Impeachment Week in Review: A Busy Week for Related News

This has been a quiet week for impeachment – with no major news regarding the Mueller investigation.  However, it’s also been a busy week for related news, most notably the furious controversy that developed over the Trump Administration’s policy of separating undocumented immigrants and their children when they are apprehended at or near the border.  While initially defending both the policy and his view that a “get tough” attitude is needed regarding the border, President Trump uncharacteristically backed down, implementing a new policy to be based on keeping together families of undocumented immigrants who did not apply at the border for asylum, and who are charged with illegally entering the country, while their legal status is resolved.  President Trump has also said people, including families with children, should be deported immediately, without any legal due process, although U.S. Supreme Court cases have held non-citizens have due process rights.  Most recently, the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced arrests of undocumented immigrants with children have stopped, due to a lack of resources to detain them together.  Another disturbing development is an increase in confrontational tactics against members of the Trump Administration – officials are being harassed and confronted both in public venues and at home. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has called on people to continue such confrontations, while House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has condemned the tactics. 

Furor erupts over Trump’s border policy separating immigrant children from parents

AP reports: "White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insists the administration’s reversal in referring parents crossing the border illegally with children for prosecution is only temporary because the government is running out of resources.  Sanders spoke to reporters at the White House after the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said he has stopped referring cases involving children for prosecution.  That’s after President Trump’s order that stopped the separation of children and their parents who cross the border illegally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the 'no tolerance' policy is still in place, but there will be no one to prosecute without referrals.  Sanders says stopping the referrals is a temporary solution. She says it will only last a short amount of time because: 'we’re going to run out of space, we’re going to run out of resources to keep people together.'”

In the wake of the recent immigrant family separation the NY Times reports the Trump Administration has said: "those who cross into the United States illegally should be sent back immediately without due process or an appearance before a judge.”  This position is contrary to U.S. Supreme Court cases that have held non-citizens have due process rights, however the Court has never ruled specifically on the point-on question.  The Times report notes: "Federal immigration courts faced a backlog of more than 700,000 cases in May, and cases can take months or years to be heard."

Trump impeachment support, White House Staff weariness, reach new heights

CNN reports on its most recent poll, showing "42% of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office."  This is compared with a March 1974 Harris poll showing 43% of Americans then thought the same about President Nixon.  At the time of that poll, the full scope of the Watergate scandal had become widely known, but Congress had not yet begun impeachment in early 1974, and the Nixon tapes had not yet been made public.

Vox reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has effectively given up on the Trump Administration, and his efforts to "rein in" and "shape up" the President -- to the point where he now does his gym workouts during daytime hours, rather than remaining at his post like a hawk.

Controversial Anti-Trump tactics harassing Administration Officials escalate

The Drudge Report has been publicizing many articles recently -- such as this example via Politico --  reporting on a perceived escalation in the tactics of opponents of President Trump and members of his Administration.  The Politico article commences: "Two senior Trump administration officials were heckled at restaurants. A third was denied service. Florida GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi required a police escort away from a movie about Mister Rogers after activists yelled at her in Tampa — where two other Republican lawmakers say they were also politically harassed last week, one of them with her kids in tow. In the Donald Trump era, the left is as aggressively confrontational as anyone can remember.  What it means for 2018 — whether it portends a blue wave of populist revolt for Democrats or a red wall of silent majority resistance from Republicans — largely depends on one’s political persuasion. But there’s a bipartisan sense that this election season marks another inflection point in the collapse of civil political discourse.  Few disagree that Democrats are marching, protesting and confronting Republican officials with more intensity during the midterm elections than at any time in decades. The progressive fervor recalls conservative opposition to the previous president in his first midterm, when Democratic members of Congress were left running from disruptive town halls and ended up being crushed at the polls in November.  'If you see anybody from that Cabinet — in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,' implored California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters at a Saturday rally, prompting an immediate conservative backlash on social media."

The NY Times reported on the same phenomena Drudge has been covering:   "Progressives have heckled the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and the White House aide Stephen Miller at Washington restaurants; they have ejected the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, from a Lexington, Va., eatery; and they have screamed at one of Mr. Trump’s leading cable news surrogates, Florida’s attorney general, Pam Bondi, at a Tampa movie theater.   'Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,' Representative Maxine Waters, Democrat of California, said Saturday at a rally in Los Angeles. 'And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.'  ...the confrontations have opened a rift in the party over whether stoking anti-Trump outrage is helping or undermining their prospects in the coming midterm elections. Many younger Democrats believe that conventional politics are insufficient to the threat posed by a would-be authoritarian — and that their millennial and nonwhite base must be assured that the party is doing all it can to halt Mr. Trump.  Older and more establishment-aligned party officials fear the attempts at public humiliation are a political gift to Republicans eager to portray the opposition as inflaming rather than cooling passions in the nation’s capital.   'Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable,' Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, said Monday, rebuking Ms. Waters, a veteran flamethrower who is enjoying something of a renaissance in the Trump era."

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