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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 04:15 PM
Number of posts: 30,392

Journal Archives

Another Trump veto possible as Congress votes on blocking $23B arms sale to UAE

Source: ABC News

President Donald Trump is nearing one last battle with Congress over his push for massive arms sales to the Middle East -- threatening to veto lawmakers' effort to halt a $23 billion sale to the United Arab Emirates.

The Senate will vote Wednesday on two resolutions that would block the sale to UAE of armed drones and the F-35, the most advanced U.S. fighter jet, which were a key part of Trump's deal to secure Emirati recognition of Israel.

That deal, known as the Abraham Accords, could be imperiled if Congress blocks the sales and halts the unprecedented delivery of such high-tech weaponry to an Arab partner in the Middle East. That's why the White House has already promised Trump would veto the resolutions, even as lawmakers charge that the administration is rushing the sales through in Trump's lame duck session.

"Legislation like these resolutions could, without further examination, have unintended consequences for defense procurement and interoperability between the United States and our partners, and could create diplomatic and security opportunities for our adversaries to exploit," the White House said in a statement Wednesday.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-veto-congress-votes-blocking-23b-arms-sale/story?id=74615890&cid=social_twitter_abcn

The Trump Administration Has Backed Down From Its Subpoena Demanding BuzzFeed News Divulge Its Sourc

Source: BuzzFeed News

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Wednesday that they would not enforce a subpoena issued last week demanding BuzzFeed News identify its sources, a retreat from their earlier, stunning attempt to interfere with a news outlet operating under the protections of the First Amendment.

The subpoena was seen as an escalation in the Trump administration’s efforts to track down the identity of people who provide information to the media. It was met with criticism from media rights organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and even former ICE leaders, who called it a blatant overreach.

Wednesday’s statement from an ICE spokesperson said the agency “will not enforce the summons” against BuzzFeed News — “at this time.” The agency did say, however, that it will “pursue the investigation through other channels.”

Read more: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/ice-trump-subpoena-buzzfeed-news?bftwnews&utm_term=4ldqpgc#4ldqpgc

GOP rep introduces resolution to condemn lawmakers calling for Trump to concede 'prematurely'

Source: The Hill

GOP Rep. Alex Mooney (W.Va.) introduced a resolution Tuesday backing President Trump’s efforts to contest the results of the presidential race and condemning lawmakers who press Trump to concede.

The resolution marks the latest instance of an ally of the president throwing their support behind his longshot legal battles to overturn his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

The legal campaign has been based on evidence-challenged claims of widespread election fraud and nearly every lawsuit seeking to subvert the results has been thrown out of court. Atates have already begun certifying their results, but the vast majority of GOP lawmakers have refused to acknowledge Biden’s victory.

Mooney is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline lawmakers who have tied themselves closely to the White House during the Trump administration. His resolution affirms support for Trump’s efforts to “investigate and punish election fraud” and “calls upon all Members to support all electoral investigations until a fair and accurate count is verified.”

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/house/529311-gop-rep-introduces-resolution-to-condemn-lawmakers-calling-for-trump-to

100M shots in the first 100 days: Biden unveils Covid priorities, introduces health team

Source: NBC News

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday promised that his administration would oversee the injection of 100 million shots into the arms of Americans within his first 100 days as president and vowed to reopen a “majority” of schools across the nation in the same timeframe.

Biden, who spoke from Wilmington, Del., at an event in which he also announced the top members of his health care team, promised that educators, along with health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, would be among the targets for the first round of Covid-19 vaccinations.

Biden again said he would call on Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days of his administration.

"Masking, vaccinations, opening schools,” Biden said. “These are the three key goals of my first 100 days.”

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/biden-introducing-health-team-trump-holds-covid-vaccine-summit-n1250338

Federal judge dismisses case against Michael Flynn after Trump pardoned him

Source: Business Insider

The federal judge overseeing the US's case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn issued an order officially dismissing the case on Tuesday.

Flynn pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one count of lying to the FBI as part of the special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Flynn initially cooperated with prosecutors but later shifted course, fired his entire defense team, and hired a combative and controversial lawyer, Sidney Powell, who accused the FBI and Justice Department of entrapment and political persecution, and asked that a court dismiss the case against him.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department also made the highly unusual decision to try to toss out its own case against Flynn, prompting the resignation of one of the prosecutors working on it. The move drew widespread backlash as DOJ veterans accused Attorney General William Barr of using the department as a shield for Trump and his allies and a sword against his enemies.

Sullivan halted the DOJ's efforts to drop the case and said that because of its political nature, he wanted third parties to weigh in as he considered the motion. In June, a three-judge appellate-court panel ordered Sullivan to toss out the Flynn case. But the full panel later reexamined the Flynn case and in August denied Flynn's motion to dismiss it.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/federal-judge-dismisses-michael-flynn-case-trump-pardon-2020-12

GOP leadership rejects resolution acknowledging Biden as President-elect

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)Congressional Republican leaders rejected a resolution that asserted that Joe Biden is president-elect, the latest effort by the Hill GOP to refuse to accept the election results even though it's been clear for weeks that President Donald Trump lost.

The rejection came Tuesday in a private meeting after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer offered a motion to affirm that it is preparing for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rules Committee Chairman Roy Blunt of Missouri voted with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in blocking the motion, effectively preventing the inaugural committee from publicly accepting that the upcoming inauguration will be for Biden. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, voted with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Hoyer voting in favor.

"The extent to which Republicans are refusing to accept the outcome of the election and recognize Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our next President and Vice President is astounding," Hoyer said in a statement. "Their continued deference to President Trump's post-election temper tantrums threatens our democracy and undermines faith in our system of elections ... Republicans are refusing even to allow (Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies) to say that President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will be inaugurated on January 20, even when there is no serious dispute over that fact."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/08/politics/gop-leadership-congress-biden-president-elect/index.html?utm_content=2020-12-08T18%3A10%3A01&utm_source=twCNNp&utm_term=image&utm_medium=social

Christopher Krebs, a fired Trump official, sues the campaign and the lawyer who said he should be ..

Source: NYT

In late November, one day after Christopher Krebs, the former head of the government’s cybersecurity agency, went on “60 Minutes” to dispute President Trump’s claims of fraud in the election, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers threatened him on television.

“He should be drawn and quartered,” the lawyer, Joseph DiGenova, said of Mr. Krebs on the conservative TV outlet Newsmax. “Taken out at dawn and shot.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Krebs, who was fired by Mr. Trump last month, filed a lawsuit against Mr. DiGenova accusing him and the Trump campaign of defamation and the infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit, which seeks monetary damages and the removal of the threatening video from the Newsmax archives, also made a far more extraordinary claim: that Mr. Trump, members of his legal team and Newsmax have been engaging in “a calculated and pernicious conspiracy” to defame and injure not just Mr. Krebs but other members of the Republican Party who have stood up against the president’s baseless claims of fraud.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/08/briefing/chris-krebs-defamation-lawsuit.html

Armed Mexicans Were Smuggled In to Guard Border Wall, Whistle-Blowers Say

Source: NYT

WASHINGTON — Two whistle-blowers have accused contractors building President Trump’s border wall of smuggling armed Mexican security teams into the United States to guard construction sites, even building an illegal dirt road to speed the operation, according to court documents unsealed by a federal judge on Friday.

The two employees, who were both contracted to provide security at the sites, accused the company, Sullivan Land Services Co., or S.L.S. — as well as a subcontractor, Ultimate Concrete of El Paso — of hiring workers who were not vetted by the United States government, overcharging for construction costs and making false statements about those actions.

The whistle-blowers said Ultimate Concrete went so far as to build a dirt road to expedite illegal border crossings to sites in San Diego, using construction vehicles to block security cameras. An unnamed supervisor at the Army Corps of Engineers approved the operation, according to a complaint filed in February and released on Friday.

Mr. Trump may have failed to make good on his 2016 promise to make Mexico pay for the wall, but if the accusations prove true, the administration apparently did rely on Mexican workers for the project, potentially at the expense of Americans.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/07/us/politics/border-wall-mexico.html

The Pompeos' dinners at the State Department cost taxpayers $43,000, documents show.

Source: NYT

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent at least $43,000 in taxpayer funds to host a series of intimate dinners as he mulled his political future, according to a watchdog group that has sued the State Department for details of the events.

Mr. Pompeo and his wife, Susan, invited about 12 guests to each of the so-called Madison Dinners, held in a State Department reception room, according to documents released on Monday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. The guest lists for about two dozen of the dinners, held between 2018 and 2020, included American business leaders and conservative political officials.

Shortly before he was fired as the State Department’s inspector general, Steve A. Linick had asked about the Madison Dinners as part of an internal inquiry into possible misuse of official funds.

Mr. Pompeo has denied any wrongdoing and insisted he was merely hosting the same kinds of activities as had secretaries of state in previous administrations.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/12/07/us/joe-biden-trump/the-pompeos-dinners-at-the-state-department-cost-taxpayers-43000-documents-show

Black Michigan lawmaker gets lynching threat after voter fraud hearing

Source: Detroit News

A state representative said she received threatening phone calls after she heard testimony claming voter fraud following President-elect's Joseph Biden Jr.'s 154,000-vote win over President Trump in Michigan.

State Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Detroit Democrat, posted the messages on her Facebook page on Sunday following a House Oversight Committee meeting in Lansing on Wednesday.

The voicemails were from a woman from Wheeling, Illinois, based on the number associated with the call, which Johnson posted, and two men. The woman criticized how Johnson questioned a witness and told Johnson she was going to share the lawmaker's phone number with "a million people."

A message from one of the men threatened the state representative, including using vile language to describe women and threatened Johnson, who is Black, with being lynched, telling her: "Your time is coming ...from the (expletive) gallows you'll be hanging."

Read more: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2020/12/06/black-michigan-lawmaker-lynching-threat-voter-fraud-hearing/3852794001/
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