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Brooks urges Senate to use federal rules of evidence in Trump’s impeachment trial

Brandon Moseley

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Thursday, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and 8 conservative House colleagues sent a letter to United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer urging them to adopt the Federal Rules of Evidence for the Senate’s President Trump impeachment trial.

The other Republican congressmen who joined Brooks in the letter were Reps. Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Jody Hice (GA-10), Ted Yoho (FL-03), Neal P. Dunn (FL-02), Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Mark Meadows (NC-11), and Debbie Lesko (AZ-08)

“The best way for the American people to discern the truth about impeachment is by using evidentiary standards developed by our judicial system over the past two centuries,” Congressman Brooks wrote. “The Federal Rules of Evidence, used in all federal courtrooms, generally excludes hearsay, gossip, rumor, opinions and otherwise irrelevant evidence from consideration for one simple reason: history has revealed that such evidence is unreliable and makes it harder for judges and juries to determine the truth of a matter. The House’s impeachment proceedings have been devoid of evidentiary standards. The Senate should and can do better.”

“In America, everyone has the right to a fair trial— presidents included,” Brooks continued. “The formal adoption of the Federal Rules of Evidence would give Chief Justice Roberts a clear-cut standard for deciding admissibility of evidence during the Senate impeachment trial.”

“An impeachment trial is as consequential as it gets in America’s political system,” Brooks explained. “There is simply no room for bad, misleading or otherwise weak evidence our judicial experts know, from experience, should never be considered. Chief Justice Roberts and the Senate should adopt the Federal Rules of Evidence and exclude substandard evidence from consideration during the impeachment trial.”

A number of witnesses provided evidence to House committees on impeachment that Republicans challenged as hearsay evidence. While hearsay is inadmissible in most instances in a criminal prosecution impeachment is a political process and not a judicial process thus Democratic Committee chairs were allowed to admit testimony that likely would have been barred in a federal court proceeding.

“Democrats began an effort to overturn an election behind the closed doors of a sensitive compartmented information facility used for classified information,” Congressman Meadows wrote. “They leaked only anti-Trump information and kept Americans in the dark from context for weeks. And it’s certainly no wonder that Democrats guarded the full set of facts from the public as long as they could. In the weeks of open hearings, their case didn’t just render little evidence – it fell apart at the faintest sign of scrutiny.”

“Officials like America’s acting ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, admitted to never having been a party to any conversations, negotiations or discussions providing firsthand knowledge,” Meadows charged. :Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch didn’t finish her opening statement before acknowledging she could bring no testimony regarding any quid pro quo allegations against the president – or, the entire basis of the impeachment. Even the “star witness” – Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland – admitted he had no evidence “other than his assumptions.” In other words: he had nothing at all.”

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Mo Brooks is serving in his fifth term representing the Fifth Congressional District.

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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National

After long lines, in-person unemployment assistance will be appointment only

Eddie Burkhalter

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After news accounts of people driving across Alabama to camp out in a Montgomery parking lot overnight in hopes of getting help with their unemployment claims, the Alabama Department of Labor on Thursday announced new guidelines for seeing a worker in person. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting large numbers of unemployed seeking help left the state’s Department of Labor struggling to process the thousands of applications that pour in daily.

The department said in a Facebook post Thursday that instead of continuing seeing people on a first come, first serve basis, beginning Monday, July 6, people will now have to make an appointment to be seen. Only 300 appointments will be available daily. 

The department has also changed the location to receive assistance from the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the campus of Alabama State University to the Crump Senior Community Center, located at 1751 Cong W L Dickinson Drive in Montgomery. 

To register for an appointment, visit the department’s website here. Slots for appointments will be at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Face masks are mandatory and temperatures will be taken on site, according to the department’s post.

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Congress

Sewell votes in favor of $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan

Brandon Moseley

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, on Wednesday voted in favor of H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, a $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild American infrastructure.

“Our country is in serious need of bold and comprehensive infrastructure reform,” Sewell said. “This was true before the coronavirus pandemic and it has become increasingly urgent as we continue to grapple with the ongoing healthcare and economic crises resulting from the pandemic.”

“As a member of the Rural Broadband Task Force and a representative of a district that lacks adequate and comprehensive internet access, I am pleased that H.R.2 includes our bill the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, comprehensive legislation which invests$100 billion for high-speed broadband infrastructure in underserved communities,” said Sewell. “This investment will go a long way toward helping people across my district have access to the high-speed, affordable internet services that are necessary in today’s economy. Additionally, the bill’s $40 billion investment in new wastewater infrastructure will be transformative for countless residents of Alabama’s 7th District who lack access to affordable and efficient wastewater services. If we fail to make these investments now, our Nation’s aging infrastructure will continue to collapse and millions of Americans will be left out of our hopeful economic recovery.”

As a member of the House Rural Broadband Task Force, Sewell co-led introduction of H.R. 7302, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, which invests $100 billion to build high-speed broadband in unserved and underserved communities and ensures that internet service will be affordable. H.R. 7302 provided the framework for the broadband provisions in H.R. 2.

Two of Rep. Sewell’s bills are included as key provisions in H.R. 2. H.R. 1680, New Markets Tax Credit Extension Act of 2019 is designed to spur private investment in low-income rural communities and urban neighborhoods by providing tax credits for private investments made in underserved communities. H.R. 3967, the Municipal Bond Market Support Act of 2019, would help local governments, non-profits, schools, hospitals, universities and other entities reduce costs associated with infrastructure and development projects.

Sewell also co-led three amendments to H.R. 2 that passed this week. These amendments would expand the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in DOT research, support HBCU infrastructure development, and create a carbon capture, utilization, and storage technology commercialization program and direct an air capture technology program within the Department of Energy.

Sewell’s office said that in light of the pandemic and as schools consider how best to provide resources to students remotely, H.R.2 will provide critical access to both students and teleworkers across Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

H.R. 2 would invest more than $1.5 trillion in roads, bridges, transit systems, schools, housing, broadband access and other essential infrastructure.

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H.R. 2 now goes to the Senate, where Senate Republicans are likely to make a number of changes to the legislation. The Senate’s 60 votes to end a filibuster rule; however means that any infrastructure bill will have to have bipartisan support to pass the Senate.

Sewell is a member of the House leadership and is in her fifth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional District. Sewell had no primary challenger and no Republican is running against her in the Nov. 3 general election.

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Elections

Alabama Republican Assembly endorses Barry Moore

Brandon Moseley

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Congressional candidates Barry Moore’s campaign on Wednesday said the Alabama Republican Assembly has endorsed him for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District.

Jennifer Montrose is the President of the Alabama Republican Assembly.

“We must have elected leaders who are committed to governing honestly and ethically and believe Barry Moore can best help our state and nation move forward in the November election,” Montrose said. “We hope you will agree with us and vote for this outstanding individual who we believe is committed to Life, Liberty and Family.”

Moore thanked the group in a statement.

“I want to thank the Alabama Republican Assembly for the vote of confidence this endorsement represents,” Moore said. “It’s an honor to be recognized in this way by this fine group of Conservatives.”

“I’ve always been committed to the conservative values I share with the ARA, and I’ll continue to fight for our Constitution, our rights, and our freedoms when I’m in Congress,” Moore continued. “I’ll do this not only to justify the faith groups like the ARA have in me but because it’s what I believe is right. The ARA knows I have a proven conservative voting record and I will always protect our 2nd amendment, take a pro-life stance, support term limits, and stand with President Trump.”

The Alabama Republican Assembly calls itself “the Republican Wing of the Republican Party.”

Moore continues to receive endorsements from prominent Alabama politicians and groups from across the state in his bid to go to the United States Congress.

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Moore faces Dothan businessman Jeff Coleman in the Republican primary runoff on July 14. Moore served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 2010 until 2018 and has been endorsed by both current and former members who served with him there.

Rep. Mike Holmes (R-Wetumpka) said, “I have served in the Alabama House with Rep. Barry Moore; and found him to be one of our Top Five Conservatives every year. I served with him at the RNC Convention in 2016 when Rep. Moore was one of the first to endorse Trump. He is still strongly aligned with Trump. I enthusiastically endorse Barry Moore for Congressional District 2!.”

Rep. Charlotte Meadows (R-Montgomery) said, “When Rep. Barry Moore served in the State House he chaired the Military and Veterans Affairs committee. He was instrumental in bringing the F-35 to Montgomery and he well understands the needs of our Veterans and the importance of our military bases to Alabama. He will always work to support both. I am proud to support Barry Moore for our next Congressman.”

Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur)said, “Barry Moore is a man of integrity and honor. He will represent Alabama well.”

Former Rep. Barry Mask (R-Alexander City) said, “Barry Moore is a fighting conservative who has been through the fire. As a veteran, he stands with our country and will fight to preserve it. He was a Trump man early on and has earned our trust.”

“It’s humbling to have so many leading Alabama Republicans endorse me in this race,” Moore said. “These are the people I served within the Alabama House, and they know me and what I stand for. I appreciate their endorsements, and I will do everything I can to honor their trust by continuing to represent the people of our District and our conservative values in Congress. I thank everyone who’s endorsed me, and those who have supported me in this race. I look forward to serving the people of Alabama and District 2 as their next Congressman.”

Moore has been endorsed by the Eagle Forum, Conservative Christians of Alabama, the American Workers Coalition, the Club for Growth, and the House Freedom Fund. He is a former member of the Alabama Legislature, a small businessman, a veteran, a husband, and a father of four from Enterprise.

Moore and his wife Heather own a waste disposal company. Moore is a small businessman, a veteran, a husband, and a father of four from Enterprise. He has a degree from Auburn University.

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National

Aderholt honors Jack Thompson

Brandon Moseley

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Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama, gave a speech this week on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, honoring former Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries Jack Thompson, who passed away on Sunday.

“I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Jack Alexander Thompson from Montgomery, Alabama,” Aderholt said. “Jack Thompson passed away on Sunday after a full life of eighty-eight years. He was an upstanding citizen of our state and a respected member of the Montgomery community.”

“Jack Thompson was an Alabamian through and through, as he was born in Colbert County in 1932 and remained in the state his entire life,” Aderholt continued. “After graduating from Colbert County High School, Jack Thompson married his sweetheart, Ruth Hester, at the age of twenty. Jack and Ruth were married for sixty-seven years and raised four wonderful children, which led to the additional joy of having grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

“As a student, Jack dedicated his studies to agriculture, which is evident that it played a big role in his life for as long as he lived,” Aderholt said. “He earned is B.S. in Agriculture from Auburn University and his master’s in animal science from the University of Tennessee. If it was not clear before these degrees, it was clear afterwards – Jack was going to make a difference in agriculture and better the lives of many people along the way.”

“For the following thirty-one years Jack worked for the Auburn University Extension Service, where he engaged with 4-H students, Cattlemen, and Agronomy farmers in Montgomery, Elmore, and Limestone counties,” Aderholt said. “After retiring, Jack went on to own a farm in Athens, Alabama and served as the Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture before assuming the role of Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries for four years. Jack also combined his two passions, agriculture and Auburn University, and lobbied for financing to construct the Ag and Industries Thompson Bishop Sparks Diagnostic Lab on Auburn’s campus. This was quite the undertaking, but Jack got it done, and he went on to do much more.”

“As a volunteer, Jack Thompson’s list of service roles is incredible,” Aderholt said. “He was president of the Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce; Campaign Chairman of the United Way; president of the Limestone County Cattlemen’s Association, a lifetime Director of the State Cattlemen’s Association; a lifetime member of the Athens Industrial Development Association; and was a board member at the Salvation Army. Jack also worked with 4-H kids in coordinating with state, district, and local steer shows and managed livestock for what is now the Alabama National Fair.”

“Jack Thompson is now survived by his four children; David Thompson, Keith Thompson, Susan Woodham, and Janice Thompson,” Aderholt said. “In addition, he is survived by his sister, Ann Thomas, and his eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. It is with a heavy heart for the family of Mr. Jack Thompson and the community of Montgomery, Alabama that I submit this statement into the Congressional Record in recognition of the life of Mr. Jack Thompson. His legacy will live on well into the future.”

Aderholt represents Alabama’s 4th Congressional District.

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