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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 316)

Report implicates VP Pence in intensifying Trump scandal

Westlake Legal Group 0joVFClvq9YfRPgDchSrc5V7a1gPBCw1AEoDkJkktMk Report implicates VP Pence in intensifying Trump scandal r/politics

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Comply Or Defy? Democrats Test Trump’s Impeachment Strategy

Westlake Legal Group 5d95f059210000670351f335 Comply Or Defy? Democrats Test Trump’s Impeachment Strategy

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is rapidly confronting a decision at the core of House Democrats’ nascent impeachment inquiry: Should he comply with congressional demands and risk disclosure of embarrassing information? Or should he delay and possibly deepen his legal and political predicament?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, the intelligence committee chairman, issued a blunt warning to the president Wednesday, threatening to make White House defiance of a congressional request for testimony and documents potential grounds for an article of impeachment.

With the prospect of new subpoenas coming as soon as Friday, Trump’s official policy of deliberate non-cooperation, and his view of executive power, could be tested quickly.

“We want to make it abundantly clear that any effort by (Secretary of State Mike Pompeo), by the president or anyone else to interfere with the Congress’ ability to call before it relevant witnesses will be considered as evidence of obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress,” Schiff said in a Wednesday news conference.

For his part, Trump maintained, “Well, I always cooperate,” without explicitly saying he would comply with the request. He then derided Pelosi, saying she “hands out subpoenas like they’re cookies.”

The White House strategy toward congressional oversight has often been open scorn. The Republican president’s aides have ignored document requests and subpoenas, invoked executive privilege _ so far as to argue that executive privilege extends to informal presidential advisers who’ve never held White House roles _ and all but dared Democrats to hold them in contempt.

As the impeachment inquiry accelerates, the White House’s stonewalling appears likely to continue.

“This is a hoax,” Trump said, immediately after professing his commitment to cooperation. He then launched into a diatribe on the impeachment inquiry, which has centered on his request in the July call for Ukraine’s president to assist in digging up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden. “This is the greatest hoax. This is just a continuation of what’s been playing out since my election.”

In public and private, Trump has angrily dismissed the impeachment investigation as an illegitimate, purely partisan effort to topple him, according to three White House officials not authorized to speak about private conversations. And he praised Pompeo’s initial combative response to the Democrats’ requests this week, one of the officials said.

It’s part of an emerging political and legal strategy informed by Trump’s time in the two-year crucible of the special counsel’s Russia investigation.

The president’s first team of lawyers was inclined to cooperate with Robert Mueller, believing it would help bring the investigation to a swift conclusion. But once Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani took over, they largely ceased cooperation, attacked Mueller’s integrity and shielded Trump from testifying in person. They believe the moves inoculated the president legally and solidified his standing politically. Giuliani and Sekulow remain part of the president’s outside counsel.

Trump’s legal team privately cheered as the Mueller investigation bled into its third year in 2019 _ in part because of their stall tactics on whether Trump would consent to the Mueller interview. Now they are bent on ensuring the current probe is anything but the quick process desired by Democrats, who are wary of its impact on the 2020 presidential campaign.

“We’re not fooling around here,” Schiff said. “We don’t want this to drag on for months and months, which appears to be the administration’s strategy.”

White House allies argue that the Democratic demands are overly broad and raise issues of executive privilege and immunity, jeopardizing the longstanding interests of the co-equal branch of government. But Democrats are making the precise counter-argument, that Trump is claiming superiority of the executive branch over the legislative in a manner that defies the Constitution.

It’s a foot-dragging response that also serves Trump’s political interests _ he has hoped to use impeachment as a rallying cry for his supporter base in the election year.

Democrats have sought to use their declared impeachment investigation to bolster their case to access all sorts of documents from the administration, most recently secret grand jury information that underpinned Mueller’s report. And where courts have generally required congressional oversight requests to demonstrate a legitimate legislative purpose, impeachment requests could be wide-ranging.

Some Republicans have raised doubts that the unilateral declaration of impeachment would grant the House those powers. Trump allies have questioned the form of the impeachment investigation, which, unlike those into Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, was begun without a formal vote of the House.

They suggest that without a formal vote, the House is merely conducting oversight. The Justice Department raised similar arguments last month, though it was before Pelosi announced the impeachment investigation.

There’s no clear-cut procedure in the Constitution for launching an impeachment inquiry, leaving many of these questions about obstruction untested in court, said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University.

“There’s no specification in the Constitution in what does and does not constitute a more formal impeachment inquiry or investigation,” he said. “One can argue if they’re in an impeachment investigation, they’re in an impeachment.”

The Justice Department said in a court filing Wednesday it had instructed “relevant personnel” to preserve six categories of records as part of a lawsuit over how the White House handles calls with foreign dignitaries. They include documents that could reveal efforts by officials to limit access to records of a July phone call Trump made to the Ukraine president and documents about the government’s record-keeping policies.

The Justice Department said in the filing that White House officials had already been previously told to maintain all presidential records, both in hard-copy and electronic form. The government said it would “voluntarily agree” to preserve the material as motions in the case play out in court.

It is unclear if Democrats would wade into a lengthy legal fight with the administration over documents and testimony _ or if they would just move straight to considering articles of impeachment.

Schiff said Democrats will “have to decide whether to litigate, or how to litigate.”

Democrats might have a marginally stronger case in court fights over documents they want from the administration now that they’ve initiated an impeachment inquiry. But more important is the prospect of incorporating into impeachment itself the White House’s refusal to cooperate, said Elliot Mincberg, senior counsel for the liberal People for the American Way.

If the White House won’t provide fuller transcripts of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president, for example, that could serve “both as evidence to support other allegations and itself impeachable conduct. That’s leverage the Democrats did not previously claim that they have now quite explicitly claimed,” said Mincberg, who previously served as a lawyer for the House Judiciary Committee.

Jennifer Victor, a political science professor at George Mason University, said the impeachment inquiry “ups the ante in a checks-and-balances political game with the executive branch. The heightened public spotlight makes it more difficult for the executive branch to skirt requests to appear or deliver documents.”

Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.

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Environmental protesters spray UK’s Treasury building with fake blood, four arrested

British police arrested four members of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion on Thursday after they used a fire engine to spray the U.K.’s Treasury building with hundreds of gallons of fake blood.

The group said it carried out the protest because it wanted to raise awareness of the “inconsistency between the U.K. government’s insistence that the U.K. is a world leader in tackling climate breakdown while pouring vast sums of money into fossil exploration and carbon-intensive projects,” according to Sky News.

But their latest stunt had some mishaps.

Westlake Legal Group climate-protest-2-Reuters Environmental protesters spray UK's Treasury building with fake blood, four arrested Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/environment fox news fnc/world fnc eb694889-d413-5edb-894f-3f41c7a06b3f article

Extinction Rebellion protesters demonstrate outside the Treasury building in London on Thursday. (Reuters)

91-YEAR-OLD AMONG THOSE ARRESTED DURING EXTINCTION REBELLION PROTEST AT BRITISH PORT

Organizers said they sprayed 1,800 liters of red liquid colored with food dye at the Treasury building, yet most of it appeared to have ended up on the street and sidewalk, Sky News reports. At another point, the protesters lost control of the decommissioned fire engine’s hose, it added.

The Met Police later said it arrested three men and one woman on suspicion of criminal damage and that there were no injuries stemming from the incident.

Extinction Rebellion has made headlines over the last year for a series of demonstrations that have snarled traffic in cities like London.

CLIMATE GROUP’S ATTEMPT TO ‘SHUT DOWN’ LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT FAILS AFTER ONLY A FEW HANDFULS OF PEOPLE SHOW UP

Westlake Legal Group climate-protest-1-Reuters Environmental protesters spray UK's Treasury building with fake blood, four arrested Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/environment fox news fnc/world fnc eb694889-d413-5edb-894f-3f41c7a06b3f article

Extinction Rebellion protesters spray a hose outside the Treasury building in London. (Reuters)

The group says its next protest is scheduled for Monday next week – and the Met Police are working to free up as many officers as possible to deal with it.

“In the UK, we will peacefully shut down all roads into Westminster in Central London and non-violently disrupt the government until our leaders agree to TAKE EMERGENCY ACTION NOW,” reads a post on its website. “Other non-violent actions will target corporations, ministries, and infrastructure that maintain our toxic system.”

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Extinction Rebellion, since it was formed late last year, has been demanding that Parliament act “to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025,” while also pushing for them to “create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.”

“Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken,” it has also warned.

Westlake Legal Group climate-protest-2-Reuters Environmental protesters spray UK's Treasury building with fake blood, four arrested Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/environment fox news fnc/world fnc eb694889-d413-5edb-894f-3f41c7a06b3f article   Westlake Legal Group climate-protest-2-Reuters Environmental protesters spray UK's Treasury building with fake blood, four arrested Greg Norman fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/environment fox news fnc/world fnc eb694889-d413-5edb-894f-3f41c7a06b3f article

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As A Woman, I Can’t Run On The Street Without Being Harassed. Here’s How I Deal.

Westlake Legal Group 5d8a715c24000057007ce3ee As A Woman, I Can’t Run On The Street Without Being Harassed. Here’s How I Deal.

A few mornings ago, as I laced up my sneakers for my morning run, it dawned on me that I had forgotten to charge my headphones. NBD, I thought, I’ll just meditate or whatever it is health-conscious people do when they’re trying not to throw up their Clif bar mid-run in a public park.  

I was no more than four blocks into my run when I heard the first one: “BEAUTIFUL TATTOOS, BABY!”

Then another man started to make kissing sounds and wave.

Later: Another man pretends to race me while yelling “RUN FORREST, RUN!” (No joke, he really said that.)

Each of these things happened within a short span of a five-mile run. Without my usual mix of angry punk music blaring in my ears, I could hear it all.

You might be thinking: Are these comments really that bad? I mean, one guy said he liked my tats. And maybe the others were just showing support! Anyway, if I’m a woman who is running around Brooklyn at 7 a.m. shirtless, sweaty and covered in tattoos, aren’t I … asking for it?

According to Runner’s World, 43 percent of women runners at least sometimes experience harassment, compared to 4 percent of their male counterparts. That’s not counting the women who are followed, physically assaulted and worse. Let’s not forget Karina Vetrano, Vanessa Marcotte, and Molly Tibbetts, all of whom were murdered in the last few years while running.

Why is street harassment so detrimental? All runners and non-runners alike deserve to feel safe. Street harassment strips away that feeling of safety, reminding us that we too could be targeted in a violent crime. And, let’s be real, getting screamed at by strange men on the regular doesn’t fare well for our mental health. The thing is, harassers KNOW this. Street harassment is a power trip; people who engage in it do so because they think runners are easy targets.

It took running without my headphones to remind me just how much I tune out rampant street harassment on a daily basis.

I love running in New York City and for the most part, I do feel safe. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t certain intersections that I need to power through, no matter how tired I am. There’s nothing like taking a flying leap over a pile of hot garbage because you know that if you don’t, the dudes outside the bodega will have more time to undress you with their eyes. 

There is one particularly awkward scenario that plays out on nearly every run. A car stops at a stop light, and I stop too, in anticipation of the light turning green. The driver notices me standing there, sweating and panting, and proceeds to stare. I pretend not to notice. The light turns green. The driver isn’t paying attention because he is leering at me. Other cars start honking impatiently. The driver angrily motions for me to cross, as though I am the reason for holding up traffic. The driver begins to inch the car towards me as I cross the street, apparently unable to wait any longer. Now in panic mode, I continue my run.

I’m telling you. Every. Single. Time.

I used to think that covering up my body would help me sidestep the stares and the catcalls. When I first started running in the city, I gave myself a bunch of stupid rules to abide by. On the rare occasions that I wore shorts, I’d pair them with a baggy T-shirt so I wouldn’t show too much skin. Tank tops had to cover my belly and be paired with long leggings. 

Since I do my marathon training in the summer, these rules applied during peak East Coast heat and humidity. I can’t even tell you how many tourists’ photos I’ve ruined while staggering around Battery Park clutching my Gatorade for dear life. (As a side note: I can hardly think or breathe when I’m in the middle of a double-digit run. This is not a great time to test-drive a new pick-up line on me.) 

I’ve since abandoned those rules in favor of a sports bra and shorts for most runs, because the sad truth is that someone who is intent on harassing me is going to do it, no matter what I’m wearing. (Did you hear that? You can wear whatever you want! Present your body however you’d like!)

And, more important, it’s what I feel most comfortable wearing while running, catcallers be damned. 

I’ve considered coming up with a few snappy comebacks I could use when faced with my next harasser. But there are two problems with that: One, my brain just doesn’t react fast enough to comprehend and respond to surprise comments when I’m running. (The most I can usually muster is a disgusted look.) And two, it’s entirely possible that the harasser would strike back, perhaps even violently. 

It’s sad, but I’m so used to encountering creeps that there have been a handful of times when I’ve physically recoiled from good-natured high-fives from other runners.

Are there other ways I could avoid street harassment while running aside from tuning it out completely? Maybe. I could run on a treadmill (I hate the treadmill). I could only run with my boyfriend (he never gets screamed at by strangers, so this could be a viable option). I could stop running altogether (just kidding, not happening).

But the thing I love about running is the freedom to hit the pavement whenever and wherever I want. I’m not the one who needs to alter their lifestyle. It’s the street harassers of the world that need to shut up, get some manners and learn to respect women. And let me sweat all over the city in peace.

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Demi Lovato apologizes for ‘offending anyone’ following ‘magical’ trip to Israel

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998238116001_5998234551001-vs Demi Lovato apologizes for 'offending anyone' following 'magical' trip to Israel Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/person/demi-lovato fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc74d303-df64-57b9-bb96-d900c859ce31 article

Demi Lovato is apologizing after some characterized her recent trip to Israel, during which she was baptized in the Jordan River, as a political statement.

Lovato, 27, traveled to the Middle East after she “accepted a free trip to Israel in exchange for a few [social media] posts.” But her trip apparently sparked backlash, as the singer saw the need to explain the reasoning for her experience in a follow-up Instagram Story.

DEMI LOVATO CELEBRATES ISRAEL TRIP, BAPTIZED IN SAME RIVER AS JESUS: ‘I’VE NEVER FELT MORE RENEWED’

“I’m extremely frustrated,” she wrote. “No one told me there would be anything wrong with going or that I could possibly be offending anyone. With that being said, I’m sorry if I’ve hurt or offended anyone, that was not my intention.”

The former Disney star said: “Sometimes people present you with opportunities and no one tells you the potential backlash you could face in return. This was meant to be a spiritual experience for me, NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT and now I realize it hurt people and for that I’m sorry.”

DEMI LOVATO RETURNS TO ACTING WITH ‘WILL & GRACE’ ROLE

Lovato went on to apologize for not being “more educated, and sorry for thinking this trip was just a spiritual experience.”

“Going against all advice right now and apologizing because it feels right to me and I’d rather get in trouble for being authentic to myself, than staying quiet to please other people.”

It’s unclear what backlash Lovato has experienced, as it appears the comments on the three Instagram posts from her trip — of her at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism; at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial; and at the Shalva National Center, which provides care for children with special needs — are turned off.

However, according to Entertainment Tonight, many criticized her experience as taking a side in the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

‘CHRISTIAN BIRTHRIGHT’ TRIP TO ISRAEL FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS IS TO ‘WALK IN FOOTSTEPS OF’ JESUS

Lovato detailed her travels to Israel in recent days in a series of Instagram posts, explaining that she’s “an American singer” who was raised Christian but has Jewish ancestors, and said, “There is something absolutely magical about Israel.”

She said she had “never felt such a sense of spirituality or connection to God…something I’ve been missing for a few years now.”

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The “Confident” singer said the experience “fill[ed] the God-sized hole in my heart.”

Fox News’ Caleb Parke contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998238116001_5998234551001-vs Demi Lovato apologizes for 'offending anyone' following 'magical' trip to Israel Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/person/demi-lovato fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc74d303-df64-57b9-bb96-d900c859ce31 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_5998238116001_5998234551001-vs Demi Lovato apologizes for 'offending anyone' following 'magical' trip to Israel Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/world-regions/israel fox-news/world/religion/judaism fox-news/world/religion/christianity fox-news/world/religion fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/us/religion/judaism fox-news/us/religion fox-news/tech/companies/instagram fox-news/person/demi-lovato fox-news/faith-values/faith fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/genres/political fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc fc74d303-df64-57b9-bb96-d900c859ce31 article

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For Finland’s President and Other Guests of Trump, Stoicism Is Key

WASHINGTON — An awkward handshake is really the least of their worries.

As President Trump continues to rage against impeachment — and the Democrats and whistle-blower he holds responsible for bringing it about — visiting world leaders are encountering a different kind of diplomatic mission.

It includes a welcome ceremony, a meeting with Mr. Trump and an invitation to sit stone-faced for an indeterminate amount of time on live television as the president accuses people of treason, lies and corruption. And sometimes the session is reprised a little later in a formal news conference.

That was what happened on Wednesday when President Sauli Niinisto of Finland became the latest foreign leader to strike a straight-lipped contrast to Mr. Trump as Mr. Trump defended himself and attacked his adversaries. Not once but twice.

As reporters crowded into the Oval Office, Mr. Trump sat beside his guest and accused Democratic lawmakers, including Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of treason. Mr. Trump also suggested that the congressman was not fit to carry the secretary of state’s “‘blank’ strap,” as Mr. Niinisto looked on.

“He should resign from office in disgrace,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Schiff, “and frankly they should look at him for treason.”

Adding to the awkward scene, a Finnish reporter seemed to pick up on the president’s anger, and asked Mr. Trump what he could learn from Finland, which has been rated the happiest country in the world.

“Finland is a happy country,” Mr. Trump said in response as he slapped Mr. Niinisto’s knee. “Finland is a happy country. He’s a happy leader, too.”

Mr. Niinisto nodded and seemingly moved to swat Mr. Trump’s hand away.

But the American president wasn’t done. And at a news conference later Wednesday, Mr. Niinisto was all but forced to again express some stolid Nordic enthusiasm.

“Mr. President, you have here a great democracy,” Mr. Niinisto told Mr. Trump in the East Room. “Keep it going on.”

Skipping the usual protocol with a visiting foreign leader is nothing new for Mr. Trump.

He has launched into meandering asides, including falsely claiming his father was born in Germany as Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general, looked on in April. In 2017, he seemed to forget to shake hands with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02dc-memo-02-articleLarge For Finland’s President and Other Guests of Trump, Stoicism Is Key Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Politics and Government United States International Relations Ukraine Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sauli Niinisto, Morrison, Scott (1968- ) impeachment

President Trump last year with President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

And, in front of Muhammadu Buhari, the president of Nigeria, Mr. Trump took questions concerning reports that he had called several African nations “shithole countries.”

“We didn’t discuss it because the president knows me,” Mr. Trump told reporters during his news conference with Mr. Buhari in April 2018, “and he knows where I’m coming from, and I appreciate that.”

Faced with the same question, the Nigerian president demurred, saying “the best thing for me is to keep quiet.”

Since the beginning of Mr. Trump’s presidency, at least some world leaders and their aides have made it a point to anticipate unexpected moments like these and plan ahead, according to a former official in the Washington diplomatic community who spoke on the condition of anonymity to not describe private planning.

The president’s approach has bent the norms of a protocol system put in place by Mr. Trump’s modern predecessors, according to Peter Selfridge, who served as the United States chief of protocol during the Obama administration.

“Obviously,” Mr. Selfridge said, “this president uses the press conference a little differently.”

President Barack Obama would regularly give his diplomatic guests warnings that a press availability might contain off-topic questions, according to a former Obama administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. But Mr. Obama would also appear visibly annoyed when asked questions not related to the purpose of the visit, especially if he was abroad.

When asked if Mr. Trump gave his visitors a similar heads-up, Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, indicated that there was no need.

“I think foreign leaders are well aware that the U.S. press corps often has no desire to cover the foreign diplomacy taking place during these visits,” Ms. Grisham wrote in an email.

Indeed, Mr. Trump’s behavior often overshadows whatever diplomacy is taking place. White House officials told journalists before Mr. Niinisto’s visit that it would focus on economic cooperation and mutual security concerns between the two countries, which is a familiar refrain before any such visit.

But in the past two weeks, impeachment and the allegations against Mr. Trump and his relations with Ukraine have overshadowed diplomatic concerns.

That was more than just subtext to Mr. Trump’s meeting last week in New York with Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian president. Mr. Zelensky, who in a transcript of his phone call with Mr. Trump in July adeptly flattered the president, could barely mask his discomfort when the two met with reporters afterward.

“It’s a great pleasure to me to be here,” Mr. Zelensky said, “and it’s better to be on TV than by phone, I think.”

Mr. Trump with Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia last month at the White House.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

And two weeks ago, Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, had little time to prepare when his state visit came just as the furor over the president and Ukraine began to unfold.

After Mr. Morrison’s welcome ceremony, Mr. Trump pulled him into the Oval Office and began deriding the whistle-blower’s complaint that details him repeatedly pressing the Ukrainian president to talk with aides interested in an investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

Defending his behavior on the call, he turned to Mr. Morrison for support.

“I’ve had conversations with many leaders,” Mr. Trump said. “They’re always appropriate. I think Scott can tell you that.”

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A Bull Has An Afternoon Out In Baltimore

Westlake Legal Group facebook-default-wide A Bull Has An Afternoon Out In Baltimore

A 1,600-pound bull ventured on a short-lived quest for freedom Wednesday in West Baltimore, spending about three hours on the loose before finally succumbing to tranquilizers and being put back into the trailer whence he came.

Baltimore police said the report of a loose bull came in about 3:10 p.m.

The bull, a 1-year-old Angus breeder named No. 33, was headed back to a farm in Frederick County when he somehow escaped a trailer at a red light.

“He’s a big bull, but he was very agitated,” said the bull’s owner, Scott Barao of Hedgeapple Farm, which is located near Frederick.

The animal spent some time corralled in a grassy field near Coppin State University. Police blocked off streets while students watched what the university called the bull’s “stand-off with authorities.”

Employees with the Maryland Zoo were called in and officials shot the animal with tranquilizers.

But it evaded fences — and police tape — and ventured into a neighborhood nearby.

It took three rounds of tranquilizers to get the animal down, Baltimore’s WMAR-2 News reported.

[embedded content]

WUSA9 via YouTube

A towing company was called in to help load the bull onto a flatbed tow truck and from there back into the livestock trailer.

No one was injured. Barao thanked officials for their restraint in responding to the bull on parade.

“They could’ve shot that bull two hours ago and been done with it,” he told reporters, according to The Baltimore Sun. “He’s extremely valuable to us and we’re just glad to have him alive.”

It’s the third bull to escape in West Baltimore this year and at least the seventh in five years, according to the Sun‘s count. Most are linked to a nearby slaughterhouse.

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Giuliani Reportedly Contacted Imprisoned Manafort To Bolster Ukraine Conspiracy Theory

Westlake Legal Group 5d95c1b22200008c01dcaa8b Giuliani Reportedly Contacted Imprisoned Manafort To Bolster Ukraine Conspiracy Theory

Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, has reportedly been talking with the president’s imprisoned former campaign chairman Paul Manafort in an effort to bolster a debunked conspiracy theory he’s been touting involving Ukraine and Hillary Clinton.

Citing an interview with Giuliani himself, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the former New York mayor admitted to contacting Manafort via the prisoner’s lawyer several times in recent months. Manafort is serving a 7½-year term in a Pennsylvania federal prison for bank fraud, tax fraud and other charges stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

Giuliani said he’d reached out to Manafort to determine the veracity of a secret black ledger that allegedly recorded illegal cash payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. 

Giuliani told the Post that he was keen to look into the matter because he believes the black ledger never existed and was concocted by Democratic operatives ― with the support of U.S. authorities ― in order to take Manafort down. 

The Post’s report offers a glimpse into the efforts that Giuliani — who’s also become a central figure in the House impeachment investigation related to Trump’s controversial phone call with current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — has undertaken to falsely reframe the narrative of the 2016 election.

Specifically, Giuliani has been pushing a conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that interfered in the election. Mueller and the U.S. intelligence community concluded Russia plotted to influence the election to help Trump win.

On Monday, Giuliani told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that Ukrainian officials had conspired with Democrats, including Clinton and former U.S. President Barack Obama, to dig up dirt on Trump. 

“Wake up, Democrats. You are covering up corruption,” Giuliani told Hannity, hours after being issued a subpoena by House Democrats for records related to his dealings with Ukraine.

“By the time this is over, you’re going to be the party of corruption,” Giuliani said.

The Post’s exposé on Giuliani corroborates earlier reports by The New York Times and NYR Daily about the attorney’s correspondence with Manafort.

The Times reported last month that Giuliani had “consulted with Manafort’s lawyers about ways to raise doubts about the ledger as a means to question the special counsel’s investigation.”

Investigative journalist Murray Waas, writing for NYR Daily, reported that Giuliani had spoken to Manafort’s legal team on at least three occasions about “how the White House was pushing a narrative that the Democratic National Committee, Democratic donors, and Ukrainian government officials had ‘colluded’” against Trump in 2016.

“This story has since been debunked as baseless, though that has not prevented Trump, Giuliani, and other surrogates in conservative media from repeatedly pushing the story,” Waas noted.

The Manafort-linked ledger that Giuliani was interested in was first reported by the Times in 2016. 

The ledger allegedly recorded $12.7 million in illegal cash payments from Yanukovych ― described as a “stooge” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin ― to Manafort; the news prompted questions about the Trump campaign’s potential ties to the Kremlin and ultimately led to Manafort’s resignation. 

Giuliani told the Post that he recently asked Manafort’s lawyer whether “there really [was] a black book.”

Manafort responded that there wasn’t, Giuliani claimed ― a response that the attorney suggested supported his theory about the ledger having been invented by U.S. authorities as a pretext to open a case against Manafort. 

As the Post noted, however, the FBI already had a case against Manafort long before the 2016 campaign, and the ledger was mentioned neither by the special counsel’s office nor by Manafort’s defense team during his criminal trials. 

The Post’s report about Giuliani’s correspondence with Manafort dropped the same day that the attorney admitted to providing documents to the State Department that included conspiracy theories related to Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and Marie Yovanovitch, who until recently was the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

The State Department’s watchdog, Steve Linick, provided Congress on Wednesday with a 40-page packet of documents that he said was related to the State Department and Ukraine. 

The chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees later said in a statement that the packet contained “disinformation, debunked conspiracy theories, and baseless allegations.”

“These documents … reinforce concern that the President and his allies sought to use the machinery of the State Department to further the President’s personal political interests,” the three committee chairs wrote.

Giuliani admitted to CNN that he’d sent some of the documents in the packet, including an “outline” of allegations against Biden and Yovanovitch, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s office.

Giuliani claimed Pompeo had contacted him about the documents and had told him the State Department was “going to investigate.” 

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Secondary infertility: Why it happens to couples who have already had successful pregnancies

Shauna Stewart Douglas was struggling with infertility. It caught her and husband, John, by surprise.

“I assumed that if you can get pregnant once, then you can get pregnant again,” Douglas told Fox News.

She had become pregnant almost two years earlier with her daughter, but this time around even in vitro fertilization (IVF) wasn’t working. At age 35, Douglas found herself struggling with secondary infertility.

“People always say to imagine what you want your kitchen table to look like in the future when you’re thinking about how many kids to have,” Douglas said. “And in my mind it has been my husband and all of our kids and that was all fading away. It was all going away.”

Reports estimate that over 3 million couples in the United States face secondary infertility, which according to the Mayo Clinic is the inability to become pregnant or to carry a baby to term after previously giving birth.

Dr. Kecia Gaither, an OB-GYN and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, says several conditions can cause secondary infertility like obesity, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the use of some medications, prior surgery, endometriosis, issues with cervical mucus and the age of both partners.

“Many health conditions can be present without symptoms, until such a time as the couple wishes to become pregnant,” Gaither told Fox News. “If there is an issue within a year of trying in couples less than 35 years of age or after six months in couples older than 35, it’s time to see your physician.”

Douglas, founder of Permission to Profit, said they tried two rounds of IVF–with the second time ending in miscarriage–before they decided that they “couldn’t do it anymore.”

“Maybe it would have happened if we had kept on going and trying again and again, but I couldn’t do it, I just I couldn’t do the rollercoaster anymore.”

Westlake Legal Group infertility-patient Secondary infertility: Why it happens to couples who have already had successful pregnancies Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/reproductive-health/infertility fox-news/health/reproductive-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 0816d60c-91a4-5c0e-b739-df5d1bdc94e7

Douglas said a medical condition, which she preferred not to disclose, and her age of almost 36 when they started trying for their second child, most likely led to her secondary infertility.

“The biggest culprit typically in secondary infertility is the ovarian reserve,” Dr. Brooke Hodes Wertz, a reproductive endocrinologist at NYU Langone Fertility Center told Fox News. “The ovary loses eggs in number and quality over time. So it gets harder to get pregnant over time.”

Treatment for secondary infertility is the same as it is for primary infertility. Doctors should first start with an evaluation of both partners, Wertz said.

“You’re going to do a semen analysis for the male partners,” Wertz explained. “The females typically undergo blood testing that can look at how their ovaries are doing as well as testing to look at the inside of their cavity, whether it’s a hysterosalpingogram or an ultrasound, to look at the cavity and make sure the tubes are open.”

The most common blood tests for women are called FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), which give a reflection of the egg quality and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) which show the number of eggs the patient has.

NEW YORK DOCTOR OFFERS PATIENTS STRUGGLING WITH INFERTILITY A LOW-COST AND NEEDLE-FREE IVF TREATMENT

If there appears to be an issue, a doctor may recommend certain treatments at a fertility clinic.

“We have simple treatments which involve oral medicine and often taking the sperm and releasing it very close to where the egg gets released,” Wertz said. “And then we have more aggressive treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF).”

IVF typically uses fertility drugs to induce ovulation and then extracts the eggs and fertilizes them with sperm in a lab. Once the embryo forms, doctors then transfer the embryo into the uterus.

A lot of women don’t realize a couple of years makes a difference

— Dr. Brooke Hodes Wertz, NYU Langone Fertility Center

Wertz also recommended egg freezing as a way to possibly avoid secondary infertility.

“We have the ability to freeze eggs and embryos when the ovaries are younger and put them back in at an older age when it would have been harder to get pregnant,” Wertz said. “A lot of women don’t realize a couple of years makes a difference.”

While there have been success stories among women who have frozen their eggs when they are over 40 years old, Wertz said it is preferable to freeze your eggs earlier in life, ideally before the age of 35.

Even though Douglas, now 41, didn’t think that more rounds of IVF would give her family a second child and her daughter a sibling, there was another option for her–adoption.

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“Families are made up in all kinds of different ways and, for us, we have a biological child and we have an adoptive child,” Douglas said. “Going down that path was an incredibly beautiful thing because now we have my son, which is amazing and I’m really grateful for that.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6091418346001_6091415264001-vs Secondary infertility: Why it happens to couples who have already had successful pregnancies Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/reproductive-health/infertility fox-news/health/reproductive-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 0816d60c-91a4-5c0e-b739-df5d1bdc94e7   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6091418346001_6091415264001-vs Secondary infertility: Why it happens to couples who have already had successful pregnancies Lindsay Carlton fox-news/health/reproductive-health/infertility fox-news/health/reproductive-health fox-news/health/healthy-living/womens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc article 0816d60c-91a4-5c0e-b739-df5d1bdc94e7

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Washington Redskins’ Jay Gruden admits there’s no game plan ‘right now’ when it comes to quarterback

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Jay-Gruden2 Washington Redskins' Jay Gruden admits there's no game plan 'right now' when it comes to quarterback Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/washington-redskins fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/dwayne-haskins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 674b3ac1-c319-5c29-9278-12ec10cff07b

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden told reporters Wednesday he has no quarterback plan “right now” ahead of the team’s game against the New England Patriots.

Gruden will have to choose among Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to start against one of the best defenses in football.

PATRIOTS’ BILL BELICHICK’S COMPLIMENTARY WORDS FOR REDSKINS OFFENSE HAS SOME FANS BEFUDDLED

“We don’t have one right now,” Gruden said when asked whether he has a starting quarterback plan, according to the Boston Globe.

Haskins was inserted into Week 4’s game against the New York Giants for Keenum, but the team still only managed to score three points. McCoy has not played yet this season and was still working his way back from a broken leg he suffered last season.

ANTONIO BROWN HAS YET TO MEET WITH NFL INVESTIGATORS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT, RAPE ALLEGATIONS: REPORT

Haskins, a rookie from Ohio State, was 9-for-17 with 107 passing yards and three interceptions against the Giants. While there are concerns about whether putting him in against the defending champion Patriots, Gruden joked it’s not going to matter what the team does because he’s backed into a corner anyway.

“No matter what we do with him we’re going to be wrong, so it doesn’t really matter,” Gruden said, according to The Washington Post.

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Washington has lost four straight games to begin the season. The team is a big underdog against the Patriots on Sunday but may get a reprieve when it faces the Miami Dolphins in Week 6.

Westlake Legal Group NFL-Jay-Gruden2 Washington Redskins' Jay Gruden admits there's no game plan 'right now' when it comes to quarterback Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/washington-redskins fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/dwayne-haskins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 674b3ac1-c319-5c29-9278-12ec10cff07b   Westlake Legal Group NFL-Jay-Gruden2 Washington Redskins' Jay Gruden admits there's no game plan 'right now' when it comes to quarterback Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/nfl/washington-redskins fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/person/dwayne-haskins fox news fnc/sports fnc article 674b3ac1-c319-5c29-9278-12ec10cff07b

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