From Clinton to Trump, how U.S. lawmakers have changed their tune on impeachment

When Bill Clinton faced impeachment more than two decades ago, commentary from the Republican side of the aisle was very different than today’s trial against U.S. President Donald Trump.

“We see with this impeachment, when you compare it to the Clinton impeachment, that it seems to depend if it’s your guy in the hot seat,” said Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Roll Call, a website covering U.S. politics.

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.

Long arc of history guides John Lewis in his call for impeachment inquiry

OPINION — No one can accuse Rep. John Lewis of lacking patience. The Georgia Democrat showed plenty, as well as steely resolve, as he changed millions of minds — and history — over a life spent working for equal rights for all. So when he speaks, especially about justice, a cause from which he has never wavered, all would do well to listen.

Lewis was not the only voice raised this week, as all sides raced to place a political frame on the narrative of the undisputed fact that a U.S. president asked a foreign leader to work with him and for him to smear a political opponent, perhaps with military aid in the balance. “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,” President Donald Trump said, according to a transcript of the conversation based on notes. He also wanted to rope in his personal lawyer and the attorney general, who, by the way, works for the American people, not Trump.

No direct quid pro quo but plenty of bread crumbs leading to the conclusion that a country dependent on funds to deal with, among other things, an extremely aggressive Russian neighbor, better pay attention.

Pelosi Announces Impeachment Inquiry into Trump

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the middle of a political firestorm involving a telephone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine, there came a moment of bipartisan agreement this week. Members of the Senate voted unanimously favoring a resolution calling for a whistleblower complaint involving Trump to be turned over to congressional intelligence committees. This comes as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, after holding off for many months, has announced her support to move toward a formal impeachment inquiry into the president because of the whistleblower complaint. The president has promised the release of a transcript of his July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

To Impeach or Not to Impeach

CHARLOTTE, NC — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging amid the divide in her own party over whether to impeach President Trump. Pelosi says the party should continue to push for the entire Mueller Report instead of the redacted version released last week.

The Mueller report said the president of the United States did not commit crimes; but it expressly refused to exonerate him on possible obstruction of justice.

Democrats and Republicans face risks and rewards as they choose what to do next. And the process is happening a year and a half before the 2020 presidential election.

Trump was trying to channel Reagan. He sounded more like Nixon

OPINION  — “The state of our union is strong.” It is the line that is prominently featured in the speech of every president when he (and so far, it’s been a he) stands before Congress for a political ritual that remains impressive. Political theater? Sure, and why not. A country without a monarch craves a little pomp now and again, no matter the partisan sniping that precedes and follows it.

But what does that statement actually mean once the booming chants of “USA, USA” — which are sounding more aggressive than affirming lately — fade?

A Tax Bill, a Budget and a Deadline

CHARLOTTE, NC– It’s been a busy week, with the Senate taking a big step forward toward passing a Republican $1.5 trillion tax package when the Budget Committee, on a party-line vote, cleared the way for the full Senate to vote on the bill this week. But a meeting to pass a budget and avoid a government shutdown hit a snag when a presidential tweet caused top Democratic leaders to be no-shows for a White House meeting. (Mary C. Curtis)