AP Top Stories May 22 A

Here’s the latest for Wednesday May 22nd: More House Democrats want impeachment proceedings; Protests follow presidential election results in Indonesia; Republicans keep US House seat in Pennsylvania special election; Massive floods in Oklahoma.

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AP Top Stories May 17 A

Here’s the latest for Friday May 17th: Trump downplays Iran war concerns; Democrats, Republicans react to Trump immigration plan; Fighter jet crashes through California warehouse roof; Sunken WWII ship leaking oil off Long Island, New York.

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Rep. Eric Swalwell Is Doing Everything He Can to Stay in the 2020 Race

Eric Swalwell appears on television a lot- enough that people in Iowa tell him that as he’s getting coffee in cafes in Dubuque.

The California congressman has been one of the most vocal members of the House Intelligence Committee about holding the president and his administration accountable in the Russia investigations.

Now, Swalwell’s trying to use that notoriety in a bid for president. But in a field of 21 Democrats, he’s learning that being a cable news darling isn’t enough. He’s currently polling at just 1% but he says he’s getting comfortable sticking out his hand to say he’s running for president.

“It’s very, I would say intimidating to say you’re running for president,” he said in a car ride between events in eastern Iowa at the beginning of the month.

“Every chance I get, I’m gonna introduce myself like I’m not starting, you know, as Vice President Biden here,” he added of his chances of making it all the way.

VICE News spent 48 hours with Swalwell in Iowa, where he’s trying to prove he can appeal to a broad demographic of Americans. He’s the son of a sheriff, but Swalwell is making gun control and reform his signature issue, even hosting one of his campaign launch events in Parkland, Florida.

At a Bellevue house party on Friday, Swalwell told a gathering of the Jackson County Democrats about his experience in Congress trying to work on the divisive issue.

“I came to Congress right after Sandy Hook happened,” he said. “I had hoped that I could be a part of a Congress that would actually do something about what had happened. Nothing.”

But as he campaigns, Swalwell is also trying to assure voters that his coastal progressive views don’t blind him to the needs of Trump voters. Swalwell says that his life experiences- born in Iowa, educated in the south, and representing a diverse district in California -gives him credibility with all voters.

“My parents they’re both Republicans. I was reaching across the dinner table before I ever had to reach across the aisle to work with the Republicans,” he told a group of about 20 people at the Uptown Cafe in Jefferson, Iowa. He joked that he goes on Fox News so that his parents will see him on TV.

When asked by Vice News why he’s running in such a crowded field, Swalwell more or less described a fading American dream as his motivation.

“I see a lot of people who work really hard just like my parents did but they don’t see it adding up to what it added up for my parents which was their son was the first in the family to go to college. Instead, they’re just running in place. They’re living paycheck to paycheck. They see a Washington and gridlock and not doing anything about it.”

Jose Ibarra, a city councilman in Storm Lake, Iowa, hosted Swalwell for a “fight night” party at his parents’ house on Saturday evening. Swalwell arrived with a case of beer and tucked into tacos and chips before making his case to a small- but more diverse group than is typical- about why they should support him for president.

Ibarra said he thinks any Democrat has a chance right now of beating Trump- and included Swalwell in that category.

“I mean we look at the Democrats right and they’re actually very educated. They know how to communicate with people. They know what’s wrong with the country,” Ibarra told VICE News in the backyard. “They know that we’re divided. Donald Trump has really done nothing for them, for the small guys. So I believe that if any Democrat can connect with the 99 percent. And make it into a point that he’s going to bring the country back together I think that anybody can beat Donald Trump.”

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Congress hopes China tariffs are short-lived

Congressional Republicans and Democrats said they hoped the tariffs on Chinese goods are short-lived. While Republicans praised the president for being “tough” on China, Democrats worry the move will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy. (May 10)

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Dems In Congress Can’t Decide If They Should Impeach Trump (HBO)

To impeach, or not to impeach?

Elizabeth Warren broke the ice for the 2020 field on Friday afternoon when she called for Trump’s impeachment in a Twitter thread.

And during a town hall on Monday night, two top-tier candidates – Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg- joined the call to bounce Trump from office.

“I think he’s made it pretty clear that he deserves impeachment,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who’s surging in polls right now.

But Mayor Pete and senators don’t make that decision- at least for Warren and Harris, not yet.

The people who will really decide this are the Democrats in the House of Representatives. And right now, they’re struggling with the question that Democrats always seems to be struggling with: what’s more important—principles or politics?

Speaker Pelosi seems to be trying to strike a balance: move forward slowly, play down the impeachment talk, and characterize your investigations as regular old fact-finding. She held an all-caucus call on Monday to rally her base, and in a readout provided by a person on the call she called on Democrats to “save our democracy.”

“Whether it’s articles of impeachment or investigations, it’s the same obtaining of facts. We don’t have to go to articles of impeachment to obtain the facts, the presentation of facts.”

A lot of House Dems seem to be following that lead for now. Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon represents a mostly blue-collar district west of Philly. She’s a freshman elected last fall on the anti-Trump wave. She’s also the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee—the committee that is normally tasked with an impeachment investigation.

When asked bluntly if she would impeach the president today, Scanlon said no.

“I wouldn’t right now. I think we have a lot of work to do to get there. It’s not something you jump into. There’s so many important avenues of investigation that we’re not finished with,” she said in her district office on Wednesday morning.

The office says that in the last week, they’ve received 178 letters or emails asking for impeachment; 85 letters or emails saying that oversight should happen first; and 124 people have asked for the Mueller report to fully released to the public.

One constituent call that Vice News was allowed to listen to on Wednesday featured a woman struggling with the impeachment decision- but for different reasons. But she urged members of Congress to “get to the bottom of this” Mueller report.

“I’m not sure about impeachment. I’d love it but Pence is evil. I’m concerned about him being president. At least Trump is dumb,” she explained to a Scanlon staffer.

But for the Congresswoman Scanlon this isn’t a question about Trump being dumb or not. It’s a question of how congress should do its job. Is the moral high ground to impeach Trump?

“I think acting as a check and balance on an administration that’s out of control in a lot of ways is the moral high ground. It’s why a lot of us ran and that’s why a lot of us were elected,” Scanlon told VICE News. That’s the question that Scanlon thinks faces each member of Congress: “When you look at all of the evidence does it lead you to conclude that for the good of our country. Impeachment is what we have to do that. That it’s an executive who cannot function.”

Scanlon thinks that if impeachment were to happen in the House, that Republicans may be on board.

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House votes to renew domestic violence law

The House voted Thursday to reauthorize a 25-year-old law that helps victims of domestic and sexual violence, despite complaints by Republicans that Democrats were politicizing the popular law by expanding gun control. (April 4)

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Trump talks about elections, trade and health care

President Donald Trump told House Republicans on Tuesday that they need to embrace health care reform and make it the first thing they vote on after the 2020 election. Trump spoke at a Republican fundraiser. (April 3)

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House Dems, GOP spar over WH security clearances

House Democrats and Republicans sparred Tuesday after a career official in the White House security office said dozens of people in the Trump administration were granted security clearances despite “disqualifying issues.” (April 2)

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Dems support ACA as Trump punts on GOP repeal

Democrats attack Republicans over President Donald Trump’s health care repeal plans, which now look to be delayed until after the 2020 presidential election. (April 2)

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