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Republicans blast Trump Senate impeachment trial as unconstitutional

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Republicans blast Trump Senate impeachment trial as unconstitutional

Republicans lambasted Democrats on Sunday for going through with the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump — calling it unconstitutional and a “partisan farce”​ and saying there’s “zero chance” Trump will be convicted. 

Sen. Rand Paul was asked on “Fox News Sunday” about the likelihood of Trump being convicted in the Senate trial over his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which is set to kick off on Tuesday.

“​Zero chance of conviction,​” said the Kentucky Republican of the trial that begins Tuesday.  “Forty-five Republicans have said it’s not even a legitimate proceeding so it’s really over before it starts.​”

He was referring to the 45 Republican senators — including Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell — who voted in support of his motion last month to dismiss the impeachment trial on grounds it is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.

Because Democrats hold a slight majority in the 50-50 split Senate by virtue of Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote, they would need 17 Republicans to cross the aisle and vote to convict Trump. 

Paul also noted that Trump was within his First Amendment rights when he addressed a crowd of supporters before the attack on the Capitol that led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer.

“People are going to have to judge for themselves … are we going to potentially prosecute people for political speech?” Paul ​questioned​.

H​e said if that becomes the case and speech is criminalized, then Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, could be impeached over ​their fiery rhetoric against Trump​, his allies, as well as the lawmakers who stirred up protesters last summer.

“If we’re going to criminalize speech, and somehow impeach everybody who says, ‘Go fight to hear your voices heard,’ I mean really we ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then,” Paul said on Fox News. “He went to the Supreme Court, stood in front of the Supreme Court and said specifically, ‘Hey,​ Gorsuch, Hey​,​ Kavanaugh, you’ve unleashed a whirlwind. And you’re going to pay the price.’”

B​ruce Castor, one of Trump’s impeachment lawyers, said he plans on showing how Democrats called for protesters to act during last summer’s Black Lives Matter unrest across the country following George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

“If my eyes look a little red to the viewers, it’s because I’ve been looking at a lot of videos​,” he told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Friday evening.

“There’s a lot of tape of cities burning and courthouses being attacked and federal agents being assaulted by rioters in the streets, cheered on by Democrats throughout the country,” ​Castor said.

T​he House impeached Trump on Jan. 13 on a single charge of “incitement of an insurrection” for the attack on the Capitol — with 10 Republicans voting alongside Democrats.​

Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of Trump’s most vocal backers in Congress, said history will judge the former president’s action in the Capitol siege — but the Senate should not.

“Well, I mean, he’s going to have a place in history for all of this, but the point of the matter is that we’re in Congress, we’re not prosecutors. Impeachment was never meant to be a prosecution,” Graham said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

“I think I’m ready to move on, I’m ready to end the impeachment trial because I think it’s blatantly unconstitutional,” Graham ​added.​

“As to Donald Trump, he is the most popular figure in the Republican Party. He had a consequential presidency. Jan​.​ 6 was a very bad day for America, and he’ll get his share of blame in history​,” the South Carolina Republican said.​

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) called the impeachment trial a “partisan exercise” and suggested that there might be another way to punish the former president.

“If being held accountable means being impeached by the House and being convicted by the Senate, the answer to that is no,” Wicker said​ on ABC News’ “This Week.”​ “Now if there are other ways in the court of public opinion or if there’s some criminal charge … dawns on some prosecutor, perhaps, there’s another avenue there.”​

Host George Stephanopoulos​ asked Wicker if he sees a difference in ​impeaching former President Bill Clinton for lying about a sexual affair with a White House aide.

“I’m not conceding that President Trump incited an insurrection,” Wicker responded.

“Let me say this. Republicans learned a lot from the impeachment of President Clinton. President Clinton had been adjudged to have committed perjury by a judge​​ ​in the state of Arkansas​. Perjury is a felony under the law of every state. And that was the controlling principle that brought me to a yes vot​e,” he said.​

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Former Virginia corrections employee claims she was fired for wearing tampon

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Former Virginia corrections employee claims she was fired for wearing tampon

A former employee at the Virginia Department of Corrections can move forward with a lawsuit that claims she was fired because the jail thought her tampon was contraband, a judge ruled Monday.

Joyce Flores alleged in a lawsuit that she was axed from her job as a dental hygienist in July 2019 after her colleagues mistook a tampon for contraband during a body scan at the facility, despite her repeated attempts to explain the situation.

“At no point did [Flores] bring or attempt to bring contraband into ACC. The reason provided by VDOC for the termination is pretext for sex discrimination. Plaintiff’s employment was terminated because she was a menstruating female utilizing a feminine hygiene product when she arrived to work on July 17, 2019,” the suit, filed in November, charges.

In response, the Department of Corrections asked a judge to drop the claims, arguing that Flores didn’t provide enough evidence proving gender discrimination at the time of her firing, the Virginia Mercury reported.

However, District Judge Thomas Cullen rejected the department’s request, saying, “Flores’ menstruation and use of a tampon — conditions inextricable from her sex and her child-bearing capacity — she would not have been discharged.”

In 2018, the Virginia Department of Corrections banned women from wearing tampons while visiting inmates citing concerns that its body scanning system would not be able to differentiate the female hygiene product from contraband.

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for COVID-19

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Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy tests positive for COVID-19

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Republican governor was quarantining in his home with mild symptoms, his office said in a statement.

Dunleavy began to isolate himself after learning Sunday he had been in close contact with someone who had the virus. He got tested that same day and his results came back negative.

He had been feeling well until Tuesday night. On Wednesday morning, he tested again, and the resulte was positive, according to Dunleavy’s office.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink and the governor’s attending physician are monitoring him.

Meanwhile, Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes also tested positive for the contagious bug.

Committee hearings were canceled for Thursday, and Stutes warned her colleagues not to enter the state Capitol unless it was necessary.

With Post wires

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Woman caught on video crashing into upstate NY bakery

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Woman caught on video crashing into upstate NY bakery

An 82-year-old woman could be seen on video as she drives straight into a bakery in upstate New York on Tuesday.

Kathryn Ford went to apply the brakes but accidentally hit the gas pedal, prompting her to plow into Dolce and Biscotti in Clifton Park shortly before 5 p.m., the Albany Times Union reported citing state police.

Inside, Ford continued hitting the gas, but luckily, Tom Fron, whose wife owns the bakery, ran over to the car to turn off the ignition.

“It was a miracle,” he told the outlet. “I was at the cash register and everyone else was in a separate corners of the bakery.”

“It happened so fast. I heard a crash and she was in the middle of the bakery,” Fron added. “We are blessed. Everything that was damaged can be repaired.”

Video of the crash shows the BMW slamming through the bakery’s glass windows, and into the kitchen where several employees ran for cover.

Ford had no injuries. Only one person suffered a minor arm injury and was treated by EMS at the scene.

The bakery posted on its Facebook page that it will be temporarily closed for one to two weeks due to renovations.

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