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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 171)

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Trump would be doing all Americans a favor by commuting Roger Stone’s sentence

Westlake Legal Group Huckabee-and-Faulkner Gov. Mike Huckabee: Trump would be doing all Americans a favor by commuting Roger Stone's sentence Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 297d8dfa-e560-5e33-ad92-29036b2b3b36

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said on “Outnumbered Overtime” Thursday that President Trump would be doing Americans a “favor” by commuting the expected prison sentence of former associate Roger Stone.

Huckabee, a Fox News contributor, made the comment one day after Trump denied interfering in Stone’s criminal case while declining to say whether he’d consider a pardon for the GOP political operative.

The president also continued to rail against federal prosecutors who initially recommended up to nine years in prison for Stone, calling it a “disgrace.” Also Wednesday, the Justice Department confirmed Attorney General Bill Barr will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March 31; Democrats on the panel have raised concerns over the department’s handling of the Stone case, among other issues.

When host Harris Faulkner asked Huckabee if the president should have pardoned Stone, the former governor responded: “There’s a middle ground.”

He then explained that President Trump could commute the sentence, “which doesn’t undo it.”

DEMS DEMAND BARR’S RESIGNATION AMID STONE SENTENCE STORM

“Roger Stone would still be convicted, but it would commute his sentence to no time would be served,” Huckabee said. “So instead of a nine-year prison sentence — and I honestly cannot imagine why anybody, even the people who hate the president and hate Roger Stone, thinks that that makes any sense. And the truth is as taxpayers, we’re going to have to pay for it, so the president would do us all a favor by saying, ‘I’ll commute the sentence.’”

Huckabee went on to say that the president can “review the details of the case” at a later date, “and if it turns out that the only thing that Roger Stone is guilty of is being braggadocious and flamboyant, on those two things we can all agree he’s guilty. But whether he deserved to be frog-marched across his lawn with CNN cameras tipped off and rolling at 5:00 a.m, with SWAT Teams and automatic weapons pointed on him and his wife, this is ridiculous and it’s an overreach of the federal government.”

“If you don’t stop it, then we’re all vulnerable,” he added.

Federal prosecutors had on Monday recommended a sentence of between 87 and 108 months in prison for Stone’s conviction on seven counts of obstruction of justice, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

But in a stunning reversal, as Fox News first reported, leadership at the Justice Department (DOJ) overruled the prosecutors on the case, scaling back the proposed sentence for Stone, which immediately led Democrats to accuse Trump interfering in the process.

House Judiciary Committee member Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.  would not rule out a new impeachment effort against Trump over his alleged interference in the criminal case.

TRUMP DENIES INTERFERING IN ROGER STONE CASE, STAYS MUM ON POSSIBLE PARDON

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said that Barr “ought to be ashamed and embarrassed and resign as a result of this action directly interfering in the independent prosecution of Roger Stone.” He also said the controversy was yet another example of “political interference by the president to alter the independent decisions of the Department of Justice.”

“The fact is the sentence is absurd, it’s irrational and you have these questions about whether or not the jury was genuinely tainted,” Huckabee said on Thursday.

“If you read some of the tweets and the social media posts by the jury foreperson who was doing this in the midst of the trial, this is not something that happened later when she found her liberal conscience, this was while the trial was going on and that certainly raises some questions.”

Huckabee was referencing former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart who revealed Wednesday that she was the foreperson of the jury that convicted Stone on obstruction charges last year. Soon afterward, her history of Democratic activism and a string of her anti-Trump, left-wing social media posts came to light.

Hart even posted specifically about the Stone case before she was selected to sit on the jury, as she retweeted an argument mocking those who considered Stone’s dramatic arrest in a predawn raid by a federal tactical team to be excessive force. She also suggested President Trump and his supporters are racist and praised the investigation conducted by Mueller.

“Move this off the table,” Huckabee continued on Thursday. “The best way to do it, is a commutation.”

“It doesn’t give Roger Stone everything he wants, but it certainly says to the Democrats, ‘Hey we didn’t erase his prison sentence, we didn’t erase his even conviction,’ we just said, ‘We’re not going to spend a bunch of the taxpayer’s money giving him food and shelter and housing him for the next nine years.’”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Stone is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Feb. 20.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Huckabee-and-Faulkner Gov. Mike Huckabee: Trump would be doing all Americans a favor by commuting Roger Stone's sentence Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 297d8dfa-e560-5e33-ad92-29036b2b3b36   Westlake Legal Group Huckabee-and-Faulkner Gov. Mike Huckabee: Trump would be doing all Americans a favor by commuting Roger Stone's sentence Talia Kaplan fox-news/shows/outnumbered-overtime fox-news/politics fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 297d8dfa-e560-5e33-ad92-29036b2b3b36

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

Ohio inmate caught, 4 still at large after escaping Canton correctional facility, police say

Authorities in Ohio confirmed Thursday that one of five inmates who fled a correctional facility earlier this week has been taken into custody and the rest are still at large.

The group escaped the Stark County Regional Community Correction Center in Canton by breaking a first floor window and running away sometime between 8:45 p.m. Monday night and 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to media reports.

Westlake Legal Group cd3b52ed-Inmates Ohio inmate caught, 4 still at large after escaping Canton correctional facility, police say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 77a21464-013a-5e95-8644-b7153e194255

Five Ohio jail inmates escaped from a correctional facility earlier this week, authorities said. One has been captured, according to media reports. Jaden Miller and Michael Fisher; bottom row: Joshua Bingham, Jason Drake and Vincent Blanc. (Courtesy of Canton police)

The escapees were identified as Joshua Bingham, 36, of North Canton, who was convicted of burglary; Vincent Blanc, 24, who was convicted of menacing and drug possession; Jason Drake, 39, who was convicted of burglary; Michael Fisher, 30, who was convicted of aggravated drug possession; and Jaden Miller, 23, who was convicted of having weapons under disability and improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, according to Cleveland.com.

The Canton Repository newspaper reported that Miller was the captured inmate. He was re-arrested at a residence Wednesday night and was booked into the Stark County jail on suspicion of escape and vandalism, both felonies.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

All the escaped inmates have been charged with third-degree felony of escape and a fifth-degree felony of vandalism.

The correctional facility houses felony prisoners sentenced through Stark, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas county courts, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Westlake Legal Group cd3b52ed-Inmates Ohio inmate caught, 4 still at large after escaping Canton correctional facility, police say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 77a21464-013a-5e95-8644-b7153e194255   Westlake Legal Group cd3b52ed-Inmates Ohio inmate caught, 4 still at large after escaping Canton correctional facility, police say Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/ohio fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 77a21464-013a-5e95-8644-b7153e194255

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

Jenna Bush Hager says that dad George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres can be friends despite ‘different beliefs’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093272869001_6093266630001-vs Jenna Bush Hager says that dad George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres can be friends despite 'different beliefs' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/george-w-bush fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371213f6-5eec-5e00-abab-9b22dec85dfb

Jenna Bush Hager thinks that just because you have different beliefs, doesn’t mean two people can’t be friends.

The NBC anchor, 38, appeared on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” with her “Today” co-host Hoda Kotb and answered a question from a fan about the controversy that went down on the Internet after her dad, former President George W. Bush, sat next to Ellen DeGeneres at a football game in October 2019.

“Well, I mean, I had just had a baby so to be totally honest I didn’t pay that much attention to it,” Hager admitted. “But I do think that people can have different beliefs and still be friends.”

HOLLYWOOD DIVIDED OVER ELLEN DEGENERES HANGING OUT WITH GEORGE W. BUSH AT A FOOTBALL GAME

She added, “And I also think decency and humanity should be at the basis of all conversations.”

Last fall, social media was divided when DeGeneres, 62, and Bush, 73, were photographed sitting next to one another at a Dallas Cowboys-Green Bay Packers football game, laughing in a suite. Some people were offended that a gay liberal Hollywood figure would be friendly with a Republican president.

The following week, DeGeneres defended her “friend” on her talk show.

ELLEN DEGENERES STANDS UP TO TWITTER MOB, DEFENDS APPEARING WITH ‘FRIEND’ GEORGE W. BUSH

“When we were invited, I was aware that I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs. And I’m not talking about politics. … I was rooting for the Packers,” DeGeneres joked. “So I had to hide my cheese hat in Portia’s purse.”

“They thought, why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president? … A lot of people were mad. And they did what people do when they’re mad … they tweet,” she said.

“Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have,” DeGeneres continued. “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different … but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.”

“When I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter,” she added.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Bush’s spokesman, Freddy Ford, told Fox News at the time: “President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her. “

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093272869001_6093266630001-vs Jenna Bush Hager says that dad George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres can be friends despite 'different beliefs' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/george-w-bush fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371213f6-5eec-5e00-abab-9b22dec85dfb   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093272869001_6093266630001-vs Jenna Bush Hager says that dad George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres can be friends despite 'different beliefs' Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/george-w-bush fox-news/person/ellen-degeneres fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 371213f6-5eec-5e00-abab-9b22dec85dfb

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

Roger Stone case: Timeline of Trump associate’s dramatic prosecution

Westlake Legal Group image Roger Stone case: Timeline of Trump associate’s dramatic prosecution Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc bea8e64b-818e-5ffe-ab11-a7c90d7dc3c0 article

Roger Stone awaits his fate after being convicted of charges of obstruction, witness tampering, and providing false statements to Congress, but the drama surrounding the case continues to unfold.

With one week until Stone’s scheduled sentencing on Feb. 20, here is a refresher of what led to this moment.

TRUMP STIRS PARDON SPECULATION WITH CONDEMNATION OF DOJ’S ROGER STONE TREATMENT

Indictment

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Stone on Jan. 24, 2019, on seven charges that included five counts of false statements, one count of obstruction, and one count of witness tampering.

Prosecutors alleged that Stone worked to obstruct the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by making false statements to the committee, denying he had records sought by the committee, and persuading a witness to provide false testimony. The charges were related to communications Stone had related to WikiLeaks and their publication of hacked Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails.

Stone has maintained that he’s done nothing wrong.

The case stemmed from then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 election.

Arrest

Stone was famously arrested at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in a pre-dawn raid by the FBI on Jan. 25, 2019. CNN, which conveniently happened to be staking out Stone’s Fort Lauderdale home, posted video of the arrest that showed a team of FBI agents with guns banging on Stone’s door and demanding that he come outside.

“At the crack of dawn, 29 FBI agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles, with lights flashing, when they could have contacted my lawyer,” Stone explained after a court appearance. “But the FBI agents were extraordinarily courteous.”

At the time, Stone was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Roger Stone Did Nothing Wrong.”

Gag order

Stone spoke to the media extensively in his own defense following his arrest, asserting his innocence. Judge Amy Berman Jackson then issued a limited gag order, forbidding Stone from discussing the case near the courthouse. After Stone then posted an image to Instagram that featured a picture of the judge with what appeared to be crosshairs, Jackson completely barred Stone from speaking about the case.

Months later, the judge barred Stone from posting anything on social media after ruling that he violated the gag order with Instagram posts that disparaged the Mueller investigation and the broader election interference probe.

Trial and verdict

Stone’s trial took place over the course of a week in November 2019, but the drama kicked off before opening statements even took place.

During the trial, several witnesses highlighted how Trump campaign associates were eager to gather information about emails the U.S. said were hacked by Russia and then provided to WikiLeaks. Stone was regarded as an “access point” to WikiLeaks, due to his frequent boasts of having insider access to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Federal prosecutors argued that Stone intentionally lied about his use of intermediaries to get information about WikiLeaks’ possession and release of hacked Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign emails. They also said Stone hid the truth to protect the Trump campaign.

Stone’s defense, however, maintained that Stone did not have an actual inside connection with WikiLeaks. They also argued that there was reasonable doubt that Stone lied to congressional lawmakers.

Another defense Stone’s team put forward was that there was no way he could have lied about intermediaries between himself and WikiLeaks because there were no intermediaries. Radio host Randy Credico and author Jerome Corsi, who had allegedly been Stone’s go-betweens, never actually communicated with WikiLeaks, the defense said, even if Stone thought they had.

A jury ultimately found Stone guilty on all counts.

Sentencing drama

Stone is currently scheduled for sentencing on Feb. 20. Federal prosecutors submitted a sentencing memo recommending a sentence of between 87 and 108 months in prison. Trump heavily criticized the recommendation on Twitter, and the Justice Department later submitted a new filing recommending a lighter sentence.

“The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the Stone case last night,” a senior DOJ official told Fox News. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.”

Federal prosecutors withdrew from the case after senior officials made the change.

Democrats including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal demanded that Attorney General William Barr resign, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for a DOJ Inspector General investigation into the change of position, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., went so far as to say that a second impeachment of the president was not “off the table.”

The drama only continued from there, when jury foreperson Tomeka Hart was reported as posting on social media in support of the prosecutors who had stepped down. It was then discovered that Hart had posted messages on Twitter and Facebook in the past that suggested a political bias.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

A spokesperson for Stone, Grant Smith, told Fox News that Stone’s legal team was looking into how to handle this development.

“Mr. Stone and his defense team are diligently reviewing the newly reported information to determine any appropriate next steps,” Smith said in a statement.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Jake Gibson, David Spunt, Edmund DeMarche, Gregg Re, Marisa Schultz and Griff Jenkins contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image Roger Stone case: Timeline of Trump associate’s dramatic prosecution Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc bea8e64b-818e-5ffe-ab11-a7c90d7dc3c0 article   Westlake Legal Group image Roger Stone case: Timeline of Trump associate’s dramatic prosecution Ronn Blitzer fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox news fnc/politics fnc bea8e64b-818e-5ffe-ab11-a7c90d7dc3c0 article

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

In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution

Westlake Legal Group 13dc-warpowers-facebookJumbo In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution War Powers Act (1973) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Middle East Law and Legislation Kaine, Timothy M Iran Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to require President Trump seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers weeks after he escalated hostilities with Tehran.

The bipartisan vote, 55 to 45, amounted to a rare attempt by the Senate to restrain Mr. Trump’s authority just over a week after it voted to acquit him of impeachment charges, and nearly six weeks after the president moved without authorization from Congress to kill a top Iranian security commander.

But it was a mostly symbolic rebuke of the president, as support for the measure fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a promised veto by Mr. Trump. The House passed a similar measure last month on a nearly party-line vote that also fell well short of the two-thirds margin.

Still, indignant at the administration’s handling of a drone strike in Iraq last month that killed a top Iranian official — a major provocation that pushed the United States and Iran to the brink of war — an unusually large number of Senate Republicans crossed party lines in an attempt to claw back Congress’s authority to weigh in on matters of war and peace.

“We don’t send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law in a world that hungers for more rule of law,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and the lead sponsor of the measure, said.

“We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers,” Mr. Kaine added, referring to the portion of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to declare war. “That’s what our troops and their families deserve.”

Mr. Kaine drafted the resolution in early January as tensions ratcheted up with Iran after the strike in Baghdad that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important general. In briefings with Mr. Trump’s national security team, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, already angry that the administration had not consulted with them before the operation, complained that top officials demeaned and dismissed them in briefings for questioning the president’s strategy.

Both Republicans and Democrats who sponsored the resolution insisted that the measure was not intended to tie Mr. Trump’s hands, but to reassert Congress’s constitutional prerogatives on matters of war. For decades, lawmakers in both parties have ceded those powers with little resistance, deferring to an increasingly assertive executive branch.

Still, Mr. Trump viewed the resolution as a personal affront, and on Wednesday urged Republicans to reject it, framing the measure as a dangerous show of timidity and an attempt by Democrats to “embarrass the Republican Party.”

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding: “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal.”

The legislation is sure to pass the Democratic-led House, but White House advisers warned in a formal statement of administration policy that Mr. Trump would veto it if it reached his desk. The statement described the measure as “grounded in a faulty premise” because the United States was not currently engaged in any use of force against Iran.

In the Senate, Republicans mirrored Mr. Trump’s language, arguing that the resolution would shackle the president at a potentially perilous time and be viewed by Tehran as a message of weakness.

“If this passes, the president will never abide by it — no president would,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “I want the Iranians to understand, when it comes to their provocative behavior, all options are on the table.”

But a small group of moderate and libertarian-minded Republicans who were rankled by the administration’s handling of the Suleimani strike supported the measure, insisting that it was both morally and constitutionally necessary.

Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have advocated disengaging U.S. troops from prolonged military conflicts abroad, were infuriated by a contentious congressional briefing delivered last month by Mr. Trump’s top national security advisers on the operation. They complained that administration officials had been unwilling to engage in a genuine discussion about a possible military escalation in the Middle East. Previously lukewarm on their support for Mr. Kaine’s resolution, both senators signed on after the briefing.

“They were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public,” Mr. Lee said then, emerging red-faced from the briefing. “I find that absolutely insane. It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”

The vote was the latest in a series of bids by Congress over the past year to rein in Mr. Trump’s war powers. Last year, Congress cleared a bipartisan measure invoking the War Powers Act that would have cut off American military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, and a separate measure seeking to curtail the president’s war-making powers in Iran ping-ponged between the two chambers, passing the House but not the Senate.

Despite a recognition in both parties that much of the American public is weary of perpetual military conflict, the measures drew only modest support from Republicans, each time falling well short of the two-thirds majority vote necessary to override a veto.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that he had voted multiple times to send troops to war — first as a member of the House and then later in the Senate. He described them as “the toughest votes” he ever had to cast, “knowing that in the best of circumstances, that Americans will die.”

“Before you make that decision, you have to think long and hard, and many members of Congress would like to race away from that,” he said. He described the rationale adopted by many lawmakers as: “I’d just rather blame the president if it turns out bad.”

Supporters of the resolution approved Thursday saw a glimmer of hope in the final vote tally. In July, the Senate rejected a similar measure to curtail the president’s war powers related to Iran, with only four Republican senators defecting to support it. Twice as many supported the resolution on Thursday.

“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact authorized properly by Congress,” Mr. Lee said. “That doesn’t show weakness; that shows strength.”

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

In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution

Westlake Legal Group 13dc-warpowers-facebookJumbo In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution War Powers Act (1973) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Middle East Law and Legislation Kaine, Timothy M Iran Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to require President Trump seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers weeks after he escalated hostilities with Tehran.

The bipartisan vote, 55 to 45, amounted to a rare attempt by the Senate to restrain Mr. Trump’s authority just over a week after it voted to acquit him of impeachment charges, and nearly six weeks after the president moved without authorization from Congress to kill a top Iranian security commander.

But it was a mostly symbolic rebuke of the president, as support for the measure fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a promised veto by Mr. Trump. The House passed a similar measure last month on a nearly party-line vote that also fell well short of the two-thirds margin.

Still, indignant at the administration’s handling of a drone strike in Iraq last month that killed a top Iranian official — a major provocation that pushed the United States and Iran to the brink of war — an unusually large number of Senate Republicans crossed party lines in an attempt to claw back Congress’s authority to weigh in on matters of war and peace.

“We don’t send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law in a world that hungers for more rule of law,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and the lead sponsor of the measure, said.

“We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers,” Mr. Kaine added, referring to the portion of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to declare war. “That’s what our troops and their families deserve.”

Mr. Kaine drafted the resolution in early January as tensions ratcheted up with Iran after the strike in Baghdad that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important general. In briefings with Mr. Trump’s national security team, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, already angry that the administration had not consulted with them before the operation, complained that top officials demeaned and dismissed them in briefings for questioning the president’s strategy.

Both Republicans and Democrats who sponsored the resolution insisted that the measure was not intended to tie Mr. Trump’s hands, but to reassert Congress’s constitutional prerogatives on matters of war. For decades, lawmakers in both parties have ceded those powers with little resistance, deferring to an increasingly assertive executive branch.

Still, Mr. Trump viewed the resolution as a personal affront, and on Wednesday urged Republicans to reject it, framing the measure as a dangerous show of timidity and an attempt by Democrats to “embarrass the Republican Party.”

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding: “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal.”

The legislation is sure to pass the Democratic-led House, but White House advisers warned in a formal statement of administration policy that Mr. Trump would veto it if it reached his desk. The statement described the measure as “grounded in a faulty premise” because the United States was not currently engaged in any use of force against Iran.

In the Senate, Republicans mirrored Mr. Trump’s language, arguing that the resolution would shackle the president at a potentially perilous time and be viewed by Tehran as a message of weakness.

“If this passes, the president will never abide by it — no president would,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “I want the Iranians to understand, when it comes to their provocative behavior, all options are on the table.”

But a small group of moderate and libertarian-minded Republicans who were rankled by the administration’s handling of the Suleimani strike supported the measure, insisting that it was both morally and constitutionally necessary.

Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have advocated disengaging U.S. troops from prolonged military conflicts abroad, were infuriated by a contentious congressional briefing delivered last month by Mr. Trump’s top national security advisers on the operation. They complained that administration officials had been unwilling to engage in a genuine discussion about a possible military escalation in the Middle East. Previously lukewarm on their support for Mr. Kaine’s resolution, both senators signed on after the briefing.

“They were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public,” Mr. Lee said then, emerging red-faced from the briefing. “I find that absolutely insane. It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”

The vote was the latest in a series of bids by Congress over the past year to rein in Mr. Trump’s war powers. Last year, Congress cleared a bipartisan measure invoking the War Powers Act that would have cut off American military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, and a separate measure seeking to curtail the president’s war-making powers in Iran ping-ponged between the two chambers, passing the House but not the Senate.

Despite a recognition in both parties that much of the American public is weary of perpetual military conflict, the measures drew only modest support from Republicans, each time falling well short of the two-thirds majority vote necessary to override a veto.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that he had voted multiple times to send troops to war — first as a member of the House and then later in the Senate. He described them as “the toughest votes” he ever had to cast, “knowing that in the best of circumstances, that Americans will die.”

“Before you make that decision, you have to think long and hard, and many members of Congress would like to race away from that,” he said. He described the rationale adopted by many lawmakers as: “I’d just rather blame the president if it turns out bad.”

Supporters of the resolution approved Thursday saw a glimmer of hope in the final vote tally. In July, the Senate rejected a similar measure to curtail the president’s war powers related to Iran, with only four Republican senators defecting to support it. Twice as many supported the resolution on Thursday.

“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact authorized properly by Congress,” Mr. Lee said. “That doesn’t show weakness; that shows strength.”

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

In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution

Westlake Legal Group 13dc-warpowers-facebookJumbo In Bipartisan Bid to Restrain Trump, Senate Passes Iran War Powers Resolution War Powers Act (1973) United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Senate Republican Party Middle East Law and Legislation Kaine, Timothy M Iran Democratic Party

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Thursday to require President Trump seek congressional authorization before taking further military action against Iran, as Democrats joined forces with eight Republicans to try to rein in the president’s war-making powers weeks after he escalated hostilities with Tehran.

The bipartisan vote, 55 to 45, amounted to a rare attempt by the Senate to restrain Mr. Trump’s authority just over a week after it voted to acquit him of impeachment charges, and nearly six weeks after the president moved without authorization from Congress to kill a top Iranian security commander.

But it was a mostly symbolic rebuke of the president, as support for the measure fell short of the two-thirds supermajority needed to override a promised veto by Mr. Trump. The House passed a similar measure last month on a nearly party-line vote that also fell well short of the two-thirds margin.

Still, indignant at the administration’s handling of a drone strike in Iraq last month that killed a top Iranian official — a major provocation that pushed the United States and Iran to the brink of war — an unusually large number of Senate Republicans crossed party lines in an attempt to claw back Congress’s authority to weigh in on matters of war and peace.

“We don’t send a message of weakness when we stand up for the rule of law in a world that hungers for more rule of law,” Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia and the lead sponsor of the measure, said.

“We need a Congress that will fully inhabit the Article I powers,” Mr. Kaine added, referring to the portion of the Constitution that grants Congress the power to declare war. “That’s what our troops and their families deserve.”

Mr. Kaine drafted the resolution in early January as tensions ratcheted up with Iran after the strike in Baghdad that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important general. In briefings with Mr. Trump’s national security team, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, already angry that the administration had not consulted with them before the operation, complained that top officials demeaned and dismissed them in briefings for questioning the president’s strategy.

Both Republicans and Democrats who sponsored the resolution insisted that the measure was not intended to tie Mr. Trump’s hands, but to reassert Congress’s constitutional prerogatives on matters of war. For decades, lawmakers in both parties have ceded those powers with little resistance, deferring to an increasingly assertive executive branch.

Still, Mr. Trump viewed the resolution as a personal affront, and on Wednesday urged Republicans to reject it, framing the measure as a dangerous show of timidity and an attempt by Democrats to “embarrass the Republican Party.”

“We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding: “If my hands were tied, Iran would have a field day. Sends a very bad signal.”

The legislation is sure to pass the Democratic-led House, but White House advisers warned in a formal statement of administration policy that Mr. Trump would veto it if it reached his desk. The statement described the measure as “grounded in a faulty premise” because the United States was not currently engaged in any use of force against Iran.

In the Senate, Republicans mirrored Mr. Trump’s language, arguing that the resolution would shackle the president at a potentially perilous time and be viewed by Tehran as a message of weakness.

“If this passes, the president will never abide by it — no president would,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said. “I want the Iranians to understand, when it comes to their provocative behavior, all options are on the table.”

But a small group of moderate and libertarian-minded Republicans who were rankled by the administration’s handling of the Suleimani strike supported the measure, insisting that it was both morally and constitutionally necessary.

Senators Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky, who have advocated disengaging U.S. troops from prolonged military conflicts abroad, were infuriated by a contentious congressional briefing delivered last month by Mr. Trump’s top national security advisers on the operation. They complained that administration officials had been unwilling to engage in a genuine discussion about a possible military escalation in the Middle East. Previously lukewarm on their support for Mr. Kaine’s resolution, both senators signed on after the briefing.

“They were in the process of telling us that we need to be good little boys and girls and not debate this in public,” Mr. Lee said then, emerging red-faced from the briefing. “I find that absolutely insane. It’s un-American, it’s unconstitutional and it’s wrong.”

The vote was the latest in a series of bids by Congress over the past year to rein in Mr. Trump’s war powers. Last year, Congress cleared a bipartisan measure invoking the War Powers Act that would have cut off American military support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen’s civil war, and a separate measure seeking to curtail the president’s war-making powers in Iran ping-ponged between the two chambers, passing the House but not the Senate.

Despite a recognition in both parties that much of the American public is weary of perpetual military conflict, the measures drew only modest support from Republicans, each time falling well short of the two-thirds majority vote necessary to override a veto.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, said that he had voted multiple times to send troops to war — first as a member of the House and then later in the Senate. He described them as “the toughest votes” he ever had to cast, “knowing that in the best of circumstances, that Americans will die.”

“Before you make that decision, you have to think long and hard, and many members of Congress would like to race away from that,” he said. He described the rationale adopted by many lawmakers as: “I’d just rather blame the president if it turns out bad.”

Supporters of the resolution approved Thursday saw a glimmer of hope in the final vote tally. In July, the Senate rejected a similar measure to curtail the president’s war powers related to Iran, with only four Republican senators defecting to support it. Twice as many supported the resolution on Thursday.

“We want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is in fact authorized properly by Congress,” Mr. Lee said. “That doesn’t show weakness; that shows strength.”

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Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say

Orlando Bloom unveiled some arm ink earlier this week on Instagram, showing fans a slim line under a series of numbers accompanied by the dots and dashes often seen in Morse code messages.

“New tattoo,” he wrote in the caption for the image. “Can you guess who?”

Fans quickly guessed that the lines and dots are Morse code spelling out Flynn, the name of Bloom’s son with Miranda Kerr. The numbers above appear to be the date and time that Flynn was born.

However, some eagle-eyed fans pointed out that the code actually seems to spell out “Frynn” instead of “Flynn.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e4581ef2100005402269838 Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say

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Westlake Legal Group 5e4581ef2500000403080d43 Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say

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Westlake Legal Group 5e4581ef250000fd02080d44 Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say

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HuffPost consulted a few Morse code experts about what’s actually going on here. Roy Henrichs, who volunteers with Maritime Radio Historical Society’s Operations and Maintenance team, said Bloom “is pulling everybody’s leg” and that his tattoo “doesn’t appear to say anything”

The tattoo is “just a bunch of dots and dashes in line with a pair of extremely long extended dashes,” Henrichs said over email. “Probably is just a stylized artistic design!”

Henrichs added that the tattoo isn’t “International Morse nor American Morse.”

“There are differences in the character sets for these. Also, there are supposed to be spaces between letters – but there aren’t any evident in the photo,” he explained.

He was also kind enough to provide this breakdown for readers to see if they can find either “FLYNN” or “FRYNN” on the arm:

Char.   Int’l.     Amer.  

F           ..-.        .-.

L           .-..        __ (a long “dash”)

R           .-.         .  .. (one “dot” space one “dot”)

Y           -.―        .. .. (Two “dots” space two “dots”)

N           -.          -.

Paul Reuvers, an engineer behind the Netherland’s Crypto Museum, echoed Henrichs’ thoughts, telling HuffPost, “It’s definitely not Flynn, as in that case one extra dot would be needed.”

“To be honest, this morse code is difficult to read as so appropriate space have been inserted between the characters. My guess is that it’s just random,” Reuvers said.

We even tried plugging “Frynn” and “Flynn” into a Morse code translator, and the results don’t help Bloom’s case. Based on the translator from Morse Code World, Bloom’s tattoo indeed resembles “Frynn” more closely than “Flynn.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e4582c2210000540226983a Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say
Westlake Legal Group 5e4582c32300000f0319a101 Orlando Bloom’s New Tattoo For His Son Is Wrong, Morse Code Experts Say

At any rate, Bloom’s gesture seems sweet enough, and we’re pretty sure most people glancing at his arm in the flesh aren’t proficient enough in Morse code to judge him too harshly.

Go forth and enjoy your new ink, Orlando. Just maybe double-check the spelling next time.

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US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says

U.S. officials have confirmed to Fox News Thursday that a U.S. Navy warship intercepted Iranian-made weapons from a vessel in the Arabian Sea earlier this week.

Crew members from the USS Normandy seized a huge cache of weapons from a dhow – a small vessel with lateen sails – on Sunday while conducting maritime security operations in the U.S. Central area of operations.

The weapons and weapon components were intended for the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to officials.

Westlake Legal Group US-Warship-DVIDS-1 US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 20ce96d4-99a7-5e07-b0ba-69e2cf363f0a

The crew of the USS Normandy seized an illicit shipment of advanced weapons and weapon components intended for the Houthis in Yemen, aboard a dhow during a maritime interdiction operation in the U.S. Fifth Fleet area of operations, Feb. 9, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman)

Among the weapons seized were 150 “Dehlavieh” anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), which are Iranian-manufactured copies of Russian Kornet ATGMs.

Other weapons were also Iranian design and manufacture, including three surface-to-air missiles, thermal imaging weapon scopes, components for unmanned aerial and surface vessels, as well as other munitions and advanced weapons parts.

Many of the weapons were identical to those seized by the USS Forest Sherman in the Arabian Sea in November. Those weapons were also determined to be of Iranian origin and assessed to be destined for the Houthis in Yemen – a violation of UN Security Council Resolution that prohibits direct or indict supply, sale, or transfer of weapons to the Houthis.

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The weapons seized Sunday are now in U.S. custody awaiting final disposition. The assessment of the material will be an interagency and international effort. International partner nations and organizations have also been invited to inspect the cache.

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The operation is ongoing, and further information will be shared as it becomes available.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group US-Warship-DVIDS-3 US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 20ce96d4-99a7-5e07-b0ba-69e2cf363f0a   Westlake Legal Group US-Warship-DVIDS-3 US warship seizes Iranian weapons, including surface-to-air missiles, Navy says fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/military/navy fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 20ce96d4-99a7-5e07-b0ba-69e2cf363f0a

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CAA men’s basketball championship history

The CAA, otherwise known as the Colonial Athletic Association, holds an annual men’s basketball tournament with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The conference features 10 teams, including Charleston, Delaware, Drexel, Elon, Hofstra, James Madison, Northeastern, UNC Wilmington, Towson and William & Mary.

The CAA men’s basketball championship begins March 7 and runs through March 10.

The CAA started its conference tournament championships in 1980. The conference was known as the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference South from 1979 to 1985.

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Read below for a list of past champions.

2019: NORTHEASTERN

Westlake Legal Group Northeastern-basketball-GettyImages-1137419693 CAA men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6faee2d0-dee0-5272-93fb-35a5ce2e8be0

Northeastern won the CAA title in 2019. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Northeastern won its second CAA title in 2019. The Huskies defeated Hofstra, 82-74. Vasa Pusica was awarded the MVP.

2018: CHARLESTON

Charleston bounced back in 2018 and defeated Northeastern for the CAA title. Grant Riller was named MVP of the tournament.

2017: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington won its sixth CAA title. The Seahawks defeated Charleston, 78-69. C.J. Bryce won the MVP award.

2016: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington defeated Hofstra, 80-73, in overtime in 2016. Chris Flemmings was given the MVP award.

WEST COAST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2015: NORTHEASTERN

Northeastern defeated William & Mary, 72-61. The Tribe remained winless in the CAA title game. Northeastern’s Quincy Ford was named MVP.

2014: DELAWARE

Delaware won its first CAA title in 2014. The Blue Hens defeated William & Mary, 75-74. Jarvis Threatt won the MVP of the tournament.

2013: JAMES MADISON

James Madison defeated Northeastern, 70-57, in 2013. The Dukes’ A.J. Davis won the MVP award of the tournament.

2012: VCU

VCU narrowly defeated Drexel for its fifth CAA title in 2012. Darius Theus won the MVP award.

2011: OLD DOMINION

The Monarchs won back-to-back titles in 2011. They defeated VCU, 70-65. Frank Hassell won the MVP award.

2010: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion was holding up the CAA title in 2010. The Monarchs defeated William & Mary, 60-53. Gerald Lee won the MVP award.

2009: VCU

Westlake Legal Group Eric-Maynor-VCU-2007-Getty CAA men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6faee2d0-dee0-5272-93fb-35a5ce2e8be0

Eric Maynor won two conference titles with VCU. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

VCU won its second title in three seasons in 2009. Eric Maynor led the Rams to a 71-50 victory over George Mason. Maynor won his second MVP award.

2008: GEORGE MASON

George Mason bounced back in 2008 and defeated William & Mary, 68-59. Folarin Campbell won the MVP award.

MISSOURI VALLEY CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

2007: VCU

VCU and Eric Maynor won the CAA title in 2007. The Rams defeated George Mason, 65-59. Maynor was named MVP.

2006: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington defeated Hofstra, 78-67, in 2006. T.J. Carter was named MVP.

2005: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion defeated VCU in overtime, 73-66. Alex Loughton was named MVP of the tournament.

2004: VCU

VCU edged out George Mason in 2004, 55-54. Domonic Jones was awarded the MVP.

2003: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington won its third title in four years. The Seahawks defeated Drexel, 70-62. Brett Blizzard became the first person to win three MVP awards.

2002: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington started a decent run in the CAA starting in 2002. The Seahawks defeated VCU, 66-51. Brett Blizzard was award the tournament’s MVP award.

2001: GEORGE MASON

George Mason defeated UNC Wilmington in one of the lowest-scoring championship games in 2001. The Patriots knocked off the Seahawks, 35-33. Erik Herring was named MVP.

2000: UNC WILMINGTON

UNC Wilmington had a 10-point victory over Richmond in 2000, 57-47. Brett Blizzard was awarded MVP.

1999: GEORGE MASON

George Mason defeated Old Dominion, 63-58. George Evans was named MVP.

1998: RICHMOND

Richmond defeated UNC Wilmington, 79-64. Daryl Oliver was named MVP.

1997: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion captured another CAA title in 1997. The Monarchs defeated James Madison, 62-57. Odell Hodge was awarded the MVP.

NORTHEAST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1996: VCU

VCU won its first CAA title in 1996. The Rams defeated UNC Wilmington, 46-43. Bernard Hopkins was named MVP of the tournament.

1995: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion won the CAA title in 1995. The Monarchs defeated James Madison, 80-75. Petey Sessoms was awarded the MVP.

1994: JAMES MADISON

James Madison edged Old Dominion in 1994, 77-76. Odell Hodge, of Old Dominion, was awarded the MVP. He was the first player to win the award on the runner-up team.

1993: EAST CAROLINA

East Carolina won its first championship in 1993. The Pirates defeated James Madison, 54-49. Lester Lyons was named the MVP.

1992: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion got back to the podium in 1992. The Monarchs defeated James Madison, 78-73. Ricardo Leonard was named MVP.

1991: RICHMOND

Richmond won its fourth title in 1991. They defeated George Mason, 81-78. Jim Shields won the MVP award.

1990: RICHMOND

Westlake Legal Group Kenny-Atkinson2 CAA men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6faee2d0-dee0-5272-93fb-35a5ce2e8be0

Brooklyn Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson was a star at Richmond. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Richmond won title No. 3 in 1990. The Spiders defeated James Madison, 77-72. Kenny Atkinson, the future coach of the Brooklyn Nets, was named MVP.

1989: GEORGE MASON

George Mason and UNC Wilmington took the 1989 championship to overtime. The Patriots ended up the victors, 78-72. Kenny Sanders was named tournament MVP.

1988: RICHMOND

Richmond narrowly defeated George Mason in 1988, 73-70. Peter Wollfolk was named tournament MVP.

1987: NAVY

Navy won third consecutive championships in 1987. They defeated UNC Wilmington, 53-50. David Robinson won a second tournament MVP award.

1986: NAVY

Navy won back-to-back titles in 1986 and became the first repeat champion. David Robinson led the Midshipmen over George Mason, 72-61. Robinson won the MVP award.

1985: NAVY

Navy won the title in 1985. They defeated Richmond, 85-76. Vernon Butler won the MVP award.

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

1984: RICHMOND

Richmond captured its first conference title in 1984. The Spiders defeated Navy, 74-55. Johnny Newman was awarded MVP of the tournament.

1983: JAMES MADSON

The Dukes tied Old Dominion with their second title. James Madison defeated William & Mary, 58-57. Derek Steele was named MVP.

1982: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion would win its second ECAC South title in 1982. The Monarchs edged James Madison, 58-57. Mark West won his second MVP award.

1981: JAMES MADISON

James Madison defeated Richmond, 69-60, the next season. Charles Fisher was named the MVP.

1980: OLD DOMINION

Old Dominion came away with the first conference title when it was known as the ECAC South in 1980. They defeated Navy, 62-51. Mark West was named the MVP.

Westlake Legal Group Block-Text-281 CAA men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6faee2d0-dee0-5272-93fb-35a5ce2e8be0   Westlake Legal Group Block-Text-281 CAA men's basketball championship history Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/ncaa-bk fox-news/sports/ncaa fox news fnc/sports fnc article 6faee2d0-dee0-5272-93fb-35a5ce2e8be0

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