Moveon.org: Free Impeachment stickers!

It’s official: The House has just voted to impeach Donald Trump, making him only the third president in United States history to achieve such an infamous designation.

This is an enormous milestone, driven in large part by the work of MoveOn members like you, Robert.

To mark this momentous day—and to remind the senators who will now pick up the process that no one is above the law—MoveOn has printed a big batch of these impeachment stickers, and we’re giving them away for free while supplies last.

Just click here or on the image below to order yours now!

As we move into this next phase of the impeachment and removal fight, let’s not forget just how much work went into building a movement to make this day possible.

MoveOn called for Trump’s impeachment over two years ago, after his first attempts to obstruct the investigation into Russian election meddling, and ever since, MoveOn members and our allies have been steadily growing a coalition of support for impeachment in the face of Trump’s continued, blatant, and unrepentant criminality.

Although the House voted to impeach Trump on only two counts—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—they point to the larger pattern of his corruption and cruelty.

As the Mueller report laid out, Trump attempted to obstruct that investigation at least ten times, and he encouraged contacts between his campaign and Russian agents.

Not only did he attempt to bribe Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 elections, he then openly called for China to do the same and directed his administration to refuse to cooperate with the House’s investigation of those efforts.

And most heinously, he violated international law by ripping children from their families at the border and holding immigrants and asylum-seekers in concentration camps, often without access to food, water, hygiene products, or medicine.

Donald Trump may not have earned much in his life on his own, but he earned his impeachment.

Now let’s spread the word that Trump is not above the law and make sure that the Senate does its job by convicting and removing him from office.

Click here to get your free sticker now.

Thanks for all you do.

–Kelly, Kate, David, Mark, and the rest of the team

Report: UAE linked to illegal influence in 2016 US election

Adviser to UAE crown prince allegedly funnelled over $3.5m in illegal campaign contributions, New York Times says.

An indictment links the United Arab Emirates to illegal campaign donations [File: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]
An indictment links the United Arab Emirates to illegal campaign donations

A federal indictment unsealed in the United States details how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sought influence in the campaigns of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, according to a report by the New York Times.

The indictment, which was released this week by the US Department of Justice, accuses businessman George Nader of funnelling more than $3.5m in illicit campaign donations through fellow businessman Ahmad Khawaja.

Khawaja has also been charged with acting as a conduit for Nader’s illegal contributions.

The donations sought to attain “favour” and “potential financial support” in Washington for an unnamed foreign government , at first with Democrat Clinton and her allies, and then with Trump after he unexpectedly won the election, the New York Times reported.

The newspaper said that a close-reading of the 64-page indictment makes it clear that the government in question is the United Arab Emirates, where Nader runs a business and advises Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

While lobbyists with foreign clients regularly make contributions to US political campaigns, critics told the newspaper that the alleged scheme detailed in the indictment is one of the most brazen attempts by a foreign government to buy foreign influence during a campaign in recent memory. Rarely, the newspaper noted, has a head of state been so closely linked to allegedly evading campaign finance laws.

Nader had previously testified last year during the Federal Bureau of Investigations inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He is in jail in the US on charges related to the possession of child pornography.

‘Baklava’, ‘Our Sister’, and ‘HH’

The federal indictment detailed that Nader and Khawaja, in messages, often referred to the back-channel donations as “baklava”, candidate Clinton as “Our Sister” or “the Big Lady”, and the UAE crown prince by the initials “HH” for his His Highness.

Leaked documents show Saudi, UAE bid to influence Trump

“Will send you a note on the matter as per HH instruction,” Nader wrote in a text message in late June 2016, which also described a million-dollar payment of “baklava”, according to the report.

Several exchanges quoted in the indictment also show Nader reassuring Khawaja about the delivery of large sums of money to pay for donations.

“Fresh hand made Baklva on the way designed especially for that private event at your house later this month! First tray on the way!” Nader wrote in a message in July 2016. “Once you taste it and you like the choices more on the way soon.”

The messages also indicated that Nader kept the crown prince abreast of his efforts.

“Traveling on Sat morning to catch up with our Big Sister and her husband: I am seeing him on Sunday and her in Tuesday Sir! Would love to see you tomorrow at your convenience. . . for your guidance, instruction and blessing!” Nader wrote in June 2016 to an Emirati official who appears to be the crown prince, the New York Times report said.

A representative of the Emirati embassy in Washington declined to comment to the newspaper.

Petition: Investigate US Rep. Devin Nunes for complicity in the Ukraine affair.

Nunes.jpgThe House Intelligence Committee has submitted its report of the Trump impeachment inquiry—and it is definitive, detailed & utterly damning.

But what’s also noteworthy is how Rep. Devin Nunes—the ranking Republican on that committee—was directly involved in all aspects of the scheme he was pretending to investigate. He was more than just a Trump apologist. He is a Trump accomplice.

We already knew that in November 2018, Devin Nunes traveled to the Ukraine with three aides—where he allegedly met with corrupt former prosecutor Viktor Shokin for the express purpose of supporting Trump’s conspiracy theory against Joe Biden.

Now, the committee’s 300-page report shows that in April 2019, Nunes spoke with indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas—who was tasked by Trump to investigate the Biden’s activities in Ukraine. And we also now know that Nunes had talks with Rudy Giuliani, right when he was orchestrating the move to oust the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine.

The fox was guarding the henhouse. Devin Nunes was more than just a partisan Republican, eager to defend Trump for political expediency. He was actively involved in enabling Donald Trump’s abuse of power, which should get the president impeached.

Sign the petition: Impeaching Donald Trump is not enough. We need to investigate Rep. Devin Nunes, for his outrageous complicity.

Click to AUTOMATICALLY sign the petition
Our message to the House Ethics Committee:
I am deeply disturbed at reports that Rep. Devin Nunes traveled to the Ukraine to help Trump dig up dirt on Joe Biden. It seems likely that he is doing more than just defending the President, but has instead abused his role on the House Intelligence Committee to jeopardize our national security and the integrity of our elections.

Keep fighting,
Paul Hogarth, Daily Kos

Aljazeera: What are US articles of impeachment, and what happens next?

House Speaker Pelosi says she has instructed the House Judiciary panel to draft articles of impeachment against Trump.

Trump attends the NATO leaders summit in Watford, UK [File: Toby Melville/Reuters]

Trump attends the NATO leaders summit in Watford, UK

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday asked the House Judiciary Committee to draft articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival.

The announcement came after weeks of public hearings in the House Intelligence Committee, a 300-page report and divisive rhetoric highlighting the political divide that has come to define the impeachment process.

More:

With Democrats moving forward with impeachment charges, here’s a quick guide to how impeachment works, what happens next.

1. What is impeachment?

The founders of the United States included impeachment in the US Constitution as an option for removal of presidents by Congress.

They agreed that presidents could be removed if found guilty by Congress of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors”.

2. What are articles of impeachment?

The sole authority under the Constitution to bring articles of impeachment is vested in the House of Representatives where proceedings can begin in the Judiciary Committee. If the House approves articles of impeachment, or formal charges, he or she would then be subject to trial in the US Senate.

In the context of Trump, Democrats first pursued a two-month inquiry, led by the House Intelligence Committee, which submitted a 300-page report about its findings earlier this week.

Democrats have accused Trump of abusing his power of office.

“The facts are uncontested,” Pelosi said on Thursday. “The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and (a) critical Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival.”

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi makes a statement at the Capitol in Washington

The inquiry is centred on a July phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential frontrunner, and his son Hunter, who served on a board of a Ukrainian gas company. Trump also wanted an investigation into a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 elections.

At the time of the call, the Trump administration was withholding nearly $400m in military aid from Ukraine.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the impeachment inquiry a hoax.

It’s unclear what articles of impeachment will be presented, but Pelosi’s comments on Tuesday offered a framework for what they may look like. They could also include obstruction of Congress and Justice, Democrats have said. The White House has stonewalled requests from the House for testimony and documents.

3. What happens next?

The House Judiciary Committee has announced it will hold a hearing on Monday that will include presentations on the evidence form the impeachment inquiry.

It’s unclear how long the process will take, but many expect the full House to vote by the end of the year on formal impeachment charges. Impeachment in the 435-member House must be approved with a simple majority.

Before then, however, the House Judiciary Committee will draw up and vote on articles of impeachment.

If the House votes to impeach, the matter moves to the Senate, where a trial is held. The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.

A two-thirds majority vote is required in the 100-member Senate to convict and remove a president from office.

The Senate is made up of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats. At this point, no Republicans have indicated they will vote against the president should a trial take place.

4. Who would become president if Trump was removed?

A Senate conviction that removed Trump from office would automatically elevate Vice President Mike Pence to become president, completing Trump’s term, which ends on January 20, 2021.

 

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies

Trump administration moves to eliminate food stamps for 700,000 of his constituents. (He’s a Christian.)

The US Department of Agriculture has finalised a rule tightening work requirements for government food assistance.

Emma Goldman Quote: “Ask for work. If they don’t give you ...
With the implementation of a new work requirement rule, the US government could potentially take food assistance away from nearly 700,000 Americans 

The administration of United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday said it will make it harder for states to keep men and women in the country’s food stamp programme, a move that is projected to end benefits for nearly 700,000 people.

Trump has argued that many Americans receiving food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, do not need it given the strong economy and low unemployment. The programme provides free food to 36 million Americans.

More:

Three million could lose food stamps under new Trump proposal

New US rule would target immigrants who use public benefits

Food prices are skyrocketing, and economists are worried

The administration has finalised a rule that tightens guidelines on when and where states can waive limits on how long certain residents can receive benefits. The changes will move more “able-bodied” adults into the workplace, said US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“States are seeking waivers for wide swaths of their population[s], and millions of people who could work are continuing to receive SNAP benefits,” he told reporters.

The US generally limits the amount of time that adults can receive food stamps when they are aged 18-49 and who do not have dependents or disability benefits. The limitations are usually three months within a 36-month period unless the adults meet certain work requirements.

States can apply for waivers to this time limit due to tough economic conditions. However, counties with an unemployment rate as low as 2.5 percent have been included in waived areas, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that runs SNAP.

The USDA is stiffening guidelines defining where recipients can reside to be eligible for waivers and standards for demonstrating whether an area has enough jobs to justify a waiver.

The US unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in October.

“We need everyone who can work to work,” Perdue said.

But critics say the moves will hurt poor Americans.

“This is an unacceptable escalation of the administration’s war on working families, and it comes during a time when too many are forced to stretch already-thin budgets to make ends meet,” said US Congressional Representative Marcia Fudge, an Ohio State Democrat.

The administration has sought to tighten requirements for food stamps without congressional approval after the US Congress blocked a Trump-backed effort to pass new restrictions through the Farm Bill last year.

The latest rule will take effect next year and save the government $5.5bn over five years by removing about 688,000 people from the food stamps rolls, said Brandon Lipps, a USDA deputy undersecretary.

“For those impacted, it will mean less nutritious meals or meals that are skipped altogether,” said Cassie Ramos, policy associate for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group.

Moveon.org: You showed Congress that Nobody Is Above the Law!

Our democracy and national security are under attack by Donald Trump—and Republicans are trying to enable and defend him at every move—which is why I, for one, am motivated to work alongside millions of MoveOn members to defend our Constitution and our elections by impeaching and removing Trump.

Recent testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives makes it crystal clear that Trump attempted to bribe and bully a foreign official into interfering in our elections for his own political benefit. This is worse than Watergate—and yet even as Democrats are working to expose the truth, Republicans are doing nothing about it.

That is why MoveOn members are taking action.

In 14 cities around the country, mobile billboards are traveling around key congressional districts in the busy days leading up to Thanksgiving, showing our demand that key Republicans stand up to Trump and support impeachment. These are members of Congress who we believe could, if faced with enough constituent pressure, break from Trump’s lawless and reckless stranglehold on his party. And the billboards are already being featured in national publications including The Hill and The Washington Post.1,2

In New York’s 21st Congressional District, voters are seeing an ad across TV stations hammering Representative Elise Stefanik for being such a “star” defender of Trump—and demonstrating to Republicans everywhere the kind of pressure they’ll face. The ads were featured in the Albany Times Union and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and seen more than 200,000 times online in addition to on TV.3,4

Events organized by local constituents are taking place every week in states with key senators—in Colorado, Maine, Arizona, and Kentucky. And in some cases, events are happening all across the state on the same day—fueled by MoveOn members, allies, and paid professional organizers that MoveOn members have funded. These events are being reported on in local papers of record in each state, such as Louisville’s Courier-Journa l.5

We’ve been bird-dogging members of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.—pursuing Republicans with the simple question of whether it’s okay to seek foreign government interference in our elections. Dozens of Republicans have fled from the question. One pretended to be on the phone to avoid answering, and another one even head-butted the camera! You can see the video of these efforts below.

MoveOn and partners are planning actions all across the country the day before the House eventually votes on the articles of impeachment—and already more than 300 events have been registered, with almost 50,000 attendees planning to turn out.

And MoveOn members have made more than 80,000 calls to Congress—in Washington and in home districts—demanding that Congress assert that nobody is above the law.

It can be maddening to see how Republicans have responded to the impeachment hearings—dismissing, interrupting, and threatening witnesses who simply sought to tell the truth, some of them lifelong public servants in our armed forces and diplomatic corps.

If you’re mad, keep taking action. The majority of Americans want Trump’s impeachment and removal—and MoveOn members are powering these tactics, and more, all across the nation to make our voices heard.

As Robert Reich recently said in an email to MoveOn members, “Congressional Republicans know that Trump is guilty, and they know that they look like damn fools for protecting him. Every day, they are making a calculation of how far they can take this without losing their careers, which is why it is so important for MoveOn to ramp up its campaign to break the Republican dam by making an association with Trump’s crimes politically toxic, leaving no choice but to get rid of Trump once and for all.”

The question now is whether Republicans will continue to be complicit in Trump’s crimes and corruption—or whether they’ll choose higher ground. Now is the moment to push them to make the right choice—over this congressional recess week and when they’re back in Washington, through the weeks ahead. And to keep thanking Democrats who are standing strong for the principle that nobody is above the law.

Thank you for all you’ve been doing to defend our elections, national security, and Constitution. Together, we’ll keep up the fight.

Thanks for all you do.

—Rahna, David, Elsie, Erik, and the rest of the team

Giuliani assures Trump Ukraine ‘insurance’ comment was a joke

Giuliani said he had ‘insurance’ if Trump turned on him in the impeachment inquiry into their Ukraine dealings.

Rudy Giuliani assured the president he was only joking about 'insurance' if 'thrown under the bus' [Julio Cortez/AP]
Rudy Giuliani assured the president he was only joking about ‘insurance’ if ‘thrown under the bus’ [Julio Cortez/AP]

US President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, called the president this week to reassure him he was joking when he told media outlets he had “insurance” if Trump turned on him in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of an impeachment inquiry into the president, Giuliani’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

The lawyer, Robert Costello, said Giuliani, “at my insistence”, called Trump “within the last day” to emphasise he had not been serious when he said he had an “insurance policy, if thrown under the bus”.

More:

“He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, ‘Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke. It doesn’t work that way,'” Costello told Reuters News Agency.

Giuliani has already said he was being sarcastic when he made the comments. Trump, too, has brushed them off, telling reporters in the Oval Office this week that “Rudy is a great guy.” The White House declined to comment on Costello’s remarks.

WATCH

Has the Trump impeachment inquiry divided Americans even further?

Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the Democrat-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump. It is probing whether the president, for his personal political gain, pressed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, Hunter.

Several witnesses have testified that Giuliani, working in an unofficial capacity, led a shadow foreign policy on behalf of the president. His work, which blurred what was considered government objectives, rankled some Trump administration officials, according to testimony.

Giuliani and his associates also led a successful campaign to remove the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who also testified at the inquiry.

Trump, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday, sought to distance himself from Giuliani’s activities on Ukraine, saying he had not directed him to work on Ukraine matters.

“No, I didn’t direct him but he is a warrior,” Trump told O’Reilly, adding Giuliani “possibly saw something” and “he’s done work in Ukraine for years.”

Costello declined to comment on what directions Trump had given Giuliani on Ukraine, citing attorney-client privilege.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday the former New York City mayor privately pursued hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian government officials during the same period he was working on behalf of the president, although he did not finalise any deals.