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Balance of Power
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Both Team Nixon and Team Trump called their respective inquiries a "witch hunt," a "lynch mob" and a "kangaroo court."

Hill GOP abandons constitutional heritage and Watergate precedents in defense of Trump

Hughes is a research specialist at the University of Virginia.

Once, not so long ago, congressional Republicans were impeachment's constitutional stalwarts.

They stood up for the House's "sole power of impeachment," a power granted in the Constitution, including the right to subpoena witnesses and evidence. Even when the president under investigation was a Republican. Even when the Republican political base threatened to turn against them.

But that was when the president was Richard Nixon, not Donald Trump.

With the Senate trial about to get started, a look back is in order.

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Voting
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"As a nation, we are entering the Reforming Twenties. It's going to be messy," argues David Krucoff.

Hey, America: The Reforming Twenties Have Arrived

Krucoff is a commercial real estate broker and an independent candidate to be the non-voting delegate from the District of Columbia in the House of Representatives.

A month after officially registering my candidacy for Congress in 2020, I joined a conference call to hear renowned political historian Michael Barone discuss his book "How America's Political Parties Change (And How They Don't)." The topic made me anxious about being an independent candidate, but the call invigorated me.

The discussion concerned presidential elections, and it was easy for Barone to prove that being a presidential spoiler is counterproductive to candidate and voter alike. But his arguments do not apply to Washington, D.C., a legally disenfranchised city-state where Republicans account for just 6 percent of registered voters.

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The agency has lacked a quorum for 19 weeks, meaning it can't regulate money in the 2020 campaign.

Good-government coalition opposes restocking the FEC in an election year

Hitting the restart button on the Federal Election Commission during this campaign season is not the answer to better enforcement of the rules regulating money in politics, a coalition of good-government groups says.

Twenty-one such organizations declared their disagreement Monday with a proposal from a bipartisan collection of 31 prominent campaign finance lawyers. Last week the lawyers asked President Trump and the leaders of Congress to come up with an entirely new slate at the FEC to oversee campaign donations and spending in this year's presidential and congressional races.

Since the law allows half the commissioners to favor broad deregulation, because they're Republicans, lax enforcement and gridlock would be the end result of such an overhaul, the reform groups argued. Instead, they called for the confirmation of one or two new commissioners to create a quorum permitting at least minimal oversight through November.

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The FEC has been effectively shuttered since Labor Day for lack of a quorum. Just three of the six seats are filled.

Time for a totally new FEC, campaign finance lawyers urge Trump and Congress

A bipartisan group of campaign finance lawyers is calling on President Trump and congressional leaders to give the Federal Election Commission a totally fresh start before the 2020 election season shifts into high gear.

For the past 128 days, the agency has been effectively sidelined due to a lack of quorum. With only three of the commission's six seats occupied — all by people who have agreed to stay on although their terms expired years ago — the FEC has not been able to carry out any of its responsibilities for enforcing the laws regulating money in presidential and congressional elections.

The lawyers sent a letter on Monday urging the White House, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to negotiate a deal for a totally new roster of six commissioners.

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