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article imageTrump slathers on the charm as impeachment trial nears

By Karen Graham     Nov 22, 2019 in Politics
The House impeachment hearings are over and the Democrats are looking to go to trial to impeach President Donald Trump, but not a single House Republican was persuaded to change their mind as to the guilt of the accused.
The hearings were carefully orchestrated to make sure the Democrats did not lose control of the momentum of the moment - and all this hard work paid off. There was new and unexpected testimony, recently discovered documents and a real-time attempt by Trump to obstruct justice, using his favorite forum - Twitter.
Earlier this year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would not be in favor of impeachment unless it was "something compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan."
Talking to the press after Thursday's final witnesses had testified, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), a senior member of the House Oversight panel, said he felt like the witnesses " closed the loop," adding that they had "filled in some of the gaps," according to Politico.
“They made the direct connection to the president, which was necessary,” Lynch added. However, the testimony by the two key witnesses did nothing to persuade a single Republican's opinion of Trump.
And this is what the American public has to look forward to as the date for the Senate impeachment trial inches closer. The impeachment trial of President Trump comes at a time in our history when the country is deeply divided - so much so that any GOP lawmaker is deathly afraid of showing any sign of disloyalty to Trump.
So by Thursday evening, after the last witness had left the building, the Republicans were resigned to the fact that Trump will now become the third U.S. president to be impeached, and even Trump appeared to accept that fact, tweeting: “[W]e are winning big, and they will soon be on our turf," referring to the Senate trial.
US President Donald Trump's Republicans have turned to character assassination to undermine wit...
US President Donald Trump's Republicans have turned to character assassination to undermine witnesses in the impeachment inquiry
MANDEL NGAN, AFP
Putting on the charm
One thing Trump is not - and that is stupid. He already has begun slathering on the charm - at least to his GOP stalwarts in Congress. On Thursday he met with a group of eight GOP lawmakers for lunch that included two of his biggest critics: Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah) and Susan Collins (Maine).
According to sources with knowledge of the closed-door lunch, the president talked only briefly about the impeachment hearings, saying how hard it has been for him to defend himself during the Democratic-controlled process. Trump spent the rest of the luncheon talking about topics the GOP senators wanted to discuss.
This particular luncheon was just one of many cozy meetings Trump has had lately with select, small groups of GOP lawmakers. And of course, all these lawmakers dismissed the idea that Trump is trying to butter them up before a likely impeachment trial and that his actions might diminish their impartiality.
"We work together necessarily to pass legislation, so I don’t think getting together and having conversations about issues is anything wrong,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). “I think senators will do their duty as they see it, regardless of a free lunch.”
But while Trump's little lunch date was going on, another group of Republicans was meeting with Trump aides, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone for a different kind of meeting, reports USA Today.
The Senate delegation included Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and other committee members such as Ted Cruz of Texas. This group met to lay the groundwork for a trial by sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking documents on the Bidens' relationship with Ukraine.
Trump did not extend his charm to the Democrats. Before his luncheon began, he tweeted - "Keep fighting tough, Republicans, you are dealing with human scum who have taken Due Process and all of the Republican Party’s rights away from us during the most unfair hearings in American History."
More about Impeachment, Trump, Ukrainian military aid, Evidence, partisan politics
 
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