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Story 1: Real Abuse of Power — 17 Major Errors, Mistakes and Omissions — Mislead The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court —  Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy Revealed — Big Lie Media Lied to American People and Still Lying —  Videos

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FISA ISSUES: IG Michael Horowitz Outlines BIAS Against President Trump

Lindsey Graham rips FBI over Russia probe: full video

FBI EXPOSED: Lindsey Graham DETAILS Massive FBI Bias Against President Trump

Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation | NBC News

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

The Five’ breaks down IG report hearing’s biggest bombshells

Graham sends warning to FBI officials responsible for FISA abuse

Tucker: Media silent on the lies they spread

IG report hearing part 1: Lindsey Graham’s opening statement

IG report hearing part 2: Dianne Feinstein’s opening statement

IG report hearing part 3: Michael Horowitz’s opening statement

IG report hearing part 4: Lindsey Graham questions Michael Horowitz

IG report hearing part 5: Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy question Michael Horowitz

IG report hearing part 6: Chuck Grassley, Patrick Leahy question Michael Horowitz

IG report hearing part 7: Senators question Michael Horowitz

IG report hearing part 8: Senators continue to question Michael Horowitz

PART 1: Inspector General FISA Investigation President Trump – Senate Hearing

PART 2: Inspector General FISA Investigation President Trump – Senate Hearing

Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz Testifies to Senate | NowThis

3 of the spies Obama used to set up Trump! 

Obama’s CIA chief and FBI director used spies (Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan Halper) in an attempt to infiltrate Trump’s campaign through Papadopoulos and others to help set up the Russian collusion probe. Why wasn’t any of this mentioned in the Mueller Report?

Spy vs. Spy: Operation Boomerang has begun! 🕵 Pt 2 of 2 (5/3/2019)

Key source in Russia probe has Clinton connection

Australian diplomat that prompted Russia probe linked to Clintons

Mark Humphries reveals the Alexander Downer plot to bring down Donald Trump | 7.30

Alexander Downer has put Australia in a diabolical position’

IG’s Report Reveals 4 Spurious Allegations as Basis for FBI Spying on Trump Campaign Aide

Dec 12th, 2019

Commentary By

Hans A. von Spakovsky@HvonSpakovsky

Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow

John Malcolm@malcolm_john

Vice President, Institute for Constitutional Government

Charles “Cully” Stimson@cullystimson

Senior Legal Fellow & Manager, National Security Law Program

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Horowitz’s report exposes 17 flagrant errors, omissions, and misstatements in the four FISA applications related to Page, any one of which is inexcusable.

The fact that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was apparently misused to target a presidential campaign is shocking.

It seems reasonable to conclude that this unprecedented FBI intelligence operation against a presidential campaign should never have been opened in the first place.

A shocking report by the Justice Department’s inspector general lays bare the FBI’s “serious performance failures” in conducting a counterintelligence operation in 2016 against the Trump campaign.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 434-page report details numerous mistakes, errors, and omissions by FBI personnel in four applications for special warrants to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Horowitz released his long-awaited report Monday on the FBI’s four applications for the FISA warrants to conduct electronic eavesdropping on Page as part of the bureau’s investigation into potential collusion between the Russian government and members of the Trump campaign.

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Horowitz’s report says he did not find any “documentary or testimonial evidence” that political bias influenced the FBI’s decision to seek authority to surveil Page in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the code name the FBI gave to the investigation.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court considers applications by the U.S. government for approval of electronic surveillance, physical search, and other forms of investigative actions for foreign intelligence purposes. The court’s proceedings are secret, and the federal judges that sit on the court are appointed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is such a powerful tool and given the potential for abuse, FBI policy mandates that case agents ensure that all factual statements in an application for a FISA warrant be “scrupulously accurate”—an understandably high bar.

Yet Horowitz’s report exposes 17 flagrant errors, omissions, and misstatements in the four FISA applications related to Page, any one of which is inexcusable.

In fact, those mistakes, errors, and omissions were so serious that we have serious doubts as to whether any of the four FISA court judges would have approved any of the warrant applications in the first place, had they been provided the full and complete information in the hands of the FBI.

Flashback to Russia’s Meddling in 2016 Campaign

Before getting into the devastating findings of the IG report, it is important to step back and think about what was happening in 2016.

According to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, the Russian government “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systemic fashion.”  By mid-2016, the Russian operations began to surface.

That June, the Democratic National Committee announced that Russian hackers had compromised the party’s computer network. Releases of hacked materials via WikiLeaks began that same month. WikiLeaks released additional materials in July, October, and November.

In July 2016, an official with a foreign government, reported to be Alexander Downer, the Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom at the time, contacted the FBI about a conversation he had at a bar two months beforehand with Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Downer claimed that Papadopoulos “suggested” that the Trump campaign had received “some kind of suggestions” from the Russian government that it could assist the Trump campaign by releasing damaging information against rival Hillary Clinton. Pretty vague stuff.

So in 2016, our government and our FBI knew that Russia was trying to interfere with our presidential election, and that, quite possibly, the Russians were in contact with a member of the Trump campaign. Rather than providing a defensive briefing to high-level members of the Trump campaign about this innuendo of an innuendo, the FBI opted to initiate a full-blown investigation of members of the campaign whom it thought might be implicated, including Page, who has said he never met Donald Trump.

Embarking down the path of investigating the campaign of a major party’s candidate for president is, of course, a momentous and potentially perilous undertaking. If there were ever a time for the FBI director, and senior members of his inner circle, to take personal ownership of a case and abide by and exceed the “scrupulously accurate” standard for FISA applications, that was the time.

But that didn’t happen. In fact, the opposite happened, as Horowitz makes clear in his report. This was a monumental failure by then-FBI Director James Comey and his subordinates.

The 4 Disputed ‘Facts’ in the Steele ‘Dossier’ Targeting Trump

At the center of the four FISA applications targeting Page was opposition research work done by Christopher Steele—a former British intelligence officer who had previously provided information to the FBI—at the behest of Fusion GPS, a research and intelligence company that was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign.

The so-called Steele dossier was actually a series of reports provided directly to the FBI by Steele beginning in September 2016. After the FBI officially terminated Steele as an approved “confidential source,” the reports were provided through Bruce Ohr, a high-ranking Justice Department official, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS. Ohr continued to meet with Steele and pass along information from him to the FBI, in violation of departmental policy.

The information that Steele provided clearly implicated the Trump campaign in illegal activity with the Russians to interfere in the 2016 election. But was it accurate? According to the inspector general, the Steele dossier played a “central and essential role in the FBI’s and [Justice] Department’s decision to seek the FISA order.”  And it’s easy to see how.

Although the FBI considered filing an application after receiving the information from Downer in July, FBI attorneys declined to do so because they did not believe that the requisite “probable cause” existed to justify issuing a FISA warrant. According to FBI officials, the information they received from Steele in September “pushed [the FISA proposal] over the line,” and they applied for the warrant.

Critical to the application was the explosive allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 presidential election activities, and was, therefore, acting as a foreign agent. For this, the FBI “relied entirely” on four “facts” that Steele had reported:

1. The Russians had been compiling information about Hillary Clinton for years and had been feeding that information to the Trump campaign for an extended period of time.

2. During a trip to Moscow in July 2016, Page met with the head of a Russian energy conglomerate (Igor Sechin) and a highly placed Russian official (Igor Divyekin) to discuss sharing derogatory information about Clinton with the Trump campaign in exchange for future cooperation and the lifting of Ukraine-related U.S. sanctions against Russia.

3. Page was an intermediary between Russia and Paul Manafort, chairman of the Trump campaign from June to August 2016, as part of a “well-developed conspiracy” of cooperation that led to Russia disclosing hacked Democratic National Committee emails via WikiLeaks and to the campaign’s decision to “sideline” Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue.

4. Russia’s release of the DNC emails was designed to help the Trump campaign and was “an objective conceived and promoted by Page.”

As it is, the FBI had in its possession, or would shortly obtain, information undercutting all four of these allegations, which the FBI never brought to the attention of the FISA court in its original application against Page or in any of the three applications to renew surveillance.

IG Identifies 7 ‘Significant Inaccuracies and Omissions’ by FBI

Horowitz’s report says he found seven “significant inaccuracies and omissions”—glaring errors, really—in the first FISA application to surveil Page.

First, the FBI failed to inform the FISA court that it had been notified by another government agency (presumably within the intelligence community) that Page had provided information to that agency (and to the FBI) about some of his contacts with Russian intelligence agents and had been approved to have “operational contact” with those Russian agents.

In other words, the very contacts that the FBI cited in the FISA application to establish that Page was really a clandestine foreign agent were known to and had been approved by another U.S. intelligence agency.  The IG report also states that an FBI lawyer—reported to be Kevin Clinesmith—subsequently altered a document he received from the other agency to indicate, falsely, that Page was not a source for that other agency.

Second, to bolster Steele’s credibility, the application stated that his prior reporting had been “corroborated and used in criminal proceedings.” But in fact, most of that information had not been corroborated, and none of it had  been used in a criminal proceeding.

Third, while Steele informed the FBI that the critical information he was reporting about Page came from a “sub-source,” the FISA application left out the fact that Steele described this source as a “boaster” and an “egoist” who “may engage in some embellishment.”

Fourth, to bolster Steele’s credibility, the FISA application stated that some of the information that Steele reported had appeared in an article in Yahoo News, and that Steele was not the source for that story. This implied that somebody else had the same information Steele had and could serve as independent corroboration. However, it turns out that Steele was the source for that story, and that the FBI either knew it or easily could have learned it.

Fifth, the FISA application included the information that the FBI had received from Downer about his conversation with Papadopoulos. But it did not include the fact that during a subsequent secretly recorded conversation in September with an FBI confidential source, Papadopoulos explicitly denied that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with the Russians or any other outside group, including WikiLeaks, with respect to the disclosed DNC emails.

Sixth, although the FBI included the four allegations above, it did not include the fact that during a later secretly recorded conversation in August with an FBI confidential source, Page said that he never had met or spoken to Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of his emails.

And seventh, in another secretly recorded conversation with an FBI source in October, Page denied meeting the Russians Sechin and Divyekin, and denied even knowing who Divyekin was.

10 More Errors in FBI Applications to Spy on Carter Page 

The IG report also concludes that after the FISA court approved the first warrant application, the FBI learned more information—some of it from secretly recorded conversations by its own confidential informants—that cast serious doubt on the facts contained in that application.

Yet the FBI didn’t bring this information to the attention of the FISA court, and the errors were repeated in the three renewal applications to continue surveilling Page.

The 10 additional errors—17 in all—included these facts:

The FBI eventually interviewed Steele’s sub-source, who undercut many factual statements that Steele had attributed to him.

—The FBI spoke to some individuals who had professional dealings with Steele who said he demonstrated “poor judgment” and “pursued people with political risk but no intelligence value.”

—The individual (Joseph Mifsud) who allegedly told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton denied having said that or having suggested that the Trump campaign received an offer of assistance from the Russians.

—Bruce Ohr, the high-ranking Justice Department official, had specifically informed the FBI that Steele’s information was being provided to the Clinton campaign, and that Steele was “desperate and passionate about [Trump] not being the U.S. President.”

Horowitz concluded that all of these “factual misstatements and omissions [when] taken together resulted in FISA applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case.”  

‘Basic Errors’ Raise Questions About FBI Chain of Command

Thus, it seems reasonable to conclude that this unprecedented FBI intelligence operation against a presidential campaign should never have been opened in the first place.

The IG report paints a damning picture of everyone involved in this case, from the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team to Comey, and everyone in between. The report notes:

That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI … raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command’s management and supervision of the FISA process.

Later, the report soberly concludes: “ … this was a failure of not only the operational team, but also of the managers and supervisors, including senior officials, in the chain of command.”

Those trying to minimize the shocking findings in this report have focused on the IG’s statement that he could not “find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct,” or that “political bias or improper motivation” influenced the decision to open the investigation. But the IG also said he “did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems” that he identified in the FBI’s work.

Moreover, this may not be the last word on the subject. Horowitz candidly admits in the report that “[b]ecause the activities of other agencies were not within the scope of this review, we did not seek to obtain records from them that the FBI never received or reviewed, except for a limited amount of State Department records relating to Steele.”  

The IG says his office “did not seek to assess the actions taken by or information available to U.S. government agencies outside the Department of Justice, as those agencies are outside our jurisdiction.”

Attorney General Finds ‘Clear Abuse of the FISA Process’

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been tasked by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, is not similarly constrained.

Following release of the IG report Monday, Durham stated:

[O]ur investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.

Barr also weighed in on the IG’s findings. In a press release Monday, Barr said the IG report “makes clear the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.” In fact, from the very beginning, Barr added, “the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.”

In the strongest condemnation of the FBI in recent memory by an attorney general, Barr said that in their “rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance” of individuals involved in the Trump campaign, “FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.”  

What happened, Barr said, “reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.”

As the attorney general said, “FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people.” It is a tool we need for national security purposes to protect us from foreign espionage.

The fact that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was apparently misused to target a presidential campaign is shocking, and Barr promises that he will take “whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.”

At the very least, Horowitz has uncovered a massive failure of leadership at all levels of the FBI with respect to one of the most important investigations in the agency’s history. Whether there is more to this story will depend, in part, on what Durham uncovers.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal

https://www.heritage.org/crime-and-justice/commentary/igs-report-reveals-4-spurious-allegations-basis-fbi-spying-trump

Lindsey Graham unloads on James Comey’s FBI accusing it of a ‘vast criminal conspiracy’ for using Christopher Steele’s discredited dossier to get eavesdropping warrant during Trump-Russia probe

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham opened Judiciary hearing by tearing into the Dossier’s unproven claims
  • He says John McCain showed him the dossier after it was handed to him in 2016
  • Says he said ‘Oh my God’ and concluded either Russians have something on Trump or could be ‘disinformation’
  • Blasted FBI leadership and read through anti-Trump texts of FBI lovers
  • Said FBI director Wray: ‘You got a problem’  
  • ‘It is stunning it is damning it is salacious, and it’s a bunch of crap’
  • Sen. John Kennedy on IG report revelations: ‘It made me want to heave’

Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham opened a high-stakes hearing with the Justice Department’s inspector general by blasting ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s ‘golden showers’ dossier and the FBI for using it.

Graham said when he first saw the dossier during the 2016 campaign, it initially confronted him with the possibility Russians ‘have something’ on Donald Trump. Otherwise, he said, there could have been a Russian ‘disinformation campaign’ going on.

The South Carolinian Republican also revealed that the late Sen. John McCain, who obtained the dossier during the campaign after attending a security conference in Canada, shared it with him. Graham ran for president in 2016 as one of a bevy of Republicans.

He accused the FBI of a ‘vast criminal conspiracy’ for its handling of the FISA warrant to monitor Carter Page, a one-time Trump campaign staffer.

‘What has been described as a few irregularities becomes a massive criminal conspiracy over time to defraud the FISA court, to illegally surveil an American citizen and keep an operation open against a sitting president of the United States — violating every norm known to the rule of law,’ he said.

He said the code name for the FBI investigation, ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ was an apt title ‘because that’s what we ended up with – a “Crossfire Hurricane.”‘

‘What happened here is the system failed. People in the highest levels of government took the law into their own hands,’ said Graham, a close Trump ally.

Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted what he called the 'golden showers' dossier, and called it a bunch of 'crap'

Sen. Lindsey Graham blasted what he called the ‘golden showers’ dossier, and called it a bunch of ‘crap’

He said McCain learned about the dossier while attending a December 2016 conference.

‘John McCain puts it in his safe, he gives it to me and I read it,’ Graham said in an angry speech before IG Michael Horowitz, who testified on his report Wednesday.

‘And the first thing I thought of was, ‘Oh my god,’ said Graham. ‘This could be Russia disinformation and they may have something on Trump.’

Graham, who has become one of Trump’s closest GOP allies in the Senate, used the term ‘golden showers’ to reference an unproven allegation from Steele’s dossier, which cited ‘perverted’ conduct inside a Moscow hotel room during the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) holds up the Steel dossier as Michael Horowitz, inspector general for the Justice Department, testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee

U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing "Examining the Inspector General's report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2019

U.S. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing ‘Examining the Inspector General’s report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)’ on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 11, 2019

Graham also tore into Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who wrote what became the dossier

Donald Trump and Olivia Culpo attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The IG found additional information that undermined Steele's sub-source who informed him about the unproven allegations against Trump

Donald Trump and Olivia Culpo attend the red carpet at Miss Universe Pageant Competition 2013 on November 9, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. The IG found additional information that undermined Steele’s sub-source who informed him about the unproven allegations against Trump

The DOJ's Inspector General included the information in his report

The DOJ’s Inspector General included the information in his report

President Donald Trump tweeted out a smiling photo of himself with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday

Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady and Donald Trump (C), co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, look on as Aras Agalarov, father of Russian singer Emin Agalarov, speaks during a news conference after the 2013 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 16, 2013

Miss USA 2013 Erin Brady and Donald Trump (C), co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, look on as Aras Agalarov, father of Russian singer Emin Agalarov, speaks during a news conference after the 2013 Miss USA pageant at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 16, 2013

Graham fumed: ‘It is stunning, it is damning, it is salacious, and it’s a bunch of crap.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

‘This is not normal. Don’t judge the FBI and the Department of Justice by these characters,’ Graham said, referencing FBI officials involved in the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ probe who have come under scrutiny.

Graham spent a long stretch of his opening remarks tearing into the ‘FBI lovers’ Peter Strzrok and Lisa Page. He read through their anti-Trump texts, while the witness listened and C-span cameras rolled.

He blasted the decision to probe members of Trump’s foreign policy team who had had Russia contacts, even before Horowitz testified the probe was started ‘in compliance with Department and FBI policies’ and that he didn’t uncover evidence ‘that political bias or improper motivation’ influenced the decision.

‘This national security team was literally picked up off the street,’ Graham thundered.

He wanted to know why Trump didn’t get informed about the use of investigative techniques against his campaign. ‘Why didn’t they tell Trump? We’ll figure that out later. But I think it’s a question that needs to be asked,’ Graham said.

In addition to testifying that that probe was properly predicated under FBI procedures, Horowitz testified that the Russia probe team obtained information from Steele’s primary sub-source in January 2017 ‘that raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele reporting that was used in the Carter Page’ surveillance warrant.

Graham accused James Comey's FBI of a 'vast criminal conspiracy'

Graham accused James Comey’s FBI of a ‘vast criminal conspiracy’

Horowitz’s testimony came during a political charged hearing, with lawmakers spit upon party lines on the same day the House Judiciary committee was taking up articles of impeachment against President Trump accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

‘I think the activities we found don´t vindicate anybody,’ said Horowitz.

Horowitz defended the need to keep whistle-blowers anonymous under questioning by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

‘Whistle-blowers have a right to expect complete full confidentiality in all circumstances … and it’s a very important provision’, Horowitz said. He said it was a legal obligation set in statute.

Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana used his usual home-spun language to express astonishment about what was uncovered about FBI conduct.

‘After about 15 per cent of the way through, it made me want to heave. After about 20 percent of the way through I thought I’d dropped acid. It’s surreal,’ he said.

Graham issued his pronouncements even while acknowledging the reality of Russian interference to hurt Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

‘We know the Russians were screwing around with the Democrats, right?’ Graham said.

Democrats tried to get Horowitz to defend his 480-page probe from criticism by Attorney General Bill Barr, who blasted its conclusions in TV interviews but failed to take the traditional route of attaching written objections.

Horowitz tried not to play along. Asked about Barr’s trips abroad to assist a separate probe by prosecutor John Durham, he said: ‘I think you’d have to ask the attorney general about those meetings.’

 Federal prosecutor John Durham told Horowitz his view that the FBI should have opened a limited probe than the one it did open. Horowitz told lawmakers. he didn’t agree.

‘None of the discussions changed our findings,’ he said.

Republicans bashed the FBI for having a Crossfire Hurricane agent participate in a security briefing provided to the Trump campaign – then file notes on what participants including Mike Flynn said. Flynn, Trump’s national security advisor, later pleaded guilty to lying to investigators.

Sen. John Cornyn brought up Comey’s post-election briefing of Trump about the dossier in Trump tower, and asked if he told the president ‘anything he said can be used against him.’

Sen. Sheldon White House (D-R.I.) addressed one reason why the FBI resisted telling Trump officials. He said investigators ‘did not then now how far Russian penetration into the Trump campaign went.’

‘It raises significant policy questions,’ Horowitz said.

‘We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams, on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations, after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI,’ Horowitz said.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz slams ‘failure’ by FBI leaders who used Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier and tells Senate of ‘basic and fundamental errors’ in Russia probe

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog told Congress on Wednesday that he is concerned that ‘so many basic and fundamental errors’ were made by the FBI as it investigated ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Michael Horowitz’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee comes two days after the release of a report that identified significant problems with applications to receive and renew warrants to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign aide in 2016 and 2017.

Despite those problems, the report also found that the FBI’s actions were not motivated by partisan bias and that the investigation was opened for a proper cause.

Horowitz will tell senators that the FBI failed to follow its own standards for accuracy and completeness when it sought a warrant to monitor the communications of ex-campaign aide Carter Page.

Scathing: Michael Horowitz, the Judiciary Inspector General, outlined a series of criticisms of the FBI as he gave evidence on his report into the Trump-Russia probe, which was codenamed Crossfire Hurricane

Scathing: Michael Horowitz, the Judiciary Inspector General, outlined a series of criticisms of the FBI as he gave evidence on his report into the Trump-Russia probe, which was codenamed Crossfire Hurricane

Team: Michael Horowitz was flanked by investigators from the 18-month probe, which resulted in Monday's report, which ran to more than 400 pages

Team: Michael Horowitz was flanked by investigators from the 18-month probe, which resulted in Monday’s report, which ran to more than 400 pages
Concern: Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham brandishes the Steele dossier, which Horowitz said FBI leaders relied on despite knowing about concerns over it

Concern: Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham brandishes the Steele dossier, which Horowitz said FBI leaders relied on despite knowing about concerns over it

Horowitz’s statement largely echoed his scathing Monday report on the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe.

He told the committee that the FBI relied on Christopher Steele’s dossier to get a FISA warrant to monitor Carter Page, a one-time Donald Trump campaign aide.

But when it found out that the dossier was flawed and were advised of some of the flaws by a Department of Justice attorney, it did not tell the FISA court which issued the warrant.

‘We found that members of the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to meet the basic obligation to ensure that the Carter Page FISA applications were ”scrupulously accurate,” he said.

There were four applications for a warrant on Page.

But Horowitz said: ‘We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications: 7 in the first FISA application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application.

‘For example, the Crossfire Hurricane team obtained information from Steele’s Primary Sub-source in January 2017 that raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele reporting that was used in the Carter Page FISA applications.

‘This was particularly noteworthy because the FISA applications relied entirely on information from the Steele reporting to support the allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities.

‘However, members of the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to share the information about the Primary Sub-source’s information with the Department, and it was therefore omitted from the three renewal applications.’

Horowitz did not name any FBI leaders in his statement to senators, but had already outlined in his report that James Comey, the FBI director, Andrew McCabe, his deputy, and other senior FBI leaders were involved in supervising the Crossfire Hurricane probe

Key figures: James Comey's FBI opened the probe into one-time Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI obtained a FISA warrant which relied on the Steele dossier

Key figures: James Comey's FBI opened the probe into one-time Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI obtained a FISA warrant which relied on the Steele dossier

Key figures: James Comey’s FBI opened the probe into one-time Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The FBI obtained a FISA warrant which relied on the Steele dossier

‘FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order targeting Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to, concerns expressed by a Department attorney that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with a rival candidate or campaign,’ he said.

Horowitz also raised questions over the FBI’s policies on FISA use generally.

 ‘We also identified what we believe is an absence of sufficient policies to ensure appropriate Department oversight of significant investigative decisions that could affect constitutionally protected activity,’ Horowitz said, according to his prepared remarks as released by the committee before the hearing.

The report has produced sharp partisan divisions. Democrats seized on the finding that the probe was not tainted by political motivations. But Republicans say the findings show the investigation was fatally flawed. Attorney General William Barr, a vocal defender of President Donald Trump, said the FBI investigation was based on a ‘bogus narrative.’

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the top Republican on the committee and another ally of Trump, echoed that sentiment in his opening statement. He said the code name for the FBI investigation, ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ was an apt title ‘because that’s what we ended up with – a `Crossfire Hurricane.”

‘What happened here is the system failed. People in the highest levels of government took the law into their own hands,’ Graham said.

MICHAEL HOROWITZ’S FULL SENATE STATEMENT ON HIS TRUMP-RUSSIA PROBE 

Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the Committee

Thank you for inviting me to testify at today’s hearing to examine the report that my office issued yesterday entitled, ‘Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.’ 

In July 2016, three weeks after then FBI Director James Comey announced the conclusion of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) ‘Midyear Exam’ investigation into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of government emails during her tenure as Secretary of State, the FBI received reporting from a Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) that, in a May 2016 meeting with the FFG, Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos ‘suggested the Trump team had received some kind of a suggestion’ from Russia that it could assist in the election process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to candidate Clinton and President Obama. 

Days later, on July 31, the FBI initiated the Crossfire Hurricane investigation that is the subject of our report. 

As we noted last year in our review of the Midyear investigation, the FBI has developed and earned a reputation as one of the world’s premier law enforcement agencies in significant part because of its tradition of professionalism, impartiality, non-political enforcement of the law, and adherence to detailed policies, practices, and norms. 

It was precisely these qualities that were required as the FBI initiated and conducted Crossfire Hurricane. 

However, as we describe in this report, our review identified significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised, particularly the FBI’s failure to adhere to its own standards of accuracy and completeness when filing applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authority to surveil Carter Page, a U.S. person who was connected to the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign. 

We also identified what we believe is an absence of sufficient policies to ensure appropriate Department oversight of significant investigative decisions that could affect constitutionally protected activity. 

In my statement today, I highlight some of the most significant findings in our report. 

A more detailed overview of our findings can be found in the report’s Executive Summary. 

Our findings are the product of a comprehensive review that examined more than one million documents in the Department’s and FBI’s possession, including documents that other U.S. and foreign government agencies provided the FBI during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. 

Our team conducted over 170 interviews involving more than 100 witnesses, and we documented all of our findings in a 417-page report. 

I want to commend the work of our review team for conducting rigorous and effective oversight, and for producing a report and recommendations that we believe will improve the FBI’s ability to most effectively utilize the national security authorities analyzed in this review, while also striving to safeguard the civil liberties and privacy of impacted U.S. persons. 

The Opening of Crossfire Hurricane and the Use of Confidential Human Sources Following receipt of the FFG information, a decision was made by the FBI’s then Counterintelligence Division (CD) Assistant Director (AD), E.W. ‘Bill’ Priestap, to open Crossfire Hurricane and reflected a consensus reached after multiple days of discussions and meetings among senior FBI officials. 

We concluded that AD Priestap’s exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision. 

While the information in the FBI’s possession at the time was limited, in light of the low threshold established by Department and FBI predication policy, we found that Crossfire Hurricane was opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predication. 

However, we also determined that, under Department and FBI policy, the decision whether to open the Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation, which involved the activities of individuals associated with a national major party campaign for president, was a discretionary judgment call left to the FBI.

There was no requirement that Department officials be consulted, or even notified, prior to the FBI making that decision. 

We further found that, consistent with this policy, the FBI advised supervisors in the Department’s National Security Division (NSD) of the investigation after it had been initiated. 

As we detail in Chapter Two, high level Department notice and approval is required in other circumstances where investigative activity could substantially impact certain civil liberties, and that notice allows senior Department officials to consider the potential constitutional and prudential implications in advance of these activities. 

We concluded that similar advance notice should be required in circumstances such as those that were present here. 

Shortly after the FBI opened the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the FBI conducted several consensually monitored meetings between FBI confidential human sources (CHS) and individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, including a high-level campaign official who was not a subject of the investigation. 

We found that the CHS operations received the necessary approvals under FBI policy; that an Assistant Director knew about and approved of each operation, even in circumstances where a first-level supervisory special agent could have approved the operations; and that the operations were permitted under Department and FBI policy because their use was not for the sole purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States. 

We did not find any documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to conduct these operations. 

Additionally, we found no evidence that the FBI attempted to place any CHSs within the Trump campaign, recruit members of the Trump campaign as CHSs, or task CHSs to report on the Trump campaign. 

However, we are concerned that, under applicable Department and FBI policy, it would have been sufficient for a first-level FBI supervisor to authorize the sensitive domestic CHS operations undertaken in Crossfire Hurricane, and that there is no applicable Department or FBI policy requiring the FBI to notify Department officials of a decision to task CHSs to consensually monitor conversations with members of a presidential campaign. 

Specifically, in Crossfire Hurricane, where one of the CHS operations involved consensually monitoring a high-level official on the Trump campaign who was not a subject of the investigation, and all of the operations had the potential to gather sensitive information of the campaign about protected First Amendment activity, we found no evidence that the FBI consulted with any Department officials before conducting the CHS operations—and no policy requiring the FBI to do so.

We therefore believe that current Department and FBI policies are not sufficient to ensure appropriate oversight and accountability when such operations potentially implicate sensitive, constitutionally protected activity, and that requiring Department consultation, at a minimum, would be appropriate. 

The FISA Applications to Conduct Surveillance of Carter Page One investigative tool for which Department and FBI policy expressly require advance approval by a senior Department official is the seeking of a court order under the FISA. 

When the Crossfire Hurricane team first proposed seeking a FISA order targeting Carter Page in midAugust 2016, FBI attorneys assisting the investigation considered it a ‘close call’ whether they had developed the probable cause necessary to obtain the order, and a FISA order was not requested at that time.

However, in September 2016, immediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received reporting from Christopher Steele concerning Page’s alleged recent activities with Russian officials, FBI attorneys advised the Department that the team was ready to move forward with a request to obtain FISA authority to surveil Page. 

FBI and Department officials told us the Steele reporting ‘pushed [the FISA proposal] over the line’ in terms of establishing probable cause, and we concluded that the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA order.

FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order targeting Page after being advised of, and giving consideration to, concerns expressed by a Department attorney that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with a rival candidate or campaign. 

The authority under FISA to conduct electronic surveillance and physical searches targeting individuals significantly assists the government’s efforts to combat terrorism, clandestine intelligence activity, and other threats to the national security. 

At the same time, the use of this authority unavoidably raises civil liberties concerns. 

FISA orders can be used to surveil U.S. persons, like Carter Page, and in some cases the surveillance will foreseeably collect information about the individual’s constitutionally protected activities, such as Page’s legitimate activities on behalf of a presidential campaign. 

Moreover, proceedings before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC)—which is responsible for ruling on applications for FISA orders—are ex parte, meaning that unlike most court proceedings, the government is the only party present for the proceedings. 

In addition, unlike the use of other intrusive investigative techniques (such as wiretaps under Title III and traditional criminal search warrants) that are granted in ex parte hearings but can potentially be subject to later court challenge, FISA orders have not been subject to scrutiny through subsequent adversarial proceedings.

In light of these concerns, Congress through the FISA statute, and the Department and FBI through policies and procedures, have established important safeguards to protect the FISA application process from irregularities and abuse. 

Among the most important are the requirements in FBI policy that every FISA application must contain a ‘full and accurate’ presentation of the facts, and that agents must ensure that all factual statements in FISA applications are ‘scrupulously accurate.’ 

These are the standards for all FISA applications, regardless of the investigation’s sensitivity, and it is incumbent upon the FBI to meet them in every application. 

That said, in the context of an investigation involving persons associated with a presidential campaign, where the target of the FISA is a former campaign official and the goal of the FISA is to uncover, among other things, information about the individual’s allegedly illegal campaignrelated activities, members of the Crossfire Hurricane investigative team should have anticipated, and told us they in fact did anticipate, that these FISA applications would be subjected to especially close scrutiny. 

Nevertheless, we found that members of the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to meet the basic obligation to ensure that the Carter Page FISA applications were ‘scrupulously accurate.’ 

We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications: 7 in the first FISA application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application. 

For example, the Crossfire Hurricane team obtained information from Steele’s Primary Sub-source in January 2017 that raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele reporting that was used in the Carter Page FISA applications. 

This was particularly noteworthy because the FISA applications relied entirely on information from the Steele reporting to support the allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. presidential election activities. 

However, members of the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to share the information about the Primary Sub-source’s information with the Department, and it was therefore omitted from the three renewal applications. 

All of the applications also omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship with Page, including that Page had been approved as an operational contact for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, that Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers (one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application), and that an employee of the other agency assessed that Page had been candid.

As a result of the 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions we identified, relevant information was not shared with, and consequently not considered by, important Department decision makers and the court, and the FISA applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case. 

We also found basic, fundamental, and serious errors during the completion of the FBl’s factual accuracy reviews, known as the Woods Procedures, which are designed to ensure that FISA applications contain a full and accurate presentation of the facts. 

We do not speculate whether the correction of any particular misstatement or omission, or some combination thereof, would have resulted in a different outcome. 

Nevertheless, the Department’s decision makers and the court should have been given complete and accurate information so that they could meaningfully evaluate probable cause before authorizing the surveillance of a U.S. person associated with a presidential campaign. 

That did not occur, and as a result, the surveillance of Carter Page continued even as the FBI gathered information that weakened the assessment of probable cause and made the FISA applications less accurate. 

We determined that the inaccuracies and omissions we identified in the applications resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to Department attorneys and failing to identify important issues for discussion. 

Moreover, we concluded that case agents and Supervisory Special Agents (SSA) did not give appropriate attention to facts that cut against probable cause, and that as the investigation progressed and more information tended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the FISA applications, the agents and SSAs did not reassess the information supporting probable cause. 

Further, the agents and SSAs did not follow, or even appear to know, certain basic requirements in the Woods Procedures.

Although we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the case agents who assisted NSD’s Office of Intelligence (OI) in preparing the applications, or the agents and supervisors who performed the Woods Procedures, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or missing information. 

We found that the offered explanations for these serious errors did not excuse them, or the repeated failures to ensure the accuracy of information presented to the FISC. 

We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny. 

We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed. 

We do not expect managers and supervisors to know every fact about an investigation, or senior leaders to know all the details of cases about which they are briefed. 

However, especially in the FBl’s most sensitive and high-priority matters, and especially when seeking court permission to use an intrusive tool such as a FISA order, it is incumbent upon the entire chain of command, including senior officials, to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are sufficiently familiar with the facts and circumstances supporting and potentially undermining a FISA application in order to provide effective oversight consistent with their level of supervisory responsibility.

Such oversight requires greater familiarity with the facts than we saw in this review, where time and again during OIG interviews FBI managers, supervisors, and senior officials displayed a lack of understanding or awareness of important information concerning many of the problems we identified. 

In the preparation of the FISA applications to surveil Carter Page, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to comply with FBI policies, and in so doing fell short of what is rightfully expected from a premier law enforcement agency entrusted with such an intrusive surveillance tool. 

In light of the significant concerns identified with the Carter Page FISA applications and the other issues described in this report, the OIG has initiated an audit that will further examine the FBI’s compliance with the Woods Procedures in FISA applications that target U.S. persons in both counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations. 

We also made the following recommendations to assist the Department and the FBI in avoiding similar failures in future investigations. 

Recommendations 

For the reasons fully described in our report, we recommend the following: 

1. The Department and the FBI should ensure that adequate procedures are in place for the Office of Intelligence (OI) to obtain all relevant and accurate information, including access to Confidential Human Source (CHS) information, needed to prepare FISA applications and renewal applications. This effort should include revising: 

a. the FISA Request Form: to ensure information is identified for OI: (i) that tends to disprove, does not support, or is inconsistent with a finding or an allegation that the target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, or 

(ii) that bears on the reliability of every CHS whose information is relied upon in the FISA application, including all information from the derogatory information sub-file, recommended below; 

b. the Woods Form: (i) to emphasize to agents and their supervisors the obligation to re-verify factual assertions repeated from prior applications and to obtain written approval from CHS handling agents of all CHS source characterization statements in applications, and

(ii) to specify what steps must be taken and documented during the legal review performed by an FBI Office of General Counsel (OGC) line attorney and SES level supervisor before submitting the FISA application package to the FBI Director for certification; 

c. the FISA Procedures: to clarify which positions may serve as the supervisory reviewer for OGC; and d. taking any other steps deemed appropriate to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information provided to OI. 

2. The Department and FBI should evaluate which types of Sensitive Investigative Matters (SIM) require advance notification to a senior Department official, such as the Deputy Attorney General, in addition to the notifications currently required for SIMs, especially for case openings that implicate core First Amendment activity and raise policy considerations or heighten enterprise risk, and establish implementing policies and guidance, as necessary. 

3. The FBI should develop protocols and guidelines for staffing and administrating any future sensitive investigative matters from FBI Headquarters. 

4. The FBI should address the problems with the administration and assessment of CHS

s identified in this report and, at a minimum, should: a. revise its standard CHS admonishment form to include a prohibition on the disclosure of the CHS’s relationship with the FBI to third parties absent the FBI’s permission, and assess the need to include other admonishments in the standard CHS admonishments; 

b. develop enhanced procedures to ensure that CHS information is documented in Delta, including information generated from Headquarters- led investigations, substantive contacts with closed CHSs (directly or through third parties), and derogatory information. We renew our recommendation that the FBI create a derogatory information sub-file in Delta; 

c. assess VMU’s practices regarding reporting source validation findings and non-findings; 

d. establish guidance for sharing sensitive information with CHSs;

e. establish guidance to handling agents for inquiring whether their CHS participates in the types of groups or activities that would bring the CHS within the definition of a ‘sensitive source,’ and ensure handling agents document (and update as needed) those affiliations and any others voluntarily provided to them by the CHS in the Source Opening Communication, the ‘Sensitive Categories’ portion of each CHS’s Quarterly Supervisory Source Report, the ‘Life Changes’ portion of CHS Contact Reports, or as otherwise directed by the FBI so that the FBI can assess whether active CHSs are engaged in activities (such as political campaigns) at a level that might require re-designation as a ‘sensitive source’ or necessitate closure of the CHS; and 

f. revise its CHS policy to address the considerations that should be taken into account and the steps that should be followed before and after accepting information from a closed CHS indirectly through a third party.

5. The Department and FBI should clarify the following terms in their policies: a. assess the definition of a ‘Sensitive Monitoring Circumstance’ in the AG Guidelines and the FBI’s DIOG to determine whether to expand its scope to include consensual monitoring of a domestic political candidate or an individual prominent within a domestic political organization, or a subset of these persons, so that consensual monitoring of such individuals would require consultation with or advance notification to a senior Department official, such as the Deputy Attorney General; and 

b. establish guidance, and include examples in the DIOG, to better define the meaning of the phrase ‘prominent in a domestic political organization’ so that agents understand which campaign officials fall within that definition as it relates to ‘Sensitive Investigative Matters,’ ‘Sensitive UDP,’ and the designation of ‘sensitive sources.’ Further, if the Department expands the scope of ‘Sensitive Monitoring Circumstance,’ as recommended above, the FBI should apply the guidance on ‘prominent in a domestic political organization’ to ‘Sensitive Monitoring Circumstance’ as well.

6. The FBI should ensure that appropriate training on DIOG § 4 is provided to emphasize the constitutional implications of certain monitoring situations and to ensure that agents account for these concerns, both in the tasking of CHSs and in the way they document interactions with and tasking of CHSs. 

7. The FBI should establish a policy regarding the use of defensive and transition briefings for investigative purposes, including the factors to be considered and approval by senior leaders at the FBI with notice to a senior Department official, such as the Deputy Attorney General. 

8. The Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility should review our findings related to the conduct of Department attorney Bruce Ohr for any action it deems appropriate. Ohr’s current supervisors in the Department’s Criminal Division should also review our findings related to Ohr’s performance for any action they deem appropriate.

9. The FBI should review the performance of all employees who had responsibility for the preparation, Woods review, or approval of the FISA applications, as well as the managers, supervisors, and senior officials in the chain of command of the Carter Page investigation, for any action deemed appropriate. 

After reviewing a draft of this report and its recommendations, FBI Director Christopher Wray accepted each of the recommendations above, and we were told ordered more than 40 corrective actions to date to address our recommendations. 

However, more work remains to be done by both the FBI and the Department. 

As I noted above, we believe that implementation of these recommendations, including those that seek individual accountability for the failures identified in our report, will improve the FBI’s ability to more carefully and effectively utilize its important national security authorities like FISA, while also striving to safeguard the civil liberties and privacy of impacted U.S. persons.

The OIG will continue to conduct independent oversight on these matters in the months and years ahead. This concludes my prepared statement, and I am pleased to answer any questions the Committee may have.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7781435/Lindsey-Graham-opens-hearing-Inspector-General-bringing-golden-showers-allegations.html

 

Andrew McCarthy: DOJ vs. IG – Barr and Horowitz’s reported rift over FISA report is bogus spin by Democrats

At Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on investigative abuses in the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation (codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane”), Democrats continued an effort begun ten days ago to hoodwink the public into believing Horowitz is in a bitter dispute with Attorney General William Barr over a key finding in the report.

The dispute allegedly stems from what is portrayed as Barr’s dissent from the IG’s conclusion that the probe was properly predicated – i.e., that there were sufficient factual grounds to open an investigation of whether the Trump campaign was complicit in the Kremlin’s cyberespionage attack on Democratic party email accounts.

In point of fact, as discussed in my Fox News Opinion column on Wednesday, the two men have less a difference of opinion than a difference in focus – the distinction between what may be done and what should be done.

ANDREW MCCARTHY: THE FBI, THE IG REPORT, AND ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR – SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

I’m tempted to say there is no real dispute, but let’s leave it at saying the dispute is wildly overstated.

A cautionary note: People should be suspicious about media coverage of the attorney general. For decades, Bill Barr has enjoyed a well-earned reputation for legal acumen and personal integrity. But he is now working for Donald Trump.

Hence, there has for months been an energetic media-Democrat effort to discredit him – in particular, to undermine the investigation he has appointed Connecticut U.S. attorney John Durham to conduct into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe (not just Crossfire Hurricane, but the related investigations involving other domestic and foreign government agencies).

A transparent motivation fuels this effort: The Mueller probe found no evidence of a Trump-Russia conspiracy, notwithstanding the indefatigable “collusion” narrative (explored at length in my book “Ball of Collusion“).

Now the Horowitz IG report has found major abuses in the FBI’s investigation of Trump. The question naturally arises: Why did the Obama administration use the intelligence and law-enforcement apparatus of the government to investigate its political opposition?

Democrats and their media confederates are determined to protect Obama’s legacy from Nixonian taint. Barr, therefore, must be subjected to character assassination.

The specter of political spying, that bane of the Watergate era, is manifest. That is what Barr and Durham are exploring.

Democrats and their media confederates are determined to protect Obama’s legacy from Nixonian taint. Barr, therefore, must be subjected to character assassination.

You know the drill: He is Trump’s lawyer, not America’s. His investigation is politicized, not in good faith and so on.

Yes, the same people who lionized Mueller’s team of partisan Democrats, now feign outraged disbelief at the suggestion that the FBI could possibly have been just a tad political.

That would be the same Bureau that helped whitewash the Clinton emails caper; scorched the earth to find a non-existent conspiracy against Trump; brought us the charming Strzok-Page texts; and has, in just the last two years, been the subject of not one but two voluminous IG reports examining the anti-Trump animus of top investigators.

That is why the Barr-Horowitz contretemps must be exaggerated.

Typical of IG reports, Horowitz’s latest features admirably comprehensive fact-finding but conclusions framed in lawyerly gobbledygook that lend themselves to easy distortion.

As night follows day, the anti-Trump forces pounced: We’re to believe the IG concluded that the Trump-Russia investigation’s commencement was unimpeachable and that there was no political bias in the FBI’s decision-making.

That is not what Horowitz actually said. Since it is important that the public be given accurate information about the Justice Department’s position, the AG has spoken out to clarify what the IG concluded and how DOJ regards these conclusions.

In press coverage, this has been portrayed as a blistering attack on Horowitz.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats picked up the theme: Horowitz heroically struggles to uphold the rule of law and standards of impartial fact-finding, but Barr, that diabolical Trumpkin, is determined to bring him down for refusing to brand Crossfire Hurricane a hoax.

Even as this narrative first took wing, there was a clue that it was deceptive, though you had to dig a little to find it.

On December 2, a week before the IG report became public, the Washington Post kicked off the Barr vs. Horowitz tale with a story claiming, based on anonymous sources, that the AG was disputing the IG’s “key” finding that the FBI had enough information to justify launching the probe.

Seven paragraphs in, though, there was an on-the-record statement from a named official: Kerri Kupec, Barr’s spokeswoman. Far from conveying rancor, Ms. Kupec issued a gushing tribute to Horowitz. His investigation, she said: “Is a credit to the Department of Justice. His excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves. Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.”

Yes, that’s right. In relating the supposedly intense infighting over the report between Barr and Horowitz, the Post was compelled to note that the only statement traceable to Barr was an enthusiastic endorsement of Horowitz’s work and an encouragement to Americans to read the report and watch the testimony.

What a scurrilous attack!

When Horowitz finally released the report on Monday, Barr himself made a statement. Relying on the IG’s work, rather than contradicting it, the AG observed that the FBI had, “launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. [Emphasis added.]

Barr did not disagree with Horowitz on the commencement of the investigation. Horowitz had found that the FBI’s written procedures provide a very low bar in terms of the suspicion that may justify the opening of an investigation.

Barr did not dispute this; he said the investigation was opened “on the thinnest of suspicions.” That is both true and, as Horowitz points out, sufficient.

More from Opinion

Barr thinks it was unwise to open so significant an investigation on such thin evidence. Horowitz is not claiming it was prudent; he is saying the regulations permitted it.

More to the point, Barr’s beef was less with the opening of the investigation than with “the steps taken” after the investigation was opened.

This, plainly, is a reference to the use of intrusive investigative techniques – in particular, confidential informants and FISA surveillance warrants.

Barr’s point is that, given the norm against permitting the incumbent government’s investigative powers to intrude on our political process, it was wrong to use such aggressive tactics given the threadbare basis for suspicion.

Horowitz is not disputing that. He is saying that it is not his place to second-guess discretionary judgment calls about investigative tactics as long as the probe is legitimately opened. And clearly, the IG report is a testament to the abuse of those tactics: the misrepresentations to the FISA court, and the fact that, although the use of informants generated exculpatory evidence, the Bureau inexplicably continued investigating a U.S. political campaign.

“Fake News” is an overused and oft-abused term. In the case of the reported Barr vs. Horowitz controversy, however, it might just be apt.

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/doj-ig-barr-horowitz-fisa-democrats-andrew-mccarthy

Andrew McCarthy: The FBI, the IG Report, and Attorney General Barr – Separating fact from fiction

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1368, December 4, 2019, Story 1: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Impeachment Inquiry — The Road To Destroying Democrat Party — Compelling, Overwhelming and Bipartisan — Burn Baby Burn –Videos == Story 2: United States House Passes The Uighur Act Demanding Sanctions On China Over Muslim Mass Imprisonment — Videos

Posted on December 6, 2019. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Comedy, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Senate, Social Networking, Spying, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Trade Policy, Treason | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Satellite images purported to show the camps where Muslim minorities are held in Xinjiang

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Story 1: Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Impeachment Inquiry — The Road To Destruction of Democrat Party — Burn Baby Burn –Videos

Youtube video thumbnail

FAKE HEARING: Doug Collins GOES OFF On Democrats At Impeachment Hearing

WATCH: Rep. Debbie Lesko’s full statement in House Judiciary Hearing | Trump impeachment hearings

Rep. Doug Collins Closing Statement

NO CRIMES HERE: Law Professor Outlines Reasons For NO IMPEACHMENT For President Trump

Gaetz explodes at impeachment witnesses: You don’t get to interrupt me

Gaetz slams impeachment witness for Barron Trump joke at hearing

THIS IS SCARY: Jim Jordan on Democrats Mission To DESTROY President Trump

Impeachment hearing gets heated: You don’t get to interrupt me!

Noah Feldman’s full opening statement | Trump impeachment hearings

Why Barron Trump Was Mentioned During Impeachment Hearings

Pamela Karlan was ‘totally biased, completely unhinged’: Rep. Zeldin

Rep. Jerry Nadler Closing Statement

Nunes ridicules impeachment hearings: ‘This is totally nuts’

Sen. Lee: Law professor comparing Trump to a monarch is ‘irresponsible’

Tucker: Impeachment witnesses had no evidence, only opinions

Lawmakers speak following Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing

Newt Gingrich: Democrats have a ‘very weak’ impeachment case

Jeff Sessions says Democrats have lost their objectivity

McCarthy, House GOP holds press conference after Trump impeachment report drops

The Trammps – Disco Inferno

Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno
Producers: Chris Lord-Alge, Tina Turner and Roger Davies
Album: What’s Love Got To Do With It (93)
To my surprise one hundred storeys high
People getting loose now, getting down on the roof
Folks screaming, out of control
It was so entertaining when the boogie started to explode
I heard somebody say
(Burn baby burn) Disco Inferno
(Burn baby burn) Burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) Disco Inferno
(Burn baby burn) Burn that mother down
Satisfaction came in a chain reaction
I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct
The heat was on, rising to the top
Everybody is going strong, and that is when my spark got hot
I heard somebody say
(Burn baby burn) Disco Inferno
(Burn baby burn) Burn that mother down
(Burn baby burn) Disco Inferno
(Burn baby burn) Burn that mother down
Up above my head
I hear music in the air
That makes me know
There’s a party somewhere
(Just can’t stop) When my spark gets hot
(Just can’t stop) When my spark gets hot
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Leroy Green / Tyrone Kersey
Disco Inferno lyrics © Reservoir Media Management Inc

‘We’re all mad. Even my dog seems mad!’ Republicans’ first impeachment witness says probe of Donald Trump is driving the country crazy – but that’s NOT a reason to remove him

  • Jonathan Turley became the first Republican-approved witness to testify in the impeachment inquiry on Wednesday
  • He admitted in his opening statement, however, that he is not a Trump supporter 
  • Turley did not use his time to defend Donald Trump, but did concede that the Democrat investigation is based on secondhand information
  • ‘I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a scarcity of evidence,’ he said in his opening statement  
  • The three other witnesses were all called by Democrats and argued for impeachment
  • ‘The president’s serious misconduct… are worse than the misconduct of any prior president,’ one Democrat-called witness said in his opening remarks

Jonathan Turley, the only Republican witness allowed by Democrats to appear at the impeachment hearing Wednesday, did not use his opening statement to defend Donald Trump.

The George Washington University law professor is the first Republican-requested witness and the only Republican who was permitted to testify Wednesday, but in his opening statement, he admitted he is not a supporter of the president.

‘I’m not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him,’ he said during his opening statement before the House Judiciary Committee, claiming it was an irrelevant fact. ‘My personal views of President Trump are as irrelevant to my impeachment testimony as they should be to your impeachment vote.’

Turley said that while ‘a case for impeachment can be made,’ the current case brought by Democrats was based solely on secondhand information.

‘I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a scarcity of evidence,’ Turley continued in his remarks.

He blasted the president’s call with his Ukrainian counterpart as ‘anything but perfect,’ – a word Trump has used to describe his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which is the genesis of the impeachment inquiry.

Truley also described the current period as one of ‘madness.’

‘I get it, you’re mad,’ Truley said in his remarks aimed at the Judiciary panel. ‘The president’s mad. My Republicans friends are mad. My Democratic friends are mad. My wife is mad. My kids are mad. Even my dog seems mad – and Luna’s a goldendoodle, and they don’t get mad. So we’re all mad.’

No case to impeach: Rage against the president is not a reason for removal, George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley told Congress

She's mad: Luna the goldendoodle is 'mad' despite her breed's temperament, Jonathan Turley said. He has taken his dog to George Washington University, where he lectures

Michael Gerhardt, professor of law at University of North Carolina School of Law, speaks with Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University Law School, after returning from a break in testimony before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar?

Swearing in: Constitutional scholars  Noah Feldman of Harvard University, Pamela Karlan of Stanford University, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina, and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University get ready to testify

Swearing in: Constitutional scholars  Noah Feldman of Harvard University, Pamela Karlan of Stanford University, Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina, and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University get ready to testify

‘Will a slip-shod impeachment make us less mad?’ he posed.

‘It’s not wrong because President Trump is right,’ Turley said of the impeachment proceedings. ‘His call was anything but perfect. It’s not wrong because the House has no legitimate reason to investigate the Ukrainian controversy. It’s not wrong because we’re in an election year – there is no good time for an impeachment. No, it’s wrong because this is not how you impeach an American president.’

The remaining three witnesses invited to publicly testify on Wednesday were all called by Democrats and included Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law professor, Pamela Karlan, a law professor at Stanford and Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina.

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

‘I just want to stress, that if this – if what we’re talking about is not impeachable, than nothing is impeachable,’ Gerhardt said in his uninterrupted remarks. ‘This is precisely the misconduct that the framers created a constitution – including impeachment – to protect against.’

‘If Congress concludes that they’re going to give a pass to the president here… every other president will say, ‘Ok, then I can do the same thing.’ And the boundaries will just evaporate,’ he continued. ‘And those boundaries are set up by the Constitution, and we may be witnessing, unfortunately, their erosion. And that is a danger to all of us.’

The House Intelligence Committee released a report Tuesday indicating it found that Trump misused the power of his office to solicit Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 elections and also obstructed the impeachment investigation.

Now, the House Judiciary Committee is moving swiftly to weigh the findings by fellow lawmakers.

The 300-page Democrat report found ‘serious misconduct’ by the president.

It did not render a judgment on whether Trump’s actions stemming from his call with Zelensky rose to the constitutional level of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ which would warrant impeachment. That is for the full House to decide.

Its findings involving Trump’s efforts to seek foreign intervention in the American election process will, however, provide the basis for a House vote on impeachment and a Senate trial carrying the penalty of removal from office.

‘The evidence that we have found is really quite overwhelming that the president used the power of his office to secure political favors and abuse the trust American people put in him and jeopardize our security,’ Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California told AP.

‘It was a difficult decision to go down this road, because it’s so consequential for the country,’ Schiff continued. ‘[But] the president was the author of his own impeachment inquiry by repeatedly seeking foreign help in his election campaigns.’

Schiff added: ‘Americans need to understand that this president is putting his personal political interests above theirs. And that it’s endangering the country.’

The session Wednesday with legal scholars will delve into possible impeachable offenses, but the real focus will be on the panel, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler and made up of a sometimes boisterous, sharply partisan division of lawmakers.

Trump declared while attending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit in London that he wouldn’t be watching Wednesday’s hearings, calling the Democrats’ efforts ‘unpatriotic.

Democrat Adam Schiff announces release of impeachment report

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement, ‘Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump.’

She added that the report ‘reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.’

The ‘Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report’ provides a detailed account of a shadow diplomacy run by Trump’s personal attorney and former Republican Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani.

Along with revelations from earlier testimony, the report included previously unreleased cell phone records raising fresh questions about Giuliani’s interactions with the top Republican on the intelligence panel, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, and the White House. Nunes declined to comment. Schiff said his panel would continue its probe.

Based on two months of investigation sparked by a still-anonymous government whistleblower’s complaint, which was made public in September, the report relies heavily on testimony from current and former U.S. officials who defied White House orders not to appear.

Schiff wrote in the Democrat report’s preface that the Intelligence Committee’s inquiry found that the president ‘solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.’

In doing so, the president ‘sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security,’ the report continued.

It added that when Congress began its impeachment investigation, Trump obstructed the probe.

The Republican counter-report, authored by three House ranking members, claimed Trump never intended to pressure Ukraine when he asked for a ‘favor’ for Kiev to investigate political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.

They say the military aid that the White House was withholding was not being used as leverage, as Democrats claim. Republican ranking members Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Mike McCaul argue that Democrats just want to undo the 2016 election.

Republicans who have defended Trump from the start have echoed his rhetoric that the proceedings are a ‘hoax.’

The president also criticized the House for pushing forward with the inquiry while he is overseas participating in the NATO summit.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on Democrats to end the impeachment ‘nightmare,’ claiming those on the left are ‘concerned if they do not impeach this president they cant beat him in an election.’

Possible grounds for impeachment are focused on whether Trump abused his office as he pressed Zelensky to open investigations into Trump’s political rivals.

The Democrat report also accuses Trump of obstruction, claiming he is the ‘first and only” president in U.S. history to ‘openly and indiscriminately’ defy the House’s constitutional authority to conduct the impeachment proceedings by instructing officials not to comply with document and testimony subpoenas.

Liberal Democrats are pushing the party to go further by incorporating findings from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, but more centrist and moderate Democrats want to stick with the Ukraine matter as a simpler narrative that Americans understand.

This is especially important as public opinion polls show Americans are split on whether they support impeachment, and some in battleground states indicate they are confused by the proceedings.

Democrats could begin drafting articles of impeachment against the president in a matter of days, and the full House could vote by Christmas.

After a full House vote, the matter would move to the Republican-controlled Senate for a trial in 2020.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone wrote that the impeachment is a ‘baseless and highly partisan inquiry.’

He did, however, leave the door open to possible White House participation in future hearings.

Cipollone will brief Senate Republicans on Wednesday.

House rules provide the president and his attorneys the right to cross-examine witnesses and review evidence before the committee, but little ability to bring forward witnesses of their own.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7754109/Serious-misconduct-Trump-takes-center-stage-hearing.html

Noah Feldman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Noah R. Feldman (born May 22, 1970) is an American author and Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Much of his work is devoted to analysis of law and religion.

Contents

Early life and education

Feldman grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where he attended the Maimonides School.[2] Feldman was raised in an Orthodox Jewish home.

In 1992, Feldman received his A.B. summa cum laude in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard College, where he was awarded the Sophia Freund Prize (awarded to the highest-ranked among the graduates who received summa) and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in the first round of selection. He was also the 1990 Truman Scholar from Massachusetts. He then earned a Rhodes Scholarship to the Christ Church, Oxford, where he earned a PhD in Islamic Thought in 1994. Upon his return from Oxford, he received his J.D., in 1997, from Yale Law School, where he was the book review editor of the Yale Law Journal. He later served as a law clerk for Associate Justice David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2001, he joined the faculty of New York University Law School (NYU), leaving for Harvard Law School in 2007. In 2008, he was appointed the Bemis Professor of International Law.[3]

Feldman is a senior adjunct fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a previous fellow at New America Foundation, and regularly contributes features and opinion pieces to The New York Times Magazine[4] and Bloomberg View columns.[5]

Feldman was formerly married to fellow Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk, with whom he has two children. He is fluent in HebrewArabic, and French, besides English.[6]

Career

As an academic and public intellectual, Feldman is concerned with issues at the intersection of religion and politics. In the United States, this has a bearing on First Amendment questions of church and state and the role of religion both in government and in private life. Feldman’s other area of specialty is Islam. In Iraq, the same reasoning leads him to support the creation of a democracy with Islamist elements. This last position has been lauded by some as a pragmatic and sensitive solution to the problems inherent in the creation of a new Iraqi government;[7] others have taken exception to the same idea, however, characterizing Feldman’s views as simplistic and shortsighted.[8]

Feldman was a featured speaker, alongside noted Islamic authority Hamza Yusuf, in the lecture Islam & Democracy: Is a clash of civilizations inevitable?, which was subsequently released on DVD. An excerpt from Feldman’s 2008 book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine and was attacked by Leon Wieseltier for “promoting” Islamic law as a “swell basis” for a political order. This, according to Wieseltier, amounts to “shilling for soft theocracy,” and is hypocritical since Wieseltier presumes that neither he nor Feldman would actually choose to rear their own children in such a system.[9]

Criticism of Modern Orthodox Judaism

In a New York Times Magazine article, “Orthodox Paradox”, Feldman recounted his experiences of the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion of the Modern Orthodox Jewish community in which he was raised, specifically at his high school alma mater, the Maimonides School.[10] He contended that his choice to marry a non-Jew led to ostracism by the school, in which he and his then-girlfriend were allegedly removed from the 1998 photograph of his class reunion published in the school newsletter. His marriage to a non-Jew is contrary to orthodox Jewish law, although he and his family had been active members of the Harvard Hillel Orthodox minyan. The photographer’s account of an over-crowded photo was used to accuse Feldman of misrepresenting a fundamental fact in the story, namely whether he was purposefully cropped out of the picture, as many other class members were also cropped from the newsletter photo due to space limitations.[11] His supporters noted that Feldman’s claim in the article was that he and his girlfriend were “nowhere to be found” and not that they were cropped or deleted out of the photo. Yet others view this claim by Feldman’s supporters as disingenuous, noting that elsewhere Feldman had publicly encouraged the suggestion of air-brushing. Leon Wieseltier attacked Feldman for the dishonesty of “exposing the depredations” of Orthodox Jewish law while praising sharia as “bold and noble,” and called Feldman’s essay a “pathetic whine.”[12]

His critique of Modern Orthodox Judaism has been commented on by many, including Hillel Halkin, columnist for the New York Sun;[13] Andrew Silow-Carroll, editor of the New Jersey Jewish News;[14] Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, Executive Vice President of the Orthodox Union;[15] Marc B. Shapiro [16] Rabbi Shalom Carmy, tenured professor of Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva University;[17] Rabbi Norman Lamm, chancellor of Yeshiva University;[18] Rabbi Shmuley Boteach;[19] Gary Rosenblatt, editor of Jewish Week,[20] the editorial board of the Jewish Press;[21][22] Rabbis Ozer Glickman and Aharon Kahn, roshei yeshiva at Yeshiva University;[23][24] Ami Eden, Executive Editor of The Forward; Rabbi David M. Feldman, author of Where There’s Life, There’s Life;[25] and Jonathan Rosenblum, columnist for the Jerusalem Post.[26] In addition, the American Thinker published responses by Ralph M. Lieberman,[27] Richard Baehr,[28] and Thomas Lifson.[29]

Feldman also argued pro bono in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals against the efforts of a Jewish group in Tenafly, New Jersey, the Tenafly Eruv Association, to erect an eruv. However, his arguments were rejected in 2003 and the eruv was, in fact, permitted.[30]

During the Amish “beard-cutting” attacks trial of 2012, Feldman argued against applying the Federal hate-crimes law in the case. He argued in a Bloomberg View column that strife amongst co-religionists, including for example “two gangs of ultra-Orthodox Hasidic teenagers from competing sects,” could be brought under the law. Any dispute that takes place in the context of a church, mosque or synagogue would be ripe for federal intervention. Over time, a hate-crimes law designed as a shield to protect religious groups against bias could easily become a sword with which to prosecute them, he then concluded.[5] The sixteen Amish men and women in the 2012 case were subsequently found guilty.[31]

Public perception and media appearances

Feldman’s work on the Iraqi constitution was controversial at the time, and some, including Edward Said, felt he was not experienced enough with the country to undertake such a task.[32]

In 2005, The New York Observer called Feldman “one of a handful of earnest, platinum-résumé’d law geeks whose prospects for the Big Bench are the source of constant speculation among friends and colleagues.”[33]

New York Magazine named Feldman as one of “the influentials” in ideas, alongside Jeffrey SachsSaul KripkeRichard Neuhaus, and Brian Greene.[34]

In 2008, he was among the names topping Esquire magazine’s list of the “most influential people of the 21st century”. The magazine called him “a public intellectual of our time.”[35]

In 2011, Noah Feldman appeared in all three episodes in the Ken Burns PBS series Prohibition as a legal commentator.[36]

On December 4, 2019, Feldman testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment in the Impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump[37]

Works and publications

Books

Selected news and articles

See also

References…

External links

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

Michael Gerhardt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michael J. Gerhardt is the Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.[1] He is also the Director of the Center on Law and Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is an expert on constitutional lawseparation of powers, and the legislative process.[2] He is a Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center and Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.[3] On December 2, 2019, it was announced that Gerhardt would testify before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.[4]

Contents

Education and early career

Gerhardt was born in 1956 in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in Mobile, Alabama, where he attended UMS-Wright and was ranked second in the state in junior tennis. He is a cum laude graduate of Yale University (B.A., 1978), attended graduate school at the London School of Economics (M.Sc., 1979), and graduated from the University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1982).[5]

Gerhardt served as a clerk for Chief Judge Robert McRae of the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee (1982-1983) and Judge Gilbert Merritt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit from 1983 to 1984.[6] After his clerkships, he served as Deputy Media Director of Al Gore’s Senate campaign.[7] Gerhardt then worked for two law firms in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

Career

Gerhardt joined the UNC law faculty in 2005.[8] Prior to UNC, Gerhardt worked at Wake Forest School of Law and William & Mary Law School, served as Dean of the Law School at Case Western Reserve, and had been a visiting professor at Duke and Cornell Law Schools. Gerhardt is the author of several books regarding constitutional law and history, including The Power of Precedent.[9] His most recent book is The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy, published in April 2013 by Oxford University Press.[10]

Gerhardt has assisted members of Congress and the White House on a range of various constitutional issues, beginning with drafting the judicial selection policy for the transition of Bill Clinton into office. Gerhardt then worked with the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal.[11] He has testified several times before the House Judiciary Committee, including as the only joint witness in the 1998 hearing on the history of U.S. impeachment during the consideration of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.[12] Also, he was one of only two legal scholars to testify against the constitutionality of the Line Item Veto Act of 1996, which the Supreme Court struck down in Clinton v. City of New York.[13]

In 2009, he testified as an expert before the select House committee considering whether to impeach Judge Thomas Porteous.[14] He has also testified before the Senate regarding the constitutionality of filibustering.[15]

Gerhardt has worked and testified in Senate confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court Justices, beginning in 1994 when he counseled the White House regarding Associate Justice Stephen Breyer‘s confirmation hearings.[16] In 2005, he consulted with senators on John Roberts‘ nomination as Chief Justice of the United States.[17] Gerhardt then served as a witness in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the nomination of Samuel Alito, to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.[18] Along with Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, he is the only legal scholar to have been invited to testify in both the 1998 impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and the confirmation hearings for Associate Justice Alito. He also acted as Special Counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy regarding the nominations of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States.[19] In 2012, Gerhardt testified again before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.[20]

Gerhardt is interviewed frequently by many news outlets, including National Public Radio,[21] as an expert on constitutional law and issues.[22]

Personal life

Gerhardt is married to Deborah Gerhardt, who teaches contracts, copyright, and trademark law at the University of North Carolina School of Law, and they have three children together, including Benjamin Gerhardt.[23]

References …

External links

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

Pamela S. Karlan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Pamela Karlan
Personal details
Born
Pamela Susan Karlan

February 1959 (age 60)

Domestic partner Viola Canales
Education Yale University (BAMAJD)

Pamela Susan Karlan (born February 1959) is a professor of law at Stanford Law School. A leading legal scholar on voting rights and political process, she served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Division from 2014 to 2015.[1] On December 4, 2019, Karlan testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment in the Impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.[2]

Contents

Education

Karlan earned her B.A. degree in history from Yale University in 1980, as well as an M.A. degree in history and J.D. degree in 1984.[3] At Yale Law School, she served as an Article and Book Reviews editor of the Yale Law Journal.[4]

After graduating from law school, Karlan worked as a law clerk for former U.S. District Judge Abraham David Sofaer of the Southern District of New York from 1984 to 1985. She went on to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun the following year. In a 1995 oral history with Harold Koh, Blackmun revealed that his dissent in Bowers v. Hardwick had been written primarily by Karlan. He said that Karlan “did a lot of very effective writing, and I owe a lot to her and her ability in getting that dissent out. She felt very strongly about it, and I think is correct in her approach to it. I think the dissent is correct.”[5]

Career

After her clerkships, Karlan worked as an assistant counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1986 to 1988.

From 1988 to 1998, Karlan taught law at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she won the All-University Outstanding Teaching Award in 1995–96 and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia‘s Outstanding Faculty Award in 1997.[6] In 1998, Karlan joined the faculty of Stanford Law School. She is the school’s Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law. In 2004, Karlan cofounded the school’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, through which students litigate live cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.[4] In 2002, Karlan won the school’s prestigious John Bingham Hurlbut Award for Excellence in Teaching.[6]

Karlan has frequently commented on legal matters for PBS NewsHour. During the disputed 2000 presidential election, she appeared regularly in the news media to discuss its comportment with constitutional law. In the aftermath of the election, Karlan, Samuel Issacharoff, and Richard Pildes adapted two chapters from the law school casebook that they co-authored into a book called When Elections Go Bad: The Law of Democracy and the Presidential Election of 2000.

Karlan is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and the American Law Institute.[6]

Public service

In 2003, she was appointed to the California Fair Political Practices Commission by Controller Steve Westly. She served as commissioner to help implement and enforce California’s campaign financelobbying, and conflict of interest laws until 2005.[4]

On December 20, 2013, Karlan was appointed by the Obama administration to serve as the U.S. Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Voting Rights in the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.[7] The position did not require confirmation by the U.S. Senate. Karlan took up her post on January 13, 2014, and served for one year.[8][9] She received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the DOJ’s highest award for employee performance, for her work in implementing the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor.[6]

Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]

Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, “It’s no secret at all that I’m counted among the LGBT crowd”.[12] She has described herself as an example of a “snarky, bisexual, Jewish women”.[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

Works and publications

Selected books

Selected journals

See also

References

  1. ^ Taylor, Stuart. “An excellent Supreme Court shortlist”National JournalAtlantic Media Company. Archived from the original on 2010-04-12.
  2. ^ Fadulu, Lola (4 December 2019). “Who Is Pamela Karlan? Legal Leader Committed to Progressive Causes”The New York Times.
  3. ^ “Profile: Pamela S. Karlan”. Stanford Law School. Archived from the original on 2008-06-05.
  4. Jump up to:abc Karlan, Pamela S. “CV”(pdf). Retrieved 22 January2018.
  5. ^ Volokh, Eugene (23 April 2005). “Saturday, April 23, 2005”. The Volokh Conspiracy: The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  6. Jump up to:abcd “Pamela S. Karlan Biography”Stanford Law School. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  7. ^ Gerstein, Josh (20 December 2013). “Karlan to take Justice Department voting rights post”The Politico. Capitol News Company. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  8. ^ “Pamela S. Karlan | C-SPAN.org”http://www.c-span.org. Retrieved 2019-12-05.
  9. ^ Gregg, Remington (13 January 2014). “HRC Blog: Pamela Karlan takes helm as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in DOJ Civil Rights Division”hrc.org. Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  10. ^ Liptak, Adam (31 December 2005). “So, guy walks up to the bar, and Scalia says…”The New York Times.
  11. ^ “Articles about Pamela S. Karlan”The New York Times.
  12. ^ Gerstein, Josh (5 May 2009). “Groups push for first gay Supreme Court justice”The Politico. Capitol News Company. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
  13. ^ “American Constitution Society Blog: Stanford Law Professor Pam Karlan concludes 2006 ACS National Convention”. American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. 22 June 2006. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  14. ^ Jean Ann, Esselink (29 December 2013). “On our radar – An overdue thank you To Pamela Karlan”The New Civil Rights Movement. Retrieved 23 March 2015.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

Jonathan Turley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jonathan Turley (born May 6, 1961) is an American lawyer, legal scholar, writer, commentator, and legal analyst in broadcast and print journalism. He is a professor at the George Washington University Law School. He frequently is called on by congressional committees to testify regarding constitutional and statutory issues. Most notably he has testified to the House Judiciary Committee regarding the impeachment of U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.[1][2]

Contents

Education and personal life

Turley was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Chicago in 1983 and his Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1987.[3] He married his wife, Leslie, on New Year’s Eve in 1997.[4]

He served as a House leadership page in 1977 and 1978 under the sponsorship of Illinois Democrat Sidney Yates.[5] In 2008 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law from John Marshall Law School in recognition of his career as an advocate of civil liberties and constitutional rights.[6]

Turley lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and four children. He owns a Goldendoodle.[7]

Career

Turley holds the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School where he teaches tortscriminal procedure, and constitutional law. He is the youngest person to receive an academic chair in the school’s history. He runs the Project for Older Prisoners (POPS),[8][9] the Environmental Law Clinic, and the Environmental Legislation Project.[3]

Prior to joining the George Washington University, he was on the faculty of Tulane University Law School.[3]

Testifying at the Supreme Court, 2007

His articles on legal and policy issues appear regularly in national publications; as of 2012, Turley has had articles published in newspapers such as The New York Times,[10] The Washington Post,[11] USA Today,[12] the Los Angeles Times,[8] and the Wall Street Journal.[13] He frequently appears in the national media as a commentator on a multitude of subjects[14][15] ranging from the 2000 U.S. presidential election controversy to the Terri Schiavo case in 2005.[16] He is often a guest on Sunday talk shows,[14] with over two-dozen appearances on Meet the PressABC This WeekFace the Nation, and Fox News Sunday. He served as a contributor on Countdown with Keith Olbermann from 2003 until 2011, and later on Current TV[17] in 2011 and early 2012; Turley also appears occasionally on Pacifica Radio‘s Democracy Now!.[18]

Since the 1990s, he has been the legal analyst for NBC News and CBS News covering stories that ranged from the Clinton impeachment to the presidential elections.[3] He is on the board of contributors of USA Today.[19] He is also a columnist with the Hill newspaper [20] He is currently legal analyst for CBS News and the BBC.[21]

He said “France has turned into one of the worldwide threats to free speech” [22]

Politics

What Turley has called his “socially liberal agenda”[12] has led liberal and progressive thinkers to consider him a champion for their causes, especially on issues such as separation of church and stateenvironmental law,[14][23] civil rights,[11][24] and the illegality of torture.[25][26][27] Politico has referred to Turley as a “liberal law professor and longtime civil libertarian.”[28]

In numerous appearances on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and The Rachel Maddow Show, he called for criminal prosecution of Bush administration officials for war crimes, including torture.[29]

In USA Today in October 2004, he famously argued for the legalization of polygamy,[30] provoking responses from writers such as Stanley Kurtz.[31][32]

Commenting on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which, he contends, does away with habeas corpus, Turley says, “It’s something that no one thought—certainly I didn’t think—was possible in the United States. And I am not too sure how we got to this point. But people clearly don’t realize what a fundamental change it is about who we are as a country. What happened today changed us.”[27]

He is a critic of special treatment for the church in law, asking why there are laws that “expressly exempt faith-based actions that result in harm.”[33]

Turley disagrees with the theory that dealing with bullies is just a part of growing up, claiming that they are “no more a natural part of learning than is parental abuse a natural part of growing up” and believes that “litigation could succeed in forcing schools to take bullying more seriously”.[34]

He has written extensively about the injustice of the death penalty, noting, “Human error remains a principal cause of botched executions. … eventually society will be forced to deal directly with a fundamental moral question: Has death itself become the intolerable element of the death penalty?”[35]

He worries that the Supreme Court is injecting itself into partisan politics.[36] He has frequently expressed the view that recent nominees to the court hold extreme views.[37][38]

Turley has said, “It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right.”[12] Moreover, Turley testified in favor of the Clinton impeachment.[39]

In another commentary, Turley defended Judge Henry E. Hudson‘s ruling declaring the individual mandate unconstitutional for violating the Commerce Clause of the Constitution: “It’s very thoughtful—not a screed. I don’t see any evidence this is motivated by Judge Hudson’s personal beliefs. … Anybody who’s dismissing this opinion as a political screed has obviously not read the opinion.”[28]

Turley described U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in an op-ed as President Barack Obama‘s sin-eater, writing:

For Obama, there has been no better sin eater than Holder. When the president promised CIA employees early in his first term that they would not be investigated for torture, it was the attorney general who shielded officials from prosecution. When the Obama administration decided it would expand secret and warrantless surveillance, it was Holder who justified it. When the president wanted the authority to kill any American he deemed a threat without charge or trial, it was Holder who went public to announce the “kill list” policy. Last week, the Justice Department confirmed that it was Holder who personally approved the equally abusive search of Fox News correspondent James Rosen‘s e-mail and phone records in another story involving leaked classified information. In the 2010 application for a secret warrant, the Obama administration named Rosen as “an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator” to the leaking of classified materials. The Justice Department even investigated Rosen’s parents’ telephone number, and Holder was there to justify every attack on the news media.[40]

In a December 2013 congressional hearing, responding to a question from Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) about the danger posed by President Barack Obama’s apparent unilateral modification of laws passed by Congress, Turley said:

The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he’s not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in every single branch. This Newtonian orbit that the three branches exist in is a delicate one but it is designed to prevent this type of concentration. There is [sic] two trends going on which should be of equal concern to all members of Congress. One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction.[41]

On November 21, 2014, Turley agreed to represent House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican Party in a suit filed against the Obama administration alleging unconstitutional implementation of the Affordable Care Act, specifically the individual mandate.[42]

On October 11, 2016, Libertarian Party candidate for President, Gary Johnson, announced that if elected Turley would be one of his two top choices for the Supreme Court seat that remained open following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.[43]

In a 2017 column for The Hill, Turley was critical of military intervention in the Middle East and questioned its constitutionality. He also mentioned that he supported the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch.[44]

Testimony before Congress

The conceptual thread running through many of the issues taken on by Turley is that they involve claims of executive privilege. For example, he said, “the president’s claim of executive authority based on Article II would put our system on a slippery slope.”[45] He has argued against national security exceptions to fundamental constitutional rights.[37][46]

He is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues.[47][48] as well as tort reform legislation.[3]

Turley has testified regularly during national controversies. He testified at the confirmation hearings of Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch,[49] Attorney General Loretta Lynch,[50] and Attorney General William Barr.[51] He also testified during the Clinton impeachment hearings.[52]

Turley has also testified in Congress against President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance program and was lead counsel in a case challenging it. In regard to warrantless wiretaps he noted that, “Judge Anna Diggs Taylor chastised the government for a flagrant abuse of the Constitution and, in a direct message to the president, observed that there are no hereditary kings in America.[53]

When Congressional Democrats asked the justice department to investigate the CIA’s destruction of terrorist interrogation tapes Turley said, “these are very serious allegations, that raise as many as six identifiable crimes ranging from contempt of Congress, to contempt of Justice, to perjury, to false statements.”[54]

In October 2006, in an interview by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC, he expressed strong disapproval of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.[27]

When the U. S. Senate was about to vote on Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general, Turley said, “The attorney general nominee’s evasive remarks on ‘water-boarding‘ should disqualify him from the job.”[26] On the treatment of terrorism suspect José Padilla, Turley says, “The treatment of Padilla ranks as one of the most serious abuses after 9/11 … This is a case that would have shocked the Framers. This is precisely what many of the drafters of the Constitution had in mind when they tried to create a system of checks and balances.” Turley considers the case of great import on the grounds that “Padilla’s treatment by the military could happen to others.”[24]

Turley, in his capacity as a constitutional scholar,[55] testified in favor of the Clinton impeachment.[39][56] He was extensively quoted by congressman James Rogan during the impeachment of Bill Clinton.[57]

On December 4, 2019, Turley testified before the House Judiciary Committee regarding the constitutional grounds for presidential impeachment in the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.[58] It was observed that the bases he expressed regarding his prior position that President Bill Clinton should be impeached diametrically contradicted the opinions he shared regarding the impeachment of President Donald Trump, twenty one years later. Those 2019 reports contrasted his extensive quotes from the separate processes.[59][60][61]

Awards

In 2005, Turley was given the Columnist of the Year award for Single-Issue Advocacy for his columns on civil liberties by the Aspen Institute[3] and The Week magazine.[62]

He was ranked among the nation’s top 500 lawyers in 2008.[63] Turley was found to be the second most cited law professor in the country as well as being ranked as one of the top ten military lawyers.[3]

In 2008 his blog was ranked as the top law professor blog and legal theory blog by the American Bar Association Journal‘s survey of the top 100 blogs.[64][65] His work with older prisoners has been honored in various states, including his selection as the 2011 recipient of the Dr. Mary Ann Quaranta Elder Justice Award at Fordham University.[21]  He has received other awards including the James Madison award and was declared one of four university fellows at the Utah Valley University in 2019.[21]

Turley was ranked as 38th in the top 100 most cited “public intellectuals” in a 2001 study by Judge Richard Posner.[66]

Prominent cases

In addition to maintaining a widely read blog,[67] Turley has served as counsel in some of the most notable cases in the last two decades—representing whistleblowers, military personnel, and a wide range of other clients in national security, environmental, constitutional, and other types of cases. His past cases as lead counsel have secured decisions striking down both a federal and a state law [21]. Among them:

  • Lead counsel in United States House of Representatives v. Price, the 2014 constitutional challenge of President Obama’s changes to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Lead counsel in Brown v. Buhman, for the Brown family from the TLC reality series Sister Wives, in their challenge of Utah’s criminalization of polygamy.
  • Lead counsel for five former United States Attorneys General in litigation during the Clinton Impeachment in federal court.
  • Lead counsel to ‘Five Wives Vodka” in successful challenge of ban on sales in Idaho due to a finding that the product was insulting to Mormons.
  • Lead counsel representing Dr. Sami Al-Arian in securing this release for civil contempt and later in defense of criminal contempt charges (which were dropped after years of litigation).
  • Larry Hanauer, a House Intelligence Committee staff member falsely accused of leaking classified information to The New York Times.[68]
  • David Faulk, a whistleblower who revealed abuses at NSA’s Fort Gordon surveillance programs.[69]
  • Dr. Eric Foretich,[48] in overturning the Elizabeth Morgan Act in 2003.[70]
  • Former Judge Thomas Porteous‘s impeachment trial defense.[47] Turley characterized Porteus’ chronic bribe-taking as merely being a “moocher.” Convicted on four articles of impeachment, removed as judge by a Senate vote of 94-2.[71][72]
  • Defendants in terrorism cases, including Ali al-Tamimi (the alleged head of the Virginia Jihad/Paintball conspiracy)-[73]
  • Area 51 workers at a secret air base in Nevada.[74][75]
  • Lead counsel in the litigation over the mass arrests at the World Bank/IMF protests in Washington.[76]
  • Turley represented the Rocky Flats grand jury in Colorado.[77]
  • Turley testified on December 4, 2019, regarding the impeachment inqiry of President Donald Trump, regarding constitutional issues

References …

External links

]://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Turley

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  • The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bill yesterday
  • The legislation urges President Trump to impose sanctions on Chinese officials 
  • China today said the bill would affect bilateral cooperation in important areas
  • China’s Vice Minister of foreign affairs summoned a U.S. diplomat over the act
  • Beijing is also considering barring relevant American officials, state editor said
  • Comes after Trump signed off another bill in support of protests in Hong Kong

China has lashed out at the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday overwhelmingly approved a bill condemning Beijing’s Muslim internment camps, which experts say have kept some one million ethnic minorities in detention.

Beijing claimed that Washington was fueling terrorism, denying China’s achievement and seriously damaging global counter-terrorism efforts with the new piece of legislation, called The Uighur Act of 2019.

China’s Vice Minister of foreign affairs has summoned a U.S. diplomat to lodge stern representations.

The bill urges U.S. President Donald Trump to toughen his response to China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority in the far-western region of Xinjiang and impose sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for the religious policy.

China has lambasted the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday overwhelmingly approved a bill condemning the Muslim internment camps in far-flung Xinjiang. In this photo taken on December 3, 2018, a guard tower and barbed wire fences are seen around a facility in the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in Xinjiang in western China

China has lambasted the United States after the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday overwhelmingly approved a bill condemning the Muslim internment camps in far-flung Xinjiang. In this photo taken on December 3, 2018, a guard tower and barbed wire fences are seen around a facility in the Kunshan Industrial Park in Artux in Xinjiang in western China

Beijing claimed that Washington was fueling terrorism and obliterating China's achievement. In this photo taken on December 3, 2018, people walk by a police station is seen by the front gate of the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center in Artux in Xinjiang

Satellite images purported to show the camps where Muslim minorities are held in Xinjiang

Speaking to reporters in London yesterday, Trump commented that a trade agreement with China might have to wait until late 2020.

The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when it passed the Senate in September.

Just last week, Trump signed into law legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong Kong despite angry objections from China.

The Uighur bill, which passed by 407-1 in the Democratic-controlled House, requires the U.S. President to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of mass detention camps in Xinjiang.

It calls for sanctions against senior Chinese officials who it says are responsible and specifically names Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a politburo member, is in the upper echelons of China’s leadership.

Qin Gang, China’s Vice Minister of foreign affairs, today summoned the acting US charge d’affaires, William Klein, to lodge stern representations and strong opposition against the passage of the act.

Qin demanded the U.S. immediately correct its mistakes and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs through issues related to Xinjiang.

Qin accused the U.S. House of Representatives of ignoring facts, confusing right and wrong, and acting against its own conscience.

He also claimed that Washington held double standards on counter-terrorism issues.

The bill urges U.S. President Donald Trump to toughen his response to China's crackdown on its Muslim minority and impose sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for the religious policy. Pictured, Trump holds a campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, on November 26

The bill urges U.S. President Donald Trump to toughen his response to China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority and impose sanctions on Chinese officials deemed responsible for the religious policy. Pictured, Trump holds a campaign rally in Sunrise, Florida, on November 26

It calls for sanctions against senior Chinese officials and specifically names Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a politburo member, is in the upper echelons of China's leadership. Pictured, Chen speaks during a meeting in Beijing on March 12

It calls for sanctions against senior Chinese officials and specifically names Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, who, as a politburo member, is in the upper echelons of China’s leadership. Pictured, Chen speaks during a meeting in Beijing on March 12

Xinjiang Vice-Governor defends Muslim detention camps

The revised bill still has to be approved by the Republican-controlled Senate before being sent to Trump.

The White House has yet to say whether Trump would sign or veto the bill, which contains a provision allowing the president to waive sanctions if he determines that to be in the national interest.

Various authorities in China have lambasted the passage of the bill.

‘The approval of the bill shows that the United States is fueling terrorism,’ said the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

The Committee added that the act ‘obliterates’ China’s achievement in its fight against terrorism and ‘seriously damages’ global counter-terrorism efforts.

A perimeter fence is constructed around what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang in China's far west region. Activists have claimed that the number of Muslim detainees in China could greatly exceed the commonly cited figure

The news comes as China faces widespread criticism over its policy against Muslims. At least one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in the detention centres in Xinjiang in western China

China’s Foreign Ministry said that the U.S. bill would affect bilateral cooperation in important areas.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks in response to a question on whether the bill would affect the ongoing trade negotiations.

She said no one should underestimate Beijing’s resolve to safeguard its interests on matters including Xinjiang.

Hua said in October that all Chinese citizens, including more than 20 million Muslims, were enjoying unprecedented human rights and freedoms while living more happily than ever before.

In an earlier statement, the Foreign Ministry called the bill a malicious attack against China and a serious interference in the country’s internal affairs.

‘We urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake, to stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, to stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China’s domestic affairs,’ said the statement, attributed to the ministry’s spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.

A pervasive security apparatus has subdued the ethnic unrest that long plagued China's north-western Xinjiang region, according to Beijing. Chinese officials have largely avoided comment on the camps, but some said that ideological changes are needed to fight separatism

Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang have been told to vow loyalty to the Communist Party of China and the country's leader Xi Jinping. Pictured, a woman walks past a screen showing images of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kashgar on June 4, 2019

Authorities in China have reportedly rounded up an estimated one million mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into internment camps in what they call an 'anti-terror' campaign

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of Chinese state newspaper Global Times, called the bill ‘a paper tiger with no special leverage that could affect Xinjiang’ before warning that ‘US politicians with stakes in China should be careful’.

He also claimed that Beijing was considering to impose visa restrictions on relevant American officials and lawmakers ‘who’ve had odious performance on Xinjiang issue’. He said Beijing might also ban all U.S. diplomatic passport holders from entering the region.

Hu made the comments on Twitter, which is banned in China by the Communist Party. It’s unclear how and why Hu could use the platform.

China has consistently denied any mistreatment of Uighurs and says the camps are providing vocational training. It has warned of retaliation ‘in proportion’ if Chen were targeted.

Social media footage purports to show Uighur Muslim prisoners being transferred in China

With their heads shaven, eyes covered and hands bound, the detainees are seen wearing purple vests with the words 'Kashgar Detention Center' written on their backs in the clip

China responded on Monday to the Hong Kong legislation by saying U.S. military ships and aircraft would not be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organizations.

Analysts say China’s reaction to passage of the Uighur bill could be stronger, although some doubted it would go so far as imposing visa bans on the likes of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has called China’s treatment of Uighurs ‘the stain of the century’ and has been repeatedly denounced by Beijing.

Global Times tweeted on Tuesday that Beijing would soon release a so-called unreliable entities list imposing sanctions against those who harm China’s interests.

It reported that China was expediting the process for the list because the U.S. House bill would ‘harm Chinese firms’ interests’, and that ‘relevant’ U.S. entities would be part of Beijing’s list.

Dozens of students are shown at their desks learning Chinese and law in the programme aired by CCTV that introduced the 'professional vocational training institutions' in Hotan

The Hotan Vocational Education and Training Center sits behind barbed wire in Xinjiang

The Hotan Vocational Education and Training Center sits behind barbed wire in Xinjiang

Muslim trainees work in a factory at the Hotan vocational education and training centre

Muslim trainees work in a factory at the Hotan vocational education and training centre

Republican U.S. Representative Chris Smith called China’s actions in ‘modern-day concentration camps’ in Xinjiang ‘audaciously repressive,’ involving ‘mass internment of millions on a scale not seen since the Holocaust.’

‘We cannot be silent. We must demand an end to these barbaric practices,’ Smith said, adding that Chinese officials must be held accountable for ‘crimes against humanity.’

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called China’s treatment of the Uighurs ‘an outrage to the collective conscience of the world,’ adding that ‘America is watching.’

Chris Johnson, a China expert at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies, said passage of the bill could lead to a further blurring of lines between the trade issue and the broader deteriorating China-U.S. relationship, which Beijing in the past has tended to keep separate.

‘I think there’s a sort of piling-on factor here that the Chinese are concerned about,’ he said.

Johnson said he did not think passage of the Uighur act would cause the delay of a trade agreement between the two countries, but added: ‘It would be another dousing of kindling with fuel.’

China considers Xinjiang a threat to peace in a country where the majority is Han Chinese. Ethnic Uighur women are seen grabbing a riot policeman as they protest in Urumqi in Xinjiang on July 7, 2009

The House bill requires the president to submit to Congress within 120 days a list of officials responsible for the abuses and to impose sanctions on them under the Global Magnitsky Act, which provides for visa bans and asset freezes.

The bill also requires the secretary of state to submit a report on abuses in Xinjiang, to include assessments of the numbers held in re-education and forced labor camps.

It also effectively bans the export to China of items that can be used for surveillance of individuals, including facial and voice-recognition technology.

United Nations experts and activists say at least one million Uighurs and members of other largely Muslim minority groups have been detained in the camps.

Activists this month said that they had documented nearly 500 camps and prisons run by the country to hold members of the ethnic group, alleging that the number of detainees could greatly exceed the commonly cited figure.

What are China’s Muslim ‘re-education’ camps?

The entrance to a jail which locals say is used to hold those undergoing political indoctrination program in Korla in western China's Xinjiang region

The entrance to a jail which locals say is used to hold those undergoing political indoctrination program in Korla in western China’s Xinjiang region

Chinese authorities in the heavily Muslim region of Xinjiang are believed to have ensnared at least one million Muslim Chinese – and even foreign citizens – in mass internment camps since spring 2017.

Such detention campaigns have swept across Xinjiang, a territory half the area of India, leading to what a US commission on China said is ‘the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today’.

Former detainees claimed that Muslims were forced to eat pork and speak Mandarin in those camps.

Chinese officials have largely avoided comment on the camps, but some are quoted in state media as saying that ideological changes are needed to fight separatism and Islamic extremism.

Radical Muslim Uighurs have killed hundreds in recent years, and China considers the region a threat to peace in a country where the majority is Han Chinese.

The internment programme aims to rewire the political thinking of detainees, erase their Islamic beliefs and reshape their very identities, it is claimed. The camps have expanded rapidly over the past year, with almost no judicial process or legal paperwork.

Detainees who most vigorously criticise the people and things they love are rewarded, and those who refuse to do so are punished with solitary confinement, beatings and food deprivation.

China has faced global criticism after a cache of leaked documents showed how the nation run a system of re-education centres to indoctrinate its Muslim people.

The documents, which include guidelines for operating detention centres and instructions for how to use technology to target people, reveal that the camps in Xinjiang are not for voluntary job training, as Beijing has claimed.

After initially denying their existence, China acknowledged that it had opened ‘vocational education centres’ in Xinjiang aimed at preventing extremism by teaching Mandarin and job skills.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7754723/China-says-U-S-seriously-damages-global-counter-terrorism-effort-Uighur-act.html

 

House Votes for Bill to Punish China over Mass Imprisonment of Muslims

DEC 04, 2019

H6 house votes punish china mass imprisonment muslim uighurs xinjiang

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted for legislation that requires President Trump to impose sanctions against senior Chinese officials involved in the mass detention camps of Muslim Uyghurs in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang. The Chinese government responded angrily to the legislation’s passage. This is the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

Hua Chunying: “No person should underestimate the Chinese government’s resolution and ability to defend our national sovereignty, national security, and developmental interests. Anyone who wants to use Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues to interfere and restrain China’s development must be delusional.”

The House’s passage of the Uyghur Act of 2019 comes as the New York Times reports Chinese officials in Xinjiang are collecting blood samples en masse in efforts to build a system capable of creating an image of a person’s face using DNA. The United States is also separately seeking to develop this technology, which raises vast concerns about privacy and state surveillance.

Xinjiang conflict

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about recent unrest and fighting in Xinjiang. For the uprisings and battles in Xinjiang during the 1930s and 1940s, see Xinjiang Wars.

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The Xinjiang conflict is a conflict in China’s far-west province of Xinjiang centred on the Uyghurs, a Turkic minority ethnic group who make up the largest group in the region.[12][13]

Though the conflict is traced to 1931, factors such as the massive state-sponsored migration of Han Chinese from the 1950s to the 1970s, government policies promoting Chinese cultural unity and punishing certain expressions of Uyghur identity,[14][15] and harsh responses to separatist terrorism[16][17] have contributed to tension between Uyghurs, and state police and Han Chinese.[18] This has taken the form of both frequent terrorist attacks and wider public unrest (such as the July 2009 Ürümqi riots).

In recent years, government policy has been marked by mass surveillance, increased arrests, and a system of “re-education camps“, estimated to hold a million Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minority ethnic groups.[19][20][21][note 1] The conflict has mostly died down since the early 2017 and there have been no known protests or attacks by Uyghurs since that time.[22]

Contents

Background

Part of a series on the
History of Xinjiang
Museum für Indische Kunst Dahlem Berlin Mai 2006 063.jpg

Xinjiang is a large central-Asian region within the People’s Republic of China comprising numerous minority groups: 45% of its population are Uyghurs, and 40% are Han.[23] Its heavily industrialised capital, Ürümqi, has a population of more than 2.3 million, about 75% of whom are Han, 12.8% are Uyghur, and 10% are from other ethnic groups.[23]

In general, Uyghurs and the mostly Han government disagree on which group has greater historical claim to the Xinjiang region: Uyghurs believe their ancestors were indigenous to the area, whereas government policy considers present-day Xinjiang to have belonged to China since around 200 BC.[24] According to Chinese policy, Uyghurs are classified as a National Minority; they are considered to be no more indigenous to Xinjiang than the Han, and have no special rights to the land under the law.[24] During the Mao era the People’s Republic oversaw the migration into Xinjiang of millions of Han, who dominate the region economically and politically.[25][26][27][28]

Current Chinese minority policy is based on affirmative action, and has reinforced a Uyghur ethnic identity that is distinct from the Han population.[29][30][31] However, Human Rights Watch describes a “multi-tiered system of surveillance, control, and suppression of religious activity” perpetrated by state authorities.[15] It is estimated that over 100,000 Uyghurs are currently held in political “re-education camps“.[16] China justifies such measures as a response to the terrorist threat posed by extremist separatist groups.[17] These policies, in addition to long-standing cultural differences,[32] have sometimes resulted in resentment between Uyghur and Han citizens.[33] On one hand, as a result of Han immigration and government policies, Uyghurs’ freedoms of religion and of movement have been curtailed,[34][35] while most Uyghurs argue that the government downplays their history and traditional culture.[24] On the other hand, some Han citizens view Uyghurs as benefiting from special treatment, such as preferential admission to universities and exemption from the (now abandoned) one-child policy,[36] and as “harbouring separatist aspirations”.[37] Recently there have been attempts to restrict the Uyghur birth rate and increase the Han fertility rate in portions of Xinjiang to counteract Uyghur separatism.[38]

Restrictions

Although religious education for children is officially forbidden by law in China, the Communist Party allows Hui Muslims to have their children educated in Islam and attend mosques; the law is enforced for Uyghurs.[citation needed] After secondary education, China allows Hui students to study with an imam.[39] China does not enforce the law against children attending mosques on non-Uyghurs outside Xinjiang.[40][41] Since the 1980s Islamic private schools (Sino-Arabic schools (中阿学校)) have been permitted by the Chinese government in Muslim areas, excluding Xinjiang because of its separatist sentiment.[note 2][43][44][45]

Hui Muslims employed by the state, unlike Uyghurs, are allowed to fast during Ramadan. The number of Hui going on Hajj is expanding and Hui women are allowed to wear veils, but Uyghur women are discouraged from wearing them.[46] Muslim ethnic groups in different regions are treated differently by the Chinese government with regard to religious freedom. Religious freedom exists for Hui Muslims, who can practice their religion, build mosques and have their children attend them; more controls are placed on Uyghurs in Xinjiang.[47] Hui religious schools are allowed, and an autonomous network of mosques and schools run by a Hui Sufi leader was formed with the approval of the Chinese government.[48][page needed][49] According to The Diplomat, Uyghur religious activities are curtailed but Hui Muslims are granted widespread religious freedom; therefore, Chinese government policy is directed against Uyghur separatism.[50]

In the last two decades of the 20th century, Uyghurs in Turpan were treated favourably by China with regard to religion; while Kashgar and Hotan were subject to more stringent government control.[51][52][53] Uyghur and Han Communist officials in Turpan turned a blind eye to the law, allowing Islamic education of Uyghur children.[54][55] Religious celebrations and the Hajj were encouraged by the Chinese government for Uyghur Communist Party members, and 350 mosques were built in Turpan between 1979 and 1989.[56] As a result, Han, Hui and the Chinese government were then viewed more positively by Uyghurs in Turpan.[57] In 1989, there were 20,000 mosques in Xinjiang.[58] Until separatist disturbances began in 1996, China allowed people to ignore the rule prohibiting religious observance by government officials.[59] Large mosques were built with Chinese government assistance in Urumqi.[60] While rules proscribing religious activities were enforced in southern Xinjiang, conditions were comparatively lax in Urumqi.[61]

According to The Economist, in 2016 Uyghurs faced difficulties travelling within Xinjiang and live in fenced-off neighbourhoods with checkpoint entrances. In southern Urumqi, each apartment door has a QR code so police can easily see photos of the dwelling’s authorised residents.[62]

In 2017, overseas Uighur activists claimed that new restrictions were being imposed, including people being fined heavily or subjected to programmes of “re-education” for refusing to eat during fasting in Ramadan, the detention of hundreds of Uyghurs as they returned from Islamic Middle Eastern pilgrimages, and many standard Muslim names, such as Muhammad, being banned for newborn children.[63][64] In 2019, it was reported that Han officials have been assigned to reside in the homes of those with interned Uyghur family members as part of the government’s “Pair Up and Become Family” program.[65]

Re-education camps

Since 2017, numerous reports have emerged of people being detained in extrajudicial “re-education camps”, subject to political indoctrination and sometimes torture.[20][21] 2018 estimates place the number of detainees in the hundreds of thousands.[note 1]

This has led to criticism from the UN,[66][67] the United States,[68] and human rights groups.[69][70] China has rejected these criticisms, asserting that the camps are a humane counterterrorism measure intended for vocational training, rather than political re-education.[71][72][73]

Timeline

Pre-20th century

The history of the region has become highly politicized, with both Chinese and nationalist Uyghur historians frequently overstating the extent of their groups’ respective ties to the region.[74][75] In reality, it has been home to many groups throughout history, with the Uyghurs arriving from Central Asia in the 10th century.[76] Although various Chinese dynasties have at times exerted control over parts of what is now Xinjiang,[77] the region as it exists today came under Chinese rule as a result of the westward expansion of the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, which also saw the annexation of Mongolia and Tibet.[78]

Qing rule was marked by a “culturally pluralist” approach, with a prohibition on Chinese settlement in the region, and indirect rule through supervised local officials.[78][79] An increased tax burden placed on the local population due to rebellions elsewhere in China later led to a number of Hui-led Muslim rebellions.[75][80] The region was subsequently recaptured, and was established as an official province in 1884.

20th century

After the 1928 assassination of Yang Zengxin, governor of the semi-autonomous Kumul Khanate in east Xinjiang under the Republic of China, he was succeeded by Jin Shuren. On the death of the Kamul Khan Maqsud Shah in 1930, Jin abolished the Khanate entirely and took control of the region as warlord.[81] Corruption, appropriation of land, and the commandeering of grain and livestock by Chinese military forces were all factors which led to the eventual Kumul Rebellion that established the First East Turkestan Republic in 1933.[82][83][84] In 1934 it was conquered by warlord Sheng Shicai with the aid of the Soviet Union. Sheng’s leadership was marked by heavy Soviet influence, with him openly offering Xinjiang’s valuable natural resources in exchange for Soviet help in crushing revolts, such as in 1937.[85] Although already in use,[note 3] it was in this period that the term “Uyghur” was first used officially over the generic “Turkic”, as part of an effort to “undermine potential broader bases of identity” such as Turkic or Muslim. In 1942, Sheng sought reconciliation with the Republic of China, abandoning the Soviets.

In 1944 the Ili Rebellion led to the Second East Turkestan Republic. Though direct evidence of Soviet involvement remains circumstantial, and rebel forces were primarily made up of Turkic Muslims with the support of the local population, the new state was dependent on the Soviet Union for trade, arms, and “tacit consent” for its continued existence.[87] When the Communists defeated the Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War, the Soviets helped the Communist People’s Liberation Army (PLA) recapture it, and it was absorbed into the People’s Republic in 1949.

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was established in 1955.[88]

In the late 1950s and early 1960s between 60,000 and 200,000 Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other minorities fled China to the USSR, largely as a result of the Great Leap Forward.[89][90] As the Sino-Soviet split deepened, the Soviets initiated an extensive propaganda campaign criticising China, encouraging minority groups to migrate – and later revolt – and attempting to undermine Chinese sovereignty by appealing to separatist tendencies. In 1962, China stopped issuing exit permits for Soviet citizens, as the Soviet consulate had been distributing passports to enable the exodus.[91] A resulting demonstration in Yining was met with open fire by the PLA, sparking further protests and mass defections. China responded to these developments by relocating non-Han populations away from the border, creating a “buffer zone” which would later be filled with Han farmers and Bingtuan militia.[89][90][91] Tensions continued to escalate throughout the decade, with ethnic guerrilla groups based in Kazakhstan frequently raiding Chinese border posts,[92][93] and Chinese and Soviet forces clashing on the border in 1969.[92][94][95]

From the 1950s to the 1970s, a state-orchestrated mass migration into Xinjiang has raised the number of Han from 7% to 40% of the population, exacerbating ethnic tensions.[96] On the other hand, a declining infant-mortality rate, improved medical care and a laxity in China’s one-child policy have helped the Uyghur population in Xinjiang grow from four million in the 1960s to eight million in 2001.[97]

In 1968 the East Turkestan People’s Party was the largest militant Uyghur separatist organization, and may have received support from the Soviet Union.[98][99][100] During the 1970s, the Soviets supported the United Revolutionary Front of East Turkestan (URFET) to fight the Chinese.[7]

Xinjiang’s importance to China increased after the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which led to China’s perception of being encircled by the Soviets.[101] China supported the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet invasion and broadcast reports of Soviet atrocities committed on Afghan Muslims to Uyghurs to counter Soviet broadcasts to Xinjiang that Soviet Muslim minorities had a better life.[102] Anti-Soviet Chinese radio broadcasts targeted Central Asian ethnic minorities, such as the Kazakhs.[103] The Soviets feared disloyalty by the non-Russian Kazakh, Uzbek and Kyrgyz in the event of a Chinese invasion of Soviet Central Asia, and Russians were taunted by Central Asians: “Just wait till the Chinese get here, they’ll show you what’s what!”[104] Chinese authorities viewed Han migrants in Xinjiang as vital to defense against the Soviet Union.[105] China established camps to train the Afghan mujahideen near Kashgar and Hotan, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in small arms, rockets, mines and anti-tank weapons.[106] During the 1980s student demonstrations and riots against police action assumed an ethnic aspect, and the April 1990 Baren Township riot has been acknowledged as a turning point.[107]

The Soviet Union supported Uyghur nationalist propaganda and Uyghur separatist movements against China. Soviet historians claimed that the Uyghur native land was Xinjiang; and Uyghur nationalism was promoted by Soviet versions of history on turcology.[108] This included support of Uyghur historians such as Tursun Rakhimov, who wrote more historical works supporting Uyghur independence, claiming that Xinjiang was an entity created by China made out of the different parts of East Turkestan and Zungharia.[109] Bellér-Hann describes these Soviet Uyghur historians were waging an “ideological war” against China, emphasizing the “national liberation movement” of Uyghurs throughout history.[110] The CPSU supported the publication of works which glorified the Second East Turkestan Republic and the Ili Rebellion against China in its anti-China propaganda war.[111]

1990s to 2007

China’s “Strike Hard” campaign against crime, beginning in 1996, saw thousands of arrests, executions, and “constant human rights violations”, as well as marked reduction in religious freedom.[112] These policies, and a feeling of political marginalisation, contributed to the fermentation of groups who carried out numerous guerrilla operations, including sabotage and attacks on police barracks, and occasionally even acts of terrorism including bomb attacks and assassinations of government officials.

A February 1992 Urumqi bus bombing, attributed to the Shock Brigade of the Islamic Reformist Party, resulted in three deaths.[112]

A police roundup and execution of 30 suspected separatists[113] during Ramadan resulted in large demonstrations in February 1997, characterized as riots by Chinese media[114] and peaceful by Western media.[115] The demonstrations culminated in the 5 February Ghulja incident, in which a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) crackdown led to at least nine deaths[116] and possibly more than 100.[113] 25 February Ürümqi bus bombings killed nine people and injured 68. Responsibility for the attacks was acknowledged by Uyghur exile groups.[117][118]

In Beijing’s Xidan district, a bus bomb killed two people on 7 March 1997; Uyghur separatists claimed responsibility for the attack.[119] Uyghur participation in the bombing was dismissed by the Chinese government, and the Turkish-based Organisation for East Turkistan Freedom admitted responsibility for the attack.[112][118] The bus bombings triggered a change in policy, with China acknowledging separatist violence.[120] The situation in Xinjiang quieted until mid-2006, although ethnic tensions remained.[121]

2007–present

According to Vaughan Winterbottom, although the Turkistan Islamic Party distributes propaganda videos and its Arabic Islamic Turkistan magazine (documented by Jihadology.net and the Jamestown Foundation) the Chinese government apparently denied the party’s existence; China claimed that there was no terrorist connection to its 2008 bus bombings as the TIP claimed responsibility for the attacks.[122] In 2007, police raided a suspected TIP terrorist training camp.[123] The following year, an attempted suicide bombing on a China Southern Airlines flight was thwarted[124] and the Kashgar attack resulted in the death of sixteen police officers four days before the beginning of the Beijing Olympics.[125]

During the night of 25–26 June 2009, in the Shaoguan incident in Guangdong, two people were killed and 118 injured.[126] The incident reportedly triggered the July 2009 Ürümqi riots; others were the September 2009 Xinjiang unrest and the 2010 Aksu bombing, after which 376 people were tried.[127] The July 2011 Hotan attack led to the deaths of 18 civilians. Although the attackers were Uyghurs,[128] Han and Uyghurs were victims.[129] That year, six ethnic Uyghur men unsuccessfully attempted to hijack an aircraft heading to Ürümqi, a series of knife and bomb attacks occurred in July and the Pishan hostage crisis occurred in December.[130] Credit for the attacks was professed by the Turkistan Islamic Party.[131]

On 28 February 2012, an attack in Yecheng killed 24 and injured 18.[132] On 24 April 2013, clashes in Bachu occurred between a group of armed men and social workers and police near Kashgar. The violence left at least 21 people dead, including 15 police and officials.[133][134][135] According to a local government official, the clashes broke out after three other officials reported that suspicious men armed with knives were hiding in a house outside Kashgar.[136] Two months later, on 26 June 27 people were killed in riots in Shanshan; seventeen were killed by rioters, and the other ten were alleged assailants who were shot dead by police in the township of Lukqun.[137]

In 2014, eleven members of an organization said to be an anti-China Uyghur group were killed by Kyrgyz security.[138] They were identified as Uyghurs by their appearance, and their personal effects indicated that they were separatists.[139]

On 1 March a group of knife-wielding terrorists attacked the Kunming Railway Station, killing 31 and injuring 141.[140] China blamed Xinjiang militants for the attack,[141] and over 380 people were arrested in the following crackdown. A captured attacker and three others were charged on 30 June.[142] Three of the suspects were accused of “leading and organising a terror group and intentional homicide”. They did not participate in the attack, since they had been arrested two days earlier.[143] On 12 September, a Chinese court sentenced three people to death and one to life in prison for the attack.[144] The attack was praised by ETIM.[145]

On 18 April, a group of 16 Chinese citizens identified as ethnic Uyghurs engaged in a shootout with Vietnamese border guards after seizing their guns when they were being detained to be returned to China. Five Uyghurs and two Vietnamese guards died in the incident. Ten of the Uyghurs were men, and the rest were women and children.[146][147][148][149][150]

Twelve days later, two attackers stabbed people before detonating their suicide vests at an Ürümqi train station. Three people, including the attackers, were killed.[151][152][153]

On 22 May, two suicide car bombings occurred after the occupants threw explosives from their vehicles at an Ürümqi street market. The attacks killed 43 people and injured more than 90, the deadliest attack to date in the Xinjiang conflict.[153][154][155] On 5 June, China sentenced nine people to death for terrorist attacks in Xinjiang.[156]

According to the Xinhua News Agency, on 28 July 37 civilians were killed by a gang armed with knives and axes in the towns of Elixku and Huangdi in Shache County and 59 attackers were killed by security forces. Two hundred fifteen attackers were arrested after they stormed a police station and government offices. The agency also reported that 30 police cars were damaged or destroyed and dozens of Uyghur and Han Chinese civilians were killed or injured. The Uyghur American Association claimed that local Uyghurs had been protesting at the time of the attack. Two days later, the moderate imam of China’s largest mosque was assassinated in Kashgar after morning prayers.[157]

On 21 September, Xinhua reported that a series of bomb blasts killed 50 people in Luntai County, southwest of the regional capital Urumqi. The dead consisted of six civilians, four police officers and 44 “rioters”.[158]

On 12 October, four Uyghurs armed with knives and explosives attacked a farmers’ market in Xinjiang. According to police, 22 people died (including police officers and the attackers).[159]

On 29 November 15 people were killed and 14 injured in a Shache County attack. Eleven of the killed were Uyghur militants.[160]

On 18 September 2015 in Aksu, an unidentified group of knife-wielding terrorists attacked sleeping workers at a coalmine and killed 50 people.[11] The Turkistan Islamic Party has claimed responsibility for the attack.[161] On 18 November, a 56-day manhunt for the attackers reportedly concluded with Chinese security forces cornering them in a mountain hideout. Twenty-eight assailants were killed, and a sole survivor surrendered to authorities.[11][162]

The Bangkok bombing is suspected to have been carried out by the Turkish ultranationalist organisation known as the Grey Wolves in response to Thailand’s deportation of 100 Uyghur asylum-seekers back to China. A Turkish man was arrested by Thai police in connection with the bombing and bomb-making materials were found in his apartment.[163][164][165] Due to the terrorist risk and counterfeiting of passports, Uyghur foreigners in Thailand were placed under surveillance by Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon[166][167][168][169] and Thai police were placed on alert after the arrival of two Turkish Uyghurs.[170]

On 30 August 2016, Kyrgyzstan’s Chinese embassy was struck by a suicide bombing by an Uyghur, according to Kyrgyz news.[171] The suicide bomber was the only fatality from the attack. The casualties included wounds suffered by Kyrgyz staff members and did not include Chinese.[138][172] A Kyrgyzstan government agency pointed the finger at Nusra allied Syrian based Uyghurs.[173]

Police killed 4 militants who carried out a bombing on 28 December 2016 in Karakax.[174]

On 14 February 2017, three knife wielding attackers killed five people before being killed by police.[175][176]

Terrorist groups

The Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) is an Islamic extremist terrorist organisation seeking the expulsion of China from “East Turkestan”.[177] Since its emergence in 2007 it has claimed responsibility for a number of terrorist attacks,[178][122] and the Chinese government accuses it of over 200, resulting in 162 deaths and over 440 injuries.[179] Hundreds of Uyghurs are thought to reside in Pakistan and Afghanistan and to have fought alongside extremist groups in conflicts such as the Syrian Civil War.[180] However, the exact size of the Turkistan Islamic Party remains unknown and some experts dispute its ability to orchestrate attacks in China, or that is exists at all as a cohesive group.[178][181][182]

The TIP is often assumed to be the same as the earlier East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which has been effectively defunct since the death of its leader Hasan Mahsum in 2003.[122] Although the names are often used synonymously, and China exclusively uses ETIM, the link between the two is still unproven.[183]

Al-Qaeda links

The TIP are believed to have links to al-Qaeda and affiliated groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,[183] and the Pakistani Taliban.[184] Philip B. K. Potter writes that despite the fact that “throughout the 1990s, Chinese authorities went to great lengths to publicly link organizations active in Xinjiang—particularly the ETIM—to al-Qaeda […] the best information indicates that prior to 2001, the relationship included some training and funding but relatively little operational cooperation.”[3][185] Meanwhile, specific incidents were downplayed by Chinese authorities as isolated criminal acts.[2][15] However, in 1998 the group’s headquarters were moved to Kabul, in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, while “China’s ongoing security crackdown in Xinjiang has forced the most militant Uyghur separatists into volatile neighboring countries, such as Pakistan,” Potter writes, “where they are forging strategic alliances with, and even leading, jihadist factions affiliated with al-Qaeda and the Taliban.” The East Turkestan Islamic Movement dropped “East” from its name as it increased its domain.[2] The U.S. State Department have listed them as a terrorist organisation since 2002,[186] and as having received “training and financial assistance” from al-Qaeda.[185]

A number of members of al-Qaeda have expressed support for the TIP, Xinjiang independence, and/or jihad against China. They include Mustafa Setmariam Nasar,[187] Abu Yahya al-Libi,[188][189] and current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri who has on multiple occasions issued statements naming Xinjiang (calling it “East Turkestan”) as one of the “battlegrounds” of “jihad to liberate every span of land of the Muslims that has been usurped and violated.”[190][191][192][193][194] Additionally, the al-Qaeda aligned al-Fajr Media Center distributes TIP promotional material.[195]

Andrew McGregor, writing for the Jamestown Foundation, notes that “though there is no question a small group of Uyghur militants fought alongside their Taliban hosts against the Northern Alliance […] the scores of terrorists Beijing claimed that Bin Laden was sending to China in 2002 never materialized” and that “the TIP’s “strategy” of making loud and alarming threats (attacks on the Olympics, use of biological and chemical weapons, etc.) without any operational follow-up has been enormously effective in promoting China’s efforts to characterize Uyghur separatists as terrorists.”[196]

Reactions

Protesters in PragueCzech Republic carrying Tibetan and East Turkestan flags, 29 March 2016

Hundreds of Uyghurs fleeing China through Southeast Asia have been deported back by the governments of Thailand, Malaysia, and others, drawing condemnation from the U.S., the UN refugee agency, and human rights groups.[197] The U.S. State Department said deported Uyghurs “could face harsh treatment and a lack of due process” while the UNHCR and Human Rights Watch have called the deportations a violation of international law.[198][199]

The East Turkestan Islamic Movement has been recognised as a terrorist organisation by the US,[200] and the EU,[201] among others.

22 western countries and Japan had written to the U.N. Human Rights Council to criticize China on the Uyghur issue.[202] However, fifty countries, many of them Muslim countries, had written a joint letter to the president of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to defend China against this accusation.[203][204][205][206]

The United States Senate and House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in September 2019 and December 2019 respectively in reaction to the conflict.[207][208][209][210]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up to:a b Human Rights Watch gives the following compilation of estimates of the detained population: Adrian Zenz, “New Evidence for China’s Political Re-Education Campaign in Xinjiang“, China Brief, vol. 18, issue 10, 15 May 2018 (accessed 24 August 2018); Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) and Equal Rights Initiative (ERI), “China: Massive Numbers of Uyghurs & Other Ethnic Minorities Forced into Re-education Programs“, 3 August 2018 (accessed 24 August 2018). “Zenz estimated the detainee number by extrapolating from a leaked Xinjiang police report, released by a Turkish TV station run by Uyghur exiles, as well as from reports by Radio Free Asia. CHRD and ERI made the estimate by extrapolating the percentages of people detained in villages as reported by dozens of Uyghur villagers in Kashgar Prefecture during interviews with CHRD.” (from Eradicating Ideological Viruses’: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims”Human Rights Watch. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2019.)
  2. ^ The People’s Republic, founded in 1949, banned private confessional teaching from the early 1950s to the 1980s, until a more liberal stance allowed religious mosque education to resume and private Muslim schools to open. Moreoever, except in Xinjiang for fear of secessionist feelings, the government allowed and sometimes encouraged the founding of private Muslim schools in order to provide education for people who could not attend increasingly expensive state schools or who left them early, for lack of money or lack of satisfactory achievements.[42]
  3. ^ The First East Turkestan Republic had considered the name “Uyghuristan”, with some early coins bearing that name, but settled on the “East Turkestan Republic” on the basis that there were other Turkic peoples in Xinjiang and the new government.[86]

References …

Sources

Further reading

External links

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1253, May 8, 2019, Breaking News: Story 1: House of Representatives Holds Attorney Bar In Contempt — American People Hold Congress in Contempt For Wasting Money and Time on Big Lie Smear Campaign of President Trump — Waiting For Attorney Barr Investigating, Indicting, and Prosecuting The Clinton, Obama and Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 2: A Massive Illegal Alien Invasion At The Border — Build 1500 Miles of Additional Border Barrier To Stop The Invasion and Deport The 30 to 60 Million Aliens Already Living and Working in United States — Enforce Immigration Laws — Videos

Posted on May 10, 2019. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Breaking News: Story 1: House of Representatives Holds Attorney Bar In Contempt — American People Hold Congress in Contempt For Wasting Money and Time on Big Lie Smear Campaign of President Trump — Waiting For Attorney Barr to Investigate, Indict, and Prosecute The Clinton, Obama and Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

 

Trump asserts executive privilege to keep full Mueller report SECRET from Congress as his AG Bill Barr is held in CONTEMPT for refusing to hand it over

  • House Democrats voted to find Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to hand over the material
  • The vote in the House Judiciary Committee was along partisan lines: 24 to 16
  • The final vote came after a 6 and a half hour hearing on the contempt citation
  • It now goes to the House floor for a vote by the full chamber 
  • President Donald Trump claimed executive privilege over the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller 
  • ‘The President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,’ White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said
  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler slammed the move, calling it ‘a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance’ of Congress  

President Donald Trump on Wednesday claimed executive privilege over the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and House Democrats found Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for refusing to hand it over. 

The vote to on contempt charges, held in the House Judiciary Committee, was along partisan lines – 24 Democrats versus 16 Republican – and now goes before the full House chamber for a vote, where Democrats hold a 38-seat majority.

After the full House votes the issue is expected to end up in the courts.  

Lawmakers debated the contempt charge for six and half hours before holding a final vote on the matter with Democrats arguing they needed the full Mueller report for their congressional oversight responsibilities and Republicans charging a political dog-and-pony show. 

‘We are now in a constitutional crisis,’ House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said after the vote.

‘This was a very grave and momentous step we were forced to take today to move a contempt citation against the attorney general of the United States. We did not relish doing this but we have no choice,’ he added.

House Democrats on Wednesday voted to find Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said he was bringing up the contempt citation because of the Justice Department's refusal to comply with a subpoena for the full version of Robert Mueller's report

Judiciary Committee holds AG William Barr in contempt

The Justice Department slammed the vote, saying Congress could not force them to break the law.

‘The attorney general could not comply with the House Judiciary Committee’s subpoena without violating the law, court rules, and court orders, and without threatening the independence of the Department’s prosecutorial functions,’ said Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec in a statement.

‘It is deeply disappointing that elected representatives of the American people have chosen to engage in such inappropriate political theatrics. Regrettably, Chairman Nadler’s actions have prematurely terminated the accommodation process and forced the president to assert executive privilege to preserve the status quo. No one, including Chairman Nadler and his committee, will force the Department of Justice to break the law.’

The White House moved to pre-empt the vote by invoking executive privilege over the Democrats’ demands.

‘Faced with Chairman Nadler’s blatant abuse of power, and at the Attorney General’s request, the President has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege,’ White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.  

‘The Attorney General has been transparent and accommodating throughout this process, including by releasing the no-collusion, no-conspiracy, no-obstruction Mueller Report to the public and offering to testify before the Committee. These attempts to work with the Committee have been flatly rejected. They didn’t like the results of the report, and now they want a redo,’ she added.

The hearing offered members of the committee a chance to vent their opinion on the Russia investigation – an opportunity many lawmakers took advantage of.

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed President Trump for embarrassing former FBI agent Peter Strzok and bureau attorney Lisa Page with his critical tweets.

The New York Democrat also slammed Republicans for holding their own ‘witch hunt’ when it came to their pursuit of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

‘Reputational interests? Really? Many of my colleagues on the side of the aisle actually perpetrated a witch hunt as it relates to securing more than 800,000 documents from the very same Department of Justice without regard to the reputational interests of Americans that serve this country,’ Jeffries said.

‘You were not concerned about the representational interest of Hillary Clinton,’ he added, speaking of the president. ‘In fact, the top Republicans said the sole objective was to undermine her, the former first lady and Secretary of State. You weren’t concerned with the reputational interest of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. In fact, you embarrassed those two. They made mistakes, but you embarrassed those two.’

Texts between Strzok and Page, who worked on the Clinton email investigation, revealed the two agents, who were having an affair, were against Trump being elected.

And Republicans countered by accusing Democrats of trying to harm Barr’s reputation.

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s biggest defenders on Capitol Hill, said Democrats were really worried about what the attorney general would find in his investigation of whether or not the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.

‘Bill Barr is following the law and what’s his reward? Democrats hold him in contempt,’ Jordan said. ‘I don’t think today’s actually about getting information. I don’t think it’s about getting the un-redacted Mueller report.’

‘I think it’s all about trying to destroy Bill Barr because Democrats are nervous he’s going to get to the bottom of everything. He’s going to find out how and why this investigation started in the first place,’ he added.

And Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who is running for president, urged his fellow committee members to impeach Barr if he won’t meet their demands.

‘Then you move to impeach him,’ Swalwell said. ‘And you do the same thing to anyone else who doesn’t want to follow the law.’

‘This is not about executive privilege,’ the California Democrat added. ‘This is about burying the evidence, Mr. Chairman.’

Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries slammed President Trump for holding a witch hunt against Hillary Clinton

While GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump's biggest defenders on Capitol Hill, said Democrats were trying to destroy Barr's reputation

While GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s biggest defenders on Capitol Hill, said Democrats were trying to destroy Barr’s reputation

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who is running for president, urged his fellow committee members to impeach Bill Barr if the attorney general won't meet their demands

House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said he was bringing up the contempt citation because of the Justice Department’s refusal to comply with a subpoena for the full version of Mueller’s findings.

‘Today, we consider a report recommending that the House of Representatives hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a valid subpoena issued by this committee. This is not a step we take lightly. It is the culmination of nearly three months of requests, discussions and negotiations with the Department of Justice for the complete, unredacted report by special counsel Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election along with the underlying evidence,’ Nadler said.

And he slammed the White House for invoking privilege, charging it was ‘a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance’ of the Democrats’ investigations in the administration.

‘Since the White House waived these privileges long ago and the department seemed open to sharing these materials with us just yesterday, this decision represents a clear escalation in the Trump administration’s blanket defiance. I hope the department will think better of this last-minute outburst and return to negotiations. As a co-equal branch of government we must have access to the documents we need to fulfill our responsibilities in a manner consistent with past precedent. This is information we are legally entitled to receive and we are constitutionally obligated to review,’ he said.

He also argued the White House’s move ‘has the effect of aiding and abetting of total blanket and unprecedented obstruction.’

‘When the administration says it will oppose all subpoena, regardless of its merits, it is saying it does not recognize Congress having a constitutional oversight authority over the executive branch. And to those who consider the matter case closed in the words of some of our leaders and urge us simply to move on, I would say to do so is to announce loud and clear that such a course of action has the effect of aiding and abetting of total blanket and unprecedented obstruction,’ Nadler said.

‘Our fight is not just about the Mueller report. Our fight is about defending the rights of congress as an independent branch to hold the president, any president accountable,’ he added.

Late Tuesday evening, in a last-ditch move to try and prevent the contempt vote, the Justice Department said it would ask President Trump to invoke executive privilege in order to withhold the unredacted Mueller report from Congress.

The contempt citation against Attorney General Bill Barr now goes before the full House for a vote

The contempt citation against Attorney General Bill Barr now goes before the full House for a vote

‘In the face of the Committee’s threatened contempt vote, the Attorney General will be compelled to request that the President invoke executive privilege with respect to the materials subject to the subpoena,’ assistant attorney general Stephen Boyd wrote in a letter to Nadler.

‘I hereby request that the committee hold the subpoena in abeyance and delay any vote on whether to recommend a citation of contempt for noncompliance with the subpoena, pending the president’s determination of this question,’ he added.

Boyd sent another letter to Nadler on Wednesday, announcing the use of executive privilege and blaming Democrats for it being invoked.

‘This is to advise you that the President has asserted executive privilege over the entirety of the subpoenaed materials,’ he wrote.

‘Regrettably, you have made this assertion necessary by your insistence upon scheduling a premature contempt vote.’

The Justice Department had tried to pre-empt a contempt vote by offering Democrats a less-redacted version of the report, which they refused.

Democrats argue they do not want Barr to break the law and release grand jury information, merely to join their effort to ask the courts to unseal material for the grand jury for committee use.

But Democrats point out Congress has managed twice to obtain federal grand jury information in prior special counsel investigations – Watergate and Ken Starr’s probe.

Barr offered to let a select group of Democrats view the entire report except for the grand jury information – but Democratic lawmakers denied his offer, saying they wanted to see it all.

Sanders slammed Democrats for not taking Barr up on his offer.

‘I think it’s so absurd this idea that Congress doesn’t get to see the Mueller report. In fact, there’s a less redacted version of the Mueller report sitting there waiting on them to come and look at it,’ she told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

‘Not a single Democrat has even taken the time to go and look at it. They’re asking for information they know they can’t have. The attorney general is actually upholding the law,’ she added.

‘The attorney general is protecting information, grand jury information, confidential information, that he cannot release. But the fact that the chairman knows that and he continues to ignore it, is absolutely absurd,’ she noted.

Republicans reminded Democrats that Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

‘I feel compelled to remind everyone the report found despite offers to do so, no one from the Trump campaign knowingly conspired with the Russian government. You can’t help but notice that Russian collusion has left the narrative,’ Republican Rep. Doug Collins said in the Judiciary Committee hearing.

‘Democrats have decided to try to neutralize Bill Barr by attacking him, his integrity and career. What a mean spirited step it is,’ he added.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders slammed Democrats for not taking up Bill Barr's offer to view all of Mueller's report except for the grand jury information

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders slammed Democrats for not taking up Bill Barr’s offer to view all of Mueller’s report except for the grand jury information

Republican Rep. Doug Collins reminded Democrats that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia in the 2016 election

Republican Rep. Doug Collins reminded Democrats that Mueller found no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 election

While Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion, it left the decision to charge Trump with obstructing the investigation into Barr’s hands. Barr, in conjunction with then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, decided not to pursue obstruction charges.

However, Mueller’s report made it clear that Congress still has the oversight authority to investigate the president on the matter.

‘The conclusion that Congress may apply the obstruction laws to the President’s corrupt exercise of the powers of office accords with our constitutional system of checks and balances and the principle that no person is above the law,’ the report stated.

Democrats have latched on to that and asked for the full Mueller report as part of that probe.

‘If it weren’t for him being president, he would be in prison with Michael Cohen today as individual one and he obstructed justice, as the Mueller report says so,’ Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen said at Wednesday’s hearing.

Nadler said earlier Wednesday his panel had no choice but to proceed with the contempt vote.

‘Attorney General Barr has made the entire Justice Department an agency for enabling the president to defy the law, to defy and kind of accountability and to act as a monarch,’ he said on CNN’s ‘New Day.’

Nadler said the citation was necessary because the attorney general was protecting President Trump from congressional oversight.

The Justice Department, Nadler said, has ‘made it twice as necessary to proceed with this contempt, because you cannot have a government in which the president can conceal all information about his own wrongdoing and about anything else.’

And Trump ‘wants to make himself a king, and Congress cannot permit that, nor can the American people abide that,’ he added.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should find Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress should find Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress

The action comes after Speaker Nancy Pelosi said earlier on Wednesday that Congress should find Barr in contempt for with holding the full version of Mueller’s report.

‘Yes, I think that the attorney general should be held in contempt,’ she said during a Washington Post interview.

‘This contempt is about the withholding of the Mueller report in an unredactive way,’ she added.

Pelosi has led the charge on the Democrats’ argument it greater issue is Congress’ right to investigate and oversee the executive branch – as outlined in the constitution – and not a partisan attack.

She said the attorney general skipping out on last week’s hearing is not the solo reason he should be held in contempt.

‘Now that doesn’t include is not showing up to testify before the House Judiciary Committee,’ she said.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday morning the committee has 'no choice' but to proceed with the contempt vote

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Wednesday morning the committee has ‘no choice’ but to proceed with the contempt vote

‘That’s a crime,’ Pelosi accuses AG Barr of lying to Congress

‘It doesn’t include a misrepresenting withholding the truth from the Congress, some would call that lying. I don’t like that word, but you can’t do that – you cannot lie under oath to Congress because you’re lying under oath to the American people. So that’s a whole other thing but, for the purpose of the course we’re on right now, in terms of withholding information: the unredacted version of the Mueller report for the American people to see and to know,’ she said.

Pelosi was asked if Barr should be impeached.

‘Nothing is ever off the table,’ she responded but added the situation needs to work its way through the committee process before any stronger steps are taken.

A contempt citation could lead to a civil court case against Barr, raising the possibility of fines and even imprisonment for failure to comply.
Pelosi jokingly reminded people there is a jail in the basement of the Capitol but added: ‘If we were arresting all the people in the administration we would have an overcrowded jail situation and I’m not for that.’
Democrats want the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report

Democrats want the full, unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said  the Russia report was 'case closed'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said  the Russia report was ‘case closed’

Sarah Sanders says Trump and Putin had a ‘very good discussion’

Barr released a redacted version of the report last month but the Democrats also want to see the full report and underlying evidence that informs it.

They formally issued a subpoena for it but the Justice Department has not handed it over, arguing the grand jury evidence Democrats want should be with held to protect those investigations.

 ‘The attorney general’s failure to comply with our subpoena … leaves us no choice but to initiate contempt proceedings,’ Nadler said in a statement last week.

Republicans reject Nadler’s efforts as political theater, which they say is intended to satisfy the Democrats’ voters.

Also on Tuesday, the White House invoked executive privilege to block former White House Counsel Don McGahn from complying with Democrats’ subpoena for him to turn over documents related to the Russia investigation.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone says the man who formerly held his position does not have the legal rights to the documents Democrats in Congress are demanding he produce.

McGahn was a star witness in Mueller’s probe.

The White House also invoked executive privilege to block former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying

The White House also invoked executive privilege to block former White House Counsel Don McGahn from testifying

House Judiciary panel prepare to hold Bill Barr in contempt

Pelosi declined to say if McGahn should also be held in contempt, saying Congress should wait and see what happens.

Nadler’s committee views the full Mueller report as vital to its own corruption and obstruction of justice investigation of Trump. The chairs of five other House committees investigating the president have also called for its release.

The Mueller report details extensive contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Moscow, but did not find that there was a conspiracy between Moscow and the campaign. The report also describes actions Trump took to try to impede Mueller’s investigation.

If lawmakers established that Trump obstructed justice by seeking to impede Mueller, Nadler’s panel could move to impeachment proceedings against the president for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The White House has declared the matter closed and Trump has repeatedly pointed out the report found no collusion.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders argued Tuesday the investigation is ‘case closed.’

‘We consider this to be a case closed and we’re moving forward to do the work of the American people,’ Sanders told ABC News’ ‘The Investigation’ podcast.

‘This is nothing more than a big dog-and-pony show.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7006385/House-Judiciary-Committee-votes-hold-Bill-Barr-CONTEMPT-Congress.html

Story 2: A Massive Illegal Alien Invasion and Crisis At The Border With Release of 168,000 Illegal Aliens Released Into U.S. Communities in April — Fraudulent Families on The Rise — Build 1500 Miles of Additional Border Barrier To Stop The Invasion and Deport The 30 to 60 Million Aliens Already Living and Working in United States — Enforce Immigration Laws — Videos

Ingraham: If Dems take the White House

What It’s Really Like At The US-Mexico Border

Maria Bartiromo joins Border Patrol for first-hand look at crisis

Border Wall Crisis Exclusive Interview Border Patrol Says ‘Kids Are Being Rented’

Laura Ingraham gets a first-hand look at the border crisis in Texas

Texas Lt. governor: Cartels use migrant families to distract border agents from drug trafficking

Trump WINS Appeal Requiring Migrants To “Remain In Mexico”

Trump administration’s controversial “Remain in Mexico” policy will be allowed to continue for now

Inside Mexico’s Migrant Houses

New tent cities housing migrants at southern border

Vigilante Justice on the US-Mexico Border

David Bier discusses the migrant crisis at the US-Mexico border

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At U.S.-Mexico border, migrants seeking legal entry are stranded in hazardous ‘limbo’

Border Patrol Chief testifies on the border crisis in front of the Senate

Migrant Children in Custody: The Long Battle for Protection | Retro Report

How Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Gave Birth to a New Democratic Party | Retro Report

Grassley Statement on Stopping Family Separation by Repealing the Flores Settlement

Senator Lankford Questions Witnesses on the Flores Settlement Agreement

Tucker on what DC cares more about than our border

Central American migrants
The latest ruling keeps “remain in Mexico” in effect while the case continues before the appeals court. | Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

EMPLOYMENT & IMMIGRATION

Appeals court allows Trump to keep asylum seekers in Mexico, for now

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration may, for now, require certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico pending resolution of their cases.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit cited different reasons for permitting the “remain in Mexico” initiative to move forward after a lower court blocked it last month. The appeals court allowed the policy to continue only on a temporary basis, while the court considers broader issues in the case.

Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, an appointee of former President Ronald Reagan, authored the 11-page opinion and wrote that the administration was likely to succeed on legal challenges to the policy under federal immigration and regulatory law.

O’Scannlain also said the Homeland Security Department could face harm if a federal court order freezes one of its enforcement tools.

The other two judges — Obama and Clinton appointees — also backed allowing the policy to stay in effect, but raised questions about it in concurring opinions.

Judge William Fletcher, the Clinton appointee, argued that existing federal statute did not allow DHS to send migrants to Mexico under the program.

“The government is wrong,” he wrote. “Not just arguably wrong, but clearly and flagrantly wrong.“

A San Francisco-based district court judge first blocked the “remain in Mexico” policy in April. The judge said the initiative, formally known as the “Migrant Protection Protocols,” likely violated federal regulatory law. The Trump administration appealed the case to the 9th Circuit, which allowed the policy to be implemented immediately while it considered the issue.

The latest ruling keeps “remain in Mexico” in effect while the case continues before the appeals court.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen first announced the measure in late December, moments before she was set to testify before the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee.

“Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States,” Nielsen said in a written statement at the time.

The Mexican government agreed to accept the asylum seekers for humanitarian reasons, but described the policy as a unilateral move by the U.S.

Trump has portrayed the arrival of migrants at the border as an “invasion” and suggested many asylum seekers don’t have valid claims. In late April, he issued a memorandum that called for top immigration officials to develop several regulations to toughen and accelerate the asylum process.

The April memo urges administration officials to impose a fee on asylum applications, bar certain asylum seekers from obtaining work authorization while their applications are pending, speed up court decisions and limit other avenues of relief.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/07/trump-asylum-seekers-immigration-1412997

Feds released 168,000 illegal immigrant family members into communities

A Honduran migrant grabs his son as they climb the U.S. border fence before jumping into the U.S. to San Diego, Calif., from Tijuana, Mexico, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Discouraged by the long wait to apply for asylum through official ports of entry, many Central American migrants from recent caravans are choosing to cross the U.S. border wall and hand themselves in to border patrol agents. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

 

– The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The government is so overwhelmed by the border surge that it’s already released 168,000 illegal immigrant family members directly into communities, the government said Wednesday.

An ICE official made the revelation at a Senate hearing where she and other top immigration officials pleaded with Congress to do something to stop the surge of migrants that’s overwhelming the system.

April set new records, with the Border Patrol nabbing more than 58,000 illegal immigrants traveling as families in that month alone.

That was part of more than 109,000 illegal immigrants nabbed border wide, including at or between the ports of entry.

And for the first time in history, nearly half of the adults arriving are bringing children with them, looking to take advantage of the loopholes in U.S. policy that they believe — usually correctly — will earn them a foothold in the U.S.

“They have received the message loud and clear — bring a child, you will be released,” Carla Provost, chief of the Border Patrol, told Congress.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/may/8/feds-release-168k-illegal-immigrant-family-members/

The History of the Flores Settlement

How a 1997 agreement cracked open our detention laws

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By Matthew Sussis on February 11, 2019

Download a PDF of this Backgrounder.


Matt Sussis is the assistant director of communications at the Center for Immigration Studies.


In April 2018, the Trump administration implemented new guidelines as part of its “zero tolerance” policy toward illegal entry, in response to the rising number of illegal aliens showing up with their children at the southern border. Under these guidelines, the Justice Department prosecuted every border infiltrator for the crime of entry without inspection.

After detaining the parents, the government could either put the children in a shelter (due to legal prohibitions on keeping children in detention for over 20 days), or release the entire family into the interior of the country — “catch-and-release” — and hope that they don’t simply disappear into the illegal immigrant population. The first of these two options has been decried by critics as one of “family separation”.

To understand how this conundrum arose, one must learn the history of the Flores settlement agreement.

Digging into its history bolsters the theory that the Clinton administration was well aware of what it was doing when it signed the agreement, and may have shared more in common with the activist plaintiffs than originally thought with regard to loosening the rules governing asylum.

Key takeaways:

  • The consequences of the Flores settlement, a 1997 agreement between immigration activist groups and the government, have been central to the debates over President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy at the border and accusations of family separations. A full understanding of this agreement requires understanding its history.
  • Beginning in 1985, the activist groups began a series of lawsuits against the federal government over its perceived mistreatment of alien minors in detention facilities (notably a 15-year-old Salvadoran girl named Jenny Flores), culminating in a consent decree, the Flores settlement, more than a decade later.
  • This 1997 settlement led to the government agreeing to set immigration detention standards for unaccompanied alien children (UACs), particularly regarding facility conditions and the timing and terms of the UACs’ release.
  • When the government entered into the Flores settlement agreement, its stated intention was to finally resolve years of litigation against the INS, but this is only partially true. Recent comments and actions by Clinton administration officials indicate that they were at least partially motivated by a desire to cooperate with the activist plaintiffs to loosen asylum rules.
  • Since 1997, Flores has been significantly expanded upon by federal judges with loose border proclivities, and is now interpreted to mean that all minors in detention — accompanied by their parents or not — cannot be held for more than 20 days.
  • Partially driven by Flores, the number of apprehended aliens who claim credible fear (the first step in applying for asylum) has soared — up 67 percent in FY 18 vs. FY 17, and up over 10-fold from a decade ago. Moreover, only 3.5 percent of UACs are ever removed, according to DHS.
  • Congress could pass a law superseding Flores, but has yet to do so.

The Path to Flores: 1985-1997

Flores Settlement Timeline

The immigration laws and regulations of the United States were administered by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) before Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and President George W. Bush transferred that agency’s responsibilities to what are now three agencies — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), each located in the Department of Homeland Security.

It was during the time that INS had jurisdiction over immigration that Carlos Holguin, an immigration lawyer in Los Angeles, received a call from a Hollywood actor about that actor’s housekeeper, an illegal Salvadoran immigrant.1 Her daughter, Jenny Flores, was being detained by INS. Jenny’s mother didn’t want to pick her up, as she feared bringing herself before INS would result in her deportation. INS would not release Flores to her cousins — they said that only legal guardians, for the sake of the child’s safety, could pick her up. Jenny Flores later alleged that the conditions of her detention were substandard.

Eventually, this led to a 1985 class-action lawsuit on behalf of illegal immigrant children headed by several activist groups: The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, to which Holguin belongs; the National Center for Youth Law; the ACLU; and the law offices of Streich Lang, which has since merged to become Quarles & Brady LLC.2

The lawsuit sought to establish standards for how INS handles detained minors, and specifically expressed concerns that Jenny Flores was strip-searched, that she shared living quarters and bathrooms with male adults, and that she couldn’t be released to non-guardian relatives.

In 1988, Judge Robert Kelleher of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, who had been appointed by President Nixon, delivered a win to these groups. He ruled that the INS policy of strip-searching children was unconstitutional because the “defendants have failed to establish a plausible, much less compelling, need to routinely strip search detained juveniles.” He also removed the restrictions that INS had in place regarding to which adults the detained minors could be released.3

However, in 1990, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Kelleher’s decision, and instead sided with the government. Judge John Clifford Wallace and Judge Lloyd D. George (both appointed by Republican presidents) wrote in their majority opinion that “it is clear that Flores’ substantive due process challenge to the regulation must be rejected. To the extent the district court based its ruling on this prong of due process law, it must be reversed.”4

This victory for the INS was short-lived. One year later, the Ninth Circuit en banc (a full 11-judge court) reversed its prior ruling, and in a 7-4 decision affirmed Judge Kelleher’s 1988 ruling.

On October 13, 1992, the Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments in the case. A year later, the Supreme Court delivered a significant win to the government, voting 7-2 in favor of reversing the lower court’s decision. Justices Scalia, Rehnquist, White, O’Connor, Kennedy, Souter, and Thomas all held that there was no constitutional right for unaccompanied alien children to be released to someone other than a close relative, and further held that these minors could be kept in detention centers if they lacked a close relative or guardian in the United States to take them in.5 Scalia wrote: “Where the Government does not intend to punish the child, and where the conditions of Governmental custody are decent and humane, such custody surely does not violate the Constitution.”

And yet, even after this sweeping victory, the lawsuits and pressure from activist groups did not abate. For example, a 1997 book penned by Human Rights Watch titled Slipping Through the Cracks alleged that the INS was still not complying with the terms of the Supreme Court’s decision in Reno v. Flores. Following interviews with INS officials and tours of facilities, the authors argued that INS agents’ attitudes ranged from being apathetic to harboring “ill will” toward detained UACs, and that the conditions of UAC detention were still poor.6

That year, in what was seen as an attempt to end the ongoing criticism and litigation by the government, INS Commissioner Doris Meissner signed the Flores settlement agreement. The agreement included several major concessions from the government:

  1. The government would release children “without unnecessary delay” to (in order of preference) the children’s parents, legal guardians, other adult relatives, or another individual designated by the parents/guardians.
  2. The government would put children in the “least restrictive” setting appropriate.
  3. The government would create and implement standards for the care and treatment of immigrant children in detention.7

That settlement laid the groundwork for the current asylum crisis at the border and extends well beyond its initial mandate.

Why Did the Government Sign Flores?

Why, just a few years after a sweeping Supreme Court victory, did the Clinton administration agree to the Flores settlement? The stated reason was that the government was looking to finally put an end to over a decade of litigation that began in 1985, and certainly there may be some truth to that. The settlement, however, seemed like a major concession by the winning side, and certainly one that could (and later did) crack the door open further for open-borders groups to exploit asylum laws for minors.

A 2018 NPR interview with former INS Commissioner Doris Meissner provides insight into that action. When asked by NPR’s “All Things Considered” host Michel Martin about the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, Meissner had the following response:

Well, so here is the situation. What — the reference that they’re making is to a court settlement called the Flores decision, which took place in 1997. I’m very familiar with it because I signed it. And it was a settlement of a long-standing piece of litigation that said that children would be detained in the least restrictive setting possible and for the shortest period of time in order to be placed with either a family member or another care situation.

That law — that — and that’s not a law. It’s a court settlement, but it has the force of law. And it has been expanded by another court judgment just a few years ago to apply both to children and to families with children. So it is valid to say that it has the force of law. It is not actually a law. It would have — to change it would require legislation, which is what the Congress is talking about.

However, it is a judgment on the part of the administration how to implement that court decision. And this implementation of the court decision that says children need to be separated from their parents because their parent is being prosecuted — that has never happened before in the past from the time that this settlement took place through other administrations — both Democratic and Republican administrations.

Everybody has recognized that this issue is a balancing act — that we, of course, have a responsibility to enforce the laws at the border. But to those who are especially vulnerable — young people and families — there are other measures that can be taken that, of course, enforce the law but are not so excessively harsh as to violate a principle so fundamental as young children being in detention for long periods of time. [Emphasis added.]8

Meissner appears to be making a new admission here: Her decision to sign Flores was guided by humanitarian considerations for the children, rather than simply a concern about the risks of further litigation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, of course, but it is curious that the 1997 defendant — the INS — didn’t appear to think of detention reform much differently than did the activist plaintiffs. And, if the then-INS believed that these changes were necessary, it could have simply made them itself, without binding future administrations to its policies.

This view is reinforced by other INS actions under the Clinton administration during that same time period. Most notable is the decision of INS General Counsel Paul Virtue a year later, in 1998, to implement “parole in place”, allowing the INS to grant parole to any alien applying for admission for humanitarian or “public benefit” purposes that further helped facilitate the vision of groups like the ACLU that were seeking significantly looser asylum policies.9

Certainly, President Clinton, Meissner, and Virtue (among others who supported the agreement at the time) could not have predicted the ways in which Flores would be even further contorted in the years to come. Nonetheless, Occam’s razor states that the simplest answer tends to be the correct one. The simplest explanation for the actions of the Clinton administration around the signing of Flores in 1997 is that it held the same views on asylum laws that the activist groups did — namely, that they ought to be looser.

Developments Since Settlement, 1997-2019

In 2003, as part of a major government re-organization following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress abolished the INS, and transferred its responsibilities to several entities within the Department of Homeland Security. The responsibility for transferring alien minors to their parents, however, was shifted to the Department of Health and Human Services, with the Office of Refugee Resettlement handling both care and custody of unaccompanied children.

Meanwhile, activists continued to allege that the terms of Flores were not being fully met by DHS/HHS. In 2008, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which codified parts of Flores into federal law in what are called “savings clauses”, preserving certain rights for alien children.

The next major change to Flores, and almost certainly the most significant, came in 2015. An Obama-appointed federal district court judge in California, Dolly Gee, ordered that the Obama administration must release detained children and their mothers who were caught crossing the border illegally, saying that detention centers in Texas had failed to meet the Flores standards.

This was a major development — Gee had now expanded Flores to cover not only unaccompanied children, but also accompanied children.10

In fact, Judge Gee even went a step further. Flores calls on the government to release children “without unnecessary delay”. Gee interpreted that to mean 20 days. In other words, now all minors in detention, whether or not they were with their parents, couldn’t be detained for more than three weeks. This ruling laid the groundwork for the current crisis at the border, in which children are released while their parents can still be detained awaiting hearings — hence, the “separation” of families. The alternative is simply releasing the entire family after three weeks or less. In other words, “catch-and-release”.

The next year, in 2016, Ninth Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz, joined by judges Michael Melloy and Ronald Gould, reaffirmed that Floresapplies to all children, regardless of whether they’re accompanied — although they did reverse the notion that parents have an affirmative right of release.11

Graph: Total Claims of Credible Fear Apprehensions and Inadmissibles

In the past few years, the number of aliens who have sought to initiate the asylum process by claiming “credible fear” of persecution during expedited removal — either at ports of entry or between them — has soared, in large part owing to the Flores settlement agreement and to Judge Gee. Aliens have clearly gotten the message that if they ask to be put into asylum proceedings, their children — and often if not usually the adults, too — will be released into the country shortly after they are apprehended as they await their removal proceedings. In fact, in FY 2018 alone, the number of aliens apprehended by Border Patrol claiming credible fear was 10-fold higher than a decade before, and 67 percent above the FY 2017 figure, reaching a staggering 92,959 claims. (See Figure 1.)

Aliens respond to incentives, and Flores remains a strong one. After all, if a Central American mother knows that bringing her child means that she can simply show up at a port of entry, claim credible fear, and then quickly be released from detention into the country regardless of the actual validity of her asylum claim, why wouldn’t she do so?

There have been discussions in Congress about passing a law that would supersede Flores and finally settle the issue. Several Republicans, mostly notably Ted Cruz (R-Texas), called on Congress to fix Flores in order to resolve the related issue of child-parent separations and catch-and-release. As of early 2019, however, such a fix has yet to pass Congress, and doesn’t look likely to any time soon.


End Notes

1 See “The History Of The Flores Settlement And Its Effects On Immigration”, NPR, June 22, 2018.

2 See the websites for The Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, the National Center for Youth Law, and the law offices of Streich Lang, which has since merged to become Quarles & Brady LLC.

3 Flores v. Meese, 681 F. Supp. 665 (C.D. Cal. 1988).

4 Flores v. Meese (1990).

5 See Linda Greenhouse, “Detention Upheld on Alien Children”The New York Times, March 24, 1993.

6 “Slipping Through the Cracks: Unaccompanied Children Detained by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service”, Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Project, April 1997.

7 Flores settlement agreement.

8 “Barbershop: Border Separations”All Things Considered, NPR, June 16, 2018.

9 Paul Virtue 1998 memorandum.

10 See Julia Preston, “Judge Orders Release of Immigrant Children Detained by U.S.” The New York Times, July 25, 2015.

11 Flores v. Lynch (2016).

https://cis.org/Report/History-Flores-Settlement

What Is the Flores Agreement, and What Happens If the Trump Administration Withdraws from It?

by 

October 18, 2018

f the Trump administration succeeds in ending a decades-old court decision governing the treatment of migrant children, it will be able to detain migrant children indefinitely before they receive immigration court hearings. This 1997 decision, Flores v. Reno,(now known as the “Flores agreement”), resulted in a court-supervised settlement that lays out a set of strict regulations for the detention of immigration children and it has governed their treatment up until now.

The Trump administration’s attempt to end the Flores agreement comes as it still holds about 350 separated children in federal custody who have yet to be reunified with their parents, and as Congress has failed to pass a legislative fix to the ongoing child separation crisis.

What is Flores?

The U.S. government and the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL) reached the Flores agreement in 1997 after lawyers filed a class-action lawsuit in 1985 against the U.S. government on behalf of immigrant children in detention. Plaintiffs included a 15-year-old girl named Jenny Lisette Flores, who became the namesake of the case. Flores had been detained for two months in an Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) facility in substandard conditions, where she was housed alongside adults and was subject to regular strip searches. The CHRCL alleged that the federal government’s treatment of migrant children like Flores violated their due process rights.

Under the supervision of the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, the Clinton administration reached an agreement with the CHRCL to set up rules governing the treatment of children in detention. This agreement was set to terminate 45 days after the federal government published regulations implementing Flores, freeing the federal government’s juvenile immigrant detention from court supervision. But the federal government never passed regulations doing so and so the Flores agreement continues to apply.

The main issue of contention is the length of time for which children can be detained pending a hearing before an immigration court. By subsequent courts’ interpretations of the Flores Agreement, the federal government is not permitted to detain children under the age of 18 for more than 20 days, and therefore they, along with their families, must be released at that time.

The 20-day restriction had first been introduced through a federal court ruling resulting from the Obama administration’s violation of the Flores agreement. The Obama administration had attempted to address an influx of family migration at the Southern border in 2014 by building family detention centers — a move that was met with litigation that resulted in the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the Flores agreement applied to families with children as well as unaccompanied minors.

The Ninth Circuit stipulated 20 days was a sufficient amount of time for the federal government to adjudicate families’ asylum claims, after that, children had to be released. There was no specific rule that families had to be released together, but as a matter of practice, the federal government released the whole family after 20 days of detention rather than releasing children separately and keeping their parents in detention.

Critics on the right derisively refer to this policy as “catch and release,” arguing that it allows immigrants to flee rather than attend their immigration court hearing.

How does Flores fit into the family separation crisis?

The Flores Agreement plays a large role in the Trump administration’s implementation of its “zero-tolerance” policy and the resulting family separations. The Trump administration tried to get around Flores by taking children away from their parents, thereby allowing their parents to be held indefinitely, while their children were housed separately. Reporting shows the administration also intended family separations to act as a deterrent against immigrants attempting to cross the U.S. border.

In an interview with Frontline, Cecilia Munoz, the Director of the Domestic Policy Council under the latter half of the Obama administration, said that the Obama administration had briefly considered using family separations as a deterrent but then discarded the idea.

“I do remember being struck that that was a pretty extreme proposal, and that it wasn’t considered for very long because it was a terrible idea,” she explained.

Public outcry forced President Donald Trump to halt his administration’s practice of family separations, so now, it wants to find a way to detain parents indefinitely while they await their court hearing and to keep their children with them in detention, rather than be bound by the terms of the consent decree.

In September, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen saidthat withdrawing from the Flores Agreement was necessary to end one of the “primary pull factors for illegal immigration.” DHS officials argue that the limited detention for minors permitted by the Flores Agreement creates an incentive for undocumented immigration — claiming it’s easier for immigrants to just wait out the 20 days in detention and then flee into the U.S. without attending their immigration court hearing.

Policy experts disagree, saying that the the indefinite detention of children and families is not the way to compensate for the few cases where families disappear after release. Nor would the detention of families act as a deterrent, it is argued.

In an issue brief in June 2017, a coalition of immigrants’ rights groups, including the American Immigration Lawyers Association, argued that detention would “traumatize vulnerable populations, jeopardize the basic health and safety of those detained, and undermine meaningful access to counsel in isolated, remote facilities.” Instead, the solution was to find alternatives to detention, including providing legal counsel to those in the process.

“When people are given lawyers, they show up for court. It’s shown that people who are given lawyers and are given counsel show up at much higher rates,” said Stephen Kang, detention counsel at the ACLU. “We think that counsel and providing due process protections for families is eventually the way to ensure that they show up, not to lock them up unnecessarily.”

Sarah Pierce, policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, said that regardless of what steps are taken to implement Flores by regulation, the indefinite detention would not deter forced family and juvenile migration. For those who are migrating for humanitarian reasons like fleeing violence, families are willing to make the trek to the United States in search of safety, regardless of deterrents.

“When it comes to families and humanitarian flows that are being pushed out of their homes, [deterrence] doesn’t work quite as well, or maybe not at all,” she said. “The reality is that we just need to find different tools to work on this problem with.”

A legal challenge would almost certainly follow if the federal government passed regulations without ensuring safeguards for children. After the public comment period ends on November 6, the plaintiffs from the original settlement have a 45-day period during which they can challenge the federal government’s new regulation before the Ninth Circuit. Kang said that “the issue will be litigated” over the degree to which it actually implements the spirit of the Flores Agreement and protects vulnerable children.

Congressional Republicans, for their part, have introduced legislation that would end the Flores Agreement through legislative means. When Senate Republicans released their legislative fix in September for the child separation crisis (S. 3478, the “FAMILIES Act”), one provision would have prevented the DHS secretary  from using any funds to implement Flores.

In a statement released when Republicans introduced the legislation, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said that the legislation “addresses this specific problem by overriding the court decision that has produced the current lose-lose situation and by providing the resources to expeditiously adjudicate asylum claims.” The bill hasn’t made its way out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

What happens next?

So, what’s really at stake as the Trump administration pursues its “zero-tolerance” immigration policy is the future treatment of children by the federal government. Although  family separations have technically ended with the issuing of Executive Order 13841 in June, per Border Patrol statistics, 13,000 “family units” still came across the border in August 2018. Any changes to the Flores Agreement would definitely affect them, but until the regulation is passed, they will still be released after 20 days in detention.

DHS issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 7, and citizens now have until November 6, 2018 to comment on it under the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, after which the original parties of the Flores Agreement will have 45 days to evaluate the federal government’s actions before a judge on the Ninth Circuit.

Over 5,000 comments have already been received on the proposed rule. They are mostly negative. One comment from a retired psychologist and psychoanalyst implored the federal government not to implement the new rule.

“As a clinician who has devoted 40+ years to work with traumatized children, I urge you to treat children who seek asylum with the care and concern you would give to your own children, were they caught in such awful circumstances,” wrote Paul Brinich. “The world has enough suffering without our adding to it.”

The federal government wants to be able to prosecute every single irregular border crossing, and this in turn means detaining people for long periods of time before they receive a court date. To achieve this, the Trump administration is willing to detain both adults and children indefinitely, despite warnings from experts about the impacts of long-term detention on a child’s physical and psychological health. And they might just be able to do that. Children would no longer be separated from their parents, but they’d be held in detention centers together instead.

What Is the Flores Agreement, and What Happens If the Trump Administration Withdraws from It?

 

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  • President Trump announces in a tweet that China’s top trade representative is “coming to the U.S. to make a deal.”
  • Dow futures cut losses following the president’s tweet.
  • Trump declared on Sunday that he would hike tariffs on China to 25% if an agreement was not met before Friday.

 

 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders

White House: Indications China wants to make a deal  

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that China “just informed” the White House that its vice premier will lead a delegation “coming to the U.S. to make a deal” on trade.

Dow futures cut losses but major indexes still opened lower following the president’s tweet, which added that “we’ll see” what comes of the negotiations because “I am very happy with over $100 billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers,” Trump said.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to “negotiate” with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Guess what, that’s not going to happen! China has just informed us that they (Vice-Premier) are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal. We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers…great for U.S., not good for China!

23.7K people are talking about this

The president’s declaration followed a tweet a few minutes earlier, which proclaimed why Trump believes China backed away from the negotiating table. He said China’s “attempted renegotiation” is on the “sincere” hope that, if a Democrat is elected president in the 2020 election, the Chinese will “continue to ripoff the United States … for years to come.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders affirmed Trump’s statement a couple hours later, telling reporters that the White House has received “indications” from the coming delegation that China wants to reach an agreement. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed after Sanders spoke, with major indexes hitting highs of the day.

Trump’s tweet said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will be a part of the delegation coming to Washington. There was speculation that, if China sent a delegation at all, the group would consist of low-ranking officials.

U.S. stock markets dropped this week after Trump on Sunday shattered hope that the U.S. was nearing a trade deal with China. The president threatened to impose 25% tariffs on an additional $325 billion of Chinese goods this Friday. Robert Lighthizer, the top U.S. official on trade, confirmed on Monday the increase will come if an agreement is not made before Friday.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/08/trump-says-chinas-vice-premier-is-coming-to-the-us-to-make-a-deal.html

 

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