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Story 1: Jerome Corsi vs. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Political Criminal Witch Hunt –Mueller’s Attorneys’ Suborning Perjury! — End The Witch Hunt — Appoint Second Special Counsel — Videos —

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Sean Hannity Fox News [1AM] 11/29/18 Breaking News Today November 29, 2018

Corsi: Basis for collusion is complete nonsense

9PM Hannity 11/29/2018 – Fox News – November 29 2018

Hannity: Mueller investigation desperate for dirt on Trump


Jerome Corsi On Why He Rejected Robert Mueller’s Plea Deal | NBC News

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/27/18 Breaking Fox News November 27, 2018

The Ingraham Angle 11/27/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today November 27, 2018

Sean Hannity 11/27/18 Breaking Fox News November 27, 2018

Sean Hannity 11/29/18 | Hannity, Tucker Carlson Fox News Today November 29, 2018

Roger Stone associate: I expect to be indicted

Jerome Corsi SLAMS the Mueller Investigation… “They’re forcing me to lie!”


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Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/27/18 Breaking Fox News November 27, 2018

Sean Hannity 11/27/18 Breaking Fox News November 27, 2018


Jerome Corsi Explains Why He Entered Defense Agreement With President Trump

by Chuck Ross

  • Jerome Corsi, through his attorney, has provided President Trump’s legal team with details of his interactions with the special counsel’s office, the right-wing author reveals in an upcoming book.
  • Corsi discussed his arrangement with Trump’s team in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • He wanted Trump to “understand what was going on with the special counsel.” He also denies that he is angling for a pardon, and that Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow said that a pardon was “not on the table.” 

Jerome Corsi revealed this week that he has a joint defense agreement with President Donald Trump, an arrangement the conservative author says will likely generate speculation that he is angling for a pardon should he be convicted in the Russia probe.

Corsi claims that a pardon was not his goal in entering an agreement with Trump. The 72-year-old former InfoWars correspondent said in an interview this week with The Daily Caller News Foundation that he entered a verbal, informal agreement with Trump’s legal team because he thought “it would be important for Trump’s attorneys to understand what was going on with the special counsel.”

“I felt the information would be beneficial to the president’s attorneys in preparing their defense of Donald Trump,” said Corsi, who first revealed the defense agreement in his upcoming book, “Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s ‘Witch Hunt.’”

“A pardon was not the objective of the talks. It was not the anticipation of the pardon, and I still do not anticipate a pardon,” said Corsi, who added that he “will continue supporting Trump regardless of a pardon.”

The joint defense agreement came about through Corsi’s professional connection to Jay Sekulow, an attorney for Trump.

Shortly after Corsi was subpoenaed on Aug. 28, he says that he suggested to friends that they get in touch with Sekulow, who operates a Christian rights group, the American Center for Law and Justice, in addition to representing Trump.

Corsi’s attorney, David Gray, called Sekulow, and after a discussion, Sekulow suggested that the two sides enter an agreement to exchange information about the investigation.

Joint defense agreements are not illegal or even unusual in cases with numerous investigative subjects and targets. Trump has maintained a defense agreement with Paul Manafort even after the former Trump campaign chairman entered a cooperation agreement with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Sept. 14.

Corsi said he and Gray discussed the ramifications of the defense agreement, taking under consideration how the special counsel might respond.

Corsi raised the specter of a pardon from Trump, unprompted during the interview with TheDCNF. He also said talk of a possible pardon came up in Gray’s interactions with Sekulow, but that Sekulow said a pardon was “not on the table.”

“I don’t expect one. I’m not angling for one. I’m not strategizing for one. I’m not asking for one,” Corsi said, while adding that he would not reject a pardon, either.

Whether Corsi will be charged with a crime remains to be seen. He announced on Nov. 13, days after testifying to Mueller’s grand jury, that prosecutors had informed him that he would be indicted for perjury. Mueller’s team then presented a plea offer that would have required Corsi to making false statements about his interactions with Trump confidant Roger Stone regarding WikiLeaks.

Corsi said Monday that he was rejecting the offer because he did not believe he willfully lied to Mueller and his team.

Prosecutors accused Corsi of lying during a Sept. 6 interview when he claimed that he ignored a suggestion from Stone that he reach out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He’s also accused of falsely denying that he told Stone of WikiLeaks’ plans to release dirt on former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Corsi sent Stone an email on Aug. 2, 2016, which referred to Assange’s plans to release two batches of documents that would be “very damaging” to the Clinton campaign. The email also referred to Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

One focus of investigators is whether Corsi, Stone or any other Trump associates had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ Oct. 7, 2016 release of Podesta’s emails. Stone claims that he did not interpret the email as Corsi saying that WikiLeaks had the documents.

Gray’s conversations with Sekulow and the rest of Trump’s legal team were “one way,” said Corsi, with Gray telling the lawyers what questions prosecutors were asking and what lines of inquiry they were exploring.

“The usual things one would want to know,” Corsi said.

Trump’s attorneys “weren’t telling him what their strategy was, they really weren’t giving him legal advice. We didn’t inquire about the status of other cases,” he added.

Gray made contact with Trump’s team “whenever there was a material development,” Corsi said. “They were regular discussions, not every day, but when needed.”

Corsi said Sekulow was “very strict” about materials Gray could see as Trump’s team wanted to avoid being seen as interfering with Mueller’s investigation.

The informality of Corsi’s agreement with team Trump caused some confusion between Gray and Mueller’s team, said Corsi.

At one point, the special counsel learned of the defense agreement and asked Corsi about it. Gray told Mueller prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky that there was no arrangement with Trump’s lawyers. But Corsi said he instructed Gray to clarify that there was an agreement, but it was verbal and informal.

“They decided not to put it in writing. They didn’t think it was necessary,” said Corsi.

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Chuck Ross | Reporter
  • Jerome Corsi makes several stunning disclosures in a new book about his interactions with the special counsel’s office
  • Corsi claims that he has a joint defense agreement with President Donald Trump
  • The right-wing author also writes that he received ‘limited use immunity’ from prosecutors to testify about a series of exchanges with Trump confidant Roger Stone

Right-wing author Jerome Corsi claims in a forthcoming book that he has a joint defense agreement with President Donald Trump and was provided limited immunity during his testimony before special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury to discuss a “cover story” he claims he crafted for Trump confidant Roger Stone.

Corsi, who has been interviewed six times in the investigation over the course of more than two months, writes in “Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s ‘Witch Hunt,’” which The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained, that he entered into the defense agreement with Trump after being advised that Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, was interested in the arrangement.

Describing his interactions with the special counsel’s office, Corsi claims he was granted what’s known as “limited use immunity” for testimony he gave during his Sept. 21 grand jury appearance regarding his conversations with Stone about a Aug. 31, 2016 memo he wrote about former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. (RELATED: Jerome Corsi Reveals Details Of Plea Talks With Mueller)

Corsi says he received immunity for testimony that he and Stone developed a cover story to help explain Stone’s now-infamous Aug. 21, 2016, tweet that it would “soon be [the] Podesta’s time in the barrel.”

Corsi testified that he and Stone hatched a plan in which Corsi would write a memo about the Podestas to allow Stone to cite it as the basis for his tweet. The revelation, if accurate, would undercut Stone’s testimony to the House Intelligence Committee that opposition research on the Podesta brothers’ business activities was the catalyst for the tweet. (RELATED: Exclusive Roger Stone: Report I Developed A ‘Cover Story’ With Corsi Is Devoid Of Logic)

Stone vehemently denied Corsi’s claim about the origin of the memo to TheDCNF on Monday. He insisted that he and Corsi discussed the Podesta brothers’ activities and that his tweet was a reference to opposition research that would come out on the topic.

He also noted that Corsi has not claimed to have emails or text messages supporting his contention about the memo.

Stone also provided TheDCNF with a series of tweets he posted prior to his now-infamous tweet that showed that he was tracking reporting on the Podesta’s business activities in Ukraine.

“John Podesta makes Paul Manafort look like St. Thomas Aquinas. Where is The New York Times?” Stone wrote on Aug. 15, 2016, referring to news articles alleging that Manafort, the chairman of Trump’s campaign, had engaged in illegal business dealings in Ukraine. Stone claims that he was researching the Podesta Group’s lobbying activities in Ukraine.

Twitter posts from Roger Stone

Corsi announced the release of his book Monday in an interview and said that he had rejected a plea offer from Mueller’s team. Corsi, 72, claimed that prosecutors wanted him to plead guilty to making false statements regarding WikiLeaks. He rejected the offer, saying that he would not plead guilty to a crime he did not commit.

Political consultant Roger Stone at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Corsi suggests in his book, which clocks in at 57,000-plus words and was written over the course of a few weeks, that his joint defense agreement with Trump’s legal team was intended to be kept from public view.

He claims that Sekulow, Trump’s lawyer, suggested the agreement could be verbal in nature and did not need to be put in writing.

“This saved creating a document that might appear later in some relevant legal proceeding or newspaper article,” Corsi writes.

Joint defense agreements are common in criminal proceedings, especially when multiple witnesses and investigative targets are dealing with the same prosecutors. Trump has one such agreement with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman who was convicted of tax and bank fraud in the special counsel’s probe on Aug. 21. Prosecutors often bristle at the agreements because they allow witnesses to exchange information about the investigation that would otherwise be limited by attorney-client privilege.

Corsi says he and the Trump team entered into the agreement prior to Corsi’s first meeting with the special counsel’s office, which was held on Sept. 6. Corsi’s first encounter with investigators was on Aug. 28, when FBI agents issued him a subpoena to testify before the grand jury.

Corsi claims that his attorney, David Gray, was skeptical of entering the agreement out of fear of being seen as less-than-cooperative with the special counsel’s office.

“During their phone conversation, Sekulow offered to Gray that the White House was willing to enter into what is known as a mutual defense agreement with us,” writes Corsi, noting that under the agreement “we and the White House would be permitted to share information privately about the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, with the goal of the White House and me assisting one another in defending ourselves.”

Corsi says that after a few days of consideration about the ramifications of entering the agreement, Gray phoned Sekulow and accepted the offer.

“After debating the pros and cons, we had decided that anytime we could get the attorney for the president of the United States to offer assistance to us, we needed to say to be thankful and accept,” writes Corsi.

Corsi writes of one instance in which Gray, his lawyer, had contact with Sekulow. He says that he wanted Gray to warn Trump that “we had to assume the Special Counselor would have everything.”

“All emails, text messages, written notes, and phone records could be obtained by search warrant.”

“I wanted the president warned NOT to give in-person verbal testimony to Mueller under any circumstances,” he adds, expressing concern that prosecutors were moving towards a “perjury trap” against him for misremembering details about a July 25, 2016, email he received from Stone.

Sekulow has not responded to several request for comment about the defense agreement.

Corsi accepted “limited use immunity” from prosecutors to avoid what he claims would have been another perjury trap. He writes that the immunity discussions began after Aaron Zelinsky, a prosecutor on the Mueller team, asked whether he was aware that Stone had testified to the House Intelligence Committee that Corsi’s research on the Podesta brothers was the basis for his Aug. 21, 2016, tweet.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign manger John Podesta gestures before speaking during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on November 9, 2016. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta (Photo: Getty Images)

Gray interrupted the session to confer with prosecutors. Minutes later, he informed Corsi that prosecutors “had agreed to give me a grant of immunity for my testimony here.”

“David explained to me that I could be criminally charged for subornation of perjury for my role in creating a ‘cover story’ about Podesta that Stone used in his testimony under oath to the House Intelligence Committee,” Corsi writes.

Stone’s Podesta tweet has been a central part of the special counsel’s Russia probe. John Podesta asserted just after Trump defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that the tweet and others Stone posted before WikiLeaks’ Oct. 7, 2016, release of Podesta emails showed Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

Stone has claimed other tweets he made about WikiLeaks in October 2016 were based on tips he received from Randy Credico, a left-wing activist who is close friends with WikiLeaks lawyer Margaret Ratner Kunstler.

Stone released text messages on Nov. 14 that showed that Credico told him that WikiLeaks would release documents that would roil the Clinton campaign.

“Hillary’s campaign will die this week,” Credico texted Stone on Oct. 1, 2016.

“Julian Assange has kryptonite on Hillary,” Credico told Stone on Aug. 27, 2016.

Though Credico appears to be one source of information for Stone, prosecutors appear unconvinced by Stone’s public denials that he had no other back channels to WikiLeaks.

For his part, Corsi denies ever speaking to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange or any of his intermediaries.

Corsi writes that his alleged cover up plan with Stone began on Aug. 30, 2016, when Stone emailed him asking to speak on the phone.

“I have no precise recollection of that phone call,” writes Corsi, adding, “But from what happened next, I have reconstructed that in the phone call Stone told me he was getting heat for his tweet and needed some cover.”

Corsi claimed he had begun researching John Podesta’s business links to Russia and believed the research “would make an excellent cover-story for Stone’s unfortunate Tweet.”

Corsi writes that in his phone call later that evening, “I suggested Stone could use me as an excuse, claiming my research on Podesta and Russia was the basis for Stone’s prediction that Podesta would soon be in the pickle barrel.”

“I knew this was a cover-story, in effect not true, since I recalled telling Stone earlier in August that Assange had Podesta emails that he planned to drop as the ‘October Surprise,’ calculated by Assange to deliver a knock-out blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.”

Corsi emailed the nine-page memo to Stone the following day.

“So you knew this was a lie when you wrote the Podesta email,” Zelinsky asked Corsi during one question-and-answer session, he writes.

“Yes, I did,” Corsi responded. “In politics, it’s not unusual to create alternative explanations to deflect the attacks of your political opponents.”

Corsi maintains that neither he nor Stone committed any crime.

“The evidence I provided against Stone was very weak,” he asserts.

“So, what if we had concocted a cover story to explain away Stone’s ‘Podesta’s time in the barrel’ email … So, what if Roger Stone used my cover story to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Roger could amend that testimony and Congress rarely pursues anyone for criminal charges of perjury,” he wrote.

“Without the link to Assange, there was no ‘Russian Collusion’ that could be pinned on Roger Stone.”

Mueller investigation: Who is Jerome Corsi, Roger Stone’s associate?

By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


According to court papers filed Thursday, special counsel Robert Mueller believes a conservative author and conspiracy theorist alerted political consultant Roger Stone during the 2016 presidential campaign that thousands of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman would be released to the public.

The court papers were part of a plea offer made to Jerome Corsi. 

According to court documents, Corsi, in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign, told Stone that WikiLeaks was about to release a trove of emails hacked from John Podesta, Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman.

Who is Corsi and how does he fit into the Mueller investigation?

Here is what we know about him:

  • Corsi was born in East Cleveland, Ohio in 1946.
  • He graduated from St. Ignatius High School and earned a degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1969. He earned a doctorate in political science from Harvard in 1972.
  • He worked in banking and finance, and in 1995, after the fall of the Soviet Union, he launched a mutual fund to invest in Poland. The 20 or so investors in the fund lost $1.2 million.
  • Corsi was sued by two of the investors, but they collected no money from him. No federal charges were brought against him.
  • After the failure of the mutual fund, Corsi remained in finance as a financial services marketing specialist.
  • In 2007, Corsi said he was going to run as a Republican or Independent for then-Sen. John Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat in the 2008 election. He did not run for the seat as a Republican, but was nominated by the Constitutional Party as its candidate, but left the race in July 2007.
  • Corsi was a senior staff writer for the far right website WorldNetDaily. In 2017, he became Washington bureau chief for InfoWars. He is no longer working there.
  • Corsi is a “birther,” one who does not believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States.
  • In 2004, Corsi wrote a biography of John Kerry called “Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry.” Kerry was plagued by the accusations made in the book. Kerry lost the 2004 presidential election to George W. Bush.
  • In September, Corsi appeared before the grand jury in Mueller’s special counsel investigation. Corsi said he disclosed to investigators that he had told Stone that Assange had Podesta’s emails. “But I maintained and still do that I figured it out,” he said, adding: “I made it sound maybe like I had a source, but I didn’t. And I don’t think Stone ever believed me.”
  • He turned over a laptop to Mueller’s investigators.
  • Corsi announced on Nov. 12 that he expected to be indicted for perjury within days.
  • On Monday, Corsi spoke about a plea deal brought by the special counsel. He said he rejected the deal because he would not agree to lie. “They can put me in prison the rest of my life. I am not going to sign a lie.”
  • Court documents showed that two months before WikiLeaks released emails stolen from the Clinton campaign, Corsi sent emails to Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone telling him of WikiLeaks’ intent to publish the emails. Corsi said the emails would be published in two “dumps. He provided the dates of the planned releases and said the emails would be “very damaging” to Clinton’s campaign.
  • According to the court documents, Stone directed Corsi to contact Julian Assange of WikiLeaks “and get the pending (WikiLeaks) emails.” The court document says Corsi passed Stone’s request to an “overseas individual,” whom Corsi identified as Ted Malloch. Malloch was also questioned by Mueller’s investigators.

Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi in plea talks with Mueller team

An associate of Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to President Donald Trump, confirmed Friday that he is in plea talks with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, according to multiple reports.

Jerome Corsi told The Associated Press he is negotiating a potential plea deal, although he declined to elaborate. 

In a video posted last week on YouTube, he said he expected he would be indicted for giving false information to investigators, The Hill reported.

“I’m going to be criminally charged,” he said.

Corsi provided Trump campaign officials, including Stone, with research on Democrats during the 2016 race for the White House, according The Washington Post. The newspaper was the first to report on the possible plea deal.

>> More on Robert Mueller’s investigation

Mueller’s team has been investigating connections between Stone and WikiLeaks in light of a warning shared by Stone in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Stone said in a tweet on Aug. 21, 2016, that “it will soon (be) Podesta’s time in the barrel.” On Oct. 7, 2016, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails that had been stolen from John Podesta, the chairman of Trump rival Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

>> Mueller investigation: Who is Roger Stone, what links him to Trump?

Intelligence officials later determined the emails were among items stolen by Russian hackers.

Corsi said he cooperated for about two months with Mueller’s team and gave investigators a pair of computers and access to his cellphone, emails and Twitter account, The Hill reported. However, he said talks had recently “blown up,” according to the AP.

>> 12 Russians indicted: Military officials accused of hacking DNC, stealing voter info

Stone, who has also said he is prepared to be indicted, has denied having any ties to WikiLeaks.

“I had no advanced notice of the source or content or the exact timing of the release of the WikiLeaks disclosures,” Stone told the AP earlier this month.

In a statement released to the AP on Friday, Stone said Corsi appears to be under “a tremendous amount of pressure, and it is beginning to affect him profoundly.”

“He has stated publicly that he is being asked over and over to say things he simply does not believe occurred,” Stone said.

Officials continue to investigate.


The Latest: Document says Corsi tipped off Stone about leaks

The Latest on President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Prosecutors believe a conservative author tipped off Trump confidant Roger Stone months before WikiLeaks released thousands of emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

That’s according to a document drafted as part of a plea offer to Jerome Corsi. The document was published Tuesday by the Washington Post.

The document says Stone asked Corsi to get in touch with WikiLeaks so he could learn about information that could be relevant to Trump’s campaign.

The document quotes Corsi as saying a “friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps.” He added that the impact of the release was “planned to be very damaging.”

FILE - In this May 23, 2018, file photo, Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing, in Washington. Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing Manafort of lying to federal investigators in the Russia probe in breach of his plea agreement. Prosecutors say in a new court filing that after Manafort agreed to truthfully cooperate with the investigation, he "committed federal crimes" by lying about "a variety of subject matters." (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012.

Corsi said he’s rejected the offer to plead guilty to a false statements charge. He says he didn’t knowingly mislead investigators.


8 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is denying an explosive British news report about alleged contacts he may have had with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The report in London’s Guardian newspaper comes the day after the breakdown of Manafort’s plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, after prosecutors accused Manafort of repeatedly lying to them.

Besides denying he’d ever met Assange, Manafort, who is currently in jail, says he told Mueller’s prosecutors the truth in weeks of questioning.

WikiLeaks says Manafort never met with Assange, offering to bet the Guardian “a million dollars and its editor’s head.”

The developments are raising new questions about what Manafort knows and what prosecutors say he might be attempting to conceal as they probe Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Trump associates.


3:40 p.m.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is denying that he ever met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Manafort says in a statement that a Guardian report saying he met with Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy is “totally false and deliberately libelous.” Manafort says that he has never been contacted by “anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly.”

He also says the Guardian published the story after being told by Manafort’s representatives that it was false.

The British newspaper reported that Manafort met with Assange “around March 2016,” the same month he joined the Trump campaign. The newspaper also said that Manafort had met with Assange previously in 2013 and 2015.

The report didn’t identify the sources for its reporting.


2:45 p.m.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she’s unaware of any conversations about a potential pardon for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Prosecutors with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office accused Manafort on Monday of lying to them and said he had violated a plea agreement struck in September.

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani (joo-lee-AH’-nee) had previously suggested Manafort and others could be eligible for pardons at the end of Mueller’s Russia investigation. The allegation Manafort had lied to prosecutors in the last two months has fueled speculation he might be angling for a pardon.

Manafort cut a deal with prosecutors in September, agreeing to plead guilty to two felonies and cooperate with Mueller’s team “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly.”

Manafort’s lawyers have denied that he misled investigators.

Sanders spoke at the White House on Tuesday.



A British newspaper alleges that Paul Manafort secretly met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within days or weeks of being brought aboard the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

If confirmed, the report Tuesday suggests a direct connection between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which released tens of thousands of emails stolen by Russian spies during the 2016 election.

The campaign seized on the emails to undermine Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.

The Guardian, which did not identify the sources for its reporting, said that Manafort met with Assange “around March 2016” – the same month that Russian hackers began their all-out blitz to steal emails from the Clinton campaign.

Manafort’s lawyers did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.


Meet the all-star team of lawyers Robert Mueller has working on the Trump-Russia investigation

Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller.
 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed one year ago to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign — and Mueller has quietly assembled a formidable team of investigators whose resumés offer a glimpse into potential leads the probe is chasing.

Mueller’s team boasts a storied amount of experience both prosecution and criminal defense, hailing from prestigious law firms to top spots in the Justice Department.

The lawyers, combined, possess a vast array of experience investigating financial fraud, corruption, money laundering, foreign bribery, organized crime, and more.

And Mueller’s team has been on the offensive from the get-go — the last year has consisted of a whirlwind of criminal indictments, guilty pleas, hundreds of pages of court documents, and ever-increasing outrage from President Donald Trump and his allies.

Mueller’s roster of lawyers has earned bipartisan acclaim for their wealth of experience, yet some members have come under fire from conservatives over their previous donations to Democrats. Some critics have even urged Trump to fire Mueller over the hires.

Trump himself has even weighed in on the team:

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history — led by some very bad and conflicted people!” Trump wrote on Twitter in June 2017.

Meet some of Mueller’s hires:

Michael Dreeben

Michael DreebenReuters/Jonathan Ernst

Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general overseeing the Department of Justice’s criminal docket, is widely regarded as one of the top criminal law experts in the federal government. He is working for Mueller on the investigation part-time as he juggles the DOJ’s criminal appellate cases.

Dreeben is best known for having argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court — a feat that fewer than 10 other attorneys have accomplished in the high court’s history. Peers say his hiring reveals how seriously Mueller is taking the investigation, and how wide-ranging it ultimately could be.

“That Mueller has sought his assistance attests both to the seriousness of his effort and the depth of the intellectual bench he is building,” Paul Rosenzweig, a former Homeland Security official and Whitewater investigator, wrote on the Lawfare blog.

Preet Bharara, who Trump fired as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, called Dreeben one of the DOJ’s top legal and appellate minds in modern times:

—Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 9, 2017 // ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed” style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 20px 0px;”>

Preet Bharara


More importantly, Michael Dreeben is careful, meticulous, non-partisan, and fair-minded. His loyalty is to the Constitution alone.

Preet Bharara


Dreeben is 1 of the top legal & appellate minds at DOJ in modern times (My admiration goes far beyond his 8-0 insider trading win in Salman) 

1,994 people are talking about this

Beyond possessing an “encyclopedic” knowledge of criminal law, lawyers who have worked with Dreeben say he also has a gift for anticipating questions his arguments will likely prompt, allowing him to prepare answers accordingly.

“He answers [questions] directly. He answers them completely. And he answers them exquisitely attuned to the concerns that motivated them,” Kannon Shanmugam, a partner at the law firm Williams & Connolly who worked with Dreeben at the solicitor general’s office, told Law360 last year.

Andrew Weissmann

Andrew WeissmannAssociated Press/Pat Sullivan

Weissmann joined Mueller’s team after taking a leave of absence from his current job leading the DOJ’s criminal fraud unit. He formerly served as general counsel to the FBI under Mueller’s leadership.

Weissman also headed up the Enron Task Force between 2002 and 2005, for which he oversaw the prosecutions of 34 people connected to the collapsed energy company, including chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

He spent 15 years as a federal prosecutor in the eastern district of New York, where he specialized in prosecuting mafia members and bosses from the Colombo, Gambino, and Genovese families.

“As a fraud and foreign bribery expert, he knows how to follow the money. Who knows what they will find, but if there is something to be found, he will find it,” Emily Pierce, a former DOJ spokeswoman under the Obama administration, told Politico.

Weissman is one of several attorneys in Mueller’s team that has donated to Democrats, although he does not appear to have donated in the 2016 election. He gave $2,300 to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and $2,000 to the Democratic National Committee in 2006, according to CNN’s review of FEC records.

Jeannie Rhee

Rhee is one of several attorneys to resign from the WilmerHale law firm to join Mueller’s investigation.

She also has two years of DOJ experience, serving as deputy assistant attorney general under former Attorney General Eric Holder. She advised Holder and Obama administration officials on criminal law issues, as well as criminal procedure and executive issues, according to WilmerHale’s website.

As many critics of Mueller’s investigation have pointed out, Rhee represented Hillary Clinton in a 2015 lawsuit that sought access to her private emails. She also represented the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering lawsuit.

Rhee is also one of the members of Mueller’s team under scrutiny for her political donations, and has doled out more than $16,000 to Democrats since 2008, CNN reported. She maxed out her donations both in 2015 and 2016 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, giving a total of $5,400.

James Quarles

Quarles is another of Mueller’s former WilmerHale colleagues who left the firm to join the special counsel. He is acting as the investigation’s point person for communicating with the White House, and has been relaying all of Mueller’s requests to the Trump team with increasing frequency,according to The Daily Beast.

Quarles is a well-respected, longtime litigator who served as an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation early in his career — experience that gives him a significant edge in the Trump-Russia probe, according to colleagues.

“There is nothing comparable to the kind of pressure and obligation that this kind of job puts on your shoulders,” Richard Ben-Veniste, one of Watergate’s special prosecutors, told CNN. “Having been there before gives [Quarles] the confidence to know how to do it and how to do it right.”

Quarles, like other lawyers working on the probe, has also faced scrutiny for donating almost $33,000 to politicians in past years. Although most of the donations went to Democrats — including Obama and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns — FEC records show he has also donated small amounts to Republicans such as Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah.

Aaron Zebley

Aaron ZebleyAssociated Press/Jeff Chiu

Zebley is a longtime FBI staffer who spent years in the counterterrorism division as a special agent before becoming the agency’s chief of staff under Mueller’s former leadership.

Between FBI stints, Zebley served as assistant US attorney in the national security and terrorism unit. He then moved to the DOJ’s national security division before eventually joining the WilmerHale firm in 2014. He, like Quarles and Rhee, left his job at the firm to work on Mueller’s investigation.

Zebley’s early work at the FBI consisted of grueling, complicated investigations into terrorist groups like Al Qaeda — even before 9/11 propelled the organization into infamy. Yet in recent years at WilmerHale, his focus has turned to cybersecurity.

A recent profile in Wired called Zebley a “dogged FBI agent turned prosecutor turned confidant,” noting that his tenacity, history of working alongside Mueller, and globetrotting, investigatory experience will be crucial assets for the Trump-Russia probe.

Greg Andres

Greg Andres
Greg Andres.
 C-SPAN screenshot

Andres joined the investigation on August 1, adding expertise in foreign bribery to Mueller’s team.

Andres previously worked at the DOJ between 2010 and 2012, as a deputy assistant attorney general in the department’s criminal division. One of the most prominent cases he oversaw was the prosecution of Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford, who ran an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

He also has chops in prosecuting organized crime, having worked in the US attorney’s office in Brooklyn on the criminal cases of several members of the infamous Bonanno family — one of whom was even accused of plotting Andres’ murder, according to Reuters.

Most recently, Andres had worked as a white-collar-crime defense attorney for the firm Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Andres told Law360 in a 2016 interview that trial lawyers should always “be confident, straightforward, and well-prepared.”

“Judges, juries, and adversaries can sense a lack of conviction and are unforgiving with respect to overstatement or misrepresentation,” he added. “Emphasize the strengths of your case but acknowledge and concede the weak facts or legal precedent. Failing to cite adverse authority or hiding bad facts can be devastating.”

Zainab Ahmad

Zainab Ahmad
Second from right is Assistant US Attorney Zainab Ahmad.
 Associated Press/Elizabeth Williams

Ahmad is best known for her counterterrorism experience as an assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of New York — an office famed for its work prosecuting organized crime.

Yet Ahmad, herself, is best known for successfully prosecuting 13 terrorists since 2009 without sustaining a single loss, according to a New Yorker profile.

Ahmad’s specialty in prosecuting extraterritorial terrorism cases has meant she has spent much of her time in both American and foreign prisons, interviewing convicted terrorists. One former supervisor told the magazine that Ahmad has likely spend more hours talking to “legitimate Al Qaeda members, hardened terrorist killers,” than any other prosecutor in America.

In a 2015 interview with West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, Ahmad said the best way for prosecutors to win over public trust is “to do their job fairly, with an open mind, and with integrity, throughout every stage of the criminal justice process.”

“As prosecutors we are taught over and over that our principal aim is to seek justice, not to achieve any particular subsidiary goal in any particular case,” she said.

Aaron Zelinsky

Aaron Zelinsky
Aaron Zelinsky.
 YouTube/Maryland Carey Law

Zelinsky came to the Mueller probe in June after a three-year stint in the US attorney’s office in Maryland, where he worked under none other than Rod Rosenstein, who is now the deputy attorney general with authority over the Trump-Russia investigation.

Zelinsky has clerked for Judge Thomas Griffith of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, a George W. Bush appointee, as well as Justice John Paul Stevens and Justice Anthony Kennedy. He also worked for the State Department under the Obama administration, where he dealt with hostage negotiations.

“He is a professional, non-partisan straight shooter, who worked for Democrats at the State Department … but has probably spent more years working for Republicans,” former State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, who supervised Zelinksy, told The New Haven Independent.

“He is an outstanding and fair-minded young prosecutor who will follow the facts and law where they lead. You can count on him to conduct any investigation based on law, not politics.”

Kyle Freeny

—Josh Gerstein (@joshgerstein) September 16, 2017 // ” data-e2e-name=”embed-container” data-media-container=”embed” style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 20px 0px;”>

Josh Gerstein


SCOOP: Meet Trump-Russia prosecutor #17: Jumped from “Wolf of Wall Street” money laundering case to Mueller team 

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Freeny is one of the most recently discovered additions to the Mueller probe, joining the team shortly after withdrawing from the Justice Department’s highest-profile money-laundering case on June 26, Politico reported.

He had been spearheading the DOJ’s effort to seize profits from the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” following allegations that a co-founder of production company Red Granite Pictures, Riza Aziz, had used $64 million worth of stolen assets from the Malaysian government to finance its production. Lawyers for Red Granite Pictures said in a court filing earlier in September that they had reached a settlement with prosecutors.

As Politico reported, Freeny has drawn criticism in the past when she was one of the lawyers defending the Obama administration from a lawsuit that challenged one of Obama’s executive actions on immigration. US District Court Judge Andrew Hanen had accused Freeny and her colleagues of misleading him by incorrectly indicating that none of the changes ordered by Obama had taken effect.

As a result, Hanen was prepared to order extra ethics training for many Washington-based DOJ lawyers and impose sanctions on the government and certain individual lawyers who were not specified. But Hanen eventually backed down, and accepted that the lawyers’ comments he believed to be misleading were “unintentional” and that they “acted with no intent to deceive the other parties or the Court.”

Another aspect about Freeny likely to draw ire from Mueller’s critics are her political donations to Democrats, which consist of $250 donations to each of Obama’s presidential campaigns, and $250 to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, according to Politico.

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew GoldsteinAssociated Press/Mark Lennihan

Before jumping to the Mueller probe, Goldstein led the public corruption unit in the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, where he worked under Preet Bharara, the federal prosecutor who was famously fired by Trump in March after refusing to resign.

During his tenure at the Southern District of New York, Goldstein helped prosecute New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, on federal corruption charges. Goldstein also has experience in prosecuting money laundering and asset forfeiture cases, The New York Times reported.

Elizabeth Prelogar

Prelogar is a lawyer on loan to the Mueller probe from the US solicitor general’s office. Prelogar is fluent in Russian, according toThe National Law Journal, and was a Fulbright scholar in Russia after graduating from Emory College. Prelogar also clerked for Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

“Like Michael Dreeben, she is a person of superb intellect and deep integrity,” former solicitor general Donald Gerrilli, who hired Prelogar in 2014, told the Law Journal. “She can be counted on to call it as she sees it.

Brandon Van Grack

Van Grack worked in the US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he helped prosecute national security, espionage, and international crime cases.

“It would absolutely make sense that a small team like this would want him at their core because of how impossible it is not to get along with him,” Josh Geltzer, a former colleague of Van Grack and executive director of Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy, told The Daily Beast.

Adam Jed

Jed is the only lawyer on Mueller’s team to have never worked as a prosecutor, according to The Daily Beast. Instead, Jed has experience as an appellate lawyer in the Justice Department’s civil division.

Scott Meisler

Meisler worked mostly in the Justice Department’s criminal division since 2009 as an appellate lawyer, specializing in cases that involved search warrants and seizure, as well as mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

He joined Mueller’s team in June 2017, Mueller’s spokesman Peter Carr told Reuters.

Rush Atkinson

Atkinson was a trial attorney for more than four years in the Securities and Financial Fraud Unit of the Justice Department’s criminal division, according to his LinkedIn account.

Before that, Atkinson also worked in the DOJ’s national security division. Samuel Rascoff, one of Atkinson’s law professors at New York University, said in 2010 that Atkinson represented “the best of the new generation of national security lawyers.”

Brian Richardson

Richardson joined Mueller’s team in July 2017, shortly after clerking for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

He has appeared in court alongside Weissmann, Andres, and Freeny as recently as February 2018, when the Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, CNN reported.

Dickey joined Mueller’s team in November 2017, after working for years as an assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, specializing in cybercrimes and fraud, according to ABC News.

Dickey also worked in the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Most notably, he helped prosecute the Romanian hacker Marcel Lazăr Lehel, who went by the screen name Guccifer and pleaded guilty to hacking email and social media accounts belonging to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, among other prominent figures.

Uzo Asonye

Asonye is an assistant US attorney with experience prosecuting embezzlement and bribery cases. He joined Mueller’s team in May 2018 to serve as the local counsel in Manafort’s trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, according to ABC News.

Asonye’s LinkedIn shows that in addition to his role as assistant US attorney, he has also worked at the law firm O’Melveny and Myers in its white collar defense and corporate investigations group.

Federal Election Commission records show that Asonye donated $800 to Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in 2008.

Subornation of perjury

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In American lawScots law and under the law of some English-speaking Commonwealth nations, subornation of perjury is the crime of persuading a person to commit perjury, the swearing of a false oath to tell the truth in a legal proceeding, whether spoken or written. The term subornation of perjury further describes the circumstance wherein an attorney at law causes a client to lie under oath or allows another party to lie under oath.[1][2]

In American federal law, Title 18 U.S.C. § 1622 provides:

Whoever procures another to commit any perjury is guilty of subornation of perjury, and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

In California law, per the State bar Code,[3] the subornation of perjury constitutes an act of “moral turpitude” on the part of the attorney, and thus is cause for his or her disbarment, or for the suspension of his or her license to practice law.[4]

In legal practice, the condition of suborning perjury applies to a lawyer who presents either testimony or an affidavit, or both, either to a judge or to a jury, which the attorney knows to be materially false, and not factual. In civil law and in criminal law, the attorney’s knowledge that the testimony is materially false must rise above mere suspicion to what an attorney would reasonably have believed in the circumstances of the matter discussed in the testimony. Hence, the attorney cannot be wilfully blind to the fact that his or her witness is giving false, perjurious testimony.

An attorney who encourages a witness to give false testimony is suborning perjury, a crime punished either with formal disciplinary action, disbarment, jail or a combination thereof. A false statement by an attorney in court also is a crime similar to subornation of perjury and is punished accordingly. In the professional conduct of an attorney at law, there is a fine delineation between assisting a witness to recall events and encouraging him or her to give materially false testimony. The practice of ″horse shedding the witness″ (rehearsing testimony) is an example of such perjurious criminal conduct by an attorney, which is depicted in the true-crime novel Anatomy of a Murder (1958), by Robert Traver and in the eponymous film (Otto Preminger, 1959), about a rape-and-murder case wherein are explored the ethical and legal problems inherent to the subornation of perjury.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ “Scots Legal Terms and Offences Libelled”. Edinburgh: National Archives of Scotland. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  2. ^ Garner, Bryan A., Ed., Black’s Law Dictionary 7th Ed. West Group, St. Paul Minnesota, 1999, p. 1440.
  3. ^ In re Rivas (1989) 49 Cal.3d 794, 263 California Reporter. 654, 781 P.2d 946
  4. ^ California Business & Professions Code §6102(a)
  5. ^ “Horse shedding” term, Quote it Completely! (1969) pp. 445–446.
  6. ^ Edward Carter (2008). “Horse-shedding, Lecturing and Legal Ethics” (PDF). Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago-Kent College of Law. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  7. ^ See Garner, B.A. Ed., Black’s Law Dictionary 7th Ed., 1999, pp. 742, 1342, and 1598.

See also


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Mississippi Senate Election Results: Cindy Hyde-Smith vs. Mike Espy

Cindy Hyde-Smith has won the election, according to A.P.

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Cindy Hyde-Smith* Republican 479,278 53.9%
Mike Espy Democrat 410,693 46.1

889,971 votes, 100% reporting (1,797 of 1,797 precincts)

* Incumbent

Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican who was appointed to the Senate this year, faces Mike Espy, a Democrat and former congressman, in a special election runoff on Tuesday after neither candidate won a majority on Election Day. The election was held to fill the seat of Senator Thad Cochran, who retired earlier this year for health reasons.

Although Mississippi is a deeply conservative state, a series of remarks by Ms. Hyde-Smith that were widely condemned as racist and insensitive have led Democrats to believe that they might have a chance to defeat her.

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Who can apply for asylum in the US?

Asylum in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Annual Refugee Admissions to the United States by Fiscal Year, 1975 to mid-2018

Annual Asylum Grants in the United States by Fiscal Year, 1990-2016

The United States recognizes the right of asylum for individuals as specified by international and federal law.[1] A specified number of legally defined refugees who either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total annual immigration to the United States, though some large refugee populations are very prominent. Since World War II, more refugees have found homes in the U.S. than any other nation and more than two million refugees have arrived in the U.S. since 1980. In the years 2005 through 2007, the number of asylum seekers accepted into the U.S. was about 40,000 per year. This compared with about 30,000 per year in the UK and 25,000 in Canada. The U.S. accounted for about 10% of all asylum-seeker acceptances in the OECD countries in 1998-2007.[2] The United States is by far the most populous OECD country and receives fewer than the average number of refugees per capita: In 2010-14 (before the massive migrant surge in Europe in 2015) it ranked 28 of 43 industrialized countries reviewed by UNHCR.[3]

Asylum has two basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country.[4] Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: racereligionnationalitypolitical opinion, or particular social group.[5]


Character of refugee inflows and resettlement

Refugee resettlement to the United States by region, 1990–2005 (Source: Migration Policy Institute)

During the Cold War, and up until the mid-1990s, the majority of refugees resettled in the U.S. were people from the former-Soviet Union and Southeast Asia.[citation needed] The most conspicuous of the latter were the refugees from Vietnam following the Vietnam War, sometimes known as “boat people“. Following the end of the Cold War, the largest resettled European group were refugees from the Balkans, primarily Serbs, from Bosnia and Croatia.[citation needed] In the 1990s/2000s, the proportion of Africans rose in the annual resettled population, as many fled various ongoing conflicts.[citation needed]

Large metropolitan areas have been the destination of most resettlements, with 72% of all resettlements between 1983 and 2004 going to 30 locations.[citation needed] The historical gateways for resettled refugees have been California (specifically Los AngelesOrange CountySan Jose, and Sacramento), the Mid-Atlantic region (New York in particular), the Midwest (specifically ChicagoSt. LouisMinneapolis-St. Paul), and Northeast (Providence, Rhode Island).[citation needed] In the last decades of the twentieth century, Washington, D.C.SeattleWashingtonPortlandOregon; and AtlantaGeorgia provided new gateways for resettled refugees. Particular cities are also identified with some national groups: metropolitan Los Angeles received almost half of the resettled refugees from Iran, 20% of Iraqi refugees went to Detroit, and nearly one-third of refugees from the former Soviet Union were resettled in New York.[citation needed]

Between 2004 and 2007, nearly 4,000 Venezuelans claimed political asylum in the United States and almost 50% of them were granted. In contrast, in 1996, only 328 Venezuelans claimed asylum, and a mere 20% of them were granted.[6] According to USA Today, the number of asylums being granted to Venezuelan claimants has risen from 393 in 2009 to 969 in 2012.[7] Other references agree with the high number of political asylum claimants from Venezuela, confirming that between 2000 and 2010, the United States has granted them with 4,500 political asylums.[8]


Despite this, concerns have been raised with the U.S. asylum and refugee determination processes. A recent empirical analysis by three legal scholars described the U.S. asylum process as a game of refugee roulette; that is to say that the outcome of asylum determinations depends in large part on the personality of the particular adjudicator to whom an application is randomly assigned, rather than on the merits of the case. The very low numbers of Iraqi refugees accepted between 2003 and 2007 exemplifies concerns about the United States’ refugee processes. The Foreign Policy Association reported that “Perhaps the most perplexing component of the Iraq refugee crisis… has been the inability for the U.S. to absorb more Iraqis following the 2003 invasion of the country. Up until 2008, the U.S. has granted less than 800 Iraqis refugee status, just 133 in 2007. By contrast, the U.S. granted asylum to more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War.” [9]

Relevant law and procedures

“The Immigration and Nationality Act (‘INA’) authorizes the Attorney General to grant asylum if an alien is unable or unwilling to return to her country of origin because she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of ‘race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.'”[1]

The United States is obliged to recognize valid claims for asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. As defined by these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group. The signatories to these agreements are further obliged not to return or “refoul” refugees to the place where they would face persecution.

This commitment was codified and expanded with the passing of the Refugee Act of 1980 by the United States Congress. Besides reiterating the definitions of the 1951 Convention and its Protocol, the Refugee Act provided for the establishment of an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help refugees begin their lives in the U.S. The structure and procedures evolved and by 2004, federal handling of refugee affairs was led by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, working with the ORR at HHS. Asylum claims are mainly the responsibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Refugee quotas

Each year, the President of the United States sends a proposal to the Congress for the maximum number of refugees to be admitted into the country for the upcoming fiscal year, as specified under section 207(e) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This number, known as the “refugee ceiling”, is the target of annual lobbying by both refugee advocates seeking to raise it and anti-immigration groups seeking to lower it. However, once proposed, the ceiling is normally accepted without substantial Congressional debate. The September 11, 2001 attacks resulted in a substantial disruption to the processing of resettlement claims with actual admissions falling to about 26,000 in fiscal year 2002. Claims were doublechecked for any suspicious activity and procedures were put in place to detect any possible terrorist infiltration, though some advocates noted that, given the ease with which foreigners can otherwise legally enter the U.S., entry as a refugee is comparatively unlikely. The actual number of admitted refugees rose in subsequent years with refugee ceiling for 2006 at 70,000. Critics note these levels are still among the lowest in 30 years.

Recent actual, projected and proposed refugee admissions
Year Africa % East Asia % Europe % Latin America
and Caribbean
% Near East and
South Asia
% Unallocated
FY 2012 actual arrivals[10] 10,608 18.21 14,366 24.67 1,129 1.94 2,078 3.57 30,057 51.61 58,238
FY 2013 ceiling[10] 12,000 17,000 2,000 5,000 31,000 3,000 70,000
FY 2013 actual arrivals[11] 15,980 22.85 16,537 23.65 580 0.83 4,439 6.35 32,389 46.32 69,925
FY 2014 ceiling[11] 15,000 14,000 1,000 5,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2014 actual arrivals[12] 17,476 24.97 14,784 21.12 959 1.37 4,318 6.17 32,450 46.36 69,987
FY 2015 ceiling[12] 17,000 13,000 1,000 4,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2015 actual arrivals[13] 22,472 32.13 18,469 26.41 2,363 3.38 2,050 2.93 24,579 35.14 69,933
FY 2016 ceiling[13] 25,000 13,000 4,000 3,000 34,000 6,000 85,000
FY 2016 actual arrivals[14] 31,625 37.21 12,518 14.73 3,957 4.65 1,340 1.57 35,555 41.83 84,995
FY 2017 ceiling[15] 35,000 12,000 4,000 5,000 40,000 14,000 110,000
FY 2017 actual arrivals[16] 20,232 37.66 5,173 9.63 5,205 9.69 1,688 3.14 21,418 39.87 53,716
FY 2018 ceiling[17] 19,000 5,000 2,000 1,500 17,500 45,000
*FY 2018 actual arrivals[18] 10,459 46.50 3,668 16.31 3,612 16.06 955 4.25 3,797 16.88 22,491

A total of 73,293 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2010. The leading countries of nationality for refugee admissions were Iraq (24.6%), Burma (22.8%), Bhutan (16.9%), Somalia (6.7%), Cuba (6.6%), Iran (4.8%), DR Congo (4.3%), Eritrea (3.5%), Vietnam (1.2%) and Ethiopia (0.9%).

Application for resettlement by refugees abroad

The majority of applications for resettlement to the United States are made to U.S. embassies in foreign countries and are reviewed by employees of the State Department. In these cases, refugee status has normally already been reviewed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and recognized by the host country. For these refugees, the U.S. has stated its preferred order of solutions are: (1) repatriation of refugees to their country of origin, (2) integration of the refugees into their country of asylum and, last, (3) resettlement to a third country, such as the U.S., when the first two options are not viable.[citation needed]

The United States prioritizes valid applications for resettlement into three levels.[citation needed]

Priority One

  • persons facing compelling security concerns in countries of first asylum; persons in need of legal protection because of the danger of refoulement; those in danger due to threats of armed attack in an area where they are located; or persons who have experienced recent persecution because of their political, religious, or human rights activities (prisoners of conscience); women-at-risk; victims of torture or violence, physically or mentally disabled persons; persons in urgent need of medical treatment not available in the first asylum country; and persons for whom other durable solutions are not feasible and whose status in the place of asylum does not present a satisfactory long-term solution. – UNHCR Resettlement Handbook[citation needed]

Priority Two

is composed of groups designated by the U.S. government as being of special concern. These are often identified by an act proposed by a Congressional representative. Priority Two groups proposed for 2008 included:[19]

  • “Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious activists in the former Soviet Union, with close family in the United States” (This is the amendment which was proposed by Senator Frank LautenbergDN.J. and originally enacted November 21, 1989.[20])
  • from Cuba: “human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts (1965-68), persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities, and persons who have experienced or fear harm because of their relationship – family or social – to someone who falls under one of the preceding categories”[citation needed]
  • from Vietnam: “the remaining active cases eligible under the former Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) programs”; individuals who, through no fault of their own, were unable to access the ODP program before its cutoff date; and Amerasian citizens, who are counted as refugee admissions[citation needed]
  • individuals who have fled Burma and who are registered in nine refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border and who are identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement[citation needed]
  • UNHCR-identified Burundian refugees who originally fled Burundi in 1972 and who have no possibility either to settle permanently in Tanzania or return to Burundi[citation needed]
  • Bhutanese refugees in Nepal registered by UNHCR in the recent census and identified as in need of resettlement
  • Iranian members of certain religious minorities[citation needed]
  • Sudanese Darfurians living in a refugee camp in Anbar Governorate in Iraq would be eligible for processing if a suitable location can be identified[citation needed]

Priority Three

is reserved for cases of family reunification, in which a refugee abroad is brought to the United States to be reunited with a close family member who also has refugee status. A list of nationalities eligible for Priority Three consideration is developed annually. The proposed countries for FY2008 were Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, ColombiaCongo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), EritreaEthiopiaHaiti, Iran, Iraq, RwandaSomaliaSudan and Uzbekistan.[19]

Individual application

The minority of applications that are made by individuals who have already entered the U.S. are judged on whether they meet the U.S. definition of “refugee” and on various other statutory criteria (including a number of bars that would prevent an otherwise-eligible refugee from receiving protection). There are two ways to apply for asylum while in the United States:

  • If an asylum seeker has been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is a part of the Department of Justice, the individual may apply for asylum with the Immigration Judge.
  • If an asylum seeker is inside the United States and has not been placed in removal proceedings, he or she may file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), regardless of his or her legal status in the United States. However, if the asylum seeker is not in valid immigration status and USCIS does not grant the asylum application, USCIS may place the applicant in removal proceedings, in that case a judge will consider the application anew. The immigration judge may also consider the applicant for relief that the asylum office has no jurisdiction to grant, such as withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Since the effective date of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996, an applicant must apply for asylum within one year[21] of entry or be barred from doing so unless the applicant can establish changed circumstances that are material to his or her eligibility for asylum or exceptional circumstances related to the delay.

Immigrants who were picked up after entering the country between entry points can be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on payment of a bond, and an immigration judge may lower or waive the bond. In contrast, refugees who asked for asylum at an official point of entry before entering the U.S. cannot be released on bond. Instead, ICE officials have full discretion to decide whether they can be released.[22]

If an applicant is eligible for asylum, they have a procedural right to have the Attorney General make a discretionary determination as to whether the applicant should be admitted into the United States as an asylee. An applicant is also entitled to mandatory “withholding of removal” (or restriction on removal) if the applicant can prove that her life or freedom would be threatened upon return to her country of origin. The dispute in asylum cases litigated before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and, subsequently, the federal courts centers on whether the immigration courts properly rejected the applicant’s claim that she is eligible for asylum or other relief.

The applicant has the burden of proving that he (or she) is eligible for asylum. To satisfy this burden, an applicant must show that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country on account of either race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.[23] The applicant can demonstrate her well-founded fear by demonstrating that she has a subjective fear (or apprehension) of future persecution in her home country that is objectively reasonable. An applicant’s claim for asylum is stronger where she can show past persecution, in which case she will receive a presumption that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country. The government can rebut this presumption by demonstrating either that the applicant can relocate to another area within her home country in order to avoid persecution, or that conditions in the applicant’s home country have changed such that the applicant’s fear of persecution there is no longer objectively reasonable. Technically, an asylum applicant who has suffered past persecution meets the statutory criteria to receive a grant of asylum even if the applicant does not fear future persecution. In practice, adjudicators will typically deny asylum status in the exercise of discretion in such cases, except where the past persecution was so severe as to warrant a humanitarian grant of asylum, or where the applicant would face other serious harm if returned to his or her country of origin. In addition, applicants who, according to the US Government, participated in the persecution of others are not eligible for asylum.[24]

A person may face persecution in his or her home country because of race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or social group, and yet not be eligible for asylum because of certain bars defined by law. The most frequent bar is the one-year filing deadline. If an application is not submitted within one year following the applicant’s arrival in the United States, the applicant is barred from obtaining asylum unless certain exceptions apply. However, the applicant can be eligible for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal, which is a less favorable type of relief than asylum because it does not lead to a Green Card or citizenship. The deadline for submitting the application is not the only restriction that bars one from obtaining asylum. If an applicant persecuted others, committed a serious crime, or represents a risk to U.S. security, he or she will be barred from receiving asylum as well.[25]

  • After 2001, asylum officers and immigration judges became less likely to grant asylum to applicants, presumably because of the attacks on 11 September.[26]

In 1986 an Immigration Judge agreed not to send Fidel Armando-Alfanso back to Cuba, based on his membership in a particular social group (gay people) who were persecuted and feared further persecution by the government of Cuba.[27] The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision in 1990, and in 1994, then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered this decision to be a legal precedent binding on Immigration Judges and the Asylum Office, and established sexual orientation as a grounds for asylum.[27][28] However, in 2002 the Board of Immigration Appeals “suggested in an ambiguous and internally inconsistent decision that the ‘protected characteristic’ and ‘social visibility’ tests may represent dual requirements in all social group cases.”[29][30] The requirement for social visibility means that the government of a country from which the person seeking asylum is fleeing must recognize their social group, and that LGBT people who hide their sexual orientation, for example out of fear of persecution, may not be eligible for asylum under this mandate.[30]

In 1996 Fauziya Kasinga, a 19-year-old woman from the Tchamba-Kunsuntu people of Togo, became the first person to be granted asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. In August 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States’s highest immigration court, found for the first time that women who are victims of severe domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum in the United States.[31] However, that ruling was in the case of a woman from Guatemala and was anticipated to only apply to women from there.[31] On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed that precedent and announced that victims of domestic abuse or gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum.[32]

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca precedent

The term “well-founded fear” has no precise definition in asylum law. In INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca480 U.S. 421 (1987), the Supreme Court avoided attaching a consistent definition to the term, preferring instead to allow the meaning to evolve through case-by-case determinations. However, in Cardoza-Fonseca, the Court did establish that a “well-founded” fear is something less than a “clear probability” that the applicant will suffer persecution. Three years earlier, in INS v. Stevic467 U.S. 407 (1984), the Court held that the clear probability standard applies in proceedings seeking withholding of deportation (now officially referred to as ‘withholding of removal’ or ‘restriction on removal’), because in such cases the Attorney General must allow the applicant to remain in the United States. With respect to asylum, because Congress employed different language in the asylum statute and incorporated the refugee definition from the international Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Court in Cardoza-Fonseca reasoned that the standard for showing a well-founded fear of persecution must necessarily be lower.

An applicant initially presents his claim to an asylum officer, who may either grant asylum or refer the application to an Immigration Judge. If the asylum officer refers the application and the applicant is not legally authorized to remain in the United States, the applicant is placed in removal proceedings. After a hearing, an immigration judge determines whether the applicant is eligible for asylum. The immigration judge’s decision is subject to review on two, and possibly three, levels. First, the immigration judge’s decision can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2002, in order to eliminate the backlog of appeals from immigration judges, the Attorney General streamlined review procedures at the Board of Immigration Appeals. One member of the Board can affirm a decision of an immigration judge without oral argument; traditional review by three-judge panels is restricted to limited categories for which “searching appellate review” is appropriate. If the BIA affirms the decision of the immigration court, then the next level of review is a petition for review in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the immigration judge sits. The court of appeals reviews the case to determine if “substantial evidence” supports the immigration judge’s (or the BIA’s) decision. As the Supreme Court held in INS v. Ventura537 U.S.12 (2002), if the federal appeals court determines that substantial evidence does not support the immigration judge’s decision, it must remand the case to the BIA for further proceedings instead of deciding the unresolved legal issue in the first instance. Finally, an applicant aggrieved by a decision of the federal appeals court can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case by a discretionary writ of certiorari. But the Supreme Court has no duty to review an immigration case, and so many applicants for asylum forego this final step.

Notwithstanding his statutory eligibility, an applicant for asylum will be deemed ineligible if:

  1. the applicant participated in persecuting any other person on account of that other person’s race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  2. the applicant constitutes a danger to the community because he has been convicted in the United States of a particularly serious crime;
  3. the applicant has committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arrival;
  4. the applicant constitutes a danger to the security of the United States;
  5. the applicant is inadmissible on terrorism-related grounds;
  6. the applicant has been firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States; or
  7. the applicant has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined more broadly in the immigration context.

Conversely, even if an applicant is eligible for asylum, the Attorney General may decline to extend that protection to the applicant. (The Attorney General does not have this discretion if the applicant has also been granted withholding of deportation.) Frequently the Attorney General will decline to extend an applicant the protection of asylum if he has abused or circumvented the legal procedures for entering the United States and making an asylum claim.

Work permit and permanent residence status

An in-country applicant for asylum is eligible for a work permit (employment authorization) only if his or her application for asylum has been pending for more than 150 days without decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review. If an asylum seeker is recognized as a refugee, he or she may apply for lawful permanent residence status (a green card) one year after being granted asylum. Asylum seekers generally do not receive economic support. This, combined with a period where the asylum seeker is ineligible for a work permit is unique among developed countries and has been condemned from some organisations, including Human Rights Watch.[33]

Up until 2004, recipients of asylee status faced a wait of approximately fourteen years to receive permanent resident status after receiving their initial status, because of an annual cap of 10,000 green cards for this class of individuals. However, in May 2005, under the terms of a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit, Ngwanyia v. Gonzales, brought on behalf of asylees against CIS, the government agreed to make available an additional 31,000 green cards for asylees during the period ending on September 30, 2007. This is in addition to the 10,000 green cards allocated for each year until then and was meant to speed up the green card waiting time considerably for asylees. However, the issue was rendered somewhat moot by the enactment of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of United States Public Law 109-13 (H.R. 1268)), which eliminated the cap on annual asylee green cards. Currently, an asylee who has continuously resided in the US for more than one year in that status has an immediately available visa number.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

An Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) is any person who has not attained 18 years of age who entered the United States unaccompanied by and not destined to: (a) a parent, (b) a close non-parental adult relative who is willing and able to care for said minor, or (c) an adult with a clear and court-verifiable claim to custody of the minor; and who has no parent(s) in the United States.[34] These minors are eligible for entry into the URM program. Trafficking victims who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and/or the United States Department of State are also eligible for benefits and services under this program to the same extent as refugees.

The URM program is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a branch of the United States Administration for Children and Families. The mission of the URM program is to help people in need “develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency.” To do this, URM provides refugee minors with the same social services available to U.S.-born children, including, but not limited to, housing, food, clothing, medical care, educational support, counseling, and support for social integration.[35]

History of the URM Program

URM was established in 1980 as a result of the legislative branch’s enactment of the Refugee Act that same year.[36] Initially, it was developed to “address the needs of thousands of children in Southeast Asia” who were displaced due to civil unrest and economic problems resulting from the aftermath of the Vietnam War, which had ended only five years earlier.[35] Coordinating with the United Nations and “utilizing an executive order to raise immigration quotas, President Carter doubled the number of Southeast Asian refugees allowed into the United States each month.”[37] The URM was established, in part, to deal with the influx of refugee children.

URM was established in 1980, but the emergence of refugee minors as an issue in the United States “dates back to at least WWII.”[36] Since that time, oppressive regimes and U.S. military involvement have consistently “contributed to both the creation of a notable supply of unaccompanied refugee children eligible to relocate to the United States, as well as a growth in public pressure on the federal government to provide assistance to these children.”[36]

Since 1980, the demographic makeup of children within URM has shifted from being largely Southeast Asian to being much more diverse. Between 1999 and 2005, children from 36 different countries were inducted into the program.[36] Over half of the children who entered the program within this same time period came from Sudan, and less than 10% came from Southeast Asia.[36]

Perhaps the most commonly known group to enter the United States through the URM program was known as the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. Their story was made into a documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. The film, Lost Boys of Sudan, follows two Sudanese refugees on their journey from Africa to America. It won an Independent Spirit Award and earned two national Emmy nominations.[38]


In terms of functionality, the URM program is considered a state-administered program. The U.S. federal government provides funds to certain states that administer the URM program, typically through a state refugee coordinator’s office. The state refugee coordinator provides financial and programmatic oversight to the URM programs in his or her state. The state refugee coordinator ensures that unaccompanied minors in URM programs receive the same benefits and services as other children in out-of-home care in the state. The state refugee coordinator also oversees the needs of unaccompanied minors with many other stakeholders.[39]

ORR contracts with two faith-based agencies to manage the URM program in the United States; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)[40] and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). These agencies identify eligible children in need of URM services; determine appropriate placements for children among their national networks of affiliated agencies; and conduct training, research and technical assistance on URM services. They also provide the social services such as: indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities; intensive case management by social workers; independent living skills training; educational supports; English language training; career/college counseling and training; mental health services; assistance adjusting immigration status; cultural activities; recreational opportunities; support for social integration; and cultural and religious preservation.[41]

The URM services provided through these contracts are not available in all areas of the United States. The 14 states that participate in the URM program include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.[41]

Adoption of URM Children

Although they are in the United States without the protection of their family, URM-designated children are not generally eligible for adoption. This is due in part to the Hague Convention on the Protection and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, otherwise known as the Hague Convention. Created in 1993, the Hague Convention established international standards for inter-country adoption.[42] In order to protect against the abduction, sale or trafficking of children, these standards protect the rights of the biological parents of all children. Children in the URM program have become separated from their biological parents and the ability to find and gain parental release of URM children is often extremely difficult. Most children, therefore, are not adopted. They are served primarily through the foster care system of the participating states. Most will be in the custody of the state (typically living with a foster family) until they become adults. Reunification with the child’s family is encouraged whenever possible.

U.S. government support after arrival

As soon as people seeking asylum in the United States are accepted as refugees they are eligible for public assistance just like any other person, including cash welfare, food assistance, and health coverage. Many refugees depend on public benefits, but over time may become self-sufficient.[43]

Availability of public assistance programs can vary depending on which states within the United States refugees are allocated to resettle in. For example, health policies differ from state to state, and as of 2017, only 33 states expanded Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.[44] In 2016, The American Journal of Public Health reported that only 60% of refugees are assigned to resettlement locations with expanding Medicaid programs, meaning that more than 1 in 3 refugees may have limited healthcare access.[45]

In 2015, the world saw the greatest displacement of people since World War II with 65.3 million people having to flee their homes.[46] In fiscal year 2016, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (MRA) requested that $442.7 million be allocated to refugee admission programs that relocate refugees into communities across the country.[47] President Obama made a “Call to Action” for the private sector to make a commitment to help refugees by providing opportunities for jobs and accommodating refugee accessibility needs.[48]

Child separation

The recent U.S. Government policy known as “Zero-tolerance” was implemented in April 2018.[49] In response, a number of scientific organizations released statements on the negative impact of child separation, a form of childhood trauma, on child development, including the American Psychiatric Association,[50] the American Psychological Association,[51] the American Academy of Pediatrics,[52] the American Medical Association,[53] and the Society for Research in Child Development.[54]

Efforts are underway to minimize the impact of child separation. For instance, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a resource guide and held a webinar related to traumatic separation and refugee and immigrant trauma.

LGBTQ asylum seekers

Historically, homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior in the US, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 barred homosexual individuals from entering the United States due to concerns about their psychological health.[55] One of the first successful LGBTasylum pleas to be granted refugee status in the United States due to sexual orientation was a Cuban national whose case was first presented in 1989.[56] The case was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the barring of LGBT and queer individuals into the United States was repealed in 1990. The case, known as Matter of Acosta (1985), set the standard of what qualified as a “particular social group.” This new definition of “social group” expanded to explicitly include homosexuality and the LGBT population. It considers homosexuality and gender identity a “common characteristic of the group either cannot change or should not be required to change because it is fundamental to their individual identities or consciences.”[57] This allows political asylum to some LGBT individuals who face potential criminal penalties due to homosexuality and sodomy being illegal in the home country who are unable to seek protection from the state.[58][59] The definition was intended to be open-ended in order to fit with the changing understanding of sexuality. According to Fatma Marouf, the definition established in Acosta was influential internationally, appealing to “the fundamental norms of human rights.”[60]

Experts disagree on the role of sexuality in the asylum process. Stefan Volger argues that the definition of social group tends to be relatively flexible, and describes sexuality akin to religion—one might change religions but characteristics of religion are protected traits that can’t be forced.[57][60] However, Susan Berger argues that while homosexuality and other sexual minorities might be protected under the law, the burden of proving that they are an LGBT member demonstrates a greater immutable view of the expected LGBT performance.[61] The importance of visibility is stressed throughout the asylum process, as sexuality is an internal characteristic. It is not visibly represented in the outside appearance.[60]

When considering how sexuality is viewed, research utilize asylum claim decisions and individual cases to understand what is considered characteristic of being a member of the LGBT community. In migration studies, there was an implicit assumption that immigrants are heterosexual and queers are citizens.[62]

One theory that took route within the queer migrations studies was Jasbir Puar‘s idea of homonationalism. According to Paur, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the movement against terrorists also resulted in a reinforcement of the binary “us vs. them” against some members of the LGBT community. The social landscape was termed “homonormative nationalism” or homonationalism.[63]

Obstacles asylum seekers face


Female asylum seekers may encounter issues when seeking asylum in the United States due to what some see as a structural preference for male narrative forms in the requirements for acceptance.[61] Researchers, such as Amy Shuman and Carol Bohmer, argue that the asylum process produces gendered cultural silences, particular in hearings where the majority of narrative construction takes place.[64] Cultural silences refers to things that women refrain from sharing, due to shame, humiliation, and other deterrents.[64] These deterrents can make achieving asylum more difficult as it can keep relevant information from being shared with the asylum judge.[64]

Susan Berger argues that the relationship between gender and sexuality leads to arbitrary case decisions, as there are no clear guidelines for when the private problems becomes an international problem. Berger uses case specific examples of asylum applications where gender and sexuality both act as an immutable characteristic. She argues that because male persecutors of lesbian and heterosexual female applicants tend to be family members, their harm occurs in the private domain and is therefore excluded from asylum consideration. Male applicants, on the other hand, are more likely to experience targeted, public persecution that relates better to the traditional idea of a homosexual asylum seeker. Male applicants are encouraged to perform gay stereotypes to strengthen their asylum application on the basis of sexual orientation, while lesbian women face the same difficulties as their heterosexual partners to perform the homosexual narrative.[61] Joe Rollins found that gay male applicants were more likely to be granted refugee status if they included rape in their narratives, while gay Asian immigrants were less likely to be granted refugee status over all, even with the inclusion of rape.[65] This, he claimed, was due to Asian men being subconsciously feminized.[65]

These experiences are articulated during the hearing process where the responsibility to prove membership is on the applicant.[61][64][57] During the hearing process, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate persecution for gender or sexuality and place the source as their own culture. Shuman and Bohmer argue that in sexual minorities, it is not enough to demonstrate only violence, asylum applicants have to align themselves against a restrictive culture. The narratives are forced to fit into categories shaped by western culture or be found to be fraudulent.[64]

Mexican Transgender Asylum Seeker

LGBT individuals have a higher risk for mental health problems when compared to cis-gender counterparts and many transgender individuals face socioeconomic difficulties in addition to being an asylum seeker. In a study conducted by Mary Gowin, E. Laurette Taylor, Jamie Dunnington, Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, and Marshall K. Cheney of Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers, they found 5 major stressors among the participants including assault (verbal, physical and sexual), “unstable environments, fear for safety and security, hiding undocumented status, and economic insecurity.”[66] They also found that all of the asylum seekers who participated reported at least one health issue that could be attributed to the stressors. They accessed little or no use of health or social services, attributed to barriers to access, such as fear of the government, language barriers and transportation.[66] They are also more likely to report lower levels of education due to few opportunities after entering the United States. Many of the asylum seeker participants entered the United States as undocumented immigrants. Obstacles to legal services included fear and knowledge that there were legal resources to gaining asylum.[66]

Human Rights Activism

Human Rights and LGBT advocates have worked to create many improvements to the LGBT Asylum Seekers coming into the United States.[67] A 2015 report issued by the LGBT Freedom and Asylum network identifies best practices for supporting LGBT asylum seekers in the US.[68] The US State Department has also issued a factsheet on protecting LGBT refugees.[69]


The 2000 documentary film Well-Founded Fear, from filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini marked the first time that a film crew was privy to the private proceedings at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), where individual asylum officers ponder the often life-or-death fate of the majority of immigrants seeking asylum. The film analyzes the US asylum application process by following several asylum applicants and asylum officers.

See also


  • David Weissbrodt and Laura Danielson, Immigration Law and Procedure, 5th ed., West Group Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-314-15416-7

Notes and references

Story 4: Europe Must Stop Migration Into Europe —  Videos

Illegal Immigration: It’s About Power

A Nation of Immigrants

The Suicide of Europe

Refugee Crisis Escalates in Europe as Some Countries Fight Back

Did Hillary Clinton Just Go Full Steve Bannon?

Is Clinton’s stance on immigration in Europe hypocritical?

Hillary Clinton Calls on Europe To END Mass Immigration

Ann Coulter: Trump doesn’t need Congress to build the wall

Israel extends its high-tech barriers I FT World

Hillary Clinton: Europe must curb immigration to stop rightwing populists

When will President Trump get the border wall built?

Home secretary visits first completed section of Trump’s border wall

New Border wall construction zone Santa Teresa New Mexico 2018

US-Mexico border wall

Europe and centre left everywhere need tougher approach to phenomenon that fuelled Trump and Brexit, says Clinton

Hillary Clinton
 Hillary Clinton, a former US presidential candidate, suggests immigration contributed to Brexit and Donald Trump’s election. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

Europe must get a handle on immigration to combat a growing threat from rightwing populists, Hillary Clinton has said, calling on the continent’s leaders to send out a stronger signal showing they are “not going to be able to continue to provide refuge and support”.

In an interview with the Guardian, the former Democratic presidential candidate praised the generosity shown by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, but suggested immigration was inflaming voters and contributed to the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

“I think Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame,” Clinton said, speaking as part of a series of interviews with senior centrist political figures about the rise of populists, particularly on the right, in Europe and the Americas.

“I admire the very generous and compassionate approaches that were taken particularly by leaders like Angela Merkel, but I think it is fair to say Europe has done its part, and must send a very clear message – ‘we are not going to be able to continue provide refuge and support’ – because if we don’t deal with the migration issue it will continue to roil the body politic.”

Clinton’s remarks are likely to prove controversial across Europe, which has struggled to form a unified position ever since more than 1 million migrants and refugees arrived in the EU in 2015.

While some countries who have borne the brunt, such as Germany, Italy and Greece, have argued for the burden to be shared more evenly, some, particularly in central and eastern Europe, have rejected demands to take in refugees.

Migration numbers have fallen sharply since 2015, while a series of initiatives have been tabled, from a 10,000-member European border and coastguard agency to an overhaul of EU asylum procedures.

Clinton was one of three heavyweights of the centre-left interviewed by the Guardian to better understand why their brand of politics appears to be failing. All three have seen their countries upended by political events that to some degree can be explained by the success of rightwing populism.

The other two interviewees, Tony Blair and Matteo Renzi, agreed that the migration issue had posed significant problems for centrist politics.

“You’ve got to deal with the legitimate grievances and answer them, which is why today in Europe you cannot possibly stand for election unless you’ve got a strong position on immigration because people are worried about it,” Blair said. “You’ve got to answer those problems. If you don’t answer them then … you leave a large space into which the populists can march.”

Clinton urged forces opposed to rightwing populism in Europe and the US not to neglect the concerns about race and identity issues that she says were behind her losing key votes in 2016. She accused Trump of exploiting the issue in the election contest – and in office.

“The use of immigrants as a political device and as a symbol of government gone wrong, of attacks on one’s heritage, one’s identity, one’s national unity has been very much exploited by the current administration here,” she said.

“There are solutions to migration that do not require clamping down on the press, on your political opponents and trying to suborn the judiciary, or seeking financial and political help from Russia to support your political parties and movements.”

Brexit, described by Clinton as the biggest act of national economic self-harm in modern history, “was largely about immigration”, she said.

Matteo Renzi
 Matteo Renzi, who was Italian PM from 2014-16. Photograph: Pacific/Rex/Shutterstock

Clinton, Blair and Renzi all said rightwing populism had not just fed off issues of identity but was also driven by a disruptive way of conducting politics that dramatises divisions and uses a rhetoric of crisis. The centre left struggles to get its voice heard over the simplistic, emotional language used against it, they said.

Blair said populism would continue to rise until mainstream parties found a way to cut through the reductive soundbites that populists deploy so effectively.

“I don’t think it’s reached its peak,” he said, when asked about the electoral success of populists globally. “I think it will peak, in my view, when the centre ground recovers its mojo and has a strong forward agenda.”

“A significant part of the problem here is people’s desire for a leader that is going to just push through change without regard to political pressures, you know, that ‘getting things done’ mentality.”

Clinton said rightwing populists in the west met “a psychological as much as political yearning to be told what to do, and where to go, and how to live and have their press basically stifled and so be given one version of reality.

“The whole American system was designed so that you would eliminate the threat from a strong, authoritarian king or other leader and maybe people are just tired of it. They don’t want that much responsibility and freedom. They want to be told what to do and where to go and how to live … and only given one version of reality.

“I don’t know why at this moment that is so attractive to people, but it’s a serious threat to our freedom and our democratic institutions, and it goes very deep and very far and we’ve got to do a better job of shining a light on it and trying to combat it.”

She also reveals her contempt for Steve Bannon, whose attempt to bolster rightwing populist parties in Europe is stalling everywhere outside of Italy. “Rome is the right place for him since it is bread and circuses and it’s as old as recorded history. Keep people diverted, keep them riled up appeal to their prejudices, give them a sense they are part of something bigger than themselves – while elected leaders and business leaders steal them blind. It’s a classic story and Bannon is the latest avatar of it.”

Renzi bemoaned a generational shift that he said had elevated hate and confrontation over admiration and respect. “There is a climate of hate that has come from the Five Star Movement and the League,” he said of his political opponents in Italy. “This is the problem of the new generation – they are educated to hate and to envy.”

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1174-1179

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1168-1173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1159-1167

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1151-1158

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1145-1150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1139-1144

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1131-1138

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1122-1130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1112-1121

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1101-1111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1091-1100

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1082-1090

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1073-1081

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1066-1073

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1058-1065

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1048-1057

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1041-1047

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1033-1040

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1023-1032

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1017-1022

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1010-1016

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1001-1009

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 993-1000

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 984-992

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 977-983

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 963-969

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 946-954

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 926-937

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 889-896

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 884-888

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 878-883

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 870-877

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 864-869

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 857-863

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 800-805

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 793-799

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 785-792

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 777-784

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 769-776

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 745-750

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 720-726

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 713-719

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 705-712

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 695-704

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 685-694

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 660-667

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 644-650

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 575-584

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 236-249

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 194-201

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 165-173

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

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