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Westlake Legal Group > News Releases (Page 29)

Kimberley Strassel: Thanks to the IG report, the FBI has had its worst week in modern history

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114561097001_6114565689001-vs Kimberley Strassel: Thanks to the IG report, the FBI has had its worst week in modern history The Wall Street Journal Kimberley A. Strassel fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fnc/opinion fnc f73f4cc7-d6ce-5d80-91fb-afdfe910bc47 article

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has had its worst week in modern history. The Justice Department’s inspector general found that the bureau had deceived a federal court and abused Americans’ civil liberties. It was equally humiliating for the crew that gulled the FBI into its excesses: Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and their media acolytes.

Fusion is the opposition-research firm the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign hired in 2016 to kneecap Donald Trump. Fusion in turn hired Mr. Steele, a British former spy, to compile the infamous “dossier” that the FBI used to obtain surveillance warrants against former Trump aide Carter Page. Mr. Simpson, a onetime Wall Street Journal reporter, tapped a network of media buddies to provide the operation cover.

‘HONEY, WE SHRUNK THE IMPEACHMENT’: KIMBERLEY STRASSEL REACTS TO REVISED DEMOCRATIC ARTICLES

For years, Mr. Simpson spun a tale of how his firm—a team of “professionals”—had hired the “extremely well-regarded” former “lead Russianist at MI6.” Mr. Simpson told the Senate in August 2017 that he wanted Mr. Steele to look into Mr. Trump’s Russia business dealings. So it was “alarming” when Mr. Steele instead found a “political conspiracy” between the Trump campaign and Russia. Especially because Mr. Steele had “a sterling reputation as a person who doesn’t exaggerate, doesn’t make things up, doesn’t sell baloney.” The duo felt “obligated” to report this “national-security threat” to the FBI. The media would later assert that Mr. Steele had proved a valuable source to the FBI in the past; many claimed the FBI corroborated the dossier.

CLICK HERE TO GET TO FOX NEWS APP

Now Mr. Horowitz has exposed the many fictions. His report notes that Mr. Steele was hired from the start to find Trump-Russia collusion. Mr. Steele told the inspector general that Mr. Simpson asked him in May 2016 to determine “whether there were any ties between the Russian government and Trump and his campaign” and “whether Russia was trying to achieve a particular election outcome.” The timing is notable: Mr. Simpson was talking about collusion months before the FBI was—and even before Mr. Steele reported it to him.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING KIMBERLEY STRASSEL’S COLUMN IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114561097001_6114565689001-vs Kimberley Strassel: Thanks to the IG report, the FBI has had its worst week in modern history The Wall Street Journal Kimberley A. Strassel fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fnc/opinion fnc f73f4cc7-d6ce-5d80-91fb-afdfe910bc47 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6114561097001_6114565689001-vs Kimberley Strassel: Thanks to the IG report, the FBI has had its worst week in modern history The Wall Street Journal Kimberley A. Strassel fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/politics fox-news/opinion fox-news/news-events/russia-investigation fnc/opinion fnc f73f4cc7-d6ce-5d80-91fb-afdfe910bc47 article

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

U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165877104_5f58567c-a6da-4963-8afe-3bc099c0c934-articleLarge U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More Scottish National Party Scotland Politics and Government Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats (Great Britain) Legislatures and Parliaments Labour Party (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain European Union Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain)

Celebrations at a Conservative results party at a pub in central London.Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

With all but one district declared on Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives had won 364 seats — 47 more than they won in the last election, in 2017.

The victory is the party’s biggest since Margaret Thatcher captured a third term in 1987 — “literally before many of you were born,” Mr. Johnson told supporters Friday morning. It gives him a comfortable majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

“We did it,” he said. “We smashed it, didn’t we?”

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party had to reach even farther back to find a more extreme result. It won 203 seats, down 59 from the previous vote, in its worst showing since 1935. It had not suffered a similar drubbing since 1983, when it took 209 seats.

The Scottish National Party captured 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats, a gain of 13. The Liberal Democrats, who were hoping to ride an anti-Brexit stance back to prominence, won just 11 seats, one fewer than in 2017.

The Conservatives collected 43.6 percent of the popular vote, to 32.2 percent for Labour. That 11.3 percentage point margin was also the largest for the Tories since 1987 — a dramatic shift from 2017, when Labour lost the popular vote by just 2.4 percent.

Westlake Legal Group uk-general-election-results-1576181944497-articleLarge-v2 U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More Scottish National Party Scotland Politics and Government Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats (Great Britain) Legislatures and Parliaments Labour Party (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain European Union Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain)

U.K. Election Results Map: How Conservatives Won in a Landslide

Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a large majority in Parliament. Here’s how he did it.

Speaking to his constituents in Uxbridge early Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the election results appeared to have given his government “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

Later in the morning, he told supporters, “we put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum” that might have reversed the results of the 2016 vote on Brexit.

“We will get Brexit done on time on the 31st of January — no ifs, no buts, no maybes,” he added.

He visited Buckingham Palace and met with Queen Elizabeth II, who formally asked him to form a new government.

He also promised that his government would spend more at home after a decade of austerity under Conservative governments — in particular on Britain’s National Health Service, known commonly as the N.H.S., a cherished program whose conditions have deteriorated.

Mr. Johnson said that he would seek “to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people, and above all on the N.H.S.”

As hospital beds have overflowed, waiting times have gone up and vacancies have gone unfilled, many Britons have grown fearful that the health service could be privatized or otherwise overhauled — for instance by a trade deal with the United States that could drive up drug prices. (President Trump, tweeting congratulations on Friday morning, said Britain could “strike a massive new Trade Deal” after Brexit.)

Mr. Johnson insisted he would protect the health service, echoing his campaign promises to hire 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 doctors.

He promised again to hire more police officers, whose ranks have also thinned, and vowed “colossal new investments in infrastructure and science.”

“Let’s spread opportunity to every corner of the U.K.”

Speaking in his constituency of Islington in London, the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would step down before the next general election, but would stay at the party’s helm for now, as it reflects on how to move forward from its dismal showing.

Mr. Corbyn is already under intense pressure to resign. His has been accused of poor leadership and of failing to handle accusations of anti-Semitism in the party ranks.

“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” he said. “I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward and I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

It was not clear how long Mr. Corbyn meant to stay on as party leader. The next election could be as long as five years away.

Some members of the Labour Party were quick to criticize him on Thursday night.

“The Labour Party has huge, huge questions to answer,” Ruth Smeeth, a former lawmaker, told Sky News. She immediately laid blame on Mr. Corbyn.

“Jeremy Corbyn should announce that he’s resigning as the leader of the Labour Party from his count today,” she said. “He should have gone many, many, many months ago.”

The pound jumped in value on Thursday night and remained high on Friday, buoyed by the receding prospect of a chaotic exit from the European Union without a divorce agreement. At midmorning, it stood at about $1.34, up from about $1.32 a day earlier.

Equity markets were similarly been lifted by the broad Conservative victory, with the FTSE 250 up more than 4 percent. The FTSE 100, which includes companies that rely more heavily on overseas earnings that would be dampened by a stronger pound, rose less sharply.

If the Conservatives manage to pass the withdrawal agreement bill as planned, the gains are likely to hold up through the end of the year, said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank. Easing global trade tensions should support markets too, after the United States and China, which have been locked in a trade war, settled on a partial deal.

Prospects look more uncertain for the new year.

The current deadline gives the British government has just 11 months to negotiate a complex deal on its long-term trading relationship with the European Union. The two sides may struggle to meet the Dec. 31, 2020 deadline, once again raising the prospect of a damaging “no-deal” Brexit.

“If negotiators get stuck or bogged down or become more fractious, there’s a prospect of more volatility in the currency,” Mr. Dixon said. “The risk of an accidental no-deal Brexit might keep the market on their toes.”

In the longer term, bond yields could also start to edge up if the Scottish secessionist movement gains momentum now that the Scottish National Party has won most of the seats in Scotland.

“The one thing which certain investors, maybe bond market investors, will look at again is the integrity of the U.K. following the strong Scottish result for the S.N.P.,” Mr. Dixon added.

European leaders on Friday welcomed the clarity of the British election result, which came during the last day of their summit meeting in Brussels, in hopes that it would make way for resolution of the Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has the majority needed to ratify his withdrawal agreement with Brussels by the Jan. 31 deadline laid out by Europe.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, congratulated Mr. Johnson on Twitter and said that he expected British Parliament to vote on the deal “as soon as possible.”

But that will only start the clock on new negotiations about Britain’s future trading and security relationship with the bloc. Mr. Johnson has said that will be quick and easy, but few experts agree. It can be quick, Brussels argues, only if Britain agrees to keep its regulations and tariffs the very close to those of the European Union.

European leaders remain unsure whether Mr. Johnson, with a resounding mandate, will stick to his campaign pledge to finish any trade negotiation with the European Union by the end of 2020, or choose next summer to seek a year’s delay for longer talks. So long as they are negotiating, Britain is in a “transition” period, and its relationship with the European Union is essentially unchanged, even if it will be legally out of the bloc.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s prime minister, said he hoped that Mr. Johnson would deliver on his campaign promises, as “people need to have clarity.”

“I hope that with yesterday’s results, they do,” he said. “The excuse that there is no clear majority in London doesn’t last anymore.”

But talks on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union are “not going to be simple,’’ he said.

The Scottish National Party’s success — it won 48 of the 59 seats that it contested — will intensify the debate over independence for Scotland, which voted against Brexit and has largely rejected Britain’s major parties.

In a 2014 referendum, 45 percent of the voters in Scotland backed independence, and as Brexit approaches, the Scottish National Party, which backs independence, has insisted on a second referendum.

Mr. Johnson has said a national government under him would not hold a Scottish independence vote, but the Scottish government has suggested that it might go ahead with one. And on Friday morning, hours after the result of the vote was clear, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party and the first minister of Scotland, said it planned to do just that.

That raises the prospect of the kind of disarray and animosity plaguing Spain, where the government of Catalonia held an independence referendum two years ago that the central government said was illegal.

“It is clear beyond any doubt that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is very different to that chosen by much of the rest of the U.K.,” Ms. Sturgeon told reporters during a news briefing.

“Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories and yet again we have said no to Brexit,” Ms. Sturgeon said. She said within one week, the Scottish government would publish their plan for holding a new referendum.

“I accept, regretfully, that he has a mandate for Brexit in England,” she said. “But he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the European Union.”

Ms. Sturgeon was clear that the decision on Scottish independence should be left up to the Scottish people, not the prime minister, to decide,

“The people of Scotland have spoken, it is time now to decide our own future,” she said.

On Friday morning, voters in and around the heavily pro-Labour north London constituency represented by Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader, woke up dismayed by its losses nationally.

“He failed to lead a proper campaign,” said Sarah Rose, a 43-year-old sociologist, said of Mr. Corbyn as she walked her dogs in Clissold Park. “He failed to tackle accusations of anti-Semitism, and he failed to have a sensible position on Brexit. It’s devastating.”

As expected, Mr. Corbyn won a landslide re-election in this Labour stronghold, but many people said they had doubts about continuing to support him. And as commuters headed to work in a cold drizzle, Labour sympathizers said the party needed to think long and hard about the outcome.

“Nobody here was thinking that Labour would have a majority, and it’s now clear that nobody wants a future with Corbyn,” said Tom Findlay, a 46-year-old music producer and psychotherapist.

He said he went to bed after the first exit polls on Thursday night confirmed a sweeping defeat for Labour. After he woke up early on Friday, his disappointment deepened when he heard that Mr. Corbyn would cling, for now, to his leadership position.

Mr. Corbyn told supporters he would not lead the party into another election, but that he would still oversee a “process of reflection.” He didn’t specify when he would step down.

“It’s typical of his arrogance: he is planning to stay a little bit longer while it’s so clear that he has been rejected,” Mr. Findlay said.

But he tried to see a silver lining. Many people in his part of London were devastated, he said, adding, “it’s going to be good for my therapy business, unfortunately.”

Britain’s businesses welcomed the strong result for the Conservatives and the Brexit certainty it is expected to bring, at least for now. But they remain fearful of facing another Brexit deadline at the end of next year.

“The starting point must be rebuilding business confidence, and early reassurance on Brexit will be vital,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, the country’s biggest business association.

Parts of the economy have been in limbo for much of the past three years, as negotiations with the European Union dragged on, and Parliament was unable to muster majority support for any one approach.

Both the Conservatives and Labour have worried the business community at different points. Labour had promised to nationalize some industries, while Boris Johnson had unnerved businesspeople with his determination to plow on with leaving the European Union, even without an agreement.

Now, companies want to know that they won’t be staring down another potentially disastrous deadline next year.

“Firms will continue to do all they can to prepare for Brexit, but will want to know they won’t face another no deal cliff-edge next year,” Ms. Fairbairn said.

And while the decisive victory paves the way for the next step in the Brexit process, one thing is clear: the postwar push toward greater global economic integration is at an end. The British election verdict is not the only sign.

In the United States, President Trump’s political base has rallied to his trade war against China. Popular movements across Europe have embraced nationalist and nativist causes that promise to halt globalization.

The traditional arbiter of trade disputes, the World Trade Organization, is listing toward irrelevance.

“The era of freewheeling markets and liberalism is ending,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England.

Britain will have a record number of female members of Parliament after Thursday’s vote, when women won at least 220 of the 650 seats, according to the Press Association.

At just over one-third of the House of Commons, women remain far short of parity with men, but they have made tremendous gains since the mid-1980s, when there were only 23 in Parliament. In the last general election, in 2017, women won 211 seats, a record at the time.

This year’s increase comes at a time when many people feared that women were being driven away from politics in a climate of heightened divisions. Online threats and abuse have risen sharply, and were disproportionately directed at female candidates.

Ahead of the campaign, more than a dozen prominent female lawmakers said they would not be standing for re-election citing that abuse as a reason for stepping away from politics. Many female candidates described threats and insults as a grim new reality on the campaign trail, a change that cast a harsh light on British politics.

An analysis of Twitter during the campaign, conducted by PoliMonitor, showed that all candidates received about four times as much abuse as in the 2017 election. The hostility aimed at women, the study said, was often based specifically on their sex or appearance.

Reporting was contributed by Richard Pérez-Peña, Megan Specia, Benjamin Mueller, Steven Erlanger, Ceylan Yeginsu, Amie Tsang, Stephen Castle, Elian Peltier, Peter S. Goodman and Alan Yuhas.

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

U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_165877104_5f58567c-a6da-4963-8afe-3bc099c0c934-articleLarge U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More Scottish National Party Scotland Politics and Government Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats (Great Britain) Legislatures and Parliaments Labour Party (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain European Union Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain)

Celebrations at a Conservative results party at a pub in central London.Credit…Andrew Testa for The New York Times

With all but one district declared on Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives had won 364 seats — 47 more than they won in the last election, in 2017.

The victory is the party’s biggest since Margaret Thatcher captured a third term in 1987 — “literally before many of you were born,” Mr. Johnson told supporters Friday morning. It gives him a comfortable majority in the 650-seat House of Commons.

“We did it,” he said. “We smashed it, didn’t we?”

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party had to reach even farther back to find a more extreme result. It won 203 seats, down 59 from the previous vote, in its worst showing since 1935. It had not suffered a similar drubbing since 1983, when it took 209 seats.

The Scottish National Party captured 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats, a gain of 13. The Liberal Democrats, who were hoping to ride an anti-Brexit stance back to prominence, won just 11 seats, one fewer than in 2017.

The Conservatives collected 43.6 percent of the popular vote, to 32.2 percent for Labour. That 11.3 percentage point margin was also the largest for the Tories since 1987 — a dramatic shift from 2017, when Labour lost the popular vote by just 2.4 percent.

Westlake Legal Group uk-general-election-results-1576181944497-articleLarge-v2 U.K. Election Updates: In Victory, Johnson Promises Brexit and More Scottish National Party Scotland Politics and Government Northern Ireland Liberal Democrats (Great Britain) Legislatures and Parliaments Labour Party (Great Britain) Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain European Union Europe elections Conservative Party (Great Britain)

U.K. Election Results Map: How Conservatives Won in a Landslide

Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a large majority in Parliament. Here’s how he did it.

Speaking to his constituents in Uxbridge early Friday morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the election results appeared to have given his government “a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done.”

Later in the morning, he told supporters, “we put an end to all those miserable threats of a second referendum” that might have reversed the results of the 2016 vote on Brexit.

“We will get Brexit done on time on the 31st of January — no ifs, no buts, no maybes,” he added.

He visited Buckingham Palace and met with Queen Elizabeth II, who formally asked him to form a new government.

He also promised that his government would spend more at home after a decade of austerity under Conservative governments — in particular on Britain’s National Health Service, known commonly as the N.H.S., a cherished program whose conditions have deteriorated.

Mr. Johnson said that he would seek “to unite this country and to take it forward and to focus on the priorities of the British people, and above all on the N.H.S.”

As hospital beds have overflowed, waiting times have gone up and vacancies have gone unfilled, many Britons have grown fearful that the health service could be privatized or otherwise overhauled — for instance by a trade deal with the United States that could drive up drug prices. (President Trump, tweeting congratulations on Friday morning, said Britain could “strike a massive new Trade Deal” after Brexit.)

Mr. Johnson insisted he would protect the health service, echoing his campaign promises to hire 50,000 more nurses and 6,000 doctors.

He promised again to hire more police officers, whose ranks have also thinned, and vowed “colossal new investments in infrastructure and science.”

“Let’s spread opportunity to every corner of the U.K.”

Speaking in his constituency of Islington in London, the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would step down before the next general election, but would stay at the party’s helm for now, as it reflects on how to move forward from its dismal showing.

Mr. Corbyn is already under intense pressure to resign. His has been accused of poor leadership and of failing to handle accusations of anti-Semitism in the party ranks.

“I will not lead the party in any future general election campaign,” he said. “I will discuss with our party to ensure there is a process now of reflection on this result and on the policies that the party will take going forward and I will lead the party during that period to ensure that discussion takes place and we move on into the future.”

It was not clear how long Mr. Corbyn meant to stay on as party leader. The next election could be as long as five years away.

Some members of the Labour Party were quick to criticize him on Thursday night.

“The Labour Party has huge, huge questions to answer,” Ruth Smeeth, a former lawmaker, told Sky News. She immediately laid blame on Mr. Corbyn.

“Jeremy Corbyn should announce that he’s resigning as the leader of the Labour Party from his count today,” she said. “He should have gone many, many, many months ago.”

The pound jumped in value on Thursday night and remained high on Friday, buoyed by the receding prospect of a chaotic exit from the European Union without a divorce agreement. At midmorning, it stood at about $1.34, up from about $1.32 a day earlier.

Equity markets were similarly been lifted by the broad Conservative victory, with the FTSE 250 up more than 4 percent. The FTSE 100, which includes companies that rely more heavily on overseas earnings that would be dampened by a stronger pound, rose less sharply.

If the Conservatives manage to pass the withdrawal agreement bill as planned, the gains are likely to hold up through the end of the year, said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank. Easing global trade tensions should support markets too, after the United States and China, which have been locked in a trade war, settled on a partial deal.

Prospects look more uncertain for the new year.

The current deadline gives the British government has just 11 months to negotiate a complex deal on its long-term trading relationship with the European Union. The two sides may struggle to meet the Dec. 31, 2020 deadline, once again raising the prospect of a damaging “no-deal” Brexit.

“If negotiators get stuck or bogged down or become more fractious, there’s a prospect of more volatility in the currency,” Mr. Dixon said. “The risk of an accidental no-deal Brexit might keep the market on their toes.”

In the longer term, bond yields could also start to edge up if the Scottish secessionist movement gains momentum now that the Scottish National Party has won most of the seats in Scotland.

“The one thing which certain investors, maybe bond market investors, will look at again is the integrity of the U.K. following the strong Scottish result for the S.N.P.,” Mr. Dixon added.

European leaders on Friday welcomed the clarity of the British election result, which came during the last day of their summit meeting in Brussels, in hopes that it would make way for resolution of the Brexit deal.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson now has the majority needed to ratify his withdrawal agreement with Brussels by the Jan. 31 deadline laid out by Europe.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, congratulated Mr. Johnson on Twitter and said that he expected British Parliament to vote on the deal “as soon as possible.”

But that will only start the clock on new negotiations about Britain’s future trading and security relationship with the bloc. Mr. Johnson has said that will be quick and easy, but few experts agree. It can be quick, Brussels argues, only if Britain agrees to keep its regulations and tariffs the very close to those of the European Union.

European leaders remain unsure whether Mr. Johnson, with a resounding mandate, will stick to his campaign pledge to finish any trade negotiation with the European Union by the end of 2020, or choose next summer to seek a year’s delay for longer talks. So long as they are negotiating, Britain is in a “transition” period, and its relationship with the European Union is essentially unchanged, even if it will be legally out of the bloc.

Xavier Bettel, Luxembourg’s prime minister, said he hoped that Mr. Johnson would deliver on his campaign promises, as “people need to have clarity.”

“I hope that with yesterday’s results, they do,” he said. “The excuse that there is no clear majority in London doesn’t last anymore.”

But talks on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union are “not going to be simple,’’ he said.

The Scottish National Party’s success — it won 48 of the 59 seats that it contested — will intensify the debate over independence for Scotland, which voted against Brexit and has largely rejected Britain’s major parties.

In a 2014 referendum, 45 percent of the voters in Scotland backed independence, and as Brexit approaches, the Scottish National Party, which backs independence, has insisted on a second referendum.

Mr. Johnson has said a national government under him would not hold a Scottish independence vote, but the Scottish government has suggested that it might go ahead with one. And on Friday morning, hours after the result of the vote was clear, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party and the first minister of Scotland, said it planned to do just that.

That raises the prospect of the kind of disarray and animosity plaguing Spain, where the government of Catalonia held an independence referendum two years ago that the central government said was illegal.

“It is clear beyond any doubt that the kind of future desired by the majority in Scotland is very different to that chosen by much of the rest of the U.K.,” Ms. Sturgeon told reporters during a news briefing.

“Scotland has rejected Boris Johnson and the Tories and yet again we have said no to Brexit,” Ms. Sturgeon said. She said within one week, the Scottish government would publish their plan for holding a new referendum.

“I accept, regretfully, that he has a mandate for Brexit in England,” she said. “But he has no mandate whatsoever to take Scotland out of the European Union.”

Ms. Sturgeon was clear that the decision on Scottish independence should be left up to the Scottish people, not the prime minister, to decide,

“The people of Scotland have spoken, it is time now to decide our own future,” she said.

On Friday morning, voters in and around the heavily pro-Labour north London constituency represented by Jeremy Corbyn, the party’s leader, woke up dismayed by its losses nationally.

“He failed to lead a proper campaign,” said Sarah Rose, a 43-year-old sociologist, said of Mr. Corbyn as she walked her dogs in Clissold Park. “He failed to tackle accusations of anti-Semitism, and he failed to have a sensible position on Brexit. It’s devastating.”

As expected, Mr. Corbyn won a landslide re-election in this Labour stronghold, but many people said they had doubts about continuing to support him. And as commuters headed to work in a cold drizzle, Labour sympathizers said the party needed to think long and hard about the outcome.

“Nobody here was thinking that Labour would have a majority, and it’s now clear that nobody wants a future with Corbyn,” said Tom Findlay, a 46-year-old music producer and psychotherapist.

He said he went to bed after the first exit polls on Thursday night confirmed a sweeping defeat for Labour. After he woke up early on Friday, his disappointment deepened when he heard that Mr. Corbyn would cling, for now, to his leadership position.

Mr. Corbyn told supporters he would not lead the party into another election, but that he would still oversee a “process of reflection.” He didn’t specify when he would step down.

“It’s typical of his arrogance: he is planning to stay a little bit longer while it’s so clear that he has been rejected,” Mr. Findlay said.

But he tried to see a silver lining. Many people in his part of London were devastated, he said, adding, “it’s going to be good for my therapy business, unfortunately.”

Britain’s businesses welcomed the strong result for the Conservatives and the Brexit certainty it is expected to bring, at least for now. But they remain fearful of facing another Brexit deadline at the end of next year.

“The starting point must be rebuilding business confidence, and early reassurance on Brexit will be vital,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, the country’s biggest business association.

Parts of the economy have been in limbo for much of the past three years, as negotiations with the European Union dragged on, and Parliament was unable to muster majority support for any one approach.

Both the Conservatives and Labour have worried the business community at different points. Labour had promised to nationalize some industries, while Boris Johnson had unnerved businesspeople with his determination to plow on with leaving the European Union, even without an agreement.

Now, companies want to know that they won’t be staring down another potentially disastrous deadline next year.

“Firms will continue to do all they can to prepare for Brexit, but will want to know they won’t face another no deal cliff-edge next year,” Ms. Fairbairn said.

And while the decisive victory paves the way for the next step in the Brexit process, one thing is clear: the postwar push toward greater global economic integration is at an end. The British election verdict is not the only sign.

In the United States, President Trump’s political base has rallied to his trade war against China. Popular movements across Europe have embraced nationalist and nativist causes that promise to halt globalization.

The traditional arbiter of trade disputes, the World Trade Organization, is listing toward irrelevance.

“The era of freewheeling markets and liberalism is ending,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England.

Britain will have a record number of female members of Parliament after Thursday’s vote, when women won at least 220 of the 650 seats, according to the Press Association.

At just over one-third of the House of Commons, women remain far short of parity with men, but they have made tremendous gains since the mid-1980s, when there were only 23 in Parliament. In the last general election, in 2017, women won 211 seats, a record at the time.

This year’s increase comes at a time when many people feared that women were being driven away from politics in a climate of heightened divisions. Online threats and abuse have risen sharply, and were disproportionately directed at female candidates.

Ahead of the campaign, more than a dozen prominent female lawmakers said they would not be standing for re-election citing that abuse as a reason for stepping away from politics. Many female candidates described threats and insults as a grim new reality on the campaign trail, a change that cast a harsh light on British politics.

An analysis of Twitter during the campaign, conducted by PoliMonitor, showed that all candidates received about four times as much abuse as in the 2017 election. The hostility aimed at women, the study said, was often based specifically on their sex or appearance.

Reporting was contributed by Richard Pérez-Peña, Megan Specia, Benjamin Mueller, Steven Erlanger, Ceylan Yeginsu, Amie Tsang, Stephen Castle, Elian Peltier, Peter S. Goodman and Alan Yuhas.

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

Mitch McConnell Brags About Blocking Obama For 2 Years, Then Laughs About It | The Senate majority leader boasts about stacking the courts with conservative judges under Trump.

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British Election, Advancing Brexit, Heralds End of a Global Trade Era

Westlake Legal Group 13uktrade-hung-01-facebookJumbo British Election, Advancing Brexit, Heralds End of a Global Trade Era United States Protectionism (Trade) International Trade and World Market Great Britain Withdrawal from EU (Brexit) Great Britain European Union elections Customs (Tariff)

LONDON — For more than seven decades, the global powers that be operated on the assumption that greater economic integration amounts to historical progress. But that era is over, as Britain’s voters have now made clear.

The decisive majority secured by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party all but ensures that the country will proceed with its abandonment of the European Union.

Another complex phase of the tangled divorce proceedings lies ahead — negotiations over the terms of Britain’s future economic relationship with the Continent. But in one form or another, “getting Brexit done,” the mantra that Mr. Johnson promised and can now deliver, marks a profound change in the world trading system.

In the aftermath of World War II, the victorious Allies forged an international order built on the understanding that when countries swap goods they become less inclined to trade artillery volleys.

Britain’s departure from Europe is the clearest manifestation that this principle no longer holds decisive sway. Yet it is far from the only sign that the world trading system is devolving into a state in which national interests have primacy over collective concerns.

The United States and China are locked in a trade war that is heightening concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Tensions appeared to ease on Thursday, as the United States was reported to have settled on the outlines of a deal that could significantly reduce tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese goods in exchange for China’s promise to buy goods from American farmers. The deal was expected to halt American tariffs scheduled to hit another $160 billion worth of Chinese imports this weekend.

But even if such a deal takes hold, the United States and China have descended into such an adversarial state that they are likely to continue seeking alternatives to exchanging goods and investment. Companies that make goods in China will face pressure to explore other countries, posing disruption to the global supply chain.

The traditional arbiter of international trade disputes, the World Trade Organization, is listing toward irrelevance as countries bypass its channels to impose tariffs.

“The sense that policy moves in one direction, toward more liberalization and more integration, has been replaced by recognition that policy can go backward as well as forwards,” said Brad Setser, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The fraying of international trading arrangements has been driven by intensifying public anger in many countries over widening economic inequality, and the perception that trade has been bountiful for the executive class while leaving ordinary people behind.

In Britain, struggling communities used the June 2016 referendum that unleashed Brexit as a protest vote against the bankers in London who had engineered a catastrophic financial crisis, and then forced regular people to absorb the costs through wrenching fiscal austerity.

In the United States, President Trump’s political base has rallied to his trade war, inclined to view it as a necessary corrective to the destruction of the industrial economy by Chinese factories.

From Italy to France to Germany, furious popular movements have fixed on trade as a threat to workers’ livelihoods, while embracing nationalist and nativist responses that promise to halt globalization.

“The era of freewheeling markets and liberalism is ending,” said Meredith Crowley, an international trade expert at the University of Cambridge in England. “People are dissatisfied with the complexity of policy, and this feeling that those who have the levers of policy are somehow out of their reach.”

Economists see perils in this unfolding era, like impediments to trade as governments champion national industries at the expense of competition. They point to history for portents — especially the Great Depression, which was deepened by a wave of tit-for-tat trade protectionism kicked off by the United States through the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.

The law sharply raised tariffs on a vast range of agricultural and factory goods, prompting American trading partners to respond in kind. As world trade disintegrated, nationalist rage spread, culminating in the brutalities of World War II.

The British election, and the splintering of the European trading bloc, amounts to the most consequential upsurge of economic nationalism in generations.

“Since Smoot-Hawley, I don’t think we have seen something as dramatic as this,” said Swati Dhingra, an economist at the London School of Economics.

As the rupture in Europe plays out, the world’s two largest economies — the United States and China — remain ensnared in conflict.

The Trump administration began imposing tariffs in response to what it portrays as a decades-long Chinese effort to destroy American jobs by subsidizing key industries. But among hard-liners, the trade war is increasingly a means of weaponizing the enormous American marketplace — threatening China’s access to American consumers — to contain a supposed strategic and security threat.

China’s leaders have come to construe trade hostilities as part of an American bullying campaign engineered to suppress their national aspirations and deny the country its rightful place as a superpower.

Nationalist sentiments and security concerns combined with trade policy do not make for a conducive climate for a meaningful deal that can comprehensively end trade hostilities.

“If anything, the positions are hardening,” Ms. Crowley said.

On another front, Mr. Trump has threated to impose tariffs on imported automobiles, a step that would be especially disruptive in Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Germany sells far more goods to the United States than it imports, drawing the ire of the American president.

Mr. Trump has openly threatened to cite a national security threat as justification for auto tariffs. Trade experts have derided that approach as an affront to the norms of the international trading system.

Last month, Mr. Trump allowed a self-imposed deadline to lapse without imposing auto tariffs. But he has left a major international industry guessing about what happens next.

The World Trade Organization’s appellate body, which adjudicates disputes, has been rendered inoperative by the Trump administration’s blocking of new judges. The panel needs at least three judges to render verdicts, but now has only one.

One major variable has gained clarity: Congressional Democrats and the Trump administration this week hailed an agreement that clears passage of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the sprawling deal that has allowed some $1.2 trillion worth of goods a year to be exchanged freely across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

But the results of Britain’s election raise the likelihood that commerce in one large swath of the globe is likely to be impeded.

Britain sends nearly half of its exports to the European Union, a flow of goods potentially imperiled by Brexit. Its departure from the European single market — which allows trade to be conducted seamlessly from Greece to Ireland, as if the territory were one vast country — risks undermining Britain’s appeal as a headquarters for multinational companies.

Since Britain shocked the world with its vote to abandon the European Union, its political institutions have tangled themselves in knots trying to decide what to do with their nebulous mandate to leave. Businesses have deferred hiring and investments, awaiting clarity on future trading terms.

The uncertainty has already exacted significant costs, and far beyond Europe, according to a new paper by Tarek Hassan, an economist at Boston University, and three European accounting experts, Stephan Hollander, Laurence van Lent and Ahmed Tahoun.

Every year since the referendum, the average company in Ireland — which trades heavily with Britain — has seen its growth in investment reduced by 15 percent, and hiring is 4.2 percent less than it otherwise would have been because of uncertainty, the paper concludes. Yet even across the Atlantic, the average American company has seen investment growth limited by 0.5 percent a year and hiring slowed by 1.7 percent.

“There is already a significant drop in employment as a result of the risks of Brexit,” Mr. Hassan said.

Though Thursday’s election provided clarity on Brexit, substantial variables remain. Assuming Mr. Johnson’s Brexit plan now sails through Parliament, Britain must negotiate trade terms with Europe before the end of a transition period running through the end of next year — a monumental task.

Mr. Johnson has ruled out extending that deadline, renewing the prospect that Britain could again flirt with crashing out of the European bloc without a deal. That threat could force businesses to again stockpile goods and implement complicated contingency plans.

Some analysts suggested that the election enhanced the possibility that Mr. Johnson would pursue a softer form of Brexit that keeps Britain closer to the European market. His majority is so comfortable that he need not worry about alienating the hard-liners in his party who favor a clean break with Europe.

But some alteration is clearly ahead. If Brexit uncertainty has been damaging, what replaces it is the near-certainty of weaker economic growth and diminished living standards. Britain’s political mandate to “take back control” carries costs.

“It’s going to have massive implications,” Mr. Hassan said.

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Gingrich & DeSantis: A health care revolution is coming – It could give you 24/7 access to a doctor

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_5705794717001_5705788505001-vs Gingrich & DeSantis: A health care revolution is coming – It could give you 24/7 access to a doctor Newt Gingrich Joe DeSantis fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/healthy-living/alternative-medicine fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d945c5df-1cf4-528a-b964-edff20d640e9 article

In Washington’s increasingly toxic atmosphere – filled with impeachment hearings, the jostling of the Democratic primary, and an obsession with trivial gaffes and scandal over substance – it can be hard to notice when members of both parties collaborate to try and achieve something positive. Fortunately, it does still happen.

One example is a bipartisan bill in the House and Senate to expand telehealth services in Medicare.

Currently, few Americans qualify to have telehealth services covered under Medicare. Those who do must live in remote locations, and the number of services they can access is limited.

TELEMEDICINE’S CHALLENGE: GETTING PATIENTS TO CLICK THE APP

The CONNECT Act would greatly expand the number of American seniors who can access services like mental health and emergency care on their phones and tablets by waiving many of these geographic and originating site restrictions.

The legislation also greatly expands telehealth options covered under Medicare in rural areas, gives the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) the flexibility to waive other rules when needed, and allows pilot projects to test new telehealth programs.

While the immediate impact of the bill will be felt mostly in rural areas and is limited to certain services, the long-term impact could be revolutionary.

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Ninety-six percent of Americans own cellphones of some kind. Eighty-one percent own smartphones, and this number rises every year. This represents critical, existing infrastructure. Combine this infrastructure with experience in other industries, and health care leaders and policymakers should be able to set an ambitious goal for the American health care system.

The goal: Every single American should have access to a doctor, 24/7, from any location on the planet.

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This may seem far-fetched. However, not long ago, most of us could not imagine banking, investing and shopping on our phones. But once these services were introduced, people liked the convenience and new habits were rapidly adopted.

So why not health care? Think about how much easier it would be if instead of traveling to a doctor’s office and sitting in a waiting room when you or your child gets an ear infection, you could get a diagnosis and prescription from your own home.

Some doctors have already started doing this. Smartphones already have high definition cameras that would allow for visual diagnoses. There are also a growing number of diagnostic and vitals monitoring kits that pair with smartphones. For example, we work with Sanford Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They have incorporated a home medical monitoring kit into their practice to allow for more consistent patient monitoring without requiring travel to the doctor’s office.

These examples are just the beginning. “Wearables” tracking biometric data have become ubiquitous.

One of us recently started wearing a heart rate monitor that calculates heart rate variability, resting heart rate, the phases of our sleep, and calories burned. It uses this information to detect the amount of strain we are putting on our body each day and our level of recovery. This feedback is useful for avoiding sickness and injury. It tells you how much sleep you need and whether it would be best if you did some yoga or stretching instead of a normal workout.

The monitor also regularly asks questions about diet, alcohol and caffeine consumption, screen time use, athletic performance, and more. It then analyzes this information with its recorded biometric data to observe your patterns. For instance, data collected has shown that alcohol consumption reduces this user’s REM sleep by over 20 percent and deep sleep by 10 percent.

It only seems natural that our doctors should be able to access the same data if patients wish it. The introduction of 5G wireless networks could dramatically expand the amount of data being collected and shared with our doctors. Imagine the possibilities from even more sensitive data tracking unlocking more insights – combined with the experience and training of your doctor – to guide you in monitoring and managing your health care.

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We could completely invert the current model of annual checkups to one of continuous biometric monitoring, with real-time feedback for our health and wellbeing. This new paradigm could catch potentially life-threatening conditions early, not only saving lives and improving quality of life, but also saving money by avoiding expensive emergency interventions.

The first step toward this vision of a truly modernized health system is giving the option of virtual health services to more people and getting people used to using their mobile phones as a delivery system for certain health care services. The CONNECT for Health Act is a significant step in that direction.

Joe DeSantis is the chief strategy officer for Gingrich 360. He leads the consulting division, with clients in health care, aviation and education.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY NEWT GINGRICH

Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_5705794717001_5705788505001-vs Gingrich & DeSantis: A health care revolution is coming – It could give you 24/7 access to a doctor Newt Gingrich Joe DeSantis fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/healthy-living/alternative-medicine fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d945c5df-1cf4-528a-b964-edff20d640e9 article   Westlake Legal Group 854081161001_5705794717001_5705788505001-vs Gingrich & DeSantis: A health care revolution is coming – It could give you 24/7 access to a doctor Newt Gingrich Joe DeSantis fox-news/tech/technologies fox-news/opinion fox-news/health/healthy-living/alternative-medicine fox-news/health fox news fnc/opinion fnc d945c5df-1cf4-528a-b964-edff20d640e9 article

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NYC student’s murder stems from liberals’ reversal of Rudy Giuliani’s anti-crime policies, ex-police chief says

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115379908001_6115377644001-vs NYC student’s murder stems from liberals’ reversal of Rudy Giuliani’s anti-crime policies, ex-police chief says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d2d2da4a-23fb-50ad-8934-121e83e62e4d article

This week’s shocking fatal stabbing of an 18-year-old Barnard College student in New York City may have been prevented if liberals now running the city’s government hadn’t begun reversing former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s anti-crime policies, a former city police commissioner says.

Bernard Kerik, an Army veteran who was head of the nation’s largest police department when terrorists struck the World Trade Center on 9/11, made the comment Thursday, in reaction to Wednesday’s murder of Tessa Majors, a Virginia native who police say was viciously beaten and stabbed by three or four attackers in the early evening in a Manhattan park.

BARNARD COLLEGE STUDENTS ‘APPREHENSIVE,’ ‘SHAKEN UP’ AFTER FRESHMAN, 18, STABBED TO DEATH NEARBY

The slaying startled and devastated residents of the surrounding area in addition to Majors’ classmates at Barnard – a private college for women — and other nearby schools, including Columbia University.

“The Murder of Barnard freshman Tessa Majors is the fault of everyone of the city’s socialist leftist corrupt politicians that’s been part of the reversal @RudyGiuliani’s crime reduction initiatives started in 1994,” Bernard Kerik wrote.

Giuliani, who now serves as a personal attorney for President Trump, was mayor of New York City from 1994 until his final term expired at the end of 2001, just three months after the city’s most horrible day. Even before 9/11 earned Giuliani the nickname “America’s Mayor,” for the way he held the city together during the initial, uncertain days after hijackers killed some 3,000 people, the former federal prosecutor was credited for bringing a sharp reduction in crime to the Big Apple, reversing a safety decline that had plagued the city in the 1970s and 1980s.

Most famously, Giuliani and former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton implemented the “Broken Windows” approach to crime reduction, in which police crackdowns on minor offense were believed to result in fewer major crimes as well. The plan appeared to work – although critics disputed how much credit Giuliani and Bratton, and successors Howard Safir and Kerik, deserved.

Since Giuliani left office, his successors have been billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who served from January 2002 to December 2013, and Bill de Blasio, who took office Jan. 1, 2014, and remains the city’s mayor.

Bloomberg, now 77, began his tenure as a Republican and later became an independent. He has since switched to the Democratic Party and recently launched a bid for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination. As part of that effort, Bloomberg in November spoke at a Brooklyn church where he apologized for implementing an anti-crime policy known as “stop and frisk,” which had angered liberal activists who were concerned about the civil rights of innocent people detained by police and the general constitutionality of the policy.

“Over time I’ve come to understand something that I’ve long struggled to admit to myself,” Bloomberg told congregants at the Christian Cultural Center in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. “I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong.”

“Over time I’ve come to understand something that I’ve long struggled to admit to myself. I got something important wrong. I got something important really wrong.”

— Michael Bloomberg, apologizing for ‘stop and frisk’ anti-crime policy

Critics charged that Bloomberg seemed to be attempting to ingratiate himself to the city’s Democrats, now that he was seeking their votes after being a Republican for many years.

De Blasio, 58, an unabashed liberal, also made a run at the White House earlier this year until ultimately dropping out. One of his early moves since taking office was bringing back Bratton – but the pair quickly made changes to scale back the stop-and-frisk policy.

“When commissioner Bratton and I came in, we drove down the unconstitutional stop-and-frisk deeply,” de Blasio told radio station WNYC in 2016.

Around the same time, de Blasio also addressed the issue in a fundraising email, Politico reported.

“Not many people know precisely how much we have reduced the use of stop-and-frisk in New York City,” he wrote, before giving the answer as 97 percent.

“I promised to fix it and we have,” the mayor added.

Wednesday’s slaying of Majors has returned crime to the front and center of local politics.

“The idea that a college freshman at Barnard was murdered in cold blood is absolutely, not only painful to me as a parent, it’s terrifying to think that that could happen anywhere,” de Blasio said after an unrelated event in Brooklyn, according to the New York Daily News.

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The young woman was a member of a band called Patient 0, and had two concerts scheduled for her hometown of Charlottesville, Va., during what was to be her upcoming winter break, the New York Post reported.

As of Friday morning, there was still no information regarding arrests of her alleged attacks – or information about their identities. Two teens were questioned but released, the Daily News reported.

“There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told the Daily News. “We’re going to need the community to help us with this investigation.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115379908001_6115377644001-vs NYC student’s murder stems from liberals’ reversal of Rudy Giuliani’s anti-crime policies, ex-police chief says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d2d2da4a-23fb-50ad-8934-121e83e62e4d article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6115379908001_6115377644001-vs NYC student’s murder stems from liberals’ reversal of Rudy Giuliani’s anti-crime policies, ex-police chief says fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/education/college fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/new-york-city fox-news/politics/state-and-local fox-news/politics fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio d2d2da4a-23fb-50ad-8934-121e83e62e4d article

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For Trump, Impeachment May Be a Political Plus but Also a Personal Humiliation

Westlake Legal Group merlin_165853935_5e1a4057-d755-46c5-aaf6-2ae2fd5b0e13-facebookJumbo For Trump, Impeachment May Be a Political Plus but Also a Personal Humiliation Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Nixon, Richard Milhous impeachment Clinton, Bill

WASHINGTON — Under pressure over his possible impeachment, President Richard M. Nixon supposedly talked to the paintings in the White House. President Bill Clinton absently toyed with his old campaign buttons. President Trump punches out Twitter messages in the lonely midnight hour.

Long after his staff has gone home, long after the lights have gone out elsewhere around the capital, the besieged 45th president hunkers down in the upstairs residential portion of the Executive Mansion venting his frustration and cheering on his defenders through social media blasts.

This is a season of conflicting impulses for a president who often seems governed by them. As the House moves toward what even he says is an inevitable vote to impeach him for high crimes and misdemeanors, Mr. Trump toggles between self-pity and combativeness. He looks forward to a Senate trial that he seems sure to win and thinks that it will help him on the campaign trail when he travels the country boasting that he had been “exonerated” after the latest partisan “witch hunt.”

But he nurses resentment over the red mark about to be tattooed on his page in the history books as only the third president in American history to be impeached. No matter what some of his critics say, advisers said he genuinely does not want to be impeached, viewing it as a personal humiliation. Even in private, he accepts no blame and expresses no regret, but he rails against the enemies he sees all around him.

“He doesn’t like what’s happening,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a vocal ally who has spoken with the president several times this week. “He thinks it’s unfair. But I think he’s resolved himself that they’re going to do it, they’re out to get him. I think he’s more determined now to win than ever.”

Mr. Trump’s mood has actually improved in the past couple of weeks, advisers say, as Republicans have risen to his defense. He has grown more energized, bombarding followers with tweets and retweets defending himself and attacking his enemies.

He set a record for his presidency on Thursday with 123 total tweets in a single day, eclipsing the record he had set on Sunday with 105, according to Bill Frischling of Factba.se, a service that compiles and analyzes data on Mr. Trump’s presidency. That was more in a single day than he posted in any full week in 2017. All told, it brought his total since Sunday to 367, the most since taking office of any week — with two days still to go.

Eighty-seven of the tweets on Thursday came from 7 to 10 a.m., just as the House Judiciary Committee was opening its marathon meeting to approve two articles of impeachment.

Mr. Trump decided against presenting a defense during a Democratic-run House inquiry he deemed unfair, conceding that a vote to impeach along party lines was inevitable. But he has set his sights on a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate as a more conducive venue to air his views about the impeachment battle and mount a defense that he imagines more like an offense.

That could put him at odds with Senate Republicans whose interests are not the same as his. Absent dramatic new revelations, Mr. Trump appears assured of escaping conviction in the Senate since that would require a two-thirds vote. But he has been eager to call witnesses Senate Republican leaders are not anxious to summon, like former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and the unidentified C.I.A. whistle-blower whose complaint kicked off the impeachment inquiry.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, talked with Mr. Trump this week about holding a relatively abbreviated trial without calling witnesses, according to a person briefed on the conversation. Mr. McConnell envisioned a trial lasting about 10 to 12 days and sought to convince Mr. Trump that a quick acquittal without the spectacle of a parade of witnesses would be better for the president.

Mr. Trump seemed amenable, but he often changes his mind and no one is certain where he will end up. He sent his White House counsel, Pat A. Cipollone, and his legislative affairs director, Eric Ueland, to meet with Mr. McConnell at the Capitol on Thursday.

Still to be determined is who will represent Mr. Trump at the trial, whether it is short or long. Mr. Trump is said to have talked with several prominent lawyers about taking on his case, but multiple people said that Mr. Cipollone had resisted bringing in new representation, leaving him to serve as lead counsel.

Among those being considered is Alan Dershowitz, the famed lawyer who represented O.J. Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein, Roman Polanski and Mike Tyson and has defended the president on television. But he would probably offer guidance from the private legal team outside the White House as Mr. Cipollone takes the lead.

For Mr. Trump, the impeachment battle has become the defining test of his presidency, weighing him down and charging him up all at once.

Some advisers said the collective burden of three years in office and the nonstop investigations had taken a toll on him. People who have spent time around him lately said he seemed fatigued and might have gained weight. Some who work in the White House have noticed that he seems more standoffish, less likely to engage in small talk with those outside his inner circle.

Concerns about his health spiked after a mysterious, unannounced weekend trip last month to the hospital. The White House insisted it was simply a head start on his annual medical checkup, but provided few details about what was done and why. His White House physician climbed into the presidential limousine for the ride to the hospital rather than travel in another vehicle in the motorcade.

Other presidents facing impeachment strove to hide how much it weighed on them, even as they brooded and raged in private. Mr. Nixon sought to give the impression it had not affected him, but behind the scenes, aides worried about his stability in the last days in the White House. He asked Henry A. Kissinger, his secretary of state, to kneel and pray with him.

“Nixon tried to hold it inside, but not too successfully,” said Evan Thomas, the author of “Being Nixon,” a biography of the president. “Remember ‘the president is not a crook’? And the sweat on his face as he said it?”

Mr. Clinton seemed to mentally disappear during meetings as his mind dwelled on the struggle to remain in office. During a Middle East peace negotiation in Gaza, an aide spied the president scribbling down on his notepad: “Focus on your job. Focus on your job.”

Mr. Trump, in his own way, is more transparent. Rather than pretend he is not bothered by the attacks on him, he lashes out at his enemies. Rather than affect a stiff-upper-lip demeanor in public, he fumes about the injustice he feels. “Trump is incapable of impulse control,” said Douglas B. Sosnik, a senior adviser to Mr. Clinton during impeachment.

Mr. Trump lately has taken the advice of some advisers by highlighting policy priorities, as Mr. Clinton did. In recent days, he advanced trade deals with China and with Mexico and Canada. During an event on child care on Thursday, he stuck largely to the script and never mentioned the word “impeachment.”

For a while after the revelations about his efforts to pressure Ukraine to help him against his Democratic rivals while withholding American security aid, Mr. Trump grew deeply upset. He felt isolated and abandoned, according to people in contact with him. He questioned why Democrats would not just let him govern. He lamented that he had done nothing wrong. He was angry at any Republican on television saying otherwise.

Since the public hearings before the House Intelligence Community, he has felt invigorated, pointing to the testimony of Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union who did not directly implicate Mr. Trump telling him to link the aid to his demand for investigations of Democrats, although Mr. Sondland added that he thought that was clear.

What Mr. Trump’s advisers worry about is the snapback of his anger once the impeachment process is over. They predict he will be furious, and looking for payback.

Mr. Graham said he warned Mr. Trump against that in a phone call on Wednesday night. “I just told him we know how impeachment ends, then after that your fate’s in your own hands,” Mr. Graham said. “Get back to being president and have a good story to tell.”

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The Trump Impeachment Articles Are Narrow. So Were Nixon’s And Clinton’s

Westlake Legal Group gettyimages-51634486_wide-cdbaec432b2f5bbe19afa58486af2518059d2dcc-s1100-c15 The Trump Impeachment Articles Are Narrow. So Were Nixon's And Clinton's

Rep. Tom Barrett, D-Wis., holds a draft copy of the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton in December 1998. Mario Tama/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Westlake Legal Group  The Trump Impeachment Articles Are Narrow. So Were Nixon's And Clinton's

Rep. Tom Barrett, D-Wis., holds a draft copy of the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton in December 1998.

Mario Tama/AFP via Getty Images

Democrats are on track to impeach the president by the end of next week. After more than 14 hours of consideration Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee is expected to approve impeachment articles against President Trump Friday morning.

Trump has dubbed this “Impeachment Lite.” He calls it the “weakest” impeachment in history, and the president’s Republican defenders in Congress say it is narrow and that Trump committed no crime, and, therefore, should not be impeached.

So is this truly “Impeachment Lite”? To explore that question, we looked at some of the arguments being made — and back at the articles of impeachment against Presidents Clinton and Nixon to see what context they can offer. (The House Judiciary Committee advanced impeachment out of its committee, but Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.)

The arguments

Democrats believe they have made a compelling and simple case with their two articles of impeachment — that:

1. The president abused his power by soliciting foreign interference by pressuring an ally — Ukraine — to announce an investigation into a political rival — former Vice President Joe Biden, while withholding military aid and dangling a head-of-state meeting, thereby corrupting the integrity of U.S. elections. Free and fair elections are the linchpin that holds together a democracy, as Democrats have argued; and

2. That he has obstructed Congress, a co-equal branch of government, by withholding documents and preventing witnesses from testifying, thereby impeding Congress’ investigatory power.

Republicans obviously disagree. They say Democrats are acting on a “personal vendetta” and have been looking to impeach Trump since he was first elected. It is true that some Democratic members have called for his impeachment long before this moment, but there was hardly a majority of the caucus before the Ukraine pressure campaign was brought into the light.

On the substance, Republicans argue that the president did not abuse his power, because Ukraine was known to be a corrupt country and that there is no “direct evidence” of a “quid pro quo” or solicitation of a bribe from a foreign leader.

Democrats and multiple witnesses have plenty of counterpoints that have been litigated for weeks since the beginning of the public impeachment inquiry process.

Republicans, and those who do not support this impeachment, also say the president should not be charged with obstruction of Congress, because Democrats in the House have not let the process fully play out by going through the courts and letting the third co-equal branch decide.

“Weak” and “narrow”

On the one hand, Democrats gave Republicans a pretty big stick to whack them with by not including bribery or obstruction of justice. Arguably, nothing was more litigated in this public impeachment process than the idea of a “quid pro quo” or “bribery.”

Obstruction of justice seemed to be a late addition when the public impeachment process got to the Judiciary Committee. It related to the instances of potential obstruction laid out in the Mueller Report. At the end of the day, moderates were able to narrow the focus to keep impeachment trained on the Ukraine affair — and what they see as the president’s clear abuse of power. It was a compromise that the overwhelming number of Democrats agree on.

The elimination of those two items has allowed Republicans to say this is a watered-down impeachment. After all, one of the two articles of impeachment that were approved by the full House during Bill Clinton’s impeachment centered on obstruction of justice.

But, it should be noted, that both Clinton’s and Nixon’s impeachment articles were also narrowly focused. Here’s how Politifact put it:

“That’s similar to the way the Watergate-era Judiciary Committee narrowed its focus, considering but rejecting a proposed article on the bombing of Cambodia and another on emoluments received at Nixon’s properties and allegations of tax evasion. The two articles against Clinton that passed the House were focused on Clinton’s behavior in response to the sexual harassment lawsuits against him.”

No crime

It’s true that no explicit crime is laid out as an article of impeachment. Bribery was considered to be paired with abuse of power, but, in the end, as noted above, Democrats did not include it.

But there are two things to keep in mind:

1. There doesn’t have to be an explicit crime to impeach a president. As Democrats say in their House Judiciary Committee Majority Report:

“Some crimes, like jaywalking, are not impeachable. And some forms of misconduct may offend both the Constitution and the criminal law. Impeachment and criminality must therefore be assessed separately—even though the President’s commission of indictable crimes may further support a case for impeachment and removal.”

The report also says this about the Constitution’s framers:

“Because they could not anticipate and prohibit every threat a President might someday pose, the Framers adopted a standard sufficiently general and flexible to meet unknown future circumstances: ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ This standard was proposed by Mason and was meant, in his words, to capture all manner of ‘great and dangerous offenses’ against the Constitution.”

2. One could argue that while no crime is explicitly laid out, bribery or solicitation of a bribe is implied. The articles note twice that the president “conditioned” or was “conditioning” official acts for an announcement of investigations that would benefit him politically:

“President Trump also sought to pressure the Government of Ukraine to take these steps by conditioning official United States Government acts of significant value to Ukraine on its public announcement of the investigations. …

“With the same corrupt motives, President Trump—acting both directly and through his agents within and outside the United States Government—conditioned two official acts on the public announcements that he had requested.”

Remember, the Southern District of New York has already indicted Ukrainian associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, for “conspiring to violate straw and foreign donor bans.”

Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch testified that she found out from Ukrainian officials that Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman were conspiring to oust her, she believed, because of her reputation against corruption in Ukraine.

Only two of the four articles of impeachment, 1 and 3, against President Clinton passed the full House. They had to do with Clinton lying about his sexual relationship with a White House intern (“Grand Jury Perjury“) and “obstruction of justice” that included his own lying and encouraging witnesses to do so. Articles 2 (“Perjury in the Civil Case”) and 4 (“Abuse of Power”) were voted down.

There were a litany of potential crimes in Nixon’s case. “Watergate” gets its name from the hotel where the burglary of Nixon’s Democratic opponents was carried out. While one witness alleged Nixon ordered the break in, no hard evidence emerged to show that he did.

So, you don’t find in the three articles of impeachment against Nixon the words “burglary” or “conspiracy.” Instead, Article 1 was about obstruction of justice, a statutory crime; Article 2 dealt with Nixon “violating constitutional rights of citizens,” which includes potential crimes.

For example: obtaining tax returns for purposes “not authorized by law”; electronic surveillance for no “lawful function of his office”; and potential misuse of campaign funds.

Article 3, similar to Article 2 against Trump deals with obstruction of Congress. The language is strikingly similar in parts.

Nixon:

“In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has failed without lawful cause or at the same excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas.”

Trump:

“In his conduct of the office of President of the United States and in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed—Donald J. Trump has directed the unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance of subpoenas issued by the House of Representatives pursuant to its ‘sole Power of Impeachment’.”

Republicans would argue that Clinton and Nixon committed statutory crimes that were outlined in the articles of impeachment, and therefore, his impeachment was more serious. Democrats believe Trump’s abuse of power is worse than Clinton.

“If it’s lying about sex,” longtime Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California said, “we could put Stormy Daniels’ case ahead of us.”

And, in some ways, they believe what Trump did was worse than Nixon because of a broader effort by Trump to stymie congressional oversight, as University of North Carolina Professor Michael Gerhardt argued during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

What’s more, Democrats disagree with the premise altogether. They argue that Trump could qualify to be charged with statutory crimes for his conduct based on what’s laid out in the articles of impeachment if a prosecutor wanted to take it up. That’s what California Rep. Eric Swalwell, a former prosecutor, argued in Thursday’s Judiciary Committee debate.

He laid out the case for “bribery” and “honest services fraud” charges against Trump, but, he noted, Congress’ job is to “protect the Constitution.”

“The president committed the highest crime against the Constitution by abusing his office,” Swalwell said, “cheating in an election, inviting foreign interference for a purely personal gain while jeopardizing our national security and the integrity of our elections.”

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

Colorado mom lets porch pirates take out her trash with decoy packages: ‘They deserve it’

Westlake Legal Group amazon-box-LA Colorado mom lets porch pirates take out her trash with decoy packages: 'They deserve it' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson beffe028-ee4f-5505-aefd-871142e437f8 article

A Colorado woman reportedly gave some porch pirates a taste of their own medicine this week by leaving trash-filled Amazon packages outside her front door.

Christine Hyatt told KKTV in Colorado Springs that thieves have stolen at least 20 packages from her porch and last Wednesday was the third time she was able to dupe the criminals into removing her garbage for free.

“We forgot to set our trash out for Thanksgiving, so we were overflowing with trash,” she told the station. “I’ve had packages stolen and I went, ‘You know what? I have extra boxes — let’s see if someone will take our trash!'”

STARBUCKS EMPLOYEE QUITS JOB IN EXPLETIVE-LACED SONG IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS

Hyatt said the thefts are more than just inconvenient. Among the items that have been stolen was her daughter’s diabetes medication.

“She can’t afford to have her own medication stolen just because people are jerks,” Hyatt said. “This is my way of fighting back.”

In her next package, Hyatt plans to include cigarette butts, kitty litter and fast-food wrappers, KKTV reported.

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“My daughter told me that it was gross,” Hyatt said. “But they deserve it.”

Westlake Legal Group amazon-box-LA Colorado mom lets porch pirates take out her trash with decoy packages: 'They deserve it' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson beffe028-ee4f-5505-aefd-871142e437f8 article   Westlake Legal Group amazon-box-LA Colorado mom lets porch pirates take out her trash with decoy packages: 'They deserve it' fox-news/us/us-regions/west/colorado fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson beffe028-ee4f-5505-aefd-871142e437f8 article

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