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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 218)

Buehler, Muncy lead Dodgers past Nats 6-0 in NLDS opener

Walker Buehler allowed one hit over six innings, Max Muncy drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers capitalized on mistakes to beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 in Game 1 of their NL Division Series on Thursday night.

Buehler struck out eight, walked three and retired his final seven batters after earning the start over veterans Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu, whose 2.32 ERA was lowest in the majors this season.

“He set the tone for us,” Muncy said about Buehler. “He was pounding the zone.”

Westlake Legal Group dodgers Buehler, Muncy lead Dodgers past Nats 6-0 in NLDS opener fox-news/sports/mlb/washington-nationals fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Beth Harris Associated Press article 3e7e465e-7059-5351-8018-f90245f9c85f

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws to a Washington Nationals batter during the first inning of Game 1 of a baseball National League Divisional Series on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Dodgers rookie Gavin Lux and Joc Pederson slugged pinch-hit solo homers in the eighth.

Nationals first baseman Howie Kendrick had two grounders roll under his glove, the second leading to the Dodgers’ second run in the fifth.

DODGERS VS. NATIONALS: 2019 NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES PREVIEW, SCHEDULE, HOW TO WATCH AND MORE

Washington’s Patrick Corbin stumbled through a rocky first inning. He issued four walks, joining Art Reinhart of the St. Louis Cardinals as the only pitchers to walk that many in the first inning they ever pitched in the postseason.

Reinhart walked four _ including Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig _ in the fifth inning of Game 4 of the 1926 World Series against the Yankees.

“That first inning was the game,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That really set the tone.”

Corbin walked three in a row with two outs in the 31-pitch inning. Yan Gomes was charged with a passed ball, too, and Muncy drew a free pass with the bases loaded to put the Dodgers in front.

“Walked a lot of guys, chased a lot of bad pitches,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “When you’re walking guys and not hitting, it’s tough to win ballgames.”

Corbin gave up two runs _ one earned _ and three hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out nine and finished with five walks.

Cody Bellinger walked with two outs and scored on an error by Kendrick in the fifth that made it 2-0. Third baseman Anthony Rendon made a diving stop on Chris Taylor’s single down the line, but his throw to first wasn’t in time and Bellinger went to third.

Muncy’s grounder rolled through Kendrick’s legs for an error, scoring Bellinger, and Taylor got thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

In the fourth, Muncy singled leading off. Corey Seager followed with a hit that got past a diving Kendrick at first and rolled into right, sending Muncy to third. But then Corbin settled down and retired the next three batters to end the inning.

The Nationals loaded the bases in the fourth on three walks by Buehler. He escaped when Asdrúbal Cabrera tapped the ball back to the mound and Buehler flipped to first to end the inning.

“From that first throw, he was on point,” Roberts said of Buehler. “That’s a really good lineup over there and for him to go six, we needed that.”

Juan Soto, who had the key hit in the wild-card win over Milwaukee, singled in the second and Trea Turner singled in the ninth off Joe Kelly for the Nationals’ only hits.

It was a quiet offensive night for each team’s MVP contender. Rendon, who hit .319 in the regular season, went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts and a walk. Bellinger, a .305 hitter, struck out twice and walked twice.

It was the fourth shutout in eight games between the teams this season, third by the Dodgers.

Los Angeles won its eighth in a row dating to the regular season. Washington’s nine-game winning streak, including the wild-card victory, ended.

IN THE CROWD

Magic Johnson and Billie Jean King, part of the Dodgers’ ownership group, shared a box with principal owner Mark Walter, Sandy Koufax and Tom Lasorda. … Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, former Dodger Matt Kemp, former Dodgers manager Joe Torre and actor Jason Bateman attended.

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UP NEXT

Coming off the first relief appearance of his career, Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg will start Game 2 against Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw on Friday. Strasburg tossed three shutout innings Tuesday night in a dramatic wild-card victory over Milwaukee. He’s under no limitations returning two days later. “My arm’s felt great all year,” Strasburg said. He would be available to return on normal rest for a potential Game 5 next Wednesday in Los Angeles. By starting Kershaw in Game 2, the Dodgers could possibly use him out of the bullpen if Game 5 is necessary.

Westlake Legal Group dodgers Buehler, Muncy lead Dodgers past Nats 6-0 in NLDS opener fox-news/sports/mlb/washington-nationals fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Beth Harris Associated Press article 3e7e465e-7059-5351-8018-f90245f9c85f   Westlake Legal Group dodgers Buehler, Muncy lead Dodgers past Nats 6-0 in NLDS opener fox-news/sports/mlb/washington-nationals fox-news/sports/mlb/los-angeles-dodgers fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Beth Harris Associated Press article 3e7e465e-7059-5351-8018-f90245f9c85f

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Cardinals score 4 in 9th, hold off Braves 7-6 in NLDS opener

Back in the playoffs for the first time since 2015, the St. Louis Cardinals look as gritty as ever.

The Atlanta Braves also started down a familiar path.

Marcell Ozuna and Kolten Wong each hit two-run doubles in the ninth inning as the Cardinals overcame shaky defense and a wild finish to extend Atlanta’s postseason misery, holding off the Braves 7-6 in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Thursday night.

Westlake Legal Group cardinals Cardinals score 4 in 9th, hold off Braves 7-6 in NLDS opener Paul Newberry fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/atlanta-braves fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 6f529c7d-0f46-5b37-95ac-993f34b6183b

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina celebrates in the ninth inning during Game 1 of a best-of-five National League Division Series agaimnst the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Cardinals fell behind 3-1 _ hurt by their normally reliable defense. But Paul Goldschmidt homered in the eighth, sparking a two-run outburst that tied it 3. In the ninth, the Cardinals blew it open against Braves closer Mark Melancon.

CARDINALS VS. BRAVES: 2019 NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES PREVIEW, SCHEDULE, HOW TO WATCH & MORE

Dexter Fowler and Tommy Edman singled before Goldschmidt walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out. Melancon got ahead of Ozuna with two quick strikes, only to give up a liner just inside the third-base bag that put St. Louis ahead for the first time.

Wong finished off Melancon with another two-run double, this one down the right-field line.

“These are fun, exciting games,” said Matt Carpenter, who came through with a pinch-hit bloop single off Melancon to tie the game in the eighth. “Every out, every pitch is important. There’s a lot of adrenaline involved, but that’s what you play for, that’s why you’re here.”

During a run of nine playoff appearances from 2004-15, the Cardinals were known for their postseason heroics, most notably rallying for a dramatic World Series win over Texas in 2011.

This team looks ready to follow in that mold.

The Braves are stuck in a nightmare that seems to repeat itself every October.

Atlanta has lost nine straight playoff series and is just one away from tying the Chicago Cubs’ record for postseason futility _ 10 postseason losses in a row between 1908 and 2003. Atlanta has not won a postseason series since 2001, and hasn’t even led a series since going up 2-1 on San Francisco in the 2002 NLDS. The Giants won the next two games to advance.

To their credit, the Braves didn’t go quietly in their half of the ninth.

Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a two-run homer off Carlos Martinez, and Freddie Freeman added a solo shot. But Martinez got the final two outs to claim a shaky win and put the Cardinals head in the best-of-five series going into Game 2 Friday. St. Louis ace Jack Flaherty goes against Mike Foltynewicz.

“We’ve played all season expecting to win those type games,” Freeman said. “You give up that kind of lead, it’s tough to swallow.”

The Braves snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth when Dansby Swanson slashed a wicked one-hopper that bounced off the chest of third baseman Edman. The ball deflected to shortstop Paul DeJong, who had a chance to get a force at second base for the third out. But the throw to Wong was a bouncer, the ball shooting off his glove for an error as two runs scored.

Wong also messed up an attempted backhanded toss for an error in the first, helping the Braves grab a 1-0 lead.

It was totally uncharacteristic for a Cardinals team that led the majors during the regular season with just 66 errors and a .989 fielding percentage.

In the end, it didn’t matter.

ACUNA’S BLUNDER

Acuña, playing for the first time since Sept. 24 after resting a sore left hip, may have cost the Braves an important run in the seventh by hot-dogging on a towering drive down the right-field line.

Apparently thinking it was a homer, the 21-year-old slugger jogged halfway to first carrying his bat before seeing the ball bounce off the wall. He wound up with only a single _ a reminder of a similar play in August which led manager Brian Snitker to yank the youngster out of a game against the Dodgers.

“He should have been on second,” Snitker said. “We’re kind of short-handed to do anything about it right there.”

Acuña eventually made it to second on a groundout, only to get doubled off on Josh Donaldson’s liner to end the inning

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha (right shoulder tightness) was left off the postseason roster, but manager Mike Shildt said he’s ”moving forward” in hopes of being available later in the postseason should St. Louis advance. Wacha is expected to play catch soon before possibly advancing to a light bullpen session.

Braves: RHP Chris Martin left without throwing a pitch in the eighth after reporting tightness in his left oblique while warming up. The Braves were forced to call in Luke Jackson, who was greeted with Goldschmidt’s homer and would up being charged with both runs that inning. “We had the whole thing set up right where we wanted it,” Snitker said. “That was a big blow.” Atlanta could replace Martin on the roster before Game 2, but he would have to sit out the rest of the series as well as the NL Championship Series should the Braves advance.

UP NEXT

Flaherty has been dominant since the All-Star break. The 23-year-old went 7-2 with a 0.91 ERA in 15 starts, the third-lowest in major league history over the second half behind Jake Arrieta (0.75) of the 2015 Chicago Cubs and Greg Maddux (0.87) of the 1994 Braves.

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Atlanta will counter with Foltynewicz, who also finished strong in a definite tale of two seasons. The 2018 All-Star was demoted to Triple-A in June with a 2-5 record and 6.37 ERA. Since rejoining the rotation in early August, he is 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA, claiming the second spot in the postseason rotation.

Westlake Legal Group cardinals Cardinals score 4 in 9th, hold off Braves 7-6 in NLDS opener Paul Newberry fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/atlanta-braves fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 6f529c7d-0f46-5b37-95ac-993f34b6183b   Westlake Legal Group cardinals Cardinals score 4 in 9th, hold off Braves 7-6 in NLDS opener Paul Newberry fox-news/sports/mlb/st-louis-cardinals fox-news/sports/mlb/atlanta-braves fox-news/sports/mlb fnc/sports fnc Associated Press article 6f529c7d-0f46-5b37-95ac-993f34b6183b

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Top Diplomat Described ‘Crazy’ Plan to Withhold Aid From Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group 03dc-impeachment-facebookJumbo Top Diplomat Described ‘Crazy’ Plan to Withhold Aid From Ukraine Yovanovitch, Marie L Volker, Kurt D United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry State Department Pompeo, Mike Pelosi, Nancy impeachment

WASHINGTON — A top American diplomat in Ukraine repeatedly raised concerns with colleagues about the White House’s decision to withhold $391 million in security aid from Ukraine, describing it as a “crazy” plan to withhold security assistance “for help with a political campaign,” according to texts released Thursday as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The texts, which were turned over to Congress by Kurt D. Volker, the State Department’s former special envoy for Ukraine, come from a series of early September exchanges. They appear to show a dispute among American diplomats over whether the president was trying to use security aid or a White House meeting with the country’s new leader as leverage to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on a leading political rival — a charge at the heart of the impeachment investigation.

One message, written by William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, suggested that Mr. Trump was holding back the package of military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining chip to influence the country’s president to do his political bidding.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” Mr. Taylor wrote on Sept. 9 to Mr. Volker and Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union.

Mr. Sondland replied that he believed he had “identified the best path forward” for unfreezing the assistance. But he also took issue that there is any sort of direct agreement, writing in response, “The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” He then suggested the conversation move to phone rather than text.

That exchange and others emerged as congressional investigators met privately for more than nine hours on Capitol Hill with Mr. Volker, who is the first witness in their growing impeachment inquiry into whether Mr. Trump tried to bend American policy for his own political benefit by pressuring President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other Democrats.

While the president has openly admitted that he wanted Mr. Zelensky to investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden, a crucial question has been whether Mr. Trump tried to use the security aid or a meeting at the White House as leverage. The money was delayed until the Trump administration released it last month amid a bipartisan outcry from lawmakers.

In his text, Mr. Sondland added, “The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”

It was not immediately clear what led Mr. Taylor to conclude that Mr. Trump was withholding aid as leverage over Ukraine. When the texts were sent, news reports about the delay in releasing the aid, and about attempts by Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into investigating Mr. Biden and other Democrats, had already prompted public speculation that Mr. Trump was engaging in a quid pro quo.

But his concerns persisted. Roughly a week earlier, on Sept. 1, Mr. Taylor had asked Mr. Sondland, “Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?”

Mr. Sondland replied simply, “Call me.”

The next day, Mr. Taylor described a “nightmare” situation in which the Ukrainians announced they would conduct the investigations Mr. Trump wanted and still not receive the security assistance. “The Russians love it,” he wrote of that potential outcome. “(And I quit.)”

Mr. Taylor could not be reached for comment on Thursday. The texts thrust him into the center of the blossoming controversy, and he is now almost certain to be called to testify by lawmakers.

Democrats leading the investigation said the messages “reflect serious concerns raised by a State Department official about the detrimental effects of withholding critical military assistance from Ukraine, and the importance of setting up a meeting between President Trump and the Ukrainian president without further delay.”

Republicans demanded a full transcript of Mr. Volker’s interview be released. “The facts we learned today undercut the salacious narrative that Adam Schiff is using to sell his impeachment ambitions,” wrote Representatives Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes, the top Republicans on the Oversight and Reform and Intelligence committees, referring to the chairman of the intelligence panel.

When the Trump administration forced out Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador, before her term was up, Mr. Taylor was sent to be the chargé d’affaires, the No. 2 post in an embassy, and acting ambassador. Mr. Taylor was a former ambassador in Ukraine, serving from 2006 to 2009.

The texts among Mr. Volker, Mr. Sondland and Mr. Taylor portray Mr. Taylor as a diplomat deeply skeptical of the Trump administration’s approach to Ukraine, flabbergasted that the military assistance had been cut off — and firmly believing that the White House was asking for Ukraine to begin political investigations in return for the aid being released.

In one text, he worried about how the hold would affect Ukrainians’ view of the United States and if it would have “shaken their faith in us.”

The texts also suggest that Mr. Volker, a former ambassador to NATO, was deeply intertwined in efforts by the president and Mr. Giuliani to press the Ukrainians into action.

Mr. Volker’s name appears several times in an anonymous C.I.A. whistle-blower complaint that set off the impeachment inquiry, and Mr. Giuliani has said publicly he briefed Mr. Volker on his efforts. The complaint centers on a July call Mr. Trump had with Mr. Zelensky, in which he pressed him to investigate Mr. Biden, and asserts that Mr. Volker advised the Ukrainians on how to “navigate” Mr. Trump’s demands.

In his session with investigators, Mr. Volker presented himself as a diplomat caught in the middle “trying to solve a problem” and help Ukraine, but as someone who was not “fully in the loop” on the president’s campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate his rivals, according to a person briefed on his testimony.

Mr. Volker told investigators that even as he agreed to set up a meeting between Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Zelensky’s top aide, he warned Mr. Giuliani that he believed the conspiracy theories Mr. Giuliani was pursuing were unfounded. While there may have been Ukrainians interested in influencing the United States government, Mr. Volker told investigators that he thought it was implausible that Mr. Biden or the Hillary Clinton campaign did anything wrong.

Mr. Volker told the committee staff that he was never informed that Mr. Trump raised Mr. Biden or the 2016 election during the July 25 phone call, nor was he shown the rough transcript afterward. He was in Ukraine at the time and met the next day with Mr. Zelensky, who he said raised no concerns about the call with him.

In his testimony, Mr. Volker told investigators he believed Mr. Taylor was a diplomat of high integrity. But he also said he did not see the freezing of the assistance as directly linked to Mr. Trump’s interest in beginning a new Ukraine investigation as Mr. Taylor did, according to a person familiar with the testimony.

Mr. Taylor concluded that the assistance was linked to Mr. Trump’s desire for new investigations in Ukraine based on news reports, Mr. Volker testified, according to the person. While Mr. Taylor feared the aid would never come, Mr. Volker told House investigators he was sure that Congress or the Pentagon would force the administration to release the assistance and the issue would be resolved. Mr. Volker believed if he could persuade Mr. Trump that Mr. Zelensky was trustworthy, he could push the relationship to a better place, he said in his testimony.

Mr. Volker told the committee that he did not act at Mr. Pompeo’s behest but briefed the secretary of state who approved of his actions. He also said he kept John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, informed.

The interview, which Mr. Volker participated in voluntarily, took place out of public view. The text exchange was part of a trove of more than 60 pages of documents, many of them texts, that Mr. Volker provided before he arrived.

Mr. Volker resigned on Friday from his part-time, unpaid State Department post without public explanation. A person familiar with his thinking said the longtime diplomat concluded he could no longer be effective in the post in light of the unfolding scandal. But the resignation also freed him to appear before the House investigators without restrictions, according to people familiar with his account.

Democrats are pushing their impeachment investigation forward with haste, issuing near-daily requests or subpoenas for documentary evidence and witness testimony.

The session with Mr. Volker was the first in what is expected to be a fast-paced series of interviews in the coming weeks, when Democrats aim to bring a parade of witnesses behind closed doors for questioning. Ms. Yovanovitch is expected to appear next week.

Other State Department diplomats, including Mr. Sondland, and associates of Mr. Giuliani’s are scheduled to participate, as well, but it remains to be seen whether they will appear voluntarily. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the committee this week that its requests were inappropriately aggressive and untenable.

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Lara Jakes from Washington.

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Trump-Ukraine transcript ‘so damning’ that public backs impeachment, ex-Clinton adviser asserts

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goodstein_AP-FOX Trump-Ukraine transcript 'so damning' that public backs impeachment, ex-Clinton adviser asserts fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 26cd588a-6dbd-5a53-b92b-ae72d90e80a3

The Ukraine phone call transcript is slowly convincing the public to have an open mind about the Trump impeachment inquiry, former Clinton adviser Richard Goodstein said Thursday.

It does not matter if the whistleblower is a Republican, a Democrat or unaffiliated, their report should be taken seriously, Goodstein said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“It’s the president’s words,” he said of the transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky from earlier this year.

EX-UKRAINE ENVOY VOLKER MEETS WITH LAWMAKERS

“Whether the whistleblower is an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ or came from Mars, or whatever they blew the whistle about — we see this so-called transcript… so damning that the public increasingly with each passing week is more and more inclined to say, ‘Yeah, actually, I think you should be impeached.’ “

In response, host Tucker Carlson challenged Goodstein, saying he is simply playing politics ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

“There’s an election in a year and you don’t like Trump,” Carlson said. “That is the referendum. It is a democracy.”

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Goodstein countered that partisanship may have ruled during the Clinton impeachment.

“That’d be true if it were [about] having sex with an intern,” Goodstein said, “but he is trying to get China and Ukraine and Russia to make sure that we don’t have a fair election,” he said of Trump.

He added that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struck the right tone when she repeatedly told journalists she was “praying for” Trump amid the impeachment inquiry turmoil.

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“You never heard a soul on the Republican side feel any sense of remorse for going after [former President Bill Clinton] and trying to kick him out of office — talk about a coup — because he had sex and didn’t want to talk about it on the record.”

“You never heard a soul on the Republican side feel any sense of remorse for going after [former President Bill Clinton] and trying to kick him out of office — talk about a coup — because he had sex and didn’t want to talk about it on the record.”

— Richard Goodstein, former Clinton adviser 

Earlier Thursday, former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker appeared on Capitol Hill as one of the first witnesses to go before a congressional body amid the Trump impeachment inquiry triggered by the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s July 25 phone call.

Volker was participating in a closed-door transcribed interview with members of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees after the complaint mentioned him as having allegedly played a role in Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s investigations connected to Ukraine. Volker resigned soon after the complaint was made public last week.

Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer and Mike Emanuel contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goodstein_AP-FOX Trump-Ukraine transcript 'so damning' that public backs impeachment, ex-Clinton adviser asserts fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 26cd588a-6dbd-5a53-b92b-ae72d90e80a3   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goodstein_AP-FOX Trump-Ukraine transcript 'so damning' that public backs impeachment, ex-Clinton adviser asserts fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 26cd588a-6dbd-5a53-b92b-ae72d90e80a3

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Kamala Harris asks audience if America is ‘ready’ for her presidency, crowd shouts ‘no’

Westlake Legal Group kamala-harris-getty Kamala Harris asks audience if America is 'ready' for her presidency, crowd shouts 'no' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c551975-4813-5e54-93b7-b19fdc452431

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., may have had what some are calling her “please clap” moment on Thursday when she got a not so favorable response to the question if America was “ready” for her to be president.

Speaking at a town hall event in Reno, Nev., Harris told attendees she wanted to “engage in real talk” about the state of the 2020 race.

“In this election, in the last couple- I mean, maybe couple of months, certainly a few weeks, there’s this whole conversation that has been coming up about electability focused on our campaign,” Harris said. “Is America ready for that?”

Several audience members were then heard responding “No” throughout the room, with Harris visibly shocked by what she heard.

“Well, yes they are,” Harris told the crowd, sparking some laughter.

KAMALA HARRIS DEFENDS BIDEN, RIPS TRUMP: ‘JOE HAS MORE PATRIOTISM IN HIS PINKY FINGER THAN YOU’LL EVER HAVE’

The exchange received mockery on social media, many comparing it to the memorable moment from the 2016 election when former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Flor., urged a crowd at a campaign stop to “please clap.”

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Harris has seen a dramatic drop in the polls in recent weeks. In the latest Fox News poll, she received seven percent of support among likely Democratic voters while former Vice President Joe Biden maintains a double-digit lead with 29 percent while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has 18 percent support and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has 16 percent.

Westlake Legal Group kamala-harris-getty Kamala Harris asks audience if America is 'ready' for her presidency, crowd shouts 'no' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c551975-4813-5e54-93b7-b19fdc452431   Westlake Legal Group kamala-harris-getty Kamala Harris asks audience if America is 'ready' for her presidency, crowd shouts 'no' Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox news fnc/media fnc article 2c551975-4813-5e54-93b7-b19fdc452431

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Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigating Biden

Westlake Legal Group 03diplosub2-facebookJumbo Trump Envoys Pushed Ukraine to Commit to Investigating Biden Zelensky, Volodymyr Volker, Kurt D United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates Giuliani, Rudolph W Burisma Holdings Ltd Biden, Joseph R Jr Biden, Hunter

WASHINGTON — Two of President Trump’s top envoys to Ukraine worked on a statement for the country’s new president in August that would have committed Ukraine to pursuing investigations sought by Mr. Trump into his political rivals, according to three people briefed on the effort and documents released Thursday night.

Their work on the statement is new evidence of how Mr. Trump’s fixation with conspiracy theories linked to Ukraine began driving senior diplomats to bend American foreign policy to the president’s political agenda in the weeks after a July 25 call between the two leaders.

The statement was worked on by Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt D. Volker, then the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, according to the documents and the three people who have been briefed on the statement. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer and the de facto leader of a shadow campaign to push the Ukrainians to press ahead with investigations, provided the critical element of the language, Mr. Volker told House Democratic investigators on Thursday, a person familiar with his testimony said.

The Ukrainians never released the statement. But if they had, Mr. Trump’s aides would have effectively pressured a foreign government to give credence to allegations intended to undercut one of the Democratic Party’s leading 2020 presidential candidates — former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — without leaving Mr. Trump’s fingerprints on it.

Mr. Volker spent Thursday on Capitol Hill being questioned by House investigators as Democrats pursued their impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s actions.

Late Thursday, House Democrats released a series of texts between Mr. Volker, Mr. Sondland and Andriy Yermak, a top aide to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, that also showed that officials in both countries understood that Mr. Trump would not grant Mr. Zelensky an Oval Office meeting he was seeking until Ukraine agreed to make a public commitment to the investigations being sought by the American side.

The texts also showed the three men discussing language for the proposed statement. On the morning of Aug. 13, Mr. Volker sent Mr. Sondland language they wanted added to an earlier draft sent by the Ukrainians.

“We intend to initiate and complete a transparent and unbiased investigation of all available facts and episodes, including those involving Burisma and the 2016 U.S. elections, which in turn will prevent the recurrence of this problem in the future,” Mr. Volker said in what appears to be the language he was proposing.

Mr. Sondland quickly replied, “Perfect,” adding that they should send it along to an adviser to the Ukrainian president.

Four days later, Mr. Sondland texted Mr. Volker, asking if they still wanted the Ukrainian president “to give us an unequivocal draft” specifically citing the two issues that Mr. Trump has been focused on: Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that had put Mr. Biden’s younger son, Hunter Biden, on its board, and Mr. Trump’s belief that Ukraine had interfered in the 2016 American elections to benefit Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Volker replied: “That’s the clear message so far …”

Under questioning on Capitol Hill, Mr. Volker told House Democratic investigators that the language including specific references to Burisma and the 2016 election had come from Mr. Giuliani, the person familiar with his testimony said.

Mr. Volker told the House investigators that the Ukrainians had earlier proposed language promising a statement on fighting corruption that did not specifically mention Burisma and 2016. When Mr. Giuliani was shown that original language, Mr. Volker told the House, he indicated to Mr. Volker that it was not sufficient and said the Ukrainians should be asked for specific public commitments to investigate Burisma and 2016.

By Mr. Volker’s account, according to the person familiar with his testimony, he was eventually told by Mr. Yermak that the Ukrainian government could not agree to the language being sought by Mr. Giuliani. Mr. Volker told Mr. Yermak that he was right, and the idea was dropped, according to the account Mr. Volker provided the House.

The idea behind the statement was to break the Ukrainians of their habit of promising American diplomats and leaders behind closed doors that they would look into matters and never follow through, the people briefed on it said. According to the account provided by Mr. Volker to the House, the idea of the Ukrainians providing a statement had originated with Mr. Giuliani in a conversation he had with Mr. Yermak.

It is unclear if the statement was delivered to Mr. Zelensky, but no statement was released publicly under his name. Around that time, the Ukrainian officials indicated to the Americans that they wanted to avoid becoming more deeply enmeshed in American politics.

The drafting of the statement, which came in the weeks after the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, was an effort to pacify Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani and to normalize relations between the two countries as Ukraine faced continuing conflict with Russia. Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker believed that Mr. Giuliani was “poisoning” Mr. Trump’s mind about Ukraine and that eliciting a public commitment from Mr. Zelensky to pursue the investigations would induce Mr. Trump to more fully support the new Ukrainian government, according to the people familiar with it.

The texts released by House Democrats late Thursday night corroborated this characterization.

In the hours before the July 25 phone call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Volker texted Mr. Yermak that he had “Heard from White House” that “we will nail down date” for the official Oval Office visit coveted by the Ukrainians, “assuming President Z convinces trump he will investigate” the claims that Ukrainian officials tried to sabotage Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign.

The topic of the investigations came up during the July call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, and Mr. Zelensky appeared open during the conversation to Mr. Trump’s request that he coordinate with Attorney General William P. Barr and Mr. Giuliani. Within weeks Mr. Volker and Mr. Sondland were strategizing about the draft statement with Mr. Yermak.

The texts suggest that, after the presidential call, negotiations picked up about a statement that would mention the investigations and satisfy Mr. Trump.

On Aug. 10, Mr. Yermak expressed a willingness “to make this declaration and mention all these things,” but noted that, first, the Ukrainians wanted to receive “guarantees for future visit” to Washington. “Once we have a date, will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of US-UKRAINE relationship, including among other things Burisma and election meddling in investigations,” Mr. Yermak texted.

Mr. Volker replied, “Sounds great!”

Mr. Giuliani said he was aware of the statement but that it was not written at his behest.

Mr. Giuliani said that the statement was being handled by Mr. Sondland and Mr. Volker, and that he was not sure if Mr. Trump was involved in it.

“I don’t have any information that would suggest that it was at his request, but I can’t tell you it wasn’t, either,” he said.

He said he believed that the statement was intended to be delivered as part of a series of announcements by Mr. Zelensky’s government about the confirmation of new prosecutors and other officials.

“He was supposed to do something, or say something, to assure everybody — meaning our people — that he was going to take serious action about corruption,” Mr. Giuliani said. “I know that the investigations — which would be the collusion, the Burisma investigation — would be included in it, but it would have been part of an overall statement about dealing with corruption in an aggressive way.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. Aides to Mr. Zelensky did not immediately respond to requests for comment sent in the overnight hours in Ukraine.

Despite Mr. Trump’s accusations of corruption on the part of the Bidens, no evidence has surfaced that the former vice president knowingly took any steps to help his son or the gas company that paid him as a board member.

Mr. Trump’s regular suggestions that Ukraine, rather than Russia, was responsible for the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee have been thoroughly debunked. While some Ukrainian officials expressed opposition to Mr. Trump in 2016, claims by Mr. Trump and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, that documents released in Ukraine that year implicating Mr. Manafort in financial fraud were falsified or doctored have not been substantiated.

But Mr. Trump’s continued efforts to press Ukraine to investigate those matters has drawn in a growing number of his aides, including Mr. Volker, who stepped down last week at the State Department’s special envoy for Ukraine, and Mr. Sondland, who has taken an increasingly prominent role in dealing with Kiev.

Mr. Sondland, 62, made a fortune in hotels, and has been a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser for years.

He backed out of his role as a host of a fund-raiser for Mr. Trump in 2016 citing Mr. Trump’s disparaging comments toward immigrants and the family of a slain Muslim American soldier.

But Mr. Sondland donated $1 million through his companies to the inaugural committee for Mr. Trump, who subsequently tapped Mr. Sondland last year to be United States ambassador to the European Union.

The role traditionally has not focused heavily on Ukraine, which is not part of the European Union, but Mr. Sondland increasingly worked to establish himself as a central figure in Ukraine policy, administration officials said.

Mr. Sondland came to be seen in the administration as more loyal to Mr. Trump than was Mr. Volker, an acolyte of Senator John McCain, an outspoken critic of the president.

Mr. Sondland told reporters last month that he saw Ukraine as among a handful of “low-hanging fruit” policy areas where the European Union could work together with Washington to improve relations.

Mr. Sondland raised some hackles at the State Department and in the National Security Council when he asked to be included in the United States delegation that attended Mr. Zelensky’s inauguration, according to people familiar with the events. Mr. Sondland attended an Oval Office meeting afterward with other members of the delegation — which also included Mr. Volker; the energy secretary, Rick Perry; and Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin — to brief Mr. Trump on the delegation’s impressions of Mr. Zelensky.

When the delegation praised Mr. Zelensky and urged Mr. Trump to fully support the new Ukrainian government, the president was dismissive. “They’re terrible people,” Mr. Trump said of Ukrainian politicians, according to people familiar with the meeting. “They’re all corrupt, and they tried to take me down.”

Mr. Sondland continued building a relationship with Mr. Zelensky, hosting him at a June dinner at the United States mission to the European Union in Brussels, and meeting him again in Kiev in July with Mr. Volker on the day after Mr. Trump’s phone call with Mr. Zelensky.

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Devin Nunes slams Dems’ impeachment inquiry as ‘not real’: ‘It’s a partisan adventure’

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Nunes Devin Nunes slams Dems' impeachment inquiry as 'not real': 'It's a partisan adventure' fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 6f72def2-00bf-5a96-90b6-b5122cdf0a88

The Trump impeachment inquiry heralded by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is a “partisan adventure” rather than a legitimate congressional process, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., asserted Thursday night.

The inquiry is not being carried out in the same way that previous impeachment probes were, Nunes said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“It is a partisan adventure and it’s not a real impeachment the way that impeachment process has worked the other times it’s been used,” Nunes said.

EX-UKRAINE ENVOY VOLKER MEETS WITH LAWMAKERS AMID IMPEACHMENT PROBE

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, both Democrats, were subject to impeachment votes.

Nunes also told host Tucker Carlson that he participated in Thursday’s multi-committee Capitol Hill interview of former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker.

More from Media

“I just came from the Capitol and we had, I mean, nine hours of Ambassador Volker, which, if you listen to the mainstream media and the Democrats, this was gonna be the guy that was gonna give up all the goods on Rudy Giuliani, because this was the special envoy to Ukraine on behalf of the Trump administration,” Nunes said.

“Of course they went on and on and on. Why did they keep going on and on? Because they weren’t getting what they wanted.”

“Why did [Democrats] keep going on and on? Because they weren’t getting what they wanted.”

— U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Instead, Nunes suggested Volker should be praised for his years of responsible public service — rather than be subjected to marathon testimony.

Regarding Schiff, Nunes said the California Democrat — who chairs the House Intelligence Committee — had two private opportunities to disclose the fact he or his staff had had contact with the unidentified “whistleblower” at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

“It looks like he knew something beforehand,” Nunes said, regarding Schiff and the whistleblower’s complaint.

“He clearly gave no indication that he had ever met with the whistleblower or anybody on his team had ever met with the whistleblower.”

Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Nunes Devin Nunes slams Dems' impeachment inquiry as 'not real': 'It's a partisan adventure' fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 6f72def2-00bf-5a96-90b6-b5122cdf0a88   Westlake Legal Group Carlson-Nunes Devin Nunes slams Dems' impeachment inquiry as 'not real': 'It's a partisan adventure' fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/devin-nunes fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 6f72def2-00bf-5a96-90b6-b5122cdf0a88

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Newly Revealed Trump Administration Texts on Ukraine Appear To Show Clear Quid Pro Quos

Newly released text messages sent by senior Trump administration officials appear to show clear instances of the White House brazenly pressuring Ukraine for political favors in exchange for cooperation from the U.S. government, the chairs of three House committees wrote in a letter to colleagues Thursday.

The missives were largely sent by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, and Kurt Volker, who was until last month the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine, to Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with Zelensky has become the flashpoint for a Democratic impeachment inquiry after a reconstruction of the call showed multiple instances of Trump pressuring his counterpart to investigate a prime political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son Hunter.

Westlake Legal Group 5d96c5672100005000a90db8 Newly Revealed Trump Administration Texts on Ukraine Appear To Show Clear Quid Pro Quos

House of Representatives

The texts were attached to a letter condemning Trump’s effort to minimize his call with Ukraine. It was signed by Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff (Calif.), chair of the House Intelligence Committee; Eliot Engel (N.Y.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Elijah Cummings (Md.), who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

“We hope every Member of the House will join us in condemning in the strongest terms the President’s now open defiance of our core values as American citizens to guard against foreign interference in our democratic process,” they wrote.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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LA airport to shuttle Uber, Lyft, taxi customers between terminals and new pickup area: reports

Westlake Legal Group 24a5138d-167200460 LA airport to shuttle Uber, Lyft, taxi customers between terminals and new pickup area: reports fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc Dom Calicchio article 69597cee-960f-5a5e-9a64-3e6d8aa89c12

Need a quick ride home from the airport? If you’ve just arrived in Los Angeles, you’ll soon have to take a shuttle to a parking lot away from the terminal to catch your Uber, Lyft or taxi.

Officials at Los Angeles International Airport plan Friday to announce details of their effort to steer arriving passengers away from traditional curbside pickups, reports say.

Increasing airport traffic congestion – sparked by the emergence of ride-hailing services — is partly to blame, Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director of the Operations and Emergency Management Division at Los Angeles World Airports, told the Los Angeles Times.

CONGRESS MMEBERS LOOKING TO PUT AN END TO ‘THE MOST-HATED FEE IN TRAVEL’

In addition, LAX has seen passenger traffic rise from 59 million in 2010 to 87.5 million in 2018, according to Skift, a news site that covers the travel industry.

“We understand that trying to get into the central terminal area is a challenge and has been for a long time, and we’ve been working to make that much better,” Wilschetz told The Times. “This is a way we can do that.”

“We understand that trying to get into the central terminal area is a challenge and has been for a long time, and we’ve been working to make that much better. This is a way we can do that.”

— Keith Wilschetz, deputy executive director, Operations and Emergency Management Division, Los Angeles World Airports

According to the plan, passengers will wait three to five minutes for a shuttle trip that will take no longer than 15 minutes, the Times reported – or they can choose to walk to the pickup lot instead, a journey estimated to take up to 18 minutes, depending on which terminal the passenger walks from.

Twitter users were expressing mixed reactions to the LAX plan.

“That curbside shuttle from the terminal to the ride share parking lot at LAX is going to run smoooooooooooth,” one Twitter user wrote.

“this is the best news i’ve heard in years,” another Twitter user commented.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

The LAX plan follows a similar move at San Francisco International Airport for pickups from its domestic terminals, and an announcement that Boston’s Logan International Airport has a similar plan in the works, the L.A. Times reported.

It’s also part of LAX’s $14 billion effort to modernize ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics, which will be held in Los Angeles, according to Skift.

Westlake Legal Group 24a5138d-167200460 LA airport to shuttle Uber, Lyft, taxi customers between terminals and new pickup area: reports fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc Dom Calicchio article 69597cee-960f-5a5e-9a64-3e6d8aa89c12   Westlake Legal Group 24a5138d-167200460 LA airport to shuttle Uber, Lyft, taxi customers between terminals and new pickup area: reports fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox-news/travel/general/airports fox news fnc/travel fnc Dom Calicchio article 69597cee-960f-5a5e-9a64-3e6d8aa89c12

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Read: Text messages between US diplomats and Ukrainians released by House Democrats

Westlake Legal Group lUOqsaARoervPhVPggPvwaEFMYIAMU0blFx0-q7jaOQ Read: Text messages between US diplomats and Ukrainians released by House Democrats r/politics

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