Top Evangelical Magazine Calls For Trump’s Removal From Office

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The editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, which was founded by Billy Graham, says none of Trump’s positives can balance his “grossly immoral character.”

The editor of a Christian magazine founded by the famous evangelist Billy Graham is calling for President Donald Trump’s removal from office. 

Mark Galli, editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, published an editorial on Thursday telling his readers that the impeachment hearings “illuminated the president’s moral deficiencies for all to see.”

“The facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents,” Galli wrote. “That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”

Trump’s evangelical supporters justify their loyalty to the president by pointing to his Supreme Court nominees, defense of religious liberty, stewardship of the economy, and other achievements, Galli wrote. But none of the political wins Trump has achieved for evangelicals can justify the “moral and political danger we face under a leader of such grossly immoral character.”

“His Twitter feed alone — with its habitual string of mischaracterizations, lies, and slanders — is a near perfect example of a human being who is morally lost and confused,” the editor wrote.

Galli’s call to remove Trump from office temporarily crashed the popular evangelical magazine’s website on Thursday afternoon. 

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted Wednesday ― mainly along party lines ― in favor of impeaching Trump for abuse of power and for obstruction of Congress. That made Trump only the third American president in history to be hit with that sanction. 

The House accused Trump of leveraging military aid to attempt to solicit help from a foreign government in investigating his 2020 election rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. Lawmakers also charged Trump with “unprecedented, categorical and indiscriminate defiance” for refusing to turn over documents and allow witnesses to testify during their investigation.

Christianity Today, which was founded by Billy Graham in 1956, now claims a readership of over 5 million

The late preacher’s son, Franklin Graham, is a vocal Trump supporter who has called the impeachment inquiry a “sham.” Earlier this week, Graham tweeted that Trump was facing an “onslaught of lies, slander & innuendos” even though, Graham contended, he has accomplished more for America “than perhaps any president in modern history.” 

“The Dems have been trying to destroy [Donald Trump] since day one,” Graham tweeted on Wednesday. 

HuffPost has reached out to Galli, Christianity Today and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where Franklin Graham is chairman of the board, for comment.

White evangelicals have been a loyal base of support for Trump. In October, before the House Intelligence Committee began its public hearings on impeachment, the Public Religion Research Institute reported that 88% of white evangelical Protestants didn’t think Trump should be impeached and removed from office. That was much higher than any other major religious group surveyed.

In his editorial, Galli hearkened back to how evangelicals ― and Christianity Today itself ― reacted in 1998 to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. He pointed out that back then, the magazine’s editors claimed that Clinton’s moral failings precluded him from behaving ethically in his public and professional life.

“Unsavory dealings and immoral acts by the President and those close to him have rendered this administration morally unable to lead,” the magazine wrote in an October 1998 editorial.

“Unfortunately, the words that we applied to Mr. Clinton 20 years ago apply almost perfectly to our current president,” Galli wrote on Thursday. “Whether Mr. Trump should be removed from office by the Senate or by popular vote next election — that is a matter of prudential judgment. That he should be removed, we believe, is not a matter of partisan loyalties but loyalty to the Creator of the Ten Commandments.”

Galli also warned that how American evangelicals respond to Trump’s behavior today will have a profound impact on their religious movement in the future. 

“Consider what an unbelieving world will say if you continue to brush off Mr. Trump’s immoral words and behavior in the cause of political expediency,” he wrote. “If we don’t reverse course now, will anyone take anything we say about justice and righteousness with any seriousness for decades to come?”

In October, Galli announced that he was retiring as editor-in-chief of Christianity Today in January after working at the magazine in various capacities for 30 years.

Trump’s Senate trial is expected to begin early next year. 


Vulnerable House Democrats Announce Support For Impeaching Trump

Dozens of Democrats who could be elected out have decided to vote later this week to impeach the president on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Utah Democrat Ben McAdams stepped into a small town city council chamber just outside Salt Lake City and took a deep breath.

“I will vote yes,” McAdams told reporters.

With a tight smile, the congressman made clear, in the heart of ruby-red Utah, that he will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

The scene played out across the nation’s polarized landscape Monday as at least 31 of the most vulnerable House Democrats climbed off the fence and into the ranks of lawmakers who will vote for formal abuse and obstruction charges against Trump this week.

Trump faces two articles of impeachment brought by Democrats. One says he abused the power of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden. The other says he obstructed Congress by trying to block the House investigation and its oversight duties, thus thwarting the nation’s system of checks and balances.

The president “betrayed the Nation by abusing his high office to enlist a foreign power in corrupting democratic elections,” says the 650-page report from the House Judiciary Committee accompanying the charges. Trump withheld military aid from the ally as leverage, the report says, and that “Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.”

The House vote means Trump is on the brink of becoming only the third impeached president in American history.

The votes are crucibles for the Democrats who flipped competitive districts in 2016 and stand for their own reelections next November. At stake is the Democratic-controlled House, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at its helm.

These Democrats have been reluctant at best to back impeachment, and one is poised to leave the party over it. Rep. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey, who opposes impeachment, lost at least six staff members Monday after he told them he was switching parties to become a Republican.

With the stakes so high, Monday’s announcements on impeachment from the Democrats were tightly controlled, yet in some cases raucously received.

McAdams’ consisted of a press conference, a statement and no questions.

“I will vote yes, knowing full well the Senate will likely acquit the President in a display of partisan theater that Republicans and Democrats in Washington perform disturbingly well,” he said.

The scene was different in battleground Michigan, where Rep. Elissa Slotkin was both heckled and applauded as she declared that she’ll vote for both articles. Her experience as a former intelligence officer, she said, won out over questions about her political future.

“There just has to be some decisions that are beyond the political calculus. It may be that voters decide in 2020 that they don’t want me as their representative. I hope that’s not the case,” Slotkin said at a rowdy town hall in her Detroit-area swing district. Her state is a special focus of Trump’s. Vice President Mike Pence is taking a bus tour across Michigan this week, ending at Trump’s rally Wednesday in Battle Creek.

But with much of the attention turning to the Senate trial, the House Democrats already were pivoting to emphasize their work on issues close to home.

“I support the Articles of Impeachment,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-S.C.), whose Charleston-area district supported Trump by double digits. His next sentence: “This process has not distracted me from delivering real results for the people of the Lowcountry.” He noted that the House has passed legislation to lower prescription drugs and ban offshore drilling.

Impeachment is sensitive in Virginia, too. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a former CIA officer, long insisted on focusing on issues other than impeachment. Then a whistleblower report on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president revealed a pressure campaign to benefit him politically. Spanberger and fellow Virginian Elaine Luria signed an op-ed calling for an impeachment inquiry.

“I am driven by facts and evidence to protect the integrity of our democracy,” Spanberger, who represents a Richmond-area district, said Monday when announcing she would vote for both articles.

Back out West over the weekend, Rep. Katie Porter spoke to a Tustin, California, town hall meeting for 12 minutes without mentioning impeachment. But it was the first question she was asked to answer, thanks to question cards drawn by lottery.

Porter laughed, saying, “I didn’t see this one coming.”

When she said she planned to vote yes, many in the audience burst into applause and stood up. A couple of boos were heard, but the room soon grew quiet again, and she said, “This is a sad occasion.”

“We understand this is a very grave action we are taking,” she added.

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New Fox News poll on impeachment contradicts the view of its most loyal viewer

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A new Fox News poll on voter support for impeachment contradicted President Trump, who recently boasted major support in favor of “No Impeachment.” 

Amid last week’s historic House Judiciary Committee vote to advance two articles of impeachment, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the president tweeted, “Poll numbers have gone through the roof in favor of No Impeachment, especially with swing States and Independents in swing States. People have figured out that the Democrats have no case, it is a total Hoax.”

But a fresh Fox News poll conducted last week and released on Sunday found that a majority of the American electorate wants Trump impeached. Fifty percent are in favor of impeaching and removing the president, while four percent say impeached but not removed, and 41 percent oppose impeachment altogether.

The poll comes after Trump on Sunday lashed out at his favorite news channel for “trying sooo hard to be politically correct” after they decided to interview his political foes, including Rep. Adam Schiff, leader of the impeachment process in Congress. 

“Both Commiecast MSNBC & Fake News CNN are watching their Ratings TANK,” he said on Twitter. “Don’t know why @FoxNews wants to be more like them? They’ll all die together as other outlets take their place. Only pro Trump Fox shows do well. Rest are nothing.” 

Hours after impeachment charges were advanced for a vote in a full Democrat-led House Friday Trump denounced the prospect of becoming the third U.S. president to be impeached. 

“It’s not fair that I’m being Impeached when I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong!” he tweeted. “The Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats have become the Party of Hate. They are so bad for our Country!

Since the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s dealings with Ukraine’s government was launched in September, public opinion has not swung decisively in Democrats’ favor, despite hundreds of hours of testimony, a 300-page impeachment report and even now with the approval of articles of impeachment. 

The Fox News poll pointed out views on impeachment have been steady over the past weeks leading up to the vote: those in favor of impeaching and removing Trump only increased by one percent while all other stances remained the same. 

A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll also showed that a majority of registered voters buy Democrats’ central argument for impeachment: that Trump put his own interests above the national interest and security when he pressured Ukraine to launch investigations into the Biden family and alleged Ukrainian support for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. 

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The full House is expected to vote on the articles of impeachment next Wednesday. That vote will also likely be along party lines, with no Republicans expected to vote for impeachment and perhaps two or three Democrats possibly voting against referring the charges to the Senate.

President Trump has welcomed a Senate trial, which is expected to take place right after the New Year, declaring it would be “fair” in comparison to the House impeachment process. 

“If you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate,” he tweeted over a week ago. 

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