The Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018, Story 1: Devin Nunes, Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,   Warns Attorney General Sessions of Contempt of Congress if  Doesn’t Comply with Subpoena — Cover-up and Stonewalling At Department of Justice To Protect Who? — Embarrassing and Criminal Activity of FBI and DOJ Employees — President Trump Should Order Declassification and Release of All Documents Under Congressional Subpoena — Clean Up Obama’s Mess at DOJ and FBI — American People Demand It —  Videos — Story 2 : First Lady Melania Trump’s Be Best Initiative — Videos — Story 3: Iran and Obama Lied To American People — President Trump’s Goal: Stop Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East By Diplomacy, Negotiation or Military Means — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

 

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Story 1: Devin Nunes, Chairman of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence,   Warns Attorney General Sessions of Contempt of Congress if  Doesn’t Comply with Subpoena — Cover-up and Stonewalling At Department of Justice To Protect Who? — Embarrassing and Criminal Activity of FBI and DOJ Employees — President Trump Should Order Declassification and Release of All Documents Under Congressional Subpoena — Clean Up Obama’s Mess at DOJ and FBI — American People Demand It —  Videos —

Rep. Nunes discusses DOJ stonewalling

Tucker: Democrats want to impeach Trump, but lie about it

Nunes warns of contempt of Congress if Sessions doesn’t comply with subpoena

Rep. Nunes threatens AG sessions with contempt of Congress

Devin Nunes should hold Sessions in contempt of Congress: Rep. DeSantis

Rep. Dave Brat on GOP vs. DOJ

Robert Mueller on the defensive after a bad week in court?

The Ingraham Angle 5/7/18 | Breaking Fox News | May 7, 2018

Time for Mueller to show his cards: Fmr. Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy

Mueller probe is investigating people looking for crimes: Marc Lotter

Nunes: Documents about Flynn show Comey has been lying

Tucker: What’s at stake in the Rosenstein battle

Freedom Caucus members draft Rosenstein impeachment articles

“You’re Out of Order!” Nunes Is the Only Person Who Cares About FISA Abuse and Must Be Congratulated

Tucker Carlson Tonight 5/7/18 | Breaking Fox News | May 7, 2018

Outrageous Redactions to the Russia Report

Michael Flynn departs a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The FBI and DOJ have been burying the investigators’ questionable judgments and information helpful to Flynn.Cute how this works: Kick off the week with some “the Department of Justice is not going to be extorted” bombast from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, by which he rationalizes that his defiance of subpoenas and slow-walking document production to Congress — which is probing investigative irregularities related to the 2016 campaign — is required by DOJ policy and “the rule of law.” Then end the week with the Friday-night bad-news dump: the grudging removal of DOJ and FBI redactions from a House Intelligence Committee report on Russia’s election meddling.

Now that we can see what they wanted to conceal, it is clear, yet again, that the Justice Department and the FBI cannot be trusted to decide what the public gets to learn about their decision-making.

They tell us that their lack of transparency is necessary for the protection of national security, vital intelligence, and investigative operations. But what we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate Michael Flynn, Trump’s top campaign supporter and former national-security adviser; and their explicitly stated belief that Flynn did not lie in the FBI interview for which Special Counsel Robert Mueller has since prosecuted him on false-statements charges.

It is simply ridiculous for President Trump to continue bloviating about this situation on Twitter and in friendly media interviews, and for congressional Republicans to continue pretending that the problem is Justice Department and FBI leadership — as if Trump were not responsible for his own administration’s actions. The president has not only the authority but the duty to ensure that his subordinates honor lawful disclosure requests from Congress.

What happened with these redactions is inexcusable.

BACKGROUND

A little over a week ago, the House committee chaired by Representative Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) published its lengthy report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The report was actually completed weeks earlier but was withheld while the committee battled to disclose information that the Justice Department and FBI insisted on blacking out. As usual, the DOJ claimed that the declassification and release of the information would damage investigations and national security. No, it wouldn’t, countered Chairmen Nunes and other Republicans who knew what had been redacted.

When the Comey memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them.

This has become a depressingly familiar dance. Justice and the Bureau previously insisted that the sky would fall if Congress forced the release of an Intelligence Committee report on government abuse of foreign-intelligence surveillance powers. To the contrary, we learned that the FBI and DOJ had used the unverified Steele dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on at least one person tied to the Trump campaign, in contravention of express guidelines that “only documented and verified information may be used to support FBI applications to the [FISA] court” (see Nunes’s March 1 letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions). In addition, we learned that the FISA court was not told that the dossier was a Clinton campaign opposition-research project, and that its author, Christopher Steele, had been terminated as an informant for lying to the FBI about his contacts with the media.

More recently, the FBI severely restricted access to former FBI director James Comey’s memos of his meetings with President Trump. Finally, three congressional committees protested that there was no legal basis for such restriction. When the memos were finally disclosed, we learned that there was no investigative or national-security reason to have concealed them. They did, however, provide greater insight about such matters as how a briefing of then-president-elect Trump on a salacious sliver of the dossier (but not on its sensational allegations of a traitorous conspiracy with the Kremlin) led to an intelligence-community leak about the briefing and the consequent media publication of the dossier — the backbone of the media-Democratic “collusion with Russia” narrative. (See Mollie Hemingway’s analysis at The Federalist.)

That leads us to last Friday’s disclosure of some — but not nearly all — previously redacted sections of the Intelligence Committee’s Russia Report.

COMEY VS. THE COMMITTEE: DID AGENTS BELIEVE FLYNN LIED?

When the House first issued its report on the Russia investigation, a heavily redacted portion (pp. 53–54) related that Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, had pled guilty to a false-statements charge based on misleading statements to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The report explained that Flynn had been rebuffed by Kislyak when, based on instructions from the Trump transition team, Flynn asked Russia to refrain from voting in favor of a U.N. resolution condemning Israel. Flynn also discussed with the transition team what, if anything, he should communicate to Kislyak about Trump’s position on the sanctions that President Obama had imposed on Russia over its interference in the 2016 election.

None of this was new information. Indeed, the committee noted that it was drawn from public court filings by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with Flynn’s guilty plea. But there was one intriguing disclosure in the redacted report: Flynn pled guilty “even though the [FBI] agents did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” There was no elaboration on this point — no discussion of why Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents in the first place; no insight on deliberations within the FBI and Justice Department about whether Flynn had deceptive intent; no explanation of how he came to be charged months later by Mueller’s prosecutors even though the trained investigators who observed Flynn’s demeanor during the interview did not believe he’d lied.

This news that Flynn’s interrogators had not sensed deception was not altogether new. It had been reported that then–FBI director James Comey had made this revelation in closed-session testimony before the committee on March 2, 2017. (See my column.) Yet, during media interviews to promote his just-released memoir, Comey — who has rebuked the House Intelligence Committee report as an effort to tear down our law-enforcement institutions — repeatedly expressed bafflement that anyone could possibly have construed his testimony to imply that the agents believed Flynn had not lied. Byron York recounts the interviews at the Washington Examiner. In one, Comey told ABC host and Clinton pal George Stephanopoulos:

I don’t know where that’s coming from. . . . That — unless I’m — I said something that people misunderstood, I don’t remember even intending to say that. So, my recollection is I never said that to anybody.

The now-unredacted passages reveal that top Obama DOJ and FBI officials provided the committee with ‘conflicting testimony’ about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.

Well, shortly after the redactions were lifted late on Friday, The Federalist’s Sean Davis got busy on Twitter, posting side-by-side comparisons of the original heavily redacted pages and the new, more transparent version. The disclosures are stunning. I know this will amaze you, but it turns out the redactions had absolutely nothing to do with concerns about the need to protect national security or pending investigations. Instead, the now-unredacted passages:

  • Elaborate on why the FBI did not believe Flynn had lied, including quotations from Comey’s testimony.
  • Reveal that for some period of time during 2016, the FBI conducted a counterintelligence (CI) investigation of Flynn.
  • Note that top Obama Justice Department and FBI officials provided the committee with “conflicting testimony” about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.
  • Illustrate that the FBI and Justice Department originally insisted on concealment of facts helpful to Flynn that are already public.

 

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATION OF FLYNN

The now-unredacted passages relate that, for some period of time during 2016, the FBI was conducting a “CI investigation into General Flynn.” It was Comey’s recollection that he had “authorized the closure” of that investigation “by late December 2016.”

As we have discussed in connection with Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser against whom the Obama Justice Department obtained FISA surveillance warrants, a CI investigation on an American citizen proceeds on the suspicion that the citizen is an agent of a foreign power whose clandestine activities violate federal criminal law. That is, it appears possible (if not likely) that the Justice Department was operating on the theory that Flynn — a decorated combat veteran and co-author of a 2016 book that brands Russia as an implacable enemy of the United States — was an agent of the Kremlin.

At some point, moreover, Justice rationalized the investigation into Flynn, at least in part, by relying on the Logan Act. An almost surely unconstitutional 18th-century statute, the Logan Act purports to prohibit Americans from unauthorized freelancing in foreign-policy. It has never been successfully used to prosecute anyone. (Compare then-director Comey’s July 5, 2016, press conference and subsequent testimony, in which he theorized that charging Hillary Clinton for a rarely prosecuted classified-information offense would violate Justice Department policy against selective prosecution.)

The startling fact that there was a CI investigation of Flynn does not, of course, tell us on what evidence suspicions against him were based. As I’ve previously contended (when it was not known that there was a CI investigation, but it was apparent that Flynn had been seen as a criminal suspect), there are profound reasons to question the legitimacy of Flynn’s treatment.

Notwithstanding Friday night’s unveiling of blacked-out passages, the report still contains redacted paragraphs about Flynn. Two of them (on pp. 52–53) sandwich a passage about a business trip Flynn took to Moscow in late 2015 (seven months before he branded Russia a committed enemy in his book). The trip followed a visit to Kislyak by Flynn and his son at the ambassador’s Washington residence.

Though not mentioned in the unredacted passage, it has been reported that Flynn was paid more than $45,000 by Russia’s state-owned propaganda network, RT, for a speech he gave while in Moscow — an event at which he sat next to President Vladimir Putin. On the current state of disclosure, we do not know how, if at all, this incident played into the decision to investigate Flynn. Neither do we know whether the FBI and Justice Department took any action when former President Bill Clinton received $500,000  from a Kremlin-connected bank for a short speech delivered in 2010 on a trip to Russia, during which he met with Putin — even as his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was among the U.S. officials considering and ultimately green-lighting Russia’s effort to acquire rights to one-fifth of America’s uranium stock.

The suggestion that Flynn’s post-election contacts with Russia were improper, let alone unlawful, is absurd. Flynn was the designated national-security adviser for the incoming administration and a key member of the Trump transition team. To have communications with officials of foreign governments was a legitimate and necessary part of his job.

It is worth noting that Flynn had been fired by Obama from his post as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and is despised by Obama intelligence officials for having become an ardent public adversary against Obama’s national-security policy, most prominently as candidate Trump’s most visible supporter. The interest of Obama’s DOJ and FBI in Flynn appears to have intensified after Trump won the election, when Flynn was presumed to be laying groundwork to reverse Obama’s positions — as Trump promised to do throughout the campaign.

While it is only natural that Obama officials would seethe over Flynn’s ascendancy, the suggestion that his post-election contacts with Russia were improper, let alone unlawful, is absurd. Flynn was the designated national-security adviser for the incoming administration and a key member of the Trump transition team. To have communications with officials of foreign governments was a legitimate and necessary part of his job. Plus, Kislyak was a foreign agent subject to FISA surveillance, so the FBI had recordings of his communications with Flynn and knew that Flynn had done nothing improper. (It has been presumed that Flynn’s communications with Kislyak were intercepted because Kislyak, not Flynn, was the subject of a FISA warrant; now, with confirmation that Flynn was the subject of a counterintelligence investigation, we may need to revisit that presumption.)

Whatever prompted the CI investigation of Flynn, the now-unredacted passages of the report recount that it had come to nothing by the end of 2016. The FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, told the committee that “we really had not substantiated anything particularly significant against General Flynn.” As noted above, Comey stated that he had approved the closure of the investigation in late December. It seems strange that the file was not closed at that time. Comey indicated that it was “kept open due to the public discrepancy surrounding General Flynn’s communications with Kislyak.” But that “discrepancy” did not arise until mid January, as Trump’s inauguration neared.

It was not much of a discrepancy, which no doubt factored into the interviewing agents’ perception that Flynn did not make intentional misstatements. To the Obama Justice Department, the pressing matter was whether Flynn had promised the Russian ambassador that Trump would undo the sanctions and other penalties Obama had imposed on December 29. The recorded phone call between Flynn and Kislyak proved that Flynn had made no such commitment.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, what do you suppose the FBI wanted redacted from the report? If you guessed “the paragraph describing the Flynn-Kislyak phone call,” you have caught on to how this wretched game is played. Here’s the paragraph that was originally blacked out:

In the call between General Flynn and Ambassador Kislyak, General Flynn “requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” [Endnote (EN) 90] Russia decided not to reciprocate, which eventually led senior U.S. government officials to try to understand why. [There follows a passage of about two lines followed by EN 91, both redacted.] In a subsequent call with General Flynn, Ambassador Kislyak attributed the action to General Flynn’s request. [EN 92]

I’ve left in the endnotes (report, p. 58) because they confirm that the information in this paragraph comes from a document submitted to the court by Special Counsel Mueller when Flynn pled guilty. (See Statement of the Offense, p. 3, paras. e–g.) It is a public document. To be sure, there is a classified sentence in the middle of the paragraph that may well relate to steps senior U.S. officials took to try to understand Putin’s motive for refraining from retaliating against Obama’s sanctions. But what conceivable good reason can there have been for the FBI and Justice Department to redact from the report information that was already publicly disclosed? Why black out public information showing that Flynn merely did what any Obama official, or any other U.S. official, would have done — namely, suggest that Russia would only make things worse by escalating the dispute?

Is it because this action, simply communicating with the Russian ambassador, is the real reason Flynn was prosecuted?

Yes, yes, I know — technically, Flynn was prosecuted for making false statements about the conversation, not for having the conversation. Obama officials had hoped to nail Flynn on a heinous crime — a corrupt deal to drop the sanctions as a quid pro quo for Putin’s election-meddling that purportedly helped Trump win. Instead, all they could show was a trivial misstep: Flynn’s failure to acknowledge that sanctions were mentioned in his conversation with Kislyak — a mention so innocuous that the FBI couldn’t decide whether Flynn’s failure to describe it was a lie or an innocent failure of recollection.

Is this misstatement really why Flynn was pursued? I don’t think so. Obama officials hounded Flynn because, to this day, they remain vindictive toward political opponents who dared to engage in foreign affairs while Obama was still president. Democrats today are cheering former Secretary of State John Kerry’s rallying of foreign governments against President Trump’s determination to undo Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. They make no mention of possible violations of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from acting on behalf of the U.S. in foreign-policy matters. Apparently, the Logan Act, which has never been successfully used to prosecute anyone, is alive and well only when it comes to General Flynn.

Testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee in May 2017, former acting attorney general Sally Yates — the same Sally Yates fired by Trump for insubordination over her refusal to execute his so-call travel-ban — explained that it was she who alerted Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn about problems with Flynn. She told him that Flynn’s claim that there had been no discussion of sanctions with Kislyak — an assertion later repeated by Vice President Pence, among other Trump officials, in public statements — was wrong.

Yates stressed, however, that “the first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that General Flynn engaged in was problematic in and of itself.

The underlying conduct. Get it? For Obama officials, the real “crime” was that Flynn was talking to Kislyak in the first place — the Logan Act.

As I’ve previously noted, since this prosecution theory doesn’t pass the laugh test, Obama officials conjured up an alternative “blackmail” theory that is even more ludicrous than the Logan Act bunkum. As Yates told the subcommittee (with a straight face, no less) Russia had “leverage” over Trump’s national-security adviser because the Kremlin knew that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak and, hence, must have lied to Pence — a lie Putin could threaten to reveal unless Flynn did his bidding.

Your average high-school student would readily grasp how silly this is. First, Flynn and Russia also knew that the U.S. intelligence services had a recording of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. Blackmail only works if the compromising information is secret. The very fact that Yates knew what was on the recording illustrates that Russia had no unique knowledge it could hope to exploit against Flynn. In fact, the Kremlin knew that so many American officials were aware of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak that one of them had leaked it to the Washington Post’s David Ignatiustwo weeks before Yates met with McGahn.

Second, Russia would not have concluded that Flynn necessarily misled Pence just because Pence repeated an inaccuracy. Knowing that misinformation about diplomatic contacts is common, the Kremlin would probably have assumed that the fledgling Trump administration was telling a politically useful lie — the media and Democrats were so agitated about Obama’s sanctions that by merely mentioning them, a Trump official risked cries of “Treason!”

The newly unredacted passages in the House report recount that on January 24, “following a call from Deputy Director McCabe to General Flynn, made at the direction of Director Comey,” two agents were dispatched to speak to Flynn. (Though not identified in the House report, news coverage indicates that one of these agents was Peter Strzok, then chief of the Bureau’s counterespionage section.)

Three days into his job as national-security adviser, Flynn had been meeting with many government national-security agents. Strzok’s visit must have seemed routine. Having no notice that he was to be interrogated as a criminal suspect, Flynn spoke with the agents alone, without a lawyer. But why was he being treated as a suspect? The newly unredacted report elaborates:

The Committee received conflicting testimony from Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Yates, Director Comey, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General [Mary] McCord, and Deputy Director McCabe about whether the primary purpose of the interview was investigating potentially misleading statements to the Vice President, which the Vice President echoed publicly[,] about the content of those calls [EN 94, citing Yates]; a possible violation of the Logan Act [EN 95, citing Yates]; or a desire to obtain more information as part of the counterintelligence investigation into General Flynn. [EN 96, citing McCabe, who did not recall that Comey had authorized closing the counterintelligence investigation a month earlier.]

Ask yourself: Was this passage previously blacked out due to proper concerns about national security, or because the relevant officials couldn’t get their stories straight?

 

DID THE INTERVIEWING AGENTS BELIEVE FLYNN LIED TO THEM?

Interestingly, in her Senate testimony, Yates recalled that McGahn’s commonsense response, upon being told that the FBI had interviewed Flynn on January 24, 2017, was to ask how he did – i.e., did the agents think he lied? Yates primly told the senators that she, of course, had declined to answer that question — as if, having gone this far, she was suddenly concerned about political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation.

We learn from the newly unredacted paragraphs in the House report, however, that Yates had a more strategic reason for declining to answer: Her depiction to McGahn of a cunning, compromised national-security adviser who was a threat to the president would not have been much of a story if she had to admit that the FBI believed Flynn had not lied in his interview.

As earlier described, Comey has expressed bewilderment in recent media appearances over the Intelligence Committee’s assertion, based on his testimony, that interviewing agents did not believe Flynn lied. But now that the previously blacked-out passages have been unredacted, the Committee’s thinking is apparent. The report quotes Comey himself:

[T]he agents . . . discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them. [EN 97, citing then-Director Comey’s closed-session Committee testimony on March 2, 2017.]

To be fair to Comey, we have only this snippet of his testimony. Perhaps there are other sections that would put this passage in a different light. Perhaps he recalls saying something that has not been disclosed and that is more consistent with a conclusion that Flynn lied. That’s why, in addition to unredacting more of the report, there should be broad disclosure of the underlying testimony and interviews that are now classified.

There is no Department of Justice in the Constitution. It is an executive-branch component created by Congress, funded with taxpayer funds appropriated by Congress, and subject to congressional oversight.

At the moment, though, we know two things for sure: 1) Comey unambiguously stated that, at least initially, the agents did not find that Flynn had lied; and 2) as long as Comey was FBI director, Flynn was never charged with lying.

If anything, McCabe’s December 19, 2017, testimony (currently also under lock and key) was even more favorable to Flynn. The report’s newly unredacted passages quote him:

[The] conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn’t detect deception in the statements that [Flynn] made in the interview . . . the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation he had actually had with the [Russian] ambassador.

McCabe added, in another just unredacted passage:

The two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case.

 

CONCLUSION

There is no Department of Justice in the Constitution. It is an executive-branch component created by Congress, funded with taxpayer funds appropriated by Congress, and subject to congressional oversight to ensure that its operations are conducted in accordance with their statutory purposes. Because of the sensitivity of their law-enforcement and intelligence missions, the Justice Department and its premier agency, the FBI, are shown great deference when lawmakers make requests — or even demands — for information. Contrary to what Justice Department leadership apparently believes, this deference is not an entitlement. It is result of respect earned over time by an institution that — its proud alumni like to believe — has a tradition of dealing honorably and transparently with peer branches of government.

It is a fact of life that the precious commodity of a good reputation takes much less time to lose than to build.

Republican committees can carp all they like about Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. The buck stops with the president.

Story 2 : First Lady Melania Trump’s Be Best Initiative — Videos —

First Lady Melania Trump’s Initiative Launch

First Lady Melania Trump’s Initiative Launch

First Lady Melania Trump Unveils ‘Be Best’ Campaign On Child Well-Being | NBC News

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Melania Trump On Her Life, Marriage And 2016 | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Melania Trump: I’m not a ‘yes’ person … I have thick skin

 

Melania Trump debuts ‘Be Best’ campaign for kids’ well-being

WASHINGTON (AP) – Melania Trump gave a splashy launch Monday to her public awareness campaign to help children, calling it “Be Best.” In a rare twist on their White House roles, she commanded the Rose Garden lectern while President Donald Trump watched from the audience.

The first lady said the “Be Best” campaign will focus on childhood well-being, social media use and opioid abuse.

“As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said.

President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST." The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump kisses first lady Melania Trump following an event where Melania Trump announced her initiatives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Monday, May 7, 2018. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: “BE BEST.” The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

“I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should ‘be best’ at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life,” she added.

Trump embraced his wife after she finished her speech and kissed her cheeks five times in a rare public display of affection. They held hands as they walked into the Oval Office after Trump signed a proclamation declaring Monday as “Be Best” day.

“America is truly blessed to have a first lady who is so devoted to our country and to our children,” he said before signing the declaration.

The first lady kicked off the event as the White House pushed back against a published report that referenced rumors Mrs. Trump does not live with the president, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denouncing it as “outrageous” and “ridiculous.”

“The first lady lives here at the White House. We see her regularly,” Sanders told reporters. “I think that’s something that belongs in tabloid gossip, not on the front pages of The Washington Post. And I hope that they’ll do better next time.”

The first lady lived full-time in New York during the administration’s opening months so the couple’s son, Barron, now 12, would not have to change schools midyear. She and Barron moved into the White House last June and since then the first lady has gradually been raising her public profile.

Mrs. Trump joined her husband last month to host the prime minister of Japan for a two-day summit at the Trumps’ Florida estate, and the Trumps hosted the president of France at the White House on a three-day state visit, including a lavish state dinner. Mrs. Trump also represented the administration at the April funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush.

Mrs. Trump’s launch of her platform came as her husband faces questions over $130,000 in hush money paid by one of his attorneys to a porn actress who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump has acknowledged reimbursing his lawyer for the payment to Stormy Daniels, but denies her allegations. Separately, a former Playboy model has revived her allegations of a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006. Trump also denies the allegations from Karen McDougal.

Such reports have kept the first lady’s relationship with her husband under intense scrutiny, and Mrs. Trump has, at times, has been noticeably absent from her husband’s side. But both made a point of displaying affection during the Rose Garden event.

A brief video that played before the first lady appeared recapped some of her public appearances with children. Several Cabinet members attended, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen. The first lady’s mother, Amalija Knavs, was also in the audience.

During nearly 16 months as first lady, Mrs. Trump has demonstrated her interest in children. She visited young hospital patients in the U.S. and during overseas trips with the president, often reading to them and encouraging them to do their best.

Her interest in the opioid drug crisis has taken her to care centers and hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio to learn about the epidemic’s effect on babies born to mothers addicted to the powerful painkillers. She convened a White House roundtable on the issue last fall.

The first lady invited representatives of major online and social media companies to the White House in March to discuss internet safety, a meeting that came more than a year after she promised to use her White House platform to discourage cyberbullying. Her choice was ridiculed almost immediately, given her husband’s habit of name-calling on Twitter, but Mrs. Trump said at the meeting that she wouldn’t be discouraged from doing what she thinks is right.

Sanders also pushed back Monday against the notion that the president has worsened online bullying.

“When it comes to kids, this is something that has been problematic, and something that we have seen over the last decade,” Sanders said. “And the first lady sees it to be an important issue, and something that she wants to address.”

Written material distributed in support of the initiative includes a booklet adults can use to talk to children about being online. It is similar to one the Federal Trade Commission released during the Obama administration. A spokeswoman for the first lady said the agency asked Mrs. Trump to include the booklet in her materials. The agency also wrote a blog post thanking the first lady for distributing it.

Modern first ladies typically highlight personal causes.

Nancy Reagan encouraged kids to “Just Say No” to drugs, while Barbara Bush and Laura Bush emphasized literacy and education. Michelle Obama launched her “Let’s Move” campaign against childhood obesity about a year after moving to the White House.

___

Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: "BE BEST." The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

First lady Melania Trump speaks on her initiatives during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. The first lady gave her multipronged effort to promote the well-being of children a minimalist new motto: “BE BEST.” The first lady formally launched her long-awaited initiative after more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump embrace during Melania's "Be Best" initiative event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. Sixteen months into the president's term, Melania Trump unveils plans for her initiatives to improve the well-being of children. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

President Donald Trump and First lady Melania Trump embrace during Melania’s “Be Best” initiative event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, May 7, 2018, in Washington. Sixteen months into the president’s term, Melania Trump unveils plans for her initiatives to improve the well-being of children. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-5700877/Melania-Trump-launches-BE-BEST-awareness-campaign-kids.html#ixzz5EsCZB2RB

 

Looking their best! Melania Trump wears heavy $6,000 LEATHER trench to unveil her ‘Be Best’ campaign in the D.C. heat, while Ivanka looks ladylike in a white bell-sleeve top and shades

  • Melania, 48, launched her ‘Be Best’ initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday afternoon 
  • The first lady wore a tan Ralph Lauren jacket and a white pencil skirt to take the stage at the event attended by her husband, President Donald Trump 
  • Her stepdaughter Ivanka, 36, donned a white bell-sleeve top and a black belt
  • Ivanka’s husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kellyanne Conway were also in attendance 
  • The goal of her public awareness campaign is to encourage parents and other adults to teach children how to be good citizens 

Although temperatures were in the high 70s, the 48-year-old first lady opted to wear a tan Ralph Lauren trench, pairing the heavy leather jacket with a white pencil skirt and matching Christian Louboutin pumps to unveil her long-awaited initiative focusing on the well-being of children.

Melania wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders, and she had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience at the event attended by her husband, President Donald Trump, and his daughter Ivanka.

Melania Trump launched her 'Be Best' initiative in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday afternoon

The first lady wore a $5,990 Ralph Lauren trench jacket despite the soaring temperatures in Washington, D.C.

 FLOTUS unveiled her BE BEST platform and for the special occasion, Melania opted for one of her favorite American designers, Mr. Ralph Lauren.

Melania has worn Ralph Lauren on numerous occasions, most recently while on holiday in Florida. She favors the classic shapes and sophisticated palette that the brand always identifies with.

Shop Melania’s exact same leather trench jacket via Saks Fifth Avenue for a hefty $5990.

Should the near $6K price tag put you off, we have you covered with our more budget conscious picks that are just as chic as Melania’s.

Melania's stepdaughter Ivanka Trump attended the event wearing a white bell-sleeve top 

Melania’s stepdaughter Ivanka Trump attended the event wearing a white bell-sleeve top

Ivanka, 36, looked elegant in a white bell-sleeve top, which she cinched at the waist with a black belt.

The first daughter’s long blonde hair was styled in loose waves around her shoulders, and she donned dark sunglasses to shield her eyes from the afternoon sun.

As guests made their way to the Rose Garden, Ivanka mingled with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the senior adviser appeared to be laughing during their chat.

Ivanka’s husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence, and Kellyanne Conway were also in attendance.

After more than a year of reading to children, learning about babies born addicted to drugs, and hosting a White House conversation on cyberbullying, Melania took the stage to launch her ‘Be Best’ campaign on Monday afternoon.

The 38-year-old paired the leather trench with a white skirt and matching pump

Melania's Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand's trademark red sole and retail for $775
Melania's Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand's trademark red sole and retail for $775

Melania’s Christian Louboutin pumps feature the brand’s trademark red sole and retail for $775

Melania had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience on Monday 

Melania had a bright smile on her face as she addressed the audience on Monday

The first lady wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders

The first lady wore her highlighted brown hair loose around her shoulders

‘As a mother and as first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and often times turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide,” she said in prepared remarks.

‘I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should “be best” at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.’

The first lady said early on that she would focus on child well-being. The goal of her public awareness campaign is to encourage parents and other adults to teach children how to be good citizens, including being kind, not bullying on social media or anywhere else, staying away from drugs and taking care of themselves.

‘If we truly listen to what our kids have to say, whether it be their concerns or ideas, adults can provide them the support and tools they need to grow up to be happy and productive adults who contribute positively to society and their global communities,’ Melania said.

While the first lady was making the announcement, President Trump looked on from the audience before joining her on stage and giving her a kiss on the cheek.

Ivanka, 36, paired her white top with black pants and a black belt to cinch her waist 

Melania's husband, President Donald Trump, was in the front row when she unveiled her 'Be Best' initiative, which aims to encourage adults to teach children how to be good citizens

Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, was in the front row when she unveiled her ‘Be Best’ initiative, which aims to encourage adults to teach children how to be good citizens

Trump clapped for his wife when he joined her on stage after her speech 

The president gave Melania a kiss on the cheek while taking the stage 

Melania wore very little jewelry aside from her diamond wedding band 

Melania wore very little jewelry aside from her diamond wedding band

In addition to sharing some words of his own, Trump signed a proclamation for ‘Be Best’ day while participating in the initiative launch.

Melania’s announcement comes as her husband remains under intense legal pressure from a special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The president is also facing questions over $130,000 in hush money paid by one of his attorneys to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. Trump denies her accusation.

During nearly 16 months as first lady, Melania demonstrated her interest in children by visiting with young hospital patients in the U.S. and during overseas trips with the president, often reading to them and encouraging them to do their best.

Her interest in the opioid drug crisis, developed during the presidential campaign, has taken her to care centers and hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio to learn about the epidemic’s effect on babies born to mothers addicted to the powerful painkillers. She convened a White House roundtable on the issue last fall.

Melania watched as Trump signed a proclamation for 'Be Best' day while participating in the initiative launch

Melania watched as Trump signed a proclamation for ‘Be Best’ day while participating in the initiative launch

Melania has demonstrated her interest in children over her past 16 months as first lady 

Melania and her husband held hands as they left the Rose Garden together 

Melania and her husband held hands as they left the Rose Garden together

In March, the first lady hosted representatives of the major online and social media companies at the White House to discuss cyberbullying and internet safety.

That meeting came more than a year after she promised to use her White House platform to discourage cyberbullying. Her choice was ridiculed almost immediately, given her husband’s longtime habit of calling people names on Twitter, but Melania said the criticism wouldn’t discourage her from doing what she thinks is right.

She said on Monday that social media is too often used in negative ways and that it is important for children to learn positive online behaviors at a young age.

‘I do believe that children should be both seen and heard, and it is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind them that when they are using their voices — whether verbally or online — they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion,’ she said.

Modern first ladies typically highlight personal causes, from Nancy Reagan’s campaign to get kids to ‘Just Say No’ to drugs to the emphasis the late Barbara Bush and her daughter-in-law Laura Bush placed on literacy and education.

Ivanka donned oversize black sunglasses throughout the event 

Ivanka donned oversize black sunglasses throughout the event

The 36-year-old  mingled with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos while guests were arriving 

Ivanka appeared to be laughing at something that was said during the chat 

When Ivanka lifted her arm, she revealed a red string tied around her wrist. It bears a resemblance to the type of red string Kabbalah practitioners wear to ward off the 'evil eye'

Michelle Obama launched her signature ‘Let’s Move’ campaign against childhood obesity about a year after moving to the White House.

Melania took a little more time to pull her initiative together. She did not live in the White House for the first five months of the administration to avoid having their son, Barron, now 12, change schools during the year. She has a smaller staff than her predecessors and only hired her policy director in January of this year.

The first lady plans said she will travel as part of the initiative.

Melania has achieved a new high in her personal approval rating – even as her husband battles the Stormy Daniels’ allegations and the Russia probe.

The first lady’s public approval rating hit 57 per cent in a new CNN poll, up ten percentage points from mid-January.

The first daughter cinched her waist with a black belt featuring a large buckle 

Ivanka gave Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross a kiss while greeting him at the launch

Ivanka gave Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross a kiss while greeting him at the launch

Ivanka's husband, senior adviser Jared Kushner (left), also attended the event 

The couple stood side-by-side while waiting for Melania to unveil her initiative 

Ivanka wore her long blonde hair in loose waves that flowed past her shoulders 

At the start of the year, the first lady’s approval rating was 47 per cent, with an unfavorable rating of 37 per cent. By contrast, her husband’s approval rating is at 42 percent in the latest fivethirtyeight average.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump are living highly public – and mostly separate – lives.

‘They spend very little to no time together,’ a longtime friend of the president told the Washington Post, as Melania prepares to roll out her own White House initiatives to focus on children.

Although the pair are sometimes photographed smiling in public as when they attend joint events or board government aircraft en route to Mar-a-Lago, they spend considerable time apart.

They have separate bedrooms inside the White House, and Trump awakes at early hours to lob tweets at his rivals.

‘They are not that couple that holds hands just because; she is old-world European and it’s not who she is,’ said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who previously held a volunteer White House. Her firm got paid $1.62 million for consulting and production related to Trump’s inauguration.

Ivanka's bell-sleeve top was perfect for the weather, which reached 76 degrees on Monday 

The first daughter topped off her outfit with large diamond stud earrings in her ears 

The first daughter topped off her outfit with large diamond stud earrings in her ears

Jared donned a navy suit, a light blue shirt, and a gray tie for his day at the White House 

Jared donned a navy suit, a light blue shirt, and a gray tie for his day at the White House

Jared, 37, was photographed speaking with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Jared, 37, was photographed speaking with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, knocked down a ‘persistent rumor’ that the first lady doesn’t even live in the White House and stays with her parents near son Barron Trump’s school.

 ‘It’s 1,000 percent false. We laugh at it all the time,’ Grisham said. White House social secretary Rickie Niceta Lloyd called it an ‘urban legend.’

The two have carved out largely separate public lives. While the president makes regular appearances with his cabinet, staff aides, and world leaders, the first lady focuses on her own, less-frequent events.

When the couple travels to Florida for weekends, the only image of them together is frequently of them boarding and de-boarding an aircraft.

President Trump sent his wife birthday wishes during an appearance on Fox News last month where he said: ‘Maybe, I didn’t get her so much. I got her a beautiful card, you know I’m very busy to be running out looking for presents.’

She hasn’t spoken about the Stormy Daniels scandal that has rocked his administration.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is representing Trump, said he was ‘trying to help the family’ with a $130,000 payment to silence porn star. Daniels alleges she had a sexual affair with Trump while Melania was pregnant with Barron.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5701099/Melania-Ivanka-Trump-look-effortlessly-stylish-White-House-launch.html#ixzz5Ewi1WnVN

 

 

Story 3: Iran and Obama Lied To American People — President Trump’s Goal: Stop Nuclear Proliferation in Far East and Middle East By Diplomacy, Negotiation or Military Means — Videos

See the source image

Is the U.S. being pushed into a possible war with Iran?

Emily Landau: “Iran is strongly, strongly motivated to become a nuclear state”

Published on May 6, 2018

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See the source imageImage result for branco cartoons obama iran cash paymentsSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

 

Preventing a nuclear meltdown in the Middle East

Preventing a nuclear meltdown in the Middle East
© Getty Images

U.S. geopolitical and nuclear nonproliferation objectives are on a potential collision course as Saudi Arabia seeks to join the Middle East’s growing nuclear power club by soliciting bids for the construction of two reactors. An agreement between the two countries to allow U.S.-supplied nuclear technology to flow to the kingdom must limit nuclear weapons potential and serve geostrategic objectives.

With the nuclear supplier-recipient relationship lasting up to 100 years, it is important that the United States be a principal nuclear partner with Saudi Arabia. It can provide proven technology, strong regulatory capability, and has a long history of strengthening global nuclear governance and opposing proliferation, providing confidence in the Saudis’ nascent program.

But the pathway to achieving the balance between geopolitical and non-proliferation goals is fraught and the decision-making timeline short, presenting a significant challenge to the Trump administration that conducts the negotiations and the Congress that controls final approval.

If the United States insists that the Saudis renounce the possession of nuclear technologies that have dual civil and weapons uses the negotiations may fail, raising geopolitical and security concerns. If it relies on international norms and guidelines instead, they will need to be firmly enforced and strengthened or risk proliferation concerns.

A major worry about Saudi nuclear ambitions is that it will try to match Iran atom-for-atom by possessing uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons materials. While energy diversity is an underlying rationale for the shift from fossil to nuclear generation, a significant impetus is to respond to the nuclear advances by Iran, its regional competitor. Iran’s nuclear program is currently limited under a multilateral agreement because of its weapons implications, but important restrictions will expire in coming years.

The United States has several nuclear cooperation agreements with nations in the Middle East, including Egypt and Morocco, but the most recent one with the United Arab Emirates is significant. This agreement prohibits enrichment and reprocessing and is dubbed the “gold standard.” This restriction exists in only one other agreement, between Taiwan and the United States. But, post-9/11, it has been proposed as a new threshold for future U.S. nuclear collaboration in the Middle East and beyond.

The Saudis have indicated resistance to this restriction, although they have not stated an intention to enrich uranium and have not publicly expressed an interest in plutonium reprocessing.

A consequence of insistence on the “gold standard” is that it could push the Saudis away from American technology and into the embrace of Russia or China, whose reactors likely will come with fewer strings and a cheaper price. This would open the door to greater geopolitical influence by strategic competitors of the United States undermining its political, nonproliferation and security goals. The choice of South Korea to fill the Saudis’ order, as it did for UAE, could partly serve U.S. interests, but would still require a U.S.-Saudi agreement if controlled American componentry is involved.

An alternative to the “gold standard” requires that the United States focus on ensuring the effectiveness of other constraints. This includes enforcing the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) restrictions on the transfer of enrichment and reprocessing technology if it may aid a weapons effort and closing loopholes that non-NSG nations could use to skirt the controls. The Saudis can enhance their nonproliferation credentials by accepting the Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. This would allow in-depth verification that its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Bilaterally, the United States maintains consent rights over the use and disposition of the nuclear fuel it provides. An additional step can be copied from the U.S.-South Korea nuclear pact, which faced similar pressures to provide access to weapons capable technologies. It allowed for a multi-year joint examination of a sensitive technology without pre-authorizing its use. A comparable approach would recognize the Saudis’ rights under the Nonproliferation Treaty but eliminate immediate concerns about weapon-grade materials in the kingdom.

Nuclear geopolitical and nonproliferation imperatives cannot be in conflict in the Middle East — both are critically important. There are serious concerns about the dangers posed by the production of weapon-grade materials in the region, including a potential Iran-Saudi nuclear arms race and the temptation for nuclear terrorism. There are equally real dangers that without a central U.S. role in the Saudi program nuclear and global security will suffer.

The balance between these goals can be found, but it will require creativity, compromise and a commitment to limit the inevitable imperfections.

Kenneth N. Luongo is president and founder of the Partnership for Global Security and the Center for a Secure Nuclear Future. He served from 1994-1997 as senior advisor to the Secretary of Energy for Nonproliferation Policy and simultaneously as the Department of Energy’s director of the Office of Arms Control and Nonproliferation.

http://thehill.com/opinion/international/375585-preventing-a-nuclear-meltdown-in-the-middle-east

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018, Story 1: Better Late Then Never — Department of Justice (DOJ) To Reopen FBI Investigations of Hillary Clinton Mishandling of Classified of Documents in Emails and Email Server and Investigation of Abuse of FISA Court Warrants — Appoint A Special Counsel Now! — Videos

Posted on March 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Nuclear, Obama, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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DOJ will investigate FISA abuse allegations, Jeff Sessions says

Hannity: Major developments in the FISA abuse scandal

Justice Dept IG to Probe FISA Abuse!, 2077

Democratic, GOP intel memos are both at fault: Judge Napolitano

Sen. Sessions on the FBI’s new investigation of Clinton’s email case

Rep. Jordan presses Sessions over special council for Clinton, FBI

Jeff Sessions: I’d recuse myself in a Hillary Clinton investigation

Sessions: Clinton Foundation ‘not fully investigated…

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

FISA memo: Something went wrong in Comey’s inner circle, Chris Swecker says

Members of Comey’s team, DOJ have expulsion now for obstruction of justice: Kallstrom

FISA memo contains major federal felonies, says ex-FBI official Kallstrom

Could Loretta Lynch face 5-10 years in jail?

Obama guilty of obstruction of justice, not Loretta Lynch?

Trump dropped biggest bombshell on Loretta Lynch: Judge Napolitano

Gohmert Makes FBI Director James Comey Admit FBI Faked Hillary Clinton Investigation

EX CIA Agent Wreaks Havoc On FBI Director James Comey Over Hillary Clinton Investigation

Jason Chaffetz Furious at Comey For Not Jailing Hillary Clinton

Rep. Issa to Comey: “Cheryl Mills Received Complete Immunity…for Obstruction/Destruction of Docs”

Darrell Issa Super Pissed at James Comey! “What Are You Going to Do About Evidence Being Deleted!”

Darrell Issa GRILLS James Comey For Giving Out Immunity Like Candy In Clinton Emails 9/28/16

Jim Jordan Asks FBI Director James Comey Why Hes Covering Up Hillary Clinton’s Lies

John Ratcliffe Explodes On FBI Director James Comey For Covering Up Hillary Clinton’s Lies

Raul Labrador Pummels FBI Director James Comey Over Hillary Clinton Investigation

Rep. Collins, GA: “I Think You BLEW IT! Anybody Else Would have been Prosecuted!”

Rep Jordan FBI Comey O-S-H-I-T Combetta Deletes Evidence

Rep. David Trott, MI to Comey: “Can You See Why It Appears There’s a Double Standard?”

Rep King, IA to Comey: Who Was in the Room With Hillary During FBI Questioning?

OUCH! Rep. Jim Jordan hammers James Comey over Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation

Rep. Trey Gowdy: False statements proved Clinton’s ‘intent’

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questions FBI Director Comey on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

Giuliani: James Comey has put himself and Ms. Clinton above the law

Al D’Amato: FBI HRC conclusion is a stain on the judicial process

Fmr. FBI Assistant Director: Comey should have resigned

Former assistant FBI director slams Comey’s recommendation

Giuliani: Dissapointed in FBI’s Comey

Giuliani: FBI decision on Clinton emails an “embarrassment”

FBI’s Comey: No reasonable case for Clinton prosecution

Guilty Under 18 U.S. Code 793

FBI INVESTIGATION COMEY: ANALYSIS BY CHIEF INTEL CORRESPONDENT CATHERINE HERRIDGE

FBI Director James Comey FULL STATEMENT on Hillary Clinton Email Investigation (C-SPAN)

James Comey Admits Loretta Lynch Tried To Cover Up Hillary Clinton Investigation

FBI had evidence that Loretta Lynch intended to obstruct Clinton email investigation • 6/12/17

REVEALED FBI found an email that Lynch would do everything to protect Hillary from CRIMINAL CHARGES

‘Your Lack Of Leadership is Astonishing’ Loretta Lynch Lies To Protect Hillary Clinton

“Remember Your Oath To The Constitution” Gomert Blasts Lying Loretta Lynch

Trey Gowdy Smashes Lying Loretta Lynch For Protecting Hillary Clinton

John Ratcliffe Shuts Up Lying Loretta Lynch Over Hillary Clinton’s Emails

Why did AG Lynch secretly meet with Bill Clinton?

Hannity: Evidence is coming that will rock DC’s foundation

The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Seep Out

Rep. Jordan: FBI texts about Obama raise lots of concerns

CLIP: Obama ‘I do not talk to FBI Directors about pending investigations’ EXCEPT James Comey

Obama Rejects Claims That FBI, State Department Colluded on Clinton Emails

Obama weighs in on Hillary Clinton’s emails

‘RussiaGate investigation is designed to vindicate Hillary’s losing a rigged election’ – Lionel

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

BREAKING: CLINTON INDICTED WITH WEINER LAPTOP PICS DEEMED RUSSIA BOT KREMLIN PROPAGANDA. IMMINENT

JEFF SESSIONS HEARING: Comey, Lynch – *CLINTON EMAILS* “THAT IS A STUNNING THING!”

 

Sessions says DOJ will investigate alleged FISA abuses

Sessions says DOJ will investigate alleged FISA abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

“Yes, it will be investigated,” Sessions told reporters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees FISA warrants, according to the Washington Examiner.

He said looking into any abuses is the “appropriate thing” to do.

Sessions’s remarks follow allegations from President Trump last year that Obama administration officials misused their FISA authority to wrongly surveil members of his transition team.

It is not clear if Sessions has opened a formal investigation into the matter, but he said the Justice Department’s inspector general would take it up.

Sessions similarly said on Fox News on Sunday that his department would look into the process for obtaining warrants under FISA. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Tuesday it is the Justice Department’s responsibility to investigate claims of FISA abuses and that the White House would support the probe.

“I think that’s the role of the Department of Justice, and we’re glad that they’re fulfilling that job,” she said.

Trump has publicly pressed Sessions to open up an investigation into potential abuses of the program, which allows U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to obtain secret surveillance orders on individuals in the U.S. suspected of being foreign terrorists or spies.

The president claimed last year that the Obama administration improperly wiretapped members of his presidential campaign and transition team, though the White House has not provided any evidence to support that claim. 

Allegations of FISA abuses surfaced again last month, when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a controversial memo alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials misused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.

The committee released a Democrat-authored memo on Saturday countering the claims in the GOP document.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/375863-sessions-says-justice-dept-will-investigate-alleged-fisa-abuses

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is pictured. | AP Photo
“We believe the Department of Justice must adhere to the high standards in the FISA court and, yes, it will be investigated. And I think that’s just the appropriate thing,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Sessions: Justice Department watchdog investigating GOP Russia memo claims

The Attorney General says his inspector general is probing allegations in a House Republican memo that a secret federal court was misled in 2016.

Updated 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department’s inspector general is looking into a House Republican memo’s claim that prosecutors and FBI agents misled a federal judge when applying for warrants to surveil a Trump campaign adviser with ties to Moscow.

In response to a question at a press conference about government anti-opioid efforts, Sessions appeared to confirm that the Justice Department is investigating the surveillance-related allegations leveled in the memo issued by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and declassified on Feb. 2 at the order of President Donald Trump.

The GOP memo charged that federal officials did not fully disclose important facts in an October 2016 FISA warrant application to monitor the communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, including that Democrats had funded a private intelligence dossier which was part of the basis for the request.

A spokeswoman for Sessions said his comments were accurate, but referred further questions to aides in the office of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. An IG spokesman said: “We’ve received the referral and decline to comment further.”

Horowitz announced in January 2017 that he was opening a review into numerous sensitive issues, including whether political considerations affected the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The IG also indicated he planned to examine whether some FBI or Justice Department officials engaged in improper communications with Clinton’s campaign or should have recused themselves.

Horowitz’s announcement of the probe did not indicate any plans to examine issues related to surveillance applications, such as Trump’s claims that his campaign aides were subjected to politically-motivated surveillance before and after the 2016 election.

Over the past year, both Democrats and Republicans have asked Horowitz to expand his inquiry to sweep in various other matters. Before Sessions’ comments Tuesday, there was no explicit indication he had done so. Indeed, Horowitz’s spokespeople have rebuffed media questions about the scope of the review. His answers to lawmakers have also been non-committal.

Horowitz did say in House testimony last November that he expected the election-related review to be completed by March or April of this year.

 

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/27/justice-department-gop-memo-russia-investigation-jeff-sessions-428387

 

Trump appears to push for DOJ probe into Hillary Clinton scandals

President Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to promote calls for the Justice Department to investigate alleged criminal activity by his former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton — citing a Fox News analyst who suggested that the DOJ may be sitting on a “treasure trove” of evidence.

Trump quoted Fox News’ Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano, who suggested on “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that someone at the department may have evidence of criminality from Clinton or her camp that should be investigated.

Napolitano was, in turn, reacting to an interview Trump gave to Fox’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on Saturday night when he suggested that someone should look into the Clinton campaign’s “fraudulent actions” during the 2016 presidential run in relation to the funding of a controversial anti-Trump dossier that was used by the FBI and DOJ to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

In the wake of his election, Trump backed down on his campaign call to have the DOJ investigate Clinton, but he has returned to the “lock her up” theme since then — and has repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for not investigating Clinton more aggressively.

In his tweets Tuesday, Trump also branded FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe a witch hunt, quoting experts who appeared on “Fox & Friends” to support his long-standing argument that the probe is baseless and that there was no collusion between members of his team and Russian-linked individuals in the 2016 election.

Ken Starr, the independent counsel tasked with investigating Clinton administration controversies in the 1990s, said on Sunday that there has been “no evidence of collusion” so far from the Mueller team, prompting a tweet from the president’s account.

Trump quoted constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, who also downplayed the probe on Sunday, noting that collusion was implausible based on evidence seen so far.

Trump then tweeted in all caps:

Trump’s tweets come after the release of a Democratic rebuttal to a GOP memo that found that intelligence agencies had used a Democratic-funded dossier as the basis to get a warrant to spy on Page.

DEMS’ REBUTTAL TO GOP FISA MEMO IS RELEASED; TRUMP DEEMS IT A ‘BUST’

Trump branded the Dem memo a “total political and legal bust.”

Trump has repeatedly said there was no collusion from his team and has claimed that the investigation is politically motivated and pushed by Democrats upset by Trump’s win.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/27/trump-appears-to-push-for-doj-probe-into-hillary-clinton-scandals.html

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: Republicans Beg Republican to Reopen Hillary Case Closed by Republican

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Jeff Sessions at Tuesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Republicans have been quite successful of late in elections and control both chambers of Congress and the White House. On Tuesday, given a chance to present a unified response to minority Democrats’ pointed questioning of attorney general Jeff Sessions at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, America’s powerful governing party … squabbled with itself about whether it’s necessary to launch another investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

The background here is that a number of Republican legislators believe Crooked Hillary’s vast past crookedness warrants the appointment of another special counsel. Among them are Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, and Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who sit on the Judiciary Committee. Their beef with Clinton involves the server but, as this as this graphic demonstrates, also extends to most of the rest of the events that have ever taken place in the universe:

(Please note that the State Department is presented on this chart as a subsidiary of “Benghazi” and that there is a line between the box on the lower right labeled “Obama” and another box toward the middle which is also labeled “Obama.” What do the binary Obamas have to hide?)

The long and short of this conspiracizing is that Clinton has been let off the hook for the email thing—but also for the majestically overhyped Uranium One “scandal” and for her involvement with the uncorroborated “Steele dossier” which is misleadingly being presented by right-wing figures as the basis of the Trump-Russia investigation—because the entire Obama Justice Department was in the bag for her. The man who has become the face of this alleged Obama deep-state fix, in the right-wing imagination, is former FBI director James Comey.

In reality world, however, Comey is considered a credible figure by nonpartisan observers and the general public. He’s a respected federal law-enforcement lifer who moreoever was himself a registered Republican until very recently. Jeff Sessions, whose job involves maintaining good relations with the federal law-enforcement community and who has tangible (if highly controversial) non-Hillary priorities of his own, does not appear to have an appetite for picking a fight with a former FBI director or spending resources on a special-counsel goose chase. At Tuesday’s hearing, his feelings on the matter broke into the open as he demonstrated spectacularly little patience for Jordan’s rambling Comey/Clinton questions:

Rep. Jordan: We know that Mr. Comey publicized the [email server] investigation and we know he made the final decision on whether to prosecute or not. And then when he gets fired, he leaks a government document through a friend to the New York Times—and what was his goal? To create momentum for special counsel. It can’t be just any special  counsel, it’s Bob Mueller, his mentor. The same Bob Mueller who now is in this investigation with Russian businesses wanting to do business here in the United States. So I guess my main question is, what’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel? What’s it going to take to actually get a special counsel?

Jeff Sessions: It would take a factual basis that meets a standards of the appointment of a special counsel.

Ya burnt, Jim Jordan. Jordan didn’t give up, though:

Jordan: It sure looks like the FBI was paying the author of [the Steele dossier] and it sure looks like a major political party was working with the federal government to then turn an opposition research document, the equivalent of a National Enquirer story, into an intelligence document, take that to the FISA court so they can then get a warrant to spy on the campaign. That’s what it looks like.

Replied Sessions: “‘Looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.” Cold!

Making the whole situation even more bizarre: Jordan and the other legislators pursuing this line of inquiry are just following the lead of Sessions’ boss, who is still mad at his own A.G. for allowing the Russia investigation to go forward and has been taking it out on him for months by whining in public.

Thus do we have Republican legislators carrying water for a Republican president who’s ticked off that his Republican attorney general won’t relitigate a decision that was made by a Republican FBI director. Unified government, indeed.

Today’s meter level is unchanged because 60 percent is already quite high, but it’s a confident 60 percent. Do the people described above seem to you like they’re capable of running the government until 2020 without a self-inflicted catastrophic collapse? 

The FBI’s Fake « Investigation » of Hillary Clinton’s Emails

On September 17th, U.S. President Barack Obama, the boss of the U.S. Government’s Executive Branch — including of federal investigations and prosecutions (including of FBI decisons not to investigate, and not to prosecute) — said that, in this Presidential election,

 “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” and that a voter’s failure to vote for Hillary Clinton would be “an insult to my legacy.”

 This statement by him provides useful background context behind the following news-report (and readers are urged to click onto the link at any point here wherever a given allegation’s veracity is at all in doubt, to see the extensive documentation for it): 

The FBI’s ‘investigation’ into Hillary Clinton’s State Department email operation was fake in three major ways:

1: The FBI chose to ‘investigate’ the most difficult-to-prove charges, not the easiest-to-prove ones (which are the six laws that she clearly violated, simply by her privatization and destruction of State Department records, and which collectively would entail a maximum prison sentence of 73 years). The famous judge Jed Rakoff hasaccurately and succinctly said that, in the American criminal ‘justice’ system, since 1980 and especially after 2000, and most especially after 2010,

« the prosecutor has all the power. The Supreme Court’s suggestion that a plea bargain is a fair and voluntary contractual arrangement between two relatively equal parties is a total myth. … What really puts the prosecutor in the driver’s seat is the fact that he — because of mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines (which, though no longer mandatory in the federal system, are still widely followed by most judges), and simply his ability to shape whatever charges are brought — can effectively dictate the sentence by how he publicly describes the offense.”

Columnist Debra J. Saunders put it this way“The mandatory minimum sentencing system effectively has allowed federal prosecutors to choose defendants’ sentences by deciding how to charge them.”

If an Administration wants to be merely pretending an ‘investigation’, it’s easy: identify, as the topic for the alleged ‘investigation’, not the criminal laws that indisputably describe what the suspect can clearly be proven to have done, but instead criminal laws that don’t. Prosecutorial discretion is now practically unlimited in the United States. This discretion is an essential feature of any dictatorship. It’s the essence of any system that separates people into aristocrats, who are above the law, versus the public, upon whom their ‘law’ is enforced. It’s the essence of “a nation of men, not of laws.”

But, different people focus on different aspects of it. Conservatives notice it in Clinton’s case because she was not prosecuted.Progressives notice it in Clinton’s case because other people (ones without the clout) who did what she did (but only less of it), have been prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced for it. The result, either way, is dictatorship, regardless of anyone’s particular perspective on the matter. Calling a nation like that a ‘democracy’ is to strip “democracy” of its basic meaning — it is foolishness. Such a nation is an aristocracy, otherwise called an “oligarchy.” That’s the opposite of a democracy (even if it’s set up so as to pretend to be a democracy).

2: The FBI chose to believe her allegations, instead of to investigate or challenge them. For example: On page 4 of the FBI’s record of their interview with Hillary dated 2 July 2016, they noted: “Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system.”

But they already had seen this email. So, they asked her about that specific one:

« Clinton stated she did not remember the email specifically. Clinton stated a ‘nonpaper’ was a document with no official heading, or identifying marks of any kind, that can not be attributed to the US Government. Clinton thought a ‘nonpaper’ was a way to convey the unofficial stance of the US Government to a foreign government and believed this practice went back ‘200 years.’ When viewing the displayed email, Clinton believed she was asking Sullivan to remove the State letterhead and provide unclassified talking points. Clinton stated she had no intention to remove classification markings.”

Look at the email: is her statement about it — that « issues sending secure fax” had nothing to do with the illegality of sending classified U.S. Government information over a non-secured, even privatized, system — even credible? Is the implication by Clinton’s remark, that changing the letterhead and removing the document’s classified stamp, would solve the problem that Jake Sullivan — a highly skilled attorney himself — had brought to her attention, even credible?

Well, if so, then wouldn’t the FBI have asked Sullivan what he was referring to when his email to Clinton said « They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.”

The FBI provided no indication that there was any such follow-up, at all. They could have plea-bargained with Sullivan, to get him to testify first, so that his testimony could be used in questioning of her, but they seem not to have been interested in doing any such thing. They believed what she said (even though it made no sense as a response to the problem that Sullivan had just brought to her attention: the problem that emailing to her this information would violate several federal criminal statutes. Clinton, in other words, didn’t really care about the legality. And, apparently, neither did the FBI. Her email in response to Sullivan’s said simply: « If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” So: she knew that it was classified information but wanted to receive it so that she would be able to say, “I didn’t know that it was classified information.” In other words: she was instructing her advisor: hide the fact that it’s classified information, so that when I receive it, there will be no indication on it that what was sent to me is classified information.

3: The FBI avoided using the standard means to investigate a suspect higher-up: obtaining plea-deals with subordinates, requiring them to cooperate, answer questions and not to plead the Fifth Amendment (not to refuse to answer). (In Hillary’s case, the Obama Administration actually did plea-deals in which they allowed the person who was supposed to answer all questions, to plea the Fifth Amendment to all questions instead. This is allowed only when the government doesn’t want to prosecute the higher-up — which in this case was Clinton. That alone proves the Obama Administration’s ‘investigation’ of Clinton’s email system to have been a farce.)

A plea-deal isn’t a Constitutional process: Jed Rakoff’s article explained why it’s not. The process is informal, but nowadays it’s used in more than 97% of cases in which charges are brought, and in more than 99% of all cases (including the 92% of cases that are simply dropped without any charges being brought). That’s the main reason why nowadays «the prosecutor has all the power». Well, the prosecutor in Hillary’s case (the Obama Administration) clearly didn’t want her in the big house; they wanted her in the White House.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

https://www.mondialisation.ca/the-fbis-fake-investigation-of-hillary-clintons-emails/5546435

18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(a)

Whoever, for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the national defense with intent or reason to believe that the information is to be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, goes upon, enters, flies over, or otherwise obtains information concerning any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense owned or constructed, or in progress of construction by the United States or under the control of the United States, or of any of its officers, departments, or agencies, or within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, or any place in which any vessel, aircraft, arms, munitions, or other materials or instruments for use in time of war are being made, prepared, repaired, stored, or are the subject of research or development, under any contract or agreement with the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or with any person on behalf of the United States, or otherwise on behalf of the United States, or any prohibited place so designated by the President by proclamation in time of war or in case of national emergency in which anything for the use of the Army, Navy, or Air Force is being prepared or constructed or stored, information as to which prohibited place the President has determined would be prejudicial to the national defense; or

(b)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, and with like intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense; or

(c)

Whoever, for the purpose aforesaid, receives or obtains or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain from any person, or from any source whatever, any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note, of anything connected with the national defense, knowing or having reason to believe, at the time he receives or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain it, that it has been or will be obtained, taken, made, or disposed of by any person contrary to the provisions of this chapter; or

(d)

Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e)

Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(g)

If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

(h)

(1)

Any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forfeit to the United States, irrespective of any provision of State law, any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, from any foreign government, or any faction or party or military or naval force within a foreign country, whether recognized or unrecognized by the United States, as the result of such violation. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

(2)

The court, in imposing sentence on a defendant for a conviction of a violation of this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States all property described in paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3)The provisions of subsections (b), (c), and (e) through (p) of section 413 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (21 U.S.C. 853(b), (c), and (e)–(p)) shall apply to—

(A)

property subject to forfeiture under this subsection;

(B)

any seizure or disposition of such property; and

(C)

any administrative or judicial proceeding in relation to such property,
if not inconsistent with this subsection.

(4)

Notwithstanding section 524(c) of title 28, there shall be deposited in the Crime Victims Fund in the Treasury all amounts from the forfeiture of property under this subsection remaining after the payment of expenses for forfeiture and sale authorized by law.
(June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 736; Sept. 23, 1950, ch. 1024, title I, § 18, 64 Stat. 1003Pub. L. 99–399, title XIII, § 1306(a), Aug. 27, 1986100 Stat. 898Pub. L. 103–322, title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(L), Sept. 13, 1994108 Stat. 2147Pub. L. 103–359, title VIII, § 804(b)(1), Oct. 14, 1994108 Stat. 3440Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, § 607(b), Oct. 11, 1996110 Stat. 3511.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/793

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The Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017, Breaking News — Story 1: Radical Islamic Suicide Bomber Failure in Port Authority Bus Terminal Subway Station — Videos — Story 2: Fabricated Trump Dossier Was Opposition Research/Russian Disinformation — Democratic Party and Obama Administration Used Fabricated Trump Dossier To Justify Spying on Americans and Opposition Republican Party Using Intelligence Community — Conspiracy Not Collusion — Federal Crimes — A New Special Counsel Should Investigate Together With DOJ and FBI Investigation of Clinton Charitable Foundation, Email Server and Mishandling of Classified Documents — Videos — Story 3: People of Alabama Will Elect Roy Moore on Tuesday To Fill Senate Seat Vacated By Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Moore Is Right On The Issues — Videos

Posted on December 12, 2017. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, James Comey, Killing, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Middle East, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, Networking, News, Nuclear, Oil, People, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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

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

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

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

New York explosion suspect identified

New York City subway bomb attack details released by officials

Report: NYC bomb suspect a Brooklyn resident

Explosion Takes Place Near New York City Port Authority | TODAY

Suicide bomber strikes New York City at rush hour

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Police quickly took the man into custody.

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

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

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

Akayed Ullah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Emergency personnel flooded the scene following the incident.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed on the incident.

The incident sent commuters into a frenzy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli and Max Jaeger

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

Botched Suicide Bombing Jolts New York Rush Hour, Injures Four

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2000
2010
2020
July 4, 2002

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: CATO Institute

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York City explosion: Live updates

What you should know

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

Suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras

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

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

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

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

December 11, 2017 2:54pm EST

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

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

Here’s the embassy’s statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Jay Sekulow calls for a second special counsel

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

Congressman Jim Jordan Sends CNN Anchor Packing During a Heated Conversation

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

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

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

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

Should Hillary Be Worried About Uranium One? Yes!

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

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

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

Why Russia Wants to Control the World’s Uranium Supply

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

Peter Schweizer on the significance of the Uranium One deal

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

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

Ben Shapiro – What Exactly Happened With Uranium One

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

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

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

Judge Napolitano EXPOSES something HUGE on Hillary Clinton investigations

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

Judge Napolitano: Enough evidence to prosecute Clinton for espionage

Special counsel needed to probe DOJ-Fusion GPS?

Rep. Jim Jordan reacts to FBI Director Wray hearing

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

Jim Jordan: Robert Mueller ‘Inherently Compromised’

New allegations of bias dog Mueller Russia probe

Gingrich: Investigators need to be questioned under oath

Gingrich: Appalling level of FBI corruption coming to light

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

Trey Gowdy Unleashes His Anger On New FBI Director

FBI director defends agency amid allegations of political bias

Trump legal team calls for new special counsel

Anatomy of the FBI’s alleged Clinton cover-up

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

Napolitano: ‘Lynch Should be Under a Criminal Investigation’

Judge Napolitano on AG Lynch’s secret NSA deal

Napolitano on bias at the FBI, obstruction of justice debate

FBI agent operated as a Clinton mole: Michelle Malkin

Robert Ray on FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over texts

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

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Uranium One

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

Congressional investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

See also

References

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exposing ‘slimy dealings’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behind-the-scenes player

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

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

Fusion called the case “Ferris.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A ‘no-stones-unturned’ approach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

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

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

MUST WATCH: Judge Roy Moore gives Most AMAZING Speech on eve of the Alabama Election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The candidates

Doug Jones

Age: 63

Residence: Birmingham

Party: Democratic

Family: Married; three children, two grandchildren

Profession: Attorney

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

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

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

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

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

Roy Moore

Age: 70

Residence: Gallant

Party: Republican

Profession: Attorney

Family: Married; four children; five grandchildren

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

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

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

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

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

Issues

Health care

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

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

Economy and taxes

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

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

Immigration

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

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

Trade

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

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

Abortion

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

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

LGBT rights

Jones: Supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

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

Guns

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

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

Environment & energy

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

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

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 20017, Story 1: He Is Back — Let The Screaming Begin — Videos — Story 2: Trial Balloon of Having Sessions Return To The Senate By Write In Campaign Shot Down By Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Political Elitist Establishment Trying To Overturn Alabama Voters —  Videos — Story 3: Attorney General Sessions Grilled By House Including Whether There Will Special Counsel For Hillary Clinton Alleged Crimes — Vidoes — Story 4: Sexual Harassment in The Senate and House — Time To Expose the Exposers — Out Them By Naming Them — Publish The Creep List — Videos

Posted on November 15, 2017. Filed under: Assault, Blogroll, Breaking News, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, House of Representatives, Sexual Harrasment, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for president trump back from asia trip at andrews air base air force one november 13, 2017Image result for i am mad as hellImage result for attorney general jeff sessions november 14, 2017Image result for congressional CREEP listThis combination photo shows, top row from left, film producer Harvey Weinstein, former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price, director James Toback, New Orleans chef John Besh, middle row from left, fashion photographer Terry Richardson, New Republic contributing editor Leon Wiseltier, former NBC News political commentator Mark Halperin, former Defy Media executive Andy Signore, and bottom row from left, filmmaker Brett Ratner, actor Kevin Spacey, actor Jeremy Piven and actor Dustin Hoffman. In the weeks since the string of allegations against Weinstein first began, an ongoing domino effect has tumbled through not just Hollywood but at least a dozen other industries. (AP Photos/File) ORG XMIT: NYET888

Allegations against Harvey Weinstein set off tremors in Hollywood and other industries. Top: Weinstein, former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price, director James Toback, New Orleans chef John Besh; middle, from left: fashion photographer Terry Richardson, New Republic contributing editor Leon Wiseltier, former NBC News political commentator Mark Halperin, former Defy Media executive Andy Signore; bottom, from left: filmmaker Brett Ratner and actors Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven and Dustin Hoffman.

Story 1: He Is Back — Let The Screaming Begin — Videos —

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You’re accusing me of lying about that?’: Sessions angrily denies committing PERJURY about Russia contacts, saying he gave ‘no response’ to one Trump aide who mentioned Moscow trip and ‘pushed back’ when another pitched Trump-Putin meeting

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he has always ‘told the truth’
  • He bristled when Rep. Hakeem Jeffries brought up his vote to impeach President Clinton over perjury 
  • He neglected to mention a March 2016 where Trump advisor George Papadopoulos pitched a Trump meeting with Vladimir Putin during Senate testimony
  • ‘That’s not fair!’ 
  • He says he would ‘gladly’ have revealed it since he opposed Papadopoulos’ proposals
  • He said every day of the Trump campaign involved ‘chaos’
  • ‘Sleep was in short supply’ 
  • Said he has ‘no clear recollection’ of what was said
  • Can’t recall how Donald Trump responded 
  • Sessions also got pressed on his agency’s research on a special counsel to look into Clinton Foundation
  • He wants federal prosecutors to ‘evaluate certain issues’ raised by Republicans    

Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an angry denial that he committed perjury when he denied having any Russia contacts after House Democrat brought up his vote to impeach Bill Clinton in part over lying to investigators.

Hours into his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions got asked about his vote to approve articles of impeachment against President Bill Clinton.

New York Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries grilled Sessions Tuesday about his meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. and his conversations that Sessions now acknowledges happened with two Trump campaign officials, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, who had Russia contacts.

‘Mr. Jeffries, nobody – nobody – not you or anyone else should be prosecuted – not me – or accused of perjury for answering the question the way I did in this hearing,’ Sessions said, referencing his earlier denials.

'I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended,' said Sessions

‘I do now recall the March 2016 meeting at Trump Hotel that Mr. Papadopoulos attended,’ said Sessions

Scroll down for video 

‘I’ve always tried to answer the questions fairly and accurately. But to ask did you ever do something, you ever meet with Russians and deal with the campaign?’ Sessions said, starting a lengthy response after a series of interrogatory questions.

‘You’re saying Mr. Carter Page, who left that meeting according to the press reports and I guess his deposition or interview, has been reported as saying ‘I’m going to Russia.’ I made no response to it – didn’t acknowledge it. And you’re accusing me of lying about that? I say that’s not fair Mr. Jeffries,’ Sessions said.

'I don’t think it’s right to accuse me of doing something wrong,' said Sessions, after several Democrats pressed him on his changing account of Trump campaign officials who had Russia contacts

‘I don’t think it’s right to accuse me of doing something wrong,’ said Sessions, after several Democrats pressed him on his changing account of Trump campaign officials who had Russia contacts

‘I would say that’s not fair colleagues,’ Sessions continued. ‘That’s not any indication that I in any way participated anything wrong. And the same with Mr. Papadopoulos, he talked about – it’s reported in the paper – that he said something about going to Russia and dealing with the Russians and I pushed back, I said you shouldn’t do it.’

‘So I don’t think it’s right to accuse me of doing something wrong. I had no participation in any wrongdoing with regard to influence in this campaign improperly,’ the attorney general said.

Sessions blew up after Jeffries asked about a 2016 encounter he had with Carter Page at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington, where it is reported Page referenced his upcoming trip to Moscow.

'You're accusing me of lying about that? I say that's not fair,' said Sessions

‘You’re accusing me of lying about that? I say that’s not fair,’ said Sessions

Sessions faced repeated questions from Democrats about his prior testimony, when he said he did not know of any Trump campaign Russia contacts

‘Yes. He said it was a brief meeting as he was walking out the door. I don’t recall that conversation but I’m not able to dispute it,’ Sessions said. ‘Does that establish some sort of improper contact with Russians? He’s not Russian either you know,’ Sessions said.

Sessions got immediate backup from Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis.

‘You didn’t do anything wrong in that testimony,’ said DeSantis. ‘This question was garbled. That’s just not giving you any benefit of the doubt at all to do what these guys are doing to you, so I hear what you’re saying and you didn’t do anything wrong there.’

Before the emotional defense, Jeffries had asked Sessions about an argument he had made during the Clinton impeachment, and a young police officer he had once prosecuted for making false statements and then changing his account.

Earlier in the oversight hearing, Sessions explained his faulty memory about meetings with former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos by citing the ‘chaos’ of the Trump campaign he advised.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 201

He says he ‘pushed back’ when Papadopoulos mentioned his Russia contacts at the meeting and indicated the Russians were available for a high level meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

‘I pushed back. I’ll just say it that way,’ Sessions said under questioning.

Asked whether Trump or anyone else at the meeting either expressed interest on concerns about the Russia channel, Sessions told New York Democratic Rep. Jerold Nadler: ‘I don’t recall.’

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., right, shakes hands with Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he returns from a break during his testimony before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., right, shakes hands with Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he returns from a break during his testimony before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill

Papadopoulos pled guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his contacts that led him to pitch a Trump meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after meeting with a professor who had government contacts in Moscow.

Then he explained instances where he has failed to recall conversations about Trump campaign Russia contacts by citing the unique seat-of-the-pants nature of the Trump campaign.

‘All of you have been in campaigns, let me just suggest,’ he told House Judiciary Committee members.

‘But most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign. And none of you had a part in the Trump campaign. It was a brilliant campaign I think in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one. We traveled, sometimes to several places all the day. Sleep was in short supply,’ said Sessions.

‘After reading his account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that [Papadopoulos] was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter,’ said Sessions.

‘But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and I would gladly have reported it had I remembered it because I pushed back against his suggestion that I thought may have been improper,’ said Sessions.

He also spoke campaign unpaid Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, who traveled to Moscow during the campaign.

‘As for Mr. Page, while I do not challenge his recollection, I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me as he left the dinner,’ Sessions said.

Page told the House intelligence committee earlier this month that he had informed some members of the Trump campaign about the trip, including Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC, on oversight of the US Justice Department

Attorney General Jeff Sessions arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on November 14, 2017, in Washington, DC, on oversight of the US Justice Department

‘I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection,’ Sessions said, defending his conduct.

Sessions, whose agency routinely interrogates Americans about their recollections when conducting investigations, complained: ‘I have been asked to remember details from a year ago, such as who I saw on what day, in what meeting, and who said what to when.’

With his own prior testimony under fire – he previously denied recalling any campaign Russia contacts – Sessions included a vigorous defense of his own honor in his opening statement.

‘In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie,’ he said.

‘Let me be clear: I have at all times conducted myself honorably and in a manner consistent with the high standards and responsibilities of the Office of Attorney General.’

Sessions said he 'pushed back' when George Papadopoulos spoke about about his Russia contacts at a meeting Sessions said did not recall until reading news reports

'I have no memory of his presence at a dinner at the Capitol Hill Club or any passing conversation he may have had with me as he left the dinner,' Sessions said of Carter Page

'In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie,' Sessions said
 ‘In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory. But I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie,’ Sessions said

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (C) arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (C) arrives to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 14, 2017

Questioned by Democratic California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Sessions didn’t give himself high marks for assembling a crack foreign policy team.

‘I was asked to lead, inform and find some people who would join and meet with Mr. Trump to give him advice and support regarding foreign policy and I did so, although we were not a very effective group, really,’ Sessions testified.

Sessions also got grilled about his pledge to recuse himself from Clinton investigations at a House Judiciary oversight hearing Tuesday – just hours after it was revealed prosecutors who report to him are evaluating on the possible appointment of a second special counsel who could probe Hillary Clinton.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told the House panel that prosecutors will advise Sessions about whether ‘any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any merit the appointment of a special counsel.’

Among the issues being evaluated, and which House Republicans have asked them to examine, are any ties between the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One.

The Obama administration approved the sale of the Canadian-owned company with rights to U.S. uranium supplies to Rosatom, the Russian atomic energy agency.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (left) said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Republican concerns including an investigation of the Clinton Foundation dealings

Attorney General Jeff Sessions (left) said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Republican concerns including an investigation of the Clinton Foundation dealings

The deal got approved in 2010 by a committee that Clinton participated in as secretary of state.

Now, amid the prospect Sessions could approve a second special counsel to probe Clinton transactions, Sessions will face questions about statements he made about Clinton at his Senate confirmation hearing.

‘It was a highly contentions campaign. I, like a lot of people, made comments about the issues in that campaign. With regard to Sec. Clinton and some of the comments I made, I do believe that that could place my objectivity in question,’ Sessions said, under questioning by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa.

‘I’ve given that thought. I believe the proper thing to do would be for me to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve secretary Clinton that were raised during the campaign or could be otherwise connected to it,’ Sessions added.

At the start of Tuesday’s hearing, panel chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia noted Sessions’ recusal pledge for 2016 campaign matters.

But Goodlattee complained: ‘There are significant concerns that the partisanship of the FBI and the department has weakened the ability of each to act objectively,’ and raised the issue of getting a second special counsel who would look into Clinton’s emails.

His Democratic counterpart, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, brought up Sessions’ recusal in his own opening statement – and complained that his deputy’s letter got sent to the Republican staff but not Democrats.

‘Without so much as a copy to the ranking member by the way, the assistant attorney general seems to leave the door open to appointing a new special counsel to cater to the president’s political needs,’ Conyers said.

Conyers read some of President Donald Trump’s past online attacks on Sessions. He expressed hope he would get reassurances about ‘near daily attacks on its independence by President Trump and that no office of the department is being used to pressure the president’s political enemies.’

Sessions said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate Republican concerns.

The revelation came after President Trump has ramped up his public calls for probes of his former rival, who he brands ‘crooked Hillary.’

‘Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems,’ Trump tweeted earlier this month.

Hillary is pictured here Monday evening onstage during the tour for her new book 'What Happened' at Fox Theater in Atlanta 

Hillary is pictured here Monday evening onstage during the tour for her new book ‘What Happened’ at Fox Theater in Atlanta

The president also griped about his own apparent inability to steer investigations. ‘The saddest thing is that because I’m the President of the United States, I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I am not supposed to be involved with the FBI,’ Trump said.

The Justice Department is looking to investigate the Clinton Foundation dealings and also an Obama-era uranium deal.

In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, which is holding an oversight hearing Tuesday, the Justice Department said Sessions had directed senior federal prosecutors to ‘evaluate certain issues’ recently raised by Republican lawmakers.

If prosecutors do appoint a special counsel, speculation could arise with regards to the independence of federal investigations under President Trump.

The list of matters he wants to look into vary but include the FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

Also matters connected to the purchase of the Canadian mining company Uranium One by Russia’s nuclear energy agency.

The letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd did not say what specific steps might be taken by the Justice Department to address the lawmakers’ concerns, or whether any of the matters Republicans have seized might on already be under investigation.

Any appointment of a new special counsel, particularly in response to calls from members of Congress or from President Donald Trump, is likely to lead to Democratic complaints about an undue political influence on the department’s decision-making.

Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly weighed in on department affairs, publicly lamenting that he does not have more direct involvement with it and calling on law enforcement scrutiny of Democrat Hillary Clinton, his opponent in the 2016 presidential race, and other Democrats. He has been particularly interested in the Clinton Foundation.

‘Everybody is asking why the Justice Department (and FBI) isn’t looking into all of the dishonesty going on with Crooked Hillary & the Dems…’ Trump tweeted earlier this month.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and husband, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (right) at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014 in New York

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) and husband, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (right) at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014 in New York

In apparent anticipation of those concerns, Boyd said in the letter that Justice Department ‘will never evaluate any matter except on the facts and the law.’

‘Professionalism, integrity and public confidence in the Department’s work is critical for us, and no priority is higher,’ Boyd said.

Sessions said at his January confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Democrat Hillary Clinton given his role as a vocal campaign surrogate to President Donald Trump. He similarly recused himself from a separate investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and in May, the Justice Department appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead that probe.

House Republicans in recent weeks have launched their own probes into the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The Justice Department said Sessions (pictured here) had directed senior federal prosecutors to 'evaluate certain issues' recently raised by Republican lawmakers

The Justice Department said Sessions (pictured here) had directed senior federal prosecutors to ‘evaluate certain issues’ recently raised by Republican lawmakers

 Some have specifically said they want to know more about whether Obama’s Department of Justice was investigating the purchase of American uranium mines by a Russian-backed company in 2010. The agreement was reached while Hillary Clinton led the State Department and some investors in the company had relationships with former President Bill Clinton and donated large sums to the Clinton Foundation.

The letter comes one day before Sessions is to appear before the Judiciary panel for a Justice Department oversight hearing. Democrats on the committee have already signaled that they intend to press Sessions on his knowledge of contacts between Russians and aides to the Trump campaign.

Trump tweeted: ‘Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5081643/Sessions-grilled-Hillary-recusal-pledge.html#ixzz4yYQ4TrqA

The huge contradiction at the heart of Jeff Sessions’ Russia explanation

Washington (CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions was adamant about one thing during his hours-long testimony in front of the House judiciary committee on Tuesday: He has never lied under oath regarding what he knew and when he knew it about the interactions between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and Russia.

“I have always told the truth, and I have answered every question as I understood them and to the best of my recollection, as I will continue to do today,” Sessions angrily insisted. “I will not accept and reject accusations that I have ever lied under oath. That is a lie.”
Sessions: I have never lied to Congress
The phrase “to the best of my recollection” is doing A LOT of work in Sessions’ defense.
Here’s why.
In January, during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate judiciary committee, Sessions was asked whether he was aware of any contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia. “I’m not aware of any of those activities,” he said at the time.
Then, in October, again in front of the Senate judiciary committee, Sessions had this exchange with Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken:
Sessions and Franken go at it again
Sessions and Franken go at it again 01:57
FRANKEN: “You don’t believe that surrogates from the Trump campaign had communications with the Russians?”
SESSIONS: “I did not, and I’m not aware of anyone else that did. And I don’t believe it happened.”
On Tuesday, Sessions said he did in fact now remember that he was part of a March 31, 2016, meeting that included both then-candidate Trump and a foreign policy adviser named George Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in regard to his ties to Russia, told special counsel Robert Mueller that he boasted in that meeting that he had ties to Russia and could set up a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Attendees said that Sessions pushed back hard on that idea, insisting that it would not be smart.

George Papadopoulos, pictured second from the left in March 2016 in a National Security Meeting with President Donald Trump, far right, and Jeff Sessions, far left.

Sessions confirmed Tuesday that he not only now remembered that meeting, but also recalled, now, that he had been a voice of dissent for Papadopoulos’ proposal. He said the memory came back to him when it was “revealed in the press.”
Added Sessions:
“After reading Papadopoulos’ account, and to the best of my recollection, I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter. But I did not recall this event, which occurred 18 months before my testimony of a few weeks ago, and would gladly have reported it had I remembered it, because I pushed back against his suggestion.”
What Sessions is saying that he simply didn’t remember that March 31 meeting prior to it being reported in the wake of Papadopoulos’ guilty plea. But, now he not only remembers the meeting but he also recalls that he spoke out against an idea for Trump to meet with Putin.
Sessions’ explanation for this seeming contradiction? The Trump campaign, while brilliant, was chaotic. Here’s his full answer on Tuesday:
“All of you have been in a campaign. But most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign. And none of you had a part in the Trump campaign. It was a brilliant campaign in many ways. But it was a form of chaos every day from day one. We traveled all the time, sometimes to several places in one day. Sleep was in short supply.”
Which is OK! I get tired after one late night. And I am in my 40s!
But context is not Sessions’ friend here.
You’ll remember that during his confirmation hearings, Sessions said he had never met with any Russian officials. It was subsequently reported that Sessions had met twice with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak — once on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention and once in his Senate office.
He explained that seeming contradiction by insisting that he simply had not recalled the RNC meeting with Kislyak, and that, in his Senate office, he had met with the ambassador in his official capacity as a senator, not as a Trump surrogate.
On Tuesday, asked about his initial failure to recollect those meeting with Kisylak — and his initial response to the Senate judiciary committee regarding contacts between Trump campaign officials/surrogates and Russians — Sessions said:
“My focus was on responding to the concerns that I as a surrogate was participating in a continuing series of meetings with intermediaries with the Russian government. I certainly didn’t mean I’d never met a Russian in the history of my life.”
It’s impossible to prove that Sessions is lying or not — whether about his meetings with Kislyak or this memory of the March 31, 2016, meeting with Papadopoulos.
But, it’s also difficult to believe that Sessions simply forgot a meeting in which he was a strong voice pushing back against the idea of Trump meeting with Putin. That seems like the sort of thing — whether you got a lot of sleep or not during the campaign — you would remember.

‘Get that hack out of Fox News’: Shepard Smith leaves viewers irate after six-minute segment debunking theory of Hillary Clinton’s ‘crimes’ in Uranium One deal

  • Fox News anchor Shepard Smith infuriated a large number of the network’s viewers on Tuesday 
  • Smith aired six-minute segment debunking far-right conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s alleged wrongdoing in a sale of American uranium 
  • Smith said many claims about Clinton’s supposed role in the uranium sale were ‘inaccurate’ 
  • ‘Shep Smith needs to be fired for his biased reporting,’ tweeted one Fox News viewer in response to the segment 

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith infuriated a large number of the network’s viewers on Tuesday after a six-minute segment in which he debunked far-right conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton‘s alleged wrongdoing in a sale of American uranium.

The segment was surprising given that a number of broadcasters on Smith’s own network have promoted the idea that Clinton broke the law in approving the sale to foreign buyers who also donated to her husband’s foundation.

Smith said many claims about Clinton’s supposed role in the uranium sale were ‘inaccurate’ – even as President Donald Trump and his supporters are calling for a federal investigation.

The Fox News host began the segment by summarizing the particulars of the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian firm with rights to mine US uranium.

Rosatom, a Russian firm, acquired a majority stake in Uranium One in 2010 and bought the remainder of the company in 2013.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith infuriated a large number of the network's viewers on Tuesday after a six-minute segment in which he debunked far-right conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's alleged wrongdoing in a sale of American uranium

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith infuriated a large number of the network’s viewers on Tuesday after a six-minute segment in which he debunked far-right conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s alleged wrongdoing in a sale of American uranium

The Fox News host began the segment by summarizing the particulars of the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian firm with rights to mine US uranium. Rosatom, a Russian firm, acquired a majority stake in Uranium One in 2010 and bought the remainder of the company in 2013
 The Fox News host began the segment by summarizing the particulars of the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian firm with rights to mine US uranium. Rosatom, a Russian firm, acquired a majority stake in Uranium One in 2010 and bought the remainder of the company in 2013

Smith said many claims about Clinton's (above) supposed role in the uranium sale were 'inaccurate' - even as President Donald Trump and his supporters are calling for a federal investigation

Smith said many claims about Clinton’s (above) supposed role in the uranium sale were ‘inaccurate’ – even as President Donald Trump and his supporters are calling for a federal investigation

Because Uranium One had holdings in American uranium mines, which at the time accounted for about 20 percent of America’s licensed uranium mining capacity, Rosatom’s 2010 purchase had to be approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

That committee, known as CFIUS, is made up of officials from nine federal agencies, including the State Department, which Clinton ran at the time.

Other agencies represented on the committee include the departments of Treasury, Defense, Commerce, Energy and Homeland Security and the Office of the US Trade Representative.

The matter took on new life after a report last month said the FBI was investigating possible Russian attempts to influence the US nuclear sector at the time the CFIUS was considering the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom.

The report said members of the committee, including Clinton, should have known about the investigation and it questioned why they would have approved it.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5084385/AP-Explains-What-happened-Russia-bought-Uranium-One.html#ixzz4yYSuDyBO

Story 4: Sexual Harassment in The Senate and House — Time To Expose the Exposers — Out Them By Naming Them — Publish The Creep List — Videos

Congresswoman speaks out about alleged sexual harassment in Congress

Reps. Barbara Comstock & Jackie Speier: Members Of Congress Engaged In Sexual Harassment | NBC News

Lawmakers allege sexual harassment in Congress

Female Lawmakers Share Stories Of Sexual Harassment In Congress

Rep. Jackie Speier On Reporting Sexual Harassment In Congress: ‘It’s A Bad System’ | MSNBC

Published on Nov 14, 2017

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) explains the current protocol for reporting sexual harassment in Congress following the recent claims that two lawmakers engaged in sexual misconduct. »

Sexual harassment settlements in Congress paid by taxpayers

The INGRAHAM ANGLE – Pulling Back the Curtain | Fox News 11/14/17

Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Congressional Workplace (EventID=106621)

Byrne Testifies on Sexual Harassment and Congress

Female Senator Harassed, Groped By Fellow Senators

 

‘Nothing about it felt right’: More than 50 people describe sexual harassment on Capitol Hill

me too congress sexual assault harassment orig bw_00011922

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • The House is holding a hearing on sexual harassment Tuesday
  • Staffers describe a “creep list” of inappropriate male members of Congress or staffers

(CNN)Be extra careful of the male lawmakers who sleep in their offices — they can be trouble. Avoid finding yourself alone with a congressman or senator in elevators, late-night meetings or events where alcohol is flowing. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss — it could cost you your career.

These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda.
There is also the “creep list” — an informal roster passed along by word-of-mouth, consisting of the male members most notorious for inappropriate behavior, ranging from making sexually suggestive comments or gestures to seeking physical relations with younger employees and interns.
CNN spoke with more than 50 lawmakers, current and former Hill aides and political veterans who have worked in Congress, the majority of whom spoke anonymously to be candid and avoid potential repercussions. With few exceptions, every person said they have personally experienced sexual harassment on the Hill or know of others who have.
In an environment with “so many young women,” said one ex-House aide, the men “have no self-control.” “Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate staffer said of the lawmakers with the worst reputations. And sometimes, the sexual advances from members of Congress or senior aides are reciprocated in the hopes of advancing one’s career — what one political veteran bluntly referred to as a “sex trade on Capitol Hill.”
These anecdotes portray a workplace where women are subjected to constant harassment — both subtle and explicit. They also highlight an antiquated reporting system that discourages some victims from speaking out, leaving many professionals on the Hill to rely instead on hushed advice from peers and mentors.
On Tuesday, a House committee held a hearing to examine the chamber’s sexual harassment policies, and the Senate last week passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory for senators, staff and interns — two clear acknowledgments of the need for reform. Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell support ramping up sexual harassment training.
One female congresswoman told CNN that she has experienced sexual harassment from her male colleagues on multiple occasions over the years, but she declined to speak on the record or detail those interactions.
“Half are harassers,” she said of her male counterparts in Congress, before quickly adding that that was an over-estimate — only “some are harassers,” she said.

Capitol Hill’s open secret: ‘We know’ who they are

What began as a typical workday left one woman feeling “horrified.”
A former Senate staffer recalled getting on the “members only” elevator — designed to let lawmakers easily reach the House and Senate floors — with her boss a few years ago. Her boss introduced her to another senator in the elevator. Both senators are men and still currently in office.
When she leaned in to shake that senator’s hand, he stroked the inside of her palm “in a really gross, suggestive way” — a gesture that was completely invisible to her boss. The ex-staffer said she was rattled and “felt very yucky.” She was also shaken by how brazen the senator was to do this with his colleague standing right next to them.
The woman, who declined to be named or reveal the senator’s identity, told CNN that she avoided that lawmaker from that day on. She also never told her then-boss about it — she was embarrassed and nervous to make it an issue, she said, and simply “took it for the gross moment that it was.”
“Nothing about it felt right,” she said.
In conversations with CNN, multiple women pointed to the elevators on Capitol Hill as a place where staff and members prey on women and say they have been advised to avoid riding alone with men if possible. One woman said years after leaving her job in Congress, she still feels anxious about being alone in elevators with men.
The inappropriate conduct is hardly limited to the confines of elevators.
The unique lifestyle on the Hill helps fuel a hostile culture. Many male members are far away from their families, including their spouses, during the week, frequently working late nights and attending evening fundraisers and events where alcohol flows freely. Often, they are staffed by younger, female employees. Some members of Congress forgo a Washington-area apartment and sleep in their offices, a practice several sources highlighted as problematic.
One aide who works in the Senate described Capitol Hill as “a sort of old school, Wild West workplace culture that has a lot of ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos and without the sort of standard professionalism that you find in more traditional workplaces.”
The dozens of interviews that CNN conducted with both men and women also revealed that there is an unwritten list of male lawmakers — made up primarily of House representatives where there are many more members than the Senate — notorious for inappropriate or predatory behavior. Several people simply referred to that roster as the “creep list.”
More than half a dozen interviewees independently named one California congressman for pursuing female staffers; another half dozen pointed to a Texas congressman for engaging in inappropriate behavior. CNN is not naming either of those lawmakers because the stories are unverified.
“Amongst ourselves, we know,” a former Senate aide said referring to sexual harassers and their behavior. “There is a certain code amongst us, we acknowledge among each other what occurs.”

Some stay silent; others tolerate bad behavior: ‘There’s a little bit of a sex trade on Capitol Hill’

Even as explosive allegations in Hollywood and media have taken down powerful figures like producer Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, comedian Louis C.K. and political journalist Mark Halperin, on Capitol Hill, it’s not clear that a similar a day of reckoning is soon coming to one of the country’s most important institutions.
The power dynamics in Washington contribute to this problem. Most offices are staffed by early-career professionals who are trying to make a name for themselves in Washington. They also report directly to members of Congress.
“A lot of it has to do with being in a place where people who have power try to exert it to get what they want,” one Senate staffer said, adding that a lot of the most egregious examples happen “on the cocktail circuit” — where powerful men intermingle with younger staffers outside of the Capitol.
It’s “people using their power without any self-control,” a former House staffer said. “There are a lot of tales of these guys going out and behaving very badly with younger staffers.”
But some women tolerate the advances or even reciprocate them — everything from flirting to getting physically intimate — believing that it is one way to climb the ladder.
“There’s a little bit of a sex trade on Capitol Hill. If a part of getting ahead on Capitol Hill is playing ball with whatever douchebag — then whatever,” said one female political veteran who worked on Capitol Hill.
Former Rep. Mary Bono said publicly this month that she endured suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker for years before eventually confronting him. Rep. Linda Sanchez and ex-Rep. Hilda Solis also told the Associated Press stories of repeated inappropriate comments from lawmakers, including some who are still in office.
One woman who began her career in Washington in the 1980s and is now in her 50s, told CNN that she still constantly takes precautions to protect herself from powerful men.
“I think women have to watch where they are and how they are all the time,” she said.
Travis Moore, a former aide to ex-Rep. Henry Waxman, started a signature-gathering campaign last week calling on congressional leaders to reform “inadequate” sexual harassment policies in Congress. His letter has gathered over 1,500 signatures.
Moore told CNN that he was deeply affected by a close friend who confided in him that, while she was an aide in the Senate, she received sexual comments from a superior, who was an aide. When she reported the behavior to her chief of staff, she was “questioned harshly about it and her motives were questioned.”
The accused aide was not reprimanded and there was no recourse.

‘The place where complaints go to die’

Harassment on Capitol Hill isn’t always sexual in nature.
Around 2011, Liz was a young and fast-rising aide on the Hill. Her career was thriving and her work was getting noticed. But in the Senate office where Liz worked, her direct boss, a male senior aide, yelled and physically intimidated her.
She eventually sought help from the Office of Compliance, the little-known agency established in part to oversee workplace disputes in Congress. But Liz, whose first name has been changed to conceal her identity, told CNN that this was the implicit but clear message she received from the office: “There’s no real case to any of this.”
“It is like, the place where complaints go to die,” she said. “It was like I was talking to a black hole of people who didn’t care.”
Years later, Liz, who no longer works on the Hill, said she still wonders whether her decision to report her boss’s behavior damaged her career.
When asked to respond to Liz’s story, OOC Executive Director Susan Tsui Grundmann said in a statement, “Congress designed us to be a non-partisan, independent process, which means that we are not an advocate for either side.”
The OOC, established by the Congressional Accountability Act in the 1990s, has come under fire in recent weeks for what some say are antiquated rules that can intimidate victims into silence.
What’s more, the initial proceedings alone can drag out for months.
If a congressional aide wants to file a formal complaint with the OOC, they must first engage in 30 days of counseling. After 30 days, they can choose to go into mediation with a representative of the congressional office that they are lodging a complaint against, which can last at least another 30 days. Then, the accuser must wait an additional 30 days before they can officially file a complaint and pursue a hearing either with the OOC or the Federal District Court.
Multiple lawmakers in both chambers are drafting legislation to change the OOC’s protocol for handling workplace complaints.
Sen. Kirsten Gilibrand’s forthcoming bill would remove the 30-day waiting period before a victim can initiate the administrative hearing phase of the process. In the House, Rep. Jackie Speier is proposing similar legislation.
There is also growing pressure for more transparency so that the public can see information like the number of sexual harassment complaints filed with the OOC, the number of settlements reached, the dollar figure of those settlements and which offices are receiving complaints. CNN, along with some members of Congress, has requested that information.
Tracy Manzer, a spokeswoman for Speier, said 80% of people who have come to their office with stories of sexual misconduct in the last few weeks have chosen not to report the incidents to the OOC.
And many of those who did said the process was a nightmare, forcing them to stop midway through — some were told things like, “You can’t prove it” and “it’ll be a nightmare” to move forward, Manzer said.
The female congresswoman who told CNN that she has been sexually harassed by her male colleagues numerous times said she believed there is little upside to speaking out.
“I need these guys’ votes,” she said. “In this body, you may be an enemy one day and a close ally the next when accomplishing something. … So women will be very cautious about saying anything negative about any of their colleagues.”
Is that depressing? “I think it’s reality,” she said.
This story has been updated to reflect that Tuesday’s House hearing on sexual harassment has completed.

Lindsey Graham wants sexual harassers in Congress outed: ‘Name them’

A prominent Republican senator on Wednesday called for sexual harassers in Congress to be outed.

“Name them,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told reporters. “Just get it out. Lay it out. Change the rules so people can come to work without being harassed. Those who do these things need to be held accountable.”

Graham’s comments come one day after California Rep. Jackie Speier testified that at least two sitting members of Congress — one from each party — have been the subjects of rampant sexual harassment complaints.

Without naming names, Speier said she’d heard stories of victims having their “private parts grabbed on the House floor.”

Speier said Wednesday that she is barred from identifying one lawmaker because of a non-disclosure agreement. She said she won’t name the other because the victim asked her not to.

During a news conference introducing her bill to overhaul the process for reporting sexual harassment, Speier said she is “here to protect the victims.”

At Tuesday’s hearing, Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock said she’d heard a story about a member of Congress telling a staffer to bring work material to his house. When she got there, she said, he exposed himself to her.

The staffer quit.

“What are we doing here for women, right now, who are dealing with someone like that?” Comstock asked at the hearing.

Graham, who on Monday called on Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to step aside after a new accuser came forward alleging Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teen, acknowledged that sexual harassment in Congress needs to be addressed.

“It’s just rude. It’s crude. I wouldn’t want my sister… wouldn’t (want) my nieces to go through this,” he said. “I wouldn’t want a young woman to experience that kind of behavior just, you know, by participating in their government.”

During the past few weeks, stories of sexual harassment and gender hostility across many industries have been dominating the news. Multiple incidents out of D.C. and other state houses have shed light on the difficulties victims face when trying to report their accusers.

About 1,500 former Capitol Hill aides have signed an open letter to House and Senate leaders demanding that Congress put in place mandatory harassment training. They’re also calling to revamp the Office of Compliance, a small office that deals with these complaints and that few knew even existed.

“Staffers who do decide to pursue a complaint face an opaque and burdensome process,” Kristen Nicholson, director of the Government Affairs Institute, who served as chief of staff to Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I., from 2001-2017, wrote in an editorial.

“Hill offices are small and run largely as members see fit,” she said, adding there’s no HR department with whom to lodge a confidential complaint and that staffers are “conditioned” against saying anything that might make their boss or even the institution look bad.

After a while, offenses are seen more as an occupational hazard.

“These notions become so ingrained they stay with most of us long after we’ve left the Hill,” Nicholson said.

Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported on one current and three former female lawmakers who said they had been harassed or subjected to hostile and sexually suggestive comments by fellow members of Congress, some of whom are still in office. Shortly afterward, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., sent a memo to fellow lawmakers encouraging them to complete sexual harassment training and make it mandatory for their staffs.

Last week, the Senate unanimously approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.

On a voice vote, lawmakers adopted a bipartisan resolution calling for training within 60 days of the measure’s passage.

Each Senate office would have to submit certification of completed training, and the certificate would be published on the public website of the secretary of the Senate.

The measure had widespread support, and the action occurred within days of the resolution’s formal introduction.

Fox News’ Jason Donner and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/11/15/name-them-lindsey-graham-wants-sexual-harassers-in-congress-outed.html

Netflix says no more Kevin Spacey on ‘House of Cards’

Kevin Spacey on “House of Cards.” | NETFLIX

LOS ANGELES — Netflix said Friday night that Kevin Spacey will no longer be a part of “House of Cards” and it’s cutting all other ties with the actor after a series of allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of ‘House of Cards’ that includes Kevin Spacey,” the company said in a statement.

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Netflix said it will work with the show’s production company MRC to evaluate whether it will continue without him.

The 58-year-old Spacey was nominated for best drama actor Emmy Awards during each of the show’s first five seasons, but never won. He played a ruthless politician who ascends to the presidency of the United States. Co-star Robin Wright is also a central player on the show, and it could conceivably continue with a focus on her.

Production on the show had already been suspended on Tuesday.

Netflix says it also will refuse to release the film “Gore,” in which Spacey stars as the writer Gore Vidal and also acted as producer.

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CNN reported that eight current or former “House of Cards” workers claim that Spacey made the production a “toxic” workplace and one ex-employee alleges the actor sexually assaulted him.

Spacey has not been arrested or charged with any crime. His publicist did not immediately return an email message late Friday night seeking comment. A publicist said earlier this week that Spacey is “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment.”

The Academy Award-winning actor became ensnared in Hollywood’s fast-growing sexual harassment crisis after actor Anthony Rapp alleged Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Rapp was 14. Spacey has said he doesn’t remember the alleged encounter reported by BuzzFeed News last weekend but apologized if such “drunken behavior” occurred.

The story spurred several others to come forward with similar allegations about Spacey.

London police are reportedly investigating Spacey for a 2008 sexual assault, British media reported Friday.

Police did not identify Spacey by name but said the department’s child abuse and sexual offenses unit is investigating the reported assault after it was referred to police earlier this week.

Spacey is the latest high profile Hollywood figure to lose work and standing in a wave that began when dozens of sexual harassment allegations were reported last month against film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein is under investigation in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, London and New York for possible criminal cases after several women accused him of sexual assault or rape.

This combination photo shows, top row from left, film producer Harvey Weinstein, former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price, director James Toback, New Orleans chef John Besh, middle row from left, fashion photographer Terry Richardson, New Republic contributing editor Leon Wiseltier, former NBC News political commentator Mark Halperin, former Defy Media executive Andy Signore, and bottom row from left, filmmaker Brett Ratner, actor Kevin Spacey, actor Jeremy Piven and actor Dustin Hoffman. In the weeks since the string of allegations against Weinstein first began, an ongoing domino effect has tumbled through not just Hollywood but at least a dozen other industries. (AP Photos/File) ORG XMIT: NYET888

Allegations against Harvey Weinstein set off tremors in Hollywood and other industries. Top: Weinstein, former Amazon Studios executive Roy Price, director James Toback, New Orleans chef John Besh; middle, from left: fashion photographer Terry Richardson, New Republic contributing editor Leon Wiseltier, former NBC News political commentator Mark Halperin, former Defy Media executive Andy Signore; bottom, from left: filmmaker Brett Ratner and actors Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Piven and Dustin Hoffman.

Magazine publisher resigns after allegations

Also Friday, Hamilton Fish, publisher of The New Republic, resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.

In a company memo shared with The Associated Press, magazine owner Win McCormack wrote that Fish’s resignation was effective immediately and that an internal investigation would continue. Fish, who joined The New Republic in 2016, had been placed on leave of absence last week. He is a former publisher of The Nation.

“As I understand it, some employees, to my deep dismay, complained this week that my presence had led them to feel uncomfortable at The New Republic,” Fish wrote to McCormack in a memo Friday that was also shared with the AP. “Women have longstanding and profound concerns with respect to their treatment in the workplace. Many men have a lot to learn in this regard. I know I do, and I hope for and encourage that new direction.”

Fish wrote in an email to the AP that he “felt the controversy swirling around us could cause irreparable harm to the magazine, and that the only way to protect The New Republic and its employees was for me to separate from the organization.” Noting his time with such organizations as The Nation, a prominent liberal publication, and with Human Rights Watch, he wrote that he had spent his career in “in progressive media and the human rights field.

Fish is among several figures in media and publishing that have stepped down or been fired in the wake of the Weinstein reports.
Others include author and former NBC analyst Mark Halperin, former New Republic literary editor Leon Wieseltier and former NPR chief editor Michael Oreskes, who was an AP executive from 2008 to 2015.

AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York and Writer Gregory Katz in London contributed to this report.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/netflix-says-no-more-kevin-spacey-on-house-of-cards/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017, Story 1: Attorney General Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee — Theater of The Absurd — A Sideshow of A Sideshow — Videos — Story 2: Two Party Tyranny Ignores The Real Concerns of American People — Jobs, The Economy, National Security and Terrorism, Illegal Immigration, Education and Healthcare — Videos

Posted on June 13, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Employment, History, House of Representatives, Law, Media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Senate, United States of America | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for attorney general jeff session testifies before senateImage result for cartoon about russian interference in us electionsImage result for cartoon about russian interference in us elections comey

Story 1: Attorney General Sessions Testifies Before Senate Intelligence Committee — Theater of The Absurd — A Sideshow of A Sideshow — Videos —

Image result for sideshow circus tentsImage result for Sideshow by Chrystal Vaughan

“Sometimes life asks us to make more serious choices than whether or not to believe a fairy tale”
~ Chrystal Vaughan, Sideshow

” There may be honor among thieves, but there’s none in politicians.”

~ T.E. Lawrence

Jeff Sessions Testifies To Senate Intelligence Committee- Full Hearing

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Sen Blunt and Sen King Question Jeff Sessions

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WATCH: Attorney General Jeff Sessions On Why FBI Director James Comey Was Fired

JEFF SESSIONS HEARING: President Trump calls Russia threat WITCHHUNT and FAKE NEWS! NEED THE TRUTH!

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SIDESHOW – BLUE MAGIC – (1974)

Sessions calls suggestion he colluded with Russia a ‘detestable lie’

The attorney general also denies that he had a third undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

06/13/2017 03:07 PM EDT

Updated 06/13/2017 04:40 PM EDT

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday forcefully denied he engaged in any collusion with Russian officials during the campaign, calling such a suggestion a “detestable lie,” while saying he did not recall having a third undisclosed meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“The suggestion that I participated in any collusion or that I was aware of any collusion with the Russian government to hurt this country, which I have served with honor for over 35 years, or to undermine the integrity of our democratic process, is an appalling and detestable lie,” Sessions said as he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sessions also pushed back against the idea that he had more meetings with Kislyak, after having been forced to clarify remarks from his confirmation hearing in January that he did not have communications with Russian officials during the campaign. Two previous meetings with Kisylak surfaced earlier this year, but Sessions said on Tuesday he doesn’t remember any further encounters, including an allegation he met with Kislyak in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel, which hosted a foreign policy speech by Donald Trump.

“I did not have any private meetings nor do I recall any conversations with any Russian officials at the Mayflower Hotel,” Sessions said.

He later elaborated that a brief interaction with Kislyak may have occurred, noting that “I may have had an encounter during the reception” but that would’ve been the extent of any communication.

Sessions took his uncomfortable star turn in the same seat occupied by James Comey five days ago as the former FBI director pointedly accused Trump of lying about his dismissal.

Sessions has found himself at the center of the Russian controversy in recent days, particularly after Comey’s testimony that he’d asked Sessions to intervene after Trump initiated a series of contacts the FBI director viewed as improper.

The ex-FBI chief also suggested Sessions realized something inappropriate was afoot when Trump asked Comey to stay behind at an Oval Office meeting at February, while dismissing Sessions and others from the room.

“My sense was the attorney general knew he shouldn’t be leaving, which is why he was lingering,” Comey testified.

Comey also said that in the one-on-one meeting that followed, Trump asked that the FBI “let…go” of a probe into former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn. Trump has said he made no such request.

Sessions denied on Tuesday that he stayed silent when Comey urged him never to leave him alone again with Trump — testifying that he urged the FBI and Justice Department officials to follow proper protocol in their communications with the White House.

That directly counters Comey’s testimony from last week, when the ex-FBI chief said Sessions had no response when he told the attorney general that him being left alone with Trump was inappropriate and should not happen. A Justice Department spokesman rejected Comey’s account following the June 8 hearing.

“He didn’t recall this, but I responded to his comment by agreeing that the FBI and the Department of Justice needed to be careful to follow department policies regarding appropriate contacts with the White House,” Sessions testified.

Sessions did not say if he made any effort to stop Trump from contacting the FBI, such as intervening with the president directly or seeking to pass such a message through the White House counsel or other officials.

The attorney general’s closely-watched testimony came as Washington buzzed about suggestions from Trump allies that the president was considering firing the man tapped last month to take over the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election: special counsel Robert Mueller.

Sessions would not specifically talk about Mueller’s job performance, but said, “I have confidence in Mr. Mueller.”

The attorney general cited his recusal from the Russia probe as one of the reasons he could not elaborate on Mueller. In March, Sessions declared that because of his role in the Trump campaign he was recusing himself from all inquiries related to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 elections.

During his testimony on Tuesday, Sessions disclosed more details of the timeline of his recusal: One day after he was sworn in as attorney general on Feb. 9, Sessions had his first meeting to generally discuss the recusal matter. Several meetings followed, and “it became clear to me over time that I qualified as a significant principal adviser type person to the campaign and it would be appropriate and the right thing for me to recuse myself.”

His recusal from matters related to the presidential campaign, which Sessions said was essentially in place from his first day as attorney general, is apparently so broad that he has never been briefed on Russian hacking attempts last year.

“I never received any detailed briefing on how the hacking occurred,” Sessions testified, saying he had only gotten his information about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign through the news media.

Speaking to Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), Sessions added that “you might have been very critical if I, as an active part of the campaign, was seeking intelligence related to something that might be relevant to the campaign.”

Sessions also said Tuesday that he would not claim executive privilege as he testifies “because that is the president’s power.” But he added that he would abide by longstanding DOJ practice to shield his discussions with Trump.

“I cannot and will not violate my duty to protect confidential communications with the president,” he said.

Sessions refused to answer a pivotal question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.): whether he discussed Comey’s handling of the investigations into the Trump campaign with the president prior to the FBI director’s dismissal.

“I’m not able to discuss with you or confirm or deny the nature of a private conversation that I may have had with the president on this subject or others. I know this will be discussed, but that’s the rules that have been adhered to by the Department of Justice,” Sessions said.

Asked to react to Trump’s public statement that he had the Russia probe on his mind at the time of the firing, the attorney general demurred.

“I will have to let his words speak for himself. I’m not sure what was in his mind specifically when we talked to him,” Sessions said.

As Sessions declined to answer a series of questions, Democrats bluntly accused him of undermining Congress’s effort to get to the truth. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said the lack of responses amounted to stonewalling.

“I am not stonewalling. I am following the historic policies of the Department of Justice,” the attorney general declared.

“You’re impeding this investigation,” Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico said. “You are obstructing that congressional investigation by not answering the questions.”

Sessions insisted that he was not invoking executive privilege, but preserving Trump’s right to do so.

“I’m not able to invoke executive privilege that’s the president’s prerogative,” the attorney general said.

Resolving a longstanding question, Sessions acknowledged publicly for the first time Tuesday that he gave Comey no warning before his firing on May 9.

“Did you ever have a conversation about his failure to perform?” Sen. Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked.

“I did not,” Sessions said.

“You never thought it was appropriate to raise those concerns before he was actually terminated by the president?” Warner asked.

“I did not do so,” Sessions said, noting that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein prepared a memo critiquing Comey’s performance. “It’s something that we both agreed to that a fresh start at the FBI was probably the best.”

“The timing seems a little peculiar,” Warner said.

Democratic senators and Comey have suggested that Sessions should not have been involved in the firing of the FBI director, particularly since investigations Sessions was recused from appear to have played roles in spurring that decision.

Sessions flatly rejected those arguments on Tuesday.

“It is absurd, frankly, to suggest that a recusal from a single specific investigation would render an Attorney General unable to manage the leadership of the various Department of Justice law enforcement components that conduct thousands of investigations,” Sessions said.

The usually genial Alabaman showed outbursts of anger, including under questioning from Wyden when the Oregon Democrat pressed Sessions on what Comey found so “problematic” about the attorney general that he felt his recusal was inevitable.

“Why don’t you tell me?” Sessions responded to Wyden, his tone escalating. “There are none … this is a secret innuendo.”

Sessions also offered his first-hand account of the Feb. 14 Oval Office encounter that resulted in Comey being alone with Trump.

“We were there. I was standing there and without revealing any conversation that took place, what I do recall is I did depart. I believe everyone else did depart and Director Comey was sitting in front of the president’s desk and they were talking….That in itself is not problematic,” Sessions said.

The attorney general confirmed that the next day Comey complained about the contact.

“He did not tell me at that time any detail about anything that was said that was improper,” Sessions said, claiming he “backed [Comey] up in his concern” about improper contacts.

“He was concerned about it….His recollection of what he said about his concern is consistent with my recollection,” the attorney general added.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/13/sessions-calls-suggestion-he-colluded-with-russia-a-detestable-lie-239507

 

Executive privilege

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the United States government, executive privilege is the power claimed by the President of the United States and other members of the executive branch to resist certain subpoenas and other interventions by the legislative and judicial branches of government to access information and personnel relating to the executive branch. The concept of executive privilege is not mentioned explicitly in the United States Constitution, but the Supreme Court of the United States ruled it to be an element of the separation of powers doctrine and derived from the supremacy of the executive branch in its own area of Constitutional activity.[1]

The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon, but only to the extent of confirming that there is a qualified privilege. Once invoked, a presumption of privilege is established, requiring the Prosecutor to make a “sufficient showing” that the “Presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case” (418 U.S. at 713–14). Chief JusticeWarren Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns.

Historically, the uses of executive privilege underscore the untested nature of the doctrine, since Presidents have generally sidestepped open confrontations with the United States Congress and the courts over the issue by first asserting the privilege, then producing some of the documents requested on an assertedly voluntary basis.

Early precedents

Executive privilege is a specific instance of the more general common-law principle of deliberative process privilege and is believed to trace its roots to the English crown privilege (now known as public-interest immunity).[2]

In the context of privilege assertions by US presidents, “In 1796, President George Washington refused to comply with a request by the House of Representatives for documents related to the negotiation of the then-recently adopted Jay Treaty with the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Senate alone plays a role in the ratification of treaties, Washington reasoned, and therefore the House had no legitimate claim to the material. Therefore, Washington provided the documents to the Senate but not the House.”[3]

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

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson cited executive privilege when Senator Henry Clay demanded he produce documents concerning statements the president made to his cabinet about the removal of federal deposits from the Second Bank of the United States during the Bank War.[4]

Cold War era

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

During the Army–McCarthy hearings in 1954, Eisenhower used the claim of executive privilege to forbid the “provision of any data about internal conversations, meetings, or written communication among staffers, with no exception to topics or people.” Department of Defense employees were also instructed not to testify on any such conversations or produce any such documents or reproductions.[5] This was done to refuse the McCarthy Committee subpoenas of transcripts of monitored telephone calls from Army officials, as well as information on meetings between Eisenhower officials relating to the hearings. This was done in the form of a letter from Eisenhower to the Department of Defense and an accompanying memo from Eisenhower Justice. The reasoning behind the order was that there was a need for “candid” exchanges among executive employees in giving “advice” to one another. In the end, Eisenhower would invoke the claim 44 times between 1955 and 1960.

United States v. Nixon

The Supreme Court addressed “executive privilege” in United States v. Nixon, the 1974 case involving the demand by Watergatespecial prosecutorArchibald Cox that President Richard Nixonproduce the audiotapes of conversations he and his colleagues had in the Oval Office of the White House in connection with criminal charges being brought against members of the Nixon Administration. Nixon invoked the privilege and refused to produce any records.

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

“Once executive privilege is asserted, coequal branches of the Government are set on a collision course. The Judiciary is forced into the difficult task of balancing the need for information in a judicial proceeding and the Executive’s Article II prerogatives. This inquiry places courts in the awkward position of evaluating the Executive’s claims of confidentiality and autonomy, and pushes to the fore difficult questions of separation of powers and checks and balances. These ‘occasion[s] for constitutional confrontation between the two branches’ are likely to be avoided whenever possible. United States v. Nixon, supra, at 692.”[6]

Post-Watergate era

Clinton administration

The Clinton administration invoked executive privilege on fourteen occasions.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton became the first president since Nixon to assert executive privilege and lose in court, when a federal judge ruled that Clinton aides could be called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.[7]

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

George W. Bush administration

The Bush administration invoked executive privilege on six occasions.

President George W. Bush first asserted executive privilege to deny disclosure of sought details regarding former Attorney General Janet Reno,[8] the scandal involving Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) misuse of organized-crime informants James J. Bulger and Stephen Flemmi in Boston, and Justice Department deliberations about President Bill Clinton’s fundraising tactics, in December 2001.[9]

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

Further, on June 28, 2007, Bush invoked executive privilege in response to congressional subpoenas requesting documents from former presidential counsel Harriet Miers and former political director Sara Taylor,[10] citing that:

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

On July 9, 2007, Bush again invoked executive privilege to block a congressional subpoena requiring the testimonies of Taylor and Miers. Furthermore, White House CounselFred F. Fielding refused to comply with a deadline set by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain its privilege claim, prove that the president personally invoked it, and provide logs of which documents were being withheld. On July 25, 2007, the House Judiciary Committee voted to cite Miers and White House Chief of StaffJoshua Bolten for contempt of Congress.[11][12]

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

On August 1, 2007, Bush invoked the privilege for the fourth time in little over a month, this time rejecting a subpoena for Karl Rove. The subpoena would have required the President’s Senior Advisor to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in a probe over fired federal prosecutors. In a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, Fielding claimed that “Mr. Rove, as an immediate presidential advisor, is immune from compelled congressional testimony about matters that arose during his tenure and that relate to his official duties in that capacity….”[14]

Leahy claimed that President Bush was not involved with the employment terminations of U.S. attorneys. Furthermore, he asserted that the president’s executive privilege claims protecting Josh Bolten, and Karl Rove are illegal. The Senator demanded that Bolten, Rove, Sara Taylor, and J. Scott Jennings comply “immediately” with their subpoenas, presumably to await a further review of these matters. This development paved the way for a Senate panel vote on whether to advance the citations to the full Senate. “It is obvious that the reasons given for these firings were contrived as part of a cover-up and that the stonewalling by the White House is part and parcel of that same effort”, Leahy concluded about these incidents.[15][16][17][18]

As of July 17, 2008, Rove still claimed executive privilege to avoid a congressional subpoena. Rove’s lawyer wrote that his client is “constitutionally immune from compelled congressional testimony.”[19]

House Investigation of the SEC

Leaders of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission testified on February 4, 2009 before the United States House Committee on Financial Services subcommittee including Linda Chatman Thomsen S.E.C. enforcement director, acting General CounselAndy Vollmer, Andrew Donohue, Erik Sirri, and Lori Richards and Stephen Luparello of FINRA. The subject of the hearings were on why the SEC had failed to act when Harry Markopolos, a private fraud investigator from Boston alerted the Securities and Exchange Commission; detailing his persistent and unsuccessful efforts to get the SEC to investigate Bernard Madoff, beginning in 1999.[20] Vollmer claimed executive privilege in declining to answer some questions.[21][22] Subcommittee chairmanPaul E. Kanjorski asked Mr. Vollmer if he had obtained executive privilege from the U.S. Attorney General.[21] “No … this is the position of the agency,” said Vollmer.[21] “Did the SEC instruct him not to respond to questions?” Mr. Kanjorski asked.[21] Vollmer replied that it was the position of the Commission and that “the answer is no.”[21] The SEC announced Vollmer would “leave the Commission and return to the private sector,” just 14 days after making the claim.[23]

Obama Administration

On June 20, 2012, President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege, his first, to withhold certain Department of Justice documents related to the ongoing Operation Fast and Furious controversy ahead of a United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress for refusing to produce the documents.[24][25]

Later the same day, the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted 23–17 along party lines to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress over not releasing documents regarding Fast and Furious.[26]

Executive privilege was also used in a lawsuit stemming from the 2012 implementation of the “Net Worth Sweep” against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Obama administration did not disclose roughly 11,000 documents from the plaintiffs in the discovery process as they related to the reasoning behind the 2012 actions.[citation needed]

Trump Administration

While investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed former FBI Director James Comey to testify. Comey was fired several weeks before being subpoenaed but had appeared before the committee once before in March while still serving as director. Less than a week before the scheduled hearing, it was reported that President Trump was considering invoking executive privilege to prevent Comey’s testimony. [27][28] According to attorney Page Pate, it seems unlikely that executive privilege will be applicable here, as Trump has publicly spoken about the encounters in question multiple times.[29]

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White house spokesman, released a statement on June 5th stating: “The president’s power to assert executive privilege is very well-established. However, in order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey’s scheduled testimony.”[30]

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

Sideshow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elly del Sarto, a sideshow performer, in c. 1910

In America, a sideshow is an extra, secondary production associated with a circus, carnival, fair or other such attraction.

Types

See also: Sideshow attractions section on list of Circus skills page.

There are four main types of classic sideshow attractions:

  • The “Ten-in-One” offers a program of ten sequential acts under one tent for a single admission price. The ten-in-one might be partly a freak show exhibiting “human oddities” (including “born freaks” such as midgets, giants or persons with other deformities, or “made freaks” like tattooed people, fat people or “human skeletons”- extremely thin men often “married” to the fat lady, like Isaac W. Sprague). However, for variety’s sake, the acts in a ten-in-one would also include “working acts” who would perform magic tricks or daredevil stunts. In addition, the freak show performers might also perform acts or stunts, and would often sell souvenirs like “giant’s rings” or “pitch cards” with their photos and life stories. The ten-in-one would often end in a “blowoff” or “ding,” an extra act not advertised on the outside, which could be viewed for an additional fee. The blowoff act would be described provocatively, often as something deemed too strong for women and children, such as pickled punks.

A sideshow at the Erie County Fair Hamburg, New York

  • The “Single-O” is a single attraction, for example a single curiosity like the “Bonnie and Clyde Death Car” or Hitler’s staff car,[1][2] a “Giant Rat” (actually usually a nutria) or other unusual animal, a “What Is It?” (often a convincing but artificial monstrosity like the Fiji Mermaid) or a geek show often billed as “See the Victim of Drug Abuse.”
  • A “Museum Show” which might be deceptively billed as “World’s Greatest Freaks Past and Present,” is a sideshow in which the exhibits are usually not alive. It might include tanks of piranhas or cages with unusual animals, stuffed freak animals or other exotic items like the weapons or cars allegedly used by famous murderers. Some of the exhibits might even be dummies or photographs of the billed attractions. It could still be truthfully billed with the claim “$1,000 reward if not absolutely real — please do not touch or feed the animals on exhibit”. The Single-O and the Museum Show are usually operated as “grind shows,” meaning that patrons may enter at any time, viewing the various exhibits at their leisure.

Decaying sideshow advertisement, Florida, 1966

* A “Girl Show” was sometimes offered in which women were the primary attraction. These could range from the revue (such as a “Broadway Revue”) with fully clothed performers to the racier “kootch” or “hootchie-kootchie” show (a strip show) which might play either partly clothed or “strong” (nude).[3]

Acts

“Working acts” often exhibited a number of stunts that could be counted on to draw crowds. These stunts used little-known methods and offered the elements of danger and excitement. Although the mainstream media often explained fanciful methods of performing these acts, the real secret was usually that there is no secret, you just do it. Such acts included fire eating, sword swallowing, knife throwing, body piercing, lying on a bed of nails, walking up a ladder of sharp swords, and more. The renewed attention to these feats has prompted a new round of oversimplified or inaccurate explanations, leading some inexperienced people to attempt them without adequate training often resulting in injury and sometimes even death.

Decline and revival

Painting on sideshow truck, firebreather, Florida, 1966

Interest in sideshows declined as television made it easy (and free) to see the world’s most exotic attractions. Moreover, viewing “human oddities” became distasteful as the public conscience changed, and many localities passed laws forbidding the exhibition of freaks.[citation needed] The performers often protested (to no avail) that they had no objection to the sideshow, especially since it provided not only a good income for them, but in many cases it provided their only possible job. The sideshow seemed destined for oblivion, until only a few exemplars of the ten-in-one remained. A greater number of “Single O” attractions still tour carnivals.

In the early 1990s, Jim Rose developed a modern sideshow called “the Jim Rose Circus“, reinventing the sideshow with two types of acts that would attract modern audiences and stay within legal bounds. The show featured acts reviving traditional sideshow stunts and carrying some of them to extremes, and “fringe” artists (often exhibiting extreme body modification) performing bizarre or masochistic acts like eating insects, lifting weights by means of hooks inserted in their body piercings, or stapling currency to their forehead. The show drew audiences at venues unknown to old-time sideshows, like rock clubs and the 1992 Lollapalooza festival. The Jim Rose Circus held its last known performance in 2013 at The London Burlesque Festival. The impact of the Jim Rose Circus on pop culture inspired a new wave of performers. There are now more sideshow performers than at any other time in the genre’s history. At the same time in Canada, Scott McClelland, grandson of itinerant showman N.P. Lewchuk, formed Carnival Diablo, a show that performs frequently to this day. The success of these shows sparked a growing number of performers to revive the traditional sideshow arts, taught by sideshow veterans, and many now perform in spot engagements from rock clubs and comedy clubs to corporate events. “Sideshows by the Seashore“, sponsored by Coney Island USA in Brooklyn, NY has performed since 1983, and tours under the name “Coney Island Circus Sideshow“. Circus historian and collector Ken Harck ran the Brothers Grim Sideshow, which toured with the OzzFest music festival in the summer of 2006 and 2007. Sideshow celebrity and multiple world record breaker Chayne Hultgren ‘The Space Cowboy’ owns Australia’s largest traveling oddity museum ‘The Mutant Barnyard’ and along with his partner Zoe Ellis ‘AKA: Zoe L’amore’ they run ‘Sideshow Wonderland’, one of the world’s most successful sideshows described as a modern high energy human oddity exhibit or freakshow cabaret.

World records

The longest metal coil passed through the nose and mouth is a 3.63M long (11-ft 10.91-in) coil of metal. This record is held by Andrew Stanton (USA). Stanton performs Mr Screwface on the Las Vegas SwingShift sideshow. This record was set in Lo Show dei Record in Rome, Italy.[4]

References

Story 2: Two-Party Tyranny Ignores The Real Concerns of American People — The Economy and Jobs,  National Security and Terrorism, Federal Deficit Spending and Taxes, Immigration,  Education and Health Care Costs — Videos

How Did The U.S. End Up With A Two-Party System?

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

Why Doesn’t the U.S. Have a Multi-Party Political System? | Sean Wilentz

How Political Parties Rig Elections

Can A Third-Party Candidate Ever Become President?

‘Two-party tyranny specializes at getting corporate cash & excluding competition’ – Ralph Nader

What Is Libertarianism?

Huge Drop In People Who

Democrats, Republicans Agree on Four Top Issues for Campaign

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • All rate the economy, terrorism, jobs and healthcare as important
  • Republicans put more priority on fixing government and the deficit
  • Democrats rate climate change, inequality as more important

PRINCETON, N.J. — Republicans and Democrats agree on the importance of the presidential candidates’ positions on the economy, terrorism, jobs and healthcare. Beyond these, however, the two partisan groups differ significantly on the importance they assign to other campaign issues.

Importance of Campaign Issues, by Party, January 2016

These data, from Gallup’s Jan. 21-25 Election Benchmark survey, are based on Americans’ responses to a question asking them to rate the importance of the candidates’ positions on 15 issues. Overall, Americans rate the economy, terrorism, jobs, healthcare and education as most important. The detailed results are at the end of this article.

The accompanying table groups each issue based on the issue’s importance among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents and among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Republicans’ average importance rating across the 15 issues is 67%, while Democrats’ is 71%.

The economy, terrorism, jobs and healthcare clearly are the four issues that share higher-than-average importance among both partisan groups.

Issues Important to Only One Party

Five issues are well above average in importance for Republicans, but are not as important to Democrats. These are:

  • The federal budget deficit
  • Foreign affairs
  • The size and efficiency of the federal government
  • Immigration
  • Taxes

Of these five, the size and efficiency of the federal government receives particularly low ratings from Democrats. It is the second lowest of any issue tested for that partisan group. Democrats’ importance ratings for the other four are below the Democratic average.

One issue has slightly above-average importance for Democrats but is well below average for Republicans: the distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. One other issue, education, is way above average for Democrats (it is their highest-rated issue), while just at the average importance rating among Republicans.

Issues Below Average in Importance to Both Parties

Four issues have below-average importance ratings for both partisan groups, although three of these are barely below the average for Democrats. These are:

  • Gun policy
  • Government regulation of Wall Street and banks
  • Social issues such as gay marriage and abortion
  • Climate change

Climate change is the lowest rated of the 15 issues tested among Republicans, while coming in just below average for Democrats. Social issues clearly have low importance across partisan lines; they are the lowest rated among Democrats and second lowest among Republicans.

Across the 15 issues, six show the largest discrepancy in rated importance between Republicans and Democrats, making these highly partisan concerns in the 2016 election environment:

  • Climate change. Democrats’ importance rating is 48 percentage points higher than Republicans’, making this the single most discrepant issue of the 15 tested.
  • Size and efficiency of the federal government. Republicans rate it more important than Democrats by 28 points.
  • The distribution of income and wealth in the U.S. (Democrats: more important, by 26 points)
  • Education. (Democrats, +23 points)
  • Government regulation of Wall Street and banks. (Democrats, +22)
  • The federal budget deficit. (Republicans, +21)

Top-of-Mind Priorities

A separate, open-ended question asked Americans to name the single issue or challenge they are most interested in having the next president address when he or she takes office next January. Americans’ most frequently given responses involve the economy, followed by mentions of immigration, defense/national security, healthcare and terrorism — generally similar to the top-ranked issues in the list format.

The biggest differences between the two partisan groups on this question involve defense and national security, mentioned spontaneously by 19% of Republicans as the most important issue for the next president, but by only 5% of Democrats. Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to mention immigration and, to a lesser extent, the economy.

For their part, Democrats are more likely to mention education, as well as issues revolving around wages and Americans’ ability to make a decent wage and, to a lesser extent, the environment.

The two partisan groups are about equally likely to mention healthcare and terrorism.

Regardless of who wins the election, what single issue or challenge are you most interested in having the next president address when he or she takes office next January? [OPEN-ENDED]

Bottom Line

Republicans and Democrats alike generally agree that the presidential candidates — and the next president, whoever that might be — should focus on the economy, on jobs, on terrorism and national security and on healthcare.

Beyond that agreement, the interests of the two partisan groups diverge, with Republicans giving more importance to certain specific issues and Democrats to others.

These differences across groups are meaningful at this point in the campaign, given that candidates are firmly focused on getting votes from their own partisans in the caucus and primary process that begins with Feb. 1 voting in Iowa. However, as the campaign pivots to the general election, the parties’ nominees to some degree will need to pay more attention to issues of importance to those outside their party — in the effort to gain votes of weakly affiliated partisans and of independents. And, of course, the research reviewed here deals only with the importance that Americans put on each concern as a campaign issue. This leaves the candidates to deal with the challenge of presenting proposals for solving the issue that resonate with their own party’s voters in the primary process, but also with a broader constituency in the general election.

These data on priorities help in evaluating how well-connected the candidates are with various constituents in the current election process. The Democratic candidates, for example, have focused on inequality and what they perceive to be the inordinate power of Wall Street — issues that are not among the most important for rank-and-file Democrats whose votes they need in the fight for their party’s nomination, unless the candidates can tie them in to broader concerns about the economy and jobs.

Republican candidates who focus on gun rights and social issues such as abortion and gay marriage likewise find themselves addressing concerns that are not among the top issues for their party’s constituents as a whole, although perhaps more so for smaller segments of the party such as evangelicals.

Overall, these data aid in the process of continuing to understand the attitudes and priorities of the American people as the election process unfolds, ultimately helping measure how well what the candidates are discussing and proposing fits with the views of the people they are vying to lead as chief executive.

The complete responses to both sets of questions are presented here:

Now I am going to read a list of some of the issues that will probably be discussed in this year’s presidential election campaign. As I read each one, please tell me how important the candidates' positions on that issue will be in influencing your vote for president -- extremely important, very important, somewhat important or not important. January 2016 results

Regardless of who wins the election, what single issue or challenge are you most interested in having the next president address when he or she takes office next January? [OPEN-ENDED] January 2016

These data are available inGallup Analytics.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 21-25, 2016, with a random sample of 1,022 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For results based on the total sample of 479 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, the margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For results based on the total sample of 460 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, the margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 60% cellphone respondents and 40% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/188918/democrats-republicans-agree-four-top-issues-campaign.aspx

Americans Want More Than Just Budget Cuts

by Frank Newport

President Donald Trump’s new budget includes trillions of dollars in cuts to nondefense spending, affecting almost every department of the government. Gallup’s latest update shows that 28% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, while 55% have an unfavorable opinion. That’s the lowest rating for any business or industry sector we tested.

Given Americans’ negative views of the federal government, it might seem logical to assume Americans would support cutting back government funding as Trump has proposed. But it’s not that straightforward.

When we delve into it, we see that Americans are extraordinarily negative about one specific aspect of the federal government: their elected representatives in Congress. This echoes across a wide variety of measures, and the more Americans know about Congress, the more negative they are. The people just don’t think the legislative system is working well. Americans think that Congress is corrupt and not focused on the interests of the people. They want their representatives to compromise rather than rigidly stick to principles.

Americans would clearly support efforts to reform or reinvent Congress and the way it works more than — or as much as — they might support big cuts in governmental departments and agencies.

And for the latter, our research has not found strong support for the idea of cutting back on government bureaucracies or employees on a wholesale basis. We have tested these types of proposals in a number of ways and have generally found less than majority support.

Further, there is strong evidence that Americans have mixed opinions on what the role of government should be in their lives. There is not a simple consensus that government and the services it provides should be cut back, regardless of consequences.

There is additional evidence that the people increasingly want their government to do more, not less.

A Gallup trend question poses this choice: “Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?”

Over the past 16 years, Americans have consistently been more likely to say the government does too much. In 2012, for example, 61% said the government is doing too much, while 34% said the government should do more. But our latest update in May found the gap down to two percentage points, with 47% saying it is doing too much and 45% saying it is not doing enough. This is the lowest gap since October 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and is one of the lowest across Gallup’s entire trend since 1992.

The Wall Street Journal uses a slightly different question wording — one that produces greater support for the government doing more: “I’m going to read you two statements about the role of government, and I’d like to know which one comes closer to your point of view: Government should do more to solve problems and help meet the needs of people, or government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals?”

In their most recent asking, the Journal found 57% of Americans saying the government should do more — the highest percentage since they first asked the question in 1995.

The Journal question’s inclusion of the words “help” and “needs of the people” most likely makes this alternative more attractive to respondents than does Gallup’s wording of “do more to solve our nation’s problems.” But the key here is the finding that the public opinion trend in both wordings is toward the government doing more to solve problems and help meet the needs of the people.

All of this means it’s likely that Americans are not going to look favorably on Congress blindly following Trump’s budget proposals and simply taking a hatchet to government programs across the board without giving the whole process due diligence and deep thought.

This presents real challenges. There are not only the deep traditional divisions between Republicans and Democrats in Congress, but there are also fissures within the ranks of the Republicans themselves — so entrenched that one former Republican Senate committee staff director called them “almost theological.”

But the current budget situation, in theory, can actually provide an unusually positive opportunity for Congress to attempt to resurrect its image. If Congress can debate and discuss the budget in a rational and nonconfrontational way, it could help repair its tarnished and extraordinarily negative image. And, in the process, Congress could shed light on — and provide informed insight into — one of the most important and unresolved elements of American public opinion today: the appropriate role of government in Americans’ daily lives.

http://www.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/211892/americans-budget-cuts.aspx?g_source=POLITICS&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles

 

Party Affiliation

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

 

JULY 5, 2016

5 facts about America’s political independents

The share of independents in the United States stands at its highest point in more than 75 years of public opinion polling. However, a substantial majority of independents have not fully declared their independence from the two major parties. Most say they “lean” toward a party. As we found in our recent study on political animosity, partisan leaners don’t have especially positive views of the party they lean toward, yet they feel very negatively about the opposing party. Nevertheless, partisan leaners share many of the political values of – and tend to vote similarly to – members of party they lean toward.

Here are five facts about political independents.

1Share of political independents has continued to growIndependents outnumber either Democrats or Republicans. A Pew Research Center analysis that examined partisan affiliation from 1992 to 2014 found that, in 2014, 39% of the public identified as independents, which was larger than the shares calling themselves Democrats (32%) or Republicans (23%). In 2004, roughly equal shares identified as Democrats (33%), independents (30%) and Republicans (29%).

However,most independents express a partisan leaning: In 2014, 17% of the public leaned toward the Democratic Party while 16% leaned toward the GOP; just 6% declined to lean toward a party. When the partisan leanings of independents were taken into account, 48% either identified as Democrats or leaned Democratic; 39% identified as Republicans or leaned Republican.

2Push and pull factors into partisan leaning, but ‘push’ matters moreThe most frequently cited factor for leaning toward a party is the harm caused by the opposing party’s policies. A majority of Republican leaners (55%) and roughly half of Democratic leaners (51%) cite the other party’s policies being bad for the country as a major reason why they lean toward their own party. By contrast, just 30% of Republican leaners and 34% of Democratic leaners say that their own party’s policies being good for the country is a major reason why they lean toward their party.

Why do Republican leaners choose not to identify as Republicans? About half (52%) say a major reason they do not affiliate with the party is their frustration with its leaders; 40% say it is because they disagree with the party on important issues.

Among Democratic leaners, no single reason stands out. A third say a major reason they do not identify as Democrats is that they disagree with the party on key issues, while 28% cite frustration with the party’s leadership.

3Fewer than half of partisan leaners rate members of their own parties warmlyIndependents who lean toward a party do not feel very warmly toward its members. When asked to rate Republicans and Democrats on a 0 to 100 “feeling thermometer” – where 0 is the coldest, most negative rating and 100 is the warmest, most positive rating – partisan-leaning independents are not very warm toward members of their own party. Fewer than half of Democratic leaners (45%) give a warm rating (more than 50) to Democrats; even fewer Republican leaners (38%) feel warmly toward Republicans.

Not surprisingly, majorities of partisans give warm ratings to their fellow partisans. Three-quarters of Democrats (75%) and two-thirds of Republicans (67%) give warm ratings to the members of their party.

But partisans and leaners are more in sync in views of those in the opposing party. Comparable majorities of both Democrats (61%) and Democratic leaners (55%) give Republicans cold ratings on the thermometer. About seven-in-ten Republicans (69%) and 57% of Republican leaners rate Democrats coldly.

4Partisan animosityhas increased sharply among independents as well as partisans. For the first time in surveys dating back more than two decades, majorities of Republicans (58%) and Democrats (55%) say they have a very unfavorable view of the opposing party. In 1994, fewer than half as many Republicans (21%) and Democrats (17%) expressed highly negative views of the other party.

Steep growth in highly negative views of opposing party among partisans, leaners

But the rise in partisan animosity has not been limited to partisans. Intense dislike of the opposing party has risen sharply among independents and others who lean toward a party. Today, 44% of Republican and Democratic leaners say they have a very unfavorable impression of the opposing party, up from just 10% and 11% respectively in 1994.

5Increasing shares of independents and partisans express ideological views on major issues. Pew Research Center’s major study of political polarization in 2014 found a rise in ideological attitudes among both Republicans and Democrats over the past two decades. The same trend is evident among independents who lean toward one party or the other.

More Republican leaners have conservative attitudes across major issues; Democratic leaners increasingly express liberal views

In 2015, 59% of Republicans – and 45% of Republican-leaning independents – expressed consistently conservative or mostly conservative attitudes across a series of 10 questions on political values that Pew Research Center has been asking since 1994. In 2004, just 35% of Republicans, and 24% of GOP leaners, had at least mostly conservative opinions on these issues, which include the environment, the role of government, national security and social issues.

The positions of those who identify as Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party are similar over this time period: In 2015, 62% of Democrats and 56% of Democratic leaners were consistently or mostly liberal. When the two groups diverged in 2004, Democratic leaners (58%) were actually somewhat more likely than Democrats (46%) to be to the left of center.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/05/5-facts-about-americas-political-independents/

 

The growing myth of the ‘independent’ voter

January 11, 2016

If you were to pick a random American off of the street, it’s more likely that he or she would identify as an independent than as a Democrat or a Republican. That’s been the case for a while now, of course, so the new numbers from Gallup breaking down the country’s partisanship aren’t, by themselves, earth-shattering.In Gallup’s most recent analysis, 42 percent of Americans identify as independent, compared with 29 percent who say they are Democrats and 26 percent who say they are Republicans.

(That shift has given Bernie Sanders the edge in our “Who is more popular, Trump or Sanders” tracker — at least for now.)

What’s interesting is when you break out those independents. As we noted in August, most independents lean toward one party or the other — and in 2012, the majority of those leaning independents voted for their preferred party’s presidential candidate. (According to the book “The Gamble,” 90 percent of Democratic-leaning independents backed Obama in 2012, and 78 percent of Republican-leaning ones backed Romney.)

So an accurate picture of the electorate looks a bit more like the graph at right below than the one at left.

Since 2004, the number of what we’ll call “pure” independents — which is to say, those who aren’t leaning in one direction or the other — has increased slightly.

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You can see the trend a bit more clearly looking only at the first Gallup surveys of each year. The lighter blue and red sections have gotten bigger, as have the yellow.

This is a long-term trend, but it clearly overlaps with what we’re seeing in the presidential race. People may consistently vote for Republicans, but they would rather call themselves “independents.” There’s an appeal to being an outsider and to outsider politics that’s reflected in how people see themselves.

But when the general election rolls around, those Republican-leaning independents will very likely vote for the Republican.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/11/independents-outnumber-democrats-and-republicans-but-theyre-not-very-independent/?utm_term=.fbe8b0814d7b

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The Pronk Pops Show 885, May 3, 2017, Breaking — Story 1: FBI Director James Comey On Decision To Speak, Conceal or No Action On Clinton Emails On Weiner Laptop — Videos — Story 2: Time For President Trump To Instruct Attorney General Sessions To Appoint Independent Special Prosecutor To Pursue The Many Clinton Crimes Before Statue of Limitations Runs Out In February 2018! — Videos — Breaking — Story 3: Will There Be A House Vote to Repeal and Replace Obamacare? Only If Republican Have The Votes! — Breaking — Republican Videos

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Image result for fbi director james comey May 3, 2017 Image result for cartoons branco on comey and emails on clintonImage result for cartoons branco on repeal and replace

Breaking — Story 1: FBI Director James Comey On Decision To Speak, Conceal or No Action On Clinton State Department Emails On Weiner Laptop — Videos

Image result for Hillary Clinton interview women to women internationalImage result for cartoons branco on comey and emails on clintonImage result for cartoons branco on comey and emails on clintonImage result for cartoons branco on comey and emails on clintonImage result for cartoons branco on comey and emails on clinton

Clinton blames Comey, Russia for election loss

Comey on Clinton: Concealing in my view would have been catastrophic

Comey reveals why he announced a new Clinton investigation 11 days before the election

WOW: Comey Answers WHY He Announced Hillary Clinton Email Investigation 11 Days Before Election

James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, described his decision to reopen an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails in October during questioning by Senator Dianne Feinstein at a hearing on Wednesday.

By THE NEW YORK TIMES on Publish Date May 3, 2017. Photo by Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

WASHINGTON — James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sharply defended his rationale for notifying Congress about new emails related to the Hillary Clinton investigation less than two weeks before Election Day, saying Wednesday that any suggestion he affected the vote’s outcome made him “mildly nauseous.”

Mr. Comey’s comments at a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing were his first public explanation for his actions, which roiled the presidential campaign in its final days and cast a harsh spotlight on the F.B.I. director.

Mr. Comey said he went public on Oct. 28 because he believed that the emails found by his agents might provide insight into Mrs. Clinton’s reasons for using a private server as secretary of state and might change the outcome of the investigation. Failing to inform Congress, Mr. Comey said, would have a required an “act of concealment.”

“Concealment, in my view, would have been catastrophic,” he said, adding later that he knew the decision would be “disastrous for me personally.”

What Mr. Comey viewed as concealing, Justice Department officials viewed simply as following the rules. The F.B.I. does not normally confirm ongoing investigations. Senior Justice Department officials urged him not to send a letter to Congress informing them that the bureau was examining the new emails.

When Mr. Comey recounted that confrontation to Congress in 2007, he was calm and confident. But in his testimony on Wednesday, he appeared more animated — even, at times, defensive — as committee members peppered him with questions. And while the hospital room showdown earned him bipartisan praise, Mr. Comey has instead gotten bipartisan criticism for his decisions in the final days of the 2016 campaign.

Unlike a House Intelligence Committee hearing in March in which Mr. Comey took the extraordinary step of confirming the existence of an investigation into Russian meddling in the election, the hearing Wednesday was supposed to be a more routine congressional oversight proceeding. But little has been routine for the F.B.I. over the past 10 months, as the dramatic moment from Mr. Comey showed.

The tone of the opening statements from both the top Republican and the top Democrat on the committee made clear that they wanted answers from Mr. Comey on a number of issues, including Mrs. Clinton’s emails, the Russia investigation, leaks to the news media and the use of wiretapping as an investigative tool.

“We need the F.B.I. to be accountable because we need the F.B.I. to effective,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa and the chairman of the committee.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the panel, immediately pounced on Mr. Comey, saying he took an enormous gamble in sending the letter to Congress on Oct. 28 informing them that the F.B.I. was examining new Clinton-related emails without knowing how the messages might shape the Clinton investigation.

“We need to hear how the F.B.I. will regain that faith and trust,” Ms. Feinstein said. “We need straightforward answers to our questions and we want to hear how you’re going to lead the F.B.I. going forward. We never, ever want anything like this to happen again.”

She demanded to know why he treated the investigations so “dramatically different.”

Mr. Comey rejected her assertion.

He said that the F.B.I. had confirmed the existence of an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails months after the bureau began it, and that it said no more until after it was closed. Similarly, Mr. Comey said, the F.B.I. revealed there was an investigation into Russian efforts to influence the election months after it was opened in July, and only after it had been widely reported in the media. And as in the Clinton investigation, the F.B.I. has refused to talk about what it has found.

“We’re not going to say another peep about it until we’re done,” Mr. Comey said, acknowledging that the inquiry into Russian meddling is ongoing. “And I don’t know what will be said when we’re done, but that’s the way we handled the Clinton investigation, as well.”

Mr. Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation continues to shadow him. Not even President Trump seems keen to forget the decisions the F.B.I. director made during the election. On Tuesday night, the president criticized him in a Twitter post, writing that Mr. Comey was “the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!”

Mr. Trump also played down the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russian efforts to help his campaign.

“The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election,” the president wrote on Twitter, apparently in reaction to Mrs. Clinton’s comments on Tuesday in which she heaped blame on the F.B.I. and Russian-backed hackers for her election loss. She also said Mr. Trump was unprepared for the presidency.

Mr. Comey was also pressed Wednesday about leaks to journalists and whether F.B.I. agents in New York revealed information during the election to former federal law enforcement and elected officials, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the onetime New York City mayor. Three days before Mr. Comey’s announcement in October, Mr. Giuliani, an adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, said on Fox News that the campaign had “a couple of surprises” in store.

After Mr. Comey’s letter was made public, putting Mr. Giuliani’s comments in a new light, a Trump campaign spokesman said the former mayor had been simply “having fun.” But Mr. Giuliani later undermined that assertion, saying he knew in advance that the F.B.I. had found new emails related to Mrs. Clinton. His comments reinforced suspicions that some F.B.I. agents were out to get her.

“If I find out that people were leaking information about our investigations, whether to reporters or private parties, there will be severe consequences,” Mr. Comey told the questioner, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont.

The warm reception Mr. Comey once received on Capitol Hill, where he was applauded for his efforts to keep the country safe, has cooled considerably in recent months.

Mr. Comey plunged himself into last year’s campaign when he announced at a news conference in July that the F.B.I. was closing the Clinton email investigation. Though he said he would not recommend charging Mrs. Clinton or her aides, he also criticized her for how she had handled government information.

The criticism angered Democrats. Months later, they fumed anew over Mr. Comey’s decision to send the letter to Congress — less than two weeks before Election Day — saying the F.B.I. had found more emails pertinent to the investigation. The emails turned out not to change the outcome of the investigation, but that revelation upended the election and later prompted accusations from some Clinton supporters that Mr. Comey had cost her the White House.

In March, Democrats got some satisfaction when Mr. Comey acknowledged before the House Intelligence Committee that the F.B.I. had opened an investigation over the summer into Russian meddling in the presidential election and whether any Trump associates were involved. But they also criticized Mr. Comey for not confirming the existence of that inquiry sooner.

Republicans have grilled Mr. Comey over his decision not to recommend charges in the Clinton email investigation and over a string of leaks to the news media from unnamed officials that were seen as damaging to Mr. Trump in the early days of his administration and in the weeks before the inauguration.

Mr. Comey has tried to keep a low profile since the March hearing, where he talked about the Russia investigation and dismissed Mr. Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped by President Barack Obama.

Later that month, Mr. Comey spoke to national security experts at a dinner that members of the news media attended. His agenda then was clear.

“I’m determined not to make news,” he said.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/us/politics/james-comey-fbi-senate-hearing.html?_r=0

Comey says classified Clinton emails were forwarded to Anthony Weiner

Comey on Clinton investigation: ‘I would make the same decision’

FBI Director James Comey responded, May 3, before the Senate Judiciary Committee to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on his announcement about re-opening the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server days before the election.(Reuters)
May 3 at 12:47 PM
Hillary Clinton emails containing classified information were forwarded to former congressman Anthony Weiner, the director of the FBI testified Wednesday as he defended his handling of politically sensitive probes surrounding the last year’s presidential race.Under questioning from the senior Democrat on the committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), James B. Comey revealed more details about how Clinton’s emails ended up on Weiner’s computer.Weiner, a New York Democrat, was married to a top aide to Clinton, Huma Abedin. Weiner was being investigated separately for possible inappropriate communications with a minor.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said, adding later, “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the secretary of state.”

Here is the opening statement from FBI Director James B. Comey at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on May 3. (Photo: AP/Reuters)

The two were investigated for possible mishandling of classified material, but the FBI ultimately dropped the matter without seeking charges because they could not show either of them intended to violate the law, Comey said.

“Really the central problem we had with the whole email investigation was proving people… had some sense they were doing something unlawful. That was our burden and we were unable to meet it,’’ he said.

The director defended his decision to notify Congress that he had reopened the Clinton email probe just days before the election, saying he was forced to choose between saying something or concealing what he knew — or, as he put it, “between really bad and catastrophic.’’

He added: “It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election.”

Comey said he has been interviewed by the Justice Department’s inspector general as part of an internal investigation into how the FBI handled the Clinton case.

“I want that inspection, I want my story told,’’ he said. “If I did something wrong, I want to hear that.’’

But he added that he still thinks he behaved appropriately and had no regrets about his decisions.

FBI Director James B. Comey described the difference between investigative journalism and what he called “intelligence porn” released by WikiLeaks, speaking to the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 3 at the Capitol. (Reuters)

“Lordy, has this been painful,’’ he said. “I’ve gotten all kinds of rocks thrown at me and this has been really hard, but I think I’ve done the right thing at each turn.’’

Comey has been under intense pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to explain his decision-making, and he faced more criticism in Wednesday’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing was scheduled to conduct general congressional oversight of the FBI, but politically sensitive investigations quickly became the focus of lawmakers’ questions.

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), opened the hearing by saying that “a cloud of doubt hangs over the FBI.” He demanded that the bureau reveal more about how it has handled the probes.

“We need to know whether there was anything improper going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or if these allegations are just a partisan smear campaign that manipulated our government into chasing conspiracy theories,” Grassley said.

Comey began his prepared testimony by praising the work of the FBI, citing the recent successful investigations of bomb threats against Jewish community centers, hacking networks and doctors accused of female genital mutilation.

“I love this work, I love this job, and I love it because of the mission and the people I get to work with,’’ he said.

Grassley’s first question to Comey was about leaks, asking Comey if he had ever been an anonymous source for stories about Clinton or Trump.

“Never,’’ Comey said. Asked if he had authorized someone else to speak anonymously to reporters about those cases, the director said no.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Comey what threat Russia posed to future U.S. elections. “In my view the greatest threat of any nation on earth given their intention and their capability,’’ Comey answered, adding that while Russia did not alter vote tallies in 2016, they have tried to do so in other countries and he said U.S. officials should expect them to try to do so in future U.S. elections.One of the lessons that particularly the Russians may have drawn from this is that it works,’’ Comey said.

Democrats repeatedly pressed Comey about his decision to notify Congress just days before the election that he was reopening the probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server for her work as secretary of state. Democrats are particularly upset about that decision because after the election, Comey acknowledged that the FBI had begun secretly investigating in late July whether any Trump associates might be working with Russian officials to meddle with the presidential campaign.

“It’s still very unclear — and I hope, director, that you will clear this up — why the FBI’s treatment of these two investigations was so dramatically different,” Feinstein said.

The FBI has already concluded that Russian intelligence hacked into Democratic computer systems and email accounts, stealing information that was published by WikiLeaks during the campaign.

Asked about WikiLeaks, Comey said he thought the anti-secrecy group was engaged in something more sinister than journalism.

“To my mind, it crosses a line when it moves from being trying to educate the public and instead becomes about intelligence porn, quite frankly,’’ said Comey. A “huge portion’’ of WikiLeaks’ activities “has nothing to do with legitimate news activity,’’ he said, “… but is simply about releasing classified information to damage the United States of America.’’

The Washington Post reported last month that the Justice Department is trying to determine if it can bring criminal charges against those working for the anti-secrecy group.

On Tuesday, Clinton said the move by Comey on Oct. 28 to tell Congress that his investigators were looking at a new batch of Clinton emails helped alter the outcome of the presidential election.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she said at an event in New York. Clinton said that as the candidate on the ballot, she took responsibility for the loss. But she added that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”

Tuesday night, Trump tweeted a fresh broadside at Comey and Clinton, saying the FBI director “was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds.” In a second tweet, he added that the “phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/fbi-director-james-comey-begins-testimony-to-congress/2017/05/03/9e3244bc-3006-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html?utm_term=.3db1fe1a3f76

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Here’s how a special prosecutor investigating Trump and Russia would get appointed

donald trump
President Donald Trump in a meeting with business leaders.Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

After revelations Wednesday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US during the 2016 campaign, lawmakers renewed calls for a special prosecutor to investigate ties between Trump associates and Russian operatives.

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, tweeted Thursday morning “AG Sessions should clarify his testimony and recuse himself.”

Democratic senators have called repeatedly for a special prosecutor, more often called an independent or special counsel, to be appointed.

But what exactly is a special prosecutor, how does he or she get appointed, and what happens next? We broke it down.

Who appoints a special prosecutor?

Jeff Sessions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Attorney General Jeff Sessions (R) arrive for US President Donald Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2017.REUTERS/Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool

A special counsel could be appointed by either Sessions himself or by Congress to investigate potential ties between Trump’s inner circle and Russia, said Professor William Banks, the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University.

A “special counsel” is a modern day term for a “special prosecutor,” according to Banks, and any investigation would likely use the term “special counsel.” The term “special prosecutor” was used up through the 1980s, after which the laws around special prosecutors expired and were not renewed, therefore retiring the term.

Banks said there may be pressure on Sessions not to appoint a special counsel, given that he was appointed by Trump. “We would hope [Sessions] would exercise independent judgment about the efficacy of having a special counsel,” Banks told Business Insider.

Democratic lawmakers, led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have requested Sessions recuse himself from any investigations multiple times, renewing the call on Thursday following news about Sessions’ meeting with the Russian ambassador. (After the latest revelations, Schumer said he should resign.) House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Thursday that “it would be easier” if Sessions recused himself.

“I think, the trust of the American people, you recuse yourself in these situations,” McCarthy said, according to Politico. “I just think for any investigation going forward, you want to make sure everybody trusts the investigation … that there’s no doubt within the investigation.”

Sessions has previously said that he would recuse himself on anything requiring him to do so, but he has asserted that he sees no need to remove himself from any Trump-Russia investigations.

The Department of Justice does have a rule that could affect Sessions’ role in a special counsel investigation:

“No DOJ employee may participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution, or who would be directly affected by the outcome.”

chuckschumer

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerMario Tama/Getty Images

If the attorney general recuses himself, it falls to the deputy attorney general to appoint an independent counsel, according to the Code of Federal Regulations. The appointment of a special counsel by the attorney general or deputy attorney general is “unreviewable,” according to the Center for Legal and Economic Studies.

Preliminary investigations are currently underway in the Senate and House intelligence committees, but Banks said he believes it is unlikely a special counsel would be created until those investigations conclude.

The other way to establish an independent counsel goes through Congress.

Congress could initiate the process to create a different independent counsel for investigations by passing a law, as it did in 1978, when the Ethics in Government Act was passed. The law dictated that a three-judge panel based at the US Court of Appeals in DC would appoint the counsel. The law, which was reauthorized several times until its sunset in 1999, was used more than a dozen times to initiate investigations, according to PBS Frontline. It was used most famously in the 1990s to appoint attorney Kenneth Starr to oversee investigations in to President Bill Clinton.

Such a law would have to be either signed by Trump or, in the event of a presidential veto, overridden by a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress. There is precedent, however, for a president to sign an independent counsel law amid scrutiny. Clinton signed a reauthorization of the 1978 law in 1994 with a number of alleged scandals brewing.

Congress could, however, launch its own investigation into the executive branch without legislation because such authority is implicit in the appropriations power, Banks said. If Congress decided to act on its own, it is much more likely that it would establish a commission or committee to investigate, rather than passing ethics legislation, Banks added.

What kinds of people are appointed to a special counsel?

Special counsels tend to be highly respected lawyers or judges. Examples, according to Banks, include: highly experienced private practice lawyers, retired judges, and former Justice Department prosecutors.

How long would a special counsel investigation take to complete?

A special counsel investigation would likely take between six to nine months, according to Banks, who said that such investigations tend to be extremely complicated by nature. With so much classified information, intelligence agency officials that need to be interviewed, and hard to obtain information, it takes a while to sort out.

What does a special counsel have access to?

A special counsel investigation would involve arranging access to classified documents. This could be achieved by either declassifying information or creating clearance to classified documents for the purpose of the investigation only. If the latter is done, it is unlikely the public would see the documents obtained.

A special counsel would also be expected to interview a vast range of people with knowledge of or connection to the investigation.

flynn trump and bannon

President Donald Trump speaks on the phone with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the Oval Office of the White House, January 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. Also pictured at right, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In the case of the Trump-Russia allegations, a special counsel would look into any and all classified or declassified documents that the FBI, CIA, and various police departments and investigation groups might have the incident.

This would include human or digital intelligence, and the dossier delivered by British intelligence. Extensive interviews would be run with anyone close to the situation, including Trump’s inner circle, and anyone who had access to digital or technical related information, said Banks. The special counsel themselves would ultimately determine which evidence to use.

What happens after the special counsel investigation concludes?

What happens next depends in part on who appoints a special counsel. Attorney General Jeff Sessions would decide whether the special counsel appointed under him had enough evidence to prosecute Trump or implicated officials.

If Congress created an office for an independent or special counsel, it is likely that the counsel would refer results of the investigation to Congress, though that could change depending on the legislation passed. If Congress initiated an investigation through a commission or committee, it would fall to the attorney general to decide whether to prosecute based on the results provided.

Why are people asking for a special counsel?

Trump and his inner circle have been accused of having close ties to Russia. The White House has denied many of those accusations. Business Insider has previously reported that:

  • Trump and several associates continue to draw intense scrutiny for alleged ties to and communications with the Russian government.
  • A dossier of unverified claims alleged serious misconduct in the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign. The White House has dismissed the dossier as fiction, and most of the claims remain unverified.
  • Trump’s campaign aides were accused of having frequent contact with Russia in a report released by the New York Times.
  • A report published on Wednesday by the Washington Post said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador twice during the 2016 election.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer has argued that Trump and his aides have been sufficiently investigated already, and that no evidence of wrongdoing has been found.

Michelle Mark contributed reporting on this article.

Special prosecutor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A special prosecutor (or special counsel or independent counsel) is a lawyer appointed to investigate and possibly prosecute a specific legal case of potential wrongdoing for which a conflict of interest exists for the usual prosecuting authority. For example, the investigation of an allegation against a sitting president or attorney general might be handled by a special prosecutor rather than an ordinary prosecutor, who would otherwise be in the position of investigating their own boss. Investigations into others connected to the government but not in a position of direct authority over the prosecutor, such as cabinet secretaries or election campaigns, have also been handled by special prosecutors.

The term is not specific to the United States,[1] or to the federal government. According to Harriger, the concept originates in state law: “state courts have traditionally appointed special prosecutors when the regular government attorney was disqualified from a case, whether for incapacitation or interest.”[2] While the most prominent special prosecutors have been those appointed since the 1870s to investigate presidents and those connected to them, the term can also be used to refer to any prosecutor appointed to avoid a conflict of interest or appearance thereof. For example, because district attorneys’ offices work closely with police, some activists argue that cases of police misconduct at the state and local level should be handled by “special prosecutors”.[3]

The term special counsel as used here is distinct from the United States Office of Special Counsel, which is a permanent government agency (unlike special counsels, who are appointed for specific, temporary assignments), which protects government whistleblowers, among other things.

Terminology

The terms “special prosecutor”, “independent counsel”, and “