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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 114)

U.S. Moves to Take ‘High Value’ ISIS Detainees, Including Britons Who Abused Hostages

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-beatles-facebookJumbo U.S. Moves to Take ‘High Value’ ISIS Detainees, Including Britons Who Abused Hostages United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Torture Terrorism Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kotey, Alexanda Kidnapping and Hostages Justice Department Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iraq Foley, James (1973-2014) Emwazi, Mohammed Elsheikh, El Shafee Defense and Military Forces

The American military is moving to take as many as several dozen Islamic State detainees out of Kurdish-run wartime prisons in northern Syria, including two British men already in custody who are notorious for their roles in the torture and killing of Western hostages, according to United States officials.

The decision comes as the Turkish military moved into northern Syria after getting a green light from President Trump. Turkey is targeting the American-backed Kurds — known as the Syrian Democratic Forces — who were the primary allies of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria. The Turkish invasion called into question the militia’s ability to continue securely holding some 11,000 captured ISIS fighters.

Mr. Trump has said that Islamic State detainees will become Turkey’s responsibility, and it is not clear what his administration’s long-term plan will be for those who would instead come into the American military’s custody.

For now, the military was taking at least some of the men to Iraq, where the United States has a base where it has held a handful of Islamic State detainees with American citizenship before transferring them to domestic soil — or, in one case, releasing a detainee in Bahrain.

But their home countries have resisted repatriating them, Iraq has been reluctant to take many ISIS members captured in Syria, and there are legal challenges to taking them to the American wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

However, the government does have an eventual plan for the two British men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey: The Justice Department wants to bring them to trial in Virginia. They were part of a four-member British cell that the Islamic State put in charge of Western hostages, who nicknamed them the “Beatles” because of their accents.

Among their victims was James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded in August 2014 for an ISIS propaganda video. Another member of the cell, Mohammed Emwazi, or “Jihadi John,” is believed to have killed Mr. Foley. Mr. Emwazi was later killed in a drone strike.

But a court fight in Britain has delayed their transfer. The lawsuit is over whether the British government may share evidence with the United States without an assurance that American prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

The British government has shown witness statements about the two men to the Justice Department, but testimony from British government officials would also probably be necessary at any trial. Mr. Elsheikh’s mother has filed a lawsuit seeking to block such cooperation because the United States government has not promised it will not seek to execute her son. Britain has abolished the death penalty.

The American military had been making contingency plans to get a list of about five dozen of the highest-priority detainees from that group out of northern Syria since December, when Mr. Trump first announced that he would withdraw troops from the country before his administration slowed down that plan, one official said.

Mr. Trump’s decision to let Turkey proceed prompted the military to start getting those prisoners out, lest they escape amid the chaos and as the Kurds pull guards out of the prisons to help fight. But the detainees were scattered among numerous makeshift prisons, and it was not clear how many on the list would ultimately be taken, the official said.

The Washington Post earlier reported on the move to transfer custody of detainees, including the two British men.

Mr. Trump’s decision to clear the way for Turkey to launch its operation into northern Syria is bringing to an abrupt crisis a long-simmering problem: About 50 countries have citizens in the Kurds’ prisons for ISIS fighters — and in the displaced persons camps where tens of thousands of ISIS women and children are held — and have been reluctant to repatriate them, instead leaving them in the Kurds’ hands indefinitely.

The male fighters the Kurds are holding include about 9,000 local Syrians and Iraqis, as well as 2,000 foreign fighters — including scores from Western Europe. Many European law enforcement officials fear that if they repatriate their extremist citizens, they would be unable to convict them or keep them locked up for a long time.

After Britain declined to bring Mr. Elsheikh and Mr. Kotey home for prosecution, instead stripping them of their citizenship, the United States government weighed various options for handling them itself before deciding to prosecute them in civilian court once it obtained all of the evidence it needed.

A person familiar with the exchange said that Attorney General William P. Barr has asked Mr. Trump to make keeping the two British men detained a priority so they could eventually face prosecution in the United States. The president agreed to do so, the person said.

The Trump administration had also toyed with sending the two British men to the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for a period of indefinite wartime detention without trial. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who is a close ally of Mr. Trump’s but has criticized his Syria policy, has advocated that step.

But the military opposes becoming more deeply involved in long-term detention operations, and there are steep legal obstacles to taking the men to Cuba.

Among those challenges, transfer restrictions Congress imposed to block President Barack Obama from carrying out his plan to close the Guantánamo prison would make it illegal to transfer the men, once at the base, to domestic American soil for an eventual trial before a civilian court, and the military commissions system at Guantánamo is widely seen as dysfunctional.

It is also not clear whether legal authority exists to hold Islamic State members — as opposed to members of Al Qaeda — in indefinite wartime detention. Once in Guantánamo, the detainees would have the right to file habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the legality of their detention, raising the risk of a ruling that the larger war effort against ISIS has been illegal.

Eric Schmitt and Katie Benner contributed reporting.

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Former CIA whistleblower blasts media, dismisses unnamed official who flagged Trump-Ukraine call

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Kiriakou Former CIA whistleblower blasts media, dismisses unnamed official who flagged Trump-Ukraine call fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4c138b63-46e4-5763-bf65-5ad18189e87d

A former CIA officer who blew the whistle on the use of waterboarding against Middle Eastern detainees claimed the individual in the Trump-Ukraine case is not a real whistleblower.

That individual also should not have his identity “hidden” by Democratic lawmakers and is getting very different media coverage than his own case did, John Kiriakou told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Wednesday.

“I don’t think this is a whistleblower — not at all,” he said.

“I think this is an anonymous source for the Democratic staff in the House of Representatives.”

FOX NEWS POLL: RECORD SUPPORT FOR TRUMP IMPEACHMENT

Kiriakou, who was imprisoned in a Pennsylvania federal facility for several months after his whistleblower case, claimed he was treated much more harshly than the current whistleblower.

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“This person is not an undercover CIA operative,” he said. “You cannot hide this person’s name or identity just to save him from embarrassment or the trouble of being recognized because it’s just not appropriate. If this is a whistleblower, he needs to come forward in public, testify in open session and blow that whistle.”

Kiriakou continued, claiming figures familiar to President Trump were also involved in his own case.

“The same people that attacked me are attacking the president,” he claimed.

“Robert Mueller set up the ‘John Kiriakou Task Force’ at the FBI… Ironically, it was Peter Strzok who put the cuffs on me in 2012.” Mueller, the special counsel during the Russia investigation, previously served as FBI director.

FLASHBACK: EX-SPY ACCUSED IN 2012 LEAKS HAD ROLE IN TORTURE DEBATE

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Kiriakou also told Carlson that during his whistleblowing period, some in the media initially refused to call him a “whistleblower,” claiming one network referred to him as a “CIA leaker.”

“It’s tough being a whistleblower,” he said.

“Political lines are drawn. We see the Democrats trying to do the same thing right now with this whistleblower.”

He claimed the media is “imposing upon” the public the notion that the individual is a true whistleblower.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Kiriakou Former CIA whistleblower blasts media, dismisses unnamed official who flagged Trump-Ukraine call fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4c138b63-46e4-5763-bf65-5ad18189e87d   Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Kiriakou Former CIA whistleblower blasts media, dismisses unnamed official who flagged Trump-Ukraine call fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/tech/topics/cia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 4c138b63-46e4-5763-bf65-5ad18189e87d

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Source: Trump calling McConnell as often as 3 times a day

Westlake Legal Group hXgCoAPRS5dxsizwJK7ccvdVw-qiVNBOvMFW_tcyKjw Source: Trump calling McConnell as often as 3 times a day r/politics

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Trump On Abandoning Kurdish Forces: The Kurds Didn’t Help Us In WWII

Westlake Legal Group 5d9e74f7210000e70634363b Trump On Abandoning Kurdish Forces: The Kurds Didn’t Help Us In WWII

President Donald Trump defended his controversial decision to yank support for U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters by noting that the Kurds didn’t help the U.S. during World War II and the invasion of Normandy, known as D-day.

“Now the Kurds are fighting for their land,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

“As somebody wrote in a very powerful article today, they didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example,” the president added. “They’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.”

While the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces didn’t assist the U.S. in World War II, the Kurdish fighters have been a tremendous help to American troops fighting ISIS. 

Trump didn’t provide the title of the article he referenced, though journalists noted that conservative opinion writer Kurt Schlichter recently published a column that noted the Kurd’s absence during D-day.

Trump announced Sunday that the U.S. military would stand aside as Turkey moved forward with plans to invade northern Syria rather than defend the area alongside the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces.

Defending his decision to abandon the Kurds, a major shift in U.S. policy, Trump suggested that the Kurds were only defending their land and said that the U.S. has spent “a tremendous amount of money” to help Kurdish forces.

Trump also told reporters: “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”

Turkey moved forward on the Kurdish forces in Syria by launching airstrikes and firing artillery on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. At least seven civilians and one Kurdish fighter were reportedly killed during the attacks.

In response to the strikes, Trump denounced Turkey’s offensive and said that the U.S. “does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea.”

Earlier this week, he threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if the country took any action that was “off limits.”

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Juan Williams on impeachment battle: Trump ‘acting as an outlaw’

Westlake Legal Group juan-trump-biden-bila Juan Williams on impeachment battle: Trump 'acting as an outlaw' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8ccb092-27ac-5927-84ed-a9f8c5bfa20f article

Amid the ongoing battle between President Trump and Democrats over the House impeachment inquiry, “The Five” addressed the continuing saga — as well as former Vice President Joe Biden throwing his support behind impeaching the commander-in-chief.

Co-host Juan Williams called Trump an “outlaw” and accused the president of using impeachment to stir up his supporters.

“Trump right now is spending — I think this week he’s already spent $700,000 on ads,” Williams said. “He said, ‘Well, immigration stirred up the base. I’m going to stir up the base there with talk of impeachment.’ But you know what strikes me is [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s playing along, [saying] ‘oh, this is a coup. This is an attempt to reverse the 2016 election.’ This is absurd.

“This is a constitutional crisis in which a president is acting as an outlaw.”

WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES IT WILL NOT COMPLY WITH ‘ILLEGITIMATE AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL’ IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

Co-host Jedediah Bila then addressed Biden’s comments Wednesday in which he explicitly called for Trump’s impeachment for the first time.

“To preserve our Constitution, our democracy, our basic integrity, he should be impeached,” Biden said while speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire.

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Bila said: “I get that Joe Biden needs this really badly to be a headline. He needs the top of everybody’s page when they go to Google to be impeachment, impeachment, impeachment because he doesn’t want you talking about the economy.

“He doesn’t want you talking about border security. He doesn’t want any of the accomplishments that this president has put forth to be highlighted.”

Westlake Legal Group juan-trump-biden-bila Juan Williams on impeachment battle: Trump 'acting as an outlaw' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8ccb092-27ac-5927-84ed-a9f8c5bfa20f article   Westlake Legal Group juan-trump-biden-bila Juan Williams on impeachment battle: Trump 'acting as an outlaw' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8ccb092-27ac-5927-84ed-a9f8c5bfa20f article

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Trump On Abandoning Kurdish Forces: The Kurds Didn’t Help Us In WWII

Westlake Legal Group 5d9e74f7210000e70634363b Trump On Abandoning Kurdish Forces: The Kurds Didn’t Help Us In WWII

President Donald Trump defended his controversial decision to yank support for U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters by noting that the Kurds didn’t help the U.S. during World War II and the invasion of Normandy, known as D-day.

“Now the Kurds are fighting for their land,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

“As somebody wrote in a very powerful article today, they didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy, as an example,” the president added. “They’re there to help us with their land, and that’s a different thing.”

While the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces didn’t assist the U.S. in World War II, the Kurdish fighters have been a tremendous help to American troops fighting ISIS. 

Trump didn’t provide the title of the article he referenced, though journalists noted that conservative opinion writer Kurt Schlichter recently published a column that noted the Kurd’s absence during D-day.

Trump announced Sunday that the U.S. military would stand aside as Turkey moved forward with plans to invade northern Syria rather than defend the area alongside the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces.

Defending his decision to abandon the Kurds, a major shift in U.S. policy, Trump suggested that the Kurds were only defending their land and said that the U.S. has spent “a tremendous amount of money” to help Kurdish forces.

Trump also told reporters: “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”

Turkey moved forward on the Kurdish forces in Syria by launching airstrikes and firing artillery on Wednesday, The Associated Press reported. At least seven civilians and one Kurdish fighter were reportedly killed during the attacks.

In response to the strikes, Trump denounced Turkey’s offensive and said that the U.S. “does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea.”

Earlier this week, he threatened to “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if the country took any action that was “off limits.”

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Undeterred by White House Threat, Democrats Push Impeachment Inquiry Ahead

Westlake Legal Group merlin_162317847_19e0b54d-46be-41b2-a398-a1cefa307d64-facebookJumbo Undeterred by White House Threat, Democrats Push Impeachment Inquiry Ahead United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Presidential Election of 2020 impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Ethics and Official Misconduct Democratic Party Cipollone, Pat A Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — House Democrats prepared on Wednesday to force the Trump administration anew to answer questions in their impeachment investigation, one day after President Trump and the White House declared that they would defy Congress in one of the most extraordinary assertions of executive authority in modern times.

House chairmen leading the impeachment inquiry planned to issue additional subpoenas for witness testimony and records related to Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine as soon as Thursday, lawmakers and aides said, after a pause for the Jewish High Holy Days.

They want to force executive branch officials to answer to their demands, generating a detailed record of refusals that could shape an impeachment article charging Mr. Trump with obstructing Congress. Democrats also still see other meaningful avenues for gathering evidence that go around the Trump administration’s defiance, including questioning private citizens, career diplomats near retirement and the whistle-blowers whose revelations fueled the inquiry.

“There is more we want to do,” said Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut, the second-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. He called the White House’s stonewalling “a brazen political move to try to align what has been a fragmented and uncertain strategy to defend the president.”

The Democrats’ investigation earned a prominent endorsement as former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading presidential candidate, said in a speech on Wednesday in New Hampshire that Mr. Trump should be impeached for “shooting holes in the Constitution.” Mr. Biden set aside months of restraint complicated by the president’s unsubstantiated allegations about Mr. Biden’s own dealings with Ukraine.

But the White House’s promise to put a “full halt” on cooperating with the impeachment inquiry was likely to force Democrats to more quickly confront questions about how long and how extensively to investigate Mr. Trump when ample evidence of his actions is already in the open.

So far, the Democrats have secured public support for their inquiry. Polls show that a majority of the public backs it, but if the White House successfully stanches the flow of evidence and lawmakers extend their investigation without delivering significant new findings, that support could erode.

“Every new piece of information has corroborated the basic facts, which are devastating for the president,” said Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, Democrat of New York and a member of the Intelligence Committee. “How many smoking guns are we going to get? The president’s own words incriminate him. Every supporting document we have seen further supports the devastating facts we are learning more about every day.”

But moving too quickly toward drafting articles of impeachment could expose Democrats to charges that their inquiry was a rush to tarnish the Trump presidency rather than a pursuit of the truth.

Mr. Trump and other top administration officials, as well as his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, embarked in recent months on a campaign to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to open investigations that could benefit Mr. Trump politically. A whistle-blower complaint helped bring the scandal more fully into public view and prompted the impeachment inquiry, and Democrats say they want to ensure that they are fully scrutinizing the facts before they move forward.

“There is another risk, which is you don’t get to the bottom of the story,” Mr. Himes said. “Was Rudy Giuliani running his own State Department? What other people were pressured to go along with this?”

The White House’s charged assertion late Tuesday that it would try to stymie the inquiry came in a letter from Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, but the document read more like a political argument than a legal one.

“Put simply, you seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the president they have freely chosen,” Mr. Cipollone wrote. “Many Democrats now apparently view impeachment not only as a means to undo the democratic results of the last election, but as a strategy to influence the next election, which is barely more than a year away.”

[As the White House counsel, Mr. Cipollone is building a case for defiance on impeachment.]

Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he was ready for a long fight with the Democrats but implied that he might reconsider if the House were to hold a vote authorizing the inquiry and granting Republicans and the White House new powers to call and cross-examine witnesses in the inquiry.

“We would if they give us our rights,” he said of Democrats.

And Mr. Trump’s congressional allies continued to try to undercut the impeachment case. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would invite Kurt D. Volker, the former United States special envoy to Ukraine, to testify in public if the House did not release of a transcript of its private interview with him.

Mr. Volker helped try to secure commitments from Mr. Zelensky’s government to investigate corruption, serving as an intermediary between the Ukrainians, Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani.

House Democrats released damaging text messages that Mr. Volker shared showing his conversations with other American diplomats and a top Ukrainian aide. But Republicans argued that Democrats were trying to cover up the fact that he told investigators behind closed doors that he saw nothing untoward between the Trump administration and the Ukrainian government.

Democratic leaders have made clear that they view Mr. Cipollone’s letter as an invalid legal document and warned Mr. Trump and other potential witnesses that ignoring subpoenas would carry consequences. Speaker Nancy Pelosi retorted to Mr. Trump late Tuesday that he was not “above the law” and hinted that any efforts to undercut Congress’s investigation would only fuel her impeachment case.

“The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the president’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction,” she said.

Other Democrats more explicitly pointed to one of the three articles of impeachment the House Judiciary Committee approved in 1974 charging Richard M. Nixon with failing to provide information to House inquirers.

House leaders have signaled that they are highly unlikely to take any of the Ukraine-related disputes over information into court, as they did when the White House blocked earlier requests from congressional Democrats seeking to conduct oversight. Though the House continues to litigate those earlier cases in the courts, new lawsuits would take far longer to resolve than the amount of time that Democrats believe they have to decide on impeachment.

Two key State Department figures will face choices in the coming days about whether to step down and testify to Congress or remain in the administration and keep quiet, according to current and former diplomats.

William B. Taylor Jr., America’s top diplomat in Ukraine, has already retired twice from the State Department and was called back into service most recently to go to Kiev. He has already threatened to quit once in protest over Mr. Trump’s Ukraine policy, according to the text messages that Mr. Volker shared with congressional investigators.

Marie L. Yovanovitch, who was forced out by the Trump administration as ambassador to Ukraine, is teaching at Georgetown University and nearing the end of her foreign service career. If she wants to tell her story to Congress, she will have no choice but to quit, the current and former officials said.

But even if they do resign, both Mr. Taylor and Ms. Yovanovitch could face hurdles to testifying in the impeachment inquiry. Mr. Trump could seek to tie up both officials’ eyewitness accounts in court by threatening legal action.

Congressional investigators also believe they can glean important information from private citizens whom the White House cannot claim executive privilege over and would also have a more difficult time evading subpoenas.

Most prominent among them is Mr. Giuliani, who appears to have orchestrated the monthslong effort to secure Ukrainian government support for investigations into Mr. Biden and his son and another unfounded theory about Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. Investigators have subpoenaed Mr. Giuliani for a vast set of records, to be delivered early next week.

The House is prepared to issue subpoenas to two associates of Mr. Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who helped him try to stir up investigations in Ukraine, if they do not show up for scheduled depositions this week.

The men worked to gather information in Kiev about the Bidens and matters related to the 2016 election. Mr. Parnas also helped connect Mr. Giuliani and Ukrainian prosecutors.

And then there are the whistle-blowers whose accounts have provided a road map to investigators. Lawmakers are finalizing arrangements to talk to the first whistle-blower, who may be able to provide additional information or investigative leads.

The whistle-blower’s lawyers have confirmed that they are also representing a second official who had more direct knowledge of the effort to pressure Ukraine. Lawmakers are also likely to want to speak to that official.

Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

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Feinstein secures $20M to prevent Tijuana’s sewage water from reaching US

Westlake Legal Group Dianne-Feinstein Feinstein secures $20M to prevent Tijuana’s sewage water from reaching US fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate/budget fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4f994810-d215-5a74-bde9-94ae05653ff4

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has secured nearly $20 million to fund measures that help California prevent millions of gallons of Tijuana’s raw sewage from flowing into San Diego, according to a Wednesday report.

The preventive measures were laid out in three Senate funding bills which appropriate $19.5 million for the EPA to address the sewage flows, direct the secretary of state to create a plan that addresses their impact, and directs U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to submit a report on its efforts to protect its agents from the flows, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

San Diego County has been dealing with raw sewage flows from Tijuana for decades. Last year, a pipe across the border in Mexico broke, causing millions of gallons of sewage to flow into the Tijuana River and, eventually, the Pacific Ocean, impacting California coastal areas.

“It’s absolutely outrageous and unacceptable,” Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina told reporters last December. “The biggest issues that we’re concerned about is this happens again and again and then the Mexican government doesn’t notify anybody. They sort of cover it up and they notify us at the last minute and then our kids are at risk of swimming in sewage.”

DIANNE FEINSTEIN ENDORSES JOE BIDEN’S PRESIDENTIAL BID IN SNUB TO KAMALA HARRIS

Imperial Beach, located just across the border from Mexico, sued the federal government last year, claiming its failure to stop the flows was a violation of the Clean Water Act.

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“More concrete action must be taken to stop this decades-long problem,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Raw sewage overflows and other pollution from Mexico along the Tijuana River that jeopardize human health are unacceptable.”

Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Dianne-Feinstein Feinstein secures $20M to prevent Tijuana’s sewage water from reaching US fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate/budget fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4f994810-d215-5a74-bde9-94ae05653ff4   Westlake Legal Group Dianne-Feinstein Feinstein secures $20M to prevent Tijuana’s sewage water from reaching US fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate/budget fox-news/politics/senate fox news fnc/politics fnc Bradford Betz article 4f994810-d215-5a74-bde9-94ae05653ff4

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U.S. Takes Custody of British ISIS Detainees Who Abused Hostages

Westlake Legal Group 09dc-beatles-facebookJumbo U.S. Takes Custody of British ISIS Detainees Who Abused Hostages United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Torture Terrorism Syrian Democratic Forces Syria Kotey, Alexanda Kidnapping and Hostages Justice Department Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Iraq Foley, James (1973-2014) Emwazi, Mohammed Elsheikh, El Shafee Defense and Military Forces

The American military has taken custody of two British detainees notorious for their roles in an Islamic State cell that tortured and killed Western hostages, removing them from a wartime prison in northern Syria run by a Kurdish-led militia, according to United States officials.

The abrupt move came as the Turkish military moved into northern Syria after getting a green light from President Trump. Turkey is targeting the American-backed Kurds — known as the Syrian Democratic Forces — who were the primary allies of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria. The Turkish invasion called into question the militia’s ability to continue securely holding some 11,000 captured ISIS fighters.

The two British men, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey, were part of a four-member British cell that the Islamic State put in charge of Western hostages, who nicknamed them the “Beatles” because of their accents. Among their victims was James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded in August 2014 for an ISIS propaganda video.

Another member of the cell, Mohammed Emwazi, or “Jihadi John,” is believed to have killed Mr. Foley. Mr. Emwazi was later killed in a drone strike.

The Justice Department has intended to eventually bring Mr. Elsheikh and Mr. Kotey to the United States for trial in Virginia, but a court fight in Britain has delayed that transfer. The lawsuit is over whether the British government may share evidence with the United States without an assurance that American prosecutors will not seek the death penalty.

The American military was taking the men to Iraq, where the United States has a base where it has held Islamic State detainees with American citizenship before transferring them to domestic soil — or, in one case, releasing a detainee in Bahrain.

It is not clear how long the two British men will stay at that base. The Justice Department has been reluctant to take custody of them and enter them into the criminal justice system — where, among other things, they will have a right to a speedy trial — until it secures the evidence still in British hands that can help support their eventual prosecution.

The British government has shared witness statements about the two men with the Justice Department, but testimony from British government officials would also probably be necessary at any trial. Mr. Elsheikh’s mother has filed a lawsuit seeking to block such cooperation because the United States government has not promised it will not seek to execute her son. Britain has abolished the death penalty.

Because of their role in abusing Americans, the two British men were at the top of a list of ISIS detainees of concern for the American government, officials said. But that list has more than five dozen names on it, including a dozen or so other Islamic State prisoners in Kurdish hands who are considered particularly dangerous.

It remains unclear whether the Trump administration will seek to take any additional detainees from the Syrian Democratic Forces as the situation in northern Syria continues to rapidly deteriorate after Mr. Trump’s decision to clear the way for Turkey to launch its operation into northern Syria.

The move is bringing to an abrupt crisis a long-simmering problem: About 50 countries have citizens in the Kurds’ prisons for ISIS fighters — and in the displaced persons camps where tens of thousands of ISIS women and children are held — and have been reluctant to repatriate them, instead leaving them in the Kurds’ hands indefinitely.

The male fighters the Kurds are holding include about 9,000 local Syrians and Iraqis, as well as 2,000 foreign fighters — including scores from Western Europe. Many European law enforcement officials fear that if they repatriate their extremist citizens, they would be unable to convict them or keep them locked up for a long time.

After Britain declined to bring Mr. Elsheikh and Mr. Kotey home for prosecution, instead stripping them of their citizenship, the United States government weighed various options for handling them itself before deciding to prosecute them in civilian court once it obtained all of the evidence it needed.

The Trump administration also weighed sending the two British men to the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for a period of indefinite wartime detention without trial. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who is a close ally of Mr. Trump’s but has criticized his Syria policy, has advocated that step.

But the military opposes getting more deeply involved in long-term detention operations, and there are steep legal obstacles to bringing the men to Cuba.

Among those challenges, transfer restrictions Congress imposed to block President Barack Obama from carrying out his plan to close the Guantánamo prison would make it illegal to transfer the men, once at the base, to domestic American soil for an eventual trial before a civilian court, and the military commissions system at Guantánamo is widely seen as too dysfunctional.

It is also not clear whether legal authority exists to hold Islamic State members — as opposed to members of Al Qaeda — in indefinite wartime detention. Once in Guantánamo, the two men would have the right to file habeas corpus lawsuits challenging the legality of their detention, raising the prospect of a ruling that the larger war effort against ISIS has been illegal.

The Washington Post earlier reported on the transfer of the detainees’ custody.

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

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Bernie Sanders says he misspoke when he said campaign would slow its pace

Westlake Legal Group d62ee7ac-AP19216020679996 Bernie Sanders says he misspoke when he said campaign would slow its pace Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1d8b3783-3eed-5a2a-beb2-35cb911e0590

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., backpedaled Wednesday on statements he made a day earlier about the pace of his presidential bid following his heart attack last week, telling NBC News that he was ready to “get back into the groove of a very rigorous campaign.”

In Sanders’ first sit-down interview since he had two stents inserted into his chest to clear a blocked artery, Sanders said he’s feeling “a hell of a lot better than I did a week ago.”

“I have no pain, I’m out walking now, getting back to work, feel good,” he told NBC’s Harry Smith in a clip from the interview, which is scheduled to air Wednesday night.

BERNIE SANDERS SAYS HE WAS ‘MORE FATIGUED’ IN MONTHS LEADING UP TO HEART ATTACK BUT IGNORED SYMPTOMS

Sanders was at a campaign rally in Nevada last Tuesday when he began complaining of chest pains.

“Somebody said, do you want to do selfies and I said, ‘My God, do I not want to do selfies. Let me get the hell out of here,'” he recalled. The discomfort prompted Sanders to visit an urgent care facility.

“They did a few tests and the doctor there said, she said, ‘You’re having a heart event,’ and it just struck me. I could not believe it,” Sanders said.

After Sanders was released from a Nevada hospital on Friday, the campaign disclosed that the 78-year-old had suffered a heart attack. However, Sanders pushed back on claims that his campaign tried to hide or conceal his health ailments from voters.

“No I don’t accept that,” Sanders said. “That’s nonsense and I think that sometimes, you know, I don’t know what people think campaigns are. We’re dealing with all kinds of doctors and we wanted to have a sense of what the hell was going on really. So the first thing that we’re trying to do is understand what’s going on and not run to The New York Times and not have to report every 15 minutes. This is not a baseball game. So I think we acted absolutely appropriately.”

“No apologies,” he added.

Sanders told reporters Tuesday outside his home in Burlington, Vt., that he “certainly intends to be actively campaigning” but will “change the nature” and frequency of rallies and events to “make sure I have the strength to do what I have to do.”

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“We were doing, you know, in some cases five or six meetings a day, three or four rallies and town meetings and meeting with groups of people,” Sanders said about his campaign prior to his heart attack. “I don’t think I’m going to do that.”

Sanders said he “misspoke” when he suggested he would slow his pace on the campaign trail, but his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, said Wednesday that her husband has postponed all campaign events until next Tuesday when he will head to Ohio for the fourth Democratic debate.

Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-health Bernie Sanders says he misspoke when he said campaign would slow its pace Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1d8b3783-3eed-5a2a-beb2-35cb911e0590   Westlake Legal Group Bernie-Sanders-health Bernie Sanders says he misspoke when he said campaign would slow its pace Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/politics fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox news fnc/politics fnc article 1d8b3783-3eed-5a2a-beb2-35cb911e0590

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