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Latest from Dan Potter

    LISTEN HERE It's a KRMG Morning News 8am In-Depth Hour on an Autumn Friday.  A day during which campuses across Green Country are awash in school colors. The football teams are wearing their jerseys to class, the cheerleaders are in their uniforms too and the entire school anticipates what's coming later.  It's a football Friday in Oklahoma. The second most holy day of the week between the beginning of September and early December. Tonight, tens of thousands of Oklahomans will watch their sons and grand-sons play a game that their dads and grandpas played.  Some will play with dreams of going on to play college ball and even in the NFL. Others will play knowing that this is just for now, just for fun. Either way, they will play hard, throwing their bodies and their heads into the game and onto their opponent and without a doubt, some of them will suffer concussions or even multiple concussions.  It used to be that you could chalk that up to being just part of the game. You got you 'bell rung'...you recovered...or, at least, you thought you did....and you got back in the game.  Now though, we know that those concussions, especially the repeated concussions suffered by many football players, take a horrible toll on the players' brains. They are prone to develop dark, dead splotches throughout the interior of their brains, and the resulting symptoms increase in severity until dementia sets in. It sets in way earlier in life than it ever should.  That condition has a name: CTE - Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  That's the name given to the disease by the man who discovered it: Dr. Bennet Omalu...the Nigerian-American Neuropathologist who discovered CTE while performing an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers Center Mike Webster in 2002.  That was 15 years ago. It's taken this long for Dr. Omalu's discovery to really sink in with players, their families and with organized football, both at the professional and scholastic level.
  • KRMG Morning News Host Dan Potter has perfected his barbecue ribs recipe. Plan to spend several hours cooking, but the results will be well worth it. Dan uses a Hasty-Bake, but you can use your favorite charcoal grill. Yes, charcoal. Ingredients Dry Rub, combine the following: 1 T. ground black pepper 2 t. cayenne pepper 2 T. chili powder 2 T. cumin 2 T. brown sugar 1 T. white sugar 1 T. ground oregano 4 T. paprika 2 T. salt 1 T. ground white pepper 3 T. celery salt 3 T. garlic powder Barbecued Ribs: 2 slabs of pork spare ribs Dry rub (see above) Your favorite BBQ sauce Heavy-duty aluminum foil large, brown paper grocery bag. (This is a key piece of equipment!) Instructions Trim an excess fat from the ribs. At least an hour before cooking, rub generous amounts of your dry rub onto each side of the ribs. You can leave the ribs at room temperature for an hour (plenty of time for the seasonings to mascerate)..any longer and you'll need to wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them. Start with a Hasty Bake grill that's free of any leftover ashes or coals. You'll need 40-50 charcoal briquettes. Push all of the coals to one side of the fire bed, Light the coals. While the grill is warming up, wrap two large handfuls of hickory chips in heavy duty aluminum foil. (You really don't need to soak the wood chips, but if it makes you feel better, go right ahead). Poke several holes in the top of the foil packet. Once the coals are ready, lay the foil-wrapped chips on top of the charcoal. Position the ribs on the grill, OPPOSITE the fire. Set the Hasty Bake fire bed in the “smoke” position and close the lid and side vents. After smoking the ribs for 30 minutes, open the side vents. By controlling air flow and adding coal from time-to-time, try to maintain a temperature around 200 degrees (F). Turn the ribs every half-hour for a total cooking time of about 4-6 hours. Signs of doneness include the meat starting to pull away from the bone. Grab a bone and twist it. If it almost turns in the meat...the ribs are done. Using your grill tongs, lift the slab of ribs. If they bend easily until they’re almost perpendicular to the grill, they’re done. KEY: IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKING THE RIBS OFF THE GRILL, COMPLETELY WRAP THEM IN HEAVY DUTY FOIL. PUT THE FOIL-WRAPPED RIBS IN THE BROWN PAPER SACK AND FOLD THE SACK TIGHTLY AROUND THE RIBS. ALLOW TO REST AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR AN HOUR OR MORE. Unwrap the ribs...swab 'em with the sauce of your choice and enjoy! Dan also makes his own barbecue sauce. Here’s the recipe. Ingredients 4 T. butter 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 t. paprika 1 T. ground black pepper 2 T. fresh lemon juice 1 t. dry mustard 1/2 t. Cayenne pepper sauce (Tabasco or your favorite) 1/2 t. salt 1/4 C. cider vinegar 1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce ½ C. brown sugar Instructions Heat butter in a medium sauce pan. Add onions and garlic. Saute until onions soften. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Cook over medium heat to blend flavors, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer and simmer uncovered until sauce thickens slightly...about 15-minutes. Stir in brown sugar, taste and adjust salt/pepper and brown sugar to taste.
  • A man calls 911 early Thursday morning, when he hears his neighbor firing a gun.Deputies arrived at a home near West 7th and South Denver, and confronted Michael Pointer.  They spoke with him and then left the property.A short time later, the victim was on Facebook and received a threatening message from Pointer. 'Because TCSO IS A BUNCH OF COWARDS...YOU SHOULD mind your (cuss word) business.'Pointer then went on to dare the victim to call for help again.Deputies say the suspect went back outside and started firing his rifle again.The neighbor took Pointer up on his dare and called 911.This time, he was taken into custody. Pointer's grandmother told deputies he was staying at her place, and was upset with his spouse.
  • You've most likely heard people refer to Tulsa as the 'meth capital of the world.' This week we got a look at new numbers that prove it The CNN Money map published this week tracks the number of contaminated meth labs found in each county in the US from 2004 to last year. Tulsa County had 949 labs. That's more than any other county in the country. Now, the narcotics agents tell us that we have made progress. The number of labs they're finding is actually slowly dropping because of new laws making it hard to get pseudoephedrine, one of the key ingredients in crank. But, even as they say it's improving, they will tell you we won't beat this problem until Sudafed is restricted to prescription-only.
  • According to Reuters, US Airways has made a formal merger proposal to American Airlines parent AMR Corp and its creditors that could value the combined airline at around $8.5 billion. Reuters quotes two sources close to the negotiations. Details of the merger proposal emerged as American Airlines pilots voted to ratify a new union contract on Friday. The new labor contract, approved by nearly three-quarters of the AMR pilots who voted, gives the Allied Pilots' Association a 13.5 percent equity stake in AMR.  
  • When you vote on November 6th, you’ll find more than just the names of candidates on the ballot. There are also six amendments to the state constitution to consider. See the ballot language for all 6 state questions on the Oklahoma Secretary of State's website. This week, KRMG is looking at what each of those ‘state questions’ proposes. Our guide is Heather Hope-Hernandez of the Tulsa Chapter of the League of Women Voters.   We begin with two questions which both deal with capping or eliminating certain kinds of property tax. State Questions 758 and 766: Limitations on property taxes State Question 758 would limit how much property taxes can be raised in any given year. 'Right now,' says Hope-Hernandez, 'increases are limited to 5% of fair cash value in  any taxable year. (SQ 758) will cap the increase to 3% for some property.' Specifically, homestead-exempted property and agricultural land. Hope-Hernandez tells KRMG the League of Women Voters hasn‘t taken a position for or against SQ 758. 'What we are saying is that people need to understand that our property taxes generally go to support common education and that's something to think about when they go to the polls.' State Question 766 also deals with property taxes. It would ban taxes on so-called intangible property, things like patents, inventions, trade secrets, brand names and custom computer software. Read more about State Question 758 and State Question 766 on Ballotpedia.org. State Question 759: Banning Affirmative Action SQ 759 would ban Affirmative Action in state hiring, college scholarships and state business, meaning it would prohibit special treatment based on race or sex in public employment, education and contracts.  The League of Women Voters is strictly non-partisan on candidates and political parties, but Hope-Hernandez says they do take positions on some public policy issues and this is one of them. 'That is a state question the League of Women Voters is opposing,' says Hope-Hernandez, 'The League of Women Voters has a long history of non-discrimination and we feel that Affirmative Action is still an important part of our society to help level the playing field.' Of course, many feel that Affirmative Action is a form of discrimination. 'And,' counters Hope-Hernandez, 'we would disagree with that.' Read more about State Question 759 on Ballotpedia.org Read why the League of Women Voters has taken a position against SQ 759. Read why the American Civil Rights Institute supports SQ 759. State Question 762: Removing the Governor from the parole process for non-violent offenders SQ 762 would take the Governor’s office out of the process of deciding which non-violent state prison inmates get parole. The Tulsa Chapter of the League of Women Voters has only taken a position on two of the state questions, this one included. 'The League of Women Voters supports passage of this one,' says Hope-Hernandez. 'By passing this, the State of Oklahoma will join all of the other states in the nation by removing the Governor and therefore politics, from the parole process.' This question has no organized opposition. Read more about State Question 762 on Ballotpedia.org Read the League of Women Voters position on SQ 762 State Question 764: Allows Oklahoma Water Resources Board to issue bonds Hope-Hernandez says the League of Women Voters has not taken a position on SQ 764. 'Proponents say that this is going to help increase the (board's) leveraging capacity by providing low-interest loans to local governments for water and sewer improvements. We're seeing that there are infrastructure issues all across the state and proponents are saying that this is going to help with those issues. 'Opponents are saying, bottomline, Oklahoma doesn't need to incur any additional debt.' The bonds issued by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board could not exceed $300 million. Read more about State Question 764 on Ballotpedia.org State Question 765: Public Welfare Department amendment 'It abolishes the Department of Human Services.' At least, as it currently exists. Hope-Hernandez says this amendment would move authority for the Human Services Department from the executive to the legislative branch. She says the legislature would then have to 'create a new entity to oversee state care of our neediest children and the aged. 'People who are for this say DHS is out of date and there have been scandals that show that it's not working. 'The opponents of this say that, despite these recent events, the system is not so broken as to require such drastic measures.' Read more about State Question 765 on Ballotpedia.org Additional resources: Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs: State ballot questions at a glance
  • The little ghosts and goblins won't be getting any tricks from Mother Nature this evening. News on 6 Meteorologist Travis Meyer says temperatures should be around 60 when the sun sets. Trav says the winds will be light and there's no chance of rain in the forecast. Temps will fall into the mid 50's by 10 o'clock. The unseasonably warm autumn weather will continue into the weekend with sunshine and daytime highs in the mid 70s. We have a slight chance for showers Saturday night into Sunday. Sunday will be cooler with a high of 66.
  • A young girl was home alone yesterday in Bryan County, Oklahoma when a stranger kicked in  the door of the house. This morning, the young girl is okay and the intruder is nursing a bullet wound. The 12-year-old first called her mom at work. Debra St. Clair told her daughter to get the family gun, go hide in a closet and call 911. The child did as she was told. 'What we understand right now, he was turning the doorknob when she fired through the door,' said the Bryan County Undersheriff Ken Golden. Deputies found the suspect at the end of the block, bleeding. 32-year-old Stacy Jones was treated at a hospital and is now in the Bryan County jail.
  • KRMG SCAM ALERT: If you're on Facebook a lot, you'll recognize this: A message from a friend warning that Facebook soon will no longer be free, unless you act now. Even Rick Brinkley with Tulsa's Better Business Bureau gets them from his friends. 'When I look at it, I know that they've clicked on something that has installed a virus that is now sending that to all of their friends.' Now, there's a new twist on this scam that's as old as Facebook. 'What is happening now,' says the BBB's Brinkley, 'is they're coming back with a second wave of  'join this organization, click here to sign-up to portest that you're not going to pay for Facebook and at that point it begins downloading viruses onto your computer.' He adds, that potentially is lifting private information off your computer. If you get one of these messages, the B-B-B says tell your friend and refer them to Facebook's common myths page. If you believe the message is spam, report it to Facebook. Here's the scam alert from the BBB: How the Scam Works: You spot a friend's post in your newsfeed saying that Facebook will start charging users a monthly fee. The latest version claims a new pricing structure will have different membership tiers, including a 'gold' level for $9.99 per month. However, the post says, you can avoid any fees by just sharing the message. Post it on your wall, and your 'icon will turn blue.' This color change will exempt you from the new charges. Of course, that won't happen, and neither will these new fees. The posts above are really more of an annoying hoax than an actual scam. The scam comes in when users, infuriated by the rumors, visit and/or join Facebook 'protest' groups. These pages have been known to contain viruses. Be extra careful of any links, Facebook applications or requests to download files/software on such pages. I've Found a Fake Facebook Post. What Should I Do?     Tell your friend! These posts circulate because users think they are doing their friends a favor by sharing them. Refer your friends to Facebook's common myths page for confirmation. If the message looks like spam, report it to Facebook. Check out Facebook Help Center's scam page for details.
  • The storms this weekend carry threats like large hail, damaging winds and even the potential for tornadoes. But, you are much more likely to be injured or killed by the threat that seems to get mentioned the least: lightning. On average, lightning kills 58 people a year in the U.S. and injures more than 300. 'Lightning just decided to find my umbrella.' It happened to Lynda Eubanks in 2004. She remembers a big blue flash. 'And, I remember, the hand that was holding my umbrella felt like it exploded. National Weather Service meteorologist Nicole McGavock says lightning can strike at least 10 miles ahead of a thunderstorm. McGavock says, 'No place outdoors is safe when there is lightning in the area.' So, if you can hear it, fear it. Eight years later, Lynda Eubanks still has lingering neurological effects. But, the most lasting effect is a respect for the power of lightning. 'You know, you just always have to be watching and you always have to be careful.' The National Severe Storms Laboratory offers these tips for surviving a lightning storm: While it is difficult to quantify lightning losses, it is estimated that $4-5 billion damage occurs each year. Likewise, the cost of lightning protection to safeguard critical equipment and facilities from lightning strikes during severe weather is enormous. According to the National Weather Service, during the past 30 years (1979-2008) lightning killed an average of 58 people each year. Documented injuries average about 300 per year, although undocumented injuries are likely to be much higher. Most casualties result from inappropriate behavior during thunderstorms, particularly when people are caught outdoors during recreation or organized sports. Being aware of - and following - proven lightning safety guidelines can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death. Cloud-to-ground lightning can kill and injure people by direct or indirect means. It is not known if all people are killed who are directly struck by the flash itself. The lightning current can branch off to a person from a tree, fence, pole, or other tall object. In addition, flashes may conduct their current through the ground to a person after the flash strikes a nearby tree, antenna, or other tall object. The current also may travel through power or telephone lines to a person who is in contact with electric appliances, tools, electronics, or a corded telephone. Lightning can also travel through plumbing pipes and water to a person in contact either with a plumbing fixture or a person in water, including bathtubs, pools, and the running water of a shower. Damage to the human body: Lightning affects the many electrochemical systems in the body. People struck by lightning can suffer from nerve damage, memory loss, personality change, and emotional problems. There is a national support group for lightning and electric shock survivors. An example is some single nerve cells, such as those extending from the brain to the foot, can be as long as 6 feet or more. These types of cells are most prone to lightning damage due to the instantaneous potential difference across the length of the cell as lightning begins to enter the body. The intense heat of the lightning stroke can turn sweat instantly to steam and the tremendous pressure of the steam has been known to blow people's boots, shoes, and clothing off them. In places where metal is in contact with or close proximity to the body, such as jewelry or belt buckles, burn marks are found. Likewise, burn marks are found in places where the body had been sweaty, such as the feet, underarms, and chest. The best defense is plan ahead and avoid exposure to lightning when a thunderstorm occurs. Know where safe shelter is located and leave enough time to reach safe shelter before your danger level is high. Don't be an isolated tall object, and don't be connected to anything that may be an isolated tall object.
  • Dan Potter

    Dan Potter came to KRMG as news director and morning news anchor in 2008. 

    In 2012, Dan was named host of the KRMG Morning News. Three years later, in 2015, he won the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award for Best Medium Market Radio Personality in the U.S. In fact, Dan is the recipient of dozens of honors from several broadcast news organizations. Most recently, he was honored as the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters’ 2019 Personality of the Year.

    The Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the Press Club of Dallas awarded him Best Newscast honors a total of 6 times. He was also elected to two consecutive terms as chairman of the Texas AP Broadcasters. 

    In Oklahoma, Dan has been honored with multiple awards from the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters, including two awards for Best Newscast. In 2013, the Tulsa Press Club awarded The KRMG Morning News top honors for Favorite News-Talk Morning Show while Dan was recognized for the Favorite Radio News-Talk Personality. Dan earned the national Edward R. Murrow Award for best large-market radio newscast from the Radio-Television News Directors Association in 2000. He was also part of the reporting team which won broadcast journalism’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, the DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, in 2003-2004.

    In his radio journalism career, Dan has witnessed history. He anchored continuous coverage of the 9-11 attacks, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and others, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Branch Davidian siege and the demise of the space shuttle Columbia over North Texas. He also reported live from the inauguration of President George W. Bush in 2001. He’s interviewed everyone from presidential candidates to Senators, from the First Lady to chefs and celebrities. 

    Away from the studio, Dan is celebrity in the world of competitive marching bands and world class drum corps as a stadium announcer and media personality for Drum Corps International and Bands of America. 

    Dan and his wife Martha live in midtown Tulsa with two spoiled dogs and lots of pictures of their 4 kids and one grandchild.

    Read More
  • A judge has ruled that a three percent assessment levied on hotels of 110 rooms or larger in Tulsa violates state law, but the dispute between hoteliers who support the city's Tourism Improvement District and those who oppose it will likely continue. Tulsa County District Court Judge Linda Morrissey ruled last week that the city ordinance which created Tulsa's TID violated state law. She says the statute specifies TIDs must include all hotels of 50 rooms or larger. Attorney Kyden Creekpaum, who represents Tulsa Hotel Partners, LLC defended the ordinance in court, while the city largely sat mute. He argues that the intent of the statute specifies no such thing. [Hear Part One of the KRMG In Depth Report on the TID, with attorney Kyden Creekpaum] The actual law reads: “Without limiting or expanding the preceding sentence or any other provision of this act, such a district may be comprised of a designated geographical area within the municipality and limited to only those properties within such geographical area on which a hotel or motel having 50 or more rooms available for occupancy is located, if the sole purpose of the district is to provide marketing services for private or public events reasonably calculated to increase occupancy and room rates for such properties as a class.” Lee Levinson is one of the owners of the Aloft Hotel downtown, as well as an attorney who argued against the TID in court. [Hear Part Two of the KRMG In Depth Report on the TID, with attorney Lee Levinson] He tells KRMG that he welcomes the ruling, and accepts the finding of the court regarding the state statute. But the real issue for himself and those who sued the block the ordinance, he said, was transparency. Most of the seats on the board that would spend the TID money belonged to Visit Tulsa, the travel and tourism entity which is a branch of the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce. “Had there been a TID where the hoteliers, including the Aloft, would have had control of the TID, where we had the voting control,  and we could decide where the money was spent, and had transparency - know where it was - that TID probably would have passed,” Levinson said. “They could have got support.” Creekpaum said the issue may well end up back in court. “Well, we're definitely pursuing all of our options, we're planning to continue this fight,” he said. “I mean, it's not over here.”
  • Seventeen more people in central China have been diagnosed with a new form of viral pneumonia that has killed two patients and placed other countries on alert as millions of Chinese travel for Lunar New Year holidays. In total, 62 cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in the city of Wuhan, where the virus appears to have originated. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the new cases in a statement Sunday.  Nineteen of those individuals have been discharged from the hospital, while two men in their 60s — one with severe preexisting conditions — have died from the illness. Eight are in critical condition. At least a half-dozen countries in Asia and three U.S. airports have started screening incoming airline passengers from central China. The list includes Thailand and Japan, which have together reported three cases of the disease in people who had come from Wuhan. In the most recently diagnosed group, ages ranged between 30 and 79, Wuhan’s health commission said. Their initial symptoms were fever and cough. The health commission’s statement did not say whether these patients had visited the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which has been suspended after many infected individuals reported having either worked at or visited the venue.
  • In a 171 page submission made to the U.S. Senate on Monday, President Donald Trump's legal team said the impeachment charges submitted by the House do not identify any violations of criminal law and should immediately by dismissed by Senators. 'The articles should be rejected and the President should immediately be acquitted,' the legal brief states, arguing the charge of 'abuse of power' does not state an impeachable offense - even though that charge was drawn up by the House in 1974 against President Richard Nixon. 'House Democrats’ novel conception of “abuse of power” as a supposedly impeachable offense is constitutionally defective,' the Trump brief states. 'It supplants the Framers’ standard of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” with a made-up theory that the President can be impeached and removed from office under an amorphous and undefined standard of 'abuse of power.'' On the question of whether President Trump held back military aid for Ukraine while pressing the Ukraine government to announce investigations related to Joe Biden and his son, the White House legal team says there is no evidence to support those claims. 'The most important piece of evidence demonstrating the President’s innocence is the transcript of the President’s July 25 telephone call with President Zelenskyy,' the trial brief states, referring to the call which President Trump has repeatedly said was 'perfect.' 'President Trump did not even mention the security assistance on the call, and he certainly did not make any connection between the assistance and any investigation,' the White House legal team states, without mentioning that a hold was put on the aid to Ukraine 90 minutes after that phone call concluded on July 25, 2019. From the White House on Monday, the President tweeted out his familiar opposition to the impeachment trial, continuing to characterize the House impeachment process as unfair. Minutes after the White House filed its trial brief, Democrats in the House responded to his initial 'answer' to the Senate trial summons. 'The House denies each and every allegation and defense in the Preamble to the Answer,' the nine page response began. 'He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit,' referring to the President's interactions with the leader of Ukraine.  'President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment,” the House reply added. “That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong,' the House concluded.
  • Police in Oklahoma City say that for the second time in a month there was gunfire inside a northwest Oklahoma City mall.  Police said there were no serious injuries, although one person suffered a minor shrapnel wound when gunfire erupted just before 8 p.m. Saturday near the theater inside Penn Square Mall, police said. Police Lt. Michelle Henderson said two off-duty officers working security in the mall chased the male suspect out of the mall and the man escaped. No arrests had been announced Sunday morning. A Dec. 19 shooting near a shoe store in the mall left one man wounded and another man in custody on an assault and battery charge.
  • In the first legal submissions of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Democrats on Saturday said the President had violated his oath and should be removed from office, while the White House denounced the impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as 'constitutionally invalid.' In their 111 page legal brief, Democrats said the President had abused his power by trying to pressure the government of Ukraine into announcing investigations against Joe Biden, all in an effort to help Mr. Trump's 2020 re-election bid. Democrats said the very public effort by President Trump to block top White House officials from testifying before Congress - as they defied subpoenas for the impeachment investigation - was a violation of the Constitution. 'In exercising its responsibility to investigate and consider the impeachment of a President of the United States, the House is constitutionally entitled to the relevant information from the Executive Branch concerning the President's misconduct,' Democrats wrote. 'The Framers, the courts, and past Presidents have recognized that honoring Congress’s right to information in an impeachment investigation is a critical safeguard in our system of divided powers,' that trial brief added. In their initial answer to the Senate summons for this impeachment trial, the White House delivered a seven page legal rebuke to Democrats. 'The Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime of violation of law whatsoever,' wrote White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and the President's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow. 'In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote,' the President's legal team concluded. 'The notion that President Trump obstructed Congress is absurd,' said sources close to the President's legal team. The White House has until 12 noon on Monday to file a trial brief to the Senate; Democrats would have until 12 noon on Tuesday to file a rebuttal. The Senate will reconvene as a court of impeachment on Tuesday afternoon. Senators must still approve rules to govern the first phase of the trial. Senate Republicans have said they would base that rules plan on one approved by the Senate for the start of the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999. That rules resolution gave each side 24 hours to make their opening arguments - which would likely be split up over three or more days on the Senate floor. Like 1999, it's possible the Senate may also take an early vote to dismiss the case entirely, an outcome preferred by President Trump.

Washington Insider

  • In a 171 page submission made to the U.S. Senate on Monday, President Donald Trump's legal team said the impeachment charges submitted by the House do not identify any violations of criminal law and should immediately by dismissed by Senators. 'The articles should be rejected and the President should immediately be acquitted,' the legal brief states, arguing the charge of 'abuse of power' does not state an impeachable offense - even though that charge was drawn up by the House in 1974 against President Richard Nixon. 'House Democrats’ novel conception of “abuse of power” as a supposedly impeachable offense is constitutionally defective,' the Trump brief states. 'It supplants the Framers’ standard of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” with a made-up theory that the President can be impeached and removed from office under an amorphous and undefined standard of 'abuse of power.'' On the question of whether President Trump held back military aid for Ukraine while pressing the Ukraine government to announce investigations related to Joe Biden and his son, the White House legal team says there is no evidence to support those claims. 'The most important piece of evidence demonstrating the President’s innocence is the transcript of the President’s July 25 telephone call with President Zelenskyy,' the trial brief states, referring to the call which President Trump has repeatedly said was 'perfect.' 'President Trump did not even mention the security assistance on the call, and he certainly did not make any connection between the assistance and any investigation,' the White House legal team states, without mentioning that a hold was put on the aid to Ukraine 90 minutes after that phone call concluded on July 25, 2019. From the White House on Monday, the President tweeted out his familiar opposition to the impeachment trial, continuing to characterize the House impeachment process as unfair. Minutes after the White House filed its trial brief, Democrats in the House responded to his initial 'answer' to the Senate trial summons. 'The House denies each and every allegation and defense in the Preamble to the Answer,' the nine page response began. 'He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreign partner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit,' referring to the President's interactions with the leader of Ukraine.  'President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment,” the House reply added. “That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong,' the House concluded.
  • In the first legal submissions of President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Democrats on Saturday said the President had violated his oath and should be removed from office, while the White House denounced the impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress as 'constitutionally invalid.' In their 111 page legal brief, Democrats said the President had abused his power by trying to pressure the government of Ukraine into announcing investigations against Joe Biden, all in an effort to help Mr. Trump's 2020 re-election bid. Democrats said the very public effort by President Trump to block top White House officials from testifying before Congress - as they defied subpoenas for the impeachment investigation - was a violation of the Constitution. 'In exercising its responsibility to investigate and consider the impeachment of a President of the United States, the House is constitutionally entitled to the relevant information from the Executive Branch concerning the President's misconduct,' Democrats wrote. 'The Framers, the courts, and past Presidents have recognized that honoring Congress’s right to information in an impeachment investigation is a critical safeguard in our system of divided powers,' that trial brief added. In their initial answer to the Senate summons for this impeachment trial, the White House delivered a seven page legal rebuke to Democrats. 'The Articles of Impeachment are constitutionally invalid on their face. They fail to allege any crime of violation of law whatsoever,' wrote White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and the President's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow. 'In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote,' the President's legal team concluded. 'The notion that President Trump obstructed Congress is absurd,' said sources close to the President's legal team. The White House has until 12 noon on Monday to file a trial brief to the Senate; Democrats would have until 12 noon on Tuesday to file a rebuttal. The Senate will reconvene as a court of impeachment on Tuesday afternoon. Senators must still approve rules to govern the first phase of the trial. Senate Republicans have said they would base that rules plan on one approved by the Senate for the start of the Clinton impeachment trial in 1999. That rules resolution gave each side 24 hours to make their opening arguments - which would likely be split up over three or more days on the Senate floor. Like 1999, it's possible the Senate may also take an early vote to dismiss the case entirely, an outcome preferred by President Trump.
  • With opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump expected to begin in coming days, the White House on Friday unveiled a team of legal experts including former Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz to defend the President on Capitol Hill. 'President Trump has done nothing wrong and is confident that this team will defend him, the voters, and our democracy from this baseless, illegitimate impeachment,' White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a written statement. 'The President looks forward to the end of this partisan and unconstitutional impeachment,' Grisham added. The Trump legal team members will join White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and the President's personal lawyer Jay Sekulow in defending Mr. Trump. Here is the list provided by the White House: + Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel, Whitewater investigation + Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School + Pam Bondi, Former Attorney General of Florida + Jane Serene Raskin, Private Counsel to President Donald J. Trump + Eric D. Herschmann, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres LLP + Robert Ray, Former Independent Counsel. While Dershowitz is a famous legal mind, Starr is the more political figure, given that his Whitewater investigation launched the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1999. And his appearance immediately drew the evil eye from allies of the former President. Democrats mocked the choices. 'If President Trump is looking to turn the impeachment trial into a reality TV show, he chose the right team with Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr, and Robert Ray,' said Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). But this is the U.S. Senate, not the People's Court.  'Well, that's their choice,' Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said of Starr during a Friday interview on MSNBC. 'But it's a weird choice.' The choice of Starr also drew a profane response from Monica Lewinsky, who was the focus of Starr's investigation. The Senate impeachment trial resumes on Tuesday with votes expected on the rules to govern the initial phase of the Trump impeachment trial.
  • President Donald Trump said Thursday that he did not know Lev Parnas, an indicted business associate of Rudy Giuliani who claims the President knew all about Giuliani's efforts to oust the U.S. Ambassador in Ukraine, as well as behind the scenes work to get Ukraine to announce investigations related to Joe Biden, in order to help Mr. Trump's 2020 re-election bid. 'I don't know him. I don't know Parnas,' the President said a number of times to reporters at the White House. 'I don't know him at all. Don't know what he's about,' Mr. Trump added. But in interviews with MSNBC, CNN, and the New York Times, Parnas has said the President is not telling the truth about his efforts to put pressure on the leader of Ukraine. Documents and electronic messages provided by Parnas to the House Intelligence Committee in recent days included a letter that Rudy Giuliani wrote in May 2019, asking for a meeting with the newly-elected Ukraine President, in which Giuliani said he was 'private counsel to President Donald J. Trump.' 'I don't know anything about the letter,' President Trump said, praising Giuliani's time as mayor but not addressing what he did for Trump in Ukraine with Parnas and others. Also denying any knowledge of Parnas's claims was Vice President Mike Pence. 'I don’t know the guy,' Pence told reporters during a visit to Florida on Thursday, as the Vice President said the claim by Parnas that Pence knew about pressure being put on the Ukraine leader was 'completely false.' Democrats used those denials to question why Pence's office has refused to declassify further impeachment answers from a State Department official detailed to his office. Some Democrats have raised the possibility of asking to hear testimony from Parnas in the Trump impeachment trial, though any request for witness testimony must get a majority of Senators. As of now, most Republicans remain hotly opposed to any new witnesses, arguing the Senate should not have to find evidence which the House did not uncover. 'That's not our job,' said Sen. David Perdue (R-GA). 'Our job is to look at what they brought us and decide if that rises to the level of impeachment.' Perdue was part of the ceremonial first day of the Senate impeachment trial - just the third time a President has faced such a challenge in U.S. history. Opening arguments will take place next Tuesday.
  • Just before the official start of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday that the White House had broken federal law by withholding over $200 million in military aid for Ukraine, as Democrats said the new findings should be aired before the Senate in coming days. 'Faithful executive of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,' wrote Thomas Armstrong, the General Counsel of the GAO. Democrats immediately latched on to the government watchdog opinion to reinforce their impeachment arguments. 'This is an important ruling that deserves a thorough hearing in the impeachment trial,' said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the floor of the Senate. 'GAO confirmed the President broke the law,' said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer. 'When President Trump froze congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, he did so in violation of the law and the Constitution,' said Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT). 'The GAO has confirmed what we’ve always known: President Trump abused his power,' said Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME). 'Another fact for the Senate to consider.' 'The hold Trump ordered was illegal,' said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). The law in question is known as the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974,' which was passed after President Nixon had refused to release money approved by Congress.