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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "democrats" (Page 46)

If This Article is Correct, Republicans May be Disappointed with the IG’s FISA Abuse Report

Westlake Legal Group horowitz-620x326 If This Article is Correct, Republicans May be Disappointed with the IG’s FISA Abuse Report President Trump Peter Strzok Paul Sperry Mueller Investigation Lisa Page Kevin McCarthy james comey Impeachment of President Trump Front Page Stories FISA Featured Story elections donald trump DOJ IG Michael Horowitz' report democrats corruption Chris Swecker Abuse of Power 2020

 

Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo, “I do not believe that Jim Comey will get off.” All of us long-suffering Trump supporters were pleased to hear that.

Unfortunately, Real Clear Investigation’s Paul Sperry published an article on Monday which suggests that DOJ Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’ report on the FBI’s alleged FISA abuse may disappoint.

According to Sperry, skeptics are saying that despite the fact that Horowitz, an Obama appointee, is highly respected, he is, at heart, a Democrat. He is “more political than widely believed, and may be naturally inclined to protect the FBI and the DOJ. Their main complaint is that he pulls his punches…His work has long been hampered by biases, conflicts and a tendency to play favorites.”

As an example, they cite his conclusions in the June 2018 report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State. Horowitz, who worked under James Comey in the SDNY in the 1990s, found that while “many of Comey’s explanations for his dubious actions were “unconvincing,” he stopped short of saying that Comey had lied to investigators.” Specifically:

Comey asserted implausibly that he delayed acting on a mountain of new Clinton email evidence discovered on a laptop in New York because he was never briefed about it until nearly a month after his top aides found out about it in September 2016.

In probing whether Comey illegally leaked classified information to the New York Times, Horowitz in the end accepted his argument that the memo of a conversation with President Trump was sensitive but “not classified” – even though the memo contained information about the FBI’s ongoing counterintelligence investigation of the president’s national security adviser.

Sperry spoke to Chris Swecker, a 24-year FBI veteran, who said, “I see a pattern of him pulling up short and trying to be a bit of a statesman instead of making the hard calls…I’m afraid he’s going to do the same thing with the FISA report – a finding that sounds tough, but in the end, ‘No harm, no foul.’”

They also cite his work as a campaign volunteer for Democratic candidates in college and several subsequent campaign contributions to Democrats. Horowitz’ wife is “a former political activist who helped run campaigns for liberal Democrats before producing programming for CNN out of its Washington bureau.”

Sperry interviewed several former inspectors general, and none of them expect Horowitz will issue a criminal referral against Comey. They also pointed to a law which requires an inspector general to “report evidence of potential violations of federal criminal law to the Attorney General as soon as it is uncovered, rather than deferring such action until the completion of their report.” If I recall correctly, Horowitz issued a criminal referral for Andrew McCabe to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions months before his report was released.

Sperry and his team, aided by “seasoned federal investigators, deconstructed previous probes by his office, combing through the footnotes and appendices of his reports. RCI found numerous instances in which Horowitz stopped short of pursuing evidence and was content to take high-level officials at their word, even in the face of conflicting evidence.” They “uncovered [Horowitz’] tendency to defer to those in authority.”

During his investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server, “Horowitz relied on key Clinton aides produce evidence on their own.”

He repeatedly declined to use his subpoena power, trusting key players to produce evidence on their own. He allowed the two lead FBI officials who ran both the investigation of Clinton and the probe of the Trump campaign — FBI Counterintelligence Chief Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page – to decide which communications on their personal devices and email accounts were FBI “work-related” and which were “personal,” according to footnotes and Strzok’s testimony. Both claimed they couldn’t find any work-relevant evidence to hand over, even though text message exchanges between them on their FBI phones indicated they had discussed FBI meetings in private Gmail accounts and iMessages.

Horowitz subsequently learned through interviews that Strzok drafted classified investigative documents and communicated with Page about them on their private email in violation of department rules, which require officials to communicate through government channels — the same basis for the Clinton email probe. Yet neither was compelled to turn over the emails.

“The inspector general and I arranged an agreement where I would go through my personal accounts and identify any material that was relevant to FBI business and turn it over,” Strzok said in testifying before Congress. “It was reviewed. There was none. My understanding is the inspector general was satisfied with that action.”

Horowitz never referred Strzok for criminal sanctions for maintaining court-sealed documents on an unsecure computer. Strzok was nonetheless fired last year by the bureau for misconduct. He is now suing the department for unlawful termination.

The IG also failed to demand access to Comey’s private Gmail account, even though he, too, used it for official FBI business.

Horowitz is widely credited with uncovering biased texts sent by Strzok and Page, who were also having an extramarital affair, on their bureau-issued phones. In those texts they rooted for Clinton to win the 2016 election and promised to “stop” Trump – at a time when they were supposedly investigating the presidential candidates. But Horowitz found those messages only after congressional Republicans pressed him to recover several months’ worth of Strzok-Page texts the FBI claimed were missing from its archives. The inspector general brought the texts to the attention of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who’d retained the two agents for his investigation, on July 27, 2017. But he kept the explosive information from Congress for the next five months, and shared it with legislators only after the media found out about it.

The inspector general still has not recovered all the missing texts. It appears he has given up trying, having accepted the FBI’s explanation that the records were lost in a technical snafu the bureau blames on the IT vendor that wrote the software for its archiving system.

The report rebuked Strzok and Page over their political bias, however, he did not believe that their bias influenced their investigative decisions. The report said that they “exercised extremely poor judgment.”

Swecker told Sperry that “Strzok’s state of mind was clear. That his bias was coming into play was an easy call to make, but Horowitz danced around it.”

Horowitz found that Clinton had been “extremely careless” but not “grossly negligent.”

Sperry cites at least a dozen more instances in which he believes Horowitz gave the benefit of the doubt to the various subjects of his investigations. He also discusses Horowitz’ past praise of Comey, his experience working under then-Attorney General Janet Reno and her then-deputy, Eric Holder and finally his leniency on then-Attorney Eric Holder in the Fast and Furious case.  (Here is the link.)

It should be noted that any officials who are mentioned in an IG report are offered the opportunity to “make changes, reviewing it for accuracy.” That means that Comey, Strzok, McCabe, Page and several others will take a whack at it before it’s released. This often has the effect of “watering down” the report. (Why wasn’t Trump availed a chance to review the whistleblower’s complaint for accuracy before it was made public?)

I clearly remember the anticipation of Horowitz’ June 2018 report on Hillary Clinton’s email investigation. We all had high hopes for that, but in the end, we were let down.

It’s frustrating to think that, after working on this investigation for 18 months, Horowitz might not deliver the goods for us.

Still, Horowitz did issue a criminal referral for Comey in July for mishandling sensitive information. The fired FBI Director had given memos he’d written after each meeting with President Trump to his law professor friend with instructions to leak them to the New York Times. He had hoped that once the Times reported the story, then-acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would appoint a special counsel. As we all know, Comey’s plan worked. The DOJ chose not to pursue the IG’s criminal referral because there was too much uncertainty about Comey’s intent. Many of us believe that the DOJ has their sights on Comey’s “bigger crimes.”

Rumor has it that Horowitz found that the FBI’s FISA applications for the original Carter Page warrant and three subsequent renewals were obtained fraudulently. I don’t see how he could conclude anything else. In any case, we’ll find out soon.

In the meantime, Attorney General William Barr and prosecutor John Durham have been hard at work on their deep dive into the origins of the Russian collusion investigation. Unfortunately, we have a long wait before that probe is completed.

Swecker points out, “Durham is serious and he has indictment authority.”

The post If This Article is Correct, Republicans May be Disappointed with the IG’s FISA Abuse Report appeared first on RedState.

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A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler?

Westlake Legal Group jerry-nadler-monkey-face-j-620x317 A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? Oracle Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Department of Defense democrats campaign contributions big tech amazon 2020

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

While all this other impeachment stuff has been going on, it’s still politics as usual in Washington D.C. in virtually every other regard.

Did you know, for example, that there has been a been tech battle over a massive Department of Defense contract for cloud computing services? It’s true, and it’s led to one of the frankly funniest political strategies I’ve ever seen.

A company called Oracle was trying to beat out Amazon for the contract. They did not win, and apparently they are very upset about it. The contract has not actually been awarded (the finalists are Amazon and Microsoft), but they are so upset that they’ve admitted to contributing to a Hillary Clinton-Chuck Schumer consultant-run anti-Amazon astroturf effort that possibly isn’t complying with lobbying rules in some sort of quasi-trolling effort.

Well, it seems that that’s not enough, and Oracle is just out for blood. They are also doing some serious lobbying of the Trump Administration, who will be awarding the contract. Not entirely sure what their goal is outside of “Screw Amazon over!” because by everything I’ve seen it’s impossible for them to get the contract at this point. They have also decided to essentially bankrolling Rep. Jerry Nadler’s 2020 campaign.

Obviously, Nadler is the chair of the Judiciary Committee, so his favor is something Oracle does need to win over at some point. However, it’s probably not the greatest strategy to lobby both the Trump Administration AND Jerry Nadler when the latter has been openly calling for Trump’s impeachment since pretty much the beginning. It just seems like you might alienate one in promoting the other, and the former definitely controls what happens in the Department of Defense.

Keep in mind, too, that this isn’t a situation where Oracle has been a major contributor to Nadler in the past. They went from not ranking among Nadler’s top donors in the past two election cycles to being his fourth-largest donor for the 2020 election.

Trump is definitely not the sort to condone anyone playing nice with the enemy and to Trump, who has admitted in the past that he donated to whatever politician he thought would help him out most, if he were made aware of Oracle’s spending habits I very much doubt Oracle would be getting a government contract as long as Trump holds the White House.

The post A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group jerry-nadler-monkey-face-j-300x153 A Tech Company Wants To Win Favor With The Trump Administration By… Bankrolling Jerry Nadler? Oracle Jerry Nadler Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump Department of Defense democrats campaign contributions big tech amazon 2020  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Threatening to Withhold Foreign Aid in Support of U.S. Policy—Is Legal

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President Donald Trump meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at the InterContinental Barclay New York hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

If you listen to the strident, breathless reporting of the press, you would believe that President Trump is some sort of Mafia “Don” (pun intended) having made Ukraine an offer it can’t refuse. Because of the press reporting and its sin of omission, a goodly portion of the populace evidently believes that it is against the rules to use our foreign aid as a cudgel to influence other governments. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

First of all, as has been well covered by my Red State colleagues, there is not one iota of evidence that President Trump exerted any such coercion during his phone call with Ukraine’s then President-elect, Volodymyr Zelensky. Point of fact, President Zelensky strongly denies any such coercion and the official transcript/memo of the conversation confirms that.

Second and most importantly, are the reasons we give aid to other countries. One such purpose is to leverage our own resources. An example of this is Foreign Military Aid, which we use to assist an ally. This is a lot cheaper than having to deploy U.S. troops to defend that ally. However, there is also a side benefit which has become one of the prime purposes we give that foreign aid, to establish strings we can later tug on to influence those countries.

Yale Journal of International Law, Jeffrey A. Meyer writes:

As the United States in the 1980s seeks to reassert its influence abroad, foreign assistance is playing an increasingly important role in American foreign policy. No longer primarily a subsidy for friendly foreign governments, foreign assistance has become a versatile instrument of intervention without the use of force. For example, the United States has used foreign aid to destabilize unfriendly regimes in Nicaragua, Afghanistan, and Angola; to quell international terrorism; and to secure the release of American hostages in the Middle East. Foreign aid serves an equally great symbolic role, as a barometer of American moral approval or disapproval of the outside world. Therefore, though the actual volume of foreign assistance channeled abroad may be small and sometimes of little impact, American foreign assistance policy functions as a broad index of U.S. foreign policy concerns. The annual foreign assistance budgeting process has become no less than a surrogate for a systematic reexamination of the progress, problems, and propriety of America’s foreign policy.

Although published 30 years ago thus somewhat dated, this extract is spot on. Some of the issues the United States uses foreign aid to address are, Female Genital Mutilation, Abortion & Human Trafficking, to name but a few. In the case of Ukraine, if indeed President Trump had tied U.S. Aid to the conversation, it would have been in support of U.S. policy concerning corruption. This policy is in fact codified in a treaty between the United States and Ukraine, signed by no less than President Bill Clinton.

Let’s contrast this with Vice President Biden, who did indeed threaten Ukraine with the withholding of U.S. aid if they didn’t fire their senior prosecutor, which they did. The difference there, was that Biden did this to preclude a corruption investigation on his son. Interestingly enough, that would not only be a violation of U.S. law, but a violation of the U.S.-Ukraine Treaty criminal investigation treaty.

In short, we have then Vice President Biden, corruptly using his office to preclude a criminal corruption investigation of his son. On the other hand, we have a sitting President, who in accordance with his Article II powers, U.S. Statute and Treaty obligations, asked his counterpart, President Zelensky to look into a case of possible corruption and interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The first (until just a few days ago) was the odds on favorite to be the Democrat nominee for President. The second is the subject of yet another Democrat witch hunt, this one masquerading as an “Impeachment Inquiry” for for an action that he didn’t take, but even if he did, would be absolutely in line with U.S. Law and Foreign Policy.

The Democrats have gotten out way over their skis on this one. Not only is this going to prove a nothingburger as far as President Trump goes, but it will likely lead to Biden dropping out of the race.

Author’s Note: I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new front page writers Nick Arama and Retired Navy Captain, Stu Cvrk. Although I question the undergraduate credentials of one of them (he’s a Boat School grad) both of these guys have been kicking out some great stuff and I look forward to working with them to advance conservative thought.

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.

The post Threatening to Withhold Foreign Aid in Support of U.S. Policy—Is Legal appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group TrumpZelenskiyAPimage-300x153 Threatening to Withhold Foreign Aid in Support of U.S. Policy—Is Legal Uncategorized Ukraine investigation into 2016 election interference Ukraine Call republicans Politics Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story elections donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nancy Pelosi’s Price Of Impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during her weekly media availability on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said something very curious. She said that it doesn’t matter if the Democrats lose the House over impeachment because she is doing what she thinks is right. The way she answered the question, though, is incredibly curious to me.

It’s been obvious from the start that Pelosi didn’t want full-on impeachment. Even now, she has only committed to an impeachment inquiry to satisfy the frothing rank-and-file, but she is selling impeachment in front of cameras. But to acknowledge that, yes, it might hurt the Democrats to follow-through? That doesn’t seem like the path most politicians would take.

One might expect a politician to fire back at the reporter asking about losing the House with a “I believe the American people will support our party doing what is best for the country” or “I think you’ll see the American public is on our side in this.” Something that sounds confident that her party is doing the right thing.

But, it’s been obvious for a while that Pelosi doesn’t think this is the right choice. She is very worried because every bit of polling – especially in swing states – showed the American public largely against it. I think you do see some quick polls shows a change in opinion, but I largely don’t trust polls with that quick a turnover. Time is going to tell whether or not the Democrats are making the right move.

One of the things that has kept most Republicans in Congress silent about their worries is the fact that many of them fully expect the crazed members of the Democratic caucus to overplay their hand. It is something that, frankly, would be so on-brand for the Democrats of the Trump Era to do. Keep in mind, though, that these are Republicans who aren’t necessarily saying “Trump did something bad.” Many are just saying it’s “concerning,” while others appear to be more worried about the fate of the party rather than Trump.

If the Democrats stay on-brand though, then they don’t have to worry. They’ll blow whatever chance they (think they) have and the tide of public opinion will shift again.

Pelosi is a political creature, and an immensely talented one. Her ideas suck, sure, but she knows how to survive. She is very likely already taking all of this into account, and being the sort of endgame person she is, she might already recognize that she can come out of this stronger no matter how it turns out.

If it fails, she can tell her party “I told you. I tried to stop you. Maybe next time you’ll listen to me?”

If it succeeds, she took out a Republican President.

In either of those scenarios, that promise she made that this was her last term as Speaker? That doesn’t matter anymore.

This all assumes, of course, that she doesn’t get swept away with the rest of them if this blows up in their faces.

The post Nancy Pelosi’s Price Of Impeachment appeared first on RedState.

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Schiff’s Staffer Traveled to Ukraine, Trip Was Paid for by Group Funded by Hunter Biden’s Old Firm

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As we look at the origin of the whistleblower complaint, many have raised the question of what did Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) know about the complaint and when did he know it?

Schiff was aware of the complaint from at least August 12 when he allegedly received it from the whistleblower. Yet he didn’t inform his colleagues in Congress until last week. He went on ABC on the Sunday and told George Stephanopoulos that “once he found out about the complaint” he demanded answers and went public right away. But that wasn’t true, he waited a month.

His colleague Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called him out on it, asking why had he not informed Congress.

Now there’s another strange connection that Schiff has in the case.

As Breitbart notes, one of Schiff’s Congressional staffers, Thomas Eager, took a trip to Ukraine between August 24-31 with other Congressional staffers after the whistleblower complaint was filed. Rep. Adam Schiff approved his staffer’s travel as his signature on the travel request revealed.

That trip was paid for by the Atlantic Council.

One of the senior fellows of the Council is CrowdStrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch. You may recall Crowdstrike is the company that supposedly concluded the Russians were behind the hack of the DNC in 2016 during the campaign. The FBI never had access to the server. Trump asked about Crowdstrike on the call with the Ukrainian president.

According to the transcript, Trump told Zelensky, “I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people…The server, they say Ukraine has it.”

Two prominent names are among the folks who fund the Atlantic Council. One is George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. And the other? Burisma, the company which appointed Hunter Biden to its board and who the subject of the investigation that was allegedly stopped when Biden pressured Ukraine, according to the prosecutor who was fired.

In January 2017, the Atlantic Council and Burisma signed a cooperative agreement, which stated Atlantic Council would develop transatlantic programs with Burisma’s support, focusing on European and international energy security.

So Hunter Biden’s old company Burisma is funding the group paying for Schiff’s staffer’s trip to Ukraine. Once again that raises questions if there was anything said or done in relation to the whistleblower’s case between Schiff or his staff and the Ukrainians.

Who did they talk to when the staffers were in Ukraine and did any of it relate to the complaint or the Bidens and Trump?

Breitbart asked the Atlantic Council what the staffers were doing there. According to the Atlantic Council:

[T]he pre-planned trip was part of the fellowship program, which also includes a full year of round tables and other educational events. She said it was not within her portfolio to comment on issues of funding from Burisma or other donors.

Breitbart said they did not get a response from Eager about the trip.

HT: Diane B

The post Schiff’s Staffer Traveled to Ukraine, Trip Was Paid for by Group Funded by Hunter Biden’s Old Firm appeared first on RedState.

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Quinnipiac: Support for impeachment and removal now at 47/47, up from 37/57 five days ago

Westlake Legal Group t-20 Quinnipiac: Support for impeachment and removal now at 47/47, up from 37/57 five days ago Ukraine Trump The Blog Quinnipiac poll impeachment democrats

The glass-half-empty view for the White House: The numbers are obviously moving in a bad direction here.

The glass-half-full view: Even after a week of media hype and Ukraine revelations, the country is only evenly split on impeachment. Independents remain opposed on balance, albeit less opposed than they were a week ago.

Is 47/47 enough to make Senate Republicans sweat? Nah. But one clear result from this new survey from Quinnipiac and other surveys over the past week is that the public is, shall we say, “impeachment-curious.” They’re not ready to take the plunge on ousting Trump, but there’s consistently support for opening an impeachment *inquiry* into the Ukraine matter. Independents are willing to let Democrats sniff around here. But for the moment, at least, they’re not ready to do more than that.

Westlake Legal Group q1 Quinnipiac: Support for impeachment and removal now at 47/47, up from 37/57 five days ago Ukraine Trump The Blog Quinnipiac poll impeachment democrats

There’s something for everyone there. For Republicans, there’s comfort in knowing that indies are on your side. For Democrats, there’s the fact that a clear majority of people who are paying “a lot” of attention to the Ukraine story support impeachment. (Although that result may confuse cause and effect. How many people paying close attention to this are doing so because they’ve hated Trump all along and want to see him gone?) A weird anomaly in the data is the fact that a plurality of people aged 65+ support impeachment, 49/46. Normally seniors skew Republican. I wonder if they’re more sensitive to alleged presidential abuses of power because they lived through Watergate. Or if they simply have a more solid educational foundation in civics than slightly younger adults.

Other results in this same poll will encourage Democrats. A majority of people think Trump has abused his power in office (54 percent, including 53 percent of independents), and by a margin of 50/40 Americans think Trump did something wrong in his interactions with Ukraine’s president (52 percent of indies agree). On the threshold question of whether Dems were right or wrong to open an impeachment inquiry, the public splits 52/45, with independents at 50/45. A CBS poll over the weekend found 55/45 support for an impeachment inquiry; another from Hill-HarrisX had it at 47/42, up 12 points since June. See what I mean by “impeachment-curious”?

But there are two ominous numbers for Dems in the new Quinnipiac data. One is that the share of Americans who “strongly” approve of Trump’s job performance has now reached 35 percent, easily the highest figure recorded all year. Thirty-five percent isn’t a lot in the abstract but it shows Republican support for Trump hardening as the pressure from impeachment builds. And if there’s any doubt about that, consider that 68 percent of Republicans also answered “no” to the question, “Do you think asking a foreign leader for help in defeating an opponent in an upcoming election is or is not a good enough reason to impeach a president and remove them from office?” Out-and-out solicitation of election help isn’t impeachable? Not to Republicans at this distinctive moment in time.

Here’s the other ominous number for lefties:

Westlake Legal Group 2-2 Quinnipiac: Support for impeachment and removal now at 47/47, up from 37/57 five days ago Ukraine Trump The Blog Quinnipiac poll impeachment democrats

Americans may be impeachment-curious but they’re also highly skeptical of Democratic motives here, which they should be. How much support can Dems realistically build among independents if it’s already baked into their opinion that Team Blue is playing politics with all this?

Just as I’m writing this, CNN is out with its own poll on impeachment and removal. Their numbers, 47/45, are nearly identical to Quinnipiac’s, and the trend line is again bad for Trump. In May, this same question earned a 41/54 split. An interesting detail:

The change since May has largely come among independents and Republicans. About three-quarters of Democrats favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office, roughly the same as in May, while among independents, support for impeachment and removal has risen 11 points to 46% among independents and 8 points to 14% among Republicans.

The shift has also come notably among younger Americans. Sixty percent of those under age 35 now say they support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, up from 43% who felt that way in May, while support for the move among older Americans has held about even (42% now vs. 40% in May). Previous CNN polling on impeachment has not found such a stark gap by age.

And that shift is concentrated on the GOP side. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents under age 50, support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office has risen from 9% in May to 22% now, while views among older Republicans and Republican leaners have held about even with just 8% in favor of impeachment and removal from office.

Even a minor shift within Trump’s own party would turn impeachment into a majority proposition across the general population. He can’t afford to lose Republican voters.

One more CNN number, which contradicts the Quinnipiac finding: “Americans are more likely to say that most congressional Democrats back impeachment because they believe Trump committed impeachable offenses (49%) than because they are out to get Trump at all costs (38%).” We have one poll today telling us that Americans think Democrats are pursuing Trump for political ends and another telling us that they think Dems are chasing him on the merits. A lot depends on which one is correct. If Trump’s “witch hunt” defense isn’t as effective in this case as it was during Russiagate, he’s in bigger trouble than we think.

The post Quinnipiac: Support for impeachment and removal now at 47/47, up from 37/57 five days ago appeared first on Hot Air.

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Politico: Dem primary now looks like a tax-and-spend “arms race”

Westlake Legal Group dem-debate-july2 Politico: Dem primary now looks like a tax-and-spend “arms race” The Blog tax and spend democrats 2020 Democratic primaries “federal spending”

Readers may rightly wonder, “isn’t every Democratic presidential primary a spending arms race?” Even for Democrats, Politico’s Brian Faler observes, the 2020 crop of Democratic presidential candidates sure promise a whoooole lotta new spending. In fact, “trillion has become the new billion,” Faler writes, and suddenly Barack Obama’s massive $787 billion Porkulus bill suddenly “seems quaint”:

Virtually every major candidate has a proposal that would cost a trillion dollars or more, and even those positioning themselves as moderates, like Pete Buttigieg, have multiple trillion-dollar plans.

It increasingly looks like an arms race, where a proposal needs a 13-digit price tag to appear bold and plans costing mere billions risk being seen as unserious. Both Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Julián Castro have $10 trillion plans to address climate change. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would spend about $1.9 trillion to address college tuition costs. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) proposes spending $2.5 trillion to expand tax credits for the poor. …

It’s a big change from not that long ago, when politicians ran away from the T-word — one reason why Obama’s stimulus package clocked in at $787 billion was because lawmakers didn’t want to cross the trillion-dollar threshold.

“People don’t seem scared at all now — in fact, it’s the opposite,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president and senior policy director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “It’s a race to see who can one-up each other with the bigger plan.”

Faler writes that the GOP isn’t pure either because the 2017 tax cut “cost” $1.5 trillion. That, however, gets the problem backward, although even that doesn’t let the GOP off the hook anyway. Tax cuts are not “spending” — they are the opposite of spending. Tax cuts are a means of allowing people to keep their own money rather than have government spend it for them.

In theory, anyway. In practice, the GOP-controlled Congress and Republican president did almost nothing to slow down spending, which is the actual driver of deficits and debt. That failure to seriously address overspending and massive borrowing to float federal benefits drained whatever residual seriousness was left in budget fight. It turned out that neither party in Washington took it seriously, or at least seriously enough to have a real debate over it.

Since no one takes it seriously any more, suddenly unserious proposals to spend imaginary money have nothing but upsides. If we’re going to go broke, the strategy appears to be, let’s make sure we blow smoke up everyone’s skirts before we do. No one’s demanding to know where the money will come from, so why worry? Happy days are here again, even if the skies above will crash in the end. By that time, we’ll all be dead and it will be our grandkids dealing with the budgetary fallout, so bombs away!

At this point, the only means left to force Congress to take this seriously is an Article V convention and a balanced-budget amendment imposed by the states. Congress has proven itself incapable of self-discipline when it comes to spending, and the executive branch has been nothing but an enabler under the leadership of both parties. The judiciary can’t enforce a budget discipline that doesn’t exist in the Constitution. It’s time for the states to assert their role in the power-sharing arrangement and fix this problem before Washington drains them of their own resources to feed the budgetary black hole that’s threatening to swallow us whole.

The post Politico: Dem primary now looks like a tax-and-spend “arms race” appeared first on Hot Air.

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A Case That Is Being Portrayed as a Win for Religious Freedom Is Actually a Road Map for Our Perpetual Defeat

Westlake Legal Group Freedom-of-religion-stand-up A Case That Is Being Portrayed as a Win for Religious Freedom Is Actually a Road Map for Our Perpetual Defeat religion Politics Michigan Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission LGBT judge robert jonker gay rights Front Page Stories Featured Story democrats dana nessel Culture & Faith Catholic Charities buck vs. gordon bigotry anti-religious left Allow Media Exception adoption

There is a major struggle going on right now over the fate of religious freedom in this country. It is safe to say that the left is actively hostile to religion once it leaves the doors of the church (many are hostile even before then but I’ll give the entire mob of them the benefit of the doubt) and they have adopted FDR’s obscene Freedom of Worship as their catchphrase. The lay of the land isn’t much more favorable elsewhere. Many people who style themselves as conservative are actually worshippers at the idol or “tolerance” and are perfectly willing to see religious freedom made subservient to that goal. Some are even claiming that religion is on par with homosexual marriage and telling us that is a good thing.

On Thursday, US District Court Judge Robert Jonker (a Bush appointee) ruled that Catholic Charities could not be barred from acting as an adoption agency in Michigan because it refused to place children in homes of homosexual couples. The decision did not look at the suitability of homosexuals to be adoptive parents, but rather on the process that was used to exclude Catholic Charities and the actions of rabidly anti-Christian Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel who has made a career out of castigating orthodox Christians as hatemongers. Here’s how she described the Trump administration policy which shields Catholic hospitals from performing abortions, assisted suicides, and genital mutilations…I’m sorry, I meant “gender reassignment surgery.”

“This display of contempt for the doctrine of separation between church and state is alarming and terrifying,” said Nessel. “According to our federal government, healthcare providers, from doctors to clerical staff, can decide who deserves medical care ranging from the most routine check-ups to lifesaving medical treatment – all based upon the purported religious, moral, or ethical beliefs of the provider. Healthcare treatment should be dictated by approved medical standards and a patient’s decisions about the type of care he or she wishes to receive, not the personal beliefs of those who hold themselves out as medical professionals. The imposition of this rule catapults our nation further toward America devolving into a virtual theocracy.”

The state social services agency tried to have any mention of Nessel removed from the case on the grounds that they, not the state attorney general, made the decision to bar Catholic Charities. Judge Jonker called bullsh** on this ploy. This is from Judge Jonker’s ruling:

The State Defendants seek dismissal of Defendant Nessel from the case. They contend that she is simply the State’s chief legal counsel, is not responsible for Michigan’s change in policy, and does not belong in the case. The record undercuts the claim. Based on the record to date, Defendant Nessel is at the very heart of the case. She referred to proponents of the 2015 law as hate-mongers” and said the only purpose of the 2015 law was “discriminatory animus.” She described the 2015 law as “indefensible” during her campaign. These statements raise a strong inference of a hostility toward a religious viewpoint. Based on the present record, she was also a pivotal player in the State’s total reversal of position in the Dumont litigation. It was her assessment of risk that led the State to move from defending St. Vincent’s position to abandoning it in the first month of her term – and this despite the 2015 law, the language of the contracts, and well- established practice. All of this supports a strong inference that St. Vincent was targeted based on its religious belief, and that it was Defendant Nessel who targeted it. See Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n, 138 S. Ct. 1719, 1729-31 (2018) (detailing disparaging statements of government decision-makers regarding particular religious beliefs and emphasizing the “State’s duty under the First Amendment not to base laws or regulations on hostility to a religion or religious viewpoint”). On this record, dismissal of Defendant Nessel from the case is not warranted.

In other words, just like in the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling, the case was decided on the overt record of animus both the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the Michigan attorney general had shown towards religious people and organizations.

This is how National Review’s David French describes the ruling:

The last point is key. As stated above, there was no evidence that St. Vincent prevented any qualified couple from adopting. In fact, if the state forced St. Vincent’s to choose between upholding the teachings of its faith or maintaining its contractual relationship with the state, then it risked shrinking the available foster or adoption options in the state of Michigan. The state demonstrated that it was more interested in taking punitive action against people of faith than it was in maintaining broader access to foster and adoption services for its most vulnerable citizens.

The judge rightly called the state’s actions a “targeted attack on a sincerely held religious belief.” Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop pays religious-liberty dividends. Once again, a court declares — in no uncertain terms — that in the conflict between private faith and public bigotry, religious liberty will prevail.

This is the kind of whistling past the graveyard that drives me nuts. This decision was not a victory for religious liberty, rather it simply ratified a roadmap for zealous anti-Christians to stamp out religious liberty. A better ruling would have hammered home that an organization cannot be forced from the public square because of its beliefs. What this ruling did was put the bigots on notice that they have to find other reasons, that they have to keep their meetings private with no minutes taken, that they can’t actively appeal to anti-religious bias.

Rod Dreher covers the story in a story called Why Federal Judges Matter. They do. It would have been horrible to lose a ruling such as this. But timid, half-measures judges don’t make things better. They just delay the reckoning.

In short, rulings like this simply point people like Nessel to how white politicians in the South after Brown vs. Board of Education worked to keep black Americans from voting, from holding jobs in certain professions, and to keep schools segregated despite the Supreme Court rulings. We’re not done here. Not by a long damned shot. We’ll have to fight this battle again and again and eventually we’ll face people who aren’t idiots and judge who isn’t sympathetic.

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Video: Hillary Clinton Accidentally Admits Male Democrats Are Exempt From #BelieveWomen Because Orange Man Bad

Westlake Legal Group JoeBidenHillaryClinton1 Video: Hillary Clinton Accidentally Admits Male Democrats Are Exempt From #BelieveWomen Because Orange Man Bad washington D.C. sexual misconduct sexual harassment Sexual Assault Politics People Magazine North Carolina Media Joe Biden Hillary Clinton Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats delaware Culture Campaigns campaign Bill Clinton biden Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020 #metoo

Joe Biden gives Hillary Clinton a long hug. Aug. 2016. Screen grab via CNN.

Whether it’s making excuses for her husband’s lecherous, adulterous, and deplorable behavior when he was POTUS, being actively involved in smearing his accusers, or declaring 20 years later that we must believe all women who accuse men of sexual misconduct, Hillary Clinton is a woman of many, many faces.

She proved it again in an interview she and her daughter Chelsea Clinton, an author, recently did with People Magazine.

Clinton was asked her thoughts about the 2020 Democratic candidates for president, and she noted she was “staying out of it” and planned to support whoever won the nomination.

But when asked about frontrunner Joe Biden and his well-documented overly handsy approach when it comes to women, Clinton rushed to his defense, characterizing his inappropriate touching as “a little annoying habit”:

She said that Biden, 76, who is a leading contender to challenge President Donald Trump in next year’s election, “is a thoroughly decent human being who has served our country honorably and well for decades.”

“You could take any person who sticks their little head above the parapet and says, ‘I’m going to run for president,’ and find something that … a little annoying habit or other kind of behavior that people are going to pick apart and disagree with,” she continued.

Why was Hillary so eager to sing Biden’s praises in spite of the numerous allegations of inappropriate touching and invasions of women’s private spaces? Because Orange Man Bad, of course:

“This man must be defeated,” Clinton told PEOPLE. “People who are putting themselves forward, which believe me, is a really difficult process to undergo, should be judged on the totality of their lives and their service.”

Voters must “get over it” and “vote for anybody” to get Trump out of office, even if that “anybody” likes to brush up behind women when they’re not looking and smell their hair, hug women a little too tightly for a little too long, and kiss women supporters full on the mouth:

“We can pick apart anybody. I mean, that’s a great spectator sport. But this man who’s there in the Oval Office right now poses a clear and present danger to the future of the United States. So get over it,” Clinton said. “Look at the candidates, look at what they’ve accomplished, look at what they have fought for — and vote for anybody to get rid of Donald Trump.”

Watch video of Clinton talking about Biden below:

Hillary Clinton defends yet another handsy Democratic male from criticism over his unseemly behavior. Who coulda predicted that?

Flashback –>> Andrea Mitchell lovingly narrates a clip of then Vice President Biden giving Hillary a looong hug, and notes he’s the touchy feely type (“nothing pervy here”, she states) – but that it’s no big deal because it’s just Joe Biden:

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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

The post Video: Hillary Clinton Accidentally Admits Male Democrats Are Exempt From #BelieveWomen Because Orange Man Bad appeared first on RedState.

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Alabama Sen. Doug Jones Breaks from the Party and Stands Up for Justice: You Don’t Pursue Impeachment Based on Hearsay

Westlake Legal Group AP_17318719008277-620x334 Alabama Sen. Doug Jones Breaks from the Party and Stands Up for Justice: You Don’t Pursue Impeachment Based on Hearsay washington D.C. Uncategorized Proof Lindsey Graham kasie dc Impeachment of President Trump impeachment hearsay Front Page Stories Featured Story face the nation doug jones donald trump democrats Congress Allow Media Exception

Alabama Democrat Senate candidate Doug Jones gets into his car after speaking to the media, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. Jones runs against former judge Roy Moore. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

 

 

The controversial runoff between Doug Jones and Roy Moore in Alabama seemed a bit of ugliness in the Heart of Dixie.

In the end, the Democrat won.

And now, that man is playing outside the lines of partisan politics in order to oppose another bit of ugliness: attacks based on hearsay.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Kasie DC Sunday, the senator insisted a great deal of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint relies on the H word.

And that’s not enough for impeachment.

You don’t remove a sitting president based on such second-hand intel:

“A lot of that allegation, a lot of the whistleblower complaint is in fact hearsay. It is what other people have told him. That is clear on its face. I think Senator Graham was right, you don’t impeach somebody based on hearsay.”

The aforementioned Lindsey slammed the complaint Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation:

“This seems to me like a political setup. It’s all hearsay. You can’t get a parking ticket conviction based on hearsay. The whistleblower didn’t hear the phone call.”

He said the whole hubbub of Trump allegedly attempting to make moves against Joe Biden in order to internationally prevent an American Democratic win in 2020 smells like dung:

“This whole thing is a sham. … Who is this whistleblower? What bias do they have? Why did they pick this whistleblower to tell a hearsay story? The transcript does not match the complaint. … [T]his thing stinks.”

In case you’ve been away waterskiing, here’s a reeeeal quick summary of the complaint, compliments of USA Today:

The complaint appears related to President Donald Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump released a five-page summary of the call Wednesday, which revealed the president asking Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden while the president withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to that country.

Back to Doug, the former prosecutor pointed out that there are still a lot of missing facts. And impeachment should only be determined on the other side of their discovery:

“[W]e still don’t have all the facts. We need to get the facts. Whenever you get to an impeachment vote if it gets there, it needs to be based on facts. It doesn’t need to be based on mere allegations and one transcript.”

Good call.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

Trump Administration Threatens To Pull Funding From Duke University Program For Promoting Islam While Ignoring Christianity

MSNBC Panelist Says He Constantly Fantasizes About Crashing His Car Into Trump Plaza. Maybe He’s Waiting For The 1,000-Year Reich

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Crushes Beto – The ‘Radical Looney’ Will ‘Never Be A Threat To Texas Politics Again’

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The post Alabama Sen. Doug Jones Breaks from the Party and Stands Up for Justice: You Don’t Pursue Impeachment Based on Hearsay appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group AP_17318719008277-300x161 Alabama Sen. Doug Jones Breaks from the Party and Stands Up for Justice: You Don’t Pursue Impeachment Based on Hearsay washington D.C. Uncategorized Proof Lindsey Graham kasie dc Impeachment of President Trump impeachment hearsay Front Page Stories Featured Story face the nation doug jones donald trump democrats Congress Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com