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President Donald Trump’s job approval rating is up six percentage points since the House Democrats launched their impeachment inquiry, according to a Gallup poll released early Wednesday.

The survey found the president’s approval rating climbed to 45 percent from 39 percent, from when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) formally launched the probe to remove him in late September. The findings mark the third consecutive rise in his approval rating and the fifth time his approval has hit 45 percent in his presidency, according to Gallup.

President Trump enjoys widespread support among Republicans — 9 in 10 respondents or 89 percent — while eight percent of Democrats said they approve of his performance.

The survey found a majority of respondents — 51 percent — are against the impeachment and removal of the president, an uptick of five percent since the inquiry was launched. Conversely, 46 percent of respondents stated they approve of impeachment and his removal, a drop of six points. A mere five percent of Republican respondents said they support impeachment and removal. Eighty-five percent of Democrat respondents said they supported the two actions. Further, Gallup found impeachment support has dropped with independents to 48 percent, down from 55 in October.

The survey, which was taken with 1,0125 adults, was conducted between December 2nd-15th and possesses a margin of error of four percentage points.

The poll’s releases comes hours before the House of Representatives votes on impeachment, where the Democrat-controlled lower chamber is expected to approve two articles to remove the president — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The proceedings were prompted by a partisan CIA analyst’s whistleblower complaint, in which it was alleged President Trump sought to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter Biden. Both world leaders have repeatedly denied the accusations and the White House released a transcript of their July 25 telephone call as evidence that no wrongdoing occurred during the conversation.

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Gallup Poll: Trump Approval up 6 Points Since Impeachment Began

A newly-released poll found less than 40 percent of registered voters believe House Democrats should vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk poll states 36 percent of respondents support the House voting to remove the president, while 22 percent say Congress should continue with its impeachment inquiry but should not vote to remove him. Further, 37 percent say lawmakers should end their impeachment probe, while four percent remain undecided on the matter. When it comes to a Senate impeachment trial, 46 percent are in favor of convicting President Trump and 47 percent are against.

The poll, conducted by telephone, is made up of 1,000 registered voters and was taken between October 23rd and 26th. It has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk poll is the second survey in recent days showing a considerable number of Americans are against impeaching President Trump. According to an NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll published on Friday, Americans are split down party lines on whether to oust the president. Forty-nine percent believe he should be impeached and removed from office, 49 percent oppose the move.

Last month, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry against President Trump over his July 25th telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, accusing the president of attempting to pressure his counterpart to probe allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. Both world leaders have denied the charges and the White House has released a transcript of the call to show no wrongdoing occurred.

Under pressure from House Republicans and moderate Democrats, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Monday that Congress will vote to formalize their impeachment inquiry. The move is expected to put an end to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) conducting closed-door interviews with current and former Trump administration officials inside Capitol Hill’s SCIF room, a compartmented facility for sensitive information. House Republicans have accused Schiff of using the secret room to selectively leak excerpts of witnesses’ testimony to the media to boost public opinion for impeachment.

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Poll: Only 36% Say House Should Impeach Trump

The Department of Justice’s sweeping review into the origins of its Trump-Russia probe has evolved into a criminal investigation, according to the New York Times.

The launch of a criminal probe allows U.S. Attorney John Durham, the prosecutor tapped by Attorney General William Barr to lead the review, to subpoena witnesses for testimony and documents. The move also authorizes Durham to impanel a grand jury and file charges.

“If true, this shows Bill Barr is doing EXACTLY his job: following the facts Those who damaged America and broke the law to spread this hoax are about to face accountability,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tweeted in response to the Times’ report.

The development comes after an NBC report revealed Barr recently expanded his agency’s review, noting that Durham has “found something significant and critics should be careful.” As part of the inquiry, Durham has sought interviews with CIA analysts who assessed Russia’s activities during the 2016 presidential election, prompting some of them to hire lawyers, NBC News stated.

Durham has been tasked with determining whether the Justice Department, FBI and intelligence authorities improperly surveilled the 2016 Trump campaign as part of their investigation into now-debunked coordination with Russia during the last presidential election. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The hard-nosed U.S. attorney has reportedly received briefings on the “four corners” of the FBI’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants as part of its controversial counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign. “Durham is specifically reviewing the FISA warrant obtained by the FBI to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page, as well as general issues relating to surveillance during the 2016 campaign and matters flowing from the FISA process,” Fox News reported.

The FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page, but did not disclose to the FISA court that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign or the Democrat National Committee (DNC) funded the dossier, despite indicating that the dossier was compiled as opposition research. Barr has described the dossier as “opposition research” with “clear mistakes.”

Testifying before Congress in May, Barr told lawmakers he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, but stopped short of saying whether it was done improperly.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he told the Senate Appropriations Committee, before adding, “I am not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at them.”

President Trump has repeatedly said his campaign was illegally surveilled and has even accused officials of treason. “My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on,” the president wrote on Twitter in May. “Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!”

The Justice Department declined to comment on the Times’ report.

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Report: DOJ Review of Russia Probe Origins Is Now Criminal Investigation

A poll released Wednesday found that 57 percent of Republicans support President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria.

An Economist/YouGov survey shows 25 percent of Republican respondents said they strongly approve of pulling out troops, while 32 percent stated they somewhat approve of the move. Further, 26 percent of Republicans surveyed said they oppose the move and 18 percent said they do not hold an opinion on the matter. The poll surveyed 1,500 people between October 13th-15th and had a margin of error of plus or minus of 2.7 percentage points.

The survey’s results show Republican lawmakers who oppose the troop pullout – such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) – are at odds with the majority of GOP voters.

Graham, one of Congress’s most high-profile foreign policy hawks, has argued the president’s decision is a “disaster in the making” and “will be a stain on America’s honor for abandoning the Kurds.”

Conversely, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), known for his non-interventionist approach with respect to foreign policy, has said Graham is flat-out wrong.

“Lindsey Graham has been wrong about almost every foreign policy decision of the last two decades,” Paul told MSNBC on Tuesday. “He was wrong about the Iraq War. The Iraq War was a mistake. It made Iran stronger, allowed more chaos, more instability, and more terrorism. He was wrong about the war in Libya. It leads to more chaos and more terrorism. He is wrong about this.”

The Department of Defense has argued that continuing to station troops in the area could put American lives at risk.

“Due to Turkey’s irresponsible actions, the risk to U.S. forces in northeast Syria has reached an unacceptable level. We are also at risk of being engulfed in a broader conflict,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, before adding that “a small footprint” of troops will stay behind at the Al Tanf garrison in southern Syria. The decision, Esper says, to prevent a re-emergence from ISIS in the area.

Speaking Wednesday to reporters in the Oval Office, President Trump said any military conflict between Turkey and Syria is between the two Middle Eastern countries.

They have a problem at the border; it’s not our border,” the president said.

“If Syria wants to fight for their land, that’s up to Turkey and Syria,” he added. “Syria may have some help with Russia, and that’s fine. It’s a lot of sand. They’ve got a lot of sand over there. So there’s a lot of sand that they can play with.”

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Poll: Majority of Republicans Back Trump’s Syria Decision

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) falsely claimed Wednesday that Democrats have “never” denied that there is a “crisis” on the U.S.-Mexico border — a statement directly contradicted by the words of multiple party leaders just months ago.

“Well, let me just say this. We have never not said that there was a crisis — there is a humanitarian crisis at the border, and some of it provoked by the actions taken by the administration,” Pelosi stated during her weekly press conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday.

“What is happening at the border is tragic and we hope to address some of that in the disaster supplemental,” the California Democrat added. “And we understand our responsibility to secure our border.”

Pelosi’s remarks bear a stark contrast to what the House Speaker and other Democrats have previously said about the situation at the border, referring to it as a “manufactured crisis” by President Donald Trump.

During a joint press conference in January, Pelosi and Senate Minorite Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused the president of using the “backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear, and divert attention.”

Further, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said of the situation at the Southern border after a visit to El Paso, Texas: “The first, most dramatic thing we found was there is no crisis.”

President Trump signed a congressional bill to avert a second partial government shutdown and declared a national emergency to build a wall along the border after Democrats used to back the funding required for its construction. The president also declared a national emergency at the southern border and used his executive authority to go around Congress to obtain more money to build the security barrier. “The current situation at the southern border presents a border security and humanitarian crisis that threatens core national security interests and constitutes a national emergency,” he said at the time.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security said earlier this month that illegal border crossing surged to a decade-high in April with nearly 100,000 crossers arrested.

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Nancy Pelosi: ‘We Have Never Not Said There Was a Crisis’ at U.S.-Mexico Border

Senator and 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Cory Booker (NJ) announced Monday he plans to introduce legislation that would form a commission to study reparations for black Americans.

“This bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country,” a statement via Booker reads. “It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

According to The Hill, a Booker spokesperson said the bill would create a commission aimed at analyzing the “impact of slavery and continuing discrimination against African-Americans.” The body would be tasked with providing recommendations for those who are descendants of slaves. The New Jersey Democrat will unveil the bill’s text “shortly,” the lawmaker’s office said.

“I am pleased that Senator Booker has introduced a Senate Companion to H.R. 40. I salute his dedication to elevating the discussion of reparations and reparatory justice, and look forward to the dialogue that this issue engenders on and off Capitol Hill,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who introduced similar legislation in the House, said Monday.

Booker’s announcement follows Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention, during which several other 2020 Democrat White House hopefuls expressed support for creating a commission to study reparations.

Former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) told conference attendees he supports the idea, declaring, “absolutely I would sign that into law.”

Later, in an interview with Equal Justice Initiative executive director Brian Stevenson, O’Rourke said he believes the word “repair” is foundational to reparations. “Until all Americans understand that civil rights” also involves “the injustices that have been visited and continue to be visited on people, we will never get the change that we need to live up to the promise of this country. So absolutely I would sign that into law,” said the Texas Democrat.

Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who is the most supportive candidate of reparations, said Wednesday that he believes the United States “will never truly heal until we address the original sin of slavery.”

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) also told Sharpton that they back the measure if elected president.

However, not all high-profile Democrats agree on how to address the issue of reparations.

In a recent sit-down with the Post and Courier, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), the highest-ranking African-American member of Congress, dismissed the proposal, saying “pure” reparations are “impossible to implement.”

Clyburn, largely seen as a 2020 kingmaker of sorts in South Carolina, has long advocated for the “10-20-30” policy to solve poverty in different parts of the country. The policy would direct ten percent of federal funds to counties containing at least 20 percent living below the poverty line in the last 30 years. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), another 2020 presidential contender, has endorsed the South Carolina Democrat’s proposal.

Author: Joshua Caplan

Source: Breitbart: Cory Booker to Unveil Bill to Create Reparations Study Commission

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