Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

For them, it’s a way to satisfy both their consciences and a Trump-supporting voting base.

State of The Union & Iowa Caucus

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Trump touts the economy and what he calls a “Great American Comeback” in his state of the union address Tuesday night. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis breaks down the president’s message and gives her thoughts on the Iowa caucus.

POLITICAL WRAP: Iowa Caucuses, State of the Union, Impeachment Trial Vote

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Another busy week in politics is ahead. Monday is the Iowa Caucuses. Tuesday, President Trump delivers the State of the Union address. And Wednesday, Senators will vote whether to acquit President Trump in the impeachment trail.

Click above for more from WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis.

POLITICAL WRAP: Defense Continues Opening Statements in Impeachment Trial

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The next phase of the impeachment trial is underway. President Trump’s defense team will resume their opening arguments Monday at 1:00pm.

The president’s legal team intends to dismantle charges the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.

The defense comes after Democrats spent three days laying out a detailed prosecution.

WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis has more in this week’s political wrap.

Senate Impeachment Trial

CHARLOTTE, NC —  The historic impeachment trial underway in Washington. Political contributor Mary C. Curtis talks about what to expect next.

The Heat: US President Trump Impeached

For only the third time in American history, a president of the United States has been impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives. The partisan vote, with no Republicans voting to impeach President Trump, now sets up a trial in the U.S. Senate that will determine if he can remain in office. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made the case on Wednesday, calling the president’s actions reckless.

But Republicans in Congress have denounced the Democrats impeachment action saying there was no merit to the two charges —abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

To discuss all of this: Leonard Steinhorn is a political analyst and professor of Communication and History at American University. Nate Lerner heads “Build the Wave,” a progressive grassroots political organization. Frank Buckley is Foundation Professor at George Mason University’s Scalia School of Law. Mary C. Curtis is a columnist for Roll Call and an NPR contributor.

POLITICAL WRAP: Voter ID; Pelosi Delay; Charlotte Homicides

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It appears North Carolina voters will not have to show ID in March’s presidential primary. A Federal Court temporarily blocked new requirements set to go into effect next year. The decision can be appealed but that would be up to Democrat state Attorney General Josh Stein.

U.S. Senators return to Washington at the end of the week. But the question remains, how longer will Nancy Pelosi wait to deliver the articles of impeachment? Senate leaders remain at an impasse over whether there will be new witnesses and testimony in a Senate trial.

Closer to home, this year’s homicide rate in Charlotte is on track to be the worst since 1993. CMPD has investigated 108 murders so far. Mayor Vi Lyles says Charlotte is looking at data from other cities for ways to curb the violence.

POLITICAL WRAP: Impeachment Process On Hold For Holiday Break, McCrory Eyeing Senate Run

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The impeachment process for President Trump is on hold for at least now during the holiday break.  But, staff for the key house committees are expected to work over the holiday recess and could be prepping for a trial as early as the week of January 6th.

Former Governor Pat McCrory announced Thursday he won’t be running for his old job.  But, he says he will consider a U.S. Senate bid for 2022.

WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis weighs in on those stories and more during this week’s Political Wrap.

In a fractious holiday season, are there glimmers of hope?

In Washington, Santa’s naughty and nice list will be mighty lopsided this year. Donald Trump sealed his fate when he went after Speaker Nancy Pelosi — for her teeth. Then he followed with a six-page letter, a rant that projected many of his transgressions onto those he has labeled his accusers, targeting Pelosi, again, and mentioning the Salem witch trials for good measure.

Perhaps you have to step away from politics for some relief. Well, not this year, as even escapist Hallmark Channel fare has been sucked into arguments over love and family and the true meaning of the holiday.

It isn’t pretty.

POLITICAL WRAP: Impeachment Trial; Voter Rights; UK Election

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After this week’s impeachment vote, debate will continue over a possible Senate trial. Majority leader Mitch McConnell says he’d like it to go quickly. But President Trump has talked about calling witnesses, ranging from Hunter Biden, to the whistleblower, to Congressman Adam Schiff.

Also, this week voting rights are back in the spotlight after a ruling by a circuit court judge in Wisconsin. 234,000 voters, flagged as having possibly moved, will be taken off the registry. The ruling is expected to hurt Democrats in a state President Trump won in 2016.

And in the UK, a landslide victory for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party. Johnson is promising to “Get Brexit Done,” while President Trump calls the election result a possible “harbinger of what’s to come” in the 202o U.S. election.