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Hunter Biden’s past business associations come under scrutiny, as Dem debate looms

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094792681001_6094795440001-vs Hunter Biden's past business associations come under scrutiny, as Dem debate looms Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc article 004506b8-629e-5148-a77a-26aef6ea98ed

Hunter Biden’s past business dealings at home and abroad are increasingly coming under scrutiny, as the former vice president’s son broke his silence in a nationally televised interview this morning — and 12 Democratic presidential candidates are preparing to debate Tuesday evening in Ohio.

Speaking to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Biden maintained he did nothing improper in serving on the board of a Ukrainian gas company but acknowledged it was “poor judgment” on his part. In his first interview since his overseas business dealings came under scrutiny, Biden said he did not discuss the board seat with his father except for one “brief exchange” that was previously reported.

Although President Trump repeatedly has hammered Hunter Biden’s ties to China and Ukraine, the latest cloud of suspicion came as Republicans pointed to resurfaced 2008 reports in The New York Times and The American Spectator. The articles, written as Barack Obama and John McCain vied for the White House, found that Hunter Biden received consulting fees from the financial services company MBNA from 2001 to 2005 — while his father, then a senator, was pushing successfully for legislation that would make it harder for consumers to file for bankruptcy protection.

The precise amount of the payments was unclear, but a company official once said Hunter Biden was receiving at least a $100,000 per year retainer, the Times reported. Hunter Biden, now 49, previously had been an executive at MBNA beginning in 1996, but the consulting fees came years after his departure from the company as a full-time employee.

Aides to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama at the time denied that any lobbying had occurred, and insisted the payments were proper.

PROOF OF LINKS: PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS JOE, HUNTER BIDEN GOLFING WITH UKRAINE GAS EXEC

However, that explanation was treated with skepticism. On Monday, the Trump campaign posted a contemporaneous interview in which an incredulous Tom Brokaw asked Joe Biden whether it was “inappropriate” for the then-senator to have his son “collecting money from this big credit card company while you were on the [Senate] floor protecting its interests.”

Hunter Biden’s previous work as an executive at MBNA from 1996 to 1998 also has raised what critics called red flags.

Rachel Mullen, a former senior personal banking officer at MBNA from 1994-2001 who later went into Republican politics, tweeted Monday that managers referred to the younger Biden as “Senator MBNA” after he was hired into a lucrative management-prep track right after he graduated from Yale Law School.

TRUMP BELITTLES BIDENS WITH GRAPHIC LANGUAGE AT MINNEAPOLIS RALLY, AS CHAOS UNFOLDS OUTSIDE ARENA

An MBNA source who previously worked at the company told Fox News on Monday that other employees heard Biden boasting that his salary was unusually high, even for the management-prep track — which was widely seen in the company as a way to groom and pamper well-connected executive candidates with powerful family members.

The source said Biden’s “Senator MBNA” nickname was not politically motivated, but rather reflected a widely held belief among managers — who did not work directly with Biden — that he essentially was engaged in lobbying.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN SEEKS TO KICK GIULIANI OFF TV, AFTER HE IMPLICATES BIDENS IN OVERSEAS CORRUPTION

In a January 2008 article entitled “The Senator from MBNA,” columnist Byron York recounted how then-MBNA vice chairman John Cochran paid “top dollar” for Biden’s home in February 1996, just prior to his Senate re-election bid, and that “MBNA gave Cochran a lot of money—$330,000—to help with ‘expenses’ related to the move.”

The $1.2M sale was a “pretty darned good deal for Biden,” York wrote, noting that “Cochran simply paid Biden’s full asking price” even though the “house needed quite a bit of work; contractors and their trucks descended on the house for months after the purchase.”

Asked how Cochran and Biden found each other for the sale, an MBNA spokesperson told York: “That’s a very personal question.”

Federal election records also showed top MBNA executives apparently made a “concerted” effort to donate to Biden’s campaign, York reported.

It remained unclear whether, and to what extent, the resurfaced accounts of possible misconduct by the Bidens could affect the 2020 presidential race. An ABC News interview with Hunter Biden is set to air beginning Tuesday, and the issue might come up during Tuesday night’s presidential primary debate.

Under intense scrutiny from Republicans, Hunter Biden announced this past Sunday he will step down from the board of directors of a Chinese-backed private equity firm at the end of the month as part of a pledge not to work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies should his father win the presidency. At the same time, the Bidens have denied wrongdoing.

HUNTER MAY HAVE MADE ‘MILLIONS’ IN UKRAINE, NEWLY REVEALED DOCS SUGGEST

Biden revealed his plan in an Internet post written by his attorney, George Mesires, who outlined a defense of the younger Biden’s work in Ukraine and China, which has emerged as one of Trump’s chief lines of attack against Hunter’s father.

“Hunter makes the following commitment: Under a Biden Administration, Hunter will readily comply with any and all guidelines or standards a President Biden may issue to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts, including any restrictions related to overseas business interests. In any event, Hunter will agree not to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign-owned companies,” Mesires wrote.

He continued: “He will continue to keep his father personally uninvolved in his business affairs, while availing himself as necessary and appropriate to the Office of the White House Counsel to help inform his application of the Biden Administration’s guidelines or standards to his business decision-making.”

From late 2013 through this month, Hunter Biden has served on the board of BHR (Shanghai) Equity Investment Fund Management Company, which was “formed with the stated intent to invest Chinese capital outside of China.” Mesires insisted Biden’s initial role was that of an unpaid member of the board and that in October 2017, Biden “committed to invest approximately $420,000 USD to acquire a 10 percent equity position in BHR, which he still holds.”

Separately, Joe Biden has acknowledged on camera that in spring 2016, when he was vice president and spearheading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy, he successfully pressured Ukraine to fire top prosecutor Viktor Shokin. At the time, Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings — where Hunter had a lucrative role on the board despite limited relevant expertise. Shokin also was widely accused of corruption.

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Critics alleged Hunter Biden, in effect, might have been selling access to his father, who had pushed Ukraine to increase its natural gas production.

“Impossible to justify $50k/month for Hunter Biden serving on a Ukrainian energy board w zero expertise unless he promised to sell access,” political scientist Ian Bremmer tweeted.

Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094792681001_6094795440001-vs Hunter Biden's past business associations come under scrutiny, as Dem debate looms Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc article 004506b8-629e-5148-a77a-26aef6ea98ed   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094792681001_6094795440001-vs Hunter Biden's past business associations come under scrutiny, as Dem debate looms Gregg Re fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc article 004506b8-629e-5148-a77a-26aef6ea98ed

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Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it?

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8

When Joe Biden was asked during a recent news conference whether he had a conflict of interest leading Ukraine policy while his son was working for a Ukrainian oligarch, he said, “I’m not going to respond to that” and told reporters to focus on President Trump. If he’s allowed to get away with that at Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, it will be a travesty.

The debate moderators — CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey — have a responsibility to press Biden to address his conflicts. Worryingly, Burnett recently said “There is no evidence of Joe Biden doing anything wrong” and that “what we need to talk about right now is what did the president … do or not do.” That’s exactly what Biden is hoping for Tuesday night.

Here are eight questions Biden should be required to answer during the course of the debate.

TAMMY BRUCE: BIDEN CAMPAIGN SEEMS TO THINK HE CANNOT BE CRITICIZED IN MAINSTREAM MEDIA

1. Your son Hunter took a position with a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, just before you visited Kiev and urged Ukraine to increase its natural gas production. He was paid as much as $50,000 a month despite having no experience in Ukraine or the natural gas industry. Why do you think Burisma hired your son and paid him such massive sums?

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2. You say that you pressured Ukraine to fire its chief prosecutor because it was universally believed that he was not investigating corruption. Let’s accept that. The Code of Federal Regulations states that when a federal official takes action that will affect “a relative with whom the employee has a close personal relationship” and “the circumstances would cause a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his impartiality in the matter, the employee should not participate in the matter.” Even if the prosecutor deserved to be fired, you clearly had a conflict of interest because a reasonable person could question your impartiality. Why was it appropriate for you to be the one to deliver the ultimatum?

3. Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz, was your son’s business partner and warned him and Devon Archer not to get involved with Burisma. Why couldn’t Kerry, who had no conflict, take the lead on Ukraine?

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4. You recently said that you have “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” But your son told the New Yorker that you did. Why did you say you never discussed it with him when you had? And why would you say to him “I hope you know what you are doing” if he was doing nothing wrong?

5. The same New Yorker story reports that in December 2015, “Amos Hochstein, the Obama administration’s special envoy for energy policy, raised the matter [of Hunter’s relationship with Burisma] with Biden.” Hochstein may be called to testify under oath in the Senate about that conversation. What did he say to you?

6. In December 2013, your son flew with you to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Less than two weeks later, his firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners, closed a deal to open a fund whose largest shareholder was the Bank of China. Would you have a problem if Donald Trump Jr. traveled to Beijing on Air Force One and then a few weeks later struck a major new commercial deal with the Chinese government? If so, why was it not a problem for your son Hunter to do this?

7.  Your son announced this week that if you are elected, he will not work on behalf of any foreign-owned companies and will comply with all regulations “to address purported conflicts of interest, or the appearance of such conflicts.” If his foreign work would be a conflict if you were president, why was it not a conflict when you were vice president?

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8. Many Americans are deeply concerned about Trump’s attacks on the news media. But in recent weeks, your campaign has written to the major television networks to “demand” that they not invite the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to appear on their programs, and has accused The New York Times of “active participation in [a] smear campaign” against you for publishing an opinion piece that criticized you. Why is this appropriate? And as president will you use the power of your office to coerce news organizations to silence those critical of your administration?

Biden is trying to intimidate the media into not asking tough questions about his conflicts of interest in Ukraine and China. Will CNN and The New York Times give in to his demands? We’ll find out Tuesday night.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094741637001_6094740607001-vs Marc Thiessen: Joe Biden needs to be asked these 8 questions. Will debate moderators have the guts to do it? the washington post Marc Thiessen fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc article 5b08c5cf-9405-5bb4-a1e9-b2163e9c45b8

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Newt Gingrich: Democrats meet to debate (again). Here are five questions that need to be asked

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094414435001_6094424800001-vs Newt Gingrich: Democrats meet to debate (again). Here are five questions that need to be asked Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c37ac82d-3b96-5a86-a52c-4d9a9c7dc21c article

When Democrats gather for the CNN-New York Times presidential debate on Tuesday, note there are five big “donkeys” in the room. (They can’t be elephants at a Democratic debate.)

First, the most obvious is that Hunter Biden earned $600,000 a year from a Ukrainian natural gas company. The left-wing media has done all it can to suppress questions about Hunter Biden. They correctly point out he has not been convicted of anything. Of course, given the universal agreement that Ukraine was extraordinarily corrupt (before the recent presidential election of a reformer) what would absence of conviction prove? It is close to President Nixon’s, November 17, 1973 press conference “I am not a crook” assertion.

There are two simple points about the Hunter Biden-Ukraine issue. What was his unique qualification to get that much money, which has added up to more than $3,000,000? Did his father really not know about it? Hunter has said he did tell his father, but his father has said he did not know. Given former Vice President Joe Biden’s routinely faulty memory, both could be true. However, most parents would know if their child was making $600,000 a year from a foreign company.

DEROY MURDOCK: WHEN IT COMES TO HUNTER BIDEN, ‘BIG MEDIA’ HAS A NEWFOUND RESPECT FOR PRIVACY

Second, do the other Democratic presidential candidates support Beto O’Rourke’s proposal to cut off tax deductibility for any church or other religious institution that does not recognize gay marriage? This is a boldly radical idea comparable to O’Rourke’s call for compulsory gun confiscation. How do the other candidates handle their slavish devotion to identity politics when faced with this bold but politically deadly proposal?

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Third, since Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is now rated the front runner, how many candidates agree with her position that California’s public school gender indoctrination should be extended to the rest of the country? Because this is a new issue – only now emerging into public conversation – it is worth quoting a question from the recent CNN town hall.

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Question: “How do you feel about schools teaching children about gender orientation and gender identity? In California, we’re already starting those kinds of teachings and parents have been very upset and outraged. As a parent, I’m in full support of these teachings. How would you feel about it for the rest of the country?”

Warren responded: “So, I believe this is about teaching children about our world. And, of course, we should teach them about our world. We should teach them about people, we should teach them about differences. So, I strongly support this. And I support doing this in age-appropriate ways from the time they’re very young. I think this is part of how children learn, that we live in a world that has a lot of different folks who look different, who sound different, who do different things, who form different kinds of families and as Americans, we look at that and say, it’s not our weakness, that’s our strength.”

Do the other Democratic candidates agree that teachers’ unions can force gender identity indoctrination on children as young as 3-years-old – and that parents have no right to withdraw their children from these compulsory classes? In many ways, this is a bigger assault on religion than O’Rourke’s tax proposal.

Fourth, do the presidential candidates agree with House Democrats, who on Sept. 26 passed the first step toward government health care for people in the country illegally by mandating a whole series of health activities, including electronic health records at the border?

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Fifth, do the presidential candidates agree that House Democrats should continue to ignore the fair, open process used in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments? Do they agree that it was OK for Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., to totally falsify President Trump’s words in his opening statement at a committee hearing, or do they believe it was unacceptably misleading in something as serious as an impeachment investigation?

These five questions would do a lot to clarify just how out-of-touch Democrats are becoming.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094414435001_6094424800001-vs Newt Gingrich: Democrats meet to debate (again). Here are five questions that need to be asked Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c37ac82d-3b96-5a86-a52c-4d9a9c7dc21c article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6094414435001_6094424800001-vs Newt Gingrich: Democrats meet to debate (again). Here are five questions that need to be asked Newt Gingrich fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c37ac82d-3b96-5a86-a52c-4d9a9c7dc21c article

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Gaetz blasts Schiff for removing him from ‘unfair’ impeachment inquiry hearing

Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Gaetz Gaetz blasts Schiff for removing him from 'unfair' impeachment inquiry hearing fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 27f4ebf2-5085-5f32-9037-b03530b23d48

House Judiciary Committee Member Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., ripped Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for having him removed Monday from a Trump impeachment inquiry hearing.

Gaetz told “Hannity” his removal was proof that Democrats cannot run a fair inquiry process, as Republicans had in the case of former President Bill Clinton.

“This is proof that Democrats can’t win a fair election, they can’t win a fair debate and they absolutely cannot run a fair impeachment inquiry because they’re stacking the deck.”

REPUBLICAN REP. MATT GAETZ KICKED OUT OF IMPEACHMENT HEARING

Gaetz called the process thus far “bizarre,” adding that his own committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., effectively commenced the impeachment inquiry last month — and now he has been removed from a related hearing.

The Florida Republican claimed Democrats like Schiff are doing everything they can to limit GOP access to witnesses and evidence, and not allowing the minority party to issue subpoenas.

“If Republicans had a witness list it would be Adam Schiff who would be a fact witness because of the collusion that he and his staff were engaged in with the whistleblower that they then lied about,” he claimed.

“Even Republicans didn’t treat Bill Clinton this bad.”

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He said that in the case of Clinton’s 1998 impeachment proceedings, Democrats were allowed to issue subpoenas and Clinton counsel were allowed more access to the process than President Trump’s attorneys have had.

Gaetz told Hannity he would continue to push for the “facts” of the case to come out, characterizing Schiff’s conduct as worthy of a “kangaroo court.”

Earlier Monday, Gaetz attempted to attend the testimony of Fiona Hill, a former deputy assistant to the president, but was told that because he was not a member of the House Intelligence Committee that he had to leave. The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees are conducting the impeachment inquiry into Trump.

A frustrated Gaetz aired his disappointment to reporters after being told he was not allowed to sit in on the hearing, venting his anger over what he says are “selective leaks.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Gaetz Gaetz blasts Schiff for removing him from 'unfair' impeachment inquiry hearing fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 27f4ebf2-5085-5f32-9037-b03530b23d48   Westlake Legal Group Hannity-Gaetz Gaetz blasts Schiff for removing him from 'unfair' impeachment inquiry hearing fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 27f4ebf2-5085-5f32-9037-b03530b23d48

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Kamala Harris: Impeaching Trump ‘shouldn’t take very long’ because ‘we have a confession’

Westlake Legal Group AP19284065185790 Kamala Harris: Impeaching Trump 'shouldn't take very long' because 'we have a confession' Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 7e165974-090a-5afa-b603-8c94837f7d6c

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., on Sunday said the impeachment of President Trump “shouldn’t take very long” because she claimed he’s already confessed that he pressured Ukrainian leaders to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 presidential rival.

While taking questions at a United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) candidate forum in Altoona, Iowa, the White House contender was asked by UFCW President Marc Perrone if she would prosecute Trump for impeachment.

“I’ve been calling for the impeachment of this president for a long time,” replied Harris, a former prosecutor in San Francisco. “And, based on everything I know, yes.”

She claimed Trump already has confessed to trying to using the power of his office to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son Hunter, who previously was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.

“We have a confession. We have a coverup,” Harris said, referring to reports alleging that White House lawyers moved the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky from the computer system where they’re normally kept to a more secure system.

Trump, on the contrary, repeatedly has denied doing anything wrong. He called his phone call with Zelensky “perfect.”

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Harris continued, “When people say, ‘how long do you think this impeachment process is going to be?’ It shouldn’t take very long, because, I mean, he did it out in the open.”

Support among congressional Democrats for Trump’s impeachment has grown since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the start of a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump last month.

Westlake Legal Group AP19284065185790 Kamala Harris: Impeaching Trump 'shouldn't take very long' because 'we have a confession' Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 7e165974-090a-5afa-b603-8c94837f7d6c   Westlake Legal Group AP19284065185790 Kamala Harris: Impeaching Trump 'shouldn't take very long' because 'we have a confession' Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/iowa fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections/campaigning fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/media fnc article 7e165974-090a-5afa-b603-8c94837f7d6c

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New Hampshire poll suggests Michelle Obama would enter race as front-runner

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056489391001_6056486454001-vs New Hampshire poll suggests Michelle Obama would enter race as front-runner Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc ba68d01e-e99d-5613-b8f3-3f72f2f41bd8 article

Former first lady Michelle Obama repeatedly has stated there’s “zero chance” she would run for president in 2020 — but a new poll in New Hampshire, the state holding the first primary in the race for the White House, suggested that if Obama changed her mind, she would enter the race as the front-runner.

The Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University survey, released on Monday, indicated a three-way tie for the top spot in New Hampshire — with Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 25 percent support, former Vice President Joe Biden at 24 percent, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 22 percent.

WARREN, BIDEN TOP POLLS ON EVE OF LATEST DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATE

But, if Obama hypothetically jumped into the race, the poll suggested she would grab 26 percent support of likely Democratic primary voters in the Granite State, with Warren and Biden at 20 percent and Sanders at 15 percent.

The former first lady has resisted a flood of calls for her to declare her candidacy.

MICHELLE OBAMA SAYS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT ‘JUST NOT FOR ME’

“There are so many ways to improve this country and build a better world, and I keep doing plenty of them, from working with young people to helping families lead healthier lives. But sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office will never be one of them. It’s just not for me,” she told Amtrak’s magazine The National this past August.

The Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University poll was conducted Oct. 9-13, with 422 likely Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056489391001_6056486454001-vs New Hampshire poll suggests Michelle Obama would enter race as front-runner Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc ba68d01e-e99d-5613-b8f3-3f72f2f41bd8 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6056489391001_6056486454001-vs New Hampshire poll suggests Michelle Obama would enter race as front-runner Paul Steinhauser fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/politics/elections/presidential fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/michelle-obama fox news fnc/politics fnc ba68d01e-e99d-5613-b8f3-3f72f2f41bd8 article

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Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network’s LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats ‘radicalism’

Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784

CNN’s LGBTQ forum revealed the fringe elements of the Democratic party and showcased the “radical leftist mob” that makes up its constituency, network contributor Steve Cortes wrote in a Monday op-ed.

“Last week the Equality Town Hall held by my network, CNN, plainly revealed the radicalism that drives the Democratic Party today,” Cortes wrote for Real Clear Politics.

“In stark terms, candidates and audience members advocated for wholesale government-compelled social engineering to comport with their liberal secular-humanist agenda,” he continued. “Such proposals contravene foundational protections of our Constitution and also imperil Democrats’ electoral prospects for 2020.”

Cortes singled out 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke for threatening to rescind the tax-exempt status of churches that didn’t support same-sex marriage, and slammed him for disrespecting the Second Amendment.

“Robert Francis O’Rourke continued his steady philosophical assault upon the Bill of Rights,” the op-ed read. “Apparently, O’Rourke is no longer content to merely eviscerate the Second Amendment… Like most leftists who disrespect the Second Amendment, he also promotes hollowing out the First Amendment as well.”

BUTTIGIEG DEFENDS RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS, HITS BETO FOR THREATENING TO RESCIND THEIR TAX-EMEPT STATUS

O’Rourke was also criticized for his First Amendment views by fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg on Sunday during an interview with “State of the Union.” Buttigieg said O’Rourke’s remarks were tantamount to going to war with churches and religious institutions.

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“The idea that you are going to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they haven’t found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage, I’m not sure [O’Rourke] understood the implications of what he was saying,” he said.

“That means going to war, not only with churches, but I would think with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do.”

Cortes also highlighted the tenor of the live audience at the forum and said they are representative of the radical left’s inability to compromise.

He wrote, “As for the audience at the CNN forum, their behavior also showcased an important reality. The ‘woke’ leftist mob cannot be placated with anything short of total submission to their agenda.”

DEMOCRATS USING INTEL COMMITTEE TO KEEP IMPEACHMENT FACTS HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC, SAYS WSJ’S KIM STRASSEL

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“Numerous program interruptions and agitations from audience members encapsulated the true extremism of the social justice warrior movement,” Cortes added.

“For these militants, legal gay marriage is hardly enough. After all, Donald Trump was the first candidate ever elevated to the presidency who supported same-sex marriage, and yet he is still persistently pilloried by these fanatics.”

Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784   Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784

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Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network’s LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats ‘radicalism’

Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784

CNN’s LGBTQ forum revealed the fringe elements of the Democratic party and showcased the “radical leftist mob” that makes up its constituency, network contributor Steve Cortes wrote in a Monday op-ed.

“Last week the Equality Town Hall held by my network, CNN, plainly revealed the radicalism that drives the Democratic Party today,” Cortes wrote for Real Clear Politics.

“In stark terms, candidates and audience members advocated for wholesale government-compelled social engineering to comport with their liberal secular-humanist agenda,” he continued. “Such proposals contravene foundational protections of our Constitution and also imperil Democrats’ electoral prospects for 2020.”

Cortes singled out 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke for threatening to rescind the tax-exempt status of churches that didn’t support same-sex marriage, and slammed him for disrespecting the Second Amendment.

“Robert Francis O’Rourke continued his steady philosophical assault upon the Bill of Rights,” the op-ed read. “Apparently, O’Rourke is no longer content to merely eviscerate the Second Amendment… Like most leftists who disrespect the Second Amendment, he also promotes hollowing out the First Amendment as well.”

BUTTIGIEG DEFENDS RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS, HITS BETO FOR THREATENING TO RESCIND THEIR TAX-EMEPT STATUS

O’Rourke was also criticized for his First Amendment views by fellow candidate Pete Buttigieg on Sunday during an interview with “State of the Union.” Buttigieg said O’Rourke’s remarks were tantamount to going to war with churches and religious institutions.

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“The idea that you are going to strip churches of their tax-exempt status if they haven’t found their way toward blessing same-sex marriage, I’m not sure [O’Rourke] understood the implications of what he was saying,” he said.

“That means going to war, not only with churches, but I would think with mosques and a lot of organizations that may not have the same view of various religious principles that I do.”

Cortes also highlighted the tenor of the live audience at the forum and said they are representative of the radical left’s inability to compromise.

He wrote, “As for the audience at the CNN forum, their behavior also showcased an important reality. The ‘woke’ leftist mob cannot be placated with anything short of total submission to their agenda.”

DEMOCRATS USING INTEL COMMITTEE TO KEEP IMPEACHMENT FACTS HIDDEN FROM THE PUBLIC, SAYS WSJ’S KIM STRASSEL

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Numerous program interruptions and agitations from audience members encapsulated the true extremism of the social justice warrior movement,” Cortes added.

“For these militants, legal gay marriage is hardly enough. After all, Donald Trump was the first candidate ever elevated to the presidency who supported same-sex marriage, and yet he is still persistently pilloried by these fanatics.”

Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784   Westlake Legal Group AP-beto-lemon Pro-Trump CNN contributor says network's LGBTQ forum revealed Democrats 'radicalism' Nick Givas fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/beto-orourke fox news fnc/media fnc article 4b3eb359-18d1-5ccf-8f2f-834d80ff8784

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California Democrats pay $800G in sexual misconduct cases against ex-state party chairman

The California Democratic Party has spent more than $800,000 in legal costs associated with lawsuits alleging discrimination and sexual misconduct by former party chairman Eric Bauman.

The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday that sum includes $430,000 in legal fees, including payments to law firms representing Bauman, and $378,348 in legal settlements for three cases.

Alton Wang, Will Rodriguez-Kennedy and Kate Earley jointly filed a lawsuit in January that alleged Bauman fostered a culture of harassment and sexual misconduct which was “well-known and apparently tolerated” by top party officials.

CALIFORNIA ADOPTS NATION’S BROADEST GUN SEIZURE LAWS

Westlake Legal Group bauman California Democrats pay $800G in sexual misconduct cases against ex-state party chairman Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc article 01df3957-81cf-5680-b784-250e203d48a0

Eric Bauman addresses the California Democratic Party’s annual convention in May 2017. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Rodriguez-Kennedy, the chairman of the San Diego Democratic Party, alleged that Bauman speculated about Rodriguez-Kennedy’s sex life during discussions about a job opening within the party, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He and Wang also alleged unwanted touching by Bauman, including instances when Bauman massaged Rodriguez- Kennedy’s back and neck in front of others and placed his arm around Wang’s waste.

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The Times, citing campaign finance reports, reported that Rodriguez-Kennedy and Wang each received a “legal settlement” of $150,000. Earley, who serves as the Digital Director for California Democrats, later dropped her claims and alleged in a Medium post she was being intimidated by a top party official, She received a settlement of $78,348, while her attorney, Gloria Allred received an additional $60,000. In the post, Earley called out Vice Chair Daraka Larimore-Hall as the senior witness accused in the suit of having engaged in retaliation and witness tampering.

Bauman resigned last November amid claims of misconduct and said at the time that he planned to seek treatment for alcohol use. Two other cases against Bauman remain active. In one of those cases, Bauman’s former assistant alleged that Bauman repeatedly groped and sexually assaulted him. In the other, two former employees and a party activist alleged that they endured sexual assault, harassment and racial discrimination by Bauman. Bauman’s attorneys denied all claims and said their client “looks forward to complete vindication once the facts come out.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group bauman California Democrats pay $800G in sexual misconduct cases against ex-state party chairman Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc article 01df3957-81cf-5680-b784-250e203d48a0   Westlake Legal Group bauman California Democrats pay $800G in sexual misconduct cases against ex-state party chairman Morgan Phillips fox-news/politics/state-and-local/controversies fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox news fnc/politics fnc article 01df3957-81cf-5680-b784-250e203d48a0

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Al Sharpton predicts black voters could switch from Biden to Warren: ‘A lot’ of his support based on Obama

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Sharpton Al Sharpton predicts black voters could switch from Biden to Warren: 'A lot' of his support based on Obama Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox news fnc/media fnc c10fdd3c-4906-5903-8a41-afc578023f13 article

Al Sharpton predicted on Friday that former Vice President Joe Biden could lose support among black voters if he failed to win races in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Appearing on MSNBC, Sharpton said that Biden had support among black voters in South Carolina but that was based on the fact he served in former President Barack Obama’s administration.

“A lot of Biden’s support in South Carolina is African-American voters,” Sharpton said, referring to one of the early primary states. “But a lot of that is based on — he was Barack Obama’s vice president.”

“If there is an upset in Iowa, or even a close vote, and New Hampshire and it appears that Elizabeth Warren is the one that can beat Donald Trump, a lot of that vote will switch because a lot of the pro-Biden vote or the pro-any of the Democrats votes are based on anti-Trump,” Sharpton said.

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Sharpton’s comments came as polling showed Warren beating Biden in key states before the 2020 Democratic nomination. Polling also continued showing those two dominating the field of potential Democratic candidates.

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Together, Biden and Warren have captured the support of more than half of Democratic primary voters, according to the latest Fox News national poll on the 2020 election.

Biden is on top in the race with 32 percent support among primary voters, up 3 points since September.  He’s followed by Warren at 22 percent — up 6 points and a new high for her. Bernie Sanders is at 17 percent, down 1 point since last month.

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While Biden’s support has stayed between 29-35 percent since March, his current 10-point advantage is about half of his 19-point lead in June.

The rundown continues with Kamala Harris at 5 percent, Pete Buttigieg at 4 percent, Beto O’Rourke at 3 percent, and Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang each at 2 percent.  Michael Bennet, Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Tim Ryan, Tom Steyer, and Marianne Williamson receive 1 percent apiece.

Fox News’ Dana Blanton contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Biden-Sharpton Al Sharpton predicts black voters could switch from Biden to Warren: 'A lot' of his support based on Obama Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox news fnc/media fnc c10fdd3c-4906-5903-8a41-afc578023f13 article   Westlake Legal Group Biden-Sharpton Al Sharpton predicts black voters could switch from Biden to Warren: 'A lot' of his support based on Obama Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox news fnc/media fnc c10fdd3c-4906-5903-8a41-afc578023f13 article

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