bottom of what happened.” (VOA)

Next Story

Mexico Begins Trying to Talk its Way Out of Trump’s Latest Tariff Threat

Mexico warned Monday that President Donald Trump's threatened new tariff on its exports to the United States would hurt both countries

Mexico, Trump's, Tariff, Threat
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, right, accompanied by Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena, speaks during a news conference at the Mexican Embassy in Washington, June 3, 2019. VOA

Mexico warned Monday that President Donald Trump’s threatened new tariff on its exports to the United States would hurt both countries’ economies and cause even more Central American migrants to travel through Mexico to reach the United States.

At the start of talks in Washington, Mexican officials said they could only go so far in meeting Trump’s demand to block migrants’ passage through Mexico to avert Trump’s imposition of a 5% tariff next week. The officials specifically ruled out a “third safe country” agreement requiring U.S. asylum-seekers to first apply for refuge in Mexico.

“There is a clear limit to what we can negotiate, and the limit is Mexican dignity,” Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Martha Barcena, said.

Barcena added that U.S. tariffs “could cause financial and economic instability,” reducing Mexico’s capacity to address the flow of migrants and “offer alternatives” to people fleeing Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Mexico, Trump's, Tariff, Threat
U.S. Border Patrol agents keep watch on a large group of migrants who they say were attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, in El Paso, Texas, May 29, 2019. VOA

Mexican officials contended that an additional quarter million migrants could try to reach the U.S. if the tariff is imposed, on top of the tens of thousands already reaching the southern U.S. border each month.

Before leaving for a state visit in Britain, Trump, who earlier this year threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border, on Sunday goaded Mexico for a quick resolution to the latest snag between the neighboring countries.

 U.S. lawmakers returning to Washington after a weeklong congressional recess sharply criticized Trump’s latest tariff tactic aimed at a major U.S. trading partner.

“This [tariffs] is not a popular concept,” Republican Sen. John Cornyn said of public opinion in Texas, which he represents. “Mexico is our biggest export market.”

Another Republican, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, expressed concerns that trade friction could harm a newly negotiated free trade pact between the United States, Mexico and Canada.

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“I’m not a big advocate of tariffs, and I’d like to get the USMCA agreement approved,” Blunt told VOA. “I don’t see how the addition of a tariff [on Mexican goods] right now helps make that happen.”

“Mexico is a critical trading partner of the United States,” Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said. “You put up barriers, it’s going to end up costing us jobs, and it’s going to cost consumers.”

Cardin added that Trump’s threatened tariff “would be counterproductive,” as far as boosting U.S. border security.

“If we need cooperation on the southern border, they (Mexican officials) are not going to give us cooperation. Why bother if we’re going to have an antagonistic relationship?” Cardin said.

Mexico, Trump's, Tariff, Threat
FILE – Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Border Security and Immigration Subcommittee, speaks during a hearing about the border, May 8, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

Trump is signaling no second thoughts. As he left for London, he said he is “really okay” with the new tariff, unless Mexico does more to cut the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

“Everyone is coming through Mexico — including drugs, including human trafficking — and we’re going to stop it or we’re not going to do business, and that’s going to be it. It’s very simple,” Trump told reporters.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, called for dialogue to resolve tensions rather than “coercive measures.”

Lopez Obrador said his government is a friend of the U.S. government, that he wants to remain a friend of Trump, and that the Mexican people are friends with the people of the United States.

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“Let us swear that nothing and nobody separates our beautiful and sacred friendship,” Lopez Obrador wrote on Twitter. (VOA)