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By: Nicholas Fandos and Michael Shear of the New York Times

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee opened debate Wednesday on two articles of impeachment against President Trump, starting a somber and deeply partisan confrontation over Democrats’ charges that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress.

In a rare evening session that was only the third time in modern history the panel had met to consider removing a president, Democrats and Republicans clashed over the Constitution, the allegations against Mr. Trump and the political consequences of moving to oust him less than a year before the next election. The debate unfolded at the start of a two-day meeting that is expected to culminate on Thursday with a party-line vote to send the articles to the full House for final passage.

Leaning with equal weight on the Constitution and the findings of their two-and-a-half-month inquiry, Democrats made their case that Mr. Trump put the 2020 election and the nation’s security at risk. Not only did he use his office to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, they asserted, but he then trampled on his oath of office and the separation of powers by seeking to conceal his actions from Congress.

“The highest of high crimes is abuse of power,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the committee. Describing the facts of the case against Mr. Trump as “overwhelming,” he added, “We cannot rely on an election to solve our problems when the president threatens the very integrity of that election.”

Republicans on the panel voiced their indignation about what they said was a refusal by Democrats to accept Mr. Trump’s legitimacy, portraying the bid to impeach him as little more than the climax of a three-year effort to reverse the outcome of Mr. Trump’s 2016 election victory.

They argued that the case against Mr. Trump was overstated and insufficiently proven, and they denounced the impeachment inquiry, saying it was unfair to Mr. Trump and his Republican allies.

“The big lie is that a sham impeachment is O.K., because the threat is so real and so urgent and so great,” said Representative Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel. Mr. Collins accused Democrats of being a “party that has lost all moorings of fairness and good taste.”

“This is as much about political expediency as anything else,” he added.

The rancorous back-and-forth stretched into the night as all 41 members on the notoriously partisan panel had the chance to deliver their opening remarks in one of the most consequential deliberations in more than two decades. The gathering unfolded exactly 21 years to the day after the Judiciary Committee voted to approve articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.

Mr. Nadler noted at the start that the meeting was unusual — statements are often allowed only from the chairman and the senior minority member of the committee — but said the historic nature of the proceeding warranted hearing from each member.

Seated at the wood-carved dais of the Ways and Means Committee room, the grandest meeting chamber in the House, lawmakers appeared to feel the weight of the occasion, refraining from some of the more raucous tactics that have marked the impeachment process so far in favor of passionate statements of principle.

Even as the outcome in the committee appeared clear, Mr. Nadler used his statement to appeal to Republicans to reconsider their position before it was too late.

“You still have a choice,” Mr. Nadler told the Republicans, adding, “President Trump will not be president forever.”

“When his time has passed, when his grip on our politics is gone, when our country returns — as surely it will — to calmer times and stronger leadership, history will look back on our actions here today,” he said. “How would you be remembered?”

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin and one of the managers of the impeachment case against Mr. Clinton, had an appeal of his own to Democrats: “Put aside your partisan politics and don’t listen to what Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler are telling you, because the future of our country and the viability of our Constitution as the framers decided it are at stake.”

Along with the committee chairman, he was referring to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has kept remarkably tight control over the impeachment inquiry, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who led the investigation into the president’s pressure campaign on Ukraine.

Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, who was participating in her third impeachment inquiry, offered an explanation about this one. “It seems,” she said, “like we live in an alternate reality.”

Others warned of the political risks of the moment. Representative Ken Buck of Colorado predicted that voters would punish Democrats, particularly those whose victories in conservative districts in 2016 handed them control of the chamber.

“Say goodbye to your majority,” Mr. Buck said. “And please join us in January of 2021 when President Trump is inaugurated again.”

Democrats drew heavily on their own experiences and backgrounds as they sought to frame their views on impeachment for the history books. Some reached for the words of the founders or the annals of the law. Others quoted from scripture or spoke about loved ones. Many harked back to their unique biographies as immigrants and the legacy of painful periods in American history.

“I’m a black man representing Georgia, born when Jim Crow was alive and well,” said Representative Hank Johnson, Democrat of Georgia. “To me, the idea that elections can be undermined is not theoretical. I have constituents who remember what it is like to live in a democracy in name only.”

Representative Lucy McBath of Georgia, one of the panel’s only Democrats representing a swing district, spoke of losing her only son to gun violence — the cause that sent her to Congress. “This is not why I came to Washington,” she said, but she confirmed she would vote to impeach.

“I must vote my conscience, and I do so with a heavy heart and a grieving soul,” she said.

Mr. Nadler called a recess after the opening statements late Wednesday. He planned to reconvene the panel on Thursday to begin the protracted process of allowing members to propose edits and amendments to the two articles.

The first article accuses Mr. Trump of “ignoring and injuring national security and other vital national interests” by carrying out a scheme to corruptly solicit election assistance from Ukraine through investigations to smear his Democratic political rivals. The second article charges that the president obstructed Congress by engaging in “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance” of House subpoenas.

No lawmaker is expected to cross party lines, and House Democratic leaders are eyeing a final vote to impeach the president for high crimes and misdemeanors as early as Tuesday.

Democrats are confident they have the votes to pass both articles even if a handful of Democrats defect.

With the outcome in the Judiciary Committee all but certain, lawmakers have begun privately appealing to the speaker to win appointments as impeachment managers when the charges are put before the Senate for trial.

In the Senate, the prospect of hosting an impeachment trial when they return from the year-end break was weighing heavily on their thinking.

Some Senate Republicans appeared to be eager for a streamlined trial without testimony by witnesses, ensuring that the spectacle of deciding on Mr. Trump’s impeachment would be over quickly so that the chamber could move on to other issues in an election year.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, hinted at that preference in comments to reporters on Tuesday, saying that a majority of senators could decide after hearing arguments for both sides that “they’ve heard enough” and end the trial quickly.

On Wednesday, Mr. McConnell chastised the House for what he called “the least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.”

Over lunch on Wednesday, Republican senators invited Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, who has played a leading role in Mr. Trump’s defense in the House, and his lawyer, Stephen R. Castor, to privately offer their theory of the case for Mr. Trump’s defense.

At the White House, Mr. Trump’s legal team has been discussing the possibility of hiring Alan Dershowitz, the veteran lawyer who has defended the president, to represent him in the impeachment trial, according to a person familiar with the discussions. Mr. Dershowitz would join the president’s outside legal team, with Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, taking the lead in arguing the case in the Senate.

Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, mentioned Mr. Dershowitz as a possibility on the House Freedom Caucus podcast, adding: “I have advocated that there needs to be one other attorney that’s added to the mix.”

The articles of impeachment, which run for nine pages, include two counts against Mr. Trump. Thursday’s session will begin with a committee clerk reading the articles aloud.

The first article, abuse of power, accused Mr. Trump of withholding $391 million in military aid and a coveted White House meeting for Ukraine’s president as leverage for extracting public announcements of investigations into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, as well as an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to swing the 2016 election against Mr. Trump.

The second article, obstruction of Congress, charges that Mr. Trump sought to cover up his own wrongdoing.

By: Benjamin Yount of the Center Square

The verdict in Wisconsin about the new trade deal with Canada and Mexico is nearly unanimous. 

Business groups and elected leaders all say the United States/Mexico/Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a win for Wisconsin. 

“Our farmers have been waiting in uncertainty for more than a year for USMCA to get done. So, it’s certainly good news to see the deal take this significant step forward. There are more steps to be taken, however, so we are not breathing a full sigh of relief," Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative President Brody Stapel said Tuesday. 

The Edge is one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country. 

“USMCA is critical to the long-term success of the U.S. dairy community," Stapel said. "Mexico is our number one dairy foods export market and Canada is third. Combined," he said. "They account for more than $2 billion each year. This agreement would protect those longtime trading relationships and allow for growth in market share. That means economic certainty for businesses, families, employees and rural communities."

Wisconsin's longest serving congressman, U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Milwaukee, also said that access to Canadian and Mexican markets is a big win for dairy farmers in Wisconsin. 

"It is a boon for our state’s dairy farmers who will have more access to Canadian markets," Sensenbrenner said. "After enduring months of needless delay, I am eager to vote for the deal and am grateful to the Trump administration for their tireless work reaching an agreement.”

The deal is coming together after a few tweaks and some concessions to labor unions. 

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-LaCrosse, said those changes are key, not just in moving the deal forward but for making it workable. 

"Raising standards in trade agreements to level the playing field for workers, farmers, and businesses is vital so we are not trying to compete in a race to the bottom," Kind said in a statement.

Both Canada and Mexico must ratify the new trade agreement. There is hope Congress can finalize it by perhaps the end of the year.

U.S. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, provided the simplest statement of the day. Gallagher summed up the impatience that many here in Wisconsin have felt for the past year-plus. 

“It’s about damn time," Gallagher said. 

By: Breitbart

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) delivered a stirring address during the markup of the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday evening, calling the Democrats’ case the weakest in American history.

His full speech:

Mr. Chairman, I agree with everybody that tonight is a very solemn night. This is the third time in the last 40 years, 45 years, that this committee has sat to read articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. What we are debating here, in my opinion, is the weakest case in history. And yet the Democrats have decided to go full speed ahead, again because of the clock and the calendar, with an incomplete record, simply by using hearsay evidence and trashing the rules of the House every time they can in order to speed things up for the preordained conclusion. And that is: a partisan vote for impeachment, something that both the Speaker and the chairman of this committeete rejected earlier on when they thought they could make this bipartisan. If they could’ve made it bipartisan, they blew their opportunity very early on with their trashing of the rules and the trashing of what is the history of what is in the history this committee. Now, let’s look at these two articles. Unlike the Nixon and Clinton impeachment, there is no crime that is alleged to have been committed by the President of the United States. There are policy differences, but I would submit that given the definition of treason, and bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, that does not mean that the policy differences should be enough to remove a president from office. There is no allegation of bribery in these articles. There is no allegation of extortion. They have defined for themselves what a high crime and misdemeanor will be. This bar is so low that what is happening is that a future president can be impeached for any disagreement when the presidency and the House of Representatives are controlled by different parties. And that goes back to establishing a parliamentary system, which the Framers explicitly rejected at the time of the Constitutional Convention. In the United Kingdom, or Canada, or other parliamentary democracies, if the government loses the confidence of the majority of the lower house, the government is out, and there is either a new government or a new election that happens. The Framers did not want that. We had an independent presidency. The president was independently elected. He did not serve at the sufferance of Congress. No — he served for a fixed term and was only, if he really obstructed the functions of government or was treasonous, he could be impeached. Now let’s look at “obstruction of Congress.” You know, again, in the past, whenever the executive and legislative branches in the United States have had a disagreement, they’ve gone to court. And the third branch decides this difference. This committee and this majority are so hide-bound to their clock and their calendar that they will not allow the judicial process to work out. What brought Richard Nixon down, honestly, was the Supreme Court saying that he had to turn over certain documents. And within two or three weeks after that, the president knew his time was up. There were Republicans that convinced him of that, and he resigned, ruling out the impeachment. So, yes the constitution is at stake. The Framers of our Constitution’s enlightened decisions are at stake. We are about to go on a road to becoming a parliamentary democracy like England and Canada are. We need an independent president who does not have to suffer to anything a congressional majority might throw at him. That’s what the courts are for, to figure it out. And I would to appeal to my chairman, [and] the majority members of this committee, to listen to what Madison and Hamilton had to say during the ratification of the Constitution and during the debates of the convention: put aside your partisan politics and don’t listen to what Pelosi, Schiff, and Nadler are telling you because the future of our country and the viability of our Constitution as the Framers decided are at stake.

The committee will vote Thursday, and an impeachment vote is possible by Friday.

By: Briana Reilly of the Cap Times

Wisconsin congressional Republicans are pushing for quick passage of a new trade deal announced Tuesday that dairy and business interests say would help bring certainty to the state. 

But Wisconsin Democrats said they're keen to review the measure before publicizing whether it would get their support. 

House Democrats Tuesday morning announced they had come to a deal with President Donald Trump's administration over the renegotiated trade pact, with national media outlets reporting the party was able to secure changes to provisions on prescription drug pricing, the environment, labor and more. 

Overall, Wisconsin congressional lawmakers lauded the news, with U.S. Rep. Ron Kind touting his efforts to "ensure a level playing field for Wisconsin workers and farmers," maintain U.S. jobs and more. 

"The bipartisan efforts, changes to labor standards, increases in enforceability measures, and the solidifying of agricultural access should all serve as a baseline for how future trade agreements will be drafted," the La Crosse Democrat said in a statement, though he didn't guarantee he'd support it on the floor as he first wants to review the language. 

U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, both Democrats, hadn't yet weighed in on the deal Tuesday afternoon, with a Pocan spokesman saying the Madison rep hadn't seen the bill text and therefore declined to comment. 

Meanwhile, Republicans lamented "months of needless delay," in the words of U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, and praised the Trump administration for finalizing negotiations on the effort. 

“It’s about damn time," U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Green Bay Republican, wrote in a tweet. "USMCA is a win for Wisconsin and a win for America. It should have been brought up for a vote months ago." 

State Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, have called on Congress to sign off on the update to the North American Free Trade Agreement for months, though Democrats have expressed reservations about the plan. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in visits to the state have also urged passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

The agreement to update NAFTA, which first took effect in 1994, has received approval from the three countries' leaders after negotiations were finalized last year, but it has stalled in Congress where it needs members' approval. Trump has slammed House Democrats for failing to act on the deal.  

In Wisconsin, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative — whose president, Brody Stapel, is a dairy farmer in the eastern part of the state -- praised Tuesday's announcement as "a significant step forward" and demanded House leaders pass it swiftly. 

“USMCA is critical to the long-term success of the U.S. dairy community," Stapel said, adding: "This agreement would protect those longtime trading relationships and allow for growth in market share. That means economic certainty for businesses, families, employees and rural communities."

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce head Kurt Bauer said in a statement the group is "confident this renegotiated trade deal will benefit the state's economy." 

“Wisconsin manufacturers, farmers and other employers need certainty when it comes to trade, and it is encouraging to see Congress finally moving the USMCA forward," he said. "We make and grow things in Wisconsin, but we need to be able to sell those product to our top trading partners in Canada and Mexico." 

A spokeswoman for the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday afternoon. The deal has won the endorsement of the national group, according to media reports, which helped secure the support of House Democrats.  

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after negotiators announced they reached a final deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA):

“This is a huge win for America and for Wisconsin. It is a boon for our state’s dairy farmers who will have more access to Canadian markets. After enduring months of needless delay, I am eager to vote for the deal and am grateful to the Trump administration for their tireless work reaching an agreement.”

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) issued the following statement after Speaker Pelosi today annouced articles of impeachment against President Trump:

“Democrats have wanted to impeach President Trump since January 20, 2017 and realized their dream would come true last November. Despite the fact that they could find no bipartisan support—a criterion once set by both Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Nadler—they are pushing forward with this exercise that will further tear the country apart. Just as the Founders feared, divided governments will now almost certainly lead to partisan impeachments. The Democrats’ obsession with ousting the President made today an inevitability, but it is nevertheless a sad day for the Republic.”


WASHINGTON, DC (Wisconsin Radio Network) -- As Democrats continue to make their case for an impeachment of the President, Republicans say the process is corrupt.

Speaking at the House Judiciary Hearing on Monday, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, along with other Republicans, took exception to California Congressman Devin Nunes being named in a report as having made phone calls to suspected co-conspirators in the investigation. He said, "Folks, you have made Joe McCarthy look like a piker, with what you've done with the electronic surveillance involved."

Sensenbrenner added that releasing phone records of members of congress and their staff members was inappropriate. "It is something that has to be put a stop to now. It is something that has to be fessed up to now, whether it's you Mr. Goldman that authorized the matching and the publication, or whether it was Chairman Schiff."

Democrats laid out their claims that the President willfully broke the law, that others knew about it, and that he continues to attempt to subvert the elections.

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

Sensenbrenner Statement on DOJ IG Report

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement today after Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report:

“The Intelligence Community is given powerful tools to protect the security of the American people, including conducting surveillance operations. These tools require vigorous oversight to make sure the rights of Americans are protected. The OIG Report released today highlights multiple missteps, errors, and omissions by the FBI in conducting FISA Surveillance of an American citizen. Congress must fully examine these findings and take corrective actions to prevent similar issues in the future.”

By: Emma Dumain of McClatchy

The Democrats’ campaign to regain control of the House in 2018 included a pledge to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. But a vote on Friday signals their legislation is headed nowhere.

Their bill passed along party lines, 228-187, with only one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, voting “yes.” It was the first time that a rewrite or reauthorization of the original Voting Rights Act of 1965 has had a partisan vote.

The White House issued a veto threat of the Democrats’ Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would restore a provision requiring certain states to get federal government permission before changing local election laws.

House Republicans rebranded the bill as “The Federal Control of Elections Act.”

And even without strong opposition from the White House, there was little appetite to take up the bill in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Republicans said Democrats were to blame for crafting a bill that could not get GOP or White House support.

“If Democrats want an issue, they can continue down this path. If they want a law, they know my number. My record speaks for itself,” said Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis.

Sensenbrenner was the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in 2006, the last time Congress passed a reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, 390-33. The Senate passed the same bill 98-0 and Republican President George W. Bush signed it into law.

Democrats resented the characterization that they had not worked with Republicans in good faith, blaming political polarization for the lack of GOP support.

“If it were just a messaging bill, I will have wasted ten months’ worth of time,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, the chairwoman of a House subcommittee on elections, who held nine hearings around the country on voter access that culminated in a 144-page report to justify an updated Voting Rights Act.

When the original Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, it required certain states with histories of voter discrimination and disenfranchisement to be “precleared” before changing voting laws. A formula was established to determine which states would be subject to this requirement.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court determined the formula was out of date for determining which states ought to be penalized and threw it out, challenging Congress to come up with a new one

Sensenbrenner worked with Democrats in the Republican-controlled House to come up with bipartisan compromises in the years following that court ruling, but GOP leaders never allowed a vote. Many congressional Republicans didn’t want to restore the preclearance formula, satisfied their states would no longer be punished for Jim Crow-era offenses.

On Friday, Republicans accused the Voting Rights Advancement Act of doing more than just reinstating the preclearance formula, contending the bill constituted broad federal overreach of states’ rights.

GOP lawmakers also complained the bill prohibited states from implementing voter ID laws and would require states to get permission before putting in place very specific election procedures that have a history of being used for discriminatory practices — even if the procedures weren’t intended to be discriminatory.

Democrats said the need for reforms on top of a new preclearance formula were critical, arguing that many of the 14 states and jurisdictions previously subject to preclearance have taken advantage of their freedom from federal oversight to pass new laws that suppress voter access at the polls.

Fudge said her review also found that voter disenfranchisement was now rampant in states that weren’t originally under the preclearance formula, for instance Ohio and North Dakota.

Though the Voting Rights Advancement Act is unlikely to move in the current Congress, Democrats will still seek to score political points off House passage.

Supporters held a press conference in the Capitol on Friday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a “happy day.”

Seeking to draw on the emotions of the issue, Democrats had Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon, preside over the bill’s final passage.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., also left open a possibility that Democrats could use Fudge’s report as the basis of a formal legal challenge at some future date to force the Supreme Court to reinstate the formula.

But on the floor on Friday, the debate laid bare deep political differences in starkly personal terms.

“Today, a partisan bill comes to the floor to prevent states from running their own state and local elections when we are dealing with this very issue of impeachment and discussing elections at the same time,” said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, which also held hearings on the state of voting rights in preparation for the drafting of the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“The Republican Party used to support the unfettered right to vote,” countered House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York. “The party of Lincoln is gone. The party of Reagan is gone. The party of McCain is gone.”

This is a rush transcript from "The Ingraham Angle," December 4, 2019. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Laura Ingraham: All right, I'm Laura Ingraham. This is The Ingraham Angle from Washington, tonight. The Democrats thought that this spectacle was going to help? Well, our legal eagles will be here in moments to break it all down, just how damaging it was for the Democrats today. And, Henry, he has new reporting about potential cracks forming in Pelosi's caucus. Also, tonight, he is only -- I think is one of only two sitting congressmen who was front and center in the last impeachment of a president, James Sensenbrenner, is here to sound the alarm over the current sham proceedings. Plus, Raymond Arroyo reveals how the style of today's witnesses could actually hurt their arguments. And the media attacks Melania's holiday wardrobe. All of that in scene and unseen. But, first, "you know it's over when," that's the focus of tonight's angle.

Okay, as I was just saying to Hannity, if you or anyone you love is thinking of applying to law school, you must be having major second thoughts today. Three professors prattled on about how Trump must be impeached 11 months before an election. Their delivery was alternatively angry, dismissive, and tedious. Despite the wall-to-wall coverage and relentless hype by the Democrats, today's soporific symposium cratered any hope that they're going to coax Americans into supporting impeachment. Here are the top five reasons you know it's over. First, today's legal experts tried to pass of as facts flimsy theories and unsupported inferences. And they used those theories and inferences to conclude that the President should be basically removed from office.

[begin video clip]

Male Speaker: The phone call, itself, of July 25th if extraordinarily clear to my mind, in that we hear the President asking for a favor that's clearly of personal benefit, rather than acting on behalf of the interests of the nation.

Male Speaker: And acting on his -- for his own personal benefit, and not for the benefit of the country.

Pamela Karlan: He invited the Russians who are long-time adversaries into the process the last time around, because he has invited the Ukrainians into the process, and because he suggested he would like the Chinese to come into the process. [end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: [laughs] "Into the process." Well, Stanford law grads should demand refunds for any class taught by Karlan without corroborating evidence. Well, she's presuming malign motives on the part of President Trump, when an equally plausible motive could be that President Trump, as the nation's chief executive, has every right to want to know whether Ukraine meddled in the last election, and it's for that theory that the President somehow was trying to personally benefit from his dealings with Zelensky? Joe Biden wasn't and still isn't Trump's political opponent in the next election. He's one of several. So how can they so definitively claim that this was President Trump's guiding sole motivation? Answer, "They cannot." Second, you know it's over when three out of four legal eagles were Trump-hating partisans. Pam Karlan, she was basically Elizabeth Warren's supporter, gave $1,000 to her last summer, and Trump's rapid response team dug this up when Karlan admitted she was triggered by the mere site of the Trump Hotel building in Washington.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: I got off the bus from Dallas down at Lan Fan Plaza [spelled phonetically], and I walked up to the hotel. And, as I was walking past what used to be the old post office building and is now the Trump Hotel, the -- which I had to cross the street of course. But –

The Press: Are you staying there?

Pamela Karlan: God, no.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Triggered, and she was in the Obama DOJ as well. Michael Gerhart, formed from UNC law school, he once ran media efforts for Al Gore. He also worked for the Bill Clinton presidential transition team in the 1990s. Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, has been arguing for impeaching Trump for years. He even once speculated that Trump could be impeached over a Tweet that he said, "Claiming Obama, you know, had wiretapped his campaign." But, beyond their bias, there was a nasty, bitter undercurrent that bubbled to the surface, again, from Professor Karlan.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: While the President can name his son, "Barron," he can't make him a baron.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: She later apologized, but still couldn't resist taking a jab in her apology at the president. Now, contrast those partisans with the GOP witness, Professor Jonathan Turley. He’s not a Trump supporter; he voted for Clinton and Obama. But that made his methodical takedown of the impeachment sham all the more convincing.

[begin video clip]

Jonathan Turley: The record does not establish obstruction in this case. If you accept all of their presumptions, it would be obstruction. To impeach a president on this record would expose every future president to the same type of inchoate impeachment. If you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Third, you know it’s over when even the Democrats’ press fawners are admitting this thing is a hard sell.

[begin video clip]

Female Speaker: The notion of having four academics in the broader goal that Democrats have to pull the public along on the idea of impeachment -- I can’t see it changing.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Fourth, you know it’s over when the Democrats are straining to invoke the Founders.

[begin video clip]

Sheila Jackson Lee: The Founding Father George Mason asked, “Shall any man be above justice?” And Alexander Hamilton wrote that high crimes and misdemeanors mean the abuse or violation of some public trust.

Jerry Nadler: Adams wrote to Jefferson –

Hakeem Jefferies: John Adams once wrote to Thomas Jefferson –

David Cicilline: James Madison said that impeachment was needed –

Pamela Karlan: Hamilton got a whole musical, and William Davie is just going to get this committee hearing.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Aren’t you just devastated that Obama didn’t put her on the Supreme Court? You’ve heard of the School of Rock, right? Well, she, Feldman, and Gerhardt were starring in Law School of Crock.

[begin video clip]

Doug Collins: I think we just put in the jury pool the Founding Fathers. I don’t think we have any idea what they would think.

Jonathan Turley: If you were going to make a case to George Washington that you could impeach over a conversation he had with another head of state, I expect his hair -- his powdered hair would catch on fire. It’s a form of necromancy that academics do all the time.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Nice use of the word “necromancy.” Fifth, you know it’s over when Democrats, after all of their outlandish claims, still won’t say how or even if they’ll vote.

[begin video clip]

Male Speaker: I’m going to reserve any kind of a public judgment --

Male Speaker: I think that it’s important that we reserve judgment.

Male Speaker: No decision has been made as to whether or not we go forward with impeachment –

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: [laughs] Maybe they’re even -- they’re lying. I don’t know. But a better explanation is that they want to give themselves an out, or at least some wiggle room, perhaps. Got to see what those latest polls are looking like. They say, “The Founders,” but what they’re really relying on are focus groups. This thing has gone south, and they all know it. But this has been a great 24 hours for Trump. Now, yesterday he was dominating the agenda over at the NATO summit, pushing for more member nations to pay their fair share. We all love that. Last night, he was mocked by foreign elites in London. Today, he was mocked by academic elites on Capitol Hill. Chalk up another win for the White House. Is there any way, by the way, we can get that lady from Stanford to come back and lecture us some more tomorrow? And that’s the angle.

[sound effect]

All right, joining me now, our legal power panel, Sol Wisenberg, former Whitewater deputy independent counsel; Harmeet Dhillon, former student of Pam Karlan; and Trump 2020 advisory board member and attorney John Eastman, constitutional scholar and senior fellow at the Claremont Institute. Sol, they’re all very palsy walsy up there on that panel. The three Democrat lawyers are all friends -- the law professors are all friends; they were kind of citing each other. “You know, I agree with Pam.” “I agree with Noah.” Did the Democrats help themselves today?

Sol Wisenberg: No, I don’t think so. I thin it was a really bad mistake, first of all, to have three against one, because Turley is very good. He’s been doing this a long time, and he’s --

Laura Ingraham: He’s a liberal. That’s why he’s really good. A liberal is actually standing up for the Constitution.

Sol Wisenberg: An old-fashioned liberal. And he’s very --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, a real liberal.

Sol Wisenberg: And he’s very quotable. And you know, the fact that there was only one -- they only let the Republicans have one person -- particularly at the beginning when they were being questioned, the scholars, for 45 minutes, the other three were kind of -- even aside from the substance of what they were saying, they were getting broken up. They each had to have a certain amount of time, whereas Turley, who was very articulate, was just allowed to talk on and on and on, and he made a tremendous amount of sense. So, I think he definitely got the better of them.

Laura Ingraham: I mean, Harmeet, being mocked by Trudeau, or kind of chided -- poked by Trudeau and Macron yesterday in London, most of all, that’s great for Trump. They’ve been trashing American presidents since I worked for Reagan, that’s for sure, over in Europe. And then today he’s being mocked by the the academic elites. How does that play in flyover-state America and all these battleground states? How is that going to play?

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, I think the president thrives on it, first of all, and that's sort of his superpower. And I think that you're absolutely right. Middle America -- normal people do not kowtow and just love what these foreign leaders are saying, or disrespecting our president is really going to backfire on them. And I -- you know, I and many Americans love the fact that he's demanding accountability from these foreign -- the wealthy foreign powers who are refusing to pay their fair share, which is [unintelligible] all along.

Laura Ingraham: And that’s what he was doing in the beginning --

Harmeet Dhillon: Exactly right.

Laura Ingraham: In the beginning of that phone call with Zelensky, which gets overlooked, they were talking about the missiles and the Javelin missiles, and he said, “Well, and I’ve got to get those European countries -- they’ve got to be ponying up some more money,” the proximity of Ukraine to Europe obviously much closer than the proximity of the United States. John, one Democrat witness today compared Trump to a king, that tired old analogy, and -- can you imagine -- it wasn't in a complimentary way. Watch.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: When the president said, “Do us a favor,” he was using the royal “we” there. It wasn't a favor for the United States. He should have said, “Do me a favor,” because only kings say “us” when they mean “me.”

[end video clip]

John Eastman: You know --

Laura Ingraham: John, was Trump acting like a monarch on the July -- by the way, she seems extremely angry all the time, okay?

John Eastman: Probably because, you know, she --

Laura Ingraham: Angry, angry, bitter, bitter, angry, angry, bitter. That’s what she sounds like.

John Eastman: Because if Hillary had won the election she might have been on the Supreme Court. Who knows? But, look, this was almost as bad as her ridiculous comment about Barron Trump. The president's statement was, “Do us a favor because our country has been through a lot lately, and Ukraine knows something about it. We'd like to get to the bottom of that.” That has nothing to do with royal “we” or anything else. Maybe she didn't read the whole transcript; it’s short [laughs]. But what they're coming in there with is such a bias and an animosity and a venom against the president that they can't even think straight. I was invited to be a witness by the Republicans several weeks ago, and it got blocked, and I'm glad that they went with Jonathan Turley because he's been opposite me on -- he's been the Democrat go-to guy for decades on -- I testified with him at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing back in the Bush administration. He was on the opposite side to me. He did a tremendous job just kind of analyzing the legal analysis without the political bias in this thing. Kudos to him.

Laura Ingraham: I want to play something now -- this is also from Karlan, and we're going to skip forward. Excuse me, to my producers, because we’re going to go to something they're not expecting. She was asked about the timing of all this all, Sol, and if indeed it's so important, why the rush? Why are they rushing this forward? Didn’t have fact witnesses today; you had academic witnesses today. And she basically waved off any concern about rushing because of next year's election. Watch.

[begin video clip]

Pamela Karlan: I think the evidence to this point shows that the president is soliciting foreign involvement in our election. You need to act now to prevent foreign interference in the next election like the one we had in the past.

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: It's urgent; must act, because apparently Ukraine and Russia and China are all now helping Trump.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Sol Wisenberg: This is a real -- one of the real problems they have, which I thought Turley did a very good job with, is the rush. You know, they don't even know -- they haven't even written the articles of impeachment yet. The Intelligence Committee report that all of these three professors had read was not even prepared until 24 hours before the testimony. That's just unheard of, and I just think it hurts them, and they don't have a good explanation for it.

Laura Ingraham: AP reporting tonight that, though no date has been set, the Democrats are charging toward a Christmastime vote on removing the 45th president. That's going to go over well as people are stuffing stockings; coal for them, by the way. It's a starkly partisan undertaking, a situation Pelosi had hoped to avoid, Harmeet, but now seems inevitable. And by the way, they're throwing in Mueller. They might go back and throw Mueller into the mix as well. They must have watched my impeachment stew angle last night.

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, these are the wages of desperation, Laura. They don't have enough of any one theory, and even put together, they don’t have enough.

Laura Ingraham: It’s a grab bag. This is a grab-bag impeachment.

Harmeet Dhillon: It’s absolutely a grab bag, and the desperation shows. Look, as a trial lawyer, I could say in a real court these people would not be allowed to testify even as expert witnesses. They had no knowledge; we don't know what the facts are. They are unable to get beyond their bias; they are unable to cite the law that supports their positions, and it really shows. And Turley took the right approach, which is stepping back from their myopic vision and pointing out what harm these people are doing to the Constitution and to future Democratic presidents, by the way, because if these are the new rules, this is going to happen to every future president.

Sol Wisenberg: And I think, importantly, Turley says -- and I agree with him, by the way -- this was not a perfect phone call to him; he's disturbed by the phone call, as I am too. But guess what?

Laura Ingraham: I'm not at all disturbed by it.

Harmeet Dhillon: I'm not disturbed by it in this light.

Sol Wisenberg: I know -- I know you're not.

Laura Ingraham: In this light.

Sol Wisenberg: -- you're not. But -- but I am. And people -- the point is, people can disagree about that and still realize that this is not -- that you can't impeach a President of the United States a year before the election based on this event.

Laura Ingraham: [unintelligible]

Harmeet Dhillon: Well, they can vote him out if they don't like it, but there's still 11 --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, 11 -- 11 months from now.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Laura Ingraham: As I mentioned just a few moments ago, John, Nadler laid the groundwork -- you listen closely -- for resurrecting -- and people are going to think I'm -- this is ridiculous, like a fantasy -- the Mueller report from the grave. Watch.

[begin video clip]

[end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: John, Adam Schiff said this investigation is ongoing, by the way, over in the House Intel. So, this may be [unintelligible] rolling investigation. Maybe they'll get -- you know, keep it rolling until maybe not Christmastime. I'd kick it over to the new year and see how that works out for them.

John Eastman: Maybe we ought to look into Adam Schiff's actually digging out the phone records of ranking member Nunes and reporter John Solomon. I mean, this is an extraordinary violation of Constitutional rights that Adam Schiff has now admitted to. Look, Nadler and also Professor Carlin made this point, and it's a laughingstock point, that Trump invited Russia hacking when he said, "Hillary's destroyed the emails on her private server. Maybe we should ask the Russians for them." The notion that that -- they're making this into the big lie that he somehow invited the Russian hacking, which is just utter nonsense. He was making a laughable joke about Hillary keeping emails on a private server that every foreign government in the world had access to because it was unsecured. I mean, this is -- it's such -- it's -- it would be laughable if it wasn't so deadly serious. And what they're doing undermining this country. The president is over at a NATO meeting, and they're pulling this crap. I mean, this is -- this is stunning to me.

Laura Ingraham: But I think -- I will state again, anytime the president of the United States can be mocked the way he was by academic elites, one who looks he's right out of Nicholas Nickelby from like 1947, other who just seems really angry, and the other one is kind of flat and boring. I think most people watch this going, "Wait, how are the patriots doing?"

Harmeet Dhillon: That's right.

Laura Ingraham: What's going on with -- what's going on with that Saints game.

Harmeet Dhillon: Just the appearance of this, they did themselves no favors politically. Setting aside the content, who wants to hear professors prattle on with their --

Laura Ingraham: I mean, and, Sol, what I love is they're always undermining the framers or the founders, "a bunch of old dead white guys." And then like today, "Well, as George Washington --"

Harmeet Dhillon: It was a seance.

Laura Ingraham: " -- said in his farewell address."

Sol Wisenberg: Well, they're all originalists today.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yeah.

Sol Wisenberg: And so, I thought that was -- that was refreshing. But, look, politics aside, ideology aside, just the utter stupidity of the bringing Baron Trump in is just mind-boggling to me. I --

Laura Ingraham: Let me tell you, that's who she is.

Harmeet Dhillon: Yep, that's how she --

Laura Ingraham: That's who she is. That was a planned and choreographed line.

Harmeet Dhillon: That's right.

Laura Ingraham: That was a setup question. She knew she was going to say it. That was --

Harmeet Dhillon: She got lost, too. There were --

Laura Ingraham: She got applause on that.

Harmeet Dhillon: -- a lot of Democrats who thought it was a good idea.

Laura Ingraham: Absolutely.

Harmeet Dhillon: Of course, she did.

Sol Wisenberg: She rehearsed it at the --

Harmeet Dhillon: Of course, she did.

Sol Wisenberg: -- Stanford Law faculty room.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, exactly. Counselors --

Harmeet Dhillon: [unintelligible] back home.

Laura Ingraham: Thank you very much. Real legal eagles. Up next, two key moments from today's testimony that could have hurt the Democrats. A member of the Judiciary Committee and a manager during the Clinton impeachment will be here to respond. And cracks are forming in Pelosi's party over impeachment, and Henry says yes. He's here with exclusive reporting next.

[commercial break]

Laura Ingraham: Democrats are preparing to take the plunge. Sources telling Fox that Pelosi asked her caucus, "Are you ready? If you have a problem with impeachment, now is the time to speak up." Well, The Washington Post is reporting her caucus -- this is before the hearing today -- erupted with shouts of, "Yay, approval," when she said this. But are moderate Democrats really onboard? Joining me now with exclusive insight, Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry. He's also host of America's News Headquarters with Ed Henry. All right, Ed.

Ed Henry: Laura, good to see you.

Laura Ingraham: What are you -- what are you hearing from your sources tonight?

Ed Henry: Well, I talked to several senior Republicans tonight, and they told me they think this hearing went so poorly for the majority. The GOP leaders are now hopeful they're going to get even more Democrats voting no on actual articles of impeachment beyond the two Democrats who voted no on opening this inquiry last month. The only two Democrats to break with their party and vote no on opening the inquiry, remember, Colin Peterson of Minnesota, Jeff Andrew of New Jersey. Now, Peterson told Minnesota Public Radio at that time, "What I've said all along is that you can't do this with one party. It's not smart, it's not going to work. I think if this is handled incorrectly, it will re-elect Trump. That's what I think."

Well, Republicans tonight, including Jim Jordan, who I spoke to a few moments ago, think even more moderate Democrats from Trump-leaning districts will agree with that sentiment from Peterson and vote against articles because chairman Jerry Nadler today opened the door to drafting at least one article of impeachment based on the Mueller report. That article would be based on obstruction of justice charges that were never proven. Remember, Mueller decided to not even make a recommendation one way or the other. Jonathan Turley today also raised questions about the legitimacy of the impeachment probe by noting how quickly Democrats are rushing through it. He's called it "the shortest investigation producing the thinnest record of wrongdoing ever."

Peter Baker of the New York Times noted today that the House impeached President Bill Clinton 101 days after receiving the Starr report. We are now just 71 days after Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened up the inquiry. So, it’s likely to go faster than the Clinton inquiry. Interesting that even some in the mainstream media are raising questions today about the fairness of this. Major Garrett of CBS News said the image of three of the four witnesses being so strongly anti-Trump and then the Democrats largely skipping over Jonathan Turley, the fourth witness, because he didn’t agree with their narrative, Garrett said it’s something that may stick with independent voters, wondering why Democrats decided to stack the witness table. That if they’re so sure of their narrative, they’re so sure that they have the president on impeachment, they would be willing to test it before dissenting voices. Instead, it seems like Democrats are sticking to their narrative, Laura.

Laura Ingraham: Ed, fascinating. It did look like a bit of a pig pile and it was three against one. And I think people always like the underdog there. But he came across as very credible, I thought. Thanks so much, Ed.

Male Speaker: Good to see you.

Laura Ingraham: All right. There was an important moment involving GOP witness Jonathan Turley that did expose how impeachment norms recognized during past inquiries have been just completely abandoned. Turley made a distinction between this impeachment effort and those involving Nixon and Clinton.

[begin video clip]  Jonathan Turley: Those were not just proven crimes. They were accepted crimes. That is even the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee agreed that Bill Clinton had committed perjury. In the case of Nixon, the crimes were established. No one seriously disagreed with those crimes.  [end video clip]  Laura Ingraham: Joining me now is Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner of the Judiciary Committee. He also served as a House impeachment manager. I remember this well because I was interviewing him then when I was on another network during all that -- all those shenanigans back then. Congressman, now, you’re one of the few sitting members of Congress who can speak to the last two impeachment efforts. What are your thoughts on what we saw today?

Jim Sensenbrenner: It was a farce and a sham. The Democrats keep on re-defining what a high crime and misdemeanor is. Remember, this all started out with the president asking President Zelensky, “Will you do me a favor?” Now, that, now, has become abuse of power, asking somebody to do them a favor. Now, you compare that with the Nixon impeachment and the Clinton impeachment where there are actual crimes that were alleged. And both Kenneth Starr and the independent counsel in the Nixon impeachment outlined what crimes there were. Donald Trump has committed no crime. And they want to impeach him because he asked Zelensky to do him a favor. What a joke.  Laura Ingraham: Pam Karlan, professor at Stanford University Law School, one of the top law schools in the United States, made this comment about abuse of power. Watch.

[begin video clip]  Pam Karlan: Drawing a foreign government into our elections is an especially serious abuse of power because it undermines democracy itself.  [end video clip]

Jim Sensenbrenner: Undoing an election a year before the next election undoes democracy. Sixty-three million people voted for Donald Trump. He was duly elected. And this cabal, which includes Nadler and Schiff, right from the time took his hand off the Bible and started his speech saying, “The impeachment starts now.” And the lawyer for the so-called whistleblower called it a “coup.” Well, democracies don’t have coups. And I think we’re protecting democracy by saying, “Hey, a high crime and misdemeanor has got to mean something rather than this moving target based on focus groups that the Democrats are using.”  Laura Ingraham: But she keeps saying, as you heard in the sound bite, that the president was drawing foreign powers into the U.S. election. At one point, as I played in the angle, she’s referencing the Chinese, the Russians, and the Ukrainians. So, to draw foreign interference into an American election, that’s a classic definition of abuse of power.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, I don’t think the president was doing that. With Ukraine, we have a mutual legal assistance treaty. And Joseph Biden -- and he was bragging about the fact that he held up a billion dollars of aid to Ukraine unless they fired the prosecutor within six hours. You know, he was doing something that was more abusive when he was vice president than Donald Trump has ever been alleged to. Now, we have this MLAT with Ukraine, which means that if Ukraine has evidence of any violation of law by a U.S. citizen, they are to cooperate with us and vice versa. Now, it’s not just, again, the prosecutor fired. You know, there are questions about Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and Frauds Act --

Laura Ingraham: Well, apparently, the Democrats want to throw all that out the window now. That we’re supposed to just write checks to foreign governments of foreign countries regardless of corruption, despite the fact that Fiona Hill is supposed to be the be all and end all of stopping corruption in any foreign country. So, that’s the thing that’s amazing. If you’re running for office in a future presidential election, and you do something that is perhaps not kosher when you were vice president, then you can never be investigated. Apparently, you can never have questions asked about you. It’s full immunity. That’s what’s amazing to me.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, it is amazing. And if Joe Biden were not running for vice president, he better lawyer up because he’d be in big trouble.  Laura Ingraham: Noah Feldman from Harvard Law School had clerked for Justice Souter. I clerked for Thomas, my little -- in my view, a better justice. But he was up there saying that the fact that the White House would not turn over a single document, or email, or text message, or appear demonstrates obstruction of Congress, obstruction of justice that is very, very serious. Let’s watch.

[begin video clip]  Noah Feldman: A president who says, as this president did say, “I will not cooperate in any way, shape, or form with your process,” robs a coordinate branch of government; he robs the House of Representatives of its basic constitutional power of impeachment.

[end video clip]

Jim Sensenbrenner: Why should anybody turn over documents to a group of people that have wanted from day one to kick you out of office and to reverse what the voters decided in the 2016 election? You know, there’s lots of occurring prior [spelled phonetically] privilege. There is lots of executive privilege involved in that.

Laura Ingraham: But did you hear that he says it “robs you in the House of your constitutional prerogative?”

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, the president has constitutional prerogatives, too. But Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff really don’t care about them.  Laura Ingraham: When I watched this today, it reminded me of why law school should have been, like, one year, okay [laughs]? Because --

Jim Sensenbrenner: [laughs]

Laura Ingraham: -- you had to sit there and be lectured by people. What was it like in the room?

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, what it was like in the room?

Laura Ingraham: Nadler was dozing off at one point. We caught him. We caught him on camera.

Jim Sensenbrenner: Well, this was, like, an eight-and-a-half-hour law school lecture.  Now, I graduated from law school over 50 years ago and was admitted to the Wisconsin bar. I didn’t expect going to Congress would send me back to law school. I went to law school today and the, at least, the three Democrat witnesses, you know, simplified everything on major constitutional issues.  Laura Ingraham: Do you think there's buyer’s remorse from some of the moderate Democrats? You probably speak across party, you know, across a partisan aisle every now and then with them. What’s your sense?

Jim Sensenbrenner: Oh, there sure is buyer’s remorse. Because the 31 Democrats who represent districts that Trump carried in the ’16 election think that because Nancy Pelosi is leading the lemmings off the cliff, you know, they’re going to be ones that are not going to be re-elected. Because I think that the defining issue in the 2020 election is the overreach that Pelosi, and Schiff, and Nadler have done on impeachments. We need to have Adam Schiff appear. You know, he wrote the report that the Democrats are using. Nadler had Robert Mueller appear to present his report. If Mueller can do that, why can’t Schiff?

Laura Ingraham: Congressman, have a good holiday if I don’t see you and --

Jim Sensenbrenner: And Merry Christmas to you.

Laura Ingraham: All right. Merry Christmas. All right, coming up, a revealing analysis of how the witnesses’ style might have impacted their arguments today. And the First Lady under fire yet again for her wardrobe. I kid you not. Raymond Arroyo joins me next with all the details, seen and unseen.

[commercial break]

Laura Ingraham: It’s time for our Seen and Unseen segment, where we expose the big cultural stories of the day; the style of the impeachment witnesses; and it must be Christmas, because the media -- they’re hitting the First Lady again. Joining us with all the details, unsavory as they are, Raymond Arroyo, FOX News contributor. Raymond, you notice the style of today’s impeachment witnesses?

Raymond Arroyo: I did.

Laura Ingraham: Why is that so important with all the Founders being cited?

Raymond Arroyo: Because this impeachment is basically a political exercise, Laura.

Laura Ingraham: It’s a performance.

Raymond Arroyo: It is, and the Democrats are trying to win over the American people, the viewers, and they will never get to your substance if they can’t get past your style. Look at Harvard professor Noah Feldman, who adopted what I like to call the Charles Dickens fop approach.

[begin video clip]

Noah Feldman: My job is to study and to teach the Constitution from its origins until the present. The words “high crimes and misdemeanors” referred to abuse of the office of the presidency. Again, the words “abuse of office” are not mystical or magical. They are very clear. Shall any man be above justice?

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: He desperately needs to reach out to Masterpiece Theater. There -- somewhere there’s a Jane Austen villain just waiting for him to essay the role.

Laura Ingraham: Like Nicholas Nickleby from --

Raymond Arroyo: [laughs]

Laura Ingraham: -- [unintelligible] --

Raymond Arroyo: From the ’40s.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. It’s --

Raymond Arroyo: But he does favor that actor, Laura. But you can’t be that imperious and win people over sitting home, getting home from work in the afternoon.

Laura Ingraham: I’ve never liked --

Raymond Arroyo: That doesn’t work.

Laura Ingraham: -- a spread collar. What are those called?

Raymond Arroyo: Well, he just had a little --

Laura Ingraham: A little bit.

Raymond Arroyo: -- kind of odd demeanor. Then Stanford professor and liberal legal icon Pamela Karlan got indignant when Doug Collins questioned whether she read the 30-page Schiff report. She tried the “Can you hear me? I’m talking” approach.

Pamela Karlan: I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts. I’ve been giving a lot of money to charity recently because of all the poor people in the United States. I spent all of Thanksgiving vacation sitting there reading these transcripts. I don’t think --

Matt Gaetz: Show of hands?

Pamela Karlan: -- we’re obligated to say anything about how we cast --

Matt Gaetz: No, just show of hands. Pamela Karlan: -- our ballots.

[end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: You know, pleading yaps never work. That is a man’s idea of an audio nightmare watching that. I thought that today. Nobody likes to be yelled at --

Laura Ingraham: Hectored at.

Raymond Arroyo: -- and she kind of yelled and yapped through the whole proceeding.

Laura Ingraham: She was just very -- she’s unhappy.

Raymond Arroyo: But, Laura, this is not a fact-based inquiry. This is speculative legal reasoning. You’d better have a damn compelling style [unintelligible].

Laura Ingraham: You said 30-page Schiff report.

Raymond Arroyo: I meant 300.

Laura Ingraham: If only it were 30 pages.

Raymond Arroyo: Right?

Laura Ingraham: But, oh, she was -- “How dare you question me?”

Raymond Arroyo: Okay, we’ve got to get to Professor Michael Gerhardt of North Carolina Law. He perfected the tired insurance salesman pitch [snoring].

[begin video clip]

Michael Gerhardt: Our Framers’ generation pledged their lives and fortunes to rebel against a monarch whom they saw as corrupt, tyrannical, and entitled to do no wrong. The House Judiciary Committee in 1974 approved three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon, who resigned a few days later.  [end video clip]

Raymond Arroyo: Okay.

Laura Ingraham: What do you have? Oh, we’re back.

Raymond Arroyo: Jack --

Laura Ingraham: Sorry.

Raymond Arroyo: Oh, we’re back. I’m sorry.

Laura Ingraham: Well, it’s nearly Christmas, and the First Lady unveiled the White House Christmas decorations this year, and, well, amazingly, the media is not attacking the decorations as they have in the years past, but they are attacking --

Raymond Arroyo: Her jacket.

Laura Ingraham: [laughs]

Raymond Arroyo: Yeah, the Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan called the jacket ridiculous, writing, “But more than a silly fashion folly, the coat is a distraction. It’s a discomforting affectation taken to a ludicrous extreme. That simple flourish exudes cold, dismissive aloofness.” This --

Laura Ingraham: Oh, she’s such a hater. She’s such a hater, that Robin Givhan.

Raymond Arroyo: We are now politicizing a jacket thrown over the First Lady’s shoulders. What -- this -- by the way, Laura, the political venom that they hurl at this First Lady --

Laura Ingraham: I know. Barron Trump --

Raymond Arroyo: -- it’s unbelievable.

Laura Ingraham: Today, it was Barron Trump by Karlan, and I’m sorry, her apology is not accepted. Barron Trump, and then Melania’s coat. They’ve been hating on Melania the whole time.

Raymond Arroyo: At least they left the decorations alone.

Laura Ingraham: But it’s the same writer -- I think we wrote about it in the Obama Diaries.

Raymond Arroyo: This is --

Laura Ingraham: What did she say?

Raymond Arroyo: -- the same writer, Laura, who praises Michelle Obama. She could show up in a shower curtain; she’d get Karlan’s [unintelligible].

Laura Ingraham: Cargo shorts.

Raymond Arroyo: During her recent book tour, Obama wore this, and Givham wrote, “Michelle Obama can wear whatever she wants now,” that “what she wants now is sparkly thigh-high boots. It wasn’t just an eye-catching ensemble. It was fashion, fashion” –

Multiple Speakers: Fashion.

Raymond Arroyo: Okay, I’m not going to comment on this. I’m not going to -- I’m not a fashion expert --

Laura Ingraham: Neither am I --

Raymond Arroyo: -- I’m not a fashion critic.

Laura Ingraham: -- Lord knows.

Raymond Arroyo: But I’m going to let the audience decide. What looks more fashion to you, and what looks like a silly fashion folly? Go.

Laura Ingraham: Well, I’m not a fashion expert, but I'll let the viewers decide.

Raymond Arroyo: I just -- I resent the idea, and I think Rachel Campos Duffy had it right earlier this week when she said, “Where are the other First Ladies coming out and defending” --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, where’s Laura Bush?

Raymond Arroyo: -- “this sisterhood” --

Laura Ingraham: Why isn’t Laura Bush speaking out?

Raymond Arroyo: Well, Laura Bush; Mrs. Carter. Any of these women should come forward and say, “You know what? First Ladies are off limits.” This woman spent from July to now decorating the White House.

Laura Ingraham: How many magazine covers has Melania been on? Michelle Obama --

Raymond Arroyo: I think one --

Laura Ingraham: -- was on everything.

Raymond Arroyo: I think one, and it was --

Laura Ingraham: People.

Raymond Arroyo: -- like -- I don’t know what it was. It was some -- you know, “Melania is leaving Trump” was probably on the cover --

Laura Ingraham: No, no, no.

Raymond Arroyo: -- because they love to --

Laura Ingraham: No, no, no.

Raymond Arroyo: -- you know, pitch that narrative.

Laura Ingraham: But that Robin Givhan is such a partisan hater [laughs] on -- she can’t stand Trump.

Raymond Arroyo: You know, but when you spend that time at the White House, there’s a gold -- there’s a tree for the Gold Star families.

Laura Ingraham: It’s beautiful.

Raymond Arroyo: It’s in the spirit of patriotism. Salute the holidays. Have a laugh.

Laura Ingraham: How the liberals have become --

Raymond Arroyo: Leave the First Lady alone.

Laura Ingraham: -- the killjoys of all time.

Raymond Arroyo: It’s --

Laura Ingraham: They are un-fun; they are un-funny. They take themselves so seriously, and all you people who obsess all day long about Trump, G-A-L. Get a life, okay? Raymond, thank you so much.

Raymond Arroyo: You’re welcome.

Laura Ingraham: And up next, the elites versus Trump, both at home and abroad. Dan Bongino and Chris Hahn debate it next.

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Laura Ingraham: Now, we first played that for you last night. But since then, it's gotten even better. A fantastic 24 hours for this president. First, he infuriated foreign elites for making them late to a cocktail party. That's why they were really mad. And then he was attacked by these unhinged partisan bitter, angry academics who think he should be impeached for a phone call.

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Laura Ingraham: Mm. I wonder whom the American people will side with. Here to debate, Dan Bongino, former secret service agent, Fox News contributor, author of "Exonerated," and Chris Hahn, former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer, host of The Aggressive Progressive podcast. Dan, I think this probably goes down as one of the top three or four best 24-hours for the president in the last six months.

Dan Bongino: Yeah, I mean, seriously, if it was legal, the president should cut a check to these three. I mean, they were like central casting characters out of like a movie about snobs like Bonfire of the Vanities really. I mean, Jerry Nadler -- I didn't think anybody could get more incompetent than Adam Schiff. But Jerry Nadler has rapidly proven me wrong. Let me make another point. Let's get away from the three snobby law school professors who thought it was funny to attack the president's teenage child. But, Laura, just on the other front, do you actually believe Democrats out there, that -- that Justin Trudeau and Macron, their dislike of the president is a negative for a mechanic in Pennsylvania or a coal miner in West Virginia? Good luck with that approach.

Laura Ingraham: All right.

Dan Bongino: You're making the same mistake you made in 2016.

Laura Ingraham: Dan, they hated Reagan. They called him Ronnie Ray Gun. They showed up by the hundreds of thousands in Germany when he made his final trip. I mean, these people couldn't stand Reagan. They can't stand most Republican presidents. Chris, looking at that panel today, okay, three against one. Now, that was -- that was cute. But do you really think -- take your -- take your Democrat hat off. Just visually, getting lectured by three liberal law professors is really what was going to tip the balance for the Democrats today?

Chris Hahn: Well, this is part of the impeachment process. It happens during Nixon's impeachment, it happened during the Clinton impeachment. In fact, two of these professors were on the panel during the Clinton impeachment to talk about the Constitutionality of impeachment.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, that was after. But that was after Starr.

Chris Hahn: And it went so bad --

Laura Ingraham: Yeah, that was after the Starr report came out, though.

Chris Hahn: Well, it went -- it went -- well, there is no Starr report. This is after the Schiff report.

Laura Ingraham: Right.

Chris Hahn: Right?

Laura Ingraham: That's the whole point.

Chris Hahn: So we're at the same moment in time. So -- so, it went so bad for Doug Collins, the ranking member today that the governor of Georgia appointed a woman whose husband donated to Hillary Clinton to the Senate seat that he wanted and the president wanted. That's how badly --

Laura Ingraham: No one can follow that.

Chris Hahn: -- he looked today at that hearing.

Laura Ingraham: All right. Nobody --

Chris Hahn: It's amazing.

Laura Ingraham: Nobody can follow that. Alright, let me tell you what -- what some of those in the Democrat party are saying about getting back to the -- the look of this spectacle today. Watch.

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Laura Ingraham: Dan, that's what Al Sharpton was saying about the next Democrat debate. There's going to be no person of color. About the debate, he said that. We played that last night on the show. Now Al Green saying this about the hearing today.

Dan Bongino: Well, first let me say Chris' point about Doug Collins was idiotic. I mean, Chris, you're usually smarter. That was the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Chris Hahn: Sure.

Dan Bongino: But secondly, why --

Chris Hahn: Sure.

Dan Bongino: -- warn Democrats --

Chris Hahn: [unintelligible] be there a hearing?

Dan Bongino: Now, far be it for me to give advice to Democrats. But, identity politics -- I've warned them a long time ago, my show and elsewhere, is inherently cannibalistic. It eventually eats itself in this endless search for new victims. And you're seeing it now, Laura. You're seeing the implosion in Hollywood. You're seeing Democrats now attack each other because you didn't have either a black or an Asian or a Hispanic law professor who was as snobby as the white law -- I mean, this is just absurd. It's ridiculous. This has been a total disaster for the Democrats.

Laura Ingraham: This was Major Garrett CBS talking about what the candidates are finding and what they're finding in going out into middle America asking voters what they care about.  [begin video clip] [end video clip]

Laura Ingraham: Get back to work, Chris. Any concerns there that this may be one big, huge backfire?

Chris Hahn: Well, the House has passed 400 bills, including 250 or so that were bipartisan bills, that are sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk. So, if anybody should get back to work, it's Mitch McConnell and the Senate who are just the graveyard to the legislation that the House of Representatives in a bipartisan fashion has passed. So, I agree. The Senate should get to work right now.

Laura Ingraham: Okay. So, you're fine with --

Chris Hahn: Call Mitch McConnell today and get him to work.

Laura Ingraham: -- USMCA. You're fine -- okay, you're fine with USMCA being stalled out, right? You're fine with that. Pelosi used to be for that, but you're fine with that. And by the way, the Senate is back to work. They confirmed four new federal judges today.

Chris Hahn: Yes. That's it. That's all they do.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. Trump dominates the federal courts.

Chris Hahn: All they do is what the Federalist Society wants them to do.

Laura Ingraham: Yeah. That's -- well, guess what?

Chris Hahn: It's like the Federalist Society of the Senate.

Laura Ingraham: We're better -- we're better at it. Our White House --

Dan Bongino: Chris has all the talking points tonight.

Laura Ingraham: -- counsel is better at it than your White House counsel was, and so that's why they're dominating on the federal courts.

Chris Hahn: Look --

Laura Ingraham: Gentlemen, thank you so much.

Chris Hahn: -- I am -- I am not going -- I'm not going to argue with that.

Laura Ingraham: Okay, good. Okay. Chalk one up to Cipollone. Alright, don't go away. I'll be answering your emails in tonight's Ingraham Inbox when we return.

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Laura Ingraham: Don’t you love that graphic? So catchy, “Ingraham’s Inbox.” Well, the first email tonight is from Jody. “My fear is that the Horowitz Report is going to a Comey/Clinton repeat, mistakes were made but no laws were broken. More deep state mumbo jumbo and no one held accountable. We’re really getting tired of this routine. Am I wrong, Laura?” I don’t know if you’re wrong. It probably won’t be everything you hoped for, but I bet there will be some choice nuggets within. Remember, he can’t prosecute, he can only kind of lay it at the feet of Durham. This from John and Andy. “Laura, politics did eventually find their way into our Thanksgiving dinner table and our conversations, as a result, I have fewer names to buy for on my Christmas list.” See? It works out for you. And finally, Ken writing, “Stop using the word, ‘great.’ Every Sean Hannity show is not ‘great,’ every guest is not ‘great,’ every panel is not ‘great.’ I implore you to stop.” That is a great idea. That’s all the time we have tonight. Send your thoughts to Ingraham Angle at And Shannon Bream with the Fox News at Night team, take it from here and we’ll have a terrific show. Shannon?

Shannon Bream: [laughs] Listen, I heard what you said at the top of the show. Every time someone asks me about going to law school, I say, “Don’t do it.” Is that bad?

Laura Ingraham: [laughs]  Shannon Bream: I’m just trying to save them.  Laura Ingraham: Think long and hard about it.  Shannon Bream: Yeah.  Laura Ingraham: That’s what I will tell them.