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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 372)

Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-484856031-0cb79ef383037ab35efef34c75210333d7174163-s1100-c15 Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori, pictured in 2014, called it an “extremely cruel and brutal case.” She signed Wei Wei’s execution order on Monday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori, pictured in 2014, called it an “extremely cruel and brutal case.” She signed Wei Wei’s execution order on Monday.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A 40-year-old Chinese national convicted of murder was executed in Japan on Thursday. His hanging marks the first execution of a foreign-born prisoner in that country in a decade.

Wei Wei, who was living in Japan on a student visa, was found guilty of burglarizing the family home of a clothing shop owner and killing the entire family in 2003.

In the final ruling against him several years later, the courts concluded Wei and two accomplices ransacked the house for valuables then killed the shop owner, his wife, and their two children, Kyodo News reported.

They later dumped the bodies into the ocean.

“It is an extremely cruel and brutal case in which the happily living family members, including an eight-year-old and 11-year-old, were all murdered because of truly selfish reasons,” Justice Minister Masako Mori said at a press conference, according to the BBC.

Mori added that she signed off on the execution — her first since assuming the post in October — “after careful consideration.”

Wei had been on death row for 16 years.

The other men fled to China, eluding capture by Japanese authorities. But they were later arrested and tried by the communist government. One man was sentenced to death and executed in 2005. The other, received life imprisonment.

The AP reports:

“Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in 2012, his government has executed 39 people. Last year, Japan hanged 15 people, including the guru of the Aum Shinrikyo cult and 12 former followers convicted in a deadly Tokyo subway gassing.”

In a report analyzing 2018 figures, Amnesty International recorded executions in 20 countries – the second-lowest number in the past two decades. In the U.S., 25 people were executed that year.

However, the group’s total of 690 executions worldwide does not include the thousands of executions it believes were were carried out in China.

Without China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq accounted for 78% of all reported executions, according to the findings.

Meanwhile, at least 2,531 people awaited death sentences in 54 countries. That marked a slight decrease from the total of 2,591 reported in 2017.

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Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-484856031-0cb79ef383037ab35efef34c75210333d7174163-s1100-c15 Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori, pictured in 2014, called it an “extremely cruel and brutal case.” She signed Wei Wei’s execution order on Monday. Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Japan Hangs Chinese Prisoner, First Foreigner Executed In 10 Years

Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori, pictured in 2014, called it an “extremely cruel and brutal case.” She signed Wei Wei’s execution order on Monday.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A 40-year-old Chinese national convicted of murder was executed in Japan on Thursday. His hanging marks the first execution of a foreign-born prisoner in that country in a decade.

Wei Wei, who was living in Japan on a student visa, was found guilty of burglarizing the family home of a clothing shop owner and killing the entire family in 2003.

In the final ruling against him several years later, the courts concluded Wei and two accomplices ransacked the house for valuables then killed the shop owner, his wife, and their two children, Kyodo News reported.

They later dumped the bodies into the ocean.

“It is an extremely cruel and brutal case in which the happily living family members, including an eight-year-old and 11-year-old, were all murdered because of truly selfish reasons,” Justice Minister Masako Mori said at a press conference, according to the BBC.

Mori added that she signed off on the execution — her first since assuming the post in October — “after careful consideration.”

Wei had been on death row for 16 years.

The other men fled to China, eluding capture by Japanese authorities. But they were later arrested and tried by the communist government. One man was sentenced to death and executed in 2005. The other, received life imprisonment.

The AP reports:

“Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to power in 2012, his government has executed 39 people. Last year, Japan hanged 15 people, including the guru of the Aum Shinrikyo cult and 12 former followers convicted in a deadly Tokyo subway gassing.”

In a report analyzing 2018 figures, Amnesty International recorded executions in 20 countries – the second-lowest number in the past two decades. In the U.S., 25 people were executed that year.

However, the group’s total of 690 executions worldwide does not include the thousands of executions it believes were were carried out in China.

Without China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq accounted for 78% of all reported executions, according to the findings.

Meanwhile, at least 2,531 people awaited death sentences in 54 countries. That marked a slight decrease from the total of 2,591 reported in 2017.

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

Universal Pictures cuts ‘Cats’ from its ‘For Your Consideration’ page: report

Westlake Legal Group Cats-Marquee Universal Pictures cuts ‘Cats’ from its ‘For Your Consideration’ page: report Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2d3b438-eee7-5a62-91c0-25fabf815785 article

Universal Pictures is officially wiping its paws of “Cats,” as the studio has reportedly removed the musical from its “For Your Consideration” page that lists the Oscar-qualifying films as well as their screening dates in a number of cities – this according to Variety.

An industry insider told the outlet on Thursday that the whimsical flop is also absent from being featured on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ streaming site, where Academy members can view the golden statue contenders.

“Cats” has been the subject of numerous reports and reviews slamming the film. Many are simply confused by so much that they can’t help but to laugh at the bizarre adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical.

‘CATS’ MOVIE TRAILER UNNERVES MANY ON INTERNET: ‘I SHRIEKED OUT LOUD’

“Westworld” actress Evan Rachel Wood was the latest to bash the star-studded film on Wednesday and didn’t hold back in issuing her honest assessment of the Tom Hooper-helmed project.

“I have to have an actual live reaction of this,” Wood, 32, said in an Instagram story before shouting, “What the f–k! What the f–k! What the f–k!”

FANS ACCUSE ‘CATS’ MOVIE OF ‘WHITEWASHING’ BLACK LEAD ACTRESS AFTER TRAILER DEBUTS

Wood continued yelling “What?” into the camera before repeating, “What the f–k. Oh my god!”

The HBO star’s diatribe came after she allegedly picked apart the film in a tweet that has since been deleted.

‘CATS’ STAR JUDI DENCH SEE HER CHARACTER AS TRANSGENDER: ‘I KIND OF CALL IT ‘TRANS-DEUTERONOMY’

“…#cats is actually worse than I thought it would be, And I already thought it would be horrible. But….I am actually speechless. Why would you change the choreography? I…am SPEECHLESS. Its not the casts fault. Its…maybe the worst thing I have ever seen. Ever,” she issued to her more than 444,000 followers, according to the Daily Mail.

The film cost a reported $100 million to produce and raked in an abysmal $6.5 million in box office sales its first weekend.

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Despite its less-than-stellar showing, the film managed to land a Golden Globe nomination for best original song, for Taylor Swift’s “Beautiful Ghosts.”

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Cats-Marquee Universal Pictures cuts ‘Cats’ from its ‘For Your Consideration’ page: report Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2d3b438-eee7-5a62-91c0-25fabf815785 article   Westlake Legal Group Cats-Marquee Universal Pictures cuts ‘Cats’ from its ‘For Your Consideration’ page: report Julius Young fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc d2d3b438-eee7-5a62-91c0-25fabf815785 article

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Trump Pushes Out Tweet Naming Alleged Whistleblower

Westlake Legal Group WItEbnXO4aO7NyHrL4tWi5eClqBgqwheLqf4MHhdyto Trump Pushes Out Tweet Naming Alleged Whistleblower r/politics

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Israel’s Netanyahu wins Likud party primary challenge in landslide

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed an overwhelming victory in a primary election for leadership of the ruling Likud party ahead of the general election next year.

Official results announced early Friday showed Netanyahu with 72 percent of the votes, compared to 28 percent for challenger Gideon Saar.

Westlake Legal Group AP19360366959377-1 Israel’s Netanyahu wins Likud party primary challenge in landslide fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc c22414b5-0059-546d-817c-4211f705e4a0 Bradford Betz article

People look at a poster of Israel Prime Minister and governing Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu at a voting center in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.  (AP)

The win gives the embattled leader a boost ahead of Israel’s third election in less than a year and could give him another opportunity to form a government after falling short in two previous attempts in 2019.

The apparent victory also keeps alive Netanyahu’s hopes of winning immunity from prosecution after being indicted last month on a series of corruption charges.

“A giant victory,” Netanyahu tweeted just over an hour after polls closed.

“Thanks to the members of Likud for the trust, support and love,” he added. “God willing, I will lead Likud to a big victory in the coming elections.”

But despite Likud’s strong position, the general election is widely expected to leave the party and its main rival, the Blue and White, unable to form a government on their own, and Netanyahu’s lingering legal troubles could again hamper efforts to form a unity government.

ISRAEL AIRSTRIKES TARGET IRAN-LINKED MILITARY BASE IN SYRIA, STATE MEDIA REPORTS

Netanyahu, who has led the country for the past decade, has cultivated an image as a veteran statesman with close ties to President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.

His refusal over the last decade to make any concessions to the Palestinians was rewarded after Trump took office. His hardline approach to Iran has also proved popular.

Westlake Legal Group AP19360367709176 Israel’s Netanyahu wins Likud party primary challenge in landslide fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc c22414b5-0059-546d-817c-4211f705e4a0 Bradford Betz article

A Likud party member sits by a poster of veteran politician Gideon Saar from the governing Likud Party at a voting center in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019.  (AP)

But his fortunes have waned after he was unable to form a government following back-to-back elections in March and September. His party came in second place in September’s elections, causing many observers to view the vote as the beginning of the end.

In November, Netanyahu was indicted on charges of fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes. Netanyahu has vowed to remain in office, dismissing the indictment as an “attempted coup” by hostile media and law enforcement.

NETANYAHU RUSHED TO BOMB SHELTER AFTER ROCKET ATTACK ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL

Opinion polls have forecast a similar outcome in the March vote, with Likud and Blue and White leading the pack, and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party emerging as the kingmaker.

Netanyahu is desperate to remain in office, where he is best-positioned to fight the corruption charges. Israeli law does not require a sitting prime minister to resign if indicted.

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The Supreme Court will next week begin considering whether an indicted member of parliament can be tasked with forming a new government, a decision that could potentially disqualify Netanyahu from leading the next government.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19360366959377-1 Israel’s Netanyahu wins Likud party primary challenge in landslide fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc c22414b5-0059-546d-817c-4211f705e4a0 Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group AP19360366959377-1 Israel’s Netanyahu wins Likud party primary challenge in landslide fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/world-politics fox-news/person/benjamin-netanyahu fox news fnc/world fnc c22414b5-0059-546d-817c-4211f705e4a0 Bradford Betz article

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Mexico finds migrants in half of inspected trains, officials say

Mexican officials on Thursday said authorities have found migrants riding on about half of trains inspected in the country since June.

While the largest number of migrants were detained while walking — 41,649 between June and Dec. 22 — many migrants walk along tracks hoping to hop onto a passing train.

Westlake Legal Group AP19357256655791 Mexico finds migrants in half of inspected trains, officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/world fnc fcdf4579-253a-51be-b063-717de458372b Bradford Betz article

FILE: A Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz.  (AP)

About 2,800 migrants were found hidden in trucks, and almost 3,500 were detained aboard buses.

The government presented figures on its crackdown on migrants, which started in May.

MEXICO’S AMBASSADOR TO ARGENTINA RESIGNS AFTER BEING CAUGHT SHOPLIFTING

So far in 2019, Mexico has detained 178,917 migrants, mainly Central Americans, and deported 84,327.

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In the first 11 months of 2019, Mexico has received nearly 67,000 asylum claims, more than double what it received in all of 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19357256655791 Mexico finds migrants in half of inspected trains, officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/world fnc fcdf4579-253a-51be-b063-717de458372b Bradford Betz article   Westlake Legal Group AP19357256655791 Mexico finds migrants in half of inspected trains, officials say fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox news fnc/world fnc fcdf4579-253a-51be-b063-717de458372b Bradford Betz article

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Rwanda makes its own morphine, bypassing dangerous opioid trade

The inequity between rich and poor nations shows up quite baldly in palliative care.

As thousands die from addiction in rich countries awash with prescription painkillers, spurring, for instance, an American opioid crisis, millions of people in the poorest nations have no access to opioids at all.

Locally produced liquid morphine has become part of Rwanda’s groundbreaking effort to address pain treatment.

Companies don’t make money selling generic morphine to the dying, and most in sub-Saharan Africa, with a legacy of colonial rule in the recent past, cannot afford the expensive formulations such as oxycodone, prescribed so abundantly in richer nations like the United States that thousands became addicted to them.

Rwanda’s answer: plastic bottles of morphine, produced for pennies and delivered to homes across the country by health workers. It is proof that the opioid trade doesn’t have to be guided by how much money can be made, advocates say.

Westlake Legal Group MOrphine Rwanda makes its own morphine, bypassing dangerous opioid trade Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/world fnc bd072079-a24d-566a-b87a-42a751c5ac56 article

Locally produced liquid morphine has become part of Rwanda’s groundbreaking effort to address pain treatment. (iStock)

WOMAN’S RAW POST ON ADDICTION GOES VIRAL AFTER BROTHER-IN-LAW’S OVERDOSE DEATH

“People should have medication like an American person,” said Diane Mukasahaha, Rwanda’s coordinator of palliative care. “We all are human beings. The body is the same.”

Twenty-two of 54 countries in Africa now have affordable morphine, the cheapest and most reliable painkiller, according to the nonprofit Hospice Africa Uganda.

The International Narcotics Control Board reported that some 90 percent of opioids are consumed by the richest nations, where just 17 percent of people live.

In developing nations, cost, onerous regulation and cultural aversion to opioids prevent most from accessing them, even on their deathbeds.

Commercially made morphine is, on average, nearly six times more expensive in many poor counties than it is in wealthy ones, the INCB has reported. Experts attribute it in part to countries with low opioid consumption lacking the negotiating power to import drugs at bulk prices.

So, African countries such as Rwanda began to make morphine on their own. They looked to Uganda, where Hospice Africa Uganda was making liquid morphine in a process so basic, for two decades, it was mixed at a kitchen sink.

Like all opioids, morphine can be addictive. But the government has control over the supply to prevent what happened in the United States, where pills were shipped to tiny towns in quantities far exceeding justifiable medical need, said Meg O’Brien, whose Treat the Pain organization helps poor nations produce morphine.

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The drug is reserved for the sickest people, and there is no marketing effort to expand use.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MOrphine Rwanda makes its own morphine, bypassing dangerous opioid trade Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/world fnc bd072079-a24d-566a-b87a-42a751c5ac56 article   Westlake Legal Group MOrphine Rwanda makes its own morphine, bypassing dangerous opioid trade Frank Miles fox-news/world/world-regions/africa fox-news/topic/opioid-crisis fox-news/health/mental-health/drug-and-substance-abuse fox news fnc/world fnc bd072079-a24d-566a-b87a-42a751c5ac56 article

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Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees

Burning Man organizers sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to recover millions of dollars they say the government has overcharged them in fees over the past seven years at the counter-culture celebration in the Nevada desert.

Black Rock City LLC, the nonprofit that produces the annual Burning Man event, filed the lawsuit Dec. 13 in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Organizers told the Reno Gazette Journal they’re tired of waiting over the past four years for the bureau to provide justification for the nearly $3 million it charges annually for a permit to hold the 80,000-person event in the Black Rock Desert about 100 miles north of Reno.

BURNING MAN FESTIVAL CO-FOUNDER LARRY HARVEY DEAD AT 70

“This case is our attempt to break this cycle,” Burning Man spokeswoman Megan Miller said in an email to the newspaper.

Westlake Legal Group 9fa55fc9-06_rtx3dreu Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 0e282661-7929-5136-bcb6-8e63709d18f4

Burning Man participant Marie Sbrocca of San Francisco explores Black Rock City on her bicycle as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the 1st full day of the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S. August 28, 2017. (REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

The Burning Man organization is seeking “relief from defendants’ ongoing, unlawful and prejudicial conduct towards (Black Rock City LLC) that threatens the viability of the iconic Burning Man event,” the lawsuit said.

Bureau of Land Management officials didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

In recent years, Black Rock City has been required to reimburse the BLM, which provides law enforcement and oversight at the event, for its services and expenses.

CALIFORNIA LAWMAKER SLAMS ‘SLUT-SHAMING’ ATTACKERS THREATENING TO RELEASE HER PHOTOS FROM BURNING MAN

In addition, the group is required to pay a 3 percent gross receipts fee, or a portion of its revenue. In 2018, organizers reported nearly $44 million in revenue from the event.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-77c7637107864a329f0e37534ec67746 Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 0e282661-7929-5136-bcb6-8e63709d18f4

FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2006 file photo, The Man, a stick figured symbol of the Burning Man art festival, is silhouetted against a morning sunrise in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Burning Man organizers say the U.S. government wants to place unreasonable conditions on a proposal to expand the counter-culture festival’s capacity to 100,000, including more security searches and hardened barriers around the perimeter that the agency says would reduce vulnerability to terrorism. (AP Photo/Ron Lewis, File)

Black Rock City earlier this year hired the Washington-based lobbying firm Holland and Knight to take on battles with federal officials, specifically those with the BLM and Department of Interior.

In the past four years, Black Rock City has filed six appeals challenging what it deemed excessive and unjustified costs, according to the lawsuit.

BURNING  MAN ORGANIZERS AWAIT US DECISION ON FESTIVAL-CHANGING MEASURES: ‘IT TAKES COURAGE TO LET US FLOURISH’

Since 2012, the BLM’s costs have been inflated, according to the lawsuit, though the BLM has failed to provide reasoning for increased costs.

In 2012, Burning Man organizers reimbursed the BLM nearly $1.4 million in expenses, a 60 percent year-over-year increase, though the event population increased by only 4 percent that year, according to the lawsuit. The following year, the same bill was $2.9 million, according to the lawsuit.

Westlake Legal Group 03_rtx3dxg5 Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 0e282661-7929-5136-bcb6-8e63709d18f4

A participant wears a mask as he dances as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gathered for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, U.S. August 29, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart FOR USE WITH BURNING MAN RELATED REPORTING ONLY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX3DXG5 (REUTERS/Jim Urquhart)

In three years, the cost recovery charges increased by 291 percent, and the Burning Man event population increased by 39 percent, Black Rock City attorneys said.

FEDERAL AGENCY FRETS ABOUT TERRORISM THREATS AT BURNING MAN

In 2019, the organization paid approximately $2.9 million for the event, excluding the commercial use fee.

The organization is trying to free itself from “this broken and unreasonably burdensome pattern and practice” executed specifically by the permitting district, the Winnemucca District of the Bureau of Land Management, according to the lawsuit.

BURNING MAN 2017: PHOTOS FROM THE FESTIVAL

Organizers tar forced to either “accept BLM’s charges and conditions, however unreasonable, or cancel the already-scheduled Burning Man event,” the lawsuit said.

Westlake Legal Group ap18118739460891 Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 0e282661-7929-5136-bcb6-8e63709d18f4   Westlake Legal Group ap18118739460891 Burning Man organizers sue federal agency over millions in US permit fees fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox-news/entertainment fnc/entertainment fnc Associated Press article 0e282661-7929-5136-bcb6-8e63709d18f4

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Fox News Panel Agree Pelosi Has ‘Every Right’ to Hold Trump Articles of Impeachment From Senate

Westlake Legal Group kiG_QUF0lBs41xJGrAjsYa5YPSEllA1_qLzVewk0FGs Fox News Panel Agree Pelosi Has 'Every Right' to Hold Trump Articles of Impeachment From Senate r/politics

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Jason Riley: GOP Sen. Murkowski using ‘Democratic talking points’ on Trump impeachment trial

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118338665001_6118340535001-vs Jason Riley: GOP Sen. Murkowski using 'Democratic talking points' on Trump impeachment trial fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/republicans fox-news/person/mitch-mcconnell fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 18bcb00b-a569-5a9e-9939-d2960984b90b

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski wrongly used “Democratic talking points” when she criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments about how he would run President Trump’s pending impeachment trial, Fox News contributor Jason Riley said Thursday.

Murkowski took exception to comments McConnell, R-Ky., made during an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this month, in which he promised to be in “coordination” with the White House, should House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., submit the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.

“When I heard that, I was disturbed,” Murkowski told KTUU in an interview that aired Tuesday evening. “To me, it means that we have to take that step back from being hand in glove with the defense. And so, I heard what Leader McConnell had said, I happened to think that that has further confused the process.”

Riley, a Wall Street Journal editorial board member, said on “Special Report” that Murkowski indeed has been known for her “independent streak” as a more-moderate GOP senator.

“Murkowski is not up for reelection. She is quirky, she does have an independent streak. We saw that in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, we saw that in the ObamaCare repeal vote,” he said. Murkowski bucked her party to oppose Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court last year.

MODERATE GOP SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI DISTURBED BY MCCONNELL’S IMPEACHMENT COMMENTS

Riley continued, “I do wish she would stop using Democratic talking points to make the argument that she is making. The fact of the matter here is that the House’s job is done and this idea that they should have any say in how the Senate conducts this trial just is not supported by what is written in black-and-white in the Constitution.”

Riley pointed to the fact that no House Republicans voted with Democrats to impeach Trump, not even retiring lawmakers such as Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., who he said had “nothing to lose” if they broke with their party.

“The idea that Mitch McConnell isn’t going to be bipartisan enough or objective enough, that is not his job. I expect him to be as bipartisan as Nancy Pelosi was and as Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler were,” he added, referring to the speaker and the two committee chairmen who presided over impeachment hearings in a manner widely criticized on the right.

In other remarks, Murkowski said she was “totally good” with being viewed as someone who wasn’t a Republican “rubber stamp.”

“For me to prejudge and say there’s nothing there or on the other hand, he should be impeached yesterday, that’s wrong, in my view, that’s wrong,” she said. “If it means that I am viewed as one who looks openly and critically at every issue in front of me, rather than acting as a rubber stamp for my party or my president, I’m totally good with that.”

However, Murkowski also criticized top Democrats for their rushed schedule, which she said appeared to be aimed at impeaching Trump before the holiday break. “Speaker Pelosi was very clear, very direct that her goal was to get this done before Christmas,” Murkowski said.

Ultimately, she added, “How we will deal with witnesses remains to be seen.”

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On “Special Report,” Hurt said Murkowski’s comments wouldn’t mean much in the big picture, and that the Democrats will still target her seat during her presumptive reelection bid in 2022.

Hurt called the Alaska lawmaker a GOP “outlier” but predicted her state will vote resoundingly to reelect Trump in 2020.

Fox News’ Bret Baier and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.

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