Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the U.S. House of Representatives would start drafting articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump over his withholding of foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating the son of a political rival. The announcement came after an investigation by the House, which began in late September. At the end of October, all three of New Mexico’s members of the House, all Democrats, voted to support the impeachment inquiry. The investigations included closed door meetings by House committees and more recently public hearings of the House Intelligence Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. Ben Ray Luján, the Assistant Speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives, supported the announcement.
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Just days after he took office in 2017, President Donald Trump set out to make good on his campaign pledge to halt illegal immigration. In a pair of executive orders, he ordered “all legally available resources” to be shifted to border detention facilities and called for hiring 10,000 new immigration officers. The logistical challenges were daunting, but as luck would have it, Immigration and Customs Enforcement already had a partner on its payroll: McKinsey & Company, an international consulting firm brought on under the Obama administration to help engineer an “organizational transformation” in the ICE division charged with deporting migrants who are in the United States unlawfully.
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. In early August, Elizabeth Petersen was home-schooling her children in the kitchen of their northern Idaho home when she got a call from Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where her 4-year-old son, Paul, was set to have surgery a few weeks later. Since having a stroke around his first birthday, Paul had been under treatment to restore use of the right side of his body. He had recently graduated from a feeding tube and needed surgery to close a hole in his stomach.
House Democrats, including all members of New Mexico’s delegation, voted Thursday to approve rules related to the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. The 232-196 vote was nearly on party lines, with ex-Republican, now independent Justin Amash voting along with the Democratic majority and two Democrats voting with Republicans against the rules. The vote outlined rules for the next phase of the impeachment proceedings, which has so far consisted of closed-door meetings with witnesses. At the same time, the House has been pushing for documents from Trump and testimony from those close to Trump. Republicans have criticized the process, saying it is not transparent.
A tracking poll of Latinx and Hispanic voters showed weakened support for Donald Trump in New Mexico and other potential battleground states. The poll, conducted by Equis Research between Sept. 23 and 29, found support among the voters in New Mexico fell from 28 percent in July to 24 percent in the most recent poll. Both numbers are still the highest in the eleven states surveyed. Job approval among Latinx and Hispanic voters in New Mexico also dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent.
The state of New Mexico will not provide driver’s license data to the Trump administration. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Trump administration asked states to provide driver’s license information data in another effort to get citizenship data. The administration sought to get the information through the 2020 Census for use in redistricting in 2021, but lost a court battle over adding a question to the decennial census. According to the AP, at least 13 states have denied the Trump administration’s request, 17 others are still deciding and 17 states haven’t received a request yet, while three states did not respond to questions. A spokeswoman for the governor’s office told NM Political Report about the decision on Tuesday after she spoke with the state Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the state’s driver’s license program.
The city of Albuquerque tallied up the costs incurred during a September Donald Trump campaign visit and invoiced the president’s reelection campaign $211,000. Most of the costs came for paying for time off for city employees, who received paid time off after leaving early on Sept. 16 and coming into work late on Sept. 17 while the president spent the night in a downtown hotel. Other costs included services from the Albuquerque Police Department and for barricades.
After becoming one of the final Democratic holdouts, U.S. Rep. Xochitl Torres Small now supports the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump happening in the House, citing Trump’s efforts to block the investigation. However, she said she still has “not reached judgment on the president’s actions, nor on the appropriate response.”
The first-term congresswoman announced the news in an opinion piece in the Las Cruces Sun News on Thursday. Previously, Torres Small had held the middle ground, saying she supported an investigation into the allegations against Trump related to Ukraine, but not calling it a formal impeachment inquiry. However, the Trump administration’s actions changed that. “Earlier this week, the president and his administration made it clear to New Mexicans that they are not committed to finding the truth,” Torres Small wrote.
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich slammed President Donald Trump after the release of a rough transcript of the president’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“This transcript is hard evidence that President Trump is running our government like a criminal enterprise,” Heinrich said. “He has enlisted both his personal attorney and the U.S. Attorney General to coordinate with a foreign government to interfere in our election.”
The phone call took place in July and is part of a whistleblower complaint filed with the Intelligence Community Inspector General. Federal law requires that such complaints be transmitted to the House and Senate Intelligence committees. The complaint will be sent to Congress Wednesday afternoon, according to U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California; Heinrich sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential frontrunner.
The morning after President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Rio Rancho, a group of about 100 people gathered to encourage Trump supporters to talk to their friends and neighbors about Trump.
Latinos for Trump held a panel discussion at Casa Rodeña, a winery in the village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque. Guest speakers included members of Latinos for Trump, the state Republican chairman, a state representative and Trump’s campaign manager. The message: volunteering and having conversations about Trump’s policies, not social media posts, is the best way to garner support for the president in Hispanic and Latinx communities.
Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale has a background in digital media campaigns and said while the Trump campaign will utilize digital technology to connect supporters, the real effort should be local.
“Winning elections is not about what I do on my computer or what we do across the country, it’s what you do in your neighborhoods,” Parscale told the crowd.
Echoing his boss, Parscale said news organizations cannot be trusted to get the story right. Instead, he said, it’s up to friends and neighbors to share Trump’s policies and educate each other.
“We do not get true information when we watch TV,”Parscale said. “Let me just tell you, from a guy who’s had a lot of fake news written about himself.”
Katrina Pierson, a senior advisor for the 2020 Trump campaign, also spoke and told the crowd that support for Trump goes beyond political affiliations.
“We’ve transcended red and blue states and I think a lot of people have not figured that out yet, because now we have a decision to to be either pro or against America,” Pierson said.
State Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, told the crowd person-to-person conversations and contagious energy were part of the reason counties like Colfax, Hidalgo and Valencia flipped to Republican in the presidential race in 2016.
“If we can multiply that with these people in this room and make that excitement happen in their hometowns and neighborhoods, President Trump will coast to victory in New Mexico,” Baldonado said.
State Republican Chairman Steve Pearce also spoke at Tuesday’s event and praised the venue’s owner John Calvin for having the “courage” to host a political event.
Calvin, a self-described life-long Republican and “lover of freedom and of free speech,” said he welcomes anyone who wants to hold an event at his winery.