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The Pronk Pops Show 1399, February 14, 2020, Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos — Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos — Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

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Story 1: Department of Justice Will Not Prosecute Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — When are U.S. Attorney John Durham Indictments Coming Down for Illegally Syping on Trump Campaign? — Summer or 12th of Never — Will Justice Be Done — Videos

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FBI Director Confirms to Ratcliffe that FBI Illegally Surveilled Trump Campaign Associate

Feb 10, 2020

Gohmert in Judiciary Hearing on FBI Oversight: “This is Serious”

Hannity: Democrats’ unequal standard of justice exposed

Trish Regan: Andrew McCabe walking free is ‘a total injustice’

Gaetz: An old FBI business card isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’

Feb 14, 2020

Trump notably quiet on DOJ decision not to prosecute Andrew McCabe

Bannon: GOP has to subpoena John Brennan, Adam Schiff

Feb 8, 2020

DOJ Declines To Prosecute Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe | Andrea Mitchell | MSNBC

‘General Flynn was set up’: KT McFarland

IG report hearing part 4: Lindsey Graham questions Michael Horowitz

Dec 11, 2019

Cruz on spying: This wasn’t Jason Bourne, this was ‘Beavis and Butt-head’

Dec 11, 2019

Tom Fitton: Why is the DOJ Editing “302” Interviews They Had With General Flynn?

Sebastian Gorka Radio: Trust Bill Barr and John Durham. Matt Whitaker with Sebastian Gorka

Hans von Spakovsky: CIA Director Haspel is Obligated to Comply with the Durham Investigation

Spygate Indictments Coming, Says Former Intelligence Operative Tony Shaffer

Aug 10, 2019

Fitton: Ohr 302s show ‘disturbing’ desperation to oust Trump

Aug 9, 2019

Tucker Carlson – Trump’s Claims of Spying

May 13, 2019

Did the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign?

May 22, 2018

FBI Trump campaign spying allegations: How much did Obama know?

May 21, 2018

Roger Stone reacts to reports FBI spied on Trump campaign

May 17, 2018

DiGenova: Comey, Clapper and Brennan will have to pay the ‘Barr bill’

May 14, 2019

Watch Barr double down on Trump spying claims in heated exchange

FBI chief: No evidence of spying on Trump campaign

Barr: ‘I think spying did occur’ on Trump campaign

Apr 10, 2019

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Feb 7, 2018

Should Obama be investigated over Trump wiretapping claims?

Mar 31, 2017

Former FBI agent says his privacy was violated by Justice Dept.

AG Barr appoints outside prosecutor to review Michael Flynn case

Should officials who started the Russia probe be worrying?

Russia origins probe now a criminal investigation

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Johnny Mathis – 12th of Never

Why Wasn’t Andrew McCabe Charged?

The proof that he willfully deceived investigators appears strong, but the Justice Department likely felt there were too many obstacles to convicting him.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it is closing its investigation of Andrew McCabe, the FBI’s former deputy director, over his false statements to investigators probing an unauthorized leak that McCabe had orchestrated. McCabe was fired in March 2018, shortly after a blistering Justice Department inspector general (IG) report concluded that he repeatedly and blatantly lied — or, as the Bureau lexicon puts it, “lacked candor” — when questioned, including under oath.

I emphasize Flynn’s intent because purported lack of intent is McCabe’s principal defense, too. Even McCabe himself, to say nothing of his lawyers and his apologists in the anti-Trump network of bureaucrats-turned-pundits, cannot deny that he made false statements to FBI agents and the IG. Rather, they argue that the 21-year senior law-enforcement official did not mean to lie, that he was too distracted by his high-level responsibilities to focus on anything as mundane as a leak — even though he seemed pretty damned focused on the leak while he was orchestrating it.

It will be a while before we learn the whole story of why the Justice Department walked away from the McCabe case, if we ever do. I have some supposition to offer on that score. First, however, it is worth revisiting the case against McCabe as outlined by the meticulous and highly regarded IG, Michael Horowitz. If you want to know why people are so angry, and why they are increasingly convinced that, for all President Trump’s “drain the swamp” rhetoric, a two-tiered justice system that rewards the well-connected is alive and well, consider the following.

In fact, the Bureau’s then-director, James Comey, had tried to keep the Clinton Foundation probe under wraps, refusing to confirm or deny its existence even to the House Judiciary Committee. Comey had been right to stay mum: Public revelation would have harmed the probe and thrust the FBI deeper into the politics of the then-imminent 2016 presidential election, in which Hillary Clinton was the Democratic candidate and her investigation by the Bureau was an explosive campaign issue.

Notwithstanding these concerns, according to Horowitz’s report, McCabe orchestrated the leak “to advance his personal interests” — to paint himself in a favorable light in comparison to Justice Department officials amid an internal dispute about the Clinton Foundation probe (specifically, about the Obama Justice Department’s pressure on the Bureau to drop it). As the IG put it: “McCabe’s disclosure was an attempt to make himself look good by making senior department leadership . . . look bad.”

McCabe’s account has been contradicted by Comey, a witness who is otherwise sympathetic to him and hostile to the Trump Justice Department, and whose actions — like his — are being examined in prosecutor John Durham’s probe of the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey’s testimony is directly at odds with McCabe’s version of events, and the IG painstakingly explained why the former director’s version was credible while his deputy’s was not. (Comey was, nevertheless, exceedingly complimentary of McCabe after the IG report was published.)

Page is regarded by McCabe backers as key to his defense. She reportedly told the grand jury that, because McCabe had authority to approve media disclosures, he had no motive to lie about the leak. That’s laughable. McCabe did serially mislead investigators, so plainly he had some reason for doing so. But even putting that aside, the IG’s conclusion was not that McCabe lacked authority to leak; it was that he lacked a public-interest justification for exercising that authority. He leaked for self-promotion purposes, and then he lied about it because it was humiliating to be caught putting his personal interests ahead of the Bureau’s investigative integrity. That said, Page’s account does illuminate a problem for prosecutors: It’s tough to win a case when your witnesses are spinning for the defendant. (Oh, and have you seen Page’s tweet toasting McCabe in the aftermath of the news that the DOJ had closed the investigation?)

McCabe’s Multiple False Statements

Barrett’s Journal article appeared on October 30, 2016. The very next day, McCabe deceived Comey about it, indicating that he had not authorized the leak and had no idea who its source was. In Comey’s telling, credited by the IG, McCabe “definitely” did not acknowledge that he had approved the leak.

Thereafter, the FBI’s Inspection Division (INSD) opened an investigation of the leak. On May 9, 2017, McCabe denied to two INSD investigators that he knew the source of the leak. This was not a fleeting conversation. McCabe was placed under oath, and the INSD agents provided him with a copy of Barrett’s article. He read it and initialed it to acknowledge that he had done so. He was questioned about it by the agents, who took contemporaneous notes. McCabe told the agents that he had “no idea where [the leaked information] came from” or “who the source was.”

On July 28, 2017, McCabe was interviewed by the IG’s office — under oath and recorded on tape. In that session, he preposterously claimed to be unaware that Page, his FBI counsel, was directed to speak to reporters around the time of the October 30 Journal report. McCabe added that he was out of town then, and thus unaware of what Page had been up to. In point of fact, McCabe had consulted closely with Page about the leak. A paper trail of their texts and phone contacts evinced his keen interest in Page’s communications with Barrett. Consequently, the IG concluded that McCabe’s denials were “demonstrably false.”

Clearly concerned about the hole he had dug for himself, McCabe called the IG’s office four days later, on August 1, 2017, to say that, shucks, come to think of it, he just might have kinda, sorta told Page to speak with Barrett after all. He might even have told her to coordinate with Mike Kortan, then the Bureau’s top media liaison, and follow-up with the Journal about some of its prior reporting.

As the IG observed, this “attempt to correct his prior false testimony” was the “appropriate” thing for McCabe to do. Alas, when he was given an opportunity to come in and explain himself, he compounded his misconduct by making more false statements while under oath: In an interview with investigators on November 29, 2017, McCabe purported to recall informing Comey that he, McCabe, had authorized the leak, and that Comey had responded that the leak was a good idea.

These were quite stunning recollections, given that the deputy director had previously disclaimed any knowledge about the source of the leak. But McCabe took care of that little hiccup by simply denying his prior denial. That is, he insisted that he had not feigned ignorance about the leak when INSD interviewed him on May 9. Indeed, McCabe even denied that the May 9 interview had been a real interview. To the contrary, he claimed that agents had casually pulled him aside at the conclusion of a meeting on an unrelated topic, and peppered him out of the blue with a question or two about the Journal leak. As General Flynn could tell you, that sort of thing can be tough on a busy top U.S. government official . . . although Flynn did not get much sympathy for it when McCabe was running the FBI.

Again, the IG concluded that McCabe’s version of events was “demonstrably false.”

McCabe Covers His Tracks

As an old trial lawyer, I’d be remiss if I failed to rehearse my favorite part of the IG’s report — the part that would tell a jury everything they needed to know about good ol’ Andy McCabe.

Again, the Journal story generated by McCabe’s leak was published on October 30, a Sunday. Late that afternoon, McCabe called the head of the FBI’s Manhattan office. Why? Well . . . to ream him out over media leaks, that’s why. McCabe railed that New York agents must be the culprits. He also made a similar call to the Bureau’s Washington field office, warning its chief to “get his house in order” and stop these terribly damaging leaks.

It is worth remembering McCabe’s October 30 scolding of subordinates when you think about how he later claimed that, on the very next day, he’d freely admitted to his superior, Comey, that he himself was the source of the leak. Quite the piece of work, this guy: To throw the scent off himself after carefully arranging the leak, McCabe dressed down the FBI’s two premier field offices, knowing they were completely innocent, and then pretended for months that he knew nothing about the leak.

This is the second-highest-ranking officer of the nation’s top law-enforcement agency we’re talking about, here.

The Non-Prosecution Decision

We may never get a satisfying explanation for the Justice Department’s decision to drop the McCabe probe. That’s the way it is when such complicated reasons and motives are at play.

The aforementioned challenge of hostile witnesses is not to be underestimated. In addition, there are growing indications that the Justice Department had lost confidence in the U.S. attorney who was overseeing the probe, Jesse Liu. As I noted this week, while Liu was once seen as a rising Trump administration star, she was quietly edged out of her post last month, and the White House just pulled her nomination to fill an important Treasury Department post.

There have been rumblings that the McCabe investigation was botched. Kamil Shields, a prosecutor who reportedly grew frustrated by her supervisors’ inordinate delays in making decisions about the McCabe probe, ultimately left the Justice Department to take a private-practice job. Another prosecutor, David Kent, quit last summer as DOJ dithered over the decision on whether to prosecute. Things became so drawn out that the investigating grand jury’s term lapsed. Meanwhile, the Justice Department endorsed Liu’s aggressive decision to bring a thin, politically fraught false-statements case against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, in connection with lobbying for a foreign country — the sort of crime that is rarely prosecuted. Craig was swiftly acquitted. Reportedly, Liu advocated charging McCabe, but the DOJ may have harbored doubts about her judgment.

No matter the outcome, the Justice Department stood to take some hits if McCabe had been charged. Focus on McCabe’s leak would have drawn attention to pressure DOJ officials had put on the Bureau over the Clinton Foundation investigation (which, reportedly, is likely to be closed without charges). It would also renew interest in the question of whether the FBI improperly allowed McCabe to play a role in Clinton-related investigations when his wife, as a political candidate, got major funding from Clinton-tied sources.

Moreover, new Freedom of Information Act disclosures — made to meet a deadline set by District Judge Reggie Walton, which may explain the timing of the non-prosecution announcement — indicate that the Justice Department and FBI did not comply with regulations in what appears to be the rushed termination of McCabe, adding heft to the former deputy director’s claim that he was being singled out for abusive treatment, potentially including prosecution, because of vengeful politics.

On that score, Judge Walton took pains to decry the fusillade of tweets directed at McCabe by President Trump. I must note here that if a district U.S. attorney publicly labeled as a liar a suspect the Justice Department had indicted for false statements, that U.S. attorney would be sanctioned by the court. The U.S. attorneys, like the rest of the Justice Department, work for Trump. The president is correct when he insists, as he did this week, that he has the constitutional power to intervene in Justice Department matters. But that means he is subject to the same legal obligations that inhibit his Justice Department subordinates. Those obligations include protecting McCabe’s right to a fair trial — a duty the president may chafe at, but which is part of the deal when you take an oath to preserve the Constitution and execute the laws faithfully.

If you envision Judge Walton as part of the Obama-appointed robed resistance, check your premises. He is a no-nonsense jurist originally named to the D.C. Superior Court by President Reagan, and then to the federal district court by President George W. Bush. As Politico reports, he had this to say about President Trump’s commentary on the McCabe investigation:

The public is listening to what’s going on, and I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. . . . I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road. . . . I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undo inappropriate pressure being brought to bear. . . . It’s just, it’s very disturbing that we’re in the mess that we’re in in that regard. . . . I just think the integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government. . . . I think it’s very unfortunate. And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.

If you want to know why Attorney General Barr was warning this week that the president’s tweets are undermining the Justice Department’s pursuit of its law-enforcement mission, Judge Walton’s words are worth heeding. I have been making this point since the start of the Trump presidency. If you want people held accountable for their crimes, you have to ensure their fundamental right to due process. When the government poisons the well, the bad guys reap the benefits.

Finally, we must note that when the District of Columbia is the venue for any prosecution with political overtones, Justice Department charging decisions must factor in the jury pool, which is solidly anti-Trump.

The proof that McCabe willfully deceived investigators appears strong — it is noteworthy that IG Horowitz, who has strained to give the FBI the benefit of the doubt in many dubious contexts, was unequivocal in slamming McCabe. Nevertheless, a D.C. jury would be weighing that evidence, as discounted by whatever pro-McCabe slant reluctant prosecution witnesses put on it. And the jury would be weighing against that evidence (a) whatever problems caused prosecutors at the U.S. attorney’s office to beg off, and more significantly, (b) defense arguments that McCabe would not have been fired or prosecuted if not for the fact that he had gotten crosswise with a president of the United States whom at least some of the jurors are apt to dislike.

McCabe is not out of the woods yet, of course: The Durham investigation is a separate matter, and it is continuing. But it is unclear whether he will face any criminal charges arising from that inquiry, whereas the now-dead-and-buried false-statements case against him looked cut-and-dried.

The FBI’s former deputy director, though he undeniably misled investigators, remains a commentator at CNN. In the meantime, Papadopoulos is a felon convicted and briefly imprisoned for misleading investigators, while Flynn and Stone are awaiting sentencing on their false-statements charges. That covers both tiers of our justice system.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/02/why-wasnt-andrew-mccabe-charged/

 

US won’t charge ex-FBI official McCabe, a Trump target

an hour ago
 In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have declined to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, closing an investigation into whether the longtime target of President Donald Trump’s ire lied to federal officials about his involvement in a news media disclosure, McCabe’s legal team said Friday.

The decision, coming at the end of a tumultuous week between the Justice Department and the White House, is likely to further agitate a president who has loudly complained that federal prosecutors have pursued cases against his allies but not against his perceived political enemies.

The case was handled by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, which was at the center of a public rift with Justice Department leadership this week over the recommended sentence for Trump ally Roger Stone. Senior Justice Department officials overruled a decision on a recommended prison sentence that they felt was too harsh, prompting the trial team to quit the case. Attorney General William Barr also took a rare public swipe at Trump by saying in a television interview that the president’s tweets about the Stone case and other matters were making his job “impossible.”

Separately, the Justice Department has begun reviewing the handling of the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

On Friday, prosecutors notified McCabe’s attorneys in a phone call and a letter that they were closing the case. The letter, signed by the chief of the office’s public corruption unit, did not give a precise reason but said the decision was reached after “careful consideration” and “based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time.”

McCabe’s lawyers, Michael Bromwich and David Schertler, said they were gratified by the decision.

“At long last, justice has been done in this matter,” the lawyers said in a statement. “We said at the outset of the criminal investigation, almost two years ago, that if the facts and the law determined the result, no charges would be brought.”

Speaking Friday on CNN, where he works as a contributor, McCabe said it was an “absolute disgrace” that the investigation had taken so long and that he was relieved to be done with a process that he described as “so unbelievably tense.”

Though federal prosecutors wrote that they consider the matter closed, Justice Department actions in the last few months have proven unpredictable, with a willingness to scrutinize or revisit decisions that had appeared resolved.

McCabe, a frequent target of Trump’s attacks, has denied that he intentionally misled anyone. He has said his 2018 firing — for what the Justice Department called “lack of candor” — was politically motivated. He sued the Justice Department in August, saying officials had used the inspector general’s conclusions as a pretext to rid the FBI of leaders Trump perceived as biased against him.

The decision is likely to further exacerbate tensions between Trump and Barr, who before speaking out in the television interview had privately complained to aides and the president himself that Trump’s comments about the Justice Department were undercutting his political agenda and raising questions about the department’s credibility. The White House was not given a heads-up about the decision beforehand, a person familiar with the matter said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The moment came against a backdrop of growing anger from Trump at the Justice Department. The president has seethed that more of his political enemies have not been charged, included former FBI Director James Comey and his associates.

The president was particularly incensed no charges were filed over Comey’s handling of memos about his interactions with Trump, a matter that was referred to the Justice Department for potential prosecution, according to a White House official and Republican close to the White House who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about private discussions and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The president angrily denounced the decision and berated Barr over it, according to the officials. Aides expected that the decision not to charge McCabe could produce a similar eruption of rage. Trump did not address the matter during a media appearance Friday.

Trump has also repeatedly complained about FBI Director Christopher Wray in recent months, saying he has not done enough to rid the bureau of people who are disloyal to Trump.

It was not immediately clear what had prompted a review of the Flynn case, though the person familiar with the matter said U.S. Attorney Jeff Jensen of St. Louis was working on it. The New York Times first reported Jensen’s involvement.

The decision to spare McCabe criminal charges eliminates the prospect of a sensational trial that would have refocused public attention on the chaotic months of 2016, when the FBI was entangled in presidential politics through investigations touching both main contenders — Democrat Hillary Clinton and Trump, her Republican opponent.

The criminal investigation arose from an October 2016 story in The Wall Street Journal that described internal debates roiling the FBI and the Justice Department weeks before the presidential election about how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The article recounted a particularly tense phone call between McCabe and a senior Justice Department official.

The inspector general’s report said McCabe told internal investigators that he had not authorized anyone at the FBI to speak with the reporter and that he did not know who did. The report said McCabe ultimately corrected that account and confirmed that he had encouraged the conversation with the reporter to counter a narrative that he thought was false.

McCabe has denied any wrongdoing and has said he was distracted by the tumult surrounding the FBI and the White House during the times he was questioned. One of the interviews took place the same day that Comey was fired.

“During these inquiries, I answered questions truthfully and as accurately as I could amidst the chaos that surrounded me,” McCabe has said in a statement. “And when I thought my answers were misunderstood, I contacted investigators to correct them.”

McCabe has been a target of Trump’s attacks since even before he was elected, after news emerged in the fall of 2016 that McCabe’s wife had accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with ex-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful run for the state Senate there.

https://apnews.com/ec85aa4a4fdc5a36b7b85c7a34f1b8f9

DOJ drops leak case vs. McCabe, judge said White House involvement like a ‘banana republic’

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, said “the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted” was like a “banana republic.”
Image: Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.

Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on May 11, 2017.Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

By Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian

The Department of Justice has told lawyers for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe that he will not face criminal charges for allegedly lying to investigators about a leak to the media, the ex-official’s attorneys said Friday.

The decision was released on the same day it was revealed that a federal judge had expressed concerns months ago that McCabe’s case was looking like a “banana republic” prosecution.

“We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client,” J.P. Cooney of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., told McCabe’s attorneys in a letter Friday. “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”

McCabe’s lawyers Michael R. Bromwich and David Schertler responded in a statement, saying, “At long last, justice has been done in this matter.”

President Donald Trump had publicly urged that action be taken against McCabe, the former deputy FBI director who briefly became acting head of the agency after Trump fired James Comey in 2017.

“He LIED! LIED! LIED!” Trump wrote in one 2018 tweet about McCabe after the Justice Department’s inspector general found McCabe “lacked candor” when being interviewed about whether he was a source for two news articles pertaining to the FBI in 2016.

The Justice Department’s announcement came one day after Attorney General William Barr pushed back against criticism he’s using the department to do Trump’s bidding, and said Trump’s tweeting about his agency’s work was undercutting his authority.

“Public statements and tweets made about the department, about people in the department, our men and women here, about cases pending in the department and about judges before whom we have cases make it impossible for me to do my job and to assure the courts and the department that we’re doing our work with integrity,” Barr, who was sworn in a year ago Friday, told ABC News.

McCabe told CNN on Friday that “the timing is curious” but he was relieved that the Justice Department “did the right thing today.”

“To have this horrific black cloud that’s been hanging over me and my family for almost the last two years, to have that finally lifted is just unbelievable,” he said. “It’s a relief that I’m not sure I can really explain to you adequately. It’s just a very emotional moment for my whole family.”

McCabe has denied intentionally misleading investigators. He told CNN that he has maintained from the day the inspector general’s report came out that if investigators “followed the law and they followed the facts, that I would have nothing to worry about. But as the president’s interest in pursuing his perceived political enemies continued over the last two years, we were getting more and more concerned about where this would end up.”

Those worries had increased in recent days, he told the network.

“I’ve been greatly concerned by what I’ve seen take place in the White House and in the Department of Justice, quite frankly, in the last week,” McCabe said. “And certainly the president’s kind of revenge tirade following his acquittal in the impeachment proceeding has only kind of amplified my concerns about what would happen in my own case.”

The Justice Department’s decision came the same day it was required by a judge to make details about the McCabe investigation public in a case stemming from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The court transcripts, released after the Justice Department’s letter to McCabe’s lawyers, show prosecutors struggling with how to proceed in his case, and the judge in the matter expressing concerns about political pressure

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/justice-department-drops-leak-case-against-former-fbi-acting-head-n1137066

Story 2: Department of Justice Unseals 16-Count Indictment Against Huawei To Steal Trade Secrets of Six U.S. Companies — Videos 

New U.S. charges against Huawei

The US DOJ and the FBI have announced a 16 count indictment against Huawei

Huawei faces new charges in US

US charges Huawei with racketeering

Is America right to fear Huawei? | The Economist

DOJ announces criminal charges against Huawei

Jan 28, 2019

DOJ announces indictments against China’s Huawei

Prosecutors Hit Huawei With New Charges For Allegedly Working With Iran | NBC News NOW

U.S. unveils new charges against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

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[youtubehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UtzbA0qQgM]

DOJ hits Huawei with NEW charges for ‘plotting to steal trade secrets’ from SIX US companies including Cisco and T-Mobile by ‘offering employees cash bounties and sending spy with farcical ‘Weihua’ badge to trade shows’

  • DoJ brought new charges against Huawei in indictment unsealed on Thursday 
  • Accuses Chinese tech giant of a deliberate ‘campaign’ to steal US trade secrets
  • Details bounties Huawei allegedly offered to staff to steal proprietary data
  • Describes brazen spy with ‘Weihua’ badge breaking into trade show booth
  • Though not named in indictment, Cisco and T-Mobile are among alleged victims
  • Feds also claim Huawei covered up secret subsidiary operating in Iran
  • CFO Meng Wanzhoua is still fighting extradition from Canada on Iran charges 

The Department of Justice has announced new criminal charges against Huawei, accusing the Chinese tech giant of being engaged in a ‘decades-long’ effort to steal trade secrets from a slew of US companies.

The 16-count superseding indictment unsealed on Thursday adds RICO charges to the criminal case against Huawei and its CFO Meng Wanzhoua, who is currently fighting extradition in Canada.

The charges come in addition to previous criminal charges accusing Huawei and Wanzhoua of operating a secret subsidiary in Iran and lying to U.S. financial institutions about the violation of sanctions on that country.

The new charges detail a brazen decades-long scheme to steal trade secrets from at least six U.S. companies. Cisco and T-Mobile are among the alleged victims in the case, though the companies are not actually named in the new indictment.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei is seen with Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2015. US officials accuse the company of building a secret back door into its mobile network hardware

Prosecutors say that in 2013, Huawei instituted a cash bounty program ‘to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors’ and that the more valuable the secrets were, the more the company paid out.

The indictment details a shocking incident from 2004, at a trade show in Chicago, where prosecutors say a Huawei employee was busted in the middle of the night while breaking into a competitor’s booth.

The employee was wearing a bogus badge identifying him as an employee of ‘Weihua’, which is the syllables of Huawei reversed, and was caught taking pictures of the interior circuit boards of a competitor’s product, according to the indictment.

A Huawei spokesman denied the allegations, saying that the indictment was ‘part of an attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement.’

The company called the racketeering accusation ‘nothing more than a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old.’

Huawei pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment unsealed against the company in January 2019, which charged it with bank and wire fraud, violating sanctions against Iran, and obstructing justice.

Wanzhoua, the CFO, was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the prior indictment, but she has protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US. She is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO, 75-year-old Ren Zengfei.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhoua was arrested in December 2018 in Canada on charges in the initial Department of Justice indictment against the Chinese tech company. She is protesting her innocence and fighting extradition to the US.  She is pictured wearing a court-ordered ankle monitor last month

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrives at extradition hearing

The new indictment also includes ‘new allegations about Huawei and its subsidiaries’ involvement in business and technology projects in countries subject to sanctions, such as Iran and North Korea’.

The DoJ asserts that the Chinese company even tired to cover up the fact they were doing business with such countries, by using code names. ‘A2’ reportedly referred to Iran, and ‘A9’ is alleged to have referred to North Korea.

The new indictment is the latest effort in a global campaign by the United States against the company, which Washington has warned could spy on customers for Beijing. The United States also placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last year, citing national security concerns.

‘The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organization that lacks any regard for the law,’ U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr and vice chairman Mark Warner said in a joint statement.

The Republican and Democratic Senators called it ‘an important step in combating Huawei’s state-directed and criminal enterprise.’

In a statement on Tuesday, the DoJ alleges that Huawei’s ‘campaign’ to steal trade secrets from US competitors formed part of their global growth strategy.

The DoJ statement alleges that Huawei even launched a policy ‘instituting a bonus program to reward employees who misappropriated intellectual property from competitors.’

Prosecutors allege some Huawei employees entered into confidential agreements with the six US companies, before violating such agreements by then handing over the information to the Chinese tech giant.

Thus, the DoJ statements alleges that ‘Huawei’s efforts to steal trade secrets and other sophisticated US technology were successful.’

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

Trump administration officials, increasingly intent on preventing China from global technological domination, have urged allies not to use Huawei hardware

‘As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage,’ the statement goes on to say.

The case was unsealed as the Trump administration is raising national security and surveillance concerns about Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer.

Huawei, one of the largest tech firms and a major telecom equipment maker, has been blacklisted by Washington amid concerns of its ties to the Chinese government and intelligence services.

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

New charges have been filed in the US against Huawei (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Earlier this week, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien alleged that Huawei builds secret back doors into its hardware that allow it to covertly access mobile-phone networks around the world.

‘We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,’ O’Brien told the Wall Street Journal.

US officials say that Huawei’s back door allows the company to access network data without the carrier’s knowledge, potentially giving the Chinese government a potent spy tool.

Huawei denied the allegations, telling the Journal that it ‘has never and will never do anything that would compromise or endanger the security of networks and data of its clients.’

The U.S. has long tried to convince its allies, such as the U.K. and Germany, to ban the use of Huawei telecom equipment in the building of 5G networks.

 Germany’s legislature is set to vote in the coming weeks on a bill that would allow Huawei full access to its 5G market if the company provides security guarantees.

WHO IS MENG WANZHOU?

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

 

Meng Wanzhou, 46, is widely assumed to be the heiress of her billionaire father Ren Zhengfei who founded Huawei in 1987

Meng Wanzhou, also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is the daughter and eldest child of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, 74, by his first wife Meng Jun.

Billed as a ‘Red Princess’, the 47-year-old is widely assumed to be the heiress of her former Communist soldier father, who founded the world’s current second largest smartphone seller at the age of 43 with just 21,000 yuan (£2,388).

Ms Meng, who is also the Vice-Chairman of Huawei, was ranked No. 12 by Frobes on the list of China’s most outstanding businesswomen in 2018.

She graduated from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in central China’s Wuhan city.

She worked in a bank for a year upon graduation before taking up a position at Huawei’s front desk in 1993 to answer phone calls.

Over the years, Ms Meng worked as the director of the international accounting department, CFO of Huawei’s Hong Kong branch office, president of the accounts management department and brought Huawei to its current success.

Ms Meng has a brother and a 20-year-old half-sister Annabel Yao who is a ballerina and debutante.

Annabel is said to be extremely international and have lived in Britain, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

She was one of the 19 young women to be presented at the 25th annual Bal des Débutantes held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris in 2018.

 

Story 3: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
See the source image

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Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

George Carlin Politicians

See the source image

Image result for the public sucksSee the source image

The Left Banke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

Story 3: $19 Billion of 30-Year Bonds Sold At Record Low Yield of 2.06% — Inverted Yield Curve Flashes Recession Warning — Videos

Dow Flatlines While Fed’s Recession Alarm Screams

Treasury Sells 30-Year Bonds at Record Low Yield

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon.

PHOTO: CHRIS WATTIE/REUTERS

The Treasury sold $19 billion of 30-year bonds on Thursday afternoon at a 2.061% yield. That beat the previous record of 2.170% set last October, according to data from BMO Capital Markets.

The auction came as Treasury yields generally moved lower after Chinese officials changed the way they counted coronavirus infections, leading to a big jump in the number of confirmed cases in the country’s Hubei province. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note settled at 1.616%, compared with 1.629% Wednesday.

Yields fall when bond prices rise.

Fear that the coronavirus will slow global growth has helped push down Treasury yields in recent weeks. Other factors include persistently soft inflation, which has limited one of the main threats to the value of longer-term Treasurys, analysts said.

Investors have also grown more comfortable buying 30-year bonds because they view them as insurance against losses in riskier assets, said Jon Hill, a U.S. interest-rates strategist at BMO. Prices of 30-year bonds increase more for every one-percentage point decline in yields than those of shorter-term bonds. That means on days like Thursday, when investors are selling stocks and buying bonds, the holders of 30-year bonds are well-hedged, Mr. Hill said.

Thursday’s level doesn’t represent the lowest point that the 30-year bond yield has ever reached. Last August, it settled as low as 1.941%, but yields rose again before the next 30-year auction in September.

In recent years, low Treasury yields have, at times, caused U.S. officials to flirt with issuing bonds with maturities beyond 30 years to lock in low interest rates for a longer period.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last September that the Treasury Department was “very seriously considering” issuing a 50-year bond. The department, however, dropped that idea due to a lack of interest from bond dealers. Instead, it recently announced plans to issue 20-year bonds, which haven’t been issued regularly since the 1980s.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/treasury-to-sell-30-year-bonds-at-record-low-yield-11581614475

Story 4: Just Walk Away From Two Party Tyranny Big Government Parties — Walk Away Renee — Videos

See the source image

Walk Away Renee – The left Banke

Walk Away Renee
And when I see the sign that points one way
The lot we used to pass by every day
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
From deep inside the tears that I’m forced to cry
From deep inside the pain that I chose to hide
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
Now as the rain beats down upon my weary eyes
For me it cries
Your name and mine inside a heart upon a wall
Still finds a way to haunt me, though they’re so small
Just walk away Renee
You won’t see me follow you back home
The empty sidewalks on my block are not the same
You’re not to blame
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Calilli / Mike Brown / Tony Sansone
Walk Away Renee lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Carlin America Inc
See the source image

Tucker: Our ruling class is authoritarian, not Trump

Federal budget deficit to hit $1 trillion in 2020: CBO forecast

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

Walk Away Renée + The Left Banke + Lyrics

The Left Banke

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to navigationJump to search

The Left Banke
The Left Banke 1966.jpg

The Left Banke in 1966
Background information
Origin New YorkNew York, U.S.
Genres Baroque pop[1]
Years active
  • 1965–1969
  • 1971
  • 1978
  • 2011–2012
  • 2015–present
Labels
Associated acts
  • Christopher & The Chaps
  • The Magic Plants
  • Montage
  • Stories
  • The Beckies
  • Sam Kogon
Members

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965.[1] They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina“.[2] The band often used what the music press referred to as “baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as “Bach-rock” or “baroque rock“.[3] The band’s vocal harmonies borrowed from contemporaries such as The BeatlesThe Zombies, and other British Invasion groups.[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone placed “Walk Away Renée” at #220 in its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.[4]

Contents

History

1965–69: early years and disbandment

The Left Banke was formed in 1965 and consisted of keyboard player/songwriter Michael Browndrummer/singer George Cameron, bass guitarist/singer Tom Finnsinger Steve Martin (who also used the name Steve Martin Caro), and drummer Warren David-Schierhorst. Brown’s father, Harry Lookofsky, a well-known session violinist, ran a studio in New York and took an interest in the band’s music, acting as producermanager and publisher.[5]After some initial recording sessions, David-Schierhorst was ousted, with Cameron switching to drums and Jeff Winfield on guitar. Brown’s song, “Walk Away Renee”, was sold to Smash Records, a subsidiary of Mercury Records, and became a huge hit in late 1966. The band’s second single, “Pretty Ballerina”, also written by Brown, charted in early 1967, and The Left Banke released an album entitled Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina, by which time, Rick Brand had replaced Winfield on guitar.

Tension between Brown and the rest of the band soon began to surface. When “Walk Away Renee” belatedly became a hit, the original band had become inactive. Brown decided to capitalize on the single’s success by assembling a new version of The Left Banke for touring purposes, with Bert Sommer on lead vocals, original drummer Warren David, and (future member of Spinal TapMichael McKean on guitar. Brown also recorded a single, “Ivy, Ivy” b/w “And Suddenly” as The Left Banke, with Sommer and a group of session musicians.[6][7] The remaining members of the band hired attorneys to issue a cease and desist order and urged their fan club to boycott the record,[8] which led to confusion among radio stations over which “Left Banke” to support. Radio and Smash Records ultimately removed their support from the single, which subsequently failed to make the Billboard Hot 100. The “New” Left Banke never performed live. “And Suddenly” was eventually recorded by a group called The Cherry People and became a minor hit.[9] McKean would later find fame as an actor (Laverne & ShirleyThis Is Spinal TapBetter Call Saul).

In late 1967, the original group reunited and recorded more material, including the single “Desiree.” Brown left the group permanently shortly thereafter and was replaced for touring purposes by Emmett Lake. Cameron, Finn and Martin continued to record and tour, with Tom Feher replacing Lake on keyboards and writing half of the band’s new material. The songs recorded by various incarnations of the group in 1967 and 1968 were assembled into a second LPThe Left Banke Too, which was released in November 1968. This album featured backing vocals by a young Steven Tyler (who later became the lead singer of Aerosmith) on “Nice To See You”, “My Friend Today” and “Dark Is The Bark”. The band continued playing live in 1969, without Martin, but soon disbanded due to lack of success and financial problems. Later that same year, Brown and Martin reunited in the studio to record another single as The Left Banke, “Myrah” b/w “Pedestal”, which was their final single for Smash Records.

1971–present: various reunions

In 1971, Brown, Cameron, Finn and Martin reunited briefly to record two songs for the movie Hot Parts. The songs, “Love Songs in the Night” and “Two by Two”, were released as a Steve Martin solo single on Buddah Records, despite featuring contributions from four founding members of The Left Banke. In 1972, producer Les Fradkin offered to produce the group for a project on Bell Records. Although these sessions were not released at the time, one of the songs, “I Could Make It Last Forever”, composed by Fradkin and Diane Ellis, was released on Fradkin’s Goin’ Back solo CD in 2006. It was a rare recording since it featured Caro, Finn, Cameron and Brown, along with Brown’s father, violinist Harry Lookofsky. Fradkin sang and played 12-string guitar on the sessions. In 1978, Martin, Cameron and Finn reunited as The Left Banke to record an album’s worth of material which unfortunately was not released at the time. However, a single from these 1978 sessions, “Queen of Paradise” (b/w “And One Day”), was released in late 1978 with modest success. The album was eventually issued by Relix Records in 1986 under the title Strangers on a Train (Voices Calling in Europe). However, the album did little to restore the popularity of the group.

After leaving The Left Banke in 1967, Michael Brown helped form the band, Montage. Although Brown was never an official member of Montage, his presence is unmistakable in its music.[10] The band released one self-titled album in 1969, which included a re-recording of The Left Banke song “Desiree”, before Brown left. Brown’s next project was the band Stories, featuring singer Ian Lloyd. The band had a hit in 1973 with “Brother Louie“, which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[5] However, Brown had left the group after their 2nd album “About Us”, but before the success of “Brother Louie”. Brown’s next project was with The Beckies, although the band achieved only modest success and Brown soon left.

In 1992, Mercury Records released a Left Banke compilation titled There’s Gonna Be a Storm: The Complete Recordings 1966–1969. It was intended to bring together the band’s entire recorded output from the years 1966 to 1969, although a 1969 outtake titled “Foggy Waterfall”, which had previously appeared on two earlier compilations, was not included.

In 1994, Michael Brown and his wife Yvonne Vitale produced and released an album titled On This Moment. Between 2001 and 2006, Brown hosted a series of recording sessions at his home studio with Ian Lloyd (vocals), Tom Finn (bass guitar/vocals), Jim McAllister (guitar), and Jon Ihle (drums).[11]

In 2005, Alice Cooper included a cover version of “Pretty Ballerina” on his album Dirty Diamonds. In 2006, ex-member of The Bangles Susanna Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, as Sid ‘n’ Susie, covered “She May Call You Up Tonight” for their first album Under the Covers, Vol. 1. In addition, Stuart Murdoch of the band Belle and Sebastian has cited The Left Banke as one of the early influences on the sound of the band.[12]

Former guitarist Jeff Winfield died of complications from pneumonia on June 13, 2009, at age 60.[3]

2011–12

The previous touring version of The Left Banke featured one original member, George Cameron. Initially, Tom Finn and George Cameron reformed The Left Banke in March 2011, tapping New York City’s Mike Fornatale (already a veteran of numerous other 60s band reunions, including The Monks and Moby Grape) to sing lead vocals in Steve Martin Caro’s stead. The reunited group also featured new players: Paul Alves (lead guitar, backing vocals), Charly Cazalet (bass), Mickey Finn (keyboards), Rick Reil (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and second keyboardist/synth player Joe McGinty (replaced by John Spurney in 2012). They appeared live at Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 5, 2011, and March 6, 2011, to sold-out audiences. In April 2011, Tom Finn revealed in a Facebook posting that he had reformed the group,[13] with two shows planned for July in New York City.[14][15] Tom Finn only performed with the re-formed group in 2011, after which he left due to disagreements with Cameron and due to back trouble.

In early 2011, Sundazed released reissues of the two Smash vinyl albums on CD and LP, utilizing the original running order and artwork.

In February 2012, Tom Finn notified the YouTube community that the Left Banke was in the process of creating a new record featuring contributions from co-founder Michael Brown.

George Cameron (3rd from left) and Tom Finn (Center, 4th from left) with band during their 2012 reunion tour.

On April 29, 2012, Brown joined the reunited Left Banke on stage at B.B. King’s in New York City for a version of his “Pretty Ballerina.” His performance was greeted with a standing ovation. Rick Brand, guitarist with the band in 1966-67 was also in attendance. Tom Finn sang a newly written song called “City Life” which showed a heavier rock version of the Left Banke with baroque string section intact. No new recordings begun in 2012 were ever released, and Brown died in 2015.

At the beginning of their reunion dates, the group was joined onstage by a two or three-piece string section and even a guest oboe player for one or two shows. Both Michael Brown and George Cameron were in touch with Steve Martin Caro, who wanted to rejoin the group, but was unable to tour in 2012 due to previous commitments.

Unrealized reunions

On March 18, 2015, the day before Mike Brown’s death, it was announced that original vocalist Steve Martin Caro officially rejoined the current touring version of The Left Banke. Photos on The Left Banke official Facebook and Twitter pages displayed Steve signing a contract. Two 2015 shows featured co-headliner Ian Lloyd of Stories and Sam Kogon as vocalist. The re-formed Cameron band played for the last time twice in 2015; once in Sellersville, PA and once in Natick, MA. No shows under any Left Banke configuration have been performed since 2015, and by 2020 the major players of 1966 were all deceased except for the disabled Tom Finn.

In January, 2018, it was announced on the official Facebook page operated by Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron that they were planning a tour. Several photos of Steve Martin Caro rehearsing with George Cameron and guitarist Sam Kogon were posted with a message which stated “it was Steve’s first time behind the microphone in over 15 years. We went through and workshopped much of the Left Banke catalog.” However, Cameron passed away five months later, before any performances could take place under this collaboration.

Deaths

Michael Brown died from heart disease on March 19, 2015, at age 65. Brown had been writing new material and planned to participate in the 2015 reunion of The Left Banke with Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron. Brown’s funeral and memorial service was held on March 25, 2015 at Fort Lee Gospel Church in Fort Lee, New Jersey.[16]

Justo George Cameron (born October 16, 1947 in New York City) died of cancer at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan on June 24, 2018, at age 70.[17] Thomas Leo Feher died from heart failure on August 5, 2018.[18] Steve Martin Caro died from heart disease on January 14, 2020. He was 71.[19] This left Tom Finn (later a renowned disc jockey) as the only surviving member from the original “Walk Away Renée” lineup.

Band members

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1381, January 21, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Among The Globalist Elitists At World Economic Forum — Boom vs. Doom — A Conflict of Visions — Claim: The United States Is Back and Booming — Reality: Big Government Spending Parties Budget Busters on Verge of Bubble Busting and Global Recession — The Party Is Over — Big Spender — Videos — Story 2: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) and Big Lie Media Failed Coup with Unconstitutional Impeachment of Trump Based On Big Lie Propaganda Smear Campaign — American People Will Find Trump Not Guilty and Vote Democrats Out of Office — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Among The Globalist Elitists At World Economic Forum — Boom vs. Doom — A Conflict of Visions — Claim: The United States Is Back and Booming — Reality: Big Government Spending Parties Budget Busters on Verge of Bubble Busting and Global Recession — The Party Is Over — Big Spender — Videos

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Who deserves credit for the booming economy?

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Nat King Cole – “The Party’s Over”

The Party’s Over

The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
They’ve burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It’s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid
The party’s over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friend
The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friend
It’s all over, my friend
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Gladys Harris
The Party’s Over lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

Big Spender

Big Spender

The minute you walked in the joint
I could see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good lookin’ so refined
Say, wouldn’t you like to know what’s goin’ on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point
I don’t pop my cork for every man I see
Hey big spender,
Spend a little time with me
Wouldn’t you like to have fun, fun, fun
How’s about a few laughs, laughs
I could show you a good time
Let me show you a good time!
The minute you walked in the joint
I could see you were a man of distinction
A real big spender
Good lookin’ so refined
Say, wouldn’t you like to know what’s goin’ on in my mind?
So let me get right to the point,
I don’t pop my cork for every guy I see
Hey big spender
Hey big spender
Hey big spender
Spend, a little time with me
Yes
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Cy Coleman / Dorothy Fields
Big Spender lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management, Words & Music A Div Of Big Deal Music LLC

 

 

Donald Trump tells Davos audience he rejects environmental ‘prophets of doom’ as grim-faced Greta Thunberg looks on before she tells delegates ‘our house is still on fire’ and ‘to act as if you loved your children’

  • Donald Trump gave first keynote address to leaders at the World Economic forum in Davos on Tuesday
  • He called on countries to ‘reject the prophets of doom’ on the environment, calling them ‘foolish’
  • Remark was a swipe at teenage activist Greta Thunberg, who was sitting in the audience as he spoke
  • Thunberg gave a speech insisting ‘our house is still on fire’, before adding: ‘What will you tell your children?’ 

Donald Trump urged world leaders at Davos to ‘reject the environmental prophets of doom’ during his keynote address to the World Economic Forum on Tuesday.

The US President branded climate activists ‘the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers’ while rattling off a list of projections that he said failed to come true, including overpopulation in the 1960s and the ‘end of oil’ in the 1990s.

Trump’s remarks were a clear swipe at 17-year-old Greta Thunberg who was sitting in the audience for his speech and had earlier chastised world and business leaders for ‘doing nothing’ to stop climate change.

He then touted America’s fossil fuel revolution in the form of shale gas and oil, inviting European leaders to invest.

In her own speech just a few minutes afterwards, Greta urged leaders to immediately stop investing in fossil fuels, and to pull subsidies for companies making energy from them.

Trump rejects environmental ‘prophets of doom’ in Davos speech

Donald Trump gave the first keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Sunday, telling world leaders to  reject 'prophets of doom' on the environment and calling them 'foolish'

Trump insisted that 'now is a time for optimism' as he touted the American shale oil and gas revolution, while encouraging European leaders to invest

The remark was  swipe at teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who sat in the audience during his speech (pictured)

The remark was  swipe at teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, who sat in the audience during his speech (pictured)

Greta had earlier in the day accused world leaders of failing to do anything to protect the climate, ahead of a second address due to take place this afternoon

Greta, who was due to give her own address shortly after Trump, was pictured leaving the auditorium while the US President was still on stage behind her

Donald Trump speaks to waiting members of the media following his keynote address at Davos on Tuesday morning

Also in the auditorium listening to the speech was Trump's daughter Ivanka (left) and her husband Jared Kushner (centre)

Also in the auditorium listening to the speech was Trump’s daughter Ivanka (left) and her husband Jared Kushner (centre)

Trump used his speech to tout the US shale gas and oil revolution which has made America the largest producer of oil and gas in the world, before inviting European leaders to buy it

Greta had walked out while Trump was still stood on stage in order to deliver her address to a smaller audience, in which she insisted on the need for greater action on the climate.

(Scroll down for her full speech)

In a swipe at the President’s pledge to join the ‘trillion trees’ initiative, she said that it is no good planting trees across Africa ‘while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate’.

‘I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing a climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them?’ she asked.

Parroting her remarks from when she addressed the conference last year, she added: ‘Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour.

‘We are still telling you to panic, and to act as if you loved your children above all else.’

Meanwhile Trump insisted that technical innovation, not restricting economic growth, is the way forward. ‘Fear and doubt is not a good thought process,’ he said. ‘This is not a time for pessimism but a time for optimism.’

Greta then gave her own speech to a smaller audience in which she urged world and business leaders to immediately stop investing in and subsidising fossil fuels

Parroting her remarks from Davos a year ago, Thunberg said 'our house is still on fire, and your inaction is fuelling the flames', before adding: 'What will you tell your children was the reason to fail?'

Donald Trump gave a thumbs up to reporters as he arrived at Davos, wearing special anti-slip covers on his shoes as he walked across the snowy ground

Donald Trump arrives at the World Economic Forum in Davos
Trump was flown to Davos from Zurich on board Marine One (pictured close to the camera) ahead of his address on Tuesday

Trump was flown to Davos from Zurich on board Marine One (pictured close to the camera) ahead of his address on Tuesday

Trump waves to the media as he is surrounded by security at Davos on Tuesday

Trump arrived in Zurich on board the presidential jet, Air Force One, on Tuesday morning

Trump arrived in Zurich on board the presidential jet, Air Force One, on Tuesday morning

Trump gave an insight into his thoughts as he headed to the conference, saying he aims to bring 'hundreds of billions of dollars' back to the US

Trump gave an insight into his thoughts as he headed to the conference, saying he aims to bring ‘hundreds of billions of dollars’ back to the US

‘Without treating this as a real crisis we cannot solve it,’ she said. ‘It will require much more than this, this is just the very beginning.’

Thunberg is due to speak again around 1pm local time.

The forum’s own Global Risks report published last week warned that ‘climate change is striking harder and more rapidly than many expected’ with global temperatures on track to increase by at least three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) towards the end of the century.

There are no expectations that Trump and Thunberg, who have exchanged barbs through Twitter, will actually meet, but the crowded venue and intense schedule mean a chance encounter cannot be ruled out.

When Trump and his entourage walked through UN headquarters last year at the annual General Assembly, a photo of the teenager staring in apparent fury at the president from the sidelines went viral.

Sustainability is the buzzword at the forum, which began in 1971, with heel crampons handed out to participants to encourage them to walk on the icy streets rather than use cars, and the signage paint made out of seaweed.

Trump’s opposition to renewable energy, his withdrawal from the Paris climate accord negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, and the free hand extended to the fossil fuel industry puts him at odds with the entire thrust of the event.

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech next to World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab at the conference

President Donald Trump talks with reporters falling his speech at the World Economic Forum

President Donald Trump talks with reporters falling his speech at the World Economic Forum

Greta Thunberg (pictured today) has told the World Economic Forum in Davos that leaders have 'done nothing' to fight climate change, despite increased awareness

The 17-year-old climate activist spoke on the opening morning of the conference ahead of a keynote address by climate change sceptic Donald Trump (pictured arriving in Switzerland)

Security is high around Davos as 3,000 world and business leaders are expected in the Alpine town during the three-day meeting

‘Climate change is a hot topic at Davos,’ said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, adding there had been a ‘change in the atmosphere’ and realisation that climate change represented a downside risk for the economy.

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said at a welcome ceremony in Davos that ‘for too long, humanity took away resources from the environment and in exchange produced waste and pollution’.

Business leaders attending the forum will be keen to tout their awareness on climate change but are likely also to be concerned by the state of the global economy whose prospects, according to the IMF, have improved but remain brittle.

The IMF cut its global growth estimate for 2020 to 3.3 percent, saying that a recent truce in the trade war between China and the US had brought some stability but that risks remained.

‘We are already seeing some tentative signs of stabilisation but we have not reached a turning point yet,’ said IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.

Activists meanwhile will be pressing for much more concrete action to fight inequality, after Oxfam issued a report outlining how the number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s 22 richest men now have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner arrive at World Economic Forum event

Also expected at the conference are 1,200 environmental protesters who have spent three days walking there from the nearby town of Landquart

Ahead of the World Economic Forum, Greta gave a speech in the Swiss city of Lausanne in which she promised world leaders 'you haven't seen anything yet'

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, pictured during his welcoming address to leaders on Monday night

Other key priorities will be exploring how to battle biodiversity loss, narrow the digital divide between the internet haves and have nots and step up the fight against pandemics in the face of vaccine hesitancy and drug resistance.

‘I am angry about the state of the world but I am also determined to engage and provide solutions and deliver,’ WWF director general Marco Lambertini told AFP. ‘There needs to be healthy balance between these two sentiments.’

The risk of global conflict will also loom large after the spike in tensions between the United States and Iran, following the killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike.

But a planned appearance by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – which could have paved the way for a showdown or even meeting with Trump – has been cancelled.

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido – who declared himself acting president last year – will be attending the forum in defiance of a travel ban imposed by the regime of President Nicolas Maduro.

‘OUR HOUSE IS STILL ON FIRE’: GRETA’S FULL SPEECH

One year ago I came to Davos and told you that our house is on fire. I said I wanted you to panic.

I’ve been warned that telling people to panic about the climate crisis is a very dangerous thing to do. But don’t worry. It’s fine. Trust me, I’ve done this before and I assure you it doesn’t lead to anything.

And for the record, when we children tell you to panic we’re not telling you to go on like before.

We’re not telling you to rely on technologies that don’t even exist today at scale and that science says perhaps never will.

We are not telling you to keep talking about reaching ‘net zero emissions’ or ‘carbon neutrality’ by cheating and fiddling around with numbers.

We are not telling you to ‘offset your emissions’ by just paying someone else to plant trees in places like Africa while at the same time forests like the Amazon are being slaughtered at an infinitely higher rate.

Planting trees is good, of course, but it’s nowhere near enough of what needs to be done, and it cannot replace real mitigation or rewilding nature.

Let’s be clear. We don’t need a ‘low carbon economy.’ We don’t need to ‘lower emissions.’ Our emissions have to stop. And until we have the technologies that at scale can put our emissions to minus then we must forget about net zero — we need real zero.

Because distant net zero emission targets will mean absolutely nothing if we just continue to ignore the carbon dioxide budget — which applies for today, not distant future dates. If high emissions continue like now even for a few years, that remaining budget will soon be completely used up.

The fact that the USA is leaving the Paris accord seems to outrage and worry everyone, and it should. But the fact that we’re all about to fail the commitments you signed up for in the Paris Agreement doesn’t seem to bother the people in power even the least.

Any plan or policy of yours that doesn’t include radical emission cuts at the source starting today is completely insufficient for meeting the 1.5-degree or well-below-2-degrees commitments of the Paris Agreement.

And again — this is not about right or left. We couldn’t care less about your party politics.

From a sustainability perspective, the right, the left as well as the centre have all failed. No political ideology or economic structure has been able to tackle the climate and environmental emergency and create a cohesive and sustainable world. Because, in case you haven’t noticed, that world is currently on fire.

You say children shouldn’t worry. You say: ‘Just leave this to us. We will fix this, we promise we won’t let you down.’

And then — nothing. Silence. Or something worse than silence. Empty words and promises which give the impression that sufficient action is being taken.

All the solutions are obviously not available within today’s societies. Nor do we have the time to wait for new technological solutions to become available to start drastically reducing our emissions.

So of course the transition isn’t going to be easy. It will be hard. And unless we start facing this now together, with all cards on the table, we won’t be able to solve this in time.

In the days running up to the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, I joined a group of climate activists who are demanding that you, the world’s most influential business and political leaders, begin to take the action needed. We demand that at this year’s World Economic Forum participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments:

We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now.

It may seem like we’re asking for a lot. And you will of course say that we are naïve. But this is just the very minimum amount of effort that is needed to start the rapid sustainable transition.

So either you do this or you’re going to have to explain to your children why you are giving up on the 1.5-degree target.

Giving up without even trying.

Well I’m here to tell you that unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight.

The facts are clear, but they’re still too uncomfortable for you to address. You just leave it because you think it’s too depressing and people will give up. But people will not give up. You’re the ones who are giving up.

Last week I met with coal miners in Poland who lost their jobs because their mine was closed. And even they had not given up. On the contrary, they seem to understand the fact that we need to change more than you do.

I wonder, what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing a climate chaos you knowingly brought upon them? The 1.5-degree target? That it seemed so bad for the economy that we decided to resign the idea of securing future living conditions without even trying?

Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. We are still telling you to panic, and to act as if you loved your children above all else.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7910695/Greta-Thunberg-tells-world-leaders-fight-climate-change.html

QE infinity? Economists believe that Europe’s bond buying could run for years

KEY POINTS
  • Starting in November, the ECB will make 20 billion euros ($21.9 billion) of net asset purchases per month for as long as it takes for the euro zone’s inflation and growth outlooks to return to satisfactory levels.
  • The smaller increments but open-ended timescale of this second package (QE-II) surprised many, and was well below the 60 billion euro per month implemented at the beginning of QE-I in 2015.

The shape and size of the European Central Bank’s new bond-buying programcaught market participants off guard, with some now predicting it’ll be years until the euro zone is back to anything approaching normality.

Starting in November, the ECB will make 20 billion euros ($21.9 billion) of net asset purchases per month for as long as it takes for the euro zone’s inflation and growth outlooks to return to satisfactory levels. The purchasing will only end “shortly before” the next rate hike.

ECB President Mario Draghi pointed out Thursday that a major reason for the re-launch of net asset purchases was that inflation expectations remained consistently below the ECB’s target of just below 2%, but implored governments to deploy fiscal policy to supplement his actions.

VIDEO02:53
Here are the new measures the ECB is taking to stimulate the euro zone economy

This will be the second round of quantitative easing (QE) from the ECB, the first coming four years ago in response to the calamitous euro zone debt crisis.

Shweta Singh, managing director of global macro at TS Lombard, said the second round of asset purchases would likely have a “milder impact than QE-I, when borrowing costs were higher, fragmentation across the euro area was severe and domestic risks were far greater.”

“Crucially, there may be much less scope this time for the euro to edge lower and thus boost inflation expectations, while the pool of eligible assets that the ECB can buy has shrunk since QE-I was launched.”

QE infinity?

The smaller increments but open-ended timescale of this second package (QE-II) surprised many, and was well below the 60 billion euro per month implemented at the beginning of QE-I in 2015. The open-ended commitment to continue until the inflation outlook improves carries several implications.

“The sequencing reference also signals that there would only be a short gap between the end of QE and the onset of rate hikes,” Ken Wattret, chief European economist at IHS Markit, said in a note Thursday.

“As we believe rate hikes are well down the line — we have the first DFR (deposit facility rate) hike only in late 2022, with an even later start increasingly likely — this implies a very long period of net asset purchases.”

The ECB forecasts inflation at 1.5% in 2021 which is still below what the ECB regards as “sufficiently close to, but below, 2%,” Berenberg senior European economist Florian Hense pointed out in a note.

“Thus, the ECB seems highly unlikely to raise rates before 2022 — unless inflation were to surprise a lot on the upside,” Hense projected.

“The asset purchase program could therefore last for at least 24 months with a total volume of 480 billion euros. More likely it will last longer.”

VIDEO02:36
ECB rate cut a disappointment, strategist says

Barclays head of economic research Christian Keller anticipates that the asset purchase program will continue at least until the end of 2020.

“We expect the ECB will remain accommodative for a very prolonged period of time. We continue to think that risks to the EA (euro area) growth outlook are skewed to the downside and we do not expect core inflation will re-accelerate in the near term,” Keller said in a research note Thursday.

“As the euro area has arguably entered the mature stage of its economic cycle, we expect interest rates to stay low for a prolonged period and firms’ pricing strategies to remain conservative, and we believe fiscal policy is unlikely to reflate the euro area economy.”

Against this backdrop, Barclays economists do not expect businesses to feel immediate pressure to increase final output prices, and therefore project that core consumer prices are unlikely to catch up to levels consistent with the ECB’s medium-term price stability target. Keller thus expects underlying prices to remain on a “slow recovery trend.”

‘Strong signal for governments’

ECB policymakers unanimously agreed that fiscal policy rather than monetary policy should be the main tool to combat the economic downturn. The duration of the QE program may hinge on the willingness of national governments to take action.

Draghi on Thursday urged “governments with fiscal space” to act in “an effective and timely manner.”

Ana Andrade, Europe analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said in a statement that the open-ended nature of the asset purchase program will be a “strong signal for governments, as it will increase their fiscal space.”

“It could potentially lead them to engage on more fiscal stimulus,” she added.

VIDEO01:51
Stronger European growth will ultimately come from fiscal policy, economist says

Hense agreed that by lowering funding costs further, governments may find it easier to finance a “modest fiscal expansion” and the policy might nudge countries with some extra fiscal space, such as Germany, to use it.

“On their own, purchases of 240 billion (euros) in one year will raise the balance sheet of the eurosystem by circa 2 percentage points of GDP (gross domestic product) in a year from its current level of close to 40%.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/13/qe-infinity-economists-believe-ecb-bond-buying-could-run-for-years.html

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Executive privilege

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Executive privilege is the right of the president of the United States and other members of the executive branch to maintain confidential communications under certain circumstances within the executive branch and to resist some subpoenas and other oversight by the legislative and judicial branches of government in pursuit of particular information or personnel relating to those confidential communications. The right comes into effect when revealing information would impair governmental functions. Neither executive privilege nor the oversight power of Congress is explicitly mentioned in the United States Constitution.[1] However, the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that executive privilege and congressional oversight each are a consequence of the doctrine of the separation of powers, derived from the supremacy of each branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.[2]

The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon in the context of a subpoena emanating from the judiciary, instead of emanating from Congress.[3]The Court held that there is a qualified privilege, which once invoked, creates a presumption of privilege, and the party seeking the documents must then make a “sufficient showing” that the “presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case”. Chief Justice Warren Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns.[3] Regarding requests from Congress (instead of from the courts) for executive branch information, as of a 2014 study by the Congressional Research Service,[4] only two federal court cases had addressed the merits of executive privilege in such a context, and neither of those cases reached the Supreme Court.[5]

In addition to which branch of government is requesting the information, another characteristic of executive privilege is whether it involves a “presidential communications privilege” or instead a “deliberative process privilege” or some other type of privilege.[4] The deliberative process privilege is often considered to be rooted in common law, whereas the presidential communications privilege is often considered to be rooted in separation of powers, thus making the deliberative process privilege less difficult to overcome.[4][6] Generally speaking, presidents, congresses and courts have historically tended to sidestep open confrontations through compromise and mutual deference in view of previous practice and precedents regarding the exercise of executive privilege.[4]

Contents

Early precedents[edit]

Deliberative process privilege is a specific instance of the more general principle of executive privilege. It is usually considered to be based upon common law rather than separation of powers, and its history traces back to the English crown privilege (now known as public-interest immunity).[6] In contrast, the presidential communications privilege is another specific instance of executive privilege, usually considered as being based upon separation of powers, and for that reason it is more difficult to overcome than deliberative process privilege.[4] A significant requirement of the presidential communications privilege is that it can only protect communications sent or received by the president or his immediate advisors, whereas the deliberative process privilege may extend further down the chain of command.[4]

In the context of privilege assertions by United States presidents, law professor Michael Dorf has written: “In 1796, President George Washington refused to comply with a request by the House of Representatives for documents related to the negotiation of the then-recently adopted Jay Treaty with the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Therefore, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.”[7]

President Thomas Jefferson continued the precedent for this in the trial of Aaron Burr for treason in 1809. Burr asked the court to issue a subpoena duces tecum to compel Jefferson to testify or provide his private letters concerning Burr. Chief Justice John Marshall, a strong proponent of the powers of the federal government but also a political opponent of Jefferson, ruled that the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for these sorts of court orders for criminal defendants, did not provide any exception for the president. As for Jefferson’s claim that disclosure of the document would imperil public safety, Marshall held that the court, not the president, would be the judge of that. Jefferson refused to personally testify but provided selected letters.

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson cited executive privilege when Senator Henry Clay demanded he produce documents concerning statements the president made to his cabinet about the removal of federal deposits from the Second Bank of the United States during the Bank War.[8]

Cold War era[edit]

During the period of 1947–49, several major security cases became known to presidents. There followed a series of investigations, culminating in the famous HissChambers case of 1948. At that point, the Truman Administration issued a sweeping secrecy order blocking congressional efforts from FBI and other executive data on security problems.[citation needed] Security files were moved to the White House and Administration officials were banned from testifying before Congress on security related matters. Investigation of the State Department and other cases was stymied and the matter left unresolved.

During the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, Eisenhower used the claim of executive privilege to forbid the “provision of any data about internal conversations, meetings, or written communication among staffers, with no exception to topics or people.” Department of Defense employees were also instructed not to testify on any such conversations or produce any such documents or reproductions.[9] This was done to refuse the McCarthy Committee subpoenas of transcripts of monitored telephone calls from Army officials, as well as information on meetings between Eisenhower officials relating to the hearings. This was done in the form of a letter from Eisenhower to the Department of Defense and an accompanying memo from Eisenhower Justice. The reasoning behind the order was that there was a need for “candid” exchanges among executive employees in giving “advice” to one another. In the end, Eisenhower would invoke the claim 44 times between 1955 and 1960.

United States v. Nixon[edit]

The Supreme Court addressed executive privilege in United States v. Nixon, the 1974 case involving the demand by Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox that President Richard Nixon produce the audiotapes of conversations he and his colleagues had in the Oval Office of the White House in connection with criminal charges being brought against members of the Nixon Administration for breaking into the Watergate complex. Nixon invoked the privilege and refused to produce any records.

The Supreme Court did not reject the claim of privilege out of hand; it noted, in fact, “the valid need for protection of communications between high Government officials and those who advise and assist them in the performance of their manifold duties” and that “[h]uman experience teaches that those who expect public dissemination of their remarks may well temper candor with a concern for appearances and for their own interests to the detriment of the decisionmaking process.” This is very similar to the logic that the Court had used in establishing an “executive immunity” defense for high office-holders charged with violating citizens’ constitutional rights in the course of performing their duties. The Supreme Court stated: “To read the Article II powers of the president as providing an absolute privilege as against a subpoena essential to enforcement of criminal statutes on no more than a generalized claim of the public interest in confidentiality of nonmilitary and nondiplomatic discussions would upset the constitutional balance of ‘a workable government’ and gravely impair the role of the courts under Article III.” Because Nixon had asserted only a generalized need for confidentiality, the Court held that the larger public interest in obtaining the truth in the context of a criminal prosecution took precedence.

Once executive privilege is asserted, coequal branches of the Government are set on a collision course. The Judiciary is forced into the difficult task of balancing the need for information in a judicial proceeding and the Executive’s Article II prerogatives. This inquiry places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the Executive’s claims of confidentiality and autonomy, and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of powers and checks and balances. These ‘occasion[s] for constitutional confrontation between the two branches’ are likely to be avoided whenever possible. United States v. Nixon, supra, at 692.[10]

Post-Watergate era[edit]

Reagan administration[edit]

In November 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a directive regarding congressional requests for information. Reagan wrote that if Congress seeks information potentially subject to executive privilege, then executive branch officials should “request the congressional body to hold its request in abeyance” until the president decides whether to invoke the privilege.[11][12]

George H. W. Bush administration[edit]

Prior to becoming attorney general in 1991, Deputy Attorney General William P. Barr issued guidance in 1989 about responding to congressional requests for confidential executive branch information. He wrote: “Only when the accommodation process fails to resolve a dispute and a subpoena is issued does it become necessary for the president to consider asserting executive privilege”.[13][11]

Clinton administration[edit]

The Clinton administration invoked executive privilege on fourteen occasions.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first president since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose in court, when a federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.[14]

Later, Clinton exercised a form of negotiated executive privilege when he agreed to testify before the grand jury called by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr only after negotiating the terms under which he would appear. Declaring that “absolutely no one is above the law”, Starr said such a privilege “must give way” and evidence “must be turned over” to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

George W. Bush administration[edit]

The Bush administration invoked executive privilege on six occasions.

President George W. Bush first asserted executive privilege in December 2001 to deny disclosure of details regarding former attorney general Janet Reno,[15] the scandal involving Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) misuse of organized crime informants James J. Bulger and Stephen Flemmi, and Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton’s fundraising tactics.[16]

Bush invoked executive privilege “in substance” in refusing to disclose the details of Vice President Dick Cheney‘s meetings with energy executives, which was not appealed by the GAO. In a separate Supreme Court decision in 2004, however, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted “Executive privilege is an extraordinary assertion of power ‘not to be lightly invoked.'” United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1, 7 (1953).

Further, on June 28, 2007, Bush invoked executive privilege in response to congressional subpoenas requesting documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor,[17] citing that:

The reason for these distinctions rests upon a bedrock presidential prerogative: for the president to perform his constitutional duties, it is imperative that he receive candid and unfettered advice and that free and open discussions and deliberations occur among his advisors and between those advisors and others within and outside the Executive Branch.

On July 9, 2007, Bush again invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena requiring the testimonies of Taylor and Miers. Furthermore, White House Counsel Fred F. Fielding refused to comply with a deadline set by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain its privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it, and provide logs of which documents were being withheld. On July 25, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite Miers and White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten for contempt of Congress.[18][19]

On July 13, less than a week after claiming executive privilege for Miers and Taylor, Fielding effectively claimed the privilege again, this time in relation to documents related to the 2004 death of Army Ranger Pat Tillman. In a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Fielding claimed certain papers relating to discussion of the friendly fire shooting “implicate Executive Branch confidentiality interests” and would therefore not be turned over to the committee.[20]

On August 1, 2007, Bush invoked the privilege for the fourth time in little over a month, this time rejecting a subpoena for Karl Rove. The subpoena would have required Rove to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors. In a letter to Senate Judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy, Fielding claimed that “Rove, as an immediate presidential advisor, is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters that arose during his tenure and that relate to his official duties in that capacity.”[21]

Leahy claimed that President Bush was not involved with the decision to terminate the service of U.S. attorneys. Furthermore, he asserted that the president’s executive privilege claims protecting both Bolten and Rove were illegal. The senator demanded that Bolten, Rove, Sara Taylor, and J. Scott Jennings comply “immediately” with their subpoenas. This development paved the way for a Senate panel vote on whether to advance the citations to the full Senate. “It is obvious that the reasons given for these firings were contrived as part of a cover-up and that the stonewalling by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort”, Leahy concluded.[22][23][24][25]

As of 17 July 2008, Rove still claimed executive privilege to avoid a congressional subpoena. Rove’s lawyer wrote that his client is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony.”[26]

Obama administration[edit]

On June 20, 2012, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege in order to withhold certain Department of Justice documents related to the Operation Fast and Furious controversy ahead of a United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to produce the documents.[27][28] Later the same day, the House Committee voted 23–17 along party lines to hold Holder in contempt of Congress over not releasing the documents.[29]

House investigation of the SEC[edit]

Leaders of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) testified on February 4, 2009 before the United States House Committee on Financial Services subcommittee. The subject of the hearings was why the SEC had failed to act when Harry Markopolos, a private fraud investigator from Boston, alerted the SEC, detailing his persistent and unsuccessful efforts to get the SEC to investigate Bernard Madoff beginning in 1999.[30] One official claimed executive privilege in declining to answer some questions.[31][32]

Trump administration[edit]

While investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey to testify. Comey was fired several weeks before being subpoenaed but had appeared before the committee once before in March while still serving as director. Less than a week before the scheduled hearing, it was reported that President Trump was considering invoking executive privilege to prevent Comey’s testimony.[33][34] According to attorney Page Pate, it seemed unlikely that executive privilege would be applicable, as Trump had publicly spoken about the encounters in question multiple times.[35]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokesman, released a statement on June 5: “The president’s power to assert executive privilege is very well-established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony.”[36]

On May 8, 2019, Trump asserted executive privilege regarding the full Mueller Report at the request of the attorney general. According to The New York Times, this was Trump’s “first use of the secrecy powers as president”.[37]

On June 12, 2019, Trump asserted executive privilege over documents related to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 census. This was in response to a subpoena from the House of Representatives leading up to their impending vote over whether to hold Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over the census question.[38]

See also[edit]

References …

Further reading[edit]

 

[

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The Pronk Pops Show 1366, December 2, 2019, Story 1: The Day of Reckoning Is Approaching And Not A Word Is Spoken — Videos — Story 2: Democrats Trying To Talk and Tank The Economy Into a Recession — Big Failure — Economy Still Growing — Videos — Story 3: Federal Reserve Intervenes and Adds More Liquidity or Money Into Economy — Overnight and 42-Day Term Repos Madness Bubble — Return of Quantitative Easing? –Videos — Story 4: Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz Report Will Be Released on December 9 and Horowitz Will Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee December 11, 2019 — Videos — Story 5: Lisa Page Role in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Warrant Application Process? — Videos

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Story 1: The Day of Reckoning Is Approaching And Not A Word Is Spoken — National Debt More Than $23 Trillion — Plus Unfunded Obligations  Estimates Over $100 Trillion to Over $200 Trillion — Videos —

 

U.S. National Debt Clock

https://www.usdebtclock.org/

See the source image

The National Debt Is Now More than $23 Trillion

Financials are spinning out of control in Washington: David Walker

Dec 22, 2017
Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker on the need to reduce the government debt.

With low interest rates, pressure of national debt goes away: Brookings Institution’s Wessel

Ray Dalio: US has a real problem in terms of the quantity of debt we are going to have to sell to…

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Negative Rates ‘Distort’ Everything: Warren Buffett | CNBC

10 Myths About Government Debt

Deficits and debt | AP Macroeconomics | Khan Academy

 

Story 2: Democrats Trying To Talk & Tank The Economy Into a Recession — Big Failure — Economy Still Growing — Videos

Ingraham: An animated series of failures

How the Fed creates free money for big banks, CEOs and billionaires

 

 

 

Trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, and hardly a voice of caution to be heard

In the old days, a decade or so ago, Democrats would have assailed Donald Trump‘s failure on federal deficits; instead of eliminating it, as promised, the deficit has doubled to a trillion dollars as far as the eye can see.

Republicans would be in full fury over the spending schemes of Democratic presidential candidates; even the mainstream moderates propose huge increases for health care, education and the social safety net for the disadvantaged.

Yet deficits, as a political issue, are dead.

The political impact always was exaggerated, but out-of-control deficits were a staple of opposition rhetoric. There invariably was some budget-balancing blue-ribbon group, the most famous being the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

For Democrats, the pressing urgency of unmet needs in health care, education, infrastructure and the social safety net far outweigh any rising debt. They favor tax hikes, mainly on the rich, to reverse the huge 2017 Republican tax cuts, but there’s less premium on the green eyeshade test of paying for all spending initiatives.

Most Republicans strongly want to keep those tax cuts — the only significant achievement of three years of party rule — and have little interest in tackling politically popular entitlements. In the years the Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, it focused only on gutting the Affordable Care Act.

This has become the Trump Party, which overshadows the old Republican battle lines between budget balancers and tax cutters. This Republican executive is a tax cutter and budget buster.

As well as the politics, Democrats have a strong policy basis for their position. Early this year, the two most prominent Democratic economists — former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, both under Barack Obama — wrote an influential article citing structural declines in interest rates. This means that “policymakers should reconsider the traditional fiscal approach that has often wrong-headedly limited worthwhile investments in such areas as education, health care and infrastructure,” they said.

“Politicians and policymakers should focus on urgent social programs, not deficits,” they advised.

They don’t go as far as the Modern Monetary Theorists who basically argue the sky is the limit on debt unless inflation takes off. Instead, Summers and Furman claim a key is that the federal debt — as a percentage of the economy — stays at a relatively stable 3 percent to 4 percent, where it has been for the past five years.

The Republican deficits hawks, most recently former House Speaker Paul Ryan, have been rendered obsolete, as least as long it’s the party of Trump.

Even back in the 1970s, however, some Republicans embraced what supply-side propagandist Jude Wanniski called the “Two-Santa Theory” — namely, to counter Democrats’ support for popular spending programs, Republicans should favor huge tax cuts without concern for the deficit. (Ronald Reagan once joked he didn’t worry about the deficit, as it was “big enough to take care of itself.”)

Moreover, the Republican cries about the evils of big deficits have been more rhetorical than real, although the general perception of Democrats as more fiscally profligate is a canard.

Under Reagan and George H.W. Bush, the federal budget deficit doubled. The deficit was $255 billion when Bill Clinton came into office; at the end of his term, there were four straight small surpluses. (This along with the surplus at the end of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency are the only ones in the last 60 years.)

The deficit also soared under George W. Bush, especially at the end of his term, with the economic crisis.

Obama inherited a massive $1.4 trillion shortfall and in eight years cut it by 60 percent.

The shortfall has doubled under Trump.

As a percentage of the economy, however, it has risen from 3 percent in the final Obama year to a bit more than 4 percent now.

Even Washington’s most stalwart and consistent fiscal hawk, Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, acknowledges the budget deficit isn’t a top policy concern right now “as low interest rates buy us some time.”

However, she cautions that the fiscal situation “is the worst it has been since just after World War II,” adding, “No one knows when the tipping point is or what it looks like, but those are questions we shouldn’t want to find the answers to.”

Albert R. Hunt is the former executive editor of Bloomberg News. He previously served as reporter, bureau chief and Washington editor for the Wall Street Journal. For almost a quarter-century he wrote a column on politics for The Wall Street Journal, then the International New York Times and Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter @alhuntdc.

https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/472480-trillion-dollar-deficits-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see-and-not-a-voice-of

Story 3: Federal Reserve Intervenes and Adds More Liquidity or Money Into Economy — Overnight and 42-Day Term Repos Madness Bubble — Return of Quantitative Easing? –Videos —

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See the source image

Fed is in a ‘lose, lose, lose situation,’ says Mohamed A. El-Erian

Repo Madness: Up to $300 Billion Per Day As First 42 Day Term Repo Kicks In Going Into 2020!

Repo: How Roughly $1 Trillion Moves Overnight | WSJ

How the Fed creates free money for big banks, CEOs and billionaires

The ‘repo’ market explained

The Central Banks’ Monetary Policy Is Backfiring (w/ Simon White)

 

New York Fed Adds Liquidity Amid Heavy Demand for Year-End Funding

Interventions ensure markets have enough liquidity and short-term borrowing rates remain well-behaved

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York intervened in financial markets again Monday. PHOTO: EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York again saw very strong demand for liquidity aimed at helping financial markets navigate the turn of the year.

The demand once again arrived as the Fed added temporary liquidity to financial markets Monday. All together the central bank pumped in $97.9 billion in two parts. One was via overnight repurchase agreements, or repos, that totaled $72.9 billion. The other was via 42-day repos.

While the Fed took all the securities that dealers offered it for the overnight repo, the longer-term operation saw eligible banks offer $42.55 billion in securities versus the $25 billion the Fed took. That level of interest was a replay from the last 42-day repo operation held Nov. 25, when eligible banks submitted $49.05 billion in securities against the $25 billion the central bank accepted.

The robust demand for year-end liquidity could alter the path of future longer-term Fed interventions and induce the central bank to increase their size. Central banks want to ensure that markets remain well behaved over year end, and they have signaled they will be flexible in achieving that. The Fed has already increased the size of other temporary operations, making it possible future term operations could be bigger as well.

The Repo Market, Explained

The Repo Market, Explained
The repo market shook the financial world in September when an unexpected rate spike choked short-term lending, spurring the Federal Reserve to intervene. WSJ explains how this critical, but murky part of the financial system works, and why some banks say the crunch could have been prevented. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds for The Wall Street Journal

Fed repo interventions take in Treasury and mortgage securities from eligible banks in what is effectively a short-term loan of central-bank cash, collateralized by the securities.

The Fed’s interventions are aimed at ensuring that the financial system has enough liquidity and that short-term borrowing rates remain well-behaved, with the central bank’s federal-funds rate staying within the 1.5%-to-1.75% target range. The effective fed-funds rate stood at 1.56% on Friday. The broad general collateral rate for repo trading stood at 1.62%, also for Tuesday.

The Fed has been intervening in markets in the current fashion since mid-September, when short-term rates unexpectedly shot up on a confluence of factors, although it has used similar operations for decades to manage short-term rates.

Since the large interventions started, money-market rates have been well-behaved. The Fed is using temporary operations to tamp down any possible volatility, while purchasing Treasury bills to build up reserves in the banking system. It hopes that by buying Treasury bills it will be able to cut back on repo interventions at the start of next year.

The Fed currently expects to buy Treasury bills through the middle of next year.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-york-fed-adds-97-9-billion-to-markets-11575301812

Write to Michael S. Derby at michael.derby@wsj.com

Story 4: Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz Report Will Be Released on December 9 and Horowitz Will Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee December 11, 2019 — Videos —

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‘They Tried to Overthrow the Presidency’: Trump Says Results of IG’s Report Could be ‘Historic’

FBI official allegedly altered document in Russia probe: Report

 

DOJ Inspector General to testify on alleged 2016 campaign spying

IG Horowitz to testify on Russia probe, FISA abuse

TRUMP PROBE REPORT AND HEARING – DECEMBER 9/11, 2019

DiGenova: Comey, Clapper and Brennan will have to pay the ‘Barr bill’

 

Jason Chaffetz: FBI deep state clear – will FISA report finally lead to action?
Jason Chaffetz By Jason Chaffetz | Fox News

PROGRAMMING ALERT: Watch Jason Chaffetz discuss this op-ed and much more on “Mornings with Maria” on Monday, December 2.

Following a series of four damning inspector general reports over the last two years, there is little doubt the senior leadership of the Obama-era FBI was weaponized in the service of the Democratic Party. But as America awaits what many expect to be the most damning investigation of all, it’s fair to ask what has been done to rein in our rogue FBI.

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The report on FISA abuse set for release on Dec. 9 is expected to show how the FBI used the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to spy on American citizens affiliated with the Trump campaign in 2016. As damning as such a conclusion would be, it will only be the latest in a series of explosive revelations from the Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, some of which got muted coverage from the mainstream press. Advance leaks suggest the upcoming report will, at a minimum, show an FBI lawyer illegally altered documents to justify a FISA application.

Even before next week’s anticipated release, we already have IG reports implicating the FBI director, assistant director, deputy assistant director, and chief of the counterintelligence section. Though none of them remain at the bureau, we have seen little reassurance from current FBI Director Christopher Wray that the culture they created has changed.

REPS. BIGGS & PERRY: IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY SHOWS DEEP STATE CONTINUES TO UNDERMINE TRUMP

Thus far, no one has been prosecuted, despite a long string of damaging reports and referrals. An IG can make a recommendation but it is up to the DOJ to prosecute, even if it is one of their own.

A 63-page report released last month found “numerous issues” with the FBI’s use of confidential sources during a period that included the 2016 election. That report revealed that the FBI lacked appropriate procedures to vet and maintain oversight of sources like the ones used against the Trump campaign. This created a security risk for the United States. Yet no prosecutions have been announced.

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Last August, an even more serious finding was released when the IG determined that the FBI director himself had violated FBI policy and the terms of his own employment agreement in disseminating classified information for release to the media. Though the DOJ could have prosecuted based on the report’s findings, it declined to do so.

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A May 2019 IG report implicated the FBI deputy assistant director for unauthorized contacts with the media, illegally disclosing sealed court documents and other sensitive information to the media, and accepting gifts from the media. The DOJ declined to prosecute. But why? The IG recommended prosecution.

The IG’s June 2018 probe into the Hillary Clinton email investigation implicated the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, Peter Strzok, of repeatedly articulating a strong political bias even as he headed up the investigation of Clinton’s exposure of classified information. The 500-page report, which reviewed 1.2 million documents and included interviews with more than 100 witnesses, documented numerous questionable decisions that benefited Clinton or damaged Trump, though the IG acknowledged the parties denied their political bias impacted their decisions.

The FBI is in shambles and there has been little to no public acknowledgment of the crisis by the current director. No work by him to stem this tide of political bias is evident to the public.

The report also highlighted an interoffice affair between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both of whom worked on the Clinton and Trump investigations. Next week’s IG report is also expected to document an affair between two other FBI lawyers who worked together on the FISA applications.

What is going on at the FBI and why no consequences for such blatant violations of internal policy and the law? And why did these vulnerabilities exist for so long without detection? No doubt adversarial intelligence agencies could have figured this out quite easily, making our intelligence operations vulnerable to exploitation.

Finally, an April 2018 report implicated FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe of inappropriately authorizing the disclosure of sensitive information to a reporter and repeatedly lying to investigators about it. The report found McCabe lied four times, three under oath, and that it was done “in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership.” Though McCabe was fired, he wasn’t prosecuted.

What message does it send when the Justice Department protects its own?

The FBI is in shambles and there has been little to no public acknowledgment of the crisis by Director Wray. No work by him to stem this tide of political bias is evident to the public.

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With the release of next week’s FISA report, we must demand action by Wray. Given the well-documented wrongdoing by the previous FBI director, deputy director, deputy assistant director, the chief of counterintelligence, and evidently DOJ counsel, the American people are right to question the legitimacy of America’s federal law enforcement apparatus.

If the American people are going to regain confidence in the senior leadership of the FBI, the Justice Department will need to prosecute wrongdoing as they would if it weren’t one of their own. Until then, questions of imbalance, favoritism and bias in one direction will persist. Certainly, we deserve better.

https://www.foxnews.com/person/c/jason-chaffetz

 

Story 4: Lisa Page Role in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Warrant Application Process? — Videos

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Lisa Page Breaks Silence On Trump’s DISGUSTING Behavior

Trump viciously mocks Strzok, Page at Minneapolis rally

Rep. Biggs: Lisa Page once engaged in FBI cabal, now playing the victim

Whitaker: Lisa Page made calculated move to front run IG report

 

Lisa Page Speaks: ‘There’s No Fathomable Way I Have Committed Any Crime at All’

STRIKING BACK

The former FBI lawyer and ongoing Trump target breaks two years of silence in this exclusive interview. And she has quite a lot to say.

It’s not often that you interview a subject who has no interest in being famous. But recently, I did just that when I sat down with Lisa Page the week before Thanksgiving in my hotel room in Washington, D.C. Page, of course, is the former FBI lawyer whose text-message exchanges with agent Peter Strzok that belittled Donald Trump and expressed fear at his possible victory became international news. They were hijacked by Trump to fuel his “deep state” conspiracy.

For the nearly two years since her name first made the papers, she’s been publicly silent (she did have a closed-door interview with House members in July 2018). I asked her why she was willing to talk now. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back,” she says. The president called out her name as he acted out an orgasm in front of thousands of people at a Minneapolis rally on Oct. 11.

That was the moment Page decided she had to speak up. “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” she says. “It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”

She is also about to be back in the news cycle in a big way. On Dec. 9, the Justice Department inspector general report into Trump’s charges that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign will come out. Leaked press accounts indicate the report will exonerate Page of the allegation that she acted unprofessionally or showed bias against Trump.

How does it feel after all this time to finally have the IG apparently affirm what she’s been saying all along? She said she wouldn’t discuss the findings until they were officially public, but she did note: “While it would be nice to have the IG confirm publicly that my personal opinions had absolutely no bearing on the course of the Russia investigations, I don’t kid myself that the fact will matter very much for a lot of people. The president has a very loud megaphone.”

Page, 39, is thin and athletic. She speaks in an exceedingly confident, clear, and lawyerly way. But having been through the MAGA meat grinder has clearly worn her down, not unlike the other women I’ve met who’ve been subjected to the president’s abuse.  She is just slightly crumbly around the edges the way the president’s other victims are.

My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again.

“It’s almost impossible to describe” what it’s like, she told me. “It’s like being punched in the gut. My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”

“But it’s also very intimidating because he’s still the president of the United States. And when the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that. To try to further destroy my life. It never goes away or stops, even when he’s not publicly attacking me.”

Does it affect you in your normal day-to-day life?

“I wish it didn’t,” she said. “I’m someone who’s always in my head anyway—so now otherwise normal interactions take on a different meaning. Like, when somebody makes eye contact with me on the Metro, I kind of wince, wondering if it’s because they recognize me, or are they just scanning the train like people do? It’s immediately a question of friend or foe? Or if I’m walking down the street or shopping and there’s somebody wearing Trump gear or a MAGA hat, I’ll walk the other way or try to put some distance between us because I’m not looking for conflict. Really, what I wanted most in this world is my life back.”

Rising Through the Ranks

Lisa Page did not aspire to fame or fortune. She was, she says, “one of those nerdy kids who from very early on knew I wanted work for the government and make the world a better place.” Born in the San Fernando Valley, she and her family moved to Ohio in her teens. She went to American University in Washington, D.C., and then moved back home to central Ohio to attend law school, living with her parents so she could save money.

After graduating from law school, she was one of an elite group selected for admission in the Department of Justice Honors Program in 2006—and the only woman in her class of five entering the Criminal Division. She worked as a federal prosecutor for six years before moving across the street to the FBI’s office of general counsel. Soon after her arrival, the deputy general counsel over national-security law hired her for a new special-counsel-type position in 2013.

Once there, her path begins to be set.

“I start [in the role] in early 2013, and there are two big events that kind of set the trajectory for the rest of my career at the FBI: the Boston bombing in April 2013, and Edward Snowden’s leaks in June of the same year,” she told me. “And those are both significant in their own ways, because the Boston bombing introduces me to Andy McCabe, who at the time was the head of the counterterrorism division at the FBI. Two months later, the Snowden leaks hit, which became a transformative moment for the intelligence community, setting off a series of reforms by the Obama administration with respect to the legal authorities that we rely on to collect intelligence.”

Eventually, she was asked to lead that effort, “which gives me a lot of exposure to senior FBI executives, as well as leaders through the IC, DOJ, and White House.”

Page continued to rise through the ranks of the FBI and was assigned to more significant and substantive work. She became close with McCabe. Eventually she became McCabe’s special counsel.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/lisa-page-speaks-theres-no-fathomable-way-i-have-committed-any-crime-at-all?ref=home

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The Pronk Pops Show 1363, November 20, 2019, Story 1: Disgraceful Democrat Coup And Cover-up Collapsing As Big Lie Media’s Lies Exposed in Impeachment Hearing — American People No Longer Trust Corrupt Congress and Big Lie Media — Trump: ‘I Wanted Nothing From Ukraine” — Democrats Got Caught — Coup Collapses — Is That All There Is? — Videos

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Story 1: Disgraceful Democrat Coup And Cover-up Collapsing As Big Lie Media’s Lies Exposed in Impeachment Hearing — American People No Longer Trust Corrupt Congress and Big Lie Media — Trump: ‘I Wanted Nothing From Ukraine” — Democrats Got Caught — Coup Collapses — Is That All There Is? — Videos

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WATCH: Sondland declines to say whether he believed Trump when he said ‘no quid pro quo’

CONTRADICTING TESTIMONIES: Mike Turner RIPS into Amb. Sondland

WATCH: Rep. John Ratcliffe’s full questioning of Gordon Sondland | Trump impeachment hearings

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WATCH: Democratic counsel’s full questioning of Gordon Sondland | Trump impeachment hearings

Sondland Screws Trump

Rep. Adam Schiff Closing Statement: “Is there any accountability?”

WATCH: Sondland testimony provides ‘zero evidence’ of Trump crimes in Ukraine, Nunes says

Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the testimony by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, provided “zero evidence of any of the crimes that have been alleged” of President Donald Trump with regard to Ukraine. In closing statements after Sondland testified in a public hearing on Nov. 20, Nunes accused Democrats of contributing to a “conspiracy theory” against Trump. Sondland testified that there was a “quid pro quo” in which U.S. aid and a White House meeting were contingent on Ukraine agreeing to investigate the 2016 elections and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where the son of 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, Hunter, sat on the board.

Peggy Lee — Is That All There Is? 1969

 

Gordon Sondland

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Gordon Sondland
Gordon Sondland official photo.jpg
United States Ambassador to the European Union
Assumed office
July 9, 2018
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Anthony L. Gardner
Personal details
Born
Gordon David Sondland

July 16, 1957 (age 62)
Mercer IslandWashington, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Durant
Alma mater University of Washington

Gordon David Sondland (born July 16, 1957)[1][2] is an American diplomat and businessperson. He is the United States Ambassador to the European Union.[3] Sondland is also the founder and former chairman of Provenance Hotels and co-founder of the merchant bank Aspen Capital.

Early life and education

Sondland was born to a Jewish family[4][5] in Mercer Island, Washington,[6] the son of Frieda (Piepsch) and Gunther Sondland.[7][8] His mother fled Germany before the Second World War[9] to Uruguay, where after the war she reunited with his father, who had served in the French Foreign Legion. In 1953, the Sondlands relocated to Seattle where they opened a dry-cleaning business.[10] Sondland has a sister 18 years his senior.[10] He attended the University of Washington but dropped out and became a commercial real estate salesman.[10]

Career

In 1985, Sondland raised $7.8 million from friends and his wealthy brother-in-law and purchased the Roosevelt Hotel, a bankrupt Seattle hotel.[10]

Sondland’s company, Provenance Hotels, owns and manages hotels throughout the United States, including the Hotel Max and Hotel Theodore in Seattle, Washington; Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WashingtonHotel deLuxeHotel LuciaSentinel Hotel, Dossier, and Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon; The Hotel Preston in Nashville, Tennessee; and Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans, Louisiana.[11]

In 1998, Sondland purchased and redeveloped four hotels in Seattle, Portland, and Denver including Seattle’s Alexis Hotel in partnership with Bill Kimpton. Sondland also is a principal in Seattle’s Paramount Hotel.[12][13] Through Provenance Hotels, Sondland is developing hotel projects throughout the US, including in SeattleHermosa Beach, CA and Los Angeles, CA. Provenance Hotels specializes in adaptations of old buildings such as with the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA, which used to be a conference Sheraton, but now includes glass art by 46 artists including Seattle’s Dale Chihuly.[14] Provenance is also known for designing or remodeling each hotel around themes that contain elements that relate to a location’s history, art, culture, and local businesses.[15][16]

In 2013, Sondland and Provenance completed a renovation of Portland’s historic Governor Hotel, renaming it Sentinel.[17] In December 2015, Sondland and Provenance announced the establishment of the company’s first real estate investment fund, Provenance Hotel Partners Fund I. The $525 million fund was created specifically for hotel real estate investment and, at the time of its announcement, was the fourth largest fund ever launched in the state of Oregon.[18]

Following his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the European Union by President Trump, Sondland’s name was removed from the Provenance Hotels’ website and replaced with that of his wife, who is now listed as the chairman.[19]

Political involvement

Sondland was a member of the transition team for Oregon Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski‘s administration and was appointed by Kulongoski to serve on the board of the Governor’s Office of Film & Television.[20] He was appointed the commission’s chair in 2002 and has served in that capacity until 2015.[21] During his tenure on the film board, Sondland was instrumental in bringing the production of such television series as LeverageThe Librarians, and Grimm to Oregon[22] and presided over the state securing the production of feature-length films such as Wild starring Reese Witherspoon, Thumbsucker starring Tilda Swinton, and The Ring Two starring Naomi Watts. At the 2015 Oregon Film Annual Governor’s Awards, Sondland received the “Achievement in Film Service Award” for his role in growing Oregon’s film industry.[23]

Sondland also served as Oregon liaison to the White House. As an advisor to Kulongoski, Sondland suggested appointing Ted Wheeler as state treasurer, which Kulongoski did in 2010.[24] In 2007, President George W. Bush appointed Sondland as a member of the Commission on White House Fellows.[25] Sondland collaborated with President Bush and Jay Leno on an annual charitable auction of an autographed vehicle, with proceeds benefitting the Fisher House Foundation and the George W. Bush Foundation’s Military Service Initiative.[26] He was a bundler for Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign, and in 2012, Sondland was selected to serve as a member of Mitt Romney‘s presidential transition team.[2]

During the 2016 United States presidential election, Sondland initially supported Donald Trump, but cancelled a fundraiser and repudiated Trump for his attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan.[2] In April 2017, it was revealed that four companies registered to Sondland donated $1 million to the Donald Trump Presidential Inaugural Committee.[27][28][29]

United States ambassador to the European Union

Sondland at the United States–EU Energy Council meeting in Brussels on July 12, 2018

In March 2018, it was reported that President Trump selected Sondland to be the next United States ambassador to the European Union.[30][31] [32][3] [33] Sondland’s nomination received bipartisan support during his confirmation hearing and he was confirmed on June 28, 2018.[4] [4][5]

As ambassador, Sondland has said that strengthening US-EU trade relations is a top priority.[34] He has supported using a strong US-EU economic partnership to counter what Sondland has called “economic aggression and unfair trade practices” from China.[35][36] In pursuit of this end, Sondland has promoted the idea of giving European governments access to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to allow them to better screen investors.[34]

Sondland has worked on data protection rules regarding U.S. compliance with the EU-US privacy shield.[37] He has also pledged to work with the EU to address global security threats.[38] He has been the Trump Administration’s lead in talks with EU member countries on the U.S.’s decertification and withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal.[39][40] Sondland has repeatedly criticized EU member countries’ creation of a “special purpose vehicle” (SPV) to bypass reimposed U.S. sanctions on Iran, calling the SPV a “paper tiger.”[39][41][42]

Sondland has been a vocal opponent of the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would transport gas across the Baltic Sea to the EU.[43] He has argued that the pipeline would leave the EU dependent upon Russia for its energy needs and increase Russia’s leverage on key U.S. allies in NATO.[44] Sondland argued that “Putin uses energy as a political weapon. The EU should not rely on a bare-chested version of the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort as a supplier, even if his gas is a bit cheaper.”[45]

Trump–Ukraine scandal

U.S. Delegation at May 20, 2019 Ukrainian inauguration – U.S. Photo

On September 26, 2019, the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the unclassified text of the whistleblower complaint regarding the interactions between United States President Donald Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.[46] In this document, Ambassador Sondland, along with U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Ambassador Kurt Volker were described as having “provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelensky”.[47] After further investigation, The Washington Post concluded that Sondland had “seized control of the Ukraine portfolio to help Trump.”[48]

In the complaint released by the Select Committee on Intelligence, Sondland’s involvement in President Donald Trump’s activity was outlined in a text conversation with the interim chargé d’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor:

[12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

[9/9/2019, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.[49]

Closed-door testimony relating to Sondland

On October 8, the Trump administration attempted to block Sondland from testifying in the impeachment inquiry.[50] Sondland testified October 17, 2019.[51][52][53][54][55][56]

Three weeks later on November 5, and following the testimony of other senior national security officials who told lawmakers that security assistance was also used to try to compel the Ukrainians to open investigations that might be of benefit to the Trump 2020 campaign, Sondland provided updated testimony stating that he did in fact view delivery of the aid package as contingent upon the Ukrainian government publicly opening an investigation of Trump’s political rivals as desired by the President. According to the testimony, he relayed this position to Ukrainian government officials.[57]

In early November, Fiona Hill testified that Sondland, as a newcomer unaccustomed to diplomatic protocols, exhibited behavior that was “comical” but “deeply concerning,” and his lack of adherence to security protocols made him a “counterintelligence risk.” Hill testified that in July, Sondland attended a meeting with Ukrainian officials and told them that an Oval Office meeting with Trump would occur if investigations began. She testified, “Ambassador Sondland blurted out: ‘Well, we have an agreement with the Chief of Staff (Mick Mulvaney) for a meeting if these investigations in the energy sector start,'” and that John Bolton ended the meeting abruptly and later told her, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.”[58]

On November 13, William Taylor, the acting head of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, testified that a staff member who was later identified as David Holmes told him that he overheard a phone conversation about Ukraine “investigations” between Sondland and the president at a restaurant in Kyiv. The call was made the day following Trump’s phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he asked Zelenskiy to investigate corruption. Taylor said there were two other people having lunch in the restaurant, and they heard the conversation as well.[59] Appearing in a closed-door inquiry on November 15, in a written opening statement Holmes said he heard Trump ask, “So, he’s gonna do the investigation?” and Sondland replied, “he’s gonna do it” adding Zelensky will do “anything you ask him to.” Holmes also testified that Sondland later told him that Trump “did not give a shit about Ukraine” and “only cared about the big stuff … the big stuff that benefits the president like the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.” In the same conversation, Sondland was also heard to characterize President Zelensky’s strongly favorable view of President Trump, informing the latter that Zelenskiy “loves [his] ass.” [60] U.S. security experts were alarmed by the fact that Sondland called a U.S. president on an unsecured line in a public place, particularly in Ukraine, where calls are assumed to be monitored by Russia.[61]

On November 16, the House impeachment investigators released the closed-door testimony of former National Security Council official Tim Morrison. Morrison voiced concerns saying that during the time that he had worked with Sondland he was not following the normal diplomatic process as used by other personnel but rather was on “a second track,” chiefly led by Sondland, “where Rudy Giuliani’s name would come up.” Morrison also testified that he had heard from Sondland that “US aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.” Morrison said that on September 7, Sondland told him of a phone call he’d had from Trump in which the president said, “that there was no quid pro quo, but President Zelensky must announce the opening of the investigations and he should want to do it.”[62] During his public testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives on November 19, 2019, Morrison stated that Sondland confirmed to him that there was indeed a quid pro quo for US aid to Ukraine and Sondland told him this following a telephone conversation Sondland had with Ukraine official Andriy Yermak on September 1, 2019.[63]

Public testimony

External video
 Testimony of Sondland to the House Intelligence Committee, November 20, 2019C-SPAN

In his public testimony on November 20, Sondland said it was at the “express direction of the president” that he, Kurt Volker, and Rick Perry, commonly referred to as “the three amigos,” worked with Giuliani on Ukraine matters even though they were uncomfortable with Giuliani’s role. He said that the leadership of the State Department and the National Security Council, including Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, were fully informed of their activities and Giuliani’s, adding “Everyone was in the loop.”[64] He said that Trump, through Giuliani, was clearly demanding a public commitment by Zelensky to investigate Bursima (a Ukrainian gas company where Vice President Joe Biden’s son had sat on the board) and the 2016 election as a prerequisite to receive a White House invitation or phone call. “Was there a ‘quid pro quo? The answer is yes,” he said in his opening remarks.[65] He said it was “his personal guess” that the aid to Ukraine was also being withheld to achieve that goal, but that he never heard Trump say so. Sondland also confirmed that he had conversed by phone with Trump on July 26, as previously reported by other witnesses, adding that he “had no reason to doubt” that the subject had included investigations but “had no recollection” of discussing the Bidens.[64] Sondland testtified to Deven Nunas that he remains “a proud member of the three amigos,” and said that he would have objected to the Bursima investigation if he had connected it to the Bidens. In her testimony on the following day Fiona Hill was asked, “Is it credible to you that Mr. Sondland was completely in the dark about this [connection] all summer?” she replied, “It is not credible to me that he was oblivious.”[66]

Philanthropy

Sondland founded the Gordon Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation in 1999, which was established to “help families and boost communities”; it has given money to various non-profits including $1,000,000 to the Portland Art Museum to endow permanent access for children under the age of eighteen.[67] The Foundation helped establish a Distinguished Chair in Spine for pediatric orthopedic spine research at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in 2012.[citation needed] In 2014, the Foundation gave a $1,000,000 endowment to Oregon Health & Science University to establish the Sondland-Durant Distinguished Research Conference, a cancer research summit to begin in 2016.[68] In 2017, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University was created with the support of the Foundation.[citation needed]

In November 2019, the Portland Business Journal noted that following Sondland’s appointment as Ambassador, the Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant Foundation modified its website by removing a biography tab for Sondland and adding two new ones for the couple’s children.[69]

Personal life

In 1993, Sondland married Katherine Durant,[10] who is the founder and managing partner of Atlas/RTG, a holding company with a portfolio of shopping centers throughout Oregon.[citation needed] Until 2016, Durant was the Chairperson of the Oregon Investment Council, the body that oversees the over $85 billion Public Employees Retirement System Fund.[70] They have two children, Max and Lucy.[71]

References…

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1355, November 8, 2019, Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos –Story 2: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — “Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump On Offense on Boring Bogus B.S. Quid Pro Quo Partisan Impeachment Inquiry — Nowhere Man Schiff: I Am The Walrus — Nonsense — Videos —

 

Nowhere Man

He’s a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You don’t know what you’re missing
Nowhere man, the world is at your command
He’s as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere man, can you see me at all
Nowhere man don’t worry
Take your time, don’t hurry
Leave it all ’til somebody else
Lends you a hand
Ah, la, la, la, la
Doesn’t have a point of view
Knows not where he’s going to
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
Nowhere man please listen
You

The Beatles – Nowhere Man (live!)

 

Trump: Democrats are trying to find people that hate me

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

What The World Never Knew About The Beatles

I am the Walrus The Beatles

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I’m crying
Sitting on a corn flake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you’ve been a naughty boy
You let your face grow long
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Mr. City policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I’m crying
I’m crying, I’m crying, I’m crying
Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog’s eye
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess
Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down
I am the egg man
They are the egg men
I am the walrus
Goo goo g’joob
Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for

 

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Oct. 4, 2019 at 2:00 a.m. CDT

“We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to.”

 Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Sept. 17

We recently took Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to task for misleading reporters about the fact that he was a participant in the call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that was the subject of a whistleblower complaint and now an impeachment inquiry in Congress. He earned Four Pinocchios for being disingenuous in his remarks to reporters to obscure his firsthand knowledge of what took place.

But politicians spin all across Washington, often to deflect uncomfortable facts. Now let’s look at comments by Schiff, who is heading the impeachment inquiry, as reporters probed about the whistleblower before the details of the allegation were revealed.

 Schiff’s answers are especially interesting in the wake of reports in the New York Times and The Washington Post that the whistleblower approached a House Intelligence Committee staff member for guidance before filing a complaint with the Intelligence Community inspector general. The staff member learned the “very bare contours” of the allegation that Trump has abused the powers of his office, The Post said.

When the Fact Checker asked what “bare contours” meant, a committee spokesman pointed to an exchange of letters. In a Sept. 13 letter to the committee, the general counsel of the director of national intelligence said that “complaint involves confidential and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.” In his own letter that day, Schiff wrote that because of that language, and because the DNI refused to affirm or deny that White House officials were involved in the decision not to forward the complaint, the committee can conclude only that “the serious misconduct involves the president of the United States and/or other senior White House or administration officials.”

Our suspicion is that the unidentified staff member learned the potential complaint involved “privileged” communication, which is code for something having to do with the president.

So, with this new information, let’s look back at how Schiff handled questions about his knowledge of the whistleblower complaint.

The Facts

Sept. 16, interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN

Cooper: “Just to be clear, you don’t know who this alleged whistleblower is or what they are alleging?”
Schiff: “I don’t know the identity of the whistleblower.”
Cooper: “And they haven’t contacted you or their legal representation hasn’t contacted you?”
Schiff: “I don’t want to get into any particulars. I want to make sure that there’s nothing that I do that jeopardizes the whistleblower in any way.”

This is a classic dodge — “don’t want to get into any particulars” — and Cooper failed to follow up. Notice how Schiff quickly answered whether he knew the identity of the whistleblower — “I don’t know” — but then sidestepped the questions about whether the committee had been contacted. But in doing so, he managed not to mislead; he just simply did not answer the question.

Sept. 17, interview on “Morning Joe”

Sam Stein: “Have you heard from the whistleblower? Do you want to hear from the whistleblower? What protections could you provide to the whistleblower?” …
Schiff: “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower. We would like to. But I am sure the whistleblower has concerns that he has not been advised, as the law requires, by the inspector general or the director of national Intelligence just how he is supposed to communicate with Congress, and so the risk to the whistleblower is retaliation.”

This is flat-out false. Unlike the quick two-step dance he performed with Anderson Cooper, Schiff simply says the committee had not spoken to the whistleblower. Now we know that’s not true.

“Regarding Chairman Schiff’s comments on ‘Morning Joe,’ in the context, he intended to answer the question of whether the Committee had heard testimony from the whistleblower, which they had not,” a committee spokesman told The Fact Checker. “As he said in his answer, the whistleblower was then awaiting instructions from the Acting DNI as to how the whistleblower could contact the Committee. Nonetheless he acknowledges that his statement should have been more carefully phrased to make that distinction clear.”
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The spokesman pointed to an interview with Schiff by the Daily Beast, in which he said that he “did not know definitively at the time if the complaint had been authored by the same whistleblower who had approached his staff.” But he added that he “should have been much more clear.”

Sept. 19, meeting with reporters at the Capitol

Schiff: “In the absence of the actions, and I want to thank the inspector general, in the absence of his actions in coming to our committee, we might not have even known there was a whistleblower complaint alleging an urgent concern.”

Here’s some more dissembling. Schiff says that if not for the IG, the committee might never have known about the complaint. But his committee knew that something explosive was going to be filed with the IG. As the New York Times put it, the initial inquiry received by the committee “also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.”

Schiff, however, does qualify that this was a complaint alleging “an urgent concern,” and it’s not clear whether the initial inquiry had tipped off the committee staff that it would rise to that level. Still, Schiff’s phrasing was misleading because he gives no hint that the committee was aware a potentially significant (“privileged”) complaint might have been filed.

“As Chairman Schiff has made clear, he does not know the identity of the whistleblower, has had no communication with them or their attorney, and did not view the whistleblower’s complaint until the day prior to the hearing with the DNI when the ODNI finally provided it to the Committee,” the spokesman said. “Whistleblowers frequently come to the committee. Some whistleblowers approach the IG without notice to the Committee, and some who do go to the IG do not necessarily file a complaint. However, this was the first whistleblower complaint provided to the Committee this year that the IC IG determined to be of ‘urgent concern’ and ‘credible,’ and Chairman Schiff would have raised the alarm regardless when it was illegally withheld.”

The spokesman added: “The focus should not be on the whistleblower, but rather the complaint which the IC IG determined was credible and urgent and which has been thus far confirmed by the call record released by the White House and statements by the President and his personal attorney.”

The Pinocchio Test

There are right ways and wrong ways to answer reporters’ questions if a politician wants to maintain his or her credibility. There’s nothing wrong with dodging a question, as long as you don’t try to mislead (as Pompeo did).

But Schiff on “Morning Joe” clearly made a statement that was false. He now says he was answering the wrong question, but if that was the case, he should have quickly corrected the record. He compounded his falsehood by telling reporters a few days later that if not for the IG’s office, the committee would not have known about the complaint. That again suggested there had been no prior communication.

The explanation that Schiff was not sure it was the same whistleblower especially strains credulity.

Schiff earns Four Pinocchios.

Four Pinocchios

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Story 2: Billionaire”The Nanny” Michael Bloomberg May Run For President in 2020 — Waste of Money and Time — Going Nowhere in Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Party — Little Michael Bloomberg Lacks Magic to Do Well” — Videos —

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Trump on Bloomberg: ‘He’s got some personal problems’

What impact could Michael Bloomberg have on the presidential race?

Bloomberg opens door to 2020 presidential bid

RAW VIDEO] Trump to Bloomberg: ‘Little Michael will fail’

Varney: Bloomberg is a huge problem for Biden

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Story 3: President Trump Press Conference — Videos

PHONY SCAM: President Trump Says Democrat “Witch Hunt” MUST END

Trump unloads on Democrats ahead of public impeachment hearings

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The Pronk Pops Show 1351, November 4, 2019, Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Answers Press Questions on Whistle-blowers, Lying Adam Schiff and Barr and Durham Investigation — The Name of Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella, Partisan Democrat and Advised Joe Biden on Ukraine — Videos

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Story 1: Two Trump Administration National Security Council Lawyers and Two White House Staff Refuse To Testify and House Releases Chairman Schiff Selected Five Hundred Pages of Testimony of From House Intelligence Committee — All U.S. Ambassador Serve At The Pleasure of The President — Can Be Fired At Any Time — Elections Have Consequences — Videos — 

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House Dems begin releasing transcripts of closed-door testimony

House Democrats release first transcripts of closed-door testimony

 

The House committees leading the impeachment probe released the first set of transcripts of testimony by witnesses who appeared behind closed doors last month. Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both told lawmakers about their experiences with U.S. policy toward Ukraine.

November 4, 2019 – PBS NewsHour full episode

Jim Jordan speaks out on his possible move to House Intel Committee

Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

Over 100 House Republicans back bill to censure Adam Schiff

Jim Jordan makes explosive accusation against Schiff

Giuliani claims he has Ukrainian docs showing ‘collusion’ with top Dems

Giuliani slams ‘swamp media’, says it’s time to fight back against Dems

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

Clip: Biden on the Obama Administration’s Response to Russia

Foreign Affairs Issue Launch With Joe Biden

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report

White House officials refusing to testify Monday in impeachment inquiry: report
© Getty Images

Four White House officials will not show up for scheduled closed-door depositions on Monday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President TrumpCNN reports.

An unidentified source told the network that National Security Council lawyers John Eisenberg and Michael Ellis will not testify.

Two other officials, Robert Blair, assistant to the president and senior adviser to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Brian McCormack, associate director for natural resources energy and science at the Office of Management and Budget, had already declined to testify, outlets reported Saturday.

Blair’s attorney, Whit Ellerman, also told Politico his client would still not show up if subpoenaed, adding that “direction from the White House and advice from [the Department of Justice] cover subpoena.”

Two other Office of Management and Budget officials, Michael Duffey and Russell Vought, will not show up to testimonies later this week, a source with knowledge of the situation told CNN.

Outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry refused to a request to testify Wednesday as part of the inquiry, a spokeswoman for his department, Shaylyn Haynes, told The Hill on Friday.

The White House did not immediately respond for comment in response to the officials not testifying.

The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas on Sunday for Ellis and Blair to appear before the panel, according to an official familiar with the inquiry.

House Democrats have called in witnesses to testify in closed-door depositions before three House committees leading the probe for weeks. The House voted last week largely along party lines in favor of an impeachment resolution, with just two Democrats joining all Republicans in voting against the measure.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, a California Democrat leading the inquiry, has said public testimonies will begin soon but has not given a specific timeline.

The inquiry is centered around Trump’s alleged solicitation of foreign interference in the 2020 election, with a focus on the president’s communications with Ukraine. He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/468797-white-house-officials-refuse-to-testify-in-impeachment-inquiry

‘Go big or go home’: Impeachment inquiry transcripts reveal how Ukraine ambassador was told to tweet her support for Donald Trump by his hotel millionaire EU ambassador – then was ousted when she didn’t

  • Democrat-led House committees released first two transcripts of interviews
  • Testimony was behind closed doors, offering Trump a chance to complain about fairness and transparency
  • First transcripts cover testimony from former ambassador to Ukraine and a former aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo 
  • Former ambassador: Trump wanted me out and no one at State stood up for me 
  • Ambassador to the EU told her ‘Go big or go home’ and told her to praise the president publicly, which she didn’t

The Democrat-led House committees in charge of an impeachment inquiry targeting Donald Trump released two transcripts on Monday, the first records of closed-door interviews about the president’s links with Ukraine.

They painted a picture of a U.S. ambassador in a former Soviet republic with no defenders after she failed to praise the president – and who told lawmakers she felt ‘threatened’ by the president, her ultimate boss.

U.S. ambassador to the European Union told then-ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, she told lawmakers, to ‘Go big or go home,’ meaning that she should publicly profess her support for the president.

She didn’t, alienating Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani who led a push to oust her. Yovanovitch went home when Trump recalled her in June, ending her diplomatic career.

The president tweeted Sunday night that he suspected transcripts reaching the public could be altered by the Democrats who want to oust him – especially California Rep. Adam Schiff.

Witnesses before congressional committees are permitted to review transcripts of their testimony and approve them before their release.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is the driving force behind the impeachment inquiry targeting President Donald Trump; his committee released two transcripts from interviews held behind closed doors

Trump, pictured Sunday talking to reporters at the White House, believes he's being railroaded by partisans in a 'witch hunt'

Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sat with committee members and staff in October.

The transcript of Yovanovitch’s interview shows her telling lawmakers that the Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union, hotelier Gordon Sondland, advised her to tweet out her support for President Trump.

‘He said, you know, you need to go big or go home. You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the President, and that all these are lies and everything else,’ she said of one conversation.

‘And, you know, so, you know, I mean, obviously, that was advice. It was advice that I did not see how I could implement in my role as an Ambassador, and as a Foreign Service Officer.’

She was asked: ‘Did he actually say, ‘support President Trump’? Was that his advice, that you publicly say something to that effect?’

Yovanovitch responded: ‘Yes. I mean, he may not have used the words ‘support President Trump,’ but he said: You know the President. Well, maybe you don’t know him personally, but you know, you know, the sorts of things that he likes. You know, go out there battling aggressively and, you know, praise him or support him.’

Ultimately Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a push to have her removed.

Ukrainian officials had warned her in advance that Rudy Giuliani and other allies of President Donald Trump were planning to ‘do things, including to me’ and were ‘looking to hurt’ her, she said.

The former envoy, who was pushed out of her job in May on Trump’s orders, testified that a senior Ukrainian official told her that ‘I really needed to watch my back.’

Yovanovitch she said was told by Ukrainian officials last November or December that Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was in touch with Ukraine’s former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, ‘and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me.’

She said she was told Lutsenko ‘was looking to hurt me in the U.S.’

Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified on October 11 that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her and that she was advised to become an outwardly fawning cheerleader for the president

Michael McKinley, the former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, fielded questions from the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committeees on October 16

Yovanovitch told the investigators that the campaign against her, which included an article that was retweeted by Donald Trump Jr., undermined her ability to serve as a ‘credible’ ambassador and she wanted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to issue a statement defending her. But no statement was issued.

She testified that a State Department official named Philip Reeker told her that as Giuliani’s campaign wore on, Pompeo conveyed he could no longer insulate her from Trump’s desire to send her packing.

‘Mr. Reeker said that I, you know, I would need to leave. I needed to leave as soon as possible. That apparently, as I stated in my statement, the President had been – had wanted me to leave since July of 2018 … and that the Secretary had tried to protect me but was no longer able to do that,’ she said in her testimony.

‘Who had concerns as of July 2018?’ a lawmaker asked her. ‘President Trump,’ she responded.

‘And was that the first that you had heard of that?’ the lawmaker followed up. Yovanovitch said it was, and ‘I was shocked.’

At one point in April, Yovanovitch said she received a call from Carol Perez, a top foreign service official, at around 1 a.m. Ukraine time, abruptly telling her she needed to immediately fly back to Washington. Yovanovitch said when she asked why, Perez told her, ‘I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane.’

Yovanovitch said she didn’t think Perez meant it was to protect her physical security. Instead, Yovanovitch said, Perez told her it was for ‘my well-being, people were concerned.’

 I don’t know, but this is about your security. You need to come home immediately. You need to come home on the next plane
What State Department official told Marie Yovanovich

The former envoy stressed to investigators that she was not disloyal to the president.

‘I have heard the allegation in the media that I supposedly told our embassy team to ignore the President’s orders since he was going to be impeached,’ she said. ‘That allegation is false.’

She answered ‘no’ when asked point blank if she’d ever ‘badmouthed’ Trump in Ukraine, and said she felt U.S. policy in Ukraine ‘actually got stronger’ because of Trump’s decision to provide lethal assistance to the country, military aid that later was held up by the White House as it pushed for investigations into Trump’s political foes.

Under friendly questioning from Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Yovanovitch said she considered herself good at her job and had been there more than three years and that her bosses at the State Department wanted to extend her tour.

‘It seems to me they threw you to the wolves. Is that what happened?’ Maloney asked.

Yovanovitch replied: ‘Well, clearly, they didn’t want me in Ukraine anymore.’

Long hours into her testimony, Yovanovitch was asked why she was such ‘a thorn in their side’ that Giuliani and others wanted her fired.

‘Honestly,’ she said, ‘it’s a mystery to me.’

Yovanovitch was also asked about the call between Trump and Zlensky which took place after she was removed from her post and was released by the White House after the whistleblower complaint was made public.

In it Trump told the Ukrainian president: ‘The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news, so I just want to let you know that.’

She told the Democratic majority’s counsel: ‘I was shocked. I mean, I was very surprised that President Trump would—first of all, that I would feature repeatedly in a Presidential phone call, but secondly, that the President would speak about me or any ambassador in that way to a foreign counterpart.’

Yovanovitch was asked if she felt threatened and said: ‘Yes.’

She added: ‘ I was wondering you know, soon after this transcript came out there was the news that the IG [Inspector General of the Intelligence Community] brought to this committee, all sorts of documentation, I guess, about me that had been transferred to the FBI.

‘You know , I was wondering, i s there an active investigation against me in the FBI? I don’t know.’ She added that friends were ‘very concerned’ for her personal safety.

Yovanovitch said that she was generally shocked by the way the Trump administration threw the State Department into chaos.

‘You know … you’re going to think that I’m incredibly naive, but I couldn’t imagine all of the things that have happened over the last 5 or 7 months,’ she said. ‘I just couldn’t imagine it.’

She pushed back robustly on claims made by Republican questioners that she was biased against Trump and that she ordered the ‘monitoring’ of a string of conservative figures.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff says his panel and others are releasing the transcripts so ‘the American public will begin to see for themselves’ what evidence exists that Trump may have committed an impeachable offense.

President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that transcripts coming out of Democrat-led committees could be doctored to make him look worse; witnesses are invited to read and approve of such records before their release by Congress

President Donald Trump suggested Sunday that transcripts coming out of Democrat-led committees could be doctored to make him look worse; witnesses are invited to read and approve of such records before their release by Congress

Republicans have called for the release of the transcripts, which they believe will show Trump acted appropriately and lawfully during a now-famous July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Trump claimed Sunday that ‘[i]f Shifty Adam Schiff, who is a corrupt politician who fraudulently made up what I said on the ‘call,’ is allowed to release transcripts of the Never Trumpers & others that are & were interviewed, he will change the words that were said to suit the Dems purposes.’

‘Republicans should give their own transcripts of the interviews to contrast with Schiff’s manipulated propaganda,’ the president urged.

‘House Republicans must have nothing to do with Shifty’s rendition of those interviews. He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!’

Members of Congress can be investigated for ethics violations, and they can be expelled by a vote of their peers, but they cannot be impeached.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7648543/Democrats-impeachment-inquiry-releases-hundreds-pages-transcripts-two-witnesses.html

This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution

It’s nakedly political and procedurally defective, and so far there’s no public evidence of high crimes.

Rep. Adam Schiff speaks beside Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill, Oct. 15. PHOTO: CARLOS JASSO/REUTERS

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.

The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.

The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.

Mrs. Pelosi discarded this process in favor of a Trump-specific procedure without precedent in Anglo-American law. Rep. Adam Schiff’s Intelligence Committee and several other panels are questioning witnesses in secret. Mr. Schiff has defended this process by likening it to a grand jury considering whether to hand up an indictment. But while grand-jury secrecy is mandatory, House Democrats are selectively leaking information to the media, and House Republicans, who are part of the jury, are being denied subpoena authority and full access to transcripts of testimony and even impeachment-related committee documents. No grand jury has a second class of jurors excluded from full participation.

Unlike other impeachable officials, such as federal judges and executive-branch officers, the president and vice president are elected by, and accountable to, the people. The executive is also a coequal branch of government. Thus any attempt to remove the president by impeachment creates unique risks to democracy not present in any other impeachment context. Adhering to constitutional text, tradition and basic procedural guarantees of fairness is critical. These processes are indispensable bulwarks against abuse of the impeachment power, designed to preserve the separation of powers by preventing Congress from improperly removing an elected president.

House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.

The Senate’s power—and obligation—to “try all impeachments” presupposes that the House has followed a proper impeachment process and that it has assembled a reliable evidentiary basis to support its accusations. The House has conspicuously failed to do so. Fifty Republican senators have endorsed a resolution sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urging the House to “vote to open a formal impeachment inquiry and provide President Trump with fundamental constitutional protections” before proceeding further. If the House fails to heed this call immediately, the Senate would be fully justified in summarily rejecting articles produced by the Pelosi-Schiff inquiry on grounds that without a lawful impeachment in the House, it has no jurisdiction to proceed.

The effort has another problem: There is no evidence on the public record that Mr. Trump has committed an impeachable offense. The Constitution permits impeachment only for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Founders considered allowing impeachment on the broader grounds of “maladministration,” “neglect of duty” and “mal-practice,” but they rejected these reasons for fear of giving too much power to Congress. The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” includes abuses of power that do not constitute violations of criminal statutes. But its scope is limited.

Abuse of power encompasses two distinct types of behavior. First, the president can abuse his power by purporting to exercise authority not given to him by the Constitution or properly delegated by Congress—say, by imposing a new tax without congressional approval or establishing a presidential “court” to punish his opponents. Second, the president can abuse power by failing to carry out a constitutional duty—such as systematically refusing to enforce laws he disfavors. The president cannot legitimately be impeached for lawfully exercising his constitutional power.

Applying these standards to the behavior triggering current calls for impeachment, it is apparent that Mr. Trump has neither committed a crime nor abused his power. One theory is that by asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Kyiv’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential corruption by Joe Biden and his son Hunter was unlawful “interference with an election.” There is no such crime in the federal criminal code (the same is true of “collusion”). Election-related offenses involve specific actions such as voting by aliens, fraudulent voting, buying votes and interfering with access to the polls. None of these apply here.

Equally untenable is the argument that Mr. Trump committed bribery. Federal bribery statutes require proof of a corrupt intent in the form of a quid pro quo—defined by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Sun-Diamond Growers (1999), as a “specific intent to give or receive something of value in exchange for an official act.” There was no quid pro quo in the call. Mr. Zelensky has said he felt no pressure, and the purported quid (military aid to Ukraine) was not contingent on the alleged quo (opening an investigation), because the former materialized within weeks, while the latter—not “something of value” in any case—never did.

More fundamentally, the Constitution gives the president plenary authority to conduct foreign affairs and diplomacy, including broad discretion over the timing and release of appropriated funds. Many presidents have refused to spend appropriated money for military or other purposes, on grounds that it was unnecessary, unwise or incompatible with their priorities.

Thomas Jefferson impounded funds appropriated for gunboat purchases, Dwight Eisenhower impounded funds for antiballistic-missile production, John F. Kennedy impounded money for the B-70 bomber, and Richard Nixon impounded billions for highways and urban programs. Congress attempted to curtail this power with the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, but it authorizes the president to defer spending until the expiration of the fiscal year or until budgetary authority lapses, neither of which had occurred in the Ukraine case.

Presidents often delay or refuse foreign aid as diplomatic leverage, even when Congress has authorized the funds. Disbursing foreign aid—and withholding it—has historically been one of the president’s most potent foreign-policy tools, and Congress cannot impair it. Lyndon B. Johnson used the promise of financial aid to strong-arm the Philippines, Thailand and South Korea to send troops to Vietnam. The General Accounting Office (now called the Government Accountability Office) concluded that this constituted “quid pro quo assistance.” In 2013, Barack Obama, in a phone conversation with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, said he would slash hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance until Cairo cooperated with U.S. counterterrorism goals. The Obama administration also withheld millions in foreign aid and imposed visa restrictions on African countries, including Uganda and Nigeria, that failed to protect gay rights.

In addition, the president’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” implies broad discretion to investigate and prosecute crimes, even if they involve his political rivals. Investigating Americans or Ukrainians who might have violated domestic or foreign law—and seeking the assistance of other nations with such probes, pursuant to mutual legal-assistance treaties—cannot form a legitimate basis for impeachment of a president.

It’s legally irrelevant that a criminal investigation may be politically beneficial to the president. Virtually all exercises of constitutional discretion by a president affect his political interests. It would be absurd to suggest that a president’s pursuit of arms-control agreements, trade deals or climate treaties are impeachable offenses because they benefit the president or his party in an upcoming election.

Using a private party such as Rudy Giuliani to carry out diplomatic missions is neither a crime nor an abuse of power. While the State Department’s mandarins have always lamented intrusions on their bureaucratic turf, numerous U.S. presidents have tapped people to conduct foreign-policy initiatives whose job—whether in the government or private sectors—did not include foreign-policy experience or responsibility. George Washington sent Chief Justice John Jay to negotiate the “Jay Treaty” with Britain. Woodrow Wilson used American journalist Lincoln Steffens and Swedish Communist Karl Kilbom as special envoys to negotiate diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. A close Wilson friend, Edward House, held no office but effectively served as chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference after World War I.

Nor is it illegal or abusive to give a diplomatic assignment to a government official whose formal institutional responsibilities do not include foreign affairs, such as the energy secretary. JFK relied on Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to negotiate with Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis.

Although the impeachment inquiry has been conducted in secret, what we know suggests it has become a free-ranging exploration of Mr. Trump’s foreign-policy substance and process, with the committees summoning numerous State Department witnesses. Congress could properly undertake such an inquiry using its oversight authority, but by claiming that it is proceeding with an impeachment inquiry, it has forfeited this option.

If the House impeaches Mr. Trump because it disapproves of a lawful exercise of his presidential authority, it will in effect have accused him of maladministration. The Framers rejected that amorphous concept because it would have allowed impeachment for mere political disagreements, rendering the president a ward of Congress and destroying the executive’s status as an independent, coequal branch of government. If the House impeaches on such grounds and the Senate concludes it has jurisdiction to conduct an impeachment trial, it should focus first and foremost not on the details of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy, but on the legal question of whether the conduct alleged is an impeachable offense.

Alexis de Tocqueville observed in 1835: “A decline of public morals in the United States will probably be marked by the abuse of the power of impeachment as a means of crushing political adversaries or ejecting them from office.” What House Democrats are doing is not only unfair to Mr. Trump and a threat to all his successors. It is an attempt to overrule the constitutional process for selecting the president and thus subvert American democracy itself. For the sake of the Constitution, it must be decisively rejected. If Mr. Trump’s policies are unpopular or offensive, the remedy is up to the people, not Congress.

Mr. Rivkin and Ms. Foley practice appellate and constitutional law in Washington. He served at the Justice Department and the White House Counsel’s Office during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. She is a professor of constitutional law at Florida International University College of Law.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-impeachment-subverts-the-constitution-11572040762

Senior Ukrainian official says he’s opened probe into US election interference

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV’s John Solomon in an interview aired on Wednesday that he has opened a probe into alleged attempts by Ukrainians to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“Today we will launch a criminal investigation about this and we will give legal assessment of this information,” Lutsenko said last week.

A State Department spokesman told Hill.TV that officials are aware of news reports regarding Sytnyk.

“We have always emphasized the need for deep, comprehensive, and timely reforms that respond to the demands the Ukrainian people made during the Revolution of Dignity: an end to systemic corruption, faster economic growth, and a European future for all Ukrainians,” a State spokesperson told Hill.TV.

“We have consistently said that Ukraine’s long-term success and resilience depends on its commitment to reform, in particular the fight to address corruption. To succeed, Ukraine needs committed government officials and strong anti-corruption institutions. The United States is committed to engaging with our partners in Ukraine, including on efforts to roll back the persistent corruption that continues to threaten Ukraine’s national security, prosperity, and democratic development.”

NABU issued a statement on Friday, calling Lutsenko’s comments “not true and is an absurd effort to discredit an independent anti-corruption agency.”

Hill.TV has also reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and Clinton’s spokesperson for comment.

“According to the member of parliament of Ukraine, he got the court decision that the NABU official conducted an illegal intrusion into the American election campaign,” Lutsenko said.

“It means that we think Mr. Sytnyk, the NABU director, officially talked about criminal investigation with Mr. [Paul] Manafort, and at the same time, Mr. Sytnyk stressed that in such a way, he wanted to assist the campaign of Ms. Clinton,” he continued.

Solomon asked Lutsenko about reports that a member of Ukraine’s parliament obtained a tape of the current head of the NABU saying that he was attempting to help Clinton win the 2016 presidential election, as well as connections that helped release the black-ledger files that exposed Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s wrongdoing in Ukraine.

“This member of parliament even attached the audio tape where several men, one of which had a voice similar to the voice of Mr. Sytnyk, discussed the matter.”

— Hill.TV Staff

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/434892-senior-ukrainian-justice-official-says-hes-opened-probe-into-us-election

 

 

Story 2: President Trump Answers Press Questions on Whistle-blowers, Lying Adam Schiff and Barr and Durham Investigation — The Name of Hearsay Phony Whistle-Blower and Leaker of Classified Information is Eric Ciaramella, Partisan Democrat and Advised Joe Biden on Ukraine — Videos

Press Gaggle: Donald Trump Speaks to the Press After Marine One Arrival – November 3, 2019

Donald Trump speaks to the press after returning to The White House from New York on November 3, 2019.

Rep. Jim Jordan: The Whistleblower ‘Has A Bias Against The President’ | NBC News

Hannity: GOP must find out if whistleblower is a deep state operative

Washington Post calls out Schiff over false whistleblower comments

WATCH: Devin Nunes Sarcastically Compliments Democrats on Witch Hunts During Whistleblower Hearing

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full questioning of acting intel chief Joseph Maguire | DNI hearing

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The Pronk Pops Show 1339, October 11, 2019, Story 1: Subpoenaed Former U.S. Ambassador To Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch  Testifies Behind Close Doors of House Intelligence Committee — Videos — Story 2: American People Not Interested In Single Party Impeachment Behind Closed Doors of Star Chamber Inquiry — Those Who Voted For Trump in 2016 Will Again Vote For Trump Again in 2020 — Elections and Ideas Have Consequences — Big Fail of Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — Videos

Posted on October 17, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Cand