web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 145)

Impeachment Investigators Subpoena White House and Ask Pence for Documents on Ukraine

WASHINGTON — House impeachment investigators widened the reach of their inquiry on Friday, subpoenaing the White House for a vast trove of documents and requesting more from Vice President Mike Pence to better understand President Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.

The subpoena, addressed to Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, calls for documents and communications that are highly delicate and would typically be subject in almost any White House to claims of executive privilege. If handed over by the Oct. 18 deadline, the records could provide keys to understanding what transpired between the two countries and what steps, if any, the White House has taken to cover it up.

The request for records from a sitting vice president is unusual in its own right, and Mr. Pence’s office quickly signaled he may not comply. In a letter to Mr. Pence, the chairmen of three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry wrote that they were interested in “any role you may have played” in conveying Mr. Trump’s views to Ukraine. They asked for a lengthy list of documents detailing the administration’s dealings with Ukraine, to be produced by Oct. 15.

The actions came at the end of another day of fast-moving developments in the House impeachment investigation, which is centered on allegations that Mr. Trump and his administration worked to bend America’s diplomatic apparatus for his own political benefit.

Mr. Trump himself appeared resigned to the prospect that he would be impeached, and was gearing up for an epic political battle to defend himself, predicting the Democrat-led House would approve articles of impeachment against him and the Republican-controlled Senate would acquit him.

“They’ll just get their people,” he said of House Democrats. “They’re all in line. Because even though many of them don’t want to vote, they have no choice. They have to follow their leadership. And then we’ll get it to the Senate, and we’re going to win.”

Privately, Mr. Trump briefly joined a conference call of House Republicans, defending his interactions with Ukraine and rallying his party to fight for him.

On Capitol Hill, the impeachment investigation continued gaining steam, as requests and information from witnesses began to stack up. For more than six hours on Friday, the House Intelligence Committee questioned the intelligence community’s independent watchdog who first fielded a whistle-blower complaint that has spurred the formal impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump. Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, had received the complaint and explained his own preliminary investigation into its validity before seeking to deliver it to Congress.

“What the inspector general said last time was, the whistle-blower pulled the fire alarm,” Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, told reporters. “We have now seen the smoke and the fire.”

How the White House, which has routinely rejected congressional requests for information, responds to the demands for documents could significantly shape the impeachment investigation going forward. Under normal circumstances, the White House could claim materials referred to in both requests were privileged, using that as a defense in court.

Press secretaries for the White House and the vice president issued similar statements assailing the demands, but did not clearly indicate whether they would comply or not. Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, said the subpoena “changes nothing” and called it “just more document requests, wasted time and taxpayer dollars that will ultimately show the president did nothing wrong.”

Katie Waldman, Mr. Pence’s press secretary, promptly said that “given the scope, it does not appear to be a serious request but just another attempt by the ‘Do Nothing Democrats’ to call attention to their partisan impeachment.”

But that will not help Mr. Trump’s case on Capitol Hill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chairmen leading the inquiry have consistently warned the White House that noncompliance with their requests will be viewed as obstruction of Congress, itself a potentially impeachable offense.

“The White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — multiple requests for documents from our Committees on a voluntary basis,” said the letter to Mr. Mulvaney, signed by Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the Intelligence Committee chairman; Representative Eliot L. Engel of New York, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman; and Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the Oversight and Reform Committee chairman. “After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the president has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up.”

In addition to the new subpoena and request, a significant subpoena deadline for the State Department to hand over similar material in its possession was also scheduled to arrive by the end of the day. It was not immediately clear if the department had complied or not.

Even as they worked, lawmakers from both parties continued Friday morning to try to make sense of a tranche of texts between American diplomats and a top aide to the Ukrainian president. Those messages were released late Thursday night, and called into question the truthfulness of Mr. Trump’s claim that there had been no quid pro quo attached to his pressing Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son and other Democrats.

The House committees are scheduled to interview additional witnesses implicated in the texts next week. Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union and a Trump supporter who been actively involved in diplomacy with Ukraine, is expected to appear on Tuesday, and Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, on Friday.

Democrats have pounced on the texts as further evidence that Mr. Trump was treating the investigations as a precondition to giving Ukraine, an American ally that borders Russia, a meeting with the president and a $391 million package of security aid. Most Republicans remained silent or stood by Mr. Trump in light of the new messages, but a few raised alarms.

Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah, one of the few members of Mr. Trump’s party who have been critical of the conduct at the center of the impeachment inquiry, issued a statement condemning the president’s public comments on Thursday in which he invited China as well as Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Mr. Romney said. “By all appearances, the president’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v2 Impeachment Investigators Subpoena White House and Ask Pence for Documents on Ukraine Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pelosi, Nancy Office of the Director of National Intelligence impeachment House Committee on Intelligence Giuliani, Rudolph W Biden, Joseph R Jr Atkinson, Michael K (1964- )

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

Democrats on Capitol Hill said Mr. Atkinson’s account reinforced the seriousness of their effort.

A Trump appointee, Mr. Atkinson helped set off the current saga less than a month ago when he notified Congress’s intelligence committees that he had received an anonymous whistle-blower complaint that he deemed to be “urgent” and credible. The acting director of national intelligence intervened initially to block Mr. Atkinson from sharing the complaint with Congress, but ultimately the Trump administration relented and allowed its public release.

In the complaint, the whistle-blower wrote that multiple government officials had provided him information that “the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

Specifically, he said that Mr. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had pressed Ukraine to conduct the investigations, potentially using the prospect of a meeting that the new Ukrainian president badly wanted with Mr. Trump and withholding the aid earmarked for the country as leverage to secure the investigations. The White House tried to cover up aspects of the events, the complaint said.

Mr. Atkinson has already appeared once before the House Intelligence Committee, but he was barred then from speaking in detail about the complaint. On Friday, Mr. Atkinson walked lawmakers through the complaint and some of the steps he took to try to evaluate the veracity of his claims, including showing documents. The inspector general declined to share with the committee names of officials he spoke during his brief investigation, according to one person familiar with his testimony.

Details of the complaint, including a July call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, have already been verified. The texts released late Thursday also appeared to comport with elements of the complaint.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Annie Karni from Washington.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ilhan Omar accuses GOP of ‘putting party over country’ as they condemn Schiff for transcript parody

Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar accuses GOP of 'putting party over country' as they condemn Schiff for transcript parody Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/media fnc c2dcd2d7-f1c7-56c2-a8a6-b09d26ec9646 article

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is accusing Republican lawmakers of putting their country aside after pursuing a resolution that would condemn House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

“Give me a break!” she said, tweeting an article about House Republicans’ efforts. “This is the definition of putting party over country.”

Politico reported that House Republicans planned to force a vote condemning Schiff for using a committee hearing to parody a transcript of President Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

PELOSI DEFENDS SCHIFF AFTER BEING PRESSED ABOUT HIS ‘PARODY’ OF TRUMP’S UKRAINE CALL

The resolution likely won’t pass the Democratic-controlled House but it reflected conservatives’ outrage over Schiff’s stunt last week. Trump, for example, has demanded that Schiff resign over the issue, while some lawmakers have called for him to step down as chair of the intelligence committee.

More from Media

“Chairman Adam Schiff has been lying to the American people for years,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted on Wednesday. “Now he is so desperate to damage the president that he literally made up a false version of a phone call. Enough is enough. I have signed a resolution to censure Schiff in the House of Representatives.”

Schiff’s parody came during a hearing in which he and other Democrats pressed Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire on how the administration handled a whistleblower complaint about Trump’s phone call with Zelensky

“I have a favor I want from you,” Schiff said while appearing to read from a paper. “And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it, on this and on that.” Schiff later claimed it was a parody and “[t]he fact that that’s not clear is a separate problem in and of itself.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Schiff was joined by Omar and dozens of other House Democrats in pursuing an impeachment inquiry over Trump’s call and the corresponding whistleblower report.

Omar and her fellow “Squad” members called for impeachment immediately after the White House released its rough transcript of the call. Although the transcript showed no explicit quid pro quo, Democrats have accused Trump of dangling foreign aid over Zelensky in an effort to pressure him into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden.

Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar accuses GOP of 'putting party over country' as they condemn Schiff for transcript parody Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/media fnc c2dcd2d7-f1c7-56c2-a8a6-b09d26ec9646 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19255597048809 Ilhan Omar accuses GOP of 'putting party over country' as they condemn Schiff for transcript parody Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/republicans fox-news/person/ilhan-omar fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox news fnc/media fnc c2dcd2d7-f1c7-56c2-a8a6-b09d26ec9646 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iranian Hackers Target Trump Campaign as Threats to 2020 Mount

Westlake Legal Group 04microsoft3-facebookJumbo Iranian Hackers Target Trump Campaign as Threats to 2020 Mount United States Politics and Government United States Presidential Election of 2020 Politics and Government Iran Cyberwarfare and Defense

SAN FRANCISCO — The 2020 presidential election is still 13 months away, but already Iranians are following in the footsteps of Russia and have begun cyberattacks aimed at disrupting the campaigns.

Microsoft said on Friday that Iranian hackers, with apparent backing from the government, had made more than 2,700 attempts to identify the email accounts of current and former United States government officials, journalists covering political campaigns and accounts associated with a presidential campaign.

Though the company would not identify the presidential campaign involved, two people with knowledge of the hacking, who were not allowed to discuss it publicly, said it was President Trump’s.

In addition to Iran, hackers from Russia and North Korea have started targeting organizations that work closely with presidential candidates, according to security researchers and intelligence officials.

“We’ve already seen attacks on several campaigns and believe the volume and intensity of these attacks will only increase as the election cycle advances toward Election Day,” said Oren Falkowitz, the chief executive of the cybersecurity company Area 1, in an interview.

Microsoft’s report is the latest indication that cyberattacks and influence campaigns against political candidates are likely to accelerate heading into 2020. In 2016, Russian hackers infiltrated the computer networks of Democrats and Republicans, then selectively disseminated Democrats’ emails, including those of John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in an effort to harm Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Microsoft said the attacks occurred over a 30-day period in August and September. That was roughly after the Trump administration announced additional sanctions against Iran, more than a year following the president’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. Iranian officials concede that the sanctions, intended to chock off the country’s oil revenue, have plunged the economy into a recession.

More recently, the administration has considered a cyberstrike to punish Tehran for what officials charge was an Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities last month. It is all part of a low-level, daily cyberconflict between the two countries.

Iranian hackers have been engaged in a broad campaign against United States targets, according to Microsoft. The company found that hackers had tried to attack 241 accounts, using fairly unsophisticated means. The hackers appeared to have used information available about their victims online to discover their passwords. It was unclear what information they had stolen.

While the Microsoft report did not name Iran’s targets, it found evidence that hackers had infiltrated email inboxes in at least four cases. But the four successful hacks did not belong to a presidential campaign.

Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, said in a statement that “we have no indication that any of our campaign infrastructure was targeted.” Representatives for other presidential candidates said on Friday that their campaigns had not been targeted.

For weeks, officials from the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency have said they are particularly concerned about Iranian-backed attacks. Their worries stemmed from rising tensions over new sanctions on Iran and nascent Iranian activity in the 2018 midterm elections.

While the officials said they believed that all the presidential campaigns were likely targets, Mr. Trump’s has long been considered a prime one.

It was Mr. Trump who abandoned the nuclear deal and ramped up sanctions. The United States has also designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group. The guard corps oversees the nuclear program and, by some accounts, Iran’s best hacking group, its Cyber Corps.

But it is not clear whether the group that Microsoft identified reports to the Cyber Corps or is made up, deliberately, of freelancers and others whose affiliations are harder to trace.

When Iranian officials are asked about cyberattacks, they admit nothing but note that attacks have been two-way. Three times in the past decade, the United States has directed cyberweapons against Iranian targets. The most famous attack, code-named Olympic Games, wiped out about 1,000 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site.

In recent weeks, United States Cyber Command was asked to develop options for retaliating against the missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. Officials reported that a cyberstrike against Iran was emerging as the most attractive option, in an effort to avoid the kind of escalation that might result from a more conventional strike.

So far, there is no evidence of such action, but it might take a while to gain access to Iranian computer networks, and the results might be subtle.

Security executives at the Democratic National Committee warned staff members in an email this week that Iranian hackers might be targeting their email accounts with so-called spearphishing attacks, in which hackers try to lure their target into clicking on a malicious link or attachment. That link or attachment can give attackers a foothold into a computer network.

The hackers were also believed to be interfering with an additional security feature known as two-factor authentication — a common security method that asks for credentials beyond a password — and were creating fake LinkedIn personas to make their email lures more believable.

After Russia’s interference in 2016, Democrats have repeatedly warned their Republican counterparts that election interference cuts both ways, and that state-sponsored hackers may not always seek to help the Republican candidate.

But to date, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has refused to bring any election security bills to the floor. And Mr. Trump has yet to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election, even as cybersecurity experts collect evidence that Russian hacking of organizations close to the 2020 campaigns is again underway.

James A. Lewis, a former government official and cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in a recent interview that cyberinterference, even from Russia, might not necessarily benefit Mr. Trump in 2020.

“The Russians have come to the conclusion that, so long as President Trump is in office, U.S.-Russian relations will remain at a standstill,” Mr. Lewis said.

Cybersecurity experts that specialize in disinformation say they have witnessed several coordinated disinformation campaigns aimed at influencing the 2020 campaign.

The bulk of that disinformation has originated domestically, said Cindy Otis, the director of analysis at Nisos, a cybersecurity firm in Alexandria, Va. She said other nation-states were closely watching these domestic operations but appeared to be holding back.

“We’ve seen a lot of disinformation on the domestic front, but nation-states are likely to amplify those narratives, as we saw Russia do in 2016,” Ms. Otis said. “But with so many candidates still in the running, nation-states seem to be waiting before they put all their efforts into one basket.”

Some cybersecurity firms said they were also witnessing what appeared to be the beginning stages of several different nation-state cyberattacks on American political campaigns.

In July, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, told an audience at the Aspen Security Conference that Microsoft had evidence that Russia, Iran and North Korea had been the most active nations conducting cyberattacks.

With funding tight, only a handful of Democratic presidential campaigns have invested in a full-time cybersecurity officer. Instead, they have relied on advice from the Democratic National Committee and DigiDems, a Democratic technology firm founded after the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Democratic National Committee’s chief security officer, Bob Lord, holds occasional video conferences with members of presidential campaign staffs to keep them abreast of the latest threats. The committee has also mandated that each campaign have a point of contact for cybersecurity, and sends out both regular and emergency newsletters.

Every campaign, no matter how many millions of dollars it has raised, faces a difficult decision when building out a cybersecurity team: Such technology and expertise is expensive, but so is an expansive ground game.

“Campaigns only last until Election Day or when your candidate drops out,” said Tad Devine, a former senior adviser to the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign. “If you spend too much on cybersecurity and not enough on voter contact, you’ll end your campaign by not making enough voter contact. So that’s the conundrum that campaigns are in.”

“Politics is a risk business,” Mr. Devine said. “You have to decide what risk you’re going to take.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Fight Over Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Westlake Legal Group 18143733_G U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh Fight Over Atlantic Coast Pipeline

“We welcome the opportunity for the Supreme County to hear just how unlawful and destructive this pipeline would be,” Nancy Sorrells, the Augusta County Coordinator with the Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, said. “If Dominion is forced to obey the law and respect the land and the people who would be impacted, then this pipeline project is not viable. Their problems are entirely self-inflicted. Dominion drew an inappropriate route and then tried to outmaneuver the law to make it work. Now they are being called out for their actions and their project is in great peril. This is a last-ditch effort for a project that is clearly in jeopardy,” she added.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NLDS Game 2: Mike Foltynewicz brilliant as Braves edge Cardinals to even series

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close NLDS Game 2: Mike Foltynewicz brilliant as Braves edge Cardinals to even series
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

ATLANTA — In a game the Atlanta Braves desperately needed after their bullpen melted down in Game 1 of the in National League Division Series, starter Mike Foltynewicz limited the St. Louis Cardinals to just three hits over seven innings and Adam Duvall came up with a massive two-run homer to help Atlanta win 3-0 on Friday and send the series to St. Louis all tied up. 

The Braves, searching for their first postseason series win since 2001, have to like where they find themselves ahead of Game 3 on Sunday.

Here’s a look at how the game was won:

Turning point

With Foltynewicz on the mound opposite Jack Flaherty, who was one of the majors’ best pitchers in the second half of the season, runs figured to be scarce. But the Braves couldn’t have asked for any more out of Foltynewicz, who struck out seven, walked none and put up four 1-2-3 innings. But it certainly helped that Atlanta was able to grab the lead right out of the gate Friday.

After Ozzie Albies reached first on an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a chopper by Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson delivered a two-out RBI single against a pitcher who had 0.93 ERA over his previous 16 starts.

Getting that run was big for Foltynewicz, who struggled in the Braves’ playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. As Atlanta’s Game 1 starter, he lasted just two innings and gave up a pair of home runs to set the table for a 6-0 loss. He was better in Game 4, giving up just one earned run, but issued four walks and was pulled after four innings.

This time, though, Foltynewicz cruised through the Cardinals’ lineup, needing just 81 pitches through seven innings.

Manager’s special

At that point, though, Braves manager Brian Snitker made a massive decision. Even though it looked like Foltynewicz had plenty left in the tank , Snitker sent out a pinch-hitter for him with catcher Brian McCann on first base and two outs.

For managers, these kinds of moments are fodder to be second-guessed if they don’t work out perfectly. Snitker saw an opportunity to add to the lead and decided to go that route, sending Duvall to the plate.

CARDINALS: Rookie says Braves fans’ chop ‘devalues us’

ALDS: Verlander’s latest gem puts Astros in front

But for the fans, who saw a pitcher having the game of his life and a bullpen that blew a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 1, it seemed like a big risk. And they let Snitker know, raining down boos when Duvall emerged from the dugout.

But when Duvall blasted Flaherty’s 3-2 pitch over the center field wall for a 3-0 lead, it was hard to question Snitker’s gamble. Though Foltynewicz didn’t get a complete game opportunity, Max Fried and Mark Melancon handled the final two innings for Atlanta. There was a bit of drama in the ninth when Melancon gave up back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate, but he struck out Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong to end the game.

Nearly disastrous

The Braves botched an opportunity to add to their lead in the fourth inning that could have potentially cost them the game. After Nick Markakis got to third base on Matt Joyce’s single with no outs, Atlanta should have been able to manufacture at least a run with the bottom of its batting order. But catcher Brian McCann couldn’t advance either runner with a pop-up that didn’t get past the infield and shortstop Dansby Swanson followed by taking a 3-1 pitch right in the strike zone and then swinging at strike three.

But the situation went from bad to worse when Joyce tried to steal second on the strikeout, getting himself momentarily caught in a rundown. Markakis, seeing an opportunity to perhaps score there, decided to take off from third but instead was thrown out trying to get back to the bag. Even though the Braves were unlikely to score after Swanson’s strikeout with Foltynewicz coming up to bat, just allowing him to strike out would have at the very least turn over the lineup going into the fifth inning. Though it didn’t hurt the Braves this time, that’s the kind of sequence that can get you beat in the playoffs.

State of the series

The Braves have to like their positioning in the series now, although they’d certainly prefer to be up 2-0 going to St. Louis. The question is what Atlanta will get out of 21-year old rookie starter Mike Soroka, who will make his playoff debut at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Though Soroka had a stunning 1.55 ERA on the road this season, it’s hard to know how he’ll react to the spotlight of the postseason. He’ll be matched against right-hander Adam Wainwright, who has posted a 3.03 ERA in 24 career playoff appearances.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NLDS Game 2: Mike Foltynewicz brilliant as Braves edge Cardinals to even series

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close NLDS Game 2: Mike Foltynewicz brilliant as Braves edge Cardinals to even series
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

ATLANTA — In a game the Atlanta Braves desperately needed after their bullpen melted down in Game 1 of the in National League Division Series, starter Mike Foltynewicz limited the St. Louis Cardinals to just three hits over seven innings and Adam Duvall came up with a massive two-run homer to help Atlanta win 3-0 on Friday and send the series to St. Louis all tied up. 

The Braves, searching for their first postseason series win since 2001, have to like where they find themselves ahead of Game 3 on Sunday.

Here’s a look at how the game was won:

Turning point

With Foltynewicz on the mound opposite Jack Flaherty, who was one of the majors’ best pitchers in the second half of the season, runs figured to be scarce. But the Braves couldn’t have asked for any more out of Foltynewicz, who struck out seven, walked none and put up four 1-2-3 innings. But it certainly helped that Atlanta was able to grab the lead right out of the gate Friday.

After Ozzie Albies reached first on an infield single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a chopper by Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson delivered a two-out RBI single against a pitcher who had 0.93 ERA over his previous 16 starts.

Getting that run was big for Foltynewicz, who struggled in the Braves’ playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers last year. As Atlanta’s Game 1 starter, he lasted just two innings and gave up a pair of home runs to set the table for a 6-0 loss. He was better in Game 4, giving up just one earned run, but issued four walks and was pulled after four innings.

This time, though, Foltynewicz cruised through the Cardinals’ lineup, needing just 81 pitches through seven innings.

Manager’s special

At that point, though, Braves manager Brian Snitker made a massive decision. Even though it looked like Foltynewicz had plenty left in the tank , Snitker sent out a pinch-hitter for him with catcher Brian McCann on first base and two outs.

For managers, these kinds of moments are fodder to be second-guessed if they don’t work out perfectly. Snitker saw an opportunity to add to the lead and decided to go that route, sending Duvall to the plate.

CARDINALS: Rookie says Braves fans’ chop ‘devalues us’

ALDS: Verlander’s latest gem puts Astros in front

But for the fans, who saw a pitcher having the game of his life and a bullpen that blew a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning of Game 1, it seemed like a big risk. And they let Snitker know, raining down boos when Duvall emerged from the dugout.

But when Duvall blasted Flaherty’s 3-2 pitch over the center field wall for a 3-0 lead, it was hard to question Snitker’s gamble. Though Foltynewicz didn’t get a complete game opportunity, Max Fried and Mark Melancon handled the final two innings for Atlanta. There was a bit of drama in the ninth when Melancon gave up back-to-back singles to bring the tying run to the plate, but he struck out Yadier Molina and Kolten Wong to end the game.

Nearly disastrous

The Braves botched an opportunity to add to their lead in the fourth inning that could have potentially cost them the game. After Nick Markakis got to third base on Matt Joyce’s single with no outs, Atlanta should have been able to manufacture at least a run with the bottom of its batting order. But catcher Brian McCann couldn’t advance either runner with a pop-up that didn’t get past the infield and shortstop Dansby Swanson followed by taking a 3-1 pitch right in the strike zone and then swinging at strike three.

But the situation went from bad to worse when Joyce tried to steal second on the strikeout, getting himself momentarily caught in a rundown. Markakis, seeing an opportunity to perhaps score there, decided to take off from third but instead was thrown out trying to get back to the bag. Even though the Braves were unlikely to score after Swanson’s strikeout with Foltynewicz coming up to bat, just allowing him to strike out would have at the very least turn over the lineup going into the fifth inning. Though it didn’t hurt the Braves this time, that’s the kind of sequence that can get you beat in the playoffs.

State of the series

The Braves have to like their positioning in the series now, although they’d certainly prefer to be up 2-0 going to St. Louis. The question is what Atlanta will get out of 21-year old rookie starter Mike Soroka, who will make his playoff debut at Busch Stadium on Sunday.

Though Soroka had a stunning 1.55 ERA on the road this season, it’s hard to know how he’ll react to the spotlight of the postseason. He’ll be matched against right-hander Adam Wainwright, who has posted a 3.03 ERA in 24 career playoff appearances.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Facing Fresh Revelations, Republicans Struggle to Mount a Defense of Trump

Westlake Legal Group 03dc-repubs-facebookJumbo Facing Fresh Revelations, Republicans Struggle to Mount a Defense of Trump United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Romney, Mitt Republican Party Pelosi, Nancy McCarthy, Kevin (1965- ) impeachment Hurd, Will Biden, Joseph R Jr

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders are struggling to settle on a clear message and effective strategy for responding to Democrats’ aggressive and fast-moving impeachment investigation of President Trump, thrown off by early stumbles and a chaotic White House that have upended efforts to set a steady tone.

With Mr. Trump effectively functioning as a one-man war room — doling out a new message, and provocative statements, almost by the hour — top Republicans have labored to find a unified response to push back against the inquiry and break through a near daily cascade of damaging information.

Instead, they have tried to avoid tough questions about Mr. Trump’s conduct, staying mostly silent. Few defended Mr. Trump’s declaration on Thursday that China, as well as Ukraine, should investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading Democratic presidential candidate, and his son Hunter Biden. Fewer still have commented on text messages released as part of Democrats’ inquiry that show that envoys representing Mr. Trump sought to leverage the power of his office to prod Ukraine into opening investigations that would damage his Democratic opponents — and that some of them viewed it as a clear quid pro quo.

Inquiries to nearly two dozen congressional Republicans, including members of leadership and the Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees, yielded only two responses on Friday.

“The obvious challenge for everybody here is that they are working with a president with no tolerance for anyone to criticize” him, said Brendan Buck, a former counselor to the last two Republican House speakers, Paul D. Ryan and John A. Boehner.

Rather than acknowledging that Mr. Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, in which he asked that the leader investigate a leading political rival, was inappropriate and moving on to a debate about whether that rose to impeachment, Mr. Buck continued, “they’re getting stuck wrapped around the axle of whether what the president did was wrong, or whether he even did it in the first place.”

In an attempt to rally and unify the conference, Mr. Trump joined a call with House Republicans on Friday afternoon, according to a person present who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss it. The president emphasized to lawmakers that Democrats were refusing to focus on solutions that would help the American people and instead trying to overturn the result of the 2016 election, the person said.

But even Republican lawmakers who have tried to stay on message and defend the president have not been as successful as they have hoped.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, for instance, told The Wall Street Journal on Friday that he had confronted Mr. Trump in a phone call in late August about allegations that he was engaging in a quid pro quo with Ukraine, and that the president had flatly denied it.

In doing so, however, Mr. Johnson brought to light new information that was ultimately unhelpful to Mr. Trump: that the American ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, had told the lawmaker that aid to Ukraine was tied to Mr. Trump’s request to have Kiev investigate Democrats. He later told reporters at a constituent stop that he tried to get permission from Mr. Trump to tell Ukraine’s president that American aid was on its way in the wake of those allegations, but Mr. Trump refused, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Yet a small minority of Republicans spoke out against Mr. Trump on Friday. Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah and a former presidential candidate, delivered the sharpest rebuke. The president’s appeal to China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens was “brazen and unprecedented,” Mr. Romney said, calling the conduct “wrong and appalling.”

Representative Will Hurd of Texas, a former C.I.A. officer and member of the Intelligence Committee who is retiring next year, also denounced Mr. Trump’s suggestion that China should investigate the Bidens. But in an interview on Friday with CNN, Mr. Hurd declined to make a definitive judgment about the text messages.

“I think some of these things are indeed damning,” he said. “However, I want to make sure we get through this entire investigation before coming to some kind of conclusion.”

None of those reactions are in line with the one that Republican leaders have settled on for defending the president. They have argued that there was nothing improper about the president’s suggestion that a foreign country should investigate one of his political rivals, and that no quid pro quo was suggested.

Representative Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the No. 2 Republican, said in an interview on Thursday that “a lot of people” want to get to the bottom of the rumors about the Bidens and that Mr. Trump “is echoing what people have been calling for, for a long time.” Senator Marco Rubio of Florida suggested Mr. Trump was simply trying to provoke outrage from the news media, arguing of his public appeals to China and Ukraine, “That’s not a real request.”

The party’s scattered responses underscore the challenge for Republican leaders of setting a message for a set of developments that are out of their control, said Antonia Ferrier, the former communications director for Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.

“It’s very difficult to message on quicksand,” she said.

Problems for House Republicans surfaced almost as soon as the formal inquiry began, with a halting performance last weekend by Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the minority leader, on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Mr. McCarthy appeared not to have read the transcript of a call between Mr. Trump and the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry; as he tried to defend the president, the correspondent Scott Pelley noted that he was reciting a set of talking points that the White House had circulated earlier.

Republican lawmakers and aides fretted privately that Mr. McCarthy looked unprepared and uncertain, and that their party had no strategy for confronting the crisis engulfing the president. Since then, leaders have buckled down to devise a fusillade of messages they hope will resonate with the public as the investigation unfolds.

An early version of their defense centered on three main arguments: that Democrats are truly trying to impeach the president, that nothing in Mr. Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president is impeachable and that Democrats are exploiting the call to achieve an end result they had hoped for from the beginning of Mr. Trump’s presidency, impeachment.

But in a sign of how Republicans’ strategy has continued to shift, Mr. McCarthy in recent days has appeared to adopt a number of other approaches, most notably introducing a message that focuses narrowly on Democrats’ impeachment process. That strategy hinges on the belief that voters will reject Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision not to hold a vote to start an impeachment inquiry. Republicans argued in a legal brief on Thursday that the House had not in fact begun a real impeachment investigation because it had not authorized one with a full vote.

The strategy tracks with one the White House has considered, as top officials weighed sending a letter to Ms. Pelosi to inform her that they would not comply with demands for documents or witnesses until the full House voted to formally open an impeachment inquiry. But on Friday, aides in the West Wing were reassessing the move, first reported by the website Axios, worrying that it might only draw out the impeachment process.

Borrowing a page from Democrats during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, Republicans are also working to demonize the leaders of the inquiry. Mr. McCarthy is supporting a resolution by Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, to formally censure Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, who has taken a leading role.

Mr. Scalise rallied his deputies during a call on Thursday afternoon, saying he would lead a series of all-conference member briefings moving forward, according to a person on the call who insisted on anonymity to describe it. Representative Steve Chabot of Ohio, a manager during the Clinton impeachment, outlined what lawmakers could expect in the weeks to come.

“What members really want are all the facts because there are a lot of allegations that have been thrown around,” Mr. Scalise said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

PayPal withdraws from group backing Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

Westlake Legal Group paypal-internal PayPal withdraws from group backing Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone b6201f26-55e3-5f5e-a582-7aa563ce1a31 article

PayPal is pulling out of a group of companies assembled by Facebook to launch its new cryptocurrency payments network.

The company has decided to “forgo further participation” in the Libra Association a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal on Friday.

The news comes just days after the Journal reported that other financial partners who agreed to work with Facebook on the project are having second thoughts.

“Each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said in an email to the Journal.

BARR ASKS FACEBOOK’S ZUCKERBERG TO STOP END-TO-END ENCRYPTION PLANS

Disparte added that 1,500 entities have said they are interested in participating in libra.

The cryptocurrency project has faced a chorus of bipartisan criticism since it was announced in June.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress that Libra raises “serious concerns,” and House Democrats sent a letter to the tech giant in July asking it to halt Libra’s development until a proper regulatory framework could be implemented.

Facebook has said it won’t move forward with the project unless it has full government approval and oversight.

ORGANIZED AMAZON WAREHOUSE WORKERS GOT TWO FIRED CO-WORKERS REHIRED

“The time between now and launch is designed to be an open process and subject to regulatory oversight and review,” Facebook VP and Head of Calibra David Marcus said in his prepared remarks for a Senate Banking Committee hearing this summer. “And I want to be clear: Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals.”

Westlake Legal Group paypal-internal PayPal withdraws from group backing Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone b6201f26-55e3-5f5e-a582-7aa563ce1a31 article   Westlake Legal Group paypal-internal PayPal withdraws from group backing Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency fox-news/tech/topics/big-tech-backlash fox-news/tech/companies/facebook fox news fnc/tech fnc Christopher Carbone b6201f26-55e3-5f5e-a582-7aa563ce1a31 article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

House Democrats subpoena White House for Ukraine documents as part of impeachment inquiry

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close House Democrats subpoena White House for Ukraine documents as part of impeachment inquiry

Whistleblowers have been at time essential and detrimental to a country’s democracy, but what makes them different than a leaker? We explain. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – House Democrats issued a subpoena to the White House Friday evening for documents relating to the president’s contact with Ukraine — a so-far unprecedented move that is sure to escalate the rapidly moving impeachment inquiry

The House Oversight, Foreign Affairs and Intelligence committees, notified the White House Friday evening in a letter to President Donald Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

The subpoena follows two letters in September where members of Congress demanded information about Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the leading Democratic candidates in the 2020 election. In those letters, Democrats asked for all records surrounding Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president and documents about the delay of military aid for the country. 

The subpoena demands documents by Oct. 18.

More: Trump to tell Pelosi that White House won’t cooperate on impeachment until the full House votes

More: Read the summary of President Trump’s call with Ukraine president about Biden

The chairmen of the House committees — Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Adam Schiff, D-Calf., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. — who are leading the investigation wrote in a letter to Mulvaney that they regretted that Trump “has put us — and the nation — in this position, but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena.” 

“The White House has refused to engage with — or even respond to — multiple requests for documents from our Committees on a voluntary basis,” the chairman said in a statement. “After nearly a month of stonewalling, it appears clear that the President has chosen the path of defiance, obstruction, and cover-up.” 

The letter to Mulvaney also includes a warning should the White House not comply with the request: “Your failure or refusal to comply with the subpoena, including at the direction or behest of the President or others at the White House, shall constitute evidence of obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry and may be used as an adverse inference against you and the President.”

Friday’s subpoena follows yet another intense day of developments in the House’s impeachment inquiry. House Democrats asked Vice President Mike Pence for documents on his involvement in the Ukraine scandal and the House Intelligence Committee questioned Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, about a whistleblower complaint that brought Trump’s requests about Biden to light. 

The president also was asked about text messages between Trump’s then-special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, and other U.S. diplomats that showed concern the president was dangling military aid in exchange for investigations that would help him politically. 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close House Democrats subpoena White House for Ukraine documents as part of impeachment inquiry

Ensnarled in an impeachment probe over his request for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, President Donald Trump is now calling on another nation to do the same: China. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing by the Bidens. (Oct. 3) AP, AP

The White House has so far indicated that it will not cooperate with document requests unless and until the full House votes to authorize the impeachment inquiry, a move that Democratic leaders argue is not needed to launch an impeachment inquiry. 

Democrats had threatened earlier this week that a subpoena may be issued after not receiving any response. 

Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham slammed the threat as a waste of time. 

“This is nothing but more document requests, wasted time, and taxpayer dollars that will ultimately show the President did nothing wrong,” she said. “The Dems can continue with their kangaroo court, the President will continue to work on behalf of this country.”

More: Ukraine: Text messages show U.S. diplomats believed U.S. aid was linked to Trump’s demand for Biden probe

More: Impeachment pressure: Trump says China should also investigate Joe Biden, family

Democrats have also issued subpoenas to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.

“She hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies,” Trump has said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “‘You want a subpoena? Here you go. Take them.’ Like they’re cookies.”

Contributing: David Jackson 

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/04/impeachment-inquiry-house-democrats-subpoena-mick-mulvaney/3869609002/

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

21-year-old Florida juror jailed for oversleeping and missing trial

Westlake Legal Group prison-cell-ap 21-year-old Florida juror jailed for oversleeping and missing trial Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox news fnc/us fnc article 110f6248-2f12-555b-bbdb-fc139b43c2d9

A 21-year-old Florida man drew a 10-day jail sentence after he overslept and thus missed jury duty at a Palm Beach trial.

Deandre Somerville, 21, originally also faced a year of probation for sleeping in. On Friday his probation was reduced to three months, but he has also been ordered do perform community service, delivering brief speeches on the importance of jury duty each week.

Somerville explained he slept through his alarm and woke up hours later to realize he had missed jury service. He said he did not call the court to let them know what happened because he felt nervous, and he was in a rush to leave for his afternoon job working afterschool programs at the city’s parks and recreation department.

“At work, I was looking on my phone thinking, ‘What’s the worst-case scenario that could happen?’ I thought maybe I would get a fine or something like that,” Somerville said. A police officer showed up at the door of his grandparents’ house, where he resides, bringing along a court summons.

FLORIDA WOMAN ARRESTED AFTER PARENTS FIND 24 PIPE BOMBS IN HER BEDROOM

“My grandfather said, ‘Just go in and be honest,’” said Somerville. “I’ve never had a criminal background, never been arrested, never been in handcuffs. The most I’ve ever gotten was a traffic ticket so I was thinking it wouldn’t be that bad.”

“I said, ‘Sir, honestly I overslept and I didn’t understand the seriousness of this.’ He asked me if I had a criminal record. I said, ‘Sir, I’ve never been arrested,'” Somerville told WPTV he had said at his court hearing.

The West Palm Beach judge was not happy, seemingly unimpressed, said the 21-year-old had held the court up by 45 minutes. Ultimately, an alternate juror was selected to take his place. Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes found Somerville in criminal contempt of court and sentenced him to 10 days in jail, 150 hours of community service and a $223 fine.

FIFTH PARENT RECEIVES SENTENCE IN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDAL AND IT’S THE STIFFEST ONE YET 

“Now I have a record,” Somerville said. “I almost feel like a criminal now. Now, I have to explain this in every interview.” He said he plans to go to school to become a firefighter.

After criticism, Judge Kastrenakes reduced Somerville’s sentence Friday. He’d already served the 10-day jail time and his letter of apology was accepted by the court. Instead of a year’s probation, Somerville will now serve three months, according to The Sun-Sentinel. 

And instead of 150 hours of community service, he’ll serve 30, which includes his weekly speeches to new jurors on the importance of jury duty.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

“Good people make bad mistakes, and this is a classic example,” Kastrenakes told The Sun-Sentinel. “Jury misconduct is a serious concern,” he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group prison-cell-ap 21-year-old Florida juror jailed for oversleeping and missing trial Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox news fnc/us fnc article 110f6248-2f12-555b-bbdb-fc139b43c2d9   Westlake Legal Group prison-cell-ap 21-year-old Florida juror jailed for oversleeping and missing trial Morgan Phillips fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox news fnc/us fnc article 110f6248-2f12-555b-bbdb-fc139b43c2d9

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com