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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 340)

Mark Levin slams ‘rogue’ CIA whistleblower, claims no first-hand source filed a complaint

Westlake Legal Group Levin-Hannity Mark Levin slams 'rogue' CIA whistleblower, claims no first-hand source filed a complaint fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 49d3f00a-1349-5865-bc80-7bc4dc62924b

Mark Levin blasted what he called a “rogue CIA agent’s” whistleblower complaint against President Trump over his phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky.

Levin said the complaint should be taken lighter than it is, claiming Thursday on “Hannity” that no individual with first-hand knowledge of the call’s contents filed the same inquiry.

“A CIA agent who is a policy guy for Ukraine can’t write something like this,” he said.

Levin, a constitutional law attorney by trade, claimed the complaint appeared to be written by someone with legal experience rather than a member of the intelligence community.

TRUMP TURNS TABLES ON BIDEN AMID IMPEACHMENT PUSH, CLAIMS DEMS THREATENED UKRAINE

“I want to know who this [person] spoke to,” he said. “He knew nothing… Isn’t it funny — not a single one of the people with firsthand knowledge [of the call] filed a whistleblower complaint?”

Levin then turned to the hearing on the matter chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., demanding the Burbank lawmaker release his own past phone records.

“Mr. Schiff, why don’t you release 90 days of your phone calls, 90 days of your texts,” he said.

In addition, he called on Senate Republicans — in a chamber where they hold the majority — to act in a way he called similar to Schiff and Democrats like Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., and Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., and issue subpoenas on the matter.

WATCH: UKRAINE PRESIDENT BACKS UP TRUMP, SAYS HE WASN’T PRESSURED

“Where the hell are the Republican chairmen in the Senate — why aren’t they issuing subpoenas — issue your 100 subpoenas, go after their bank accounts, go after their friends,” he said.

“If they don’t go for it, hold them in contempt.”

He also demanded investigations into Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Richard Durbin, D-Ill, and Robert Menendez, D-N.J. for reportedly insisting the Ukrainian government not close probes seen as critical to the Russia investigation.

More from Media

“You have another one, Chris Murphy from Connecticut, who insisted the Ukrainian government not investigate Biden,” he added.

At a press conference in New York on Wednesday, Trump specifically called attention to a little-discussed CNN report from May, which described how Menendez, Durbin and Leahy pushed Ukraine’s top prosecutor not to close four investigations perceived as critical to then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — and, by Democrats’ current logic, seemingly implied that their support for U.S. aid to Ukraine was at stake.

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“The Democrats have done what they’re accusing me of doing,” Trump said.

Senator Chris Murphy literally threatened the president of Ukraine that if he doesn’t do things right, they won’t have Democrat support in Congress,” Trump added.

That was a reference to the Connecticut Democrat’s comments at a bipartisan meeting in Kiev earlier this month, when Murphy called U.S. aid the “most important asset” of Ukraine — then issued a warning.

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Levin-Hannity Mark Levin slams 'rogue' CIA whistleblower, claims no first-hand source filed a complaint fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 49d3f00a-1349-5865-bc80-7bc4dc62924b   Westlake Legal Group Levin-Hannity Mark Levin slams 'rogue' CIA whistleblower, claims no first-hand source filed a complaint fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 49d3f00a-1349-5865-bc80-7bc4dc62924b

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Hannity says Trump-Ukraine controversy like ‘Groundhog Day’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089880329001_6089882590001-vs Hannity says Trump-Ukraine controversy like 'Groundhog Day' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ac389985-338c-5963-ae7c-3d8add3c7e58

As the Trump-Ukraine controversy dominates media headlines, Sean Hannity compared the latest controversy to film “Groundhog Day,” saying the latest with Ukraine was an extension of the Russia investigation.

“Like ‘Groundhog Day’ here we are all over again. You thought it was over. Not Russia, Russia… its just Ukraine, Ukraine,” Hannity said Thursday on his television show, referencing the film that starred Bill Murray reliving the same day over and over again.

KELLYANNE CONWAY BLASTS UKRAINE CALL ‘LEAKER’: ‘I HOPE YOU’RE WATCHING’

The host once again accused Democrats of being consumed by their hatred for President Trump.

“For the Democrats, this has never ever been about getting to the truth nor about serving their constituents. All this is about for them is power and an inexplicable hatred and rage towards Donald Trump,” Hannity said.

Hannity discussed all of the president’s accomplishments, touting the economy and accused the Democrats of forgetting why they were in Washington.

“I don’t think they remember why they were ever sent to Washington or what their real job is,” Hannity said. “Oh, they are supposed to be public servants. That’s not even in play ever anymore.”

Hannity expressed his concern for the country and said Democrats may have done “irreparable” harm to the country.

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“We live in a country now where simple, simple, basic fundamental facts, objective truth, basic truth, obvious truth, the rule of law, constitutional governance is in jeopardy tonight and the damage may be irreparable,” Hannity said.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089880329001_6089882590001-vs Hannity says Trump-Ukraine controversy like 'Groundhog Day' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ac389985-338c-5963-ae7c-3d8add3c7e58   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089880329001_6089882590001-vs Hannity says Trump-Ukraine controversy like 'Groundhog Day' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ac389985-338c-5963-ae7c-3d8add3c7e58

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In Ukraine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble

WASHINGTON — No one bothered to put special limits on the number of people allowed to sit in the “listening room” in the White House to monitor the phone call because it was expected to be routine. By the time the call was over 30 minutes later, it quickly became clear that it was anything but.

Soon after President Trump put the phone down that summer day, the red flags began to go up. Rather than just one head of state offering another pro forma congratulations for recent elections, the call turned into a bid by Mr. Trump to press a Ukrainian leader in need of additional American aid to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats.

The alarm among officials who heard the exchange led to an extraordinary effort to keep too many more people from learning about it. In the days to come, according to a whistle-blower complaint released on Thursday, White House officials embarked on a campaign to “lock down” the record of the call, removing it from the usual electronic file and hiding it away in a separate system normally used for classified information.

But word began to spread anyway, kicking off a succession of events that would eventually reveal details of the call to the public and has now put Mr. Trump at risk of being impeached by a Democrat-led House for abusing his power and betraying his office. The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him.

“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. official who once worked at the White House, wrote in his complaint, which was declassified and made public by the House Intelligence Committee.

“They told me,” he added, “that there was already a ‘discussion ongoing’ with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”

The president and his Republican allies rejected that characterization, saying he made no quid-pro-quo demands of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who himself told reporters in New York on Wednesday that he did not feel like he was being pushed.

Mr. Trump dismissed the complaint as part of “another Witch Hunt” against him and suggested the whistle-blower was “close to a spy.”

But while the White House disparaged the whistle-blower’s complaint as full of secondhand information and media-reported events, it did not directly deny the sequence of events as outlined.

Moreover, other officials amplified the narrative on Thursday with details that were not in the complaint. For instance, they said, at one point an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call electronically, as would be typical. Instead, copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group.

During the call on the morning of July 25, Mr. Zelensky talked about how much Ukraine had come to depend on the United States to help in its grinding, five-year war with Russian-sponsored separatists in the eastern part of the country. Without missing a beat, Mr. Trump then segued directly to his request for help in his own domestic politics.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” he said. Ukraine, he said, should look into conspiracy theories about Democratic emails hacked during the 2016 election as well as the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

While the president saw nothing wrong with his request, officials who heard it quickly worried that it would be problematic at best and set about finding ways to keep the conversation hidden.

The electronic version of the reconstructed transcript produced from notes and voice recognition software was removed from the computer system where such documents are typically stored for distribution to cabinet-level officers, according to the complaint. Instead, it went into a classified system even though the call did not contain anything especially sensitive in terms of national security information.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158446377_98d268bd-e1fd-4b36-8b69-6c5fcfc0c417-articleLarge In Ukraine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

President Trump at the White House on July 25, the day he spoke to the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The actions were unusual in a normal national security process but not unheard-of in Mr. Trump’s administration. Since early in his tenure, when transcripts of his telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia leaked, Mr. Trump has been sensitive to preventing such records from getting out.

He has proved particularly attuned to guarding the confidentiality of other conversations involving the former Soviet Union. After his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia after taking office, Mr. Trump took his interpreter’s notes and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone.

The specifics of Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky would be one thing by itself, but it came during a period of other events that provide a context. For months leading up to the call, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had been vigorously lobbying Ukrainian officials to investigate Democrats over the 2016 election and Mr. Biden’s dealings with the country.

Starting in mid-May, the whistle-blower wrote, he began hearing from other American officials “that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between” Kiev and the president.

Other people close to the situation have said that among those angry at Mr. Giuliani’s activities was John R. Bolton, who was then the president’s national security adviser before leaving this month amid disagreements with Mr. Trump over Russia as well as other issues.

But State Department officials, including Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, were left to try to “contain the damage” by advising Ukrainians how to navigate Mr. Giuliani’s campaign, according to the complaint.

The Ukrainians, it added, were led to believe that arranging a meeting or phone call between their president and Mr. Trump would depend on whether Mr. Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on Mr. Giuliani’s wishes. Indeed, it said, Mr. Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence to cancel plans to travel to Ukraine for Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration on May 20.

As Mr. Giuliani continued to seek action by the Ukrainians, the White House Office of Management and Budget informed national security agencies on July 18 that the president had ordered the suspension of $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine. In the days that followed, officials said they were unaware of the reason for the freeze.

American help has been a vital tool for checking Russian aggression in Ukraine, with strong support in both parties. According to other officials, three rounds of interagency meetings were then held to try to “unstick” the blocked aid or at least figure out why it was being held up. When the White House still would not explain, some administration officials began enlisting staff members in the Senate to help.

The day after the agencies were notified about the aid freeze, Mr. Giuliani had breakfast with Mr. Volker about connecting with Ukrainian officials to seek information about the president’s Democratic opponents.

“Mr. Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning,” Mr. Volker wrote in a text later that day that Mr. Giuliani posted on Twitter on Thursday. Mr. Volker offered to connect Mr. Giuliani with Andriy Yermak, an aide to Mr. Zelensky, according to the text message.

Six days later came the phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky. The White House readout released to the news media afterward made no mention of the discussion about Democrats, but a Ukrainian statement alluded to it by saying they discussed the completion of “investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

The next day, according to the complaint, Mr. Volker and Mr. Sondland visited Kiev and met with Mr. Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, offering them guidance on how to respond to Mr. Trump’s demands. Mr. Giuliani then met in Spain with Mr. Yermak on Aug. 2.

A week later, on Aug. 9, Mr. Trump publicly embraced Mr. Zelensky, telling reporters that he planned to invite the Ukrainian to the White House. “He’s a very reasonable guy,” Mr. Trump said. “He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

In fact, Ukrainian officials had been trying to lock down a date for such a meeting for months but kept getting put off by White House aides. At this point, Ukrainian officials have said, they still did not know that Mr. Trump had suspended American aid but they were hearing that it might be at risk.

All of this was taking place at a time of flux among key national security officials. Fiona Hill, the senior director for Europe at the National Security Council, was stepping down and had turned over her duties in July before the call. Three days after the call, Mr. Trump announced that Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, would be resigning.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

The whistle-blower, employing an anonymous process, brought his concerns to the C.I.A.’s general counsel, Courtney Simmons Ellwood, according to multiple people familiar with the events. As she sought to determine whether a reasonable basis existed for the accusation, she shared the matter with White House and Justice Department officials, meaning that the same institution he was complaining about had advance notice of the issue.

Concerned that his allegations were not being taken seriously, he filed a formal complaint on Aug. 12 with the office of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, a process that granted whistle-blower protections under law. The complaint was addressed to Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, with the understanding that, under the law, it would be provided to them.

“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election,” the whistle-blower wrote.

He acknowledged that he “was not a direct witness to most of the events described” but said he had gathered it from multiple officials and was “deeply concerned” that the actions constituted a flagrant abuse or violation of law.

Ten days later, Senate staff members sought an explanation for the aid freeze during a briefing by State and Defense Department officials but received no further information. By this time, however, they had begun hearing reports that the delays might be tied to reports about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Mr. Atkinson forwarded the whistle-blower complaint on Aug. 26 to Joseph Maguire, who took over from Mr. Coats as the acting director of national intelligence, and declared that he had determined the complaint “appears credible.” Mr. Maguire brought the issue to the White House rather than Congress, arguing that he was obliged to do so, a decision that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

The next day, Aug. 27, Mr. Bolton, then still the national security adviser, met with Mr. Zelensky in Kiev, the first personal visit by such a high-ranking member of the administration since Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration. Mr. Bolton, who holds deeply skeptical views of Russia, assured the Ukrainians that the United States stood behind them. He also was preparing for what was expected to be a meeting a few days afterward in Warsaw between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

Ukrainian officials have said the aid holdup was not discussed during this visit and that they only learned about it afterward. The first report of the frozen money appeared in Politico on Aug. 28, the day after Mr. Bolton’s visit, and congressional aides were finally informed the next day.

As it happened, Mr. Trump canceled his trip to Warsaw to monitor Hurricane Dorian, which was bearing down on the East Coast. Instead, he sent Mr. Pence, who met with Mr. Zelensky.

Three House committees opened an inquiry on Sept. 9 to examine whether the aid to Ukraine was being held up for political reasons. On the same day, Mr. Atkinson, the inspector general, sent a letter to the intelligence committees informing them of the existence of the whistle-blower complaint but withholding details, including the subject.

Senators from both parties increased the pressure on the White House to release the frozen aid to Ukraine. On Sept. 11, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, spoke to Mr. Trump about the matter and urged him to lift the freeze. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, informed the White House that he would support a Democratic amendment meant to penalize the White House to prod the funds loose.

Administration officials informed senators that night that the money would be released and the decision was announced the next day without any explanation for why it had been held up in the first place.

Mr. Trump has since given conflicting explanations. First, he said he held it up because of concerns about corruption in Ukraine and cited Mr. Biden in particular. Then he shifted the rationale to say he blocked it because he thought European countries should shoulder more of the burden.

Angry at not being informed about the topic of the whistle-blower complaint, Mr. Schiff issued a subpoena the next day to Mr. Maguire. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 18 that the complaint involved Mr. Trump, and The Post and The New York Times reported the next day that it involved Ukraine.

Mr. Schiff said on Thursday that the whole episode had not been in the interest of the United States. “It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy,” he said, “for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.”

Mr. Maguire captured the unique nature of the episode that has begun unveiling itself for the public to see. “I believe that everything here in this matter,” he said, “is totally unprecedented.”

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Whistleblower painstakingly gathered material and almost single-handedly set impeachment in motion

Westlake Legal Group fDe5cKUGXiXjfs7ZmRLf6jSve73PD5lrJvslsOJC8NA Whistleblower painstakingly gathered material and almost single-handedly set impeachment in motion r/politics

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Stem cells from dozens of child cancer patients lost after freezer malfunction, hospital says

Stem cells harvested from the blood of 56 Los Angeles-area child cancer patients were lost when the hospital freezer where they were stored malfunctioned, administrators said Wednesday.

The stem cells were harvested from patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) before they underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They were put in long-term storage in case their cancer ever returned.

“One of the freezer’s sensors failed and the notification process … failed and so we lost those specimens,” said Dr. James Stein, CHLA’s Chief Medical Officer.

All but one patient had gone through initial therapy, the Los Angeles Times reported. The loss of stem cells hasn’t jeopardized any of the children’s health, the hospital said.

Westlake Legal Group e3f9b79b-Capture Stem cells from dozens of child cancer patients lost after freezer malfunction, hospital says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc e9f20a35-1b46-54f1-93cb-0dfb8dbc6e8b article

A freezer malfunction at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles destroyed the stems cells of 56 child cancer patients, officials said. (Google Maps)

The hospital also bungled the notification of families. A letter breaking the news was accidentally addressed to the children and not their parents.

Sean Anderson Corona, 13, described the news as “painful” and broke into tears.

“I got almost to the very bottom [of the letter] and I just started crying,” he told KABC-TV.

Corona underwent stem cell therapy after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. The grueling process required him to be hooked up to machines for hours. His blood was then reinfused back into his body once the stem cells were harvested.

“I would try to sleep and my body would just start shaking, and then I just started to freak out and I’d start crying,” said Corona, who will have been cancer-free for three years in November.

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Stein said patients can always have the stem cells harvested again. In a statement, the hospital apologized for the mishap.

“We are very sorry that this loss occurred,” it read. “We apologize for any distress or confusion that this has caused our patients and their families.”

It said the freezer was replaced and the system that monitors the sensors has been upgraded.

Westlake Legal Group e3f9b79b-Capture Stem cells from dozens of child cancer patients lost after freezer malfunction, hospital says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc e9f20a35-1b46-54f1-93cb-0dfb8dbc6e8b article   Westlake Legal Group e3f9b79b-Capture Stem cells from dozens of child cancer patients lost after freezer malfunction, hospital says Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health/cancer fox news fnc/health fnc e9f20a35-1b46-54f1-93cb-0dfb8dbc6e8b article

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Democrats Show Unity On Impeachment; Republicans Show Fractures

WASHINGTON ― It’s been one week since most of Capitol Hill heard the first reports of a whistleblower, and with new developments almost every day since, Republicans and Democrats are still wrapping their heads around how much the impeachment dynamics have flipped.

In a week, House Democrats have moved from a drawn-out investigative approach to near-unanimity on impeachment proceedings. For them, it’s no longer a matter of whether they’ll impeach President Donald Trump; it’s when and by what charges.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has gone from the impeachment push’s biggest obstacle to its greatest asset, with her former reluctance now a rhetorical benefit in emphasizing just how out of bounds Trump’s behavior was in his July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine.

There are still some Democrats who have remained silent on an impeachment inquiry or have even spoken against it. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (D-N.J.) told reporters Wednesday that he’d rather leave the issue alone. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), who ignored our questions about the phone call Wednesday, still maintains that impeachment would be a “failed process.” 

But other than a handful of vulnerable lawmakers, Democrats are on the same page: The president committed a serious wrongdoing when he asked a foreign leader to investigate one of his chief political rivals, Joe Biden, and the proper remedy is impeachment.

“There’s really unanimous consent in our caucus ― or virtually unanimous ― that we need to focus on this, the Intelligence Committee needs to be committed to completing their investigation, and once they do, they will transfer a report or recommendation to the Judiciary Committee,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the Democratic Caucus’s messaging arm, told reporters Thursday night.

Cicilline added that he believed there was already “sufficient evidence” to impeach Trump. “That’s why I don’t expect this to be a very long process.”

Multiple Democratic lawmakers mentioned Thursday wrapping up this process by the end of the year, potentially to avoid the charge that the House impeached Trump in an election year. A few months would be long enough for the House Intelligence Committee to conduct its investigation but short enough that Democrats could keep the momentum of the scandal and attention of voters. And though Democrats still have work to do in convincing the American people, support for impeachment is already growing.

Westlake Legal Group 5d8d5b4f220000580052f4b2 Democrats Show Unity On Impeachment; Republicans Show Fractures

Alexander Drago / Reuters House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) reacts after conferring with Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, testifies Thursday.

Meanwhile, on the Republican side, members are all over the place.

Some say they haven’t read the whistleblower complaint released Thursday (or, worse, still haven’t read the summary of the call between Trump and the Ukrainian president that was released Wednesday). Some Republicans said there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything the president did, that Democrats owe Trump an apology or even ought to be thanking the president. Other Republicans step on that narrative by admitting that, no, actually, maybe there is something to these charges ― splitting the difference by expressing some unease with the situation but arguing it doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment.

Still, the loudest voices are from the Republicans who insist Trump has done nothing wrong.

Republicans are seizing on one line in the complaint to undermine the whistleblower’s credibility: “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described.” 

The whistleblower said he had more than a half dozen White House sources whose accounts matched each other, plus publicly available information. But Republicans have already left the room. 

“It’s a joke,” said Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio). “It’s hearsay.”

“It’s nonsense,” Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said. “This is just a scam as far as an excuse for impeachment.”

When we asked Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) if he was concerned by anything in the whistleblower’s complaint, he said he was concerned that something with “third- and fourth-degree hearsay would make it that far.”

When we pressed King about whether the allegations would be concerning if they were true, he agreed they would be. “But I just can’t ― I don’t see how it all fits together.” And when asked about key facts in the complaint matching up with the rough transcript of the call, King said the transcript was “fine.”

Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) also focused on the whistleblower not being a firsthand witness. “So you have folks that were witnesses that didn’t complain, and you have a person who wasn’t there complaining?” Diaz-Balart asked. “I think that’s pretty much all you need to know.”  

You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right? President Donald Trump

Try as they might, however, the Republicans’ effort to tar the complainant’s credibility hit a snag Thursday when Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, testified that he agreed with the intelligence inspector general’s assessment that the document was “credible.”  

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading advocate for whistleblower rights, also spoke out in support of the unnamed person. He said he was “going to believe he’s a whistleblower until I hear some lawyer explain to me why he isn’t.” 

GOP attempts to undermine the whistleblower at the hearing with Maguire also fell flat, as the acting DNI was able to lay out how the whistleblower had followed all the proper procedures in reporting the concerns of White House employees. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who told HuffPost on Wednesday that the rough transcript of the call had given him “a little pause,” said his colleagues were “nuts” if they thought attacking the character of the whistleblower was a good strategy.

The president called the whistleblower “crooked” and suggested his sources for the complaint were acting like spies who ought to be executed

“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right?” the president said. 

Most Capitol Hill Republicans probably aren’t willing to go that far. 

“Throwing the word ‘treason’ around is as dangerous has throwing the word ‘impeachment’ around,” said Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas). 

The complaint is damning for a number of reasons. For one, it matches the loose transcript that was released Wednesday. For another, it details a cover-up in the White House. Aides recognized that the conversation Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was politically explosive, so they moved the memo onto a more secure and secret server to limit how many people could see the conversation. 

The complaint also alleges that it was Ukraine’s understanding that it needed to “play ball” and agree to open an investigation into Biden in order to get Trump on the phone with Zelensky, who hoped Ukraine would receive nearly $400 million of military aid that Congress had appropriated and Trump had held back.

But Republicans seemed to have locked on Thursday to only one major aspect of the Ukraine scandal: Biden.

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said Biden, while vice president in 2015 and 2016, had threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine unless the country fired then-chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin. That part is true. Biden and a number of other world leaders pressured Ukraine to fire Shokin over allegations of fraud by the prosecutor. It’s also true that Biden’s son Hunter was sitting on the board of a Ukrainian energy company at the time.

Where the stories diverge is whether Biden pressured Shokin to resign because he was investigating the company that Hunter was involved in or because other world leaders were also pressuring Ukraine over Shokin. Documents show that Shokin wasn’t actively investigating the energy company. But Republicans are arguing Biden shouldn’t have been part of negotiations at all. 

“He should have recused himself because his son was involved,” Griffith said. “And the subsequent president of the United States says, ‘Hey, you might want to investigate that.’ That’s appropriate, and it’s for the betterment of the ends of justice.”

Griffith added: “Anybody who’s calling for impeachment of the president over this needs to ask Joe Biden to get out of the race.”

That’s certainly a line the White House likes. And many Republicans are doing their best to frame this as an indictment of Biden and circle the wagons for Trump.

They don’t give any space for the other Republicans to say anything without looking like they’re betraying the president and the party. Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.)

But underneath those very loud voices, there are Republicans who are quietly watching how this all plays out.

Rep. Steve Stivers, who said he hadn’t yet read the complaint Thursday night, did say there were parts of the memo released Wednesday that concerned him. “Obviously, I was troubled that he mentioned it,” Stivers said. “I didn’t see it as a quid pro quo, but I was troubled that he mentioned investigating somebody.”

When we asked the former House GOP campaign chair whether there was a split of opinion among Republicans on the Ukraine situation, Stivers said that was right. 

“There’s a split on it, but we’re not monolithic on a lot of stuff,” he said.

Another GOP lawmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, said there was a group of Republicans who are consciously not jumping to the president’s defense. “We have to see how this plays out,” the Republican lawmaker said.

Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who was a Republican until July, when he left the party to become an Independent, told HuffPost that he knew of Republicans who would like to speak out. “But they feel they’re screwed if they come out and say anything about it.”

“What happens on the Republican side is that the White House, in coordination with a few Republican officials, go out there and try to press a really aggressive message that ‘the president hasn’t done anything wrong,’ ‘it’s all about Biden,’ etc., etc.,” Amash said. “And they don’t give any space for the other Republicans to say anything without looking like they’re betraying the president and the party.”

Amash added that partisanship blinds both parties. “It’s particularly afflicting Republicans right now,” he said.

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Donna Brazile gives message to Karl Rove on Dems’ impeachment push

Westlake Legal Group McCallum-Spicer-Brazile Donna Brazile gives message to Karl Rove on Dems' impeachment push Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2ec60ef5-ac71-5c08-97f4-1230621dd411

Former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile weighed in on the Democrats’ push for impeachment following Thursday’s latest chapter in the Trump-Ukraine controversy, and a claim from Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush, that impeachment would be a losing battle for her party.

“This is a concern for all Americans and, I think, the reason why it is that we should not allow anyone outside the United States to meddle in, you know, participate and or even try to demonstrate any ‘interest’ in helping one side or the another,” Brazil argued on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

“So, the issue here is, you know, should we allow anyone to put their personal political interests above the national interests of the country? That is what is at heart.”

WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT HAS BEEN DECLASSIFIED AND CONTAINS NO ‘SURPRISES,’ GOP LAWMAKER SAYS

A whistleblower complaint was released to the public Thursday, alleging that President Trump used the “power of his office to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the 2020 election — and that White House officials subsequently tried to “lock down” records of that phone call.

Martha MacCallum also brought up the comments from Rove, saying Democrats were congratulating themselves but would soon find that impeachment was a “loser.”

“Let me just tell Karl Rove, we did not want this issue. Nobody wants this issue. The president created this mess, we didn’t create this mess,” Brazile said, defending Democrats for pursuing impeachment.

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Brazile warned there was more at stake than just politics.

“This should not be about a political horse race. This should be about the future of our democracy,” Brazile said.

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group McCallum-Spicer-Brazile Donna Brazile gives message to Karl Rove on Dems' impeachment push Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2ec60ef5-ac71-5c08-97f4-1230621dd411   Westlake Legal Group McCallum-Spicer-Brazile Donna Brazile gives message to Karl Rove on Dems' impeachment push Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2ec60ef5-ac71-5c08-97f4-1230621dd411

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Maxine Waters: There’s ‘absolutely’ enough evidence to draft articles of impeachment against Trump

Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters: There's 'absolutely' enough evidence to draft articles of impeachment against Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc c43241cc-9f92-5feb-a771-1d35aa167c7b article

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said Thursday that Democrats “absolutely” have enough evidence to draft articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Watters told CNN “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo that she watched Trump “very closely” during the 2016 election and decided at the time that he had a “flawed character.” She added that she thought Trump was “going to be a problem” and said he “turned out to be everything” that she suspected.

“Do you think you know enough at this point, congresswoman, to say there is enough here for articles of impeachment?” Cuomo asked.

“Absolutely,” Waters quickly answered.

HILLARY CLINTON CALLS TRUMP AN ‘ILLEGITIMATE PRESIDENT’ AND ‘CORRUPT HUMAN TORNADO’

“Already?” the CNN anchor reacted with shock.

“The president himself admitted that he had a telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine,” Waters said. “He also said he talked to him about Biden. And I believe that in that conversation, he did exactly what is being said about the conversation by others — that he was asking this president [Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine] to help him with the kind of investigation that would lead into dirt about Biden.”

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Waters has been one of the most outspoken critics of President Trump and one of the first lawmakers to call for his impeachment.

The California representative went on to defend the intelligence community whistleblower who flagged Trump’s interactions with Zelensky, insisting they aren’t “leaking” but that they’re “concerned about this country.”

Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters: There's 'absolutely' enough evidence to draft articles of impeachment against Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc c43241cc-9f92-5feb-a771-1d35aa167c7b article   Westlake Legal Group maxine-waters Maxine Waters: There's 'absolutely' enough evidence to draft articles of impeachment against Trump Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/maxine-waters fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc c43241cc-9f92-5feb-a771-1d35aa167c7b article

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In a Routine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble

WASHINGTON — No one bothered to put special limits on the number of people allowed to sit in the White House “listening room” to monitor the phone call because it was expected to be routine. By the time the call was over 30 minutes later, it quickly became clear that it was anything but.

Soon after President Trump put the phone down that summer day, the red flags began to go up. Rather than just one head of state offering another pro forma congratulations for recent elections, the call turned into a bid by Mr. Trump to press a Ukrainian leader in need of additional American aid to “do us a favor” and investigate Democrats.

The alarm among officials who heard the exchange led to an extraordinary effort to keep too many more people from learning about it. In the days to come, according to a whistle-blower complaint released on Thursday, White House officials embarked on a campaign to “lock down” the record of the call, removing it from the usual electronic file and hiding it away in a separate system normally used for classified information.

But word began to spread anyway, kicking off a succession of events that would eventually reveal details of the call to the public and has now put Mr. Trump at risk of being impeached by a Democrat-led House for abusing his power and betraying his office. The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him.

“The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call,” the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. official who once worked at the White House, wrote in his complaint, which was declassified and made public by the House Intelligence Committee.

“They told me,” he added, “that there was already a ‘discussion ongoing’ with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the president abuse his office for personal gain.”

The president and his Republican allies rejected that characterization, saying he made no quid-pro-quo demands of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who himself told reporters in New York on Wednesday that he did not feel like he was being pushed.

Mr. Trump dismissed the complaint as part of “another Witch Hunt” against him and suggested the whistle-blower was “close to a spy.”

But while the White House disparaged the whistle-blower’s complaint as full of secondhand information and media-reported events, it did not directly deny the sequence of events as outlined.

Moreover, other officials amplified the narrative on Thursday with details that were not in the complaint. For instance, they said, at one point an order was given to not distribute the reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call electronically, as would be typical. Instead, copies were printed out and hand delivered to a select group.

During the call on the morning of July 25, Mr. Zelensky talked about how much Ukraine had come to depend on the United States to help in its grinding, five-year war with Russian-sponsored separatists in the eastern part of the country. Without missing a beat, Mr. Trump then segued directly to his request for help in his own domestic politics.

“I would like you to do us a favor, though,” he said. Ukraine, he said, should look into conspiracy theories about Democratic emails hacked during the 2016 election as well as the actions of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his younger son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

“Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible,” Mr. Trump said.

The electronic version of the reconstructed transcript produced from notes and voice recognition software was removed from the computer system where such documents are typically stored for distribution to cabinet-level officers, according to the complaint. Instead, it went into a classified system even though the call did not contain anything especially sensitive in terms of national security information.

The actions were unusual in a normal national security process but not unheard-of in Mr. Trump’s administration. Since early in his tenure, when transcripts of his telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia leaked, Mr. Trump has been sensitive to preventing such records from getting out.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_158446377_98d268bd-e1fd-4b36-8b69-6c5fcfc0c417-articleLarge In a Routine Phone Call, Alarmed Aides Saw Trouble Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

President Trump at the White House on July 25, the day he spoke to the president of Ukraine.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

He has proved particularly attuned to guarding the confidentiality of other conversations involving the former Soviet Union. After his first meeting with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia after taking office, Mr. Trump took his interpreter’s notes and ordered him not to disclose what he heard to anyone.

The specifics of Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky would be one thing by itself, but it came during a period of other events that provide a context. For months leading up to the call, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, had been lobbying Ukrainian officials to investigate Democrats over the 2016 election and Mr. Biden’s dealings with the country.

Starting in mid-May, the whistle-blower wrote, he began hearing from other American officials “that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decision making processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between” Kiev and the president.

Other people close to the situation have said that among those angry at Mr. Giuliani’s activities was John R. Bolton, who was then the president’s national security adviser before leaving this month amid disagreements with Mr. Trump over Russia as well as other issues.

But State Department officials, including Kurt D. Volker, the special envoy for Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, were left to try to “contain the damage” by advising Ukrainians how to navigate Mr. Giuliani’s campaign, according to the complaint.

The Ukrainians, it added, were led to believe that arranging a meeting or phone call between Mr. Zelensky and Mr. Trump would depend on whether Mr. Zelensky showed willingness to “play ball” on Mr. Giuliani’s wishes. Indeed, it said, Mr. Trump ordered Vice President Mike Pence to cancel plans to travel to Ukraine for Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration on May 20.

As Mr. Giuliani continued to seek action by the Ukrainians, the White House Office of Management and Budget informed national security agencies on July 18 that the president had ordered the suspension of $391 million in American security aid to Ukraine. In the days that followed, officials said they were unaware of the reason for the freeze.

According to other officials, three rounds of interagency meetings were then held to try to “unstick” the blocked aid or at least figure out why it was behind held up. When the White House continued to not explain, some administration officials began enlisting staff members in the Senate to help.

The day after the agencies were notified about the aid freeze, Mr. Giuliani had breakfast with Mr. Volker about connecting with Ukrainian officials.

“Mr. Mayor — really enjoyed breakfast this morning,” Mr. Volker wrote in a text later that day that Mr. Giuliani posted on Twitter on Thursday. Mr. Volker offered to connect Mr. Giuliani with Andriy Yermak, an aide to Mr. Zelensky, according to the text message.

Six days later came the phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky. The White House readout released to the news media afterward made no mention of the discussion about Democrats, but a Ukrainian statement alluded to it by saying they discussed the completion of “investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

The next day, according to the complaint, Mr. Volker and Mr. Sondland visited Kiev and met with Mr. Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, offering them guidance on how to respond to Mr. Trump’s demands. Mr. Giuliani then met in Spain with Mr. Yermak on Aug. 2.

A week later, on Aug. 9, Mr. Trump publicly embraced Mr. Zelensky, telling reporters that he planned to invite the Ukrainian to the White House. “He’s a very reasonable guy,” Mr. Trump said. “He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

In fact, Ukrainian officials had been trying to lock down a date for such a meeting for months but kept getting put off by White House aides. At this point, Ukrainian officials have said, they still did not know that Mr. Trump had suspended American aid but they were hearing that it might be at risk.

All of this was taking place at a time of flux among key national security officials. Fiona Hill, the senior director for Europe at the National Security Council, was stepping down and had turned over her duties in July before the call. Three days after the call, Mr. Trump announced that Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, would be resigning.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

On Aug. 12, the whistle-blower filed his complaint with the office of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community. The complaint was addressed to Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, with the understanding that, under the law, it would be provided to them.

“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election,” the whistle-blower wrote.

He acknowledged that he “was not a direct witness to most of the events described” but said he had gathered it from multiple officials and was “deeply concerned” that the actions constituted a flagrant abuse or violation of law.

Ten days later, Senate staff members sought an explanation for the aid freeze during a briefing by State and Defense Department officials but received no further information. By this time, however, they had begun hearing reports that the delays might be tied to reports about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine.

Mr. Atkinson forwarded the whistle-blower complaint on Aug. 26 to Joseph Maguire, who took over from Mr. Coats as the acting director of national intelligence, and declared that he had determined the complaint “appears credible.” Mr. Maguire brought the issue to the White House rather than Congress, arguing that he was obliged to do so, a decision that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.

The next day, Aug. 27, Mr. Bolton, then still the national security adviser, met with Mr. Zelensky in Kiev, the first personal visit by such a high-ranking member of the administration since Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration. Mr. Bolton, who holds deeply skeptical views of Russia, assured the Ukrainians that the United States stood behind them. He also was preparing for what was expected to be a meeting a few days afterward in Warsaw between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky.

Ukrainian officials have said the aid holdup was not discussed during this visit and that they only learned about it afterward. The first report of the frozen money appeared in Politico on Aug. 28, the day after Mr. Bolton’s visit and congressional aides were finally informed the next day.

As it happened, Mr. Trump canceled his trip to Warsaw to monitor Hurricane Dorian, which was bearing down on the East Coast. Instead, he sent Mr. Pence, who met with Mr. Zelensky.

Three House committees opened an inquiry on Sept. 9 to examine whether the aid to Ukraine was being held up for political reasons. On the same day, Mr. Atkinson, the inspector general, sent a letter to the intelligence committees informing them of the existence of the whistle-blower complaint but withholding details, including the subject.

Senators from both parties increased the pressure on the White House to release the frozen aid to Ukraine. On Sept. 11, Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, spoke to Mr. Trump about the matter and urged him to lift the freeze. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, informed the White House that he would support a Democratic amendment meant to penalize the White House to prod the funds loose.

Administration officials informed senators that night that the money will be released and the decision was announced the next day without any explanation for why it had been held up in the first place.

Mr. Trump has since given conflicting explanations. First, he said he held it up because of concerns about corruption in Ukraine and cited Mr. Biden in particular. Then he shifted the rationale to say he blocked it because he thought European countries should shoulder more of the burden.

Angry at not being informed about the topic of the whistle-blower complaint, Mr. Schiff issued a subpoena the next day to Mr. Maguire. The Washington Post reported on Sept. 18 that the complaint involved Mr. Trump, and The Post and The New York Times reported the next day that it involved Ukraine.

Mr. Schiff said on Thursday that the whole episode had not been in the interest of the United States. “It is instead the most consequential form of tragedy,” he said, “for it forces us to confront the remedy the founders provided for such a flagrant abuse of office, impeachment.”

The whistle-blower is expected to testify to Congress soon.

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Democratic megadonor Ed Buck ordered held until end of federal drug case

Westlake Legal Group 48511a85-AP19261135046288 Democratic megadonor Ed Buck ordered held until end of federal drug case Jennifer Girdon Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime/trials fox news fnc/us fnc article 374bf257-015a-5e44-83fa-0eeff5423a88

California Democratic activist and megadonor Ed Buck was ordered held in federal custody Thursday until the disposition of a drug charge against him following a hearing that lasted fewer than 10 minutes.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles asked for Buck, 65, to be held without bond and public defender Claire Simonich told U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick J. Walsh that Buck is “not contesting detention at this time.”

Buck was arrested earlier this month and charged by local prosecutors with battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house. Two days later, he was charged with one federal count of distribution of methamphetamine resulting in death for the July 2017 death of Gemmel Moore.

If convicted of the federal charge, Buck faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. The state case against him is currently on hold.

Nana Gyamfi, an attorney for Moore’s family, told reporters outside the courthouse that the families and friends of Buck’s alleged victims were “happy … that Ed Buck is not torturing or killing another black gay man.”

CLINTON, OBAMA SILENT ON ED BUCK DONATIONS

A criminal complaint and accompanying affidavit detailed multiple allegations that Buck injected men with meth against their wishes during sexual encounters. The investigation found at least 10 alleged victims, several of whom described in salacious detail Buck’s apparent fetish for paying men to use drugs and have sex with him, which often took a dark turn and led to several suspected overdoses.

Prosecutors have described Buck in court documents as a “violent, dangerous sexual predator” whose “deadly behavior has not stopped,”

Walsh told Buck Thursday that he had the right to contest his detention, but added: “I don’t see anything that would alleviate my concern about danger” to the community.

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Buck, 65, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to California candidates, including Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is well known in LGBTQ political circles.  According to federal records, Buck contributed more than $500,000 to Democratic groups, including $1,500 to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and $2,950 to the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Westlake Legal Group AP19261135046288-1 Democratic megadonor Ed Buck ordered held until end of federal drug case Jennifer Girdon Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime/trials fox news fnc/us fnc article 374bf257-015a-5e44-83fa-0eeff5423a88   Westlake Legal Group AP19261135046288-1 Democratic megadonor Ed Buck ordered held until end of federal drug case Jennifer Girdon Frank Miles fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/west fox-news/us/crime/trials fox news fnc/us fnc article 374bf257-015a-5e44-83fa-0eeff5423a88

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