Central Intelligence Agency

The Pronk Pops Show 1030, Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos — Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos — Story 3: Dueling Memo Madness On Abuse of Power By Obama’s FBI and Department of Justice In Misleading Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — President Trump Blocks Democratic Ten Page Memo For Including Numerous Classified Intelligence Sources and Methods — Resubmit Without Compromising National Security — Appoint Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ and FBI Contempt of FISA Court and Abuse of Power By Obama Administration In Spying on Trump Campaign and American People By Intelligent Community Including FBI, NSA, and CIA — Clinton Obama Conspiracy Exposed — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1029, February 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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 Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control of Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos —

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

President Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Second Shutdown

President Trump Signs Bill Ending Gov’t Shutdown

Stockman Trashes Budget Deal: ‘The Fulcrum Point,’ ‘A Night of Fiscal Infamy

Ep. 329: Republican Hypocrites Embrace Debt to Avert Shutdown

Congress approves spending bill to end brief government shutdown

BREAKING: Congress Votes to REOPEN Government After a Brief Shutdown – Trump Signs Budget

New spending bill raising concerns the tax cuts are unsustainable

Getting implausible that America can pay back debt: Gov. Bevin

 

Party Affiliation

 http://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

WASHINGTON — After a temporary lapse in government funding that lasted through the night, Congress passed a pricey two-year spending deal early Friday that will also fund the government for an additional six weeks.

The government temporarily closed after Congress failed to pass a government funding bill before a midnight deadline due to the objections of one senator, shutting down non-essential government services.

In the end, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers supported the $400 billion agreement. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET, the Senate voted, 71-28, to approve a two-year spending bill that would reopen the government, and the House passed it at 5:30 a.m. with the support of 240 members.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he had signed the bill, officially ending the brief shutdown.

“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” he wrote. He followed the post with a call for Republicans to increase their majority in the midterm election.

“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!” he tweeted.

Congress now has until March 23, the next funding deadline, to write the legislation to accompany the spending deal that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

 

Trump signs budget bill, ending overnight shutdown 4:04

The overnight shutdown occurred because Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., used a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting its deadline.

To the ire of his colleagues, Paul protested the vote because of the large price tag of the two-year spending deal. The agreement is an attempt to end the repeated drama of short-term funding bills that have occupied Congress for much of the past five months. But it, too, was filled with drama until the end: Paul’s stunt forced government agencies to begin shutting down for the second time this year.

“I can’t, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who’s to blame? Both parties,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

In the House, the measure easily passed despite several days of outcry from Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, or DACA. But 73 Democrats supported the measure, including many from districts ravaged by hurricanes that would benefit from $90 billion in disaster aid.

“There’s a considerable irony here that there’s so many good things in the bill and yet there’s an outstanding issue that’s very stubborn,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The spending deal was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. It increases domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years and suspend the debt limit for one year — until well after the midterm elections.

Government shuts down overnight, but is back open again2:39

What it doesn’t address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: Do not,” Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get onto that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.”

But Ryan has not promised an open and neutral process that gives Democrats the opportunity to help craft the bill. And most notably, President Donald Trump’s support for a bill is a litmus test Democrats can’t accept.

“Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he is the speaker of the White House not the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said it’s time for Democrats to have “courage.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

How Rand Paul’s shutdown stunt fits in history 6:27

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee and is retiring at the end of his term, called the bill “a monumental mistake and a sad day.”

“With the passage of this spending package, I fear Republicans have ceded our moral authority to lead our nation away from eventual national insolvency. I cannot in good conscience support it,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was one of 67 House Republicans, and 16 in the Senate, to vote against it.

“The more we read the text, the more surprises for green energy and some of those things that we’re adamantly against,” Walker said.

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a another government shutdown, to garner enough votes. But it’s wasn’t an easy vote for many.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., struggled with his vote but supported it.

“I think the military spending is incredibly important — probably a once-in-a-lifetime increase from my perspective — but the pay-fors are challenging,” Scott said, referring to about $100 billion of revenue-raising mechanisms.

One of those offsets would be to sell off 100 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 2022 to 2027, which some House conservatives say should be saved for an emergency.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the measure, pointing to the major increases to the deficit. “Anybody in the Milky Way concerned about the deficit has to be worried about this bill,” he told reporters.

There were enough sweeteners in the bill to entice enough members to support the measure’s passage. The addition of disaster relief brought Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who often votes against spending bills, on board.

“This latest disaster relief bill is the next step in our state’s road to recovery,” Cruz said in a statement. “And I am gratified that (Sen.) John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I have been able to build upon and improve the bill that was sent to us by the House of Representatives to give the state of Texas the resources it desperately needs.”

Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos

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FBI informant speaks to Congress about the Uranium One deal

BREAKING NEWS!!! WOW! U.S. SPIES PAID $100,000 TO ‘SHADOWY’ RUSSIAN PROMISING DAMNING ‘KOMPROMAT’ ON

Uranium One Informant: ‘Moscow’ Paid Millions to Influence the Oven Mitt Fashionista HRC

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

Media’s handling of Clinton’s dirty dossier ‘absolutely shameful:’ Chaffetz

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton LYING THREE TIMES UNDER OATH Before Congress

The headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md. CreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

BERLIN — After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian — who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. But instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. The N.S.A., which produced the bulk of the hacking tools that the Americans sought to recover, said only that “all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information.” 

The negotiations in Europe last year were described by American and European intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation, and the Russian. The United States officials worked through an intermediary — an American businessman based in Germany — to preserve deniability. There were meetings in provincial German towns where John le Carré set his early spy novels, and data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels. American intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian’s flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg, the officials said.

The N.S.A. even used its official Twitter account nearly a dozen times to send coded messages to the Russian.

The episode ended earlier this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The alleged Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cyber criminals — two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump “kompromat” — a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone — to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information into United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.

At the same time, there were questions about the Russian’s reliability. He had a history of money laundering and a laughably thin legitimate cover business — a nearly bankrupt company that sold portable grills for streetside sausage salesmen, according to British incorporation papers.

“The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together,” said Steven L. Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the C.I.A. “This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint.”

American intelligence officials were also wary of the purported kompromat the Russian wanted to sell. They saw the information, especially the video, as the stuff of tabloid gossip pages, not intelligence collection, American officials said.

But the Americans desperately wanted the hacking tools. The cyberweapons had been built to break into computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.

No officials wanted to pass on information they thought might help determine what had happened.

“That’s one of the bedeviling things about counterintelligence and the wilderness that it is — nobody wants to be caught in a position of saying we wrote that off and then five years later saying, ‘Holy cow, it was actually a real guy,’” Mr. Hall said.

American intelligence agencies believe that Russia’s spy services see the deep political divisions in the United States as a fresh opportunity to inflame partisan tensions. Russian hackers are probing American voting databases ahead of the midterm election this year, they said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. The Russians are also particularly eager to cast doubt on the federal and congressional investigations into the Russian meddling, American intelligence officials said.

Part of that effort, the officials said, appears to be trying to spread information that hews closely to unsubstantiated reports about Mr. Trump’s dealings in Russia, including the purported video, whose existence Mr. Trump has repeatedly dismissed.

Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses the video surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier compiled by a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats. Since then, at least four Russians with espionage and underworld connections have appeared in Central and Eastern Europe, offering to sell kompromat that would corroborate the dossier to American political operatives, private investigators and spies, American and European intelligence officials said.

American officials suspect that at least some of the sellers are working for Russia’s spy services.

The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to American intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). All are purported to be Russian intelligence reports, and each focuses on associates of Mr. Trump. Carter Page, the former campaign adviser who has been the focus of F.B.I. investigators, features in one; Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donors, in another.

Yet all four appear to be drawn almost entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence. They all also contain stylistic and grammatical usages not typically seen in Russian intelligence reports, said Yuri Shvets, a former K.G.B. officer who spent years as a spy in Washington before defecting to the United States just before the end of the Cold War.

American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was “a big deal — you know what it is, and you shouldn’t be asking about it.” He then hung up.

Mr. Shearer’s efforts grew out of work he first began during the 2016 campaign, when he compiled a pair of reports that, like the dossier, also included talk of a video and Russian payoffs to Trump associates. It is not clear what, if anything, Mr. Shearer has been able to purchase.

Before the Americans were negotiating with the Russian, they were dealing with a hacker in Vienna known only to American intelligence officials as Carlo. In early 2017, he offered to provide them with a full set of hacking tools that were in the hands of the Shadow Brokers and the names of other people in his network, American officials said. All he wanted in exchange was immunity from prosecution in the United States.

But the immunity deal fell apart, so intelligence officials decided to do what spies do best: They offered to buy the data. That is when the Russian in Germany emerged, telling the Americans he would handle the sale.

Like Carlo, he had previously dealt with American intelligence operatives, American and European officials said. He served as a fixer, of sorts, brokering deals for Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., which is the successor to the old Soviet K.G.B. American intelligence officials said that he had a direct link to Nikolai Patrushev, a former F.S.B. director, and that they knew of previous work he had done helping move illicit shipments of semiprecious metals for a Russian oligarch.

By last April it appeared that a deal was imminent. Several C.I.A. officers even traveled from the agency’s headquarters to help the agency’s Berlin station handle the operation.

At a small bar in the old heart of West Berlin, the Russian handed the American intermediary a thumb drive with a small cache of data that was intended to provide a sample of what was to come, American officials said.

Within days, though, the deal turned sour. American intelligence agencies determined that the data was genuinely from the Shadow Brokers, but was material the group had already made public. As a result, the C.I.A. said it would not pay for it, American officials said

The Russian was furious. But negotiations limped on until September, when the two sides agreed to try again.

Late that month, the American businessman delivered the $100,000 payment. Some officials said it was United States government money but routed through an indirect channel.

A few weeks later, the Russian began handing over data. But in multiple deliveries in October and December, almost all of what he delivered was related to 2016 election and alleged ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, not the N.S.A. or C.I.A. hacking tools.

In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

Early this year, the Americans gave him one last chance. The Russian once again showed up with nothing more than excuses.

So the Americans offered him a choice: Start working for them and provide the names of everyone in his network — or go back to Russia and do not return.

The Russian did not give it much thought. He took a sip of the cranberry juice he was nursing, picked up his bag and said, “Thank you.” Then he walked out the door.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/here-full-35-page-report-alleging-trump-was-cultivated-supported-and-assisted-russia

 

Special Counsel Q&A


 

On May 17, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump responded by calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

At a May 18 press conference, Trump said: “Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the decision to appoint a special counsel just days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress on March 20 that the FBI had opened an investigation last July into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Amid ongoing investigations by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, what exactly does the appointment of a special counsel mean? Here we answer some questions that readers may have.

Who appoints a special counsel?

The appointment of a special counsel typically is the decision of the U.S. attorney general. But in this case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry after it was revealed that he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing. In such cases of recusal, the power to appoint a special counsel falls to the “acting attorney general,” in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a special counsel is appointed for an investigation into a matter that “would present a conflict of interest for the Department [of Justice] or other extraordinary circumstances” or in cases when it “would be in the public interest” to have an outside counsel.

Why was a special counsel appointed?

In a released statement, Rosenstein explained his decision: “In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

What is the scope of the investigation?

In his order appointing Mueller special counsel, Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.” As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” In addition, Mueller is to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That would include any obstruction of the investigation or perjury related to it.

Whom does the special counsel report to?

Mueller will report to Rosenstein. But the special counsel is supposed to act independently, with some limits. As the federal code explains, a special counsel must consult the acting attorney general (Rosenstein) if he wishes to expand the inquiry beyond what was spelled out in Rosenstein’s order “or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation.” In addition, Rosenstein can ask the special counsel to “provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step,” and if such step is deemed “inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices” the acting attorney general reserves the right to intervene, provided Congress is notified.

Who is Robert Mueller?

Mueller was director of the FBI for 12 years, from September 2001 to September 2013. His was the second longest tenure for an FBI director, behind only J. Edgar Hoover. Serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents, Mueller enjoyed wide, bipartisan support from the Senate, which initially confirmed him 98-0 in 2001, and then extended his term past 10 years by a vote of 100-0 in 2011. The New York Timesnoted that during his career, Mueller oversaw cases ranging from crime boss John J. Gotti to those responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mueller helped “transform the bureau from a crime-fighting organization into a central piece of the antiterrorism establishment,” the Times wrote. His independence and competence was praised by leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Can Mueller be fired?

Yes, but not by the president, at least not directly. Only the acting attorney general — in this case, Rosenstein — can discipline or fire a special counsel, and then only for cause. According to the federal code, “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.” The president can, however, fire the deputy attorney general.

What authority does a special counsel have?

A special counsel has the same authority as any federal prosecutor, William Banks, a professor and the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, told us in a phone interview. That includes access to classified documents. It also includes the authority — if deemed appropriate — to subpoena, say, the president’s tax records.

How big of a staff will Mueller get, and who decides that? 

The federal code does not specify how large a staff the special counsel is afforded. It says only that a special counsel “shall be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice.” The code notes that special counsels may request the assignment of Justice Department staff to assist them, and that such employees will be supervised by the special counsel. Special counsels also may request additional staff from outside the Justice Department, and “[a]ll personnel in the [Justice] Department shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with the Special Counsel.” The special counsel’s proposed budget is subject to approval by the acting attorney general. The length of the investigation is not mandated, but federal code requires the special counsel to make a budget request each fiscal year, at which point the acting attorney general “shall determine whether the investigation should continue and, if so, establish the budget for the next year.”

What happens when the special counsel’s investigation is complete?

Rosenstein’s order notes that if Mueller deems it “necessary and appropriate,” he is “authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.” The federal code states that at the conclusion of a special counsel’s investigation, he must provide the acting attorney general with a confidential report explaining decisions about whether or not prosecutions are warranted. The acting attorney general could decide to make that report public. According to the code, the “Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions.”

How will this affect the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations?

According to NBC News, Mueller will oversee the prosecutors and FBI agents who are working on the Russia investigation. Sam Buell, a law professor at Duke University, told us via email that Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s will essentially now be one in the same. “What we have now is a prosecutor paired with the agents who have been investigating this, which means, among other things, access to the grand jury and a greater degree of lawyerly advice and supervision over how the investigation is progressing,” said Buell, who was a former federal prosecutor for 10 years in New York, Boston, Washington and Houston.

The special counsel’s investigation does not preclude Congress’ investigations, and every indication is that those will continue. Buell told us Congress’ mandate is broader, “looking at questions of governance generally not just violations of criminal laws, which is the question to which Mueller is restricted.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that Mueller’s investigation will “severely restrict” Congress’ ability to call witnesses and issue subpoenas, as some witnesses could argue they have a right not to incriminate themselves amid a criminal investigation. In order to compel witnesses to testify, Congress has to immunize their testimony, David Sklansky, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now teaches law at Stanford University, told us in an email. “Mueller — like any prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation — will be concerned about Congress granting immunity to any witnesses who might be implicated in criminal activity, because prosecuting someone whose congressional testimony has been immunized is very difficult,” Sklansky said. Of less concern to Mueller, he said, are those who testify voluntarily before Congress.

Buell told us fears about Mueller’s investigation in any way blocking Congress’ are an “overstatement” and that “legally, nothing prevents Congress from proceeding apace.” Congress could still set up an independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the election, but it has so far resisted calls for one.

How common is the appointment of a special counsel?

According to the Lawfare blog, this is only the second time a “special counsel” has been appointed under this specific regulation. The first was in 1999 when Attorney General Janet Reno appointed former Sen. John Danforth to lead an investigation into the federal law enforcement raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. But as Lawfare explained, past attorneys general have used “different authorities to appoint other special counsels — like Nora Dannehy, appointed in 2008 to investigate the firing of U.S. Attorneys, Patrick Fitzgerald, tasked with leading the investigation into the Valerie Plame affair, and John Durham, who investigated the alleged abuse of suspected terrorists by CIA interrogators.” Those are wholly different from “independent counsels” such as Kenneth Starr, who investigated the Whitewater scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Starr’s investigations were carried out under the Ethics in Government Act, which was enacted in 1978 after the Watergate scandal. But that law expired in 1999.

Lawfare and a Congressional Research Service report go into some detail about the differences between the variations of special counsels, independent counsels and special prosecutors over the years. But Banks said they all have the same core function: to investigate and prosecute possible violations of criminal law by officials of the federal government. And they have been all too common in American history.

https://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/special-counsel-qa/

Read the controversial Nunes memo and its key points

FISA Court Finds “Serious Fourth Amendment Issue” In Obama’s “Widespread” Illegal Searches Of American Citizens

A newly released court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that the National Security Agency, under former President Obama, routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.  In describing the violations, the FISA court said the illegal searches conducted by the NSA under Obama were “widespread” and created a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

These new discoveries come from a recently unsealed FISA court document dated April 26, 2017 and center around a hearing dated October 26, 2017, just days before the 2016 election, in which the FISA court apparently learned for the first time of “widespread” and illegal spying on American citizens by the NSA under the Obama administration.

“The October 26, 2016 Notice disclosed that an NSA Inspector General (IG) review…indicated that, with greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S.-person identifiers to query the result of Internet “upstream” collection, even though NSA’s section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queriesthis disclosure gave the Court substantial concern.”

FISA

 

The court order goes on to reveal that NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court”…an issue which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.  The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”

 

“At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional ‘lack of candor’ on NSA’s part and emphasized that ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'”

FISA

Of course, these discoveries and their timing, coming just before the 2016 election, are even more suspicious in light of the Obama administration’s efforts to ‘unmask’ intelligence on various Trump campaign officials shortly after the election.

As Circa noted, the American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.

 

“You have these problems going on for years that only come to the attention of the court late in the game and then it takes additional years to change its practices.

 

“I think it does call into question all those defenses that we kept hearing, that we always have a robust oversight structure and we have culture of adherence to privacy standards,” she added. “And the headline now is they actually haven’t been in compliacne for years and the FISA court itself says in its opinion is that the NSA suffers from a culture of a lack of candor.”

Of course, we suspect that none of this will be reported by any of the mainstream media outlets who will undoubtedly overlook these very distburbing facts in their ongoing efforts to track down the latest anonymously-sourced ‘bombshell’ report about how Trump once sat across from a Russian boy at lunch in the 2nd grade.

 

The full FISA Court opinion can be read here:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349261099/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-OVHZTNMNxBIJRoX6Xh9t&show_recommendations=true

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-24/fisa-court-finds-very-serious-fourth-amendment-issue-obamas-widespread-illegal-searc

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018, Story 1: Part 2–President Trump State of The Union Address — Getting Better All The Time — United States of America — USA — USA — USA — Grand Slam Home Run — Videos

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Story 1: Part 2–President Trump State of The Union Address — Getting Better All The Time — United States of America — USA — USA — USA — Grand Slam Home Run — Videos

See the source image

Trump’s 2018 State of the Union in four minutes

Part 1 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 2 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 3 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

Part 4 of President Trump’s 2018 State of the Union Address

President Trump 2018 State of the Union Address (C-SPAN)

Rep. Joe Kennedy delivers the Democratic response to SOTU

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Fact-checking the 2018 State of the Union address

Trump’s State of the Union: Not a Night for Facts: The Daily Show

Top takeaways from Trump’s State of the Union

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Bernie Sanders’ Rebuttal To President Trump’s State Of The Union Address | TIME

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Mark Levin Show Today 01/31/2018 (Audio Rewind)

Levin Show 1/30/18 – Mark Levin Show January 30,2018 Full Podcast

Chaffetz disgusted by Dems’ behavior at State of the Union

Tucker: Dems aren’t ‘resisting’ Trump. It’s nihilism

Tucker Carlson Tonight 1/30/18 – Fox News January, 30, 2018

Ann Coulter Reacts to Trump’s State of the Union Speech

#Trump’s #SOTU Was Magnificent | #DeepState #Pelosi and Her Band of Cretins Are Ideologically AWOL

Ben Shapiro REACTS To President Trump’s State of the Union address

Ben Shapiro: The analysis of President Trump’s State of the Union address (audio from 01-31-2018)

The Left’s Rage and Trump’s Peril

The Democratic base is even worse-tempered than the president. But Mueller could still harpoon him.

President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Jan. 30, 2018.
President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address in the chamber of the House of Representatives, Jan. 30, 2018. PHOTO: WIN MCNAMEE/ZUMA PRESS

The State of the Union speech was good—spirited, pointed, with a credible warmth for the heroes in the balcony, who were well chosen. They were beautiful human beings, and their stories were rousing—the cop and his wife who adopted the baby, the hardy North Korean defector who triumphantly waved his crutches, the mourning, dignified parents of the girls killed by MS-13. My beloved Cajun Navy.

The thing about the heroes in the balcony is it reminds you not of who the president is but of who we are. “With people like that we can’t miss.” I had that thought when Ronald Reagan gave tribute in 1985 to a young woman who as a child desperately fled Saigon as it fell. She and her family were among the boat people, spotted and saved by a U.S. ship. Reagan called her to stand, and Jean Nguyen stood—proudly, in the gleaming uniform of a West Point cadet. She would graduate within the year.

The recognition of heroes in the balcony is called a cliché. It certainly is. An inspiring and truthful one, and long may it live.

The Democrats in the chamber were slumped, glowery. They had chosen to act out unbroken disdain so as to please the rising left of their party, which was watching and would review their faces. Some of them were poorly lit and seemed not resolute but Draculaic. The women of the party mostly dressed in black, because nothing says moral seriousness like coordinating your outfits.

Here it should be said of the rising left of the Democratic Party that they are numerous, committed, and have all the energy—it’s true. But they operate at a disadvantage they cannot see, and it is that they are loveless. The social justice warriors, the advancers of identity politics and gender politics, the young who’ve just discovered socialism—they run on rage.

But rage is a poor fuel in politics. It produces a heavy, sulfurous exhaust and pollutes the air. It’s also gets few miles per gallon. It has many powers but not the power to persuade, and if anything does them in it will be that. Their temperament is no better than Mr. Trump’s . It’s worse. But yes, they are intimidating the Democratic establishment, which robs itself of its dignity trying to please them. It won’t succeed.

As for the president’s base, I am coming to a somewhat different way of thinking about it. It’s true they are a minority, true that his approval ratings are not good, are in fact historically low for a president with a good economy at the end of a first year. But Mr. Trump has just more than a solid third of the nation. They are a spirited, confident core. What other political figure in this fractured, splintered country has a reliable third of the electorate? And it’s probably somewhat more than a third, because Trump supporters know they are not and will never be respected, and just as in 2016 you have to factor in the idea of shy Trump voters.

What they are not sufficiently concerned about is that Mr. Trump has not expanded his popularity. He has kept his core but failed to reach out consistently and successfully to others. He has not created coalitions.

His position is more precarious than his people see.

He has too much relished the role of divider. When you’re running for office you are every day dividing those who support you from those who don’t, and hoping your group is bigger. But when you win you reach out to your enemies with humility, with patience—with love!—and try to drag ’em in to sup in your tent. You don’t do this because you’re a hypocrite but because you’re an adult looking to win. Or a constructive idealist. That happens sometimes.

His supporters don’t know what he doesn’t know: He must grow or die.

They are happily watching The Trump Show as he sticks it to people they hate. They don’t know Shark Week is coming.

In November he may lose the House. That’s what the generic ballot says is coming, that’s what was suggested by last year’s GOP defeats in Virginia and Alabama.

I know what Republicans are thinking. They are going to run on an economy that is expanding thanks to tax reform and deregulation. They are going to run on bigger paychecks and unexpected bonuses. They’ll run on the appointment of conservative judges to balance out Barack Obama’s liberal judges at a time when the courts have taken a more powerful role in American culture. They’ll run on We Will Stop Illegal Immigration and Give a Break to the Children of Illegal Immigrants.

The Democrats, on the other hand, are running on Trump is unpopular and so is his party, he is a fascist, and any limit on immigration is like any limit on abortion, tyrannical on its face.

Republicans are thinking nobody’s noticing but they’re in a pretty good place. I suspect they are right.

Except.

Special counsel Robert Mueller will likely, before November, report his findings to the Justice Department, and you have to assume he is going to find something because special prosecutors exist to find something. When Mr. Mueller staffed up he hired Ahabs, and Ahabs exist to get the whale. You have to assume Mr. Trump will be harpooned, and the question is whether it’s a flesh wound or goes deeper. If it goes deep the Democrats may well win the House, in which case he will be impeached.

Trump supporters don’t view this with appropriate alarm. They comfort themselves with the idea that he is playing three-dimensional chess and his opponents are too stupid to see it. That’s not true—he is more ad hoc and chaotic than they think. They should help him by trying to improve his standing, which means telling him what doesn’t work.

He thinks he rouses and amuses his supporters with feuds and wars, tweets and grievances. In reality, as Trump supporters know, it’s something they put up with. For everyone else it’s alienating, evidence of instability.

He calls out fake news and wars with the press while at the same time betraying a complete and befuddled yearning for their approval. Mr. Trump is a little like Nixon in this—embittered and vengeful at not getting the admiration of those he says he doesn’t respect.

These things don’t speak of tactical or strategic brilliance.

His supporters argue the media is against him, and this is true and should be acknowledged. But they were totally opposed to Reagan, too. They more or less admit his greatness now, or at least concede his towering adequacy, in part because Trump-shock has left them reconsidering the bogeymen of the past, in part because they like all dead Republicans.

But Reagan didn’t need the press to feel like a big man or be a success, and Mr. Trump looks unmanned to be so destabilized by their antipathy.

The president’s supporters should be frank with him about his flaws. They’re so used to defending him, they forget to help him. They should give him the compliment of candor.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-lefts-rage-and-trumps-peril-1517530358

 

Read the full text of President Trump’s first State of the Union address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and my fellow Americans:

Less than 1 year has passed since I first stood at this podium, in this majestic chamber, to speak on behalf of the American People — and to address their concerns, their hopes, and their dreams.  That night, our new Administration had already taken swift action.  A new tide of optimism was already sweeping across our land.

Each day since, we have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission — to make America great again for all Americans.

Over the last year, we have made incredible progress and achieved extraordinary success.  We have faced challenges we expected, and others we could never have imagined.  We have shared in the heights of victory and the pains of hardship.  We endured floods and fires and storms.  But through it all, we have seen the beauty of America’s soul, and the steel in America’s spine.

Each test has forged new American heroes to remind us who we are, and show us what we can be.

We saw the volunteers of the “Cajun Navy,” racing to the rescue with their fishing boats to save people in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

We saw strangers shielding strangers from a hail of gunfire on the Las Vegas strip.

We heard tales of Americans like Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashlee Leppert, who is here tonight in the gallery with Melania.  Ashlee was aboard one of the first helicopters on the scene in Houston during Hurricane Harvey.  Through 18 hours of wind and rain, Ashlee braved live power lines and deep water, to help save more than 40 lives.  Thank you, Ashlee.

We heard about Americans like firefighter David Dahlberg.  He is here with us too.  David faced down walls of flame to rescue almost 60 children trapped at a California summer camp threatened by wildfires.

To everyone still recovering in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and everywhere else — we are with you, we love you, and we will pull through together.

Some trials over the past year touched this chamber very personally.  With us tonight is one of the toughest people ever to serve in this House — a guy who took a bullet, almost died, and was back to work three and a half months later:  the legend from Louisiana, Congressman Steve Scalise.

We are incredibly grateful for the heroic efforts of the Capitol Police Officers, the Alexandria Police, and the doctors, nurses, and paramedics who saved his life, and the lives of many others in this room.

In the aftermath of that terrible shooting, we came together, not as Republicans or Democrats, but as representatives of the people.  But it is not enough to come together only in times of tragedy.  Tonight, I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground, and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people we were elected to serve.

Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew:  that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans.  If there is a mountain, we climb it.  If there is a frontier, we cross it.  If there is a challenge, we tame it.  If there is an opportunity, we seize it.

So let us begin tonight by recognizing that the state of our Union is strong because our people are strong.

And together, we are building a safe, strong, and proud America.

Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone.  Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free.  We also doubled the child tax credit.

A typical family of four making $75,000 will see their tax bill reduced by $2,000 — slashing their tax bill in half.

This April will be the last time you ever file under the old broken system — and millions of Americans will have more take-home pay starting next month.

We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.  We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.

We slashed the business tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent, so American companies can compete and win against anyone in the world.  These changes alone are estimated to increase average family income by more than $4,000.

Small businesses have also received a massive tax cut, and can now deduct 20 percent of their business income.

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio.  They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history.  Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight.  Corey is an all-American worker.  He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder.  Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education.  Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker.  Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers.

This is our new American moment.  There has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.

So to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time.  If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be.  All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life.  Our motto is “in God we trust.”

And we celebrate our police, our military, and our amazing veterans as heroes who deserve our total and unwavering support.

Here tonight is Preston Sharp, a 12-year-old boy from Redding, California, who noticed that veterans’ graves were not marked with flags on Veterans Day.  He decided to change that, and started a movement that has now placed 40,000 flags at the graves of our great heroes.  Preston:  a job well done.

Young patriots like Preston teach all of us about our civic duty as Americans.  Preston’s reverence for those who have served our Nation reminds us why we salute our flag, why we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance, and why we proudly stand for the national anthem.

Americans love their country.  And they deserve a Government that shows them the same love and loyalty in return.

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government.

Working with the Senate, we are appointing judges who will interpret the Constitution as written, including a great new Supreme Court Justice, and more circuit court judges than any new administration in the history of our country.

We are defending our Second Amendment, and have taken historic actions to protect religious liberty.

And we are serving our brave veterans, including giving our veterans choice in their healthcare decisions.  Last year, the Congress passed, and I signed, the landmark VA Accountability Act.  Since its passage, my Administration has already removed more than 1,500 VA employees who failed to give our veterans the care they deserve — and we are hiring talented people who love our vets as much as we do.

I will not stop until our veterans are properly taken care of, which has been my promise to them from the very beginning of this great journey.

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them.  So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.

In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history.

We have ended the war on American Energy — and we have ended the war on clean coal.  We are now an exporter of energy to the world.

In Detroit, I halted Government mandates that crippled America’s autoworkers — so we can get the Motor City revving its engines once again.

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades.  Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama.  Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country.  This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us.  But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home.  It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the “right to try.”

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs.  In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States.  That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities.  Prices will come down.

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

The era of economic surrender is over.

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders.  We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit.

Any bill must also streamline the permitting and approval process — getting it down to no more than two years, and perhaps even one.

Together, we can reclaim our building heritage.  We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways across our land.  And we will do it with American heart, American hands, and American grit.

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work.  We want every child to be safe in their home at night.  And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training.  Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential.  And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens.  That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.  They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.  Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

Here tonight are two fathers and two mothers:  Evelyn Rodriguez, Freddy Cuevas, Elizabeth Alvarado, and Robert Mickens.  Their two teenage daughters — Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens — were close friends on Long Island.  But in September 2016, on the eve of Nisa’s 16th Birthday, neither of them came home.  These two precious girls were brutally murdered while walking together in their hometown.  Six members of the savage gang MS-13 have been charged with Kayla and Nisa’s murders.  Many of these gang members took advantage of glaring loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors ‑- and wound up in Kayla and Nisa’s high school.

Evelyn, Elizabeth, Freddy, and Robert:  Tonight, everyone in this chamber is praying for you.  Everyone in America is grieving for you.  And 320 million hearts are breaking for you.  We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow, but we can make sure that other families never have to endure this pain.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that have allowed MS-13, and other criminals, to break into our country.  We have proposed new legislation that will fix our immigration laws, and support our ICE and Border Patrol Agents, so that this cannot ever happen again.

The United States is a compassionate nation.  We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world.  But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities.  I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things.  I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed.  My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream.  Because Americans are dreamers too.

Here tonight is one leader in the effort to defend our country:  Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Celestino Martinez — he goes by CJ. CJ served 15 years in the Air Force before becoming an ICE agent and spending the last 15 years fighting gang violence and getting dangerous criminals off our streets.  At one point, MS-13 leaders ordered CJ’s murder.  But he did not cave to threats or fear.  Last May, he commanded an operation to track down gang members on Long Island.  His team has arrested nearly 400, including more than 220 from MS-13.

 CJ:  Great work.  Now let us get the Congress to send you some reinforcements.

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform.  Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration.  Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border.  That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe.  Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of “catch and release.”

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people.  It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration.  Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives.  Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children.  This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration.  In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem.  This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first.  So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses:  174 deaths per day.  Seven per hour.  We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need.  The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico.  Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department.  He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca.  Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin.  When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep.  She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him:  “You will do it — because you can.”  He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids.  Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca.  In an instant, she agreed to adopt.  The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation.  Thank you, and congratulations.

As we rebuild America’s strength and confidence at home, we are also restoring our strength and standing abroad.

Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values.  In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense.

For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.

As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression.  Perhaps someday in the future there will be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.  Unfortunately, we are not there yet.

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.  We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated.

Army Staff Sergeant Justin Peck is here tonight.  Near Raqqa last November, Justin and his comrade, Chief Petty Officer Kenton Stacy, were on a mission to clear buildings that ISIS had rigged with explosives so that civilians could return to the city.

Clearing the second floor of a vital hospital, Kenton Stacy was severely wounded by an explosion.  Immediately, Justin bounded into the booby-trapped building and found Kenton in bad shape.  He applied pressure to the wound and inserted a tube to reopen an airway.  He then performed CPR for 20 straight minutes during the ground transport and maintained artificial respiration through 2 hours of emergency surgery.

Kenton Stacy would have died if not for Justin’s selfless love for a fellow warrior.  Tonight, Kenton is recovering in Texas.  Raqqa is liberated.  And Justin is wearing his new Bronze Star, with a “V” for “Valor.”  Staff Sergeant Peck:  All of America salutes you.

Terrorists who do things like place bombs in civilian hospitals are evil.  When possible, we annihilate them.  When necessary, we must be able to detain and question them.  But we must be clear:  Terrorists are not merely criminals.  They are unlawful enemy combatants.  And when captured overseas, they should be treated like the terrorists they are.

In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi.

So today, I am keeping another promise.  I just signed an order directing Secretary Mattis to reexamine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.

I am also asking the Congress to ensure that, in the fight against ISIS and al-Qa’ida, we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists — wherever we chase them down.

Our warriors in Afghanistan also have new rules of engagement.  Along with their heroic Afghan partners, our military is no longer undermined by artificial timelines, and we no longer tell our enemies our plans.

Last month, I also took an action endorsed unanimously by the Senate just months before:  I recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Shortly afterwards, dozens of countries voted in the United Nations General Assembly against America’s sovereign right to make this recognition.  American taxpayers generously send those same countries billions of dollars in aid every year.

That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.

As we strengthen friendships around the world, we are also restoring clarity about our adversaries.

When the people of Iran rose up against the crimes of their corrupt dictatorship, I did not stay silent.  America stands with the people of Iran in their courageous struggle for freedom.

I am asking the Congress to address the fundamental flaws in the terrible Iran nuclear deal.

My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela.

But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea.

North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland.

We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening.

Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position.

We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.

Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.

Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta.  You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.

Finally, we are joined by one more witness to the ominous nature of this regime.  His name is Mr. Ji Seong-ho.

In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea.  One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food.  In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger.  He woke up as a train ran over his limbs.  He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain.  His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves — permanently stunting their own growth.  Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China.  His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians.  He had — and he resolved to be free.

Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom.  Most of his family followed.  His father was caught trying to escape, and was tortured to death.

Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears the most ‑- the truth.

Today he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those crutches as a reminder of how far you have come.  Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all.

Seong-ho’s story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.

It was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.  It was a small cluster of colonies caught between a great ocean and a vast wilderness.  But it was home to an incredible people with a revolutionary idea:  that they could rule themselves.  That they could chart their own destiny.  And that, together, they could light up the world.

That is what our country has always been about.  That is what Americans have always stood for, always strived for, and always done.

Atop the dome of this Capitol stands the Statue of Freedom.  She stands tall and dignified among the monuments to our ancestors who fought and lived and died to protect her.

Monuments to Washington and Jefferson — to Lincoln and King.

Memorials to the heroes of Yorktown and Saratoga — to young Americans who shed their blood on the shores of Normandy, and the fields beyond.  And others, who went down in the waters of the Pacific and the skies over Asia.

And freedom stands tall over one more monument:  this one.  This Capitol.  This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  They are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:  The people dreamed this country. The people built this country.  And it is the people who are making America great again.

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve.

As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/30/state-union-read-excerpts-president-trumps-address/1080784001/

 

Trump’s Immigration Plan Receives a Chilly Reception

Republicans are banking on passing legislation on the issue to help them coast into November—and they’ll need Democratic votes to make it happen.

On Tuesday evening, in a State of the Union address billed as “optimistic, heartfelt, and bipartisan,” President Donald Trump revealed just how fractured Congress is on the issue that swept him into the White House: immigration.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been scrambling to piece together legislation that would address the fate of undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, alongside other reforms dear to Trump’s heart, including curtailing chain migration and ending the visa lottery system. Last week, the White House unveiled its “four pillars” of immigration reform: a path to citizenship for 1.8 million “Dreamers” and those undocumented immigrants who would otherwise qualify for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program; a $25 billion trust for a wall along the Mexican border; ending the visa lottery in favor of a merit-based immigration system; and limiting family reunification to sponsorships for spouses and minor children only. The plan caused a stir among hardline conservatives in the House and plenty of Democrats in both chambers. But a senior House Republican aide told me at the time, “When the bill is being ripped by the Freedom Caucus and liberals, yet it includes things both camps like, I think you’ve found the sweet spot to begin negotiating.”

Those hopes were dashed on Tuesday.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of Trump’s speech came when he pledged to “protect the nuclear family” by ending chain migration. “In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by … chain migration,” he said. Democrats erupted in a cacophony of boos and hisses; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was forced to stand up from her chair to quiet them. “It showed there will be no DACA deal,” a senior Senate Republican aide texted me. (The staffers who spoke for this story made their comments on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.) Indeed, if the White House suggested tonight that ending chain migration was a nonnegotiable component of immigration reform, Democrats made clear that it’s not a price they’re willing to pay—even for a path to citizenship for the “Dreamers.” As if to underscore this point, when Trump summed up his proposal as a “down-the-middle compromise,” Democrats cackled.

“He could have taken a more strategic tone on immigration,” another senior Senate GOP aide lamented. “When he talks about the dangers of chain migration and open borders, even if there’s truth to what he’s saying, he plays into Democrats’ hands by making it easier for them to paint him as a fear-mongering nativist.”

Moreover, as Trump boasted that his plan would ferry “almost three times more” Dreamers into citizenship than in any other administration, House conservatives such as Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows and his predecessor, Jim Jordan, sitting side-by-side, looked sullen. In the last few days, Freedom Caucus members haven’t been shy about panning the president for revoking his “no amnesty” pledge from the campaign trail: ”If you ask voters in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania that swung to Donald Trump if this amnesty plan keeps his promises,” Virginia’s Dave Brat said in a statement, “they will tell you it does not.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/01/trump-bets-on-immigration-in-the-state-of-the-union/551936/

 

The radical idea buried in Trump’s State of the Union

He declared a new front on his war on government. But it’s not clear how he can win it.

The lines weren’t widely noted. But in a few places, sudden alarm bells went off: “Trump looks to expand VA’s firing authority government-wide,” ran a headline in FCW, a publication on government technology. The New Yorker dangled the prospect that Trump might be hinting at firing members of the FBI. Slate bit down harder: “Donald Trump Just Asked Congress to End the Rule of Law,” blared a headline.

His plan might not be that extreme, but Trump’s words did lay down a marker that could have repercussions throughout the government—maybe even declaring a new front in what former aide Steve Bannon called “the deconstruction of the administrative state.”

“This was a quick drive-by in the speech, but it has enormous implications that are only beginning to play themselves out,” said Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Maryland who has written extensively on government management.

This new shot on the bureaucracy builds on Trump’s previous attacks on the so-called administrative state, from criticizing individual federal workers to efforts to reshape agencies altogether. He instituted a government-wide hiring freeze on his third day in office; in March, he directed federal agencies to draw up reorganization plans. He’s also installed small-government crusaders in critical White House positions who are quietly—critics say secretly—drawing up plans to reorganize the federal bureaucracy.

It’s all part of Trump’s broader promise to run the government like a business, streamlining agencies and squeezing out efficiencies that save taxpayer money. But one of the biggest obstacles to such an overhaul is the vast federal workforce of 2 million employees—workers who are, by and large, difficult to fire. While political appointees set the direction of individual agencies, these civil servants do the actual nuts-and-bolts tasks of governing, from running statistical surveys to writing regulations.

To Democrats and others worried about Trump’s agenda, government employees have come to represent a bulwark against radical change—career civil servants who can’t simply be bumped out in favor of loyalists. But to critics of the bureaucracy, those employees represent a massive impediment to change, a “deep state” that defies democracy by resisting the president’s agenda. Trump adviser Newt Gingrich, on the eve of Trump’s inauguration, talked of waging a “straight-out war” against the federal bureaucracy, in part by making it easier to fire federal workers.

So far, that war hasn’t really happened: Trump’s hiring freeze slowed the influx of new workers, but he hasn’t made any appreciable effort to sweep out existing civil servants. Still, the State of the Union represent perhaps the clearest sign yet that the White House intends to focus on civil service reform in the months and years ahead—especially since his budget last year made deep cuts to federal agencies, necessitating significant reductions in the federal workforce.

How would it happen? One clue may lie in Trump’s invocation of a little-known law that made it easier for the VA to fire workers. Triggered by the scandals at VA hospitals in 2014, the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, signed last June, lowered the standard of evidence necessary for the agency to fire workers, and reduced the time for them to appeal dismissals. And the VA does appear to be firing more workers: According to data provided to POLITICO by a spokesperson at the Department of Veterans Affairs, the agency removed 1,737 people in the roughly six months after the law’s passage, compared with 2,001 workers in the entire year 2016.

J. David Cox, head of the American Federation of Government Employees, sharply criticized the law in an interview, saying the vast majority of those removed were lower-level workers, not the managers or senior executives most at fault for the scandal. “They are firing housekeeping aides,” he said.

Administrative experts, who have been tracking the law as something of an experiment, said the results aren’t clear, especially since the law was enacted less than a year ago. They are less focused on the number of workers removed than on the quality of service provided by VA hospitals—the ultimate goal of the reforms. “Is it easier to get an appointment?” said Kettl. “Is the quality of health care better?”

Trump hasn’t said whether he wants to extend the VA law more broadly, and it’s unclear just how he plans to tackle federal personnel laws overall. The most extreme interpretation of his comment is that he wants to abolish civil service protections altogether, a radical idea. “He wants to move from a democracy to an autocracy, without any question, where every federal employee is like-minded and votes one way,” Cox said. In the Slate piece, author Yascha Mounk, a democracy scholar, wrote that “Trump called on Congress to give him unprecedented and unquestionably antidemocratic powers.”

Many experts were skeptical that Trump really would propose abolishing civil service protections, which were first created in 1883 to prevent incoming administrations from creating a political test for the federal workforce. But Trump’s relationship with the federal workforce has been confrontational, to say the least. He has often railed against the so-called deep state, and recently publicly attacked Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who resigned this week after the president accused him of bias over his wife’s political affiliations. Before Trump, presidents rarely, if ever, attacked federal employees by name; his treatment of McCabe was seen by some as another sign that the president wants to clear out federal workers in favor of political loyalists.

So what does Trump really want to do? Blowing up civil-service protections, or enforcing a loyalty test, are likely to be nonstarters. “In my conversations with the folks in the administration, that’s never been on the table,” said Bill Valdez, president of the Senior Executives Association. “The barriers to throwing out the civil service system are so huge.”

The House of Representatives has passed a couple of bills to make it easier for agencies to fire federal workers and reduce their appeal time, in line with the VA legislation. At the beginning of the 115th Congress, congressional Republicans also reinstated the so-called Holman Rule, which allows any legislator to add a provision to a spending bill that reduces an individual federal worker’s pay to $1. So far, the rule hasn’t been successfully used, and it doesn’t directly give any new powers to the White House.

Despite minimal traction in Congress, the White House is moving ahead with its plans. One preview of the administration’s approach could come on Feb. 12, when the White House releases its 2019 budget. It is expected to include the reorganization plans requested from agencies last year, although the extent of what will be included is unclear. Even lawmakers in Congress have had trouble learning about the agencies’ reform plans.

“The Administration is taking a targeted approach to federal workforce reform to better prepare for the future—and we plan to highlight that in the fiscal 2019 budget,” Hogan Gidley, deputy White House press secretary, said in a statement to POLITICO. “As the president indicated in the State of the Union, this would include streamlining processes for hiring and rewarding the best talent, and removing the poor performers.”

In a sense, the administration’s attempt to overhaul the government is similar to its effort to reform the regulatory system: Both are bureaucratic tasks that get relatively little attention but have huge implications for the country, and the administration is addressing them largely out of public view. On regulation, the White House has effectively shut down the pipeline of new rules and begun changing the structures of the regulatory system.

But experts said it won’t be so easy to remake the civil service system, which is guided by federal statutes that give the administration much less flexibility. “What they’ve done on the regulatory front was exercising the authority they could use unilaterally,” said Dan Blair, the former acting head of the Office of Personnel Management during the Bush administration. “When it comes to changing the civil service laws, you’ll have to have Congress involved.” That means compromising with Democrats who have expressed little interest in much of Trump’s agenda.

Trump is also lacking a key player: He doesn’t have a Senate-confirmed director of the OPM, the White House agency that oversees the federal workforce. His first nominee withdrew from consideration in August, and his replacement, whom Trump nominated in September, has yet to receive a committee vote in the Senate, leaving a crucial position unfilled.

If he perseveres, Trump will join a long line of presidents to attempt to update the government’s personnel rules, which date back more than 60 years and haven’t been overhauled since 1978. Previous attempts by both the Bush and Obama administrations failed to accomplish meaningful change, and as a result, the federal workforce continues to get older and agencies continue to struggle to bring in new workers.

Blair, who supports the idea of personnel reform, suggested that the Trump administration should focus less on the rules around firing and more on the hiring rules, where there could be more common ground. Previous administrations have tried to alter those rules to recruit younger workers, but those efforts have largely failed; the federal workforce has gotten older and older over the past few decades, a 2017 POLITICO investigation found. Blair argued that better hiring rules would lead to fewer problematic employees and less of a need to reform the rules around firing. “If you bring in quality, maybe that will negate the need for discipline in the future,” he said, adding, “It’s time that we update our laws and make it reflect 2020 rather than 1949.”

https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/02/01/trump-civil-service-reform-state-of-the-union-000635

 

State of the Union

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The State of the Union Address is an annual message[1] presented by the President of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress, except in the first year of a new president’s term. The address has been usually held on a Tuesday.[2] The message includes a budget message and an economic report of the nation, and also allows the President to outline their legislative agenda (for which the cooperation of Congress is needed) and national priorities.[3]

The address fulfills rules in Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution, requiring the President to periodically “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”[1]During most of the country’s first century, the President primarily only submitted a written report to Congress. After 1913, Woodrow Wilson, the 28th U.S. President, began the regular practice of delivering the address to Congress in person as a way to rally support for his agenda.[1] With the advent of radio and television, the address is now broadcast live across the country on many networks,[4] and thus is also used by the President as a platform to speak directly to the American people.[1][citation needed]

Background

The practice arises from a duty given to the president in the Constitution of the United States:

He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

— Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution

Although the language of this Section of the Constitution is not specific, by tradition, the President makes this report annually in late January or early February. Between 1934 and 2013 the date has been as early as January 3,[5] and as late as February 12.[6]

While not required to deliver a speech, every president since Woodrow Wilson, with the notable exception of Herbert Hoover,[7] has made at least one State of the Union report as a speech delivered before a joint session of Congress. Before that time, most presidents delivered the State of the Union as a written report.[5]

Since Franklin Roosevelt, the State of the Union is given typically each January before a joint session of the United States Congress and is held in the House of Representatives chamber of the United States Capitol. Newly inaugurated presidents generally deliver an address to Congress in February of the first year of their term, but this speech is not officially considered to be a “State of the Union”.[5]

What began as a communication between president and Congress has become a communication between the president and the people of the United States. Since the advent of radio, and then television, the speech has been broadcast live on most networks, preempting scheduled programming. To reach the largest audience, the speech, once given during the day, is now typically given in the evening, after 9pm ET (UTC-5).

History

George Washington‘s handwritten notes for the first State of the Union Address, January 8, 1790. Full 7 pages.

George Washington delivered the first regular annual message before a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1790, in New York City, then the provisional U.S. capital. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice of delivering the address in person, regarding it as too monarchical (similar to the Speech from the Throne). Instead, the address was written and then sent to Congress to be read by a clerk until 1913 when Woodrow Wilson re-established the practice despite some initial controversy. However, there have been exceptions to this rule. Presidents during the latter half of the 20th century[who?] have sent written State of the Union addresses. The last President to do this was Jimmy Carter in 1981, after his defeat by Ronald Reagan and days before his term ended.[8]

For many years, the speech was referred to as “the President’s Annual Message to Congress”.[9] The actual term “State of the Union” first emerged in 1934 when Franklin D. Roosevelt used the phrase, becoming its generally accepted name since 1947.[9]

Prior to 1934, the annual message was delivered at the end of the calendar year, in December. The ratification of the 20th Amendment on January 23, 1933 changed the opening of Congress from early March to early January, affecting the delivery of the annual message. Since 1934, the message or address has been delivered to Congress in January or February.

The Twentieth Amendment also established January 20 as the beginning of the presidential term. In years when a new president is inaugurated, the outgoing president may deliver a final State of the Union message, but none has done so since Jimmy Carter sent a written message in 1981. In 1953 and 1961, Congress received both a written State of the Union message from the outgoing president and a separate State of the Union speech by the incoming president. Since 1989, in recognition that the responsibility of reporting the State of the Union formally belongs to the president who held office during the past year, newly inaugurated Presidents have not officially called their first speech before Congress a “State of the Union” message.

In 1936, President Roosevelt set a precedent when he delivered the address at night. Only once before—when Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to order the U.S. into World War I—had a sitting president addressed Congress at night.[10]

The text of the first page of Ronald Reagan‘s first State of the Union Address, given January 26, 1982

Warren Harding‘s 1922 speech was the first to be broadcast on radio, albeit to a limited audience,[11] while Calvin Coolidge‘s 1923 speech was the first to be broadcast across the nation.[2] Harry S. Truman‘s 1947 address was the first to be broadcast on television. Lyndon B. Johnson‘s address in 1965 was the first delivered in the evening.[11] Three years later, in 1968, television networks in the United States, for the first time, imposed no time limit for their coverage of a State of the Union address. Delivered by Lyndon B. Johnson, this address was followed by extensive televised commentary by, among others, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Milton Friedman.[12] Ronald Reagan‘s 1986 State of the Union Address is the only one to have been postponed. He had planned to deliver it on January 28, 1986 but postponed it for a week after learning of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and instead addressed the nation on the day’s events.[13][14] Bill Clinton’s 1997 address was the first broadcast available live on the World Wide Web.[15]

Delivery of the speech

A formal invitation is made by the Speaker of the House to the President several weeks before each State of the Union Address.[16][17]

Invitations

Every member of Congress can bring one guest to the State of the Union address. The President may invite up to 24 guests with the First Lady in her box. The Speaker of the House may invite up to 24 guests in the Speaker’s box. Seating for Congress on the main floor is by a first-in, first-served basis with no reservations. The Cabinet, Supreme Court justices, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and Joint Chiefs have reserved seating.

Protocol of entry into House chamber

By approximately 8:30 pm on the night of the address, the members of the House have gathered in their seats for the joint session.[18] Then, the Deputy Sergeant at Arms addresses the Speaker and loudly announces the Vice President and members of the Senate, who enter and take the seats assigned for them.[18]

The Speaker, and then the Vice President, specify the members of the House and Senate, respectively, who will escort the President into the House chamber.[18] The Deputy Sergeant at Arms addresses the Speaker again and loudly announces, in order, the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Chief Justice of the United States and the Associate Justices, and the Cabinet, each of whom enters and takes their seats when called.[18] The justices take the seats nearest to the Speaker’s rostrum and adjacent to the sections reserved for the Cabinet and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[19]

The Sergeants at Arms of the House (left) and Senate (right) wait at the doorway to the House chamber before President Barack Obama enters to deliver the 2011 State of the Union Address.

Just after 9 pm, as the President reaches the door to the chamber,[20] the House Sergeant at Arms stands just inside the doors, faces the Speaker, and waits until the President is ready to enter the chamber.[19] When the President is ready, the Sergeant at Arms always announces his entrance, loudly stating the phrase: “Mister Speaker, the President of the United States!”[20]

As applause and cheering begins, the President slowly walks toward the Speaker’s rostrum, followed by members of his Congressional escort committee.[20] The President’s approach is slowed by pausing to shake hands, hug, kiss, and autograph copies of his speech for Members of Congress.[19] After he takes his place at the House Clerk‘s desk,[20] he hands two manila envelopes, previously placed on the desk and containing copies of the speech, to the Speaker and Vice President.

After continuing applause from the attendees has diminished, the Speaker introduces the President to the Representatives and Senators, stating: “Members of Congress, I have the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the President of the United States.”[19][20] This leads to a further round of applause and, eventually, the beginning of the address by the President.[20]

At close of the ceremony, attendees leave on their own accord. The Sergeants at Arms guides the President out of the Chamber. Some politicians stay to shake hands with and congratulate the President on his way out.

Designated survivor and other logistics

Customarily, one cabinet member (the designated survivor) does not attend the speech, in order to provide continuity in the line of succession in the event that a catastrophe disables the President, the Vice President, and other succeeding officers gathered in the House chamber. Additionally, since the September 11 attacks in 2001, a few members of Congress have been asked to relocate to undisclosed locations for the duration of the speech to form a rump Congress in the event of a disaster.[21] Since 2003, each chamber of Congress has formally named a separate designated survivor.[22][23]

President George W. Bush with Senate President (U.S. Vice President) Dick Cheney and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the 2007 State of the Union address. 2007 marked the first time that a woman had occupied the Speaker of the House chair. (audio only)

Both the Speaker and the Vice President sit at the Speaker’s desk, behind the President for the duration of the speech. If either is unavailable, the next highest-ranking member of the respective house substitutes. Once the chamber settles down from the President’s arrival, the Speaker officially presents the President to the joint session of Congress. The President then delivers the speech from the podium at the front of the House Chamber.

In the State of the Union the President traditionally outlines the administration’s accomplishments over the previous year, as well as the agenda for the coming year, often in upbeat and optimistic terms.[24] Since the 1982 address, it has also become common for the President to honor special guests sitting in the gallery, such as American citizens or visiting heads of state. During that 1982 address, President Ronald Reagan acknowledged Lenny Skutnik for his act of heroism following the crash of Air Florida Flight 90.[25] Since then, the term “Lenny Skutniks” has been used to refer to individuals invited to sit in the gallery, and then cited by the President, during the State of the Union.[26][27]

State of the Union speeches usually last a little over an hour, partly because of the large amounts of applause that occur from the audience throughout. The applause is often political in tone, with many portions of the speech being applauded only by members of the President’s own party. As non-political officeholders, members of the Supreme Court or the Joint Chiefs of Staff rarely applaud in order to retain the appearance of political impartiality. In recent years, the presiding officers of the House and the Senate, the Speaker and the Vice President, respectively, have departed from the neutrality expected of presiding officers of deliberative bodies, as they, too, stand and applaud in response to the remarks of the President with which they agree.

For the 2011 address, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado proposed a break in tradition wherein all members of Congress sit together regardless of party, as well as the avoiding of standing;[28] this was in response to the 2011 Tucson Shooting in which Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot and wounded in an assassination attempt. This practice was also repeated during the 2012 address and every address after.[29]

Opposition response

Since 1966,[30] the speech has been followed on television by a response or rebuttal by a member of the major political party opposing the President’s party. The response is typically broadcast from a studio with no audience. In 1970, the Democratic Party put together a TV program with their speech to reply to President Nixon, as well as a televised response to Nixon’s written speech in 1973.[31] The same was done by Democrats for President Reagan’s speeches in 1982 and 1985. The response is not always produced in a studio; in 1997, the Republicans for the first time delivered the response in front of high school students.[32] In 2004, the Democratic Party‘s response was also delivered in Spanish for the first time, by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.[33] In 2011, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann also gave a televised response for the Tea Party Express, a first for a political movement.[34]

Significance

Although much of the pomp and ceremony behind the State of the Union address is governed by tradition rather than law, in modern times, the event is seen as one of the most important in the US political calendar. It is one of the few instances when all three branches of the US government are assembled under one roof: members of both houses of Congress constituting the legislature, the President’s Cabinet constituting the executive, and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court constituting the judiciary. In addition, the military is represented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while foreign governments are represented by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. The address has also been used as an opportunity to honor the achievements of some ordinary Americans, who are typically invited by the President to sit with the First Lady.[27]

Local versions

Certain states have a similar annual address given by the governor. For most of them, it is called the State of the State address. In Iowa, it is called the Condition of the State Address; in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the speech is called the State of the Commonwealth address. The mayor of Washington, D.C. gives a State of the District address. American Samoa has a State of the Territory address given by the governor. Puerto Rico has a State Address given by the governor.

Some cities or counties also have an annual State of the City Address given by the mayor, county commissioner or board chair, including Sonoma County, CaliforniaOrlando, FloridaCincinnati, Ohio; New Haven, ConnecticutParma, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Seattle, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama; Boston, Massachusetts; Los Angeles, California; Buffalo, New YorkRochester, New YorkSan Antonio, Texas; McAllen, Texas; and San Diego, California. The Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in Nashville, Tennessee gives a speech similar called the State of Metro Address. Some university presidents give a State of the University address at the beginning of every academic term.[35][36] Private companies usually have a “State of the Corporation” or “State of the Company” address given by the respective CEO.[37]

The State of the Union model has also been adopted by the European Union,[38] and in France since the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Historic speeches

File:Second Bill of Rights Speech.ogv

Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights (excerpt)

  • President James Monroe first stated the Monroe Doctrine during his seventh annual State of the Union Address to Congress on December 2, 1823. It became a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States and one of its longest-standing tenets, and would be invoked by many U.S. statesmen and several U.S. presidents, including Theodore RooseveltJohn F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.
  • The Four Freedoms were goals first articulated by Franklin D. Roosevelt on January 6, 1941. In an address known as the Four Freedoms speech, he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worshipfreedom from want, and freedom from fear.
  • During his State of the Union Address on January 11, 1944, FDR proposed the Second Bill of Rights. Roosevelt’s argument was that the “political rights” guaranteed by the constitution and the Bill of Rights had “proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness“.
  • During his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson introduced legislation that would come to be known as the “War on Poverty“. This legislation was proposed by Johnson in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent. The speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.
  • During his State of the Union address on January 15, 1975, Gerald R. Ford very bluntly stated that “the state of the Union is not good: Millions of Americans are out of work… We depend on others for essential energy. Some people question their Government’s ability to make hard decisions and stick with them; they expect Washington politics as usual.” and how he didn’t “expect much, if any, applause. The American people want action, and it will take both the Congress and the President to give them what they want. Progress and solutions can be achieved, and they will be achieved.”
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George W. Bush delivers the 2002 State of the Union

  • In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush identified North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as representing significant threats to the United States. He said, “States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world”. In this speech, he would outline the objectives for the War on Terror.

TV ratings

Television ratings for recent State of the Union Addresses were:[39] [40] [41]

Date President Viewers,millions Households,millions Rating Networks
1/30/2018 Donald Trump 45.551 32.168 26.9 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESTRELLA, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, PBS
2/28/2017dagger Donald Trump 47.741 33.857 28.7 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UNIVISION, PBS, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, NBC UNIVERSO
1/12/2016 Barack Obama 31.334 23.040 19.6 ABC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, AZTECA, CBS, CNN, FOX, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, NBC, NBC UNIVERSO, UNIVISION**
1/20/2015 Barack Obama 31.710 23.137 19.9 ABC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, AZTECA, CBS, CNN, FOX, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, MUNDOFOX, NBC, UNIVISION**
1/28/2014 Barack Obama 33.299 23.949 20.7 CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, AZTECA, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, AL JAZEERA AMERICA, GALAVISION, MUN2, UNIVISION**
2/12/2013 Barack Obama 33.497 24.767 21.8 FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, AZTECA, UNIVISION, MFX, CNBC, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, MSNBC, CURRENT, CENTRIC, GALAVISION
1/24/2012 Barack Obama 37.752 27.569 24.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, TF, UNIVISION, CNBC, CNN, FOX BUSINESS, FOXNC, GALAVISION, MSNBC, MUN2
1/25/2011 Barack Obama 42.789 30.871 26.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, CENTRIC, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/2010 Barack Obama 48.009 34.182 29.8 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION, CNN, BET, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
2/24/2009dagger Barack Obama 52.373 37.185 32.5 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION
1/28/2008 George W. Bush 37.515 27.702 24.7 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO**, UNIVISION
1/24/2007 George W. Bush 45.486 32.968 29.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, UNIVISION
2/01/2006 George W. Bush 43.179 30.528 31.2 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, AZTECA AMERICA, TELFUTURA
2/02/2005 George W. Bush 39.432 28.359 35.3 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, TELEMUNDO, TELEFUTURA
1/20/2004 George W. Bush 43.411 30.286 28.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/28/2003 George W. Bush 62.061 41.447 38.8 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/29/2002 George W. Bush 51.773 35.547 33.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, CNBC, FOXNC, MSNBC
2/27/2001dagger George W. Bush 39.793 28.201 27.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/2000 Bill Clinton 31.478 22.536 22.4 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/19/1999 Bill Clinton 43.500 30.700 31.0 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC
1/27/1998 Bill Clinton 53.077 36.513 37.2 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, FOXNC, MSNBC, CNBC
2/04/1997 Bill Clinton 41.100 27.600 28.4 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN
1/23/1996 Bill Clinton 40.900 28.400 29.6 ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN
1/24/1995 Bill Clinton 42.200 28.100 29.5 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
1/25/1994 Bill Clinton 45.800 31.000 32.9 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
2/17/1993dagger Bill Clinton 66.900 41.200 44.3 ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN
Notes
dagger The 1993, 2001, 2009 and 2017 addresses were not, officially, State of the Union addresses, but rather addresses to a joint session Congress because in those years the presidents were in office for only a few weeks at the time the speech was given.[2][41]

**Tape delayed[41]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d “State of the Union Address | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives”history.house.gov. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  2. Jump up to:a b c Diaz, Daniella (February 28, 2017). “Why Trump’s Tuesday speech isn’t a State of the Union address”CNN. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  3. Jump up^ “Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government”United States Government Printing Office. Archived from the original on February 25, 2009.
  4. Jump up^ “31.7 Million Viewers Tune In To Watch Pres. Obama’s State of the Union Address”The Nielsen Company (Press release). January 21, 2015. On Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, President Barack Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address. The address was carried live from 9:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on 13 networks and tape-delayed on Univision.
  5. Jump up to:a b c The President’s State of the Union Address: Tradition, Function, and Policy Implications (PDF). Congressional Research Service. January 24, 2014. p. 2.
  6. Jump up^ Jackson, David (January 11, 2013). “Obama State of the Union set for Feb. 12”USA Today.
  7. Jump up^ “State of the Union Addresses and Messages: research notes by Gerhard Peters”The American Presidency Project (APP). Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  8. Jump up^ Peters, Gerhard. “State of the Union Messages”. The American Presidency Project. Retrieved September 25, 2006.
  9. Jump up to:a b Kolakowski, Michael & Neale, Thomas H. (March 7, 2006). “The President’s State of the Union Message: Frequently Asked Questions” (PDF). Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. Retrieved January 28, 2010.
  10. Jump up^ “President to Appear Before Congress: Message to be Delivered Friday night”. Fairbanks Daily News-MinerAssociated Press. January 2, 1936. p. A1.
  11. Jump up to:a b Robert Yoon, CNN Political Research Director (February 12, 2013). “State of the Union firsts”CNN. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  12. Jump up^ Kurlansky, Mark (2004). 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. New York: Ballantine. p. 44. ISBN 0-9659111-4-4.
  13. Jump up^ “Address to the nation on the Challenger disaster”. Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Retrieved July 4, 2006.
  14. Jump up^ Weinraub, Bernard (January 29, 1986). “The Shuttle Explosion: Reagan Postpones State of the Union Speech”The New York Times. p. A9.
  15. Jump up^ Office of the Clerk. Joint Meetings, Joint Sessions, and InaugurationsHouse History. United States House of Representatives. Archived from the original on January 18, 2011.
  16. Jump up^ “Speaker Boehner Extends President Obama Formal Invitation to Deliver State of the Union Address”Speaker Boehner’s Press Office (Press release). January 11, 2011.
  17. Jump up^ “State of the Union 2015”Speaker Boehner’s Press Office(Press release). December 19, 2014.
  18. Jump up to:a b c d “Joint Session of Congress Pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 228 to Receive a Message from the President” (PDF). Congressional Record: H414. January 27, 2010.
  19. Jump up to:a b c d “President Delivers State of the Union Address”(Transcript). CNN. January 28, 2008.
  20. Jump up to:a b c d e f “Joint Session of Congress Pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 228 to Receive a Message from the President” (PDF). Congressional Record: H415. January 27, 2010.
  21. Jump up^ Roberts, Roxanne (September 20, 2016). “The truth behind the ‘designated survivor,’ the president of the post-apocalypse”Washington Post. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  22. Jump up^ Schultheis, Emily (February 28, 2017). “Joint session 2017: The history of the “designated survivor””. CBS News. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  23. Jump up^ Oritz, Erik (January 30, 2018). “Designated survivors recount nights as doomsday presidents”. NBC News. Retrieved January 31, 2018.
  24. Jump up^ Widmer, Ted (January 31, 2006). “The State of the Union Is Unreal”The New York Times. Retrieved January 22, 2007.
  25. Jump up^ O’Keefe, Ed (January 24, 2012). “Three decades of ‘Skutniks’ began with a federal employee”Washington Post. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
  26. Jump up^ Wiggin, Addison (January 25, 2011). “Small Business Owners Should Be Obama’s Lenny Skutnik”Forbes. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  27. Jump up to:a b Clines, Francis X. (August 24, 1996). “Bonding as New Political Theater: Bring On the Babies and Cue the Yellow Dog”The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  28. Jump up^ Epstein, Jennifer (January 13, 2011). “Mark Udall wants parties together at State of the Union”Politico.
  29. Jump up^ Hennessey, Kathleen (January 21, 2012). “Rival parties to mix it up – nicely – at State of the Union”Los Angeles Times.
  30. Jump up^ Office of the Clerk. “Opposition Responses to State of the Union Messages (1966–Present)”. United States House of Representatives. Retrieved January 23, 2007.
  31. Jump up^ Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The ’70s. New York: Basic Books. p. 47. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
  32. Jump up^ Sincere, Richard E., Jr. (February 1997). “O.J., J.C., and Bill: Reflections on the State of the Union”Metro Herald. Archived from the original on July 31, 2002. Retrieved January 23, 2007Watts told his audience—about 100 high school students from the CloseUp Foundation watched in person, while a smaller number watched on television at home—that he is ‘old enough to remember the Jim Crow’ laws that affected him and his family while he grew up in a black neighborhood in small-town Oklahoma.
  33. Jump up^ York, Byron (January 21, 2004). “The Democratic Response You Didn’t See”National Review. Retrieved January 23, 2007And then there was the Spanish-language response—the first ever—delivered by New Mexico governor, and former Clinton energy secretary, Bill Richardson.
  34. Jump up^ “Michele Bachmann offers Tea Party response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address”The Washington Post. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  35. Jump up^ “UNH State of the University 2015”The University of New Hampshire (Press release). February 17, 2015.
  36. Jump up^ “State of the University 2015”Santa Clara University (Press release). February 19, 2015.
  37. Jump up^ Goldman, Jeremy (January 20, 2015). “Why Your Company Deserves a ‘State of the Union’ Address”Inc.
  38. Jump up^ “EU has survived economic crisis, Barroso says in first State of Union address”EUobserver.com. September 7, 2010.
  39. Jump up^ “2018 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  40. Jump up^ “2017 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  41. Jump up to:a b c “2016 State of The Union Address TV Ratings”Nielsen. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-11.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_the_Union

Grand slam (baseball)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Roger Connor, circa 1887.

In baseball, a grand slam is a home run hit with all three bases occupied by baserunners (“bases loaded”), thereby scoring four runs—the most possible in one play. According to The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term originated in the card game of contract bridge,[better source needed] in which a grand slam involves taking all the possible tricks. The word slam, by itself, usually is connected with a loud sound, particularly of a door being closed with excess force; thus, slamming the door on one’s opponent(s), in addition to the bat slamming the ball into a home run.

Notable highlights

Roger Connor is believed to have been the first major league player to hit a grand slam, on September 10, 1881, for the Troy Trojans. Although Charlie Gould hit one for the Boston Red Stockings (now the Atlanta Braves) in the National Association (NA) on September 5, 1871,[1] the NA is not recognized by MLB as a major league.

In 1987 Don Mattingly set the record for most grand slams in a single season with six.

Alex Rodriguez has 25 career grand slams, the most by any player in Major League Baseball history, passing Lou Gehrig‘s 23 on September 20, 2013. Don Mattingly set the one-season record with six grand slams in 1987 – remarkably, the only grand slams of his major league career. Travis Hafner tied Mattingly’s Major League record in 2006, while in 2009Albert Pujols tied the one-season National League record of five grand slams set by Ernie Banks in 1955.[2]

Several grand slams, the first being Connor’s in 1881, consisted of a player hitting a walk-off grand slam for a one-run victory; some baseball observers call this an “ultimate grand slam”.[3] Steve Pearce was the most recent to do so in an 11-10 victory by the Toronto Blue Jays over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 30, 2017. Roberto Clemente is the only player to have hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam in a one-run victory;[citation needed] the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs 9–8 on July 25, 1956 at Forbes Field, a park known for its spacious outfield.

On April 10, 1980 – on Opening Day, the Milwaukee Brewers‘ Sixto Lezcano hit a walk-off Grand Slam, reportedly the first such feat on an Opening Day. (Lezcano also has the distinction of hitting a Grand Slam the previous year, also on Opening Day.)

During the 2005 major league season, grand slams accounted for 132 of the 5017 home runs hit (2.6%). On June 13–14, 2006, the Minnesota Twins hit grand slams in consecutive games against the Boston Red Sox, including a walk-off grand slam by Jason Kubel in the 12th inning on June 13.

In 2006, the Chicago White Sox hit grand slams in three consecutive games against the Houston Astros (June 23–25). Scott Podsednik hit the only grand slam of his career in the series opener. Joe Crede followed up with a slam of his own on Saturday, and Tadahito Iguchi hit a game tying grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with two outs in the series finale. (This followed a three run blast by Iguchi in the bottom of the eighth.) The White Sox became the first team to accomplish this since the Detroit Tigers in 1993. On the other hand, the 2007 Kansas City Royals surrendered grand slams in three straight games; two against the Baltimore Orioles (April 13–14) and one against the Tigers (April 16).

Also in 2006, Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians set a major league record by hitting five grand slams prior to the All-Star break, on his way to tying Mattingly for one season (his sixth was on August 13.) On July 16, Carlos Beltrán and Cliff Floyd of the New York Metshit grand slams during an 11-run sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs, marking the eighth time two grand slams were hit in a team’s at-bat (the fourth time in National League history).

Four players hit a grand slam in their first Major League at-bat: Bill Duggleby (1898), Jeremy Hermida (2005), Kevin Kouzmanoff (2006), and Daniel Nava (2011). Kouzmanoff, Nava, and Duggleby hit theirs on the first pitch; Hermida’s grand slam was in a pinch-hit at bat.

Fernando Tatís (pictured with the Mets) is the only player to hit two grand slams in the same inning, with the Cardinals, in 1999.

Tony Cloninger is the only pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game, for the Atlanta Braves in a 1966 contest against the San Francisco Giants.

Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners became the first American League pitcher since the designated hitter rule went into effect in 1973 to hit a grand slam when he did so on June 23, 2008, off New York Mets ace Johan Santanain an interleague game.[4]

The only major leaguer to hit two grand slams in one inning is Fernando Tatís of the St. Louis Cardinals, on April 23, 1999 at Dodger Stadium, with both grand slams coming off Los Angeles’ Chan Ho Park in the third inning. Tatis was only the second National League player to hit two grand slams in one game, joining Cloninger. Park was only the second pitcher in major league history to give up two grand slams in one inning; Bill Phillips of the Pittsburgh Pirates did it on August 16, 1890, one to Tom Burns and one to Malachi Kittridge, but Park was the first to give up both to the same batter. Tatis had never hit a grand slam before in his career. Bill Mueller is the only player to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in the same game, when he hit 2 on July 29, 2003 for the Boston Red Sox vs. the Texas RangersRobin Ventura is the only player to hit a grand slam in both games of a doubleheader, when he did so on May 20, 1999 for the New York Mets against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In Japan’s professional league, the feat of multiple grand slams in a single inning by a team has been accomplished three times; most recently on April 1, 2007 by José Fernández and Takeshi Yamasaki of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The Daiei Hawks accomplished the feat in 1999.[5]

On August 25, 2011, the New York Yankees, hosting the Oakland A’s, became the first team in MLB history to hit three grand slams in one game. Robinson CanóRussell Martin and Curtis Granderson took pitchers Rich HardenFautino de los Santos, and Bruce Billings deep, with each grand slam being hit in a different inning. Coming back from a 7−1 deficit, the second grand slam gave the Yankees their first lead of the game; they went on to win 22–9.[6][7][8]

On July 13, 2014, Buster Posey and batterymate Madison Bumgarner of the San Francisco Giants hit grand slams against the Arizona Diamondbacks. It marked the first time in Major League Baseball history that batterymates hit grand slams in the same game.[9]

On June 3, 2017, a record-breaking seven grand slams were hit by teams in the MLB: one for the Los Angeles Dodgers, one for the Milwaukee Brewers, one for the Atlanta Braves, one for the Colorado Rockies, one for the Chicago Cubs, one for the Seattle Mariners, and most notably, by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, as Albert Pujols hit his 600th career home run.

Notable calls

“Get out the rye bread and mustard, Grandma, it is grand salami time!”- used by longtime Seattle Mariners lead commentator Dave Niehaus from the 1995 season until his death in November 2010.[10] Currently used by Niehaus’ longtime partner Rick Rizzs.

However, archives have surfaced showing Milwaukee Brewers longtime announcer Bob Uecker using the term “Grand Salami” back in 1982, when the offense-tending team were dubbed “Harvey’s Wallbangers” (a reference to manager Harvey Kuenn, and a takeoff of the cocktail Harvey Wallbanger).

World Series

Year Game Batter Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Series standing Notes
1920 Game 5, October 10 Elmer SmithCleveland League Park Burleigh GrimesBrooklyn 1st 4–0 8–1, W 3–2 CLE The first slam in Series history, hit with none out in the 1st, is overshadowed when, in the 5th inning, Bill Wambsganss turns the only unassisted triple play ever in the Series.
1936 Game 2, October 2 Tony LazzeriNew York (AL) Polo Grounds Dick CoffmanNew York (NL) 3rd 9–1 18–4, W 1–1 With President Roosevelt in attendance, Lazzeri hits a 2–2 pitch with one out to give the Yankees a sizable lead.
1951 Game 5, October 9 Gil McDougaldNew York (AL) Polo Grounds Larry JansenNew York (NL) 3rd 5–1 13–1, W 3–2 NYY McDougald puts the Yankees up with 2 out in the 3rd. McDougald became the first rookie to get a postseason grand slam.
1953 Game 5, October 4 Mickey MantleNew York Ebbets Field Russ MeyerBrooklyn 3rd 6–1 11–7, W 3–2 NYY After a two-out error by Gil Hodges, a hit batter and a walk, Mantle hits reliever Meyer’s first pitch out of the park.
1956 Game 2, October 5 Yogi BerraNew York Ebbets Field Don NewcombeBrooklyn 2nd 6–0 13–8, L 2–0 BKN Berra’s blast with 2 out is not enough to hold off the Dodgers in what becomes, at 3 hours 26 minutes, the longest 9-inning game in Series history until 1993.
1956 Game 7, October 10 Moose SkowronNew York Ebbets Field Roger CraigBrooklyn 7th 9–0 9–0, W 4–3 NYY The Yankees score all their runs on 4 HRs to seal the Series, with Skowron’s wallop on the first pitch with none out ending the scoring.
1960 Game 3, October 8 Bobby RichardsonNew York Yankee Stadium Clem LabinePittsburgh 1st 6–0 10–0, W 2–1 NYY Richardson’s HR with 1 out in the 1st starts him toward a Series-record 6 RBI.
1962 Game 4, October 8 Chuck HillerSan Francisco Yankee Stadium Marshall BridgesNew York 7th 6–2 7–3, W 2–2 With 2 out, Hiller hits the first grand slam by a National Leaguer in the Series.
1964 Game 4, October 11 Ken BoyerSt. Louis Yankee Stadium Al DowningNew York 6th 4–3 4–3, W 2–2 With men on 1st and 2nd, Bobby Richardson’s error with 1 out while seeking a double play opens the gate for Boyer to hit his pivotal blast.
1964 Game 6, October 14 Joe PepitoneNew York Sportsman’s Park Gordie RichardsonSt. Louis 8th 8–1 8–3, W 3–3 With 2 out, Pepitone hits one onto the roof of the right field pavilion to help force Game 7.
1968 Game 6, October 9 Jim NorthrupDetroit Busch Stadium Larry JasterSt. Louis 3rd 8–0 13–1, W 3–3 Northrup’s HR with none out is the highlight of a 10-run inning which puts the Tigers ahead 12–0.
1970 Game 3, October 13 Dave McNallyBaltimore Memorial Stadium Wayne GrangerCincinnati 6th 8–1 9–3, W 3–0 Besides his 2-out HR, McNally also pitches a complete game to put Baltimore within one win of the title.
1987 Game 1, October 17 Dan GladdenMinnesota Metrodome Bob ForschSt. Louis 4th 7–1 10–1, W 1–0 MIN Gladden’s HR with none out caps a 7-run inning which ends the Cardinals’ 25-inning shutout streak.
1987 Game 6, October 24 Kent HrbekMinnesota Metrodome Ken DayleySt. Louis 6th 10–5 11–5, W 3–3 With 2 out, Hrbek hits reliever Dayley’s first pitch out of the park.
1988 Game 1, October 15 José CansecoOakland Dodger Stadium Tim BelcherLos Angeles 2nd 4–2 5–4, L 1–0 LAD With 2 out, Canseco hits his first major league grand slam on a 1–0 pitch; but Kirk Gibson‘s walk-off home run wins it for the Dodgers.
1992 Game 5, October 22 Lonnie SmithAtlanta SkyDome Jack MorrisToronto 5th 7–2 7–2, W 3–2 TOR With 2 out, Smith’s HR helps keep the Braves alive in the Series.
1998 Game 1, October 17 Tino MartinezNew York Yankee Stadium Mark LangstonSan Diego 7th 9–5 9–6, W 1–0 NYY Martinez’ 2-out HR follows Chuck Knoblauch‘s 3-run game-tying shot earlier in the inning.
2005 Game 2, October 23 Paul KonerkoChicago U.S. Cellular Field Chad QuallsHouston 7th 6–4 7–6, W 2–0 CHW Konerko’s 2-out shot to left on reliever Qualls’ first pitch gives the White Sox a 6–4 lead, but Scott Podsednik later wins it with a walk-off home run, after Houston tied it at 6 with two outs in the top of the 9th.
2016 Game 6, November 1 Addison RussellChicago Progressive Field Dan OteroCleveland 3rd 7–0 9–3, W 3–3 With the grand slam Russell tied the MLB record of 6 RBI in a World Series game, as well the most on a team facing elimination from the World Series. This is the first MLB grand slam to happen in November.[11]

Other major league postseason grand slams[edit]

Series Game Batter Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Series standing Notes
1970 ALCS Game 1, October 3 Mike CuellarBaltimore Metropolitan Stadium Jim PerryMinnesota 4th 7–2 10–6, W 1–0 BAL In the first grand slam in the history of the LCS, Cuellar, who batted only .089 in the regular season, pulls the ball down the right field line with one out; clearly foul when passing first base, the 29 mph wind carries it fair. Cuellar himself does not last through the fifth inning.
1977 NLCS Game 1, October 4 Ron CeyLos Angeles Dodger Stadium Steve CarltonPhiladelphia 7th 5–5 7–5, L 1–0 PHI With two out, Cey fouls off three full-count pitches before tying the game, but three singles and a balk in the 9th give the Phillies the win.
1977 NLCS Game 2, October 5 Dusty BakerLos Angeles Dodger Stadium Jim LonborgPhiladelphia 4th 5–1 7–1, W 1–1 After Steve Garvey is walked intentionally with one out, Baker gives the Dodgers their second grand slam in as many nights.
1982 ALCS Game 4, October 9 Don BaylorCalifornia Milwaukee County Stadium Moose HaasMilwaukee 8th 5–7 9–5, L 2–2 After Haas takes a no-hitter into the 6th in a game delayed twice by rain, Baylor brings the Angels within two runs with one out in the 8th.
1989 NLCS Game 1, October 4 Will ClarkSan Francisco Wrigley Field Greg MadduxChicago 4th 8–3 11–3, W 1–0 SF With two out, Clark hits the first pitch for his second HR of the game; he also singles, doubles and walks, picking up an NLCS-record 6 RBI.
1992 NLCS Game 2, October 7 Ron GantAtlanta Fulton County Stadium Bob WalkPittsburgh 5th 8–0 13–5, W 2–0 ATL With two out, Gant hits his first career grand slam to double the Braves’ lead.
1995 NLDS Game 3, October 6 Mark LewisCincinnati Riverfront Stadium Mark GuthrieLos Angeles 6th 7–1 10–1, W 3–0 CIN After Guthrie enters the game with none out, Lewis hits the first pinch-hit grand slam in postseason history, propelling the Reds to their eighth straight playoff victory and their eighth NLCS.
1995 ALDS Game 4, October 7 Edgar MartínezSeattle Kingdome John WettelandNew York 8th 10–6 11–8, W 2–2 After hitting a 3-run HR in the 3rd to cut NY’s lead to two runs, Martinez hits another to center field to take the lead for good, finishing with a postseason-record 7 RBI. A walk, bunt single and hit batter had loaded the bases with none out.
1996 ALDS Game 1, October 1 Bobby BonillaBaltimore Camden Yards Paul ShueyCleveland 6th 9–3 10–4, W 1–0 BAL After two walks, a single, a sacrifice fly and a hit batter, Shuey enters the game and is greeted by Bonilla’s blast with two out.
1996 ALDS Game 3, October 4 Albert BelleCleveland Jacobs Field Armando BenítezBaltimore 7th 8–4 9–4, W 2–1 BAL After Orioles starter Mike Mussina is controversially pulled after six innings, Jesse Orosco walks the bases loaded and is replaced; Belle crushes an 0–2 pitch with none out to keep the Indians alive in the series. It would be Belle’s final hit as an Indian.
1996 NLCS Game 2, October 10 Gary GaettiSt. Louis Fulton County Stadium Greg MadduxAtlanta 7th 8–3 8–3, W 1–1 In an inning featuring two walks, an error and a wild pitch, Gaetti wallops the first pitch with two out. Maddux surrenders his second grand slam in 34.2 NLCS innings after allowing only one in 2365.2 regular season innings.
1997 NLDS Game 3, October 3 Devon WhiteFlorida 3Com Park Wilson ÁlvarezSan Francisco 6th 4–1 6–2, W 3–0 FLA With two out, Florida gets a pair of singles and a walk before White hits Alvarez’ 113th pitch to left field. The Marlins advance to their first NLCS, in their fifth year of play.
1997 ALDS Game 3, October 4 Paul O’NeillNew York Jacobs Field Chad OgeaCleveland 4th 6–1 6–1, W 2–1 NYY After starter Charles Nagy walks the bases loaded, O’Neill greets Ogea with a blast to center field with two out as rain begins to fall.
1998 NLDS Game 1, September 30 Ryan KleskoAtlanta Turner Field Matt KarchnerChicago 7th 7–0 7–1, W 1–0 ATL Klesko’s homer with two out, following three walks, secures the win for the Braves.
1998 NLDS Game 3, October 3 Eddie PérezAtlanta Wrigley Field Rod BeckChicago 8th 6–0 6–2, W 3–0 ATL After Andruw Jones is walked intentionally, Pérez hits a homer with one out to wrap up the series for the Braves, sending the Cubs to their sixth straight playoff loss.
1998 NLCS Game 4, October 11 Andrés GalarragaAtlanta Qualcomm Stadium Dan MiceliSan Diego 7th 8–3 8–3, W 3–1 SD After Miceli enters the game, Galarraga caps a 6-run inning with a 459-foot blast to left-center with two out, helping to force a Game 5.
1998 ALCS Game 6, October 13 Jim ThomeCleveland Yankee Stadium David ConeNew York 5th 5–6 9–5, L 4–2 NYY Thome’s shot into the third deck with one out pulls the Indians within a run, but it isn’t enough for the defending AL champions as the Yankees advance to the World Series.
1999 NLDS Game 1, October 5 Edgardo AlfonzoNew York Bank One Ballpark Bobby ChouinardArizona 9th 8–4 8–4, W 1–0 NYM Alfonzo hits his second HR of the game inside the left field foul pole with two out, after Robin Ventura was forced out at the plate one play earlier.
1999 ALDS Game 2, October 7 Jim ThomeCleveland Jacobs Field John WasdinBoston 4th 11–1 11–1, W 2–0 CLE After a 6-run 3rd inning highlighted by Harold Baines‘ 3-run HR, Thome makes it a blowout, ending a 5-run inning with a two-out shot and becoming the first player to hit two postseason grand slams.
1999 ALDS Game 5, October 11 Troy O’LearyBoston Jacobs Field Charles NagyCleveland 3rd 7–5 12–8, W 3–2 BOS O’Leary homers with one out to give Boston the lead, and later hits a 3-run HR in the 7th to break an 8–8 tie and send the Red Sox to the ALCS; both homers come after intentional walks to Nomar Garciaparra.
1999 ALCS Game 4, October 17 Ricky LedéeNew York Fenway Park Rod BeckBoston 9th 9–2 9–2, W 3–1 NYY Ledee hits a pinch-hit HR with one out to wrap up a 6-run inning and the victory. Ledee became the second rookie to hit a postseason grand slam.
1999 NLCS Game 5, October 17 Robin VenturaNew York Shea Stadium Kevin McGlinchyAtlanta 15th 4–3 4–3, W 3–2 ATL The Mets tie the score at 3–3 with a bases-loaded walk with one out, bringing up Ventura, who with 13 career grand slams is tied for the lead among active players with Harold Baines and Mark McGwire. He comes through with the first walk-off grand slam – and the first grand slam in extra innings – in postseason history, clearing the right-center field wall, but is officially credited with only a 1-run single after being mobbed by teammates upon passing first base.
2003 NLCS Game 4, October 11 Aramis RamírezChicago Pro Player Stadium Dontrelle WillisFlorida 1st 4–0 8–3, W 3–1 CHC After Willis walks the bases loaded with one out, Ramírez gets the Cubs off to an early lead by hitting a 2–2 pitch into the left field seats. This was the first time in Cubs history, that a player hit a grand slam in the postseason
2004 ALDS Game 3, October 8 Vladimir GuerreroAnaheim Fenway Park Mike TimlinBoston 7th 6–6 8–6, L 3–0 BOS Guerrero ties the score with a two-out HR to right on a 0–1 pitch, but the Red Sox score two in the 10th to advance to the ALCS.
2004 ALCS Game 7, October 20 Johnny DamonBoston Yankee Stadium Javier VázquezNew York 2nd 6–0 10–3, W 4–3 BOS Damon homers to right on reliever Vázquez’ first pitch with one out, staking Boston to an early lead; he homers again in the 4th for an 8–1 lead as the Red Sox complete their comeback after being down 3 games to 0.
2005 NLDS Game 1, October 4 Reggie SandersSt. Louis Busch Stadium Jake PeavySan Diego 5th 8–0 8–5, W 1–0 STL With one out, Sanders homers on a 3–0 fastball from Peavy, who was unknowingly pitching with a fractured rib.
2005 NLDS Game 4, October 9 Adam LaRocheAtlanta Minute Maid Park Brandon BackeHouston 3rd 4–0 7–6, L 3–1 HOU LaRoche, battling stomach flu, homers with two out, after two walks and a hit batter, to give the Braves an early lead, but the Astros tie the game 6–6 in the 9th and win in 18 innings to advance to the NLCS.
2005 NLDS Game 4, October 9 Lance BerkmanHouston Minute Maid Park Kyle FarnsworthAtlanta 8th 5–6 7–6, W 3–1 HOU With one out, Berkman hits an opposite-field homer to left on a 2–1 pitch to bring the Astros within a run; it is the first time that two grand slams are hit in the same postseason game. After tying the game in the 9th, the Astros win the series on Chris Burke‘s walk-off homer in the 18th, making it the second longest game in postseason history.
2007 NLDS Game 2, October 4 Kaz MatsuiColorado Rockies Citizens Bank Park Kyle LohsePhiladelphia Phillies 4th 6–3 10–5, W 2–0 COL Matsui’s slam gives the Rockies a 6–3 lead on the way to winning the game 10–5 and giving Colorado a 2–0 series lead.
2007 ALCS Game 6, October 20 J. D. DrewBoston Red Sox Fenway Park Fausto CarmonaCleveland Indians 1st 4–0 12–2 W 3–3 Drew gave the Red Sox an early lead in the must-win game as the Red Sox tied the series.
2008 NLDS Game 1, October 1 James LoneyLos Angeles Dodgers Wrigley Field Ryan DempsterChicago Cubs 5th 4–2 7–2, W 1–0 LAD After Dempster walked the bases loaded, Loney hits it to center to give the Dodgers a 4–2 lead.
2008 NLDS Game 2, October 2 Shane VictorinoPhiladelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park CC SabathiaMilwaukee Brewers 2nd 5–1 5–2, W 2–0 PHI Victorino’s slam, the first in Phillies postseason history, broke a 1–1 tie after pitcher Brett Myers drew a two-out walk in a nine-pitch at-bat.
2011 ALDS Game 1, October 1 Robinson CanóNew York Yankees Yankee Stadium Al AlburquerqueDetroit Tigers 6th 8–1 9–3, W 1–0 NYY Gardner singled, Jeter stole second, Granderson walked. After a pitching change, Robinson Canó hit a 375-foot blast to give the Yankees an 8–1 lead over the Tigers. Cano hit six RBIs this game, barely missing another homer in the previous inning. He tied the Yankees post-season single game record. This was the first home run hit off of Alburquerque this season.
2011 NLDS Game 3, October 4 Paul GoldschmidtArizona Diamondbacks Chase Field Shaun MarcumMilwaukee Brewers 5th 7–1 8–1, W 2–1 MIL Back-to-back singles to Josh Collmenter and Willie Bloomquist. Two outs later, with first base open, Marcum intentionally walked Miguel Montero, who had two RBIs to that point in the game, to get to Goldschmidt. Marcum jumped ahead of Goldschmidt, 1–2, before leaving a fastball out over the plate. Goldschmidt drove the ball the opposite way and over the wall in right to give Arizona a 7–1 lead. Goldschmidt became the third rookie to hit a postseason grand slam.
2011 NLDS Game 4, October 5 Ryan RobertsArizona Diamondbacks Chase Field Randy WolfMilwaukee Brewers 1st 4–1 10–6, W 2–2 Bloomquist singled out in centerfield. Aaron Hill fouled out to first base. Justin Upton walked, while Montero singled out in the right field. Goldschmidt, who hit a grand slam a day earlier, struck out looking. Wolf jumped behind of Roberts, 2–1, before leaving a 79 mph changeup out over the plate. Roberts drove the ball to opposite and over the wall in left to give Arizona a 4–1 lead. Moments later, Chris Young hit a home run out to centerfield.
2011 ALCS Game 2, October 10 Nelson CruzTexas Rangers Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Ryan PerryDetroit Tigers 11th 7–3 7–3, W 2–0 TEX In the 11th, after Perry came in to replace Valverde, Michael Young singles on a sharp ground ball to left fielder Ryan Raburn. Adrián Beltré singles on a line drive to center fielder Austin Jackson. Michael Young to 2nd.Coaching visit to mound. Mike Napoli singles on a fly ball to center fielder Austin Jackson, loading the bases. Nelson Cruz hits a grand slam (3) to left field. Young, Beltre, and Napoli score on the home run. First official (see Grand Slam Single) walk-off grand slam in post season history. “[12]
2012 NLDS Game 5, October 11 Buster PoseySan Francisco Giants Great American Ball Park Mat LatosCincinnati Reds 5th 6–0 6–4, W 3–2 SF After the Giants scored two runs in the inning, the bases were loaded for Posey. He hit a home run off the upper deck, giving the Giants a 6–0 lead they did not relinquish. The runs proved to be critical, as the Reds rallied to make the game close, but the Giants held on to win 6–4. The win completed the Giants’ comeback from being down 2 games to 0 in the series, the first time that happened in NL Divisional play. The Giants won all three on the road, as the series became the second five-game series to not have a single win by a home team (after the 2010 ALDS between the Rangers and Rays).
2013 ALCS Game 2, October 13 David OrtizBoston Red Sox Fenway Park Joaquín BenoitDetroit Tigers 8th 5–5 6–5, W 1–1 With the Red Sox trailing 5−1 in the bottom of the eighth, David Ortiz came up with the bases loaded and two out. Ortiz lined Benoit’s first pitch into the right field bullpen sending outfielder Torii Hunter flying over the wall, tying the game at 5. The Red Sox would go on to win the game 6−5 in the bottom of the ninth on a walk off single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2013 ALCS Game 6, October 19 Shane VictorinoBoston Red Sox Fenway Park José VerasDetroit Tigers 7th 5–2 5–2, W 4–2 BOS In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the Tigers ahead 2−1 and Victorino down in the count 0–2 on well placed curve balls, he sent the third pitch (also a curve ball, but up in the zone) over the Green Monster. Victorino ended a 2 for 23 slump with this blast becoming only the second player ever, alongside Jim Thome, to have hit two post-season grand slams.
2014 NLWCG n/aOctober 1 Brandon CrawfordSan Francisco Giants PNC Park Edinson VólquezPittsburgh Pirates 4th 4–0 8-0, W n/a After singles by Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence and a walk to Brandon Belt, Crawford unloaded the bases with a 362-foot grand slam to right field, opening the game’s scoring. His grand slam was the first to be hit by a shortstop in postseason history.
2016 NLCS Game 1, October 15 Miguel MonteroChicago Cubs Wrigley Field Joe BlantonLos Angeles Dodgers 8th 7–3 8-4, W 1-0 CHC After the Dodgers tied it in the top of the eighth, Montero’s pinch hit grand slam breaks the tie.
2017 ALDS Game 2, October 6 Francisco LindorCleveland Indians Progressive Field Chad GreenNew York Yankees 6th 7–8 9-8, W 2-0 CLE With two outs in the 6th, Lonnie Chisenhall was grazed by a 2-strike pitch that appeared to have possibly struck the knob of his bat before landing in the catcher’s mitt for an inning-ending foul-tip strikeout. The Yankees chose not to challenge the umpire’s call that Chisenhall was hit by the pitch to load the bases. Lindor then blasted a towering fly ball high off the right field foul pole to cut the Yankees’ 5-run lead down to 1. The Indians later finished their comeback with a walk-off single by Yan Gomes in the 13th inning.
2017 NLDS Game 4, October 11 Michael A. TaylorWashington Nationals Wrigley Field Wade DavisChicago Cubs 8th 5–0 5-0, W 2-2 After inheriting Daniel Murphy on first base from Jon LesterCarl Edwards Jr. issued back-to-back 2-out walks to Anthony Rendon and Matt Wieters to load the bases. Davis was then brought in to face Taylor with the hope of holding the Nationals’ lead at 1-0. Taylor hit a 1-1 fastball from Davis into the chain link net at the top of the right center field wall to clear the bases and expand the lead to 5-0.
2017 NLCS Game 5, October 19 Kiké HernándezLos Angeles Dodgers Wrigley Field Hector RondonChicago Cubs 3rd 7-0 11-1, W 4-1 LAD Hernández’s grand slam on a fly ball to right field was the second of his three home runs on the night, which made Hernández the 10th player ever to hit 3 homers in a postseason game. In this close-out game, Hernández drove in 7 runs to tie the Major League record for RBI in a postseason game and help send the Dodgers to the World Series for the first time since 1988.

All-star game

Year Batter Date and Site Pitcher Inning Score after HR Final score Notes
1983 Fred LynnAL(California) July 6, Comiskey Park Atlee HammakerNL (San Francisco) 3rd 9–1 13–3, W In the 50th anniversary game, Lynn hits the first grand slam in All-Star history to right field on a 2–2 pitch with two out, capping a 7-run inning and virtually ensuring the AL’s first victory since 1971 and second since 1962. Just before the pitch, NBC put on-screen a graphic indicating that there had never been a grand slam hit in All-Star history.

Career grand slam leaders

Alex Rodriguez currently holds the record for most career grand slams with 25.

With 23 grand slams, Lou Gehrig held the all-time record until 2013.[13]

Players in bold are currently active (as of September 22, 2017).[14]

Alex Rodriguez 25
Lou Gehrig 23
Manny Ramírez 21
Eddie Murray 19
Willie McCovey 18 [1]
Robin Ventura 18
Carlos Lee 17
Jimmie Foxx 17
Ted Williams 17
Hank Aaron 16
Dave Kingman 16
Babe Ruth 16
*Ryan Howard 15
Ken Griffey, Jr. 15
Richie Sexson 15
Jason Giambi 14
Gil Hodges 14
Mark McGwire 14
Mike Piazza 14

1 – National League record

Single-season grand slam leaders

[citation needed]

Travis Hafner matched Mattingly’s single-season record in 2006.

Don Mattingly 6   1987 (a)
Travis Hafner 6   2006 (a)
Ernie Banks 5   1955 (n)
Jim Gentile 5   1961 (a)
Jim Northrup 5   1968 (a)
Albert Pujols 5   2009 (n)
Richie Sexson 5   2006 (a)
Albert Belle 4   1997 (a)
Ray Boone 4   1953 (a)
Robinson Canó 4   2011 (a)
Vince DiMaggio 4   1945 (n)
Lou Gehrig 4   1934 (a)
Scooter Gennett 4   2017 (n)
Jason Giambi 4   2000 (a)
Sid Gordon 4   1950 (n)
Tommy Henrich 4   1948 (a)
Ralph Kiner 4   1949 (n)
Edgar Martínez 4   2000 (a)
Phil Nevin 4   2001 (n)
Mike Piazza 4   1998 (n)
Alexei Ramírez 4   2008 (a)
Al Rosen 4   1951 (a)
Babe Ruth 4   1919 (a)
Wildfire Schulte 4   1911 (n)
Rudy York 4   1938 (a)

a – American League
n – National League

See also

References

  • Ryczek, William J. (1992). Blackguards and Red Stockings; A History of Baseball’s National Association 1871–1875. Wallingford, Connecticut: Colebrook Press. ISBN 0-9673718-0-5
  • Orem, Preston D. (1961). Baseball (1845–1881) From the Newspaper Accounts. Altadena, California: Self-published.

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Charlton, James. “The Chronology – 1871”. BaseballLibrary.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-29.
  2. Jump up^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_grsl.shtml
  3. Jump up^ “Ultimate Grand Slams”. SI.com. 2002-05-18. Retrieved 2002-07-30.
  4. Jump up^ Stone, Larry (June 24, 2008). “Notebook – Grand slam by Felix Hernandez is one for the books”The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  5. Jump up^ “Hawks pound Shimizu, Marines”. Retrieved 2007-04-02.[dead link]
  6. Jump up^ Caldwell, Dave (August 25, 2011). “On a Long and Wet Day, the Yankees Win in Grand Style”The New York Times. and Mouat, Mike (August 25, 2011). “Yankees slam Athletics in grand fashion”. Reuters.
  7. Jump up^ Slusser, Susan (August 25, 2011). “Yankees hit 3 grand slams to beat A’s 22-9”San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ Parker, Rob (August 25, 2011). “It was a grand ole day at the ballpark”ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  9. Jump up^ Pavlovic, Alex. “Giants’ battery of Bumgarner, Posey provide charge heading to All-Star break”. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  10. Jump up^ “Audio: Relive Some Of Dave Niehaus’ Best Calls”. SBNation.com. 2010-11-11. Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  11. Jump up^ http://m.mlb.com/gameday/cubs-vs-indians/2016/11/01/487636#game=487636,game_state=live,game.tab=
  12. Jump up^ Full Nelson: Cruz belts walk-off slam in 11th” by T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com. Accessed Oct 10, 2011.
  13. Jump up^ “Lou Gehrig Grand Slams”Baseball Almanac. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
  14. Jump up^ http://www.baseball-almanac.com/hitting/higs1.shtml

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_slam_(baseball)

 

 

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Story 1: Radical Islamic Suicide Bomber Failure in Port Authority Bus Terminal Subway Station — Videos —

TERRORIST ATTACK NEW YORK Shows PIPE BOMB Malfunctions & Explodes ISIS Man Wearing A Suicide Vest

Explosion at New York bus terminal ( 2017 bomb terrorist attack underattack )

Pipe Bomb of Peace: Bangladesh Strikes New York City Subway During Morning Rush Hour

New York explosion suspect identified

New York City subway bomb attack details released by officials

Report: NYC bomb suspect a Brooklyn resident

Explosion Takes Place Near New York City Port Authority | TODAY

Suicide bomber strikes New York City at rush hour

 

 

 

 

An ISIS-inspired would-be suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, law enforcement sources said.

The man — a 27-year-old Brooklyn man identified by high ranking police sources as Akayed Ullah — had wires attached to him and a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack strapped to his midsection as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub.

The man partially detonated the device, which he was carrying under the right side of his jacket, prematurely inside the passageway to the A, C and E trains at Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street around 7:40 a.m., sources said.

Police quickly took the man into custody.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the man was inspired by ISIS and possibly born in Bangladesh.

Bratton, who said the man had been living in the US for seven years, “was supposedly setting the device off in the name of ISIS.”

“So, definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended,” Bratton said.

Akayed Ullah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man, who suffered the most serious injuries, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said. One person was taken to St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, another to Mount Sinai and another person was treated at the scene, officials said.

Investigators briefly spoke to the alleged bomber, who told them he made the explosive device at the electrical company where he works.

Emergency personnel flooded the scene following the incident.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed on the incident.

The incident sent commuters into a frenzy.

A 911 caller, who would only identify herself as Carmen, told The Post: “I didn’t see anything, I just heard an explosion and I ran out like everyone did to look for the nearest exit.”

“I had like a panic attack, I couldn’t breathe. My stomach started hurting,” the witness said. “I’m doing better — I’m just trying to catch a train to go back home to College Point.”

Designer Chelsea LaSalle tweeted: “holy f–k. just was stuck in a running stampede at port authority bus terminal due to bomb scare. cops EVERYWHERE.”

LaSalle followed up her tweet with another that read: “not a scare. actual explosion moments before i was about to get on the subway.”

Commuter Keith Woodfin tweeted: “I was exiting the Port Authority and the National Guard was running towards something shouting ‘Go, Go, Go.’”

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force also is investigating the incident.

All MTA trains were bypassing Port Authority-42nd Street as police investigated the incident.

All New Jersey Transit buses were not stopping at Port Authority. NY Waterway was also running extra ferries.

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli and Max Jaeger

https://nypost.com/2017/12/11/explosion-reported-at-port-authority-bus-terminal/

Botched Suicide Bombing Jolts New York Rush Hour, Injures Four

Police say 27-year-old Akayed Ullah detonated a low-tech explosive device near the Port Authority Bus Terminal


Trains bypassed the Times Square and Bryant Park stops after a failed bomb attempt. The platform where the 1,2,3 trains usually stop at Times Square was empty during rush hour.
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
Authorities investigate the explosion at the Port Authority. John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, described the device the suspect used as a pipe bomb.
Helicopters hover over the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Police recovered surveillance video of the incident. “It could’ve been much, much worse,” an official said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speak at a news conference as police respond to a reported explosion at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. “This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mr. de Blasio said. “All we know is one individual who was thank god unsuccessful in his aims.”
A New York Fire Department vehicle arrives at the Port Authority. Fire Department commissioner Dan Nigro said the suspect detonated the explosive device, causing burns to his hands and abdomen. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries.
Police at Port Authority Bus Terminal watch as people evacuate after the explosion near the facility. By midmorning, some subway service remained suspended.
The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters at the Port Authority terminal during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire Port Authority bus station temporarily.
Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man who attempted to detonate a homemade bomb, is seen in this handout photo. The New York City Taxi &amp; Limousine Commission confirmed that Mr. Ullah was licensed to drive a black or livery car from March 2012 to March 2015. The license lapsed in 2015 and wasn’t renewed, according to a TLC spokesman. Although Mr. Ullah obtained a license, he may never have actually worked as a driver, the spokesman said.<br>
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
CHARLES ZOELLER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
1 of 9

A bomber tried to set off an explosive device he had strapped to his body near one of New York City’s busiest transit hubs in an attempted terrorist attack that injured three bystanders, authorities said.

The suspect—a Bangladeshi immigrant identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah—was quickly apprehended and was transported to Bellevue Hospital for burns to his hands and abdomen, according to police and fire officials. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries and were treated at local hospitals, officials said.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. There are no other known incidents or specific threats to NYC, but there will be an expanded police presence, he said.

 New York Gov. Cuomo described the suspect as a disgruntled “lone wolf,” who had been influenced by extremist groups online. Mr. Cuomo said the suspect downloaded information from the internet on how to make a low-tech, homemade bomb but noted that the device didn’t explode as planned.

“This is one of my worst nightmares—a terrorist attack in the subway system,” Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on CNN.

The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire bus station temporarily. Emergency personnel responded in force to the scene. By midmorning, some subway and bus service had been restored. An estimated 220,000 people pass through the transit hub each day.

“The choice of New York is for a reason. We are a beacon to the world and we actually show that a society of many faiths and many backgrounds can work,” said Mr. de Blasio. “The terrorists want to undermine that. So they yearn to attack New York City.”

“As New Yorkers our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack on the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Botched Suicide Bombing in New York City Injures Four
A bomber partially detonated a home-made explosive at a Manhattan subway terminal Monday in an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect suffered severe burns and was taken into custody by the police. Photo: Twitter/@Breaking911

The suspect was walking in a crowd of commuters when the device was detonated, according to a Port Authority surveillance camera video that was confirmed by a federal law-enforcement official. The incident occurred around 7:20 a.m. ET while the suspect was walking eastbound in the underground corridor under 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, according to police. After the detonation, the suspect is surrounded in smoke, before dropping to the ground, based on the video footage.

But the device—which authorities described as a pipe bomb that was affixed to the suspect with Velcro and zip ties—only partially detonated, limiting the damage, according to officials. Mr. Cuomo said the explosive chemical in the bomb went off as planned, but the pipe didn’t explode.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they saw wires trailing between Mr. Ullah’s jacket and pants, according to a law-enforcement official. When they searched him, they found that he was carrying a nine-volt battery.

“It could’ve been much, much worse,” the official said. Police have recovered surveillance video of the incident.

Chelsea LaSalle, a 28-year-old graphic designer, was in Port Authority heading into the A, C, E subway when she heard screaming and more than 30 people started rushing at her.

Busy StationsFive busiest subway stations in New York City, by average weekday ridershipTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
42nd St. (Times Sq./PortAuthority)Grand CentralHerald SquareUnion SquarePenn Station (1, 2, 3)0 riders100,000200,00025,00050,00075,000125,000150,000175,000225,000

“People were screaming ‘Get out, get out’ and some were yelling ‘Bomb!’” she said.

Ms. LaSalle said everyone was running as fast as they could and pushed past her. “People wanted to get out and didn’t care what was in their way,” she said. “A lot of people looked really worried. Some people looked more confused than anything else.”

Hanan Kolko, a 57-year-old labor lawyer who lives in Montclair, N.J., said his NJ Transit bus from Clifton to the Port Authority crawled slowly through the Lincoln Tunnel. It took him 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to work, more than double the usual commute.

When his bus arrived around 9:40 a.m., he saw scores of law enforcement officers in the terminal, and his group was ushered out the Ninth Avenue exit because the Eighth Avenue side was blocked off.

“It was eerie because the Port Authority was empty except for people being escorted out,” he said. “It was a moment when I was proud to be a New Yorker,” he said. “We were going to carry on our day, regardless of whether some guy tried to plant a bomb. Law enforcement did a great job, and we got to go on and do our thing.”

In Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the explosion in New York and coordinating with the New York City Police Department. The investigation into the incident is being led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a law enforcement group formed in 1980 that includes members of the NYPD and the FBI. The attack came just weeks after an ISIS-influenced immigrant from Uzbekistan drove a rented truck down a Manhattan bike lane killing eight others and injuring 12 more.

Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. After 9/11

Here’s a look at Islamist-related deadly assaults across the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as compiled by the CATO Institute.


2000
2010
2020
July 4, 2002

An Egyptian man opens fire at the El Al Israel Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people before he was shot dead by an airline guard. PHOTO: KRISTA NILES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A gunman kills one woman and wounds five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.PHOTO: KEVIN P. CASEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A U.S.-born self-described jihad warrior shoots two soldiers, one fatally, outside an Army recruiting station in Arkansas.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others.PHOTO: DONNA MCWILLIAM/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two crude bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 175. Bomber, and older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is killed in a shootout with police; younger brother Dzhokhar is later captured alive.PHOTO: THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

College student Brendan Tevlin is shot eight times while waiting at a traffic light in New Jersey. Authorities find links to three earlier killings in Seattle—of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson, shot 10 times and left to die on a road on April 27, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, killed outside a gay club on June 1—and charge Ali Muhammad Brown with all four.
John Bailey Clarke of North Carolina, 74 years old, is shot three times by a teenage neighbor who had converted online to Islam three months earlier and would plead guilty both to state murder charges and to federal charges of planning a terrorist act.
A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born man opens fire at two military facilities in Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor and injuring three other people before dying from a gunshot wound.

Pakistani immigrant Tashfeen Malik, who had just pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, and her American-born husband open fire on an office party in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding 21. PHOTO: DAVID BAUMAN/PRESS-ENTERPRISE/ZUMA PRESS

Omar Mateen kills 49 people and wounds 53 more at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse before police fatally shoot him after an hourslong standoff.PHOTO: PHELEN M. EBENHACK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Denver transit guard is shot and killed; the man charged with the murder tells the Associated Press he had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State.

Eight people are killed and at least a dozen injured when a truck mows down pedestrians and cyclists on a lower Manhattan bike path.PHOTO: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

A Bangladeshi man tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion were injured.PHOTO: BRYAN R. SMITH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Source: CATO Institute

Mr. Ullah has been living in the U.S. for seven years and had worked as a driver for a car service, officials said. He has been residing in a two-story colonial home on a tree-lined block in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, a multiethnic neighborhood. His block was cordoned off Monday morning as groups of New York Police Department officers milled outside the home.

Alan Butrico, who owns the house next door to Mr. Ullah’s home, described the suspect as “unfriendly.” Mr. Butrico, who also owns a hardware store on the corner of the block, said Mr. Ullah never said hello and “would have an attitude” if he was asked to move his car because it was blocking the neighboring driveway.

Mr. Butrico’s cousin, Ross Faillace, who runs a part-time car detailing shop in the back of Mr. Butrico’s property, said of Mr. Ullah: “He was always on edge.”

Both men said that Mr. Ullah was usually clean cut and wore regular clothes, but that lately Mr. Ullah had grown a beard.

Kisslya Joseph of Grenada has been staying with her brother who lives next door to Mr. Ullah. “This has shaken me up and my family because it’s like you never know who your neighbor is,” Ms. Joseph said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/explosion-reported-at-new-yorks-port-authority-1512997695

New York City explosion: Live updates

What you should know

  • What happened: A man wearing a homemade device set it off at Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square.
  • The suspect: Police named 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. He is of Bangladeshi descent and lives in Brooklyn.
  • Injuries: Four people, including the suspect, were injured. None of those injuries are life-threatening, according to FDNY.

Suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras

While talking with authorities, Port Authority bus terminal explosion suspect Akayed Ullah pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation. Authorities now have to investigate that claim.

Ullah most recently did electrical work close to Port Authority along with his brother. That brother lives in the same apartment building as Ullah, according to law enforcement.

As part of the normal course of an investigation, authorities want to speak with the brother and other family members.

Another law enforcement source tells CNN that screws were found at the scene.

December 11, 2017 2:54pm EST

The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC condemned today’s terror attack in New York City.

Suspect Akayed Ullah, 27, is a lawful permanent resident from Bangladesh, who arrived in the US in 2011.

Here’s the embassy’s statement:

“Government of Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City.”

A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice.

Homeland Security: “We urge the public to remain vigilant”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, in the job for less than a week, is in touch with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and local officials about this morning’s attack, the department said in a statement.

“The Department of Homeland Security is taking appropriate action to protect our people and our country in the wake of today’s attempted terrorist attack in New York City,” the statement read.

“We will continue to assist New York authorities with the response and investigation and we urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

 

Story 2: Fabricated Trump Dossier Was Opposition Research/Russian Disinformation — Democratic Party and Obama Administration Used Fabricated Trump Dossier To Justify Spying on Americans and Opposition Republican Party Using Intelligence Community — Conspiracy Not Collusion — Federal Crimes — A New Special Counsel Should Investigate Together With DOJ and FBI Investigations of Clinton Charitable Foundation, Email Server and Mishandling of Classified Documents — Videos —

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Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Jay Sekulow calls for a second special counsel

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

Congressman Jim Jordan Sends CNN Anchor Packing During a Heated Conversation

Robert Mueller Finally CONFESSES to What He Did To The FBI and Why He Did It

Rep. Jim Jordan To Jeff Sessions: Appoint New Special Counsel Or Step Down

Proof: The Deep State & Bruce Ohr Orchestrated The Dossier! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

BUSTED: DOJ & FBI Had Long Relationship With Dossier Authors! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Should Hillary Be Worried About Uranium One? Yes!

Clinton Probe Given ‘Special’ Status By FBI – Uranium One – Ingraham Angle

New Revelations By FBI Informant Fueling Questions Over Uranium One – Russia Wants Total Control

“The Clinton Collapse” Tucker Bids EPIC Farewell to the Clinton Dynasty

Why Russia Wants to Control the World’s Uranium Supply

Russia-Uranium One deal: Is it a real scandal?

Peter Schweizer on the significance of the Uranium One deal

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Trump Actually Telling The Truth About Clinton-Russia Uranium Scandal?

Ben Shapiro – What Exactly Happened With Uranium One

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Clinton Was Bribed TWICE In Uranium Deal! !Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Mueller’s Russiagate Prosecution Is Imploding Before His Eyes While DOJ and FBI Scandals Metastasize

Judge Napolitano EXPOSES something HUGE on Hillary Clinton investigations

Hannity Connects ALL the Dots in Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation

Judge Napolitano: Enough evidence to prosecute Clinton for espionage

Special counsel needed to probe DOJ-Fusion GPS?

Rep. Jim Jordan reacts to FBI Director Wray hearing

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Jim Jordan: Robert Mueller ‘Inherently Compromised’

New allegations of bias dog Mueller Russia probe

Gingrich: Investigators need to be questioned under oath

Gingrich: Appalling level of FBI corruption coming to light

Judicial Watch Dir says no chance FBI will root out corruption in their ranks

Trey Gowdy Unleashes His Anger On New FBI Director

FBI director defends agency amid allegations of political bias

Trump legal team calls for new special counsel

Anatomy of the FBI’s alleged Clinton cover-up

Trey Gowdy Confronts Loretta Lynch! “Did You Send Classified Info on A Personal Email Like Hillary?”

Napolitano: ‘Lynch Should be Under a Criminal Investigation’

Judge Napolitano on AG Lynch’s secret NSA deal

Napolitano on bias at the FBI, obstruction of justice debate

FBI agent operated as a Clinton mole: Michelle Malkin

Robert Ray on FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over texts

Why weren’t Hillary Clinton staffers investigated for lying to FBI?

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

WOW: Trey Gowdy to AG Jeff Sessions: Its NOT Appropriate for Trump to speaks on a Open Investigation

Watch What Trey Gowdy Has To Say On Jeff Sessions Hearing Today 11/14/2017

BREAKING: FBI Official Unloads On Hillary Clinton This Is Devastating(VIDEO)!!!

The FBI Just Blew The Hillary Clinton Case Wide Open She Could Literally Be Going to Jail!!

Trey Gowdy Votes To Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate James Comey And Hillary Clinton

Russian Uranium Bribery Scandal Reaches Bill Clinton! Dick Morris TV: Lunch ALERT!

Uranium One

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uranium One Inc.
Industry Mining
Founded 2005
Headquarters Toronto, OntarioCanada
Key people
Chris Sattler (CEO)
Vadim Zhivov (President)
Products Uranium
Gold
Number of employees
2,220[1]
Parent Rosatom
Website www.uranium1.com

Uranium One is a Canadian uranium mining company with headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. It has operations in AustraliaCanadaKazakhstanSouth Africa and the United States. In January 2013 Rosatom, the Russian state-owned uranium monopoly, through its subsidiary ARMZ Uranium Holding, purchased the company at a value of $1.3 billion.[2] The purchase of the company by Russian interests is, as of October 2017, under investigation by the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

History

On July 5, 2005, Southern Cross Resources Inc. and Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd announced that they would be merging under the name SXR Uranium One Inc.[3]

In 2007 Uranium One acquired a controlling interest in UrAsia Energy,[4] a Canadian firm with headquarters in Vancouver from Frank Giustra.[5] UrAsia has interests in rich uranium operations in Kazakhstan,[6] and UrAsia Energy’s acquisition of its Kazakhstan uranium interests from Kazatomprom followed a trip to Almaty in 2005 by Giustra and former U.S. President Bill Clinton where they met with Nursultan Nazarbayev, the leader of Kazakhstan. Substantial contributions to the Clinton Foundation by Giustra followed,[5][7] with Clinton, Giustra, and Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim in 2007 establishing the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative to combat poverty in the developing world.[8] In addition to his initial contribution of $100 million Giustra pledged to contribute half of his future earnings from mining to the initiative.[8]

In June 2009, the Russian uranium mining company ARMZ Uranium Holding Co. (ARMZ), a part of Rosatom, acquired 16.6% of shares in Uranium One in exchange for a 50% interest in the Karatau uranium mining project, a joint venture with Kazatomprom.[9] In June 2010, Uranium One acquired 50% and 49% respective interests in southern Kazakhstan-based Akbastau and Zarechnoye uranium mines from ARMZ. In exchange, ARMZ increased its stake in Uranium One to 51%. The acquisition resulted in a 60% annual production increase at Uranium One, from approximately 10 million to 16 million lb.[10][11] The deal was subject to anti-trust and other conditions and was not finalized until the companies received Kazakh regulatory approvals, approval under Canadian investment law, clearance by the US Committee on Foreign Investments, and approvals from both the Toronto and Johannesburg stock exchanges. The deal was finalized by the end of 2010.[11] Uranium One’s extraction rights in the U.S. amounted to 0.2% of the world’s uranium production.[12]Uranium One paid its minority shareholders a dividend of 1.06 US Dollars per share at the end of 2010.[citation needed]

ARMZ took complete control of Uranium One in January 2013 by buying all shares it did not already own.[2] In October 2013, Uranium One Inc. became a private company and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of Rosatom.[3][13] From 2012 to 2014, an unspecified amount of Uranium was reportedly exported to Canada via a Kentucky-based trucking firm with an existing export license; most of the processed uranium was returned to the U.S., with approximately 25% going to Western Europe and Japan.[14][15]

Congressional investigation

Since uranium is considered a strategic asset with national security implications, the acquisition of Uranium One by Rosatom was reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a committee of nine government agencies including the United States Department of State, which was then headed by Hillary Clinton.[16][17][18] The voting members of the committee can object to such a foreign transaction, but the final decision then rests with the president.[19]

In April 2015, The New York Times wrote that, during the acquisition, the family foundation of Uranium One’s chairman made $2.35 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. The donations were legal but not publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, despite an agreement with the White House to disclose all contributors.[20] In addition, a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton $500,000 for a speech in Moscow shortly after the acquisition was announced.[17][18] Several members of Clinton’s State Department staff and officials from the Obama-era Department of Justice have said that CFIUS reviews are handled by civil servants and that it would be unlikely that Clinton would have had more than nominal involvement in her department’s signing off on the acquisition.[21] According to Snopes, the timing of donations might have been questionable if Hillary Clinton had played a key role in approving the deal, but all evidence suggests that she did not and may in fact have had no role in approving the deal at all.[22]

In October 2017, following a report by John F. Solomon and Alison Spann published in The Hill and citing anonymous sources,[23][24] the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence opened an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sale of Uranium One.[21]

FactCheck.org reported that there was “no evidence” connecting the Uranium One–Rosatom merger deal with a money laundering and bribery case involving a different Rosatom subsidiary which resulted in the conviction of a Russian individual in 2015, contrary to what is implied in the Solomon-Spann story.[20][25] Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post wrote that the problem with some of the accusations that Republican commentators levied against Clinton is that she “by all accounts, did not participate in any discussions regarding the Uranium One sale.”[26]

In October 2017, President Trump directed the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to lift a “gag order” it had placed on a former FBI informant involved the investigation. The DOJ released the informant from his nondisclosure agreement on October 25, 2017,[27][28][29]authorizing him to provide the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, House Oversight Committee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence “any information or documents he has concerning alleged corruption or bribery involving transactions in the uranium market” involving Rosatom, its subsidiaries Tenex and Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.[30]

During a C-SPAN interview, Hillary Clinton said that any allegations that she was bribed to approve the Uranium One deal were “baloney”.[31]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uranium_One

 

Journalism for rent’: Inside the secretive firm behind the Trump dossier

 December 11 at 12:50 PM
8:20
Fusion GPS founder explains why he started the research firm

Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, spoke at the 2016 Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, an event conducted by 100Reporters.

Fusion GPS bills itself as a corporate research firm, but in many ways it operates with the secrecy of a spy agency. No sign marks its headquarters above a coffee shop in Northwest Washington. Its website consists of two sentences and an email address. Its client list is closely held.

The small firm has been under intense public scrutiny for producing the 35-page document known as the Trump dossier. Senior executives summoned to testify before Congress in October invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and the firm is resisting a congressional subpoena for bank records that would reveal who has paid for its services.

But hundreds of internal company documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal how Fusion, a firm led by former journalists, has used investigative reporting techniques and media connections to advance the interests of an eclectic range of clients on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and in the nation’s capital. The firm has played an unseen role in stories that dominated headlines in recent years.

In the years before it produced the dossier, records show, Fusion worked to blunt aggressive reporting on the medical-device company Theranos, which was later found to have problems with its novel blood-testing technology. It was also hired to ward off scrutiny of the nutritional supplement company Herbalife, which ultimately paid $200 million to distributors to settle claims by regulators.

In another case, the firm sought to expose what it called “slimy dealings” by a competitor of a San Francisco museum proposed by filmmaker and “Star Wars” director George Lucas. And it dug up information about domestic disputes involving a former mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif., as part of an investigation into a proposed real estate development that the mayor supported.

Fusion’s other past research targets, documents show, included tech giants Google and Amazon; 2012 presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama; and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Bob Corker of Tennessee. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Fusion assigned code names to the projects — many of them after cities in Texas and Maine — and avoided identifying its clients in internal documents, making it difficult to determine who was paying for the research. The firm also minimized its public footprints by paying outside contractors to collect public records from courthouses, police stations and federal agencies.

The Post’s review provides a glimpse at the tactics that have fueled Fusion’s rise in the growing and secretive industry of opposition research and corporate intelligence. The review represents the most comprehensive look at the firm’s work at a time when it is being examined by those who seek to gauge the veracity of the dossier, and it reveals methods that have drawn criticism from the targets of the company’s research, including President Trump.

Fusion’s work on the dossier went beyond ordinary opposition research, the kind that might explore a candidate’s past legislative history or embarrassing gaffes — known in the industry as “votes and quotes.” Instead, it paid a former British spy to compile intelligence from unnamed Russian sources.

Only a handful of internal documents obtained by The Post relate to the examination of Trump during the 2016 election, a project that was code-named “Bangor” and was financed in part by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Fusion declined to comment on specific cases or identify clients, but said in a statement that it is “proud of our methodology and the rigor of our research, amply demonstrated by the records cited by The Washington Post. They show what we’ve always stated: Our secret sauce is diligent and exhaustive analysis of public information.”

It continued: “The reason we are so effective is that we unearth facts that stand up to scrutiny — presumably why we are still talking about our work detailing the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia more than a year later.”

Exposing ‘slimy dealings’

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, an accomplished former investigative reporter with expertise digging into financial crimes and corruption in Russia and elsewhere, left the Wall Street Journal in 2009 to start a research firm with Susan Schmidt, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner from The Post. Without Schmidt, Simpson created Fusion GPS the following year, teaming up with former Wall Street Journal editor Peter Fritsch and a former Treasury official.

“I call it journalism for rent,” Simpson, 53, said in August of last year at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium in the District, where he described Fusion’s work on a panel titled, “Investigations With an Agenda.”

Fusion has about 10 employees, he said. It has worked on a broad array of cases, including matters related to marijuana dispensaries, health-care workers, a state insurance official and even a Florida homeowner’s association, internal documents show.

Fusion has also quietly advocated causes and pet projects dear to wealthy and famous clients.

In April 2014, Lucas wanted to build a cultural arts museum on federal land at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a site known as the Presidio. The museum was one of three proposals under consideration by a federal agency called the Presidio Trust.

A Fusion client — who is not identified in the documents obtained by The Post — suspected the agency was trying to block the Lucas museum, records show.

“We want to understand where this resistance is coming from and why,” Fritsch wrote in an email to his Fusion colleagues. Fritsch added that the “client would like to expose the slimy dealings” of a nonprofit competing with Lucas for the right to build on the land. The investigation was code named “Tyler.”

Ron Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific start-up investors and an outspoken supporter of the Lucas museum, was copied on subsequent emails about the cost of the research. “I don’t have any comment,” Conway said by phone when asked if he had hired Fusion.

Over the next nine months, a contractor hired by Fusion blanketed the Presidio Trust and another federal agency with dozens of requests for a range of documents related to board members and a consultant who were judging the proposals — expense reports, ethics forms, employment contracts and other records.

In February 2015, with Fusion still waiting for the documents, Conway sent an email to Fritsch with a link to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was about a petition, signed by celebrities such as Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and hip-hop artist MC Hammer, calling on the Presidio Trust to release some of the same records Fusion had requested.

“WE ARE OFF AND RUNNING !!” Conway wrote. Fritsch forwarded the email to other Fusion executives and said, “GLORIOUS!!!”

It’s not clear whether the effort had the desired effect. The Presidio Trust ultimately rejected all three proposals. A spokeswoman for Lucas told The Post in a statement that Lucas was “unaware of any research undertaken by Fusion GPS.” A Presidio Trust spokesman did not respond to messages from The Post seeking comment.

Fusion has at times used hardball tactics, the documents show.

Last year, Fusion’s sleuths targeted a controversial proposal for a $1.2 billion hotel and condo project in Beverly Hills, in the heart of one of the nation’s wealthiest areas, records show. The investigation was code named “Gray.”

Fusion’s client is not identified in the records reviewed by The Post, but the documents show that Fusion investigated the activities of the Chinese developer behind the project, Wanda Group, there and in other U.S. cities.

As part of its research, Fusion took aim at a vocal supporter of the Beverly Hills project, then-mayor John Mirisch, records show. Fusion sought police reports from the city related to domestic disputes involving the mayor and his ex-wife that had occurred between 2008 and 2010, records show.

Former Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch at City Hall in August 2016. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

When city police balked at releasing some of the police reports, a Fusion contractor sued the city. Neither the public-records requests nor the legal complaint mentions Fusion. The suit was filed by former journalist Russell Carollo, who is described in court records as a public records consultant.

Fusion executive Jason Felch, a former investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times, emailed Carollo on July 21, 2016, with a statement he could give reporters inquiring about the lawsuit. The statement suggested that the mayor might be supporting the Wanda Group project because he owed a favor to a retired police chief who worked for a firm that was lobbying the city on behalf of the hotel, records show. The statement also argued that the public had a right to see the records involving the mayor.

Two weeks later, Carollo was quoted in the local newspaper, the Beverly Hills Courier, under a story headlined: “Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Petitions Court For Public Information On Mayor’s Domestic Disputes With Ex-Wife.”

In an interview, Mirisch said he had no idea that Fusion was behind the renewed scrutiny of the years-old domestic disputes. “It was dirty politics and misinformation,” said Mirisch, now a city council member.

Carollo said in an interview that he worked for Fusion and was asked by the firm to file the lawsuit. In a statement, Fusion wrote: “Our policy prohibits any employees or contractors from misrepresenting themselves as journalists or anything else.”

A spokesman for the Beverly Hills hotel project, which remains in planning stages, declined to comment. The retired police chief, Dave Snowden, said in an interview, “Hearing this, that the mayor owed me a favor, is absurd on its face.”

Behind-the-scenes player

Fusion insists that the firm does not engage in public relations work or advertise its media connections to prospective clients. But Fusion executives have interceded with former colleagues in media when their clients came under scrutiny, records and interviews show.

In mid-2015, Fusion was conducting research on two competitors of Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up that had created buzz in the health-technology industry. Around the same time, the Wall Street Journal was pursuing its own Theranos reporting, which ultimately raised doubts about the accuracy of the company’s revolutionary lab-testing technology. Fusion, working on behalf of Theranos, tried to influence the Journal’s early reporting, according to records and interviews.

Fusion called the case “Ferris.”

A few weeks after Journal reporter John Carreyrou approached Theranos about his investigation into the company, Fritsch contacted him to create a back channel, according to documents and a person familiar with the Journal’s reporting who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Fritsch advised the reporter that his approach with Theranos up to that point had been too blunt and aggressive, and he encouraged him to soften it, the person said. Fritsch also accompanied a Theranos delegation that went to the Journal’s newsroom in June 2015 to discuss the story with Carreyrou and his editor. The delegation, made up mostly of lawyers, was headed by prominent attorney David Boies.

Over the ensuing years, Theranos — once valued at $9 billion — faced regulatory actions, including in 2016 losing its certificate to operate a blood-testing lab in California and its eligibility to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. The company reached a settlement in April with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agreeing not to operate a lab for two years in exchange for the restoration of its certificate.

“The Wall Street Journal published its award-winning series on Theranos despite legal threats and strenuous objections from the company and its representatives,” a spokeswoman for the paper said in a statement.

A representative of Boies’s law firm, Boies Schiller and Flexner, referred comment to Theranos. A Theranos representative declined to comment.

Fusion was also a behind-the-scenes player in a Wall Street battle between billionaire investor William Ackman and the supplement company Herbalife, records show.

Ackman had a huge financial stake in Herbalife’s fate. He had taken a short position in the company — meaning if the company failed, his investment would pay off big. Ackman held news conferences calling for regulatory and criminal investigations into Herbalife, alleging that the company’s network of distributors was effectively a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife had Fusion working on its side in a project that carried the code name “Rice,” documents show. Fusion launched investigations into Ackman and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, according to emails and internal documents.

Herbalife’s attorney and outside publicist are copied on some emails that discussed strategy for uncovering public records that would expose whether Ackman was paying nonprofit groups to criticize Herbalife. Fusion’s contractors were looking for information that would spark government investigations into Ackman, documents show.

In June 2014, Richard Hynes, a contractor for Fusion, noted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office had previously conducted investigations that touched on Ackman, emails show.

“Nothing seems to have come from them,” he wrote. “I wonder what the SEC and NY AG DIDN’T have to make their cases. What else could we provide them this time to effect a different outcome,” he asked. Simpson soon instructed a Fusion contractor to request the SEC’s case file on closed investigations into Ackman or his firm, Pershing Square, documents show.

It was Herbalife that fell under investigation. In 2016, it agreed to a $200 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it deceived buyers and sellers of its products. Herbalife did not respond to a request for comment, and Hynes did not respond to messages.

A ‘no-stones-unturned’ approach

As Fusion has been thrust into the spotlight because of the Trump dossier, it has been forced to reveal details of its operations in court proceedings.

Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion’s bank records to try to identify the then-mystery client who paid for the dossier. In October, Fusion executives invoked their constitutional right not to answer questions from the committee.

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, left, arrives for an appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on Nov. 14. (Associated Press)

Simpson had previously sat for a 10-hour closed-door interview with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is also looking into allegations of foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He has also testified before the House committee behind closed doors.

For its investigation into Trump, Fusion was initially hired in the fall of 2015 by the conservative Washington Free Beacon website. The publication is backed by billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, who was then supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) in the GOP primary.

The Post revealed in October that Fusion was paid, via a law firm, by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee for its work on the dossier.

After Trump won the primary, Fusion approached Marc Elias, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie who represented the Democratic Party during the 2016 election. Perkins Coie decided the party needed to go deeper than traditional, issue-oriented opposition research groups — a “no-stones-unturned approach,” according to a person familiar with the arrangement who was not authorized to speak publicly.

A spokeswoman for Perkins Coie said Trump “was unvetted by the political process — a businessman with significant real estate holdings both in the United States and around the globe, a history of litigation, financial problems and bankruptcies, and of a decidedly litigious nature,” adding that “the challenge of reviewing public-record information alone on his candidacy necessitated additional research.”

Simpson and Fritsch had worked on stories involving money laundering and Russian government officials while based in Brussels for the Journal. They knew how to pull documents around the world — a skill that had earned them work from top law firms.

“I’ve known Glenn for a long time,” said John W. Moscow, a former prosecutor and now a lawyer with the firm BakerHostetler, which hired Fusion to assist in defending the Russian company Prevezon in a civil money-laundering case. “When we need information from various parts of the world, he can go get it. We hire him on a per-case basis because he’s good.”

Earlier this year, Prevezon settled the suit, brought by the Justice Department, for $5.9 million without admitting guilt.

For its work on the dossier, Fusion hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who had worked extensively in Russia. In a statement, Fusion said Perkins Coie paid it $1.02 million for work in 2016, and it said Fusion paid Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, $168,000.

The dossier alleged that the Russian government had collected compromising information on Trump and that the Kremlin was trying to assist his campaign. Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier but the most sensational details have not been verified and may never be.

As the dossier circulated among Washington journalists late last year, senior U.S. officials viewed the matter as serious enough to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump on its existence. And when BuzzFeed published the document online in early January, the dossier — particularly its more salacious claims — gripped the nation.

In recent weeks, Trump and congressional Republicans have seized on the Clinton campaign’s role in the dossier to try to discredit suggestions that his campaign colluded with Russia.

At the August conference last year, Simpson said his firm upholds strict standards developed in his years as a journalist.

“You can’t just say what you know. You have to say how you know it. And you have to be able to prove it,” he said. “That imposes a sort of discipline to the investigative process that people in other fields don’t really absorb.”

He was candid about the money involved. Explaining why he left journalism, he joked: “We don’t use the word ‘sold out.’ We use the word ‘cashed in.’ ”

Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/journalism-for-rent-inside-the-secretive-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/2017/12/11/8d5428d4-bd89-11e7-af84-d3e2ee4b2af1_story.html?utm_term=.dcc6a59b2320

Story 3: People of Alabama Will Elect Roy Moore on Tuesday To Fill Senate Seat Vacated By Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Moore Is Right On The Issues — Videos

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Roy Moore, Doug Jones and the issues: A voter’s guide to the Alabama Senate election

Things seem to be going Roy Moore’s way. President Trump endorsed him. The Republican National Committee is back to supporting him. And Moore, who has been accused of sexual contact with women when they were underaged, has led by an average of 3 percentage points in polls taken within 21 days of the Dec. 12 […] Wochit

Alabama voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the third time in four months to decide who will be the state’s junior U.S. senator.

Where the primaries — and later the GOP runoff — featured candidates who largely agreed on policy, there are notable contrasts between Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore.

The two candidates have sharply different views on health care, the environment, and social issues. Those differences has been overshadowed as Moore has dealt with accusations — most stemming from his time as a prosecutor in Etowah County in the late 1970s and early 1980s — that he pursued relationships with teenaged girls, and engaged in conduct ranging from unwanted attention to assault.  Moore denies the allegations.

The candidates have tried — to varying degrees — to discuss other issues as well. Moore in his public appearances has gone back to the religiously conservative, anti-LGBT message that has defined his political career.

“The transgenders don’t have rights,” Moore said at a news conference in Montgomery Nov. 8, which was as of Friday his last public appearance in the county before the election. “They’ve never been denominated as having rights by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Jones, meanwhile, has emphasized jobs and health care, in particular his support of Medicaid, Medicare and renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In recent days, Jones has amped up his attacks on Moore over the accusations.

“I believe women are every bit as capable as men, that they deserve to be elected to public office, and I damn sure believe and have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail, not to the U.S. Senate,” Jones said in remarks in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Whatever else can be said about Tuesday election, it is certain that the candidates present contrasting visions for the state of Alabama.

The candidates

Doug Jones

Age: 63

Residence: Birmingham

Party: Democratic

Family: Married; three children, two grandchildren

Profession: Attorney

Education: B.A., University of Alabama, 1975; J.D., Cumberland School of Law, 1979

Offices held/offices sought: U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, 1997-2001

ProfileThe fights of his life: Doug Jones’ journey from Fairfield to the U.S. Senate race

Finances: Despite a slow start over the summertime, Jones has pulled in more than $10 million since the start of October.

Themes: Jones has pitched a mainstream Democratic platform with an emphasis on job creation and access to health care. He has also discussed his time as U.S. attorney, in particular his prosecution of two men responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963.

Roy Moore

Age: 70

Residence: Gallant

Party: Republican

Profession: Attorney

Family: Married; four children; five grandchildren

Offices held/Offices sought: Alabama chief justice, 2013-2016 and 2001-03; Republican candidate for governor, 2010 and 2006; Etowah County circuit judge, 1992-2001; Democratic candidate for Etowah County district attorney, 1986; Democratic candidate for Etowah County circuit judge, 1982.

ProfileLife in wartime: Roy Moore fights battles – and often goes looking for them

Education: B.S., United States Military Academy, 1969; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 1977

Finances: Moore historically lags opponents in fundraising (even in races he’s won), and the Senate race has followed that pattern. While Moore started the general election campaign ahead of Jones overall in fundraising, he raised just $1.7 million between October and the end of November.

Themes: Although Moore has tied himself with President Donald Trump and spent time denouncing his accusers, his Senate campaign is otherwise much like previous campaigns he’s waged in the past 17 years, with strong appeals to religious conservativism and denunciations of abortion and LGBT rights.

Issues

Health care

Jones: Says health care is a right and supports the Affordable Care Act — which covered 178,000 Alabamians last winter — but says he wants to “bring both sides together” in Washington to address issues like premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Has called for renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers about 150,000 children in Alabama. Says he will support Medicare and Medicaid, which combined cover nearly 2 million Alabamians, in their current forms. Has been open to a public option for Medicare.

Moore: Has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the sale of health insurance policies across state lines and tax credits to businesses for employee health care coverage, while broadly calling for government to get out of health care. Has not committed to renewal of the CHIP program.

Economy and taxes

Jones: Says he supports simplification of business and corporate taxes to create jobs, but says the tax bill before Congress “can’t be a giveaway to the richest Americans paid for by working families.” Supports a “living wage” for workers, streamlining regulations and extending the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure equal pay for men and women.

Moore: Says he “supports any kind of tax cut” and would replace the current progressive income tax system — where the wealthy pay a higher share of their income in taxes — with a 15 percent flat tax or a 23 percent national sales tax, offset in part by monthly stipends. Calls for cuts to the budget deficit.

Immigration

Jones: Says he supports border security and “maintaining the integrity of our borders against all threats” with “the most advanced technology possible.”  Has supported efforts to find status for those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.

Moore: Says he would support a border wall if needed to address undocumented immigration, but has also called for the deployment of the U.S. military to the Mexican border. Has called DACA a “permanent evil” created by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Trade

Jones: Says trade agreements should create jobs in Alabama and prevent barriers for Alabama companies for selling their goods, such as high tariffs.

Moore: Has expressed support for renegotiating the North American Free Trade and Central American Free Trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) and says he supports some tariffs to address “unbalanced” trade.

Abortion

Jones: Supports abortion rights and current laws governing abortion. The Moore campaign has accused Jones of supporting “late-term abortion;” Jones has said he only supports abortion after 20 weeks in cases of medical emergency. Says the way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is “education and access to health care and contraception.”

Moore: Supports abortion restrictions and has called himself “the exact opposite” of Jones on the issue. The campaign did not respond to questions as to whether Moore supports exceptions to an abortion ban, such as rape, incest or the life of the mother.

LGBT rights

Jones: Supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

Moore: Strongly opposes same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, and in a 2002 judicial opinion called homosexuality “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the law of Nature.”

Guns

Jones: Has called himself “a Second Amendment guy” and highlighted his love of hunting. Says gun laws as they stand should be enforced, but supports efforts to improve background checks, both to allow law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms and prevent criminals from getting them.

Moore: Says he believes in the Second Amendment and pulled out a gun at a rally before the Sept. 26 GOP runoff. In a summer Facebook posting, Moore said he would ensure gun rights “are never, ever infringed upon.”

Environment & energy

Jones: Says he “believes in science and that climate change is occurring.” Supports investments in renewable energy and conservation, particularly for their economic impact and says those working in the coal industry need a “safety net” of job retraining and health care benefits.

Moore: Has declined to answer questions about climate change. Website suggests an energy policy consisting of coal and oil drilling, along with “development” of nuclear, solar and wind energy.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/12/10/roy-moore-doug-jones-and-issues-voters-guide-alabama-senate-election/934965001/

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The Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017, Story 1: No Crime, No Evidence, No Case, No Indictments of Russian/Trump Collusion — Delusional Democratic  Clinton Conspiracy Theory — Plenty of Evidence of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton Crimes — American People Demanding Prosecution — Waiting For Dominoes To Fall — Manafort Indictment Is Money Laundering and Tax Evasion Case From 2006-2015 — Videos –Story 2: Whose Next? Tony Podesta — Videos — Story 3: Real Russian Collusion — Clinton Foundation — Uranium One — Obama Administration — Videos

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Story 1: No Crime, No Evidence, No Case, No Indictments of Russian/Trump Collusion — Delusional Democratic  Clinton Conspiracy Theory — Plenty of Evidence of Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton Crimes — American People Demanding Prosecution — Waiting For Dominoes To Fall — Manafort Indictment Is Money Laundering and Tax Evasion Case From 2006-2015 — Videos —

Tucker Carlson Tonight 10/30/17 – Tucker Carlson Tonight October 30, 2017 Fox News – PAUL MANAFORT

The Latest on Today’s Top Story. Manafort Charges.

Manafort Turns Himself in! Dershowitz Explains!

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Inside Judicial Watch News Brief: The Manafort Indictment

Manafort and Gates plead not guilty in special counsel probe

Mueller is FOOLING himself! Ann Coulter REACTS to Paul Manafort’s ARREST

 {youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUDeAHs-rU0]

Why Paul Manafort’s Indictment Has Absolutely Nothing to Do With Trump

“Manafort indictments a nothing burger” Ben Shapiro REACTS to Robert Mueller charges

Paul Manafort’s lawyer comes out fighting, THROWS Mueller’s charges to the TRASH

White House press briefing after Paul Manafort, Rick Gates indicted by federal grand jury

How Trump’s tune on Manafort changed as investigators closed in

Three Trump Associates Charged in Russia Collusion Probe

 Updated on 

The federal investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia took a major turn Monday as authorities charged three people — a former campaign chief, his associate and an ex-foreign policy adviser — with crimes including money laundering, lying to the FBI and conspiracy.

Paul Manafort, the campaign manager, and onetime business partner Rick Gates surrendered and later pleaded not guilty in Washington federal court. Separately, authorities disclosed that George Papadopoulos, the adviser, secretly pleaded guilty weeks ago and has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

Manafort, left, exits court in Washington on Oct. 30.

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

Read the full indictment here

The accusations arrive after a months-long probe into possible crimes including obstruction of justice by Trump and other crimes by his associates. The general shape of the investigation into Manafort’s activities has been known for months. The charges against Papadopoulos were a revelation and indicate prosecutors are moving on multiple tracks. They are the most direct indication of coordination between the campaign and Russian officials.

Investigators are likely to pressure Manafort and Gates to cooperate with prosecutors in a bid for leniency and to disclose everything that they know about Trump’s campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????

Papadopoulos, who worked for the campaign from March 2016 to January, was in frequent communication with a “campaign supervisor” and “a high-ranking official” of the effort, according to court papers unsealed on Monday.

Papadopoulos made contacts with Russians who said they could supply “dirt” on Clinton in the form of thousands of emails. Papadopoulos then told Trump officials they should arrange a meeting with Russians to discuss “U.S.-Russia ties,” according to the papers.

The adviser later broached the prospect of Trump’s getting together with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the court papers said. Papadopoulos was also in email contact with a Russian who said he represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who thanked him “for an extensive talk.”

Such meetings never occurred, said Trump spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and the charges “have nothing to do with the president.”

Papadopoulos lied to federal agents about the timing of his contacts, saying they happened before he joined the campaign, prosecutors said. After his arrest in July at Dulles International Airport near Washington, Papadopoulos met with authorities on “numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions,” according to the court documents.

Papadopoulos, a 30-year-old DePaul University graduate from Chicago, worked at the London Centre of International Law Practice at the time in question, from February 2016 to April 2016, according to his LinkedIn page. After getting a master’s degree in security studies from University College London, he was associated with Washington’s Hudson Institute from 2011 to 2015. The institute said Papadopoulos was an unpaid intern and later a contract researcher for one of its fellows.

As for Manafort, the 12-count indictment painted a picture of a high-flying operation, in which more than $75 million passed through offshore accounts. Prosecutors said he laundered more than $18 million to support a “lavish lifestyle” that included buying homes, cars and clothing, and accused him of defrauding institutions that loaned him money.

He and Gates, his longtime deputy, hid foreign accounts from the U.S., failed to disclose work for a foreign government and misrepresented their activities to authorities as recently as 2017, according to the indictment.

In court Monday afternoon, prosecutors said their foreign ties made the men flight risks and put them under house arrest ahead of a trial. Manafort posted a $10 million bond, while Gates put up a $5 million bond to be released. They also surrendered their passports.

In the packed courtroom, Manafort spent most of his time staring impassively, sometimes just looking down. Gates, too, sat quietly. As their not-guilty pleas were entered by their attorneys, neither man addressed the court except in response to directions to swear that whatever they said would be the truth, and to affirm that they understood the terms of their release and the consequences of their failure to comply.

Afterwards, Kevin Downing, Manafort’s lawyer, told reporters that the charges have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and called them ridiculous.

Gates was fired Monday by real-estate company Colony NorthStar Inc., where he had been a consultant to Executive Chairman Tom Barrack, a wealthy Los Angeles investor and Trump confidant. Gates looks forward to defending himself in court, according to a statement from Glenn Selig, a spokesman.

“This fight is just beginning,” Selig said.

Lawyers for Papadopoulos declined to comment, saying they would do so in court.

The president took to Twitter to say that any wrongdoing by Manafort predated their relationship.

“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign,” Trump wrote. “But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????”

Follow the Trump Administration’s Every Move

The indictment, however, stated that Manafort’s illegal acts lasted into early 2017.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the probe as “the single greatest witch hunt in American political history.”

Read more: Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga

Manafort, 68, has been targeted by Mueller for months. A top Republican strategist who also worked extensively for foreign politicians, he left Trump’s campaign after only a few months in 2016. He departed after information surfaced about his work in Ukraine for a pro-Russian party, which intensified scrutiny of his business dealings.

Gates worked with Manafort on Trump’s campaign and in Ukrainian politics. After Manafort left the campaign, Gates remained, later joining the president-elect’s inaugural committee.

He attended meetings at the White House after Trump became president, according to one former staff member. Trump sought to distance himself from Gates and grew angry after he learned that Gates was still visiting the White House, two people familiar with the matter said.

Virginia Home

As campaign chairman, Manafort attended a June 2016 meeting with the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer that was arranged to offer incriminating information about Clinton.

In July 2017, FBI agents picked the lock of Manafort’s northern Virginia home, frisking his wife and copying data from electronic devices, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Manafort has said he cooperated with congressional inquiries about the campaign even as Mueller’s prosecutors combed through his taxes and finances.

Manafort, a lawyer whose father was mayor of New Britain, Connecticut, made his name working for Republican presidential candidates, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole.

He started lobbying and political-consulting firms that upended the way the Washington influence game worked by helping politicians win and then cashing in on the success, what one critic called an “institutionalized conflict of interest.”

Foreign Leaders

He advised foreign leaders, some with unsavory reputations, on how to make themselves palatable to Washington. His roster included Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerrilla leader Jonas Savimbi and deposed Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych, an ally of Putin.

Trump and Russia: The Lucrative Ukraine Years of Paul Manafort

Yanukovych’s Party of Regions hired Manafort in 2006 to recast its image, which had been marred by election-fraud allegations.

He helped teach Yanukovych to look and speak like an American politician, shepherding him to the presidency in 2010. Manafort also helped him defend the imprisonment of his rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, an act widely condemned in the West.

Yanukovych left office in a 2014 uprising and now lives in exile in Russia. A handwritten ledger found in a party office said Manafort was paid at least $12.7 million from 2007 to 2012. In June, Manafort retroactively filed a foreign-agent registration that said the Party of Regions paid him $17.1 million in 2012 and 2013.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-30/trump-s-ex-campaign-chairman-manafort-told-to-surrender-to-u-s

The Manafort Indictment: Not Much There, and a Boon for Trump

by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY October 30, 2017 2:20 PM

The Paul Manafort indictment is much ado about nothing . . . except as a vehicle to squeeze Manafort, which is special counsel Robert Mueller’s objective — as we have been arguing for three months (see here, here, and here).

Do not be fooled by the “Conspiracy against the United States” heading on Count One (page 23 of the indictment). This case has nothing to do with what Democrats and the media call “the attack on our democracy” (i.e., the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election, supposedly in “collusion” with the Trump campaign). Essentially, Manafort and his associate, Richard W. Gates, are charged with (a) conspiring to conceal from the U.S. government about $75 million they made as unregistered foreign agents for Ukraine, years before the 2016 election (mainly, from 2006 through 2014), and (b) a money-laundering conspiracy.

There are twelve counts in all, but those are the two major allegations.

The so-called conspiracy against the United States mainly involves Manafort’s and Gates’s alleged failure to file Treasury Department forms required by the Bank Secrecy Act. Specifically, Americans who hold a stake in foreign bank accounts must file what’s known as an “FBAR” (foreign bank account report) in any year in which, at any point, the balance in the account exceeds $10,000. Federal law also requires disclosure of foreign accounts on annual income-tax returns. Manafort and Gates are said to have controlled foreign accounts through which their Ukrainian political-consulting income sluiced, and to have failed to file accurate FBARs and tax returns. In addition, they allegedly failed to register as foreign agents from 2008 through 2014 and made false statements when they belatedly registered.

In the money-laundering conspiracy, they are alleged to have moved money in and out of the United States with the intent to promote “specified unlawful activity.” That activity is said to have been their acting as unregistered foreign agents.

On first glance, Mueller’s case, at least in part, seems shaky and overcharged.

Even though the Ukrainian money goes back to 2006, the counts involving failure to file FBARs (Counts Three through Nine) go back only to 2012. This is likely because the five-year statute of limitations bars prosecution for anything before then. Obviously, one purpose of the conspiracy count (Count One) is to enable prosecutors, under the guise of establishing the full scope of the scheme, to prove law violations that would otherwise be time-barred.

The offense of failing to register as a foreign agent (Count Ten) may be a slam-dunk, but it is a violation that the Justice Department rarely prosecutes criminally. There is often ambiguity about whether the person’s actions trigger the registration requirement, so the Justice Department’s practice is to encourage people to register, not indict them for failing to do so.

It may well be that Manafort and Gates made false statements when they belatedly registered as foreign agents, but it appears that Mueller’s office has turned one offense into two, an abusive prosecutorial tactic that flouts congressional intent.

Specifically, Congress considers false statements in the specific context of foreign-agent registration to be a misdemeanor calling for zero to six months’ imprisonment. (See Section 622(a)(2) of Title 22, U.S. Code.) That is the offense Mueller charges in Count Eleven. But then, for good measure, Mueller adds a second false-statement count (Count Twelve) for the same conduct — charged under the penal-code section (Section 1001 of Title 18, U.S. Code) that makes any falsity or material omission in a statement to government officials a felony punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment.

Obviously, one cannot make a false statement on the foreign-agent registration form without also making a false statement to the government. Consequently, expect Manafort to argue that Mueller has violated double-jeopardy principles by charging the same exact offense in two separate counts, and that the special counsel is undermining Congress’s intent that the offense of providing false information on a foreign-agent registration form be considered merely a misdemeanor.

Finally, the money-laundering conspiracy allegation (Count Two) seems far from slam-dunk. For someone to be guilty of laundering, the money involved has to be the proceeds of criminal activity before the accused starts concealing it by (a) moving it through accounts or changing its form by buying assets, etc., or (b) dodging a reporting requirement under federal law.

Now, it is surely a terrible thing to take money, under the guise of “political consulting,” from an unsavory Ukranian political faction that is doing the Kremlin’s bidding. But it is not a violation of American law to do so. The violations occur when, as outlined above, there is a lack of compliance with various disclosure requirements. Mueller seems to acknowledge this: The money-laundering count does not allege that it was illegal for Manafort and Gates to be paid by the Ukrainian faction. It is alleged, rather, that they moved the money around to promote a scheme to function as unregistered foreign agents, and specifically to avoid the registration requirement.

That seems like a stretch. To be sure, the relevant money-laundering statute includes in its definition of “specified unlawful activity” “any violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.” (See Section 1956(c)(2)(7)(D) of Title 18, U.S. Code.) But the prosecution still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activity in the first place. Moreover, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that

Even from Paul Manafort’s perspective, there may be less to this indictment than meets the eye. Manafort and Gates (a) knew the money was the proceeds of illegal activity and (b) transported the money the way they did with the specific intent of avoiding having to register as foreign agents. This count will thus fail if there is any doubt that the Ukrainian money was illegal under American law, that Manafort and Gates knew it was illegal, that they knew the work they were doing required them to register as foreign agents, or that it was their intention to promote a failure-to-register violation.

From President Trump’s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case. It appears to reaffirm former FBI director James Comey’s multiple assurances that Trump is not a suspect. And, to the extent it looks like an attempt to play prosecutorial hardball with Manafort, the president can continue to portray himself as the victim of a witch hunt.

Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/453244/manafort-indictment-no-signs-trump-russia-collusion

Story 2: Whose Next? Tony Podesta — Videos —

BREAKING!Trey Gowdy Takes Apart Mueller’s Investigation & Clinton’s Campaign In Same Fiery Interview

Look Who Paul Manafort Worked For During Alleged Activities(VIDEO)!!!

Tony Podesta Steps Down from Podesta Group due to Mueller Probe.

Rpt: Mueller Investigating Tony Podesta – Uranium One Scandal – Hannity

TUCKER CARLSON MANAFORT WORKED WITH PODESTA Tucker investigates podesta group

The Coming Russia Bombshells – WSJ To Mueller After Dossier Expose: Resign – Fox & Friends

Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta now being investigated by Mueller

 

Tony Podesta stepping down from lobbying giant amid Mueller probe

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

Podesta’s decision to leave the firm came on the same day that former Donald Trump campaign aides Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were indicted on multiple charges, including money laundering, operating as federal agents of the Ukrainian government, failing to disclose overseas bank accounts and making false statements to federal authorities. Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, according to court records.

The investigation into Podesta and his firm grew out of investigators’ examination of Manafort’s finances. Manafort organized a PR campaign on behalf of a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Podesta Group was one of several firms that were paid to do work on the PR campaign to promote Ukraine in the U.S.

Podesta Group filed paperwork with the Justice Department in April stating that it had done work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine that also benefited the same Ukrainian political party that Manafort once advised. Podesta Group said at the time it believed its client was a European think tank untethered to a political party.

Podesta is handing over full operational and financial control of the firm to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of Monday’s meeting. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days. Sources said the transition has been in the works for the past several months.

“[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, “This is an amazing group of people,” a source said of Podesta’s remarks. Podesta also told staff he “doesn’t intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf.” He said he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.”

Fritts also addressed the gathering, telling staff that she is “thrilled at this opportunity” and that, “This is not about me, this is about y’all.” Several other senior staff spoke about their excitement about the future of the firm. The meeting ended with a resounding ovation for Podesta.

Podesta Group did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

Podesta Group has struggled in the wake of the Mueller investigation. More than a dozen of its lobbying clients have cut ties with the firm this year, according to lobbying filings. Revenues have also declined: The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $5.2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/30/tony-podesta-stepping-down-from-lobbying-giant-amid-mueller-probe-244314

Story 3: Real Russian Collusion — Obama Administration — Uranium One —  Clinton Foundation — Videos

Hillary Is SCARED! Sessions Must Appoint Special Counsel to Investigate Uranium One Deal

James Comey’s decision-making on the Clinton probe

Judicial Watch on Hannity: FBI Recovered 72,000 Pages of Clinton Records

FBI Informant Can Testify On Uranium One Deal – Fox & Friends

Obama-era Uranium One deal strongest evidence of Russian collusion: Rep. DeSantis

This Democrat Senator Just Flipped On Live TV And Unveiled Hillary Clinton’s TREASONOUS Secret

 

Yes, The Russia Scandal Is Real — And It Involves Hillary Clinton

Clinton Scandals: For well over a year now, the progressive left in the Democratic Party have tried hard to sell the idea that, a) Russia meddled in our election, and, b) that it was to the detriment of Hillary Clinton. After nearly a year and a half of investigating, neither appears true. What is true, and now documented, is that Hillary Clinton and her family foundation both benefited handsomely from Russian corruption.

Citing federal officials and government documents, The Hill details the Russians’ nuclear-industry corruption here in the U.S., citing extensive evidence that “Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business” in the U.S.

But that’s just the beginning. Based on both an eyewitness account and documents, The Hill report goes on to say that federal agents found evidence “indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”

Isn’t that called bribery?

Strangely, the Department of Justice first discovered the Russian racketeering scheme and the links to Clinton in 2009. But it failed to bring charges, and dragged its investigation out for four years with no substantive action.

Meanwhile, in October of 2010, the State Department and the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) curiously — and unanimously — approved the sale of part of Uranium One, a Canadian-based company with uranium interests in the U.S., to Rosatom, a Russian state holding company.

Why is this significant? That sale gave Russia, a potential nuclear foe, defacto control over 20% of the U.S.’ uranium supply. Let that sink in for a minute.

Then there’s this: The CFIUS that approved the Rosatom deal had two key members: Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who in a clear conflict of interest materially benefited from the deal, and Attorney General Eric Holder, the man responsible for slow-walking the investigation into Russian nuclear racketeering.

So the Obama administration knew of the Russian racketeering, extortion, money laundering, and the rest, as Vladimir Putin’s minions elbowed their way into the U.S. nuclear market. The Obama administration did nothing. The administration knew, too, that Hillary was selling access and influence in the State Department via donations to the family charity. But, again, it did nothing.

And these donations weren’t just peanuts.

The Clintons and their foundation raked in a cool $145 million in donations and “speaking fees” just from Uranium One- and Rosatom-affiliated donors while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was supposedly keeping all Clinton Foundation business at “arm’s-length.” As we reported in July, Clinton official emails show extensive connections between Hillary, the Clinton Foundation and donors during her time as secretary of state, a kind of criminal conga-line of people asking for favors from Hillary and donating to the foundation.

Peter Schwiezer, the author of “Clinton Cash,” questioned this “spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” who “decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

Nor was this just a Russian thing. It was a much-broader pay-for-play scheme by Hillary Clinton. Consider this: Of the 154 private interests that were given official access to Hillary Clinton during her tenure at the State Department, at least 85 donated to the Clinton Foundation or a program affiliated with it. The secretary of state’s office in Foggy Bottom might as well have had “For Sale” painted on it.

That the Clintons and their eponymous foundation got away with their corrupt arrangement for so many years without interference or censure speaks to a deep political corruption in the Obama administration. It’s strange that an investigation continues into the inconsequential ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials, while solid evidence of bribery of the Clinton family by the Russians and many others is completely ignored.

http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/russia-scandal-is-real-involves-hillary-clinton/

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.

Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

When this sale was used by Trump on the campaign trail last year, Hillary Clinton’s spokesman said she was not involved in the committee review and noted the State Department official who handled it said she “never intervened … on any [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] matter.”

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

“The Russians were compromising American contractors in the nuclear industry with kickbacks and extortion threats, all of which raised legitimate national security concerns. And none of that evidence got aired before the Obama administration made those decisions,” a person who worked on the case told The Hill, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution by U.S. or Russian officials.

The Obama administration’s decision to approve Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One has been a source of political controversy since 2015.

That’s when conservative author Peter Schweitzer and The New York Times documented how Bill Clinton collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in Russian speaking fees and his charitable foundation collected millions in donations from parties interested in the deal while Hillary Clinton presided on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.

Spokesmen for Holder and Clinton did not return calls seeking comment. The Justice Department also didn’t comment.

Mikerin was a director of Rosatom’s Tenex in Moscow since the early 2000s, where he oversaw Rosatom’s nuclear collaboration with the United States under the Megatons to Megwatts program and its commercial uranium sales to other countries. In 2010, Mikerin was dispatched to the U.S. on a work visa approved by the Obama administration to open Rosatom’s new American arm called Tenam.

Between 2009 and January 2012, Mikerin “did knowingly and willfully combine, conspire confederate and agree with other persons … to obstruct, delay and affect commerce and the movement of an article and commodity (enriched uranium) in commerce by extortion,” a November 2014 indictment stated.

His illegal conduct was captured with the help of a confidential witness, an American businessman, who began making kickback payments at Mikerin’s direction and with the permission of the FBI. The first kickback payment recorded by the FBI through its informant was dated Nov. 27, 2009, the records show.

In evidentiary affidavits signed in 2014 and 2015, an Energy Department agent assigned to assist the FBI in the case testified that Mikerin supervised a “racketeering scheme” that involved extortion, bribery, money laundering and kickbacks that were both directed by and provided benefit to more senior officials back in Russia.

“As part of the scheme, Mikerin, with the consent of higher level officials at TENEX and Rosatom (both Russian state-owned entities) would offer no-bid contracts to US businesses in exchange for kickbacks in the form of money payments made to some offshore banks accounts,” Agent David Gadren testified.

“Mikerin apparently then shared the proceeds with other co-conspirators associated with TENEX in Russia and elsewhere,” the agent added.

The investigation was ultimately supervised by then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, an Obama appointee who now serves as President Trump’s deputy attorney general, and then-Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, now the deputy FBI director under Trump, Justice Department documents show.

Both men now play a key role in the current investigation into possible, but still unproven, collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle. McCabe is under congressional and Justice Department inspector general investigation in connection with money his wife’s Virginia state Senate campaign accepted in 2015 from now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a time when McAuliffe was reportedly under investigation by the FBI. The probe is not focused on McAuliffe’s conduct but rather on whether McCabe’s attendance violated the Hatch Act or other FBI conflict rules.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired earlier this year.

Its many twist and turns aside, the FBI nuclear industry case proved a gold mine, in part because it uncovered a new Russian money laundering apparatus that routed bribe and kickback payments through financial instruments in Cyprus, Latvia and Seychelles. A Russian financier in New Jersey was among those arrested for the money laundering, court records show.

The case also exposed a serious national security breach: Mikerin had given a contract to an American trucking firm called Transport Logistics International that held the sensitive job of transporting Russia’s uranium around the United States in return for more than $2 million in kickbacks from some of its executives, court records show.

One of Mikerin’s former employees told the FBI that Tenex officials in Russia specifically directed the scheme to “allow for padded pricing to include kickbacks,” agents testified in one court filing.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

The only public statement occurred a year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

The lack of fanfare left many key players in Washington with no inkling that a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme with serious national security implications had been uncovered.

On Dec. 15, 2015, the Justice Department put out a release stating that Mikerin, “a former Russian official residing in Maryland was sentenced today to 48 months in prison” and ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million.

Ronald Hosko, who served as the assistant FBI director in charge of criminal cases when the investigation was underway, told The Hill he did not recall ever being briefed about Mikerin’s case by the counterintelligence side of the bureau despite the criminal charges that were being lodged.

“I had no idea this case was being conducted,” a surprised Hosko said in an interview.

Likewise, major congressional figures were also kept in the dark.

Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during the time the FBI probe was being conducted, told The Hill that he had never been told anything about the Russian nuclear corruption case even though many fellow lawmakers had serious concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the Uranium One deal.

“Not providing information on a corruption scheme before the Russian uranium deal was approved by U.S. regulators and engage appropriate congressional committees has served to undermine U.S. national security interests by the very people charged with protecting them,” he said. “The Russian efforts to manipulate our American political enterprise is breathtaking.”

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/355749-fbi-uncovered-russian-bribery-plot-before-obama-administration

 

The Facts on Uranium One

Two House committees have said that they will investigate the Obama administration’s approval of a deal that gave Russia a financial interest in U.S. uranium production.

The 2010 deal allowed Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency, to acquire a controlling stake in Uranium One, a Canadian-based company with mining stakes in the Western United States.

We covered it during the 2016 presidential campaign, when Donald Trump falsely accused former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of giving away U.S. uranium rights to the Russians and claimed — without evidence — that it was done in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Now, the issue is back in the news, and numerous readers have asked us about it again. So we will recap here what we know — and don’t know — about the 2010 deal.

The Deal

On June 8, 2010, Uranium One announced it had signed an agreement that would give “not less than 51%” of the company to JSC Atomredmetzoloto, or ARMZ, the mining arm of Rosatom, the Russian nuclear energy agency.

Uranium One has two licensed mining operations in Wyoming that amount to about “20 percent of the currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S.,” according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In-situ recovery is the extraction method used by 10 of the 11 licensed U.S. uranium producers.

Uranium One also has exploration projects in Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

But the deal required multiple approvals by the U.S., beginning with the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States. Under federal law, the committee reviews foreign investments that raise potential national security concerns.

The Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States

The Committee on Foreign Investments has nine members, including the secretaries of the treasury, state, defense, homeland security, commerce and energy; the attorney general; and representatives from two White House offices (the United States Trade Representative and the Office of Science and Technology Policy).

The committee can’t actually stop a sale from going through — it can only approve a sale. The president is the only one who can stop a sale, if the committee or any one member “recommends suspension or prohibition of the transaction,” according to guidelines issued by the Treasury Department in December 2008 after the department adopted its final rule a month earlier.

For this and other reasons, we have written that Trump is wrong to claim that Clinton “gave away 20 percent of the uranium in the United States” to Russia. Clinton could have objected — as could the eight other voting members — but that objection alone wouldn’t have stopped the sale of the stake of Uranium One to Rosatom.

“Only the President has the authority to suspend or prohibit a covered transaction,” the federal guidelines say.

We don’t know much about the committee’s deliberations because there are “strong confidentiality requirements” prohibiting disclosure of information filed with the committee, the Treasury Department says on its website. Some information would have become available if the committee or any one of its members objected to the sale. But none of the nine members objected.

“When a transaction is referred to the President, however, the decision of the President is announced publicly,” Treasury says.

We don’t even know if Clinton was involved in the committee’s review and approval of the uranium deal. Jose Fernandez, a former assistant secretary of state, told the New York Timesthat he represented the department on the committee. “Mrs. Clinton never intervened with me on any C.F.I.U.S. matter,” he told the Times, referring to the committee by its acronym.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission

It is also important to note that other federal approvals were needed to complete the deal, and even still more approvals would be needed to export the uranium.

First, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission had to approve the transfer of two uranium recovery licenses in Wyoming from Uranium One to the Russian company. The NRC announced it approved the transfer on Nov. 24, 2010. But, as the NRC explained at the time, “no uranium produced at either facility may be exported.”

As NRC explained in a March 2011 letter to Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, the Russian company would have to apply for and obtain an export license and “commit to use the material only for peaceful purposes” in accordance with “the U.S.-Russia Atomic Energy Act Section 123 agreement for peaceful nuclear cooperation.”

In a June 2015 letter to Rep. Peter Visclosky, the NRC said it granted RSB Logistics Services an amendment to its export license in 2012 to allow the Kentucky shipping company to export uranium to Canada from various sources — including from a Uranium One site in Wyoming. The NRC said that the export license allowed RSB to ship uranium to a conversion plant in Canada and then back to the United States for further processing.

Canada must obtain U.S. approval to transfer any U.S. uranium to any country other than the United States, the letter says.

“Please be assured that no Uranium One, Inc.-produced uranium has been shipped directly to Russia and the U.S. Government has not authorized any country to re-transfer U.S. uranium to Russia,” the 2015 letter said.

“That 2015 statement remains true today,” David McIntyre, a spokesman for the NRC, told us in an email.

RSB Logistics’ current export license, which expires in December, still lists Uranium One as one of its suppliers of uranium.

Uranium One, which is now wholly-owned subsidiary of Rosatom, sells uranium to civilian power reactors in the United States, according to the Energy Information Administration. But U.S. owners and operators of commercial nuclear reactors purchase the vast majority of their uranium from foreign sources. Only 11 percent of the 50.6 million pounds purchased in 2016 came from U.S. domestic producers, according to the EIA.

Although Uranium One holds 20 percent of currently licensed uranium in-situ recovery production capacity in the U.S., the company was responsible for only about 11 percent of U.S. uranium production in 2014, according to 2015 congressional testimony by a Department of Energy contractor.

Clinton Foundation Donations and Bill Clinton Speaking Fee

Clinton’s role in the Uranium One sale, and the link to the Clinton Foundation, first became an issue in 2015, when news organizations received advance copies of the book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at a conservative think tank.

On April 23, 2015, the New York Times wrote about the uranium issue, saying the paper had “built upon” Schweizer’s information.

The Times detailed how the Clinton Foundation had received millions in donations from investors in Uranium One.

The donations from those with ties to Uranium One weren’t publicly disclosed by the Clinton Foundation, even though Hillary Clinton had an agreement with the White House that the foundation would disclose all contributors. Days after the Times story, the foundation acknowledged that it “made mistakes,” saying it had disclosed donations from a Canadian charity, for instance, but not the donors to that charity who were associated with the uranium company.

The Times also wrote that Bill Clinton spoke at a conference in Moscow on June 29, 2010 — which was after the Rosatom-Uranium One merger was announced in June 2010, but before it was approved by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States in October 2010. The Russian-based Renaissance Capital Group organized the conference and paid Clinton $500,000.

Renaissance Capital has “ties to the Kremlin” and its analysts “talked up Uranium One’s stock, assigning it a ‘buy’ rating and saying in a July 2010 research report that it was ‘the best play’ in the uranium markets,” the Times wrote.

But there is no evidence that the donations or the speaking fee had any influence on the approvals granted by the NRC or the Committee on Foreign Investments.

Back in the News

This arcane bit of campaign trivia resurfaced in the news after The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported that a Russian spy sought to gain access to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state.

Lydia Guryev, who used the name “Cynthia Murphy” while living in the United States, pleaded guilty to espionage charges in July 2010 and was forced to leave the U.S. Her guilty plea came after the Rosatom-Uranium One merger was announced and before the Committee on Foreign Investments approved it. But there was nothing about the merger in the federal criminal complaint or the press release announcing her guilty plea.

The criminal complaint said that Guryev had been working as a spy in the United States since the 1990s and took orders from the foreign intelligence organ of the Russian Federation in Moscow.

For example, Guryev was ordered in the spring of 2009, in advance of Obama’s upcoming trip to Russia, to get information on “Obama’s goals which he expects to achieve during the summit [with Russia] in July,” the complaint said.

The only reference in the criminal complaint to Clinton was a veiled one. Federal agents said Guryev sought to get close with “a personal friend of [a current Cabinet official, name omitted].” The Hill identified the cabinet official as Clinton.

The Hill story also rehashed an FBI investigation that resulted in “charges against the Russian nuclear industry’s point man in the United States, TENEX director Vadim Mikerin, as well as a Russian financier and an American trucking executive whose company moved Russian uranium around the United States.”

In 2015, Mikerin was sentenced to 48 months and required to pay more than $2 million in restitution for conspiring to commit money laundering, according to the Justice Department.

The Hill quoted the attorney for a former FBI informant in the TENEX case as saying her client “witnessed numerous, detailed conversations in which Russian actors described their efforts to lobby, influence or ingratiate themselves with the Clintons in hopes of winning favorable uranium decisions from the Obama administration.”

The convictions of Guryev and Mikerin are not new, and there’s no evidence that either case has any connection to the Rosatom-Uranium One merger. Nevertheless, the article has prompted the Republican chairmen of the House intelligence and oversight committees to announce a joint investigation of the merger.

On Fox News, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said that “we’ve been communicating back and forth through different channels” with the FBI informant in the TENEX case.

“You are talking about major decisions that were made at a time when we were resetting relations with Russia that actually happened to benefit, you know, the Clinton Foundation, perhaps other avenues, we don’t know yet,” Nunes said in an Oct. 24 interview with Bret Baier.

It may be that individuals and companies sought to curry favor with Hillary Clinton and even influence her department’s decision on the Uranium One sale. But, as we’ve written before, there is no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation from people with ties to Uranium One or Bill Clinton’s speaking fee influenced Hillary Clinton’s official actions. That’s still the case. We will update this article with any major developments.

http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/facts-uranium-one/

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