September 30, 2020

BREAKING: Biden was Briefed About Son’s Involvement in Ukraine Before He Extorted Prosecutor’s Firing

Hunter Biden collected $ billions and was paid $ millions by Ukrainians and Chinese, when he delivered nothing but his father

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has “not spoken accurately about his knowledge of his son’s involvement in Burisma” or the problem it caused for the Obama administration.

Reacting to the mainstream media and Democrats downplaying the just released report by two U.S. Senate committees on Hunter Biden’s overseas dealings while his father was vice president, the Federalist senior editor said there is “truly breaking news” in the report.

“While this is focused on Hunter Biden and James Biden and other family members of Joe Biden, not Joe Biden himself, it is also true that Joe Biden was revealed to have not spoken accurately about his knowledge of his son’s involvement in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy concern,” Hemingway told “Fox News @ Night.”

The Democratic nominee “said he didn’t know about it when the report shows that in fact, some bureaucrats were so concerned about Hunter Biden’s role that they had briefed him, that they had alerted the FBI,” she said.

The 87-page report states,

“in October 2015, senior State Department official Amos Hochstein raised concerns with Vice President Biden, as well as with Hunter Biden, that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board enabled Russian disinformation efforts and risked undermining U.S. policy in Ukraine.”

Hemingway points out “It did cause a problem during the Obama Administration that there was this conflict of interest. It was not dealt with and we again are still awaiting answers as to exactly all the problems that caused.”

She rejected the media’s claims there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Hunter Biden, “who has no known skill set that would put him in a position to be doing business with foreign leaders,” in dealings with Russia and China.

“We saw a lot of people in the media claim that this is old news which was an interesting approach to take, given that they hadn’t reported any of this news beforehand and some of it was truly breaking news such as the wire transfer between the Russian oligarch who was married to the former mayor of Moscow, $3.5 million to Hunter Biden,” Hemingway said.

The New York Times headline said, “Republican inquiry finds no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden,” saying the report “delivered on Wednesday appeared to be little more than a rehash of unproven allegations that echoed a Russian disinformation campaign.”

Hemingway said there are still more questions that need to be answered about Hunter Biden’s involvement: “Why were people paying him so much money? What did they get out of it? And why was this done for someone who really had no experience in any of these fields or any appreciable skills that would make sense for him doing business this way?”

Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates on Wednesday blasted the investigation for pursuing a “conspiracy theory.”

“As the coronavirus death toll climbs and Wisconsinites struggle with joblessness, Ron Johnson has wasted months diverting the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee away from any oversight of the catastrophically botched federal response to the pandemic, a threat Sen. Johnson has dismissed by saying that ‘death is an unavoidable part of life,’” Bates said in a statement Wednesday. “Why? To subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars — an attack founded on a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory that hinges on Sen. Johnson himself being corrupt and that the Senator has now explicitly stated he is attempting to exploit to bail out Donald Trump’s re-election campaign.

“Well, Putin and the Kremlin, of course, are involved in disinformation campaigns and the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton quite famously purchased that dossier that was full of falsehoods about the Trump campaign, so it is something to be concerned about,” Hemingway said.

Caleb Parke

By Caleb Parke |Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.Caleb Parke is an associate editor for FoxNews.com. You can follow him on Twitter @calebparke


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Pack the Court? Sure–Let’s Do It

President Trump has promised to announce a pick for the US Supreme Court promptly, specifying this coming Saturday. The seat was vacated by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87 following cancer complications.

Democrats have been howling that there would be something unjust about Trump nominating Ginsburg’s successor, and for the GOP controlled Senate giving its “advice and consent” regarding the nomination. Of course, that is exactly what the US Constitution requires of each of them.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Lindsey Graham, has announced that there are enough votes in the senate to confirm Trump’s pick.

Trump has indicated that he plans to nominate a woman to the high court. Sources say that the president has already met with 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a very well known conservative judge, recently approved by the Senate to sit on the 7th Circuit bench.

In retaliation for the President and Senate doing their constitutionally mandated jobs, Democrats are threatening (again) to “pack” the Court when they take control of the White House and Senate–hopeful that will be the outcome of the upcoming November election.

Even left-leaning press mocked FDR’s plan to pack the US Supreme Court with leftist judges

Packing the US Supreme Court was threatened by FDR when the Supreme Court ruled many of his big government New Deal power grabs were unconstitutional. Packing the Court means (to liberals) adding liberal justices to the present 9 justices, diluting the conservative votes on the court. For instance, if Trump and the Senate install a conservative justice on the Court, it will give the court 6 conservative voices and 3 liberal. By packing the court with additional justices, say a total of 13, that would leave the Court with 6 conservatives and 7 liberals–ensuring that every case would be ruled on according to liberal activist philosophy.

Okay — Let’s Pack the Court, if it’s such a great idea!

If Democrats are so keen on the idea of packing the Court, perhaps the Republicans, who have actually been voted into control of the White House and the Senate by The People, should do just that.

Perhaps President Trump should nominate 5 judges to be seated on the Supreme Court, raising its members to 13. Indeed, such an act would ensure conservative (historically constitutional) rulings from SCOTUS for the next 30 or 40 years–probably much longer.

The Democrats could not overcome this super-majority by adding a few more judges to the Court when they take control–unless they add enough justices to total 21. Although the Democrats have proved that there is no new low to which they are unwilling to go–no law, tradition or rule they are unwilling to break–I cannot see them convincing The People of the need for 21 Justices on the Court.

If Packing the Court is a great idea–then let’s do it. If it’s a stupid idea, and it is, then it shouldn’t be done by either party. When I say “shouldn’t be done,” I mean that a party that threatens to do it should be permanently retired by The People, and never given The People’s trust again.

By James Thompson | James Thompson is a political consultant and a ghostwriter.


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Justice Ginsburg Dead at 87 — Trump to Appoint a 3rd Justice to SCOTUS

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday at her home in Washington, the court says. She was 87.

Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court says.

Ginsburg has had many health related issues in the past few years, and finally succumbed today.

Ginsburg’s death clears the way for President Donald Trump to nominate a third justice to the Supreme court in his first term. A major fight is anticipated from Capital Hill democrats, who have long feared President Trump receiving this rare opportunity to heavily influence the court.

By James Thompson

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Trump Declares ‘Dawn of a New Middle East’ as He Presides Over Historic Peace Deals

President Trump on Tuesday declared the “dawn of a new Middle East” as he presided over the signing of two historic Middle East diplomatic deals between Israel and two Gulf nations.

“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East,” he said at the ceremony in the South Lawn of the White House.

“Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity,” he said.

The deals, known as the “Abraham Accords,” involve the exchanging of ambassadors, establishment of embassies and co-operation on a range of fronts, including trade, security and tourism. The deals also allow Muslims to visit Islamic holy sites in Israel. Trump said the deals would form “the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region.”

Earlier in the Oval Office, Trump said “we’re very far down the road with about five additional countries.” He declined to name the countries he is speaking with and later said it could be “five or six” other countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will sign the deals, which mark the normalization of relations, with the foreign ministers of both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The UAE deal was announced last month, with the Bahrain deal announced on Friday. They have been dubbed the “Abraham Accords.”

Netanyahu rejected the idea that Israel was isolated in the region and declared that “we’re breaking out to the entire world.”

While critics have noted that such deals ignore Palestinians and the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is hoped that the deals would be the start of warmer Arab-Israeli relations.

Trump told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday morning that other countries “want to come in” and that he believes the Palestinians will eventually come in too.

“You’re going to have peace in the Middle East,” Trump said, adding that countries including Iran were “actually getting to a point where they’re going to want to make a deal. They won’t say that outwardly. They want to make a deal.”

Israel, Bahrain and the UAE are expected to sign a trilateral document, in addition to the bilateral agreements. Trump is expected to sign on as a witness.

Democrats have given some support to the agreements, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying in a statement that it marked “an important day” but said that “questions remain” including about a commitment for the UAE to purchase F-35 jets — which has led to fears it could blunt Israel’s military superiority in the region.

“As we learn more about the full details of both agreements, questions remain – specifically, regarding the commitment that the UAE has received from the Trump Administration to purchase American-made F-35 aircraft. The U.S. Congress, on a bipartisan basis, will be watching and monitoring to ensure that Israel can maintain its qualitative military edge in the region.

“It is also critically important that we fully understand the agreements’ details regarding the announced freeze of efforts by Israel to annex portions of the West Bank,” she said.

Adam Shaw

By Adam Shaw

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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Trump Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Just weeks after helping to broker peace between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), President Trump has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

The nomination submitted by Christian Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the Norwegian Parliament, lauded Trump for his efforts toward resolving protracted conflicts worldwide.

“For his merit, I think he has done more trying to create peace between nations than most other Peace Prize nominees,” Tybring-Gjedde, a four-term member of Parliament who also serves as chairman of the Norwegian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, told Fox News in an exclusive interview.

Tybring-Gjedde, in his nomination letter to the Nobel Committee, said the Trump administration has played a key role in the establishment of relations between Israel and the UAE. “As it is expected other Middle Eastern countries will follow in the footsteps of the UAE, this agreement could be a game changer that will turn the Middle East into a region of cooperation and prosperity,” he wrote.

Also cited in the letter was the president’s “key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and … creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan, and the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea.”

Tybring-Gjedde, further, praised Trump for withdrawing a large number of troops from the Middle East. “Indeed, Trump has broken a 39-year-old streak of American Presidents either starting a war or bringing the United States into an international armed conflict. The last president to avoid doing so was Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter,” he wrote.

This is not Trump’s first such nomination, as Tybring-Gjedde submitted one along with another Norwegian official in 2018 following the U.S. president’s Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un. Japan’s prime minister reportedly did the same. Trump did not win.

Tybring-Gjedde, a member of a conservative-leaning populist party in Norway, told Fox News that his latest nomination is not about trying to curry favor with the U.S. president.

“I’m not a big Trump supporter,” he said. “The committee should look at the facts and judge him on the facts – not on the way he behaves sometimes. The people who have received the Peace Prize in recent years have done much less than Donald Trump. For example, Barack Obama did nothing.” Video

The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to then-President Barack Obama for what the Nobel Committee called his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

That decision made just nine months into Obama’s first term was met with criticism in the U.S. – including from Donald Trump, then a private citizen. Lech Walesa, Poland’s former president and a 1983 Nobel laureate, also said at the time it was too early to bestow the award on Obama — just 263 days after taking office: “Too fast. For the time being Obama’s just making proposals. But sometimes the Nobel Committee awards the prize to encourage responsible action.”https://omny.fm/shows/the-fox-news-rundown-1/president-trump-nominated-for-nobel-peace-prize/embed?t=0s

Even Obama was taken aback, saying at the time he was “surprised and humbled” by the Nobel Committee’s decision. “To be honest,” he said, “I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who have been honored by this prize, men and women who’ve inspired me and inspired the entire world through their courageous pursuit of peace.”

Besides Obama, three other U.S. presidents have won the Nobel Peace Prize: President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for “having negotiated peace in the Russo-Japanese war”; President Woodrow Wilson in 1920 for being the “leading architect of the League of Nations”; and President Jimmy Carter in 2002 for “his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts.”

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient is determined by a five-person Nobel Committee, which is appointed by the Norwegian Parliament. The winner of the Peace Prize for 2021 will not be announced until October of next year.

By Jon Decker | Fox News Jon Decker | currently serves as the White House correspondent for FOX News Radio (FNR).

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California Dems Pass Bill to Soften Criminal Penalty for Gay Adults / Children Sex

The California General Assembly — comprised of a Democratic supermajority — has advanced legislation that could ease the criminal punishment for LGBT adults who have sex with underage teenagers. POLL: If the election were held today, who would win?

What are the details?

The bill — SB 145 — was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), an openly gay man, and seeks to prevent gay adults who sodomize or perform oral sex with underage teenagers from being automatically assigned to California’s sex offender registry.

The legislation calls for a judge to use discretion on assigning an individual to the sex offender registry if their victim was between the ages of 14 to 17 and the age difference between the offender and the victim is less than 10 years.

The bill passed the California state Senate by a 23-10 vote and passed the Assembly by a 41-18 vote, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported.

Wiener claims the bill “eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system.”

More from the Chronicle:

Under current law, a judge can decide whether to place a man who has vaginal intercourse with an underage teenage girl on the sex offender registry based on the facts of the case. But if anal or oral sex, or vaginal penetration with anything other than a penis is involved, the adult must register as a sex offender — a relic of a penal code that criminalized those acts until 1975, even between consenting adults.

The California Supreme Court upheld the legal difference in 2015, arguing that because vaginal intercourse can lead to pregnancy, forcing a father to register as a sex offender would subject him to social stigmatization that could make it difficult to find a job and support his child.

The bill will next head to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), where it will likely become law.

What did opposition say?

State Rep. Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, said, “I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense. We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator.”

Anything else?

Wiener is also responsible for legislation that lowered the criminal penalty for knowingly transmitting HIV from a felony to a misdemeanor.

By Chris Enloe


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BOMBSHELL: WaPo and CNN Settled Covington Lawsuit for $250 Million+

On July 24, 2020, The Washington Post news organization settled a defamation lawsuit launched by Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann over its false coverage of a viral confrontation with a Native American elder that had falsely portrayed the Kentucky teen as the aggressor. The settlement was for an “undisclosed amount.”

Similarly, earlier in the year on January 7, CNN settled with Sandmann for “an undisclosed amount.” The $250 million defamation suit sought damages for the “emotional distress Nicholas and his family suffered” in the fallout of the network’s reporting.

Sandmann lambasted “cancel culture” in his speech to the Republican National Convention, calling on the country to join President Trump in calling the media out for their constant barrage of misleading and plainly false reporting, in their ongoing efforts to sway American politics, constantly supporting leftists running for office and leftist policies.

Nicholas Sandmann speaking at 2020 RNC from Lincoln Memorial

Federalist Press has obtained information regarding the settlement amounts between Sandmann and The Washington Post and CNN.

We have learned that The Washington Post settled its lawsuit with Sandmann in the amount of $128.2 million.

We have also learned that CNN settled its lawsuit with Sandmann in the amount of $135 million.

Sandmann’s attorney, Todd McMurtry, declined to comment on the dollar amount or other elements of the settlements with The Washington Post or CNN. However, independent sources have disclosed the amounts to Federalist Press.

McMurtry has filed similar lawsuits against other defendants, and is negotiating offer settlements with each of them.

PUBIUS

Durham Investigation: Ex-FBI Lawyer to Plead Guilty to Spying on Trump

The first domino falls, with several more DOJ and Intelligence Officials under investigation

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign, two sources close to the matter tell Fox News.

Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation. Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was “not a source” for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The DOJ relied on that assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Clinesmith is being charged in federal court in Washington and is expected to plead guilty to one count of making a false statement, his attorney Justin Shur told The Associated Press.

Durham was appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr last year to investigate the origins of the FBI’s original Russia probe, shortly after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his years-long investigation into whether his campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Durham’s timeline was focused on July 2016, when the FBI’s original Russia probe began, through the appointment of Mueller in May 2017.

Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election, though the question of whether Trump obstructed justice was left open in the final report.

The development Friday comes amid much speculation, and even a tip-off by Barr, who said on Fox News’ “Hannity” that there would be a “development” in the investigation, teasing that it wouldn’t be “earth-shattering,” but would be “an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”

“There are two different things going on,” Barr said. “I said the American people need to know what actually happened, we need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and ’17 out. That will be done.”

Barr also said that “if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated criminal law, they will be charged.”

Barr touted Durham as an “independent” and “highly experienced” man, and said his investigation is “pursuing apace,” despite delays he blamed in part on the coronavirus pandemic.

By Brooke Singman. The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSingman.


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Ilhan Omar’s Extensive Spree of Felonies Exposed

‘Almost everything she put her name on for eight years was perjury or fraud.’

Once again, the media has failed to carry out even the most cursory investigation when it comes to allegations against Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). But investigative journalist David Steinberg has been piecing together “32 new, verifiable, archived pieces of evidence” that indicate Omar conducted the “most extensive spree of state and federal felonies by an elected congressperson in U.S. history.”

Steinberg joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail how the pieces fit together in his latest report available on TheBlaze.com.

“It’s over,” Steinberg told Glenn. “There’s really nothing left. It’s all … the publicly available documentation that anyone would need to be convinced that, for eight years, [Omar] married her brother to commit immigration fraud. And this marriage fraud also was in the service of education fraud/student loan fraud. And along the line, we have evidence, that she filed at least two years of fraudulent tax returns, possibly eight [years]. We have evidence that she perjured herself eight times during her 2017 divorce from this man. And along the way, of course, we know she was living in public housing. We also know she was likely receiving subsidized child care.

“Essentially, almost everything she put her name on for eight years was perjury or fraud. And it all adds up to likely the most extensive spree of state and federal felonies by an elected congressperson in U.S. history. I really have no other way to put it. That’s how big this is.”

Watch the video below to get the details:

by TheBlaze


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Clinton and Other Progressives Involved in Epstein Pedophile Scandal

Former democratic president Bill Clinton swears he was never on Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile island or airplane, and never had sex with those young girls. According to an army of eye witnesses and victims, he’s lying–as he has repeatedly lied about sexually abusing and attacking female victims for decades.

The same allegations are being lodged against several other leftists and globalists according to investigation insiders. The names are the best known in the world, including politicians, Hollywood moguls, and even Prince Andrew of the UK.

How long until Clinton, Andrew and similar abusers and rapists are arrested and prosecuted for these pedophile sex crimes? It should be immediately, according to many of their victims.

Epstein child sex victim, labeled Jane Doe 15 by prosecutors, says that Epstein groomed her as a young teen by letting her sit in Bill Clinton’s favorite seat on the “Lolita Express” Boeing 727 airplane, which he used to shuttle left wing bigwigs and underage girls to his private Caribbean island for illicit sex, dubbed “Orgy Island.”

Jane Doe 15 enlists attorney Gloria Allred to represent her in sexual abuse case.

Although these high profile leftists at first denied any contact with Epstein and his Lolita Express and Orgy Island, eye witnesses, photographs and official flight logs expose their lies.

Bill Clinton was seen on Orgy Island by digital systems contractor, Steve Scully, 70, and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an Epstein underage sex slave on the island. The official flight logs on the Lolita Express list Clinton as a passenger on the plane over two dozen times.

Bill Clinton photographed with Epstein pedophile pimp Ghislaine Maxwell as they board Epstein’s notorious private jet “Lolita Express.”

“I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein’s 27 times . . . Many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him, and many times he did not.”

Investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff

Bill Clinton finally admitted he was on Epstein’s private jet a handful of times, but never with young women. However, the pilot logs tell a different story:

“Almost every time that Clinton’s name is on the pilot logs there are underage girls–there are initials and there are names of many many girls on that private plane.”

Jeffrey Epstein and close friend Bill Clinton

When the underage sex slave Giuffre reported that she had been trafficked by Epstein to Prince Andrew, who happily raped her on multiple occasions, Andrew issued an official denial that he had ever met the young woman.

Prince Andrew is close friends with Epstein’s ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell

That was when Virginia Roberts Giuffre produced the photograph putting Prince Andrew and Epstein pedophile pimp Ghislaine Maxwell in the same room with her at the age of 17. She was “forced to have sexual relations with this Prince Andrew when she was a minor in three separate geographical locations, including London, New York, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” as documented in official court records.

Photograph with Prince Andrew, Virgina Guifre and pedophile pimp Ghislaine Maxwell

Virginia Roberts Giuffre reports that when she asked Epstein why president Bill Clinton visited so often, he laughed and said, “Well, he owes me a favor.”

Bill Clinton pictured with his arm around Epstein’s underage sex slave
victim Chauntae Davies.
Credit: The Mega Agency

Giuffre and many other young girls report that they were enslaved on the island and forced to have sex with dozens of Epstein’s high-profile friends and associates, one-on-one, or in orgies.

According to Epstein’s attorneys, Jeffrey Epstein was one of the original funders of Clinton Global Initiative. He gave Bill and Hillary Clinton four million dollars to get the foundation going, and was a constant source of support for their global activities.

Jeffrey Epstein was indicted and arrested on crimes related to child sex trafficking, and was found mysteriously dead in his jail cell.

Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime confidant, former girlfriend, sex slave recruiter and underage girl rapist, is in jail facing multiple sex abuse charges stemming from an alleged sex trafficking conspiracy involving underage girls. In a six-count indictment unsealed after her arrest, prosecutors allege Maxwell enticed minors to travel to Epstein’s multiple residences — including a multi-story apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, his residence in Palm Beach, Fla., and his ranch in Santa Fe, N.M. — and to Maxwell’s house in London.

Maxwell has made emergency motions to the court to protect her from those who would ensure her fate similar to Epstein’s untimely demise.

PUBLIUS

Sup Court Rules 7-2 with Trump and Religious Groups, Against Obamacare

Little Sisters of the Poor ‘vindicated’ by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the Trump administration acted within its authority when it expanded exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement for employers to provide insurance coverage that includes contraception — in a victory for Little Sisters of the Poor, the Catholic group that has been at the center of the national debate over the mandate.

The court ruled 7-2 in favor of the Trump administration and the Catholic charity that cares for the elderly in two related disputes against Pennsylvania, which sued over the validity of a rule from the Trump administration that allowed religious-affiliated groups and some for-profit companies to opt-out of providing contraception coverage to employees.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, ruled that the Trump administration’s challenged rulemaking was aboveboard, and hailed the work of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Little Sisters of the Poor Religious Group Wins Right to Abstain from Pushing Birth Control

“For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother,” Thomas wrote. “But for the past seven years, they — like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision — have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

He added: “We hold today that the Departments had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption. We further hold that the rules promulgating these exemptions are free from procedural defects.”

Little Sisters of the Poor Sister Constance Veit told Shannon Bream on “Fox News @ Night” earlier this year that following the ACA mandate was “unthinkable.”

“We dedicate our lives to this because we believe in the dignity of every human life at every stage of life from conception until natural death,” Veit said. “So, we’ve devoted our lives — by religious vows — to caring for the elderly. And, we literally are by their bedside holding their hand as they pass on to eternal life. So, it’s unthinkable for us, on the one way, to be holding the hand of the dying elderly, and on the other hand, to possibly be facilitating the taking of innocent unborn life.”

The Supreme Court also ruled in favor of religious organizations in an employment discrimination case Wednesday. And last week it came down with a ruling that states could not ban religious schools from receiving money from state-funded scholarship programs that are available to non-religious private schools.

Lower court rulings had gone against the administration, with a nationwide injunction putting the exemptions on hold. But the Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday amounts to a huge win for religious conservatives who have been battling the ACA’s contraceptive mandate for years.

“It is outrageous that the Obama administration forced a group of nuns to violate their religious beliefs in the first place,” Judicial Crisis Network Vice President and Senior Counsel Frank Scaturro tweeted. “The Court’s decision today upholding that exemption is a victory for freedom of religion and conscience—for the Little Sisters and for everyone. Let’s be thankful that the Little Sisters’ ordeal in court has finally ended.”

Thomas was joined in his judgment by all the justices except for Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Wednesday. Ginsburg raised alarms in her dissent that the ruling could put women’s health at risk.

“Today, for the first time, the Court casts totally aside countervailing rights and interests in its zeal to secure religious rights to the nth degree,” she wrote. “Destructive of the Women’s Health Amendment, this Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer’s insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets.”

There were two concurring opinions, one written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by Justice Neil Gorsuch, and another written by Justice Elena Kagan and joined by Justice Stephen Breyer.

In her opinion, Kagan said that she believed the Trump administration had the authority to make the religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate, but that she is suspicious about whether the administration fulfilled “administrative law’s demand for reasoned decisionmaking.”

Kagan argues that Pennsylvania could further challenge the religious exemption as “arbitrary and capricious” in lower courts following Wednesday’s ruling — something that the lower courts did not previously rule on because they had decided that the rule was outside of the administration’s authority.

Alito’s concurrence, on the other hand, argues that Thomas’ ruling did not go far enough and that the court should have ruled that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) requires the religious exemption.

“We now send these cases back to the lower courts, where the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey are all but certain to pursue their argument that the current rule is flawed on yet another ground, namely, that it is arbitrary and capricious and thus violates the APA,” Alito wrote.

He added: “If RFRA requires this exemption, the Departments did not act in an arbitrary and capricious manner in granting it. And in my judgment, RFRA compels an exemption for the Little Sisters and any other employer with a similar objection to what has been called the accommodation to the contraceptive mandate.”

Liberal groups were incensed by the Wednesday decision, which they said was essentially a license to discriminate.

“This is a shameful decision from the Supreme Court,” Bridgitte Amiri, the deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said. “Religious liberty is a fundamental right, but it does not grant a license to discriminate. Denying employees and students coverage for birth control will limit their ability to decide whether and when to have a family and make other decisions about their futures. And it will exacerbate existing inequalities, falling hardest on people with the fewest resources and people of color.”

Amiri noted that the religious exemption is just that — an exemption. And most employers will still have to provide birth control in their health care plans under the ACA.

But pro-life groups nonetheless carried the day, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, credited President Trump.

“Today is a major victory for President Trump, who has courageously fought to protect the Little Sisters of the Poor from the Obama-Biden HHS abortifacient mandate,” she said. “We commend President Trump for standing strong for the Little Sisters of the Poor – his record stands in stark contrast to that of Joe Biden, who helped launch this assault as Obama’s Vice President nearly a decade ago.”

The justices this fall will hear a broader challenge to Obamacare, and requests by the current administration and some red-leaning states to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act. It is a move opposed by the Democratic-led House and a coalition of other states.

By Tyler Olson, Ronn Blitzer, Shannon Bream. Fox News’ Bill Mears and Julia Musto contributed to this report.


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Independence Day: What We Declared on July 4th

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  • He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  • He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  • He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  • He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  • He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  • He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  • He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
  • He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  • He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
  • He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  • He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
  • He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  • For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    -For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    -For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
    -For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
    -For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    -For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    -For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring -Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
    -For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
    -For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  • He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  • He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  • He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  • He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  • He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Georgia:
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
Massachusetts:
John Hancock
Maryland:
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Delaware:
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Massachusetts:
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Connecticut:
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Climate Activist Michael Shellenberger Aplogizes for Decades of Lies

On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare

Climate activist Michael Shellenberger at Ted Talks

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. 

I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30. 

But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony, and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Here are some facts few people know:

  • Humans are not causing a “sixth mass extinction” 
  • The Amazon is not “the lungs of the world”
  • Climate change is not making natural disasters worse
  • Fires have declined 25% around the world since 2003
  • The amount of land we use for meat — humankind’s biggest use of land — has declined by an area nearly as large as Alaska
  • The build-up of wood fuel and more houses near forests, not climate change, explain why there are more, and more dangerous, fires in Australia and California
  • Carbon emissions are declining in most rich nations and have been declining in Britain, Germany, and France since the mid-1970s 
  • Netherlands became rich not poor while adapting to life below sea level
  • We produce 25% more food than we need and food surpluses will continue to rise as the world gets hotter
  • Habitat loss and the direct killing of wild animals are bigger threats to species than climate change
  • Wood fuel is far worse for people and wildlife than fossil fuels
  • Preventing future pandemics requires more not less “industrial” agriculture

I know that the above facts will sound like “climate denialism” to many people. But that just shows the power of climate alarmism. 

In reality, the above facts come from the best-available scientific studies, including those conducted by or accepted by the IPCC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other leading scientific bodies. 

Some people will, when they read this imagine that I’m some right-wing anti-environmentalist. I’m not. At 17, I lived in Nicaragua to show solidarity with the Sandinista socialist revolution. At 23 I raised money for Guatemalan women’s cooperatives. In my early 20s I lived in the semi-Amazon doing research with small farmers fighting land invasions. At 26 I helped expose poor conditions at Nike factories in Asia. 

The author Michael Shellenberger in Maranhão, Brazil, 1995

I became an environmentalist at 16 when I threw a fundraiser for Rainforest Action Network. At 27 I helped save the last unprotected ancient redwoods in California. In my 30s I advocated renewables and successfully helped persuade the Obama administration to invest $90 billion into them. Over the last few years I helped save enough nuclear plants from being replaced by fossil fuels to prevent a sharp increase in emissions 

But until last year, I mostly avoided speaking out against the climate scare. Partly that’s because I was embarrassed. After all, I am as guilty of alarmism as any other environmentalist. For years, I referred to climate change as an “existential” threat to human civilization, and called it a “crisis.” 

But mostly I was scared. I remained quiet about the climate disinformation campaign because I was afraid of losing friends and funding. The few times I summoned the courage to defend climate science from those who misrepresent it I suffered harsh consequences. And so I mostly stood by and did next to nothing as my fellow environmentalists terrified the public.

I even stood by as people in the White House and many in the news media tried to destroy the reputation and career of an outstanding scientist, good man, and friend of mine, Roger Pielke, Jr., a lifelong progressive Democrat and environmentalist who testified in favor of carbon regulations. Why did they do that? Because his research proves natural disasters aren’t getting worse. 

But then, last year, things spiraled out of control. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said “The world is going to end in twelve years if we don’t address climate change.” Britain’s most high-profile environmental group claimed “Climate Change Kills Children.” 

The world’s most influential green journalist, Bill McKibben, called climate change the “greatest challenge humans have ever faced” and said it would “wipe out civilizations.” 

Mainstream journalists reported, repeatedly, that the Amazon was “the lungs of the world,” and that deforestation was like a nuclear bomb going off.

As a result, half of the people surveyed around the world last year said they thought climate change would make humanity extinct. And in January, one out of five British children told pollsters they were having nightmares about climate change.

Whether or not you have children you must see how wrong this is. I admit I may be sensitive because I have a teenage daughter. After we talked about the science she was reassured. But her friends are deeply misinformed and thus, understandably, frightened. 

I thus decided I had to speak out. I knew that writing a few articles wouldn’t be enough. I needed a book to properly lay out all of the evidence. 

 And so my formal apology for our fear-mongering comes in the form of my new book, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. 

It is based on two decades of research and three decades of environmental activism. At 400 pages, with 100 of them endnotes, Apocalypse Never covers climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, species extinction, industrialization, meat, nuclear energy, and renewables.

Some highlights from the book:

  • Factories and modern farming are the keys to human liberation and environmental progress 
  • The most important thing for saving the environment is producing more food, particularly meat, on less land 
  • The most important thing for reducing air pollution and carbon emissions is moving from wood to coal to petroleum to natural gas to uranium 
  • 100% renewables would require increasing the land used for energy from today’s 0.5% to 50% 
  • We should want cities, farms, and power plants to have higher, not lower, power densities
  • Vegetarianism reduces one’s emissions by less than 4%
  • Greenpeace didn’t save the whales, switching from whale oil to petroleum and palm oil did
  • “Free-range” beef would require 20 times more land and produce 300% more emissions
  • Greenpeace dogmatism worsened forest fragmentation of the Amazon
  • The colonialist approach to gorilla conservation in the Congo produced a backlash that may have resulted in the killing of 250 elephants

Why were we all so misled?

In the final three chapters of Apocalypse Never I expose the financial, political, and ideological motivations. Environmental groups have accepted hundreds of millions of dollars from fossil fuel interests. Groups motivated by anti-humanist beliefs forced the World Bank to stop trying to end poverty and instead make poverty “sustainable.” And status anxiety, depression, and hostility to modern civilization are behind much of the alarmism

Once you realize just how badly misinformed we have been, often by people with plainly unsavory or unhealthy motivations, it is hard not to feel duped. 

Will Apocalypse Never make any difference? There are certainly reasons to doubt it. 

The news media have been making apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change since the late 1980s, and do not seem disposed to stop. 

The ideology behind environmental alarmsim — Malthusianism — has been repeatedly debunked for 200 years and yet is more powerful than ever.

But there are also reasons to believe that environmental alarmism will, if not come to an end, have diminishing cultural power. 

The coronavirus pandemic is an actual crisis that puts the climate “crisis” into perspective. Even if you think we have overreacted, Covid-19 has killed nearly 500,000 people and shattered economies around the globe.

Scientific institutions including WHO and IPCC have undermined their credibility through the repeated politicization of science. Their future existence and relevance depends on new leadership and serious reform.

Facts still matter, and social media is allowing for a wider range of new and independent voices to outcompete alarmist environmental journalists at legacy publications. 

Nations are reverting openly to self-interest and away from Malthusianism and neoliberalism, which is good for nuclear and bad for renewables.

The evidence is overwhelming that our high-energy civilization is better for people and nature than the low-energy civilization that climate alarmists would return us to. 

The invitations from IPCC and Congress are signs of a growing openness to new thinking about climate change and the environment. Another one has been to the response to my book from climate scientists, conservationists, and environmental scholars. “Apocalypse Never is an extremely important book,” writes Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb. “This may be the most important book on the environment ever written,” says one of the fathers of modern climate science Tom Wigley.

“We environmentalists condemn those with antithetical views of being ignorant of science and susceptible to confirmation bias,” wrote the former head of The Nature Conservancy, Steve McCormick. “But too often we are guilty of the same.  Shellenberger offers ‘tough love:’ a challenge to entrenched orthodoxies and rigid, self-defeating mindsets.  Apocalypse Never serves up occasionally stinging, but always well-crafted, evidence-based points of view that will help develop the ‘mental muscle’ we need to envision and design not only a hopeful, but an attainable, future.”

That is all I hoped for in writing it. If you’ve made it this far, I hope you’ll agree that it’s perhaps not as strange as it seems that a lifelong environmentalist, progressive, and climate activist felt the need to speak out against the alarmism. 

I further hope that you’ll accept my apology.

By Michael Shellenberger, author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. 


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Supreme Court Orders Taxpayer Funding for Religious Schools

Significant win for the school choice movement 

US Supreme Court strikes down state ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools

The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a ban on taxpayer funding for religious schools, in a narrow but significant win for the school choice movement.

In the 5-4 ruling, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court essentially backed a Montana tax-credit scholarship program that gave residents up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, helping students pay for their choice of private schools. The state’s revenue department made a rule banning those tax-credit scholarships from going to religious schools before the state’s supreme court later struck down the entire program.

“A State need not subsidize private education. But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious,” Roberts wrote in the court’s opinion.

Under the program, a family receiving a scholarship originally could use it at any “qualified education provider,” which the court’s opinion noted means “any private school that meets certain accreditation, testing, and safety requirements.” The Montana Department of Revenue, citing the state constitution, then changed the definition of “qualified education provider” to exclude those “owned or controlled in whole or in part by any church, religious sect, or denomination.”

That decision, which the state attorney general disagreed with, was based on a “no-aid” clause in the state’s constitution, which bars the state from giving aid to schools “controlled in whole or in part by any church, sect, or denomination.”

Parents of children attending a religious private school sued, and a lower court ruled in their favor, holding that the tax credits did not violate the state constitution because they were not appropriations made to religious institutions. The state supreme court overruled that decision and ordered the entire program to be scrapped.

“I feel that we’re being excluded simply because we are people of religious background, or because our children want to go to a religious school,” Kendra Espinoza, a lead plaintiff in the case, said after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case in January. “We’re here to stand up for our rights as people of faith to have the same opportunities that a secular schoolchild would have.”

Roberts noted that the Montana scholarship program in no way violated the U.S. Constitution, noting that the Supreme Court has “repeatedly held that the Establishment Clause is not offended when religious observers and organizations benefit from neutral government programs.” The chief justice pointed out that neither side in the case disputed this.

What was at issue in the case is the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause — which applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment — which forbids laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion. Roberts said that the Montana Supreme Court erred when they failed to recognize that the state constitution’s “no-aid” clause violated the First Amendment.

“When the Court was called upon to apply a state law no-aid provision to exclude religious schools from the program, it was obligated by the Federal Constitution to reject the invitation,” Roberts wrote.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that there was no constitutional violation because the program ended up being shut down entirely, leaving families from all schools in the same position. Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued in her own dissent that the Montana state court decision was based on state law having nothing to do with the Free Exercise Clause. Roberts rejected those arguments because “[t]he program was eliminated by a court, and not based on some innocuous principle of state law.”

In a third dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer — joined by Justice Elena Kagan — argued that while Montana’s aid program’s inclusion of religious schools may not have been forbidden by the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, it was not required by the Free Exercise Clause as Roberts’ claimed it was.

Tuesday’s ruling is a victory for school choice proponents and some conservative religious groups who had challenged the provision in court. Montana’s program was similar to many across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality.

Roberts once again served as the swing vote in a 5-4 decision. This time, he joined his fellow justices in the conservative wing of the court. On Monday, Republicans railed against him for siding with the liberal contingent in a 5-4 case that struck down a Louisiana law that place restrictions on abortions by requiring that those who perform the procedures have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. He was also the deciding vote in a recent ruling against the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind DACA.

By Ronn Blitzer, Bill Mears, Shannon Bream Tyler Olson contributed to this report. 


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SCOTUS Hands Trump Win on Deportation Powers

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday for the Trump administration in a key immigration case, determining that a federal law limiting an asylum applicant’s ability to appeal a determination that he lacked a credible fear of persecution from his home country does not violate the Constitution.

The ruling means the administration can deport some people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge. The 7-2 ruling applies to those who fail their initial asylum screenings, making them eligible for quick deportation.

In a decision in the case of Dept. of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam, the court ruled that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) – which prevents judicial review of the credible fear determination – does not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause, which protects habeas corpus privileges that allow courts to determine if a person should be released due to unlawful detention.

“In this case, however, respondent did not ask to be released. Instead, he sought entirely different relief: vacatur of his ‘removal order’ and ‘an order directing [the Department] to provide him with a new . . . opportunity to apply for asylum and other relief from removal,’” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s opinion, ruling “that relief falls outside the scope of the common-law habeas writ.”

Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, a Sri Lankan national, had crossed the southern U.S. border without documentation in January 2017, was apprehended within 25 yards of the border, and detained for expedited removal. According to court documents, he said he was afraid of returning to Sri Lanka because he had once been abducted and beaten by a group of men, but did not know who they were or why they attacked him. At the time, he said that he did not fear persecution due to his political beliefs, race, or any other protected characteristics.

As a result, an asylum officer determined that he did not have the requisite “credible” fear of persecution. A supervisor agreed and signed off on a removal order, which was then affirmed by an immigration judge who had heard additional testimony. This led to Thuraissigiam filing a habeas corpus petition for unlawful detention, which a federal District Court denied. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision, ruling that the law was unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court reversed this with Thursday’s ruling.

Alito’s opinion also shot down the argument that the IIRIRA violated the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, citing an 1892 decision that ruled that for “foreigners who have never been naturalized, nor acquired any domicil or residence within the United States, nor even been admitted into the country pursuant to law,” decisions of administrative or executive officers exercising powers granted by Congress amount to due process.

The Supreme Court ruled that someone in Thuraissigiam’s position – being apprehended within 25 yards of the border – should be treated the same as someone who was taken into custody at the time they attempted to enter the country, and therefore the 1892 decision applies.

The Trump administration is seeking to expand authority so that people detained anywhere in the U.S. and up to two years after they got here could be quickly deported. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court threw out a trial judge’s ruling that had blocked the expanded policy. Other legal issues remain to be resolved in the case.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor — joined by Justice Elena Kagan — argued that the ruling “deprives [asylum seekers] of any means to ensure the integrity of an expedited removal order, an order which, the Court has just held, is not subject to any meaningful judicial oversight as to its substance.”

“Today’s decision handcuffs the Judiciary’s ability to perform its constitutional duty to safeguard individual liberty and dismantles a critical component of the separation of powers,” Sotomayor continued.

Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg agreed with the majority’s ruling, but in a concurring opinion authored by Breyer, they made clear they believe the ruling only applies in this particular case.

“I agree that enforcing those limits in this particular case does not violate the Suspension Clause’s constitutional command,” Breyer wrote. “But we need not, and should not, go further.”

Taking a broader approach, Breyer said, “may raise a host of difficult questions in the immigration context,” questioning what could happen in a case habeas corpus is denied where a person is detained after living in the U.S. for years, or if someone claims to be a naturalized citizen.

“I would therefore avoid making statements about the Suspension Clause that sweep beyond the principles needed to decide this case,” Breyer wrote, “let alone come to conclusions about the Due Process Clause, a distinct constitutional provision that is not directly at issue here.”

By Ronn Blitzer | The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Fed Appeals Court Orders Flynn Case Dismissal

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a lower court to allow the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to be dismissed, as requested by the Justice Department — likely ending the years-long legal saga stemming from the Russia investigation.

The abrupt ending came in a 2-1 ruling and order from judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

READ: COURT’S OPINION ORDERING FLYNN CASE DISMISSAL

This was the result of an appeal from Flynn’s lawyers asking for a so-called writ of mandamus — essentially an order telling a government official to carry out a certain duty — directing District Judge Emmet Sullivan to approve the DOJ’s motion to dismiss.

Sullivan did not immediately grant that motion and instead sought to hold hearings on the matter, angering Flynn allies.

The unusual move from Sullivan to keep the case alive despite prosecutors’ wishes was preceded by an unusual move from the DOJ itself to drop the charges against Flynn even after he had pleaded guilty — saying the FBI interview that led to his charge of lying to investigators about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador had no “legitimate investigative basis.”

It’s unclear whether Sullivan could try to appeal to the full appeals court or even to the Supreme Court in order to keep the case alive. The next step otherwise would likely be for Sullivan to comply.

Wednesday’s court order was direct, ordering “that Flynn’s petition for a writ of mandamus be granted in part; the District Court is directed to grant the government’s … motion to dismiss; and the District Court’s order appointing an amicus is hereby vacated as moot, in accordance with the opinion of the court filed herein this date.”

President Trump cheered the decision Wednesday morning, tweeting: “Great! Appeals Court Upholds Justice Departments Request To Drop Criminal Case Against General Michael Flynn!”

A senior DOJ official told Fox News the department is “pleased” by the appeals court decision in the Flynn case.

The accompanying decision essentially backed federal prosecutors in their move to drop the case.

”In this case, the district court’s actions will result in specific harms to the exercise of the Executive Branch’s exclusive prosecutorial power. The contemplated proceedings would likely require the Executive to reveal the internal deliberative process behind its exercise of prosecutorial discretion, interfering with the Article II charging authority,” Judge Neomi Rao, a Trump appointee, wrote in the decision.

Judge Robert Wilkins, dissenting, wrote: “It is a great irony that, in finding the District Court to have exceeded its jurisdiction, this Court so grievously oversteps its own. This appears to be the first time that we have issued a writ of mandamus to compel a district court to rule in a particular manner on a motion without first giving the lower court a reasonable opportunity to issue its own ruling.”

Of the DOJ’s move to abandon the case, he added, “This is no mere about-face; it is more akin to turning around an aircraft carrier.”

Democrats, meanwhile, have slammed the DOJ decision and cited it as an example of the department becoming politicized under Attorney General Bill Barr.

The Justice Department last month made the stunning move to drop its case against Flynn “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information,” as the department put it.

DOJ officials said they concluded that Flynn’s interview by the FBI was “untethered to, and unjustified by, the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Mr. Flynn” and that the interview was “conducted without any legitimate investigative basis,” while arguing that Flynn’s statements were not “material, even if untrue.”

The motion to dismiss came after unsealed FBI notes revealed that there had been a question regarding what the purpose of Flynn’s interview was: whether the aim was to find out the truth or to get him to lie and thus subject him to being prosecuted or fired. Flynn ended up facing charges and being terminated from his role as national security adviser.

The handwritten notes – which the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap penned after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe – showed officials discussing the fateful January 2017 interview in advance. They apparently discussed various options, including getting Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” when he spoke to former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period.

“What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

Another note read, “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide.” The memo appeared to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing those different paths, while cautioning: “If we’re seen as playing games, WH [White House] will be furious.”

Aside from swiftly being ensnared in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in the fallout from that interview, Flynn was fired from his prominent post as national security adviser in February 2017. The resignation came as he was accused of misleading Vice President Pence and other senior White House officials about his communications with Kislyak.

Flynn’s communications with Kislyak in December 2016 had been picked up in wiretapped discussions, apparently unbeknownst to him. The FBI agents in January 2017 questioned him on the communications and later used his answers to form the basis for the false-statement charge and his guilty plea.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe made transcripts of those wiretapped calls between Flynn and Kislyak public earlier this month.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson, Bill Mears and Jake Gibson contributed to this report. Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSingman.

Presidents Indicate There is Alien Life

Let me begin by stating the obvious: If I ask you if you’ve ever been to Iran, I assume that if you have not, you will say ‘NO.’ If you have, but can’t talk about it and don’t wish to lie to me, you’ll give me some sort of qualified answer, like, ‘I can’t really talk about that.’

When President Bush 43 and President Trump were asked by people very close to them if aliens really exist, their reply was NOT ‘No.’

The Pentagon has confirmed the existence of a $22 million program to investigate UFOs and has released video of an encounter from a US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet present at the 2004 Nimitz incident off the coast of San Diego.

George Bush (43)

In August of last year, on Fox News’ THE FIVE (August 8, 2019), Dana Perino, Press Secretary to Bush 43, and other members of the program talked about the above US Navy video of an encounter with a UFO. They speculated whether or not the time is rapidly approaching that the government will officially confirm the existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life.

They then showed Bernie Sanders on a radio show and he was asked if he would officially divulge the existence of UFOs to the public if he were elected president. He said he would; but he clarified that as a mere senator he has no alien UFO information.

Dana Perino’s first statement on the subject was quite interesting when asked if Sanders might actually reveal the existence of alien UFOS:

“He probably won’t, because the CIA will stop him.”

Then, Perino went on to express her own interaction with her boss, George Bush 43, where she asked him about the existence of UFOs:

“I asked him, and he wouldn’t tell me.”

My point: When Dana Perino, Press Secretary and close personal friend of George Bush 43 asked him point-blank about the existence of alien UFOs, he did not deny it, but said he couldn’t say anything to her about it.

Conclusion about Bush 43’s responses: He didn’t say ‘No’ when that would have been the correct answer if there are no UFOs. He gave Dana Perino the qualified response, that you give someone when you can’t tell the truth, but you don’t want to lie to a friend. I can’t tell you what I know.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump told Tucker Carlson on July 5, 2019, that although there are many military pilots who have been reporting encounters with UFOs, he personally remains skeptical.

Donald Trump Jr. asks the President if he will open up and disclose information about aliens and about Roswell before the end of his presidency. Seen at 18:40 on video.

Now, the president was asked point-blank by his son if he will be willing to disclose information about alien life and the Roswell UFO crash to the American public before the end of his presidency, “and let us know what’s really going on.”

Trump made the comments Thursday in a Father’s Day-themed interview with his son Don Trump Jr., hosted by the president’s reelection campaign.

Trump responded:

“I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting.”

Did you get that? It was NOT a ‘No.’

Roswell in a nutshell: In 1947, a rancher discovered unidentifiable debris in his sheep pasture outside Roswell, NM. Air Force officials first confirmed that it was a crashed alien ship, but the next day reversed themselves and claimed it was nothing more than a crashed weather balloon.

The president in the past has spoken skeptically about the possibility that there is something out there. Last year Trump said he received short briefings on UFO sightings, but also offered: “People are saying they’re seeing UFOs. Do I believe it? Not particularly.”

Conclusion about President Trump’s responses: A couple of times in the past he has acknowledged that there are reliable government and military people who claim to have personally seen UFOs, but he remains skeptical. But in this latest response to the question from his own son, he gave the qualified reply: “I won’t talk to you about what I know about it, but it’s very interesting.”

Ronald Reagan Saw a UFO

Presidents Ronald Reagan publicly discussed his encounter with a UFO, describing it as possessing abilities and technology far in advance of anything on earth.

President Reagan was in an airplane during his first well documented encounter, and he pointed the UFO out to the pilot, and asked him to follow it. The pilot was shocked, and tried to follow, but the erratic zig-zag pattern was impossible to duplicate, and they soon lost the UFO.

Lucille Ball shared a story about the second encounter that Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy had while they were were driving on Mulholland Drive on their way to a party at the home of actor Steve Allen. According to Ball and Allen, the Reagans arrived over an hour late and reported that a UFO had landed near their vehicle. Reagan claimed a ladder appeared and an alien climbed out of the craft. The alien told him to quit his acting work and go into politics. Of course, we receive this account from unreliable sources, but other guests at the Allen party confirmed that the Reagans were very late to the party, and were quite shaken.

When they became president, President Reagan remained silent on the subject, although he spoke privately with at least a few world leaders about the possibility of banding together if it became necessary to fight an alien invasion.

Jimmy Carter Saw a UFO

President Jimmy Carter recounted the following UFO sighting on Larry King Live.:

“I was outside a school lunch room one night right before sundown. It was getting dark and we were getting ready to eat supper. And I and about 25 men were standing around and all of a sudden in the western sky we saw a strange light coming toward us, a round light. It got closer and closer and right above the pine trees it stopped and then it began to change colors from blue, to red, to white. Then it stayed there for a while. We were all aghast. We didn’t know what it was. And then it just disappeared into the west. That was the end of it.”

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive recounting of presidential mentions of aliens and UFOs, but these statements coupled with recent candid military videos and statements about UFOs are helping to turn the tide of the public’s perception of the subject. In the past the government went to extraordinary lengths to convince its citizens that there is absolutely no basis for believing that any life, especially intelligent life, exists beyond our planet. Now, officials at the highest level seem at least neutral and open minded on the subject, while others claim to have seen technology flying in our airspace that is at least thousands of years ahead of anything known on earth.

Most of us have not personally seen an alien UFO. Millions claim to have seen them. We are probably reaching a tipping point where the burden of proof is shifting on the subject, as recently asserted by famed physicist Michio Kaku:

“The burden of proof used to be on believers to prove that UFOs are real. Now the Burden of proof has shifted to the government and the military to prove that they’re not real. But the evidence is overwhelming. We have all of this information from U.S. Navy pilots, and we now have metrics–we can actually measure how fast they travel and how high they are and what kind of centrifugal forces they can experience. Now we have testable information. It’s a game changer.”

It’s a new world out there.

By James Thompson


James Thompson is a professional ghostwriter, and a politics and culture writer, and has written a number of books and articles on the subject of alien and UFO witness encounters. His hardbound book is available at Cedar Fort Publishing at a special rate of just $1.99 for readers of this article. buy now

1,282,920

Biden Says ‘You ain’t black’ If You Don’t Vote for Him

Biden says ‘you ain’t black’ if torn between him and Trump, in dustup with Charlamagne tha God

Joe Biden faced a swift backlash on Friday for suggesting during a contentious radio interview with host Charlamagne tha God that those having a hard time “figuring out” whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black.”

The dustup occurred 17 minutes into the former vice president’s interview on “The Breakfast Club” – a nationally broadcast morning talk show popular with black listeners – when a Biden aide tried to end the interview, prompting the host to charge, “You can’t do that to black media.”

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee stressed that his wife had an upcoming engagement, and suggested he would have to go whether dealing with “white media” or “black media.”

“Uh, oh … I’m in trouble,” he joked as he referred to making his wife late. Biden and his wife Jill Biden share the same studio in the basement of their home in Wilmington, Del.

After Charlamagne tha God, who is black, then asked Biden to come back on the program again and the former vice president agreed, the host added, “It’s a long way to November. We’ve got more questions.”

That’s when Biden dove into a rapid-fire defense of his record with the black community.

“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” he said.

It’s unclear whether Biden meant to refer only to the host or to the black community as a whole.

Charlamagne tha God responded that “it has nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact that I want something for my community.”

Biden fired back, “Take a look at my record. I extended the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run. Take a look at the record.”

After the friction, the interview – which was pre-taped on Thursday – ended on a mutually positive note with Biden again agreeing that he “will come back.”

But the “You ain’t black” moment reverberated on social media, with the host retweeting a variety of listeners complaining about it. Biden “should never say to a black man ‘You aint black’ under ANY circumstances,” one wrote.

“The Breakfast Club” put the question to listeners on whether they agree with Biden:

President Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, quickly highlighted the clip, tweeting, “This is disgusting.”

Trump senior adviser Katrina Pierson called the remarks “racist and dehumanizing,” saying Biden believes black voters are “incapable of being independent or free thinking.”

She added: “He truly believes that he, a 77-year-old white man, should dictate how Black people should behave. Biden has a history of racial condescension and today he once again proved what a growing number of Black Americans and I have always known: Joe Biden does not deserve our votes.”

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh spotlighted a quote from Kanye West, a prominent African-American supporter of the president, saying, “I will not be told who I’m gonna vote on because of my color.”

But Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders defended the comments, stressing Biden’s record with the black community and saying: “The comments made at the end of the Breakfast Club interview were in jest, but let’s be clear about what the VP was saying: he was making the distinction that he would put his record with the African American community up against Trump’s any day. Period.”

Pierson, in a Trump campaign conference call with reporters, fired back that Biden’s comment “wasn’t in jest. He was serious.”

And Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — the only black GOP senator and a supporter of the president — said “I won’t even dignify that with a response” when asked about Sanders’ comment that Biden was joking.

Pierson, when asked by Fox News if Trump had ever been a guest on “The Breakfast Club” or if there were now plans to have the president do an interview on the program, said “the president has not been on The Breakfast Club, I’m not sure that he’s been invited.” She added that “I’m not opposed to it you know, I think it’s a place that we should go.”

Biden has enjoyed widespread support among black voters, not just in general election polls – Fox News polling shows black voters favor Biden over Trump by 76-12 percent – but during the primary battle. His victory in the South Carolina primary, boosted by black voters’ support, helped revive his then-struggling campaign and catapult him toward a dominating performance on Super Tuesday.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time a 2020 contender has questioned the party affiliation of a particular race or religion. Last year, President Trump faced a backlash for saying American Jews who support Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

He was pointing to anyone supporting Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, both critics of Israel.

Fox News’ Madeleine Rivera and Judson Berger contributed to this report. 

By Brooke Singman. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSingman.


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House Intel Transcripts Prove Obama Officials Had No Evidence of Trump-Russia Collusion

Should Schiff step down from House Intelligence Committee after release of Russia docs?
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff is reportedly in ‘panic mode’ as House transcripts appear to contradict claims on collusion evidence in the Russia probe; Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe and former D.C. Democrat Party Chair Scott Bolden debate.

Newly released transcripts of interviews from the House Intelligence Committee’s long-running Russia investigation reveal top Obama officials acknowledged that they knew of no “empirical evidence” of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, despite their concerns and suspicions.

Fox News first reported Wednesday night that the transcripts would show this. The officials’ responses align with the results of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation—which found no evidence of criminal coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in 2016, while not reaching a determination on obstruction of justice.

The transcripts, which were released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., revealed top Obama officials were questioned over whether they had or had seen evidence of such collusion, coordination or conspiracy — the issue that drove the FBI’s initial case and later the special counsel probe.

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified in 2017. “That’s not to say that there weren’t concerns about the evidence we were seeing, anecdotal evidence. … But I do not recall any instance where I had direct evidence.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, according to the transcript of her interview, was asked about the same issue. Power replied: “I am not in possession of anything—I am not in possession and didn’t read or absorb information that came from out of the intelligence community.”

When asked again, she said:  “I am not.”Video

Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice was asked the same question.

“To the best of my recollection, there wasn’t anything smoking, but there were some things that gave me pause,” she said, according to her transcribed interview, in response to whether she had any evidence of conspiracy. “I don’t recall intelligence that I would consider evidence to that effect that I saw…conspiracy prior to my departure.”

When asked whether she had any evidence of “coordination,” Rice replied: “I don’t recall any intelligence or evidence to that effect.”

When asked about collusion, Rice replied: “Same answer.”

Former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was asked the same question during his House Intelligence interview.

“I wouldn’t have received any information on any criminal or counterintelligence investigations into what the Trump campaign was doing, so I would not have seen that information,” Rhodes said.

When pressed again, he said: “I saw indications of potential coordination, but I did not see, you know, the specific evidence of the actions of the Trump campaign.”

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch also said that she did “not recall that being briefed up to me.”

“I can’t say that it existed or not,” Lynch said, referring to evidence of collusion, conspiracy or coordination.

Meanwhile, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was not asked that specific question but rather questions about the accuracy and legitimacy of the unverified anti-Trump dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Video

McCabe was asked during his interview in 2017 what was the most “damning or important piece of evidence in the dossier that” he “now knows is true.”

McCabe replied: “We have not been able to prove the accuracy of all the information.”

“You don’t know if it’s true or not?” a House investigator asked, to which McCabe replied: “That’s correct.”

Schiff released the files — approved in late 2018 for release by the committee — after facing pressure earlier this week from Republicans to do so. Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell then notified Schiff that the redaction and declassification process was complete, and that the records were ready to be made public.

“At the bipartisan request of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Intelligence Community reviewed all transcripts for classification and made appropriate redactions. HPSCI voted unanimously in 2018 to publicly release these transcripts, and it is long past time that these are released,” Grenell said in a statement Thursday.

Schiff, though, faulted the White House for the delay, accusing them of dragging their feet on the classification review.

And even as officials in those interviews said they didn’t have hard evidence of collusion, conspiracy or coordination, Schiff pointed to a variety of examples he described as “ample evidence of the corrupt interactions” between Trump associates and Russia.

For instance, he cited how Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., infamously accepted an offer of supposed Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton.

He also pointed to then-candidate Trump saying in 2016, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” This referred to then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Schiff said in a statement: “The transcripts released today richly detail evidence of the Trump campaign’s efforts to invite, make use of, and cover up Russia’s help in the 2016 presidential election. Special Counsel Robert Mueller identified in his report similar, and even more extensive, evidence of improper links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government. A bipartisan Senate investigation also found that Russia sought to help the candidacy of Donald Trump in 2016.”

He also cited how former national security adviser Michael Flynn tried to “undermine U.S. sanctions on Russia” in his transition-period conversations with Russia’s ambassador. Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about those talks; however, the Justice Department on Thursday moved to drop the case entirely, saying the FBI interview had no legitimate basis.

Meanwhile, Schiff accused Republicans of using the committee interviews to simply “press President Trump’s false narrative of ‘no collusion, no obstruction,’” despite intelligence findings that Russia sought to meddle in the election to boost Trump.

Yet Republicans told Fox News the transcripts still show the collusion claims could not be supported.

“The transcripts show a total lack of evidence, despite Schiff personally going out saying he had more than circumstantial evidence that there was collusion,” one source involved in House Russia investigations told Fox News.

Mueller, similarly, at the conclusion of his nearly two-year-long investigation, said he and his team found no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, but did not reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice, which Attorney General Bill Barr ultimately decided not to pursue.

By Brooke Singman. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSingman.


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BOMBSHELL: FBI Discussed Interviewing Michael Flynn ‘to get him to lie’ and ‘get him fired,’ Handwritten Notes Show

Explosive new internal FBI documents unsealed Wednesday show that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing then-national security adviser Michael Flynn in the White House in January 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

The handwritten notes — written by the FBI’s former head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap after a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey and then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Fox News is told — further suggested that agents planned in the alternative to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act.”

The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799 in an era before telephones, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States government abroad.

“What is our goal?” one of the notes read. “Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”

“If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ + have them decide,” another note read. Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley called the document’s implications “chilling.”

The memo appears to weigh the pros and cons of pursuing those different paths. “I don’t see how getting someone to admit their wrongdoing is going easy on him,” one note reads. Flynn did not ultimately admit to wrongdoing in the interview.

The document indicates that the White House was monitoring the situation: “If we’re seen as playing games, WH will be furious.”

The bombshell materials strongly suggested the agents weren’t truly concerned about Flynn’s intercepted contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period, except as a pretext. Former President Obama personally had warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan,” according to multiple officials. Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.

The Justice Department turned over the documents just this week, even though a February 2018 standing order in the case from United States District Court for the District of Columbia Emmet Sullivan required the government to turn over any exculpatory materials in its possession that pertained to Flynn. Such materials ordinarily do not need to be disclosed to uncharged individuals or those who have already pleaded guilty, Sullivan has ruled.

Fox News is told even more exculpatory documents are forthcoming, as Attorney General Bill Barr continues to oversee the DOJ’s investigation into the handling of the Flynn case.

Flynn previously charged that top FBI officials, including McCabe, pressed him not to have the White House counsel present during the questioning with two agents that led to his guilty plea on a single charge of lying to federal authorities. Flynn was not ultimately charged with any Logan Act violation.

FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then-FBI acting director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

One of Flynn’s interviewing agents was Peter Strzok, who has since been fired from the bureau after his anti-Trump text messages came to light.

Flynn has sought to withdraw his guilty plea and has been seeking exoneration, saying the FBI engaged in “egregious misconduct.” Flynn, who has said more recently that he did not lie to the FBI, pleaded guilty in late 2017 as mounting legal fees pushed him to sell his home. Prosecutors have suggested Flynn’s guilty plea allowed him to escape liability for a possible charge under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), another little-known and once-rarely used law, for his alleged work in Turkey.

Flynn has since obtained new counsel — and his old attorneys, it emerged this week, then failed to turn over thousands of documents to his new lawyer, Sidney Powell. Powell has maintained that Flynn’s old lawyers at Covington & Burling had conflicts of interest and were otherwise ineffective, including by not focusing on Strzok’s evident bias.

Strzok wasn’t the only top FBI official who apparently bent the rules in targeting Flynn. Comey admitted in 2018 that the fateful Flynn interview at the White House didn’t follow protocol, and came at his direction. He said it was not “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more… organized administration.”

McCabe later said the interview was “very odd” because “it seemed like [Flynn] was telling the truth” to the two agents who interviewed him. Flynn, the interviewing agents told McCabe, “had a very good recollection of events, which he related chronologically and lucidly,” did not appear to be “nervous or sweating,” and did not look “side to side” — all of which would have been “behavioral signs of deception.”

During the interview, Flynn told the agents “not really” when asked if he had sought to convince Kislyak not to escalate a brewing fight with the U.S. over sanctions imposed by the Obama administration, according to a FD-302 witness report prepared by the FBI. Flynn also demurred when asked if he had asked Russia to veto a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s settlements in the West Bank. (The Obama administration abstained in that vote.)

Flynn issued other apparently equivocal responses to FBI agents’ questions, and at various points suggested that such conversations might have happened or that he could not recall them if they did, according to the 302. The 302 indicated that Flynn apparently was aware his communications had been monitored, and at several points he thanks the FBI agents for reminding him of some of his conversations with Russian officials.

Washington Post article published one day before Flynn’s White House interview with the agents, citing FBI sources, publicly revealed that the FBI had wiretapped Flynn’s calls with Kislyak and cleared him of any criminal conduct. It was unclear who leaked that information to the Post.

The article offered further support for Flynn’s claim that he was on notice that the FBI was aware of the contents of his communications with Russia even before the interview, and raised the question of why the FBI would want to ask Flynn about those communications. Flynn has indicated in court filings that he was apprehensive about potentially disclosing classified information to the agents.

The documents also revealed that ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page emailed Strzok concerning how to conduct the Flynn interview.

Strzok and Lisa Page regularly texted to each other about their shared disdain for Trump, and affection for Clinton, even as they worked on investigations involving both Clinton and Trump. Page is now suing the government, saying she wants her therapy bills paid because Trump has mocked her.

McCabe, who has admitted to lying to FBI investigators in a leak investigation, was fired for multiple violations of the FBI’s ethics code.

He has not faced any criminal charges.

The Flynn revelations come as the Justice Department separately has revealed that the FBI’s investigation into former Trump aide Carter Page was riddled with fatal errors — and even featured an ex-FBI attorney deliberately doctoring an email from the CIA to make it seem as though Page’s Russian contacts were nefarious.

In fact, Carter Page was an informant to the CIA about those contacts — a key detail the FBI omitted when it told the surveillance court about Page’s overseas trips.

For his part, after years of legal setbacks and sustained attacks on his patriotism, Flynn took a moment to savor the day’s news on social media. He tweeted a video late Wednesday showing a slow pan to a waving American flag, with no audio but the wind.

Gregg Re is a lawyer and editor based in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @gregg_re or email him at gregory.re@foxnews.com.


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