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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 104)

Trump set to address World Economic Forum in Davos

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Trump set to address World Economic Forum in Davos fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/politics fnc article a7cd2d8a-37f8-5644-b16b-9f37a4750b95

President Trump on Tuesday addressed the global business community in Davos while his adversaries back home prepared for his impeachment trial.

(You can see his address here at FoxBusiness.com.)

Trump praised his own policies for creating a historic unemployment level and negotiating trade deals that he said will represent a new model in the 21st Century that is based on fairness and reciprocity.

The two-day Swiss visit will test Trump’s ability to balance his domestic issues involving impeachment with a desire to project leadership on the world stage.

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WATCH LIVE: The Impeachment Trial

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m. ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday unveiled last-minute changes to his resolution laying out the rules of the Senate impeachment trial, allowing additional time for opening arguments after several Republican senators objected to the original guidelines.

The new rules allow both sides 24 hours spread over three days ― not two ― to present their evidence. The House evidence will also automatically be admitted into the Senate record without a vote.

PREVIOUSLY: 

WASHINGTON ― The third impeachment trial of a U.S. president in history is set to kick off this week in the GOP-controlled Senate, where Republicans have all but promised a swift acquittal of Donald Trump and argued against the inclusion of new evidence and witness testimony during the proceedings.

Before the seven House impeachment managers can begin presenting their evidence, senators must finalize and pass a resolution authored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) laying out the rules governing the trial.

Under the proposed rules, both sides would be allowed 24 hours of opening arguments over just two days beginning Wednesday, followed by a short period of questioning and then a vote on whether to even consider witnesses and additional evidence. If the Senate doesn’t allow witnesses, the trial could be over by the end of next week.  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday blasted McConnell’s proposed rules, accusing the Republican leader of choosing “a cover-up for the President rather than honor his oath to the Constitution.”

“For weeks, he has insisted that he will adhere to the rules used during the Clinton impeachment trial and that ‘fair is fair’ ― but his proposal rejects the need for witnesses and documents during the trial itself,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“In contrast, for the Clinton trial, witnesses were deposed and the President provided more than 90,000 documents,” she added.

The seven House impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), echoed Pelosi’s disproval.

“A White House-driven and rigged process, with a truncated schedule designed to go late into the night and further conceal the President’s misconduct, is not what the American people expect or deserve,” they said in a statement.

Westlake Legal Group 5e2749052100004c00fffbf0 WATCH LIVE: The Impeachment Trial

Alex Wong via Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) arriving at the U.S. Capitol last week. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) threatened to force votes on witness testimony on Tuesday, but key moderate Republicans want a decision on whether to call witnesses put off until later in the trial. The procedural debate is expected to be contentious and may even occur under a closed session of the Senate, one prohibited from public view.

Trump is charged with abuse of power for his dealings with Ukraine and his efforts to block congressional investigations.

Most Republicans say the case against Trump is insufficient to remove him from office ― indeed, many of them maintain that the president did nothing wrong by pressuring a foreign government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival.

“The Democrats have proven … Trump’s innocence. The only guy that’s been transparent during this is Trump,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt earlier this month, adding he would “absolutely” vote to acquit Trump.

The president blocked a number of key Trump administration officials from testifying during the House impeachment inquiry, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton. Bolton has since offered to testify in the Senate trial if subpoenaed.

Democrats will need to convince at least four GOP senators to vote with them to subpoena their desired witnesses.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a moderate, issued a statement last week clarifying that she is “likely” to support calling witnesses but only after the presentation of evidence by both the House managers and the president’s defense team. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.), and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have also expressed openness to calling witnesses.

“I tend to believe having additional information would be helpful. It is likely that I would support a motion to call witnesses at that point in the trial just as I did in 1999,” Collins said in the statement.

But many of her colleagues say they see no reason to call additional witnesses during the Senate trial, arguing House Democrats should have sought testimony from Mulvaney, Bolton and others by taking their case to court.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any witnesses. I think it’ll be over right then. I think it’s going to be pretty fast,” Scott said in the Hewitt interview. 

Democrats have vowed to force votes on motions to compel witness testimony ― part of an effort to pressure vulnerable Republican senators up for re-election in November. They said Republicans would be complicit in a “cover-up” if they didn’t agree to call witnesses in the trial.

During the proceedings, all senators will be prohibited from speaking and may only submit questions in writing to the chief justice, according to the Senate’s rules. All electronics are forbidden on the floor; senators will be required to leave their phones in a cubby outside the chamber floor. The proceedings are expected to run six days a week — every day but Sundays — with the trail taking up five hours each day.

One person who will not be bound by those rules is the accused, who weighed in on Twitter suggesting the case be dismissed outright.

Hayley Miller contributed reporting. This article has been updated with statements from Pelosi and the House impeachment managers.

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Michael Avenatti’s lawyer describes jail conditions, reportedly held in El Chapo’s former New York cell

The lawyer for Michael Avenatti submitted a letter to a New York judge on Monday, requesting his client’s release to the general population after indicating he may be currently housed in the cell used by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Avenatti was transferred from a federal lockup in California to the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in lower Manhattan on Friday.

His attorney, Scott Srebnick, claimed in a letter addressed to New York District Judge Paul G. Gardephe, that Avenatti is being held in solitary confinement in“Special Housing Unit on the notorious 10-South of the MCC-New York.”

AVENATTI ALLEGEDLY TOOK SETTLEMENT MONEY FROM FOOTBALL FANS

Westlake Legal Group AP19352614300424 Michael Avenatti's lawyer describes jail conditions, reportedly held in El Chapo's former New York cell fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 4db739db-2892-5801-9045-14c6be89257f

California attorney Michael Avenatti leaves a courthouse in New York following a hearing. Avenatti was arrested Tuesday by IRS agents for alleged violations of his pre-trial release. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Srebnick argues that under Avenatti’s “current conditions of confinement,” they can’t effectively prepare for the trial and he cannot “meaningfully” assist in his defense.”

“He is in a cell reportedly once occupied by El Chapo, on a floor that houses individuals charged with terrorism offenses,” said the letter addressed to Gardephe. “He is apparently under special administrative measures (SAMs) which almost completely restricts his communications with the outside world.”

Avenatti has reportedly been in lockdown for 24 hours a day except for attorney visits and tow medical exams, according to the letter. Srebnick added that an officer has been placed outside Avenatti’s cell for 24 hours a day with two cameras focused on him.

MICHAEL AVENATTI ACCUSED OF COMMITTING NEW STATE, FEDERAL CRIMES WHILE ON BAIL, PROSECUTORS SAY

“The temperature in his cell feels like it is in the mid-40s,” the letter said. “He is forced to sleep with three blankets. Not surprisingly he has been having great difficulty functioning.”

Srebnick is asking the judge to accommodations his client, and give him an “afforded reasonable opportunity” for a private consultation with their counsel. They also want him to have legal materials in his cell, including a computer to review discovery and some social privileges.

Avenatti is being held without bail after prosecutors said he defrauded and concealed money from creditors while on bail last year. He is also charged with trying to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

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The MCC was home to Jeffrey Epstein until he allegedly killed himself last August.

Westlake Legal Group AP19352614300424 Michael Avenatti's lawyer describes jail conditions, reportedly held in El Chapo's former New York cell fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 4db739db-2892-5801-9045-14c6be89257f   Westlake Legal Group AP19352614300424 Michael Avenatti's lawyer describes jail conditions, reportedly held in El Chapo's former New York cell fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox news fnc/us fnc David Aaro article 4db739db-2892-5801-9045-14c6be89257f

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What to Expect as the Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-whattowatch-facebookJumbo What to Expect as the Trump Impeachment Trial Begins Today United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Senate impeachment

WASHINGTON — After ceremonially opening its impeachment trial of President Trump last week, the Senate reconvenes on Tuesday to begin what is expected to be a bruising partisan fight over the charges that the president abused his office and unconstitutionally obstructed Congress.

The seven Democratic House impeachment managers could begin making their case on the Senate floor on Wednesday, and will be followed by the president’s legal defense team. But first, senators will haggle on Tuesday over the trial rules introduced on Monday by Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader.

What we’re expecting to see: The Senate’s debate over rules and procedures governing the trial will most likely culminate in a party-line vote to adopt Republicans’ preferred approach. The House will also file a rebuttal to Mr. Trump’s written defense.

When we’re likely to see it: A draft of the proposed Republican rules was released Monday evening, but debate will not begin until the trial convenes at 1 p.m. Eastern. The House’s brief is due at noon.

How to follow it: The New York Times’s congressional team will be following the developments on Capitol Hill and reporters covering the White House will get the latest from Mr. Trump’s defense team. Visit nytimes.com throughout the day for live coverage.

When President Bill Clinton went on trial in the Senate 21 years ago, senators came together to adopt a resolution governing the first phase of the trial in a vote of 100 to 0, setting a bipartisan tone they hoped would guide the Senate and the country through a contentious process.

Not this time. Republicans and Democrats are bracing for an initial battle over witnesses and other measures that will almost certainly fracture the Senate along party lines on Day 1.

Mr. McConnell’s proposed rules put off a debate over whether to call witnesses and compel new evidence until the middle of the trial.

Senate Democrats say that may have worked in the past, but this case is different. Mr. Trump systematically blocked testimony in the House impeachment inquiry from a dozen government officials and refused to hand over a single document, and now, Democrats say, the Senate has an obligation to set it right.

They are also displeased that Mr. McConnell is trying to speed up the trial by capping the number of days the managers and defense lawyers have to present their cases, and that his proposal would not automatically include the House’s impeachment evidence as a part of the Senate trial record.

Given the unusual requirements of a Senate impeachment trial, the resolution will be debated in the open not by the senators themselves, but by the House managers and the defense team. acting as proxies for the Democrats and Republicans.

If senators want to engage in their own debate, they will have to go into private session, closing the Senate doors, kicking out reporters and shutting off the television cameras until they reach a resolution.

Democrats are ready to force amendment votes that would call witnesses or evidence to pressure moderate Republicans like Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Cory Gardner of Colorado and others, but Mr. McConnell is expected to hold all 53 Republicans to his position. Each such vote could take up to two hours.

Both sides expect debate to go late into the night.

If the Senate adopts Mr. McConnell’s proposal on Tuesday, the trial could move promptly to opening arguments on Wednesday.

As the prosecution, the House managers will present their case first. They will lay out in detail their case that Mr. Trump pressured Ukraine to announce investigations into his political rivals by withholding almost $400 million in military aid and a White House meeting for its leader — and then concealed it from Congress by blocking witnesses and documents.

Next up will be the president’s defense team — including Ken Starr, the former independent counsel who pursued Mr. Clinton, and Alan Dershowitz, a famed constitutional law scholar — who intend to argue that Mr. Trump was merely acting in the United States’ best interest and that the charges constitute little more than political attack by Democrats.

Like in 1999, both sides are expected to technically have 24 hours to do so. But unlike then, Republicans will insist that they squeeze that time into just two marathon days apiece instead of spreading each side’s argument over three or four days. The opening arguments could be completed on Saturday, or slip into next week.

The sparring over witnesses and documents beginning on Tuesday will most likely take center stage at some point next week, after opening arguments are complete and senators have a day or two to question the prosecution and defense.

Under Mr. McConnell’s proposed rules, senators will take an up-or-down vote on whether to even consider calling new witnesses and documents. If a majority says yes, the managers and defense lawyer would then offer individual proposals for votes. If the majority votes no, the trial could move toward a final debate about innocence and guilt based on the evidence already in the public record.

The outcome is anyone’s guess. Democrats need four Republicans to join them if they have a shot at compelling new evidence. Seeking to pressure moderates, retiring lawmakers and those up for re-election in swing states, they have argued aggressively and repeatedly that a trial without witnesses would not only be unprecedented but essentially a Senate-sponsored cover-up of Mr. Trump’s actions.

But even if senators do vote to call witnesses, the president could try to use his executive power or the courts to stop their testimony, delaying the trial indefinitely. The pressure from Republican leaders, who want the trial over promptly, will be strong to skip witnesses regardless.

Or conservative Republicans could try to strike a deal, pairing one witness Mr. Trump wants to testify, like Hunter Biden, with each one that Democrats and a handful of Republicans succeeded in calling. The trial could quickly spool out in unforeseeable directions.

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North Carolina father arrested after allegedly tackling son’s HS wrestling opponent: report

Westlake Legal Group 5e25c1db8fabc.image_ North Carolina father arrested after allegedly tackling son’s HS wrestling opponent: report fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/sports fnc ef847c27-eeca-5a8e-940a-7fd8a5988226 Edmund DeMarche article

A father in North Carolina was arrested Saturday after police say he tackled a high school wrestler who has just slammed his son to the ground during a tournament.

Barry Lee Jones, who was charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, allegedly tackled a student-athlete from Southeast Guilford High School, which is in Greensboro, Fox 8 reported. His son attends Hickory Ridge High School. Neither student were identified.

A video sent to WFMY News 2 claims to show the incident unfold. The video reportedly shows two students wrestling when the student from Southeast Guilford slams his opponent to the mat.

One self-described witness told the Independent Tribune that the father was prompted to respond due to the move that is known as a “suplex.”

Fox 8 reported that the mat’s expert motioned that he was going to call the move illegal. But that was when the student-athlete was tackled by someone charging from the audience who police identified as Jones.

The Southeast Guilford athlete was not injured, according to reports.

Sharon Contreras, the superintendent of Schools for Guilford County, told Fox 8 that the situation was “very unfortunate.”

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“I want to say that the parents from that high school wrote us a lovely letter saying they were equally appalled. It’s not who they are as a community,” she said. And I certainly apologize to the students at both high schools who experienced that, particularly the student who was attacked.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e25c1db8fabc.image_ North Carolina father arrested after allegedly tackling son’s HS wrestling opponent: report fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/sports fnc ef847c27-eeca-5a8e-940a-7fd8a5988226 Edmund DeMarche article   Westlake Legal Group 5e25c1db8fabc.image_ North Carolina father arrested after allegedly tackling son’s HS wrestling opponent: report fox-news/us/education/high-school fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/sports fnc ef847c27-eeca-5a8e-940a-7fd8a5988226 Edmund DeMarche article

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A Challenge for the Trial: 100 Senators Who Love to Talk, Sitting in Silence

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-tot1-facebookJumbo A Challenge for the Trial: 100 Senators Who Love to Talk, Sitting in Silence Wyden, Ron United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Toomey, Patrick J Tester, Jon Senate Roberts, Pat Roberts, John G Jr Murray, Patty McConnell, Mitch Lankford, James impeachment Graham, Lindsey Feinstein, Dianne Collins, Susan M Clinton, Bill Blunt, Roy D

WASHINGTON — In the Senate, there are few things of more value to a lawmaker than the sound of his or her own voice.

Inside the gilded chamber, senators vocalize their votes — calling out “aye” or “nay” — make speeches on all manner of subjects — meaty policy addresses, weekly odes to exemplary constituents, even acknowledgments of wedding anniversaries — haggle over legislation, and generally sound off to their hearts’ content.

So President Trump’s impeachment trial poses a unique and particularly onerous challenge for the 100 senators of the 116th Congress: a daily vow of silence that will be in effect beginning at 1 p.m. and for the duration of the solemn proceedings, sometimes long into the night.

Senators will be confined to their desks, forced to stash their cellphones in cubbies and barred from speaking, even in hushed tones, as seven House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s defense team debate whether the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

“Every senator will have some trouble — we are not, by nature, silent,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. “The desire to hear the sound of your own voice will be frustrated by that rule.”

To remind them, sessions of the trial will begin each afternoon with the Senate sergeant-at-arms uttering a dramatic command that dates to 1868 and the nation’s first presidential impeachment trial: “All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment.” (There is no record of a Senate forcing jail time on one of its own.)

It is a harsh reality for a typically talkative group. Matters of grave historical importance aside, they are unaccustomed to limitations on their ability to chat with colleagues, peruse the selections in the designated candy desk (carefully curated by Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania), or, in the words of Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, noisily “mill around like cattle” in the chamber’s well.

“Would that be a record for you, sitting in silence for that amount of time?” Mr. Roberts asked Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, as the pair — both veterans of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 — rode together recently on the Senate subway.

“My staff would probably say it’d be a record for me,” Mr. Roberts added. (Mr. Wyden, for his part, said he remembered some breaks for conversations and the ability to convey messages to the chief justice overseeing the proceedings.)

“You couldn’t talk to each other; you knew that you didn’t drink a cup of coffee before you went in,” Mr. Roberts said. “It was tough. It was extremely interesting and pertinent, but it was tough.”

Asked about the limitations, Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, joked that “all of us are taking bets on Lindsey Graham,” the garrulous South Carolina Republican who spent the Clinton trial as an impeachment manager, making the case that the president should be removed from office for lying about an affair with a White House intern.

“That’s the only one I really know of that I’m really worried about for six hours,” Mr. Lankford said of Mr. Graham.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, made the challenge still steeper on Monday when he released proposed rules for the trial that would effectively require each side to squeeze their opening arguments into two 12-hour days — a true marathon of silence for the senators who will hear the case.

Other veterans from Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial recalled occasionally chafing under the verbal restrictions, even when they were able to take breaks to go to the bathroom or relax in the cloakroom, a private lounge just off the Senate floor.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, remembered subtly passing notes to a neighboring senator, Tim Hutchinson, then a freshman Republican from Arkansas, with occasional thoughts until, she said, she got too nervous about getting caught.

“It’s very natural for senators to want to comment on arguments that are being made,” Ms. Collins said in an interview. “And it’s very natural for us to want to have this ongoing commentary with our neighbors while we’re sitting there.”

“And that was before cellphones were prevalent,” she added. “This will be an unusually difficult challenge.”

The restrictions on device usage and talking are akin to the rules placed on a jury in a courtroom. If senators have questions and motions, they are to submit them in writing to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will preside over the trial. And when the Senate goes into closed session for debate, the chamber-controlled cameras will turn off — meaning there will be no public viewing of that.

On Thursday, as lawmakers prepared to take the 222-year-old oath of impartiality, there were some indications of the challenges ahead. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, could be seen stealing a glimpse at her cellphone while other senators — including those in pursuit of the presidential nomination — could be seen greeting colleagues while waiting in line to sign an oath book.

There are advantages to the vow of silence, some senators said, arguing that the controlled environment would help them focus and allow them to better digest the nuances of the arguments being made by both the House prosecution and the White House defense.

“We have to listen,” said Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington State and a veteran of the Clinton trial. “We have to hear the evidence, and that’s what we’ll do.”

And at least one of the less technologically dependent senators appeared to be mildly delighted at the opportunity for silence.

“I sit on a tractor for 18 hours a day and my cellphone doesn’t work — this is like heaven to me,” Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana and a farmer, said, chuckling, in a recent interview. “I think it’s going to be really interesting, and not having a cellphone is like — that’s my dream job.”

“I hope this is a case that everybody takes this very, very, very seriously,” he added, his voice growing solemn. “The truth is, this is serious business.”

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Iran Conflict Could Shift To Cyberspace, Experts Warn

Westlake Legal Group Soleimani-protest-6be385af5a678ce9c2098b4148618a15adbcc49c-s800-c15 Iran Conflict Could Shift To Cyberspace, Experts Warn

Experts say Iran may retaliate for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, its top military leader, with cyber attacks on American companies. Chris McGrath/Getty Images hide caption

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Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Westlake Legal Group  Iran Conflict Could Shift To Cyberspace, Experts Warn

Experts say Iran may retaliate for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, its top military leader, with cyber attacks on American companies.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Cybersecurity researchers and U.S. government officials said hackers linked to Iran are probing American companies for vulnerabilities.

The warnings suggest that the next phase of hostilities between the U.S. and Iran, following the Jan. 3 killing of a top Iranian general in an American drone strike, is likely to play out in cyberspace.

The Iranian regime is accused of being behind some high-profile online operations against American targets in recent years.

Between 2011 and 2013, hackers targeted big American banks including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Capital One. They flooded the banks’ computer networks with traffic, knocking them offline and costing millions of dollars in lost business.

In 2018, a ransomware attack crippled the city of Atlanta, leaving police officers to write reports by hand and city workers punching in and out with time clocks.

In both cases, Iranian nationals were ultimately indicted.

In one of the most high-profile cases, hackers destroyed data on computers at the Sands casino in Las Vegas, after its billionaire owner, Sheldon Adelson, called for a nuclear strike on Iran.

Iran’s investment in its cyber army dates back to 2010, the year a powerful computer worm called Stuxnet infected an Iranian nuclear facility. The U.S. and Israel are believed to have been behind the attack, although neither country has ever acknowledged responsibility.

Stuxnet destroyed critical equipment and set back Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“As a result of the impact that Stuxnet had on the Iranian enrichment program, they formed, funded, trained and attached to their warfighting capabilities a very strong cyber capability,” said Jordan Mauriello, senior vice president of managed security at cybersecurity firm CriticalStart.

Stuxnet hurt Iran, but Mauriello and other experts say it also demonstrated to the country’s leaders the power of digital weapons to level the playing field against the military superiority of the U.S.

Iran has created teams of cyber warriors inside the Revolutionary Guard Corps, its elite military wing. But Iran also relies on proxy groups and hackers aligned with its goals.

In the weeks since a U.S. airstrike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, nationalist “hacktivists” are suspected of defacing a U.S. government website with pro-Iran messages.

Cyber tools enable “asymmetric” attacks by inflicting economic or reputational damage, said Kara Frederick, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

“Cyber allows them to compete at a level of parity that they don’t have in the physical world,” she said.

Iran has also used these tactics against other foes, including Saudi Arabia. U.S. officials blame Iran for wiping out data on three-quarters of computers at Aramco, the kingdom’s giant oil company, in 2012.

While the threat of military escalation between the U.S. and Iran appears to have eased in recent days, American government officials and security researchers are warning companies to be on the alert for cyber attacks.

“Right now what we’re seeing instead is a huge increase in reconnaissance activity,” Mauriello said. “Specifically looking for potentially vulnerable servers, data gathering. …They’re kind of preparing the battle plan in the cyber space.”

Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said agencies in his state have seen an increase in attempted computer intrusions attributed to Iran.

The Department of Homeland Security has also warned that Iran may retaliate for Soleimani’s death with cyber attacks, ranging from defacing websites to destroying data.

Iran’s activities have shown its ability to cause financial harm and embarrassment. However, experts say a more serious cyber intrusion into critical U.S. infrastructure, like electrical grids, would take more time and effort.

“Cyber is not a magic button, meaning that it takes many months of planning to achieve a specific outcome,” said Oren Falkowitz, a former National Security Agency analyst who is the CEO of Area 1 Security.

Iran is not alone in amping up its cyber capabilities. Researchers say Russia and China present the biggest threats to American targets.

And of course the U.S. has its own digital weapons to use against adversaries.

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Trump Mocked As ‘Space Farce’ After Saying America Is Number One In The Universe

Westlake Legal Group 5e26c4f12400005200c96d6e Trump Mocked As ‘Space Farce’ After Saying America Is Number One In The Universe

We’re NUMBER ONE in the Universe, Y’all! And it’s gonna keep on getting better! He’s gonna bring Hundreds of Billions of Dollars back to the United States of America!

Then we’ll be NUMBER ONE in the Meta-Universe and in God’s Kingdom too!

On #MLKDay Y’all. The man tweets this. https://t.co/n1H2wcfdhp

— John Wheeler (@barleyscotch) January 21, 2020

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are receiving support from an unlikely ally — Christina Oxenberg.

The celebrated writer is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia — the second cousin of Harry’s father, Prince Charles. The 57-year-old shared that her mother and Charles, 71, grew up “very close and they’ve always had a very good relationship — they’re great buddies.”

Oxenberg was born in New York City but moved to London along with her older sister, actress Catherine Oxenberg. Oxenberg has been detailing her upbringing in a serialized tell-all memoir that she’s been updating every week on Patreon.

“I think that Harry and Meghan are doing the right thing,” the 57-year-old told Fox News. “I think the entire family is moving as one and embracing modernity.

PRINCE HARRY’S BIGGEST MOMENTS, FROM HIS MILITARY SERVICE TO ‘MEGXIT’

Westlake Legal Group meghan-markle-AP Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back from royal duties. (AP)

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY CHOSE THESE SPECIAL PEOPLE TO BE TWO OF ARCHIE’S GODPARENTS: REPORT

“I think everything that we’ve heard other than what’s come out of their mouths should be discounted,” she continued. “There’s been a lot of misleading propaganda. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for her majesty [Queen Elizabeth II]. It’s great for the world to see what it means to be a leader. That’s exactly who she is and what she did. She seamlessly and effortlessly corrected [things] in a way that benefitted everybody. That’s true elegance and that’s true leadership. I just have nothing but admiration and respect for her.”

Oxenberg shared that despite Markle, 38, receiving backlash after announcing she was “stepping back” alongside her husband, 35, as a senior royal, she was not alone in her decision.

“Meghan is Harry’s choice and I support him,” she said. “I support his choice as his love. It’s not an easy position for anyone, even for those born into the job, to be in. No outsider gets enough support [as a royal] and that includes insiders. It’s a job that’s almost perhaps impossible to explain to an outsider. It’s incredibly nuanced and incredibly complexed. But… if there was a problem to be fixed, it was [the queen’s] job to do — who better than her? Didn’t you see how quickly, smoothly and elegantly it was taken care of? I think the results are terrific for everybody.

“Could Meghan have had more help? Of course — but everyone else can use more help,” Oxenberg shared. “There is no handbook. And it’s different for everyone. I think she’s doing the best she can. I admire her and respect Harry’s choice.”

ROYAL COUSIN CHRISTINA OXENBERG SAYS GHISLAIN MAXWELL THREW SEMI-NUDE TEA PARTY, ABUSED DOG

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-106702433 Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

Christina Oxenberg is the daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia. (Stephen Lovekin/FilmMagic)

PRINCE HARRY MEETS WITH BORIS JOHNSON FOR ONE-ON-ONE CATCH UP FOLLOWING ‘MEGXIT’ DEAL

Despite the reigning monarch’s eagerness to solve the “Megxit” deal swiftly and privately, Oxenberg pointed out the glaring media spotlight is difficult to escape.

“Right now newspapers in England are having an orgy of sales,” she explained. “It’s never been better for them to sell newspapers. They’re just making up everything. It’s a free-for-all because the royals work in private. They’re not having tea with anybody from the newspapers.”

Oxenberg believes “Megxit” might actually be a good thing for the British royals — in fact, she revealed it can only improve Harry’s relationship with his father as he attempts to carve out his own identity.

“It’s very hard for Brits, let alone royals, to get emotional and open up with each other,” she said. “This is a pivot for everybody. They might be closer for it. … I don’t see it making things worse. I see it only improving things.”

PRINCE HARRY BREAKS SILENCE AFTER ‘MEGXIT’ ANNOUNCEMENT: ‘NO OTHER OPTION’

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-52118874 Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

Prince Charles With Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, circa 1975. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY TO STILL BE CALLED DUKE AND DUCHESS, PAY BACK MONEY FOR HOME RENOVATION

Oxenberg also stressed that despite the tabloids insisting there will ultimately be a crack in the royal couple’s marriage, she doesn’t believe divorce or separation is in Harry and Markle’s future.

“I think [Harry’s] a lifer,” she explained. “I think he’s in love. I think that they’re a great couple. … [I would tell them] to ignore the negativity as best as you can. Don’t even bother responding to it. You’ve got so little time on Earth, such a finite amount of energy, spend it where it’s worth spending — simple as one.

“[As for Archie], he will always be known as Archie, no matter his title. John F. Kennedy Jr. was called ‘John-John,’ which sounds like something out of ‘The Waltons.’ Did it make us feel less respectful towards him? Of course not. He’ll be fine. [Queen Elizabeth’s daughter] Princess Anne was way ahead of her time in the ’70s because she did not impose the HRH titles on her children. [Her brother] Prince Edward did the same thing with his children. Things were already changing for the royal family. It’s only going to continue. [‘Megxit’] is proof of that.”

Elizabeth, 93, and Buckingham Palace released a much-anticipated statement on Saturday confirming that Harry and Markle will no longer use their HRH titles and will move forward with their initial “Megxit” plan in the spring of 2020.

PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE WILL NO LONGER USE ROYAL TITLES, QUEEN AND BUCKINGHAM PALACE ANNOUNCE

Westlake Legal Group AP20010360601072 Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. As part of a surprise announcement distancing themselves from the British royal family, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan declared they will “work to become financially independent” — a move that has shocked the world. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

UK DIVIDED OVER PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE’S LOSS OF ROYAL TITLES

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on the official royal family website.

The palace continued: “With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.

“The Sussexes will not use their HRH [His or Her Royal Highness] titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their U.K. family home,” the palace said.

The refurbishment reportedly cost 2.4 million pounds, or approximately $3.1 million, the Daily Mail has reported.

“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security,” it added.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY WON’T HAVE ‘PROTECTIONS’ IN US AS THEY DO ‘AT HOME’ WITH PAPARAZZI, ATTORNEY SAYS

Westlake Legal Group archie Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019, in Cape Town, South Africa. (Toby Melville/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty)

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY ‘HAVE A DECENT SHOT’ OF ESCAPING MEDIA SCRUTINY IN CANADA, ATTORNEY SAYS

The queen simultaneously released a statement of her own voicing her support.

“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family,” she said.

“I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” the 93-year-old monarch said. “I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.”

“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,” she added.

Harry and Markle first announced their decision to “step back” on Jan. 8, shocking the world and their family members with the news.

PRINCE HARRY WAS POSITIONED TO BE PRINCE WILLIAM’S ‘SECRET WEAPON,’ ROYAL EXPERT SAYS

Westlake Legal Group markle-harry-2016-pics Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry met through a mutual friend in Toronto in 2016. The royal couple will now be splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada. (Getty)

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

Archie’s parents said their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”

“Megxit” comes after Prince Harry and Markle’s many attempts to put an end to the scrutiny they’ve faced since their royal engagement in 2017.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124640271001_6124648547001-vs Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6124640271001_6124648547001-vs Meghan Markle, Prince Harry ‘are doing the right thing’ with ‘Megxit,’ royal cousin Christina Oxenberg says Stephanie Nolasco fox-news/world/personalities/queen fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/features/exclusive fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a584f667-91ea-5b4c-99e1-08ba2b462291

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A Challenge for the Trial: 100 Senators Who Love to Talk, Sitting in Silence

Westlake Legal Group 20dc-tot1-facebookJumbo A Challenge for the Trial: 100 Senators Who Love to Talk, Sitting in Silence Wyden, Ron United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Toomey, Patrick J Tester, Jon Senate Roberts, Pat Roberts, John G Jr Murray, Patty McConnell, Mitch Lankford, James impeachment Graham, Lindsey Feinstein, Dianne Collins, Susan M Clinton, Bill Blunt, Roy D

WASHINGTON — In the Senate, there are few things of more value to a lawmaker than the sound of his or her own voice.

Inside the gilded chamber, senators vocalize their votes — calling out “aye” or “nay” — make speeches on all manner of subjects — meaty policy addresses, weekly odes to exemplary constituents, even acknowledgments of wedding anniversaries — haggle over legislation, and generally sound off to their hearts’ content.

So President Trump’s impeachment trial poses a unique and particularly onerous challenge for the 100 senators of the 116th Congress: a daily vow of silence that will be in effect beginning at 1 p.m. and for the duration of the solemn proceedings, sometimes long into the night.

Senators will be confined to their desks, forced to stash their cellphones in cubbies and barred from speaking, even in hushed tones, as seven House impeachment managers and Mr. Trump’s defense team debate whether the president committed high crimes and misdemeanors.

“Every senator will have some trouble — we are not, by nature, silent,” said Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri and the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee. “The desire to hear the sound of your own voice will be frustrated by that rule.”

To remind them, sessions of the trial will begin each afternoon with the Senate sergeant-at-arms uttering a dramatic command that dates to 1868 and the nation’s first presidential impeachment trial: “All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment.” (There is no record of a Senate forcing jail time on one of its own.)

It is a harsh reality for a typically talkative group. Matters of grave historical importance aside, they are unaccustomed to limitations on their ability to chat with colleagues, peruse the selections in the designated candy desk (carefully curated by Senator Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania), or, in the words of Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, noisily “mill around like cattle” in the chamber’s well.

“Would that be a record for you, sitting in silence for that amount of time?” Mr. Roberts asked Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, as the pair — both veterans of President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999 — rode together recently on the Senate subway.

“My staff would probably say it’d be a record for me,” Mr. Roberts added. (Mr. Wyden, for his part, said he remembered some breaks for conversations and the ability to convey messages to the chief justice overseeing the proceedings.)

“You couldn’t talk to each other; you knew that you didn’t drink a cup of coffee before you went in,” Mr. Roberts said. “It was tough. It was extremely interesting and pertinent, but it was tough.”

Asked about the limitations, Senator James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, joked that “all of us are taking bets on Lindsey Graham,” the garrulous South Carolina Republican who spent the Clinton trial as an impeachment manager, making the case that the president should be removed from office for lying about an affair with a White House intern.

“That’s the only one I really know of that I’m really worried about for six hours,” Mr. Lankford said of Mr. Graham.

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, made the challenge still steeper on Monday when he released proposed rules for the trial that would effectively require each side to squeeze their opening arguments into two 12-hour days — a true marathon of silence for the senators who will hear the case.

Other veterans from Mr. Clinton’s impeachment trial recalled occasionally chafing under the verbal restrictions, even when they were able to take breaks to go to the bathroom or relax in the cloakroom, a private lounge just off the Senate floor.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, remembered subtly passing notes to a neighboring senator, Tim Hutchinson, then a freshman Republican from Arkansas, with occasional thoughts until, she said, she got too nervous about getting caught.

“It’s very natural for senators to want to comment on arguments that are being made,” Ms. Collins said in an interview. “And it’s very natural for us to want to have this ongoing commentary with our neighbors while we’re sitting there.”

“And that was before cellphones were prevalent,” she added. “This will be an unusually difficult challenge.”

The restrictions on device usage and talking are akin to the rules placed on a jury in a courtroom. If senators have questions and motions, they are to submit them in writing to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who will preside over the trial. And when the Senate goes into closed session for debate, the chamber-controlled cameras will turn off — meaning there will be no public viewing of that.

On Thursday, as lawmakers prepared to take the 222-year-old oath of impartiality, there were some indications of the challenges ahead. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, could be seen stealing a glimpse at her cellphone while other senators — including those in pursuit of the presidential nomination — could be seen greeting colleagues while waiting in line to sign an oath book.

There are advantages to the vow of silence, some senators said, arguing that the controlled environment would help them focus and allow them to better digest the nuances of the arguments being made by both the House prosecution and the White House defense.

“We have to listen,” said Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington State and a veteran of the Clinton trial. “We have to hear the evidence, and that’s what we’ll do.”

And at least one of the less technologically dependent senators appeared to be mildly delighted at the opportunity for silence.

“I sit on a tractor for 18 hours a day and my cellphone doesn’t work — this is like heaven to me,” Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana and a farmer, said, chuckling, in a recent interview. “I think it’s going to be really interesting, and not having a cellphone is like — that’s my dream job.”

“I hope this is a case that everybody takes this very, very, very seriously,” he added, his voice growing solemn. “The truth is, this is serious business.”

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