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Story 1: President Trump Wins All 14 States and Over 740 Delegates On Super Tuesday and Has Total Delegates of 859 With 1,276 Delegates Needed To Win Republican Nomination for President — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

Patton (1/5) Movie CLIP – Americans Love a Winner (1970) HD

President Trump delivers remarks at CPAC

President Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

President Donald Trump Sweeps Super Tuesday

The president picked up hundreds of delegates in an unsurprising victory in more than a dozen states.

Story 2: Democrats Deeply Divided — Democratic Establishment Candidate Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democratic Socialist (REDS) Bernie Sanders — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers vs. Trump The Winner — Americans Love A Winner — Videos

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Super Tuesday results show clear two-man race for Democratic nomination

Rubio on Biden vs. Sanders: It’s either old Obama policies or Marxism

Trump calls Warren ‘selfish’ for staying in 2020 race

Mike Bloomberg drops out of the 2020 race

Gowdy: Biden only looks moderate because he is next to Bernie

NOT A JOKE: Biden Has Dementia?! | Louder with Crowder

 

Mike Bloomberg QUITS 2020 race after disastrous Super Tuesday saying winning is ‘impossible’ after spending $1 BILLION for just 44 delegates – and immediately endorses Joe Biden, while Elizabeth Warren ‘assesses her path forward’

  • Mike Bloomberg and  Elizabeth Warren are the dramatic losers on Super Tuesday
  • Bloomberg quit at 10.11am having spent $1 billion to only win 44 delegates
  • Warren came in third in her own state of Massachusetts and came in third in nearby Maine too; aides said she was ‘assessing the path forward’
  • Dramatic count in Texas ends with Joe Biden winning the state – securing a sensational comeback from the political dead after he joked: ‘They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing.’ 
  • Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all 
  • Biden started Super Tuesday off strong, sweeping a swath of the south after first winning Virginia then picking up North Carolina, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Minnesota, Arkansas, Massachusetts and Texas
  • Sanders currently has four states under his belt: California, Vermont, Utah and Colorado 
  • Both Sanders and Biden claimed victory, and both said they will take the nomination 
  • The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote

Mike Bloomberg dramatically quit the presidential race Wednesday morning after a disastrous Super Tuesday and immediately backed Joe Biden.

The billionaire gained just 44 delegates by 10.11am, the time he announced his departure – but ran up a bill of $1 billion.

He immediately and whole-heartedly backed Biden, the night’s big winner, hinting that his vast fortune is now at the former vice-president’s disposal.

‘I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,’ he said.

‘I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs.

‘Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States.’

Democrats are also urging Elizabeth Warren to drop out after further pulling votes from frontrunners Biden and Bernie Sanders without winning any states – including her home of Massachusetts.

She was reported by NBC News to he holding talks with aides about ‘the path forward,’ suggesting that she too is on the brink.

And in yet another blow to Warren early Wednesday morning, Biden was declared winner in Maine, the last of the 14 Super Tuesday states to declare – and Warren did not even get the 15 per cent threshold to pick up delegates there.

In the White House Donald Trump took time out of the coronavirus crisis to send a string of mocking tweets about his richer would-be rival and notably about Bloomberg’s campaign aide Tim O’Brien. Trump had tried and failed to sue O’Brien for libel for writing in 2006 that he was not a real billionaire.

Bloomberg had been a late bloomer to the race.

Seeing the relative weakness of frontrunner Biden, and after first saying he would not run for the White House in 2020 the billionaire decided to jump in after all around Thanksgiving.

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: 'After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.'

Out: Mike Bloomberg quit the race hours after a drubbing, saying: ‘After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.’

Still not out: Elizabeth Warren - who lost her home state of Massachusetts to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders Tuesday night

 

 

 

I’M ALL IN FOR JOE – HOW BLOOMBERG QUIT

This is Bloomberg’s statement as he left the race  

Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump. 

Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump – because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.

I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible – and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists. 

But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. 

Not for me, but for our country. And so while I will not be the nominee, I will not walk away from the most important political fight of my life. 

I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it. 

After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden. 

I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, and his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country – including gun safety, health care, climate change, and good jobs. 

I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. 

Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States. 

Like another former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, who ran for the White House in 2008, Bloomberg decided to skip the first states that held primaries – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

But a change in the Democratic National Committee rules allowed for Bloomberg to still make the Las Vegas debate stage last month.

It was the first time for American voters to see Bloomberg the candidate outside the flurry of television ads his hundreds of millions had bought.

And while the expectation was for Sanders, a democratic socialist, to push back on Bloomberg being there, within the first 10 minutes Warren brought up some of the alleged sexist behavior from the ex-mayor’s past.

‘I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: A billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians.’ And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,’ Warren said. ‘Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop and frisk.’

Warren’s debate performance was the beginning of the end.

The results of the single-biggest primary contest night essentially narrowed the field to a two-horse race with Biden edging Sanders.

On Super Tuesday, 14 states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa voted, and Bloomberg only walked away with a win in Samoa – where six delegates were up for grabs.

Every other state was won by either the former vice president or senator from Vermont.

The scale of Biden’s comeback is not in doubt – and neither is Sanders’ ability to keep going, possibly even to the convention in Milwaukee in July.

Biden began by winning state after state, and appeared to stumble when California went to Sanders just after the polls closed there at 8pm – 11pm Eastern.

For the two frontrunners, Sanders’ win in California initially threatened to upend the narrative of the night being a sensational comeback for Biden.

However, the state may yet deliver the kind of resounding win or delegate haul for Sanders that had been forecast.

Sanders had a strong lead, with 87 per cent of the vote in, Biden was running nearly 9 points ahead, and the Vermont senator had garnered over a million votes. In California, Bloomberg also slipped below the 15 per cent threshold he would need to hit in order to collect delegates.

There was a dramatic race playing out through the night in Texas, the night’s second biggest prize. Biden opened up a lead over Sanders early Wednesday morning.

By the time the race was called around 2 am, he was leading Sanders by 50,000 votes, with 89 per cent reporting. Biden was at 33 percent, Sanders was at 30 per cent, and Bloomberg was at 15 per cent – just enough to earn delegates.

As votes continued to come in Wednesday morning, Bloomberg had slipped below that 15 per cent.

There were long lines in Harris County, home to Houston, where Biden was running up strong margins. As in southern states, Biden was running up big margins with the state’s African American voters, but Sanders heavily targeted Latino voters in the state. Biden’s margin, however was bigger.

Some voters were online for six hours, in a state that had pared back polling locations. Biden cleaned up among those who decided who to back late – winning the group 49 to 20 per cent in the state.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe called it ‘astounding,’ noting that Biden didn’t spend ‘a penny’ there, speaking on CNN.

Biden staged a dramatic rally in Dallas Monday where he secured endorsements from former presidential rivals Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Earlier Monday, Pete Buttigieg had also endorsed the former vice president.

O’Rourke later took Biden out to a Whataburger, a regional chain, for a milkshake.

Across the map there were signs of Biden’s sudden revival.

Biden dealt a humiliating blow to Warren in her home state of Massachusetts – snagging at least 28 delegates out of the state and beating her in her backyard. She vowed to stay in the race all the way to the conventions even as more centrist candidates flocked to 77-year-old former vice president.

He also denied the prize to Sanders, who hails from a neighboring state.

Bloomberg was born there, and had actor Michael Douglas stumping for him in Boston.

But the region where he dominated was the south, with wins stretching from Virginia to Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Biden scored a surprise win in Minnesota.

Warren, hosting a rally in downtown Detroit, called herself ‘the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump.’

The final details of delegate distribution were yet to be determined as the night wore on. But Biden’s overwhelming performance, and the collapse of Bloomberg and Warren, immediately reset the race, with the prospect that Sanders and his political ‘revolution’ would be up against a long slog against the Demoratic establishment-backed candidate as he was against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession.

He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday. She endorsed Biden on Monday.

‘Prediction has been a terrible business and pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ she said. ‘Here’s my advice. Cast a vote that will make you proud.’

Then Sanders took some western wins in Utah and Colorado and snared the biggest state of all.

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Bernie Sanders seized a victory in California in the last act of a dramatic Super Tuesday which saw Joe Biden win state after state in landslides across the nation – only for his rival to take the biggest prize of all

Biden rushed to win after win early in the night, with Virginia, North Carolina and Alabama falling in rapid succession. He took Minnesota without spending a dime on advertising and despite being third in the polls until Amy Klobuchar dropped out on Sunday

As Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg's campaign said he plans to 'reassess' whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg's almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

s Biden raced to a series of state victories, Mike Bloomberg’s campaign said he plans to ‘reassess’ whether he should stay in the race tomorrow. His aides said his campaign chiefs were considering their next move. Dropping out would hand a huge victory to Biden and also the potential for Bloomberg’s almost unlimited resources to be thrown behind him immediately

TRUMP ROASTS HIS RIVALS AND TOASTS HIS OWN SUCCESS

Donald Trump skewered his critics while toasting his own successes on Twitter as results rolled in from Super Tuesday ballots across the country.

The President reserved most of his ire for ‘Mini’ Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, who both had poor showings in the polls.

Hitting out at fellow New York billionaire Bloomberg, Trump branded him ‘the biggest loser of the night, by far’.

‘His ‘political’ consultants took him for a ride,’ Trump tweeted.

‘$700 million washed down the drain, and he got nothing for it but the nickname Mini Mike, and the complete destruction of his reputation. Way to go Mike!’

Trump also took aim at Warren after she failed to win her home state of Massachusetts, landing her a distant third in the delegate stakes.

‘Elizabeth ‘Pocahontas’ Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts,’ he wrote.

While Trump made sure to put down his rivals, he donated most of his energy to cheering his own successes – albeit while facing token opposition.

As each win rolled in he tweeted out a message of thanks to his supporters, while vowing to retake the presidency in November.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders, Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took both California and Texas.

First, he mixed up his wife Jill and sister Valerie, a characteristic gaffe which has clearly done nothing to put off Democratic voters.

Biden declared: ‘It’s a great night and it seems to be getting even better. They don’t call it Super Tuesday for nothing!’

The former vice president recalled how just days ago the suggestion was that Super Tuesday would mark the end of his campaign.

‘Well it may be over for the other guy,’ Biden said, a clear shot at Sanders.

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, he painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump.

‘A lifelong Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat,’ he said to cheers – a pointed way to contrast himself to Sanders, who is an independent senator.

Jill Biden was captured in a photograph grabbing the protester by the arm and grimacing.  Symone Sanders, Sanders’ former press secretary who’s not a top Biden adviser, had rushed across the stage to pull a protester off.

It was a return in part to the early days of the race, when Biden held a strong polling lead before the first states voted and caucused. With Sanders on the rise days ago and party leaders warning the democratic socialist could seize the nomination Tuesday, forces coalesced around Biden in South Carolina.

A key factor was the endorsement there of James C. Clyburn, the state’s most senior African American elected official.

In Vermont, Sanders pinned his hopes on California, pivoting to a victory speech and a string of attacks on Biden.

‘Tonight I tell you with absolute confidence we are going to win the Democratic nomination,’ he said.

The path to the nomination in Milwaukee now runs through a mini-Super Tuesday on March 10, when Missouri, Michigan, Washington and Mississippi vote.

Sanders had appeared to be ahead in Michigan but Biden’s upset in Minnesota is likely to weigh heavily there, and the combined demographic of African-Americans and disaffected blue collar voters could play to Biden’s strengths.

The following Tuesday, March 17, offers another selection of massive delegate counts when Florida, Illinois and Ohio all vote, along with Arizona.

The following week, March 24, sees Georgia vote, which Biden’s southern firewall should make a surefire victory.

For Sanders, the loss of momentum from a rocky Super Tuesday could be critical.

In 2016 he stayed in by rallying his base and railing against an ‘establishment’ determined not to give him the nomination and to install an ‘inevitable’ candidate in Hillary Clinton.

That may be more difficult as he faces in Biden an opponent whose comeback narrative offers him some of the advantages of the underdog, and whose narrative of empathy and standing up for those who were left behind overlaps with Sanders’ more radical rhetoric.

The string of endorsements Biden has garnered in the last few days from centrist party figures, including three of his former rivals, have been crucial in driving momentum.

In Los Angeles, before California was called for Sanders', Biden took to the stage and cast himself the victor, regardless if Sanders took California and Texas

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Energized, coherent and not put off even by two militant vegan protesters (pictured) who ran onto the stage to protest against the dairy industry, Biden painted himself as the one Democrat who can take on Trump

Biden's early lead caused a dramatic shift and left Sanders, until last week the frontrunner, clinging to the hope of doing well in California before polls closed in the nation's most populous state. Shortly after polls in California closed, he was named the winner

Biden's campaign had suggested that the key to Super Tuesday was to minimize Sanders' lead and a Virginia victory appeared to put them on the path to that goal. The sign of momentum for the former vice president came as he saw a boost in last-minute opinion polls despite having trailed Sanders in recent weeks

WARREN LOSES HER HOME STATE

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president fell flat on Super Tuesday as she was unable to win even her home state of Massachusetts.

Warren lost to both Joe Biden – whose South Carolina win Saturday night restored his frontrunner status – and Bernie Sanders, who represents neighboring state Vermont. Warren was in third place with 22 per cent of the vote with 70 per cent of the votes counted.

‘Predictions are a terrible business. Pundits have gotten it wrong over and over,’ Warren told the Michigan crowd. ‘Cast a vote that will make you proud. Vote from your heart. And vote for the person who you think will make the best president of the United States.’

During her final rally in California Monday night, Warren dismissed the surging Biden as a same-old, same-old Washington politician.

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas

Sanders supporters cheer as they hear election results during a watch party held at Central Machine Works Brewery in Austin, Texas - a state he eventually lost to Biden

Supporters of Bernie Sanders look over Super Tuesday election results at a campaign center in Denver, Colorado

Supporters of Democratic Presidential hopeful Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren attend a rally in Detroit

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

Tulsi Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, remains in the race though has only campaigned sporadically. She did make a pitch to voters in American Samoa, where she was born, to vote for her Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

People wait to vote during the presidential primary in Santa Monica, California on Super Tuesday

Voters cast their ballots in the Democratic presidential primary election at a polling place in Armstrong Elementary School o in Herndon, Virginia

Rochelle Marks, 77, votes at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

People line up to vote at a polling station on Super Tuesday in Beverly Hills, California

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Students at the University of Vermont Franklin fill out voter registration forms at a polling place on Super Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont. At the close of the polls on Tuesday night, Sanders won his home state

Voters cast their ballots at a polling location inside an elementary school in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Those included former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, former Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Rep. Jennifer Wexton of Virginia, among others.

Now Biden will have Bloomberg out of his way in order to capture more moderate voters – and Bloomberg’s commitment to help him remove Trump from office.

President Trump, for his part, touted his string of Republican primary victories Tuesday night, tweeting his thanks after state after state was called in his favor.

The president only had token competition – former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld – in the Super Tuesday contests and one state, Virginia, canceled its GOP primary as Trump, like most incumbent presidents, is easily expected to win his party’s nomination.

Trump has played armchair pundit on Twitter as he’s watched the shake-up on the Democratic side.

‘Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren, other than Mini Mike, was the loser of the night. She didn’t even come close to winning her home state of Massachusetts. Well, now she can just sit back with her husband and have a nice cold beer!’ Trump tweeted early Wednesday.

The president relished the news that Bloomberg had bowed out.

‘Mini Mike Bloomberg just “quit” the race for President. I could have told him long ago that he didn’t have what it takes, and he would have saved himself a billion dollars, the real cost,’ Trump wrote. ‘Now he will pour money into Sleepy Joe’s campaign, hoping to save face.’

‘It won’t work!’ Trump said.

Biden talks with actor and comedian Keegan-Michael Key as he campaigns before his evening rally on Super Tuesday in LA

Meanwhile Bernie Sanders, who was earning frontrunner status, spoke to thousands at his rallies in Super Tuesday states including one Monday night in Minneapolis. With Amy Klobuchar out, her state is up for grabs

On Monday night at a really in Los Angeles Warren pitched herself as the candidate who could split the difference between Biden and Sanders. 'Voters deserve a choice of someone with unshakeable values who can also get things done and bring all kinds of Democrats along with her,' she argued

Voters from 14 states head to the polls on 'Super Tuesday,' with about a third of Democratic delegates at stake in a single day

WHO ARE THE 4 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

 

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Our Best Days Still Lie Ahead

 

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love 

 

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deborah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. 

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president; first Jewish president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Warren Has A Plan For That

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8074295/Democrats-tell-Mike-Bloomberg-Elizabeth-Warren-quit-Joe-Bidens-dramatic-comeback.html

 

Story 3: Containing Circulating COVID-19 Communist Chinese Cough Crisis  Chaos — Do Not Touch Your Face and Wash Your Hands to Prevent Droplet Spreading and Infecting You and Others — Videos

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“For most people a mask may actually risk catching the disease rather than preventing it” If you’re thinking about wearing a mask to protect yourself from the coronavirus, you may want to think again. One of the UK’s most senior health officials, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries, has explained the best way of protecting yourself while going about your day to day routine. She’s also given detail answers to questions about the government’s plans to rely on the NHS if an epidemic happens. ► The UK is preparing for a potential epidemic – but will it be ready in time?:

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

What’s New

You can also keep up with CDC updates on Coronavirus Disease 2019 by signing up for email updatessyndicating available content, and subscribing to Coronavirus Disease 2019 RSS Feed.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/whats-new-all.html

 

10 Things to Know About CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 + TOP 3 SOURCES to Follow—For

Family & Friends

These are the 10 things you MUST KNOW about CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 to keep your family safe. The video also explains why you should take this outbreak seriously and where to go for CREDIBLE INFORMATION to help you stay ahead of the news curve.

1) Coronavirus Covid-19 is not the flu, it’s not SARS, and it’s not MERS. It’s a completely new virus.

2) Coronavirus Covid-19 is 20x deadlier than the flu.

3) Although 81% of people experience mild symptoms, Coronavirus Covid-19 has a high complication rate.

4) If you contract the virus and you’re older, your chances of dying are higher. But young people in their 20’s and 30’s have died too, so don’t be complacent.

5) Coronavirus Covid-19 can have a very long incubation period, and it spreads asymptomatically.

6) Coronavirus Covid-19 spreads via droplets in the air and AEROSOL!

7) The R0 factor of this virus is incredibly high.

8) There have been reports out of Asia of people getting Covid-19 again, so recovering once does not guarantee immunity afterward.

9) In the United States, we are in the early part of the curve, where it looks like nothing much is happening.

10) Vaccines are not yet available and probably won’t be for 6-18 months, no matter what you read in the headlines.

*****3 TO FOLLOW***** Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVQC1…

Dr. Roger Seheult, MedCram: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quDYb…

Dr. John Campbell, Retired: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmIRM…

*****SOURCES***** Lessons from the Coronavirus outbreak in China 2019: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama…

Age of Coronavirus deaths: https://www.worldometers.info/coronav…

Outbreak country charts: https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitica…

Why some Covid-19 cases are worse than others: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-op…

Too early to compare Coronavirus to Flu: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/w…

Covid-19 Coronavirus reinfection in Japan raises questions:

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/202… #coronavirus #covid19

 

 

WHO says coronavirus death rate is 3.4% globally, higher than previously thought

  • World health officials say the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.
  • “Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva.

World health officials said Tuesday the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 3.4% globally, higher than previous estimates of about 2%.

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected, he said.

The World Health Organization had said last week that the mortality rate of COVID-19 can differ, ranging from 0.7% to up to 4%, depending on the quality of the health-care system where it’s treated. Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%.

During a press briefing Monday, WHO officials said they don’t know how COVID-19 behaves, saying it’s not like influenza. They added that while much is known about the seasonal flu, such as how it’s transmitted and what treatments work to suppress the disease, that same information is still in question when it comes to the coronavirus.

“This is a unique virus, with unique features. This virus is not influenza,” Tedros said Monday. “We are in uncharted territory.”

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies program, said Monday that the coronavirus isn’t transmitting the same exact way as the flu and health officials have been given a “glimmer, a chink of light” that the virus could be contained. 

“Here we have a disease for which we have no vaccine, no treatment, we don’t fully understand transmission, we don’t fully understand case mortality, but what we have been genuinely heartened by is that unlike influenza, where countries have fought back, where they’ve put in place strong measures, we’ve remarkably seen that the virus is suppressed,” Ryan said.

Do face masks work? Medical experts explain how to protect yourself from coronavirus

KEY POINTS
  • Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks.
  • South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.
  • Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

GP: CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS - 106419119 200203 EU

This photo taken on February 28, 2020 shows workers producing face masks at a factory in Handan in China’s northern Hebei province.
STR | AFP via Getty Images

Medical experts have urged people to stop panic buying face masks, warning that such equipment is not an effective way to protect yourself from the fast-spreading coronavirus.

The advice comes at a time of intensifying concern about COVID-19, which has killed more than 3,000 people worldwide since late last year.

The outbreak was first identified in Hubei province, China, where over 90% of the deaths have been reported. More recently, the virus has been spreading at a faster rate outside China than inside the country.

VIDEO02:38
Face mask shortage sparks global race to fulfill orders

The WHO has declared the outbreak a global health emergency, with almost 60 countries reporting cases of the coronavirus.

Epidemiologists and infectious disease experts have been at pains to emphasize against an unwarranted scramble for face masks in recent weeks, particularly because such hoarding behavior elevates the prospect of an equipment shortage for medical workers.

“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said via Twitter over the weekend.

“They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”

U.S. Surgeon General

@Surgeon_General

Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!

They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching , but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
http://bit.ly/37Ay6Cm 

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus (more specifically, a coronavirus) identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.

cdc.gov

47.8K people are talking about this

The warning from America’s top doctor is consistent with medical advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has said there is no evidence to support wearing face masks.

Instead, Adams said “the best way to protect yourself and your community is with everyday preventative actions, like staying home when you are sick and washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of the respiratory illness.”

‘Not a lot of evidence’ to support wearing face masks

It has been suggested wearing face masks could be useful if you’re sick in order to prevent you from sneezing or coughing into somebody’s face, David Heymann, who led WHO’s infectious disease unit at the time of the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003, said at a Chatham House press briefing last month.

But, “a mask that is used to stop getting an infection is sometimes not very effective because people take it off to eat, many times they are worn improperly (and) if they get wet and somebody sneezes on that mask it could pass through.

So, there is really not a lot of evidence (to support wearing masks).”

GP: THAILAND-CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS 200204 EU
Children with face masks wash their hands before prayer at Erawan shrine, a popular spritual landmark in Bangkok on January 27, 2020.
MLADEN ANTONOV | AFP via Getty Images

“One of the most important ways of stopping respiratory outbreaks such as this is washing hands,” Heymann continued.

That’s because “if you touch a patient, if you shake hands, if you touch a door that has a droplet on it — which could theoretically happen — then you touch your face (or) your mouth and you become infected.”

“So, handwashing is the most important. And second is, people who are suspected as being patients, be very careful when you are dealing with them. Avoid face-to-face contact and wash hands when you’re treating,” Heymann said.

“It is very important that people understand that they can prevent themselves from being infected if they follow a few simple measures,” he added.

‘Don’t touch your face’

South Korea, Italy and Iran have all recorded sharp upticks in cases of the coronavirus in recent days, with many other countries imposing travel restrictions on virus-hit areas worldwide.

Infections have now been reported in every continent except Antarctica.

Emily Landon, medical director for infection control at the University of Chicago Medical Center, told CNBC late last week that face masks were “not a great choice” for everyday use.

“First of all, there are multiple different kind of face masks. There is the surgical mask that people wear that doesn’t really seal up very well. That’s super good if you put it on the patient who’s sick because that will contain their secretions and protect everyone around them.”

“However, if you are the one who wants to protect yourself, those N95 masks … are much better,” Landon said.

Face masks should be worn by people who show symptoms: University of Chicago Medical Director
“You need to be fit-tested in order to know exactly which size you should be wearing, you have to be trained on how to wear it properly and they can get pretty uncomfortable, so they are not a great choice for just going out in the public,” she continued.

“Keeping your hands clean so that you don’t touch your face no matter what things you are touching with your hands is a really important piece of preventing infection in hospitals, in schools and everywhere you go.”

“Soap and water works really well. It can dry your hands out a little bit more but when you do it, you want to do it right. That means getting your hands wet with warm water, cleaning them, getting all of the surfaces with soap for 20 seconds — that’s a full time through ‘Happy Birthday’ — and then also rinsing them off afterwards,” Landon said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/02/coronavirus-do-face-masks-work-and-how-to-stop-it-from-spreading.html?recirc=taboolainternal

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Dow soars more than 1,100 points as market rallies off Biden win, UnitedHealth pops 10%

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/03/dow-futures-show-300-point-pop-as-early-super-tuesday-results-favor.html

 

 

Trump Job Approval Relapses Amid Coronavirus Threat: IBD/TIPP Poll

Impeachment couldn’t stop President Donald Trump’s job approval from rising, but the coronavirus might. As Americans’ near-term view of the economy soured in February, amid worry over the coronavirus and a Dow Jones correction, Trump’s job approval rating relapsed.

President Trump Job Approval

Just 41% of Americans approve of how President Trump is handling his job, while 54% disapprove, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds. That negative 13-point differential has nearly doubled in the past month. In late January, Trump’s job approval registered 44% and disapproval 51%.

Now just 37% of independents give Trump positive reviews, while 57% disapprove. That’s down from 39%-53% in late January.

Trump Job Approval Slumps With Economic Outlook

The drop in Trump’s job approval coincides with a sudden shift in the economic outlook. The U.S. economic outlook just suffered its biggest one-month drop since October 2013 amid spread of the coronavirus, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds.

The six-month economic outlook index fell to a modestly pessimistic 47.8 from a strongly optimistic 57. Readings above the neutral 50 level reflect optimism.

Trump continues to get positive ratings for his handling of the economy, with 47% approving and 35% disapproving. Still, that’s a big comedown from late January. Back then, 53% of Americans rated his handling of the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while just 28% give him a negative rating.

Trump Slips In Matchups Vs. Democrats

Joe Biden leads Trump 49% to 46%, the March IBD/TIPP Poll finds, after Trump had cut the margin to 49%-48% in late January.

Sanders now leads Trump 49% to 47%, having trailed 47%-49% a month earlier. Warren leads Trump 48% to 46%, a reversal of her 46%-50% deficit.

Still, a narrow popular vote edge would not necessarily translate into an Electoral College victory for Democrats.

Trump leads all Democrats among self-described investors, with a four-point lead over Biden. He leads Sanders by seven points.

The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects responses from 908 adults contacted via mobile phones and landlines from Feb. 20-29 and carries a 3.3-point margin of error.

Please follow Jed Graham on Twitter at @IBD_JGraham for coverage of economic policy and financial markets.

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https://www.investors.com/politics/trump-job-approval-relapses-amid-coronavirus-threat-ibd-tipp-poll/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1379, January 16, 2020, Part 2 of 2 — Story 1: President Trump Signs Phase One Trade Agreement With Communist China — Will It Be Fully Enforceable? — Time Will Tell — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s  United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) Bill Passes Senate — On It Way For President Trump’s Signature  — Big Win For Trump and American People — Videos — Story 3: REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist) Show Trial In House is Over — An American Fair Trial Begins Next Tuesday in Senate — Acquittal of President Trump Expected In 30 Days or Less —  Videos — Story 4: Capitalism vs. Socialism or Trump vs. Sanders Not Lying Loser Warren — Capitalism and Trump Winners — Videos

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Done deal: Donald Trump and Liu He sign the phase one trade deal which calls a halt to escalations in the U.S.-China trade deal and is claimed to mean up to $50 billion in agricultural sales to ChinaSee the source image

See the source imageSee the source image

See the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

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Part 2 of 2 — Story 1: President Trump Signs Phase One Trade Agreement With Communist China — Will It Be Fully Enforceable? — Time Will Tell — Videos

Trump speaks before signing “Phase One” of China trade deal

Larry Kudlow breaks down the implications of the US-China trade deal

Trump signs phase one of US-China trade deal

Trump signs partial trade deal with China l ABC News

Mnuchin: US won’t lift China tariffs until phase two of trade deal

Jamie Dimon praises Trump economy, China trade deal in exclusive interview

US Trade Rep. Lighthizer on historic ‘phase-one’ China trade deal

Wilbur Ross: China trade deal, USMCA total $2 trillion in trade

 

Donald Trump signs ‘phase one’ of trade deal with China which ends escalation of his trade war—and complains about the ‘impeachment hoax’ at White House ceremony with Xi Jinping’s deputy looking on

  • Donald Trump took a victory lap as he signed a trade deal with China at the White House – as his impeachment sped ahead at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue
  • He touted his economy and launched attack after attack on his enemies at packed East Room ceremony, railing against the ‘impeachment hoax’
  • Trump has vowed that he would ink a trade deal with China for more than two years and imposed steep tariffs to bring Beijing to the table
  • Signing is for ‘phase one’ and the White House promises more segments in the future
  • Xi Jinping didn’t come for the signing but sent a lower-level official, vice-premier Liu He and Trump said he will go back to China soon to ‘reciprocate’
  • It’s unclear what he’s reciprocating for, since Xi didn’t come 
  • East Room press credentials didn’t have a date printed on them, suggesting the White House wasn’t confident the event would happen on schedule
  • President urged House members in the audience to leave early if they needed to cast a vote on sending impeachment articles to the Senate 

Donald Trump took a victory lap on Wednesday as he signed a trade deal with China at the White House as his impeachment sped towards the Senate on Capitol Hill.

He boasted to an audience of dignitaries that a new trade deal with China will bring ‘a future of fair and reciprocal trade,’ then complained about the ‘impeachment hoax,’ and praised a string of Republican senators who he needs to vote for his acquittal.

The president has long complained about a massive trade deficit between Washington and Beijing. He pledged during the 2016 campaign to come down hard on China.

‘We are righting the wrongs of the past,’ he said Wednesday, observing that ‘our negotiations were tough, honest, open and respectful.’

‘This is the biggest deal anyone’s ever seen,’ he said, because ‘China has 1.5 billion people.’

The president spent nearly a half-hour acknowledging business leaders and lawmakers who crowded into the East Room to watch. And he noted that some House members might have to leave early in order to vote on a motion to send articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.

Some of the congressmen may have a vote—it’s on the impeachment hoax—so if you want, you go out and vote. … It’s not going to matter becausae it’s gone very well. But I’d rather have you voting than sitting here listening to me introduce you, okay?’ he said with a grin.

‘They have a hoax going on over there. Let’s take care of it.’

Trump was not accompanied by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent Vice Premier Liu He in his place. Xi’s absence left some with the impression that Washington wants the deal more than Beijing does.

Done deal: Donald Trump and Liu He sign the phase one trade deal which calls a halt to escalations in the U.S.-China trade deal and is claimed to mean up to $50 billion in agricultural sales to China

Done deal: Donald Trump and Liu He sign the phase one trade deal which calls a halt to escalations in the U.S.-China trade deal and is claimed to mean up to $50 billion in agricultural sales to China

Signed, sealed, delivered: China's vice-premier Liu He and Donald Trump show their signatures in the completed phase one trade deal

Signed, sealed, delivered: China’s vice-premier Liu He and Donald Trump show their signatures in the completed phase one trade deal

East room ceremony: Donald Trump hosted the Chinese vice-premier Liu He in the East Wing in front of an audience of Republican senators and Congressmen and figures from the American business world - almost all of whom he named

East room ceremony: Donald Trump hosted the Chinese vice-premier Liu He in the East Wing in front of an audience of Republican senators and Congressmen and figures from the American business world – almost all of whom he named

President Donald Trump stood alongside China's vice premier Liu He, not its president Xi Jinping, when he signed a landmark trade deal on Wednesday

President Donald Trump stood alongside China’s vice premier Liu He, not its president Xi Jinping, when he signed a landmark trade deal on Wednesday

Awkward exchange: Donald Trump moved to shake hands with China's vice-premier Liu He, who extended his left hand instead

Awkward exchange: Donald Trump moved to shake hands with China’s vice-premier Liu He, who extended his left hand instead

Unusual handshake: After Liu He extended his left hand, Donald Trump grasped two of his fingers in an attempt to shake his hand

The president announced that he will ‘be going back to China in the not-too-distant future to reciprocate,’ but it’s unclear what he would be reciprocating for.

Vice President Mike Pence said the deal would guarantee $40-50 billion in Chinese purchases of American agriculture products.

And Trump said China will stop forcing American companies to share proprietary technologies with Chinese partners. ‘You don’t have to give up anything anymore. Just be strong,’ he said to business leaders in the room.

The White House’s guests included top executives from UPS, Boeing, AIG, JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, VISA, Citibank, Honeywell, Dow Chemical, eBay and Ford Motor Company; casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who aims to see markets opened to him in China; television commentator Lou Dobbs; and Trump’s ambassador in Beijing, Terry Branstad.

Second time lucky: After Liu He spoke through a translator, the two succeeded in shaking hands

Second time lucky: After Liu He spoke through a translator, the two succeeded in shaking hands

Trump acknowledged lawmakers and businessmen in the East Room including casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson

Trump acknowledged lawmakers and businessmen in the East Room including casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson

Chinese representative: President Xi Jinping sent vice-premier Liu He, who spoke through a translator (left)

Chinese representative: President Xi Jinping sent vice-premier Liu He, who spoke through a translator (left)

Packed: The East Room was fool for the invited audience of business leaders, White House aides and congressional Republicans

Packed: The East Room was fool for the invited audience of business leaders, White House aides and congressional Republicans

Everyone gets a mention: Chuck Grassley, the Iowa senator was asked to stand, while Trump claimed that Grassley had 'made [James] Comey choke like a dog'

Official delegation:Donald Trump is flanked by as Vice President Mike Pence and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer

First daughter: Ivanka Trump was followed into the East Room by Robert O'Brien, the National Security Advisor

Branstad, a longtime Iowa governor before coming to Washington, got the job because of his deep ties to global agriculture.

While Wall Street will carefully examine the fine print, the trade deal will allow businesses around the globe to breathe a sigh of relief.

After a nearly two-year battle, the signing could give Trump an election-year boost as well. Still, tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports remain in place, leaving many Americans to foot the bill.

Reporters covering the East Room event on Wednesday wore White House credentials with no date printed on them. That unusual feature suggests Trump’s trade negotiators weren’t certain whether the event would happen as scheduled.

Journalists shoot shoulder-to-shoulder, including a contingent of dozens from Chinese media outlets.

The ‘phase one’ agreement—which includes pledges from China to beef up purchases of American crops and other exports—also comes just as Trump faces an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, giving him a victory to trumpet at least in the short term.

As he is about the face an impeachment trial, President Donald Trump will be able to tout a trade deal with China

It's unclear which country will get the better end of the deal, but Trump has trumpeted every development that is favorable to the United States

It’s unclear which country will get the better end of the deal, but Trump has trumpeted every development that is favorable to the United States

China-US trade has diminished in both directions since Trump began venting about an imbalance of hundreds of billions of dollars wach year

The easing of US-China trade frictions has boosted stock markets worldwide in recent weeks, as it takes the threat of new tariffs off the table for now.

And Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump’s negotiating stance led to a ‘fully enforceable deal’ which could bring additional tariffs.

If China fails to abide by the agreement, ‘the president has the ability to put on additional tariffs,’ Mnuchin said on CNBC Wednesday as part of a media blitz promoting the new pact.

However, the most difficult issues remain to be dealt with in ‘phase two’ negotiations, including massive subsidies for state industry and forced technology transfer.

But Mnuchin said the deal puts pressure on Beijing to stay at the negotiating table and make further commitments, including on cyber-security and other services to win relief from the tariffs that remain in place.

‘In phase two there will be additional roll backs,’ Mnuchin said. ‘This gives China a big incentive to get back to the table and agree to the additional issues that are still unresolved.’

Still, elements of the deal the administration has touted as achievements effectively take the relationship between the two powers back to where it was before Trump took office.

The US-China phase-one deal is essentially a trade truce, with large state-directed purchases attached,’ economist Mary Lovely said in an analysis.

Even so, ‘The truce is good news for the U.S. and the world economy.’

Still, the trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, cautioned that ‘we will continue to see the impact of this in slower investment and higher business costs.’

U.S. officials have said they will release details of the agreement set to be signed at a White House ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.

After announcing the deal December 13, the U.S. canceled a damaging round of new tariffs that were due to kick in two days later and promised to slash in half the 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion imposed September 1 on consumer goods like clothing.

Mnuchin dismissed a Bloomberg report that the initial agreement could include provisions to roll back more tariffs on China after the election.

‘The tariffs will stay in place until there is a phase two. If the president gets phase two quickly, he will consider releasing tariffs. If not, there won’t be any tariff relief,’ Mnuchin said Tuesday on Bloomberg TV.

‘It has nothing to do with the election or anything else.’

Washington said Beijing agreed to import, over two years, $200 billion of U.S. products above the levels in 2017, before Trump launched his offensive.

Trump has repeatedly touted the trade pact as a boon for American farmers, saying China will buy $40 to $50 billion in agricultural goods.

U.S. farmers were hit hard by the tariff war—notably on soybeans which saw exports to China plunge to just $3 billion from more than $12 billion in 2017. The Trump administration paid out $28 billion in aid to farmers in the last two years.

But many economists question whether they have the capacity to meet that demand.

And Lovely raised a question about the wisdom on relying so heavily on the Chinese market.

‘It also means Chinese retaliation could be reinstated, dampening farmers’ willingness to invest to meet the very hard export targets in the deal.’

U.S. and Chinese officials say the agreement includes protections for intellectual property and addresses financial services and foreign exchange while including a pr.ovision for dispute resolution, which Mnuchin said will be binding for the first time.

Trump in August formally accused China of manipulating its currency to gain an advantage in trade and offset the impact of the tariffs.

The label, which had no real practical impact, was removed earlier this week.

The deal also restores a twice-yearly dialogue process that previous administrations conducted regularly but that Trump scrapped.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7889301/US-China-set-sign-vital-trade-truce.html

 

U.S. and China tiptoe around holes in new trade agreement

by Reuters
Thursday, 16 January 2020 00:46 GMT

By Jeff Mason, Andrea Shalal and David Lawder

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – The United States and China signed an initial trade deal on Wednesday that will roll back some tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of U.S. products, defusing an 18-month row between the world’s two largest economies but leaving a number of sore spots unresolved.

Beijing and Washington touted the “Phase 1” agreement as a step forward after months of start-and-stop talks, and investors greeted the news with relief. Even so, there was skepticism the U.S.-China trade relationship was now firmly on the mend.

The deal fails to address structural economic issues that led to the trade conflict, does not fully eliminate the tariffs that have slowed the global economy, and sets hard-to-achieve purchase targets, analysts and industry leaders said.

While acknowledging the need for further negotiations with China to solve a host of other problems, President Donald Trump hailed the agreement as a win for the U.S. economy and his administration’s trade policies.

“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families,” Trump said in rambling remarks at the White House alongside U.S. and Chinese officials.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He read a letter from President Xi Jinping in which the Chinese leader praised the deal as a sign the two countries could resolve their differences with dialogue.

The centerpiece of the deal is a pledge by China to purchase at least an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. farm products and other goods and services over two years, above a baseline of $186 billion in purchases in 2017, the White House said.

Commitments include $54 billion in additional energy purchases, $78 billion in additional manufacturing purchases, $32 billion more in farm products, and $38 billion in services, according to a deal document released by the White House.

Liu said Chinese companies would buy $40 billion in U.S. agricultural products annually over the next two years “based on market conditions.” Beijing had balked at committing to buy set amounts of U.S. farm goods earlier, and has inked new soybean contracts with Brazil since the trade war started.

Key world stock market indexes climbed to record highs on hopes the deal would reduce tensions, before closing below those highs, while oil prices slid on doubts the pact will spur world economic growth and boost crude demand.

Soybean futures, which traded 0.4% lower throughout much of the deal signing ceremony, sank even further after Liu’s remarks, a sign that farmers and traders were dubious about the purchase goals.

The deal does not end retaliatory tariffs on American farm exports, makes farmers “increasingly reliant” on Chinese state-controlled purchases, and does not address “big structural changes,” Michelle Erickson-Jones, a wheat farmer and spokeswoman for Farmers for Free Trade, said in a statement.

Trump and his economic advisers had pledged to attack Beijing’s long-standing practice of propping up state-owned companies and flooding international markets with low-priced goods as the trade war heated up.

Although the deal could be a boost to U.S. farmers, automakers and heavy equipment manufacturers, some analysts question https://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL4N29J26S China’s ability to divert imports from other trading partners to the United States.

“I find a radical shift in Chinese spending unlikely. I have low expectations for meeting stated goals,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group in Minneapolis. “But I do think the whole negotiation has moved the football forward for both the U.S. and China.”

Trump, who has embraced an “America First” policy aimed at rebalancing global trade in favor of U.S. companies and workers, said China had pledged action to confront the problem of pirated or counterfeited goods and said the deal included strong protection of intellectual property rights.

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s China strategy had “inflicted deep, long-term damage to American agriculture and rattled our economy in exchange for more of the promises that Beijing has been breaking for years,” in a statement.

Earlier, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told Fox News the agreement would add 0.5 percentage point to U.S. gross domestic product growth in both 2020 and 2021.

Aviation industry sources said Boeing Co was expected to win a major order for wide-body jets from China, including its 787 or 777-9 models, or a mixture of both. Such a deal could ease pressure on the 787 Dreamliner, which has suffered from a broad downturn in demand for large jets, forcing the planemaker to trim production late last year.

CCTV, China’s state-run television outlet, said the deal would satisfy China’s increasingly demanding consumers by supplying products like dairy, poultry, beef, pork, and processed meat from the United States.

TARIFFS TO STAY

The Phase 1 deal, reached in December, canceled planned U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made cellphones, toys and laptop computers and halved the tariff rate to 7.5% on about $120 billion worth of other Chinese goods, including flat-panel televisions, Bluetooth headphones and footwear.

But it will leave in place 25% tariffs on a $250-billion array of Chinese industrial goods and components used by U.S. manufacturers, and China’s retaliatory tariffs on over $100 billion in U.S. goods.

Market turmoil and reduced investment tied to the trade war cut global growth in 2019 to its lowest rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the International Monetary Fund said in October.

Tariffs on Chinese imports have cost U.S. companies $46 billion. Evidence is mounting that tariffs have raised input costs for U.S. manufacturers, eroding their competitiveness.

Diesel engine maker Cummins Inc said on Tuesday the deal will leave it paying $150 million in tariffs for engines and castings that it produces in China. It urged the parties to take steps to eliminate all the tariffs.

Trump, who has been touting the Phase 1 deal as a pillar of his 2020 re-election campaign, said he would agree to remove the remaining tariffs once the two sides had negotiated a “Phase 2” agreement.

“They will all come off as soon as we finish Phase 2,” said Trump, who added that he would visit China in the not-too-distant future.

Trump added that those negotiations would start soon, though in a Fox Business Network interview that aired on Wednesday evening, Vice President Mike Pence said: “We’ve already begun discussions on a Phase 2 deal.”

(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Andrea Shalal and Dave Lawder Additional reporting by Echo Wang, Lisa Lambert, Susan Heavey Lisa Lambert and Doina Chiacu in Washington, Tim Aeppel in New York, Mark Weinraub in Chicago, Se Young Lee and Stella Qui in Beijing and Tim Hepher in Paris; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Paul Simao, Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)

http://news.trust.org/item/20200115222233-ea7xk

Story 2: President Trump’s  United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) Bill Passes Senate  89 to 10 Vote– On It Way For President Trump’s Signature  — Big Win For Trump and American People — Videos —

Senate passes USMCA trade deal

U.S. Senate passes USMCA trade agreement

Donald Trump’s USMCA trade pact finally passes through both houses of Congress as he touts China truce as ‘one of the greatest trade deals ever made’ but Democrats’ impeachment overshadows everything

  • NAFTA replacement will go to Trump’s Oval Office desk for his signature
  • President has pushed the plan for months but it languished in Democrat-run House of Representatives
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it on the agenda a day after her caucus impeached the president
  • That sent it to the Senate, which will try the impeachment cases beginning next week
  • Trump inked a major trade deal with China on Wednesday but even that has been overshadowed by impeachment 

Donald Trump tried to nudge the news cycle away from impeachment on Thursday as his long-languishing U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement finally passed in the Senate.

The final tally was 89-10. Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, two of the presidential primary front-runners, took different approaches. Warren voted yes, Sanders no.

The vote was a rare moment of bipartisanship, a blipp on senators’ radar as they prepared for weeks of wrangling during Trump’s impeachment trial.

The president said farmers in America are ‘really happy’ with both the USMCA and a broad trade truce he signed Wednesday with China. 

Impeachment politics also overshadowed the House’s vote to green-light the USMCA, which came just one day after Democrats led a vote to charge Trump with two constitutional crimes.

The U.S. Senate passed the U.S> Mexico Canada Agreement on Thursday just before launching full bore into impeachment procedures

President Donald Trump got a double trade victory after his deal with China on Wednesday but all eyes were on the impeachment ceremonies

President Donald Trump got a double trade victory after his deal with China on Wednesday but all eyes were on the impeachment ceremonies

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (center) had to wait to put the USMCA on the Senate floor for a vote until the House passed it; Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the trade treaty for months

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (center) had to wait to put the USMCA on the Senate floor for a vote until the House passed it; Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the trade treaty for months

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell described the pact as a ‘major win for the Trump administration, a major win for those of us who are already ready to move past this season of toxic political noise.’ 

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa called the USMCA ‘a major achievement for President Trump and a bipartisan deal for the American people.’

Democrats scrambled to take credit for upgrading the USMCA’s environmental and worker-protection clauses. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden claimed he and his colleagues gave the plan ‘a trade enforcement regime with real teeth.’

He also praised Trump’s chief negotiator Robert Lighthizer as ‘the hardest working man in the trade business.

Trump blamed the current trade pact with Canada and Mexico, the Bill Clinton-era North American Free Trade Agreement, for sending millions of manufacturing jobs to low-wage plants south of the U.S. border. His administration secured changes that aim to have more cars produced where workers earn an average of at least $16 an hour. 

Pelosi held onto the USMCA until she could deny Trump a positivev news cycle, letting impeachment overshadow it completely

It also secured changes that require Mexico to change its laws to make it easier for workers to form independent unions, which should improve worker conditions and wages and reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to relocate their plants.

While the administration completed its negotiations with Canada and Mexico more than a year ago, Democrats in the House insisted on changes to the pact that they say make it more likely Mexico will follow through on its commitments.

As part of those negotiations, the administration agreed to drop a provision that offered expensive biologic drugs—made from living cells—10 years of protection from cheaper knockoff competition.

The biggest holdouts are environmental groups, which continue to oppose the measure because it doesn´t address climate change. Indeed, they contend the agreement would contribute to rising temperatures.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., marveled Wednesday at how leaders of organized labor and farm groups in his state appeared together to support the pact.

‘They both agree that this USMCA trade agreement is a step forward, an improvement over the original NAFTA,’ Durbin said. ‘I think we´ve added to this process by making it truly bipartisan.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7895471/Trumps-USMCA-trade-pact-finally-passes-China-deal-signing-impeachment-overshadows-all.html

 

Congress

Senate passes USMCA bill, giving Trump a win on trade

The Senate voted 89-10 to clear the bill for Trump’s signature

Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, checks his watch while waiting for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to wrap up a press conference in the Senate Radio/TV studio on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Sen. Risch along with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, were waiting to hold a press conference on USMCA, which passed the Senate Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate approved implementing legislation Thursday for a renegotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, giving President Donald Trump a victory as the Senate moved to swearing in its members as jurors in Trump’s impeachment trial.

The Senate voted 89-10 to clear the bill for Trump’s signature, with several dissenting Democrats citing the absence of climate change provisions as a lost opportunity to address the issue on an international scale since Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who negotiated the deal, watched the vote from the public gallery.

The vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement occurred after the Senate voted to waive budget restrictions. Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., argued on the floor, as he did in the Budget Committee, that the bill included appropriations that violate budget rules.

The Democrat-controlled House approved the bill on Dec. 19 with a bipartisan vote of 385-41. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said House Democrats had negotiated several changes to the USMCA to make it acceptable.

Key changes for Democrats included enforcement of labor provisions they believe will make it more difficult and expensive for U.S. manufacturers, particularly auto makers, to shift production to Mexico. The changes won the endorsement of the AFL-CIO, but other unions such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers oppose it.

The pact also would give technology companies provisions to address e-commerce, which did not exist when NAFTA was negotiated. A chapter based on Section 230 of a 1996 telecommunications law (PL 104-104) gives companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter immunity from liability for user content posted on their platforms.

Trump is expected to tout the vote in his reelection campaign as a promise kept. In 2016, he vowed either to revamp the 1994 trade agreement or to withdraw the U.S. from the pact. As president, Trump caused anxiety among businesses large and small and his base of farm support with threats to pull out of NAFTA if Canada and Mexico did not make concessions.

Business groups say congressional approval of the USMCA implementing bill makes it less likely Trump will try to upend a trade agreement negotiated and renamed by his administration.

The bill now goes to Trump for signing, but the Canadian Parliament still must ratify the USMCA before the agreement can take effect. Mexico has already approved the new pact.

The implementing legislation provides the framework and mechanisms the Trump administration will use to enforce labor rights and environmental standards with a focus on Mexico. For example, an interagency task force on labor will be established 90 days after the bill takes effect.

The USMCA will replace NAFTA, an agreement credited with building the three nations into a $1.2 trillion-a-year trading bloc and blamed for contributing to the loss of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs to low-wage Mexico.

Trump campaigned against NAFTA as the “worst trade deal ever made.”

In committee reviews, floor comments and statements, several senators cited the absence of environmental provisions addressing climate change as one reason for voting against the implementing bill.

Environmental concern

It seemed unlikely the administration would have pursued climate change, not only because of Trump’s skepticism of the science behind it, but also because a trade-negotiating objective Congress approved in 2015 says trade agreements are not to establish obligations for the U.S. regarding greenhouse gas emissions. The language is part of a customs enforcement law that added several negotiating guidelines to the Trade Promotion Authority statute, which sets the ground rules for trade deals sent to Congress for approval.

Democratic presidential candidates Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Michael Bennet of Colorado voted for the pact. Sanders, another candidate, said in a written statement that it should be rewritten because it does not guarantee that companies will stop shifting jobs to Mexico.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the USMCA will increase U.S. government revenue by $2.97 billion from fiscal 2020 to 2029 due to higher expected duty revenue on car and truck parts that do not meet stricter rules.

Some vehicles and parts would no longer qualify for duty-free treatment because they don’t meet new requirements that 75 percent of content in cars and auto parts come from North America and that 40 percent of car content and 45 percent of truck content be made by workers earning $16 an hour.

The CBO also estimates that the agreement would reduce the federal deficit by $3 billion over a 10-year period. The agency estimates that appropriations not subject to emergency status would total $833 million in outlays from fiscal 2020 to 2029.

Under the USMCA, U.S. dairy, poultry and egg products would gain greater access to Canadian markets, and Canada will adopt a new quality-grading system for U.S. wheat.

Canada also will end pricing schemes the U.S. dairy industry says keep Canadian skim milk powder prices at artificially lower levels, giving domestic producers an edge in sales to Canadian cheese-makers over U.S. high-protein ultrafiltered milk.

The International Trade Commission, an independent agency, said the trade agreement, “if fully implemented and enforced,” over several years would increase real GDP by $68.2 billion, or 0.35 percent, and would add 176,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.

House Democrats’ negotiations with the Trump administration in 2019 resulted in the removal of provisions that would have given pharmaceutical companies a 10-year pricing monopoly on biologic drugs in Mexico and Canada. The U.S. has 12-year pricing exclusivity for biologics, and Democrats worried that keeping the provisions in the USMCA would prevent future Congresses from reducing the U.S. timeframe to less than 10 years.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/senate-passes-usmca-trump-win-trade-ahead-impeachment-trial

Story 3: REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist) Show Trial In House is Over — An American Fair Trial Begins Next Tuesday in Senate — Acquittal of President Trump Expected In 30 Days or Less As Hoax Exposed — Trump Goes On Offense — Videos

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Trump Impeachment Trial Begins as Senators Are Sworn In

House managers read charges as watchdog faults president’s hold on Ukraine aid and Kyiv probes whether U.S. envoy was tailed

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts swears in members of the Senate for the impeachment trial against President Trump. PHOTO: SENATE TELEVISION/ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON—The Senate opened the impeachment trial of President Trump on Thursday with Chief Justice John Roberts swearing in the senators, who pledged to deliver impartial justice, and the formal reading of the two charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Hours before the senators took their oath, the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog agency, determined that Mr. Trump’s administration violated the law when it withheld aid to Ukraine, an issue at the heart of the impeachment case against the president.

Democrats allege that Mr. Trump, a Republican, improperly withheld the aid to pressure Kyiv to launch investigations that would help him politically in the 2020 election.

Mr. Trump has denied wrongdoing, calling the case against him a “big hoax” on Thursday. He is the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The GAO wrote that the White House Office of Management and Budget improperly froze Ukraine funding over the summer for policy reasons. It was later released after pressure from Congress. A spokeswoman for OMB said it disagreed with the GAO finding.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities opened a criminal probe into whether U.S. citizens placed the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance, as text messages suggest, before she was removed from her post last year by Mr. Trump. The information came to light after House Democrats released documents Tuesday showing that an associate of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was sent text messages about tracking Marie Yovanovitch in Ukraine.

Democratic and GOP lawmakers continued to wrangle on Thursday over whether new witnesses and evidence will be allowed in the trial. Those issues aren’t expected to be decided until well after the trial begins in earnest on Tuesday.

“If any of my colleagues had doubts about the case for witnesses and documents in a Senate trial, the stunning revelations this week should put those to rest,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chamber’s Democratic leader.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said it wasn’t the Senate’s job to shore up the case the House built in what he called a “slapdash inquiry.” The Senate won’t “redo their homework and rerun the investigation,” he said

Chief Justice Roberts and Senators Sworn In for Impeachment Trial

Chief Justice Roberts and Senators Sworn In for Impeachment Trial
The impeachment trial of President Trump opened in the U.S. Senate as Chief Justice John Roberts and senators were sworn in. Photo: Associated Press

Mr. McConnell is set to release his plans for a trial framework on Tuesday, but Senate Republicans and White House officials said the contents of the resolution have largely been settled. Republicans briefed on the resolution have said they expect it to include a guaranteed vote on whether to subpoena witnesses and documents, as requested by some moderate Republicans.

GOP leaders believe they can keep Republicans united to block any efforts by Democrats to subpoena witnesses at the outset of the trial, according to people familiar with their plans. A vote on witnesses would be held later, after the House managers and Mr. Trump’s legal team present their cases, a process expected to stretch over two weeks.

A guaranteed vote to dismiss the charges won’t be built into the trial rules, according to these people. The White House and Senate Republicans are discussing holding a vote on a motion to dismiss after Democrats present their case but before Mr. Trump’s team addresses the Senate, according to an administration official.

At least two-thirds of the senators would have to vote to convict Mr. Trump to remove him from office.

By noon on Thursday, the fighting over the scope of the Senate trial took a pause. Every senator was seated at his or her desk, a rare sight during the ordinary legislative business, when it is common to see senators delivering speeches to an empty chamber. Senators typically don’t sit in their assigned seats even during roll call votes, preferring to stroll around and chitchat.

As they waited for the formal “exhibition” of articles, some senators scrolled on their cellphones or talked quietly to each other.

At 12:05 p.m., House managers, who will act as prosecutors during the trial, arrived at the ornate doors of the Senate. They walked in two-by-two, led by Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.). Freshman Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D., Texas) trailed as the seventh. A Democratic aide said the order was chosen according to seniority.

All managers carried large blue folders containing their own copy of the articles of impeachment passed by the House last month and the resolution passed on Wednesday authorizing them as managers.

Silence fell and phones disappeared as the sergeant at arms warned senators to keep quiet “on pain of imprisonment.” Then Mr. Schiff, the lead manager, began reading the articles aloud from the well of the Senate.

“Resolved, that Donald John Trump, president of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors,” he said.

The House managers make their way to the Senate before the reading of the two articles of impeachment, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.. PHOTO: ALYSSA SCHUKAR FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The senators watched, with stony faces, as Mr. Schiff spoke. Sen. Susan Collins (R., Maine) stifled a cough. Next to her, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) sat motionless with her hands folded in her lap. Sens. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D., Wis.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) scribbled notes.

At 12:22, when Mr. Schiff had finished, the managers departed. They briefly huddled outside the chamber, once again got in order, and marched back toward the House side of the Capitol.

Shortly after 2 p.m., Chief Justice Roberts was escorted into the Senate by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), Roy Blunt (R., Mo.), Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) and Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.).

Everyone in the chamber rose. The only sound was the scratching of reporters’ pens.Then Chief Justice Roberts spoke: “Senators, I attend the Senate in conformity with your notice for the purpose of joining with you for the trial of the President of the United States. I am now prepared to take the oath.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the Senate’s president pro tempore, asked him to raise his right hand, place his left hand on the Bible, and swore him in.

Chief Justice Roberts then administered an oath to senators, who will act as the jury. “Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you God?”

“I do,” the senators said.

Senators were then called in alphabetical order to the Senate clerk’s desk to sign their names in an oath book. As the lawmakers waited to sign, there were flashes of bipartisan bonhomie. Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) warmly shook Mr. Grassley’s hand. Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) patted the shoulder of Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.), and the two shared a laugh with Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.). Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) gave Mr. Portman’s arm a squeeze.

All of the senators were present for the swearing-in except for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.), who is at home with a family member facing a medical issue, according to his office. He plans to be sworn in next week, before the trial begins in earnest.

Senate Officially Accepts Articles of Impeachment

Senate Officially Accepts Articles of Impeachment

Senate Officially Accepts Articles of Impeachment
The Senate accepted the articles of impeachment against President Trump, marking the official start of the trial. Photo: Associated Press

After the swearing-in, the Senate formally notified the White House of the pending trial and summoned Mr. Trump, who will be given until Saturday evening to reply.

Mr. McConnell also said the House has until Saturday at 5 p.m. to file a trial brief with the secretary of the Senate, and Mr. Trump has until noon on Monday to do so. The deadline for the House’s rebuttal is noon on Tuesday. The Senate trial was then adjourned until Tuesday at 1 p.m.

Although historic, Thursday entailed mostly pomp and circumstance. The trial won’t get under way substantively until the Senate reconvenes after the holiday weekend.

All 100 senators agreed on rules for the 1999 Clinton impeachment trial’s initial phase. There is no such bipartisan agreement now, and while Mr. McConnell says all 53 Republicans in his caucus are united on the path forward, he hasn’t released the text of his resolution laying out the procedures agreed upon by GOP senators.

In 1999, a resolution dealing with witnesses passed a few weeks into the trial, along party lines. Three witnesses, including Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern with whom Mr. Clinton admitted an inappropriate relationship, were deposed privately in the presence of a senator from each party. Excerpts were shown by video during the trial.

There are 15 senators now serving who also voted in the Clinton impeachment trial, including Messrs. McConnell and Schumer.

“I remember the solemnity of this, when you see the chief justice sitting in the chair with his august robes, when you hear your name called and you hear the charges, your hair sort of stands on end,” Mr. Schumer said in a recent interview.

Throughout the trial, all senators will be expected to be present and seated at their assigned desks. They won’t be allowed to talk.

Any deliberations among senators likely will be held in closed session, meaning that no press or cameras will be allowed. The rest of the trial will be open.

“It is a solemn feeling when you’re sitting in the seat, and you’re listening closely to what’s going on,” said Sen. Mike Braun (R., Ind.).

Mr. Braun said he and other senators are worried about the precedent being set. “Many senators have on their minds: Is this the new dynamic? Having two impeachments within 20 years of one another?” he said. “I don’t think anybody likes that feeling.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/senators-to-be-sworn-in-as-trump-impeachment-trial-begins-11579177831

 

Constitutional Law Prof. Stuns Dems on Impeachment: ‘It’s YOUR Abuse of Power’

WATCH: Jonathan Turley’s full opening statement | Trump impeachment hearings

Republican Witness Jonathan Turley: ‘This Is Not How You Impeach An American President’ | NBC News

WATCH: Republican counsel’s full questioning of legal experts | Trump impeachment hearings

Jonathan Turley On His Impeachment Testimony

NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks with constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley about his testimony on Wednesday

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says she is instructing her committee chairs to draft articles of impeachment to remove President Trump from office. She framed her decision as a historic moment.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

NANCY PELOSI: The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution, especially when he says and acts upon the belief, Article II says I can do whatever I want. No. His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution.

MARTIN: Pelosi says the impeachment process has shown the public how the president has abused his power. Yesterday, four constitutional experts laid out the standards for and against impeachment in front of the House Judiciary Committee. One of them was Jonathan Turley. He’s a law professor at George Washington University. We spoke with him earlier today.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Well, first of all, my testimony, I said, as I did in the Clinton impeachment, that a president could be impeached for a noncriminal act and that President Trump could be impeached for abuse of power. You just have to prove it. He can also be impeached for obstruction of Congress.

The problem with the obstruction of Congress claim, in my view, is that it’s based on a very short period of investigation. This is one of the shortest we’ve had. It depends how you count the days between this and the Johnson impeachment, but it’s a very short period of investigation.

And what Congress is saying is that if the president invokes executive privilege or immunities and goes to court, he can be impeached for that – that he has to just turn over the information to Congress. Now, that’s a position that was maintained during the Nixon impeachment. In fact, it was the basis of the third article of impeachment. I’ve always disagreed with it. It’s not that you can’t impeach a president for withholding documents and witnesses. You can, and President Trump could well be the next one to be impeached on those grounds.

MARTIN: Mmm hmm.

TURLEY: What I was telling Congress is that they’ve burned two months. They should have gone to court over people like John – I’m sorry, subpoenaed and gone to court over people like John Bolton and gotten a court order. That would make it a stronger case.

MARTIN: So let’s talk about what you just laid out here. I mean, you are saying that because the White House has refused to allow certain people to come and testify, refused to hand over certain documents that the committees have requested and is fighting this in court, you’re saying that that process should be allowed to play out, that Congress is making an impeachment argument that is weak because they’re not waiting for the courts to weigh in?

TURLEY: I’m saying that this case could be much stronger. No one has really explained why they have to have a vote by the end of December rather than…

MARTIN: Well, isn’t the case about election interference? I mean, isn’t that the answer, that the central query here is about the interference of U.S. elections and 2020’s coming right up?

TURLEY: Well, 2020 is coming right up. But the problem is that when you look at how fast this has unfolded, the record remains thin. It remains conflicted. You have about 12 witnesses. You have other witnesses with direct evidence. And more importantly, you have a lot of defenses that have not been fully addressed. It’s not a fully developed record.

And all I’m saying is that before you give that record to the Senate, you should deal with some of those conflicts and some of those gaps. And this is an example of one of those, that I think the president could very well be impeached and removed for obstruction based on these acts. But by the way, that record is – conflicts in other respects. We had 12 witnesses. Many of those witnesses correctly appeared before Congress. They did so against the wishes of the president, but they remain in federal employment. They have not been disciplined. And does that…

MARTIN: But you’re saying their testimony is insufficient to prove obstruction or abuse of power.

TURLEY: Well, it’s insufficient because there remain conflicts. You know, part of the problems I have with the arguments made by my esteemed colleagues on the panel is that they kept on using the terms inference and circumstantial evidence. Those actually can be used in an impeachment, but it’s problematic if there’s information out there you can still get. This is not a question of the unknowable. This is using the peripheral. This is using information that could be strengthened. That’s what I’m arguing.

MARTIN: Although they pointed to the Mueller report as evidence of obstruction. Presumably, you don’t believe that the Mueller report conclusions are true then.

TURLEY: Well, I never said I didn’t think they were true, but the obstruction claim was rejected by the Department of Justice – not just Attorney General Bill Barr, but by Rod Rosenstein, who is a respected deputy attorney general. And I agree with their decision on that.

MARTIN: All right. Jonathan Turley, one of the constitutional scholars testifying before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Thank you.

TURLEY: Thank you.

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/05/784994918/jonathan-turley-on-his-impeachment-testimony

Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

“Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden’s account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day. Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine’s parliament obliged by ending Shokin’s tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired.

But Ukrainian officials tell me there was one crucial piece of information that Biden must have known but didn’t mention to his audience: The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

Shokin told me in written answers to questions that, before he was fired as general prosecutor, he had made “specific plans” for the investigation that “included interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”

He added: “I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine” and that he couldn’t describe the evidence further.

William Russo, a spokesman for Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden did not respond to email messages Monday seeking comment. The phone number at Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC in Washington was no longer in service on Monday.

The timing of Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s appointment to Burisma’s board has been highlighted in the past, by The New York Times in December 2015 and in a 2016 book by conservative author Peter Schweizer.

Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor’s probe of Burisma and his son’s role. They noted that:

  • Hunter Biden’s appointment to the board was widely reported in American media;
  • The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden’s work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor’s case against Burisma;
  • Great Britain took very public action against Burisma while Joe Biden was working with that government on Ukraine issues;
  • Biden’s office was quoted, on the record, acknowledging Hunter Biden’s role in Burisma in a New York Times article about the general prosecutor’s Burisma case that appeared four months before Biden forced the firing of Shokin. The vice president’s office suggested in that article that Hunter Biden was a lawyer free to pursue his own private business deals.

President Obama named Biden the administration’s point man on Ukraine in February 2014, after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine’s Crimea territory.

According to Schweizer’s book, Vice President Biden met with Archer in April 2014 right as Archer was named to the board at Burisma. A month later, Hunter Biden was named to the board, to oversee Burisma’s legal team.

But the Ukrainian investigation and Joe Biden’s effort to fire the prosecutor overseeing it has escaped without much public debate.

Most of the general prosecutor’s investigative work on Burisma focused on three separate cases, and most stopped abruptly once Shokin was fired. The most prominent of the Burisma cases was transferred to a different Ukrainian agency, closely aligned with the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, known as the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), according to the case file and current General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko.

NABU closed that case, and a second case involving alleged improper money transfers in London was dropped when Ukrainian officials failed to file the necessary documents by the required deadline. The general prosecutor’s office successfully secured a multimillion-dollar judgment in a tax evasion case, Lutsenko said. He did not say who was the actual defendant in that case.

As a result, the Biden family appeared to have escaped the potential for an embarrassing inquiry overseas in the final days of the Obama administration and during an election in which Democrat Hillary Clintonwas running for president in 2016.

But then, as Biden’s 2020 campaign ramped up over the past year, Lutsenko — the Ukrainian prosecutor that Biden once hailed as a “solid” replacement for Shokin — began looking into what happened with the Burisma case that had been shut down.

Lutsenko told me that, while reviewing the Burisma investigative files, he discovered “members of the Board obtained funds as well as another U.S.-based legal entity, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, for consulting services.”

Lutsenko said some of the evidence he knows about in the Burisma case may interest U.S. authorities and he’d like to present that information to new U.S. Attorney General William Barr, particularly the vice president’s intervention.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko said.

Nazar Kholodnytskyi, the lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Lutsenko’s office, confirmed to me in an interview that part of the Burisma investigation was reopened in 2018, after Joe Biden made his remarks. “We were able to start this case again,” Kholodnytskyi said.

But he said the separate Ukrainian police agency that investigates corruption has dragged its feet in gathering evidence. “We don’t see any result from this case one year after the reopening because of some external influence,” he said, declining to be more specific.

Ukraine is in the middle of a hard-fought presidential election, is a frequent target of intelligence operations by neighboring Russia and suffers from rampant political corruption nationwide. Thus, many Americans might take the restart of the Burisma case with a grain of salt, and rightfully so.

But what makes Lutsenko’s account compelling is that federal authorities in America, in an entirely different case, uncovered financial records showing just how much Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s company received from Burisma while Joe Biden acted as Obama’s point man on Ukraine.

Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm, according to the financial records placed in a federal court file in Manhattan in an unrelated case against Archer.

The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments, according to interviews.

Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down.

As for Joe Biden’s intervention in getting Lutsenko’s predecessor fired in the midst of the Burisma investigation, Lutsenko suggested that was a matter to discuss with Attorney General Barr: “Of course, I would be happy to have a conversation with him about this issue.”

As the now-completed Russia collusion investigation showed us, every American deserves the right to be presumed innocent until evidence is made public or a conviction is secured, especially when some matters of a case involve foreigners. The same presumption should be afforded to Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, Devon Archer and Burisma in the Ukraine case.

Nonetheless, some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/436816-joe-bidens-2020-ukrainian-nightmare-a-closed-probe-is-revived

 

 

Solomon: These once-secret memos cast doubt on Joe Biden’s Ukraine story

Former Vice President Joe Biden, now a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, has locked into a specific story about the controversy in Ukraine.

He insists that, in spring 2016, he strong-armed Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor solely because Biden believed that official was corrupt and inept, not because the Ukrainian was investigating a natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, that hired Biden’s son, Hunter, into a lucrative job.

There’s just one problem.

Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative.

And they raise the troubling prospect that U.S. officials may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma’s legal troubles and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures” about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor’s firing was announced.

In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails.

The memos raise troubling questions:

1.)   If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma’s American legal team refer to those allegations as “false information?”

Ukrainian prosecutors say they have tried to get this information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) since the summer of 2018, fearing it might be evidence of possible violations of U.S. ethics laws. First, they hired a former federal prosecutor to bring the information to the U.S. attorney in New York, who, they say, showed no interest. Then, the Ukrainians reached out to President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, told Trump in July that he plans to launch his own wide-ranging investigation into what happened with the Bidens and Burisma.

“I’m knowledgeable about the situation,” Zelensky told Trump, asking the American president to forward any evidence he might know about. “The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case.”

Biden has faced scrutiny since December 2015, when the New York Times published a story noting that Burisma hired Hunter Biden just weeks after the vice president was asked by President Obama to oversee U.S.-Ukraine relations. That story also alerted Biden’s office that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had an active investigation of Burisma and its founder.

Documents I obtained this year detail an effort to change the narrative after the Times story about Hunter Biden, with the help of the Obama State Department.

Hunter Biden’s American business partner in Burisma, Devon Archer, texted a colleague two days after the Times story about a strategy to counter the “new wave of scrutiny” and stated that he and Hunter Biden had just met at the State Department. The text suggested there was about to be a new “USAID project the embassy is announcing with us” and that it was “perfect for us to move forward now with momentum.”

I have sued the State Department for any records related to that meeting. The reason is simple: There is both a public interest and an ethics question to knowing if Hunter Biden and his team sought State’s assistance while his father was vice president.

The controversy ignited anew earlier this year when I disclosed that Joe Biden admitted during a 2018 videotaped speech that, as vice president in March 2016, he threatened to cancel $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, to pressure Ukraine’s then-President Petro Poroshenko to fire Shokin.

At the time, Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma. Shokin told me he was making plans to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that Biden and his partner, Archer, collected from Burisma through their American firm. Documents seized by the FBI in an unrelated case confirm the payments, which in many months totaled more than $166,000.  

Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong. A British-based investigation of Burisma’s owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me. One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.

After I first reported it in a column, the New York Times and ABC News published similar stories confirming my reporting.

Joe Biden has since responded that he forced Shokin’s firing over concerns about corruption and ineptitude, which he claims were widely shared by Western allies, and that it had nothing to do with the Burisma investigation.

Some of the new documents I obtained call that claim into question.

In a newly sworn affidavit prepared for a European court, Shokin testified that when he was fired in March 2016, he was told the reason was that Biden was unhappy about the Burisma investigation. “The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors,” Shokin testified.

“On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation,” Shokin added.

Shokin certainly would have reason to hold a grudge over his firing. But his account is supported by documents from Burisma’s legal team in America, which appeared to be moving into Ukraine with intensity as Biden’s effort to fire Shokin picked up steam.

Burisma’s own accounting records show that it paid tens of thousands of dollars while Hunter Biden served on the board of an American lobbying and public relations firm, Blue Star Strategies, run by Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, who both served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.

Just days before Biden forced Shokin’s firing, Painter met with the No. 2 official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and asked to meet officials in Kiev around the same time that Joe Biden visited there. Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar emailed Painter afterward: “With regards to the meetings in Kiev, I suggest that you wait until the next week when there is an expected vote of the government’s reshuffle.”

Ukraine’s Washington embassy confirmed the conversations between Shulyar and Painter but said the reference to a shakeup in Ukrainian government was not specifically referring to Shokin’s firing or anything to do with Burisma.

Painter then asked one of the Ukraine embassy’s workers to open the door for meetings with Ukraine’s prosecutors about the Burisma investigation, the memos show. Eventually, Blue Star would pay that Ukrainian official money for his help with the prosecutor’s office.

At the time, Blue Star worked in concert with an American criminal defense lawyer, John Buretta, who was hired by Burisma to help address the case in Ukraine. The case was settled in January 2017 for a few million dollars in fines for alleged tax issues.

Buretta, Painter, Tramontano, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden’s campaign have not responded to numerous calls and emails seeking comment.

On March 29, 2016, the day Shokin’s firing was announced, Buretta asked to speak with Yuriy Sevruk, the prosecutor named to temporarily replace Shokin, but was turned down, the memos show.

Blue Star, using the Ukrainian embassy worker it had hired, eventually scored a meeting with Sevruk on April 6, 2016, a week after Shokin’s firing. Buretta, Tramontano and Painter attended that meeting in Kiev, according to Blue Star’s memos.

Sevruk memorialized the meeting in a government memo that the general prosecutor’s office provided to me, stating that the three Americans offered an apology for the “false” narrative that had been provided by U.S. officials about Shokin being corrupt and inept.

“They realized that the information disseminated in the U.S. was incorrect and that they would facilitate my visit to the U.S. for the purpose of delivering the true information to the State Department management,” the memo stated.

The memo also quoted the Americans as saying they knew Shokin pursued an aggressive corruption investigation against Burisma’s owner, only to be thwarted by British allies: “These individuals noted that they had been aware that the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine had implemented all required steps for prosecution … and that he was released by the British court due to the underperformance of the British law enforcement agencies.”

The memo provides a vastly different portrayal of Shokin than Biden’s. And its contents are partially backed by subsequent emails from Blue Star and Buretta that confirm the offer to bring Ukrainian authorities to meet the Obama administration in Washington.

For instance, Tramontano wrote the Ukrainian prosecution team on April 16, 2016, saying U.S. Justice Department officials, including top international prosecutor Bruce Swartz, might be willing to meet. “The reforms are not known to the US Justice Department and it would be useful for the Prosecutor General to meet officials in the US and share this information directly,” she wrote.

Buretta sent a similar email to the Ukrainians, writing that “I think you would find it productive to meet with DOJ officials in Washington” and providing contact information for Swartz. “I would be happy to help,” added Buretta, a former senior DOJ official.

Burisma, Buretta and Blue Star continued throughout 2016 to try to resolve the open issues in Ukraine, and memos recount various contacts with the State Department and the U.S. embassy in Kiev seeking help in getting the Burisma case resolved.

Just days before Trump took office, Burisma announced it had resolved all of its legal issues. And Buretta gave an interview in Ukraine about how he helped navigate the issues.

 Today, two questions remain.

One is whether it was ethically improper or even illegal for Biden to intervene to fire the prosecutor handling Burisma’s case, given his son’s interests. That is one that requires more investigation and the expertise of lawyers.

The second is whether Biden has given the American people an honest accounting of what happened. The new documents I obtained raise serious doubts about his story’s credibility. And that’s an issue that needs to be resolved by voters.

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/463307-solomon-these-once-secret-memos-cast-doubt-on-joe-bidens-ukraine-story

The full Trump-Ukraine
impeachment timeline

The House of Representatives is engaged in a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump. It is focused on his efforts to secure specific investigations in Ukraine that carried political benefits for him — including aides allegedly tying those investigations to official U.S. government concessions.

Below is a timeline of relevant events.

The timeline is sortable. “Trump” refers to events in which Trump himself was involved. “Quid pro quo” is events that involve government concessions being tied to investigations. “Ukraine” tracks what Ukrainian officials were doing, while “Giuliani” does the same for Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and “Biden” tracks every event in which Joe or Hunter Biden were invoked.

How much detail would you like?

Key events An in-depth look Everything

Which topics are you interested in?

All topics Trump Ukraine Quid pro quo Biden Giuliani

Unrest in Ukraine

2014-2016

February 22, 2014

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych is ousted from power during a popular uprising in the country. He flees to Russia. After his ouster, Ukrainian officials begin a wide-ranging investigation into corruption in the country.

March 7, 2014

Lev Parnas, eventually an associate of former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, has his first known interaction with Donald Trump at a golf tournament in Florida.

March 1, 2014

Russia invades the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, annexing it.

May 13, 2014

KEY EVENT Hunter Biden, a son of then-U.S. Vice President Joe Bidenjoins the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. It is owned by oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, one of several subjects of the Ukrainian corruption probe.

May 25, 2014

Petro Poroshenko is elected president of Ukraine.

February 10, 2015

Viktor Shokin becomes Ukraine’s prosecutor general.

Early 2015

Top State Department aide George Kent raises concerns about Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma, as he later testifies. Biden’s office turns him away and explains that the vice president does not have the “bandwidth” to deal with the issue at a time when his other son, Beau Biden, is dealing with cancer, according to Kent’s testimony.

September 24, 2015

Then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt blasts Shokin in a speech in Odessa, Ukraine. He points to a “glaring problem” that threatens the good work regional leaders are doing: “the failure of the institution of the prosecutor general of Ukraine to successfully fight internal corruption.” He adds: “The United States stands behind those who challenge these bad actors.”

October 8, 2015

Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland testifies to the Senate that Shokin’s “office has to be reinvented as an institution that serves the citizens of Ukraine, rather than ripping them off.”

December 8, 2015

KEY EVENT In Kyiv, Biden tells Ukrainian leaders to fire Shokin or lose more than $1 billion in loan guarantees. Biden joins many Western leaders in urging Shokin’s ouster.

February 10, 2016

The International Monetary Fund threatens to halt a bailout program for Ukraine unless the country addresses its corruption issues.

February 11, 2016

Biden speaks with Poroshenko by phone and emphasizes the urgency of rooting out corruption.

February 18, 2016

Biden speaks with Poroshenko again.

March 28, 2016

Paul Manafort is hired as Donald Trump’s presidential campaign chairman, where he is chiefly in charge of securing delegates at the Republican National Convention. Manafort formerly worked for Yanukovych‘s Party of Regions in Ukraine.

March 29, 2016

Shokin is ousted from his position by Ukraine’s parliament.

April 14, 2016

Biden and Poroshenko speak again.

May 12, 2016

Yuri Lutsenko becomes Ukraine’s new prosecutor general, replacing Shokin.

May 13, 2016

The White House says it “welcomes” Lutsenko‘s appointment and the addition of an independent counsel in Lutsenko’s office, and declares it will guarantee the $1 billion in loans.

June 3, 2016

The U.S. government guarantees the loan.

June 20, 2016

Manafort becomes the head of Trump’s campaign after campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is fired.

August 14, 2016

Ukrainian officials reveal the existence of a handwritten “black ledger” suggesting Manafort had received millions in off-the-books payments from Yanukovych‘s party. These payments will ultimately be part of criminal charges filed against Manafort in the United States.

August 19, 2016

Manafort is forced out of Trump’s campaign.

November 8, 2016

KEY EVENT Trump is elected president, defeating Hillary Clinton.

Seeds of a conspiracy theory

2017-April 2019

January 11, 2017

KEY EVENT Politico reports Ukrainian officials “helped Clinton‘s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers” during the campaign. It said they were also trying to make amends after questioning Trump’s fitness for office and disseminating the Manafort documents. The article notes, however, that there is no indication of an effort originating within the leadership of the Ukrainian government itself.

January 12, 2017

Ukraine’s probes of Burisma are finalized and closed, according to the company, though Lutsenko later tells Bloomberg that one sale of an oil storage terminal will still be investigated.

February 6, 2017

Trump and Poroshenko speak by phone, during which time they “discussedplans for an in-person meeting in the future,” according to the White House.

April 21, 2017

Trump for the first time floats a conspiracy theory that Ukraine might have played a role in falsely fingering Russia for its 2016 election interference. “[The Democrats] get hacked, and the FBI goes to see them, and they won’t let the FBI see their server,” Trump tells AP, adding, “They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based. That’s what I heard. I heard it’s owned by a very rich Ukrainian.”

April 28, 2017

Trump again brings up the conspiracy theory in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

June 8, 2017

Giuliani, who would later become Trump’s personal lawyer, meets with Poroshenko and Lutsenko, according to a later-released House investigation.

June 9, 2017

Lutsenko’s office joins in an existing investigation into the black ledger, which had been under the control of an independent anti-corruption bureau. Critics allege the effort is intended to stifle the investigation.

June 14, 2017

European reports indicate Poroshenko will meet with Trump in the White House.

June 20, 2017

Poroshenko visits the White House to meet with Vice President Pence, but receives only a brief audience with Trump.

July 25, 2017

Trump tweets about “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign” and asks: “So where is the investigation A.G.” — referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

December 20, 2017

The Trump administration approves the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine for the first time.

January 23, 2018

KEY EVENT At an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden describes his pressure campaign in Ukraine. “I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’ ” Biden says. “Well, son of a b—-. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Early April

Ukrainian officials close their Manafort probes and have also decide to stop assisting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III‘s Russia investigation out of concern that doing so would harm their relationship with Trump’s administration and jeopardize military assistance, according to the New York Times.

April 19, 2018

KEY EVENT The Washington Post reports Trump has hired Giuliani as his personal lawyer, initially focused on seeing out the Russia investigation.

April 2018

Two Soviet-born business associates of GiulianiParnas and Igor Fruman, attend an event for a pro-Trump super PAC at Trump’s Washington hotel. While speaking with Trump, they badmouth U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, and Trump immediately suggests she be fired, according to Parnas.

April 30, 2018

Poroshenko announces the first shipment of Javelins from the United States have arrived.

May 1, 2018

Parnas and Fruman meet Trump at the White House, according to later-deleted Facebook photos.

May 4, 2018

Three Democratic senators — Robert Menendez (N.J.), Richard J. Durbin(Ill.) and Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.) — write to Lutsenko, urging him to continue working with Mueller.

May 9, 2018

Parnas posts a photo of him and his business partner David Correia meetingwith Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) in Sessions’s Capitol Hill office. The two men commit to raise $20,000 for Sessions, according to their later indictments.

May 9, 2018

That same day, Pete Sessions writes to the State Department seeking the dismissal of Yovanovitch. Sessions says he has “received notice of concrete evidence” that she had “spoken privately and repeatedly about her disdain for the current Administration.”

May 17, 2018

Parnas and Fruman contribute $325,000 to the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action through a newly formed business named Global Energy Producers, which is supposedly a liquefied natural gas company. In their later indictments, prosecutors will say the funds actually came from a $1.26 million private lending transaction that occurred two days earlier.

May 21, 2018

Parnas posts a picture on Facebook showing him and Fruman at breakfast with Donald Trump Jr. in Beverly Hills, Calif.

December 5, 2018

Giuliani meets with former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, according to a lobbying database. They talk about “security issues, including the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine and the US assistance to our country,” according to a Ukrainian report.

Late 2018

Giuliani speaks with Shokin, according to a later-revealed complaint from an anonymous whistleblower.

January

Giuliani and Lutsenko meet in New York, as Bloomberg News later reports.

Mid-February

Giuliani again meets with Lutsenko, this time in Warsaw, according to the whistleblower.

February 1, 2019

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov tells Yovanovitch that the country is worried about being wrapped up in U.S. political campaigns, according to Yovanovitch’s testimony. He cites the Manafort situation and both the Bidens and Trump’s conspiracy theory involving Ukraine’s role in 2016 election interference.

March 6, 2019

Yovanovitch gives a speech in Ukraine in which she targets Lutsenko. “To ensure the integrity of anticorruption institutions, the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor must be replaced,” she says. “Nobody who has been recorded coaching suspects on how to avoid corruption charges can be trusted to prosecute those very same cases.”

March 20, 2019

In an interview with pro-Trump journalist John SolomonLutsenko alleges that Yovanovitch gave him “a list of people whom we should not prosecute.” The State Department calls the claim an “outright fabrication,” but Trump promotes the story in a tweet. It is later revealed that Parnas facilitated the interview.The whistleblower later notes that Lutsenko was working for the incumbent, Poroshenko, who had been trailing challenger Volodymyr Zelensky in the upcoming March 31 election. Zelensky had pledged to replace Lutsenko. Yovanovitch later speculates, in congressional testimony, that Lutsenko was hoping Trump would endorse Poroshenko.

March 24, 2019

Trump Jr. attacks Yovanovitch on Twitter, saying: “We need more ⁦[Germany Ambassador] @RichardGrenell‘s and less of these jokers as ambassadors.”

March 26, 2019

Giuliani speaks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to State Department emails.

March 29, 2019

Giuliani speaks with Pompeo again, according to the State Department emails. The call lasts about four minutes.

March 31, 2019

The first round of Ukraine’s presidential election is held. Poroshenko and Zelensky head to a runoff.

April 1, 2019

After speaking with Lutsenko, Solomon reports that a probe into Joe Biden’s push to fire Lutsenko’s predecessor is underway. Lutsenko tells Solomon that he wants to present his evidence to Attorney General William P. Barr.

Mid-April

Hunter Biden‘s term as a Burisma board member ends.

April 18, 2019

Lutsenko retracts his claim that Yovanovitch gave him a list of people not to prosecute.

April 18, 2019

Separately, Mueller releases his report on the Russia investigation. Mueller finds no illegal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia but says he decided not to reach a firm conclusion on potential obstruction of justice by Trump. William Barr later opts not to accuse Trump of obstruction, despite extensive evidence laid out in the Mueller report.

April 21, 2019

KEY EVENT Zelensky, a former TV comedian, is elected president of Ukraine with 73 percent of the vote.

Ahead of a Trump phone call with Zelensky, Vindman writes talking points that indicate Trump should bring up “corruption” with the president-elect, according to Vindman’s later testimony, and a White House readout is drafted declaring Trump did so, according to Washington Post reporting. But Trump does not mention corruption on the call, according to a transcript released later by the White House.

April 23, 2019

Giuliani tweets about a Ukrainian investigation into alleged foreign collusion by the Democrats. “Now Ukraine is investigating Hillary campaign and DNC conspiracy with foreign operatives including Ukrainian and others to affect 2016 election,” he says. “And there’s no [former FBI director James B.]Comey to fix the result.”

April 24, 2019

Foreign Service Director General Carol Perez speaks with Yovanovitch at 1 a.m. and urges her to come back to Washington immediately, according to Yovanovitch’s testimony. “I was like, what? What happened?” Yovanovitch would later testify. “And she said, ‘I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane.’ ” Once home, she says she meets with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, who informs her that her time as ambassador is being curtailed. “He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the department had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the Summer of 2018,″ Yovanovitch says in her testimony. “He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”

April 25, 2019

In an interview with Fox News, Trump addresses the suggestion that Ukraine interfered in 2016. “I would imagine [William Barr] would want to see this,” he says. “People have been saying this whole — the concept of Ukraine, they have been talking about it actually for a long time.”

April 25, 2019

Joe Biden announces his presidential campaign.

The anti-Biden effort becomes public

May-June 2019

May 1, 2019

KEY EVENT The New York Times publishes a story tying Joe Biden’s pressure campaign in Ukraine to Shokin having investigated Burisma, portraying it as a potential liability in his 2020 campaign.

May 7, 2019

Bloomberg News casts doubt on the Times report, citing Ukrainian officials who say the Burisma investigation had long been dormant when Joe Biden applied pressure on Ukraine’s government.

May 7, 2019

KEY EVENT It is reported that Yovanovitch has been recalled by the State Department, two months before her scheduled departure date. Democrats allege a “political hit job” aimed at creating a pretext to remove her.

May 7, 2019

Zelensky holds a meeting with top advisers that is supposed to be about energy policy. According to AP, though, most of the three-hour meeting winds up being devoted to how to navigate Giuliani‘s efforts and avoid being wrapped up in U.S. politics.

May 9, 2019

KEY EVENT Giuliani tells the New York Times that he will travel to Ukraine to push for investigations related to the Bidens and the 2016 election “because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

May 11, 2019

Giuliani cancels his Ukraine trip, acceding to the pressure.

May 11, 2019

Separately, Lutsenko and Zelensky meet for two hours, according to the whistleblower, with Lutsenko requesting to stay in his position.

Early May

Former Ukrainian prosecutor Kostiantyn H. Kulyk tells the Times that Yovanovitch had thwarted his efforts to deliver damaging information about the Bidens to the FBI by denying his visa request.

May 13, 2019

William Barr announces a probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, which Trump and his congressional allies had pushed for by alleging a coup attempt. He appoints U.S. attorney John Durham to lead it.

Mid-May

The whistleblower is told that officials, including Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, had spoken with Giuliani to “contain the damage” he was doing, according to their complaint.

Mid-May

Parnas and Fruman, the Giuliani associates, travel to Ukraine and meet with Sergey Shefir, who later became an aide to Zelensky, and Ivan Bakanov, who is now the head of Ukraine’s secret police. Parnas’s lawyer later claimsParnas told Ukrainian officials that they had to announce the investigations of the Bidens or else Vice President Pence would skip Zelensky’s inauguration and the United States would freeze aid to Ukraine.

Mid-May

Trump tells Pence not to attend Zelensky‘s inauguration, according to the whistleblower. Instead, Energy Secretary Rick Perry attends. The whistleblower says it was “made clear” to them that “the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelensky until he saw how Zelensky ‘chose to act’ in office.”

May 14, 2019

Giuliani tells a Ukrainian journalist that Yovanovitch was “removed . . . because she was part of the efforts against the president.”

May 16, 2019

Lutsenko says there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by the Bidens.

May 19, 2019

KEY EVENT In an interview with Fox News, Trump explicitly references Biden’s efforts in Ukraine. “Biden, he calls them and says, ‘Don’t you dare persecute, if you don’t fire this prosecutor’ — The prosecutor was after his son,” Trump says. “Then he said, ‘If you fire the prosecutor, you’ll be okay. And if you don’t fire the prosecutor, ‘We’re not giving you $2 billion in loan guarantees,’ or whatever he was supposed to give. Can you imagine if I did that?” Trump makes the allegation even though there was no evidence the investigation focused on any actions by the Bidens.

May 20, 2019

KEY EVENT Zelensky is inaugurated as president of Ukraine. Shortly after his inauguration, Giuliani meets with Lutsenko allies who made the allegations included in Solomon’s reporting.

May 23, 2019

The administration notifies Congress that it intends to release hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aid to Ukraine.

May 23, 2019

At a White House meeting with Trump and acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyPerrySondland and Volker—who later dub themselves the “three amigos” — debrief the president on Zelensky’s inauguration and their views of the new Ukrainian leader. Trump is skeptical, telling them that Ukraine is “not serious about reform” and “tried to take him down,” according to later testimony from Sondland. Trump puts them in charge of a back-channel diplomacy effort in Ukraine, according to the later testimony of Kent, instructing them to “talk with Rudy” as they did so.

May 28, 2019

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr. meets with Pompeo, who encourages him to become the top diplomat to Ukraine — also known as a chargé d’affaires. Despite reservations, which he later recounts in his testimony, including about Giuliani, Taylor takes the job, effectively replacing Yovanovitch.

May 29, 2019

Trump sends Zelensky a congratulatory letter inviting him to a White House meeting.

Some time in May

Giuliani meets with a top Ukrainian anti-corruption prosecutor, Nazar Kholodnytsky, in Paris, according to Kholodnytsky. Kholodnytsky, who had clashed with Yovanovitch, has declined to comment on what he and Giuliani discussed, but he said the Burisma investigation should be reopened.

June 13, 2019

KEY EVENT In an interview with ABC News, Trump says he might accept electoral assistance from a foreign government, if offered. “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump says. “If somebody called from a country, Norway — ‘We have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.” The chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission subsequently points out on Twitter that this would be illegal.

June 18, 2019

The Department of Defense publicly announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine.

June 19, 2019

Trump begins asking questions about the military aid after seeing news reports, according to the testimony of Office of Management and Budget official Mark Sandy.

June 19, 2019

In an interview with Fox News, Trump again links Ukraine and the effort to hack the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election — a link that the whistleblower and later reporting show does not exist.

June 21, 2019

Giuliani tweets that Zelensky is “still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 election and alleged Biden bribery of Pres Poroshenko.”

June 27, 2019

Sondland tells Taylor that Zelensky needs to make clear to Trump that he is not impeding “investigations,” as Taylor will later testify.

June 28, 2019

SondlandVolkerTaylor and Perry participate in a call ahead of a planned call with Zelensky. According to Taylor, before Zelensky is added to the call, Sondland expresses a desire to keep regular interagency officials off the call. Sondland says he does not want anyone monitoring or transcribing the call, according to Taylor. Also on the call, Volker tells the participants that he intends to be explicit with Zelensky during an upcoming meeting in Toronto about what Zelensky needs to do to secure a White House meeting, according to Taylor. But Volker does not say specifically what he will request.

On the call, it is “made clear that some action on a Burisma/Biden investigation was a precondition for an Oval Office meeting,” Taylor tells one of his aides, David Holmes, according to Holmes’s later testimony.

Internal discord and a presidential call

July-August 2019

July 3, 2019

Aid to Ukraine is put on hold, according to three administration officials. Word of the hold is not widely known until later in the month.

July 10, 2019

KEY EVENT Top Ukrainian defense official Oleksandr Danyliuk meets with SondlandVolkerPerry and White House national security adviser John Bolton in Washington. (Taylor says top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak was also present.) According to Vindman’s testimony and the testimony of fellow NSC aide Fiona Hill, Bolton cuts the meeting short when Sondland begins requesting specific investigations in exchange for a meeting between Trump and Zelensky. Sondland also states that he coordinated the quid pro quo with Mulvaney, according to Vindman and Hill.

According to Vindman, Sondland in a later meeting emphasizes “the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma,” and Vindman and Hill both reprimand him for his “inappropriate” requests. Vindman contacts NSC lawyers, according to his testimony, and Hill contacts NSC lawyer John Eisenberg, according to her testimony. According to Taylor, Vindman and Hill tell him later that Bolton said they should have nothing to do with domestic politics and that Hill should “brief the lawyers.” Bolton decries the arrangement as a “drug deal,” according to Hill.

July 10, 2019

Taylor meets in Ukraine with Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andriy Bohdan, and foreign policy adviser Vadym Prystaiko. According to Taylor, they tell him Giuliani had told them a phone call between Trump and Zelensky was unlikely to happen. Taylor relays their disappointment to U.S. officials.

July 12, 2019

Axios reports that Trump and Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coatsare at odds, with Trump telling confidants that he wants to remove Coats from his position.

July 18, 2019

KEY EVENT Trump’s decision to withhold nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine is communicated to the State and Defense departments. Members of Congress are told that the hold is part of an “interagency delay.” Taylor later says an Office of Management and Budget official did not explain why, but said that the decision was relayed through Mulvaney.

July 19, 2019

Volker texts Sondland about the upcoming Zelensky call with Trump. “Most impt is for Zelensky to say that he will help investigation,” Volker says.

July 19, 2019

Volker texts Giuliani to connect him with Yermak. Giuliani would later say on Fox News that the State Department had asked for his help. “I didn’t know Mr. Yermak on July 19,” Giuliani said. “You see it right there, 2019 at 4:48 in the afternoon I got a call from Volker. Volker said ‘Would you meet with him? It would be helpful to us. We really want you to do it.’ ” Giuliani added: “They basically knew everything I was doing.”

July 19, 2019

Vindman and Hill inform Taylor that they are not aware of an official change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine, but that Mulvaney is skeptical of the country, according to Taylor’s testimony.

July 20, 2019

Taylor confronts Volker about Hill‘s claim that Volker met with Giuliani, according to Taylor, and Volker does not respond.

July 20, 2019

Sondland tells Taylor that he encouraged Zelensky to tell Trump that he would “leave no stone unturned” when it comes to “investigations,” according to Taylor.

July 20, 2019

Danyliuk tells Taylor that Zelensky does not want to be used as a pawn for a U.S. reelection campaign, also according to Taylor.

July 21, 2019

Taylor relays that concern to Sondland via text. “President Zelensky is sensitive about Ukraine being taken seriously,” he writes, “not merely as an instrument in Washington domestic, reelection politics.”

July 22, 2019

Shokin alleges to The Post that he was removed as prosecutor general over the Biden issue. “I will answer that the activities of Burisma, the involvement of his son, Hunter Biden, and the [prosecutor general’s office] investigators on his tail, are the only — I emphasize, the only — motives for organizing my resignation,” he says. Other Ukrainian officials have said this is untrue.

July 22, 2019

Yermak and Giuliani schedule a meeting in early August, according to Giuliani.

July 23, 2019

The OMB reiterates that aid to Ukraine is suspended.

July 24, 2019

Mueller testifies before Congress about his report and its findings.

July 25, 2019

KEY EVENT Before a scheduled call between Trump and ZelenskyVolkertexts with Yermak and again expresses the importance of Zelensky saying he will launch investigations. For the first time on-record, he also ties this to a potential White House meeting for Zelensky. “Heard from White House-assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate / ‘get to the bottom of what happened’ in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to Washington,” Volker says.

That message followed outreach from Sondland who, about half an hour prior, had left Volker a message. Sondland had spoken with Trump that morning and would later testify that he believed Volker’s text to Yermak was a message that he had “likely” received from Trump on that call.

July 25, 2019

KEY EVENT Trump and Zelensky speak. As we later find out from a rough transcript released by the White House, Trump repeatedly notes how “good” the United States is to Ukraine and then proceeds to ask Zelensky to open two investigations. One investigation involves CrowdStrike, an Internet security company that probed the Democratic National Committee hack in 2016, and the other involves the Bidens and Burisma.

“I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump says before floating the CrowdStrike investigation.

He later adds: “The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it. . . . It sounds horrible to me.”

Trump repeatedly suggests William Barr will be involved in working with the Ukrainian government on the investigation. Zelensky tells Trump that his yet-to-be-named new prosecutor general “will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue” — apparently referring to Burisma.

Trump says Yovanovitch “was bad news, and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.” When Zelensky thanks Trump for previously warning him about Yovanovitch, Trump responds: “Well, she’s going to go through some things.”

The Post would later report that at least four national security officials raised concerns about Trump’s Ukraine efforts with a White House lawyer both before and immediately after the Zelensky call. Eisenberg moves a transcript of the call to a classified server that is generally reserved for sensitive national security information, according to multiple witnesses, though Vindman and Morrison said not for nefarious reasons.

July 25, 2019

After the call, Yermak texts Volker back, saying: “Phone call went well. President Trump proposed to choose any convenient dates. President Zelenskiy chose 20,21,22 September for the White House Visit.”

July 25, 2019

State Department staff circulate emails indicating the Ukrainian embassy is asking about U.S. military assistance and appears to be aware of the “situation” involving the aid, according to later testimony by State Department official Laura Cooper.

July 26, 2019

Volker and Sondland travel to Kyiv and meet with Zelensky and other politicians. There, the whistleblower writes, they “reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of” Zelensky. Zelensky tells Volker and Taylor that he was happy with the call and asks about the Oval Office meeting Trump offered in the May 29 letter, according to Taylor’s later testimony.

July 26, 2019

KEY EVENT Holmes, while in Ukraine with Sondland, overhears a phone call between Trump and Sondland, in which Trump inquires about investigations, according to Taylor’s and Holmes’s later testimonies. Sondland later tells Holmes that Trump doesn’t care about Ukraine as a country and that he just wants the investigations, according to Taylor and Holmes. Sondland later says he doesn’t recall mentioning Biden but otherwise doesn’t contradict their testimony.

Days following July 25

The whistleblower writes: “I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced — as is customary — by the White House Situation Room. This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.”

The whistleblower claims to have been told by White House officials that they were directed by White House lawyers to move the transcript from the normal documentation archive and to “a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature” — a move one official called an “act of abuse.”

In an appendix, the whistleblower adds that officials said “this was ‘not the first time’ under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive — rather than national security sensitive — information.”

July 28, 2019

Trump announces that Coats will resign in August.

July 31, 2019

Trump holds a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The call is first reported by the Russians; the White House does not confirm it until late in the evening. The Russians, in a much more substantial readout than the United States, claim Trump and Putin spoke about restoring full diplomatic relations one day.

Early August

Mulvaney asks acting OMB director Russell Vought for an update on the legal rationale for withholding the Ukraine aid and how much longer it could be delayed, according to Washington Post reporting.

August 2, 2019

Giuliani travels to Madrid, where he meets with YermakParnas is also in the meeting, according to YermakAccording to the New York Times, the meeting involves Giuliani encouraging Zelensky‘s government to investigate Hunter Biden.

August 3, 2019

Zelensky says he plans to travel to the United States in September to meet with Trump in Washington.

August 8, 2019

Trump announces Joseph Maguire will take Coats‘s job as director of national intelligence, in an acting capacity. In doing so, he bypasses Sue Gordon, who had been Coats’s No. 2 at the directorate of national intelligence and who was a career intelligence official with bipartisan support. Gordon would later resign.

August 8, 2019

Giuliani tells Fox News that Durham, the Justice Department official investigating the Russia probe’s origins, is “spending a lot of time in Europe” to investigate what happened in Ukraine.

August 9, 2019

Trump says of Zelensky: “I think he’s going to make a deal with President Putin, and he will be invited to the White House. And we look forward to seeing him. He’s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come. And I think he will. He’s a very reasonable guy. He wants to see peace in Ukraine. And I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

August 9, 2019

Volker and Sondland text with one another about a statement Ukraine might be asked to issue about the investigations. Sondland also indicates that Trump “really wants the deliverable.” Volker and Sondland consult Giulianiabout what the statement should say.

August 10, 2019

Yermak emphasizes that Ukraine would like to lock down a date for Zelensky‘s visit before making the statement. “I think it’s possible to make this declaration and mention all these things,” Yermak says. “Which we discussed yesterday. But it will be logic to do after we receive a confirmation of date. We inform about date of visit and about our expectations and our guarantees for future visit.”

August 11, 2019

Sondland emails top State Department aides Ulrich BrechbuhlLisa Kenna and says, “Kurt & I negotiated a statement from Ze to be delivered for our review in a day or two. The contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough to authorize an invitation. Ze plans to have a big presser on the openness subject (including specifics) next week.” Kenna responds, “I’ll pass to S. Thank you.”

August 12, 2019

KEY EVENT The whistleblower files a complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson will later determine the complaint to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern,” which would trigger a legally required disclosure to the House and Senate intelligence committees.

August 13, 2019

Volker and Sondland text about what language should be included in Ukraine’s statement.

August 15, 2019

Coats and Gordon officially leave their positions.

August 16, 2019

Volker tells Taylor via text that Yermak asked the U.S. government to submit an official request for the Burisma investigation, according to Taylor’s later testimony. Taylor gives Volker a deputy assistant attorney general to contact regarding whether such a request would be proper.

August 17, 2019

Sondland asks Volker if “we still want Ze[lensky] to give us an unequivocal draft with 2016 and Boresma [sic]?” Volker responds, “That’s the clear message so far …”

August 21, 2019

Taylor asks Brechbuhl whether there is an official change in U.S. policy toward Ukraine, according to Taylor, and Brechbuhl says there is not.

August 22, 2019

NSC aide Tim Morrison tells Taylor it “remains to be seen” whether U.S. policy toward Ukraine has changed, according to Taylor, and says the “president doesn’t want to provide any assistance at all.”

August 22, 2019

Sondland emails Pompeo and Kenna, saying “Should we block time in Warsaw for a short pull-aside for Potus to meet Zelensky? I would ask Zelensky to look him in the eye and tell him that once Ukraine’s new justice folks are in place ([in] mid-Sept[ember), that Ze should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to Potus and to the US. Hopefully, that will break the logjam.” Pompeo replies, “Yes.”

Questions swirl around withheld aid

Early September 2019

August 27, 2019

Bolton meets with Zelensky in Kyiv. According to Taylor, the withheld military aid is not discussed.

August 28, 2019

KEY EVENT Politico posts a story about the Trump administration withholding $250 million in military aid from Ukraine, the first time it has been reported publicly. (Before this point, it was not clear Ukraine even knew the aid was being withheld.)

August 29, 2019

Yermak texts Volker a link to the story and says: “Need to talk with you.” Volker responds: “Hi Andrey — absolutely. When is good for you?” Yermak also contacts Taylor to express his deep concern, according to Taylor, and Taylor says he is “embarrassed” that he has no explanation.

August 29, 2019

Taylor writes a cable to Pompeo, at Bolton‘s urging, decrying the “folly” of withholding the funds at a time when Russia is breathing down Ukraine’s neck.

Late August

Lawmakers raise concerns about Ukraine aid being withheld, citing its importance to defend the former Soviet republic from Russia.

August 30, 2019

Sondland tells Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) that Trump was withholding the Ukraine military aid to “get to the bottom of what happened in 2016 — if President Trump has that confidence, then he’ll release the military spending,” according to Johnson’s later recollection.

August 31, 2019

Johnson tries to get Trump to release the military aid. He later says Trump explained that part of the reason for the delay was his concern about Ukraine’s role in 2016 election interference. “I didn’t succeed,” Johnson explains later. “But the president was very consistent on why he was considering it. Again, it was corruption, overall, generalized — but yeah, no doubt about it, what happened in 2016 — what happened in 2016, as relates? What was the truth about that?”

September 1, 2019

KEY EVENT Sondland tells Yermak at a meeting in Warsaw that the military aid would not arrive until Zelensky promises to pursue the Burisma investigation, as Taylor, Kent, Morrison and Sondland later confirm. Sondland says in clarified testimony that he “presumed” the two issues were connected “in the absence of any [other] credible explanation.” But he emphasizes that Trump did not directly convey it to him and later explicitly denied a quid pro quo.

September 1, 2019

Taylor tells Kent that Sondland had told Yermak that “POTUS wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to [a] microphone and say ‘investigations,’ ‘Biden,’ and ‘Clinton,’ ” according to Kent’s later testimony.

September 1, 2019

Zelensky and Pence also meet in Warsaw for a ceremony commemorating World War II. (Trump had originally been slated to attend the ceremony but remained in the United States to monitor Hurricane Dorian.) Taylor informs Danyliuk before the meeting that if the military aid is not released by the end of the month, the funds would expire because that is the end of the fiscal year, according to Taylor.

At the meeting, Pence tells Zelensky he will talk to Trump about the military aid, according to a readout from Morrison that Taylor says he received. Pence also says Trump wants Europe to do more to support Ukraine and that he wants Ukraine to do more to root out corruption, according to Morrison’s readout, as relayed by Taylor.

September 1, 2019

KEY EVENT Taylor texts Sondlandasking: “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland responds, “Call me.” The two speak, according to Taylor, and Sondland explains that Trump wants Zelensky to say publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and the conspiracy theory about Ukraine’s alleged role in the 2016 election interference. Sondland tells Taylor that he regrets not telling Ukrainian officials that “everything” relied on their announcement of the investigations — both a meeting and military aid — according to Taylor.

September 2, 2019

Pence says he did not discuss Biden with Zelensky, but that he did suggest that aid was conditioned on rooting out corruption. “As President Trump had me make clear, we have great concerns about issues of corruption,” Pence said. “The president wants to be assured that those resources are truly making their way to the kind of investments that will contribute to security and stability in Ukraine.”

September 2, 2019

Danyliuk expresses concern to Morrison that U.S. officials are not able to provide answers about the withheld military aid, according to Taylor, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Zagorodnyuk raises similar concerns with Taylor.

September 5, 2019

Johnson and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) meet in Ukraine with Zelensky, with Taylor hosting the meeting. Zelensky’s first question is about the military aid, according to Taylor. Murphy later tells NBC’s Chuck Todd that Zelensky had expressed concerns about Giuliani‘s overtures.

September 5, 2019

KEY EVENT The Post’s editorial board writes that it had been “reliably told” that Trump was “attempting to force Mr. Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.”

September 7, 2019

Trump tells Sondland that he is not asking for a “quid pro quo” but insists Zelensky make the announcement about the two investigations, according Morrison’s testimony and Taylor’s testimony about his conversations with Morrison. Morrison informs NSC lawyers about the call, according to both of them.

September 8, 2019

Sondland tells Taylor that Trump is adamant that Zelensky “clear things up and do it in public,” according to Taylor. Sondland also tells Taylor that he told Zelensky and Yermak that it wasn’t a quid pro quo, but that if they didn’t “clear things up” publicly, there would be a “stalemate,” according to Taylor.

Sondland also explains to Taylor that Trump is a businessman, and that before a businessman signs a check, he expects someone who owes him something to pay up, according to Taylor. (Taylor said Volker had said something similar.)

September 8, 2019

Taylor texts Volker and Sondland, saying: “The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)”

September 9, 2019

Taylor texts Sondland again about the idea that the military aid is being withheld in some kind of quid pro quo. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Taylor says.

Sondland speaks with Trump via phone and, during which Trump tells him something similar to, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing,” according to Sondland’s testimony.

Sondland then responds to Taylor‘s text, “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.” (Sondland will later explain that he was simply relaying Trump’s denial, rather than vouching for it.)

A whistleblower, a transcript and impeachment

Sept. 9-present

September 9, 2019

The Democrat-controlled House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees announce an investigation into Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine and the administration’s decision to halt aid.

Atkinson notifies the House and Senate intelligence committees that a whistleblower has filed a complaint, but he does not reveal its contents or substance.

September 10, 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) writes to Maguire demanding Congress receive the complaint.

September 10, 2019

Trump announces on Twitter that Bolton has resigned. Trump says it came at his request; Bolton quickly counters by saying he offered first.

September 11, 2019

KEY EVENT The Trump administration releases the Ukraine aid it had been withholding. Taylor informs Zelensky and Prystaiko.

September 12, 2019

Taylor becomes worried that Zelensky will announce the investigations in a planned CNN interview he learned about from Sondland, as he later testifies. He tries to confirm with Danyliuk that Zelensky won’t do such an interview, and Danyliuk confirms. Taylor asks the same question of Yermak, whom he later describes as being “uncomfortable” with the question. But Danyliuk again confirms there would be no CNN interview, Taylor later testifies.

September 13, 2019

Schiff subpoenas Maguire to compel him to disclose the whistleblower complaint. According to Schiff, the DNI’s office, in a letter from counsel, indicates the whistleblower complaint is being withheld because of confidential and potentially privileged communications by people outside the intelligence community. It is assumed that this refers to Trump.

September 17, 2019

Maguire says he will not testify or hand over the whistleblower complaint. Schiff says Maguire told him he couldn’t “because he is being instructed not to, that this involved a higher authority, someone above.”

September 18, 2019

The Post reports that the complaint involves Trump’s communications with a foreign leader and some kind of “promise” that was made.

September 18, 2019

Pence holds a call with Zelensky, which U.S. officials tell The Post was somewhat perfunctory. During Vindman’s later public testimony, though, Pence’s office says the call is classified and can’t be discussed in an open setting.

Around Sept. 18 or 19

Zelensky cancels a planned CNN interview, according to the network.

September 19, 2019

Atkinson briefs Congress in a closed-door session, telling them the complaint involved multiple events and not a single communication. The Post reports the complaint involves Ukraine.

September 19, 2019

Giuliani appears on CNN and denies any wrongdoing by Trump. But he also suggests it would be okay if Trump withheld aid in exchange for Ukraine investigating the Bidens. “The reality is the president of the United States has every right to say to another leader of a foreign country, ‘You got to straighten up before we give you a lot of money,’ ” Giuliani says. “It is perfectly appropriate for [Trump] to ask a foreign government to investigate this massive crime that was made by a former vice president.”

September 23, 2019

Trump suggests aid to Ukraine may have been withheld over “corruption” issues — without citing the Bidens. “If you don’t talk about corruption, why would you give money to a country that you think is corrupt?” Trump said. “. . . So it’s very important that, on occasion, you speak to somebody about corruption.”

September 24, 2019

Trump confirms he withheld the funding but suggests it was because other European countries should pay for Ukraine’s military aid. Trump later says he will release a transcript of his phone call with Zelensky.

September 24, 2019

KEY EVENT House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announces her supportfor a formal impeachment inquiry for the first time, setting that process in motion.

September 25, 2019

KEY EVENT The White House releases a rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, including the details described above.

September 25, 2019

Trump meets with Zelensky at the United Nations. Zelensky maintains he didn’t feel “pressure” to pursue investigations and that he didn’t interfere in his country’s law enforcement process. “We have an independent country and independent [prosecutor general],” he says. “I can’t push anyone. That is the answer. I didn’t call somebody or the new [prosecutor general]. I didn’t ask him. I didn’t push him.”

Zelensky also pointedly notes that, despite repeated invitations, Trump has never actually identified a date for a White House visit.

September 26, 2019

KEY EVENT The White House declassifies the whistleblower complaint, and Schiff releases it. The complaint focuses on Trump’s call with Zelensky but also alleges an effort to cover it up and alludes to substantial concern within the administration about Trump’s actions.

At a hearing later that day, Schiff paraphrases the Trump-Zelensky call, prompting criticism from Republicans.

September 26, 2019

Maguire testifies to the House Intelligence Committee that the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel downgraded the inspector general’s determination that the whistleblower complaint was of “urgent concern,” which eliminated the requirement that it be shared with Congress. Democrats allege a conflict of interest, noting that the complaint names William Barr — the head of the Justice Department — as being potentially involved.

September 27, 2019

Volker abruptly resigns.

September 27, 2019

More than 300 former U.S. national security and foreign policy officials sign a statement supporting House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

September 28, 2019

A top Pompeo aide, Michael McKinley, rallies support for a State Department statement strongly defending Yovanovitch, according to his testimony, but department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus informs McKinley that Pompeo decides against releasing such a statement — in part to “not draw undue attention to her.”

October 1, 2019

Pompeo sends House Democrats a letter declaring that five State Department employees who had been summoned for depositions would not appear. Pompeo calls the inquiry “an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

October 2, 2019

The New York Times reports — and The Post confirms — that the whistleblowerhad approached a staffer for Schiff‘s committee early in the process, contradicting some of Schiff’s claims.

October 2, 2019

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick shares with Congress documents that had been sent to the State Department that include conspiracy theories about the Bidens. Giuliani indicates he was responsible for some of the materials, which were apparently sent to State from the White House.

October 3, 2019

Volker submits to a deposition, sharing text messages (as described above) with TaylorSondlandGiuliani and Yermak. He says he never had a quid pro quo communicated to him.

October 3, 2019

“Mr. President, what exactly did you hope Zelensky would do about the Bidens after your phone call?” Trump is asked by a reporter.

“Well,” he replies, “I would think that, if they were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation into the Bidens.  It’s a very simple answer.”

He tells reporters that he also thinks China should launch an investigation involving the Bidens. “And by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Trump says.

October 3, 2019

Kent confronts State officials about the claims in Pompeo‘s letter, calling them inaccurate, according to his later testimony. He tells one official whose name is redacted: “I said, well, you say that the career foreign services are being intimidated. . . . And I asked him, about whom are you speaking? And he said, you’re asking me to reveal confidential information. And I said, no, I’m not. There are only two career Foreign Service officers who subject to this process. I’m one of them. I’m the only one working at the Department of State, and the other one is Ambassador Yovanovitch, who is teaching at Georgetown.”

October 3, 2019

The State Department informs Congress that it has approved the sale of 150 Javelin antitank missiles to Ukraine — a type of weaponry Zelensky mentioned on the July 25 call with Trump — at a cost of $39.2 million.

October 6, 2019

Lawyers for the whistleblower indicate they are representing a second whistleblower — this one with firsthand knowledge of some of the key events. They say the second whistleblower has spoken with Atkinson.

October 8, 2019

After blocking Sondland‘s testimony, White House counsel Pat Cipolloneinforms Congress that the White House will not cooperate with any facet of its impeachment inquiry, making curious arguments about the lack of “due process.”

October 10, 2019

Giuliani‘s two Soviet-born business associates, Parnas and Fruman, are arrested shortly before they are set to leave the country. They are indicted on campaign finance charges, with the Southern District of New York accusing them of funneling foreign money into U.S. politics to influence U.S.-Ukraine relations.

October 10, 2019

McKinley resigns over Pompeo‘s alleged failure to support State Department officials ensnared in the Ukraine controversy.

October 11, 2019

Yovanovitch testifies to Congress, alleging a politicized effort to remove her as ambassador to Ukraine.

October 12, 2019

The Post reports Sondland will tell Congress that his Sept. 9 text message stating there was no quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine was based on assurances from Trump and that he is not certain Trump’s denial was accurate. Trump and his allies had hailed Sondland’s text as proof there was no quid pro quo.

October 14, 2019

Hill testifies.

October 15, 2019

Kent testifies.

October 16, 2019

McKinley testifies and explains his resignation. “I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents,” McKinley says. “I was convinced that this would also have a serious impact on Foreign Service morale and the integrity of our work overseas.”

October 17, 2019

Sondland testifies, saying any pressure he applied on Ukraine to investigate Burisma came before he knew the case involved the Bidens. (He claims this despite Giuliani‘s efforts and the Bidens’ proximity to them being in the news by early May.) Sondland says he is making that distinction “because I believe I testified that it would be improper” to push for such political investigations. Asked whether it would be illegal, Sondland says: “I’m not a lawyer, but I assume so.”

October 17, 2019

Trump announces Perry will resign by the end of the year.

October 17, 2019

KEY EVENT Mulvaney in a news conference momentarily confirms a quid pro quo with Ukraine. “[Did Trump] also mention to me, in the past, that the corruption related to the DNC server?” Mulvaney said. “Absolutely, no question about that. But that’s it. And that’s why we held up the money. . . . The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation. And that is absolutely appropriate.” Mulvaney later issues a statement trying to reverse course, saying there actually was no connection.

October 22, 2019

Taylor testifies.

October 23, 2019

Cooper testifies, but not before the proceedings are delayed for five hours as House Republicans storm the secure room where the depositions are being held. The Republicans expressed concern about the secrecy of the process.

October 29, 2019

Vindman testifies.

October 30, 2019

State Department officials Catherine Croft and Christopher Andersontestify separately, describing the dim view of Ukraine taken by Trump and those around him.

October 30, 2019

In his confirmation hearing to become ambassador to Russia, Sullivan says he was aware of a “smear” campaign against Yovanovitch and that he believed Giuliani was a part of it. He also says it was appropriate to remove Yovanovitch, though, because Trump had lost confidence in her.

October 31, 2019

Morrison testifies, corroborating Taylor‘s testimony that Sondlandcommunicated a quid pro quo to Ukraine. Morrison says he raised concerns about Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky, but that he did not think it contained anything illegal.

October 31, 2019

The House votes to formalize its impeachment inquiry and open up its hearings, amid GOP criticism that the process was too secretive. No House Republicans vote in favor of the inquiry, and two Democrats vote against it.

November 4, 2019

The House releases the first of the closed-door deposition transcripts, from Yovanovitch and McKinley.

November 4, 2019

Sondland clarifies his testimony to acknowledge he communicated the quid pro quo to Ukraine on July 10, but that he was acting on what he presumed to be the case rather than a direct order from Trump.

November 5, 2019

The House releases Sondland’s and Volker’s depositions, including the clarification.

November 6, 2019

The House releases Taylor’s deposition.

November 7, 2019

The House releases Kent’s deposition.

November 8, 2019

The House releases Vindman’s and Hill’s depositions.

November 8, 2019

Bolton‘s lawyer tells Congress in a letter that his client was “part of many relevant meetings and conversations” pertaining to the impeachment inquiry that aren’t yet public, but reinforces that Bolton will appear only if ordered to by a judge.

November 10, 2019

Parnas‘s lawyer discloses the quid pro quo he allegedly communicated to Ukrainian officials in May.

November 13, 2019

Taylor and Kent testify in an open hearing.

November 15, 2019

Yovanovitch testifies in an open hearing, during which Trump tweets an attack on her. “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he said. “She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.” Democrats accuse Trump of witness intimidation.

Holmes testifies in a closed deposition.

November 19, 2019

Vindman, Williams, Volker and Morrison testify in two consecutive open hearings.

November 20, 2019

Sondland testifies in an open hearing, in which he says top administration officials including Pence and Pompeo were aware of the quid pro quo and that it was clear Giuliani was acting on Trump’s wishes when he pushed for it. Sondland’s testimony is followed by Hale and Cooper in their own hearing.

November 21, 2019

Hill and Holmes round out the public impeachment hearings. Hill criticizes efforts by Republicans to draw an equivalence between Russia’s interference in 2016 and the actions of Ukrainians during the campaign. Holmes notes that the pressure felt by Ukraine during its interactions with Trump since Zelensky’s inauguration is on-going, given that Ukraine still seeks to demonstrate that it maintains the U.S.’ support.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/politics/trump-impeachment-timeline/

Moscow Trials

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The Moscow Trials were a series of show trials held in the Soviet Union at the instigation of Joseph Stalin between 1936 and 1938 against Trotskyists and members of Right Opposition of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. There were three Moscow Trials: the Case of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Center (ZinovievKamenev Trial, aka “Trial of the Sixteen,” 1936), the Case of the Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center (PyatakovRadek Trial, 1937), and the Case of the Anti-Soviet “Bloc of Rights and Trotskyites” (BukharinRykov Trial, aka “Trial of the Twenty-One,” 1938). The defendants of these were Old Bolshevik party leaders and top officials of the Soviet secret police. Most defendants were charged under Article 58 of the RSFSR Penal Code with conspiring with the Western powers to assassinate Stalin and other Soviet leaders, dismember the Soviet Union, and restore capitalism.

The Moscow Trials led to the execution of many of the defendants. They are generally seen as part of Stalin’s Great Purge, an attempt to rid the party of current or prior oppositionists, especially but not exclusively Trotskyists, and any leading Bolshevik cadre from the time of the Russian Revolution or earlier, who might even potentially become a figurehead for the growing discontent in the Soviet populace resulting from Stalin’s mismanagement of the economy.[1] Stalin’s hasty industrialization during the period of the First Five Year Plan and the brutality of the forced agricultural collectivization had led to an acute economic and political crisis in 1928-33, a part of the global problem known as the Great Depression, and to enormous suffering on the part of the Soviet workers and peasants. Stalin was acutely conscious of this fact and took steps to prevent it taking the form of an opposition inside the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to his increasingly totalitarian rule.[1]

Contents

Background

Grigory ZinovievLev Kamenev, and Joseph Stalin formed a ruling triumvirate in early 1923[2] after Vladimir Lenin had become incapacitated from a stroke. In the context of the series of defeats of communist revolutions abroad (crucially the German revolutions of 1919 but also later the Chinese Revolution of 1927) which left the Russian Revolution increasingly isolated in a backward country, the triumvirate was able to effect the marginalization of Leon Trotsky in an internal party political conflict over the issue of Stalin’s theory of Socialism in One Country. It was Trotsky who most clearly represented the wing of the CPSU leadership which claimed that the survival of the revolution depended on the spread of communism to the advanced European economies especially Germany. This was expressed in his theory of permanent revolution.[3]

A few years later, Zinoviev and Kamenev joined the United Front in an alliance with Trotsky which favored Trotskyism and opposed Stalin specifically.[4] Consequently, Stalin allied with Nikolai Bukharin and defeated Trotsky in a power struggle. Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Union in 1929 and Kamenev and Zinoviev temporarily lost their membership in the Communist Party. Zinoviev and Kamenev, in 1932, were found to be complicit in the Ryutin Affair and again were temporarily expelled from the Communist Party. In December 1934, Sergei Kirov was assassinated and, subsequently 15 defendants were found guilty of direct, or indirect, involvement in the crime and were executed.[5] Zinoviev and Kamenev were found to be morally complicit in Kirov’s murder and were sentenced to prison terms of ten and five years, respectively.[6]

Both Kamenev and Zinoviev had been secretly tried in 1935 but it appears that Stalin decided that, with suitable confessions, their fate could be used for propaganda purposes. Genrikh Yagoda oversaw the interrogation proceedings.

Anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center

Conspiracy and investigation

In December 1935, the original case surrounding Zinoviev began to widen into what was called the Trotsky-Zinoviev Center.[7] Stalin allegedly received reports that correspondences from Trotsky were found among the possessions of one of those arrested in the widened probe.[8] Consequently, Stalin stressed the importance of the investigation and ordered Nikolai Yezhov to take over the case and ascertain if Trotsky was involved.[8] The central office of NKVD that was headed by Genrikh Yagoda was shocked when it was known that Yezhov (at that time a mere party functionary)[a][9] has discovered the conspiracy,[9] due to the fact that they (NKVD) had no relations to the case.[9] This would have led to inevitable conclusion about unprofessionalism of the NKVD leaders who completely missed the existence of the conspiratorial Trotskyist center.[9] In June 1936, Yagoda reiterated his belief to Stalin that there was no link between Trotsky and Zinoviev, but Stalin promptly rebuked him.[10] Bewilderment was strengthened by the fact that both Zinoviev and Kamenev for a long time were under constant operational surveillance and after the murder of Kirov were held in custody.[9] A key role in investigating played a chief of the Secret-political department of the NKVD Main Directory of State Security (a predecessor of KGB), State Security Commissar of the 2nd Class Georgiy Molchanov.[9]

The basis of the scenario was laid in confession testimonies of three arrested: NKVD agent Valentin Olberg (ru:Ольберг, Валентин Павлович) who was teaching at the Gorky Pedagogic Institute and two former participants of the internal party opposition and Soviet statesmen Isaak Rejngold and Richard Pikel.[9] Wherein Rejngold firmly believed that participating in the case fabrication about mythical conspiracy he executes the party’s task.[9] In relation to their composition, the testimonies looked standard conspiratorial activity, murder of Kirov, preparation to assassination attempts against the leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, seizure of power in the Soviet Union with the aim of “restoration of capitalism”.[9]

In July 1936, Zinoviev and Kamenev were brought to Moscow from an unspecified prison.[10] They were interrogated and denied being part of any Trotsky-led conspiracy.[11] Yezhov appealed to Zinoviev’s and Kamenev’s devotion to the Soviet Union as old Bolsheviks and advised them that Trotsky was fomenting anti-Soviet sentiment amongst the proletariat in the world. Throughout spring and summer of 1936 the investigators were requesting from the arrested “to lay down arms in front the party” exerting a continuous pressure on them.[9] Furthermore, this loss of support, in the event of a war with Germany or Japan, could have disastrous ramifications for the Soviet Union.[12] To Kamenev specifically, Yezhov showed him evidence that his son was subject to an investigation that could result in his son’s execution.[13] According to one witness, at the beginning of the summer the central heating was turned on in Zinoviev’s and Kamenev’s cells. This was very unpleasant for both prisoners but particularly Zinoviev who was asthmatic and couldn’t tolerate the artificially increased temperatures.[9] Finally the exhausted prisoners agreed to a deal with Stalin who promised them, on the behalf of Politburo, their lives in exchange for participation in the anti-Trotskyist spectacle.[9] Kamenev and Zinoviev agreed to confess on condition that they receive a direct guarantee from the entire Politburo that their lives and those of their families and followers would be spared. When they were taken to the supposed Politburo meeting, they were met by only Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov.[13] Stalin explained that they were the “commission” authorized by the Politburo, and Stalin agreed to their conditions in order to gain their desired confessions.[14] After that the future defendants were given some medical treatment and food.[9]

The Trial (aka Trial of the Sixteen)

The trial was held from August 19 to August 24, 1936 in the small October Hall of the House of the Unions (chosen instead of the larger Hall of Columns, used for earlier trials)[15] and there were 16 defendants.[16]

The main charge was forming a terror organization with the purpose of killing Joseph Stalin and other members of the Soviet government. They were tried by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR, with Vasili Ulrikh presiding. The Prosecutor General was Andrei Vyshinsky, a former member of the Mensheviks who in 1917 had signed an order to arrest Lenin.[17]

Defendant Ivan Nikitich Smirnov was blamed by his co-defendants for being the leader of the Center which planned Kirov’s assassination. He, however, had been in prison since January 1933 and refused to confess.[18]

Another defendant, the Old Bolshevik Eduard Holtzman, was accused at the Trial of the 16 of conspiring with Trotsky in Copenhagen at the Hotel Bristol in 1932, where Trotsky was giving a public lecture. A week after the trial it was revealed by a Danish Social Democratic newspaper that the hotel had been demolished in 1917.[19]

All the defendants were sentenced to death and were subsequently shot in the cellars of Lubyanka Prison in Moscow.[citation needed]

The full list of defendants is as follows:

  1. Grigory Zinoviev
  2. Lev Kamenev
  3. Grigory Yevdokimov
  4. Ivan Bakayev
  5. Sergei Mrachkovsky, a hero of the Russian Civil War in Siberia and the Russian Far East
  6. Vagarshak Arutyunovich Ter-Vaganyan, leader of the Armenian Communist Party
  7. Ivan Nikitich SmirnovPeople’s Commissar for communications
  8. Yefim Dreitzer
  9. Isak Reingold
  10. Richard Pickel
  11. Eduard Holtzman
  12. Fritz David
  13. Valentin Olberg
  14. Konon Berman-Yurin
  15. Moissei Lurye
  16. Nathan Lurye

Parallel anti-Soviet Trotskyist Center

Prosecutor General Vyshinskiy (centre), reading the indictment, in 1937

The second trial occurred between January 23 and January 30, 1937.[20]

This second trial involved 17 lesser figures including Karl RadekYuri Pyatakov and Grigory SokolnikovAlexander Beloborodov was also arrested and intended to be tried along with Radek, but did not make the confession required of him, and so he was not produced in court. Thirteen of the defendants were eventually executed by shooting. The rest received sentences in labour camps.[21][22] Radek was spared as he implicated others, including Nikolai BukharinAlexei Rykov, and Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, setting the stage for the Trial of Military and Trial of the Twenty One.

Radek provided the pretext for the purge on a massive scale with his testimony that there was a “third organization separate from the cadres which had passed through [Trotsky’s] school”[23] as well as “semi-Trotskyites, quarter-Trotskyites, one-eighth-Trotskyites, people who helped us, not knowing of the terrorist organization but sympathizing with us, people who from liberalism, from a Fronde against the Party, gave us this help.”[24]

By the third organization, he meant the last remaining former opposition group called Rightists led by Bukharin, whom he implicated by saying: “I feel guilty of one thing more: even after admitting my guilt and exposing the organisation, I stubbornly refused to give evidence about Bukharin. I knew that Bukharin’s situation was just as hopeless as my own, because our guilt, if not juridically, then in essence, was the same. But we are close friends, and intellectual friendship is stronger than other friendships. I knew that Bukharin was in the same state of upheaval as myself. That is why I did not want to deliver him bound hand and foot to the People’s Commissariat of Home Affairs. Just as in relation to our other cadres, I wanted Bukharin himself to lay down his arms.”[23]

At the time, many Western observers who attended the trials said that they were fair and that the guilt of the accused had been established. They based this assessment on the confessions of the accused, which were freely given in open court, without any apparent evidence that they had been extracted by torture or drugging. Joseph E. Davies, the U.S. ambassador, wrote in Mission to Moscow:

In view of the character of the accused, their long terms of service, their recognized distinction in their profession, their long-continued loyalty to the Communist cause, it is scarcely credible that their brother officers … should have acquiesced in their execution, unless they were convinced that these men had been guilty of some offense.[*] It is generally accepted by members of the Diplomatic Corps that the accused must have been guilty of an offense which in the Soviet Union would merit the death penalty.


* The Bukharin trial six months later developed evidence which, if true, more than justified this action. Undoubtedly those facts were all full known to the military court at this time.[25]

Trial of the Generals and the Tukhachevsky Affair

The Tukhachevsky Affair was a secret trial before a military tribunal of a group of Red Army generals, including Mikhail Tukhachevsky, in June 1937.

It featured the same type of frame-up of the defendants and it is traditionally considered one of the key trials of the Great PurgeMikhail Tukhachevsky and the senior military officers Iona YakirIeronim UborevichRobert EidemanAugust KorkVitovt PutnaBoris Feldman, and Vitaly Primakov were accused of anti-Communist conspiracy and sentenced to death; they were executed on the night of June 11/12, immediately after the verdict delivered by a Special Session of the Supreme Court of the USSR. This trial triggered a massive purge of the Red Army.

Trial of the Twenty-One

The third show trial, in March 1938, known as The Trial of the Twenty-One, tied together all the loose threads from earlier trials. It included 21 defendants alleged to belong to the so-called “Bloc of Rightists and Trotskyites”:

  1. Nikolai Bukharin – Marxist theoretician, former head of Communist International and member of Politburo
  2. Alexei Rykov – former premier and member of Politburo
  3. Nikolai Krestinsky – former member of Politburo and ambassador to Germany
  4. Christian Rakovsky – former ambassador to Great Britain and France
  5. Genrikh Yagoda – former head of NKVD
  6. Arkady Rosengolts – former People’s Commissar for Foreign Trade
  7. Vladimir Ivanov – former People’s Commissar for Timber Industry
  8. Mikhail Alexandrovich Chernov – former People’s Commissar for Agriculture
  9. Grigori Grinko – former People’s Commissar for Finance
  10. Isaac Zelensky – former Secretary of Central Committee
  11. Sergei Bessonov
  12. Akmal Ikramov – Uzbek leader
  13. Fayzulla Khodzhayev – Uzbek leader
  14. Vasily Sharangovich – former first secretary in Belorussia
  15. Prokopy Zubarev
  16. Pavel Bulanov – NKVD officer
  17. Lev Levin – Kremlin doctor
  18. Dmitry Pletnyov – Kremlin doctor
  19. Ignaty Kazakov – Kremlin doctor
  20. Venyamin Maximov-Dikovsky
  21. Pyotr Kryuchkov

The fact that Yagoda was one of the accused showed the speed at which the purges were consuming its own. Meant to be the culmination of previous trials, it now alleged that Bukharin and others had conspired to assassinate Lenin and Stalin numerous times after 1918 and had murdered Soviet writer Maxim Gorky by poison in 1936. The group also stood accused of espionage. Bukharin and others were claimed to have plotted the overthrow and territorial partition of the Soviet Union in collusion with agents of the German and Japanese governments, among other preposterous charges.

Even sympathetic observers who had stomached the earlier trials found it hard to swallow the new charges as they became ever more absurd, and the purge had now expanded to include virtually every living Old Bolshevik leader except Stalin.

The preparation for this trial was delayed in its early stages due to the reluctance of some party members to denounce their comrades. It was at this time that Stalin personally intervened to speed up the process and replaced Yagoda with Yezhov. Stalin also observed some of the trial in person from a hidden chamber in the courtroom. On the first day of the trial, Krestinsky caused a sensation when he repudiated his written confession and pleaded not guilty to all the charges. However, he changed his plea the next day after “special measures”, which dislocated his left shoulder among other things.[26]

Anastas Mikoyan and Vyacheslav Molotov later claimed that Bukharin was never tortured, but it is now known that his interrogators were given the order, “beating permitted,” and were under great pressure to extract confessions out of the “star” defendant. Bukharin held out for three months, but threats to his young wife and infant son, combined with “methods of physical influence” wore him down. But when he read his confession, amended and corrected personally by Stalin, he withdrew his whole confession. The examination started all over again, with a double team of interrogators.[27]

Bukharin’s confession in particular became the subject of much debate among Western observers, inspiring Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon and a philosophical essay by Maurice Merleau-Ponty in Humanism and Terror among others. His confessions were somewhat different from others in that, while he pleaded guilty to general charges, he denied knowledge of any specific crimes. Some astute observers noted that he would allow only what was in his written confession and refused to go any further. The fact that he was allowed to write in prison (he wrote four book-length manuscripts including an autobiographical novel, How It All Began, a philosophical treatise, and a collection of poems – all of which were found in Stalin’s archive and published in the 1990s) suggests that some kind of deal was reached as a condition for his confession. He also wrote a series of emotional letters to Stalin, protesting his innocence and professing his love for Stalin, which contrasts with his critical opinion of Stalin and his policies as expressed to others and with his conduct in the trial.

There are several possible interpretations of Bukharin’s motivation (besides coercion) in the trial. Koestler and others viewed it as a true believer’s last service to the Party (while preserving a modicum of personal honor), whereas Bukharin’s biographers Stephen Cohen and Robert Tucker saw traces of Aesopian language, with which Bukharin sought to turn the tables and conduct a trial of Stalinism (while still keeping his part of the bargain to save his family). Bukharin himself speaks of his “peculiar duality of mind” in his last plea, which led to “semi-paralysis of the will” and Hegelian “unhappy consciousness“.

The result was a curious mix of fulsome confessions and subtle criticisms of the trial. After disproving several charges against him (one observer noted that he proceeded to demolish, or rather showed he could very easily demolish, the whole case[28]), Bukharin said that “the confession of the accused is not essential. The confession of the accused is a medieval principle of jurisprudence”, his point being that the trial was solely based on coerced confessions. He finished his last plea with “the monstrousness of my crime is immeasurable, especially in the new stage of the struggle of the U.S.S.R. May this trial be the last severe lesson, and may the great might of the U.S.S.R. become clear to all.”[29]

Romain Rolland and others wrote to Stalin seeking clemency for Bukharin, but all the leading defendants were executed except Rakovsky and two others (they were killed in prison in 1941). Despite the promise to spare his family, Bukharin’s wife, Anna Larina, was sent to a labor camp, but she survived.

Aftermath

Communist Party leaders in most Western countries denounced criticism of the trials as capitalist attempts to subvert Communism.[30]

A number of American communists and progressive “fellow travellers” outside of the Soviet Union signed a Statement of American Progressives on the Moscow Trials. These included Langston Hughes[31] and Stuart Davis,[32] who would later express regrets.

Some contemporary observers who thought the trials were inherently fair cite the statements of Molotov, who while conceding that some of the confessions contain unlikely statements, said there may have been several reasons or motives for this – one being that the handful who made doubtful confessions were trying to undermine the Soviet Union and its government by making dubious statements in their confessions to cast doubts on their trial. Molotov postulated that a defendant might invent a story that he collaborated with foreign agents and party members to undermine the government so that those members would falsely come under suspicion, while the false foreign collaboration charge would be believed as well. Thus, the Soviet government was in his view the victim of false confessions. Nonetheless, he said the evidence of mostly out-of-power Communist officials conspiring to make a power grab during a moment of weakness in the upcoming war truly existed.[citation needed] This defense collapsed after the release of Khrushchev’s Secret Speech to the Twentieth Congress.

In Britain, the lawyer and Labour MP Denis Nowell Pritt, for example, wrote: “Once again the more faint-hearted socialists are beset with doubts and anxieties,” but “once again we can feel confident that when the smoke has rolled away from the battlefield of controversy it will be realized that the charge was true, the confessions correct and the prosecution fairly conducted”, while socialist thinker Beatrice Webb “was pleased that Stalin had ‘cut out the dead wood'”.[33] Communist Party leader Harry Pollitt, in the Daily Worker of March 12, 1936, told the world that “the trials in Moscow represent a new triumph in the history of progress”. The article was ironically illustrated by a photograph of Stalin with Yezhov, himself shortly to vanish and his photographs airbrushed from history by NKVD archivists.[34]

In the United States, left-wing advocates such as Corliss Lamont and Lillian Hellman also denounced criticism of the Moscow trials, signing An Open Letter To American Liberals in support of the trials for the March 1937 issue of Soviet Russia Today.[35] In the political atmosphere of the 1930s, the accusation that there was a conspiracy to destroy the Soviet Union was not incredible, and few outside observers were aware of the events inside the Communist Party that had led to the purge and the trials.

However, the Moscow trials were generally viewed negatively by most Western observers including many liberals. The New York Times noted the absurdity in an editorial on March 1, 1938: “It is as if twenty years after Yorktown somebody in power at Washington found it necessary for the safety of the State to send to the scaffold Thomas Jefferson, Madison, John Adams, Hamilton, Jay and most of their associates. The charge against them would be that they conspired to hand over the United States to George III.”[36]

For Bertram Wolfe, the outcome of the Bukharin trial marked his break with Stalinism.[37]

In May 1937, the Commission of Inquiry into the Charges Made against Leon Trotsky in the Moscow Trials, commonly known as the Dewey Commission, was set up in the United States by supporters of Trotsky, to establish the truth about the trials. The commission was headed by the noted American philosopher and educator John Dewey, who led a delegation to Mexico, where Trotsky lived, to interview him and hold hearings from April 10 to April 17, 1937. The hearings were conducted to investigate the allegations against Trotsky who publicly stated in advance of them that if the commission found him guilty as charged he would hand himself over to the Soviet authorities. They brought to light evidence which established that some of the specific charges made at the trials could not be true.

The Dewey Commission published its findings in the form of a 422-page book titled Not Guilty. Its conclusions asserted the innocence of all those condemned in the Moscow Trials. In its summary the commission wrote: “Independent of extrinsic evidence, the Commission finds:

  • That the conduct of the Moscow Trials was such as to convince any unprejudiced person that no attempt was made to ascertain the truth.
  • That while confessions are necessarily entitled to the most serious consideration, the confessions themselves contain such inherent improbabilities as to convince the Commission that they do not represent the truth, irrespective of any means used to obtain them.”
  • That Trotsky never instructed any of the accused or witnesses in the Moscow trials to enter into agreements with foreign powers against the Soviet Union [and] that Trotsky never recommended, plotted, or attempted the restoration of capitalism in the USSR.

The commission concluded: “We therefore find the Moscow Trials to be frame-ups.”

For example, in Moscow, Pyatakov had testified that he had flown to Oslo in December 1935 to “receive terrorist instructions” from Trotsky. The Dewey Commission established that no such flight had taken place.

In Britain, the trials were also subject to criticism. A group called the British Provisional Committee for the Defence of Leon Trotsky was set up. In 1936, the Committee published an open letter in the Manchester Guardian calling for an international inquiry into the Trials. The letter was signed by several notable figures, including H. N. BrailsfordHarry WicksConrad NoelFrank Horrabin and Eleanor Rathbone.[38][39] The Committee also supported the Dewey Commission. Emrys Hughes, the British MP, also attacked the Moscow Trials as unjust in his newspaper Forward.[38]

Legacy

All of the surviving members of the Lenin-era party leadership except Stalin and Trotsky, were tried. By the end of the final trial Stalin had arrested and executed almost every important living Bolshevik from the Revolution. Of 1,966 delegates to the party congress in 1934, 1,108 were arrested. Of 139 members of the Central Committee, 98 were arrested. Three out of five Soviet marshals (Alexander Ilyich YegorovVasily BlyukherTukhachevsky) and several thousands of the Red Army officers were arrested or shot. The key defendant, Leon Trotsky, was living in exile abroad, but he still did not survive Stalin’s desire to have him dead and was assassinated by a Soviet agent in Mexico in 1940.

While Khrushchev’s Secret Speech denounced Stalin’s personality cult and purges as early as 1956, rehabilitation of Old Bolsheviks proceeded at a slow pace. Nikolai Bukharin and 19 other co-defendants were officially completely rehabilitated in February 1988. Yagoda, who was deeply involved in the great purge as the head of NKVD, was not included. In May 1988, rehabilitation of Zinoviev, Kamenev, Radek, and co-defendants was announced.

After the death of Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev repudiated the trials in a speech to the Twentieth Congress of the Russian Communist Party:

The commission has become acquainted with a large quantity of materials in the NKVD archives and with other documents and has established many facts pertaining to the fabrication of cases against Communists, to glaring abuses of Socialist legality which resulted in the death of innocent people. It became apparent that many party, Government and economic activists who were branded in 1937–38 as ‘enemies,’ were actually never enemies, spies, wreckers, etc., but were always honest Communists … They were only so stigmatized and often, no longer able to bear barbaric tortures, they charged themselves (at the order of the investigative judges – falsifiers) with all kinds of grave and unlikely crimes.[40]

It is now known that the confessions were given only after great psychological pressure and torture had been applied to the defendants. From the accounts of former GPU officer Alexander Orlov and others the methods used to extract the confessions are known: repeated beatings, torture, making prisoners stand or go without sleep for days on end, and threats to arrest and execute the prisoners’ families. For example, Kamenev’s teenage son was arrested and charged with terrorism. After months of such interrogation, the defendants were driven to despair and exhaustion.[41]

In January 1989, the official newspaper Pravda reported that 25,000 persons had been posthumously rehabilitated.

The trials in literature

See also

Notes

References…

Bibliography

Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • Conquest, Robert (1990). The Great Terror: A Reassessment. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505580-2.
  • Leno, Matthew L. (2010). The Kirov Murder and Soviet History. New Haven: Yale University Press ISBN 978-0-300-11236-8.
  • Orlov, Alexander (1953). The Secret History of Stalin’s Crimes. Random House, Inc.
  • Redman, Joseph, The British Stalinists and the Moscow Trials. Labour Review Vol. 3 No. 2, March–April 1958
  • Rogovin, Vadim Z. (1998). 1937: Stalin’s Year of Terror. Oak Park, MI: Mehring Books, Inc. ISBN 0-929087-77-1.
  • Snyder, Timothy (2010). Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 978-0-465-00239-9.
  • Tucker, Robert C. (1973). Stalin as Revolutionary, 1879–1929: A Study in History and Personality. New York: Norton. ISBN 0-393-05487-X.
  • Wolfe, Bertram David (1990). Breaking with Communism: The Intellectual Odyssey of Bertram D. Wolfe. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press. ISBN 0-8179-8881-5.

Further reading

  • Getty, J. Arch and Naumov, Oleg V. (2010). The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932–1939. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10407-3.
  • Goldman, Wendy Z. (2011). Inventing the Enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin’s Russia. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-19196-8.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1285, Story 1: President Trump Celebrated American Independence Day By A Patriotic History Address Praising America’s Achievements — America Haters, Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Critical of Speech With Predictable Progressive Propaganda — American People Salute America — Videos — Story 2: Millions March and Protest for Freedom and Independence From Chinese Communist Coercion and Tyranny — Totalitarian Tyranny –Every breath you take — Every move you make — Every bond you break — Every step you take — I’ll be watching you — Every single day — Every word you say — Every game you play — Every night you stay — I’ll be watching you — Oh can’t you see — You belong to me — Chinese Communist Party Social Credit System — Belt and Road Initiative — Videos — Story 3: Trump Warns Islamic Republic of Iran Drive For Nuclear Weapons — Race for 90% Enriched Uranium 235 For Nuclear Bombs — Videos — Story 4: July 2019 Jobs Report: 224,000 Non-farm Payroll Joys Created in June 2019 with U-3 Unemployment Rate of 3.7%, U-6 Unemployment Rate of 7.6%, 6 Million Unemployed, Labor Participation Rate of 62.9% and Not In Labor Force of 96,057,000 — Videos — Story 5: Faces of Fascism — Crazy Communist Clown Cortez  — House Speaker Socialist Slaps-down Cortez — Just Walk Away From Democratic Socialist Party — Videos

Posted on July 8, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Art, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, College, Comedy, Communications, Computer, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Communications Commission, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Games, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Hate Speech, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Islam, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, Movies, Music, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, Sport, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: President Trump Celebrated American Independence Day By A Patriotic History Address Praising America’s Achievements — America Haters, Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Critical of Speech With Predictable Progressive Propaganda — American People Salute America — Videos

President Trump COMPLETE REMARKS at July 4th “Salute to America” (C-SPAN)

Trump’s Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ | Special coverage

Donald Trump delivers July 4th Independence Day speech at the Lincoln Memorial

Watch All The Military Flyovers From President Donald Trump’s ‘Salute To America’ | NBC News

Watch Live: July 4th In Washington, Trump’s ‘Salute To America’ Military Event | NBC News

National Independence Day Parade: ABC News Live coverage

4th of July Parade in Washington D.C.

Trump’s July 4th speech heavy on history and military praise

Thousands Attend National 4th of July Parade in Washington D.C.

Full Show: Fireworks at 4th of July Celebration in Washington, DC 2019

4th of July fireworks light up sky in Washington, D.C.

4th of July Fireworks from Washington D.C.

Fourth of July fireworks from the Nation’s Capitol

Trump gets tanks, flyover for July 4th celebration

Trump reveals 4th of July celebration details

Left attacks first lady over reciting ‘The Lord’s Prayer’

Marc Thiessen says ‘Salute to America’ critics have ‘egg on their face’

Democratic hysteria proven wrong over Trump’s ‘Salute to America’

Proud Trump delivers patriotic July 4 speech invoking American exceptionalism as ‘one of the greatest stories ever told’ while he avoids politics amid a DC deluge and military flyovers and finishes with a spectacular fireworks display

  • Donald Trump braved rainy weather to deliver a speech at his Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ event in front of the Lincoln Memorial and behind a panel of bulletproof glass on Thursday evening in Washington, DC
  • The president struck an inspirational tone as he read pre-prepared remarks from a teleprompter, declaring that ‘our nation is stronger than it ever was before’ and ‘for Americans, nothing is impossible’
  • He recited a litany of American accomplishments over the nation’s history, including the moon landing 
  • Trump also praised each branch of the military, highlighting their history and their accomplishments 
  • He made the military the focal point of the night by bringing in tanks and organizing flyovers by Air Force B-2 stealth bombers, the US Navy Blue Angels, US Marine One and Air Force One
  • The event has been dampened by inclement weather as the sky opened up two hours before the event kicked off, sending thousands of revelers running for cover  under umbrellas and pitched tents    
  • Washington has held an Independence Day celebration for decades with thousands flocking to the capital
  • But military chiefs were rumored to be concerned this year could turn out to be an overtly political affair 
  • On Tuesday Trump had said ‘the Pentagon and our great Military Leaders are thrilled’ to participate 
  • Thursday’s celebration had also been overshadowed by questions about how much it will cost taxpayers 
  • But the president has insisted it will cost very little given that the military already owns the tanks and planes 
  • SCROLL DOWN TO READ THE FULL SPEECH 

Donald Trump braved rainy weather to deliver a speech at his Fourth of July ‘Salute to America’ event from behind a panel of bulletproof glass.

The president welcomed crowds on the National Mall to a ‘very special’ Fourth of July holiday before launching in his pre-prepared remarks.

‘Today we come together as one nation with this very special Salute to America,’ he told the sea of red, white and blue-clad revelers.

Trump listed off a number of American accomplishments throughout the nation’s history – including the Revolutionary War, the women’s suffrage movement, the Civil Rights movement – and paid special tribute to each brand of the military, which he made the focal point of the festivities.

He offered a brief history of each branch and highlighted their accomplishments between cheers from the enthusiastic crowd.

‘We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag – the brave men and women of the United States military,’ he said.

As he paid tribute to each branch of the service, he also mentioned the branch he wants to see created under his presidency.

The president struck an inspirational tone as he read pre-prepared remarks from a teleprompter, declaring that 'our nation is stronger than it ever was before' and 'for Americans, nothing is impossible'

The president struck an inspirational tone as he read pre-prepared remarks from a teleprompter, declaring that ‘our nation is stronger than it ever was before’ and ‘for Americans, nothing is impossible’

The crowd erupted in cheers of 'U-S-A! U-S-A!' as Trump and Melania strutted onto the stage

The crowd erupted in cheers of ‘U-S-A! U-S-A!’ as Trump and Melania strutted onto the stage

Trump's speech ended with the Blue Angels flying overhead

Trump’s speech ended with the Blue Angels flying overhead

The Navy's Blue Angels fly over the Lincoln Memorial with crowds watching big screens below

The president holds hands with the First Lady as he waves to spectators in front of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday

The president holds hands with the First Lady as he waves to spectators in front of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday

The president addressed the crowd on the Mall as the rain came down

Fireworks spell out USA over the Lincoln Memorial

The fireworks display capped off the evening in Washington D.C.'s Fourth of July celebration

The fireworks display capped off the evening in Washington D.C.’s Fourth of July celebration

A woman takes a picture from inside the Lincoln memorial as fireworks explode overhead on the National Mall

Planes from the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron perform a flyover during the celebrations

Planes from the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron perform a flyover during the celebrations

‘The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and, very soon, the Space Force,’ he said, ticking off America’s armed services.

He even vowed to soon ‘plant the American flag on Mars.’

‘I want you to know that we are going to be back on the moon very soon, and someday soon we will plant the American flag on Mars,’ he said when he paid tribute to the work of NASA.

AIRCRAFT AND MILITARY VEHICLES PARTICIPATING IN JULY FOURTH

Air Force One

Blue Angels (F-18 (6))

US Coast Guard Aircraft: MH-60 (1)/ MH-65 (1) / C-130 (1)

US Air Force Aircraft: B-2 (1) / F-22 (2)

US Marine Corps Aircraft: V-92 (1) / V-22 (2)

US Army: Aircraft: AH-64 (4)

US Navy: F-35 (2) / F-18 (2)

Other Equipment:

M1A2 Abrams Tanks (2)

M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles (2)

M88 Recovery Vehicle (1)

Contact Truck with crew (1)

 – courtesy the White House

The president also incorporated flyovers into his remarks, timing it so the B-52 bomber, F-18 and F-35 fighter jets and osprey helicopters flew over as he paid tribute to the Army, Navy and Air Force.

The overhead flights particularly pleased the crowd, which cheered loudly when the aircraft appeared over head.

And, as he mentioned each military branch, a band played its theme song.

Critics charged the president with throwing a political rally on the nation’s birthday – a charge the White House fought back against.

But when Trump looked out at the crowd, he would see a similar sight to what he sees at his rally – a sea of red ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, which was his 2016 campaign theme.

Some supporters waved Trump campaign signs. Venders sold Trump campaign merchandise.

And the president touted the crowd’s size after reports Republicans were worried about light turnout due to the rainy weather and late planning with some even saying they feared a ‘Trump Inauguration 2.0’ when a fight broke out between the White House and press over the crowd size.

‘A great crowd of tremendous Patriots this evening, all the way back to the Washington Monument!,’ the president tweeted after he left the National Mall and was back at the White House.

It was Trump’s idea to have a heavy military presence during his ‘Salute to America.’

He took a hand in planning the celebration – which he vowed would be the ‘show of a lifetime’ – pushing to have tanks on display and American military planes flying overhead – a feat he pulled off, capped with Blue Angels soaring over his head as he wrapped up his speech.

He also praised the Gold Star families in the audience, thanking them for their sacrifice, and asked people to remember law enforcement officials.

‘Our nation has always honored the heroes who serve our communities. The firefighters, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, border patrol and all of the brave men and women of law enforcement. On this July 4th, we pay special tribute to the military service members who laid down their lives for our nation,’ he said.

And he encouraged young people to join the service during his 45 minute remarks.

‘To young Americans across our country, now is your chance to join our military and make a truly great statement in life,’ he said.

‘Our nation is its strongest today than it ever was before – it is its strongest now,’ he said to great applause, resulting in the crowds cheering: ‘USA, USA, USA.’

Trump wore a navy suit, a bright red tie, an American flag pin on his lapel and shiny black patent dress shoes while Melania tempted fate - given the weather - in a fresh white frock with rainbow stripes and hot pink pointed-toe pumps

Melania Trump (far left) joins Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen and the president's daughter Tiffany at the event

Melania Trump (far left) joins Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen and the president’s daughter Tiffany at the event

The president stuck to a patriotic theme in his remarks

People wave flags and take photos as they watch Trump's address on the National Mall under rainy weather

Trump offers a salute during his Fourth of July speech

Attendees cheered as the Blue Angels appeared

Trump's speech was projected on a giant screen on the National Mall

Trump’s speech was projected on a giant screen on the National Mall

QUOTES FROM TRUMP’S FOURTH OF JULY SPEECH

‘Today, we come together as ONE NATION with this very special Salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag—the brave men and women of the United States Military!

As we gather this evening in the joy of freedom, we remember that we ALL share a truly extraordinary heritage.

That same American Spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history. To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of YOU.

As long as we stay true to our cause — as long as we remember our great history—and as long as we never stop fighting for a better future — then there will be NOTHING that America cannot do.’

His remarks were peppered with famous American names – including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, the Wright Brothers, Frederick Douglass and Amelia Earhart – as he sought to pay tribute to the country’s history while emphasizing its greatness today.

He quoted Abraham Lincoln’s famous ‘Gettysburg Address’ and said the U.S. has the government ‘of, for and by the people.’

Trump, who spoke from the Lincoln Memorial, noted this was also where Martin Luther King made his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech.

He spoke of the greatness of America invention – noting Alexander Bell, Red Cross founder Clara Barton, and the accomplishment of other famous Americans, adding: ‘Nothing is impossible.’

Trump, who built his career on real estate, spoke of the America’s construction victories like skyscrapers and bridges.

‘Americans always take care of each other,’ he said.

He noted this year was the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote and paid tribute to the Civil Rights movement.

Trump spoke as rain trickled down from the sky onto his festivities. Crowds still swarmed the reflecting pool around the Lincoln Memorial and there was a heavy security presence – people waited up to six blocks to get through the mags.

The president, the first to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day in nearly seven decades, kept his remarks focused on patriotism after the White House defended his event as a celebration of America instead of a political rally.

‘That same American spirit that emboldened our founders has kept us strong throughout our history.’

‘To this date that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of you.’

‘Today just as it did 243 years ago, the future of American Freedom rests on the shoulders of the men and women willing to defend it,’ he added.

Fireworks are lit near the White House during Fourth of July celebration

Fireworks capped off the evening

Fireworks capped off the evening

Trump got an enthusiastic greeting from the crowd, who yelled ‘USA, USA’ as he and the first lady walked on stage.

‘As long was we stay true to our cause – as long as we remember our great history – and as long as we never stop fighting for a better future – then there will e nothing that America cannot do,’ he said.

‘We will never forget that we are Americans and the future belongs to us. The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud and the free. We are one people chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny.’

At the end of his speech Trump invited the military band to play a formal rendition Lee Greenwood’s Proud To Be An American – one of his favorites — as a Navy Blue Angel plane flew overhead.

He shook hands with some military officials and waved before exiting the stage.

After Trump’s event, a Fourth of July concert featuring Carole King and cast members from Sesame Street took place down the National Mall at the U.S. Capitol building.

King sang ‘Natural Woman’ and John Stamos – the host of the ‘Capitol Fourth’ contest – had playful interactions with the puppet characters, which included Big Bird, Burt and Ernie.

Both events were followed by a firework display.

The display was not without controversy this year.

To accommodate the flyovers and the fireworks display, President Trump closed down Washington D.C.’s Reagan National Airport, causing several flight delays.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that flights would be grounded from National, which is close to the center of D.C., during the flypast, from 6.15pm to 7.15pm, and for the fireworks, from 9pm to 9.45pm.

It will be the first time the airport has ever been closed for the annual July 4 fireworks, whose launch site was moved closer to the airport to accommodate Trump’s speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Instead of being launched from its traditional location alongside the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool, the fireworks were launched from a barge in the Potomac.

 The firework display was twice as long this year after the White House got two fireworks companies to donate to the show.

Down the mall at the U.S. Capitol, 'A Capitol Fourth' host John Stamos took a selfie with Big Bird

Down the mall at the U.S. Capitol, ‘A Capitol Fourth’ host John Stamos took a selfie with Big Bird

The presidential Air Force One flew over the festivities as Trump arrived

The presidential Air Force One flew over the festivities as Trump arrived

Marine One did a flyover as the US Coast Guard sang

Marine One did a flyover as the US Coast Guard sang

A view of the National Mall during Trump's speech

A view of the National Mall during Trump’s speech

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen hold their hands over their hearts during the National Anthem

Trump reached his hand up to the sky inspecting falling raindrops as he and Melania made their way toward the stage

Trump reached his hand up to the sky inspecting falling raindrops as he and Melania made their way toward the stage

 

Both Trump and Melania’s tresses appeared soggy from the rain by the conclusion of the president’s speech

Melania Trump was on her husband’s arm as the President’s “Salute to America” got underway for the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

Washington, D.C. has always had Independence Day celebrations with plenty of concerts and fireworks. But this year was the first year in decades that a president has given a speech.

For her part, Melania chose to wear an American designer, Carolina Herrera, to celebrate the holiday. However, it wasn’t exactly a red-white-and-blue dress, but a multicolored striped flare dress on a white background with an off-the shoulder design. It was a summery choice.

Several attendees wore red 'Make America Great Again' caps

Several attendees wore red ‘Make America Great Again’ caps

The event has been dampened by inclement weather as the sky opened up two hours before it kicked off, sending thousands of revelers running for cover under umbrellas and pitched tents.

On Thursday morning the National Weather Service issued several severe thunderstorm warnings for various Maryland counties and a flash flood watch effective until 8pm in DC.

Despite the weather reports, loyal crowds still gathered on the Mall, excited to see the president’s promised ‘show of a lifetime’ that boasted tanks parked by the Lincoln Memorial, marching bands, loyal followers and protesters with the president’s ‘baby blimp’.

The rain dampened the parade festivities as visitors were seen camping out with dismal expressions as they struggled to keep dry in their plastic rain ponchos and umbrellas.

Protesters were out and about during the day.

At the White House, two people were arrested for burning a flag before Trump left to give his speech.

Political activist Gregory Lee ‘Joey’ Johnson was one of the people taken away in handcuffs during the demonstration outside of the White House two before the president’s celebration is set to kick off, someone confirmed on his Twitter account.

Johnson is a longtime member of the Revolutionary Communist Party – also known as RevCom – which organized Thursday’s protest outside of the White House, where the group chanted: ‘Imagine A World Without America. Fight For A World Without America!’

But, for Trump, the show went on.

Calling his event a ‘Salute to America’ honoring the armed forces, the president tweeted Thursday morning to say he is expecting many attendees for the event which will ‘be well worth the trip and wait.’

The president wrote: ‘Looks like a lot of people already heading to SALUTE TO AMERICA at Lincoln Memorial. It will be well worth the trip and wait. See you there at 6:00 P.M. Amazing music and bands. Thank you ARMY!’

Officers extinguished the burning flag after breaking up the hoard of demonstrators

Officers extinguished the burning flag after breaking up the hoard of demonstrators

Two people have been arrested during a flag burning protest in front of the White House ahead of Donald Trump's 'Salute to America' Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC, on Thursday

Don't rain on my parade! Rain has started to pour on the thousands lined up on Capitol Hill for Donald Trump's Fourth of July military parade that he boasted will be the 'show of a lifetime'. A sculpture of Trump sitting on a toilet as the downpour began pictured above

Don’t rain on my parade! Rain has started to pour on the thousands lined up on Capitol Hill for Donald Trump’s Fourth of July military parade that he boasted will be the ‘show of a lifetime’. A sculpture of Trump sitting on a toilet as the downpour began pictured above

Rain, rain go away: Fourth of July revelers decked out in red white and blue had no choice but to stand in the rain Thursday

Stormy weather: This morning the National Weather Service issued several severe thunderstorm warnings for various Maryland counties and a flash flood watch effective until 8pm in DC

Stormy weather: This morning the National Weather Service issued several severe thunderstorm warnings for various Maryland counties and a flash flood watch effective until 8pm in DC

Revelers sat down in in plastic rain ponchos in a feeble attempt to stay dry during Thursday’s deluge

This couple camped out on the ground and tried to keep dry under the shade of their umbrellas in the storm

Drenched: This couple took cover under an umbrella after the rain began to pound down

Drenched: This couple took cover under an umbrella after the rain began to pound down

Just a bit of drizzle! These people didn't let the rain stop their fun and took a smiling selfie in the storm

Just a bit of drizzle! These people didn’t let the rain stop their fun and took a smiling selfie in the storm

Poncho season! These people smiled for the camera as they sat in the rain and waited for Trump's speech

Poncho season! These people smiled for the camera as they sat in the rain and waited for Trump’s speech

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle pictured drenched with rain on Thursday in the deluge

A Bradley Fighting Vehicle pictured drenched with rain on Thursday in the deluge

Over it: This woman took cover in her red MAGA hat and blue Trump flag
Over it: This woman took cover in her red MAGA hat and blue Trump flag

Can't stop the party: Instead of going home these folks decided to camp out and wait for the rain to pass

Can’t stop the party: Instead of going home these folks decided to camp out and wait for the rain to pass

he rain may affect the parade, but it seems Trump’s televised speech will proceed as scheduled at 6pm

Revelers took cover under umbrellas and hats as the rain hit the Lincoln memorial

Revelers took cover under umbrellas and hats as the rain hit the Lincoln memorial

As marchers walked in the National Independence Day Parade, onlookers whipped out their umbrellas to block the rain

As marchers walked in the National Independence Day Parade, onlookers whipped out their umbrellas to block the rain

The show must go on! The Marine Silent Drill Team pictured performing in the rain on Thursday

The show must go on! The Marine Silent Drill Team pictured performing in the rain on Thursday

Storm's brewin! The sky turned an eerie shade Thursday afternoon amid the Fourth of July festivities

Storm’s brewin! The sky turned an eerie shade Thursday afternoon amid the Fourth of July festivities

Two Bradley fighting vehicles were also in place Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial, where Trump spoke.

In addition, two 60-ton Army Abrams battle tanks were sent to Washington by rail to be positioned on or near the National Mall, to the dismay of District of Columbia officials.

Soldiers have been pictured working on an armored tanks in front of the Lincoln Memorial as other military vehicles have been pictured in the area.

Workers spent this week constructing a stage around the Lincoln Memorial where Trump spoke, while tourists wandered in between the construction to see one of the most popular monuments in the city.

A balloon is carried in 'America's Independence Day Parade' along Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC

A balloon is carried in ‘America’s Independence Day Parade’ along Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC

People gather to watch 'America's Independence Day Parade'. The president tweeted to say he is expecting big crowds in DC Thursday evening, writing: 'Looks like a lot of people already heading to SALUTE TO AMERICA at Lincoln Memorial. It will be well worth the trip and wait. See you there at 6:00 P.M. Amazing music and bands. Thank you ARMY!'

People gather to watch ‘America’s Independence Day Parade’. The president tweeted to say he is expecting big crowds in DC Thursday evening, writing: ‘Looks like a lot of people already heading to SALUTE TO AMERICA at Lincoln Memorial. It will be well worth the trip and wait. See you there at 6:00 P.M. Amazing music and bands. Thank you ARMY!’

A US Army soldier works on an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle on display in front of the Lincoln Memorial for US Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall in Washington. The 'Salute to America' Fourth of July activities include remarks by US President Trump, a parade, military flyovers and fireworks

US Army soldiers position a M1 Abrams main battle tank into position. Trump has promised the 'show of a lifetime' to celebrate Fourth of July where the president is scheduled to speak

US Army soldiers position a M1 Abrams main battle tank into position. Trump has promised the ‘show of a lifetime’ to celebrate Fourth of July where the president is scheduled to speak

US Army soldiers walk by an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Not since 1951, when President Harry Truman spoke before a large gathering on the Washington Monument grounds to mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, has a commander in chief made an Independence Day speech to a sizable crowd on the Mall

US Army soldiers walk by an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Not since 1951, when President Harry Truman spoke before a large gathering on the Washington Monument grounds to mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, has a commander in chief made an Independence Day speech to a sizable crowd on the Mall

Protester Jim Girvan moves a Baby Trump balloon into position before Independence Day celebrations, as those opposed to the president are ready to make their voices heard on Fourth of July

Protester Jim Girvan moves a Baby Trump balloon into position before Independence Day celebrations, as those opposed to the president are ready to make their voices heard on Fourth of July

A Trump supporter stands alongside people gathered for the Independence Day parade ahead of the president's speech

Supporters of Trump join others to watch 'America's Independence Day Parade' along Constitution Avenue

Supporters of Trump join others to watch ‘America’s Independence Day Parade’ along Constitution Avenue

People move a statue depicting U.S. President Donald Trump sitting on a golden toilet. Anti-war group Code Pink said, as part of its protest of the president's politicization of July Fourth, it would bring the Trump Baby Blimp ballon and this 16-foot statue

Miss Maryland, Mariela Pepin, rides in an open-top vehicle during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in D.C

Miss Maryland, Mariela Pepin, rides in an open-top vehicle during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in D.C

Crowds have lined the streets of DC for Trump's Fourth of July military parade after the president promised 'show of a lifetime' with tanks parked by the Lincoln Memorial, marching bands, loyal fans and protesters with the president's 'baby blimp'

Crowds have lined the streets of DC for Trump’s Fourth of July military parade after the president promised ‘show of a lifetime’ with tanks parked by the Lincoln Memorial, marching bands, loyal fans and protesters with the president’s ‘baby blimp’

In a sweltering capital threatened by storms, the traditional Fourth of July parade Thursday served as a warm-up act to a distinctly nontraditional evening event at the Lincoln Memorial, where President Donald Trump made plans to command the stage against the backdrop of a show of military muscle.

It’s been nearly seven decades since a president spoke there on Independence Day.

Trump tweeted Thursday to say he is expecting big crowds in DC ahead of his military spectacular

Trump tweeted Thursday to say he is expecting big crowds in DC ahead of his military spectacular

The U.S. was at war in Korea when Harry Truman addressed a large gathering on the Washington Monument grounds, marking the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Military chiefs are rumored to be concerned the July Fourth extravaganza could turn out to be an overtly political affair, putting them in violation of Defense Department policy.

On Tuesday Trump had said ‘the Pentagon and our great Military Leaders are thrilled’ to participate.

Thursday’s celebration has also been shadowed by questions about how much it will cost taxpayers.

But the president has insisted that the event will cost very little given that the military already owns the tanks and planes.

‘We own the planes, we have the pilots, the airport is right next door (Andrews), all we need is the fuel,’ he said, referring to Maryland’s Joint Base Andrews, home for some of the planes that are to fly over the Mall on Thursday. ‘We own the tanks and all. Fireworks are donated by two of the greats.’

Thunderstorms have threatened the celebrations with periods of “torrential rain” forecast by the National Weather Service

Trump altered the lineup by adding his speech, moving the fireworks closer to the Lincoln Memorial and summoning the tanks and warplanes. He sounded a defensive note Wednesday, tweeting the cost 'will be very little compared to what it is worth'

Trump altered the lineup by adding his speech, moving the fireworks closer to the Lincoln Memorial and summoning the tanks and warplanes. He sounded a defensive note Wednesday, tweeting the cost ‘will be very little compared to what it is worth’

In a message marking the 243rd anniversary of the Founding Fathers' adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Trump called the document a milestone that 'cast off the shackles of tyranny'

In a message marking the 243rd anniversary of the Founding Fathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Trump called the document a milestone that ‘cast off the shackles of tyranny’

Trump is promising the 'show of a lifetime' for the hundreds of thousands of revelers who flock to the National Mall every year. US Army soldiers are pictured positioning a M1 Abrams main battle tank into position at the Lincoln Memorial

Trump is promising the ‘show of a lifetime’ for the hundreds of thousands of revelers who flock to the National Mall every year. US Army soldiers are pictured positioning a M1 Abrams main battle tank into position at the Lincoln Memorial

The tanks are in place for the display of military muscle, including this M1 Abrams main battle tank into position at the Lincoln Memorial for US Independence Day celebrations

The tanks are in place for the display of military muscle, including this M1 Abrams main battle tank into position at the Lincoln Memorial for US Independence Day celebrations

Under White House direction, the Pentagon was arranging for an Air Force B-2 stealth bomber and other warplanes to conduct flyovers. Soldiers work on an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle on display in front of the Lincoln Memorial

Under White House direction, the Pentagon was arranging for an Air Force B-2 stealth bomber and other warplanes to conduct flyovers. Soldiers work on an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle on display in front of the Lincoln Memorial

There will be Navy F-35 and F-18 fighter jets, the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team, Army and Coast Guard helicopters and Marine V-22 Ospreys

There will be Navy F-35 and F-18 fighter jets, the Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team, Army and Coast Guard helicopters and Marine V-22 Ospreys

A crowd watches Independence Day celebrations in Washington. Trump set himself up to be the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day+92

A crowd watches Independence Day celebrations in Washington. Trump set himself up to be the first president in nearly seven decades to address a crowd at the National Mall on Independence Day

In February, Trump tweeted for the public to 'HOLD THE DATE!' for this Fourth of July and the president's supporters have welcomed his stamp on the holiday+92

In February, Trump tweeted for the public to ‘HOLD THE DATE!’ for this Fourth of July and the president’s supporters have welcomed his stamp on the holiday

A participant in the the Independence Day parade holds an American flag and a picture of President Donald Trump

A participant in the the Independence Day parade holds an American flag and a picture of President Donald Trump

People prepare a balloon for the Independence Day parade. The president has insisted the event will cost very little given that the military already owns the tanks and planes+92

People prepare a balloon for the Independence Day parade. The president has insisted the event will cost very little given that the military already owns the tanks and planes

A jump rope team participates in 'America's Independence Day Parade'. The traditional Fourth of July parade Thursday served as a warm-up act to a distinctly nontraditional evening event at the Lincoln Memorial

Trump's original tweet with his 'Aircraft One' mistake pictured above

Trump’s original tweet with his ‘Aircraft One’ mistake pictured above

After he received a flood of comments calling him out for his blunder, he deleted the flub tweet and tweeted this correction calling it Air Force One

After he received a flood of comments calling him out for his blunder, he deleted the flub tweet and tweeted this correction calling it Air Force One

Protesters unimpressed by his ‘Salute to America’ program inflated a roly-poly balloon depicting Trump as an angry, diaper-clad baby.

In the shadow of the Washington Monument, the anti-war organization Codepink erected a 20-foot tall ‘Trump baby’ balloon to protest what it called the president’s co-opting of Independence Day.

But the president’s supporters welcomed Trump’s stamp on the holiday.

Rachel McKenna, a Trump supporter from McKinney, Texas, said her relatives have served in the military and she thought it was important to say ‘We love you guys, we appreciate everything you do, and I love the fact I can see that,’ as she pointed to the Bradley fighting vehicle positioned near the Lincoln Memorial.

‘I’ve never ever seen one,’ she said. ‘I just think it’s so cool.’

He was savagely mocked on Twitter Thursday morning for tweeting ‘Aircraft One’ instead of ‘Air Force One’ while touting the elaborate military parade plans.

The president tweeted that people would come from far and wide for the celebration ‘culminating with large scale flyovers of the most modern and advanced aircraft anywhere in the World. Perhaps even Aircraft One will do a low & loud sprint over the crowd’.

The president’s aircraft is known as Air Force One when he’s on it, not Aircraft One.

Twitter users eviscerated the president for the slip-up, joking that Aircraft One is the unofficial name of Putin’s jet.

Trump then deleted his flub tweet and posted a new one, this time calling the aircraft Air Force One.

In a message marking the 243rd anniversary of the Founding Fathers’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, Trump called the document a milestone that ‘cast off the shackles of tyranny’.

A US Marine Corps unit participates in 'America's Independence Day Parade' along Constitution Avenue

People carry U.S. flags as they take part in a parade during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C

People carry U.S. flags as they take part in a parade during Fourth of July Independence Day celebrations in Washington, D.C

US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps participate in 'America's Independence Day Parade' along Constitution Avenue

US Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps participate in ‘America’s Independence Day Parade’ along Constitution Avenue

Independence Day revellers pose in front of a Humvee parked on a street in Washington, DC

Two Bradley fighting vehicles were in place Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial, where Trump will speak. In addition, two 60-ton Army Abrams battle tanks were sent to Washington by rail to be positioned on or near the National Mall, to the dismay of District of Columbia officials

The presidential Air Force One and Marine One aircraft are also slated to make aerial appearances. White House officials have stressed that Trump’s remarks will be patriotic

Trump originally wanted a parade with military tanks and other machinery rolling through downtown Washington ever since he was enthralled by a two-hour procession of French military tanks and fighter jets in Paris on Bastille Day in July 2017

A giant inflatable blimp depicting Uncle Sam during Independence Day celebrations

A "Trump Baby" balloon, set up by members of the CodePink group as protesters also descend on the National Mall

A ‘Trump Baby’ balloon, set up by members of the CodePink group as protesters also descend on the National Mall

A supporter of Trump joins others to watch 'America's Independence Day Parade'. Washington has held an Independence Day celebration for decades, featuring a parade along Constitution Avenue, a concert on the Capitol lawn with music by the National Symphony Orchestra and fireworks beginning at dusk near the Washington Monument

Trump originally wanted a parade with military tanks and other machinery rolling through downtown Washington ever since he was enthralled by a two-hour procession of French military tanks and fighter jets in Paris on Bastille Day in July 2017.

Later that year Trump said he’d have a similar parade in Washington on the Fourth of July, 2018, and would ‘top’ the Paris show. The event ended up being pushed to Veterans Day, which conflicted with one of Trump’s trips abroad, before it was scuttled after cost estimates exceeding $90 million were made public.

In February, Trump tweeted for the public to ‘HOLD THE DATE!’ for this Fourth of July.

Washington has held an Independence Day celebration for decades, featuring a parade along Constitution Avenue, a concert on the Capitol lawn with music by the National Symphony Orchestra and fireworks beginning at dusk near the Washington Monument.

Trump altered the lineup by adding his speech, moving the fireworks closer to the Lincoln Memorial and summoning the tanks and warplanes.

READ TRUMP’S FULL SPEECH AT HIS SALUTE TO AMERICA ON JULY 4 AT THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL

Hello, America. Hello. The First Lady and I wish each and every one of you a Happy Independence Day on this truly historic Fourth of July.

Today we come together as one nation with this very special salute to America. We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag, the brave men and women of the United States military.

We are pleased to have with us Vice President Mike Pence and his wonderful wife, Karen. We’re also joined by many hard-working members of Congress, Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and many other members of my Cabinet and also the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you.

Lieutenant General Daniel Hokanson of the National Guard, and distinguished leaders representing each branch of the United States armed forces: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, and – very soon – the Space Force.

As we gather this evening, in the joy of freedom, we remember that all share a truly extraordinary heritage.

Together, we are part of one of the greatest stories ever told: the story of America. It is the epic tale of a great nation whose people have risked everything for what they know is right, and what they know is true. It is the chronicle of brave citizens who never give up on the dream of a better and brighter future.

And it is the saga of 13 separate colonies that united to form the most just and virtuous Republic ever conceived. On this day, 243 years ago, our founding fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to declare independence and defend our God-given rights.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the words that forever changed the course of humanity: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’

With a single sheet of parchment, and 56 signatures, America began the greatest political journey in human history.

But on that day the patriots, who would determine the ultimate success of the struggle, were 100 miles away in New York. There, the Continental Army prepared to make its stand commanded by the beloved General George Washington. As the delegates debated the Declaration in Philadelphia, Washington’s army watched from Manhattan as a massive British invading fleet loomed dangerously across New York harbor.

The British had come to crush the Revolution in its infancy. Washington’s message to his troops laid bare the stakes, He wrote: “The fate of unborn millions will now depend under God on the courage and conduct of this army. We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.” Days later, General Washington ordered the Declaration read aloud to the troops, the assembled soldiers just joined an excited crowd running down Broadway, they toppled a statue of King George and melted it into bullets for battle.

The faraway king would soon learn a timeless lesson about the people of this majestic land: Americans love our freedom, and no one will ever take it away from us. That same American spirit that emboldened our Founders has kept us strong throughout our history.

To this day, that spirit runs through the veins of every American patriot. It lives on in each and every one of you here today.

It is the spirit, daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love that built this country into the most exceptional nation in the history of the world and our nation is stronger today than it ever was before. It is its strongest now.

That same righteous American spirit forged our glorious constitution, that rugged American character led the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark on their perilous expedition across an untamed continent. It drove others to journey West and stake out their claim on the wild frontier. Devotion to our founding ideals led American patriots to abolish the evil of slavery, secure civil rights and expand the blessings of liberty to all Americans.

This is the noble purpose that inspired Abraham Lincoln to rededicate our nation to a new birth of freedom and to resolve that we will always have a government of, by and for the people. Our quest for greatness, unleashed a culture of discovery that led Thomas Edison to imagine his light bulb, Alexander Graham Bell to create the telephone, the Wright brothers to look to the sky, and see the next great frontier.

For Americans, nothing is impossible. Exactly 50 years ago this month, the world watched in awe as Apollo 11, astronauts launched into space with a wake of fire and nerves of steel, and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon. Half a century later we are thrilled to have here tonight the famed NASA flight director, who led Mission Control during that historic endeavor, the renowned Gene Krantz.

Gene, I want you to know that we’re going to be back on the moon very soon and someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars.It’s happening Gene, it’s happening.

Our nation’s creativity and genius lit up the lights of Broadway and the soundstages of Hollywood. It filled the concert halls and airwaves around the world with the sound of jazz, opera, country, rock n’roll, and rhythm and blues.

It gave birth to the musical, the motion picture, the Western, the World Series, the Super Bowl, the skyscraper, the suspension bridge, the assembly line and the mighty American automobile. It led our citizens to push the bounds of medicine and science to save the lives of millions. Here with us this evening is Dr. Emmanuel Freireich.

When Emmanuel began his work 99 percent of children with leukaemia died. Thanks largely to Dr. Freireich’s breakthrough treatments, currently 90 percent of those with the most common childhood leukaemias survive. Doctor, you are a great American hero, thank you.

Americans always take care of each other. That love and unity held together the first Pilgrims, it forged communities on the Great Plains, it inspired Clara Barton to found the Red Cross, and it keeps our nation thriving today.

Here tonight from the Florida Panhandle is Tina Belcher. Her selfless generosity over three decades has made her known to all as Mrs. Angel. Every time a hurricane strikes Mrs. Angel turns her tiny kitchen into a disaster relief center. On a single day after Hurricane Michael, she gave 476 people a warm meal. Mrs. Angel, your boundless heart inspires us all. Thank you. Thank you very much.

From our earliest days, Americans of faith have uplifted our nation. This evening we’re joined by Sister Deirdre Byrne.

Sister Byrne is a retired Army surgeon who served for nearly 30 years. On September 11, 2001, the sister raced to Ground Zero. Through smoke and debris, she administered first aid and comfort to all. Today Sister Byrne runs a medical clinic serving the poor in our nation’s capital. Sister, thank you for your lifetime of service. Thank you.

Our nation has always honored the heroes who serve our communities, the firefighters, first responders, police, sheriffs, ICE, Border Patrol, and all of the brave men and women of law enforcement. On this July 4, we pay special tribute to the military service members who laid down their lives for our nation. We are deeply moved to be in the presence this evening of Gold Star families whose loved ones made the supreme sacrifice. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Throughout our history, our country has been made ever greater by citizens who risked it all for equality and for justice. One hundred years ago this summer, the women’s suffrage movement led Congress to pass the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.

In 1960, a thirst for justice led African American students to sit down at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was one of the very first civil rights sit-ins and it started a movement all across our nation.

Clarence Henderson was 18 years old when he took his place in history. Almost six decades later he is here tonight in a seat of honor. Clarence, thank you for making this country a much better place for all America.

In 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. stood here on these very steps and called on our nation to live out the true meaning of its creed, and let freedom ring for every citizen all across our land.

America’s fearless resolve has inspired heroes who defined our national character from George Washington, John Adams, and Betsy Ross, to Douglass, you know, Frederick Douglass, the great Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Amelia Earhart, Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, Jackie Robinson. And of course, John Glenn.

It has willed our warriors up mountains and across minefields. It has liberated continents split the atom, and brought tyrants and empires to their knees. Here with us this evening is Earl Morse. After retiring from the Air Force, Earl worked at a VA hospital in Ohio. Earl found that many World War Two veterans could not afford to visit their Memorial on the National Mall.

So Earl began the very first honor flights that have now brought over 200,000 World War two heroes to visit America’s monument. Earl, thank you. We salute you. Thank you. Thank you, Earl. Thank you.

Our warriors form a hallowed roll call of American patriots running all the way back to the first souls who fought and one American independence.

Today, just as it did 243 years ago, the future of American freedom rests on the shoulders of men and women willing to defend it. We are proudly joined tonight by heroes from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, including three recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Thank you. They and thousands before us served with immense distinction, and they loved every minute of that service.

To young Americans across our country, now is your chance to join our military and make a truly great statement in life, and you should do it.

We will now begin our celebration of the United States Armed Forces, honoring each branch’s unique culture, rich history, service song, and distinct legacy. I invite Acting Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Please join me. In August of 1790, by request of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Congress established a fleet of 10 swift vessels to defend our shores. These Revenue cutters would fight pirates, stop smugglers and safeguard our borders.

They are the ancestors of our faithful Coast Guard. When our ships were seized and sailors kidnapped by foreign powers in 1812, it was a Revenue cutter the swift schooner Thomas Jefferson, that swept into capture the first British vessel of the war.

In 1897, when 265 whalers were trapped in ice and the ice fields of Alaska were closing up, courageous officers trekked 1,500 miles through the frozen frontier to rescue those starving men from certain death. In 1942, the Coast Guard manned landing craft for invasions in the Pacific

When the enemy attacked U.S. Marines from the shores of Guadalcanal Coast Guard Signalman First Class, Douglas Monroe, used his own boat to shield his comrades from pounding gunfire. Monroe gave his life. Hundreds of Marines were saved. As he lay dying on the deck, his final question embodied the devotion that sails with every Coast Guardsman: “Did they get off?”

On D Day the Coast Guards famous matchbox fleet served valiantly through every hour of the greatest amphibious invasion in the history of our country.

One coxswain said the water boiled with bullets like a mud puddle in hailstones, but still the Coast Guard braved death to put our boys on Utah and Omaha Beaches. Every Coast Guardsman is trusted to put service before all. Coasties plunge from helicopters and barrel through pouring rain and crashing waves to save American lives.

They secure our borders from drug runners and terrorists in rough seas at high speeds. Their sharpshooters take out smugglers’ engines with a single shot – they never miss. When the red racing stripes of a Coast Guard vessel break the horizon, when their chopper blades pierce the sky, those in distress know that the help is on their way and our enemies know their time has come.

These guardians of our waters stand Semper Peratus. They are always ready. They are the United States Coast Guard.

Representing the Coast Guard today you will soon see an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, based at Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, along with an HH-65 Dolphin from Air Station Atlantic City and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry from Air Station Miami.

Thank you. Thank you to the Coast Guard.

On a cold December morning in 1903, a miracle occurred over the dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, when two bicycle makers from Ohio defied gravity with a 12 horsepower engine, wings made of cotton, and just a few dollars in their pockets. Just six years later, America was training its first pilots to take these magnificent machines up and over the field of battle.

In World War One, our Fly Boys rush the skies of Europe, and aces like Eddie Rickenbacker filled hearts and headlines with tales of daring duels in the clouds. General Billy Mitchell saw the promise of this technology and risked court-martial in his quest for an independent Air Force. He was proven right when empires across the oceans tried to carve up the world for themselves and America stood in the way – we wouldn’t let it happen.

After Pearl Harbor, Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle and his Raiders flew B-25 bombers off a carrier deck in the deep Pacific in a daring feat of American resolve. And as President Roosevelt said, the Nazis built the fortress around Europe, but they forgot to put a roof on it. So we crushed them all from the air. 177 Liberator bombers flew dangerously low through broad daylight without fighter protection to cripple the Nazi war machine at Ploiești. 300 Airmen gave their lives to destroy the enemy oil refineries and five pilots were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions in that single raid.

It was Airman Chuck Yeager, who first broke the sound barrier. It was airmen like Gus Chris and Buzz Aldrin who traded their Sabrejets for rockets to the stars. And It is our incredible airmen today who will the most powerful weapon systems on the planet earth.

For over 65 years, no enemy air force has managed to kill a single American soldier because the skies belong to the United States of America. No enemy has attacked our people without being met by a roar of thunder. And the aesome of those who bid farewell to earth and soar into the wild blue yonder. They are the United States Air Force.

Representing the Air Force you will soon see beautiful brand new F-22 Raptors from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, and one magnificent B-2 stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

What a great country.

In October of 1775, the Continental Congress ordered the construction of two swift sailing vessels, each carrying 10 cannons and 80 men to sail eastward. Our young fleet tested their sea legs against the most powerful Navy the world has ever seen.

John Paul Jones, America’s first great naval hero, said: ‘I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.’ He got his wish, many times, when a ship was shot into pieces off the coast of England by a British vessel and her four dozen guns. When demanded to surrender, Jones very famously declared: “I have not yet begun to fight.”

When our Navy begins fighting, they finish the job. In the War of 1812, Captain James Lawrence fell with his brothers on the USS Chesapeake.His dying command gained immortality: ‘Don’t give up the ship.’

In the Battle of Mobile Bay, Admiral David Farragut lashed himself to the rigging of his flagship to see beyond the cannon smoke, crying: ‘Damn the torpedoes Full speed ahead.’

In World War Two, it was aviators launched from the carrier Enterprise, Hornet, Yorktown, who filled the skies of Midway and turned the tide of the Pacific War. Nobody could beat us. Nobody could come close. On D-Day, SeaBee engineers came ashore to destroy blockades and barriers making way for the invasion.

Many lost their lives but they took the German defenses with them. And our men crashed upon the beaches like a mighty storm.

From the naval demolition units of World War Two arose a force that became famous in the Mekong Delta. They don’t want to see our force again. The very best of the very best, the Navy SEALs. It was the SEALs who delivered vengeance on the terrorists who planned the September 11 attack on our homeland. It was the SEALS who stand ready to bring righteous retribution in mountain, jungle, desert to those who do us harm.

America’s sailors are not born. They are forged by the sea. Their traditions are rich with the salt and blood of three centuries.

When Old Glory crests the waves of foreign shores, every friend and every phone knows that justice sails those waters. It sails with the United States Navy.

Representing our great Navy today will be two F-18 Super Hornets from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia, along with two F-35 Lightnings from Naval Air Station Lamar in California.

So great.

In November of 1775, the Continental Congress created two battalions of a new kind of warrior, one who kept and would protect our ships and sailors and be at home both the shore and the mast, with musket in hand.

They’re versatile. It was proven in the War of Independence when 234 Continental Marines conducted their first amphibious raid, capturing the British supply of gunpowder and cannons at Fort Nassau. Ever since Marines have fought in every American war. Their legend has grown and grown and grown with each passing year.

It was the Marines who won America’s first overseas battle vanquishing Barbary pirates on the shores of Tripoli. Their high stiff collar, which shielded them from the pirate sword earned them the immortal name Leatherneck. It was the Marines who after two long days of battle marched through the halls of Montezuma, it was the Marines who took heavy casualties to kick the Kaiser’s troops out of Belleau Wood in World War I, earning the title Devil Dogs.

And it was the Marines who raised the flag on the black sands of Iwo Jima.

From The Chosin Reservoir to Khe Sanh from Helmand to Baghdad, Marines have struck fear into the hearts of our enemies and put solace into the hearts of our friends. Marines always lead the way.

After the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, which claimed the lives of 241 great U.S. servicemen, Marine Sergeant Jeffrey Nashton lay in bandages, so badly wounded, barely alive. When the Commandant of the Marine Corps came to visit his hospital, Sergeant Nashton had to feel for the General’s collar. He wanted to feel his four stars. He could not see and he could not speak. He signaled for pen and paper and with shaking hand he wrote two words: Semper Fi. That motto, Semper Fidelis, always faithful, burns in the soul of every Marine, a sacred promise the corps has kept since the birth of our country.

They are the elite masters of air and land and sea, on battlefields all across the globe. They are the United States Marines.

Representing the Marine Corps today will be a brand new VH-92, soon to serve as Marine One, along with two V-22 Ospreys from the famed HMX-1 helicopter squadron at Quantico, the Nighthawks.

In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified army out of the revolutionary forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

Our army manned the airs, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports it did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came there, the star Spangled Banner waved defiant. At Shiloh, Antietam and Gettysburg, our soldiers gave the last full measure of devotion for the true unity of our nation and the freedom of all Americans.

In the trenches of World War One, an Army sergeant named Alvin York faced an inferno of enemy fire and refused to retreat. He said: “I won’t leave, I won’t stop.” He shot his rifle 18 times killing 18 of the enemy. When they fixed bayonets and charged, he killed seven more. The entire German machine gun battalion surrendered because of one man: Alvin York.

A generation later, the Army returned to Europe and embarked upon a great crusade with knives and rifles in hand. The Rangers scaled the cliffs of Normandy, the 101st Airborne leapt into the danger from above, illuminated only by enemy flares, explosions and burning aircraft. They threw back the Nazi empire with lightning of their own from the turrets of Sherman tanks and the barrels of the M-1 rifle. In the darkness of the Battle of the Bulge, with Nazis on every side, one soldier is reported to have said: “They’ve got us surrounded again, the poor bastards.”

Outnumbered American warriors fought through the bunkers of Pork Chop Hill, and held the line of civilization in Korea. In the elephant grass of Vietnam, the First Cavalry made its stand amid a forest consumed in flame with enemies at every single turn.

The army brought America’s righteous fury down to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and cleared the bloodthirsty killers from their caves. They liberated Fallujah and Mosul and helped liberate and obliterate the ISIS caliphate just recently in Syria – 100 percent gone. Through centuries, our soldiers have always pointed toward home proclaiming: ‘We will defend.’

They live by the creed of Douglas MacArthur in World War: ‘There is no substitute for victory.’ They are the greatest soldiers on Earth.

Nearly 250 years ago, a volunteer army of farmers and shopkeepers, blacksmiths, merchants and militiamen risked life and limb to secure American liberty, and self-government. This evening, we have witnessed the noble might of the warriors who continue that legacy.

They guard our birthright with vigilance and fierce devotion to the flag and to our great country. Now, we must go forward as a nation with that same unity of purpose. As long as we stay true to our course, as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never, ever, stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America can not do. Thank you.

We will always be the people who defeated a tyrant, crossed a continent, harnessed science, took to the skies and soared into the heavens, because we will never forget that we are Americans, and the future belongs to us. The future belongs to the brave, the strong, the proud and the free. We are one people chasing one dream and one magnificent destiny. We all share the same heroes, the same home, the same heart. And we are all made by the same Almighty God. From the banks of the Chesapeake, to the cliffs of California, from the humming shores of the Great Lakes, to the sand dunes of the Carolinas, from the fields of the heartland, to the Everglades of Florida, the spirit of American independence will never fade, never fail, but will reign forever and ever and ever.

So once more, to every citizen throughout our land, have a glorious Independence Day. Have a great Fourth of July. I want to thank the Army Band, the National Park Service, the Interior Department, the incredible pilots overhead, and those who are making possible the amazing fireworks display later this evening.

Now as the band plays the Battle Hymn of the Republic, I invite the First Lady, Vice President and Mrs. Pence, the service secretaries and military leaders to join me on stage for one more salute to America by the famous, incredible, talented Blue Angels. God Bless you. God bless the military, and God bless America. Happy Fourth of July.

 

The real reason why the left was against Donald Trump’s July 4 speech

Now we know why the Democrats were so upset about President Trump speaking on the Fourth of July.

It was not because it was political or partisan. It was patriotic and that is what annoys the left the most.

Several days before the speech, we heard that Trump was hijacking Independence Day and turning it into a campaign rally. But Trump never mentioned the 2020 campaign in his speech.

We heard that Trump’s desire to have tanks on the National Mall was an out-and-out authoritarian performance art. But that wasn’t really the issue. Neither was the fake outrage over the cost.

There was no mention of political opponents and no mention of the fake news media. And this wasn’t Trump co-opting the nation’s birthday to celebrate himself. In fact, for a man who loves to talk about his accomplishments, he never mentioned himself.

No, Trump did something far more dangerous to the left. He gave America a strong dose of patriotism. He gave Americans a history lesson on the great people, heroes and their great accomplishments over the last 243 years.

Earlier in the week, The New York Times ran a video arguing America isn’t the greatest nation on Earth, “the U.S. is really just O.K.”

Without mentioning The Times or the video, Trump proceeded to tell us about America’s greatness for nearly an hour interrupted only by applause, flyovers and military songs. At one point, I thought “who is this guy and what have they done with President Trump?”

“Today, we come together as One Nation with this very special Salute To America,” said Trump. “We celebrate our history, our people and the heroes who proudly defend our flag — the brave men and women of the United States Military!”

More from Gary Varvel: Face facts, America, Donald Trump is a success. Let’s count the ways.

Donald Trump is the president I didn’t want, but now I know we need

And boy, did he. Starting with the story of America’s war for independence, Trump quoted the words and deeds of Americans that have long been forgotten but need to be remembered.

Trump told the story of Gen. George Washington as he readied his troops to fight the British invasion. Trump said, “Washington’s message to his troops laid bare the stakes, He wrote, ‘The fate of unborn millions will now depend under God on the courage and conduct of this army, we have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.’”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2019/07/05/donald-trumps-patriotic-4th-july-speech-military-legends-tradition-column/1654859001/

With all of the partisan political fights, it was nice to be reminded of American’s amazing heritage. It was inspiring and that’s what we need.

 

United States Declaration of Independence

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United States Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence.jpg

1823 facsimile of the engrossed copy
Created June–July 1776
Ratified July 4, 1776
Location Engrossed copy: National Archives and Records
Administration
 Rough draft: Library of Congress
Author(s) Thomas Jefferson et al.
Signatories 56 delegates to the Second Continental Congress
Purpose To announce and explain separation from Great Britain[1]

The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America. The declaration was signed by representatives from New HampshireMassachusetts BayRhode IslandConnecticutNew YorkNew JerseyPennsylvaniaMarylandDelawareVirginiaNorth CarolinaSouth Carolina, and Georgia.

The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes. The Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready when Congress voted on independence. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document,[2] which Congress edited to produce the final version. The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, “The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America”[3] – although Independence Day is actually celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved.

After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms. It was initially published as the printed Dunlap broadside that was widely distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson’s hand.[4] Jefferson’s original draft is preserved at the Library of Congress, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, as well as Jefferson’s notes of changes made by Congress. The best-known version of the Declaration is a signed copy that is displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and which is popularly regarded as the official document. This engrossed copy (finalized, calligraphic copy) was ordered by Congress on July 19 and signed primarily on August 2.[5][6]

The sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Its original purpose was to announce independence, and references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This has been called “one of the best-known sentences in the English language”,[7] containing “the most potent and consequential words in American history”.[8] The passage came to represent a moral standard to which the United States should strive. This view was notably promoted by Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted.[9]

The Declaration of Independence inspired many similar documents in other countries, the first being the 1789 Declaration of United Belgian States issued during the Brabant Revolution in the Austrian Netherlands. It also served as the primary model for numerous declarations of independence in Europe and Latin America, as well as Africa (Liberia) and Oceania (New Zealand) during the first half of the 19th century.[10]

Contents

Background

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration

Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.

— Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775[11]

By the time that the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776, the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain had been at war for more than a year. Relations had been deteriorating between the colonies and the mother country since 1763. Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase revenue from the colonies, such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767. Parliament believed that these acts were a legitimate means of having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep them in the British Empire.[12]

Many colonists, however, had developed a different conception of the empire. The colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, and colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the British Constitution and the extent of Parliament’s authority in the colonies.[13] The orthodox British view, dating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was that Parliament was the supreme authority throughout the empire, and so, by definition, anything that Parliament did was constitutional.[14] In the colonies, however, the idea had developed that the British Constitution recognized certain fundamental rights that no government could violate, not even Parliament.[15] After the Townshend Acts, some essayists even began to question whether Parliament had any legitimate jurisdiction in the colonies at all.[16]Anticipating the arrangement of the British Commonwealth,[17] by 1774 American writers such as Samuel AdamsJames Wilson, and Thomas Jefferson were arguing that Parliament was the legislature of Great Britain only, and that the colonies, which had their own legislatures, were connected to the rest of the empire only through their allegiance to the Crown.[18]

Congress convenes

The issue of Parliament’s authority in the colonies became a crisis after Parliament passed the Coercive Acts (known as the Intolerable Acts in the colonies) in 1774 to punish the colonists for the Gaspee Affair of 1772 and the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Many colonists saw the Coercive Acts as a violation of the British Constitution and thus a threat to the liberties of all of British America, so the First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in September 1774 to coordinate a response. Congress organized a boycott of British goods and petitioned the king for repeal of the acts. These measures were unsuccessful because King George and the ministry of Prime Minister Lord North were determined to enforce parliamentary supremacy in America. As the king wrote to North in November 1774, “blows must decide whether they are to be subject to this country or independent”.[19]

Most colonists still hoped for reconciliation with Great Britain, even after fighting began in the American Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord in April 1775.[20] The Second Continental Congress convened at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia in May 1775, and some delegates hoped for eventual independence, but no one yet advocated declaring it.[21] Many colonists no longer believed that Parliament had any sovereignty over them, yet they still professed loyalty to King George, who they hoped would intercede on their behalf. They were disappointed in late 1775 when the king rejected Congress’s second petition, issued a Proclamation of Rebellion, and announced before Parliament on October 26 that he was considering “friendly offers of foreign assistance” to suppress the rebellion.[22] A pro-American minority in Parliament warned that the government was driving the colonists toward independence.[23]

Toward independence

Thomas Paine‘s pamphlet Common Sense was published in January 1776, just as it became clear in the colonies that the king was not inclined to act as a conciliator.[24] Paine had only recently arrived in the colonies from England, and he argued in favor of colonial independence, advocating republicanism as an alternative to monarchy and hereditary rule.[25] Common Sense made a persuasive and impassioned case for independence, which had not yet been given serious intellectual consideration in the American colonies. Paine connected independence with Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity, thereby stimulating public debate on a topic that few had previously dared to openly discuss,[26] and public support for separation from Great Britain steadily increased after its publication.[27]

The Assembly Room in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, where the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence

Some colonists still held out hope for reconciliation, but developments in early 1776 further strengthened public support for independence. In February 1776, colonists learned of Parliament’s passage of the Prohibitory Act, which established a blockade of American ports and declared American ships to be enemy vessels. John Adams, a strong supporter of independence, believed that Parliament had effectively declared American independence before Congress had been able to. Adams labeled the Prohibitory Act the “Act of Independency”, calling it “a compleat Dismemberment of the British Empire”.[28] Support for declaring independence grew even more when it was confirmed that King George had hired German mercenaries to use against his American subjects.[29]

Despite this growing popular support for independence, Congress lacked the clear authority to declare it. Delegates had been elected to Congress by 13 different governments, which included extralegal conventions, ad hoc committees, and elected assemblies, and they were bound by the instructions given to them. Regardless of their personal opinions, delegates could not vote to declare independence unless their instructions permitted such an action.[30] Several colonies, in fact, expressly prohibited their delegates from taking any steps towards separation from Great Britain, while other delegations had instructions that were ambiguous on the issue;[31] consequently, advocates of independence sought to have the Congressional instructions revised. For Congress to declare independence, a majority of delegations would need authorization to vote for it, and at least one colonial government would need to specifically instruct its delegation to propose a declaration of independence in Congress. Between April and July 1776, a “complex political war”[32] was waged to bring this about.[33]

Revising instructions

In the campaign to revise Congressional instructions, many Americans formally expressed their support for separation from Great Britain in what were effectively state and local declarations of independence. Historian Pauline Maieridentifies more than ninety such declarations that were issued throughout the Thirteen Colonies from April to July 1776.[34] These “declarations” took a variety of forms. Some were formal written instructions for Congressional delegations, such as the Halifax Resolves of April 12, with which North Carolina became the first colony to explicitly authorize its delegates to vote for independence.[35] Others were legislative acts that officially ended British rule in individual colonies, such as the Rhode Island legislature declaring its independence from Great Britain on May 4, the first colony to do so.[36] Many “declarations” were resolutions adopted at town or county meetings that offered support for independence. A few came in the form of jury instructions, such as the statement issued on April 23, 1776, by Chief Justice William Henry Drayton of South Carolina: “the law of the land authorizes me to declare … that George the Third, King of Great Britain … has no authority over us, and we owe no obedience to him.”[37] Most of these declarations are now obscure, having been overshadowed by the declaration approved by Congress on July 2, and signed July 4.[38]

Some colonies held back from endorsing independence. Resistance was centered in the middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.[39] Advocates of independence saw Pennsylvania as the key; if that colony could be converted to the pro-independence cause, it was believed that the others would follow.[39] On May 1, however, opponents of independence retained control of the Pennsylvania Assembly in a special election that had focused on the question of independence.[40] In response, Congress passed a resolution on May 10 which had been promoted by John Adams and Richard Henry Lee, calling on colonies without a “government sufficient to the exigencies of their affairs” to adopt new governments.[41] The resolution passed unanimously, and was even supported by Pennsylvania’s John Dickinson, the leader of the anti-independence faction in Congress, who believed that it did not apply to his colony.[42]

May 15 preamble

This Day the Congress has passed the most important Resolution, that ever was taken in America.

—John Adams, May 15, 1776[43]

As was the custom, Congress appointed a committee to draft a preamble to explain the purpose of the resolution. John Adams wrote the preamble, which stated that because King George had rejected reconciliation and was hiring foreign mercenaries to use against the colonies, “it is necessary that the exercise of every kind of authority under the said crown should be totally suppressed”.[44] Adams’s preamble was meant to encourage the overthrow of the governments of Pennsylvania and Maryland, which were still under proprietary governance.[45] Congress passed the preamble on May 15 after several days of debate, but four of the middle colonies voted against it, and the Maryland delegation walked out in protest.[46] Adams regarded his May 15 preamble effectively as an American declaration of independence, although a formal declaration would still have to be made.[47]

Lee’s resolution

On the same day that Congress passed Adams’s radical preamble, the Virginia Convention set the stage for a formal Congressional declaration of independence. On May 15, the Convention instructed Virginia’s congressional delegation “to propose to that respectable body to declare the United Colonies free and independent States, absolved from all allegiance to, or dependence upon, the Crown or Parliament of Great Britain”.[48] In accordance with those instructions, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a three-part resolution to Congress on June 7.[49] The motion was seconded by John Adams, calling on Congress to declare independence, form foreign alliances, and prepare a plan of colonial confederation. The part of the resolution relating to declaring independence read:

Resolved, that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.[50]

Lee’s resolution met with resistance in the ensuing debate. Opponents of the resolution conceded that reconciliation was unlikely with Great Britain, while arguing that declaring independence was premature, and that securing foreign aid should take priority.[51] Advocates of the resolution countered that foreign governments would not intervene in an internal British struggle, and so a formal declaration of independence was needed before foreign aid was possible. All Congress needed to do, they insisted, was to “declare a fact which already exists”.[52] Delegates from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York were still not yet authorized to vote for independence, however, and some of them threatened to leave Congress if the resolution were adopted. Congress, therefore, voted on June 10 to postpone further discussion of Lee’s resolution for three weeks.[53] Until then, Congress decided that a committee should prepare a document announcing and explaining independence in the event that Lee’s resolution was approved when it was brought up again in July.

The final push

This idealized depiction of (left to right) Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson working on the Declaration was widely reprinted (by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1900).[54]

Support for a Congressional declaration of independence was consolidated in the final weeks of June 1776. On June 14, the Connecticut Assembly instructed its delegates to propose independence and, the following day, the legislatures of New Hampshire and Delaware authorized their delegates to declare independence.[55] In Pennsylvania, political struggles ended with the dissolution of the colonial assembly, and a new Conference of Committees under Thomas McKean authorized Pennsylvania’s delegates to declare independence on June 18.[56] The Provincial Congress of New Jersey had been governing the province since January 1776; they resolved on June 15 that Royal Governor William Franklin was “an enemy to the liberties of this country” and had him arrested.[57] On June 21, they chose new delegates to Congress and empowered them to join in a declaration of independence.[58]

Only Maryland and New York had yet to authorize independence towards the end of June. Previously, Maryland’s delegates had walked out when the Continental Congress adopted Adams’s radical May 15 preamble, and had sent to the Annapolis Convention for instructions.[59] On May 20, the Annapolis Convention rejected Adams’s preamble, instructing its delegates to remain against independence. But Samuel Chase went to Maryland and, thanks to local resolutions in favor of independence, was able to get the Annapolis Convention to change its mind on June 28.[60] Only the New York delegates were unable to get revised instructions. When Congress had been considering the resolution of independence on June 8, the New York Provincial Congress told the delegates to wait.[61] But on June 30, the Provincial Congress evacuated New York as British forces approached, and would not convene again until July 10. This meant that New York’s delegates would not be authorized to declare independence until after Congress had made its decision.[62]

Draft and adoption

Political maneuvering was setting the stage for an official declaration of independence even while a document was being written to explain the decision. On June 11, 1776, Congress appointed a “Committee of Five” to draft a declaration, consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut. The committee took no minutes, so there is some uncertainty about how the drafting process proceeded; contradictory accounts were written many years later by Jefferson and Adams, too many years to be regarded as entirely reliable—although their accounts are frequently cited.[63] What is certain is that the committee discussed the general outline which the document should follow and decided that Jefferson would write the first draft.[64] The committee in general, and Jefferson in particular, thought that Adams should write the document, but Adams persuaded them to choose Jefferson and promised to consult with him personally.[2] Considering Congress’s busy schedule, Jefferson probably had limited time for writing over the next 17 days, and he likely wrote the draft quickly.[65] He then consulted the others and made some changes, and then produced another copy incorporating these alterations. The committee presented this copy to the Congress on June 28, 1776. The title of the document was “A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled.”[66]

Portable writing desk that Jefferson used to draft and write the Declaration of Independence

Congress ordered that the draft “lie on the table”[67] and then methodically edited Jefferson’s primary document for the next two days, shortening it by a fourth, removing unnecessary wording, and improving sentence structure.[68] They removed Jefferson’s assertion that Great Britain had forced slavery on the colonies in order to moderate the document and appease persons in Great Britain who supported the Revolution. Jefferson wrote that Congress had “mangled” his draft version, but the Declaration that was finally produced was “the majestic document that inspired both contemporaries and posterity,” in the words of his biographer John Ferling.[68]

Congress tabled the draft of the declaration on Monday, July 1 and resolved itself into a committee of the whole, with Benjamin Harrison of Virginia presiding, and they resumed debate on Lee’s resolution of independence.[69] John Dickinson made one last effort to delay the decision, arguing that Congress should not declare independence without first securing a foreign alliance and finalizing the Articles of Confederation.[70] John Adams gave a speech in reply to Dickinson, restating the case for an immediate declaration.

A vote was taken after a long day of speeches, each colony casting a single vote, as always. The delegation for each colony numbered from two to seven members, and each delegation voted amongst themselves to determine the colony’s vote. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted against declaring independence. The New York delegation abstained, lacking permission to vote for independence. Delaware cast no vote because the delegation was split between Thomas McKean, who voted yes, and George Read, who voted no. The remaining nine delegations voted in favor of independence, which meant that the resolution had been approved by the committee of the whole. The next step was for the resolution to be voted upon by Congress itself. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina was opposed to Lee’s resolution but desirous of unanimity, and he moved that the vote be postponed until the following day.[71]

“Declaration House”, the boarding house at Market and S. 7th Street where Jefferson wrote the Declaration

On July 2, South Carolina reversed its position and voted for independence. In the Pennsylvania delegation, Dickinson and Robert Morris abstained, allowing the delegation to vote three-to-two in favor of independence. The tie in the Delaware delegation was broken by the timely arrival of Caesar Rodney, who voted for independence. The New York delegation abstained once again since they were still not authorized to vote for independence, although they were allowed to do so a week later by the New York Provincial Congress.[72] The resolution of independence was adopted with twelve affirmative votes and one abstention, and the colonies officially severed political ties with Great Britain.[73]John Adams wrote to his wife on the following day and predicted that July 2 would become a great American holiday[74] He thought that the vote for independence would be commemorated; he did not foresee that Americans would instead celebrate Independence Day on the date when the announcement of that act was finalized.[75]

I am apt to believe that [Independence Day] will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.[76]

Congress next turned its attention to the committee’s draft of the declaration. They made a few changes in wording during several days of debate and deleted nearly a fourth of the text. The wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776 and sent to the printer for publication.

The opening of the original printing of the Declaration, printed on July 4, 1776 under Jefferson’s supervision. The engrossed copy was made later (shown at the top of this article). Note that the opening lines differ between the two versions.[77]

There is a distinct change in wording from this original broadside printing of the Declaration and the final official engrossed copy. The word “unanimous” was inserted as a result of a Congressional resolution passed on July 19, 1776:

Resolved, That the Declaration passed on the 4th, be fairly engrossed on parchment, with the title and stile of “The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America,” and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress.[78]

Historian George Billias says:

Independence amounted to a new status of interdependence: the United States was now a sovereign nation entitled to the privileges and responsibilities that came with that status. America thus became a member of the international community, which meant becoming a maker of treaties and alliances, a military ally in diplomacy, and a partner in foreign trade on a more equal basis.[79]

Annotated text of the engrossed declaration

The declaration is not divided into formal sections; but it is often discussed as consisting of five parts: introductionpreambleindictment of King George III, denunciation of the British people, and conclusion.[80]

Introduction

Asserts as a matter of Natural Law the ability of a people to assume political independence; acknowledges that the grounds for such independence must be reasonable, and therefore explicable, and ought to be explained.

In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

Preamble

Outlines a general philosophy of government that justifies revolution when government harms natural rights.[80]

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Indictment

A bill of particulars documenting the king’s “repeated injuries and usurpations” of the Americans’ rights and liberties.[80]

“Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

“He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

“He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

“He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

“He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

“He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness of his invasions on the rights of the people.

“He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

“He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

“He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

“He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

“He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

“He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

“He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

“He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

“For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

“For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

“For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

“For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

“For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

“For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

“For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

“For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

“For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

“He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

“He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

“He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

“He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

“In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

Denunciation

This section essentially finishes the case for independence. The conditions that justified revolution have been shown.[80]

“Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.”
Conclusion

The signers assert that there exist conditions under which people must change their government, that the British have produced such conditions and, by necessity, the colonies must throw off political ties with the British Crown and become independent states. The conclusion contains, at its core, the Lee Resolution that had been passed on July 2.

“We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Signatures

The first and most famous signature on the engrossed copy was that of John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. Two future presidents (Thomas Jefferson and John Adams) and a father and great-grandfather of two other presidents (Benjamin Harrison V) were among the signatories. Edward Rutledge (age 26) was the youngest signer, and Benjamin Franklin (age 70) was the oldest signer. The fifty-six signers of the Declaration represented the new states as follows (from north to south):[81]

Influences and legal status

English political philosopher John Locke (1632–1704)

Historians have often sought to identify the sources that most influenced the words and political philosophy of the Declaration of Independence. By Jefferson’s own admission, the Declaration contained no original ideas, but was instead a statement of sentiments widely shared by supporters of the American Revolution. As he explained in 1825:

Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion.[82]

Jefferson’s most immediate sources were two documents written in June 1776: his own draft of the preamble of the Constitution of Virginia, and George Mason‘s draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Ideas and phrases from both of these documents appear in the Declaration of Independence.[83] They were, in turn, directly influenced by the 1689 English Declaration of Rights, which formally ended the reign of King James II.[84] During the American Revolution, Jefferson and other Americans looked to the English Declaration of Rights as a model of how to end the reign of an unjust king.[85] The Scottish Declaration of Arbroath (1320) and the Dutch Act of Abjuration (1581) have also been offered as models for Jefferson’s Declaration, but these models are now accepted by few scholars.[86]

Jefferson wrote that a number of authors exerted a general influence on the words of the Declaration.[87] English political theorist John Locke is usually cited as one of the primary influences, a man whom Jefferson called one of “the three greatest men that have ever lived”.[88] In 1922, historian Carl L. Becker wrote, “Most Americans had absorbed Locke’s works as a kind of political gospel; and the Declaration, in its form, in its phraseology, follows closely certain sentences in Locke’s second treatise on government.”[89] The extent of Locke’s influence on the American Revolution has been questioned by some subsequent scholars, however. Historian Ray Forrest Harvey argued in 1937 for the dominant influence of Swiss jurist Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, declaring that Jefferson and Locke were at “two opposite poles” in their political philosophy, as evidenced by Jefferson’s use in the Declaration of Independence of the phrase “pursuit of happiness” instead of “property”.[90] Other scholars emphasized the influence of republicanism rather than Locke’s classical liberalism.[91] Historian Garry Wills argued that Jefferson was influenced by the Scottish Enlightenment, particularly Francis Hutcheson, rather than Locke,[92] an interpretation that has been strongly criticized.[93]

Legal historian John Phillip Reid has written that the emphasis on the political philosophy of the Declaration has been misplaced. The Declaration is not a philosophical tract about natural rights, argues Reid, but is instead a legal document—an indictment against King George for violating the constitutional rights of the colonists.[94] As such, it follows the process of the 1550 Magdeburg Confession, which legitimized resistance against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in a multi-step legal formula now known as the doctrine of the Lesser magistrate.[95] Historian David Armitage has argued that the Declaration was strongly influenced by de Vattel’s The Law of Nations, the dominant international law treatise of the period, and a book that Benjamin Franklin said was “continually in the hands of the members of our Congress”.[96] Armitage writes, “Vattel made independence fundamental to his definition of statehood”; therefore, the primary purpose of the Declaration was “to express the international legal sovereignty of the United States”. If the United States were to have any hope of being recognized by the European powers, the American revolutionaries first had to make it clear that they were no longer dependent on Great Britain.[97] The Declaration of Independence does not have the force of law domestically, but nevertheless it may help to provide historical and legal clarity about the Constitution and other laws.[98][99][100][101]

Signing

The signed copy of the Declaration is now badly faded because of poor preserving practices in the 19th century. It is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The Syng inkstand was used at both the signing of the Declaration and the 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution.

The Declaration became official when Congress voted for it on July 4; signatures of the delegates were not needed to make it official. The handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence that was signed by Congress is dated July 4, 1776. The signatures of fifty-six delegates are affixed; however, the exact date when each person signed it has long been the subject of debate. Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams all wrote that the Declaration had been signed by Congress on July 4.[102] But in 1796, signer Thomas McKean disputed that the Declaration had been signed on July 4, pointing out that some signers were not then present, including several who were not even elected to Congress until after that date.[103]

The Declaration was transposed on paper, adopted by the Continental Congress, and signed by John Hancock, President of the Congress, on July 4, 1776, according to the 1911 record of events by the U.S. State Departmentunder Secretary Philander C. Knox.[104] On August 2, 1776, a parchment paper copy of the Declaration was signed by 56 persons.[104] Many of these signers were not present when the original Declaration was adopted on July 4.[104] Signer Matthew Thornton from New Hampshire was seated in the Continental Congress in November; he asked for and received the privilege of adding his signature at that time, and signed on November 4, 1776.[104]

On July 4, 1776, Continental Congress President John Hancock‘s signature authenticated the United States Declaration of Independence.

Historians have generally accepted McKean’s version of events, arguing that the famous signed version of the Declaration was created after July 19, and was not signed by Congress until August 2, 1776.[105] In 1986, legal historian Wilfred Ritz argued that historians had misunderstood the primary documents and given too much credence to McKean, who had not been present in Congress on July 4.[106] According to Ritz, about thirty-four delegates signed the Declaration on July 4, and the others signed on or after August 2.[107] Historians who reject a July 4 signing maintain that most delegates signed on August 2, and that those eventual signers who were not present added their names later.[108]

Two future U.S. presidents were among the signatories: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The most famous signature on the engrossed copy is that of John Hancock, who presumably signed first as President of Congress.[109]Hancock’s large, flamboyant signature became iconic, and the term John Hancock emerged in the United States as an informal synonym for “signature”.[110] A commonly circulated but apocryphal account claims that, after Hancock signed, the delegate from Massachusetts commented, “The British ministry can read that name without spectacles.” Another apocryphal report indicates that Hancock proudly declared, “There! I guess King George will be able to read that!”[111]

Various legends emerged years later about the signing of the Declaration, when the document had become an important national symbol. In one famous story, John Hancock supposedly said that Congress, having signed the Declaration, must now “all hang together”, and Benjamin Franklin replied: “Yes, we must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” The quotation did not appear in print until more than fifty years after Franklin’s death.[112]

The Syng inkstand used at the signing was also used at the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787.

Publication and reaction

Johannes Adam Simon Oertel‘s painting Pulling Down the Statue of King George III, N.Y.C., ca. 1859, depicts citizens destroying a statue of King George after the Declaration was read in New York City on July 9, 1776.

After Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration on July 4, a handwritten copy was sent a few blocks away to the printing shop of John Dunlap. Through the night, Dunlap printed about 200 broadsides for distribution. Before long, it was being read to audiences and reprinted in newspapers throughout the 13 states. The first formal public readings of the document took place on July 8, in Philadelphia (by John Nixon in the yard of Independence Hall), Trenton, New Jersey, and Easton, Pennsylvania; the first newspaper to publish it was the Pennsylvania Evening Post on July 6.[113] A German translation of the Declaration was published in Philadelphia by July 9.[114]

President of Congress John Hancock sent a broadside to General George Washington, instructing him to have it proclaimed “at the Head of the Army in the way you shall think it most proper”.[115] Washington had the Declaration read to his troops in New York City on July 9, with thousands of British troops on ships in the harbor. Washington and Congress hoped that the Declaration would inspire the soldiers, and encourage others to join the army.[113] After hearing the Declaration, crowds in many cities tore down and destroyed signs or statues representing royal authority. An equestrian statue of King George in New York City was pulled down and the lead used to make musket balls.[116]

William Whipple, signer of the Declaration of Independence, freed his slave believing that he could not both fight for liberty and own a slave.

British officials in North America sent copies of the Declaration to Great Britain.[117] It was published in British newspapers beginning in mid-August, it had reached Florence and Warsaw by mid-September, and a German translation appeared in Switzerland by October. The first copy of the Declaration sent to France got lost, and the second copy arrived only in November 1776.[118] It reached Portuguese America by Brazilian medical student “Vendek” José Joaquim Maia e Barbalho, who had met with Thomas Jefferson in Nîmes.

The Spanish-American authorities banned the circulation of the Declaration, but it was widely transmitted and translated: by Venezuelan Manuel García de Sena, by Colombian Miguel de Pombo, by Ecuadorian Vicente Rocafuerte, and by New Englanders Richard Cleveland and William Shaler, who distributed the Declaration and the United States Constitution among Creoles in Chile and Indians in Mexico in 1821.[119] The North Ministry did not give an official answer to the Declaration, but instead secretly commissioned pamphleteer John Lind to publish a response entitled Answer to the Declaration of the American Congress.[120] British Tories denounced the signers of the Declaration for not applying the same principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” to African Americans.[121] Thomas Hutchinson, the former royal governor of Massachusetts, also published a rebuttal.[122][123] These pamphlets challenged various aspects of the Declaration. Hutchinson argued that the American Revolution was the work of a few conspirators who wanted independence from the outset, and who had finally achieved it by inducing otherwise loyal colonists to rebel.[124] Lind’s pamphlet had an anonymous attack on the concept of natural rights written by Jeremy Bentham, an argument that he repeated during the French Revolution.[125] Both pamphlets asked how the American slaveholders in Congress could proclaim that “all men are created equal” without freeing their own slaves.[126]

William Whipple, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who had fought in the war, freed his slave Prince Whipple because of revolutionary ideals. In the postwar decades, other slaveholders also freed their slaves; from 1790 to 1810, the percentage of free blacks in the Upper South increased to 8.3 percent from less than one percent of the black population.[127] All Northern states abolished slavery by 1804.

History of the documents

The official copy of the Declaration of Independence was the one printed on July 4, 1776, under Jefferson’s supervision. It was sent to the states and to the Army and was widely reprinted in newspapers. The slightly different “engrossed copy” (shown at the top of this article) was made later for members to sign. The engrossed version is the one widely distributed in the 21st century. Note that the opening lines differ between the two versions.[77]

The copy of the Declaration that was signed by Congress is known as the engrossed or parchment copy. It was probably engrossed (that is, carefully handwritten) by clerk Timothy Matlack.[128] A facsimile made in 1823 has become the basis of most modern reproductions rather than the original because of poor conservation of the engrossed copy through the 19th century.[128] In 1921, custody of the engrossed copy of the Declaration was transferred from the State Department to the Library of Congress, along with the United States Constitution. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the documents were moved for safekeeping to the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox in Kentucky, where they were kept until 1944.[129] In 1952, the engrossed Declaration was transferred to the National Archives and is now on permanent display at the National Archives in the “Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom“.[130]

The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building

The document signed by Congress and enshrined in the National Archives is usually regarded as the Declaration of Independence, but historian Julian P. Boyd argued that the Declaration, like Magna Carta, is not a single document. Boyd considered the printed broadsides ordered by Congress to be official texts, as well. The Declaration was first published as a broadside that was printed the night of July 4 by John Dunlap of Philadelphia. Dunlap printed about 200 broadsides, of which 26 are known to survive. The 26th copy was discovered in The National Archives in England in 2009.[131]

In 1777, Congress commissioned Mary Katherine Goddard to print a new broadside that listed the signers of the Declaration, unlike the Dunlap broadside.[128][132] Nine copies of the Goddard broadside are known to still exist.[132] A variety of broadsides printed by the states are also extant.[132]

Several early handwritten copies and drafts of the Declaration have also been preserved. Jefferson kept a four-page draft that late in life he called the “original Rough draught”.[133] It is not known how many drafts Jefferson wrote prior to this one, and how much of the text was contributed by other committee members. In 1947, Boyd discovered a fragment of an earlier draft in Jefferson’s handwriting.[134] Jefferson and Adams sent copies of the rough draft to friends, with slight variations.

During the writing process, Jefferson showed the rough draft to Adams and Franklin, and perhaps to other members of the drafting committee,[133] who made a few more changes. Franklin, for example, may have been responsible for changing Jefferson’s original phrase “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable” to “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.[135] Jefferson incorporated these changes into a copy that was submitted to Congress in the name of the committee.[133] The copy that was submitted to Congress on June 28 has been lost and was perhaps destroyed in the printing process,[136] or destroyed during the debates in accordance with Congress’s secrecy rule.[137]

On April 21, 2017, it was announced that a second engrossed copy had been discovered in the archives at West Sussex County Council in Chichester, England.[138] Named by its finders the “Sussex Declaration”, it differs from the National Archives copy (which the finders refer to as the “Matlack Declaration”) in that the signatures on it are not grouped by States. How it came to be in England is not yet known, but the finders believe that the randomness of the signatures points to an origin with signatory James Wilson, who had argued strongly that the Declaration was made not by the States but by the whole people.[139][140]

Legacy

The Declaration was given little attention in the years immediately following the American Revolution, having served its original purpose in announcing the independence of the United States.[141] Early celebrations of Independence Day largely ignored the Declaration, as did early histories of the Revolution. The act of declaring independence was considered important, whereas the text announcing that act attracted little attention.[142] The Declaration was rarely mentioned during the debates about the United States Constitution, and its language was not incorporated into that document.[143] George Mason’s draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights was more influential, and its language was echoed in state constitutions and state bills of rights more often than Jefferson’s words.[144] “In none of these documents”, wrote Pauline Maier, “is there any evidence whatsoever that the Declaration of Independence lived in men’s minds as a classic statement of American political principles.”[145]

Influence in other countries

Many leaders of the French Revolution admired the Declaration of Independence[145] but were also interested in the new American state constitutions.[146] The inspiration and content of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789) emerged largely from the ideals of the American Revolution.[147] Its key drafts were prepared by Lafayette, working closely in Paris with his friend Thomas Jefferson. It also borrowed language from George Mason‘s Virginia Declaration of Rights.[148][149] The declaration also influenced the Russian Empire. The document had a particular impact on the Decembrist revolt and other Russian thinkers.

According to historian David Armitage, the Declaration of Independence did prove to be internationally influential, but not as a statement of human rights. Armitage argued that the Declaration was the first in a new genre of declarations of independence that announced the creation of new states.

Other French leaders were directly influenced by the text of the Declaration of Independence itself. The Manifesto of the Province of Flanders (1790) was the first foreign derivation of the Declaration;[150] others include the Venezuelan Declaration of Independence (1811), the Liberian Declaration of Independence (1847), the declarations of secession by the Confederate States of America (1860–61), and the Vietnamese Proclamation of Independence (1945).[151] These declarations echoed the United States Declaration of Independence in announcing the independence of a new state, without necessarily endorsing the political philosophy of the original.[152]

Other countries have used the Declaration as inspiration or have directly copied sections from it. These include the Haitian declaration of January 1, 1804, during the Haitian Revolution, the United Provinces of New Granada in 1811, the Argentine Declaration of Independence in 1816, the Chilean Declaration of Independence in 1818, Costa Rica in 1821, El Salvador in 1821, Guatemala in 1821, Honduras in (1821), Mexico in 1821Nicaragua in 1821, Peru in 1821, Bolivian War of Independence in 1825, Uruguay in 1825, Ecuador in 1830, Colombia in 1831, Paraguay in 1842, Dominican Republic in 1844, Texas Declaration of Independence in March 1836, California Republic in November 1836, Hungarian Declaration of Independence in 1849, Declaration of the Independence of New Zealand in 1835, and the Czechoslovak declaration of independence from 1918 drafted in Washington D.C. with Gutzon Borglum among the drafters. The Rhodesian declaration of independence, ratified in November 1965, is based on the American one as well; however, it omits the phrases “all men are created equal” and “the consent of the governed“.[119][153][154][155] The South Carolina declaration of secession from December 1860 also mentions the U.S. Declaration of Independence, though it, like the Rhodesian one, omits references to “all men are created equal” and “consent of the governed”.

Revival of interest

Interest in the Declaration was revived in the 1790s with the emergence of the United States’s first political parties.[156] Throughout the 1780s, few Americans knew or cared who wrote the Declaration.[157] But in the next decade, Jeffersonian Republicans sought political advantage over their rival Federalists by promoting both the importance of the Declaration and Jefferson as its author.[158] Federalists responded by casting doubt on Jefferson’s authorship or originality, and by emphasizing that independence was declared by the whole Congress, with Jefferson as just one member of the drafting committee. Federalists insisted that Congress’s act of declaring independence, in which Federalist John Adams had played a major role, was more important than the document announcing it.[159] But this view faded away, like the Federalist Party itself, and, before long, the act of declaring independence became synonymous with the document.

A less partisan appreciation for the Declaration emerged in the years following the War of 1812, thanks to a growing American nationalism and a renewed interest in the history of the Revolution.[160] In 1817, Congress commissioned John Trumbull‘s famous painting of the signers, which was exhibited to large crowds before being installed in the Capitol.[161] The earliest commemorative printings of the Declaration also appeared at this time, offering many Americans their first view of the signed document.[162] Collective biographies of the signers were first published in the 1820s,[163] giving birth to what Garry Wills called the “cult of the signers”.[164] In the years that followed, many stories about the writing and signing of the document were published for the first time.

When interest in the Declaration was revived, the sections that were most important in 1776 were no longer relevant: the announcement of the independence of the United States and the grievances against King George. But the second paragraph was applicable long after the war had ended, with its talk of self-evident truths and unalienable rights.[165] The Constitution and the Bill of Rights lacked sweeping statements about rights and equality, and advocates of groups with grievances turned to the Declaration for support.[166] Starting in the 1820s, variations of the Declaration were issued to proclaim the rights of workers, farmers, women, and others.[167] In 1848, for example, the Seneca Falls Convention of women’s rights advocates declared that “all men and women are created equal”.