A House Judiciary Committee lawyer has raised the possibility of additional articles of impeachment against President Trump if the House uncovers new evidence that Trump attempted to obstruct investigations of his actions. The possibility was raised in a court filing Monday amid a legal battle over whether the Democrats can force former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify. McGahn was special counsel Robert Mueller’s central witness, and his testimony could relate to whether Trump tried to obstruct the Mueller investigation. The House has already impeached Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.
This is not the first time some Democratic lawmakers have raised the prospect of additional articles — among them, Democratic Texas Congressmember Al Green, who in 2017 was the first congressmember to call for President Trump’s impeachment from the floor of the House of Representatives. This is Congressmember Green speaking on Democracy Now! last week.
Rep. Al Green: “We have brought these articles of impeachment dealing with the bigotry, the hatred, the homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, all of the invidious phobias, the anti-Semitism. We brought three articles of impeachment addressing these things, understanding, of course, that the House of Representatives went so far as to condemn the president for his racist comments. But that wasn’t enough. Condemnation was, at best, impeachment-lite. If Andrew Johnson could be impeached, in Article 10 of the articles of impeachment against him, for reasons rooted in his hatred, his bigotry and racism, this president can be impeached for these reasons, as well.”
Boeing has fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg amid ongoing controversy engulfing the company over its troubled 737 MAX passenger jet. Earlier this month, Boeing halted production of the jet, following outrage over two crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed all 346 people on board. On Monday, Boeing tapped David Calhoun as the new CEO. Calhoun previously worked at Blackstone, Nielsen and General Electric.
The New York Times reports the Pentagon is considering withdrawing many, if not all, of the U.S. troops stationed in West Africa. The potential pullout could include withdrawing U.S. troops from a newly built drone base in Niger and ending U.S. support to French forces fighting in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The shift could be announced as early as January. It’s part of Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s efforts to shift away from the United States’ post-9/11 “war on terror.” There are currently 6,000 to 7,000 U.S. troops deployed across Africa.
In Syria, up to 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the northwestern province of Idlib amid an intensification of the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive there. About 3 million people currently live in Idlib province, which has been bombarded by Russian and Syrian airstrikes for months. Increasingly heavy fighting in recent days has forced tens of thousands of people to flee toward the Turkish border, as the Syrian government seeks to seize control of one of the last territories held by anti-government rebels. Humanitarian groups say dozens of Syrian civilians have been killed in the past week alone.
In China, leaders from Japan, China and South Korea are meeting today in the southwestern city of Chengdu to discuss regional cooperation and reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The meeting comes as North Korea has threatened the United States with a “Christmas gift” if the U.S. doesn’t lift the economic sanctions against North Korea. During today’s meeting, South Korean President Moon Jae-in encouraged North Korea and the U.S. to work toward peace.
President Moon Jae-in: “We agreed that peace on the Korean Peninsula was in the common interest of the three countries. We also agreed to make efforts together to help promote North Korea-U.S. dialogue for denuclearization and peace.”
In Canada, indigenous communities are condemning the Canadian government after it was revealed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police prepared for the potential use of lethal force against indigenous land defenders resisting the construction of a natural gas pipeline on the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s ancestral land in British Columbia. The Guardian first revealed the documents in which commanders of Canada’s national police force argued “lethal overwatch is required” — a term for deploying snipers. The preparations came ahead of a police raid last January against a protest encampment where indigenous groups have been fighting the Coastal GasLink pipeline. In response to the revelations, the grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs in Canada said, “This form of state violence is happening to indigenous peoples around the world. It is disheartening to know that, even in Canada, this same type of planned violence is still being considered against First Nations.”
President Trump met with accused war criminal Eddie Gallagher, a month after Trump overruled his own military leaders and granted clemency to three U.S. servicemembers who have been accused or convicted of war crimes — including Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Instagram photos show the two meeting at Trump’s private resort Mar-a-Lago in Florida over the weekend. Gallagher has been accused of multiple war crimes, including shooting two Iraqi civilians and fatally stabbing a captive teenager in the neck. Gallagher was convicted of posing with the teenage corpse, but acquitted of premeditated murder.
In Maryland, a 56-year-old Nigerian man died in while in ICE custody — that’s the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency — on Saturday. ICE says Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi’s death is under investigation but that the cause appears to be death by suicide. On Monday, Democrats with the House Oversight and Reform Committee sent letters to immigration officials demanding documents related to the mounting number of deaths of migrants in the custody of U.S. immigration agencies. Hours later, hundreds of protesters rallied in Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Portland, Oregon, on the second night of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, to protest against migrant detention. The protests were organized by the Jewish group Never Again, which draws parallels between the Holocaust and the situation facing immigrants today.
In more immigration news, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has pardoned Ingrid Encalada Latorre, who has taken sanctuary in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder while fighting her deportation to Peru. The governor’s pardon means her immigration case can now be reopened and her deportation order reconsidered. Encalada Latorre is one of four women in sanctuary in Colorado. The others are Araceli Velasquez, Rosa Sabido and Jeanette Vizguerra, who was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017 for her work as an immigration activist.
Former Black Panther Robert Seth Hayes has died at the age of 72. Hayes was born in Harlem in October 1947, the grandson of sharecroppers. He was drafted into the Vietnam War and was awarded a Purple Heart. Hayes joined the Black Panther Party after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. He worked in the party’s free medical clinics and free breakfast programs. In 1973, he was convicted of the killing of a New York City transit officer, which he has always denied. Hayes was released from prison on parole last year, after 45 years behind bars, making him one of the longest-held political prisoners in the United States. He died on Saturday morning at his home in New York.