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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 120)

Article II of the Constitution: Trump’s ‘right to do whatever I want?’ Or a roadmap for impeachment?

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Article II of the Constitution: Trump's 'right to do whatever I want?' Or a roadmap for impeachment?

Trump and impeachment: Can President Trump block witnesses and subpoenas, and what can Congress do about it? Lawyer and author David Stewart explains. Hannah Gaber, USA TODAY

“I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” – President Donald Trump, July 23, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Constitution of the United States of America does, indeed, have an Article II. It’s the president’s job description, circa 1787, and it gives him sweeping powers.

But not whatever he wants. In fact, it defines something he doesn’t want: the terms for his impeachment, conviction and removal from office.

AsHouse Democrats prepare their case for impeachment, attention increasingly will focus on the nation’s founding document, which outlines the unique roles of Congress, the president and the federal courts.

And so, the question: Has Trump violated the Constitution?

And does that justify ending his presidency?

Article II spells out the president’s oath of office, which concludes with his duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” It also specifies that he “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Then it sets out the potential reasons for his removal: if he is impeached by the House, and convicted by the Senate of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Throughout Trump’s presidency, investigations into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election and other matters relating to his business dealings have made impeachment a possibility. This summer’s revelations that Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate past and future political opponents made it probable, if not inevitable. 

Ukraine: Trump’s conspiracy theories thrive in Ukraine, where a young democracy battles corruption and distrust

“We believe the acts revealed publicly over the past several weeks are fundamentally incompatible with the president’s oath of office, his duties as commander in chief, and his constitutional obligation to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,'” 16 conservative and libertarian lawyers wrote earlier this month under the imprimatur of the group Checks and Balances.

University of Southern California law professor Orin Kerr, a former Justice Department official and a member of the group, puts it simply: “He’s taking care of himself, not taking care of the country.”

But Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett says Trump’s accusers “have been alleging impeachable offenses since before President Trump took the oath of office.”

“They have their conclusion in hand,” Barnett says, “and now they’re just trying to fill out the bill of particulars.”

‘Very good to Ukraine’

“When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” – Former President Richard Nixon, May 19, 1977

What Trump did on July 25 was ask Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate the Democrats’ leading presidential candidate at the time, Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. Trump also asked indirectly for a probe of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee in 2016.

In the same conversation, the president noted that “the United States has been very, very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal, necessarily.”

More: Key takeaways from Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor’s ‘explosive’ opening statement

Jonathan Adler, a Case Western Reserve University law professor and a member of Checks and Balances, says “the persistent efforts to use foreign policy as a means of advancing or protecting his own political interests” conflicts with the presidential oath. 

“‘High crimes and misdemeanors’ has never been understood to be limited to or consigned to things that are crimes in the narrow legal sense,” Adler says. “They encompass actions that are violative of the solemn obligations that a public official takes.”

President’s piggy bank?

“I’m taking money from here and there and there and there…. We have all these different sources coming from all over the place because they won’t approve it.” – President Trump, July 23, 2019

The president was referring at the time to financing his long-sought wall along the border with Mexico – spending power that the Constitution largely reserves for Congress. He has moved funds from the Pentagon and other agencies to the Department of Homeland Security for that purpose.

That’s another constitutional violation, says George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin, another Checks and Balances member. Trump, he says, is using the federal budget as “his personal piggy bank” – going so far as to withhold nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine previously appropriated by Congress.

“This is a big deal, frankly a bigger deal than some of the stuff that’s more in the headlines,” Somin says, calling it “an unconstitutional usurpation of Congress’ power of the purse.”

‘Walking, talking violation’

“You people with this phony Emoluments Clause.” – President Trump, Oct. 21, 2019

That would be Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which bars federal officeholders from accepting gifts from foreign governments. It is derived from the Latin word “emolumentum,” meaning “profit” or “gain.” And another prohibition in Article II prohibits the president from receiving domestic emoluments.

Trump’s continuing ownership of hotels and restaurants, such as Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., where foreign leaders often stay, has spurred three federal lawsuits. Two courts of appeals are scheduled to hold oral arguments in December. 

Deepak Gupta, an attorney litigating two of the lawsuits, says Trump’s presidency is “a walking, talking Emoluments Clause violation” because Trump never divested himself of his real estate holdings.

“The Framers were obsessed with the possibility of corruption,” Gupta says. 

Rather than retreat in the face of the Emoluments Clause, Trump last week sought to double down by scheduling the upcoming Group of 7 conference of Western global economic powers at Trump National Doral, his Miami-area resort. Only in the face of withering criticism from Republicans as well as Democrats did he reluctantly back down.

Pledging obstruction

“President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.” – Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president, Oct. 8, 2019

An eight-page letter from the White House counsel earlier this month basically declared war on House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. The president, Pat Cipollone said, won’t cooperate.

If that constitutes obstruction of justice, critics say, it wouldn’t be the first time. They cite special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which outlined Trump’s efforts to withhold evidence and influence aides’ testimony.

“The Article II power does not extend to telling subordinates and others to lie about what occurred,” Adler said, referring to the president’s attempt to have former White House counsel Don McGahn say that Trump did not seek to have Mueller fired. 

But others defend the president’s resistance. In testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in July, Chapman University law professor John Eastman said “Mueller was not fired, and even if he had been, the investigation would not have been stopped.”

“If that is obstruction, it pales in comparison to recent examples of real obstruction that have gone largely unremarked,” Eastman said.

‘Nobody really knows’

“An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” – Former President Gerald Ford, April 15, 1970

Alexander Hamiton wrote extensively on impeachment in the Federalist Papers, but the Constitution gives it only six brief mentions. The references leave plenty of leeway.

“The Constitution gets violated all the time,” Barnett says. “That doesn’t make the violation of the Constitution a high crime or misdemeanor.”

Some don’t see the need for specificity. “It’s about abusing the office, not about violating a technical provision of a particular clause,” Kerr says.

While Trump’s critics see obvious cause for impeachment and his defenders do not, others simply see a reason for disagreement. University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson wrote in the journal Democracy in August that the problem is the Constitution itself.

The impeachment clause “has been captured by lawyers who simply shout at one another about what in fact constitutes such a ‘high crime or misdemeanor,'” Levinson wrote. “The correct answer is that nobody really knows.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/24/impeachment-donald-trump-constitution-violation-emoluments/4056323002/

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

Canada’s Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Westlake Legal Group rts2sim4-b84fee161b853172d9dccb7315f1b8d35097bfc9-s1100-c15 Canada's Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election, at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday. Stephane Mahe/Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Canada's Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election, at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will carry on with his progressive agenda despite the rebuke voters delivered in a national election this week that robbed his Liberal Party of its parliamentary majority.

Saying he hoped to move beyond the “divisive and challenging” campaign, Trudeau ruled out a coalition, saying he would instead govern from a minority position while working with other parties. He also pledged a tax-cut for the middle class as “the very first thing” his new administration would put forward.

In Monday’s election, the Liberals lost 20 seats, leaving them 13 short of an absolute majority in the 338-member Parliament. The main opposition Conservatives won 121 seats, with Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party splitting the bulk of the remaining seats.

“I think Canadians sent a clear message across the election of multiple parties that affordability and the fight against climate change are really clear priorities that they want this Parliament to work on,” the prime minister said Wednesday in his first news conference since the election.

“They also sent a clear message that they expect us as government to work with the other parties on these issues that matter to them, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he said.

[embedded content]

YouTube

Even so, Trudeau, who said he would unveil his new Cabinet on Nov. 20, promised to move ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, something the New Democrats and the Greens oppose but that Alberta — where the Liberals failed to win any seats — desperately wants.

The election results reflected a growing political divide between Canada’s eastern and western provinces. Although it won fewer seats in Parliament than the Liberals, the Conservative Party received more votes overall.

The $5.5 billion 620-mile-long pipeline has attracted strong opposition from environmentalists and some indigenous groups, but it would give the western province, which has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, direct access to Asian markets, bypassing U.S. refineries that now process 99% of its crude.

“For too long we have been selling our natural resources to the United States at a discount,” Trudeau said. “Getting our resources to markets other than the United States and getting that done as quickly as possible remains a priority.”

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

Florida Senate votes to permanently oust Broward Sheriff Scott Israel

Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Scott-Israel Florida Senate votes to permanently oust Broward Sheriff Scott Israel fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31f17a67-b48c-539d-aa9c-580a38bf7f70

The Florida Senate on Wednesday voted to permanently oust suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel whose officers in 2018 over the response to the mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The GOP-controlled state Senate voted 25-15 in favor of Israel’s permanent removal.

BROTHER OF SLAIN PARKLAND STUDENT CALLS OUT DEM SENATORS WHO VOTED TO REINSTATE SHERIFF: ‘I’M DISGUSTED’

“I hope the outcome provides some measure of relief to the Parkland families that have been doggedly pursuing accountability,” Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said in a statement after the vote.

All five state senators representing Broward County voted for Israel to remain in office. The parents of victims said they viewed this as an act of betrayal.

“That was very difficult to watch. They cried with us. They might even have seen my child dead, and so it was very difficult, and I know the Broward County voters are watching,” Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed at the school and has since been elected to the Broward School Board, told the Sun Sentinel.

FATHER OF PARKLAND SHOOTING VICTIM SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SHERIFF TRYING TO GET REINSTATED: ‘NO INTEGRITY AT ALL’

The chamber-wide vote Wednesday confirmed an initial decision made by the state Senate Rules Committee Monday. The four Broward County senators on that committee voted to reinstate the sheriff, prompting the families of many Parkland victims to crowd the offices of state senators pleading for them to permanently oust the sheriff when the vote came to the floor.

State Sen. Perry Thurston told fellow Democratic senate lawmakers earlier Wednesday that “if I was a parent I would want vengeance too” but claimed “95 percent of Broward County feels differently about the attempt to remove the sheriff.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Another Broward County Democratic senator, Gary Farmer, told the Sun-Sentinel emotions should not trump the rule of law in Israel’s case.

“Because of the horrendous and ghastly nature of that event, it’s easy to be moved by the emotion and the pleas of the parents who are still grieving and who forever will be grieving for the loss of their children,” Farmer said. “We are a country founded on rule of law. We cannot base our decision on emotion.”

Fox News’ Nick Givas contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Scott-Israel Florida Senate votes to permanently oust Broward Sheriff Scott Israel fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31f17a67-b48c-539d-aa9c-580a38bf7f70   Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Scott-Israel Florida Senate votes to permanently oust Broward Sheriff Scott Israel fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 31f17a67-b48c-539d-aa9c-580a38bf7f70

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

Canada’s Justin Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Westlake Legal Group rts2sim4-65f1b07db6916fd66d332bf0ead6f63d755532cb-s1100-c15 Canada's Justin Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media in Ottawa on Wednesday for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election. Stephane Mahe/Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Canada's Justin Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media in Ottawa on Wednesday for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election.

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will carry on with his progressive agenda despite the rebuke voters delivered in a national election this week that robbed his Liberal Party of its parliamentary majority.

Saying he hoped to move beyond the “divisive and challenging” campaign, Trudeau ruled out a coalition, saying he would instead govern from a minority position while working with other parties. He also pledged a tax cut for the middle class as “the very first thing” his new administration would put forward.

In Monday’s election, the Liberals lost 20 seats, leaving them 13 short of an absolute majority in the 338-member Parliament. The main opposition Conservatives won 121 seats, with Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party splitting the bulk of the remaining seats.

“I think Canadians sent a clear message across the election of multiple parties that affordability and the fight against climate change are really clear priorities that they want this Parliament to work on,” the prime minister said Wednesday in his first news conference since the election.

“They also sent a clear message that they expect us as government to work with the other parties on these issues that matter to them, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he said.

[embedded content]

YouTube

Even so, Trudeau, who said he would unveil his new Cabinet on Nov. 20, promised to move ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, something the New Democrats and the Greens oppose but that Alberta — where the Liberals failed to win any seats — desperately wants.

The election results reflected a growing political divide between Canada’s eastern and western provinces. Although it won fewer seats in Parliament than the Liberals, the Conservative Party received more votes overall.

The $5.5 billion 620-mile pipeline has attracted strong opposition from environmentalists and some indigenous groups, but it would give the western province, which has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, direct access to Asian markets, bypassing U.S. refineries that now process 99% of its crude.

“For too long we have been selling our natural resources to the United States at a discount,” Trudeau said. “Getting our resources to markets other than the United States and getting that done as quickly as possible remains a priority.”

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

Target Date Funds Are Great

What is a Target Date Fund? is a common question among novice investors. A target date fund holds stock and bond index funds and rebalances the relative weight of each asset class over time such that you will start out owning more stocks when you are younger and end up owning more bonds when you are older.

As the allocation between stocks and bonds changes automatically over time, the benefit for you is that you won’t have to think about asset allocation over time. The target date fund will automatically adjust for you as you age.

Target date funds are typically named with the year the owner of such fund is expected to retire. For example, a Target Date Fund 2060 presumes that you will retire in 2060.

Right now, a Target Date Fund 2060 will contain more stocks than bonds on the theory that you have time on your side to take on more risk.

As we get closer to the year 2060, the target date fund will adjust such that ultimately you’ll own more bonds than stocks on the theory that you will be needing the money soon and so cannot afford to take on the risk of stocks.

Who should buy Target Date Funds?

As you long as you purchase low fee target date funds, these are perfect investments for a novice investor. Early in your investing career, the most important thing to do is to get started.

Target date retirement funds let you “set it and forget it” while you focus on building up your investing accounts.

Advanced investors will complain that target date funds often contain unnecessary fees because they are essentially a “meta fund” where you’ll be responsible for paying the fees for all of the underlying mutual funds.

This may be true but there are many extremely low fee mutual funds (see below for some examples).

Regardless, early in your investing career it’s better to focus on your savings rate than minimizing fees.

Paying _slightly_ higher fees for the first five years of your career is not going to prevent you from becoming wealthy. Waiting five years to begin investing is going to cause problems.

Once your account grows to large amount (e.g. $100,000?) you can re-examine whether it makes sense to switch out of the Target Retirement Fund into your own asset allocation.

How do Target Date Funds work?

You can think of Target Date Funds as “meta funds” which hold multiple asset classes.

A typical Target Date Fund will contain separate funds each representing a target asset class such as:

  • Total US Equity Market
  • Total Non-US Equity Market
  • Total US Bond Market
  • Total Non-US Bond Market

If you invest in those four asset classes, you’ve effectively invested in the world’s entire equity and bond market.

The Target Date Fund selects an allocation between those four asset classes that is appropriate for your age.

As you get older, the administrator of the Target Date Fund will slowly adjust the asset allocation between those four asset classes.

Meaning the equity funds will decrease over time and the bond portion will increase.

By offloading risk and increasing the amount of bonds you own, you should expect less volatility and lower returns.

That may not sound good but as you get closer to retirement, you want lower volatility and lower returns to ensure that you don’t end up with significantly less money than you thought once you retire.

What are the best Target Date Funds?

Nearly all of the big mutual fund companies offer Target Date Funds.

That means you can expect to find them at places like:

  • Vanguard (Target Retirement Funds)
  • Schwab (Target Funds)
  • Fidelity (Freedom Funds)
  • TIAA-Cref (LifeCycle Funds)

Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2060 (VTTSX)

Westlake Legal Group VTTSX-Asset-Allocation Target Date Funds Are Great Investing

Let’s look at the Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2060 (VTTSX).

For a lawyer looking to retire in 2060, Vanguard proposes an asset allocation of approximately 90% stocks and 10% bonds (of which the equity is split 60/40 between the United States and International stock markets and the bonds are split 70/30 between the United States and International bond markets).

Schwab Target 2050 Index Fund (SWYHX)

Westlake Legal Group SWYHX-Asset-Allocation Target Date Funds Are Great Investing

Here’s a breakdown of Schwab Target 2045 Index Fund (SWYHX).

Schwab is proposing that a lawyer who wants to retire in 2045 should have a little more than 85% in stocks with the balance in bonds and cash.

Fidelity Freedom 2025 Fund (FFTWX)

Westlake Legal Group FFTWX-Asset-Allocation Target Date Funds Are Great Investing

Here’s a breakdown of Fidelity Freedom 2025 Fund (FFTWX), which is geared toward an investor who expects to retire in the near future.

As you can see, the asset allocation is completely different.

The Fidelity Freedom 2025 Fund has closer to 60% of the total fund invested in equities and the remaining 40% in bonds and cash.

TIAA-Cref Lifecycle Index 2060 Fund (TVIIX)

Westlake Legal Group TVIIX-Asset-Allocation Target Date Funds Are Great Investing

Here’s a breakdown of TIAA-Cref Lifecycle Index 2060 Fund (TVIIX).

As we would expect, TIAA-Cref has a more aggressive allocation of nearly 95% in stocks and 5% in bonds given the time horizon.

What fees are associated with Target Date Retirement Funds?

Earlier, we talked about Target Date Funds from four of the larger mutual funds companies.

Now, let’s take a look at the fees for each fund. These are the four we explored above:

  • Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2060 (VTTSX)
  • Schwab Target 2050 Index Fund (SWYHX)
  • Fidelity Freedom 2025 Fund (FFTWX)
  • TIAA-Cref Lifecycle Index 2060 Fund (TVIIX)

And here’s those same four Target Date Funds with their annual expense ratio.

  • Vanguard Target Retirement Fund 2060 (VTTSX) – 0.15%
  • Schwab Target 2050 Index Fund (SWYHX) – 0.08%
  • Fidelity Freedom 2025 Fund (FFTWX) – 0.65%
  • TIAA-Cref Lifecycle Index 2060 Fund (TVIIX) – 0.10%

What does the expense ratio tells us?

It means that for every $1,000 you have invested, you will pay $1,000 × the expense ratio in fees each year.

For example, Vanguard is charging $1.50 per year per $1,000 in management fees.

If you have $40,000 in the Vanguard fund, you’ll pay $60 a year for them to manage it.

If I were just making a decision on fees, I’d prefer the Schwab Target Date Fund since it charges the lowest fee.

But honestly, all of the fees are fairly low.

Fidelity is the most expensive and you’d still only be paying $260 a year if you had $40,000 invested with them.

Remember that when you’re getting started, your savings rate is way more important than than your investment return or a minor difference in fees.

Focus on piling up as much money as you can today.

And then you can focus on optimizing a portfolio once you have a big balance tomorrow.

Westlake Legal Group joshua_holt_authorphoto Target Date Funds Are Great Investing

Joshua Holt A practicing private equity M&A lawyer and the creator of Biglaw Investor, Josh couldn’t find a place where lawyers were talking about money, so he created it himself. He spends 10 minutes a month on Personal Capital keeping track of his money and his latest deal involved purchasing office space on the EquityMultiple real estate crowdfunding platform.

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

Canada’s Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Westlake Legal Group rts2sim4-b84fee161b853172d9dccb7315f1b8d35097bfc9-s1100-c15 Canada's Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election, at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday. Stephane Mahe/Reuters hide caption

toggle caption

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Westlake Legal Group  Canada's Trudeau Rejects Coalition In Favor Of Minority Government

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the news media for the first time since winning a minority government in the federal election, at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will carry on with his progressive agenda despite the rebuke voters delivered in a national election this week that robbed his Liberal Party of its parliamentary majority.

Saying he hoped to move beyond the “divisive and challenging” campaign, Trudeau ruled out a coalition, saying he would instead govern from a minority position while working with other parties. He also pledged a tax-cut for the middle class as “the very first thing” his new administration would put forward.

In Monday’s election, the Liberals lost 20 seats, leaving them 13 short of an absolute majority in the 338-member Parliament. The main opposition Conservatives won 121 seats, with Bloc Québécois and the New Democratic Party splitting the bulk of the remaining seats.

“I think Canadians sent a clear message across the election of multiple parties that affordability and the fight against climate change are really clear priorities that they want this Parliament to work on,” the prime minister said Wednesday in his first news conference since the election.

“They also sent a clear message that they expect us as government to work with the other parties on these issues that matter to them, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” he said.

[embedded content]

YouTube

Even so, Trudeau, who said he would unveil his new Cabinet on Nov. 20, promised to move ahead with the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, something the New Democrats and the Greens oppose but that Alberta — where the Liberals failed to win any seats — desperately wants.

The election results reflected a growing political divide between Canada’s eastern and western provinces. Although it won fewer seats in Parliament than the Liberals, the Conservative Party received more votes overall.

The $5.5 billion 620-mile-long pipeline has attracted strong opposition from environmentalists and some indigenous groups, but it would give the western province, which has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, direct access to Asian markets, bypassing U.S. refineries that now process 99% of its crude.

“For too long we have been selling our natural resources to the United States at a discount,” Trudeau said. “Getting our resources to markets other than the United States and getting that done as quickly as possible remains a priority.”

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

Joe Biden’s Sandy Hook claim challenged by brother of shooting victim

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095517179001_6095513885001-vs Joe Biden’s Sandy Hook claim challenged by brother of shooting victim fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio d1373f35-08b4-52c6-9082-bc1399b99020 article

In a campaign video, Joe Biden claims he met with families affected by the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut.

But at least one family member who lost a loved one in the bloody massacre – in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults – claims Biden is distorting the facts.

JT Lewis, 19, whose brother Jesse, 6, was killed in the attack, which happened just 11 days before Christmas, says it former President Barack Obama met with each of the grieving families after the Newtown shooting – but Biden didn’t.

SANDY HOOK FATHER AWARDED $450,000 IN DEFAMATION SUIT AGAINST UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR

“This is a lie,” Lewis writes in a Twitter message about Biden’s claim. “Obama came to Sandy Hook and met with every family. Joe Biden DID NOT.

“In fact,” Lewis adds, “my family was not allowed on Air Force One because we refused to support Obama/Biden gun control efforts.”

In another post, Lewis reminds his followers of another instance in which Biden got his facts wrong regarding a school shooting.

He refers to an incident from August of this year, when Biden claimed to have been vice president at the time of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

But the Parkland shooting happened in February 2018, more than a year after Biden left the vice presidency.

“@JoeBiden is either a liar or he’s losing his mind,” Lewis concludes.

Gaffes have been one area of concern for the Biden campaign, which has been losing momentum in recent weeks. Other topics that have some supporters worried include increased scrutiny of Ukraine business dealings that involved Biden’s son Hunter Biden.

A recent poll in the early primary state of South Carolina shows both Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders gaining support in the Palmetto State since July, while Biden has lost support over the same period.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095517179001_6095513885001-vs Joe Biden’s Sandy Hook claim challenged by brother of shooting victim fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio d1373f35-08b4-52c6-9082-bc1399b99020 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6095517179001_6095513885001-vs Joe Biden’s Sandy Hook claim challenged by brother of shooting victim fox-news/us/crime/mass-murder fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc Dom Calicchio d1373f35-08b4-52c6-9082-bc1399b99020 article

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

39 people found dead in truck in southeast England were Chinese nationals: report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103249001_6097104000001-vs 39 people found dead in truck in southeast England were Chinese nationals: report fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 19c2aae2-6417-578d-b816-4ba000e16906

The 39 people who were found inside the back of a semi-truck in England were identified on Thursday as Chinese nationals, according to reports.

The bodies were found near an industrial estate near London. Details about the victims have not been officially released except that one was a teenager.

The 25-year-old driver from Northern Ireland has been arrested on suspicion of murder. While Essex police have not identified him, several U.K. media outlets have named him as Mo Robinson, from Portadown, County Armagh. British police raided two sites in Northern Ireland.

TRUCK WITH 39 BODIES ENTERED ENGLAND FROM BELGIUM VIA FERRY, POLICE SAY

“This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our inquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened,” Essex Police Chief Superintendent Andrew Mariner told reporters at a press conference. “We are in the process of identifying the victims; however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”

The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office says it is clear that the container in which 39 people were found dead had come through the North Sea port of Zeebrugge.

Britain remains an attractive destination for immigrants, even as the U.K. is negotiating its divorce from the European Union. In Parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson put aside the Brexit crisis and vowed that human traffickers would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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“All such traders in human beings should be hunted down and brought to justice,” he said.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Brie Stimson and the Associated Press contributed  to this report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103249001_6097104000001-vs 39 people found dead in truck in southeast England were Chinese nationals: report fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 19c2aae2-6417-578d-b816-4ba000e16906   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097103249001_6097104000001-vs 39 people found dead in truck in southeast England were Chinese nationals: report fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/world fnc article 19c2aae2-6417-578d-b816-4ba000e16906

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Donald Trump And The Making Of A Predatory President

In the New York Military Academy’s 1964 yearbook, there is a striking photo of a young man with a young woman by his side. He stares smugly into the camera under the caption “Ladies Man.” 

This young man would go on to become president of the United States.

“The young lady in the picture, however, was not graduating senior Donald Trump’s girlfriend. Nor was she a visiting friend,” write journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy in their new book, “All The President’s Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator.”

“The woman in the picture is 19-year-old Fran D’Agati Dunn, a secretary who worked at the school at the time and was asked to step in for the photo. Nothing more than a prop.” 

Westlake Legal Group 5db067a82100009428ad3af2 Donald Trump And The Making Of A Predatory President

Getty / Hachette Books “All The President’s Women,” a new book from Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy, details a stunning breadth of allegations Donald Trump faces of misconduct and poor treatment of women.

It is this sort of narration, combined with a stunning 43 new allegations of Trump’s sexual misconduct, that makes “All The President’s Women” such an impactful read. Levine and El-Faizy painstakingly document Trump’s decadeslong history of treating women as objects and accessories, from making derogatory comments to walking into the dressing rooms of underage beauty queens to alleged rape.

We wanted to look at not just what he had done, but why and what it meant. Barry Levine

In early 2018, when adult film star Stormy Daniels was dominating the news cycle, Levine took notice. Between Daniels’ claim that Trump had paid her hush money and the accounts of 20 other women who came forward against Trump during the 2016 election, Levine knew there had to be more there.

Once he started digging, he realized he wanted to collaborate with another seasoned journalist, specifically a woman, on the project. After a couple of initial conversations, he decided he wanted to work with El-Faizy to tell a story that went beyond individual allegations of inappropriate behavior.

“I think we wanted to look at not just what he had done, but why and what it meant,” said El-Faizy. “How he came to be formed as the predator he became.”

HuffPost spoke with Levine and El-Faizy about the more than 100 interviews they conducted over the year they were writing the book, the patterns that emerged, and what the predatory behavior of the “most visible man on earth” says about our culture at large. 

Westlake Legal Group 5db0f208210000492634addc Donald Trump And The Making Of A Predatory President

HECTOR RETAMAL via Getty Images Adult film actress Stormy Daniels speaks to the media outside U.S. Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in New York City.

You reported 43 new allegations of misconduct against the president in this book. How did you all just go about locating the women that you spoke to? And also what made these women want to share their stories publicly?

Levine: It was extremely difficult. It was a very intensive period to cover, and that’s why I focused on the reporting while Monique was able to shape the narrative. But in terms of the women, I was fortunate ― in addition to finding Monique ― there were two other journalists that I was able to put together on my small team. One was Whitney Clegg, an investigative producer who re-interviewed some of the victims who came forward in 2016. And then I also was able to collaborate with Lucy Osborne, a producer for the BBC in London, who had done a documentary on Donald Trump and women. She had some leads on some women, particularly young models, that she had wanted to chase down. So she went off in one direction, Whitney went off in another direction, Monique was taking all the interviews as we were filing them and, under a tremendous deadline, turned the book into what I would consider a great read.

But I’ll just tell you one story, about Karen Johnson. She’s the woman who made the allegations about the night at Mar-a-Lago during a New Year’s Eve party, [during the time] when Melania Trump was dating Donald Trump. [Johnson says that] when Melania was upstairs, she was attacked [by Trump]. She said he had actually done to her [what he described doing in] the “Access Hollywood” tapes, in terms of grabbing her. She was someone who held onto this story for many, many years, and was fearful originally to come out with this story because she had been a dancer in her earlier life. And she thought, if I come out and say this, they’re going to attack me, they’re going to call me a liar because I had once been a dancer. And so she kept this secret.

It took me two full months before she even felt comfortable to begin telling me the details. So, it’s been a very emotional journey in terms of getting these brave and courageous women to come forward. And I just have to say, I’m just so thankful that I was able to work with Monique and Lucy and Whitney to pull all this together. 

What patterns emerged for you as you were going through all of the reporting?

El-Faizy: To me, that was the unexpected power of the book. We’ve all heard the stories, the women would come forward one by one. But when you put it all in one space, first of all, it’s enormous, and that’s shocking in and of itself, but these patterns really do emerge. [Trump] clearly has a thing for younger women. He started talking about Ivanka being sexy when she was around the same age as these models that he was kind of staring at backstage and pursuing at parties. So that’s one of the patterns.

He likes porn stars, as we’ve seen throughout his life. And he has these habits. He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room.

What’s interesting is that there were very few one-offs. We only put things in [the book] that fit the pattern, because he has such well-established patterns over the years. What was powerful about that is, when we would interview the women, almost all of them in some way blamed themselves: “What kind of vibe was I putting off? What was I wearing?” And when you look at them in the context of these patterns, you realize it has almost nothing to do with that woman. If it wasn’t that woman, it would’ve been another woman wearing something else and putting off a totally different vibe.

He’ll push somebody against the wall and try and kiss them. He’ll grab a breast or a buttock. When he’s in a property that he owns, whether it be a hotel or Mar-a-Lago, he feels that he has the right to walk in on a woman in her room. Monique El-Faizy

I think that really comes across in the book, especially when you get to the end and you’re reading the appendix, which outlines every single allegation. There are stories that you’ll get to one and say, oh, that sounds exactly like that other woman’s story, down to the details. It’s very striking. 

Levine: About six months into the reporting, we were getting all these new stories, in addition to cataloging the earlier allegations that were made in 2016. And at the same time, I was also digging into research and finding stories about [Trump’s] inappropriate behavior with women that had popped up in the media but had never really been cataloged ― everything from making horrible comments to a model that was seated at a table with Graydon Carter, to incidents where he himself said that he attacked women, [like] pouring a glass of wine on a reporter in New York.

To me, [these incidents] all needed to be cataloged. I think it’s very powerful, after you go through the beautifully shaped narrative that Monique wrote, that you then get, in very black and white fashion, every single allegation of inappropriate behavior, in addition to the disparaging comments that I found he made involving so many women. I just think when you read them one after another, it is extremely impactful. And so the appendix of this book, to me, is as important as the narrative itself.

As you both alluded to earlier, you take a deep look into Trump’s early years, which is probably something that most readers will know less about. To me, it seemed like his treatment of women as objects and accessories began very early. Would you say that that’s accurate?

El-Faizy: Absolutely. That’s why I chartered the book the way I did. In his graduation photo from the military academy, the woman standing next to him is an accessory. To me, that said it all.

And I think that that comes from his father, too. His father would bring these young, pretty girls up to the academy. From what his classmates say, these were not women that Donald Trump knew or had any kind of relationship with. They were just girls that his dad would bring up for him, presumably for the image of it. So I think that he didn’t develop that attitude in a vacuum.

And how do you think those early experiences with women then impacted his relationship with women later on in his life?

El-Faizy: What’s interesting is that he never changes. We interviewed one of his classmates, Andy McIntosh, who said, “We were in an all-male academy. We learned about women and girls from Playboy magazine. But then we got out and realized, oh no, that’s not an appropriate way to look at women.”

And Trump just never made that change. To me, what’s interesting is that nothing later in his life impacted him enough to force him to reconsider his attitude.

The book also gets into Trump’s obsession with models, with Playboy, and with beauty pageants. You include a quote from a former Miss Arizona who says that she believes Trump purchased the Miss Universe organization explicitly “to utilize his power to get around beautiful women.” What did you take away from that?

El-Faizy: Trump is, at his heart, a business guy. And if that’s your mind state, you buy whatever you want in life. He had the money to do it; he wanted these women, so he just went out and bought access to women, with the beauty pageant, with the modeling agency. And I think for a lot of these men, it’s as much about being around the women as it is how it looks to other men.

There’s a story in the book from a hairstylist who used to blow-dry Marla Maples’ hair. And he told me that Trump would come into the salon and just stand by her chair and look around and see who was watching him be with Marla. So it wasn’t that much about, “Oh, I want to see my girlfriend Marla.” It was about, “I want to be seen in the presence of this young, beautiful blonde.” It’s the equivalent of driving a red Ferrari. 

Levine: I tend to take a much darker view of those years. It’s absolutely clear in the book that for Donald Trump, creating his own modeling agency and being a part of some of these other beauty pageants and contests that he would arrange parties for at the Plaza Hotel in the ’90s — that became his personal hunting ground. 

Take the story, for instance, that Heather Braden told. Heather was a model, and she told a story where Trump and these actors were in this giant Miami Beach mansion with like 50 models. It really wasn’t a party. The whole thing was an exercise for Donald Trump and these three other men to see how many of these models they could take in the private rooms, sometimes two or three women at a time.

Heather was older at the time, and she was kind of watching everything take place. She turned down Trump, but she said these younger models didn’t know any better. And they would come out disheveled; they would look very uncomfortable when they came out of the private rooms, and there was no question in her mind that these were sexual experiences taking place. Donald Trump had created this private hunting ground to allow himself access to young models. And he formed a very tight relationship with John Casablancas, the founder of the Elite modeling agency. 

For Donald Trump, creating his own modeling agency and being a part of some of these other beauty pageants and contests … that became his personal hunting ground. Levine

This book puts all of these allegations together and uncovers a lot of new information, but for years now, there has been a pretty well-documented history of Trump’s misogyny and sexual misconduct. And yet it largely has not been seen as a dealbreaker for his supporters. Why do you think that there are a lot of people who feel allegations of sexual misconduct can be dismissed or overlooked?

El-Faizy: Yeah, it’s interesting. I had written a book about evangelical Christianity years ago, so I went back to that community for this book because, of course, the evangelical community is probably what put Trump over the edge in 2016. That community is very much run by male leaders, and so it was the men who really drove that train for Trump.

One of the evangelical women I spoke to and I said, “What is it? Why are they supporting him?” She said, “I think that a lot of them think, ‘If I wasn’t a Christian, that’s what I would be doing.’” Trump is surrounded by porn stars and beautiful blondes and whatever. And so she thought there was a certain kind of male envy. 

The structure of the evangelical church, where Trump gets the bulk of his support, is very patriarchal. For them, this kind of patriarchy is what God has instructed them to do, and they find all kinds of different ways of rationalizing it. Early on, I called an old source of mine. I said, “how on earth are you supporting him?” And they said, “God uses imperfect vessels.” So they rationalize it by saying, [Trump] is being used, he’s a tool of God. He doesn’t need to be perfect, we’re all sinners. But at the very core of their support is just a comfort with patriarchy and the idea that women are supposed to be submissive to men.

And then the more cynical answer is the community supports him because he does what they want him to do. He gets them conservative judges, he’s helping roll back abortion laws, things like that. But in terms of the women being able to support him, it’s because they live within a world in which they’ve completely accepted the idea of patriarchy.

I feel like another sentiment that I hear a lot, even among people who believe that Trump is predatory, is exhaustion and frustration that these allegations don’t seem to stick to him. So, why bother? What would you say to those people?

El-Faizy: I think that’s part of the reason why it was important to put all these [allegations] in one place, because it is easier to dismiss individual behaviors. But when you look at it all in the aggregate, you realize it’s not really just about one man’s behavior; it is about systems that allow this behavior to go on for decades and decades. Trump is one of many men who has been able to be predatory with women. I would argue, right now, he’s the one we should be looking at because he’s the most visible man in the world and he sets an example. But there needs to be a look at the systems that allow this to go on.

When we brush aside or when we say we’re tired of this, we’re being complicit, we’re letting it go on. We have to get outraged about every one of these things. I’m now sort of going off-topic a little bit, but when I read the Ta-Nehisi Coates book “Between the World and Me,” that was the thing that I came away with. We can’t just say, “Oh, there’s another black kid getting shot.” We have to be outraged every time or this never ever changes. 

It’s not really just about one man’s behavior; it is about systems that allow this behavior to go on for decades and decades. El-Faizy

Levine: This is a man who wants another four years to be president of our country. You can’t say, ‘Who cares?’ You can’t turn away from the truth. 

Given the sheer breadth of allegations that exist against President Trump, do you think that we should be speaking about him in the same way that we speak about predatory men like Bill Cosby or Harvey Weinstein?

El-Faizy: I think absolutely.

Levine: The reporting shows that Donald Trump has been a predator over the course of many decades. There needs to be a reckoning here of his behavior. And we had to attempt to connect the dots to show not only the actual instances of the allegations but also to talk about how he became a predator. And I hope that the readers will get answers to that.

Why is it so essential for the American public to grapple with Trump’s predatory behavior? What does this one man’s story say about our culture at large?

El-Faizy: I think it’s his behavior, but also his policies. His behavior reveals an attitude about women, and that attitude is being held by the man who formed policy for American women and also for women around the globe. And we see the manner in which those attitudes are affecting women around the world, and the systems that are supporting these kinds of things. 

What was so hurtful about the confirmation [of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh] was that you had an accuser [Christine Blasey Ford] who came forward, she was credible, people listened to her. And yet there was very little investigation and he was confirmed anyway. So I think a lot of women felt like, we thought we made all these advances since the ’60s, but in fact, the patriarchy is alive and well and still completely in control of the system. And I think that’s important to examine. 

So now the book is out there in the world and we have this information. What should we be doing with it? What do you hope comes next?

Levine: I really think it is so important now, despite everything else going on with the impeachment inquiry, that investigative news organizations take the time to pick up these allegations and dig deeper because there are still so many stories. There is so much more material out there on Donald Trump and women.

When I was wrapping up the book, the E. Jean Carroll allegations [that Trump had attempted to rape Carroll in the mid-’90s] surfaced. And first of all, after the reporting I had done, everything that she said rang true. But beyond that, there were news organizations who were wrestling with whether they were going to present her allegations to begin with. And to me, that is the absolutely wrong thing. We need to allow these women to tell their stories. To me, that’s the most important thing. 

El-Faizy: I think that we’ve seen that women are not fully valued in society and we need massive change. And I think that the midterm elections with all these young, newly elected women, were the beginning of that. And I hope that that’s not just a one-off and that that continues, because until we reach parity in the power structures of organizations and in government, this is not going to be fully addressed and fully changed. We need to see more women getting elected and that this is not just a moment, but actually the beginning of some real change.

Levine: I hope that even if people hear these allegations and don’t even read the book, that it will make them aware that the story of Donald Trump and women, his predatory behavior, has not been fully written, and that this is something they should remember when they consider whether or not they want him to be president for another four years.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Molly Sims stuns in tiny animal-print bikini on Mexican getaway

Westlake Legal Group sims Molly Sims stuns in tiny animal-print bikini on Mexican getaway Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c7ea744-beec-5732-bc3d-a2b12fd38e02

Molly Sims isn’t letting the chilly fall weather get to her.

The model, 46, showed off her amazing bikini body while relaxing on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

MOLLY SIMS GETS CANDID ON MOTHERHOOD, WHY SHE PUT HOLLYWOOD ON HOLD

She donned a teeny-tiny animal print swimsuit as she rocked in a swing-chair. “Because if you’re wearing a bikini on a Monday, it’s a good day… (even if it’s for an hour),” she captioned the snap on Wednesday.

For the last few days, Sims has been documenting her vacation with new photos showing off her beach and dinner fashion choices. She’s also been keeping up with her workouts while enjoying time off.

She posted an intense poolside workout on her Stories which involved bands and cardio.

Sims stays in shape with trainer, Laura Keller.

MOLLY SIMS GETS CANDID ABOUT HER FERTILITY STRUGGLES: ‘I DON’T WANT IT TO BE SOME DIRTY LITTLE SECRET’

“This woman has changed my body and I couldn’t thank her any more,” the actress shared on her website. “I’m a firm believer in getting in a power workout even if its for 30 minutes over a one-hour workout. As long as you give it your all, you’re going to see results.”

As for her eating habits, Sims previously had said, “I don’t have a specific diet and no I do not calorie count. I eat when I’m hungry.”

Sims married movie producer Scott Stuber in 2011. The couple share sons Brooks, seven, Grey, two, and daughter Scarlett, four.

Westlake Legal Group sims Molly Sims stuns in tiny animal-print bikini on Mexican getaway Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c7ea744-beec-5732-bc3d-a2b12fd38e02   Westlake Legal Group sims Molly Sims stuns in tiny animal-print bikini on Mexican getaway Jessica Napoli fox-news/entertainment/style fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6c7ea744-beec-5732-bc3d-a2b12fd38e02

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