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Profile Information

Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Greenfield, MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 44,377

About Me

Since 1995, a year after I was forced into a very early retirement due to Multiple Sclerosis, I have owned and operated a daily newsgathering service out of my home, for a clientele comprised of TV newscasters, Op-Ed columnists, book authors, a national wire-service and some online publications. I post many of the news articles I gather, here on DU. I also post news articles and Op-Eds written/reported/authored by my list of subscribers/clientele.

Journal Archives

Top Homeland Security Republican Demands End To Family Separations

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Cameron Joseph | June 18, 2018 5:27 pm

The top Republican on the House subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Homeland Security demanded that the Trump administration end its forced separation of parents and children at the U.S. border, going further than many of his congressional colleagues in his demands.

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on Homeland Security, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for him to end the controversial policy. “I ask that you take immediate action to end the practice of separating children from families at the border,” Yoder says in the letter. “Separating children from their parents should not be used as a deterrent.”

The letter is the latest but far from the only plea from congressional Republicans for President Trump and his administration to end this policy, which by the Department of Homeland Security’s own numbers say have separated 2,000 families in recent weeks.

But while Yoder highlights areas of agreement with Trump about other immigration concerns, his language is less mealy-mouthed blaming both sides than other rank-and-file Republicans’ (like this from Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R)).


Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/top-homeland-security-republican-demands-end-to-family-separations

US Isn't Just Separating Children From Their Parents. It Also Has No Plan For Reuniting Them.

Source: Buzzfeed News

Even after a parent has completed their sentence for illegal entry, the US has no way to ensure that they are reunited with their children while they wait for an immigration judge to rule in their case.

Posted on June 18, 2018, at 4:04 p.m.

Adolfo Flores
BuzzFeed News Reporter
McAllen, Texas

Reporting From
McAllen, Texas

MCALLEN, Texas — Two months after the Trump administration began separating children from their parents along the US-Mexico border, immigration authorities cannot say what procedures exist to reunite children with their parents after the parents' illegal-entry cases have been resolved but their immigration case is still pending.

Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their parents in the first six weeks of the policy, ending May 31, according to statistics released by the Department of Homeland Security. But how many of those children's parents — DHS said the 1,995 children who'd been separated had been accompanied by 1,940 adults — have already had their illegal-entry cases resolved is unclear. Most such cases are resolved within days or weeks.

How and if US officials intend to reunite children whose parents are waiting for an immigration judge to make a decision on their case also is unknown.

"The logistics of the reunification are made on a case-by-case basis," Danielle Bennett, a spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency with responsibility for enforcing immigration law, told BuzzFeed News. But she said she could not give statistics for the number of families that have been reunified since the "zero tolerance" policy was announced April 19. Nor could she give examples of a successful reunification.

Read more: https://www.buzzfeed.com/adolfoflores/dhs-border-patrol-ice-orr-no-reunification-children-parents?bfsplash&utm_term=.qpWJAANE8#.pdA6vvYAJ

A Top Trump Aide Worked In Libya With Key Backers Of An Alleged "Sex Cult"

Joe Hagin saw Libyan expatriate Basit Igtet as a golden goose. Igtet was more than that.

Posted on June 18, 2018, at 12:39 p.m.

Joseph Whitehouse Hagin, President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, has a reputation for being the experienced, steady hand amid the chaos in the White House. The 62-year-old Republican has been a Washington insider for almost four decades, operating largely behind the scenes as the ultimate gray man.

But Hagin put his dreary political life on pause during the Obama years for the world of international influence peddling. That business, the kind of money-soaked dealing Trump lacerated during his presidential campaign, made Hagin and a company he cofounded millions of dollars. It also brought Hagin a lucrative client: an aspiring Libyan expatriate politician with deep pockets and troubling relationships, according to five sources who spoke with BuzzFeed News.

Basit Igtet, the Libyan client, was an exile eyeing a triumphant comeback at the dawn of the Arab Spring. Hagin and his firm worked with Igtet from 2011 until at least 2013: First, Hagin would help him build support for the rebel government that toppled Muammar al-Qaddafi, and later he and his colleagues would run an international treasure hunt to try to recover Libya’s stolen billions in exchange for a massive payoff for his firm, according to three sources.

Igtet, however, had other interests outside recovering Libyan riches, including one at the center of a major sex-trafficking case. Igtet was deeply involved in NXIVM, the celebrity “sex cult” whose leadership is now under federal indictment, two sources said. Igtet proselytized for the group, BuzzFeed News has learned, while his wife, the heir Sara Bronfman, reportedly kept the cult afloat with tens of millions of dollars.


FBI Director Christopher Wray Rejects Trump's Russia 'Witch Hunt' Claims in Senate Hearing

Source: Mediate

by Aidan McLaughlin | 3:56 pm, June 18th, 2018

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz about a report on the Bureau’s handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations.

Wray was asked about a claim President Donald Trump has been making for months: that special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia is a witch hunt. He recently used the IG report, which found instances of anti-Trump bias by certain FBI agents, completely discredits the Mueller probe.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (R-VT) asked Wray about Trump’s claims that the Mueller probe has been “totally discredited” by the IG report, a claim the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani echoed on cable news. “The Special Counsel investigation has already resulted in an indictment of 20 individuals and three Russian companies,” Leahy continued. “Do you have any reason to believe that this investigation has been discredited?”

“Senator, as I said to you last month and as I said before, I don’t believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt,” Wray replied.


Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/tv/fbi-director-christopher-wray-rejects-trumps-russia-witch-hunt-claims-in-senate-hearing/

Andrew Napolitano: Trump is 'Trying to Use Children' as Negotiating Chip, Policy is 'Child Abuse'

by Rachel Dicker | 2:55 pm, June 18th, 2018

In a vocal condemnation of President Donald Trump, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano said that the policy of separating children from their parents at the border is abusive.

The administration is facing heated criticism from both sides of the aisle for claiming that separating children and parents is the law of the land, when in fact there is no law which dictates this practice must be followed.


“I think the administration is motivated by the president’s skills at negotiating,” Napolitano told Dana Perino on Monday. “And I think he’s trying to use children to turn up the heat on the negotiators.”

“In my opinion, it is child abuse to separate children from their parents unless it’s necessary to save a human life,” Napolitano continued, his voice rising. “That’s not the case here. There’s a federal statute that says you can’t separate them more than 72 hours. They know all of this.”

“They’re picking and choosing which rules they want to follow rigidly and which rules they wish weren’t there,” he added.

Full article + video

Don't Believe the IG Hype - By Josh Marshall

By Josh Marshall | June 18, 2018 3:59 pm

It’s refreshing to see at least one Democratic member of Congress roundly address Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) apparent role pushing to restart the Clinton emails investigation in the final weeks of the 2016 election. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) called Nunes “the President’s fixer in Congress.” But I would be highly, highly skeptical of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s suggestion that claims that Rudy Giuliani received leaks from the New York FBI field office in the fall of 2016 may still be investigation. I’ve even seen some people speculating that he may be signaling the existence of a criminal probe that his office had to avoid interfering with. Again, be highly, highly skeptical.

My impression, based on the IG Report released last week as well as my own reporting is that the Inspector General plans to continue a series of follow-on probes dealing with specific leaks in a discrete and narrow fashion.

So, for instance, maybe there’s an agent in New York who fed information to Rudy Giuliani and perhaps he or she will be called out a future report. But this is not simply leaks. Leaks appear to have been part of a pattern of conduct aimed at forcing forward the Clinton probe, restarting it and forcing the announcement of that restarting of the probe in the weeks just before the election. It was a pattern of bias and biased behavior leading to a number of inappropriate actions which shaped the course of the investigation and the election. This is the overarching look at the situation that was wholly absent in last week’s IG Report. I do not expect any follow up report to do anything like that.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s some big criminal investigation going on we don’t know about. I doubt it. I think these questions are inconvenient and not being asked.



DOJ Inspector General Won't Say If He's Probing FBI Anti-Clinton Leaks To Rudy

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Tierney Sneed | June 18, 2018 3:20 pm

The Justice Department’s Inspector General declined to say on Monday what his office had turned up on alleged anti-Hillary Clinton leaks from the FBI to Rudy Giuliani or whether any DOJ employees had been sanctioned for the leaks.

“I’m not going to speak to any of the investigative steps we may or may not have taken, for the very reasons we describe in here, about what’s appropriate to do in terms of policy,” DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary committee, referring to his office’s freshly released report knocking ex-FBI Director James Comey for going public with details about the Clinton investigation.

He was responding to questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who raised claims by Giuliani — who was a Manhattan U.S. attorney from 1983 to 1989 and now serves as President Trump’s personal lawyer — that he had heard that the FBI was reopening the Clinton email probe weeks before Comey informed Congress.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also asked Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray, also on hand for the Senate Judiciary hearing, about whether there was an investigation into the alleged leaks to Giuliani.

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/justice-department-inspector-general-giuliani-probe

DOJ Inspector General To Issue Report On Comey’s Handling Of Trump Memos

By Tierney Sneed | June 18, 2018 4:16 pm

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Monday that his office received a referral from the FBI about the disclosure of memos written by former FBI Director Jim Comey to the press.

He was asked about the memos — and particularly whether there was an investigation into whether their release transmitted classified information inappropriately — by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) during a committee hearing.

“We received a referral on that from the FBI. We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete, consistent with the law and the rules — a report that is consistent and takes this into account,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray were in front of the Senate committee to discuss an inspector general report issued last week on actions Comey and others took in the lead-up to the 2016 election, mainly pertaining to the Hillary Clinton probe.


There may have been an FBI conspiracy involving the 2016 election. But not the one you think.

By Paul Waldman
June 18 at 1:45 PM


Let’s begin with the fact that during 2016, the FBI’s New York office was by numerous accounts the epicenter of an effort to undermine Clinton through leaks to the media and prominent Republicans. As one report put it just before the election, “Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.” As one agent put it, “The FBI is Trumpland.” A former Justice Department official told Vanity Fair in 2017, “It was widely understood that there was a faction in [the New York] office that couldn’t stand her and was out to get her.”

Their efforts became critical when the office, in the course of its investigation of Anthony Weiner, husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin, acquired Weiner’s laptop on Sept. 26, 2016, and found on it thousands of emails to and from Clinton. Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and Trump’s most slavish water carrier, said last week: “We had whistleblowers that came to us in late September of 2016 who talked to us about this laptop sitting up in New York that had additional emails on it. So good F.B.I. agents brought this to our attention.” It’s a bit curious to characterize FBI agents who rushed to tell a Republican congressman about Weiner’s laptop within just a few days of its discovery, and before they had gone through the emails to see whether there was anything problematic about them (which, it turned out, there wasn’t), as “whistleblowers.” Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said yesterday that Nunes never told him at the time.

At the same time, there were agents leaking information about investigations into the Clinton Foundation to none other than Rudy Giuliani, who would then go and air the charges on Fox News. Two days before Comey would tell Congress that the bureau had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s emails — a blockbuster announcement that may well have thrown the election to Trump — Giuliani said on Fox News, “I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact. He’s got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next two days.”

To give you one more example, just days before the election, an FBI source told Fox News’s Bret Baier that Clinton’s email had been hacked and she would soon be indicted — a false story that Baier later apologized for airing. But of course by then the damage had been done, and the picture of Clinton as an impossibly corrupt figure who would be locked up any day was firmly entrenched in the public’s mind.

To return to the question of Comey’s fateful decision to announce the reopening of the Clinton investigation, the inspector general’s report faults him, quite appropriately, for violating the bureau’s policy on not making any public statements close to an election that could affect the election’s outcome. Many have long speculated that Comey, knowing about the antipathy toward Clinton in the New York office, assumed that if he didn’t make it public, the information would be leaked and he’d look as though he was trying to conceal it. In the IG report, former attorney general Loretta Lynch describes a conversation she had with Comey:

And then I said, now, we’ve got to talk about the New York office in general. And he said yes. And I said we both work with them. We both know them. We both, you know, think highly of them. I said, but this has become a problem. And he said, and he said to me that it had become clear to him, he didn’t say over the course of what investigation or whatever, he said it’s clear to me that there is a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton.


Nice words, Ben Sasse. Now do something.

By Jennifer Rubin
June 18 at 2:00 PM

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) has written some witty tweets and interesting Facebook posts critical of the Trump administration. However, he has voted consistently with the administration: yes on the tax bill, yes on Obamacare repeals, yes on every executive branch nomination save one, yes on federal judge nominations and no on legislation to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

In his latest Facebook treatise, Sasse speaks out strongly against the administration’s child separation policy: “Family separation is wicked. It is harmful to kids and absolutely should NOT be the default U.S. policy. Americans are better than this.” He argues:

The administration’s decision to separate families is a new, discretionary choice. Anyone saying that their hands are tied or that the only conceivable way to fix the problem of catch-and-release is to rip families apart is flat wrong. There are other options available to them. The other options are all messy (given that some overly prescriptive judges have limited their administrative options), but there are ways to address this that are less bad than the policy of family separation they’ve chosen.

He hasn’t yet mentioned the president’s name nor Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “There are many senior folks in the administration who hate this policy, and who want to do something better,” he assures us. Really, which ones? “Some in the administration have decided that this cruel policy increases their legislative leverage. This is wrong. Americans do not take children hostage, period.” Does he know who decided this?


Former First Ladies Band Together To Decry Separation Of Migrant Families

Source: Talking Points Memo

By Kate Riga | June 18, 2018 2:30 pm

The three most recent former first ladies have banded together to condemn the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the border in a bipartisan call for compassion in the face of the immigrants’ plight.

Laura Bush opened the salvo on Sunday with an editorial in the Washington Post, a rare public position on policy from the usually low-key first lady. “I live in a border state,” she said. “I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel. It is immoral. And it breaks my heart.”

Michelle Obama reached across the aisle to support her Republican counterpart on Monday with a retweet of Bush’s article. She captioned it: “Sometimes truth transcends party.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton had taken to the air Monday, devoting an award acceptance speech to her own disavowal of the cold-hearted practice.

Read more: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/first-ladies-band-together-to-decry-separation-of-migrant-families
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