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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "meeting"

Booker: Who is this Louis Farrakhan person of whom you speak?

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Earlier in the Democratic presidential primary, (almost one month ago to the day to be precise) Senator Cory Booker told us that he would have no problem taking a meeting with renowned antisemite and race-baiter Louis Farrakhan. It appears that somebody on his staff finally pulled him aside and pointed out that antisemitism isn’t selling particularly well this season and he might want to can that sort of talk. The message sunk in and this weekend Booker began singing a different tune. There’s just no need to meet with Farrakhan, you see. (Free Beacon)

Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) said on Sunday that he would not meet with anti-Semitic leader Louis Farrakhan, after indicating last month that he would be open to the possibility.

“I will not sit down with Louis Farrakhan, period. And I reject anybody who preaches that kind of bigotry and hate toward other Americans,” Booker told CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union.

At a fundraiser in June, however, Booker said that he was “very familiar” with Farrakhan’s “beliefs and values” and that he wouldn’t rule out sitting down with him.

What do we suppose was the final straw that pushed Booker off the Farrakhan bus? Was it referring to Jews as termites? Calling them “Satanic?” Suggesting that either the Holocaust never happened or, if it did, it was overhyped? In any event, around the Team Booker campfire, Farrakhan has apparently gone from being “controversial” to bigoted and hateful. Welcome to the party, Senator.

It’s worth noting that Louis Farrakhan isn’t just bad. This guy is so bad that even the Southern Poverty Law Center has a special entry for him on their list of hate merchants. And to make it onto that list as someone who is both a racial and religious minority really takes some effort. Their introductory paragraph on him is worth a glance. (Emphasis added)

Louis Farrakhan heads the Nation of Islam, a group he has led since 1977 and that is based on a somewhat bizarre and fundamentally anti-white theology. Farrakhan is an antisemite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.

That’s one aspect of Farrakhan’s history that the media doesn’t like to cover nearly as much, but it’s factual. The guy has rewritten the entire history of mankind and developed his own gospel as to the origins of the white and black races. Give it a read sometime. It’s quite a fascinating analysis.

Be that as it may, it seems that Booker has seen the light and Farrakhan is now persona non grata at his campaign. That’s really something if you look at the larger picture. We live in an era when Kim Jong-un can get meetings with four different world leaders in the space of a couple of months, but Farrakhan can’t even get in the same room with a bottom tier primary candidate. Maybe there’s still some common sense left in the world after all.

The post Booker: Who is this Louis Farrakhan person of whom you speak? appeared first on Hot Air.

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A Judge Just Ordered the FBI to Further Release James Comey’s Memos

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Former FBI Director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

James Comey’s memos have always lived in a weird place in the Trump-Russia invesgitative saga. They are essentially the chief cause of Robert Mueller’s appointment, as the leaking of them is cited by Comey himself as a push for a special counsel. An innocuous comment about Michael Flynn in one of hte memos, which ended up going absolutely nowhere, was the primary evidence of “obstruction” early on and served as the buttress for Mueller’s appointment.

Never mind that the numbers work out in such a way that at least one of the released memos was done so illegally. Being held accountable when it comes to classified material is for suckers and military members, not virtuous defenders of freedom like James Comey.

Late yesterday, a judge ordered the memos to be further unredacted in response to a FOIA request.

What will we find? Probably not much as they were essentially irrelevant from the very beginning. Extemporaneous memos written by a noted liar and partisan like James Comey hold no more value than if Donald Trump wrote some memos about interactions with John Brennan. The media will try to spin it otherwise, but that should surprise no one as anything that targets Trump is fit to print in their eyes.

There is one section that will remain redacted.

Boasberg said the FBI’s argument that unredacting those portions would harm national security was inadequate. However, he agreed to keep one redaction in which the president speaks critically of a country.

“Given the statement and context, the Court has no trouble following the link offered by the FBI between disclosure and harm to national security,” Boasberg wrote.

That seems like a reasonable decision. There’s no public value in exposing the President remarking about another country in what was supposed to be a private conversation.

It should also be said that this is yet another case of the FBI over-classifying materials. In reality, it appears these new unredacted pieces have no bearing on national security, which was the exemption originally claimed by the bureau. Over and over, these bureaucratic outfits abuse the rules of classification, hiding things from the public that they actually have no right to hide. Something needs to be done about that but Congress can’t agree on what temperature to set the thermostat to, much less changing classification statutes.

Regardless, get ready for a few days of “bombshell” coverage because it’s revealed Trump said something mildly embarrassing. That’s likely all the media will get out of these. Comey is not going to implicate himself in a memo he wrote and we already know there’s nothing legally important in them. The real fun for James Comey comes down a little further down the road.

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The post A Judge Just Ordered the FBI to Further Release James Comey’s Memos appeared first on RedState.

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Question for Jared Kushner: Was Birtherism racist?

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The answer he clearly wants to give is yes, obviously, but it’s equally obvious why he can’t. And so instead we’re treated to one of the most awkward exchanges of the year.

I watched that last night and wondered why Kushner agreed to this interview. He rarely gives on-camera interviews, after all; offhand I can think of exactly one that I’ve seen, when he showed up on Hannity’s show to sell the criminal-justice reform bill. The reporter questioning him, Jonathan Swan of Axios, isn’t known as a creampuff either. He ended up grilling Kushner on various subjects during their sitdown — the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan, his bromance with the ruthless crown prince of Saudi Arabia, his difficulties obtaining a security clearance, and the famous Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer in 2016.

Why would Kushner give Swan an opportunity to make him squirm at length for Axios’s HBO show?

Two theories. One: Swan is sitting on something damaging about Kushner and Kushner knows it, and the price of getting him not to publish it was to sit for this conversation. Tabloids operate that way too, of course. Often they’ll agree to suppress some dirt they’ve uncovered about a celebrity in exchange for that celebrity’s cooperation on other stories. Swan’s not a tabloid reporter, though, and if he had something juicy enough on Jared that Kushner would fear its publication, one suspects that scoop would be worth more to him than this interview.

Two: Swan breaks big scoops about the White House and Congress regularly, proof that he has sources in high places in Washington. What if Jared is one of his sources? And what if Jared sat for this interview expecting that Swan would handle him with kid gloves, not wanting to jeopardize his relationship with the president’s top advisor? And what if Swan, sensing his chance for an interview that would help make his national reputation as a tough TV interviewer, calculated that Kushner was less useful to him as a source going forward than as the unwitting target of a hardball interview and surprised him by putting him through the wringer?

I’m leaning much more towards theory two than theory one. But there has to be some explanation. It’s unthinkable that the camera-shy Jared would knowingly sit for a no-holds-barred conversation with a well-known reporter.

Here’s the Q&A about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russia. Kushner does well here until the end, when he’s asked if he’d alert the FBI the next time a foreign power reaches out to huddle with him about the Democratic nominee — one of the few softballs tossed by Swan in their chat — and he says he … doesn’t know.

The post Question for Jared Kushner: Was Birtherism racist? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Plot twist: Republican-run Senate Intel Committee subpoenas … Donald Trump Jr

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I’m treating this as a desperate attempt by the writers of the simulation we’re now living in to top themselves by making American politics even less predictable than it’s been. How’s this for a subplot: After Bob Mueller finally drops his report and doesn’t indict Junior, Republican Sen. Richard Burr and his committee decide to haul Junior in and quiz him under oath about various Russiagate loose ends.

How does that subplot end? What would be maximum drama? I think it would have to be the committee catching Junior in a lie, referring him to the DOJ for a perjury prosecution, and then Papa Trump busting him out of jail with Bill Barr driving the getaway car.

Either that or a full presidential pardon, essentially affirming Junior’s right to lie to a congressional committee led by the president’s own party. Gonna be an exciting season either way.

It’s the first congressional subpoena — that we know about — of one of President Trump’s children. The subpoena sets up a fight that’s unprecedented in the Trump era: A Republican committee chair pit against the Republican president’s eldest son…

“Don and Senate Intel agreed from the very beginning that he would appear once to testify before the committee and would remain for as long as it took to answer all of their questions. He did that. We’re not sure why we’re fighting with Republicans,” a source close to Trump Jr. told Axios.

Sources close to Don Jr are taking the news not so well:

You can call Burr what you like but “cowardly” isn’t the first word that comes to mind for a threat to subpoena the president’s son on a matter like Russiagate in which absolute partisan loyalty is expected.

No one will say what the committee wants to ask Trump Jr about but it probably has to do with the Trump Tower Moscow project, as Michael Cohen’s testimony diverged from Junior’s on that subject. Trump Jr claimed that he didn’t know much about it but Cohen claimed that he briefed him and Ivanka about it around 10 times during the 2016 campaign. Trump Jr also told a Senate committee previously that he’d never informed his father of the famous meeting with the Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in Manhattan to see what Russia might have on Hillary. Cohen says otherwise.

Junior is reportedly “exasperated” by the subpoena and weighing his legal options. As a private citizen he doesn’t enjoy the shield of executive privilege that Bill Barr can claim when he tells a congressional committee to stuff it. One option is to show up and take the Fifth but that would be “bad optics,” shall we say. Another is to just tell the committee to piss off and not show up, which would mean jail time for any other American but maaaaaybe not if your last name is “Trump.” Essentially Junior would be daring Burr and other Republicans on the panel to hold him in contempt and sic the DOJ on him. Would Burr really take that step, knowing how POTUS would react?

My gut says no. America may not be a monarchy yet but the GOP certainly is, and you don’t come after the prince. But if Burr was planning to wimp out if Don called his bluff, presumably he wouldn’t have taken the fateful step of issuing a subpoena.

I assume they’ll end up compromising, with Junior agreeing to answer written interrogatories instead of appearing again. Burr might be okay with angering POTUS by demanding that Junior testify in person since he’s not running for office again (or so he claimed in 2016) but other Republicans on the panel might not be. Susan Collins and John Cornyn are on that committee too are each up for reelection next year. Does Collins want POTUS and other Trump cronies throwing “witch hunt!” tantrums at her expense on Twitter next month? I mean, really:

Another cool subplot for this season would be if Rand Paul got hold of a time machine and traveled back to the tea party’s heyday of 2010 to inform his younger self that his main role in the Senate in 2019 would be providing cover for the president’s son to dodge legal process. Exit question: Could Papa Trump really pardon Junior in the unlikely event that the Intel Committee held him in civil contempt? Don’t be so sure.

The post Plot twist: Republican-run Senate Intel Committee subpoenas … Donald Trump Jr appeared first on Hot Air.

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