The Democrats case against President Trump
From the newsroom of the Washington this is from the Washington Post. Hey It's Philip Washington Post you have a minute high demand this post reports. I'm Martine powers. It's Tuesday December December tenth today. The proposed to charges against the president. The bacteria decimating orange trees in Florida Florina and gaming with disability today in service to our duty to the constitution and to our country three the House Committee on judiciaries introducing two articles of impeachment charging the President of the United States Donald J trump with committing high crimes and Misdemeanors Democrats announced that they are bringing to articles of impeachment against President Trump. Aaron Blake writes about politics for the fix. The first article is for abuse of power. It is an impeachable offense for the president to exercise the powers as of his public office to obtain an improper personal benefit while ignoring or injuring the national interest. The first article is abuse of power. Basically the idea that the president was soliciting a foreign government to provide politically helpful investigations. And that he was is withholding official government things like meeting and like military aid in order to pressure them to launch those investigations when the House investigated in opening an impeachment inquiry president trump engaged in unprecedented categorical and indiscriminate defiance of the impeachment inquiry this gives rise to the second article of impeachment for obstruction of Congress. Here the second article is an obstruction of Congress. Basically the president throwing up a stone wall against all subpoenas against key witnesses testifying against turning over documents and arguing arguing that this is an unprecedented move by the president to not cooperate with the rightful ability of Congress to conduct oversight and potentially impeach the president of of the United States president who declares himself above accountability above the American people and above Congress's power our of impeachment. which is meant to protect against threats to our democratic institutions is a president who sees himself as above the law? We we must be clear no one not. Even the president is above the law. The ones they brought are actually a little bit narrower than We thought they might have been. There is no mention of the word bribery. There is no mention of obstruction of justice in the Russian investigation. They're keeping being this very focused on the Ukraine investigation and matters related to that. So what do you think the Democrats went with this more narrow approach rather then then bringing up charges like bribery or obstruction of justice. The idea is to keep it focused on Ukraine and maybe not get bogged down in more legal minutia once you bring up the topics of bribery. Once you bring up obstruction of justice from the Muller Investigation they may be put in the position of trying to satisfy. Hi Statutory requirements that those crimes carry I think especially with the obstruction of justice portion. It was also complicated by the fact that Robert Robert Muller decided not to accuse the president he decided not to reach any conclusions about that because the president according to Justice Department guidelines cannot be indicted but then then the Attorney General William Barr decided to clear the president of obstruction so basically they would be bringing a charge against the president that the Justice Department has said does not hold up and that was a little bit more difficult and it seemed like Democrats really just one into limit the borders of this. Make it as simple as possible for the idea of bribery. Very which they didn't ultimately charge the president with. That's something that has an actual criminal statute of bribery. That you can convict people on that. They would have had to prove and it seems. It's like with this approach having something like abusive power it's much vaguer. It's much softer. Different people can define abuse of power in different ways and so they have a little bit more latitude. Yeah and it's kind of a double edged sword on the one hand. Yes if they were to accuse the president of bribery they might have to satisfy legal requirements. Although constitutional scholars don't necessarily agree with that given that there was actually no bribery statute when the constitution was drafted. At the same time it does help help crystallize the argument a little bit better. What does abuse of power mean to your average person? Abusive power is something. That is rather subjective high crimes and misdemeanors meaner which is what the Democrats have gone with. Here is also pretty subjective. Bribery though is a concept that people understand and I think sometimes in these situations the ideas that you wanna simplify as much as you can. And if Democrats were arguing over and over again that the president bribed a foreign government. That's something that may be could stick a little little bit more. Even as the burden of proof might be increased slightly in the end. So how has the president responded to this so far and also would have we seen from Republicans in Congress it will the president basically his argument is that this was a preordained outcome. That Democrats basically tried to make the evidence fit their preordained. Outcome come. Republicans in Congress are very much on board with that. I don't care if you thank Americans who support president trump or deplorables. But you do not have the right to disqualify disqualify their vote just because you do not like president. Trump House minority leader. Kevin McCarthy was talking Tuesday morning about the idea that the Democrats have been out to get the president from the very beginning they would lie and they would continue to lie just because they dislike this president but the way they have handled this from the very beginning I know they. They set a time line and they wanted to keep their time line. They just never paid attention to the facts so they changed the rules to meet their timeline. We're seeing them. Make lots lots of process arguments that there is actually no crime. That is going to be a key argument here especially now that there is no bribery there is no obstruction of justice in these articles so it is not difficult to defend this president but it is very difficult to defend this congress on what they have done and history will not be kind to them. This was also something something of an interesting kind of bizarre day for Democrats to be announcing these proposed charges against the president because they at the same time time has now just struck a deal with Republicans on the new Nafta a trade deal with the US Mexico in Canada which is something that president trump has been fighting for for so it's kind of a win for Republicans and it seems pretty weird that this morning. They're both talking about trying to remove the president from office but also giving him a pretty big win and this is a transformative agreement. It's template for future agreements literally within one hour of one another. There was the impeachment press conference inference at nine. Am and then they had the US NCA also known as New Nafta at ten am but this is more than a triumph for organized labor. It's a triumph for workers everywhere across America. It is an interesting split screen. Giving the President what he will hail as one of his chief accomplishments as president president on the same day. You're saying he is illegitimate president that he should be impeached and removed from office. Democrats have been pretty close on. US MCA for awhile. It's not like this came. came out of nowhere. They just kind of had to get over the hill. There's also a recognition that what is contained in the new trade deal is not significantly different from from what we had with Nafta it kind of changes things around the edges a little bit and so maybe Democrats reason that they can argue. This isn't a huge game changing changing accomplishment by the president. Because it's not all that different from what we have the other thing. I think the Democrats are GONNA point out is in hope that this achieves is that it takes off the argument that they are just so consumed by impeachment that they are not governing at all to the extent Republicans are going to argue. Democrats are just not actually working in Congress they can say look. We just passed president. Trump's radio clearly we are not just standing in the way of everything he does because we hate the guy so what is going to happen next on impeachment agent. Well the house. Judiciary Committee is charged with taking up these articles and debating them they could still be subject to change. There will be a debate debate on that committee about the wording of specific articles and then the Judiciary Committee votes on these which will likely be a party line vote. They will go to the brought her house which is slated to vote next week and then at that point the whole process goes to the Senate which actually holds the trial of the president the Chief Justice Justice of the Supreme Court presides over it and at that point two thirds of senators which would be all democrats and twenty Republicans would need to vote in favor of over moving the president from office. And there's basically no chance at that's going to happen right. The idea. Twenty Republican senators switching sides seems somewhat farfetched yet and I don't think that Democrats House Democrats when they launched. This process really had any illusions that that was ever going to be the case. Polarization is so strong. We really haven't seen much of a crack crack in The president support on impeachment. There may be a couple of senators. That'll make this interesting Mitt Romney Ben Sasse Susan Collins who's up for reelection if a couple of them vote against the president would that be seen as a significant moment in his reelection campaign. I don't know but to say that. An impeachment process is about the election. Action is an argument that Republicans are making. But it's not altogether wrong. I think that Democrats were wary of this process. Initially because they worried it might help the president in. What's looking looking like a difficult reelection race? They eventually came around to it when I think they decided that at least it wouldn't hurt their chances of defeating him in twenty twenty and maybe if they get some new evidence or they get a couple Republicans voting to remove him from office. They can use that as an argument to say look. This is so bad that even these Republicans thought thought that he is not worthy of being president of the United States. Well I guess we'll see if that will happen. We Will Aaron. Thank you so much. Thank you Erin. Blake writes about politics for the fix. The we're on the street is that you are from Florida I am. I'm also from Florida. No Way I I grew up in Saint Petersburg and so Walking home from school every great. Imagine I wouldn't walk and Dan every ten years or so. Add encounter an orange tree and I can orange sometimes and just peel it. Eat It on the way home and those are my best memories of Florida which is because there were so many oranges everywhere that you could just go into random yard grabbing orange and eat it. It was amazing. I mean I I was aware ear. That other people couldn't do this so I felt special the beach an oranges. This is darryl fierce. He covers the environment and wildlife for the recently. He went back to Florida to report on the state's oranges. Oranges are not doing very well. the first thing I did when I got to Florida was to go to Edessa to visit the CB citrus emporium which is right outside of Tampa so now we are outdoors in the growth and can personnel is GonNa give me a tour Of some of the trees I just wanted to point out the one you can look this is one of our sick at sickest blocks and so all these have have green you can see some of them are just full on dead other ones look like crap and then you know right next to him. You'll see a tree that looks perfectly fine now. They're all sick and they're all and I visited this place that was started by a former real estate developer name bill. Burr channel and bill was an industrious guy whose dream was to. I have a just a giant Orange Grove. It's a middle of a swamp and he managed to take a few like very small skinny orange trees and grow up three hundred hundred Acre Grove and he died in two thousand sixteen. Will that farm to his son William Kennedy and his grandson and these guys are now watching his dream. Go to ruin Outta here. Maybe by the ten so we're walking through a the grove and I'm looking at trees that a line of trees some have leaves on them but a long line of them are just looms without leaves Brown looking sickly a row of Detroit. He's they are presiding tiding over dying trees and sickly trees where to leave the formed watching this go to waste. Why aren't they doing well? There is the disease that scientists liken to HIV and in fact has an HIV like name is called H. L. B. Short four Awang long being which is a disease that originated in China as infected ninety percent of every citrus orchard in Florida. And so how did this. This orange disease end up in Florida. The way diseases ended up in the United States from all over the world invasive species of trade aide this bacteria probably came from some type of tree clipping. This is what the scientists say from China so people loved the bring. These clippings comes from favourite plants from places. They're not supposed to but they sneak them onboard luggage anyway at it do it and so they speculate someone did this. Probably in the Del Ray beach area and now this disease has spread pretty massively threat. State it has and it has spread in the most amazing way is like nature anti nature so before this disease Wong being got there Aw there was this. Very small net size insect call citrus and this citrus Silat feeds on the leaves of citrus trees so when it whenever it is sill it encountered a tree with this bacteria or leaf with this bacteria accepted into its gut and that sell Jillette or insect took the bacteria to the next tree and when it sucked on mat leave it transferred the barriers so the combination of this disease and on this insect has made this not only incredibly harmful orange disease but One that can spread really quickly. This insect is the Uber Uber for disease. And at this point how many orange trees have been affected. And how has this affected the orange industry in Florida. The orange trees all over the state of dying. Look how little and how you know yellow that is and how curly all the leaves around that little piece of fruit that the lamb is just. It's just too sick but there's other trees the ones that were were actively harvest and you know in other parts of the grove or you know they're doing okay. They're sick but they're doing okay. CB's farm has been devastated. People come on on the property all the time. You got a goal all line here and it's like well show me where to dig you know because if I knew how to grow hops Caracazo hops all all over. Not You know. That's not. What would we do? We'd have to relearn apple that whole business. Yeah well there's there's a for sale sign outside right now you know but we don't WanNa WanNa do that you know we're we're we're talking to a we would love to you know. Somebody came like most assigned if somebody came amen here and said Hey our will help and this is how we're going to do it and wants joint venture out but we will talk to anybody about anything. We were passed Rosenberg Rosenberg. Rows of dead trees and sick trees trees with fruit hanging on them. That were beautiful in green. But we're probably never turn turn orange and because of this disease this heart fascinated me so h. o.. B. Wouldn't affects a tree goes to the trees roots and it begins the disfigure. You're an deformed trees route so that the tree cannot suck the nutrients from the earth that it normally does and because it can't suck the nutrients from the earth. They normally does water food. Whatever it uses is starved and so- oranges grow by sucking nutrients transom border from the tree? And so the tree unable to feed as it normally does as. I'm not surviving right now and these oranges the leaching off of all my nutrients. I'm GonNa let them Go. I'm GonNa let them Go. And maybe outgrow them next season. But I can't survive with these things on the right now until it basically abandoned all these unripe fruit and just drops them all in one go good bye and for orange farmers there. What is it like for them to see the disease disease? Come in and to have these moments where all of their orange is our staying green and then dropping to the floor all at once without ever ripening uh. When this disease was first discovered in two thousand five there was something like seven thousand three hundred citrus citrus growers in Florida there are now about two thousand seven hundred five thousand? These farmers got business. The majority of them have gone out of business the vast majority and for those who are still trying to make it. I mean I imagine that. They must live in fear of this disease coming to their Orange Grove. So the silver lining in the story is this bonker of laboratories run by the University of Florida is called the citrus research and education education center in Lake Alfred Florida so About thirty miles south of Disneyworld in the middle of nowhere. Is this bunker anchor laboratory. And they're these people are inventing these scientists in lab coats are inventing a new type of orange or several dozens uh-huh varieties of new oranges. That are disease tolerant. So that the end. They're they're taking roots of trees and re engineering awesome Genetically altering them not in GMO type away but at a sort of more natural type away to make a stronger a tree that can constituencies. They have these names like the the sugar bill. Let me Ali late and those oranges are going to replace if they are successful. They're still in instrumentation the oranges that we use their sweet variety. So they're trying to make a disease he's tolerant oriented disease tolerant tree and bitter orange juice. But in the meantime are we looking at a world where warns juice becomes a lot more scarce we are. That's a possibility. I love a quote from the director of that group who says you've Weirdo race to save the citrus industry in Florida and some say that they have as little as ten to fifteen years to come up with these solutions. Darrelle fierce writes about wildlife and environment for the post And now one more thing from the posts new gaming and eastport section called launcher. I've been wanting to write a story about people with disabilities using video games overcome. Adversity versity. Because I am also a wheelchair and video games. It's been a great way for me to be competitive in a way I can't physically. That's reporter Hawkin Miller. He recently recently met a group of gamers that have disabilities and play competitively. They told me you know how video games have really helped them through whatever issues. They're going through the some of the people that I talked to mention that video games really helped them reconnect with society in a way that they couldn't normally because usually conversations revolve around what their disability is whereas when they play games it revolves around their ability in that game so play video games allows you to connect in a way that is in physical the and in a way where you don't have to see each other kind of you're actually getting to know that person that person's gaming ability or the way that they talk awesome then you develop into a friendship for you actually figure out a what's wrong with this person or was this person going through. I meant a Gamer. Whose name was Jackson and reese and he had recently lost both his arms and legs after being paralyzed in a motorcycle accident because he had contracted subsists in the hospital and he uses a device called aquatic and that allows to play video games in a way he had never thought possible after her he lost his arms and legs? It's all mouth operated like. It's got different controls that you puff and SIP on and you move is all head movement and everything like that to control your character. What you're doing one of the things I learned in reporting the story is at eight is a little bit of social anxiety attached it because you can't do everything everyone else can so video games combat feelings of social isolation and even depression by allowing them to do things that they normally wouldn't be able to to do in real life? I can't run off on the real run in the game so I always make little forrest gump comments and everything and I just try to throw throw in my sense of humor and everything like that with it because yeah you can't run and jump and laugh and stuff like that so you can run and jump off a building and scream. Ah Legs it cracks you up a little bit to give you a little bit more humorous to keep you from depressed and stuff actually founder and Gamertag Dan's rock rocky. No hands is paralyzed from the neck down. After he suffered a pretty bad fall when he was nineteen and since thin he's perfected being able to play video games very while they're quad stick which he only uses his mouth control and is able to do so many things that even I could even do playing video games with full control of my hands. There's always a way to do something can't do it and You don't have to be great at it on. Just gotTa make sure the rocky now hens says definitely currently inspired a lot of people just reading through his twitch general comments and people are really worried about that because he's not letting his desployed define him many saw doing all these amazing things video game world and watching rocky no Hans Compete in the way he does despite is disability can help put the things into perspective for people and help them do the same thing and get past their own adversity and and play the Games despite what they're going through Hawkin Hawkin Miller writes about gaming and sports. And that's it for today's show. Thanks for listening. There have been some really interesting conversations in the post reports facebook one listener chaz posted about last week's story on the fight for gender neutral Spanish and started discussion about other languages that have tried to change gender gender grammatical structures. We love for you to get in on the conversation. Join the group at FACEBOOK DOT com slash groups slash post reports. I'm Martine power. We'll be back tomorrow with more stories from the Washington Post the.