United States President Donald J. Trump and US Senator David Perdue (Republican of Georgia), listen as US Senator Tom Cotton (Republican from Arkansas) makes an announcement on the introduction of the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., 2 August 2017. The act aims to overhaul U.S. immigration by moving towards a "merit-based" system. - NO WIRE SERVICE ' Photo by: Zach Gibson/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images
Photo: Zach Gibson/Zach Gibson/picture-alliance/dpa
Photo: Zach Gibson/Zach Gibson/picture-alliance/dpa

The Jolt: David Perdue joins anti-impeachment push; Johnny Isakson remains silent

U.S. Sen. David Perdue has answered President Donald Trump’s call for Republicans in Congress to step up their opposition to U.S. House impeachment proceedings.

The Georgia senator is an original co-sponsor of a GOP-authored resolution that condemns House Democrats for their “unprecedented and undemocratic” impeachment inquiry.

The non-binding resolution -- one chamber of Congress has no authority over the internal workings of the other -- was unveiled Thursday by Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. It slams Democrats for refusing to tee up a full floor vote formally authorizing the investigation.

“The House of Representatives is abandoning more than a century’s worth of precedent and tradition in impeachment proceedings and denying President Trump basic fairness and due process accorded every American,” the resolutions states.

Perdue called the inquiry a “partisan show trial” in a subsequent tweet.

The resolution comes as Georgia Republicans – and the congressional GOP more broadly – have upped their defense against the probe at the urging of Trump. The president on Wednesday praised House Republicans who “stormed” a closed hearing of testimony from a Pentagon witness by the House investigating panel.

One Republican name missing from the resolution so far is Johnny Isakson, who’s been absent from Capitol Hill this week as he contends with back pain. A spokeswoman said he doesn’t have enough background information at the moment to make a decision and plans to discuss the issue with McConnell and Graham upon his return next week.

Isakson has so far refused to join the pro-impeachment camp but has generally declined to opine about the Democratic probe, citing his role as a potential juror in a Senate impeachment trial. He retires Dec. 31.

The resolution needs 51 votes to pass -- which means every Senate Republican will be under extreme pressure to add his or her signature.

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U.S. Rep. Doug Collins of Gainesville, one of President Donald Trump’s top impeachment defenders as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, drew a comparison between roughly two dozen conservatives who stormed a closed-door impeachment deposition Wednesday with Democrats who staged a House floor sit-in over gun control in 2016.

"Let me get this straight: Republicans’ trying to gain access to closed door 'impeachment' proceedings is a stunt, but Democrats’ holding a sit in on the House floor is a principled protest?" Collins tweeted Thursday.

We’ll let you be the judge. 

But later in the day, Donald Trump Jr. made his way to the city of Lula in Hall County, where he was the main draw at a fundraising event with Collins. The Gainesville Times tells us that about 100 Collins supporters “shot skeet, ate lunch and heard from Trump Jr. about the political scene in Washington, D.C.”

Keep in mind that Collins has also put his name in for that U.S. Senate seat being given up by Johnny Isakson.

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Two paragraphs in Ben Jacobs’ recent Jewish Insider profile of U.S. Senate candidate Matt Lieberman focus on what could be his biggest challenge when it comes to winning over state and national party figures -- who know nothing about him but his famous last name. 

From the story, which explores the legacy of his father, former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.: 

Adam Green, the co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a progressive Democratic activist group, told JI, “Joe Lieberman is the corporate war-monger past of the Democratic Party. I don’t know anything about his son, but voters don’t love insider legacies and don’t love corporate greed and don’t love the Iraq War — so Joe Lieberman’s reputation likely won’t be helpful in this campaign.”

Cenk Uygur, the host of the Young Turks and a leading progressive activist, used even stronger language with JI. “The sins of the father should not be passed on to the son but neither should any degree of credibility,” he told JI. “Why are we having a conversation about this guy? Because of his last name and only because of his last name. I’m tired of these wannabe royals in America. His policy positions are milquetoast, which does run in the family. Apparently, we’ve gotten the Liebermans to a public option, give us a couple of more generations and we might finally get them to single payer.”

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Three senior Senate Democrats, including presidential contender Elizabeth Warren, are asking why the Department of Health and Human Services hasn’t recouped more than $340,000 in taxpayer money improperly spent on Tom Price’s charter jet travel when he was Trump’s health chief. Here’s a taste of the letter Warren, Patty Murray and Ron Wyden sent to HHS Secretary Alex Azar Thursday:

“American taxpayers deserve full transparency and' accountability for former Secretary Price's exorbitant travel habits, and they deserve to be repaid in full.”

The trio also asked for progress on the department’s implementations of changes to ensure that wasteful spending doesn’t occur in the future.

In response, HHS told the newspaper The Hill that “the agency has asked the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel to review the legal basis for recoupment. The spokesperson did not say when the request was made, or when a response is expected.”

Price is among the Republicans who have applied to fill Johnny Isakson’s U.S. Senate seat. 

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We told you yesterday about the senior U.S. Department of Education official who stepped down as head of the government’s financial aid agency to apply for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s job. The Washington Post reports that House Democrats have had their eye on A. Wayne Johnson as well as his former boss, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos:

The departure of Johnson, who said he will seek a Senate seat in Georgia, arrives as House Democrats ramp up their investigation of the role Education Department officials, including Johnson, played in helping Dream Center Education Holdings. Dream Center operated the defunct for-profit chain Argosy University and the Art Institutes. The House Education and Labor Committee has requested an interview with Johnson, DeVos and the department’s head of higher education policy, Diane Auer Jones. 

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The Democratic Party of Georgia has put out its rulebook for the selection of 120 delegates and nine alternates who will attend next year’s presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee. Click here to begin the browse. The basics:

-- 68 district level delegates will be elected within the delegates’ congressional district on March 29. (The primary is March 24.) There are no district level alternates.

-- 14 Party Leaders and Elected Officials (PLEOs) will be elected by the 68 district level delegates on April 18 at a central location in the state.

-- On May 16, 23 at-large delegates and nine alternates will be elected by a quorum of the state committee.

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