Trump Makes History As Third American President To Be Impeached
President Donald Trump was impeached for abuse of power in a historic vote in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, setting up a Senate trial on removing him from office after three turbulent years.
By a 230 to 197 vote in the Democratic-majority House, the 45th US president became just the third occupant of the White House in American history to be impeached.
Democrats said they had “no choice” but to formally charge the 73-year-old Republican, whose impeachment along stark party lines places an indelible stain on his record while driving a spike ever deeper into the US political divide.
What is at risk here is the very idea of America,” said Adam Schiff, the lawmaker who led the impeachment inquiry, ahead of the vote.
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Trump will now stand trial in the Senate, where his Republicans hold a solid majority and are expected to exonerate him.
The House vote came four months after a whistleblower blew open the scandal of Trump pressuring Ukraine’s president to investigate his potential White House challenger in 2020, the veteran Democrat Joe Biden.
After a marathon 10-hour debate, lawmakers also voted 229-198 to approve the second article of impeachment facing Trump — for obstructing the congressional probe into his Ukraine dealings.
Trump spent the first part of the day holed up at the White House, tweeting in frustration, but on Wednesday night the president was on friendlier territory.
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In an extraordinary split screen moment, as the House was casting votes to impeach him, thousands of Trump’s most fervent supporters were cheering him at a rally in Michigan where he railed against a “radical left” he said was “consumed with hatred.”
“The Democrats are declaring their deep hatred and disdain for the American voter,” Trump said to boos and cheers.
They’ve been trying to impeach me from day one. They’ve been trying to impeach me from before I ran,” he said.
“Four more years, four more years,” the crowd chanted back.
Despite testimony from 17 officials that Trump leveraged his office for political gain, the president maintained his innocence throughout the impeachment inquiry — denouncing it as an “attempted coup” and an “assault on America.”
– Battle opens over Senate trial –
Both sides were already gearing up for a battle over the Senate trial, where Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the upper hand in setting rules and has already said he will coordinate with Trump’s team in doing so.
That could lead to a trial as short as two weeks, which by acquitting the president could turn impeachment into a political win in the run-up to the November 2020 election.
Democrats declared after Wednesday’s vote that McConnell needs testimony from four current and former White House aides with direct knowledge of Trump’s Ukraine dealings — and who he blocked from testifying in the House.
“The question is now whether Senator McConnell will allow a fair trial in the Senate, whether the majority leader will allow a trial that involves witnesses and testimony and documents,” said Schiff.
Pelosi hinted that the House leaders could hold off sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate to pressure McConnell on the witness issue.
“So far, we haven’t seen anything that looks fair to us,” she told reporters. “We’ll decide what that dynamic is.”
“But right now, the president is impeached.”
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(AFP via Punch)
Elon Musk Puts Twitter’s Value At $20bn
Elon Musk has put the current value of Twitter at $20 billion, less than half the $44 billion he paid for the social media platform just five months ago, according to an internal email seen by American news media.
The email to employees referred to a new stock compensation program in the San Francisco-based company and the allocation of shares to employees of X Holdings, Twitter’s umbrella company since Musk purchased it in late October.
The compensation plan values the platform at $20 billion, slightly more than Snapchat’s parent company Snap ($18.2 billion) or Pinterest ($18.7 billion), both of which are publicly traded, unlike Twitter.
Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla Inc. and aerospace group SpaceX, said that Twitter would allow its employees to cash in shares every six months.
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A query from AFP emailed to Twitter’s communications department generated an automatic response in the form of a poop emoji.
In the internal email, Musk describes the brutal contraction in Twitter’s value. He says the platform faced such grave financial difficulties that at one point it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
“Twitter was trending to lose ~$3B/year,” Musk said in a message posted Saturday on the platform.
He cited a revenue drop of $1.5 billion a year and a debt-servicing burden of the same amount — leaving it with “only 4 months of money.”
Musk, Twitter’s majority shareholder, added simply: “Extremely dire situation.”
But he then said that “It looks like we will break even” in the second quarter of the year, with advertisers — many of whom fled the platform after the mercurial billionaire bought it — now beginning to return.
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Since taking control, Musk has sharply cut the group’s payroll from 7,500 employees to fewer than 2,000.
He said in the email that he sees a “clear but difficult path” to a valuation of $250 billion, without specifying how long that might take.
However, in another setback for the company, fragments of Twitter’s source code were published on the development platform GitHub, the latter told AFP on Sunday, confirming a report by the New York Times.
GitHub removed the files from its site at Twitter’s request, but their brief exposure could allow hackers to identify flaws in Twitter’s original software.
Obasanjo’s Father Not Fully Yoruba, Might Be Igbo Man – Fani-Kayode
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has expressed the belief that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s father might not be a Yoruba man.
Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo’s ‘silence’ over a recent comment by Igbo businessman Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu that Yoruba people are “political rascals,” was an indication that the former president’s father was an Igbo man, not Yoruba.
Iwuanyanwu said Igbo people had invested so much in Nigeria and were not going to yield to the pressure of people asking them to leave.
Speaking in Awka, Anambra State, on Saturday, Iwuanyanwu berated Yoruba people.
However, Fani-Kayode said he was disappointed that Obasanjo was silent over Iwuanyanwu’s anti-Yoruba comments.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Fani-Kayode wrote: “The fact that our revered leader and one of the fathers of our nation, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, can sit there and say nothing when Emmanuel Iwanyanwu, who I have always respected, describes the entire Yoruba race as “rascals” that the Igbo “will DEAL with” tells me that the rumour that he is NOT a fully-fledged Yoruba man and that his father was an Igbo may well be true.
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“Whatever the case, this is not the OBJ I once knew, loved, defended and worked so hard for. Something has gone wrong. No one could have made a statement against ANY tribe in the presence of the old OBJ that we all knew and respected and got away with it.”
Following the outcome of the presidential election, there was a face-off between Yorubas and Igbos in Lagos.
The fallout was due to the victory of the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in Lagos State.
Against the backdrop of Obi’s victory, Igbos were warned against voting during the governorship election in Lagos.
Report Banks Not Dispensing Cash To State NLC’s Office — LABOUR
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has directed workers to report banks not dispensing cash to its state councils, ahead of planned strike over the scarcity of naira notes across the country.
This is even as leaders of NLC have scheduled a meeting of National Executive Council, NEC, meeting tomorrow to take a final decision on Wednesday’s planned nationwide strike.
It gathered NLC gave the directive weekend after its NEC meeting on Friday where affiliate unions and state councils of NLC were directed to monitor the cash situation and how banks were dispensing naira notes to workers.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard yesterday, President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said: “Our affiliate unions and state councils were directed to monitor the situation. Workers have been directed to report banks not dispensing cash to NLC state offices.
”Our state councils and affiliates unions are to report back to us the prevailing situations in their states by Tuesday when we will hold another NEC meeting. The report we get from them will determine our next line of action.
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”In fact, the seven days ultimatum we gave will expire on Tuesday (March 28). The report will determine our final decision. As we speak, I am out on the streets of Abuja monitoring the situation.
”I am aware also that officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were in Lagos on Saturday and Sunday to monitor the situation.”
It was gathered that part of the decision was that “the nationwide strike will be a sit-at-home and picketing of the headquarters of the CBN and all its offices nationwide on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. If the strike commences, it would continue until cash becomes available to all Nigerians.”
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