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Republicans denounce Pelosi decision to open impeachments inquiry against Trump

Brandon Moseley

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A number of Alabama Republicans issued statements denouncing Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-California) announcement that the House of Representatives is opening an impeachment inquiry against President Donald J. Trump (R).

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan called the decision “deplorable.”

“The actions of the Democrats today are simply deplorable, to use a phrase they know so well,” Chairman Lathan said in a statement. “They have spent the last three years trying to destroy Donald J. Trump by any means — fake news, investigations that went nowhere, using a fake dossier to stop him with other low moments — and after repeated failure they are now opening an impeachment inquiry without any evidence and before a single transcript is released. This is no longer just an attack on our President — it is an all out political war on the American citizens who chose President Trump to sit in the White House. We see through the Democrats’ election year tactics and their attempt to once again overturn the will of the people. Their shameful antics and national hissy fits are a true disservice to our beloved nation as they are attacking all who elected President Trump.”

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said that “Democrats are obsessed with impeachment.”

“Nancy Pelosi and her socialist horde in the House cannot accept that Donald Trump won the election in 2016 fair and square. From the Russia hoax, to fake obstruction, to fanning recession fears, to calls to world leaders, Democrats are obsessed with impeachment,” Rep. Rogers said. “If only the Democrats would put this much effort in making America great again.”

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said that if the Democrats had any evidence against Trump, they would already have impeached him.

“Frankly, if Socialist Democrats had evidence proving guilt, they would have already impeached President Trump,” said Brooks. “Further, the Bill Clinton fiasco established the Congressional standard for impeachment. Under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, Congress should not impeach ANY president for any crime equal to or less than the felonies committed by President Clinton: felony perjury and obstruction of justice. After all, President Clinton was not removed from office even though he confessed to committing felonies while in office. Treating different presidents “unequally” is a hyper-partisan miscarriage of justice & violation of the 14th Amendment.”

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Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) vowed to fight efforts to impeach Trump.

“I will vehemently fight these efforts to impeach President Trump,” Byrne said. “The radical Squad has taken over the Democrat Party, and the American people will see right through this nonsense. President Trump has been the conservative leader that our country needs, and Democrats just can’t stand that he is getting the job done.”

Byrne is running for the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones (D).

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“I have a straightforward question for Alabama’s Democrat Senator Doug Jones: do you support these impeachment proceedings?” Byrne asked. “Every leader in our country should have to say whether they stand with President Trump and the American people or if they stand with the Socialist Squad.”

If the Democratic controlled House of Representatives were to impeach Trump the U.S. Senate would have to stand in trial to judge whether the House allegations have any merit or not; and if so, what is the appropriate punishment, if any.

“The President has not been involved in any activity that would be deemed an impeachable offense according to the Constitution or the code,” Alabama Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate John H. Merrill said. “With that being said, it’s obvious that the Democrats continue to implore this particular effort to distract from the great work that he continues to do as our nation’s chief executive!”

“The Constitution states a president can only be impeached for ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Hatred, dislike or a desire for Socialism & Open Borders do not support gutting the people’s will and overturning properly held elections,” Brooks stated. “Socialist Democrats have yet to produce ANY credible evidence of President Trump’s violation of a SINGLE, SPECIFIC federal criminal statute that constitutes ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’”

“I am sick and tired of petty party politics,” former Chief Justice Roy Moore said. “President Trump has been under investigation ever since he took office. Were the Clintons or Obamas ever under as much scrutiny as Trump currently is? Both parties should spend more time focusing on real issues and stop using their positions to play political games with the media. It is ridiculous that this is the subject of national news when there are so many other things to address.”

“In calling for an impeachment inquiry Nancy Pelosi has bowed down to the most radical elements of the Democratic) Party,” Trump Finance Committee member Perry O. Hooper (R-Montgomery) said. “It appears that “The Squad” now runs the House of Representatives. The American people will see right through this charade. They want Congress to tackle the important issues facing the country such as border security not wasting more of their money on partisan witch hunts.”

Senate candidate Stanley Adair told a crowd in Gulf Shores, that we need a Senator who would. “Stand up to those crazies in Washington. We have got some of them trying to impeach the President tonight.”

“I look forward to upcoming hearings revealing whether there is credible evidence of an impeachable offense or whether this is just another ‘Russian Collusion Witch-Hunt,’ as everything to date suggests it is,” Brooks stated. “In any event, I will abide by my oath of office to defend and protect the Constitution. I will examine all evidence. I will apply that evidence to governing federal criminal statutes. I will apply 14th Amendment equal protection principles. I will vote accordingly.”

If the Democratic controlled House advances and passes an impeachment resolution on partisan lines it is unlikely that the Republican controlled Senate will find the President guilty of anything and might not even address the issue. Two Presidents have been impeached. No President has ever been removed by the Senate. Richard Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment.

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with eight and a half years at Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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Corruption

Former Barbour County sheriff arrested, charged with taking money from sheriff’s office

Upshaw was charged with two crimes connected to taking more than $85,000 from several accounts that belong to the sheriff’s office.

Eddie Burkhalter

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(STOCK PHOTO)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Tuesday announced the arrest of Leroy Davie Upshaw, the former sheriff of Barbour County, on charges that he used his office for personal gain. 

Upshaw, 49, surrendered to the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office on Monday and was released on bond, according to a Marshall’s office. He had served as sheriff until his term ended in January 2019. 

Upshaw was charged with two crimes connected to taking more than $85,000 from several accounts that belong to the sheriff’s office, Marshall’s office alleges. One charge alleges that he used his public office to receive personal financial gain and the other charge alleges that he used his office to obtain financial gain for members of his family. 

The Dothan Eagle reported in 2018 that Upshaw’s troubles began when the sheriff’s office was audited and cited for 11 errors, including one in which Upshaw gave himself the additional salary that had gone to the former work release administrator.

If convicted of the class B felony of using his office for personal gain, Upshaw could face up to 20 years in prison.

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Attorney general opposes motion to reconsider Hubbard’s prison sentence

“Hubbard is not being punished for his reversed convictions. He is being punished for the crimes of which he remains convicted,” Marshall wrote to the court. 

Eddie Burkhalter

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Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard reported for his prison sentence at the Lee County Detention Facility on Sept. 11.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall in a court filing Tuesday opposed a request by former House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s attorney for the court to reconsider his 4-year sentence on six felony ethics violations.

Marshall in the filing said that after four years of appeals, Hubbard remains convicted of those felonies.

“This Court’s carefully calibrated sentence of a four-year split, among other penalties, properly accounted for the severity of Hubbard’s crimes, the position of trust he abused, and the need for serious penalties to deter other wrongdoers,” Marshall wrote to the court. “In addition, Hubbard’s refusal to admit any guilt or express any remorse makes him wholly unfit to receive any leniency now that he is finally in jail.”

“In sum, nothing material has changed since Hubbard earned his four-year sentence four years ago. It’s simply time for him to serve it. Accordingly, his motion should be denied,’ Marshall continued.

Hubbard had originally been convicted by a Lee County jury on 12 ethics violations, and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld 11 of those convictions, but the Alabama Supreme Court later reversed five of those convictions and upheld six.

He began serving his four-year sentence for the six convictions of using his office for personal gain on Sept. 11.

Hubbard’s attorney argued in a separate court filing that the court should reconsider his sentence because five of the 12 convictions were reversed, but Marshall told the court Tuesday that the sentence Hubbard received was just.

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“Hubbard is not being punished for his reversed convictions. He is being punished for the crimes of which he remains convicted,” Marshall wrote to the court.

Hubbard’s attorney in his request to reconsider sentencing also argued that Hubbard has already suffered from a “divestment of his business interests.”

Hubbard’s convictions related to consulting contracts that enriched him while he served as speaker.

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The state’s attorney general at the time of his conviction determined that Hubbard had bilked Alabama out of more than $2 million.

“Suffice it to say, it is a bad advocacy strategy for Hubbard to mourn his loss of an income stream worth millions, which he financed on the backs of hard-working Alabamians who expected an honest elected official. That Hubbard has lost some of these ill-gotten gains in no way suggests that Hubbard has paid back his debt to society,” Marshall wrote to the court.

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Former State Sen. David Burkette pleads guilty, avoids jail

Josh Moon

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Former Alabama Sen. David Burkette

Former State Sen. David Burkette will avoid jail time and be sentenced to a 30-day suspended sentence as part of a plea deal reached on Monday. 

Burkette, who pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Fair Campaign Practices Act, will also have to pay a $3,000 fine and serve 12 months of probation as part of the deal. He was sentenced in Montgomery Circuit Court on Monday after being charged two weeks ago with failing to deposit more than $3,600 in contributions into campaign accounts — a misdemeanor.

He also resigned his seat in the Alabama Senate as part of the plea deal. 

“I’m just happy to still be here,” Burkette told the court following his sentencing, according to multiple media reports. 

The former senator suffered a stroke in 2018 and has been confined to a wheelchair since. His current health status played a role in his sentence considerations. 

The charges against Burkette stem from a series of complaints filed against him with the Alabama Ethics Commission — all of them related to various issues during his time on the Montgomery City Council. The charge for which he pleaded guilty occurred in 2015.

The Ethics Commission referred numerous charges to the Alabama attorney general’s office, according to sources familiar with the investigation of Burkette, but the attorney general’s office elected to charge Burkette with only the misdemeanor as part of the deal that saw him resign. 

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“Candidates for public office at the state, county and municipal levels must comply with the State’s Fair Campaign Practices Act,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “Personally profiting from campaign funds erodes public confidence in the system and will not be tolerated.”

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Corruption

Mike Hubbard’s attorney asks court to reconsider prison sentence

Eddie Burkhalter

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Mike Hubbard reported to the Lee County Jail on Sept. 11, 2020. (VIA LEE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

One week after he began serving his prison sentence, the attorney for former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has asked the court to reconsider his four-year sentence.

Hubbard, 57, began serving his sentence on Sept. 11 after being free on an appeals bond for four years. He was ultimately convicted on six felony charges of using his office for personal gain.

“Mike Hubbard is not a danger to society, nor a threat to the public and a revised sentence will better serve the State’s interest in rehabilitation and the ends of justice,” Hubbard’s Birmingham attorney, David McKnight, wrote to the Lee County Circuit Court on Friday.

Hubbard had originally been convicted by a Lee County jury on 12 ethics violations, and the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld 11 of those convictions, but the Alabama Supreme Court later reversed five of those convictions and upheld six.

McKnight, in his motion to the court, argues that due process compels the court to reconsider Hubbard’s sentence, and that his removal from office, loss of the right to vote and “divestment of business interests” have already punished the former House speaker.

The state’s attorney general at the time of his conviction determined that Hubbard had bilked Alabama out of more than $2 million.

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