10:33 GMT25 February 2020
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    The Democrat-led impeachment case against President Trump essentially collapsed late last week after the Republican-led Senate refused to hear new witnesses, with pro-impeachment lawmakers extremely unlikely to come up with the two-thirds support required to boot the president out of office.

    Congressman Adam Schiff appeared to return to the old ‘Russia collusion’ narrative against President Trump this week amid the Democrats’ failure to impeach him, arguing that if the president’s alleged Ukraine-related offenses were not impeachable, anything goes, and Trump could even sell Alaska to the Russians.

    “If abuse of power is not impeachable…Trump could offer Alaska to the Russians in exchange for support in the next election, or decide to move to Mar-a-Lago permanently and let Jared Kushner run the country, delegating to him the decision whether to go to war,” Schiff said. “Because those things are not necessarily criminal, this argument would allow that he could not be impeached for such abuses of power. Of course, this would be absurd. More than absurd, it would be dangerous,” he added.

    Schiff’s remarks didn’t go over particularly well online, with social media users suggesting that the congressman should be held accountable for his claims.

    Others compared the congressman to a “child” throwing a temper tantrum amid the impending failure of the impeachment trial. “I’m gonna stop calling him a loony toon. It makes Bugs Bunny look bad,” one user chimed in. “I hope the GOP pull this and use it for an AD,” a third added.

    Others played along with the insanity, with more than one user suggesting that although Trump wouldn’t give Alaska away to Russia, he might want to give them California, with its majority Democratic voters.

    A few even attempted to reason with Schiff, pointing out that it was outside the president’s rights to unilaterally give away states.

    The Democratic lawmaker found a few defenders, however, with a user suggesting that Schiff was “using humor” to make a point, and Republicans being too “stupid” to recognize sarcasm.

    News of Schiff’s remarks eventually found their way onto Russian social media, with most similarly making jokes at the congressman’s expense. “Does this mean they recognize that they control Alaska illegally?” one user cheekily remarked. “We should take Florida instead. At least it’s warm there,” another wrote. “It’s high time!” a third suggested.

    The US purchased the territories which now make up contemporary Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million (equivalent to only about $120 million), with Emperor Alexander II looking to sell off the territory amid fears that Russia could not be adequately defend the territory in the event of another war with the European powers. About three decades after the territory was sold, Alaska enjoyed an unprecedented gold rush, with about 1,400 tonnes of gold found in the northern territory since then. The state is also incredibly rich in oil resources, and contains a number of strategic US air and naval bases.

    After over two months of jostling in Congress, Senators are expected to vote later Wednesday on the impeachment of the president, with senators asked to cast their judgment on Donald Trump’s alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The Democrats’ impeachment hopes fell apart after the Republican-led majority in the senate voted 51-49 against new additional witnesses and new evidence on Friday, and Trump’s opponents are unlikely to find the necessary 2/3 support in the Senate to dump Trump.

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