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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 188)

How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Westlake Legal Group ap_19296476817009-81ad3114e40bbd71d8ff74dc39d1909fcd29f562-s1100-c15 How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced last week that he will leave his position by the end of the year. Perry urged President Trump to make the July phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry. Jacquelyn Martin/AP hide caption

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Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Westlake Legal Group  How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced last week that he will leave his position by the end of the year. Perry urged President Trump to make the July phone call to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Among the key figures embroiled in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump is Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who announced last week that he will be resigning later this year.

It was Perry who led the U.S. delegation to Ukraine when newly elected President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was inaugurated back in May. And it was Perry who urged Trump to make that now-infamous July phone call to Zelenskiy — a phone call that’s at the heart of the inquiry.

In that call, Trump asked the Ukrainians to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential rival in the 2020 presidential campaign. The call triggered the whistleblower complaint from an intelligence officer and led to allegations that Trump abused his power for personal political gain.

So how did Perry, who just a few years ago was attempting to cha-cha his way through Dancing With the Stars, become a major figure in the impeachment probe?

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Perry’s roots go back to tiny Paint Creek, Texas, in rural Haskell County.

“They used to call him ‘the rascal from Haskell,’ ” says Scott Braddock, who’s editor of the Texas political newsletter Quorum Report and has covered Perry for many years. “He grew up not exactly dirt poor but not far from it.”

The son of tenant farmers, Perry would become a master politician, an expert at cultivating relationships.

After winning a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, Perry went on to be elected state agriculture commissioner and lieutenant governor. He assumed the Texas governorship midway through George W. Bush’s second term as governor, when Bush won the presidency. Perry was then elected governor three times, serving for 14 years and making him the longest-serving governor in Texas history.

“He took being a wheeler-dealer basically to the level of an art form,” Braddock says. “Perry was somebody who would always figure out the way to get what he wanted.”

At first, it might have seemed absurd that what Perry wanted was to join the Trump administration.

After all, in 2015, during his second presidential run, Perry scorched Trump in a speech, calling his Republican opponent’s candidacy a “cancer on conservatism” and “a barking carnival act.” Trumpism, Perry warned, was “a toxic mix of demagoguery and mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued.”

But apparently, all was forgiven after the 2016 election, when Trump picked Perry to head the Energy Department.

“Well, you know, feelings change about people all the time,” says Deirdre Delisi, who served as chief of staff to then-governor Perry. She worked on four of his campaigns and remains a confidante. “He was asked to serve his country, and as he has done so many other times, he agreed to serve his country, and he did a great job.”

Many noted the irony that Perry was assuming control of a federal department that he had vowed to eliminate when he was running for president — a promise that led to Perry’s notorious “oops” moment during a presidential debate when he couldn’t remember which department he had promised to ax.

“I would do away with the Education,” Perry said haltingly. “Uh, the um … Commerce. And … let’s see … I can’t. The third one. Sorry. Oops.”

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As energy secretary, Perry has pretty much flown under the radar up until now, avoiding scandal.

He has focused heavily on opening global markets to U.S. oil and gas. At a news conference this month in Lithuania, he described his dealings this way: “I’m a Texas governor, former governor, and I know how to sell stuff. And my job is to go sell, first off, American product.”

That’s the Perry trademark, says Braddock of the Quorum Report. “He was always real good at selling Texas,” he says. “Governor Perry’s slogan was ‘Texas is open for business.’ And I think that he wanted to bring that to the national stage and to the international stage — that we’re open for business.”

Specifically: the business of liquefied natural gas, or — as Perry’s Energy Department has dubbed it — “freedom gas.” It’s a growing U.S. export, and Ukraine is a potentially huge market.

Historically, Ukraine has depended heavily on natural gas from Russia. So, the thinking goes, if the U.S. could replace Russian gas with U.S. gas, it would be a big win for American companies and for U.S. foreign policy. Ukraine is a critical counterweight to Russian influence in the region.

But the country has also been notorious for corruption, especially in the energy sector, and that has stifled Western investment. So, for years, U.S. administrations have pressed Ukraine to root out corruption.

It was in this context that Perry headed to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, in May, leading the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of the newly elected president, Zelenskiy.

According to the whistleblower’s complaint, Vice President Pence was supposed to head that delegation, but Trump instructed Pence to cancel his trip and Perry went in his place.

Also with Perry were Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, then the U.S. special representative for Ukraine. The trio called themselves the “three amigos.”

Westlake Legal Group ap_19140646634595_custom-f786dadd4b94ea874ce092d3f608ecc87cb15863-s1100-c15 How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (left) and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry share a joke during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, this past May. Mykola Lazarenko/AP hide caption

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Mykola Lazarenko/AP

Westlake Legal Group  How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (left) and U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry share a joke during a meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, this past May.

Mykola Lazarenko/AP

Within days of leaving Kyiv, those “three amigos” were back in the Oval Office, meeting with the president. They told Trump that Zelenskiy was a reformer, and they wanted the president to call him.

Perry was asked about this meeting during his visit to Lithuania this month.

“Absolutely,” he said. “I asked the president, multiple times, ‘Mr. President, we think it is in the United States’ and in Ukraine’s best interest that you and the president of Ukraine have conversations and discuss the options that are there.’ So, absolutely yes.”

But Trump wasn’t having it. Here’s how Perry described what happened next, in an interview on the podcast The Journal, which is produced by Gimlet Media and The Wall Street Journal.

“[The] president’s like ‘Ehhhhhhh, until I’m comfortable that these guys have straightened up their act.’ And so, what does ‘straighten up their act’ mean? And the president said, ‘Visit with Rudy.’ “

That would be Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, who had been on a crusade for months, alleging that Ukraine colluded with Democrats in the 2016 election.

As Perry told Wall Street Journal reporter Tim Puko, he did what Trump told him to do. He called Giuliani.

“And I called, and we had never had a conversation before,” Perry said. “I called Mayor Giuliani and said, ‘OK, tell me what’s goin’ on here. We’re tryin’ to get these folks in to meet so that we can move forward with some good economic development — sell ’em gas. And the president just ain’t interested in talkin’!’ And as I recall the conversation, [Giuliani] said, ‘Look. The president is really concerned that there are people in Ukraine that tried to beat him in his presidential election. He thinks they’re corrupt.’ “

As Perry recounted that phone call, Giuliani insisted that it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election and that it did so to hurt Trump.

That’s a conspiracy theory that has been debunked.

One thing that was not mentioned, Perry told The Wall Street Journal, was the name Biden.

“Never,” Perry said emphatically, as he pounded the table in the interview. “Not in one conversation. Not from the president. Not from Gordon Sondland. Not from Kurt Volker. Not from anybody on the Zelenskiy team did I ever hear the name Biden. Never. Not once.”

Westlake Legal Group ap_19294306142583-7ba890af6da503b982fbe08f95e14346701fba35-s1100-c15 How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union (right), traveled to Kyiv with Energy Secretary Rick Perry in May. Above, they attend the high-level forum on small modular reactors at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday. Virginia Mayo/AP hide caption

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Virginia Mayo/AP

Westlake Legal Group  How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union (right), traveled to Kyiv with Energy Secretary Rick Perry in May. Above, they attend the high-level forum on small modular reactors at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

Virginia Mayo/AP

Remember, that’s at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Democrats want to know whether Trump tried to force a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 election.

In effect, was Trump telling the Ukrainians, “Unless you agree to dig up dirt on my opponent Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company, you won’t get your invitation to the White House, and we’ll hold your military aid hostage?”

Perry has said repeatedly that he didn’t know of any such quid pro quo. But Democrats in Congress aren’t convinced.

“First of all, can we please see your emails and your texts so that we can know if what you just said is true?” says Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is leading the impeachment inquiry.

“That’s the core question,” Himes says. “And of course since Rick Perry was very much at the center of the communication with the Ukrainians and presumably with the president, all of our questions would pertain to the extent that he observed U.S. policy being sidelined in favor of the president’s personal political agenda.”

House Democrats have subpoenaed a raft of documents and communications from Perry about the Ukraine affair. The Energy Department has refused to comply with that subpoena.

Westlake Legal Group ap_19283777314023_custom-25862744a882bca0adac7553d776cbba3ddec7b2-s1100-c15 How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

The subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to Perry. House Democrats have subpoenaed the energy secretary as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine. Jon Elswick/AP hide caption

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Jon Elswick/AP

Westlake Legal Group  How Rick Perry Became A Key Figure In The Trump Impeachment Probe

The subpoena from the House Intelligence Committee to Perry. House Democrats have subpoenaed the energy secretary as part of their impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

Jon Elswick/AP

Speaking outside the White House on Wednesday, Perry called the impeachment investigation a “charade.”

“I’m not gonna participate,” Perry told reporters. “The White House has advised us not to participate. My general counsel has told me not to participate in what they consider to be an unprecedented effort to try to use an inquiry in an unlawful way.”

There’s another wrinkle to all this, and it has to do with Ukraine’s state-controlled behemoth oil and gas company, Naftogaz, which has widely been seen as a playground for Ukraine’s oligarchs, rife with corruption.

The company seems intent on challenging that reputation: In a Naftogaz corporate video, the words “transparency” and “new rules [to] tackle corruption” flash on the screen in English.

We know now that two Republican donors who are business associates of Giuliani were trying to install new management at Naftogaz, as they were trying to get lucrative gas contracts funneled their way.

Their names? Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. They’ve been arrested and have pleaded not guilty to charges of campaign finance violations.

One question is, was Perry also trying to engineer a shake-up of Naftogaz senior leadership to benefit private interests in the U.S.?

When he was asked about this by reporters in Lithuania, Perry answered, “The government of Ukraine did in fact ask us for, you know, ‘Who are the people that can help come and modernize?’ “

But Perry disputed a detailed report by The Associated Press that said he was trying to force an overhaul of the Naftogaz board and install a “friendlier management team.” Perry said he simply gave the Ukrainians the names of American energy experts who could advise them.

“That was a totally dreamed-up story, the best I can tell,” Perry said. “We gave recommendations at the request of the Ukrainian government and will continue to.”

So, where does all of this leave Perry as he heads for the exit at the Energy Department?

Delisi, the longtime Perry aide, believes he’s leaving the administration unscathed.

“I don’t think he’s in trouble, and I don’t think he’s troubled,” she says, “and certainly no conversation I’ve had with him has made me believe that.”

But Braddock of the Quorum Report sees things differently: “Interesting that Perry, who had done such a good job, was there from the beginning with Trump, a member of the Trump administration who had kept his nose clean all the way until now with no even whiff of a scandal, and now he’s caught up in the thing — the thing that is leading to this impeachment movement in Washington. Very, very ironic.”

For his part, Perry’s swan song to his colleagues at the Energy Department came in the form of a highly produced, four-minute-long farewell video titled “The Coolest Job I’ve Ever Had.”

Perry ends the video by saying, “I thank President Trump for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I’m so glad that I said yes.”

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Today on Fox News, Oct. 24, 2019

STAY TUNED

On Fox News: 

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Peter Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Mark Fields, former CEO of Ford Motor Co.

Varney & Co., 9 a.m. ET: Freddy Perdomo and Juan Carlos “JC” Perdomo, founders of The Spot Barbershop

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: ” ‘Total Violation Of The Constitution’: Newt Gingrich Slams Democrats’ Closed-Door Impeachment Hearings” – President Trump isn’t the only one calling the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry a “witch hunt.” Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says the Democrats’ investigation is unconstitutional and being run far differently than the impeachment of Bill Clinton that he spearheaded in 1998. Gingrich joins the Rundown to explain why he objects to the Democrats’ closed-door hearings and compares the current impeachment effort to the Salem witch trials.

Also on the Rundown: Dr. David Shulkin,  the former secretary of Veterans Affairs who served during the beginning of the Trump Administration and was fired by President Trump via tweet, is out with a new book “It Shouldn’t Be This Hard to Serve Your Country.” Shulkin describes what it was like to work at the VA. He also discusses America’s veteran suicide epidemic and why so many people, including himself, are so frustrated when it comes to serving in Washington D.C.

Plus, commentary by Kat Timpf, co-host of the “Tyrus & Timpf” podcast.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Special guests include: Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy, Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday” and more.

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Trump Just Sent Another Big Signal He’ll Throw Pence Under The Bus, Maddow Says

Westlake Legal Group 5ce7c60e210000b40ed0f0d5 Trump Just Sent Another Big Signal He’ll Throw Pence Under The Bus, Maddow Says

Vice President Mike Pence might be getting pretty nervous because President Donald Trump’s lawyers keep bringing him up, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said on Wednesday.

“This is not a comforting pattern from the president’s lawyers,” she said, noting that for the second time this month Trump attorneys have argued in court that the president enjoys certain immunity. But the vice president, they keep saying, does not.

What makes the argument even more confounding is that Pence’s name or position wasn’t even a part of the conversation. Maddow said the president’s attorneys keep mentioning him out of the blue.  

“Nobody was asking about the vice president in that moment,” Maddow said. No one was asking about Pence in a new court filing earlier this month either, but the president’s legal team brought him up then, too. 

Trump attorney William Consovoy argued that a president enjoys protection against criminal prosecution, but a vice president does not. And “the country can persist without a vice president,” he said.

“You’re Mike Pence. That flips your wig, right?” Maddow said. “Mike Pence is like, ‘why did you guys say that?’”

She also observed that Pence might be feeling particularly nervous after The Washington Post reported that Trump sent him to deliver the message to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that expected military aid was being withheld. 

See her full analysis above. 

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Carlos Ghosn Wants to See Prosecutors’ Files. Nissan Says No.

Westlake Legal Group 00nissan-1-facebookJumbo Carlos Ghosn Wants to See Prosecutors’ Files. Nissan Says No. Securities and Commodities Violations Nissan Motor Co Japan Ghosn, Carlos Ethics and Official Misconduct Conflicts of Interest Automobiles

TOKYO — In the year since the Japanese authorities arrested Carlos Ghosn, the fallen Nissan boss, prosecutors have seized laptops, hard drives and reams of files from the automaker and its executives as they build their case against him.

Now, Mr. Ghosn’s defense attorneys want access to that information as they look for evidence that could clear their client. But prosecutors have declared thousands of the files off limits. Nissan, they say, considers the information too sensitive, and prosecutors agree, refusing to provide any details of what they plan to withhold.

So far, judges have sided with the prosecutors. The legal clash is now headed to Japan’s top court, as Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers make a last-ditch attempt to access the files, or at least find out what they are being barred from seeing.

Their appeal, filed on Oct. 17, is the latest twist in a case that has riveted the global auto industry and raised fundamental questions about the fairness of Japan’s justice system. The decision not to disclose the files, Mr. Ghosn’s attorneys argue, highlights the cozy relationship between prosecutors and Nissan, as well as a Japanese legal system that too often favors prosecutors.

“The judge says, ‘Don’t worry, you should trust the prosecutors,’” said Takashi Takano, a lawyer for Mr. Ghosn. But if the courts are content to simply trust the prosecutors, he added, “why do we even have to defend against these criminal charges?”

In response to questions from The New York Times, the Tokyo district prosecutor’s office said it would share with the defense team copies of electronic media seized from Nissan that excluded “parts that were not appropriate to disclose,” while keeping the originals intact. It declined to elaborate.

A spokeswoman for Nissan said the company could not comment on ongoing judicial proceedings.

Both Nissan and Mr. Ghosn have been charged with underreporting Mr. Ghosn’s compensation. A trial date has not been set.

Mr. Ghosn has denied the charges. On Thursday, his legal team asked the court to dismiss the case, citing what they described as “multiple acts” of prosecutorial misconduct.

“The prosecutors illegally ceded their investigative powers to certain Nissan employees and consultants” in an effort to topple Mr. Ghosn, his lawyers wrote in a statement.

Nissan has worked hand in hand with prosecutors to provide evidence against Mr. Ghosn, whom the automaker blames for many of its problems. At least two of its executives have struck cooperation agreements with the government guaranteeing them criminal immunity in exchange for providing evidence against their former boss.

That creates a situation in which both Nissan and the prosecutors are incentivized to protect the company while they try to get Mr. Ghosn convicted, according to Makoto Ibusuki, a law professor at Seijo University who is not involved in the case.

“It’s impossible to deny that information that could be helpful to Mr. Ghosn could be hidden” within the files, Mr. Ibusuki said.

Japanese prosecutors enjoy broad discretionary powers over how they conduct their investigations. Conviction rates in the country hover near 100 percent. The vast majority of convictions are achieved with a confession, sometimes extracted under pressure.

Critics say the prosecutors’ broad discretion includes how much evidence they choose to share with defendants. Numerous high-profile murder cases have been retried following revelations that prosecutors had withheld key evidence from the courts. In March, a murder conviction was reversed after the defendant’s defense team learned that prosecutors had failed to share evidence that would have cleared him.

In white-collar cases, Japanese prosecutors often seize large quantities of evidence but frequently return or destroy it if they believe the evidence is not relevant to the case, said Taichi Yoshikai, a former prosecutor who is now a law professor at Kokushikan University in Tokyo.

Legal reforms implemented in 2016 require prosecutors to provide the defense with a list of all of the evidence in their possession. Still, given the broad powers they continue to have over evidence, Mr. Ghosn’s attorneys are right to be concerned, said Seiho Cho, a criminal defense attorney in Tokyo.

“These are items that are related to the case,” said Mr. Cho, who is not involved with the case. “That’s why they seized these computers. So if the defense is not allowed to see what’s inside them, of course that’s strange.”

It is not clear whether the records contain evidence that would help Mr. Ghosn, or whether they are even relevant to the case. Defense attorneys say they are worried that they will never get the chance to find out.

“It is completely impossible to know what type of data has been erased,” his lawyers wrote in their appeal to Japan’s Supreme Court, adding that the courts have simply asked Mr. Ghosn’s defense team to trust that the prosecutors are providing them with all of the relevant evidence.

“That kind of attitude is not the approach of a fair and impartial judge,” they wrote.

In a pretrial hearing last summer, Nissan argued that the files seized by prosecutors included “corporate secrets” and personal information about employees and asked the court to allow prosecutors to redact them, according to an Oct. 4 court filing by Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers. But the judge ordered prosecutors to “broadly disclose the evidence” by the end of August.

In early September, days before Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers were scheduled to view the evidence, prosecutors informed the defense team that they had received “a request from Nissan asking us ‘not to disclose electronic data relating to employee privacy, etc.,’” the filing said.

The request included a list of nearly 6,000 pieces of evidence that “Nissan does not wish to be disclosed,” prosecutors told the defense team, adding that they were “deleting electromagnetic recording media that is subject to disclosure.”

Prosecutors later told the court that they would return only documents that were “clearly unrelated to this case” and would retain “copies of media for which a decision is difficult,” the filing said.

Lawyers for Mr. Ghosn said prosecutors would not disclose the list submitted by Nissan nor explain the criteria used for judging whether records were related to the case.

Japanese prosecutors have collected over 100 electronic devices from Nissan, ranging from laptops and desktops to external hard drives, according to Mr. Ghosn’s lawyers. Some were handed over voluntarily, while others were seized under a warrant.

They have also seized “more than 100 boxes of original documents” from the company, Nissan’s lawyers said in an August filing in a federal court in the United States, where the company is facing a civil suit from investors.

Some of the information in prosecutors’ hands came from Hari Nada, the former head of the company’s legal department and one of the senior executives who have struck cooperation agreements with prosecutors.

Lawyers both inside and outside the company have expressed concern that Mr. Nada had used his position to influence the investigation into Mr. Ghosn, creating a significant conflict of interest that could undermine the case against him.

In the course of the investigation, Mr. Nada provided prosecutors with “a large amount of electromagnetic recording media,” the defense team’s filing said.

Mr. Nada has not responded to requests for comment. Earlier this month, Nissan relieved Mr. Nada of his responsibilities as head of the company’s legal department, but said it had “found no evidence of inappropriate involvement by Nada in the internal investigation into executive misconduct led by former chairman Carlos Ghosn and others.”

Makiko Inoue contributed reporting.

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Grover Norquist: Elizabeth Warren wants to raise taxes for middle-class Americans – Not just the rich

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096793220001_6096793622001-vs Grover Norquist: Elizabeth Warren wants to raise taxes for middle-class Americans – Not just the rich Grover Norquist fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3451ae17-b855-5540-a7e9-f005fafd384e

Elizabeth Warren wants to raise taxes on middle-class Americans, but she won’t admit it. Even the establishment media are getting fed up with her evasive answers.

Warren wants you to think she will only raise taxes on “the wealthy.” But her “Medicare-for-all” plan would impose massive tax increases on the middle class.

When questioned by the press as to whether her plan will involve higher middle-class taxes, Warren continues to bob and weave and dodge the question.

STUDY: EXORBITANT TAXES ON RICH AND CORPORATIONS WOULD COVER LESS THAN HALF OF ‘MEDICARE FOR ALL’S’ COSTS

In advance of the last debate by Democratic presidential candidates, Americans for Tax Reform released a video compilation of Warren’s middle-class tax dodges. It shows Warren dodging the question on at least 17 different occasions, all around the country. During the after the debate, she dodged the question another eight times.

Big media names on the left are growing exasperated as Warren refuses to level with them.

“Why don’t you want to answer the question?” said MSNBC’s Chris Matthews after trying to get an answer out of her on seven times in a row. Finally, he threw in the towel and said: “I’m not getting anywhere.”

During an interview with Stephen Colbert, Warren was asked: “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle-class taxes?”

As Warren ramped up her usual long-winded dodge, Colbert cut her off and said: “I’ve listened to these answers a few times before, and I just want to make a parallel suggestion for you about how you might defend the taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning.”

Even Warren’s Democratic primary opponents are finally calling her out. The day after the last debate, former Vice President Joe Biden said her evasiveness is raising questions about “whether or not she’s going to be candid and honest with the American people.”

Warren fashions herself a serious policy person who will level with the American people. But she’s just another tax-and-spend liberal who has a problem telling the truth.

As it turns out, Americans know they already pay enough in taxes. They also know the games Democrats play with tax rhetoric: A promise during the campaign to only raise taxes on a tiny part of the very wealthiest Scrooge McDucks.

But once in office, the Democratic politicians “discover” by golly that they, in fact, will be imposing tax increases on nearly everyone.

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Warren has extraordinarily expensive big plans, funded courtesy of your wallet. Her plans will intrude into every aspect of American life.

It’s no wonder Warren has already endorsed a long list of tax increases including a carbon dioxide tax – a new national energy tax that will drastically increase costs for Americans.

A carbon tax is so toxic with voters that even the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign purposefully steered clear of it. Her campaign wrote an internal memo noting that a carbon tax would “disproportionately impact low-income households.”

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Warren has also endorsed a 30 percent national gun tax, making it more expensive for households to protect themselves. Her gun tax plan has a deliberate goal of reducing gun ownership in the United States – an attempt to tax the Second Amendment out of existence.

Warren seems to have a problem telling the truth about her policies. But if she gets the Democratic nomination, there will be a historic contrast on taxes. Warren wants to raise your taxes. President Trump wants to cut taxes. Voters won’t be fooled.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096793220001_6096793622001-vs Grover Norquist: Elizabeth Warren wants to raise taxes for middle-class Americans – Not just the rich Grover Norquist fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3451ae17-b855-5540-a7e9-f005fafd384e   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6096793220001_6096793622001-vs Grover Norquist: Elizabeth Warren wants to raise taxes for middle-class Americans – Not just the rich Grover Norquist fox-news/us/economy/taxes fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 3451ae17-b855-5540-a7e9-f005fafd384e

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Cal Thomas: Should billionaires be taxed out of existence, as Bernie Sanders wants?

Westlake Legal Group Singles-dollar-bills Cal Thomas: Should billionaires be taxed out of existence, as Bernie Sanders wants? Tribune Media Services fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Cal Thomas article 4b14156a-e695-5df9-881b-a4843e830e68

He was the Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., of his day.

Charlie Chaplin, the iconic actor and at the time a well-known political leftist (some said communist), delivered a speech in San Francisco in 1941 prior to America’s entry into World War II.

As recounted in the biography of her parents – actress Fay Wray and screenwriter Robert Riskin – Victoria Riskin quotes from a letter her father, who heard the speech, sent to her mother: “(Chaplin) plunged into a speech extolling the Russians – their ideology (by saying that if communism produces men of such heroic stature, he’ll take communism, etc.). He resented the organized efforts for the last 20 years to present Russians as ogres both here and in England – and by God, if any man can’t get along on $25,000 a year, he is a cockeyed liar and a traitor to his country.”

According to some estimates, Chaplin had a net worth equal to $400 million when he died in 1977. Never mind.

NEWT GINGRICH: BYE DEMOCRATIC PARTY – YOU’RE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO AN ANTI-AMERICAN ENGINE OF RADICAL CHANGE

At the latest Democratic presidential debate, the millionaire Sanders and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer had an exchange that came from a question about Sanders saying billionaires should be taxed out of existence to help close the “wealth gap.”

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Sanders responded by ticking off his familiar litany of misery – half a million people living on the streets (he didn’t mention that many are in cities and states run by Democrats), the cost of education and student debt (he didn’t mention the many options for receiving an education that would substantially reduce student debt), 87 million uninsured, or underinsured (wasn’t ObamaCare supposed to fix that?), adding, “you also have three people owning more wealth than the bottom half of American society.”

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Sanders called that a “moral outrage,” though on his moral scale, abortion on demand is not a problem.

Charging the rich with not paying their “fair share” in taxes is a distraction from the real issue: government spends too much.

For his part, Steyer sought some moral cover for his wealth, agreeing with Sanders and adding that corporations have “bought this government for the last 40 years.” Don’t those four decades include the Clinton and Obama administrations? Steyer said he would undo every tax cut for rich people and wealthy corporations.

We’ve heard it all before. The left would take from the prosperous and do what? Past welfare and redistribution programs haven’t liberated the poor. If they had, there should be fewer poor people. Wasn’t that the stated goal? Why didn’t it happen? The reason is the government is a bad charity.

What astounds is that younger people who buy into the “wealth gap” nonsense (because that is what they have had drummed into them by teachers and Democratic politicians) have little understanding of economics. There is no fixed amount of money from which all must draw. If there were it would be unfair for some to take (earn?) more than others. Wealth is a bottomless well. No one is destined to live permanently in the lower class.

The reason envy, greed and entitlement continue to surface in most election cycles is that it appeals to human emotions. Charging the rich with not paying their “fair share” in taxes is a distraction from the real issue: government spends too much.                                              

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In the letter to his wife, Robert Riskin wrote, “The Charlie (Chaplin) you once knew has been buried with honors — and a new one has been born. Let’s hope the new one has everlasting life — for he will cling to it as long as that political philosophy remains popular.”

Sanders and Steyer seem to believe the Chaplin philosophy remains popular among some voters. Don’t include them, though, because they’re rich and you won’t see them sending a check to the Treasury.

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Westlake Legal Group Singles-dollar-bills Cal Thomas: Should billionaires be taxed out of existence, as Bernie Sanders wants? Tribune Media Services fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Cal Thomas article 4b14156a-e695-5df9-881b-a4843e830e68   Westlake Legal Group Singles-dollar-bills Cal Thomas: Should billionaires be taxed out of existence, as Bernie Sanders wants? Tribune Media Services fox-news/us/economy fox-news/politics/socialism fox-news/person/tom-steyer fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc Cal Thomas article 4b14156a-e695-5df9-881b-a4843e830e68

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Forget Smoking Gun. Harvard Law Prof. Says There’s Now A ‘Smoking Howitzer’ On Trump.

Westlake Legal Group 5c6fb1cc360000ae166afce9 Forget Smoking Gun. Harvard Law Prof. Says There’s Now A ‘Smoking Howitzer’ On Trump.

The Harvard constitutional law professor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was “wise to hold off” on announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump (which she did last month) until she had “what amounts to not just a smoking gun, but a smoking Howitzer.”

Tribe suggested she now had it following Tuesday’s private congressional testimony of former Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor, who reportedly acknowledged that Trump had pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his potential Democratic 2020 rival Joe Biden by withholding military aid to the country. Tribe described Taylor’s statement as “dynamite.”

“This is just the most transparently clear abuse of power and an impeachable offense that I can remember in the history of the United States and I studied it pretty thoroughly,” Tribe later added. “This makes the Nixon situation looks silly by comparison, this is way more serious.”

Check out the interview below:

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Forget Smoking Gun. Harvard Law Prof. Says There’s Now A ‘Smoking Howitzer’ On Trump.

Westlake Legal Group 5c6fb1cc360000ae166afce9 Forget Smoking Gun. Harvard Law Prof. Says There’s Now A ‘Smoking Howitzer’ On Trump.

The Harvard constitutional law professor told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he believed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was “wise to hold off” on announcing a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump (which she did last month) until she had “what amounts to not just a smoking gun, but a smoking Howitzer.”

Tribe suggested she now had it following Tuesday’s private congressional testimony of former Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor, who reportedly acknowledged that Trump had pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate his potential Democratic 2020 rival Joe Biden by withholding military aid to the country. Tribe described Taylor’s statement as “dynamite.”

“This is just the most transparently clear abuse of power and an impeachable offense that I can remember in the history of the United States and I studied it pretty thoroughly,” Tribe later added. “This makes the Nixon situation looks silly by comparison, this is way more serious.”

Check out the interview below:

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PG&E worker targeted in ‘deliberate attack’ in California

Another PG&E worker was targeted in an attempted attack as the utility company continued its forced power outage in northern California on Wednesday, officials said.

The worker’s front passenger seat window was reportedly shot at by a projectile. The employee was not injured in the incident and the projectile was believed to be fired by a pellet gun.

PG&E President and CEO Bill Johnson called the incident a “deliberate attack” and called on communities to stop such acts of “violence,” according to SFGate.

“Let me say this directly: There is no justification for this sort of violence,” Johnson said during a Wednesday evening press conference. “Whenever you see any of our crews anywhere in your community, they’re there to help. They’re specifically to help you.

“They’re not anonymous strangers; they’re your neighbors. They’re your friends. Most of our front line employees live in the communities where they work.

CALIFORNIA POWER OUTAGE FRUSTRATIONS BOIL OVER AS PG&E OFFICE VANDALIZED, TRUCK SHOT AT ON INTERSTATE 5

“I understand these shut-offs can make people upset, even angry,” Johnson added, “but be upset at PG&E and don’t take it out on the people who are trying to help.”

The incident will continue to be looked into by law enforcement and PG&E’s own security team, Johnson said.

PG&E TO SHUT OFF POWER TO REDUCE RISK OF SPARKING WILDFIRES

The alleged attack Wednesday is the second time that a PG&E employee was targeted while out in the public amid the company’s mass shut-offs of electricity in over a dozen California counties.

Another worker was also reportedly shot at during the Oct. 9 outages while traveling in a utility truck. A vehicle pulled up next to the PG&E truck and shattered the employee’s passenger side window with a bullet, SFGate reports. The driver was not injured.

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The forced outages are an attempt to help prevent catastrophic wildfires sparked by downed or damaged electrical equipment.

A Northern California PG&E office was also egged during the outages earlier this month, and extra safety precautions were taken at the company’ headquarters in San Francisco, with a barrier set up for “the safety of [PG&E] employees.”

Westlake Legal Group 7fdd5a82-PGE-Worker-THUMB PG&E worker targeted in 'deliberate attack' in California Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/us fnc article 1efd155b-187a-58ce-8ce6-4ed9bb69b6b1   Westlake Legal Group 7fdd5a82-PGE-Worker-THUMB PG&E worker targeted in 'deliberate attack' in California Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox news fnc/us fnc article 1efd155b-187a-58ce-8ce6-4ed9bb69b6b1

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Neil Armstrong items to be auctioned off beginning Friday

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6059761662001_6059759963001-vs Neil Armstrong items to be auctioned off beginning Friday fox-news/topic/apollo-11 fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox news fnc/science fnc Dom Calicchio article 5c04208f-7b71-5ec6-80f6-3a1c8bdd4845

A fourth auction of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s personal belongings is set to begin Friday, continuing the commemoration of 50 years since NASA‘s first moon landing.

The three previous auctions have raised a total of about $12 million, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

APOLLO 11 SHOCKER: BUZZ ALDRIN’S FACE DISCOVERED IN ICONIC PHOTO

Armstrong, who died in 2012 at age 82, was a native of the Cincinnati area, having been born in Wapakoneta, about 112 miles north of the city.

Rick and Mark Armstrong, sons of the first man to step foot on the lunar surface, on July 20, 1969, told the newspaper they’ve made numerous charitable donations of memorabilia since the death of their father, who reportedly refused to commercialize his place in history.

“Contrary to what you may have heard from others, my brother and I have been very sensitive to this issue since my father’s passing,” Mark Armstrong wrote in an email, according to the Enquirer.

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Items to be up for bid Friday at a Heritage Auctions in Dallas include commemorative medals, small state flags that traveled aboard Apollo 11, and a flight path to the moon that was drawn and signed by Armstrong, the newspaper reported.

The auction will also include items signed by Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, the two other members of the Apollo 11 crew.

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