Pence urges Senate Democrats to flip on impeachment in op-ed

Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born businessman whose work in Ukraine with President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani stands at the center of the impeachment inquiry, stated that Vice President Mike Pence was aware their effort to get Ukraine to announce an investigation into Joe Biden. Watch more of Parnas' interview on Anderson Cooper 360, 8 p.m. ET CNN.

Posted: Jan 17, 2020 8:20 AM
Updated: Jan 17, 2020 8:20 AM

Vice President Mike Pence urged Senate Democrats to break ranks and "stand up against" the articles of impeachment in a Wall Street Journal op-ed comparing the Senate trial of President Donald Trump to President Andrew Johnson's impeachment trial in 1868.

"The question naturally arises: Who, among the Senate Democrats, will stand up to the passions of their party this time? Who will stand up against 'legislative mob rule' and for the rule of law? Who will be the 2020 Profile in Courage?" Pence wrote in the op-ed, published Thursday.

A true profile in courage, he said, "would be a Senate Democrat willing to stand up and reject a partisan impeachment passed by the Democrat-controlled House."

Calling the similarities between Trump's and Johnson's trials "striking," the op-ed praises Republican Sen. Edmund G. Ross of Kansas, who, after breaking with his party, is generally considered to have cast the deciding vote to acquit Johnson.

"Ross was determined to render a fair judgment, resisting his own party's stampede," Pence writes, adding that while "he faced social ostracism and physical assault" for his vote, he "knew he was right."

"Then as now, a political faction has forced a partisan impeachment through the House in the heat of an argument over a difference in policy. Then as now, this faction has cheapened the impeachment process, which the Founders believed should be reserved for only the most grave abuses of the public trust."

Pence's op-ed came just hours after Trump's impeachment trial officially convened with the reading of the impeachment articles and the swearing-in of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and nearly all the senators who will decide whether the President should be removed from office.

Democrats charge that Trump withheld security aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine while pushing for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

The outcome of the trial is all but determined, as the two-thirds vote required to remove the President would need 20 Republican senators to break ranks. But that doesn't mean the trial itself won't have twists and turns -- and potentially some surprises -- as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell navigates the demands of his Senate conference, pressures from Democrats and the whims of Trump and his Twitter account.

Pence has repeatedly assailed the entire impeachment process against Trump. After the House passed the two articles in December, Pence called it a "disgrace" to a crowd of supporters in Michigan.

"It's great to be with so many friends today, and to be out of Washington, DC," the vice president joked to the crowd. "Truthfully, friends, what's happening on Capitol Hill is a disgrace. Since the first day of this administration, Democrats in Washington have been trying to overturn the results of the last election, and they're back at it again today with their partisan impeachment vote."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
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Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
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Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
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Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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