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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 173)

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

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Trump to tell Pelosi that White House won't cooperate on impeachment until the full House votes

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

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump and aides plan to tell House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they will not cooperate with the ongoing impeachment inquiry until the full House votes to authorize it, officials said Friday.

Democrats have said that Trump’s refusal to answer subpoenas and provide documents could constitute an impeachable offense in and of itself as they investigate the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

Even so, the White House is preparing a letter of objection to Pelosi that could be sent on Friday, said two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because it has not yet been released.

White House officials said they want a full House vote on authorizing the impeachment inquiry that Pelosi herself announced last week.

The administration’s letter to Pelosi is expected to echo a request sent earlier this week by House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

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

Criticizing “the swiftness and recklessness” of the impeachment drive, McCarthy asked Pelosi if Republicans would be let into the process and if administration lawyers could cross-examine witnesses.

“Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed – including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” McCarthy said in his letter.

In replying to McCarthy, Pelosi said the majority is proceeding under authority it already has.

“There is no requirement under the Constitution, under House Rules, or House precedent that the whole House vote before proceeding with an impeachment inquiry,” Pelosi said in a letter to the House Republican leader.

Trump’s China comments: Democrats see echoes of Russia in Trump’s call for China to investigate Joe Biden

The impeachment investigation centers on Trump’s request to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to have his government investigate U.S. political rival Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate. Investigators are also looking at whether Trump held up aid to Ukraine until it agreed to investigate Biden and his son, who had business interests in the country.

On Thursday night, a group of House committee chairmen released text messages from diplomats describing an effort to lobby Zelensky into a public pledge to investigate Biden in exchange for the nearly $400 million in aid as well as a private meeting with Trump.

In a letter to colleagues, the House chairmen also referenced Trump’s call on Thursday to have China investigate Biden over his son’s business activities in that country.

“This is not normal or acceptable,” the letter said. “It is unethical, unpatriotic, and wrong. American Presidents should never press foreign powers to target their domestic political rivals.”

Trump has denied wrongdoing, and described the impeachment drive as a “coup” designed to drive him from office.

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Deroy Murdock: Media often ignore Trump’s outreach to racial minorities

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086058816001_6086053698001-vs Deroy Murdock: Media often ignore Trump's outreach to racial minorities National Review fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock d7916529-1fb2-5447-bc21-4b04843a2a8a article

If President Trump addresses 50,000 Indians, and the major-network news shows ignore him, does he make a sound?

This rhetorical question has real-world significance given the media’s “Big Lie” that Donald Trump is an immigrant-hating racist and anti-Semite. Leftist presidential contenders parrot this mendacious garbage around the clock.

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“We’ve got a president right now who is a racist,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., claimed in a Sept. 21 speech. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said in August, “We have a president that [sic] contributes his bigoted, racist rhetoric.”

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Meanwhile, the old-guard media cover-up President Trump’s outreach to immigrants, blacks, Jews, and others whom actual bigots bash.

At least three significant events demonstrate how the big media bury Trump’s bridge-building and, thus, keep the U.S. in a divided, racially explosive rage.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS COLUMN IN THE NATIONAL REVIEW

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY DEROY MURDOCK

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086058816001_6086053698001-vs Deroy Murdock: Media often ignore Trump's outreach to racial minorities National Review fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock d7916529-1fb2-5447-bc21-4b04843a2a8a article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086058816001_6086053698001-vs Deroy Murdock: Media often ignore Trump's outreach to racial minorities National Review fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Deroy Murdock d7916529-1fb2-5447-bc21-4b04843a2a8a article

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Ukraine Reviews Case Into Company That Employed Biden Son

Westlake Legal Group 5d9735ce2100003100a93572 Ukraine Reviews Case Into Company That Employed Biden Son

ZHYTOMYR, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said on Friday that his office is reviewing all the cases that were closed by his predecessors, including several related to the owner of a gas company where former Vice President Joe Biden’s son sat on the board.

Ruslan Ryaboshapka’s comments came amid an impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump that relates to a call he made to the Ukrainian president asking him to investigate the Democratic presidential candidate and his son’s work in Ukraine.

Ryaboshapka told reporters in Kyiv that prosecutors are auditing all the cases that were closed or dismissed by former prosecutors, including several related to Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of the gas company Burisma that hired Hunter Biden in 2014, at the same time his father was leading the Obama administration’s diplomatic dealings with Kyiv.

Though the timing raised concerns among anti-corruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either the former vice president or his son.

“We are now reviewing all the cases that were closed or split into several parts or were investigated before, in order to be able to rule to reverse those cases where illegal procedural steps were taken,” Ryaboshapka said.

When asked by a reporter if they are reviewing cases related to Burisma and Zlochevsky, he said that there are 15 cases where Zlochevsky and businessman Serhiy Kurchenko are mentioned. He did not specify how many, if any, were related to Hunter Biden’s work at Burisma.

Ryaboshapka was mentioned in the July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who assured Trump that Ryaboshapka was “his man” and that he would resume investigations into Burisma.

The prosecutor general insisted on Friday that he did not feel any pressure over the Burisma case.

“Not a single foreign or Ukrainian official or politician has called me or tried to influence my decisions regarding specific criminal cases,” he said.

A whistleblower last month revealed that Trump in a phone call asked Zelenskiy to resume the probe into Joe Biden and his son. The July 25 call has since triggered an impeachment inquiry against Trump.

Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report from Moscow.

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Alternative Sentencing and the 24 Judges

A group of professors got together and decided to review compliance and attitudes toward alternative sanctions as they have played out in Virginia under the “Non-Violent Risk Assessment” portion of its sentencing guidelines (link here). They, of course, have the dogmatic belief of all academics that anything which keeps a non-violent offender out of prison is a good.1 It colors the paper, but not enough to make it unworthy of a read.

I’m going to offer some observations and critiques. Most are going to be Virginiacentric, but they could still be interesting to those of you with the poor sense to live elsewhere.

————-

Assumptions / Assertions

(1)  To begin with, the article assumes that sentences increased as a result of Virginia’s Truth in Sentencing reforms put in place in 1995: “One of the net effects of TIS was to increase the time served by those convicted of felony crimes.” This is unattributed and feels like it proceeds from a shallow understanding of TIS. Yes, parole went away which would seem to increase actual sentences. However, at the same time the sentencing guidelines were put in place which lowered sentences back down to about where they actually were under parole. I am a post ’95 attorney, but I was close enough to have heard the stories about judges getting talked to for not following the guidelines and sentencing too high (and adjusting their sentences downward to ensure they got reappointed the next time they went before the legislature). I’d really like to see something more than a bald assertion about sentence lengths on lesser felonies.

(2)  “Those who plead guilty to charges were more likely to receive alternative sanctions than those who went to trial.”

Absolutely. If you accept responsibility rather than having it thrust upon you then you have taken the first potential step in moving in the right direction toward improving yourself. That voluntary step forward should be rewarded.

(3)  “Males were also found to be less likely to receive a first offender waiver from incarceration than females.”

Yes. This is a result of actuarial tables as to the probability of re-offending showing a higher rate for males. It’s also a result of the guidelines being entirely discretionary and Virginia statutes forbidding them to be a basis of appeals. If they were mandatory, the fact that the NVRA is openly biased against males would be a serious constitutional issue.

————

Methodology

Of the 161 felony trial judges in Virginia, 30 agreed to be interviewed and only 24 actually were. As the authors concede this carries with it the probability of selection bias. They were questioned about the NVRA and their answers were stirred into a pot until certain “themes” were noted. This, of course is inductive reasoning. The academic doublespeak used to describe this by the authors is “an interpretivist approach based on inductive thematic analysis.” That gobbledygook could mean anything so the authors are kind enough to explain it further: “Inductive thematic analysis draws from a constructionist worldview in which  [is] meaning and experience are socially-produced and can be uncovered through an examination of the structur[es] al constructs within the collected qualitative data.”2  In other words, they’re using inductive reasoning.

Inductive reasoning gets a bad rap sometimes. However, in the soft sciences it is the best you are going to get. There are too many constantly shifting variables for deductive reasoning and replicable tests. It’s a valid research tool for a study, although you do have to point out weaknesses in a specific study. The specific dings on the study used here would be that the interviewees were self selecting (showing some sort of potentially skewed interest in the subject), the survey pool was too small, and  the data was created instead of mined from a third party data set (increasing the possibility of introduced biases). None of these invalidate the observations made in the paper; they would however increase the margin of error one might attach to any observation. However, in this case I don’t think the margin of error would be enough to invalidate all the themes (save perhaps theme 4) the authors pluck from their data.

—————————–

The Themes

The authors point to seven “themes”3 which they distill from the data set they’ve created. Next, they claim the “themes were then organized in a conceptual map that offered a general description of the factors influencing the use of risk assessment in sentencing.” I think that’s more academic buzzspeak surplusage because all they actually do is lay out the themes without any kind of discussion of their interactions and the general weight a judge might give to each theme as one might expect from a conceptual map. In any case, here are the themes:

(1) The NVRA is non binding. 

A strong majority of judges consider it as a factor without it trumping all other factors during sentencing. The professors later in the article suggest making the the NVRA presumptive instead of discretionary. As a practical matter, this would be contrary to the general operation of Virginia’s guidelines and give rise to valid constitutionally based appeals as described above.

(2) Deference is given to plea agreements even if they are contrary to NVRA.

Yes, a judge should have a strong preference in favor of a pre-negotiated deal with which both the prosecution and the defense have agreed. A judge knows little or nothing about the facts of a case when he is handed a plea agreement and, at least in Virginia, a judge is forbidden to participate in plea negotiations and should he reject a plea deal the case is assigned to another judge. Should a judge start denying plea agreements because they are contrary to the NVRA, (1) he is arguably participating in plea negotiations, and (2) he might be rejecting a lot of plea agreements and accomplishing almost nothing when those agreements are accepted by a subsequent judge. Well, nothing except having to answer why he rejected two-hundred agreements that were accepted by another judge the next time he is before the legislature trying to get reappointed to his job.

BTW: The authors do a clever thing here where they flip the script and talk about how this could lead to a number of people getting alternative punishments who do not qualify under NVRA. In so doing, they have accidentally tripped over a real issue with NVRA. Males under the age of 30 almost never qualify for alternative punishment. Assuming that alternative punishment is a proper reaction to criminal activity, it cannot be proper to exclude all males from it. Thus, assignment of a male to an alternative program is almost always contrary to NVRA and often the only way they can get there is thru a plea deal.

(3) Lack of alternative programming capacity.

This really is a serious problem. It’s a money issue. The problem with this sort of thing is always going to be money. I suspect that if the survey had been completed by all the judges in Virginia this would have been the predominant reason given. There is only so much money a legislative body – be it the General Assembly or the local county board of supervisors – is going to be willing and able to allocate to this as opposed to things such as fixing roads or educating children. Keep in mind, one of the major selling points of these programs is that they will save money, not cause an infinitely growing amount of expenditures.

In Virginia all courts have at least two options available: advisement and CCAP (formerly Detention and Diversion). Rather than reinventing the wheel, here is a link to a post I think is still generally correct from several years back. As the authors point out, many of these programs are limited by available slots and whether the defendant is medically capable of being in the program.

(4) Valuing risk assessment as a way to reduce incarceration rates.

 No. Just No. Nobody thinks about incarceration rates in the courtroom. Their own quotes in this section support this. They quote judges not wanting to send people to prison who are addicted or “low level” offenders. None of them are talking about incarceration rates.

Defense attorneys are trying to get their client the best deal they can with a strong, strong presumption that the client’s liberty interest is paramount. Prosecutors are at the very least responsible for protecting the citizenry from destructive behavior first before they start to think about fixing the person who harmed the community; in other words, when they push to incarcerate they are looking toward their community’s interest, not how many people are held by the Department of Corrections. The judge is responsible for visiting appropriate consequences on the guilty person standing in front of him. Rate of incarceration is an issue for the legislature, not the people int he courtroom.

A better theme here might have been “Concern that incarcerating low level offenders is not appropriate.”

(5) Skeptical that the NVRA is actually predictive.

As the authors point out, judges were particularly skeptical as to the NVRA’s ability to be predictive as to the risk of re-offense by addicts; one judge among the interviewed flat out told them that this isn’t science. I think this is reflective of a general thought pattern you will find amongst almost anyone that does much work in criminal courtrooms. We see so many recidivists that it’s hard to not be colored by it. And almost all of them have had prior opportunities attached to prior convictions.

The problem with things like the NVRA is that they are not predictive as to the individual standing in front of the judge. They are predictive as to trends within a group. Thus, they aren’t really scientific when applied to a single person while they might be toward the population in general. Let’s put this in perspective. Assume this advertisement is right and 60% of adults have farsightedness (not likely, but don’t get sidetracked). You wouldn’t want a doctor to immediately stick you in a chair and start lasik because the trend among adults is that the majority have nearsightedness. No one would question the fact that the doctor runs specific tests and examinations to determine whether you as an individual are farsighted. Large group data trends may give the doctor an idea of what to look for; they should never be dispositive as to the individual patient.

The same principle applies with an individual in front of a judge. The NVRA may give a judge an idea of which way most convicts will behave in the future. The judge must consider the facts in the presentence report and other evidence presented to make a valid determination concerning the actual person standing in front of him. The NVRA isn’t predictive as to the actual person and therefore should not be dispositive.

(6) Judges aren’t sure whether  following the NVRA is a downward deviation from the guidelines.

I must admit, I never thought about this before reading the article. Inasmuch as the guidelines say a defendant should get between 7 months and 2 years engaging in alternative sentencing without incarceration seems to be a downward deviation. However, it is an authorized downward deviation and shouldn’t count negatively in whatever statistics the legislature maintains on sitting judges. However, I do not know how the legislature actually handles this.

(7) Lack of training on NVRA.

Why would judges require indepth training on this? They understand the legislature has made this a part of the guidelines and therefore a part of the sentencing process if a defendant is being sentenced by the judge. The ones who put thought into it most likely figure out the same thing I reasoned out under theme 5 above. Training as applied here feels more like it is meant as advocacy on the behalf of those who believe the NVRA should be blindly applied to make a better world where actuarial tables determine who should and shouldn’t receive alternative sentences without resort to consideration of the particular person being sentenced.

———————–

My Thoughts

The NVRA isn’t a bad thing or even a good thing. It’s just a thing. It’s something of a shame that it has been tacked onto the end of the guidelines where it is more likely to be ignored by all unless it benefits one party or the other during arguments over sentencing. If it were at the front of the guidelines it could show the judge the general trend against which he should view the defendant and the evidence provided for her individualized sentence.

I also wish it was more nuanced. As it stands if the points scored in the NVRA are below 32 the defendant qualifies for alternative punishment. I would much prefer, and believe it would be more helpful, that the NVRA were to provide a percentage of potential to re-offend for persons of like circumstance as the defendant without setting a specific line above which persons don’t qualify. I realize that the default to simple, easily workable solutions will probably keep this from happening, but I can dream.

And, no, the actuarial tables represented by the NVRA should not become mandatory or even presumptive. The NVRA is a tool among many tools which can be used to decide an individualized sentence. If they were even presumptive the rest of the tools would be ignored the vast majority of the time and that’s not the appropriate way to sentence any particular person.

—————————- 

1 Experience in several jury trials, tends to show that the citizens of my county would disagree with this. In my locality there is a long standing joke that the best defense to murder is “He needed to be kilt” and lower level violent crimes tend to get swept up under the term “swarping” which generally means drunk/stupid/fighting and excused as typical Friday night behavior. But God help you if you if you shoplift a $5 item from the local grocer; years have been imposed for such an offense by the jury (jury sentencing, the ultimate barometer of community standards).

2  Yes, yes, I get it. You are terribly modern or post-modern or whatever the current accepted terminology for being an academic hipster is. Your rejection of pre-existent first principles contributes nothing. The basis for the forms in the data (themes in your chosen language) is not relevant only the presence of the forms is.
3  If you’ve had any sort of training in philosophy or theology you might recognize what they are actually discussing are forms. Out of several similar answers they derive one perfect answer – a form. Referring to it as a “theme” is ambiguous and awkward, but I will use their language because it’s their paper.

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Khloe Kardashian’s ex Lamar Odom seemingly throws shade at reality star as he praises ‘all natural’ girlfriend

Westlake Legal Group khloe-kardashian-nbc-lamar-odom-abc Khloe Kardashian's ex Lamar Odom seemingly throws shade at reality star as he praises 'all natural' girlfriend The Sun Jessica Gibb fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/entertainment/kardashians fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fnc/entertainment fnc article 2b6329c5-6820-5814-8a7d-60ba0c7b0200

Lamar Odom has been accused of throwing shade at his ex-wife Khloe Kardashian with his latest post about his new girlfriend.

The former NBA basketball player, who split from Kardashian in 2016, took to Instagram to praise his “all natural” woman.

Lamar, 39, is now dating personal trainer Sabrina Parr, 32, who claims she achieved her incredible post-baby body transformation without resorting to surgery.

FANS CRY PHOTOSHOP AS KHLOE KARDASHIAN MORPHS INTO A HUMAN BARBIE

“Scrollin through @getuptoparr page like DAMN!!! My baby is an extremely hard worker,” Lamar gushed on Instagram.

“All NATURAL and real from the inside out. God has bought her in my life for me to reach my full potential and that’s to be Great. I got nuttin but Love for this women [sic].”

And fans rushed to compare Sabrina, who was first spotted kissing Lamar at LAX airport in August, to his ex Khloe, with one commenting: “You don’t need make digs at your highly supportive ex in order to compliment your lovely new lady, Lamar.”

Another added: “Deffo better the Khloe, her a** paid cash to look like a Barbie.”

“Killing KK!” a third wrote.

KHLOE KARDASHIAN’S EX-HUSBAND LAMAR ODOM REGRETS CHEATING ON HER

Meanwhile, Kardashian has never admitted having surgery but has often faced criticism over her “fake” looks.

Recently, Kardashian looked completely unrecognizable in her latest selfie — leaving fans confused about her appearance.

The reality star, 35, shared a glamorous snap on Instagram and turned the comments off after a series of posts questioning her changing features.

Unable to comment on Instagram, fans rushed to Twitter to voice their concerns.

“Is it just me or @khloekardashian did something to her face?????” one fan tweeted.

LAMAR ODOM SLEPT WITH UP TO 6 WOMEN A WEEK, PAID FOR ‘PLENTY OF ABORTIONS’: BOOK

“This is not a hate tweet, I love Koko she’s the realest but there’s really something diff about this selfie of hers.”

Another added: “@khloekardashian is soooo pretty!! She look SO amazing and so gorgeous.”

Kardashian has been hit by nose job rumors in the past but has previously denied it.

She even went as far as doing a contouring makeup tutorial for her fans in July for Vogue to prove that cosmetics can change the shape of a nose.

LAMAR ODOM REVEALS HE SUFFERED 12 STROKES, 6 HEART ATTACKS WHILE IN COMA

Although she’s adamant that she’s stayed away from the surgeons and it’s all an illusion, fans beg to differ and the family’s changing faces are alarming.

On having facial fillers, she said she wasn’t a fan and wouldn’t be having them again. She said: “They did not work for me.

“I looked crazy and I still think the effects are in there. I went to have it all dissolved like, three times.”

More recently she backtracked and admitted about plastic surgery: “One day I think I’ll get one because I think about it everyday. But I’m scared, so for now it’s all about contour.”

This article originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group khloe-kardashian-nbc-lamar-odom-abc Khloe Kardashian's ex Lamar Odom seemingly throws shade at reality star as he praises 'all natural' girlfriend The Sun Jessica Gibb fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/entertainment/kardashians fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fnc/entertainment fnc article 2b6329c5-6820-5814-8a7d-60ba0c7b0200   Westlake Legal Group khloe-kardashian-nbc-lamar-odom-abc Khloe Kardashian's ex Lamar Odom seemingly throws shade at reality star as he praises 'all natural' girlfriend The Sun Jessica Gibb fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/entertainment/kardashians fox-news/entertainment/genres/viral fox-news/entertainment/events/divorce fnc/entertainment fnc article 2b6329c5-6820-5814-8a7d-60ba0c7b0200

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The week in pictures, Sept. 28 – Oct. 4

Westlake Legal Group 01_RTX74Z0P The week in pictures, Sept. 28 - Oct. 4 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc f686bf02-a1ff-5710-b62f-9a1fe066a2c3 article

https://a57.foxnews.com/static.foxnews.com/foxnews.com/content/uploads/2019/10/918/516/14_AP19275806080697.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

Botham Jean’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, hugs convicted murderer and former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger after delivering a statement to her after she was sentenced to 10 years in jail in Dallas, Oct. 2, 2019. 

Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News via AP, Pool

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Westlake Legal Group 01_RTX74Z0P The week in pictures, Sept. 28 - Oct. 4 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc f686bf02-a1ff-5710-b62f-9a1fe066a2c3 article   Westlake Legal Group 01_RTX74Z0P The week in pictures, Sept. 28 - Oct. 4 fox-news/world fox-news/us fox news fnc/world fnc f686bf02-a1ff-5710-b62f-9a1fe066a2c3 article

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James Comey Quotes George Washington in Swipe at Trump: ‘Foreign Influence Is One of the Most Baneful Foes of Republican Government’

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Ukraine to Review Criminal Case of Firm Linked to Biden’s Son

Westlake Legal Group 04ukraine-sub-facebookJumbo Ukraine to Review Criminal Case of Firm Linked to Biden’s Son Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Corruption (Institutional) Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s top prosecutor said on Friday that he would review several important cases previously handled by his predecessors, including a criminal case involving a natural gas company that employed a son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The development came amid an impeachment inquiry against President Trump connected to a request he made to the Ukrainian president asking him to investigate Mr. Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and his son’s work in Ukraine.

It raises questions of whether Ukraine was, in effect, bowing to public and private pressure from the president of the United States, on which it has depended on for millions of dollars in aid.

The prosecutor general, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said he intended to review 15 cases in all, and mentioned several high-profile investigations of wealthy Ukrainians, including the owner of the natural gas company, Burisma Holdings, where Mr. Biden’s son Hunter served on the board until earlier this year.

He denied being pressured over the Bidens or the Burisma case.

Mr. Ryaboshapka told journalists at a briefing in Kiev on Friday: “The prosecution service is beyond politics. We are conducting an audit of all cases, including those which were investigated by the previous leadership of the prosecutor’s office.”

If laws were violated, he added, “we will react accordingly.”

Mr. Trump’s repeated public requests that the Ukrainian government investigate a case touching on a likely opponent in next year’s election — what he described in a phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in July as a “favor” — is central to the formal House committee impeachment inquiry called by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The inquiry is examining whether Mr. Trump betrayed his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist the aid of a foreign power to tarnish a political rival. Mr. Trump has vigorously denied doing anything wrong, calling his phone call with Mr. Zelensky “perfect.”

No evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son has emerged, and the elder Mr. Biden has denied the accusations. But Mr. Trump has doubled down, urging China to investigate the Bidens and charging that the country lavished $1.5 billion on Hunter Biden in order to influence his father and win favorable trade deals with the United States.

Mr. Ryaboshapka’s comments on Friday were the first indication of how Ukrainian criminal justice officials were handling one of the two investigations that Mr. Trump raised in the call.

On the call, Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine suggested that he would assist with an investigation of the firm, according to White House reconstructed notes of the phone call. The Ukrainian president said that a new prosecutor general would soon be appointed who would be “100 percent my person” and would “look into the situation.”

Mr. Ryaboshapka did not say how long his audit of those cases would last. His review is needed before a decision on any further action could be taken.

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‘Get rid of the babies!’: Distraught woman at AOC town hall urges ‘eating babies’ to fight climate change

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6058431807001_6058423935001-vs 'Get rid of the babies!': Distraught woman at AOC town hall urges 'eating babies' to fight climate change Washington Examiner Kerry Picket fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 3eb5df0c-4012-5717-9254-0028987e8417

QUEENS, New York — A seemingly troubled woman at a town hall hosted by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her district stood up to demand the congresswoman support drastic measures to combat climate change, such as “eating babies.”

“We’re not going to be here for much longer, because of the climate crisis,” the woman pleaded. “We only have a few months left. I love that you support the Green Deal, but it’s not gonna get rid of fossil fuel. It’s not going to solve the problem fast enough. A Swedish professor said we can eat dead people, but it’s not fast enough! So, I think your next campaign slogan needs to be this: We’ve got to start eating babies.”

Many of Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents appeared confused by the woman’s declarations.

Removing her jacket to reveal a T-shirt with the phrase “Save the planet Eat the Children,” the woman continued, “We don’t have a enough time. There’s too much Co2.”

“All of you!” she went on, turning to those around her, “You’re a pollutant! Too much Co2. We have to start now. Please — you are so great. I’m so happy that you are supporting a Green New Deal, but it’s not enough. Even if we were to bomb Russia, it’s not enough. There’s too many people, too much pollution. So, we have to get rid of the babies. That’s a big problem. Just stopping having babies just isn’t enough. We need to eat the babies. This is very serious. Please give a response.”

Staffers of the New York congresswoman approached the woman toward the end of her remarks, as attendees in the room became increasingly uncomfortable.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6058431807001_6058423935001-vs 'Get rid of the babies!': Distraught woman at AOC town hall urges 'eating babies' to fight climate change Washington Examiner Kerry Picket fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 3eb5df0c-4012-5717-9254-0028987e8417   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6058431807001_6058423935001-vs 'Get rid of the babies!': Distraught woman at AOC town hall urges 'eating babies' to fight climate change Washington Examiner Kerry Picket fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fnc/politics fnc article 3eb5df0c-4012-5717-9254-0028987e8417

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How many years will Amber Guyger stay in prison? That could depend on Botham Jean’s family

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close How many years will Amber Guyger stay in prison? That could depend on Botham Jean's family

It was a moving moment when Brandt Jean asked the judge if he could hug Amber Guyger, the former Dallas cop who shot and killed his brother. USA TODAY

The heartfelt courtroom hug exchanged by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger and the brother of the man she killed provided a touching conclusion to a unique case that captured the attention of the Metroplex and parts of the nation.

The moment might also wind up as the first step in Guyger’s eventual return to freedom.

Guyger, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday after being convicted of murder for the September 2018 killing of Botham Jean, a neighbor who was eating ice cream in his apartment directly above hers when she entered what she thought was her unit, mistook him for a burglar and shot him dead.

Texas law stipulates murder convicts aren’t eligible for parole until serving at least half their sentence, meaning Guyger will be locked up for a minimum of five years.

‘I want the best for you’: Botham Jean’s brother hugs Amber Guyger in emotional courtroom scene

What happens after that depends on a number of factors to be considered by the parole board. One of them is the recommendation by family members of the victim.

Ed Cox, whose Cox Law Firm outside Dallas regularly handles parole cases, said the board gives a fair amount of weight to letters from relatives of both the victim and the offender when pondering an early release.

“If his brother decides to support her release on parole, I think the board would absolutely consider that,’’ Cox said. “And I would expect that lawyers for her if she’s represented before the board would reach out to his family and seek to gain their support.’’

It’s much too early to tell how the Jean family might react in five years, but the message of forgiveness from Botham’s younger brother, Brandt, in delivering his victim impact statement Wednesday was downright moving.

Making it clear he was speaking for himself, not necessarily his relatives, Brandt declined to chastise Guyger and instead offered his forgiveness.

“I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail,’’ said Brandt Jean, who, at 18, is 10 years younger than Botham would have been now. “I want the best for you.’’

Then, after asking State District Judge Tammy Kemp for permission, he exchanged a prolonged embrace with Guyger and both whispered to each other as sobs could be heard in the courtroom.

Later, Guyger also received a hug from Kemp, further illustrating the emotional aspect of a case that carried racial overtones – Guyger is white and Botham Jean was black – but ultimately boiled down to a terrible mistake with tragic consequences.

Guilty verdict: Dallas ex-cop Amber Guyger convicted of murder in neighbor’s shooting

Guyger was facing a sentence of between five and 99 years, although Kemp had allowed the jury to consider a “sudden passion’’ defense, which could have brought down the minimum to two years. Prosecutors had requested at least 28 years.

Besides the family statements, Cox said the amount of time she actually spends behind bars will hinge on Guyger’s behavior in prison and whether she takes advantage of opportunities for self-improvement while she’s there.

“There is an expectation that she conducts herself well, abides by the rules and seeks to better herself so she can successfully reintegrate into society,’’ Cox said, adding that being a former cop with a previously clean record should also work in Guyger’s favor, especially considering board members often have a background in law enforcement.

Last year in Texas, the parole approval rate for her type of crime – which falls under the “violent aggravated, non-sexual category’’ – was 33.6%. A total of 11,692 cases were considered and 3,900 early releases granted. Those denied usually get to apply again after a year.

The Guyger-Brandt Jean embrace likely will have faded from memory by the time she’s eligible to request parole, but it certainly made an impression on those who watched it, via livestreaming or on video.

Cox, who has practiced law for 24 years, said the topic came up right away at his office Thursday morning.

“It really was touching and unique,’’ he said. “I can’t remember another case where I’ve seen that happen.’’

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