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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 87)

Florida inmate caught on camera punching deputy in the face multiple times, faces further charges

A Florida inmate whose brutal assault on a deputy inside a jail on Tuesday was caught on camera will face further charges, and a sheriff vowed the “violent” man would be “prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

Michler Gabriel, 38, was being escorted by a detention deputy at the Orient Road Jail in Tampa at around 11:15 a.m. when he refused to back away from a jail pod door as it was being opened, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

FLORIDA MAN ATTEMPTS TO HIDE UNDERWATER FROM COPS, GETS ARRESTED AFTER COMING UP FOR AIR, POLICE SAY

The video, released by the sheriff’s office on Wednesday, shows the deputy trying to get Gabriel to step back from the door. As he points to where Gabriel should stand, the inmate punches the deputy in the face multiple times, knocking the deputy against a wall.

A second deputy is seen bolting through the door and helping the first deputy restrain Gabriel. Several other deputies arrived at the scene as Gabriel was restrained and taken away.

Westlake Legal Group Gabriel-Michler-surveillance2 Florida inmate caught on camera punching deputy in the face multiple times, faces further charges Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d9ec9066-8c2e-549f-a5ba-bace7478f3d9 article

Michler was seen on camera punching the deputy in the face several times. (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

The injured deputy suffered bruising, swelling and lacerations, and was treated at Tampa General Hospital, officials told FOX13 Tampa.

Sheriff Chad Chronister highlighted the incident as one of the many everyday dangers deputies face to protect the public.

CALIFORNIA STOREOWNER ACCUSED OF INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR ATTACKS LOCAL MEDIA IN FRONT OF BUSINESS 

“This is a prime example of the dangerous environment deputies willingly go into every day in order to keep violent people like Michler Gabriel off of our streets,” he said in a statement.

“I will not tolerate anyone who would have such a lack of respect for another human being, especially for someone who selflessly serves the citizens of Hillsborough County,” Chronister continued. “While I am thankful that the deputy involved was not seriously hurt, we will make sure that Gabriel is prosecuted to the fullest extent for his actions.”

Westlake Legal Group Gabriel-Michler Florida inmate caught on camera punching deputy in the face multiple times, faces further charges Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d9ec9066-8c2e-549f-a5ba-bace7478f3d9 article

Gabriel faces new felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and battery by a detained person following the attack, the sheriff’s office said. (Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Gabriel was already being held in jail on charges of driving with a suspended license, possession of a controlled substance, armed trafficking and felon in possession of a firearm.

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He now faces additional felony charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and battery by a detained person.

Westlake Legal Group Gabriel-Michler-surveillance-inset Florida inmate caught on camera punching deputy in the face multiple times, faces further charges Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d9ec9066-8c2e-549f-a5ba-bace7478f3d9 article   Westlake Legal Group Gabriel-Michler-surveillance-inset Florida inmate caught on camera punching deputy in the face multiple times, faces further charges Stephen Sorace fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc d9ec9066-8c2e-549f-a5ba-bace7478f3d9 article

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Senators Struggle With ‘Digital Detox’ During Trump Impeachment Trial

WASHINGTON ― A few hours after the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump began in earnest, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was feeling pretty good. Sure, it’s an adjustment to sit on the floor of the Senate for hour after hour while disconnected from your digital portal to the outside world, probably even more so when you’re in the midst of running a presidential campaign. But Klobuchar said the ban on cell phones in the Senate chamber throughout Trump’s impeachment trial was probably for the best.

“That was not something I was used to,” Klobuchar told HuffPost of the “digital detox” on Tuesday afternoon. “It’ll be good for everyone, they can actually look at each other.”

Yet as the night wore on, Klobuchar ― like a number of senators who sat through hours of floor debate ―  seemed to struggle to disconnect. A HuffPost reporter spotted her pacing inside the Democratic cloakroom off of the floor of the Senate chamber during the proceeding late Tuesday evening, clutching an electronic device.

Almost universally, senators said that the ban on electronic devices throughout the lengthy trial is the right thing, even if they’ve had a tough time adjusting.

“I think it’s actually good,” said Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.). “It does enhance our ability to concentrate and I’m taking lots of notes. So it can’t hurt to be away from the devices for a while.”

“It’s a little hard,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “But it makes us focus on what’s going on.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e278b46240000bc03c96e93 Senators Struggle With ‘Digital Detox’ During Trump Impeachment Trial

Bill Clark via Getty Images A storage unit for phones stands next to the entrance of the Senate chamber on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Electronic devices are not allowed in the chamber for the Senate impeachment trial.

“Like every American who has an electronic, I suppose the first day we’ll have a little withdrawal, but we’ll be fine,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.). “I’m ready to sit there as long as I need to.”

“Many of my junior staff were concerned and alarmed. ‘How will you make it?’” said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.). “I reminded them that I made it through all of law school without a cell phone, without an iPad. We may actually be able to focus more. It will be a needed digital cleanse.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a Senate veteran who served during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial, stopped by the press pen during the first recess to convey how he and his colleagues felt getting their phones back. Reporters said he demonstrated this with a Gollum impression from “Lord of the Rings” while stroking his phone: “Oh, my precious.”

In the first 24 hours of the impeachment trial, the Senate chamber took on a bit of a college lecture hall vibe, albeit one where attentive pages judiciously fill senators’ water cups and pass them notes from their staff.

Some senators, like Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), studiously scribbled notes. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) twiddled his thumbs. Sen. Ted Cruz (D-Texas) played with his beard. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) brought a stack of napkins he used as tissues. And there were those who skirted the rules a bit: Roll Call counted seven senators with Apple Watches. 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) took a big yawn, pulled on his socks, and took a series of slow, heavy blinks. Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) rubbed his eyes. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) paced around and stretched out his legs. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) scanned the mostly empty gallery above the chamber. Sen. Sanders massaged his temples, rubbed his eyes and forehead with both hands, brushed off his lapels, and yawned. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) appeared to be laying down in the Democratic cloakroom. Sen. James E. Risch (R-Idaho) was also spotted dozing. 

Westlake Legal Group 5e2784f72100002e00fffc22 Senators Struggle With ‘Digital Detox’ During Trump Impeachment Trial

Tom Brenner / Reuters U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks to members of the news media during the Senate Impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

By Wednesday, as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) laid out the case for Trump’s removal from office, a number of senators appeared a bit better rested, if slightly bored. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) rubbed his hands and eyes. Sanders blew his nose. And Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) shifted in his seat and scanned the room, but perked up when Schiff played a clip of Trump asking Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign. “Russia, if you’re listening,” Trump’s voice boomed in the chamber as Graham smiled and nodded, “I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Igor Bobic, Arthur Delaney and Josie Harvey contributed to this story.

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Oprah Winfrey talks Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s Megxit plans: ‘That’s his decision for his family’

Oprah Winfrey opened up about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from their senior royal duties, arguing that no one should criticize them for doing what’s best for their family.

The 65-year-old spoke with TMZ in New York City Tuesday night where she candidly shared her thoughts on the Megxit news as well as the media’s reaction to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s plan to relinquish most of their royal duties, live financially independent of the crown, give up their “royal highness” titles and live part-time in Canada.

“I support them 1,000 percent,” the star told the outlet.

MEGHAN MARKLE WOULD BE WELCOMED IN HOLLYWOOD WITH OPEN ARMS, EXPERTS SAY: ‘WE’D ALL RUN TO THE PHONE’

Oprah explained that she supports them because she believes that the couple has thought about this for several months, noting the queen’s statement on the matter referencing the amount of time and thought that was put into the decision. As a result, she thinks that Harry isn’t being reactive but is actually making a calculated decision for his family.

Westlake Legal Group Oprah-Winfrey-Getty Oprah Winfrey talks Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Megxit plans: 'That’s his decision for his family' Tyler McCarthy fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/person/oprah-winfrey fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c89a11db-9559-501d-ba00-2571deb6d830 article

Oprah Winfrey gave her candid thoughts on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘Megxit’ news. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for THR)

She continued: “So, when you’ve thought about it for months and what Harry said in that charity statement the other day … The last line of his statement where he said that he had to make the decision to back away from his family in order to move forward in peace with his new family. I mean … I don’t know how they came up with those words, but who doesn’t feel that?”

The former talk show host went on to explain that she doesn’t believe that anyone is in a position to judge Harry or Meghan for the Megxit choice.

OPRAH SAYS RUSSELL SIMMONS ‘ATTEMPTED TO PRESSURE’ HER OUT OF PRODUCING SEX ASSAULT DOCUMENTARY

“I’m saying he did what he needed to do for his family, and that’s all I will say about that and I don’t think anybody, anybody else has any right to say anything,” Oprah concluded. “That’s his decision for his family.”

Although Oprah has been a friend to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the past, TMZ notes that her unequivocal support could have something to do with the fact that she and Harry are partnered on a business venture to create a documentary series on mental health for Apple‘s new streaming service.

The documentary builds on Harry’s work on mental health issues, which included work with brother Prince William and his wife, Kate, in their Heads Together campaign.

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Harry says the series will share “global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places” and the “opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better.”

Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-oprah-reuters-ap Oprah Winfrey talks Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Megxit plans: 'That’s his decision for his family' Tyler McCarthy fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/person/oprah-winfrey fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c89a11db-9559-501d-ba00-2571deb6d830 article   Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-oprah-reuters-ap Oprah Winfrey talks Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's Megxit plans: 'That’s his decision for his family' Tyler McCarthy fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/person/oprah-winfrey fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc c89a11db-9559-501d-ba00-2571deb6d830 article

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Michael Goodwin: Dems’ handling of Senate impeachment trial must have Founding Fathers rolling in their graves

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125593450001_6125592755001-vs Michael Goodwin: Dems' handling of Senate impeachment trial must have Founding Fathers rolling in their graves Michael Goodwin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8d53fd7e-c3ab-5144-81c5-de464f3472ff

Near the end of his inflammatory opening remarks Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer tried his best to scale the rhetorical heights. He declared the moment “deep and solemn” and said, “The eyes of the Founding Fathers are upon us.”

If they’re watching, they’re probably rolling over in their graves. Day One of the Trump impeachment trial couldn’t possibly be what they had in mind.

SCHUMER SAYS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL STARTING UNDER ‘CLOUD OF UNFAIRNESS’

Yes, it was that bad, as history gave way to histrionics.

It is said that Schumer has brought the raw partisan sensibility of the House to the Senate, and that’s not a compliment. His gratuitously nasty speech illustrated the point and set the tone for the dispiriting day.

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He called the rules approved by the GOP majority a “national disgrace” and said of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s claim that the rules create a level playing field, “I’m amazed he could say it with a straight face.”

Schumer was just getting warmed up. He next accused President Trump of “blackmail of a foreign country” and of committing a “crime against democracy itself,” insisting, “I can’t imagine any other president doing this.”

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Schumer’s bare-knuckle approach immediately dashed the faintest hope that the proceedings would reflect the gravity of the moment and explain the unprecedented effort to remove a president in an election year.

Instead, Schumer picked up exactly where the House left off, injecting venom into every sentence and inflating his accusations far beyond what is contained in the actual articles of impeachment.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING MICHAEL GOODWIN’S COLUMN IN THE NEW YORK POST

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM MICHAEL GOODWIN

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125593450001_6125592755001-vs Michael Goodwin: Dems' handling of Senate impeachment trial must have Founding Fathers rolling in their graves Michael Goodwin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8d53fd7e-c3ab-5144-81c5-de464f3472ff   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6125593450001_6125592755001-vs Michael Goodwin: Dems' handling of Senate impeachment trial must have Founding Fathers rolling in their graves Michael Goodwin fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/chuck-schumer fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 8d53fd7e-c3ab-5144-81c5-de464f3472ff

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Democrats Hammer Case Against Trump In Senate Trial Opening Arguments

Westlake Legal Group 5e289ff12100007802ffffeb Democrats Hammer Case Against Trump In Senate Trial Opening Arguments

WASHINGTON ― Democrats opened their arguments in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump on Wednesday by laying out a crucial part of the charges against the president: that he put his own interest above the national interest by freezing aid to Ukraine in order to aid his reelection.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead House impeachment manager, described a brazen scheme personally directed by Trump and aided by his personal lawyer and top administration officials to pressure the Ukrainian government to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic front-runner in the 2020 presidential race.

“The U.S. aids Ukraine and its people so they can fight Russia over there and we don’t have to fight them here,” Schiff explained, arguing that Trump’s dealings with Ukraine hindered the United States’ ability to check the Kremlin’s influence and aggression across the globe.

“If this conduct is not impeachable, then nothing is,” Schiff added. “The president was the key player in the scheme. Everyone was in the loop.”

As part of their presentation on the Senate floor, the House managers made extensive use of video, including footage of Trump’s many statements that he wanted Ukraine and China to investigate Biden and his son Hunter.

Wednesday is the first of as many as three days of Democratic arguments, to be followed by up to three days of counterarguments by the president’s lawyers. Senators will then get to ask questions of both sides, and after that the Senate will vote on whether to have witnesses. If the Senate decides not to call witnesses, the trial could be over as soon as next week.

To convict Trump and remove him from office, Democrats would need to convince 20 Republicans to break rank. It’s going to be difficult for Schiff to do, if early comments are any indication ― the GOP senators who have spoken up haven’t said they were at all convinced of the charges.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said he was “not optimistic” about getting even the four Republicans that Democrats would need in order to win a witness vote because of how Republicans unanimously opposed Democratic motions to subpoena testimony during a marathon session Tuesday night. Only two GOP senators have said they are likely to support calling witnesses after opening arguments: Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah.

“Being in the room last night was not even in the slightest encouraging because the lockstep vote after vote after vote” by Republicans against the Democratic amendments, Coons said.

Hearing from witnesses like John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, could be difficult even if enough Republicans defect and vote to subpoena his testimony. Trump on Tuesday claimed that allowing Bolton to testify would be a “national security problem” ― suggesting he may assert executive privilege to block him from doing so. Resolving the dispute over privilege would likely require taking the matter to court and possibly take weeks.

During a caucus lunch on Wednesday before the trial began, Senate Republicans heard from former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served under George W. Bush, about “the importance of executive privilege to a president,” according to NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Emails Show Budget Office Working to Carry Out Ukraine Aid Freeze

Westlake Legal Group 22dc-emails-facebookJumbo Emails Show Budget Office Working to Carry Out Ukraine Aid Freeze Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sandy, Mark Steven Portman, Rob Office of Management and Budget (US) Defense Department Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

The same morning last July when President Trump had his fateful call with Ukraine’s president, White House officials were working behind the scenes to impose the freeze sought by the president on military assistance to Ukraine, reviewing the legal wording they would use to implement the hold, emails released late Tuesday night show.

The emails were released as a result of a Freedom of Information lawsuit, even as the Senate was rejecting a series of resolutions introduced by Democrats intended to force the disclosure of some of these same materials from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and other agencies involved in the aid freeze.

The 192 pages of documents, released just before a midnight deadline to the nonprofit group American Oversight, do not contain major new revelations in terms of the participants in the aid freeze or the sequence of events beyond what had been detailed by The New York Times in the last month based on interviews and documents.

But it does offer new evidence of the friction between the Defense Department and the White House as the aid freeze dragged on through the summer, and the confusion and surprise when members of Congress, including some prominent Republicans, learned that the military assistance to Ukraine had been held up.

An aide to Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leader of group that promotes Ukraine’s interests in the Senate, wrote on Aug. 23 to Michael P. Duffey, a political appointee from the Office of Management and Budget who instituted the freeze.

The aide noted that Mr. Portman “is very interested in ensuring Ukraine has the military capabilities it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression,” adding that “I would appreciate if you could lay out for me the reason behind the O.M.B. hold and what the process is for getting the funding released.”

Calls and emails for an explanation also had come in from Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Representative Mac Thornberry, Republican of Texas, the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, the emails show.

The White House aides, in the documents, did not offer an explanation for the aid freeze, and instead simply worked to figure out who should respond.

The friction with the Pentagon was obvious in email exchanges between the Office of Management and Budget and a senior Pentagon official, Elaine McCusker, a deputy under secretary of defense who oversees spending.

On August 20, Mr. Duffey wrote to Ms. McCusker to notify her that the aid freeze was going to be extended again, long past the deadline when the Pentagon had said it needed the hold to be lifted if it was going to be able to spend all of the money before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

“It is our intent to add the following footnote to the Ukraine apportionment this afternoon to take effect immediately,” Mr. Duffey said in his email to Ms. McCusker, explaining the technical process the White House was using to impose the aid freeze.

“Mike,” Ms. McCusker wrote back several hours later, to Mr. Duffey and other senior officials at the Office of Management and Budget. “Seems like we continue to talk (email) past each other a bit. We should probably have a call.”

William S. Castle, the principal deputy general counsel at the Pentagon, got involved in the debate, reaching out to the budget office’s top lawyer at Ms. McCusker’s request to question him on the hold. Mark Paoletta, the general counsel at the budget office, sent a lengthy response.

But other than about a dozen words — the greeting and the closing of the email — the entire contents of the response were blacked out before being released under the Freedom of Information Act suit.

“Hi Scott,” the email said, followed by four large blacked out areas of text that the White House declined to make public. “Please let me know if you have any questions, Thanks.”

The White House cited a provision of the Freedom of Information that allows the federal government to withhold “deliberative communications, the disclosure of which would inhibit the frank and candid exchange of views that is necessary for effective government decision-making.”

The emails from July 25 — the same morning Mr. Trump had his phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and asked him to look into issues related to the 2016 election in the United States and to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son, Hunter Biden — show that administration aides were preparing to carry out Mr. Trump’s order for the aid freeze.

Mr. Trump had first raised the issue in June, after he learned the Defense Department was about to release $250 million of military assistance to Ukraine. But it was not until July 25 that the money that had been allocated for the Pentagon was formally frozen, using a legal provision called an apportionment.

“Did GC send the footnote?” Mr. Duffey wrote at 9 a.m. on July 25, just as the call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky was getting underway, referring to the agency’s general counsel and a footnote that would be applied to the apportionment document to freeze the funding.

“Mike, here’s the OGC-approved, revised footnote,” Mark Sandy, a career official at the budget office, wrote back to his boss, in response to the question, that same morning.

About 90 minutes after Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Duffey told the Pentagon to keep quiet about the aid freeze because of the “sensitive nature of the request,” according to a message released last month by the Defense Department.

The emails released to American Oversight, as well as Center for Public Integrity and details about correspondence shared with The New York Times, have led Democrats in Congress to push the White House to release copies of all these exchanges, without the redactions. The Senate voted repeatedly on Tuesday night to block proposals by Democrats to require the release of these documents.

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Steve Scalise says Pelosi broke House rules and ‘rammed’ through impeachment articles

Westlake Legal Group Scalise- Steve Scalise says Pelosi broke House rules and 'rammed' through impeachment articles Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/media fnc article 65af8959-501d-5d8d-8238-09d690495b06

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said on “America’s Newsroom” Wednesday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., broke House rules and “rammed” through the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Scalise reacted to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s news conference on Wednesday, where he said that Trump’s impeachment trial would begin under a “cloud of unfairness,” after the GOP-led Senate rejected all 11 of his amendments to allow for witnesses and documents in a marathon late-night session.

“It was a dark day, and a dark night for the Senate,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said of the opening day of trial speeches that concluded before 2 a.m. “As a consequence, the impeachment trial of President Trump begins with a cloud hanging over it – a cloud of unfairness.”

SCHUMER SAYS IMPEACHMENT TRIAL STARTING UNDER ‘CLOUD OF UNFAIRNESS’

Scalise countered that Schumer was silent when House Democrats conducted “the most unfair impeachment trial in the history of our country,” where Pelosi “rammed” through the articles before Christmas.

“They literally broke House rules that require that the minority get a day of hearings so we could have actually brought the witnesses that we asked for and were denied by Speaker Pelosi and [Lead House Impeachment Manager] Adam Schiff. So they did not run a fair trial,” he continued.

Scalise went on to say that “the fact that they [Democrats] need to do something differently in the Senate” is an acknowledgment by Schumer “that the House did not have a fair trial.”

“By the way, it’s not the Senate’s rule to mop up the mess that the House made when Speaker Pelosi rammed this thing through,” Scalise continued. “They did not have a fair trial in the House. They’re having a fair trial in the Senate. They’re actually following the rules that they have. They’re using the precedent that was set by previous impeachments. That did not happen in the House.”

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., one of the House impeachment managers, dismissed on Sunday any notion that Democrats would be willing to negotiate on witnesses called during the Senate trial – adding that Republicans who want to block or negotiate what witnesses testify are “part of the cover-up.”

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS ADMONISHES BOTH SIDES AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL, AFTER MARATHON SESSION ERUPTS INTO SHOUTING MATCH

Nadler balked at the idea of Democrats agreeing to have former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter testify in exchange for the witnesses Democrats want to hear from, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who is willing to testify.

However, speaking from Switzerland on Wednesday, Trump said Bolton‘s testimony could pose a national security risk and cited executive privilege.

“In the House we tried to do that. We asked for that,” Scalise said on the topic of witnesses. “The Democrats got to bring all of their witnesses. They did tryouts, in fact. Schiff, behind closed doors, you saw it for months, he had these secret meetings where they literally had tryouts to see who would be their best star witnesses to bring out on TV.”

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“Every one of them, by the way, flopped,” he continued. “Every one of their star witnesses was asked under oath in the House, ‘Can you name an impeachable offense?’ Not one of them could name anything and yet that’s the case they had.”

Fox News’ Marisa Schultz and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Scalise- Steve Scalise says Pelosi broke House rules and 'rammed' through impeachment articles Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/media fnc article 65af8959-501d-5d8d-8238-09d690495b06   Westlake Legal Group Scalise- Steve Scalise says Pelosi broke House rules and 'rammed' through impeachment articles Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/nancy-pelosi fox news fnc/media fnc article 65af8959-501d-5d8d-8238-09d690495b06

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Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case

The Supreme Court appeared closely split during oral arguments Wednesday in a case with potentially major implications for the school choice movement, as the justices — including Chief Justice John Roberts, who presided over President Trump’s impeachment trial the previous night until 2 a.m. — sparred with the lawyers and each other.

The case, Montana Department of Revenue v. Espinoza, centers around a tax-credit scholarship program passed in May 2015 that gave Montanans up to a $150 credit for donating to private scholarship organizations, helping students pay for their choice of private schools. The state’s revenue department made a rule banning those tax-credit scholarships from going to religious schools before the state’s supreme court later struck down the entire law.

SUPREME COURT TO HEAR CASE THAT COULD BRING MAJOR CHANGES IN SCHOOL CHOICE LAWS

“I feel that we’re being excluded simply because we are people of religious background, or because our children want to go to a religious school,” Kendra Espinoza, a mother who sends her children to a religious school and is the lead plaintiff in the case, said after the arguments. “We’re here to stand up for our rights as people of faith to have the same opportunities that a secular schoolchild would have.”

Montana’s program was similar to many across the U.S., and other states have proposed tax-credit scholarship programs but not passed them due to confusion about their legality. In this case, the Montana Department of Revenue said providing tax credits for donations that later help pay tuition at private schools amounts to indirect funding of religious education by the state, in violation of the “no-aid clause” – also known as a Blaine Amendment.

If the justices were to reverse Montana’s decision, it could open the door to more scholarship and voucher programs across the U.S., following the high court’s recent trend of expanding religious liberty.

At the Supreme Court Wednesday, Espinoza’s lawyers — a team from the libertarian Institute for Justice — argued the program was voided simply because it afforded a religious option, and the U.S. Supreme Court should restore what the Montana legislature passed.

That point caused some disagreement among the justices, as Justice Elena Kagan argued the result of the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling — that neither secular nor religious private schools were receiving government money — meant there was no need for the Supreme Court to step in. Justice Samuel Alito disagreed, citing case law that a decision made with unconstitutional motives was necessarily invalid, even if the concrete actions taken by the government were not necessarily illegal.

“As a result of this challenge, what has happened is that neither the parents who want to send their children to religious schools nor the parents who want to send their children to secular schools get what they would like to get,” Kagan said, challenging Espinoza’s lawyer. “So they’re both being treated the same way.”

Westlake Legal Group Kendra-Espinoza Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660

Kendra Espinoza and her daughters. Espinoza is a plaintiff in a school choice case that’s made its way to the Supreme Courts. (Institute for Justice)

STEVE DAINES’ PRO-SECOND AMENDMENT BILL AIMS TO PROTECT LAW-ABIDING GUN OWNERS TAKING FIREARMS ACROSS STATE LINES

Alito later responded: “No, isn’t the crucial question why the state court did what it did? If it did what it did for an unconstitutionally discriminatory reason, then there’s a problem.”

Justice Brett Kavanaugh pressed the Montana DOR’s lawyer, Adam Unikowsky, on the distinction between religious and secular schools versus schools representing different religions.

“Suppose the state said we’re going to allow the scholarship funds to be used for secular schools or protestant schools but not for Jewish schools or Catholic schools. Unconstitutional?” Kavanaugh asked. After Unikowsky replied that it would be, Kavanaugh went on: “So what’s different when you say the scholarship funds can be used for secular schools but not for Protestant, Jewish, Catholic or other religious schools because of the religious status?”

Government money going to religious schools doesn’t necessarily violate the First Amendment, but appeals courts are split on whether excluding such schools from programs like Montana’s violates religious freedom, which is likely part of the reason why the Supreme Court agreed to hear Espinoza’s case.

‘So what’s different when you say the scholarship funds can be used for secular schools but not for Protestant, Jewish, Catholic or other religious schools because of the religious status?’

— Justice Brett Kavanaugh

This case has drawn tremendous interest, with nearly 50 different “friend-of-the-court” briefs filed on its merits, advocating for either Espinoza or the Montana DOR’s stance. Groups weighing in include the libertarian Cato Institute, large groups of states on both sides of the issue, former Wisconsin governor and school choice advocate Scott Walker, several members of Congress, the Trump administration, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and more.

One of the groups that submitted a brief was Americans United For the Separation of Church and State. In a press release Wednesday, group CEO Rachel Laser cautioned that forcing taxpayers to fund religious education violates the religious freedom of the taxpayer.

“Never before has the Supreme Court ruled that states must fund private religious education. It should not do so now,” she said. “Forcing taxpayers to fund religious education or private religious schools that discriminate against students, families and employees would be a fundamental violation of religious freedom. We urge the Supreme Court to honor the promise of religious freedom upon which our nation was founded by upholding the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the private school voucher program.”

SUPREME COURT TURNS AWAY CASE THAT COULD HAVE HELPED DEMS GET UNREDACTED MUELLER REPORT

Mae Nan Ellingson, a delegate to the 1972 Montana constitutional convention which included the no-aid clause, was at the Supreme Court Wednesday and pushed back on the idea that the provision was discriminatory.

“It certainly wasn’t aimed at any particular religion,” she said. “On the contrary, there were ministers and people that were delegates of all religious faiths, all of whom supported this no aid provision for a whole host of reasons, as were mentioned in the court today.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, a school choice proponent, was in the courtroom as well. So was Espinoza, along with her children.

Espinoza said she enrolled her daughters in a private Christian school because she wanted a values-based education that would challenge them academically, but she has trouble paying for tuition and relies on scholarships. She planned to use Montana’s tax-credit scholarship program before the Department of Revenue made the rule preventing Christian schools from receiving these scholarships.

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Blaine Amendments originated in the 1870s when, as Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 2000 case, “it was an open secret that ‘sectarian’ was code for ‘Catholic.’” Thirty-seven states have Blaine Amendments today, but Institute for Justice senior attorney Michael Bindas calls them, “vestiges of 19th century anti-Catholic bigotry.”

Espinoza’s lawyers also cite Trinity Lutheran, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that ruled Missouri couldn’t deny a church a grant to resurface its playground simply because it was a church.

Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086784443001_6086781109001-vs Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6086784443001_6086781109001-vs Supreme Court justices clash over major school-choice case Tyler Olson fox-news/us/religion fox-news/us/education fox-news/politics/judiciary/supreme-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 246b39b8-8c6f-587b-ba0f-209deeec0660

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

LIVE: Trump Trial — Dems Make Their Case

Westlake Legal Group 5e28902f2400009c03c97262 LIVE: Trump Trial — Dems Make Their Case

The second day of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off Wednesday with House members expected to begin laying out their case for the president’s removal from office.

The Democrats’ oral arguments will be led by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whose team of prosecutors remains at odds with Republicans over the right to call witnesses and subpoena documents throughout the process. 

Wednesday’s portion of the trial follows nearly 13 hours of debate over the issue. Though the Senate ultimately passed a resolution setting the rules, it postponed making a final decision on that point of contention until next week at the earliest. 

Follow along with the live updates below. 

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

Democrats Make Opening Arguments In Senate Impeachment Trial

Westlake Legal Group 5e28902f2400009c03c97262 Democrats Make Opening Arguments In Senate Impeachment Trial

The second day of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial kicks off Wednesday with House members expected to begin laying out their case for the president’s removal from office.

The Democrats’ oral arguments will be led by House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), whose team of prosecutors remains at odds with Republicans over the right to call witnesses and subpoena documents throughout the process. 

Wednesday’s portion of the trial follows nearly 13 hours of debate over the issue. Though the Senate ultimately passed a resolution setting the rules, it postponed making a final decision on that point of contention until next week at the earliest. 

Follow along with the live updates below. 

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