web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 163)

In Steve Bannon’s Basement, a Rogue ‘War Room’ to Fight Impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 23radio-impeach01-facebookJumbo In Steve Bannon’s Basement, a Rogue ‘War Room’ to Fight Impeachment Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry impeachment Breitbart News Network LLC Bannon, Stephen K

WASHINGTON — It’s been more than a year since any sort of war room has been run out of the basement of Stephen K. Bannon’s Capitol Hill townhouse. And it’s been even longer since Mr. Bannon, who was pushed out as White House chief strategist in August 2017, ran a war room for President Trump.

But everyday for the next two months — or “until the day after the acquittal of Donald J. Trump,” in Mr. Bannon’s words — a rogue, freelance messaging operation to fight impeachment is being broadcast there. The people involved in the radio show, all former Trump aides and supporters, say their intentions are clear: They want to nudge the White House, its allies and the president himself into taking a more focused and aggressive posture to undermine the inquiry currently underway in the House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, during the third episode of the show, which is called “War Room,” the hosts sat at a dining room table covered in a spaghetti salad of microphone wires, and dispensed an hour’s worth of unsolicited advice.

Stop calling the inquiry a “witch hunt” and a “deep state” conspiracy, they said by way of guidance to the president and his advisers, because it’s deluding too many Trump supporters into a sense of complacency.

Stop insisting that polls showing majority public support for the impeachment inquiry are “fake news” — because they aren’t.

Stop dismissing everyone who testifies about the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine as a radical unelected bureaucrat.

And stop letting Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, go on Laura Ingraham’s and Sean Hannity’s prime time Fox News programs to defend the president.

“We can’t do the Rudy thing anymore,” said Mr. Bannon, who in his days as a Trump adviser — and proud provocateur — pushed the nationalist ideology that the president adopted. “Too many Ukrainian names, too many moving pieces.”

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

Mostly nodding along in agreement were his co-hosts, Jason Miller, the former communications director of the Trump campaign in 2016, and Raheem Kassam, a former editor at Breitbart. Mr. Giuliani’s defense of the president — often a nonlinear timeline of events; a lengthy cast of characters involving the events in question in Ukraine; and a blanket insistence of “no quid pro quo” — is too confusing, they agreed.

“Here’s our fundamental problem: We don’t have an elevator pitch to easily describe this to the right,” Mr. Miller said. He likened the explanations from the White House and its surrogates to the way someone solves the game “Clue,” with its menagerie of possible culprits, weapons and crime scenes.

The show, which is airing on a half dozen stations in Virginia and Florida and streams on the website WarRoom.org, is a remarkably blunt attempt by former Trump aides to criticize and influence the work of current Trump administration officials. Even the show’s name is something of an affront to the White House — and to Mr. Trump himself. He has told aides that he does not want to create a war room, as crisis response operations are often nicknamed, because he is concerned that people would see it as an acknowledgment that he views the impeachment inquiry as legitimate.

Though many in the White House may be tempted to dismiss the show as a bootleg operation run by people cut off from Mr. Trump’s inner circle, Mr. Miller said in an interview that the president ultimately cares about one thing when it comes to managing a crisis of this magnitude: “Are there people defending me or not?”

Mr. Miller added that with the exception of a handful of Trump loyalists, “There is a serious lack of Trump allies jumping out there and defending the president.” Too few Republicans, he said, are questioning the process of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which he said was being run in a clandestine fashion from “Schiff’s secret Capitol basement bunker.” It was a reference to the secure hearing room in the Capitol where Representative Adam Schiff of California, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, is presiding over witness interviews.

The idea for the new program came to Mr. Bannon after he appeared last week on the radio show of John Fredericks, a conservative whose daily broadcast airs across Virginia. He was floored by the backlash he got when he stated what he said he assumed was accepted as fact among Republicans and Democrats alike: Mr. Trump is likely to be impeached.

“We’re like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’” Mr. Fredericks said in an interview.

Many in Mr. Trump’s base, fed a heavy diet of talking White House talking points that House Democrats are attempting a “coup” without any evidence of wrongdoing, have come to believe that impeachment is a farce.

Mr. Fredericks faulted the White House. “That’s what the White House communications department pushed out for a month,” he said. “It’s fake news, deep state, witch hunt. It’s never going to amount to anything at all.”

While the hosts offered little praise for the White House messaging effort, their praise of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was effusive.

In a broadcast earlier this week, Mr. Bannon warned Mr. Trump’s supporters not to be blinded by their animosity toward the speaker. “I don’t care if you hate Nancy Pelosi,” he said. “This is a master, and she is teaching a master class.”

“Tough as boot leather,” he added.

Mr. Miller said Wednesday that Ms. Pelosi is one of “the best communications directors on the planet,” who has been able to dominate news cycles by releasing key details from the closed-door testimony. That’s what Democrats did on Tuesday after William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, described how Mr. Trump held up $391 million in assistance for the purpose of forcing Ukraine to help Mr. Trump discredit his potential 2020 political rivals.

Ms. Pelosi, added Mr. Kassam, has figured out how to use the Congressional investigative process to the Democrats’ advantage. And Mr. Trump’s supporters can’t belittle that.

“There’s a very serious failure to take this whole process seriously from the Republican side,” he said.

As Mr. Trump railed about the saboteurs inside his administration on Wednesday, tweeting that the “Never Trumpers” like Mr. Taylor were out to get him, Mr. Bannon offered some feedback on the air. “All of these people,” he said, were “hired by Donald J. Trump or hired by people Donald J. Trump hired,” he said.

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

Gutfeld on banning the word ‘b–ch’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097185422001_6097182916001-vs Gutfeld on banning the word 'b--ch' Greg Gutfeld fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 83c9dfe9-6cc1-5a86-92c3-4f770182b289

One shouldn’t take crazy stuff seriously. Because there’s nothing normal about crazy stuff, and you don’t want to pretend there is.

Problem is, this is the golden age of crazy.

You have Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., in Washington, D.C. You have homelessness in California. And you have crazy protesters in London.

TUCKER CARLSON: SAN FRANCISCO BANS WORDS TO HIDE ITS CRIME PROBLEM — AND TO CONTROL YOUR MIND

And now in Boston, Democratic state Rep. Dan Hunt has introduced a bill that makes using the word used to describe a pregnant dog punishable by six months in jail. Before you dismiss this as piffle, let’s not forget: It made it this far. From a citizen to a government body, in a large city, in a large state.

Crazy is like mold. The longer you look away, the bigger it gets.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

Some people will defend this bill, saying, “While I don’t agree, I understand. Words hurt.”

No, this is what happens when you pretend crazy is never going to get out of its crazy little box. It’s out of the box now.

That box was a college campus. Then the California Legislature. Now it’s in media, human resource departments and government.

When sane people go for shelter, the crazy comes out. A socialist runs for president. Words get banned. Secret cabals, egged on by the media, undermine a duly elected government.

And they call you crazy? Real crazy is on the march.

Crazy wants to turn math into gibberish. It wants to ditch school grades. It blocks people from going to work, throws fluid on politicians, mobs people at their houses, spits and punches at others for wearing hats, concocts hoaxes to incite violence, keeps the sick and drug addicted on the streets, brands biology a phony construct. And now, crazy wants to make insults illegal.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The crazy people also think the world is ending in 10 years.

With them running the asylum, who can say they’re wrong?

Adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on October 23, 2019.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY GREG GUTFELD

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097185422001_6097182916001-vs Gutfeld on banning the word 'b--ch' Greg Gutfeld fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 83c9dfe9-6cc1-5a86-92c3-4f770182b289   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097185422001_6097182916001-vs Gutfeld on banning the word 'b--ch' Greg Gutfeld fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/shows/the-five/transcript/gregs-monologue fox-news/politics/elections/first-amendment fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 83c9dfe9-6cc1-5a86-92c3-4f770182b289

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

Man charged in shooting death of 2-year-old girl in Philadelphia, another man in custody: police

A man has been charged in connection with the shooting death of a 2-year-old girl in Philadelphia, police said Wednesday, adding that a second suspect is in also now in custody.

Police have identified the suspect as Freddie Perez Jr. and said he was arrested on Tuesday in Chester, Pa.

Perez, 30, has been charged with nine counts of attempted murder and two of conspiracy to commit murder, Fox 29 reported, adding that police have not identified Perez as the gunman, but said he was involved in the shooting.

PENN STATE FRAT BROTHERS LINKED TO PLEDGE’S DEATH WON’T SERVE JAIL TIME, JUDGE RULES

The Philadelphia district attorney did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Philadelphia police told Fox News on Wednesday that a second male suspect is in custody on unrelated charges and has not yet been formally charged, and therefore, has not yet been identified.

Westlake Legal Group Nikolette-Rivera Man charged in shooting death of 2-year-old girl in Philadelphia, another man in custody: police Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox news fnc/us fnc article a4003559-06e1-5bf0-bb1a-ceba2b669fc5

Investigators said 2-year-old Nikolette Rivera was shot once in the back of the head on Sunday and was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the shooting happened around 3:30 p.m. in a home on Water Street in Kensington, near Philly.

Rivera’s mother, 24, was holding her daughter at the time of the shooting and was rushed to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to her left arm and a graze wound to the head, according to police. She was listed in stable condition.

Police said a 33-year-old man, who was cleaning the carpets inside the home, was shot in the abdomen and rushed by police to the hospital in critical but stable condition. Police told Fox News they are both expected to survive.

Police said Rivera’s mother and her 46-year mother were inside the home having the carpets cleaned and were watching several small children when shots were fired through the front door and front windows, striking all three victims. Detectives found six rifle casings in the street directly in front of the house, according to police, adding that investigators are also looking at a possible connection to a shooting that took place nearby eight minutes before the homicide. Police said in that shooting, two men opened fire on a black SUV using an assault rifle and a handgun.

PHILADELPHIA SHOOTING LEAVES 2-YEAR-OLD DEAD, COMES HOURS AFTER 11-MONTH-OLD BABY SHOT 4 TIMES

Investigators said they believe Rivera’s father may have been the target in the shooting that killed his daughter, Fox 29 reported.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Dozens gathered to remember Rivera Monday night, the television station reported.

“She was awesome. She was great. She was a star. She was a superstar,” her great-aunt Amelia Pagan reportedly said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney responded to the weekend violence in the city after two separate shootings that left Rivera dead and an 11-month-old boy in the hospital.

“Outraged, disgusted, and heartbroken by the violence this weekend that claimed the life of an innocent 2-year-old and left another infant fighting for his life,” Kenney tweeted. “My prayers are with their families and communities during this tragic time. Philadelphians should not live in fear of violence that could take away a child’s life. But for too many, this is a sad reality. With the unabated flow of illegal guns and drugs, we must do whatever we can locally to address violence and help residents.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Following the weekend’s bursts of violence, Coulter reportedly said that in her 30-year law enforcement career, she had not seen two separate shootings in less than 24 hours involving children so young.

Westlake Legal Group Nikolette-Rivera Man charged in shooting death of 2-year-old girl in Philadelphia, another man in custody: police Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox news fnc/us fnc article a4003559-06e1-5bf0-bb1a-ceba2b669fc5   Westlake Legal Group Nikolette-Rivera Man charged in shooting death of 2-year-old girl in Philadelphia, another man in custody: police Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime fox-news/us fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/philadelphia fox news fnc/us fnc article a4003559-06e1-5bf0-bb1a-ceba2b669fc5

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

GOP Questions Testimony Of Highly Respected Diplomat Who Gave Explosive Ukraine Testimony

WASHINGTON ― Seeking to defend Donald Trump in the unfolding scandal that threatens his presidency, some Senate Republicans are tiptoeing toward a new message that involves questioning the integrity of a highly respected American diplomat who served under former President George W. Bush.

William Taylor is a West Point graduate with a long career in government. He’d served as America’s top diplomat in Ukraine before, from 2006 to 2009. Taylor’s stature makes his congressional testimony ― in which he raised concerns about an “irregular” foreign policy channel run by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, one that conditioned a meeting between Trump and the president of Ukraine on the opening of an investigation into Joe Biden and his family ― damning for the president.

Most GOP lawmakers deflected queries about the substance of Taylor’s remarkable 15-page opening statement on Wednesday, complaining instead about process and the Democrats’ closed-door impeachment inquiry in the House. But some sought to dismiss the testimony outright, arguing that the account of the acting ambassador to Ukraine was merely his “opinion.”

“I’m becoming very skeptical of bureaucrats and their opinions of Donald Trump,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said, referring to the figure Republican Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made America’s top diplomat in Kyiv just a few months ago.

Cramer claimed further that Taylor offered “no evidence” of a quid pro quo relating to assistance for Ukraine, panning his opening statement as “hearsay.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) similarly shrugged off Taylor’s testimony, telling a reporter, “I don’t know him better from Adam. I know you better than I know Bill Taylor.” (Taylor was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2006, four years after Cornyn joined the upper chamber.)

But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) demurred, telling reporters, “The best way for us to judge Bill Taylor is for us to hear from him ― not read about him.”

Trump, meanwhile, targeted Taylor in a tweet Wednesday, calling him a “Never Trumper Diplomat” whom he doesn’t know. The president also attacked John B. Bellinger III, Taylor’s attorney, who previously served in high-ranking State Department and White House positions during the George W. Bush administration. Bellinger did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Westlake Legal Group 5db0a7ff200000bf2250695f GOP Questions Testimony Of Highly Respected Diplomat Who Gave Explosive Ukraine Testimony

Tom Brenner / Reuters The acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, arrives on Capitol Hill before a closed-door hearing with members of Congress in Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2019.

Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, issued a statement on Tuesday night calling the Ukraine scandal a “coordinated smear campaign” by Democrats and “radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution.” Taylor’s testimony, she said, was “just more triple hearsay and selective leaks from the Democrats’ politically motivated, closed door, secretive hearings.”

Asked about the White House statement on Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who traveled to Ukraine earlier this year, offered a lone voice of support for Taylor even as he echoed his colleagues’ complaints about his testimony. 

“I’ve only met with Ambassador Taylor I think only the one time. I’ve got respect for him,” Johnson said.

Taylor told House investigators on Tuesday that, when he was serving outside of government during the Obama administration, he urged Obama administration officials to provide Ukraine with lethal defensive weapons to protect itself from Russia. He also said he supported “much stronger sanctions against Russia” than the Obama administration put in place, a stance which aligns with the positions of many Republicans at the time. 

Taylor told investigators he was hesitant to take the job because he believed former Ambassador Masha Yovanovitch “had been treated poorly, caught in a web of political machinations both in Kyiv and in Washington.” But he said a senior Republican official who’d been a mentor to him urged him to take the position because “if your country asks you do to something, you do it ― if you can be effective.”

Much of the reaction to Taylor’s testimony among Senate Republicans on Wednesday was procedural in nature, hammering House Democrats for refusing to make public Taylor’s entire nine-hour testimony. Several news outlets obtained Taylor’s opening statement on Wednesday evening; it was not released formally by the three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry. 

“I’m not going to play that game. I’m not going to say I’m concerned about selective leaking. When he testifies in public, I’ll tell you what I think,” Graham said when asked about the statement. The South Carolina Republican, a top ally of Trump, accused Democrats of running a “concerted effort to drive the president’s numbers down to probably build a vote for impeachment.”

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, similarly declined to weigh in on the substance of Taylor’s testimony, stating that the process “makes it hard to know how to evaluate anything coming out of that committee right now.”

“When the testimony is secondhand and thirdhand, I’m not sure where that gets you,” he said.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also complained to reporters about the sourcing of Taylor’s opening statement.

“You guys are trying to tell me what was said, but you don’t have it firsthand, I don’t have it firsthand, how do we know what’s going on?” Murkowski said Wednesday morning after borrowing a reporter’s copy of Taylor’s opening statement, which she had not yet read at the time.

Neither Taylor nor his attorney have disputed that the copy of his opening statement obtained by numerous media outlets is, in fact, his. 

No Republicans whom HuffPost spoke to on Wednesday defended Trump on the substance of Taylor’s allegations ― that the Trump administration withheld assistance to Ukraine while pressing for an investigation into a political opponent.

“It is another very important piece of evidence we’ll have to weigh,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said when asked about Taylor’s testimony on Wednesday, referring to the growing likelihood of an impeachment trial in the Senate in coming months.

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

Resurfaced New York Times op-eds show writers using ‘lynching’ while describing Clinton impeachment

Westlake Legal Group 660-New-York-Times-AP Resurfaced New York Times op-eds show writers using 'lynching' while describing Clinton impeachment Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fa17c509-e2ac-598e-be93-4f3ef928308e article

As many Democrats took aim at President Trump for his use of the term “lynching” this week, a quick look at the archives from The New York Times shows its writers used similar language at the time of the Clinton Impeachment.

When The Times reported on Trump’s comments, it suggested the president had wrongly invoked the term, which is so closely associated with the hanging of black men throughout American history. “It was a remarkable term for the president to use to describe a legal process laid out in the Constitution,” The Times’ Eileen Sullivan reported on Tuesday.

When Trump tweeted, he defined the lynching as an impeachment process “without due process or fairness or any legal rights.” His complaints were similar to those of Republican politicians who complained that House Democrats were running a corrupt impeachment inquiry.

NEW YORK TIMES CHANGES ‘TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM’ HEADLINE AFTER BACKLASH

“This is un-American,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said in defense of Trump’s comments. “I’ve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody’s accused of a major misconduct who cannot confront the accuser, call witnesses on her behalf, and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge.”

In an op-ed from 1998, Times columnist Frank Rich wrote that Republicans treated former President Bill Clinton in a way that reinforced African-Americans’ fear of the legal system. His use of “lynching” was explicitly tied to race, whereas Trump’s wasn’t.

More from Media

“Though Bill Clinton has done little more for African-Americans than O. J. Simpson did, his support remains near-unanimous in black America,” he wrote.

“If nothing else, this is a measure of how deeply blacks still fear that our legal machinery can be stacked in favor of a lynch mob. And it’s hardly a mindless argument. The most rabid Clinton-haters in Congress are white Southerners, led by Bob Barr, who has spoken before the racist Council of Conservative Citizens. An impeachment trial’s jury of 100 senators will be whites only.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Writer Maureen Dowd, also in 1998, appeared to argue that Republicans and Independent Counsel Ken Starr acted like a lynch mob.

“The Clintons attack Mr. Starr to deflect attention from the president’s immoral behavior,” she wrote. “They appeal to decent American impulses — we do not like lynch mobs, we do not like hate-mongering, we do not like women who rat out girlfriends, we do not like Big Brother peeking through bedroom windows. The Clintons elicit our public-spirited impulses and use them for their private political gain.

Fox News contacted The New York Times for comment.

Westlake Legal Group 660-New-York-Times-AP Resurfaced New York Times op-eds show writers using 'lynching' while describing Clinton impeachment Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fa17c509-e2ac-598e-be93-4f3ef928308e article   Westlake Legal Group 660-New-York-Times-AP Resurfaced New York Times op-eds show writers using 'lynching' while describing Clinton impeachment Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fa17c509-e2ac-598e-be93-4f3ef928308e article

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

Park Police revises use of force rules in wake of shooting

Westlake Legal Group 18021767_G Park Police revises use of force rules in wake of shooting

In its response dated Tuesday, the Park Police said a revision to the general order on the use of force is under review. The agency’s manual for officer-involved shootings is also being revised, in part to ensure an impartial and objective investigation that promotes transparency and accountability. It’s also under review.

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

Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him

Westlake Legal Group 21dc-deepstate1-facebookJumbo Trump’s War on the ‘Deep State’ Turns Against Him United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Taylor, William B Jr Presidents and Presidency (US) impeachment Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates

WASHINGTON — Nameless, faceless and voiceless, the C.I.A. officer who first triggered the greatest threat to President Trump’s tenure in office seemed to be practically the embodiment of the “deep state” that the president has long accused of trying to take him down.

But over the last three weeks, the deep state has emerged from the shadows in the form of real live government officials, past and present, who have defied a White House attempt to block cooperation with House impeachment investigators and provided evidence that largely backs up the still-anonymous whistle-blower.

The parade of witnesses marching to Capitol Hill culminated this week with the dramatic testimony of William B. Taylor Jr., a military officer and diplomat who has served his country for 50 years. Undaunted by White House pressure, he came forward to accuse the same president who sent him to Ukraine a few months ago of abusing his power to advance his own political interests.

The House impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s efforts to force Ukraine to investigate Democrats is the climax of a 33-month scorched-earth struggle between a president with no record of public service and the government he inherited but never trusted. If Mr. Trump is impeached by the House, it will be in part because of some of the same career professionals he has derided as “absolute scum” or compared to Nazis.

“With all the denigration and disparagement and diminishment, I think you are seeing some payback here, not by design but by opportunity,” said Representative Gerald E. Connolly, a Democrat from Washington’s Virginia suburbs who represents many federal employees. “It’s almost karmic justice. All of a sudden, there’s an opportunity for people who know things to speak out, speak up, testify about and against — and they’re doing so.”

Current and former officials like Marie L. Yovanovitch, Fiona Hill and George P. Kent told House investigators how the government was circumvented by a rogue foreign policy operation on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Michael McKinley, a four-time ambassador and senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, described resigning after four decades at the State Department over the treatment of the career foreign service.

Even the original Anonymous is back, the unidentified author of a much-discussed essay in The New York Times last year claiming that officials within Mr. Trump’s administration were working “to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.” The writer, still unnamed, plans to publish a book next month called “A Warning.”

The witnesses heading to Capitol Hill do not consider themselves part of any nefarious deep state, but simply public servants who have loyally worked for administrations of both parties only to be denigrated, sidelined or forced out of jobs by a president who marinates in suspicion and conspiracy theories.

But it is also true that some career officials, alarmed at what they saw inside the corridors of government agencies, have sought ways to thwart Mr. Trump’s aims by slow-walking his orders, keeping information from him, leaking to reporters or enlisting allies in Congress to intervene.

And so what is “karmic justice” for the career establishment feels like validation to Mr. Trump and his circle that they were right all along.

“What you’re seeing now, I believe, is a group of mostly career bureaucrats who are saying: ‘You know what? I don’t like President Trump’s politics so I’m going to participate in this witch hunt that they’re undertaking on the Hill,’” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, told reporters last week.

Mr. Trump has lashed out angrily in recent days, implicitly threatening retribution. At a campaign rally in Dallas last week, he demanded four times to know who the original whistle-blower is.

“Is the whistle-blower a spy?” he asked. “We got a lot of bad people out there,” he added, “but one by one, we’re advancing. One by one.”

He did not elaborate, but his administration is moving to weed out career officials at the National Security Council. Robert C. O’Brien, his new national security adviser, plans to pare the council staff by about a third, from 174 policy experts to under 120, by early next year, generally through attrition. He initiated the effort before the whistle-blower complaint became public and frames it as efficiency, but it is seen by some as a way to purge internal “spies.”

The administration has sought all along to minimize the role of career officials. In the foreign service, 45 percent of the 166 ambassadors serving under Mr. Trump are political appointees chosen based on loyalty and campaign contributions, the highest rate in history, according the American Foreign Service Association.

As a result, there has been an exodus from public service. According to the Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan organization, the Trump administration lost nearly 1,200 senior career service employees in its first 18 months — roughly 40 percent more than during President Barack Obama’s first 18 months in office.

But now more are speaking out. In a letter to Mr. Pompeo this week, 36 former foreign service officers complained that he had “failed to protect civil servants from political retaliation,” citing in particular Ms. Yovanovitch, who was removed as ambassador to Ukraine after being targeted by Mr. Trump’s allies.

“The politicization of our diplomatic corps and the erosion of the values of our oath of office,” they wrote, “will make us more susceptible to the personal interests of an elite few, at the direct cost of our national security.”

Another letter signed by more than 270 former employees of the United States Agency for International Development said they were angry at the treatment of public servants and “distraught at the dangers inherent in the president’s cavalier (and quite possibly corrupt) approach to making foreign policy on impulse and personal interest rather than in response to national security concerns.”

The notion of a deep state of unelected bureaucrats secretly plotting to control government has a long history but until recently was more associated with foreign countries like Turkey or Egypt. In the United States, it was largely relegated to the political fringe or the subject of Hollywood thrillers.

But other presidents have viewed career officials warily at times. Ronald Reagan regularly derided bureaucrats and they in turn derided him. Bill Clinton fired the White House Travel Office staff fearing it was loyal to his predecessor. George W. Bush grew frustrated that career diplomats disregarded his “freedom agenda” foreign policy. Mr. Obama was convinced that the military leadership tried to box him into decisions he did not want to make.

Still, none of them went to war with the professional staff the way Mr. Trump has, a war fomented in part by far-right media and conspiracy theorists who have gained favor in the Trump era, propelling wild ideas into mainstream conversation. Bookstore shelves are stocked by new volumes with “deep state” in the title. The Epix television thriller “Deep State” refers to a president “who tweets like a teenage girl” being pressured by sinister forces to go to war.

“Washington hasn’t taken the deep state idea seriously; they treat it as a badge of honor or an inside joke,” said John Gans, the author of “White House Warriors,” a history of the National Security Council. “But it is a concern around the country. And one that has been stoked on the right by those who support the president.”

Mr. Trump, the first president never to have served a day in public office or the military, did not use the term deep state at first, but his hostility toward government was strong from the start. He blamed the leak of the so-called Steele dossier of unverified allegations against him on intelligence agencies and never trusted their conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on his behalf. He bristled at the National Park Service when official photos showed his Inauguration Day crowd was smaller than Mr. Obama’s.

He referred to officials detailed to the White House from agencies around the government as “Obama people.” When transcripts of his telephone calls with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked, it convinced him that he could not trust the career staff and so records of subsequent calls were stashed away in a classified database — including the rough transcript of his July 25 telephone call with Ukraine’s president that now has him on the verge of being impeached.

It was Stephen K. Bannon, then Mr. Trump’s chief strategist and a veteran of the conspiracy-minded world of alt-right media, who first articulated the war to come, declaring shortly after the inauguration that the administration’s goal would be the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”

Other aides resisted this mind-set. When Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster became national security adviser, he barred his staff from calling career officials “Obama holdovers” and promoted some of them. Soon enough, Mr. Bannon’s allies waged a campaign against General McMaster through Breitbart News and Twitter.

The search for disloyalty was especially pronounced at the State Department. Diplomats said career officials had largely been cut off from viewing memorandums of conversations written after senior officials talk to foreign leaders, memos traditionally used to help junior officers issue guidance to embassy staff members across the world. (A State Department spokesman denied that access to the memos had been restricted.)

At the American Embassy in Ottawa, tensions were high between the ambassador, Kelly Craft, and the highest-ranking career diplomat. One diplomat described a campaign to uncover evidence of staff disloyalty to the Trump administration. Another cast doubt that it was ordered by Ms. Craft but agreed that there was broad discomfort among career diplomats in Ottawa with Mr. Trump’s foreign policies.

While many career employees have left, some of those who stayed have resisted some of Mr. Trump’s initiatives. After the president canceled large war games with South Korea, the military kept doing them — just at a smaller scale and without talking about them. Fearing that Mr. Trump would blow up a NATO summit, diplomats negotiated an agreement before the forum even began.

When the White House ordered foreign aid frozen this year, agency officials quietly reached out to Congress for help reversing the decision, even drawing up lists of programs that would be starved of funding to help lawmakers pressure the administration. State Department officials similarly enlisted congressional allies to hinder Mr. Trump’s efforts to push through proposed weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and other nations.

State and Defense Department officials likewise tried to undermine the president’s decision to hold up the $391 million in security aid to Ukraine that now has him in trouble, going through back channels to tip off lawmakers. Pentagon lawyers even developed a finding that the aid freeze was illegal, according to a congressional aide, only to be rejected by the White House budget office.

Mr. Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, made clear to House investigators this week that he sought to resist the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine for political help, which he saw as “crazy” and “improper.” Even as Mr. Trump pushed to have Ukraine’s president go on CNN to publicly pledge to investigate Democrats, Mr. Taylor testified that he quietly advised Ukrainian officials not to do so for fear of getting involved in American domestic politics.

“As we are seeing pure-form Trumpism take over foreign policy, it is bumping up against the reality of professionalism,” said Derek Chollet, a former Obama administration official. “Even if there are people who may agree with the policy of the Trump administration, the way the administration and this president goes about doing business is unprofessional, unethical, perhaps illegal. And whatever your policy views, that cuts against what these folks have joined government to do.”

Mr. Trump first embraced the phrase “deep state” in June 2017 when he retweeted a post from Sean Hannity of Fox News and then used it himself for the first time on Twitter in November of that year, according to Bill Frischling of Factba.se, a service that analyzes data on Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Mr. Trump began using the term in speeches and media appearances in August 2018 at a Republican dinner in October, but he has turned to it increasingly as time has passed. He has referred to a deep state 23 times so far this year, twice as often as last year.

At the Young Black Leadership Summit this month, he railed against Democrats and “their deep-state cronies” who are “colluding in their effort to overturn the presidential election.” He brought up the “deep state, whatever you want to call them” again during a trade-pact signing ceremony. At a Louisiana rally, he denounced “the unholy alliance” of Democrats, the media and “deep state bureaucrats.”

In an interview with his former aide Sebastian Gorka, conducted before the impeachment conflict but published in The Daily Caller this month, Mr. Trump described his war with the deep state as fundamental to his presidency.

“If it all works out, I will consider it one of the greatest things I’ve done,” Mr. Trump said. “I think with the destruction of the deep state, certainly I’ve done big damage,” he added. “They’ve come after me in so many different ways; it’s been such a disgrace. But I think it’ll be one of my great achievements.”

That was then. Now he faces the counteroffensive. Mark Zaid, a lawyer for the whistle-blower, said career officials who suffered in silence finally had a voice. “What people are going to learn is this level of dissent has been ongoing almost since Day 1” he said. At first, “it was always a one-off. ‘This diplomat resigned.’ Then the story would disappear three hours later. It never went anywhere.”

“Now,” he added, “these people have a platform. And not just a platform, a megaphone.”

Reporting was contributed by Adam Goldman, Maggie Haberman, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt.

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

13 Republicans involved in impeachment protest already have access to hearings

Westlake Legal Group ivIOqMe5U4fJn21KTkhiWGDpaOiJCGULN_cHlHEw6jk 13 Republicans involved in impeachment protest already have access to hearings r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

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

Republican 2020 candidate slams ‘out of control’ Trump after his attack on GOP critics

Westlake Legal Group Weld-Trump Republican 2020 candidate slams 'out of control' Trump after his attack on GOP critics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bill-weld fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc d4a466b2-43fc-5353-bfdf-de92172d6ddd Charles Creitz article

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, a 2020 Republican presidential candidate, called President Trump “completely unacceptable” and rejected his claim GOP lawmakers who don’t support him are “human scum.”

Weld, who was 2016 Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson’s running mate, told Neil Cavuto Wednesday on “Your World” he is also seeing electoral headway in New Hampshire ahead of that state’s 2020 primary.

“I think the president is too out of control for this country,” he said.

“Things are moving in New Hampshire. I came up 28 points against the president in a head-to-head in the last 30 days… The president doesn’t help himself when he goes three-for-three on making America look like an unreliable ally.”

BILL WELD ‘THRILLED’ OTHER REPUBLICANS ARE CHALLENGING TRUMP IN PRIMARY

In that regard, Weld claimed Trump has weakened America’s standing in the world through his treatment of the Kurds in the Middle East, Ukraine, and most recently Iran.

Weld claimed the president is “begging” to get back to the negotiating table with Tehran.

He later laughed heartily when Cavuto asked about the president’s recent tweets — one of which claimed Republicans who don’t support him are “human scum,” and another that labeled frequent critic Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a “pompous ass.”

More from Media

“I think that he just is so unreliable and just can’t stick to a story, and particularly not a true story,” he said.

Regarding his primary battle with Trump, Weld said he is honing in on both New Hampshire and Super Tuesday states.

He rejected the claim his candidacy could be seen as hurting the Republican Party.

“They say everyone’s got to be loyal and rally around the flag [but] too often, particularly in Washington, D.C., loyalty is nothing but an excuse for doing the wrong thing,” he said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He called progressive Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., “not currently electable in the United States,” but added Trump’s reelection would be “perhaps a bigger risk than those two Democrats — who would not be able to get anything through Congress.”

During the interview, Weld and Cavuto also discussed whether his focus on New Hampshire has parallels to then-Sen. Eugene McCarthy’s, D-Minn., surprise primary performance there in 1968 — which lead incumbent President Lyndon Johnson to later drop out of the race. The 1968 Democratic nomination eventually went to Johnson’s vice president, Hubert H. Humphrey.

“I’m looking for 50 percent, not 40 percent. Pat Buchanan got 37, Gene McCarthy got 41 and they knocked people out of the race, but I have in mind Super Tuesday,” Weld said.

Westlake Legal Group Weld-Trump Republican 2020 candidate slams 'out of control' Trump after his attack on GOP critics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bill-weld fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc d4a466b2-43fc-5353-bfdf-de92172d6ddd Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group Weld-Trump Republican 2020 candidate slams 'out of control' Trump after his attack on GOP critics fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-hampshire fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/massachusetts fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/republicans fox-news/politics/elections/presidential-primaries fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/mitt-romney fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bill-weld fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc d4a466b2-43fc-5353-bfdf-de92172d6ddd Charles Creitz article

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

White House Arguing That Dems Are Treating Trump Unfairly, Not That He’s Innocent

Westlake Legal Group 5db0c3df200000b422506983 White House Arguing That Dems Are Treating Trump Unfairly, Not That He’s Innocent

WASHINGTON ― As it struggles for a “message” against impeachment, Donald Trump’s White House seems to be learning a lesson known to criminal defense lawyers for centuries: Things are a lot harder when the accused has already confessed and the prosecutors have loads of other evidence.

Trump’s staff has called the House’s impeachment inquiry “a star chamber,” “rigged,” “a sham” and “politically-motivated, closed door, secretive hearings.”

Trump himself has complained about “zero due process,” “the Democrats Scam,” and “a lynching.”

All these criticisms, though, are about the procedure Democrats are using to gather evidence that likely will be used to draw up articles of impeachment. White House staff almost never make any fact-based arguments, other than blanket assertions such as “President Trump has done nothing wrong,” as press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement Tuesday night.

One former federal prosecutor has a theory why.

“It is often said of trial lawyers that when the law is not on their side, they pound on the facts. When the facts are not on their side, they pound on the law. When neither the law nor the facts are on their side, they pound on the table,” said Danya Perry, referring to poet Carl Sandberg’s quip. “It seems there is an awful lot of table-thumping going on right now from the Trump administration and its allies.”

Indeed, Trump’s release of the rough transcript of his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed that he asked for the “favor” of investigating the Democratic candidate whom he most feared in 2020 as well as a debunked conspiracy theory that attempts to discredit the U.S. intelligence assessment that Russia helped Trump win the 2016 election. The next day, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) released a whistleblower’s complaint stating that those investigation requests were tied to Trump releasing $391 million in congressionally approved aide to Ukraine.

Those documents alone were enough to swing dozens of impeachment-skeptical Democrats to switch and support an impeachment inquiry, as well as to start the shift in attitude among the public at large. Majorities had once opposed impeachment proceedings. Now they support it.

Days after the release of the transcript, Trump said during a media availability on the South Lawn that Zelensky should indeed investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, and that China should, too.

And just last week, Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, admitted that the release of the aid, including $250 million in military assistance to fend off a Russian incursion in the eastern part of Ukraine, had been conditioned upon Zelensky’s agreement to start the investigations. “I have news for everybody: Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy,” he said.

They have no defense for what Trump did. The tide has turned. Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.)

In recent weeks, those documents and public comments have been corroborated in closed-door testimony from former and current administration officials.

All of that, said former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh, is pretty much impossible to refute. “They have no defense for what Trump did. The tide has turned. And they know it. He will be impeached,” said Walsh, who is now challenging Trump for the 2020 nomination. “And they now fear removal. And they should.”

Josh Schwerin, senior strategist for the group Priorities USA, which is working to help Democrats defeat Trump in 2020, said the White House and its allies have little choice but to complain about process. “Republicans know that what Trump did was wrong and an impeachable offense, so instead of continuing to try and defend the indefensible, they are attempting to distract with bad-faith talking points about process,” he said.

“Process,” though, is not a dodge, said one senior White House official, but rather a meaningful and serious part of what is happening.

“Without allowing due process rights to the president, it’s impossible to challenge the testimony of witnesses whose statements are being taken by chairman Schiff,” the official said on condition of anonymity, arguing that the two previous presidents who faced impeachment in modern times, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, were both afforded that opportunity.

“The president has no rights to present evidence or to cross-examine witnesses. And that is how you determine the truth,” the official said.

One former longtime Trump defender, however, said that Trump has no right to take part in the initial investigation, just as Nixon and Clinton did not. “Their process complaints are incorrect. Information gathering is being done in front of both parties and behind closed doors so as not to queer or corrupt testimony,” said Anthony Scaramucci, who briefly served as Trump’s communications director and who turned against Trump recently over his racist attacks against four Democratic congresswomen.

He said he understands, nevertheless, why the White House relies on the “process” arguments. “What choice do they have? They have no supporting facts,” Scaramucci said.

Rory Cooper, a Republican consultant and onetime top aide to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, agreed that “there is no way to defend the president’s conduct” and that Republicans are “stuck in a process argument” ― but added that House leaders are damaging their own case by not being more transparent.

“Democrats are giving them too much ammunition for that argument by not presenting a more clear picture of the process involved and when public testimony will occur and who will do the questioning,” Cooper said. “So long as this process takes place in private session with leaked materials, Republicans will be able to have these shows and keep the base questioning the integrity of the investigation and thus keep impeachment polling below what it will take to move Republican members away from the president.”

Perry, who once served as the deputy chief of the criminal division for the U.S. attorney’s office in New York City, said the process arguments are designed to obfuscate just how bad the facts emerging about Trump’s Ukraine dealings have been.

“The facts, as they are trickling out of congressional hearing rooms, are not good, and they are getting worse. The law also is not good,” she said, adding that the White House’s complaints are just plain wrong. “This is not a judicial process, with all its attendant rules and procedures. This is a political process, and the process largely is whatever Congress says it is. So the complaining coming out of the White House is the rhetorical equivalent to pounding as loudly as possible on the table and hoping to distract and misdirect.”

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