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Westlake Legal Group > Brooke Singman

Powerful Dem Chairman Jerry Nadler has health scare at New York event

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6034194947001_6034188941001-vs Powerful Dem Chairman Jerry Nadler has health scare at New York event fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b38df16e-5d27-5a73-b094-acd2b09242d7 article

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler had to receive medical attention Friday after a health care at an event in New York City.

Despite reports that the powerful New York Democrat appeared to pass out, his office said he merely felt ill but did not faint. A spokesman for Nadler told Fox News that the congressman is “okay” and “seems to have been dehydrated,” describing the room as “very warm.”

Nadler, 71, was speaking at a press conference on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, alongside 2020 Democratic hopeful New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, when the incident happened. De Blasio could be seen checking on him and patting him on the shoulder, as someone brought over a glass of water.

Fox News is told the congressman was being taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

“He is now responsive and receiving a check-up,” a spokesman told Fox News.

Nadler’s office noted that he was sitting down, so he “did not faint or anything.”

But local reporters on social media attending the event said that Nadler appeared to have briefly passed out.

Nadler’s committee is currently battling with the Trump administration over access to an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Earlier this month, his panel voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the full report and its underlying documents and evidence.

Nadler, as judiciary committee chairman, would also oversee any impeachment proceedings should Democrats launch them — a question that has divided the party.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6034194947001_6034188941001-vs Powerful Dem Chairman Jerry Nadler has health scare at New York event fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b38df16e-5d27-5a73-b094-acd2b09242d7 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6034194947001_6034188941001-vs Powerful Dem Chairman Jerry Nadler has health scare at New York event fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b38df16e-5d27-5a73-b094-acd2b09242d7 article

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Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c

President Trump slammed Democrats as the “Do Nothing Party” Thursday morning on the heels of a contentious meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, claiming they’re too focused on investigations into his administration to make progress on policy priorities like infrastructure.

“The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY!” Trump tweeted.

A day earlier, House Speaker Pelosi accused Trump of having a “temper tantrum” when he abruptly ended a meeting on infrastructure and proceeded to address the press in the Rose Garden, demanding Democrats end their “phony investigations” before they can negotiate on infrastructure.

On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump once again accused Democrats of seeking a do-over after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe did not turn up evidence of collusion with his 2016 campaign.

“The Democrats are getting nothing done in Congress. All of their effort is about a Re-Do of the Mueller Report, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It is not possible for them to investigate and legislate at the same time,” he said. “Their heart is not into Infrastructure, lower drug prices, pre-existing conditions and our great Vets.”

He added: “All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!”

The president’s complaints come amid numerous congressional investigations into a range of Trump-related topics—including access to his financial statements and records and access to an unredacted version of the Mueller report.

TRUMP DEMANDS END TO ‘PHONY INVESTIGATIONS’ IN FIERY ROSE GARDEN STATEMENT, AFTER MEETING CUT SHORT WITH DEMS

That backdrop made for a tense and ultimately failed meeting on Wednesday with Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Just minutes before the sit-down, Pelosi accused Trump of having “engaged in a cover-up” regarding the Russia investigation.

Trump said her comments and the Democratic-led probes prevented them from negotiating.

“You can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said. “Get these phony investigations over with.”

He added that he wanted to negotiate on infrastructure with the two Democratic leaders but “instead of walking happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up.”

He added: “I don’t do cover-ups.”

Later in the day, Pelosi accused the president of committing an “impeachable offense.”

“The fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said. “And that could be an impeachable offense.”

At the same time, Pelosi this week has scrambled to tamp down calls from rank-and-file Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against the president. She held a closed-door meeting Wednesday with the Democratic caucus to discuss their battles with the administration.

When asked about her success in persuading members, Pelosi said: “It’s not a question of persuasion. We were just exchanging information and points of view.”

PELOSI RATCHETS UP RHETORIC, SAYS TRUMP MAY HAVE COMMITTED ‘IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE’ IN ‘PLAIN SIGHT’

The meeting came as top Democrats have steadily ramped up pressure on the Trump administration. On Tuesday, the Justice Department reached an agreement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to turn over some documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, in a rare de-escalation. But it only came after Democrats issued a subpoena, one of many that congressional Democrats have approved for Trump-related investigations. They’ve also pursued a contempt citation against Attorney General Bill Barr and could do the same for ex-White House counsel Don McGahn.

At the meeting, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neel, D-Mass., presented the latest information on his panel’s probe seeking the president’s tax documents; and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spoke on the status of her panel’s efforts to obtain information from Deutsche Bank related to the president’s financial situation.

“These are all current examples of progress that was made to get the truth and facts for the American people,” Pelosi said, in an apparent attempt to keep Democrats on track with their existing investigations — and not go the impeachment route.

But as for infrastructure, Schumer accused the president of “looking for every excuse” not to pursue a bipartisan plan.

Last month, Schumer and Pelosi said Trump had agreed to support a $2 trillion infrastructure spending package. But, at the time, they said no decisions were made on how to pay for the plan. The president – a real estate developer before he was elected president – has long sought to strike a big infrastructure deal, but has faced some resistance from conservatives in his party over concerns about the country’s rising debt.

But questions have remained over whether Pelosi and Schumer can strike deal with Trump on infrastructure, as congressional Democrats ramp up investigations of the president and subpoena members of his administration in the wake of the release of Mueller’s Russia report.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c

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Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c

President Trump slammed Democrats as the “Do Nothing Party” Thursday morning on the heels of a contentious meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, claiming they’re too focused on investigations into his administration to make progress on policy priorities like infrastructure.

“The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY!” Trump tweeted.

A day earlier, House Speaker Pelosi accused Trump of having a “temper tantrum” when he abruptly ended a meeting on infrastructure and proceeded to address the press in the Rose Garden, demanding Democrats end their “phony investigations” before they can negotiate on infrastructure.

On Twitter Thursday morning, Trump once again accused Democrats of seeking a do-over after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe did not turn up evidence of collusion with his 2016 campaign.

“The Democrats are getting nothing done in Congress. All of their effort is about a Re-Do of the Mueller Report, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted. It is not possible for them to investigate and legislate at the same time,” he said. “Their heart is not into Infrastructure, lower drug prices, pre-existing conditions and our great Vets.”

He added: “All they are geared up to do, six committees, is squander time, day after day, trying to find anything which will be bad for me. A pure fishing expedition like this never happened before, & it should never happen again!”

The president’s complaints come amid numerous congressional investigations into a range of Trump-related topics—including access to his financial statements and records and access to an unredacted version of the Mueller report.

TRUMP DEMANDS END TO ‘PHONY INVESTIGATIONS’ IN FIERY ROSE GARDEN STATEMENT, AFTER MEETING CUT SHORT WITH DEMS

That backdrop made for a tense and ultimately failed meeting on Wednesday with Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Just minutes before the sit-down, Pelosi accused Trump of having “engaged in a cover-up” regarding the Russia investigation.

Trump said her comments and the Democratic-led probes prevented them from negotiating.

“You can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said. “Get these phony investigations over with.”

He added that he wanted to negotiate on infrastructure with the two Democratic leaders but “instead of walking happily into a meeting, I walk in to look at people that have just said that I was doing a cover-up.”

He added: “I don’t do cover-ups.”

Later in the day, Pelosi accused the president of committing an “impeachable offense.”

“The fact is, in plain sight, in the public domain, this president is obstructing justice and he’s engaged in a cover-up,” Pelosi said. “And that could be an impeachable offense.”

At the same time, Pelosi this week has scrambled to tamp down calls from rank-and-file Democrats to launch impeachment proceedings against the president. She held a closed-door meeting Wednesday with the Democratic caucus to discuss their battles with the administration.

When asked about her success in persuading members, Pelosi said: “It’s not a question of persuasion. We were just exchanging information and points of view.”

PELOSI RATCHETS UP RHETORIC, SAYS TRUMP MAY HAVE COMMITTED ‘IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE’ IN ‘PLAIN SIGHT’

The meeting came as top Democrats have steadily ramped up pressure on the Trump administration. On Tuesday, the Justice Department reached an agreement with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to turn over some documents related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, in a rare de-escalation. But it only came after Democrats issued a subpoena, one of many that congressional Democrats have approved for Trump-related investigations. They’ve also pursued a contempt citation against Attorney General Bill Barr and could do the same for ex-White House counsel Don McGahn.

At the meeting, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neel, D-Mass., presented the latest information on his panel’s probe seeking the president’s tax documents; and House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., spoke on the status of her panel’s efforts to obtain information from Deutsche Bank related to the president’s financial situation.

“These are all current examples of progress that was made to get the truth and facts for the American people,” Pelosi said, in an apparent attempt to keep Democrats on track with their existing investigations — and not go the impeachment route.

But as for infrastructure, Schumer accused the president of “looking for every excuse” not to pursue a bipartisan plan.

Last month, Schumer and Pelosi said Trump had agreed to support a $2 trillion infrastructure spending package. But, at the time, they said no decisions were made on how to pay for the plan. The president – a real estate developer before he was elected president – has long sought to strike a big infrastructure deal, but has faced some resistance from conservatives in his party over concerns about the country’s rising debt.

But questions have remained over whether Pelosi and Schumer can strike deal with Trump on infrastructure, as congressional Democrats ramp up investigations of the president and subpoena members of his administration in the wake of the release of Mueller’s Russia report.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6040156426001_6040167230001-vs Trump slams Dems as ‘Do Nothing Party,’ calls post-Mueller probes a ‘fishing expedition’ fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 729fdd4d-0065-547c-8853-c0a44d46171c

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Dem wants Trump officials jailed for not turning over tax returns

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said Tuesday that IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should be jailed or fined for stonewalling congressional subpoenas for President Trump’s tax returns.

Doggett, D-Texas, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Tuesday that congressional Democrats need to employ what’s known as “inherent contempt” for Trump officials defying committee requests and subpoenas for Trump’s financial information.

CONFIDENTIAL DRAFT IRS TAX MEMO SAYS TAX RETURNS MUST BE HANDED TO CONGRESS UNLESS TRUMP ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE: REPORT

“I believe that there is no legal advice that will stop the lawlessness and lies of this administration, and that is why Congress needs to act firmly now to use every tool it has available to get this information that Trump so fears that the public will see,” Doggett told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday night.

Westlake Legal Group Charles-Rettig-Steve-Mnuchin-AP Dem wants Trump officials jailed for not turning over tax returns fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc cf18a73d-d050-5d7e-8b67-32e8e37a0b01 Brooke Singman article

IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, left, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, are under fire from Democrats for blocking requests for President Trump’s tax returns. (AP)

“To take action, I believe it’s going to require fines or confinement under our power of inherent contempt to get the information we need and to get all these other people that, under what seems to be gang rule, are told don’t say anything and don’t provide anything,” he continued. “Total silence, total obstruction.”

Doggett later clarified who should be targeted in that effort.

“The subpoena is directed to the IRS commissioner,” Doggett explained. “But Secretary Mnuchin has never let him answer the questions—he responds with all the answers.”

“I think that both of them could be subject to fines or confinement,” he said. “I think you know there are so many people out there from [former White House counsel Don] McGahn to [Attorney General Bill] Barr, to others that are refusing to disclose and respond to the Congress.”

He added: “It’s probably a matter of selecting one of them and moving forward to show how this power of inherent contempt could work.”

Inherent contempt is one of three contempt options available to Congress, along with criminal contempt (under which an individual is charged with a crime) and civil judgment (leading to a civil court process.)

If Congress were to use inherent contempt, it would mean the Sergeant at Arms would arrest an official and hold them until they provide testimony or otherwise comply. The tactic reportedly has not been used since the 1930s, and is viewed as an extreme measure.

Congressional Democrats, though, already have threatened to take such action against Barr, who defied a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee for an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report and all underlying evidence and documents. A Democrat-led committee has already recommended some form of contempt citation against Barr, while Democrats have threatened to pursue the same against McGahn after he defied a subpoena to testify before the same committee.

MNUCHIN SAYS HE WON’T COMPLY WITH SUBPOENA FOR TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

The calls for Rettig and Mnuchin to be jailed, though, come amid a growing battle between the Trump administration and Congress, specifically the House Ways and Means Committee, over the president’s financial documents.

Just days after Mnuchin said he would not comply with a subpoena for the tax returns, a confidential draft IRS memo obtained by The Washington Post called the disclosure “mandatory,” unless the president asserts his executive privilege.

The Post published the 10-page memo that does not mention Trump by name, but appears to add new pressure on the White House. Mnuchin, though, has been resisting House Democrats’ requests for Trump’s tax returns on the grounds that such request “lacks a legitimate legislative purpose” and said his department will not “disclose the requested returns and return information.”

But the IRS document says the law “does not allow the Secretary to exercise discretion in disclosing the information provided the statutory conditions are met” and directly rejects the reason Mnuchin has cited for withholding the information.

“[T]he Secretary’s obligation to disclose return and return information would not be affected by the failure of a tax writing committee … to state a reason for the request,” it reads, adding that the “only basis the agency’s refusal to comply with a committee’s subpoena would be the invocation of the doctrine of executive privilege.”

But the IRS pushed back on the report, stating that the memo does not represent an official position for the agency.

“The memo in question is a draft background paper that was never finalized. It is not the official position of the IRS. The document was prepared last fall,” an IRS spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. “The IRS Commissioner and the Chief Counsel were unaware of the paper until this week’s media inquiry. The document was not sent to Treasury.”

It is unclear whether the president would have to assert executive privilege to protect his financial documents from being exposed.

The standoff between the Congressional Democrats and the administration is likely to lead to a court battle, with Trump reportedly indicating he’s prepared to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

Trump declined to reveal his tax returns during the 2016 presidential election, claiming he was under audit. Political candidates aren’t required to disclose their tax returns, though traditionally all candidates do.

Fox News’ Lukas Mikelionis, Kristin Brown, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Charles-Rettig-Steve-Mnuchin-AP Dem wants Trump officials jailed for not turning over tax returns fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc cf18a73d-d050-5d7e-8b67-32e8e37a0b01 Brooke Singman article   Westlake Legal Group Charles-Rettig-Steve-Mnuchin-AP Dem wants Trump officials jailed for not turning over tax returns fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc cf18a73d-d050-5d7e-8b67-32e8e37a0b01 Brooke Singman article

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White House tells McGahn to skip House hearing, as DOJ asserts ‘immunity’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5824913905001_5824921008001-vs White House tells McGahn to skip House hearing, as DOJ asserts 'immunity' John Roberts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b1cf3d8d-9183-5c04-9a00-70a15c14d5bd article

The Trump administration has urged former White House Counsel Don McGahn to skip a House Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for Tuesday, citing a Justice Department opinion that he cannot be compelled to testify about his official duties.

“The House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena to try and force Mr. McGahn to testify again. The Department of Justice has provided a legal opinion stating that, based on long-standing, bipartisan, and Constitutional precedent, the former Counsel to the President cannot be forced to give such testimony, and Mr. McGahn has been directed to act accordingly,” the White House said in a statement. “This action has been taken in order to ensure that future Presidents can effectively execute the responsibilities of the Office of the Presidency.”

The related DOJ memo said McGahn has “immunity” from being compelled to give such testimony.

The New York Times first reported that the president would likely direct McGahn to skip the hearing.

The move could set the stage for the panel to vote to hold the former White House counsel in contempt for defying a congressionally issued subpoena.

HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN SUBPOENAS EX-WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL DON MCGAHN

The committee announced the hearing last week, but it was unclear whether McGahn would appear due to the ongoing battle between congressional Democrats and the White House over his testimony.

Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said she did not “anticipate” that a hearing would take place. “We consider this to be a case closed and we’re moving forward to do the work of the American people,” Sanders said on ABC News’ “The Investigation” podcast.

The committee, led by Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed McGahn on April 22, days after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, which featured McGahn prominently in its section related to the obstruction of justice inquiry. This included a claim that McGahn disobeyed Trump’s call to have him seek Mueller’s removal.

“On June 17, 2017, the president called [White House Counsel Don] McGahn at home and directed him to call the Acting Attorney General and say that the Special Counsel had conflicts of interest and must be removed. McGahn did not carry out the direction, however, deciding that he would resign rather than trigger what he regarded as a potential Saturday Night Massacre,” the report stated, referencing the Watergate scandal.

The report also revealed that when the media reported on the president’s request, the president directed White House officials “to tell McGahn to dispute the story and create a record stating he had not been ordered to have the special counsel removed.” He did not.

The House committee’s subpoena, coming amid a fight over access to the unredacted Mueller report, called for McGahn to appear before the panel to testify and provide documents related to the Mueller investigation.

But earlier this month, now-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone first notified the committee that McGahn would not be allowed to comply with the subpoena, saying requests for documents and materials must go to the White House.

“The White House provided these records to Mr. McGahn in connection with its cooperation with the Special Counsel’s investigation and with the clear understanding that the records remain subject to the control of the White House for all purposes,” Cipollone wrote. “The White House records remain legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”

HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SCHEDULES HEARING FOR DON MCGAHN, DESPITE WHITE HOUSE MOVE TO BLOCK SUBPOENA

He added: “Because Mr. McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties, I would ask the Committee to direct any request for such records to the White House, the appropriate legal custodian.”

Cipollone wrote that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney “has directed Mr. McGahn not to produce these White House records,” adding that the Justice Department concurs with their legal position.

But Nadler has stressed the importance of McGahn’s testimony, saying it would “help shed further light on the president’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others to do the same.”

Trump, though, said he never told McGahn to fire Mueller, and tweeted last month that if he “wanted to fire Mueller, I didn’t need McGahn to do it, I could have done it myself.”

The battle over McGahn’s testimony is just one front in the clash between the White House and congressional Democrats.

Earlier this month, the committee voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for defying a subpoena for Mueller’s full and unredacted report, as well as underlying evidence and documents used in the investigation.

Trump, prior to the vote, asserted executive privilege over the materials in a bid to protect them from being turned over to the committee. The full House has yet to take a final vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt of Congress.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5824913905001_5824921008001-vs White House tells McGahn to skip House hearing, as DOJ asserts 'immunity' John Roberts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b1cf3d8d-9183-5c04-9a00-70a15c14d5bd article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5824913905001_5824921008001-vs White House tells McGahn to skip House hearing, as DOJ asserts 'immunity' John Roberts fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman b1cf3d8d-9183-5c04-9a00-70a15c14d5bd article

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Gillibrand says she’d ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade if elected president

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6036840341001_6036849021001-vs Gillibrand says she’d ‘codify’ Roe v. Wade if elected president fox-news/politics/judiciary/abortion fox news fnc/politics fnc Brooke Singman article 19e5ca81-36bd-5035-b3c1-70779c642c25

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Thursday vowed to “codify” Roe v. Wade if elected president, amid a fierce abortion debate in the wake of Alabama’s new state law banning almost all abortion procedures.

During a visit to Atlanta Thursday, the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful touted her “robust reproductive rights agenda,” and promised to take her plans a “step further.”

ALABAMA GOVERNOR SIGNS RESTRICTIVE ABORTION BILL AS ACLU VOWS TO SUE

“First, as president, I will codify Roe v. Wade. I will make it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that women in this country have a guaranteed right to an abortion,” Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said.

“Second, I will end the Hyde Amendment, which disproportionately blocks women of color and women with low incomes from getting access to abortion services,” she continued. “And third, in the most sweeping step that I’m going to take as president, I will guarantee access to reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter what state you live in.”

Gillibrand added that she would create a “funding stream” to make sure that women have access to reproductive health centers in every state.

“I would ensure that no state can pass laws that chip away at access to reproductive care or criminalize reproductive health care providers,” she explained. “Federal law should supersede harmful state laws that take away women’s reproductive freedom.”

Gillibrand said that she believed that access to abortion is a “constitutionally recognized right.”

“I’m not afraid to follow through and guarantee it,” she said. “With the power of the federal government, this is about the fundamental question of whether we value women in this country and whether we see them as humans who are able to make their own decision.”

She added: “And any Democrat who expects to win the presidency must answer definitively where they stand on this issue.”

Gillibrand’s comments come amid a heated national debate over Alabama’s new state law, which bans nearly all abortion procedures.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signed the bill into law Wednesday. The law makes nearly all abortions in the state illegal and makes performing one a felony, punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison unless the mother’s health is at risk, with no exceptions for women impregnated by rape or incest.

Republican state Rep. Terri Collins, who sponsored the bill, aimed to reignite the debate surrounding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortions across the nation, and to push justices to overturn the landmark ruling.

Currently, the law will not be enforceable because of the current Supreme Court ruling that makes abortions a constitutional right. Ivey acknowledged this when she signed the bill into law.

“In all meaningful respects, this bill closely resembles an abortion ban that has been a part of Alabama law for well over 100 years. As today’s bill itself recognizes, that longstanding abortion law has been rendered unenforceable as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade,” she said.

“No matter one’s personal view on abortion, we can all recognize that, at least for the short term, this bill may similarly be unenforceable. As citizens of this great country, we must always respect the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court even when we disagree with their decisions,” she continued.

“Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973. The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”

CELEBRITIES REACT TO ALABAMA’S CONTROVERSIAL ABORTION LAW: ‘THIS IS WAR’

A Fox News poll conducted in February tallied voters’ familiarity with Roe v. Wade, and 48 percent said they are “extremely” or “very” familiar with the ruling while the exact same number are “somewhat” or “not at all” familiar with the case.

Moreover, 57 percent of voters say the Supreme Court should let the 46-year old ruling stand; that number jumps to 68 percent among those who are familiar with the case.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill on Thursday, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the Alabama law “goes further than I believe.”

McCarthy said he believed in “exceptions for rape, incest and life of the mother,” but wouldn’t go as far as to take a stand on whether the Supreme Court should strike down the Alabama law if it were to reach the high court.

But Alabama is not the only state in the nation with an abortion law as restrictive as the one passed this week. In March, Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that outlaws most abortion procedures once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. The law makes it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy.

At the time, the Center for Reproductive Rights called the bill “blatantly unconstitutional,” and has threatened to sue the state to block the law from going into effect on July 1.

“The term ‘heartbeat bill’ is a manipulative misnomer. These bills actually rob women of their choice to have an #abortion before they even know they’re pregnant,” the group tweeted in March.

Also in Ohio, the legislature proposed a similar measure during former Gov. John Kasich’s term. Kasich vetoed the proposal, but the new Republican governor, Mike DeWine, has indicated he will support the bill. The measure passed the Ohio Senate last week.

Kentucky passed a similar bill last month, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, last spring signed a ‘heartbeat’ bill into law.

Meanwhile, states like New York, Virginia, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington have either passed new laws expanding abortion access, or are moving toward stripping old laws from the books that limit abortions.

In New York, non-doctors are now allowed to conduct abortions and the procedure can be done until the mother’s due date if the woman’s health is endangered or if the fetus is not viable. The previous law only allowed abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if a woman’s life was at risk.

Fox News’ Ben Florence, Vandana Rambaran, Victoria Balara, and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Trump scorches de Blasio after 2020 announcement: ‘NYC HATES HIM!’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6026661163001_6026658683001-vs Trump scorches de Blasio after 2020 announcement: ‘NYC HATES HIM!’ fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc ef1cd35d-b711-557b-a6f4-f8e11a17d800 Brooke Singman article

President Trump scorched fellow New Yorker Bill de Blasio Thursday, just hours after the Big Apple mayor announced his 2020 White House bid, calling the liberal Democrat “a joke” and claiming that “NYC HATES HIM.”

”The Dems are getting another beauty to join their group. Bill de Blasio of NYC, considered the worst mayor in the U.S., will supposedly be making an announcement for president today. He is a JOKE, but if you like high taxes & crime, he’s your man. NYC HATES HIM!” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

The president’s tweets came after de Blasio announced his candidacy early Thursday in a video posted online. De Blasio is the 23rd Democrat to officially announce a bid for the presidency.

DE BLASIO MOCKED BY PROTESTERS AT RAUCOUS GREEN NEW DEAL RALLY INSIDE TRUMP TOWER

De Blasio touted his experience as a two-term mayor and highlighted his efforts to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, approving paid sick leave and creating a comprehensive guaranteed healthcare system.

As president, de Blasio said he would counter many of the controversial policies of the Trump administration, including family separations and backing out of the Paris climate change agreement.

“I will not rest until this government serves working people,” de Blasio said.

But according to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 76 percent of New York City voters said they did not think de Blasio should run for president, giving him “an anemic 42-44 percent job approval rating.”

On Thursday, following his announcement, de Blasio appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and was met with dozens of protesters standing outside the studio, some holding foam fingers that said “LIAR,” and signs that read “Mayor Bill de Blasio is no friend of labor.” Some protesters even chanted “liar” outside the GMA studio’s window.

Over the weekend, de Blasio was also met with fierce opposition, during a rally promoting the city’s Green New Deal inside the lobby of Trump Tower, where the mayor threatened Trump’s family company with millions of dollars in fines if his buildings fail to comply with the new environmental standards.

BILL DE BLASIO ANNOUNCES 2020 WHITE HOUSE RUN, JOINING CROWDED FIELD

The mayor, though, was forced to shout for much of his speech amid jeers from a crowd of protesters inside the lobby of Trump Tower. A number of protesters rode up and down the escalator behind de Blasio carrying cardboard signs with slogans like “Worst Mayor Ever,” “Failed Mayor,” and “Trump 2020.”

De Blasio, at the time, said he did not mind the protesters and added that it was “so nice for them to serenade us.”

Meanwhile, in his presidential campaign announcement video Thursday, de Blasio took direct aim at the president, calling him a “bully,” and assuring voters that he knows “how to take him on.”

“Don’t back down in the face of a bully, confront him,” de Blasio said in the video. “Donald Trump must be stopped, I’ve beaten him before and I will do it again.”

Fox News’ Tara Prindiville, Paulina Dedaj, Andrew O’Reilly and Tamara Gitt contributed to this report.

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US attorney John Durham has been reviewing origins of Russia probe ‘for weeks’: source

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The U.S. attorney appointed to examine the origins of the Russia investigation has been working on his review “for weeks,” a person familiar with the process told Fox News on Tuesday.

Fox News reported on Monday that Attorney General Bill Barr had assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to conduct the inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, as well as whether Democrats were the ones who improperly colluded with foreign actors.

BARR ASSIGNS US ATTORNEY IN CONNECTICUT TO LOOK INTO GOVERNMENT SURVEILLANCE INVOLVING TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Durham, known as a “hard-charging, bulldog” prosecutor, according to a source, will focus on the period before Nov. 7, 2016—including the use and assignments of FBI informants, as well as alleged improper issuance of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.

Barr first announced that he was reviewing the “conduct” of the FBI’s original Russia investigation during the summer of 2016 last month, following calls from Republicans, and President Trump, to investigate the origins of the probe.

“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016,” Barr testified on April 9.

That same day, Fox News learned that Barr had assembled a “team” to investigate the origins of the investigation. A source told Fox News Tuesday that Durham has been working on the investigation “for weeks,” but it is unclear if he was part of the original team assembled by Barr last month.

The FBI’s July 2016 counterintelligence investigation was opened by former senior agent Peter Strzok. Former FBI counsel Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was romantically involved, revealed during a closed-door congressional interview that the FBI “knew so little” about whether allegations against the Trump campaign were “true or not true,” at the time that they opened the probe, noting that they had just “a paucity of evidence because we are just starting down the path” of vetting the allegations. Page later said that it was “entirely common” that the FBI would begin a counterintelligence investigation with just a “small amount of evidence.”

The FBI, at the time, was led by former Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe—both fired during the Trump administration.

It has been widely reported that in the weeks and months leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI employed informants to probe and extract information from Trump campaign officials.

Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that an investigator working for the U.S. intelligence community posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016, and tried to probe former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos on the campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

The investigator, who went by Azra Turk, met with Papadopoulos at a London Bar, where she asked directly whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia. Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, another time over dinner, and then once with Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor who had been a longtime FBI informant. The Times noted that Turk had apparently been sent to oversee Halper, and possibly provide cover for Halper in the event Turk needed to testify.

Papadopoulos told Fox News earlier this month that he “immediately thought she was an agent, but a Turkish agent, or working with the CIA,” and explained “that’s why I never accepted her overtures and met her again after London…London became a very bizarre hangout spot for me that year.”

Papadopoulos also told Fox News that Turk was trying to “seduce” him in an effort to “make me slip up and say something that they knew I had no info on.”

The role of the informants, however, are also reportedly part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review into potential abuses of FISA. Horowitz’s probe began last year, and Fox News has learned that that investigation is nearing completion. Horowitz’s probe is also focused on the FISA warrants issued and recertified for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

BARR REVEALS HE IS REVIEWING ‘CONDUCT’ OF FBI’S ORIGINAL RUSSIA PROBE

Republicans, for months, have called for a careful review as to whether the FBI violated Page’s constitutional rights, misled the FISA court, or withheld exculpatory information.

The FBI’s ultimately successful October 2016 warrant application to surveil Page, which relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the now-infamous anti-Trump dossier, accused Page of conspiring with Russians. Page was never charged with any wrongdoing.

Republicans have also been looking for answers from U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was appointed by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to review not only surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI, but also their handling of the investigation into the Clinton Foundation and other matters. Huber apparently has made little progress, and has spoken to few key witnesses and whistleblowers.

Meanwhile, Barr’s appointment of Durham comes after he testified last month that he believed that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign in 2016.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said at a congressional hearing. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated…Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

Barr later clarified in the hearing: “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

But FBI Director Chris Wray during a separate congressional hearing broke with Barr’s sentiment.

BARR ASSEMBLES ‘TEAM’ TO LOOK INTO ORIGINS OF RUSSIA PROBE

“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee when asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures.

“Lots of people have different colloquial phrases,” he continued. “I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”

But former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned in November amid a political clash with the president following his decision in 2017 to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia investigation due to his work with the campaign, later took Barr’s side.

“I think that ‘spying’ is a perfectly good word,” Sessions said during an on-stage interview at a conference in Las Vegas last week.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson, Gregg Re and Adam Shaw contributed to this report. 

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Calls to jail Attorney General Barr grow from Democratic ranks

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In the days since the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress, more and more Democratic lawmakers have opened the door to the possibility of arresting the Justice Department leader in a bid to force cooperation — despite party powerbrokers signaling opposition to such a radical step.

The committee last week voted to hold Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a congressional subpoena for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted Russia report and underlying materials, as President Trump asserted executive privilege to protect those same files from release.

IMPRISONING BILL BARR IS LEFT’S NEW RALLYING CRY: ‘HAVE HIM LOCKED UP’

The panel’s party-line decision sent the measure to the House floor for a final vote. If approved, the measure would be referred to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia—who could choose not to act. House Democrats could also pursue a lawsuit.

But there’s a more drastic step that has been gaining traction among some of Barr’s fiercest critics — the possibility of dragging Barr in to testify or jailing the AG for defying the subpoena.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., was one of the first calling for the House to pursue “inherent contempt,” which would have Barr arrested by the sergeant at arms—a tactic reportedly not employed since the 1930s.

Several other lawmakers are now warming to the idea.

“We know how to arrest people around here,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., told Politico. “And if we need to arrest someone, the [House] sergeant-at-arms will know how to do it. I’m not afraid of that.”

He added: “If they can arrest my constituents, we can arrest someone else who’s disobeying the law.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., also touted Congress’ “inherent authority,” which she said was “at our disposal.”

“We have a number of steps we’re looking at that we can take,” Jayapal told Politico. “People feel like we’re progressing at the appropriate pace.”

But despite rank-and-file Democrats calling for the arrest of Barr, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seems cool to the idea. Last week, she pushed back when asked about the potential step.

“We do have a jail in the basement of the Capitol, but if we were arresting all of the people in the administration, we would have an overcrowded jail situation,” she said. “And I’m not for that.”

PELOSI CLAIMS CONGRESS IS ‘A SUPERIOR BRANCH’ OF GOVERNMENT, AS CLASH WITH WHITE HOUSE INTENSIFIES

Inherent contempt is one of three contempt options available, along with criminal contempt (under which an individual is charged with a crime) and civil judgment (leading to a civil court process).

And while inherent contempt has not been used in decades, some lawmakers suggest it’s appropriate to consider in this situation.

“There’s a reason why we don’t do it, but there’s a reason why we haven’t had to even talk about it,” Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., told Politico. “Because we’ve had administrations that have negotiated in good faith and tried to work for the good of the American people rather than the good of a particular incumbent.”

Last week, Cohen told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Barr needs to be “locked up until he agrees to participate” and come to a hearing before the committee.

Several op-eds, including one by former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich, also supported such a move.

Many Democrats including Pelosi are also claiming that Barr lied to Congress.

“He lied to Congress. And if anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,” Pelosi told reporters last month. “Nobody is above the law. Not the president of the United States. Not the attorney general.

Pelosi’s public comments came after she, according to Politico, told Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., during a private caucus meeting Thursday: “We saw [Barr] commit a crime when he answered your question.”

She was referring to an April 9 hearing, where Crist had asked whether Barr knew what prompted reports that prosecutors on the special counsel team were frustrated with his initial summary. Barr said he did not.

But earlier this month, The Washington Post first reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller contacted Barr, both in a letter and in a phone call, to express concerns after Barr released his four-page summary of Mueller’s findings in March. Mueller pushed Barr to release the executive summaries written by the special counsel’s office. However, according to both the Post and the Justice Department, Mueller made clear that he did not feel that Barr’s summary was inaccurate. Instead, Mueller told Barr that media coverage of the letter had “misinterpreted” the results of the probe concerning obstruction of justice.

Pelosi was also asked if Barr should go to jail for the alleged crime.

“There is a process involved here and as I said, I’ll say it again, the committee will have to come to how we will proceed,” Pelosi said.

“Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in response.

Democrats have blasted Barr for weeks over his handling of the special counsel’s report. Barr initially released a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings, announcing in late March that the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Mueller did not come to a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, but Barr said the evidence was not sufficient to charge the president with such an offense.

While Democrats have criticized Barr for that swift conclusion, they have sought the completely unredacted version of the report in a bid to learn more about what information Mueller gathered regarding the obstruction probe. The report released publicly last month had redactions covering sensitive sources and methods, grand jury material, and other areas to protect the reputational interests of “peripheral players” in the investigation.

Barr and his deputies, however, have countered that they’ve made available to select members a version with minimal redactions — and Democrats have declined to look at it.

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Trump takes swipe at FBI Director Wray for ‘protecting’ Russia probe ‘gang’

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President Trump took a swipe at his own FBI director overnight as he echoed allegations that Christopher Wray is protecting members of the bureau who, in the words of one critic, worked to “overthrow” him.

The president, sending a signal about his apparently dimming view toward the sitting bureau boss, tweeted comments recently made by the head of conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, on Fox Business Network’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

SPLIT WITH BARR? FBI DIRECTOR WRAY SAYS SURVEILLANCE NOT THE SAME AS ‘SPYING’

“’The FBI has no leadership,'” Trump quoted Fitton as saying. “‘The Director is protecting the same gang that tried to overthrow the President through an illegal coup.’ (Recommended by previous DOJ) @TomFitton @JudicialWatch.”

The president added Fitton’s comment that “’as long as President Trump is president, his opposition will use every tool, and misuse every tool available, to make his life miserable.’”

Fitton’s comments, and Trump’s promotion of them, were aimed in part at congressional Democrats who have been ramping up Trump administration probes in the wake of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. This includes a new effort to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over an unredacted version of that report and underlying materials.

But the swipe at Wray suggests Trump views his FBI director with caution as Barr pursues his own review into the origins of the Russia investigation. Barr, last month, stirred controversy when he testified that he believed “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr said at a congressional hearing. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated. …Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”

Barr later clarified in the hearing: “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

SESSIONS SIDES WITH BARR OVER FBI’S ‘SPYING’ ON TRUMP CAMPAIGN

Trump’s tweet could have been spurred by the FBI director’s appearance last week before a congressional panel where he broke with Barr on the use of that term.

“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee when asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures.

“Lots of people have different colloquial phrases,” he continued. “I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”

But former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who resigned in November amid a political clash with the president following his decision in 2017 to recuse himself from oversight of the Russia investigation due to his work with the campaign, later took Barr’s side.

“I think that ‘spying’ is a perfectly good word,” Sessions said during an on-stage interview at a conference in Las Vegas last week.

Sessions, while he was attorney general, was routinely ripped by Trump on Twitter for his decision to recuse and his DOJ leadership amid the Russia probe. He was replaced after the 2018 midterms. It’s unclear whether Wray could face similar criticism from the president going forward.

The president, for his part, has defended Barr’s comments, repeatedly saying that spying “absolutely” occurred on his campaign.

“It was illegal spying,” Trump said last month. “Unprecedented spying.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Department inspector general is conducting an investigation into alleged misconduct related to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and whether there was misconduct in the issuance of those warrants. The review is also reportedly probing the role of an FBI informant in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

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