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When asked if it’s appropriate to meet with senators during the trial, Schoen said, “Oh yeah, I think that’s the practice of impeachment.”

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A trio of Republican senators allied with former President Donald Trump met with his defense team Thursday evening, in the middle of an impeachment trial in which they will vote on whether to convict Trump and potentially bar him from holding public office again.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were spotted going into a room in the US Capitol that Trump’s lawyers were using to prepare for their arguments.
Trump lawyer David Schoen said that the senators were “very friendly guys” who just wanted to make sure they were “familiar with procedure” on the eve of their rebuttal to the House impeachment managers’ presentation.
When asked if it’s appropriate to meet with senators during the trial, Schoen said, “Oh yeah, I think that’s the practice of impeachment.”
“There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance of due process whatsoever,” he added.
Some senators view themselves as impartial jurors during impeachment trials, while others lend a hand to their party’s side.
Republican senators have already signaled that they will vote to acquit the former President of the charge of “incitement of insurrection,” preventing a subsequent vote on Trump’s political future. In a 50-50 Senate, the House impeachment managers — all of whom are Democrats — need to persuade 17 Republican senators to join every member of their party to convict Trump.
The managers on Thursday showed clips of Trump’s speech before the Capitol rampage on January 6, in which he urged his supporters to “fight like hell,” “never give up” and “never concede.” Many Republican senators point out that Trump also said “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” They’ve also blamed the rioters rather than the former President for the deadly violence that day.
Among the harrowing images presented during the impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump, one video stood out: a police officer sprinting toward a United States senator to warn of the angry mob nearby.

The senator, Mitt Romney, is shown turning on his heels and fleeing for safety.

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“I don’t think my family or my wife understood that I was as close as I might have been to real danger,” Mr. Romney told reporters on Thursday, one day after the video showed Eugene Goodman, a Capitol Police officer already known for his bravery, aiding him. “They were surprised and very, very appreciative of Officer Goodman, in his being there and directing me back to safety.”

For Officer Goodman, it was the second time a video went viral displaying actions widely credited with saving members of Congress. The first, which showed him single-handedly luring a mob away from the entrance of the Senate toward an area with reinforcements, turned him into a hero. The second has added to his lore.

Both have catapulted Officer Goodman — a former Army infantryman who served in one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq during one of the most lethal times of the war — to fame he never sought.

On Wednesday, after watching the videos that showed Officer Goodman directing Mr. Romney to safety, Mr. Romney could be seen talking with Officer Goodman. Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, later walked over and fist-bumped Officer Goodman.

 

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On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi singled out Officer Goodman for his courage when she introduced legislation to award the Capitol Police and other law enforcement personnel who responded on Jan. 6 with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor of Congress. On Jan. 20, Officer Goodman was given the task of escorting Vice President Kamala Harris at the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The Trump Impeachment ›
What You Need to Know
A trial is being held to decide whether former President Donald J. Trump is guilty of inciting a deadly mob of his supporters when they stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, violently breaching security measures and sending lawmakers into hiding as they met to certify President Biden’s victory.
The House voted 232 to 197 to approve a single article of impeachment, accusing Mr. Trump of “inciting violence against the government of the United States” in his quest to overturn the election results. Ten Republicans joined the Democrats in voting to impeach him.
To convict Mr. Trump, the Senate would need a two-thirds majority to be in agreement. This means at least 17 Republican senators would have to vote with Senate Democrats to convict.
A conviction seems unlikely. Last month, only five Republicans in the Senate sided with Democrats in beating back a Republican attempt to dismiss the charges because Mr. Trump is no longer in office. Only 27 senators say they are undecided about whether to convict Mr. Trump.
If the Senate convicts Mr. Trump, finding him guilty of “inciting violence against the government of the United States,” senators could then vote on whether to bar him from holding future office. That vote would only require a simple majority, and if it came down to party lines, Democrats would prevail with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaking vote.
If the Senate does not convict Mr. Trump, the former president could be eligible to run for public office once again. Public opinion surveys show that he remains by far the most popular national figure in the Republican Party.

Veterans who served alongside Officer Goodman in the 101st Airborne Division some 15 years ago in Iraq say that the officer, known then as “Goody,” never craved accolades.

“I saw him come out in front of the vice president and he immediately ducked to the right,” said Mark Belda, who served with Officer Goodman in Iraq. “I thought that’s definitely Goody.”

When he closely watched the first video, Mr. Belda said, he saw attributes he recognized in Officer Goodman from Iraq. “He wasn’t prone to anger. As an infantryman, your job is to be violent but it was never his first reaction to use the stick before you use the carrot.”

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In Iraq, Officer Goodman was a sergeant and a leader of a 10-man rifle squad who assumed new responsibilities soon after his unit arrived in 2005.

His “Hardrock Company” operated in the Sunni triangle area near Baghdad in central Iraq, where American troops engaged in some of the fiercest combat of the war.

ImageOfficer Goodman, far left in the back row, with his platoon in Iraq.
Officer Goodman, far left in the back row, with his platoon in Iraq.Credit…via John Greis
The platoons were required to conduct multiple combat patrols each day to identify explosives before they were detonated, work that often resulted in various injuries, according to Lt. Col. Jeff Farmer, who served alongside Officer Goodman in the company.

“The front squad leader was critical, someone willing to take on this risk and lead his squad day in and day out,” Colonel Farmer said.

That leader was Officer Goodman.

“I cannot recall exactly how many dismounted patrols Goody led as a point man in the company, but I can say that it was likely in the hundreds, making him the go-to guy quite frankly when others needed that reassurance that things were going to be OK,” Colonel Farmer said.

Officer Goodman was a quiet professional, his superiors said, serious and focused on his missions but also quick with a joke to ease tension in the ranks, they said. His fellow soldiers could count on him to do “what needed to be done,” said John Greis, who served as his platoon sergeant in Iraq. “That’s coolness under pressure.”

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Colonel Farmer said he was not surprised when he saw the video of Officer Goodman facing the angry mob in the Capitol.

“Calm, cool, and collected under fire, that’s just Goody,” Colonel Farmer said. “I trusted my life with him, and still would to this day.”

Officer Goodman is now in uncomfortable territory, according to his fellow veterans. He has not made public comments and did not return multiple requests for interviews, including a handwritten note at his apartment near District Heights, Md.

A neighbor said Officer Goodman had not returned to his apartment in the days after the attack at the Capitol, and had advised those in his apartment building not to speak to the news media.

“He doesn’t want to be in the center of the attention. He just wants to duck to the side and you all can do what you want to do,” said Mr. Belda, Mr. Goodman’s former first sergeant. “Let me do my job and you guys do what you want to do, just leave me alone.”

Charles H. Ramsey, who led police departments in Was
Cruz said the meeting with the Trump defense team was an opportunity for “sharing our thoughts” about their legal strategy. A wide array of Senate Republicans harshly criticized the defense team on Tuesday, the opening day of the trial, arguing that Trump attorney Bruce Castor had delivered a rambling and unfocused argument in making the case that the proceedings are unconstitutional.
When asked if he’s now comfortable with the Trump team’s legal strategy, Cruz said, “I think the end result of this impeachment trial is crystal clear to everybody.”
“Donald Trump will be acquitted,” he added. “It takes 67 votes to convict him and every person in the Senate chamber understands that there are not the votes to convict, nor should there be.”
Clare Foran, Ted Barrett and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.

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acknowledge that he lost fair and square. For months, Trump was also enabled by elected Republican leaders who knew better and later acknowledged that Biden wo

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When the annual Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC for short — kicks off Thursday in Orlando, Fla., it might as well be called TPAC.

That’s because this year, it is all about Trump.

The former president will headline the event with a Sunday afternoon keynote address, his first speech since leaving office last month.

It comes as the Republican Party is struggling with its identity after Donald Trump’s presidency. And yet CPAC, the largest gathering of conservative activists in the U.S., will still very much be a pro-Trump event.
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The conference, organized and sponsored by the American Conservative Union, will even keep alive Trump’s false claims of election fraud with several panels on the topic with names like “Other Culprits: Why Judges & Media Refused to Look at the Evidence,” “The Left Pulled the Strings, Covered It Up, and Even Admits It” and “Failed States (PA, GA, NV, oh my!).”

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“We’re going to spend a lot of time looking at what happened in these states,” Matt Schlapp, chairman of the ACU, said on CNN this week. Schlapp claimed to have “proof” of “widespread voter fraud in the last election,” yet presented none on air.

He went on to say that “Joe Biden is my president” and that “he won the election,” but then pivoted, raising suspicion: “That doesn’t mean that there wasn’t voter fraud and voter irregularity in the last election.”

Schlapp — a lobbyist and husband of Mercedes Schlapp, who worked in the Trump White House — is walking the same line other Republicans have been, between the truth and conspiracies that are popular with Trump and his base.

CPAC didn’t used to be so MAGA. In fact, Trump snubbed the conference in 2016 after a dispute over speech ground rules and wanting him to answer questions at the event.

Five years later, though, the political world — as well as the grassroots conservative movement — has changed substantially.

And, now, at this annual cattle call, there’s no penning Trump in.

Trump put the 2024 field on ice — and he likes it that way

In his speech, Trump is expected to draw distinctions with President Biden, particularly when it comes to immigration, which was an animating issue for the GOP base during Trump’s political tenure.

He is also expected to speak about the future of the Republican Party, and he very much wants to be seen as not just a player but the player — the “presumptive 2024 nominee,” in fact, as Axios reports.

Trump’s dangling of running again has effectively frozen the GOP field. CPAC has, for decades, been a place where presidential hopefuls have tested out their messages and possible depth of support.

A handful of would-be presidential hopefuls will be on hand this year, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri.

They are in an awkward holding pattern, but while ambitious potential candidates might want Trump out of the way, they want his voters even more.

That’s why people like former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations, tried to meet with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home, to make sure they’re still on good terms.

But after Haley was critical of the former president in a recent profile, Trump reportedly turned down the meeting. As of Wednesday evening, Haley is not on the CPAC speakers list.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, seen here after arriving back in his hometown of Columbus, Ind., on Jan. 20, has declined an invitation to speak at CPAC.
Michael Conroy/AP
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who also very much has presidential ambitions, was targeted by the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Hang Mike Pence!” some chanted, as he presided over a usually ceremonial counting of the electoral votes.

Pence had to be escorted out of the Capitol for his safety, but even as the riot was unfolding, Trump lashed out at Pence on Twitter (where Trump is now banned). He said Pence “didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done” to overturn the election results — something Pence had no real power to do.

Still, despite reported tension between the two following Jan. 6, Pence told former congressional colleagues this week that he and Trump maintain a good relationship. He told them he’s forming a political organization that will defend the work of their administration.

But Pence declined an invitation to speak at CPAC.

Trump’s lofty status and an event that has changed — a lot

CPAC has taken on many different forms over the years.

To show just how much it has changed recently, consider that in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012, Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, was the crowd favorite, winning the conference’s straw poll each of those four years.

But the now-Utah senator — who has been a vocal Trump critic and voted for Trump’s conviction on impeachment charges twice — is persona non grata at this Trumpy variation of CPAC.

There was also a strong libertarian strain, particularly among young attendees. Either former Texas Rep. Ron Paul or his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, were the picks of the CPAC crowd in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. But that is all but gone. Rand Paul declined an invitation to this year’s conference, as he has in recent years.

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That Trump retains in this lofty perch within the Republican Party is somewhat remarkable. When he came into office, the party controlled all the levers of power in Washington — the House, the Senate and, with his election, the White House.

Now, it controls none.

Part of how Trump has retained his hold on the rank and file is by convincing tens of millions of them that the election was stolen from him.

Trump went on a months-long disinformation campaign discrediting Biden’s victory. His inaccurate fraud claims and conspiracy theories were disproved by dozens of courts, but the depth of support for his false grievance was made plain by the thousands of his flag-waving supporters who participated in the Jan. 6 violence.

There was no peaceful transfer of power, and Trump has yet to acknowledge that he lost fair and square. For months, Trump was also enabled by elected Republican leaders who knew better and later acknowledged that Biden won legitimately.

That includes Republican leaders like Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. They seemed to be hoping that if they gave Trump room to protest the election results through the courts, then he would come around once there were rulings.

That never happened. Instead, Trump dug in, abetted by conservative media, which amplified and gave traction to his false claims.

After Jan. 6, McConnell publicly rebuked Trump, blaming him for the riot. That landed McConnell in a very public feud with the most popular person in his party.

McCarthy — who has done head-snapping reversals over the years when it comes to Trump — first went McConnell’s path, saying Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol violence. But he quickly reversed course, making up with Trump in a fence-mending trip to Mar-a-Lago.

On Wednesday, McCarthy was asked if he believes Trump should be speaking at CPAC. “Yes, he should,” McCarthy said during a news conference on Capitol Hill.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney — who is in House GOP leadership but voted for Trump’s impeachment — was then asked for her view.

“That’s up to CPAC,” Cheney said. “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which, following Jan. 6, I don’t think he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.”

“On that high note, thank you all very much,” McCarthy said to laughs, as he walked off.

McCarthy participates in a panel Saturday afternoon at CPAC on “Winning Back America.” Neither McConnell nor Cheney will be appearing.

CPAC has also shown a willingness to exclude not just those who don’t line up with Trump but also some with odious and controversial views.

It’s ironic, considering this year’s CPAC theme is “America Uncanceled,” but after a left-leaning watchdog group found that one listed speaker had made anti-Semitic comments, he was disinvited.

The speaker was offended and accused CPAC of the same thing conservatives often say of Big Tech companies and universities.

“I feel like I’m being silenced,” he said. “I feel like my rights are being violated. Basically I’m being censored.”

Conservatives have complained that social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, are biased because they have banned or removed content.

Posts have been removed because the sites determined they were false or misleading or promoted conspiracies that could lead to violence — the kind of conspiracies that went mainstream during Trump’s presidency and led to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection.

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Health

Prevention guidelines and “certainly they meet those requirements set by our federal standard,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

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The Biden administration is planning to distribute millions of free face masks across the country to organizations serving people with low incomes, in a fresh effort to tamp down Covid-19 spread within vulnerable populations.

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“It allows people who are not able to in some situations find or afford a mask, to get a mask, and is part of our equity strategy,” White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said, estimating the cost of supplying the masks at about $86 million.
President Joe Biden plans to distribute millions of face masks to Americans in communities hard-hit by the coronavirus beginning next month as part of his efforts to ensure “equity” in the government’s response to the pandemic.

Biden, who like Donald Trump’s administration considered sending masks to all Americans, is instead adopting a more conservative approach, aiming to reach underserved communities and those bearing the brunt of the outbreak. Trump’s administration shelved the plans entirely.

Biden’s plan will distribute masks not through the mail, but instead through Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and the nation’s food bank and food pantry systems, the White House announced Wednesday.

The Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture will be involved in the distribution of more than 25 million American-made cloth masks in both adult and kid sizes. The White House estimates they will reach 12 million to 15 million people.

“Not all Americans are wearing masks regularly, not all have access, and not all masks are equal,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.

The White House is not distributing safer N95 masks, of which the U.S. now has abundant supply after shortages early in the pandemic.

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The cloth masks adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “certainly they meet those requirements set by our federal standard,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Biden hinted at the move Tuesday during a virtual roundtable discussion Tuesday with four essential workers who are Black, saying he expected his administration to send millions of masks to people around the country “very shortly.”

Biden has asked all Americans to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his term, pointing to models showing it could help save 50,000 lives. He also required mask-wearing in federal buildings and on public transportation in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

In late January, a Quinnipiac poll showed that 75% of Americans said they wear a mask all the time when they go out in public and are around others, and an additional 12% said they wear a mask most of the time.

Biden has made a virtue of his public displays of mask-wearing, drawing direct contrast with Trump, who only rarely was seen covering his face while president. Biden has also required the use of masks around the White House, unlike Trump, whose White House was the scene of at least three outbreaks of the virus.

Psaki suggested earlier this month that logistical concerns underpinned the decision to scale back the plans to send masks to all Americans.

“I think there are some underlying questions about how you target them — the masks — where they go to first; obviously, it couldn’t happen immediately,” she said.

Associated Press writer Hannah Fingurhut contributed to this report.
Why it matters: The initiative comes nearly a year after Trump administration health officials first internally explored whether to send masks to every American in hopes of slowing the virus’ spread — an idea that was rejected at the time.

Public health experts have since pushed for reviving the concept as a way of reaching underserved communities and emphasizing the importance of mask wearing. Those advocates included members of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, who had sketched out rough plans for what masks the government should send and how it should deliver them to the entire U.S. population, according to a person familiar with the conversations.

Zients on Wednesday said such a sweeping initiative would have been a “good idea” months ago, but he noted that masks are now widely available for most people.

The administration’s initiative will be more limited by comparison, with plans to distribute the cloth masks among roughly 1,300 health centers and 300 food banks. About two-thirds of people served by community health centers are living in poverty, the administration said.

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planning to distribute millions of free face masks across the country to organizations

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The Biden administration is planning to distribute millions of free face masks across the country to organizations serving people with low incomes, in a fresh effort to tamp down Covid-19 spread within vulnerable populations.

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The federal government will soon begin sending more than 25 million masks to community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens, the administration said on Wednesday, with the goal of reaching as many as 15 million people with low incomes beginning in March and continuing through May.
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“It allows people who are not able to in some situations find or afford a mask, to get a mask, and is part of our equity strategy,” White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said, estimating the cost of supplying the masks at about $86 million.
President Joe Biden plans to distribute millions of face masks to Americans in communities hard-hit by the coronavirus beginning next month as part of his efforts to ensure “equity” in the government’s response to the pandemic.

Biden, who like Donald Trump’s administration considered sending masks to all Americans, is instead adopting a more conservative approach, aiming to reach underserved communities and those bearing the brunt of the outbreak. Trump’s administration shelved the plans entirely.

Biden’s plan will distribute masks not through the mail, but instead through Federally Qualified Community Health Centers and the nation’s food bank and food pantry systems, the White House announced Wednesday.

The Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture will be involved in the distribution of more than 25 million American-made cloth masks in both adult and kid sizes. The White House estimates they will reach 12 million to 15 million people.

“Not all Americans are wearing masks regularly, not all have access, and not all masks are equal,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.

The White House is not distributing safer N95 masks, of which the U.S. now has abundant supply after shortages early in the pandemic.

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The cloth masks adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and “certainly they meet those requirements set by our federal standard,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

Biden hinted at the move Tuesday during a virtual roundtable discussion Tuesday with four essential workers who are Black, saying he expected his administration to send millions of masks to people around the country “very shortly.”

Biden has asked all Americans to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his term, pointing to models showing it could help save 50,000 lives. He also required mask-wearing in federal buildings and on public transportation in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

In late January, a Quinnipiac poll showed that 75% of Americans said they wear a mask all the time when they go out in public and are around others, and an additional 12% said they wear a mask most of the time.

Biden has made a virtue of his public displays of mask-wearing, drawing direct contrast with Trump, who only rarely was seen covering his face while president. Biden has also required the use of masks around the White House, unlike Trump, whose White House was the scene of at least three outbreaks of the virus.

Psaki suggested earlier this month that logistical concerns underpinned the decision to scale back the plans to send masks to all Americans.

“I think there are some underlying questions about how you target them — the masks — where they go to first; obviously, it couldn’t happen immediately,” she said.

Associated Press writer Hannah Fingurhut contributed to this report.
Why it matters: The initiative comes nearly a year after Trump administration health officials first internally explored whether to send masks to every American in hopes of slowing the virus’ spread — an idea that was rejected at the time.

Public health experts have since pushed for reviving the concept as a way of reaching underserved communities and emphasizing the importance of mask wearing. Those advocates included members of President Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, who had sketched out rough plans for what masks the government should send and how it should deliver them to the entire U.S. population, according to a person familiar with the conversations.

Zients on Wednesday said such a sweeping initiative would have been a “good idea” months ago, but he noted that masks are now widely available for most people.

The administration’s initiative will be more limited by comparison, with plans to distribute the cloth masks among roughly 1,300 health centers and 300 food banks. About two-thirds of people served by community health centers are living in poverty, the administration said.

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