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JFK’s grandson: Pence’s op-ed a ‘perversion of JFK’s legacy’

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  • In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Vice President Mike Pence referenced former President John F. Kennedy’s praise of party-breaking lawmakers to urge Senate Democrats to oppose the impeachment proceedings facing President Donald Trump.
  • Kennedy’s grandson Jack Schlossberg hit back on Twitter, calling the comments a “total perversion of JFK’s legacy and the meaning of courage.”
  • Instead of abiding by Kennedy’s intended point of praising lawmakers who broke from their parties to stand for their “conscience,” Schlossberg wrote that by defending the president on the basis of party, “Pence and Congressional Republicans have also failed the test of courage.”
  • Pence’s op-ed came days before Trump’s legal team issued its first formal response to the articles of impeachment, in which it called a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.”
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President John F. Kennedy’s grandson Jack Schlossberg rejected Vice President Mike Pence’s comments in a Wall Street Journal op-ed as a “total perversion of JFK’s legacy and the meaning of courage.”

In the Thursday piece, Pence referenced the former president’s praise of party-breaking lawmakers to urge Senate Democrats to oppose the impeachment proceedings facing President Donald Trump.

“Who, among the Senate Democrats, will stand up to the passions of their party this time?” Pence wrote. “Who will stand up against ‘legislative mob rule’ and for the rule of law? Who will be the 2020 Profile in Courage?”

Pence points to a part of Kennedy’s 1957 book, “Profiles in Courage,” which lauds Republican Sen. Edmund Ross, who broke with his party to issue the deciding vote to acquit President Andrew Johnson in the first American impeachment.

Schlossberg, a Harvard Law School student who sits on the Profiles in Courage Award committee, which recognizes outstanding public officials, wrote that he took a “special interest” in commenting on Pence’s connection.

Schlossberg wrote on Twitter Saturday that Pence “is right to celebrate Ross, a public servant who, foreseeing his own defeated, nonetheless summoned the courage to vote his conscience, and put the national interest above his own.”

“But let’s not be confused,” Schlossberg added.

Trump “was impeached because he did the exact opposite — he put his own interests ahead of our country’s national security and, in the process, broke federal law,” he wrote in the following tweet.

In defending the president on the basis of party, Schlossberg added that “Pence and Congressional Republicans have also failed the test of courage.”

“Rather than risk their career or endure personal reprisal, they excuse the President’s and others’ admitted wrongdoing and disgraceful behavior,” Schlossberg wrote.

Pence’s op-ed came after months of the White House responding to the impeachment inquiry by brushing off allegations from House Democrats. On Saturday, Trump’s legal team issued its first formal response to the articles of impeachment, calling them a “dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President.”

Trump is currently facing two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. As the proceedings move to the Republican-controlled Senate in a trial set to begin next week, the debate over the charges have come down to party lines that can likely expect more fiery responses from the president and his allies.

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