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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 170)

Matt Lauer rape accuser Brooke Nevils thanks supporters, calls Lauer letter ‘victim blaming’

Westlake Legal Group matt-lauer Matt Lauer rape accuser Brooke Nevils thanks supporters, calls Lauer letter 'victim blaming' fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article a05078e7-84be-54cf-bb8f-1e17d8da110a

A former NBC News employee whose rape allegation against Matt Lauer went public for the first time Wednesday posted a Twitter message later in the day, thanking those who supported her decision to come forward with her story.

Brooke Nevils, 35, who claims Lauer raped her in a hotel room at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, also excoriated Lauer in a letter to NBC News, calling Lauer’s written denial of her allegations “a case study in victim blaming.”

“There’s the Matt Lauer that millions of Americans watched on TV every morning for two decades, and there is the Matt Lauer who this morning attempted to bully a former colleague into silence,” Nevins wrote, in part, according to NBC News. “His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. … I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me.”

“His open letter was a case study in victim blaming. … I am not afraid of him now, regardless of his threats, bullying, and the shaming and predatory tactics I knew he would (and now has) tried to use against me.”

— Brooke Nevils, accuses Matt Lauer of rape

MATT LAUER BREAKS SILENCE ON RAPE ACCUSATION: READ HIS LETTER HERE

Variety was the first to report details from journalist Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book “Catch and Kill,” which includes the new rape allegation against Lauer, the 61-year-old former “Today” host who was fired in 2017 after being accused of sexual misconduct.

According to the Variety report, Nevils told Farrow that Lauer forced himself upon her and anally raped her but acknowleged that she and Lauer continued a relationship after returning to the U.S.

After a whirlwind day of news coverage, Nevils tweeted Wednesday evening: “I want to thank the many survivors who shared their stories with me today and offered their support. It takes courage, and I am truly grateful.”

Her Twitter post remained public as of Wednesday evening but her Instagram account was set to private.

After the Variety story broke overnight, Lauer’s former “Today” co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb voiced their support for Nevils on Wednesday morning’s show.

“This is shocking and appalling, and I honestly don’t even know what to say about it,” Guthrie said. “I know it wasn’t easy for our colleague Brooke to come forward then. It is not easy now, and we support her and any women who come forward with claims. And it is just very painful. For all of us at NBC who are at the ‘Today’ show, it is very, very difficult.”

Lauer, who left the public spotlight since his dismissal, denied Wednesday that the encounter described in Farrow’s new book was rape. He admitted to having an extramarital affair with Nevils but said their relationship was completely consensual.

In a lengthy letter obtain by Fox News, Lauer said that in the hotel room in Sochi, “Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.” The letter also points out that Nevils told Farrow that she had reached out to Lauer several times after their encounter in Japan and even met him at his New York apartment to continue the affair.

“Brooke did not do or say anything to object. She certainly did not cry. She was a fully enthusiastic and willing partner.”

— Matt Lauer

NBC Chairman Andrew Lack said the network hadn’t known of Lauer’s behavior with Nevils until the day before he was fired in November 2017. Lauer said in his letter that he already admitted to the encounter to NBC management but was at not point notified that Nevils categorized it as rape. He also said that his public silence since his firing had been a mistake.

After the alleged rape, Nevils described the relationship as “completely transactional” and told Farrow she feared Lauer’s potential influence over her career. Lauer pushed back, writing that though they worked for the same company, they worked in completely separate departments and he never was in a position to review her work.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

He also accused Nevils of stepping forward nearly two years after he was fired in an effort to bolster publicity in order to sell Farrow’s new book. Nevils reportedly received a seven-figure settlement from NBC back in 2017 and her name was kept out of the news until Wednesday.

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Liam Quinn contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group matt-lauer Matt Lauer rape accuser Brooke Nevils thanks supporters, calls Lauer letter 'victim blaming' fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article a05078e7-84be-54cf-bb8f-1e17d8da110a   Westlake Legal Group matt-lauer Matt Lauer rape accuser Brooke Nevils thanks supporters, calls Lauer letter 'victim blaming' fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/entertainment/tv fox-news/entertainment/genres/books fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/media fnc Danielle Wallace article a05078e7-84be-54cf-bb8f-1e17d8da110a

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Nationals rally, stun Dodgers with Howie Kendrick’s 10th-inning grand slam to win first-ever series

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Nationals rally, stun Dodgers with Howie Kendrick's 10th-inning grand slam to win first-ever series

USA TODAY Sports’ Steve Gardner breaks down how the Nationals were able to advance to the NLCS. USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES — The Washington Nationals’ postseason history added a fresh chapter Wednesday night.

Title it “Delirium.’’

Howie Kendrick’s grand slam in the top of the 10th inning broke a 3-3 tie and the Nationals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 in the decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series.

It is the first time the Nationals – or Expos before them – have won a postseason series. Ever.

They did it just like they had all year. It was their motto after a 19-31 start to the season. The Nationals stayed in the fight .

In the top of the eighth inning, with three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayon Kershaw pitching in relief for the Dodgers, Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto hit solo homers, tied the game at 3-3 and sent Kershaw heading to the showers.

In the 10th inning, Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly – pitching his second inning – loaded the bases with no outs. On an 0-1 fastball, Kendrick went to long to dead center field, stunning the capacity crowd at Dodger Stadium.

“Probably the best moment of my career,” Kendrick said after the game. “You can’t make this stuff up.”

Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg gave up two homers and three runs in the first two innings, but kept the Dodgers scoreless for the rest of his six-inning stint while keeping his team in the game.

The Nationals’ bullpen, which had baseball’s worst ERA (5.68) in the regular season, combined for four scoreless innings – capped off by Sean Doolittle retiring the side in order in the 10th to securing the win.

The Nationals will face the St. Louis Cardinals Friday a in Game 1 of the best-of-seven NLCS – the first since 2015 that will not involve the Dodgers.

Turning point

When Dave Roberts sent Clayton Kershaw out for the top of the eighth inning. (With two outs in the seventh, Kershaw struck out Adam Eaton, the only batter he faced, on three pitches. No such luck in the 8th.)

Anthony Rendon hit Kershaw’s second pitch into the left field bleachers for a solo home run. Juan Soto followed that up by belting the first pitch he saw from Kershaw over the right-center field wall.

Just like that, the game was tied at 3 3 all.

Scary moment

Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki went down in the batter’s box after a 94-mph fastball from Walker Buehler hit in his the wrist and apparently hit him in the head in the top of the seventh inning. Dodger Stadium turned eerily quiet and Buehler looked concerned as medical personnel tended to Suzuki. But Suzuki left the field under his own power. 

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Rudy Giuliani on Trump impeachment inquiry: Salem Witch Trials ‘fairer than this’

Westlake Legal Group hannity-giuliani Rudy Giuliani on Trump impeachment inquiry: Salem Witch Trials 'fairer than this' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c48d7b0b-a4eb-5ed0-b6e2-13497337baa7 article

The notorious Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s were a fairer process than the Trump impeachment inquiry, the president’s attorney, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, argued Wednesday night on “Hannity.”

He called the inquiry a “process without any due process” and pointed to the media as alleged “enablers” of the Democrats’ plans.

Giuliani praised White House Counsel Pat Cipollone for a letter Cipollone wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., telling Fox News host Sean Hannity the letter outlined Democrats’ violations of the civil rights of President Trump, Attorney General William Barr and himself.

“The great letter by Pat Cipollone lays out about eight violations of the United States Constitution,” Giuliani said.

RUDY GIULIANI BLASTS CORY BOOKER AFTER NEW JERSEY DEMOCRAT RIPS HIM FOR ‘DESPICABLE’ BEHAVIOR: ‘NEWARK IS DOING FABULOUS’

“I never wanted in my life to appear at a Salem Witch Trial, which would actually be fairer than this,” Giuliani added.

In prior interviews on Fox News, Giuliani has said the Trump impeachment inquiry process has been one-sided and without legitimate input from Republican lawmakers, with the inquiry not yet allowing for a full House vote.

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In Cipollone’s letter, the White House counsel wrote Trump will refuse to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry until such a full chamber vote is held.

“President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process,” the letter states. “Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”

In the 17th century witch trials, more than a dozen people in Salem, Mass., were executed after being found guilty of witchcraft. Hundreds were accused.

Fox News’ Gregg Re and John Roberts contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group hannity-giuliani Rudy Giuliani on Trump impeachment inquiry: Salem Witch Trials 'fairer than this' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c48d7b0b-a4eb-5ed0-b6e2-13497337baa7 article   Westlake Legal Group hannity-giuliani Rudy Giuliani on Trump impeachment inquiry: Salem Witch Trials 'fairer than this' fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/house-of-representatives/democrats fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/person/joe-biden fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz c48d7b0b-a4eb-5ed0-b6e2-13497337baa7 article

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional power to declare when we go to war

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093473727001_6093469004001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional power to declare when we go to war fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc d03ec053-74b3-5e54-bf17-da2e45225663 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

Readers of this column are familiar with the concept of the separation of powers, which James Madison crafted as integral to the Constitution. That concept mandates that Congress writes the laws, the president enforces them, the courts decide what they mean and interpret them, and the three branches of government don’t step on each other’s toes.

The separation of powers also recognizes that the Constitution reposes unique authority in each branch and, at times, in each house of Congress. For example, only the Senate can confirm judges and ambassadors and ratify treaties. Only the House can impeach high-ranking executive branch officials and federal judges. Only Congress can declare war, and only the president can decide how to use the military to fight a declared war.

The war powers are clearly articulated in the plain language of the Constitution itself — Congress declares and the president wages. Madison himself argued that if the president could both declare and wage wars, he’d not be a president but a prince. This distinction between declaring and waging was recognized for nearly 200 years, until Congress muddied the waters in 1973 by enacting the War Powers Resolution.

ROBERT MOORE: IRAN’S BELLIGERENT BEHAVIOR REMINDS US WHY CONGRESS, NOT THE PRESIDENT, HAS POWER TO DECLARE WAR

That law permits the president to wage any war against any foreign enemy without a congressional declaration of war for 90 days. This is clearly unconstitutional; the Supreme Court has ruled numerous times that the branches of the federal government cannot cede away powers that have been firmly fixed by the Constitution.

More from Opinion

When the tragedy of 9/11 took place, President George W. Bush did not use the War Powers Resolution as his legal basis for invading Afghanistan. Rather he sought express authority for the invasion from Congress. Congress, rather than declaring war on Afghanistan (Bush had persuaded Congress that the 9/11 culprits found haven there), enacted a morally ambivalent law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force of 2001.

That statute permitted Bush and his successors to fight against any foreign entity that planned or facilitated the 9/11 attacks and to continue fighting even after the targeted entity had been defeated. Bush sought and received another morally ambivalent AUMF in 2002, which authorized him to wage war in pursuit of any governments that harbored weapons of mass destruction, notably Iraq.

I have characterized both AUMFs as morally ambivalent because they are open-ended. When Congress declared war on the Axis powers in December 1941, those declarations authorized President Franklin Roosevelt to wage war on them only until they surrendered and not thereafter. But the two AUMFs have no stated endpoint.

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They have an implied endpoint, however. The logical and moral endpoint of the AUMF of 2001 came when the folks who took over the government of Afghanistan and used its government power — this is Bush’s version — to stage and support 9/11 were defeated and killed. The logical and moral endpoint of AUMF of 2002 came when Saddam Hussein was deposed, no weapons of mass destruction were found, and Washington installed a friendly (lately, not so friendly) regime in Iraq.

I offer this brief legal and historical background in order to address the current furor raging over President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria. From Syria? What are they doing in Syria?

The United States has had a financial and quasi-military relationship with the Kurdish people who live in northern Iraq — an area they call Kurdistan — since the end of World War I. The financial support has come via covert sources. Stated differently, from the CIA. The Kurds — who are furious fighters — in turn have supported Western interests in the region.

In 2017, Trump ordered American troops into Syria to support the Kurds, whose homeland had become threatened by the forces combatting each other in Syria, and who were in the crosshairs of the president of Turkey. Trump used the AUMF of 2001 as his legal authority for sending troops to Syria. That, of course, was enacted to crush those who perpetrated 9/11, not to assist friendly groups 16 years later anywhere in the world.

Nevertheless, Trump’s 2017 decision was consistent with the long-standing, nearly 100-year support that American governments have given to the Kurds. And the Kurds have relied on the continuation of that support.

Last Sunday evening, Trump changed his mind about military support for the Kurds. He did so after a telephone conversation he had with the president of Turkey, who views the Kurds as terrorists. Trump was told that if American troops stayed in Syria, they risked injury by Turkish troops. If they left, the Kurds would be on their own.

His decision to withdraw the troops caused a firestorm among those in Congress who like war and those who believe that the U.S. should be using our military amply in the Middle East to help our friends and oppose our foes. Yet, those in Congress who have cried out the loudest about Trump’s decision care not about the Constitution or even about the powers of Congress.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Trump ran for office promising to bring the troops home. He may have made the latest decision to do so without adequate warning to his military commanders, but his decision is utterly consistent with his promises, and it is utterly in compliance with the Constitution.

Now is the time for Congress — which is largely angry at the presidential use or nonuse of the military — to repeal both AUMFs and the War Powers Resolution and reclaim its constitutional power as the sole entity in the federal government able to declare war. Until it does, these profoundly outdated, morally ambivalent and overtly unconstitutional statutes lie in the presidential desk drawer like a loaded gun.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093473727001_6093469004001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional power to declare when we go to war fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc d03ec053-74b3-5e54-bf17-da2e45225663 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093473727001_6093469004001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Time for Congress to reclaim its constitutional power to declare when we go to war fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/us/congress fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc d03ec053-74b3-5e54-bf17-da2e45225663 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

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Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy

WASHINGTON — Breathtaking in scope, defiant in tone, the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry amounts to an unabashed challenge to America’s longstanding constitutional order.

In effect, President Trump is making the sweeping assertion that he can ignore Congress as it weighs his fate because he considers the impeachment effort unfair and the Democrats who initiated it biased against him, an argument that channeled his anger even as it failed to pass muster with many scholars on Wednesday.

But the White House case, outlined in an extraordinary letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, is more a political argument than a legal one, aimed less at convincing a judge than convincing the public, or at least a portion of it. At its core, it is born out of the cold calculation that Mr. Trump probably cannot stop the Democrat-led House from impeaching him, so the real goal is to delegitimize the process.

Just last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Democrats appeared to have enough votes to impeach him in the House and that he was counting on the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him. By presenting the inquiry as the work of an unholy alliance of deep-state saboteurs and Democratic hatchet men, he hopes to undermine its credibility, forestall Republican defections and energize his voters heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

“As a general matter, painting the process as highly partisan should rally the G.O.P. and Trump base, as those groups will see the current inquiry as merely a continuation of the past three years,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington research organization, and a student of conservative thought.

But it may also harden opposition to Mr. Trump, bolstering the impression that he considers himself above the law. That could build support for an article of impeachment that charges him with obstructing Congress in addition to any related to his effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about his Democratic adversaries.

The eight-page letter signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats outlined a bevy of grievances about the House inquiry, some procedural and others political.

It argued that “this purported ‘impeachment inquiry’” was not valid because the House did not vote to authorize it, as it did in the cases of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, with Ms. Pelosi taking it upon herself instead to declare the existence of an impeachment process by fiat. It complained that Republicans have not been granted subpoena power of their own and that the president’s lawyers have not been allowed to attend closed-door interviews, cross-examine witnesses or call their own witnesses to testify.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-letter-impeachment-promo-1570570699708-articleLarge Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

Read the White House Letter in Response to the Impeachment Inquiry

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate.

But it also threw in a hodgepodge of Mr. Trump’s favorite objections, essentially memorializing some of his many Twitter blasts at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is leading the inquiry and has become the president’s chief target.

“You look at all the irregularities, you can come to the conclusion that this is an illicit hearing,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said in an interview. “This is the first time that a president hasn’t had the ability to have his party to call witnesses in the preliminary phase. It sounds like they’re singling him out for unfair treatment.”

Constitutional scholars, though, were not impressed. “It looks like a pathetic attempt to make a legal argument when the president is really expressing rage at the Congress for trying to stop him,” said Corey Brettschneider, an impeachment expert at Brown University. “What’s sad about it is it’s so poorly drafted and the legal arguments are so nonexistent that you wonder who’s advising the president.”

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s position was more political than constitutional.

“The White House letter’s legal objections don’t have merit,” he said. “The letter, like the ‘official impeachment inquiry’ itself, is a hardball tactic designed to achieve maximum political advantage” before the public.

Indeed, it could ultimately end up being a negotiating position. Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday denounced the “kangaroo court,” told reporters on Wednesday that he could change his mind and cooperate if the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry. “Yeah, that sounds O.K.,” he said. “We would if they give us our rights. It depends.”

As a matter of historical precedent, Mr. Cipollone was correct in saying that Mr. Clinton and his lawyers and Democratic allies were eventually granted more rights during his impeachment in 1998 than Mr. Trump has been, at least so far. Mr. Clinton’s lawyer, for instance, was given the opportunity to cross-examine his main accuser, the independent counsel Ken Starr, during an open House Judiciary Committee hearing.

But the Constitution makes no guarantees of such rights for a president facing impeachment, simply saying that the House “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Indeed, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868 without even drawing up articles of impeachment until after the vote. Legal experts said nothing in the White House letter justified a president or his administration unilaterally defying congressional subpoenas.

In fact, such resistance has been used against presidents in past impeachment efforts. One of three articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Nixon before he resigned in 1974 charged that he “willfully disobeyed” congressional subpoenas, thereby “substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment Is a Political Strategy United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

In his report to Congress in 1998, Mr. Starr argued that among the grounds for impeachment was what the prosecutor considered Mr. Clinton’s “frivolous” and “patently groundless” assertions of executive and other privileges to thwart a perjury and obstruction of justice investigation stemming from the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In that case, though, the House opted against including such a charge in the articles of impeachment passed against Mr. Clinton.

In some ways, Mr. Trump is employing a version of Mr. Clinton’s strategy, albeit on steroids. During Mr. Starr’s investigation, Mr. Clinton repeatedly sought to block testimony or documents, only to be overruled by the courts, just as Mr. Nixon was in the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking and unanimous U.S. v. Nixon decision. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Clinton finally agreed to testify under oath, although only after refusing six times and eventually being subpoenaed by Mr. Starr.

When the Republican-led House took up the matter, it did little original investigating of its own, relying primarily on Mr. Starr’s findings, so there were not the sort of subpoenas to resist the way Mr. Trump is doing now. But Mr. Clinton likewise felt outrage about the effort to impeach him, convinced that it was a partisan witch hunt, and he set about discrediting it with the public.

House Republicans rejected protections and limits sought by Mr. Clinton’s team, and his Democratic allies attacked the process, accused the other side of railroading the president and made it an us-versus-them fight to keep wavering Democrats on Mr. Clinton’s side. House Democrats privately called their strategy “win by losing,” reasoning that the more process motions they lost on partisan votes, the more illegitimate the effort would seem.

In the end, the House voted almost entirely on party lines to impeach Mr. Clinton and, with Democrats sticking by him, the Senate voted to acquit him after a trial — the scenario that, flipping the parties, looks most likely to repeat itself with Mr. Trump.

“In one respect, President Trump seems to be borrowing from the Clinton White House playbook,” said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue” about Mr. Clinton’s battle with Mr. Starr. “He is attempting to throw gasoline over the entire impeachment process in the House and light a match in order to cause a conflagration and treat the entire process as illegitimate from the start.”

But, Mr. Gormley added, Mr. Trump is taking Mr. Clinton’s strategy even further by refusing any cooperation at all and advancing the theory that the impeachment is an unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 presidential election and therefore he can ignore it.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to this new threat that presents itself to his presidency, just has he has done, often with great success, when previous threats have presented themselves,” added Mr. Gormley, the president of Duquesne University.

While Democrats ponder going to court, Mr. Trump will take his case to the court of public opinion, or at least his base. He has scheduled three campaign rallies in the next week, starting Thursday in Minnesota, then Friday in Louisiana and then next Thursday in Texas.

It seems safe to assume that he will have something to say about impeachment.

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Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process

WASHINGTON — Breathtaking in scope, defiant in tone, the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the House impeachment inquiry amounts to an unabashed challenge to America’s longstanding constitutional order.

In effect, President Trump is making the sweeping assertion that he can ignore Congress as it weighs his fate because he considers the impeachment effort unfair and the Democrats who initiated it biased against him, an argument that channeled his anger even as it failed to pass muster with many scholars on Wednesday.

But the White House case, outlined in an extraordinary letter to Democratic leaders on Tuesday, is more a political argument than a legal one, aimed less at convincing a judge than convincing the public, or at least a portion of it. At its core, it is born out of the cold calculation that Mr. Trump probably cannot stop the Democrat-led House from impeaching him, so the real goal is to delegitimize the process.

Just last week, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Democrats appeared to have enough votes to impeach him in the House and that he was counting on the Republican-controlled Senate to acquit him. By presenting the inquiry as the work of an unholy alliance of deep-state saboteurs and Democratic hatchet men, he hopes to undermine its credibility, forestall Republican defections and energize his voters heading into next year’s re-election campaign.

“As a general matter, painting the process as highly partisan should rally the G.O.P. and Trump base, as those groups will see the current inquiry as merely a continuation of the past three years,” said Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a Washington research organization, and a student of conservative thought.

But it may also harden opposition to Mr. Trump, bolstering the impression that he considers himself above the law. That could build support for an article of impeachment that charges him with obstructing Congress in addition to any related to his effort to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about his Democratic adversaries.

The eight-page letter signed by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats outlined a bevy of grievances about the House inquiry, some procedural and others political.

It argued that “this purported ‘impeachment inquiry’” was not valid because the House did not vote to authorize it, as it did in the cases of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton, with Ms. Pelosi taking it upon herself instead to declare the existence of an impeachment process by fiat. It complained that Republicans have not been granted subpoena power of their own and that the president’s lawyers have not been allowed to attend closed-door interviews, cross-examine witnesses or call their own witnesses to testify.

Westlake Legal Group white-house-letter-impeachment-promo-1570570699708-articleLarge Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

Read the White House Letter in Response to the Impeachment Inquiry

In a letter to House Democratic leaders, the White House counsel called the House’s impeachment inquiry illegitimate.

But it also threw in a hodgepodge of Mr. Trump’s favorite objections, essentially memorializing some of his many Twitter blasts at Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who is leading the inquiry and has become the president’s chief target.

“You look at all the irregularities, you can come to the conclusion that this is an illicit hearing,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said in an interview. “This is the first time that a president hasn’t had the ability to have his party to call witnesses in the preliminary phase. It sounds like they’re singling him out for unfair treatment.”

Constitutional scholars, though, were not impressed. “It looks like a pathetic attempt to make a legal argument when the president is really expressing rage at the Congress for trying to stop him,” said Corey Brettschneider, an impeachment expert at Brown University. “What’s sad about it is it’s so poorly drafted and the legal arguments are so nonexistent that you wonder who’s advising the president.”

Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard Law School professor and former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s position was more political than constitutional.

“The White House letter’s legal objections don’t have merit,” he said. “The letter, like the ‘official impeachment inquiry’ itself, is a hardball tactic designed to achieve maximum political advantage” before the public.

Indeed, it could ultimately end up being a negotiating position. Mr. Trump, who on Tuesday denounced the “kangaroo court,” told reporters on Wednesday that he could change his mind and cooperate if the House voted to formally authorize the impeachment inquiry. “Yeah, that sounds O.K.,” he said. “We would if they give us our rights. It depends.”

As a matter of historical precedent, Mr. Cipollone was correct in saying that Mr. Clinton and his lawyers and Democratic allies were eventually granted more rights during his impeachment in 1998 than Mr. Trump has been, at least so far. Mr. Clinton’s lawyer, for instance, was given the opportunity to cross-examine his main accuser, the independent counsel Ken Starr, during an open House Judiciary Committee hearing.

But the Constitution makes no guarantees of such rights for a president facing impeachment, simply saying that the House “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Indeed, the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868 without even drawing up articles of impeachment until after the vote. Legal experts said nothing in the White House letter justified a president or his administration unilaterally defying congressional subpoenas.

In fact, such resistance has been used against presidents in past impeachment efforts. One of three articles of impeachment approved by the House Judiciary Committee against Mr. Nixon before he resigned in 1974 charged that he “willfully disobeyed” congressional subpoenas, thereby “substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry.”

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 Trump’s Sweeping Case Against Impeachment: A Political Document Intended to Delegitimize the Process United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Schiff, Adam B Pelosi, Nancy Nixon, Richard Milhous House of Representatives Constitution (US) Clinton, Bill Cipollone, Pat A

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

In his report to Congress in 1998, Mr. Starr argued that among the grounds for impeachment was what the prosecutor considered Mr. Clinton’s “frivolous” and “patently groundless” assertions of executive and other privileges to thwart a perjury and obstruction of justice investigation stemming from the president’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. In that case, though, the House opted against including such a charge in the articles of impeachment passed against Mr. Clinton.

In some ways, Mr. Trump is employing a version of Mr. Clinton’s strategy, albeit on steroids. During Mr. Starr’s investigation, Mr. Clinton repeatedly sought to block testimony or documents, only to be overruled by the courts, just as Mr. Nixon was in the Supreme Court’s groundbreaking and unanimous U.S. v. Nixon decision. Unlike Mr. Trump, Mr. Clinton finally agreed to testify under oath, although only after refusing six times and eventually being subpoenaed by Mr. Starr.

When the Republican-led House took up the matter, it did little original investigating of its own, relying primarily on Mr. Starr’s findings, so there were not the sort of subpoenas to resist the way Mr. Trump is doing now. But Mr. Clinton likewise felt outrage about the effort to impeach him, convinced that it was a partisan witch hunt, and he set about discrediting it with the public.

House Republicans rejected protections and limits sought by Mr. Clinton’s team, and his Democratic allies attacked the process, accused the other side of railroading the president and made it an us-versus-them fight to keep wavering Democrats on Mr. Clinton’s side. House Democrats privately called their strategy “win by losing,” reasoning that the more process motions they lost on partisan votes, the more illegitimate the effort would seem.

In the end, the House voted almost entirely on party lines to impeach Mr. Clinton and, with Democrats sticking by him, the Senate voted to acquit him after a trial — the scenario that, flipping the parties, looks most likely to repeat itself with Mr. Trump.

“In one respect, President Trump seems to be borrowing from the Clinton White House playbook,” said Ken Gormley, the author of “The Death of American Virtue” about Mr. Clinton’s battle with Mr. Starr. “He is attempting to throw gasoline over the entire impeachment process in the House and light a match in order to cause a conflagration and treat the entire process as illegitimate from the start.”

But, Mr. Gormley added, Mr. Trump is taking Mr. Clinton’s strategy even further by refusing any cooperation at all and advancing the theory that the impeachment is an unconstitutional effort to overturn the 2016 presidential election and therefore he can ignore it.

“Not surprisingly, President Trump is adopting a take-no-prisoners approach to this new threat that presents itself to his presidency, just has he has done, often with great success, when previous threats have presented themselves,” added Mr. Gormley, the president of Duquesne University.

While Democrats ponder going to court, Mr. Trump will take his case to the court of public opinion, or at least his base. He has scheduled three campaign rallies in the next week, starting Thursday in Minnesota, then Friday in Louisiana and then next Thursday in Texas.

It seems safe to assume that he will have something to say about impeachment.

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Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He’s ‘a war criminal’

Mark Ruffalo is green with rage following Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush.

DeGeneres stood up for her friendship with the former president on her show Tuesday after catching heat for sitting next to him during Sunday’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. 

“I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK,” she said. “When I say ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone. Doesn’t matter.”

More: George W. Bush ‘appreciated’ Ellen DeGeneres going to bat for friendship 

Westlake Legal Group  Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He's 'a war criminal'

DeGeneres’ plea for tolerance drew praise from some famous faces, including Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Bell and Blake Shelton, but Ruffalo said Bush isn’t off the hook.

“Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars–emotional & otherwise–inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness,” tweeted “The Avengers” star Wednesday.

More:Ellen DeGeneres’ witty reply to George Bush photo and 5 more times she’s hit back at critics

He wasn’t the only celebrity upset with DeGeneres for trying to find middle ground with Bush following his polarizing political past. “Dead Man Walking” star Susan Sarandon also took issue. 

The outspoken liberal shared a quote from Out Magazine, saying, “Missing the point entirely, DeGeneres framed the issue as simply a matter of her hanging out with someone with different opinions, not a man repeatedly accused of being a war criminal.”

2018’s explosive celeb feuds: Debra Messing versus Susan Sarandon

On the other hand, Bell shared side-by-side pictures of DeGeneres and Bush on her Instagram account. “The Good Place” actress wrote: “Shes my (queen).” Witherspoon tweeted, “Thank you for this important reminder, Ellen!”

Both actresses received backlash for their support, leading Witherspoon to delete her tweet entirely. Bell’s post remains on Instagram. 

“This post would automatically get you sent to the Bad Place,” an Instagram user responded to Bell, while a Twitter user told Witherspoon, “This reeks of privilege.”

Shelton tweeted, “Amen @TheEllenShow… Thank you for saying this.” One of his followers responded, “Please stay out of this, Blake.”

See our full coverage of entertainment news

Westlake Legal Group  Mark Ruffalo, more slam Ellen DeGeneres’ support of George W. Bush: He's 'a war criminal'

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Apple Removes Police-Tracking App Used In Hong Kong Protests From Its App Store

Westlake Legal Group 5d9ea79b20000058074ff283 Apple Removes Police-Tracking App Used In Hong Kong Protests From Its App Store

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday removed an app that protestors in Hong Kong have used to track police movements, saying the app violated its rules because it was used to ambush police and by criminals who used it to victimize residents in areas with no law enforcement.

Apple rejected the crowdsourcing app, HKmap.live, earlier this month but then reversed course last week, allowing the app to appear on its App Store. The approval drew a sharply worded commentary criticizing Apple in the Chinese Communist Party’s official newspaper, the People’s Daily.

Apple said in a statement that “many concerned customers in Hong Kong” contacted the company about the mapping app. Apple said it immediately began investigating the app’s use and found it “has been used in ways that endanger law enforcement and residents in Hong Kong.”

“The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” the statement said.

Under Apple’s rules and policies, apps that meet its standards to appear in the App Store have sometimes been removed after their release if they were found to facilitate illegal activity or threaten public safety.

In 2011, Apple modified its app store to remove apps that listed locations for drunken driving checkpoints not previously published by law enforcement officials.

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Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b

We’ve all been there.

Who hasn’t found themselves living in Brussels, serving as America’s top diplomat to the European Union – only to be summoned to Washington for a closed-door, transcribed interview before the House Intelligence Committee?

We board a long flight to Dulles International outside Washington. Prepare what we’re going to tell congressional investigators. And then, in the middle of the night, just hours before heading to Capitol Hill, the administration puts the kibosh on your appearance.

Don’t you remember when that happened to you?

The Trump administration blocked U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland from appearing before lawmakers to tell his side of the Ukraine story on Tuesday. A few hours later, the White House wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to declare her impeachment inquest “invalid.” As a result, the administration won’t permit any witnesses to testify and it won’t fork over any documents related to the probe.

EVER SINCE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY WAS ANNOUNCED, IT’S BEEN GETTING CRAZIER OUT THERE

The House is on a recess this week. Some lawmakers who flew in just for the Sondland interview fumed about the cancellation early Tuesday morning.

“They told us it was going to happen an hour ago,” vented one House member, expecting to attend the interview early Tuesday morning. “I canceled all sorts of district and constituent events for this.”

In the TV news business, we often toss in a throwaway line during a live shot. We declare we “don’t know what will happen next,” or some other bromide. But in this impeachment process, we truly don’t know how this will unfold. We’re in such new territory here.

But one thing is clear: The decision by the Trump administration to bar any cooperation with Congress simply hastened the impeachment timetable.

When Pelosi formally threw her support behind the impeachment probe last month, she was vague about a concrete deadline to resolve the matter. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., noted, “We don’t want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.”

“We don’t want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.”

— U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

It was thought as recently as last weekend that the House could burn a couple of months investigating the Ukraine issue — and then turn to crafting articles of impeachment. But the lack of compliance poured accelerant on the entire process. If House Democrats don’t get the materials they want soon, it’s not outside the question the House could expedite articles of impeachment late this month or early November.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: HOW A SENATE TRIAL OF TRUMP MIGHT PROCEED

Next Tuesday is the deadline for most of the House’s requests. That coincides with the day the House returns to session. Pelosi will take the temperature of her caucus when lawmakers return.

But in some respects, Pelosi already knows the temperature. Democrats are seething over the administration failing to meet congressional demands. They think they have a robust case against the president when it comes to obstruction of Congress.

Pelosi could grant the administration more time to comply. That would let the issue marinate in public for a bit – and demonstrate that Democrats aren’t hasty to impeach. But after that, the House Judiciary Committee could begin drafting articles of impeachment.

Pelosi doesn’t travel roads like this unless she already knows the outcome. She doesn’t lose votes on the floor – especially something of this magnitude.

Yes, there may be some Democrats who lose their seats over this. But to Pelosi, this isn’t about politics. If it was, she wouldn’t push to impeach. Pelosi thinks President Trump crossed a constitutional line and it’s up to the House to rebuke him – electoral consequences be damned.

In the House, one party or the other doesn’t win a sizable majority only to sit on it. They get these majorities to do big things. Look at what Democrats did in passing ObamaCare. Sure, it cost them seats. But ObamaCare remains the law of the land.

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: PELOSI’S THINKING IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY EXPLAINED

Granted, in Pelosi’s heart of hearts, she doesn’t like the idea of impeachment. She described this as a “sad time.” But the speaker also views this as something Democrats must pursue to check the presidency and preserve the Constitution. To Pelosi, this is way bigger than ObamaCare.

Meantime, Republicans are crowing about “process” and the House not taking a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry. Republicans want to squeeze vulnerable Democrats by voting to initiate an impeachment inquiry.

But, one wonders if that tactic could backfire. Would Republicans on shaky turf either A) vote to launch a probe, or, B) face the wrath of voters if they oppose the inquest?

The “lack of a vote to start an impeachment investigation” is a process debate. It is said on Capitol Hill that once you start arguing about “process” to the public, you’ve already lost the fight.

It’s kind of like working the refs in basketball. You can’t beat the team on the court — so it must be the fault of the officials.

“What we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court,” thundered one of President Trump’s most vocal defenders, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. “Adam Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.”

“What we see in this impeachment is a kangaroo court. Adam Schiff is acting like a malicious Captain Kangaroo.”

— U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

This may be the first time that a children’s television icon was roped into a debate over impeaching the president of the United States. What’s next? Mister Rogers on North Korea’s weapons program? Bert and Ernie tackling Brexit? Maybe someone could enlist Mr. Moose to tell a knock-knock joke and drop a stockpile of ping-pong balls on everyone’s head.

Some Republicans like Gaetz are more than happy to form a rear-guard for the president. Others aren’t so sure.

“Once you light that fuse,” said one seasoned GOP source of impeachment, “anything can happen.”

It may depend how long the fuse runs.

Most congressional Republicans back Trump – at least for now. But remember: This was a marriage of convenience. Few GOPers ardently supported the president during the 2016 campaign. But they quickly switched their allegiances after the election.

Some people marry for money, others for prestige. Congressional Republicans married Donald Trump for tax reform and to repeal and replace ObamaCare. They’ve achieved half of that.

Could Republicans abandon the president if impeachment gets too hot?

Impeachment shouldn’t have anything to do with U.S. policy toward Syria. But lawmakers from both sides of the aisle howled when Trump abruptly decided to yank U.S. forces out of northeast Syria. This exposed the Syrian Kurds to an assault from Turkey. Lawmakers were apoplectic, condemning the president’s rash tactic. There are concerns that Trump’s decision could fuel ISIS and diminish global security.

Again, impeachment has nothing to do with Syria. But it does. If some Republicans are willing to break with the president on that issue, their support could erode on others. This doesn’t mean there will be a Republican jailbreak.

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But GOP frustration over the Syria policy could quickly morph into other areas. After all, what will Republicans campaign on next year? Sure, some can beat up impeachment and talk about “The Squad.” But Republicans privately concede their cupboard is bare when campaigning on a policy agenda. They can’t roll out “repeal and replace ObamaCare” for the umpteenth time.

And so the fuse is lit. Impeachment may come sooner rather than later. Gordon Sondland is accruing frequent-flyer miles.

Maybe it’s time for Mr. Moose to drop some ping-pong balls on someone.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093549127001_6093546358001-vs Trump team’s stonewalling speeds up Democrats’ impeachment timetable fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics fox-news/columns/capitol-attitude fox news fnc/opinion fnc Chad Pergram article 8e77318f-2f96-5d83-a48c-07830c2d833b

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Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria

Westlake Legal Group _pAAMTvGt4fDTuTqDLCEwfq0UL6PIIENKxJ3YCpHBvA Trump reportedly offered to sell F-35 jets to Turkey in exchange for not attacking Kurdish forces in Syria r/politics

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