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After the Election

Trump Dossier Firm Refuses to Speak to Congress

October 17th 2017

File Folders

In a letter to the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, an opposition research firm behind an infamous dossier about then-candidate Donald Trump said it refuses to comply with subpoenas for testimony and documents that were issued earlier this month by the committee. Compiled by a former British intelligence operative for opposition research firm Fusion GPS, it discusses supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The unproven dossier has been embraced by progressives to appoint an independent commission to investigate President Donald Trump’s ties with Russian officials. President Trump has denounced the dossier as "fake news" and "phony."

According to the testimony in July of William Browder to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and other reports, Fusion GPS was hired by Russians to defend Russian government officials from allegations of fraud. Fusion GPS was also employed by Russians to fight against the Magnitsky Act and has worked on issues with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, whose meeting with Donald Trump Jr. during the campaign has also come under scrutiny. Fusion GPS has ties to the Democratic party and Democrats, and was retained by Planned Parenthood.  Read more ..


After the Election

FBI Finds New Documents on Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting

October 14th 2017

Hilary Clinton

According to Judicial Watch, a Washington DC-based transparency advocate, the FBI has found 30 pages of documents concerning the June 27, 2016 meeting conducted by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton on the tarmac at the Phoenix airport. When the meeting was first revealed, during the midst of the 2016 presidential race, Lynch claimed that they discussed their respective grandchildren and other matters not related to an FBI investigation into whether Hillary Clinton had revealed classified information when using a non-secure email server while working as Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Last October, the FBI claimed that it did not have any records related to the tarmac meeting. However, the Justice Department revealed in response to a separate lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch that some of its officials had been in contact with FBI officials about the Clinton-Lynch encounter. In August, DOJ released emails showing that officials exchanged emails with the FBI about the tarmac meeting. In a July 1, 2016, email, Caroline Pokomy of DOJ told her colleagues that the “FBI is asking for guidance” arising from the controversy that ensued over the Clinton-Lynch meeting. 

Once those documents were released, the FBI then acknowledged that it did have some records related to the meeting. The FBI told Judicial Watch that, “Upon further review, we subsequently determined potentially responsive documents may exist.” While a statement from Judicial Watch calls the FBI’s new disclosure “stunning,” it is not clear what those documents contain. In a statement, Judicial Watch said, “The FBI is out of control.” Fitton said, “It is stunning that the FBI ‘found’ these Clinton-Lynch tarmac records only after we caught the agency hiding them in another lawsuit.” Read more ..


UN On Edge

US Quits UNESCO

October 12th 2017

UNESCO

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would withdraw from Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of America distancing itself because of what it called the group’s “anti-Israel bias.”

“This decision was not taken lightly,” according to a State Department statement on Thursday. In addition to anti-Israel bias, the department cited “the need for fundamental reform” and “mounting arrears” at the organization.

While the United States withdrew from the group, the Trump administration said it wanted to continue providing American perspective and expertise to Unesco, but as a nonmember observer. The withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018. Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization popularly known for its designation of world heritage sites, is a global development agency with missions that include promoting sex education, literacy, clean water and equality for women.

Read more ..

The Trump Era

Lawsuit Filed Against Justice Dep’t Demands Mueller’s Special Counsel Records

October 10th 2017

Scales of Justice

On Oct. 5, 2017, attorneys with a top “Inside the Beltway” government watchdog group official declared their organization’s latest legal action against the U.S. Department of Justice. While acknowledging the marked differences between the ultra-politicized Obama Justice Department and that of President Donald Trump, many law enforcement and intelligence officers believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is conducting an inadequate number of corruption investigations while tepidly pursuing cases of suspected criminal conduct of Democratic Party officeholders and their staffs.

However, last week, the prolific and effective legal group, Judicial Watch, announced it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concerning the budget and administrative records of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the still evidence-deficient Putin-Trump collusion against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Read more ..


Iran's Nukes

Iran Warns U.S. Against Imposing Further Sanctions

October 9th 2017

Iranian Revolutionary Guard

Iran warned the United States against designating its Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist group and said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed.

The warning came after the White House said on Friday that President Donald Trump would announce new U.S. responses to Iran’s missile tests, support for “terrorism” and cyber operations as part of his new Iran strategy.

“As we’ve announced in the past, if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles,” Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, according to state media.

Jafari also said that additional sanctions would end the chances for future dialogue with the United States, according to state media, and issued a stark warning to American troops. Read more ..


The Trump Era

In Surprise Announcement, Shea-Porter Says She won’t Seek Re-election in 2018

October 6th 2017

Capitol Building at night

In a surprise announcement Friday, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said she will not seek re-election to the 1st District U.S. House seat in 2018.

The four-term Rochester Democrat was elected to the 1st District seat in 2006 and was re-elected in 2008. She lost to former Rep. Frank Guinta in 2010 but then defeated Guinta in 2012. Shea-Porter again lost to Guina in 2014, but then defeated him last year. In a statement, she attributed her decision to the “tug of family.” Shea-Porter, a staunch progressive, released the following statement.

“To the Good People of New Hampshire, the Greatest State in America,

"Thank you so much for electing me to Congress for four terms. You gave me the great honor of representing our state and being the first woman ever to be elected to federal office from New Hampshire, and the first Democrat to represent New Hampshire’s First District in 22 years, and I have worked each day with only one thought—to serve our state and our nation. But the time has come in my life to pause and decide on a different path, so I am announcing my intention to leave the House of Representatives in January 2019, when my present term ends. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Las Vegas Mass Shooting-- 50 Dead

October 2nd 2017

FBI sting

America is reeling from the worst mass shooting in its history after at least 50 people were killed and more than 200 wounded at a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Police say the shooter was 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, described as a local man, who opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas Village from a room across the street in the Mandalay Bay Hotel shortly after 10pm.

Officers say Paddock was shot and killed after they breached a room in the hotel, where he had stashed an 'arsenal' of weapons used during the massacre.

Investigators are now raiding the Mesquite home he shared with Marilou Danley, described as his 'companion', who was detained for questioning in the early hours of Monday morning.

Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, said investigations are still ongoing and police have not yet determined a motive.  Read more ..


North Korea's Nukes

North Korea Moving Missiles, says South Korea

October 1st 2017

North Korean Missile

North Korea's military has been spotted moving missiles from a government rocket facility in Pyongyang to an undisclosed location amid reports the country may be gearing up for another missile test, according to a new report.

Reuters reported late on Friday that South Korea’s Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) spotted the weapons' movement late Friday, but didn't say where the missiles had been moved. According to the report, South Korean officials fear North Korea could attempt another missile test around Oct. 10, the anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling Communist Party.

The Trump administration said Saturday that it has about "three" open lines of communication with the hermit kingdom, despite no formal diplomatic ties.

“We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we’re not in a dark situation, a blackout. We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, according to the New York Times.

Read more ..

Kurdistan Rising

After ISIS, 'Kurds Aren't Afraid of Anything'

September 27th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

High-rise buildings surrounded by parks and villas pierce the skyline. Hotels and luxury cars dot the landscape. It would be easy to mistake this place for a neighborhood in uber-rich Dubai, but in fact it is downtown Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ahmad, a taxi driver, motions proudly to signs of his city's rapid development. He points out newly-built bridges and luxury housing projects and gestures to the tarmacked roads and wide pavements.
 
"Look at all this," says Ahmad, his eyes aglow in the rearview mirror. "People wonder why we want independence from Iraq, but all you need to do is look around you. We are light years ahead of Baghdad." For now, the Kurdish-governed northern Iraqi region remains an island of stability in war-weary Iraq. People in Irbil say this has come about despite the central government in Baghdad, not because of it.
Read more ..

Israelis and Palestinians

Egypt's Sisi Urges Palestinians to Unite, Co-Exist With Israelis

September 20th 2017

General Al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Palestinians to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.

"I tell the Palestinian people it's extremely important ... to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security," Sisi told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York.

Following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Western-backed Fatah faction, Islamist Hamas said on Sunday it would dissolve its "administrative committee" to enable Abbas' administration to retake control in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas urged Abbas on Tuesday to respond by ending his sanctions on the impoverished enclave.

Read more ..

The Trump Era

US Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman

September 19th 2017

Smart phone

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.
 
Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.
 
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.
    A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine's former ruling party, the sources told CNN.
    Read more ..

    The Edge of Terrorism

    London Terror Threat Goes Critical

    September 16th 2017

    London Police

    Armed police have flooded London's streets as the terror threat level was raised to critical amid fears the Parsons Green bomber could strike again, Theresa May announced tonight.

    The introduction of Operation Temperer will see soldiers replacing police at key sites including nuclear power plants to free up extra armed officers for regular patrols.

    Scotland Yard said it is making 'excellent' progress in hunting the suspected terrorist who set off a crude bucket bomb on a packed commuter train by Parsons Green tube station in west London at 8.20am.

    Mrs May said in a statement from Number 10: 'The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre has now decided to raise the national threat level from severe to critical - this means their assessment is that a further attack may be imminent.' Minutes later Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley suggested there might have been more than one person involved, stating that police were 'chasing down suspects'. Read more ..


    Debbigate

    Congressman Franks: "Fasten Your Seatbelts" on Debbie Wasserman Schultz Laptop Revelations.

    September 8th 2017

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) hinted broadly in an interview on Fox Business with host Lou Dobbs that there will soon be news about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and the prospect of dealmaking by federal prosecutors with Hina Alvi, a woman now in Pakistan who is wanted in questioning in federal bank fraud charges against husband Imran Awan.

    See Trent Franks

    Frank said on Wednesday, “I think you’re going to see some revelations that are pretty profound. And the fact that this wife is coming back from Pakistan and is willing to face charges, as it were, I think there’s a good chance that she’s going to receive some sort of immunity to tell a larger story that is going to be pretty disturbing to the American people.”

    For months media have speculated whether Wasserman Schultz and Awan (who was arrested at a Washington-area airport before flying to Pakistan, and is now indicted) may have colluded in concealing evidence possibly linked to the hack of the Democratic National Committee computer system in 2016. The hack revealed embarrassing emails that linked members of the media to personalities in Hillary Clinton’s political organization and the DNC.

    Read more ..

    The Trump Era

    Inside Trump's Head-Scratching Deal With "Chuck And Nancy"

    September 7th 2017

    Donald Trump Laconia NM Michael Vadon Jul 16 2015 03

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is perplexed, with no idea what President Trump thinks he was gaining.

    In fact, McConnell rather doubts the president has a strategy, a close source tells Axios.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan is furious, according to a person very close to him. Both felt blindsided by Trump's stunning decision yesterday to abruptly side with "Chuck and Nancy," as he chummily called the Democratic leaders, in a deal to avert a government shutdown Sept. 30 — at the price of reviving the politically painful issue right before the 2018 elections.

    Soak this in: It's now possible that Trump's biggest legislative wins this year will be more spending and raising the debt cap — the exact opposite of what Tea Party Republicans came to D.C. to do.

    Read more ..

    North Korea's Nukes

    South Korea’s Defense Minister Raises Possible Return of Tactical U.S. Nukes

    September 4th 2017

    South Korean marines

    South Korea’s defense minister on Monday said it was worth reviewing the redeployment of American tactical nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula to guard against the North, a step that analysts warn would sharply increase the risk of an accidental conflict.

    But in New York, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “begging for war.”

    And even as concern over Korea deepened following North Korea’s huge nuclear test Sunday,, South Korea’s defense ministry said Monday that Pyongyang might be preparing to launch another missile into the Pacific Ocean, perhaps an intercontinental ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching the mainland United States. Read more ..


    After the Vote

    FBI Transcripts Reveal Comey Drafted Conclusions about Hillary Clinton before Questioning Witnesses

    September 1st 2017

    Hilary Clinton

    In a Thursday press conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that revelations that former FBI Director James B. Comey had decided not to charge Hillary Clinton months before terminating an agency investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State vindicates  President Trump’s decision to fire him. Of the day’s reports, Sanders said, “If it is as accurate as they say it is, that would certainly give cause and reason that Jim Comey was not the right person to lead the FBI.”

    Trump fired Comey in May.

    On Thursday, Republicans Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina revealed that their investigation has discovered that Comey may have been drafting a statement to exonerate Clinton in April or May 2016, months before the FBI probe came to an end and before investigators interviewed Clinton and witnesses. “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation,” Judiciary Committee members Graham and Grassley wrote. “The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”

    It was after having reviewed transcripts of interviews of Comey’s aides that they learned of the former FBI Director’s draft "exoneration statement."  In their letter, the senators wrote: “According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton,” the senators said.

    Read more ..

    North Korea's Nukes

    Trump on North Korea Newest Missile Launch: 'All options are on the table'

    August 29th 2017

    NK Military Parade Apr 2012

    President Trump said Tuesday that "all options are on the table" after North Korea launched a missile over Japan, an act that instantly renewed tensions in the region just days after the regime appeared to be backing down from threats against the U.S. and its allies. 

    "The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: this regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations, and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior," Trump said, in a written statement released by the White House. 

    "Threatening and destabilizing actions only increase the North Korean regime’s isolation in the region and among all nations of the world. All options are on the table," the statement continued. 

    In a first, North Korea on Tuesday fired a midrange ballistic missile designed to carry a nuclear payload that flew over U.S. ally Japan and splashed into the northern Pacific Ocean.   Read more ..


    Debbigate

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz Defends Decision to keep Staffer Charged with Bank Fraud

    August 23rd 2017

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., defended her decision to keep IT staffer Imran Awan on government payroll after she discovered he was under investigation for bank fraud.

    Awan and his wife, Hina Alvi, were indicted last week by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with a total of four charges.

    "He's not my staffer. He no longer works for me. And when he was arrested, I terminated him," Wasserman Schultz said during a briefing Tuesday according to the Sun-Sentinel. "I kept him on the payroll during the time that he was not arrested and not charged with anything. And that was because, as I said, that I was concerned about the violation of his due process rights and also that there were racial and ethnic profiling concerns as well."

    Wasserman Schultz said she didn't know Awan was attempting to send money to Pakistan. Read more ..


    North Korea's Nukes

    North Korea Says It Won't Fire Missiles At Guam, After All

    August 15th 2017

    North Korean rocket Apr 2012

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reviewed his military's plans to rain "an enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam — but opted not to fire missiles at this time, according to state media. Despite the stand-down, some Guamanians were alarmed after two radio stations aired an erroneous emergency alert Tuesday.

    Kim visited the Korean People's Army as the self-imposed mid-August deadline for a missile demonstration approached, the Korean Central News Agency reports. But after hearing the plan and considering it, Kim opted not to give the order to launch missiles, but instead "would watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees," the report says. Kim also warned that the U.S. should not test North Korea's self-restraint. Read more ..


    North Korea's Nules

    North Korea's Guam Missile Strike Ready This Week

    August 13th 2017

    Un-review troops

    North Korea says a plan that could see it fire four missiles near the US territory of Guam will be ready this week. State media said Hwasong-12 rockets would pass over Japan and land in the sea about 30km (17 miles) from Guam, if the plan was approved by Kim Jong-un.

    It denounced Donald Trump's warnings of "fire and fury" and said the US leader was "bereft of reason". The US has warned the North its actions could mean the "end of its regime". US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Pyongyang would be "grossly overmatched" in any war against the US and its allies. The BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, who is in Guam, says there is a sense that the North Korean threat is rhetorical, as most people feel that if they really did strike with missiles it would be suicidal for the North Korean regime. Read more ..


    The Trump Era

    Los Angeles Council Wants Companies To Disclose Work On Trump's Border Wall

    August 11th 2017

    US/Mex Border fence

    The city council of Los Angeles voted this week to draft legislation that would require all companies seeking to do business with the city must reveal whether they are working on the wall along the Mexican border. The law would require companies to reveal whether they are helping to build a wall along the Mexican border, arguing that Angelenos deserve to know.

    At a Tuesday meeting, the City Council voted to draft a law that would require companies seeking or doing business with the city to disclose contracts to help design, build, or provide supplies for “any proposed border wall between Mexico and the United States of America.”

    Democrat Gil Cedillo said, “We want to know if there are people who do business with the city of Los Angeles ... who wish to profit from building a wall that would divide us from our nearest and dearest neighbor Mexico.” Cedillo proposed the law. He told local media that President Trump’s proposed wall is not only “repugnant,” but also racist and xenophobic. Read more ..


    North Korea's Nukes

    North Korea Threatens Guam

    August 9th 2017

    NK Military Parade Apr 2012

    North Korea said it is 'carefully examining' a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after President Donald Trump told the country that any threat to the U.S. would be met with 'fire and fury.' 

    A spokesman for the Korean People's Army, in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency, said Wednesday the strike plan will be 'put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment' once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

    Guam, which is roughly 2,128 miles from North Korea, is home to both Andersen Air Force Base and Naval Base Guam housing thousands of American service members and their families. 

    Roughly 28 percent of the island is occupied by the U.S. military. The base houses bomber assurance and deterrence missions, including six B-52s which the air force says provide 'strategic global strike capability [to] deter potential adversaries and provide reassurance to allies' and that they are ready to go. Read more ..


    Debbigate

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz Changes Story about Stolen Laptop

    August 6th 2017

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) said in an August 3 interview with her hometown newspaper that a laptop computer -- which she closely drilled the chief of the Capitol Police earlier this year -- was not hers, but actually belonged to her former IT assistant Imran Awan. She also claimed that investigators are targeting Awan because of his race and religion. Awan is a Muslim from Pakistan who is a naturalized American citizen.

    During the exchange with Chief Matthew R. Verderosa in a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on May 18, Wasserman Schultz said during an annual police budget hearing, “If a Member loses equipment and it is found by your staff and identified as that member’s equipment and the member is not associated with any case, it is supposed to be returned. Yes or no?” Verderosa replied that the laptop is important to “an ongoing investigation,” but Wasserman Schultz pressed on regardless.

    Read more ..

    Financing the Flames

    Senate Panel Approves Bill to Cut Funds to Palestinians over Terrorism

    August 4th 2017

    One Million Dollars

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would restrict funding to the Palestinian Authority until it stops offering rewards to those who commit acts of violence against Israelis and others.

    Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

    The Taylor Force Act passed the committee in a 16-5 vote and now heads to the Senate floor. 

    The bill was introduced by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and is named after an American, 28-year-old Taylor Force, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian last year in a Tel Aviv attack that also wounded 12 others.

    The Palestinian Authority regularly offers financial compensation to the families of terrorists. Critics have dubbed it “pay to slay” and say the Palestinian Authority spends as much as $300 million a year on the program.

    Read more ..

    Financing the Flames

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Strengthens Taylor Force Act in Advance of Forthcoming Vote

    August 2nd 2017

    Sorrow-Pain

    Palestinian opposition to ending the policy of “martyr payments” could face a potentially insurmountable obstacle in the form of revised legislation governing American aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that is expected to be voted on during the fall session of Congress.

    Get Financing the Flames and read the original Edwin Black investigation on the topic

    A revised version of the Taylor Force Act — amended by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in advance of a vote this Thursday — places even more stringent conditions on aid to the PA as long as it operates a policy dubbed by critics as “pay-to-slay.” Currently, the PA spends more than $300 million of foreign aid money per year on monthly salaries to terrorists and their families that far outstrip the wages paid to Palestinian professionals, including the PA’s own civil servants. Read more ..


    Debbie Gate

    Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz Up to Her Neck in DNC Security Breaches

    July 30th 2017

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz

    Florida’s U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the controversial former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), had her office equipment seized by  U.S. Capitol Police as part of a criminal investigation into congressional network security violations. Wasserman-Schultz admitted she frequently violates the DNC’s information security policy but still managed to point her finger at someone else.

    The always boisterous congresswoman blamed the House of Representatives’ chief office manager for not stopping her from violating policies and perhaps the law regarding classified material.

    According to news media accounts, during an appropriations hearing on Congress’ administrative budget in May, Wasserman Shultz conceded she had violated the policies for many years. She also sought to find out how much might be known about her Internet usage, asked if members of Congress are monitored? Read more ..


    After the Election

    House Republicans Call for a Second Special Counsel to Investigate Clinton, Comey and Lynch

    July 28th 2017

    Hilary Clinton

    House Judiciary Committee Republicans on Thursday called for a new special counsel — to investigate Hillary Clinton, James Comey and Loretta Lynch. 

    In a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the Republicans said they were writing to "request assistance in restoring public confidence in our nation's justice system and its investigators, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)."

    The lawmakers said they presumed investigation of potential Russian influence on the U.S. presidential election was covered by special counsel Robert Mueller, but that they "are not confident that other matters related to the 2016 election and aftermath are similarly under investigation" by the former FBI director.

    "The unbalanced, uncertain, and seemingly unlimited focus of the special counsel's investigation has led many of our constituents to see a dual standard of justice that benefits only the powerful and politically well-connected," the letter said. "For this reason, we call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."

    Last year, the Justice Department declined to charge Clinton or her associates for Clinton's handling of classified information while at the State Department. As a candidate, Trump threatened to appoint a special prosecutor to look into Clinton's actions.

    Comey had made a public announcement about the FBI's recommendation that the Justice Department not pursue charges against Clinton. He had said "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring a case against the former secretary of state for her handling of government emails. That conclusion was widely panned by Republicans.

    Read more ..

    Congress on Edge

    Wasserman Schultz Staffer Arrested Trying to Leave USA

    July 26th 2017

    Computers multiple

    A House IT aide working for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, was arrested this week on bank fraud charges while trying to leave the country.

    Fox News reported that Imran Awan was arrested Monday night at Dulles International Airport in Virginia about 30 miles outside Washington, D.C.

    Feds/USCP bust Hse IT staffer Imran Awan & charge him with multiple counts of bank fraud as part of Hse IT procurement scandal

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)

    Feds/USCP picked up Imran Awan at Dulles Aiport last night as he was "trying to leave the country." Has been arraigned. Surrendered passport

    — Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram)

    Awan, an IT staffer who has worked for many House Democrats and was employed by Wasserman Schultz, was allegedly at the center of a scheme that involved double-charging the House for IT equipment, and may also have exposed House information online, according to Fox. Read more ..


    The Edge of Justice

    Passover Punishment Case Appealed to US Supreme Court

    July 25th 2017

    Supreme Court Lady Justice

    Lewin & Lewin filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari today in the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Susan Abeles, an Orthodox Jewish woman who was punished by the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (“MWAA”) in 2013 for observing the last two days of Passover. Ms. Abeles followed MWAA procedures and received e-mailed approval from her supervisor to take annual leave to observe the holiday.  Nonetheless, when she returned to work, MWAA designated her absence as “AWOL” and suspended her for five days.  Read more ..


    Israel on Edge

    Report: Saudi King Secretly Contacted Israel on Temple Mount Crisis

    July 20th 2017

    Jerusalem-Temple and Wall

    On Tuesday, the London-based Arabic media outlet Elpah reported that the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud contacted Israel via the Americans in an effort to defuse the crisis following the terrorist murder of two Israelis on the Temple Mount. It was reportedly the Saudi king’s personal intervention via the White House that prompted Israel to reopen the Temple Mount to Muslim worshipers.

    While Israel reopened the site just two days after the attack, the Palestinian Authority and the Jordanian Waqf, an Islamic Trust that Israel entrusted to oversee Temple Mount activities, incited raucous protests in response to necessary security measures such as metal detectors.

    Read more ..

    Israel on Edge

    Israel to Establish ‘South Syria Army’ to Stop Iranian Expansion

    July 12th 2017

    Proud Israeli tanker and tank

    Israel is planning to establish a Syrian army in the southern region of Syria on the border with the Golan Heights and Jordan to stop Iranian expansion, according to informed Israeli sources.

    The idea for the “South Syria Army”, which will be affiliated with Israel, is based on a close model of the South Lebanon Army that Israel founded and supported during the 1970’s. The South Lebanon Army was led by Saad Haddad and later on by Antoine Lahad.

    The sources said that the idea is beginning to form in accordance with the US-Russian agreement to a ceasefire in southern Syria and prevent Iranian troops, “Hezbollah” and other regime affiliated militias from controlling the region.

    Israel considers Daraa, Suwayda and other areas on the border with the Golan Heights as political and security interests. Tel Aviv has allies there, including the Druze “Fursan al-Joulan militia” and some sides that claim to be part of the Free Syrian Army. Read more ..


    Jihad in America

    Muslim Activist Linda Sarsour Calls for 'Jihad' against Trump

    July 7th 2017

    Trump1

    Linda Sarsour, a Muslim activist who has been tied to the Hamas terrorist organization and who was a co-organizer of the Women’s March on Washington against President Trump in January, called for “jihad” against the Trump administration. Over the July 8-9 weekend, the voluble Sarsour addressed the -54th Annual Convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

    In some 22 minutes, she called on the Muslims of America to fall in line in a holy war against the government, which she described as racist and Islamophobic. ISNA was initially organized to raise funds for Hamas, while federal prosecutors have labeled the ISNA as a constituent part of the Muslim Brotherhood network. The Muslim Brotherhood held power briefly after the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt in which President Hosni Mubarak, a US ally, was overthrown. The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Egypt and has been tied to multiple acts of terrorism, including assassinations, church bombings, and persecution of Christians in pursuit of establishing a Muslim state.

    Read more ..

    North Korea's Nukes

    North Korea Tests Missile it Claims Can Reach 'Anywhere in the World'

    July 4th 2017

    North Korean Rocket

    North Korea claims to have conducted its first successful test of a long-range missile that it says can "reach anywhere in the world."

    Tuesday morning's missile test, which was conducted on the orders of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, reached a height of 2,802 kilometers (1,741 miles), according to state broadcaster Korea Central Television (KCTV).

    That's the highest altitude ever reached by a North Korean missile, and puts the US on notice that Pyongyang could potentially hit the US mainland.

    The regime appears to have timed the launch for maximum political effect, giving the order to fire on the eve of the July 4 holiday, just days after US President Donald Trump spoke with Japanese and Chinese leaders about the North Korea threat and before this week's G20 meeting.

    The fear is that North Korea may one day develop the technology to mount a miniature nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, something analysts say it may have already achieved.

     

    How true is claim?

    Euan Graham, director of the International Security Program at Sydney's Lowy Institute, said that one apparently successful test doesn't necessarily mean that North Korea has the global capability it claimed.
     
    "If the North Koreans are claiming they can launch an ICBM (to) anywhere in the world, that needs to be looked at through a technical lens," he said, using the acronym for intercontinental ballistic missile.
    Read more ..

    After the Election

    Comey Testimony Leads to Probe of Former Attorney General Lynch

    June 29th 2017

    Capitol Senate

    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Ranking Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee Chairman Lindsey Graham and Ranking Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse sought information about alleged political interference by President Barack Obama’s handpicked Attorney General Loretta Lynch in the midst of the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private — and unauthorized — email server. The Senate’s inquiry comes as the result of the Judiciary Committee examining the circumstances surrounding the removal of James Comey as FBI Director by President Donald Trump.

    In April, journalists reported that the FBI had obtained a large number of hacked documents, one of them was alleged to have been written by a Democratic Party minion who said he was confident that Attorney General Lynch would keep the Clinton investigation from going too far and causing damage to her presidential campaign. Read more ..


    Media on Edge

    White House calls out CNN as a 'Disgrace' to Journalism

    June 29th 2017

    Journalists at press conference

    see the video

    Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Sanders accused CNN of being a "disgrace" to journalism. During a press briefing at the White House on Tuesday, she cited a new undercover video released by Project Veritas in which a CNN news producer suggested that the news media are sensationalizing its coverage of the supposed collusion between Russian agents and members of Donald Trump’s campaign organization. She said that President Trump is "frustrated" by the "constant barrage of fake news" about his administration and the federal investigation into whether his 2016 campaign. 

    Read more ..

    Media on Edge

    Three CNN Journalists Resign after Trump Aide Article Removed

    June 27th 2017

    CNN

    Three journalists have resigned from CNN after the US news network retracted an article alleging a Trump aide was under investigation by Congress.

    The story was taken down on Friday following an internal investigation, with an apology to Anthony Scaramucci, an outspoken ally of the president.

    Mr Scaramucci said it was not true, accusing the network of attacking President Donald Trump's friends.

    Mr Trump responded by taunting CNN in a tweet saying: "FAKE NEWS!"

    "Wow, CNN had to retract big story on 'Russia,' with 3 employees forced to resign," he posted on Tuesday morning.

    "What about all the other phony stories they do?" Read more ..


    The Battle for Syria

    White House Releases Late-night Warning to Syria, Iran and Russia

    June 27th 2017

    Standard Missile 3

    In a late-night statement, the White House said the United States discovered "potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack" by the Syrian government.

    The statement said the activites are similar to prepartion the "regime made before its April 4, 2017, chemical weapons attack." The US responded to that attack that killed 100 people, including 25 children, by firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield that was believed to have carried out the strike on a rebel-held area.

    In the statement, the US warned Syria would "pay a heave price" if it proceeds with the attack

    "As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," the White House warned Syria. "If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price."

    Shortly after the release of the statement, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, sent a warning to Iran and Russia that the US would also blame them if Syria proceeds with another chemical attack. Read more ..


    Media on Edge

    CNN Deletes and Retracts Story Linking Trump and Russia

    June 26th 2017

    CNN

    CNN is making changes in how it handles stories involving Donald Trump’s potential connections to Russia after the network deleted and retracted a report about a Russian investment fund’s potential ties to several associates of the president.

    “No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason first,” CNNMoney executive editor Rich Barbieri said in an email to staff over the weekend, referring to Jason Farkas, a CNN vice president. BuzzFeed was first to report on the email, which said the changes will apply “to social, video, editorial, and MoneyStream. No exceptions.”

    So far, CNN hasn’t offered any details why the report was pulled. Brian Stelter, host of the network’s Reliable Sources Sunday show which covers the intersection of media and politics, said in his daily newsletter he had questions about the incident. Read more ..


    Europe on Edge

    Czech Republic Joins Poland, Hungary and Slovakia in Refusing EU-Imposed Migrants

    June 20th 2017

    euro flags

    The Czech Republic has joined its Central European neighbors in officially announcing a withdrawal from the European Union’s 2015 migrant resettlement program.

    After much criticism of the scheme, which seeks to resettle an initial 160,000 migrants from Italy and Greece across EU member states, the Czechs have finally withdrawn citing concerns over security and the ‘’dysfunctionality’’ of what has been criticized as a shambolic program.

    Prague had accepted only 12 of the 1,600 migrants required by Brussels before leaving the program, which imposes quotas on all 28 member states under threat of sanction.

    The resettlement scheme was the EU’s initial response to the near Biblical wave of migrants which arrived in autumn 2015 following Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders. Read more ..


    The Trump Era

    AG Jeff Session Calls Out Comey's 'Stunning' Usurpation of Authority

    June 14th 2017

    Capitol Hill

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that former FBI Director James B. Comey's decision to supersede the authority of Barack Obama's Attorney General, Loretta E. Lynch, was “stunning.” He explained during his sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Comey's usurpation of Lynch's authority: “It violates fundamental powers.” It was Comey who announced the termination of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server instead of deferring to Lynch.

    Sessions said, that when Comey defended his decision in testimony before last week's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, “that was additional confirmation that the director’s thinking was not clear.” Read more ..



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