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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate at 3.5%, U-6 Unemployment Rate at 7.0% and Labor Participating Rate of 63.4% and 273,000 New Job Created and 95 Million Not In Labor Force in February 2020 — Economy Growing at 2.1% in Fourth Quarter 2019 — Videos —

CNBC’s full interview with White House advisor Larry Kudlow on February jobs and coronavirus concern

February jobs report: US employment growth soars

February Jobs Report Beats Expectations, Adds 273,000 New Jobs | MSNBC

Here’s how the coronavirus is already affecting China’s economy

Job growth smashes expectations for February as unemployment falls back to 3.5%

KEY POINTS
  • Nonfarm payrolls rose by 273,000 in February vs. a 175,000 estimate, while the unemployment rate edged lower to 3.5%.
  • Job gains were widespread, with health care adding 57,000 to lead the way.
  • December and January’s estimates were revised upward by a total of 243,000.

Nonfarm payrolls grew far more than expected in February as companies continued to hire leading into a growing coronavirus scare.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the U.S. economy added 273,000 new jobs during the month, while the unemployment rate was 3.5%, matching its lowest level in more than 50 years. An alternative measure of joblessness that counts those not looking for work and holding part-time jobs for economic reasons edged higher to 7%.

The January and February gains tied for best month since May 2018.
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Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for payroll growth of 175,000 and a 3.5% jobless level. Average hourly earnings grew by 3% over the past year, in line with estimates, while the average work week, considered a key measure of productivity, nudged up to 34.4 hours.

There was more good news for the jobs market: The previous two months’ estimates were revised higher by a total of 85,000. December moved up from 147,000 to 184,000, while January went from 225,000 to 273,000. Those revisions brought the three-month average up to a robust 243,000 while the average monthly gain in 2019 was 178,000.

Employment report: payrollsMonthly change, seasonally adjusted, in thousandsJan ’18May ’18Sep ’18Jan ’19May ’19Sep ’19Jan ’200100200300400500Source:BLSDecember 2019184

Despite the strong numbers, Wall Street was heading for more losses stemming from worries over the effects of the coronoavirus outbreak, though Friday’s futures were off their bottom after the report.

“This could be the last perfect employment report the market gets for some time,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

Gains were spread across a multitude of sectors as the total employment level hit 158.8 million, near its December 2019 record.

Health care and social assistance led the way in job creation with 57,000 new positions. Food services and drinking places both added 53,000 while government employment grew by 45,000 due to Census hiring and state government education. Construction added 42,000 thanks to continued mild weather, while professional and technical services contributed 32,000 and finance rose by 26,000, part of a 160,000 gain over the past 12 months.

In the survey of households, employment rose by 126,000 while the ranks of the unemployed decreased by 105,000.

“While it’s too early to see the impact of the coronavirus on the labor market, we can say the labor market was in a good place before the virus began to spread,” said Nick Bunker, economic research director at job placement firm Indeed. “But the next few months will be a test of just how resilient this labor market is.”

Jobs market still looks strong

The jobs numbers took on particular importance in February as worries intensified over the economic impact from the novel coronavirus, though the report covered the time frame before worries over the disease intensified.

Most of the indicators thus far have shown little damage. Jobless claims remain well within their recent trend, coming in at 216,000 in the latest reading Thursday. Job placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas also reported Thursday that planned layoffs actually fell 16% from January. And key ISM readings on both manufacturing and services show companies still plan to hire.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on the labor market data,” said Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab. “The consumer has kind of kept things afloat.”

Most of the consumer-related data points have been good, though the reports coming in now largely cover the early stages of the coronavirus scare and the sharp recent stock market volatility.

With the large measure of uncertainty around the disease, its impacts may be felt in increments rather than suddenly. But if cracks begin to form, the first notices likely will come in employment data.

“If we start to handle things the way they’re handled in Italy and South Korea, closing schools and having mandated cancellations of travel and sporting events, I think there’s no way we don’t start to see it in the labor market and in consumer confidence and spending,” Sonders said.

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/06/us-jobs-report-february-2020.html

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until	       USDL-20-0379
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 6, 2020

Technical information: 
 Household data:	(202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:	(202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:	        (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov

	
                    THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- FEBRUARY 2020


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 273,000 in February, and the unemployment
rate was little changed at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Notable job gains occurred in health care and social assistance,
food services and drinking places, government, construction, professional and
technical services, and financial activities.

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household
survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic
characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and
earnings by industry. For more information about the concepts and statistical
methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note.

Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent, and the number of unemployed persons,
at 5.8 million, changed little in February. The unemployment rate has been either
3.5 percent or 3.6 percent for the past 6 months. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 2.5
percent in February. The rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.1 percent),
teenagers (11.0 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (5.8 percent), and Hispanics
(4.4 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and
A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.1
million, changed little in February and accounted for 19.2 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 63.4 percent in February. The
employment-population ratio, at 61.1 percent, changed little over the month but was
up by 0.4 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million,
changed little in February. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In February, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force,
little changed from the previous month. These individuals were not in the labor
force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the
prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks prior to the survey. 
Discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no
jobs were available for them, numbered 405,000 in February, little different
from the previous month. (See Summary table A.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 273,000 in February, after an increase of
the same magnitude in January. In 2019, job growth averaged 178,000 per month. In
February, notable job gains occurred in health care and social assistance, food
services and drinking places, government, construction, professional and technical
services, and financial activities. (See table B-1.)

Employment in health care and social assistance increased by 57,000 in February.
Health care added 32,000 jobs, with gains in offices of physicians (+10,000), home
health care services (+10,000), and hospitals (+8,000). Employment in social assistance
increased by 25,000, with a majority of the gain in individual and family services
(+18,000). Over the past 12 months, employment increased by 368,000 in health care and
by 191,000 in social assistance. 

Food services and drinking places added 53,000 jobs in February. Employment in the
industry has increased by 252,000 over the past 7 months, following a lull in job growth
earlier in 2019.

In February, government employment increased by 45,000, led by a gain in state government
education (+16,000). Federal employment increased by 8,000, reflecting the hiring of
7,000 temporary workers for the 2020 Census. 

Construction added 42,000 jobs in February, following a similar gain in January (+49,000).
In 2019, job gains averaged 13,000 per month. In February, employment gains occurred
in specialty trade contractors (+26,000) and residential building (+10,000). 

In February, employment in professional and technical services increased by 32,000. Job
growth occurred in architectural and engineering services (+10,000) and in scientific
research and development services (+5,000). Employment continued to trend up in computer
systems design and related services (+8,000). Over the past 12 months, professional and
technical services has added 285,000 jobs. 

Employment in financial activities increased by 26,000 in February, with gains in real
estate (+8,000) and in credit intermediation and related activities (+6,000). Over the
past 12 months, financial activities has added 160,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade,
retail trade, transportation and warehousing, and information, changed little over the
month.

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
increased by 9 cents to $28.52. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have 
increased by 3.0 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.96 in February. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 0.1 hour to
34.4 hours in February. In manufacturing, the workweek increased by 0.2 hour to 40.7
hours, and overtime edged up by 0.1 hour to 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production
and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 33.7
hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up by 37,000 from
+147,000 to +184,000, and the change for January was revised up by 48,000 from +225,000
to +273,000. With these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were
85,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and
from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged
243,000 per month over the last 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on
Friday, April 3, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



 

The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
Feb.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020
Feb.
2019
Oct.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Feb.
2020

TOTAL

Civilian noninstitutional population

258,392 259,502 259,628 258,392 259,845 260,020 260,181 259,502 259,628

Civilian labor force

162,793 163,497 164,235 163,047 164,401 164,347 164,556 164,606 164,546

Participation rate

63.0 63.0 63.3 63.1 63.3 63.2 63.2 63.4 63.4

Employed

156,167 156,994 158,017 156,866 158,544 158,536 158,803 158,714 158,759

Employment-population ratio

60.4 60.5 60.9 60.7 61.0 61.0 61.0 61.2 61.1

Unemployed

6,625 6,504 6,218 6,181 5,857 5,811 5,753 5,892 5,787

Unemployment rate

4.1 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.5

Not in labor force

95,599 96,004 95,393 95,345 95,444 95,673 95,625 94,896 95,082

Persons who currently want a job

5,196 5,107 4,973 5,206 4,756 4,832 4,832 4,904 4,962

Men, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

124,965 125,513 125,575 124,965 125,687 125,773 125,852 125,513 125,575

Civilian labor force

86,056 86,331 86,597 86,399 86,901 87,104 87,049 87,088 87,008

Participation rate

68.9 68.8 69.0 69.1 69.1 69.3 69.2 69.4 69.3

Employed

82,311 82,701 83,047 83,066 83,776 84,018 84,034 83,940 83,871

Employment-population ratio

65.9 65.9 66.1 66.5 66.7 66.8 66.8 66.9 66.8

Unemployed

3,745 3,629 3,549 3,333 3,126 3,086 3,015 3,147 3,137

Unemployment rate

4.4 4.2 4.1 3.9 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.6 3.6

Not in labor force

38,909 39,183 38,979 38,566 38,786 38,669 38,803 38,426 38,568

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

116,513 117,110 117,181 116,513 117,242 117,331 117,413 117,110 117,181

Civilian labor force

83,435 83,600 83,804 83,588 83,911 84,057 84,008 84,087 84,001

Participation rate

71.6 71.4 71.5 71.7 71.6 71.6 71.5 71.8 71.7

Employed

80,117 80,358 80,592 80,677 81,196 81,377 81,390 81,345 81,202

Employment-population ratio

68.8 68.6 68.8 69.2 69.3 69.4 69.3 69.5 69.3

Unemployed

3,318 3,241 3,212 2,911 2,715 2,679 2,618 2,743 2,799

Unemployment rate

4.0 3.9 3.8 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.1 3.3 3.3

Not in labor force

33,078 33,511 33,377 32,925 33,330 33,274 33,405 33,023 33,180

Women, 16 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

133,427 133,988 134,053 133,427 134,158 134,247 134,329 133,988 134,053

Civilian labor force

76,737 77,167 77,638 76,648 77,500 77,243 77,507 77,518 77,538

Participation rate

57.5 57.6 57.9 57.4 57.8 57.5 57.7 57.9 57.8

Employed

73,857 74,292 74,970 73,800 74,769 74,518 74,769 74,774 74,888

Employment-population ratio

55.4 55.4 55.9 55.3 55.7 55.5 55.7 55.8 55.9

Unemployed

2,880 2,874 2,668 2,848 2,731 2,725 2,738 2,744 2,651

Unemployment rate

3.8 3.7 3.4 3.7 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.4

Not in labor force

56,690 56,822 56,415 56,779 56,658 57,004 56,822 56,470 56,514

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian noninstitutional population

125,177 125,770 125,841 125,177 125,907 125,998 126,082 125,770 125,841

Civilian labor force

73,942 74,320 74,768 73,667 74,542 74,291 74,584 74,512 74,501

Participation rate

59.1 59.1 59.4 58.8 59.2 59.0 59.2 59.2 59.2

Employed

71,396 71,785 72,413 71,169 72,130 71,881 72,200 72,097 72,179

Employment-population ratio

57.0 57.1 57.5 56.9 57.3 57.0 57.3 57.3 57.4

Unemployed

2,546 2,535 2,355 2,497 2,411 2,411 2,383 2,415 2,323

Unemployment rate

3.4 3.4 3.1 3.4 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.1

Not in labor force

51,235 51,450 51,073 51,511 51,365 51,706 51,498 51,258 51,340

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian noninstitutional population

16,702 16,622 16,606 16,702 16,696 16,692 16,686 16,622 16,606

Civilian labor force

5,416 5,578 5,663 5,792 5,948 5,999 5,964 6,007 6,043

Participation rate

32.4 33.6 34.1 34.7 35.6 35.9 35.7 36.1 36.4

Employed

4,655 4,851 5,012 5,019 5,218 5,278 5,213 5,273 5,378

Employment-population ratio

27.9 29.2 30.2 30.1 31.3 31.6 31.2 31.7 32.4

Unemployed

761 727 651 773 730 721 752 734 665

Unemployment rate

14.0 13.0 11.5 13.3 12.3 12.0 12.6 12.2 11.0

Not in labor force

11,286 11,044 10,943 10,909 10,748 10,693 10,722 10,614 10,562

Footnotes
(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation; therefore, identical numbers appear in the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted columns.

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EST, Thursday, February 27, 2020
BEA 20—07

Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2019 (Second Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the “second” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1 percent.

The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 2.1 percent. In the second estimate, an upward revision to private inventory investment was offset by a downward revision to nonresidential fixed investment (see “Updates to GDP” on page 2).

Real GDP: Percent change from preceding quarter

The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased (table 2).

Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the same as that in the third. In the fourth quarter, a downturn in imports and an acceleration in government spending were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.

Current dollar GDP increased 3.5 percent, or $184.2 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $21.73 trillion. In the third quarter, GDP increased 3.8 percent, or $202.3 billion (tables 1 and 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, the same increase as in the third quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 1.3 percent, compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.2 percent, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent.

More information on the source data that underlie the estimates is available in the “Key Source Data and Assumptions” file on BEA’s website.

 

Updates to GDP

In the second estimate, the fourth-quarter growth rate in real GDP was unrevised from the advance estimate. Private inventory investment, exports, federal government spending, and residential fixed investment were revised up. These upward revisions were offset by downward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, PCE, state and local government spending, and an upward revision to imports. For more information, see the Technical Note and the “Additional Information” section below.

Advance Estimate Second Estimate
(Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP 2.1 2.1
Current-dollar GDP 3.6 3.5
Gross domestic purchases price index 1.5 1.4
PCE price index 1.6 1.3
PCE price index excluding food and energy 1.3 1.2

For the third quarter of 2019, the percent change in real GDI was revised from 2.1 percent to 1.2 percent based on new third-quarter data from the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

 

2019 GDP

Real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2019 (from the 2018 annual level to the 2019 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.9 percent in 2018 (table 1).

The increase in real GDP in 2019 reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and private inventory investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from residential fixed investment. Imports increased (table 2).

The deceleration in real GDP in 2019, compared to 2018, primarily reflected decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and PCE, which were partly offset by accelerations in both state and local and federal government spending. Imports increased less in 2019 than in 2018.

Current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 percent, or $846.9 billion, in 2019 to a level of $21.43 trillion, compared with an increase of 5.4 percent, or $1,060.8 billion, in 2018 (tables 1 and 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.5 percent in 2019, compared with an increase of 2.4 percent in 2018 (table 4). The PCE price index increased 1.4 percent, compared with an increase of 2.1 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.6 percent, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent (table 4).

Measured from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, real GDP increased 2.3 percent during the period. That compared with an increase of 2.5 percent during 2018. The price index for gross domestic purchases, as measured from the fourth quarter of 2018 to the fourth quarter of 2019, increased 1.4 percent during 2019. That compared with an increase of 2.2 percent during 2018. The PCE price index increased 1.4 percent, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 1.6 percent, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent (table 6).

*          *          *

Next release, March 26, 2020 at 8:30 A.M. EDT
Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Year 2019 (Third Estimate)
Corporate Profits, Fourth Quarter and Year 2019

*          *          *

https://www.bea.gov/news/2020/gross-domestic-product-fourth-quarter-and-year-2019-second-estimate

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The Pronk Pops Show 1369, December 5, 2019, Story 1: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Green-lights Impeachment of President Trump — I Don’t Hate Nobody — Don’t Mess With Me — In Your Guts You Know She Is Nuts —  Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now — Video Story 2: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey Joey Biden Lacks Temperament To Be President — Attacks Senior Citizen Voter — Videos

Posted on December 7, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Chemistry, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Eating, Ebola, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, Extortion, Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Geology, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Joe Biden, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Mike Pompeo, Military Spending, MIssiles, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, Networking, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Nuclear Weapons, Obesity, Overweight, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Ukraine, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1369 December 5, 2019

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Abraham Lincoln Bot – fool the people

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Story 1: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Green-lights Impeachment of President Trump — I Don’t Hate Nobody — Don’t Mess With Me — In Your Guts You Know She Is Nuts —  Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now — Videos

Ingraham: All the Democrats’ lies

Tucker: Some questions Pelosi will have to answer

Judge Jeanine calls out ‘Trump-hating’ Democrats

Pelosi’s impeachment politics ‘will blow up in her face’: Ken Buck

Rep. Biggs pushes back on Pelosi’s impeachment announcement

BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi Asks For Articles of Impeachment for President Donald Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Articles of Impeachment

Pelosi Says ‘Don’t Mess With Me’ Over Trump Hate Question

Pelosi: Impeachment has absolutely nothing to do with politics

Kennedy: ‘Laug hable’ impeachment is not about politics

McFadden & Whitehead – Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now 1979 (remastered audio)

Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’ve got the groove!
There’s been so many things that’s held us down
But now it looks like things are finally comin’ around
I know we’ve got, a long long way to go
And where we’ll end up, I don’t know
But we won’t let nothin’ hold us back
We’re putting our selves together
We’re polishing up our act!
If you felt we’ve been held down before
I know you’ll refuse to be held down anymore!
Don’t you let nothing, nothing
Stand in your way!
I want ya’ll to listen, listen
To every word I say, every word I say!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’ve got the groove!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’ve got the groove!
I know you know someone that has a negative vow
And if you’re trying to make it they only push you aside
They really don’t have, no where to go
Ask them where they’re going, they don’t know
But we won’t let nothin’ hold us back
We’re gonna put our selves together
We’re gonna polish up our act!
And if you’ve ever been held down before
I know you’ll refuse to be held down anymore!
Don’t you let nothing, nothing
Stand in your way!
I want ya’ll to listen, listen
To every word I say, every word I say!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’ve got the groove!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’re on the move!
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now!
We’ve got the groove!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Jerry Allen Cohen / Gene Mcfadden / John Whitehead
Ain’t No Stoppin Us Now lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Royalty Network

‘Don’t mess with me’: Moment nail-spitting Nancy Pelosi ERUPTS when reporter asks if she hates Donald Trump after she ordered Democrats to write formal articles of impeachment

  • Pelosi said she is instructing committees to proceed with impeachment articles against the president: ‘Our democracy is what is at stake’
  • When a reporter asked her, ‘Do you hate the president?’ she became unusually angry and insisted she doesn’t ‘hate’ anyone
  • Pelosi said she prays for the president but Trump tweeted that he doesn’t believe her 
  • Democrats are hurrying to compete their work by the end of the year; speaker didn’t say when she might call a vote 
  • Democrats are debating whether to include an article on obstruction of justice as laid out in the report by special counsel Robert Mueller
  • Politicians are split along party lines on whether Trump committed an impeachable offense when he asked Ukraine president to investigate Joe Biden 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi erupted Thursday at a reporter who asked if she hates President Donald Trump. Pelosi had two hours earlier publicly told House Democrats to draft articles of impeachment to try to remove the president from office.

‘Do you hate the president, Madam Speaker?’ asked James Rosen, a longtime correspondent for Fox News who is now with Sinclair Broadcasting.

Pelosi, typically even-tempered, abandoned her measured speaking and became visibly angry.

‘I pray for the president all the time,’ she shot back. ‘So don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that.’

Trump wasted little time in escalating the feud with the Democrat who wants him ousted from power.

‘Nancy Pelosi just had a nervous fit. … She says she “prays for the President.” I don’t believe her, not even close,’ he wrote in a tweet.

‘She hates that we will soon have 182 great new judges and sooo much more. Stock Market and employment records,’ he added, before sniping about her hometown San Francisco’s chronic homelessness problem.

The California Democrat had said before storming off the stage that hatred ‘has nothing to do with’ her crusade to impeach Trump.

When reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 'Do you hate the president?' she became unusually angry and insisted she doesn't 'hate' anyone: 'Don't mess with me when it comes to words like that!'

When reporter asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ‘Do you hate the president?’ she became unusually angry and insisted she doesn’t ‘hate’ anyone: ‘Don’t mess with me when it comes to words like that!’

Pelosi erupted in response to a question from Sinclair Broadcasting reporter James Rosen (center-right, arm raised), who asked whether she hates Trump

Pelosi erupted in response to a question from Sinclair Broadcasting reporter James Rosen (center-right, arm raised), who asked whether she hates Trump

Pelosisaid she prays for Trump, and he tweeted that he doesn't believe it: 'Not even close'

Pelosisaid she prays for Trump, and he tweeted that he doesn’t believe it: ‘Not even close’

Pelosi insisted she hates no one, and that she often prays for the president

Pelosi insisted she hates no one, and that she often prays for the president

Pelosi confirms House to draft impeachment charges against Trump

‘Let me say this: I think the president is a coward when it comes to helping kids who are afraid of gun violence. I think he is cruel when he doesn’t deal with helping our dreamers, of which we’re very proud. I think he’s in denial about the climate crisis,’ she said.

But ‘take it up in the election,’ Pelosi continued. ‘This is about the Constitution of the United States and the fact that leads to the president’s violation of his oath of office. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word “hate” in a sentence that addresses me. I don’t hate anyone.’

Pelosi’s decision to fast-track impeachment articles, the congressional equivalent of criminal charges against Trump, sets up an almost certainly successful House vote likely trial in the Senate, with implications for not only the Trump presidency but control of Congress.

‘Our democracy is what is at stake,’ the longtime liberal lawmaker told reporters in a formal statement outside her ornate balcony on the second floor of the Capitol. ‘Today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.’

She did not specify which articles of impeachment she favored—an issue of intense debate within her caucus—or how quickly she might call a vote, another fraught question.

The speaker also left no doubt where she personally comes down on the matter, after spending many months initially resisting a push to impeach.

‘The president’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution,’ she said in her televised statement, speaking in somber tones in a measured voice.

‘His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution it’s separation of powers,’ she intoned – ‘three coequal branches, each a check and balance on the other.’

Trump quickly attacked the move on Twitter, warning Democrats were impeaching him over ‘NOTHING.’

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she has instructed House committees to draw up impeachment articles against President Trump

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she has instructed House committees to draw up impeachment articles against President Trump

President Trump countered on Twitter that Democrats were impeaching him over 'NOTHING'

President Trump countered on Twitter that Democrats were impeaching him over ‘NOTHING’

He said their actions would lower the bar and be 'used routinely to attack future Presidents'

He said their actions would lower the bar and be ‘used routinely to attack future Presidents’

‘Impeachment will be used routinely to attack future Presidents. That is not what our Founders had in mind,’ Trump retorted on Twitter.

She also appeared to suggest the potential for a sweeping set of impeachment articles – by accusing Trump of corruption in the 2016 election alongside his more recent moves. The House Intelligence Committee’s inquiry dealt primarily with Trump’s actions as recently as this fall and summer dealing with Ukraine.

‘The president leaves us no choice but to act, because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit,’ Pelosi said.

What we do know on impeachment after Pelosi’s speech (and what we don’t)

WHAT WE KNOW 

Democratic committees will draft articles of impeachment for president Trump.

Pelosi used plural language, implying the House Intelligence Committee would continue to be involved, although Judiciary is the place such action would occur.

The committee must hold formal public hearings where articles would be voted on by members.

If those articles are ordered reported in Committee, House leaders would then bring them quickly to the House floor for a vote.

There would be public debate before such a vote, and each member’s vote will be recorded.

Then, the matter will go to the Senate, where Senate leaders have said a trial will occur.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW 

Pelosi didn’t say what the impeachment articles would be.

She didn’t say whether obstruction of justice – alleged in the Mueller report – would be included.

Obstruction of Congress is another possibility.

Lawmakers are considering various abuse of power related articles.

She did not say when committees would act.

She didn’t say when the goal would be to have the House vote – or if year’s end is the official goal.

She did not speak on the likelihood of passage, although she would be unlikely to proceed without knowing the outcome.

Pelosi did not reveal who House impeachment managers will be. They are charged with arguing the case in the Senate.

The terms of the Senate trial are fluid. Witnesses are called, but it is unclear if the White House will follow through on Trump’s call to bring forward Pelosi, Adam Schiff, and the Bidens as witnesses.

The timing is also unknown. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked out time in January – but Democratic presidential primaries start in early February.

‘The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections,’ she continued. ‘His actions are in defiance of the vision of our founders and the oath of office that he takes to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”‘

‘Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our founders,  and a heart full of love for America, today I am asking our chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.’

She thanked committee chairs and members ‘for their somber approach’ to deal with actions the president made ‘necessary.’

The Catholic lawmaker invoked Declaration of Independence signers’ reliance on Divine Provenance.

She said Democrats were ‘prayerful’ and will proceed in a manner ‘worthy of our oath of office.’

There is much Pelosi did not say about a way forward – including what precise articles she wants the House Judiciary to draw up. The House intelligence committee, which began the probe under Pelosi ally Adam Schiff, has said it will continue its inquiry.

Seeking to bring her comments above the partisan mud fest that the two initial public hearings have become, Pelosi quoted a long list of Founders in her comments: James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason and and Constitution signer Gouverneur Morris.

‘The founders feared the return of the monarchy in America,’ Pelosi said, in terms that compared Trump to a corrupt tyrant and a king. In particular, she said, they feared one who ‘might betray his trust to for powers,’ she said.

Pelosi, who for months resisted the drive that began among members of her party’s liberal wing, has since jumped aboard, setting up a House Intelligence impeachment inquiry and Wednesday Judiciary Committee hearing.

Minutes before Pelosi was to announce her plans, President Trump weighed in with his own suggestion that Democrats hurry up their House effort to bring on a trial.

‘The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House. They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy. Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair …trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,’ Trump wrote.

‘We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is,’ he said, laying out plans that lawmakers and his legal team might or might not go along with. ‘I was elected to ‘Clean the Swamp,’ and that’s what I am doing!’ he added.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale used similar language in his own statement.

‘We are less than a year away from Election Day 2020 and Democrats can’t possibly explain to the American people why they want to take the decision of who should be president out of the hands of voters,’ he wrote.

‘But impeaching the President has always been their goal, so they should just get on with it so we can have a fair trial in the Senate and expose The Swamp for what it is. Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, and Hunter Biden should testify, and then we can get back to the business of our country.’

Do US a favor: Trump said he was asking Ukraine to help 'our Country' by investigating Joe Biden and the 2016 elections

Do US a favor: Trump said he was asking Ukraine to help ‘our Country’ by investigating Joe Biden and the 2016 elections

He called on Democrats to apologize to the American people

He called on Democrats to apologize to the American people

'Our democracy is what is at stake,' the longtime California lawmaker said

She spoke in the corridor outside the Speaker's balcony in the Capitol before a bank of American flags

The president is focused on making the case against impeachment in the Senate, the White House signaled Wednesday as House Democrats continue to plow toward recommending impeachment to the upper chamber.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who holds considerable sway over how impeachment will go in his chamber, said on the Floor Thursday: ‘For weeks now, Republicans have beeen asking Democrats to take off their impeachment blinders and let Congress legislate for the American people.’ He said ‘Democrats literally obsess over impeachment.’

Today, he said, ‘the Speaker gave a speech on national television to push forward her rushed and partisan impeachment. Not one word, not one word on the outstanding legislation the American people actually need. Nothing on USMCA or the NDAA or funding for our armed forces. All impeachment, all the time, said McConnell, who served in the Senate during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, whom he accused at the time of a ‘persistent pattern and practice of obstruction of justice.’

White House director of legislative affairs Eric Ueland, a longtime former Senate aide, said Trump ‘wants his case made fully in the Senate.’

‘In this instance, we believe very strongly — given the fatally flawed process in the House — that if they were to elect against our better advice [and] send over impeachment to the Senate, that we need witnesses as part of our trial and a full defense of the president on the facts,’ Ueland told reporters, gesturing toward the Senate chamber, according to The Washington Post.

Ueland, along with White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, met with GOP senators on Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee conducted its first public hearing.

President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a meeting in New York on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly

Pelosi's statement was carried on multiple platforms

Pelosi’s statement was carried on multiple platforms

Ueland signaled that the White House was focused on the likely Senate trial where he feels they will be able to make a fair defense.

While speaking with reporters at the White House Monday, the president’s counselor, Kellyanne Conway, said Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff should testify because he is a fact witness in the impeachment inquiry.

She even said if Schiff testified under oath Wednesday before the Judiciary Committee she would show up on Capitol Hill.

Republicans have also asserted that Hunter Biden should appear to testify – since his business dealings in Ukraine are also at the center of the president’s actions that led to the impeachment inquiry.

Trump’s missive came a day after key White House advisors lunched with Senate Republicans to plot strategy on how to handle impeachment in the Senate.

Trump’s push for speedy House Democratic action, if sincere, would put him on the same page as Democratic leaders, who have been fearful of dragging out impeachment long into the new year. They fear it could interfere with their party’s message of working on kitchen table issues like health care and prescription drug costs.

To date, Pelosi has refrained from sweeping pronouncements on process, preferring to let House committees and investigations go forward at their own pace, at least publicly.

‘Are you ready?’ she asked her colleagues Wednesday during a closed-door meeting, earning yells of approval from fellow Democrats, the Washington Post reported.

She has yet to give lawmakers a firm timeline for what comes next – although all indications are that Democrats are rushing to complete impeachment by the end of the year.

That would provide barely enough time for Judiciary to consider and vote on articles of impeachment, setting up a House vote. That could bring a Senate trial early next year.

For that to happen, though Democrats must reach some decisions among themselves over how expansive a set of impeachment articles they want to craft.

The House Intelligence Committee kept its public hearings to Trump’ and his administration and emissaries’ conduct – and its 300-page report dealt with alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Some Democrats are pushing the party to incorporate Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election and other actions by Trump as articles of impeachment.

Democrats say no decision has been made at this point on the specific charges. They could include abuse of power, bribery, obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice.

More centrist and moderate Democrats prefer to stick with the Ukraine matter as a simpler narrative that Americans understand. As complex as the Ukraine affair has become, it has the virtue of being a more contained set of circumstances.

Obstruction of justice could encompass Trump’s conduct allegedly trying to shut down the Mueller probe, his interactions with former White House counsel Don McGahn, payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, and a variety of ancillary issues.

Either way, Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment in a matter of days, with a Judiciary Committee vote next week.

The full House could vote by Christmas. Then the matter would move to the Senate for a trial in 2020.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff,

Robert Mueller, Former Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice

Democrats are debating whether to include an article on obstruction of justice as laid out in the report by special counsel Robert Mueller.  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff,left, is leading the impeachment hearings

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019

On Wednesday, three leading legal scholars testified that President Donald Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate Democratic rivals are grounds for impeachment.

The legal opinions bolster the Democrats’ case as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes sure they’re prepared for that momentous next step.

A fourth expert called by Republicans at the Judiciary Committee warned against rushing the process, arguing it would be the shortest of impeachment proceedings, with the ‘thinnest’ record of evidence in modern times, setting a worrisome standard.

Meeting behind closed doors ahead of the initial Judiciary hearing to consider potential articles of impeachment, Pelosi asked House Democrats a simple question: ‘Are you ready?’

The answer was a resounding yes.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined at left by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., makes his opening statements on Wednesday

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined at left by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., makes his opening statements on Wednesday

Though no date has been set, the Democrats are charging toward a Christmastime vote on removing the 45th president. It’s a starkly partisan undertaking, a situation Pelosi hoped to avoid but now seems inevitable.

Trump is alleged to have abused the power of his office by putting personal political gain over national security interests, engaging in bribery by withholding $400 million in military aid Congress had approved for Ukraine; and then obstructing Congress by stonewalling the investigation.

Across the Capitol on Wednesday, the polarizing political divide over impeachment, only the fourth such inquiry in the nation´s history, was on display.

At the Judiciary hearing Democrats sided with the scholars who said Trump´s actions reached the Constitution´s threshold of ‘bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.’ Republicans pointed to the lone professor they were allowed to invite, who said impeachment was not warranted.

Democrats in the House say the inquiry is a duty. Republican representatives say it’s a sham. And quietly senators of both parties conferred on Wednesday, preparing for an eventual Trump trial.

‘Never before, in the history of the republic, have we been forced to consider the conduct of a president who appears to have solicited personal, political favors from a foreign government,’ said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., as he gaveled open the landmark House hearing.

Nadler said Trump’s phone call seeking a ‘favor’ from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wasn’t the first time he had sought foreign help to influence an American election, noting Russian interference in 2016. He warned against inaction with a new campaign underway.

‘We cannot wait for the election,’ he said. ‘ If we do not act to hold him in check, now, President Trump will almost certainly try again to solicit interference in the election for his personal political gain.’

Trump, attending a NATO meeting in London called the hearing a ‘joke’ and doubted many people would watch because it’s ‘boring.’

Once an outsider to the GOP, Trump now has Republicans’ unwavering support. They joined in his name-calling the Judiciary proceedings a ‘disgrace’ and unfair, the dredging up of unfounded allegations as part of an effort to undo the 2016 election and remove him from office.

‘You just don’t like the guy,’ said Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the panel. Trump rewarded some of his allies with politically valuable presidential tweets as the daylong hearing dragged into the evening.

Despite the intent of America’s Founding Fathers to create a durable system of legal checks and balances, impeachment is an admittedly political exercise. Thus Pelosi asked her still-new majority if they were willing to press onward, aware of still-uncertain electoral risks.

At the Democrats’ private morning meeting, support for the impeachment effort was vigorous, though voting to remove Trump could come hard for some lawmakers in regions where the president has substantial backing.

The Democratic lawmakers also delivered a standing ovation to Rep. Adam Schiff, whose 300-page Intelligence Committee report cataloged potential grounds for impeachment, overwhelmingly indicating they want to continue to press the inquiry rather than slow its advance or call a halt for fear of political costs in next year’s congressional elections. The meeting was described by people familiar with it, who were unauthorized to discuss it by name and were granted anonymity.

Meanwhile, Trump’s team fanned out across the Capitol with Vice President Mike Pence meeting with House Republicans and White House officials conferring with Senate Republicans to prepare for what could be the first presidential impeachment trial in a generation.

From left, Constitutional law experts, Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley

 

From left, Constitutional law experts, Harvard Law School professor Noah Feldman, Stanford Law School professor Pamela Karlan, University of North Carolina Law School professor Michael Gerhardt and George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, who has declined for now to participate in the House proceedings, relayed Trump’s hope that the impeachment effort can be stopped in the House and there will be no need for a Senate trial, which seems unlikely.

White House officials and others said Trump is eager to have his say. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said, ‘He feels like he has had no opportunity to tell his side of the story.’

Trump lambastes the impeachment probe daily and proclaims his innocence of any wrongdoing at length, but he has declined to testify before House hearings or answer questions in writing.

At the heart of the inquiry is his July 25 phone call asking Ukraine to investigate rival Democrats including Joe Biden. Trump at the time was withholding $400 million in military aid from the ally, which faced an aggressive Russia on its border.

At Wednesday’s session, three legal experts called by Democrats said impeachment was merited.

Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor, said he considered it clear that the president’s conduct met the definition of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ Said Michael Gerhardt, a University of North Carolina law professor, ‘If what we’re talking about is not impeachable … then nothing is impeachable.’

Pamela Karlan, a Stanford Law School professor and former Obama administration Justice Department official, drew criticism for mentioning Trump’s teenage son, Barron, in a wordplay, violating an unwritten but firm Washington rule against dragging first family’s children into politics.

The only Republican witness, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, dissented from the other legal experts. He said the Democrats were bringing a ‘slipshod impeachment’ case against the president, but he didn’t excuse Trump’s behavior.

‘It is not wrong because President Trump is right,’ Turley said. ‘A case for impeachment could be made, but it cannot be made on this record.’

New telephone records released with the House report deepened Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s known involvement in what investigators call the ‘scheme.’

Asked about that, Trump told reporters he doesn’t know why Giuliani was calling the White House Office of Management and Budget, which was withholding the military aid to Ukraine.

‘You have to ask him,’ Trump said. ‘Sounds like something that’s not so complicated. … No big deal.’

Based on two months of investigation sparked by a still-anonymous government whistleblower’s complaint, the Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report found that Trump ‘sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process and endangered U.S. national security.’ When Congress began investigating, it says, Trump obstructed the investigation like no other president in history.

Republicans defended the president in a 123-page rebuttal claiming Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for investigations of Biden and his son.

Democrats once hoped to sway Republicans to consider Trump’s removal, but they are now facing an ever-hardening partisan split over the swift-moving proceedings that are dividing Congress and the country.

Trump says he was telling Ukraine’s president to help the COUNTRY when he asked him to ‘do us a favor’ by investigating Joe Biden

Donald Trump‘s efforts to push the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden weren’t done for his own benefit, but for the nation’s the president said online after returning to the U.S. from a trip to London.

Trump offered the latest defense of his ‘perfect’ phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky about two hours after returning home from a trip that had the president clashing with European leaders just as the House Judiciary Committee held its first impeachment hearing on his fate.

President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

Trump explained his position in two long tweets.  ‘When I said, in my phone call to the President of Ukraine, ‘I would like you to do US a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.’ With the word ‘us’ I am referring to the United States, our Country,’ he wrote.

‘I then went on to say that … ‘I would like to have the Attorney General (of the United States) call you or your people…..’ This, based on what I have seen, is their big point – and it is no point at a all (except for a big win for me!).’

Trump concluded: ‘The Democrats should apologize to the American people!’

Trump’s July 25th phone call has become the center of a Democratic impeachment push. In it, he asked Zelensky to investigate Biden and contact Barr, who in addition to guiding the release of the Mueller report has named a federal prosecutor to probe alleged FBI misconduct in the Russia probe.

After Zelensky mentions anti-tank missiles he wants to fend off Russia, Trump says ‘I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.’

He then mentions a conspiracy theory about the Democratic 2016 election server and the Crowdstrike security firm asks Zelensky to ‘get to the bottom of it.’ He then mentions a ‘very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine.’ He said it was ‘very important’ that Zelensky do it.

He also asks Zelensky to contact his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, brings up Hunter Biden’s son, and calls the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine ‘bad news.’

Trump’s defense of his call came as a trio of legal scholars called by Democrats blasted his conduct as a clear breach of the Constitution.

They all argued for impeachment in their opening statements before the panel.

‘I just want to stress, that if this – if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, than nothing is impeachable,’ said Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina.

‘This is precisely the misconduct that the framers created a constitution – including impeachment – to protect against,’ he said. ‘If Congress concludes that they’re going to give a pass to the president here… every other president will say, ‘Ok, then I can do the same thing.’

Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan told lawmakers the most ‘chilling’ line in testimony she reviewed came from ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland who said he had never heard that the Ukrainians needed to go through with the investigations, just announce them publicly.

‘This was about injuring someone who the president thinks of as a particularly hard opponent,’ she said in reference to Joe Biden.

Karlan said of the Founders: ‘The very idea that a president might seek the aid of a foreign government in his reelection campaign would have horrified them. But based on the evidentiary record, that is what President Trump has done,’ she said.

But the Republican witness, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, said he did not think there was any way Trump’s conduct rose to the level of impeachment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s full press statement on articles of impeachment on President Trump

Good morning.

Let us begin where our Founders began in 1776: ‘When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…’

With those words, our Founders courageously began our Declaration of Independence from an oppressive monarch, for, among other grievances, the King’s refusal to follow rightfully-passed laws.

In the course of today’s events, it becomes necessary for us to address, among other grievances, the President’s failure to faithfully execute the law.

When crafting the Constitution, the Founders feared the return of a monarchy in America. And, having just fought a war of independence, they specifically feared the prospect of a king president corrupted by foreign influence.

During the Constitutional Convention, James Madison – the architect of the Constitution – warned that a President might ‘betray his trust to foreign powers… which might prove fatal to the republic.’

Another Founder, Gouverneur Morris, feared that a president ‘may be bribed by a greater interest to betray his trust.’ He emphasized that, ‘This Magistrate is not the King…The people are the King.’

They therefore created a constitutional remedy to protect against a dangerous or corrupt leader: impeachment.

Unless the Constitution contained an impeachment provision, one Founder warned, a president might ‘spare no efforts or means whatever to get himself re-elected.’

Similarly, George Mason insisted that a president who ‘procured his appointment in the first instance’ through improper and corrupt acts might ‘repeat his guilt’ and return to power.

During the debate over impeachment at the Constitutional Convention, George Mason asked: ‘Shall any man be above justice? Shall that man be above it who can commit the most extensive injustice?’

In his great wisdom, he knew that injustice committed by the President erodes the rule of law – the very idea that – of fair justice, which is the bedrock of our democracy.

And if we allow a president to be above the law, we do so surely at the peril of our republic.

In America, no one is above the law.

Over the past few weeks, through the Intelligence Committee working with the Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees, the American people have heard the testimony of truly patriotic career public servants, distinguished diplomats and decorated war heroes: some of the President’s own appointees.

The facts are uncontested: the President abused his power for his own personal, political benefit at the expense of our national security, by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival.

Yesterday, the Judiciary Committee – at the Judiciary Committee, the American people heard testimony from leading American constitutional scholars who illuminated, without a doubt, that the President’s actions are a profound violation of the public trust.

The President’s actions have seriously violated the Constitution – especially when he says and acts upon the belief, ‘Article II says, I can do whatever I want.’

No. His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution: a separation of powers, three co-equal branches, each a check and balance on the other; ‘a Republic, if we can keep it,’ said Benjamin Franklin.

Our Democracy is what is at stake. The President leaves us no choice but to act, because he is trying to corrupt, once again, the election for his own benefit.

The President has engaged in abuse of power undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.

His actions are in defiance of the vision of our Founders and the oath of office that he takes ‘to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.’

Sadly, but with confidence and humility, with allegiance to our Founders and our hearts full of love for America, today, I am asking our Chairmen to proceed with articles of impeachment.

I commend our Committee Chairs and our Members for their somber approach to actions which I wish the President had not made necessary.

In signing the Declaration of Independence, our Founders invoked a firm reliance on divine providence.

Democrats too are prayerful.

And we will proceed in a manner worthy of our oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, so help us God.

Thank you.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7759555/Speaker-Nancy-Pelosi-reveal-latest-play-break-neck-impeachment-strategy.html

Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

Note: The following text is a transcription of the Stone Engraving of the parchment Declaration of Independence (the document on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Museum.) The spelling and punctuation reflects the original.


In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton

 

North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn

 

South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton

 

Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton

 

Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton

 

Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean

 

New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris

 

New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark

 

New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple

 

Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry

 

Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery

 

Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott

 

New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

 

Democrats say Trump impeachment charges must come swiftly

yesterday

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Hannity: Joe Biden goes off on unhinged rant

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The Pronk Pops Show 1352, November 5. 2019, Story 1: Ukraine Was Interfering in United States 2016 Election For DNC and Clinton and President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by New Ukraine Government — Videos — Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Videos — Story 3: United States Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accord Agreement — Videos– Story 4: Trump’s New Stump Speech — Why Trump is President? — One of Life’s Mysteries, Sir — Videos —

Posted on November 8, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Climate, Climate Change, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Fraud, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Joe Biden, Killing, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Spying, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Ukraine, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darkness

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Story 1: Ukraine Government Officials Were Interfering in United States 2016 Election For Clinton and Democrat National Committee (DNC) And President Trump Wants This Interference Investigated by Current Ukraine General Prosecutor — Many Countries Including United States Provide Other Countries Aid (Quid) Provided They Meet Certain Conditions (Que) Such As Publicly Acknowledging There Will Be An Investigation of 2016 Election Interference and Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma — Videos

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukranian Prosecutor Fired

What Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker said about U.S. aid to Ukraine

Hannity: I have never talked to anyone from Ukraine

Biden sidesteps questions about son’s foreign work

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

Testimony suggests “quid pro quo” relationship between Trump and Ukraine

Dems set to release new transcripts from two key impeachment figures

PBS News Hour full episode November 5, 2019

First excerpts of Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker transcripts released

Story 2: Ukraine Natural Gas Company Burisma Lobbied State Department To Stop Being Investigated By Invoking Hunter Biden’s Name — Videos —

NEW MEMO ON UKRAINE: Hunter Biden & associates used State Department to kill Burisma investigation

Glenn Beck Lays Out the Case Against The Media

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

Big Lie Media Propaganda Exposed

Glenn Beck Presents: Democracy Does Die In Darkness

Glenn heads back to the chalkboard to explain how the media is intentionally misleading and, in some cases, blatantly lying to absolve the Democrats from what they’ve been doing in Ukraine. Glenn breaks down their case against President Trump and Rudy Giuliani, and he shows why that isn’t the real story. Glenn devastatingly dismantles the medias disinformation campaign brick by brick.

A look at Hunter Biden’s time in Ukraine

Everything You Need to Know About Hunter Biden

Biden’s son booted from Navy after a positive cocaine…

Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Gas Firm Urged Obama Admin To End Corruption Allegations, Report Says

DailyWire.com
JANUARY 30: President of the United States Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden (son of Joe Biden) talk during a college basketball game between Georgetown Hoyas and the Duke Blue Devils on January 30, 2010 at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

In February 2016, a representative from Burisma sought to meet with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss the allegations of corruption that the U.S. government was making toward the company, according to memos obtained by award-winning investigative reporter John Solomon.

“Just three weeks before Burisma’s overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election,” Solomon wrote. “Hunter Biden’s name, in fact, was specifically invoked by the Burisma representative as a reason the State Department should help, according to a series of email exchanges among U.S. officials trying to arrange the meeting.”

A February 24, 2016, email between State Department officials stated:

Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption. She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member). Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt. According to Tramontano there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered. Would appreciate any background you may be able to provide on this issue and suggested TPs for U/S Novelli’s meeting.

“Tramontano was a lawyer working for Blue Star Strategies, a Washington firm that was hired by Burisma to help end a long-running corruption investigation against the gas firm in Ukraine,” Solomon added. “Tramontano and another Blue Star official, Sally Painter, both alumni of Bill Clinton’s administration, worked with New York-based criminal defense attorney John Buretta to settle the Ukraine cases in late 2016 and 2017.”

Solomon notes that a meeting was scheduled for March 1, 2016, between Tramontano and Novelli, although it was not known whether or not the meeting actually occurred.

However, a meeting was reportedly secured between Hunter Biden’s business partner and fellow Burisma board member, Devon Archer, and Secretary of State John Kerry.

John Solomon@jsolomonReports

Breaking: Memos detailing Hunter Biden’s contacts with Obama State Department released. VP son’s Ukrainian gas firm pressed US officials to end corruption allegations … just a month before Joe Biden forced firing of prosecutor overseeing case.https://johnsolomonreports.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-pressed-obama-administration-to-end-corruption-allegations-memos-show/ 

This entire ordeal surrounding the actions of former Vice President Biden and his son have cast a cloud over the Biden campaign that has undoubtedly at least partially contributed to his fall in the polls against his Democratic rivals.

Last year, Biden bragged to an audience about how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that if he did not fire the prosecutor that was investigating Burisma that he would withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid from the country.

Iconic Quid Pro Quo

Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Fired

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden told the audience. “Well, son of a bitch, he got fired.”

President Donald Trump and his campaign have hammered Biden over his remarks, which were recorded on video, in advertisements on social media and in targeted markets.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

This is the real corruption that the Fake News Media refuses to even acknowledge!

 

Ukraine Gas Firm Tied to Biden Lobbied State Department to End Corruption Allegations, Emails Show

7 CommentsNovember 5, 2019 Updated: November 5, 2019

The Ukrainian gas firm that hired Hunter Biden lobbied the Department of State in early 2016, just one month before then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden forced the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating the same company, according to documents obtained as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

On Feb. 24, 2016, a State Department official sent an email discussing an overture from a representative for Burisma, the Ukrainian gas firm, to Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli. The Burisma representative argued that the allegations against the company were baseless, according to an email chain released as part of a lawsuit filed by investigative journalist John Solomon. The Burisma representative specifically cited Hunter Biden’s name as the reason for why the allegations should stop.

Earlier that month in 2016, Ukrainian authorities seized the property of Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma, according to Interfax Ukraine. The seizure included several of Zlochevsky’s homes and a Rolls-Royce Phantom car.

“Per our conversation, Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies requested a meeting to discuss with U/S Novelli USG remarks alleging Burisma (Ukrainian energy company) of corruption,” the email between State Department officials, whose names are blacked out, stated. “She noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member).

“Tramontano would like to talk with U/S Novelli about getting a better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt. According to Tramontano, there is no evidence of corruption, has been no hearing or process, and evidence to the contrary has not been considered.”

At the time the email was sent, Novelli was the third-highest-ranking official at the State Department. Karen Tramontano was the CEO of Bluestar Strategies, a consulting firm retained by Burisma to address the corruption charges against it in Ukraine.

The email chain shows that Tramontano was scheduled to meet Novelli on March 1, 2016. While it’s unclear if that meeting took place, on the following day, March 2, 2016, Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, met with Secretary of State John Kerry, another email obtained by Solomon shows.

“Devon Archer coming to see S today at 3pm—need someone to meet/greet him at C Street,” an email from Kerry’s office manager states.

Archer’s meeting with Kerry is notable because Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, recently told The Washington Post that he advised Archer and Biden “that working with Burisma was unacceptable.”

“The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden,” Heinz spokesman Chris Bastardi told the newspaper.

Hunter Biden and Archer joined the board of Burisma in 2014. Bank records released as part of an unrelated lawsuit show that Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a firm operated by Archer, received more than $160,000 per month from Burisma starting in May 2016. Rosemont Seneca Bohai regularly sent funds to Hunter Biden, the records show.

The seizure of Zlochevsky’s assets took place on Feb. 2, 2014. At the time, top Ukrainian corruption prosecutor Viktor Shokin led the probe.

Oleksandr Onyshchenko, a businessman and former member of the Ukrainian Parliament, told Reuters that Zlochevsky came up with the idea to appoint Hunter Biden to the board “to protect [the company].”

Weeks after Burisma lobbied the State Department and Archer met with Kerry, Joe Biden forced the firing of Shokin by threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees; Biden bragged about the move during a videotaped speech on a panel last year.

In a sworn statement, Shokin said that he was fired under pressure from Biden because he, Shokin, refused to drop the Burisma investigation.

The allegations about Joe and Hunter Biden are in the public spotlight because of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. An anonymous whistleblower’s complaint that triggered the inquiry alleged that Trump may have pressured Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

According to a transcript of the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump referenced Shokin’s firing when asking the Ukrainian leader to investigate the younger Biden.

The whistleblower alleged that Trump’s request to Zelensky may have amounted to a campaign finance violation. The Department of Justice reviewed the complaint and determined that no further action was necessary.

In an interview with ABC News, Hunter Biden admitted that joining Burisma was a political error, but defended his work. Biden stepped down from the board of Burisma in April, according to a statement from his lawyer.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/hunter-bidens-ukraine-gas-firm-lobbied-state-department-to-end-corruption-allegations-emails-show_3137480.html

US Attorney John Durham looking into Ukrainian involvement in 2016 election

A Department of Justice team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is separately exploring the extent to which a number of countries, including Ukraine, played a role in the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 election,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Wednesday. “While the Attorney General has yet to contact Ukraine in connection with this investigation, certain Ukrainians who are not members of the government have volunteered information to Mr. Durham, which he is evaluating.”

Durham has been Barr’s right hand as the two look into the complicated and classified issues surrounding how an investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — got its start, though the U.S. attorney from Connecticut has been virtually silent since his selection.

The DOJ’s statement comes as the White House released a transcript of the controversial July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump suggests that Ukraine should investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who was on the board of a company owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was being investigated by top prosecutor Viktor Shokin, though it is in dispute how serious that investigation was. Trump also suggested that Ukraine should look into issues surrounding the alleged involvement of some Ukrainians in interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

Biden boasted in 2018 that, as vice president, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine didn’t fire Shokin, which Trump’s allies have said was because of the investigation, but Democrats have said was part of a U.S. and European effort to oust Shokin as ineffective and a hindrance to Ukraine’s anti-corruption investigations. Ukraine removed Shokin in 2016.

DOJ also made it clear that Trump never told Barr to contact Ukraine about any investigation of Biden, nor did Barr ever discuss these issues with Ukraine or with Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani.

Trump gave Barr “ full and complete authority to declassify information” related to the origins of the Trump-Russia probe in May after Barr had infuriated Democrats when he said “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign and refused to backtrack. Republicans have alleged that foreign intelligence agencies, like those in Western Europe, may have played a role in eavesdropping on or otherwise monitoring Trump campaign associates in 2016.

Durham’s investigation is separate from the one that was just finished by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. The DOJ watchdog investigated allegations of abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the DOJ and FBI, and Horowitz has spoken with Durham, who is handling any criminal referrals from Horowitz’s investigation.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/u-s-attorney-john-durham-looking-into-ukrainian-involvement-in-2016-election

Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch

Hunter Biden at a campaign event in 2008. He sits on the board of one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies.
Credit…Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — When Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.traveled to Kiev , Ukraine, on Sunday for a series of meetings with the country’s leaders, one of the issues on his agenda was to encourage a more aggressive fight against Ukraine’s rampant corruption and stronger efforts to rein in the power of its oligarchs.

But the credibility of the vice president’s anticorruption message may have been undermined by the association of his son, Hunter Biden, with one of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, and with its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was Ukraine’s ecology minister under former President Viktor F. Yanukovych before he was forced into exile.

Hunter Biden, 45, a former Washington lobbyist, joined the Burisma board in April 2014. That month, as part of an investigation into money laundering, British officials froze London bank accounts containing $23 million that allegedly belonged to Mr. Zlochevsky.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, an independent government agency, specifically forbade Mr. Zlochevksy, as well as Burisma Holdings, the company’s chief legal officer and another company owned by Mr. Zlochevsky, to have any access to the accounts.

But after Ukrainian prosecutors refused to provide documents needed in the investigation, a British court in January ordered the Serious Fraud Office to unfreeze the assets. The refusal by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office to cooperate was the target of a stinging attack by the American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, who called out Burisma’s owner by name in a speech in September.

“In the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people,” Mr. Pyatt said. Officials at the prosecutor general’s office, he added, were asked by the United Kingdom “to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result, the money was freed by the U.K. court, and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus.”

Mr. Pyatt went on to call for an investigation into “the misconduct” of the prosecutors who wrote the letters. In his speech, the ambassador did not mention Hunter Biden’s connection to Burisma.

But Edward C. Chow, who follows Ukrainian policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the involvement of the vice president’s son with Mr. Zlochevsky’s firm undermined the Obama administration’s anticorruption message in Ukraine.

“Now you look at the Hunter Biden situation, and on the one hand you can credit the father for sending the anticorruption message,” Mr. Chow said. “But I think unfortunately it sends the message that a lot of foreign countries want to believe about America, that we are hypocritical about these issues.”

Speaking during a visit to Ukraine, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. urged the country to weed corruption out of its system.CreditCredit…Mikhail Palinchak/Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” she said. “The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company. The vice president has pushed aggressively for years, both publicly with groups like the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum and privately in meetings with Ukrainian leaders, for Ukraine to make every effort to investigate and prosecute corruption in accordance with the rule of law. It will once again be a key focus during his trip this week.”

Ryan F. Toohey, a Burisma spokesman, said that Hunter Biden would not comment for this article.

It is not known how Mr. Biden came to the attention of the company. Announcing his appointment to the board, Alan Apter, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who is chairman of Burisma, said, “The company’s strategy is aimed at the strongest concentration of professional staff and the introduction of best corporate practices, and we’re delighted that Mr. Biden is joining us to help us achieve these goals.”

Joining the board at the same time was one of Mr. Biden’s American business partners, Devon Archer. Both are involved with Rosemont Seneca Partners, an American investment firm with offices in Washington.

Mr. Biden is the younger of the vice president’s two sons. His brother, Beau, died of brain cancer in May. In the past, Hunter Biden attracted an unusual level of scrutiny and even controversy. In 2014, he was discharged from the Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use. He received a commission as an ensign in 2013, and he served as a public affairs officer.

Before his father was vice president, Mr. Biden also briefly served as president of a hedge fund group, Paradigm Companies, in which he was involved with one of his uncles, James Biden, the vice president’s brother. That deal went sour amid lawsuits in 2007 and 2008 involving the Bidens and an erstwhile business partner. Mr. Biden, a graduate of Georgetown University and Yale Law School, also worked as a lobbyist before his father became vice president.

Burisma does not disclose the compensation of its board members because it is a privately held company, Mr. Toohey said Monday, but he added that the amount was “not out of the ordinary” for similar corporate board positions.

Asked about the British investigation, which is continuing, Mr. Toohey said, “Not only was the case dismissed and the company vindicated by the outcome, but it speaks volumes that all his legal costs were recouped.”

In response to Mr. Pyatt’s criticism of the Ukrainian handling of Mr. Zlochevsky’s case, Mr. Toohey said that “strong corporate governance and transparency are priorities shared both by the United States and the leadership of Burisma. Burisma is working to bring the energy sector into the modern era, which is critical for a free and strong Ukraine.”

Vice President Biden has played a leading role in American policy toward Ukraine as Washington seeks to counter Russian intervention in Eastern Ukraine. This week’s visit was his fifth trip to Ukraine as vice president.

Ms. Bedingfield said Hunter Biden had never traveled to Ukraine with his father. She also said that Ukrainian officials had never mentioned Hunter Biden’s role with Burisma to the vice president during any of his visits.

“I’ve got to believe that somebody in the vice president’s office has done some due diligence on this,” said Steven Pifer, who was the American ambassador to Ukraine from 1998 to 2000. “I should say that I hope that has happened. I would hope that they have done some kind of check, because I think the vice president has done a very good job of sending the anticorruption message in Ukraine, and you would hate to see something like this undercut that message.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/09/world/europe/corruption-ukraine-joe-biden-son-hunter-biden-ties.html

 

 

Burisma Holdings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Private
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 2002
Founder Mykola Zlochevsky
Headquarters

,

Key people
Mykola Zlochevsky (President)
Taras Burdeinyi (CEO)[1]
Alan Apter (Chairman)[2]
Products Natural gas
Services Drilling
Owner Brociti Investments Limited
Subsidiaries Burisma Services
Aldea
Esko-Pivnich
Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya
GasOilInvest
KUB-Gas
Naftogaz Garant
Naftogazopromyslova geologiya
Pari
Nadragas
Nadragasvydobuvannya
SystemOilEngineering
Tehnokomservis
Website burisma-group.com/eng/

Burisma Holdings Limited (UkrainianБурісма ХолдингсGreekΜπουρίσμα Χόλντιγκς) is a holding company for a group of energy exploration and production companies. It is based in KyivUkraine, though registered in LimassolCyprus. Burisma Holdings has operated in the Ukrainian natural gas market since 2002. It is one of the largest private natural gas producers in Ukraine.[3][4] It is owned by Mykola Zlochevsky through his company Brociti Investments Limited (UkrainianБросіті Інвестментс Лімітед).

Burisma’s subsidiaries include Esko-Pivnich, Pari, Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya, Naftogaz Garant, KUB-Gas and Astroinvest-Ukraine.[5][6][7]

 

History

Burisma was founded in 2002.[8][9] Consolidation of the Burisma Group took place mainly in 2006 and 2007.[1] It became a major shareholder of Sunrise Energy Resources, a Delaware Corporation, which in 2004 acquired Ukrainian companies Esko-Pivnich (UkrainianЕско-Північ) and Pari (UkrainianПарі), which owned natural gas exploration licences.[10] In 2009, shares in these companies were transferred to Millington Solutions Limited.[10] However, shortly thereafter Millington ceased to exist, and Burisma claimed ownership of those two companies. In 2012, Persha Ukrainska Naftogazova Kompaniya (First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, UkrainianПерша Українська нафтогазова компанія), Naftogaz Garant (Oil and Gas Guarantee, UkrainianНафтогаз гарант), and KrymTopEnergoServis (CrimeaTopEnergoService, UkrainianКримтопенергосервіс) became a part of the Burisma Group.[11][12][13]

In 2014, Burisma signed a cooperation agreement with KazMunayGas, the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan.[14] In 2016, Burisma bought two hydraulic fracturing (fracking) fleets.[15] In 2017, it bought a 3,000-horsepower Service King Manufacturing SK 3000 drilling rig for $40 million (USD); it was the most powerful drilling rig in Eastern Europe at the time.[16]

In February 2016, Burisma acquired a 70% stake in KUB-Gas (КУБ-Газ).[5] In 2017, it bought a majority stake in Diloretio Holdings Limited, a company which owned Ukrainian gas companies SystemOilEngineering (UkrainianСистемойлинжиниринг), Naftogazopromyslova geologiya, (Oil and Gas Industrial Geology, UkrainianНафтогазпромислова геологія), and Tehnokomservis (TechnoComService, UkrainianТехнокомсервіс).[17] Also in 2017, Burisma bought Nadragasvydobuvannya (Subsoil Gas Extraction, UkrainianНадрагазвидобування)[18] and GasOilInvest (Гасоілінвест).[19] In April 2019, Burisma acquired Astroinvest Ukraine (Астроінвест-Україна), a natural gas trader.[6]

In 2015, Burisma was one of the founders of the International Forum on Energy Security for the Future and partnered the Electric Marathon.[20] In 2017, it signed a partnership agreement with the Atlantic Council to promote anti-corruption measures.[21][22]

Operations

Burisma’s primary operations are in Ukraine, supplemented by activities in Germany, Mexico, Italy, and Kazakhstan.[15] It holds 35 gas production licences in Ukraine in the Dnieper-DonetsCarpathian, and AzovKuban Basins.[5][8] Exploration and production activities are carried out at eight sites in five regions.[23] Burisma also provides natural gas well services, including hydraulic fracturing.[15] Burisma plans to build a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) plant in Kharkiv with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year.[7]

In 2016, Burisma was the second largest privately owned natural gas producer in Ukraine after DTEK,[4] accounting for 26% of all natural gas produced by privately owned companies and more than 5% of total gas production in Ukraine.[4][24] According to the company, it produced 1.3 billion cubic metres (4.6×1010 cubic feet) of natural gas in Ukraine in 2018.[8]

In Kazakhstan, the company has provided drilling services to KazMunayGas and its subsidiaries, including at the Urikhtau gas field.[25] In Italy, Burisma develops three geothermal power projects in partnership with Gesto Investimento e Gestão.[25]

Burisma’s subsidiary Esko-Pivnich operates in the Kharkiv Oblast, and Pari operates in Western Ukraine (LvivIvano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi oblasts).[26] KUB-Gas operates in Luhansk Oblast,[5] GasOilInvest in Poltava Oblast,[19] and Nadragasvydobuvannya in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.[27] Burisma also owned KrymTopEnergoServis, a company which leased three gas deposits in Crimea.[13][26][28] However, after annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, KrymTopEnergoServis ceased operation as Burisma subsidiary.[28]

Corporate matters

Ownership

Burisma Holdings is owned by Brociti Investments Limited, a Cyprus-based company owned by Ukrainian former politician and businessman Mykola Zlochevsky. Zlochevsky was minister of natural resources under Viktor Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine.[29] Brociti Investments acquired Burisma Holdings in 2011.[30] Before that acquisition, Mykola Zlochevsky and Mykola Lisin each owned a 50% interest in Burisma Holdings.[10][30][31] Lisin, a Ukrainian politician, died in a traffic accident in 2011.[31]

Management

Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, was appointed to the board in January 2014.[32][33]

Taras Burdeinyi is the chief executive officer of Burisma Holdings,[1] and Alan Apter is chairman of the board of directors.[2] As of 14 October 2019, the members of the board of directors, in order of seniority, are Alan Apter, Aleksander KwaśniewskiJoseph Cofer Black , Karina Zlochevska, Christina Sofocleous, Riginos Charalampous, and Marina Pericleous.[2][34] Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former president of Poland, joined the board in January 2014.[32][33] In February 2016, Joseph Cofer Black, former director of the Counterterrorism Center of the Central Intelligence Agency (1999–2002) in the George W. Bush administration and former Ambassador-at-Large for counter-terrorism (2002–2004), was appointed to the board.[35] Karina Zlochevska, daughter of Mykola Zlochevskiy, was also appointed in February 2016.[2]

In April 2014, Devon Archer, a former senior adviser to the John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign, and Hunter Biden, an attorney and the son of then-US vice president Joe Biden, joined the board.[32][36] Archer left the company in 2018[37] and Biden left in April 2019, when his term as a director expired.[8]

Financial results

Burisma Holdings does not disclose its financial results.[8][15] It has been calculated, based on a minimal natural gas price, that the company’s revenue in 2018 may have totaled at least US$400 million.[8]

Investigations

Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) have conducted in total 15 investigations on Burisma’s owner Zlochevsky.[38] In 2016, former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko accused Burisma subsidiaries of conspiracy and tax evasion about one billion hryvnias (US$70 million) in 2014–2015, but later during investigation subsidiaries of Burisma were not mentioned.[39] Tax audit of Esko-Pivnich by the State Fiscal Service found some violations in 2016. As a result, 50 million hryvnias (US$1.9 million) of additional taxes was paid to eliminate criminal charges.[39] In total, Burisma paid additional 180 million hryvnias (US$7.44 million) of taxes to avoid further criminal proceedings.[8][23] A criminal investigation was conducted if natural resources extraction licenses were issued to Burisma subsidiaries legally during the period Zlochevsky held government office. Although violations of the procedure were established by NABU, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office missed procedural deadlines for a lawsuit and the case for nullifying licesenses was dismissed by the court.[39] In October 2019, Prosecutor General Ruslan Riaboshapka announced that all 15 investigation cases will be reviewed.[38]

See also

References

External links

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

Mykola Zlochevsky

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Mykola Zlochevsky
Микола Злочевський
ZlochevskiyN.jpg
12th Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources
In office
July 2, 2010 – April 20, 2012
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov
Preceded by Viktor Boiko
Succeeded by Eduard Stavytsky
deputy secretary for Economic and Social Security on the National Security and Defense Council
In office
April 20, 2012 – February 26, 2014
President Viktor Yanukovych
Secretary Andriy Klyuev
Personal details
Born
Микола Владиславович Злочевський

June 14, 1966 (age 53)
KievUkrainian SSR

Residence Monaco
Education International University of Business and Law in Kherson [uk] – Accounting and Auditing
Odessa Law Academy – Law Faculty
Known for Burisma Holdings
Zlochevski photo.jpg

Mykola Vladislavovich Zlochevsky (UkrainianМикола Владиславович Злочевський; born June 14, 1966 in Kiev) is a Ukrainian oligarch[1] businessman and politician who was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources from July 2010 till April 2012 and was the deputy secretary for Economic and Social Security on the National Security and Defense Council from April 2012 until February 2014 when Euromaidan occurred.[2][3][4]

Biography

Business

In 2002, he co-founded the largest independent oil and natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Ukrainian businessman Mykola Lisin [uk].[5][6] Through his sole ownership of Cyprus-registered Burisma Holdings, he owns the Ukrainian gas and oil producers Aldea, Pari, Esko-Pivnich, and the First Ukrainian Petroleum Company and the investment group Brociti Investments.[7][8][9][10][11][12][excessive citations]

Governmental posts

Zlochevsky served as Ecology and Natural Resources Minister during the most of the first cabinet of Mykola Azarov,[3] and during both the later part of Azarov’s first government and all of Azarov’s second government, he served as deputy secretary on National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.[2]

Investigations

At the end of 2014, Zlochevsky fled Ukraine amid allegations of unlawful self enrichment and legalization of funds (Article 368-2, Criminal Code of Ukraine) during his tenure in public office.[13] At the end of 2016 the Central Criminal Court in London released $23 million that were blocked on accounts of Zlochevsky.[13][14] The Serious Fraud Office stated that the funds were released due to inadequate evidence.[13]

Zlochevsky returned to Ukraine in February 2018 after investigations into his Burisma Holdings had been completed in December 2017 with no charges filed against him.[10][15]

On April 18, 2018, recordings of conversations between President of UkrainePetro Poroshenko and Zlochevsky were released which implicated him in graft.[4][16][17]

On June 15, 2018, after the Solomyansky District Court in Kyiv had annulled the ruling of the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) to close a criminal proceeding against him in 2017, Zlochevsky was accused of having illegally issued, while he was Ecology Minister in 2010–2012, oil and gas licenses to the companies that belonged to him.[18]

As of 2019, Zlochevsky is reported to live in Monaco.[14]

References

  1. ^ James Risen, James. “Joe Biden, His Son and the Case Against a Ukrainian Oligarch”. New York Times. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  2. Jump up to:ab “Search for gas and oil is key task of Ecology Ministry, says PM”Interfax-Ukraine. April 23, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  3. Jump up to:ab “Azarov orders new minister to develop environmental protection strategy”Interfax-Ukraine. May 3, 2012. Retrieved September 18,2018.
  4. Jump up to:ab “VIP-клієнти Миколи Злочевського (розслідування)”Radio Svoboda (in Ukrainian). February 2, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  5. ^ Kupfer, Mark (April 13, 2018). “11 people control much of Ukraine’s oil and gas sector”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Bullough, Oliver (April 12, 2017). “The money machine: how a high-profile corruption investigation fell apart”The Guardian. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  7. ^ Timtchenko, Ilya (January 8, 2015). “Prosecutors put Zlochevsky, multimillionaire ex-ecology minister, on wanted list”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  8. ^ Gorchinskaya, Katya; Andrushko, Serhiy (July 31, 2015). “Former Ukrainian Official On The Lam In Alligator Shoes?”VOA. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  9. ^ “11 politically exposed persons own a quarter of all permits for extraction of oil and gas in Ukraine –Report: Who Owns the Oil and Gas Fields of Ukraine?”Anticorruption Action Centre. April 13, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  10. Jump up to:ab “Burisma: all cases against group and group’s president Zlochevsky in Ukraine closed”Interfax-Ukraine. December 1, 2017. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  11. ^ “Zlochevsky’s Brociti Investments formalizing control over two oil and gas companies”Interfax-Ukraine. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  12. ^ “Burisma Holdings”PEP.ua.org. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. Jump up to:abc Liliya Hryshko. Lifehack from Zlochevsky, how to return to Ukraine (Лайфхак від Злочевського – як повернутись в Україну). Deutsche Welle. 7 February 2017
  14. Jump up to:ab Roman Olearchyk; Max Seddon (29 September 2019). “Ukraine gas company feels heat of US impeachment probe”Financial Times. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  15. ^ “Media: Ex-Minister of Ecology from the Yanukovych administration returned to Ukraine”. UA Wire. February 3, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  16. ^ Sukhov, Oleg (April 20, 2018). “Onyshchenko releases alleged recording implicating Poroshenko, Zlochevsky in graft”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  17. ^ “Ukraine’s presidential administration calls Onyshchenko recordings about Zlochevsky fake”Interfax-Ukraine. April 19, 2018. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  18. ^ Romanyshyn, Yuliana (June 16, 2018). “Court reinstates case against Mykola Zlochevsky”Kyiv Post. Retrieved September 18, 2018.

External links

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

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

1957 (age 61–62)
SeattleWashington, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Durant
Education University of Washington (BA)

Gordon D. Sondland (born 1957)[1] is the United States Ambassador to the European Union.[2] He is also the founder and chairman of Provenance Hotels and co-founder of the merchant bank Aspen Capital. He was a major donor to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and testified to Congress in the Trump–Ukraine scandal.

Career

Provenance Hotels

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, Washington; Hotel deLuxe, Hotel Lucia, Sentinel, Dossier, and Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon; The Hotel Preston in Nashville, Tennessee; and Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans, Louisiana.[3]

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.[4][5]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.[6] 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.[7]

In 2013, Sondland and Provenance completed a renovation of Portland’s historic Governor Hotel, renaming it Sentinel.[8] 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.[9]

In 2017, Provenance Hotels expanded its practice of revitalizing and rebranding hotels with locally-inspired art and design as a service to other hoteliers.[10]

United States ambassador to the European Union

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

Sondland donated $1 million to the inaugural committee of Donald Trump.[11] On March 12, 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump selected Sondland to be the next United States ambassador to the European Union.[12] On May 10, 2018, the White House announced that Sondland’s nomination had been sent to the U.S. Senate.[13] He was confirmed by the Senate on June 28, 2018.[2] On July 9, 2018, Sondland presented his credentials at the European Commission and to President of the European Council Donald Tusk.[14]

Sondland’s nomination received bipartisan support during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 21, 2018.[15] Both Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) testified in support of Sondland.[16] Sen. Wyden suggested that Sondland’s “family history is both fascinating and instructive as to why he has the experience and understanding to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the E.U.,” noting how his Jewish parents fled Nazi Germany before coming to the United States.[15][17]

As ambassador, Sondland has made strengthening US-EU trade relations a top priority.[18] He has supported using a strong US-EU economic partnership to counter what Sondland has called “economic aggression and unfair trade practices” from China.[19][20] 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.[18]

Sondland has also pledged to work with the EU to address global security threats.[21] 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.[22][23] 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.”[22][24][25]

Sondland has also 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.”[28]

Sondland has also worked on data protection rules regarding U.S. compliance with the EU-US privacy shield.[29]

Trump–Ukraine scandal

Gordon Sondland as part of the U.S. delegation at the inauguration of Volodymyr Zelensky.

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 US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.[30] In this document, Ambassador Sondland, along with the 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. Zelenskyy”.[31] After further investigation, The Washington Post concluded that Sondland had “seized control of the Ukraine portfolio to help Trump.”[32]

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

[9/9/2019, 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.[33]

It took Sondland approximately 5 hours to reply to Taylor’s text message, and it was later revealed that Sondland had called Trump prior to writing a response, in which the president repeated the phrase “no quid pro quo” several times.[34]

On October 8, the Trump administration attempted to block Sondland from testifying in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.[35] Sondland testified October 17, 2019.[36][37][38][39][40][41]

On November 5, the New York Times reported that Sondland had provided updated testimony stating that he did in fact view delivery of the aid package as contingent upon the Ukrainian government publicly opening the anticorruption investigation desired by the Trump administration. According to the testimony, he relayed this position to Ukrainian government officials.[42]

Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Europe and Russia on the National Security Council staff Fiona Hill viewed Sondland as a U.S. national security risk because he was so unprepared for his job, but did not accuse Sondland of acting maliciously or intentionally putting the country at risk, describing him during impeachment testimony as a Trump donor-turned-ambassador.[43]

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.[44] He was appointed the commission’s chair in 2002 and has served in that capacity until 2015.[45] 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[46] 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.[47]

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.[48] In 2007 President George W. Bush appointed Sondland as a member of the Commission on White House Fellows.[49] 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.[50] 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.[1]

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.[1] In April 2017, it was revealed that 4 companies registered to Sondland donated $1 million to the Donald Trump inaugural committee.[51][52][53]

Philanthropy

Sondland is a former member of the board of trustees at the Oregon Health & Science University foundation.[44]

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.[54] 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.[55] In 2017, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University was created with the support of the Foundation.[citation needed]

Personal life

Sondland was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of Frieda (Piepsch) and Gunther Sondland.[56] He is married to Katherine Durant, who is the founder and managing partner of Atlas/RTG, a holding company with a portfolio of shopping centers throughout Oregon.[citation needed] Sondland is Jewish.[15][17] Until 2016, Durant was the Chairperson of the Oregon Investment Council, the body that oversees the over $85 billion Public Employees Retirement System Fund.[57] They have two children.

See also

References…

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

Memorandum of conversation

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Example: Memorandum of conversation of meeting led by Brent Scowcroft (1976)

Memorandum of conversation (abbrev.: MEMCON) and also memorandum of a conversation and memo to the file refers to a method of contemporaneous documentation of a conversation in the form of a memorandum used by the United States federal government.[1][2]

The Weekly Standard characterized the use of the tactic in the U.S. government as among “the most basic ways of Washington”.[2]

 

Method

Typically an individual will document the events of the conversation as soon as possible after the occurrence.[1] All material statements and discussed items are quoted and described as accurately as possible soon after the discussion and filed for future reference.[1] Memcons function as documentation of historical events, such as conversations between heads of state and law enforcement officials.[3] Specific developments discussed, the time of the meeting, location, and individuals in attendance are all documented in-depth within the memo.[1][2]

United States Department of Justice attorneys and Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents commonly make use of memoranda of conversation.[1] A majority of intermediate-rank managerial staff and bureaucrats within the U.S. federal government consistently make use of the method. The creation of a memorandum of understanding allows federal employees to memorialize and keep a record of their conversations and transactions.[2]

Memoranda to file are used in investigations in the private sector. For example, the fraud unit of a large corporation may use memoranda to file, to report individual interviews and significant telephone conversations. Generally, “the memorandum will show the name of the author, date of preparation, the case name or number, and the specific subject covered. It will also contain the detailed narrative of the event, interview, or other investigative activity described and should be written as close in time as circumstances permit to those events.”[4]

History

Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and subsequently Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, Brent Scowcroft, who served as such in the U.S. presidential administration of Gerald R. Ford, kept copious documentation of his meetings in the form of memorandum of conversation.[3] He would take handwritten notes, and immediately have them transcribed in typewritten format with the assistance of his staff from the United States National Security Council.[3] The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum contains over 1,000 such memorandum of conversation documents relating to the Presidency of Richard Nixon and Presidency of Gerald Ford, mainly related to national security of the United States.[3]

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c d e O’Donnell, Lawrence (May 16, 2017), “MEMCON”, The Last Word with Lawrence O’DonnellMSNBC
  2. Jump up to:a b c d Felten, Eric (May 17, 2017), “A Brief History of the ‘Memo to the FileThe Weekly Standard
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “Summary Description”National Security Adviser. Memoranda of Conversations, 1973-1977Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum, retrieved May 17, 2017
  4. ^ Sennewald, Charles A.; Tsukayama, John K. (2015), The Process of Investigation: Concepts and Strategies for Investigators in the Private Sector (4th ed.), Butterworth-Heinemann, pp. 189–90, ISBN 978-0128001660

External links

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

Story 3: United States Withdrawing From Paris Climate Accord Agreement — Videos

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Mike Pompeo formally starts process of leaving the Paris climate change treaty – with U.S. due out the day AFTER the 2020 election

  • Mike Pompeo formally starts process of removing the U.S. from the 2015 Paris Climate Treaty
  • Donald Trump had announced that he would pull out of it  shortly after his election but this is first legal opportunity to start process of getting out
  • State Department wrote formal letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres
  • That started the clock on a process that would be completed one day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, on November 4, 2020

The United States has begun the process of pulling out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement, it was announced Monday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he submitted a formal notice to the United Nations. That starts a withdrawal process that does not become official for a year. His statement touted America’s carbon pollution cuts and called the Paris deal an ‘unfair economic burden’ to the U.S. economy.

Nearly 200 nations signed the climate deal in which each country provides its own goals to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases that lead to climate change.

‘In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model – backed by a record of real world results – showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy,’ Pompeo said in a statement.

The U.S. started the process with a hand-delivered letter, becoming the only country to withdraw. The United Nations will soon set out procedural details for what happens next, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said.

Agreement rules prevented any country from pulling out in the first three years after the Nov. 4, 2016, ratification. The U.S. withdrawal doesn’t become complete until the day after the 2020 election.

President Donald Trump has been promising withdrawal for two years, but Monday was the first time he could actually do it.

Out: Donald Trump's administration formally started the process of leaving the Paris Climate accord signed by Obama in 2015

Out: Donald Trump’s administration formally started the process of leaving the Paris Climate accord signed by Obama in 2015

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it+4

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it

Opposed: Mike Pompeo was on the receiving end of criticism for his decision to pull the U.S. out of Paris, with one environmentalist group saying the next president will have to rejoin it

Trump’s decision was condemned as a reckless failure of leadership by environmental experts, activists and critics such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

‘Donald Trump is the worst president in history for our climate and our clean air and water,’ said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. ‘Long after Trump is out of office his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement will be seen as a historic error.’

The agreement set goals of preventing another 0.9 degrees (0.5 degrees Celsius) to 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) of warming from current levels. Even the pledges made in 2015 weren’t enough to prevent those levels of warming.

The deal calls for nations to come up with more ambitious pollution cuts every five years, starting in November 2020. Because of the expected withdrawal, the U.S. role in 2020 negotiations will be reduced, experts said.

Climate change, largely caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas, has already warmed the world by 1.8 degrees (1 degree Celsius) since the late 1800s, caused massive melting of ice globally, triggered weather extremes and changed ocean chemistry. And scientists say, depending on how much carbon dioxide is emitted, it will only get worse by the end of the century, with temperatures jumping by several degrees and oceans rising by close to 3 feet (1 meter).

Trump has been promising to pull out of the Paris deal since 2017, often mischaracterizing the terms of the agreement, which are voluntary. In October, he called it a massive wealth transfer from America to other nations and said it was one-sided.

That’s not the case, experts said.

The European Union’s goal was to cut carbon pollution in 2030 by 40% compared with 1990 levels, which is greater than America’s pledge, said Rob Jackson, a Stanford University professor and chairman of the Global Carbon Project. The United Kingdom has already exceeded that goal, he said.

Many critics of the Paris agreement say America is the leader in cutting carbon emissions, but that’s not true.

Since 2005, the United States isn’t in the top 10 in percentage of greenhouse gas emission reductions. The United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, the Czech Republic and other nations have done better, said Jackson, who tracks emissions.

‘The U.S. agreement is not a tax on the American people. There is no massive wealth transfer,’ said Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis, who was a lead State Department climate negotiator in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. ‘In fact, the agreement obligates no country to make any financial payments.’

It will be inconvenient: Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope. 'No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,' he said

It will be inconvenient: Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope. ‘No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,’ he said

Pompeo said U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005 to 2017 ‘even as our economy grew over 19 percent.’

Then, in 2018, carbon dioxide emissions increased 2.7%, according to the Energy Information Administration, mostly due to extreme weather and the economy.

The reason for the long-term emissions drop is because the U.S. is using less coal and has tightened air quality standards, while Trump is pushing for more coal and loosening those standards, said Michael Gerrard, who heads Columbia Law School’s climate change legal center.

For the U.S. – the second biggest carbon polluter – to be in line with Paris goals greenhouse gas emissions have to drop 80%, not 13%, Gerrard said.

‘The Trump Administration’s abandonment of action on climate change gives other countries an excuse not to act either. They ask – if the richest country, the one that has contributed the most to the load of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, isn’t willing to act, why should we?’ Gerrard said. ‘If someone other than Donald Trump is elected, he or she will almost certainly rejoin Paris, and the rest of the world will welcome us back with open arms.’

Former Vice President Al Gore, who made climate change his signature issue, characterized the decision as a mistake but said there was still reason for hope.

‘No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis,’ Gore said. ‘But those who try will be remembered for their complacency, complicity, and mendacity in attempting to sacrifice the planet for their greed.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7649093/US-tells-UN-bidding-adieu-Paris-climate-deal.html

U.S. Formally Begins To Leave The Paris Climate Agreement

 

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Story 1: National Chocolate Milk Day — Videos

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NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY – September 27

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY

Across the country, folks enjoy a tall, frosty glass on National Chocolate Milk Day, which is observed annually on September 27. 

In the late 1680s, an Irish-born physician by the name of Sir Hans Sloane invented the chocolatey beverage. When offered the position of personal physician to an English Duke in Jamaica, Sloane jumped at the opportunity. Jamaica interested the naturalist in him.

While in Jamaica, Sloane encountered a local beverage. The locals mixed cocoa and water together.  However, when Sloane tasted it, he reported the flavor to be nauseating. After some experimentation, the doctor found a way to combine cocoa with milk. The creamy combination made it a more pleasant-tasting drink. Years later, Sloane returned to England with the chocolate recipe in hand. Initially, apothecaries introduced the concoction as a medicine.

Generations later, chocolate milk lovers enjoy their treat a variety of ways.  It can be purchased premixed by the jug or individual serving. For a custom mix, powders and syrups allow us to make it as chocolatey as we like at home.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateMilkDay

Do you use powder, premix or syrup? Today we even have skim, 2% and whole milk. Which do you prefer? Mix up some chocolate milk to drink. Invite a friend to enjoy the celebration with you. Besides, the best way to #CelebrateEveryDay is with others. Share your celebration using #ChocolateMilkDay on social media.

Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® classroom for ways to incorporate this day into your classes.

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE MILK DAY HISTORY

National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this sweet beverage holiday.

There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!

 

National Chocolate Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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There are a variety of dates that have been designated as “Chocolate Day” around the world. The most commonly accepted such date is July 7.[citation needed] Various Chocolate Days have been called Local, National or International/World, including conflicting claims.[citation needed]

The U.S. National Confectioners Association lists four primary chocolate holidays on their calendar[1][improper synthesis?] (Chocolate Day (July 7), two National Chocolate Days (October 28 and December 28), and International Chocolate Day (September 13)[2]), in addition to variants such as National Milk Chocolate Day, National White Chocolate Day, and National Cocoa Day.

International Chocolate Day coincides with the birth date of Milton S. Hershey (September 13, 1857),[3][4][5] founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company.

See also

References

  1. ^ “Candy Holidays”National Confectioners Association. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  2. ^ “Reasons to celebrate chocolate in September”National Confectioners Association. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. ^ “Milton Hershey Biography”Biography.com. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  4. ^ September 2008 dates to celebrateCreative Forecasting20 (7–12): 6. Retrieved 7 July 2014International Chocolate Day – This day celebrates the birth anniversary of Milton Hershey (1857 – 1945)
  5. ^ “Milton Hershey: Happy Birthday”. The Hershey Company. Retrieved 2 October 2017.

Further reading

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

LIVE: UNGA afternoon plenary marks International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Story 2: Stopping Nuclear Proliferation — Videos

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty

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Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles
Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sign the INF Treaty.
Type Nuclear disarmament
Signed 8 December 1987, 1:45 p.m.[1]
Location White HouseWashington, D.C.
Effective 1 June 1988
Condition Ratification by the Soviet Union and United States
Expiration 1 February 2019
Signatories
Languages English and Russian
Text of the INF Treaty

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty, formally Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range MissilesRussianДоговор о ликвидации ракет средней и меньшей дальности / ДРСМД, Dogovor o likvidatsiy raket sredney i menshey dalnosti / DRSMD) was an arms control treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union (and its successor state, the Russian Federation). US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev signed the treaty on 8 December 1987.[1][2] The United States Senate approved the treaty on 27 May 1988, and Reagan and Gorbachev ratified it on 1 June 1988.[2][3]

The INF Treaty banned all of the two nations’ land-based ballistic missilescruise missiles, and missile launchers with ranges of 500–1,000 kilometers (310–620 mi) (short medium-range) and 1,000–5,500 km (620–3,420 mi) (intermediate-range). The treaty did not apply to air- or sea-launched missiles.[4][5] By May 1991, the nations had eliminated 2,692 missiles, followed by 10 years of on-site verification inspections.[6]

Amidst continuing growth of China’s missile forces, US President Donald Trump announced on 20 October 2018 that he was withdrawing the US from the treaty, accusing Russia of non-compliance.[7][8] The US formally suspended the treaty on 1 February 2019,[9] and Russia did so on the following day in response.[10] The US formally withdrew from the treaty on 2 August 2019.[11] On September 4, 2019, President Putin stated that Russia will make new missiles but will not deploy them until the United States does so first. [12]

Contents

Background

In March 1976, the Soviet Union first deployed the RSD-10 Pioneer (called SS-20 Saber in the West) in its European territories, a mobile, concealable intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV) containing three nuclear 150-kiloton warheads.[13] The SS-20’s range of 4,700–5,000 kilometers (2,900–3,100 mi) was great enough to reach Western Europe from well within Soviet territory; the range was just below the SALT II minimum range for an intercontinental ballistic missile, 5,500 km (3,400 mi).[14][15][16] The SS-20 replaced aging Soviet systems of the SS-4 Sandal and SS-5 Skean, which were seen to pose a limited threat to Western Europe due to their poor accuracy, limited payload (one warhead), lengthy preparation time, difficulty in being concealed, and immobility (thus exposing them to pre-emptive NATO strikes ahead of a planned attack).[17] Whereas the SS-4 and SS-5 were seen as defensive weapons, the SS-20 was seen as a potential offensive system.[18]

The US, then under President Jimmy Carter, initially considered its strategic nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable aircraft to be adequate counters to the SS-20 and a sufficient deterrent against possible Soviet aggression. In 1977, however, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany argued in a speech that a Western response to the SS-20 deployment should be explored, a call which was echoed by NATO, given a perceived Western disadvantage in European nuclear forces.[16] Leslie H. Gelb, the US Assistant Secretary of State, later recounted that Schmidt’s speech pressured the US into developing a response.[19]

SS-20 launchers

On 12 December 1979, following European pressure for a response to the SS-20, Western foreign and defense ministers meeting in Brussels made the NATO Double-Track Decision.[16] The ministers argued that the Warsaw Pact had “developed a large and growing capability in nuclear systems that directly threaten Western Europe”: “theater” nuclear systems (i.e., tactical nuclear weapons).[20] In describing this “aggravated” situation, the ministers made direct reference to the SS-20 featuring “significant improvements over previous systems in providing greater accuracy, more mobility, and greater range, as well as having multiple warheads”. The ministers also attributed the altered situation to the deployment of the Soviet Tupolev Tu-22M strategic bomber, which they believed to display “much greater performance” than its predecessors. Furthermore, the ministers expressed concern that the Soviet Union had gained an advantage over NATO in “Long-Range Theater Nuclear Forces” (LRTNF), and also significantly increased short-range theater nuclear capacity.[21]

To address these developments, the ministers adopted two policy “tracks” which Joseph Stalin had created in 1941. One thousand theater nuclear warheads, out of 7,400 such warheads, would be removed from Europe and the US would pursue bilateral negotiations with the Soviet Union intended to limit theater nuclear forces. Should these negotiations fail, NATO would modernize its own LRTNF, or intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF), by replacing US Pershing 1a missiles with 108 Pershing II launchers in West Germany and deploying 464 BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missiles (GLCMs) to BelgiumItaly, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom beginning in December 1983.[15][22][23][24]

Negotiations

Early negotiations: 1981–1983

The Soviet Union and United States agreed to open negotiations and preliminary discussions, named the Preliminary Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Talks,[15] which began in GenevaSwitzerland, in October 1980. On 20 January 1981, Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as President after defeating Jimmy Carter in an election. Formal talks began on 30 November 1981, with the US then led by Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union by Leonid Brezhnev. The core of the US negotiating position reflected the principles put forth under Carter: any limits placed on US INF capabilities, both in terms of “ceilings” and “rights”, must be reciprocated with limits on Soviet systems. Additionally, the US insisted that a sufficient verification regime be in place.[25]

Paul Nitze, 1983

Paul Nitze, a longtime hand at defense policy who had participated in the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), led the US delegation after being recruited by Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Though Nitze had backed the first SALT treaty, he opposed SALT II and had resigned from the US delegation during its negotiation. Nitze was also then a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, a firmly anti-Soviet group composed of neoconservatives and conservative Republicans.[19][26] Yuli Kvitsinsky, the well-respected second-ranking official at the Soviet embassy in West Germany, headed the Soviet delegation.[18][27][28][29]

On 18 November 1981, shortly before the beginning of formal talks, Reagan made the Zero Option proposal (or the “zero-zero” proposal).[30] The plan called for a hold on US deployment of GLCM and Pershing II systems, reciprocated by Soviet elimination of its SS-4, SS-5, and SS-20 missiles. There appeared to be little chance of the Zero Option being adopted, but the gesture was well received in the European public. In February 1982, US negotiators put forth a draft treaty containing the Zero Option and a global prohibition on intermediate- and short-range missiles, with compliance ensured via a stringent, though unspecific, verification program.[27]

Opinion within the Reagan administration on the Zero Option was mixed. Richard Perle, then the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, was the architect of the plan. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, who supported a continued US nuclear presence in Europe, was skeptical of the plan, though eventually accepted it for its value in putting the Soviet Union “on the defensive in the European propaganda war”. Reagan later recounted that the “zero option sprang out of the realities of nuclear politics in Western Europe”.[30] The Soviet Union rejected the plan shortly after the US tabled it in February 1982, arguing that both the US and Soviet Union should be able to retain intermediate-range missiles in Europe. Specifically, Soviet negotiators proposed that the number of INF missiles and aircraft deployed in Europe by one side be capped at 600 by 1985 and 300 by 1990. Concerned that this proposal would force the US to withdraw aircraft from Europe and not deploy INF missiles, given US cooperation with existing British and French deployments, the US proposed “equal rights and limits”—the US would be permitted to match Soviet SS-20 deployments.[27]

Between 1981 and 1983, US and Soviet negotiators gathered for six rounds of talks, each two months in length—a system based on the earlier SALT talks.[27] The US delegation was composed of Nitze, General William F. Burns of the Joint Chiefs of StaffThomas Graham of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), and officials from the US Department of StateOffice of the Secretary of Defense, and US National Security Council. Colonel Norman Clyne, a SALT participant, served as Nitze’s chief of staff.[18][31]

There was little convergence between the two sides over these two years. A US effort to separate the question of nuclear-capable aircraft from that of intermediate-range missiles successfully focused attention on the latter, but little clear progress on the subject was made. In the summer of 1982, Nitze and Kvitsinsky took a “walk in the woods” in the Jura Mountains, away from formal negotiations in Geneva, in an independent attempt to bypass bureaucratic procedures and break the negotiating deadlock.[32][18][33] Nitze later said that his and Kvitsinsky’s goal was to agree to certain concessions that would allow for a summit meeting between Brezhnev and Reagan later in 1982.[34]

Protest in Amsterdam against the nuclear arms race between the US/NATO and the Soviet Union

Nitze’s offer to Kvitsinsky was that the US would forego deployment of the Pershing II and continue deployment of GLCMs, but limited to 75 missile launchers. The Soviet Union, in return, would also have to limit itself to 75 intermediate-range missile launchers in Europe and 90 in Asia. Due to each GLCM launcher containing four GLCMs and each SS-20 launcher containing three warheads, such an agreement would have resulted in the US having 75 more intermediate-range warheads in Europe than the Soviet Union, though SS-20s were seen as more advanced and maneuverable than GLCMs. While Kvitsinsky was skeptical that the plan would be well received in Moscow, Nitze was optimistic about its chances in Washington.[34] The deal ultimately found little traction in either capital. In the US, the Office of the Secretary of Defense opposed Nitze’s proposal, as it opposed any proposal that would allow the Soviet Union to deploy missiles to Europe while blocking US deployments. Nitze’s proposal was relayed by Kvitsinsky to Moscow, where it was also rejected. The plan accordingly was never introduced into formal negotiations.[32][18]

Thomas Graham, a US negotiator, later recalled that Nitze’s “walk in the woods” proposal was primarily of Nitze’s own design and known beforehand only to William F. Burns, another arms control negotiator and representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Eugene V. Rostow, the director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. In a National Security Council meeting following the Nitze-Kvitsinsky walk, the proposal was received positively by the JCS and Reagan. Following protests by Richard Perle, working within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Reagan informed Nitze that he would not back the plan. The State Department, then led by Alexander Haig, also indicated that it would not support Nitze’s plan and preferred a return to the Zero Option proposal.[18][33][34] Nitze argued that one positive consequence of the walk in the woods was that the European public, which had doubted US interest in arms control, became convinced that the US was participating in the INF negotiations in good faith.[34]

In early 1983, US negotiators indicated that they would support a plan beyond the Zero Option if the plan established equal rights and limits for the US and Soviet Union, with such limits valid worldwide, and excluded British and French missile systems (as well as those of any other third party). As a temporary measure, the US negotiators also proposed a cap of 450 deployed INF warheads around the world for both the US and Soviet Union. In response, Soviet negotiators expressed that a plan would have to block all US INF deployments in Europe, cover both missiles and aircraft, include third parties, and focus primarily on Europe for it to gain Soviet backing. In the fall of 1983, just ahead of the scheduled deployment of US Pershing IIs and GLCMs, the US lowered its proposed limit on global INF deployments to 420 missiles, while the Soviet Union proposed “equal reductions”: if the US cancelled the planned deployment of Pershing II and GLCM systems, the Soviet Union would reduce its own INF deployment by 572 warheads. In November 1983, after the first Pershing IIs arrived in West Germany, the Soviet Union walked out of negotiations, as it had warned it would do should the US missile deployments occur.[35]

Restarted negotiations: 1985–1987

Reagan and Gorbachev shake hands after signing the INF Treaty ratification during the Moscow Summit on 1 June 1988.

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher played a key role in brokering the negotiations between Reagan and Gorbachev in 1986 to 1987.[36]

In March 1986, negotiations between the US and the Soviet Union resumed, covering not only the INF issue, but also separate discussions on strategic weapons (START I) and space issues (Nuclear and Space Talks). In late 1985, both sides were moving towards limiting INF systems in Europe and Asia. On 15 January 1986, Gorbachev announced a Soviet proposal for a ban on all nuclear weapons by 2000, which included INF missiles in Europe. This was dismissed by the US and countered with a phased reduction of INF launchers in Europe and Asia to none by 1989. There would be no constraints on British and French nuclear forces.[37]

A series of meetings in August and September 1986 culminated in the Reykjavík Summit between Reagan and Gorbachev on 11 and 12 October 1986. Both agreed in principle to remove INF systems from Europe and to equal global limits of 100 INF missile warheads. Gorbachev also proposed deeper and more fundamental changes in the strategic relationship. More detailed negotiations extended throughout 1987, aided by the decision of West Germany Chancellor Helmut Kohl in August to unilaterally remove the joint US-West German Pershing 1a systems. Initially, Kohl had opposed the total elimination of the Pershing Missiles, claiming that such a move would increase his nation’s vulnerability to an attack by Warsaw Pact Forces.[38] The treaty text was finally agreed in September 1987. On 8 December 1987, the Treaty was officially signed by President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at a summit in Washington and ratified the following May in a 93-5 vote by the United States Senate.[39][40]

Contents

The treaty prohibits both parties from possessing, producing, or flight-testing ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500–5,000 km. Possessing or producing ground-based launchers of those missiles is also prohibited. The ban extends to weapons with both nuclear and conventional warheads, but does not cover air-delivered or sea-based missiles.[41]

Existing weapons had to be destroyed, and a protocol for mutual inspection was agreed upon.[41]

Each party has the right to withdraw from the treaty with six months’ notice, “if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests”.[41]

Timeline

Implementation[edit]

A Soviet inspector examines a BGM-109G Gryphon ground-launched cruise missile in 1988 prior to its destruction.

Accompanied by their NATO counterparts, Soviet inspectors enter a nuclear weapons storage area at Greenham Common, UK, 1989.

By the treaty’s deadline of 1 June 1991, a total of 2,692 of such weapons had been destroyed, 846 by the US and 1,846 by the Soviet Union.[42] The following specific missiles, their launcher systems, and their transporter vehicles were destroyed:[43]

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the United States considered twelve of the post-Soviet states to be inheritors of the treaty obligations (the three Baltic states are considered to preexist their annexation by the Soviet Union). Of the six having inspectable INF facilities on their territories, BelarusKazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine became active participants in the treaty process, while Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, having less significant INF sites, assumed a less active role.[44]

As provided by the treaty, onsite inspections ended in 2001. After that time, compliance was checked primarily by satellites.[45]

Initial skepticism and allegations of treaty violations

In February 2007, the Russian president Vladimir Putin gave a speech at the Munich Security Conference in which he said the INF Treaty should be revisited to ensure security, as it only restricted Russia and the US but not other countries.[46] The Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Yuri Baluyevsky contemporaneously said that Russia was planning to unilaterally withdraw from the treaty in response to deployment of adaptable defensive NATO missile system and because other countries were not bound to the treaty.[47]

According to US officials, Russia violated the treaty by testing the SSC-8 cruise missile in 2008.[48] Russia rejected the claim that their SSC-8 missiles violates the treaty, and says that the SSC-8 can travel only up to a maximum of 480 km.[49] In 2013, reports came out that Russia had tested and planned to continue testing two missiles in ways that could violate the terms of the treaty: the SS-25 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the newer RS-26 ICBM.[50] The US representatives briefed NATO on a Russian nuclear treaty breach again in 2014[51][52] and 2017,[48][53] and in 2018, NATO formally supported the US accusations and accused Russia of breaking the treaty.[11][54] Russia denied the accusation and Putin said it was a pretext for the US to leave the pact.[11] A BBC analysis of the meeting that culminated in the NATO statement said that “NATO allies here share Washington’s concerns and have backed the US position, thankful perhaps that it includes this short grace period during which Russia might change its mind.”[55]

In 2011, Dan Blumenthal of the American Enterprise Institute wrote that the actual Russian problem with the INF was that China is not bound by it and continued to build up their own intermediate-range forces.[56]

According to Russian officials and academic Theodore Postol, the American decision to deploy the missile defense system in Europe was a violation of the treaty as they claim they could be quickly retrofitted with offensive capabilities;[57][58][59] this accusation has in turn been rejected by US and NATO officials and analyst Jeffrey Lewis.[59][60] Russian experts also stated that the US usage of target missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-4, violated the INF Treaty[61] which has also in turn been rejected by US officials.[62]

US withdrawal and termination

The United States declared its intention to withdraw from the treaty on 20 October 2018.[7][63][64] Donald Trump mentioned at a campaign rally that the reason for the pullout was because “they’ve [Russia has] been violating it for many years”.[63] This prompted Putin to state that Russia would not launch first in a nuclear conflict but would “annihilate” any adversary, essentially re-stating the policy of “Mutually Assured Destruction“. Putin claimed Russians killed in such a conflict “will go to heaven as martyrs”.[65]

It was also reported that the United States’ need to counter a Chinese arms buildup in the Pacific, including within South China Sea, was another reason for their move to withdraw, because China is not a signatory to the treaty.[7][63][64] US officials extending back to the Obama period have noted this. For example, Kelly Magsamen, who helped craft the Pentagon’s Asian policy under the Obama administration, said China’s ability to work outside of the INF treaty had vexed policymakers in Washington, long before Trump came into office.[66] A Politico article noted the different responses US officials gave to this issue: “either find ways to bring China into the treaty or develop new American weapons to counter it” or “negotiating a new treaty with that country”.[67] The deployment since 2016 of the DF-26 missile system with a range of 4,000 km meant that US forces as far as Guam can be threatened.[66] The United States Secretary of Defense at the time, Jim Mattis, was quoted stating that “the Chinese are stockpiling missiles because they’re not bound by it at all”.[7] Bringing an ascendant China into the treaty, or into a new comprehensive treaty including other nuclear powers, was further complicated by relationships between China, India and Pakistan.[68]

John R. Bolton holds a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow on 23 October 2018

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said a unilateral US withdrawal would have a negative impact and urged the US to “think thrice before acting”. John R. BoltonUS National Security Advisor, said on Echo of Moscow that recent Chinese statements indicate that it wants Washington to stay in the treaty, while China itself is not bound in a treaty.[66] It’s been estimated that 90% of China’s ground missile arsenal would be outlawed if China were a party to the treaty.[67] Bolton said in an interview with Elena Chernenko from the Russian newspaper Kommersant on 22 October 2018: “we see China, IranNorth Korea all developing capabilities which would violate the treaty if they were parties to it. So the possibility that could have existed fifteen years ago to enlarge the treaty and make it universal today just simply was not practical.”[69]

On 26 October 2018, Russia called but lost a vote to get the UN General Assembly to consider calling on Washington and Moscow to preserve and strengthen the treaty.[70] Russia had proposed a draft resolution in the 193-member General Assembly’s disarmament committee, but missed the 18 October submission deadline[70] so it instead called for a vote on whether the committee should be allowed to consider the draft.[70] On the same day, John R. Bolton said in an interview with Reuters that the INF Treaty was a cold war relic and he wanted to hold strategic talks with Russia about Chinese missile capabilities.[71] China has been suggested to be “the real target of the [pull out]”.[67]

Four days later, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia to comply with the treaty at a news conference in Norway saying “The problem is the deployment of new Russian missiles”.[72]

Russian president Vladimir Putin announced on 20 November 2018 that the Kremlin was prepared to discuss INF with Washington but would “retaliate” if the United States withdrew.[73]

Starting on 4 December 2018, the United States said Russia had 60 days to comply with the treaty.[74] On 5 December 2018, Russia responded by revealing their Peresvet combat laser, stating they had been deployed to Russia armed forces as early as 2017 “as part of the state procurement program”.[75]

Russia presented the 9M729 (SSC-8) missile and its technical parameters to foreign military attachés at a military briefing on 23 January 2019, held in what it said was an exercise in transparency it hoped would persuade Washington to stay in the treaty.[76] The Russian Defence Ministry said diplomats from the United States, Britain, France and Germany had been invited to attend the static display of the missile, but they declined to attend.[76] The United States had previously rejected a Russian offer to do so because it said such an exercise would not allow it to verify the true range of its warheads.[76]

The summit between US and Russia on 30 January 2019 failed to find a way to preserve the treaty.[77]

The United States suspended its compliance with the INF Treaty on 2 February 2019 following an announcement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the day prior. In addition the US said there was a six-month timeline for full withdrawal and INF Treaty termination if the Russian Federation did not come back into compliance within those six months given.[78][68] The same day, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had also suspended the INF Treaty in a ‘mirror response’ to President Donald Trump’s decision to suspend the treaty, effective that day.[10] The next day, Russia started work on new intermediate range (ballistic) hypersonic missiles along with land based (club kalibr – biryuza) systems (both nuclear armed) in response to the USA announcing it would start to conduct research and development of weapons prohibited under the treaty.[79]

Following the six-month period from 2 February suspension from INF, the United States administration formally announced it had withdrawn from the treaty on 2 August 2019. According to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “Russia is solely responsible for the treaty’s demise”.[80] While formally ratifying a treaty requires two-thirds of the Senate to ratify, a number of presidential decisions during the 20th and 21st centuries have set a common legal ground that the President and executive branch can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty without congressional approval, as Congress has rarely acted to stop such actions.[81] On the same day of the withdrawal, the United States Department of Defense announced plans to test a new type of missile, one that would have violated the treaty, from an eastern NATO base. Military leaders stated the need for this new missile as to stay ahead of both Russia and China, in response to Russia’s continued violations.[80]

The US’s withdrawal was backed by several of its NATO allies, citing the years of Russia’s non-compliance with the INF treaty.[80] In response to the withdrawal, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov invited the US and NATO “to assess the possibility of declaring the same moratorium on deploying intermediate-range and shorter-range equipment as we have, the same moratorium Vladimir Putin declared, saying that Russia will refrain from deploying these systems when we acquire them unless the American equipment is deployed in certain regions.”[80] This moratorium request was rejected by Stoltenberg who said that it was not credible as Moscow had already deployed such warheads.[82] On August 5, 2019, Russian president Vladimir Putin stated, “As of August 2, 2019 the INF Treaty no longer exists. Our US colleagues sent it to the archives, making it a thing of the past.”[83]

United States test firing a conventionally configured ground-launched medium-range cruise missile on 18 August 2019

On 18 August 2019, the United States conducted a test firing of a missile that would not have been allowed under the treaty.[84][85] The Pentagon said that the data collected and lessons learned from this test would inform its future development of intermediate-range capabilities while the Russian foreign ministry said that it was a cause for regret, and accused the US of escalating military tensions.[84][85]

Reactions to the withdrawal

Numerous prominent nuclear arms control experts, including George ShultzRichard Lugar and Sam Nunn, urged Trump to preserve the treaty.[86] Mikhail Gorbachev commented that Trump’s nuclear treaty withdrawal is “not the work of a great mind” and that “a new arms race has been announced”.[87][88]

The decision was criticized by chairmen of the United States House of Representatives Committees on Foreign Affairs and Armed Services who said that instead of crafting a plan to hold Russia accountable and pressure it into compliance, the Trump administration has offered Putin an easy way out of the treaty and has played right into his hands.[89] Similar arguments were brought previously, on 25 October 2018 by European members of NATO who urged the United States “to try to bring Russia back into compliance with the treaty rather than quit it, seeking to avoid a split in the alliance that Moscow could exploit”.[70]

Stoltenberg has suggested the INF Treaty could be expanded to include countries such as China and India, whose non-inclusion, Stoltenberg said, Russia had previously admonished.[90]

There were contrasting opinions on the withdrawal among American lawmakers. The INF Treaty Compliance Act (H.R. 1249) was introduced to stop the United States from using Government funds to develop missiles prohibited by the treaty.[91][92] while Senators Jim Inhofe and Jim Risch issued statements of support.[93]

On 8 March 2019, the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine announced that since the United States and Russian Federation had both pulled out of the INF treaty, it now had the right to develop intermediate-range missiles, citing Russian aggression as a serious threat to the European continent, and the presence of Russian Iskander-M nuclear-capable missile systems in Crimea.[94] Ukraine had about forty percent of Soviet space industry, but never developed a missile with the range to strike Moscow[95] (only having both longer and shorter-ranged missiles). Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko said “We need high-precision missiles and we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the Budapest Memorandum“.[95]

After the United States withdrew from the treaty, multiple sources opined that it would allow the country to more effectively counter Russia and China’s missile forces.[96][97][98]

References…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermediate-Range_Nuclear_Forces_Treaty

Story 3: Trump Administration Will Appeal Ruling Barring Indefinite Detention of Illegal Alien Families Thus Ending Catch and Release Under The Flores Agreement — Democrats Want The Invasion of United States To Continue and Citizenship For All Illegal Aliens That Reach The United States — The Majority of American People Want Immigration Laws Enforced and Deportation of All 30-60 Millions Illegal Aliens — American People vs. The REDS (Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists) — Videos

 

Judge blocks effort to extend migrant children’s detention

Carafano: Trump’s Action On Flores Agreement Much More Humane

News Wrap: House challenges Trump on border national emergency

19 States File Lawsuit Against Government Over Flores Settlement Agreement

Trump Administration To Allow Longer Detention Of Migrant Families

Press conference of the U.S. Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Trump administration ends “loophole” immigration rule that could keep kids in detention for longer

Flores Settlement

U.S. judge blocks Trump rule on migrant child detention

By Kristina Cooke

LOS ANGELES, Sept 27 (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday blocked a Trump administration rule that would have allowed indefinite detention of migrant families, saying it was inconsistent with a decades-old court settlement that governs conditions for migrant children in U.S. custody.

The 1997 settlement agreement, which originated in 1985 with a complaint brought on behalf of 15-year-old Salvadoran immigrant Jenny L. Flores, set standards for humane treatment of children in detention and ordered their prompt release in most cases.

The Trump administration had hoped a new rule issued on Aug. 23 would replace the settlement, which had been modified over the years to prevent the long-term detention of families. The administration had said its rule would allow families to be held in humane conditions while their U.S. immigration court cases were decided.

The judge disagreed.

“This regulation is inconsistent with one of the primary goals of the Flores Agreement, which is to instate a general policy favoring release and expeditiously place minors ‘in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs,'” U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles wrote in her ruling.

“The Flores Settlement Agreement remains in effect and has not been terminated,” she wrote.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a hallmark of his presidency, and administration officials have repeatedly referred to the Flores agreement’s standards as “loopholes” that have attracted increasing numbers of mostly Central American families seeking U.S. asylum by forcing authorities to release them into the United States to wait for the outcome of their immigration hearings.

The new regulation would have allowed the administration to hold families indefinitely during court processes that can take months or years because of large court backlogs. It had been due to go into effect next month.

In a court hearing in Los Angeles on Friday, Gee asked Department of Justice Attorney August Flentje how he could argue that the new regulations were not inconsistent with the terms of the Flores agreement.

“Just because you tell me it is night outside, doesn’t mean it is not day,” Gee said.

Lawyers for the Trump administration are expected to appeal. A Department of Justice spokesman said it was “disappointed that the court is continuing to impose the outdated Flores Agreement even after the government has done exactly what the Agreement required: issue a comprehensive rule that will protect vulnerable children, maintain family unity, and ensure due process for those awaiting adjudication of their immigration claims.”

The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew Albence, said earlier this week that family detention was just one tool available to the administration as it seeks to end what it calls “catch and release”. A policy that began this year of sending border crossers back to Mexico to wait for their immigration hearings is another, he said.

Albence and other administration officials have said the government would not be able to add to its around 3,300 family detention beds without additional funds being made available by the U.S. Congress. (Reporting by Kristina Cooke in Los Angelese and Alexandra Alper in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler )

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7514067/U-S-judge-blocks-Trump-rule-migrant-child-detention.html

 

Reno v. Flores

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Reno v. Flores
Seal of the United States Supreme Court

Argued October 13, 1992
Decided March 23, 1993
Full case name Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al.
Citations 507 U.S. 292 (more)

113 S. Ct. 1439; 123 L. Ed. 2d 1; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 2399; 61 U.S.L.W. 4237; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 2028; 93 Daily Journal DAR 3628; 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 73
Case history
Prior 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1991); cert. granted, 503 U.S. 905 (1992).
Holding
INS regulation—which provides that alien juveniles detained on suspicion of being deportable may be released only to a parent, legal guardian, or other related adult—accords with both the Due Process Clause and the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
Byron White · Harry Blackmun
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O’Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Case opinions
Majority Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas
Concurrence O’Connor, joined by Souter
Dissent Stevens, joined by Blackmun
Laws applied
8 U.S.C.§ 1252(a)(1)

Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al. (Reno v. Flores), 507 U.S. 292 (1993), was a Supreme Court of the United States case that addressed the detention and release of unaccompanied minors.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Immigration and Naturalization Service‘s regulations regarding the release of alien unaccompanied minors did not violate the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.[1] The Court held that “alien juveniles detained on suspicion of being deportable may be released only to a parent, legal guardian, or other related adult.” The legacy for which Reno v. Flores became known was the subsequent 1997 court-supervised stipulated settlement agreement which is binding on the defendants (the federal government agencies)[2]—the Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement or Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) to which both parties in Reno v. Flores agreed in the District Court for Central California (C.D. Cal.).[3][Notes 1] The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), supervised by C.D. Cal., has set strict national regulations and standards regarding the detention and treatment of minors by federal agencies for over twenty years. It remains in effect until the federal government introduces final regulations to implement the FSA agreement. The FSA governs the policy for the treatment of unaccompanied alien children in federal custody of the legacy INS and its successor—United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the various agencies that operate under the jurisdiction of the DHS. The FSA is supervised by a U.S. district judge in the District Court for Central California.[4]

The litigation originated in the class action lawsuit Flores v. Meese filed on July 11, 1985 by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and two other organizations on behalf of immigrant minors, including Jenny Lisette Flores, who had been placed in a detention center for male and female adults after being apprehended by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as she attempted to illegally cross the Mexico-United States border.

Under the Flores Settlement and current circumstances, DHS asserts that it generally cannot detain alien children and their parents together for more than brief periods [4]. In his June 20, 2018 executive order, President Trump had directed then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask the District Court for the Central District of California, to “modify” the Flores agreement to “allow the government to detain alien families together” for longer periods, which would include the time it took for the family’s immigration proceedings and potential “criminal proceedings for unlawful entry into the United States”.[4]:2 In July 9, Judge Gee of the Federal District of California, ruled that there was no basis to amend the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA) that “requires children to be released to licensed care programs within 20 days.”[5]

In 2017, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found that children who were in custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection lacked “food, clean water and basic hygiene items” and were sleep-deprived. She ordered the federal government to provide items such as soap and to improve the conditions.[6] The federal government appealed the decision saying that the order forcing them to offer specific items and services exceeded the original Flores agreement. The June 18, 2019 hearing became infamous[7] and caused nation wide outrage when a video of the Department of Justice senior attorney arguing against providing minors with toothbrushes and soap, went viral. The federal government lost their appeal when the 3 judge appeals court upheld Judge Gee’s order on August 15, 2019.[6]

Contents

Background and lower court cases

In 1985, Jenny Lisette Flores, an unaccompanied 15-year-old girl from El Salvador, was apprehended by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) after illegally attempting to cross the Mexico-United States border.[8]:1648 The unaccompanied minor was taken to a detention facility where she was held among adults of both sexes, was daily strip searched, and was told she would only be released to the custody of her parents, who, INS suspected, were illegal immigrants.[9]

On July 11, 1985, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and two other organizations, filed a class action lawsuit Flores v. Meese, No. 85-4544 (C.D. Cal.) on behalf of Flores and “all minors apprehended by the INS in the Western Region of the United States”,[3]:1 against U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, challenging the conditions of juvenile detention and alleging that the “defendants’ policies, practices and regulations regarding the detention and release of unaccompanied minors taken into the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in the Western Region” were unconstitutional.[3]:1 Lawyers for the plaintiffs said that government’s detention and release policies were in violation of the children’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution.[8]:1648[10] The plaintiffs originally directed their complaint at the newly released policy introduced by then director of Western Region of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Harold W. Ezell. Under the new policy—83 Fed. Reg. at 45489—which was introduced on September 6, 1984, a detained immigrant minor “could only be released to a parent or legal guardian”. This resulted in minors, such as Flores, being detained in poor conditions for “lengthy or indefinite” periods of time.[11]:33

In late 1987, the C.D. Cal District Court had “approved a consent decree to which all the parties had agreed, “that settled all claims regarding the detention conditions”.[12]

In 1988, INS issued a new regulation— 8 CFR 242.24—that amended the 8 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) parts 212 and 242 regarding the Detention and Release of Juveniles. The new INS regulation, known as 242.24, provided for the “release of detained minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians, except in unusual and compelling circumstances.”[12] The stated purpose of the rule was “to codify the [INS] policy regarding detention and release of juvenile aliens and to provide a single policy for juveniles in both deportation and exclusion proceedings.”[13]

On May 25, 1988, soon after the 8 CFR 242.24 regulation took effect, C.D. Cal District Judge Kelleher in Flores v. Meese, No. CV 85-4544-RJK (Px) rejected it and removed limitations regarding which adults could receive the minors. Judge Kelleher held that all minors have the right to receive a hearing from an immigration judge.[14][15] Judge Kelleher held that 8 CFR 242.24 “violated substantive due process, and ordered modifications to the regulation.”[13] He ruled that “INS release and bond procedures for detained minors in deportation proceedings fell short of the requirements of procedural due process.” He ordered the INS to provide the minors with an “administrative hearing to determine probable cause for his arrest and the need for any restrictions placed upon his release.”[13] The court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs regarding the release conditions.[12][16]:35 This “invalidating the regulatory scheme on due process grounds” and ordered the INS to “release any otherwise eligible juvenile to a parent, guardian, custodian, conservator, or “other responsible adult party”. The District Court also required that the juvenile have a hearing with an immigration judge immediately after their arrest, even if the juvenile did not request it.[12][14]

In Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988), U.S. District Judge Robert J. Kelleher found that the INS policy to strip search children was unconstitutional.[17][Notes 2]

In June 1990, in Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991 (9th Cir. 1990), in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Judges John Clifford Wallace and Lloyd D. George, reversed Judge Kelleher’s 1988 ruling. Judge Betty Binns Fletcher dissented.[18][19] In the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the judges concluded that the INS did not exceed its statutory authority in promulgating 242.24. They ruled that 242.24 did not violate substantive due process, under the Federal Constitution’s Fifth Amendment. They ruled that a remand was necessary with respect to a procedural due process claim (934 F2d 991).

On August 9, 1991, the Ninth Circuit 11-judge en banc majority in Flores v. Meese, overturned its June 1990 panel opinion and affirmed Judge Kelleher’s 1988 ruling against the government citing federal constitutional grounds including due process.[Notes 3][20] They vacated the panel opinion and affirmed the District Court’s order in all respects (942 F2d 1352).[Notes 4][21] According to Judge Dee’s ruling in Flores v. Sessions, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of plaintiffs’ motion to enforce [Paragraph 24A of] the Flores Agreement, holding that nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the Homeland Security Act (HSA) or Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPRA) renders continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, “impermissible.”[22]

On March 23, 1993, the Supreme Court announced judgment in favor of the government, in Janet Reno, Attorney General, et al. v. Jenny Lisette Flores, et al.[23][24] Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Byron WhiteSandra Day O’ConnorAnthony KennedyDavid Souter, and Clarence Thomas, held that the unaccompanied alien children had no constitutional right to be released to someone other than a close relative, nor to automatic review by an immigration judge.[25]

On January 17, 1997 both parties signed the class action settlement agreement in Flores v. RenoThe Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), which is binding on the defendants—the federal government agencies.[2]

USSC Reno v. Flores 1993

…”Where a juvenile has no available parent, close relative, or legal guardian, where the government does not intend to punish the child, and where the conditions of governmental custody are decent and humane, such custody surely does not violate the Constitution. It is rationally connected to a governmental interest in `preserving and promoting the welfare of the child,’ …and is not punitive since it is not excessive in relation to that valid purpose.” …Because this is a facial challenge, the Court rightly focuses on the Juvenile Care Agreement. It is proper to presume that the conditions of confinement are no longer ” `most disturbing,’ …and that the purposes of confinement are no longer the troublesome ones of lack of resources and expertise published in the Federal Register…but rather the plainly legitimate purposes associated with the government’s concern for the welfare of the minors. With those presumptions in place, “the terms and conditions of confinement…are in fact compatible with [legitimate] purposes,” …and the Court finds that the INS program conforms with the Due Process Clause.”

507U.S. 292 (1993) 1993[23]

In Reno v. Flores, the Supreme Court ruled on March 23, 1993 that while “detained children in question had a constitutionally protected interest in freedom from institutional confinement”, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ 1991 decision in Flores v. Meese because the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulation 8 CFR 242.24 in question, complied with the requirements of due process. The INS regulation—8 CFR 242.24—”generally authorized the release of a detained alien juvenile, in order of preference, to a parent, a legal guardian, or specified close adult relatives of the juvenile, unless the INS determined that detention was required to secure an appearance or to ensure the safety of the juvenile or others”.[23][12] This “meant that in limited circumstances” juveniles could be released to “to another person who executed an agreement to care for the juvenile and to ensure the juvenile’s attendance at future immigration proceedings”. Juveniles who are not released would “generally require” a “suitable placement at a facility which, in accordance with the [1987] consent decree, had to meet specified care standards.”[12][Notes 5][Notes 6]

On March 23, 1993, on certiorari the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government, voting 7–2 to reverse the lower court—the Court of Appeals.[24]:A19 Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices Byron WhiteSandra Day O’ConnorAnthony KennedyDavid Souter, and Clarence Thomas, held that the unaccompanied alien children had no constitutional right to be released to someone other than a close relative, nor to automatic review by an immigration judge.[25] In an opinion by Scalia, joined by Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas, it was held that the INS policy—242.24—did not violate substantive due process under the Fifth Amendment. While lawyers for the plaintiffs alleged in a “novel” way that children have a fundamental right to liberty, in which a child who has “no available parent, close relative, or legal guardian, and for whom the government was responsible” has the right “to be placed in the custody of a willing and able private custodian rather than the custody of a government-operated or government-selected child care institution.” The Court ruled that if that fundamental right existed, “it would presumably apply to state custody over orphaned and abandoned children as well.” They ruled that “under the circumstances” “continued government custody was rationally connected to a government interest in promoting juveniles’ welfare and was not punitive” and that “there was no constitutional need to meet even a more limited demand for an individualized hearing as to whether private placement would be in a juvenile’s “best interests,” so long as institutional custody was good enough.” The Court held that the INS “did not violate procedural due process, under the Fifth Amendment, through failing to require the INS to determine in the case of each alien juvenile that detention in INS custody would better serve the juvenile’s interests than release to some other “responsible adult,” not providing for automatic review by an immigration judge of initial INS deportability and custody determinations, or failing to set a time period within which an immigration judge hearing, if requested, had to be held.” The Court also held that this was not “beyond the scope of the Attorney General’s discretion” because the INS 242.24 “rationally pursued the lawful purpose of protecting the welfare of such juveniles.”[12][Notes 7][26][Notes 8] It held that the juveniles could be “detained pending deportation hearings pursuant” under 8 CFR § 242.24 which “provides for the release of detained minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians, except in unusual and compelling circumstances.”[23]

The Supreme Court justices said that in Reno v. Flores, most of the juveniles detained by INS and the Border Patrol at that time [1980s – early 1990s] were “16 or 17 years old”, and had “telephone contact with a responsible adult outside the INS–sometimes a legal services attorney”. They said that due process was “satisfied by giving the detained alien juveniles the right to a hearing before an immigration judge” and that there was no proof at that time “that all of them are too young or too ignorant to exercise that right when the form asking them to assert or waive it is presented.”[27]

Stevens, joined by Blackmun, dissented, expressing the view that the litigation history of the case at hand cast doubt on the good faith of the government’s asserted interest in the welfare of such detained alien juveniles as a justification for 242.24, and demonstrated the complete lack of support, in either evidence or experience, for the government’s contention that detaining such juveniles, when there were “other responsible parties” willing to assume care, somehow protected the interests of those juveniles; an agency’s interest in minimizing administrative costs was a patently inadequate justification for the detention of harmless children, even when the conditions of detention were “good enough”; and 242.24, in providing for the wholesale detention of such juveniles for an indeterminate period without individual hearings, was not authorized by 1252(a)(1), and did not satisfy the federal constitutional demands of due process.[12]

Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA)

On January 28, 1997, during the administration of President Bill Clinton, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and the federal government signed the Flores v. Reno Settlement Agreement, which is also known as The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), Flores SettlementFlores v. Reno Agreement.[28] [29][30][31] Following many years of litigation which started with the July 11, 1985 filing of class action lawsuit, Flores v. Meese, and included the Supreme Court case Reno v. Flores which was decided in 1993, the consent decree or settlement was reached in the United States District Court for the Central District of California between the parties. The court-supervised settlement, The Flores Settlement Agreement (FSA), continues to overseen by the District Court for the Central District of California. The Flores Agreement has set strict national regulations and standards regarding the detention and treatment of minors in federal custody since then. Among other things, the federal government agreed to keep children in the least restrictive setting possible and to ensure the prompt release of children from immigration detention.[8]:1650

According to September 17, 2018 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, the FSA was “intended as a temporary measure”.[4]:7 By 2001, both parties agreed that the FSA “would remain in effect until 45 days following [the] defendants’ publication of final regulations” governing the treatment of detained, minors.”[4]:7 By 2019, the federal government had “not published any such rules or regulations” so the FSA “continues to govern those agencies that now carry out the functions of the former INS.”[4]:7 With the Flores Settlement in place, the executive branch maintains that it has two options regarding the detention of arriving family units that demonstrate a credible fear of persecution pending the outcome of their removal proceedings in immigration court: (1) generally release family units; or (2) generally separate family units by keeping the parents in detention and releasing the children only.[4]

The Flores Agreement sets nationwide policies and “standards for the detention, release and treatment of minors in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)[31] by prioritizing them for release to the custody of their families and requiring those in federal custody to be placed in the least restrictive environment possible,” according to a 2018 NBC News article.[32]

According to the legal nonprofit Human Rights First, the FSA required that immigration authorities “release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay in order of preference beginning with parents and including other adult relatives as well as licensed programs willing to accept custody”. If a suitable placement is not “immediately available, the government is obligated to place children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate to their “age and any special needs”.[33] The settlement agreement also required that the government “implement standards relating to the care and treatment of children in immigration detention.[33]

The FSA required immigration officials to provide detained minors with “food and drinking water as appropriate”, “medical assistance if minor is in need of emergency services”, “toilets and sinks”, “adequate temperature control and ventilation”, “adequate supervision to protect minors from others”, “contact with family members who were arrested with the minor and separation from unrelated adults whenever possible.”[34]:3-4[29]

Under the settlement agreement, immigration officials agreed to release minors “without unnecessary delay” when detention isn’t required to protect the safety and well-being of the minor or to secure the timely appearance of the minor at a proceeding before immigration authorities, that is, when officials release the minor to a parent or guardian who agree to appear, and the minor is not a flight risk.[31]

The FSA set a “preference ranking for sponsor types” with parents, then legal guardians as first choices then an “adult relative”, an “adult individual or entity designated by the child’s parent or legal guardian”, a “licensed program willing to accept legal custody”, an “adult or entity approved” by Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).[34]:8[3]:10 or sent to a state-licensed facility.[31][35][36]

Immigration officials agreed to provide minors with contact with family members with whom they were arrested, and to “promptly” reunite minors with their families. Efforts to reunify families are to continue as long as the minor is in custody.[31][30][Notes 9][37]

The Flores settlement does, however, require that “Following arrest, the INS shall hold minors in facilities that are safe and sanitary and that are consistent with the INS’s concern for the particular vulnerability of minors” and “…such minor shall be placed temporarily in a licensed program … at least until such time as release can be effected … Or until the minor’s immigration proceedings are concluded, whichever occurs earlier”.[citation needed]

Subsequent history

The parties agreed the litigation would terminate once the government finalized regulations complying with the settlement. Because the government has not yet finalized any such regulations, the litigation is ongoing. Compliance with the settlement has been the subject of criticism and litigation, resulting in extensions and modifications.[34][38] In 2001 the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General concluded “Although the INS has made significant progress since signing the Flores agreement, our review found deficiencies with the implementation of the policies and procedures developed in response to Flores.”[38]

In November 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law the Homeland Security Act, which abolished the INS and removed responsibility for unaccompanied alien minors from the Justice Department.[34] The new United States Department of Homeland Security was given responsibility for the apprehension, transfer, and repatriation of illegal aliens while the Office of Refugee Resettlement inside the United States Department of Health and Human Services was given responsibility for the unaccompanied alien minors’ care, placement, and reunification with their parents.[34] In 2005 the Bush administration launched Operation Streamline, which referred all illegal immigrants for prosecution, but exempted those traveling with children.[39]

In 2008, President Bush signed into law the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, a reauthorization of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, which codified some of the standards in the Flores Agreement. The Act provided for the expedited repatriation of unaccompanied alien minors to contiguous nations Mexico and Canada, while exempting unaccompanied children from El SalvadorGuatemala and Honduras from expedited repatriation in order to provide some protection to victims of human trafficking.[34][35][40][36]

Attempting to comply with the Agreement while keeping families together and coping with the 2014 American immigration crisis, a surge of refugees fleeing violence in Central America, the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama built family detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas.[41][42][39]

On July 24, 2015, in “Flores v. Johnson” 2015 C.D. Cal., District Judge Dolly M. Gee ruled found that the consent decree applied equally to accompanied and unaccompanied minors and that immigration officials violated the consent decree by refusing to release accompanied minors held in a family detention facility.[16][43][44][36] The government said an average of 20 days was required for adjudication of “credible fear” and “reasonable fear” claims, among the grounds for asylum in the United States, and on August 21, 2015 Judge Gee clarified the “without unnecessary delay” and “promptly” language in the Flores settlement, ruling that holding parents and children for up to 20 days “may fall within the parameters” of the settlement.[43][45][46] Judge Dee ruled that detained children and their parents who were caught crossing the border illegally could not be held more than 20 days, saying that detention centers in Texas, such as the GEO Group‘s privately run Karnes County Residential Center (KCRC) in Karnes City, Texas, and the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, in Taylor, Texas, had failed to meet Flores standards. Gee expanded Flores to cover accompanied and unaccompanied children.[47] Judge Gee ruled that Flores calls on the government to release children “without unnecessary delay”, which she held was within 20 days.[48][49] The court ordered the release of 1700 families that were not flight risks.[42][50][51]

This was a major change to Flores. Dee was an Obama-appointed federal district court judge.[52][53] Judge Dee said that that the defendants’ “blanket no-release policy with respect to minors accompanied by their mothers is a material breach of the Agreement.”[49]

In 2016, in Flores v. Lynch, Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz, joined by Judges Michael J. Melloy and Ronald M. Gould, reversed in part, finding that the Agreement applied to all detained children but that it did not give their parents any affirmative right of release.[54][16][36][55]

District Judge Gee next issued an enforcement order against the government and, on July 5, 2017, in Flores v. Sessions, Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, joined by Judges A. Wallace Tashima, and Marsha Berzon, affirmed, finding that Congress had not abrogated the Agreement through subsequent legislation.[22][56]:181 Judge Gee ruled that “Congress did not terminate Paragraph 24A of the Flores Settlement with respect to bond hearings for unaccompanied minors” by “[e]nacting the Homeland Security Act (HSA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA).”[22] Judge Gee said that the Flores v. Sessions appeal had stemmed from the Flores Settlement Agreement “between the plaintiff class and the federal government that established a nationwide policy for the detention, release, and treatment of minors in the custody of the INS” and that Paragraph 24A of the Flores Agreement provides that a “minor in deportation proceedings shall be afforded a bond redetermination hearing before an immigration judge.” The Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Gee’s motion to enforce the Flores Agreement, saying that there was “nothing in the text, structure, or purpose of the HSA or TVPRA” that rendered “continued compliance with Paragraph 24A, as it applies to unaccompanied minors, “impermissible.”[22] Because of the ruling in Flores v. Sessions, ORR is required to “inform all unaccompanied children in staff-secure and secure placements of their right to a bond hearing, and schedule one if requested.”[56]:184

In her July 2017 ruling, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found that children who were in custody of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection were sleep-deprived because of inadequate conditions and that their food and water was inadequate, and they lacked “basic hygiene items” which was in violation of the Flores Settlement Agreement.[6] She ordered to federal government to provide an itemized list and improve the conditions.[6] The federal government appealed the decision saying that 1997 Flores Agreement did not mention “allowing children to sleep or wash themselves with soap”.

“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety.”

Judge Marsha S. Berzon. August 15, 2019. 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals[6]

In June 2019, three judges of the Ninth Circuit court of appeals heard the case, 17-56297 Jenny Flores v. William Barr, in which Sarah Fabian, the senior attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Immigration Litigation requested the Court to overturn Judge Dee’s 2017 order “requiring the government to provide detainees with hygiene items such as soap and toothbrushes in order to comply with the “safe and sanitary conditions” requirement set forth in Flores Settlement. During the June 20, 2019 proceedings, Ninth Circuit Judge William Fletcher said it was “inconceivable” that the United States government would consider it “safe and sanitary” to detain child migrants in conditions where it was “cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminium foil blanket?”[57][58] Fabian said that the Flores agreement mandating “safe and sanitary” conditions for detained migrant children was “vague” which let the federal agencies determine “sanitation protocols.”[7] It was not compulsory for the government to provide toothbrushes, soap or adequate bedding to the minors in their care.[59] Videos of the hearing were widely circulated on social media.[60] One of the justices, Judge A. Wallace Tashima, was detained in an internment camp as a child. According to the Los Angeles Times, the “case stirred nationwide outrage” when videos of the hearing went viral.[6]

On August 15, 2019 the three-judge panel of the federal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Judge Dee’s 2017 “order requiring immigration authorities to provide minors with adequate food, water, bedding, toothbrushes and soap.”[6]

Trump administration family separation policy

As Presidential candidate, Donald Trump had promised to end what he called the Obama administration’s policy of “catch and release”. It was the second of his top priorities for immigration reform, after walling off Mexico.[61][62] In the first 15 months of the administration of President Trump, nearly 100,000 immigrants apprehended at the United States-Mexico border were released, including more than 37,000 unaccompanied minors and 61,000 family members.[63][64]

On May 26, 2018 Trump tweeted, “Put pressure on the Democrats to end the horrible law that separates children from there [sic] parents once they cross the border into the U.S.”[65] On May 29, 2018 White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller told reporters, “A nation cannot have a principle that there will be no civil or criminal immigration enforcement for somebody traveling with a child. The current immigration and border crisis, and all of the attendant concerns it raises, are the exclusive product of loopholes that Democrats refuse to close,”[65] such as the Flores Settlement Agreement and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.[35]

By June 2018, the Flores Agreement received increased public attention when Trump, his administration, and supporters cited the FSA and Democratic recalcitrance as justification for the Trump administration family separation policy, in which all adults detained at the U.S.–Mexico border were prosecuted and sent to federal jails while children and infants were placed under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).[66] In June 2018 Vox Media summarized the administration’s interpretation of the settlement as since the government “cannot keep parents and children in immigration detention together, it has no choice but to detain parents in immigration detention (after they’ve been criminally prosecuted for illegal entry) and send the children to” DHS as “unaccompanied alien children.”[55] Despite the wording of Flores v. Reno, human rights advocates asserted that no law or court order mandated the separation of children from their families.[65][63][41][44] On June 11, 2018 Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz said in a Dallas public radio interview “There’s a court order that prevents keeping the kids with the parents when you put the parents in jail.” PolitiFact fact-checked Cruz’s statement, concluding it was “mostly false.”[30] On June 14, 2018, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “The separation of illegal alien families is the product of the same legal loopholes that Democrats refuse to close. And these laws are the same that have been on the books for over a decade. The president is simply enforcing them,” Republican Representative from Wisconsin and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan told reporters “What’s happening at the border in the separation of parents and their children is because of a court ruling,” and Republican Senator from Iowa Chuck Grassley tweeted “I want 2 stop the separation of families at the border by repealing the Flores 1997 court decision requiring separation of families.” The New York Times said “there is no decades-old law or court decision that requires” separating migrant children from their parents.[41]

On June 19, 2018 White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short told reporters the Trump administration had sought legislative relief from Congress on the Flores Settlement, saying “In each and every one of our negotiations in the last 18 months, all the immigration bills, we asked for resolution on the Flores settlement that is what we view requires 20 days before you have to release children and basically parents been released with children into society.”[32] According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, President Trump’s June 20, 2018 executive order, had directed directed then-United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ask the Judge Dolly M. Gee of District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, which oversees the Flores Agreement Settlement, to “modify the agreement” to “allow the government to detain alien families together throughout the duration of the family’s immigration proceedings as well as the pendency of any criminal proceedings for unlawful entry into the United States.[4] The executive order reversed the family separation policy, directing the United States Armed Forces to make room available on military bases for family detention and requested that the District Court for the Central District of California be flexible on the provisions of the settlement requiring state licensing of family detention centers and limiting detention of immigrant children to 20 days, in order to detain families for the duration of their immigration court proceedings.[67][68][69] On July 9, 2018, Gee rejected the request, citing that there was no basis to modify the agreement and pointing out that it is an issue the legislative branch has to solve instead.[70]

On September 7, 2018 federal agencies published a notice of proposed rulemaking that would terminate the FSA “so that ICE may use appropriate facilities to detain family units together during their immigration proceedings, consistent with applicable law.”[71]

On August 23, 2019, the administration issued a rule allowing families to be held in humane conditions while their U.S. immigration court cases were decided. On September 27, a judge blocked the rule, stating: “This regulation is inconsistent with one of the primary goals of the Flores Agreement, which is to instate a general policy favoring release and expeditiously place minors ‘in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs’”.[72]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ According to the Congressional Research Service January 18, 2017 report, many of the terms of the Flores Settlement Agreement, Flores v. Meese—Stipulated Settlement Agreement (U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1997), have been codified at 8 CFR §§236.3, 1236.3.
  2. ^ Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991, 993 (9th Cir. 1990). According to Flores v. Meese, by 1988, migrant juveniles were detained by INS in the Western region in three sectors, Los Angeles, San Diego, and El Centro.] Particularly in the San Diego sector, these juveniles were routinely strip searched by Border Patrol officers at local Border Patrol stations if the INS makes the decision to detain the juvenile. Attorneys for Flores, said that “the INS policy of routinely strip searching juveniles upon their admission to INS facilities, and after all visits with persons other than their attorneys, violate[d] the Fourth Amendment.”
  3. ^ In Flores v. Meese 1991, Judges WallaceCharles E. WigginsMelvin T. Brunetti, and Edward Leavy dissented.
  4. ^ Jenny Lisette Flores, a Minor, by Next Friend Mario Hugh Galvez-Maldonado Dominga Hernandez-Hernandez, a Minor, by Next Friend Jose Saul Mira Alma Yanira Cruz-Aldama, a Minor, by Next Friend Herman Perililo Tanchez v. Edwin Meese, III Immigration & Naturalization Service Harold Ezell, 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1991) Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Filed: August 9th, 1991 Precedential Status: Precedential Citations: 942 F.2d 1352 Docket Number: 88-6249 42 F.2d 1352 60 USLW 2125 Jenny Lisette FLORES, a minor, by next friend Mario Hugh GALVEZ-MALDONADO; Dominga Hernandez-Hernandez, a minor, by next friend Jose Saul Mira; Alma Yanira Cruz-Aldama, a minor, by next friend Herman Perililo Tanchez, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Edwin MEESE, III; Immigration & Naturalization Service; Harold Ezell, Defendants-Appellants. No. 88-6249. United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. Argued En Banc and Submitted April 18, 1991. Decided August 9, 1991.
  5. ^ This reference includes the March 23, 1993 Concurrence, Syllabus, Dissent, and Opinion.
  6. ^ The Court noted that Reno v. Flore is a “facial challenge to INS regulation 242.24” because the policy has never been applied “in a particular instance”. The District Court invalidated 242.24 a week after it came into effect. When the original lawsuit was filed in 1985, it was directed against the newly released policy introduced in —83 Fed. Reg. at 45489—which was introduced on September 6, 1984 by then director of Western Region of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Harold W. Ezell. Under 83 Fed. Reg. at 45489, a detained immigrant minor “could only be released to a parent or legal guardian”. This resulted in minors, such as Flores, being detained in poor conditions for “lengthy or indefinite” periods of time. The Supreme Court said that “We have before us no findings of fact, indeed no record, concerning the INS’s interpretation of the regulation or the history of its enforcement. We have only the regulation itself and the statement of basis and purpose that accompanied its promulgation. To prevail in such a facial challenge, respondents “must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the [regulation] would be valid.”
  7. ^ The case began with oral arguments on October 13, 1992. Deputy Solicitor General Maureen Mahoney appeared for the government.
  8. ^ The March 23, 1993 syllabus for the USSC case Reno v. Flores said that the respondents in Reno v. Meese, are a “class of alien juveniles arrested by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) on suspicion of being deportable.”
  9. ^ According to Snopes, there is “no federal law mandating children and parents be separated at the border; a policy resulting in that outcome was enacted in May 2018.”

References …

External links

  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988) is available from: Justia
  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 934 F.2d 991 (9th Cir. 1990) is available from: CourtListener
  • Text of Flores v. Meese, 942 F.2d 1352 (9th Cir. 1992) (en banc) is available from: Cornell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reno_v._Flores

 

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Religious persecution

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Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within society to alienate or repress different subcultures is a recurrent theme in human history. Moreover, because a person’s religion often determines to a significant extent his or her morality, worldview, self-image, attitudes towards others, and overall personal identity, religious differences can be significant cultural, personal, and social factors.

Religious persecution may be triggered by religious bigotry (i.e. members of a dominant group denigrating religions other than their own) or by the state when it views a particular religious group as a threat to its interests or security. At a societal level, this dehumanisation of a particular religious group may readily turn into violence or other forms of persecution. Indeed, in many countries, religious persecution has resulted in so much violence that it is considered a human rights problem.

Contents

Definition

Religious persecution is defined as violence or discrimination against religious minorities, actions intending to deprive political rights and force minorities to assimilate, leave, or live as second-class citizen.[1] In the aspect of state policy, it may be defined as violations on freedom of thoughtconscience and belief spread by systematic and active state policy and actions of harassment, intimidation and punishment that infringes or threatens the right to lifeintegrity or liberty.[2] The distinction with religious intolerance is that the latter in most cases is in the sentiment of the population, which may be tolerated or encouraged by the state.[2] Denial of civil rights on the basis of religion is most often described as religious discrimination, rather than religious persecution.

Examples of persecution is confiscation or destruction of property, incitement to hate, arrest, imprisonment, beatings, torture, murder, and execution. Religious persecution can be considered the opposite of freedom of religion.

Bateman has differentiated different degrees of persecution. “It must be personally costly… It must be unjust and undeserved… it must be a direct result of one’s faith.”[3]

Forms

Cleansing

“Religious cleansing” is a term that is sometimes used to refer to the removal of a population from a certain territory based on its religion.[4] Throughout antiquity, population cleansing was largely motivated by economic and political factors, although ethnic factors occasionally played a role.[4] During the Middle Ages, population cleansing took on a largely religious character.[4] The religious motivation lost much of its salience early in the modern era, although until the 18th century ethnic enmity in Europe remained couched in religious terms.[4] Richard Dawkins has argued that references to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq are euphemisms for what should more accurately be called religious cleansing.[5] According to Adrian Koopman, the widespread use of the term ethnic cleansing in such cases suggests that in many situations there is confusion between ethnicity and religion.[5]

Ethnicity

During Nazi rule, Jews were forced to wear yellow stars identifying them as such. Jews are an ethno-religious group and Nazi persecution was based on their race

Other acts of violence, such as wartorture, and ethnic cleansing not aimed at religion in particular, may nevertheless take on the qualities of religious persecution when one or more of the parties involved are characterized by religious homogeneity; an example being when conflicting populations that belong to different ethnic groups often also belong to different religions or denominations. The difference between religious and ethnic identity might sometimes be obscure (see Ethnoreligious); cases of genocide in the 20th century cannot be explained in full by citing religious differences. Still, cases such as the Greek genocide, the Armenian Genocide, and the Assyrian Genocide are sometimes seen as religious persecution and blur the lines between ethnic and religious violence.

Since the Early modern period, there were increased religious cleansing entwined with ethnic elements.[6] As religion is an important or central marker in ethnic identity, some conflicts can be described as “ethno-religious conflicts”.[7]

Nazi antisemitism provides another example of the contentious divide between ethnic and religious persecution, because Nazi propaganda tended to construct its image of Jews as race, and de-emphasized Jews as being defined by their religion. The Holocaust made no distinction between secular Jews, atheistic Jews, orthodox Jews and Jews that had converted to Christianity. The Nazis also persecuted the Catholic Church in Germany and Poland.

Persecution for heresy and blasphemy

The persecution of beliefs that are deemed schismatic is one thing; the persecution of beliefs that are deemed heretical or blasphemous is another. Although a public disagreement on secondary matters might be serious enough, it has often only led to religious discrimination. A public renunciation of the core elements of a religious doctrine under the same circumstances would, on the other hand, have put one in far greater danger. While dissenters from the official Church only faced fines and imprisonment in Protestant England, six people were executed for heresy or blasphemy during the reign of Elizabeth I, and two more were executed in 1612 under James I.[8]

Similarly, heretical sects like CatharsWaldensians and Lollards were brutally suppressed in Western Europe, while, at the same time, Catholic Christians lived side-by-side with ‘schismatic’ Orthodox Christians after the East-West Schism in the borderlands of Eastern Europe.[9]

Persecution for political reasons

Protestant Bishop John Hooper was burned at the stake by Queen Mary I of England

More than 300 Roman Catholics were put to death by English governments between 1535 and 1681 for treason, thus for secular rather than religious offenses.[8] In 1570, Pope Pius V issued his papal bull Regnans in Excelsis, which absolved Catholics from their obligations to the government.[10] This dramatically worsened the situation of the Catholics in England. English governments continued to fear the fictitious Popish Plot. The 1584 Parliament of England, declared in “An Act against Jesuits, seminary priests, and such other like disobedient persons” that the purpose of Jesuit missionaries who had come to Britain was “to stir up and move sedition, rebellion and open hostility”.[11] Consequently, Jesuit priests like Saint John Ogilvie were hanged. This somehow contrasts with the image of the Elizabethan era as the time of William Shakespeare, but compared to the antecedent Marian Persecutions there is an important difference to consider. Mary I of England had been motivated by a religious zeal to purge heresy from her land, and during her short reign from 1553 to 1558 about 290 Protestants[12] had been burned at the stake for heresy, whereas Elizabeth I of England “acted out of fear for the security of her realm.”[13]

By location

The descriptive use of the term religious persecution is rather difficult. Religious persecution has occurred in different historical, geographical and social contexts since at least antiquity. Until the 18th century, some groups were nearly universally persecuted for their views about religion, such as atheists,[14] Jews[15] and Zoroastrians.[16]

Roman Empire

Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus, was executed by the Romans

Early Christianity also came into conflict with the Roman Empire, and may have been more threatening to the established polytheistic order than had been Judaism, because of the importance of evangelism in Christianity. Under Nero, the Jewish exemption from the requirement to participate in public cults was lifted and Rome began to actively persecute monotheists. This persecution ended in 313 AD with the Edict of Milan, and Christianity was made the official religion of the empire in 380 AD. By the eighth century Christianity had attained a clear ascendancy across Europe and neighboring regions, and a period of consolidation began marked by the pursuit of hereticsheathensJewsMuslims, and various other religious groups.

Early modern England

One period of religious persecution which has been extensively studied is early modern England, since the rejection of religious persecution, now common in the Western world, originated there. The English ‘Call for Toleration’ was a turning point in the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, and early modern England stands out to the historians as a place and time in which literally “hundreds of books and tracts were published either for or against religious toleration.”[17]

The most ambitious chronicle of that time is W.K.Jordan‘s magnum opus The Development of Religious Toleration in England, 1558-1660 (four volumes, published 1932-1940). Jordan wrote as the threat of fascism rose in Europe, and this work is seen as a defense of the fragile values of humanism and tolerance.[18] More recent introductions to this period are Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558–1689 (2000) by John Coffey and Charitable hatred. Tolerance and intolerance in England, 1500-1700 (2006) by Alexandra Walsham. To understand why religious persecution has occurred, historians like Coffey “pay close attention to what the persecutors said they were doing.”[17]

Ecclesiastical dissent and civil tolerance

No religion is free from internal dissent, although the degree of dissent that is tolerated within a particular religious organization can strongly vary. This degree of diversity tolerated within a particular church is described as ecclesiastical tolerance,[19] and is one form of religious toleration. However, when people nowadays speak of religious tolerance, they most often mean civil tolerance, which refers to the degree of religious diversity that is tolerated within the state.

In the absence of civil toleration, someone who finds himself in disagreement with his congregation doesn’t have the option to leave and chose a different faith – simply because there is only one recognized faith in the country (at least officially). In modern western civil lawany citizen may join and leave a religious organization at will; In western societies, this is taken for granted, but actually, this legal separation of Church and State only started to emerge a few centuries ago.

In the Christian debate on persecution and toleration, the notion of civil tolerance allowed Christian theologians to reconcile Jesus’ commandment to love one’s enemies with other parts of the New Testament that are rather strict regarding dissent within the church. Before that, theologians like Joseph Hall had reasoned from the ecclesiastical intolerance of the early Christian church in the New Testament to the civil intolerance of the Christian state.[20]

Europe

Religious uniformity in early modern Europe

The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre of French Protestants in 1572

By contrast to the notion of civil tolerance, in early modern Europe the subjects were required to attend the state church; This attitude can be described as territoriality or religious uniformity, and its underlying assumption is brought to a point by a statement of the Anglican theologian Richard Hooker: “There is not any man of the Church of England but the same man is also a member of the [English] commonwealth; nor any man a member of the commonwealth, which is not also of the Church of England.”[21]

Before a vigorous debate about religious persecution took place in England (starting in the 1640s), for centuries in Europe, religion had been tied to territory. In England there had been several Acts of Uniformity; in continental Europe the Latin phrase “cuius regio, eius religio” had been coined in the 16th century and applied as a fundament for the Peace of Augsburg (1555). It was pushed to the extreme by absolutist regimes, particularly by the French kings Louis XIV and his successors. It was under their rule that Catholicism became the sole compulsory allowed religion in France and that the huguenots had to massively leave the country. Persecution meant that the state was committed to secure religious uniformity by coercive measures, as eminently obvious in a statement of Roger L’Estrange: “That which you call persecution, I translate Uniformity”.[22]

However, in the 17th century writers like Pierre BayleJohn LockeRichard Overton and Roger William broke the link between territory and faith, which eventually resulted in a shift from territoriality to religious voluntarism.[23] It was Locke who, in his Letter Concerning Toleration, defined the state in purely secular terms:[24] “The commonwealth seems to me to be a society of men constituted only for the procuring, preserving, and advancing their own civil interests.”[25] Concerning the church, he went on: “A church, then, I take to be a voluntary society of men, joining themselves together of their own accord.”[25] With this treatise, John Locke laid one of the most important intellectual foundations of the separation of church and state, which ultimately led to the secular state.

Russia

The Bishop of Vladimir Feodor turned some people into slaves, others were locked in prison, cut their heads, burnt eyes, cut tongues or crucified on walls. Some heretics were executed by burning them alive. According to an inscription of Khan Mengual-Temir, Metropolitan Kiril was granted the right to heavily punish with death for blasphemy against the Orthodox Church or breach of ecclesiastical privileges. He advised all means of destruction to be used against heretics, but without bloodshed, in the name of ‘saving souls’. Heretics were drowned. Novgorod Bishop Gennady Gonzov turned to Tsar Ivan III requesting the death of heretics. Gennady admired the Spanish inquisitors, especially his contemporary Torquemada, who for 15 years of inquisition activity burned and punished thousands of people.[citation needed] As in Rome, persecuted fled to depopulated areas. The most terrible punishment was considered an underground pit, where rats lived. Some people had been imprisoned and tied to the wall there, and untied after their death.[26] Old Believers were persecuted and executed, the order was that even those renouncing completely their beliefs and baptized in the state Church to be lynched without mercy. The writer Lomonosov opposed the religious teachings and by his initiative a scientific book against them was published. The book was destroyed, the Russian synod insisted Lomonosov’s works to be burned and requested his punishment.[citation needed]

…were cutting heads, hanging, some by the neck, some by the foot, many of them were stabbed with sharp sticks and impaled on hooks. This included the tethering to a ponytail, drowning and freezing people alive in lakes. The winners did not spare even the sick and the elderly, taking them out of the monastery and throwing them mercilessly in icy ‘vises’. The words step back, the pen does not move, in eternal darkness the ancient Solovetsky monastery is going. Of the more than 500 people, only a few managed to avoid the terrible court.[27]

Contemporary

President Donald Trump meets with survivors of religious persecution from 17 countries in July 2019

Although his book was written before the September 11 attacks, John Coffey explicitly compares the English fear of the Popish Plot with the contemporary Islamophobia in the Western world.[28] Among the Muslims imprisoned in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp there also were Mehdi Ghezali and Murat Kurnaz who could not have been found to have any connections with terrorism, but had traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan because of their religious interests.

By religion

Persecutions of atheists

Used before the 18th century as an insult,[29] atheism was punishable by death in ancient Greece, in ancient Israel,[30] in Christian countries during the Middle Ages and in Muslim countries. Today, atheism is punishable by death in 13 countries (AfghanistanIranMalaysiaMaldivesMauritaniaNigeriaPakistanQatarSaudi ArabiaSomaliaSudanUnited Arab Emirates and Yemen), all of them Muslim, while “the overwhelming majority” of the 192 United Nation member countries “at best discriminate against citizens who have no belief in a god and at worst can jail them for offences dubbed blasphemy”.[31][32]

State atheism

State atheism has been defined by David Kowalewski as the official “promotion of atheism” by a government, typically by active suppression of religious freedom and practice.[33] It is a misnomer referring to a government’s anti-clericalism, which opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, including the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen.[34]

State atheism was first practised during a brief period in Revolutionary France[citation needed] and repeated only in Revolutionary Mexico and Communist states. The Soviet Union had a long history of state atheism,[35] in which social success largely required individuals to profess atheism, stay away from churches and even vandalize them; this attitude was especially militant during the middle Stalinist era from 1929-1939.[36][37][38] The Soviet Union attempted to suppress religion over wide areas of its influence, including places like central Asia,[39] and the post-World War II Eastern bloc. One state within that bloc, the Socialist People’s Republic of Albania under Enver Hoxha, went so far as to officially ban all religious practices.[40]

Persecution of Baha’is

The Bahá’ís are Iran’s largest religious minority, and Iran is the location of one of the largest Bahá’í populations in the world. Bahá’ís in Iran have been subject to unwarranted arrests, false imprisonment, beatings, torture, unjustified executions, confiscation and destruction of property owned by individuals and the Bahá’í community, denial of employment, denial of government benefits, denial of civil rights and liberties, and denial of access to higher education.

More recently, in the later months of 2005, an intensive anti-Bahá’í campaign was conducted by Iranian newspapers and radio stations. The state-run and influential Kayhan newspaper, whose managing editor is appointed by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei[3], ran nearly three dozen articles defaming the Bahá’í Faith. Furthermore, a confidential letter sent on October 29, 2005 by the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of the Armed Forced in Iran states that the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei has instructed the Command Headquarters to identify people who adhere to the Bahá’í Faith and to monitor their activities and gather any and all information about the members of the Bahá’í Faith. The letter was brought to the attention of the international community by Asma Jahangir, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on freedom of religion or belief, in a March 20, 2006 press release [4].

In the press release the Special Rapporteur states that she “is highly concerned by information she has received concerning the treatment of members of the Bahá’í community in Iran.” She further states that “The Special Rapporteur is concerned that this latest development indicates that the situation with regard to religious minorities in Iran is, in fact, deteriorating.” [5].

Persecution of Buddhists

Persecution of Buddhists was a widespread phenomenon throughout the history of Buddhism lasting to this day, beginning as early as the 3rd century AD by the Zoroastrian Sassanid Empire. Anti-Buddhist sentiments in Imperial China between the 5th and 10th century led to the Four Buddhist Persecutions in China of which the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution of 845 was probably the most severe. In the 20th century Buddhists were persecuted by Asian communist states and parties, Imperial Japan and by the Kuomintang among others.

Persecution of Christians

According to tradition, early Christians were fed to lions in the Colosseum of Rome

The persecution of Christians is for the most part, historical.[41] Even from the beginnings of the religion as a movement within JudaismEarly Christians were persecuted for their faith at the hands of both Jews and the Roman Empire, which controlled much of the areas where Christianity was first distributed. This continued from the first century until the early fourth, when the religion was legalised by the Edict of Milan, eventually becoming the State church of the Roman Empire.

Today, Christians are persecuted in Iran for proselytising.[42][43] Proselytising is illegal in Iran.[44]

Persecution of Falun Gong

The persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual practice began with campaigns initiated in 1999 by the Chinese Communist Party to eliminate Falun Gong in China. It is characterised by multifaceted propaganda campaign, a program of enforced ideological conversion and re-education, and a variety of extralegal coercive measures such as arbitrary arrests, forced labor, and physical torture, sometimes resulting in death.[45]
There have being reports of Organ harvesting o