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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 59)

Ted Cruz Becomes Latest Republican To Push Ukraine Election Interference Claim

Westlake Legal Group 5ded59ae21000019fb34f5b4 Ted Cruz Becomes Latest Republican To Push Ukraine Election Interference Claim

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday became the latest Republican to claim Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election ― a theory peddled by Russian officials and discredited by the U.S. intelligence community.

The Senate Judiciary Committee member, during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” attacked the media for believing “nobody else” interfered in the election besides Russia.

“Ukraine blatantly interfered in our election,” Cruz said.

He pointed to an op-ed published in August 2016 by Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S. at the time, as evidence of election meddling.

In his op-ed, Chaly condemned comments Donald Trump made days earlier hinting that he supported the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, which is internationally recognized as a part of Ukraine. 

Republicans seeking to discredit the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump have held up Chaly’s op-ed as so-called evidence of Ukrainian corruption.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 election by hacking the Democratic National Committee’s servers and launching massive misinformation campaigns to benefit then-candidate Trump.

Fiona Hill, the former top Russian expert on the National Security Council, testified last month that the Kremlin is pushing the theory that Ukraine interfered in the election to distract from its own culpability.

Cruz’s comments come a week after Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), during an appearance on “Meet the Press,” claimed former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko “actively worked” for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“You realize the only person selling this argument outside the United States is … Vladimir Putin?” host Chuck Todd asked the senator at the time. “You’ve done exactly what the Russian operation is trying to get American politicians to do.”

Cruz on Sunday defended his Republican colleague against Todd’s criticism and accused the media of “acting like they work for” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).

“Last week, Chuck, you called Sen. John Kennedy basically a stooge for Putin,” he said. “The press needs to stop being ridiculous.”

Asked if he received a briefing from U.S. intelligence officials that explained how Russian agents are pushing the Ukraine interference theory, Cruz said he’s sat in on “multiple briefings” over the years.

“Russia has tried to interfere in our elections,” he said. “China has tried to interfere in our elections. North Korea has tried to interfere in our elections. Ukraine has tried to interfere in our elections. This is not new. 2016 is not the first year they did. And they’re going to keep trying.”

Cruz defended Trump against the ongoing impeachment inquiry into his dealings with Ukraine, saying the president has the “authority” to investigate corruption. House Democratic leaders and several current and former State Department officials say Trump withheld U.S. military aid in an effort to get Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating political rival Joe Biden.

Trump appeared pleased with Cruz’s performance on Sunday, tweeting some of the senator’s quotes from his interview with “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd.”

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Trailer: Gal Gadot Blasts Back Into Action

Westlake Legal Group 5ded697a210000b5f734f5bd ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ Trailer: Gal Gadot Blasts Back Into Action

The fate of the world rests in Wonder Woman’s hands once again.

The first full-length trailer for “Wonder Woman 1984” was unveiled by director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot, who also served as a producer for the sequel, at the Comic Con Experience in São Paolo, Brazil, on Sunday.

Jenkins said that the superhero will be “unleashed on the modern world” in the new film, which boasts real wire work and major stunt moments shot on location around the globe — as opposed to the more typical CGI-heavy effects we’ve come to expect from comic book fare in recent years.

The eye-popping trailer kicks off on a more subdued note with Diana bonding with Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig) — who later becomes one of her greatest foes — about past loves. And before long, Diana’s former flame Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), who seemingly met his end in the first film, blasts in for a brand new adventure. 

Set to the New Order track “Blue Monday,” the trailer thrusts Diana into a bold, new, totally ’80s world, as she kicks butt Amazonian-style, leaping to new heights and putting Thor to shame by seemingly lassoing a bolt of lightning. We also get a peek at Diana’s homeland of Themyscira, where much of the first film was set.

On Sunday, fans were also treated to four new character posters featuring the first look at Wiig’s Barbara Minerva (aka the villain Cheetah); Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord; and Pine in the new film. 

A teaser video featured glimpses of Diana disarming a cadre of gun-toting bad guys whetted fans’ appetites a day before the full trailer dropped.

DC has been expectedly tight-lipped about the next chapter of Diana’s story, which will hit theaters three years after the record-breaking original film. The studio has so far only released a log line that’s light on details:

“Fast forward to the 1980s as Wonder Woman’s next big screen adventure finds her facing an all-new foe: The Cheetah. ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will also be helmed by acclaimed director Patty Jenkins, and star Gal Gadot in the title role. As previously announced, the film also stars Kristen Wiig in the role of the Super-Villain The Cheetah, as well as Pedro Pascal. And Chris Pine returns as Steve Trevor.”

And while the “Wonder Woman 1984” won’t be released until next summer ― it was originally slated to be released this year ― Gadot is already raising expectations that the film is more engrossing than the original. 

“I was so invested even though I shot the whole movie and I read the script a million times and we did it and filmed it for eight whole months,” she said of her experience screening the film for the first time. “All of a sudden seeing all the puzzle pieces coming together and seeing this huge, grand … I called Patty crying.”

She added: “I had an even bigger reaction than I did for the first one.”

“Wonder Woman 1984” arrives in theaters on June 5, 2020.

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Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend’s forehead, report says

A Texas man who police said had a history of violence was arrested on Friday night for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight.

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, of San Antonio, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after an argument over his relationship with Catalina Mireles, 22, turned physical, according to the arrest affidavit.

“He was going to put [me] in the closet until he figured out what he was going to do with my body,” she told KSAT.

NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING PRESUMED TO BE ‘TERRORISM; SAUDI STUDENT RECORDED ATTACK ON VIDEO, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight, San Antonio police said. (Bexar County Central Records)

Mireles told police that on the afternoon of Dec. 5, Hildreth grabbed her by the neck and punched her in the face about 10 times.

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He then grabbed a knife and carved his name into her forehead — leaving the apartment before police arrived, according to the outlet.

An investigation into Hildreth revealed a history of violence, including two outstanding warrants for burglary assault and family violence-strangulation, police told the Houston Chronicle.

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc   Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

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Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend’s forehead, report says

A Texas man who police said had a history of violence was arrested on Friday night for allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight.

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, of San Antonio, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after an argument over his relationship with Catalina Mireles, 22, turned physical, according to the arrest affidavit.

“He was going to put [me] in the closet until he figured out what he was going to do with my body,” she told KSAT.

NAS PENSACOLA SHOOTING PRESUMED TO BE ‘TERRORISM; SAUDI STUDENT RECORDED ATTACK ON VIDEO, OFFICIALS SAY

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

Jackub Jackson Hildreth, 19, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly punching his girlfriend multiple times and carving his name into her forehead during a fight, San Antonio police said. (Bexar County Central Records)

Mireles told police that on the afternoon of Dec. 5, Hildreth grabbed her by the neck and punched her in the face about 10 times.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

He then grabbed a knife and carved his name into her forehead — leaving the apartment before police arrived, according to the outlet.

An investigation into Hildreth revealed a history of violence, including two outstanding warrants for burglary assault and family violence-strangulation, police told the Houston Chronicle.

Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc   Westlake Legal Group Jackub-Jackson-Hildreth-Bexar-County-Central-Records Texas man, 19, allegedly carved his name into girlfriend's forehead, report says fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 848ba502-70bd-59a3-9d49-8957f00022cc

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West Virginia corrections employees fired, suspended after apparent Nazi salute photo, officials say

Three people have been fired and nearly three dozen suspended after a photo emerged showing dozens of employees from a West Virginia corrections officer trainee class appearing to give a Nazi salute, officials said Friday.

Two training instructors and one cadet were fired after the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety released the image Thursday, Secretary Jeff Sandy said.

A total of 34 other employees, including the trainees in the photo, were suspended without pay.

Westlake Legal Group 191205-conduct-unbecoming-officers-ac-618p_47069b1b514e74206aec7df3ca12ad90.fit-1240w-1 West Virginia corrections employees fired, suspended after apparent Nazi salute photo, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a7a2f6dc-af03-54d2-9fdf-26b994bb38d6

Multiple people have been either fired or suspended in connection with a photo that appeared to show corrections trainees giving a Nazi salute.  (West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety)

The image showed more than two dozen trainees with their arms raised and faces blurred. The text “Hail Byrd” could be read above the group.

An agency spokesman said that was a reference to the trainees’ instructor. The photo was taken at Glenville State College, about 100 miles northeast of Charleston, he said.

“I cannot stress enough how this betrays the high standards and professionalism of the men and women of corrections, who successfully carry out their vital and daunting public safety mission every day and around the clock,” Sandy said, later adding that the cadets had undergone training to identify white-supremacist groups.

Sandy released a memo before the photo was made public describing the image of Basic Training Class Number 18 as “distasteful” and “completely inappropriate.”

DATA LEAK FROM NEO-NAZI WEBSITE MAY REVEAL PERSONAL INFORMATION ON EXTREMISTS, REPORTS SAY 

Many elected officials, religious leaders and advocacy groups in the area have condemned the image. Gov. Jim Justice has called for all those involved to be fired.

“This is intolerable to every single breathing human being within this state,” Justice, a Republican, said at a news conference Friday.

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Sandy’s memo ordered all copies of the picture destroyed or taken out of circulation. He said an ongoing investigation has included more than 50 interviews at the training academy at Glenville State and elsewhere for an investigative report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 191205-conduct-unbecoming-officers-ac-618p_47069b1b514e74206aec7df3ca12ad90.fit-1240w-1 West Virginia corrections employees fired, suspended after apparent Nazi salute photo, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a7a2f6dc-af03-54d2-9fdf-26b994bb38d6   Westlake Legal Group 191205-conduct-unbecoming-officers-ac-618p_47069b1b514e74206aec7df3ca12ad90.fit-1240w-1 West Virginia corrections employees fired, suspended after apparent Nazi salute photo, officials say fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/west-virginia fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article a7a2f6dc-af03-54d2-9fdf-26b994bb38d6

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Rebel Wilson admits she’s ‘never been drunk’

Westlake Legal Group 602bb0d4-rebel-wilson-ap Rebel Wilson admits she's 'never been drunk' Nate Day fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5e1f49b5-9a36-5293-be80-cd1bd66ee3a1

Rebel Wilson has opened up about her drinking habits.

The “Pitch Perfect” star visited “The Late Late Show with James Corden” to dish on her upcoming film “Cats,” when she revealed that she’s never actually been drunk in her life.

“Fun fact,” said the 39-year-old actress. “I’ve never been drunk in my whole entire life.”

‘ALADDIN’ SPINOFF RECEIVES BACKLASH AFTER STAR MENA MASSOUD SAYS HE CAN’T FIND WORK

After silence from the audience, she added: “That’s not a joke.”

Country crooner Kacey Musgraves, who was also visiting the show, said, “Wait, no,” while Corden‘s jaw dropped.

“I cultivate this ‘party girl’ image, like, on Instagram and stuff, but it’s not true,” Wilson admitted. “It’s just, like, me with bottles. It’s an internal joke with myself.”

According to E! News, Wilson learned in school that alcohol killed brain cells, so she never tried it before she was 25. In Australia, the actress’s home country, the legal drinking age is 18.

JULIA STILES REMEMBERS WORKING WITH HEATH LEDGER: ‘HE WAS JUST PHENOMENAL’

Wilson also recently sat down with Cosmopolitan to dish on “Cats” and the backlash the initial trailer received after viewers were shocked to see the human-like cats featured in the film.

“I loved the reaction,” she admitted. “I think it was a bit polarizing and people will be super curious to see the finished product. What you got in that trailer was just some small samples of it, but it’s going to be such a big movie.”

Wilson herself wasn’t shocked by the final product at all, however.

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“To me, it looked like how I thought it would look,” she said. “What’s so brilliant about the movie is the dancing, it’s got some of the world’s best dancers, from ballet dancers to hip hop dancers… Oh, and tap dancers! It’s incredible. I can’t wait for people to see those big numbers on the big screen.”

“Cats,” also starring Corden, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo and more, is slated to arrive in theaters Dec. 20.

Westlake Legal Group 602bb0d4-rebel-wilson-ap Rebel Wilson admits she's 'never been drunk' Nate Day fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5e1f49b5-9a36-5293-be80-cd1bd66ee3a1   Westlake Legal Group 602bb0d4-rebel-wilson-ap Rebel Wilson admits she's 'never been drunk' Nate Day fox-news/food-drink/drinks fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5e1f49b5-9a36-5293-be80-cd1bd66ee3a1

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Jennifer Lopez breaks out iconic Versace dress for ‘SNL’: ‘Some people say I look better now’

Turn’s out that Jennifer Lopez‘s iconic green Versace dress from 2000 is just as ageless as she is.

The star served as the host of “Saturday Night Live,” where she performed her monologue, capping it off by stripping out of her tuxedo, revealing the dress she famously wore to the Grammys in 2000.

In the monologue, Lopez, 50, reflected on her exciting year, recounting her engagement, the success of her film “Hustlers” and modeling in Milan, and wearing an updated version of the green dress, known for showing plenty of skin.

BEN AFFLECK’S EXES JENNIFER LOPEZ, LINDSAY SHOOKUS HAVE DINNER TOGETHER

“I walked the runway in Milan, wearing a dress I wore 20 years ago,” the singer remembered.

“Some people say I look better now than I did then. I’m not bragging, that’s just, you know, gossip,” Lopez joked.

The monologue concluded with a performance of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” alongside the Rockettes before strutting her stuff in the Donatella Versace-designed dress.

KIM KARDASHIAN RECALLS EMBARASSING INTRODUCTION TO JENNIFER LOPEZ

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-50454022 Jennifer Lopez breaks out iconic Versace dress for 'SNL': 'Some people say I look better now' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1c3382-a4da-568e-8622-090310de6a4f article

Jennifer Lopez’s Donna Versace palm-print silk chiffon dress caused a star at the Grammy Awards in 2000. (Mirek Towski/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images, File)

She last showed off the updated version of the dress, jungle-print with a deep V-cut stretching to her waist, this past September before posing with Donatella Versace, 64, for photos.

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Lopez shared a video of her runway appearance on Instagram, captioning it: “So this just happened…”

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-AP Jennifer Lopez breaks out iconic Versace dress for 'SNL': 'Some people say I look better now' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1c3382-a4da-568e-8622-090310de6a4f article   Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-AP Jennifer Lopez breaks out iconic Versace dress for 'SNL': 'Some people say I look better now' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/saturday-night-live fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment/genres/late-night fox-news/entertainment/genres/comedy fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fe1c3382-a4da-568e-8622-090310de6a4f article

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Mueller allegations ‘on the table’ in possible impeachment articles, Cicilline says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114031325001_6114032298001-vs Mueller allegations 'on the table' in possible impeachment articles, Cicilline says Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 08969df2-d6d0-5e95-88c9-07d1ba3552a0

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, revealed that when he and his colleagues draft articles of impeachment against President Trump, the scope may go beyond the president’s request for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and may include allegations stemming from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Democrats mostly had stopped talking about the Mueller probe, which concluded that there was a lack of evidence to support allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, but made no decision on alleged obstruction of justice.

During a recent impeachment hearing, however, Democrats laid the groundwork for bringing Mueller’s finding into impeachment efforts. Cicilline all but confirmed that articles of impeachment could draw on Mueller’s investigation.

ESPER : DELAY OF UKRAINE AID DID NOT HAVE ‘ANY IMPACT ON U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY’

“I think all of the potential articles of impeachment are on the table,” Cicilline told “Fox News Sunday” when specifically asked about the Mueller’s findings. He noted that he thought the Mueller report, taken in conjunction with the House Intelligence Committee’s report on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, “will demonstrate and does demonstrate a pattern of behavior” in seeking election assistance from foreign powers.

While recognizing that a possible Trump impeachment may go beyond the issues covered in the Intelligence Committee’s report — which was based on a fact-finding inquiry that included public hearings and closed-door interviews — Cicilline would not comment on when his committee would hold a vote. He also appeared hesitant to state whether there would be enough votes in the House even to impeach Trump at all.

“I don’t think we know the timing of it,” he said. “We’re going to receive the evidence carefully, we’re going to evaluate that evidence as it applies to the law that is set forth in the Constitution and make a judgment about what articles of impeachment, but the timetable, I think, is less clear.”

When asked if he believed there was enough support for impeachment among his own party, Cicilline initially appeared to dodge the question by saying that the evidence “is overwhelming and uncontested,” before anchor Chris Wallace cut him off and pressed the issue.

Cicilline then said he expected the “vast majority” of Democrats to “accept that evidence” and “move forward with impeachment.”

MIKE PENCE: NOT A ‘FOREGONE CONCLUSION’ DEMS WILL SECURE IMPEACHMENT VOTES

Wallace also asked the congressman about the latest developments involving Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., releasing phone logs of calls that Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and his staff had with Rudy Giuliani and his associate Lev Parnas, who has since faced criminal charges for alleged campaign-finance violations. Records between Nunes’ office and reporter John Solomon also were released.

Cicilline denied there was any problem with a congressional leader subpoenaing and releasing records of the private calls of a colleague on the other side of the aisle.

“Look, the Intelligence Committee has the solemn responsibility of collecting evidence relevant to the impeachment inquiry — all the evidence,” he said, adding that its process was “lawful” and the “real question” was why Nunes’ office was engaged in these communications.

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Nunes told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he intended to take legal action against Schiff for this.

“You cannot release somebody’s phone records, so for sure, that right has been violated,” Nunes said, referring to California state law. “But, we also have to look at the constitutional aspects of this.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114031325001_6114032298001-vs Mueller allegations 'on the table' in possible impeachment articles, Cicilline says Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 08969df2-d6d0-5e95-88c9-07d1ba3552a0   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114031325001_6114032298001-vs Mueller allegations 'on the table' in possible impeachment articles, Cicilline says Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/robert-mueller fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 08969df2-d6d0-5e95-88c9-07d1ba3552a0

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Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114034187001_6114035900001-vs Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48633747-7025-5682-9745-71dea67044f2

House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is looking to fight back after Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., subpoenaed and released his phone records in connection with the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Nunes on Sunday warned his fellow Republicans that the same thing could happen to them, although he pointed out various legal grounds he was exploring to prevent this from happening again.

“I’m in California, so for sure, state law, you cannot release somebody’s phone records. So, for sure, that right has been violated. But, we also have to look at the constitutional aspects of this, and do all the members of Congress have a right to privacy, and can just one member, because he doesn’t like someone and he’s a political opponent of someone, can that member just subpoena records and then release just to embarrass or to create a distraction or to build whatever fantasy-land narrative that they continue to build?”

LINDSEY GRAHAM TORCHES SCHIFF OVER IMPEACHMENT TACTICS: HE ‘IS DOING A LOT OF DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY, AND HE NEEDS TO STOP’

Nunes pushed back against claims that the records were in connection to the Republican trying to get an ambassador fired, insisting that if he wanted to do this, he would be able to call Trump directly, “and I’m quite sure the president would probably listen to me.”

One of the individuals linked to Nunes’ office through the phone records was Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who recently was indicted over alleged campaign-finance violations.

Nunes explained how he came to be linked to Parnas. “I got a call from a number that was Parnas’ wife. I remember talking to someone and I did what I always do, which is if I don’t know who they are, you put them to staff and you let staff work with that person,” he said.

Nunes noted that his office went through all of their records, and “we have no information from Parnas. We have no documents, we have nothing. We have no emails, so there’s nothing that we have in our control from Parnas.”

The Republican insisted Democrats were targeting him because “they don’t like that we exposed them for the Russia hoax that they were involved in, that’s what this is about.”

Later in the interview, Nunes addressed the Russia investigation again, in light of the pending release of the report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz about possible Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA] abuse by the FBI during the probe.

The report, which is expected to be released Monday, may confirm or refute assertions made by Republicans and Trump regarding the acquisition of a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

Nunes was at the forefront of the GOP’s attack on the FBI’s methods, claiming they misrepresented evidence and left out exculpatory information about Page that affected the court’s decision to grant the warrant and subsequent renewals.

“They key is whether or not what the House Intelligence Committee Republicans gave to the American people in February of ’18, whether or not that was true or not true,” Nunes said referring to his claims about possible FBI misconduct. “The additional evidence that Horowitz comes up with, that’ll be great for us, because we’re really interested if he found the exculpatory evidence that wasn’t provided to the FISA court.

“We also want to know if he got to the bottom of the insurance policy. So, we know what the insurance policy is, it’s something very specific. We want to know if he got to the bottom of that.” This likely was a reference to the mention of an “insurance policy” against Trump that was discussed in text messages between former FBI attorney Lisa Page and agent Peter Strzok, who both worked on the investigation. Strzok was removed from the investigation after his politically charged messages were discovered, and he was fired after a watchdog report found his political leanings could have influenced his work.

Nunes signaled he was not overly eager with anticipation of the upcoming report, noting that it was very limited in scope.

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“He’s only looking at FISA abuse. All of that evidence needs to be sent to Durham, the U.S. Attorney from Connecticut.” U.S. Attorney John Durham has been tasked with a more comprehensive investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation. Unlike Horowitz, Durham has the authority to file criminal charges.

“That’s ultimately going to be the key,” Nunes said, “is, what does Durham find in looking at this entire debacle, which is targeting a political campaign by the FBI and the Department of Justice.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114034187001_6114035900001-vs Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48633747-7025-5682-9745-71dea67044f2   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114034187001_6114035900001-vs Nunes looks at legal options after Schiff releases phone records in impeachment inquiry Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/politics fnc article 48633747-7025-5682-9745-71dea67044f2

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This Man May Be Big Tech’s Biggest Threat

Westlake Legal Group 00cicilline-facebookJumbo This Man May Be Big Tech’s Biggest Threat Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures Google Inc Facebook Inc Cicilline, David N Apple Inc Antitrust Laws and Competition Issues Amazon.com Inc

WASHINGTON — At a hearing this summer about the rising power of the country’s biggest tech companies, Representative David Cicilline zeroed in on Amazon. Unhappy with a response from one of the company’s top lawyers, he delivered a biting retort.

“I may remind you, sir: You are under oath,” Mr. Cicilline said.

Tech companies are under various antitrust investigations, including by the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general. Those inquiries could lead to lawsuits against the companies to enforce existing laws.

But Mr. Cicilline has a more ambitious goal — one that may be the greater threat, in the long run, to Big Tech’s practices and profits. He’s trying to build evidence, and a bipartisan consensus, for changing the laws themselves.

When his party took control of the House this year, Mr. Cicilline, a five-term Rhode Island Democrat, became chairman of the subcommittee that oversees antitrust law. In June, he opened an investigation into possible anticompetitive practices by Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.

Under his direction, the panel has held hearings and collected thousands of documents from the companies. The lawmakers have requested countless more records, including emails among top executives.

He has made clear to the companies that he is not messing around. When he found the July testimony of industry witnesses incomplete, Mr. Cicilline sent the companies follow-up questions. His list: 181 questions for Google, 45 for Facebook, 158 for Amazon and 43 for Apple.

“We’re the only group,” the 58-year-old lawmaker said in a recent interview, “that has the ability to actually propose the solution.”

Antitrust experts say this is the most serious congressional inquiry into potential anticompetitive corporate behavior in decades. Among the people at Mr. Cicilline’s side are Slade Bond, the subcommittee’s top lawyer, and Lina Khan, a young antitrust scholar whose writing makes the case for curbing Big Tech’s market power.

“There’s a long game being played here — interrogate, educate and prepare for antitrust reform,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, an antitrust expert at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Mr. Cicilline seems an unlikely inquisitor of Big Tech. He is a criminal defense lawyer turned politician — in the Rhode Island General Assembly, as mayor of Providence and then in Congress. He has no track record in antitrust.

But people familiar with Mr. Cicilline are not really surprised by his recent turn. Darrell West has closely followed Mr. Cicilline’s career since the early 1980s, when Mr. West was a young assistant professor of political science at Brown University and Mr. Cicilline was his student.

The political scientist’s report card on Mr. Cicilline: intelligent and hardworking with grade-A political instincts.

His sure sense of political timing was notably evident when Mr. Cicilline ran to unseat Vincent A. Cianci Jr., the longtime Providence mayor known as Buddy. Mr. Cicilline announced his candidacy before Mr. Cianci was indicted on racketeering charges, Mr. West recalled. Mr. Cicilline was elected to the first of his two terms as mayor in 2002, while Mr. Cianci went to federal prison.

“I’ve always been impressed by how canny he is at sizing up the moment,” said Mr. West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution. “We’re seeing that now again.”

After the 2016 election, with Donald J. Trump in the White House and Republicans in the majority in the House, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, urged Mr. Cicilline to become the ranking minority member on the antitrust subcommittee. Mr. Cicilline said he was reluctant at first. Antitrust had been dormant in Congress for years.

But as they talked, Mr. Cicilline became convinced that the stagnant incomes of middle-class workers and the growing wealth gap in America were at least partly related to an increasing concentration of economic power. He decided to take on the assignment.

Over the next two years, one antitrust topic kept coming up: the market clout of the tech giants. Until then, most of Mr. Cicilline’s experience with tech had been as a consumer. He drives a Tesla, writes his own tweets, and sometimes buys books and movies on Amazon.

“The more I learned, the more alarming it became,” Mr. Cicilline said.

His panel plans to complete its investigation and publish its findings and recommendations early next year. The prospect for legislative action someday hinges on several unknowns. The most significant include what the subcommittee finds, the 2020 election results and the strength of public support for curbing the tech giants.

There is no realistic chance that antitrust legislation will be taken up next year, in the heat of a presidential election campaign. But the House investigation does point to a renewed congressional interest in the economic and social impact of concentrated market power and wealth, after years of neglect.

In the past, congressional inquiries laid the foundation for antitrust reform. Investigations led by Senator Philip A. Hart, a Michigan Democrat, in the 1960s and 1970s paved the way for antitrust actions in industries from telephones to breakfast cereals, and for new legislation that strengthened oversight of corporate mergers. They also led to new powers for the Justice Department.

“That was a major contribution to antitrust enforcement, and today’s House investigation could be an important step in the same direction,” said William Kovacic, a law professor at George Washington University and a former chairman of the F.T.C.

The congressional antitrust revival is not just a preoccupation of Democrats like Mr. Cicilline. Republicans also say it is time for scrutiny of the tech companies.

In September, when the House team sent lengthy information requests to the chief executives of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple, the letters bore the signatures of four congressmen: Mr. Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee; Doug Collins of Georgia, the ranking Republican on Judiciary; Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on the antitrust subcommittee; and Mr. Cicilline.

At the hearings, the comments and questions from the Republican and Democrats have shown divisions. The Republicans emphasize that being big is not being bad and that success should not be punished. The Democrats speak of competitors stifled and consumers exploited.

They do share concerns. “These are some of the largest and most powerful companies in the world, and it’s important for us to understand the dynamics of this new industry,” Mr. Collins said in an interview.

Specifically, he said, the tech giants should be restrained from buying up nascent competitors.

In their investigations of Facebook, the F.T.C. and the states are examining that issue. Did the social network buy Instagram, the photo-sharing service, and WhatsApp, the messaging service, as steps in a strategy to squelch emerging rivals?

Limiting the freedom of large tech companies to acquire upstart competitors, legal experts say, would require modifying the antitrust laws.

In the House hearings, the topic of “predatory acquisitions” has come up repeatedly. Another idea discussed by some expert witnesses at the House hearings is the creation of a new regulator empowered to respond more quickly to allegations of anticompetitive behavior.

Antitrust traditionalists regard both proposals with skepticism. The changes would be a shift from the current enforcement model, in which courts rule on individual cases. Instead, government officials would need to predict the path of innovation, said Maureen Ohlhausen, a former F.T.C. commissioner who testified at one of the hearings led by Mr. Cicilline.

“That’s what markets are good at, not government,” said Ms. Ohlhausen, a partner at Baker Botts, echoing the view of the tech companies and free-market adherents.

Mr. Nadler, Mr. Cicilline’s boss as head of the Judiciary Committee, was reluctant to say where the inquiry would lead. He called the investigation “the beginning of a long process.”

Not even Mr. Cicilline is sure where it will go.

“It’s fairly easy to identify the challenges,” he said. “Crafting the solutions is much more difficult.”

But he is glad that he agreed to Mr. Nadler’s recommendation.

“It turned out, of course, to be a really good decision,” Mr. Cicilline said.

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