The Pronk Pops Show 1187, December 12, 2018, Part 2 of 2 Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos — Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos — Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos —

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Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

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Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

Tucker: Trump insists GOP Congress should fund wall

Body Language: Government Shutdown Trump, Pelosi & Schumer

Migrants Continue to Breach US Border Wall

Lying Politicians And Words

Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer get in fight over border wall: full video

Trump Outsmarts Pelosi, Reveals Unstoppable Plan To Build The Wall Without Democrat Support

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/11/18 | Breaking Fox News December 11, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/11/18 | Hannity Breaking News | Fox News December 11 2018

Tucker: Schumer hated moment when Trump berated him

The Ingraham Angle 12/11/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today December 11, 2018

George Carlin Politicians

George Carlin on Elections

George Carlin – Balance the Budget

George Carlin – Question Everything

Fact-checking Trump, Pelosi and Schumer’s White House fight over the border wall, shutdown

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer sparred before news cameras over the effectiveness of a southern border wall, at times fact-checking and speaking over one another.

While all three leaders said they wanted border security, there was clearly no consensus over how much money they would set aside for Trump’s barrier. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Vice President Mike Pence was there, too, looking on from his seat between Trump and Pelosi in silence.

Here’s a recap of what was said, fact-checked and with added context.

Trump: “A lot of the wall is built.”

While there have been improvements at the border, Trump so far isn’t getting the long, contiguous wall he promised on the campaign.

“Steel bollard wall” has been built at the southern border since Trump took office. But that’s not much different from what’s been built by other administrations. During the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a memo referred to bollard barriers as “fencing.” Under Trump, these similar barriers are considered “wall.”

Bollard barriers are hollow steel beams filled with concrete and rebar. None of the Trump administration’s wall prototypes have been constructed.

CBP said construction started for 40 miles of “steel bollard wall” along border areas in California and Texas, at a cost of $292 million. About 22 miles of bollards are completed, construction of four more miles started in September, and an additional 14 miles should be finished in May 2019, CBP said.

Appropriations from Congress so far have been far less than what Trump promised. Congress authorized $1.6 billion for established designs for new and replacement fencing, like the bollard system — and not the Trump’s administration’s prototypes.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“A lot of the wall is built.”
Trump: “If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Ariz., illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.”

It’s unclear what specific construction Trump is talking about, and he did not define start and end points for measuring the effect on illegal migration. The White House did not respond to PolitiFact’s query. Here’s what we could gather from CBP announcements by region:

San Diego: CBP in June said it began replacing about 14 miles of “8-to-10 foot high scrap metal wall with an 18-to-30 foot bollard-style wall topped off with an anti-climbing plate.” In December, CBP told PolitiFact that a 14-mile San Diego project is expected to be completed in May 2019.

El Paso: CBP in September said it started construction on a new “steel bollard wall” to replace existing pedestrian fencing in El Paso. That four-mile project would be completed in late April 2019, the agency said. CBP in December also told PolitiFact that another 20-mile project in El Paso had been completed.

Tucson and Yuma: CBP in November said a contract had been awarded to build up to 32 miles of “primary pedestrian replacement wall” within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma and Tucson sectors. Construction should begin in April 2019.

Schumer: “The experts say you can do this without a wall.”

This is consistent with previous reporting by us and other outlets.

Asked which experts Schumer had in mind, his staff directed us to a January New York Times article that said the Trump administration would cut or delay funding for security measures “that officials and experts have said are more effective than building a wall along the Mexican border.”

Adam Isaacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, told PolitiFact that the wall might not do much to bolster border security because there is already a wall at the points that are most densely populated, with the exception of southern Texas. Apprehensions are at their lowest point in decades. Most resources are instead needed at the legal ports of entry, Isaacson said.

Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies, told PolitiFact that while the vast majority of drugs are coming in through legal checkpoints or more advanced methods of catapults, drones, boats and tunnels.

“They’re not going where the wall isn’t, they’re going where the wall is, and they’re slipping right through,” Tree said.

Trump: “We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”

We rated a similar claim by Pence as Pants on Fire, and experts remain dubious of Trump’s version.

“No matter what period of time Trump is talking about, there is no evidence to support his claim,” said Alex Nowrasteh, a senior immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute. He counted fewer than 10 people who had crossed the southern border and were charged with terrorism-related crimes.

David Sterman, senior policy analyst at the New America International Security Program, said, “There are no cases that come to mind among the more than 400 people accused of jihadist terrorism crimes since 9/11 tracked by New America in which terrorists infiltrated across the southern border.”

Trump’s State Department in July 2017 reported there is “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reported in June her department “now blocks 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from traveling to or attempting to enter the United States.”

That’s across all ports of entry by land, air and sea, not just the Mexican border.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”
Trump: “If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel. 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.”

Israel has built multiple barriers along its borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza Strip and West Bank. The 99-percent reduction comes from Israeli government data for the Israeli-Egyptian southern border, where there is a 143-mile fence. (See related fact-check.)

Border security experts said the fence alone was not responsible for the dramatic decrease in illegal immigration — policies also deterred illegal border crossings.

They also cautioned about comparing Israel with the United States’ southern borders. The U.S.-Mexico border is much longer than the Israel-Egypt border, terrain conditions are different and more agents would be needed to monitor the U.S. border, experts said.

Trump: “People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in … and in many cases it’s contagious.”

We have found little evidence to support this periodic Trump claim. Recently, we rated a widespread claim that “2,267 caravan invaders have tuberculosis, HIV, chickenpox and other health issues” as Mostly False, because the number of individuals with such serious diseases was far lower.

The number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in close proximity to each other does provide opportunities for diseases to spread, especially when migrants come from poor and under-vaccinated locations. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Mexican counterpart have established disease-surveillance infrastructure on the border.

However, not many outbreaks are known to have occurred at the U.S. border, with the most common ones involving scabies, an easily treatable condition similar to lice.

Two dozen medical experts spent two years investigating the health impacts of migration. In the journal the Lancet, they concluded that the harsh journey to the U.S. could increase the risk of infectious disease, especially measles and food- and water-borne diseases.

“However,” the authors wrote, “despite the commonly held view of an association between migration and spread of infectious diseases, no systematic association has been shown with many of the infectious diseases of concern.”

Thomas Fekete, the section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine, told PolitiFact that claims such as Trump’s involve more fear-mongering than sound science.

Assertions like Trump’s “are just ad hominem statements that have no epidemiologic basis,” he said. “One of the only potential contagious infections that would be potentially relevant is tuberculosis. But we currently have excellent tools to diagnose TB and to deal with it both in its latent stage and its active stage, so any concern about that is highly overblown.”\

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/dec/11/fact-checking-trump-pelosi-and-schumers-public-whi/

Video shows border wall construction underway in Texas

 

Video released this week shows construction underway in El Paso, Texas, for a portion of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The video published by the El Paso Times shows construction beginning to replace existing fencing with a wall in Chihuahuita, El Paso’s oldest neighborhood.

The wall, construction for which began last Saturday, is set to run from Chihuahuita and continue east for four miles.

The 18-foot-tall steel bollard wall will replace the chain link and metal fence as part of President Trump’s executive order last year authorizing construction of his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration said.

The construction project is expected to be completed in late April 2019 and is estimated to cost $22 million.

https://uw-media.elpasotimes.com/embed/video/1437649002?placement=snow-embed

“El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal aliens and drug smuggling,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release last Friday.

“In fiscal year 2017, El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine,” the release continued. “Additionally during that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.”

The agency said it contracted West Point Contractors of Tucson, Ariz., on June 1 to build the barrier.

Trump lashed out at Congress earlier this month over a lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

On Friday, Trump signed an $854 billion spending package that funds most parts of the federal government through fiscal 2019, pushing off a deadline for a partial shutdown and a showdown over funding for his proposed border wall until December.

 

Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos —

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Published on Nov 23, 2017
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and the leader of the Chicago School of economics. In this video from 1999, he gives a history lesson on the 20th century and talks about the effects of intellectuals, the great depression and the 70s inflation and how they had an effect on government growth. Complete Video quoted under creative common licence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqKA…

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John Stossel – Downsizing Government

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Marxism, Socialism, and Bernie Sanders (Brandon Turner Pt. 2)

Classical Liberals vs Libertarians, and Donald Trump’s Political Philosophy (Brandon Turner Pt. 3)

The Constitution, Classical Liberalism, and Libertarianism (Randy Barnett Interview)

Has Trump Crushed the Conservative Movement? (Randy Barnett Interview)

George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election

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

The Worst of Bernie Sanders

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

 

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured. –The Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.”

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

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

Corsi: Basis for collusion is complete nonsense

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

Hannity: Mueller investigation desperate for dirt on Trump

 

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

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

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

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

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

Roger Stone associate: I expect to be indicted

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

 

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

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

 

Jerome Corsi Explains Why He Entered Defense Agreement With President Trump

by Chuck Ross

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org

https://www.conservativedailynews.com/2018/11/jerome-corsi-explains-why-he-entered-defense-agreement-with-president-trump/

 

XCLUSIVE: JEROME CORSI SAYS HE HAS DEFENSE AGREEMENT WITH TRUMP, RECEIVED LIMITED IMMUNITY FROM MUELLER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter posts from Roger Stone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta (Photo: Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corsi maintains that neither he nor Stone committed any crime.

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

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

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

https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/27/jerome-corsi-immunity-mueller/

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

By: Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Updated: 

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

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

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

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

Here is what we know about him:

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

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/trending-now/mueller-investigation-who-is-jerome-corsi-roger-stones-associate/880816179

Roger Stone associate Jerome Corsi in plea talks with Mueller team

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

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

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

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

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

>> More on Robert Mueller’s investigation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Officials continue to investigate.

https://www.ajc.com/news/national/roger-stone-associate-jerome-corsi-plea-talks-with-mueller-team/mH06m86vB0Eb1y5jyJ9KdN/

 

The Latest: Document says Corsi tipped off Stone about leaks

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

8:45 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

__

8 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

__

3:40 p.m.

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

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

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

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

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

___

2:45 p.m.

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

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

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

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

Manafort’s lawyers have denied that he misled investigators.

Sanders spoke at the White House on Tuesday.

___

Noon

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6435159/The-Latest-Sanders-says-shes-unaware-pardon-talks.html

 

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

Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller.
 Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

Trump himself has even weighed in on the team:

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

Meet some of Mueller’s hires:

Michael Dreeben

Michael DreebenReuters/Jonathan Ernst

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

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

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

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

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

Preet Bharara

@PreetBharara

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

Preet Bharara

@PreetBharara

Dreeben is 1 of the top legal & appellate minds at DOJ in modern times (My admiration goes far beyond his 8-0 insider trading win in Salman) https://twitter.com/mikescarcella/status/873178227203862528 

1,994 people are talking about this

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

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

Andrew Weissmann

Andrew WeissmannAssociated Press/Pat Sullivan

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

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

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

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

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

Jeannie Rhee

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

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

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

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

James Quarles

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

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

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

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

Aaron Zebley

Aaron ZebleyAssociated Press/Jeff Chiu

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

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

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

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

Greg Andres

Greg Andres
Greg Andres.
 C-SPAN screenshot

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zainab Ahmad

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaron Zelinsky

Aaron Zelinsky
Aaron Zelinsky.
 YouTube/Maryland Carey Law

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

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

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

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

Kyle Freeny

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

Josh Gerstein

@joshgerstein

SCOOP: Meet Trump-Russia prosecutor #17: Jumped from “Wolf of Wall Street” money laundering case to Mueller team http://politi.co/2xpMJcm 

141 people are talking about this

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

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

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

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

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

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew GoldsteinAssociated Press/Mark Lennihan

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

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

Elizabeth Prelogar

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

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

Brandon Van Grack

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

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

Adam Jed

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

Scott Meisler

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

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

Rush Atkinson

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

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

Brian Richardson

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

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

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

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

Uzo Asonye

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

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

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

https://www.businessinsider.com/lawyers-robert-mueller-hired-for-the-trump-russia-investigation-2017-6#uzo-asonye-18

Subornation of perjury

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

See also

 

Story 2: Cindy Hyde-Smith Wins Mississippi Senate Seat Over Democrat Mike Espy — Videos

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Supporters celebrate Hyde-Smith’s Miss. Senate win

Mississippi elects Cindy Hyde-Smith to Senate despite controversial comments

After Mississippi, All Eyes Turn To The 2020 Senate Map | MTP Daily | MSNBC

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

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

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

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

* Incumbent

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

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

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/27/us/elections/results-mississippi-senate-runoff-special-election.html

Story 3: 8,500 Migrants in Tijuana Reach The End of The Road — Videos —

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Food, water scarce for thousands of migrants in Tijuana

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEWl4CESc3Q]

Fox & Friends First Fox News [5AM] 11/27/18 Breaking News Today November 27, 2018

Tear gas fired at migrants approaching U.S.-Mexico border

Migrants arrested on both sides of U.S.-Mexico border after desperate attempt to cross

Dying to get through the US-Mexico border | Unreported World

Who can apply for asylum in the US?

Asylum in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

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

 

Character of refugee inflows and resettlement

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

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

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

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

Criticism

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

Relevant law and procedures

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

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

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

Refugee quotas

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

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

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

Application for resettlement by refugees abroad

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

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

Priority One

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

Priority Two

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

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

Priority Three

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

Individual application

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca precedent

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

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

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

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

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

Work permit and permanent residence status

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

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

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

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

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

History of the URM Program

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

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

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

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

Functionality

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

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

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

Adoption of URM Children

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

U.S. government support after arrival

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

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

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

Child separation

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

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

LGBTQ asylum seekers

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

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

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

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

Obstacles asylum seekers face

Gender

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

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

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

Mexican Transgender Asylum Seeker

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

Human Rights Activism

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

Film

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

See also

Sources

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

Notes and references

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/embed/article-embeds/populism/embed.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/hillary-clinton-europe-must-curb-immigration-stop-populists-trump-brexit

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The Pronk Pops Show 1177, November 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos — Story 2: Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation or Face The Consequences — Videos — Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos — Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy — Back To 1946 — Videos 

Posted on November 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions  — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos

See the source imagehttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bcQvf%2B-pL._AC_SY200_.jpgSee the source image

Donald Trump threatens to prosecute Hillary Clinton

Fitton: ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ that DOJ and State Dept. CONTINUE to Protect Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch

Streamed live on Nov 20, 2018

In this edition of “Inside Judicial Watch,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton gives an update on some of the key cases and investigations Judicial Watch is involved with, including the Clinton email scandal, the Mueller probe into alleged Trump/Russia collusion during the 2016 election, and the midterm election recount in Florida.

Judicial Watch did a REAL Investigation into Clinton Email Scandal While FBI Didn’t

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Published on Dec 13, 2017

New FBI text messages draw a possible connection to Obama

Published on Feb 7, 2018

#FBI Texts Hint at Obama Involvement in Deep State FISA Abuse, Treason and Sedition

Dershowitz: ‘Terrible Mistake’ If Trump Ordered DOJ to Investigate Clinton, Comey

Media pounce on report Trump wanted Clinton, Comey probes

Dem and GOP lawmakers call for dueling investigations

Trump wanted to prosecute Hillary Clinton, James Comey

Joe diGenova on Comey and Lynch Subpoenas

Should Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia probe?

Trump speaks out on Ivanka’s private emails, Saudi Arabia

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans call for second special counsel

DOJ watchdog: James Comey broke protocol in Clinton probe

Today News – Here’s Why the New York Times Bombshell Report Could Be the Finishing Touch for Mueller

Trump on Justice Department and Comey: ‘The end result was wrong’

Hillary Clinton committed a myriad of crimes: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted, says Judge Andrew Napolitano

New York Times vs. Donald Trump – The Fifth Estate

The New Trump TV Network: Providing the Death Knell of MSM But A Vital Citizen Connection to Truth

 

Report: Trump wanted to prosecute Comey, Hillary Clinton

yesterday
James Comey

FILE – In this Thursday, June 8, 2017, file photo, former FBI director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. A published report says President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and Comey. The New York Times says the idea prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Then-counsel Don McGahn told the president he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, The Associated Press confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the situation. McGahn said that Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said.

Presidents typically go out of their way to avoid any appearance of exerting influence over Justice Department investigations.

Trump has continued to privately discuss the matter of prosecuting his longtime adversaries, including talk of a new special counsel to investigate both Clinton and Comey, the newspaper said, citing two people who had spoken to Trump about the matter.

Trump has repeatedly and publicly called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, and he has tweeted his dismay over what he saw as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to go after Clinton. Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a memo last year to investigate Comey and his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Sessions last year said he was directing senior federal prosecutors to look into matters raised by House Republicans related to the Clinton Foundation and a uranium mine transaction benefiting the foundation that was approved when Clinton was secretary of state. The FBI has been investigating that matter. Sessions, in March, told lawmakers that he was not prepared to appoint a special counsel to investigate the FBI and potential political bias there.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, also did not respond to a request for comment.

___

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Chad Day contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/060ca2399a744b4a9554dbd2ec276a90

Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton

President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for 
Image
President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for Glamour

By Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON — President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.

The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further. But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue. He has also repeatedly expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton, calling him weak, one of the people said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. declined to comment on the president’s criticism of Mr. Wray, whom he appointed last year after firing Mr. Comey.

“Mr. McGahn will not comment on his legal advice to the president,” said Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck. “Like any client, the president is entitled to confidentiality. Mr. McGahn would point out, though, that the president never, to his knowledge, ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”

It is not clear which accusations Mr. Trump wanted prosecutors to pursue. He has accused Mr. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with The New York Times in a memo that Mr. Comey wrote about his interactions with the president. The document contained no classified information.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation. Law enforcement officials declined their requests. Mr. Comey is a witness against the president in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times
Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

Mr. Trump repeatedly pressed Justice Department officials about the status of Clinton-related investigations, including Mr. Whitaker when he was the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. CNN and Vox earlier reported those discussions.

In his conversation with Mr. McGahn, the president asked what stopped him from ordering the Justice Department to investigate Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton, the two people familiar with the conversation said. He did have the authority to ask the Justice Department to investigate, Mr. McGahn said, but warned that making such a request could create a series of problems.

Mr. McGahn promised to write a memo outlining the president’s authorities. In the days that followed, lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office wrote a several-page document in which they strongly cautioned Mr. Trump against asking the Justice Department to investigate anyone.

The lawyers laid out a series of consequences. For starters, Justice Department lawyers could refuse to follow Mr. Trump’s orders even before an investigation began, setting off another political firestorm.

If charges were brought, judges could dismiss them. And Congress, they added, could investigate the president’s role in a prosecution and begin impeachment proceedings.

Ultimately, the lawyers warned, Mr. Trump could be voted out of office if voters believed he had abused his power.

Mr. Trump’s frustrations about Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton were a recurring refrain, a former White House official said. “Why aren’t they going after” them?, the president would ask of Justice Department officials.

For decades, White House aides have routinely sought to shield presidents from decisions related to criminal cases or even from talking about them publicly. Presidential meddling could undermine the legitimacy of prosecutions by attaching political overtones to investigations in which career law enforcement officials followed the evidence and the law.

Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement. Witnesses have told the special counsel’s investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to end an investigation into an aide, install loyalists to oversee the inquiry into his campaign and fire Mr. Mueller.

In addition, Mr. Trump has attacked the integrity of Justice Department officials, claiming they are on a “witch hunt” to bring him down.

Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via
Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

More significant, Mr. Mueller is investigating whether the president tried to impede his investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s campaign to sow discord among the American electorate during the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Trump stoked his enmity for Mrs. Clinton during the campaign, suggesting during a presidential debate that he would prosecute her if he was elected president. “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Mr. Trump said.

“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Mrs. Clinton replied.

“Because you would be in jail,” Mr. Trump shot back.

During the presidential race, Mr. Whitaker, a former United States attorney, also said he would have indicted Mrs. Clinton, contradicting Mr. Comey’s highly unusual public announcement that he would recommend the Justice Department not charge her over her handling of classified information while secretary of state.

“When the facts and evidence show a criminal violation has been committed, the individuals involved should not dictate whether the case is prosecuted,” Mr. Whitaker wrote in an op-ed in USA Today in July 2016.

Two weeks after his surprise victory, Mr. Trump backed off. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Times. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

Nonetheless, he revisited the idea both publicly and privately after taking office. Some of his more vocal supporters stirred his anger, including the Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro, who has railed repeatedly on her weekly show that the president is being ill served by the Justice Department.

Ms. Pirro told Mr. Trump in the Oval Office last November that the Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal, two people briefed on the discussion have said. During that meeting, the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, told Ms. Pirro she was inflaming an already vexed president, the people said.

Shortly after, Mr. Sessions wrote to lawmakers, partly at the urging of the president’s allies in the House, to inform them that federal prosecutors in Utah were examining whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mrs. Clinton. A spokeswoman for the United States attorney for Utah declined to comment on Tuesday on the status of the investigation.

Mr. Trump once called his distance from law enforcement one of the “saddest” parts of being president.

“I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department,” he said in a radio interview a year ago. “Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton and her emails and with her, the dossier?” He added: “I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I am very frustrated.”

Michael S. Schmidt reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/politics/president-trump-justice-department.html

Story 2: Bombshell is A Dud– President Responds in Writing To Mueller Questions — Time To Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation–No Evidence Trump Colluded With Russians Nor Obstructed Justice — Videos — 

President Trump Submits Written Answers To Mueller’s Questions In Russia Probe | TIME

Hannity: Trump’s ‘unprecedented cooperation’ with Mueller

Sean Hannity 11/20/18 Fox News November 20, 2018

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos 

Trump: Federal courts in Ninth Circuit ‘very unfair’

Trump hits back at Chief Justice Roberts’ rebuke

Trump hands over responses to Robert Mueller’s team

Homan: Trump’s efforts to protect US are met with lawsuits

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/20/18 | Breaking Fox News | November 20, 2018

What Happens When Democrats Run Your State?

‘Two-States of California’- Victor Davis Hanson at American Freedom Alliance

On Watch: Exposing Mainstream Media Lies About the Illegal Alien Invasion

Streamed live on Nov 21, 2018

In this episode of “On Watch,” Judicial Watch Director of Investigations & Research Chris Farrell joins filmmaker Ami Horowitz to discuss his recent trip to Mexico investigating the migrant caravan.

As Predicted, San Francisco-Based Obama Judge Blocks Trump Asylum Order

The migrant caravan makes its way to Juchitan from Santiago Niltipec, Mexico, October 30, 2018. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

It took a few more days than I expected, but a San Francisco-based federal judge appointed by President Obama issued an order last night barring the administration from enforcing the asylum restrictions President Trump announced on November 9. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that the president had unlawfully attempted to rewrite congressional law. (Mind you, these are the same federal judges who are striving to enshrine President Obama’s DACA program, an actual presidential rewrite of congressional law.)

Tigar’s predictable judicial usurpation of immigration and border security policymaking authority will no doubt be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which will no doubt endorse the district judge’s gambit.

To repeat what I wrote ten days ago:

As I write on Friday, the restraining order hasn’t come down yet. But it’s just a matter of time. Some federal district judge, somewhere in the United States, will soon issue an injunction blocking enforcement of the Trump administration’s restrictions on asylum applications.

The restrictions come in the form of a rule promulgated jointly by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and a proclamation issued by President Trump. In conjunction, they assert that an alien who wishes to apply for asylum in the United States must act lawfully: An alien who is physically present here and wishes to apply must be in the country legally; an alien outside the country who wishes to apply must present himself at a lawful port of entry — not attempt to smuggle his way in or force his way in as part of a horde (i.e., no invasions by caravan).

Of course, what used to be assumed is today deemed intolerable. It is no longer permitted to expect of non-Americans what is required of Americans — adherence to American law while on American soil.

Therefore, the fact that the administration’s action is entirely reasonable will not matter. No more will it matter that, contrary to numbing media repetition, the rule and proclamation derive from federal statutory law. Nor will it make any difference that, in part, the president is relying on the same sweeping congressional authorization based on which, just four months ago, the Supreme Court affirmed his authority to control the ingress of aliens based on his assessment of national-security needs.

Just two things will matter. The first is that the asylum restrictions represent a Trump policy that reverses Obama policies — specifically, policies of more lax border enforcement, and of ignoring congressionally authorized means of preventing illegal aliens from filing frivolous asylum petitions (with the result that many of them are released, evading further proceedings and deportation). The second is that, precisely to thwart the reversal of Obama policies, President Obama made certain that the vast majority of the 329 federal judges he appointed were progressive activists in the Obama mold.

The media-Democrat complex will tell you this is “the rule of law.” In reality, it is the rule of lawyers: the Lawyer Left on the front line of American decision-making, a line that runs through courtrooms, not Capitol Hill.

The people of the United States, through their elected representatives, have empowered the president to suspend or impose conditions on the ingress of aliens if he finds their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” How can it be denied that the illegal entry of aliens — which patently undermines the rule of law — is detrimental? Yet, there is certain to be a race to be the first judge to issue a restraining order, to champion an imaginary right of aliens to seek asylum however they damn well please.

Congratulations Judge Tigar, you win the prize!

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/san-francisco-based-obama-judge-blocks-trump-asylum-order/

California Judge Blocks New Trump Rule Restricting Asylum

Judge Jon Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM)

A California judge late Monday issued a nationwide order blocking the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict asylum-seekers, saying a new rule imposed eligibility conditions that went beyond the powers granted by Congress.

The Trump administration’s rule and a related presidential proclamation restricting asylum claims on the southern border to those individuals who enter the U.S. at designated ports run afoul of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, said Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In some instances, he said, the rule would have categorically prevented some immigrants from making asylum claims.

“The rule barring asylum for immigrants who enter the country outside a port of entry irreconcilably conflicts with the INA and the expressed intent of Congress,” Tigar wrote. “Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”

Tigar imposed a nationwide injunction—the latest against a Trump administration immigration policy—that is set to run at least until Dec. 19. The ruling came just hours after a hearing in San Francisco federal district court, where the American Civil Liberties Union, representing nonprofit plaintiffs, argued against the so-called asylum ban. A related court hearing also was held Monday in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Justice Department lawyer Scott Stewart argued the Trump administration’s asylum rule did not flatly bar asylum-seekers so long as they enter through designated U.S. ports.

Tigar’s ruling is certain to be challenged by the Trump administration, which has railedagainst the number of nationwide injunctions blocking immigration and other policies. Tigar said he would meet with the lawyers in the case on Dec. 19 to review whether a preliminary injunction should be imposed.

“Potential asylum seekers are exposed to numerous harms while waiting to present their claims, including not only physical privations like physical assault but also the loss of valuable, potentially meritorious claims for asylum,” Tigar wrote. “The rule, when combined with the enforced limits on processing claims at ports of entry, leaves those individuals to choose between violence at the border, violence at home, or giving up a pathway to refugee status.”

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement: “This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers. There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”

In the Washington case, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did not issue an immediate ruling. Sullivan in August drew national headlines when he ordered the U.S. government to turn around a plane midflight carrying a woman and her daughter who had been seeking asylum. The judge was incensed that the government, despite assertions to the contrary, had removed the family amid emergency proceedings in the case.

Read the order:

https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/11/20/california-judge-blocks-new-trump-rule-restricting-asylum/?slreturn=20181021165005

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times
Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditCreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times

By Miriam Jordan

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States, dealing at least a temporary setback to the president’s attempt to clamp down on a huge wave of Central Americans crossing the border.

Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally.

“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Mr. Tigar wrote in his order.

As a caravan of several thousand people journeyed toward the Southwest border, President Trump signed a proclamation on Nov. 9 that banned migrants from applying for asylum if they failed to make the request at a legal checkpoint. Only those who entered the country through a port of entry would be eligible, he said, invoking national security powers to protect the integrity of the United States borders.

But the rule overhauled longstanding asylum laws that ensure people fleeing persecution can seek safety in the United States, regardless of how they entered the country. Advocacy groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, swiftly sued the administration for effectively introducing what they deemed an asylum ban.

After the judge’s ruling on Monday, Lee Gelernt, the A.C.L.U. attorney who argued the case, said, “The court made clear that the administration does not have the power to override Congress and that, absent judicial intervention, real harm will occur.”

“This is a critical step in fighting back against President Trump’s war on asylum seekers,” Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the other organizations that brought the case, said in a statement. “While the new rule purports to facilitate orderly processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, Customs and Border Protection has a longstanding policy and practice of turning back individuals who do exactly what the rule prescribes. These practices are clearly unlawful and cannot stand.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights also joined in the suit.

President Trump, when asked by reporters about the court ruling on Tuesday, criticized the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the liberal-leaning court where the case will likely land, calling it a “disgrace.” He labeled Judge Tigar an “Obama judge.”

“Our asylum system is broken, and it is being abused by tens of thousands of meritless claims every year,” Katie Waldman, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, and Steve Stafford, the Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement.

They said the president has broad authority to stop the entry of migrants into the country. “It is absurd that a set of advocacy groups can be found to have standing to sue to stop the entire federal government from acting so that illegal aliens can receive a government benefit to which they are not entitled,” they said. “We look forward to continuing to defend the executive branch’s legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border.”

Presidents indeed have broad discretion on immigration matters. But the court’s ruling shows that such discretion has limits, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration scholar at Cornell Law School.

“The ruling is a significant blow to the administration’s efforts to unilaterally change asylum law. Ultimately this may have to go to the Supreme Court for a final ruling,” said Mr. Yale-Loehr.

The advocacy groups accused the government of “violating Congress’s clear command that manner of entry cannot constitute a categorical asylum bar” in their complaint. They also said the administration had violated federal guidelines by not allowing public comment on the rule.

But Trump administration officials defended the regulatory change, arguing that the president was responding to a surge in migrants seeking asylum based on frivolous claims, which ultimately lead their cases to be denied by an immigration judge. The migrants then ignore any orders to leave, and remain unlawfully in the country.

“The president has sought to halt this dangerous and illegal practice and regain control of the border,” government lawyers said in court filings.

Mr. Trump, who had made stanching illegal immigration a top priority since his days on the campaign trail, has made no secret of his frustration over the swelling number of migrants heading to the United States. The president ordered more than 5,000 active-duty troops to the border to prevent the migrants from entering.

The new rule was widely regarded as an effort to deter Central Americans, many of whom request asylum once they reach the United States, often without inspection, from making the journey over land from their countries to the border.

United States immigration laws stipulate that foreigners who touch American soil are eligible to apply for asylum. They cannot be deported immediately. They are eligible to have a so-called credible fear interview with an asylum officer, a cursory screening that the overwhelming majority of applicants pass. As result, most of the migrants are released with a date to appear in court.

In recent years, more and more migrants have availed themselves of the asylum process, often after entering the United States illegally. A record 23,121 migrants traveling as families were detained at the border in October. Many of the families turn themselves in to the Border Patrol rather than queue up to request asylum at a port of entry.

The Trump administration believes the migrants are exploiting asylum laws to immigrate illegally to the United States. Soaring arrivals have exacerbated a huge backlog of pending cases in the immigration courts, which recently broke the one-million mark. Many migrants skip their court dates, administration officials say, only to remain illegally in the country, which Mr. Trump derides as “catch and release.”

But advocates argue that many migrants are victims of violence or persecution and are entitled to seek sanctuary. Gangs are ubiquitous across El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where lawlessness and corruption enable them to kill with impunity.

Daniel Victor contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/judge-denies-trump-asylum-policy.html

Jon S. Tigar

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Jon Steven Tigar
Judge Jon S. Tigar.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office
January 18, 2013
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Saundra Brown Armstrong
Personal details
Born Jon Steven Tigar
October 8, 1962 (age 56)
LondonUnited Kingdom
Education Williams College (B.A.)
UC Berkeley School of Law (J.D.)

Jon Steven Tigar (born October 8, 1962) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Early life and education

Tigar was born in LondonEngland in 1962.[1] His father is retired law professor Michael Tigar.[2] Tigar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from Williams College and a Juris Doctor degree in 1989 from UC Berkeley School of Law.[3] He graduated Order of the Coif,[1] was an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and served as a Research Assistant to Professor Melvin Eisenberg. In 1989, Tigar served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert Smith Vance.[3][4]

Professional career

From 1990 until 1992, Tigar served as a litigation associate for the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He then served as a public defender in San Francisco from 1993 until 1994[3] Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at the law firm Keker & Van Nest from 1994 until 2002.[3] From 2002 to 2013, Tigar served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court.[3] Tigar is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an Adviser to the forthcoming Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Loss.[4]

Federal judicial service

On June 11, 2012, President Obama nominated Tigar to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, taking the seat vacated by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who took senior status on March 23, 2012.[3] The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on his nomination on July 11, 2012, and reported his nomination to the floor on August 2. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on December 21, 2012, and he received his commission on January 18, 2013.[4]

Notable decisions

On November 19, 2018 Tigar issued a nationwide restraining order that barred the Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who crossed over the southern border between points of entry.[5][6]

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_S._Tigar

Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy —  Back To 1946 — Videos

America and the World, 2017-2018 | Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson, the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics emeritus at California State University, Fresno. Dr. Hanson earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University. In 2007, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal, and in 2008, he received the Bradley Prize. He is a columnist for National Review Online and for Tribune Media Services, and has published in several journals and newspapers, including Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, The New Criterion, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Hanson has written or edited numerous books, including Wars of the Ancient Greeks, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, and his latest book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Victor Davis Hanson reveals the nature of history, politics and the left

Victor D Hanson; Explains Perfectly how Trump pulled off the biggest Upset in Presidential History

Donald Trump’s entire foreign policy speech

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: The Future of Great Power Politics

U.S. Foreign Policy: The Fate of Realism and Restraint in the Trump Era

The publication of the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a milestone for any presidency. A statutorily mandated document, the NSS explains to the American people, U.S. allies and partners, and federal agencies how the President intends to put his national security vision into practice on behalf of fellow citizens.

First and foremost, President Donald J. Trump’s NSS is a reflection of his belief that putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for effective U.S. leadership in the world. It builds on the 11 months of Presidential action thus far to renew confidence in America both at home and abroad.

Four vital, national interests—organized as the strategy’s four pillars—form the backbone of this commitment:

  1. Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life
  2. Promote American prosperity
  3. Preserve peace through strength
  4. Advance American influence

This NSS and its four themes are guided by a return to principled realism.

The strategy is realist because it is clear-eyed about global competition: It acknowledges the central role of power in world affairs, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests. It is principled because it is grounded in the knowledge that promoting American values is key to spreading peace and prosperity around the globe.

President Trump’s ultimate goal is to leave our children and grandchildren a Nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and greater than ever before.

Read a summary of the President’s National Security Strategy here.

The full NSS report is available for download here.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/new-national-security-strategy-new-era/

President Trump at the UN: An Unapologetic Defense of “Principled Realism”

Sep 28th, 2018 5 min read

COMMENTARY BY Brett D. Schaefer

Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs

Brett D. Schaefer is the Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
President Trump speaks at the 73rd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters at in New York City on September 25, 2018. MONIKA GRAFF/UPI/Newscom

Addressing the United Nations for the second time in his presidency, Donald Trump spoke first to the American people, using the opportunity to tout his domestic policies and successes. “The United States is stronger, safer and a richer country than it was when I assumed office less than two years ago,” he proclaimed.

However, the bulk of the speech outlined and defended his foreign policy and international priorities—exactly what you’d expect in a speech before the world’s leaders. 

North Korea was featured prominently, as it was in last year’s speech . However, the tone could not have been more different. In 2017, the Trump warned, “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” This year, he expressed optimism in ongoing negotiations with North Korea. While noting that progress has been made, the president smartly cautioned that much remains to be done and vowed that “sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs.”

Trump also highlighted the diplomatic effort in the Middle East to address the situation in Syria, combat ISIS, and deal with other points of instability. He reaffirmed America’s determination to “respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime,” assist the refugees displaced by the war, and participate in UN peace negotiations.

He reserved his strongest warning for Iran:

Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond . . . The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen . . . We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.

He made clear that the United States will continue to ratchet up pressure on Iran through sanctions and urged other nations to “support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.” Iran is a serious threat, and the administration is right to confront it.

The most consistent theme of the speech was a robust defense of American sovereignty and security.

Early on, the president stated, “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination. I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions.” He concluded the speech by noting, “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”

These bookends encapsulate the U.S. belief that sovereignty derives from the governed and that efforts to impose rules, restrictions, or principles via supranational institutions upon the American people without our consent are objectionable and unjust. This notion threads through the speech in several passages including:

– The direct rejection of the International Criminal Court that claims authority to investigate and prosecute Americans even though the United States has never joined the court.

– The defense of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with the right of every sovereign state to “determine its own capital.” Indeed, each of the last three U.S. presidents had promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with U.S. law, but only President Trump actually followed through.

– The right of nations to control their borders and “confront threats to sovereignty from uncontrolled migration.”

However, the speech at times flirted unhelpfully with the idea that the United States would not criticize other nations or seek to advance core principles that America has embraced for decades. For instance, the president stated, “The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

If the United States does believe that sovereignty is derived from the governed, then it must be a champion of civil and political rights around the world as well as self-government. Americans should not tell others how to worship, but they must instead defend their freedom to worship as their conscience dictates. This does not mean that the United States has an obligation to intervene or take direct action when people are denied these rights, but the United States should not and must not stand silent.

In fact, the failure of the Human Rights Council to champion human rights consistently and forthrightly was a central reason for the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Council this summer. This was the correct decision , and the president rightly praised Ambassador Nikki Haley’s leadership in leaving that gravely flawed body. However, the United States undermines its case if it is silent in the face of repression.

Indeed, the president’s condemnation of the “human tragedy” in Venezuela in his speech is a case in point. The president is right—socialism and communism have “produced suffering, corruption, and decay” wherever it has been tried. We do people no favors by refraining from urging them to avoid that misery or failing to condemn repressive governments that deny their people fundamental rights and freedoms.

The president also defended his recent trade actions based on sovereignty. There is no doubt that nations have the right to defend their economic interests and respond when other nations violate agreed rules, such as Chinese theft of intellectual property. But the economic benefits of trade between nations are well established and the long-term interests of the American people should lead the administration to support free trade, not protectionism.

Finally, the president focused on the need to advance U.S. interests in the UN, including asking the UN to be “more effective and accountable” and more evenly share the burden of supporting its activities. This is certainly a reasonable expectation for the largest financial supporter of the UN and is a goal pursued by U.S. administrations going back decades.

He also stated that “[m]oving forward, we will only give foreign aid to those who respect us and our friends.” This is a broad statement and not entirely clear. America provides assistance for many purposes, and it is not useful to tie allocation of all aid to support for the United States at the UN. Linking humanitarian and security aid to support of U.S. policy priorities would undermine the purposes and effectiveness of that aid. However, the United States also provides assistance to advance its broader foreign-policy interests. The UN is an important institution where governments make significant decisions, and it is entirely appropriate to use this assistance to increase support for U.S. priorities in the UN.

Overall, the speech was quintessential Trump. It was an unapologetic defense of his “principled realism” approach to foreign policy—one that elevates the interests of the United States and protection of the American people above all and explicitly rejects the more idealized global leadership role favored by the foreign-policy establishment—with significant divergence in means and goals—on the left and the right. This approach wins few plaudits in Turtle Bay and Washington, but appeals strongly to those who most concern Trump: non-coastal Americans who have grown increasingly concerned that their circumstances and welfare are irrelevant to the decisionmakers in Washington.

https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/president-trump-the-un-unapologetic-defense-principled-realism

 

The National Interest

September 26, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Americas Tags: Donald TrumpUnited NationsForeign PolicyPopulismPatriots

Trump’s Foreign Policy Successes Show Principled Realism in Action

Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver a string of foreign-policy successes.

by Salvatore Babones

President Donald Trump took a lot of ribbing Tuesday morning at the United Nations for proclaiming, in his usual modest style, that his administration had “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

But if the claim smacks of hyperbole, then the hyperbole is at least well deserved. The economy is booming, the military is rapidly recovering from fifteen years of overextension, and the Trump administration is concluding trade deals in record time.

And all this has come despite the fact that much of the country’s expert class, including many people employed in the federal government itself, have been desperately hoping for failure. If it is true that the Trump presidency is unprecedented, then it is equally true that the existence of an organized resistance campaign among erstwhile public servants is unprecedented.

Yet Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver an as yet uninterrupted string of foreign-policy successes : North Korea’s “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un hasn’t launched a rocket in ten months; America’s NATO allies are finally starting to deliver on pledges to increase defense spending toward the 2 percent of GDP target agreed in 2006 ; Mexico has seemingly come to terms on long-overdue NAFTA reforms; the United States has stayed out of the Arab world’s interminable wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen; and the U.S. embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem in May without sparking the Third Intifada predicted by Trump’s opponents.

Perhaps just as important (from a U.S. perspective), America’s long-term enemies are nearly all on the run. The Russian economy is crumbling. The Venezuelan economy has crumbled. The Iranian economy, which boomed after the nuclear deal was signed in 2015, has come back down to earth since Trump took office, and stagnated since he pulled the United States out of the deal in May.

And then there’s China. Back in December 2016, just a few weeks before Trump took office, China staged a “Trump Test,” exactly as predicted by U.S. Naval War College Professor Andrew S. Erickson. A Chinese ship sent marines on a speedboat to seize a surveillance drone from under the stern of a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey vessel. President Barack Obama politely asked for the return of the device. President-elect Trump told China to keep the drone —and implied that things would get tougher when he took office.

Under the Obama administration, Chinese forces regularly harassed U.S. vessels navigating the South China Sea. That doesn’t happen under the Trump administration. What’s more, China is now enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea, cooperation that has been crucial to bringing Kim to the nuclear bargaining table. And though China regularly threatens and bullies Taiwan, it has done little more than issue bland propaganda statements in response to expanding U.S. weapons sales to the island. Even the Trump administration’s full court press on trade has not disrupted U.S. relations with China. If anything, China’s behavior has improved.

Principled Realism

The secret to the Trump team’s success is its embrace of principled realism : in its simplest terms, the faith that America’s goals are just and American power should be exercised to support those goals. Since taking office a year and a half ago, Trump has forcefully applied American power—while avoiding his predecessors’ equation of power with military force. As a result, America is getting its way on the world stage, generally without putting American lives at risk to get it. That’s about as win-win as things come in international relations.

If anyone doubts that this newfound realism is principled, just look at the targets: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Russia and China. Trump has exerted strong pressure on America’s NATO allies as well—to arm themselves against Russia and other regional threats. And on international trade, Trump has pressured just about everyone to stop unfair and often illegal trading practices.

Now that the Trump era is well and truly underway, it is worth remembering that Hillary Clinton’s “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations was a hallmark of the Obama administration’s first term foreign policy. It ended in Russia’s seizure of Crimea and a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine that continues today. John Kerry’s signature issue at the start of Obama’s second term was Israeli-Palestinian peace. Nine months of inconclusive talks ended in the 2014 war in Gaza.

It may be too soon to declare victory for principled realism, but the early signs are certainly encouraging. Other countries do not always accept the principle that America’s goals are just, but history has usually vindicated the United States in the long run. And in any case, as Trump is fond of pointing out, he is not the president of the world. He is the president of the United States of America.

Two weeks into that presidency, one of America’s most respected foreign-policy scholars summarily declared that Trump Has Already Blown It , while Obama administration veterans were labeling Trump’s foreign policy the “ Grand Strategic Train Wreck .” With the midterm elections now looming, there’s little chance that these experts will admit that they were wrong. But as long as the voters keep seeing results, the chances are that Trump will stay on target.

Salvatore Babones is the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts .

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trumps-foreign-policy-successes-show-principled-realism-action-32042

Trump sets out national security strategy of ‘principled realism’ and global competition

President Trump spoke about dealing with Russia and China during a speech Dec. 18 in D.C., saying “We will stand up … like we have never stood up before.”

December 18, 2017

President Trump placed himself at the center of a new national security strategy Monday, casting his election as a pivot from failed policies pushed by his predecessors and presenting his “America First” doctrine as the organizing principle for U.S. engagement around the world.

In a year-end, campaign-style speech, the president emphasized his view that the United States has been cheated and taken advantage of abroad while its citizens were ill-served at home — a situation he said his security plan would seek to reverse.

“For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another; too many of our leaders — so many — who forgot whose voices they were to respect, and whose interest they were supposed to defend,” Trump said at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, before an audience that included Cabinet secretaries, government workers and uniformed members of the military.

The National Security Strategy, a congressionally mandated mission statement, is supposed to guide an administration’s priorities for global engagement, economic bargaining and demonstrations of military strength.

While it is viewed as an important policy document, its release is usually a low-key affair and Trump is believed to be the only U.S. president to present the plan with a speech, an aide said. At times Monday, Trump seemed as intent on revisiting his electoral victory as he was on defining a new national security strategy for the country.

“You spoke loud and you spoke clear,” Trump said of his upset election last year. “On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. You embraced new leadership and very new strategies and also a glorious new hope.”


President Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a break at a leader’s meeting at the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 11. (S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock/S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock)

Trump, as he did during the campaign, declared the United States must push for better trade deals to remain strong when it comes to national security. “Economic security is national security,” he said. “Economic vitality, growth and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad.”

Yet many of the trade tactics he has advocated could end up hurting the U.S. economy.

He boasted of killing the Trans­-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact between a dozen countries, but supporters of the accord say it would have helped keep Chinese economic influence at bay.

The linkage Trump drew between economic and political power is valid, but Trump’s confrontational trade policies work against his own goals, said Nicholas Burns, a Harvard Kennedy School professor and former senior State Department official.

“He is right about the philosophical point, but all his practical policies undercut it,” Burns said.

C. Fred Bergsten, veteran trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, agreed.

“There’s a germ of truth in what he says,” Bergsten conceded. U.S. policy has failed to choke off intellectual property theft, especially in China. But, Bergsten added, “his overarching point that these are terrible [trade] deals, that they adversely affect U.S. economic interests, he’s never offered a shred of proof of that.”

Trump has dismissed this type of criticism and used the speech to emphasize one of his campaign themes — that past administrations got the short-end of trade agreements because they didn’t now how to cut deals.

“Our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations but sent thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs to those other countries,” he said.

Trump also boasted of his decision to withdraw from the “very expensive and unfair Paris climate accord” that President Barack Obama agreed to two years ago. But supporters of the accord say it is a small step toward slowing global warming that could prove catastrophic economically as well as from a climate view. And Obama repeatedly argued that denial of climate science would undercut renewable energy technologies that the U.S. economy needs to remain competitive in the future.

Trump’s campaign theme of “America First” formed the foundation of his remarks.

“A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad,” Trump said. “A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war. A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.”

Burns argued that “what’s missing from this document is any emphasis that the U.S. has to promote democracy and human freedom, which most American presidents — John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan — have felt was important. He’s weakening us on these essential foundations of American power.”

Trump highlighted claimed accomplishments — including on issues not directly related to national security — a list the administration contends has not received the attention it deserves.

Alongside withdrawal from what he called unfair trade and climate deals and a sharper focus on terrorism and border security, Trump listed a soaring stock market, deregulation and the likelihood of forthcoming tax cuts.

The national security strategy documents are broad outlines of U.S. policy that guide other, more specific planning such as nuclear and ballistic missile force posture.

Trump’s version has four main organizing principles: protecting the American homeland, protecting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing U.S. influence.

He presented China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States. At the same time, he added, those nations can be partners in pursuit of shared interests.

That is a familiar theme from past administrations, but the Trump document frames the contest as one that previous U.S. leaders failed to adequately recognize or counter.

“China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity,” the document says. “They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The president said intellectual property theft would be targeted, a clear warning to China which American companies have complained about for years. “We will no longer tolerate trading abuse,” he warned.

As a candidate, Trump accused China of “raping” the United States economically and stealing jobs. As president, he has developed and trumpeted a warm relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he credits with helping to apply pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Trump also pointed to his energy policies as a source of strength at home and abroad, suggesting that the United States could use its “energy dominance” to enhance its influence.

The Trump administration has indeed sought to open up more federal lands to coal, oil, and natural gas exploration and production, but most of the domestic energy boom took place under the Obama administration. Oil output under Obama grew by more than 4 million barrels a day and natural gas output in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Oklahoma rose rapidly.

Trump has publicly complimented Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him “very smart,” and has sought a better relationship with Russia after years of worsening ties under Obama. He has been openly skeptical of U.S. intelligence findings that Russia mounted a systematic effort to undermine the 2016 presidential election. But Trump has not reversed congressional sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, as Putin hoped he would.

The strategy document released Monday skirts the issue of Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.

“Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world,” the document says.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sets-out-national-security-strategy-of-principled-realism-and-global-competition/2017/12/18/7edcb0be-e412-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1fbe20ebc80e

National Security Strategy (United States)

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The National Security Strategy (NSS) is a document prepared periodically by the executive branch of the government of the United States for Congress which outlines the major national security concerns of the United States and how the administration plans to deal with them. The legal foundation for the document is spelled out in the Goldwater-Nichols Act. The document is purposely general in content (contrast with the National Military Strategy, NMS) and its implementation relies on elaborating guidance provided in supporting documents (including the NMS).

Contents

Purposes of the NSS Report

The stated intent of the Goldwater-Nichols legislation is broadly accepted as valid for effective political discourse on issues affecting the nation’s security–the Congress and the Executive need a common understanding of the strategic environment and the administration’s intent as a starting point for future dialogue. That said, however, it is understood that in the adversarial environment that prevails, this report can only provide a beginning point for the dialogue necessary to reach such a “common” understanding.[1]

The requirement of producing this report along with the budget request leads to an iterative, interagency process involving high level meetings that helps to resolve internal differences in foreign policy agendas. However, “this report was not to be a neutral planning document, as many academics and even some in uniform think it to be. Rather it was … intended to serve five primary purposes.” [1]

  1. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to Congress, and thus legitimize its requests for resources.
  2. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to foreign constituencies, especially governments not on the US’s summit agenda.
  3. Communicate with select domestic audiences, such as political supporters seeking Presidential recognition of their issues, and those who hope to see a coherent and farsighted strategy they could support.
  4. Create internal consensus on foreign and defense policy within the executive branch.
  5. Contribute to the overall agenda of the President, both in terms of substance and messaging.

Where the incoming executive team has not formulated a national security strategy, such as an after an election in which foreign policy and defense were not important campaign issues, the process of writing the report can be of immense importance:

Few things educate new political appointees faster as to their own strategic sensings, or to the qualities and competencies of the “permanent” government they lead within executive bureaucracies, than to have to commit in writing to the President their plans for the future and how they can be integrated, coordinated and otherwise shared with other agencies and departments. The ability to forge consensus among these competing views on direction, priorities and pace, and getting “on board” important players three political levels down from the president is recognized as an invaluable, if not totally daunting, opportunity for a new administration.[1]

Counterinsurgency objective

In order to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the National Security Strategy of 2010, the United States needs to engage in a large amount of interagency cooperation and communication with the Muslim population in Afghanistan and throughout the world.[2] The objective of the National Security Strategy is to create a stable situation for the world, including those countries struggling with insurgencies. “The most effective long-term measure for conflict and resolution is the promotion of democracy and economic development.”[3] In order to promote democracy and economic development communication with the civilian population of the host-nation is essential. The Stability Operations Field Manual states that success depends on a U.S. ability to build local institutions and in the establishment of a legitimate permanent government, which builds trust between the citizens and the counterinsurgency personnel.”[3] The National Security Strategy establishes the interagency coordination in order to conduct useful public diplomacy to secure the population in the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous national security strategies

The National Security Strategy issued on September 17, 2002 was released in the midst of controversy over the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war which is contained therein.[4] It also contains the notion of military pre-eminence that was reflected in a Department of Defense paper of 1992, “Defense Policy Guidance”, prepared by two principal authors (Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby) working under then US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. The NSS 2002 also repeats and re-emphasizes past initiatives aimed at providing substantial foreign aid to countries that are moving towards Western-style democracy, with the “ambitious and specific target” of “doubl[ing] the size of the world’s poorest economies within a decade.”[4]:p. 21

The Bush doctrine emerges in the context of moving from the old Cold War doctrine of deterrence to a pro-active attempt to adjust policy to the realities of the current situation where the threat is just as likely to come from a terrorist group such as al-Qaeda as from a nation state such as Iraq or Iran.[5]

The document also treats AIDS as a threat to national security, promising substantial efforts to combat its spread and devastating effects.

The 2010 National Security Strategy

On May 26, 2010, the third most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama.[2]:p.8 The new Strategy was referred to by United Nations ambassador Susan Rice as a “dramatic departure” from its predecessor.[6] The Strategy advocated increased engagement with Russia, China and India.[7] The Strategy also identified nuclear non-proliferation and climate change as priorities,[8] while noting that the United States’s security depended on reviving its economy.[9] The drafters of the new Strategy made a conscious decision to remove terms such as “Islamic radicalism”, instead speaking of terrorism generally.[10]

The 2015 National Security Strategy

On February 6, 2015, the second most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama[11]:p.1310 to provide “a vision and strategy for advancing the nation’s interests, universal values, and a rules-based international order through strong and sustainable American leadership.” [12]

The 2017 National Security Strategy

President Donald Trump delivered his first national Security Strategy on December 18, 2017. The new document named China and Russia as “revisionist powers” while removing “climate change” as a national threat.[13] It also characterized the world as a competitive arena rather than a “community of nations” or “international community” as previous documents had.[14] NSS-2017 represents a break with past foreign policy doctrine. “My guess is that members of the Foreign Policy elite will encounter these first pages as a kind of boilerplate, even trite. Notice, though, that those two pages lead directly to a third page that repudiates the whole living body of American foreign policy thought. Everything since Ronald Reagan is rejected in two short paragraphs which explain exactly what four successive administrations got wrong.”[15]

Success, however, bred complacency. A belief emerged, among many, that American power would be unchallenged and self–sustaining. The United States began to drift. We experienced a crisis of confidence and surrendered our advantages in key areas. As we took our political, economic, and military advantages for granted, other actors steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America and to advance agendas opposed to the United States, our allies, and our partners.

We stood by while countries exploited the institutions we helped to build. They subsidized their industries, forced technology transfers, and distorted markets. These and other actions challenged America’s economic security. At home, excessive regulations and high taxes stifled growth and weakened free enterprise—history’s greatest antidote to poverty. Each time government encroached on the productive activities of private commerce, it threatened not only our prosperity but also the spirit of creation and innovation that has been key to our national greatness.[16]

See also

References

External links

In the media

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Strategy_(United_States)

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

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Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video

Special Report w Bret Baier 11/15/18 Fox News November 15, 2018

Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/15/18 Breaking Fox News November 15, 2018

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

Stacey Abrams says she recognizes Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

GEORGIA RACE OVER: Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Challenge For Governor Race

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp, but won’t concede

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

Stacey Abrams ended her run for Georgia governor on Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp as state officials prepared to certify the election.

Saying the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor, Abrams announced a new voting rights group that will file “major” litigation against the state over electoral issues.

And she laced her speech with bruising critiques of Kemp, a former secretary of state who she said was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to suppress the vote.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Kemp, meanwhile, thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard word and commitment to public service.”

“The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” said Kemp. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

The Democrat’s campaign was considering a long-shot legal challenge under a law that allows losing candidates to contest the election in the case of misconduct, fraud or “irregularities.”

She would have faced a tremendous legal burden to prove her case, and even some Democrats warned that prolonging the court battle would jeopardize two down-ticket runoffs set for next month.

The secretary of state could certify the election as soon as 5 p.m. Friday and cement Kemp’s victory in the tightest race for Georgia governor since 1966.

The latest tally showed Abrams is roughly 55,000 votes behind Kemp — and in need of more than 17,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, which is only a possibility because a third-party contender netted about 1 percent.

Hundreds of previously uncounted votes could still be added Friday before the election is certified by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.

Abrams’ campaign has long tried to make the case that Kemp used his role as secretary of state to suppress the vote.

In her fiery speech, Abrams cited long lines at voting sites, closed polling stations and the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of voter registrations.

But to have a chance in court, Abrams would have had to prove there were enough Georgians blocked from voting to close the gap. Her campaign apparently could not meet that requirement.

Before Abrams ended the campaign, Republicans blasted the suggestion that she might contest the election in court. In one of the most biting barbs, Kemp’s spokesman called for Abrams to end her “ridiculous temper tantrum and concede.”

Unchanged dynamics

Kemp’s lead had dwindled since Election Day as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. But as more counties completed their vote tallies, Abrams and her allies claimed there were thousands of outstanding ballots that never materialized.

Her campaign also went to court to force local officials to accept some previously rejected ballots.

She secured one court order that required elections officials to review as many as 27,000 provisional ballots, though it didn’t require those votes to be accepted.

Another ruling required the state to count absentee ballots with incorrect birthdate data, but rejected an effort to accept provisional ballots cast in the wrong counties.

That order, by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, set off a scramble by county officials to revisit rejected ballots. But it left Kemp’s lead virtually unchanged, even as the biggest trove of those votes in Gwinnett County was added to the total.

Those final ballots in Gwinnett also likely cemented the contest for Georgia’s 7th District. Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes, though her campaign on Friday requested a recount.

Some pushback

Abrams has long hinted at more litigation challenging “irregularities” at polling sites, and targeted what she claimed was Kemp’s abuse of the secretary of state’s office. But she determined that new legal action wouldn’t prevent Kemp’s victory.

Some Abrams’ allies had raised alarms that the prospect of extending her legal fight would shift attention away from a pair of candidates who are already in a runoff: John Barrow for secretary of state and Lindy Miller for Public Service Commission.

“I totally concur with the notion that every vote should be counted,” said Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb chief executive and a former Democratic state labor commissioner. “And going forward, the most effective way to do that is to focus on electing John Barrow as the next secretary of state.”

And former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden said it’s “pretty evident” the race will be certified for Kemp and that Abrams should begin focusing on a 2020 run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

“Never stop. Keep using this energy,” he said. “Keep using these new voters.”

Kemp, meanwhile, has tried to cast himself as the eventual winner.

Several of his aides were at the Capitol this week to meet with state legislators and scope out executive offices. And Kemp’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Abrams for refusing to concede, saying she has no mathematical chance at forcing a runoff.

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

“I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead,” he said.

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first.”

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/kemp-holds-steady-lead-over-abrams-state-prepares-certify-vote/WI5zxjHjLNR2WbvcEBVYWL/

Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

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Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

OH BOY!! HAPPENING NOW! Hannity Just EXPOSED Dems HIDE This BIGGEST PLAN Against Trump!

Trump legal team finalizing answers to Mueller questions

Lindsey Graham on Florida recount, Mueller probe

Sen. Mike Lee on Democrats’ objections to Matt Whitaker

Joe diGenova Talks About Jeff Sessions Replacement

MUELLER JUST GOT TRUMP’D! [AND HE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING

Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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Matthew Whitaker
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General
In office
September 22, 2017 – November 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Preceded by Jody Hunt
Succeeded by Gary Barnett
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 25, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O’Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born Matthew George Whitaker
October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des MoinesIowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BAJDMBA)

Matthew George Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and politician serving as Acting United States Attorney General since November 7, 2018. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request.[1] Whitaker served as a U.S. Attorney during the Bush Administration and served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018.[2]

In 2002, Whitaker was the candidate of the Republican Party for Treasurer of Iowa. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Whitaker ran in the 2014 Iowa Republican primary for the United States Senate. He later wrote opinion pieces and appeared on talk-radio shows and cable news as the director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative advocacy group.

The legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General was challenged by the State of Maryland.[3][4] His appointment prompted a number of legal scholars, commentators, and politicians to question its legality and constitutionality, noting that his selection circumvented Senate confirmation.[5] Some also called for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller because of his public criticisms of the probe and his ties to Trump, and to Sam Clovis, a witness in the investigation.[6][7][8]

After Whitaker took office, reports surfaced of his prior involvement with World Patent Marketing, which had been fined $26 million and shut down by federal regulators in 2017 for deceiving consumers.[9][10]

Early life and education

Whitaker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 29, 1969. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a car salesman. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School and attended the University of Iowa, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, a Master of Business Administration, and a law degree in 1995.[11] While in college he wanted to be in the film industry.[12]

During his undergraduate years at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa’s Rose Bowl game in 1991.[13]

Career

After graduating from law school, Whitaker worked for a number of regional law firms including Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) and Finley Alt Smith (Des Moines). He was also corporate counsel for a national grocery company, SuperValu, and small businessman owning interests in a trailer manufacturing company, a daycare, and a concrete supply company.[14] Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002, losing to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%.[15]

In 2003, Whitaker founded “Buy The Yard Concrete,” based in Urbandale, Iowa which did projects as far away as Las Vegas. In 2005, Whitaker was named as a defendant to a collections lawsuit in Nevada for $12,000 in unpaid invoices for supplies and equipment rentals related to a concrete project in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was settled out of court.[16]

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. The appointment was at the recommendation of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in spite of Whitaker’s minimal relevant legal experience.[17]

From 2005 to 2007, Whitaker was responsible for the unsuccessful investigation and prosecution of Iowa State Sen. Matt McCoy, a gay, liberal Democrat, on charges of attempting to extort $2000.[18] A columnist for the Des Moines Register said that the case “… was based on the word of a man former associates depicted as a drug user, a deadbeat and an abuser of women; a man so shady even his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors called him ‘a pathological liar.'”[19][20] The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict of “not guilty”.[21][22]

Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the Senate confirmation of his replacement, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.[13][23]

Private practice and political activities

From 2009 to 2017, Whitaker was a managing partner of the small general practice law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow & Gustoff LLP) in Des Moines, Iowa.[24]

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Whitaker was Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty‘s co-chairman in Iowa, and then state co-chairman for Texas governor Rick Perry.[25]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa, a seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came in fourth in the Republican primary in June, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[26]

After losing the Republican primary, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Sam Clovis, another unsuccessful primary candidate who had been selected, later in June, to run for Iowa State Treasurer.[27] Clovis lost in the November 2014 general election.[28][29][30]

MEM Investment

In 2012, Whitaker and two partners used their company, MEM Investment, to purchase and develop an affordable-housing apartment building in Des Moines.[31] In 2014, the partnership reverted to just Whitaker. By spring of 2016, the company failed to deliver on the contracted renovation, the city terminated the loan agreement, Lincoln Savings Bank declared MEM in default of the $687,000 mortgage, and the property was sold to another developer for completion.[32][33]

World Patent Marketing

In 2014, Whitaker joined the board of World Patent Marketing (WPM) which was a fraudulent invention promotion firm based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.[34][35][36] In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraudulently deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints through intimidation and the use of gag clauses.[36][37][38] In May 2018, a federal court ordered the company to close and pay a $26 million fine.[39] Many customers suffered significant losses as a result of working with the company[9][40] and when they tried to recoup their fees, the company used Whitaker’s background as a U.S. Attorney to threaten them. In a 2015 email mentioning his background as a former federal prosecutor, Whitaker told a customer that filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or “smearing” the company online could result in “serious civil and criminal consequences.”[41][42] The owner of Ripoff Report told The Wall Street Journal that Whitaker had called him in 2015 demanding his website take down negative reports about WPM, alleging, “He threatened to ruin my business if I didn’t remove the reports. He [said he] would have the government shut me down under some homeland security law.”[43][44] The company contributed to Whitaker’s 2014 US Senate campaign.[45] Whitaker performed almost $17,000 in compensable work for the company.[46] In 2017 FTC investigators examined whether Whitaker had played any role in making threats of legal action to silence the company’s critics. Whitaker rebuffed an FTC subpoena for records in October 2017, shortly after he had joined the Justice Department.[47]

White House and senior Justice Department officials were surprised to learn of Whitaker’s connection to the company.[48] Through a DOJ spokesperson, Whitaker has denied awareness of the company’s fraud.[9] The court receiver in the case said he has “no reason to believe that [Whitaker] knew of any of the wrongdoing.”[48] As of November 2018, the FBI is still investigating World Patent Marketing.[49]

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

From October 2014 to September 2017, Whitaker was the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT),[50] and the organization’s only full-time employee in 2015 and 2016.[51] FACT, founded in late 2014, is a conservative nonprofit organization specializing in legal and ethical issues related to politics.[52][53] The group was backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors, who Whitaker declined to identify to the media.[54] According to the organization’s first tax return, its funding — $600,000 in 2014 – came from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, a pass-through vehicle that allows donors to remain anonymous.[55]

While Whitaker was the head of FACT, the organization had a special focus on the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and perceived favoritism in the business dealings of Clinton.[56] Despite claiming to be nonpartisan, the organization called for ethics investigations into or filed complaints about forty-six different Democratic politicians, officials, and organizations, compared to only a few Republicans.[57] FACT has been described as using “the legal system as a political weapon”[58] and characterized, by a GOP operative, as a “chop shop of fake ethics complaints”.[59] During this time, Whitaker wrote opinion pieces that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appeared regularly on conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.[60]

CNN contributor

Whitaker aspired to become a judge in Iowa, and hoped his media appearances would catch the eye of the Trump administration.[25] For four months, from June to September 2017, he was a CNN contributor.[61] One month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”[62] He stated that Mueller’s investigation was a “lynch mob”, that it should be limited, and that it should not probe into Trump’s finances.[63][64]

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

Whitaker stated in a question-and-answer session during his 2014 Iowa Senatorial campaign that “the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch.”[65][66] Whitaker was critical of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the decision that allows judicial review of the constitutionality of the acts of the other branches of government, and several other Supreme Court holdings. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe commented on Whitaker’s views that “the overall picture he presents would have virtually no scholarly support,” and that they would be “‘destabilizing’ to society if he used the power of the attorney general to advance them.”[65]

Whitaker also stated during his 2014 Senate bid that he would not support “secular” judges and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” Asked if he meant Levitical or New Testament justice, he replied “I’m a New Testament.”[67] Whitaker’s answer has been interpreted by various individuals and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, to imply that he would disqualify non-Christian judges, and were condemned as unconstitutional. An ADL spokesperson said, “The notion that non-Christian judges are disqualified from service is patently wrong, and completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office.”[68]

Whitaker stated in 2013 he supports the right of states to nullify federal laws.[69] Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated that Whitaker’s views on nullification are “irreconcilable not only with the structure of the Constitution, but with its text, especially the text of the Supremacy Clause,” and added that “For someone who holds those views to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, even temporarily, is more than a little terrifying.”[69]

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

During the months prior to joining the Justice Department as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker made several statements critical of the Mueller investigation, of which he assumed oversight responsibility upon being appointed Acting Attorney General in November 2018. By July 2017, the Trump White House was interviewing Whitaker to join the Trump legal team.[70] During a six-month span in 2017, Whitaker insisted that there was no obstruction of justice or collusion and criticized the initial appointment of the special counsel. He also called the probe “political”[71] and “the left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the U.S. election, which has been proven false.”[72] He also published an op-ed titled, “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Is Going Too Far”[73] in which he expressed skepticism about the investigation generally and called the appointment of Mueller “ridiculous.”[72] Through social media, he also promoted an article that referred to the investigation as a “lynch mob.”[63][73][74]

Relationship with Donald Trump

Trump saw Whitaker’s supportive commentaries on CNN in the summer of 2017, and in July White House counsel Don McGahn interviewed Whitaker to join Trump’s legal team as an “attack dog” against Robert Mueller, who was heading the Special Counsel investigation. Trump associates believe Whitaker was later hired to limit the fallout of the investigation, including by reining in any Mueller report and preventing Trump from being subpoenaed.[70] On November 13, Whitaker sought advice from ethics officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether a recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation was warranted.[75]

In 2017 Whitaker provided private advice to Trump on how the White House might pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s adversaries, including appointing a special counsel to investigate the FBI and Hillary Clinton.[76]

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society recommended Whitaker to McGahn as chief of staff for Sessions, and Whitaker was installed into that role at the direction of the White House. Sessions, it is reported, did not realize for a year that Whitaker wanted to replace him.[77]

By early September 2018 Whitaker was on the short list of President Trump‘s White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[78][79]

In September 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department, which the president considered himself at war with.[80]

Trump had spoken with Whitaker in September 2018 about potentially assuming Sessions’s role as Attorney General, although it was not clear whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity.[81] At that time, The New York Times described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who had frequently visited the Oval Office and as having “an easy chemistry” with Trump.[80] Whitaker was referenced by White House staff after a New York Times article disclosed in September that Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping his conversations with the president and talked about using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Trump from office.[73]

Trump repeatedly stated on November 9, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” contradicting remarks a month prior on Fox & Friends when he said, “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”[82][83][84] The president met with Whitaker at least ten times and frequently talked to him on the phone, and according to a former and a current administration official, Whitaker advised Trump in private on how to potentially pressure the Justice Department into investigating Trump’s adversaries.[85]

Other policy Issues

Whitaker has ties to the evangelical Christian community, his website previously stated that he is a “Christian who regularly attends church with his family, Matt has built a life on hard work and free enterprise” and he stated in 2014 that “life begins at conception.”[86][87][88]In 2014 he advocated for reducing the influence of the government saying, “I know that the government forcing people to violate their faith must never be tolerated. In the Senate, I will be a steadfast protector of every American’s religious rights.”[89]

He has expressed a desire to get rid of chain immigration and is against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[90] Whitaker argued in 2014 that expressing homophobic comments is legitimate expression of religious beliefs that should be protected speech, saying “I just really think this case is a prime example of where religious freedom in our country is under assault and we need to send a strong message.”[91] Whitaker supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in his 2014 Senate campaign.[73]

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

On September 22, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Sessions had appointed Whitaker to replace Jody Hunt as his chief of staff.[63][92] George Terwilliger, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, said in his role as chief of staff, Whitaker would have dealt daily with making “substantive choices about what is important to bring to the AG….”[93]

Acting Attorney General

With the resignation of Sessions on November 7, 2018, Whitaker was appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[11][94] The Acting Attorney General directly supervises Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation, which had previously been supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his role as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

Soon after Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General, a “broad and growing array” of legal experts expressed concern.[95] New York University law professor Ryan Goodman and Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, argued for Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation, citing potential conflicts of interest such as his previous criticism of the Special Counsel investigation and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in the investigation.[7][96][97] NYU law professor Stephen Gillerssaid Whitaker “has no such legal or ethical obligation to step aside” but agrees that “Whitaker should be recused. His repeated expression of hostility to the Mueller investigation makes it impossible for the public to have confidence in his ability to exercise the necessary prosecutorial judgment in supervising Mueller”.[98][99] According to people close to Whitaker, he does not have any plans to recuse.[100]

Democrats poised to assume chairmanships of key House committees in January 2019 warned the Justice Department and other departments to preserve records relating to the Mueller investigation and Sessions’ firing. Republicans Senator Susan Collins, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator-elect Mitt Romney, also issued statements insisting that Mueller’s investigation must remain free from interference.[101]

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

Former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who both served in the George W. Bush administration, questioned the legality of the appointment.[102] Lawyers Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III called the appointment “illegal” and “unconstitutional” under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.[103][104][105] Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano posited that Whitaker is “not legally qualified for the role” as he is neither the Deputy Attorney General nor in a role that required Senate confirmation, and the senate is not in recess currently.[106][107] Lawyers Renato Mariotti and Laurence Tribe have argued that the Vacancies Act would not allow Trump to appoint Whitaker if Sessions was fired and that a court could conclude that Sessions did not resign but was fired.[108] John E. Bies, who served in the Obama Administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, has written that legality and constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment is an open question and it has not been answered. Bies also points out that it is a difficult argument to make that Sessions was fired instead of resigning since a court would probably not “look past an official’s formal statement that they resigned”.[109]

Law professor John Yoo, who notably argued in favor of expansive executive power as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, echoed the Katyal and Conway argument, stating that because of the Appointments Clause “it is not only the special-counsel investigation that he cannot supervise. Every action of the Justice Department might fall before challenges to Whitaker’s appointment.”[110] Law professor Stephen Vladeck argued that the U.S. Supreme Courtdecision United States v. Eaton allowed the appointment since it was temporary and that Sessions formally resigned.[95] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I think this will be a very interim AG.”[111]

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of the appointment. The memo concluded that because the appointment was temporary, no senate confirmation was required. It found that previously in 1866 an assistant attorney general who was not confirmed by the senate was appointed as acting attorney general, and that a non senate confirmed individual served as a principal officer in an acting capacity over 160 times between 1809 and 1860, and more recently at least nine times in the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.[112][113][114]

NBC News analyzed the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits a federal employee from participating in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship and said it may “arguably apply,” but also noted that “Even if a court could review the application of the recusal regulations to Whitaker in this situation, it might conclude that this personal or political relationship does not warrant [Whitaker’s] disqualification.”[115] Writers at Lawfare also noted Whitaker’s personal and prior political relationship with Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, who has been questioned by Mueller’s investigators and testified before the investigation grand jury.[116][117]

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a group called Checks and Balances in the wake of Whitaker appointment.[118] Members include George T. Conway III, Tom Ridge, Peter D. KeislerJonathan H. AdlerOrin S. Kerr, Lori S. Meyer, Paul McNultyPhillip D. BradyJohn B. Bellinger III, Carrie Cordero, Peter Keisler, Marisa C Maleck, Alan Charles Raul and Paul Rosenzweig amongst others.[119][120][121][122] The group was formed to provide a critical legal and conservative voice for when, “he [Trump] attacks the Justice Department and the news media.”[123][124] The group was formed by Conway after he published a letter critical of Matthew Whitaker appointment that argued the illegality of his appointment because of constitutional reasons and specifically mentions the phrase checks and balances, “It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.”[125]

On November 14 The American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel’s Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.[126][127] The signatories demand that Whitaker recuse himself or “otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts.”[128]

Legal challenges

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh representing the State of Maryland filed for an injunction against Whitaker’s appointment.[129] Maryland had previously filed a suit against the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding his inability to defend the Affordable Care Act in court as part of a broader hostility of the Obama era act from the Trump administration.[130][131][132] Maryland is expected to test the argument in court that Whitaker was unlawfully named acting attorney general, and thus has no standing in the court or authority to respond to their lawsuit.[3][4] Maryland is also arguing that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution, which requires that principal officers of the United States be appointed “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Whitaker was not serving in a Senate-confirmed position when he was appointed.[3] The state is arguing that the role of acting Attorney General rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.[133]. A judge has set a December 19 hearing.[134]

On November 12 San Francisco’s city attorney questioned the appointment of a new acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not provide a legal justification for the designation.[135][136]

Lawyers for former agricultural products executive Doug Haning filed a motion on November 13 asking a federal court in St. Louis to rule that Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General is illegal thereby he has no standing to hear the case.[134] Some lawyers have predicted a flood of similar motions.[134]

Personal life

Whitaker has three children with his wife, Marci, a civil engineer.[137] He is affiliated with Lutheran Evangelicalism.[138][89]

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

General election results[139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Fitzgerald 534,714 54.77%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 421,574 43.18%
Libertarian Tim Hird 19,687 2.02%
Republican Write-ins 344 0.04%
Total votes 976,319 100.00%

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

Republican primary results[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joni Ernst 88,535 56.12%
Republican Sam Clovis 28,418 18.01%
Republican Mark Jacobs 26,523 16.81%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 11,884 7.53%
Republican Scott Schaben 2,233 1.42%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.10%
Total votes 157,748 100.00%

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(attorney)

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The Pronk Pops Show 1173, November 14, 2018, The Pronk Pops Show 1173, Story 1: Illegal Alien Invasion Caravan Has Arrived in California — Videos -Story 2: Stolen Election in Florida as More Ballots are “Discovered” in Broward and Palm Beach Counties? — Democrats Meddling in Vote Counting — The Recount Continues To Discover More Ballots — Results Due Thursday At 3 P.M — Followed By Another Hand Recount — If You Cannot Win An Election Steal It! –Videos– Story 3: CNN Sues To Regain Access for Jim Acosta to White House — Videos

Posted on November 16, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Communications, Congress, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Employment, House of Representatives, Senate, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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